Private Tales The Long Way Down

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Lyssia D'avore

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She let a long, slow breath out, but it did not make her feel much better. Not about herself, not about her situation, and most certainly not about her prospects for the future. She found she could hardly give much of her energy to that, anyway; she felt emotionally and physically drained. She still stared at the cold tea in front of her, not looking up.

She finally brought her eyes up. It was just as well that she could not see herself, then; she looked as bedraggled and worn as a pauper being tossed from their home which, more or less, described her perfectly. Something about addressing someone by their given name, as he was requesting, felt intensely wrong to her. In her life, only those of lesser station were addressed as such. She was in the habit of referring to people by their House, Lord this and Lady that. Well-to-do commoners were often addressed as Master or Mistress, the guards and the military personnel by their rank.

"Lyssia will do, Elijah," she said, tripping over his name and feeling another part of her identity die. She should demand the title, but she was no longer entitled to it. Somewhere deep within, she felt the stirrings of old fear rise, but against such powerful sorrow and hurt fear could hardly hope to win out. "I do not need to eat," she added. She was not hungry, but then she seldom was. Food was not the main force that drove her, not the source of sustenance that kept her strength up, at least not entirely on its own. It could do in a pinch, but her kind subsisted on something else entirely.

"I am...dreadfully tired, though," she said softly. She wasn't about to admit to the depth of that weakness, which ran clear enough to the bone.
 
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Elijah

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A tension left the old Captains shoulders at her words. It felt as though he had been balancing on a knife's edge for the past few hours waiting for the moment where he would cut himself and fall. He hadn't been entirely sure what that dangerous moment would have been but he had sensed it all the same like a deer senses the stalking hunter. Just like he had sensed it hanging about him like a threat, with her deep breath and words, he felt it fade away. The moment drifted further and further away as the seconds ticked past. He managed a half smile whether out of relief or because he had suddenly remembered that was a comforting thing he couldn't have said.

"The bedroom is just up the stairs, it's not much but it will do," he slowly unfolded himself from his sitting down position and hoisted himself to his feet once more. Limbs and old wounds creaked as he did so but they were comforting, normal things. "Come, I'll show you," he lumbered his way over to the stairs and took them two at a time to the top.

Much like the ground floor the top was an open plan thing with a double bed made with a soldiers precision, a wardrobe in one corner and a tin basin in the other that could have done with a clean. He moved to an old trunk at the foot of the bed and threw it open, rubbing the back of his neck. She was a small thing so he thought it would be good enough. Picking it up he turned and offered her the shirt.

"Here, you can sleep in this if you... don't have anything.. I'll er... do you want some hot water?"
he cleared his throat and looked to the tub.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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She said nothing to the offer, but she did not turn it down. Everything about this moment felt wrong, like the world was slightly out of alignment and everything in it was strange as a result. It was bad enough, all the other things that had happened prior to this...but something about being alone in a common-born man's house, actually thinking of accepting the use of his bed...

It twisted her up inside. Spun the coil of her soul until it should break, until it should have hurt. All of this was wrong, but she dare not thumb her nose at it. Sensibility and good breeding dictated that she not even be in this place at all, asleep or awake. The fact added another layer of weight on her already overburdened shoulders, and she felt herself stagger under that unbelievable stress as she, too, stood.

The stiffness of pushing herself to the brink of disaster not but an hour before was beginning to settle in, now. Elijah had no idea at all what had nearly transpired there in his common area, how close he had come to the center of a raging inferno of wild, uncontrolled magic. The storm had never come, but the price for such an attempt, thwarted or not, added to the emotional exhaustion.

"Anything," she said faintly as she tottered up the stairs behind him. There was pain, only now coming to her conscious awareness, and she knew it would grow far worse before it got any better. Perhaps she could sleep off the worst of it. "Just need to rest," she added.

The shirt he offered her was nearly as big as she was. But she did not have her cheap shifts that she preferred to sleep in with her - they might have been in the bag of belongings so carelessly tossed to her feet, but she had not looked and would not this evening. "No," she said faintly, taking the shirt wordlessly. "I just...I just need to rest. This...today....its been too much for me, too much," she stammered. She made her way toward the bed, the aches rising in her thin frame like a threatening thunderstorm. She had never pushed herself that far before, not even close. She had no idea what to expect, but knew it would be unpleasant. "Do not...fret, after me," she said as she reached the bed and sat down heavily. It was enormous in comparison to her. "I will be fine," she added a touch enigmatically. She should know he would have no idea what she was talking about, but the weight of exhaustion and the burgeoning pain distracted her from anything remotely like an explanation.
 
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Elijah

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"Well, then..." Elijah ran a hand through his hair as he watched her sink into the mattress. From the way her chin dipped slightly, to the slump of her shoulder he could see what she said was true. The young woman had been carrying this weight that had reached its fever pitch for a long time. When had the exile happened? He remembered hearing about it but he couldn't place a date but he knew it wasn't something that had happened recently. She had been suffering for a long time and it took more than a single conversation to root that kind of pain out of a person.

The irony of him thinking such a thing wasn't lost.

"I'll leave you too it, if you need me I'll be downstairs," he patted the top of the bannister and half turned as though he were hesitating over saying something else. Then he shook his head and muttered quietly to himself as he walked back down the stairs in great thundering footfalls.

This wasn't a situation he thought he would find himself in this morning and now he was alone, Elijah had time to process it himself. He sat down heavily on one of the cushions and sighed, running his hands through his hair to massage his temples. There was nothing he could do about her situation, which was the first thing he would have done to try get her back on her feet. So what was the next step in his plan?

"Let her rest and figure it out, women don't like you telling them what to do anyway," he muttered and then wiped one hand down his face with a sigh.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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"Thanks," she said in a strained voice. She should smile, take some of the edge off the tone. Found she could not, though, not while she began to endure the suffering that was to come. She sat on the edge of the bed as primly as could be had in her otherwise disheveled state, and waited until the clomp of his steps faded down the stairs.

Then she sighed tiredly, and loosened the waist of her dress so she could draw it over her head. The simple act hurt abominably, and the reason for it was soon evident. Absent the coarse cloth and any kind of undergarments, her pale skin pebbled in the cool air of the room. Blotches of bruised flesh were spreading now, snaking down her legs and arms, slowly expanding across her chest and abdomen and her face, even. Black and blue, mottled and ugly. It was as if someone had beaten her across every inch of her body. She quickly donned the shirt she had been given to cover up the grotesque sight.

This, then, was the price she was to pay for pushing herself too far. An ugly, fading reminder of the attempt on her own life.

She lay back on the bed and stared at the ceiling as the agony of her ravaged flesh intensified. Like an alcoholic finally hitting rock bottom, all she could do was lay there as muscles spasmed painfully and the misery reached its crescendo, pale form twisting on the bed as though racked by a fever. Which, in all reality, was exactly what she was dealing with - just of a different sort.

Perhaps an hour passed before her piercing cry cut through the stillness of the house. "For love of the Goddess, make it stop!" Her voice was strangled, riddled with the pain that wracked her. With a soft mewl, the pain finally took her into the darkness, and her sweat-soaked shape fell silent at last.
 
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Elijah

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He must have fallen asleep for her cry woke him with a jolt. For a moment he looked around at his surroundings in bewilderment; he lay on his back amongst the cushions that acted as seats a moment ago, but as such the table was above his eyeline along with the fireplace and bookcases. It was a weird world perspective and for a moment he felt a little disorientated. Was it even his house? Why was he on the floor? Then it all came rushing back to him like a stampede. The festival, the encounter with the young woman, the attack, courthouse, here...

Elijah scrambled to his feet a heartbeat later. From the wall he had leant it against he grabbed his blade and then took the stairs two at a time to where the screaming had come from. All manner of thoughts ran through his mind about what could be wrong. Had those men been sent after her to extract vengeance? Was there more to her story than he had originally believed and she was actually on the run from a more deadly force? If so how had he possibly slept through them sneaking past his very head. He would never forgive himself if--

Upon cresting the top of the stairs, blade drawn and ready for battle, Elijah was faced with... nothing. The adrenaline pumping through him made it hard to make sense of that for a moment. But there she was, asleep on the bed, and no obvious danger around her.

"Fool," he muttered to himself and put his blade away. "Lyssia?" he asked a little louder, walking over quietly so as not to disturb her if she was asleep. When she didn't answer he frowned and gently put a hand to her forehead.

"You're burning up..." he frowned and awkwardly ran his eyes over her to see if she had any obvious injuries. The men had been rough, had they hurt her without him realising? What a pitiful saviour he was turning out to be. Bruises mottled her exposed chest and he had an inclining they went further down. With a soft curse he turned and went back downstairs to fetch some medical supplies.
 

Lyssia D'avore

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"You will be needing these, my Lady," the woman before her said, holding out a key and a writ of transfer. Adora Ki'onte smiled beatifically at the young scion of House D'avore, and Lyssia merely inclined her head in acceptance of the key and the appointment to the Bursarship over Klanesh.

The Bursar smiled at her fellow, and then left. Lyssia was left to ascend the steps of the manor house by herself, one step at a time. The place was beautiful this time of year, as it had always been. The style of the manse was definitively Erdeniinian, squared roof with aesthetically pleasing curves to them, well manicured garden tastefully fiitting the home place. She cleared the steps and walked along the paved walkway towards the door, alone.


Flicker.

Her brother laughed lightly, hooking his arm in hers as they walked along towards the home. "Mother is very proud of you, Lyssie," he said, using her pet name from her childhood. "You've managed to increase the influence of the House in so short a time," he added.

"Please, do not call me that in public," she chided him gently, withdrawing her arm from his. "Remember that we are in public, and certain forms must be maintained," she added. Thus, side by side, they walked into what was to be her new home. With a faint smile, she placed her hand on the latch, and opened the door.


Flicker.

The draft was terrible in here this time of year. The ghost of finery lingered in her mind, but the walls that were bare of ornamentation explained exactly how ghostly those pretenses of granduer. She paused as she stepped in the room, looking down at a dress that did not fit the scene: pale blue silk, with the neck riding high under her chin and a delicate pattern in thread-of-gold and pearls across her chest. The room bore a single straw mattress and a chair, sized for her. They seemed insignificant in a room designed for humans.

No fire burned upon the hearth, and her breath misted before her in the chill. She turned, and looked back the way she had come, and with a look of confusion that swiftly faded away, saw that the garden outside was-


Flicker.

-a muddy street, and how could she have imagined it would be anything but? Ice filled puddles in the street, and the people that hurried along looked poor. Commoners, one and all.

For a moment, she looked around. Hadn't there been someone here? She was so sure they had been here just a moment ago. The ghostly touch of their flesh against hers echoed down the corridors of eternity, and she could not shake that they had been with her just a moment ago.


"Alric?" She tossed about in the bed, caught in a dream that would not leave her. "Alric? Where are you? This isn't the time for games," she said breathlessly, oblivious to the simple bed, to Elijah, to the world at large. "C-come....back..."

Not here. He wasn't here. She had been dreaming, of course; Alric had gone away. Where had he gone to? The answer was right there, but she could not speak it. Could not speak it, could not bear the thought of having to hear the words come from her own lips.

"Not here," she said, and then turned from the desolate emptiness of a house that was not hers and never would be. Back into the streets where the people wandered by, giving her caustic stares that pierced at her heart. Cold words, cold hearts, harsh intentions-


Flicker.

-apathetic glances, if even that. She stood in the street, rags fluttering in the wind. None paid her the slightest mind, even so rude as to barge through her. It was as though she was a wraith, invisible to the people around her.

"Stop pushing me aside!" she hollared at one man who ran roughly into her. He did not even deign to even respond to her. Fury swallowed her, and she turned to give him the rough side of her tongue...but could not. Blinking in surprise, she lifted her arm and stared at the string tied to her wrist. With a startled sqwawk, her arm was jerked away from her, and then her other. Strings, depending from the heavens, moved her along the street, head hung disconsolately as the people move along, ignorant of the young scion of the D'avores. She rode behind the eyes, incapable of moving her own body.


"N-n-no!" Her cry was piercingly loud, a plaintive shriek to the heavens that had already turned their back on her. Her eyes were wide open, although she saw nothing before her. The bed was already a torn mess, covers tossed hither and thither with her pained, stiff motions. "No! No! Give it back! Give it back! Giiiiiive iiiiiit baaaaa...." she cried, drifting into silence once more.

Flicker.

Brother in her arms, blood seeping into her dress.

Flicker.

Mother, walking arm in arm with her executioner, telling tales of the world to come. Speaking as would two close aquaintences, of the job and the burdens it placed upon them as if neither bore any ill will to the other.

The sound of a rope being drawn taught, the strangled gasps of someone being throttled to death, that the short fall did not grant the mercy of instant oblivion to. Her mother, staring at her with lucid eyes set in a purple face. "You have failed me, my daughter. You have failed me, and so this is your fate," she said. Her mother, staring at her as she choked to death, the rope tight around her throat while Mother watched on from the stands, the rope of courtian politics, the hair of all the women who conspired against them braided into a garotte.


---

Flicker. And flicker. And flicker. Disjointed dreams that ran together and blended into nonsensical nightmares, dreams where she stood naked before the Dynast but that worthy did not see her, the court jeered her or saw through her by turns. Standing there, in the center of power with no power of her own, her fate resting in the hands of others forever and always more.

And darker things, monsters rising up from the depths of the world to consume her soul. Beasts of her own making, locked within the darkness of her own heart. The rage that lay quiescent now, given shape and rampaging through the Capital, slaying every one that had ever done her any wrong, perceived or real. The streets ran red with the blood of the innocents slain, the wicked and the pure condemned to the same dark fate.

The weakness of her own state, of her mind, of her inability to affect any meaningful change to the course of her life...these things terrified her more than anything else. Here, at the bottom of the well of suffering - wrapped in the delusions of delirium - she was forced to face every single one.

Looking in the mirror...she could not even recognize the monster that she had become.

---

Faint sounds from outside. She could not tell if it was the sound of fighting, or of training. And, truth to tell, could not be certain that it was not another dream, another nightmare that threatened to grasp her and drag her back into the depths of madness. She stirred weakly in bed, and the dull ache that afflicted every joint told her that, if this was a dream, it was a convincing one.

For the first time in two days, the young woman opened her eyes, wincing at the brightness of the morning light streaming in through the window. After a few moment orienting herself, she slowly and painfully sat up. It was accompanied by a groan of pain, but at least the pain was less now than it had been...whenever. The passage of time was apparent, but not how long.

After a moment, she shifted and put her feet over the edge and onto the floor. She looked around blearily, but could not recall getting into this bed. A glance down showed the oversized shirt. The whisper of a name breathed through her mind, but she could not pin it down.

"He-hello?" she said, voice reedy and weak.
 
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Elijah

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Elijah cursed himself inside out for not spotting it sooner.

At first he had been hesitant in checking the poor girl over for wounds but once he had started his horror had driven him on to see the full extent of what he was dealing with. Her mottled chest had made it look as though she had been beaten to within an inch of her life which didn't make sense with what he had known to begin with. The men couldn't have possibly done that to her and Elijah had been by her side the rest of the time so where had they come from? He had bathed and tended to them the best a soldier could but as her fever had pursued he had relented and sent for a doctor.

It was she who had told him about the cost of magic.

Elijah's vanbraces came with a cost of course so he knew a little about the mechanisms of how energy would be drawn from the person depending on the length of time the spell was used. However, he had never seen it happen on someone before where they expended too much energy. The doctor had said that the usage seemed wreckless and that the girl had probably known, either subconsciously or consciously, that it could have cost her her life. The information had been tearing Elijah apart.

After the doctor had left he had followed her instructions to the letter on how to nurse Lyssia. Bathed her, changed the dressing and applied salves which would help make the bruises fade quicker. He did it all meticulously. In between then he sometimes just sat with her and watched anxiously as she tossed and turned in case in her unconscious state she used her magic again and caused herself more harm. Goddess only knew what he would have done if she had but it had felt right to be there. When the sitting got too much he paced or worked himself outside. He drew a few comments for sticking to training in his own yard but the women in his unit, like usual, put it down to the oddities of men.

It was there where he was when Lyssia woke up, which he would undoubtable kick himself for, but seeing her lying so still had been worse than seeing her tossing and turning. So the poor target in his garden was getting a battering. Slash after slash after slash sent straw flying through the air as he worked through his pent up frustration that his own weaknesses had left him unable to help her.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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There was no answer within the house. For a long moment, she sat there in silence, gathering her strength to rise, trying to order her thoughts that seemed to scatter as quickly as she put them together again. The long shadows and brilliant light indicated morning, so at least she could deduce that much.

Where was she? What had happened? The answers to those questions seemed to be there, right inside her skull. They might as well have been a million miles away and as tenuous as fog, though, for all she could do with them. With a mighty heave of effort, she got to her feet and stood there as wobbly as a newborn calf. After a few moments to steady herself and assure herself that she would not just fall face first into the floor, she made her way slowly across the room.

Fragments of the things that had happened before this slowly came to her as she made one unsteady step after the other towards the stairs. The bleakness of those events, even as piecemeal as they were, did not cut as deeply now as they had before. They still made her feel hollowed out, empty of whatever it was that made her alive. With dawning realization and remembrance, she could piece together what had happened to bring her to this state of affairs, though.

She shuddered. It had been close. Why had she stopped?

Navigating the stairs proved to be tricky. She was weak as a kitten, and so had to take one step at a time. Right now, the driving imperative was thirst, and she hazily recalled a kitchen downstairs in this place. If only she could remember where she was.

At the bottom of the stairs, she paused to lean against the banister and rest.
 
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Elijah

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It was thirst that drove Elijah inside too. Despite the chill outside his workout had resulted in his back and brow becoming slick with sweat. His discarded shirt was slung over one shoulder and he finished the dregs of his waterskin as he slid the thin wooden doors shut behind him to cut out the outside chill. As he turned he caught sight of Lyssia and all thought of his own needs went out the window. Shirt and skin were discarded on one of the cushions that he had arranged downstairs to act as a bed. In two strides Eli was by Lyssia's side. One large hand cupped her elbow and the other arm wrapped about her frail and tiny waist. She had felt small before, looked even smaller in that bed, but now beneath his hands he could feel the fragility of her. Like a delicate glass that one wrong squeeze should shatter into a thousand pieces.

"You shouldn't be out of bed Lyssia, the doctor said you need rest," he tried to turn her back up the stairs but when he felt her legs tremble he simply scooped her off her feet instead. Eli was not really a man to take a stand. Despite his rank he was more happy to follow than to lead, though he did the latter when needed and he did it better than most within the army. In this case however, with the doctors words ringing in his ears, the Captain didn't even think about what it was she wanted if it didn't involved bed and rest.

He carefully laid her back down on the bed and then passed her a tiny bell he had set on her bedside table.

"This is to be used if you need something, now..." he folded his arms over his chest. "What can I get you? Food? Water?"
 

Lyssia D'avore

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If she'd the strength to be indignant she would have been in a fury at the treatment. Such familiar handling was something she was unaccustomed to, and despite her best effort she did make a low sound of displeasure in the back of her throat when he picked her up and...and manhandled her up the stairs as if she were a porcelain doll.

"The doctor doesn't...know a damned thing about...about me," she managed as she was being carried. The indignant tone carried through clearly. She was not best pleased, and despite the weight of exhaustion it turned out she could convey it quite well. Just a tad more tired than she would have liked, was all.

The truth of the matter was that she did need rest, but she was not about to admit that to him or to anyone else. It might be obvious to look at her...but, well, she had so little left now, she could try to cling to some shadow of her former pride. Although not exactly a positive thing in and of itself, it was certainly a far cry from the melancholy that had driven her into the current predicament.

She held the little bell he handed her and looked at him as if she would throw it at him. Pale eyes flashed like chips of ice as she regarded him, bell held at the ready. And yet...she did not attempt to rise, because she was certainly not in any shape to try and force her way past him. "Water," she said in a small, quavering voice that broadcast her displeasure. She simply looked him dead in the eyes, bloodshot eyes alive with a faint light of their own.
 
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Elijah

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Elijah stared right back with eyes almost a mirror to her own. Two unyielding frozen wastelands refusing to give ground on this new battle they found themselves in. He had been too lenient to begin with, too weak, and it had nearly cost her her life. He would not make the same mistake again. The quiet vow he had made to himself on the first night he had sat by her side and wondered whether she would live, had given him his confidence back. Too long he had taken his cues from Samantha and then from no-one when she was gone. It could go on no more. He would find the man he was again.

One, tiny, small step on the road to recover was made in that brief battle.

"Very well," he nodded and then turned, but not before victory glinted proudly in his eyes. His steps thundered back down the stairs. Eli was not a small man and thus his movements would always be louder, especially in his home where he did not need to be stealthy. He banged and clanged around in the kitchen before his footfalls made their way back to the stairs and up.

This time he came with a tray. There was a glass and a jug of water with a slice of lemon in it but there was also milk with honey and some soft ginger biscuits.

"The doctor said I should make you eat as soon as you woke, you lost a lot of energy when you tried to..." he trailed off and pressed his lips into a thin line before setting the tray down on her lap. "Start with the milk. You haven't eaten in two days you need to line your stomach."
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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"I do not need to eat," she replied in an exasperated tone of voice. She was fairly certain she had said as much once already, but humans had a hard time understanding a thing like this. To them, it was a basic function of survival. Not so for her. "I am sidhe," she added, as though that would explain everything.

Likely, it would not. Her kind were rare among the plethora of peoples of Arethil.

She took the water, though, and drank greedily from the glass before - awkwardly and unsteadily - pouring herself more, only to drain that as well. While not expressly required either, it nevertheless made things distinctly uncomfortable to go without for any length of time. "The doctor must not know about..." she began, then trailed off. She was silent for a moment, then shook her head. "She doesn't know."

She looked up, weariness evident in her eyes. "Two days?"
 
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Elijah

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"I don't particularly care if you don't think you need it, eat it," Elijah pointed at the plate as though that would emphasis his point. He might have been a slow man to act, like a river set in its ways. But when he chose a stance, a path, or even a side, he became as immovable as a mountain. No matter how the wind raged he wouldn't bow. Much like how he wouldn't bow to her feeble protests now.

He only softened when she asked about the lapse of time. The frown eased into a tight expression that might have been worry, pain and concern. He sat down on the armchair he had taken upstairs to sit in whilst he watched over her.

"They weren't sure you would wake up, Lyssia..."
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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"Of course they weren't," she snapped. It lacked the normal force of her personality, partly because she was so weak and secondly because the simple statement brushed against the subject of how she had come to be here in the first place. The details leading up to that particularly dark moment were nowhere near as dark as what she had tried to do.

"You can care or not," she rasped, "but you don't understand either." It took a moment to regain her breath and catch control of her temper before it got out of hand - always a possibility - but when she did manage to rein it back, she looked at him with barely restrained fury. On her pale, drawn features it did not look particularly pretty. "I am sidhe," she said again as if he hadn't heard the first time, and then proceeded to explain in the painfully slow, patient way one might to a small child. "I do not need to eat. I do not need to drink. The magic of the world sustains me, not food or water. Eating only speeds along recovery from physical wounds. I...will have to rest a very long time to recover from..."

But she did not want to say it, could not bring herself to say it. The yawning, dark abyss of emotion merely speaking the words would stir might pull her down into its cold embrace. The fiery warmth of anger was a safer bastion of defense against melancholy, but she was having difficulty keeping the fire going. This man had done nothing to her, and she had only caused him near endless misery in her short acquaintance with him.
 
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Elijah

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It was as if the more she dug herself further into her own trench, Elijah dug himself into his. The muscles in his arms bunched and tensed, veins standing out stark against his his tanned skin. He was clearly trying to hold his anger in but that the leash was getting progressively thinner. There was even a twitch in his right eye when she took the patronising tone of a teacher with a particularly stupid student. When she had finished a silence descended on the room like a thick fog. Tense and hostile it crawled over Elijah's skin and coated his tongue but he didn't speak. Couldn't speak. If he did he would say something he would regret and then he might make this worse, somehow.

"Your wounds aren't just ... look," he gestured vaguely to the bandages she had been wrapped in. "Whatever you did hurt your body too. Besides," he huffed grumpily. "Food isn't just about energy when it comes to healing. It's about comfort, doing something normal. When a soldier comes out of a war they say the best thing is to do normal things, a normal routine. You suffered a trauma much the same so that's what we're doing, alright? We're setting you a bloody normal routine so eat," he pointed at the tray once more before sitting back in his chair in a black cloud of discontent.
 
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Lyssia D'avore

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"I eat maybe once or twice a month," she growled back at him. "I do not even know if I could eat more often."

She shifted position - painfully - so she could see him more easily. He was still a giant by comparison to her, and she should have been intimidated by him...but she was not. She was unwell and she was angry, never mind that one problem was caused by her own hand and the other was not entirely his fault. Not entirely...but it was partly. She did not like the thought of being in his control, of all her autonomy being stripped from her. Most of the privileges she had enjoyed through her life had been stripped from her, many at once and many others here and there.

She was not about to bend her stiff neck, and not only because of personal pride. Becoming nothing more than a wraith within the society she had been trained her entire life to become a leader in as too much to bear, but worse than being unable to affect any change in her life was the idea of not even being able to have a say in what she did with her time.

"Look," she said trying very hard to moderate her tone, to push the anger down. It wasn't working very well, but she tried nonetheless. "I am not human. Look into my eyes and see the pale light therein. Cut me, and see that the blood that flows within is not yours." She clenched her fists, struggling to master that impressive temper of hers. And then, just as quickly, the anger rained from her until it was only a guttering candle compared the raging inferno moments before. "I tried to kill myself. That is what I did."

She looked up at him, and instead of anger there was just...resignation. But resignation was not depression, nor was it the world wrenching sorrow that had led her here. "I tried to kill myself in a way that was distinctly sidhe. I tried to draw upon far, far too much of the prim at once - something that is partly called from my own flesh and blood, partly from the realm of the prim itself. My flesh, my blood, it is magic. Magic given physical manifestation. What you deem normal is not the same for me. I...I appreciate the thought, but if I was some human or elfin maiden then this would be effective, helpful. But I am not built that way," she said.

"If I had been cut, or beaten, or broken bones...then your ministrations would help. But this? Only time can heal it. You cannot feed me and remedy the problem, nor heal me by magic or potion or alchemy or...or..." She fell silent.