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Nighteyes5678 Aug 28 '12 3:58pm

The Needed Escape - Selarenia and Conner
Conner sat on his boat's bow, reclining back against a coil of rope he'd slung there. Night's grip still clung to the sky, but the moon was out and large, casting dancing silver light on the ebbing waves. Enough of a breeze pushed at their sails to keep them moving south, towards warmer climate and sandy beaches. With the dawn's extravigant light would come the gulls. He'd kept them decently close to the shore, to better avoid the beasts that hunted in the ocean's depths. Part of the price that came with safety was noise.

Let them squawk. He'd always thought that with marriage would come a certain amount of harsh noises. Conner counted his blessings that the vast majority of unpleasant sounds came from gray feathered gulls.

He smirked, remembering Selarenia's face yesterday. She'd been radiant all through the wedding, taking the brief interruption with grace. The day had been perfect. Everyone they'd wanted to show had (save for Journey, but one could only expect so much from an Avatar); everyone he'd fear would show, hadn't. Aislin hadn't even tried to kill anyone. Neither had Derek, for that matter, and given the guest list, that was a feat.

They'd escaped the feast in the cover of darkness, and Conner had known that something was wrong the moment they came near the boat. Something just felt off, wrong and, reaching the lower hold, it became quite obvious what it was: kittens. They were everywhere, mewing and playing with each other, tumbling over one another in an endless catastrophe. His new bride had been enchanted; he'd been annoyed. There was only one man who'd be this cruel, and as he slowly rounded up the endless cascade of kittens, he'd cursed Jasper's name.

But, the evening ended well. They were tired, but not too tired, and that alone was sweet. Before he'd tumbled into bed for the last time, he'd charted a course to take them south. The letter Braiden had passed along would supply enough coin and favors in whatever port they choose - generous as it was open-ended. In another time, another life, Conner would've made different use of such a favor.

It felt like another person, though. It wasn't that he'd completely changed - Conner had felt the violence in himself recently; quite recently. There was just more to live for, more to channel, and his priorities had changed.

Behind him, the whisper of fabric and Conner smiled, knowing that Sel had gotten up. Surprising, as he'd expected her to sleep through the dawn. "Sleep well?" he asked, not bothering to look over his shoulder, though he did scoot to make sure she had a place to snuggle up against him. A man could hope and plan for such things, if he was lucky and wise.

Conner truly felt lucky, these days. Wise could come later.

Kallisto Aug 29 '12 3:11am

Selarenia sat herself near Conner and wormed her way into his arms, absolutely not caring if she disrupted his comfort. She nodded slowly, a lazy smile spreading on her face. "Just not long enough," she admitted softly. Her gaze wandered to the open water before them and caught on the pale moonlight playing in the waves. She suddenly yawned and hid her face in the crease of his shoulder. "Too many... distractions." She let out a giggle and lifted her face. Her lids were heavy still but she looked terribly happy. "And you? If a morning was ever proper for sleeping late, it was today, and yet I still awoke in an empty bed. Husband, you will need to be lazy at least once a week."

Nighteyes5678 Aug 29 '12 3:06pm

Conner pulled her a little closer, flicking his cloak around them both with a practiced movement. Her body felt warm against his and her words made his heart ache. "Husband. I think I like that word coming from your lips, my lady wife. I would've slept all day, but I wanted to be up here in case something was needed. We'll be holding pretty steady for a time, and the coast is clear along this stretch. Can't be too careful, though. Not when you carry such precious cargo as I am."

Kallisto Aug 30 '12 2:04am

"I can't argue with that," Selarenia answered with a chuckle. She left Conner's embrace to stretch, then wormed her way back into his cloak. Her cheek resting on his chest, she closed her eyes. The boat's gentle rocking lulled her back into sleep, until a gull squawked angrily just above their heads, a rival having stolen his fish gut. She awoke with a start. "You let me fall asleep," she accused Conner. "I should shake myself and help you out," she said, though she didn't lift a finger. The previous day - and night - had been filled with so many joys, and now she felt comfortably numb against her love, and it was too much of an effort to do anything but breathe and be happy.

She sighed and closed her eyes again. After a long while, she murmured: "We should have kept at least one."

Nighteyes5678 Aug 31 '12 1:07am

"Kept one what?" Conner asked, frowning just a little bit. Normally, he understood her. At least, he liked to think he did. "No matter what you say, you deserve a rest. No, ignore that. I want to give you one."

Kallisto Aug 31 '12 1:20am

Selarenia smiled at his confusion, and then more as she recalled the look on his face when the kittens tumbled out of the boat's cabin. They stalked his calves and then fled from him, and for each three he caught one escaped his grasp. A few took swats at her skirts and chewed the ribbons of her dress. It was annoying and lovely.

"A kitten, of course," she said, beaming at him, expecting him to sputter and growl.

Nighteyes5678 Aug 31 '12 2:00am

He didn't let her down. "If anything, we need a dog," Conner growled, narrowing his eyes. "Cats are dumb. Besides, it was all Jasper. I know it, don't say otherwise. If I wasn't busy making sure you were in heaven, I would've stitched a few into his trousers. He likely thought he'd distract my wife from me, on our wedding night."

Kallisto Aug 31 '12 2:07am

"Cats are adorable. And if what you say about Jasper is true, then he almost succeeded," she added innocently.

She paused for a moment, but couldn't help it and burst in laughter. "Oh, please. You really think I would've ignored you? On our wedding night?" She lowered her voice. "After we've spent half the day devouring each other with our eyes? I could never." She leaned forward and kissed him. "Deep down, you know it." She nuzzled his cheek.

Nighteyes5678 Aug 31 '12 2:10am

He poked her playfully, gently. "They're kittens. I don't underestimate the power of kittens. It's the only way to stay ahead." Conner grinned and kissed her cheek. "But no. Knowing you, I wasn't really worried. If you couldn't defeat Jasper, I'd be worried. The man's pathetic. And you're amazing."

Kallisto Aug 31 '12 2:15am

"Stop beating on the poor man," she chided him gently. "He's never wanted anything other than to be your friend."

Selarenia was never sure how she managed to state that with a straight face.

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