Private Tales Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara Khalid had been vibrating with anticipation of this day since it had been planned. It was not just because she was a dog...who got to go for a walk...in the woods. While that was a pretty big part of it, Samara was excited to spend the day with Raphael. She had racked her brain on what they could do and they had settled on a hike. As a Black Shuck who loved nature, she was perfectly happy with the decision.

The plan was a hike and then food at the waterfall. She had a feeling that the two of them would most likely get sidetracked. She liked to run in her canine form and he liked to fly. They would definitely get sidetracked now that she thought about it. She didn't mind though. She was just excited to spend time with him outside of any formal events. It was just them, nature, and whatever trouble they got into.

In Samara's usual inability to wear anything except dark colors, she had on tight black pants paired with sturdy black boots and a simple forest green top. Her usual dress outside of events that required something more respectable. She liked dressing up, but this was her comfort zone.

She was sitting against a tree,drawing some flowers in her sketchbook while she waited for Raphael to get there.
 
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Raphael

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Raphael had debated calling the whole affair off.

It's not safe, the shadows that he knew were his own fears whispered in his ear. It was hard not to listen to them even though he knew what they were because they were right. What would happen if Midir found out that he liked to spend his time with Samara? How would he use her to keep him in servitude for another hundred - thousand, even - years? It was bad enough when he threatened Lorcan and Sid, but the three of them had stood stalwart against Midir's threats for years now. Samara though? He had a horrible feeling this was the worlds way of dispensing a taste of his own medicine. No wonder Lorcan had been so angry with him when he had taken Maeve within a mile of the Erlking.

He was still debating the whole thing even as he landed at their arranged rendezvous point.

"Samara," he said by way of greeting and remembered to offer a smile too alongside the simple bow. Unlike her, when he was out of the dungeons Raphael liked to dress in anything but black when he could. Today he sported a cream shirt with laces to the throat that were currently only loosely done tucked into tan breeches and dark boots. He folded his dragon-like wings in as he wandered over curiously to see what it was she was doing.
 
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Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara heard Raphael before he had even spoken. Her canine hearing was just one of the wonderful tools in her arsenal. She looked up and smiled genuinely at the Puca as he approached her. "Raphael, I am glad you decided to come." She could tell when she had proposed the outing that he was leery about it, but he had agreed and now here he was.

She did not say anything else as she used her fingers to smudge the charcoal on her paper. The smudging created an effect on the roses petals that made them softer looking and more beautiful. The Hound watched Raphael grow closer out of the corner of her eye and she eventually held her sketchbook up to him to take. On it was a simple rose in black and white. She was no gifted artist, but she enjoyed making pretty things especially after a long day.

As he looked at the drawing, she stood and dropped the charcoal into her pack. "It's not that great and definitely not the best I have done but," she shrugged, "it makes me happy." She held out her hand for her sketchbook once he was done looking at it and she dropped that into her pack as well.

Samara slung the pack onto her back and smiled a small smile. She did not show many people her drawings. Luella was the only person who had seen them in a long time. She used to share them all with Vaer but he had lost that privilege many many years ago. "Ready? I figured we could start the hike...well hiking...because I know we will end up running and flying later." She gestured to herself when she said running and to Raphael when she said flying.
 
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Raphael

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Raphael took the sketchbook with surprising gentleness and care as though what she had handed to him were made of glass. In quiet contemplation he flicked back through a few of her sketches and marvelled in particular at the way she had captured shadows on each of her studies. He always found them a hard thing to pin down and in most art people tried to lace a beauty into them that wasn't there. Samara's was harsher and whilst she critiqued that to mean she was no good, Raphael rather enjoyed the simple, brutal honesty it showed of the world she tried to capture.

He handed it back and then nodded with a smile.

"I do enjoy using my legs as well as my wings," he intoned solemnly but his eyes danced with the faint echo of his earlier smile. Setting off at a good pace, Raphael led them away from their meeting point along one of the harsher paths they could take towards their goal.

"How... have you been?" He asked in an almost tentative manner.
 
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Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara liked Raphael's smile. She had seen it a few times at the Vitae Court party and she was happy to see it again. She was self-conscious about her art but he seemed to like it or at least he didn't voice his disgust and hatred for it. She'd take the silent nod and smile as a good sign.

The Hound kept pace with Raphael easily as they made their way through the jungle. Giant exposed tree roots enjoyed their life mission to trip everyone up on this path, but that was part of the run of a nature hike. At least to Samara. "I enjoy using my legs all the time. It is just a matter of if I enjoy being bipedal or quadrupedal more...which I am not sure of which most days." She chuckled. She cracked herself up.

Raphael's tentative question made her smile. "I have been fine. I am just enjoying winter. The stupid Sluagh get together is coming up and I just cannot wait to watch the idiots sort themselves out." Samara sighed. She hated the whole thing but it was a good excuse to get drunk and watch puppies fight for love and affection.

"Have you been working on any new dance moves?" There was a wistfulness in her voice as she fondly recalled the way he had swept her gracefully around the dancefloor. She stepped over a tree root before looking over at her hiking partner.
 
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Raphael

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Raphael's curiosity spiked when Samara mentioned the Slaugh's annual party. Whilst the master was away the dogs would play as they said. There was chatter all over the Palace about it and it wasn't just the hounds sorting out their internal conflicts. Every species from the brownies, to the water hags and even the puca used Midir's Winter escape to take a breath and deal with the frustrations that had built up over the year. Sometimes Raphael wondered if their king did not do it intentionally for just such a reason. Consequently, winter was Raphael's favourite season for it meant he had little work.

The torturer nearly tripped over a root when Samara mentioned dancing though.

"I..." his cheeks flamed an uncharacteristic red as he rubbed the back of his neck and then a fistful of hair. It made him look several years younger and more vulnerable. After a moment to collect himself he continued slowly. "Lorcán's mother taught us all when we were younger on her visits. Me, Lorc and Sid," he gave her a small smile before offering her a hand to help her over a fallen down tree. "It was one of my favourite times of day. She insisted and there was nothing Midir could do about it," not even the Erlking had wanted to take on the Priestess.
 
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Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara had not meant to trip Raphael up with her question. It was just a simple question that she had picked to make conversation, but she did have to admit that he looked adorable when he was caught off guard. Every time he spoke about Lorcan's mother, Lorcan, and Sid, he seemed happy. A true happy not the awkward happy she got from him. She had no idea who Sid or Lorcan's mother were, but they meant a lot to him.

When Raphael offered her his hand, she took it without hesitation. She could have easily gotten over the fallen tree without help yet she didn't want to. She liked the feeling of his strong hand wrapped around her own. Even after they had conquered the tree, Samara didn't take her hand back - even as the hold grew slightly awkward.

"She sounds like a wonderful woman," Samara smiled at him. She was curious what had happened to her as no one lasted long around the Erlking. Lorcan didn't even like his own father. She had worked for the man for a very long time now and she was still worried whenever she was called before him. She could not imagine what it would be like to mother a child with him. It sent a shiver of fear through her at the thought. No, she wouldn't bring up the subject with Raphael. Ever.

"What are your plans for our little winter vacation?" Her voice held humor in it. She did enjoy her only true time off once a year. She sometimes even left the Autumn Court to go visit friends who were in the Sluagh but not part of Autumn.
 
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Raphael

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"Wonderful, but insane," Raphael laughed and shook his head. It seemed to be a trait held by most Dawn Furies; he still wasn't sure how a relationship had ever started between her and Midir. The two could not be more different. Still, they had borne him his best friend and for that he would be forever grateful to the pair of them. He went to take back his hand once they had scaled the obstacle in their way but her fingers merely twined with his and he awkwardly left his hand in hers. Was this normal? He wracked his brain thinking of what he knew others did in these situations. He was so caught up in the thought that he didn't notice the grey fear behind Samara and it vanished before he glanced at her again.

Which was probably for the best.

"I will probably spend it with Lorcan and Sid... We like to winter together somewhere away from here too. Business keeps us apart a lot and it's nice to have a few months where we can just be ourselves," he had sworn an oath not to speak of Endora, the sanctuary where Lorcan lived with his mate. But he wondered if he might be able to convince his brother to let him bring Samara one day.

"Is your winter all fighting?" He teased.
 

Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Spending time with family was not something that Samara knew much about. She believed her mother was still alive and she didn't know who her father was so he could be alive as well, she supposed. Her mother did not approve of her joining the Sluagh though and it had been over eight hundred years since they had spoken. The fact made her sad sometimes, but not sad enough to go try to find the woman or any possible siblings.

"That sounds really nice, Raphael." She was sincere in her words and slightly jealous that he had his brothers. She had friends, but none as close as Raphael had. As much as she was enjoying holding his hand, she could tell it was awkward for him so she slowly let their fingers separate. The Hound rubbed her right arm like she had let go to scratch an itch. She didn't want him to feel awkward about feeling awkward.

The humor in his question made her smile up at him. "Hardly," she chuckled. "I actually don't fight unless I have to during my break. Sometimes I travel, but I mostly just stick around my home with wine and art supplies. I don't have anyone I am really close to..." Her voice trailed off as they walked over the rough terrain.
 
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Raphael

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The smile died a little as Samara's sentence trailed off. Raphael did not have many friends, in fact, he could probably count them all on one hand, but those he did have would die for him and vice versa. They wanted him around as much as he wanted to be with them and when they were together he felt loved - an emotion he had very rarely felt any other time of his life. He had thought that the Hounds in particular would have been like one giant family. That, at least, was what it looked like from the outside looking in. He'd even envied it. Hearing that there could be a group of you like that and still feel alone was... sombre.

"Would you like to... meet up over Winter? Perhaps you can come with me. Lorcan's.... new girlfriend is quite new to Autumn and I know she would like to meet more people. I suspect she's fed up of me and Sid by now," he laughed and rubbed the back of his neck. So fed up she had invited Isiell and Vaer to tea in the distant future. He wondered how his friend was taking that particular news, the Shuck had made it clear he had only love for Midir and not his son.
 

Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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It was Samara's turn to almost trip over a tree root at his question. This little outing had been her idea and he had seemed so leery about it so him asking her to meet up over Winter made her stumble...and smile. She righted herself quickly and looked over to meet his Amber eyes. "I would love to, Raphael. Very much so." She thought about the rest of his words and the pause before girlfriend again. There was definitely something he was hiding and she was still sure it was the word mate. "I am sure the poor woman is tired of being around three broody males all the time." She didn't know Sid but she was taking a guess that he was as broody as his brothers.

She thought back to previous words and realized that she had been unfair to one person who she did hold dear. "I do have Luella. We have grown close these last few months and we try to get together often but she is always busy. It was rude of me to discount that friendship. We baked a cake last time we got together." Samara chuckled at the memory of the woman asking if this was a date and if Samara planned to swim naked once they reached the waterfall. She felt the heat rise to her cheeks at the memory of the conversation and she smiled sheepishly at Raphael.

Was this a date? Fuck if she knew. Anytime her and Vaer had gone out in public it had been as friends even though they had been exclusive for two hundred fucking years. She realized a small sneer had formed on her face and she quickly wiped it away. She would not think of her ex right now. Absolutely not.
 
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Raphael

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Raphael instinctively reached out to grab her elbow when it looked as though she might fall but smiled faintly when she righted herself; of course a Shuck wouldn't be foiled by a root. Instead he placed his hand back in his pockets as they walked and she accepted his offer. He would have to ask his friend of course but he couldn't see Lorcan having a problem with it as long as Samara was happy to take the same oaths the others did who visited Endora.

"I shall ask," he said softly and nodded, adding it mentally to his list of things to do before he left for the isle himself in the next few days. Then he lapsed back into silence as she talked of her friend and of baking. He blinked in surprise and then shook his head at himself; why wouldn't she bake?

"It is a very odd thought, of you two baking," he confided in case she thought him rude for shaking his head. "The last time I saw Lue she was covered in blood fighting one of the Vitae brothers," not an image that then lent itself to frosting and sugar.
 

Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara shook her own head and chuckled. "Trust me, it was not something I expected either. She laced it too. Gods help me, it was something. It's funny how you think you know someone and then they do something that is out of your view of them."

Being out in nature and not hunting something felt nice. The weather was amazing as well. This was the perfect day for their little excursion. Winter was the only time that the humidity subsided even a little.

Samara sniffed and listened carefully before lowering her voice to ask her next question. "Raphael, why do you stay?" She could tell that he wasn't happy with what he did. It was not really a fun gig, but he seemed to hate it more than others.

She just needed to make sure they were out of prying eyes and ears before she brought up the question. "I love my job and I can tell when someone doesn't love theirs." She just really hoped he didn't take offense and that he would confide in her.
 
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Raphael

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What kind of cosmic joke was it that gave the fae so much power and yet made them unable to do a simple thing such as lie? It would certainly be a useful skill right now for no matter how he twisted the question or examined it, he couldn't think of any sugar-coated way of dressing up the truth to make it less awful. All he could do was keep his mouth shut and share only the barest of details which would make him look terse and closed off. As all these thoughts swirled within his mind the shadows begun to lick at his heels as they walked in a silence that stretched on and on, becoming denser and thicker the further it went on.

Eventually he did answer.

"Because I can't," despite speaking in barely above a whisper the words sounded like a shout after the stretch of silence and the shadows begun to stretch and ooze further outwards. Its tendrils licked hungrily at living plants causing them to shudder and shrivel. "He won't let me leave."
 

Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara let the silence stretch between them for as long as Raphael needed. The only sounds were the animals in the jungle and their boots against the ground. She did not feel particularly bad about the question, but she did feel bad for making him feel uncomfortable.

Raphael finally answered and the answer didn't surprise her. Midir tended to hold onto the things he liked. She had seen a few members of the Sluagh want to leave over the years and it had been nipped in the bud immediately. Samara knew there had to be more to Raphael's story though. He was not just an employee. He was best friends with Midir's son and they had grown up together. Yes, there was definitely more, but now was not the time to ask about it.

The Black Shuck stopped walking and quickly grabbed Raphael's hand. She moved to where they were standing facing each other and took his other hand. "I am sorry that I made you uncomfortable with that question, Raphael. That was not my intention. Sometimes my mouth moves faster than my brain. I just," she let a pregnant pause fill the small space between them. "I want to know you and I can see the sadness in your eyes..." Her voice trailed off as she looked up into the aforementioned eyes.

She wished there was a way that she could make him understand that he could trust her. She couldn't force that on him though. That would be something that would take time.
 
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Raphael

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It was hard to meet her gaze as she stepped in front of him and brought them both to a standstill. The chains Midir had about his throat were not things he liked to discuss. They were personal, a toxic web that would only ensnare those who reached out to try and cut it from him. Lorcan had tried, Sid had tried, and now all three were stuck until the Erlking decided to release them. Or until Lorcan finally took a blade and drove it through his fathers heart.

Raphael took a deep, shaky breath before slowly pulling his hands away.

"This is not a part of me you want to know. I wasn't overstating when I said at the dance being my friend is dangerous and it's not just to do with my job. Midir..." he trailed off and then shoved a hand roughly through his raven dark hair, his eyes lifting to scan the surrounding landscape. "All you can know is that unless he dies I won't ever be able to leave."
 

Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara let his hands go from hers. As he spoke, her heart broke a little for him and she knew she had ruined their little hike. She really needed to keep her mouth under control. She was usually better at it...at least with serious topics...but she had failed this time. Miserably.

She looked down at the ground for a moment and then slowly started walking again. "You can go if you'd like and I will never bother you again..." Her voice was sad, but earnest. This is why she stuck to superficial topics. This is also why she had been single for five hundred years. Her curiosity and need to fix things had just fucked shit up again. Way to go Samara, she chastised herself again.
 
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Raphael

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Pity wasn't something he had been looking for. It was a life he hadn't asked for but the reward it came with - if it meant he had Lorcan and Sid in his life - then it was a price he would pay a thousand times over. One day he would be free and he was willing to wait for it if it meant he didn't lose one of them along the way. He supposed that now... it was three people he was hoping not to lose. Quietly, the shadowy puca fell into step beside Samara with his hands behind his back.

"You don't bother me, Samara,"
he said softly then lapsed into silence, thinking of something to break the tension. "Do you want to see the surprise I was going to show you?" he gave her that small and timid smile once more than dimpled a single cheek.
 

Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara was relieved that he had not taken her up on her offer to leave. She would've probably cried right there on the ground and Samara hated crying. She looked over at Raphael as he fell into step with her and smiled weakly at him. She was going to keep her mouth closed for a little while.

Surprise? Oh she loved surprises. She looked over at the puca again and noticed his adorable dimple for the first time. "I would love to! I love surprises!" Her mood completely shifted back to happy Samara in a matter of moments. All thoughts of her upsetting him had fled her mind.
 
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Raphael

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Raphael chuckled as she bounced like an excited puppy next to him and he came to a slow stop.

"I don't know how much you know about Pucas," he said slowly and begun to crack his arms as he limbered up as though preparing to take flight or run a mile. "But I don't just fly," he winked and then, with a deep breath, a colourful miasma of light begun to surround his body like a cocoon. The light within its heart of colourful rings turned a brilliant bright white that started off in the odd shape of a puca, then slowly folded into itself and changed. Slowly the light faded and the rings of colour vanished and in Raphael's place stood a large black wolf.

I thought you'd like to run together.
 
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Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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Samara watched with wide eyes as the colors coalesced around Raphael. She had to admit that she didn't know that much about pucas. It wasn't because she didn't care about them, but that she didn't know that many.

The Hound practically jumped with joy when a large black wolf stood in the place where Raphael had been moments before. She was still giddy as her own shift started. Unlike his, hers was all black darkness. The shadows surrounded her as her body began the change to her canine form. It was a form that was as natural to her as her humanoid form.

Once the shadows cleared, a similarly huge black wolf dog with gray eyes stared at Raphael's wolf. He was about half her height in this form and that made a weird canine smile stretch across her muzzle.

You know the way to a Black Shucks heart, Raphael!


Samara pawed at the dirt for a moment then took off at a run. This was utter perfection.
 
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Raphael

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Raphael chuckled as she took off; at least he knew how to distract her in the future from these difficult conversations. With a small growl he lurched after her into a flat out sprint.

The path fell away beneath their paws and the world whizzed by but Raphael enjoyed it as much as he would have walking and taking his time to enjoy the scenery. This was simply enjoying the world in a different way and, for some reason, it felt... more appropriate experiencing the world this way when he was with Samara. So he focused less on the sights and more on the smells and the feel of the earth beneath his paws. The Shuck was double his side and so he had to work twice as hard to keep up. By the time they reached the lip of the waterfall he was panting and in serious need of a drink.

Glancing briefly at her he begun to pick his way down the rocky edge to the sandy banks around the edge of the pool at the waterfalls end. He padded across the pebble dash sand and leant to lap at the crystal cool water.
 

Samara Khalid

The Huntress of the Sluagh
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The wind in her face felt amazing. She loved running even if she was fully aware that he had used this as a change of subject. She didn't mind though. Not even a little bit. Samara would never tell him that she had actually slowed down her run slightly for him. She didn't slow down enough for it to be obvious though. He still had to work to keep up with her.

Samara followed Raphael down the edge of the waterfall to the bank of the glimmering pool. He stopped to drink while she went into full dog mode and launched herself into the water. She couldn't help it. She probably should have shifted first but...dog...water. She swan around for a few minutes before returning to the dry land and shaking off her gigantic body.

She sat and stared at him with her head cocked to the left. Did he want to shift back? She would let him make the choice for them.
 
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Raphael

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The wave caused by Samara's cannon ball into the pool was enough to soak Raphael as much as if he had gone in the pool himself. For a moment all he could do was stand there, blinking, as the droplets dripped off the ends of his fur and he studied his reflection in the crystal waters at his paws. Then, with a huff, he shook himself dry and went back to drinking whilst the Shuck had her fun. When she finally did return - and shook herself out all over his just dried fur - he huffed and shifted back in a flurry of colour. Once the light faded it revealed a rather damp looking puca with his wings stretched out behind him in the sand.

"I should have bought a ball for you, clearly," he teased and quirked a brow.
 

Samara Khalid

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Samara let out a chuckle as the shadows surrounded her and she shift back. She walked over to the bank where Raphael was sitting in his damp clothing and took a seat next to him, crossing her legs in front of her. "I feel like I should be offended, but I cannot act like I don't enjoy things like that." She smiled at him and laughed again. "Thank you for running with me. It was wonderful."

She bumped his shoulder with hers before she speaking again. "Do you want to actually get in the water with me?" Her smile was nervous. Raphael made her nervous and awkward and she felt like a teenager flirting with her first crush.
 
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