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Thread Contributor: Arjay Lo'RanOf gods and fools
Dungeons and Dragons-Forgotten Realms

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Mike

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#1
As far as entries into the Hub went, this was far from the most graceful. It was, on the other hand, fairly close to being one of the more dramatic that people had seen any time recently.

The portal opened in the sky, a sudden disk of night against the blue sky of the Hub. People cried out in alarm as they realized that they could see something, someone, rapidly growing larger through that gate, streaking toward it at a breakneck speed. They could almost hear the speed of its progress through the air on the other side of the portal, could hear the panicked screams as he careened through the space between… only when it grew closer did they realize that the figure wasn’t screaming, he was laughing with abandon. The figure twisted in the air as it soared through the portal, landing in a crouch as he skidded down the street, glowing swords held in each hand, one glowing bright gold and one a deep violet. The impact of his boots against the street was heard all down the street, but he didn’t so much as stagger from it.

Through the portal a whistling was heard, and then an arrow slammed into the street near him. If something could be said to glow black, this arrow definitely did, and it tore through the side of a stone building on its way. Rubble flew from where it slammed into the street with the impact of a cannonball. The figure’s swords blurred, and he batted two more arrows safely aside from the crowd that was still rushing to get the hell away from this display of destruction, throwing up a magic wind to rob the last volley of its accuracy and speed, leaving the arrows tumbling to the ground relatively harmlessly before the gate finally closed. Then, the figure sank to his knees, laughing defiance at the hole in the sky that was no longer there, weariness and pain overtaking him. He was wounded, bleeding from wounds (those who could put two and two together guessed from arrows) to his shoulder and thigh, still poisoned in an open wound in his side, but he was alive, and still hadn’t been brought low. It had been a week in the hub, but longer where he had been, of doing the work that his new station required of him. Arjay Lo’Ran had returned to the Hub, and judging from the state of him, not a moment too soon.
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#2
Holes opening up in the sky were something you got used to or went slowly nutty from stress; Belle took their appearance with the same practical pragmatic acceptance that allowed her to survive the madness that was living in Gotham.

That same pragmatism sent Belle, on her way back from browsing the Bazaar for anything new and interesting she could use in the cafe, scurrying away from the arrow that landed inches away from her cute open toed slingback purple wedges. “Eep!” the noise that escaped her wasn’t dignified but she didn’t care!

The packages she was holding took the brunt of the impact from the flying bits of street, a few managed to slice her exposed legs painfully.

Blue eyes widened as she saw who had landed laughing, crouched painfully on a knee after guarding the crowd- “Arjay!” her packages abandoned Belle dropped down beside him, looping her arm around his waist. “Common hunny ah can’t lift ya by mah self.” Belle was trying not to panic, but she’d hardly ever seen him hurt like this- his magic could normally take care of such things, and the absence terrified her. “Where should ah take ya? The Goddess?” Belle was looking around for one of the incommon little cab like things that wandered the bazaar for people that didn’t feel like walking, and lord knew she didn’t want to be dragging him for an hour to get there!


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#3
Yes, intellectually Arjay knew that anyone being nearly hit by one of the arrows was equally as bad as anyone else. Seeing that it was Belle, though, someone he loved, and that she’d actually been (slightly) hurt in the process? Oh, that burned. For a moment, Arjay almost cast himself back into the air, re-opened the gate back to Toril. When he moved, though, the pain in his side flared up and he swooned, slumping back onto the ground and abandoning that little line of action.

“Easy, darling,” he panted, steeling himself as he focused again on standing up. “I’ve been trudging my way for weeks back through lightless tunnels to get here past angry gods, there is literally no reason for me to not take my time now getting my feet under me.” He peered at her again, and a look of forced calm went over his face as he pushed the pain aside, focusing on the spell he cast, sending healing power through her, closing her wounds without a scar (and even wiping away a few old ones). “I’m sorry about that,” he mused, “Not everyone cares about collateral damage like I do. I’ll be sure to return the favor the next time I come across that insufferable wretch.” That done, he let her help him to his feet, sheathing his swords as he did his best not to bleed on her. “The Goddess, aye… or anywhere that I can have a few moments peace to try to get myself together. I’ve arrow wounds that will be difficult to heal because of who fired them, and poison in my side that’s been trying to eat away at me for half a month. Between the two of us, my dear? To someone who’s supposed to be above poison, finding an exception to that feels particularly insulting.”

“First, though?” Turning slightly to keep his bleeding arm and side away from her, he pulled her into a tight one-armed hug. “Sweet muses, it’s very good to get back to the people you love, isn’t it?” he sighed.

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#4
“Oo!” The noise Belle made when he made the abortive movement towards the sky was half protest half worry-

The familiar feel of his magic flowed through her- Belle had no idea if it was intentional but it always felt...well dang it it felt like that tiny...well when you squeezed your thighs just right- the quick flash of warm, skin tingling, pleasure. “Don’t you dare!” She scolded, trying to ignore the high flush of her cheeks or the fact that her bra was suddenly oh so ...chafing. “You focus on ya, a few little scratches don’t do me no harm.”

“The cafe is closer.” Belle’s need apparently communicated to the universe and a little two person cab appeared next to her. Giving the instructions Belle turned to Arjay, a tight frown pulling her lips into an unhappy line as she tried to get a handle on how badly he was hurt. “Ah’ll call Dr. McCoy-“ her voice was wet with tears she pushed back by Will alone after seeing his body. “He’ll take care of you.” Belle still struggled to remember that she herself was now guardian of a handful of magical relics, which was why the fact she owned something that might help slipped her mind.

Belle turned into the hug keeping her body away from his terrified she might hurt him-

Nothing in her logical mind could explain why her lips found his in a desperate needy kiss.

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#5
Arjay couldn’t help but smiling when she chided him for healing her, though he did understand the feeling. “Belle,” he said, his lips quirked in a somewhat-pained smile, “I am in pain, I’m exhausted, and I’m far from presentable at the moment, but what I am not, at this moment, is dying, or in any danger of it. Your injuries? They’re a simple matter. Mine? While they’re not going to kill me, they’re going to require much more… focus. Plus, yours are arguably my fault, so please allow me the indulgence?” He paused as she promised to call a doctor, actually smiling broadly at that one. “My dear, any poison or wound that is able to cause this much discomfort to a god, even a pitiful one like myself, is going to be beyond the science of your Earth worlds. It’s going to be magic for all of it, I’m afraid. I’ll need your help for it, but we’ll be able to manage, I believe.” He stopped before they got into the cab, however, and waved off another spell, ethereal hands grabbing the arrows that had slammed down into the pavement and gathering them back to him. These were things he would not want in just any hand, even if they’d be less powerful coming from another bow.

The kiss, however, was a very pleasant surprise, and Arjay found himself returning the kiss hungrily. While he hadn’t exactly been without company during his excursion, he also hadn’t been this close to anyone he felt any draw to for weeks, and that need he felt in that moment was just as desperate as hers, possibly more. Belle was, as he’d said, a heart that shone particularly brightly to him, and he found himself particularly unable to resist in that moment, even when he might normally be more careful about anything that might come back to hurt her.

He was, however, as he’d said, hurt and far from presentable, facts that did come to his mind a moment later. Bleeding all over a lovely woman was hardly a way to make her want to kiss you again, was it? Reluctantly, he ended the kiss, though he didn’t let go of her. “It’s good to see I was missed,” he admitted, forcing a playful smile through the shoot of pain that went up his side as it brushed the door of the cab.

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#6
It was a good thing Arjay was not a mind reader or susceptible to emotional feedback from others; because if he had been, the fire of her desire/passion/need would have created an inescapable feedback loop.

Belle’s hands curled around his face, she didn’t want to do anything that hurt him-

A soft almost broken moan that cried out for more, that was all a woman who couldn’t fight any longer- she didn’t care about the blood, she didn’t care that he was dirty-

If anything his physical state was what drove her desperation, what if he’d been killed? Her heart opened up to him, and she knew that in her body he would be safe. For that moment Belle was mindless in her need not to be abandoned again.

He pulled away and her hands clenched down tying to draw him back- it was only his gasp of pain that brought her back to the moment.

Her mouth formed soundless words she was saved from needing to excuse her behavior or account for the yawning void next to her heart that had manifested.

“Let’s get you upstairs-“ Belle flashed a quick smile at the driver- apparently a customer- moved to help Arjay up the stairs.

Once he was settled Belle ran for water and bandages “what can I do to help?” She asked moving to carefully clean where she thought was least painful.


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#7
Arjay might not be able to read minds or emotions (without intentionally doing it, at least), but he was tuned in to people in pain, particularly those close to him. This included worshipers, family, friends, lovers, and Belle most certainly fit (in his mind) into at least two of those categories. The desperation in her would have been plain to him even if he hadn’t had a divine sense of heartbreak, and he found himself pulling her back to him again, kissing her much more deeply, both natural and divine empathy mirroring her desperation, mentally chastising himself for his behavior. He ought to have seen to his injuries first, rather than inflict this worry upon her, or anyone dear to him, but here he was, and it was too late to take that back.

How could he address this, though? That… he didn’t know. It was something she’d have to broach first for it to actually come into words, wasn’t it. He could pry into her mind, of course, that would get him the answers he wanted. Then again, he could also scry on her in the bath to satisfy other curiosities, but that wouldn’t be right either. Yes, she’d have to open this particular line of conversation first, there was no way around that.

Up in her apartment, Arjay let out a long sigh as he took his weight off of his injured leg, flopping carefully onto a chair. “I’m afraid this isn’t going to be like most injuries you have to treat, my dear,” he said. “Help me get this off, to start with, everything will come after that.” His shoulder was beginning to throb, and unbuttoning his shirt was about the limit of what he could do to remove it, now that the adrenaline rush of battle had worn off and was no longer granting him any respite from the pain. Once it was out of the way, the bloody hole in his arm seemed much bloodier, though not nearly as bad as the inflamed cut in his side, still unhealed, but the poison was still no deeper into his body than it had already gotten. “I’m going to need to ask you not to touch my side. If the poison is affecting me, I shudder to think of what it would do to you. If you could please make sure there’s nothing lodged in my shoulder, though, I can see to healing it.” He glanced at the arrow wound, knowing he should feel angry, but unable to feel anything but tired. “As you can see, not all of the gods are taking my politicking very well. Believe it or not, this was one of the more neutral responses.”

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#8
Belle wasn’t about to admit that beyond her first aid courses, and the knowledge growing up 45 mins from the nearest hospital granted her, the most she’d “tended to injuries” was during the Quest. Not when he seemed to decry science as medicine, which to be honest she thought was rather near-sighted of him.

Belle wasn’t going to think about that had happened in the cab, how she’d behaved, that was for latter, when she could privately break down and cry, and considering she had a regular houseguest that meant waiting till tonight and her shower when the noise would hide any betraying sounds. She didnt want to have to answer the questions Sebastian would certainly have.

All of this how ever was decided in the back of her head, while she focused on the problem infront of her - “Right.” Belle pulled out her best heavy duty snips; the ‘man’ that had sold them to her had promised they could cut through anything, that was non living organic based. Which honestly, accidentally slicing her fingers off had been a worry after watching his demonstration!

Belle carefully slid her scissors between his skin and the shirt shoulder, neatly removing it with out having to move his hurt arm anymore. She noticeably branched when he told her she was going to have to check the wound; normally she wouldnt be such a goose about it, but it was hard to maintain her pragmatic self when someone she loved was so badly hurt close enough for her to smell the fresh blood. She didnt want to be aa fainting Miss, make him worry about her when he was so badly hurt, but she couldn’t help but sniff suspiciously often, and if her sleeve got a little wet every time she turned away...well maybe he wouldn’t notice.

“What else can ah do?” She asked quietly, following his direction and keeping well away from his side.

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#9
It was a sign, Arjay decided, that he definitely had his priorities in order, that he only winced heavily as she cut into his clothes, rather than trying to make her stop. She was, after all, right, but it didn't make it any easier to have his clothes ripped up, the fact that he could mend them later notwithstanding.

The wound didn't have anything lingering in it, which he'd suspected but hadn't been sure of. "Ah, good. He 'restrained' himself," Arjay said dryly when they'd determined this. "He just wanted to kill me, not kill me in agony. I suppose I should feel blessed." He tried to focus his power, heal the wound, but at this point, it just wouldn't come, which alarmed him, though it didn't surprise him.

"I need to get the venom out of this wound," he said, nodding at the one in his side. "It's a shadow poison, leeching off my power to weaken me, else healing the rest of this would be simple. A stronger being wouldn't be affected, or at least would be able to burn it off without much trouble. Fortunately, he knew how to render it mostly inactive, which means I know how to do so now as well." Otherwise, he wouldn't have ever made it back to the surface, but that had been the nature of their battle. Only one of them was going to escape that realm, the other was going to perish, and fortune had been on the side of light that day. "I don't suppose you still have that chalice that you received when we drew from the Deck?" he asked, hoping against hope. Yes, he could go home and Sune would be able to manage this matter, but he hoped that he'd be able to go home in a good condition, and not trust his health to the whims of a woman with a fiery temper who may or may not feel like a jilted lover at the moment.

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#10
Belle would give him the scolding of a lifetime if she could read his mind! Of course the fact that it would have also acted as a release valve for her terror might have actually been good for them both since Arjay surely would have found if more amusing than scary.

“Who is ‘he’?” Dangerous spite coloring her tone; Belle was not a god or superhero, but enough were her friends, customers, that she might just beable to make who ever hurt Him’s life a little bit more difficult. Small revenge but she was a nobody and accepted that reality.

“Chalice?” Blue eyes blinked as the item in question was brought back to her memory- “oh I-“ Belle scurried away, dropping to her knees infront of her spacious closet, clanging, rustling, boxes being opened and tosses aside. All met his ears and occasionally eyes when something went flying out.

“Ouch!” There was a huge crash of collapsing clothes rack, Belle backed out holding her prize aloft-

“Here! What do I need to do?” Belle blew a stray curl out of her face, left eye winced shut from where the edge of a box had hit her.

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#11
Arjay made a disgusted sound when asked to make an account of who ‘he’ was. “’He’ was actually one of the gods of my people,” Arjay said, shaking his head. “A very dark fellow named Shevarash, the god of vengeance and hatred, specifically of the Drow.” He paused, remembering more slowly than he normally would have that no, Belle wasn’t privy to the politics of his world. “In my world, there’s a race of elves that live in the caves and caverns beneath the surface of the world, and they’re by and large sadistic, hateful and violent, and yes, I know this from experience. Once upon a time, this god was the sole survivor of one of their raids upon the surface world, and he swore an oath of vengeance against them to never smile nor laugh so long as any of them or their dark goddess lived. Then, in a move that some might say proves that even gods make mistakes, he was elevated to divinity when he died, so as to spread his gospel of dedicating yourself to hatred for millennia afterward.” Arjay shot Belle a wan smile. “Needless to say, I’ve never particularly gotten on with his followers. My little trip took me into the caverns they live in to settle a few scores against their gods. I killed one of them outright,” He paused, glancing down at the poisoned wound in his side, “Not as cleanly as I might have liked, but took his power in the process, and with it some of his following, the ones who are more lost than abhorrent mostly. Unfortunately, taking followers down there marked me for arrowy death once I set foot on the surface again”

Belle’s ensuing search for the chalice was nothing if not amusing to Arjay. Yes, this was a very Belle thing to do, putting a powerful magic item away in a cupboard with all the other mundane knickknacks he was seeing being pushed aside. Finally, though, she found the item, and he breathed a sigh of relief. “You don’t need to do much, my dear,” he said, leaning forward (somewhat painfully) in the chair. “Hold it in front of me, and make sure to catch the poison. You don’t want this touching the floor,” he warned her. “Then, simply focus on the intent to draw the poison out of me.”

Arjay hadn’t ever wept poison before, and he really had no desire to ever again. The chalice drew the poison through his body, thankfully safely without letting it spread any further, but it still wasn’t a pleasant experience. It was like an icy oil was being sucked through his body and out his eyes, and by the time the poison actually started to seep out in great drops to fall into the chalice, he truly was weeping from the pain of it. His fingers clenched hard on the arm of the chair, knuckles white as he held himself quivering over the chalice, where a murky black liquid began to gather, sloshing in the chalice in a way that had nothing to do with the slight movements of the cup.

Finally, the last drop of the poison dripped into the chalice, and the elf fell back into the chair, tears streaming down his cheeks. “Sweet muses, I don’t want to ever have to do that again, but I feel more… clean than I have in weeks.” With the poison gone, the wounds began to glow faintly purple, slowly knitting themselves closed again

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#12
“Wait-” she tried to follow along - “How-” This made no sense! “If you were fightin’ the gods that he hated why did he attack you?” Because Arjay spared some poor folk that were misled?

Belle managed to catch the cup before the box it was stored in fell into the deep well that was her ‘storage cube’; and to be fair...Arjay probably spotted some OTHER magical artifacts being tossed over her shoulder!

Slipping her arm under his Belle Braced herself to hold his weight against and sudden jerks - “Just lean on me darlin’-” belle smiled up at him holding the cup in position, “Ah’m stronger than ah look, ah can take it.” eyes slipping shut, belle threw her whole focus into the wish to make him whole again, praying to her own God, arm tightening around his chest as he wept vicious tears.

Belle wasn’t a fool she wouldn’t mess with something he said could kill her with a touch but she wasn’t a coward either, keeping a careful eye on it was different than cringing away fearfully; never let it be said she was anything other than stubbornly brave.

Carefully she set the gobblet on her vanity, making a mental note to figure out what do to with that LATER- “Suush just rest sweetie.” Belle dabbed at his face, cleaning him up with gentle practical brushes of her handkerchief.

“You just rest here, when you wake up i’ll make ya dinner, and get ya home ta Miz. Sune.”
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#13
“Oh, it makes zero or less sense to someone with a rational or compassionate mind. Sadly? We’re talking about someone who has neither. I subverted the following of one of their gods, made alliances with another, though she’s so despised among them that I doubt that really hurt me, and reached a rather… tenuous accord with one more, though it didn’t please me. I’ve thrown my lot in to be a god among the dark elves, and that, apparently, drew his ire when the only reasonable option is genocide, at least if you ask him.” He smiled faintly at her. “As I said, I’ve never gotten on well with his faithful, so it’s no surprise I won’t get on well with the god himself. I rather don’t expect that he’ll garner much support if he tries to pursue this any further.”

He did lean forward against her as she prepared the chalice, though he couldn’t help but look up at her with a faint smile at her reassurances before they begin. “Yes, you are,” he said. “I’ve never questioned that for a moment, my dear.” Then, of course, the process began, and he was overwhelmed with the most… humbling, astonishing sensation. He knew well the flow of the divine, he’d been transformed into one, after all. What he felt around her was as deep as the powers of his world were close to the surface. While the powers he knew were like tigers, fierce and swift, this was enormous, slow but unmovable. Had it felt hostile to him, he might have been struck by fear, but as it was, he just filed the information away, focusing on the much less philosophical and much more visceral issue of the poison draining out through his eyes.

Her ministrations were welcome, obviously, but when she bid him to rest, he just smiled, catching her hand. “Belle, I don’t sleep,” he said, smiling slightly. “And while I have no opposition to dinner, company is what I need. The poison was as much spiritual as physical, the only way to really poison a godling, so please, help feed my spirit, talk to me, my dear.” He lifted her fingers to his lips, kissing them fondly. Yes, he was eager to get to his family, but he did want to be stronger when he did. Besides… Sune knew exactly where he was, he had faith in that. If she weren’t here at this very instant, it was because she wished him to be precisely who he was, and this was who he was. It was one of the small truths he was learning about the subject of godhood.

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#14
A light embarrassed flush colored her cheeks at the reminder that he didn’t sleep, she knew it, she’d known it the entire time she’d known him! But of course Belle had managed to put her foot in it again.

“I could read to you?” As always Belle’s room was tidy...beyond the mess she’s just made, the only exception was the stacks and stacks of books overflowing the shelves, fewer than when she’d been in Gotham; even though she was no longer working two jobs plus bartending, Belle found she had less free time to simply read. Perhaps also because she had more friends here.

Her fingers brushed over his hair, pushing it back into a semblance of order. “Or we can put yo in the tub.” She offered. He was still dirty and the hot water might soothe his other wounds. Now that he was out of danger, Belle’s normal serene mask was back into place, and she relaxed into the role she understood well- caregiving.

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#15
For a moment, Arjay couldn’t tell if the woman was trying to be evasive or helpful. The latter was more like Belle, of course, but she’d been very… out of sorts when they’d initially run into each other, and it wouldn’t be unthinkable for that to translate into something she didn’t want to talk about. “I prefer to do the reading,” he said with a smile. “I feel… restless when the roles are reversed, but really, Belle. I do realize that only a week has passed here, but it was nearly a month that I was back in my world. Tell me about you, give me some reassurances that things are relatively the way I left them, or else in a state that they might return there.” Belle wasn’t, naturally, without her own little dramas. Nothing when set next to divine politics that ended in deicide, but the sort of dramas that Arjay enjoyed getting lost in or helping with.

Her brush over his skin made him self-consciously wave off a spell to cleanse his body, noting his cut-up shirt once more. “I suppose I’ll need to do that sometime, but it’s hardly a social activity if I recall your preferences correctly. Of course, if you’ve reevaluated that position…” he shot a teasing smile back up at her. He may be a god now, his life might be one hundred percent more complicated now, but yes… this was still Arjay.

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#16
“Everything is the same.” her fingers kept up the same gentle strokes over and down his head, “Ah am still in the middle of a romantic crisis of mah own makin’, but nothing too much more dramatic than tha-” her smile widened playfully, “Ah got a new dishwasher an’ breakfast server.” little news, tiny things that meant nothing to anyone, but were fairly major events in her life.

“Oh now you!” her hand tapped his non wounded shoulder lightly censuring, “Ah’d help ya get clean an nothin’ else. Helped mah mama often enough when she was havin’ a relapse.” there was that old sadness in her voice that came out very rarely in the normally cheerful red head.

“Any requests?” she asked turning slightly so she could reach the nearest stack of books.

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#17
"Ah, yes, the problem of the ages, having too many people fond of you," Arjay teased, reaching up, sliding his hands up her arms. "I'm glad to hear that business is going well for you, though. If you need any more help, do let me know. My kitchen only has so much room in it, and I know there are a few girls tending the tavern whose skills are being wasted, yes?" They might not leave, of course... but then, perhaps they could be persuaded. Perhaps he'd spent too much time on clandestine matters, but Arjay did like to put people here and there to keep an eye on things for him, and Belle? Belle was important enough to keep someone close to.

What Belle meant by a 'relapse,' Arjay wasn't sure, but context painted enough of the picture to let him know that the situation was unfortunate and what general area it fell under. Now that was something he hadn't wanted to dredge up for her. Instead, he just focused on the inuendo... inuendo was such a pleasant thing to have between people, wasn't it? Catching her hand, he kissed her palm, then glanced back until he was peering up at her. "Half of me wonders just what I'd have to do to eventually convince you that there's nothing wrong with a casual bath between good friends, and whatever things might arise from the situation. The other half of me, though, would much rather help you along your path to bliss in a manner much closer to what you already have in mind. Ah, the dilemmas of having a conscience," he said, sighing a bit dramatically.

All the same, when she asked what should be read... again, it was still Arjay. "I do recall you mentioned something about rather... interesting stories from your world that involved my people? There's no time like the present, is there?" The innocent smile he turned toward her fooled no one, nor was it expected to.
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#18
Belle just blushed, that wasn’t a fair joke! He knew her problems lay deeper than that quip remark! There was something terribly innocuous with this casual conversation over the woes of restaurant ownership, he was laying there still slowly bleeding, she had a cup filled with god poison on her dresser. She wasn’t jaded enough, experienced in this world enough to simply roll with the rapid changes, and just accept that everything was alright.

But Arjay had asked her to pretend, to give him this, to be just two people talking about a day.

So she swallowed back her tears - “Ah have ya know that iffn ya wanted ta join me in a hot tub one day i’d be happy to oblige.” she of course meant with a swimsuit firmly on.

Her romance novels?

Oh! That man! Sapphire Fire flames to light just for a moment behind her eyes indignation sparking them to life. “Ah think that would be a touch to exciting for you.” She answered with saccharine sweetness instead picking up a copy of Caesar's Gallic Wars.

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#19
In this moment, Arjay had to admit that his particular divine affinity was a mixed blessing. Take this very moment, for example: Belle loved him (admittedly differently than might be claimed for other men who would come later), and his condition, or the circumstances around it, was hurting her. No, he wasn’t prying into her feelings, not actively at least, but there was one way that he could, infallibly, know this: He was growing stronger. Sweet muses, what sort of a double-edged blessing was this?

“Too exciting for me?” he asked, cocking an eyebrow. “Now there’s an interesting idea. I spent the last few years of my mortal existence with a defective heart, and I never let that idea get in my way. Now you’re making me entirely too curious what you’re reading,” he teased. He wasn’t, however, going to just let it rest with him teasing her. Belle deserved far more than that from him, and he was going to make sure that she got what she deserved.

Nine hells, even in his head, that sounded dirty, and he knew he hadn’t meant it that way.

Catching her hand in his, halting any effort at reading she might be doing, he held up one hand to forestall any comment. He could, naturally, heal the damage to his body now that the poison was gone. It was slowed, though, by the divine nature of it. In essence, he had instigated several clashes between himself, embodying an aspect of love, and other darker aspects of life and existence. The reason that Keptolo’s wound had been so potent was that seduction and manipulation for corrupt purpose was so close to his own nature that it could be a path he fell down. Since then, in that weakened state, he’d been wounded by blind rage and assaulted by chaos and darkness, finally feeling an assault of pure transcendent hatred, and all of those strikes left marks upon him… marks that he had to acknowledge before he could truly heal. The body, in essence, would not recover without the spirit healing as well.

He lifted her fingers to his lips, kissing with a slight smile as his wounds suddenly flared with violet flame, sealing visibly sealing themselves from the outside in, leaving no mark to show the places the wounds had been. “But levity aside,” he said, peering up at her, “I fear that this entire encounter has given you much more of a shock and cut much more deeply than I might have expected, and for that I really must beg for your forgiveness and for a chance to make these hurts up to you.”

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#20
Sune had been tempted to meet Arjay on the road herself. Further, she had been tempted to join in on this conversation, pushing Belle in the direction of accompanying them to bed- But she was being good. Her annoyance had dispersed with Arjay's letter, and the happy noises their daughter had made with her present.

So she didn't have a reason to stop him- and Belle deserved a first love-making from someone with whom she shared a deeper love than any she would feel for Sune. So she was watching with a pout, on and off, and when Mel'inde was no longer hungry, Sune turned her full attention to the situation.

Sune wondered idly if it was rude of her to be so blatant- but that thought didn't stop her power from flowing out into the universe and altering it to her whim. The poison was carefully sealed into a vial capable of containing such things. (With a note on it to Sune's beloved saying that he had put such effort into bringing it with him that he may as well choose what happens to it.) The chalice was cleaned and returned to it's home- even as the things it had sat with rearranged themselves neatly and a small chart hung from the shelf which listed the location of all the items within.

Another dusting of power brushed across the other redhead to soothe the ache of being hit in the eye, and to replace the clothes that were dotted with blood with a gown made of only the highest quality fabric. The bloody clothes were cleaned and folded neatly on Belle's dresser. Arjay's poor shirt was repaired and cleaned, though Sune draped a silk robe over him instead of putting him back in it. As a final touch, she placed scented candles around the room, set a bottle of wine with two glasses out for them and then artfully laid a bouquet of flowers petals on and around the bed.

Sune figured that subtlety wouldn't be lost on either in the room, even as a note landed in Arjay's lap.

If you want mood music, you will have to provide it yourself. It seemed just a step too much, personally. I am glad to see you well, beloved, do not dawdle too too much but Mel'inde and I are taking a well deserved nap, so don't hurry too much either. So long as you do not take a week to arrive, it is fast enough, and we will see you then.

With love, Sune, and Mel'inde.


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