rules_winter: (buisness casual)
[personal profile] rules_winter
The tinkling of bells announces a visitor in the shop as the door opens and a breeze that feels like the onset of winter sweeps into the building rustling papers and sapping moisture out of the air. When the door shuts again with another soft tinkling of bells the cool stays, drifting through the room in silent fingers of chill. The soft clicks of heels on hardwood can be heard in the quiet of the building. When the woman comes into view, her most striking feature, and she has many, is the pure white hair, pulled up onto her head in a loose mass. Her pale skin glows in the sunlight trickling in through the windows and her green eyes scan the surroundings, taking in the piles of antiques looking almost haphazard and stacked to loosely resemble order. Her fingers lift to run delicately along the heft of what looks like a Ming Dynasty warrior's spear. She moves farther in, passing stacks of books and an old writing desk as she looks for the proprietor of the shop, she does not appear to be in a hurry but her motions are brusque enough to see that she is not simply browsing. As her hand brushes across a writing desk she lifts up something silver and shining. Not the darker look of iron but pure silver, some sort of disk that she sets back down absently. "Hello?"

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
"Is it raining out there?" A man sticks his head out of the back of the room, carrying a cup of coffee.

Balthazar's wards are strong, well-structured, and really quite old for the place they're in. He's had the building since 1888, and he's strengthened his defenses with every passing year. Still, they're designed to detect Morganians, not supernatural entities, especially not entities with godlike powers, and all they tell him as the stranger enters is that, hmm, there must be a draft.

His eyes, on the other hand, tell him this is not the average customer. Pretty ladies aren't uncommon in New York, but this woman is a work of art. It's more like looking at a sunset than a person, or the dance of light on water. Slowly, he steps further into the room, sets down his cup, and rubs his eyes. Wait. Didn't he have the door locked? Or did he? No, he was expecting a package.

"Good morning. I usually only take clients by appointment," he says slowly, "but...was there something specific you wanted?"

He's got the counter between them, almost as if for defense, but he looks more uncertain than frightened. He himself is nothing special to look at, all rumpled brown and green fabrics, day-old stubble, and straggly, tangled hair. But his collection of rings glints in the light, one on every finger, and his eyes are a piercing blue, shrewd and deep and old.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
His voice draws her eye to him and she turns slowly, the soft fabric of her navy suit barely a whisper in the quiet of his building. He wouldn't have been able to create a real threshold on the shop because he did business there, allowing people to come and go even if by appointment so she felt no tug at her powers from entering, just some soft frisson as she passed through wards that were not built for her.

"No, no rain today." She replied, curiosity in her eyes. So this was Balthazar Blake. He was... somewhat run down. What was it with Wizards? All the power at their fingertips and they couldn't be bothered to shave. At a glance she looked as though she questions whether he'd even bathed. She smiled, frozen berry lips never parting.

"Mr. Blake," The acknowledgement of his name was accompanied by a slight bowing of the head a mirrored physical acknowledgement to the vocal. "You have been... brought to my attention, pardon the unannounced intrusion. You may call me Ms. Sommerset." She offered a hand, just as pale as her face. It looked as though it had never seen a day of work and then those eyes lifted to his again, unconcerned about soulgazes. You must have a soul to participate in one. But she didn't think he'd worry about such a thing anyway.

"Do you have a moment?" She asked pleasantly.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 01:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
His gaze acquires an extra level of intensity. "Brought to your attention? That's...vague." He takes her hand, however, shaking gently but firmly, and bowing a little over the clasp. Kissing hands went out of fashion some time ago in this world, but the chivalrous instincts ingrained in his childhood haven't gone anywhere. "Pleased to make your acquaintance, Ms. Sommerset. Are you new to the area?"

The term 'soulgaze' would mean little to him; his power doesn't work quite that way, and while he's a bad liar and worthless at manipulating people, he's used to concealing his own thoughts and motivations. He doesn't trust this strange, beautiful woman, but he sees no reason yet to be hostile.

"I'm expecting a delivery," he answers mildly. "But my schedule tends to be flexible."

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 02:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
He is shrewd at the very least. Mab likes that. "You do not do much active advertisement." She pointed out, her own grip firm, the air around her a little cool but her hand itself is warm, soft. And she likes that he nearly follows the old custom of a kiss to the hand. It is something still common in her court.

She chuckles quietly and the sound is beautiful, clear like bells. "Yes, I suppose you could say I am new in the area. I am slightly more familiar with Chicago. Though I travel quite a bit."

She releases his hand slowly, probably just a touch more slowly than he'd be accustomed to and it's a gentle caress across his fingertips before her hand is falling to her side. "Excellent. Then I won't be intruding too much." Her eyes pass over his messy hair and stubble again as though she thinks perhaps she's interrupted his cleaning routine. Just a pointed look for a moment before closing her eyes and breathing in.

It feels like something you're imagining when her exhale seems to accompany another soft cooling of the room too subtle to be sure. "I have recently lost a collegue." She said and her eyes open to reveal a troubled look. "I was hoping you might be of assistance. I understand you deal with estates?"

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
"No. I find that people who need my services come to me whether I want them to or not." Shrewd, scruffy, and just a little grouchy. In point of fact, there's some light spellwork on the shop designed to discouraged curious parties that have no business with magic. Not that it's always successful.

The laugh sends a shiver down his spine, a sensation that's neither fear nor pleasure, but something in-between. He raises an eyebrow at her, still turning the situation in his mind, and the extra layer of sensation the touch to his fingertips provides doesn't help. He doesn't much care about the critical look. If she'd called ahead, he might have shaved and tamed his hair, or maybe not.

"I'm sorry for your loss." He says it because it's the polite thing to say, not because he believes she's in any way grieving. "I do, on occasion, particularly if the legacy is volatile or inappropriate for unwary consumers."

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
Sorcerers in general seem to be grouchy. She steps back one step and presses a hand to her breast for a moment, an affected gesture. "It was ... very upsetting." She replied, never quite thanking him, taking a moment to compose herself. Though it was hard to tell what emotion she was recovering from. She leaned a hip on the writing desk, her hand settling down on it as well. "His death left me with not only a great void in our business but something of dire importance and dangerous to leave unclaimed."

She opened her mouth to say more when something crashed near the back wall of the shop. Her head snapped to the side and her eyes narrowed.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 03:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
One would think abnormal elemental powers would be thrilling, but sorcerers and superheroes develop a sense of responsibility that just makes them miserable. In Balthazar, that sense of responsibility is tuned to the maximum.

He's listening to her intently despite his uncertainty, trying to read between the words, but what he hears could apply to any number of situations. "And you need it retr--"

Before he can finish, the crash alerts his attention, and the change is impressive. Suddenly he's less like a tired, middle-aged shopkeeper and more like a predator whose territory has been breached. He slides over the counter, not quite a leap but impressively agile, and pulls a sword off a plaque on the wall. "Please stay here."

He's not exactly expecting to be obeyed, but at least if she follows after the warning, he won't be responsible. Quickly and quietly he moves for the sound. That Horvath could escape a layer of the Grimhold without outside interference is difficult to imagine, but not impossible, and that's where the sound came from. If there's a leak that lets him out, any of the others could get free as well.

With his life's work on the line, he's not about to pull his blows.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 03:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
He moves quickly, impressively for a man who'd seemed to be more aged on first meeting. It was youthful, how he lept across his counter and she kept herself out of his path. He didn't have to go far, a blast of force slammed through a high stack of books blowing them across the store and a man familiar to him stepped between the stacks, turning and smirking at Balthazar, a set of nesting dolls nestled under the arm that didn't hold the cane.

He didn't say a word, but set the grimhold down where he could remember it and snatched up a rapier, lunging forward to engage, his staff swinging through the air, the blue jewel at the end glittering a little in the sunlight and Ms. Sommerset gasped as a stack of books toppled over on top of her. And then the shelf which held them tilted precariously as though to follow, a letter opener slipping down the surface straight toward her. She was apparently too busy being pelted by books to notice the danger.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-16 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
He also clearly knows what he's doing with the sword (it looks well-cared-for, and may have been placed where it was for the express purpose of last-minute defense). Plasma glitters in his hand, but he doesn't release it until his gaze has raked over the man before him. It wouldn't be the first time a Morganian had taken Horvath's form to confuse him. But if that's the case, the detail of the Grimhold it carries is perfect. Sun-Lok's image is visible on the surface.

"You should have been subtler," he flings the plasma bolt accurately at the man's midsection, sword held ready to defend against the rapier. The gasp from his guest catches his attention at once, though. For a fraction of a fraction of a second he's torn between defending the damsel and pursuit of his quest, but in the end there's only one choice to make: both.

The bolt sizzles over Horvath, but the jewel-headed cane absorbs some of the energy, even as he staggers back a step. He's not stunned, though, and it won't take him long to respond. Still, with the brief moment of reprieve he's bought, Balthazar releases the handle of the sword and lunges between the lady and the falling shelf. The sword, instead of falling, hovers in the air, jabbing at Horvath with less skill than a real swordsman, but enough aggression to keep him busy, and Balthazar raises the lapel of his coat as the jagged letter opener tumbles. The leather is thick; it probably won't pierce.

A few more objects are tumbling off the tilted shelf, and he swears as a book glances off his head, pushing the furniture back with a gentle wave of force. "You okay?" he asks without looking at her as the item resettles, his attention back to Horvath, who has struck the floating sword aside with a ruthless parry and appears to be ready to advance once more.

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Sorry it's so short.

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Suits me fine. :)

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(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-29 11:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
The LeanansĂ­dhe had been somewhat eager to see this new Knight, Mab had acquired. She knew some small bits about him, but not much, Balthazar had somehow managed to stay off fairy radar pretty well. It was a shame her godson hadn't lasted. That last battle had been wonderfully exhilarating and she hadn't finished all her god-motherly duties. But la, it wasn't as if she could have anticipated what had happened. It was still sorely disappointing. This morning found her frowning at the door, one hand on the wall as she concentrated deeply, the other holding aloft a breakfast tray. Mab had, unfortunately, granted this one safe passage. She would so have loved to play with him in great detail. She made a moue with her pretty lips but then brightened as she broke through the simple locking enchantment. If she'd had both hands she would have clapped.

Peeking into the room her golden eyes drifted until they landed on the bed, all layers of sheets and a form underneath. She smiled to herself and slipped inside letting the wall close behind her as she tiptoed up to the bed, crouching down next to it so that she was at eye level with the man it held. Her long red hair trailed on the floor around her when she crouched so low. He was older than Harry. Though asleep he didn't look quite as tired as he normally did. Sleep did have a way of disarming people.

Lea lifted a hand moving to brush the backs of her fingers across his cheek.

((She's just lifted it, she hasn't touched him yet))

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-30 12:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
Once asleep, he has mercifully escaped the unsettling, haunted feeling, lost in an oblivion interrupted only with distant bells and musical phrases, not even fully formed dreams. He's not out deep, though, and as soon as she crouches by the bed he begins to wake, sensing the eyes on him on some level. His eyes open slowly as she reaches toward him, lethargy and confusion drifting across his expression, then dissolving quickly into startled surprise. He jerks back and sits up, covers pooling around his waist.

La belle dame sans merci, is his first, slightly muddled thought. It's the cascade of red hair, and maybe the echo of awareness of where he is. He glances around the room as if to reestablish that the past thirty hours or so was not a dream, then refocuses on her, blue eyes apprehensive.

"I wasn't expecting to wake up with anyone right here. Are you the LeanansĂ­dhe?"

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-30 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
That response earned tinkling laughter. She sat back a little on her heels, deep green dress gathered around her knees. "I felt it would be fun to see you unannounced." She said, cheerfully, then slid the tray onto the bed for him. "I've brought you breakfast. Please, call me Lea."

Lea stood again, letting her dress fall down around her ankles where it belonged and clapped her hands together once. "Winter Knight. A pleasure to meet you."

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-30 01:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
He's suddenly uncomfortably aware that he's shirtless, but he'd have to get up to get his clothes. He'll have to weigh whether it's worth the additional exposure. "Then you like surprises." It's a wry comment, but he smiles and nods in return.

Sleepy, he almost forgets Mab's warning and thanks her for breakfast, but remembers in time, and reaches for the tray. "It looks very good, and well met to you, also, Lea."

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-30 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
The fae woman was unabashedly enjoying the view, he had enough scars to make him truly interesting. "I enjoy keeping you on your toes." She corrected. "And true reaction is always so much more pure than the mask one puts on for polite company." She touches her finger to the side of her chin just below her cheek looking at him assessingly.

"You were one of Merlin's children?" She asked curiously. Clearly not meaning biologically speaking. "Do eat." She motioned with the same hand, a flippant gesture, quick and light like a butterfly. "Such great shoes to fill in mentorship."

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-30 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
"I'm not on my toes just yet. Still sitting in bed." It's only half a joke, and he's wary. He picks up whatever beverage is included with his breakfast and takes a sip, watching her. The eyes are both frightening and compelling.

"I think I still am," he says. "And yes. He was a great man. I've never known another like him." And never will, no doubt, but he's trying not to say too much. Not to betray how in adequate he feels to the legacy he carries.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-30 03:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
"La, technicalities." Her eyes practically twinkled with mirth. She settled down in a flare of skirts onto the bed near him but still mostly giving him his personal space.

"I met Merlin once. He was delightfully good at twisting words to suit his needs." She leaned forward, light and shadow playing against the hollow of her throat and curve of her breast as she plucked a grape from his plate and put it into her mouth. "Never say never, dear child." Her smile was secretive, "There is so much time to come." Her eyes lifted to his honest blue ones, "I am eager to see what I have to work with."

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-30 04:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
He's not sure how comfortable he is with her sitting on his bed. It seems likely that a protest would be fruitless, though, so he just tries to eat quickly, trying to escape the situation as soon as possible.

"Did you?" He feels a prickle of misgiving. He's always thought of Merlin as scrupulously honest. Certainly he praised honesty in his apprentices...but what, exactly, does that say about the man himself? Not much. And wordplay isn't lying, exactly. And again, why should he believe her casual comment over his own memories. It's remarkable how she's hit on a sore spot within minutes of meeting him. "At what time period?"

He's still off balance just from the strangeness of the situation, and his eyes give that discomfort away. But he's aware of that, and only meets her gaze for second, before refocusing on his tea. "What do you know already?"

((Off to bed. Night!))

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(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-23 02:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
He watches her go, then settles deeper into the bed, taking slow deep breaths and trying to meditate rather than resorting to a painkilling spell (partly because he's so drained it might do more harm than good). The wounded leg, especially, hurts like hell, but he doesn't think he's going into shock. Still, he keeps his eyes open, watching the flicker of colors in the ceiling. Like the night before, he finds it beautiful, but haunting. It's also grounding, preventing him from slipping into long-ago memories of helpless suffering.

The bells are pleasant, and he finds himself focusing on the sound to help him relax, fragments of old tunes running through his head. It's not long before he's humming softly.

((New thread here. :) I've been running around town since 6:30 AM, so I think this is my only reply tonight, sorry! My schedule should revert to normal next week. I've been dogsitting.))

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-23 05:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
It is difficult to tell how much time passes between Lea's leaving and the slight cooling of the air. When Mab appears it is not walking through the door the other woman left. In fact it is difficult to determine precisely when she appears at all. In one breath she was not there, and in the next it seems like she has been there for some time. She moves to the bed, looking down at her broken knight, seeing the shape he is in. It is pure observation she does not pass judgement.

When her hand touches him it cools and pain recedes. Her fingers pass over his forehead and down a cheek toward his collar. "Good evening my Knight." She murmured, almost affectionately.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
He shivers when the temperature drops, but even with that alert, he's surprised when Mab appears by the bed, gasping and flinching slightly. He wonders if he'd fallen asleep. He looks pretty pale, and his eyes are a little too bright, but he doesn't make any moves to get away or resist, eyes drifting half-closed as the pain eases.

"Majesty." He nods slightly in greeting. "How did I do?"

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 02:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
He looks fevered and she settles on the bed next to him, hand never leaving his skin, so the pain continues to ease. "I am lead to understand you did quite well for your first day." She conceded. There was no need to keep her pleasure with his work from him. She watched him quietly for a moment, taking in his hurts and his weariness. Her hand slips slowly from his cheek down his neck and settles above his injured bones, fingers spread. "I will make you whole again because you have pleased me greatly this day." She assured him, his shirt dissolving underneath her touch, disappearing away from them so there was nothing between the touch of her fingers and his skin.

"It will hurt momentarily but all will be well." She promised, her hand flattened and her nails grew like shards of ice piercing his skin, and then she pulled, jerking his bones back into place, the ice melted softer and soothing inside him, taking any splinters away and healing the nerves. The melted ice sealed the bones back into place and stimulated their growth. "You have waited in pain." She said with a frown. "I am sorry for your pain." Her fingers began to trail along his skin looking for the bites, warm and soft despite her nature.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 02:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
He relaxes a little. He hadn't been quite sure what her expectations were, and was hoping he had at met them. That she's pleased is a relief, and he only makes a faint grumble of protest as his shirt disappears. It's not as if she hasn't seen him nude already. "That's...good to hear. I'll get it eventually."

The piercing, icy nails barely makes him flinch, but the resetting of the bones makes him yelp quietly, clenching his teeth. As the pain eases again, he sighs raggedly. "I've had worse."

The warmth of the touch is unexpected, and he scans her face as if searching for intentions written there.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
Her eyes lift to him and she smiles a little, before returning her gaze to his body, upon finding the first bite her fingers brush across the torn skin, and it tingles as it is disinfected before she leans down, placing a gentled kiss to the area, shocking in it's coldness before warming as the healing finishes. Her hair brushes his skin for a moment as she lifts her head again and continues to search.

"I do not doubt it. You have fought the woman who destroyed Merlin. It cannot have been an easy task. And your wounds were no doubt extreme." She murmured, almost absently, focus more on finding and healing his hurts than on discussing his painful trial.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 03:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] grimholdkeeper.livejournal.com
He gasps faintly at the touch, staring, but the kiss makes him tense with mixed surprise and pleasure, back arching slightly. He swallows hard as he relaxes again, watching her and thinking just a little uncomfortably about the other bite on the back of his leg, wondering if it's in for the same treatment. Not that he's inclined to object, guiltily savoring the strange reassurance.

"I only fought her once, face to face," he says softly. "That's the scar on my arm. The Inquisition did me worse, I think. And Maxim, once or twice."

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-24 04:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rules-winter.livejournal.com
Her hand moved down the arm in question and she let her finger trail along the scar. "The Inquisition was a difficult time for those with powers." She agreed, lifting his hand and peeling the glove off of it to look at the injury there. Her breath is cool against his skin as she lifts it to her lips, the kiss lingering for a moment as cold flashes through warming as the healing finishes. She leans her cheek on the hand almost absently, still looking down at him. "Maxim is the other apprentice, yes?"

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agreed 100%

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