Adventuring through twisted time.
Libelle wasn’t often one to go into the town, yet she found as the years had gone on her girls worked hard for her. The least she could do is go get things from the market when they were in between deliveries. Today was that day for her, she was often up with the sun habit really. She liked the warmth, she grew up in Australia where the heat seemed to never weaver. So she often could be found basking in it if she wasn’t cooking or working. Yet today would be different from normal as she put on her most respectable outfit. After all she didn’t plan to run the town half naked like she did in her brothel. She found herself walking the streets in the early morning sun just as others came from their homes to start their days. She paused in the middle of the street for a moment turning her gaze to the warm sun as he beat down on her tanned flesh. Taking a deep breath she got to work on her list of items she needed.
She had an Aura around her one that would make anyone run from her. It was just a curse part of being a drake. She had gotten used to it though, She used it to her advantage. As she walked from store to store she would smile at the people and they seemed more than willing to part with goods at a less than posted price. It made her chuckle to herself as she walked the streets how so many people feared her. Yet if they got past that aura they would see how utterly truly broken she was. Belle had gotten lost in that thought for a moment before shaking her head back and forth quickly no, she wasn’t going to think about Roderick. She hoped he earned everything he deserved. Letting out a frustrated sigh she took her goods and carried them back to the Brothel.
Once there she got to work opening the place. She made breakfast for those who stayed the evening, at a cost of course. She was busy making meals and pouring drinks she hadn’t noticed the day go smoothly. She undid the corset of her dress which caused her breast to fall slightly from where they had been held as she yanked down the sleeves so that she could breath better. Her eyes moved around the Dragon Lady; she knew most of the people there. After all, once some men got a taste they couldn’t stay away. The thought brought a slow smile to her face as she thought on that before she looked to the door open.
Someone new. Someone who didn’t look the type to hang around in a brothel not with how good looking he was. She moved to the bar and picked up a mug. “Come for a drink? Or a lady?” She called out to him with a coo in her gentlest of voices she could project his way. Wondering if he was scared to be in a brothel. “First time?” she asked as she poured a mug of ale. “If so first drink is on the house.” she smiled towards him slowly.
All four walls were closing in on him. The more silence filled in around him. The longer he stared out that window. The louder his thoughts became. The smaller the room felt, the bigger the urge to retaliate right here and now grew. He was hotheaded. Stubborn and already angry. So it didn't take long for him to be utterly lost in the darkness of his thoughts. Then he heard her. Felt the warmth of her hand and the way the bed dipped with her in it. He closed his eyes and deeply relaxed. Letting his body loosen and just be completely at peace. But why?
He felt safe with her.
It was like the moment she agreed to stay she reached into the darkness he was trapped in and plucked him free. He hadn't let go like this since his wife. He thought he'd lost this level of calm and after completely tearing himself down in grief. He did what he thought was best. Work. Work until his body screamed at him to rest. Work until he found his father. Work until he reunited his parents. Never stop until everyone in his family had a better life and love story than him. He could stop when he died.
But then he met Libelle and now here he was at a full stop. Contemplating everything he thought he knew. He could feel her gas enter his system again. He was already exhausted but his anger was keeping him up. Forcing him to stare out that damn window and think of what beautiful ways he could make those men scream. And so, he growled at his thoughts. He knew he would regret this because of the pain but he needed to do it. So he grabbed her and forced her to lay in front of him as he scooched and laid where she just was to give her space. And when he was done he buried his face in his pillow and groaned in it from pain.
But she blocked the window now. So it was worth it. He took a second to rerelax. Breathing deeply with his eyes closed and trying to shake off her gas. When his eyes opened he let out one final deep breath in relief to see her and not that window. He stared at her for a while. Longer than maybe he should. Longer than anyone would be comfortable. His eyes slowly began to glaze over because of her sleep gas. But still, he was desperately trying to fight. He didn't want to fall asleep angry.
The drowsier he became the clearer his mind saw her. Saw his wife. It's too bad one could easily tell him he was just delusional... Again. But his heart was telling him it was her. And her touch was sending sparks through his soul.
THIS HAD TO BE HER!!!
He snarled audibly and looked away from her at last. Frustrated by himself. She did nothing wrong. Her hand was on his ribs trying to soothe him which made his next move a bit easier because she could easily hurt him if she truly wanted him to stop. He was running out of time too. He couldn't keep fighting her gas and slowly but surely it was winning.
Today was not a day in which he won.
With a faint growl, he grabbed her thigh nearest him. Pulling her close with it and laying it over his hip. Not leaving any space between them or anything to the imagination with the thin layers they both wore. Keeping his fingers imprinted in her thigh. While his free hand snaked into her hair and tugged at it as he pulled her close.
Again he kissed her. But not like the first time when he was delusional. Though some could argue. And not like a few minutes ago when she was just trying to get her gas into his system. No, no, this was a kiss from a husband to a wife because in his tired state with all the surrounding evidence his heart knew she was Belle. He let her hair go before his lips fell from hers as he, at last, fell into a heavy sleep he couldn't fight anymore. But he still held her thigh to keep her close. She could slip away though. The entire time he made sure she could stop him if she wanted.
He woke up a few hours later and slipped out of bed. Quietly moving around the room as Libelle slept. He was still in a towel so he changed into a pair of breeches. They had also been sleeping on top of the duvet so he gently peeled it back from under her and covered them both with it as he rejoined her in bed. Taking her in his arms and slowly drifted back to sleep.
It's too bad he didn't remember that beautiful kiss. Just thought it was all a dream.
Feeling the angry gypsy let his tense body relax under her touch was strangely comforting. She kept her hands moving and her body pressed to his letting the gas out to hopefully find the peace he needed to rest and heal. She was expecting him to fall asleep pretty quickly so as he let out a growl, confusion crossed her face. Then she was no longer behind him but in front of her. Her hazel eyes were large as she stared at him for a moment. She could see the pain cross his face as he did all these quick movements. Something she would scold him for the next day.
His gaze was gone though in the pillow and she watched him relax again. She stayed still watching his actions not sure what to really expect since she had never seen him this way before. He was always so put together. Yet that softer gaze looked back to her and she herself relaxed not realizing she had been so tense moments ago. Worried about him, she moved slightly closer to place her hand against him again to trail her warm fingers along his flesh slowly. She watched him fight the gas knowing it was useless but didn’t speak up on that.
As she watched his face, it was all so confusing she had never seen someone go through such a range of emotions so quickly. The loving stare, the confusion, the frustration. She wondered if she made the wrong choice by crawling into bed with him. Maybe he really needed to be alone. She was thinking of how maybe she could send up….
Her thoughts were taken over as he took hold of her thigh pulling her in, over his hip and she felt the shiver up her spine from his fingers imprinting their outline on her thigh. Then came the hand in her hair which caused an audible moan from her as her body reacted to the harshness of his touches in ways she had never reacted before. What was happening, then his lips came and she felt that spark, that electricity shooting through her body. She hadn’t felt that since Daniel. Her body pressed to his as she kissed him back. Deeper wanting more and yet she felt his lips fall away.
“Wait.” she spoke softly but knew that her gas had taken over and she stared at him as he slept. There is no way that he was Daniel. She blinked a few times telling herself over and over again that it was just a trick of her mind. She shifted to lay there lost now in her own thoughts of the past before sleep took over her. Not waking up when he moved around the room and tucked her under the blankets holding her to him as they slept.
When the light came through the window she groaned as she rolled into him to avoid the light wanting to sleep longer in his warm arms. “Jeovani.” she mumbled into his chest. “That kiss was…” she felt blush come over her face once again. “It was…” she wasn’t sure how to put into words what it was to her.
Libelle spoke but Jeo was peacefully asleep. Hearing bits and pieces of her already incomplete sentence. Kiss? He didn't remember the last kiss. Only there first which he was still sorry about and then again when she was trying to administer her gas into his system. Was she still upset about that first one? Trying to set more ground rules between them because she was worried about what he might do the closer they got? Or was she offended about how scared he reacted when she was just trying to share her gas with him? His tired mind spun around and around. He shifted and whined in his sleep because of them.
Until at last, his peaceful rest was too disturbed. He woke up and took a deep breath as the pain in his ribs registered. He'd broken a few bones before. Ribs included. But never this many. And never this severe so the pain was new. Harder to manage than usual. She was buried under his chin. Nestled against his neck and chest. He kept her there for a moment enjoying the closeness. But eventually leaned back to see her face. "...k..." He stopped himself as his mouth closed and he studied her face. She didn't seem angry so now he was even more confused. "...kiss?" He forwarded his brow as his eyes bounced between hers.
He groaned in pain before she could answer. Accidently gripping her in response. Realizing then his hand was still on her thigh that was still wrapped over his hip. And the moment he clasped it flickers of last night flashed into his memory. His assertiveness and aggressive behavior. Her moan. The spark that ran through them both as their lips met. "Oh." He let her go. Clearing his throat as his nose and ears reddened. "That kiss..." He looked away.
"I promised I wouldn't kiss you without your permission again. So for that, I'm sorry. We don't have to talk about it if you don't want to." He assumed she was going to warn or threaten him once again.
As they lay there tangled together, her ear pressed to listen to his heart beat which itself was erratic because of the pain he was in. She felt bad and in that moment wished she could heal him with a touch and yet all she could do was make his pain a little more manageable. So when he shifted to look at her, she looked at him completely confused wondering why he would risk hurting himself more by moving. When confusion crossed his face she shifted slightly more to question him but the pain that rattled him made her growl at his tight grip.
Her eyes shifted to their drake form and back before he looked back at her. The man that was there last night certainly wasn’t there at that moment as he seemed to be apologetic in kissing her, touching her, lighting something inside of her. She gave him a confused look. Before shifting out of the bed and off of him at that moment. Looking for her dress that was somewhere on the ground.
“Heal up. The room is yours. I will have the other girls service you since you don’t want to talk.” She got the dress over her and moved to tighten the corset part. “You know Jeovani.” She turned her face full of anger and hurt all at once. “I never expected to be used by you. You are never allowed to put your hands on me again. Do you understand me!” She screamed at him at that moment. Fully hurt by the rejection of him not wanting to kiss her. She was angry because she hadn’t felt that spark since Daniel and he made her feel alive again.
She was angry with herself. “How dare you make me think you are not here for a common whore, then treat me like one.” She moved to the door and pulled it up. “Breakfast will be up shortly.” With that she was out the door with it slamming behind her with tears wanting to fall down her face but she didn’t let them. She swallowed hard and made her way down the stairs where she got to work on making breakfast for the Inn.
She reached into the pocket of her apron that she left in the kitchen the night before she had taken it off and left her ring in it. The ring that she often had hidden around her neck, but the day before the leather broke so she slid it in her pocket. She pulled it from the pocket as she stared at it for a long moment. “Where are you?” she whispered to the ring as she slid it on for a moment. “How dare you.” she said to the ring before taking it off and sliding it in her pocket again.
Jeovani blinked taken aback by Libelle's sudden outburst. He took a breath to interject and explain but when he moved to try and reach toward her the pain from his injuries shut him right up. He winced and grasped his side. Breathing through the pain. But also trying to fight through it to keep Libelle here. The pain won in the end. And he was left helplessly lying there. He banged his head back against the headrest and let out a slew of curse words in Spanish under his breath. He couldn't even chase her when he tried. It only made the pain worse. And in his trying and stubbornness he passed out from the pain.
He awoke when the sun peeking through his window hit his face. It'd been so long since the last time pain like this was too much for him. He could hear all the Vikings and Valkyrie taunting and laughing at him because he wasn't pain resistant like them. His mother was the fiercest Valkyrie known to man. Could fell any demon, god, or beast with her bare hands. And yet here he was laid out because of a few broken ribs. Even his father who traveled the world. Ate with kings and queens. Fought with the Drakes. And left nothing behind but a dusty wake was tougher than this.
Hours passed before he showed his face. Fully dressed he paced himself down the steps. Clutching his side. It was clear the ladies knew something happened based on how they suddenly avoided him. But he kept his focus on the door. It wasn't until Libelle behind the bar came into his view that his focus shifted. He wanted to approach but with the silent warnings coming from all her ladies who placed themselves between her and him he dared not. Huffing and slowly making his way to and out of the door. He needed to tell his employer he would be out for some time.
Again hours passed more than earlier and it was already well into the night. Jeo honestly struggled making it around. It was clear when he finally made it back to the Dragon Lady from the heavy breaths he took and the sweat that covered him he wasn't okay. He didn't bother anyone since everyone was working. He just bought a bottle for himself and made his way to his room.
Another hour gone before he was seen again. Fresh from bathing and maybe a bit tipsy from the bottle he bought. Helping to ease his pain. He still paced himself coming down the stairs. Up until now, Libelle's ladies had done a great job at keeping the two apart. But with them working now it would be much harder and so they found themselves close more than once as Libelle worked around. Even in his slightly less sober state, however, he was still respectful of her wishes and left her alone.
She seemed to be making her rounds when he got up to order drinks for the table at which he sat. Filled with men he had befriended through his job in town. He was just going to pass her by until he noticed everything around them freeze and all at once The Wind blew. It pushed them together. Pressing her back to the wall and pulling him to her. He put his hands up just in time to catch himself but groaned at the pain. His hands landed on either side of her head. The Wind danced around them. Keeping them in this break in time for the moment.
They were close together but it couldn't be helped. Oh, what Gypsy tricks he could play with her mind at this moment. They crossed his mind as he admired her. But it wouldn't be right. He sighed the thoughts away but still leaned in close to her ear. "I never meant to make you feel as though I used you. I'm sorry. I'd do anything for you to know I speak the truth. Even if that meant getting the Ruby of the Sea." his lips brush against her ear just as softly as his words do. He's tempted to give her a nip but again sighs away the thought as he pulls back. Slowly, to not scare her or hurt himself he reaches into his pocket. "I heard some of your girls call you Onyx a while ago." he pulled out a unique crystal and brought it up to her lips. Running the cool stone across them like it was a piece of ice. His way of touching her without breaking the rule she set for him.
He stepped back as he picked up on The Wind slowing down and the world coming back. Placing the dragon shaped Onyx on her serving tray. He gave her a slightly drunken smile before putting up his hands just as everything came back to life. To them, they had that moment in The Wind. To the rest of the world, it looked as though he was for a split second trying to corner her. And so, her ladies came to her rescue quickly. "I was just going to get some drinks" he hissed as they pushed him and irritated his ribs.
He left her alone the rest of the night. Getting on the piano to play and sing with the workers and patrons the more he drank. The lovely sounds draw more people in. And so people began to ask Libelle "How much for the exotic man on the piano?" or" What jewel is he named after?" Questions Vega was oblivious to. At last, the night began to settle and only a few stragglers were left but the brothel was still open to any last minute men. Jeovani sat with Ruby who had just finished with a client and had gotten into a bit of a gambling match laughing each time the other lost. But their laughter particularly Jeo's was cut short when a group of men entered.
It was them. The men that had jumped him. His features tightened as the leader approached and tossed a sack of coins on the table for Ruby. But Jeo stopped her from getting up and going with him. He didn't trust any of these men and there was no telling what they knew or would try to do to any lady here if they were hunters. He and the man got into a staring contest before Jeo at last moved. Tossing an even heavier bag of coins on the table to outbid the man for Ruby. If he wasn't completely wasted he would've likely found some other way to do this but he was absolutely drunk. Thank The Wind he was a functional drunk. Jeovani rolled his eyes as he watched these men come together to try and outbid him.
And so, he reached and popped one of two necklaces off his neck and slammed it on the table. This one held a very rare and valuable jewel on it he had gotten from a dragon's cave as a child. "You're not going to win this one carbon." he rose and checked to be sure his other necklace was still secure because that one held his wedding ring. He held his hand out hesitantly for Ruby who also hesitated to take it. He signaled some of the men he worked with and they knew that meant to get these guys out of there. Hoping Libelle would pick up on everything that was happening.
And so, as they escorted the men out Vega escorted Ruby to his room. Pausing for just a second when passing Libelle hoping she would look at him. But when she didn't he sighed and retired to his room with Ruby.
The awkward ambience that squeezed its way through the thick air that sat on their shoulders was just as palpable as the air itself. His heart ached. And that alone sobered him right up. He gave Ruby the bed and sat. Or struggled to sit in the chair across from her. Ruby was waiting on him. Testing him to see if he would really go through with the night with her. Just to tell Libelle he wasn't worth shite!
Except he couldn't even look at her.
His head hung. And his labored breath grew shallow. "I'm sorry. If you're expecting more of me but I just... I.. Can't." he rose his head to look at the woman he had paid for. Expecting to be met with anger or disappointment. Instead what he saw was confusion. Shock. And ultimately understanding. She just stared at him for a moment in silence before she closed her eyes. Huffed and cursed under her breath. She rubbed the bridge of her nose complaining about how she felt like she would regret this. She glared at him as she rose from the bed and warned him not to make her regret this.
Vega simply blinked at first. But when he realised she wouldn't explain until he gave her his word he rose slowly. "I promise." she studied his eyes and nothing else. And for that reason, he didn't let his gaze waver. And so, another huff and this time a string of curses slip passed her lips under her breath. She headed for the door. And with a wave of her hand promised to clear the air about this AND ONLY THIS situation.
"I'm not a fool to know you saved me from those hunters. But whatever the hell you did to Libelle before that is your mess to clean."
She left promptly after. Having only been in his room for maybe two or three minutes. A record for anyone who believed they did something until Ruby got the chance to explain. Aimlessly he stood there. Knowing he should try and sleep. Wait until Libelle and Ruby had their heart to heart. But he couldn't stand by. He tried. In fact, he stayed in his room and fought himself for an hour because he noticed how annoyed Libelle was by his presence.
Belle would be so disappointed.
That thought sobered him even further. He clutched the necklace his ring was on as it rested against his chest. She would be disappointed that this is what became of him. An injured drunk playing games with the hearts of other women. Well, one woman at least. But that didn't make things any better. As quietly as he could he crept from his room. Tiptoeing across the creaking floor to Libelle's room. He knew better than to knock. And so, instead, he slipped what he had for her under her door. A folded note which read...
"Something for when you wake."
Something he would pretend to have no knowledge of in the morning. Which came sooner than he'd have liked. But at least The Wind had come back to his side a little and his ribs hurt less today. He struggled down the steps less. But still winced at how all the ladies treated him now. Like he was just another pig. Just another man who played games with women's hearts and feelings. It was clear Ruby, who conveniently hadn't come downstairs yet, hadn't spoken to anyone about last night. So Vega sighed. Manning up and taking it. He let them scorn him. Or curse him out under their breath as he passed. Chastise him as he made his way to the front door. It was no different from how the rest of the world treated him for being a Gypsy.
But he had to admit this hurt more.
Hours passed no one saw Jeovani. Not at the brothel. Not in town. Not at the docks. Everyone assumed The Wind took him away. That was what he wanted, however. After the events of the morning and the things the ladies said to him he didn't think he could handle much more of that today. So he left town and walked until he found a field. Someplace he could just be alone and try and reconnect with The Wind completely.
It didn't work.
He still wanted vengeance. But more than that he wanted those hunters' heads on spikes. "Fuck!" why did he ever agree to become a gypsy? A constant inner war waged inside his heart. Mind. Spirit. Soul. Every inch of him was fighting itself all because of these hunters. He launched his hat into the air in anger and frustration.Vikings didn't have these problems. He cursed again as he hurt his ribs and out of temporary spite, The Wind kept his hat.
He laughed, dryly. But nothing was funny.
When he, at last, returned to The Dragon Lady it was at the climax of the night. And with how packed it was he wondered if there was some holiday he didn't know of being celebrated. And with how many hours he was gone would he still have a room? He put the hood on the cloak he'd bought in town up and snuck in with a crowd. Avoiding all the ladies as they were all extremely busy and making his way to his room.
He was relieved to still have one seeing as he had nowhere else to go. Until he reconciled with The Wind. He had paid in advance for it anyway. He was also relieved no one saw him and took a deep breath once he was alone again. Locking his door. Staying confined to these four walls. His anger. Regrets. Pain and overthinking. Refusing to open the door if anyone came knocking.