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 Last Light [Dara/Ava]

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PostSubject: Last Light [Dara/Ava]   Tue Apr 07, 2015 6:16 pm

April 7th, 2015 - 7:43 PM
Starling City Beach


It was early in the year for most people to be spending much time on the beach, but the cold had never bothered Aldara. In truth, she was perfectly happy to spend time on the beach in Maine in the dead of winter, so April in Georgia was a pleasantly warm day as far as the young dragon was concerned. By the standards of Starling, it was still a bit chilly, but she didn't care. She'd spent enough time pretending at being cold with the humans, wearing wool coats when she went outside, and she had quite enough of it. It was warm enough for her lack of warm attire to merely be a slight oddity, and so out she would be. It was like Aldara to go out somewhere, out of the way of other people, and wait for night to fall. It made it easy for her to take her true form and fly where no one would bother her, or freak out at the sight of a dragon. In the meanwhile though, she kept herself occupied.

She sat on a bench some distance from the boardwalk, alone and with only a few people in sight, beneath a street light that kicked on as the sun began falling toward the horizon, setting the sky aflame in red and gold. Her attire was more summer than spring - a light, flowing dress of black and orange that rippled in the breeze that came off the ocean. She had left her long auburn hair loose as well, tucked behind her ears to get it to behave at least a little as she looked down at the book in her lap. It was a heavy, leather bound tome, Cyrillc script lining the spine and filling the pages, though her steel blue eyes tracked the lines of characters without hesitation. She could read Russian quite well, as she could most Eastern European languages, those countries being where she had spent most of her youth.

She looked up at the sunset from time to time, a slight smile tugging at her lips with the sight, but she glanced down to the book inevitably, reading by the fading light of the sun and counting on the light next to her bench to fill in where the sun would inevitably fail, sometime in the next half hour she imagined. Of course, she could read well enough in the dark, too. But as she was not one of the supernaturals who cared to advertise what she was, the light would give her a decent excuse. Her eyes did catch a different sight though - a man, his steps weaving to and fro on the steps as he came down the walk toward her bench.

For her part, she returned her gaze to her book, shifted her feet just a little where she had buried them in the sand, and ignored him. Alas, she knew better... the whistle that caught her ears as the man approached was as unsurprising as it was unwelcome. "Lady... you are the best thing I've seen all day. Whatcha doin' all the way out here? There are clubs calling our name, you know."

The dragon closed her eyes, letting out a soft breath. She could ignore him. He would persist, though. "I am reading. It's Anna Karenina. I meant to read it when I was younger, but somehow it slipped my mind." she said, matter of factly - and completely truly. She remembered hearing much about the book when it had been written, originally in several installments. But she had been young, and... otherwise occupied, with different pursuits. Catching up on the 'must reads' now was a gradual pastime, since her life so far in Starling had been largely aimless since arriving. That was fine, she was still settling into this new life, having changed her identity after knowing people would question her lack of aging if she stayed in her last town any longer. So she had changed a few things about her glamour, just enough to look a slightly different person, and moved on. It was actually much more like her original glamour though - she had always been fondest of that first face, the one she'd formed in Hungary so long ago.

The man, of course, looked blank. "Well... I mean surely there's something better for a woman like you..."

"I've no interest. You seem to have been enjoying your trips to the clubs, please go find another one." she said, just as coldly. Aldara had never mastered the human tactic of 'letting one down softly'. But when his hand fell on her half-bare shoulder, eyes no doubt finding the low cut of her dress, she closed the book.

"Oh, come on babe... as hot as you -"

Aldara turned to look at him finally, a radiant smile forming as her eyes met his, and he broke off abruptly, apparently enraptured. She reached a slender hand up, setting it on his chest, tracing up to the askew necktie... before she seized on it, curling her fingers into a vicegrip on his tie and collar, and she yanked him down - only just regulating her strength enough to make it plausibly human - so his head smacked against the back of the bench with a sharp crack. She released him after that, leaving him to collapse to the ground as dazed as he had already been confused. That much done, the smile vanished as quickly as it had appeared, and she let out a weary sigh, lifting her book and standing. "I did not give you leave to touch me." she said, her voice devoid of heat. The dragon simply didn't care. Perhaps it would teach him a lesson... perhaps not.

She left then, moving down the beach away from the boardwalk, the wind picking up just slightly so that her dress flowed out around her legs, fluttering toward the city while she walked. It would be dark soon. If he pursued her, she would simply eat him. And not in the way he wanted. She had not yet had dinner, after all.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Light [Dara/Ava]   Fri Apr 10, 2015 11:30 am

After her surprise encounter with the dragons, Ava had been spending an awful lot of time thinking about her.  She'd missed so much these last ten years.  Not so much of seeing the world and how it changed, but her people, her friends, her consorts… that and having people wait on her hand and foot, do as she said, then again, that had never really been her Highness's style.  She was the one who begged her parents to hire help from other countries so that she could speak with them, learn their language.  After she'd met Ling Chao, he insisted that her mother hire a Chinese cook so she could practice her Chinese and improve.  That, and she had located a Dragon tutor.  He was a kind man, so small and frail, but he had taught her to study and learn.  Reading, writing, sword play, and even, the very basics of the Dragonian language.  It was a hard tongue, but Ava practiced as much as she could.  She had insisted that Sir Krass stay with her family and teach her… for Ava had met Miss Aldara, and her life had forever changed.  

They'd clicked very well, after all, they were both young, royalty, and had to learn early the rules of politics.  They'd sat in counsel meetings and court hearings together, listened to the parliament drone on about things that neither of them cared for, and most importantly, shared many stolen hours of moonlight together.  She was secure in Ava's heart forever, and Ava knew that the Swedish lady also held her in high esteem.  That is why she sought her out now.  Once you hold a dragon's heart, you always held it… so why had no one come to her rescue in a time of peril?  Ten years she'd had to stew on it and now she would have answers.  

There was a piece of her heart that already knew where she could find the dragon, however, Ava cheated and, simply, asked around.  She could see her now.  Dara, beautiful Aldara, reading a book and being approached by a stranger.  All of the sudden, Ava's interest was perked.  It was no secret that the golden eagle was a jealous type.  She'd never been irrational or acted out, but the few that belonged to her heart belonged to her.  

Ava slowly strode towards them, listening to the conversation on the wind. She was not truly alarmed, until this man reached out and touched her.  Something inside Ava's chest tightened, and them in her back.  She jerked her head, just as if she needed to pop her neck, but something so much worse was happening.  She had a fierce mind when it came to protection.  Eagles had been used as terrible weapons for hundreds of years, and Ava was no exception.  In a flash, she'd produced two wings from her back.  They were not the angelic white wings or the fae's insect type, but these were the wings of an eagle.  Golden feathers, trimmed in a dusted cinnamon stretched out around her.  Tip to tip, they were about a 13 foot span.  Damn anyone who would see her, she was going to take matters into her own hands.  

In one motion, Ava spread her wings and lifted herself from the ground.  She rose high in the air and then turned her eyes to the man who'd touched Dara.  He was already on the ground, Aldara must have struck him, but that would not soften his fate.  She dove now, fast, hard, and as swift as the birds of prey that she so admired.  When she approached about ten feet from the ground, Ava changed her body position.  Feet first, wings spread as tall as they would allow, she landed hard on his chest.  Ribs collapsed from the impact, a sound that was barely human erupted from his mouth as he looked at the mock angel before him.  He couldn't speak, she'd knocked any breath that had been left in him out.  

Ava's golden eyes glared at him as she looked down at his paled face, "You'll not touch her again," the eagle held her head a little higher.  It was obvious the man wanted to say who are you so Ava answered him, "I am her guardian angel.  And the angel of all woman out there.  Every time you touch, every time you look, search the skies miscreant, because I will massacre you." She stepped off him now and looked to Dara… then back to her victim, "You've been warned."

She'd leave it at that.  Leave him alive.  Let him tell his wild story about the two women he'd just met.  Her golden eyes started to fade back to their green color, but the wings remained a bit longer.  Dropped her head to the dragon, and spreading her wings in a sort of bow, she simpler greeted her friend, "Your Grace." What do you say to someone who had abandoned you for ten years?

[img]https://33.media.tumblr.com/1dcd33756c420da4dea9e379733f8a86/tumblr_n4i8uxfXJV1tsd68xo3_500.gif  [just an idea of what she'd look like, minus the horns Wink] [/img]
[just an idea of what she'd look like, minus the horns Wink]
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PostSubject: Re: Last Light [Dara/Ava]   Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:18 pm

Aldara had been walking away already, content to forget the man and his attempted transgression. In truth, he wasn't worth it. There was the thought of what he might do to another, but she was a dragon. Rarely did such things enter into her mind. She might have to keep an eye out, regardless... he'd been given something of a pass. He had better not abuse it.

It seemed, however, that someone took a dimmer view of his actions even than her.

She smelled her before she heard her fly through the air and slam into the man. Such a familiar scent, and one that had always brought her comfort and joy. Dara had come to Ava's home at a dark time in her life. The young dragon had been held captive, bled until she was too weak to move for the power that mages could extract from her lifeblood. Alone and in pain for nearly three years before her family had finally found the ones responsible and destroyed them. Not just them, but their hometowns, their families, their very legacies - dragons not only could be cruel in such a way, they took a certain pride in it. It was one thing to slay a dragon in battle, this they could respect. It was another to try and isolate and enslave one of their own. Even her family's rivals had given at least some aid in the effort.

It was only a few years after that when her mother decided it would do her some good to get out of the mountains. To see other people again. The eagles had been chosen. Dara was young then, barely even able to cast a glamour, and less than inclined to do so after her experiences with humans. She had finally learned again after flying with Ava. Her human form looked at least a touch Hungarian for that very reason, not because of where she was born or her bloodline, but for her feelings about the place when she had decided upon it. Ava had been warm to her, a true friend, and more as the years went on. There was no one who held the same place in her heart, no one who could ever mean more to her.

So Ava's scent... well it had a great deal of impact on her. She turned around, heedless of the violence being inflicted on the hapless idiot drunk, a beaming smile on her lips. It had been years since she saw Ava last. Not terribly unusual - they were both long-lived creatures, and dragons especially were known for their penchant for losing years at a time to whatever they happened to have buried themselves in, or even simply hibernating. Dara hadn't been sleeping, but she had been involved in playing at a human life as a surgeon for some time. Ava had, last she heard, been involved in some of her own games. And even for a young dragon the years could pass quickly. Had it truly been twelve years? She had to go back through her memory to confirm it. But it didn't seem so important now that she saw her. She would always be thrilled to see her eagle.

Aldara was only patient so long as Ava was wrapping things up with the drunk, but when she moved away and bowed to the dragon... For a moment she was confused. It was an oddly formal thing to do, but she dismissed it quickly, walking and even taking a few running steps across the sand until she wrapped the other woman in her arms, holding her tight. Her words slipped into Hungarian without much of a thought - it was only the second human language she'd learned. "I missed you, beloved." she whispered, pressing her face into Ava's hair and taking a deep breath of her scent. It was a comfort she had been sorely missing. Independent as she was, being in this new city, even with Jade...

It was some time before she relaxed her hold, drawing back slightly and lifting her hand, gently brushing her fingers back through Ava's hair. The smile she wore changed her drastically from the cold individual who had greeted the drunk earlier. Her true, genuine smile was reserved for only a few. Superficially it was similar to the one she'd tricked him with, but that smile had never reached her eyes, never had anything but ice behind it. What she wore now was nothing like it.

"You did not respond to my letters... I thought I would have to hunt for you." she said softly, but there was no accusation. Dara did not have a problem being out of contact - but she was deeply glad to see someone she loved once again.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Light [Dara/Ava]   Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:03 pm

An embrace would say so many things that the eagle had forgotten.  The feeling of a familiar, but long forgotten memory, stirred in her mind as she felt the sincere embrace of her dragon friend.  There was so much strength in a dragon and eagles, though the king of the birds, were so frail in comparison.  Dara's arms wrapped around her and her nose fell to Ava's hair.  Scent, yes, scent was something far more important to a dragon to a tiger, to a lion, anything except the Avain race.  Yes, she could smell things better than most humans, but scent was not her strong point.  Ava's was sight.  She could see far better than the mammals that walked the land, the creatures of the deep ocean, and perhaps, compatible with the ancient dragonians themselves.  She had seen Aldara in all her beauty, and that was enough to trigger the Avian on what was to happen.  

She could remember the first day Aldara was brought to Hungary.  Of course, Ava was just a small child, she did not understand, but she did remember her father telling her a specific command,
"Ava, this is Aldara.  She is a special guest to this house and country.  Why don't you show her all around your home and make certain that she has everything that she needs.  She's had something scary happen to her and could really use a friend." He allowed his daughter to take Aldara's hand, "Come on,' the Avian had said to her dragon friend, I promise nothing bad will happen to you while I'm here."  She took Dara's hand and her father whispered one last command to Ava, gaining a sly smile from his princess, "teach her to fly again Ava.  Show her the sky is limitless."

That was the day that had started everything.  She'd kept her command to her father and her promise to Aldara… at least she thought she had.  Though a dragon, Dara could become a damsel in distress… and Ava a bird of prey.  Dara spoke HUngarian to her now, a comfort that Ava had lost in her years behind silver bars.  "And I you." she said, trying not to revel in the obvious romantic greeting.  She had to remind herself why she'd sought Dara out.  Her dragon spoke of letters… twelve years worth of letters.  

As their embrace broke, Ava looked Aldara over with a blue haze.  So many years and it was as if no time had passed.  Her friend, her beloved and her familiar spoke as if Ava had been on vacation from the world.  "Letters?" she said coolly, obviously her ice had yet to thaw, "Hard to get letter where I have been, Aldara.  It's hard to get anything, especially a scrap of food or a blanket… forgive me for no responding… I received no such thing."

She folded her wings tight to her back, and soon, they ceased to exist.  Feathers were released and fell to the ground, hundreds of golden feathers to be scattered by the wind.  She looked more like a human now, less like an angel, and that was just foreshadowing the mood.  Ava loved her dear friend, and she knew Aldara loved her in return, but absence, in this case, did not make the heart grow fonder, it only brewed isolation and resentment.  

"Tell me, Dara… what have you been doing these past ten years?  Better yet, I will go first… I have sat in solitary isolation behind a silver barred cage with an iron cuff attached to each ankle.  I have been beaten, battered, bruised, but each day I talked myself out of suicide by the hope that I might see a familiar face.  Someone to rescue me.  Someone to find me.  And each day I lay my head down on a steel framed bed with only the hope of tomorrow to sooth my suffering.  Not a word from a friend, not a visit, not a letter… nothing.  The only news from the outside were inquiries from my parents, and it was mostly political decrees that they needed my name signed to.  You see, the whole family has to provide a signature to make it into law.  I was politically bullied while being confined to a silver cage."

There was no real emotion behind her words, mostly, they were void of anything other than the horrid twinge of isolation that she felt when she recalled her days in prison.  She'd been nothing there.  Out here, she held so many titles, so many names, but in there… in there she was a murderer.  Ten years she'd held it in, and now… she could finally say it.

"Why did you abandon me to such an agonizing fate? [/i]
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PostSubject: Re: Last Light [Dara/Ava]   Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:14 pm

Dara knew immediately that something was off. It had been in the greeting, and now it was in how Ava reacted to her embrace. It wasn't that there was nothing there... for a moment she had wondered if Ava might have stopped caring for her, but she knew that wasn't it. There was something covering that up. Another emotion that, right now, was taking precedence. The question was: What?

When Ava said she hadn't gotten any of the letters, Aldara frowned, her formerly radiant smile vanished as she tried to piece together what the problem was. How could she not have gotten the letters? It wasn't as though she had send them via bottles on the ocean current or anything. But when Ava finally told the story...

Aldara looked as though she had been slapped. Stoic as she normally was in the face of bad news (and the majority of people) the look of shock and dismay in her eyes was almost equivalent to a scream. Ava had been locked up, and she had not known? All this time, she had been by herself, expecting a rescue that she had every right to expect from her dragon, and Aldara hadn't lifted a finger. Hadn't come out of the sky and brought enough wind and thunder to turn the place to rubble as she would have in a second if she had known...

Looking back up to Ava, the dragon fell to her knees in the sand, taking one of Ava's hands in both of hers. "I did not know..." she breathed, shaking her head slowly, still not wanting to believe what had happened. "Of all people, Ava... if I had known I would never have let them keep you..." Her voice cracked softly as she said that, tears welling in her eyes. The dragon had never been one to cry. The trauma of her early years had taken that from her, she thought. But here was the one who had pulled her back from that pit, suffering something very similar.

"It is not the first decade we have spent apart... I did not like it, but I did not think anything was wrong. I tried to visit you, I was told you were out, that you would contact me when you were free. So I sent my letters to your family..." She paused, shaking her head again. That was definitely a wrinkle. Wouldn't Ava's family have known? Why wouldn't they have told her about it? Why did the letters never get to Ava... unless the family was trying to keep her incarceration secret. Lying to everyone... Aldara in particular.

"I do not know if you can forgive me, Ava... I will do anything I can to make it up to you." Her eyes hardened as she said the next part. "And if you tell me who is responsible for all this, I will absolutely make them pay..."
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