Author Topic: Reaching a Decision  (Read 746 times)

Duncan Devereux

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Reaching a Decision
« on: August 01, 2019, 08:33:34 PM »
All they could hear was the sound of birds tweeting around them, the rustle of the wind in the leaves, and children's laughter. Dev found himself smiling and completely at peace, if only for a little while, as they climbed hand in hand to the top of that hill.

The quiet was shattered when they came into sight of the children outside the tower.


Micah's yell was almost eclipsed by Ana's similar declaration as the two children came barreling toward the couple at speed. Laughing, Amaris released Dev's hand to crouch and catch the pair before they overshot entirely.

"Look at you guys! Having fun?"

Dev smiled as the pair of children rushed into Amaris' arms. It was clear to see how fond they were of her and how much they trusted her. Whatever other people thought of Lycans, they were wrong - she was a living testament to that.

"Lots of fun!" Ana confirmed, beaming a smile up at Amaris. "We always have fun when we come here. It's better than camping!"

"Better than camping, huh? Hmm, maybe me and Dev should test that sometime," Amaris said teasingly, letting the two children clamber onto her until she could stand up with them both secure on her back and in her arms. "This is Dev - say hi."

Micah beamed at Dev, clearly remembering him from the scariest day of his young life, and wriggled his fingers. "'lo, mister."

Dev chuckled as both children climbed aboard the Maris Train. "Hello, Micah. Remember me?" he asked the boy with a grin.

"I 'member!" Ana interjected. "I saw you at the daycare place. Papa said you helped Maris save Micah from the bad people."

Micah nodded excitedly. "He go boom an' the bad man runned away," he told his sister. "An' Umreese was there."

Amaris chuckled at their chatter. "You guys being good for your parents?"

"Mmhm," Ana replied with a slightly mischievous smile, the kind of smile children wore when they were pretending to be good but were really into mischief. "Papa said if we're good, we can stay up late to see the stars."

"That must be some sight here," Dev remarked, knowing how few stars could be seen in the night sky back home, due to all the light pollution.

"Oh, wow, what a treat," Amaris enthused cheerfully, still walking toward the tower, showing no sign that the children weighed anything much. "And the moon's still bright, so it'll be really pretty."

"Hey!" A man's voice was heard greeting them just as Rhys came into view, waving from a short distance ahead where he was strolling down the path to meet them. "Ready for an afternoon snack?" he asked, the question mostly meant for the children.

"Papa!" Ana called back, wiggling out of Amaris' embrace to run and meet her father.

The transition from being carried to running toward their father was almost seamless thanks to the seasoned child carer holding the little pair. Amaris lunged down onto one knee so neither child hit the ground hard, standing up with another warm laugh as Rhys was presented with both his overexcited little ones rushing toward him at speed.

It wasn't as if they hadn't seen their father just a few minutes ago, but the love the little family shared was clear to see. The children clearly adored their father and vice versa. Dev watched as Rhys crouched down to scoop both children up, one in each arm, before effortlessly moving to his feet.

"If you two get any bigger, I'm gonna need bigger arms!" he teased.

"Wait until you have three to juggle," a female voice said, and Natalya came into view, holding a tray laden with a jug and cups, and a plate of what looked suspiciously like chocolate chip cookies. "Or five, when your sister's children join in." She offered Amaris and Dev a welcoming smile. "Come and make yourselves comfortable, there is enough for everyone."

"The more the merrier!" Rhys said, a happy grin on his face. He had few reasons to frown these days, and now that this latest conflict with the rogue vampires and wolves was over, he had good reason to feel both happy and relieved. The safety of his family was first and foremost always.

"Cookies?" Dev asked, chuckling as he peeked at the plate. "How'd you manage that?"

Natalya chuckled as she set the tray down on a smooth table that seemed to have been created out of a lengthwise section of a tree trunk. "My darling husband has a bad habit of smuggling modern treats onto the Isle," she explained. "But the tea was made here. His sister always makes far too much for her family, so we have a steady supply when we visit."

Micah was already climbing up onto one of the two benches laid beside the table, eyeing the cookies hopefully.

Dev shook his head, a little confused. How did they manage it all, given the fact that they lived on an island with no access to the rest of the world? Rhys noticed the look on the man's face and chuckled, even as his children scooted down from their father's embrace to feast on chocolate chip cookies.

"Don't try to figure it out," he told the man, slapping him on the back. "It'll just make your brain hurt."

"For reference, my brain already hurts," Amaris volunteered. She'd automatically fallen in to helping Nat corral the children with drinks and cookies, and was being urged to sit down between Ana and Micah for it.

"It can take you that way," Nat agreed. "I was a mess when I first learned about this place."

"She's known longer than I have," Rhys explained, as he poured them each a glass of iced tea. "It's only because of Nat that I'm welcome here," he said, though that was not entirely true. What was true was that if he hadn't met Nat, he might never have ended up here.

"I would not say it is only because of me," his wife objected, helping Micah tip his cup so he could drink. "You came here because of me, certainly. I wasn't about to let you out of my sight again."
"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Duncan Devereux

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Re: Reaching a Decision
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2019, 08:35:56 PM »
Amaris glanced between them curiously. "I sense a story."

"A story better saved for later," Rhys said, with a smirk and a nod of his head toward the munchkins. After all, the story started on an airplane where Nat introduced Rhys to the Mile High Club. It was a story that wasn't really meant for young ears. He glanced over at Nat, eyes crinkling with amusement and obvious adoration.

"We're not going anywhere," Dev said, looking between them. "At least, not until I decide whether or not I want to accept the Lady's offer."

"Tonight, then," Natalya agreed. "You will have dinner with us, won't you?"

Micah swallowed with a loud gulp. "Umreese an' Dev gon' eat din wiv us?" he asked hopefully, splitting his gaze between Amaris and Dev, and his parents.

"Are you gonna watch the stars with us, too?" Ana was just as quick to ask. Rhys laughed at his children. There was no question they were both fond of "Umreese", and Dev was growing on them.

"We have nowhere else to go!" Dev was quick to reply, taking a sip of his tea, surprised at the taste and realizing Nat must have used honey as a sweetener. "Mm, it's good!"

"If we're welcome to, I'm sure you could persuade us to watch the stars with you," Amaris told Ana, glad Dev seemed comfortable enough to accept the invitation.

"Would you like to borrow some clothes to fit in better around here?" Nat asked then, including both of them in the question. "It can occasionally get a little wearing when everyone is staring at people in jeans."

Dev chuckled at Nat's suggestion. "I hadn't noticed, but I suppose you're right." He'd been too busy looking at the sights to realize they looked very out of place there in their modern clothing. "I assume my cell phone is useless," he added with a smirk.

Rhys nodded as he plopped down on the bench opposite the children and drew Nat down with him. "No cell towers means no signal," he confirmed. "It feels weird at first, but you get used to it."

"I think that would be a relief," Amaris said with a faint laugh. "Still getting my head around all of this; I'm not sure I want to draw too much attention for the time being."

"Have cookie," Micah said abruptly, attempting to insert one of his cookies into Dev's mouth without much in the way of warning.

Dev grinned and mumbled his thanks around the cookie before taking a bite, while Ana giggled.

"Mama makes the best cookies," she informed him, quite seriously.

"Mama makes the best everything," Rhys agreed, sliding an arm around "Mama".

"Pardon me for asking, but when are you due?" Dev asked, turning to Nat.

"Some time near the end of November," Nat told him with a smile, leaning comfortably into Rhys. Her third pregnancy was definitely showing much sooner than the other two had.

"Want me to hold a place for number three at the daycare?" Amaris asked teasingly.

"Eventually," Rhys said, leaning over to touch a kiss to his wife's cheek. He was in no hurry to put the newest addition to the family in daycare. From the look on his face, it was almost as if for a moment in time, there was no one there but the two of them. His expression was one of abject love and adoration; there was no question how much he adored her.

Nat smiled, leaning in to return Rhys' kiss tenderly, ignoring the giggling from the section of the table under four feet tall. Amaris caught Dev's eye, trying not to laugh herself. It was adorable how in love the Bristols were, but it was very hard not to laugh along with their children while the affection was being handed out.

But Rhys was used to these reactions from their children and once he was finished kissing his wife, he turned to the two little imps across from his with a smirk, picked up a cookie, stuck it in his mouth so that it covered his teeth and gave them a silly grin.

"Don' play wiv y'foo'," Micah informed his father in a solemn tone, at which point

Amaris gave up trying to hold in her laughter. She let it go in a loud, warm peal of giggles that left her gasping and clutching at her aching stomach.

Rhys chomped down on that cookie and offered his son a salute, mumbling with a mouthful of cookie, "Yes, sir!"

Ana giggled again. "You're so funny, Daddy," she told him with a shake of her head, almost as if she was scolding him.

Dev smirked, wondering just who the adults were here.

The dogs that had been lolloping around the grass came over at that point to investigate Dev, since they had not met him before, snuffling at his legs and back while simultaneously attempting to beg for something that they knew they were not allowed to have. Natalya rolled her eyes.

"I have no idea how you control a room full of small children, Amaris," she said in amusement. "I have enough trouble with just five."

"Five?" Dev echoed, wondering who she was including in that group. She and Rhys had two children with another on the way, two dogs, and well, Rhys. That could add up to five, he supposed.

"Hey!" Rhys exclaimed, as if that same thought had just come to him. "Who you calling a child?" he asked, feigning insult, though he knew he was guilty as charged. Dev opened his hand to let the dogs investigate and hopefully approve.

"You, dusha moya," Nat assured her husband fondly, stroking his cheek. "And you know perfectly well why."
"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Duncan Devereux

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Re: Reaching a Decision
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2019, 08:36:17 PM »

Micah tugged on Amaris' shirt to get her attention. "Papa got inna barf wiv me," he intimated, loud enough for everyone to hear. "An' he was wearin' panties!"

"Were they lovely lacey ones like your mom wears?" Amaris asked, without thinking.

Nat let out a sudden cackle, leaning back just a little too far and sliding off the bench entirely to land flat on her back with her legs still on the seat she had just vacated.

Rhys grinned at his wife, neither confirming nor denying why she might consider him a child, until Micah burst out with his incriminating statement.

"Hey!" Rhys exclaimed, scowling at his son, before turning to Amaris, that same look on his face. "And just how do you know what kind of panties my wife wears?"

Dev snickered to himself, trying not to imagine the hunter wearing his wife's panties, startled to find Nat fall off the bench, ass over teakettle. Rhys jumped to his feet to help his wife up from the ground.

"Nat! Are you okay?" he asked her, eyes full of concern.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," the Russian woman laughed, waving away her husband's concern as she giggled her way back up onto the bench. "You know I am going to have to see this mental image for myself now."

Amaris snorted in amusement, hiding her grin behind a gulp from her cup.

"Would you rather I left it wagging in Micah's face?" Rhys asked, sounding just a little defensive. "I just grabbed the first thing at hand!" He laid his hands against Nat's bump, needing to assure himself that the baby was okay. "You okay in there?" he asked. "One kick for yes, two kicks for no! Wait ... That won't work."

"Well, I can feel it, you won't," Nat pointed out. And she could - the baby seemed to enjoy it when she laughed. "And he is very active in there, I assure you."

"Baby's movin'?" Micah asked, his eyes wide.

"Can we feel the baby moving?" Ana asked, though it seemed her mother had just assured her that not even their father could feel it yet.

Despite that, Rhys' hands stayed where they were for a moment longer than necessary, his concern evident.

"Don't ever do that again!" he warned his wife. "Almost had a heart attack."

"Not yet, solnyshka," Nat told her daughter. "It will not be long now, though, and you will be able to feel your little brother moving around in there."

"Why not now?" Micah complained.

Amaris nudged him gently.

"Because he's not big enough yet," she explained. "He has to grow the muscles so he can push and kick hard enough for you to feel it on the outside."

"I 'member when you were growin' inside Mama," Ana told her little brother. "You would kick and kick! Papa used to say you were gonna be a soccer player."

Rhys smiled, settling back onto the bench, one arm around Nat, no longer looking quite so worried.

"All babies kick, Ana. And some punch, too," he told his daughter.

"So you're having a boy?" Amaris asked curiously, absentmindedly wiping Micah's face and hands clean before the little boy decided to escape the table to go and play with the dogs again.

Ana might have had more questions for her parents, but she was quickly distracted by her little brother's escape from the table and scrambled after him instead.

Rhys shrugged in answer to Amaris' question. "It's just a feeling," he told her, without explanation.

Natalya's smile was a little mysterious, but she let Rhys take the lead on that one. These two were clearly more than a little overawed by Avalon - the last thing they needed was more confusion when having visions and ghosts explained to them.

"Fair enough," Amaris allowed, not rude enough to push for answers. "You said something about different clothes?"

It would have been easy to simply tell them that they'd been given the gift of a vision by the Lady, but even that would require some explanation, as well as a leap of faith. Maybe Rhys would tell them someday, but for now, they had enough to digest.

"Uh, yeah ..." he said, looking them both over. "Might not fit perfectly, but they should do for now."

"Come." Natalya rose to her feet, gesturing for Dev and Amaris to come with her toward the house.

"Why do I get the feeling I'm about to be put in a dress?" Amaris said with amused resignation. She was not the dressiest of dressers at the best of times, though she could make an effort for the right occasion.

The right occasion being, perhaps, a wedding, but that was some way off yet. As for Dev, he was a little shorter than Rhys, but they had about the same build, and the clothing they wore in Avalon was loosely fitted.

"Because you probably are," Rhys replied, chuckling. "Not you, you!" he confirmed for Dev with a nod of his head to Amaris. He made no move to get up, content to stay there and keep an eye on the dogs and the kids, not to mention, bask in the sunshine while snagging a few more cookies for himself.

"I hope not!" Dev replied with a grin as he moved to his feet. "I don't have the legs for it. I don't really have the legs for it."
"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Duncan Devereux

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Re: Reaching a Decision
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2019, 08:36:48 PM »
"Trust me, you will be very comfortable," Nat promised, leading the way into the house and up the spiral stairs to the third level. She drew them into what was obviously the master bedroom, and opened up a pair of chests, pulling out clothing for the pair of them. "I will go back downstairs," she said. "Take your time."

"So long as I don't have to wear women's panties," Dev muttered to himself, once Nat stepped out of the room. There was actually no reason for him to shed his underwear, as no one would see that, but modern clothing would earn them some stares in Avalon.

Amaris laughed at Dev's comment, already inspecting the pieces laid out for her. "Pretty sure Rhys would prefer if it you kept your panties on, baby," she pointed out cheerfully.

"Pretty sure you're the only one who'd be happy to get them off," he remarked, tossing her a wink. "What have we got to choose from?" he asked, picking up a pair of what appeared to be crudely-made trousers, at least compared to modern clothing. "I hope these aren't made of wool," he complained, looking them over.

"Looks like linen to me," she offered, holding up a voluminous amount of thin ivory linen of her own. "I think this goes under the dress. Looks like I've got less to put on than you."

He had to agree. It was far too warm out for wool, even here, this time of year. "I wonder if they're able to grow cotton," he said, though the fact that the pants were made of linen sort of answered that question. The climate didn't seem the type given to the growing of cotton. "It's medieval, isn't it?" he asked, trying to pinpoint the time period. It was like this place was locked in time and had never progressed past the medieval age.

"It looks like it," Amaris agreed, unbuttoning her shirt. She hadn't wanted to admit it, but her jeans were incredibly hot under the clear summer sky here. "Wasn't the whole Camelot thing between the Romans and the Normans? The Dark Ages or something?"

"Hell if I know," Dev replied, not quite up on that period of history. "I think there's been some debate about it," he remarked as he climbed out of his jeans and swapped them for the pair of linen trousers, which he had to admit which much lighter and more comfortable than his jeans.

"Well, there's debate about everything," she said with a shrug, tossing her jeans onto the bed with her shirt. "Nothing's certain when it comes to history and mythology, after all." After a little flailing, she managed to get the thin chemise over her head, shaking the fabric to find the holes for her arms.

He couldn't help but chuckle a little at the sight of her trying to get into the change of clothing. "Need a little help there?" he asked, as he shed his jacket, along with everything he'd had stuffed in his pockets.

She emerged from the voluminous folds a little disheveled but grinning with victory. "I made it!" Shaking her hair out from the neckline, she frowned at the sleeves. "How do they do anything with sleeves this big getting in the way all the time?"

"You're a guest here, Maris. You don't have to do anything," he pointed out, as he tugged his shirt off over his head and tossed it onto the bed with the rest of his discarded clothing. The tunic he pulled on was a little tighter than it would have been on Rhys, but, like the pants, it was comfortable enough. "I could get used to this," he said with a grin, as he eyed the woman before him.

She snorted with laughter. "We'll both be bored out of our minds by the end of a week," she predicted, though neither of them could stay that long. Pulling on the overdress, she frowned down at the lacing at the front, trying to work out how it did up. "Any clues here, Mr. Detective?"

"Special Agent, actually," he corrected her as he moved forward to help her with those laces. "I'm no expert, but I assume it goes something like this," he said, as he carefully tugged at the laces and tied them off at the top.

"Suddenly I'm regretting putting it on," she murmured impishly, as the laces tugged gently on her chest. The mischief faded as she looked up at him, her eyes clear and hopeful. "You love me, don't you?"

"Don't be silly. It's lovely, and you're lovely in it. Just pretend you're at a Ren Faire," he scolded gently at her presumed dislike of the dress. Finished with the lacing, he looked up to meet her eyes, more than a little surprised at her question, which was difficult to answer. "Would it surprise you to hear that I've been admiring you from afar for months?" he asked, not quite answering her question just yet.

"A little," she admitted. "You never said two words together to me until the attack." She noted that he hadn't answered her question, knowing she was pushing her luck just by asking so soon. Just because she knew her heart didn't give her the right to rush his.

"I was undercover. I was supposed to be watching you, not asking you on a date," he reminded her, a hint of amusement in his eyes. He lifted a hand to touch her cheek, his fingers wandering back through her hair. He knew if they took too long in here, Rhys and Nat would either guess what they were doing or come looking for them, and this wasn't their bed or even their home. "I might not be there just yet, but I think I'm well on my way," he admitted, leaning in to kiss her lips.

That was enough for her, giving him a smile to kiss as she hugged her arms about his waist for a long moment. "I guess you should meet my mom, then," she murmured mischievously, drawing back to claim his hand and pull him back toward the door and the stairs down to the bottom of the tower house.

"And I guess you should meet my aunt," he countered, smiling as she led him back the way they'd come. He hesitated a moment to look back at their possessions piled up on Rhys and Nat's bed. It didn't seem right to leave them there, but Nat hadn't seemed to mind.

"That sounds like we have something of a road trip to plan," Amaris said with a smile. Nat hadn't said anything about putting their clothing anywhere, but she was with Dev on feeling uncomfortable about just leaving it on the bed. "Just a sec." She moved back into the room, folding the discarded clothing neatly into a pile that she then lifted up.

"Not as far as you might think," Dev said, the hint of a smirk on his face. He hadn't yet told her much about his aunt or where he'd grown up. "I assume your pack lives nearby," he said, which he also assumed included her mother.

"Yeah, they live in Red Bank," she told him. "Close enough to the sea that they can dump the pups into the Atlantic if they get up to too much mischief. A dose of cold water does wonders for childish high spirits in teens."
"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Duncan Devereux

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Re: Reaching a Decision
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2019, 08:37:11 PM »
Dev shuddered at the thought of that, imagining how cold the water must be. "Not in winter, I hope," he muttered, as they made their way down the stairs and through the tower house to rejoin the Bristols. But before they could get there, he pulled her to a halt and turned her to face him. "Maris, I've already decided. I'm going to tell the Lady yes."

"Always in winter," she chuckled, the sound ceasing in concern as he drew her to a halt. She put the little pile of clothing down on what seemed to be the dining table, turning to look up at him. "Are you sure?" she asked. "If they call on you, you won't be able to say no."

"Yes, I'm sure," Dev replied, a serious look on his face, as he linked his fingers with hers. "My aunt always told me that I was going to meet someone someday that would change my whole life and give me a reason for being. I didn't really believe her then, but I believe her now. I believe you are that someone, and I believe this is what I've been led all my life toward."

"I can't say I'm not happy about it," she said, a bright smile sweeping across her face as she threw her arms around his neck in a wild embrace. "Thank you."

He chuckled a little as she threw her arms around him, his arms going around her waist in return. He might not have said he loved her, but he was obviously well on the way. "I think maybe you should thank the Lady, not me," he told her. After all, it was the Lady who'd invited him there.

"It was always going to be your decision," she reminded him. "No one is forced into anything here. And you decided to remember this place. Thank you!"

"I have to admit, it would be a little awkward not remembering if we're going to be together," he said, hinting at the fact that she'd had something to do with his decision and that it wasn't just about the Lady or what he perceived to be his destiny.

"Yeah." Amaris sighed, loosening her arms from around him. "I've never shared the big secret with anyone but you. I knew I could trust you, right from the start."

"Well, we do have a common cause," he said, smiling. "So, do you think we still get to stay the night? I'm kind of looking forward to seeing what the night sky looks like here."

"The Lady said we couldn't leave until you gave her your oath," she reminded him. "And you said it might take a couple of days to decide. I think we're good to watch the sky tonight with a pair of cheerful goblins."

"I have a feeling the Lady already knows my answer," he pointed out, though he still had to give her his oath. If they were never going to come back here again, he was in no real hurry to leave. "Do you think time passes the same here as back home?" he asked, wondering if they'd be missed back home.

Amaris shrugged. "I'd assume so," she mused thoughtfully. "We could ask Rhys or his wife, they'd know better than us. They seem pretty at home here, after all."

"I suppose," he replied, though he almost felt like he'd asked enough questions for one day. They could probably stay here for years and still not have all their questions answered. "They seem happy here."

"They do," she agreed. "But I can see why they spend most of their time on Earth. This isn't really an ideal place to bring up their kids, and they're very present, in the moment kind of people. Maybe when they're old, they'll come back here to stay."

"Seems like a great place for a vacation though," he pointed out with a smile, almost wishing they could join the Bristols in that, but he wasn't sure he wanted either of them to have to undergo the trials necessary for that to take place.

"Well and truly off the radar." Amaris chuckled, smiling up at him. "I think you'll like my pack's home base. It's kind of like this place, only much louder."

He chuckled along with her, amused at the remark about her pack. "Most big families are like that, and a pack is sort of like a family, isn't it?" he said, more statement than question.

"Yeah, we are," she agreed. "And you won't be the only human there. My cousins married humans, and my oldest brother is dating one, so you're not gonna be too outnumbered."

"It's said that Lycans can't mate with Lycans," he said uncertainly. "I assume that's not true." Not even the special section of the FBI he was employed with knew everything there was to know about the preternatural world.

"No, it's not true, but it's not a common practice," she said, sliding her hand into his as she moved to cross the kitchen toward the door. "There was a war between lycans about a century ago, between the ones who wanted to keep us pureblooded, and the ones who saw nothing wrong with mating with humans. The purebloods lost, and there's only a couple of enclaves of them left. They're hideously interbred now."

Dev winced, not at the idea of interbreeding but at the results that might come from it. "So, they were breeding only with those of their own pack then?" he asked, curling his hand around hers as they headed back outside.

"Yeah. In a couple more generations, they're not going to be able to breed at all." She glanced up at him. "That isn't to say that their younger generations aren't welcome among us. Anyone who tries to escape that life will always find a place in a pack outside their own."

"I thought that idea died with the Romanovs," he said, though that was obviously not the case. "I can understand their line of thinking, but nowadays, you'd think they'd know better."

"Some people think that tradition is better than progress." She shrugged, drawing him out into the sunshine once again. "You look very handsome in your medieval get-up, by the way. Very rugged warrior type."

"Tradition that's been proven to be deadly becomes stupidity," he said bluntly. Thankfully, she changed the subject, smiling with pleasure at her compliment. "I didn't know I needed to dress for the part," he teased.

"Well, you know, you look pretty hot all the time," she pointed out. "I'm just pointing out that you look extra hot right now." She winked at him, grinning wickedly.

"You're not so bad yourself, you know," he replied with a wink. As a matter of fact, he had already told her she looked lovely, but he wasn't just referring to the dress. "I should take a photo. There's no telling when I'll be able to get you into a dress again."

"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Duncan Devereux

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Re: Reaching a Decision
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2019, 08:38:00 PM »
"Well, you could always take me on that date we never got to," she suggested, raising his hand in hers to kiss the inside of his wrist with smiling lips. "You never know, I might even own heels."

"Hm, tempting," he said, smiling as she kissed his hand, rather than the other way around. "What did you have in mind, or should I surprise you?" he asked, curious what she might suggest.

"Well, now, if you want to get me in a dress, I'd suggest dinner," she told him. "Otherwise, I'm down for pretty much anything. How else do we get to know each other?"

He smirked a little, considering how they'd already slept together. "I suppose we're doing things a little bit backwards, but I won't tell if you don't." Who was he going to tell anyway? He assumed her family would know as soon as he met them, given their preternatural abilities.

She laughed. "I'm pretty sure my heart isn't changing anytime soon, so we can keep it our little secret," she promised with a mischievous glint in her eyes. "Let's go and play nice with the Bristols."

"I didn't realize we were talking about your heart," he teased, regarding the fact that they were already sleeping together, even if he didn't mention it. "Maybe we should abstain for a few days before I meet your mother," he added, that smirk still on his face.

Amaris snorted with laughter. "Well, if you really want her to ask you what you're doing wrong, sure," she said, knowing her mother far too well. "She'll know something's up if she can't smell us on each other."

He echoed her laughter. "I think I like her already," he said, coming to a halt for just a moment as he looked out on the little family that was the Champion and Priestess of Avalon and their children. "Do you think we'll ever be that happy?" he asked, hinting at hopes for a family someday, apparently with her.

Her smile was wistful. "I hope so," she murmured as they watched the little family playing together. "I don't want to look after other people's children all my life."

He gave her hand a gentle squeeze, while the two of them watched the little family laughing and playing together on the grass outside their tower home. He didn't want to make any promises he couldn't keep, but for the first time in a long time, he felt hopeful about the future. "Let's just take it one day at a time," he told her, smiling softly.

"We can do that." She smiled, gently touching her cheek to his shoulder. "C'mon, let's go be friendly. Maybe we can get Aurelia to show us some magic tricks if she's around today."

"I can do friendly," Dev said, grinning. "I wonder what Avalonians would think about fireworks," he mused aloud, though he didn't have any with him, so it was kind of a moot point.

Amaris snorted with laughter. "If you could smuggle gunpowder onto Avalon without the Lady telling you off, I would pay to see that."

Dev chuckled, "Just saying! Anyway, unless I drink from the Grail to prove myself worthy, this is probably my one and only visit here. Think Aurelia knows how to make magic fireworks?" he asked, though the stars here were probably enough to light up the night sky all on their own.

"She might." Amaris shrugged lightly. "The only way to find out is to ask." Not that they had seen Aurelia yet. The Grandmaster had been very clear that the Evans' were here, but not where they were.

"I'm surprised Rhys hasn't tried it already. Seems like something he'd do," Dev remarked as they started on their way to rejoin said hunter and his family.

"Surprised Rhys hasn't tried what?" the man in question asked, obviously having overheard, though Dev hadn't been talking that loud.

"Fireworks," Amaris said, sitting herself down on the grass and almost immediately being bowled over by Cody. The dogs seemed to have decided she was just like them, which could be taken one of two ways.

Rhys laughed. "Are you kidding me? Do you want me to get voted off the island?" he asked, though once an idea was put into his head, it might germinate and grow.

"I didn't know this was Survivor. Where's Jeff Probst?" Dev retorted, still smirking.

"We thought maybe Aurelia could do something like it," Amaris offered, rather than encourage Rhys to blow anything up.

Natalya chuckled from where she was lying on the grass with Micah's head on the swell of her womb. "That would be preferable to setting things on fire."

"I wouldn't blow anything up," Rhys said, a little defensively, though he had a feeling the Lady might not look too kindly on gunpowder. "Magic would probably be a better idea though," he added, setting Ana on her feet, after having spun her around a few times, one hand going to his back as he stretched. "I'm getting too old for this ... stuff," he added belatedly, rather than cussing in front of the kids.

Nat raised her brow as she looked up at him. "Darling, you don't get to say that while I am pregnant," she pointed out with a sweet smile. "Besides, you will always be a child at heart."

"Darling, I just hit the big 4-0. I am officially old," Rhys reminded her, as he plopped down on the grass beside her, oofing aloud as Ana plopped down in his lap.

"Welcome to the club," Dev remarked, as he, too, claimed a spot on the grass. The two men were about the same age, and Dev had just about given up on ever having a wife or family.

"Oh, come on, neither one of you is old," Amaris objected, pushing the dogs away so she could sit up. "You realize if you insist on saying 40 is old, you're going to have to put up with us when we hit 40."

"Halfway to eighty," Rhys remarked with a shrug, as he re-plaited Ana's hair, since it had come loose when he'd been swinging her around.

"Mama says you're only as old as you feel," the little girl chimed in.
"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Duncan Devereux

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Re: Reaching a Decision
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2019, 08:38:48 PM »
"Most days that would make me about ninety," Rhys said, a teasing smirk on his face. "Okay, all done," he said, giving Ana a little shove. "Go play with your brother and let the old people rest for a while."

"Old men," Amaris corrected with a mischievous glance at Dev, watching as Nat lifted Micah off her belly to encourage him to go and play with his big sister.

"Who you calling old?" Dev asked, playfully nudging Amaris, even though he had agreed with Rhys.

"Long as I grow old with you," Rhys said, smooching Nat's cheek.

"I did no such thing, I was just agreeing with you!" Amaris answered indignantly, laughing as she swayed with Dev's nudge.

Behind her, Nat reached up to tease her fingers through Rhys' hair, smiling up at him tenderly. "In this life and all the lives to come, milaya."

"You mean, there's more than one?" Rhys said, smiling back at her. He wasn't sure if this was to be his only life, if there would be more after this one, but he did know that if given the choice, he'd spend eternity with Nat.

"I hope so." Her fingertips brushed against his lips affectionately as they smiled at one another. "I've lived too many lifetimes all alone for them to give me just one with you."

"Baby, I'm hoping to spend the rest of eternity with you," Rhys told her, kissing her fingers before leaning in for a real kiss, almost forgetting they weren't alone.

Dev nudged Amaris again and smiled, wondering if this is where they came in.

The lycan woman laughed quietly, leaning against Dev's arm. "Hey, Rhys? When you come up for air, can you tell us where Aurelia lives?"

Rhys smirked against Nat's lips, still not coming up for air, despite what Amaris had said, lifting an arm to point in the general direction of Ian and Aurelia Evans' home here in Avalon.

Amaris rolled her eyes, ignoring the sound of Nat giggling into the lingering kiss her husband was giving her, and reached to pull Dev up beside her. "C'mon, let's go and explore a bit," she said. "We can find our way back here once we get hungry."

"It can't be too far. It is an island, after all," Dev remarked, climbing to his feet at Amaris' insistence. But just how big an island, he wasn't sure. Still, all they had to do was ask, and he was sure they'd be directed to the right place.

Surfacing briefly, Nat called after them. "Down the hill, next to the thicket with the waterfall and pool!"

Rhys smirked, only letting Nat surface long enough to give the couple directions before smooching her again. It was probably only a matter of time before their children noticed and interrupted.

Giggling once again, Nat was more than happy to kiss and be kissed, but like Rhys, she knew their leisure to do so was limited. Micah and Ana had an odd sense of possessiveness over their parents that extended only so far as it took to keep the attention on them.

Dev and Amaris wandered off, hand in hand, to further explore Avalon and go in search of the witch and Loremaster, leaving Rhys and Nat alone with their children, who didn't waste much time before interrupting.
"The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero