Krynn sat quietly in the room where he was told enjoying the quiet of the ship at rest and wondering what would be the reward for his long patience. Casually he looked about the room again. He had spent hours here waiting, and he was content to wait hours more. He casually looked to his side pulling open a drawer and examining the contents. Looking at how the diva arranged her things, and exploring what things she valued by their ease of access and care. He looked about the drawer at silken lacy garments that seemed like new without exception. He casually lifted one to notice a large collection of small bottles and vials assorted neatly next to a wooden box. As he saw the vials he couldn’t help but curl a small smile.
Still somewhat on edge from her discussion with Arden, Aidenne paused in the doorway to her room and stared at her guest as he rummaged through her private things. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Krynn reached in and picked up one of the vials examining it quietly with a smile. “I’m learning more about you. Why?”
Storming over to him, she snatched the vial from his hand. “Those are expensive.”
Krynn chuckled softly looking up at her. “And very important to you. Were you worried I would take them?”
Her golden eyes met his and she gave a sigh. “I generally don’t let people touch my tools.” She looked past him to the open drawer. It seemed typically Krynn to leave the undergarments untouched while being more interested in her poisons.
“And yet, you invited me to stay in your room unsupervised without asking me not to touch anything… How much of yourself do you hide behind other’s inhibitions? I’m guessing quite a bit.” He smiled looking up at her with his crimson eyes. “I meant no offense by it. I just want to know the real you.”
“The real me,” she repeated. Coming from anyone else that would have been an invitation to get in bed. But with Krynn… she wasn’t quite sure. “And you think you’ll find the real me among the items I use to kill people.”
He smiled at her quietly and shook his head. “No. These are just tools. An artist isn’t in his brushes, but they can tell you a little about the man and how he chooses to express his vision. To find the real you I’d have to see more; explore the passion from where the artist’s heart creates.” His voice was strangely calm and his eyes never left her. “Do you know your true self? Will you know when I meet her? Will you be afraid someone like me has seen you for who you really are? Are you prepared to find out that person was not who you expected to be?” Krynn curled a devilish grin still looking up at her from the seat where she had left him.
For a minute she just stared at him, transfixed by that smile, then she shook her head. Delicately stepping away from him, she moved around him to put her things back in their proper order. “I’ve talked to Trey. He’s agreed to let you have a room here on the Soul. Would you like to see it?” She firmly kept her gaze away from him as she placed her silken undergarments back over her things.
“I assume it will be much like this, only smaller. My needs are few, I am sure it will suffice. Or is it that you want to put me back in my drawer so no one will see, and you won’t be tempted?” He asked carefully, but with a touch of what sounded like genuine curiosity.
She whirled to face him, standing at his knees as she looked down at him. “I don’t worry about temptation, Krynn. And if I do put you in a drawer it will be after I’ve used some of my tools on you.”
Their eyes were locked as she loomed over him. The diva so small and fierce. He never wavered as she spoke or showed an ounce of intimidation. His expression read almost as if he was prepared even if she were to kill him there without batting an eyelash. “How often do you truly face temptation yourself? Do you embrace your impulses only to maintain control at all times? Allowing yourself to indulge on the weakness of others. Do you enjoy seeing temptation in other’s eyes knowing that you are the predator? I know I do. Feeling that power, and then taking… everything.”
Her tongue darted out to wet her lips, leaning in slightly as if unable to resist the pull of his words.”We’re not the same, Krynn.” She told him abruptly, moving back a step. “I’m not a predator.” But for once her voice lacked that absolute conviction.
He leaned forward slowly and stood up before her; assuming that the conversation would soon end. He reached out and put one hand on her arm. His touch was actually quite warm. “We aren’t the same, but if you weren’t wouldn’t you fight it? There is no such thing as shame at the top of the food chain.” He looked into her eyes coldly and smiled.
Aidenne drew back. “I learned long ago not to waste my efforts in a fight I can’t win… not until the day I have my full freedom.”
He chuckled, “And what then? A quiet life of a meek woman? Or do you dream of a life excitement on your own terms?”
He was being far too personal; she should have been offended. But this time the Diva laughed. “I will never be a meek woman.” Her golden eyes nearly glowed at the thought. “But once I’m able to find excitement on my own terms… watch out. Now, let’s get you settled into your own room.” She turned from him and led the way to the door, never doubting that he’d follow.
Krynn watched her laugh walking away, but something nagged at him. He wanted to hear her answer, and had so much more he wanted to know. He wanted to understand. “You said, full freedom. What does that mean? Do you serve someone, something?”
She turned back to him, fully intending to avoid the question. “I…” Her eyes met his and she felt the truth coming to her lips. “A slave always serves.”
Krynn nodded and raised a hand to his chin thinking about her words. “You are a slave?”
“Yes.” Her delicate chin raised ever so slightly, daring him to look down on her for it.
Krynn stood thinking not sure what to say to that. To others it might seem a horrible tragedy, but to him it was just like any other job. He actually envied her slightly. She had direction, and a place where she belonged, where he had been abandoned. He was truly free for the first time since he was a child, and it made him feel naked. He felt like he should say something. She was looking at him, and he knew that silence would probably go over worse. He spoke softly, “Tell me about it, please.”
She wasn’t going to discuss this. They were done talking; she was going to show him to his room. So why was she sitting back down on the bed? “Why would you want to hear about that?” she asked, genuinely perplexed. “I was born a slave. The form has simply changed over the years.”
He sat on the bed next to her. “I lived to serve by choice, and they left me to die. I have freedom, but know nothing about what to do with it. You have purpose, a duty to your masters. I envy you.”
Aidenne looked into his eyes again, expecting to see mockery. But he was serious. “Don’t envy me.” She was suddenly feeling very exposed. “I’d gladly trade places.”
“Why?” he asked.
She shook her head, hugging her arms over her frail shoulders. “I’ve never known any other way. Even the things I think I have control over, like my career, are all part of the bigger plan. I think I’d just like to do a show, just once, where it wasn’t to further someone else’s plans.”
Krynn looked over at her. “Then do it. Take what you desire, so long as it doesn’t cross your masters purposes would they grow angry?”
The corners of her full lips curled up in a small smile. “Is that what I should tell you? Take what you want. Don’t wait for someone else to give you purpose.”
He chuckled softly curling a dark little smile of his own and meeting her gaze. “Shouldn’t you be afraid to find out what my heart truly desires? Or perhaps, we are more alike than you suspect?”
He was baiting her. But this time she wasn’t going to back down. “I’m not afraid, Krynn. I can handle you.” And even if she couldn’t, there was still Ures’ offer.
He chuckled softly and reached down to his belt slowly drawing a glistening hook shaped dagger and let the light glint across her face as he casually allowed her to inspect it as he traced it across her leg skimming the silken cloth shrouding her. “Can you?” He playfully mused as he watched her eyes for signs of fear. Tracing the blade over her arm and up her neck so she could feel it like a razor against her soft skin. Leaning in closer to her he smiled broader as the reflective surface traced her cheek showing her markings with mirror quality.
Aidenne couldn’t let him win. Her eyes didn’t leave his as she felt the knife trace across her leg. Besides, it had been many years since a man with a weapon was anything to fear. She smirked as he continued his little game, completely unwilling to back down. Instead she turned her head toward the glistening blade and slowly ran her tongue along the smooth surface.
Krynn took her hand and pulled it to his pressing the handle of the blade into it and then pulling the knife to his own throat before releasing his grasp. His eyes still locked onto hers. She stared at the blade as it pressed against his cobalt skin. The pressure of the blade depressing the skin put pressure on a vein she could see the blood pressing against the sharp edge under his skin. He pulled her hand slightly letting the edge split the skin slightly so she could see a small drip of crimson blood formed and ran down his throat.
Almost mesmerized, Aidenne watched the blood. Moving the knife away from his skin, she covered the wound with her fingers. After a moment she pulled her hand away, holding it before him so he could see the red stain on her pale skin. Her eyes locked on his, she drew her fingers across her lips, leaving a trail of blood. “Oh I think I can,” she answered with a throaty whisper.
He leaned in slowly and pressed his lips to hers smearing the blood on their lips and tasting it as he kissed her. He playfully bit her lower lip, then he pressed his incisors on the corner of her soft full lip and pressed down hard until he felt a warm wetness in their mouths. Then he tenderly rolled his tongue over the cut as he pressed he nose against hers looking directly inti her glowing eyes with his pupil-less crimson orbs.
With a low growl she kissed him again, unsure whose blood she was tasting at this time. She could feel the warmth from his skin and the lingering scent of violence; it was intoxicating. Her hands balled into fists around the collar of his shirt, keeping him close as she bit down on his lip.
His hands pressed to her sides as they kissed. This… had been unexpected. He let her teeth grip his lip like they were feral beasts gnashing at each other. After a long moment lost in her soft touch he paused and met her eyes. “Perhaps you can.”
Chuckling softly, Aidenne drew back slightly. Her fingertips lightly touched her reddened lips.”Careful though, I need these.”
Krynn twisted his smile into a wicked grin and leaned in to kiss her again answering in a whisper,”Not today…”