|Series||Crossfire by Pixichi|
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"Ready to go?" Connie asked the charming scoundrel before her. Reaver laughed and looked off towards the dining room.
"You've got to be joking! I haven't even had my morning tea. Besides, I have a full day planned already. After all, I finally have you Connie. How I had anticipated holding you in my arms! Its even more satisfying than I imagined." He commented, a touch of flirtation on his tongue. Connie refused to be swayed by his words. She stood before him, firmly.
"So? What are you planning to do then?" She asked him, arms crossed. Reaver grabbed her from behind and nibbled her earlobe.
"Reaver, the sooner that we get this taken care of the better." She replied seriously, slipping out of his grasp.
"Oh, don't be like that Connie, try to at least pretend to relax..We've only just gotten together my sweet. Lets just take things slowly, after all, this relationship is something that I think both of us has wanted for some time. There's no reason to start off by making mad passionate love one night and then rushing off blindly to fight some ancient evil the very next day, is there?" Reaver purred, his green eyes sparkling. Connie was still unsure.
"You really do need to put an end to this." Reaver stroked his goatee and thought for a moment. He knew that Connie would stop it nothing to head to Wraithmarsh, but perhaps he could distract her for just a bit more.
"Excellent suggestion, and I couldn't agree more, except..."
"Except what?" She asked. Reaver grinned and eyed the young heroine, who was still wearing her usual green frock. Such a tattered ensemble, hardly befitting of a radiant beauty such as she. I will need to buy her some lovely dresses when I have the opportunity. He thought to himself, still stroking his thin strand of facial hair. Connie smiled at him. His eyes seemed glued to her dress.
"Reaver? I belive that we were in the middle of a conversation?" She laughed warmly. Reaver snapped back from his private thoughts.
"Oh yes of course! Terribly sorry, I was just thinking of some things that I wanted to get for you that's all." Connie blushed.
"Get for me? Reaver, you don't have to do that." The rogue took a step closer to her, and ran his long fingers though her long, soft hair.
"Why not? Connie, I know that you come from humble beginnings, but your with me now. You shall never want for anything as long as I'm around." His hand came up and carefully graced her cheek. Her blue eyes danced with his. "Now my darling, why don't you go and make yourself comfortable. Why, you haven't even had breakfast yet."
"But..." Reaver leaned in and gently kissed her peach lips.
"No buts sweetness. You and I can sort out whatever little issues there may be tomorrow. But for now, I want to just enjoy you and your company. Is that alright with you?" Connie seemed like she was about to object, but instead, she briskly nodded.
"Alright. But first thing tomorrow, I'm going out to Wraithmarsh, like it or not." With that, Connie headed upstairs. Reaver let go of a long, frustrated sigh, comforted in the knowledge that he had managed to deter Connie from visiting that dreaded place for the time being. His fiery love would eventually try again, and he knew that the next time, there would be no stopping her. Connie was a determined woman, and once she got something in her head, it was nearly impossible to try and stop her from following through with it. Reaver knew this, all too well. At least she is safe here with me for one more day... He thought. He hesitated, making sure that Connie was not in the room, and then pulled a key from his pocket and locked the third latch on his front door. It was an extra lock that Reaver had installed from inside in order to prevent other pirates or bitter ex-lovers from gaining unlawful access to his mansion. The door was now completely impenetrable without the same key that he had just tucked away. If Connie couldn't leave, then she couldn't be killed by the dark shades in the Shadow Court. Reaver, satisfied temporarily that his beloved lady was safe from her own quest, nodded approvingly at the third lock and then went to find Connie. He found her in the bedroom, packing her satchel. Reaver leaned in the doorway.
"What are you up to now my little minx?" He asked her. Connie gave him a concerned look as she stuffed a health potion into her bag.
"Reaver. You can't delay the inevitable. Sooner or later someone is going to find out just what has been happening to all the lovers and servants that you send into Wraithmarsh. What happens when word gets around and people start refusing to go run your little errands anymore?"
"Connie, Connie, Connie. Your such a worried one aren't you? I thought that we agreed not to talk about this anymore until tomorrow. Besides, I already told you that I am not going to sacrifice people anymore. If that isn't a noble gesture well then I don't know what is dear." He smiled. Connie tugged the leather strap on her satchel and the bag closed.
"Honestly, most so-called noblemen don't sacrifice people to begin with, but coming from you, then yes. I guess I would have to conclude that its a noble gesture." She sat down next to her pack and stared at him. "But it's also a foolish one." Reaver glared at her. Had she been anyone else, she would have been dead before her next breath. No one had ever called the Great Reaver foolish, and lived.
"And why is that?" He asked instead. Connie continued to eye him sternly, unblinking.
"Because, why give into the Shadow Court when you can destroy them? Your refusing them any more sacrifices, which means that in four years time, they'll have you right where they have always wanted you. The Reaver I know, the Reaver that I fell in love with, would never give up like that." Reaver slammed his fist hard against the door.
"Silence Connie! You don't know what your saying!" He snapped coldly. Reaver looked away from her. Connie remained motionless on the bed, watching him, feeling for him. She loved him, and more than anything she wanted him to be free. The other night, the night that they had been together for the first time, Connie had seen a side of him that she never knew existed. She knew now that there was still a spark of light in his soul, and she wanted to see it expand and grow. It pained her to know that he had put up a front for hundreds of years just in order to survive, and to keep sane.
"Reaver. It must be awful..." She finally spoke up. Reaver turned his head and looked at her.
"You made such an awful mistake, and now your forced to live with its consequences. Your still very much Victor, but you have to be Reaver just in order to cope. That's terrible. I can set you free, please, why won't you let me-"
"How would you know Connie?!" He roared, startling her. "Your a true hero. How would you feel if one accident, one lapse of judgement, cost you everything that you ever held sacred? Tell me Connie! Since I've known you, you've been judging me constantly, so I want to know, what would you have done?" Connie shook her head and then, with all of her courage, she stood and locked eyes with the pirate.
"I would make them pay. I would avenge the ones that I lost. If your a hero, or even a regular person, its your job to fix your mistakes, and to stand up for the ones you love. That's why, even though it wasn't my fault, or even my business, I want to end your curse Reaver. Because I love you!" She proclaimed. Reaver was taken aback by her words. Never in over 200 years had anyone genuinely loved him, not like this. He breathed deeply, gathering himself, and mellowing his rage. He held out his hand, and beckoned to her.
"Connie. Please, come here." Connie walked up to him, and Reaver put his arms on her shoulders. He looked down into her innocent face.
"I understand what you are trying to say dear girl. But lets be honest. You and I, we are two very different people. Your a sweet angel, and the people of Albion love you, they really do. Your selfless and good. You would risk everything, just to try and save a doomed man such as myself." His expression grew hard and grey. "But your more the fool that I if you truly want to risk your life over me." Before she could answer, Reaver sat down upon the bed. "You see, there is something that I have never shown you before." He carefully unbuttoned his white shirt, revealing his well-defined chest, and the small tuft of chestnut down upon it. Connie looked his chest over carefully, but she couldn't understand.
"Reaver, I don't see anything that I didn't see the night before. What are you trying to show me?" She asked. He sighed and fully removed the shirt, and turned his back to her.
"Look towards my lower back." He ordered. Connie did as she was told, but she could see nothing out of the ordinary upon his back. Just as she was about to give up and tell him that she didn't see anything, Connie noticed a small, barely visible line. It was so faded that at first she had overlooked it as a birthmark. But on closer inspection, she could now see that it was a scar. Reaver remained motionless as he spoke.
"You see it now?"
"Yes. I didn't notice it before."
"Few ever do, and even so, many have told me that it makes me look more roguish."
"Where did you get it?" Connie asked.
"I tell everyone who notices it that I got it out at sea, in an intense sword fight with another pirate. But the truth is, I got it back in Oakvale on the day that I made my pact with the Shadow Court." Reaver explained. "You see, I too thought that I could defeat them, once. But that was a very long time ago."
"Why did you try to fight them? If you had just made the deal, what point would there be in that?" Connie asked intrigued.
"They came after my family. And that, dear girl, was NOT part of our deal. This scar is a constant reminder of how futile it was then, and how futile it would still be now, to try and fight them."
"It's not futile Reaver, because I'm going to fight them, and I'm going to succeed." Connie grabbed her bag from off the bed and darted downstairs. Reaver grabbed his shirt and ran after her.
"Connie! Connie, where on earth do you think that your off to?" He hollered, chasing her through the mansion and down the stairs. Connie looked over her shoulder and smirked mischievously, before reaching the door. When she found that she couldn't open it, Connie heard Reaver chuckle from behind her.
"Now now. You didn't think that I would just let you galevant around and leave the safety of my home when your clearly not thinking straight did you? After all, what kind of beau would I be if I did that?" Reaver finished re-buttoning his shirt. Connie just shrugged and shot the doors two brass hinges. The door to the Bloodstone Mansion teetered unsteadily, before falling downward with a loud thud, startling the mockingbirds from a nearby tree. Reaver's jaw dropped as Connie raced out to where Lance was still waiting. The white wolfdog covered her in licks and laps. Then, he sniffed her warily and then looked up at Reaver, letting out a small growl from deep within his throat. Connie patted him reassuringly.
"Don't worry, he didn't hurt me. Its ok Lance." She kissed his long white muzzle.
"Connie, I thought we agreed to go and take care of it tomorrow, is this what a promise from my little heroine is worth?" Reaver asked annoyed. Connie smiled.
"Yes, I did agree to do it in the morning, but I had this nagging feeling that you were just putting it off." Lance barked agreeance. Reaver made a face at the creature.
"Oh yes sure, Take her side will you?"
"He is my pet after all." Connie retorted.
"Ahh yes! And your best friend if I remember correctly." Reaver gave Lance a look of disgust. "Why anyone would keep such a repulsive and dirty creature as a pet, or any pet for that matter is beyond me. I mean, what use is he to you anyway?"
"There are more reasons to keep someone around then just what you can use them for, Reaver." Connie replied, still stroking Lance's pure white fur.
"Yes well...none-the-less, you'll never catch me with one of those...things. Now, since you seem to have destroyed my door and it will take the servants some time to fix, I dare say that, as displeased about this as I am, we should probably follow through with your little plan and go to Wraithmarsh.
"Sorry about the door by the way." Connie replied sheepishly.
"Oh, just consider it payback for when I destroyed your shack my dear." Reaver mused and headed inside. Connie could hear him shouting at his servants to come and repair the door. She looked down at her black leather boots and rolled a small pebble around.
"Connie, hi!" A familiar voice called to her from the porch. Connie looked up to see Courtney, her blonde hair glistening in the morning light.
"Oh, hi Courtney. How are you today?" Connie asked her friend. Courtney just gave her a bemused look.
"So, you two are just friends eh?" She teased. Connie turned away and blushed wildly.
"Well, I suppose not anymore..."
"I heard Reaver rallying the servants, is this why?" Courtney pointed to the busted door at her feet. Connie nodded.
"Yes. I had to shoot it off its hinges." Courtney looked at her friend worriedly.
"Ok, I'm not going to ask any more questions...Anyway, I'm so glad that you two got together. You make a pretty cute couple."
"Don't mention it! See you around!" Courtney waved good-bye and went back inside, passing Reaver along the way. He emerged out the broken doorway and grinned down to his lady.
"They should have the door fixed by the time we return-whenever that will be."
"Alright then. Lets be going." With that, the two heros headed down the winding path to Wraithmarsh. As they got to the end of the road, Connie turned and gave Reaver a serious look.
"Connie? What is it my dear?" He asked confused. Connie hesitantly removed her guild seal and handed it to him. Although Reaver took it graciously, his expression was unsure. "Why are you giving this to me?" He asked.
"Reaver. You are right. The battle that I'm about to go into will we very difficult. It's never been attempted before, and I may not survive.."
"Connie, don't say such things!"
"Listen. If something happens to me in that place, I want you to use that to teleport yourself back to Bloodstone. And..." Connie started, but a lump in her throat made it hard to continue. Reaver touched her trembling shoulder and she gulped down her tension, and fought back the tears that threatened to overflow from her eyes. "...I-I want you to promise me that you'll take good care of Lance. I know that you hate dogs, hate any pets, but he means the world to me. Please Reaver, at least find a good home for him." Reaver stood, neither breathing nor blinking. He thought her words though carefully, letting the reality of the situation sink in. He wanted nothing more at that moment than to wrap his arms around her and to tell her not to go. To stay with him and let him deal with the consequences on his own. But he knew that Connie would never take that as any sort of resolution to the problem that he faced. Reluctantly, he finally nodded.
"I promise you Connie."
"One more thing..." She continued. "I want you to promise to be happy after I set you free. Please Reaver, even if I die, please let Victor show himself again. I want you to be the man I fell in love with, for the whole world to see. Promise me Reaver." Connie begged him. Reaver hesitated, he couldn't advert his gaze from the vast blue sorrow in her eyes. He embraced Connie and kissed her passionately.