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Back on duty ... again

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:33 am

"V I love you and thanks for the offer but you are to tall for me to raid your closet."

She walked across the hall and quickly showered and dressed. Kjay woulden't leave her side he even followed her into the bathroom.

She walked back into V's room in a blue wool dress.

"Now what is it you wanted to show me."


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:33 am

Venis chuckled from the bathroom. Some of her dresses would have fit her, but maybe not the way Casie would have liked them to. She finished waking up and taking care of things in the bathroom and walked back out. She shed the nightgown and pulled out a Emerald colored frock. The dress was long and form fitting, and strapless. She always almost dressed for the weather, even if it didn't effect her. The dress was a thick cotton poly blend, nice and warm, except the strapless part. Matching heels, five inches high.

By the time Casie showered and dressed and returned, Venis was enjoying a glass of blood wine and had warmed the food that Keven had brought, it was enough for Tasha and Casie both. "Grab something to eat. We have some things to take care of, then we are going to need a good nights sleep. I was serious when I said we ride at dawn." She finished her glass of blood wine and poured herself another.

She headed for the door, glass in hand. The food that was brought was sandwiches and fruit, so it would travel well. "Come on." She headed out the door then, grabbing up a burlap sack on her way. Once Casie and Tasha were out she moved the diamond and closed the door. They headed down the stairs then. And from there, out the front door of the Inn. Airtia had been sitting out there waiting for them. So Venis turned to look at her with a smile. "Care to join us in the stables Air? You'll get a chance to meet the equine I had brought for you to ride." Wicked grin.

They headed over to the stables. Eight of Venis' Clydesdales were housed there. She took the time to stop at each one and pet them, giving them each an apple from the burlap sack. In the next stall was Casie's horse, Windrider. Venis pet him and gave him an apple as well. In the next three stalls were the horses that Casie had asked the men to bring from Claremount. Each of them got an apple as well.

In the next stall was Tasha's horse, Agrarian. Venis gave him an apple as well, Tasha stayed with him to talk to him and show him some attention. She knew who was in the next two stalls, this show wasn't for her. Venis walked over to the next stall, and held within was a pure white male, almost as big as the clydesdales. One would only have to look at the hooves to know he was not. His female companion was in the next stall. She was just as large.

Venis stood between the two and was showing them both some extra attention. They had what looked like beards under their chins, and their hooves looked winged with the flair of hair at the back. They both seemed to be lapping up the attention. "Casie, this is Empyrean and Rapture. Empyrean here is my baby boy, and Rapture here is my baby girl." She gave them their apples and continued to show them attention.

Then she spoke to the equines as if they understood her every word. And maybe they did. "Hey guys, this is Lady Casandra Lightheart. She's my friend. I've known her for a long time. You guys have no need to fear her. You are safe with her. She loves pretty babies like you." She turned and looked at Casie. "Come talk to them, they'll understand." Never once did Venis call them horses, no, not those two. The only color to them was their eyes, they were that snow white.


Last edited by Venis Jordianthan on Sun Jan 18, 2009 2:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:38 am

Cas had grabbed a sandwich and an apple and headed for the door.

"I'll be ready."

She was eating and walking anyone seeing Cas would know this was not something that she normally did. They were heading for the stables that had her wondering what V had in mind. Cas stopped at all the horses petting them in turn. When they got to Rider she spoke softly yo him he was happy to see her. She went to take a bite from her apple and Rider reached out and took it from her hand. Cas gave him one more pat on the side of his neck.

"Crazy horse."

She gave the same pat to the side of the neck to her other three horses and followed V to the last two stalls. Pire whitehoeses were very rare and Cas had only ever seen one. A huge smile formed on her face as she aproched them. She began speaking softly to them her voice barely above a whisper it was things like look how pretty you are and look at thies beautiful eyes. She went into the stall and began to run her expert hands over them feeling muscle tone. She noticed the extra bits of hair but didn't pay it much mind.


The whole time Cas was talking to the white horses Kjay was sitting gight outside the stalls. He was still not letting Cas from his sight.


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Airtia S. Cauthon on Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:16 am


They were finally ready. It didn't matter how long they took to get there, Airtia figured it might have taken them a while. She was enjoying the quiet of the evening and thinking on things when they came out and Venis mentioned the stables.

She went with them, following into the stables. It felt, different, than it had the last time she strolled through the stables. Something new was here and she could feel it. It tugged at her for the 'purity' it had. Where was it? Ironically, they were heading right towards it. The horses. She didn't have to be told what they were to know. The color gave them away as much as the extra hair.

Airtia turned a questioning gaze to Venis. She was serious about them taking these and she knew it. This too, was something interesting about Venis, that she had, and could handle, these. "Ye ave an interesting collection o.... creatures Venis." Airtia did not move too close to them, preferring to keep a casual distance.
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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:18 am

Venis smiled at Airtia and Casie both. "Thank you, you'll be riding Rapture in the morning Air. Casie, do you know what my babies are?" She figured Airtia knew, but she wasn't upsetting them, so she hoped that they weren't upsetting her.


Empyrean nuzzled against Casie's hand, he was always more trusting than Rapture, but she was coming around as well. Empyrean was the first to show himself to Casie. He even took a moment to touch her and make sure she knew it was real. Rapture figured if he could trust them, so could she. She revealed herself then.

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:30 am

Cas saw the horns and smiled.

"They are unicorns"

You could hear the excitement in her voice.

"You two are beautiful."

She was like a little girl. She continued petting them and smiling till she heard Rider. She looked at his stall.

"It's ok boy I would never want to replace you."

Kjay was wagging his tail seeing his human happy made him happy.

She touched the horns an smiled again as she kissed both of them on the nose.

"Can I ride them?"


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Airtia S. Cauthon on Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:49 am

She was right. They were Unicorns and she spent a moment or two pushing down her feelings on them. If she had known they would be riding those then she might have spent the time preparing. They were not going to leave until the morning, so she would have some time at least.

"Unicorns. Tae get us tae our destination faster?" that had to be the reason they were riding them. It certainly wasn't for show. She bowed her head to the horse she was to ride. Rapture. "We shall accomplish our goals together."


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:53 pm

Venis smiled. "Of course you can ride them Casie, later though, ok?" She looked over to see if Tasha was still over with her horse. "Not just to get there faster Air, call it ... Insurance. They aren't quite as pure as they used to be, hence being with me. Someone's idea of a sick joke. I couldn't turn them away. They're cursed, and so they can't be with other unicorns. I'm actually surprised you can't feel it."

She showed them some more attention. She had missed them while she was gone, she had missed all her pets. They were just as much family as her family and friends were. "I think we need to get some other things done before we get a good nights rest." She walked away from them and the other ladies all went with her. They headed back inside and back up to her room.

Once inside Venis walked over to the table where Tasha had been sharpening blades. "Airtia, I know you have your own weapons and would prefer to use them. So I didn't bring anything from the house for you. But Casie. I want you to carry this on your back under your cloak." She picked up the broad sword and placed it to her back.

Once she had it where she thought it should be she smiled. "See if you can reach this and draw it properly." Waiting, once she knew it was right she showed her how to fasten the harness. "This way you have a little extra protection." Then she picked up one of the bodice daggers. "And this, trust me, it can be your best friend in battle."

She walked over and started showing them the other weapons she had brought back from the house. Letting them both examine them all as they pleased. And while they did, she talked. "I think we need to head into the woods. Something tells me that we will come across them there. Besides, no innocents will likely being in the way there. I think Deacon will know that is where he will find us."

She began to spin her ax in a figure eight around her arm. "We only have death warrants for Deacon and Will. So if there is anyone else around, we have to try to spare their lives. And yes, Air, I know that takes some of the fun out of it. But if someone dies who we don't have a warrant for, this is going to look like a blood hunt, we're trying to avoid that ... This time." She sat her ax back on the table carefully.

She picked up her claymore with a smile. This blade was her favorite. She had been so angry when she found out that the younger kids had broken it while playing in the war room. A room of her house that no one other than her or Kahn was allowed to go into without invitation. She was still rather angry that Kahn had left the door open so the kids could get in there to begin with.

She began to move the claymore just as she had the ax, only slower. It was bigger, heavier, and longer. It needed to be handled differently. "Now, that warrant said that Deacon has to do some things before he dies. I will make sure that he does as the warrant says, and I will show him what I am supposed to. But after they die, we have to make sure that there is not enough of the bodies left for the souls to return to them."

She put two hands on the blade and stepped forward bringing it down from above her head to the floor, stopping within less than an inch of the floor itself. "I don't care how it's done, chopped to bits, torn to pieces, it does not matter. I just do not want their souls to be able to return to their bodies. That is why I am going to burn them to the ground in a pile of ashed. Empyrean and Rapture can make sure that their ashes are spread so far and wide that it would take ten thousand years for any two pieces of ash to even find one another."

That was a fun thought for Venis. The thought of making sure that neither of them could ever hurt Casie again. Venis laid her sword down upon the table. "One second." She walked out of her room and went to the mens door. She knocked and when Joseph answered she smiled. "I need some dinner for Casie, Tasha and Airtia, and a bottle of blood wine from the coach for me, the ones with the blue label. Also, before sunrise tomorrow I need Empyrean and Rapture in battle gear. Saddle Tasha's mount as well, and leave Windrider for Casie, you know how she is about it. Thank you Joseph." She returned to her room.

She walked back in and picked up her bodice dagger. She pulled it from it's sheath and smiled as she placed her fingers in the hilt and it opened up into a pair of scissors. "Food is being delivered shortly, Air, they'll take yours to your room. I thought you might like to rest in your own bed. Casie, yours is being brought here. We all need a good nights rest. I want us to be well rested in the morning."

She knew that the men would not take long to get the food ready, only as long as it took to cook something up. "The equines will all be saddled and ready when we get down there in the morning, save for Windrider Cas, I know better." There was a little more small talk about the upcoming morning before Airtia went off to her room, Casie went to change for bed and get her clothing for the next day and Tasha went to her room. The food and wine came and they ate and went to bed for the night.

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:11 pm

Cas spent the evening in meditation and cintemplation she was about to go hunt and kill two men. She was not looking forward to this no matter what happened the death of these two men would be on her hands. She ate dinner in scilence.

She showered when she went to get her clothes so she woulden't have to do it tomorrow. She pulled on the blue silk gown that she had been given at the Marques' manor and then grabbed her sparing leathers and a white dress, if she was wearing the ring she would look the part.

The next morning she dressed in the sparing leather pulled the dress on over them and got the cloak that she had been given the day before and went down to the stables and saddled Rider then waited for the others.


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Airtia S. Cauthon on Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:21 pm

That night Airtia didn't go to sleep right away. Of all the things to think about, her mind had been on the Unicorns. If she had to ride one than she had to be prepared and that meant taking out her black bracers and putting them on. She had nothing against them really, it was the principle of the matter. Small, they were only about two-inches in width but they did the job of shifting out the positive energies of the things she came in contact with, keeping them from mixing with her own energies fully. All would be well for herself and the Unicorn.

With that settled she could go to bed in peace. The task they were going to perform in the morning was of no consequence to her. Some people had to die and she had no reservations about killing. It wouldn't be done with the Source, so there was no oath to hinder her.

In the morning she got up and dressed in her normal, sticking the daggers, Gold and Silver, at either of her sides Hair in a single braid. She didn't want to forget the cloak either and attached it to her back. So it wouldn't be hindered, her broadsword rested down by her hip. The last thing she put on was the ring. She only wore one currently, but this one was put on her other hand. Airtia was cheery as she kissed Gawain goodbye and headed out the door. At the stables she saw Casandra was already there and she smiled at her.

"G'mornin' Casandra. Tis a fine day tae go fer a hunt."
She said as she clapped Casandra on the shoulder as she went by to find the saddle and began to care for the horse.




Last edited by Airtia S. Cauthon on Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:37 pm

Airtia would find Rapture already saddled and prepared for the trip. She and Empyrean were matching in their armor plating across their breast. Nose guards with steel "horns" to protect their horns in case of a battle. To those who the unicorns trusted, they would see that the steel was there to cover the horns from a blow, to the rest of the world, they looked like adornments to the armor.

The leather saddles and reins were surprisingly plain for something owned by Venis. There were no jewels or gold pieces or any other adornments that some have come to expect from her. No, this was battle gear and it was plain and sturdy. Add to it the steel plates on the unicorns legs and they looked like knights themselves.


When Venis woke, she found Casie already gone. She figured she would be down at the stables preparing Windrider for their day. She took a quick shower and used her own heat to dry her hair. She braided it down her back as tightly as she could and then got dressed. She had already known what she was going to wear, it had already been laid out.

Brown Leather. Low rise pants, and a vest style of top. Both very tight and form fitting, but the leather was softer than it looked and moved nicely. She put on her boots and made sure everything in place. Her Claymore found it's home upon her back, and her dagger in her bodice. Her ax was carried as it hung from Empyrean's saddle.

She grabbed her cloak, was wearing her ring, and left her room and locked it behind her She turned around and Saw Tasha coming from her room. She was armed as well. "You ready for this Furgirl?" She looked down at Leviathan. She was walking proud. She heard Midnight scratching to get out. She opened the door and looked down at her. "Kjay is coming, you sure you want to join us?" The cat walked out and wound through Venis legs. "Ok, lets go."

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:11 pm

Tasha woke up early and showered. She looked in her Armour and found her white dress. It was long and flowing and very loose fitting. She could easily slide out of it if need be. For underclothes her choices were simple. She wore some bikini bottoms that tied at the hip, easy to get out of in a pinch. And a strip of cloth tied around her chest. That was how her bodice dagger stayed in place.

Her hair went into her ponytail of braids, and she put on some sandals that laced so she could get them off. her rapier went in a sheath that hung from a cloth belt around her waist and her mace she carried over her shoulder. She was prepared for either to happen, if she needed to shift, she would be able to redress, if she didn't need to shift, she was heavily armed.

She slapped the palm of her hand against her thigh twice and Leviathan got up and joined her. She was still wearing her ring, and she grabbed up her cloak and put it on. Out the door they went. She met up with Venis in the hall, a simple nod in answer to her question. That was when Midnight figured she would join them. The four females went down to the stables and joined the others. Tasha's horse was already prepared for the ride and so she showed him some attention before she mounted him. "Keep up Levi." Her horse was fast, as fast as Windrider and the unicorns.

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:11 pm

Casandra smiled at Artia and returned the clasp on the sholder. Air never had been one for hugs.

"Good morning Airtia, I am just finishing getting Rider ready to go."

She was checking the saddle to make sure it tight and checking the bit.

She heard Tasha and Venis come in.

"I think I'm ready, I feel strange with this sword on my back and the bodice dagger."

She held up her staff and sighed.

"This is the only wepon I am comfortable with."

She shruged it off.

"Kjay come on boy lets get ready to ride."


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Tue Jan 20, 2009 6:35 am

Venis opened the door to her room and went inside. She started laying her weapons on the table. She knew that they were going to have to be cleaned up. But there were more pressing matters at hand. She laid her cloak over the back of her chair and turned to look at Casie.

Tasha had gone to her room, and Venis wasn't sure she would be coming back the rest of the day. "Let me see that arm." She walked over gently and held her arm at the elbow. "I can take care of this for you." She looked at Casie to see if she wanted her to or not. "I'm not sure Tasha's in too much of a healing mood right now."

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:57 am

Kjay ran along after the women but close to Levi, at some point and time he made the shift back to his old self.

Cas made her self care for Rider and the brown mare, she washed her and brushed her till her coat shown.

Then she was being led upstairs by Venis. When she heard V's words she nodded and sat down.

"It burns, Tasha was right the dagger was poision."

She just sat there and let V work.


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 21, 2009 12:06 am

Venis smiled at Casie. "Well, no offense hon, but after the day we have had, I kinda want to make quick work of this. You don't mind do you? I mean, unless. I just think that we need to heal this and end this nightmare completely." She looked at the cut and sighed.

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Wed Jan 21, 2009 1:32 am

"Just get it over with so I can go back to my room. No offence to you but I think I just want to be alone right now."

She was drained both emotionaly and physicly.


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:21 am

Venis nodded. She knew exactly how Casie felt at the moment. She placed a hand over the cut and her hand began to glow orange, than white. Venis' face on the other hand, had a hint of green to it. Yes, she felt sick again.

Casie would be able to feel the poison leaving her body. She would start to feel warm where the cut was and feel like she was gaining strength and even a little power. It would feel very good. And Venis wouldn't remove her hand until every drop of the poison was gone and the wound was closed.

So when she finally removed her hand, that was the case. The wound had not even left a scar. She smiled and kissed Casie on the forehead. "I love you little sister. Go on and go, close the door behind you please. I'm going to take a shower and go to bed." She hugged her then, but it wasn't a normal hug. It was more of a squeezing of the shoulders while close. Venis didn't want to risk loosing more of her breakfast all over Casie.


Once Casie left, Venis stayed true to her word. She cleaned her weapons and put them away. Then she pulled the two soul gems from her pockets. She put each one in a little velvet bag with pull strings. She ran a chain through these pull strings and then put the chain over her neck. What safer place for them? She got undressed and got in the shower. And yes, while she was in there, she did throw up one more time.

Once she got out of the shower she went right to bed. She laid on her stomach so that the soul gems were between her body and the mattress. They had to stay safe until they reached their destination. And she was in no mood to deliver them at the time. She would take care of it later.

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Casandra Lightheart on Wed Jan 21, 2009 3:07 am

Cas closed her eyes as V placed her hand over her arm and sighed. She felt the poison leaving her arm as the warmth and strengh entered her body. It was almost euphoric, and then over all to quick.

She hugged her back.


"Thank you sis. I'll see you later."

She stood and closed the door behind her as she left.


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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Beastie on Wed Jan 28, 2009 11:27 am

(taking part after the Running an Errand)

He made it back to the inn and decided the first thing he needed to do was see his mother. But there was no way in the Nine Hells he was going up those stairs. He had already heard them creak and such, to much for his liking; especially the day he went and was trying to find Isah.

So he did things the easy way. ~Mother. Tasha. Seleen. If one of you three have a moment I have a message from JonLouis and a lady named Emilia. Part of it is rather urgent. No I am not coming up there, so I will meet you in the bar.~

With that he headed off to the bar to await to see who would answer.


(can be continued here or the bar. Next poster decides.)
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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:39 am

She had just laid down when she got a link from Dre. ~Be right there sweetheart.~ She got up and grabbed a pull over dress with a tank top cut. She took a dress clip and reached behind her clipping it in place to pull the dress tight at her waist. It was burgundy colored, she didn't usually wear red, but she had this and a couple of other things that were red. She slipped into a pair of simple heels of matching color and headed down to the bar.

Once she was down there she saw Dre. She smiled as she walked over to him. She placed a hand on his shoulder as she leaned up and kissed his cheek. "Hi baby, what's going on?" She didn't usually get called upon by her son, but she was always happy when it happened. She sat down and crossed her right leg over her left and waited to see what he needed. She had a pleasant smile upon her face, despite the fact that she was still nauseous.

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Beastie on Mon Feb 02, 2009 1:21 am

He received the link and nodded. Now he just had to wait, gods he hated this part. Luckily he did not have to wait long, he saw he come into the bar and cocked his head. Something must have been up if she was not there looking her normal self.

He smiled as she kissed his cheek and nodded. To business. "I was asked to come here by JonLouis. It seems that a lady named Emilia was doing an errand for you and was in sucked into a black hole in her travels.

"Seems like her father, a chap named Eros, came and rescued her." He held up a hand. "Yes, she is safe. JonLouis asked me to also let you know, he was taking her to your rose garden at your house. "

He stopped to let that sink in, then went one. "Couple other things. One, this Eros chap claimed he saw me as a babe. How is that possible when I was with away from you at the time? I am sure Sheena and father would have told me that one.

"Two." He stopped for a moment, this one was going to be difficult. "It has come to pass that I have found out that there is new blood in the Darkmane line. Seems I have a daughter. No, not going into details. But seems my daughter is here at the inn now."
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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:11 am

Dre had started to speak to her and at one point she opened her mouth but he raised his hand to quiet her. So she waited. Yes, Venis waited. When Dre was done speaking Venis took a deep breath and let it out slow. "Oh boy." She rose from her seat and went behind to bar to pour herself a glass of blood wine and set an ale on the counter for him while she was there. Then she came back around and sat back down.

She took a deep breath and a long drink from her blood wine. "Ok, first, thank you for letting me know that Emilia and JonLouis are at my garden and that Emilia is ok. I appreciate that." Heh, that was the easy part. Another drink from her blood wine, finishing the glass. She reached over the counter to where she had set the bottle and poured herself another.

Now for the hard part. "Yes Eros saw you when you were a baby, and yes you were away from me the whole time. Krow and Sheena kept you from me for good reason. I don't know exactly what the reason was, but my memories of having you were locked away. So that would explain why I don't know their reasons. I remember the night you were conceived, and my next memory is a year later."

She might drink the whole bottle before this conversation is over. "When your father was wishing for a son to carry on the Darkmane name, he had to pray to someone, right? Well, Eros is the God of Lust, Love, and Fertility. I would have never gotten pregnant were it not for his intervention. And he has told me that the day you were born, he was in the room. No one could see him, but he was there." That was the best explanation she could give. Some of her memories were still fuzzy from back then.

New blood, hmm. "A daughter?" She wasn't sure how to react to that one. "I would love to meet her." She had to ask the obvious question now. In quiet hushed tones, almost like she feared the answer. "Who's her mother?" She found herself silently praying to the one higher power she chose to acknowledge as such. She was praying that he was not going to say Mil'isa.

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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Beastie on Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:22 am

He listened to her, and was a wee bit surprised she was waiting for him to finish. He nodded when she was done. "Was not a problem. He is after all Head of the Council and I was taught some respect." He chuckled, "And he is a friend. Good to see his old dead heart beating a little."

He thought for a moment, "Okay will buy that. About Eros I mean. Any other immortals I have met that I need to know about?"

Then there was his daughter. "When I know more, you will know more. That is all I can say right now without talking to all involved. And you know whether she meets you or not is up to her. But if, and it is an if mother; if she says no. Then please respect it. No chance meetings or anything like that. I do not want to mess up what could be my last time at being a daddy. Hate to say it mom, but need a blood promise on this one. "

He decided he could tell her a little something, "Can tell you that no it is not Mil mother. But that is all I can say. I am sure you understand."
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Re: Back on duty ... again

Post by Guest on Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:23 am

Another drink before she replied to him again. "Um ... as far as immortals, God's, Goddess' or other wise baby. That's another story for another time. I have a few memories here and there that I have managed to recover over time. One of these days I'm going to ask your father why my memories were locked away from me. But I digress." She took another drink. Then she sat the glass down. Blood wine wasn't intoxicating, but she had drank enough for a moment.

Back on the subject of her bloodline extending. "Well, A, I see no reason for her to not want to meet me. I am usually a harmless woman. And B, despite our rocky reunion when I got home to Rhy'Din, I am sure that you have enough tact to not besmirch me to her. You know I love you honey. I always have. And I am sure that I will love her just as much. And I am so very relieved to hear that ... that woman is not her mother." She couldn't bring herself to speak that name.

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Re: Back on duty ... again

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