The Needed Escape - Selarenia and Conner

   
"I never knew you thought that 'friend' meant 'someone who wishes and plans your eventual ruin'," Conner said, giving her a look. "It makes me worry about how you feel about others that you call 'friend'. Is there something I ought to know?"

Selarenia bit her lower lip, mirth plain on her face. "Just that I consider you the best friend I have."

Conner scowled. "Why, Lady Corleis, I think you're trying to distract me." It was working, of course. Not that he needed to advertise, though Conner was vaguely aware of how his body was betraying him, least of which his tilting frame and neck.

"And, from the looks of it, Lord Corleis, I'm not only trying, but succeeding." She beamed at him. It was so rare during their banter that she had the upper hand that felt unable to stop taunting him.

"Now, you will need to excuse me. The sun is rising and will highlight the fact that I'm still in my nightwear. I make for a lousy seaman. Or seawoman." Her brow furrowed a bit. "Whatever it's called." She raised one eyebrow at him, studying his face, as though she was pondering if he would actually let her leave.

Conner smirked, feeling both lazy and bold. Hearing his new assumed name voiced aloud stirred something in him. With her, he took on another form, another aspect of himself. It wasn't a mask. That would suggest it was false. Instead, it was another part of him that she embolden, setting free, and he liked it a great deal. Lord Corleis - he could get used to that. "Are you? Well then, my beloved Lady, I must beg some amount of mercy from you. Otherwise, I'll abandon my duty and leave us both wrecked upon some impossible slope."

She smiled at him wickedly. "And would that be so terrible?" She paused, staring at him in the eye, hunger and laughter dancing in hers, then she suddenly seemed to loose her spine. She looked down and flushed. "Can't you throw the anchor or something?" she whispered. "I don't care where we go. We could stay in this spot for a month that I wouldn't mind."

She chuckled, a bit embarrassed at the confession. She opened her mouth to say more, but then felt they weren't alone anymore. Her shy smile turned into a frown and she looked about, alarmed.

Conner laughed. "I don't have a chain long enough to reach bottom. I don't know the exact distance, but there's at least two hundred feet below us." He grinned, his hand on her hip. "But, you know, the chances of an island beneath us at this point is really, really small. We could let the boat ride and..."

A well of power from the main deck made him frown. It'd been a long time since he'd connected with Saia in any deep way, but even so, he was connected to the shadows. The divine power swelled, than shattered.

"The deck," he said, as both of them turned. Journey lay on the back deck, his blood already making a large pool around his body.

Selarenia let out a cry and jumped on her feet. She nimbly stepped over and around the rigging, convinced Conner was on her heels, and dropped on her knees beside Journey's battered form. Blood splattered on her nightgown. She put a trembling hand over his chest, taking in the miserable sight before her.

There was no trap, this time. Journey could have appeared anywhere he wished, and he came to her. He would not have brought her harm. She sucked in a breath and gathered his wounds unto herself.

Conner flinched when Selarenia knelt next to Journey, wanting to tell her to be done, but he didn't. She was a healer - he'd accepted that long ago. It didn't mean it was easy to see her flesh tear and break, the wounds pulled into her and healed. If a way existed where he could share this with her, he would've taken it. He'd chosen the path of Saia long ago, and that Avatar wasn't terribly bit on healing.

The wounds were severe, and they brought with them the sharp, bitter taint of the demonic. Journey gasped, his hand grabbing onto Selarenia's arm, fingers digging in as she continued to heal his body. "Enough," he said, at last, pushing her away, breathing hard. "Enough. I can do the rest."

Selarenia leaned back, blinking at Journey, her gaze out of focus. She nodded once, then slumped against Conner. She grabbed his arm and wrapped herself with it, and sighed wearily. She remained silent for a few heartbeats, catching her breath, shivering slightly in her husband's arms. Her wounds had closed already, but the pain lingered and didn't seem to want to leave her.

After a while, however, color came back to her face, and she looked her usual self. "What happened to you?" she asked, her voice filled with worry.




 

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