She blushed, his heart threatened to bound about his chest in efforts to escape, thanking his lucky stars he wasn’t in his stag form or his body would have betrayed him adding to his shame. Within the interlocking of their eyes he longed for something more. To know what lurked behind her face and to read what he couldn’t see, to know what he didn’t at this time. Connection, a temptress to him just like her while it was confusing, it intoxicated him. It seemed her mind was just in as much conflict as his with her search for an answer. Hopefully it wasn’t’ his imagination.
She smiled. His ears rose up in alarm, wide eyed as he watched her face turn up in a thin line. It broke the monotone expression yet it filled her with something…something special. He couldn’t place, just left him cautious and curious. His head cocked to the side in inquiry, careful to keep his antlers from clipping her side, and his eyes narrowed sharply upon her face, sought clues of pain or memory. He tried to remember, faintly and jaded, of child, men, and even women of old performing the same gesture yet why? Most animals pulled back their teeth in fright, did he frighten her? How did he? Can he fix it? Why did he care?
She’s human, she can’t be trusted…the poison had voiced it thoughts but Duir was too wrapped up in Brianna to listen.
“That’s good…” It was crossed between firm and soft, a happy medium to him anyway. Reminded him of how a human man once spoke to his…wife? He called her his wife, the meaning of the term was lost on Duir, and the man wasn’t angry when he spoke, content with her efforts. That was how Duir felt with Brianna.
There electrical sensation where her fingers touched once more, a pleasant traced that left his flesh hot when it left. His eyes closed, his lips pressed lightly together as he found himself leaning slightly into the fingers. Almost fighting against nuzzling, knowing his antlers would be pressed into her stomach if he attempted it. Stupid horns. This was the first time he ever cursed a part of himself and it made him paused from his action and open his eyes. Strange, very strange it was.
Her face remained cracked until she saw her wrist, her fingers still held within his thick curls that joined in the very contact, strands of hair caress and encouraged it. Inside it warmed him before his emotions were rocked by the shift. He didn’t want that, depression had strong power on him whenever she frowned and he didn’t like her frowning at all. In honesty with himself, he shouldn’t care at all but he did, Duir found himself sensitivity more and more. It hurt to do it yet he longed to drown himself in these emotions he watched humans displayed. No one, not even the people of old, even dared to love a god at least not like this. Could she? He yearned with all of his existence.
His boyish lips tried to mimic only to have one side to lift while the other epically failed. Once more he tried and again his cheeks couldn’t quite understand what he wanted. The more he tried, his ears pulled back in frustration as he found he was only able to produce a weak lopsided smirk. It made him look nothing more than guilty as he wanted her to stay smiling. A brief memory as he watched the children play, when his loneness didn’t plague him, grin to another, spread it like the scent of a freshly picked flower. That was what he wanted to do with her.
The voice in the back of his head hissed but despite its reasoning, he continued to ignore it completely in her presence. Even the ache had seemed to dull but then again he had yet to move.
If she knew the conflict that was going on inside him, the same one that waged war inside of her as well, she would have laughed. Because at least if they were feeling the same way about this, then they'd know that they felt the same about other things and could stop having this little panicked war inside themselves about what could be nothing at all to worry over.
But she didn't know and so they had to struggle on.
He tired so hard to smile and as she watched him she couldn't help but smile herself. Laughing softly even. He was amusing and cute like that, and she blushed the slightest bit more at that thought. What was going on with her? Was she really so distracted by him? Was he as distracted by her? Maybe? Who knew? She didn't, and she wasn't for sure why it was that she cared one way or the other. She hardly knew him, and he for certain didn't know her.
But oh how she wanted to get to know him, wanted to spend the time with him to learn about him and everything that was to do with his godhood. He was fascinating. And hopefully he'd let her stay around and get to know him, and even get to know her some as well. That would make her so very happy. Girlishly an stupidly happy. Perhaps, if things went well, they could at least be friends and then just maybe neither of them would be quite so lonely anymore. Because she didn't know if anything more than friends and companions could even be possible with him.
Brianna's smile softened again, her fingers pulling free of his wonderfully soft hair to cup his cheek. She thought she should tell him to rest, but she didn't want to move away from him just yet, afraid that he'd slip back into being mad at her if she did. So instead she looked down at him a little stupidly, smiling, and not knowing what to say at all.
He did it slightly taken back by how strong a smile could be, her face cracked once more as relief washed over him absolutely lost in triumph. His cheeks twitched and fluttered to improve his smile, not knowingly failing, eyes memorized the sight thoroughly gladdened of his success. A sound emitted from her mouth nearly making him flinch in astonishment. He wasn’t expecting it, the noise so light and merry echoed inside of him while his body fought the impulse to dart away. Only habit, one brought on by years mostly in deer form never had reason for his current one unless on a whim.
Could she be human? The toil inside was torment, coiled about like worms escaping the rain making his insides alive with such movements as his hands came to rest upon his stomach. How he wished she wasn’t, just so these bladed ideas would leave him some speck of peace in her presence, just to creep though the ages sitting like this seemed nothing more than wonderful. Maybe it was her pray that influence him or maybe there was much to the reason he couldn’t move when he saw her. Possible.
Around her, everything melted away, the coldness and the loneness even the dark thoughts. The longer he stared into her eyes the more lost he became. No more guarded, running away, and pretending he was fine with being alone. No more pain. For the first time since he met her, he wasn’t clutching his side screaming to fade away. How long would that last? He was once naïve to believe he would never be forgotten or alone in this world but both had happened, leaving him slightly bitter. With every common sense he should cast her out even chase her away before the cycle, that heart breaking cycle, began once more.
His chest hurt, a light and tender throb of pain unrelated to his side. Duir’s had eyes widened in surprise at the emotion. It would be completely clear he couldn’t hide his feelings, but then again he had been alone for so long why would he? No one could see it other than his beloved forest, it never judged him before so what was the point in sealing behind a mask. His back wiggled a bit more, settling his thin elegant figure closer to her warmth unable to take in enough of her scent, focus on placing it. Narcissus was the smell; his right ear flickered lazily while his face returned to a much more comfortable expression. Duir couldn’t figure how humans could smile for long periods of time, his own stretched cheek, so alien to the exercise, stung from the pull of lopsided one.
She cupped his face as blood rushed to his cheeks, his nostril flared not in rage but something else. He was redder then a rose while his head was held under invisible water with her hand cradling him. His skin tone made his brown hair pop out even more; it even darkened his ears if she looked carefully enough. Confusion smacked him full on the face and Duir liked it, a lot in fact. His lips thinned at himself while eyes sought elsewhere turning his face away in embarrassment, unable to face his recent change of color something even he couldn’t explain. He was a god, humans let alone Brianna shouldn’t affect him so. She shouldn’t but she had.
Warmth, sticky liquid coated his hand demanded his attention as he glanced at his side, his body slightly lifted up for a better view only to be mocked by sharp shoot of agony. He hadn’t meant to rush up so quickly but it happened so fast there was no way to prepare. Duir found his body curled up, his head fell back into her lap, off center from his favorite spot. Arms wrapped about his middle pressed the patches deeper darkening them, soaked though from the rough ness of his squeezing arms just below his wound. Pearly white teeth bore against his foolish move to drive the unwanted away. Duir knew he had to straighten out yet his position was fixed, stiff and unyielding to his brain’s reason while his ears pinned back. Why did she always have to see him in pain? Why did it feel the need to remind him how much pain she caused him?
It was such a lovely moment, sitting here with him, just watching him for the most part and him not seeming to mind the silence between them either. She wasn't used to talking a lot. Living alone did that to you when you spent your working hours alone in the forest as well. He would understand that. He spent all his time here as well. Had he ever really talked with humans before anyways? Surly he had, back when her people still worshiped him. He had a temple here after all. They must have come, a long time ago, to see him.
Brianna hadn't really noticed how close he was moving, how far he'd gone from shuddering at her touch to almost curling around her. But she noticed his pain and it stabbed through her heart again to watch him suffer. Quickly, her eyes shot down to the wound and saw the blood blossom up onto the off white fabric she'd wrapped around him. She sighed, shifting him out of her lap slowly, hating the cool air as it reminded her that her lap wasn't warm anymore from his head against her.
"Relax," she cooed, pushing his knees away from his chest with a firm hand, but not too hard so she hurt him further. "You need to stretch out again so you don't put too much pressure on the wound. Please," she was almost pleading in her tone, knowing that he needed to move now and hating every second he was in worse pain. If he kept this up, the wound would never have the chance to heal right and he'd be in pain for so much longer.
"Please Duir. Relax. I'm right here and I'm not going anywhere."
His mind was lost in pain, every part of him longed for it to stop and vanish like rains that flooded the forest in its youth. His teeth bit into his lip, threaten to draw more blood as his eyes casted away all the flooding agony brought on by his own stupidity. He hated it and it made him weaker than he wanted to remember. Tighter and tighter his thin body pulled together, refused to listen to the screaming mind of how it only hurt more. Blood ran down his side only to puddle a bit to the ground. His head rocked with the motions of her moving him and for one horrifying moment, he thought she would leave him. His eyes shot open wider with fear, hate, and conflicting sadness at the idea.
She doesn’t care about you…never did, mocked inner the hate of humans, voice pure venom shake his core.
He would be alone again. Numbness filled him, mocked his beliefs that she wasn’t like other humans. She wouldn’t leave him and hurt him greater than the wound he let her inflict upon himself, Duir fought the tears tugging at the corner of his eyes. Gods weren’t allowed to cry. He wouldn’t cry even if his ideals were shattered against the rock hard reality.
Her touches made him cringe, not expecting it, as his feet kicked out a bit in shock unaware where they were to her location. His ear twisted about to caught her words, slicing though the air as it took the soothing of her voice. She hadn’t left him. It settled his anxiety; his tense body eased followed her pushing of his knees from her chest, her tone increase the body’s willingness to accomplish her wishes. She hadn’t left him. The words pounded though Duir’s head like drums made his black orbs glance elsewhere to hide what he jumped to. The last words made his heart leap only to fall into a collapse in high spirits heap within his chest while his head turned to her, his mouth uttering words much to his surprise.
Brianna shifted away from his kicking without thought, used to that sort of thing. She didn't want to get kicked by him. He might break something in her. Even when injured he was likely a whole lot stronger than her, and he was kicking in pain and fear and that always added more power to a kick. She was just glad she'd moved away from his antlers enough that he'd not be able to catch her in the side with them. That would truly hurt her.
But finally his eyes opened up and his body relaxed enough for her to move him and get the wrong kind of pressure off his wound. He was bleeding out something awful again. It almost looked worse than it had before and she felt herself pale at just how much blood he was losing.
She looked to her bag that she'd dropped on the other side of the clearing by the stream. It wasn't that far away, but it also had her only clean tunic in it. And why dirty that one when the one she had on was already ruined and a little bloody. So instead of going for her bag, she reached for the hem of her tunic and pulled it up over her head, leaving her in top half in nothing but the bindings around her chest. Pressing her hastily folded tunic down onto his wound, leaning just the slightest bit againist him. If only the wound would stop opening up he would hopefully stop bleeding.
His question caught her off guard a little and she was totally for certain what it was that he was asking. "Why what?" she asked softly, looking up at him with confused eyes.
Brianna was near him and to his awe; he could sense her meaning he was getting attached. Warmth spilled out, coated his side and his arms in dark red causing him to draw his hand up to his vision. He was bleeding far worse than before, much more to his own lack of common sense. Even he couldn’t deny it. Duir realized he kicked out, and for a horrible instant she could have been in the line of it.
Brianna’s face drained of color, pallor and sickly to him, that he felt worried. He didn’t like it, pained him a bit at seeing her like this as the wound’s enflaming had died down slowly from the release of pressure. His nose twitched with irritation at her compassion, making it so hard to hate, his weakness, the inability to escape, and just the fact that someday she would leave. He wondered if she realized that. Knew deep inside that she and him couldn’t exist. There couldn’t be an us, he thought bitterly, always that lingering sense of doubt.
Duir caught the sight of bare flesh, the simple bindings stating her gender once more to him just as he knew from her scent. His face colored, heated with the rush of blood from her exposure as well as the flood of response to it. He was male after all, stag god or not there was things that did make him feel… a wonderful weird but still weird. His eyes turned away, staring at the ground, tried to hide the facts of what she had caused.
Humans too indulged with themselves to understand the reason of certain questions. His face frowned at the idea, his antlers bended downward to point in the opposite direction from her as his black ones caught hers. Bump, bump, and bump went his heart in his chest from the mere touch of her green ones. Silence at what to say. Duir was stunned in how to respond, his lips thinned more at the idea and slight hurt that she didn’t understand when she should. Maybe it was his male pride that didn’t help.
“Why won’t you leave me? Why you won’t let me die in peace?” there was a bit of pleading to his tone as if her presence was nothing more than agony to him. Little did she know it was true but not in the way he expected. She reminded him of what couldn’t be.
She'd seen his flush, but thought nothing of it other than a possible rising fever, something she'd have to deal with after she stopped the bleeding. Could gods have fevers? Probably if he could bleed out like he was doing just now. She'd done this to him. And that painful stab to her chest was back again and that just made everything in her head even more confusing.
But the tone of his words almost hurt more. Did he not want her there? Would he rather her leave him there alone to die? She didn't want to, it was why she hadn't left before when he'd told her to go. But that was because he was angry with her. Right? He'd pushed her away before, but she'd just shot him then. That was understandable. But she'd seen the way he'd looked at her since then and those looks had held something else. She wasn't for sure what, but it hadn't been that anger still.
"Because I know what it's like to be alone," she said softly, lifting her hands up some to see if the bleeding had lessened. Which it thankfully had some, but his life force was still leaking out of his side. "I know what it's like to have no one there for you when you need them. I'm not going to let you die as it is. But I'm not leaving you. I don't want to leave you..."
His ears pulled back, compressed beneath his curly hair shifted it away from his jaw. Brianna’s words lanced though him pulling at heart strings he shouldn’t have. His black eyes took her in, swallowed the image of her compassion as his heart whacked against his chest. This behavior, it shouldn’t exist but it didn’t stop it from burying into his soul. The last part stung the worse. Silly human, didn’t she know how this was going to end? It would end as it always did, his being carved out and hollowed shell left in its act.
Warmth still ran down his middle, lighter than it had been before as the rustle of her lifting the now bloodied tunic. Alone? A human alone, Duir nearly choked upon notion seeing human’s often in packs and small knitted groups but never unaccompanied. Duir mildly inspected her, first the idea curve of her jaw, than the power in her thin arms from pulling back the bow’s cord, and finally the muscles lining her torso-discomfort turned him a lighter scarlet once more- was all he could see in his curled up position. She was beautiful as Duir failed to find a single flaw in her appearance. Nothing to cry sickness, no deformity to misshapen her so why was she on her own?
Naturally Duir thought in terms of animals, not humans. It never occurred to him the problem might be internal instead of external. Even choice was a far thought. Such a stubborn female, a thrill of enthusiasm swept in the back of his mind, slowly his human legs stretched outward. The grass shuffled under his ethereal physique, lean muscles stretch carefully and only slightly tugged at the wound’s outer edges as everything gave away to the drowning sense of calm. Even the ache drifted from him, encouraged his fight or flight instinct to release Duir at last. A deep exhausted breath breezed though his lips driving the last of the affliction away from his mind, allowing a soothing sensation to ease into the void left behind for the moment of peace.
Duir shifted his head upward, painstakingly delayed by his care, his forearm braced upon the sweet smelling grass that hadn’t been touched by his dying blood. Gratitude at only the death of plants made him stall. Confusion and a strange compassion that his blood didn’t kill living creatures, Duir’s ear flicked and a grim expression, nothing unusual from his normal face save for the one eyebrow. It twitched upward, tried to reach high off his face and fly away into the sky tethered only by the divine muscle that held it in place. There was little reason to ponder upon it as he met her eyes, softening the harsh features into his neutral expression, his heart slammed against his chest like a defiant woodland creature.
“I don’t understand you,” while his eyes had a beaten look to them, his voice was full of accordance and even a weak crooked smile slightly creased his cheek at his own words,” Any human wouldn’t stay but… You do. You won’t gain anything from this.”
The last words were more hard edged than he intended and in that moment, that slip up by the immortal’s pride, Duir winched at the words that sullied his lips.
She paused for a moment at his words. Was she going to get anything out of this really? She didn't deserve to be getting anything out of it other than his companionship. She'd hurt him after all. She was hardly worthy of being there with him now as it was. What more could she even ask of him? He was a god, yes, but what could he do for her that he hadn't done already.
"What's there not to understand?" She asked with a soft chuckle. "I'm just a simple huntress who lives on her own because for whatever reason, no one wants to live with me. But I don't need them." There was a hint of bitterness to her tone, somethng she tried to hide. She didn't need to burden Duir with those sorts of petty things from her life.
Brianna sighed, watching his blood slowly trail down his side still. "I don't need to get anything more than being here with you." She spoke softly, glancing up to his face again, looking over his lovely skin, his dark eyes, the way his ears hid themselves in his bouncy curls, and his magnificant antlers crowning it all. "Just being here is enough for me."
She settled back off her feet, pulling her tunic up again to look at the wound. "Perhaps we should put some stitches in to help it heal better," she mumbled more tp herself than to him. He probably wouldn't like that idea much, but it might be what they needed to do to make sure he was alright and healed up nicely.