… I’m not telling secrets to someone who’s afraid to show their face.
There’s only one… I’d like to kiss. *cheeks darken, scowl* Sorry for disappointing you.
*internal scream, not so much about him as it is about disclosing information* … Fine. Whatever. It doesn’t bother me. *takes extra care to make sure her tone isn’t clipped*
… I have a diary. I write in it… daily.
… I’ve been… tracking Sophia… a little. Especially when someone visits. *sidelong glance, frowns*
I find myself in the desert a lot… for no reason. *somewhat distant gaze* … Memories.
… *arms crossed, furrows brows* That’s a lot… annoying.
Opposite members of the sex I find attractive…
cliffcliffcliff … Erm, him. I think he looks… nice. *sigh* Two more… Gray looks alright but that doesn’t matter. He needs to make Sophia happy forever. And Gaius is okay when he takes care of himself.
Three habits… twisting wire. Finger tapping. Drawing my sword.
… You’re anon, so I don’t have three things to tell you. Just one. Keep an eye on Gray and Sophia for me. I know it’s none of my business… They just… have to be doing okay. If Karina’s interested in someone… I’d like to know too. *would hunt that sucker down eventually*
Three wishes… I’d like to repay Gaius for everything he’s done. If Cliff was happy… I wouldn’t mind that either. *closes eyes, frowning* … I hope Sharance will stay peaceful.
As Raven pulled the former traveler closer, his muscles relaxed ever so slightly — but the unease remained in the pit of his stomach. Why did things have to turn out this way? Maybe it was true, maybe life really wasn’t as simple as he was raised to believe, only having himself to worry about or rely on all this time. Cliff almost could have chuckled at the thought, maybe it was also true that women were the end. It certainly felt that way as he relaxed his head into Raven’s shoulder while her hand rested gently against his wet hair.
“I will…” he said, his grip on her side softening into a proper embrace. Before, it was if he was holding on for dear life, unable to realize just how tightly he had been pulling her in. Cliff winced, hoping he hadn’t caused any more pain than he already had, especially after receiving an invitation to stay. He didn’t know just how much the girl was hurting, how much pain he had caused and how much grief he may have planted in her potentially fragile mind. That single phrase muttered from her lovely lips may have been the hardest thing she could have ever said; like daggers playing tag with her heart. He couldn’t shake that feeling of utter despair at what he had done, even if it wasn’t his fault.
Then again, the more he thought about it the more he could have just kept his mouth shut when he last spoke to Ann, but no. No, he had first met her at a desperate moment in his life and with that small sliver of familiarity he had thrown all decorum out the window. Now, the woman he had fallen so hard for was suffering.
“I’m so sorry,” he muttered breathlessly into the crook of her neck, taking in her muted scent as he felt a slight shiver. Was he cold? No, it was still quite warm despite the fire being downstairs. His hair was still wet but rather than cold, it was hot and suffocating. That phantom shiver sent the strangest sensation to his stomach, but he fought it back as best as he could. Nothing could separate him from Raven’s carefully placed arms. Still, if it was one thing Cliff could recognize, it was the touch of a person in guard. He had sent her on edge, but he didn’t blame her.
With everything he had, Cliff longed to make things right. He wanted to feel her lips against his, but now that the truth was out, it was possible that such a wonderful sensation would never happen again. Her scent and her touch, guarded as it was, against his bare arms, made his heart race and his longing grow.
Cliff felt his eyes growing tired, his lids fighting just to stay open in this strange, sticky warmth that surrounded his and Raven’s forms. Their skin had long since dried, but their hair and what little clothing clung to them still held an uncomfortable saturation that gave the air a thick, muggy feeling about it. The rain, still beating heavily down on the roof above their heads, served as a lullaby. More and more, all the man could think of was home. Home — right here, in this warm place in these warm arms. This was home, something he had never truly felt in all his years. If Raven could find it in herself to forgive him, this would be what happiness felt like.
The last thing he wanted to do was separate himself from the elf, but he couldn’t stand this damn shirt clinging to him any longer. While his pants were still wet, they hadn’t soaked in nearly as much as his top half and he’d still need to sleep in something.
Pulling himself away, for the first time in what felt like hours his eyes met hers, though only for a brief moment. Her eyes held no shine, that content glow they normally contained. His heart sank as he looked away, pulling off his glove and setting it in the corner. His words had struck much harder than he initially believed — or so he thought. Once again, Cliff’s mind was plagued with thoughts he would have rather not had. What if she does decide to leave? She had every right to, but the idea tore into his heart like a wild animal; hungry and irate. His hands practically glided as he untied his belt, having been a normal routine for so many years now he could have done it in his sleep. Having peeled the vest off of his shoulders, his under shirt was just as soaked as the rest of him. Even the fur had become mottled and unkempt, which was generally a frustrating occurrence regardless of the situation. Once that was removed as well, the man sheepishly walked back over to the bed and sat.
While his skin, for the most part, seemed smooth, upon closer inspection it had been littered with small, inconsequential scars save for one large one on the small of his back. It was obvious that he was an outsider no matter where he went, keeping to himself and living on his own unless offered shelter. No one other than his father had seen many of these brands and now more than ever he could feel the flush spread across his cheeks. Cliff was offering his all to Raven, and Raven alone.
Even though he agreed to stay, somehow Raven found herself running thin on actually thinking. For once she understood how Micah and the rest were able to see things so clearly, a veil had lifted and facts were placed. She had been so selfish before, to not see. The sky was blue and Cliff still had some skeletons in his closet that needed to be settled. With or without her. The idea was smooth and flowed forward like a pencil drawing a straight line, paper eroding graphite. It existed, more so than they did.
The half-elf tried not to hold grudges, and she certainly couldn’t against a man giving himself penance. Raven would stand over him, watching as he tried to amend the past with tired eyes. Cliff was punishing himself, he knew what he did was wrong. She didn’t have to say anything, but this situation was far from satisfying. His reactions were normal… so wasn’t she the only one who was in the wrong for not knowing how to feel? Shoulders slumped, the redhead glowered at the floor. Staying in Sharance helped her slowly learn forgiveness. The same way Gray almost caught fire… no hard feelings.
Her eyes widened, lips parting as the traveler pulled away. She hated when betrayal fled and blood rushed to her narrow ears, just watching. Perhaps later Raven would criticize herself with a brief reminder (you’ve seen it before, why do you bother being a love struck fool?). Nostrils flared, her form was coiled away from his own as crimson streaks fanned outward. Even if they were in her room the girl’s eyes still trailed down his figure solemnly, trying to determine if he posed a threat. Hah. She kind of doubted Cliff had a hostile bone in his body, or if he did he was doing a very good job at hiding it ((
why does this happen when I’m tired)).
A kiss was such a small action, yet it had a bigger impact than holding hands. The reverberation of the action varied in certain cultures, but their town was very close-knit. Perhaps in the city couples would be more open, brief kisses not regarded as sacred. Everyone knew everything and there was no stopping the echoes of Karina arguing with her mother, or the De Sainte-Coquilles’ bickering through stone walls. Raven hadn’t seen her friends recently, but it wasn’t always necessary. If she was willing to listen, she would hear it. The half monster frequently missed the quiet murmurs of affection and the space between hearts breaking - simply the price of a former nomad, breathing hate to survive.
Brows furrowed, one hand gently touched his shoulder. His skin was soft to her palms worn away by grit and earth. Not the hands of a woman, not one that would satisfy him. Still, her head throbbed as a reminder that they couldn’t just brush everything off and deal with it tomorrow. Raven’s expression froze in hesitance, to care and hurt. Pain meant throwing whatever she held to sprint for a weapon or an exit. If it were an object and not the person who had her mind scrambling for a clue several minutes ago, the decision would be easy.
Several minutes passed before her hand moved upward to his chin, tilting Cliff’s head toward her. Already inches from capturing his mouth with her own, a brief flash of aqua sent waves of discontent down Raven’s stomach. You were looking at her with those eyes. Not an experienced kisser, their teeth almost clashed together and she was fumbling - for what she didn’t even know. It wasn’t gentle, probably too clumsy for anything remotely good but that wasn’t the point. Someone wanted him and made it known. This… was just to prove she wouldn’t give up that easily.