Author Topic: A Travelling Pocket Of Safety  (Read 80 times)

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Offline Satyr

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A Travelling Pocket Of Safety
« on: February 24, 2019, 05:14:43 PM »
BEN THREW OPEN THE DOOR to Kerr's car and called his lover's name with a mixture of tears, smiles, anguish and gratitude. He vaguely remembered thanking Owen profusely and his unknown partner, even as he sat inside the passenger's seat. He threw himself over an uncomfortable centre console to awkwardly hug his sire. He wanted to say all manner of things, make all manner of requests, but found he didn't have the voice. He didn't have the mental aptitude either. Love and fear poured off him in waves.

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Travelling Pocket Of Safety
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 05:42:59 PM »
Kerr's throat was a vice, too constricted for actual speech. Ben had got into the car before he could get out so all he could do was meet his love halfway across the car, kissing him, amplifying his awful emotions without meaning to and squeezing him so tightly he heard something bony crunch inside Ben's body. It brought him to his senses and he blinked as he drew back slightly, meaning to check he was alright.

That was when he noticed the police officer leaning down to gawp in at the two of them through the open doorway, his mouth actually open. When he saw Kerr looking at him, he blinked and closed his mouth. Momentarily. "You're Ben's sire!" he exclaimed. "Kerr!"  Owen had seen pictures but it was mostly the arms covered in woad tattoos that gave his identity away. Ben had described them to him once.

Kerr cleared his throat. "Ye-es?" he drawled, confused by the apparent recognition. He was used to meeting strangers that felt like they knew him but those people identified him as the ex-Luminary. This guy was different.

"I'm Owen!" he introduced himself enthusiastically. Kerr looked nonplussed. Owen shook his head as if he'd just sustained a dizzying blow then blinked owlish blue eyes at Kerr. "Anyway, I'm glad to see you. Listen, I was warned some violent criminal is about be taken down in there," he nodded towards the White Rabbit, "and told to get as far away as possible. I suggest you two do the same."

As the young vampire straightened and started to close the door, Kerr processed the warning enough to call out. "Wait! Do you want a lift?" he offered, noting that there was another officer behind Owen.

"We're cool," the blonde grinned, then slammed the door, closing Ben in.

Kerr didn't see Charli wrap her arm around Owen and fly them away, he was too busy throwing the car into gear and driving. It was difficult to steer with one arm, considering he wouldn't let Ben go until Ben wished it, but he managed. His speed was greatly reduced; it felt like he was a snail after the pace he'd sustained to get to the White Rabbit but that also felt safer. He had no particular destination in mind (though, instinctively, he was making the turns that would take them to the Oligarchy Chambers building), he just drove and cuddled Ben. He couldn't believe he had him back. Especially like this.

Broken. Again.

"Do you want to talk?" he asked gently.
«~Infusco
Jeanne D'Arshan DavidKerr GalvinOwen HarperIndianaDominic KahoTau LeanderSamuel TaylorFrederigo Tripada

«~Infusco Past
Anatoli

«~Oberon Castle
Lam Dinaris PhinneusQueen Rochelle

«~Halflight
Aarik Cathmoor

Offline Satyr

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Re: A Travelling Pocket Of Safety
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 05:52:03 PM »
Ben eventually withdrew from the hold and sat back in the passenger seat, though he kept hold of Kerr's hand. He looked at the streets without seeing them, unable to express yet the events that had unfolded tonight.

"We should get out of the district," he said, sounding calm to his own ears, though he knew that his bloodline was twanging all kinds of emotions at Kerr. "Maybe go to Penbrook?" he asked, naming the Sacramentum's estate. He didn't know if Kerr would like that, but Ben didn't want to go anywhere that didn't have adequate protection. If he'd known about Sabrina's Parlour, he would've suggested they go there, but it wasn't a part of his common knowledge.

He squeezed Kerr's hand and looked at him, unable to believe that he was finally out, he was finally safe. Kerr would be disappointed that he'd let Lazarus rape him. "I love you."

Offline Existentially Odd

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Re: A Travelling Pocket Of Safety
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 12:53:02 AM »
After all their years together, Kerr was fluent in Ben subtext; what he heard, despite it sounding mild, therefore scared him.

If Ben wanted to get out of the district, that meant that whatever had transpired was ongoing - possibly at the White Rabbit right now. For him to nominate the Sacramentum estate as the place for them to go, it meant Ben was afraid that the trouble was powerful. He wanted protection, so he thought they should run to the strongest player in the city. That didn't bode well.

And then there was that declaration of love. For many couples, it was an offhand statement of emotion, something said frequently and from the heart. Not for them. They weren't words Ben said excessively nor flippantly. Moreover, the tone that the words were delivered in told a deeper story, one of apology and guilt, a plea for forgiveness and understanding. Kerr knew Ben truly loved him but that tone was one he'd heard too many times before; it came from an empty place, where Ben feared all he had left was a love he didn't deserve.

Something truly terrible had happened to him, for him to reach that point.

Kerr knew one thing for certain: he wasn't going to Charon's home without giving his love a chance to forgive himself and regain some sense of his equilibrium. He owed it to the man he loved to protect him, even if it was from himself. Besides, Charon hadn't earnt the right to see Ben at his lowest, nor to bear witness to the most vulnerable depths of his soul. Kerr wouldn't allow anyone to see Ben weak like that.

"I love you, too. Always," he responded quietly, squeezing Ben's hand. "We'll go to Penbrook but we'll go home first."

Without pressing for anymore conversation, Kerr turned the car homewards, thinking as he drove. Ben remained quiet and introspective, responding to squeezes or caresses physically but his gaze declared he wasn't there. When they pulled into the beach house's driveway, Kerr turned the car around but left it in the driveway for an imminent departure. He led Ben to their room and encouraged him to pack a suitcase, as he did, sidling glances at his love as he robotically collected toiletries and zipped them into their case before placing them on the clothes he'd chosen.

It broke Kerr's heart that they wouldn't have the sanctuary of their own home during the first day Ben was returned to him. More than once during the packing process, he found himself fighting off tears of despair and rage. He needed resolution, too.

When they put their belongings in the car, Ben moved towards the passenger seat but Kerr grabbed his hands, waylaying him. "Not yet," he murmured, cupping Ben's face. "We're not ready. Trust me?" he queried.

Ben nodded, a quizzical look in his eyes.

Kerr led him inside and out towards the back terrace. Before they left the house, he shucked his jeans and indicated that Ben should take his clothes off, too. He was reluctant; Kerr was tender but determined. He waited. When Ben complied slowly, his lower lip trembling, Kerr knew it was something personal, to do with Jake or Lazarus, and any internal balance he'd managed to find slid askew again.

When they were both naked, Kerr took Ben's hand and walked beside him across the terrace to the stairs built into the cliff face, down to their private beach. "Take a breath for a bit of buoyancy," he advised, doing so before he walked out into the water.

Despite their lungfuls of air, their feet remained on the sandy seabed as they fought their way through the battering waves. The moon was almost full, the ocean was energised. Once they got past the breakers and were standing fully submerged, Kerr released Ben's hand. There was a brief moment where he fought the mortal urge to surface but it passed as the peculiar tranquility of the sea snatched their attention.

This was why he'd brought Ben here. Streaks of moonlight sliced through the swirling water, assisting their vision. Above their heads, the waves gathered and twisted, drawing their bodies slightly upwards as the force required to lift and dump a wall of water pulled at their frail bodies. Ocean life glinted in the kaleidoscopic fractures of light, small fish darting after one another, a crab trundling over their feet. A curious dolphin swam by, noticed them, circled back around for a better look. Noise was muted except for the rumble of gathering waves and the occasional wet swish of a creature.

It was a distorted, muffled, blurry world of indifference and rhythms so ancient, they had existed long before people or supernaturals and would go on well beyond them, too. It was a different world, one of isolation and seclusion, yet vast and connected, a place to be humbled as an insignificant being. Here, it was clear they were of little consequence to the Eternal Order of Nature. They were in a place that would absorb screams of anguish and salty tears, become a cocoon to encapsulate, buffer and protect at a time when everything within felt stripped bare and raw and vulnerable. A place to heal.

Nothing reduced Kerr to his fundamental self and humbled him faster than immersing himself in the ocean and he hoped it worked the same for Ben. He wanted his lover to understand, in that eerie silence and watery beauty, that there were problems in his heart but that life always found a way. It always had and always would. If he surrendered to his central and core being, accepted his humility and embraced the notion that he was but a speck of sand in a vast and endless continuum, then he could begin to build himself up again, to find the strength he needed to release the pain inside and go forward.

They floated there out of time and space, two Vitruvian Men with limbs extended, rising and falling with the swell, until Kerr sensed they were ready. Although he could've spoken into Ben's mind, he didn't wish to penetrate his bubble, and so he merely took his fledge's hand and gestured with his head towards the shore. They didn't speak when they emerged into the windy night, nor even when they got inside the house and Kerr drew Ben into the shower with him, washing the salt off both of them with soap beneath scalding water. They dried and dressed in silence but once they were clothed, Kerr gathered Ben into his arms and sat with him on a soft, cosseting chair, curling himself around his love.

He waited - though he wasn't sure if it was for words or merely a signal that Ben was fortified enough to move ahead with their plan, only that he would wait as long as it took.
«~Infusco
Jeanne D'Arshan DavidKerr GalvinOwen HarperIndianaDominic KahoTau LeanderSamuel TaylorFrederigo Tripada

«~Infusco Past
Anatoli

«~Oberon Castle
Lam Dinaris PhinneusQueen Rochelle

«~Halflight
Aarik Cathmoor

Offline Satyr

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Re: A Travelling Pocket Of Safety
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2019, 10:22:48 AM »
The car ride was a series of 'what if' scenarios that he played out in his head, over and over, and of course all the different things he could've done ended with him not being raped. He imagined that there was only one series of choices and actions he'd taken that would lead to Lazarus' act, and that was the path he'd taken. Jake had constantly told him 'Ben does what Ben wants', and he'd even heard that said by Ichabod and Kerr over the years. Perhaps not so succinctly, but certainly it was stated as a cause for many of his problems.

Ben does what Ben wants. He'd been toying with the idea of seducing Lazarus, actually. Of using sex as a weapon to split up him and Jake, of causing trouble in their lover's paradise. He hadn't gone through with it though, unable to see how such a thing would last longer than maybe a single argument. His faithfulness to Kerr wasn't worth so little. So he hadn't done it, but even though Lazarus couldn't read minds, had he sensed that in him? Had he smelt Ben's interest? His attraction? Ben knew Lazarus was drawn to him, that's why they'd romped together all those years ago, but Lazarus hadn't bothered to chase him down later. And while they'd been together, he'd watched Lazarus bossing humans around, making them do things they clearly didn't want to do, but only suggesting and taunting his words, not ever physically forcing them. There had always been a choice.

Had Ben had a choice? He wasn't sure now. Had he invited Lazarus into his room by staring at him and then backing into it? Had he implied he wanted sex with his words but then changed his mind at the last minute? Had he planned that all along? He wasn't sure, now.

There's always a first time for everything, love.

No. He had those words to hold onto. Even though he could hear Lazarus saying it conversationally and it sent chills up his spine and goosebumps to break along his arms, it was enough to remind him that he hadn't deserved what had happened. Nobody did.

Me too.

The memory of Jake's words echoed in his head. He didn't believe him.

But he believed you.

Of course he did. Because he'd orchestrated the whole thing. Ben frowned out the window and was relieved to recognise the beach-house. Now this torturous introspection could be over.

Actions were easier than sitting and thinking. He was out of the car, moving into the house and packing a suitcase. Ben thought about what he might like to wear. Layers. Lots and lots of layers. As many clothes on as possible. No more elastic band shorts. He packed the suitcase to bursting and went out with Kerr to put the two cases side by side in the trunk. Instead of leaving, Kerr had something else for them to do. It was early in the night, they had lots of time, but Ben was anxious to enter the safety of the Sacramentum.

He put his trust in Kerr and went with him. Out on the terrace he faced his first hurdle. Naked? He had to be comforted by Kerr and he had to check that there was nobody around before he would do it. He made Kerr check, too, for his range was broader. Nobody around. Nobody to look at him. Nobody to see his naked form except Kerr. Once he was promised it was only them, he undressed.

They went down to the beach. Kerr invited him into the ocean. Ben took the suggested breath and walked holding his sire's hand. Cool, dry and yielding sand gave way to cold, wet and sinking sand. Froth washed over his feet and ankles. Waves to his knees. Water to his middle. Splashes on his face. Then underneath, the hollow murmur of waves above his head much sharper than what he'd heard as a mortal swimming in the sea.

He saw more, too. The murk wasn't quite so dark, even though it was nighttime. Obviously, it was his superior vision enhancing it. It was calmer down here, with the turbulence up there, where it couldn't touch him. The opposite of his life.

And then, after some time, the thoughts in his head just... faded away. It was like when he'd been drunk from as a mortal, and the thoughts left his head, turning him into a writhing hot body wanting nothing but pleasure without inhibition. This... perhaps this was what the others felt, those who didn't get the sexual boost from feeding but experienced a calm sort of bliss. Murphy. Was this what Murphy felt, when Ben drank from him?

Even thoughts of Murphy faded. He could only feel the ocean. He could only feel Kerr, close and comforting. Up and down. Bouyed by nature. It was Teal Peace. He would forever associate a certain shade of teal with this moment, this quiet. He had no sense of time, he was simply existing. Unlike Kerr, he wasn't humbled by the ocean, and he didn't feel insignificant by its massive power and long-time existence. He felt like he could belong in this world. In this strange and violent world that still kept its cards close to its chest. He could be strong, like the ocean was strong, with undercurrents people could feel but not see, with waves that would erode the land itself and force its will upon it. Not immediately, but eventually. Small, pounding moves that would wear down whatever needed wearing down to make way. The ocean was power. He could feel that power.

Kerr and he left the ocean when he was still in that empowered state. He still didn't have a direction, though, but Kerr was there, leading him along to exactly where he needed to be. His sire became a God to him, the kind that simply knew. Their past might be rife with misunderstanding, but not anymore. They'd turned the corner. Kerr had come back from the dead. Ben had come back from weakness. Together they could shape their future.

And he was held, and loved, and shown that he was worthy of that. He let the love wash over him and into him and radiated it back to Kerr. And once he was aware that time was passing and he was ready to go, he planted a soft kiss on his love's lips.

"Thank you," he said, thanking Kerr for all of it, really. For putting up with him. For loving him. For saving him. For being with him now. "Let's go to Penbrook, now," he said, standing and offering Kerr a hand out of his chair. The sire would see something had shifted in his fledge's eyes. "Some big moves are going to be made, soon. I'd like to have some powerful players at my side."

And he gave Kerr his best smile.