Who

Ksenia, Cha'el

What

Even those that appear to have it all together can make the most horrible of choices. (Occurs the early morning of Blacklisted Train Wreck)

When

It is midmorning of the twenty-second day of the eleventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Southern Weyr, River Clearing and Igen Weyr, Cha'el's Weyr

OOC Date

 

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River Clearing

Just north of the river delta, the jungle's grip loosens enough to expose the sand-enriched soil and lichen-kissed rocks as the river battles through the rapids before dumping into the gentler delta. Cacophony of sound is made through the roar of the rapids, the spray of white water as it rains upon the nearby shores, and the shrieking of birds and wild firelizards that call from the nearby jungles. Treacherous to cross, most would follow the bank to either the river's delta or the calmer river bank, but a few courageous souls find the lure of the rapids too tempting to not cross as the far bank holds the promise of accomplishment.


The Roma caravan grounds is full of cheerful fire and revelry; life's a party and the fires crackle merrily, even in the blazing light of day. A ring of wagons, centered around the largest one, encircle a spot next to the Black Rock River. A few dozen folk move about, some washing in the river, some chopping wood for the fire; all of them caught up in work. Children laugh and run and play, squealing how they're dragons and some hapless ten-turn-old has been given the duty of being the Enemy, Thread. Streamers of silver ribbons stream behind the "Thread Crown" the child wears. All in all, it's cheerful, joyful chaos.

Two sevens have passed since Cha'el's unfortunate run in with the spirited trader woman. Two sevens in which his wound has come together rather well allowing stitches to be removed and proving her right by leaving behind a jagged scar. Two sevens in which sleep already tainted by the occasional nightmare has been etched through with the pitiful cries of a newborn. Dark, desperate dreams in which the Igen Weyrsecond has stumbled about in dark tunnels, taunted by the cries of wingriders dying under Thread's devouring assault trying to find the source of the distressing cries, haunted by the image of a lovely face with dark flashing eyes challenging him with a maniacal smile curved about sharp teeth. Woken too many times in a cold sweat, a diabolical plan has slowly started to form. One that now results in the return of the brown pair to Southern skies.

Beneath Rukbat's cheery light, Ksenia has drifted from her kin and is about to plunge herself into the cold waters of the river with a bow and arrow in her hands. She calls back something to one of the boys of the camp before fording the river to the other side. Not dressed in a dress this time, the woman's wearing the scandalous attire of breeches and tunic, for the obvious reason that she intends to hunt. From the skies, the fire would easily draw the eye as the Roma aren't really skulking about here. Quite the opposite. Lively music would also drift up, as feet already start tapping. When Rukbat sinks below the horizon, that's when the party really starts. If one is still around, that is.

Ksenia - Poe Haunted
Cha'el - Linkin Park What I've Done

From the air, the circle of caravans is easily spotted along the banks of the river curling a triumphant smirk onto bearded features. Using the benefit of dragonsight, Cha'el scans the ground below from up on high. Once or twice, spotting a woman in a gay arrangement of skirts with dark hair he thinks he has his target only for a gesture or manner of movement have him discarding her as the one he seeks. Its Sikorth that's the one that picks Ksenia out by her scent. Score one for a highly adapted sense of smell. « We land now? » - Not yet. Cha'el sends back. Wait for her to cross to the other side. And then land in that line of scrub on the opposite bank.

Ksenia does cross the river and attains the other side. She pauses and glances back at the camp with an air of primal triumph at having escaped the usual female duties of washing the clothes and tending to the children. With quick fingers, she binds her long, espresso-colored hair with hints of red into a long braid. Tying it off with a leather thong, the trader flings it over her shoulder and picks her weapons back up again. With nary a look backwards (or upwards as dragons are a common sight in the skies) she ducks across the open area of the clearing and disappears into the treeline. The trees aren't so dense here that tracking her progress is difficult from the air, but she seems intent to get to the thicker jungles where tracking would be difficult.

Silent the shadow that sweeps overhead with Sikorth careful to keep out of Rukbat's direct line so as not to obviously blot the sun shining over the woman on the ground below. As she moves into the treeline, he drops lower and lower still, with his rider's frame tensing the closer they get to their target. A deft flick of fingers, releases the belt about his waist and Cha'el drops lightly from his dragon's neck, landing like a predator crouched on the ground below. With a crack of vegetation splitting under the sudden assault, the big brown follows suit and drops down right in front of Ksenia, faceted eyes fixing the female with whirling intensity. His rider, nowhere in sight.

To say that shock was the pervasive expression on her face would be an understatement for Sikorth's sudden arrival right in front of her gets a startled yelp out of the woman. Instinct takes over, however, because before she can even think what she's doing — startled like that it takes a bit for the mind to catch up with one's instinctive behaviors — she's aiming an arrow right for the brown. Luckily, she espies that the dark brown beast is not a giant Yeti from the north, but is, in fact, a dragon so she quickly drops her bow and arrow and presses her hand to her heart. "You, dragon, scared the living — are you riderless?" Unease filters into her expression when she looks around. "Don't eat me." It almost could be a pitiful sound if it wasn't for the sudden surge of emotion when she brandishes her bow at the dragon, "Come any closer to me and I'll shoot you." She's definitely moving backwards, reconsidering her path to the river. In fact, those great lungs of hers are filling up as if preparing to let off a shrieking scream of help.

Even although the arrow pointed at him is a puny stick of annoyance when directed at dragonhide, there is nevertheless a rumbling growl of warning from Sikorth, jeweled eyes flashing red, serpentine tail lashing side to side snapping branches and stirring up undergrowth. Riderless he is, but he bears the strapping that marks allowances for two to be seated if Ksenia knows what to look for. Prowling a step closer, the beast bares a wicked row of teeth and exhales a fetid snort of breath for the one that hurt his rider and has disturbed his rest for past fourteen nights or so. "Toss your bow aside." Comes the deep baritone from behind Ksenia. "And your knife too and then slowly turn around." Whether she does as instructed or not, when she turns, she'll find the Igenite brownrider behind her, a bow strung taut with an arrow notched and a thick smirk pulled about his lips.

Go weaponless? Ksenia? She doesn't know what to look for, a rider's straps are a bunch of meaningless bits of leather that hold them onto the dragon somehow. Her brief foray into that has taught her that you belt yourself in, but that's the extent. Dark eyes narrow when the voice halts her mid-scream inhale and she whirls around, raising her own bow. "You." Confusion dulls the fire in dark eyes as dark brows knit together. Tendrils of dark hair frame her face, cheeks flush with the exertion of crossing the river. Her trousers are wet from the waist down, dripping still from having forded the river. The tunic she wears lifts a little when she raises her arms with the arrow, showing a hint of gold that lies tied about her hips. She's dressed in the darkness of rich klah, a perfect blend to the shadows of the jungle. "Are you going to kill me with that thing?" This unexpected turn of events has her hand trembling a little, though her eyes betray her with another look towards her camp. As if judging who might be quicker.

"Me." Is the silken acknowledgement Cha'el gives, eyes of ocean blue roving openly over her breech clad form dipping to that hint of gold, an image from their previous encounter flashing behind his eyes. Attention returns to those dark, dark eyes and a slow smile peels into place flashing white teeth within the neat frame of short beard. "That depends. Are you going to come quietly?" To where, the rider doesn't say.

"I am not going anywhere with you," Ksenia states calmly, trying shift her stance slowly so that she's not quite hemmed in by dragon and rider. "You have no idea who I am. Who my grandmother is," is it a bargain she tries to make here, fearing for her life with this different Cha'el. Somehow a little more real in her natural element, her tone lacks the artifice of mocking she'd employed in the snowy tundras of the north. Rather than give into the desire to look back towards safety, she instead uses her lungs to her advantage — a weapon in their own right. "MAMA! PAPA! HELP! HEEEEEEEEEELP!" Who knows if her voice is loud enough to reach, but it does rise to a sopranic screech of banshee's intent.

Ksenia shifts and so goes Sikorth, his sinuous tailing snaking around to glide about her ankles. I don't give a fuck who you are or who your grandmother is. Cha'el retorts in a hard tone. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't wing you. FUCK!" The moment she starts to scream dragon and rider act as one. Sikorth hooks his tail about her ankles and tugs letting out a loud bugle of sound to cover the female's attempts to call for help and Cha'el leaps forward. One hand reaches to twist slender wrists together in a large hand while the other will clamp firmly over her mouth, bright eyes boring into dark if he's managed to get the jump on her. "Shut the fuck up!"

It's the tail that moves around her ankles that proves to be her undoing, because Ksenia spares a glance down at her feet in the midst of her screaming that leave shed open for attack. When Cha'el gets her wrists in his iron-hard grip, the bow falls to the ground but Ksenia doesn't go down without a fight. She screams behind his hand, even bitting into the meaty pad of his palm while struggling and trying to kick with the feet she has. Her eyes are wide and lost to human thought other than escape. Something darkens them outside of fear and that's a growing hate that fills their golden caramel depths. Shut up? SHUT UP? She tries to scream louder, muffled as it is by his hand.

Aaargggh! "Sonoffabitch!" Cha'el curses as sharp teeth sink into his hand uttering another curse when the toe of her boot catches one of his shins. "Ksenia!!" He snaps in a low growl knowing that time is of the essence if her screams were heard. "Listen to me! I m not going to hurt you. " How he expects her to believe that given how he's just landed a surprise attack on her is anyone's guess. The candle is burning and time is running out. Realizing this he lifts his now bloodied hand away from her mouth long enough to pull a short piece of rope from his belt to tie her hands together in front of her.

Vengeful satisfaction fills those eyes of hers when she sees the blood on his hand, their tawny brown color darkened by fear and anger. Ksenia spits his blood on the ground and glares at him. A glare that holds a whole lot of fear when he binds her wrists. Indeed, in the distance sounds of something come from the camp itself. With his hand removed from her mouth, she throws her head back and howls her fury. A sound that echoes off the rushing waters of the river and shivers even her own eardrums. She doesn't make this easy on him, dropping her weight suddenly so she's essentially a sack of potatoes while she tries to drag her hands away from him. "I don't believe you!" she yells, spitting in his face. "Let me go! Now! You're just like every male on this forsaken planet." She pauses, and with breath heaving, tries once more to scream out a name, "IAIN!!"

Fear was not the response Cha'el had been angling for, it sickening him to see it darkening her eyes for it goes against his grain. But just now there's not a lot he can do about it. "I just want to talk to you!" He insists in a tight voice and then glares at her. "And you're just like every other coldhearted bitch out there." He gives back growling with annoyance when he's having to fight to get her hands bound. "For Faranth's sake, shut up!" Fat lot of good that'll do. If he's finally been able to restrain those hands of hers, the rider, glancing over his shoulder will bend and now fully recovered from the ordeal two sevens previous, wrap an arm about the backs of Ksenia's legs and toss her over his shoulder like the very sack of potatoes she'd just tried to emulate, her mouth still not gagged.

"This is not talking!! This is kidnapping!!" Ksenia shrieks, not letting up her banshee howl. She's got a lot of fire but she's a woman and smaller than him. Being subdued is in her cards and with a growing sense of dread, she stares at her roped hands. Acerbic response of, "I'm sorry I'm not helping you BIND MY HANDS." And when he tells her to shut up, she shakes her head and renews her struggles in earnest. That is until he bends down to grab the back of her legs. Wide, tawny eyes lift to his face, an incredulity eclipsing her features. Her world has changed inexplicably in an instant and it's with an almost mewling, "Noooo…." that comes out when she's tossed over his shoulder. His insult can't penetrate the fog of shock that clouds her vision. That is until he moves. Then she's screaming in earnest and kicking and battering his back with her small fists.

"Damn straight it is." Cha'el grunts in response to kidnapping not looking the least bit apologetic for it either. "You could have my kid in your belly and I m taking it home." There. Simple as that. With that out of the way he draws up next to Sikorth, features set tight for the pounding his back is taking. Small fists or no, she manages to smack him in the kidneys at least once. "Fuckkit. Would you stop fighting me!" Yes, because all kidnap victims go quietly. Sikorth flattens to the ground in as much as a dragon his size can and eyeballs the flailing woman slung over his rider's shoulder. Holding onto Ksenia with one arm, the rider then begins the laborious task of using only one hand to climb up his dragon's side, teetering dangerously a time or two when her weight throws him off balance.

"I didn't do anything to you! I helped your sorry ass!" Ksenia shrieks in mingled outrage and fear. Then he continues and draws her up short and cuts off her screams. "You… you can't do this…" she whispers, giving his backside a good glare because that's all she can see. But wait. Ceasing to struggle, she's now using her hands to hook onto his belt — how are you liking that wedgie Cha'el? — to try to grapple for the hilt of a knife. Her own is impossible to reach, so she goes for his and if she gets it, there's no doubt she'll stab him with it. "This is a stain on you. A stain on your black heart," the murderous rage and fear can't be misconstrued here, but so exists a broken, dignified fragile pride as the ground lengthens in her vision and more of the hateful brown hide fills it. "I hate you."

Oh yeah, that wedgie is uncomfortable! Especially given the close fit of leathers. "Woman!!" Cha'el complains unable to do anything about it just now with his hands full as they are. His knife is slung about the front of lean hips though she might be able to pull an arrow from quiver slung over his other shoulder. Not something he'd lent thought to before putting her within reach of it. Finally, finally he reaches the pinnacle of that mottled brown neck and twisting, will try to dump Ksenia's ass astride it near the foremost belt attached to strapping. "My black heart?" Incredulous the snort uttered. "I'm not the one that was spouting off about ending a life before it's even begun." Yup, that had hit really deep with the man. "Now sit your ass down and behave!"

The only problem with Ksenia's theory is that her hands are bound together which makes for grappling difficult. At least any hope of getting to any weapon from her tossed over position. However, when he dumps her down on the dragon, she tries to snatch up one of the arrows from his quiver. "I am not going to behave with a man kidnapping me!!" Raising her purloined weapon over her head, she tries to jab him with it, which probably doesn't help her keep her seat. "I hate you. I wish I'd never met you," fervent, angry, these words are black and dark. And even as she tries to jab him it's really defensive-offensive and not out of a blood thirsty desire to see the rider die. Her only intention is to escape. "This can't — it can't be about a baby you don't even — can't even be sure is even a thing!"

Blue eyes flare wide when suddenly Ksenia has an arrow in her hands and while he tries to dodge those jabs, one manages to peg into the leather of his flight jacket. Luckily there's not enough force behind it to penetrate beyond the protective layer but it is enough to draw a scowl to his face. "You'd think I was taking you away to make you my whore or something." Cha'el shoots back and tries to snatch said slender weapon from the trader's hands. "Yeah, yeah, you hate me." He drawls, tone nonchalant though the purse of lips says otherwise. "I got it the first time." If he's been able to relieve her of the arrow, it'll be tucked safely back into his quiver, her own weaponry left lying on the ground below. Reaching about her, probably putting him in biting range, the rider begins to belt her in with more care than a kidnapper of the nefarious type might use. "Aye, I can't be sure about a damn thing just now. But," and there he pauses to fit Ksenia with an intent look, "I m not about to take the risk either. "

When her arrow is taken and doesn't even make the rider flinch, Ksenia drops her eyes and holds strangely still. She lets the silence yawn between them, focusing on her bound hands rather than on him, the loathsome creature that he is. She laces her fingers together and can't help the startled look shot his way. "I wouldn't be surprised," her voice is low, bitter, "If you intended to ensure there's a babe even if there isn't." Like a child, she refuses to look at him. Refuses to meet his eyes. Which can't be good because she's just not meek like that. Not normally, but then Cha'el has done a good job ensuring that she has no way to go, no way out. She swallows, her pride in tatters and held in a raggedy mantle around her demeanor, and debases herself fully with a whispered plea of, "Please. Please, don't do this."

With Ksenia seated in front of him No way is he about to present his back to her Cha'el pauses in checking the secure fit of the last buckle about her slim waist a part of him sickened by his own actions. Its Sikorth that provides roughened reminder of what's at stake and the rider swallows down the surge of self-loathing. "I am not that guy." He tells her quietly, hands stilled on her hips until he realizes where they are. Given himself a mental shaking, hands are jerked away and his own belt is quickly buckled into place. But it's her whispered plea that truly sends a dagger through him and Cha'el goes very, very still. Precious moments in which someone could burst into the thin pack of trees go by as he second-guesses himself, features strained about a heavy frown. And then he does something she might find to be completely out of character, he wraps his arms about her and hugs her gently in against the broad set of his chest, mouth dropped to the shell of her ear. "I told you. I'm not going to hurt you and I promise on Sikorth's egg, that I'll bring you back." Its all he's got to give right now for the rest, he's simply going to have to prove himself not to be the animal she so rightly assumes him to be. Beneath them, Sikorth gathers himself, carefully maneuvering his large bulk so as to be able to launch skyward without taking half the trees with him.

Ksenia gives him a haunted look. "Aren't you?" she asks, tone full of loathing and spite before she ducks her head again. That is until he suddenly is drawing her into his arms which gets a muffled cry of protest. She thrashes in earnest, tilting her head to look at him which brings her face to face, literally, with the brownrider. Her eyes are accusing and dark and her expression is pinched an angry. Her response to his words are to spit in his face, but there's a gleam of manic victory to her eyes that is so at odds with the situation. How very, very desperate that situation is. Turning her head away, she drops her chin to her chest and strives to suffer in bruised silence. Not touching him as much as possible. Sikorth is the object of the burn of her eyes. And what Cha'el can't see is the tears that threaten to fall, though she gives no indication of it. Instead, Ksenia is — for once since the first time he's met her — silent. Utterly, utterly silent.

And once again Ksenia surprises him with an unexpected response. For a couple of seconds, Cha'el merely stares at her dumbfounded as the gobbit of spittle slowly slides down the smoothly shaven upper portion of his cheek. Whatever apology or regret might have softened his features is jerked back behind those thick walls of his and hard guards drop into place. A mental command is barked at Sikorth and with a sudden jolt the brown shoots skyward clearing the cover of trees with wings scooping the sultry Southern air until they're high above, the circle of caravans little more than colorful dots on the ground below. Its just as well Cha'el doesn't see those tears or he might very well have let the trader woman go. While this might not in any sense be the way he'd envisioned becoming a father, there is a certain lick of triumph that slips through his veins as he makes a break for it with his prize. In seconds the uncaring bleak depravity of Between swallows them whole and then spits them out above the desert Weyr, Sikorth angling sharply toward the Northern bowl wall and the wide ledge that is his.

Ksenia has found herself adragonback for the second time in so many seven days, and her apprehension hasn't lessened much since the last time she was atop Sikorth but the difference is that the trust in the dragon's rider has shattered into a million pieces. Her fingers are knotted together the moment they enter between and when they emerge, she emerges struggling and gasping. Blindly, wanting to take off the belt clip that holds her in place without thought beyond the lack of everything that Between evokes. It's a good thing her bound hands make everything difficult because it gives her time to come to her senses before she falls to her death. Igen is a place never traveled too in her life, but it is not a place that holds much allure for her in the present circumstances. As they near his ledge, a wild hysterical laugh bubbles from her lips. It's a sound full of fear, and despair and anger too. So, so much anger. Impotent anger.

Cha'el isn't that insensitive or maybe he is and he's just protecting what might be his for just seconds before they'd entered Between he'd wrapped his brawny frame about Ksenia, hands wrapping firmly about the strapping in front of her to cage her within the cradle of his arms. With the warmth of Igen climes leeching the cold away, Sikorth lands with a solid thwump, raising eddies of sand leftover from a recent dust storm into the air. In stiff silence his rider goes about the task of unbuckling them both. This time he dismounts first and then reaches up for her. "Jump. I'll catch you." Clipped without a hint of the earlier gentleness that had snuck passed his barriers for now that he's gotten her home, he's beginning to realize the enormity of what he's just done.

She would never admit it, but the warmth of the human cage is a comfort for it is the opposite of between. Cha'el is despicable, but he represents that which is human, is life. When he dismounts and calls for her to jump, she holds his regard and for a split second, Ksenia's eyes glance past him to the ledge beyond and the space between the edge of his ledge and certain death. She looks down at him and from the proud tilt of her chin and set of her shoulders, she could be the regal bearer of Sikorth's bond. She disdains his 'I'll catch' you, and instead turns and foolishly tries to dismount using her bound hands. Not being able to get very far without slipping and tumbling down to the rider below, but still she chose to try it herself rather than just jump into her captor's arms. "You didn't think this through very well did you?" Finally her silence is broken with snake-like vitriol, anger dripping from each syllable. "Don't you know what between can do to pregnancies?" The snooty sound of her words, the lofty delivery with upraised nose and tawny golden eyes dark with anger. "If there even was one."

Frustration slips free and curls onto Cha’el’s expression along with an exasperated. “Bloody wherryballs woman! Do you always have to be so stubborn!” When Ksenia tries dismounting on her own. “OOF!” Would be when she lands awkwardly in his arms, bicep wrenching a little. Quickly setting her down on her feet his attention falling to the rope binding her hands that he’s working on untying, Cha’el suddenly goes deadstill. His mouth goes dry and a finger of ice drops down his spine at the haughty reminder she slaps him with. Having gone pale beneath his tan, the brownrider simply stares at her for a few moments and then his wits are gathered about him, soothing the stab of horror fear had hit him with. “Don’t you know that one quick trip between isn’t going to do anything. It’s the prolonged ones,” designed to rid a woman of an unwanted pregnancy, or so he’s heard, “and doing it too often that tilts the scale.” Smug in this belief though still somewhat shaken, the rope drops free and Cha’el steps back, arm swinging toward the short tunnel that leads from ledge to inner weyr. “Your new home for the next couple of months or so.”

Ksenia's life has thus far been fairly fun-loving: fleecing the fancy people who come to have their fortunes read while enjoying a life of family and closeness. To be so abused by a dragonrider is new and with dread, the woman reluctantly follows but only after giving the escape of the ledge on last longing look. "Lovely," bitterness drips from each syllable while she rubs the bruises of her wrists. "And what, exactly, do you plan on telling your fictional baby how you came by it? I locked your mother up in my weyr and wouldn't let her go? I trapped a free person in my weyr? Great family you've got there in your MIND." She stalks away from the rider, kicking at something within reach. Doesn't care what it is, it's the violence of the act that satisfies a deep, growing hunger that the anger is producing. "Shall I sprawl on the bed and wait for you to ravish me until you're sure there's a babe? Or are you just going to tie me up in this Faranth forsaken hole?" Rounding on him, her eyes are hot with anger and with some dark promise. "I will escape. You will rue the day you did this, dragonrider. You rankless nobody. I'll see you staked in Thread the moment I'm free."

Each barb finds its mark causing Cha’el to cringe internally, externally there is little to show but a sharp cut of eyes. “I’ll tell him or her that I saved them from being killed in the womb, or worse yet sold like their sibling because their mother was a crazy bitch too selfish to think about any life but her own!” The brownrider bites back and stalks off down the short tunnel. Whether Ksenia follows him or not, his answer to her last is still the same. “You’re not going anywhere unless you figure out how to fly,” he’ll toss back undoing his jacket and then flinging it onto the beautifully made bed. “And, its, Sir, to you or anyone else not a goldrider or the Weyrleader.” Is added in a cutting tone, the fancy knot denoting his rank in the Weyr lying neatly on the small desk set off to one side.

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Sanctum Sanctorum
It is undeniable. A man does live in this cave. There is a musk that hangs in the air which tickles the nose of those who enter. The clues are subtle. No clutter hides in corners. In fact, the simpleness of the weyr is what makes it have that manly vibe. Table and chairs are cleared off of clutter, though the occasional out-of-place nick-nack speak of the sentimentality of the man who lives here. The large bed is neatly made, the soft touch of white linen sheets contrasting with the military precision which they are folded into. A gentle fire flickers on cold nights, with a kitchenette area nearby so that the weyrsecond can entertain. Perhaps it is the cabinet standing just slightly open, bottles of rum peaking out, or maybe the lack of lace anywhere which completes the manliness of this space.

"You are a man trussed up on his high horse, Cha'el," Ksenia spits out, giving the bed a wide, wide berth. "Fuck you. I'm not calling you sir. You are no sir. You are a horrid man. A — a." She stops, cutting off her words and winding her arms around her middle. Bitterness soaks deep into the bones of the trader, her eyes lingering on the knot on his desk. "Corruption. You're all corrupt." This is the conclusion she's wrought from the experience, turning accusatory eyes upon the brownrider. "I hope you whither and die." Except she doesn't because then she'd die in this hole. "I might just learn to fly, sir Kidnapper sir. And when the carrion birds pick my bones, you'll have to explain how you couldn't save a damn thing." The anger behind this statement is real, but Ksenia loves life too much for that to be a real threat. She turns her face away and snatches up his knot. "This is what I think of your fancy title and your fancy pants and your fancy 'I own the world' ideas." With quick, strong fingers each word is punctuated by the yanking destruction of his knot. The brown thread ripped free. The loops crushed and untwined. She takes all of her anger out on the very thing that marks him as civilized. Unless he stops her, it'll be utterly ruined in tatters at her feet, chest heaving and fear clouding the edges of her vision.

“Blah, blah, blah,” Cha’el tosses back rather childishly to her rant and moves to where a covered pitcher of water stands on the small shelf built into a wall that acts as a kitchnette. Two glasses are taken down. One has a shot of something added to it from a very expensive looking bottle whose label declares it to be the finest rum this side of Ista, while the other gets filled with cool water. With his back turned to Ksenia during this small domesticity, the rider swings about to take her the glass of water and does a double-take when he sees her destroying his knot. “What the fuck!? Are you insane!?” Both glasses are clunked down on the counter and the distance between the two of them covered in a few long strides. But Cha’el isn’t quick enough and soon the symbol of his rank and leader of men and women lies in tatters on the floor. “And I’m the animal. People have been thrown in the brig for less.” He warns, bending to scoop up the sad strands into his hand ignoring the fact that if W’rin ever found out about what he’s just done that he’d be stripped of his knot quicker than he could draw a breath. “Don’t.Touch.My.Stuff!” He growls straightening and getting right up in Ksenia’s face. “You have no idea who I am or what I’m capable of!” And apparently neither is he for kidnapping couldn’t be further off the usually amicable man’s radar than a wher emerging in broad daylight.

"I AM IN PRISON. YOU'VE IMPRISONED ME. IT CAN'T GET ANY WORSE THAN THIS. I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR STUFF!" Ksenia yells this, finally tears leaking out of her eyes as she takes the nearest thing she can get her fingers on and throws it to the floor. "YOU'VE DONE THIS. YOU. YOU DID THIS AND DON'T PRETEND THAT THAT STUPID MEANINGLESS RANK MEANS ANYTHING WHEN YOU'VE DONE THIS." When he gets in her face, blood leaks out of her cheeks and leaves her eyes hollow. "Kill me then. If that's what you're after." But despite her martyr'd words, she instead goes for a great knee slam to the groin. She'll rid him of the ability to have more children if the power behind her act is any indication. "You did this. You. Not me," broken whispers as she backs away, trying to stay clear of his path.

The yelling isn’t unexpected but the tears are and like any man they DO something to Cha’el, stripping him momentarily of the ability to think about anything other than making them stop!! The item Ksenia takes up and smashes to the ground just so happens to be a beautifully carved wooden box given him upon graduation from weyrlinghood that contains a fragile piece of Sikorth’s shell. Horror finally registers and Cha’el is that immobilized by the wanton display of temper and destruction that her knee does indeed catch him square in the groin. Like a tree felled in the forest, the brownrider goes down with a howl of pain, hands clutched to his abused family jewels and responsive tears of pain leaking from tightly squeezed eyes. “You bitch!” He wheezes, rolling over onto his knees. Sweeps will be fun later that afternoon. Not. His head hanging between his shoulders, one hand still tucked between his legs, he squints up at his hostage through vision blurred by excess liquid. “No. You did! When you threatened to sell an innocent simply for the error of being born to a wher like you!” He growls and pushes painfully up to his feet. There is however a part of him that grieves for having caused a woman distress but right now, he’s fighting for something much bigger, or smaller as the case may be, however, skewed his approach is.

Ksenia backs away, hands held up when Cha'el talks. "You're crazy. You don't deserve that knot. You don't deserve…" She looks around her confined space, seeing only bed, man, and stuff. There is no hope. There is no leaving. There is only entrapment. And defeat. Shoulders round as she buries her face in her hands and tries to block out the world. It almost would seem like she's about to burst into tears, but when she finally removes her hands from her face, her eyes are hot with loathing. Her cheeks are flushed with anger. And she hisses a prophecy of doom, using every ounce of her fortune telling ways, "This will bring doom down on you, Cha'el. I hope that my body gives you everything you want so that I can watch when I take it all away." She turns and makes a dash for the ledge, running blindly, knowing only escape. Wanting only escape. Until the skies of Igen are before her in a panoramic view of beautiful, mocking freedom. The winds of the upper atmosphere whip, causing the espresso dark braid to dance down her back. There is only death this way, and tears. But even the wind sucks dry the tears that leak from hot eyes that see nothing.

Having recovered some modicum of dignity, though not a lot, Cha’el takes a careful step toward her when she buries her face in her hands, a betraying moment of compassion writ across his expression. “Ksenia, this is not…” The sentence dies and guards slam right back into place when faced with the hatred boring into him. With lips pursed and brows dragging into a heavy frown the brownrider straightens at the threat spoken. Again he begins to make attempt to find a way the two of them might meet on common ground. “It doesn’t have to be like…” And again, his words are cut off when the trader flees to the ledge. Knowing that Sikorth is there to ensure she doesn’t do something stupid like try to toss herself from it, Cha’el doesn’t go after her. Instead, he sits heavily on the edge of the bed, head held in hands, mind a dark rush of thoughts one tumbling against the other like water in a turbulent river of rocks.

When he doesn't follow her, Ksenia sinks to her knees in this moment of solitude. Despite Sikorth being there. She's never thought dragons were particularly intelligent creatures to begin with. No reason to start now. Alone with just the wind and this foreign, desert place, she feels much, much smaller than she felt before. And it provokes more of the tears that fall down pink cheeks. Until silent sobs shake narrow shoulders and tortured cry is torn from her throat. Crying is like the death of the heart, and it's not pretty, but it doesn't have to last long. Fumbling with her clothing, she tugs her shirt up with trembling hands to fumble at the delicate gold chain with the tiny, dandling charm from center of it. The clasp is small and her fingers fumble, but eventually she's yanking it from around her waist. She crawls towards the edge of the ledge, the heights making her dizzy with fright. Holding the end of the metal object until it trails in the wind like a golden thread, she seems like she's going to toss it over the edge, though she hesitates.

Dragons are a lot more perceptive than she thinks, as Ksenia will find out when the large beast shifts from his sentry-like position to drop his head down to her. A low rumbling croon is sent the woman’s way for while he endorses his rider’s actions – the innocent must be protected at all costs – Sikorth also feels the regret washing through the human half of the pair. The sorrow and despair exhibited by the female are relayed back to Cha’el in waves of purple and blue, the colors of mourning. “Ksenia!” A streak of alarm jacks him straight off the bed when the image of her leaning out over the ledge is sent back by the watchful brown and the brownrider thunders out of the weyr. Without warning or thought he makes a grab for her, wrapping his arms about her waist and yanking her back from the edge, curling her tightly against himself in a protective hold. Then the tracks of tears on her cheeks are noted and something inside of him snaps. “Fuck. Ksenia…” His throat closes for a dastardly deed done. “I’m so sorry. I… I just couldn’t see another way, and you…” His baritone tortured by the fear and sorrow he’s inflicted, no further words able to escape in that moment of true regret.

The sudden jerk of being dragged from the edge of the ledge has her losing her grip on the golden trinket. It spins out of her fingers and puddles at the edge of the ledge, but Ksenia herself has no fight left in her. The fires of anger are banked into the cold coals of bitterness. The tattered remains of her pride and independence are drawn around her like a regal mantle even crushed as she is against his chest. "It's too late for apologies," she states dully, a thread of resignation winding through her voice. "You can't just kidnap someone because you want what they have, Cha'el." The righteous reproach to her tone distills down this whole event into a single sentence before she turns to look at him. "Did you think this would end any other way but poorly? That I would swoon at your feet at being taken away from my home? My grandmother? My father? My cousins? They will think I've died. Am I less than what you want for yourself? Does my will matter for nothing?" She turns her face away, but doesn't try to get away. For the moment, her anger, her passion, her fire is spent. "We are at an impasse." Beat. "Sir." The honorific is twisted on her lips. He is no chivalrous knight to her.

Each accusation punches deep until Cha’el is left breathless and unable to deny their truth. Slowly his arms relax the tight steel of their grip until eventually fall to their sides and he backs away a step. Silence. Heavy and thick with emotions she doesn’t have the information to understand play across his expression before coalescing and spinning away behind the thick walls that come up. There is only the quiet scrape of boot over rock when his eye is caught by the glint of gold lying where it had fallen. Crouching at the edge of the ledge, vulnerable to any attempt to push him over it, the chain is taken up and dangled over his fingers memory of how he’d seen it draped about her slim waist dredged up and replayed. Closing his fist over the delicate item, his next is so quietly spoken the words might be ripped away by the whining wind. “Do you know what it is to lose everything you’ve ever loved in life. To find yourself alone in the world with nothing or no one to hold onto when the demons come for you in the dark of night?” Rhetorically intended and interrupted by disgruntled reminder from the dragon watching on that his rider isn’t quite as alone as he might feel he is.

Ksenia stares at the brownrider wallowing in his own self-pity, holding her item in his hands. Her eyes are hard, cold and accusing. The mute accusation is probably the hardest to take because it's full of hurt and fear and despair. In her gaze reflects Cha'el's own involvement in Ksenia having lost everything in her life, literally. At least for however long she's stuck here. A bitter laugh escapes at his words. Brittlely, she quietly states, "Who is going to be there when the demons come for me?" Not even the barbed tone of earlier can eclipse the simplicity of all that question implies. She turns away from him and walks slowly into the weyr. Exploring the confines of her captivity. Her fingers pick up some random object and she turns it over, barely seeing it. Just needing to do something. She carries the thing in her hand and perches uncomfortably on the edge of the bed. Eyeing it. And then the nothing else that could be used to sleep on. The despondency is slowly leaking out as some of her anger returns. Anger is clean and it burns away the desiccation of hate, but it also simmers. With a thumbnail, she scratches at the object. Wanting nothing more than to hurl it to the ground and smash it to smithereens, but she doesn't. Yet.

From crouch to standing, Cha’el unfolds to his full height and sets Ksenia with a long, LONG look, expression now unreadable. “And who will be there for the babe that you sold? Or the one that might now as we speak already be forming in your belly? Certainly not its mother if you can so blithely toss it aside.” A pause in which he slips the gold chain into his pocket. “But I will be. For every scraped knee, disappointment and night terror. I will be there. Watching it grow. Protecting it. And letting it know that it is loved and worthy unlike the trash you would have it be.” Hard words to disguise the epicenter of vulnerability he’d displayed in a moment of weakness. Tracking Ksenia’s return to the weyr, Cha’el lingers on the ledge for a further few more minutes, broad shoulders sagging and palming a hand over his face once she’s gone from sight. The deed was done, there’s no turning back now. All he can do is make the best out of a horrible situation. With renewed determination, shoulders square and he makes his way back in, coming to a pause when he sees the little boat with the bright red sail in her hands. “My father made it for me.” He quietly reveals knowing full well the risk he takes in sharing such information. The chain in his pocket is pulled out and once again dangled over his fingers, hand extended toward her. Trade?

She didn't answer him at all for the insults he hurled at her. Turning the boat over in her fingers, she turns and sets it carefully to sail on the turbulent seas of his coverlet. "I don't want it. Throw it away," is what she says of the golden chain with it's dangling charm. Ksenia doesn't look at him at all. Instead, she reaches around and grasps her braid and slowly starts to unwind it. "You built so much of my character based on what I said to an ultimatum given. What wasn't truth before is certainly truth now." So calmly, she states her words. "You don't know how many men I've slept with since you," although something in her voice rings false on that. "You would really have done all of this for another man's baby? Bully for you." Turning, finally, to face the brownrider, she turns a bitter smile. So bitter. "What you teach me is that fathers are good for nothing but rutting. Rutting and forcing their will upon the women around them. You say you're doing this to protect what might be growing here," a hand presses to her belly, "but you didn't — " She snaps her teeth shut and closes her eyes. She'll hold onto the truth like it's a diamond and despite all the insults he slings at her, the look she gives him is one of accusation. "So how is this going to work? Are you going to feed me? Where do I do my business? Where do I bathe? What do I do all day long here in this room, trapped? And how, exactly, are you going to know when or if I am pregnant? Are you going to stick your head between my legs and see when I bleed? How will you know I don't prick myself just to get away?" A pained shudder. "And my family? What will you tell my family? Or will you enjoy seeing them writhe in worry? Seeing my — my family hunting for me?" Teeth clench. "How is this going to work."

Truth be told, Cha’el hasn’t thought any of this through properly and it may show in the brief flash of uncertainty. Yanked under control and smoothed over with another of those inscrutable masks he wears so well. When she sets the boat down, he’ll close the short distance and take the it up curling the childhood treasure protectively into the crook of his arm. About to hand over the gold chain, he’s stalled from doing so when Ksenia states she doesn’t want it. There’s a moment of confusion followed by doubt and then he drops it back into his pocket again sure that she doesn’t mean what she says and certain it might prove handy at some point when a goodwill gesture is needed. “You don’t strike me as being the whoring type,” is his clipped response to how many other men she may have since slept with. For the bitter smile, the barbed comments and the hard questions put to him, he doesn’t have an answer, his jaw tightening until his teeth are in danger of cracking under the pressure. Except for one thing. The sentence she’d aborted. “I didn’t…what?” Eyes of blue have turned to steel a brow arched sharply upward. Even the questions as to just how he’ll know if she’s pregnant or not fall by the wayside in the face of what hasn’t been said. How Ksenia answers that will probably determine whether he deigns to answer what has been put to him.

Scooting back, Ksenia tucks her feet up and wraps her arms around her knees and looks away when he scoops up his childhood treasure. If looks could torch, his bed would be on fire and devouring her with it. She just snorts when he makes a comment on her not being the whoring type, but doesn't clarify at all. She doesn't say anything at first to his query for the truth. The truth that would probably his — and her — undoing. The truth makes the best sabers to throw into the breasts of men and watch them bleed, but this truth sticks in her throat, burning as his insults ring still in her ear. So when she lifts her head, it's with the press of unshed tears burning behind her eyelids and the determined grit of her jaw. "Nothing, Cha'el." A half-laugh, half-sob escapes though the tears that shine in her eyes don't fall through sheer grit and determination. "It is utterly unimportant, now." With a tired heave of her shoulders, she looks beyond him and his flinty looks and his self-righteous anger and suddenly feels small and young. "What," she begins, sliding off of his bed with a wary look, "do I do now?" His treasures line everything. His furniture sits there mocking. His coverlet still bears the indentation of her slight body. The man himself consumes the space around him. Everything breathes Cha'el.

Cha’el, having nursed his mother to the end, is probably more sensitive than most males to a woman in distress bravely trying to hold on to what shreds of dignity she has left. So when Ksenia curls up into that little ball, beautiful tawny-brown eyes glittering with unshed tears, it rakes at him on a level he doesn’t dare let her see. “Bullshit.” He calls it in a quiet tone, one that allows more compassion than he’d like it to. Having set the little boat back in its rightful place on the mantelpiece above the hearth, he tracks back toward the bed of a mind to… But then his hostage rises and somehow, looks even smaller and more fragile than she had curled in the center of his bed. Indecision, regret and guilt pull and tear at the brawny brownrider until he can no longer look at her and his attention skitters to the side. With a heavy sigh, he plonks down onto the edge of the bed and after a few moments of staring at the floor, pats the section next to him. Silent invitation for Ksenia to join. “I’ll bring you food and take you to the bathing caverns. I uh…I’ll get you some other clothes to wear from the bazaar tomorrow.” Her earlier questions finally answered as and when he’s able to find working solutions for each of them. Except for one. “Do you read? Knit? Embroider?” So much he doesn’t know about her.

Standing in a sea of Cha'el, Ksenia folds her arms tight under her breasts, clenching her hands into fists that drive her nails into the palms of her hands. It's a tactic to keep away the panic, the desire to scream and never stop. Emotions that rage and boil beneath the surface of an unnatural calm. Like a puppet, the trader slowly shuffles closer to him and it's not her laughing eyes that meet his, echoes of her teasing. It's not even an independent woman pushing her way through disaster, struggling to move on despite the pain nor the echoes of her grit and determination. It's not the heat of a stolen moment, face flush with passion that greets his. It is a wan face, and there is no helping the fear and uncertainty swimming in her eyes, but that's all she lets show. The planes of her face are brittle and sharp edged so that when she's almost close enough for her legs to touch his knees as he sits on his bed, judgement is in her eyes. "I work. I hunt. I bring marks in for my family." She swallows. "I take care of my ailing grandmother and my - my cousin. I have no time for reading or knitting or embroidery. My life is not the life of ease." She glances around his place and her expression shifts, "I guess it is now." Her mind must paint some horrific images for her expression to be so, so fearful. Then again, he did kidnap her. She swings solemn eyes back to him, unblinking. Something hard begins to form. "You'll take me out of this place?"

Aware that he’s probably scared the living daylights out of her in ripping her away from her family and everything she knows, Cha’el tries to hunch down and make himself appear smaller, less intimidating. It doesn’t work of course but the attempt is there. Glancing once at Ksenia as she’d approached is about all he can handle, the guilt tearing at his insides. Only once the bed dips with slight addition of her weight does he slip a look sideways and grieves internally for what he sees. Hands clamped about each other and dangling between his knees twitch several times with the urge to enfold one of hers in them. But they remain where they are for the time being. There’s a faint nod of head in response to what she does and a quietly asked: “Is there someone to take over from you when you’re not there?” He sees the fear deepen and its simply too much, he’s drowning in a quagmire of his own making. Hands unlink from about each other and he rests one on his thigh palm up for her to take if she chooses to. That it happens to be the one bloodied by her teeth and swollen along its edge is mere happenstance. “On Sikorth’s shell,” the fragment of which still lies on the floor amid the shattered remains of its box, “I swear I’ll take you home, Ksenia. I know that right now it doesn’t seem like it. But…I’m not a monster. I won’t touch you. You can have the bed and I’ll sleep on a pallet on the floor. If you need anything. I’ll get it for you.”

"Now you care about that?" Ksenia shakes her head and doesn't actually answer him, because it doesn't matter. He's taken her away from her home and unless he decides to take her back right now, it doesn't matter. She does not want comfort from her jailer and his hand is only given a quick look though the savage pleasure at seeing her teethmarks is drowned in the memory of him grabbing her and hauling her up on his dragon. She huffs, muttering, "Forgive me if your word means very little to me right now, Cha'el. Unless you take me home right now." Not exactly pleading, there's a plea there when she lifts her eyes and looks at him. "I would promise you anything if you'd take me home right now. I swear. I would do anything. Anything. I just want to go home. I don't want to be here. I really don't. I'm sorry. Please. Please…" Thickly, she swallows, the red-tinged dark hair falling around her face in a rioted mess. "I promise I won't tell," a tentative hand reaches out to touch his upper arm — not the proffered gesture of comfort, no — "I promise I won't say anything if you take me back. Just please… take me back home. You don't — do you even understand — what you're doing? What you've done? Please…"

What last threads of control had existed snap one by one when Ksenia begins to plead with him, drilling the dark holes of guilt and regret ever deeper into the brownrider until he literally, cannot bear it a moment longer. Teetering on the edge of giving in and taking her back, its only reminder from Sikorth of just how deep in the shit he is that stops him from doing so. “ARGH!! Stop!” Both hands clamp to the sides of his head and he shoots up from the bed. “Just stop!” They fall to his sides, expression wrought with shame for his ill thought out plan, icing into a hard mask. “I will take you home when and if you either bleed,” internally he winces for having to be so blunt about something so personal to a woman, “or your belly is too ripe with child to try and get rid of it. Then. And only then and not before. But right now, I have sweeps. I’ll be away for about an hour or two and will bring provisions back with me when I return.” Snatching up his jacket, Cha’el shrugs into it and grabs up the set of fighting straps hanging neatly from a peg pounded into the wall.

Cha'el's sudden, abrupt exploding at her pleas has Ksenia shocked. Until he levels his words at her. And then she throws her head back and laughs, the wildness within leaking out in a single hysterical moment. "If you wait until I am fat with child, YOU CAN'T TAKE ME BACK OR YOU'LL KILL YOUR PRECIOUS CHILD AND I WILL DIE HERE ON YOUR BED." Each word is a carefully sharpened barb to chase him away. To drive her captor to flee with his monster of a dragon that would aid in such undertakings. Bending over, she curls into a ball and lets her hair curtain around her and she'll wait. Disdaining any further interactions until he's gone. And she's alone in the silence. And yes, she's peeking to make sure the hateful rider is fully gone.

Strapping slung over his shoulders, Cha’el comes to an abrupt halt just inside the short tunnel and turns to fit Ksenia with a wary look the sound of that hysterical laughter raking nails down his spine. The flaw in his plan pointed out brings nothing but a sharp click of teeth and a growled, ‘Fuck!’ under his breath and then he’s turning right back around and stomping out onto the ledge with not a further word said. Leisure strapping is removed and fighting straps set into place all in tight silence and then without bothering to say goodbye, the brownpair are gone in a flurry that sends wisps of sand blowing back into the tunnel.

Motivated by solitude, Ksenia is up off the bed and prowling around the small area of her prison. The bright sunshine outside is disdained for the treasures held within his weyr. She briefly considers his childhood toy but, for whatever reason, can't bring herself to snatch it up and grind it under her bootheel. A sob catches in her throat and in a sudden pique of anger, she grabs something and throws it on the ground. "I HATE YOU." Something else is destroyed in her ire, shattered and lost on the cold stone floors of his weyr. The partial bit of Sikorth's shell is snatched up and held in her hands. The pads of her thumbs caress it's smooth surface and this is something she doesn't destroy, but she does hide it. Stuffing it under a chest or table or the liquor cabinet. Somewhere that's full of dust bunnies and isn't a place someone would look for such a treasure. She does take satisfaction at grinding the remains of his box under the heel of her boots. "I HATE YOU." Screamed out, she spins around and blindly sweeps something off the flat surface of a table. Throwing open drawers, she tosses through his clothing, sending it fluttering in the air like dying wings. She's a dust devil, a dervish of destruction that cares little for his treasure except that damnable boat. Her eyes are blind to his things right now, until spent. And she sinks into the middle of the mess she made, cushioned by a pile of his shirts and drawers. Plucking up the length of pant leg, this is when the idea begins to glimmer in the back of her mind. She eyes the bed and then eyes the clothes. "It can't be that far down. How do these rutting leeches have weyrmates that aren't riders?" And so it begins: stripping his bed of his sheets, wrinkling her nose when his scent assails her senses.

It takes the better part of the candlemark to fashion the long rope of his sheets and clothing. As the first candlemark passes, she begins to get nervous. Feeling as if he's already come back. But what's done is done and she's not going back now. Trampling the remains of something precious to him, she drags one of his heavy chairs out of the weyr and to the center of the ledge. She tests her weight against it and bites her lip. "You'll have to do." Rather than leave it entirely to chance, she piles on some heavier objects to give the chair more weight, before tying the edge of her rope around one of it's legs. With trepidation, Ksenia carries her bundle of hastily tied escape rope and inches to the edge of the ledge. The height sends the world into a dizzying topsy-turvy move briefly before she tosses the rope down. "Just make it to that ledge down there. Then beg a ride home." That's her mantra and as far as an escape plan, isn't half bad, except for the part where the ledge down below, is a LOT down below. Before she can think, she hauls herself over the edge and starts the slow shimmy down.

Wind buffets her body and sways the rope. For a single, heart-stopping moment her fingers dig into the wall of the mountain when she feels the rope slip between sweaty fingers. Closing her eyes, she whimpers. Regretting this decision already, she starts to go back up, the height making her nauseous and the wind doing little to help, but up is out of the question as it's harder than it looks.

In the end, she's a fly on sticky paper: stuck to the side of the mountain, clinging to the divots of rock and not wanting to die. There are probably quite a bit of tears as the woman is, finally, fully in over her head.

Sweeps, the bane of most riders’ existence went a long way to help soothe Cha’el’s temper though the time spent aloft in the azure blue with his dragon scanning the ground below had done little to help the man untangle his thoughts. If anything, they were more of a mess now than when he’d stormed out of his weyr. And so, he’d delayed returning by making a turn passed the kitchens to pick up something for the pair of them to eat, rummaging through the stores to find a dress in pale blue that looked to be more or less Ksenia’s size and then stopped by the dragon infirmary to check in on Trek, a woman he greatly respected and who always managed to soothe a person by the mere sensibility of her presence.

But that was not to be. Instead, she’d come at him like the harpy hidden in his weyr and punched him full in the face splitting his eyebrow open and snapping his temper into overdrive. Enough so, that he’d demanded her ‘leadership knot in return. Disgusted with himself but not being able to turn back on what was a very public stripping of rank, Cha’el is no mood for anything beyond a slow drink of rum out on his ledge watching the sun go down. He can only hope Ksenia has had time to calm down and maybe, if the winds were in his favor, even fallen asleep.

Instead what he finds as they wing closer has Cha’el rubbing his eyes in disbelief and then squinting because what he’s seeing looks very much like…No! It cannot be! But it most certainly is.

“What the FUCK!!??” TWANG-BOOM! That’s it. He’s done. For a man with a very long fuse on his temper, his has finally burned to the explosive end.

“YOU STUPID FUCKING, INSANE, SELFISH, BITCH!” He roars as Sikorth gets as close to the dangling Ksenia as he can without colliding with the rockface itself. “WHAT THE FUCK!?” Bellowed loud enough that the owner of the ledge below comes hurtling out onto their ledge and peers upwards. “FUCK OFF!” He spits out, looking exactly like the monster he’d insisted he wasn’t a short while back with his one eye swelling shut and blood trickling down the side of his face. And the brunette greenrider hastily beats it back into her weyr.

The angry voice of Cha'el has Ksenia wincing, her face pressed into the rock. It means certain life, for sure, and less certain death which is at the end of her rope. Her hands are grasped around the crotch of a pair of nice leathers that are not so nice anymore, stretched with the weight of her body. Biting her bottom lip hard, when she does turn to her captor, the sight of him is enough to have the woman trying desperately to climb up. "GO AWAY." Except that she doesn't really want him to go away because she's in a really precarious position. Even more so when he discovers the remains of his everything. Even she is not so dumb as to not give lie to her words and stretch a hand out for him or his dragon.

Sikorth has the fairly unique ability that allows him to be able to turn on a dime while still hovering at exactly the same level. Creating his own mini tornado of wind that sucks debris in and flings it back out again, the big brown maneuvers himself as close to the rock face as he dares. Not having bothered to clip himself in for the short flight, Cha’el, trusting his bonded with his life (literally), pulls his legs up and twisting his fist into the belt meant for his waist, stands bracing his knees against an earth brown neckridge. Once he’s sure he has his balance he leans out sideways and makes a grab for the hand Ksenia holds out. “On three, kick away and let go off…are those my PANTS!?” Incredulity keeps anger on high simmer. “One. Two. THREE!”

Ksenia doesn't bother to even acknowledge that his pants are the very article of clothing she's using to cling too. The garment above the pants is a nice shirt and the garment below his pants is of something else of his. Where the cloth rope curls over the edge of the lip, the sheets frey — let us hope that he does not invest in nice sheets — with each movement of her slight body on the rope. The dizzying fall to the ground below is the only thing that drives her to launch herself at Chael and the brown dragon. Fright has frozen her features, but when she does collide into Cha'el, she will grab whichever part of him she can. Because her bad choices have scared the life out of her. Only once she's (again) caught by her captor that she states so low that if her face wasn't so close to him, he probably wouldn't hear. "I'm not going anywhere, am I?" Well, and whatever softness he might feel for her plight is probably going to be burned to ash when he sees what she's done. And when he can't find that bit of shell of Sikorth's.

Concentrating as he is on not losing his footing and catching Ksenia at the precise moment she swings out to him, Cha’el doesn’t currently notice much more than his pants bound to her attempt to make an escape rope. Teetering when she slams into his body, relief sees the rider wrapping his arm tightly about her and burying his face into her hair, breath exhaled in a sharp whuff of relief. “You stupid, stupid woman.” He chides, with less heat than his initial outburst. Her whispered statement knifes into him and he may or may not hold her just that little bit tighter and turn his face into silken tresses just a little bit more. In the meantime, Sikorth carefully lifts upwards and lands on his ledge just above with the delicacy of a feather floating to the ground. Shaken, it takes Cha’el a few moments to gather his wits about him and when he does, he abruptly jerks away from Ksenia and dismounts leaving her atop his dragon to find her own way down. His eye hurts, his shirt has splodges of blood on it an all he wants now is a good stiff drink. Off he stalks into his weyr. Wait for it. Waaaaait for it…..

“KSENIA!!” He roars so loud that surely the rocks themselves tremble with the force of it. And out he stalks, entire frame stiff with tension, hands clenched into fists and a look of thunder on his face. “I’m going to KILL you!!” Not really but the thought of shaking her until her teeth rattle is rather appealing just now.

The closeness isn't pushed away immediately for the quivering has yet to leave the trader's limbs. That she's holding onto her despicable captor has little bearing on the fact that she's alive and her stupid stunt didn't, actually, get her killed. Ksenia is startled when he jerks away from her and leaves her in precious solitude atop his dragon. She eyes the loathsome creature, the vehicle of her abduction and then slowly climbs down in resignation. That is until she remembers the destruction she's done in his weyr. Her chin tilts in a parody of pride, though when stalks out of his weyr her eyes widen. She's fleeter of foot than she looks and dancing around him she runs into the weyr. Skidding on the broken remains of something. She stands in the middle of his bed — his stripped bed — like a proud Amazon warrior that's laid waste to her environment. "If you kill me, you kill the hope of any child," triumphant does she launch her spear'd words in his face. Remorse is well hidden when her eyes sweep the weyr and with him here, she starts bouncing across the bed. Her path of destruction? Right towards that little ship that has weathered the stormy seas so far. There's more than enough time for him to tackle her if he so desires. "I will ruin you!" she yells.

FUMING, Cha’el is torn between throttling Ksenia and pulling her ‘rope’ of items back up over the ledge. But when she dances passed him and dashes into the ruins of his weyr, the decision is made and with a growl tearing from his chest, the brownrider goes after her. Without a thought he tackles her where she dances about on his stripped bed like a wild woman of the southern jungles, grappling with her and wrestling to get her hands trapped above her head in the steel grip of his about her slim wrists. “You have gone TOO FAR!” He snarls, eyes snapping a stormy blue and lips curling back from his teeth, using the weight of his body to keep her pinned down. In the next instant, he’ll flash up onto his knees and bodily haul her across them face down where in a fit of pure anger he’ll proceed to spank her backside in the same manner one might an errant child. “If you ever,” spank, “touch my things again,” spank, “I will lock you,” spank, “in a cupboard,” spank, “and leave you there overnight!” Another heavy growl and Cha’el will toss her aside as if she were no more than a lumpy pillow and then begin stalking about the destruction of his things. Something crunches underfoot and he nearly twists his ankle when he trips over a book, an old dog-eared copy of seafaring tales going by its title and then the fuming brownrider comes to a halt, his gaze cast downward at the shattered remains of a little white vase with delicate blue flowers handpainted around its sides. With a choked sound, he crouches and reverently picks up a piece and then another and another until the palm of his hand is piled with jagged fragments. With his back to the bed, all Ksenia will see is the shudder of broad shoulders.

Tackled as she is, Ksenia wiggles like a silverfish even when her wrists are captured. "I have not gone FAR ENOUGH!" is what she yells back in his face, leaning up to come a hair's width from smacking her nose into his. His weight does not cower her, though she does try to use her legs to escape. Alas, that is not to happen as she's bodily hauled across his lap to be given a spanking like a child. A startled gasp comes from the woman before she's tossed aside. Cowering against the edge of the bed, Ksenia draws her knees up and watches Cha'el move about the destruction of his weyr. His pause and then the care he's taken to picking up the shards of whatever it is she smashed, has her turning her head in shame. This is not her. But neither is being kidnapped her, either. Torn, the woman shuffles closer on her knees and picks up a piece of the broken vase and silently holds it out to him. Not looking at his face. She's looking straight at the ground. She doesn't say she's sorry, because she's not exactly, but she's shamed by her behavior just as his behavior shames her. "Please…" is a quiet whisper, a broken plea. So much is left unsaid. It could be a plea for escape. Or a plea for forgiveness. In truth, not even she is ready to know which.

Cha’el turns his head slightly to the side, just enough to catch Ksenia’s profile as she holds out the shard of ceramic out to him. He hesitates before taking it, emotionally and mentally drained to the point of guards now lying in a heap of rubble about his feet, mirroring the chaos wrought in his weyr. Slowly he reaches out for the piece being offered but instead of immediately taking it, his hand closes about hers in a gentle hold. His mother would be so ashamed, so ashamed of him just now. Just as he is of himself. Another short pause in which he battles to keep emotion under control, one eye swollen shut the other glittering with excess moisture gaze latched to their hands rather than lifting just yet to Ksenia’s face. And then, he lifts hers toward him, turning it over to press the softest of kisses to its back. “I am a monster.” It’s a quiet confession, barely above a whisper and drenched with self-loathing. Finally, still with his hand wrapped about hers, he forces himself to look at her, really look at her and what he says is enough to break his heart. This, the woman that quite possibly might be carrying his child, broken down and shattered like the vase by his hand. A travesty that goes against everything he stands for. Dropping Ksenia’s hand as if he might stain her further by the very contact, the fragment of vase is carefully plucked from her palm and Cha’el turns his face away. He can’t look at her, can’t look at what he’s done. Dragging another container closer to him, one made of sturdier stuff that hadn’t broken, he drops the collected pieces into it and pushes to his feet in heavy silence.

Ksenia trembles when he takes her hand, perhaps expecting something else other than the gentle touch of his hand. She still keeps her eyes averted until she feels the warm moisture of a soft kiss to the back of her hand. Unable to keep herself from looking at him, she does turn to him and what he sees in her eyes is not pretty. It is the broken spirit of a high-spirited woman. When he rejects her touch and takes the bit of vase, she silently moves back. She doesn't necessarily deny that he's a monster, because he did just kidnap her. Curling her knees to her chest, she wraps her arms around them to make herself as small as possible in the sea of destruction he created. Yet, the emotion she sees in his face goes a long way in reminding her of a different Cha'el. An infuriating one, to be sure, but not a deliberately cruel Cha'el. Not a man who would kidnap a woman, but a man would do things in the heat of dragon lust that even still list fire in the blood. Circling back to their whole reason for being in this impossible moment. Not touching his things — the debasement of his spanking humiliated her deeply enough that she is afraid to touch his things right now — she tugs at the hem of her tunic and rips off a piece of fabric that was already coming free. All of this is behind his back, and all that he can probably hear (unless he turns back to her) is a little bit of shuffling as she timidly dips the cloth in the rum-drink he'd poured for himself so long ago that didn't crash into the desolation of his things. So perhaps he'll be surprised when the luke-warm sting of alcohol hits the split brow. If he's startled into looking at her, her expression is a mingle of fear, shame, and stubborn resolve. Still, she does not speak. Words, it seems, have failed her.

The very different Cha’el, as she may come to learn, is the one that in a fit of rage, had stripped her dignity away by putting her over his knees and spanking her. The sort of act that the man who had perpetrated such an act of debasement, would probably have throttled another for daring to carry out. But she doesn’t know that yet. And understandably so, for in the room had been a monster blinded to anything else but a fierce drive to protect that which can’t defend itself. A contradiction in itself. Surveying the destruction with dull eyes and a heavy heart, the rider is unaware of what’s going on behind him his back vulnerable to any attack she might launch so that when she comes at him with that rum-soaked cloth, he doesn’t even jerk away. A sharp hiss escapes teeth that clench when the alcohol seeps into the cut and he revels in it, needs the pain to flagellate himself with, deserves it. But its what he sees in those dark, dark eyes and delicate construction of facial features that finally breaks him down leaving him little more than a lost soul on an open sea of turbulence.

A lot of possible actions exist that would yield very different results than the one path he takes that sets Ksenia's breath catching, and sets something else in motion that previous to this moment, this choice had been pushed away. The self-loathing and pain reach the woman's heart in ways that his anger and self-righteous truths can't, but for all her lies, the woman has stood on the firmament of truth. Of the knowledge that she isn't a creature of horror to cast children out into uncertain death, though his words lashed wounds upon her soul.

Playlist:
Ksenia - Poe Haunted
Cha'el - Linkin Park What I've Done

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