For What Became of Hatred

Chapter 2; For Love of Sheep

Bane; "Yes, I am quite aware that it takes a while for them to be described, but the effect was placed for a reason. Don't worry, all in do time… : 3!"

A; -sigh- "Just as long as they're described… I'm fine with it." –socks Bane-

Bane; "In any case… A romantic progression takes longer than I thought it would. I will inform you now that it will take a couple more chapters to complete the full feel of it."

It was by chance, perhaps, that the tide brought her in at the moment of his passing. He stared in wonderment at the naked form before him, and fleeting thoughts brought him notions of angels, carried out to sea. But this man was not one of fancy, nor dilusionment.

Taking the loose frame of his jacket off of his broad shoulders, he swaddled her accordingly. He was drawn to her, somehow mesmirized by this thin, rag doll in his arms. She was pale, as though sunlight had never ravaged her. A slight, but inexplicable pang of worry settled within his stomach. But his subtle fret wasn't long to suffer; it wasn't a particularly lasting journey to part into the main land, for he was one of those fortunate enough to be in the possession of a steed.

It wasn't an especially noble beast, for the term 'noble' had been stripped, and it had been brought from its glory by unreasonable labour. He was not to blame for this cruelty, but the man was seldom found at peace about the thoroughbred's short of breath, and nearly unnoticeable limp. He placed her in front of him in the westernized saddle, and was only vaguely aware of her presence within the short span of violent trotting. The man hadn't thought much as to what he would do once he had taken her to rest at his own modest estate. He had reasoned, most likely, that he would wait until she was well enough to commence finding her place of residence.

It wasn't overly adorned, the humble fortress. But such was the intent of the furnishing; though it was practical and sleekly rustique, it wasn't particularly meant to please the eye of the common guest. It was purposed, really, for those with the view of simplicity that entwined itself endlessly with plain complication.

It comprised of six rooms; a rather vast kitchen facility, two bedrooms, a richly tiled restroom, a sun room that faced towards the sea, and a sitting room. Each held something wondrous, such as a meaningful painting, or a peculiarly intact conch. It was known, to those who chose to notice, that he was a man of pride, and held such above these seemingly worthless items.

She was lain gracefully upon the smaller of the two mattresses that took up little space within the house. He was not one to fuss, but he found himself tucking three sheets (with an additional douvey he had gone to fetch) around her frail body. Laying an ironed shirt, and a pair of loose britches on a chair that stood beside the bed frame, he noticed that her arm lay in an akward position over the warm linen in which she rested. Clutching the hand gently, so as not to wake her, the man lifted the limb slightly. His own palm slid, feather-like, down to her wrist to better control his shifting without disturbing her slumber.

He didn't get a chance to look down, nor to see the delicate tinging of her forearm. Molten gray eyes flicked open, the optics watching him with a concealed disdain. Her limb was in his softened hand; the point at which most of the nerves in her body was connected. She withdrew her arm, and sat up. Did he catch view? Malicy questioned silently. She found, with little open surprise, that she was clotheless. Malicy seethed inwardly. Her mind blared dizzily at her exposure, and although she hid her panic adeptly, the fact remained that she was threadbare, and ultimately unhappy about it.

She watched him warily, but he simply smiled thinly and passed her the clothes he had earlier set out. Leaving to allow her to change, he spoke bluntly, "I'll be waiting outside, when you're ready." She didn't respond, only remained still, as though paralyzed, until he was out of eye-shot to dress herself accordingly.

Stepping from the room, she observed in silence as he ran a hand through semi-long, dark hair that feathered gently along his shoulders. Her own vermillion-hazel nut was still sleek and brilliant in comparison, and she smirked inwardly at the observation.

The man grinned whole-heartedly, but kept his distance.

"I didn't intend to startle you..."

Obviously a gentleman, she thought coldly, loathing the thought of having to converse with such egotistical rubbish. His words were sweet, his accent was clear and structured. Malicy forced herself to be civil, though the mere shame of such pretentious chatter might have brought her to her knees.

"Not at all."

There was a pause, in which he indicated that she was to follow him. She was led unceremoniously into a large room, in which fine glass that made up half the room was all that kept them from the chilled outside air. A chair was pulled up for her, and she sat reluctantly. He, in turn, took a seat a few feet from her.

"I must make it clear; you may stay here for as long as is needed. I would admit that the estate is spacious for a man such as myself, therefore I have come to both recognize and hate loneliness."

"Hate is perhaps a strong word in this case." She replied, knowing full well that hatred would never be within the grasp of 'such a man'… of such a being. Against her expectations, however, he nodded.

"Albeit; yes. Perhaps dislike could better fit the instance. In either case, however, there is abundant room. You needn't part so hastily. "

That she could agree with. She was marked, now, as well as trapped. She would need blood to return to the sea, and here probability would govern over possibility.

"Thank you for such hospitality, but I must ask… what would you ask of me in return? Surely you would, like—" She struggled not to say 'the bane of existence you are', instead forcing herself to speak the words once more, " Surely you would wish for compensation of some sort?"

He shook his head knowingly, and replied simply, "No, my Lady. I would wish only for your companionship."

At this Malicy was appalled. Had she not heard such tales of the common man's greed and corruption? Was it not his selfishness that drove him to the next day? She settled her mind with the passing notion that this was not a 'common' man, and that perhaps it was possible to have fallen into good fortune. Mayhap this man was simply adept at hiding his human traits. In either scenario, she did not have much choice in the matter of her stay.

"Very well, then. I will stay until further notice, though I will try not to wear out my welcome."

Ever the charming 'lady', she scoffed to herself. She could play the part well, that she knew. However, it was the ease with which it came that nagged at her mind. I mustn't bother about it, Malicy realized at last, It must simply be the land dwellers poisoning my thoughts.

"Impossible." Was his 'comely' reply, which didn't nauseate her quite as much as it should have.

There was a poignant silence, and her discomfort came back into full focus. She pulled her sleeves over her wrists in what she hoped was a casual manner, and then stood, not looking at him.

"I'm greatly exausted. I think I'll just—"

"No, you're not." was the knowing reply. Malicy pivoted to face him, incredulous expression all the question he needed to hear before elaborating.

"Obviously, you're not at all tired. You've just slept for nearly half a day, and it's clear from your disposition that you show no signs of fatigue."

She opened her mouth to argue; to find any possible means of lying her way out of the situation. Though, it was true. She wasn't at all tired. The man simply smirked and held up his hand to silence her.

"You are, however, very hungry."

The siren looked down at her stomach, sure that there had been no betraying rumbles recently, and very aware that she hadn't said anything to indicate a wish to eat. She gave him a quizzical look. The man laughed, and said comitally, "There isn't much to eat besides sand on the beaches, had you been conscious to notice, and, since you obviously did not wake before now, you must be incredibly peckish…"

All Malicy could do was nod.

"Y-yes. And now I suppose you're going to calculate what I'm craving."

He chuckled, making a slightly alarmed siren's spine tingle appreciatively, "I'm guessing it's not going to be sea food." Malicy didn't laugh; she didn't find the comment the least bit funny.