02.20.3014: Old Wounds and New
Summary: Nitrim, weary with the death of Reena Khournas, seeks refuge from his troubles in the care of his friend, Lorelei Quellton, and confessions are made.
Date: 01 December 2013
Related: Black Clouds over Volkan
Lorelei Nitrim 

The Quellton Estate — Arboren
Room description is included in the scene.
February 20, 3014

Nitrim Khournas…is late.

It is a simple concept, to announce when one is going to be arriving in a few hours, but the number of hours since that message has stretched from four…to five…to nearly six. The sun has fallen and the crickets and fireflies have begun to descend around the Quellton stables, and dark shadows line the road that leads to the barn.

Yet the shadows are shifting. With his hood up over his head to conceal the dark circles under his eyes and the pale sheen of his normally pink and healthy skin, Nitrim approaches. His heavy boots crunch against the gravel and the hovering night-light of a lit cigarette can be seen swaying through the canopy of tree branches as it comes to his lips for another drag.

…and this time he's brought his aura of storm clouds and an inability to maneuver, the expression on his lips no longer willing to smile away his true thoughts with silvered words and laissez-faire false fronts.

Loree waited….and waited. and has finally gone into the stables, so as not to bother her parents with her worried pacing. The horses seem to be used to her, her own storm clouds are literally swirling around her, as she is floating apples to the different horses. She’s getting rather good with the smaller stuff. The door to the stables is left partially open, in hopes that if the Lord shows up, he’ll not bother her folks is he sees the lights on here.

Once the apples are floated, Loree shifts her attention to a vase filled with flowers, which looks droopy, and they not only perk up, but vines start coming from them. Nothing huge, but it’s a definite start.

Loree’s dressed in her work clothes, but they’re clean at least. It’s starting to become odd to see her in a dress, it seems.

"You're getting pretty good at that." The familiar, smokey tones of Nitrim's voice speak up as the sounds of crunching gravel enter earshot. He must have looked up enough to see her from a distance, because as he steps to the door of the barn he keeps his hood low even as he leans his shoulder against the frame for balance. "I'm late. Yes. I should have called; there were fucking reporters following me."

Lorelei’s head comes up, but she doesn’t seem too surprised. “Well…yeah. I don’t really have much of a choice other than to get better at it.” She’ll smile though, her whited out eyes turning in his direction. She’ll place a hand on her hip, unintentionally imitating her mother, “You could have texted. they couldn’t have read your texts.” There’s even a small tap of the foot, which makes her just look cute, more than intimidating. Her scowl quickly fades though, and she’ll start walking towards him. “Are you-What do you need?” If he allows she’ll lay her hand on his arm. There’s a strength there, in her posture, even, that wasn’t there last time they talked.

Nitrim turns his hooded head to look down at Lorelei's hand on his arm as if its an alien thing. His visible lips frown and his tongue presses to the inside of his teeth as he sighs and flips his hood back. His eyes are dark-rimmed and exhausted, and thanks to the flipping of his hood his hair is out of place.

"You know I'm one of the few people you know that would be proud of you for shocking me out of anger." Nitrim replies, his faint smile a step in the right direction. "I'm sorry. I just had to get lost, one of them asked me about Reena and I almost hit him."

Without asking, and without warning, the normally self-assured, arrogant, and tabloid mystery man steps forward to wrap his arms around Lorelei in a hug that uses her shoulder for balance. He squeezes gently, breathing a sigh down the side of her neck. "Reena is dead."
All of that confidence starts to melt when Nit looks to her hand on his arm. Maybe she crossed a boundary that she shouldn’t have? But then he’s the talking and her heart is breaking some. She doesn't say anything, instead wrapping her arms around him. Their height difference is ridiculous, she’ll actually go tip toe to try to give him a better hold for balance. She’ll not say she’s sorry…that won’t help. Her arms tighten, and she’ll just hold him, her aura slowly drifting away as she lets her powers go.

The hug lingers; a long, tired hug that likely lasts a few extra seconds to offset the pain in Nitrim's tired joints. Smelling of cologne that reminisces burnt leaves, and the scent of cigarette smoke, the Khourni nobleman is like Volkan: covered in ash.

With one final squeeze, like a goodbye at the end of a letter, Nitrim lifts his head and untangles his arms from around her shoulders. Pulling back to look to her face, he leaves a hand on her shoulder as his eyes, dry as a bone, try to read her features. Once a liar, always a liar. Always deceptive, Nitrim is on some level, even to himself, but if he's cried at all he doesn't show it. He shows tired instead.

"Know somewhere quiet?" He asks, brows knitting together in the center. "I just need a place to lay low for a bit, and I need a friend."

Tilting her head, Lorelei watches the noble, worriedly. A soft smile, and a nod, “Well….There’s the hayloft, as long as no hanky-panky happens.” That might be worrisome if any one but Loree had said that. It just sounds silly coming out of her mouth, “Or there’s a clearing nearby. Might be a touch cold, but we can light a fire, or just warm ourselves with Awakening powers.” There’s not tons of places, beside just the woods . She’ll move her hand to take his, “Have you ate today? Drank water, at least? Ma made dinner, I can go get some and bring it to you, if you’d like to stay here. Hubert will keep you company.”

As if he knew Loree was talking about him, one of the oldest horses Nit’s probably ever seen sticks his head out from a stall and eyes Nitrim. His ears flick once, not impressed with what he sees so far.

"Breakfast was my last, it's been a while." Nitrim admits as his hands rest into her palms. His many rings scrape over each other as he tries to find a way to hold hands with her. Finger-in-finger would be painful for her, so he opts to rest their hands palm-to-palm.

Then? The hanky-panky comment finally hits him. Nitrim looks away from Lorelei to the horse, who looks every bit the chaperone, and the man can't help but let out a tired, pitiful laugh. "Fuck, Lorelei, all tabloids aside, I don't just flail my cock everywhere. You really think I'd pull a move on you?" Nitrim looks back to her with a shame-on-you of a smirk, nodding towards the ladder. Hay is comfortable. Comfortable is heaven. "Hubert, however…"

Apparently Nitrim, even in mourning, fails to lose his talent for quick-reply sarcasm.

Nodding, she’s already planning on what to grab from the fridge for Nitrim. A small tug of her lips at his fidgeting on how to hold her hand…how in the world did he ever date anyone, if he didn’t have holding hands with those rings on figured out.

Hubert just snorts at Nit, in a ‘I’m watching you’ kind of way. Loree scoffs slightly, “Six…That’s all I’d need. You nobles are a pain in my ass.” She doesn’t explain, as that’s a whole other can of worms. She’ll start walking towards the ladder and then after hearing what he says turns on him, “Ewh! Gross! You leave him alone. He’s more than able to defend himself. Ask Ephraim!” Poor Ephraim still won’t come into the stables now.

When she gets to the ladder, “I’m going to go grab you food. Any preference?” Her tone is one that isn’t going to be argued down easy.

"Something filling? No alcohol, I don't know if I can handle anymore." Patting his belly, Nitrim moves to the side of the ladder and plants his boot of the first run. His eyes bulge and his tongue flecks out, making the eeyugh face. "I'm not drunk, but we Khourni drink when things are tense and my stomach feels so hollow, you know?"

Starting up the ladder before her, he makes quick work of the ascent and puts some distance between himself and the edge. Turning and dropping to sit with his back against a bail of hay, he draws up his knees to wrap with arms around them.

"And no, I'm not going to fuck your horse, Lorelei." Nitrim grumbles against his forearm. "You're reading tabloids aren't you? Does everyone actually think I sleep with every girl I come across? I'm wounded, truly."

Loree’s not going to argue the drinking habits of the different Havenites. Arboren just drink , no matter what. “Ok. Something filling. I think Ma made a stew.” She even manages to not wrinkle her nose in disgust at the meat stew.

She watches him ascend upwards and start to turn to leave. the hayloft, once he gets up there, has a spot that Loree’s clearly been sleeping in. There’s a pillow and sleeping bag rolled out. and a electric lantern that’s not turned on. And a stuffed Drake and a stuffed manatee.
She’ll call up, “No…not every girl you run across.” There’s a beat, before she also offers, “And you could try….but I think Hubert might surprise you, you might not like the position you’d end up in with him.” It’s hard to tell if she’s laughing or not, as she quickly exits the stables.

Hubert though, can be seen from the hay loft, and he’s not taken his eyes of off Nitrim.

Left alone, Nitrim tightens his arms around his legs and turns to look at the stuffed animals by the sleeping bag. Eyes narrowing on the manatee, he reaches out to flick it with his finger, sending it over onto its side. It makes Nitrim smirk.

Growing quickly bored with the stuffed animal, he sighs and turns his eyes to the overlook and comes eye-to-eye with Hubert. Staring right back at the massive horse, Nitrim's head lifts from his forearm.

"So, what, you read the tabloids, too?" Nitrim's eyebrow twitches. "I see what you're doing, Hubert, and no I was joking about fucking you." A long pause filters over Nitrim as he has no clue what the animal is thinking. "And she has never made a move on me and not I her so don't you give me that look. Or is this her scary torture barn and you know something that I don't?"

Hubert snorts, although it’s hard to say if he’s agreeing with Nitrim or angry with him. He keeps up the eying, although his ears flick as the manatee falls to the ground. He stomps his feet, like he wants to get to the stuffed animal.

Loree’s gone a few, and only after arguing with her mother and threatening to run away and do something horrible inappropriate to embarrass her folks did her mother give her the stew and juice to bring up. She comes in, focused on not spilling the food, so she doesn’t notice the manatee on the ground.

With white-washed eyes and a flicker of aura, Nitrim uses Lorelei's distraction with the ladder to float the manatee back up to his position at the loft. Thinking better of it, he sets it back down where it was before, but manages to knock over the stuffed drake in the process. He tries to right the drake, but then knocks the manatee onto its side.

Fuck it.

Leaving the stuffed toys alone, he turns his eyes to Lorelei as she reaches the top of the ladder. A sigh snorts through his nose and he curls up once more.

"Did I ever tell you that I was…am an addict, Lorelei? Always will be, as the studies say."

Loree actually does an ok job balancing the bowl and juice and climbing the ladder. Like maybe she’s being doing that a lot. She’ll not respond at first, moving her fingers to hold the bowl better before moving over to sit down next to him. The bowl is warm, the juice cold. “Da took down a stag a week ago. It’s been deer everything.” She can’t hold back a yuck face as she hands him the spoon. If she wasn’t a vegetarian she’s be able to appreciate that her mother does wonders with stew.

“You’ve mentioned things, before.” It’s not quite an answer, as she knew but he never came right out and said it. “Are you worried about slipping?” Her voice isn’t accusingly, more just worried.

Nitrim, in answer, lifts his eyes to her. The pale skin that surrounds his sunken, gray hollows and tired eyes, to someone clever, would be answer enough. Swallowing, he looks down to the spoon in his hand and gently pries the bowl away from her to balance in his lap. His eyes close softly, breathing in the broth as his spoon stirs the murky, brown soup.

"I've been out of danger and in control for long enough." He replies, eyes opening as he pauses for a first bite. Still a noble, he chews politely and swallows before continuing. "The funny thing of it all is that the tabloids aren't far off. I know a lot of girls, I've forgotten more than they have," a smirk forms, vague and dusty. "I run into faces that think I should remember them. This idiot they all think I am, though, has been this really convenient lie for me now that I'm out of that life."

His eyes turn down to the bowl for another bite.

"Or am I still an idiot, just one that isn't fucking everything in sight and burying Sauveur handmaidens anymore?" He murmurs against his spoon before his teeth close around the utensil.

Loree frowns at Nitrim, but lets him talk. If he needs to be morose , if that gets him to eat, she’ll let him for now. Her frown increases at his smirk about knowing a lot of girls…that’s not something to brag about.

She inhales though, her jaw tightening. “Stop that. Her death isn’t your fault. You’re just…looking for things to be upset about, instead of what happened.” She starts to place her hand on his forearm again, but reconsiders. “I want you to finish the stew…and then the juice. You look a mess…” Her words are a touch harsh, but it’s said with worry and care for him. Her hand does go up and brushes his bangs from his forehead. She’ll add a , “Please.” at the end, hoping he’ll not fight her on taking care of him.

Swallowing down the next bite, Nitrim allows a brief moment of eye contact with her before his gaze disappears towards the ether, or wooden wall, over her shoulder. He stares, but he slowly nods his head, and takes another bite.

"Some of these tabloid reporters laugh and act like I should be proud of what they think I am. Trouble. I make them money and help them sell news." Nitrim continues, circling around the topic of his sister for as long as he can manage. His words are slow and thick with a syrupy drain of fatigue. "They don't know I put myself in danger, or that I'm ashamed, or that on some level waking up next to a completely strange, beautiful girl was amazing until it lost its luster ten seconds in, every time. It must have meant something at the time, right? I wanted life. They wanted to fuck a Paramount." Nitrim shrugs. "I wasted time, you know?"

"You're so good with your brothers." Nitrim murmurs as the spoon rises again, filled with Bambi. "Don't waste it being selfish and chasing ghosts trying to save the world. This war takes lives."

Loree listens, truly listens to him. her head tilted some. She doesn’t interrupt till he’s done. “I think…I think it’s a balance. No one can be totally one, and not the other…You can’t save the world, if you forget your family.” She’ll inhale, and shift to be a bit closer to him, trying to be supportive with just her physical presence. Maybe they are truly opposites, like he said. She’s been calm lately, accepting of what’s going on, and now he’s out of control. “I wish I could take this from you…you don’t deserve it. You’re a good man. I’ve seen it.” her hand does go out again and touches his forearm, not to interfere with his eating, just to be supportive.

Nitrim's eating pauses as her fingers find the thin hair and corded muscle of his forearm. His frail smile peeks out from its cave. "I know you do, Lorelei. I know you do…"

Eyebrows twitching, he scoops out the last of the stew and finishes the meal, setting the bowl down in a way that clatters the spoon to race around the lip like a fingernail scraping over sand. "And you know, at first, it's awesome. You wake up and see a hip, a neck, an arm around you. Then you think…" He laughs a hollow laugh. "I have no fucking clue who this person is. Is she someone I'd miss? Did I kiss her and mean it? Is she a novelist? What did I do to myself?"

He smirks, and his head shakes gently, leaning in against Lorelei as his words lower to a whisper, directed towards her feet.

"Instead I've been chasing murdered men now. Hidden bodies of people that asked too many questions to the wrong people. You know you're in deep when you choose to leave a body hidden so no one will know its been tampered with." The Khourni drake tightens his arms around his knees and leans more heavily into Lorelei's side. "And you see things, traces and trails and think: what if I'm the only one trying to save the world and maybe I can? What happens if I don't? And I need them to keep laughing at me so that I can do this quietly…but…"

Loree inhales sharply as Nit talks, not having realized how deep he’d gotten, “Nitrim…” She’ll bite her lower lip, letting him finish before addressing anything. “I can’t…I can’t help you with the girls situation…even if I was…experienced, I don’t think that’s something that anyone can really help anyone with. It’s just something you have to …grow out of.” She’s trying to be kind, she is. But those poor girls. She may be projecting how Eph made her feel when that possible baby momma incident happened. “I…” her voice is slightly shaky, not expecting him to admit to hiding bodies! “I feel like you’re throwing me into the middle of a play…I don’t know what you’re talking about Nit…” She’ll freaked enough to use a nickname. Loree places an arm around his shoulders, trying to be supportive, sisterly. “You’re not the only one…I can promise you that. You’re not alone.” She’ll lean her head over and place a light kiss to his temple.

Leaning into the kiss to his temple, Nitrim wraps an arm around Lorelei's hip to nestle in against her. His eyes lid half-closed, staring at the horse-stalls below.

"I'm talking about things that are going on that no one knows about." Nitrim whispers to her. "Things that make me look like a paranoid drug addict." A quiet falls over Nitrim as he lowers his head to her shoulder. "Someone called out to me for help, saying he found something really dangerous, secret, and something about the war. I went to find him, and I found his throat slit and his body hidden. I didn't touch him. I didn't want whoever did it to be able to trace that someone found his body. No one can know, not until I find the truth as to why he was murdered."

A deep, painful sigh pushes its way out of Nitrim's lips as his arm squeezes, trying to explain. "And Reena thought I was a fool. I spent all of that time investigating, chasing, and skulking about and missed so many chances to be there for her. Instead I was meeting with Sarah, the prisoner from the news feed, and trying to uncover these secrets because my gut tells me less than ten per million are interested or have any idea that we might be able to save millions of lives. I don't know what to do, but I feel like I cannot stop searching for answers, because deep in my heart I believe that there's a chance for peace…or at least less mass graves."

Loree shifts, giving Nitrim a more comfortable lean. She’s not a big woman, but she’s not a stick either. Eph says just right, although Loree’s pretty sure that’s exactly what a boyfriend should say.

Frowning more as he talks, she’ll bring a hand up run through his hair. It seems to be what he needs, to be mothered some. “You shouldn’t do this alone…Bare all of this alone….This man….why couldn’t his body be found? If he has family…” Loree’s thinking like a sister, not a conspiracy person. “This war…it’s awful. and so wrong. We all know that….I bet even Sarah knows that. You’ve trying to do the right things…I think you just need to stop trying to do them on your own….” She’ll not comment on what Reena would or wouldn’t think…that’s not going to help.

A soft sigh escapes her lips, her fingers still brushing through his hair. She’s probably going to regret this, “What can I do?…to help you?” Please don’t say hide dead bodies! although that’s a creepy echo of the Dreams she’s been having….

"The body cannot be found because someone hid it for a reason," Nitrim admits, his words distant and weighted. "Who killed that man meant for him to disappear. If you reveal the murder, whoever killed him gets a name and a face of who to watch. I don't know who killed him, all I know was that he was silenced, and if I get fingered as someone who is digging I could be silenced, too. So…you leave the body where it is and make a promise that when you have the evidence to make justice happen, you make sure that body gets buried right. It's…horrible that it has to be that way, but it's the only way I can think of. Some other people know, they touched the bodies. I'm watching them just in case."

The blunted tip of his claw ring digs gently into Lorelei's side as the Khourni noble shifts, pressing into a more comfortable state. His free hand, wrapped around his knee, turns palm-up to offer her a hand.

"I just need someone to be my friend and tell me I'm not that guy from the tabloids, no matter how much I miss that life. I can never to back. Sarah has a dead brother, and now I have a dead sister, and everyone in Volkan wants to swing an axe until this stops. I don't think that's the answer. I'm exhausted and confused and I can't stop what I'm doing. I don't want to put other people in danger, like that dead body; maybe I'm just selfish and more comfortable alone." He frowns, eyes finally closing as he gives over to her hand brushing through his hair. "I feel like I haven't slept in years. I don't know what I need because…I can't go back to what I used to do to make it better. I want to. I can't, though."

Loree still feels like she only has a very small middle piece to this entire puzzle. She’ll not press, for now. He just needs to talk. Once he’s done, and shifted and looks to be a bit more comfortable, then she talks.

“Can’t it just be found? Or an anonymous tip?” A very small shutter runs through Loree, imagining the dirt falling on her face again. She actually swallows , like she’s trying to clear her throat a moment. She doens’t want to bring all of that up…It’ll just upset him more. Reaching for his offered hand. “It shoundn’t just be you watching out for other people…people should watch out for you too…” She’ll sigh, “Oh…Nitrim. you’re not. Even when you were, you weren’t.” Her fingers keep up the soft stroking of his hair. “You’re tired…you need rest. You don’t need to be alone….Alone is never good.” She’ll make a soft hushing noise, which is actually rather soothing. It definitely works on the horses, anyway. “I’m here…I promise.”

The tension in Nitrim's shoulders begins to ease and the weight leaned upon Lorelei's smaller frame increases as the lordling loses his grip on the famed Khourni resolve. The heavy brow lights and the clenching of his teeth eases, and he begins to rest.

"If the killer doesn't know it's been found…the dead guy's body can help put away his murderers. It's a one-shot cannon. Once you use it…" Nitrim breathes out, fingers wrapping around Lorelei's as he starts to weaken. The need for rest and sleep begins to overtake the man. "Thank you for being here, for this, I just need a place to hide and not be found for a few days. Cyrielle is in the hospital and my father is on a rampage. I need to see Sarah again…" He trails off, words coming out in a mumble.

"You're my friend, right Lorelei? Please…they can't see me like this. No one can. I just need a night to be a real person and rest. I'm so tired."

Loree keeps brushing Nit’s hair back. She’ unsure exactly how it’s a one shot, but again, she’s guessing she doesn’t have much of the info. She’ll make him tell her more later. Once he’s rested. “You can stay…for as long as you want. I promise no one will give you any problems here.” She’ll even half smile, “And this way I can at least get some food into you, instead of just alcohol.” She’ll nod, not that he can see it, “You’ll do no good talking to anyone while you’re exhausted. You need rest and to heal up. You’ll not figure anything out like this. “

She’ll sigh, turning her head to press another soft kiss to the top of his, “You are a real person…I promise. And yes….we’re friends. You saved me, now it’s my turn…ok?” She’ll keep humming softly as she smooths his hair, hoping that maybe the sound and a full belly will help him sleep. She’ll deal with telling her family there’s a sleeping noble in the hayloft later….if she even does.

Nitrim’s head nods gently against her cheek as the noble submits to the idea of being taken care of for a night or two. His bent knees straighten out before him and turn slightly to rest on their side as he puts more of his weight on the Quellton girl. “Okay…” He murmurs, pressing a hand between their hips to push up and extract himself from her arms. “…I should probably find some room, I don’t want to bear-hug you and vice-grip you into never escaping.” Nitrim comments, brushing a hand through his hair.

“Just…don’t let me sleep too long, okay? I don’t know how long I’ll be out but…I don’t know, if you could just be around if someone you don’t know comes by for a horse or something?” Nitrim asks, tired, yet the paranoia remains. “No one’s after me, but I’d rather not be asleep in some strange barn with strangers around, right?”

Loree lets her arms go loose, so Nitrim can pull away. She’ll chuckle slightly, “I think I’d survive.” If she’s gotten out of all those other Nobles grips…She’s pretty sure a sleeping Nitrim wouldn’t be all that bad.

She nods to the sleeping bag, “You can take the hay loft, or if you’d rather, you can crash in my room. Either one is fine.” She’ll tilt her head, “We don’t usually get random visitors. You should be ok. “ She’ll frown, biting her lower lip, “Do…would you like me to stay up here with you? I was going to try writing some for a few hours, I can stay up and watching over you a bit, so you know you’re safe?” She’ll smile, honestly believing she could keep him safe from his demons, even for just a small time.

“I’ve never actually slept on hay before, belief it or not. Will I need a pillow?” Nitrim asks, glancing back to the piles of hay curiously with a look that seems to scream are there bugs?. Shoulders back, he pries his coat off of his arms and folds it three times, leaving it in the spot where he assumes his head will lay near her sleeping bag.

“You know, maybe you’re right. Maybe sometimes I need to stop doing things alone.” Nitrim’s eyes turn back to Lorelei as he begins to stretch out. “And, I want to tell you that I wouldn’t want the company, but that’s because I want to be alone. Right now I’m not letting that part of my brain drive the cart. So, yes, please stay. I don’t know how long I’m going to be awake, but I’d love some company.”

With a gentle sigh, the Khourni lordling stretches out alongside her sleeping bag, making enough room for her, and her strange stuffed animals, to get comfortable.

Loree smiles brightly, “Only if you want a pillow. Mines’ right there.” She’ll motion to the sleeping bag, and sure enough, there’s a pillow inside. Tilting her head and giving him a seriously? look, she’ll not dignify a response beyond, “Only thing that bites here is Hubert. He’s not managed to figure out how to climb the ladder yet, so you should be safe.”

She’ll shake her head softly, her wavy hair moving with the motion, “I won’t keep you up. I can even turn down the lights. Writing on the tablet is easy in the dark.” After grabbing said tablet she look at how he’s laying , the space he left and will the move over. She stays sitting up, the tablet in her lap, but does reach over and rub his shoulder lightly before starting in on something. She keeps to her word, only responding if he wants to talk, otherwise letting him rest.

Like a tired soldier, Nitrim closes his eyes and stretches his arm out until his wrist rests gently at the corner of Lorelei’s knee; his way of keeping track of where she is. The long shadows that cast as the lights dim only serve to make his tired features more gaunt as he rolls onto his side, losing himself into the cushioning of the hay and the soft padding that his folded coat makes. His eyes pinch tightly and his lips part into a wide, wolfish yawn.

“Thank you, Lorelei.” He mumbles against his coat. “For everything.”

Loree watches him out the corner of her eye, wanting to make sure he’s really going to rest. She’ll nod softly, not that he can see, “It’s what friends do. I promise. Food in your belly and some sleep will help. Even if it’s just to make you more aware of what you need to do.” She’ll hesitate and then lets her hand fall on his forehead again. It’s almost motherly, before she turns back to her tablet.

Hubert and the other horses make for a soft curtain of white noise as the night goes on. Loree herself will stay up, way longer than she intended, but doesn’t want to disturb the sleeping Noble once he’s actually gotten to sleep. Eventually though she’ll curl up with her stuffed drake in her arms. She’s next to him, but tries to lay so that she’s not touching him, so she doesn’t bother him.

Silent as a ghost…Nitrim’s breathing slows, and sleep overtakes him.

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