He listened to her silently. The sound of her voice and the words she had chosen almost, in a way, calming to him. “No one quite knows what anything is until they find it. But finding it is always the hard part.”
He let out a dry laugh and shook his head. “I do not thrive on power. Power is not something I long for.” He stated as he turned out towards the quiet night that was not in anyway reflected in her contemplative gaze.
"Making a mark." His words surprised himself as he turned again to look at her. “Being somebody other than a dog on a leash. Does that make enough sense?" He questioned as if he had taken offense to something she hadn’t said.
She stared at his face, those burns, as he talked to her. Her mind wandered away from the roughness of his voice. She found herself feeling sorry for him, for what life had done to him. She could sympathize with a hard life, wasn’t her own story a sad melody of highs and lows- more often than not the lows overpowering the high notes.
When she felt her mind finally snap into focus with what he was saying she found herself nodding, albeit not quite knowing at what. She could only distinguish a hint that the hound had been offended by what she had said. “I meant no offence hound.” she uttered trying to connect words that had ha had said. Something about not only being a dog on a leash.
"The fault is mine, my lady. As," his laugh was small and soft, almost apologetically, “it is my fault as well that I should apologize for the title. Call it a courtesy, if you will." Benjen shrugged his shoulders lightly to her. All here in the Red Keep looked like ladies to his foreign eyes for they all dressed far more lavishly than any other ladies of the North he knew. Northern ladies wore dresses of plain wool and cottons of their house color. Here he could not fathom which house any given lady might belong to as they all wore vibrant colors and jewels seemed to be a common accessory. Lyanna had never taken to wearing jewelry, not even the few times they had traveled to the south for a tourney or wedding. Lady Catelyn, so far as Benjen knew, did not wear such elaborate stones either. Though in the north it might also be common to call a girl of high or low birth as a lady.
By the gentle accent lacing itself into her words, Benjen suspected that these people of the Red Keep might not only be foreign to himself but to her as well. There was a dialect that was far removed from the common tongue but he could not deign where she might be from exactly. Somewhere in Essos, perhaps? That was a land of many accents, a few of whom he had heard from recruits to the Night’s Watch. Still if he had one man from every part of Essos, Benjen knew he would not be able to tell which city this young lady came from.
Benjen smiled gently to her, trying to hide his previous aggravations at being so lost in such a large place. It would not do well to make enemies before he truly knew anyone, especially not to spur aggression brought on out of his own foolishness. “If you do not mind my asking,” he spoke quickly, trying to keep her attention now that he had quite unintentionally gotten it, “perhaps my lady or rather my not-lady could assist me in knowing how I might find my way to the kitchens?” He would not ask her for assistance to find his chambers, it would be too forward, too improper. Well, he thought, it would be improper in the North to ask a young girl alone for assistance to one’s chambers. The Gods only know what customs these people of the south have.
From the kitchens he could ask another, a serving boy perhaps, how to find his chambers. And perhaps he might steal a bowl of stew whilst there and take his meal in his small, secluded chambers. “I know it is quite forward of me to make a request of you when I have nearly run you over with my clumsiness,” he adds, ashamed of the subtle but present plea in his voice, “but if I am half as smart as I would like to think I am, then I must accept defeat when it is upon me. And you are the first person I have spoken to since becoming lost in this abyss of grandeur, however unwillingly.”
She smiled as she looked over his rugged features. A man of the north more than likely, his manner of dress gave him away rather quickly. Shae had been to the north but a handful of times since she had been in Westeros, she had found the temperatures was too cold for her liking. Looking over the man she could only wander if he wanted to change into something more suitable for the weather, but she found that it was probably too forward off her to ask him. Had she been back at Lorath or talking to someone of her status she probably would have run off and asked either way. Had he asked she would have happily taken him to his chambers, he no doubt was situated in one of those special ones made up for special guests.
She smiled at him, nodding at his request. The kitchens, it seemed he wanted to go to the kitchens. “Are you sure you would like me to take you to the kitchens? Most guests would rather wait for service in their room and wait for one of the service to bring up the food for them if they are inclined to do so.” Again she offered him her smile, a small gesture that she hoped would increase his trust in her. He was interesting and a new face and she saw this as a chance to perhaps talk to someone new and hear new stories. Perhaps make a friend in the process.
Telling her the story seemed to ease the burden from off his chest but it felt so strange, so different. It was as if someone else had told her the story incorporating his very own emotions using his words. None of this seemed real but Shae accepted it anyway. And that amazed Beric more than confused him.
She had even taken him into her embrace as if trying to help him forget the whole ordeal. Of course that couldn’t happen. He even tried to resist it as much as he could. All he had left was the memory and, for some reason, he held onto it like that was the last tie to his lost humanity.
When Shae held him in her arms, he held her tightly in return. The smell of her hair was a strange mixture of desert air and vanilla musk, and the scent itself was enough to drive the terrible memories away. He buried his face in her hair as if that was enough to heal over the wounds set deep within his heart.
But then she sat down on the bed, beckoning him to sit beside her. He’d lost his sense of humanity in Shae when she shifted away from him to sit on the bed. Without any hesitance, he sat beside her as she suggested. And then her question… it had set him off-guard.
Harshly, he swallowed, his mind scrambling to find the words to say. What explanation was there for him to give? How could he relate his experience to her in words?
He didn’t turn to look her way. Instead, he lowered his head in his hands, his elbows propped up on his knees. He exhaled a long-suppressed sigh.
"All I remember is the pain." If there was anything he could forget from that day, it was the pain. But that was the single thing that remained. It taunted him, even now. Not even looking into Shae’s eyes could help to dissuade that pain from marking its ferocious territory. So, again, he looked away from her, finding the desperation in her eyes much too overwhelming for him to restrain.
"And now? I’m not so sure what’s happened." Beric couldn’t explain it in any other way. If he was indeed a vampire then that meant he must have some kind of supernatural powers. Was there a way he could find out?
"I’m stronger." His mind reverted back to the MGM, in that room with Gregor and the three other men. He had flung them all across the room. He had drunk the last drop of blood from Gregor’s body. “And I’m hungry. Unbelievably hungry."
She looked at him in awe, her big, round eyes examining his body for any sort of physical difference. She didn’t know what to make of all of this. All those stories of supernatural beings weren’t real were they? Certainly there had to be another explanation for this? Then again what other explantion would there be? Beric was alive, and better than ever it seemed. The blow to his head should have killed him, he should not be talking to her at this instant. Still, what reason was there in lying to her? Surely he wouldn’t do that, not if he cared about her.
"Beric…I’m scared." she finally managed to whisper, her eyes staring back at his. If this was going to be together they had to tell each other the truth, wasn’t this how it worked?
"What happens if what you say is true? What if one day whatever you are inside takes over any sort of other feeling you have for me- what if I end up hurt?" In Shae’s mind It was a question that had to be asked and taken care of. Prevention for these types of situations had to be made.
Then again she had to ask herself if she really wanted to stay around with someone like him. Would she really put everything on the line after all of these events? Every time she looked at him all these questions surfaced up in her mind.
With a flex of his hand, Arthur tested the new scraps on his knuckles. He fought three times a week at his underground club. Cops, ex-military guys, and thugs alike cast aside their badges, combat greens, and guns to gamble and just fight. The rules were simple. You don’t talk about it. If it’s your first night, you have to fight. And if you’re gambling than the host gets 10 percent of your earning. As a gesture of good will.
It was highly illegal, but Arthur did it at first to let off steam. From there it morphed into something different. The fights were starting to end, and it was about 3:30 in the morning. The bookies were starting to hand Arthur bundles of rolled up bills. He took away about twenty grand from each fight night. And Arthur wasn’t strict with the 10 percent, it could be a little less as long as the rules were kept. No drugs, no guns, and clean fighting.
Arthur leaned against the grill of his truck and bandaged up his knuckles. He had won his fight, and was still shirtless. He was more or less ignoring the crowd that was dissipating with the end of the last fight. He offered a smile to a bookie who gifted him with some Cubans instead of money. His violet eyes scanned the crowd, and stuck on the dark haired, thin girl who was new. “You new here?” Arthur asked, already knowing the answer. He was all too familiar with the flock of fight whores who tried to coax him into their arms. And she was not one of them. “I’m Arthur Dayne, and I host this thing. How’d you like the fights?” He called to her, his eyes returning to doctoring his knuckles.
"Yeah" Shae simply muttered back to the stranger not quite sure of what else to say, her accent wrapping itself against her response. It was her first time attending this specific location for fights like these. One of her friends had introduced her to it all. She didn’t like to admit it but she liked the thrill of watching the men fight, the hard thud of a hand against the face of another. It’s like boxing, but better her friend had explained the first time she had gone to one of these events.
The only thing she didn’t find attractive about the fights were the other girls who stayed on the sidelines. Some girlfriends of the fighters, others friends, some like her came for the thrill of a good fight, and other came for the men. The ones who came for the men flocked to them , preying upon the men with the well sculpted bodies. She looked at them with disdain, didn’t they have an dignity? Her friend was one of these women to her disappointment, because of this Shae found herself unable to say much or pass judgement. The only thing she managed to do was look away in disdain and disapproval.
Tonight she had come to the fights alone, her friend to busy on a date to come with her. “There’s this place I heard of, guy in charge is pretty good I hear. The fights are clean and good just like ya like them Shae.” Her friend had said as she had handed Shae a slip of paper with an address. It was like that, that Shae had manged to come to these fights.
She looked over at the man who had now introduced himself as Arthur. “I liked the fights well enough, good and clean like they ought to be.”
She replied looking on at his knuckles as he bandaged them.
I whisper as I publish the already finished replies
edit: I might queue the already done replies….. I don’t want the whole dash to be a wall of my replies
okay so I am not publishing my replies until all the drafts are done so i am caught up and updated. Thanks so much for bearing with me!
"You knew what she was."