"“Content to admire you from afar.” Well that’s just bullshit. She wasn’t *content* to be admired from afar. She would rather not see him at all then be tortured by a buffered distance." --Mazikeen, written by Squirt
04-30-2021, 03:20 PM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2021, 11:16 PM by Obscene.)
Kiss me again Kiss me until I am sick of it
The Pampas remained quiet so far since his proclamation over them. As much as he can tell, he’s the only one here and will remain so until he sees fit to change it otherwise. Well, not completely alone. The faeries that called the Pampas home had shown themselves to him. They had been curious, seeing the dark stallion still smeared with golden streaks pressed with tiny fae hands from the festival, able to sense something of familiarity in the way he had been adorned with glints of gold. They weren’t quite sure of him yet but seemed open enough when he displayed basic comprehension of their ways and a few had agreed to find his fae friends from the Meadow and offer them a place here amongst the wildflowers.
That’s the most he’s accomplished so far, not wanting to stray too far until he’s sure there’s nobody else to try and dispute his claim. It leaves plenty of room for partying and this is how he spends most of the day, drinking with the fae. They had also pointed out the strange red flowers whose pollen once inhaled cause a drowsy state of hallucinations and this has easily become one of his new favorite drugs. Much more pleasant than the bitter taste of mushrooms that stick in his teeth. The way he takes to drugs and drink broke down whatever remaining barriers that lingered with the fae and within a few days he feels he can consider them friends and they accept his presence easily. He finds this crew to be a much more debauched group than the Meadow ones, encouraging his bad behaviors with mischievous glee which he obliges too without batting a crimson eye.
It’s in this state, rolled on his back in the soft crush of flowers as he watches the patterns in the clouds dance and change, that he finds himself. Half drunk fae hang out of cupped petals, laughing and smearing more gold pollen over his cheeks. The feeling isn’t unpleasant and he submits to their whims, laughing just as obnoxiously as they are as they dance and prank each other ruthlessly. It’s easy here to not think of anything at all, to forget the things that prick beneath his skin, to simply be rude and drunk and not think of anything important at all.
Cheri hadn’t been gone from home long enough to miss the place, yet. Of course the goodbyes had been tearful, especially when her mother pulled her close and when she’d had to say farewell to her siblings. Reynard seemed especially broody for a young stallion, and Cheri promised him she’d come home soon to annoy him. Targaryen had known for a while that Cheri was planning on leaving, and so did her father Yan; the former had gone recluse and so she hadn’t been able to give him a proper goodbye or talk about the heavy thoughts concerning their relationship since the midsummer festival in Icicle Isle. Yanhua had walked her to the border of Loess, made the proper introductions and commitments, and then he’d urged Cheri to explore as much as she could before thinking about coming home for a first visit.
“These are your hours to shine, to find yourself and face new challenges.” His advice echoed in her thoughts, giving lift to her already buoyant flight that morning. “Taiga will always be a home for you. Adventure … she waits for no one.”
So adventure she did. Her first night in Loess had been a lonely one, accustomed as she was to sleeping in a tightly-packed herd or side-by-side with Yenny. The landscape could be as harsh as it was beautiful, and when the sun finally went down the cold had set in. She shivered half the night and slept fitfully the other half, happy to see dawn finally breaking over the horizon. After a light breakfast spent foraging over the rocky hills, she flared her wings and took to the sky - eager to begin the search for something unusual, or possibly something to mend. When she took a rest later, the day was already half-spent and she found herself at the southernmost edge of the Kingdom where the Pampas blended their rolling hillocks into the red canyons of Loessian territory.
“This is the farthest I’ve ever flown.” Cheri suddenly realized, lifting her nose to sample the late autumn winds. The scent was heavenly, a bit heady but mostly a mixture of sweet and sultry she’d never experienced until now. Faintly, Cheri could detect the aftertaste of salt in the air - the ocean must’ve been nearby. She thought it strange that no other scent of horse was mingling there as well. Her mentor had commented that the Pampas were a mostly-silent herdland, and Cheri’s curiosity over just how silent led her out past the edges of Loess at a trot. She took to the main road, overgrown from disuse, and gave her wings a much-needed rest while her legs carried her in a loping sort of canter for a few miles.
The terrain here was mostly hills and uneven valleys, and Cheri passed them until she came across one filled with the most incredible display of colors she’d ever had the pleasure of seeing. Wildflowers choked each other for sunlight, so thick and multitudinous that her hooves had trouble navigating through them. They were literally carpeting the earth, causing Cheri to think of Rosey - her aunt back home, Lilli’s girl - and how the silver black mare would’ve absolutely died from happiness.
The wind shifted gently, taking her scent with it and bringing another, hazily familiar one along. Cheri stopped dead amidst the blossoms and stood alert, listening to the sound of throaty laughter rising up from a distance where she couldn’t see, and from her spot amongst the flowers she whickered politely. Only then did she realize: she should’ve probably waited near the border, instead of just tromping right though at her leisure.
Obscene this is so long because of the amount of exposition I just *had* to write about, lol.
TL;DR: Cheri barges into the Pampas thinking it's empty and eventually, she comes across a stoned-to-the-bone Obscene.
He hates how much he thinks about her. Sometimes even the fog of nectar isn’t enough to chase away the memory of her dripping with rain as the storm raged around them. Deep in the trance of a hallucination he will see the spite in her shining peridot eyes and remember the way she called him a monster. He was a monster wasn’t he? That’s what everyone expected from him, what he had learned to be. The depths of his red eyes turn dark as the flare of anger ripples through his chest, remembering the way she had screamed at him. Remembering the way her scent overwhelmed him when he grabbed her as she fell. The fae around him don’t even notice as he shakes his head slightly, unable to remove the scent of her that mocks him in the breeze. Don’t even notice when he rolls to his side and rises off the ground, hearing the soft sound of her voice in distance.
He knows it’s the drugs of the pollen but he can’t help but follow the vision of her that stands amongst the wildflowers. Poppies cling to the soft strands of his raven mane that fall loosely against his neck (he hasn't noticed the multicolored buttercups that have been woven into his tail when he wasn't paying attention) as his sable body parts through the tall grasses and blossoms. She looks so real and he is so faded, streaks of gold illuminating the dark skin of his face as his red eyes look at her hungrily. She was young (but not that much younger then himself) and naive and sheltered. A spoiled princess that had been handed everything on a silver platter. There was nothing special about her even with the jewels that dotted her forehead, the jade wings that could lift her to the skies. She was nothing. She is nothing to him. She despises him. He hates her.
He is closer to her now, brazen in his inebriation as he half stumbles with a laugh, a crooked smile on his lips. Without warning he halts dangerously close, it doesn’t matter, this isn’t real, she isn’t really here. There’s no need to lie to a drug induced vision. “I can’t escape the scent of you.” His crimson eyes narrow slightly as he murmurs, searching her face and wondering what it would be like to trace the curve of her jaw with his muzzle. He can’t even remember what it had been like to be touched by another, to sleep next to somebody warm. Now that he is so close, he can smell so many other scents mingled with hers. Sighing softly as she blurs before him and the familiar resentment returns to grasp his cold heart, wrapping himself back into the cloak of his lies. “God I hate you.”
He’s oblivious that some of the fae behind him, half hidden, watch the exchange with interest. As they exchange sly looks and roguish grins. New targets for new pranks.
Cheri had never imagined that they would see each other again so soon. He’d haunted her from the moment they’d met in the field, and she’d tried (unsuccessfully) to stop obsessing over their interaction in her mind. Part of her knew it was hormones: just her body’s response to being confronted with a stallion Cheri considered equal parts attractive and irritating. She thought about how she’d been confronted with handsome males before and tried to compare the two scenarios, wondering why things had gone differently. Logically there was nothing that separated the black rogue from any other handsome horse. She chalked it up to his uncanny ability to slither under her skin, that’s all. She’d even thought about what she would do if they came face-to-face again, but seeing him roll out from the bed of flowers and rise up to confront her was another matter entirely. It was one thing to imagine telling him off; another thing entirely to actually follow through.
Seeing him again put that all into perspective for the young mare.
He was ruggedly handsome. The dark tone of his skin gleamed in the cold light, taught and rippling over the muscles she remembered as being drenched in rain. He moved like a panther: stalking and sliding his way across the meadow towards her, lean at the waist but wide in the shoulders. He was a perfect specimen of a stallion, as much as she hated to admit it to herself, and the lump gathering in her throat was hard to swallow down as Cheri tried to avoid getting caught once more in his fiery gaze.
She tried anything to distract herself. Her own eyes were tracing the golden streaks of pollen across his cheeks, noting the way they accented his skin and gave him an adonis-like quality. Flowers had been embedded into the thick folds of his mane and tail. By whom, Cheri couldn’t have guessed - he looked to be alone - but she was surprised at the sharp pang of jealousy that came along with the notion of him entertaining a guest.
The closer he came the more unsettled she felt, but the slender mare held her ground and tilted her chin pleasantly, unaware of how enchanting she might’ve looked. The same sensation of persuasive passion overcame her; Cheri hardly knew who she was, acting out of turn and letting her pulse race the way it did. She hardly knew who he was, to be doing such a thing to her with such reckless abandon. He stopped near her, spoke once in a tone that suggested the same conflict she’d glimpsed that night in the meadow, and then sobered a bit before insulting her.
“He’s … different.” She noted, surprised. Something about his face - her eyes moved up the line of his chiseled nose to where he stared back at her, noting how glassy his expression was.
Unthinkingly, Cheri rushed to press her nose against the curve of his arrogant mouth. It was an impulsive action, one he could’ve easily avoided if he wanted to, but an urge drove her to act without considering the consequences. A spark of her magic leapt from her skin and fizzled like an electric pulse of energy, just a small dose of her healing - enough to clear his head and dull the glassy shine in his eyes if she touched him in time - and then she withdrew with a sudden jerk. “I don’t care.” She murmured in disbelief. “Hate me all you want.”
He can’t stand the way this certain hallucination taunts him, as it makes Cheri’s eyes travel from the sweep of his broad neck to the slope of his shoulder and beyond. Almost as if the same lurid thoughts flicker in the back of her mind that prominently take hold of his. Part of him wants to shake her till she breaks, to ask her why she haunts him like this. Why he can’t stop thinking of the way stray wet strands of jaded hair clung to her cheek in the rain, why he keeps thinking of the gentle curve of her ordinary ears, thinking of the way he wants to rip her wings off like a pinned butterfly as much as he wants to feel them brush against his own heated flesh.
He has never in his life been more frustrated, he cannot figure her out. How can somebody like her get so deep under his skin?
A low growl rumbles deep in his throat, disgusted by his own inability to straighten out his thoughts. It’s followed by a soft chuckle as she stares at him haughtily, her muzzle raised with defiance. Good, he hopes she will fight with him. Put them back on common ground from whatever this was. What he wanted was a clash of words but that’s not what he gets. He can’t help but freeze in shock when she touches him. The soft press of her muzzle to the corner of his mouth makes him inhale sharply and it’s more than just her magic that sparks against his skin.
Suddenly he is clear headed and he blinks at her for a moment, confused. It takes him a second, to realize what has happened and what she has done. Where his red eyes had once darkened with glassy desire they now hold a deepening resentment as he invades her space, a snarl curling on the corner of his mouth that she had once touched. This wasn’t a vision, this was real. His anger and hatred curdle in the pit of his stomach, burning into his granite heart and he dives head first into the flames. She had used magic on him. She had in a matter of seconds made him inferior and he cannot fucking stand it.
Being unexpectedly sober only serves to sour his mood more. “You think you can walk into my home uninvited and use magic on me?” The red of his eyes glow like coals as he sneers at her, wrinkling has nose as if she smelled like something unpleasant. (Still remembering how she smelled floral and sweet.) He snaps, putting on his battle armor of cruelty, raising his words like a shield. The lies come out easy, fueled by the conflict of emotions that stir like a storm within him. “You should care. The things I could do to you...” He has half a mind to exile her from this place. He could do that now, he realizes, and it’s cold comfort to at least have that kind of power. Maybe if he punishes her somehow she will admit how much she dislikes him. It’s a pleasurable thought, thinking of her on her knees begging and groveling. Writhing before him. He’s suddenly flush with unexpected heat and looks for the familiarity of her dislike on her features. He wishes she would just say it, so he can drown in her hatred again. Somewhere he belongs and understands.
Why was she even here? What on earth had brought her here of all places? In the background he can hear the fae giggling with delight at this sudden turn of events and he throws a glowering look in their direction. Without another word he starts to stalk off, back towards the flowers that can get him high enough to forget this embarrassing encounter. ”Get out.” His tone is cold and indifferent, as if she was already forgotten and not worth another second of his time.
“Oh,” she really shouldn’t have touched him. It was as stupid and silly a thing as she could’ve ever done. The shock (not just in magical terms) that he felt was reflected, mirror-like, in the glassy light of Cheri’s green eyes. She’d thought … but then again no, what had she been thinking? That they could share their talents like she was used to back home? That she could prove to him her harmlessness, expose a bit of what she was capable of so that he would understand their differences and do … what, exactly?
A collected calm washed over Cheri despite the sudden tsunami of rage he threatened to overwhelm her with. The mare went mute, totally. Her subconscious took control and she cleaved her mind from the reality of what she fully expected he would do: maim her, hurt her, grab her again and shake her bloody senseless. Those green eyes of hers that’d been so expressive only seconds before went blank, staring far beyond his curled mouth and out into the distant waves of peaceful flower blossoms. She sent her spirit there. The body left behind need only feel the pain, not allow him the victory of seeing how it truly affected her.
Cheri was only faintly aware of what he was saying. His teeth were clacking together, forming words that she automatically, yet silently, gave him answers to. “It’s just my nature.” She thought, blinking once. “Where I come from, magic is shared and celebrated.”
Where she came from, no horse would’ve threatened her like he did. No horse really compared to him, now that her thoughts circled back to The Black and the presence he left over her like a blistering, heavy thundercloud. She feared saying as much would only irritate the matter further and so she kept entirely still underneath him - a smaller mare compared to his impressive bulk. The things he could do to her … Cheri shivered, breaking the spell. He could do things to her, strange things, but every single time they got to this point (and these instances are rare, thank the stars) he never actually did.
Confused, Cheri opened her mouth wordlessly and watched him turn away. Where was the dagger behind the veil, she wondered? Where was this “promised pain”? Twice now he’d had his chance, twice now he’d physically declined. She did recall the way he’d grabbed her in the meadow and pulled her upright like a wilting sapling, and again the hair along her spine quivered and rose unexpectedly. That itself hadn’t been entirely unexpected, neither was it horrible. She’d had to admit to herself later on that he’d actually helped her from collapsing altogether - if that was really his intention in the first place.
“You don’t use magic, do you?” The gears in her head turned slowly at first. Out to sea, blustery gales picked up and whipped through the meadows, causing her bright locks to twist into a fury of tangled, sparkling strands like viridian tinsel. Cheri felt her pulse quicken again; before she could stop herself, the words came spilling out. “I’d like to see your so-called ‘other talents’ now.”
And there it was, precisely as he’d wanted it: enmity in her gaze, just for him. “I should’ve guessed.” She realized. “Should’ve known by how utterly plain and boorish he looks.” Her thoughts were scathing, even if she contradicted them a split-second later by lusting after the way he commanded the very air around himself, making it hard to breath or react in the moment. “I was so blinded by my jealousy for his affection that I never saw - until now - that in truth he might’ve been the jealous one.” Cheri’s jaw clenched. For over a month now she’d let this creature burrow under his skin and topple her self-worth. He laughed at her in the reflection of the meadow pool she so loved to visit back home, had tormented her and still she’d been caught up in her desire for him rather than common sense. She’d wanted him to admire her, wanted to prove him wrong this time around and make him tremble the way he made her weak in the knees, but not anymore.
Now she knew exactly what she wanted, and admittedly it scared her, but she willed it all the same: that he would turn on her with some of that same unbridled fury from before. For once their motives were in sync, a feeling of chaos turning her passion into fury, but this time Cheri was nearly as deadly in her expression as The Black. “Go on.” Her slender mouth tugged itself into a brazen smirk. He’d taught her that. “Prove me wrong, pretty boy.”
He pauses mid step, slowly lowering his raised hoof as her voice follows him. “You don’t use magic do you?” As if it was a choice. As if she might have found a weakness. That wouldn’t do at all. “You think you’ve figured me out.” The laughter that follows is far from amused, harsh and mean. “I don’t need magic to do what I do.” He starts to say but the words die on his lips. He doesn’t need to prove a damn thing to her. She may have her fancy wings and apparently some sort of sobering touch but here he was, ruling his own territory with only his wits and charm. He still has every intention of going back to the Mountain, in making them listening. He would take what he deserved, what was owed to him, but at least he had proven that he was better than all of them by making it as far and long as he had in a dangerous magical world as a mere lowly mortal.
She reads into his words exactly the way he intends, making her question his intentions. He had learned well from the fae, how to hide the truths they didn’t want to say. “The things he could do to her”, she takes it as a threat. How is she to know the thoughts that swirled behind his devil eyes weren’t exactly full of painful punishment? Why wouldn’t she expect the worse from him? He’s donned the role of the villain so he might as well have fun with it. And she gives him just the perfect opening to do so.
It’s a sly grin that meets her gaze as he slowly turns his head to look back at her, his crimson eyes unreadable. The sudden bluster of wind whips his wavy raven locks around him, stealing loose poppies from his tresses that scatter in the air around him. A look that was much more chilling than any sort of malice or blind rage. Because he’s had an idea and she was about to put her money where her mouth was. “Do you now?” There’s the hostility he had been looking for, contempt and defiance in her bright eyes. He feeds on it and finds he's hungry for more. He rides on the burning high of his resentment and hate as he turns fully around to face her.
By now the fae have risen from wherever they hide, sensing the direction this was going and eager to join the fun. Transparent wings the color of multicolored jewels flit through the sky, some of them landing on his backside and braiding new flowers into the base of his mane. “Meet my family.” He gestures to the fae that approach her brazenly, pinching and poking as they explore Cheri. He wanders over to where the nectar had been previously abandoned, speaking to the faeries as he does. “Technically this girl has trespassed on my land but I think we should treat her as a guest, don’t you?” There’s tittering and cackling as the fae pull at her mane, curious and coy. A small group starts pressing tiny golden hands to her dark skin, much as they had decorated him. One breaks from the group to smear more golden pollen beneath his eyes like kohl and then blows the remaining powder over his nose as he inhales deeply.
“Drink with me.” There’s amusement flickering in the depths of red and it’s not exactly kind. Shimmering liquid fills small cupped flowers, larger pools of it are found in natural bowls made of wood and bark. The nectar of the fae. Sweet and cloying against his tongue, he had been drinking the stuff since he was a child. The effects had been more intense then, making him dizzy and confused. Easy to influence. He had done and said many stupid things with the helpful manipulation of the fae for their amusement, the most embarrassing of them pushed from his memories or luckily all together forgotten. His tolerance from prolonged use brought only pleasant inebriation now. For Cheri however… He doubts she’s ever touched the stuff.
What would sweet naive little Cheri do under the influence of the nectar?
His muzzle lowers towards a bowl, drinking deeply. The honeyed ambrosia instantly smooth and thick as it slides down his throat. He raises a brow to her, his muzzle gesturing to the bowl. “You want to see my talents? Then drink.”
The poppy blooms twirled slowly, bright spots of red that hovered in the air and then tumbled away to some forgotten place. Cheri, watching The Black turn back exactly as she wanted him to, felt the smile on her lips die as quickly as it'd been born. She had half a mind to roll her eyes at him, were it not for the way he twisted - leonine and proud - to face her again. Springing up from the meadow, Cheri saw flashes of light twinkling off tiny wings and curiosity got the better of her. She found herself softening again, intrigued by the activity of what looked to be little insects crawling all over the stallion’s skin. Insects they were not; he surprised her for once by calling them family, which Cheri could instantly see were actually tiny fairy-kin. Her skin shuddered softly at their approach, resisting the urge to dispel them like she would any normal pest, but her genteel nature got the best of her, always. She breathed deeply and curved prettily, angling her head to one side so that she could peer at the activity.
They pulled numbly at her mane, causing her to smile in a momentary lapse of judgement. “Pure devils,” she thought of them, just like their supposed child. Their odd little digits left golden smears across her fur, each one catching the overhead sunlight until she was streaked through and gleaming. She would’ve commented about them aloud, had the strange stallion not spoken up again and taken her further by surprise. “His land?” She swiveled back to glare at him, frowning once more as he waited patiently to be painted by his relatives.
When had that happened? Surely … surely Oceane wouldn’t have given this creature the rights to property in her Kingdom, given his unusual ego. Cheri couldn’t even picture the two horses together in the same space, much less talking pleasantly over contracts and alliances. And to think! She was … they were technically neighbors now.
She ground her teeth together to try and stop the sudden flush of heat that rose to her cheeks. “Damn him.” She thought. “He’s avoiding the obvious, playing his games again.”
Drink with him, he asked her. Drink what? Fey nectar? Did he think she was stupid, or just sheltered? Cheri felt like she could read him clearly enough. No doubt those red, hazy eyes of his were mocking her like they always seemed to do. He really didn’t have to speak; she could understand the notion of being taunted into something dangerous and he was certainly goading her into wickedness with that stubborn, chiseled jaw of his. For a brief moment she considered leaving again - this was all so childish, really - but damn him! That was exactly what he expected her to do! Wasn’t it?
Wasn’t it what she should do? Her thoughts drifted for a second, back to Taiga and the horses she’d left behind there. What would they think, if they knew what she was up to right now? For the millionth time since leaving home she wished desperately for Targaryen, but the reality of his absence was as real as the buffering winds pushing her gently from side-to-side. She swayed, lovely and in the peak of her early womanhood, and then with a defiant toss of her head she strode forward. The scattered fairies who’d come to tickle and pinch her skin gripped tightly where they could or skittered to safety among the feathers of her light wings.
“I’m impressed.” She lowered her head after him, taking not one but three long pulls from the nectar until the bowl was moist and empty. “Your talent is drinking like a lady.” Cheri mocked him, raising her head once more. Close enough now to see that the liquid had left a smear of color over his dark lips she laughed - then bit her tongue with the realization that she, too, must’ve had a residual mustache of golden nectar. She quickly wiped the fluid away on the curve of one knee and leaned comfortably to one side in preparation, knowing what was to come.
Back home in Taiga, they’d had a spurt of awesome fungi growth with the return of the sun. The vegetation grew wild and sprouted up in clumps everywhere, sometimes growing larger than the horses that resided there. Her half-sister and step-dam had fawned over them the way nerdy plant lovers were prone to doing, reaching with their floral magic into their strange root systems and studying their spores. Memorie, her father’s daughter out of Borderline, had pulled Cheri aside not long after the study to inform her that certain fungi blooms had “special” properties, so to speak, and the girls had tripped an afternoon away on more than one occasion. Cheri had never trusted herself to find the right ones after Memorie had left to explore the world, so she’d refrained from going on a high ever since - but at least she could admit to herself that she wasn’t as caged as The Black might assume her to be.
How bad could the nectar be, really?
“I assume you have a name?” She drawled cattily, sighing deeply as a new kind of warmth spread from the crown of her head down through her immobile limbs. It was a heavy sort of feeling, but not unpleasant. She felt herself … relaxing. “I’m getting tired of having to make one up every time I run across you.”
Every time he thought she would give in to him, she resisted. One moment he could swear he saw fear in her eyes and the next he saw only steely determination. Like now for instance, as he watches emotions scatter across her face as she fights against indecision. What was she thinking in that pretty little head of hers? The tiny fae fluttered above her, (exploring the angled curve of her neck which he suddenly wants to explore himself) painting colors to the dark canvas of her skin while simultaneously tying tangled knots in the fine threads of her mane. What did she make of them? Of him?
It doesn’t matter. She means nothing. She is nothing. He despises everything about her. The way she touched the corner of his mouth. The way his heart burns with such fiery hatred for her. How it blazes hotly in his chest every time he looks at her.
Lupins and foxgloves brush against the hard curve of his stomach as he starts to circle her after she strides boldly over, accepting his challenge. He had thought she would flee. His pulse quickens only for a moment as she starts to approach him, as collected and indifferent as he has always been. The deep red of his eyes glitter like dark rubies, watching her every movement as she closed the distance between them. Watches as she goads him and then drinks deeply. The smirk only deepens and he snaps his tail with flourish as she mocks him. ”We aren’t finished yet.” He slowly licks the remaining nectar from his lips while his gaze stays trained on hers. Looking for the signs of what’s to come.
With a slight gesture of his muzzle, he leads her a little further into the flower fields, enjoying the light sensation of blooms and petals grazing against his sides. As they walk they pass a few turtles covered in shelled flower beds headed to the nearby stream and more fae begin to appear. Deer leap from tall grasses and field mice scatter. He keeps going until he finds what he’s looking for, the strange bright red flowers with the darkest golden center. He steps forward to one and inhales deeply, enjoying the instant pleasurable sensation immediately. Stepping back and looking at her expectantly. Deep in the lower valleys he swears for an instant he sees a large grassy mammoth. It’s weird, how he keeps having this same vivid hallucination when he partakes in the pollen. What’s stranger is how he knows this mammoth’s name is Steve but has no idea how he knows it. In the blink of an eye, the huge beast is gone and he refocuses on Cheri.
Prim and proper, spoiled and ungrateful little Cheri.
“I assume you have a name.” He rolls his eyes with disgust. “I told it to you when I left that day.” His smile is deadly, crimson iris’s flickering with unreadable emotion. It wasn’t his fault if she wasn’t clever enough to figure it out. He ambles to a spot where more nectar shimmers in the deepening twilight. Drinks and looks back at Cheri, daring her to back down to him. To give in and submit to him. For a moment he thinks of Crowns and wonders if this is the sort of excitement his new friend might be into.
He can see her muscles start to unwind, the way her body starts to sag. A pleasurable warmth courses through his veins as his own tension is unwound. His voice is but a mere murmur as he asks her with a penetrating gaze, “What would you do if I never let you leave here?”
Cheri had never expected the level of commitment she mustered toward proving him wrong. She’d never pictured herself toeing this line between chaos and order, never imagined that her reaction to this situation would’ve been to dig her heels in, but here they are. Carefully, she watched the way he circled her through the tall meadow grasses, noticing the tight coil of layered muscles dancing and jerking over his wide-sprung ribs each time he took a lengthy stride. She hoped the prolonged glaring disturbed him, but doubted it. Admittedly, Cheri herself had never been so scrutinized before - at least, not that she could clearly remember. Her measure had never been put to the test, nor weighed in exactly the same way it was being calculated now. Like him, she wondered what kind of thoughts were running back and forth between his ears. At the very least, she begrudgingly entertained the notion that despite all of his loathsomeness, she rather liked the way he stared.
At least he wasn’t shy when it came to expressing himself. “A trait learned.” She thought hotly, picturing him doing the same song and dance several times before this one with other, more illustrious mares than her. This was different; he clearly despised her. She could feel those red eyes of his burning her from every angle, branding her unfairly as she dipped her head to drink, always there when she went back to look. Steady and constant, they mocked her from afar and drew her further into a state of fixation, powerful enough in their own way that she followed them and their leader deeper into the Pampas territory.
Beneath her hooves the ground felt surreal. Cheri went from walking on steady earth to floating on clouds in the matter of a few minutes; absurdly, she tried her best to appear collected, knowing all the while that every now and again her step would fall in the incorrect place and she’d sway, comely and inebriated, through the tall blossoms. Her head felt cotton-y, and she surprised herself by how sharply her tone contrasted with that sensation before she, too, took a deep whiff of the pollen-rich buds. “I thought you were joking - you weren’t serious, were you really?” Her laughter was exactly like the chime of crystal clinking together, and she did nothing to stifle it. “Your name is really Obscene.” The winged mare stated, then burst into more delicate chuckles once she drunkenly realized the double entendre.
She would’ve continued baiting him by offering a fake apology for his bad luck but when she tilted her head to look at him, there he was again: staring her down so intensely that the laughter slowly died on her tongue. “Oh,” She thought disjointedly, “he’s really something, isn’t he?” Even in her current state of mind Cheri was bewildered by all of those dark, dangerous angles. He seemed to float above the earth in wavy lines of black color, blending into the scenery except for those damn eyes. Molten, they washed over her - leaving the young mare to flutter her lashes against the high rises of her proud cheekbones.
“I thought you wa … I thought you wanted me gone.” She muttered, confused by his question. “To leave. You said earlier …” Cheri hiccuped, stopping herself. What was he on about? “I’d just fly, fly away like a little bird.” She thought, sighing to herself with a half-smile.
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