The Torch Is Passed

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The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:07 pm

The men carried him into the kitchen and laid him out on the table as dishes were shoved off and shattered into pieces upon the floor. Flatware skidded metallically all over as he settled and the two women began to weep in horror at what was happening. Rory ran off to find Rose though no one knew exactly where she was. From inside they heard him call her but there was no answer as the Oracle raised his hand toward her Sabella. As Sabella moved up and took it he grunted as another wave of pain from his chest wracked him. “Na...than…” He said but only barely managed it.

“I’ll get him,” Ben said and ran out the back. From inside they heard his voice boom out into the courtyard and garden and others answered that saw where he had ran to. “I’m...so sorry daughter...there...is so much I wanted to tell you,” he said weakly and then winced as the pain came again, this time it almost knocked him unconscious and she could feel him trying to fight to stay awake.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:55 pm

Sabella did not leave her father's side. She held his hand as he was carried into the kitchen and laid upon the table. He looked pale and suddenly so fragile. The pain was evident in his eyes and Sabella would have done anything to stop that pain for him. She kissed his hand and held it to her face as tears streamed down her cheeks.

"Please...please don't leave me Father. I need you...we all need you."

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:27 pm

Nathan came in quickly and Sabella saw his eyes darken when they looked at her. He looked away quickly as he moved over to the table. He moved around so he was above his head and he couldn’t keep his anger and concern from his face right then. The Oracle gestured with his free hand for him to come closer as he gasped for breath. Nathan didn’t know what to do or how to really feel, he didn’t know the man well but he suspected he was loved by these people and felt strange when he bent over him. The Oracle seized his neck and pulled him down then began to whisper into his ear. Several people looked on as he spoke, unconsciously searching his eyes to see...what, surprise? Sorrow? Hope? But Nathan’s eyes showed none of that as Rose ran in. “Ok, everyone...OUT!” She shouted as she took up The Oracles head in her hands. She all but shoved Nathan back and Sabella knew she need to let go lest she’d be delved and delay Rose from doing what she needed to do. Nathan stepped back and Sabella was the troubled look on his face. Whatever her father had said to him it obviously now weighed heavily upon his mind. Rose concentrated and then the Oracle jerked and his legs and arms flew out straight as he gasped. In a moment it was done but then Rose nearly collapsed into Rory’s arms from the strain of what she had just done.

“I...I did what I could Sabella,” she said wearily as she tried to regain her balance. “He’s had a heart attack and...there is damage,” was all she needed to say. The Oracle still breathed and his color looked better but he was sleeping and it looked as if part of his face drooped a bit.

Nathan was out on the large, white deck. In his hand was a bottle of bourbon and he had drank a good third of it. What the hell was he doing! If he left now people were going to die! If he stayed? People were going to die! Albeit perhaps less so. Not a decision to be made there at all and no matter what he chose to do those that died would rest upon his shoulders. The thought made him take another sip from the bottle. He wasn’t drunk yet but he was getting there. When Irene and Francis tried to console him he sent them inside, crying and they ran into their rooms. Others that saw him knew better than to join or or try to engage him right then, all but Sabella that is...

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:59 pm

Sabella felt completely lost. She didn't know what she would do if she lost her father. While he was not her father by blood, he had become her father the moment she had met him and he had made her into the woman she was today. He had saved her life, brought her into his home, given her an education she had only dreamt about, and because of him she had met both Westley and Nathan...the two men she loved. Imaging her life without him felt lonely and dark.

Sabella slowly walked out onto the large, white deck where she had been told Nathan was. She could see the bottle of bourbon in his hand and knew he had consumed a large quantity of it. Gently, she reached out and took it from him. She put it down and then wrapped her arms around him and rested her head against his chest. She didn't speak...she just held him and listened to his heartbeat...

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:34 pm

For a long time Nathan said nothing, he only held Sabella, tenderly though he felt nothing of the sort as tender. This estate was going to be turned into a midden heap with him on top of it but no less dead for it. There was no way out except to try. Only to try and no way out if they failed. Why they were coming didn’t really matter. What was important was that they were. They wanted The Oracle, for what he could only guess but it wasn’t for anything good, he knew that much.

“I’m...afraid, Sabella,” Nathan said softly and she knew it wasn’t for himself. What had the Oracle said? Whatever it was she felt that Nathan was indeed afraid, afraid for them all and he held it all inside. Most people were frightened and confused but now they know. Someone is coming for them. For their lives and for the oracle. Two more, Leila and Brandon left that very afternoon but Nathan suspected that might happen. Leila was pregnant.

“All life seems to have for me is to lose. Myrna, my child, You, the Oracle...It’s not fair. All i want to do, all I really know to do is swing a hammer...and create things of metal. I’m no leader,” he said barely above a whisper.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:02 pm

Sabella slowly opened her eyes and looked up at Nathan when he admitted he was afraid. For him to do that meant he truly was and the mere fact that he had made himself vulnerable to her in that way made her love him even more. She was afraid too...very afraid. Afraid she was going to lose her father...afraid she was going to lose Nathan...afraid she was going to lose her home and those she cared about. Why was this happening? What did it mean? What had they done to deserve this?

Gently, she reached up and placed a hand upon his cheek. She looked into his eyes.

"You are a leader Nathan...more than you realize. Look at what you have done in these few weeks! Look at what we all have accomplished because of you. You made me stronger...YOU. YOU have started to turn us into a team. It is all because of you. I am following you Nathan and will continue to do so...not just because I love you...but because I believe in you."

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:15 pm

With that Nathan kissed her softly on the lips and then paused to look deeply into her eyes then kissed her again much more passionately. He paused and then lifted her up into his arms. However he didn’t turn to go inside, instead he stepped off the deck toward the gardens, where the grass was soft…

The next morning Nathan rose early and with the new day so to did he possess a new sense of purpose. The Oracle still lived and he took food and drink from Sabella but his eyes stared off as if his mind was gone. Nathan stepped up his training and now for most of the day the inhabitants of the estate had to go about their lives without the use of eyes. There were a host of complaints and people had tried to cheat but Nathan punished those he caught and after several more days most everyone decided it was easier to just comply than to fight or argue with him.

Each day he asked more and more of Sabella, her powers were able to touch more and more people simultaneously and for longer periods of time. But Nathan still wasn’t easy to live with. He and Sabella fought often but usually their fights ended with sweet making up. The conversation with Amy was not an easy one for Sabella. Amy was so upset about her and Nathan’s relationship she packed her things and left but there was little she could do to keep her there. It was a home, not a prison and both Nathan and she wished her farewell. Sabella had taken that hard but Nathan found ways to distract her though most of them involved sex. He seemed to need it often and after he held her tightly until she drifted off to sleep.

One day when Nathan was training on the second floor Ben and Rory alerted Sabella that someone in a black coach had stopped on the road and two people were walking this way. Rory, who could see a very long way and was a very good shot with just about anything said it was Amy and Leila.


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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Wed Jul 19, 2017 6:19 pm

Sabella rose early each morning and worked late into the night. She spent most of her days taking care of The Oracle as best she could. She would feed him and give him water and then would often sit and talk to him or read to him from his favorite book. When she wasn't in The Oracle's chambers she was training harder than she ever had before. Nathan continued to push her and often there were times she wasn't sure she was going to be able to do as he asked, but every time she defied her own expectations and grew stronger and stronger. Not only was Sabella stronger in terms of her powers, but also in spirit. She and Nathan had become a team and both of them looked after those that lived in the house. They were all free to come and go as they chose, but when they were on the estate grounds she and Nathan became fiercely protective of them.

Her relationship with Nathan was also growing stronger. Talk of marriage had happened on more than one occasion while lying together in the dark among the twisted sheets of her bed, but so far it was only talk. However, Sabella knew that if Nathan asked her she would not hesitate to say yes. They finally decided to come forward with their relationship and unfortunately Amy did not take the news very well. Sabella was heartbroken when she left, but she understood and did not stop her.

One day though she received from Ben and Rory that two people were walking towards the estate. When Rory informed her it was Leila and Amy, Sabella quickly put on her cloak and went out to meet them. Winter was coming and the air was cold and sharp. Above, grey clouds loomed and threatened snow.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:55 pm

Nathan came down from upstairs when he heard Amy was coming back. He hopped down half the stairs, excited to see her again. It didn’t sit well that she left and he  felt for her as an older brother might to a younger sister. Leila was slightly behind Amy and to Sabella’s surprise, Amy looked fairly disheveled and there was an iron collar around her neck with a chain that led to Leila’s hands. Amy’s hands were behind her back and her eyes looked haunted and distant as they approached her. Ben and Rory came outside just before Nathan did. At her approach Leila shifted and a knife appeared in her hand and she shifted it up to Amy’s neck.

“My mistrisssss, has offffered, thiissss...thing to youuu forrrr the Orrracle,” she said in a very slurred speech. Leila now looked as if her hair hadn’t been washed in days and her eyes, pupils and iris’s both were a stark white. Her head was tilted at a very odd angle and she moved with an odd lurch as if her legs were stiff and wooden. “Albereth...controls her and Brandon...and others,” Amy cried. When she shifted though Leila’s dagger shifted inhumanly quick. Nathan stopped short and smiled at first at seeing her but then frowned when he saw Amy.

“Nnn..athan?” She said as tears rolled down her face. "Sabbbbella? They hurt me...help me, help me! Please!?" She said as fresh tears began to flow where dried ones already had recently.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:37 am

Sabella's happiness at seeing Amy and Leila quickly changed to that of horror when she saw the iron collar around Amy's neck and how Leila looked. Very quickly she realized that Albereth was responsible for this, but was shocked to hear from Amy that she may be controlling others. She knew that she needed to get Amy away from Leila and quickly. With a flick of her wrist the dagger Leila held in her hand was flung out of it and out into the grass. Leila was then shoved back away from Amy.

"Nathan! Grab Amy now!"


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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:47 am

When Nathan leapt forward, everything seemed to happen at once. A small ball of fire barely missed where Nathan had been but Ben wasn’t so lucky. It exploded just behind him and Ben was thrown forward, his back a fiery ruin as Nathan fell to the ground with Amy. Rory fired his musket at the coach where he saw the flame come from and the coach began to move forward quickly and further away down the road. He thought about reloading but instead dashed forward and threw his cloak to staunch the flames that smoldered atop an unconscious Ben that laid sprawled out onto the cold ground nearby.

Leila was knocked down but she didn’t stay that way for long. As if she were some kind of nightmarish marionette she stood back up woodenly then made an odd growling sound as she lurched forward toward Sabella.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:24 am

Sabella was surprised when a ball of fire suddenly flew past her to where Nathan had just been standing. It missed him, but hit Ben in the back. Sabella knew then that Kindle was in the coach and probably Albereth as well. Nathan thankfully managed to grab Amy and keep her safe and Rory helped Ben, who was unconscious but appeared to be alive.

Leila stood up and Sabella knew she was either going to have to get inside her mind and re-awaken the old Leila, or she was going to have to be killed. She did not want the latter to happen and so she immediately tried to get inside Leila's mind.

Leila, listen to me. It's Sabella...your friend. I know you don't want to hurt me. You're being controlled. You have to try and fight against it...against her.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:10 am

It was then that she felt her power snap back into her as if it were reflected. It was so painful and sudden she staggered but managed to keep her footing. An amulet with a small light blue stone turned white and glowed a moment just as her power was reflected back. In only moments Leila was right in front of Sabella and to her horror another knife that she had pulled from under her cloak was in her hand. In that moment time seemed to slow down as she realized that she was going to die…

Sabella hadn’t seen the others that had come out to help and one of those that stood behind them was Wylin, a small, 12 year old girl with long, black hair, pale blue eyes and a very freckled face. Tendrils from the ground rose up suddenly, small bands of brown and green fashioned from the grasses and earth below her feet, snapped onto her and bound Leila’s arms to her sides. Mindlessly Leila attempted to raise her arm to strike at her but the binding tendrils held her immobilized. As they looked on in amazement a growl from Nathan rose up from his throat and he lunged at Leila, his blades out poised to kill her for certain sure. Rory though had seen him and without thought he lunged and tackled Nathan and they landed in a heap in the cold grass near her feet. Nathan twisted and ended up on top of Rory, his blade poised in his grasp to be driven down into his chest. Rory could do nothing but look up in horror as it did indeed look like Nathan’s rage had unbalanced him.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:25 am

Sabella felt as if her mind had been hit with a hammer. Her connection with Leila's mind was immediately lost and she staggered back a few feet. In the time it took her to get her footing she looked up to see that Leila had another dagger in her hand and was coming straight towards her. Sabella's mind was still reeling from what had just occurred and she knew she would not be able to use her powers to pull the knife from her hand. Her thoughts immediately went to Nathan and her love for him as she watched the knife plunge towards her.

Suddenly, tendrils rose up from the ground and wrapped around Leila...stopping her just inches from her chest. Sabella looked over to see Wylin and relief came over her. Leila continued to try and attack, but the tendrils held fast. Just then, Nathan lunged at Leila with his own blades out and Sabella feared he might kill her. She began to yell out at him, but Rory tackled him before he reached Leila. Sabella watched as the two men rolled and then Nathan rolled on top of Rory. To her horror he raised up one of his blades to strike at Rory.

"Nathan stop!"

With her mind now clear she pulled the blade from his hand and it flew back into her own.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:41 am

For a moment Nathan turned and his face was filled with fury, his eyes were dilated and he looked almost feral in his ferocity. He growled and looked as if he intended to lunge at her too but then paused and his facial features changed back to the man she knew. He still looked angry though as he got off of Rory. With the situation now under control Nathan moved up to Sabella and looked her right in the face.

“And that is why women do not belong in battle!” he said angrily, almost shouting at her. He pointed at Leila who still struggled in her bonds. “That..that thing! Would have killed you and others too if it had a chance. You’re compassion is what’s going to get everyone killed here Sabella!” He yelled in a very disrespectful tone. However before she could speak he took a step forward and made her take a step back. “Next time you have a chance to end them...do it!” he shouted angrily and she’d know what he meant. If she can deflect a knife with her mind, she could have used it against Leila too but she didn’t and it almost cost her her life. Nathan actually shoved her aside and as he stalked back toward the house, those that had come out shifted to avoid getting in his way. Though no one had seen, Amy grinned slightly at what had just happened but her expression changed quickly when Sabella looked down at her.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:50 am

Sabella still held Nathan's knife in her hand as he angrily came towards her. As he began shouting in her face she just stood there looking at him. She was full of swirling emotions at that point and felt on the brink of snapping because of it. She opened her mouth to speak, but before she could even get a breath in he stepped towards her with such anger that she actually stepped back in fear. She watched him slightly as he stalked back off towards the house. She intended to try to help Leila. She could not just kill her without trying. She was her friend and she deserved that much from her.

She then looked at Amy and she immediately put her arms around her and held her tightly.

"Are you alright?"

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:19 am

That night Nathan did not come to her to make up like he usually did and the day after Nathan moved his quarters to the top level with the men and moved any women who were housed up there down. He also pulled all the women out of the training though some of them were far better at navigating without sight that they complained to Sabella about it. Nathan decreed that he needed soldiers, not women for what was coming though he knew very well without Sabella, the chances of their survival were much lower if not impossible. What it was all about was that he had almost lost her for true and couldn’t bring himself to put her in that kind of danger again. Several women were in Sabella’s room the evening after. Amy, Rose, Helen, Irene, Francis, Wylin and Rachael.

“You know we can’t leave Sabella,” Rachael said. “The school is all we have now. And we’ve all heard the stories about what happens when we try to live with...normal...people,” she added. “And Sloan is still out there!” A frightened Irene said and others agreed. “Why's he so damn stubborn!?” Rose asked and crossed her arms angrily under her breasts. “Who put him in charge anyway?” Francis asked. “The Oracle is still with us and can talk now...why is Nathan still leading things?” Helen asked.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:31 am

Leila was put down in a cell and Sabella attempted to try and get into her mind and right what Albereth had done, but nothing seemed to work. She was not giving up on her yet. She wanted to continue and try before making any decision on what was to be done. She had not spoken to Nathan since that day and she noticed that he had moved up to the top level. She also noticed that any women up there were moved and their training discontinued. Her anger with him was growing by the day and pretty soon she would not be able to control it.

One evening a group of women had gathered in her room to discuss what was happening. They were all upset and angry and looked to her to make things right.

"The Oracle put him in charge Helen and we must follow his will. Despite our anger with Nathan he is still doing more than any of us ever could and I still believe in him."

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:51 am

That night Nathan took a look at Leila again and as he approached the bars of her cell she stood and hobbled over to him. She tried to reach him, even struggled to grab hold of him, mindless of how the bars scraped her skin. Roughly Nathan grabbed hold of her then reached in and pulled the amulet off of her chest. The moment he did she fell down as if all the marionette's strings had just been cut. He looked down at her without expression then stepped away with the amulet in hand…

“Well, maybe if you weren’t fucking him we’d not be in this mess!” Amy said suddenly. All the women’s eyes bulged at her crudeness but then their eyes shifted back to Sabella questioningly. “I used to look up to you Sabella,” Amy said coldly. “I never would have thought that you’d find another cock so quickly after Wesley died,” she said. “Amy!” Rose said in outrage. “Well, it's true! She’s in love with him and it's affected her judgement. As long as he sticks it in her she does what he says when he says it,” she said angrily and looked around. Wylin who didn’t really know much about what she was talking about only looked afraid. “They tortured me Sabella and all you care about is Nathan...well, what about the rest of us, huh?” she asked and her eyes were narrowed as if to say. ‘Oh yeah, I’m not over it yet!’

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:32 pm

Sabella knew then that Amy was under Albereth's control and her heart shattered for her friend. She knew she needed to be careful and not give away that she knew what was happening. They had been fooled...all of them and now Amy was free in the estate and was interacting with everyone there. The danger was suddenly great and Sabella knew that she would need to talk to Nathan immediately.

After the girls had left, Sabella walked up the stairs towards the upper level where Nathan was staying with the rest of the men. What she had not been expecting was Ben standing guard at the top of the steps. Sabella's anger increased significantly. Who did Nathan think he was?! The King of England?!

"Please step aside Ben. I need to speak to his majesty even though I am but a lowly woman and unworthy to even kiss his boots!" she said loud enough for Nathan to hear. She was nearly trembling with anger now.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:56 pm

Ben had seen her ascend the stairs, most of the men did, Nathan had too but he turned his back to her. He was only in his shirt and he looked...filthy like he had when she first saw him in the smithy shop. Ben sighed when she went on and winced when she asked him to step aside. He shook his head. “Now Sabella…” he began but it was Nathan that spoke up. “It’s alright Ben, let her pass,” he said and Ben’s face had a moment of relief as he stepped aside.

“So, you’ll need to split up into groups of two and begin sparring. Rory, you’ll be in charge of the men using the firearms. We’ll preload several and stack them up here,” he said and gestured along the bannister that overlooked the bottom level. He didn't say anything about the women nor about Sabella as she approached him.

“Yes, Sabella?” He said in a neutral tone. “I hear the Oracle has regained his speech, I am happy he is recovering...I know how important he is to you...to us all,” he said in a softer tone and all of a sudden he was the Nathan she remembered. He put a hand on her arm and lightly rubbed her shoulder.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:45 pm

Ben was lucky that Nathan was there and 'allowed' her to come up and speak to him. Otherwise, based upon her current mood bad things would have happened. She was beyond furious and pushed past Ben on her way up the stairs. She approached Nathan, her hands balled up into fists. When Nathan then began to speak in a neutral tone she became even more furious. And then he had the audacity to touch her!

"You have NO right to touch me Nathan!" she growled at him as she yanked her arm away from him like was a poisonous snake. "Not after the way you spoke to me! And I'm surprised that you even care about The Oracle...it shows compassion and weakness according to you. You have no right to speak as if he means more to you than me...or that anyone here means more to you than me! This has been MY home for years and yours for only a few months. I'm sorry that I showed compassion towards Leila. It just means that I have a heart and care about her. She was the first friend I made after coming here and we have grown up together. I'm sorry that I decided to try and help her instead of just killing her." Angry tears had filled her eyes and were threatening to spill down her cheeks.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:01 pm

Her anger only made Nathan angry and fast. His eyes bulged and she could see his cheeks coloring in outrage and embarrassment. He was trying to protect these women! Especially when he was worried that they would hesitate in battle when they saw people they knew. He had grown an affinity for the Oracle and felt, for a time, that the safety of this place counted on him but now...now he wasn’t so certain he wasn’t just making a mess of things. As her words continued they flailed him like a steel whip, so much so he wanted to snarl. He didn’t though, it would only give her the satisfaction of making him angry, which he was.

“It is likely you will see more people that you know and they will not show you the same kind of courtesy or restraint. They will kill you...without hesitating!" he yelled. His lips quivered and then he leaned down to her. "And you’re right, this isn’t my home,” he said then straightened and tried to step around her as he reached up to the bannister that was next to them and snatched up his jacket as if to leave.

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by XslvrstarX on Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:37 pm

Sabella rolled her eyes and shook her head. "And there you go acting like a toddler again Nathan!" She sighed and took a breath to ease herself and then stopped him. She looked at him and lowered her voice. "Amy is under Albereth's control."

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Re: The Torch Is Passed

Post by Conleth on Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:46 pm

Nathan jerked her hand off of him and started down the stairs. Ben and Rory looked poleaxed at what was happening. Without Nathan...who was going to train them they wondered worriedly. “I’m certain you can handle it...you seem to like working alone,” he said in a cutting tone and she’d know he was referring to Wesley. The Oracle had said that his death was both of their faults but he hadn’t elaborated. He put his jacket on and continued past the stairs toward the main hall. He was quite melodramatic, far more than he was willing to admit but right then she had hurt his feelings and embarrassed him in front of the men. He would not give over this time.

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