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 I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}

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PostSubject: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Tue May 01, 2012 3:20 pm

"Dancing?!?" Liam's slightly accented voice echoed in annoyance . "Since when does the Church hold balls and dinner parties? There's work to be done. You've read the news papers today. You saw what is in them. No explanation..... no one claiming responsibility. It needs to be investigated and you want to play at politics?" Even though removed from the land of his birth and childhood for so long, Scotland still came through in Liam's voice when he was excited or angry. This time it was the latter tainting his voice.

"Calm yourself, son." said the elderly man sitting behind the desk in front of which Liam stood. "This is event is important to the Council. We need the Terran Guard's support if we are to continue our work. The Others still push for the dissolution of the Acolytes since the war is over. The war is over, but there is still danger. Tonight is to aid good relations between us so that WE can still do the work the Divine has set before us."

"BUT!" Liam tried to interject but the clearing of a throat silenced him. Though angry, Liam still knew his place.

"If actions are to be taken, it is for the Council to decide and hand down orders. That has not happened yet, so you will follow the orders you are give. ALL Shepherds in The Temple will attend the ball. You should go get ready so you aren't late. "

"I'm not dancing." Liam said and gave a respectful bow before he left the office and the sound of the Senior Defender's laughter. He made his way to his modest quarters on the western side of the Temple Fortress of the Divine Collective, otherwise known as "The Temple". There he did as he was told and made ready with the two hours that remained before sunset and the start of the ball. He cut his hair, making sure it wasn't too short. He kept his hair longer than other acolytes so he could keep the tattoos on his head hidden. Seals were more secure if their designs could not be seen. It was harder to break what one didn't know was there. When he thought about the seals that had been tattooed into his skin they began to grow warm, causing his nerves to tingle. He pushed awareness to the back of his mind and went about his business.

Three hours later the sun was well behind the horizon and Liam was standing against the wall of the great hall wearing his formal dress attire. Black boots with the cold iron heel and toe caps removed, black linen pants with their bottoms tucked into the boot tops, and black leather gloves. It was all covered by a uniquely cut close fitting cassock. The breasted torso portion fit like a well tailored suit jacket, buttoning up the middle, while the lower portion was left open to flair around the legs freely. Its collar was high, covering part of the neck, giving it a crisp and sophisticated appearance. Draped over one shoulder was a sash that depicted the many symbols of mankind's religions, and over their right breast was the symbol of Divine Collective, the woven braid shaped to form a circle. The majority of the braided symbols in the room were white, but some bore color marking out the Acolytes, the warrior cast of the Clergy. Liam's was purple, signifying he was a Cleric, while others wore blue to proclaim that they were Defenders.

Liam looked around the massive hall that was decorated for the formal ball. Food lined the walls that were not occupied by the band, and countless people roamed the setting that was made for mingling. Heads of State, members of the Terran Guard, diplomats from countless factions that have sprung up in the world, even reporters to publicize the event were there, and they had enough food to feed an army. None of it sat right with Liam, and it made him feel like he was suffocating. He started to get antsy and then caught sight of Senior Defender Gill watching him from across the room with a shaking head. The elderly gentleman gave a curt nod of his head and Liam left the spot he had been glued too as if he had a storm following on his heels.

The Cleric was nice enough to slow his pace and move politely through the crowd but his eyes were fixed on the door at the far side of the room, the back door. Once there he slipped through the service exit that the wait staff was using and strode into the kitchen. One of the cooks who looked like he was in charge opened his mouth to say something, but was quickly silenced by "Shut it."

The look in his eyes brought obedience and Liam grabbed two large cases on a table by the far wall by the handles, and then left the room without another word. With everyone except for the guards at the ball the halls were empty, and Liam was able to make his way to the Temple gates without seeing another soul. Once there he quietly exchanged words with the guards, and they let him leave the grounds and disappear into the city. Without a car and a large insulated case in each hand, it was easy to pick him out of the foot traffic, and from the way he moved, he certainly had a destination in mind.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Tue May 01, 2012 11:36 pm

Neona loved balls, everyone dressing up and dancing. She knew there were people who felt they were a waste of time, but such functions were truly needed. When she'd been handed the invitation, Neona had almost instantly began planning on the dress she'd wear. She made almost all of her clothing, collecting the different fabrics on her travels across Terra. Goldie knew just the one she'd use for the occasion too, a beautiful gold satin her mother had given her on her birthday earlier that year. Sure she was a diplomat and understood how important something like this could be, but she was also female...and some habits were hard to break.

Having just finished a dance with another diplomat, Neona excused herself, moving off the dance floor to stand at the side and simply observe. Thankfully this was a function where people were expected to talk so the music wasn't loud enough to hurt her sensitive Werewolf hearing. Still, she had earplugs in the hidden pocket of her dress. That was the best part about making her own clothing, she could easily alter it to hide whatever she needed. She had no need to drag her large blue bag with her tonight, everything she needed was hidden amongst her skirts. The style of dress she'd chosen for the night was rather modest, but fit well on her lithe Elven frame. The gold satin of her gown was covered in a deep blue layer of tulle. Gold roses rested at her right hip and run up her left shoulder. Matching roses and a deep blue gemmed flower adorned her golden curls. Her jewelry was simple and a mixture of gold and blue to offset her dress. Tucked amidst the flowers in her hair was her ornamental push knife, though most would never know it was a knife, they would think it was just another decoration with it's Elvish scroll work.

Lifting a glass of champagne off a passing tray, Neona let her gold eyes survey the scene before her. She knew many of the delegates from the various factions, and some from the temple she knew from her many visits. Despite her elven heritage, Neona was faithful to the Divine Collective. She always tried to take time out of her week to visit whatever temple she was closest to, though sometimes her job made that very difficult. Lifting her glass to her lips, her gold eyes picked up a scene that most would never notice. She'd met Senior Defender Gill upon her arrival, but she did not know the incredibly handsome thunderstorm he was having an empathic conversation with across the room. It was obvious the Cleric didn't want to be here. Something about him piqued her interest and she tilted her head to the side much as a curious puppy might.

The wolf within her was curious as well, and the fact that both her natures were interested made the decision for her. Setting her now empty champagne glass down, Neona slipped through the crowd following the thunderstorm as he made his exit. She got stopped once by another delegate but manged to politely excuse herself before he could really get started. Slipping through the door shed sen the mysterious Cleric disappear through, she found herself in the kitchens of the temple. Glancing around a bit, Goldie searched for her prey. One of the workers caught her looking around and giggled softly and then pointed towards another door, giving Neona a wink in the process. It seemed that Cleric had a reputation around here. Neona gave her a warm smile and carefully made her way through the kitchen so as not to disturb anyone.

Thankfully she wasn't effected by the temperature changes and weather as she might have been if she were human. Now that she was outside, her Were instincts could work properly. Closing her eyes, she took in a deep breath, sorting through the smells till she found one she didn't recognize, though she'd smelled it before as she passed through the kitchen. Following her nose, even in her tall heels, she managed to get close enough to spot him talking with the guards before he left. She waited until he was far enough away so as not to raise suspicions.

The guards moved to block her path but she flashed them her famous smile. "Don't worry, I just need some air." She didn't slow down, refusing to give them a chance to stop her should they even try. Goldie did look a bit odd walking down the street in her formal gown, but she kept her senses focused on her prey. This thunderstorm intrigued her, and she was determined to find out what it was about him that caught her attention. And more importantly, why did he seem so angry? Well, she was just going to have to fix that.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Thu May 03, 2012 2:51 pm

Even though he knew that evil lurked in the world around him, and could be hiding in the very shadows of the street he walked down, Liam still did so with confidence. He didn't look around like a paranoid victim, afraid of his own shadow. Yes, he had been a victim, but he didn't have to let it be who he was. He could handle himself, and part of that ability was awareness of his surroundings. From time to time he would take a look about himself, and really pay attention to the details. That was when he first saw her. It was easy to follow someone in the city, but wearing a ball gown raised the difficulty slightly.

Neona stood out even more than he did as they moved through the city in a distant tandem. Liam dismissed her at first, thinking that she had some other reason to be wearing that dress and moving about the city, some reason other than him. It wasn't until he looked back a second and third time to see that she was still there, that he did something. He would have been lying if he said that there wasn't a tinge of fear in him. This could be someone possessed or a willing agent of dark powers come to strike at him. There could be that chance, but it was remote at best. No, most shadows were just that, normal shadows. If you jumped at every one of them, you failed to notice the blade hiding in one of them.

He walked a little bit further then turned to his left and walked up the short landing of stairs. He set the two cases down on the porch landing, and then turned around to face the street. Unceremoniously he sat down on the top step, not caring that he got his Cassock dirty. His head turned and he looked right at Neona for the first time since she started following him. He leaned out slightly, with a curious tilt to his head, and watched her. He was patient, just in case there was some shock to him sitting down and waiting for her to catch up. When she finally decided to close the distance on her own he started to speak to her.

"There must be a good reason for you following me because....." He turned his head as she neared so he could keep eyes on her. There was a bit of humor in his voice because he was happy to finally be out of that ballroom, but it couldn't help him. His voice started to fail him mid sentence when she drew near enough for her eyes to show. He had seen eyes of many different colors before, but never gold and never on a beautiful woman. This was a first. It was the first time evil wasn't burning behind some extraordinary color. He could actually enjoy them. A nervous smile came to his lips as he looked up at her and finished his sentence, "....I would love to hear it."
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Fri May 04, 2012 12:37 am

While she may have been following the cleric, her mind was capable of enjoying the evening walk she'd so spontaneously undertaken. While most human females would have seen the need to grab a shawl or a jacket before walking out into the crisp air of the early evening, Neona's increased body temperature due to her Werewolf nature gave her more protection against the cold. The slight breeze that touched her curls felt marvelous against her slightly tanned skin. She ignored the strange looks she received from those she passed on the street, though the small uttering of 'princess' from a small child had her lips curling into smile. She was hardly a princess, the things she'd seen and done no princess would have ever experienced. While she had accepted what had happened to her, she knew there were some who would see her only as a monster.

Enjoying her evening stroll as she was, it didn't deter her attention from her prey. She saw him drift to the left and seemingly sit down on the porch of a seemingly random residence. Goldie didn't change her course just yet, but continued walking down the side walk as if she were simply out for a stroll. When she got close enough, her golden eyes shifted to look directly at him, meeting his gaze without hesitation. She did not avert her eyes as she came to a full stop standing before him. Her lips curled into a warm smile that seemed to brighten the night air around her. She caught the soft hitch in his voice as he brought his own eyes to meet hers. Neona had spent a long time learning the different nuisances of speech patterns, in this way she could tell when some one was lying, or holding something back.

"I have a weakness for handsome men forced to do the part of their job they hate. I could tell from the way you left the ball that you dislike them. I dislike seeing people as unhappy as you were and decided to take it upon myself to make sure your mood was enhanced." Her voice was tinted with laughter, as if she were about to start laughing at any moment. Without asking his permission, she reached into one of her hidden pockets and produced a thin piece of fabric. Stepping up to join him, she laid it out on the steps and used it as a shield between the fabric of her dress and the potentially dirty surface of the steps as she sat down next to him. "I'm Neona Tiran, my friends call me Goldie though. Since you weren't carrying those cases when you left the ballroom, and you only went through the kitchens, I'm going to guess they hold foodstuffs. May I inquire as to where you're taking them? As well as your name of course....unless you want me to make one up for you." With this last her nose wrinkled rather cutely as she chuckled softly.

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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Mon May 07, 2012 12:53 am


Handsome?  He couldn't help but smirk in spite of himself. He had never been called handsome before.     "Well then its good for you that I left then.  Now your task is just unlikely instead of impossible.   You don't look the type that takes failure well."  His life had taken from him the cynicism that had been his armor throughout his younger days, leaving him with lingering sarcasm that reared its head without him realizing.  It never came to the surface when he was Shepherding to the world, then it was its pure form, honesty.  This however wasn't the Divine's work and he was in a bad mood, so his accent was still peaking around the vowels and L's.   

He watched as she pulled a scarf and invited herself to a seat beside him.  His life had kept him from learning the finer points of etiquette so he did not stand from where he sat or offer any sort of pomp and chivalry.  The woman wanted to sit next to him so why would he get up and take the place she had chosen beside him.  So it was to be introductions.   The mention of her nickname brought his gaze back to her eyes.  Their golden glow was inhuman beneath the mixture of moon and artificial  lights of the city.   "Liam Grey...... everyone calls me Grey whether it follows Shepherd or not."  

Liam looked back at the two cases that he had set on the porch landing.  She gave him reason to think on the rash actions that he had taken.  Here she was pointing out to a Shepherd that he had taken what was not his from a place where it was supposed to be.   "Aye.  I took them from the kitchens.  They didn't need it.  There was more than enough food already out to feed everyone in that room." he said to her with with a low cast to his voice as he spoke his thoughts.  Liam trusted his heart and trusted his Faith in the Teachings of the Divine to guide him.  He acted on instinct sometimes even if he didn't understand his motivations.  The Divine had chosen him to be a man of action.  Understanding would come when their need of him had passed.  

"It was a damnable show of excess.  Shameful even.  We know better, but the Council is too focused on what politicians and diplomats have to say about our works so they put on a show for the fat while people still go hungry.   ' Never take more than you need.  Always give all you can spare.  Share and create abundance.  Squander and bring famine' ."     And there it was, a fire born in his voice as he spoked what he believed.  It gave heat and life to his words, and when he quoted 'The Teachings', there was no question that he not only believed them, he lived lived them.   In all the time she had see him enduring the ball, he neither ate nor drank.

Remembering himself and where he was Liam looked down at his feet and exhaled.  Mentally he climbed down from his unseen pulpit, and quieted himself so he could apologize.   "I'm sorry.  You didn't come here to hear a sermon."   he said as he stood up from the steps.  While waiting for her to forgive or decry him for his words, he deftly unbuttoned his Cassock and draped it around her exposed shoulders.   Not knowing she was perfectly comfortable, he sought to protect her from the cold.   "You came out to follow me.  Might as well see the journey through to its end."    With that he reached up to grab his liberated foods and descended the few steps to the street.  

There he waited for a few moments while she caught his meaning and realized that he would not disclose his destination that easily.  She was now better suited in his eyes for a walk out in the night, and he started to take steps backwards to entice her to follow him.  If she rose to join him, he would turn and show the way at her side.  He was silent for a short while, enjoying the strange sense of comfort he felt with this woman.  He had been around women before, but they were always either a part of his flock or Clergy themselves.  This woman was neither yet he invited a perfect stranger along with him, which was unlike him.  Finally he gave in to curiosity and asked,  "If I had been rude and not introduced myself....... what name would you've given me?"  
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Mon May 07, 2012 6:05 pm

"I don't believe in failure, only challenges. There is always a way to win, you just have to be open to suggestion." She told him. That lesson had been a hard one, leaving many scars on her soul that stood to remind her that things weren't always as bleak as they seemed. Neona had to admit, the accent that tilted his vowels caused an unfamiliar tingle down her spine. Unfamiliar only in that she hadn't felt it in years. In a way it was good to know she could still feel that way, but in others it made her wary of this handsome man. The last male who'd made her feel like that had broken her in ways that were hard to repair.

Neona only followed formal etiquette when the situation required, and despite the outfits they were both wearing, this situation was far from formal. She was perfectly capable of taking care of herself, more so then most ever realized. At the mention of his name, her lips curled into a warm smile. That smile remained as he explained his actions, understanding now clearing her confusion. So, that was why he looked so angry. Her brow arched a bit in surprise to hear the Shepherd curse over the actions of his colleagues. So, there was passion to this thunderstorm after all. Liam was proving a new challenge, perhaps he was just as passionate about his flock as she was about the peace of Terra. After all, without peace he wouldn't have a flock to tend.

As he apologized she found herself giggling softly. He surprised her once more by showing concern for her lack of protection from the weather. Truth be told she hadn't even noticed that it would be cold for a normal human. She mentally chided herself for not paying closer attention to her surroundings. Hiding her true nature was paramount for her position, there were many who would no longer respect her words simply because of the monster she was capable of becoming. There were also those who believed the Weres were nothing more then animals capable of only destruction and death, and deserved no less themselves.

At his words, she gripped his Cassock at the base of her throat, just below the gold crystal that hung on a silver chain. Rising to her feet with the grace of an Elf, her other hand quickly picked up the fabric she'd laid out on the steps. As she descended the steps to follow him, she quickly refolded the fabric and slid it back into it's hidden pocket. She did not mind that he didn't tell her where he was going, she was more of the hands on type anyway, preferring to see with her own eyes and experience all that life had to offer her. "You should never apologize for preaching Liam, it is your job, your life. Besides, the words of the Divine hold wisdom and should not be taken lightly." Reaching out with her hands, she deftly wrapped her fingers around the handle of the case he held nearest her, pulling it out of his hand and into her own. Should he try to reach for it take it back, she would pull it out of his reach with a teasing smile on her face. "If you had not given me your name, I would have called you Rayn. With a 'y' instead of an 'i' as everyone deserves a bit of originality. You are like the rain, beautiful, yet you can be terrifying I'm sure. Still, you cannot have rainbows with some Rayn." She gave him a wink as she teased him, her heels clicking merrily on the sidewalk as she glided at his side.

Suddenly she stopped and looked down at herself, turning slightly so she could take in all sides of herself. Frowning slightly she turned her golden gaze back up to him. "Do you really think I'm fat?" She asked him, trying desperately to maintain the facade of being hurt, though her eyes twinkled with merriment anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Mon May 07, 2012 11:03 pm

Being a Shepherd wasn't a job, it was a calling, but he didn't want to argue semantics with her. In a way he did get paid for his work, he saw his flock alive and safe. That made it all worthwhile. As they walked he listened to her name for him and the reasons behind it. There were so many other worse names that she could have given him, and she had really well thought out reasons for it. So much detail for something that was just off the top of her head told him that she was more than just a pretty face. It was good to know that there was something written on the pages hidden by the cover of this book. Her choice and reasons brought a thoughtful smile to his lips. "I like the rain." he said simply. He didn't go into the reasons because there were so many. A reason for every mood, good and bad, so he simply left it at that.

When she reached for one of the cases the touch of her hand gliding over the backs of his fingers came as a bit of a surprise. His head quickly turned to look at her. He would have put up more fight, but he was a bit to taken by the sight of her looking up at him as she bent down to share his burden. Most women wouldn't have he suspected, especially not one so finely dressed. Reluctantly he let the case slip from his fingers so she could take it, and with it her touch. "Uh Tha....Thank you," he stammered as he found his voice again. He looked at her for a moment longer and then turned to continue walking again, hiding behind his shroud of silence.

He didn't notice that she had stopped mid stride and started checking herself out. It wasn't until she asked the question that he stopped dead in his tracks and whirled around. The look on his face was a mix of shock, stupidity, and wild eyed searching for an escape route. "Aahh ... I ... umm I you...." , he stammered and scrubbed his free hand through his hair. "I didn't say that!!" He finally closed his mouth and fixed her with a stern glare. "You're putting words into my mouth. I was talking about them. You are not fat, you're actually quite fit. You've got a nice....." His words were coming in a rush to quickly diffuse her argument. Luckily Liam realized that his mouth was getting ahead of his brain and stopped talking before it was too late.

"We're almost there. It's getting late." he said that with a quick spin to give her his back and hide his reddening cheeks. This woman was exasperating. He gave a quick exhalation of breath and marched off. Their destination of only a few buildings up so he got there as quickly as he could and banged on the door. It was opened by an elderly gentleman who gave Liam a smile and opened the door the rest of the way.

"Shepherd Grey? You're out late. Is something wrong?" He straightened his back when he looked behind Liam and saw Neona standing there. The sight of a beautiful woman would make any man stand taller and straighten his clothing out. "Hello, Miss." he said to her and then looked questioningly back to Liam.

"Everything's fine Aaron. I just brought some stuff for the boys. Are they still up?" he said with a smile as he walked through the door and clapped a hand on Aaron's shoulder to reassure him. Liam looked over his shoulder, smiled at Neona, and then shifted his head to motion her to follow him. It was a large building with what looked like a recreation room set up in the room they walked in to. There were hallways and stairs that lead away and upwards to parts unknown.

"BOYS!!!! Shepherd Grey is here. Get down here Now!" the man called out into the building which started the stampeding sound of footsteps coming closer. The sounds became voices that called out for Shepherd Grey, and the faces of children ranging in age from youngster to teenager. There was thirteen of them in all.

As the cacophony came closer Liam leaned close to Neona and took the case from her hand so she would be safe from the plague of children. "There you go boys. Just make sure you say grace first." With that he held out the cases and relinquished them to the hoard of energetic boys.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Wed May 09, 2012 12:52 am

Goldie smiled at the sight of Liam smiling, he looked so handsome when he smiled, but she could tell he didn't do it nearly as often as he should. Everyone deserved to be happy and everyone deserved to live. "I love the rain." she said softly, purposefully meeting his gaze with her words. She'd always loved the rain, she remembered dancing in it with her siblings when they were kids, sitting on the porch of their home and drinking their mother's Elven tea while the thunderstorm raged around them. She loved the sound and the smell of the rain. To her it was soothing, and she'd often fallen asleep to the sound out her open window as a child.

Being a diplomat, and also a were, had it's advantages. She could tell she was making him a bit uncomfortable, and she could smell the nervousness on him. Thankfully he didn't smell of fear however, though she doubted he knew he had any reason to fear her. Most never did until it was far too late. "You're welcome Liam." It would seem that her smile never left her face. It rarely did, but she understood when a smile wasn't necessary. Some moments called for her to show her inner wolf and be intimidating.

She watched him as he stumbled about for the words to her question about her being fat. She had been teasing him, and observing the Shepherd at a loss for words was priceless. Mentally she scratched that off her to do list. oldie was also the type of woman who could take a compliment without actually needing to hear the words. Her nose crinkled in that cute way once more as she smiled at him beneath her lashes. Her small chuckle met the air as she followed after him, allowing him to change the subject as she could feel how upset he'd become over it.

Neona remained quiet as Liam spoke with the man on the other side of the door, giving the man her signature warm smile when he looked at her. She inclined her head to the man in greeting when he spoke to her, trying to seem as unobtrusive as possible. Made all the easier considering she was dressed so formally. People tended to let their guard down around people in ballgowns, something she used to her advantage. To a diplomat, the smallest piece of information could turn the tables of a negotiation. When Liam smiled at her, she returned it, following him up into the house. This wasn't normally something she did, and she knew a couple of people who would lecture her if they knew she was going into some random house with a man she just met, well, more like accosted against his will.

At the sound of running feet, Neona tilted her head, but it wasn't to look up at the sound. Her head tilted to the side so that it angled her ear upwards, funneling the sounds directly into her ear canal and allowing her to discern each and every pounding footsteps. Counting the steps she was able to discern how many humans there were as well as their various weight sizes. While this situation didn't necessarily call for such an act, there was nothing wrong with keeping her skills sharp. She relinquished the food crate to Liam and took a small step back to stay out of the way of the horde of hungry children. At the sight of them, Neona's face would seem to light up from the inside out. She loved children, there was nothing so precious in all the world. A spark of sadness rose up inside her but she quickly squashed it...who would want to have a mutant half elf possibly werewolf baby with her?

"You can always tell the soul of a Shepherd by the flock he tends." she told him, keeping her voice pitched low as she stood at his side.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Sat May 12, 2012 10:43 pm

Liam watched the boys like a hawk as they tore off into the recreation room and opened the cases of food. It started out as a free for all with hands grabbing at what they wanted, as young children were want to do, but it came to an end. The Shepherd had his eyes fixed on the older boys, and when one met his gaze he raised an eyebrow. The older boy spoke up and said, [color:28b5= blue] "Hey, hey. Calm down. Back off. Make sure everyone gets some." He shooed the chaos back and reached into the crowd to pull up the youngest and smallest. The others took their cue from the eldest and pushed the younger boys who were at the back of the crowed forward. Once near the food they were able to take what they wanted and ran off laughing.

A smile came to the Shepherd's lips and he gave a short nod of approval. In a short time the children were all passing food between one another and all of them were eating. His attention was called from the feasting children when Neona spoke to him. It was one of the best compliments that he'd ever been given. He looked at the boys a while longer and his smile grew larger before he turned to her. "They're good boys, just didn't have the best of starts. Teach them how to find their way, and they'll never be lost, even if they wander off." He spoke quietly, his words were for her alone, and just like that he turned and started walking towards the door.

"You're not staying?" asked the boy's caretaker when he realized that Liam was walking towards the door. The gesture he saw Liam give was answer enough so he simply said, "Thank you, Shepherd."

He never intended on staying nor was he going to say good bye. He wanted to make a quiet exit but he was noticed, and when questioned he simply raised his hand up to wave goodbye. At the door he looked to Neona and held it open for her like a gentleman would. Once she was through, he pulled it closed. With that click of the bolt latching in place it was over. There was no endorsement of the church, no sermon that they had to listen to as payment for the food. He simply wanted to share what he had, and made sure others shared it as well. Deep inside him Liam felt some small measure of peace come over him. It was the type of peace that came when someone you looked too for guidance said that 'everything was going to be alright'. They were impulsive as young boys were known to be, but they remembered the teachings and lived them. The Divine had just showed him proof in practice. There was a reason for everything, even the ball, if it brought about something this simple.

At the bottom of the stairs he stopped and looked back up to Neona. There was no smile on his lips, just a serene peace in his face. The storm that once raged in his eyes had run its course, and now fallen silent, leaving behind the deep seas of blue. Strong currents swirled hidden in them, but he was free of them for now. He was content, as if he was where he wanted to be. "Still want to go for that walk? I'm not quite ready to head back yet and deal with what's waiting for me. You're either an official that my superiors are NOT schmoozing thanks to me, or I'll have to explain where you went to your angry date. I wonder which it is."
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Tue May 22, 2012 7:44 pm

Neona's smile only increased as she watched the children's antics, their joy at the gifts Liam had brought them was obvious. It was also obvious that Liam had been speaking with the older boys on responsibility. She was content simply to observe for a few moments, taking in more of her brooding thunderstorm. The instinct to take what you needed to survive would always remain a part of their human nature, and no one knew this better then Neona who had to fight her animal instincts far harder then a normal human, of Elf, ever did. His words gave her a new idea and she stepped away from him and towards the children. Reaching into her skirts, she pulled forth a small package wrapped in paper from one of her hidden pockets. Carefully pulling open the corners, she revealed to them all a batch of chocolate chip cookies. She set them down in front of them and without saying a word simply stepped back to stand near Liam.

She made no comment on the fact that he chose not to stay, his work here was done, it wasn't his place to father them, simply to guide them. She gave him a thankful smile as she stepped past him and out into the weather once more, still clutching his jacket around her slender Elven shoulders. When he stopped at the bottom of the stairs, she found herself coming to a halt a few steps above him, her gold eyes staring into his where she noted that his anger was gone. Inside she felt the wolf calm considerably while she stared into his eyes. That was highly unusual seeing as meeting eyes with a wolf was usually a form of challenge and would only serve to rile her, how could this man actually calm her further?

"Well I would need a date first in order for you to need to explain yourself to him. And honestly if any date I ever had got upset that I left to follow my instincts...we wouldn't be dating. I don't belong to anyone but myself, I they don't trust me enough to let me go off on my own, then they don't deserve to be near me." While her words may have been hateful if said by someone else, for Neona she was simply stating a fact, as calm as if she were talking about the weather. Floating down the rest of the steps to stand at his side, she wrapped her arm around his. "A walk sounds fantastic, lead the way Shepherd." She did have a prior engagement back at the Ball, but she had time still before she needed to get back. A part of her wanted him to be there for it.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Thu May 24, 2012 7:09 pm

Liam wasn't expecting to feel relief when she said that she didn't have a dare waiting for her back at the ball. "Good... That is... I'm a man of peace. I don't like violence.  "   he said to recover.  Still off balance from his own words, Liam was easy prey for her to swoop in upon, slip her arm around his.  He looked down at the invasion of personal space and caught an eye full of the cleavage that was in the way.  When he realized what he was looking at, Liam turned his head back to the road ahead, and prayed she couldn't see him blushing.  His cheeks felt like the we're on fire. Thank the Divine it was night time. 

She was tall for a woman so there was no need for him to slouch.  It made the stride comfortable and leisurely. She seemed to fit just at the right spot.  For the first minute or so of their travels Liam tried to think of something to say so that he could make conversation, but gave up.  There was something about the silence between them.  There was no awkwardness in it. It was actually enjoyable.  Liam walked with her for a time, enjoying the sounds of their heels clicking in the pavement unison. Their path carried them on a few turns, ultimately bringing them back towards the temple, but a few streets over from the route they originally took.   

Neona spotted the reason for the detour back immediately.  Off the side walk to their left was an empty playground.  Street lights at the corners illuminated the park with a dim glow.  It had all the customary features that any child would need for a fun day in the sun: swings, slide, jungle gym, monkey bars, and a merry go round.   "Some money was donated to the church by one of the more wealthy members of the congregation.  We gave or to the government on the condition that they build parks for children around the city.  The old books said playgrounds used to be all over the place before the war.  They stopped building parks and started building walls.  Even after the treaty was signed, no one built any parks." He spoke to her as he walked with her through the playground passed different pieces.   "They built Bastion to be a fortress..... People need a city not a citadel. The Church thought 'giving children a place to play' was a good step in the right direction."

He slipped his arm from out of hers and walked across the sand to the swing set. He looked back at her with a side long glance the grabbed the swing seat and threw it over the too bar a few times. Doing this wrapped the chain around the pipe, shortening it's length, and made the swing seat higher. "We got the descriptions of these things from books and old photographs from before the war.  Adults built them, but the kids figured out how to play with them on their own."   When he was done adjusting the height, Liam looked to he and held the swing out offering her a seat.   "If they can figure out how to play on their own, then maybe we aren't so damned by war and there is still hope for us. "  
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Mon May 28, 2012 2:57 am

Neona might not have been able to see his cheeks reddening, but she could sure hear his heart beating a bit faster. It made her bite her lip a bit to know that she affected this man in a way that would have his heart racing. Yes, she was cheating, using her Were powers for evil, but it wasn't like she could ignore them. She could almost hear his brain trying to come up with something to say, and she managed to hold back the giggle that threatened to ruin the silence. Walking with him gave her feelings she normally didn't get when around other people, she felt safe. That was something she'd learned to depend on herself for, not other people. Acting on instinct, Neona tilted her head to rest it on his shoulder, walking like that for a ways. He smelled so good, honestly was this man real or did she drink too much and pass out and now she was dreaming? Oh right...Werewolf...wasn't really possible for her to consume that much alcohol anymore, so, not dreaming then.

She lifted her head off his shoulder so she could turn her face up to him when he began explaining the park to her, she'd mostly been raised the Elven way so parks with previously thought out play structures had never been a part of her childhood. Running through forests and climbing trees...that had certainly been there. She watched him with interest, letting her golden eyes wander a bit when he wasn't looking at her, the more she looked at him, the more she spent time with him, the more this handsome thunderstorm seemed to be growing on her. When he offered her the swing, she gracefully accepted, stepping forward to turn into the seat so she could sit down without messing up her dress. Goldie, was of course, listening to him the whole time. Something told her that this was more talking then Liam normally he did, he seemed more a man of leading by example then preaching.

"There is always hope for those willing to try, for those who strive to correct the wrongs and injustice. War is terrible, and it should never have happened in the first place. But it did, and now all we can do is strive to fix what we've broken. Children are the perfect example of this, they aren't born with hate or fear...we teach it to them. Whether we mean to or not, they learn it from us. We are not the future....they are. I'd like to be able to say that I managed to leave them a brighter future then the one I knew, that I could give them something better, that they would never suffer like we did." At this last, Neona's voice edged with sadness and she looked away for a moment as she mentally slammed the door on years of pent up emotions. After a moment she turned her face back to him.

"I hope you don't' find this rude, and please, feel free to tell me to mind my own business. You say you don't like violence...but you're an Acolyte Cleric, your job is to fight...isn't it?" Violence and fighting in general was a bit of a puzzle to Neona, she herself refused to fight on almost every occasion, it brought out a side of her she didn't particularly like. It wasn't to say that she couldn't, or wouldn't, if the need arose. She simply chose to find other ways of settling differences, she supposed that was why she was a diplomat and not a soldier like her brother or her father.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Tue May 29, 2012 9:03 pm

He was relieved when Neona took him up on his offer and sat on the swing seat. He held it steady so that she didn’t fall from it before she was settled. Gripping tightly on the chain at both sides he said ”Hold tight,” and then pulled her back towards him. With a gentle push forward he sent her swinging on her way. A perfect pendulum in motion Neona reached the top of her arc and swung back towards him. Liam had a brief moment of panic when he was trying to decide on which was the best place to put his hands when he pushed her. Her shoulders were bare even if she did still where his coat, so that was inappropriate advantage, and he decided against it. The chains ran the risk of making the swing unstable as she moved back and forth so they were off limits. He didn’t want to hurt her after all. That only left him her back, so he did his best to make sure his hands were placed respectfully high.

Gently alighting on her back, just above the small, Liam pushed her away from him, knowing she would return with the same amount of force added to her swing. Again and again he pushed her, enjoying the simple moment afforded him by the Divine in days when very little even seemed simple. He listened to her words and reflexed on the admissions she made without confessing. Being a Shepherd taught him to listen to others. The truest confessions were not in what was said, but what was meant. This woman with him had seen hardship. They all had seen hardship, but unlike others, she still carried it with her. Most people were cleansed by the Enlightenment. They had seen so much suffering that they had no other choice than to let it go and move on. Then there were people like him whose suffering lingered on no matter how much they wished they could leave it behind. It followed them.

They fell into a natural motion determined by physics and complex math, but for their bodies it was simple play. Liam stopped worrying about where to place his hands on her body, and just focused on keeping her in motion. Neona could tell that her question had struck him deeply when his hands did not find her back, and push her forward. The falter only lost him one push, but the shock was loud and clear. He recovered and set her back into motion then gave her an answer. ”I fight, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I would have chosen another path if I could have, but the Divine had other plans for me.” He kept her in motion, not wanting to give up the moment that they were sharing. She seemed to be enjoying it and that meant more to him than walking away so he could brood.

”There are reasons to fight…..” he said and his voice trailed off while he went over the list in his mind. It was a list he knew well, a list that he repeated to himself almost every day. The list gave him strength to continue on in this life. ”I fight to protect the flock. I fight so others don’t have to. It’s the only way I know how to set things right.” His voice was heavy, but he didn’t elaborate on what he meant by setting things right. ”The Divine teaches us that ‘A Shepherd protects his flock from the wolves. They are all fierce, so he must be willing to fight.’”

Liam stepped away from where he stood behind her and moved up alongside her. He was tall enough to reach over his head and take hold of the bar that all the swings were attached to. There he held to support his weight and leaned forward. It was a more casual stance than he was willing to adopt when around non Acolytes, but he was comfortable with this woman. ”Well…. I’ve told you what it is I do and why, and you still haven’t answered my question. You never told me why you were at the ball.”
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:25 am

Neona was amazed that Liam was being such a gentleman. It was very rare that anyone remembered any sort of common courtesy these days, everyone seemed more focused on their own survival as an individual then their survival as a species. She wasn't exactly sure what Liam was doing, but her instincts solved her dilemma for her as soon as he began to push her in the swing. As she reached the peak of her ascent, she tucked her legs beneath her and tilted her body forward to increase her downward momentum as she swung back to him. Goldie was surprised when he was there to push her so she made sure to hold back so she wouldn't overpower him. With her werewolf strength she could easily make this innocent act quite dangerous. She appreciated how respectful he was of her personal space, and the Wolf within appreciated it too. It was never good to get too close to a wolf, human or not.

When Liam faltered at her question she worried that she really had crossed a line, maybe it was some big secret for the Collective. He didn't falter for very long however and Neona pushed her sudden burst of fear back down. Honestly, this man had her more emotional then she'd been in the last few years...which in itself could be dangerous. Her strict hold over her emotions is what kept her in control. His words hit her like no one Else's ever had. 'But the Divine had other plans for me.' Truer words had never been spoken. If it weren't for becoming a Werewolf, Neona wasn't sure where she would have ended up. However she couldn't help herself, as he spoke about protecting his flock from the wolves she gave a small chuckle, though she quickly stifled it.

As he moved around to stand beside her, she brought herself to a slow stop, gently swinging back and forth so that they could hold an actual conversation. Turning her golden gaze up to him, she gave him a warm smile. Holding his jacket around her shoulders with one hand, her other clasped the chain on the swing. Truthfully, she was getting rather warm under the jacket, despite the cool evening. "I suppose I should introduce myself more properly then. I am a Diplomatic Liaison for the Terran Guard. I was at the ball to hopefully further friendly relations between the Collective and the Guard. And perhaps to help the Collective fund a new Orphanage in Librium. That's my own personal goal, not one of the Guard's. So you could say I am here to simply look pretty and try to keep everyone happy." This last she said with a slight rolling of her ethereal eyes. "I love the Collective, and I have since I was a child, but there are far better things I could be doing with my time then listening to all of them talk about their ideas to better humanity that will never go further then that room." She then stood up and turned to face him, perhaps standing just a bit too close but careful not to be touching him.

"And then I saw you. You are a man the rest wish they could be, a man of his word, a man worthy of my admiration. You make me have faith in the world."

Last edited by Neona Tiran on Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:25 am

Introductions at long last. Liam finally knew who it was he was keeping company with. They mystery was fun, but there was a part of him that hungered to know more about this woman. It was at odds with his Shepherd's pious sensibilities. He wasn't supposed to have desires like this. These were a part of human nature that he was supposed to be better than his base instincts. Years of learning the gosple and preaching it to the faithful made him feel a bit shameful for his thoughts. He didn't even fully realize what he was thinking, but he pushed shame to the back of his mind. Liam told himself that there was no reason for it. He was here with a respectable woman, and spending time without doing anything indecent.

Liam was a man after all, and these desires were a part of who he was as the Divine had made him. The Holy Texts taught the faithful to accept who they were. Liam accepted who he was, but knew it was what he did with those impulses that defined who he was. 'Keep calm and carry on', very old and very wise words that survived the war, and they were very appropriate at the moment. He was about to say something to her, when she stood up and took a step towards him.

His heart started pounding in his chest. Liam could feel the blood rushing through his veins, rising to his face to make a heat that was surely going to color his cheeks. She was so close to him. He could smell her. It wasn't just the light perfumed scent of flowers, but the undertones of what she was, a woman. The Shepherd struggled against the man, and did his best to stand his ground. Liam stood fast, and kept telling himself to remember to breath. He knew talking was out of the question for the moment, because his mouth wanted to do other things. Her praise snapped him back from the brink of. Liam was almost overcome by the desire to close the distance between them when his choice to live a humble life awakened.

"You flatter me too much miss. I am just a man trying to live a life that he won't regret." He took a step back and fought to maintain a his composure and not show how nervous he was made by her. Liam was very good at keeping a stone face when he needed to thanks to the need for decorum and restraint that the station he held required. His scent however told a different story all together. There was nothing timid in it. It was full and masculine. It revealed the desire to close the gap between them, but it his scent was also hard. Liam had a steely resolve that was a part of him to the very core, and it came through in his scent.

"As for you just being a pretty face..... " he said as he walked to the other side of the swing set pole, putting it between them for protection against himself, "You are very pretty, but so much more. Anyone would be a full for underestimating you. I've only known you one night and I have a feeling you're more than just what's on the surface." He had only known her for a few hours now, but he believed the truth of his words and it shone in his eyes as he spoke. Liam was determined to never underestimate this woman. "If you really are interested in a new orphanage in Librium, I may be able to introduce you to the people you need to talk to." A new orphanage would help others and that was the Divine's work, but Liam also wanted to help this woman especially.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:11 am

Goldie could hear his heart beating, hear how it skipped a beat and then sped up as she got close to him. It made her lips curl into a smile, as if it were some sort of game she was playing, and Liam was loosing. Instinct drove her just as much as her mind. The wolf within her liked this male, liked him in ways she hadn't felt since Julian. That was the last time she'd ever let herself feel anything but respect for a male. When he finally gave in and moved away from her, Neona knew she had him exactly where she wanted him. The human part of her wondered where that was, why she was letting this man affect her judgement so, but the Wolf won out, as she always did.

Her nose burned with the smell of him, and she inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of him and letting it fill her. She committed it to memory, so she would always know it was him. She wasn't sure why she was taking the time to learn his scent, to memorize the way he moved or the sound of his footsteps, some part of her simply knew that he was going to be a part of her life whether he liked it or not. His words brought her famous smile to her lips, her eye glinting gold in the moonlight. "Many have often found themselves a fool when I'm involved. They see my pretty face, and my fine clothes and don't believe I'm capable of anything more. I've won a lot of debates that way, secured exactly what Terra needed to remain peaceful. All I can really do is hope the peace lasts until she can heal once more."

Neona decided to stop toying with him for a few moments, her heels clicking softly on the sidewalk as she moved to a rose bush. She let her fingers caress one of the tiny buds as she spoke about Terra, her Elven heritage shining through in that instance. Her golden curls falling over her shoulder as she bent down to take in it's beautiful scent. "There is so much good left in this world, though it is being smothered by our own greed and selfishness. I feel it's my duty to free it, so the world can flourish once more." She suddenly seemed to snap out of her revery, turning to face him once more as she tilted her head slightly to the side..as if listening to something.

"We should return to the Ball, I will be missed shortly." She stepped up to him and reached out, her golden nails shimmering as she grasped his hand in her own. She gave him a smile and a reassuring squeeze before gently leading him back towards the Temple. "I promise, you won't want to miss this, Rayn." She told him, using the pet name she'd picked out for him earlier in the evening.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:22 pm

The relief he felt when she stepped away from him was bittersweet. He finally felt like he could breathe again, but the loss of her presence was tantamount to the air being sucked away from him. It was strange that a woman he just met could make him suffer a vacuum just by stepping away from him. Liam wanted to follow her over to the rose bushes, but he held h is ground and stood fast on the spot he occupied. It was as if doing so proved he was still in control, that she had not cast some alluring enchantment over him. He stood strong, and his will was proven still his own.

Liam liked the way she spoke about the world. She had a way of seeing past the darkness in it, to focus only on light, and its potential to grow. It gave him hope to know that such people still existed in the world and they held places of influence. Neona had named herself a diplomat, and diplomats were the one who fought the important battles these days, but these battles were for good reasons. It was her work that kept relations from breaking down between the human and the Children. This waif of a woman was what stood between them and another war that could be the death of them all. The Cleric smiled and took a step towards her, confident that they were all in good and capable hands.

She had very warm hands despite the crisp chill to the night air in which they stood. He liked the way they warmed his palm and caused his skin to heat in response to her. Liam hadn't even noticed she took his hand until he realized that he had shifted his hand to interlace his fingers with hers. They were so slender, so smooth, and felt as if they fit perfectly between his. As much as her being so close unsettled him before, her touch now made him feel that much more at peace. Liam looked at her with a sense of astonishment as she just turned and started to lead him away as if there was nothing wrong with what he did. He gladly followed her.

It was only a short distance from the park to the main entrance of the Temple Complex. She stormed passed the guards who recognized both of them from when they left, and were surprised to see them not only returning together, but doing so hand and hand. It raised eyebrows, but Liam didn't notice. What he did finally notice was the elderly voice that called his name as she lead him back to the ballroom. "Liam" came the voice that was distorted by age but still had remarkable strength in it.

Liam recognized the voice right away and unlaced his fingers from Neona's. He turned to stand at attention with his hands behind his back. "Senior Defender." he said in a crisp tone acknowledging his superior's presence. He held his position waiting for the Senior Defender to speak to him.

The older gentleman with a strong stride and a back still unbent by the weight of years took a few steps towards Liam. "People are starting to notice your absence. I think it's time you get back to the ball and show your support." He looked from the young Cleric now, and shifted eyes to Neona for a moment. "When you have time tomorrow, I'd like to have a talk with you. Report to my office when you can." With that he turned and walked off into the pools of light and shadow that were the Temple Courtyards.

"Understood." Liam said simply and then turned back to Neona. "What is this surprise of yours?" he asked her not wanting to think about whatever it is tomorrow would bring.
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PostSubject: Re: I am NOT dancing {COMPLETE}   Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:56 pm

For some unknown reason, Neona was happier then she'd been in a long time. Something about this man lifted her spirits and caused even the wolf within to feel calm and content. She felt like she could break into dance at any moment, but now was not the appropriate time for such acts. Instead she simply let herself enjoy the touch of his hand in hers, uncaring that he might have had a problem with it in the beginning. The sound of his heartbeat told her that she made him feel much the same way that he made her. It was so odd, they had only just met, but she felt like their souls knew each other from some other time...as if they weren't just meeting, but getting reacquainted.

Neona paid no attention to the guards as they walked past, though she knew they'd be a little bewildered as to why the two of them were coming back together when they'd left separately. She only paused when Liam's name was called out. As the Senior Defender approached, she took a step back so as not to be intrusive on their conversation. She waited patiently, though with the tone of the Senior Defender's voice the wolf within growled deeply, stirring inside her to the point that she had to force that growl not to become audible.

When the man looked at her, he would see nothing but cold calm on Neona's face, her mask that would give away no emotion. She did give him one of her sweetest smiles, though she doubted it would have the proper effect on this man. Once he was gone, she closed her eyes for a moment to make sure she had complete control. Liam's voice brought her back however, and when she opened her golden eyes to look upon his face warmth filled her. Reaching out, she took his hand once more and led him back into the ball. "Just something I have to do that I would like you to be a witness to. So, you stay right here, get something to drink and don't you dare leave again. I will feel very insulted if you do." She teased him with a wry smile before turning on her heels and disappearing into the crowd.

A few minutes should pass before the stage would light up and Neona herself would appear in the spotlight on stage. She did not introduce herself, did not make a speech before the music started. It was a simple song, elegant, yet the words were powerful.

Floating with the wind, I am drifting East
It's like I calmed the ocean still and put the waves to sleep
But the tides are changing, No it ain't the same
There lies a faith in the absence of control they say...
One step forth, and I try to get back
A coward's fear on trail with the weakest faith in man
You call me out my comfort, you call me out the boat
To walk on my own alone, alone

Sometimes I am lost on the open water
Sometimes I am thrown by the wind and the waves
Sometimes I'm swimming in the deep end
Can I stay Afloat, Stay Afloat

The Ocean is deep below my feet
Afraid of what's to come, so I slowly start to sink
I was waiting for my ending, But then you grab my hand
Just like I knew you would, you would

Sometimes I am lost on the open water
Sometimes I am thrown by the wind and the waves
Sometimes I'm swimming in the deep end
Can I stay Afloat, Stay Afloat

In the rain, there is a storm, barely breathing as I paddle...
I am sinking- Does it matter?
In my final breath, my only hope , you come to save me...

Sometimes I am lost on the open water
Sometimes I am thrown by the wind and the waves
Sometimes I'm swimming in the deep end
Can I stay Afloat, Stay Afloat

Once the song was over, she stood there a moment longer, a look of peace on her face that was matched all across the room. Her voice held a warmth that seemed to radiate from her and light up the room.

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