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[Home After the Fire]


[Master Post]


Alavesa’s hands moved so that they were both at the back of his head, her fingers pushing into his hair and tangling the locks around her them, balling handfuls of strands into her fists. When she pulled, it was not gently or lovingly. It was not with the passion of a long denied lover. It was with the sudden and seething anger of one whose fear and concern over the safety of a loved one had been just as great that she pulled back Rieldunai’s head and glared up into his eyes.

“Is that it, then?” she demanded with no small amount of vehemence as she moved her hands to his chest and pushed at him with equal fervence. Twisting away from him so she could pull herself into a sitting position, she gave him a sideways look, the fire dancing in her gaze as their eyes met. “We find you half dead and you just waltz out here and start manhandling me without so much as a comment on the weather? Do you have any idea how worried we’ve been? How worried some of us still are over Veren who, I’m assuming, doesn’t posses your rather impressive recuperative powers?” She huffed indignantly. “What happened, Rieldunai?”


For a single moment he remained in his half-kneeling position; his right hand was poised to grab at her and pull her back down toward him with all the care of a beast. He did not. He merely stopped all motion and remained, like a statue, still and fighting the tide of his ire at this sudden change.

She’ll be the death of me – or I her…

“We were ambushed.” He began as he rose to a stand and turned away from the fire of their camp. “The Dark Brotherhood sent several powerful agents to ‘collect’ Veren. Clearly they were waiting for Veren and I to take positions off the boat and le-”

The events came crashing back with such full force that he stepped back as if some great blow had been delivered. Staggering he moved further away from the camp only to spin on his heels and face the fires, eyes dancing toward the shore. Where no horses stood. Where no manes of white and black wavered with the wind. Where no familiar grunt could be heard. Every second of their ambush, the attack, and their capture. The sound of the altmer barking orders was as clear as if he were still there. The feel of his body succumbing to the ruins of battler. The smell of blood and steel – the sight of Artax.

“……….. Ar… art…. ax….” A trembling mutter escaped him as his right hand came across his mouth to seal shut whatever howl wanted desperately to break free. Tears fell freely but they did not fall hard. His left hand twitched, as if ready to reach for a sword that no longer rested on his hips.  

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