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Old 11-30-2010
roguethree roguethree is offline
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A slight, salty breeze swept through the high climes of the lighthouse as the sun cast the burnt reds and oranges of dusk through the sky. The paladin in black and gold mail looked down upon the quieting village, his eyes flitting from distant window to distant window as candles lit their depths. Far below, the cries of merchants closing their shops echoed and died within the twisting allies of the port city. From the center of the town, a number of sturdy men and women in the gleaming red and silver of the legion dispersed in small, orderly columns, filtering through the streets like water through cracks in stone.

His hood was pulled back, his shaven, blemishless visage bared for none to see. His eyes were icy-blue, at that moment, the sunburst around his pupils more resembling the thin halo around a warmthless winter sun. He was thinking, judging himself, and he wasn't liking his verdicts.

Shuffling steps and ragged breathing broke his reverie, and he turned to her, his...standing, bent at her waist and struggling to find wind. Her dark, lustrous gaze found his, and her mouth twisted into an agonized grimace. She looked dismayed, her eyes creasing with an unspoken despair. She stood upright and hesitated, turned on a heel and managed a few steps back down the path, away from the lighthouse, from him. She almost left.

She stepped to the cliff's edge instead and sunk to the earth, her hands moving to conceal her gaze from the sun that slowly eased beneath the horizon, its light disappearing into the sea. Behind her, the paladin turned, uncertainty written across his features, and before he could form thought, his feet were bending blades of grass beneath their tentative steps. Hands' breadths behind her, he sunk to his knees and sat on his heels, his eyes turning a deeper blue that must have been the color of the waters that quenched the fire at his core as he looked upon the Sunite, his...

He winced as she sniffled, and her hand drew across her eyes. A droplet escaped vigilance and eased down her cheek, drawing a darkened line down her flawless features. It disappeared beneath her jawline, and so he grabbed the hem of his cloak, reaching forward to present it to the woman. The paladin's cloak in hand, she dabbed at her reddened eyes, murmuring a watery thanks.

He tugged at his gauntlets for some time, painstakingly freeing his hands. The clanking of the metal was lost to the breeze as the armor struck the ground. He laid his naked hands upon her shoulders, and his right snaked around to caress her throat. His left weaved into her curls, and he would have taken her closer, but beneath him, the crest of his armor teased the lower reaches of his vision. His gaze fell to it. His armor. Again.

"I...I don't like myself, Priya."

Hours passed, and neither could tell how much was said. As the murky blackness gave way to the fiery hues of the morning sun, they rose, and he clung to her fingertips. His eyes poured into hers, trying to find answers to questions only he could resolve.

"Goodnight, Priya," he must have whispered, for his lips moved, and she replied.

"Goodnight, Dain." The silks of her gown rustled softly as she turned, a few steps taken toward the Port and its gate before she turned, her eyes lingering over the paladin as he yet looked after her. Her eyes shone with something. Hope? Regret? He couldn't tell, and then she was gone, her soft footfalls carrying her swiftly from the refuge.

As she faded from view, he turned his attentions to the mounting sun, across the waters to the distant landmass that marked Sestra.

Smoke.

(To be continued...)
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