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Girl On Fire - Tales of Cervato

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78 Season of the Phoenix 1328 AE.

It has been three weeks since Zarek and I have parted ways.

He and I have found a way to still remain on good terms with each other. Though I can't help but feel some of our words were empty promises. Even if we remain friends, the matter still exists that I can never look at him the same way again. Any harm I have ever brought to Zarek, he easily pushed past it. Even now, he seems to be keeping himself around the local taverns, or so I've heard. Perhaps he'll share coffee with another woman or man, and he'll obtain the feelings that I never could fully relinquish to him.

As for Luke. I feel guilt. How hurt he must be. Though we only knew each other for a Season, he was a very precious child. Smart. Smarter then I'll ever become. Perhaps I regret allowing us to foster him. Only for my own selfish thoughts that I would not have to bear this guilt. I wasn't ready to be a mother....which is very evident now. It's not just him. Anytime I see a child, I feel sick. I pray for Dwayna's mercy that this will pass with time. So I've been ensuring I stick to places that children would most likely not venture too.

Work however, brings quick reminders of how I do still love Zar. We fought the giant Flesh Reaver, and were able to defeat it. However, he suffered a severe wound. Van and myself worked to save him. And I felt it. I felt his breath vanish. I felt his heart stop beating. He was gone for that single moment, and I felt that perhaps I had been cursed. That I was being punished for the sins I committed against Zarek through our marriage. Thankfully, Van took over, trying to get his heart to start beating again. He yelled at me to assist, and I snapped out of the shock that had been placed over my form. And Zarek survived. I can't thank the Six enough he did not die.

I nearly lost him so long ago to that damn Separatist that stabbed him, leaving him for dead. I swore to Arvanna's memory I would protect him.

He is alive. Doing better after seeing Ariadna apparently, which is good. She always seemed to care for Zarek. Probably more than myself.

Well, that's enough unhappiness in one entry. I'm going to focus more on the positive side of things.

Ti'lay and myself have finally found a home. Van's old home, to be precise. It's close to the barracks and has such a charm to it that I can't possibly describe in words. There are two bedrooms. However, it seems we have acquired a third party to stay with us. Deveral Lomas. The young man has been recently reinstated with the Vanguard after serving his time for insubordination. Atreyu seems to be concerned, as well as Van. Though they allowed us to do this. Apparently, Dev has had a hard life, one that involves the use of drugs. Ti'lay and I agreed to keep our eyes on him. Which brings me to my next point that brings me great amusement.

Ti'lay and Deveral shall be sharing a room. With only two to spare in this small house, two of us were bound to have to put up with it. Dev doesn't know about this yet, as I've yet to find time to speak with him regarding the proposition. However, it will be nice to have a home. One that is secure. And to have friends near. It's more than I could ask for.

Speaking of Van, we had a little heart to heart chat. Of course this happened after we had a spar that resulted in me attempting to pummel him and him avoiding every blow I threw at him until he yielded. When I came to confront him on the matter, his office was in such disarray. So much pent up frustration and anger. So similar to me. I feel he still has something very heavy in his heart and mind. From back when he was a mercenary. He wants to control it. When it comes to us fighting, I'm not sure I can hold back. I've never been good at holding back. Though I pray to Balthazar that we can perhaps both come to our own resolutions.

And the greatest news of all I have to share this day?

Ti'lay has joined the Ebon Vanguard First Regiment. She's not happy. And I've already made it clear that just because we are friends I am not going to be soft. In fact, I'll probably be harder on her. She has a resentment for the Ebon Vanguard, though many of us are friends with her. I feel it may have something to do with the remnants of armor from a time long past in the back of that cursed house. Atreyu shared this with me. We need to speak with her about it. I feel as if my friend may be facing a great internal struggle. And I want to help her with it.

She has guardian magic inside her. It's been so long since she has used it, but during her interview with both myself and Van present, she stated how she would refuse to try and use it again. Privately, Van also shared his protection magic. The feeling is warm, and light, tingling and gentle. However, in his case, any amount of healing he provides, it comes with the price of his own life energy. He can't control it very well, as it was something he merely developed on his own.

I've come to realize that I am surrounded by many people with many internal struggles. Of course, I am no exception.

There is so much more I wish to write, but for fear of this journal being read, I'll keep it to myself for a moment longer. Just know that at this moment, I feel so terribly guilty...and unbelievably happy at the same time.

~Cervato Caballero
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
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Cervato's body laid draped across her bed as her dark eyes held their gaze on the ceiling of the room. The sunlight flooding through her single window highlighted small fragments of dust in the air, spinning and falling down to the hardwood floor. Dark green drapes that were purchased the previous afternoon in Divinity's Reach had yet to be hung, instead flung over the back of a single chair. However, a small handcrafted music box sat upon her oak vanity, the cover lifted, as if she had played the song several times over and over until it had ceased its' song.

Long, thin, and calloused fingers slid along her stomach, pressing down hard on the exposed skin. The thin blue comforter tossed towards the end of the bed, no doubt from her kicking the covers off in the midst of her sleep. The door to her room was shut and locked, the one that Van had ensured would do the job and installed a few nights prior.

Foggy. Memories of last night escaped her except in doses. She'd have to thank the astute co-owner of the Waywrest Inn for that. Free wine was always a sure way to gain her affection. Several faces passed through her mind, as she continued to stare up at the ceiling.

Kari. Atreyu. Van. Casey. Sin. Meilong. Desear. Zarek.

At least she had recalled whom had been present inside the largest tavern in the city.

Pity. The damage down to Kari's shoulder. The disturbed expressions that she had met with upon seeing her Regiment return to the barracks. Apparently, a member and mesmer of one of the gangs involved in last week's hunt had been attempting to kill Vanguard and had succeeded before Boham set them ablaze. Envy. She wish she had been with them. If only to relate to what they had all gone through.

Eventually, the Vanguard came together at the Waywrest Inn. One after the other. As if they were drawn to one another like a moth to the flame. Addiction. Obsession. Comraderie. Friendship. Love. Or just the fact that only those part of the First Regiment could relate to one another that no outsider could penetrate.

Van had sat next to her. Earlier, he'd been off. Not even looking her in the eyes upon his return with the rest. Now, he seemed overly casual. Even going so far as to rest his arm on the back of her chair. She'd felt a sensation of comfort, knowing he was alright. That he was probably just tired and sore from the fight. Enjoying that he could relax in such a state around her when recently that had literally been at each others throats on an emotional scale.

Kari seemed a bit distant. No doubt the pain in her shoulder and witnessing the events had affected her in some small way. Cervato secretly wondered if perhaps it brought back memories of the Ogre Revolt that most of the Vanguard had been involved in.

Atreyu seemed distant as well, sitting the furthest from her, which she found ironic. And a sense of pain. As if she was now the outsider. That she couldn't understand what they had all been a part of. That she had no right to press for more information no matter how much she wished. Most of the start of that evening she had avoided eye contact with him for this reason. She felt like she didn't belong.

The rest filtered in soon after. Sin had returned. Which of course was another reason to celebrate and drink merrily. Meilong seemed to be glowing, the normally reserved woman looking upon her husband with clear affection. Something Cervato herself envied. Though that's when it began.

He'd leaned into her, lips brushing against the bangs that framed her face, voice low. She wondered if it perhaps had been the drink that had made him so bold to ask such things, or if his own emotions were at play. The wine made her feel more confident. More open. Allowing her to slip into a state of playing this game with him. A game of quiet whispers and the inevitable crash of emotions against one another. All throughout this, stories were told, merriment abound. Desear teased her several times, and Kari started to feel tired so she slipped away. That's when Zarek came.

How silly. Thinking that just because it had ended between them that the matter could just lay buried forever. Sin. Sin had been gone the entire time. Hadn't known a thing. And when he pressed her about being a good mother, she desperately needed saving. And that's when he did. Van whispered in her ear once more.

"Take a walk."

If it hadn't been for several drinks she had consumed, she would have flown from her seat to escape. Quickly, she left the Waywrest Inn, hands scraping along the stone walls, leaning heavily upon it for support. Memories. Thoughts. Everything pulled her apart to consume her. It felt like a centaur had just trampled her under their hooves. She felt a presence behind her. Familiar. Briefly, she wondered who she thought who it was, and who she hoped it would be. The hand on her shoulder answered, as she turned and met his light blue gaze. No words from him. It's not like he didn't know. The pain. The sorrow. Atreyu simply stood there, looking down at her. Pity. She hated it. She wanted none of it. He tried to wipe the tears away but she didn't allow it. He offered just a single hand, and though hesitant, she grasped it, and followed him.

She was delivered to that which she feared the most. Sin. The look in his eyes. His face. Cervato felt fear from the man for the first time in her life. Was he about to cuss her out? Call her a coward? A weakling? A terrible wife? She was all of those things. Instead, he told her to come with him. Far away from the Waywrest. And instead of being berated on the subject, he actually brought up an entirely new matter.

Her loyalty. How a Krytan serving in the First Regiment would be seen by the people. How having no ties to Ascalon would be enough for them to spin tales and rumors. How he would appear to those he swore to protect.

Anger. Fury. Her sadness dissipated to pure flames of rage. She'd told him exactly what she felt and thought.

"I've done more for Ascalon, then some of her own people."

He looked at her a moment. Before revealing his ploy. Tricked her. And she felt relief and sick at the same time. Truly, she felt she was about to be thrown from the Regiment. From her family. From everything. But Sin would never do that. No. He protected his own, and the thought that he considered her part of that brought unspoken volumes of joy to her soul.

Forced to return to the tavern, she simply told Meilong that everything was fine, before slipping past her and Atreyu to return inside the tavern. Van squeezed her shoulders a couple times. He had saved her from breaking down in front of all of them. Saved her from showing her weakness. And she would be ever grateful to him for it.

The night progressed. More whispers. Some just simply entering her mind. She had plenty of attention from her companions. That fellowship of belonging to them. It made her happy. Though as the whispers continued, Van saw through her. And she revealed to him that which he wanted to know.

She knew she had crushed something in its infancy. Perhaps it was for the best. She knew how terrible of a woman she could be.

Though he relented and held his promise to walk her home. See her there safely. He admitted it. Not entirely, but enough. She knew. Looking into his eyes, she knew. And he could see the answer in her own.

Cervato knew she was cruel.

And as the entirety of the night played before her, she sighed. Reaching one hand up away from her form. As if reaching for something else. Wanting to see his again. See the magic playing within his palm. Knowing she could not get that close to him or anyone else like that again.

She was cruel.
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
Posted Jan 10, 16 · OP
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A7g8uom.jpg

The envelope had been set on her doorstep, out of place. Unmarked.

Naturally, she tore it open to see what it held inside.

That's when the powder flew out, causing her and Atreyu to cough severely. It covered the front of her form. Without hesitating, she wiped at her face, large particulates being inhaled at the action.

Blood. She remembered blood. Everything else a blur.

Every so often she woke in the infirmary. If Cat was present she would try to talk to her and take more medicine. Atreyu had mentioned it may have been Paradise, but the effects of the drug were different.

She found herself wandering the barracks at times. Talking. Though never for long.

Her body was restless. Body temperature soared. Twitchy fingers trying to scratch and rub at her eyes constantly.

Worse yet, she kept seeing things. Things she refused to admit seeing, pinning the blame to lack of true sleep.

Inside, she was aching. Her body wanted something she was refusing to give it.

She prayed the sensation would end.
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
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The cravings are killing her.

Claw marks on her arms and the bedding.

Cat keeps giving her more concoctions to down. To force her to sleep.

How long will she last?
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
Posted Jan 10, 16 · OP · Last edited Jan 10, 16
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The Routine

Wake up.

Drink the nasty medicine / herbal mixture that Cat set aside on the night stand.

Sneak a snack from the goodie basket left by Atreyu. If there were any leftover from prior snacking sessions.
Read any letters left by aforementioned Haswari and pen a reply.

Mentally condone self for snacking while being lazy.

If able, get off ass and walk through the barracks. Stairs seem to be getting steeper and more steps added on a daily basis. New addition to routine, start counting them.

Don't try to open the evidence retainment room door. It is locked and the key is not in the offices that belong to Sin, Van, or Zarek. Note to self: Go to Valder's home. Bet he has it.

Stare at anyone lingering around the barracks and rate on a scale from 1 - 10. Subject of scale changes daily but previous topics include: How likely to lose against me in a spar, fashion sense, presumed musical talent, and physical attractiveness versus personality attractiveness.

When the symptoms start to return, book it back to the safety of the medical ward. 38 steps counted.

The random images within eyesight are not as real as they appear.

Don't rub eyes. Sleep without covers.

Maybe tomorrow will get better.
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
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Eyes On Fire

Breathe.

Breathe.

Stop.

It was already starting. Her gaze fell upon the floorboards of the medical ward. Crouched upon the bed, Cervato hugged her knees to her chest. Alone. The floorboards were spinning, moving, constricting, slithering. Their bodies danced. The krait lifted their disgusting heads in unison to look upon her.

Breathe.

Breathe.

It's not real.

Their jaws began to open wide, showcasing several rows of teeth. Saliva dripping down them. The clawed hands reaching for her on the bed.

Breathe.

Breathe.

Cervato screamed. The room turned into an inferno. Flames eradicating the nefarious krait, their bodies immediately turning to ash. Hot. It felt so hot. She coughed and choked on the smoke in the air. The drapes near the windows, the wooden frame of the bed, and every wall was bright with the fire. It was consuming everything in an instant. Soon, she would be next. A dark figure within the fire emerged. Barely a shadow of an outline of an armored individual holding out their hand for her.

Then the fire consumed her.


"Cervato, you need to keep your arm up, else every centuar is going to get a piece of you." The laughing voice of Dana Pryor resounded out. In the training yard within Divinity's Reach, the fair skinned woman with her long light brown locks pulled back into a long ponytail laughed as she prodded Cervato's side with the wooden practice sword. They both wore the Seraph recruit uniform, seeming to enjoy themselves. Though Cervato was all too aware of this past. Staring upon the memory of her friend with a scared expression.

Dana glanced back up at Cervato with her kind blue eyes, and as her lips moved, no words came out. Pure silence. Suddenly, everything spun in a whirlwind. Now Dana is huddled up in a corner of her home, grasping at her face with both hands, weeping. No. Not this. Not again. Cervato rushed to her friends' side, clasping a hand upon her shoulder, urging her to look up.

As Dana glanced back up, Cervato saw the look of defeat within the woman's eyes, tear stained cheeks, and a hollow shell of what once was her greatest friend. Dana's lips parted, and out fell a pure white dove from her mouth, as it splattered dead against the floor.

Once more the scene spun. Cervato stood, waiting, eyes eagerly watching the barracks of the Seraph. Waiting for him.

The middle-aged Sergeant. Responsible for training the new recruits. A mentor to Cervato and Dana. A sick bastard that needed to be destroyed. As he walked past her hiding place, within the bushes of the Queen's Gardens, she leapt on top of him, cracking his skull against the pavement instantly. Every punch landed upon his face succeeded as she beat him.

The next punch to his jaw, Dana's voice sounded out. "How could you?"

Another to his right eye. "You didn't protect me."

Her left fist connected with his temple. "You let him do this to me."

And as Cervato screamed, her rage fueled into the next hit struck, and the sergeant's head burst into water.


Hot. Humid. Foggy. The sounds of birds singing in the far distance. Jungle terrain all around. This was Magumma.

A light tenor cackling emerged from behind, and she whipped her head around to see Deronjur. The dark red sylvari with the golden glow stood there confidently, his right hand grasped around a staff. His laughter ceased, though the smile remained.

"Cer." He called out to her. Cervato stood still, breath caught in the back of her throat. Something was off about her friend. His beckoned for her to come closer, but her feet would not move. The smile he wore on his face turned to dissatisfaction.

"Didn't you say you would do anything for me, Cer? Come." He spoke with fury as his eyes began to glow with blinding flashes of light. The staff spun in his hand and vines appeared, snaking around her entire form, grasping her in place. Then they began to constrict her body. Every breath they grew tighter, squeezing the life from her. She tried to scream. Tried to get free.

Caolan, Deronjur's dearheart appeared, a dark chuckle rising from the forest green figure. The branches he wore like a crown upon his head, thorns appearing around him. Cervato realized that they both had been converted to Nightmare.

"No, Der!" The vines struggled and finally began to pull at each limb, ready to rip her apart. So much pain coursed through her form, before they succeeded.


Darkness.

Pitch black.

The flickers of flame of candlelight began to grow and dim in succession. She was alone in the cold stone cell.

"Serve her majesty. The Queen's Blade. Fight for Kryta. Fight for the Kingdom."

Another candle illuminated, and in its' glow, he appeared.

"Poor, poor Red. Keeps on running from her past. Yet she'll never be free."

The echoes of his voice resounded throughout the small room. As the candle light dimmed, another new flame grew in its' wake, and he along with it. The same smile that struck fear into her heart.

"Her Majesty might be done with ya, but I ain't. Not yet."

She could feel herself begin to hyperventilate. Words escaping her lips. "It's not real. You're not really here. Just my mind."

"You're a coward. Worse than pig shit."

"That's not true. I'm not a coward!" She screamed out, though she trembled in place.

"Don't matter 'bout that ring on your finger, Red. You're mine. You've always been mine. So keep playing house as well as you do. Snare as many hearts as you can. Play around all you like. Take as many lovers to try and prove me wrong. You'll never escape."

"Stop it. Stop it! Stop!" She shouted at the top of her lungs.

She felt the soft touch of his fingertips beneath her chin, the candle light appeared once more, and she stared into sickly green eyes that reminded her of venom. An all too familiar smile played across his lips.

"I'll be the one to end this."


"Cer!"

Ti'lay?

She couldn't see anything.

"Cervato!"

Atreyu.

Nothing. The sounds of those she held close called out.

"Cervato, please! Please!" Ti'lay cried out once more, panic rising in her voice.

"Get the hell up, Cervato!" Atreyu's own voice sounded out, anger mixed with worry.

I...

I can't.



She woke up. Back pressed against so many branches piled high. Her body shifted to get up, but then realized she could not. Rope bound her hands and feet. Even the small of her waist had something binding her to the mass of dead tree limbs. She turned her gaze to the left, and spotted the city of Ebonhawke. A crackling sound began, and she turned her head to the right.

The Ebon Vanguard all stood. Staring upon her with hatred.

A flurry of words escaped in their voices, though no one moved closer to her. They maintained their distance.

"Weak." Valder growled out with contempt.

"Betrayed your family." Van murmured, his cold gaze struck through her.

"Useless." Kari frowned as the words came far too easily.

"Fucking whore!" Zarek exclaimed, shouting the last word.

"You were never one of us." Meilong stated with an icy tone.

The rest of them joined. Their words forming a chorus that began to scream within her soul.

Ariadna lit the pyre Cervato's form was placed upon, the scent of smoke and wood burning encapsulating all around.

Soft footsteps approached, and there stood Sin right before her. Annoyance clear on his face.

"No room for dirty Krytan spies here."

The end of his pistol placed into her mouth, tasting steel before - BANG.



No pain. The most euphoric pleasure she would ever known radiated through her body. So bright. So warm. Flowing through every vein. Flooding her senses in ways that she could not begin to describe.

It faded just as quickly as it came.


Cervato gasped for breath as she shot up to sit in the small medical bed.

Her hands felt along her form briefly, before tears ran down her face.

"No more, please." She begged someone or something to save her from these Nightmares.
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
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The following events occurred a week prior to Cervato's detainment in the Medical Ward...

Country Roads, Take Me Home

Cold. A curtain of rain swept over Ebonhawke, causing its' citizens to run for cover, save one. She walked with determination towards the asura gate, a simple pack thrown over one shoulder and dual blades swung at her narrow hips. The soldier in civilian garb flashed her pass briefly to the asura attendant and was waved through quickly.

With a smirk, she walked into the light purple energy field. Then, she stepped out into Divinity's Reach, the beautiful day highlighted by the warmth of the sun and puffy white clouds. Water dripped from her form onto the cobblestone, and she threw off the hood of the jacket, taking in the pleasant day for a moment before heading towards Queensdale.

She'd hitched a ride with a norn merchant and his dolyak cart carrying nearly a ton of hay. He spoke fondly of his family, especially his new baby girl. Cervato attempted to remain pleasant and upon meeting a fork in the road thanked him and waved as they parted ways.

The scent of the fresh earth is what indicated she had finally arrived. Dark brown eyes lit up upon spotting the estate in the distance. Acres of the vineyard spread out, vines spreading along their hutches properly this time of the season. Home. At least the winery used to be.

Boots pounded off the dirt path as she ran to the building. Memories of her childhood passed through her mind. Finally she arrived on the large porch before double doors. Her hands reached up to tug on both knockers and beat in rapid succession to announce her arrival to the staff!

"What in Melandru's Mercy do you think you're...Miss Cervato!" Bernice, the head maid of the estate, and renowned spinster, was surprised to see her employers' child standing there.

"Hi." Cervato smiled and walked past the older maid, making her way through the home, easily passing through the maze of hallways before arriving in the grand living room. At its' center, sat her mother, Fabiana, reading the days' post.

Fabiana glanced up briefly, hearing footsteps, and appeared shocked at her daughter's arrival. "Cervato." A smile formed as she stood, and Cervato moved quickly to wrap her mother up in a tight embrace.

"Why have you come? Did Zarek and Luke come with you?" Her mother glanced around trying to spot the rest of the Stone brood, but stopped upon seeing Cervato's pained expression. She ran a hand over Cervato's hair. "Tell me what is troubling you."

They talked for a long time. Of Zarek and Luke. Of the miscarriage. Of moving to Ebonhawke. Of her recent promotion to Infantry Specialist. Finally, speaking of her friends.

"- and she is very sweet. We're currently living together as she also joined the Regiment. I want you to meet her. There is also Atreyu Haswari. He's another I've wrote to you about in my letters. A great friend. I..mean..he's amazing--"

"Haswari?" Her mother's gaze lit up. "The same of the Haswari Estate in Beetletun?" The look of business sense entered Fabiana's expression before Cervato snapped her out of it.

"Yes. And no, you will not be pitching the Caballero wine to him. He's not a customer. But...I want to introduce you...next time I come." She blushed lightly, trying to conceal her feelings from her mother for now at least.

"Now, Cervato. I would never be so forward, but meeting your friends sounds like a lovely opportunity. Now, go greet your father properly before dinner is ready." She waved her daughter away.

Cervato frowned but obeyed, marching up the steps and finally arriving at her father's study. Alcides was hunched over paperwork, mustache turned in a frown as he reviewed something on the page before him.

With a deep breath, she pushed open the door, looking upon him before steeling her heart. "Hey."

His frown deepened, as he looked upon Cervato.

"What do you want?" His gruff voice replied, already testy.

Then, Cervato quickly shut the door behind her, going so far as to lock it. A cool gaze formed in her eyes that matched her mothers'. Though she truly took after her father regarding her attitude.

"We're going to have a nice long chat. Seems we have something in common. Hiding. Secrets. Trust issues. A hidden past."

He did not react to her words at all, but reclined further in his seat.

"I'm sure a member of the Order of Whispers can handle a few invasive questions." An edge to her tone as she spoke to him. "So let's get started."
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
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They both were witnesses. Delita breaking Meera's arm, like a child unhappy with their toy and tossing it aside.

Heat. The pounding of her heart increased rapidly. The adrenaline had already started to surge through her form as she watched the pair. With the utmost effort, she attempted to ignore the arrogant man's words, trying to coax Meera away. Cervato felt sick to her stomach when she refused. The woman was stubborn, staying with the person who demonstrated what happened if you fail. Varick was far more charming, more calm, more mature than any other person standing in that ring. Even he failed to convince her.

Cervato left. Trying to make the anger fade into the background. Varick accompanied her, to her surprise, and she locked themselves inside the unfortunate Lieutenant Keser's office. Two glasses and a bottle of whiskey. It had been quite some time since the pair had spoke, as she had been off duty and bedridden. Had it really been over a month since the man with the odd rifle strapped to his back had appeared in front of the barracks? The man that knew Saromire and had quickly won her over with talk of lasers and adventures into the Brand.

How natural it felt to just talk. To joke. To tell stories. To just...be.

As Varick continued, she could see the resolve in his gaze. His admission to nearly leaving this all behind him. Atreyu's letters only confirmed his tale. She knew, but listened to the monologue of his struggle, until the Corporal had stopped him.

"Know what he said that really got to me?" Varick glanced to her, still seeming to wear a smile. "He said, "What am I supposed to tell her when she wakes up?", and he was right. I was going to abandon you without a word, and I couldn't do it."

PJulESj.gif

Cervato felt they had come to a point, where she could allow this man, Varick Cromwell, to be a part of her life. To be his friend. After all, Saromire could be trusted. He'd proven it time and again. Perhaps he trusted Cervato to be a friend to Varick as well.
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Small talk. Drinks. Dim lighting. The stranger brushed a hand against her cheek to give reason to look at him, and when she did he moved to press a kiss to her lips.


"I love you."

He had said the words while his ardent gaze was frozen upon her. They sat close together, huddled in the basement of the bar, hidden away from the world. His back rested against a barrel, long legs sprawled out along the dusty wooden floor. She knelt between them, arms wrapped about his neck as they spoke in whispers.

Her eyes. Clearly they conveyed everything. Guilt. Adoration. Hesitation. Confusion. Love. All because of him.

NwuoKPC.gif

"I...you know. You know I can't..." She started, emotions threatening to take even her voice at this point as her body trembled.

"I do." He acknowledged right away. Still, he brought his arms about the small of her waist, pulling her into him. His words were soft, gentle, and true. "But I wanted you to know anyway."

Losing herself, she pressed her forehead against his, feeling his breath on her own skin. She lost. She couldn't keep up with denying it anymore. Tears fell.

"I love you, too."


"I can't stop...you're in my head. No matter what I do, I can't!" She shouted at him as the rain began to fall from the night sky. It was cold. Soaking them both within a few minutes. They masked the tears that had begun to fall. Her frustration evident. He stood behind her, after hearing her confession.

She felt his hands hover barely over her form, before one settled along her hip, pulling her into him. Slowly she turned, and looked up at him, his name forming on her lips.

"Cervato..." It came out low, soft, and quiet. As if he'd finally broken free from a prison, allowing her to be this close.

He bent down slightly, and kissed her in the rain. And as they parted from the contact, she gripped the front of his robes and pleaded.

"Take me with you."


Nearly two seasons had passed, and of course they had crossed paths briefly before. Still, they both hesitated. She, for the obvious reasons. He, for the rejection she had delivered to him. Yet the confusion clouding them both never lifted. It was like they were drawn together by some unknown force.

The longest absence that kept them apart ended. He returned her letter, and they met in the the Reach. She boasted of how her life was in the Vanguard. How happy it seemed to make her. How it truly felt like she belonged and was meant to stay. She extended the offer to him.

"Enlist if you want. It's been worth it to me, so far. And we've worked together so long we both know we make a great team." She suggested.

Imagine her surprise when he took her up on the offer and enlisted. She'd never expected him too, and yet did not even question it.


What was he thinking? Doing that in a public place? Had it been worth it to him? The slap she had delivered. The cheer of the crowd. Had it just been too many drinks? Teasing her? Or more?

She was determined to find out. Confronting him outside his home. Heated words exchanged. Both reaching a breaking point until the truth just spilled from her lips. How she saw herself. How he deserved better and should move on. Let her suffer silently.

Then the scales tipped.

There would be no going back from this.

She would give into every desire she had left and thus corrupt him. And he accepted it long ago.


Cervato held up a hand to press against the stranger's chest, halting his efforts.

"I'm sorry, and I don't wish to hurt your feelings, but I can't." She noted, placing her empty glass on the table and taking her leave from the city, returning to Ebonhawke.

Back home, she'd find him pondering silently over something and casually slip her hand within his, guiding him to take a walk with her. She told him of the poor stranger's attempt, and how she'd halted their efforts, slightly nervous as to how he'd take the news.

"Well, I don't doubt your words, because I trust you." He simply replied.

Cervato looked up at him, and a small smile met her lips. "Good."
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
Posted Jan 10, 16 · OP
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The Gift

Early morning. Cervato sat on the cliff side spot endearingly known as the Overlook. Only a few chimneys had smoke spouting from them so early, the sun still sleeping just like Ebonhawke's citizens. Bare feet dangled, drifting with a strong gusting wind. A foretelling sign of a late summer storm to come. The young tree planted near the fence swayed, though remained strong, thankfully to the stone supporting it. The tree planted by Zarek, Luke, and herself.

With a shake of her head she looked down to the rooftops. The chirping of birds could be heard as they began to wake, spreading their wings and flying from their nests into the sky. The small white nightgown offered no protection from the chill of the morning air. While sitting there, her mind registered recent events in passing.

So many of her friends' were celebrating another year of life in this Season. Lips pulled back into a fond smile as she recalled.

"I don't remember the last time I even had someone celebrate my birthday."

He had told her once, long ago, and she had tucked the information away in the recesses of her mind. Without forewarning she had gone to visit the Lord at his grand estate. Bandages tied off around the tips of her fingers still stinging with pain, as she squeezed the strap of her bag on her shoulder. Although she knew Saromire Lancastir was definitely of a much higher caste than any other person she had come to know, she was still intent to deliver his birthday present in person. He seemed taken by surprise, though an all familiar smile grew on his face upon realizing she had remembered.

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Cervato presented him a chain. Links either gold or red in color, intertwined as they spread through it's length. It was not the first time she had handmade something like this. But each time she did, she ensured they were unique pieces. Casting the links was hard, but forming them by hand was even more difficult, attributing to the minor injuries. He took her by surprise this time by immediately putting it on. Then scooped up the poor woman into a bear hug and swung her about with finesse. They spoke long into the night, drinking, making conversation, and just having fun.

That's when he had said the words. And there they stayed, hidden in her thoughts.

Zarek. Over a year, they had met. She recalled with a laugh how upset he had been to come to know he had missed her birthday by mere weeks that time. Imagine her surprise when she learned he was eighteen, though his birthday was approaching soon. She would never forget, and this year ensured that gifts were placed on on his desk in the office. Useful items, things that would serve their purpose before being eventually consumed or tossed away with age. Nothing too significant. A belt, cleaning kit for his most prized rifle, and bread. Now he was turning twenty. When others learned he was a Lieutenant at so young an age, it brought a smile to her face. They didn't realize how much work he had truly put into the Vanguard. But she did. She knew. At his birthday party in the city tavern, among the laughing and cheering of their friends and peers, he gave her a small hug, to which she returned. How long had it been? The last time he held her? A dire resentment of her own thoughts reproduced in her expression, and she quickly made her escape.

He didn't deserve to have her as a constant reminder of the pain they had gone through this year. That night, she locked the door to her bedroom and drank alone.

Kari.

The woman of little words and short stature was also celebrating her own birthday. Ti'lay and Cervato upon learning how close it was approaching, assured her they would set it up. Within the Shiverpeaks, the renowned Hot Springs beckoned to the Vanguard, all of whom were invited to celebrate. Plenty of others were kind enough to contribute to Kari's love of history and literature, the little Librarian smiled and seemed to open up during the celebration. Cervato presented Kari with a miniature of a Polar Bear, as a reminder of the Shiverpeaks and because she knew Kari enjoyed them. Then she made herself scarce that evening, minding the food table or trying to cause playful mischief and fun by starting a snowball fight. Thus making herself a prime target when Kari herself shadow stepped Cervato into the Hot Springs in her clothes. It had been so much fun. Being able to spend time with her "family" like this.

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She was brought back to the present, staring upon the rooftops of Ebonhawke again. The sun peering over the walls as its' rays met the shingles and tiles.

Slowly, she leaned forward, hands gripping the edge of the cliff, the gushing wind pulling on her nightgown and hair, whipping them about. She knew if she just only went a little further, she'd surely fall.

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"Promise me."

The words echoed across her mind. And the woman pulled herself back.

"I'm sorry." She whispered to the wind, before standing, retrieving her shoes, and making her way back down to the small cottage. Ti'lay would be expecting her for breakfast.
silver.7895 - Cervato - Her Story - The Tyrian Accord
Posted Jan 10, 16 · OP
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