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    Post by tuck on 15/10/12, 11:50 am

    It was past 2 in the morning, by the time Kallista arrived at the highwind, and not a soul was in sight. Quietly, she made her way across the empty foredeck towards Brenn's cabin with her heart racing.

    As she approached his door she noticed that the light was still on from inside and she hesitated. Was he... "entertaining" someone? Her heart fell in her chest and she found herself wondering for the first time if he would be happy to see her.

    Strange. She didn't remember ever feeling this... possessive... before. That was something new.

    Hesitantly she reached out and knocked gently on the door, holding her breath as she heard soft footsteps coming towards it. As it opened she put on her best smile.

    "Hi," she said.
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 15/10/12, 05:39 pm

    Brenn eyes were unfocused, lost in thought vaguely staring at the stack of broadsheets and the huge open tome that held the Highwind's account records. It was a huge thing he was considering, a radical departure from the path he'd seen for his life, but it was beginning to feel increasingly necessary. The warm bourbon in the glass in his left hand gave silent testament to how preoccupied he was.

    It took him a moment to register the knock on the door, then another moment to consider whether he wanted to answer it. It was late, probably Yarr with some business information, or Farro just wanting a late night chat...

    Sighing, he rose to his feet and crossed his cabin, wearily opening the door. A second passed as his brain registered what he saw.

    Without thinking, he stepped forward and embraced her, his lips almost cutting off her brief "hi." He held the kiss for what seemed like hours, not willing to let the tiefling go for the moment. After a moment, he came back to himself, pulling back enough to rest his forehead against the curve of her horns.

    "Hi yourself."
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 15/10/12, 07:18 pm

    Kallista felt her breath taken away by the urgency of Brenn's kiss. She eagerly returned the embrace, allowing him to hold onto her for as long as he needed.

    "Wow..." she said with a grin when he finally pulled himself back, "I was gonna ask if you missed me... but I guess that would be a pretty dumb question now, huh?"
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 15/10/12, 07:40 pm

    Brenn answered the grin with his own as he responded.

    "Well, I'm hoping I can make sure it won't be a question in the future."

    There was a short pause as the tiefling could see her companion marshaling courage for something, a strange look she couldn't place coming over his features before he continued.

    "I love you."

    Kallista had seen Brenn nude plenty, but the look in his eyes made it seem like she was genuinely seeing him naked for the first time.
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 15/10/12, 08:03 pm

    Kallista stood for a moment with her eyes wide, as though she didn't understand what he'd said. She put one hand lightly on Brenn's chest

    "You..." she said, but her voice cracked and she found she couldn't continue talking.

    Tears welled up in her eyes as she pressed her head against him. Her knees felt suddenly weak.

    "No one..." she said after a moment, wiping away her tears, "No one's ever said that to me before. Not... not like that."

    She pulled his head gently down and kissed him again. It was different from her the kisses he had come to expect from her; softer, and yet somehow far more passionate.

    "I love you too."
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 15/10/12, 10:11 pm

    Brenn's face showed deep contentment, with a hint of uncertainty.

    "I...I'm pretty sure I've never said it and meant it like this before."

    He gave her another brief but emotional kiss.

    "I can't believe you're home. Lady Luck smiles on us again."

    He just stared at her a moment, wanting to remember her, and this moment, forever. Finally, he flicked his head towards the cabin's interior.

    "Care to come inside?" he offered with a smile.
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 15/10/12, 10:19 pm

    Kallista nodded and stepped inside, still not completely trusting her voice. Her heart was still pounding in her chest.

    She followed him into the familiar room and sat down in one of the ornate captain's chairs near his table to collect herself.

    "Gods, I'm so glad to see you again. I honestly wasn't sure if I ever would. We almost didn't all make it back..." she said, and then cut herself off.

    "I think maybe we could both use a drink."
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 12:39 am

    Brenn squeezed her shoulder as he walked past her to his liquor cabinet, retrieving a bottle a particularly important dwarven rum.

    "How did you manage to get home? Thru's made it pretty clear few people have, or can, make that trip here in Nerath."
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 16/10/12, 08:29 am

    "We had to make a deal," Kallista said, looking somewhat exhausted, "Well... several deals, really. I really hope none of them come back to bite us in the ass, but I have my doubts."

    As he approached with the bottle and glasses she reached out and put her hand on his.

    "I... all of us had time to do a lot of thinking while we were gone. None of us knew when, or even if we'd ever come back. On top of that, if we'd died while off the plane...."

    Her voice trailed off momentarily. She rubbed her thumb lightly over the back of his hand.

    "For the first time ever I honestly didn't know if I'd ever see you again... and it scared the hell out of me."
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 12:05 pm

    Brenn set the glass down lightly, turning his hand to intertwine their fingers. He knelt to roughly eye level, being sure to hold Kallista's gaze.

    "I know the feeling."

    He leaned forward for a quick kiss before rising to take the adjacent chair.

    "And, if I'm being honest, it scared me that it scared me that much. I...don't think I've ever had this much to lose before."
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 16/10/12, 12:15 pm

    Kallista laughed.

    "Yeah. Same here. Up to now I've kinda taken life one day at a time. I never really had a home, or a family, or... or someone like you."

    As he sat down next to her, her tail curled subconsciously around his ankle.

    "Now all of a sudden I have all three, and it's terrifying. For the first time in my life I have something good and all I can think about is the idea that I might lose it. I think maybe there's something wrong with me."
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 12:22 pm

    A small smile crossed Brenn's face as Kallista's tail settled around his ankle, the gesture comfortably familiar by now. Despite her claims of its wrongness, Brenn absolutely understood Kallista's concern. She had been raised somewhere where good things were just as much weapons as they were rewards, things that could be taken away or used against someone. It was natural for her to be wary.

    "Nothing wrong with wanting what you have. I'm given to understand that's the definition of happiness. And you're both willing and able to fight for it. I think you're on the right track."
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 16/10/12, 12:38 pm

    Kallista smiled and put her hand on Brenn's face, running her fingers lightly over the stubble on his cheeks.

    "I hope so."

    She turned away for a moment, just long enough to pour out the rum into the glasses and hand one to her lover. She took a sip of her own and cleared her throat.

    "So, I love you. You love me. What do we do now? Does this change things? Are we supposed to get married and have kids? I hear that's what you people tend to do. I don't know if I'm ready for that."
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 01:47 pm

    Brenn froze for a moment, his glass lifted halfway to his lips. He let Kallista finish as it continued on its way, taking a long sip to give himself a moment. As he lowered the drink to the table, he turned to regard the tiefling.

    "Why would it change things? Its not a change in how I feel; its a realization of it. I'm not ready for any of those things either, especially right now. I have a feeling a lot of things are about to change for me. I'd like to have something I can count on."
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 16/10/12, 01:52 pm

    Kallista shrugged.

    "I don't know why it would change things. I've never done this before. But you can always count on me, Brenn. I promise. You and my friends are the most important things in the world to me."

    She took another sip, reflecting.

    "What do you mean things are going to change for you?"
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 03:25 pm

    Brenn gestured at the broadsheets which took up most of the table space.

    "Things aren't looking great right now, in a long term sense. Not just all this business with the cults and such; people are being hurt in a myriad of ways, and I think I might be able to do something about it."

    He sighed heavily.

    "Assuming I can convince the fine people of Mythragal that I can help. Or Highmark, I suppose. Garen's Grove is within their territory, so I have enough claim to...sorry, this is probably not at all what you want to talk about right now."
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 16/10/12, 03:38 pm

    Kallista pulled herself closer to Brenn with a grin, her knees pressing against his.

    "Right now I could listen to read the Union bylaws and be perfectly happy. Just hearing your voice again..."

    She glanced at the broadsheets on the table.

    "Are you saying you want to get involved in politics? I thought you wanted nothing to do with that sort of thing. Wasn't that what the Highwind is all about?"

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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 04:15 pm

    "I am, I didn't, and it is," he responded, grinning. "I'll still have that safety valve, a way out if I fall flat on my face."

    He looked down a moment, thoughtful.

    "A side effect of having friends like Vedran, Beryl and Agyness is that, eventually, it seems, responsibility starts rubbing off."

    He looked up again, his expression softly serious.

    "I meant what I said about you being on the right track, being willing to fight. This last week has proven that I'm not necessarily practiced enough for that kind of fighting; I'd best leave it to the professionals."

    He squeezed her hand at the last comment.

    "But I can help, and this is something I can manage. I've got some few months until the elections in Niveus, and there are a couple of slots opening up. I think we're going to need all the influence we can get, and, hey, in the end its just negotiations."
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 16/10/12, 05:49 pm

    Kallista nodded. This was a complete about-face for Brenn, but she knew he had to have his reasons. Kallista knew what it was like to need to help.

    "I'll support you, whatever you decide. Sometimes in life it's time for us to give back, and maybe this is one of those times. You have an incredible gift with people, Brenn, and I'm sure you can do this if it's what you want. I'll be behind you whatever happens."

    She took his hand again and caught his eye.

    "Is this because of something that happened while we were away?"
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 05:58 pm

    "In part, its because you were away. I hear about everything you and the 'Bolts have been doing, its had me thinking. Then, when you were gone, some of us had to step up into roles we don't normally take on. That's...gotten me thinking about the roles we do have, and the ones maybe we should have."

    Brenn looked a little lost, yet still determined.

    "I still don't like the idea of politics any more that I did, but its occurring to me that if we just let into power the people that want it, its not going to get us anyone worth having. Besides, its not like I'm not used to making deals with people I can't stand. Just now, instead of trying to do good by my crew, and Koss's folks out at the Grove, maybe I can do good for...gods know how many."

    He laughed, only slightly bitterly.

    "Avandra help me, I'm starting to care," he said with a wink.
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 16/10/12, 06:23 pm

    Kallista laughed.

    "I'm a bad influence on you," she said with a grin.

    "You're a good man. You've always cared. You're just now starting to admit it to yourself."
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 09:06 pm

    "Shh, I have a reputation to...crap, overcome, I guess."

    Brenn grinned.

    "Hey, at least I'll be in town more. Here's hoping we can say the same for you."
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    Re: Home

    Post by tuck on 16/10/12, 09:25 pm

    "Oh, I'll be around..." Kallista said with a grin, "We're gonna be level seven soon. We're at the stage of the game where we'll be able to pick and choose the jobs we take a lot easier. At least that's what Monti said a while back."

    Kallista got up from her chair and gracefully slid into his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck.

    "So..." she said, playfully twirling a lock of his hair, "Am I gonna have to start calling you 'Master Aelindar' in public? ...or should I save that for the bedroom?"
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    Re: Home

    Post by Josh on 16/10/12, 09:27 pm

    Brenn put his arms under Kallista, lifting her up and laughing at her mock squeal of fright as he turned towards the cabin's bed.

    "Oh, you can call me whatever you want, but I think I'll take the time to earn the title in this instance..."

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