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[Azudia] Lorant and Autumn

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Title: BD Story: Lorant and Autumn
Number: 765
Date: Aug 2, 2009 at 6:40 PM
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Azul Morag – Aug 2, 2009 at 6:40 PM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1691[/imga][b]A Side Story from Brooding Darkness RPG[/b]

This story runs previous to Brooding Darkness RPG; it is the story of Autumm and Lorant Riktophen before the Gathering.
Written by Diana and Azul Morag.

The story to this point can be found here:
[url]http://space-kitten.org/forum/blog.php?b=383[/url]

[/so][/bg]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Dr. Addler quirked an eyebrow and exchanged a glance with his assistant. The assistant blinked slowly before fixing his blue and orange gaze on Autumm with a thoughtful air.

“Milady,” he said, “I beg your pardon but this is important and concerns your husband’s illness. Do you keep dogs or wolves?”

Dr. Addler furrowed his brow slightly.

“Don’t press the lady; she is surely tired and agitated after all that has happened: the fire, the attack, her husband’s illness. What we know so far must be enough.”

The assistant pursed his lip a little and shifted his gaze to the doctor. It was somehow apparent that he was annoyed despite his mild-mannered and gentle expression.

“Of course. My excuses.”

“Milady, did he drink all the bottle of wine or is there any left in said bottle?” Asked Dr. Addler. His assistant was extracting some bottles and instruments from the satchel he had carried in. Lorant remained unconscious, pale and shivering. The assistant closed the satchel, placed it safely next to the nightstand and gently pressed a hand on Lorant’s bandaged wound. Blood gurgled between his fingers.

“Make haste,” he muttered.

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 5, 2009 at 2:49 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn had opened her mouth to reply about the wolves, before the doctor mentioned it was unnecessary. Still, she was not sure how much she could explain about Anastasia’s creatures without looking like a complete mad woman herself.

“It’s right here.” she replied, moving quickly to the table where she had set the bottle of wine. There was still a bit of the liquid in it and she brought it to the doctor. Her glance moved to her husband on the bed, where the assistant had touched the wound on his shoulder. She paled, pressing the back of her hand to her mouth and willing herself to keep her senses.[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 5, 2009 at 11:48 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Blue and orange eyes narrowed slightly, watching Autumm. Dr. Addler promptly took the bottle from Autumm and carried out a test with a few drops from the bottle. Lorant made a choked sound but remained unconscious. A thick drop of blood ran down his cheek from his left eye. Dr. Adler turned just in time to see it and to see his assistant’s eyes widen like a man having a premonition; the assistant blinked and shifted his gaze to the doctor.

“Is it?”

“Yes, it is.” Addler said in a sort of fear – that look on his assistant’s face was not alien to him. He had seen it before. There was a degree of trust between them but beyond it there was a chasm Dr. Addler regarded with dread, and just now he had found himself quite close to the edge. However… “What did you see?”

“Nothing.” His assistant blinked. “Really… nothing. I was reminded of someone. It’s silly.” He carefully propped up the Baron on more pillows. “He is going to choke soon. We have to inject him and then secure him. Ask the lady to wait outside. She’d rather not see this.”

Dr. Addler went to Autumm and gently touched her elbow.

“Milady, please wait outside. When you come back your husband will be feeling better.”

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 25, 2009 at 8:06 PM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

The sight of blood did not escape her eyes and the tone the doctor used gave her stomach a sickening churn. For a moment she looked as if she would insist on staying, but she finally nodded. Easing away slowly to the door and stepping out in to the hallway.

Outside, she folded her arms, rubbing them to try and ward away that sudden chill she was feeling. It was so late, possibly even near morning. One incident after another as if fate itself had decided to knock on their door. Autumn was weary, [i]worried[/i] even. She didn’t lie to herself, insisting that she loved the man she married. He scared her. Yet, the thought that he might be dying now… The emotions were conflicting. Confusing.

Autumn paused her pacing, looking quickly over her shoulder. There was a whisper of a fabric, but no one was there. She frowned. Anastasia must have realized someone else was here. Why didn’t she storm in to the room insisting to see her son? That was something to be worried about in itself. Leaning against the wall, Autumn kept watch for her mother-in-law while waiting for the doctor to come out.[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 12:36 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

One the lady left the room and the door closed behind her, the assistant arched his eyebrows with the air of someone who would much prefer to be somewhere else.

“At least you will get to use those needles we have been working on. I will lift a wall around us.”

“It’s his mother,” Dr. Addler said with a slight frown. “She is quite skilled.”

He watched his assistant roll a small ball of thread around them and the bed; the ball rolled unraveling itself between the bed and the wall moving by itself till closing a circle; then the wavering edges smoothed and the yarn solidified like a ring of red and white wire. It flamed briefly and a veil soared from it; it was invisible to normal eyes but both doctor and assistant saw it. Dr. Addler turned to his assistant and found him different; he was a sort of white shadow and yet he was still the semblance of a handsome man; his white hair was soft and light as if he were underwater and his mismatching eyes were brighter.

“I know. He is dying, you know. I hear his father suffered the same fate. I don’t suppose the baron will be able to scape it forever unless he makes a move, too. Belial was kind of disturbed when he sent me here with you. There is something uncomfortable about this house. She hides in it like a spider with a missing leg… something is missing. I really don’t know if I want to find out what it is.”

“Will he die today?” Addler frowned, a curious glass injection bottle and needle ready in his hands.

“No. We will save him this once. Proceed.”

Dr. Addler uncovered the baron’s chest. His skin was translucent and gelatinous like a young frog. It was red with growing patches of darker red and upon touch blood simply oozed out like sweat. Dr. Addler stuck the needle in the baron’s heart with a violent yet precise motion; the substance in the injection was thicker than this waterish blood oozing out of the baron and required great pressure to go in. Addler used two different injections on the baron’s eye sockets to get to his brain and others on legs and arms. The blood began to thicken and stopped ooozing, but the mattress was already heavily soaked.

“He lost too much blood.”

“Yes.” The assistant removed the deep set needles with only a slight touch; he waved his hands in the air inches above the baron’s body and a seal appeared on the man’s chest. A slow and pained wail rose from somewhere within their circle; it was faint at first, then grew into choked sobs and continued in a slow crescendo to a howl that shook the posts of the bed and made the bed sheets flutter and hover despite being heavily soaked in blood. Adler felt his hackles rise.

“I will never get used to this,” he muttered. His assistant smiled slightly, his orange eye blazing golden and his blue eye luminous like a vast summer sky.

“I said the same once,” he replied. He sank his hands in the baron’s body and pulled out like a man that has found a loose wire in the bowels of a machine: indeed it was a blazing chain he pulled out with weakening links flowing like water in his hands seemingly made of light. He sang in a low voice; his incantation was soothing and terrible, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. The links in the chain changed and fusioned into a smoother, stronger chain which he weaved into a seal now clearly visible on the man’s chest; it was silver and black fire and the name of the Archdemon to whom Lorant pledged allegiance. When the soul was again securely bound to the body, the seal sank into Lorant’s chest with strange lights and the wailing ceased. The wind disappeared. Blood began to recede into the body of the baron like water into a sponge, slowly.

The assistant was smiling.

“He is lucky he was still alive when we arrived. Belial said I shouldn’t make him an undead but bring back the soul if that was the case.”

Addler swallowed. He was pale and shaken by that he had just seen but his hands were steady; he was an old soldier after all – a soldier in a war most people didn’t know about.

“Asmodeus,” he said. “The mother is going to wonder what happened.”

“That does not concern me,” the Fallen replied. “She will not know what happened. She will only see she has failed. That will not let him rest, I assume.”

The bed sheets were free of blood now. The baron was breathing normally again, yet tiredly and shaking. He opened his eyes and winced in pain; then he saw the Fallen and the doctor.

“Lord Asmodeus,” he muttered without bothering to hide his fear and confusion. “Am I to die now?”

“Not really, but that ultimately depends on you,” Asmodeus replied. “Your master wished you to live. Remember that when you see your mother again.”

Lorant looked down. He didn’t reply. Addler picked up the equipment.

“You look terrible like that,” he muttered. Asmodeus smiled.

“How about this?” The outline of his body began to change. Addler scoffed.

“Spare us! This man is sick you know!”

White shadows flickered around Asmodeus and once again he was the handsome Austrian youth from earlier. He was still smiling.

“You are truly getting old.”

The veil vanished. The temporal circle turn to yarn and rolled back into a ball, then rolled up Asmodeus’s leg and into his pocket.

“My wife…?”

Addler shook his head.

“She is outside; she didn’t hear anything. You should rest for a few days, keep calm if possible. I will call her back in.”

Asmodeus pulled out a bottle from the satchel.

“BUT before the lady returns, she can’t return to a bed without blood, can she?”

A minute later, Lorant and the bed were again and quite convincingly bloodied and clearly disliking it. Dr. Addler shook his head in a sort of resignation and went to the door. Autumm was not far.

“Milady, lord Riktophen is awake.”

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 28, 2009 at 1:00 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

[i]”Milady, lord Riktophen is awake.”[/i]

“Thank you.” she said quickly, crossing the hall and brushing past him in to the room. That sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach hadn’t abated, and even now when stepping in to the room everything just felt so unsettling. Once through the threshold, she hesitated. There was still the blood, but he was indeed awake.

Autumn finally closed the gap, moving next to the bed and sitting gently on the edge. He still didn’t look well, but no longer had that look of death hanging over him.

“Are you all right?” she asked softly, choosing to ask Lorant himself rather than question the doctor. A doctor might diagnose and heal, but he wouldn’t know how his patient actually felt.[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 1:28 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant’s eyes widened. There was dark circles around his eyes and he looked worn out, exhausted and rather weak; despite, his hazel eyes were clear and burning like smoldering glass. She came in on her own volition and she was asking him… She seemed to be sincere. Was she? Lorant felt a desperate impulse to clasp her in his arms but he knew better than that… or so he told himself. He watched her.

“I… am doing better,” he said after an awkward instant. “The doctor said… I will need rest.”

Lorant bit his lip. He wanted to ask her something… what was it? It seemed dreadfully important but he didn’t remember…

Dr. Addler wrote down a prescription.

“Lord Riktophen will need more than just rest,” he said. “Here is a special diet; I advise you to supervise your staff to make sure it is done properly. He must not drink alcoholic beverages for a few weeks. Keep him out of the sun; his eyes and his skin will remain sensitive for a few days.”

The assistant was watching them.

“The wine was not good for him in the first place,” he meaningfully observed. “It’s not a good bouquet.”

Nor Lorant or Addler commented on his words. Addler finished scribbling and handed Autumm the diet and a prescription for mild pain.

“Should you need anything else, feel free to call me.”

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 28, 2009 at 1:40 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn took the paper and examined the instructions. It would not be hard for her to follow, but making sure her husband did was a mother matter. He had a stubborn will of his own and she… had never tried to reign control over him! At the very least, she would do her best to keep Anastasia away for as long as possible. His mother would stress him to his death bed.

“I will make sure. Thank you, Doctor.” She might have rose and saw them out, but she was sure the minute she left the room Anastasia might swoop in like a harpy. ” I will be sure to call again if something happens.” [/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 1:54 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Dr. Addler smiled and nodded.

“I shall send you the invoice later, as usual. Good morning.”

Doctor and assistant left the room. Lorant sank into his pillow. He was still weak and vulnerable, which annoyed him. Lorant certainly was not used to be like this, not… not in a very long time. He worried. He should have asked for help and yet he wondered how much determined his master was for him to live. Perhaps it had been just this once. Then he remembered.

Lorant blinked slowly.

“Did you really… shoot the dog?” He asked in a mutter.

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 28, 2009 at 2:15 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

She watched the doctor and his odd assistant leave. Lost in thought for a moment before Lorant spoke. She gave an uneasy smile. That blasted dog – wolf – monster had scared her near to death. She couldn’t imagine where the beasts had come from, but then Anastasia had all sorts of unusual pets.

“Yes, for the little good it did. I suppose such a small shot only made it more angry.” Autumn had thought the gun was the perfect idea, but how ineffective it was, perhaps she would have to look for better alternatives. She glanced down at the blankets and sheets, stained with drops of blood. He would be more comfortable if she brought something fresh, but it wasn’t good to move him so soon.

“And you are sure you’re feeling better? You had been-” she paused. Maybe she shouldn’t mention he looked like death! “I was worried.”
[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 4:53 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant looked at his trembling hands with a faint grimace of disgust and frustration. His fever was gone, but he was still shivering.

“Why do you ask me?” He slowly said in a low voice. “The doctor already told you I just need rest. I suppose I have created a disturbance,” he said, nibbling on his lip. “You don’t need to be concerned. I will ask Addler to send me a nurse and you may forget about this.”

Lorant blinked slowly. His eyes were indeed sensitive to light now; they felt dry and hurt a little. He swallowed at the thought that Addler’s ‘assistant’ could return, but he doubted it. Lorant felt stressed and weary. So she had shot the dog, not him. Or so she says. It made sense though considering the dogs attacked her earlier, she had to protect herself. Then again… she could argue the same about him and shoot him anyway. The thought put a knot in his throat. He swallowed again.

“If you wish to stay in another room for… some time,” he said. “I will not be against it.”

Why in Hell did he say that? He was too weak to be left alone and yet, he knew his mother would not hesitate to try something against Autumm. They didn’t seem to get along, even.

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 28, 2009 at 5:25 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

He chided her for being concerned about him and all she could do is frown. Maybe he still had a touch of the fever. Autumn reached out and pressed the back of her hand to his forehead.

“No. I will be staying here. I intend to take care of you myself, so I won’t be sleeping in another room.” The moment she left him alone, Anastasia will want to see him. The woman was probably already livid about her son.

“For now, we’ll be rid of this blood.” Autumn rose from the bed, crossing the room to where the water basic resided. She filled the bowl with fresh water, bringing it to set on the bedside table. Wringing out a wet cloth, she sat down again on the edge and proceeded to wipe away the blood that stained his body. She was frowning still, not at him directly, but at her own thoughts. Having him here like this was so different. [/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 5:40 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant was momentarily dumbfounded; first because she touched him on her own volition and then perhaps more shockingly because she dimissed him and said no.

How dare she say no to his orders! He had to admit he wasn’t [i]intending to order her out of their room[/i] but there was the principle of the thing. Lorant stared. She was back with water and cloth to wash the blood off him – and she was frowning.

This had never happened before. Lorant’s instincts pushed him to react and reaffirm his authority but he was still weak despite being indignant and he somewhat admitted to himself he liked the attention. He didn’t admit it completly though!

Lorant opened his mouth to protest, thought it over and just watched her. His pupils were dilated like a cat about to lash out but still considering not to.

“I said I won’t stop you if you prefer to stay in another room and I can get a nurse from Addler,” he tentatively pushed his cause, staring at her.

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 28, 2009 at 5:57 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“And I replied that I intend to stay.” Autumn said, carefully as if she were testing to see if she [i]could[/i] say it. His body had tensed and she hesitated in her movement, but when he didn’t make any immediate motions, she continued cleaning away the blood again.

Her heart was beating so fast she was afraid he might even be able to hear it! The man had no idea he could still someone’s blood with one look – yet, maybe he did and that’s what made him all the more frightening. Still… he saved her life tonight and almost lost his own. She could try and make the effort. [/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 6:13 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant eyed her. She had never been like this before and he found it a little disturbing, yet… because he so desperately wanted her willing attention he for once decided he didn’t mind her contradicting him… this once. His body remained tense though; he wanted her attentions but he still feared she would lash out when least expected. Either way, he was going to be hurt and he knew it. He knew it… but he didn’t insist on her staying in another room.

His chest hurt. It was strange how things were; how unexpected and precarious. She was there but somehow he wanted to push her away despite he wanted more than simple solidarity or even pity. Feelings pulling in opposite directions were making breathing difficult.

“If… that is what you want,” Lorant said at length. He watched her as if she were miles away despite being right beside him. “Are you…” He paused. “I… have never meant you harm.” There was a kind of defeated dispair in his voice, low to a mutter.

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 28, 2009 at 6:23 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

[i]That[/i] made her pause. Withdrawing her hands to her lap as she blinked at him with confusion. Did she hear him correctly? She was sure she did. But those were not words that would ever come from Lorant Riktophen’s mouth. The man here now could not be her husband.

[i]’He is ill and not himself.'[/i] Autumn reminded herself. The fever had been harsh and his wounds deep. After so much chaos in one night even he would be shaken. A tiny part of her wondered if maybe, deep down he could be different..?

She shook her head softly, leaning to rinse the cloth in the basic. “You shouldn’t fret over it. Before long you will feel yourself again.”[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 6:39 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

A shiver washed over Lorant, prickling his skin. It hurt, like his eyes… but the pain in his chest was worse. He was being stupid. He shouldn’t unveil himself to his wife; she already fears and probably hates him enough as it is. He winced.

“I suppose so,” he said and closed his eyes. When he did, pain like sharp needles pierced his eyeballs; his eyes felt dry and tired as if he hadn’t slept in days. After the pain subsided, he opened his eyes again yet not completely; he just wanted to see if she was still there.

“Don’t you worry I’d be myself again?” He asked. “I know you do. This is pointless. Tomorrow…” The windows were grey, he realized this and corrected himself. “Later today… I want you to send Addler a note when his invoice arrives; a note asking him to send me a qualified nurse.”

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 28, 2009 at 6:47 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn didn’t want to admit to the man that she was, indeed afraid he would be himself again. Wasn’t it enough he knew she was afraid to begin with? But just this once, even if he wouldn’t ask and didn’t want it, she would have to be brave. She couldn’t leave him alone like this and at the mercy of that witch he called Mother. No man deserved that.

“I am not sending for a nurse. Why don’t you get some rest and when you wake I can have someone bring something for breakfast.” He had shivered, so she moved to pull up the blankets over him. [/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 6:57 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant glared at her from half-closed eyes.

“I gave you an order!” He hissed. “It’s not up to discussion…!”

Lorant’s body jerked in an unwilling jolt when she moved to pull the blankets over him; his skin hurt as if sharp combs were racking it. He moved a hand to stop her.

“No.” Lorant took in a deep breath. “Leave them there…”

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 28, 2009 at 7:05 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn closed her eyes and willed herself to keep control! This would be a test, and he would most certainly get more angry than this… but she could deal with it! It was what he needed. After he was well if he still chose to be angry, she would deal with it then too.

“No, it is not up to discussion.” she said gently, not yet opening her eyes. Obviously she was not going to do as ordered. But for the moment she didn’t move the blanket any farther. “You have a chill and I really must keep you warm. Does it pain you to be covered? I could try pulling up one of the sheets instead.”[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 28, 2009 at 7:18 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant winced at the sight of her closing her eyes and staying still – she was terrified and he could see it quite well. At least she didn’t see him… She was being unusually stubborn. Lorant closed his fingers on his arms to test how much painful it really was. He had been through worse pain than that but he didn’t think he could sleep in such pain.

“I am not cold,” he argued. “I don’t need the blankets…” His eyes closed for an instant and he dozed a couple of seconds, waking up with a start and a wince. “… Just leave them there.”

Light was increasingly intense as dawn advanced into morning. Lorant kept his eyes half-closed.

“Close the curtains,” he asked. “It’s… to bright in here.”

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 3:52 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

As requested, she rose slowly, moving across the room to draw the curtains closed. Autumn only took a brief moment to peer outside at the damages that could be seen from last night’s incidents. To her relief, there weren’t any mangled bodies of dead monsters – they must have been removed by the staff. But the horse’s stables had been charred to the ground. She pulled the curtains shut, making sure there wasn’t a peek of light.

She stayed by the window for a second, having to let her eyes adjust to the darkness. There was a very dim glow from the fireplace, but it hardly cast more than dancing shadows across the room. He didn’t wish for blankets but he did need to stay warm, so she stepped silently to the fire place to stoke the embers and add some extra wood.

Dusting ash from her hands, Autumn returned to the bed. Climbing gently on to her side, mindful not to jostle him too much. “You can at least get some rest.”
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 3:59 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

[i]”Rest…”[/i] Lorant muttered with an air of fatalism. “I guess I could.”

Along with sensitivity to light his vision in the dark has improved; he could see the room in a mild gray scale, but things were more two-dimensional without strong difference between light and shadow. Autumm’s hair looked a radiant red, like red-hot metal in a forge. The radiance made him half-close his eyes. She was watching him intently, perhaps unaware that he could see her better than she might see him now.

“Are you going to watch over me?” He asked in a low voice.

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 4:28 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Her eyes blinked in surprise. The question caught her off guard, and though she might have automatically said ‘Of Course’, she found herself pulling the blankets up over her legs and thinking about it.

“I will be watching over you, yes.” she finally admitted. It was an honest statement, something that even she was unsure of. With him like this it would be so easy to do the opposite. Let him waste away, or be cared for by someone else. It wasn’t even fear of repercussions that compelled her. The man was her husband. Regardless of her fears, she wouldn’t be disloyal or neglecting.
[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 4:44 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant smiled weakly, guessing she couldn’t see it anyway. It was safer in the dark, somehow. He moved a little on his mound of pillows; it felt like squirming on a bed of nails. Lorant shivered again, acutely aware that if he were sound of health now he would have tried to hold her and she would have rigidly allowed him. He doubted he could do that now. He watched her and wondered why and how did she come to loathe him like this.

“If I was not here,” he muttered. “What would you be doing now?”

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 4:51 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“That’s a peculiar question.” she replied, the confusion going unhidden in her voice. She could feel his movement in bed and the shiver. With a frown, Autumn leaned over to at least pull up one of the sheets. He was simply going to have to live with it.

“Are you asking what would I do if you died, or what might I have done if we never married? Both seem like such fatal questions when you should be getting your rest.” It didn’t matter which he meant, Autumn was trying to think where she might be this moment, but drawing a blank. Her life had never really been her own to plan for.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 4:57 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant blinked.

“I only asked… as if I had not arrived yesterday,” he said irritably. Why did everything had to be so complicated with her? “I do suppose from your assertions that you do find our arrangements unsatisfa…” He stopped as she tried to pull a blanket on him. [I]Don’t do that![/I] I am not cold!”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 5:19 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“If that is the case, right this moment I would be asleep.” she said, ignoring his protest and still pulling the sheet. His stubbornness was always so impossible. Autumn scooted closer to him. If he would throw off the sheet, there would at least be the warmth from her body. Then she could pull the blankets once he had fallen asleep.[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 5:28 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

[i]”That is not…!”[/i] Lorant tried grabbing her hands to make her desist but his palms hurt as if he had tried to grab cacti, forcing him to let go of her hands almost at once. “I am [i][b]not cold[/b] so stop that…!”[/i] Lorant paused to catch his breath and noticed her scooting closer to him. He opened his eyes wide. “What are you… doing?”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 5:40 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

He was fussing much like an angry child would. Though she didn’t laugh, the contrast to his normal personality was so drastic, it was almost amusing. Why could he not be this way more often? Someone that would speak softly to her… even if he did insist he was infallible?

“I am getting comfortable.” If she said it was to keep him warm, she wouldn’t doubt that he might try to throw her out of bed just to spite her. Autumn wouldn’t assume that just because he was ill that he didn’t have the strength to do it. She scooted down so she could rest her on the pillow, and reaching to try and pull up the blanket once again.[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 5:54 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant was unnerved by the fact that she wasn’t paying any heed to him and was all too contrary to his wishes! He was shivering again, but that was more due to his own nervousness than how cold the room felt to him. At least, he thought with some fatalism, she didn’t know that.

“You are being exhausting,” he observed. [i]”I do not want the blanket![/i] It… it hurts,” he finally admitted. [i][b]”And you are not letting me sleep!”[/b][/i]

He bit his lips to a thin line. She was too close now for comfort. I would be different if he were the one moving close, but she…! She hates him! His chest ached. Maybe she wanted something… That had to be it. Lorant winced.

“What do you want? Why don’t you just say it?” He asked with a kind of fierce desperation. “You are never like this!”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 6:27 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“[i]I[/i] am exhausting!” she exclaimed, sitting back up again. Exhausted, yes, but she was not the one pitching a temper tantrum! Autumn was tired, and she knew he had to be on the brink of passing out himself.

“I [i]want[/i] for you to rest. To sleep and recover by any means necessary. And if that means I must be difficult and incite your rage while I cover you blankets and force you to drink hot broth, then I will do so.” It was true that it wasn’t like her. A day ago she wouldn’t have dared. A few [i]hours[/i] ago she wouldn’t have dared. But the man needed this and his only other alternative was Anastasia![/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 6:49 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant blinked. His stomach growling at the mention of food didn’t help. Normally he would have either snapped the neck of anyone harassing him so… but not her. Lorant felt helpless. She was near glaring at him now. He stopped fussing and watched her in frustration.

“Wouldn’t life be easier for you if I died? Not like I am dying anytime soon,” he added through his teeth. “I…”

Lorant fell silent for long seconds.

“I am… tired.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 8:00 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“I know you are tired.” she replied quietly, the stern look on her face softening. “If you die I will be alone with Anastasia with no one to scare her away.” Autumn cast a rare smile, one she was sure probably went unseen in the dark.

“At the very least you could pretend to rest until you really fall asleep. I won’t leave you be until you do.”[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 8:21 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

A shiver washed over him at the mention of his mother. Lorant nibbled on his lip. Autumm had never openly complained before. He had seen them bickering, but nothing excessive. He had also noticed they would never sit together or share a conversation beyond pleasantries, but he didn’t have reasons to suppose his mother had ever tried anything against Autumm… like she would against him. Lorant felt emotionally exhausted.

Again Lorant felt the rare want to tell her… Tell her what? Autumm would be horrified and perhaps – no, surely – she would blame him and call him a monster. The only one he had told… was his master; and his master today had wanted him to live. Why? He certainly would not expect concern from an archdemon. However… he could not say he understands Silvanus Niemeyer – he never could. Lorant swallowed. Autumm was waiting. She was waiting… and he couldn’t tell her anything. He had to play the man he decided to be, even for her. Perhaps, more especially for her – even if she would hate him. Would his mother dare to harm Autumm…? He had thought the dogs were to get him, but maybe…

“What about my mother?” He slowly asked.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 8:47 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn hesitated, a grimace falling across her face. She was grateful for the darkness. Anastasia was a difficult subject. The woman was his mother, and she was sure he wouldn’t hear a foul word against her. Yet, maybe if she told him, he might understand..? But who would he believe and the end of the day? The things Anastasia says about her, or his wife that he knows fears him?

“She.. I…” Autumn sighed. “She is hard to live with. May very well be the death of me, but that is nothing you need to be concerned with now. You should really be resting.” she tried to give a light tone to her voice, but it was hard to hide her expression.[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 9:21 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

She grimaced. Lorant felt his throat tight at the sight and his eyes dilated. When she said or at least implied living with his mother could be the death of her, despite she trying to make it sound like a mild joke Lorant worried like he had not quite worried before. He had been worried about the wrong one perhaps; he had tried to dissuade the archdemon from taking her soul which he admitted his master had never hinted at; he did not consider his mother would dare against Autumm and here she was, trying to be proper by not complaining openly… Lorant stared in disbelief. Maybe Autumm didn’t fully realize…

Then Lorant remembered the ‘letter’ Autumm supposedly delivered to a demon she managed to kill: a letter from Anastasia. His heart sank. What had he been thinking…? Maybe he had been too tired to realize…? And yet somehow, Silvanus Niemeyer had known. He had to know. He sent one of his own peers, unusually enough. That alone showed Niemeyer had not wanted to risk mistakes.

“The dogs were for you,” Lorant said. It was a flat statement. He gritted his teeth. [I]”You should have told me about this earlier!”[/I]

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 29, 2009 at 9:30 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“I..!” she clamped her mouth shut. Well, what was she supposed to say! That his mother hated her so much that she made it her oath to see her son’s wife dead and buried? He couldn’t leap from bed and face the woman like this, nor did she think it would do any good.

“What they were hunting is irrelevant.” she finally said. “What is important now if for you to please go to sleep. You have been awake for far too long and it could all be discussed later when you are feeling better!”[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 29, 2009 at 9:44 AM

[b]Re: BD Story: Lorant and Autumm[/b]

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

[i]”Irrelevant?”[/i]

Lorant was too furious to think clearly. He glared at her, his eyes near blazing on his pale face in the dark of the room.

[i]”How is that irrelevant?”[/i] He asked in exasperation. “You don’t know my mother! You can’t pretend to take her lightly! [i]That is plain stupid![/i] Just the mix of tampered wine and the saliva of those creatures she bred and calls dogs can do so much damage! If you had drank the wine you would be de…”

He abruptly stopped and swallowed. It was useless to tell her that; if she would become scared she could panic or jump out of a window, even. It had happened before. The only cousin he had jumped to her death when they were still kids.

“You can’t hide things from me,” he said, his voice again low and smooth like a blade despite his concern. “You may not like it, but you are my wife. I have every responsibility for your well-being.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 30, 2009 at 12:04 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“She is your mother.” She could not think of what else to say as she sat still, feeling very much rebuked by the heat of his glaring and the sharpness in his voice. Autumn most certainly did not take Anastasia lightly. Every moment of the day when he was away, she was constantly wary! Why couldn’t she just say it aloud?

“For the moment my well being isn’t the one in question. What must I do to get you to rest?” she asked softly. At this rate he was going to spend his last breaths in a fury.[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 30, 2009 at 1:14 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant’s eyes widened so his eyelids hurt. He felt as if she had delivered a jab to his stomach!

“She is my mother and so what? [I]Does that makes her a being above natural laws?[/I] Does that exempt her of all penalty for her actions? Does that give her the right to kill at will and make me suffer?” Lorant’s hand balled into a fist on a handful of blanket despite the pain.[I] “I have every right to defend myself! How could you not think so…?”[/I]

His voice broke and he fell silent. Silent, angry tears welled from his eyes. Lorant swallowed, shivering. He said no more.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 30, 2009 at 1:31 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn did not reply. He may of well had struck her! Had she been right all along to assume Anastasia had twisted her son so badly that he was practically inhuman? She felt a sharp pain of guilt. Wasn’t it her duty to ease her husband’s fears and protect him from harm? But he did not want her help, he could not even bare her fussing over him now!

Not being able to bare the silence any longer, she slowly reached her hand toward him. She hesitated, pausing when it near his face. But swallowing her fear she brushed the backs of her fingers against his cheek. “You are… not alone here anymore. I am here. And I… I will not ever leave you.” Maybe he would not remember it later, or even care to hear it now. But she felt it needed to be said.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 30, 2009 at 1:46 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant swallowed; her touch felt like sharp stings prickling his face but he had longed for that for so long the pain seemed incredibly sweet yet also bitter like bile. Lorant felt cornered in his cage. He [i]wanted[/i] to be loved by Autumm but he also had a fearful certainty that his mother was right; if Autumm were to know… to know… she would hate and despise him even more. What if just for an instant… just for an instant he could trust enough to reach out to his wife…? Another tear rolled down his cheek.

Lorant took in a deep breath… and then knew he just couldn’t do it.

“Don’t touch me,” he pleaded with a thin voice. “I will sleep. I promise.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 30, 2009 at 7:03 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Repressing a sigh, Autumn withdrew her hand. He had pushed her away again. Now when she might be able to… She moved slowly, laying down close enough to provide warmth, but with enough distance where they wouldn’t touch. That was what he wanted.

Pulling up the blankets over herself and leaving him to do as he would, she rest her head on the pillow and an arm over her eyes. “You will feel better with sleep. I’ll still be here when you wake.”[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 30, 2009 at 7:17 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant rubbed his nose with one hand and tried not to sob. At least, he thought, she hadn’t noticed – he told himself she hadn’t noticed anything. He did not reply.

Lorant gnawed on his self-consuming thoughts for a couple of minutes till the knot in his throat subsided and he could breathe normally again. Autumm hadn’t moved. Lorant guessed she had fallen asleep and perhaps he could do the same. He vacillatingly reached out to touch her hair; it was a luminous red to his ailing eyes. It was soft; he knew it was, but all he could feel now was sharp needles prickling his fingers. Lorant carefully settled down and tried to sleep. He kept on glancing at the door over Autumm’s shoulder; he couldn’t help but to fear his mother would try to sneak in… but she didn’t come and Lorant finally gave up to exhaustion.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 31, 2009 at 7:00 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

It was no surprise that Autumn herself fell asleep quickly and slept through most of the day. The previous evening had been exhausting not just of body but of mind too. When she woke she though at first it might have all just been a dream, but the protesting of her aching body proved to be very real. She lay still for several moments, relaxed with weary senses as she listening to the breathing of the man beside her. It was a confusing emotion, wishing she could stay in bed like this, remember that tentative touch of her hair when he thought she had fallen asleep and the words that were so unlike him.

With a soft sigh, she pushed herself up in to a sitting position. Wincing at the stiffness and the dull ache of her wounds. Autumn leaned over Lorant to check on him, having relief at finding him still alive and breathing. She brushed her hand softly over his forehead and then against his cheek to check his temperature.[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 31, 2009 at 7:38 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant winced, startled out of his deep yet uneasy sleep. His skin was still sensitive and touch hurt, but not as sharply as the night before. His forehead accused a mild fever. His startled eyes met his wife’s; in the heavy twilight of the room his hazel eyes had a slight golden phosphorescence, like cat eyes reflecting a glimpse of light. After a couple of seconds of tense stillness, he blinked. His dilated pupils shrank a little.

“…” Lorant opened his mouth to speak only to realize he didn’t know what to say. His brow furrowed and his gaze slid down, sadly.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 31, 2009 at 8:41 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you.” she said softly. He was a little warm, but it shouldn’t be cause for worry so long as she could get him to follow doctor’s orders. She shifted her weight to lean on a hand.

“If you’d like to wake I can send someone to bring a meal.” Hmm, but she may have to step out for a moment to speak with one of the servants. At least it would only take a second. Then she could return and take care of changing the sheets.[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Aug 31, 2009 at 8:56 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant winced slightly, nibbling on his lip. She spoke so softly and touched his forehead with kindness, even if the state of his health made her touch painful… Why couldn’t she be like this always? Lorant could not fully grasp why she was afraid of him. He acknowledged he forced himself on her sometimes, but wasn’t marriage a contract? They both had duties to fulfill. He really tried and money was never lacking. However… this. This was so strange. The sudden kindness made him both grateful and wary; in his life there had never been the case that injury doesn’t follow apparent caring. Her sudden kindness made him both want more and reject it curtly – it was cornering him against… Against what? He longed to be loved by her… but he didn’t know how. He didn’t know how to be loved as much as he did not know how to love.

“Do as you wish,” Lorant muttered. “I…” He swallowed. “I am not hungry.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Aug 31, 2009 at 8:22 PM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn retracted her hand. “Then I will be right back. It wouldn’t hurt to have something brought in for later.” She eased herself out of bed, her movements being slow and awkward. Taking a few moments to refresh herself and change in to a clean gown and robe, she moved next to the bedside table and dug in to a drawer until she found a key.

Autumn left to open the door, turning the lock on the inside of the bedroom and closing it behind her. It would keep anyone from sneaking in so long as Lorant did not open the door and she could let herself back in with the key. It was a little strange to think she couldn’t leave the man alone safely, but his mother was… Well, she didn’t trust Anastasia.

There didn’t seem to be a sign of the older woman, or anyone else for that matter as Autumn looked down the hallway. She had been hoping someone would pass by. Huffing under her breath, she tip toed quietly down the corridor to head for the stairs.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 12:17 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant opened his eyes again when he heard the click of the key turning in the door’s lock. His brow furrowed again in a mix of confussion and helplessness. Slowly he sat up and pushed aside the bed sheets; someone had covered his legs at some point… Maybe Addler did. That reminded him her was going to need a nurse… didn’t he? If Adler would send someone from Niemeyer’s organization it would at least be someone trained in the dark arts and that in the end might be useful. He had no doubt that his mother would eventually try something else, perhaps worse. Autumm didn’t have to be in the way of danger.

The pajama pants he was wearing were soft enough but still felt like shattered glass against his skin. Once he got his feet to the floor, the rug was not any better: It was going to be like walking on shards of glass. Lorant somberly encouraged himself thinking he had been through worse pain before and had not died of it. He limped his way to the window. Reaching out, he touched the curtains but what little light he allowed in to test his vision hurt too sharply and he was forced to desist. The heavy curtain fell back in place, once again leaving the room in thick, grey shadows. He felt trapped. The room was large but it suddenly seemed to small to be inside for much longer; Lorant’s eyes dilated.

[i]”I am not going outside,”[/i] he muttered through clenched teeth. “I am not going…!”

He clenched his fists the hardest he could; the blinding pain did the trick and snapped him free from the sickening tendrils of delusion Anastasia had sent upon him. Lorant fell on his knees with a shuddered groan and tried to catch his breath. [i]Am I going to be strong enough like this?[/i] He desperately wondered. Lorant tried to breathe.

[i]Your master wished you to live. Remember that when you see your mother again.[/i] The words of Asmodeus came back to his mind, slow and definitive. Lorant wondered… Did he mean Belial had grown tired of helping him? Was his Master displeased? Most likely, he was – Lorant for once considered his latest offering had offended the archdemon in some way he could not understand.

[i]”Your wife is as yours as can be,” the Archdemon said. “May she share your life and may her fate be that your life will give her. If you so need her, may your path and hers meet forever.”[/i]

That did sound like a curse, if anything – not the words, but the way Belial spoke them. Lorant wiped the tears that came to his eyes from the pain when he clenched his fists. He felt strangely guilty and depressed. What did his Master expect? He could not kill his mother… There was always something in the way and he just could not do it.

[i]She is your mother,[/i] Autumm had said. Lorant growled under his breath. He told Autumm himself being his mother didn’t give Anastasia the right to hurt him… to torture him. Was he insane? Belial was correct. This was not going to end unless he took definitive action. Could he, though?

Lorant struggled to get back on his feet and stumbled into the restroom. He wanted to wash his face, wash all the blood off him and just wake up from this nightmare; even if Autumm would refuse to look him in the eye again. His heart sank at the idea… but wasn’t it going to happen anyway…?

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 5:13 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn met no one in the hall on her way to the stairs. When she paused at the top, still there was not sight of a single household staff member. She cast a slight frown before descending. It wasn’t until she reached the kitchen itself that she finally found anyone. A group of the staff sitting at the table speaking in low whispers. They hushed suddenly when they spotted Autumn.

One of the maids cleared her throat. “Can we do something for you, miss?” Working in the Riktophen household was a harrowing experience. But at least, the lady Master Riktophen had married didn’t cause anyone to jump in fear when she entered the room. Were it the Baron or his mother, they might have scurried away, leaving the last one standing to handle requests!

“A tray of food, if you would, please. Hot broth, bread and butter. Perhaps some milk with honey. Hmm.” she paused, nibbling on her bottom lip for a moment. “If you would keep a close eye on it and not leave it alone even a moment before you bring it upstairs. I would very much appreciate it.”

The maid nodded casting a quick look at the others. They wouldn’t dare ask [i]why[/i] the Mistress would make such a request. Gossip knew why! “Of course, Miss. Right away.”

Casting a small grateful smile, Autumn left them to their work to head back upstairs. After the first few steps she was huffing with aching frustration! Determined to not take so long, she forced her feet to move.

Approaching their rooms, she was not surprised to see Anastasia at the door, something in her hands as she was trying to twist the knob. Autumn crossed the corridor quickly, clamping her hand over the older woman’s wrist and forcing her away from the door.

“Not today, Anastasia. Leave him be.” she said firmly.

Anastasia responded with a hiss grabbing on to Autumn’s arm and digging her nails in to her skin. “How [i]dare[/i] you try to keep a mother from her son! Brazen harlot! You have bewitched and poisoned him!”

Autumn released Anastasia quickly, but now the woman was clinging on to her arm and refusing to be shaken off. This was not where she wanted to do battle! “He is trying to rest. Stasia, please. Just go!”

Having been ignored by Lorant the previous evening and now having his pet whore trying to turn her away, Anastasia was having none of it. She twisted Autumn’s wrist, digging her nails in deep while she attempting to snatch away the bedroom key. “I WILL SEE MY SON. LORANT! YOU LET YOUR MOTHER IN THIS MOMENT!”
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 5:37 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant was dizzied by the pain it caused him to simply wash and dry himself the best he could and hadn’t yet finished coming to terms with his bandages when he heard scratching at the door. His hackles rose as the scratching intensified, followed by a sort of growl and the door knob being shaken. Lorant’s eyes widened and fear clouded his mind for an instant; then he heard Autumm’s voice and Anastasia hiss back.

“I WILL SEE MY SON. LORANT! YOU LET YOUR MOTHER IN THIS MOMENT!”

Lorant desperately wondered what to do. He grabbed the long hat pin he used to keep used bandages rolled properly and prickled his finger with it, then rolled the hat pin’s tip in the drop of blood that came out. Being her son, his own blood worked well enough; his Master had taught him. Lorant knew he was by no means ready to open that door but he needed to drive his mother away from Autumm without making things… too apparent. Lorant chanted a spell in hushed whispers, marking the tips of a pentagram on his palm, then sunk the hat pin right through it – as he did, the same pain dug through his mother’s hand. He pulled it out.

“I am not going!” He hissed.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 5:50 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Anastasia let out a loud howl as she suddenly released her son’s wife! Looking towards her hand and then up at Autumn, she gave a raged scowl! “How dare you! How [i]dare[/i] you!” She might have spat out more, but she was turning on a heel and marching away. Muttered curses under her breath.

Autumn ran her hand over the scratches on her arm, casting a confused expression at Anastasia’s retreating frame. She waited until several moments had passed and the woman was well out of sight before she pulled out the key to let herself in the bedroom. Her hands were shaking and she had to take a deep breath before she turned the knob to step inside.

Closing the door gently behind her, she locked it again. Who was to say that Anastasia would not come back? She only hope the staff would do as instructed and kept an eye on dinner. The old woman was getting so much worse.

She turned her head, peering over her shoulder in to the dark, allowing her eyes to readjust to the dim twilight. “Lorant..? she asked softly, not wanting to raise her voice in case he had managed to fall back to sleep. [/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 6:05 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

A sort of growl replied, low and more vibration than voice. Lorant felt nausea; the pain was intense and he was yet to admit he was hungry. Lorant pressed the wound from the hatpin between thumb and fingers but the pressure only made it worse. He was sitting at the bench at the foot of the bed, in loose pants and barefoot; he was only halfway done with the bandages but the episode with his mother left him unnerved and annoyed at his current weakness.

Lorant blinked. He could see in the dark better than average humans – another gift from his Master – but his sensitive eyes made him see strange colors and some blotched spots. He saw Autumm’s hair, luminous like a simmering flame. He wondered if she… if she had changed again; if she was her normal self again. He feared it.

“I… am awake,” he finally muttered. “I… am here.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 6:47 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

It took her a moment to adjust, but she could see his form near the edge of the bed. He really shouldn’t be up and moving around, but it did give her the opportunity to change out the blankets and sheets.

“I’ve asked someone to bring something to eat.” Rubbing her arm, she crossed the room to the linens wardrobe, pulling out a fresh set of sheets. She set them aside on one of the chairs before she moved to the bed to start stripping off the old ones. “I admit… I look forward to just spending the night indoors. The fire is nice.” She was trying to make conversation. Avoiding bringing up Anastasia or making things awkward. …It was still a bit awkward, but she wanted to try.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 6:59 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant resumed the slow and trying task to put on fresh bandages and secure them properly. He could ignore the pain only long enough. Autumm was changing the bed sheets and talking. Lorant heard her without really listening – he only so rarely had heard her talk for long. She would usually be circumspect and polite. Lorant wondered what she was talking about after all.

“I like your voice,” he muttered. “But I don’t know what you are saying. Say it again.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 7:39 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn paused at the sudden comment, blinking at his back with a curious confusion. She couldn’t remember him ever making a comment like that. There had been compliments before, but always polite pleasantries that were to be expected. Nothing that sounded so casually sincere.

Slowly, she returned to her task. “I said, I’ve asked someone to send something up to eat.” she repeated, taking the old linens and blankets away from the bed to set aside. Autumn pulled up the fresh sheets and shook them out. “And that I am glad to stay in bed for the night. The fire is pleasant and it will be nice to just stay in and rest.”

She had caught herself nibbling on her lip again, watching as he slowly rebound his wounds. Maybe it was a strange a superstitious thought to think that as soon as they left the room this new fragile complacency would vanish as quickly as it came.

Autumn spread the fresh sheet over the bed and arranged newly fluff pillows at the head where they belonged. Next came the blankets, with the covers turned down so they could immediately return to bed. With the bed made, she rounded it’s corner to kneel in front of him. She took the bandage gently from his hands to finish wrapping and adeptly made sure it was fastened securely.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 7:53 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant blinked in surprise when she knelt down and took over the bandages. His fingers went rigid to resist but only an instant and she continued the task for him. Lorant felt awkward as she slid her arms quite close to his body to wind the bandages around him properly. The sudden, intimate proximity in their dark bedroom made him feel awfully vulnerable because it was her who came close on her own volition. Lorant nibbled on his lip, torn between just accepting her attentions or try to move away to emotional safety.

“Are you saying you will be glad to stay in bed for the night? I am going to be in it,” he pointed out with weary irony. “At least, I think I will be.”

Lorant slid a hand tentatively down his forearm. His skin still hurt. Lorant pressed his thumb on his palm and realized it was not bleeding. He wouldn’t need to patch it up.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 8:08 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn grinned sheepishly, a soft laugh managing to escape before she remembered herself and was chewing her bottom lip again. How strange! It was a dark sense of humor, and normally perhaps she wouldn’t of thought it at all amusing. But it [i]was[/i] a joke. Had one moment really made so much difference to her point of view..?

“The bed is made and ready for you.” she replied after making sure the bandage was secure. He was fussing with his hand enough so that she noticed. Autumn took it gently to pull closer in her line of vision and frowned as she run her fingertips over the small puncture there. No blood, but it was fresh.

“When did you get this?”[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 8:26 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant froze for an instant.

“Just now…” He muttered. “The hatpin… and here it’s dark; I didn’t see it on time.”

Lorant pulled his hand gently and then noticed marks of nails dug in her skin. He frowned.

“My mother did this to you…?”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 8:36 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Hatpin? He asked about her arm, and by reflex she covered the scratches with her hand. Her expression was guilty, but what did she have to be guilty for?

“She… gets upset sometimes.” It was an awkward feeling, wanting to tell him how abusive Anastasia could be, but being afraid to say something ill of a man’s mother. Yet he knew she [i]was[/i] doing things. Why couldn’t she talk about it? [/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 8:58 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant swallowed. He examined Autumm’s arm. He could see the marks and he wondered… He didn’t see any marks of scars when he bandaged Autumm the day before. Lorant nibbled on his lip in disgust at the thought that his mother could get much worse. He didn’t owe all his scars to sports, training and fighting for his life outside. Lorant closed his fingers possesively on her hand, but the pain didn’t allow him to hold it for long.

“How, [i]upset?[/i] Has she…?” Well, he did know by now the dogs were for Autumm – at least. It was possible that his mother tried to kill him, that was completely plausible… but she tried to kill Autumm too, she sent her to be killed to a demon household. Lorant frowned. “Autumm, why do you hide these things from me! Do you think I cannot do anything in my own house? This… this does not have to happen to you! Why don’t you just tell me!”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 9:19 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn leaned back, resting on her feet as she remained kneeling on the floor. She stared at his hands as she fidgeted with her own fingers. A look of wrestling thoughts plainly across her face. She couldn’t tell that she had been [i]afraid[/i] to speak to him. To her, he had been more frightening than Anastasia. Despite what Anastasia would do, it was easier to do battle with her than with her own husband. But right this moment…

“I’ve not tried to hide things from you, just… Just to spare you from the burden. There are other things you must worry about, I can deal with Anastasia when she – When she gets upset.” [/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 9:36 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Saying that Lorant was taken aback by her words would be an understatement. He leaned back on the stool and stared.

“Are you saying,” he said with an undertone of profound mystification, “that you think I can’t deal with my mother? I pay the staff! She doesn’t have money of her own. I can replace the staff if need be. If you… if you [i]talked[/i] to me I could…” Lorant stopped. What could he do anyway? He kept on herding Anastasia and Autumm from house to house and back to the barony’s castle round the year just to keep his mother from making too many long term plans. Autumm never said anything, how was he supposed to know she was in danger? “If you had wanted to stay in a single place…”

He stopped again and snorted in frustration.

“You don’t know my mother,” he muttered with some resentfulness, “if you think you can appease her easily.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 10:46 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“I don’t think she could ever be appeased.” she said with a grim sort of smile. The only times she had ever seen Anastasia happy was when she had done something wicked or had planned to do so in the very near future.

That faint smile disappeared, replaced by a more serious expression. “I am talking to you now. Will… will it make a difference, what I want? What I say?” Autumn asked softly. It never seemed as if it [i]did[/i] matter. There were so many things that went unsaid between them. This was something she needed to know.[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 11:18 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant swallowed. A part of him was protesting already, wary that her first wish would be to stay away from him and see him as little as possible.

“As much as possible,” he said, somberly. “I have given you my name; you don’t lack money or prestige, nor does your family. I have allowed you to continue your hobby of taking photographs. I have no idea what else could you possibly want. You…”

Lorant’s heart sank.

[i]So you offer a bargain? You might be fooling yourself, Lorant. You cannot pay ransom for something that is not yours, nor hasn’t been taken from you,[/i] his Master had said.

“You have to live with me,” he said, flatly. “I cannot grant you the contrary.”

His chest hurt and breathing became difficult. Lorant silently tried to control his breathing to prevent a knot from forming in his throat.

“So…” He said after a moment of silence, his voice a little strained, “what do you want?”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 10:23 PM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Was he… afraid that she would leave him? There was a brief astonished expression from her as she examined his face in the darkness of the room. Autumn hadn’t thought he’d be afraid of anything. And certainly not of that.

“I was not going to ask to leave.” she replied first. She had the unexpected urge to reach out and touch his hand, but he would likely shrink away from the gesture.

After a moment of silence, she continued. “There is love? Safety? I would like to… feel [i]safe[/i].” She was sure he would be offended at the notion. For her to suggest it wasn’t safe in his home. But he had [i]asked[/i].
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 10:50 PM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant felt nausea. [i]Love?[/i] He instictively knows he loves Autumm, but in every instance his mother hurt him she would immediately argue she loved him like no one else, and no one else would ever love him. Despite the pain and horror in his life, Lorant still longed for kindness, for gentle words and yes, safety; he longed to feel wanted and this he wanted from Autumm and no one else.

“I… don’t know,” Lorant said, his voice strained. He leaned further back, his voice down to a whisper. “She says she loves me and there is nothing good in it…”

His voice died down. Lorant swallowed to overcome the knot in his throat.

“My mother says you could never love me,” he said with a thin voice. “I know you are afraid of me. I can smell it on you, whenever we are alone. I… can only keep you as safe as I can keep myself safe, but… how can I guess every danger if you are afraid to tell me about it?” Lorant leaned forward, but still remained at a prudent distance. “Love is only hurt and pain. I want you to be happy or at least, content. I… have the potential to destroy every life I touch. I realized this by myself. Perhaps in a way, that could keep you safe.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 1, 2009 at 11:10 PM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

The honesty was refreshing. This was probably the most she had ever spoken to Lorant… ever! To know his thoughts and how he felt made him so much more human. It allowed her a hope that maybe she [i]could[/i] connect to him. Things did not have to be so dreary. If he could not make the first steps, perhaps she could and their future might be different.

“Love can be so much more than hurt or pain.” Autumn responded, inching closer so she could reach out and clasp his hands gently. “Anastasia does not know me, or what I am capable of. I am afraid – I cannot pretend otherwise. But I am [i]your[/i] wife. Take care of me and I will be happy. Maybe in time we can have more.”
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 1, 2009 at 11:38 PM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1772[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant jerked back instinctively; his eyes opened wide and that bronze glimmer returned them. She still had his hands in hers and he wasn’t sure which hurt the most: the physical pain or the anguish twisting his guts. His eyes filled; he was being cornered again.

“I have been taking care of you!” He managed to say. “At least… as much as I knew…” He pulled to get his hands free. [i]”Let go! This is painful…”[/i]

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 2, 2009 at 12:05 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1768[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn retracted her hands quickly. She had been denied again, her attempt to reach out to him rejected. Perhaps not so much reject as pushed away. It was difficult not to feel disappointed or have her feelings hurt.

She was about to reply when there was a knock at the door. Autumn rose to her feet, crossing the room with stiff motions to answer. Her first worry was of Anastasia, but it was a relief to find it one of the maids bringing up the tray of food.

“Thank you. I’ll take it.” she retrieved the tray, closing and locking the door once again and brought it to the bedside table. Where he could not see, she gave everything a quick taste. Nothing seemed to be bitter or tainted.

“Come to bed. I am sure you are starving.”
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 2, 2009 at 12:25 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant was shivering. His guts were still sharply wrung and she had moved away… again. Painfully he acknowledged he had been unable to stand the emotional strain her sympathy brought upon him.

Sympathy. Pity. That would be as bad as her fear, perhaps. Lorant bent over and held his head. There was no end in sight. Why did he have to come back! He didn’t have to see them… But again, his mother always managed to pull him at least near her, and Autumm… If he had not come back yesterday, Autumm would be dead. Lorant bit his lip till it bled. He resolved to tough it out. Perhaps Autumm had desisted. The thought however gave him a sharper pain. Lorant tried to breathe. His head was spinning and he was forced to remember he had almost two days without food.

“…” Slowly, Lorant climbed on the bed, near flinching at the touch of fabrics as he tried to settle on the bed. Unwilling, silent tears rolled down to his chin and he sucked in air to his nose to clear it. Finally, he sat down and waited without a word.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 2, 2009 at 7:03 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

This new feeling of wanting to reach out to him was frustrating. Compounded by his unwillingness to have her touch him. Autumn could understand that he might be in physical pain, but she didn’t think that was what had him pushing her away. It was angering, but most of all it mad her sad.

Autumn took most of the things off the tray to set on the bedside table, so she could lift it up again and rest it on the bed over his lap. Everything was as the doctor instructed, and she was not feeling any illness of yet so it would be safe for him to eat. With the tray settled, she took one of the bowls for herself and sat on the edge of the bed nearby.

For now, she remained silent. He had very effectively put an end to their conversation, and she just couldn’t think of a way to bring it back without pestering him.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 2, 2009 at 7:26 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant squirmed a little under the tray. It was tall enough not to press against his body but this felt awkward; he wasn’t used to eat in bed. It didn’t seem right. Lorant watched her with his inhuman vision for a long instant; Autumm was sitting on the edge of the bed, eating. Lorant wondered why things had gone awry; it wasn’t supposed to be like this. She had refuge, clothes, food, an occupation… and yet, it wasn’t enough to earn her affections. He had watched his associates and their wives and he could not tell where the difference was… except very obviously, his mother. Most wives he had seen were absorbed into their own life, shopping and socializing. It was very much like a business partnership where remuneration was not monetary. He wondered. Wincing in the dark shadows around him, he managed to use the cutlery properly to feed himself. Lorant realized he was starved; he had been too worried to notice. In less than two minutes of very fast clicking of dishware and cutlery, his food was gone.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 2, 2009 at 7:49 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

The food did well to still that odd churn of her stomach, but Autumn still felt unsettled. Lorant had his meal quicker than she expected and she was tempted to send for more food, but it he ate too much he’d likely make himself ill again.

When she was sure he was finished, she moved to set the tray back on the bedside table. She poured him a cup of the warm milk with honey and offered it to him.

“Drink this. It should be soothing.”
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 2, 2009 at 8:00 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant accepted the cup of milk. It felt too warm for his currently hypersensitive hands to hold but he told himself it wasn’t going to cause real injury. Despite, he carefully held it by the handle. He sipped. Milk – he really didn’t like milk; it was one of those strange dislikes he simply had. Lorant pursed his lip in resignation and drank it anyway. He gave back the cup.

“I don’t like milk,” he informed. He didn’t want to, but he spoke before realizing it. His voice was coarse as the knot in his throat was not completely gone.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 2, 2009 at 8:32 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“You will have to suffer with it for a few days.” she responded, taking the cup and setting it aside. Autumn took a mug for herself, it being filled with hot tea, a little cream and some honey. With her cup she rounded the bed to her own side, climbing up carefully and tucking her legs underneath the blanket.

“You may have to suffer with me a few days as well. Rest might be a good idea.” Autumn commented, taking a sip of the tea and making a face when it was too hot for comfort. She tried blowing over the surface to cool it. Occasionally chancing a side glance at her husband from the corner of her eye. Would he feel smothered by her…?
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 2, 2009 at 8:44 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant casted her a look of wary mystification with some indignation into the mix.

“I don’t like milk,” he insisted. “Surely there is something else to substitute it…” She was getting right into bed and pulling the covers on her legs. Her words reminded him of something.

“Don’t forget to let Addler know I need a nurse when his bill arrives,” Lorant muttered, uncomfortably. “You… won’t have to look after me.”

He tried to lean against his pillows but the bandages pulling in different directions were too painful to ignore. Lorant snorted in frustration with a jolt of pain, then pushed his pillows higher and tried again.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 3, 2009 at 7:21 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“There is nothing else. A few days of it will not harm you.” she replied. Of the things for them to bicker about, milk was a trivial thing. What would it be like if that was the worst of their troubles?

“Sending for a nurse isn’t necessary. I will care for you myself.” She didn’t want to say it was because she didn’t trust anyone else to do it. And perhaps if she were to remain close by they might know each other better. If they could sit and talk like this every night, she might not be so afraid and he might trust her a little more.[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 3, 2009 at 7:42 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant blinked slowly. This was new. Concerning meals he was used to have what he wanted; only when he was old enough to realize he needed to be strong of body if he was to survive he began caring about balanced meals, but there were some things he never accepted and milk was one of them. Nobody had ever talked to him like this!

“Why should I?” He asked. “What is it to you? That is strange!” Lorant frowned when she went on to disagree about the nurse. “Why are you being stubborn? I need a trained professional! You don’t understand…!”

Evidently, he thought with a deeper frown. Lorant didn’t want to tell her too much about what kind of trained professional he needed!

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 4, 2009 at 7:37 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn bit her bottom lip. She couldn’t believe she wanted to laugh! Why should a man make such a big deal about a glass of milk? With a deep breath and a partial smile, she tilted her head to blink at him.

“It is better for you. The Doctor left me a list of instructions. If he felt that you needed an additional nurse, I am sure he would have made sure to suggest it. Otherwise, I am perfectly capable of taking care of what ever you need. That includes attempting to be more stubborn than you are.” It was a bold statement! A test to see what she could get away with saying. To see if she would even be able to hold her own in an argument with him. There were bound to be so many of those.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 4, 2009 at 8:01 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant frowned but saw she had something close to a smile on her face; this both surprised and disturbed him. What was the smile about?

“Why do I get the impression that you are amused?” He asked, irritably. “This is serious. I am not asking for your authorization and I have never said you may take decisions for me!”

Lorant glared at her but he now had a different worry, because Autumm had a point. If the top of the chain considered Lorant needed protection, Addler would have suggested it. Instead, he gave instructions to his wife. Would that mean he shouldn’t ask for help? Would he be denied assistance? Lorant had no way to know and he still considered he might have offended his Master with his latest offering. The thought unsettled and frustrated him.

“Don’t play condescending on me! I am not a half-wit that cannot think by himself!”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 4, 2009 at 8:10 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“I have never suggested that you were.” she replied with more calmness than she actually felt. It was a bit like poking a sleeping cat. You knew it would hurt if it lashed out, but they weren’t exactly looking threatening when balled up asleep.

Thinking of him as a sleeping cat really didn’t fit him at all. Perhaps one of those panthers from the jungle.

“As your wife, when you are sick and being unreasonable I may [i]have[/i] to make some choices for you. Can you at least trust me to not do anything that would harm you? You’ll be well and fine within a few days then you might punish me as you see fit.”
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 4, 2009 at 8:25 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant’s frown went deeper. Perhaps the marriage contract had more smaller print than he had actually read.

“Aren’t you supposed to keep obedience to your husband?” He mordaciously asked. “I still don’t see why you should impose your drink choices on me. As for Addler, what kind of instructions did he leave to you? Did he say he would come back?

Lorant drew in a deep breath, tense.

“Don’t ask me for punishments. I have never really punished you and I don’t want to start now.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 4, 2009 at 8:39 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

His last comment made her smile again, this time wider but gentle. “You might change your mind later. I will do whatever you ask of me, but not if it will compromise your health. You need things that will keep your stomach at ease – that is what the Doctor said – and plenty of rest.”

Certainly getting angry like this wasn’t doing him any good. But, it may have still been a blessing. He was feeling well enough to argue and was doing better. “He said I could send for him if we needed him, otherwise there’s no reason for him to return.”
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 4, 2009 at 8:57 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant’s shoulders relaxed slightly. So, the door was not closed or so to speak. If he would need help he could still ask for it. Still, Autumm was smiling again and this disturbed him for some reason he could not quite understand. It was both pleasant and threatening in a sort of unnerving way.

“Milk won’t keep my stomach at ease!” He said with a frown. “I never drink it!”

Lorant felt anxious. He was getting kind of sleepy and if she was taking things lightly, terrible things could happen if he fell asleep. His mother could get into the room. Another fire could start. Anything, really! He shook his head a little as his eyelids felt heavy.

“Did he leave any prescription for me? I want to see it.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 4, 2009 at 9:02 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“There really isn’t any specific medications…” she replied, moving to set her cup down on the beside table and picking up the paper that had the instructions. She offered it to him. “Just rest and proper diet. I’m really not sure what he applied while he was here. I had to step out of the room.” That in itself was curious, but she could also understand that perhaps the scene would have worried her.

“Milk will do you just fine and once you’re well you won’t have to drink it again.” Autumn insisted. She would insist again until he did drink up until he could leave this room without fear.

“You are tired. We should try to nap.”[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 4, 2009 at 9:14 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant moved the paper so that he could read the notes; his eyes were affected but even in the grey shadows of the room he could read without major problem. He found a recipe for a mild painkiller at the bottom of the notes.

“Well, there [i]is[/i] a painkiller here. I will prepare it myself.” Indeed, he refused to risk getting poisoned; he’d rather prepare his medication himself! Lorant eyed Autumm over the note. She was being too assertive for comfort, considering just the day before she would throw herself into a shivers of fear like a frightened rabbit every time he would talk to her!

“What makes you think you know and why should I do as you say?” He asked, slowly. “You never dared to speak like this before.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 4, 2009 at 9:33 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

If he wished to make his own painkiller, she wouldn’t deny him that. He knew his pain better than she. But at his question she looked uncomfortable. No, she hadn’t been assertive before. Of course she wouldn’t have dared.

“You weren’t ill or being unreasonable before. I wouldn’t want to see my husband die, so it’s important that I take care of you.” it was the honest truth. He scared her, but she didn’t want to see him dead.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 4, 2009 at 9:49 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

“I am quite capable of logical thought,” Lorant observed, incisively. He stared at the paper in his hands for an instant.

“What do you care if I die?” He asked after an awkward silence. “My mother and you are my only heirs. You would not lack anything for the rest of your life. Do you worry being a widow would limit your social access? Six months of mourning is the acceptable minimum.” Lorant nibbled on his lip. “You say you wouldn’t want to see your husband die. What does that mean? I know you are afraid of me.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 4, 2009 at 9:58 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“I do not care for social status, nor do I want your money.” she said with an air of offense. Granted, it was exactly what her parents wanted, but Autumn had far more romantic dreams. They were impossible to be true, but they didn’t involve marrying some poor man for his wealth and title.

Is that what he thought of her? A social climber? A quiet huff escaped her as she scooted down in the bed to lie down. She turned her back to him and made herself as comfortable as she could. She was angry, but they had made so much progress in one night. She didn’t want to fight.

“If you didn’t expect to get a wife that cared for you, what did you marry me for? Why did you choose to marry at all?”[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 4, 2009 at 10:22 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant narrowed his eyes. Maybe she didn’t want money and status but her father sure did. It had been a smooth business transaction – Lorant didn’t even have to talk to her. Courtship had been a few stiff sessions with an army of chaperone and… the wedding. Now, here they are. Lorant had observed she spent far less than Anastasia, despite he didn’t check all their purchase bills… or else, he would have noticed the gun earlier.

The dog. So far, it seemed she was telling the truth. She didn’t seem to want him dead – yet. Anastasia could look very sweet to outsiders when she wanted to, specially men. Lorant had seen those awkward social transformations throught his childhood.

Was she angry now? Lorant blinked as she turned her back to him and laid down… and asked. Lorant shifted uncomfortably.

“I wasn’t thinking,” he simply said. “I wasn’t thinking at all. I really do not know why I married you. It was perhaps the way you look at photographs in those galleries you so liked. I am aware I could not purchase that… but I refused to think. Some decisions you can only rationalize after you make them, not before. Sometimes, not even then.”

The pain in his chest returned, wringing sharply.

“You don’t need to concern yourself about me, really. I just wish you were happy, or at least content. Perhaps then I could watch you and feel that sort of peace again… yet of course I know it does not really depend on you. I know you are afraid of me. I… cannot help that.”

Lorant slipped Addler’s note under his pillow so he wouldn’t lose it and dozed again. He was falling asleep, despite all his efforts. Lorant closed his eyes.

“I am sorry.”

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 4, 2009 at 10:34 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

How could he make her feel so terrible with just a few words? She never knew the details of their marriage. Her father told her she was betrothed and there was little argument she could have with it. She had automatically assumed her father had been the one to contact and arrange everything. He was very proud about it.

Did this mean that Lorant saw her and simply wanted to marry [i]her[/i]? Was that love, or at least something akin to it? He wanted to see her happy and yet he couldn’t realize that it was the love that she wanted?

“We could be happy…” she replied softly. Autumn turned to peek over her shoulder, but it seemed he was finally dozing off to sleep now. With a sigh, she rolled to her back to blink at the ceiling. They could, couldn’t they? If they wanted to?[/do][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 16, 2009 at 9:11 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

[i]A new day…[/i]

Resting came easy when your mind was just as worn as your body. After such serious conversations with Lorant, her mind had been reeling even in her dreams. How could your perception of someone change so drastically over night? It left her feeling off-kilter. As if the world had evolved without her looking.

This morning had been quiet, even to her own surprise. As Autumn sat near the draped windows with book pages lit only with a small candle, she worried at Anastasia’s sudden absence. The older woman hadn’t tried to see her son again, nor had she pitched any tantrums to the staff. An entire day went by without incident. Anastasia was quiet as a doormouse. Autumn couldn’t help but wonder if it was only peace before a storm.

She turned another page of her book, despite not reading the words. Her mind was on other things. Would Lorant be well enough to leave bed today? Could she extend this new complacency outside of the bedroom walls? She could take her camera and show him how she took pictures. It could be a step to a new life. Autumn smiled at the thought.
[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 16, 2009 at 12:41 PM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant opened his eyes for what had to be the third time he had willed himself to continue sleeping. He was hungry and his body hurt from oversleeping, but he feared waking up and finding out yesterday was a dream and his usually bleak reality would be right there to jump at his throat, should he finally wake up. Lorant was hungry. He rubbed his eyes and saw a dim light, perhaps a candle somewhere beyond the bed. He still could not look at it directly; his eyes hurt. Lorant closed his eyes and tried to sleep again, despite his grumbling stomach…

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 18, 2009 at 3:26 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Vaguely, she was aware of the movement from the bed, but at soft knock sounded at the door to pull her attention away. She placed a marker in her book, setting it aside as she rose from her chair. Autumn crossed the room and opened the door just a crack to peek out, subtle relief that it was only one of the maids bringing a tray of breakfast and not her atrocious mother-in-law.

Autumn opened the door wider and stepped aside, casting a grateful smile at the woman. The maid entered quickly, bustling over to a small table near the fireplace to set the tray down. She arranged dishes carefully, seeming to try and keep her own attentions from curiously spying around the master’s chambers. With the table set, she grabbed the basket of dirty linens and curtsied to the Miss before scurrying out the door just as quickly as she came.

Once the maid exited, Autumn locked the door behind her. Moving to the bed, she sat down gently on the edge, nibbling on her bottom lip. She didn’t want to wake Lorant, but he did need to eat and regain his strength.

“Lorant… There is breakfast.” she said softly, moving a hand to brush over his forehead to be sure he wasn’t relapsing in to another fever.

[/do][/bg]

====

Azul Morag – Sep 18, 2009 at 5:42 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant winced at her touch, the pain more emotional than physical now. His skin hurt less than yesterday and yet touch was still painful it was nowhere near to the sharp stings of the day before. Lorant was barely able to look at her. In the thick shadows, her hair was still a red flame but dimmer, gentler.

“I…”

Lorant paused. He felt tired; his muscles ached and his body felt heavy, his head saddled with pessimistic thoughts. If he could just go back to sleep… Lorant was aware he overslept himself and was feeling sicker because of it, but still… How tiresome life felt in that instant! If he would comply and wake up, he would have to be alive, to answer questions and be unable to answer other questions his throat burned to share and yet he knew sharing unspeakable horrors with his wife was most unwise. She would blame him. She would hate him. Who would not?

His master knew, but it wasn’t the same; Niemeyer was not even a human being.

“I am… tired,” Lorant muttered.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 18, 2009 at 5:58 AM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

He winced, which had her nibbling her lip again. But at least he didn’t feel warm.

“I know.” she replied. “But you need to eat and perhaps step out of bed for awhile. I won’t have you drink any milk?” It was a silly thing, but might lure him from bed. She was already moving to pull back the blankets. If necessary she would have to harass him out of the bed and to the table. It might turn to another shouting match, but it would get his blood moving and clear his head.
[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Sep 18, 2009 at 10:32 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant eyed her curiously.

“Is that true?” He asked, sounding very skeptic. “I still don’t understand why you are stubborn about it…” Lorant bit his lip. Yes, getting out of bed would be better than just lay in bed waiting for someone to move him into a coffin. Slowly, he sat up. Pushing his weight on the bed with his hands made his skin sting and his bones ache. Lorant slowly pulled his legs out of the bed and paused to get some air. He felt dizzy, his blood shifting as he tried to recover his balance enough to stand up.

“Life is exhausting,” he muttered.

[/so][/bg]

====

Divinatas – Sep 28, 2009 at 2:27 PM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

“If it was not a struggle, there wouldn’t be much point to living.” she replied. Autumn wanted to help him to the table, but she was sure his pride would not allow it. At least now he was well enough to stand and walk on his own two feet.

Autumn had a seat at the small table, picking up the pot of hot tea to pour in the porcelain cups that sat neatly on their saucers. The table was an intimate contrasts compared to the one in the dining room. It was small with the seats close, instead of a wooden expanse keeping it’s diners on two ends of the room. They had so many meals not even speaking that way.[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Sep 29, 2009 at 2:00 AM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

It was painful to sit down on a chair – much less cushioned than a mattress – but Lorant kept that tidbit to himself. He moved uncomfortably and moved his hair out of his eyes. He eyed Autumm as she poured the tea and waited. He wondered if she resented doing things for him. He had observed at the house of one of his business partners how his wife resented others serving her husband so that she made sure she was the only one to serve him. The servants were always watchful not to contrary her. Lorant wondered if Autumm would ever be like that. Would he like it if she did? He was not sure. He was more accostumed to people to fear him. The downside was of course, stains.

Lorant looked at her hair. It was amazing how it seemed to blaze in the relative darkness of the room. It was his eyes, he knew it; as his eyes got better, the red of her hair dimmed. It was much brighter the night before…

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Oct 7, 2009 at 6:38 PM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

With tea poured for the both of them, she added cream and sugar to her own. Autumn kept her eyes on what she was doing, only briefly daring to steal the occasional glance at him. As she picked up a piece of toast to add a pat of butter, she chanced asking her request.

“If you are feeling well enough today, we could take a walk around the house. I wouldn’t want to change going outside, but getting to your feet and having your blood flow would be good for you. Perhaps I can show you some of my latest photographs in the gallery?”[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Oct 8, 2009 at 12:49 PM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant was watching her like a hawk with such intensity he had not yet taken a bite of breakfast. He didn’t add anything to his tea except a dash of salt, then drank it. Lorant rolled a halved egg into a slice of roast ham with some salt and pepper, then stabbed the roll with his fork and ate it. He didn’t eat his toast. Lorant added some olive oil and black pepper to a slice of roasted ham, put a piece of cheese in the middle of it and rolled them together to eat.

“It’s too soon for me to leave the room,” Lorant flatly said. He made another roll of cheese and ham and paused for a rather long instant.

“If you want to show me photographs, you may order the servants to bring them to this room.”

[/so][/bg]

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Divinatas – Nov 4, 2009 at 7:33 PM

[bg=#201008][do=#a24120][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=1&pictureid=1784[/imga][b][i]Autumn Riktophen[/i][/b]

Autumn paused mid-sip of her tea to frown softly. “To bring everything in here would defeat the purpose of getting up and getting a bit of exercise.” There was probably not a man in this universe as stubborn as he was. Setting down the porcelain cup to add more sugar and stir, she turned her attentions to pulling pieces off her toast before popping the bits in her mouth the chew thoughtfully.

“You need to get movement to your blood, a walk inside would be good for you. It’s only across in the opposite wing and there won’t be any disturbances.” If that meant trying to chase Anastasia off with a broom, she might try it.
[/do][/bg]

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Azul Morag – Nov 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM

[bg=#000000][so=#ACACAC][imga=right]http://space-kitten.org/forum/picture.php?albumid=2&pictureid=1783[/imga][b][u]Baron Lorant Riktophen[/u][/b]

Lorant eyed her. How many photographs could she had possibly taken to make it so difficult to bring them to their room?

“The light still hurts me,” he slowly pointed out. “Sunlight would be too bright for me yet. You are being stubborn.”

Lorant sipped the remains of his salted tea. “This room is big enough; I can walk in it.”

[/so][/bg]

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