Sooo, on my last Ess-Lukey post I said I might talk about Aiden at a later date and, since I’m really just tired as hell tonight and just want to copy/paste things, I thought it might be nice to post his first interaction with Luckas and how well that went (it reallly didn’t go very well).
For context, this is the first time Luke sees Aiden talking to Ess:
Ess wasn’t hard to find either; Luke was really not surprised to find she’d settled underneath an oak tree, it was the kind of thing she’d do. Why, he’d never really understand. At the moment he was standing in the shadows, out of sight, he had been standing there for a bit, as a matter of fact, watching the activity of the camp from a far and waiting for her to show up. His eyes were no longer on Ess, however, they were fixed glaring at the man she was speaking to. Was it completely stupid of him to want to force him face down into the fire for smiling at her like that? Yes, it was. Did he care? Not in one bit, and if he wasn’t absolutely sure he couldn’t get away with it he would have commanded the man to do so by now. His eyes lit up as he thought of how badly he wanted to burn that stranger, and that was probably what gave him away. Tala was the first to notice his presence; looking straight in his direction growling and baring her teeth. He was more than used to that, so he only took a moment to breathe in and calm his homicidal urges before he stepped out in the open, offering the wolf a frown for blowing his cover. “Missed you too, Tala.” He stated sarcastically, crossing his arms over his chest and trying to force a grin over his obvious annoyance.
This occurred on his first visit to Ess after she moved out of Newhaven with some of the guard folk that got kicked out (that’s the best I can explain this now). Note Luke’s jealousy-stabby-I’mgonnaburyourfaceinthefirepit reaction.
Upon visiting again he discovers that Ess punched Aiden in the eye and after she goes to bed he decides to go and investigate… And the below scene is what happens.
*bolded text means telepathic commands.
Luke stayed where he was by the fire, maybe he was a little more exhausted from sharing the memories than he would like to admit, because eventually he dozed off right there where he lay. He wasn’t sure for how long he had been sleeping when he woke up, a bit cold and vaguely remembering Ess’ mention of blankets, and he sat up rather dizzily before getting on his feet, scratching the back of his head absently and peeking inside the tent to see if Ess was sleeping, his first thought being getting warm and back to sleep, but before he actually got inside he decided he really wasn’t sleepy, and so he went back outside. Finding himself perfectly awake and growing a little bored, he stopped the first person he encountered and ‘inquired’ as to where Aiden would be at this hour, getting himself pointed to the man’s sleeping quarters, which were shared with others. Luckas entered the small crowded cabin, whispering as he passed the beds, a grin plastered on his face. “Stay asleep… Stay asleep… Stay asleep…” Until he found Aiden’s bed. “Stay asleep.” He commanded, perching himself up on the man’s bed, in a way in which he was crouching over him. “Wakey, wakey…” He whispered, leaning forward and blowing on Aiden’s face until the man frowned and began to stir. “Hold still.” Luke whispered, not wanting the man to pull a weapon on him. Once Aiden was actually awake the man couldn’t move, and the sight of Luckas on his bed must have been a rather uncomfortable one, but Luke didn’t seem to think it was inappropriate in the slightest as he smiled down at him and whispered. “Hello there, friend. Mind if we have a chat?” He nodded towards the exit and began walking out of the room, releasing his control over the beast speaker as he crossed the doorway, he patiently waited outside.
When Aiden felt the breeze on his face, he almost muttered in anger as his first thought was someone left the bloody door open again. Groggily he opened his eyes, blinking a few times in confusion as he saw Luckas perched above him like a creepy bird of some sort. His next thought was to Ess and if something was wrong. When he tried to move and couldn’t, his confusion scattered between frustration, anger, and worry. Instinctually, all he kept thinking of was his short sword beneath his pillow; what little good it did him when he was paralyzed. Soon, it started to make a bit of sense as Luckas requested to meet him outside for a chat. When Luke dismounted off of his bed and he could move again, Aiden quickly slipped on some boots and snatched the closest jacket he could find, thinking it probably wasn’t his but his bunk mates, but at that point it didn’t matter.
Slowly Aiden stepped outside, closing the door behind him so as not to wake anyone inside. Aiden sighed, visibly tired and perplexed with the situation, he casually glanced around before speaking. “…Well, I take it nothing is wrong with Ess otherwise you would not have been so quiet about this….Are you afraid of the day time or something…Luckas? Only seem to find you lurking in the shadows. Don’t wish to be seen, hm? I wonder why that is..” With a snarky kind of growl he added, “What couldn’t wait you had to wake me in the middle of the bloody night?” Crossing his arms lightly over his chest, Aiden stared Luckas down, not easily intimidated even though he didn’t doubt this man could be dangerous. He’d sensed it the night they met, and Tala most definitely did not trust him, so why should he. Many years of practice in dealing with folks who were deceptive taught him long ago never to judge a book by its cover. Learning how animals worked in instinct and mannerisms gave him the ability to pick out predator traits in another, especially in a fellow human being. Not to mention his years with the Captain and the Guard had given him much experience.
Luckas watched Aiden`s face very carefully as he spoke, tilting his head to the side playfully as he answered his question in a very amused tone. “I get sunburned very easily, mate. You have no idea. Besides, currently I don’t have much time to hang around and it’s more logical to assume I won’t be disrupting anything if I come at night, amongst other reasons, but those don’t concern you. Don’t worry though, soon you’ll see a lot more of me… All the time… Should be fun” He chuckled. “And don’t flatter yourself, pal… If there was something wrong you wouldn’t be the first person I would run to. I’d much rather wake the Captain for that.” Luckas went quiet for a while, smiling all the while, his eyes studying the man’s face, and lingering on his bruised eye. “Lady was telling me about how she hurt her hands, and your name came up… Now, you may take this anyway you like, I really don’t care, but I woke up, couldn’t go back to sleep and figured it would be a nice opportunity to get acquainted… Plus, I was wondering what you said to cause that.” He pointed towards the man’s face. “And no, before you even ask: I’m not afraid to ask her, I just much rather hear it from you. Besides I am smart enough not to insist on some matters.”
Luke rocked back and forth, shifting from the tip of his toes to his heels, like a curious kid as he added: “I’m half-curious to know what Tala thinks of me, but to some extent I already know that. I don’t hold it against her, it’s even comforting in a way, but you know… She was quieter today… Funny.” He snickered a little bit, as he stopped his rocking and planted his feet on the ground. “Say, Aiden, you know animals right? Tell me, have you ever been face to face with a predator, looked it right in the eyes, sure he was going to kill you, but then he didn’t? I have. A few times actually. I always wondered why that happens. The logical explanation, of course, is that the person in question doesn’t pose enough of a threat, but I always wondered if there was more to it. So, do you know why a predator would be face to face with an easy prey and not make the kill?” He asked, his cheery smile turning into a slightly devious grin.
Aiden quirked a brow, keeping his expression blank as he listened to Luckas’ explanation of why he wanders at night. Why would he want to suddenly ‘make friends’ when it was obvious that neither one really cared for the other. He wasn’t sure what the point of all this was, until Luckas mentioned Ess and pointed out his bruised eye.
“Lady was telling me about how she hurt her hands, and your name came up…”
“Shaking his head, Aiden stated firmly, “Now hold up…friend… I’m just not that kind of guy. She attacked me and I still am not sure what I said to set her off.” Aiden’s demeanor changed slightly, his tone darkening. “I do not feel I have to explain myself to you, but I’ll humor you, because I have nothing to hide.”
With a sigh he still sounded aggravated, but went on to briefly summarize the day with the children (Ess’ Endurance training since the Captain was a bit ill) and how afterwards, when he was chatting about what a nice day it had been because everyone seemed to be carefree at the moment, she got upset and slugged him. “From what I heard, she spent the next day beating the tar out of a sand bag and that is the cause of her injuries. I did not…nor would I hurt her.” Aiden lightly tapped his chin in a sudden thought. “ I didn’t get it at first, but now that I am thinkin’ on it, must have had to do with the kids somehow, indirectly.”
Aiden’s brows furrowed in what seemed like pity, as he clearly showed no anger or frustration with the incident, but had kept his distance from Ess, rightly giving her time and her space to cool down. Luckas’ inquiry to Tala interrupted his thoughts, making Aiden’s cool demeanor turn into a mocking chuckle. “Yea well, It was Talon’s idea. She claims to see something different than the rest of us; Tala included. Since she asked me to, I had a little talk with Tala….but don’t get too comfortable now.” Aiden smirked. “You may get a chunk taken out of you next time…” He muttered, remembering how Ess was annoyed with the fact Tala had attacked him before.
“What does this all matter to you anywho? I didn’t think she was spoken for?” Aiden stared over at Luckas, taking a step forward, looking down at him. “Am I in your territory?” Suddenly he burst out laughing at that idea and turned as if he was going to walk away.
Luckas paid attention to Aiden’s story, an amused grin crossing his face as the man defended himself by saying he wouldn’t hurt her. “Now, now… You got me all wrong, Aiden. If I actually believed you had hurt her, I wouldn’t bother to hear your side of it. I wouldn’t bother to let you wake up, even. Or maybe I’d keep you wide awake, that’d depend on my mood.” He said with a little shrug. Not saying a word on what he knew was most likely to have set off Ess’ anger. He let the man tell him about Tala, and how Ess had asked him to have a talk with the wolf, but that it didn’t mean Luke should get too comfortable. He remained listening silently, and rather amused as Aiden went on to ask what was his interest in the matter. Luckas remained amused until the point where the man laughed and began to turn his back.
The amused expression on Luke’s face shut down fast at the sound of Aiden’s laughter and he muttered with anger clear in his tone.”Shut up and wait right there.” As Aiden’s voice silenced, Luckas walked around the man so they were facing each other again, his playful demeanor suddenly gone. “You didn’t answer my question Aiden: In your opinion: Why would a predator that’s face to face with an easy prey, not make the kill?” He growled. “I will be more polite, however, and answer your questions: It matters to me, for reasons you are not capable of understanding. Yes, you are in my territory and I will act as such until I’m explicitly told otherwise. And while I am being incredibly tolerant, only because you’re one of Captain’s people, laughing in my face is a rather dumb mistake and I advise you not to make it twice, lest I forget what I was asked not to do to you. Because, while that might make me look bad, I’m not the kind of man who hides his true face… And mine is not pretty in the slightest when I lose my temper.” As he finished saying that he took a deep breath and released his hold on Aiden, making the man able to speak and move freely again, At the end of his deep breath, Luke opened his friendly smile again. “Do I get an answer for my question now?”
When Aiden was released, his face contorted in a maddening fury; fingers curling into tight fists. He wanted to hit the little man so bad, and he almost did but he knew he didn’t have a defense against Luke’s enlightenment. At least not yet. Absently Aiden cracked his knuckles, trying to push aside his obvious anger, and simply returned Luke’s smile. “…For the sake of civility then…” Aiden growled through clenched teeth. He almost couldn’t get through the annoyance that this man used his gift when he didn’t seem to get his way, and that in itself made him dangerous; especially to Ess, at least in Aiden’s eyes.
“You didn’t answer my question Aiden: In your opinion: Why would a predator that’s face to face with an easy prey, not make the kill?”
“Ok…besides the obvious answer you already gave? The prey is not a threat. Then, there’s the next obvious: The predator wishes to play with or torment its food, typically speaking.” Aiden continued to stare defiantly into Luke’s eyes. “Then, there’s the art of distraction. You wish to use one prey to attract or lure another more dangerous foe.” Aiden sighed. “So which is it you are doing with Talon? What will you do when you don’t get your way, or whatever it is you want from her? Kill her then? Because that is what Tala senses….” Aiden smiled at the look in Luke’s eyes as he continued, not giving pause for another interruption. “Then there’s probably what Ess sees, that both Tala and I don’t understand. But that, you will have to ask the Lady herself because people may be animals in the long run, but we both know emotional complications interfere with instincts all the time. Call it hopeful thinking…foolishness, whatever. According to Essence, she sees far beyond the predator in you, but you are quite honest that you are still a raging, hormonal child who doesn’t know how to deal with a real woman.” He ended with a grunt.
Luckas listened, for the first time, with a bit of interest as Aiden spoke up, until he started asking him questions that were far too personal for this conversation, and in more than one level; far too painful. Luke’s eyes sparkled a bright red tone and his face took on an enraged expression at the words. He was literally seeing red as they echoed through his mind. What right did this man think he had to talk about this? Luckas was truly furious, and he would have done something about it, wasn’t for the last words the man spoke to him.
“According to Essence, she sees far beyond the predator in you, but you are quite honest that you are still a raging, hormonal child who doesn’t know how to deal with a real woman.”
Those words caused Luckas to stop in his tracks for two completely separate reasons, and as he buried one in the back of his mind for later, he let the second one explode in a mocking fit of laughter. “Fine, I get it! You’re such a big man! You’re ten times the man I’ll ever be!” He shook his head, choking in laughter. “Yours is bigger. Can we both agree on that and call it a night?” He taunted. “What happens between Essence and me is not your business, friend. And how and when it ends is for the two of us to see. You should know better than to speak or meddle in things you cannot understand.” He grinned rather evilly and added. “And if in this hypothetical of mine, you put her in the role of prey, then it is extremely clear that you don’t understand. Even if occasionally she takes that role, in my eyes…” he chuckled in amusement. “An ‘easy prey’ is in no way how I’d describe it. As far as prey goes… She is the perfect prey. I won’t deny that. The fun part of humanity, however, is that I have those instincts and hundreds more. Then I have my mind, and in theory I have a heart somewhere. So if I’m just playing with my meal, waiting to gain something from this, or if I simply enjoy the company… Well… Those are all valid assumptions… They might all be true or none…” He stated, with a little shrug. “The only real answer I have to give you, friend, is that whatever it is I want or need, you don’t want to be the one standing in the way of it. Because I’m not one to hold back punches, if you catch my drift.”
With a satisfied grin, Aiden stood in temporary silence at Luke’s small outburst, having succeeded in getting a rise out of him. Aiden was not normally cocky, nor did he enjoy coming off as arrogant, but this was an exception to the rule for he believed he was correct. “What happens between you and Ess…is just as much my business as what happens between Ess and I and how you’ve made it your business as well. You say I’m meddling, but who woke up who in the middle of the damn night, hm? I have given her my opinion on things, and I still do what is asked of me because as she pointed out: ‘Friends don’t always have to agree on things.’ If I feel or see you as a threat to her, I will do all in my power to thwart you from that path. Don’t think for one second your childish games will scare me into submission. If you get rid of me, there will always be others.” Aiden cleared his throat, pausing a moment as he straightened, cracking his knuckles. “You admit you are conflicted when it comes to Ess, and that in itself is not my business, I agree. Unless of course, again you pose a threat. You call her the “Perfect Prey.” I hope that’s a compliment in that she won’t go down easily or at all if it comes to that, but I hope you have more intelligence than that. Hell’s fury knows no wrath like a woman’s scorn…”
Aiden took a few steps back, still facing Luckas. “If needed, I will be here for her….with that said…Are we finished here? I mean if you plan on coming around more often, then we have many other opportunities to argue or …take action.” Aiden gave a playful wink before his expression went serious, waiting for a response.
“If I am or not a threat to her, that is not your decision to make. Nor do you have the right mind to make it considering you already decided I’m a threat within less than five minutes of knowing me. If you were truly an honest man, you would have punched me in the face by now and I am sure, deep down, you still want to. See, that’s the problem with good people like you, buddy… Being good, only means not doing those things that, deep down, you know you want to do. Doesn’t make you any better than me really, only makes you more of a liar. That’s a pitiful way to go through life.” Luckas stated simply. His tone now, calm and ice cold. “Me? I’m not a good person, not at all, and I will get rid of you and any others I find necessary. It won’t even take much of my time or a minute of my sleep.”
He went back to his polite and friendly posture after that as he added. “If you wish to hang around, friend, then be my guest, but don’t think that ‘all in your power’ will actually be enough to move me anywhere. I will ALWAYS be around whether you like it or not. Actually, I’ll be around especially when you don’t like it.” He chuckled. “That said… Yes we are finished. I’ve grown bored of you words, however, so don’t expect any more arguing from me in the future. I do look forward to taking action though.” He replied with a grin. “I eagerly await that moment, in fact.” He added, turning his back to walk away. “I hope I didn’t disrupt your sleep too much.” He said over his shoulder as he began walking back towards the oak.
By the time he reached Ess’ tent, he was calm, and actually rather sleepy, as if nothing ever happened. He went inside to find the aforementioned blankets and try to get a few hours of sleep before heading back to Blackpond.
Aiden let Luckas walk away, shaking his head at the ramblings of the little mad man. “….I am a liar because I chose not to hit him?” Aiden muttered to himself, a bit confused. “What a bloody…hypocrite….” Aiden sighed, thinking maybe he needed to have another talk with Tala, since he knew it would be pointless to say anything to Ess about this. He would be ready, waiting patiently for their next encounter. Maybe he’d have a chat with the Captain too; not to push anything but to inquire if she thinks he is a danger to Ess. Not that it would sooth his worries.
Ess stirred from a dream, the memory already fading from thought. Stretching, she was still pretty much asleep, a noise squeaking out with her movement followed by a yawn. Her eyes opened into slits before closing again, Tala repositioning herself next to Ess. “….mm….Lukey, stop your lurking and sleep….” Ess giggled softly before rolling closer towards Luckas as she drifted back into a deep sleep. She looked quite peaceful, her pale cheeks glowing with warmth from her wolf snuggling beside her.
Luckas snickered in response to Ess’ sleepy talk. It was cute and being called ‘Lukey’ was somewhat amusing to him. He glanced over at her for a moment, but looked away with a rather serious expression crossing his features. Those questions Aiden asked had haunted him since that night in the castle, and he couldn’t help hating the man for bringing those thoughts back in a moment when they were dormant. Now he couldn’t stop thinking of that first night, five years ago. If he had the strength left in him then; if he hadn’t abused his gift that night… He knows what he would’ve done, without a thought, and maybe nothing would have changed in him. What a comforting thought, to just erase all those painful doubts and not feel… Maybe he was wrong all along, maybe they were both wrong and it was better to stay ignorant, to live an illusion. It was too late now to go back to that however; the door was cracked, and there was no way he could ever close it again.
Absently Luke rubbed the spot between his eyes, feeling the all too familiar aching of confusion. “I am the haunted one…” He whispered to himself, closing his eyes for a moment, and heaving a heavy sigh as he opened them again. Ess had rolled a bit closer to him, she seemed to be sound asleep, and quite peaceful. For a moment he wondered what was going through her mind just then, one hand slowly reaching out towards her face, he stopped when his eyes met Tala’s. The wolf hadn’t growled or bared teeth as she usually did, but simply lifted her head to glare at him. Opening a grin, his eyes sparkled red as he retrieved his hand. “Good girl, Tala.” He snickered.
So yeeeaaah, Lukey almost did a bad thing. He didn’t though. That’s why he always respected Tala even when she didn’t really like him all that much.
She warmed up eventually and he didn’t even have to bribe her with bacon or anything. >.>