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LEAVE THIS BLUE NEIGHBORHOOD - Cole & Jeremiah

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 We’re growing feathers, now we’re letting go, [P] Jer & Orin
Cole Harper
 Posted: Apr 10 2018, 08:52 PM
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Air & Lightning
Age: 44
application
tracker
Group Icon
Ambassador
Allure

Posts: 154
OOC: Olly


At the first hint of artificially crafted daybreak – the torches and hovering lights surrounding the underground city of Arbington slowly blinking on and bathing the cavern city in a soft, amber glow – Cole finally stirred from his bed. In truth, he had already been awake for hours, wholly unable to sleep the whole night away when the warm body of Jer lied so close to him. He had taken to nestling in close, fingers idly combing through the dark hair of the man beside him, and he stared silently and contentedly up at the ceiling until those slivers of outdoor lighting urged him to pry himself away, at least for the moment.

He slipped away as quietly as possible, hoping not to disturb the other man after such an eventful day of travel, shopping, and amorous exploration just the afternoon prior. The first toll of Arbington’s enormous bell was not due for another hour or so, and so in the silence of the early dawn, Cole retreated to the first floor of his manor, bare-footed and clad in a relatively simple pair of trousers and a roomy white shirt. He chose, in the moment, to delay the process of meticulous dressing in outerwear for when everyone in the household was awake, and instead spent the solitude preparing for the three of them a simple but savory breakfast out of what little food items he had remaining in the kitchen. This consisted, uncreatively, largely of bread and cheese, but some remnants of dried fruits and nuts from the day before were still there to nibble on, and Cole sliced the last of a deliciously smoked trout into thirds as well.

Once the three plates had been set on the dining table, Cole stood quietly for a few moments and simply listened, his weight leaned back against the wall of his kitchen space. His gaze slid idly, distractedly, over toward the table again, but the faint sound of movement in one of the rooms on the first floor alerted him to Orin’s stirring. Pushing himself from the wall, Cole ventured down the short hallway and knocked gently on the door to the private room he had given the Averian ward before peeking his head inside.

In the dim light, the single-person cot he had procured for Orin was merely an outline until his eyes adjusted. Once his bright eyes found the shape of Orin in there with the bed, he finally spoke. “Good morniiiing.” his voice was almost in sing-song, but the sleepiness that still tugged at it prevented it from becoming too peppy. “Breakfast is ready, if you’re hungry.” He did not wait around for longer than a simple answer, wanting to provide Orin with as much freedom and control over himself and his own decisions as he could, given the traumatic journey he’d recently made to Ombra on a slaver’s ship. He had set the ward up in a room near the kitchen so he could find his way to and from the main room of his own accord after a few guided passes, and so allowed him to make his way to the table whenever he desired. Cole, in the meantime, ambled back to the kitchen and began fussing over the counter space, not wanting to begin eating without either of his guests, but too invigorated by the overwhelming act of leaving Tyrgere for the foreseeable future only lurking an hour or two away to remain still.

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Orin Misariel
 Posted: Apr 22 2018, 12:11 PM
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Ice
Age: 18
application
tracker
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Apprentice
Tactile Sight

Posts: 15
OOC: Tink


Orin hadn't slept very well, for a multitude of reasons. The biggest ones were pre-travel jitters/excitement, and er... well. A strange state of discomfort. He'd overheard some rather... heated goings-on, the previous evening, and it had put him in a somewhat confusing, feverish state, for several hours. Several. Hours. And even when he did manage to fall asleep, it was fitful.

Perhaps he was coming down sick? Orin prayed not... If he were sick, Cole might decide to leave him behind... and the boy couldn't bear the thought. But... it would be dishonest not to tell Cole, wouldn't it? Yes, it would.

When the knock came to his bedroom door, Orin's eyes cracked open just a bit (bleary and tired). He didn't quite move from his spot, but he peeked his head out from under the covers, just in time to hear Cole's morning greeting. It always made Orin smile and feel loved... Before he could reply, breakfast was announced, and he heard Cole's swift departure.

Quick as the sleepy boy could manage, he disentangled himself from the bedclothes, and stumbled his way out to the dining room in his nightshirt. Well. Technically it was Cole's nightshirt, and the boy practically swam in it, but he liked it that way. Anyway, he toddled on out, nightshirt billowing around his rather minute frame, and white locks fluffy and mussed from sleep. Orin wasn't accustomed to managing it, himself, so it tended not to occur to him to try to smooth it down; it's not like he could see it.

The teenager yawned a big, sleepy yawn as he stumbled toward the table, and made his way to his usual place, plopping down. Rather than his usual routine of touching the table and seeing what was in front of him, Orin's hands were fidgeting and fiddling with one another. The boy was nervous. Would Cole be disappointed in him, if he were ill?

Cole HarperJeremiah Menahem

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Jeremiah Menahem
 Posted: Apr 23 2018, 03:42 PM
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Earth
Age: 42
application
tracker
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Librarian
Illusion

Posts: 112
OOC: Thistlefoot


When Jer woke in the morning, it was in a luxuriously large, soft bed, coddled by a feather mattress and layered blankets. He drifted slowly into awareness, wrapped in a deep and unspecified sense of joy and rightness--one that was interrupted suddenly when his bleary eyes cleared enough to realize that he was alone.

He lifted his head from the pillow and groped in some confusion at the space next to him, the blankets tousled into the clear shape of a body's absence, and found them still warm. In the next moment, noises from downstairs allayed his anxieties. He heard first the small, muffled clatterings and clankings of dishware from what must be the kitchen, and then far more clearly heard the familiar tones of Cole's voice speaking softly. The words were too indistinct from distance to be made out, but just the sound of that voice set him at ease. Jer allowed himself to burrow his face into the pillows for another moment, taking a deep breath from that potent source of his lover's scent with an idiot smile on his face, before finally peeling himself up and out of the bed.

The loose trousers he'd decided, at the last minute, to pack for sleep, were still more or less in place. He gave them a slight tug to adjust them, then remembered that their guest was blind and left off trying to perfect their position, much less find a shirt. He padded barefoot down the stairs, clearly the last of their little group to arise, oblivious to the uneven cockatiel's crest of hair he was sporting on the side of his head he'd spent most of the night on.

As he came into the dining room, his eyes moved first to the table, which sported several thoughtfully arranged plates of food, as well as the new addition of an extremely pale, frail-looking young man. They shifted then to the doorway of the kitchen, from which further sounds were emerging; every atom of his being was pushing him into that room, but he restrained himself and walked up to the table, finding a seat at one of the full plates.

"You must be Orin," he said smoothly, over the rasping sound as he pulled his chair out. "My name is Jeremiah Menahem--I usually go by Jer. I'm assuming Cole's told you some about me." He smiled a little wryly towards the kitchen door and picked up a slice of dried fish between his fingers, taking a long overdue and appreciative bite. "I'm sorry we weren't able to meet earlier, but, well. Here we are." His voice was warm and friendly, though he did catch himself extending a hand to shake and have to remind himself the boy wouldn't be able to see it.

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Cole Harper
 Posted: Apr 23 2018, 09:25 PM
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Air & Lightning
Age: 44
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Allure

Posts: 154
OOC: Olly


As luck would have it, Cole was not left floundering busily in his kitchen for long. He had enough time to open the doors to every cabinet and pantry, ensuring their emptiness so rats would not take up residence before the orphanage was able to properly take over the property. He rummaged through a pile of burlap sacks left in the corner too, and upon finding them suitably empty as well, he carefully folded them and tucked them away beneath the counter-space. Fortunately, as the fair-haired man turned around once more in search of something else to focus his fidgeting upon, the sounds of footsteps, of chairs being dragged across the wooden floor, and the morning-rumbles of Jer’s familiar voice urged a small breath of forced relaxation and a small smile to smooth away the furrow of nerves that had collected between his eyebrows.

Before the ambassador emerged from the kitchen, Jer had already gone about the introductions for him. Feeling quite the lackluster host for his utter failure in introducing them yesterday, Cole had a properly sheepish twist to his smile when he appeared through the doorway. “Oh yes, I warned Orin about how much of a handful you would be.” He answered with a humored air as he approached Jer from behind, and in the process of passing him on his way to his own chair, he wordlessly reached out and smoothed down the rebellious cowlick of dark hair by raking his fingers through it, then retreated his hand once more when his stride carried him to the empty seat next to Jer.

After sitting down and grabbing a bit of cheese between his fingers, Cole paused a moment to both appreciate and muse over this moment in time. Here they were, three sleepy, half-dressed, disheveled men, unremarkably sitting down for breakfast. It hardly seemed the preamble to an epic adventure into unknown territories.

There was also an encroaching nervousness for conversations he knew he would have to orchestrate prior to their leaving the manor. Rather than deal with that now, however, he popped the cheese into his mouth and chewed silently for a time instead. “We all better eat as much as we can.” he spoke again after he had finished chewing and swallowing, now slipping easily into the roll of an ambassador, even within the safety of his own home. That did not prevent him from casting a suggestive eye Jer’s way with the hints of a smirk at the thought of his lover’s unintentional fasting the previous day, now that he was far more comfortable with the state of Orin’s blindness to his expressions. He then cast his eyes back to the young Averian man who, thus far, hadn’t touched any food that had been laid out. “We have a long journey ahead of us. My hope is to get as far as Briar Brook, southwest of here, in the next few days, and with any luck Charles Buchanan and Miss Terrazzo will be able to keep us for an evening.”

Cole grabbed one of the dry pieces of fish and began shredding it with his fingers, delicately breaking off bite-sized pieces and nibbling at them thoughtfully while his mind ventured in a multitude of directions at once.

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Orin Misariel
 Posted: Apr 23 2018, 10:29 PM
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Ice
Age: 18
application
tracker
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Apprentice
Tactile Sight

Posts: 15
OOC: Tink


The sound of footsteps alerted Orin to the presence of another, and he surmised that it was Mr. Menahem coming to breakfast. For one thing, there were still noises of general puttering coming from the kitchen. For another, neither the gait nor the scent of the individual matched what Orin had come to recognize as Cole's. Well. Upon closer inspection, he did catch a faint whiff of Cole, but it was mingled with the individual's own scent. Not surprising, all things considered.

So, when the newcomer spoke, Orin was not particularly startled that the voice he heard as not Cole's. Yes, indeed, it was Mr. Menahem... whose voice he recognized, from the previous evening. Unable to help it, the boy's pale skin flushed a faint pink that tinged even his ears and scalp. He hadn't meant to hear what he'd heard, but... well... his bedroom was a straight shot from the dining area, and he'd been curious.

"Yes, Sir, Mr. Menahem." the boy replied, in answer to Mr. Menahem's observation of his identity, and the assumption that he was at least a little informed about the gentleman. "Cole speaks very fondly of you." And it was true! Whenever Cole had spoken to Orin about the gentleman -however briefly, when it occurred- he had always sounded very tender toward him. It made the boy want to meet him all the more, and to get to know him... because the details Cole had shared were strangely sparing.

Jer apologized for not meeting earlier (which Orin assumed to mean yesterday), and the boy's skin turned a slightly deeper shade of pink. "W-well, you were preoccupied." he blurted, which could have meant anything.

Cole emerged from the kitchen, making it a little harder for Orin to hear the outstretching of Mr. Menahem's hand toward him, and so the boy was oblivious. Though he sputtered as he spoke next, still not quite accustomed to Cole's humor (or humor of any kind, for that matter). "Oh n-no, no h-he... he always said such n-nice things. H-he really cares for you, I could h-hear it." Because that wasn't awkward, at all. Not one bit.

When prompted to eat, Orin chewed his lower lip, and lifted nervous hands to feel for the plate in front of him, his eyes coming into focus a little better, despite the fact that he hadn't actually looked at the plate, or its contents. "C-Cole... I... erm. I... I h-hope you won't be d-disappointed... b-but... I th-think I may be ill. Or... was, l-last night." Orin hated the thought of disappointing Cole... but he had to be honest with him, didn't he? Poor boy didn't have it in him to lie.

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Jeremiah Menahem
 Posted: Apr 25 2018, 06:25 PM
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Earth
Age: 42
application
tracker
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Librarian
Illusion

Posts: 112
OOC: Thistlefoot


Jer turned eagerly in his chair at the sound of Cole's voice, both his facial expression and his tone a curious mix of adoring and mischievous. He blatantly feasted his eyes on the man, aware that gazes made no sound and left no other trace that their companion might pick up on. A well-timed swallow of that dried fish marked his response to Cole's opening quip, and he smirked when he replied:

"Hm. Yes. A handful indeed."

He kept his eyes on Cole as he moved into the room, following him like a hunting hound would follow a bird. His whole being softened when his lover reached out to smooth down his hair, and he shifted his head into that motion like a spoiled cat, prolonging it as much as possible. When Cole moved on to take the empty chair beside him, Jer collected himself and turned back to their guest, this intriguing little snowbird who'd somehow landed in the midst of their ill-equipped adventuring party. A small, pleased sound escaped him at the boy's description, and he flashed another quick smile at Cole before picking a piece of bread up from his plate.

"Thank you for your honesty," he said with a tinge of amusement, breaking the crusty bread with both hands. "And ah...yes." One eyebrow rose with extravagant aplomb, the corners of his mouth curling slowly, like a fern rolling itself in. "There were quite a number of important preparations before our journey." His words seemed quite matter of fact, but his tone was rich with suppressed merriment. He took a bite of the bread, let it soften for a moment before chewing and swallowing. His eyes were on Orin this time, assessing and evaluating, and wagering that the boy knew more than he let on. "It was a busy day." This last was said so breezily he might as well have been a nobleman discussing the weather for a joust.

More flattering words brought a rather kinder smile to Jer's face, and then the youth mentioned a possible illness. Jer tilted his head, furrowing his brow slightly in concern, and turned to Cole with a questioning look.

"Ill?" he said tentatively, looking back once more.

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Cole Harper
 Posted: Apr 26 2018, 08:46 PM
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Air & Lightning
Age: 44
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tracker
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Ambassador
Allure

Posts: 154
OOC: Olly


Within one minute of their little gathering, Cole found himself already attempting – and already failing – to walk a careful line between the architect of this grandiose adventure and a giddy, infatuated new lover. He had already spent a great deal of time weighing his options and contemplating a course of action in regards to the latter, particularly in how much of his personal life he was going to make Orin privy to. He had already warned Jer of his reservations about their companionship making itself known to the public eye, but Orin would be living with them. Beyond his knowing full well that he could not himself possibly remain at arm’s length from Jer for the duration of this expedition, he also, of course, could not ask that of him in the first place.

He had plans to discuss such things, but for a moment it seemed as though they were careening toward the topic far faster than he’d hoped. Cole was quickly already struggling to appear casual, but fortunately, it was a curse only Jer would be able to ascertain. He smiled a bit sheepishly again, his bright eyes casting down to his food even with Jer’s very casual replies to Orin’s commentary, and did his best to begin mentally weaving together a verbal explanation for it all that did not amount to lying.

Almost luckily, the Averian ward suddenly switched subject matters, this time toward an apparent illness that had taken hold of him. Cole immediately jumped at the chance to drop his current fretting and also mirrored Jer’s expression of concern, forgoing his shyness to more attentively look him over from across the table. Aside from the flush in his cheeks, which was a fairly common occurrence as Cole had come to discover, there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with him from the surface. His eyes flitted over to meet Jer’s briefly and share in his worried look before turning his attention back to Orin. “Ill in what way? If it is nothing serious, I’m sure one of the healers has something to soothe your symptoms…” If it was something serious, though… now Cole was already beginning to unravel and dissect the plans he had drafted, preparing to rewrite them in a way that would accommodate Orin’s temporary incapacitation.

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Orin Misariel
 Posted: May 14 2018, 10:23 AM
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Ice
Age: 18
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Posts: 15
OOC: Tink


Something about Mr. Menahem's tone of voice, when he spoke of the busy day just seemed to feed into Orin's blushing. Especially because he had overheard the latter part of it, which made him turn rather scarlet. He hadn't meant to overhear, but... he had rather exceptional hearing, due to his lack of sight, and there had been a lot of clattering about. Hence, his curiosity, and his going to investigate. Goodness, he hoped he didn't have to admit to that! They'd probably be furious.

Talk had turned to his 'illness', and Orin's hands returned to fidgeting in his lap, therefore his pupils returned to the usual state. "W-well I... I don't know. It's not something that I've experienced, before, so I couldn't rightly say how serious it is. But... it seems to have passed, for the most part."

The boy squirmed in his seat, and chewed his lower lip in anxiousness. "I... I was struck by this tingly, feverishness. Like when I blush, but... several times worse, and I felt warm all over." he began, nervously. "I couldn't breathe very well, I felt shaky... and... and..." Oh heavens, he was blushing so badly that it hurt! How could he describe the last bit?? But then... he had to. How else could they determine what was wrong with him?

Shame-faced, at having to mention something so strange, Orin's head and shoulders drooped. "And... I felt odd in my... in... His voice lowered to just barely above a whisper, in his embarrassment, though he knew there were no staff -or anyone else- around to hear. "My private place." he said, and it was clear from the tormented expression on his face that even saying that much had been distressing and painful. One did not discuss their parts, unless to a healer... but there were none present.

"It ached a lot. Hurt, after a time. I don't know when it stopped, but I couldn't sleep for most of the night because of all of this. I worry it'll happen again..." Obviously, he was very distraught... and oblivious. If Cole hadn't realized just how sheltered Orin was, before, it was very likely that he did, now.


Cole Harper Jeremiah Menahem
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Jeremiah Menahem
 Posted: May 17 2018, 04:11 PM
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Earth
Age: 42
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Posts: 112
OOC: Thistlefoot


Whatever he'd been expecting from the quiet youth, it was not what he heard next.

The admission was prefaced with a great deal of stuttering and flushing, and Jer's eyebrows raised, pinching in towards the middle along a well-traveled line. He looked back and forth between Orin and Cole as the boy began to speak, picking slightly at his bread. His shoulders lowered a bit when the youth said it seemed to have passed, but he still listened in mildly anxious perplexity.

He had just picked up a handful of dried fruits and nuts when the boy's next revelation came, and several of them made a loud clatter on his pewter plate as they slipped from his fingers, bouncing and rolling onto the wooden table. There was a brief pause, and then a muffled, strangled noise as he desperately fought to stifle a laugh of surprise, relief, and bewildered amusement. It mostly came out as a cough, and he took a deep drink of water to cover it and collect his thoughts.

"Well," he managed, finally, observing Orin, and then looking over at Cole again. "Well."

The idea of having gone through life for eighteen years and still not knowing what arousal was was thoroughly baffling to Jer, and despite his growing understanding, momentarily flummoxing him as he reached for the next step. Adding this to the fact that he had only met this young man a few moments ago, he felt compelled to take yet another sip of water before he could respond more coherently.

"Well," he started again, "I can tell you for certain you're not ill. Or in any danger." There was still a slight edge of suppressed mirth and wonderment in his voice, but he mostly managed to keep it even and steady. "What you just experienced is a completely normal response. All men have it sometimes, though usually when they're younger for the first time. It's..."

Jer looked at Cole, almost desperately, keenly aware of the fact that he had known Orin for all of a quarter of an hour at this point, if that. But a glance at Cole's face told him the normally articulate ambassador was not going to be stepping in on this particular subject. The librarian ran one hand through his hair, standing it up on end again, and let out a heavy sigh.

"It's something that happens when they encounter something that...interests them. Sexually." He cleared his throat very loudly at this, having just barely managed to bite off the word, hoping for a swift end to this particular line of discussion, and to avoid prolonging it with an excess of euphemistic language. "At any rate. Not an illness. Not a danger or a cause for concern. You'll be just fine."

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Cole Harper
 Posted: May 20 2018, 08:15 AM
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Air & Lightning
Age: 44
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Posts: 154
OOC: Olly


Cole liked to think of himself as someone who could work with anything thrown at him, especially in terms of unexpected twists in conversation. His lifelong training, after all, had taught him to spin almost anything into something he could use or relate to, and his natural charisma often bridged the gaps and smoothed down the awkward hitches in all of the places in between. This… conversation… however, was not one he had prepared for with studies or books or even any amount of verbal horseplay over the years with friends.

Silence grasped his tongue and lungs, and the only sound he was capable of making was one of a surprised and speechless exhale. He had known Orin for a week now, but one week was not nearly enough to dive straight into the most tumultuous tasks bestowed to fathers. The conversation might have agonizingly hung there forever in wordless eternity if Jer’s irreverent grace had not taken over, explaining in what way he could to a complete stranger how perfectly normal arousal was. Despite his sincere thankfulness for the save in conversation, he could not even bring himself to utter agreements along the way. Instead, he stared intensely at his food, color rising in his cheeks, as all the words between the lines hung tangibly in the air as to what had caused such a predicament for their poor, oblivious ward the previous evening.

Only once Jer had finished his piece did the ambassador manage a sputtered cough, altogether entirely graceless and unlike his usual collected self. He was beginning to realize all too uncomfortably that in this new life chapter he was nothing but a fledgling yet again, utterly incapable of flying and squawking awkwardly for a mother that did not exist to swoop in and give him worldly advice on how to love, accept love, and embrace love for all of its awkward revelations with any amount of grace.

“Now that that’s settled – ” he finally managed to say, cutting off any potential furthering into that conversation with an abrupt and blatant change in topic, “I think we all better eat up so we can get on our way. As I said, we have a long distance to travel and I don’t think we’ll be convincing Ears to walk any faster.” Unless we scare him off with more discussions like these. He silently added in his own mind and took the next bite of his food without another word, reverting back to awkward silence.

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