Emilia Ernest • Spellcaster
Played by WASD


Started by Ezio Ember at 28 Feb, 2020 5:00 am
May 20, 2020
17 Posts

Ezio Ember

Wolf Blood

Some people learn to love their chains.

It was kind of amazing to find this. This particular painting had an interesting history, and Ezio knew it already. The plaque under it, from what he could see, didn't mention anything about it, but Ezio knew this was painted as a memorial piece for the artist's lover. They weren't married, she was made to marry someone else in order to continue bloodlines; strong magical bloodlines were so highly valued of course.

Today, Ezio wore a white collared shirt with a black, off-shoulder sweater over it, buckled belt around the waist, black pants and white boots. He had eyeliner on, just a line on his upper lids, under his glasses, but mostly he looked decently normal. Today was experiment day, just to see how it went, and Drake hadn't lost his shit this morning, so that was certainly a start. It was hard to explain back then; no one had any words for things the weird shit in Ezio's head, hadn't had any words for what was in Morgyn's either. Ostensibly, Ezio's gender issues were easier. It was just that, sometimes, he didn't feel like a man, but instead like a woman. The he pronoun got annoying, he felt like he'd rather be called she, and then as quick as it came, it went away.

Mostly, Ezio stayed out of the LGBT community. They had so many words for things now, and none of them made any damn sense to him. It all just confused him more rather than helped. Grey eyes looked back up at the painting on the wall. He knew the guy that had painted this. It was rather well preserved, almost impressively, and one hand reached out to touch it. And then he realised what he was doing, and put his arm back down.

He pulled a notebook out of his pocket, scribbling a note. Sometimes, he took side classes related to art, just because he did enjoy art. Ezio was more creative than he seemed like (and he was going into law, so one would probably assume he wasn't very into the abstract and immeasurable), simply he never had the time to bother refining it. After his vague attempts at publishing books, he'd given up on creative pursuits in favour of being able to eat. Seemed more prudent.

How long had he been here, anyway? He pulled his phone out, checked the time, and then made a face at it. He should probably sit down, at least. That in mind, he shuffled off to one side, settling down out of the way, and looking over his notes. This class wasn't necessary, really, but he'd still like to pass it.

Give me hope, give me strength,
I don't know, where it went.

Cassandra slipped from image to image, dark eyes roaming their curves and edges as she admired and criticized every stroke made on each painting. The Goth girl seemed to blend into the surroundings, a simple, thin, long-sleeved black shirt layered over a dark purple tank. Black denim hugged her legs and boots meant for combat, not everyday usage, adorned her feet. Her ink was hidden beneath the cloth, as it often was when she visited places like this: her mother had taught her not to sacrifice class, especially in establishments meant to appreciate the past--and their family certainly had one.

Just as Ezio stepped to the side of the painting, Cassandra approached. At first, it seemed like the woman was entirely oblivious to his presence altogether; she didn't even cast him a sidelong glance. She unknowingly mimicked his actions, her arm lifting as her fingers reached to touch the gentle ridges made by the strokes of paint. The only difference here is that she didn't stop herself. She was a peculiar creature, and rumors of macabre fascinations had followed her through high school. If asked, she wouldn't confirm or deny the allegations; Alexander knew though. Her brother knew everything there was to know about her, it seemed, for their bond was extremely close.

When she pulled her hand back, her lips, painted a dark hue, parted and she said, "Tragic, isn't it?" Her words were directed at Ezio, and at that moment it became obvious that she had noticed him nearby. She wasn't privvy to his thoughts though, or the things that distracted him from further exploring the meaning behind the painting.

"I wonder what it is like to fall in love, but I fear an incident such as this occurring if I were to dare make that attempt. Imagine being forced to be with someone you may loathe for the benefit of someone else? The things we tell one another are products of their selfishness are often something else altogether. Not always though, I don't mean to give those that are selfish the benefit of the doubt. But some things... some things we deserve to have to ourselves."

She paused for a moment, crossing her arms beneath the curve of her breasts and digging her fingers into the sides of her torso as her mind wandered briefly. Finally, she turned on her heel and those dark eyes fell over Ezio, drinking in his appearance. The application of liner over his lids did not escape her notice. It was a trait she often found herself looking upon, and perhaps it was because she was such a strange creature. Her own eyes glittered brightly against the contrast of the liner rimming them. 

"What would you do, if you were faced with choosing lifelong misery for the sake of another? If your future had not one bit to do with yourself, but those that would come after you?" she asked softly.

Ezio Ember

Wolf Blood

Some people learn to love their chains.

Well. He was not expecting that question today, or any day, being honest about it. It wasn't like she really knew what she was asking. Cassandra Goth, of course. Oh, he knew. She was related to the Crumplebottoms and the Bachelors, everyone knew them, and if they didn't, then they weren't paying enough attention. Mediums and seers, mostly, but once in a while, you got a full-on spellcaster. Seemed she wasn't one, but her bloodline was powerful all the same, and whether she knew it or not, her blood hummed with the pulse of magic.

He had a feeling her name wasn't just happenstance. A pretty collection of words her parents had seen in a book somewhere. No, never that.

Ezio turned his head to one side. The sting was there, but it wasn't her fault, and he had to remember not to be upset about it. Most talked about Bella and her legendary beauty, but as far as he was concerned, Cassandra was just as beautiful, if not moreso. Bella was... too... fuck if he knew the words. Simlish was hard, especially when his heart was already twisting.

"Painful," he said quietly. "Falling in love is painful, and freeing. Rather the paradox, but emotions often are. And I don't need to imagine. I'd do the same thing I did the first time. You're young. I don't recommend making the same choice. But then, I suppose you'd have to live with it, and it's always a question of whether you can live with a choice you're making, because no one can take it from you after that, no matter what you do. No prayer or black magic will fix it, will it? But neither will prayer or black magic piece you back together after, either. I decided I couldn't live with it, if I didn't. So I did. Sometimes, there really isn't a choice, even if it looks like there is."

He paused a moment, putting his notebook away, and stood, bowing with a perhaps stiflingly traditional flair. "Ezio," he said. "Interesting you figured out what this one was for so quickly. What gave it away?" It was a better thing to think about, he supposed. Besides, the less talking he had to do, the less likely he was to fuck up and say something stupid.

Give me hope, give me strength,
I don't know, where it went.

The young woman's brow furrowed slightly, wrinkling her forehead as it did so. Ezio didn't have to speak for her to know his pain, and though it gave her a brief pause before she spoke again, she acknowledged it with the slightest lift of her chin. It was nearly imperceptible. Cassandra didn't like his answer, but she couldn't really put her finger on the why of her distaste. Was it because of the chilling reality that such things still occurred, and for varying reasons? Or was it simply because he looked pretty and the destruction of beauty was something even a glum youth like Cassandra knew intimately? The silence became nearly palpable before she dared to open her mouth again, and this she spoke one of those apologies that wasn't really an apology in any direct form. Her voice softened more than it had been before, breath hardly more than a whisper as she frowned.

"That sounds just as horrible as I thought it would, I can't imagine going through that." Except she could, and she often did. Her tales, painted with monsters on canvases another would never see, explored the innermost feelings of something that Cassandra only thought about. She pursed her lips into a thin line, contemplating where next to take the conversation...

...but she couldn't think of another place. His heartbreak weighed heavily on her mind and her gaze swept away with that awkwardness of someone that knows they've said something unintentionally upsetting. Finally, those dark eyes turned back to him, and if he were to meet that stare, he'd see the curiosity that lingered within their fathomless depths--a hunger to know more than a stranger ought to, a desire to pry where one should not. Fortunately, Cassandra had the common sense not to do that. Or did she?

"I've studied the painting before," she admitted finally and her gaze flickered toward it with the sort of longing that only a young, inexperienced Sim could have. "Perhaps it's a bit of awe; I find a strange beauty in tragedy, and the outcome it has on those that experience it has always piqued my interest. Most of us act on our emotions, and if we've little to no control over those, what then? Do you think she found happiness, after being forced to make that sort of decision?"

Her attention focused solely on Ezio, and this time she asked a more direct, personal question. Intentionally.

"Have you found happiness again? Does the pain numb with time, as the old adage says? Or does it fester and get worse?" She watched his body language after those words left her mouth, wondering if perhaps it was a step taken too far.

Ezio Ember

Wolf Blood

Some people learn to love their chains.

It was what it was. Mostly, Ezio didn't think about it very much. It was easier that way. Even though he knew he should probably face a few things about it, deal with his feelings on the matter now that he was finally safe and could, he didn't care to. It became a force of habit, really, not to bother with it, because it was what it was. By now, maybe none of it really mattered anymore. Even with Drake, they didn't talk about what happened in France. They didn't need to. And really, Ezio didn't trust anyone else enough to bother trying to put any of it to words. Except, maybe Morgyn.

But, like usual, Morgyn wasn't here.

Ah. He smiled a little, glancing at the painting. He didn't think telling her that he had been alive when it was painted was a good idea. That he remembered the pain and the love that went into it. That was so long ago... really, Ezio had been probably merely a boy at the time. He barely remembered ever being a boy, even though he knew logically he had been one once. He'd lost most of that, of France. There were things he remembered so vividly the memories were like shards of glass, and there were things he didn't remember at all, long stretches of blankness. France was a velveteen sheet with sprinkles of diamond dust scattered across. The memories were there... and then sometimes they were gone.

"She did," he said. He knew she had, and so had he. Everything went away; sometimes, that sounded like a terrible thing. Nothing lasted forever. But then, it was good, too, because it meant whatever it was that hurt, no matter how much it did, that too would pass, as all things did. "It's a nice thing to believe, isn't it? Who knows? Maybe she didn't. Maybe she became the weaver girl." Ah, he supposed it depended on how much Cassandra read, whether she knew that one or not. It was a folk story from China he'd learnt while there.

That was a question. He arched an eyebrow, looking thoughtful. Truth be told, there was no answer to that, anyway. Because sometimes, he thought he'd grown past it, and then it stabbed him in the back all over again, and it was hard to say, with any honesty, that the pain had gone. It came back. But that didn't sound very hopeful, either, and Ezio tried not to be depressing, even if the depressing thing was reality.

Eventually, he shrugged one shoulder, turning back to the painting. "Everything goes away," he said.

Give me hope, give me strength,
I don't know, where it went.

Cassandra's tongue clicked against the roof of her mouth, the sound audible in the otherwise quiet gallery. She wasn't so sure she believed him, in that regard. But who was she to question whether or not things went away? She'd lived scarcely more than twenty years and, unbeknownst to her, he was far older than she would probably ever be. Cassandra would die. It was several decades away, but she would likely be little more than a wisp of memory tucked away. The girl that touched the painting and questioned the emotions behind it, prying into the reality of things she could not yet understand.

The reference to the weaver girl was lost on the youth, though her mind went more toward Greek mythology with the reference; she thought of Arachne, and that made no sense in this conversation. She didn't say as much, but it was conveyed in the tensing of her jaw. Cassandra liked the idea that maybe the woman in the painting found happiness again, but that darker nature of hers wasn't so

There was no distant past of Cassandra's own for her to explore: only the memories of growing up in a Gothic manor and that shadow she lived under. Compared to her relatives, the Goth girl was awfully mundane and that irked her to no end. If one could excuse the violent images she conjured upon the canvas, the horrible possibilities of life's reality from the eyes of a young woman, then they would find that there was nothing extraordinary about her. This was something she believed.

"I don't think you actually believe that," the youth said, her words firm. She curled her fingers harder into her sides and then ultimately released herself, dropping her arms to her sides. Cassandra chanced a step nearer to him, but not so much so that she was directly in his personal space. She hated having her own invaded and doing that to someone else was far from her mind.

Cassandra found her mind shifting to the ghosts that haunt an individual's past, to the traumas they've experienced that have help shaped them into who they are and for a brief moment, she considered commenting on that, but this didn't feel like the time nor place for such a conversation. It didn't matter, because the thoughts were fleeting. This time, she saw more than just the clear gray of his eyes and the profile of his visage as he turned back to the painting; she frowned slightly. 

Ezio Ember

Wolf Blood

Some people learn to love their chains.

Ah. She didn't know Vega and Altair. They were called by different names in the stories, Orihime and Hikoboshi in Japan, but in China they were Niulang and Zhinu, and in Korea, they were Jiknyeo and Gyeonwu. The story was the same no matter where you went in Asia, so the tale itself didn't change, at least, just the names.

Oh, but he did. Because it was the truth, wasn't it? Everything went away, even if only because one died. Someday, maybe sooner than he'd like, Ezio would die, and the pain would die with him. Or maybe it'd just go somewhere else. Drake would have to live with it after he was gone, and the pain of him going. Hmm. Yes. Maybe emotions were the one thing that didn't go away, but transformed, instead.

"If it is either believe something or go insane, you tend to decide to believe," Ezio said. "The weaver girl and the herder, it's a folk tale from Asia. They hold festivals for it, the time when heat starts to leave and the rainy season begins. The story goes, the girl wove clothes, and saw a young herder through the window across the Milky Way. The two fell in love, and her father allowed them to marry, but then she refused to weave, and the herder refused to herd. The father became furious, and forced them apart, allowing them to meet only once a year. On the seventh day of the seventh month of every year, the crows and magpies form a bridge so that they can cross the Milky Way to one another."

Somehow, even though it was tragic, it was also hopeful, and at the same time, crueller than it might've been, had Vega and Altair simply not been allowed to see one another again. There were times when hope was more painful than despair, rather a paradox in and of itself, too. So in the end, the weaver girl was perhaps no happier than she might've been otherwise.

Give me hope, give me strength,
I don't know, where it went.

Cassandra considered the tale and another long silence passed between the two, her gaze shifting back to the painting as well. It was a tragic tale, bittersweet in its conclusion and full of heartache in the worst way. Loving someone and not being able to touch them sounded like a horrid existence. But then, there's a reason books like Romeo and Juliet, though unsettling and unfavorable in the outcomes, were considered the epitome of romance. Her tongue ran over her teeth, and she felt a strange appreciation for his words.

"I suppose there's some comfort to be found in that situation, but it's simultaneously an awful web to be caught in. The idea of one's parents determining their fate for them is abhorrent," she began, pausing for an inward draw of breath. Her eyes closed briefly and exhaled slowly, as if ridding herself of something unpleasant. It didn't seem to work though. When her eyes reopened, a dark sadness tinted the amber-flecked irises of dark brown eyes. Her gaze slipped back to Ezio, watching him. "But I don't think I could do it. It would be a sort of infinite torture."

And though Cassandra felt she was a strong woman, she was sure it was a torture she wouldn't be able to handle. Her high school crushes had culminated in nothing, and often that was Cassandra's doing. The idea of falling in love and losing that terrified her, and gods forbid she ended up in a Wuthering Heights sort of situation. Matters of the heart were simply something she dreaded, and on that she was fairly absolute.

"I think I'd rather avoid it altogether," she stated finally and wrinkled her nose. "Was it worth it though? The pain? Would you repeat your past and take another chance on something you don't have a clue as to what the outcome would be?"

At this point, Cassandra wasn't entirely sure if she made sense: her mind was spinning too rapidly for her to keep up with the thoughts racing through her mind, the what ifs and would bes that she didn't want to explore. And yet, here she was, touching on those subjects with a complete stranger. One she hadn't even introduced herself to, but she had a feeling she didn't need to.

Ezio Ember

Wolf Blood

Some people learn to love their chains.

Perhaps he'd said too much. Ezio had lived through a few too many things; it got your head a little messed up, sometimes, especially when pretty young things started traipsing a little too close to the heart, entirely on accident. Well, maybe not accidentally. Ezio wouldn't be surprised if her intuition had led her to it, and that, too, was unnerving in its way, but he should've been able to keep his head together better than that.

His gaze softened, slightly. Cassandra didn't quite know what she was poking into, he knew that, and his pain was the raw and ugly kind. The sort that no one in civilised society should know existed, because it was dark and terrible and if he lost to it, he would be the same. It was like an ongoing battle, trying not to fall to it, there were days when the pain entwined with the magic and made the screaming unbearably loud, fuck this world, fuck everything in it, why the fuck did Ezio even care one iota about anything because nothing in this godforsaken world ever gave a damn about him, and by god if he was going down he may as well take this shithole with him, but no.

No, there were things here, that were worth saving. There were things... that were worth the pain, and the anger, and the sorrow, and every day he stood up and moved forward anyway, he grew a little stronger.

"There's nothing to fear, really, but fear itself," Ezio said. "And there is no one more worth conquering than yourself. I would absolutely do it again, if I had to. It hurt. Of course it did. Growing always hurts, though. I may have lost that battle, but I won the war in my own heart, I did not become the thing I hate most, and no one can ever take that from me, or make me feel that way again. I decided it was worth it then, it's still worth it now, and nothing can ever change my mind." There were things, even now, that he had no words for. There were pains that he could never explain, scars that may never fade, but he was standing. He was still breathing, and he could still love. Jean had not taken that much from him.

He'd won. And if he had to, he'd do it all over again, if it was for Morgyn, now and always.

Give me hope, give me strength,
I don't know, where it went.

Honestly, Cassandra probably realized that in a way. Fear was also crippling, and she was more than aware of that particular fact. After all, it seemed to define her future love life at this instant. She contemplated his words as he spoke, and her gaze no longer seemed focused on him, but rather appeared to go through him, to the wall beyond. The youth tried to fathom the complexities of love, but it was lost on her--and it was all too obvious in the manner with which she held herself. Familial love was the only sort she'd allowed into her heart.

If anything, Cassandra probably wanted a love like her parents, but she watched enough people to know that what Mortimer and Bella shared was something rare and not often found. That reality, compared to all the tragic stories she had read over the years, and even the experience that Ezio seemed to tiptoe around were what warded her off. She painted about that too, depicting loneliness as the true, ugly monster that it was: soul devouring and all.

"I'm sorry you had to experience that pain," she said quietly, when the silence became a bit awkward, and she couldn't stand it any longer. "I know you're probably not--you just said you'd do it again. But the pain... It sounds almost unbearable. I hope that something or someone comes along that can seal your wounds, something beautiful in the darkness of the lives we endure. Silence can be deafening, especially when it comes to those we love."

Cassandra wanted to know more about him, and she fought the desire to probe deeper. Something in her mind, or perhaps her heart, told her that that wasn't a good idea; if he wanted her to know more than he'd already said, then he'd have said it. Her gaze focused once more on his face, no longer seeing through him but admiring him. He was someone that survived the sort of pain Cassandra never wanted to feel. The loneliness that came after intimacy, after love, after heartbreak. Her tongue run over her teeth, a habit the youth had when she was pensive. She also had a tendency to chew on the inside of her cheek, and she did so soon after.

"I'm Cassandra, by the way." The words were far too casual considering the depth of their conversation thus far, and the introduction felt almost out of place entirely.