Who

Terrian Erissa

What

Erissa comes across Terrian and feels the weight of guilt come crashing down.

When

It is morning of the thirtieth day of the seventh month of the first turn of the 12th pass.

Where

Archives

OOC Date

 

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Archives

A grand room, lost to more pressing concerns, the Archives hold many treasures well past their prime, from instruments to examples of older flying gear and agenothree tanks. Faded and disused Records lean tiredly against their shelves, their bindings peeling and creating layers of dust on surfaces long left without maintenance. The floors are dirty, various footprints creating crisscrossing paths between rickety wooden chairs and drunkenly off-kilter tables. Columns rise upward to the ceiling, hung with glow-baskets scarcely tended and fast losing their strength. The hum of activity is duller, here in this forgotten space — few visit in search of historical facts.


Characters


Log

Someday, Erissa swears silently to herself, she’ll reach a sufficient rank or position that she will be the one sending others on annoying errands and not the other way around. Booted feet setting a ground-eating pace she makes her way to the Records Room, pausing just outside to glance at the scrap of hide in her hand again. The markings on it indicate the exact scroll she’s supposed to fetch so at least it shouldn’t be a difficult task - if the records were properly stored. Pulling open the heavy door she steps inside, and stops dead in her tracks.

Age. History. Dust. The room has a unique feel all it’s own, like an old uncle crouched in a darkened corner just waiting to catch someone’s ear and regale them with tales of adventures long past. The room is full of unexpected things as well and Erissa’s gaze slowly moves in a circle noting the variety.


Terrian stands with his back to the doorway to the archives. His rest day off and he is here, among well… okay, it’s just as messy here as the guard’s archives, but the records go back further. And records he has. Every file he can find of robberies, attacks, burnings are piled in front of him. He flicks through one record, as a corner of ill-preserved hide crumbles in his fingers.

“Shardin’ Farnath’s tits,” his slow low pitched drawl spirals out, as he reaches up to rub his neck with a hand. The answers to his puzzle are not before him, but he’s stubborn, and not likely to give up on his search till the answer is found. Resolutely he pushes the record away and pulls another. Off to one side a paper, filled with his cramped writing spells out names, locations, and crimes. Even further up he has a map, well worn with age, of the Igen area. Small red beads lay upon various parts of the map, many along roadways, with some deeper in the swamp itself. He doesn’t hear the approach of the bluerider, so focused is he on his task.

There is no sight of the dog which usually clings to his side.


Erissa spots the guard just as his curse draws her attention and instantly she moves in his direction, the tedious errand suddenly not so dull. Coming up behind him quietly she smiles at his concentration, a tendril of mischief working it’s way into her intentions when she gets close and he still doesn’t realize she’s there. Standing at his elbow she folds her hands behind her back and leans forward till her chin is at his shoulder.

“Hate to tell you, but I don’t think you’re going to find Faranth’s tits in those dusty old hides.”


Terrian doesn't jump, but the abrupt tightening of his shoulders shows his surprise at the abrupt appearance of the bluerider. He shakes it off swiftly enough and turns. An arm falls from the table as he considers the sneaky woman. Amusement twines into his slow drawl, "Aye? Glad to be havin' a rider fillin' me in." Light, self-deprecating the humor is.

That free hand will snake out to curl around Erissa's waist if she allows it, where Terrian can pull her closer and set a slight kiss to her cheek. "What be brinin' you to this dusty hole Blondie?"


Erissa beams even more at the success of her ploy and her smile turns decidedly smug as he looks to her. She isn’t sure what he means by his reply but his response pleases her. That light hold is not only allowed but she leans comfortably into it, tucking herself beneath the curve of his arm and tilting her head at the brush of a kiss. Aw.

Knowing her time is short Erissa lets the calm reassurance Terrian exudes wrap around her. Soon enough the symptoms of her addiction will kick in as the drug drains from her system and the wild ride of see-saw emotions will begin again.

Not paying attention to what he has sprawled on the table in front of him she tosses one arm in a half circle to include the myriad of old scrolls and hides that fill the room.

“Somewhere in this mess are some records I’m supposed to retrieve.” Tilting her head in his direction she adds with a coy little grin, “I’m much happier finding you here though than some dusty old scroll.”


If Erissa is going to encourage particular behavior, Terrian is going to just keep it up. Turning he curls his other arm around Erissa’s waist, pulling her close to him. His head tilts till it is just an inch from her lips. There he hangs for just a moment before pulling away as a slow grin spreads across his lips, though he does not allow any distance to come between them.

Well. Unless she objects to his rather handsy way.

“I been tucked away with dusty scrolls all day Blondie. You be like a tall drink o’ water to my eyes. How about you just be stayin’ right here to be makin the work go faster?”


Erissa plays the game as well as he and when he pulls her in for a tighter hold and lips linger so close to hers she merely holds her ground and maintains that saucy little grin that says she is in complete control…. for now. When he pulls away without closing the gap she exhales a breathy chuckle and bumps her hips against his playfully.

His question, however, earns an upward roll of dark blue eyes and a heavy sigh.

“If only! I’m not sure how long it would take before they’d send someone after me but I don’t mind finding out.”

-—-

Her saucy grin only prompts his grin to grow larger in response. “I’m sure there ain’t no danger in the middle of the weyr, perhaps they can be lettin’ at least a candlemark pass before comin’ to search.” His hands, which have remained oh so respectfully around her waist, grow slightly more daring, slipping downwards.

“How about you be helpin’ me with my hide work, and I’ll be helpin you search for that scroll?” Perhaps not the best pickup line in the world, but Terrian is the kind to take duty first. Even if the very form of Erissa is that of temptation.


That drop of hands is duly noted and a slight wriggle put to hips in response. Feeling much better about her boring errand now she gladly nods and finally turns to take a closer look at what he has on the table.

“Sure! What’re you doing?”


Terrian releases Erissa but keeps one arm curled about her waist. Back to the table he turns. "Been lookin' at the last ten years of traveler records. We got a bit of a raider problem of late and I'm see if there be anythin' what might be helping us note a pattern."

His other hand reaches out and grabs the pencil which he had allowed to rest. He offers it to Erissa. "How 'bout you be writin' what I be sayin'?"


Raiders?!

Erissa stiffens the moment Terrian mentions the bandits’ activities, wanting nothing more than to slink back out of the room immediately. With his arm around her that isn’t possible even if she did want to try, however.

“Uh, s-sure….” she belatedly stutters as she takes the offered pencil. The familiar mixture of gut-wrenching guilt and bile bubbling nausea that haunts her every day stirs on the horizon now. She plasters on a smile for Terrian’s benefit but inside her mind is screaming at her to do otherwise.

Run! Run now, before you hear any more!

Dragging her gaze across the table she finally realizes what he’s looking at and her heart sinks. A dark voice wheedles it’s way across her conscience, reminding her that she deserves this reminder. With morbid determination she bites down hard and sets her jaw, reaching for a blank hide.

“Go ahead.”


Terrian is too close to the woman to not notice the very verbal cues that she is giving off. Dark eyes slide sideways to look at her. His guard senses are more than a little tingly at her reaction. Perhaps she had an encounter with a few of them before she impressed? Or perhaps the accusations of the swamp folk had filtered their way up already, and she agreed with them. If so, perhaps she had some suspicions which she had not shared. Whatever had caused that change in the sensual and exuberant blue-rider’s presence will have to stay in his mind. For now…

He allows his arm to drop from Erissa’s waist, and reaches forward with both hands for those hides. He really does have very little left, and flips through the hides, pausing occasionally to dictate something off to Erissa. Throughout his eyes flick sideways, gauging her reactions.


Relief. With his arm no longer around her Erissa puts a little bit of space between them, using the excuse of going for a chair. It becomes increasingly convenient to sit down as Terrian continues to recite more of the raider invasions and damages, her knees going weak and breath growing short. Wetting her lips she tries to concentrate on just forming the letters and making legible words but the ink smears as her fingers grip the delicate pencil too tightly.

Your fault! Your fault! Your fault!

The chiming sing-song continues to play over and over in her head with maddening clarity, pulling a deep frown from pale brows.


Terrian forces his own body language to remain loose, even as it becomes increasingly apparent that the woman know more than she is letting on. He sketches with his words damages and consequences of the raider attack, leaving off the dates. The these were from turns ago, the result of his research into dusty papers and stiff records.

Finally, his voice falls silent the string of words stopping. He closes the distance between woman and himself he puts himself behind her. Long muscled hands, strong from turns of work fall to her shoulders. If she doesn't pull away they will begin to rub, gently, seeking out spots of tension in her shoulders and upper back.

"It be bad business. Them takin' what others got the right way. We'll be stoppin' 'em. The weyrsecond, wingleader and even them goldeiders have a tight handle." His tone is gravelly, the drawl somehow more pronounced as he attempts to be reassuring.


Erissa would be reassured under normal circumstances, both Terrian’s words and that neck rub the perfect combination, but things being what they are she can’t relax a bit even with such a well-plied effort. She tries to at least give the impression, letting slender shoulders sag a bit and the pencil fall from her fingers. The words she had written had burned to write, mocking her with loud voices in her mind. Mention of the weyrleaders leaves her with a sour knot in her stomach, the thought of those familiar faces turned to her in anger and disgust nearly more than she can bear.

“Umm-hmm,” she mumbles in reply, a positive tone to the sound all she can muster.


Having felt the woman relax under his hands before, Terrian knows that she is feigning said relaxation. The frown that has etched itself between his brows grows deeper.

“Erissa. Be lookin’ at me.” He leaves off the rubbing of her shoulders, and instead leans against the table, allowing his hands to brush under her chin in an attempt to get her to look up at him. “What be bothin’ you?”


That gentle nudge works for a moment, getting deeply shadowed blue hues to rise and catch at the rich brown of his before dropping again. Fiddling with the edge of a hide on the table she tries to keep up the pretense, desperately avoiding the true source of her unease.

“It’s all just so…. unsettling,” she complains vaguely.


If Erissa doesn’t resist, Terrian will lean forward, and wrap his strong arms around her. His touch is gentle, without a hint of possessiveness. Gentle concern, and a desire to comfort the woman. “I’ll be figurin’ this out Blondie. You rider’s have got enough to be worryin’ about with thread fallin’. If I’d known I was goin’ to be upsettin’ you I wouldn’t have been askin’.”


Guilt is given a whole new layer as Terrian attempts to reassure her, the hope driven home that he doesn’t figure it out. The slightest grimace slips across her expression, pale brows pulling together, before she purposely smoothes it away.

Raising one arm to press atop his she draws up a wan smile, just letting herself enjoy the feel of his arms around her for a moment as she tries to make light of the situation.

“Thanks, Terrian. I’ll be alright. You know I’m made out of tougher stuff than that.”


“Aye, you be a dragon rider!” Standing, Terrian offers her a hand to stand also. “You know what I be thinkin? Perhaps it’s time to be takin’ a break. You still got some time afore them rider’s will come a’searchin’ aye?” An eyebrow quirks upwards over a small smile that has grown.

“Why don’t you and I be goin’ down to the Bazaar, and seein’ what Ravene has made today? All’ve this,” he waves at the hidework on the table, “can be waitin’.” His brown eyes will seek out hers as he attempts to interject some levity into the moment.


The guard’s confidence in the mere fact that she’s a dragon rider stings all the more, betrayal feeling like a flashing beam of light across her forehead. Sneaking another glance at the concern warming brown hues as she reaches for his hand she quickly looks away again. Dragging her free hand through tousled blond layers when she stands the bluerider bites her lip for a thoughtful moment. So tempting it is to ditch her errand and go relax with Terrian! But unfortunately she’s been in enough trouble lately to add more to her plate. She can’t resist completely though, especially not when he throws Ravene’s cooking into the temptation!

Sighing heavily she paints a regretful expression. “I think M’oran would birth a cow if I went missing. He already doesn’t like me,” she says with a wry twist of lip. “I can get away after I take them the hide they want though, how’s that?” is offered in hopeful suggestion.


"Well, then there only be one thing what ought to be done." Terrian's tone is brisk, as he tugs the woman to her feet. Her hand is given one last squeeze before he drops it. "Be tellin' me about this scroll so you can be gettin' gone and gettin' back."

He turns to survey the dusty mess of the archives, lifting an eyebrow. Perhaps Erissa's seeking might take a bit. A slight glance at the woman has Terrian making an abrupt decision. Rodan could take the evening shift on the brig, he'd switch for the morning in the bazaar. This afternoon would be all for Erissa.


Relief washes over Erissa as Terrian agrees. With the haunting voices of the bandit’s activities past and present pulsing from the hide-covered table she can’t wait to get away. Pulling the scrap of hide from her pocket she leans closer to the guard so he can see it as well. No doubt he’ll know the layout of the records better than she considering all that he’d already pulled for inspection. Hope rises. She might even have time to enjoy a drink or meal with him before the daily grind of her evening symptoms got bad enough to drive her back to her weyr and the hated tea that kept her chained to it’s vile loop of control.


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