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 Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King

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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:23 pm

Judging from the tone of voice that Oriana was using, Rose had no doubt in her mind at all that if Alex did anything to piss her off, then she would make good on her threat of bodily harm. She was a little relieved to see her cousin back in spirit again, quite unsettled by the thought that the girl could be embarrassed ovary anything that involved Alex. Thanking the store keeper for allowing them to try on the dress, she followed after her cousin, preparing to watch the sparks fly as the obstinate asinine man did said something stupid and figuratively applied his foot to his mouth before Oriana could do it to him physically. Vaguely she wondered if anything she had said to him the night before had sunk in through his thick skull, but seriously doubted it.

For a moment Alex simply remained silent, leaning his long frame against the building wall and watching Oriana with hooded eyes. What was he doing here? He had followed the two girls like some scoundrel, trying very hard to keep out of sight and out of mind as if he were afraid of being discovered. And why should he be afraid? Oriana was just a target, after all. Rose was a little scary, but that should hardly have deterred him as it did. He was about to make a snarky reply to Oriana's question, but something stopped him from doing so, and frustrated that he was prevented from doing such, he decided to skip the matter entirely. "That dress suited you well." He said without a hint of irony or sarcasm, not even a telling smirk on his face. For all intents and purposes, he seemed entirely serious. "It looked very flattering."

Rose was shocked. A compliment? A real compliment without a barb of sarcasm to color it's meaning? What's more, she could detect no hint of an innuendo in his voice. There was no gleam of knowing or change in his relaxed posture… like he was just stating facts. She would have gaped at him longer, but a fleeting figure darting through the crowd ahead of them caught her attention, drawing her from her surprised stupor. "Demetri..?" Curious and slightly worried, she ran in the direction that she had thought she'd seen him, looking all around for his dark wings. She nearly missed him, only catching his hunched figure propping up an alleyway wall out of the corner of her eye as she passed. Slipping out of the crowd and into the quiet back alley, she approached the man, seeing that all-too familiar look of terror on his face as he breathed heavily. What in the world was he here for…?

She reached out and gently put her hands on his forearms, expecting him to flinch from the contact but was determined to get his attention anyway. He was almost shaking with fear, and her heart ached for him. "Demetri, what are you doing here? Did something happen? Are you alright?" She felt a little like a mother hen preening her lost chick but tamped down the image as soon as it came up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:32 pm


Oriana wasn’t sure how to take Alex’s compliment. Since the moment she had met him, he had complimented her endlessly…but now he actually sounded like it meant something. With her light pink blush back on her face and a confused look in her eye, she looked him over carefully. “Thank you...” she hesitantly took the compliment with no doubt in her mind that this might be some sort of trap. “That doesn’t really answer my question though…” Before she could go on Rose muttered something about Demetri and was off. She looked back at her cousin to see if it was worth chasing her down but decided not to. She fixed her gaze back on Alex, trying to figure out what kind of game he was playing now.

Demetri wanted to kick himself for being so scared of the mass amount of people flooding the streets in this city. He had withstood torture, betrayal, and even living in one of the worst cities in Dragon’s Cove but no, he couldn’t walk down a crowded street without going into a panic attack. He nearly jumped out of his skin when someone touched his arm, and was surprised that he didn’t do more than flinch. Prepared to force another beggar away from him, Demetri turned to see two very concerned golden orbs staring down at him. Rose. Why had he come out here again? His brain ran in circles at a hundred miles per minute and it was hard to concentrate to form an answer. Without even thinking he wrapped his arms around her slender form and pulled her in for a tight hug. His arms shook gently with the fear that was rolling off him in like a tidal wave and he simply held her until he could regain control over himself. Once he did though, he quickly pulled back, his eyes wide with shock at his own actions. “I’m..I’m sorry, I just…” He looked down.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:07 pm

"No it does not, my lady fair." Alex replied immediately, a grin crossing his face that was far more familiar than the befuddled look he had donned earlier. "However, I'm not entirely sure that you actually want to know, for fear that you would dismember me. Could I perhaps make up a reason? No? Well then, I suppose that your question will remain unanswered then." With a languid smile he removed himself from his place against the wall. "Suffice to say that the moral of the story is that you look stunning in a gown, and all or most of our supplies have been repurchased, yes?" As if he didn't already watch them going about the city gathering everything… "Perhaps you two beautiful ladies would like an escort for the rest of your venture?"

Even though his flinch was so violent that Demetri almost looked like he was about to hit her, Rose held onto his forearms, waiting patiently for him to calm down. If it meant that she could wipe that awful look from from his face, she could be patient forever. Then something happened that really surprised her. With no warning at all she found herself being crushed against his chest, her arms trapped between her body and his. For a few seconds she was rigid, unsure what to make of the situation, then a deep crimson blush stained her face and she relaxed into his grip, laying her head against his chest and letting her eyes drift closed. Rose could hear the hammering of his heart and felt the trembling of his arms all too keenly, her own embarrassment over the situation and her close proximity to Demetri dimmed by the absolute fear that ruled him.

Eventually though he had control of himself again and Rose found herself just as quickly out of his hug as she'd been in it, blinking like an owl and stepping back a pace to give him some breathing room. Demetri's apology had her blushing agin and she shook her head gently, a warm smile on her face. "There's no need to be sorry." She murmured with her quiet melodic voice, cupping her tiny hands around his face and ducking slightly so that she could look him in the eyes. "I want to be there for you Demetri. I want to help. And if hugging helps, then I'll give you another one gladly."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:20 pm


Oriana felt more comfortable with the whole situation once Alex had his customary grin on his face and was unsatisfied with his answer but figured if he really was going to beat around the bush about it then he probably would never give her a straight answer. “Of course we replaced most of the things.” She said with confidence but at his question to have an escort, she looked back in the direction Rose took off in. “I doubt we have much of a choice, but I am unsure as to where Rose went.” She admitted, looking around through the throngs of people to try to catch of glimpse of her cousins golden locks of hair or wings.

For the first time in Demetri’s long twenty or so years of existence, the man had a light blush on his face and he had no idea what to make of it. He could only stare at Rose for a long moment before making his brain work again. “No…Thank you.” He said softly, averting his eyes from her face and looking at the ground. The ground didn’t make him blush. After an awkward minute, Demetri stood fully and kept his gaze on the walls around him. “Were you here by yourself?” He doubted that Oriana had separated from her but if the two really got angry at one another it was possible.


~*~*~*~

Tristan had rolled out of bed with as much hesitance as possible. He didn’t want to leave the bed for anything but he honestly did not want Rose to come storming in and ruining his good mood because he had spent the entire day in bed. He only put his pants back on and sat on the edge of the bed, honestly contemplating if it would be worth it to just lay back down and enjoy Solaria’s body some more.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:02 pm

Briefly Alex let his gaze wander to the sky in order to try and gauge the time. It was only a little past noon by now, which would give them plenty of time to go back and collect the twins and Ryleon. If they continued their given path, he would assume that they would be in Kaionar within two days at the rate that they were flying. It certainly made things tons more convenient than attempting to walk the whole way, which would take a week or more. Alex scanned the crowd as well once he had collected his thoughts, noting that Rose really had seemed to have disappeared quite thoroughly. "Well, fancy that. It seems that we are alone together my fair maiden." A sly grin crossed his face and he eyed Oriana up and down quite obviously, tapping his chin. "Perhaps you should get back into that dress while we wait for her to turn up. I would more than happily help you get it on and off." Especially off.

Rose was enamored with Demetri's blush and was more than a little disappointed when he could meet her gaze no more and dropped his eyes. She let her hands fall back at her sides, a very small sigh escaping her. It was progress. Painfully slow progress, but progress all the same. "By myself? Oh no no, Oriana is probably just around the corner… Or, at least she should be." Rose looked to the entrance of the alley that she had used, silently hoping that Oriana hadn't strayed too far off looking for her. "Come on, we'll go find them and get you out of here. We are nearly done gathering all of our supplies and will be out of the city within a few hours." Well, as soon as they could convince the twins to get out of bed, that was. She took possession of Demetri's hand, holding it carefully as if she were afraid that he'd shatter on contact. "Remember, I'm here for you." She said with another warm smile, the expression reaching her honey gold eyes.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Solaria stretched when Tristan left her side, rolling slightly so that she was lying on her back, her legs tangled slightly with the messed up bed sheets and her inky black hair spread out on the bed beneath her in a silky mess. She watched Tristan dress, a little disappointed that their game was over, though her body was sore all over from being kept to task by the young man. The would go away by tonight, she thought, knowing that her normal patrons would want to see her as soon as she was available. A little work always loosened up those stiff muscles. "Mmm, leaving hero?" She purred, running her hand over the curves of her bare body.

Ilario was very very reluctant to even consider the notion that he actually had to remove himself from the plush pillow that was Isthena's breasts. However, Tristan's activity had spurred him to get on his feet and attempt to find out where the elf had tossed his trousers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:28 pm

Oriana returned to her normally dry look at him. “That is the one and probably only time you will ever see me in one of those things .” She said, making it out as if the dress really was this horrid monster that should never see day light. How Rose could honestly wear one of those things all day long was beyond her capabilities of understanding. While it would always tick her off slightly, Oriana was content to have him acting as per usual. “I’m sure Rose will return once she had found whatever shiny object or wounded animal she deemed necessary to have.

As if on que, Oriana spotted Rose coming back out of an alleyway with Demetri in tow. Oh, she wasn’t that far off it had seemed. The man looked a mess, as his eyes darted around nervously but what was odder was that he was holding his cousins’ hand. She looked down to their wrists to see if there was some sort of device keeping as such. “Seems we are not so alone.” She grinned back at Alex, glad to prove he wouldn’t be the only man ‘escorting’ them back out of the city.

Demetri nodded at both of her statements of finding Oriana and that she was there for him. Had he ever had someone to actually be there for him he might not have had such a hard time accepting Rose’s concern. However, it was how it was and he awkwardly followed her from the alleyway not wanting to take on the task of going into the crowd again by himself anyway. As soon as he was out amongst the people, his grip on her hand tighten even though his expression refused to change minus his darting gazes to and fro.

~*~*~*~

Tristan looked back down to Solaria and drank in her naked form, watching her touch her own curves. He leaned down and place two or three long, lazy kisses on her lips and grinned at her. “Sadly, yes. I assume we will be moving on here soon.” He reached his hand out, running it down the length of her body to indulge in her soft skin once more before standing.

Isthena rolled on her back in the soft bed, letting her breasts hang out in the cool air of the room and gently ran her hand along Ilario’s thigh once he stood. “Is our play time over?” She purred, and removed her hand as he started the hunt for his pants. She honestly believed he didn’t need them, but kept that playful thought to herself.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 12:48 am

If Rose could have heard what Oriana was saying about her behind her back, Alex figured that the younger girl probably would have been very offended. Not so much at the wounded animal bit, which he knew to be true, but the shiny trinket part. Though they came from a wealthy family, Rose didn't particularly strike him as an obscenely materialistic person. But then, he could be wrong about her. It certainly wouldn't be the first time he was wrong in judging a woman's character. "I am unsure why you despise dresses so, dear lady. For though you despise them, they certainly do not despise adorning your figure." His gaze traveled briefly to follow Oriana's own, spotting Rose making her reappearance. Darn, and he had half hoped that she had been abducted so that he could get more time to pester Oriana by himself. Demetri certainly looked worse for the ware, and he wondered just why the man had abandoned his spot on the roof. Could it even be possible that Rose's attempts to get the man to open up were actually working…? Although, he still looked like a small animal that had been trapped by a larger one that wanted to eat it…

"Oh good, I'm glad you're still here." Rose smiled at Oriana when they came within speaking range, pointedly ignoring Alex as if he didn't even exist to her. Demetri's tight grip on her hand didn't go unnoticed, and she couldn't help but to blush a little, the light dusting on her cheeks probably easily visible. She was torn between loving the fact that he was actually standing physical contact with her and knowing it was probably solely because he was scared out of his mind. He hid it well though, only showing his nervousness in the way his eyes darted and the extreme grip he had on her hand. "Oriana, if we've got everything, then we should head back. I have a horrible feeling that Tristan and Ilario haven't disentangled themselves from their mistresses yet."

*~*~*~*~*

Solaria frowned, her lips pulling down into a sexy pout as she watched Tristan and Ilario trying to get themselves dressed. Her skin erupted in goosebumps where Tristan's fingers trailed, her body tightening at the memory of what those fingers could do. With a reluctant sigh she sat up, her hair spilling over her shoulders. "Well, if you two are ever in town, make sure to look us up." Her pouty grin turned into a devious smile and she eyed her female partner in crime, figuring that the woman would agree with her. The twins had provided an invaluable service, and if they were lucky, the two of them could get back to their former 'employer's home and make a killing without once having to drop their skirts. Perhaps even enough to get the two off the streets for good.

"Unfortunately…" Ilario replied with a heavy sigh, jerking on his pants once he found them and began the next great search for his shirt, found Tristan's first and threw it at his twin. "We'll be heading South but…" he grinned at Isthena, finally finding his shirt and slipping it on. "…on our way back, we may take up your offer."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:32 am


Oriana nodded, “I’ve no doubt that you are correct, Rose.” She thought that if Alex ever found a whore he deemed worthy he would be doing it the exact same way. He seemed the type to try and get his monies worth. With a side-glance over to the man as if to reaffirm her suspicious she nodded and made her way towards inn. She did make sure to take notice that Demetri and Rose were not bound together by anything other then themselves. Odd, but perhaps a good sign.

Demetri couldn’t be happier to be back to the roof of the inn he had spent the night and a good portion of the day on. Once they got to the door, he slipped his hand from Roses’. “I’ll be on the roof.” He told her, quickly opening his wings and shot straight up to the rooftop. He needed some time to himself where he could gain control once more and to think on some of the things he had done.

Oriana walked into the inn and looked to Rose. “You go get them. I refuse to see them in that sort of state.” She said bluntly, and truthfully she had no desire to see her cousins ever in bed. Ever. She looked to Alex for a moment before pulling up a chair and sitting in it, tilting it back so it leaned against the wall.

~*~*~*~

Tristan grinned, grabbing his shirt from Ilario and then throwing him his belt before putting his own on. “Of course we will.” He said with confidence, loving the thought of being able to see these two once more.

Isthena grinned to Solaria, of course agreeing with her and even more if they would be able to raid their bosses lavish home. It was more then time for the two of them to live well so they might pick their costumers. “Please do.” She purred at Ilario, sitting herself up and her blonde hair spilled down her shoulders and over top her breasts, which did little to cover them.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:49 am

"I'll come get you when we're done." Rose replied quietly and offered a little wave at Demetri's back when he took off for the roof again. A small sigh escaped her and she flexed her fingers, rubbing her palm with her opposite thumb and delving into her own thoughts for a bit. Keep strong…[i] she told herself, attempting to banish the blush that had been on her cheeks since Demetri had started clinging to her. There was a long way to go yet to get him opened up.

She didn't have to worry about blushing for much longer however, for when Oriana suggested that [i]she
be the one to go collect her miscreant brothers, Rose blanched, the color leaking from her face. "Ew! I don't want to go up there and see them naked or or or… or worse she hissed, gesturing up the stairs where she knew her brothers would most likely be. They were entirely too predictable… But, one look at Oriana's face and Rose knew that she wasn't going to get much of a choice in the matter. With a scowl she headed up the stairs, mumbling darkly under her breath.

Without waiting to be invited, Alex took a seat across from Oriana, studying her features quietly. "You know, you bring out the worst in that girl." He said with a small grin, tapping his fingers on the table a few times. He meant of course Rose, thinking back to the night before when the small girl surprised him by being entirely too assertive for what he had thought she was capable of. "At first I didn't think you two were related, but I see the resemblance now. You're both all sweet and charming until you find a man you fancy." He grinned, knowing that he was scatting on thin ice here.

*~*

The loud rapping on the door signaled Rose's arrival, the sound that neither twin was looking forward to hearing emitting from their younger sister on the other side. "Ilario! Tristan! Get out here! We're about to leave!"

With an exaggerated sigh, Ilario finished belting on his sword and leaned down to peck Isthena on the lips, his hand brushing quite purposely against the peak of one of her breasts. "We'll meet again fair ladies. Until that time…" With a sweeping bow, he opened the door and walked out, meeting a very flushed looking Rose who had happened to get a glimpse of the rather naked women inside the room. She heaved an aggravated sigh then stomped off to the end of the hall, casting death glares on her brothers. "Hurry up! We haven't got all day."

Solaria giggled and waved goodbye playfully to Tristan, blowing him a kiss before standing herself and stretching. "Now where did my panties get off to…?"

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:06 am


Oriana didn’t much care how much Rose would protest and was glad that she went without much of a fight. When Alex joined her though she eyed him carefully. “I agree I can bring out the worst in her. She’s called me a horse more than once.” She rolled her eyes at the private joke and continued, “Though it has nothing to do with a man. Rose is the only one infatuated here.” She replied calmly, crossing her legs. She had calmed a lot since yesterday but it was never long before her temper could flare back.

~*~*~*~

Tristan gave a small bow to the ladies in the room and followed Ilario out of the room and with his rather annoyed looking sister. “Come now Rose, no need to be so mean.” He said overly innocent as he rested his arms behind his head. Some of his muscles were blissfully sore and he had missed the feeling more then he knew.

He walked downstairs and saw Alex and Oriana but no Demetri and Ryleon. “Where is Mr. Gloom and Doom and Ryry?” He had given the boys their affection pet names with Ilairo some time ago though it was odd to not see Ryleon around.

“Demetri is on the roof, I have no idea where Ryleon is.” Oriana answered before her flustered cousin could. She seemed in no mood to be talking to people and could proudly say it was her own fault. It seemed like the twins had been dressed when she went up there, but she had obviously seen something she didn’t like.

~*~*~*~

Ryleon had been on his own the entire day and couldn’t say it was bad. In fact it went rather well as he had met a young woman in the market area. She was beautiful: A human woman with dark brown hair and eyes. Ryleon wanted to approach her several times but unlike the rest of his family he wasn’t that out going so he ended up quickly walking away with a light blush on his face.

He sighed, walking back into the inn just as most everyone had gathered and was honestly surprised to see them all back so soon. “Are we heading out?” He asked, giving a curious glance to Rose.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:24 am

Still fuming, Rose watched the conversation go on without her, trying to get a hold of herself. Really? REALLY?! Ilario liked his women that well endowed? She didn't even know they made women like that! Her foul mood was interrupted by Ryleon's appearance and the question that was obviously directed at her. "Yes, we are." She replied shortly, not meaning to be so terse with him, but unable to help herself. An exasperated sigh left her and she shot Ryleon an apologetic glance. "I'll go get Demetri…"

~*!*!*~

The flight was as uneventful as always, though slightly less chilly in the lower altitudes than it had been up in the mountains. The flock of avian kids landed before sunset and got everything all set up with dinner stewing on the fire and everyone clustered around it for warmth in the chill of the nights.

Alex was stewing over something, a look that one wouldn't normally associate with the flamboyant young man. He was contemplating something with a sour look on his face and for once hadn't made a move on Oriana the entire day. He had even restrained himself after landing, though had glared at her a few times rather obviously while he went about his duties of setting camp up.

Rose on the other hand was humming softly to herself, a little wordless song that she had made up that had an almost mournful tinge to it. Beautiful, but somehow sad. It was a reflection of her mood in a way, though a moor subconscious type of reflection than the actual purposeful kind, for even while she hummed she had an absent smile on her face, poking at the fire with a stick she had scavenged from the woods.

Ilario was bored. Very bored. And he was about to include Tristan in his boredom by offering to be less boring and heading a little away from the fire to do some sparring. They hadn't had a good round of sparring since they had left their home near Turich, and though the fight with the metal monsters was still fresh in all of their minds, he was itching for some physical exertion.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:38 am


Ryleon landed and had be sitting next to the fire listening to Rose’s song. “Rose…is…something wrong?” He asked, concern clearly on his face as he stirred their stew. She hadn’t been in such a bad mood after they left but it hadn’t gotten much better either. Being the most sensitive male in the group he really could get a long with Rose the best and sympathetic to her usually. Though having been out the entire day, he really had no idea what went on.

Oriana was surprised that Alex had not made one comment about her behind while flying, or her brilliant beauty once they landed and more then once she caught almost even a glare from him. Annoyed with this new Alex, Oriana pointedly went over to him and put her hands on her hips. “Did I do something to finally upset you?” She asked not sure if he said yes if she would be happy or not. She really did not understand what was going on and couldn’t possibly not knowing about the conversation he had with Rose the night before.

Tristan fully agreed with Ilario. “It will be nice to work some of these sore muscles.” He grinned, thinking back on their time in the inn and drew his sword. They normally used sticks but he saw no harm if they attacked with the flat of the sword and didn’t cut anything off.

Demetri landed in a much calmer mood. He enjoyed the clean fresh air and open skies more then he could of thought possible. He wanted to approach Rose and thank her for helping him back in the alleyway but Ryleon was talking to her, so he didn’t want to disturb them. Leaning against a tree he kept an eye on the twins to see what sort of stupid things they would get into.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:01 am

Rose was a little shocked to hear Ryleon speak to her and straightened immediately, her humming coming to an abrupt end. "What? Something wrong?" She asked, her eyes wide with curiosity. "No, nothing really I don't think…" She looked up to her brothers briefly, then to Oriana and then down to her hands, looking at her gloved palms carefully. She had always gotten along with Ryleon better than his sister, the two of them insightful enough and not quite as bloodthirsty as everyone else to understand each other. She sighed and seemed to deflate a little, her shoulders drooping slightly. "Yes, of course there's something wrong…" She said in a small voice, keeping her eyes on the ground. "I'm worried for them… Mother, father, and all of my brothers and sisters who didn't escape… Uncle Talos and aunt Lena… What do you think is going to happen to them Ryleon? I'm scared that… that we'll never see them again." She felt the tears welling up in her eyes, her throat strangely constricted with the emotion threatening to well out. She dropped her face into her palms, covering her eyes to hide the tears. "But everyone is dealing with it so well, and I don't want to drag anyone down or have Ilario and Tristan laugh at me."

Alex raised his brow when Oriana stalked over, blocking the heat that was coming from the fire with her body. Not that he entirely minded getting a full frontal view of her, but he just wasn't in the right state of mind to examine her in typical Alex fashion. "I'm afraid dear lady that there is probably very little you could do to upset me. I have an iron constitution. However," A sly grin came to his face, though the expression was entirely forced and he didn't mean it at all. "If you are truly so disconcerted with the lack of attention that you are receiving from me, I can surely make it up to you." He stood as well, standing with only a few inches between them. For a second he appeared to be doing nothing at all but stand off to the intimidating young woman and then it happened. His hands had wandered around to her backside and took firm possession of her rear with a gentle squeeze. Surprise flashed over his face briefly, and he couldn't help but smile in a most lewd manner. "I had always assumed that you had a nice butt, but actually getting to touch it has been most informative indeed."

Ilario unsheathed his sword, taking a ready stance that stretched his sore muscles in all the right ways. Good honest physical labor was alway a good thing after a long boring flight. He was about to strike the first blow when a strange sound caught his ear. It sounded like something was trying to break down a tree by ramming into it, whatever it was that was striking the branches sounding metallic in nature… "Oh shit…"

As soon as he uttered the words, several of the disembodied floating suits of armor cam rushing at them from out of the woods, bits of tree sticking out of their armor. These ones looked a little rough around the edges, but their ability to seek them out apparently hadn't been deterred by a few splinters. "Metal Heads!" Ilario yelled, immediately leaping into battle with his sword ready, counting on his twin to remember the spell that he had made earlier that was instrumental in defeating these fiends.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:45 am

Ryleon frowned, “Oh Rose, you aren’t the only one that’s scared for them. It just seems that everyone in our family is too…” He searched for the appropriate word, “Abrasive to show emotion.” He scooted over next to her and hugged his cousin gently. “If the twins say anything about it I will happily beat them into saying nothing…” He grinned the uncharacteristic protective nature coming out of the boy. “But if you are really worried about it, I promise not to tell. You can cry on my shoulder when you want.” He offered with a smile. He never had a chance to be brotherly with Oriana she was far too independent.

Oriana was about to start up with the fact that her question was still left unanswered and she didn’t much care about the attention and more about the glares she was receiving and then he stood. She was all fine and good with the stand off until she felt a firm squeeze on her behind. A deep blush accompanied by a horrified look came to her face. And just as she was about to raise her fist to punch him she heard Ilario calling a warning that ‘metal heads’ were about. Without the time to glare at Alex once more she drew her sword and headed in their general direction.

Tristan cursed, jumping back to let his twin take the lead to think about the spell he had made before. He scrambled his brain as he tried to recall the words, and once they came to him he realized they needed to be tweaked slightly. He stood to the side for a long while, listening the clashing of metal on metal from Ilario and now Oriana bashing at the floating warriors.

Blades that cannot sever
Through magic’s strong bond
Power thy weapon
From magic’s bane
I call upon the forces
To defeat our foes
Until our time such
as our enemies be rendered benign
draw on the strength inherent within
to see us to a battle win

Ryleon heard Ilario’s call and stood from the fire, drawing his sword and taking a few steps in front of Rose. He honestly didn’t want another stab at the metal freaks again but if they came for Rose he would protect her to the best of his ability. It also helped when his

Demetri was near the twins as was now batting down one of the metal freaks when his sword finally turned blue once more. Spinning around, Demetri twirled his sword with him, slicing through the floating monster’s belly and watched as it fell to the ground. He looked up to see if there were any more for him to kill and moved on. To his satisfaction, when he cut through the metal man, the blue light did not fade like it had before.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:30 pm

Rose was grateful for Ryleon's show of concern and returned the hug almost eagerly. Being the eldest sister at home she was often the one giving the hugs, and Ilario and Tristan were hardly the brotherly type to her, especially since her father had spent her entire life scaring off anyone that even looked at her funny. The fates were conspiring against the little emotional scene apparently though, for right when she was about to thank him for the kindness they appeared to be under attack. She leapt to her feet shortly after Ryleon had and took position behind him, her eyes wide to try and capture the action.

For Alex, the disturbance had come at an very opportune time. A second later and he would have had a very black and blue face, courtesy of Oriana. She was out of his hands in a flash, all business as she leapt into the thick of battle. Drawing his own sword, Alex took up position near Ryleon, ready to serve as a last line of defense for the helpless Rose. If he were in shape he would have joined the others on the front lines, but three months of starvation and inactivity had left him incredibly weak. He had his footwork still, but the strength of his arms was negligible. He would be more of a hinderance than a help on the front lines, and whats more had very little desire to tangle with the floating creatures.

Ilario was all charge and no give, slicing, stabbing and generally just causing mayhem as he advanced toward the ghostly armored men. His blade cut a deadly dance in the waning firelight, striking down foe after foe, the things collapsing at his feet with empty hollow clanks. Only a handful of the creatures remained now, but something in them seemed to change. They moved aggressively still, but instead of letting the avian children swing at them with no defenses they began to block and parry the sword swings, pushing Ilario back in surprise at their mastery of defense. Had they become intelligent?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:59 pm


Tristan had joined the battle now, fighting off the monsters at the same rate as Ilario and only a look of surprise could be on his face when he brought his sword down for a killing blow to have it block. He thought it a fluke of luck for the thing and tried again but it actually parried the blow and went to attack. “What the hell?!” He shouted in annoyance, trying his hardest to take down the foe in front of him down. They couldn’t use brute strength anymore.

Oriana was actually fine with this new turn of events. She was used to fighting things that fought back and with a lot of ferocity. Pirates were never in a good mood when her family came to visit them and why should they be? Not like they get to live long afterwards. And with Alex’s stupid action fresh in her mind she needed something to take her anger out on. Parrying a blow or two from the creature Oriana took a step towards the floating thing to stand next to it and in the next instant brought her blade across its back slicing it clean open.

Demetri was not experienced in the art of swordsmen ship and had lasted the last couple of attacks because of his luck that the beings were lacking intelligence. His problem now was when they started attacking back and blowing his blows. He was used to the straight foreword attacks and didn’t know footwork to save his life. Within two minutes against one, he was disarmed. He jumped back one, twice and a third time before a floating suit of armor grabbed him from behind. Demetri’s eyes went wide with shock. That same thing was happening now as it had two years ago. “No!” He struggled against the armor, kicking as hard as he could but to no avail.

Ryleon looked up to hear Demetri’s cry of denial and immediately took off to help him. “Rose, stay safe!” He yelled behind him running after the thing carrying Demetri. The poor man looked petrified. Running around to the backside of it, Ryleon was glad it was distracted with its prisoner, which made an easy kill from him from behind. The metal and Demetri fell in a crumpled heap. “Demetri, are you alright?!” He asked, pulling the man up by the arm and trying to get his eyes to refocus on what was happening now.

Demetri had gone through the past two years flashing back before him within the couple of minutes he was held prisoner again. He couldn’t comprehend when Ryleon had slain his capture and pulled him up to his feet. He heard him say something about going to Rose and shook his head to shake away the haunting memories. “I got it.” He said a little moody as if it seemed Ryleon had repeated himself a few times. Picking up his sword, he jogged over to Rose and took up the guarding position.

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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:35 pm

Ilario growled as another one of his swings was parried and the metal man he was facing off against came closer, swinging it's fist and nearly taking off his head with the mighty blow. Just having enchanted swords didn't look like it was going to be winning them this battle, and already he could hear the distressed cry of someone behind him, quickly followed by a muffled scream from Rose. Things were getting out of hand fast, which required some innovated thinking. Reaching inside himself, Ilario found the little pool of power that he had always harbored inside of him and broke open the seal that contained the fiery energy. Immediately he felt the force of his inner flame leap forward, covering his arms in swirling orange fire. It didn't hurt him of course, but the searing heat was intense enough to distort the air around him.

One of the metal heads swung for him, and instead of dodging the blow Ilario countered it with a parry of his free hand. Where he touched the metal behemoth the metal melted, glowing white hot from the contact with the aivian's magic. Its arm simply detached from the rest of its form then, and Ilario took the opportunity presented by slicing off the specter's head with a single clean blow. Sweat was braking out on his face now, the combination of feeding his sword energy for its enchantment and using his own at the same time quickly waring him out. But not the metal men fell easier, and he went to help Tristan take out some of the beings.

Rose was the first to see Demetri's predicament, her breath catching in her throat and chest constricting tightly. No. Another one of them couldn't be captured. Not again. When Demetri was captured a scream left her, falling in on herself a little. That was it, wasn't it? All of them were going to get taken away just like that, carried off into the woods and never to be seen again, just like her parents…

Alex stepped closer to Rose when Ryelon left to go save the dunderheaded Demetri, his sword ready if one of the floating fortresses came near him. He could feel the energy being sucked out of him by the glowing sword in his hand, but after seeing what sort of devastation the enchantment caused, he didn't speak up against it. When Demetri was returned to them looking shell shocked he grimaced, feeling sympathy for the man. He too had been captured by the creatures, and though he hadn't suffered much under their care, the eerie way that they never made any noise was enough to send chills up his spine. "Rose." He growled out, watching Ryleon's back. "Make yourself useful and calm him down. If we have to run and he locks up, we'll have to leave him behind."

Though angry that Alex could even suggest such a thing as leaving Demetri behind, Rose couldn't very well argue against him. She placed a hand on his back between his wings, hoping that the contact wouldn't startle him too badly into doing something dangerous like swing his sword around recklessly.

"Come sweet child, O thee of Wind and Sea,
Come sweet child, Let my voice call to thee.
For through the howling wind and gale,
Before my love they cease and pale.

Thy nature be true, they nature be strong,
Thy nature be bolstered by enchanted song.
A great battle my love shall face
Stand strong still with morals braced

Come sweet child, O thee of Wind and Sea,
Come sweet child, Let my voice call to thee.
For through the howling wind and gale,
Before thy love they cease and pale…"


It was an old ballad, one that Rose had nearly forgotten from the time that her mother would sing it. An old family song, one that Mai had heard while growing up when her fear of the dark kept her from singing. Though Rose couldn't empower the song with her brand of magic, she hoped that Demetri would soften with the melody and regain a bit of himself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:56 pm


Tristan watched his brother from the corner of his eye and nodded his thanks for his help. He knew that Ilario wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long but it was proving helpful. “Let’s end this!” He shouted to his brother, finding new vigor. He didn’t hear any more screaming which was either a good sign or a really bad one. He wanted to just get this over with and ensure that everyone was safe. He knew Oriana was fine, fighting on the front lines with them, and Rose had three men guarding her…He shook his head, concentrating on the battle.

Oriana jumped to avoid a low swing of a sword taking the momentum to swing her blade at the neck of the floating warrior. She was disappointed that it blocked the attack as she landed back on the ground, dipping low and rolling on the ground to avoid a few more hits from the side. She brought her sword up behind her and scored a minor hit on the thing and was pleased when the magic took effect to break apart its amour. She was beginning to tire, unlike fighting pirates; she had an enchanted sword, which fed off energy. Having no magic like Alex, Demetri and her brother, she wasn’t used to the pull of energy.

Demetri didn’t even move when Rose put a hand on his back, staring blankly at the battle, unhearing Alex’s warning that he would be left behind if he didn’t snap out of it. Slowly, but surely he could hear Rose’s song and his shoulders relaxed, calming himself some. Once she was finished he turned an apologetic and sad look to her. “Thank you.” He mumbled, holding his sword out in front of him again.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:15 pm

His energy was waning, he could feel the pull more strongly now as maintaining both his fire and the sword began to tap into his final reserves. But with Tristan's help, the two boys managed to cleave through a swath of the floating menaces until there was only one left which Oriana dispatched of readily. Finally, when the last one was down Ilario released the hold on his fire. Immediately the flames died down and he could feel that small pool of fire within himself snap back into place, the seal that kept the violent energy contained keeping it dormant. "It looks like that's all of them…" He looked around briefly and when no more metal heads came swooping out of the forest he lowered his sword, feeling the tug of energy dim as the blade ceased to glow blue. Sighing with relief, he sheathed his sword and pushed back his hair from his sweaty forehead. "A nice long nap sounds good right about now." He mumbled, feeling the tiredness of the battle in his fingers and legs.

Rose heaved a heavy sigh when it was all over, her fingers clenching slightly against the solid mass of Demetri's back. She withdrew her hand, nodding mutely to his thanks and silently weeping with joy for the fact that they had all made it out alive and unharmed. She sniffled once, the only outward sign of her intense emotions and hugged herself looking very small and frail. "We made it through." She whispered, her eyes riveted on the ground.

Once the danger appeared to have passed, Alex sheathed his own sword as well, heaving a sigh. "Right, so, we've got a few problems here." He said, his tone brisk and slightly accusing. He pointed a finger at Demetri, his gaze narrowed. "You need to be taught how to actually wield that thing instead of swinging it around like a boy with a stick. If Ryleon hadn't come to save you, you'd be gods only know where by now. And you-" Here he turned his gaze on Rose, no less demeaning than he had been with Demetri. "You need to learn how to defend yourself period. We can't have all this extra baggage around to protect if things start getting harder, which they will. These things have shown us that they can learn. They can counter us now, and it's only a matter of time before they learn how to battle us effectively rather than just defending themselves and trying to knock our lights out." He began pacing then, his hands folded behind his back. "We're going to need to train every night. I'm not in the best physical condition, but at least I know how to wield a sword, which is a head above the two of you."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:35 pm


Tristan clapped Ilario on his shoulder gently. “Agreed brother.” He said softly, glad that the battle was over not only for himself but his brother. He looked to Oriana to see her sheathing her sword and puffing a few tired breaths. “Still can fight as well as any man.” He said with a tried grin in an attempt to complement her fighting skills. He started over to the rest of the group in time to see Alex scolding Demetri and Rose. He decided to keep silent, and while he agreed that Rose really needed to learn to fight, she looked absolutely small and scared. His brotherly instincts rose but he quickly pushed them down. Someone had to say it and who better than someone she didn’t like already?

“Rose…” Demetri wanted to continue, he had never seen her so upset and felt terrible for her but before he could continue Alex started against them. He narrowed his own eyes at the man. “You think I do not know this?” He knew he needed to learn swordsmen ship and that Alex couldn’t possibly know that he had been captured before so he let it hang in the air while he told Rose off this time.

Oriana walked up the group once she felt the want to move again and see what they were all talking about. For the first time in a long while, Oriana felt bad for Rose. She put a hand on Alex’s shoulder to keep from saying anything least the girl burst into tears. “I’ll train her. Ryleon and I have the most experience actually battling things that fight back with the intent to kill.” She said evenly, not boasting but rather stating facts. She looked to her brother who nodded. He might not have liked to go on Pirate runs with his family but he could not disagree that the experience was currently rather valuable. “Ilario why don’t you take Demetri, and Tristan I’m sure you wouldn’t mind sparring with Alex right?” She included Alex in these sparring matches, knowing he couldn’t disagree that he would need the practice again to get back into shape.

Tristan shrugged. “So long as pretty boy doesn’t mind.” He honestly liked Alex, thought he was nuts for going after his cousin, but he liked him all the same. He also counted himself lucky because the man seemed to have some knowledge already to work with. All Tristan would need to do it work with him to sharpen some skills and learn some more offensive moves.

Ryleon looked around at the group and felt uncomfortable with the tension that was going on but he too remained silent. If everyone agreed on the sparring then he assumed it would calm down and he was surprised that Demetri agreed with train with Ilario. He doubted that Demetri and Alex would do well sparring together and thought Oriana’s idea for teams worked well.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:19 am

Ilario returned the gesture to his brother briefly, sheathing his sword as he did so and watched the spectacle of his sister getting the verbal beat-down of her life. If their old man were here, Alex would probably be instantly reduced to cinders, but as it was, Ilario simply admired the man's balls. Not only did he have the courage to go after their volatile cousin, but he didn't pull his punches when confronted with an overly weepy girl. The fact that Oriana couldn't possibly get angry at them for this was also a definite plus. When he was assigned Demetri as his sparring partner he only nodded and looked at the man with a steady gaze. "I'll whip the Snowman into shape, don't worry. Let's just hope he doesn't melt."

Alex was only the tiniest bit disappointed that Oriana hadn't assigned herself to be his partner, but he shrugged it off easily. It was only to be expected given the stage of the game so far. "Of course not." He replied to Tristan, unfolding his hands from the position behind his back and instead crossing them over his chest. "As long as you don't aim for my face." Alex grinned, his tone more joking than it had been before. "I might actually hurt you if you attempt to mar my face."

For her part, Rose simply attempted to get a hold of herself, nodding at Oriana's proposal to be her partner in training as her only response to the discussion. Since no one was talking anymore she assumed that everything was said and over with, and so cast a gaze around at the morose faces that stared back. "I'll be heading in for the night then." She said in a quiet voice, excusing herself and simply disappearing into the tent without a further word.

*~*~*

The flight had been a little awkward that morning, and when they landed for the night that evening, they made good on their plan to whip everyone into fighting shape. Ilario made sure that everyone had magically blunted blades and then the hacking and the slashing started. Rose was in a very foul mood not typical of her character when Oriana was done with everything, having spent the greater part of her lesson being accidentally hit by her older cousin. She sang her bruises away and like the night before simply disappeared without hardly saying another word.

Ilario had some fun playing around with Demetri a bit at first, but once he discovered just how much of his fundamental knowledge of swordplay the man didn't know, he grew serious and began teaching him seriously.

Alex already knew his sword play, though it was of a vastly different kind than what Ilario, Tristan, Oriana and Ryleon had been taught. He took Tristan's instruction in stride, but ultimately favored some sparring matches. He wanted his strength and skills back, not to learn an entirely different sort of sword play, so while Rose and Demetri were learning the basics, he was practicing his own, concentrating intensely on remembering the forms he had been taught. More than a few times he simply had to stop and rest. Being put to task in carrying equipment all day then sparring was draining his meager reserves of energy quite thoroughly.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:52 am


Oriana was a bit frustrated at Rose and her lack of ability to dodge, hit, parry, or anything that she gave to the girl and it often ended up with her blade making contact with her face, arms, or legs. She was only thankful that the blade was blunted and could only hope that with time Rose could see past the frustrations to make herself more skilled. Anger only made ones fighting sloppy and predictable so when the girl actually got enough muster to attack Oriana she had usually left herself too open or coming in at an odd angle.

Demetri on the other hand found his time with Ilairo to be rather helpful. He knew how to do many things and Demetri could only wish he had more time with his master before he…well, he knew anyway. He took to the lessons well, only getting a few bruises here and there when being taught defensive maneuvers. He felt his limbs and chest grow stronger and more confident with the various moves on how to handle the sword.

~*~*~*~

After yet another long day of flying Oriana could see a city up ahead and mentioned for the group to land just outside of it. She waited until the group was on the ground and nervously looked around her. She didn’t like this place at all and the thought of being raided again on the outskirts of town sounded like a terrible idea. “Would you all want to stay in the city tonight? I don’t much feel like spending a day looking for new supplies…” She figured the only one that might have a problem with it would be Demetri but perhaps Rose could talk him into it? The two of them seemed to have been making progress though it had been halted the past few days over the trainings each of them had been given.

Demetri looked apprehensively to the city. It reminded him of Quinsella and there were no fond memories of that horrible place. Even though this city wasn’t as big it was still a fair sized place. He kept his head down, not really feeling up to saying no to the group after the last time he had decided they should stay out of the city. It had cost them time and money, neither of which they had a lot of.

Tristan grinned at the thought. “I’d love to, actually, I think our last bit of time in the city went well for us.” He grinned to Ilario and then to Ryleon. “Though I think our cousin needs to relax some around the ladies. Suppose that comes from never being around one.” Before he could snicker further, a hard slap made contact with the back of his head from Oriana. She had a dark smile on her face. “Say that again and I will happily rip that stupid smile off your face. Slowly.” She turned to Ilario and gave him the same smack. “I know you are thinking the same thing so I might as well get you now for it.

Ryleon looked to Rose and seemed concerned. She had been so quiet and angry looking over the past day or so and it wasn’t like her at all. He put a comforting hand on her shoulder and offered a sympathetic smile. “Are you alright?” He said quietly as Oriana scolded Tristan.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:17 am

The city did sound like a great thing, especially since the plains loomed between where they stood just outside of Kaionar and their next destination, Caspan. Ilario knew that the whole way to the village would be nothing but sleeping on the cold hard ground. Resting in a real bed (and hopefully with some entertaining company) sounded like a most excellent idea. Oriana's accusation that the two were actually thinking the same thing at the same moment brought a guilty smile to his face, but didn't waver his thought that they probably should help Ryleon experience a little bit more of the night life that a young bachelor should be enjoying.

At the mention of spending a night in the city Rose agreed readily. Like her brothers, she had come to the conclusion that they wouldn't be seeing a real bed for quite a while after this was over, though she wasn't fantasizing about who she might be spending the night with. However, she remembered a little late that Demetri was probably going to hide of the roofs and looked to him briefly. Kaionar was smaller than Didienne, but not by that much. Not to mention that it was a far seedier place than the capitol city of Dragons Cove. Rose hadn't heard much good news come out of the place. She walked to Demetri's side and touched his forearm gently, silently letting him know that she would be at his side in this.

"A night in Kaionar, eh?" Alex muttered to himself thoughtfully, his hand resting on the pommel of his sword. "Just make sure to hide anything of value before we get in there… and Oriana, you may want to keep our money close. The pickpockets here are outrageously good at what they do." With a grin he lead the way into the city, knowing the way a little since he had visited the place once before in his childhood.

Needless to say, Kaionar wasn't exactly as he had remembered it as a child, especially since he had never visited the market district before, but eventually the avians found their way to an Inn. It was a little less seedy than some of the other places that they had passed on their way in, but that didn't make it the most family-friendly of taverns, either.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:28 am


Oriana nodded, securing the money pouch better under her clothing as they made their way into the city and to the inn. Once there Oriana sighed, just glad to be in closed doors. She didn’t like the feel of this town one bit and the quicker they might leave the better. Tristan however seemed to act differently about the entire ordeal, patting at a table where they could sit. Frowning, she went to it and did so, relaxing some. She was about to say something when Tristan went off to the bar with a few coins in his hand. Confused as how he had come across such gains Oriana didn’t bother to think what it was he might be ordering.

Demetri on the other hand simply nodded at Rose’s attempts to comfort him and took her up on her offer. He had kept close to her and once or twice had reached out and grabbed her wrist or forearm when he got nervous. He sat down with the rest of the group making sure to take a corner against the wall so that he might feel more secure and rested his elbows on the table.

Ryleon looked to Tristan and the group and sighed helplessly. They were all going to get drunk? Yeah right, Tristan was just getting his hopes up and wasting what money he had stolen from the pimps home in the town before them. He sat across from his sister and tapped his fingers on the table, hoping to get to the rooms quickly.

Tristan came back and sat a drink in front of everyone. “At least try to relax some, eh?” He grinned. It had been a tense couple of days, even more so for Rose and he wanted that tension gone from before her complaining came in about sleeping on the ground.
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PostSubject: Re: Taj and Aero: Advent of the Feather King   Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:44 am

The walk through Kaionar was equal parts horrifying and enthralling for Rose. On one hand the city was completely dirty. The streets were loud with hawkers and no one seemed to really care of they were running into you or not. Furthermore, there was just this tense air hanging over the place, like at any given second there would be some outbreak of violence. On the other hand she was impressed with Demetri's ability to cope with the situation, was was intensely proud that instead of freezing up with fear he had accepted contact with Rose as a comforting measure. The place that they stopped in for what she assumed would be the night was much the same as the rest of the town, though a fair sight warmer with the fire going in the fireplace. When they sat down and Tristan got them all drinks, Rose eyed her glass with a wary eye. This looked like trouble if ever she saw it. She took a small sip and nearly spit it back out. It was strong! Very disgusting indeed, but she didn't dare ask for anything else, fearing that all of the drinks here were incredibly disgusting.

Alex nearly laughed at the disgusted expression that Rose shot her drink and downed a bit of his own. He had certainly had better, that was for sure. "To our continual good fortune." He said, raising his glass slightly in toast. Ilario clanked mugs with him, smiling on the inside for Rose's misfortune. The girl never really did have a taste for hard liquor, though she did do the wine thing sometimes. All snobbery and no buzz, in his opinion. But really what he was looking forward to seeing was getting Ryleon drunk. He had never seen his cousin so much as even sniff the stuff.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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