Kyle Thurman was leaning against the solid rock walls of the study hall, one hand pressed firmly against his face, the other tracing small circles in the rough stone. It had been a long day, longer than most, and his head was pounding. But the cool evening air was slowly lessening his head's pounding, and, after a few more moments, he stepped forward, feet once more regaining the entire weight of their lifelong burden.
He let out a sigh, and then began to walk forward. He didn't know why exactly his teachers always pressed him so hard. They should know by now that he had nothing more to offer them than what he gave. He did his best, really, but they seemed to sense some unrealized potential within him, and weren't willing to let him get away with anything less than perfection. He supposed it was normal. One day, he would be sent out into the world, to do tasks for the world at large, and he needed to be able to handle himself before that point.
You could always let me have some fun.
"You've got to be kidding me," he muttered, glancing around to make sure that there was no one nearby. "I've already said no, as you know full well."
Oh, come now. The voice said, perfectly reasonable. I'm simply trying to help you here. Make sure that they always show a proper... respect.
Kyle let out a snort, pushing some of his shaggy black hair away from bright grey eyes. Jace had a strong gift for persuasion, persistent, frustrating voice, but that was one thing he wasn't going to be able to get Kyle to do. He was too fond of retaining control of his own body to let a not-so-friendly, ancient mage run it for him, no matter how funny it would be to see the teachers' faces.
He laughed softly at that, but stopped promptly when the voice cajoled See? You think it is a good idea to.
Frustrating, antagonistic, pestering, provoking, agitating voice.
Kyle turned mid-step, changing course from his dorm room to one of the nearby nature preserves. He had always been fond of the quiet atmosphere of the parks, and, right now, a little bit of peace and quiet sounded wonderful.
And were are we going now?
So much for peace and quiet.
"Since when have you been so talkative?" Kyle growled through clenched teeth.
I'm bored, Jace replied, somehow managing to sound disinterested, rather than whining. When was the last time you and I had any fun?
"As I recall, the last time you convinced me to have 'fun' I woke up twelve hours later, a partially naked druid on top of me." He still hadn't gotten all the spiders from his room, once she had finally woken up and realized what was going on. He was only lucky that he wasn't a part of the Psi training, or he could have had much greater trouble than spiders. Mind control was a highly forbidden art, and the punishments were quick and severe. He had also been in a relative daze for several days afterwords, trying to recover from the aftereffects of having Jace use even such a limited amount of his magic.
I set you up for the perfect evening. It isn't my fault you didn't take advantage of it.
Kyle growled, but didn't deem to reply beyond that. For one thing, he had just entered the borders of the sanctuary, and he wanted to devote attention to things that were outside of his head for a bit. He took a deep breath, relishing the clean air and smell of sap, resin, and decay. It was a warm, living place, the forest, and a perfect place to go in the evenings, when the setting sun stained the leaves and bark a warm gold.
Diving deeper into the forest, Kyle allowed himself to forget about the day, and his normally cheerful attitude quickly returned. A small laugh escaped his lips as he half ran, half skipped further away from the walls.
He froze suddenly when he heard a voice call out to him, tremulous, light, and clearly feminine. "H-Hello!"
He felt Jace tense up inside his mind, suddenly severe. Kyle wasn't particularly worried. Not inside the city walls. Sure, he was meeting a strange person in the middle of the woods, but he had nothing worth stealing, and the city was well guarded and well watched. No harm would come to him, no matter how pessimistic Jace was.
"Good afternoon," he replied warmly to the unknown caller.