Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

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Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:30 pm

Unlike most mornings, where it was his interal clock feeling the enevitable rising of the sun calling him to wakefulness. In fact he wasn't entirely sure what it was that woke him. He was warm, and surprisingly comfortable considering how hard the surface he was sleeping on was. Normally, he woke all at once, but he could tell even half asleep that he had stayed up too late and that his body was suffering from exhaustion. Which meant rather than waking all at once he found himself luxuriating in an unfamiliar comfortable half-sleep.

The swordsman cuddled closer to the source of warmth at his side. Which was when he realized slowly that it was a person that he was waking up beside. The thought slid through his mind sleepily. A very warm comfortable person.

Menel had at some point in the night thrown a leg over his companion, and was cuddled as closely as their two bodies would allow. Thankfully the swordsman wasn't unaccustomed to sleeping with his swords on, but Kasha'din was digging into his hip hard enough to rouse him further from his sleep particularly since every small motion had the sword digging into him even more.

It was when Laven's breathing changed that Menel finally pulled himself from the comfortable edge of sleep. The swordsman's muscles flexed as each one woke just a little which inexplicably pushed him closer to the man at his side. Which was when he remembered who it was that he was cuddled up next to. Menel's eyes flickered open. The sun was well up, adding to the warm comfortable sensation of being very close to someone.

He didn't want to wake Laven up, so he lay still in spite of the way his clothing was chafing a bit. As comfortable as his armor was it wasn't the most comfortable thing to sleep in. Much less his swords. Kasha'din in particular seemed to be taking this chance to leave a mark on him. Menel found him blushing a little, not only from how close they were, but from remembering how drunk he'd been last night. Most of it was a bit hazy, but he hadn't forgotten a single bit of it. He owed Laven something of an apology for allowing himself to become that drunk.

When the elf woke up.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:53 pm

His sleep had been dreamless, blissfully so. It wasn't until the summer sun had risen over the tall building he had fallen asleep on that Laven's body switched from resting to wakefulness. And while usually the transition was seamless, the assassin's training deeply embedded into each daily routine, today was different. Not only was he laying prone on his back, but there was someone wrapped around him like a living blanket. And he had one arm half crushed under that someone's head, his hand tangled in short white hair.

A soft intake of breath and Laven's brain was completely awake and flooded with memory. Fighting a guard, making a wager with the same man only a handful of hours later, lying to him and doing his damnedest to save the children he'd been charged with bringing home.

Climbing onto a roof where he'd spent quite a bit of time kissing this man under a night sky exploding with fireworks and returning to find him drunk and sad. Telling him about Martin of all things. Laven could have beaten himself over exposing his wounded heart to a virtual stranger. Except the arms around him were warm and comforting, the leg tossed over his own amusing in a way that caused Laven to smile even with his eyes closed. Menel was surprising him the longer the two got to know each other.

Laven appreciated it.


"Like being the big spoon, do you?" Red eyes opened and spyed Menel's face still pressed quite close to his. Blue eyes watching him and a blush staining the warrior's cheeks. Laven smiled again, flexing his muscles in a full body stretch.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:42 pm

Somehow it wasn't surprising at all that the first words out of Laven's mouth made Menel blush even harder. Still, he smiled seeing those crimson eyes. The elf shifted obviously stretching a bit and Menel shifted his own body, rolling slightly so that his sword wasn't trapped under his hip any longer. For a second it sparked a little bit of extra pain but it felt much better to not be laying on it.

Moving a little necessitated stretching and Menel lolled on the ground like some kind of giant cat. It was obvious just from the way he rolled from the soles of his feet, arching his back and tilting back his head back that he was in fact simply naturally gracefully. Menel let out a soft pleased noise, his body feeling much more comfortable. He relaxed once again. Realizing that he desperately needed a shower.


"It's been a while but... I guess old habits die hard." Menel chuckled a bit. "It's been years since I slept beside someone."

Longer than Laven might suspect actually. Menel ran a hand over his short white hair and grimaced, and with a sudden roll just popped up onto his feet and offered his other hand to Laven. "I think we've got some cold fair food... but I think a warm breakfast sounds much better and honestly I need a shower." Menel flashed a smile, blushing a little by the end of his statement. "I've still got my hotel room, and if your still feeling under the weather my offer to carry you still stands."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:28 pm

An interesting choice of words. Not that Laven was anyone to judge a dry spell in relationships. "Mm, me too actually. It wasn't a problem." Laven stretched again now that Menel had moved away, feeling all his joints pop and settle audibly. Only then did he indulge in watching Menel stretch like a lazy white haired cat. There was a part of him that wanted to leer just a little at the lean fighter's body. But the part of him that was tired of laying on cement and was just plain tired won out.

His stomach rumbled at the mention of food, and Laven grasped Menel's hand to be hauled to his (unfortunately sore) feet. With a grimace he glanced at the sole of one and noticed the bruising.
"Hot food sounds like a marvelous idea, but I'm not going to force anyone who hasn't slept clinging to me like a very handsome limpet to be witness to my unwashed body." Laven ran his hands through his hair and frowned at the snags he found there. There was no saving it without some form of brush, he decided, and gave up trying to tame the silvery mass.

Looking down at his filthy and stained shirt Laven made a rude noise and tugged it off over his head, completely ignoring Menel's reaction in favor of being rid of the offending object. The fact he was now dressed only in a pair of well fitting grey leather pants seemed to be lost on him as he glared at the burgundy fabric.

Laven had a thin body completely devoid of fat, muscles hard and lean. A broad chest with no hair despite the thick patch growing under his lower lip and tapered hips where his pants clung just below his iliac crest. His body was crossed with haphazard scars, signs of a fighter's life. His left side was a mess of scars both surgical in shape and also tangled as if he had been chewed on by something with metal teeth. A long bruise was blooming along the rib area, a memento from Menel that had lost Laven both his dagger and an admittedly shoddy carnival prize. Laven ignored the pain, used to aching bones and bruises on the best of days.

Tossing the offending shirt onto the blankets he made his way to where he had left his slightly less abused clothing. Each step reminded him of the foolishness of running though a city without shoes, so that was the first thing he managed to pull on. Only then did he look over at Menel and raise his eyebrow.
"But if you'd like, I have a kitchen and bathroom. Complete with tub, not just a sad little shower stall."

Then he blinked, pointing his dagger and sheath at Menel. "How are you not hung over?" He accused.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:21 pm

Menel chuckled, he couldn't really argue with the elf, he had been all but suffocating him. Though he arched his eyebrow a bit when Laven took off his shirt. It wasn't that Laven was making himself more comfortable but that it sort of contradicted with what Laven had said only a moment ago. It made Menel consider shirking his vest but... he'd only have to carry it.

He had to admit that Laven was very well-built. His body toned and muscular from years of training and combat. It was also obvious that Laven had lived a life of fighting. Small scars touched his body here and there, the price he'd paid for his work. The mass of scars on Laven's side however were from something far more life-threatening. It was as glaring as he bruise that had formed on Laven's ribs.

The swordsman picked up the shirt, folding it and placing it off to the side so that he could start folding up the blankets. If they were going to head out he wanted to get everything ready. Laven mentioned a bath and Menel looked up with wide blue eyes.
"A bath?" Just his tone alone said yes. A nice relaxing bath? He couldn't possibly say no to that. Honestly he very rarely had a chance to take actual baths. Most of the hotel rooms he could afford only had standing showers which was at least enough to get himself clean but the last time he had actually taken a bath was at a spa he'd treated himself to after a particularly lucrative job.

"I'll warn you that I'm a terrible cook but I will certainly try for a bath!" He laughed a bit, wrapping up the blankets and folding his cloak on top of it. And adding the cold food to the pile. It would make a good snack later. "Hung over?"

Menel blinked looking up in momentary confusion, then laughed again running his hand over his short white hair. "I guess I should be shouldn't I? I feel pretty good though. Aside from... being a bit sore and embarrassed." He ran a hand over his hip it still ached a little. The swordsman finally shrugged and picked up the bag before tucking the pile of blankets under his arm. "How about you? Did you get enough sleep?"


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:56 pm

Narrowed eyes contemplated a world where someone who seemed to be made entirely of good natured self-deprecation could also be immune to hangovers before deciding to chalk it up to youth and luck. That or the wine Laven had bought was watered down, but that seemed unlikely as Menel had been very adamant about the ground moving under his feet just a few hours ago. So Laven gave the swordsman one more appraising look before settling his dagger sheath on his thigh where it belonged.

Laven's green vest was in his hands and over his shoulders as he thought about Menel's question. How was he? Long fingers worked the buttons closed from muscle memory as he frowned. Usually after a job the assassin was a mess, bone weary and wanting nothing more than sleep for days on end. But today...
"I'm... better than I thought I would be." With the last of the buttons in place he smoothed his hands down the front, easing any creases out before reaching for the black hooded cloak with all it's pockets he favored. "Tired, but I can climb buildings again, if that's what you're asking." Laven shrugged the coat on, giving the belt only the most simple of lacing to make sure it stayed put around his middle. Then he looked up at Menel, who was folding up their makeshift bed.

"I could have done that, Menel." He admonished without any heat, adjusting his cuffs before padding over to join the white haired man and rescuing his nicely folded shirt. Laven reached for the blankets, intent on slinging them over his shoulder in the same manner he had done to get them up the building's sheer face. "Come, I think I'm done standing on rooftops for a few days. I'll make us something to eat."
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:00 pm

Now that Menel's body was warmed and moving, the lassitude of waking was fading quickly. Which meant that the swordsman was more than eager to be on his way. His stomach growled loudly at Laven's mention of breakfast, and he flushed as he waved the other man's hand off with a little grin. Now that he had everything in hand he wasn't going to let Laven carry any of it.

"If you throw the blankets over your shoulder it'll undo all my folding," Menel said reasonably. "You could have helped, but I've got it."

It was hard to argue with the swordman's smile particularly with him already carefully rolling over the edge of the roof. The hardest part about climbing down with so much in his hands was getting over the top. From there it was almost easy to let him self down in a controlled series of drops. He hit the ground smoothly, re-balancing the blankets under his arm and rolling his shoulder.

Menel waited for Laven to make his way down so that the elf could lead the way to his home. The swordsman shifted, running a hand through his hair and trying to match his pace to Laven's.
"I'll have to think of some way to make it up to you, offering to make me breakfast and a bath?" Menel hummed, considering what he could do to repay Laven for his hospitality, the sound ended with a soft sigh. "I feel like I owe you a bit more than washing dishes or something."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:32 pm

Laven threw Menel one last look as the man began his decent to the ground before giving in and following suit. He couldn't control everything nor shoulder every burden. Even if it was just a set of tatty blankets. Thoughts he often let roll through his head, trying to remind himself to believe them. So instead he scaled down the rough brick face, soft shoes and strong fingers finding all the little hand holds provided by time and weather.

Dropping the last few feet and straightening his coat once more Laven gestured to Menel, leading the way back to the main thoroughfare and reintegrating with the morning press of bodies. He chuckled at Menel's worries, smiling at the man next to him.
"Don't worry about any of it, love. Besides once you meet my landlady you may regret taking me up on my offer." There was a joke there somewhere. Whether on Menel or Laven remained to be seen. And while Laven didn't say it out loud, feeding and offering Menel the chance to get cleaned up properly was an apology for the way Laven had acted last night.

But Menel was probably in for a bit of a shock if Laven's intuition was worth anything. His landlady (and cousin and business partner) was a lot for anyone to handle. And she came with not only a strange sense of humor but also a very strong urge to keep Laven safe. he had overheard the shovel talk in more ways than he thought possible in just the short years he'd been home with her. It was almost a source of amusement to think of what she would say to poor Menel.

Time would tell. For now it was walking at a brisk pace and keeping abreast as they made their way through the rich residential areas of Roa. Sometimes people would look Laven in the eye, a nod or a quick gesture before returning to whatever it was they had been occupied with beforehand. There was little rhyme nor reason to it, from the poor to the obviously wealthy. Though there were noticeably lesser of the latter that acknowledged the assassin. Still they would eye him, gazes burning into the back of his head.


"Not too much further now," He mentioned to Menel, resolutely ignoring the blatant gossiping of two well dressed women that seemed fascinated and horrified by Laven's presence. "Don't worry about them. Old prejudices." He chuckled and looked over at Menel. "So what would you like to eat? I'm sure my larder can handle you but I don't know about your tastes other than large quantities."
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:02 pm

Admittedly Laven's comment about his landlady roused Menel's curiosity. He was surprised to even think that Laven had a landlady at all. The elf seemed like the sort of man that could afford his own home, still if this woman shared Laven's home Menel was more than looking forward to meeting her. Getting to know more about this mysterious elf at his side. In fact that was perhaps something about getting to see the man's house that Menel most looked forward to the most... aside from perhaps more immediate reasons. Getting to know Laven better was definitely high on his list of priorities.

It was impossible not to notice how many people recognized Laven. Even those who did not offer him some kind of greeting often showed at least some flicker of recognition in their eyes at the sight of the elf. In that way it was actually almost easy to tell how close they were getting to the other man's home. The closer they got, the more people seemed to know who he was.

Menel felt the hairs on the back of his neck standing up. Even when Laven told him to ignore the flickers of gossip there was simply something about the situation that made his instincts kick into high gear. The gossiping was one thing, the thinly veiled weighing... was somewhat more unsettling. He shook his head and focused more on Laven. It didn't seem to bother the elf so much. Perhaps he was used to it considering that these were the streets he lived on.


"Oh, I'm not so picky. I'll eat pretty much anything." He smiled more broadly and considered what he should be eating. "Something high in protien? I promise I won't take up to much of your resources, we've still got leftovers from the fair. The pie would be really good, particularly if it was warmed up again."

Menel looked at Laven hopefully. He didn't want it to be to obvious but he really did love pie and letting it go to waste was the last thing he wanted to do.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:06 pm

The look on Menel's face was enough that Laven burst into laughter, covering his mouth over the sudden sound but watching Menel with twinkling eyes. "I think I can handle making sure your pie is edible and feeding you enough, Menel. If I can feed Revina and Mac I think I can handle you as well." He gave the human a wink and reached up to squeeze his arm before looking ahead and smiling again.

"There we are." Tipping his head, Laven pointed out a house that seemed to sit right on the border of the wealthy and the less so. It was sprawling and tall but obviously looking as though it had seen better days. Green paint chipped from window shutters and a walkway that once was ornate paving stones that time had worn down and weeds had attempted to crack. But Laven simply looked at it with great fondness, remembering the best memories and the secrets inside.

With long strides he climbed the bowed stairs and reached out to the worn door with it's stained glass of flowers and insects. Set into the wood was a black panel just long enough for a hand that Laven pressed his palm against, feeling the lock on the door release at his touch. Turning the knob he gestured for Menel to enter before him. Swinging the door open and following the other man was like stepping into a different world.

The interior was crisp and clean looking, out of style but well maintained wallpapering lining an entryway and leading into what was a common area. A soft "woof" and the clicking of nails on the rich brown hardwood floors welcomed the pair, and before long a white dog graced their presence. It was long and tall for a dog, but slender like a fawn. Pink eyes watched them both as it approached, and Laven reached out with a smile to rest his hand against the top of the dog's head.
"Hello Mac. Sorry I'm home late." The dog stared at Laven a moment longer than was comfortable before sparing a glance at Menel and wandering away, long tail waving like a fan in a breeze. Laven only sighed and shook his head before glancing at his companion. "And that was a warm welcome, if you can believe it. Trust me you'll end up with him in your lap at some point. Try not to feed him too much."

Laven continued to walk through the house, leading Menel to an area with a couch where he tossed both his coat and the dirty shirt before taking the blankets from Menel. "I'll make sure these are clean before they go back to Helsmi." He seemed a little nervous, as if he was expecting an outburst from Menel about his home.

A loud rasping voice beat the swordsman to the punch.
"Lavender Wylde if that isn't you coming to kiss the ground under my perfect behind in apology for making me think you were dying in some ditch I'll find your ghost and feed it so much hot lead you'll wish you had never come crawling back here!"

Of course she would use his full name. Laven winced like a teenager caught truant before glancing at Menel.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:48 pm

Thankfully the sight of Laven's house chased off any lingering embarrassment Menel had. Menel hadn't lived in an actual house since he'd been a very small boy, and even then it had only been a small one which was half-remembered in the way of all childhood memories. He'd seen more homes than he could count in his life, but this one was Laven's.

It was not a new home, the paint was chipping in a way that made Menel want to change into something less armor and more relaxed and put on a fresh coat right away. He filed the desire away under his working list of ways to repay the man for his hospitality... among other things. Even painting an entire house this size didn't seem like enough to say thank-you for what Laven had done last night.

He followed Laven to the house, noticing the very modern security system before they went inside. The interior was far different from the outside, here everything was very neatly taken care of. Menel didn't know enough about decor to really know if it was 'in style' or not, but it was a lovely home in his opinion. The click of nails warned Menel of the newest arrival and though his body tensed slightly a warm smile spread across his face at the sight of the dog. Years of being a bodyguard told him that dogs could be every bit as much of a danger as a man was, and in some cases more, but Mac... Mac was a beautiful dog. He carried himself with a grace that made Menel want to touch his long fur and... well following Laven's command not to feed him was going to be a challenge.

The swordsman gave Laven a slightly guilty grin.
"I'll keep that in mind, I wouldn't want him to get sick... He's beautiful." The admiration in his tone was obvious.

He couldn't help but look at everything as he followed Laven. Memorizing the layout of the house and taking note of the smaller details. He didn't argue with Laven about the blankets this time, allowing Laven to take them and set them aside. If the elf was expecting some sort of comment on the house, he wasn't getting it out of Menel.

Which was perhaps just as well since there was someone else vying for Laven's attention. Menel shifted a bit wondering just how impolite it would be to ask for directions to the bathroom and deciding to wait.

Wait... Lavender?

Menel blinked looking at Laven's guilty expression and mouthing back to the other man.
Lavender?


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:36 pm

Laven was 43 years old. He had been through things that had literally turned his hair silver and could gut a man without blinking an eye to the act. He had survived the worst pain a parent could suffer. He was an elf living on a continent that saw him as the enemy more often than not.

He hated his parents just a little more today, for naming him after a flowering herb and then vanishing so he could never wring their necks in thanks. There was a flush starting from his ears and blooming along his neck as he met Menel's eyes and the swordsman mouthed his given name back to him. A defeated nod was all he could stand to reply with before turning to the door they hadn't come out of and plastering a sickening smile on his face before sailing through it with his arms outstretched.


"Revina! Sun to my moon and the stars in my sky!" In the next room was a form of study or library. There were books in beautifully carved bookcases, and a heavy desk that rivaled any that Laven himself had ever seen. His grandfather had used that desk every day of his adult life. His favorite drink was still in the bottom drawer, brought out to remember him on his birthday each year. Sitting at the foot of the desk, surrounded by the deconstructed parts of what appeared to be a sniper rifle sat a female elf wearing a black crop top and simple cotton shorts.

Her hair was a pale, bleached blonde that rose up over her head in a crest and was shaved close on the sides. The roots were coming in and were black as night. Black as her almond shaped eyes that were narrowed to slits at the two men stepping into her sanctum. She was muscular, more so than Laven and clearly powerfully built to go with all that muscle. Black seemed to be her favored color as it was also on her nails, eyelids, and lips. But she wore a staggering collection of jewelry not only in her ears, but also eyebrows, lip, and one slivery hoop that was piercing the base of her nose. She looked like danger, and the parts of the gun she was cleaning seemed to threaten that she could easily fit it back together to take her wrath out on her cousin. Mac was lounging at her side, his head on his front paws and a look of general interest in his pale eyes as he took in the scene.


"Don't you sun and moon me. Where in Aethel's glorious mechanized tits have you been? Not a scar on you so you just waltzed in after a night of what? Sleeping with whatever tall and handsome young men come to call?" Here she switched to Menel and bared her teeth, one canine capped in gold after being cracked in a fist fight in her youth.

"And you brought one home? Let me guess, fallen in love already and willing to draw down the heavens for our dearest little cousin?" As angry as her words were, there was very little heat in her gaze on the white haired swordsman. Instead there was a kind of careful suspicion, a wary welcome wrapped around irritability. The hound at her side made a snuffling sound and propped his head up on her thigh. She seemed to lose most of her anger at the touch.

Laven simply smiled wider and winked at her, earning a snarl in reply.
"My sweet queen, great warrior who leaves only broken hearts and broken skulls in her wake. You know I wouldn't have forgotten to check in unless it was important." He looked over at Menel and chuckled, rolling his eyes a little at his elder cousin's theatrics. Not that his were much better. "Menel, my cousin and landlady, Revina. Revie, beautiful goddess, this is Menel. He and I-"

"Don't care. You two could have danced on the great bleeding sea for all I give a woof. Get off then, go play or keep house or whatever you lovebirds want to do." Revina gave Menel another appraising look before wrinkling her slightly upturned nose. "You both need to bathe. You, Menel, yeah? Up the stairs behind you and the third door. Open any other door and I'll find you and break all your handsome fingers. Get!" The last was barked out as clearly an order, the blonde returning to her gun as if the two of them ceased to be. Laven just shrugged and lead the way before pausing at the bathroom's threshold.

"Go take your promised bath, and don't worry about her. She's all bark and only mostly bite." He smiled and reached out to thumb Menel's cheek before vanishing back down the stairs. He'd start cooking while Menel cleaned himself up, and then take advantage of his own bathroom afterwards.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:32 am

Lavender.

It was a beautiful name actually. Menel could only assume that he'd been named after the flower perhaps because of his purple hair? Laven, or rather perhaps now that Menel knew his full name he should think of the elf on those terms, turned away from him and Menel's blue eyes lingered over the light locks perhaps just a little more than they should. Trailing over the arch of Laven's neck before Menel realized that the other man was moving through the doorway and that he should follow if he wanted any chance of going to the bathroom - something that was becoming more and more of a concern for the swordsman.

The next room was a libary and... Menel ogled. He'd never seen so many books together in a residence before. Though he would have liked it, he'd never had a formal education, nor even had an opprotunity to sit down and read for any length of time. Which wasn't to say he couldn't read, in fact his mother had taught him to love those few times when he'd had a chance to read. He'd gone through every text on swords, combat, the art of war, and the history of those things that he'd been able to get his hands on in the last twenty-five years of his life. That amount of books wouldn't have been enough to cover more than a few shelves in this collection.

He couldn't remain on them for long however, not with there being a woman in the room. His instincts demanded that he turn toward her, and Mac who was resting easily at her side. There was a massive weapon sprawled out around the woman, a sniper rifle of some kind though Menel wasn't knowledgeable enough about guns to guess at the make and model of it. It was however deconstructed at the moment, possibly for cleaning and maintenance.

Really, even with the weapon in front of her, it was the woman who drew his attention. She was... Beyond words for him. She radiated a sense of emotion and confidence that made Menel respect her instantly, and he didn't doubt for a moment that she could have put that gun together in the space of a few heartbeats. Revina... if Laven's words were any indication, was a force to be reckoned with, and Menel would have known it even if Laven hadn't been so quick to treat her with deference.

Menel nodded slightly at her first words, silently confirming that they'd indeed slept together.  Though the rest made him blush again. Handsome? Her firm gaze, and the rest of her words only served to deepen the blush and Menel started to try an answer but... how exactly was he supposed to answer that? He wasn't quick enough to answer before Laven, and the moment that the elf opened his mouth Menel glanced at him almost cautiously. Wondering if it was wise to let Laven answer for him. Knowing Laven, he would only end up more embarrassed.

He was grateful when it was only an introduction, immediately he placed a hand on his chest, offering her a formal half-bow that kept his eyes level but lowered his head slightly. A warrior's nod of respect. Again he had his mouth half open to say something when he was interrupted. This time by Revina.

The swordsman winced internally at her upturned nose, subtly trying to catch a scent of himself before deciding she really wasn't wrong. He needed a bath, and to dry his armor out. he also really, really needed to head to the bathroom. Menel offered her another nod, this one far less formal.
"Thank you. I promise I will keep your directions in mind." She might have meant her threat teasingly, but until he knew her better... well it was best not to get on her bad side. Besides... even if he had been the sort to wander around where he wasn't certain of his welcome he had far more pressing things in mind.

Laven led him toward the bathroom, stopping just outside the room, and Menel wondered a little if Laven was making sure he didn't get lost... or if the other man thought he might actually try to wander around a bit. The question stilled in his mind when Laven touched his cheek gently. The swordsman grinned.
"She seems nice." A bit odd and... Menel wasn't exactly sure what the other word was just yet but it fit her perfectly. He lifted a hand to touch Laven's fingers as the elf pulled away and headed into the bathroom.

The door closed behind him with a soft sound and Menel made a small one of his own.

It really was everything Laven had promised. Menel made quick work of performing his morning absolution's which he had been unable to do while up on a rooftop in the middle of a city before turning the bathtub water on. Just one touch of the warm water was enough for Menel to start stripping.

Undressing took a lot longer than one might expect. He had a wide variety of weapons to be careful of while he took everything off, and he hung his armor carefully so that it had at least some possibility of drying while he bathed. Then, and only then with his swords leaned within arms reach at the edge of the tub did Menel allow himself to sink into the hot steaming water. The swordsman groaned and closed his eyes.

This... was heaven.

Menel wasn't sure how long he spent soaking and simply enjoying the heat, scrubbing every inch of himself from head to toe, but it was long enough for his fingers to turn soft and his stomach to remind him that there was food waiting downstairs. He rolled out of the tub regretfully and let the water drain. Drying off just enough to throw on his pants before trying to decide what to do about his armor. The swordsman scrubbed a hand over his short white hair and shrugged, returning a few daggers to their places in his pockets before buckling his swords around his hips and tucking the wet towel under his arm.

He didn't deviate from his path as he headed back downstairs, using his keen sense of smell and his memory of the layout of the house to direct him toward the kitchen. Whatever Laven was cooking smelled divine and it led Menel right to him.

Of course, he never thought twice about heading bare-foot and shirtless, covered with a sprinkling of water into Laven's kitchen. Laven however would doubtless notice. Even seeing Menel briefly under a dark fire-work filled sky half-dressed couldn't quite do justice to the full effect of the swordsman under the light of day. Menel's body was a masterpiece of human sculpting. Broad shoulders and a deep chest, taunt stomach muscles and really his jeans did little to hide the fact that unlike some who put on muscle he hadn't neglected the lower portions of his body, and out of necessity the jeans rode quite low on his hips, showing off perhaps one of his finer features. For although Menel's butt was perhaps a bit flat, his hips... were soft and sleek, clearly showing his hip-bones above the rise of his pants. His swords made a soft rustle of noise every time he moved.

Menel scrubbed a hand through his hair.
"I hope you don't mind... I left my things to breathe in the bathroom. The armor needs it pretty badly after yesterday." The small cut on his arm from their fight the other day was already healing, but there was a new small red mark on his right hip from sleeping on his sword. The swordsman half-turned, glancing behind him the way he'd come and showing half of his back to Laven in the motion. Revealing the edge of what looked like layers and layers of white marks over his skin. Like a spider's web they clung to the edges of his skin and spread back thicker and thicker, all of them long-healed. There were other marks on him of course, here and there tiny white marks from his life as a bodyguard, but nothing as extensive as those, and Laven was granted only a glimpse of them if he was looking before Menel turned back.

"I uh... didn't see a place to put the towel?"


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:08 am

After Menel shut himself into the bathroom Laven found himself changing his plans, and darting up the long staircase that was placed in a way to be mostly hidden from the unknowing eye. It opened up into his personal space, an attic loft that he had converted to a bedroom with his own small watercloset. It wasn't until he could hear the sounds of the bath running that he'd realized his own needs had to be facilitated as well. While he was upstairs he gave himself a quick wash and brushed out his hair. Finally free to strip away all of his abused clothing Laven changed into something simple and comfortable. Soft charcoal grey pants that hugged his body but didn't look like a second skin the way his leather ones did, and a soft short sleeved shirt with a deep neck in rosy pink.

Bare footed and feeling much more comfortable in his home, Laven padded past his cousin's study, through the entry hall to the other side of the house where  the kitchen lay. It was of no shock at all that the silent presence on Mac pressed against his thigh appeared as Laven opened up the icebox.
"You'll get nothing from me and you know it, Macky." He admonished with a chuckle, nudging the dog away while he pulled out a large array of food.

Eggs, a ham quarter that had been dinner, bacon and a sweet sausage that neither Laven nor Revina had found a taste for after trying it on the butcher's suggestion all came out before he also grabbed milk and a loaf of bread that had been going stale. It was quick work to tie his pale hair away from his face and then begin the task of making a meal.

At some point the sizzling of food must have caught Revina's attention because she stuck her head into the kitchen, observed the sheer amount of food Laven was cooking, shook her head and departed with a great deal of grumbling under her breath. Laven knew she'd be back to steal her share and simply added more egg and milk soaked bread to one of the frying pans. The bread would be used up and not go to waste and that was tantamount to Laven. The fact she was weak to shredded ham and scrambled eggs was simply a secret that he used to butter her up on her moody days.

He heard the unfamiliar footsteps over the crackling of the bacon he was browning and knew there was only one person it could be. Mac had given up begging and was laying behind Laven in hopes the assassin would trip and drop something so Laven only turned his torso, taking in the sight of Menel.

He almost dropped the pan of bacon. It was like looking at a carving made flesh and Laven could only stare and drink it all in. Skin with all it's little scars and imperfections making it more beautiful, clad only in denim and the swords Laven had yet to see him without. If Laven had less self-control he'd be salivating at the sight of Menel alone. Instead he managed a smile, eyes dark with an unreadable emotion before he answered the swordsman. His tongue felt thick in his mouth, glib words failing him.
"I'll, uhm. I'll show you where you can lay them all out later if you'd like." It took all his effort to wrench his gaze away before it became obscene. But not before Menel turned and Laven saw the myriad of scars coating his back.

He would have winced in sympathy. It was easy to identify the scars as being from a whip, or several. Laven had had the pleasure of being lashed once when he was younger and convinced of his rightness in all things. He remembered the burn that went to the bone and never seemed to fade until it seemed like he would simply have to live with the pain forever. The amount of scars on Menel's back... Either he did something unforgivable, or something unforgivable was done to him. Either way Laven had a moment of clarity in which he showed the person who had held the whip exactly why he was both feared and sought after for his skills with a knife.


"Here, I'll toss it down the 'chute." Revina reappeared in the doorway behind both men, one black eyebrow raised and a well muscled arm held out to take the wet towel. Clearly she had seen the scarring as well, but knew better than to mention it. Laven blessed her silently, and black eyes met red in an understanding before she turned and dropped the towel down one of the laundry chute doors. When she returned Laven was moving the last of the cooked bacon onto a platter and turning off burners before smiling at Menel. "Grab some plates and I'll show you to the dining room?" Not to the fancy one that Rev and Laven kept locked up and never used, but a small room that might have been for servants to eat at years ago. Now it was a cozy space with a round table just big enough for all the food Laven had cooked plus plates to eat off of and the corresponding flatware. There was also a raised island next to the table where Laven ended up depositing carafes of the remaining milk and fruit juice.

Revina spared no time taking what she wanted (eggs, ham, and french toast) before the bulky woman vanished back to her personal space. Laven didn't blame her, even as he knew her being there would be a buffer between him and Menel. There were still unanswered questions that needed to be brought to light. And as loath as Laven was to begin that process, he knew Menel wouldn't have it any other way. So Laven swallowed his dread and sat, gesturing to the other seat for Menel to occupy. Mac managed to drift into the room like a ghost and sat immediately next to the swordsman, long white head in his lap.


"You said something to me, last night. Said you had something to say." Laven looked into Menel's eyes and accepted the bullet under his breast. "Do you remember what you wanted to say?"
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:01 am

Menel brightened considerably at Laven's offer, a broad smile responding to the smaller one that the elf offered him. He couldn't read the expression on Laven's face at all, but if he had been forced to guess Menel might have thought that Laven was weighing him again. It was obvious that Laven had taken a chance to wash and change himself, and considering how far along he was with breakfast... he hadn't dallied as much as Menel had. Really the swordsman couldn't feel guilty about it though. It really had been a very long time since he'd been able to afford an actual bath and he didn't regret lingering in it for a second. "Thanks, I'd really appreciate it."

If he wasn't careful in taking care of his armor it would not only smell bad, but might even mold or get ruined. Which was entirely unacceptable.

"Here, I'll toss it down the 'chute."

He found himself smiling again, offering the towel to Revina as she poked her head around the corner. "Ah! Thank you very much." He did feel a little guilty for making them attend to him so much, but he supposed that was the lot of being a guest. He didn't know where things were so that he could attend to them himself.

It was obvious as Menel moved around that he wasn't trying to hide the scars on his body, or anything else about himself. He moved in his own skin as easily as he did with the weight of his swords on his hips. They'd been a part of him for so long that he never thought about them anymore. Not until it was necessary to think about them.

Obediently he picked up plates for Laven, following the elf to the dinning room. His stomach rumbled loudly and mentally he admonished it. The food was sitting nearby and he could wait a little while longer to eat. He sat down where Laven indicated, blue eyes flickering around to the obvious exits more out of habit than anything else, the swordsman wasted no time at all in starting to serve himself up some food. Though he did flash a smile at Mac, and as he started to cut a piece of toast with one hand fed a small piece of his ham to the dog.

After all, Laven had said not to feed him to much. Not that Menel couldn't share at all. He wondered if the dog would like toast or not. Menel's blue eyes flickered up at Laven's question. It took him a long moment to remember, but when he did he had the grace to look a bit embarrassed before he rolled a shoulder gracefully.
"Ah... that. I usually warn people... caravan drivers and such not to have any of their people try to wake me. I don't always know that it's a friend waking me up you know?" The swordsman lifted the hand that had been idly petting Mac with and ran it over his own short white hair. "I should have warned you too... but I couldn't remember what I was worried about or why."

Menel flushed a little and shrugged again. "In your line of work I'm sure you understand right? Instincts like that are hard to ignore, particularly when you're asleep." Menel's eyes flickered up again. He ate as he spoke, careful not to actually speak with food in his mouth but still causing the food to disappear at a staggering rate as seemed to be his habit. His expression became a little more serious however, and he motioned slightly with his fork. "What was that with your... cousin earlier? In the kitchen? I saw you looking at her... Is there something wrong?"

He was worried that he'd said something, or done something to insult the woman... like leaving his boots in her bathroom like he had. Maybe she didn't like him walking around barefoot? He hadn't caught the woman looking back at Laven, but he'd seen the elf looking at her before she popped off to drop his towel in the laundry and while Laven was more unreadable than most Menel was pretty sure it hadn't been a silent thank-you for taking care of the towel.

Much as he knew they needed to talk about last night... immediate concerns took precedence.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:03 pm

While Menel explained his concerns from last night Laven worked on feeding himself. Egg was heaped onto toast and eaten neatly, Laven nodding a little as Menel mentioned he probably had issues with being woken himself. "I did once punch a very lovely woman I was working with in the solar plexus because she startled me out of a light sleep. I understand your concerns." He gave Menel a lopsided smile and resolutely ignored the ham that went from the swordsman's plate to Mac's mouth.

He did furrow his brow at Menel's concern over the look between him and Rev, however. Was he that transparent? Or did Menel just have a knack for reading between the lines when it came to unusual situations? Laven focused on his food for a moment as he thought of how best to word his response.
"My cousin, yes. She's also my business partner, you see." Laven speared a bit of fried toast and cut into it, little pieces that were easy to pop into the mouth and wouldn't leave grease on his mouth.

"I have to talk to her about last night," He finally admitted, meeting Menel's gaze. "Not just the job parts. But about Gwenny and... Well. You." He placed his fork down onto his plate, food no longer the draw it was when they had sat down. With hands folded in his lap Laven tilted his head and watched Menel's face. "Which leads me to ask: What exactly should I say to her? I can't lie to Revina. She's very good at reading me. A side effect of being practically siblings." Laven looked away from Menel, focusing on the dog that was still quietly begging for food before returning his gaze to his plate.

"But I can understand if you want me to give her an... edited version of what went on between us." Here Laven laughed with just a shade of bitterness. He was sitting in his house, feeding a half clothed man who he had kissed, attempted to disable, and shown his deepest wounds all in a space of a day. What could he narrow that down to without causing Revina to pounce on any obvious lies or deflections? And what would Menel prefer to have left unsaid? It was hard to read the man. One moment he seemed perfectly ordinary and open and the next he left Laven grasping at lose straws in an attempt to make sense of the situation.

"I would like things to be clear between us before she and I speak."
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:51 pm

It was a slight comfort to know he didn't really have to explain, that Laven understood what he meant without having to go into to many details. A few years back Menel had broken a man's jaw when he'd been unwise enough to ignore the swordsman's warnings. It'd led Menel to be a lot more cautious and more stringent in warning people about his sleeping habits.

If he hadn't been watching Laven's face, he might have missed the way that his own question made the elf's brows draw together; but he'd been looking for it. Menel's eyes flickered slightly, not really in surprise that Revina was Laven's business partner but... Mentioning that business reminded Menel that Laven was an assassin.

After everything that happened last night it was hard to push Laven's occupation to the back of his mind. It wasn't that Laven had fought him, or that the assassin had brutally broken his employer; it was the confusion that he had left clouding Menel's mind. He'd left the swordsman wondering if he understood anything about Laven at all. More and more... Menel was certain that he knew nothing about Laven at all.

Which considering that he had only known Laven a day... wasn't far from the truth.

It didn't make things any easier for Menel that Laven was clearly avoiding answering him by focusing on the topic Menel knew they needed to talk about. Menel had slowed a bit eating himself. He'd noticed that Laven didn't seem particularly interested in the sausage and had commandeered most of it for himself. Mac didn't seem overly interested in it either actually, though the dog didn't actually turn the meat down.

Finally the swordsman let a little breath out and looked the elf very firmly in the eye.
"I'd like to be clear too." His words were firm, but it was obvious he meant more by them than what they meant. He wanted to understand... any of this. Wanted to understand this confusing elf that had wandered the fair with him. That had kissed him under the fireworks and broken a man in two not more than a few minutes later. Not that he thought any less of Laven for what he had done to the man, but... Menel couldn't deny how confused he was. "You shouldn't lie to your cousin, certainly not on my account if that's what your asking."

Menel started to shrug but aborted the motion before he'd more than twitched his shoulder. He didn't want to ask if Laven was ashamed of something that he'd done last night. Maybe he needed to but... He hated that bitter laughter on Laven's tongue. Did he want to lie to Revina? "If she asks me I'll tell her the truth, but if you want to tell her something else I wont contradict you." Menel's lips tightened minutely, eyes starting to shift away before he resolutely turned them back.

He wasn't going to dance around forever. He wasn't that sort of man. Menel set his fork down, rubbing his fingers over Mac's ears and shifting his weight subtly before he removed his fingers from the dog's head. Laven bore the full weight of his attention now.
"It's going to be hard to have this conversation if you wont answer me." His blue eyes were weighing every flicker of motion on Laven's face. "Would it be easier for you if it was you asking the questions? If that'll make you more comfortable..."

The swordsman let his words fade. Maybe it would be easier for him too. At least then Laven wouldn't be avoiding every question he asked.


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:00 pm

Laven made a simple gesture, his left hand striking at the air like he could cut into it and abolish the tension in the air. "I just did answer you, Menel. She wanted me to go and speak to her, I want to wait until this mess we've landed ourselves in is at least a little less tangled." Was it that Laven didn't speak quite as directly as Menel did? The assassin wasn't evading the question, but perhaps his wording was poor. "She was asking me a question and I answered, in a fashion."

Food completely forgotten Laven and made sure his eyes were locked to Menel's. "I'll tell her the truth no matter what happens in this room right now. But if you are uncomfortable with her knowing I had my hands and mouth all over you for no more reason than my own selfish desire I can make sure she doesn't think less of you." There was an old pain there, remembering the scorn on his cousin's face when she finally got all of the history Laven had kept from her during the decade he had disappeared. She had never liked Randwulf, had tried to 'save' Laven from him once. Had gotten nothing but pain and Laven's youthful rebellion for her efforts.

"Do you understand what I'm saying? I will protect your honor from what interacting with me could do to it."

That seemed to be the root of it. Laven wasn't clean, wasn't a shining example of what the world could produce. He was a murderer who was paid for the privilege. He had wanted to kiss the swordsman on that rooftop, and had enjoyed it when he'd been indulged. But he had also sullied the moment in more than one way. He had made sure Menel couldn't really deny him. And then he had betrayed that trust by stealing back his dagger while the man was in a state where he couldn't defend himself.

With a tightened jaw that made the scar on his mouth stand out in sharp relief Laven tilted his head in an unusual display of aggression.
"I don't regret anything I did last night, any of it. Except one thing." Red eyes narrowed and Laven held himself tightly, like he was ready to break or flee but refused to let his body make either attempt.

"I regret deceiving you to get my hands back on Remembrance. You are kind, far kinder than I am, Menel. And I abused that kindness in my own weakness. But I do not regret," And here he moved his hand again, the same sweeping gesture but sharper, harder. "I do not regret meeting you, nor what we did together. So ask and I will answer you, love. Anything, there's no point in secrets now that you've seen the worst of me."
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 3:02 pm

The instant Laven made the sharp motion with his hand Menel regretted his hardness. It was a product of feeling so confused, but that was no excuse. Nor was the fact that Laven had set off his unease by taking the blade from him so easily. It was his guilt over the matter that was making things most difficult for Menel, but it wasn't as though there weren't good reasons behind how he felt. He tried not to flush at the memory of Laven's fingers on his body, of kissing Laven's lips until he could have traced the scar that touched the lower one by memory alone.

"Laven..."

"Do you understand what I'm saying? I will protect your honor from what interacting with me could do to it."

Anger, the first anger that Laven had ever seen even touch Menel's pale eyes flashed through them and though he had regretted his hardness before that stirring of anger made him forget that he regretted acting first out of emotion and thinking later of the consequences. It hurt him, like an ache in his stomach and chest that Laven would... how could a man this talented, this beautiful think so little of himself?

But didn't Menel know for himself what guilt and blood tasted like?


"What honor would I have left to me if denied how I felt?" It was not a question that needed answer. Did he want Laven's cousin to know every detail? To know that he had pressed his fingers into that long lavender hair and made soft sounds for the elf that touched him like he was something beautiful? No. But Menel did not regret it either. His honor, and more importantly his heart demanded that he stand at Laven's side proudly, not that he try to pretend like it never happened - any part of it.

He wanted to touch Laven. To comfort the elf even as his heart beat faster at the thought that... Laven didn't regret it. Didn't regret spending that time with him. Or kissing him beneath the fall of light.

The swordsman shifted, moving his chair back and rising to his feet. The softness on his face, the lack of tension in his body made it obvious that he wasn't planning anything harsh, instead he stole the two steps between himself and Laven. He didn't hesitate to lift a hand, telegraphing every motion purposefully as he slid his fingers over Laven's scarred cheek, thumbing the scar beside his eye though he had to bend over slightly to do so. Menel let his weight carry him down. Until he was almost kneeling before Laven, still touching his cheek gently.

"I don't regret it either Laven. I remember you asking me; if I wanted your kiss or not. Trust me when I say that nothing that happened last night has left a mark upon my honor. It is my honor to say that I gave that kiss to you last night. That I felt my heart quicken under your hand. I may regret that I let you steal your blade from me, that I was not at your side when you rescued those children... that I was drinking instead..." Menel blinked as though he was trying to push back tears, but his eyes were clear of them. It was pain he was blinking back, guilt.

He let his fingers trail down Laven's cheek.
"I want to know you more than a few questions can answer for me. Why you chose this occupation when it seems so at odds with the kindness I see in you. Why you let me live when you could have taken your blade back so much more easily if I were dead..." He let out a small amused noise. "Why you took it like that... and if you meant that too."

Menel wondered if Laven, this sweet bloody elf could care about him if he knew that Menel was not the kind man he thought he was. "Do you think less of me for wanting to kiss you Laven? For what I did last night? Because I don't care what she thinks... I would do it again... even if I knew then what I know now... I would trade Remembrance for your kiss."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:03 pm

His anger seemed to burn out and leave nothing but ash in his mouth as Menel rebuked against Laven's words. As if Menel didn't see the assassin in the same way he saw himself. It was something Laven himself couldn't really grasp fully. It sat at the edge of his thoughts, a soft whispering that simply chanted you're worthy you're worthy you're worthy but in the voice of someone who could easily become dear to him. Irreplaceable.

Menel's sudden burst of anger was actually welcome to Laven. It was a sign that he wasn't just glibly letting the things that happened to him roll off his shoulders like rain. Laven was almost tempted to glare back, to give in and snarl even though he was slow to anger most days. But then Menel began to speak in earnest.and  Laven listened. And the tight bitter feeling in his chest loosened with each word. Watched the swordsman with a carefully closed expression as he stood and made his way to Laven's side. Some part of Laven's brain that could never shut off the assassin in him noted Mac leaving, the white dog slipping out of the room as if escaping a private moment. But then Menel's hand reached out and cupped his cheek.


"You..." He managed before Menel half-knelt before him, his own hand reaching out and brushing the tips of his fingers over Menel's lips. "I believe you." he whispered and leaned forwards in his seat, hands framing the swordsman's face before tugging him forwards gently to rest their foreheads together. "But let me just say this; I would have knocked you unconscious and trussed you up like a present before I let you go with me after those children. It was my burden, and I'm glad you didn't see what I did." His voice was gentle, soft enough that it didn't travel past Menel's ears. Laven's eyes were somber as they watched Menel, close enough that they could have kissed easily. But instead Laven pulled away to take in all of Menel's face, though his hands remained where they were, thumbs stroking Menel's cheeks.

"I think more of you than I did before I woke this morning. I poured out a bit of my soul to  you, Menel." Laven's eyebrows raised in the barest of self-deprecation. "And despite that you come here with me, let me feed you and touch you and if there are gods in the bloody sky they must have been looking the other way when you kissed me because it felt right in a way fated things shouldn't." Leaning in Laven left a gentle kiss on Menel's forehead, a benediction or a thanks before he sat up, releasing the younger man's face but stealing his hands instead, squeezing the fingers.

"Some of your questions... aren't easy to answer. But I can give you one now." Laven smiled and tugged Menel closer towards him, a glint of humor and affection in his eyes. "I didn't kill you over my dagger because I wanted to see you alive, because then I could apologize and ask you for another kiss properly, see where a road walked together might take us."
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:53 pm

A slightly wry smile stole across Menel's lips, a light blush rising up at the soft touch of Laven's thumb over his lips. The wryness was joined by a flicker of challenging mischievousness. He might have enjoyed it if Laven had tried to tie him up. He knew the potential that lay under Laven's skin, perhaps not every part of it, but well enough to know that he wanted that challenge. There was and always would be a part of him that wanted to see how far he could push things.

Laven's fingers were warm where they touched his face. His words so soft and honest that Menel believed him. As far as he could tell, the only dishonest thing that Laven had done was in stealing Remembrance, and Menel could forgive that for any number of reasons. Not the least of which was that the blade belonged to Laven anyway.

Menel hadn't forgotten the conversation they'd had when Laven had come back to him. If anything he had been replaying it in the back of his mind. Memorizing it so that he wouldn't forget that the elf had told him. It was something important, and he had known that even then.
"Laven... what you shared with me was beautiful."

If that was a part of Laven's soul, then Menel could only imagine that it was a beautiful soul. Yet... for some reason Laven had thought that Menel would reject him because of it. Menel sent back a small squeeze of his own. Hearing Laven say those things brought an echo from the swordsman's past rising up like a dark bubble. A reminder that he wasn't supposed to get to close... that happiness ended in tragedy.

Yet he wanted make Laven understand that he was beautiful more than he cared about anything else. He let the other man pull him closer, and he smiled.
"You've already apologized..." Menel arched one pale eyebrow at Laven, moving close enough that he would have been invading the elf's personal space if not for the fact that Laven was the one inviting him into it. "So if you are going to ask me again..."

Well there was only one way to answer wasn't there? Menel rose up just a little bit more arching his back so that he could offer his lip up to Laven. This time he stopped just a hair's breath before kissing, his heart beating faster than it should. This man... was making him forget that he would be wiser to keep people at arms length. Over and over again. "The answer is yes."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:51 pm

Menel moved into Laven's space like he was made for it, leaning up in an offering that made Laven close his eyes briefly before committing the image to memory. There was a gorgeous man kneeling between his legs, wearing nothing but denim and a pair of blades that were as beautiful and deadly as their owner. And he was tempting Laven with his mouth just a breath away. It was more than someone as weak as Laven could do to resist. With a soft laugh that became a sigh he gave in, closing the space between them. Mouths touched lightly, and then Laven's hand came up and cradled the back of Menel's head in a memory of the night before.

It was as gentle as the first kiss had been but much more in the way of confidence. With one hand in Menel's hair and the other resting comfortably on the bare skin of the swordsman's shoulder Laven deepened the kiss, poured as much of an apology and as much of a thanks giving as he could. And hoped Menel understood his intentions. Each time Laven broke away and returned with another kiss it was warm, tender and a question mark in itself. Asking for acceptance, giving affection and desire.

After what could have been an hour or as short as a handful of minutes Laven simply dropped his hands to Menel's waist and pulled him closer yet, urging the other man to sit in his lap. It was easier this way, Laven simply tilting his head back and both accepting and bestowing kisses. His hands wandered up and down Menel's back. Long soothing strokes along the net of scars that traced that muscular back. Laven broke the kiss with a little nip to Menel's bottom lip before chuckling.


"This is horribly tempting of you, in my arms and barely clothed." Laven looked up at Menel with dark eyes but a warm smile, teasing the skin under his hands with his nails. He smiled like a cat who had been offered the cream, leaning up for another round of kisses.

"Oi! If you two want to get your rocks off you can do it upstairs where I don't have to be subjected to this sight!" Revina had come back into the little dining room and stood with her hands on her hips and a frown turning the corners of her mouth downwards. Laven took one look at her, staring at the pair of them with their hands all over each other and burst into laughter, resting his head against Menel's chest and holding his waist to keep the man from tumbling off his lap as he shook.

Laven was gasping for air by the time he could control himself, grinning at his cousin in a way that made him look younger.
"Please. As if you and your husband didn't desecrate every surface space in this house while I wasn't here." Revina simply snorted and made an extremely rude gesture at the pair. He looked up at Menel and winked before patting his behind to ask him to move so Laven could stand up. "What do you want, beautiful rose queen?" Revina made a second rude gesture before rolling her eyes and grinning. Or snarling, they were very similar facial expressions for the woman.

"Dwarf lady on the porch waiting for ya. Something about stealing her blankets last night. Don't tell me I don't need a play by play of you two getting nasty." She wrinkled her nose at the thought while Laven laughed again before looking at Menel.

"Can you wait for me here, Love? It's going to be business talk and therefore a bit sensitive. Revvie will keep you company I'm sure." There was a sly look in Laven's eyes as he mentioned his cousin, and the blonde woman gave Menel a wolfish grin before stepping into the room fully and occupying Laven's now empty chair.

"Sure, we'll be good pals for you. Go on then, ya git." Laven touched Menel's shoulder in silent thanks while passing him before heading to the front door. He could only hope Revina would be gentle.
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:41 pm

So easily one kiss became another. Laven accepted his kiss for the second time, falling on him with an air of needful apology that Menel matched in every way. If Laven was giving an apology, then Menel was accepting it on the edge of his own. Menel balanced himself with one hand on Laven's knee and the other pressing into Laven's lavender hair. Every time Laven pulled away Menel more than half expected that it would be their last kiss, but Laven offered another always soft and answered with what could only be interpreted as a resounding acceptance.

The elf's fingers fell away from his neck and Menel could breathe a bit more, but only until Laven's fingers touched his waist and the swordsman's breath caught in the back of his throat with a little sound.

It was easy to pull Menel into his lap because Menel found himself wanting nothing more than to be closer to Laven. The position put Menel above Laven and when fingers started to slide over his back Menel could feel the edges of his mind starting to cheerfully fade. Laven pulled back with a light bite to his lip and Menel made a low growling sound in the back of his throat, blue eyes opening to show darkness edging in on his normally sky-blue eyes.

It took the swordsman a moment to register Laven's words and he answered with a lazy smile that wordlessly pointed out that it was Laven that had pulled him into this position. Every time Laven's fingers even lightly brushed against his sides Menel could feel his breath hitching just a little, his heart quickening in his chest even more than feeling Laven's fingers tracing over his back.
"Is it?" Menel whispered the words, lowering his lips back down to Laven's...

"Oi! If you two want to get your rocks off you can do it upstairs where I don't have to be subjected to this sight!"

Menel's head jerked up with all the grace of a deer struck by headlights, bright red color spilling over his face until he was some odd tone of cherry red all the way to his ears. The flush even spread a bit over his chest. As close as they were Laven couldn't help but feel the tension spill over Menel's body as if the swordsman was ready to start running if necessary. Laven however... Laughed. He laughed so fully that it shook Menel out of his shock and had a smile easing across his features before he realized that it was there. He'd never heard Laven laugh like that. It made him sound young and it made him look even more beautiful.

It was only Laven's fingers holding onto him that kept Menel in the other man's lap and he was more than happy to stand up, blushing if possible even more heavily at the way that Laven so casually smacked him on the butt.

When the elf asked him to wait Menel nodded.
"Of course." He touched Laven lightly on the arm, his expression shifting to a mildly worried one. "Would you... would you mind if she kept the rabbit?"

He waited for the other man's confirmation before relaxing with a smile. After everything... he couldn't bear the thought of that little girl having to give up the stuffed animal. Even if it was a rather cheap toy. Menel waited a moment before nodding politely to Revina, taking his previous spot at the table. "I apologize. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Laven on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:06 pm

Laven smiled at Menel's thoughtfulness over Mahri and the rabbit. "I promise, she wont be without it." With one last glance to the pair he strode away to where Helsmi would be waiting on his porch. If she was here already then she must have found out that he hadn't finished the contract the way he had sworn to do.

Revina was silent as Menel regained his seat, her arms crossed and body language closed off as she studied the young man in her house. Black eyes seemed to watch every move he made, filing the information away for when she might need to use it to her advantage. As dangerous as Laven could be, his knife and mind were nothing like Revina's. There was obviously something brewing in her head that she was planning to release onto Menel. But what she said was as harsh and to the point as anything else that had come out of her mouth.


"What's wrong with you then? I get why Laven's all grey like a granddad. Trauma and all that refuse the doctors told him after he went and almost died on us. So what about you? Not an albino, your skin's too dark. Just weird, eh?" The predatory grin was back, her teeth sharp and pale against golden skin and black lip stain.

Leaning back in her chair she propped her bare feet up on the table's edge, observing the reactions she got from Menel.
"Suppose it doesn't matter much in the end. I'll make this quick and painless and then you can go back to your food like we've been nothing but friendly since he went off." Revina tipped her head back, the rows of silver hoops in each ear glittering in the warm light.

"If you hurt him, if you so much as make him remember why he's spent the last decade alone and thought himself better for it I will find you. You and him with your archaic weapons are skilled, I'm sure. But if you do a damned thing to break my boy I will put a slug right between those baby blues and wont think twice on it." Her tone was even as she spoke, betraying none of the venom in her words. It was clear that she meant it and that she had the power and skill to back anything she said up.

As quickly as the threat was issued Revina dropped her chair back on all four of it's legs, feet firmly on the ground as she reached across the table with her left hand outstretched.


"Do we understand each other then?"
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

Post by Menel on Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:53 pm

Menel sat down comfortably, but he wasn't a fool. He could feel Revina weighing him and he let her do it. After all, he didn't have much to hide. He sat carefully, ready to stand up again at a moment's notice if he had to. He wasn't expecting her question however, and the surprise showed on his face as clear as day quickly followed by confusion. "What? You mean my hair?" Menel tilted his head slightly and ran his hand over it. It wasn't very often that someone asked him about it, and usually when someone brought it up it was to joke that he'd probably ended up on the wrong side of a witch or something.

"I don't know. It's always been this way." When he thought about it, he knew it was an unusual color. He didn't dye it, and since he knew that his mother had black hair it was even more strange that his was white. But it had always been this way. He offered her a smile back. "So I guess yes. I'm just strange."

She propped her feet up and Menel popped a bit of sausage into his mouth. She might be a bit blunt... yes that was a good word for her... but that didn't mean he couldn't eat. No use in letting the food get any colder than it was already. She brought it up though so he swallowed his bite quickly and waited patiently.

Menel wasn't the sort of man to take a death threat lightly, but neither was he the sort to let it get to him. He faced death on a nearly daily basis, and if the prospect had frightened him he would have had to quit years ago. Her threat stole the smile from his lips and eyes. The woman rocked forward, planting her feet and Menel let his fork touch his plate. He couldn't accept her hand, not really. He did however nod.


"If someone hurt someone I loved... I would break them in return." The swordsman met her eyes, something close to regret flickering through clear blue skies. "We understand one another Revina..."

He wanted to say something more, tell her that killing wasn't the answer but... it was his life they were talking about. Menel's eyes flickered toward where Laven had gone. "If I ever broke him... I would deserve less."


-Elm

Don't tell me it's not worth tryin' for.

You can't tell me it's not worth dyin' for.




You know it's true.

Daed * Kol * Salina * Samael * Shizin
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Re: Land of the Morning Star [Menel & Laven]

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