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Private dead end road

Discussion in 'Crystal Vales' started by Merlin Ambrosius, Dec 1, 2019 at 12:35 PM.

  1. Merlin Ambrosius

    Merlin Ambrosius BBC Merlin

    Posts:
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    Male
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    Healer
    Location:
    Downbeat Bay
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    Creature of Magic
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    [​IMG]
    November 21, Y109 @Semirhage

    Suddenly, everything was different. It happened so quickly, the warlock hitting concrete, considerably colder, harder, and darker than the familiarity that came with his old room. The familiarity and the comfort, though even that had fallen away in light of the situation. It was a situation he thought he had understood, terrible as it was. He had made a mistake, he had grown not only confortable with and fond of Ozma, but dependant on him in a way that was a threat to the life he had found here in Downbeat Bay. The life he had with Nemene.No longer, though, was his situation clear to him. There he remained on the ground for a moment, fingers pressing into the stone beneath him. There was a familiarity there, a familiarity in the energy coursing through that earth. It felt like Nemene. It felt like Nemene, but different, but wrong. He sucked in a deep breath, breathed her in and then exhaled sharply, clamoring his way back onto his feet and whirling around, eyes searching and searching for the room that he already knew was gone, for Ozma's familiar face.

    Instead, there was Nemene staring coldly back at him in a way that he had never before witnessed in her. This wasn't right. To go so far in her anger, in her fury, to steal him away to somewhere else for ... for what? He didn't understand, but he did know that there was a feeling in the pit of his stomach, a terrible feeling. Fury was something, of course, that Emrys would have understood. She had every right to be upset and in his own guilt, Emrys would have let her scream and shout at him, he would have let her shove him, hit him, and at that point, he only wished she would. Perhaps it would help him see somebody more human in who he was looking at now with wide blue eyes filled to the brim with confusion.

    "We could have stayed," he whispered quietly as though trying to tell himself that this was still her, that Ozma hadn't been right along along, that his faith and his determination to see her for who she really was had paid off. "He would have gone." He wouldn't have. Emrys knew that in the same way that he knew deep down all that he had said was right. Nothing had ever felt right even when it had felt good. Even when at peace, his mind would wander and he would wonder. He would wonder why he never saw anybody else, why he never strayed far, why he felt so tied to her that he couldn't even visit his friends on Saint Sacul.

    Stood there watching her stiffly, Emrys felt a chill in the air and slipped his arms around his own bare chest.
     
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  2. Semirhage

    Semirhage The Wheel of Time

    Posts:
    226
    Race:
    Human - Aes Sedai
    Age:
    3,400
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
    link
    Through the gateway, Semirhage dragged Merlin into a lavish living area of a rich hunting lodge. The walls were mahogany, the floor stone, light provided by a wide iron chandelier with not candles, but soft glowbulbs that never flickered or wavered.

    In one corner, blending in with the shadows beside and behind a high-backed chair of dark red and thus almost hidden, were three huge black shapes. Wolves, though larger than any natural wolves ought to have been, each lying on the floor with their muzzles on their front paws. As Semirhage and Merlin appeared, their huge heads lifted, glowing silver eyes fixing on their mistress. She didn't spare a thought for where the other Darkhounds were. She didn't care, so long as they didn't cause trouble for her.

    Closing the gateway once Merlin was clear of it - though perhaps he ought to have lost a foot to the razor sharp edges, as punishment - Semirhage turned back to face her husband. Her expression remained cold, icy anger etched into every line in her dark face. As Merlin whispered to her, as though too afraid of this alien mood to be comfortable speaking louder, the only change in her expression was a coolly arched eyebrow.

    "Would he now?" Her voice held none of Nemene's light, sweet tone. She cocked her head, regarding Merlin with black eyes that glimmered in the light of the glowbulbs. Moving closer with a soft swish of dark skirts around her ankles, she circled around him. "For how long? Until the next time you decide to betray me?" The word snapped through the air. She snorted dryly, shaking her head. "I knew I should not have left you alone."
     
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  3. Merlin Ambrosius

    Merlin Ambrosius BBC Merlin

    Posts:
    3,349
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Healer
    Location:
    Downbeat Bay
    Race:
    Creature of Magic
    Age:
    1000+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    [​IMG]
    Slowly, his eyes drifted away from Nemene, surveying his new dimly lit surroundings. They were foreign to him in every way, mood well included. It lacked the bright atmosphere that the house had brought into his life. Instead, he felt as though the dark of the room were looming over him, threatening to come closer and closer, leaving him feeling vulnerable and alone despite the fact that he wasn't alone at all. She was there with him, but for the first time since they had first met, her presence did not come to him as any sort of a comfort. Back then, it hadn't been for a lack of trying, but now-- how long could he blame himself? How long could he blame himself when the signs were all right here in front of him? She was an entirely new person.

    At some point, his gaze had paused on those huge heads by the corner of the room, the silver of their eyes piercing through the soft light of the gloomy room. It took him a moment just to tear his attention away from them, but her words drew him back in to find her starting to circle him like a shark might circle her prey.

    That was it. He felt like prey.

    "Stop," he suddenly said, and with his lips parted the way that they were, Emrys looked at her incredulously. "This-- What you're doing, Nemene, we can-- we can talk about this, but I want to-- I want to talk to you, not--" Silence followed, at a loss for words as he gestured toward her. Everything about her was suddenly so different, and he kept hearing Ozma's words in his head. He kept hearing the name Merlin over and over again, the surety of every word that had come from that man's lips. But he wanted to believe there was an explanation, he wanted to believe as this life he had grown so attached to fell apart before his very eyes that there was a reason, that he wasn't just a fool.
     
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  4. Semirhage

    Semirhage The Wheel of Time

    Posts:
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    Race:
    Human - Aes Sedai
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    Chaotic Evil
    Directory:
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    She continued to circle him, moving ever closer, black eyes never leaving his as he struggled to speak, insisting that they could talk, that he wanted to talk to her. Semirhage had no interest in talking about what she'd discovered in order to salvage the situation. This entire plan had been a waste of her time. If she'd gone with her gut and just taken him four months ago, she would have broken him into submission long ago.

    "Nemene," she said, letting out a cold, sharp laugh as she drew to a halt right in front of him. Sensing the mood in the room, the three huge wolves growled, the deep noise echoing about the room, as they rose to their feet, padding out of the shadows in which they had lain, impossibly long teeth bared and shining in the light.

    One hand, suddenly outstretched, was enough to hold them at bay, the beasts stopping where they were, though their silver eyes remained fixed on Merlin. "My name has not been Nemene for over three thousand years." She disliked being referred to as such. Nemene Damendar Boann was the Aes Sedai, the world-famous Restorer who saved people's lives... most of the time. Semirhage was her real identity, the Chosen whose name was synonymous with nightmares, the only Chosen to take the name the public had given her and gladly make it her own. Her eyes bored into Merlin's. "Who is he?"
     
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  5. Merlin Ambrosius

    Merlin Ambrosius BBC Merlin

    Posts:
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    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Healer
    Location:
    Downbeat Bay
    Race:
    Creature of Magic
    Age:
    1000+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    [​IMG]
    With each word that left her lips, Emrys found himself filled more and more with dread as his fears came to life before his very eyes. Fears that Ozma had been right all along, and he had known, he had always known. But he hadn't been able to accept it, he hadn't been willing to open his eyes, not fully. In past weeks, he had suspected, perhaps, but her extended absence had thrown everything off, had somehow managed to attach him further to her presence while at the same time leaving him desperate for something. Human contact. Ozma. Emrys didn't know how specific it had all been, but at this point, it didn't matter. No amount of betrayal mattered. Slowly, his guilt was slipping away into something else. His own manner of betrayal, he supposed, as he listened to the growl of the wolves, the sound of her voice confirming to him that her name was not Nemene. Not anymore.

    She was focused on Ozma, on his identity, and suddenly, Emrys found himself determined to steer the topic away from him. He didn't want to put the other man in any danger, he couldn't bear the thought of it. And yet, he had willingly dragged himself right into Emrys' mess despite having more of an understanding of his situation than the young warlock himself had even had. How right he had been all along. She wasn't Nemene. She wasn't his wife, she wasn't the person that he knew, but it left him with so many questions.

    "... Who are you?" he finally asked her, opting for a question of his own rather than dragging Ozma only further into all of this. What would she have done? Hunted him down like a dog and killed him? Truth be told, Emrys didn't know if such a thing were possible. He was powerful, the most powerful person he had ever met, or the most powerful person his memory would allow him at the very least. He knew that without having been told, without having anything to compare it, too. He had felt his power, tasted his power, and--

    And Emrys had denied every attempt Ozma had made in setting him straight, in enlightening him. Now here he stood, with a cold stranger wearing the face of somebody he thought he should have known.
     
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  6. Semirhage

    Semirhage The Wheel of Time

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    He didn't answer her question. Of course he didn't. He clearly held some affection for the man, if he had been willing to betray his loving, devoted wife for him, and would thus not give up information on him so easily. No matter. He would talk, eventually. He would tell her everything he knew of this other man, and Semirhage would send the Darkhounds after him. No one could escape the hounds once they were on a trail. Before long, she would have both men in hand.

    Merlin would watch his other lover writhe. She would force him to watch every degradation of his mind and body she could come up with, knowing that it was entirely his fault for betraying her. A smile touched the corners of her lips at the thought.

    "You knew my name once. I'm sure somewhere in that mind of yours it's still there." She moved closer. "I am not your wife, but nor am I just anyone either." Steadily the space closed between them, a hand lifting and long, elegant fingers brushing his cheek in a motion that would have been familiar from his time with her as Nemene, and yet different at the same time. "We were lovers once." Nothing like Emrys and Nemene. Merlin and Semirhage had had a fire, the flame of hatred burning in Merlin's eyes even as his hands had groped and his tongue had been drawn across her skin. Far more satisfying than the lukewarm, bland romance between Emrys and his wife, and if she'd been able to keep hold of him, it would have been even more so.

    Her fingers drifted down his cheek, towards his chin, until suddenly the tenderness of her touch became something else, fingertips catching his jaw between them and holding tightly, long nails digging into skin. "Things would have continued to go easily as they were, Merlin, if you hadn't betrayed me," she purred, black eyes never leaving his. "Such an act cannot go unpunished." As she spoke the last words, weaves of fire drew around her fingers, until it seemed like her hand itself was burning with an inner fire that seared the skin.
     
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  7. Merlin Ambrosius

    Merlin Ambrosius BBC Merlin

    Posts:
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    Male
    Occupation:
    Healer
    Location:
    Downbeat Bay
    Race:
    Creature of Magic
    Age:
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    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    [​IMG]
    She wouldn't tell him. Another game, perhaps, not so unlike Ozma's where he was meant to rely on himself in order to get answers. Perhaps it would have been better that way from the beginning rather than eating up her sob story and listening to every word that she offered him. A part of him still wondered if this were really real. This sort of thing didn't happen to people like him, or people like anybody. In stories, perhaps. And yet, here he was in the clutches of a woman who felt nothing for him. Or ... something, perhaps, just not what he had thought. Whatever it was, though, wasn't something he knew how to describe or even hope to understand. Why him? Why had she fixated on him?

    Because they had once been lovers?

    He wracked his mind in a desperate attempt to conjure up a name, a memory, but when he saw her, the only familiarity he could place was the loving wife in that perfect little home. Only none of it was perfect anymore. That perfection had all fallen away and now she was cold and he was cruel. And yet, her touch felt so familiar to what they had shared and he felt himself absently shudder. Briefly, there was even the blind temptation to melt into it, to wake up in a bed beside her to find that everything was okay, that this was all in his head, that Oz had never ...

    No. He didn't want that.

    Suddenly, what had been a disarmingly gentle touch grew tight and vicious, Emrys' jaw clencing tight at his eyes snapped back to meet hers. They widened a fraction, flitting toward the weaves of fire around her fingertips, and while he could feel fear burning, a surge of anger overwhelmed even that as he suddenly shoved against her, tearing himself away from her grasp, caring little for whether or not her long nails clawed at his skin and left marks or blood in the process. She spoke of betrayal. Her. "I betrayed you?! I don't-- I don't know you! You lied to me, you fed me words and I--" And he had clung to each and every one of them. He had devoted himself to her in ways, in a fit of love, of attachment, of obligation. He drew himself backward, half stumbling as he did, quickly creating distance between them.
     
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  8. Semirhage

    Semirhage The Wheel of Time

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    Human - Aes Sedai
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    He tore himself from her grip, her nails scoring skin, and she let her hand fall back to her side, a thin smile touching her lips. Though he moved backwards, desperate to create space between them, Semirhage closed it once more, gliding after him, every step filled with the elegant grace of a queen in her palace.

    "You do know me, you just have to remember," she pointed out smoothly, continuing to drift along in his wake until the wall behind him stopped him going any further.

    "Merlin..." The name was purred, pointed, as he didn't seem to have noticed before in amongst everything else that she had used a name other than Emrys. "You have no idea of the effort I have gone to to have you with me... The things I've done to make a life for us." She sighed, almost sadly, as though she had genuinely wished for that life to continue if only he had not betrayed her. "I had wanted to be gentle. But you threw that in my face with your unfaithfulness."

    She cocked her head, stopping barely more than a foot from him. "Do you want to see who I really am?" she asked, voice soft, a silky caress.
     
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  9. Merlin Ambrosius

    Merlin Ambrosius BBC Merlin

    Posts:
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    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Healer
    Location:
    Downbeat Bay
    Race:
    Creature of Magic
    Age:
    1000+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    [​IMG]
    There was a distinct stinging in his cheeks and although skin had not been broken, there was no denying the marks left. He paid them no mind, though, so focused on the woman so quickly closing the space that he was trying to create. Before he knew it, there was nowhere else to go, a wall stopping him, and yet Emrys found himself pressing further and further back as though he could somehow felt his way into it. He was afraid. He was angry and he was afraid in light of the knowledge that this woman had such reach to take advantage of him.

    Merlin. It wasn't the first time that he had heard that name, and he had to wonder to himself what she would have thought had she been aware of the number of times he had heard that name. From Ozma. From a stranger on the streets of Elysium. The name coming from her lips only proved confirmation of his own identity. And yet, it still told him so little. It was a name. It was only a name.

    "I want the truth. All that I have ever wanted from you was the truth."
     
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  10. Semirhage

    Semirhage The Wheel of Time

    Posts:
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    "The truth..." She hummed, before lifting her slender shoulders in a graceful shrug. "As you wish." There was little reluctance at the thought of undoing all of the hard work she had put into things. This level of subterfuge, this was Mairon's area of expertise, not hers. She had done her best, but it had started falling apart, slipping through her fingers. There was no point trying to hold the pieces together.

    Her usual methods would work just as well, if not better.

    There was a soft sigh. "Come with me," she murmured, abruptly turning away from Merlin and gliding towards a door in the corner of the room, its wood almost invisible against the beautiful panelling of the surrounding walls. As she reached the door, reaching out a hand to push it open - bypassing her own wards - she paused, not even bothering to look over her shoulder as she spoke again, her voice louder in order to carry across to where she'd left Merlin.

    "I would not advice attempting to flee." Others would have, though Merlin had always had a stronger spine than that. It was one of the things she admired about him. "My hounds there will tear you apart before you even reach the door." As if they understood, the three pony-sized wolves growled at Merlin, black fur along the backs of their necks rising.
     
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  11. Merlin Ambrosius

    Merlin Ambrosius BBC Merlin

    Posts:
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    Occupation:
    Healer
    Location:
    Downbeat Bay
    Race:
    Creature of Magic
    Age:
    1000+
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    [​IMG]
    Abruptly, she turned away from him and Emrys felt his lips part as he sucked in a deep breath as though suddenly remembering that breathing was something that he could, in fact, do. The distance between them made him feel just a touch more secure, but that didn't say very much at all. He couldn't have felt less secure in anything at all. Absently, he found himself curling his arms across his bare chest once more, one hand gripping his shoulder as though for support, as though reminding himself that the only support he had left now was himself. Oz wasn't there for him to cling to.

    Fleeing was a thought that crossed his mind, but as though on queue, she warned him. The tell-tale sound of growling drew his attention, and Emrys stared for a couple of seconds at the three sizable creatures before he pushed abruptly away from the room, half stumbling across the way to follow her. Whatever spine that the man she knew had once had, whatever strength it had been she had admired, was admittedly lacking from him in that moment and perhaps had been since the day that they had come across one another in Elysium. No, even before then. Since the day he had awoken with no memory to be found. He felt fear and it was easy, so very easy, to forget the sheer power that he held at his fingertips.

    Ozma had never forgotten, and it was he who had reminded him again and again of what he held beneath his sad blank slate of a surface.
     
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