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May 19, 2012:
The King's Tournament forum has closed and the event has ended. There will be a post up in the next couple days summarizing what went down during the tournament. The few characters we had on the "Danger List" have been archived. If you want to retrieve a character from the archives, simply repost your character app and an admin will get you sorted out!

Currently, V3 is accepting canon and original characters in all member groups. Please remember to register in all caps, see the rules for details.

A big THANK YOU to KOURT for her generous contribution toward the c-box!


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 'CAUSE THIS IS JUST A GAME, phanny | julian
ANA DARKHOLME
Posted: Apr 30 2012, 11:30 PM


WARPED • LADY
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Group: EASTERN NOBLE
Posts: 166
Member No.: 66
Joined: 12-April 12



What struck her first was that she was warm, and that she wasn’t alone in the bed. Someone’s arm was around her, and this was an entirely new feeling; Ana wasn’t used to being held, and as such being held felt almost constricting, like she was trapped, caged. She was lying on her side, naked as her name day, and she could feel the way someone was pressed up behind her; she had the faintest suspicion it was Julian. Her suspicions were confirmed when she shifted to look over her shoulder, not because she saw him, but because of the reek of ale over her shoulder when she turned even slightly. Definitely Julian. Not only because the young lord was a notorious drunkard, but also because he’d flown into a rage the last time he’d caught her sleeping with anyone else. She’d made a silent vow to be stealthier about it, and then wondered why. It wasn’t like she was his anyway.

But the scent of ale made her stomach turn and brought back a few memories she seemed to have temporarily forgotten, or at least pushed to the back of her mind. To say the young Lord Dahlberg had been stinking drunk the night before would have been an understatement, and now that she was awake Ana could remember a few choice words that had been shared between them…and wished she’d thought to get drunk before allowing Julian into her bed, also drunk. Had she allowed him into her bed? Ana wasn’t sure – maybe she’d just woken up and he’d been in there with her and what had come afterwards had been a response out of habit. Either way she was suffering for it now, and her tiredness pounded a mantra in the back of her mind and made her eyes want to shut tight. She wanted to go back to sleep, but she couldn’t quite get over the strangeness of the feeling of being held, and she wasn’t entirely sure it was a good thing. Nor was she entirely sure it was bad, so for a while she just stayed like that, weighing up her options.

Huffing, she let her eyes slide shut and pulled the soft furs up over their shoulders, and part of her hated the way her stomach tightened so familiarly at the warmth of being close to him. As much as she was still getting used to being around one person so much of the time (when he wasn’t busy training or eating or pretending he wasn’t interested for the sake of his father and her brother, or sleeping with maids like he thought she didn’t know – though in fairness she’d become more subtle about her own activities) Ana was still prone to the constant temptation to run whenever her chest and stomach tightened like that at the realisation he was around, and in truth she could never have explained why she didn’t. This morning her excuse was that she was too tired. She tried to keep her eyes open and hugged a pillow and pressed back against Julian (because he was warm, she consoled herself) and stared at the ceiling, and huffed a sigh.

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JULIAN DAHLBERG
Posted: May 1 2012, 02:50 AM


PHANNY • LORD
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Group: NORTHERN NOBLE
Posts: 227
Member No.: 23
Joined: 4-April 12



It had been another one of those nights for the young Lord Dahlberg. He had went to the local tavern with every intention of finding some random woman to bed for the evening, but once the drinks started being passed around (the ale tasted exceptionally well that evening) Julian wouldn’t help himself but to drink each one that was passed to him. He can’t recall what happened a majority of that night, but what he did remember was that he ended up in someone’s bed and his body was filled with a certain relaxation that could only be obtained during one of his post coital blisses. The first thing that jerked him from his sleep was the tightening in his stomach, the need to retch everything out that he had drank that evening threatened to overcome him but he fought the feeling back with a quick frown and furrowed brow before he moved closer to whoever was in bed with him, nuzzling his face into the person’s back and letting out a soft sigh before he froze completely.

What the fuck? There was someone still in his bed?

What had become apparent in his still somewhat foggy mind was that whoever it was pushed back against him, getting herself more comfortable and for some reason he let it happen, the arm that was draped over her gently tugging her closer to his chest. Then it hit him, the unmistakable dark hair and when he experimentally pressed his lips against the skin of her shoulder he tasted sweat, honey, and a little bit of ale – Ana. What was she doing in his bed? Julian turned his head to look around the room and realized that he wasn’t even in his room to begin with. There were no animal heads mounted on the walls, no extravagant tapestries, and even the bed was the slightest bit more firm than his own was. He closed his eyes, his mind being plagued with a wave of dizziness as he pressed his forehead against the warm skin of Ana’s back, a groan of discomfort escaping his lips.

Julian opened his bloodshot eyes, his vision still somewhat distorted but slowly he was becoming more and more used to it – gods above he hated being this in-between stage of drunk and sobering up, especially when he felt the overwhelming need to throw up, but his mind screaming at him not too so he could keep cuddling with the woman in his arms. Hell, was that what he was doing now? Julian Dahlberg didn’t cuddle and without further ado Julian gently slid his arm to her side, his hands moved along the skin of her waist as he gently pressed the lower portion of her body against him with a soft chuckle – yeah, that was more like it, but even then he wasn’t in the mood and instead he just rolled onto his back and stared up at the ceiling, which spun wildly above him. “Gods, what the hell happened last night?” Julian groaned, his eyes closed in a futile attempt to fight off another wave of nausea.

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ANA DARKHOLME
Posted: May 1 2012, 02:22 PM


WARPED • LADY
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Group: EASTERN NOBLE
Posts: 166
Member No.: 66
Joined: 12-April 12



Ana could feel herself drifting partially into a haze of sleep once again even while she tried to stay awake, lying with her eyes open as she stared in turns at the ceiling and at the far wall. But her eyelids were heavier than her will to stave off sleep, and slowly they slid shut again before she drifted back into a half-sleep for a while, not quite asleep but not quite awake, either. That was until she felt Julian nuzzling his face into her back, and if she’d been more awake at the time she might have laughed aloud at the way he froze only moments after – she could actually tell the time it hit him that he was in bed with someone by the way he froze, much like she’d done the same when she’d first blinked herself awake. By that point she’d already decided that if he was going to have his arms around her then she was going to be comfortable about it, and she breathed a low sigh when she shifted back into his arms.

Though she’d have been the first to admit that she hadn’t expected him to pull her closer, though gods knew Julian was just full of surprises, and maybe it was just nicer to have someone to latch on to when you felt as hungover as he was bound to; Ana had personally never been drunk, but she’d seen well enough the effects drink had on people, more specifically afterwards. Still, she raised an eyebrow when she felt the press of his lips against her skin and by the way he looked around she knew Julian had realised who exactly he was in bed with, was wondering why, and was by this point realising he was in her bed, not the other way around. She sighed and closed her eyes, feeling the warmth of his forehead pressing against her shoulder again. He probably felt pretty sick. For a moment, Ana became uncomfortably aware that usually when people were as hungover as Julian seemed, they tended to puke. She’d be more than annoyed if he puked on her, that was for sure.

Only moments later, as she was tending towards sleep once again, Ana felt the wander of Julian’s hand down her waist and knew exactly where he was going with it, rolling her eyes. True to form, he pulled her lower body back against his and she nudged his leg with her foot, turning over to lie on her stomach instead when he finally rolled away, seeming to give up on that idea fairly quickly. Rolling her shoulders, she hugged the pillow and buried her face in it, stretching and flexing as she settled herself again and glanced at him out of one open eye. “Long story.” she huffed, and closed her eyes again, pressing her forehead into the pillow. “Do you want the good parts or the bad parts first?” Ana really had to stop this habit of sleeping with people when they were drunk. The last time she’d ended up throwing a shoe at…a certain person and storming out, and she was sure she wouldn’t be able to get away with that when Julian was around, seeing as she was stuck here just as long as her brother wanted. No storming away and not seeing him again for two years option available. She sighed and tried not to drift back off to sleep.

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JULIAN DAHLBERG
Posted: May 1 2012, 05:55 PM


PHANNY • LORD
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Group: NORTHERN NOBLE
Posts: 227
Member No.: 23
Joined: 4-April 12



Julian wished that he could have remembered most of the previous night. The more he did try and remember the more his head spin and the more he felt the overwhelming urge just to retch his guts all over the place and all over the woman in her bed. Julian was never one to cuddle; he typically would leave the moment he got done bedding a girl, so what was so different now? He figured that he must have been so drunk that immediately afterwards he just simply fell asleep and hell from the brief glimpses of memories that flooded his mind… well, apparently he had a rather amazing time last night and he hoped that Ana did as well, even if he was completely and utterly hammered. It concerned him that he couldn’t remember how he got back to the castle and whether or not he made a complete fool of himself in the process and more importantly would his father find out? He certainly hoped they still didn’t know about his relationship with Ana because gods only knew what would happen if Ranulf or her brother found out.

He couldn’t help the grin that slid across his features as he grinded her lower body against his, immediately groaning once he felt her foot against his leg as she rolled over onto her stomach. Julian himself stared up at the ceiling, the dimly lit candles swinging around in his fogged and dizzy mind and he felt another lurch at his stomach, closing his eyes once more to fight back the wave of nausea that threatened to overcome him. Gods above how much did he drink last night? Just the thought of having a pint of ale made him completely sick – that was reason enough for him to stay sober for some time after this, assuming he survived this rather painful hangover. His head had just started to hurt, the nausea was ever present, and his joints felt as though he were an old man on a cool winter night. He literally didn’t want to move, but that didn’t stop one of his hands to move and run down the smooth skin of his lover’s back; soothingly, affectionately, and oddly sweet of him.

Julian turned his head to look at her with his bloodshot eyes and he let out a huff of his own as he brought his hands up to his face, sighing. “Gods, was I that bad last night?” Julian croaked, his voice raspy with the faint taste of ale still in his mouth. He nearly gagged at the taste but amazing kept his composure as he rolled onto his side facing her, wrapping one of his arms around her and pulling himself against her, just then noting that they were both naked. “Might as well give me all the bad news since I doubt there is any good news.” Julian muttered, leaning his head down to press a kiss against her shoulder before setting his cheek there, sighing.

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ANA DARKHOLME
Posted: May 1 2012, 07:11 PM


WARPED • LADY
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Group: EASTERN NOBLE
Posts: 166
Member No.: 66
Joined: 12-April 12



She could remember flashes of the night before, but they came back to her slowly, as though she’d dreamed them. In truth she must have been half-awake to accept Julian into her bed at the hour he’d returned at, and especially so when she realised she’d actually agreed to sleep with him despite how drunk he had been. If she’d been anything close to fully awake, or in actual fact had been woken up from a sleep any deeper, she’d like as not have told him where to go. As it were she remembered bits and pieces of the night as they slotted together in her head, but her memory-recounting was interrupted when she felt Julian grinding himself against her, or rather grinding her back against him, and she released a muffled laugh into the pillow when he groaned after she pushed him away. Her eyes had almost drifted shut again when she felt the gentle touch of his hand down his back, and for a moment Ana just turned her head to look at him, wondering why so simple a touch had sent a shiver down her spine despite the warmth beneath the sheets.

Her lips quirked into a smile when she saw the look on his face, speculatively noting the bloodshot eyes and his absolute tiredness, like he genuinely had the weight of the world on his shoulders and thus did not want to move one bit; Ana was glad once again that she’d never been drunk before, because Julian looked like he was suffering. She laughed under her breath at his croaked question, dark eyes flashing, “No, that was the good news.” she murmured, for once not second-guessing herself when she leaned a little closer to Julian when he pulled himself against her, she just went with it, even though part of her knew she’d ask questions of herself later: she always did. Yawning, Ana tilted her head to look at him once more when she felt the kiss he pressed to her shoulder, then the weight of his cheek there, and ducked her head to rest against the top of his for a moment.

“Yeah uh, the good news is that you’re still good in bed when you’re drunk. Although I’m fairly sure you already knew that.” she reiterated with a teasing smile, rolling over carefully to lie more comfortably on her back. “The bad news is that you confessed your love for me last night, and then you asked me to bear your heir.” she looked at the ceiling instead of him, mostly because both sentiments made her inwardly cringe. Love and children. Why hadn’t she run away straight away? Maybe, she supposed, because she’d known he didn’t mean it. “So, you know, I was hoping we could clear that one up.” Ana huffed a tired sigh and half-closed her eyes for a moment, brushing her thumb lightly down his cheek. It was probably a testament to her tiredness that she didn’t even think about the affectionate gesture. Probably.

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JULIAN DAHLBERG
Posted: May 1 2012, 10:26 PM


PHANNY • LORD
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Group: NORTHERN NOBLE
Posts: 227
Member No.: 23
Joined: 4-April 12



As comfortable as he was lying in bed with Ana next to him he would have much rather been in his own bed just because it was a hell of a lot more comfortable than this one. He felt the overwhelming urge to fall back asleep, his eyes heavy and he could barely keep them open to begin nor did he want to keep them open with the way his world was spinning. Julian silently vowed to himself that he would never go to that tavern again even if they happened to have some of the best ale he had ever tasted in Shatterstone. What was happening to him was definitely not worth a drink, especially such a damn cheap one. Julian shivered slightly beneath the covers, his teeth chattering for a moment as he inhaled sharply – he hated getting the chills that he got whenever he had such a nasty hangover.

Julian groaned slightly when she laughed at his expense, his bloodshot eyes closing as he turned his face more into the pillow and sighed once more – the smell of ale being so pungent that his entire body tensed, almost losing all sense of composure but after a few seconds he managed to regain control of himself. He groaned slightly when she explained what the good news was and damn was he glad that he was still amazing in the bed even being completely drunk. “I wish I could have remembered any of it. I just get some flashes here and there.” Julian murmured, turning his head to look at her with a faint smirk curled at the edges of his lips. Although that smirk and every other expression faded when she explained the bad news and for a moment he merely stared at her, completely dumbstruck with what she was telling him and for a moment he didn’t quite believe her.

She wanted to celar that up? Julian had never ever thought about her that way at all. Having his children? Telling her that he loved her? He felt his stomach lurch suddenly and he rolled away from her and poked his head off the edge of her bed, his entire back stiffening as he dry heaved and silently thanked the gods that nothing came out. His eyes raised from the ground to look at the door, the temptation just to get up and run was all too overwhelming and for a moment he actually contemplated the idea but he knew this topic wouldn’t get dropped, even as much as he didn’t want to talk about. With a few deep breathes, Julian finally pulled himself together and rolled back onto his side to look at her. “Sorry about that.” He muttered his apologies in reference to almost losing his guts right then and there – the timing of which was terrible. “Uh, for the record, I don’t love you, I don’t want to marry you, and gods I don’t want to have children with you, even if they would be damn beautiful ones.” Julian teased with a tired grin, leaning forward to press a kiss chaste kiss to her cheek.

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ANA DARKHOLME
Posted: May 1 2012, 11:18 PM


WARPED • LADY
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Group: EASTERN NOBLE
Posts: 166
Member No.: 66
Joined: 12-April 12



She was sure this was going to be a strange moment to recollect later on; even just later on in the day whenever she’d woken up properly, which she felt probably wouldn’t be soon. Ana still felt like her brain was full of cotton wool and her eyelids were attached to dead weights that were just there to drag them down. But at the same time, her brain had woken itself up enough to actually start thinking, and when her brain did that it seemed it automatically reverted to memories of the night before. While she had good memories aplenty of what had happened that night, she could also distinctly remember the words that had been said, even though she really didn’t want to. It had shocked her at the time and it was still weird to think about now in the cold light of day, especially when she woke up and found herself encircled in his arms. Strangest night before and morning after ever, to say the least.

Ana stifled her laughter at his groaned response, quieting down mostly because she understood loud noises weren’t the best when it came to being hungover and she had no desire to make Julian throw up all over her chambers, either. That would be unnecessarily messy, and Ana really despised mess. She still cracked a smile when he seemed to regain control of his reflex to throw up, of which she was glad, and pushed her hair away from her face, grinning, at Julian’s murmured words. “I hope they’re good flashes of memory.” she commented; the smirk on his lips would most definitely have suggested so. But just like the smirk on his features and all the humour in his expression, her own humour faded when she brought up what had actually been said the night before, and her stomach churned slightly just remembering. All those things she consistently ran from; marriage, love, kids, all presented to her the night before when he’d been drunk. He was lucky he’d been drunk, or there’d be nothing left of her in Shatterstone to find apart from a still-settling trail of dust in her wake. Then again, she doubted he’d have said it sober, so that argument was null and void.

The timing of his dry-heaving was perfect though, and Ana silently thanked the gods that she wasn’t bloody sensitive enough to think he was nearly being sick at the thought of what he’d said to her. She stretched out on the bed and just hoped he wasn’t going to actually puke on the floor, because it would stink and it would be difficult to think of a reason as to why anyone had been sick in her chambers, much less why that sick stank of ale. “S’alright.” she murmured, looking at him again when he rolled back onto his side, and she couldn’t help but smile at his words, notching upwards at the chaste kiss he pressed to her cheek, though she was much less a fan of the twisting feeling in her stomach that followed it. Rolling onto her side, she flashed him a tired smile of her own, still groggy from sleep, though she’d woken up considerably, enough to clear the cobwebs from her brain a little. “Oh, that’s good to know. I’d hate to have children so striking they imploded from egoism. That’d be a cruel way to go.” she huffed and pushed a strand of hair away from his face absently.

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JULIAN DAHLBERG
Posted: May 2 2012, 04:43 PM


PHANNY • LORD
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Group: NORTHERN NOBLE
Posts: 227
Member No.: 23
Joined: 4-April 12



Julian wished that he had not gone out that night, let alone drink that much in one sitting. The worst part of it all was that he could feel himself becoming more and more intoxicated, but yet he didn’t stop himself. Self-control was a major issue of his, especially when it came to the subject of alcohol, but who was he to deny ale when it was given to him for free? The benefits of being the keeper’s son were plenty, although he began to doubt if this hangover was worth the free drinks anymore. He felt sick to his stomach, his head pounded fiercely with each pump of his heart, and just the sunlight that was filtering through the windows was enough to have him close his eyes in pain. This hangover was even worse than the one he had when his father had so politely walked in on him almost a month ago – gods he couldn’t imagine what Ranulf would think if he walked in on this.

The young lord nodded his head slowly at her question, turning his head to bury his face in the pillows once more to drown out the light from the morning sun. “Just some memories of sex. At least my night ended pretty well, although I am kind of hating everything right now.” Julian muttered darkling, a hand moving to run through his hair as he rubbed at his temples in a futile attempt to ease the searing headache. The one trip he would hate the most today was going to the court physician to ask for something ease his sickness because it would probably only be a few hours before his father found out and then he would have to deal with that possibly and gods the last thing he wanted to do was argue with the man. Wasn’t it enough that he went to the throne room and listened to the people, or at least acted like he did? Apparently nothing he could do would make him the son his father wanted.

Julian was glad he was able to regain his composure, although her words still echoed in his skull and gods all he wanted to do was to run as far away from her as he could. Not once had he ever thought of her like that, at least not consciously. Rumor had it that when you were drunk you really said what was on your mind and for Julian he had always lost his sense of a filter and said practically anything and everything. But [i]that[i]? Never would he have thought he would have said something of that magnitude to the woman that he had been sharing a bed with the past week. Julian’s eyes locked with hers as she rolled over, his hand gently drifted down her side again and a small smirk curled at the corners of his lips. “It would, but you can’t deny they would be striking and the envy of everyone.” Julian teased, closing his eyes again when she pushed some strands of hair away from his face. “Can’t believe I fucking said that. Remind me to never drink ale again, even if it is free.”

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ANA DARKHOLME
Posted: May 2 2012, 06:30 PM


WARPED • LADY
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Group: EASTERN NOBLE
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Member No.: 66
Joined: 12-April 12



Ana couldn’t imagine how Julian was feeling there and then, though she also got the impression she didn’t want to. Being wrapped in cotton wool by her brother her whole life had meant she’d never exactly been free to do as she liked, so while she’d supped on wine at many a fancy dining hall, she’d never been drunk – tipsy, yes, but never ever to the extent that Julian had been the night before. It looked like he was suffering, too, from the way he turned away from the sunlight coming in through the gap in the shutters of her window and the way he closed his eyes. She might have found it funny if she hadn’t been half afraid he was going to puke in her bed, and he still stank of ale – gods knew she’d like as not be able to get drunk from the fumes if she tried hard enough. But Ana had no desire to get drunk and most certainly had no desire for him to puke in her bed, so she refrained from laughing at him and closed her eyes, breathing out a slow sigh.

She felt the bed shift when he turned a little to hide his face in the pillows, and opened one eye again, nodding at his words as her lips quirked upwards into a crooked smile. “I can’t imagine why.” she teased, stretching out again to the contented crack of her spine before she settled into the bed; it wasn’t the nicest bed, really, but it suited its purpose whenever she decided to actually go to sleep in it, which was less often when she equated Julian into the mix. Humming a sigh, Ana threw an arm over her eyes to shield them from the light (she was less than willing to get up, either) and glanced at him sideways when Julian rubbed his temples, feeling slightly sorry for him even if his drunkenness had been entirely his own fault.

And she couldn’t even find it in herself to hold the strange things he’d said against him, although that mostly stemmed from the knowledge that the words had been entirely untrue. They’d had that discussion within ten minutes of meeting one another, that talk of ‘love’, and they’d both dismissed it. It hadn’t even been down to Ana’s hardened cynicism or her attitude to the world that she’d thought it, nor disillusionment due to being dragged around the kingdom, it had been an attitude she’d grown up with – Ana had been a precocious, feisty child, and she’d never really become attached to anyone the way she had her mother. That was familial love, and the closest thing to love she’d ever felt or would feel. Julian had just been drunk and lost in the moment – that was what she consoled herself with. So Ana grinned, lips twitching, when their gazes met again, polar opposites with her gaze dark and his gaze bright, though both of them were equally intense, and she closed her eyes with the way her skin tingled when his hand drifted down her side. She reached out and drifted her thumb down one of the swipe marks that bear had left on his arm, watching him as she laughed at his teasing. “I wouldn’t deny that, it’s completely true.” she grinned, and shrugged as best she could given she was lying on her side, playfully. “Duly noted. But hey, like you’d listen? It is free ale.”

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JULIAN DAHLBERG
Posted: May 3 2012, 04:19 AM


PHANNY • LORD
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Group: NORTHERN NOBLE
Posts: 227
Member No.: 23
Joined: 4-April 12



Julian had actually started to wonder who all had figured out the kind of relationship he had with Ana. He wasn’t ignorant enough to believe that none of the maids or his manservant knew what was going on, since the poor guy had walked in on him and Ana in the middle of the act and he had been careful enough to shield her face from view because he knew that little nark wouldn’t keep his mouth shut if he found out the woman in his bed was supposed to be a ‘proper’ lady. Ana was anything but proper in that respect and that happened long before she met Julian and apparently happened when Niko so kindly took her maidenhood and damn Julian wished he could have been the one to do it – Niko finally had something over Julian. Regardless, he wasn’t going to complain about where his life was right now since it was far more enjoyable having her as she was and not what she could have been if she had never met Niko.

No, he liked Ana for who she was now.

Julian’s thoughts immediately halted and rewound what he had thought. Of course he didn’t mean that he actually liked her because that would involve some sort of emotional attachment and there was no way in hell Julian was about to let that happen. What they had was clearly physical and even his drunken self must have known that when he came wandering back from the tavern and immediately put the charms on her or just flat out told her that he wanted to have sex. Regardless of what happened and regardless what was said (even though that freaked the hell out of him), he wouldn’t have really done anything to change the outcome. After all, he was in bed with a rather beautiful woman and they were completely naked… in his mind that equated to something far more worthwhile than freaking out about what he said while completely intoxicated.

Whatever words he had said during their passionate exchange was merely him being a complete buffoon because she should have known he wouldn’t have actually meant any of that. He hasn’t even thought of his own children and just seeing someone else’s child was enough to make him cringe and want to leave the room. Julian stared into her dark eyes, his own mirroring the intensity of her own and he almost shuddered when he felt her hand drift over the bear swipe scar on his bicep. “Free ale is great ale in my opinion.” Julian muttered, even if he completely hated the hangover he got in the process. Without so much of a second though, acting on pure instinct alone, Julian leaned forward and captured Ana’s lips in a passionate and heated kiss. The hand that was on her waist pulled her closer to him, their bodies pressed flushed to one another as he finally broke the kiss and pressed his forehead against hers, sighing lightly. “Sorry if I taste like shit.” He laughed, the corners of his lips curling into a faint smile.

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ANA DARKHOLME
Posted: May 3 2012, 06:19 PM


WARPED • LADY
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Group: EASTERN NOBLE
Posts: 166
Member No.: 66
Joined: 12-April 12



It should have bothered her more, what he’d said. She knew that, but these days Ana often escaped the troubles of things that should have bothered her by ignoring them entirely. It was almost on the same level that she’d been operating on before, except that before she’d used to acknowledge the things that got to her – these days she refused to admit they existed. Things like the way she felt when she was around Julian, because it made her stomach twist and her heart skip and it was all she could do not to run. He’d called her out on that not so long ago, and she still remembered it had almost felt like a punch to the gut to have it put so bluntly. ‘And you are doing the only thing you’ve ever known how to do – run.’ he’d said it and she’d known he was right; like always, Julian had seen right through her. But maybe running was all she was good at doing, and she couldn’t run from that truth. Still, she had stayed, and she had become so much better at crushing all the things she didn’t want to admit she felt.

And so now she didn’t have to worry about the way she felt, because her refusal to admit it was there at all was so uncompromising. She couldn’t attribute the way her gut twisted or her heart sped up when he was around to anything else, but nor did she try and ponder just why it was happening when he was there. Blankness was easier, and denial was the closest thing to numbness she was ever going to get. That was the problem – that she felt too much, felt all the hurt and anger inside. But not with Julian around. Life was straightforward and simple this way, this no-strings-attached fling they had going on, and it was good to know that he expected nothing more from Ana than that, aside from well…exclusivity, which she was less than willing to give. She could and had admitted she cared about him, which he had taken the entirely the wrong way, but things had levelled out soon after – then again, Julian was surprisingly good at breaking the equilibrium too, as he’d proved the night before with all his drunken ‘confessions’. It had scared Ana a little, and fear had been the first thing that had gotten past her ‘if I act like it doesn’t exist it won’t exist’ attitude. It was a ridiculous fear to most, but a viable one to two people who firmly denied love’s existence and rejected commitment outright.

Almost relieved that they’d gotten past the subject of love and marriage and children, Ana found herself smiling when Julian met her eyes once more, the intensity obvious in both of their gazes, dark and bright. The hand that had moved to his arm to brush her thumb across the bear swipe stayed there briefly, and she grinned a little wider at his muttered agreement. “From the impression I got last night, any ale is great ale to you.” she teased, and she didn’t hesitate when he leaned forward to kiss her before she kissed him back with the same quiet intensity that mirrored in her eyes, her back arching as she felt Julian pulling her closer. The hand on his arm moved to his shoulder and she pressed flush against him, humming amusement when he broke the kiss and pressed his forehead to hers. “It’s alright, you still kinda taste like ale.” she murmured, turning her head slightly to kiss him again. “I could probably get…contact drunk from that.”

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JULIAN DAHLBERG
Posted: May 5 2012, 03:20 PM


PHANNY • LORD
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Group: NORTHERN NOBLE
Posts: 227
Member No.: 23
Joined: 4-April 12



What scared Julian the most about Ana was that she seemed to have a canny ability of being able to read his mind, like he was just some open book for her to read. It bothered him because he could do the exact same thing with her ever since the moment they met. She may have tried to hide her hand from him, tried to hide who she really was, but Julian was far more observant than he often let on to believe and sure enough he realized that maybe Ana wasn’t so different than he was. They both didn’t want to be betrothed to anyone and they both didn’t want kids, hell they only established that they are just a fling and that there was no emotional connection. But yet it certainly felt like there was something more than just a fling – the way his chest tightened and his stomach flipped whenever they kissed and sometimes when they were right in the middle of an intimate moment… the experience was new to him and he should have ran away but yet he didn’t; he stayed.

What had happened last night was something Julian definitely regretted. He wouldn’t be able to take his words back and he had a feeling that Ana would never be able to forget them. But why did he even tell her that he wanted her to carry his heir? Julian had never ever thought about having kids and yet he told her last night that he wanted one and better yet that he wanted her to carry it? The thought alone was enough to cause the young lord to shudder and gods he just wished that he would have passed out in that tavern instead of coming back to the castle and practically spilling his guts out to the woman he was currently sharing a bed with. Regardless of what he said she was still here and that alone was enough to confuse him even more – why didn’t she leave? Ana seemed like the type that would after such a confession but yet here she was, in his arms with his lips firmly pressed against hers and suddenly everything just started to feel a little bit better.

Julian thrummed quietly at her remarks about him still tasting like ale, turning his head slightly so that he could meet her lips in another passionate kiss. The heat of her body pressed against had an almost sobering effect and for a few moments all he wanted to do was pull her atop him and see where things went from there… but just the thought of rolling around had his stomach churning. Julian smirked against her lips and rolled is blood shot eyes, “I can’t smell like ale that bad.” Julian teased, nudging his nose against hers. He let out a soft sigh as his hand brushed down her side and behind to her lower back, gently pulling her even closer to him. “At least I didn’t puke on you… yet.” He laughed, straightening his back as if he was about to spill his stomach before he flashed a grin at her and captured Ana’s lips in another kiss.

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ANA DARKHOLME
Posted: May 5 2012, 11:58 PM


WARPED • LADY
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Group: EASTERN NOBLE
Posts: 166
Member No.: 66
Joined: 12-April 12



While she genuinely did try and brush away all the nuances of feeling that surrounded her these days, it was difficult for Ana to ignore the fact that she felt like a changed person around Julian, and she wasn’t sure it was a good thing. She didn’t like caring about people she slept with, and it made her uncomfortable and feeling like someone had wound her up tight whenever she felt the way her stomach twisted when she was with Julian, whenever either of them made small gestures that could come across as intimacy. That were, undeniably, intimacy. Ana was not ready for it, not prepared for closeness, but she knew Julian wasn’t either – they’d agreed to a fling based solely on a sexual relationship, but sometimes it felt like things had spiralled wildly out of either of their control. She knew she was not the only one tempted to run, but every day she repeated all the mistakes she’d previously made: she stayed, and she slept with him again, and she ruminated in her own slow and eventual destruction, because she knew that whatever this was, it could never be a good thing, could never end well. Both of them were too set in their ways to change, even if changes were happening to Ana entirely without her consent.

The fact she’d stayed after those things he’d said, for a start. That troubled her more than it had any right to, but it wasn’t in her to regret the decisions she’d made any more than it was in her to try and change them. She couldn’t have said why she’d stayed after being told all the things she feared the most, but Ana suspected it was because – and only because – she’d known they were untrue. And somehow she’d ended up wrapped in his arms the morning after, and all of it should have felt so wrong and so alien to her, but instead she felt this strange shield of calmness keeping her away from all those things, and instead of wanting to run she was content to lie with him, for a while. She trusted him, and maybe that was the problem – she trusted Julian’s word that what he’d said was not true, but in all honesty it should have scared her even more that she trusted him at all. Ana Darkholme’s trust was hard to earn at the best of times, and she could not for the life of her identify when that change had occurred, when she’d begun to trust Julian at all. Or why.

But she did, and here she was, kissing him and smiling.

And Ana smiled when she heard his thrum at her words, rubbing his shoulder with her thumb as she felt his lips press against hers yet again. She kissed him back slowly but not wholly without passion, enjoying the moment for a while before she pulled back, and laughed at his words. “Kinda do.” she remarked, grinning at the nudge of his nose against her own; her stomach tightened familiarly. Pressing closer as his wandering hand to her lower back bade her do, she entangled her legs with his and squeezed his shoulder. But when he straightened his back, looking for all the world like he was about to actually be sick on her, she reeled back and then laughed quietly, shaking her head and pressing her face into the pillow. “Oh, time out! Not cool at all!” she laughed, and bit her lip, looking at him with mock seriousness in her expression. “That was definitely not funny.”

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JULIAN DAHLBERG
Posted: May 6 2012, 05:24 PM


PHANNY • LORD
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Group: NORTHERN NOBLE
Posts: 227
Member No.: 23
Joined: 4-April 12



There was a part of Julian that wondered just how long Ana was going to stay at Shatterstone. Does her brother even realize how much of a lost cause it was to try and marry her off to him? Had his father even told him that it wouldn’t happen in the first place or was he just flirting with the idea that maybe Julian would change his ways. Sure Ana was beautiful, there was no denying that and sure a part of him could see himself with a girl like her, but that didn’t mean he wanted to be with her. Besides, he was too young to even be thinking about marriage in the first place, although it was kind of ironic since he was set to be married to a girl when he was fifteen but he made damn sure he got out of that messy situation and ever since then his life had been relatively betrothal free. There had been the idea of a few suitors, but Julian always found some excuse to shut down the idea or he even wouldn’t show up to the arranged meetings, much to no one’s surprise.

Hell, that much was obvious when he didn’t even show up to greet Ana or Lord Darkholme and instead opted to train. Of course that lead to a much more fruitful encounter than he could have hoped for when in less than an hour later he was bedding Ana, something he couldn’t have predicted it his life depended on it. So here he was now, in bed with her again and strangely enough he didn’t run away. Sure he felt the need and damn was it burning to just have him get up out of bed with some excuse about being sick or having to attend to lordly duties and get the hell out of there. But he found comfort having her so close to him and it made his chest tighten in that sickening way that had only started whenever he was around her. Whatever he was feeling, Julian didn’t want to believe that it was any more than just the desire and lust.

Denial was his best friend.

Still he couldn’t quite get over the tingle of his lips after they broke their kiss and the moment she reeled away from him after his faux vomiting, Julian broke out into a series of laughter. He ran his foot gently along the smooth skin of her leg as he looked down at her, a bright smile etched across his features. “Oh cmon, you know I’d never puke on you.” Julian hummed, pressing a kiss to the shell of her ear. “I’d puke everywhere around you, but not on you.” He teased, pulling her close to him with his legs. Julian gently traced his hand down her spine, biting his lower lip as he felt the warmth of her skin radiating against his fingertips as they ghosted lower and lower, coming to a stop on her lower back before traveling back upwards once more. “I wish I could wake up to this ever morning… minus the hangover.”

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ANA DARKHOLME
Posted: May 7 2012, 12:10 AM


WARPED • LADY
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Group: EASTERN NOBLE
Posts: 166
Member No.: 66
Joined: 12-April 12



She was fast growing tired of her brother’s games, of being dragged around the kingdom, and maybe she’d needed this reprieve from the routine, this time spent out of the loop where for a little while they stayed in one place. Ana didn’t plan on marrying Julian, now or ever, but gods that wasn’t even because she thought he was loathsome or foul like many of the lords she’d met; he was honest with her at least, just as she’d been honest with him, and she enjoyed his company – even if most of the time, spending time in his company ended with her being utterly worn out. It was a good sort of worn out. He was handsome and cocksure and charming in his own right, but she’d never marry him. She’d never marry anyone, not when it meant submitting to the system she so despised – gods, if she’d been able to love she still might not have married anyone, because it was still submitting to the patriarchy that had made her life hell all this time, and Ana was too proud to submit to anything.

But as she was lying in bed with him like this, those wandering thought she’d been trying to hold back returned once more, only this time they didn’t seem to matter so much. What did it matter that they were lying together? It felt…good, it felt okay to have someone warming her bed like this, and it felt okay that it was Julian. She suspected it should have felt strange not to wake up with him by now, but over the times they’d slept together the two of them seemed to have mastered the art of silently sneaking out of one another’s chambers before the owner of said chambers woke up; it was quite a useful skill, and in times previous it had helped sate her need to know that what they had was nothing more than a fling, and one that should have been forbidden, too. Now, lying with him, she found herself with a conflict of interests – it was not her heart and her head that argued, for both of them agreed she should run, but something else, this desire to stay that kept her firmly in place, intensified all the more by the quiet sense of contentedness that enveloped her.

Having reeled away at his faux-vomiting, Ana was still laughing when Julian started to laugh at her too, opening her dark eyes to look at him as she shivered when his foot traced her leg. She flashed him a smile, huffing amusement at his words, skin tingling softly where he kissed the shell of her ear. “You sure about that?” she challenged playfully. “Because you’d have to be the master of your guts to do that. Are you the master of your own guts?” she grinned and let him pull her closer with his legs nonetheless, and arched her spine slowly at the feeling of his hand running down it, pressing her body against his; it was all warmth where their skin touched. Ana squeezed his shoulder gently once more and leaned in to press a kiss to Julian’s jaw, contemplating his words for a moment. “Mmhm, it’s not so bad.” she agreed, and grinned mischievously. “And if you weren’t hungover you wouldn’t be able to pretend to puke on me, so even better.”

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