1) Next Kieran update is tommorow.
2) Yes, this is in fact the same story as the last Hekara.
3) This is probably the closest to porn that I will ever write.
Tysa slipped from the bed, brushing back her long black hair, and pausing to glance backwards at the man lying across the sheets. For a moment, she let a smile pass over her face at the remembrance of the night, but she quickly let it slide aside as she returned her thoughts to the business at hand.
Leaving her clothes lying by the door, she walked to the window, she raised the ring that she had taken and let the moonlight play over it. Silver light glinted off of gold, and Tysa smiled softly as she considered it. It seemed plain enough, a golden band with a simple amethyst set in it. Turning the ring back and forth, Tysa reached down to the table sitting by the window and picked up the pocket-knife that her paramour had left there as he disrobed, hours earlier. She pried at the amethyst for a moment, and was rewarded as it popped off, leaving the ring perfectly unmarked. Studying the golden disc that sat on top of the ring, Tysa felt that she could let her smile grow. Quickly, before she could think better of it, she slid the ring onto her own finger and let her Essence flow into it.
And was shocked to find it rebuffed.
â€œA beautiful sight indeed.â€ Tysa gasped despite herself, spinning towards the bed. The young man had levered himself up, and was watching her appreciatively, one hand raised to his forehead to push back a few stray golden strands. He grinned widely, revealing a row of perfect white teeth.
â€œYouâ€¦ ahâ€¦ I was just admiring it.â€ Tysa forced a smile onto her face, dimpling prettily, her mind racing. With the amount of poison in his system, he should have been happily sleeping for hours yet. It had never failed beforeâ€¦ â€œItâ€™s a lovely ring.â€
â€œYes, an old family heirloom.â€ The young man chuckled softly. â€œSo to speak.â€
Tysa frowned slightly, unable to shake the feeling that he was making fun of her. â€œMaster Harriman, Iâ€™m not sure that I understandâ€¦â€
â€œWell, that would make two of us.â€ He hopped unconcernedly out of bed, strolling towards the window without a sign of fatigue of confusion. Only her expert training kept Tysa from gaping as he waltzed up to her. â€œAfter all, my dear, what exactly provokes a man to lead himself deliberately into the lair of the Sleeper.â€ He winked.
She felt faint. â€œYouâ€¦ knew?â€
â€œOh, yes. Youâ€™re legend around these parts. Certainly teaches the men of the southeast to be careful around tavern wenches.â€ Chuckling again, he leaned on the windowsill, pushing a curtain aside, seemingly unconcerned with his nakedness or hers. â€œWhen any beautiful maiden might leave an unsuspecting fool waking naked and poor in the morning, sad and alone.â€ He looked back, with a feigned swoon. â€œAh, but it would be worth it.â€
â€œHm.â€ She frowned thoughtfully, tapping her lips. â€œSo, you know who I am, and you somehow find meâ€¦â€
â€œAnd then I pose as a rich, arrogant merchant in order to see if the stories are true. And, my dear lady, they are â€“ if anything â€“ badly understated.â€ Hopping away from the window, he reached out a hand, looking up at the young woman. â€œMy ring, please.â€
She sighed, and tossed it into the air, and he snatched it in a smooth motion, sliding it onto his finger. â€œAnd you knew that my eye would be drawn by orichalcum on your finger. Which means that you, too, are more than you seem. After allâ€¦â€ She smiled, touching her lips. â€œYouâ€™re quite awake.â€
â€œWell, maybe Iâ€™m only dreaming.â€ The man bowed low, sweeping back an imaginary cloak. â€œMarcaeus Blake, at your service. And there is one last thing about my ringâ€¦â€ He smiled again, and pointed. â€œIt seems to match one sitting nicely on your ear.â€
There was a pause, before Tysa nodded, reaching up. She remembered vividly when she had first found that ring, a simple empty ring of orichalcum that she had carefully coated in bronze. â€œIt does. So what now?â€
â€œNot sure, really.â€ Blake sat back down on the bed, swinging his legs slightly. â€œIt wasnâ€™t a plan, precisely. More of a goal, really.â€
â€œI see.â€ Tysa chuckled despite herself, and sat down next to him. â€œIt seems like youâ€™ve put me into a precarious position. After all, youâ€™re the first person to find out who I really am.â€ She raised a single eyebrow delicately, and frowned. â€œThere are a lot of people out there that want to find the Sleeper. There is, in fact, a Wyld Hunt after me, the last time I checked.â€ She smiled at that memory, too.
â€œSounds like excitement.â€ Blakeâ€™s smile grew, and he let his anima show. Faintly, a golden disc to match that on his ring glimmered on his forehead. â€œTruth be told, my dear, I think I just felt like sharing a secret. Itâ€™s awful lonely at the top.â€
Tysa watched him consideringly, for a few long moments. His expression seemed so hopeful, and she kept her face carefully neutral. After a moment, as his face began to fall, she took pity on him. â€œSo, Marcaeus Blake. You have the advantage of me. However will I keep you from telling the world about my little secret?â€
His eyes lit up at the teasing tone in her voice. â€œI can think of a few waysâ€¦â€ Reaching out, he grabbed her, and the two fell backwards on to the bed.
Many, many hours later, watching him lie beside her, she reflected that it had been a good choice.