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  • Beqanna

    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    GHAUL -- Year 209

    QOTY

    "(souls are not meant to live more than once — death was not meant to be temporary, and she is so sure that every time her heart starts to beat again that irreversible damage is further inflicted)" -- Anonya, written by Colby


    anywhere i go there you are; brennen
    #1

    you are miles away but i still feel you

    She had broken him and that was the truth of it.

    In the shifting of seasons, while Beqanna hid him unconscious beneath granite and wind, she had sought the warmth of embraces that didn’t belong to him. While months passed in a heartbeat for the titan, they were slow and weary for her. Had the time really stretched so thinly or was her desire for company stronger than her love for him? Her confession spoken into the bitter Nerine winter had burned. It hurt worse than the Jungle magic forcing her tattoos into his skin; it was a pain more intense than the final aching breaths of death; it broke him as though his body were falling against sharp stone time and time again. They had spent years away from each other with that bargain he had struck with Carnage… Had she willingly sacrificed herself to the hands of adultery and fornication then too?

    Her words had lit him on fire. He had left with flames blistering his heart, burning away at the core of his body. The wide face of Beqanna had provided him with seclusion to simmer until he was nothing but ashes (and the lines of his strong face had withered then, showing an age that his strength had hidden). He had been angry in those quiet days, shouting his fury to the starry sky. Had Beqanna kept him in that deep sleep just so she could betray him? Did she truly love him? Had it all been a lie? The legacy they had built — the family they had created together; did any of it mean anything to her?

    Somehow he found himself in public again. Although he had withered away under the wildfire she had sparked (his deep chest narrowed, his eyes became sunken, his hindquarters thin), he had spent time in his rebirth to build his strength back to what it once was. His feet crunch in the snow alongside the River with confidence that might not have been found in the years past. Rippling muscle glides easily beneath his red winter coat and though he has no magic traits like those scattered around him, there is power in his build.

    He isn’t quite sure who he’s looking for —

    Brennen
    Scorch

    — but his brown eyes search among the ice and snow with startling determination.

    hestoni



    Brennen
    Reply
    #2
    so give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
    'cause oh that gave me such a fright
    He, too, had loved her. It hadn’t been romantic, not for most of their lives, but when it had it been a sudden change. And whose fault was it? Even now, he’s not sure. For so long he had tread carefully on his side of the line: friends, and nothing more. Had it been Scorch who changed that? Had it been Brennen, remembering that he had lost Neraza before he could admit to himself they were more than friends? Maybe he’ll never be able to sort out that time – those moments that had changed everything they were to one another. In the end, Brennen had loved her too, in a way that was all-consuming.

    It had destroyed both of them, at least for a time. Despite how much she’d hurt him, the time he’d spend in being angry, he has no illusions that she had not been hurt as well. It had cost her something, to give herself to him for a time. Perhaps their pain was the strongest sign that it had not been meant to be – but that is distance speaking, not the acute pain he had experienced at the time.

    But there is one thing which made it different for him, and he has always known it. Though he has been monogamous for brief periods of time when engaged with a woman he loved, it was nothing like having only one lover…ever. Still, Brennen had believed that Scorch’s mate was gone. Perhaps dead, perhaps not, but certainly he had not believed that he was ruining that for her, by giving in to what they both wanted. That, he would never have done.

    Intentions or not, it had been done. And now, lifting his head from the grass of home, he is momentarily baffled to find himself instead on the riverbank, well away from all of his homes; and also blinking into an unfamiliar face. But – no – unfamiliar yes, but he knows who this is. Blinking, for once Brennen is quiet because he is honestly at a loss for words, not because he is intransigently refusing to speak full sentences. In this moment, he thinks that if Hestoni were to attack him, he might allow him it without twitching a feather in his own defense.

    Slowly, he straightens, but carefully does not even attempt to smile. That would be hiding, and at this point that would be ridiculous between the two of them. “Hello,” he offers quietly, because it would be ridiculous to truly say nothing. He supposes that the other stallion must have been…dwelling…thinking about it. About him, and in his own floaty headspace he had then come here. Perhaps he, too, would like to put some sort of closure on their shared experience. Perhaps he doesn’t want it intruding now on his new happy, his quiet life with Nihlus (quiet being relative, of course – his boy is anything but quiet); perhaps he simply is curious about Scorch’s lifemate. He doesn’t care to look too closely at his own motivations.
    but I will hold, as long as you like
    just promise me we'll be alright
    BrenneN


    ooc; I'm really the worst of the worst but here *hides*
    Hestoni
    Reply
    #3

    you are miles away but i still feel you

    It is as though the ear of Beqanna had heard his unconscious thought. Hestoni has never questioned the whimsy of the world he lives in, especially after spending the majority of his life among the ghost-smoke and rain of the Jungle. When a body appears in front of him with the crunching sound of four feet touching snow, the titan is surprised but not shell-shocked. One red eyebrow raises from above his brown eyes at the sudden appearance.

    For a moment, he thinks the man is a stranger. In many ways, Brennen is a stranger to Hestoni. The chestnut had never actively participated in the political affairs of the Amazonians, choosing to parent the children while Scorch spent her time with her queenly responsibilities. He’s seen this bay face from a distance in past decades, on border patrols and at select meetings. Hestoni can almost hear Scorch’s smoky voice whispering in his ear, the songs of the Jungle a background to her words. “That was Brennen today,” she had told him once, keeping her voice quiet as the children settled down for the night.

    Yet they are two strangers who have something in common. The fire had drawn both of them in. Had Brennen been burnt just as Hestoni had? Or was he still spending his evenings in the embrace of a particular charred woman? The titan has no idea of Scorch’s whereabouts today, spending his time of emotional and mental rebirth in the quiet crevices of Beqanna.

    Regardless, Hestoni doesn’t feel a stirring of anger toward the bay stallion, which might’ve been suspected in any other situation. He does not blame Brennen for what happened while he slept under a spell. Hestoni had never known a line between Brennen and Scorch’s friendship even existed, but he knows that his ignorance is not because of the man standing in front of him. His ex-wife is the one who has been dishonest all these years, hiding the truth from him as though she might also hide the truth from herself.

    His deep chest swells with a slow inhale. He releases the lungful of air in a cloud of winter-dragon’s smoke mixed with his low, earthy voice. “Hello, Brennen.” Whether Beqanna brought Scorch’s lover to him or it had been Brennen’s own choosing, Hestoni eyes him over carefully. If the bay still spent nights with Scorch, would he attack Hestoni? The chestnut’s muscles flex briefly at the thought, but he relaxes at the relatively non-threatening language of Brennen. “I don’t think we’ve ever officially met. I’m Hestoni.” Just Hestoni. Not Hestoni, husband of the Jungle’s Khaleesi, Scorch. Just Hestoni. For a flickering millisecond, a hesitant smile creeps into the corner of his red mouth before disappearing.

    hestoni



    Brennen
    Reply
    #4
    so give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
    'cause oh that gave me such a fright
    They’re both tense, uncertain, but when Brennen relaxes (willing to let Hestoni attack him, if he really wants to), a moment later the other stallion relaxes as well. Then they’re just two awkward strangers, linked by something neither of them particularly want to talk about, eyeing each other up and down. Brennen knows he has the advantage here in most ways – he’s got the magic, the fighting experience, he knows Hestoni’s children in a way that the chestnut does not know his (as he’s staring at the other man, he’s looking for them – for things about Simeon, and Leilan that he might recognize in their father).

    Hestoni has one big advantage – the moral high ground. It’s why Brennen’s standing, not in any way prepared to defend himself, waiting for the other to make the first move.

    It’s the smile that truly relaxes him, however fleeting, and he responds to the tone as much as anything else. “No, we haven’t.” Scorch had talked about her mate, of course, but his visits to the Jungle had been business, not personal (or so he’d always told himself). And when that changed – well, Hestoni had been gone. They hadn’t talked about the specifics, but Brennen had always assumed he was dead. Assumed that was why she’d broken the unspoken pact between the two of them, and basically jumped his bones that night they’d grieved together.

    He’s compelled to say that – to try to explain himself. “I thought you were dead. When she came to me.” Brennen isn’t sure of the truth, himself; had Scorch known he was not dead? Would they have lasted, if he had been? It’s hard to imagine, now, because he has moved on quite thoroughly. “I don’t regret loving her,” he drawls the words quietly, “But I would not have…accepted if I knew. But we burned each other out, she and I. I’ve moved on to something else and I think it’s better for me.”

    Brennen doesn’t use the words ‘I’m sorry’. This is too deep for a casual surface apology, but he reserves the truly deep ones for times when he has done intentional wrong. Though, shifting uncomfortably, he realizes that his current mate is actually Hestoni’s grandson. He’s sure he’s drenched in Nihlus’ scent, given the way his lover had woken him this morning, but perhaps Hestoni doesn’t know his grandson or his scent. Not everyone has a magic net to keep track of their descendants, after all.
    but I will hold, as long as you like
    just promise me we'll be alright
    BrenneN


    Hestoni
    Reply




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