Welcome, Guest.

Author Topic: Whisper of a Shadow  (Read 12899 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2007, 09:20:33 AM »
Wide eyed and relieved when Euric allowed him his mercy, and the shadows scrambled away from him at the same time as the wire was unwound from his neck.  Hako\'s hand drifted up cautiously to touch the skin there, to make sure that he couldn\'t feel a dip or scar in his skin.  It didn\'t feel overly sore, but the memory of having the cutting wire around him caused him to shudder and to feel the cold of the night once more.  Rough bark was at his back but he dared not step forward unless Euric afforded him more space in case he accidently brushed up against the other, which would be seen as a rebellion against the other\'s warning, likely.

Instead of addressing the statements made to him (more warnings, for the threat sounded more like a promise than merely words designed to scare him), Hako allowed his personality to come out for he\'d been the same kind of character all his life and it would be difficult to pretend to be someone else, even with his life at stake, and said: "I like to be touched."  He hesitated for the briefest moments until he was sure he had Euric\'s attention.  "I like being kissed, and held close, and made to feel special by someone else\'s hands."

After saying this, he chewed on his lower lip, worried he would be reprimanded or scowled at.  Or worse, dismissed.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline deviliscious

  • Dearly Missed
  • Wordsmith
  • *
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
    • http://ramblesbrambles.blogspot.com
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2007, 09:54:44 AM »
Indeed, Hako now had Euric’s undivided attention, pointy ears pricking at the sound of his voice and he was glad that the Purifico student had decided against fleeing. He could hear what Hako was saying but he did not exactly understand them. Well, it was more accurate to say that he did not understand the idea behind them. What was this talk about touching and kissing and the like? True, he had read about it (romance novels did count), had heard such things (one of the reasons why he insisted that his bedroom was to be soundproofed – his neighbour and nightly guests had kept him up all night long with their extremely loud bed ritual) and at one time, he had even seen the actual act with his very own eyes. It was shameful of him to have participated as a voyeur, albeit an unwitting one. But he’s young and a male at that – could anyone fault him?

Of course, not all touches are specifically meant to have a sexual connotation. Euric had seen enough of innocent touches going around in the school – a handshake, a friendly pat on the back, the clasping of hands – to know that not all touches were treacherous. Yet despite that knowledge, the half-breed could not get rid of his body’s instincts and the warnings of his subconscious.

He glanced at Hako then, stuffing the coiled wire back into the folds of his robes, pondering on his words. “But... what if they were to hurt you? By allowing yourself contact, you might risk getting hurt,” he said, sounding so sure of himself. As a matter of fact, he had every right to sound confident because there was a time when he knew of nothing but being subjected to cruel hands.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2007, 10:06:18 AM »
Nobody who wants to touch me that way wants to hurt me

The statement was held back, bitten before it was past his lips.  It wasn\'t true - he\'d been hurt by those who were jealous that he shared himself with others regardless of his lack of a commitment to one person.  There had been those who\'d wanted to hurt him during their touches, who\'d found cries of pain among cries of sexual satisfaction to be the height of erotica.  He tended not to visit those again.  He\'d had a number of experiences in his time at the Academy, and he planned on having more - but now he was a great deal more selective, choosing only those who he worshipped, or those that he trusted.

"It\'s worth the risk," he said finally, in the end.  "It\'s nice to touch and be touched, and those that do so are usually not willing to hurt the other because it would make the nice touches go away."

That was about as close to a real answer as Hako could possibly get.  He would not hurt nor insult those who were his bedfellows.  He wanted to be loved, tended to, caressed.  He didn\'t want pain of any kind, especially not the emotional kind.  It seemed that Euric had protected himself in the most extreme way - by cutting himself off entirely.

"You can trust me.  I won\'t hurt you.  It\'s obvious you have the upper hand.  I mean, I\'d be risking more if we were to... be intimate."  Still with the tree at his back, the bark on his skin, looking at Euric in a manner that wasn\'t pleading, but certainly trying to be inspiring, to talk him into this role for the pair of them.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline deviliscious

  • Dearly Missed
  • Wordsmith
  • *
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
    • http://ramblesbrambles.blogspot.com
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2007, 11:02:56 AM »
“Is it? Really? Even so, I don’t know if I want to risk it just yet.” Euric wanted to believe him, he really did. And from what Hako was saying, that it was worth the risk, the youth definitely had no qualms about touches. But years of experience had thought him to be wary and he was not able to accept it right away, that there really was nothing to be afraid of being touched and to touch in return. He certainly did not need anymore of what he had gone through in his past – it would break him, if he was not already so.

He turned once more to head for the creek and at the suggestion that the other could be trusted made Euric flinch inwardly. Hako had made it sound so easy, that he could be trusted just because he said he won\'t hurt him. Euric was not so gullible, not anymore. He did not respond and just started moving ahead at a slow pace. It wasn\'t long before they would reach their intended destination - the brook was just around the bend made by the junction of trees.

Only then would he speak, once the trickling stream was in view. “Surely you don’t expect me to simply trust you. We’ve only just met.” What he didn’t say was that he could not bring himself to trust anyone. Even though they had exchanged introductions, Hako was still very much a stranger to the half-elf.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2007, 11:18:33 AM »
Knowing that Euric would take time (and hoping that he would be given it at a later stage), Hako said nothing as Euric moved away, giving them both space.  The bark had been rough and scratchy on his unmarred back, but his skin was soft and uncalloused and he preferred to be away from the crumbling texture of the tree.

He followed Euric in silence until he was spoken to.

"But I have no weapon," Hako pointed out, "and you\'re stronger and faster than I am.  You\'re my peer.  How could I hurt you?" he argued, though not in an argumentative way.  His tone was soft, reasonable, his gaze flitting about to look for the darned kitten, hoping he could find it first so that he could pick it up and hand it over, by way of a nifty apology or display of the kind of trust Euric was concerned about.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline deviliscious

  • Dearly Missed
  • Wordsmith
  • *
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
    • http://ramblesbrambles.blogspot.com
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2007, 12:08:07 PM »
Euric frowned, absently biting the insides of his cheek in consternation, unknowing of how to respond so that Hako would understand. “I don’t know how, but you could. By trusting someone, you let down your guard and even the strongest person could get killed that way. Do not forget – each betrayal begins with trust,” he said finally, quoting a saying that had taken root deep into his conscious thought.

Although Hako had made perfect sense, the half-elf too sounded logical. This was why he stayed away from the others and was relieved that they had seen fit to do the same (even if he did dislike it – it hurts to know that he was not likable in a sense but he had grown used to it).

Some small sound off to his left (nearer to where Hako stood) caught Euric’s attention and he turned to face that direction, hoping that it would be the feline. Perhaps one fine day, he would chain the naughty little thing to the bed or something – threatening to feed it to his python was an futile attempt. How Pocket managed to climb her way down the building still defies all commonsense.  But always, she would be here by the creek whenever she went missing.

What followed from where the sound originated was the rustling of the undergrowth though Euric could not tell if it was the kitten that was behind the veil of greenery. Perhaps Hako could, given that he was closer.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2007, 12:18:23 PM »
Disappointed with the answer and seeing no real way around it, Hako remained quiet and pondering.  Hako heard the sound also once it came, and turned his head in the same direction.  The noise had come from the underbrush, a place where snakes or some feral creature could be, but instead of being cautious, he approached quickly and flipped the leaves over to reveal a small sized kitten fitting Euric\'s description.  He reached out and held it down before it had a chance to bound away, then picked it up and held it out to Euric.

"Pocket?" he asked, though it was obvious that it had to be.  How many kittens prowled the woods anyway?  The thing was wet and cold, its fur matted with mud and it had sticks and other little things sticking to its fur.  It meowed forlornly when presented with its master.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline deviliscious

  • Dearly Missed
  • Wordsmith
  • *
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
    • http://ramblesbrambles.blogspot.com
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2007, 01:25:02 PM »
Before Euric could stop Hako from getting himself hurt – there was no telling what sort of creature could be hiding behind those bushes and he certainly did not wish for any harm to befall his almost-friend (not really a friend yet hence almost-friend could be considered the ideal term). A little voice inside him nagged at how he could even think to categorize Hako as such. It was a voice he managed to shove right out the metaphorical window. There was no need for such thoughts at this time, not when Hako was in danger of being mauled by a – kitten?

“Pocket! You infuriating little…” he trailed off, seeing his kitten in such a state that he hadn’t the heart to reprimand her. He held out his hand then for the bundle of dirty, mud-splattered fur. With the kitten in one hand, he quickly removed the sash tied around his waist and wrapped it about the small trembling form. “Trust you to get into such a mess,” he said softly, trying to calm the shivering creature with gentle stroked upon her head right between her ears.  Pocket needed a warm bath but for the time being, he had to make do with the white sash.

“Thank you,” he said, “for helping me find her.” And then he frowned, his lips pursed in a disapproving manner. “Although you really should be more careful when sticking your hand into something that most probably could have hurt you.”

Most would have been offended at the chastising tone Euric had taken, as though he had the right to lecture a fellow student regardless that he was of a higher level. But it was simply a way for the half-elf to show his concern indirectly. In actuality, Euric did not even realise that he was starting to care for Hako’s well-being. Surely the youth would be ecstatic to know that.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2007, 01:39:05 PM »
Hako was ecstatic - both at finding the kitten and being told off by Euric for potentially hurting himself.  Perhaps this was why he\'d not known full-blown fear when held against the tree with the threat to his life - because he\'d sensed that Euric didn\'t truly want to go through with it, no matter how much he disliked being touched.  Hako wanted to go back for his boots (if not his robes) but didn\'t mention anything of the sort, for he would follow Euric to his rooms.  Being a level one meant he would have privacy - when Hako unfortuantely was stuck in a room he had to share with another (until Kyaarl got that sorted out for him, he\'d have to push that forward).

"You\'re welcome," he said politely to being thanked.  "Let\'s get Pocket cleaned up," he said, inviting himself into the whole process.  Of course Euric could remove him from the grouping and tell him to go his own way, but he hoped the other would allow him to join him.  After all, Hako needed to get cleaned up as well, and so did Euric, unless he liked the stench of forest on his clothes.  Not only that, but it had started to rain, a light drizzle that stuck to Hako\'s skin and made dewdrops that might\'ve looked pretty but were making him colder than ever.  What he needed was a hot bath or shower.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline deviliscious

  • Dearly Missed
  • Wordsmith
  • *
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
    • http://ramblesbrambles.blogspot.com
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2007, 02:43:18 PM »
The sudden spray of water drizzled lightly over their forms, made Euric look up in surprise. He had noted earlier that it was to rain soon, but not this soon. All the more reason for him to (gently) stuff the kitten into the pocket of his robes – she gave an indignant mewl at that – after he had ensured that his little furry burden was nicely wrapped up in the sash.

He did not make any comment about Hako’s little self-invitation though he was glad that he had done so because if it were up to Euric, the other boy may very well have to wait till the end of time for the half-elf to issue an invitation be it verbal or no. Even then, there was no guarantee that he would do it. Certainly, Hako’s forward manner had saved them both the grief of facing yet another exasperating round of Euric’s doubts and indecisions.

“First we need to retrieve your robes and boots,” he motioned with a hand directed at Hako’s bare feet. Even though he had generally kept his head bowed during the entire search (except for when he had Hako pinned to a tree), he had his eyes on the other boy the whole time when he was more or less facing him. Just like right now – Euric was eyeing him appreciatively.  When he realised that, he silently rebuked himself for finding the youth attractive. It did not help matters when he could see how the droplets of rain clung enticingly to his exposed flesh, trailing sensually down his naked chest, peaking over the tip of his –

Abruptly, the half-elf turned to head for the way which they originated from, trying his best to ignore the heated flush that was currently shading itself onto his cheeks and oh god, the tip of his ears! What was he thinking in the first place, to picture Hako in such a manner? As had been mentioned before, he was young and a male which was an even worse combination, depending on one’s view. That, and he had a good eye for lovely aesthetics.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2007, 05:14:24 PM »
He watched as Euric took very good care of his kitten, wrapping it to warm it up before tucking it away in his pocket.  Hako smiled at him before the order came to go get his clothes.  He nodded, for Euric had been inclusive with his words, and Hako was pleased not to separate from him.

The rain was enough to wet Hako\'s hair but not enough to flatten it to his head.  As a result, his normally wavy hair went a little more curly, and he brushed a hand through it to get the damp locks out of his face.  He followed Euric obediently through the woods, knowing intuitively that they were headed the right way to get his clothes.  He wouldn\'t be able to put his boots on, not with his muddy feet, but wrapping the robes around him would help stop the cold.

It was a lot faster to reach his clothes than it had been for them moving away from them, for instead of moving slowly and tracking, they walked fairly quickly.  The bundle was there for them to find, and Hako reached down and plucked them off the ground.  He unwrapped them, glad his boots were dry and placed his robes around his shoulders, holding the crease in front from the inside, along with his boots so they would continue to be dry.  He wore his robes more like a cloak, and looked up at Euric now, to lead them both to his rooms, hopefully they contained a small private bathing room, or Euric knew of a bathing room on the way.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline deviliscious

  • Dearly Missed
  • Wordsmith
  • *
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
    • http://ramblesbrambles.blogspot.com
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #41 on: June 11, 2007, 10:42:19 AM »
The drizzle was turning into persistent rain when they strode up the rain-slicked, muddy terrain up the steps of the main entrance of the building that held the student’s quarters. At least they had been quick enough to retrieve Hako’s belongings which were, surprisingly, still there where he had apparently left them. The remainder of the trip back was made in relative silence, interjected once in a while by a word of caution from the half-elf for the younger one to watch his step or something of that nature. By the time they had reached the foot of the building, both were literally soaking wet and Euric had his arms folded across his chest to ward off the chills that were just starting to wrap their cold tendrils about his limbs as well due to being annoyed by the rain.

It wasn’t that he hated rain for the only problem he had with rain was that that it would be a hassle to go through the motions of drying his absurdly long hair once wet. The only reason why he kept the chocolaty brown-gold strands that long was out of necessity, if only to provide a shield for his scar-covered back. In the meantime, if that served to enhance to his... ‘appealing’ quality (try to disregard the shady reputation he had gained), he supposed it could be attributed to luck. He most certainly was not trying to portray himself as someone who took pride in his appearance – note that he did have his face practically half-concealed therefore that particular point was void.

Entering the building, Euric observed that the hallways and corridors were empty and for that, he was glad. He did not need someone, especially those on their rounds to catch unsuspecting students who were still loitering about past their bedtime, to see the two of them who not only were lurking about but they had been outside and had gotten wet in the process. Not to mention that they both were bringing quite an awful mess into the school as well, painting muddy prints on the floor – one pair was of a booted shape while the other distinctly telling of a bare-footed student. “I feel sorry for the one who is going to have to clean this up...” he muttered, thinking that whoever the unfortunate person was, he or she was sure to have a fit.

Euric led Hako to the bathing room that was on the way since he did not want for their footprints to track them all the way to his room – and two pairs of them too! Of course, he was hardly concerned about that. What he was more worried about was the flooring. To have imprints drawn of muck on the floor of his room? Not a chance in hell. “It would be best to at least wash our feet first,” he suggested softly, almost in a whisper as he darted a glance at the other before disappearing into the public restroom.

Offline Trillian

  • Devil's Advocate
  • Administrator
  • Novelist
  • *****
  • Posts: 11497
    • View Profile
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2007, 11:49:51 PM »
The rain pelted at them mercilessly for the last few minutes of their walk back to the Academy dormitory wing.  Hako had reached out to him twice, snatching his hand back both times in memory of the warning he\'d received in the forest about touching.  Hako was a creature of habit, but there was nothing wrong with his self-preservation ideals.  He managed a smile each time he was spoken to, pleased that he was thought of and not dismissed, until the moment they stepped through the side door into a small foyer that led almost directly to the dormitory wing.

Hako, who wouldn\'t even have spared a thought for whoever had to clean up after them, glanced down at their muddy steps, not saying anything in reply, for there was nothing to say, and followed his partner in crime obediently until they arrived at a bathing room, where Euric disappeared with a sensible suggestion directed Hako\'s way.

The youth followed his peer inside, seeing a rather plainly decorated washroom for students - the kind he normally avoided in favour of the outside areas, which were usually a little more private and he could solicit advances without worrying about who might be watching and then talking.  There was something to be said about discretion, and it appeared that Euric had the same beliefs.

Wordlessly, he moved near to where Euric was, and dropped his wet robes upon the floor and then his boots.  He would\'ve followed with his pants except he wanted to make quick his exit from this room and to find himself in the privacy of Euric\'s quarters, where he could learn more about the other in a place where he hoped he would relax a little.  He sat upon the low edge of a shower stall and turned on the spray, wiping twigs, mud and leaves from his feet, surreptitiously watching Euric and if he would check on the kitten in his pocket before washing up or simply leave the bundle alone until they arrived at the safety of Euric\'s room.
INFUSCO : Ben : Hugh : Lan Bao : Mick : Todd : Vincent : Win :
HALFLIGHT : Graille Min Sayer :

Offline deviliscious

  • Dearly Missed
  • Wordsmith
  • *
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
    • http://ramblesbrambles.blogspot.com
Re: Whisper of a Shadow
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2007, 04:07:37 AM »
Golden orbs behind the curtain of Euric’s hair flitted about the large white space, studying the interior apathetically, noting that it had not changed at all from the last time he had a need for such a place. Just one of the many benefits of having his private quarters – it did not require him to subject himself to the pain of having to use such a public place for personal activities like bathing. Recalling the past, Euric was mildly amused at the methods he used to avoid having to bathe in full view of the others, always sneaking in at odd hours when he was confident that there was no one about.

Now that there were only the two of them, the half-breed was slightly surprised that the usual feelings associated with discomfort was lacking, regardless of having someone else in the bathing room with him. It made Euric question himself though he tucked that little bit of bewilderment away into the back of his mind to examine later because he had no time to waste on trivialities – there was a kitten to take care of in which he did with a tenderness that was unreserved, a gentleness that belied his strength.

With sash and gloves aside, Euric stood hunched over the washbasin as he cleansed the little feline, ignoring the mewling protestations that rang clearly into the room. If he was not mindful of Hako’s presence, the half-elf would not have thought twice about giving Pocket a piece of his mind right there and then. But because he thought that he would be making a fool of himself if he were to do so, Euric kept his mouth tightly shut. Once done with the kitten, he dried her off with the clean side of the sash, rewrapped her again and stuffed her back into his pocket. Almost immediately she poked her small head out as she was wont to do. What an adorable picture they made – the grim personage and his pet kitten. The only thing missing was perhaps, a scythe.

After pulling on his gloves, he shuffled over to where Hako was, studying him for a moment or two but kept silent. Although he was content on keeping mum (he was quiet by nature but then again, there was nothing to talk about. That and because he had never been in a situation such as this, he was unfamiliar with the proceedings of making small talk.), he was starting to feel awkward yet he had no inkling as to what he should say. So he said nothing except to wash the soles of his boots in the stall next to the one Hako occupied. When he was satisfied that they were clean enough not to paint tracks all over the floor, he stepped out of the stall and once more, directed his gaze towards the other, silently enquiring if he was ready to leave and if he was, Euric would lead him to his quarters.

Past the empty corridors, rounding one corner after another and up a flight of stairs, the closer they got to his room, the more nervous the half-elf was beginning to feel. But that was absurd, right? There was no way he should be feeling nervous, he was only inviting a person into his room after all! Still, do ignore the fact that he was almost on his way to a mental breakdown...

Yet no matter what he kept telling himself, that this was all normal and nothing to fret about, he could not help but hunch even further, unconsciously seeming to try and grow smaller... to disappear even. Moreover, the natural shadows cast about appeared to be moving, shifting, expanding... stretching out for the half-breed, almost as though they were attuned to every bit of emotion Euric underwent, be it whether he called for them or no and in this case, it did not look as though Euric even realised it.

It was really disconcerting.

(continued here)