06.08.3013: To Thine Own Self Part Two
Summary: After one complicated night together and nearly a week apart, Nitrim and Soleil face each other down about their troubled relationship that should not be. This cannot end well…
Date: 08 June 2013
Related: To Thine Own Self Part One
Soleil Nitrim 

The Ring
A series of rooms, elevators, and corridors on the Ring…
June 08, 3013

(continued from To Thine Own Self Part One…)

Nitrim's head raises to the ceiling and his lower jaw juts out, making a feral pair of teeth towards the ceiling. Afraid of him. If she only knew the half of it. His mouth widens into a half-growl; the kind of face an animal makes when trying to inform a potential predator that yes, it has teeth and yes it will use them. Though it's all frustration and shadows with Nitrim, just like the guarded look in his eyes complete with lowered brows that he drops down to their connected hands.

"I find it…inexcusably sexy that you're afraid of me. Just—try to understand that you're not the only one. Though you do understand, don't you?" He looks over. "The only difference is that you went internal and I became what I dreamt. I can do these things, and I don't care what the rest of society believes in terms of acceptance or how integrated we are and have these little duels at the tourneys. People have a right to be afraid when I have a reason to fear myself. My parents had a reason to fear me."

Fearlessly, he brings the back of her hand to his lips and places a soft kiss onto it, leaving an impression of his presence as he lowers their wrists back to the railing. "Fear is something central to who we are, you and I. There are things that I don't talk about either. Does that really change what we're doing right now?"

Another long, silent moment passes between the two of them before Nitrim clears his throat. His knuckles tighten.

"If the Princess were to request of my father for a Khourni mainline to be promised to her handmaiden, he wouldn't give Janelle one of the good ones." Nitrim whispers. "If she wants a foothold onto Volkan support, that's her only likely in."

She listens to him with her head cocked, half looking at him, the muted peacock colors of her eyeshadow and lips shimmering with the changing light as the ambient glow dims and a more 'streetlight' style glow beckons the nightlife to take over. "You like being the big bad scary man, making the girls tremble?" It's asked with a note of archness rather than judgment, and her mood lightens enough that she can laugh a little. She sobers again though, listening to him as she faces the lantern glow from below.

Then she's stepping back, holding on to his hand just long enough to draw him after her, and, having beckoned him to follow, she directs their path…

Her knight sees that people give way before them courteously. She doesn't say anything else— no answer to his strong hint, just a heavy silence that continues unless he breaks it, while she takes them somewhere, as if there's somewhere to go.

Nitrim doesn't let go of her hand as he turns to follow her. In a rather courting appearance, they're holding hands rather than her hand lightly on his arm. The rather public display of affection was a step further, and Nitrim ignored the curious glances from some of the more in-the-know citizens murmured.

Once again, after a major moment in their strange, awkward relationship, an action or statement has left the two of them on a cliffhanger of uncomfortable silence and lack of direction. The last one took days for them to recover from, but at least this time Nitrim has her hand in his. Soundlessly, he lets her direct him to where she's got in mind, if anywhere, and swallows back the itch in his throat that signals his need for a cigarette. It could wait.

A few questions cross his features. Did he go too far? Soleil always keeps the man guessing, and to try to kick some words out of her he brushes his thumb over her knuckles as they walk. Rather than her attractive face, his eyes find the back of the knight's shoulders, tracing in the enameled details in his armor for answers and finding none.

Most don't really know about Soleil's past. maybe once or twice she made it into the tabloid, but the fact is, one has to kind of court that kind of attention to keep the stories coming. Her little branch of the Saveurs did their own thing, and mostly, no one paid much mind. So, mostly, when people see the oft-well-dressed young lady and recognize her, it is not because she is the reformed prince's daughter, it is because she's the prince's daughter who suddenly came on the scene out of nowhere and is occasionally spotted and photographed at social functions, with Janelle. Soleil has yet to build a reputation, people have yet to realize she has a past so unlike her present. Once they make that connection…who knows.

Her silence persists. She would have let her hand slip from his, but, sensing the desire to hold on, her fingers also tighten.

Silence as they board the lift and ascend. Leaning against the wall of it, holding hands, barely looking at him, the knight with carefully averted gaze standing near. That physical contact coupled with the way she looks away, her other arm crossing her abdomen to clutch her elbow is the kind of poignant moment a photographer would kill for, even if they were no one important.

When the lift opens, they can step out and see the seat of the Orelle before them. The sprawling 'city', every inch of it designed, manicured, beautified. The avenues are nearly empty at this hour— most are drowning their sorrows in the entertainment district or glued to video screens as the first violence of the third war is no doubt reported in minute detail. Soleil chose to be here for some reason. Still, she seems to have some destination in mind.

A flash signs in Nitrim's memory, overlaying the view from his balcony of Obsidia below the Blackspyre to compare to the skyline of the Ring. The intential order of the buildings is a contrast to the smoking factories and hissing rain of his home at Volkan. Hand in hand, he steps closer to the view, pausing to watch a passing rail-train zoom to its next stop as it angles sharply downward, flashing its lights and advertisements all over the area. Even from their distance he can make out the flicker-flash faces of the train's inhabitants. The overlay of Obsidia fades, and he starts to move with her once more.

They've reached a part of the station he's never been, which forces him to take his eyes off of their armed escort and turn them to the walls. The animated, electrified images of advertisements for the Ring, various restaurants, and merchants catch his eyes, casting his face in a blue monitor glow…

She's the one who eventually dissipates the silence— break is too harsh, too forceful a term to describe how her voice once more takes up possession of the space between them.

"I grew up here. Eight years. This is where I was born. My mother died here, and this is the first time I have come back in 11 years. Since the night of her funeral." A lingering silence threatens to fall over them once more but before it does, she says, "I think I came back to see you."

She doesn't say more than that, doesn't even seem able to assure him it was the reason. She's stopped walking, having come to a garden where, remarkably, a thicket of thorny vines laced with blood red flowers forms a woven barrier to a little monument— a fountain that pours a glowing liquid into a likewise glowing pond, where, dimly, ghost-like glowing fish flit. There before them, a monument to her dead mother which she has apparently never seen— Lady Calliope Orelle: beloved mother, sister, and daughter. A lingering silence threatens to fall over them once more but before it does, she says, "I think I came back to see you." It means what it means.

The sight of the monument inspires a grim look to Nitrim's features. Each and every city of the dead he's visited are places where things should be spoken quietly, never siding with joy in front of the dearly departed. The monument stares Nitrim back in return, daring him to look away from it and answer Soleil in a game of chicken. This is one of her places. This is a place that has changed her. The sight of it all ties into his mind some of the images he's stolen from her mind, and something at that moment makes more sense than it did before.

His head bows in respect to her mother, passing respects to her as he lowers himself to one knee. Reaching out, he takes one of the petals into his hand and brushes his thumb over the top of its peach-fuzz-like texture. The thorns are similar to the stem she was holding over the crowd. He understands.

"Do you think she'd approve of me?" He asks, rising and reaching for Soleil's other hand. He guides her to face him, his fingers resting under her palms as his head cranes to establish eye contact with her for the first real time today.

Soleil's grief is not a normal sort. Something dark and troubled pummels her from within as she stands there looking at the truly lovely memorial. there's no sense of peace or satisfaction in seeing how the Orelles have chosen to remember one of their own, who much have died extremely young. There never was, and is not now, any coming to terms. Nor does she cry. There's just a broken down sense of loss in the girl who stands beside him, who has everything anyone could want, including a future.

She's almost listless as whatever demons she has to contend with work her through a series of emotional contortions, and even as Nitrim rises and takes both her hands, she seems to exist in the moment in complete solitude. It is several more before she can break free of it and look up at him. The corner of her mouth twists just a little. "Oh. She wouldn't approve of either one of us." She comes back to him slowly, back to the present and back to the here and now. turning her head, she looks at the monument as if for the first time, having seen something else entirely when she looked at it a few moments before.

"Soleil…" Nitrim says, a gravelly trail to his voice as her accented name rolls off of his tongue. He frees a hand to cup her chin and draw it back towards him, eyes serious as he stares to her with lowered brows. His upper-right lip twitches before he speaks, signalling that he's stepping away from being guarded. They're alone, save for the knight. Fuck the knight. "…when we atrophy, we die inside. We get slow and eventually we're left behind for the wolves. Fuck growing old and fuck letting these ugly people dominate our lives and feed us scraps. Whatever handhold you can get, you take or you're going to have it given to you."

He lets go of her chin and reaches into her hood, brushing his fingers through her hair until he presses the hood back and over her shoulders. As his hand retreats, his rings graze her cheek and he finds both her hands once again.

"Don't you dare make me arrange this through my father. I won't do that to you. If I did that I would own you, somehow, some way." He pauses, eyes alight with Khourni severity. "What do you want? Is it me? Or this…" He motions to the side, to the monument.

How close he gets to the truth— that she died somewhere back in time, and is just waiting for the rot to set in. Life has been a waiting room for her, killing time til the Grim Reaper has a moment to pull over and give her a lift into oblivion. Most girls don't die just because they lose their mothers, though.

She stares at his neck, or his chin, at whatever unshaven growth suggests he has bigger problems than an impeccably manicured face.

So faded, like a snipped rose in a glass of water. the petals have been wilting for a few years, even while she's grown up into the kind of girl a princess wouldn't mind keeping in her entourage.

She swallows and draws a deep breath, which almost seems to add an inch which her dejection had lost her. Her limp hands tense and then her fingers fold over his. "You really want…that?" she asks, bemusedly. "What would you and I be together? two 19 year old fuckups, with our goals and our alliances. How can we protect each other like that? Don't you think it's incredibly bad news when people who care about each other actually marry?" Well, there's one admission— she cares about him.

"None of that is going to fucking matter if the Hostile kill us all." Nitrim nearly interrupts, flashing his teeth to her. A shadow grows under his eyes and he straightens himself before her, digging deep into whatever commanding presence his Khourni blood has given him. The fingers of his right hand ball into a fist beneath her palm, quelling whatever frustration bubbles to the surface. "And yes…" He says sardonically. "…we'd be a could of nineteen year old fuck ups plotting and getting shoved into whatever corners until someone, sometime, realizing that we're good at what we do. I don't think it's a terribly good idea when two people who care about each other marry, it always ends in pain, but when have you and I ever avoided that?"

His closed fist opens and he reaches for the back of her neck, sliding his thumb across her cheek. The firm grip he has on her neck matches the brave look in his eyes, not wasting their opportunity to speak in their quasi-alone state. His boot scrapes forward, pressing in against hers as he leans in close to her face. His whispered words are delivered with bite. "Would you wait for Volkan to be destroyed? If you know what you want, would you wait for my father or sister to arrange me to some other girl?" He pauses, turns his head to the side and spits a whispered fuck. He shakes his head and turns back to her. "I coached myself to not do this with you. I missed you. I shouldn't shove, but the window of opportunity is vague and probably closing."

They've passed the moment when she was there to dwell on the monument and what it meant to her. they've come to the fact she came not to visit her mother's memory, but to see him. She came to a place she'd been avoiding since she was 8 years old, to see him. Something splashes in the pond but she doesn't turn to look. The psychological magnetism draws her literally closer to him, til she leans into him and it's almost his will alone that keeps them both upright.

"Nothing, No one, will stop me from being with you if I want you. Nothing except you. No one's happily married except fools. We may sink or swim together but I don't want you to go down /because/ I go down. If you want to go beyond your family— am I really the way to do it?" And something gives her pause. "Or…is that why you want me?"

"I'm not some child trying to get under his father's skin, Soleil, no that's not why I want you. I want you because you notice me for every sick part of me that I am, bad or good. I'd rather make my own fate and get out of this life having something I wanted than wait for him to pick and choose what he wants for me. My brother said it best when he said that naturally I would have been some young, inexperienced death that they could rally behind and avenge, but since I'm not I've got to find my own way and on my own terms." His fingertips dig softly into the back of her neck, accentuating his words and the weight he places behind them. He lowers his features, the I mean this face. "You cut me deeply. It's vital, and you know I'll be just as likely to be the things that drag you under, too. But if I'm going to die. If you're going to die. If we're both fucked I'd rather have you in my room and building my monument."

He pauses, leaning back to read the features on her face. Having long forgotten about the knight that's been hiding in the background and not knowing damn well where his own bodyguard is watching from, he ignores it all. With one final squeeze, his hand leaves her and reaches for her face, pulling her towards him for a deep, hungry kiss.

It's really just the sort of thing they told her to avoid in rehab. She's such a backslider. Bad boys and their drugs and their bad influences and fevered night-time entanglements where the next morning you only half remember what happened and don't know where the marks came from. While he's kissing her, and she's returning the favor as if she's much, much more experienced than he now knows she is, all that can be forgotten. The knight— who genuinely cares about his pretty little reformed charge— sighs, but she doesn't hear him. There's more than one kind of oblivion she can toss herself bodily into.

She practically climbs into his coat, and the scene they might make right there beside what remains of her mother might be grateful for the fact there's another king's nice— slightly older and much better known— who will have tongues wagging elsewhere. Her sharp nails are in his neck, and the impassioned caresses, cheek to cheek one moment, brow to brow the next, and then lips again, will be leaving some of that 'Nebulae Haze(TM)' that she wears on his face too.

When there's no more breath to hold, when they /have/ to part for air, she keeps her cheek to his and whispers. "I don't have any say. Not right now, not anymore. I have to do what will make me stronger and that's for you now too. I'm trying to live, not to self-destruct any more and I won't let you either. Not even if we do it hand in hand. We're going to build, we're going to have what we want, we're going to break free one day. I don't even know how to ask Janelle, I'm not even sure whose decision it is."

God. Damn. Nitrim's teeth bite down on the air just beside Soleil's well-done cheeks, lungs gasping for air when they come to a stop. His arms wrap around her shoulders and draw her close, trapping her within his embrace. For the first time, he leans against her to support his weight, but only slightly. It's just a way to keep her close and press his body in against hers. Never mind the welts her nails have formed alongside his neck.

"I think…if Janelle pressed, my father's hand would be forced to give her what she wants. I don't know." He presses a kiss to the corner of her mouth and rests his forehead against hers, closing his eyes. "I don't know. No one expects anything great from me. If they only knew what I was capable of. All I know is I would gladly do again what we did without the power, intentionally and I'd miss you when you left." His fingers tighten against the hair at the back of her neck for one, bitter clutch before he lets go and opens his eyes.

"Survive. If you're going to be this reformed, thing, then…fuck I don't know. Whatever's happened here with you and I, let it give you a little fucking faith, alright?" He sighs against her jaw and starts to slip away. "You won't kill me or ruin me. I assure you that I've got that coming one way or another all on its own."

She holds him. Tightly. For a few moments, for some reason, she wants to slam her fists into him. He's made things very confusing by coming along with his fucking red eye and— but by now she knows it wasn't really the red eye. Sure, maybe in that first moment when his mind reached into her, it was the red eye that made her throw the door open, but if that had been all or even the majority of what there was to it, she probably would have slammed a foot into his nads while he lay in post-copulation slumber. It wasn't memories of psychicly shared chemical highs that had her brave her old home for the first time in over a decade. It was everything else about him. And now the conflict is a tempest wind in her head and she can't get control or grasp the important things.

Maybe that's the thing she realizes. What is important? Living? No, not even after Janelle picked her up and put her on her feet and made her clean up. She's still found it hard to care. What's important is /him/ living. The memories— his memories— it all needs fixing. maybe she's just a typical girl wanting to heal a broken man, suddenly, but who gives a shit if she HAS become a cliche. It's what she wants, and what she needs. And maybe if she can fix him— he can fix her.

The problem is…together? Together it just feels like they're two piles of kindling in a dry season.

So what's the alternative? they end up married to other people? The idea of some other woman laying claim to him— irritating. The idea that he may turn to that woman, instead of Soleil— bad.

She finds she's been holding him as tightly as any woman or man held any soldier before deployment.Here's her someone to say goodbye to, at last. She lets him pull away from her when the moment is right, when it's the least agonizing. With a little space between them, she looks up at him. "No…no I am not going to flame out with you hand in hand. No matter how hot it is. We have purpose. I need you. I'm not going to let you fall into space. But I don't think you marrying me is enough to give you what you want. I don't think I can save you like that." She puts a hand to her forehead. This is fucking surreal. SAVE him? What kind of girl has she become? "Can't we just swear, /swear/ that nothing and no one will ever stop us from—"

"—Spend a night with me here, on the Ring or back home or whatever before all of this." Nitrim interjects. A little too much heat between them leads him to reach into his pocket and pull out his cigarettes. He leans his head to the side, slips one between his lips, and lights it. Like two bar-hoppers with one seat, he smokes to the side and blows the smoke over her head. Having fixed his habit, one of many, he leans in and steals one more kiss from her. His lips brush hers, sucking softly on her lower lip. He takes like cigarettes and the first drink of bourbon he had that morning. It's who he is.

"I don't know what's going to happen, but I don't want just one night with my head screwed on loose. I remember what happened, but differently. We were out of control and if you're not going to be my wife then…" It'll hurt getting closer. "…I just want you, and I want you to know it isn't some fucking thing we fell into, even if it's the last time." He blinks. "But, you know…I doubt either of us are going to get carted off for a while. To hell with just once."

He reaches to her face, brushing his fingertips along the side of it affectionately, feeling as if he's somehow seen the end of the tracks already. "I believe you can fix me. I believe I can fix you. I believe we're both what we need, at least for now, and that's good enough for me. If we start laying down foundation we're fucked, aren't we? Let's just focus on making this right and you do what you have to do, I'll do what I have to do, and we'll meet up in private and help each other figure things out. Then whatever happens…we'll always be us on some level. We'll form our cabal. No one can control us there if we're the ones holding the reigns."

She actually hates smoke. She's been a vapor smoker ever since she started at eleven, and Nitrim's the first guy she didn't force to brush his teeth before doing it. But all those times— it'd been a game. Kissing him can't be helped. She takes the smoke, the bourbon— hell, she'd even take the taste of some other chick's cherry lip gloss in stride. More or less in stride, any way.

'be my wife' he'd said, and she realizes, really realizes for the first time, that she's had her first real proposal. She never thought she'd have a single one, all things considered. Her first proposal, from a man she's already wondering how she can live without— and she more or less said…no.

Life is one massive fucked up play. It was easier when she didn't allow anyone to get close. one slip up, he's in her head, and then everything's in disarray.

She stares up at him, leaning her head a little into his hand as he caresses her face. There was that old play by that old guy from centuries and centuries ago. Earth. Some silly girl met a guy and next thing you know, they are in love, getting married. the kind of tragedy where everyone dies at the end. It was dumb, really dumb. Yet here she is, barely weeks into knowing this man, and already feeling the same.

But it is different. Rimiet never climbed inside Juleo's head and wore her like a second skin. Juleo never saw Rimiet's past as if it were her own. /This/ is justified.

She bites her lip as he propositions her. Butterflies? Weird. It's almost like he hasn't seen her AND her underwear inside out. Like she has anything to be shy about. Like she's 16 and has never had any boy see her naked. Like…life may be sweet.

A smile slowly blossoms on her lips, til the corner of her mouth touches his thumb, as she turns her head. Suddenly she reaches out, grabs hold of the front of his coat and pulls him closer, pulls herself into him. Rising on her toes at the side time, her lips are at his ear and she whispers.

"You and I, I think, are going to have a thousand last times."

"I'm going to be headed back to Volkan tonight. Security won't be tight for the next few days and the Spyre will be empty with everyone off as they are. You and I could disappear for a few days for ten, maybe twelve of those times." He smiles, laughing softly against her cheek. His hand presses her cheek to his as he leaves an impression of his lips behind. He pulls back, looks her hair over, and brushes his hand through her bangs to straighten a strand he's left hanging awry. "Bring as much or as little as you want with you."

Still, something was off in the corner of his eyes. The satisfied cat-that-ate-the-canary smirk at the corner of his lips is offset by the fact that he can't hide the burn of being halfway denied. He has her, yet he doesn't. Like many things in his life, he's often so close to being able to wrap his fingers around something that might very well never been there to begin with. Conditioned to guarding his cards closely, he's able to make the look disappear as he turns away from her for another drag of his cigarette. As he exhales, he brushes a hand down from her shoulder, grazing things her knight would rather he not, and takes her hand into his. He raises her arm until it points out straight and gives it a little tug, turning to walk away from the monument towards the railing. It, too, is enough time to return to his normal serpentine demeanor.

"So, my dearest, and darkest creature, tell me. Do you even like the heat on Volkan? All that steam and sweat?" He looks back to her, joking about the differences between the Ring or Landing. "I wouldn't blame you, I'm pretty sure dozens of brides have kicked and screamed at the idea of trading their clean cities or their castles in the clouds for…sulfur and smoke."

"Who says I'd be moving in with you if we did?" she asks. She's trying to shake something off from the past few moments too. She's keen— too keen. It's always been hard to see too much, see things one would rather not. Like the fact Nitrim is maybe not as blaze about her answer as he wants her to think. God-damn, when did she start worrying so much over a guy's feelings? Barely a week ago she sauntered into his room quite intent on making little Nitrim stand to attention and leaving him with blue balls, just for a laugh, an experiment. She forgot— /caring/ about someone really means pain. A lot of pain. It means sharing someone else's, and also the risk of losing them.

She follows him. Not the cat she had said she was, practically a little kitten instead. It's funny how easy it is to trust someone so fucked up, so dangerous to her, but it is, and she fins herself sort of reverting to someone a little younger, a little less jaded.

"I have a pretty nice place of my own you know. I mean, my own suite. As much home as I ever had. Daddy was lazy, he'd almost never just /buy/ a place, we were always staying with his rich friends while he looked for something he'd like and by the time he found someplace he was bored with the whole scene anyway." She comes to a stop beside him, leaning out, and her hair flutters in the artificial breeze. "But I did like it. Good excuse to sleep naked and pass out in a bath." Hedonist.

"You know, come to think of it, if this you-and-I think did happen I'd probably end of a Saveur." Caught on her right, her hair whips out to brush his face, which urges him to lean back just a little. He brings the cigarette to his lips for one final drag and then flicks it ten feet out into the wind, where it soars down to places unknown. Fuck'em. "Khournas is beneath Saveur, right? So it would be my ass getting married off to Saveur. Nitrim Saveur nee Khournas. Wouldn't that shit be interesting." He muses, slipping an arm inside of her cloak so that his hand can press into the small of her back.

He leans out, staring down to see if he can see where his cigarette went, suddenly realizing that for all he knows he could have just flicked a lit cigarette down onto a fuel plant. Apartments. He sighs with relief.

"Though like a summer home, I'd steal your ass to sweat-land and wrap you up in black, skimpy things and we'd kick our feet over the balcony with binoculars and see what's on. The Warehouse, fuck the Warehouse. I'll have to take you." He smiles genuinely, looking over to give her a half-mocking sneer. "There's no way in hell any of your high in the sky Saveur tidings could beat that, or could they? I didn't become this snake creature that I am without a good degree of danger roaming the streets and figuring shit out on my own."

He pauses, lifting a brow. "What IS your place like, anyway? Should I try to find a way to sneak to you for once?"

She watches the cigarette fly. She's not exactly disapproving— the future version of the roomba is probably indoor/outdoors, and she's done worse than flick a cigarette. It's just the fact it's a REAL cigarette. "That's such a weird habit," she tells him, a little wry. In response to his almost possessive touch, she smiles a little, and comes closer by about an inch. It's not uncomfortable, as far as feelings go. Not for the moment anyway.

"Royal palace. Might be a bad idea," she says with a small grin. "The princess— she…" Ah, how to say this? Awkward. It's a conversation for another time, that intimate sexual history. Nitrim /probably/ figured out she wasn't a virgin— if there was any chance he thought she was one to begin with— but that doesn't make it any easier to talk about certain things. Not when they're standing in a sort of public place.

"I'm not really supposed to be 'entertaining' noblemen. or any men, depending on whom you speak with. Some potential husbands want their wives to be really inexperienced. I mean, think about it…wouldn't you prefer it too? You all like it that way. Girls— we're the opposite. We really want you to know what you're doing. But anyway, I'm supposed to be careful about that sort of thing. I…am not really sure what Princess Janelle would say." Oh, yeah, she's actually /pretty sure/ based on past events. "That's not to say you can't come visit, just…as a friend. I'll have you all over. We can watch stupid movies and smoke grass." Whatever grass is in this day and age.

She looks sideways at him, smiling a little. "This may seem like a lame question, but…you never heard of me before, right? I mean, in anything more than a glance at a royal family tree. You had no idea who I was, right?"

"Yeah, well, I've got a lot of weird habits. I eat a lot of weird things and oh, to mention? The last thing I like in a woman is some trembling little girl afraid about whether or not it's going to hurt. I've never taken anyone's virginity, nor do I want to. That's…a lot of responsibility that I'm not ready for. Me?" He scoffs, rolling his eyes at himself. "I'd just ruin a person."

His copper-jacketed claw ring grazes over the small of Soleil's back while he lifts an eyebrow to her, baring his canine teeth in response. "No. I hadn't heard of you, or what you were on about. I was familiar with yoru name but anything outside of that I didn't know. Ariana did mention that you'd changed since she last saw you, but as for details, I didn't have any." He turns and presses his hip into the railing, facing her. "Why, should I have?"

She chuckles a little, answering, "EVERY guy ruins a girl the fist time," she says. It's a slightly uneasy chuckle, but still a chuckle. Her face softens into something musing as she looks over the 'skyline' she once knew so very well. "You said you like that I am scared of you, though," she says. "Why?" She doesn't wait for an answer. "I don't even remember that part. I mean…you and I… Do you? You know which part I mean." She has lowered her voice, not that the knight doesn't have a pretty thorough idea of what's going on between them at this point.

"I mean if you check the databases you could probably find a picture of me. It's nothing I am ashamed of or anything. You're the sort of guy I would have hung around then. No— you're better than that sort, but you're similar. What I am getting at is I'm not used to ivory towers and gowns. Ariana and I aren't anything alike. I didn't have some kind of sheltered childhood. Not after mother died. So…I hope you don't get off on corrupting maidens because someone beat you to it." She stays facing the skyline, not even looking at him sideways this time. Her face has a slightly consternated look, her brow furrowed a little.

"Maybe it's petty, or at least maybe where it all comes from is petty?" Nitrim says after a lengthy silence. "I don't know, there's probably all sorts of psychological shit that comes along with it. I don't want you afraid of me, but maybe I'm used to people not knowing what's going to come next from me. Hell, I don't even know. At least you acknowledge that I could be a threat, rather than treat me like I'm some cute, passing baby-mainline with a few neat tricks. Does that make sense?"

His hand rises to his eyelids, rubbing at them softly. As he pulls them away, his eyelids twitch, spasming for a few seconds. It's the spasms that come from Red Eye use. Somewhere deep within his hidden demeanor…he's feeling a need and hiding it from her.

"I remember some of it, how it felt, maybe a few images." His ears turn a shade of red, delving into their sex life for the first time ever. His chest rises and falls, laughing soundlessly at the thought. "It was probably hands down the most intense thing I've ever experienced, that night, but…I don't remember enough detail enough that I don't want to add some more tangible memories." His eyes narrow, tilting to her in a suggestive manner. He winks. He flares a nostril. His hand comes to his face, rubbing softly over his eyes again. "Are you fucking sure you don't want to just beg for the match and see how it goes? I could teach you what I know, our way. We could be scary…"

She turns to him as he talks, a faint but real smile bringing dawn to her features, where they so typically just seem possessed of midnight darkness. "I thought maybe it was because if I am scared of you, it gives you the capacity to make me feel safe too." She grins, because it feels silly to say it, though her grin is mild. "I am sorry they make you feel small. If it helps, sometimes that's better than not having them at all. I'm not trying to play 'who had the saddest childhood', but I had a lot of days where I wished I had a sister. An older one, but of course once I was born it was too late for that. Daddy just never…" A look of momentary confusion flits over her face. "He's weird, Nitrim." She leaves it at that.

"It doesn't help. I know it doesn't. I know how you feel because…" Because he showed her. She actually shivers at the memory.

"You can teach me anyway, whatever happens. Maybe, anyway. There's stuff…you won't like. Things I don't want to talk about but I have a feeling at some point, we'll find them there between us, and we will talk. And I don't know what will happen then but I'd like to think afterward it will be alright." That something dark in her, hinted in the visions he got when invading the corners of her psyche. maybe that.

She rubs the side of her head then drags her fingers down across her collarbone, to her breast. She doesn't wear any jewelry, but it almost looks like she's clutching a locket or medallion hanging invisibly around her neck. "I'm not sure of anything, Nitrim, except that siding with the Princess, when she's all that I have, when I will be alienating everyone else in my family to do so— if she loses— there will be ni life raft."

How could he not? Nitrim's eyes drop, following the trail of her hand. The distraction is enough to wash the tension from the coiled muscles in Nitrim's neck. He falls silent once more, and for many seconds the only sound that can be heard between them is the recycled breeze and the sounds of the city below. He reaches out for her hand and gently wraps his fingers around her wrist. Turning it, he eases her palm open and places one of his copper jacketed rings in the center of her hand. Not taking no for an answer, he closes her fingers around the snake eating its tail. Her fingers wrap its emerald eyes from sight.

"I killed a man two years ago." The confession comes suddenly, given flight with his whispered, smokey voice. It's a painful memory for him, witnessed by the way he swallows after the words. "I was seventeen. He came at me. I wrecked him. I know it sounds stupid, but I live in a house filled with knights, and their axes can do far more damage that I did to the guy, but…" He lets go of her hand and turns to the railing, setting both of his hands down on it. His shoulders rise and his head lulls, drooping down towards the rail. "…I was so powerful. I can't promise that I won't ship off some day to fight the Hostile. I'd be good at it. I'm not a knight though because to strap on armor and mix the two together puts my head into the addiction zone. It happened so reactionary. It wouldn't be hard to do again." A pause slips into his words, his mouth open to choose the next. "You would have a life raft. Just be careful."

She turns and looks up at him, gazing at him as he opens her hands and gives her the ring. A ring she doesn't refuse. If it's symbolic of the thing they want between them, a relationship that is no less real for being private and unofficial, then it seems this is one proposal she accepts. Perhaps because of the intimacy they shared, every once in a while there's a moment when there are no words needed, when he understands and she understands. maybe it's just such a moment. Her fingers close about the ring, on their own as much as they are guided by his.

She watches him still as he makes his confession. He may not realize right away the change that comes over her. It's so gradual, like sunset. The ring she clasps in her hand— somehow it's the only thing that keeps whatever has caused the stricken look on her face from overwhelming her entire being.

It's a little odd. It's not as if he just admitted to an addiction to kicking puppies. Her reaction does not so much suggest she is repulsed by him or by this admission. Something has affected her though. She turns away slowly. She opens her hand and slips the ring on one of her fingers. As it is too big, she curls them again so as not so lose it. "Let's not have any more regrets," she murmurs, and starts to draw away from him only to pause, move back him and lean in to touch her lips to his shoulder, lean her head there for just a moment. She doesn't promise to see him soon or make a date for their tryst, but the acceptance of the ring, the slipping it on— it suggests this farewell is not to be a long one.

She's going though, still possessed of troubles which she can't share. At least he knows now that her absences from him will end in a reunion.

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