He snorted. "I WAS planning on going upstairs to the room I was renting and changing....but thank you, again." He gave her a wry smile, and it slowly fixed in place. He looked at his watch and swore.
"I forgot!" He made an exceptionally amazing leap from the chair he had previously collapsed in and dashed up the stairs two at a time. Coobi sighed and rolled his large grey eyes.
"Miss, follow, if you wish...Master is working on a potion that needs to be taken care of at specific times. And once he starts working, he won't stop until maybe tomorrow if Coobi is lucky. At the very least, you can see what he's working on." The elf trudged up the stairs after is wayward master.
Gemma pondered the elf's question, glancing after Orion. "I think I will go up and see," she answered after several seconds consideration, moving to follow Coobi up the stairs, "Please don't tell Orion this, but I'm actually rather interested in Potions, mostly because I'm not really any good at them myself. Too much concentrating on one thing for too long, in my opinion..."
They reached the top of the stairs, and Coobi directed her to turn to her left. Gemma headed along the hallway, staring at the various doors. "This one, miss!" Coobi called from behind her, and Gemma turned to see that the elf had stopped a couple of doors back. She trotted back to the door, which was closed, and knocked lightly, then entered without waiting for an answer. She put her hand over her mouth to hide her smile at the sight that greeted her.
Not one or two cauldrons, but four seperate cauldrons bubbled over their own contained fire, which was an interesting shade of periwinkle. Three of the containers were smaller, ancillary potions while the fourth was the 'project' that Orion was most focused on. Due to the fires, the room was hotter than normal, and Orion had his tunic off revealing his torso. He was hastily measuring out what looked like salt, but pink, and slowly stirring it in to the larger cauldron. The potion in it was like the ocean in small scale: deep blue-green, briney smelling, and topped with miniature white capped waves. The pink salt dropped into the fluid and sank to midway down the vessel before clumping into a fish shape and making a circuit around the potion, then dissolved. Orion gave it three stirs with his wand and relaxed, banking the fire and siphoning out the potion into a small keg. He looked back at the door with a mad-scientist look, gave a nod of greeting, and then went to tend the other potions.
One was the Sober-up potion, and he was adding catnip, spearamint, and some unitentified powder to it. The second was Veritaserum and seemed to be nearing completion. The third smelled of old socks, rotten lemons, and ginger. This was most probably his Skunk Stink potion. He siphoned it out into seven small phials and banked the fire, cleaning out the cauldron. It was then packed into a trunk. While in the trunk, he pulloed out a black tee-shirt and pulled it on.
"Welcome to my lair...I assume Coobi brought you up so that I'd stop working." He had a wry half smile.
Gemma had seen her share of shirtless boys, everyone from famous male model wizards in fashion magazines to ardent fanboys with things like "I AM YOUR SLAVE" and "MARRY ME!!!" painted on their chests. But never before had she seen a man who... affected her the way Orion did. It wasn't that he was the most muscular man she'd ever seen, or even any other thing of that sort; it was just that his lithe frame was exactly to Gemma's taste, and actually seeing what she had already guessed at was almost more than she could handle. The rate of her heart's beat was decidedly faster after only a few seconds of staring at him than it had been even when she'd been scared of the hooligans. She was also flushing, she was quite sure, and had the feeling that it had very little to do with the high temperature of the room.
It's not fair, she thought almost despairingly, All he does is stand there bare-chested for less than a minute, and I'm practically drooling! Her jaw clenched in indignation. Not to mention the fact that every ploy I've tried on him has, for all intensive purposes, failed. If he were any other guy, he would've practically worshiped me, after even just one of those things I did.... and yet he still hasn't broken!
It was difficult for Gemma to conceive of a boy that could resist her wiles. Ever since she had entered puberty, all she had had to do to get a boy to do what she wanted was give him a coquettish look, show a little skin, or do a sultry pose. They all, without fail, had fallen under her spell, and she hadn't had to do a single other thing to them to keep them in her thrall. But Orion refused to fit into this mold, and was in fact playing her own game back at her. It was infuriating and intriguing all at the same time.
Fine, she thought recklessly, Two can play at this game of attraction. I just have to raise the stakes again... "For a lair, this isn't bad," she commented aloud, then sauntered over to the double bed that sat in the corner under the window. "And you're right about my reason for being here," she added, slipping out of her flats and sitting on the bed. She lay back, sideways to Orion, and stretched, showing off basically everything. She wound up on her back with one knee bent, so that her skirt only covered the top few inches of her thighs, and her hands under her neck, causing her upper back to arch slightly.
"Mmmm, this lair even had a comfortable bed," she sighed, then looked at Orion. "Now, why don't you tell me all about that potion of yours. It looks fascinating, but if I should happen to fall asleep," she faked a delicate yawn, "at least I'll be comfortable..."
His smile never faltered as he watched her go and pose on his bed. If this weren't a ploy, he mused, I'd be likely to think poorly of her reputation...then again, she said she's the Ice Queen... A few seconds of thinking about it made it click. He wasn't drooling over her boots and bowing to her whim (as far as he let on) so she was trying to trap him into a hormone laden situation. Lesser men would have fumbled and failed, and Orion too nearly fell prey to the Arctic Fox sprawled on his bed. Casually, he he made a remark that would either send her vaulting off the bed or affirm something he suspected.
"I've not washed those sheets in two weeks...dunno if you should be writhing on them like that. Your parents might suspect somehting." He gave her an evil, evil grin and continued in explaining the oceanic potion.
"That is called Maroro, or the Sea-speaker potion. Hard to brew and valuable to many coastal tribes off of Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas. Father wanted a batch to encourage negotiations for a Gillyweed forest off of Canada."
Damn her, he couldn't help but stare at her stretched out like that. He was a man of honor, but every person had their breaking point, and he would NOT compromise himself like that in front of her. Or sink to the fiend's level who had planned on molesting her.
"Ice Queen indeed...more like an Arctic Fox." He mused the sentence again, this time aloud and under his breath. If she heard, so what.
This thought ran through Gemma's head after Orion's comment about the sheets. The idea that he had slept on them... and who knew what else on them... for the past two weeks was enough to make her stiffen in surprise and, to some degree, disgust; she herself couldn't bear to sleep on the same sheets for more than a week, and the thought that someone thought differently, particularly someone she was being forced to marry, was revolting to her. But I might be able to get him to change... she thought before she could stop herself. She was instantly furious with herself for actually acting as though it was a given fact that she would marry him; even though it actually was, she refused to give either him or her parents the satisfaction of accepting it without a fight.
Even worse was the fact that the description of the potion was actually interesting to her, so much so that her pose shifted slightly before she could notice. This made her even more upset, for it showed her once again that she was vulnerable to this boy. The only thing that gave her any sort of pleasure over her accomplishments was the look in Orion's eyes: he was very clearly doing his best not to look at her, but continued to do so, his eyes flicking to her and running the length of her form. He also looked a bit flushed, something Gemma herself was becoming quite familiar with.
"Ice Queen indeed...more like an Arctic Fox," he muttered under his breath, still staring at her. Gemma nearly grinned; she had him, or was at least very close. Just a little more, she thought, trying to to smile, Just a little more.... She rolled over, keeping her knees bent and locking her ankles together, and pressed her upper body up with her elbows, tilting her head to one side.
"You really think so?" she asked, "An interesting comparison...." She bit her lip, as if in thought; it was already one of her thinking poses, but she had a modified version which she used now. "I think I like it," she concluded finally, allowing a little grin to quirk her lips, "But I do wonder what that makes you..." An Arctic hare, if this works...
A wolverine if you're not careful... He thought in her direction. Instead he gave her a wan smile, He considered a biting reply and discarded several before he said something hurtful. She was doing her damndest to wrap him around her little finger. Ironic then, that he already was there, had been from the first time he saw her picture. He finally settled on a jibe and tossed it out.
"Do you always try this hard or am I a special case? And, am I allowed to take pictures or will memory have to suffice for your decidedly vixen-in-heat poses?"
He grabbed his desk chair and swung it around, sitting it down with the back toward her. He straddled the seat and crossed his arms over the back. He sat and locked eyes with her as he rested his chin on his arms.
"And, if memory will have to suffice, hold still so I can watch you properly."
Gemma was up off the bed so fast she barely registered moving. She had expected any number of responses from Orion -- giving in, continuing to fight, just plain ignoring her, even -- but not this. He was taunting her, but also getting to enjoy everything she was doing without seeming perverted about it. This made her so angry that she wouldn't have been surprised if she had been told that smoke was coming out of her ears.
"Damn it, Orion!" she yelled, stalking over to him, "What is WRONG with you?!?" She was in the process of raising her hand to slap him again when she remembered the promise she'd made... and the thing he'd promised in return. She managed to stop her hand before it struck, but she kept it raised, just in case.
"Why do you have to be so.... so.... IMPOSSIBLE??" she went on, her voice getting higher and higher in pitch, "For your information, I've never, ever had to try that hard before, but only because everyone else is.... I don't know, sane? Or maybe just HUMAN?" Her upraised hand went to her forehead; it was trembling slightly.
"What am I going to do with you?" she wondered for the second time that day.
He cocked an eyebrow at her when she began her tirade and visibly flinched when she raised her hand to slap him. He turned the move into a sidelong glance. A large grin was plastered across his face and he teased more gently.
"You know...you're like a fisherman who keeps reeling in after the fish is already in your net..." He let the similie sink in for a moment, but still stood and moved closer to the incensed blonde. Experimentally, he gathered her into his arms, comforting her.
"And I'm not always impossible...sometimes I'm asleep." He waited for a second. "Just teasing. You've not ever had anybody push back before, have you? Well, I've never had anyone push me the way you have. Take heart, mon amor, if I didn't like you, I'd have ignored you completely. You may be the arctic fox, but I can rival Hades himself in coldness. Can I at least thaw your heart into Persephone and make you my bride?"
Gemma froze the instant Orion touched her. On the one hand, it took everything she had to not pull away from his embrace; on the other, she also had to fight with herself not to mold her body to his, for she could tell instinctively that her curves would fit neatly against him as if they were two puzzle pieces made to fit together.
"I get the feeling you'd be impossible even when you were sleeping," she muttered, allowing herself a smile at his joke. Then she sighed, fighting to sort through her conflicting emotions. "And no, no-one's ever fought back." She smirked. "Usually they don't want to, I think. But I hope you will allow me the satisfaction of being pleased that I did affect you, even if just a little. Honestly, I could barely tell...."
She gave in to her "wanting-to-get-closer-to-him" a little, wrapping her arms around his waist, which was at a level with her ribcage. "You can try to thaw me, but I warn you, you'd better be ready for a challenge," she told him, her eyes sparkling with supressed mirth, "No-one has yet come even close, so...." She stretched upward onto her tiptoes so that her face was only an inch from his. "Give it your best shot, Hades," she stated, nearly giggling aloud.
He dipped her and kissed her unexpectedly. He held her horizontal for several seconds, melting to fit her shape. Just as quickly he returned to a standing position and released the kiss. He said nothing to her, but had a very self satisfied grin. The expression was one that Eclipse could claim proudly, and oddly fitted the young man. His nearly golden eyes danced with mischief.
"Was that a start or should I make another attempt?" Orion fervently hoped that he would need to make another attempt. The look of shock on her face though, was a thing of beauty.
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Or would fall, as the case were.
Gemma hadn't really known what it was like to be unable to breathe.... until that moment. Orion's "attempt" had caught her completely off-guard, so much so in fact that she knew it was showing on her face.
Bloody hell, she thought incredulously, Now that..... THAT was unexepected! Her entire body was reacting to the feeling of Orion's lips on hers. She was literally trembling from head to toe; if she hadn't had her arms around him, her knees would've given out. She was still trying to catch her breath from the kiss, but she would probably have been gasping slightly anyway. Her body was now pressed tightly to his, her hands sliding up his chest to wrap around his neck.
"D-do that again," she stammered breathlessly, then, before her could, kissed him herself, drawing is head down to hers and capturing his lips with hers as her leg slid up to rest against his thigh.
Oh bliss, oh joyful muse to sing such a song of triumph! She brought his head to hers and kissed him again. Softer, but still full of the same passion he himself had displayed earlier. He returned the kiss and had a small shudder of delight trail up his spine. This was bliss. A thought froze him, nagged him, and pestered him until he had to forcefully break away from Gemma to entertain it. He held her at arms length for a moment and concentrated. It would have been easier were there only one train of thought.
Again, Orion's mind was fractured into the primal and the responsible. The Want and the Wait. The Id and Superego. The two parts fought briefly over control. Carry out this thought and passion further to the logical and evolutionary end? Be the gentleman and deny both of them what they both clearly thought they wanted? Was there a proper answer?
They weren't married yet and she was of noble lineage. Passion or not, Orion would honor the contract they had both signed. Damn, though. Damn.
He was still holding her at arms length. A quesitoning look came across her face and he had to look away. Damn. He gave a deep breath and took another step back, severing touch completely. Slowly his head shook.
"I-I'm sorry." Color mounted his cheeks for a moment and he sat heavily in the chair he had previously occupied.
Everything was topsy turvy, upsidedown, sideways, and backwards. He needed to clear his head and couldn't.
There was no "breath" before this. There was no "touch" before this. There was no "taste", or "smell", or "emotion", or any of the other things Gemma had thought she had known, prior to the sensations she was currently experiencing. There was only this, this..... perfection.
And then it ended. Quite abruptly, too. Gemma was suddenly being held at arm's length by Orion, and it felt to her as if oxygen itself had been denied her. She could see he was trying to think about something, but what was thinking at a time like this, when she could not breathe without him? Finally he looked away from her, and even let go of her arms, stepping away from her, shaking his head. "I-I'm sorry," he mumbled, his face coloring slightly. He sat down heavily in his chair and rested his forehead in the palm of one hand.
Gemma leaned instinctively towards him when he stepped away, like a drowning person did with the surface of the water. He mustn't stop now, he..... he couldn't! Didn't he know that she would die without him helping her to truly breathe?
It was then that she realized what she was thinking. This was Orion she was longing for, the boy she had promised herself she would hate just earlier that day, the boy who had been forced on her by her parents, the boy who, only a few minutes before, she had wanted to slap across the face in her fury. The boy she wanted, no, needed more than any other was the one she considered her worst enemy.
Gemma collapsed back onto the edge of the bed, her head falling into her hands, which rested palm-up on her knees. A sob shook her slim frame, though whether it was from longing or dispair or both she couldn't tell. "Damn, damn, damn," she murmured, her voice breaking, "How I hate you..." Though she didn't know if she was addressing Orion... or herself.
"Yeah..." He wasn't sure if he was agreeing with her hating him or hating herself. Either way, he felt pretty crappy with himself.
"I...IO do love you...that was amazing. In all the world, all the sunrises, all the sunsets and stars and moon...never was my breath taken like that." His eyes raised to meet hers.
"Thats why I had to stop. You deserve so much more than this room, this inn, not married..." his voice cracked and he looked down again, hiding that sex was still at the front of his mind. Damn him for having to stop. She deserved everything that he could offer, more. He sighed. This was going to be harder than he thought.
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Trevor Williams: And here's a shout box to use in the meantime, too!
Sept 4, 2014 20:16:38 GMT -8
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