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Based on our stats and upcoming plots we are in need of characters in the IRON ISLANDS, the REACH and ESSOS.
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 OLD AS YOUR OMENS, clio | rageeeee
KIERAN LONMOUTH
 Posted: Mar 31 2017, 11:36 PM
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vagabond
gingerminge
his dick
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
natalie • 51 posts • she/her
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Ten years. Ten years had passed since Kieran had allowed himself to go near the Stormlands, and why? He knew why, deep down, but his denial was strong. For ten years he'd been a vagabond, almost a wasteman, killing and fucking and living as he'd always felt was most natural. Any time his troupe set eyes on the Stormlands he made his exit, finding some excuse or other to avoid the land of his family.

There were so fucking many Lonmouths that Kieran had always been certain that he would run into someone he was related to, and that would spell the end of things for him. The end of what he wasn't sure, but he was fairly convinced that, if given the opportunity, his mother would throttle him for having left without a word or trace. But there was someone he feared almost more than his mother: the only girl who had ever truly had his heart, and the only heart he had ever truly broken.

So what was different, this time around? Kieran couldn't say. Perhaps it was that they were coming up on a decade of absence. Perhaps it had something to do with the deaths in Kayl's family. Fuck, he didn't even know if she was alive or if her wanker husband had killed her in childbirth. There had been no letter, no correspondence between them at all in the ten years that had passed. The only indications came in the form of omens, or whatever bullshit signs those Essosi shamans and fortune tellers had tried to convince him of.

But there were nights, even when he'd only had a bit to drink, where his dreams were so vivid and so visceral that he was certain he was seeing her, some snippet of her life now. They were always short, always confusing and always unnerving. He could see her face, but it wasn't the face of the girl he'd known as a boy. It was something older, something darker, something lonelier. He wondered if that was his guilt feeding into his memories of her, but no, fuck her. She was the one in the wrong, no matter what his promises.

It had taken him some time to come into the funds and the courage to make it back home. He needed a horse, for one, and that was a frustrating endeavor in and of itself. Horses were best stolen, but if he was making an effort to actually be a person upon his arrival and not a fugitive, he figured it would only do to procure one by legal means.

And then there was the money--he couldn't arrive penniless, lest she think he was doing badly. Fuck, he didn't even know if she was truly alive--except no, that wasn't quite right. Something in him told him she was alive, that there would have been some sign or something if anything had happened to her. Ten years and thousands of miles of absence weren't enough to kill the bond they had between them, and he hadn't yet felt as though he'd lost that part of himself.

As he came upon Staedmont lands he felt an unfamiliar sensation burning in his stomach. The landscape hadn't changed almost at all in his absence, and he felt that guilt eating at him again. He had left her in this shithole, this boring fucking place, alone. Perhaps this had been a bad idea, he thought. But he had to see her--and it wasn't just her that he was keen to see. Her firstborn, the wedge that had divided them to begin with. He needed to see, just to know, and put the case to rest all the same.

He was greeted by the help, his own flavor of the common tongue making them wary of his presence. But he had a fine mount and looked enough like their lady that they seemed to believe him when he said he was her brother, and at length he was directed towards the gardens. Nodding his thanks he moved through the trestled vegetation, stalling as a ginger little monster rounded the corner and smacked more or less directly into him on the stony path. "Oi, litt'l man," Kieran said, grabbing the kid by the back of his collar and forcing him a half-foot away.

A few other kids skidded in behind him, all black(?) of hair and without a freckle to be seen. They were younger, that much was clear, and Kieran felt his heart pounding double-time in his chest as his addled brain slowly put three and three together. He wasn't certain, obviously, but as he stood and gripped the child's shirt he felt himself at a loss for words.

Moments later he released the boy, scanning the yard. Trepidation was suddenly heavy on his mind, and he felt the sweat prickling at his back and between his breastbones. Bending down, Kieran came to the boy's eye level, or just above. "You look like a Lonmouth, if ah've ever seen one," he said with a grin, leaving the boy somewhat baffled and looking about ready to kick him in the shin. "Your mum around?" he asked, still somewhat bewildered by the fact that he was here, that he was doing this. "Go on, be a good lad. Go find her, tell her your uncle Kieran's here and wants a word."[ The boy scampered off, looking confused himself, and Kieran sucked in a long breath of air, waiting.
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CLIODHNA STAEDMON
 Posted: Apr 1 2017, 07:17 PM
Quote
Lady of Broad Arch
queen of the banshees
Sworn to House Baratheon
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
Athena • 28 posts • she/her
Offline


Cliodhna had given up hope long ago that her brother might find her again. It wasn’t like she was the one who needed finding. She had been at Broad Arch since the marriage and was easy as pie to find. It was Kieran who needed finding, if he was even still alive. She didn’t dwell on thinking of him often but it was difficult to banish his face from her memory when he was her twin and when their child looked more and more like him with each passing day. It was why Faolan was special to her, and why she was also the most violent to him. Only Kieran had ever seen her true emotions before, but now his son also saw some of that from his mother even if it made her seem a cruel mother.

She sat in the gardens with her ladies, some tea and small sandwiches set before them as they prattled about all sorts of useless things. Her husband was around somewhere, she couldn’t entirely be sure and maybe it was even possible he had gone hunting. There had been a time in the marriage where it was clear Alesander had really tried to achieve companionship and even love with her and Clio had played along, though her dour mood usually hung like a cloud over them. As she bore him children though and the fact that she had been no virgin when she had been given to him had become more clear he had distanced himself some from her. They were still on good terms and kept up their public relationship and though he never accused her of having a bastard, she knew he had to know.

Her dislike for her ladies always seemed somewhat clear. They were so simple, so dull in her eyes. She sometimes wondered what pain might look like on their daft faces, but that was out of the question, and it would hardly do for her to stay by herself at all times unless she was with Faolan. No, she had always been good at knowing where her duty was and fulfilling that.

Her head turned as she heard the rush of feet coming up to her and she looked at the only ginger son she had as he ran up to her. “Mother! There is a strange man here who says he is my Uncle Kieran and that I am to tell you he wants a word,” the boy informed his mother, dutiful in fulfilling the strange man’s request. He had plenty of aunts and uncles but he was not one and he had worn his skepticism on his face as the man had told him such before running off to his mother, not bothering to speak a word to the male.

Clio felt her heart stop for a moment hearing the words coming from Faolan’s mouth. Kieran was not only here but he had seen the child, his child. Kieran was stupid but he couldn’t be stupid enough to not realize that the boy was his. Clio stood and grabbed Faolan by the ear, dragging him with her away from the prying eyes of her ladies, her anger at hearing that name from his mouth evident as he glared at the harsh treatment from his mother. “What else did he say?” she demanded of the boy. “That I look like a Lonmouth. He got a funny accent too,” Faolan said with a shrug. He hadn’t understood the words, but there was something dangerous in his mother’s eyes as he repeated them.

“Has a funny accent. If you are to be a lord you must speak properly. Did he see your siblings?” she asked, the boy nodding his head. “Go inside. Now. You should be in your lessons anyway. You are your father’s heir and you must study harder than any of his other children. Go. And do not tell anyone we have a visitor. I must make arrangement,” she snapped at the boy, angry about the situation. Seeing the look in his eyes though she sighed and bent down to kiss the top of his head, her way of showing that she wasn’t truly mad at him. She watched as he scampered off and she stood for a moment, wondering if it wouldn’t just be best to ignore the appearance of her long lost twin, though she knew he would just find trouble if she did that.

Instead she walked in the direction her son had come from, her thoughts reeling. If he had seen all her children then he would have to know Faolan as his. It left many more questions though. What was he doing back here, after all this time? How was he even still alive? Did he want to be in his child’s life now? There were more questions, like whether or not a woman would be with him and whether or not he had grown ugly in their time apart but nothing was as important as the main question on her mind that rang more like a demand. How dare he break his promise to her and leave her?

She turned a corner and saw the familiar yet different face of her twin and she stopped in her tracks. Her son had told her her twin was here yet somehow the fact of the matter hadn’t truly sunk in and she hadn’t fully been ready to see him, attractive as ever, standing there. Alive and well and for some reason at her new home. Nothing made sense and while there was part of her that wanted nothing more than to rush forward and embrace him and tell him how she had missed him; that part of her was never going to win. Not with the anger that was washing over her at seeing the male.

She quickly closed the space and her hand came up to hit him hard. “How dare you fucking take off for ten years and then just show your stupid face here and speak to my children!?” she yelled at him, the red hot anger taking over in that moment. She brought her hand back to her though, crossing her arms over her chest. Ten years ago Kieran had known every thought, every feeling she had ever had. He had no idea how these past ten years had been for her and letting him see her angry was just allowing him back into that special place in her carefully guarded heart, and that was a place she did not wish to allow him back into.

She took a breath and a half step away from him, her arms still crossed as she looked at him, letting the passive expression she was so used to wearing wash over her features. “What are you doing here Kieran? You sent no word you would visit. I do not believe my Lord Husband will appreciate not having time to prepare for a guest properly. So, why have you come?” she asked him, trying to hide any anger or accusations from her voice while wanting to get down to the point of why in the world he was here after ten years where he hadn’t even bothered to write once.
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KIERAN LONMOUTH
 Posted: Apr 4 2017, 07:03 PM
Quote
vagabond
gingerminge
his dick
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
natalie • 51 posts • she/her
Offline


[newpost] Kieran waited a few ticks, the din of conversation just audible from his standing point. A boot scuffed at a stone that partially comprised the walkway, one hand scratching idly at the hairs that tickled the nape of his neck. Her voice was familiar, changed only with the din of age, and it made his skin prickle unexpectedly, preeminating a cold sweat that was bound to come on.

Clio was one of the few people, and certainly the only woman, who truly struck fear into his heart. His ma was the same, to a lesser extent, but he had no doubts that his mother would greet him with a teary hug first and a smack on the face after. Clio, though....

He doubted there would be any friendly hugs, and certainly none of the variety where she foolishly jumped into his arms. She had never really done that to begin with, he knew; she wasn't a silly girl, was the opposite of a silly girl. Was the bane of existence for all those girls who really were silly, because more often than not he believed Clio likely to rup their fucking throats out for sport.

What he did expect was a lot of the hitting thing, but he felt safer being in the company of children and her ladies. She couldn't do much without giving them away, whatever was left of them. As much as he wanted to believe that he had walked away without guilt, without remorse, he knew that it wasn't true. As much as he wanted to believe that he wasn't in love with her anymore....well, he knew that wasn't true, either. The way his heart was palpitating was proof enough of that, and the din of her voice from afar was at once soothing and irritating. This was going to be shit and he knew it, but at the same time it sent a thrill of unparalleled excitement through him, more tenacious even than the excitement he got when pulling another set of twins, or putting his sword through some wankers eye.


And if she was there, it couldn't really be that shit. No matter if she was yelling, screaming; if anything, that would be better. That would really be her, not the made up, play-pretend version she showed everyone else.

He wasn't wrong, as it turned out. Clio came in hot, as was befitting of her hair color, her hand hitting him hard and forcing a heat to his skin. ”He focking ran intae me, ye radge cunt,” he snarled, taken aback by the warm pain that he really should have been expecting. ”Ye weren't fucking here, spoke to the first person I saw, didn't ah,” he added, a cheeky smirk rising to his sore mouth. ”Glad tae see me girls still in there, ten years on,” he snorted, hocking and spitting off to the side, the result a mixture of saliva and phlegm tinted pink with blood from the inside of his lip.

She asked him why he was here and he shrugged cavalierly. ”Was in this part ay the world, innit,” he offered, insufficient. ”Not like ah could write ye, anyway. Yer husband can host one focking man for a few nights, ain't like ah brought a cunting army with me, love. And besides--if ah’d at written ye never would ay let me in the gate, aye? Be making some focking effigy ay me, poking pins in it tae try and convince the gods to keep me away, innit…” he was teasing her now, unkindly. ”Ye want me tae go, then say it. Sure ah kin find a tavern tae take me up for the night. Probably a good tavern wench too, young…” he licked his lips, raising his eyebrows at her quizzically. Would that still have the same effect on her? He couldn't be sure. Did his long absence bring about a sudden love for her husband? It better fucking not have.

”Least ye could do is offer me a drink, take a bit ay the edge off the terminal focking wound ye just gave me, aye love? Be a good girl, have one ay yer ladies get me something, then. A pretty one-- that brunettes got nice tits, good smile….”
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CLIODHNA STAEDMON
 Posted: Apr 6 2017, 05:21 PM
Quote
Lady of Broad Arch
queen of the banshees
Sworn to House Baratheon
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
Athena • 28 posts • she/her
Offline


There was no romantic story in. Just as Clio would be spitting fire at her brother, she knew he would spit it right back at her. Neither had been good at holding onto their tempers around each other but she promised herself after her initial outburst that she was at least going to try. He would be expecting anger and showing it would be giving herself to him even in the slightest. No, she believed that indifference would be the way to punish her brother for breaking her heart, a heart most believed did not exist but perhaps that was because it had been broken for a decade.

She could have smirked as she saw him spit, despite the words he was calling her. She rolled her eyes as he spoke of his girl still being in there, even after all these years. “I am no longer ‘your girl’. I haven’t been for ten years,” she said to him, her voice holding a resolve in it. He had broken her heart and she was going to punish him for it even if she just wanted to embrace him and take him back. No, it was better to inflict pain on them both than to simply give into him as she wanted to. She had schooled her feelings for so long that the decision was almost easy to make.

He was giving her some excuses about why he had not written ahead and she wanted to hit him again but she forced herself to push down those feelings. They wouldn’t do if she didn’t wish to allow him to see her rage. “Of course I would have let you in the gate, brother. And I shall arrange for you to stay. You are right, my husband and I can put up one man,” she nodded her head, swallowing her anger at mention of a tavern wench. There was no way he traveled all the way here to find a bar wench. Those were a dime a dozen and he could have gotten one anywhere. No, he either wanted to see her or had some other plan and she wasn’t going to go off half-cocked over his attempts to make her jealous. Ten years surely could have helped her grow some.

He wanted a drink and as he spoke of her lady she knew anger flashed in her eyes. How dare he speak of her ladies to her like that. She felt a moment of self-consciousness, worried that maybe she had grown too old, too ugly for him. She tried not to think on it long, she knew she was still an attractive woman and even her children had not taken too much of a toll on her beauty, or so she liked to think. “You will not speak of my ladies in such a way. They are proper ladies, not your tavern wenches,” she warned him, hoping her anger wasn’t too apparent in her tone.

“You must be tired of riding. Of course I will offer you a drink and I would like for you to come sit with me,” she said with a small nod as she started walking back toward her ladies. “You are all excused. My brother has decided to grace Broad Arch with his presence and I wish for some time to speak with him for it has been so long since I have seen him. Jayne, please fetch us some wine,” she said, turning to one of her ladies though making a point to make sure it was not the one Kieran had requested, not wanting her brother to ever get what he wanted.

She took her seat again, motioning for Kieran to take a seat as well. “It has been a long time since you left me Kieran. There must be a reason for your return,” Clio said, forcing herself to keep any thoughts of how he broke his promise to her, a promise she had thought he would keep. He had left her alone for ten years and now he just showed up. She stared at him for a moment and saw her lady returning with the wine she had asked for. She nodded a thanks and poured a glass for Kieran as well as herself, taking a sip from her own glass. “My husband will not like your presence,” she noted. Her husband was aware of who their firstborn’s true father was and she knew he would not be happy with Kieran’s return and she did wonder how he might react to it all. Though her own reaction wasn’t exactly something she could pin down either, except that he made her feel as he always had, only more intense. Her blood boiled hot from both the anger but also her happiness for seeing him alive, her lust for him that had never truly gone away.
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KIERAN LONMOUTH
 Posted: Apr 10 2017, 06:44 PM
Quote
vagabond
gingerminge
his dick
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
natalie • 51 posts • she/her
Offline


Kieran snorted, shaking his head. ”Nah, see, that's where ye’re wrong,” he smirked, taking a step towards her. She sounded firm, but Kieran knew better than that. He knew himself better, and therefore her; they were two people cut from the same cloth, and no matter how much she wanted to deny that, to deny that they would always be linked together in that way, she'd never convince him. He was pretty sure she'd never convince herself, either; maybe she'd try, and maybe she'd pretend she believed it. But in their heart of hearts it would always stand that she was part of him, he was part of her and that the two parts would always be drawn together, no matter how long they'd been separated.

”See, you'll always be me girl. Always have,” he grinned, moving closer to her again. Two fingers chucked gently under her chin, forcing her face upwards. ”Always will.” His thumb stroked that soft, almost vellum-like skin on the underside of her chin gently. It wasn't as smooth as it had once been--not yet papery, for she was still young--but she had changed little parts of her, he was learning. He wanted to see just what else time he changed, and children. He wondered what that fuckwit of a man had done to her body, what stretch marks he'd borne across her stomach. It made his blood burn in his veins, his eyes crossing with darkness in spite of their clarity.

That the other man could leave a permanent mark on his Clio, regardless of what that mark may be, or whether she loved him or not, was not acceptable. Kieran couldn't even remember the man's face, in truth--on his sister's wedding day he'd gotten himself properly blacked out, much to the chagrin of basically everyone around him. On the bright side he'd fucked off at some point before the bedding, and from there passed out in the stable with the horses, or at least that's where he ended up in the morning. But this nameless fuckwad had haunted him for long enough, from the very moment his sister's marriage had been announced and things had disintegrated between the two of them.

She was putting on a pretty pretense for her ladies, one that made Kieran smirk. Uppity bitch, he thought, trying to keep things kosher between herself and her ladies. Like they wouldn't hear her choking on his cock soon, or make a few passing guesses at the paternity of her firstborn. He looked fuck all like his dad, not that Kieran knew that, but he would know that in the relatively near future, at any rate.

"Proper ladies with pretty smiles, innit," grinned, cocking his head towards the pretty one he'd picked out earlier and throwing a candid wink her way. In part to irritate his sister, in part because the girl truly was pretty, and if Clio wouldn't fuck him well... a man had needs, after all. "Just me type, likes. Could do with a bit ay courting. She married, the one with the nice face?" A+ complimenting, Kieran, but his off-kilter smile and lazy sweep of the eye over her body seemed to do enough to make up for his lack of eloquence.

She excused her ladies and his eyes followed the object of his affection out, not exaggeratedly but rather with a lazy, sidling interest. She returned to her poncey bullshit way of speaking and he rolled his eyes, pressing his lips together and shaking his head. "Nah," he said, raising his eyebrows at her. "Was in the area, ah guess. Thought ah'd drop in on me favorite sister. Thought she'd be pleased to see me, didn't ah. Didnae think she'd be an ungrateful little cunt about it, though. Nasty tae her children, too. Good focking thing we didnae huv any together. Wouldn't stand for ye tae talk to me boys like that."

What the fuck did he care if her husband did not like his presence, though? That seemed a stupid thing to say, especially for her. "Ah dinne like yer husband's presence," he said, finding a bench to sit his lazy ass down on. "Aw the same to me, really."
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CLIODHNA STAEDMON
 Posted: Apr 11 2017, 11:47 AM
Quote
Lady of Broad Arch
queen of the banshees
Sworn to House Baratheon
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
Athena • 28 posts • she/her
Offline


Clio tried to force herself not to snarl as she felt Kieran’s hand on the underside of her chin, forcing her to look at him as he told she had always been and always would be his girl. She pulled her head from his hand, not wanting to be forced to look into his face anymore. She knew it was true. She would always be his as he had always been hers. That was one of the reasons she had felt like an empty shell since he had left, dead inside without her other half. But he had left her, abandoned her like she was waste he was through with. He didn’t get to just waltz back in and become hers again. No, she planned to show him she thoroughly belonged to her husband now.

She knew her ladies wouldn’t be stupid enough to miss any sort of affection she showed Kieran and considering her son looked exactly like the father, she figured they would soon have guessed that much too. Her husband had and having Kieran here was only going to make everything worse both in regards to her husband’s feeling toward her and how people would think of Faolan.

She saw his eyes ogling the woman he had called pretty and while part of her wanted to rip his eyes from his skull for the look, she forced herself to calm. She could remain calm and cool in any circumstance not involving Kieran and she was convinced she could do it now as well. “She is not married but I expect she would like a lord with an actual title and something to offer her other than a filthy street accent,” Clio commented back to her twin, taking her stabs where possible. She wanted to threaten him if he touched the woman, but then again she hadn’t had a play thing in awhile. If he wanted to fuck her then Clio would enjoy making tiny slices into the girl’s skin and watch the red blood stain her pretty porcelain skin.

She let out a small laugh, rolling her eyes at her brother saying he was just stopping by to see his favorite sister. She supposed being his favorite meant fuck all considering how easily he had up and left her and now he was pretending as if no time had passed at all. “You must have something in mind. It has been ten years since you left with no notice, breaking any promise you had made me. And it is a good thing we had no children together for they would have grown up fatherless,” she replied back to him, waving her hand at him. She knew he knew, he wasn’t stupid enough not to figure it out. It was obvious they had had a child together and that said child had not grown up fatherless, her husband acting father in Kieran’s stead.

“How did you expect me to receive you, brother? If the girl you remember from ten years ago was still left do you really expect she would have welcomed you with open arms and open legs? If you thought that then you never truly knew me at all,” she leveled at him, her voice low as she spoke of the sins of their past. She wanted to know what he wanted from her, if he really had expected her to just lift her skirts at the first sight of him. She wasn’t that easy or desperate. Maybe a year or two after he had left, but the hole where her heart had been had iced over and she was never the type to give in to him so easily.

She shrugged as he spoke of not liking her husband’s presence. “You liking his presence is neither here nor there. You are in his keep, not the other way around and you would do well to remember that,” she warned him. In truth, she was unsure how Alesander Staedmon would react to Kieran’s return but she did not think it would be favorable. She did hope her husband would allow her to pretend like they were happily in love and put on such a front for her brother. She was too stubborn to want Kieran to know that while marrying her husband had been unpleasant, it was his leaving that had truly broken her, the only thing that had ever broken her and caused her to lose her spirit. She would never admit that like a good horse she had been broken, she was far too independent to want him to know such a thing.
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KIERAN LONMOUTH
 Posted: Apr 19 2017, 09:37 PM
Quote
vagabond
gingerminge
his dick
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
natalie • 51 posts • she/her
Offline


She was better at controlling herself than before. That was an interesting advent, he thought; she had gained more control over herself while he had lost his. Kieran, once he had abandoned his lordship, had taken to a lifestyle that was predicated purely around his desire to fulfill his own desires. He had no need for self control; when he fucked everything to hell he had Kayl to bail him out, which was a convenient and indulgent happenstance. Now that Kayl was off bedding his sandwhore he had less luxury in that department, but that didn't force his hand towards conscientiousness. Instead it seemed to drive him further towards recklessness, and could he really be blamed for that?

Yes, he could, but that was not the point. There were plenty of places he could run from here; back into the lucrative and welcoming Kings Landing, or into the arms of his favorite whore. The woman he treated with at least some level of respect, in spite of his nature and her standing. There was something in her that he appreciated, though. She was familiar even though he had only known her a little while. Perhaps she was a reminder of adventures past, of that sandy land he had once called his own.

His whore was not here now, though, and his sister, his forsaken twin, was. And he was not doing half as good a job goading her as he would have liked. Still, the way she jerked her head from his hand felt telling; she never had been one to openly seek such affection, and he had been gone for ten years, after all.

He snorted when she went on the defensive about her lady. ”Don't remember saying nothing about marrying her,” he said with a grin. ”And accent or not, ah bet ye money ah kin huv her bouncing on me willie by the end of next week. Don't matter much what girls fancy marrying, not when it comes tae getting a little affection. Everyone loves a little love, innit?” Girls generally were, in his realm of knowledge, fairly easy to persuade with sentiments of affection. They had to be crafted properly, of course; there was no blanket answer to the question of how to get a girl to fancy you. But for all his faults Kieran was, at least, good at getting girls to gag for him.

Kieran shrugged when she said he must have had something in mind; he didn't, in truth. Kieran may not have been a good man, but he was generally an honest man. Too stupid to keep up with lies, he always said, but that wasn't exactly true either. Mostly he just didn't give a fuck; a conscious lie was an awful lot of effort, and excessive effort was not his style. "Not particularly," he said with a grunt, his eyebrows raising as she mentioned that old promise. "Ye still holding on to that? Thought ye'd be over it by now. Been ten years, after all. Ye got tae start letting that shite go, love. Toxic, innit. Poison ya from the inside out."

She wasn't very good at letting things go. He'd known that before and he knew it now; he was being intentionally obtuse, just for the sake of being a cockface. "And besides, ah would ay stuck around if ah kent they were mine, likes. But ye couldnae focking tell me, could ya? Not until now, anyway. Way ah see it ah wasnae wrong. Ye focking had his children and couldnae even tell me the truth tae begin with, ye focking slag." He hocked and spit into the gardens, crossing his arms over his chest.

He grunted again as she asked how he thought she'd receive him. "About like this, if ah'm honest," he said with a smirk. "Don't mean ye couldnae still do better, likes." He grinned, finding his drink and taking a deep sip of it. She spoke of her husband and he rolled his eyes. "Or focking wot? He'll kick me out? Big focking deal, been gone for ten years aint ah? Ah bet wee Ailish would welcome me back better than ye huv. If not ah could always go back tae Kings Landing, maybe Essos. Got girls who focking like me there, don't ah. Girls who would sweeten their husbands tae me. Girls a lot less close tae me than me own flesh and blood. So ye going tae help me or not, Clio? Ah kin always fock off again, ye ken."
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CLIODHNA STAEDMON
 Posted: Apr 20 2017, 03:55 PM
Quote
Lady of Broad Arch
queen of the banshees
Sworn to House Baratheon
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
Athena • 28 posts • she/her
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Cliodhna was working so hard to control herself. She had never felt need to control herself around her twin before but she was realizing how difficult it was. No one could get under her skin except for Kieran, and well not Faolan could as well. He had always known exactly what to say to anger her or soothe her, whatever mood he was in that day or whatever best suited his needs. It was difficult to hide her emotions from him but she was well schooled in it now and she didn’t want him to think he could simply waltz back into her life and have the same exact effect on her, even if he did hold the same power over her.

She felt her eyes narrow at her twin as he spoke of fucking one of her ladies. “You can bet I will have your cock cut from your body if you attempt to defile my ladies,” Clio responded, knowing her tone was verging on jealousy, of the girl he had left ten years ago and not wanting to see her brother taking some other woman. Then again, maybe causing him harm if he did fuck another woman while here would comfort her in some small way. She had felt as though he had carved her black heart out when he had left her, maybe he ought to feel some pain himself for it.

He wanted her to let it go. To just simply forget that he had broken his promise to her. She had only ever thought he would keep one promise to her, the promise to stay by her side. But he couldn’t even keep that, he couldn’t even be slightly decent for the one person he loved almost as much as himself. “I am over it, just like I am over you, Kieran, or at the least, I thought I was,” she said with a small shrug, almost wishing she hadn’t. She hadn’t cried over the loss of him in a very long time or thought of him as she once had. Faolan often brought forth emotions only his father once had, but she still thought she had been over him, or at least forgotten him as much as she could have. Until now.

Finally the point of his leaving was being brought up, the child that had been growing in her belly when he had packed up and left, little Faolan whose paternity she had not known until he had come out of her, though by that time Kieran had been long gone. “I knew not who the father was. I was married to him, the child could have been his. I should have known the Lonmouth seed would always win, but I did not know who had fathered the child, not until I looked upon him for the first time. It was so obvious he was yours, but you were long gone by that point and I had to pretend he was my husband’s,” she said with a small sigh as she looked at Kieran. He wasn’t being particularly kind to her, but he was being his typical self and something about that familiarity was making her easily spill the truth for him, wondering if he would even for a minute feel guilty he had left her and the child. “My husband believed he was his for quite awhile too. After my third child he finally had his suspicions,” she added as she looked to the man who looked so much like the brother she had known so well with only some changes from age to his handsome face. Her husband had resented her since he had realized, but she didn’t want Kieran to know that much.

She scoffed at the notion of helping her brother. Of sweetening her husband up to his presence. She knew it would not be possible. She doubted she could really sweeten him up to anything, let alone the father of her firstborn child who was still the Staedmon heir. “No. Do not disappear again,” she muttered. It was the last thing she wanted, for him to leave her once again. It would hurt too much. “You could go home I suppose, though the fact you came to me first is telling of where you would rather be brother. The problem is not so much a desire to sweeten my husband to you, more that my husband knows of our sins and I doubt he will be very happy to see you,” Clio said with a small sigh. He didn’t know of all their sins, luckily the man was still rather clueless to the more sadistic nature of his wife. He thought she was a miserable wretch, but not the person who so enjoyed other’s pain as she did.

“Stay, Kieran. I do not think I will be able to soften my husband too much, let alone to you, but he often allows me to live my own life and we will find a way for you to stay,” she said to him as she took a sip of her own drink, not liking how much she was so willing to tell her brother, though knowing that she didn’t want him to leave. “Or, I suppose you always can leave. Leave me here once again with my children and husband and dull ladies,” Clio said with a shrug, tacking on the sentence to try to make herself seem less desperate to keep him around than she was.
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KIERAN LONMOUTH
 Posted: Apr 25 2017, 09:13 PM
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THE STORMLANDS
26 years
natalie • 51 posts • she/her
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Kieran snorted, shaking his head. "Ye sound jealous, love," he said, tipping his chin up as he looked down at her. "Makes ye look ugly." That was hardly true; he loved that jealousy more than he loved almost anything in this world. The jealousy meant that that tie that bound them together was still there, visceral and painful. It might have been an ugly look on anyone else, but to him it was beautiful, at least when she wore it.

"'sides, if your ladies want a spot ay fun who am ah to deny them?" He grinned, his eyes following the other women wolfishly, though they returned to his sister and the true object of his torments and desires quickly. It was strange to look upon her face again; there was so much there that was the same, but also so much changed. She looked more like their mother, which was unsettling, but he supposed he hardly looked the same either. He was built out now, no longer the boy-man but rather just the man with a hefty dose of shithead on the side.

Still, he couldn't deny that he wanted to cup that cheek, that he wanted to pull her in tightly and hug her until her feet no longer touched the ground. So too did he want to bend her as he had when he'd first learned of her engagement, the thing that had broken them to begin with. But there was a time and a place for that, and she needed to be tested first. So many nights had been spent dreaming of her, of what she was doing, That tonight would be spent under the same roof as her felt surreal, but at the same time familiar. Their unkind banter had hardly missed a beat, except for the fact that she super hated him now and he wished he felt more strongly about that. Perhaps it was simply that he didn't believe it; that had often proved an effective measure against pessimism. Complete denial was a state he was well accustomed to, and one her embraced now.

"You aint," he said, with a smug little grin. He took a sip of his wine, finding a bench to sit on and plunking his ass down. He leaned back slightly, his legs crossed at the ankles as he surveyed her. "S'awright, though," he said, watching her with interest. "Cos ah aint either," he added offhandedly, setting his wine aside.

That was a poor move, he realized, as they began to discuss his motives for leaving. So the kid was his. He hadn't necessarily meant as much when he said that the boy looked like a Lonmouth, but the confirmation did sit uneasily in his stomach. He'd left his twin, his other half, without a glance back. Well, not exactly; he'd looked back at the hold once, knowing that she was abed her husband, starting her new life, and he was alone. She confirmed now that she could not have told h im then who the father of her child was then, and he knew that wouldn't have been enough for him. Nine months was an eternity to a 16 year old boy, and everything in his body had told him to get out, to run before she hurt him.

She told him not to leave and he was surprised by her directness, or at least her inclination for him to say. He said nothing, though; he was taken aback by the fact that her husband knew their sins, his mouth slightly agape. "You wot?" he asked, the words sharper than he meant them to be. "How the fock does he know? Ye weren't stupid enough to focking tell him, were ye?"

Standing again, Kieran closed the gap between them. He left enough room for Jesus at first, watching her as she deferred, pretended that she was indifferent to him staying or going. "Nah," he said, shaking his head and squeezing Jeebus out as he took a step forward. "Ye know what ah've thought about, every night for the last ten years, right before ah fall asleep?" He supposed that may have been an exaggeration; there was no way of being certain, given that he had many, many times been too drunk to recall falling asleep. But he was still pretty sure he thought of her; he thought of her after he fucked whores, after he fucked foriegn girls -- who, for the record, he was fucking because they didn't remind him of her -- and when he went to bed alone.

"You," he said, predictably, his hand finding the small of her back as he bent over, a little taller than he remembered being back then. His lips were against her ear, words harsh and throaty. "Not even just focking ya," he added, his hand firming around her hip, possessive. "The way ye looked when ye slept, and yer smile when ah made ye laugh," he smirked, a shiver running down his spine as he realized that her scent was familiar. "If the babe was mine," he added, in a moment of honesty. Swallowing hard, he turned his head and pressed a kiss against her cheek, then withdrew again. "Ah dinnae think ah'll pass up the chance at getting tae sleep knowing where ye are, and wot ye're doing, and who ye're thinking about. Aye?"
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CLIODHNA STAEDMON
 Posted: Apr 29 2017, 09:06 PM
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Lady of Broad Arch
queen of the banshees
Sworn to House Baratheon
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
Athena • 28 posts • she/her
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Cliodhna rolled her eyes as Kieran told her she was jealous, that it was ugly. Their relationship had always encompassed a large dose of jealousy, of making each other jealous to see what responses they could get from the other. There was sometimes kindness as well, a softness that Clio didn’t show anyone else, even her children in all honesty. They sometimes go close though, especially his son. “You will deny them or you will be leaving my home,” she warned him. She didn’t need to take his attempts at making her jealous anymore. This wasn’t their home, it was hers, and she would play that up as needed.

He told her she wasn’t over him and she opened her mouth to protest but then he was saying he wasn’t over her either and it made her shut her mouth. He was sitting down and what she wouldn’t have given to be able to go over there and straddle his lap, to kiss him and claim him as hers once again. She wouldn’t, because she never acted on stupid whims like that and because she had a role to uphold here, but that didn’t stop that temptation from being there. Instead she crossed her arms over her chest, averting her gaze from Kieran, sure her twin, even after all this time, would be able to read such thoughts on her face.

She hated that she had told him not to go, not to leave her again. She was playing her cards too openly and Cliodhna was not the type of woman who would ever beg a man for anything. But she had missed her twin and seeing him again was making her remember how much it hurt to be away from him. It was making her remember what it was like to feel things again, to feel and want after so many years of having closed herself off emotionally to anyone and everyone.

“Do not be a halfwit. Of course I didn’t tell him, but he has eyes. He can see our son is different from his own. Maybe he does not assume you were the man who fathered the child, but he most certainly knows I was no virgin when I was married to him. And it would surprise me not to learn he suspected there might have been something between us given how close we were,” she said as she glared at her brother. Did he think she had gone insane without him? What woman would tell her husband her first son was a product of incest. Especially if the woman wanted to remain alive and keep said son as the heir to the house. She hadn’t become him in his absence, she still had her brain.

He was moving closer and it felt like electricity was coming off of him in waves as he moved in closer to her, his body pressed against hers. She involuntarily bit her lip, her heart hammering in her own chest at how close her twin was once again. How easy it would be to just kiss him and become his again. He asked her what she thought he had thought about before falling asleep every night and part of her wanted to snark something back at him, but it was too easy for her body to enjoy being close to his now and so she didn’t jerk herself away.

Instead she heard him confess she had been on his mind and she felt herself breath out as she felt his breath tickle her ear, realizing how easy it would be to wrap her arms around him and bury her face in his chest which seemed to have grown broader during his absence, more manly. He mentioned fucking her and she heard her own sharp intake of breath at the words, but he was continuing on, the softer side of him becoming clear for her as if to show her what she had once loved about him. Well, what she always had loved about him if she was being honest. And she always did have a hard time being harsh when he was being soft.

His hold was possessive and how easy it would have been to fall back into everything with him once again. “His name is Faolan,” she told him as he spoke of having wondered if the baby was his, deciding he could at least know the name. He would probably hear it soon enough anyway. He was withdrawing though and with that bit of space she found it in herself to steel her heart to him and close herself off again. She couldn’t just fall over for him because he showed up after a ten year absence. If she did she would be the silly type of idiotic, romantic girl she hated.

“I thought of you in the same way…before I would sleep, when my husband would take me, when I was alone even. But then I had to stop. I couldn’t allow myself such silly hopes of ever seeing the brother who had forsaken me again. Of course my son did not help that. I think of you whenever I look in his eyes,” she said, her voice soft, not liking how pathetic she sounded, how almost longing she sounded for the man who was now in front of her. The man who had broken her heart. “But did you expect for me to fall over for you the second you arrived? To allow you back into my bed after you tore my heart from my chest and crushed it? It is not so simple to pretend these ten years did not pass and to return to how things were between us,” she said as she crossed her arms over her chest, trying to put up her defenses and to lie because she did know exactly how easy it would be for her to just fall back into the rhythm of being with him, the happiness of being with him. She didn’t want him to know he still held that much power though.
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KIERAN LONMOUTH
 Posted: May 2 2017, 07:45 PM
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THE STORMLANDS
26 years
natalie • 51 posts • she/her
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"You don't want that," he snorted, shaking his head. "Ye made that proper clear already." Still, he would refrain enough for now; this was tenuous territory, and though he wasn't above using a woman for his pleasure -- especially when that pleasure reinforced the animalistic feelings that his sister had for him -- but this was probably not the time. Kieran was more socially adept than that, at any rate, and grunted relentingly. "Guess ah could try n' fight em off," he begrudged, hocking and spitting into the plants beside them.

Kieran surveyed her from his spot on the bench, smirking as he saw hungry eyes follow him. Like fuck she didnt want him, he thought to himself. She was practically gushing, and he didn't even need to lift her skirts to guess it. "Your husband's one sick fock then," he snorted, shaking his head. "Assuming we get a bit messy together. Bit focking lewd, that." He wondered what her husband had her do in bed; he hoped nothing, but given their three children he could hardly believe that himself.

The thought made his blood burn, and Kieran's jaw squared at the idea of it. It didn't take long before she seemed to be softening to him, though he didn't trust it fully. How long could he pretend she was falling for his old tricks before he was surprised with a slap?
But no slap came; instead she was quiet, and for a moment he wondered if he could kiss her. Not even kiss her -- he would have settled for a hug, to rest his cheek atop her head and inhale the scent of her hair, that red silk that he'd long to force his fingers in and wrap around his knuckles.

That was a pleasant thought, and one that had him briefly distracted. But then she was telling him his boy's name and he found himself softening in a way he'd never expected. Kieran suspected that he was the father to numerous bastards, but a whore's baby was hardly the same as his Clio's. The thought made his chest tighten, and though it changed little about the fact that he would not be able to stomach her multiple pregnancies not knowing whose child was in her belly, it baffled him to realize that he was more unhappy about missing out on his little dude's life than he ever would have expected.

"Faolan," he said, nodidng his head. "Strong name, that. Bit miffed ye didnae caw him Kieran, but aw things considered..." he shrugged, a vague reference to "I disappeared on you for 15 years, my b." "He a good lad?" he asked, feeling almost cowed as he asked.

His guilty eyes rose to her again when she said she thought of him too. The smug, shitty part of him thought of course, because how could she not? Not only were they twins, lovers, but he had abandoned her. That always cut worse than being the abandoner, and having taken that control from her was likely not something that she relished. "Nah," he said, in response to her questions. "Ah'd have been disappointed, likes. That's nae the girl ah kent," he said, two fingers coming up to chuck her under the chin gently. "Ye're going tae give me a fight," he said, "Aint that right, love?"
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CLIODHNA STAEDMON
 Posted: May 3 2017, 09:21 PM
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Lady of Broad Arch
queen of the banshees
Sworn to House Baratheon
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
Athena • 28 posts • she/her
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Clio let out a breath as he told her that she had already made it clear she didn’t want him to leave. She had played her hand too openly, like a fool. “I may not wish to send you away but if you misbehave I will have to. I’ve lived ten years without you now, letting you go again will not be the worst I could do,” she said with a small shrug. It would be the hardest thing she would do, but she had always been good at balancing those sorts of things. It likely was simply an idle threat, but she had to attempt to make him believe it. He was conceding to her though and she gave him a small nod, deciding to hold back any snark she wanted to say at his comment. It was enough to get just that from him.

“He would be sick if he was not onto the truth of the matter. Besides, you calling someone lewd is certainly a case of the pot calling the kettle black,” she replied to him with a small smirk. Her husband didn’t deserve any of the dislike she had for him and certainly he didn’t deserve Kieran poking any fun at him. He had tried to be kind to her all these years and had really only forsaken her when her past became more obvious, when her lies did. He was not a bad man, even if the marriage was what had wedged between her and her twin and broken them apart.

Part of the redhead wished she wasn’t so stubborn in keeping her own feelings hidden, in trying to make her twin pay for the time they had spent apart. But she could never let that go. Above her love for her twin had always been her vindictiveness, the part of her that enjoyed seeing pain on other people. He had forced her to live without him for ten years, to wonder during those ten years whether or not he was even alive. And now she would make him pay and resist giving into the urges that wanted to kiss and hug and fuck him and welcome him back into her life with open arms.

The sound of their child’s name on his lips had her heart jumping. It sounded so different than when her husband said it, then when she said it. It was proper to hear him saying it and she wondered what it might have been like if he had been around for the boy. “Naming him after you would only make it more likely he turned out to be a piece of shite like his father,” she said, the venom there in her words, the anger of him leaving before Faolan had even been born present. “He is a good boy though. He has the spirit of a Lonmouth and causes trouble like one but he’s smart,” she said with a nod. She was hard on him, too harsh at times, but he was so like Kieran. In truth, he was what the twins were when they were together, both of them in one. And it hurt seeing him, both her an Kieran combined, while Kieran had been absent.

She smirked as he admitted he would have been disappointed if she had just fallen into his arms, that he had expected a fight. He was chucking under her chin and her eyes lifted to meet his matching gaze. She felt her heart doing flips in her chest. “It is less enjoyable to give you a fight when you expect it so,” she smirked at him, knowing it took some of the enjoyment and satisfaction she planned to get from him if he expected and accepted it so readily. “But I will not be foolish enough to simply let you back into my heart Kieran. You broke your promise to me and while I’ve known you were never a particularly honest person I thought I meant more to you than that,” she said to him, her voice soft. She didn’t like admitting how hurt she had been but it was there for him to hear. He had broken her black heart and she couldn’t put herself in a position like that so readily.
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KIERAN LONMOUTH
 Posted: May 5 2017, 10:11 PM
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THE STORMLANDS
26 years
natalie • 51 posts • she/her
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”Well then ah might as well leave now, aye?” he asked, his tone not belying any playfulness. ”Ah’m shit at behaving. Why ah wasnae meant to sit the Lonmouth seat, why ah didnae stick around. Pure shite, aint ah. Can’t count on me for anything, really,” except to act in his own self-interest, unfailingly. ”Might as well cut your losses while ye’re ahead, then. Ye seen me, ah’m alive, ye spurned me. Would make yer soft husband happy, won’t it?” He was sneering now, unimpressed with her desire to collar and chain him. He was a free man now, and a free man he would stay. If he could stay a free man with her then so be it, but if she was trying to change him she was in for a shock.

Kieran shrugged off her pot/kettle comment, grunting softly as he considered it. ’Aint never said I was a saint, love,” he said, taking another deep drink. He’d done unspeakable things to women, hurt and humiliated and defiled them, and he would do it again. He had no qualms about who he was -- in fact he rather liked who he was, to say the least. But that didn’t mean that Clio needed two of that in her life, and who the fuck jumped straight to twincest in their presumptions, anyway? me ugh thats who sorry world im a plague

”Aye, aye, ah’m shite, we get it,” he grunted, feeling as though that particular point had been driven home well enough already. ”’sides, yer twisted husband might ay guessed it, then,” he snorted. Kieran wondered how many bastards he had out there, swirling his wine around. There was at least one other, he was pretty sure, though at the time he’d sworn up and down that it wasn’t his. The Pentoshi girl had cried and cried, but she was a fucking whore, and how could he be expected to trust a woman’s word at all, much less a whore’s?

She continued, though, and grunted as he was told that his son was a good, spirited boy. ”One thing ah aint, then,” he relented with a grin. Kieran wasn’t always stupid -- a few bulbs short, maybe, but far from riding the short bus. ”Course he’s a good lad, though. He’s yours, aint he?”

He didn’t know his son, though he hoped that would change, in maybe selfish way. At the very least he had seen him, and knew he was his. Peace of mind after so long wasn’t as gratifying as he had expected it to be, but very little was. Little satisfied him anymore, save for wet cunts, poking holes in men and good drafts of hard ale. Perhaps little had ever satisfied him; he was a man who lusted for much, but thrill was the topmost item on his list.

”Ah don’t remember being asked tae be let back into yer heart,” he said, shrugging. Perhaps he was being cruel -- but perhaps she deserved cruelty. ”Ye hurt me first,” he said, exhaling a distracted cough. ”The fock did ye expect? For me tae sit around for some mug, waiting tae see ye doing over yer husband’s spawn? Fock that.”
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CLIODHNA STAEDMON
 Posted: May 7 2017, 12:46 PM
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Lady of Broad Arch
queen of the banshees
Sworn to House Baratheon
THE STORMLANDS
26 years
Athena • 28 posts • she/her
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“I thought I could count on you Kieran. I thought I could count on no one else in the world save my twin, but you threw that trust in my face. Though I suppose I should thank you for reminding me I can count on no one in the world other than myself. So stay if you please. You know it won’t give me joy to watch you leave again, but I will not let it break me again,” she said to him. Her games were enough. She didn’t want to play them to the point where she forced him to run away again, just to the point where she made her point that he had fucked up and she was not quite ready to forgive him. And she wanted him to know that she had managed to live without him and she could do it again, even if she didn’t particularly want to.

She shook her head though. “You were made to sit the Lonmouth seat. We were made to sit it together, though we both know how that turned out,” she said with a sigh. He was meant to be the face and she the brains. Two halves of a whole, what they had been their entire lives until he had left. It still felt like her other half had returned though; just seeing his face reminded her what it was to feel whole once again, to be a complete person.

She knew her brother was no saint, but then again neither was she. She put on airs of being a perfect lady to hide the blackness that was her soul, the part of her that thrived on the pain of others. Her brother thrived on a similar pain and lust, she knew, and part of her missed the days when they could torment someone together, or even simply torment each other. Those games were not appropriate for her to play with her husband. So even though Kieran was a sack of shit, she knew it did not matter and it did not dull her love for him in the least.

Talking with him about their child, hearing him speak of Faolan though, she wished more than anything he could have been a part of the boy’s life. He would’ve raised the boy better than her husband, of that she was sure. It took a Lonmouth to raise a Lonmouth, certainly. Especially when that child was the united embodiment of the two of them, the one singular whole that she felt she was when she was around her twin. They had created that whole and a part of her wished Kieran could have been there to help raise the child.

“He’s ours. I could hardly expect our soon to be a good lad,” she said with a small smirk. Neither of them were good people. How could a child born from them, of their sins be a good child? Maybe it was what uniting their halves brought though, the ability to be better than either parents. Or maybe it was the influence of her husband, who was undoubtedly a better person than either she or her twin. Though being a good person did not get one very far in this life so far as Cliodhna was concerned.

He brought up her hurting him first though and she felt a stabbing at her heart. She had been the first of the two of them to get married but hadn’t wanted or desired it. It had been her duty as a Lonmouth daughter. She had spent many days trying to hurt Kieran in different ways, but nothing like getting married to another man. “I know. I didn’t mean to hurt you, at least not in this way. I…I don’t know what I should have expected but I never wanted you to leave. I didn’t think the marriage would hurt you so much. If I had known…maybe things could have been…different,” she said with a small sigh. Maybe she would have run off with him. Maybe she would have taken more drastic measures against her husband. If she had known the option was do something for him or he would leave her alone, she thought she would have been more likely to take action, but then again she had only been fifteen and doing her duty. She didn’t want to think she would have let him go, but she would have.

“Will you stay now and take the time to get to know your son?” she asked him, hesitant to ask him to spend time with the boy but knowing he should have the chance to know more of the child if he so wished.
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KIERAN LONMOUTH
 Posted: May 15 2017, 09:44 PM
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THE STORMLANDS
26 years
natalie • 51 posts • she/her
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Her verbal onslaught was something Kieran was not prepared for. Emotions were their bread and butter, so to speak, but rarely did they speak so frankly about their deeper feelings. He supposed they were long overdue, but still he couldn't help but feel a feeling that was largely unfamiliar to him: guilt. He didn't like it, that much was certain. It was a poor substitute for what he usually felt -- confidence, pleasure, or sometimes nothing. Nothing, more often than he would truly like to admit.

It was that that scared him, when pleasure and thrill seeking gave way to that nothingness that sat hollowly in his chest. Usually he drank it away, drank to feel something again, something that wasn't that nagging feeling in his stomach. The one that told him that what he had done was wrong, and that he was missing something in his life, that frustrating little woman who was one of the few people on this earth capable of putting him in his place.

He wanted to protest, to say that she could trust him, but had literally nothing to back such a sentiment up. She was right, repeating words he'd said for ages. He was useless, not to be trusted, halfwit, selfish, greedy. But he also loved her, and felt that acute anger in him when she said that his leaving would not break her again. But where did his anger come from? He had no cause to be upset that she wasn't more upset that he was threatening to leave, having left and not come back for so long as it was. Still it bothered him, more than he might have liked to admit.

He coughed to avoid having to say actual words or feelings, washing down that bedraggled noise with more wine. She corrected him, and he was about to correct her back when she corrected herself instead. "Aye, we," he said slowly, looking up at her from under gingerbrows. "That's the problem, aint it," he said, his voice dropped low. "Ah couldnae do it meself, Clio," he said, "Don't know fock aw about anything. Don't know bout politics, bout crops or the focking weather or nothing like that. Cannae manage coin, cannae do anything, really. Only things ah'm good at are killing and focking and running away from it aw when ah've made too big ay a mess to go back."

More true and poignant than he had intended, but there it was. The truth of the matter. "Ye left me before ah left you, love," he said, "Ah ken ye aint had no choice, likes, but ah couldnae do it. Thinking ay ye in bed with him every night, while ah'm off sticking it to some burd whose likely got the pox that'll make me cock fall off. Aint exactly a good feeling, if you know what ah mean. Thinking ay him shagging ye, and ye letting him, and ye having his babies and ye falling in love with him," the last word was snarled, and he hocked and spat the distaste from his mouth.

He looked back up at her again, his eyes even-keeled but dangerous. "Ah couldnae stay and watch it happen, Clio," he said, his voice dropped low. "Ah tried, but when ye told me ye didnae ken whose it was..." he shook his head, looking away from her again. "Ah kent it then, ah wouldnae be able to last. Ah'd go focking mad with it, wouldn' ah? And seeing him there, raising my son..." He shook his head again, teeth coming down on his lower lip as he became desperate to change the subject.

Then there was that word again, that unifying word. The answer to his decade-old question. Ours. Not just hers, not his, but theirs. The thought made his chest swell with fervent...something, feeling, he wasn't sure that it could be called. Affection, pride? He couldn't tell. But then it was tainted, for the child was not just theirs. It was also her husband's, and more Staedmon's than his own at this rate.

"Didn't think it'd hurt me?" he asked, taken aback moreso than when she'd slapped him. "Ye say ye loved me, and then ye say some focking shite like that?" He growled, shaking his head again. He was ready to leave then and there, if only to prove a point, but then she did the one thing that could make him stay. She asked. He looked at her hard for a few moments, his head dipping briefly before he nodded it. "Aye," he said, "Ah'll stay."

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