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Day 07 [0345 hrs.] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Transporter room 3 | Deck 12 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

“Are you sure these are the coordinates, Lieutenant? It looks like this is going to set you down in the middle of the jungle somewhere between Qam’chEE and the Blng’av mountains.” The transporter officer looked up from her monitor with confusion marked in her expression.

Enyd raised a single eyebrow in response. With deductive reasoning, she would think that the transporter officer could take in Enyd’s khaki-colored trekking backpack sitting on the transporter pad next to her calf-height, black booted feet and understand that she rarely took such gear with her on a city adventure. That, along with her brown form-fitting jodhpurs sliding under the boots with her long-sleeved red button-down partially secured over a simple grey tank top, both tucked into her pants and secured with a wide, brown utility belt, and surely the Ensign would understand that Enyd was dressed for a wilderness adventure

“I double-checked the coordinates with my contact on the planet to ensure they were the right ones. Not to worry, Ensign. I am intentionally going to those coordinates because I intend to hike up the Blng’av mountains to see the sunrise. And those coordinates set me down closest to the trailhead without cheating and setting down halfway up.”

Which it had been tempting to do that, considering the horrible hour they had to leave to make it up the mountain in time to see the sunrise. Enyd had already had one cup of coffee just to give herself the mental and physical stamina to get dressed and haul herself one deck down to wait for her adventure partner. And that was IF he’d even received the message in time to meet her at this horrendous hour.

“Very well, Lieutenant.” The Ensign set about plugging in the coordinates, leaving Enyd to her thoughts.

Enyd felt horrible that it had taken her the entire week to turn her attention back to the mysterious Romulan she’d met in the Arboretum. She was certain Drauc would not complain or find fault in her lack of communication, especially once he knew—if he didn’t already—of all the mishaps she’d weathered through this week. But that didn’t stop the guilt niggling at her brain because she’d invited him only the night before, having had this hair-brained scheme occur to her mere moments before falling asleep.

Considering the fact that her prior planet side experiences had thus far entailed fighting against Infested, getting kidnapped by Tal Shiar operatives, and then facing off with Mo’Kai rebels, Enyd had been half tempted to call off the venture altogether. Not for lack of desire to see Drauc again, but for her own leeriness of what other mayhem might get thrown at her the minute she left the ship. Perhaps he would be content with visiting the cabin in Banff Zark had introduced her to. But then Enyd had heard her grandmother in her head, bullying her into overcoming her irrational wariness of an entire planet, and here Enyd stood, waiting for Drauc, hoping he was either a late sleeper or a stupid earlier riser.

In the message, she’d told him the need for timeliness and the basic itinerary, alongside her apology for being so absent-minded in her adventure offer and timing. If she wanted to make it to the sunrise, she could afford to wait another ten minutes, but then she’d have to leave without him. If he wasn’t occupied, even if he was late, Drauc could still potentially catch up with her if he was so inclined.

“Are you ready, Lieutenant Madsen?”

Enyd shifted on her feet, nibbling her lower lip before crouching to rummage through her pack. “I want to double-check my gear once more, then I’ll be ready.”

She had packed ration packs, a large thermos of coffee, a couple of canteens of water, along with a filter for if she ran out on the planet and needed more. The standard emergency medical kit and emergency blanket, rappelling rope in case something seriously went wrong, flashlight, signal flare, machete, and a whistle. From what she’d read, the trek featured an initial jungle approach with a steep climb through the tree line, then a gradual ridge hike before some cliff face climbing with pre-affixed ropes, and another steep climb over exposed loose rock to the summit. Supposedly from the summit, one could see over the jungle to the east and the ocean to the south, and once the sunbeams hit the white buildings of Qam’chEE, legend told of being able to see the spirit of Kahless rise out from the city and race over the continent to the north.

Enyd relished the thought of going on a trek on an actual mountain and not on the holodeck, and of being able to spend time with Drauc without fear of other minds pressing on him. She smirked. Hopefully, she could keep it together this time and not so shamelessly throw herself at the poor Romulan. After so much chaos this week, Enyd felt that perhaps her nerves were to an exhausted enough level that she would behave far more like a civilized woman and less like an ancient hussy. Glancing up at the bored Ensign, Enyd decided to re-check her double-check, forcing her attention to stay on the backpack and gear and not glance to the doors as she eagerly awaited Drauc.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #1
[ Drauc T'Laus | Junior Offficers' Quarters | Deck 08 | USS Theurgy ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
The evening before, Drauc had returned to the small quarters that he'd been allotted aboard the ship, the same in which he'd last seen Jovela. He still hadn't fully accustomed himself to the fact that she was gone, but he remained pleased that the perpetrator whom had bombed the Spearhead Lounge had been caught and faced Klingon justice. Still, as he stood there and looked at the barren room and the view of Qo'noS outside the viewports, he delved into the memories in which he'd taught her hand-to-hand combat and self-defence, and she'd tried to help him get attuned with emotions that weren't derived from her.

A blinking light caught his eye, and he saw that it came from his computer console, which he rarely used. He just used his quarters for sleep and to rinse himself. He kept his threadbare Romulan clothing there as well, most of which he'd been using for many years, but besides that, he had little in ways of personal possessions. Quietly, he had moved to the console and opened the message.








After reading it, Drauc had recalled the encounter in the Arboretum, of which he'd devoted much thought over the course of the past few days. With the lack of word from the Diplomat, he had assumed she'd thought better than to affiliate herself with a former Starfleet officer turned mercenary, whom now merely lived for the battlefield and the purpose to thwart the enemy... yet it seemed he'd been wrong. Reaching out with his scarred hand from the sleeve of his tattered robe, he typed a brief reply.





He had then switched off the computer console and rinsed himself in the sonic shower, and after asking Thea to wake him up in time, he had went to sleep. For once, he hadn't delved into the memories of Jovela, but rather looked towards the future instead of the past. A future that might not just be revolving around the enemy and the battles to come.

[ 0350 hrs. | Transporter room 3 | Deck 12 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ]

When the sliding doors parted, Drauc T'Laus approached Enyd with his eyes shrouded by his burgundy hair. He was wearing one of his usual attires, drab and showing signs of long usage. Within the folds of his brown robe, his tunic had lost four buttons from his collar and down his chest, but it lent him enough warmth to still function. His trousers were of a rough cloth with few pockets, loose enough to not constrict sudden movements, and his boots were of a civilian Romulan kind without embellishment. When roaming the streets of Romulus' cities, and pulled his hood up to cover the scars on his forehead, he would blend into a crowd with ease. As for the Qo'noS mountains, his clothing would serve little else than protection from the weather. He had brought no equipment save for a combadge that he kept in one of his pockets. Not just because he hadn't been given a phaser by the Theurgy crew, but because he trusted that his body would be enough to protect the diplomat from the Klingon wildlife.

"Greetings," he rasped to her, feeling her presence with his mind and not just seeing her with his eyes - even if the sight of her took precedence in his mind. "I hope I have not kept you waiting."

Seeing - and feeling - that the Transporter Officer was waiting for the two of them to get on the pad, he complied and reached down, picking up the backpack once Enyd had closed it, wordlessly taking it upon himself to carry it over his shoulder.

"I was pleased to receive your message, and I hope you have fared well since last we spoke," he grated, looking at her whilst his question generated imagery from the days that had passed since last they saw each other.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #2
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Transporter room 3 | Deck 12 | Vector 02 | USS Theurgy ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Enyd looked up as the doors swooshed open, a shiver of anticipation immediately coursing through her body when she noted who it was walking towards her. Instead of the graceful transition of a crouch to standing, or the smooth choice of words for greeting after he spoke, Enyd instead fell back on her bum with a soft “mmph” escaping her lips.

“Hello Drauc,” Enyd pushed herself off her bum just as he plucked the backpack off the floor, “I’ve not been here long.”

And it was true. Yes, she’d waited, but the wait had been worthwhile now that Drauc was with her. She brushed at her pants as she moved to join him on the pad, though she knew there were no dust particles attached to the material hugging her rear. It was a force of habit more than anything. His words regarding how she’d been faring had Enyd chuckling with a spurt of dark humor.

“I can fill you in on my weekly adventures once we’re on the trail.” Looking back to the officer, Enyd nodded.

[Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos]

The familiar tickling buzz overtook her, and in the next moment, the jungle at the foot of the  Blng’av mountains shimmered into view. Enyd immediately felt a giddy rush of excitement run through her as she ran through the trail schematics in her head, knowing full well Drauc could see them without having to say anything. They would first need to hack their way through this jungle, ford a river, and then they should come to the trailhead. Nothing overly difficult in that, right?

Turning back to Drauc, Enyd eyed the backpack still slung over his shoulder. “If you’re going to insist on carrying it, and thank you for that if you are, may I at least pull out the machete? I think we’d both like to avoid more scars on our skin for the time being.” Enyd nodded toward the razor-sharp edges of the ferns that draped close-by, stalwartly avoiding the memory of touching the scars of his skin during their last meeting.

“And in answer to your ‘not’ question,” Enyd continued with another chuckle, “I believe I am a walking singularity or something because since we last spoke, I have managed to get myself kidnapped twice, once by stranded Tal Shiar operatives, and then by Mo’Kai rebels hiding out from the House change. I have fought against yet another Infested Starfleet officer and intentionally threw myself into the boxing ring to spar with yet another. Though Frank was not Infested, and he was kind enough to beat me when I needed it, though others would have rather he leave me alone. So I wasn’t exaggerating in my message when I said I needed this hike.” She needed to say it, knowing that Drauc heard and felt it when her mind supplied, “And time spent with you.”

The events mentioned played out in her mind in rapid order, including Zark’s threat against Frank if he beat her too much in the ring. Her eyes mirthful, though still marginally haunted, Enyd looked back to Drauc with a half-smile tugging at her lips.

“What about you? How has the week been?”

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #3
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
Hearing about the ordeals that Enyd had endure was nothing like experiencing them through her memories. Language was such a poor conduit to encapsulate events in their entirety for the one that had experienced it, but memory through mind was better in many regards. That being said, there was only so much that could be conveyed over a few second's worth of conversation, so Drauc knew that even though the impressions he was left with held much, the glimpses were nothing compared to the real ordeals.

Worse yet was the realisation that her life had been endangered and he had known naught about it. Had he known, he would have reached out, offered his assistance, or just sought her out to see how she'd fared. That was, undoubtedly, one of the downsides of not being part of the Theurgy's chain-of-command, for without a commission or an assignment, he had no access to reports about unfolding events.

"Had I known..." he rasped quietly while he produced the machete from the backpack, but he trailed off, shaking his head. The past was the past, and even if his regrets were tangible to him, he didn't sense that she'd expected him to either intervene or enquire upon her safety. In fact, it seemed like she was looking forward to this little excursion that she'd planned, and pointedly, she asserted that she wished to spend time with him. Not conveyed in words, but in the privacy of her thoughts, in full knowledge that he'd sense those words.

With the machete in hand, he wondered if she would be offended if he cut down the ferns in their way, believing it was not a bother for him to do so. At least less of a bother than it might be for Enyd, purely based on the fact of his range and his strength. He gave the sharp tool too her. "We can take turns," he rasped, before answering her question. "After our last meeting, I attended the conference... the one between other Romulan contacts and crewmembers of the Theurgy. I suspect you already knew that already, since your superior officer attended the same meeting. It was... not entirely comfortable, given that the subtle tensions in the room were quite overt for me."

Wondering if there was a second machete available, Drauc followed Enyd, and he found himself watching her rather than the ferns in their way. He realised he very much had looked forward to seeing Enyd again, and as he did, memories of their last encounter entered his mind. The unspoken tensions between them, which had merely existed in the connection between their minds. That which had been willingly offered in terms of imagination, and that which had slipped past her restraints. Whether or not the furnace of his mind had been ignited by her or not, she had fed it without compunction, and made it difficult to leave her there in the Arboretum.

"Our last meeting made a big impression on my thoughts, since it has lingered in my mind in your absence," he grated, the honesty in how open she was towards him making him equally so.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #4
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Enyd watched as Drauc processed both her words and the images he’d likely seen in her head. She noted his momentary hesitation before handing her the requested machete and was curious if it was out of a sense of masculine pride that he’d hesitated or if he’d deduced, with logic, that his power and height would naturally make him better suited for trail clearing. His added comment of taking turns as he relinquished the blade into her grip had Enyd grinning. It was probably a mixture of both.

“I have no doubt, Drauc, that if you’d known of the danger I’d been in, while I’d been in it, that you would’ve taken whatever action. I respect and appreciate that about you.” She reached out and lightly traced a hand across his cheek before drawing back and giving him a firm nod. Enyd was determined to not ONLY think about him naked and in her arms this time, and she felt fairly proud of herself that until this very second, she hadn’t strayed too far in that direction.

As he began to share his own activities in the interim since their last meeting, Enyd began to make use of the machete, deftly hacking at the foliage that made the mistake of getting in front of her. Although trail clearing was not new to her, some of these plants were already proving to be as difficult to contend with as an offended Klingon. She was not so prideful that she wouldn’t gladly pass off the machete once the going became too difficult for her to manage, but so far, the hacking and slashing momentum felt good. The use of her muscles, the controlled breathing, the sense of satisfaction at seeing an immediate change in the scenery with every movement were all a heady mixture filling her with delight as she continued to listen to Drauc’s husky voice. This had been a very good idea, even if it was a stupid early hour.

Not gifted his powers of telepathy or empathy, Enyd was entirely unaware of his close study of her form as he traveled a safe distance behind her. She was just in the process of bending over to pick up and set aside a particularly stubborn vine when Drauc spoke of the impression she’d left on his thoughts. Jerking back to an upright position, Enyd felt a new heat touch her cheeks, one of awareness and not exertion.

“Um,” Enyd had to swallow the sudden lump in her throat, her voice croaky as she tried to speak through the sudden rush of awareness, “I’ll confess to more than one dream that featured you prominently.” Not wanting to hack about with a blade while combating burgeoning lust, she turned and held it toward the Romulan man. “Your turn.”

She recognized they hadn’t traveled exceedingly far from their beam down sight but in a way, Drauc deserved the harder work. Enyd had been doing so good till that point, keeping her thoughts on pleasant, neutral things. And then he’d had to go and derail her efforts with one sentence. Not at all bothered, though thoroughly amused, Enyd stepped aside for the man to lead once he accepted the machete.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #5
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
Whilst accepting the blade from Enyd, Drauc found himself glimpsing the aforementioned dream, if ever so briefly. It made him look up and into her eyes while the machete passed between their hands... and Drauc found himself at a loss for words. He swallowed, becoming acutely conscious about the pretext of their excursion, which had been decided in the arboretum of the Theurgy under circumstances which had them both wishing to take things further much too soon. Now, alone as they were, it seemed the incentives of old were returning, and there was naught stopping them from acting on them save propriety and social conventions. Out of respect towards their safety, however, Drauc did not mean to act on their mutual desires amidst the sharp ferns around them.

"My thoughts were much akin to your dream," he rasped, and turned towards the greenery in their way. His strikes with the blade were efficient, hard and without unnecessary movements. With his sleeve protecting his skin, he pushed away the severed ferns, and swept those that fell to the ground aside with his boot. With a steady pace, he traversed the jungle in their way, and his words were punctuated by the strokes of the blade. "I wish I recalled my dreams, though when I sleep, my weary mind seek refuge in quietude. If I do dream, naught of it remains when I wake. The unceasing imprints of thoughts that reach me at every waking hour take their toll, and perhaps as a means of preserving my sanity, my mind render my nights soothingly void of voices."

Thinking back, he recalled how that was not always the case for him, and how others on the compound didn't end up like the mirror children, instead going insane. They were always executed, and made examples of. Their fates served as an incentive to be better, and remain in control despite how their minds were assailed at every minute, every hour. Drauc spared Enyd those stories, but he chose to impart how he had managed to survive after the Tal Shiar preformed the procedure on him.

"My brother and I sought refuge in the storage area of the compound when we were little," he rasped, and hacked off a thick trunk in their way, "secluding ourselves from the dormitories. That allowed us to keep the minds and dreams of others at a minimum, with only the thoughts of each other imposing on our own through the night. We learned, that way - somehow - to mute all else. When we were caught sleeping outside the dormitories, we found that we'd managed to ward off the other children, and we slept soundly. After I lost my brother during the Dominion War, however... my nights remain dead quiet. We were... connected in ways few other siblings were."

Realising that the topic of dreams, or the lack of them, remained somewhat of a sore subject for him, he did not wish to linger on it any further. The excursion was not meant to dwell on the pain of the past, but the promises of the future. Whatever future they might share, hopefully.

"I can see light through the ferns," he grated, and embedded the blade in a trunk so that he might remove his robe from his shoulders. He folded it once and tied the sleeves low around his hips since the heat was getting to him, his brow beaded with copper-salt sweat. His tunic had yet to stain from perspiration however, the threadbare fabric granting some air to cool his skin. "Pray tell, is there word of when Donatra's forces reach the Klingon border? I ask since I recall you wished me to accompany you on missions to come. If Captain Ives is amendable to my presence, I stand ready, even though it is not my kind of battlefield."

In short order, they were through the ferns, and emerged on the other side.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #6
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Enyd fell into step behind Drauc and admired the view of both the natural flora and Drauc’s physique as he effortlessly cut through the foliage. He was more careful than she’d been, and it was not lost to her the considerate efforts he made to push the severed ferns out of her way. A gentleman who probably didn’t even think himself one. Enyd nibbled her lower lip as she followed along behind him; for once, her thoughts were not only lustful towards the Romulan before her. Though he had spoken to her of not exactly originating his own emotions or something along with that ilk, it seemed to her that emotions or no, Drauc had certain character traits that were innately his own, and from what she had observed and experienced, they were commendable and attractive of their own accord.

Enyd pulled herself from her musings as he spoke of dreams and kept her mind from wandering as she listened. She hummed her acknowledgment, wanting him to hear that she was tracking the conversation since they were not looking at one another. When he began to share a more intimate detail of his brother, Enyd kept very still. She didn’t want to interrupt the sharing, as it was a gift given, such memories, and Enyd certainly didn’t want to continue to walk forward now that he had paused to hack at a particularly stubbornly thick trunk.

“I am curious if it is possible for you to mentally and emotionally bond like that with someone else?” Enyd spoke her curiosity aloud without motive, content to wait until Drauc had secured their path through the ferns. “So you may once more experience that kind of deep sleep.” She shrugged, briefly letting her mind drift to the memory of waking up next to her lover and allowing the memory of the peace that it brought to flood her senses. “I grew up sharing my bed with numerous family members and friends whenever they came to visit, especially when we went on camping trips. There is something to be said about having the freedom to sprawl that is most delightful but also, in both the romantic and platonic sense, sleeping next to someone can be very reassuring and calming.” Enyd giggled, her thoughts once more in the past as she recalled various comments from family or friends. “Except if you’re sleeping next to me, so I’ve been told. More tornado of activity and a hog of blankets than cute and peaceful.”

Enyd jerked out of her memories with the thunk of the blade, watching with an increasing thirst as Drauc removed his robe and tied it around his waist. Well…there went her non-lustful thinking pattern. Enyd shook herself, physically and mentally, as they resumed their course through the ferns. Scowling at her lapse of control, she thought back over the week and any updates regarding Donatra’s forces; that was a good thing to focus on to keep her thoughts from peeling the remaining clothes from Drauc’s body.

“The last update I had was they should be here sometime next week. We’ve been able to make headway with the Federation Embassy on the planet and secured a few media influencers that may be of assistance in spreading the truth of the Infested to the rest of the Federation using both official and unofficial channels. I am not a particularly optimistic person, more pragmatic really, but even I am tempted to think that things are starting to look more favorable to our cause than they were only a week ago.” She tipped her head to the side as she took note of his words. “What precisely is ‘your kind’ of battlefield, pray tell?”

The jungle suddenly gave way to display the gentle flow of the steaming river they were to cross. The guide she’d studied had spoken of the bathwater temperature as a positive, attributing it to underground aquifers heated by the planet’s magma. Wiping the back of her hand across her forehead, Enyd drew in the thick, humid air of the riverside as she studied the potential pathways across. There was no bridge. The Klingons had given up on maintaining any sort of bridge because of the heat from the water and the jungle environment, the surface of all rocks and logs dotting the waist-deep waters were covered in a thick mossy green covering. Enyd knew if she attempted to cross the water by rock hopping, she’d end up in the water anyway, so, being the pragmatic person that she was and not wanting to hike in wet clothes, she stopped at the water’s edge. Bending over, Enyd began to unlace her boots, her eyes darting up to watch Drauc.

“By all means, go across as you feel fit. I, however, am uninterested in adding to my already soggy state if I can help it.” Boot unlaced, Enyd gave a little hopping dance to get them off before bringing her hands to her belt. She paused just long enough to glance up at Drauc as she added, “I hope you don’t mind.”

As Enyd continued to strip until she stood in pale, pink breathable mesh briefs and a matching bralette, her clothes tied together in an easy bundle along with her boots to hold aloft over her head in the crossing, she couldn’t help but laugh.

“I promise I didn’t contrive this, Drauc, to end up barely clothed beside a steamy river with you. Although I’m not complaining.” She still had yet to look at him fully, not since she’d stripped, almost afraid of what might happen if she did. “The guide said nothing about a lack of bridge, so it only just now occurred to me that this would be the best course of action for crossing.” Finally, Enyd brought her eyes up from fussing about with the strings of her boots to study the Romulan, curious about his reaction to their new circumstances. “I hope you can forgive me.”

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #7
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
When asked what manner of battlefield he'd meant, Drauc's answer had been immediate.

"The traditional kind," he rasped quietly, without pride, before he cut away the last ferns.

The manner in which Enyd thought of him had fanned his own desires towards her, the only means of distracting himself from completely permeating his mind being the manual labour of traversing the Klingon wilderness. When emerging by the river, he busied himself by thinking about what she'd said about making a connection to someone else than his brother, to lend him the reprieve of a kindred mind to latch on to, and he had always thought it impossible since there had been no one like his brother. Kraun had been with him since he was born, before their father had succumbed to his grief and sent them away to die, and the Tal Shiar claimed them for their experiments. Always, Kraun had been his sole companion, and they had survived the compound together, which may have cursed them with their abilities, but also bound they even tighter together. Leaning on each other, throughout all the horrors that no children of any planet should see... it was difficult to fathom how anyone could replace him.

Yet, perhaps, that was not what Enyd had meant when she made the casual observation. A substitute for Kraun for the sake of night-time company, for means of sleeping without the dead quiet of darkness? Perhaps, yet such company would never be the same, so he thought it a moot endeavour, save for the expectation that while it wasn't the same, 'different' did not have to equal 'less'. If there was one thing he had come to learn, by exposure of so many minds throughout his life, was that only a fool considered himself above others. Regardless the species, no matter race, tone of skin or cultural distinction, whatever differed between humanoids were all equal in the face of fear, death and propagation of their own genes. This was why he remained on the Theurgy.

The Infested - these representatives of the void amongst the stars - were a threat to all life.

He realised, suddenly, that Enyd was shedding her clothing next to him, and he did a double take. “I hope you don’t mind.”

"I... certainly don't," he grated thickly, frozen in place where he stood. She continued to profess her innocence about the development, asking him to forgive her. Who was he to begrudge her? Of course, she would have no way of knowing for certain that her feelings towards him were entirely mutual, and that left him to try and bespeak his mind when faced by the sight of her. The early hour would merely hint at the coming dawn, yet the light coming off the horizon sent spectres that danced above the running water. They lit her skin and teased at what he couldn't fully see due to the dim light, yet what he saw caused a heat that had naught to do with the Klingon climate.

"I can," he rasped eventually, and found himself undressing as well, like a statue coming to life and shedding its stony exterior. He bundled up his threadbare clothing and his boots like she had, his underpants clean yet of old Romulan cut, chosen still because he knew naught else to ask the replicator for. He willed himself to not let the heat of his mind reach his loins, failing by the second as he was. In the end, with the bundle in one hand, he held out the other for her to take.

"So that you don't loose your balance..." he explained, his words reverberating in his chest in rhythm of his beating heart, barely able to keep his shrouded eyes from leaving her. He needed to watch his step through the water, and the greatest peril - he found - was not the undercurrent, but her ability to lead his mind completely astray. The water was warm, so while the river was deeper than it looked, it offered no manner of chill to cool him off once the surface reached his waist.

In fact, glancing back towards Enyd now and again, the shimmering water upon her skin did the opposite entirely.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #8
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Enyd’s cheeks warmed at Drauc’s voice, expressing his lack of concern over the situation. She looked up just in time to get the striptease of a lifetime. Enyd knew it was against the laws of time and physics for Drauc’s movements to suddenly slow while the sounds of the water lulled into a background din as if the world was taking its time and gifting her with more of it to draw out this moment. She knew this, and yet it still felt as if for every article of clothing the Romulan shed, the more time slowed down. His physique was as pure sinewy muscle sculpted onto a marble statue. Enyd gulped, unable to tear her eyes away from watching a single droplet of sweat trickle down his chest, ripple over his abdomen, then dampen the hem of his undergarments.

“You may look, but you can’t touch, Enyd.” Enyd rapidly blinked, nearly ducking her head in response. Her grandmother’s voice had been so loud and booming that for a moment, she’d almost thought the woman had come back to life just to swat the unladylike lust right out of her. “Keep your mouth open like that, and you might swallow a fly.” Closing her mouth, Enyd cleared her throat before swallowing past the lump that had formed in her throat at the sight of Drauc in all his semi-nude glory.

“…thank you.” Enyd took his hand, not bothering to apologize or explain what she knew he’d been privy to. She allowed him to lead them into the water as she mentally backpedaled away from the imprinted sight of his undressing. That image would assuredly come back to torment her later.

Clearing her throat again, Enyd’s grip tightened and loosened as they picked their way through the gurgling water pushing around their bodies. She spoke as the water was reaching just above Drauc’s hips, which meant it was just below her breasts. “I was on Cardassia immediately after the Dominion War. Part of the task force to help set up the new government. So while I was not on the battlefield proper, I was in the aftermath, and my own scars are thanks to the battle that continued to be waged behind closed doors and in the darkened alleyways of the capital city. Not all battles are-”

Enyd stopped, her grip on Drauc’s hand tightening as part of the riverbed suddenly gave way to a rocky gooey mess beneath her left foot. Skittering in the opposite direction, Enyd lost her footing entirely and unceremoniously dunked herself beneath the water. She kept her bundle of clothing aloft as she came sputtering to the surface by some miracle.

“Well,” Enyd let go of Drauc's hand long enough to draw it over her own face, pushing the water droplets from her eyes and smoothing her hair back out of her face. “That was lucky.”

She started to giggle, but then the giggle turned to a groan when she felt a heavy rock roll with the undercurrent onto her foot. Likely it had been dislodged from her earlier riverbed dance. But thanks to the squishiness of the riverbed, there was less pain than there would’ve been otherwise. Yet as it was, merely tugging at her foot was not enough to dislodge her foot from under the rock’s weight.

“I seem to have gotten myself stuck.” Enyd tipped her head back and let out an exaggerated laugh. “We’ve barely begun this adventure, and I’m already attracting the mayhem. I really must be a walking singularity.” The river’s current tipped her off balance. Enyd moved her grip from Drauc’s hand to his elbow, her torso pressing close to his to keep from falling over. Again, by a stubborn miracle, she kept a death grip on her clothing bundle. “I’m not sure how to go about solving this.” Enyd glanced down, shifting around to see if there was something she was missing in the what should have been simple equation.

If she bent over, she’d end up dunking herself again, and unless Drauc was willing to hold her clothes, she’d lose the purpose of her own striptease entirely. Of course, Drauc could have her hold his clothes, and he could help dislodge the rock, as he was stronger and it would take him less time. Enyd nibbled her lower lip. The longer they stood here, the more it hurt her foot. and yet she didn’t know which she should ask of Drauc, to hold her clothes or free her foot?

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #9
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
As they crossed the shallow river, Drauc found brief respite in listening to what Enyd was saying about her time on Cardassia. In the wake of experiencing her reaction to the sight of his bared skin, and how her excitement fully bled into his own mind, the words about the Dominion War aftermath served as a sobering focal point for him. A lighting rod to which he could lead his own contemplations. Alas, the modicum of sanity was short-lived...

Enyd stumbled, forcing him to look back at her and secure his grip better around her hand. Looking back, however, the drenched state of her undergarments became apparent in the dim light, leaving nothing to the imagination. Her bundle of clothing was spared from touching the water, however, but to make the awkward development even more acute, she pressed closer to him in order to regain her balance. Even before she spoke of her plight, in how her foot was stuck in the riverbed, Drauc discerned it through her thoughts. He clenched his jaw, trying to let his beleaguered mind find sanctuary in problem-solving. She took the development somewhat in stride, however, her light laughter music to his ears.

"The shore is not too far," he rasped, feeling her skin against his torso when his voice trembled deep down in his throat, and with her so close, holding her hand no longer served to balance her. He ran his arm around her shoulders instead, just to keep her from falling in the undercurrent, and turned his head towards the shoreline. With his free hand, he hurled his bundle of clothing across the water. Next, he took her bundle out of her hand and did the same, freeing their hands completely and removing the risk of ruining their apparel. He looked into her eyes in the dim light, the dancing spectres from the moving waters caressing her features. Drauc swallowed, and put his scarred hands on her hips. "Put your hands on my shoulders."

Once she did, Drauc took a deep breath, and crouched down - submerging himself fully in the warm river. With his hands on her hips to begin with, he ran them down her legs so that he might find where the rock was at - unable to see as he was since there was virtually no light penetrating the surface of the river. His calloused fingers soon found which foot had been trapped by the rock, at which point he ran one arm around her thighs to steady her. Her soft skin in the warm water felt like silk to his rough hands and the stubble on his cheek, but he tried - as best as he might - to not let that fact pull attention away from his task. Carefully, he tried to get his fingers underneath the rock, and once he did, he pushed it off from Enyd's ankle - freeing it completely.

Once his task was complete, he stood up and emerged from the warm water. With one arm lingering around her frame, he used his free hand to rake his wet hair back from his face. It bared the scars on his forehead completely, he knew, but while they marked something significant for him, they were not really different than any other scarring he had on his body. I could have removed them all if he so chose, but he had never been a vain man, and in some ways, the scars were all he had left of his past, and his brother.

"Do you want to continue?" he rasped in query, belatedly realising that he may have implied a different choice. Staying in the moment, rather than continuing to their destination. The dawn would, after all, reach them even there by the riverside, wouldn't it? What was developing between them seemed like it had become much more real in a very short time, the desire she felt for him mirrored in his own mind, in how he wanted her as well. A false notion that wasn't of his own making, or not, it was still very much real to him.

Regardless her answer, they couldn't remain in the river, so he picked her up as gently as possible, and carried her to shore - laying her down in the grass. Given the warmth of the air, they would likely be dry soon enough.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #10
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Drauc responded to her plight with a more rational mind. Instead of deliberating over who was to hold whose clothing, the Romulan tossed both bundles to shore before turning his attention to freeing her foot. Although she’d never been known as the most obedient of individuals, Enyd obeyed without question when Drauc rasped his order. Tentatively placing her hands on his shoulders, her grip tightened, and she let out a whoosh of air when he immediately ducked beneath the watery surface. Enyd couldn’t think of a logical reason to argue against his order anyway, not when she knew rationally it was to keep her steady while he worked to free her foot, and irrationally it also afforded continuous access to his skin while she waited for freedom.

Enyd had to grit her teeth and mentally count in French to keep her mind clear of licentious thoughts as Drauc’s calloused hands moved from her hips down her legs. While part of her brain was very much recognizing and acknowledging the guilty pleasure she felt having his warm hands trace over her skin, even with knowing his purpose was entirely innocent of intent, another part of her brain buried itself in the ridiculousness of old French counting trends, and yet another part of her brain was just shy of falling into a tailspin of “what ifs” that featured the two of them abandoning the pretense of a hike altogether.

Enyd forgot to let go when Drauc resurfaced in a burst, the sudden movement pulling her forward against his body. Letting out another gasp, her hands fell away from his shoulders to resettle near his ribs. She could not help her mouth dropping open. Drauc was a glistening Romulan Adonis, scarred though he may be. In fact—Enyd physically shook herself and forced her mouth shut before she swallowed the Klingon equivalent of a fly—at least for Enyd, the scars added to the overall aura of the man, making him even more enigmatic and irresistible.

When he spoke, his question barely computed, earning only a dreamy-eyed stare as a reply for the time being. So once more, Enyd did not fight against Drauc’s assertive efforts when he unceremoniously hoisted her into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the shore. Her movement to wrap her arms around her neck and press closer was instinctive, yet it brought another rush of warmth to her body. The strength and warmth of his body as he held her fueled the "what if"/guilty pleasure sides of her brain until the French counting stopped altogether and retreated.

Enyd closed her eyes and leaned her head forward, pressing her forehead his damp skin, her words barely a whisper when she spoke, “J’ai envie de t’embrasser.”

It wasn’t until she was lowered and he pulled back, grass at her back, the river gurgling by at her feet, that Enyd could slough her way through her muddled thoughts back into a more rational realm. She realized she’d made her statement in French and by now Drauc would realize she’d just confessed to wanting to kiss him. Enyd also formed a series of hypotheses in the milliseconds pause between being set down in the soft grass and his gradual withdrawal to a more respectable distance.

  • If they did NOT kiss, would they be able to move past the same desire as they had spoken of in the arboretum, seeking to create a reciprocal relationship that wasn’t just Drauc feeding off her, but that also originated within himself as well? Or would Enyd would always stunt the efforts with her untamed lust for the man who was the living embodiment of her desires?
  • If they DID kiss, or perhaps more, would that allow them to move past the near overwhelming build up of desire that now gripped her mind? For then, Enyd would have broken the years’ long abstinence with a man she desired, and after knowing how he tasted, how he felt, and all the other elements that came from sharing such intimacy with a partner, perhaps she could clear her mind more readily and be less of a haphazard stunting barrier to creating a real relationship with him.

In both cases, there was the risk and reality that the grand majority of what was being felt and thought at the moment was coming from Enyd. Drauc was a mirror in many ways, after all. So was it ethical or fair to take from the man who did not know whether it was of his own accord that he sought to give?

Enyd breathed in deeply through her nostrils, closing her eyes as she held the breath for a few heartbeats, then opened her eyes as she let the breath out in a heavy sigh. She wouldn’t bother voicing any of her thoughts again, trusting Drauc to already know everything she’d been mulling over. Leaning back on her elbows in a semi-reclined position, Enyd tipped her chin up. She was content to wait. One, taking a moment to dry out by the riverside was welcome before continuing the hike—and she did want to make it to the top, if not this trip, then one in the near future. Two, taking a moment to face down the ultimatum she’d just mentally thrown at them both while they were not moving was probably safer. Enyd had already proved herself an expert of mayhem and it would only get worse the more his presence distracted her.

“You decide, Drauc.” Enyd spoke softly, a smile tugging at her lips. He’d already asserted himself with his order in the river and with carrying her across to safety. Perhaps the trend would continue in response to her hypotheticals as well.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #11
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
After having laid Enyd down in the grass, Drauc was able to consider the implications that had run through her thoughts during the transition from water to land.

It seemed to him an attempt at a rational, logical, analysis of the situation, albeit one made in haste and perhaps desperation to cope with the development. Her judgement of the two scenarios seemed, however, plausible enough, though he was no Vulcan and could not give the underpinnings of her logic any deeper scrutiny. Certainly not gauge her bias either, though if going by her rationale... then it might be prudent to address the carnal tension that presided between them. Otherwise, there might not be any way for them to explore how deep their connection went, since their primal urges kept clouding their percipience. If not hearkened, they mightn't be able to see past their immediate desires - the future clouded by the wants of the present.

If considering the first alternative, however, there would be an inherent quality of preserving his integrity as a person of his own mind - free of influence of another. Such freedom was rare for him, always coming to emulate those he met since their minds bled into his own. Still, he was no puppet on strings, always willed by others to do as they wished, but a warrior of his own making, and his own motivations. He did not challenge the Tal Shiar because he ended up serving in Starfleet, he did so because what had happened to him and his brother. He did not kill the Klingon that tried to force himself upon Jovela at Starfleet Medical - leading to his exile - because she wanted him dead in that moment, but because he had answered to her plight with his empathy. He did not join the crew of the Theurgy because he suddenly mimicked the needs of the crew, but because he has faced one of the Infested at Starbase 84. Only Dyan Cardamone, an Asurian of a singular determination, had used his ability against him to get what she wanted, but that did not make him a mindless buffoon unable to take initiatives of his own. He regretted how other minds could sway his own in some scenarios where he was ungrounded and unprepared, like in the matters of the heart.... but that did not define him.

So, as Enyd had already reasoned, the choice was his, and she even said it in words.

"You want me," he rasped quietly, crouching in the grass next to her where she lay. They both knew it wasn't a question, not just from the lack of inflection in the statement, but because she'd wished for him to kiss her. The water dripped from his hair and his skin, and his dark eyes moved over the movement of her chest when she breathed - the twilight caressing her skin. If the choice was his, then there was no choice to be made - the grounds of his decision entirely his own or not. "In these early hours of knowing you... I cannot be entirely certain... but I would like to learn if I want you as well."

Slowly, he lay down next to her, propped up on one arm, and reached for the side of her neck - gently caressing where the twilight touched her. He looked into her eyes, hoping the embers of his desires didn't intimidate her, but his words were of complete honesty, for he did not wish to mislead her. "Today might just show if we fit together... but over time, we may learn if we belong together."

Having bespoken his choice, he leaned down, and kissed her where she lay in the grass. The warmth of the river was found in her mouth, though the taste was definitely more preferable.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #12
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

By some miracle, Enyd remained placid as she waited for Drauc’s response. It was as if in boldly propositioning her logical suppositions to the man, she already felt freer of her desire. The albatross had been set free to fly as it would, leaving Enyd behind to bask in her newfound freedom. Granted, the desire was VERY much still there, buzzing in the forefront of her mind, yet naming the proverbial elephant in the jungle seemed to have given her more control. And that was a nice change considering how things had been leading up to this moment between them. Her grandmother would have boxed her ears hard enough to need another pair, that was for certain.

However, this sense of self-management wavered the moment Drauc spoke. The rumbling timbre of his voice once more washing over her as an enriching fire. Enyd’s breath caught in her throat, fingers twisting into the cool grass beneath her palms, as Drauc crouched close by. A few droplets of water from his hair trickled onto her suddenly fevered skin, a welcomed focal point to keep her centered as Drauc continued. As he accepted her proposition.

Enyd forgot to breathe properly as Drauc took up position next to her in the grass. Her heart raced ahead of her mind, leaving her lungs to fend for themselves, as it spun together every other sensation registering in the moment. How the flecks of gold in Drauc’s eyes mirrored the gilded sunlight chasing the humidity through the jungle foliage. How his hand was initially cold against her skin as he traced a damp pattern across her sensitive flesh, causing a barrage of goosebumps to erupt all over. But then, from where he touched her, how a distinctive heat filtered through her body, settling as a pulsing energy just below her heart. How the power of his voice, deeper now that he was so close, seemed to massage her brain into a trance-like state. Enyd’s eyes shuttered, her head tipped up of its own accord, as she melted into Drauc’s touch. As she relished the heat of his mouth. The taste of his kiss. The scent of his skin. The press of his body against hers...

The only warning was a gasp at his lips and then Enyd fell limp in his arms. It seemed oxygen was a necessary thing even for lusty diplomats, and she’d not had enough of it.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #13
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
It took Drauc a second to realise that the sound she'd made had naught to do with the development between them.

It was the manner in which her mind became void of thought that alerted him to the change in her conscious state, and he opened his eyes. She laid limp in the grass, and for a moment, he feared something worse had befallen her. Eyes wide behind the tresses of his hair, his hand still at the side of her neck, he quickly placed two fingers against her carotid artery - finding to his great relief that she was still very much alive.

Puzzled as to what he might do, his eyes flicked over her as he tried to recall what the proper medical response to this kind of situation might be. He vaguely recalled his Starfleet training, remembering how when a fellow officer was found unconscious, and there was no physician available to help, they might need to be repositioned. Deciding that it was the best manner to address the unexpected situation, he gently rolled Enyd towards himself so that she ended up on her side. Then, his ran his hands down her thigh and gently pulled it up, bending the top leg so that both her hip and her knee were at right angles. Next, he reached up to gently tilt her head back to keep her airway open - making her full lips pursed in the dawning light.

Given her state of undress, and the early hour of day, Drauc knew he had to keep her warm as well. Frowning, he considered how to best achieve this despite her being so exposed to the Klingon wilderness. He looked about, and saw his bundle of clothing and boots, and knew that there were few other options. Of course he could request a medical transport back to the Theurgy, and abort the excursion entirely, but he had learned that in her mind, she truly wished to complete this journey in the mountains. Moreover, she might not wish to be found in the state she was in - the gossip of how her state of undress likely to spread across the Theurgy at warp speed.

So, instead, he unpacked the bundle and returned to her with his threadbare robe. He used it as a blanket while he laid down behind her, flush to her body, so that he might lend his bodily warmth to her. With the robe covering them both, the cold water would evaporate from their skin, and he would be close enough to protect her if the Klingon wildlife took an interest in them.

Carefully, he lifted her head, and ran his arm beneath it so that her cheek lay cushioned by his upper arm. He slid his other arm around her, embracing her from behind, and tried in vain to not consider the bareness of her body against his own. He quieted his breath, listening to the nature surrounding them, so that he might hear any approaching beasts in the undergrowth.

Yet as he laid there, trying to focus entirely on her protection against the unknown, rather than the intimate awareness and response to her body... he realised something.

Even when she was unconscious, and her thoughts did not invade his own, his attraction towards her did not dissipate.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #14
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan



Enyd’s waking mind first noted the warmth of her position without adding much detail beyond the sense of comfort and safety. Then, as one by one, her senses rebooted, and she clambered her way back to the realm of rational thought, Enyd was quick to fill in the blanks her mind had earlier overlooked. She was curled in the fetal position on her side, head cushioned on warm skin, with the remainder of the scarred arm outstretched on the grass in her line of sight. A second arm was wrapped snugly around her torso, anchoring her to what felt to be fleshy marble of tamed power and strength. Her body was cocooned beneath a tattered robe that smelled deliciously like Drauc and…Enyd’s eyes widened.

“Drauc.” Enyd gasped again but, thankfully, did not faint this time. “Are you okay?” She tipped her head to the side, peering at her Romulan companion over her shoulder. The last she remembered, he’d only barely begun to kiss her and she fell into what her grandmother called the “vapors” like a proper halfwit female with nary experience in the ways of men. “I can’t believe I fainted! I am so sorry. I promise-”

Enyd couldn’t continue her apology for the absolute ridiculousness of the situation overwhelmed her. Bringing her hand up, Enyd covered her mouth barely in time as she gave a quick snorting laugh. Her other hand came up as her back tipped into Drauc’s chest, falling shamelessly against him, Enyd’s eyes widened as her body shook and quivered with unrestrained laughter. Tears welled up and fell onto her cheeks as she replayed the events of their outing in her mind, each replay focusing on more and more details of absurdity.

Eventually, the feeling of his heartbeat against her naked flesh and the shared warmth beneath his robe calmed Enyd from the emotional high of laughing at their ludicrous situation. Taking deep breaths in through her nose and out her mouth, a hand moving to rest on her chest to feel her own heartbeat with the other moving of its own accord to rest on top of Drauc’s where it continued to lay over her belly, Enyd smiled.

“Not that you seem to be the type given to bragging to the ‘boys’ back on the ship,” Enyd turned her head as it lay against his arm to smile at him directly, “but you can now brag that your charms are such you made a woman faint in your arms.”

Before she allowed their positions to threaten her newfound confidence, bolstered in a fashion by the mishap, Enyd twisted in his arms to face him, her arm snaking around his torso in a mirrored fashion to his own. Her playful smile still tugging at her lips, Enyd leaned forward and rubbed the tip of her nose against Drauc’s before moving closer still to brush her nose against his cheek. Tipping her head back, Enyd brought her fingers up to brush some of Drauc’s hair away from his face, her delight in his presence and in the moment shining from her smile.

“Inuit’s of Earth call that a ‘kunik,’ it is a friendly greeting but can also be called a kiss.”

Her smile tipping to the mischievous side, Enyd leaned in again and this time pressed a quick kiss to his lips. It was assuredly not the impassioned kiss of intimacy they’d started with, but it was Enyd felt she could initiate of her own accord at this time. If Drauc wanted more passion—and she wasn’t against it—well, he would have to start that fire again, since she was still mentally preoccupied with the startling fact that she’d fainted in his arms.

“I promise I am fine, and this does not happen every time a man kisses me.” Enyd couldn’t stop the giggle. “We can…continue if you like.”

While on one level Enyd meant their adventure up the mountain, it wasn’t lost on the woman that her comment could also be applied to their shared intimacy.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #15
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
The mirth that Enyd felt when she awoke washed over Drauc's mind like sunshine, the mix of mortification and delight towards the absurd a rather refreshing reaction to what he - mere minutes past - had feared to be some manner of human ailment.

Instead, judging by her take on the situation, it seemed she had merely been overwhelmed. Drauc had no idea how to respond or react to such a notion, since he had few - if any - reference points towards something similar happening to him before. Surely he wouldn't bespeak what lay between them towards someone else on the Theurgy, not just because neither of them were entirely sure what the status of their affiliation was, but because it would not be very honourable of him to do so. Who was he to swagger and boast of intimate conquests? That - certainly - wasn't him in the slightest, and not just because he was rather bereft of a lengthy track record of such entanglements. Indeed, Enyd was right to think him not the kind to entertain such sordid banter.

"I will chalk it up to the temperature of the water and your lack clothes, rather than any influence of mine, Enyd Isolde Madsen," he rasped to her when she turned to face him in his arms, underneath the cover of his robe. "How are you feeling?" His mind lingered on the fact that his appreciation towards her hadn't wavered when his mind had been bereft of her influence, knowing that whatever presided between them wasn't merely a reflection of Enyd's strange fascination of him. He looked into her eyes after she'd cleared away his hair with her delicate fingers and given him the strange manner of kiss that hailed from Earth - or so he believed - curious as to whatever it may be that made her desire him so. It seemed too blunt to ask her, however, so he kept his tongue from vocalising his thought.

Instead, the machinations of his mind were dampened by another kiss of hers, however brief compared to the one before.

She assured him that she was well, and that she wouldn't faint once more, whilst giggling and seeming perfectly at peace with their situation - strange as the development had been. Like he had asked if they were to continue earlier, in the stream, she now posed the very same question to him, and for a moment, he hesitated about what she referred to. In fact, judging by her subsequent thoughts, she wasn't entirely sure either about the intention behind her statement - whether or not it referred to their trek or to their liaison.

"Aye," he rasped, since the answer would be the same either way. And as if to accommodate their mutual wishes, he kissed her anew, and pulled her in with the hand resting on her bare back. He felt the lace of her undergarments scrape against his skin, and her warm breaths against his lips when he lingered with his mouth against hers, his lips shifting ever so slightly to let her breathe now and again. He did not let his hand wander too far, remaining on her back even though he ran it up and down her spine in gentle movements. When he spoke, his words were thick, grating through his damaged vocal cords. He could feel his eyes crease with the hint of a smile as he looked at her. "If you wish to trod on... you are the one lying on top of my arm..."

In all fairness, it might be he whom were to blame for keeping her there, given his incentive to kiss her, but he found it humours to mock-accuse her intentions.

Preoccupied as he was, and because of the noise of the stream... Drauc had yet to pick out the sound of the approaching beast in the undergrowth.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #16
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

“Don’t sell yourself short, Drauc,” Enyd reached up between them and tapped the end of his nose, perfectly content to be held under the comfort of his robe, “you’re too tall for that. Your voice alone does wonders on a gal’s nerves,” she giggled as she thought back on her first impression of the enigmatic man.

It had taken more than a little willpower to keep her clothes on just from the influence of his voice. And it made Enyd wonder if he had untapped powers of influence attached to the timbre of his voice in actuality. Something that even he didn’t know about.

At his follow-up question, Enyd smiled, shameless as she all but burrowed more snugly against his side, “My earlier assumption about my nerves is proving correct. Just had to faint like a dead woman first.” She rolled her eyes at her own earlier silliness before sobering enough to add, “Truly, I feel recovered. Quite content to remain where I am right now. The mountain top has been there for centuries, but I’ve only been in your arms, conscious of the experience, for a few minutes.”

Drauc’s rejoinder was more than she’d expected but no less welcome. The weight of his warm hand at the small of her back rustled butterflies in her belly. Instinctively, her hands sought the strength of his shoulders, her embrace anchoring her body against his chest as he deepened the kiss. Her body shivered and quaked in response to his light touches along her spine, drawing a smile from her. Enyd didn’t hide the pout, her lower lip jutting out childishly when Drauc pulled back from the kiss to tease her.

“And it is a very comfortable arm,” Enyd retorted, the juvenile pout influencing her tone of voice, “and I have since decided that I am far too comfortable to move any further. You’ll just have to carry me.”

Enyd didn’t give him a chance to counter her wit with more of his own. She pushed herself against him with her full weight, not that it was much in comparison, fully intent upon fulfilling at least one fantasy: that of lying atop his body, enjoying his warmth. Sealing her lips against his once more, Enyd hummed her delight in the moment.

But she wasn’t building a theory of being a walking chaos-attracting singularity without evidence. Just as it seemed she was succeeding in finally getting something her way, in the time she wanted it, rustling and a growing growl in the undergrowth nearby stopped her heart in her chest and froze her body against his. Eyes wide, Enyd lifted her face away from Drauc’s and looked past their little clearing to the thick foliage surrounding them. She watched as the ferns shook in protest as something large moved through them, each passing second bringing whatever it was closer, and with its sound increasing in ferocity.

“Do you have a weapon?” Enyd whispered to Drauc, not having moved from her position against him yet.

As she waited for his answer, Enyd thought through the creatures the brochure had warned of living in this area: cob’lats, grint hounds, to’baj, brush devils, klongat, and grishnar cats. Of those creatures, they had a good chance of coming out of this unscathed if it proved to be a to’baj or a grishnar cat, but less so if it was anything else.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #17
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
Within the span of a few seconds, the development in the clearing had changed completely - leaving Drauc's mind reeling in the sudden shift.

Having ended up on his back, with Enyd on top of him, Drauc did not have the best vantage point to see where the beast might be. He did, however, now feel the presence of an animal mind, primal and instinctual, without thoughts to read, but with plenty of predatory will to rend flesh and eat. With so little intelligence, and a lack of nuanced emotion, the thing approaching in the undergrowth was a singular presence in Drauc's mind. One of primeval hunger, and it having caught their scent in the clearing. By no means was he able to tell one animal apart from another, but he did know that Enyd had distracted him to the degree that it was right at the edge of the clearing when he realised it was there. By then, it had made enough noise to alert the Diplomat as well, so he had utterly failed in safeguarding her.

"No," he rasped in reply to her question, not having armed himself before their excursion, and if Enyd had brought a phaser, it was inside her bundle of clothing, and far out of reach. He sat up slowly, eyes on the edge of the clearing in which the beast hid, and the movement made her settle unto his lap - legs straddling him. Every second counted, since it was clear the animal had caught their scent, so it became an awkward affair to disentangle himself from her, and also making sure she didn't end up falling to the ground in the process. "I will find the machete."

No more had he said this before the undergrowth parted, and two eyes met his own. The hulking shape stepped into the dawning light, out of shadow, with two thick teeth extending from its gaping maw. Keeping his knees bent, hands spread, Drauc stared at the predatory therapsid, sizing the animal up with his eyes. It was a saber bear, its soulless eyes glinting in the pre-dawn light coming off the mountainside. Among the Qo'noS wildlife, this was a formidable thing to face. Their only saving grace was that, as far as Drauc knew, this beast might only be two years old, an older cub that recently left its mother and had begun to hunt on its own. Compared to mature saber bears, it was small... but still weighed close to three hundred pounds.

Drauc began to step sideways, going for the bundle of clothes nearby, in which he knew the machete was hidden. His gaze never left the beast at the edge of the clearing, however, since it was approaching them at a slow but steady pace. It was assessing them with its dull mind, unfamiliar with what it was looking at, and assessing how much of a fight it would be to kill these preys of hairless apes it had found. Hunger drove it to dismiss any risk, and it roared loudly at them - spittle raining over the ground. Drauc didn't react outwardly to the beast's cry for blood, since he had foreseen it's roar before it was heard. He had reached the bundle, and slowly sank to one knee so that he might retrieve the weapon with his scarred fingers.

"Back away, Enyd," he rasped quietly, not looking away from the beast, which had picked up its pace - about to make its attack. His fingers found the handle of the blade, and he clutched his fingers around it in a vice-like grip. Any fear he felt wasn't his own, trying instead to emulate the ferociousness of the bear. This was not the kind of battlefield he usually fought on, the enemy one of more base nature than he was used to, but he would adapt, so that he might protect Enyd and survive. He bared his teeth at the animal when it rose up on its hind-legs... and he foresaw the initial strike with its forefoot.

The bear was stronger than him, equally quick as well, but Drauc could roll to the side in time since the beast's mind had betrayed its intention. As soon as he could, he spun on his feet, and dealt a deep cut into the beast's hindleg with the machete, causing another roar to reverberate against the ground. Thus, the dance began, and Drauc did all he could to stay ahead of the animal, and deliver whatever cuts he could - hoping that Enyd might find a phaser or a combadge. The former to subdue the beast, or the latter to escape the clearing.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #18
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

This is a bad idea.

While Drauc faced off with the sabre bear—not even a creature that had been listed as a possible threat for this area—Enyd cautiously made her way to her bag. It seemed young, based on its size, and likely had roamed outside the known sabre bear hunting territory out of hunger and curiosity.

This is a VERY bad idea.

Enyd shivered, her arm hair standing on ends as the bear yowled its murderous intent. But she couldn’t afford to hesitate in her mission. Not when all Drauc had against the bear was a machete and his ability to read minds. It was unlikely the bear had the same weakness for sexy voices and could be coaxed into submission from a story recited by Drauc.

Repeat warning: this is A LUDICROUS IDEA!

Behind her, Enyd could hear the scuffle of beast and man facing off with one another. Thankfully, no humanoid cries of pain, only beastly growls of disdain as Drauc continued to anticipate attacks and evade in a macabre dance. Since she’d packed the bag, Enyd was quick about retrieving the wanted items for her ludicrously terrible idea her subconscious was already screaming at her to set aside and instead choose something else, anything else, a sane person might try when faced with this dilemma. Deft fingers looped the whistle around her neck before tucking the emergency blanket into the back of her underwear. A deafening roar alerted Enyd to the growing rage from the wounded sabre bear as Drauc dealt the first cut.

Pulling out the flashlight and signal flare, and setting both into plain view, Enyd seized the rope at the same time she pivoted to finally cast her gaze on the fighting pair. An expert lasso was tied by the time she was in position, the bear facing Drauc, its furry back to her, and just about ready to fall back onto all four paws from its standing position. Now it was just a matter of timing.

You are the biggest imbecile-

Enyd let out a yell that would make any Montanan proud as she tossed the lasso loop at the bear’s front legs the second its paws hit the ground. Her aim was true and with a jerk, the knot tightened and, for the moment, the bear face-planted. Not remaining stationary for the rope to do all the work, Enyd took what few steps were necessary to launch herself directly onto the bear’s back—hence her subconscious’ effort to warn her of her own idiocy. Once the quivering fur-covered heat of the beast’s muscled back was firmly between her legs, Enyd looped the other portion of the rope around its neck. Then, with one hand keeping a tight grip on the rope, Enyd reached around to rip out the emergency blanket with the other. 

And this was where the bear not so subtly reminded Enyd that many things worked out mechanically only in one’s mind and not so splendidly when set into real-life action.

Not only did the bear wrestle a paw out of the loop around its ankles, but it also decided that this particular meal was far more of a nuisance than was worth the effort, especially since he now had a screeching parasite of sorts on his back. With a roar of great displeasure, the bear reared back on its hind legs, doing what it could to toss Enyd. But, unfortunately for the bear, Enyd was not sane enough to let go. Not yet. Instead, she pulled the blanket out of her underwear, ripping the lacy material completely in half, and using her grip on the rope still looped around its neck as leverage, Enyd hoisted herself further up on the bear’s neck, just enough to toss the blanket over’s the bear’s head. Now blind, confused, and a more than a little embarrassed at how terribly wrong this meal had turned, the bear snorted and pawed at the blanket, cutting off its view through one eye.

“Drauc, get the-“

Enyd’s words cut off into a caterwauling as the bear twisted and bucked before taking off into a careening lope through the jungle undergrowth. It was all Enyd could do to push the whistle between her lips and blow with every jarring exhale while holding tight to the rope, now remade into a type of reins. For the Romulan not bear-back riding, likely he was seeing a full moon in the Klingon light of day.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #19
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
Whatever additional cuts Drauc had managed to land against the thick fur of the beast, they had been nominal in sense of damage. The best, and most unexpected, opportunity to deal critical injury to the bear had been when Enyd joined the fray, using a rope and blanket in attempt to hobble and blind the animal. Drauc had made the most of it, dealing a deep cut across the exposed abdomen, and he would have dealt another cut if he'd had more time. Unfortunately, the beast set his forefeet down again, forcing Drauc to roll out of range - getting back on his feet in a cloud of dust and out of harm's way.

That, however, meant he was not able to intercept the bear when it decided to leave the clearing, the cut-off words of Enyd slowly penetrating the battle-rage that the bear had caused Drauc to feel. The sight of her bared posterior was noticed, but in the throes of the fight, it didn't give him pause. Blinking, teeth still bared, he was torn between immediately setting off in pursuit of the beast - to save Enyd from the fate of being mauled as soon as the sabre bear was able to throw her off its back - or to piece together the meaning of what she'd tried to say. He spared a glance at the bundle she had unpacked, and when his eyes settled on the items there, it took him a moment longer than he had wished to make out the microfusion flare on the ground. With animal rage permeating his thoughts, he leapt to collect the flare - basically being a rocket in a metal tube - and then set after the beast, guided by the sound of the whistle.

With no regard for his state of undress, Drauc sprinted through the undergrowth, lashed by giant ferns and leaping across branches, bark, and stems, existing in various stages of decomposition above the soil surface. The path the bear had made through the vegetation wasn't clear to him given the speed at which he meant to close the distance, and the necessity of tracking was gone in thanks to Enyd's whistle. Still, Drauc knew instinctively that unless it stopped moving, he would have little chance to outrun it. As a bipedal creature, and weaker than the beast, the terrain of the battlefield was not to his advantage. Yet Enyd was in grave danger, so as best as he might, he traversed the jungle at a break-neck speed that had the trunks around him whisk by like flutters of shadow in the pre-dawn light. There was no pain, just the rage of the beast, and the absolute intent that precluded any notion of fear or his own survival.

As it were, the cut Drauc had made into the bear's hind leg proved to slow it down, and Drauc could hear Enyd's whistle more loudly by the moment. For some reason, it may have stopped, perhaps to rid itself of the prey that rode upon it, and Drauc did not waste a moment to contemplation. There was no tactic or plan to his pursuit, for as soon as he saw the furry beast ahead of him, his grip around the machete and the flare hardened - his scarred forehead furrowed over flint-like eyes. He saw Enyd peripherally, but his focus was on the bear entirely.

It had its back partially towards Drauc, and it was rising up on its hind legs again, roaring and shaking it's colossal frame. There was a thick tree trunk to the right, and a boulder close to it. Primal instinct had Drauc use the latter as a stepping stone, and the former as a means to reach the beast's head. Two leaps, one off the rock and the second away from the side of the trunk, and he dealt a savage cut across the bear's cheek and its eye. Landing in a roll across the leaves of the jungle, Drauc knew he had little time, for as he wanted the animal to forget the human riding on him, and get it's full attention, it meant he'd have to be ready.

By the time he turned around, the beast was roaring in agony, bereft of sight on one side, blanket partially obscuring the other, but agitated enough to deal a strike without aim - the strength of it toppling a smaller tree. Having foreseen it through his connection to the bear, and before it might strike anew, Drauc saw the opportunity, and there was no forethought to his action. No plan beyond instinct, his own or the bear's the only unknown factor.

In a rain of bark, Drauc lunged and rammed the microfusion flare into the cut that he'd given the bear in the clearing - feeling the guts around his whitened knuckles. The immediate reaction of the beast, twisting and howling, almost dislocated Drauc's arm in its socket, but a muffled chirp told him he'd activated the flare before he let go. He sensed rather than saw the back-paw strike that hit him over the chest, and he lost all manner of orientation. His feet were off the ground, and he soon felt himself tumble across the undergrowth. Another tree stopped his movement, and in spite of the pain, he had to warn Enyd.

"Let go!" His cry, raw and loud, struck the canopy above them. "Run!"

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #20
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

The harsh cry of the whistle ringing in her own ears may have drowned out much of the bear's snarling growls of frustration, but it certainly didn’t hinder the vibrations she felt rumbling through its body as it tore through the jungle on a mission to dislodge her from its back and, perhaps, eat her in the process. Trusting that Drauc was still on their trail, hopefully armed with the items they had at hand to halt its attack, Enyd continued to hold on to the makeshift halter wrapped around the bear’s neck. It was only a matter of time before either the bear tired out and realized he could roll over and be done with her through his crushing weight alone or, more likely, Enyd lost her grip and slid off. She didn’t trust the bear to keep on running, and that was the only reason she didn’t let go already. Something this pissed off was more likely to turn and attack than to keep on its path.

They were nearing another junction in the river. Enyd could just glimpse the water’s edge through the ferns. Twisting her hand in the rope to tighten its hold against the creature’s neck, Enyd reached out with her other and twisted its ear. The bear reared back, letting out a roar that was heard and felt over her pitiful whistle. Threatening to dislodge Enyd, the bear pawed at the air but a few seconds before a streak of color passed through their field of view. The whistle dropped from Enyd’s lips when the bear began pawing anew at its face. Blood stained the earth around its feet from the wound Drauc had lent anew.

Enyd barely caught sight of Drauc before he sprung into action again. She noted the flare in Drauc’s hand just as he launched himself to bury the flare into its gut. Enyd gasped when the bear swatted Drauc away as if he were a mere bag of feathers, but her eyes moved from tracking his trajectory back to the rope in hand before she could see where he’d fallen. While she heard his yelled warning and concurred mightily with the need to do so, Enyd found herself in a bit of a pickle now that the opportunity to disengage was at hand.

Not caring for the new round of attacks, and still mightily annoyed with the pest on its back, the bear dropped back to all fours and began his haphazard retreat once more. All the while, Enyd used her free hand to work at the mess of rope and fur that had gathered and coagulated around her hand enough to create a very real obstacle in this whole “letting go” business. Muttering a whole slew of curses under her breath that her grandmother would’ve washed her mouth out for, Enyd kept up her tugging, pushing, pulling, gnawing efforts for freedom while contending with the jarring motions of being on the back of a thoroughly enraged and erratic wounded sabre bear.

Just as she heard the first splashes of its front paws hitting the water, Enyd finally freed her hand and tumbled off its back. At least one thing went right, and instead of landing face-first on a sharp rock or into a swirling rapid, Enyd landed in the small bits of gravel that had gathered at the water’s edge. Without looking back, Enyd pushed to her feet and ran back toward Drauc. The unforgiving Klingon foliage lashed at her naked thighs, some even curving around to slap against her equally nude derriere. But Enyd didn’t stop until the concussive wave of the bear’s not-so-distant explosion tipped her off balance, and she slid back into the earlier clearing.

Enyd lifted her head at the same time she spit out the bits of leaves and dirt that managed to lodge inside her mouth in her fall. Looking around the clearing, Enyd winced and barely swallowed her moan of discomfort as she pushed herself off the ground and somehow managed to regain her footing again. She was covered from head to toe in sabre bear fur, streaks of dirt and bits of gravel, and broken pieces of leaves. Her hair was a jungle-filled wild mess about her dirt-smeared face. Barefoot, bottomless, and with one side of her bralet completely ripped open and baring at least one breast, Enyd knew she looked like death warmed over. But, thanks to Drauc, she was still alive.

“Drauc,” Enyd’s gaze finally found him, and she moved to his side as quickly as her newfound limp allowed her. “Are you okay?” Enyd pulled a broken branch further away from where he lay and tentatively reached out to touch one of the cuts on his forearm this endeavor had rendered his skin. “What can I do to help you?”

I am so sorry it took me so long!

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #21
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
Seeing Enyd appear through the undergrowth after the sabre bear had taken off - and subsequently met its end - instilled a sense of relief in Drauc that mirrored that of Enyd’s solace over being alive. A reflective reaction, even though the causes differed.

Still, the beastly, low-resolution emotions from the bear still lingered in Drauc as he watched her approach, seeing her state of nigh complete undress. It quickened something primal in his mind, something not entirely his own, since the female before him - however distressed - served as a reminder of what had developed between them. Something that, in less eloquent terms than what had been addressed before, could be distilled into a desire to mate. So when she touched him, the sting of his wound flared up beneath her fingers, and he reacted as an animal in the presence of a female might.

Drauc seized her wrist and pulled her hand away, baring his teeth at her. His eyes were feral, burning behind the tresses of his hair, and his heartbeat was still raging in his chest - adrenaline pumping through his veins. He surged from his position atop of the grass, and had her on her back within a couple of seconds - the back of her head cradled by his other hand. He let go of her wrist so that he might push away the cloth that resided between his hardness and Enyd’s spread legs. Hasty, rough movements, his breath laboured through his damaged throat.

Though while he was filled with the base need to lay with the female... the bear was dead, so by the succeeding moments that passed... Drauc became still, and was able to grasp the shift from the bear’s mind to that of Enyd’s. He felt more and more... what she felt in her predicament. Be it fear or consent. He was staring into her eyes, the feral embers dying away, as if in search for an answer that only her mind or her words could grant him.

If he had frightened her, he would withdraw - coming to his senses in the light of what her mind told him.

Yet if she wanted him, then and there, he would claim her.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #22
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

A high-pitched grunt burst from Enyd’s lips as Drauc literally flipped Enyd’s world around. One moment she was checking on a wound, and the next, he was settled between her legs and mere seconds from thrusting into her. That he had enough presence of mind to hold back, albeit briefly, spoke greatly of his foundational character. And it was that foundational character, and the very nature of Drauc’s abilities, that had Enyd’s stabilizing grip on his shoulders loosening from its instinctive clutch.

“Drauc,” Enyd’s voice was soft, wobbly from a heady mixture of aroused concern, “I need you to take some deep breaths and wait in the moment with me.”

Keeping her attention fully on his face and well away from the insistent heat she felt from his erection, and where it throbbed between her legs, Enyd hoped her mental efforts to stay in the moment, yet think to the future, would help Drauc return to himself. Not at all telepathic, Enyd could only guess that some of the primal urges of the bear had influenced Drauc’s behavior. If he was so sensitive just to her own thoughts and emotions, likely he was equally sensitive to things like sabre bears. And that bear had been feeling some very, VERY strong emotions just before its explosive demise. If, or when, Enyd and Drauc were to consummate their mutual attraction, Enyd wanted to ensure that the only influencing emotions and thoughts were theirs. And even then, Enyd hoped to learn enough mental power to at least shield some of her thoughts from Drauc so his actions and feelings could truly originate from himself. If that was at all possible.

“How are you now, Drauc?” Enyd smoothed a hand over the side of his face, her fingers tracing along his jawline. She did her best to keep still, not wanting to incite more passion than what Drauc rationally intended now that the beast was gone and they were on their own again.

Slowly, the sounds of the jungle resumed their earlier hum—having stopped in the chaos of their earlier flight—and Enyd latched onto the rhythm of that sound to aid in grounding her own emotions as well. Enyd maintained eye contact with the Romulan as they breathed together. There was no mistaking it; she still found Drauc attractive—though their earlier kisses had worked to dispel the uncontrollable thought pattern—and she was still more than a little curious about what it would be like to lay with him. But there was also no ignoring the fierce sense of responsibility and integrity that she’d been raised with. Even if Drauc would only feel what others around him would feel, Enyd couldn’t help but wonder if HE would feel like a cur if, when in the darkened confines of his own quarters hours from now, he reflected on their tryst with the mind’s eye of recognition of an animal’s baser influence, if he would feel shame, and if that shame would mar their burgeoning relationship.

Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #23
[ Drauc T'Laus | Blng'av Mountain Region | Qo'Nos ] Attn: @Ellen Fitz 
Gradually, by the moment, the clarity of higher intelligence returned to Drauc. The ferocity begotten by the beast ebbed away, and while the mutual desire was still present - mirrored from Enyd - rationality and compassion took precedence over primal urgency.

Indeed, the fears the diplomat held on his behalf were well founded, for he would not have forgiven himself if there was any doubt as to what he - or she - wanted. Marred by the influence of the bear, theirs would have been a moment darkened by doubt and animal fervour, and Drauc would have thought he may have hurt Enyd. Not just physically, but emotionally as well, and that was something he wouldn't forgive himself for. So, as he looked into her eyes, and controlled his breathing more and more by the second, he found enlightenment in something he had yet to tell her. To do so now, however, made him wonder if she would believe him.

"Aye, since you are," he rasped in answer at last, since it seemed the ordeal with the bear had not caused her as much distress as he'd think it might. A pearl of sweat ran down his temple and reached her fingers. Then, while his heart still raced, he composed himself by closing his mouth, swallowing, and gently rolling off her. Then, looking into the Qo'noS sky as he laid there in the grass, he wetted his lips and confessed what he had discovered.

"While you were unconscious," he grated as he lay there, bare to the first rays of sunlight that crested the closest mountainside, blood still pumping hard in his veins, "and your mind did not affect my own, I found that my solicitude for you remained - unabated."

He then wondered, staring into the sky, what credence did this have? As far as he knew, as the bear had just demonstrated, the effect of other minds upon his own were immediate, and he would be clear of thought and firm of reasoning when the presence of others was gone. As best as he could judge, from his experience, any doubt remaining would be reduced to the question of inception, catalyst or causality.

Yet was that not true of all humans, that there could be no stirring emotions towards others unless they met?


Re: Day 7 [0345 hrs] Mountain Mayhem with Madsen

Reply #24
[Lt. Enyd Isolde Madsen | Blng’av Mountain Region | Qo’Nos ] attn: @Auctor Lucan

Enyd let out the breath she’d been holding when Drauc rolled off her. It hadn’t been from fear, not exactly, but assuredly trepidation. Not for her own safety, for she knew from experience that she could survive rough handling, but more so for his own sense of honor and self. Staring at the jungle canopy overhead, Enyd listened as Drauc caught his breath and worked on composing himself further. She hoped her own sense of calm in the face of his earlier storm was helping.

His confession had Enyd blushing even as she felt a self-satisfied thrill vibrate through her body. For what woman didn’t find some pleasure in knowing an attractive man found her attractive in return? It was also reassuring that it hadn’t just been her unbridled girlish fantasies that led them to this point. She would have hated that thought as much as he hated the thought of knowing a bear’s aggression had led to their first intimacy.

Curious, and uncaring of her state of undress, Enyd rolled onto her side. Refraining from touching him, as she assumed touch just increased the emotional and mental sharing, Enyd voiced her curiosity.

“Let us go with hypotheticals, again. Hypothetically speaking, if we were to grow closer, perhaps even intimate,” she was honorable enough to keep her eyes on his face and not let her gaze wander over his god-like body as she spoke, “and we were somehow on a mission together that went sideways, and things got violent, would you be able to distinguish me from the enemy? If I was there, would you be able to complete the mission?” She knew in some ways it was unfair to be asking those types of questions when aside from their earlier kiss and the nearly-there of just moments before, nothing firm or lasting had been established between them. But her pragmatic mind, ever thinking of contingencies, was already ten steps ahead and curious. Ducking her head and finally giving in to the temptation to touch, Enyd gently laid a hand on his shoulder, “Hypothetically speaking, is it possible for you to shield yourself from the influence of others? Is there any way I can help with that?”

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