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    COTY

    Aela -- Year 216

    QOTY

    "So she smiles prettily and steals away when she can. Feels the brutal pounding of others around her with a savagery that she has never comprehended—their emotions so vast, their hearts so wicked. It warps her more than she was already warped. It presses a thumbprint of cruelty into her darkness, shaping her into a thing of shadow, a thing of longing, a thing carved from the darkness between every breath." --Baptiste, written by Laura


    [open]  I feel you in my bones, shiver up my spine; any
    #1
    Darkling

    The dark is timeless and eternal, a thing one could so easily lose themselves in without even trying. And so he had. When the sun had vanished behind the moon and night had reigned with an iron grip, Darkling had been freed in a way he never knew possible. He had been the lord of all that he could wish and more. And he had reveled in it, a glutton to the feast.

    But as it always must, light had finally come. And he had sulked, aggrieved to lose that which he had come to love the most.

    In the end however, he is not a creature made to wallow. The universe has infinitely more to offer, and Darkling could not resist it’s call. Even with day to bind them, the shadows had still held him close in their bosom, his first and most ancient lover. And he had let them, because what else is a creature like him to do?

    Inevitably, home calls to him. He had been born to these barren canyons and this lifeless, cracking earth, so it is here he returns. He steps from the darkness, shadows clinging to his golden skin like the fingers of a mistress loathe to let him leave. He holds his head high, dark gaze filled with the devilish imperiousness of his heart. The pale horn that spirals elegantly from the center of his gilded forehead parts the shadows like a spear, ears crowned in their light-devouring swirls.

    He had come during the late evening of course, because his domain lay where shadows towered the furthest. Where they battled with day and won. And he smiles, pleased to find his feet on this familiarly fallow soil. He is as much a product of Pangea as one could be, and it shows in the impish lines of his handsome features, in the comfortable grace with which he steps forward to peer around as a soft and contented sigh escapes his lips.

    But who would be here to welcome him home, he wonders?

    you're burning up the sky, you're a constellation
    I think that I could die for this revelation

    Reply
    #2
    Desire

    Pangea was quiet, and that was largely her fault.

    That didn’t mean she was doing anything to rectify the situation, but she at least recognized it, and there’s not really much more that anyone could ask of her.

    She had little ambition and not much drive, other than she liked having things, and currently, Pangea belonged to her. Could someone else lead this place better? Absolutely. Would she let them? No.

    Currently, she was traveling near the southern border, watching as the sun sank further down the horizon. She did not mind the dark, but she did appreciate a return to a regular rhythm; to again know that after the dark the sun would return, just as it should. She could not deny, though, that she preferred the stretch of night, when the stars that glittered against her skin glowed, and the halo of moons above her head cast her face into a silvery light. She was still lovely in the daylight, with her striking galaxy coat that bled across the stark white of her skin, but in the dark she was alight, and she knew it.

    It’s why when her black eyes find him, a stranger walking with the confidence of someone who was decidedly not a newcomer, it is an assured smile that she greets him with. “You seem vaguely familiar,” she says, unable to keep the purr from her voice even when being casual. He does seem familiar, but she is positive she has never spoken—or flirted—with him before. She has been in and out of Pangea for most of her life, though, and it was possible he was once a resident that she overlooked, as she does most things. “But I’m positive we have not met, because I never forget a handsome face,”  she says with a laugh and a tilt of her head, letting her gaze sweep across his face again. “My name is Desire.”
    so we're slaves to any semblance of touch, lord we should quit, but we love it too much


    @Darkling
    Reply
    #3
    Darkling

    The shadows that had spat him out do not retreat far. They never do, not when he has such control of them as he does. And from them a creature is born, first indistinct, then coalescing into the form of a monkey. Black as shadow with glowing yellow eyes, the thing scampers to him, climbing with swift and silent agility up his golden limbs until it clings to his neck.

    Darkling smiles, pleased to have his beast back.

    You seem vaguely familiar, she says. And isn’t that how it always is? A face one cannot quite place, lost in the recesses of time and disinclination to remember. Darkling does not mind. He has forgotten as many of their faces as he remembers.

    He looks at her then, black eyes clashing against black. Her flirtations and compliments are not lost on him, but by the stark stare he favors her with, one could almost believe they had been. But then, he is as aware of his pleasing appearance as she is of hers. It is nothing new to hear it from a woman’s lips.

    But her name, that stirs a curiosity in him. Draws a faintly dangerous smile to his lips as his dark eyes glitter in the dim light. He draws his gaze deliberately over her. Over the stars that gleam from the galaxies clinging to her skin, the white that clouds them. There is nothing of kindness or purity in that regard. No, it is one filled with pure sin. With the ill-intentions of one who sees something worthy of the name Desire.

    “You truly are… Desire,” he drawls slowly even as the smile on his lips grows. And if it was not before, it is now clear that it is not a compliment. The monkey, yellow eyes fixed on her as its master’s are, opens its mouth in an approximation of a laugh. Or a scream, it’s hard to tell. “But I will forgive you for it if you will forgive me.” It is a dangerous game he plays, but it is the only one he knows. Though he knows nothing of her but her name, he suspects it will not go unnoticed. “I am Darkling.”

    you're burning up the sky, you're a constellation
    I think that I could die for this revelation



    @[Desire]
    Reply
    #4
    Desire

    From the darkness he crafts a creature, and she watches with a vague kind of interest. It reminds her of Jamie and his shadows, so the act itself isn’t anything terribly new or exciting, but she enjoys it all the same. She has always been the kind to be appreciative of another’s gifts. So many it seemed only knew how to be jealous, to sit and pine for things that could not be theirs, but for all of her flaws, that was the one thing Desire did not do. She did not mind the powers another might wield—she knew she had her own fair share of tricks, though they might have less teeth than others.

    She was content to admire their fangs, knowing they would have a weakness hidden somewhere, if only she is patient enough to suss it out.

    “I like your friend,” she tells him, though her tone is slightly dubious as she observes the monkey-like shadow. Her attention is mostly reserved for him, however, flicking her black eyes back to his with another smile and a low, lilting laugh. “You say my name with such disdain,” her face pulling into a mock frown as though he had injured her. It disappears quickly enough, reverting back to an almost nonchalance and that same casual smile. You did not grow up in a family like hers, with a brother like Stave, and not gain some kind of armor. He would have to try harder than that to burrow under her skin.

    “Well, Darkling,” she drags out his name the same as he had done to her, the faintest hint of a dangerous spark igniting beneath the black surface of her eyes. “What brings you to Pangea? Do you have a special fondness for dust and suffocating heat?”
    so we're slaves to any semblance of touch, lord we should quit, but we love it too much


    @Darkling
    Reply
    #5
    Darkling

    He is not fool enough to believe he had injured her with his words. No, there is far more to her than that. She reeks of the same deception and intrigue he favors, and Darkling would be remiss if he did not explore this further. There is that likeness calling to like, and he knows as he watches her that Pangea has changed little in his absence.

    The kingdom has long drawn a certain sort of creature. They are both cut from the same cloth, and he would be a fool not to recognize it. Darkling is many things, but a fool is not among them.

    The primate preens beneath her approval, uncaring that it is a skeptical sort of praise. Darkling’s black eyes laugh, though his lips do not move. No one truly cares for his friends. But then, he rarely gives them a reason to - not when he is as likely to command them to torment as to fawn. Desire might like the creature clinging to his neck, but would she like it as much clinging to her own?

    No, he thinks. No she wouldn’t.

    The thought sends a shiver down his spine.

    “How else am I to say your name?” he asks slowly, wicked smile toying with his lips as his black eyes gleam in the darkness. He steps closer, softly adding, “perhaps you prefer it on a moan.”

    He is close enough now that he can practically feel the way she draws out his name raking across his skin. His expression turns to something far darker, though his amusement does not fade. “Pangea is in my blood and bones,” he replies, his voice low, as though he would seduce her with those words. “I suppose that makes me a thing of dust and suffocating heat.”

    you're burning up the sky, you're a constellation
    I think that I could die for this revelation



    @ Desire
    Reply
    #6
    Desire

    “I do prefer it that way, actually,” she says, another sultry smile curling like smoke across her pale lips. She doesn’t think her mother had any idea the creature she would grow to be when she had named her—or, perhaps she had. Perhaps she had known all along the two galaxy-drenched twins that she had birthed would live up to exactly as she christened them: Stave and Desire. Stave, with his ability to drain life with a mere glance, and Desire, with her illusions crafted from love and lust. Could she have been anything else with such a name? Maybe it was fate, or perhaps it was a curse, to name her something that spoke only of want and sin (because to desire something would never be the same as loving something). Her mother must have known, even when she was newly born, that her fate was inevitable; covered in constellations that no one would recognize, glittering with nameless stars, she was never meant to be anything besides an otherworldly beauty with a mean streak to match.

    “But I’ll spare you the agony,” she pauses, before continuing honey-sweet and teasing, “I’ll be content with you saying my name at all.”

    She lets the conversation shift from her one-sided flirtations and back to Pangea, if not a little reluctantly. She always found this part to be dull, the having to get to know someone. Darkling was, at the very least, interesting, and she at least was capable of recognizing that he was probably useful. It would make sense to try and persuade him into staying, especially since she was not in the position to be turning anyone away. When he says Pangea is in his blood she tilts her head curiously, half-expecting him to be another of her father’s innumerable offspring that felt Pangea is ‘in their blood’ (by all means, come stake your claim then, she thinks wryly to herself), but something tells her that is not quite what he is getting at. “You were born here, then?”
    so we're slaves to any semblance of touch, lord we should quit, but we love it too much


    @Darkling
    Reply
    #7
    Darkling

    He laughs at her words, the sound a low, husky thing that rumbles pleasantly through his chest. There is an almost sinful quality to the sound, one that seems to emanate through every hair follicle on his body. She teases and taunts, and he responds because he is a stallion and she is a very pretty mare.

    Even so, to imagine him without wiles of his own would be a dangerous mistake.

    It’s almost kismet, the two of them (each with the names that match far better than they should) meeting like this. If Darkling genuinely believed in such things, he might have been swept off his feet by the very notion. But he does not, and so he revels in the flirtation that is far more reciprocal than she seems to realize.

    “Perhaps I do not wish to be spared,” he rumbles, his low voice nearly a purr in his throat. His shadowed eyes are devilish and inviting, as though begging her to do all that she had dared. And maybe he is. He loves a good seduction as much as the next red-blooded male. So he repeats her name as she had so prettily asked, the two simple syllables husky as they languish on his lips. “Desire.”

    He moves closer, the shadow creature clinging to his neck pulling itself farther up until it settles upon his withers in eerie silence. Another creature, this one a large cat that moves with sensual grace, emerges from behind the galaxy-strewn mare. It twines briefly around her slender limbs before reaching Darkling, large head rubbing against his shoulder before turning to stare unblinkingly at Desire.

    The golden unicorn’s dark eyes gleam as they watch his lovely companion.

    “I was born here,” he finally replies, answering the question she had asked. “My father was king here once, and my mother queen,” he continues, answering the ones she hadn’t asked. A small, taunting smile toys with the corners of his lips. “But that is not why I chose Pangea.”

    you're burning up the sky, you're a constellation
    I think that I could die for this revelation



    @ Desire
    Reply
    #8
    Desire

    The huskiness of his voice when he repeats her name seems to go straight to her veins, an intoxicating kind of warmth spreading through her and settling as a heady buzz. It makes her focus on him sharpen while the rest of the world is suddenly blurred, and she tries to remember the last time someone tried to seduce her rather than the other way around. It is as if a veil has been pulled back to reveal what was undeniably in the undercurrent of their flirtatious banter, and Desire is suddenly under the impression that she is getting more than she bargained for—in the best way.

    “Then perhaps I won’t spare you,” comes her own breathy murmur accompanied by that same sultry smile, watching as he steps closer to her. She tears her gaze away from him only when she feels the silken touch of the shadow-cat against her legs, looking to watch the way the darkness wraps around her pale skin before continuing on to the golden stallion that called it. She wants to ask him what else he can do with his shadows, but she refrains, for now.

    He is tempting her, that much she will not deny, but forcing herself to resist has turned into her own personal challenge.

    “So you’re a prince,” she says in response to the information he offers, keeping a tone of admiration. It is not entirely fake—she does have an appreciation for power of all kinds. But royalty only went so far, and she was interested in many other things besides his lineage. Being king or queen, or the child of one, did not immediately equate to being interesting or worth knowing. Darkling had so far proved himself to be very intriguing, but she doubts it has anything to do with his parents. However, as someone who could never possibly step out of the shadow her parents had cast, she is perhaps a bit biased in her opinion on bloodline and heritage.

    She gives a curious tilt of her haloed head at his last statement, the silvery moonlight reflecting off the glassy black of her eyes and illuminating that inquisitive spark. “What made you choose Pangea, then?”
    so we're slaves to any semblance of touch, lord we should quit, but we love it too much


    @Darkling
    Reply
    #9
    Darkling

    It’s a delicious game, this push and pull between them. One they could so easily give themselves to while losing nothing in the process. Darkling is not a creature made for more than such impermanent delights. It would be a losing bet to imagine he might offer more than a few carnal moments of his time, but he doesn’t believe that she actually wants more than that anyway.

    With his lips curling into a sinful smirk, he closes the distance between them, watching her avidly. He doesn’t come quite close enough to touch, but the small breath of space that remains between them is more than enough to tease at what might yet come. She only looks away when the shadowy feline curls sinuously around her legs, though he cannot quite read her expression.

    Curiosity, he hopes. He could do so much with her curiosity.

    She is not quite ready to give herself over so wholly however. It’s a pleasing thing to know, and so wickedly enticing. There is something predatory in the way he gazes at her now. A hunger sharpened by knowing she would lead him on a merry chase. And oh how he does love a good chase.

    Then she calls him a prince, and he can’t stop the laugh that steals past his lips, throaty and faintly derisive. His dark eyes burn as they find her again, lips twitching with black mirth. “There are a wealth of useless titles, but none more so than that one,” Darkling murmurs. His lips twist into an approximation of a smile, though it is something far too sinister to be called such. “Much like refuse, I prefer to leave behind.”

    She watches him with those dark, reflective eyes of hers. He returns her stare, boldly unflinching, taunting. Daring. They are equals in this, each wanting the same thing but both refusing to be the first to break. A hum of illicit delight rises in Darkling’s chest, and when she asks the obvious in the wake of his declaration, he allows the wicked grin on his lips to grow. “There is beauty in such desolation, don’t you think?”

    you're burning up the sky, you're a constellation
    I think that I could die for this revelation



    @ Desire
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