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 After The Battles {Tag Neona}

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PostSubject: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:52 am

Life in Librium had fallen into a steady  rhythm for Liam.  It didn't matter to him that he was on restricted posting to hide him while his wounds healed. Neona was in Librium and it let him be near her. The council forbid him from hunting the demon he now knew still existed.  It made him feel like a caged animal.  To take his mind off of it, Liam three himself into the considerable amount of work that needed to be done at his new church.  There were other shepherds at this location, but none of them seemed to be very handy. There also wasn't much extra money for them to use to hire repairmen.   There was however, enough money to purchase raw materials.  

Liam asked for the congregation to donate any tools that they had laying around and could bear to part with.  What he got was a mix of old and mistreated tools, but he gave them some cleaned them up and put them to use.  There was a great deal of work to be done: leaky pipes, cracked molding, missing shingles, loose wall panels, termite riddled sections that needed rebuilding, and worn church pews that were in need of fresh coat of varnish.   He started with small jobs at first, and tackled the more laborious task as his body healed.  The physical exertion pushed his body to limits, and acted as physical therapy for him.  This was his routine when he wasn't conducting services and helping the community.  In the evenings when he knew Neona was free of her Terran Guard obligations, he did his bet to see her to spend a little time.

Lately his routine had been far more taxing, because he had started helping Neona's sister Blue in secret.  She had been hurt in a building collapse that crushed part of her spine.  The doctors said that she would never walk again, but Liam could not stand by while a good person was left crippled when he like do something about it.  It was impossible for him to heal her completely without losing the use of his own legs or passing her malady on to another person.  What he did instead was heal the most serious injuries so that she could make a natural recovery, and helped her along in small increments as he was able to.  The result was random days of sickness and fatigue ranging from paralysis and blindness at the beginning to aching muscles and fatigue.  He bore this burden quietly because it was his purpose in life to help good people.  

This particular day Liam did not have to visit Blue for a healing session because she was at the point where only hard work and perseverance was necessary.  He still note the bruising and discoloration on his back that resulted from their last meeting. Even though his body was still recovering, Liam replaced the Sheetrock of the all purpose room in the church's basement.  When it was done, he bathed, put on civilian clothes, and made his way across Librium to see Neona.  The thought is getting to spend time with her had driven him through the day.  By the time he reached her home night had fallen, and his eyes were heavy.  Still, his smile held life and energy, and he gladly stayed awake to see her. 

A willing heart and strong spirit can push a weary body great distances, but there were limits to how far.  The visit was good, but extremely comfortable.  The two of them had been cuddled up on her couch when Liam succumbed to the day's exhaustion, and fell into a deep sleep.  Passing out because one had nothing left to give was the best rest anyone could hope for.  The mind and body were so spent that he didn't even dream.  This in itself was a blessing because his sleep normally brought nightmares of the horrid events that he had to endure throughout his life.  Hours passed with Liam dead to the world, unaware of what was going on.  He slumbered peacefully in a dark void until his mind rested enough and thoughts began to stir.  Lights invaded the darkness to become motion, and soon motion gave way to images.  In time his body began to stir because he could not tell dream from reality.  It wasn't much, but his peaceful sleep became restless twitch.  His lips moved to murmur quietly and his skin started to coat with a cold sweat.  The traumatic events of a few months past were still to vivid in his mind, and they called the Shepherd's shared past up from the depths.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:16 am

It had been a considerably long day, the moment Liam had arrived at her apartment though, everything had just seemed to get so much better. It had taken them some time to figure out how to be around each other all the time, quite a few awkward moments had been shared, with quite a few laughs in the process. This was new to both of them, and Neona still had a secret to keep. It had been almost ten years since Neona had let anyone into her life like this, and Liam...well she figured it'd been quite some time for him as well, though he didn't really talk about it much. Not that it mattered to her at all, everyone had pasts and it was what made them who they were today, made him the man she had come to care about so deeply.

Neona's apartment was in a more Elven populated section of the city, and it was quite noticeable in the amount of plant life and vegetation that had sprouted up. Most of the rooftops held gardens, lush with the fruit and vegetables the Elves used in practically everything they made. Neona herself didn't have a green thumb to speak of, she epically failed when it came to gardening, one of the few elven traits she hadn't inherited from her mother. Though she was trying her best with a small strawberry plant in her kitchen window, though it had yet to bare fruit. Her apartment was rather spacious, a gift from her job as a diplomat, it allowed her to live comfortably, and what ever she didn't need she ended up turning back over to the various charities around town.

When Liam arrived at her apartment, she was just finishing dinner, one of his favorites. Niara had been right, Neona was the housewife type, constantly doing everything and looking utterly amazing doing it. Some days she wished she had more time for her art but that was just a hobby and she needed to remember that. Still, taking some time out from her work to cuddle up with the man she cared about could easily fit into her schedule. They had talked about their days, and it felt good to share her life with someone. Niara was always so busy, and her mother would have preferred that Neona didn't have a such a grand life with the Terran Guard. They had fallen asleep that way, cuddled together with her head on his chest. The sound of his heartbeat lulling her and the wolf within to sleep. It was that same sound that woke her, her golden eyes opening as the sound of his heartbeat echoed loudly in her ear mere inches from the racing organ. Raising her head she stared at him for a moment, trying to discern what was going on.

It became obvious to her that he was having a nightmare, and she could understand that, the Divine knew she had her share of them in her lifetime. Though her's tended to be nightmare's of things she could do, not things she'd done. The lives she could take with her furry little secret. Reaching up, she pressed a hand to the side of his face. "Liam, wake up." She would say it again if she had to, moving her hand to his shoulder to try and shake him out of it.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:24 am

Liam's nightmares were always the same. Gruesome events played out and Liam was powerless to stop them. It wasn't fear that paralyzed him, it was the demon. These were the images of his life that had played out before his eyes over the course of years. Years that he spent in captivity, a prisoner in his own body. Liam thrashed against the confines of his own dream, and in the waking world his body twitched and struggled, but barely moved. It was as if he were bound and gagged with invisible bonds. His sleep was deep and he was not easily roused, but Neona's voice and touch called him from the depths of his own personal hell.

His eyes sprang open and Liam drew in a deep sharp breath filling his lungs as if he were trying to suck life back into himself. Wild eyed gaze moved about the room quickly and then locked on to her face. Gasping for air he turned his eyes to his hands. He turned them over in disbelief, as if shocked he could move them. Thumbs ran along fingertips, using the senses of touch to reassure himself that this was no dream. This was no dream, it was real. "I'm me...." he panted, "it's me." He laid back and relaxed agaisnt the chair. His heart still raced in his chest as if he weren't completely sure this was reality. Slowly his heart slowed, the spans between each beat growing longer.

"I'm sorry...." he said to Neona through deeper breaths. "I didn't mean to scare you. I was having a bad dream." He realized finally that she had been laying against him, and his arm was on the other side of her body. He had been asleep, holding her, and his troubled mind had ruined it. "I didn't hurt you did I?" Liam looked at her and wondered if he had been thrashing in his sleep. He knew he had bad dreams, but always slept alone. His only clue to how he slept were the disheveled sheets when he awoke.

Once he was sure that she was ok he would look around at the interior of the room to see if he could find a clock. "What time is it?" he asked almost rhetorically when he found one, "Five thirty?!?" he said in disbelief. "I can't believe I slept that long. I'm sorry, Goldie" The world outside the windows was still dark with the cover of night, but the band of brightening skies was beginning at the horizon. The day would be upon them soon. He sat up and fixed the damp shirt that had ridden up while they slept. Before he could lower the garment she would have been able to see the extensive bruising in the skin and muscles of his lower back and sides, all of it fresh.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:32 pm

As it proved to be more difficult to wake him, Neona increased her efforts, using more force to shake him, calling his name louder. She was prepared to defend herself when he awoke suddenly, ready should he lash out at her because his mind was still trapped in the nightmare. She'd harmed her own mother in such a fashion on a few occasions after she'd been bitten. Neona said nothing, she knew it could take time for him to pull himself completely out of the dreamworld, instead she did what her parents had done for her in such occasions...she held him. Her long nails raking through his hair as she soothed him. Sometimes words were not necessary.

Neona shook her head at him. "There is no need for apologies. I believe I understand better then most. I'm sure someday you're going to have to do the same for me." She told him, though her lips held a small, reassuring smile, her voice spoke of the seriousness of her claim. "I'm fine Rayn, you have done me no harm." She reached up to stroke his face, leaning up to kiss him. It was a soft touch, more of the good morning type that held only a slight bit of the heat she always felt for him.

As he sat up, she moved with him, smoothing out her own clothes though they were not nearly in need of it. Her golden eyes spotted the fresh bruises and beautiful face furrowed into a frown. She knew of the extensive scarring most of his body held, but these were new, it looked almost as if he'd gotten in a fight before coming to see her. The wolf within sprang into action. "Liam...what happened to you? You are supposed to be healing and it looks like you went ten rounds with a dwarf." Fear and concern not only tinged her voice but was written all over her face, she cared for him more then she had ever thought possible and the thought of anyone harming him brought out a side of her she didn't particularly enjoy.

Her hair had been pulled back when they'd fallen asleep, and tendrils of it had fallen free during the night to curl about her face and highlight her ethereal eyes, eyes that Liam still chalked up to her Elven heritage that was made all too obvious by her slightly pointed ears. She still had no idea how to tell him that she was also a Werewolf and that he was sleeping with one of the most dangerous creatures Terra could offer up.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:08 am

The slowing heart beat kicked up again when Neona mentioned the bruises on his back and sides. She’d seen them, and asked. He couldn’t lie to her, he refused to lie to her. Liam pushed his shirt down and straightened his clothes on his body. ” No. I haven’t been fighting anyone.” He didn’t know if she could smell a lie, but Neona would smell no deception in him. ”A good person needed help. I was able to help them so I did.” His voice was soft when he spoke about it. Whatever had happened held meaning for them. ”I can’t really talk about it, but I’m ok. I promise, sweetie.”

His hand reached up and gently caressed the side of her face, and pulled her to him slightly. He lifted his chin and pressed his lips to her forehead, and kissed her gently. Liam’s lips lingered there and he whispered to her, ”I swear I’m fine.” He knew how protective she was about him, and that part made him feel special. She’d pulled him out of a burning building, and gave him a reason to live. Liam lowered his chin and placed his forehead against hers so that he could look into her eyes. ”I’m not leaving you. I’m staying right here.” He pushed his mouth forward and kissed her lips. He felt the burden of the words on his soul. He wanted to confess to her, but he couldn’t because it was Blue’s secret.

Liam needed to reassure her so that she wouldn’t ask any more questions. He wouldn’t lie to her, and he didn’t want to stonewall the questions. She deserved better than that. ”Are you hungry?”, he asked her to change the subject. Liam untangled himself from her and stood up from the couch. ”I’m not the best cook in the world, but I do make good breakfast.” He looked back at her, ”Eggs, as long as their scrambled. I can’t really do em any other way. The yolks keep breaking or they don’t flip right, but my scrambled eggs are nice and fluffy. Sausage…. And TOAST! ” The smile was on his lips again, and touched his eyes. He was happy. ”I make great toast.”

His stomach growled at the mention of food and he looked down with a slightly embarrassed look. ”There’s a market I passed on the way here that sells fresh produce. They get deliveries early in the morning, so they’re probably open right now. I can run down to the corner and come right back. They’ll have all that stuff I need there” He didn’t know if she had any of the ingredients in her apartment, but he did think about how to get things done. ”If you like fancy eggs you’re gonna have to do em yourself, or at least teach me how. So… do I get to cook you breakfast?”
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:05 am

Her golden eyes narrowed as he stated that he hadn't been fighting anyone but his pulse didn't change as he said it so he wasn't lying. She knew his healing techniques came with a hefty cost, one of the reasons he refused to let hos colleagues heal him when he needed it. While she understood it, that didn't mean it made her happy. As he stated that he couldn't talk about it, she took in a deep breath to steady herself, the smell of him filling her senses for a moment. As his hand touched her face, she would smile and lean into his touch, the wolf within getting the better of her as he caressed her face. As his lips touched hers, she returned the gesture, her fingers trailing down his arm. His words were exactly what she needed to hear, she'd lost so much over the years, she couldn't bear to lose him as well.

If she learned that Liam was keeping yet more of blue's secrets, it might have been the final straw that could break their healing relationship, she was still hurt by the fact that Blue had been through attacks and not a single person had informed her. She wasn't stupid, she knew the corporations always tried a bit of espionage, but the fact the Blue hadn't told her that she'd almost died made her sick. The crystal at her throat had been slowly returning to it's golden hue as Blue healed, the green receded as the danger to her life lessened. Still, the Crystals were only a warning, it wouldn't stop anyone from harming Niara and breaking Neona's heart all over again.

At his question she arched an eyebrow at him, as if asking what on earth he thought he was doing cooking in her kitchen. As he just seemed to rush forward with his offer she couldn't help but laugh, moving to stand up next to him. She cut off his last words by closing the distance between them and kissing him, the physical way to tell someone to stop talking. She broke it after a few moment,s resting her forehead against his. "Of course you can cook for me My Love, though I'm sure you'll be happy to know that you won't need to leave. I have everything you'll need. We have a chicken coop on the roof, as well as a greenhouse to grow a wide variety of produce. You'll find everything you need in the kitchen. I even bake my own bread." She stated.

She took his hand and pulled him towards the kitchen. "I may not have a green thumb to speak of, but being surrounded by Elves does have it's ups. I trade my foodstuffs and skills for the things I need from them, like vegetables and eggs." She moved away from him to sit on the stool at the island in the middle of the kitchen. Pulling her hair free from it's binding she ran her fingers through it to pull the tangles out. "i can tell you where everything is, or you can content yourself with searching, either way I can't wait to taste what you make for me." She leaned her elbows on the island, resting her chin in the palm of her hand as she wrinkled her nose at him in that cute way.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:36 pm

There was no describing how happy he was that he could not only use her kitchen, but he didn't have to go outside either. Winter still held the city in its icy grip, and refused to let go. In its current state, Liam's body was very sensitive to the cold. It ached like he was an old man, and the nerves were still in a state of mind shock, so cold pierced him like needles. "No, you can help me," he said as he smiled at her cute nose wrinkle. "I'm not a very good cook as it is, so I won't add looking like a rummaging fool to that mix." He walked into the kitchen ahead of her and called back, "but you just sit down and tell me where everything is. I'm doing this."

When she joined him in the kitchen, Liam was drying his freshly washed hands on a towel. The first things he needed were ingredients, so he didn't need any help finding those. The eggs, meats, and bread were all kept in the refrigerator so it was just one stop shopping. After that however, it was a different story. "Where are your frying pans?" That was actually the only question he asked her through the entire process. Once they were on the stove top, he would randomly choose a cabinet or drawer to hold his hand over, and say the name of the thing he needed as he turned to look at her. If she nodded he would open the cabinet, but if she didn't Liam would start to move his hand to hover over other cabinets. Him cooking breakfast had quickly turned into a game of hot and cold played to find everything.

Finally Liam had all the tools for the job, and turned his attention to the preparation and the cooking. His brow furrowed and he became very serious. He wasn't used to working with an audience, so being nervous was an understatement. This was also the first time he was cooking for Neona and he wanted it to be perfect. Liam had become so engrossed in his task of beating the eggs, forming the sausage patties, and cooking it all that he would hold his tongue between his teeth like a little kid. From time to time, he would even come to a dead stop, and glance over at Neona to see if she was watching. He would always crack a smile when their eyes met before returning to the task at hand.

Smells of morning filled the kitchen, and soon he was doling food out of frying pans and on to plates. Finally he slid the crown jewel out of the pan it was cooking in and on to the plate. "I hope you don't like your toast crunchy and dry." he said as he set the plate in front of her. "I fry it in a pan with butter, because butter makes everything better. It's more like a grilled cheese without the cheese. We didn't have a toaster when I was a kid. My mum always made it this way." It was the first time that he had spoken of his life before the church. It wasn't like he ever avoided the subject, he just made sure it never came up to begin with. It was as if joining the church was when his life started.

Liam sat down on the stool opposite the island table from her and hovered over his plate watching her intently. The fearful look in his eye made it seem as if she was the headsman, and her fork was the axe. He waited with bated breath while she picked over the fluffy scrambled eggs, sausage patties, and butter fried toast. Which would she decide? Would she like it? He didn't think something as simple as breakfast could be so stressful, but then again, this was the first time that he cooked it for a woman he cared about. When she finally did he some he was almost afraid to ask, "Well?"
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Sat Jan 05, 2013 2:17 am

Liam had the uncanny ability to make her laugh, it seemed she hadn't laughed so much since before Nathan left for the war. When he'd left, there had been some part of her that had left with him...and hadn't returned. She made herself comfortable at her kitchen island, perching on the stool. As he was digging around her refrigerator, she glanced down at her nails and frowned slightly. Her polish had chipped in a few places, and that just wouldn't do for her perfectly manicured appearance. Getting up from her chair, she was about to head back into the other room when he asked about frying pans. "Beneath the stove," She told him with a smile before moving into her living room. She opened the cupboard beneath her coffee table and pulled out a cosmetic box.

She was only gone for a moment, just long enough for him to pull out the frying pans he would need. Resettling on her stool, she set the box in front of her. Her golden eyes didn't miss hos movements however and as he went searching for things he'd need she would nod or shake her head depending on what he was looking for and where he was looking. Most of her cooking utensils she kept in the drawer next to the stove, spatulas, large spoons, her garlic press, vegetable peeler, etc. Her knives were kept in an intricate knife block on the kitchen counter, it appears that someone had taken a painstaking amount of time to carve elven designs into the wood.

As he began cooking she pulled open the top of the box, the halves separating as she pulled them apart. Tiny racks popped up and were pulled out to the sides revealing that there was far more storage capacity inside then it looked. She would reach inside and pull out a small stick, one end flattened into a circle. She would use this tool to peel off the old layer of polish from her long nails. As she peeled them off, she tossed them into the trashcan that sat next to the kitchen island. She would glance up at him once and awhile, a look of contentment across her face as she watched him work. The smells of what he was doing would hit her long before he could smell them, her were senses could easily pick out smells far beyond a humans capability. She found that she enjoyed the time she spent with him, even when they weren't talking. Neona appreciated the fact that he didn't need to talk all the time, she got enough of talking with her job most of the time and it felt nice to simple enjoy another's company without making small talk.

As he cooked, she would begin to hum, an soothing, yet somehow sad song. She didn't sing words, merely hummed the melody. Her mother had used to sing her to sleep with it, just as she'd done to Nathan and then later to Niara. While she hummed she would pull out tiny bottles of color, some glowing and shimmering with the signs of mana. She seemed to have every color under the rainbow, each bottle held a tiny brush inside, though she had her own set of tools she used to create the intricate patterns across her nails. The patterns she was creating would look like the night sky, complete with a vast array of stars. Each star glimmered as she moved, causing them to twinkle much as they would if she were looking up at the sky. Her background in art made the task go much faster, as well as the enchanted polish she used that dried sooner.

Whenever he would stop, she would also stop and turn her entire attention to him for the few moments they shared. She found that his focus endeared him even further to her, little things that she knew he wouldn't do normally. She relaxed him in ways even he couldn't see. The tension in his shoulders, the way he held his head, the way he walked, it was all different when they were alone together. She had just put the finishing touches on her nails, a clear topcoat that would harden over and preserve her designs. The harsh chemicals that had once been used in nail polish had long been forgotten, besides, her collection was of Elven design, and most of theirs came from plant extracts imbued with magic, so it didn't smell at all and wouldn't cause her to sneeze as human nail polish had. She'd found that out shortly after she was bitten and it hadn't been a pleasant experience.

Goldie set the box aside as he set a plate in front of her. She was happy to see that he'd made a good portion for her, she always did eat more then a human woman, partly her Elven heritage as their metabolism was higher, and partly because she was a Were and needed all the energy she could get. As he spoke about his mother she found herself stopping to stare at him with a bemused look upon her face. She rested her chin in the palm of one hand so she could listen to him, fully enraptured by his tale. It wasn't often he spoke of his past before he found the Divine, and she found that she would have liked to have learned more. She wouldn't press him though, it wasn't like she talked about her past either. "I'm sure it's perfectly fine Liam, I never turn up my nose at the prospect of trying new foods, what sort of diplomat would I be then?" she teased him.

She could literally smell the apprehension begin to roll off him, and she arched a brow at him as he watched her taken in the beautiful sight of the food that sat before her. Reaching out, she picked up the fork he'd set before her and positioned it between her lithe elven fingers, trying to decide what she'd like to try first. As he'd spoken so highly of his scrambled eggs she decided to start there. Neona gathered a properly proportioned amount onto her fork and placed it in her mouth, her soft lips curling around the metal as she pulled it free. Liam would have no idea the sensations that erupted. No one but another Were would of course. She could taste things Liam could only theorize, it was one of the reasons she cooked so much of her own food, to be sure it was done properly and wouldn't taste like charcoal. Liam had been right, his scrambled eggs were very good. Her golden eyes slid closed as she took a few moments to enjoy herself. His voice brought up out of her revery however and she smiled at him. "It's perfect Liam." She stated, hoping it was exactly what he wanted to hear. He seemed to nervous that she wouldn't like it, and truth be told there was a good chance she might not have, if anything had even been remotely burnt that would have been all she'd been able to taste.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:47 pm

Approval was the blessed release he needed. The moment she said it was good Liam released the breath that he had been holding. The tension drained from between his shoulders, and Liam finally understood how much her opinion truly meant to him. "Good." he said and turned his attention to the plate before him. He dug into the scrambled eggs with a vengeance. They were best when they were piping hot. The sausage was delicious, it was fresh. She wasn't kidding about the elven market she got her groceries from being delicious. Even though he didn't have the heightened senses of a werewolf, but Liam could appreciate the sage and other spices. With a full mouth he moaned a bit of his delight and continued eating.

He spent the meal in silence, enjoying the flavors. From time to time he would take some food off of his plate and flick it over to Neona's. Liam didn't need to eat much. Life on the streets as a kid got him used to eating like a bird. He might have been a rather large man instead of the wiry build, if he'd eaten more as a boy. The only time he ever had much of an appetite was after he had to heal someone, or received healing himself. The rest of the time he only ate what he needed to survive. Neona on the other hand had a healthy appetite. He loved that about her, and enjoyed it. He looked up to her from time to time and only smiled before returning to his food.

Liam was enjoying the comfortable moment between them. When the meal was over he didn't ask for permission, he simply took the empty plates and walked over to the sink. Liam put them in the sink, ran hot water, and added soap. Liam carefully washed the dishes in the water while it was cleanest. Once they were clean and safely set aside in the dish rack, he turned his attentions to the frying pans and utensils that he had used to make their meal. Once they were all done he grabbed one of the towels to start drying the dishes, and turned to look back at Neona. His mouth opened, but before he could say anything his cell phone rang.

Placing the pot back in the rack, Liam reached into his pocket and pulled out the beaten and worn flip phone. "Hello?" he asked and then listened. "No... I'm sorry.", he said as he scrubbed his hand through his hair. "I completely forgot. I'll be there soon. About twenty minutes." Liam closed the phone and slid it back into his pocket. He looked up to Neona and there was a frown on his face where the smile once had been. ”I’m really sorry, Goldie.” he said and the hint of his accent thickened when he said her name. ”I am supposed to be holding service in a few hours. I fell asleep… I completely forgot about it.”

Liam started to dry his hands and then folded the dishtowel and put it on the sink. Stepping back from the sink Liam looked around to make sure that he wasn’t leaving anything dirty behind. Once he was satisfied that he wasn’t leaving Neona a mess to clean he turned around and had the wild look in his eyes that meant he was in a rush. ”I’ve gotta go,” he said as he started to rush by her. ”I’ll call you later.” As he moved by Liam leaned in and placed a quick kiss on her lips, ”Love you.” He was already three steps away from her when the realization of what he said crashed in on him. It was the first time he said it out loud, and he didn’t even think about it. The words just felt right and they came out on their own. He didn’t want to make it awkward, or force her to say something she wasn’t ready to, so Liam kept going. He grabbed his jacket and walked out the door, closing it behind him. Once on the other side he realized that his heart was pounding in his chest. He walked to the bus stop with a smile on his face.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:32 am

She couldn't help but smile as she heard him let out the breath he probably hadn't even realized he'd been holding. They ate in silence, while others might have found it awkward, Neona simply enjoyed being near him, being near someone in general. While she spent most of her life around people with her career, she didn't spend enough time around people who truly knew her, she had friends and family but she didn't have anyone she could share her life with....not until now. She doubted Liam understood what it meant that she shared so much with him, hell, it meant a lot that she shared anything with him. As he moved some of his breakfast off his plate and onto her own, her nose wrinkled as she smiled. Usually when people saw the way she ate they got these weird looks on their faces. Liam never judged her for it, being part Elf would have upped her appetite anyway but Liam didn't know the real reason why she ate so much.

Neona set her fork on her now empty plate barely a moment before Liam picked it up and took it off to the sink. She watched him as he went about taking care of the dishes he'd used while making her breakfast. There was a part of her that felt a tad guilty as he washed the dishes for her, he made her breakfast, she should be the one to clean up. Those had been the rules in her parent's house when she was growing up. There was another part of her however that was thoroughly enjoying watching him do such silly and domestic things like dishes and cooking breakfast. A girl could get used to this.

As he finally finished the dishes and turned back to her, she straightened up where she'd been practically laying on the counter top, her chin resting in the palm of her hands. She frowned as his phone rang, the annoying sound far louder to her then it would be to him. She could hear everything that was being said on the other end of the line, though Liam wouldn't know that. As he said that he was going to be somewhere in twenty minutes there was a part of her that fell a little, as if someone had poured a bucket of water over her good mood.

As he rushed past her on his way out, she leaned up into his kiss, about to respond to him when two little words left his mouth, her golden eyes widening in surprise. He swept out of the room and her apartment as if it was just like every other morning. She was frozen on her stool in the middle of her kitchen, listening to the sounds of his footsteps as he walked down the stairs to the ground floor of her apartment building. Her mind seemed numb but then a warmth began to spread through her and she closed her eyes, a smile curling her lips. Even Julian hadn't said that to her...but could she ever say it to him knowing she could be his death?
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:06 am

His heart didn't stop pounding until he was in the back of the cab and halfway to the church. He was afraid that he had made a mistake in saying those words. He didn't regret them at all, because he meant them with all his heart. Liam regretted the fact that he may have said them too soon and he would cause her to run away. If there was anything that he didn't want, it was to push her away. Liam had found something amazing in her, and Neona brought a light to his life that was not there before. She made him feel human.

At the church, there was only a few hours for Liam to get cleaned up and dressed for the service that he was supposed to lead. The service was a blessing for him. It allowed Liam to distance his thoughts from the events of the monring. It wasn't that he needed to keep his mind off of Neona, more that he needed to stop worrying. The subject matter of his sermon helped him realize that he was powerless to do anything about what was already done, so he needed to place the matter in the care of the Divine Collective. What ever happened was meant to be, and he would do the same thing he always did. Liam would try to be the best man he could. After the service, Liam shook the hands of the congretation, spoke with a few of them that wished some of his time, and then cleaned the hall.

After his duties to the church were completed Liam had the rest of the day to himself. He did his best to keep himself occupied and his mind off of things. The best way to do that was a little hard work. Liam went to his room, changed from his holy vestments, and donned a pair of worn work jeans and a t-shirt. The good thing about this church was that there were countless projects that needed tending to, and he was the only one with any handy skills. The holy handyman made his way out to the back of the church. There was a storage shed back there that needed some repairs to its roof. He had lumber left from his other projects so he would tackle that one today.

The rest of the clergy that ran this church knew Liam's work ethic and habits so they normally left him to toil alone because there was little they could do to help him. He liked it better that way. He enjoyed their company, but didn't enjoy people getting in his way. He was fine to teach, but when work needed to be done, Liam was the type who set himself to task and focused on nothing else. Hours passed and the day grew warm despite the time of year. Liam had stripped the entire roof of the shed, pulled down the boards, and started to tear out the rotted frame work that had been weathered. He marked off measurements and cut guides, and sawed the lumber into the lengths and shapes he needed. Finally he lugged it all atop the shed, and started to hammer it all into place. Balanced precariously atop the shed, Liam wiped the sweat from his forehead between nails that were hammered into boards. It was hard work, but it kept his mind from worrying about Neona. Perhaps he could call her, a thought crept into his mind, and he banished it. No. It was best to give her some distance. He'd already made a mess of things.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:55 am

Her own heart took a few minutes to calm, closing her eyes she took in a deep quieting breath before sliding off her stool to move silently to the fridge. She opened it and pulled from it's depths a single strawberry, brilliant red and shining. She placed it in her mouth, a smile curling her lips as she let the taste chill her throat. Enjoying the simple treat, she moved through her apartment to her bedroom. While today wasn't one of her more full days, she did still have quite a bit she needed to get down. Pulling the wrinkled clothes she'd slept in off, she set them in her hamper and moved into the bathroom so she could bathe. It was one of the few luxuries she allowed herself, the warm water soothing her tired muscles and easing her stress. It helped her clear her mind and keep her focus.

It wasn't too long after that she sat at her mirrored bureau applying her make up. She decided to go a bit more simple with her hair for the day as she wasn't planning on seeing anyone who would care what her hair looked like, braiding it to the side so it hung over her shoulder. Her hair was getting long, she was going to need to trim it again lest it get in her way. It took her only a few moments to get ready, a simple pair of black slacks and a blue top, she chose a pair of blue flats for the day, forgoing her favored heels for something more useful. Her secret training sessions with Kale had taken their tole on her body, and she needed to let her muscles heal before donning another pair of heels and putting her body through more torture, as much as she loved them.

Her day would be spent in her office at the Terran Guard headquarters, answering missives and making sure that everything was going smoothly. They were making preparations for a meeting of Other Ambassadors at the Embassy in just a couple of days and Neona had learned long ago that something would always go wrong at the last minute. She always booked two caters, two florists, two of everything she could possibly need so that her events always went off without a hitch. There was also the matter of making sure the Ambassador's quarters at the Embassy were made perfect. Each one of them had their likes and dislikes, An-Lue refused to sleep in a room decorated in reds, Pa-kan preferred sleeping amongst nature, he would ask for one of the courtyards at the Embassy to made available to him. So many things to prepare and one mistake, one thing that she forgot could ruin everything. They already disliked humans, and she was a half breed raised amongst them. She'd had to fight and bite and claw for the respect they gave her, and it taken years.

Still, despite all that she had to distract her, there was one thing she couldn't' seem to get out of her mind. Liam. His eyes, his smile, the sound of his voice as they said those two forbidden words, words she'd almost given up on hearing. She glanced at the picture of Nathan sitting on her desk, all dressed up in his uniform, taken when he'd enlisted. Beside it sat a picture of her family now, her mother and father with Niara and Neona standing at their side. Next to it rested a picture of Uncle Kale, his brow arched in the ever present question that forced her to think through everything she did, his face asked her 'What do you think you're doing?' when she'd taken the picture of him some time ago. Dangerous as he was handsome, Kale had been her tutor and friend, and still was.

The sound of her stomach growling brought her up out of her work and she glanced at the clock. It was far past lunchtime, she'd worked right through it, but she'd gotten a lot done. As her aide appeared at the door, Neona designated a couple of tasks to the small dryad, the smell of her flowery hair filling her nose so much that she had to sneeze. She managed to wait a moment so she wouldn't offend the willowy creature. The Dryad was about to flower it seemed, she'd probably request a couple of days off to return to Elyria, which Neona would grant, a Flowering Dryad would be useless to her. Goldie's thoughts then turned to the topic of food. She could have something brought up but she normally had no care for the food served at Headquarters.

Then she knew exactly what she needed to do. Calling for one of the cars to take her into town, she stopped at one of her favorite cafes to procure enough food for two. Cradling the take out bag in her hands she stepped free of the car, allowing it to leave as she didn't plan on returning to Headquarters today. Liam's church spread out before her, and it brought a smile to her lips. Mounting the steps, Neona took a moment to light a candle in one of the alcoves, sending up a prayer to the Divine to watch over those she cared about. She wasn't the most devote, she knew that, but she did believe, her faith as nothing to Liam's however. She supposed that was why he was the Shepherd and she wasn't. Neona inquired as to his whereabouts and was led out to the back. She watched him for a few moments before she'd make her presence known. It wasn't often she saw Liam so dressed down, jeans looked good on him, and the sight of him laboring so, his muscles moving beneath the fabric of his shirt caused a heat to rise inside her.

She reveled in it for a moment, letting the fingers of her mind trail in the heat that was still so new to her. Finally, she would step forward. "Prey good Shepherd, you work so hard, would you accept this small offering from one of your humble flock? You must be hungry." Her voice would carry through the crisp air, winter was well on it's way, the chill in the air didn't reach her though, and she'd forgotten to grab her coat and scarf before she'd left her apartment that morning. They were simply a ruse of course, she didn't need them, but some might ask why she didn't use them, even with her Elven blood. Her brilliant smile would meet his gaze when he looked up to see who had spoken, a twinkle in her eyes as her nose crinkled as she teased him.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:53 am

There was a sublime thoughtlessness that came with doing work you could feel. Liam knew the trade he worked at because he had so much experience with it. Muscles remembered the jarring feel of the hammer and the rhythm that came naturally. The most thought Liam needed to devote to the task was making sure his measurements were spot on, and being certain that all of his boards were perfectly lined up. That last part was second nature to him. Standing balanced stop the cross members, Liam dipped his body this way and that as he positioned a board so he could look at it from different angles. Finding the right spot, he placed the nail to it, and began to drive it in. There was a sense of completion that came from each step done properly that was akin to standing back and seeing the finished product. It let him know he did something right and kept him working towards his goal.

While Liam was toiling away, the rest of the clergy were spending their time either speaking to the few church goers that came to the church while mass wasn't being held, or tending to mundane chores. Being a Shepherd was not an exciting existence, but for the faithful it was a fulfilling one. When Neona entered the church she would easily find someone who would be able to direct her to Liam. There was no true reason for them to give anyone asking to see one of their membership a difficult time. They were all also aware of Liam's relationship with her. It wasn't a common occurrence for a member of the clergy to be involved with a non human, or even someone of mixed blood. Considering their long time role in the War that was not a decade gone, it was common place for close mindedness among their members. This was a thing that the church did their best to correct, because they preached tolerance and acceptance, but individuals didn't change as easily as policy. Any one of them would direct her to the door at the side of the church, and tell her that he is around the back of the building. They would even go as far as telling her to follow the loud banging sound.

Neona's approach went unnoticed because he was so engrossed in his task, that Liam didn't stop working until she spoke to him. The sound of her voice brought an instant smile to his lips, and blessed silence to the voices in his mind. All doubts were cast aside when he realized she had come to him, instead of being scared off by his earlier admission. The Shepherd stopped hammering, and sheathed the hammer in his tool belt. Ducking under the support beam, he quickly walked across the cross member to reach the ladder, and quickly descend. It was strange how is movements were dangerously graceful, but he could trip over his own feet if he was nervous and focused too much on them.

He reached into his back pocket, and pulled out a towel as he approached Neona. He used it to wipe the sweat from his face, and then wipe some of the grime away from his hands. "I could eat," he said to her, and a hunger danced in his eyes. Once the distance was closed between them, he leaned forward and gave her lips a quick kiss. Someone could have seen, but he wasn't going to deny himself. Besides, it was innocent enough a kiss. Large hands carefully relieved her of her burden and he took her over to a park table that was off to the side of the property. On the way, his body finally cooled enough to feel the chilled sweat of his soaked shirt, and he shivered. "On second thought, let's eat inside." he said and lead her into the church.

Since she brought all they needed to eat a meal together, Liam took them to his room, on the church's second floor, where they could eat in private, and he could change his shirt. After closing the door behind them, and arranging the table and chairs so they could eat across from one another, he pulled his sweaty shirt off over his head. The bruising that she saw on his back was still there, but it wasn't as bad. He poured some water into a wash basin on his dresser and began to towel off his upper body. "How's your day been so far?" he asked her as watched her reflection in the mirror. Once he finished cleaning himself off he put on a clean shirt, and bent down to open a personal refrigerator that was on the floor. From inside he pulled two cans of cola, and opened them. He poured one into a cup, which he set in front of her, and set the can in front of himself as he only owned one cup. His eyes went to the food that she was unpacking, and his stomach growled at the delicious smells it produced. "Sorry, I've had a lot on my mind. I didn't realize how much of an appetite I worked up."
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:57 am

Neona watched Liam approach her, her golden eyes glinting in the crisp sunlight the filtered down through the clouds above, trying desperately yo spread it's warmth across the landscape. This man had given her so much, more then he knew. While she knew and understood that she wasn't ready to return his declaration of love from that morning, she knew she wasn't far off. She wasn't going to tell him until she managed to spill her dark furry secret first...she'd give him the chance to run as much as it would hurt her. But, wasn't that the point of love? Letting it go and if it came back to you then it was meant to be right?

She returned his greeting kiss, keeping it short and sweet, neither of them were much for public displays of their affection, such things were better left in private. She allowed him to take the food bags from her, though they were far from a burden. Following him to the table, she only noticed how cold it was when he spoke of it though she made no attempt to act like it was affecting her. She didn't disagree with him however, easily falling into step with him as he changed direction and headed into the church instead. Her flats barely made a sound as she moved, smiling at those she passed. While she knew the old hatreds could run deep, she never let anyone's childish loathing of her Elven blood get her down or hold her back. She knew who and what she was and their hate could never change that.

Waiting patiently until he'd arranged everything for her, Neona had come to learn that while she didn't need such things, Liam enjoyed doing them for her, she twirled a strand of her golden curls between her first two fingers. One he motioned to the chair for her to sit, she would move over to it and settle down to get comfy. Her gaze was caught by the sight of Liam removing his shirt. While the two of them hadn't yet been intimate, she would certainly be lying if she said the want wasn't there. While the sight of the bruises covering his body made her cringe inside and wish she could heal him and take all his hurts away, the sight of his well toned body stirred the heat within once more. It wasn't that the two of them didn't want to be intimate, it was simply that Liam was letting Neona set the pace and she knew she wasn't quite ready for that step. Making love to a Werewolf could be dangerous as it was, and Liam didn't have a clue making it for more dangerous. She wasn't entirely certain just how she'd react to such a stimulating situation....what parts of her would bubble to the surface.

His words brought her out of her day dreaming and she gave him a smile in the mirror over his shoulder. "My day felt like it dragged on forever, while I love my job I could certainly do without the paperwork or the annoyance of planning every last detail. Just once I'd like one of those uptight ambassadors to thank me for the amount of work I go into preparing every last detail and comfort so they'll be in the best and happiest spirits when I speak to them. It's like I have to learn every aspect of each of their personalities just so I don't do something stupid and upset one of them and potentially light the fuse on the powder keg." She stated, leaning forward to begin pulling out the carefully packed containers of food. It wasn't anything fancy, merely a large helping of terriyaki chicken, but it was one of her favorites and the cafe had a way with their sauces that made her taste buds explode...quite a feat considering how enhanced her taste buds were.

Popping the lids off of the food she set them aside, steam rising up from the bowls of glistening chicken and pure white rice they were nestled in. She handed him a fork as he finally joined her at the table. "Would you say grace please Liam?" She asked of him. It had been a family tradition in her household, though perhaps a tad different since they'd given thanks to the Divine including the Elven faiths to please her mother. Growing up in her home had been like living in two different worlds, her father the stout soldier and her mother, the earthy healer.
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Wed Feb 20, 2013 6:05 am

Hearing about her day was a guilty pleasure. Honestly, he loved the sound of voice so she could say anything, and Liam liked to hear about her world because it was hers. It was another way of getting to know her. Their worlds were do different, and Liam was also ignorant to other walks of life. He had spent most of his life either a prisoner in his own skin, or serving the church that saved him. Everything else about the world was from the perspective of an outsider looking in. While she spoke it was evident that he was listening to what she said and actually paying attention. It was rare that he was ever too preoccupied by something that he couldn't listen to her.

"Ok," he said in response to her request for him to say grace. Liam was never overbearing with his faith. When sharing a meal he gave thanks quietly unless he was asked to say them for everyone. The Shepherd reached across the table and took hold of Neona's hands. His touch was gentle despite the strong calloused hands, and he rubbed his thumbs over the backs of her fingers. It was one of the comforting intimate gestures that he always made. There were so many intricate details in the way Liam behaved. He looked into her eyes one more time before his lids fell and he solemnly bowed his head forward.

”Blessed Divine,” he began, ”we thank you for the bounty that you have placed before us. May both the food and the companionship nourish us so that we may live; let them strengthen us so that we may persevere. Guide us so that we may live just lives and never take what we have for granted. ” There was a moment of silence after his quiet prayer was over, and then he released Neona’s hands as he opened his eyes. ”So, what did you get for us to eat?” he asked her as he looked over the numerous containers that she had unpacked. His stomach started growling when the aromas were unleashed in full force. The Shepherd had been hard at work and neglected his stomach.

Liam picked up a fork and started to portion out some of the food onto their plates. He looked to her for the cue that she had enough. After their plates were full Liam commenced to filling his face and sating the hunger that was driving him. He gave a series of quiet groans which were testament to how delicious it was. ”Mmm… this is so good. You must have spent a small fortune on this.” he said about halfway through the meal when his hunger was sated enough to think of other things. He looked up and watched her as she ate. ”Do you have to work later? I was thinking…. If you didn’t have to go back to work, maybe we could go out and do something fun.”

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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Sat Feb 23, 2013 3:28 am

From the beginning, Neona had been appreciative of how open minded Liam was. Many of the members of the Collective still held the prejudices she was trying so hard to wipe clean. They'd fought long and hard, tooth and nail against the Others during the war and that type of hate was very difficult to put down. But Liam held none of their hate or fear, from the moment she'd told him she was part elf and showed him her ears to prove it. He'd even expressed interest in learning about her customs and the customs of her mother's people. She knew it was mostly to please her, but there was a part of him that was genuinely curious and that pleased her more.

As he reached for her head, she flipped her hand over, palm side up so he could take her hand. She closed her golden eyes and bowed her head, letting his words wash over her as he said the blessing before their meal. He never embellished, he simply said what was needed and let it be, and she liked that about him. His version of leading and preaching never left her annoyed or bored. Sweet, simple, easy to remember. As he released her hand, she lifted her head, letting the quiet and peace of the moment fill her and soothe her emotions. "I got us Terriyaki chicken from my favorite cafe. The owner of the Cafe is a Youkai Kitsoune who fought in the wars. Born in Japan, she was sent over here with her Fist and I convinced her to stay and put down roots in the brand new city of Librium. That was my original job when I joined the Guard. You can't have a city where the races can interact if you don't have the races. She always gives me a discount when I come in." She told him, effectively answering his statement of her having spent a fortune on it.

She let him serve her, again, something she easily could have done by herself but she knew Liam liked doing things for her, it was the way he showed that he cared about her and so she let him do it. Once her plate was full, more then his she noted which made her laugh to herself as he remembered that she ate far more then he did on a constant basis, she picked up her fork. She seemed to remember something else at that moment and reached into the food bag, digging around for a moment until she pulled free an extra sauce container. She pried the top off with her elegant nails and carefully drizzled the sauce over her rice and chicken. Only then did she dig in.

She'd only taken a few bites before he asked her another question. She finished the bite she was currently chewing before speaking. "No, I don't have to go back to work. I gave instructions to my assistant, shouldn't take her too long to finish them up, simple tasks then she'll get the rest of the day off too. I always put in as much effort as I can into my planning as quickly as possible so that I'm not frantic towards the end. It allows for mistakes and the time needed to fix them. Most of the work that is left is simply details." She took another bite before asking him a question of her own.

"What did you have in mind?"
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PostSubject: Re: After The Battles {Tag Neona}   Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:36 pm

Again she managed to out eat him which wasn’t a very impressive feat because he ate very little, but he could appreciate what she was capable of. There were a number of women in the Acolyte order, and among the ranks of Defenders there were women who ate as much as a man. Neona’s appetite reminded him of them. Part of it was comforting. If she was willing to eat like that around him, it meant she didn’t care what he thought of it. That made it abundantly clear that she was being herself. Truth was important to a man of the Divine Collective.

Liam continued to eat while the food was hot. The church had a microwave but it was all the way on the other side of the rectory where the communal living space was. The members of the clergy that lived there all shared it, and walking a plate all the way down there would have just been inconvenient. Besides, the food would be cold again by the time he made it back to the table. Yes, it was a much better idea to eat the delicious meal while it was still hot. ”This really is good. I would say give my complements to the chef but she already knows how good she is. We’re going to have to go there one night.”

When she asked what he has in mind Liam stared at her for a moment. He wasn't really prepared for her to ask him want he wanted to do. His entire life revolved around his work at the church and now her as well. Sometimes her questions of preference and desire were answered with a stupid grin or a blank stare that said 'I don't know' for him. Liam wasn't one to just say he didn't know and give up. He valued the fact that he had free will and ways took the opportunity to exercise it. That was a strange trait for one who gave himself over to a higher power to have. Neona knew him well enough to know that the gears were turning and soon he would give her an answer.

A smirk came to his lips when he had a thought, "I was just thinking about saying we could go to a museum, but that would be boring. Besides, you’ve probably had to go to the dedication of all the museums in Librium because they are all named and dedicated towards coexistence. " His smile became a laugh and he looked at her and shook his head. "No. You probably wouldn’t like that." He bit his lip as he looked down then looked back up at her. "There’s a place in the city, on the edge of the slums where you can drive little cars around a race track. I heard some of the boys talking about it after one of the services. It sounded like they had a lot of fun. You wouldn’t want to give it a try would you?" He waited and gave her a moment to think it over. It was out of the ordinary and definitely not the type of thing someone who was always so well dressed and made up would like to do, or so he thought
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