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Asten Swann

"It can't get better than this."

0 · 628 views · located in Tiberia

a character in “Of Glory”, as played by Inuiri

Description

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"I believe there’s good in everyone."




The Basics




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Full Name: Asten Swann
Nicknames: Ennie by Capheus
Gender: Male
Age: Just turned 20
Rank/Title: Stable Boy
Sexual Orientation: Homosexual
Kingdom/Alliance: Seabel




What's on the Outside




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Hair Color: Dark Brown
Eye Color: Hazel
Height: 5’9”
Weight: 163 lbs.
Tattoos: N/A
Piercings: N/A
Scars: He has many little cuts and scars across his hands and arms from hard labor, and a long one down his shoulder from when a sickle fell and cut him once
Description: Asten greatly resembles a puppy, his soft eyes seeming to constantly be happy. His soft sloped jaw makes him look even younger than he is and the constant innocent air about him only accentuates this, the only thing to really combat this being the light stubble, proving him to be in his late teens. He’s fairly muscular, needing to be for his job, constantly lifting, cleaning, pushing. He’s nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary, but he can get the job done with his well toned form. His dark locks are impossible to tame, and there’s no point in doing so when it constantly gets messed up during work anyway, simply leaving it to flop down against his forehead instead. He wears rags more often than not, even when Capheus tries to spoil him, he’s too humble to accept such extravagant things. Most everything he wears is covered in cat hairs from his pet, kept secret to keep her safe from harm




What's on the Inside




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Personality:
{Optimistic, Animal Lover, Polite, Dutiful}
Asten is just as soft as his name and appearance imply. He absolutely loves his job, and his home, and his cat and pretty much everything. Asten is a firm believer that despite the horrors of the world it’s a wonderful place, though he is by no means naive. Ever since he was a boy he was in love with world, and that has never wavered since, even through the injustices he’s faced.
Despite this, he can still plainly see that animals are better than simple. There’s just no argument about it. He adopted a kitten he found surviving on her own after her mother and siblings had been cruelly killed by boys in the village, taking her in and hiding her so she wouldn’t be found, dubbing her Beans after his dinner that night.
It’s plain to see that it’s near impossible to get this boy to stop smiling, seeing as how half of his communication is through giggles. Perhaps the smiles and laughter would be easier control if he wasn’t so horribly in love with the king’s brother. Asten holds disdain for very very few things in this world, but the inability to be free to love Capheus is one of them. To him, it has nothing to do with his sexuality, he’s always been very proud of it, and his family, despite expressing their concerns, was always very supportive of him in that aspect. As far as he’s concerned, what’s holding him and Capheus back is the difference in status.
Hobbies:
Learning, whenever he gets the chance to
Cooking
Bird Watching
Collecting Minerals
Habits:
Constantly picks at his fingernails and cuticles, leaving them more damaged than they normally would be from work alone
Chews the insides of his lips
Oddities:
Tourettes in the form of blinking hard and widening his eyes
Illiterate
Likes/Loves:
  • The rain
  • Capheus
  • Beans (His cat)
  • Animals
  • His job
  • Food
  • Snow
Dislikes/Hates:
  • Bullies
  • Cruelty towards animals or others
  • Heat
  • Feeling inadequate or pitied
  • Not being able to be out in the open with Capheus




What's Done Is Done




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Biography
Place Of Origin: Seabel
History: Asten was born in a tiny shack on the outskirts of the village, his family owning a humble farm. It wasn’t the largest, but they were happy. He was an only child, his parents deciding it was better to have one boy they could care for well rather than several they would struggle with. Asten was a bundle of joy, helping out from the moment he could walk, compensating for the education his parents couldn’t provide, no matter how they tried.
It didn’t take long for his parents to notice he was… different from other boys. He was sweet, gentle and caring, eyes lingering on the other boys in town a bit too long. They never scolded him, or treated their beloved son any different. They simply loved him just the same, only having his best interests in mind and telling him to be careful about who he told.
When he turned 13, word spread of the castle needing a new stable boy, someone young with plenty of experience, Asten jumped at the chance. His father had worked there when he was a teenager to the time he was a young man until he injured himself and couldn’t do his job anymore from a horse stepping on his leg. With the support of his father, and his own skill, he got the job. It was amazing. This had to be heaven, he was sure of it.
Things went well, he made friends, fell in love with the horses and found his cat, collected rocks- no, excuse you, they’re minerals. When he was 18 Beans got out while he was fixing up a fence. He was working like usual, laughing with his friends and talking until he heard excited barking from the Prince’s wolf, growing louder and louder as it approached. His head snapped up immediately, dropping the hammer and running after to catch his cat while the wolf tried his hardest to play with Beans. He managed just barely to surpass the wolf, snatching up beans and tumbling to the floor when he slammed right into Capheus, doing the same with his wolf. He stumbled back and apologized over and over, swearing he wouldn’t let his cat get out again before parting ways. Until Capheus came back later. And then again. And again and again and again, constantly talking to him, hounding him while he worked, needing to be by him constantly until Asten finally kissed him to get him to shut up. The two have been tiptoeing around for a year and a half now, going off whenever they can to be with one another.
Happiest Memory: Getting his job at the castle
Saddest Memory: Seeing someone hurt an animal without reason for the first time




Face Claim: Harry Lloyd as Will Scarlett
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So begins...

Asten Swann's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asten Swann Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair
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#, as written by Demai
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A collab between Inuiri and Demai




From outside, even still, the sounds of the party could be heard, echoing across the sky in a boasting manner. Asten didn’t mind much. He had never been to a ball, but maybe one day he could. For now he was content to sit in the stable, away from the others. He might have been fine waiting out the grand affair, but he knew very well Capheus wouldn’t, and would probably be out any moment now.

Capheus could barely remember the last time they’d had one of these dances, and he was almost bouncing on his feet as he got ready. He was relatively sure that he hadn’t forgotten anything, and he had the ribbons to an extra mask tied around his wrist. His own mask was pushed up into his curls, a couple ringlets sticking out through the eyeholes. He hummed as he glanced in the mirror, then he picked up the (conveniently too small) clothes that he had set aside and was out the door, going straight towards where he knew a certain stable boy would be.

Asten had told him time and time again to enjoy himself at the ball, he would really be fine out here. He was quite content right now, sitting cross legged in the grass with Beans by his side, petting her absentmindedly as he examined his little collection of rocks. No. Minerals. They were Minerals. He was happy. So much so he didn’t even hear his beloved approaching.

Image Capheus was terribly stubborn, though, and he was not about to let his beloved be alone out there all night. The stars were gorgeous, though, and he took a moment to gaze up at them, tipping his head up. Maybe they could sneak up to the roof after they snuck half of the hors d’oeuvres away... He tugged himself back to the present, and paused when he reached the stables, scanning to see if he could find his beloved. His gaze landed on him, and he grinned. He set the mask down, not wanting to risk it attacking anyone, and crept up behind him, putting one finger to his lips to Beans in hopes of keeping her from alerting Asten.

The tortoiseshell blinked slowly in response as her master ran his fingers over a soft pink colored stone, wishing he had the proper tools to polish it and see it in all its glory. Maybe some day. He set it aside gently and moved to the next one. Maybe if he asked nicely he could peek at the books in the library and Capheus could teach him the names of the stones.

Capheus was going to feed that cat something delicious as soon as he possibly could. His feet made just enough sound in the grass to give Asten the tiniest bit of warning, and then Capheus was crowing his name and picking him straight up off the ground, spinning him around and then hugging him tight. “Hello there!” He laughed.

Asten’s head snapped up as his brow furrowed right before he was scooped up, kicking and squealing as he tried to get out of his grip. He giggled, wrapping his arms tight around him and nuzzling his forehead to his. “I thought I told you to stay inside.” He scolded softly, running his thumb over his cheek.

Capheus chuckled, stealing a quick kiss and then giving him an entirely innocent look. “I must not have heard you,” He teased in response. He leaned into his touch a little, kissing his palm softly. “I didn’t want to go without you.” He admitted quietly. “And besides, who else is going to help me steal all the food?”

“You know I can’t go in there.” Asten sighed, shifting and slipping from his arms, taking both his hands and squeezing them lightly. “Now,” He hummed with an air of finality, turning him and pushing the small of his back towards the castle. “You go back in there and have a good night. I’ll be just fine out here.”

Capheus looked over his shoulder, giving his beloved an utterly devastated look. “I brought a mask and everything for you.” His voice had taken on a note of pleading, even though his eyes were bright and a little mirthful. Tonight was a night to be happy, or at least try to be. He turned again, finding his hands and squeezing them. “Just for a little?” He begged, searching his gaze.

Asten chewed the inside of his lip uneasily in thought, sighing softly. If he was unrecognizable… Where was the harm in it? He smiled after a few moments of silent consideration and leaned up to kiss him softly. “Alright.” He whispered in defeat. “Lead on.”

Capheus waited with baited breath while he thought, trying to resist the urge to attempt to bribe him into coming with kisses. He kissed him back, and then his whole expression lit up at his words. He hugged him tight before the last word was even out of his mouth, kissing him soundly once more and then tugging him towards where he had set the mask. “Thank you,” He told him, his tone both earnest and adoring.

Asten giggled gleefully as he was dragged along, hugging onto him and nuzzling at his shoulder. “I love you.” he whispered gently, damaged fingers tracing his jaw lightly. “I look like a mess though.” Asten pointed out, pausing when they reached the clothes, eyes widening at their quality. But he agreed. He would let Capheus spoil him for tonight.
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“I love you too.” He murmured, gazing down at his beloved with a soft smile. “I’m entirely willing to steal you away for a bath first,” Capheus teased, picking up the mask and then the other clothes, slinging them over his shoulder. “And besides, you always look beautiful.” He promised, leaning over to steal another kiss.

The stable boy couldn’t quite help how he perked up at the mention of a bath with his lover. “That sounds nice.” he whispered gently, running his thumb over Capheus’ knuckles as he held their joined hands to his chest, heading off for the castle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ronan Ulfricson Character Portrait: Loria Estermont Character Portrait: Juliana Auclair Character Portrait: Lucas Brigham Character Portrait: Cedany Ulfricdottir Character Portrait: Asten Swann Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair
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Image Lucas entered the ballroom with his fiancè beside him. Ris looked absolutely stunning tonight in her blue dress and her glittering mask. They had been together more while traveling here than they had probably their entire lives and he was beginning to notice things he hadn't before. Like how beautiful her smile was, how kindhearted she was, and how much she liked to poke fun at people. As a child, he found her annoying, but now... It was endearing.

“I’ll be right back, ”, she said and disappeared into the crowd. "As you wish!" He called after her, though whether or not she heard him he would never know. Lucas found himself wanting to stick to her side for the night, but knew it was better to move around and socialize. Besides, there was one person he really wanted to see. Even if she didn't want to see him. His blue eyes gazed about the room searching for her, his sister, Juliana. He noticed her husband by the windows talking to her lady in waiting which he found odd, but thought little of it otherwise and continued in his search.

And then he saw her. She was standing with others off to one side, laughing and socializing. He suddenly found himself feeling nervous. As a child she paid him no mind, but now, would she also dismiss him? They needed to talk. He needed to understand why she left. Why she abandoned him. It was a stupid worry, he was a man now after all, but he had always adored his sister and looked up to her. He could never understand why she hated him so. And he knew she did. He could see it in her eyes every time he attempted to show her any kind of brotherly love. He bit his lip, a habit since he was a child, and then walked towards his sister.

A servant entered his path and offered a goblet of wine. He took it and thanked the servant, though it was frowned upon to give them such attention. It was their job. They didn't need gratitude, but it was just who he was. His father long gave up that teaching to him. At the thought of his father, his scar throbbed, but he ignored it and focused on the task at hand. Confronting his sister. He took a long swig of wine and took a deep breath.

"Your Majesty," He said with a bow. "My compliments on the beauty of your new home. I dare say it's more spectacular than home." He set the, now empty, goblet of wine on a nearby table and offered her his hand. He wasn't entirely sure that she recognized him now, especially with his mask. "My dear, Juliana, would you do me the honor of having this dance with me?" With his eyes, he pleaded with her. Please dear sister they begged, I must speak to you.






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Image Cedany had been wandering the ground of the castle for the bast twenty minutes. Her green and black gown that matched the green of her mask helped her blend into the night. She was making her way past the stables when she heard voices. Two men laughing and talking to one another in such delight that she found herself curious and decided to hide and listen in.

She peaked out and nearly gasped at the sight of Lord Auclair, the king's brother, and the stable boy in entirely intimate conversation. At first, he thought how rich this information could make her. Then she decided against it. While being homosexual was frowned upon widely in their time, Cedany didn't really mind it. She was unsure herself whom she would give her heart to. She found girls beautiful and boys handsome, but neither tickled her nethers.. so to speak. At least, not yet. She decided that she wouldn't mentioned what she saw to a single person beyond the two subjects themselves. If only to give them someone to talk to. While they were technically the enemy, this gathering is meant to be one of peace and peace she would offer. Maybe, or maybe she'd just keep it to herself.

She smiled and backed away from where she had been hiding. She decided to take a different path to the ballroom and allow them some time alone.

Once she arrived at the party and was announced to the room, she went looking for her favorite person. Her older brother, Ronan. She had thought about sharing what she had seen, but decided against it. Just because he had a forbidden love didn't mean he needed to know about the love of others. She had arrived just in time to see her father whisk away her brother's love leaving him angry and alone. She frowned, her heart aching for her brother. She watched Genevieve and her father dance a moment before she ran towards her brother.

"Ronan!" She squealed, throwing her arms around his neck. "Isn't this place grand?" She pulled him closer and whispered into his ear so only he could hear her words. "I'm sorry your heart aches brother. If there anything I can do to make your dreams come true, you only have to say so." She pulled back and smiled at him. A finger to her lips. She winked at him and said, "I'm capable of more than you think, and I hear more than you know."

With that, she disappeared into the crowd in search of some sweet treats and maybe someone to dance with. Unfortunately, there weren't many boys her age. Or girls. The only person closest in age to her was the princess of the kingdom, Giselle, and she was much younger. Ah well she thought. I'll just dance with myself then. No whirlwind romances for this princess.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asten Swann Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair
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0.00 INK

#, as written by Inuiri
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A collab between Inuiri and Demai



Returning to the castle took a little longer than it usually would, as Capheus was busy stealing kisses at every chance he got. It was so frustratingly rare that they could have large portions of time to themselves such as this, what with his own political duties and Asten’s work. Hell, he’d become a stable boy himself if it meant that he could sit in the hay with his beloved and even just talk. “So, bath, and then you have to actually try on these clothes,” He teased, keeping him close, comfortable with their privacy in the darkness. “I’m relatively confident they’ll fit you, and I know the mask will be fine.” He was terribly excited to see him in the gold and aquamarine wonder of glitter that he had found.

Asten chuckled, nuzzling his nose to his before they slunk into the castle itself. “Yes sir.” he teased, kissing his cheek and squeezing his hand, still holding them to his chest and smiling up at him, swaying gently. Now the hard part. Sneaking past everybody. “Thank you...” he whispered, “Really. I know.. I’m stubborn sometimes.” Asten admitted, chewing the inside of his lip and looking down bashfully.

Capheus squeezed his hand gently in reply, leaning over to press his lips to Asten’s knuckles. He didn’t like this part, didn’t like the distance they had to pretend to have. He often dreamed of sweeping his love off to some foreign land, some place where no one would care and no danger would surround them. He frowned a little at his words, and his gaze softened soon enough. “Asten.” He admonished gently, reaching up to cup his cheek, gently tilting his head up so that he could search his gaze. They still had a hallway to go before they’d have to deal with people. “I love you.” He whispered, as if that should be reason enough. “I wouldn’t change any bit of you, not for the whole world.” He leaned down, kissing him softly. “And besides, it’s my pleasure.” He hummed with a little smile. “The ball just wouldn’t be the same without my favorite person there.”Image

Asten giggled helplessly at his words, “I’m your favorite?” He joked, knowing full well he was. “I thought there was some lovely lady who had your heart instead.” He hummed playfully, grinning as he kissed his forehead, more teeth than lips as he curled against his chest. “I love you too.” The peasant murmured against him, kissing his jaw softly and nudging him. “Come on, let’s get this part done with.”

“Oh, you know me, definitely attracted to women.” He teased, kissing his hair. “The hands that hold my heart are prettier than any fair ladies’.” Capheus murmured, and he couldn’t help but smile once more, chuckling and kissing his nose in reply. He wrapped his arms tight around him, nuzzling at him gently, keeping him close as long as he could. He groaned playfully at his last sentence, and then nodded in agreement. “Sooner we do it, the sooner it’s over, right?” He sighed.

Laughter bubbled up in Asten’s chest as he kissed his ear, unable to keep his lips off him for even a few moments as he squeezed him tight, hugging him close. He nodded reluctantly, “Lead on.” He repeated softly, kissing him once more before releasing him altogether and stepping away. What excuse could they possibly use if someone asked why Asten was in the castle at all?

Capheus was sure he’d think of something. A horse escaped. He was missing a currying brush. They’d figure something out. They had a wonderful track record, in any case, and Capheus was more annoyed that he had to stop kissing his beloved than he was scared that they’d be found out. He let his hands rest at his sides, his back straightening. He looked more princely in that moment than anything, hoping to dissuade anyone from potentially talking to them as they moved towards the stairwell with a calculated speed.
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Asten was lying if he said he wasn’t panicked, eyes darting about fearfully as they walked, swallowing the nervous lump in his throat. “Capheus.” He choked as he saw someone glance their way, letting out a breath he didn’t know he was holding as they looked away like it was nothing. It was something though. He wished he could be open. But despite his optimism he wasn’t dumb. That would never happen.

“It’s okay.” Capheus murmured, wishing he could reach out and touch his hand, gather him close and comfort him. They hadn’t had an incident yet, they would be fine, he told himself. And if nothing else, they would look like nothing more than master and servant. They reached the stairwell, and he stepped to the side, letting Asten disappear up them first and then following himself, forcing himself not to look back.

Asten scrambled up the stairs, praying no one was upstairs while he stumbled, almost cracking his jaw on the steps. He gasped, bracing himself and trembling, murmuring an apology, at least safe for a few moments in the privacy of the stairwell. The brunette shifted, sitting on the steps as he gathered himself up again, panting and holding his head in his hand.

Capheus reached out instinctively to catch him, grasping him about the waist and steadying him. Fear for him stopped his heart for a moment, and he took a seat next to him, gathering his Asten into his lap and cradling him close. “It’s okay.” He repeated, kissing his hair. “You’re okay, love, don’t worry.”

The smaller man took a deep, shaking breath as he hid in his shoulder, mumbling an apology again absentmindedly, not used to being so afraid. There was a reason they never tried to sneak in and stayed outside so much. Asten nodded a little when he was alright, stroking his cheek and pressing his lips to his forehead. “I’m alright.” He murmured softly.

“Nothing to apologize for.” He promised softly. Capheus remained there with him, keeping him safe in his arms. He nuzzled at his palm gently, and hugged him tight for a moment longer. “You sure?” He asked, his voice quiet.

Asten blinked hard, eyes rolling like he was glaring at the ceiling and blinking again, repeating this a few dozen times under a minute before it started to slow. His condition was steady throughout his life ever since childhood, his strange little tic. But it flared up even more when he was stressed. Asten nodded, standing finally and hugging him close. “I’m alright.” he repeated.

Capheus had seen this before, but it still caused a second of fear that he hadn’t caught him in time. He stayed with him, mentally and physically, rubbing his back with gentle fingers. He stood with him, and then wasted little time in plucking him off the ground, settling him in his arms and kissing his forehead. “Maybe I should carry you until we make sure,” He teased a little. “I’ll sacrifice.” He hummed playfully. In truth, he’d happily carry him around all day.

Asten smiled and nuzzled his shoulder, humming in affirmation, “Oh I think that’s definitely the safest option.” he whispered, wrapping his arms around his neck and grinning as he carried him up, thanking him gently as he pressed his lips to his jaw.

“You know me, I’m wonderful at the safety thing.” Capheus chuckled softly, kissing his temple and tucking him against him as they continued up. “Anytime.” He promised softly, adoration coloring his tone. Capheus’ rooms weren’t far once they reached the top of the stairs, and he hummed as they moved down the carpeted hall, swaying him gently in his arms.

Asten giggled softly, “You’re too excited to dance.” he teased, caressing his cheek and grinning as he pushed the door open gently when they got near. No matter how many times he had been in here he never stopped being in awe of how opulent it was. He itched to get his shoes off and sink his toes into the plush carpet, but feared he would ruin it when he touched it, covered in dirt all the time.

Capheus couldn’t help but smile at his expression, pressing his lips to his jaw. He set his beloved down on the too-big bed gently, and kissed him softly before moving to kneel before him, gently undoing the straps of his shoes for him.

Asten’s cheeks burned up as he watched him, tensing up a bit as he touched the bed, afraid to ruin it. He swallowed the lump in his throat and bit his lip as he admired his lover, reaching down and stroking his cheek as he slipped his shoes off, grinning at the sight and hiding his red face in his shoulder.

Capheus stroked his hands over his thighs gently, kissing his knee softly as he gazed up at his beloved. “Relax, sweetheart.” He murmured, and leaned into his touch soon enough. He chuckled softly, nuzzling at his temple. He moved his shoes off to the side, kissing the tops of his feet with infinite gentleness, moving to help him with his pants next, removing all his coverings with almost worshipful fingers. Surely, Asten would never learn to sit still while he was undressed, squirming under every little touch from him and grinning the whole time like a fool, blushing down to his chest when he was bare before Capheus. He made a soft indignant sound, tugging him up beside him and repeating the ritual on his beloved, crawling into his lap when there was no barrier between them. Capheus couldn’t resist chasing that blush with his mouth, kissing down his neck and then his chest as he removed Asten’s shirt. He discarded it off to the side, and then shifted when he was pulled up, chuckling softly and letting his beloved remove his clothing. He gathered him up once more soon enough, pressing his beautiful body close and matching their breathing. He buried his face in his hair, inhaling his familiar scent. A bath could wait two seconds.
Asten shivered when Capheus’ lips touched him, forcing himself to not melt so soon, to wait until they were in the water. Oh but then he was being lifted again and crushed to him and Asten’s face was buried in his shoulder, he couldn't help but let himself go a little limp as his eyes shut.

Capheus drew his hand down his spine, kissing his ear softly as he lifted his head the tiniest bit. “I love you.” He whispered, and his voice was a little rough. He adored this man, with every fiber of his being. “Give me one second, sweetheart...” One more second to be with him while they were dry and had no real commitments to own up to.

Asten nodded firmly in agreement to his words, his muffled response of yes sir a bit delayed as he enjoyed being held by his love, shifting and wrapping his legs around him. “I love you too.” He finally murmured, brushing his lips over his jaw and combing his fingers through his dark locks.

Capheus smiled softly at his eventual response, moving to help him get more comfortable. He nuzzled at his hand gently, almost purring at his touch as his eyelids fell to half-mast. He tipped his head down to kiss his neck, trailing his lips across him. “Do you think that a bath could wait more than a couple seconds, my dearest heart?” He hummed softly. “I’d like to make love to you.”

He wanted to protest, tell him he didn't want him in this state, grimy and covered in dirt. But he was weak to his beloved and even the smallest suggestion made him crumble as he nodded. “Please..” he managed to get out, eyes still shut as his head fell back.

To tell the truth, Capheus would take him clean or dirty, whatever state he was in. He couldn’t help but smile, and then he dedicated himself to kissing every inch of his beautiful throat, shifting to lay him down beneath him. As promised, Capheus took his beloved, littering him with little bites and love marks, skin freckled with easily excusable bruises. He got injured all the time, no one would suspect a thing. Asten lay beside his love after, chest rising and falling gently as he caught his breath and smiled softly. “Now I really need a bath.” He teased, running his thumb over Capheus’ jaw.

Capheus chuckled, kissing his palm as he ran his fingers over his back, mapping out familiar curves. “I think you look lovely like this,” He teased in return, nudging at his hand gently. Then, he lifted him into his arms, moving towards the tub.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asten Swann Character Portrait: Capheus Auclair
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Demai
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A collab between Inuiri and Demai



Capheus settled them into the warm water, keeping his beloved in his lap. They had an age old tradition of washing each other, and he absolutely loved seeing his beloved melt under his hands. They exchanged many a kiss in between soaps and shampoos, and all too soon, the bathwater was cooling and Capheus knew they should probably get out and get dry. They’d likely missed most of the excitement by then, there was always something crazy that happened during these dances. He hummed to his beloved as he lifted him up, finding the fluffiest of towels and playfully drying Asten’s hair, making it stick up everywhere.

Asten laughed gleefully, shoving at his hand to try and get him to stop to no avail, grinning and sighing in defeat with a bashful thank you[/b]. “You’re too distracting.” he scolded lovingly as they stepped out, wobbling a bit as he held to his hand, moving to the clothes.

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“Yes, but you love me,” Capheus teased, giving him an adoring look. He squeezed his hand, drawing him a little closer to help support him. “How’re you feeling, dearest?” He asked softly, helping to set him down on the edge of the bed. He found the fancy clothes, then, gently helping his beloved in getting dressed.

“Better.” Asten murmured, kissing his shoulder and smiling against him. “Clean.” He chuckled, burning up as his love pampered him, letting him spoil him tonight just like he promised.

“You look adorable covered in dirt,” Capheus spoke playfully, leaning forward to kiss his forehead. He slipped his Asten’s arms into the sleeves, straightening the collar and then buttoning him up from bottom to top, kissing up his abdomen and then his sternum, only to meet his lips at the end. “Brings out those beautiful eyes.” So did the color of the shirt that Capheus had picked out, and he was terribly proud of that.

Asten whined softly as his cheeks turned red, hiding in his shoulder once they were both dressed, mumbling his name shyly and squeezing him tight. “Taffy..” He cooed sweetly, playing with his curls.

Capheus wrapped his arms around him, drawing him near once more. “Wish I hadn’t tucked this thing in,” He mumbled, kissing his ear as he referred to his shirt. The fact that his beloved was small enough to fit in the same shirt as he, it was one of his favorite things on the planet. He nuzzled at his hand gently, smiling at the childhood nickname as he kissed his wrist. “Yes, Ennie?” He asked softly, replying with his own chosen name for him.

Asten giggled at the name and covered his red face with a playful groan, reaching back and grabbing Capheus’ mask. “Come on.” He chuckled, squeezing his hand and placing it on his love’s eyes, tying it and kissing him as he pulled away.

Capheus protested wordlessly when he covered his face, laughing and then tugging his hands down, kissing both of his cheeks. He released him when Asten reached for the mask, leaning down the tiniest bit to help him out. He kissed him back softly, smiling against him. “I’m coming, I’m coming.” He teased, grabbing Asten’s mask and helping him to slip it on. “Lovely.” He declared, and kissed his nose for good measure before finding his hand once more, squeezing it gently. Asten’s eyes lit up at his words, glad the mask at least covered his blush, mumbling about how it was rude to tease as they walked down the hall together, nudging him playfully. Capheus resolved to get a slightly smaller mask next time, because he really did love his blush, and gave him an amused look at his words. “Asten Swann, light of my life, my dearest heart--I’m afraid I’ve lost the ability to go for more than five minutes without teasing.” He chuckled, lacing their fingers together. The smaller man grinned when their hands met, raising them to his lips, naive as ever as he headed downstairs with him, leaning up to press his lips to his jaw.

Capheus kissed his temple in response, holding him a little tighter as they went down, the events of earlier still fresh in his mind. He paused at the bottom of the stairwell, hesitating, not quite ready to release his beloved’s hand. He kissed his knuckles softly, nuzzling at his wrist. “I love you.” He whispered.

Asten paused entirely when they reached it, turning to him and leaning up on his toes to kiss him softly, smiling into his lips and murmuring the same as he pulled away and held him tight.

Capheus wrapped his arms around him, drawing him close as he physically could and nuzzling at him gently. “Maybe we should take a walk in the gardens after, I’ll put flowers all over you.” He teased a little, his voice muffled a little by his hair. Then, reluctantly, he removed his hands from him, though he still kept near enough to share breath with him.

Asten grinned at the prospect and nodded, “All over?” He teased lightly as he stroked his cheek, pulling away finally, despite his heart aching to be nearer. He stepped out with him, heading down the hall just in time to hear the screaming.

“Every--” Capheus began, and then the commotion reached their ears. Society be damned, he reached out and grasped Asten’s hand once more, just in case. What had happened? “Where.” He finished in a whisper as they came into view of the blood on the ground and the general fleeing of the ballroom. Everyone was abandoning ship, it seemed.

Asten’s eyes widened in horror at the sight, clinging onto him as his heart pounded, the ballroom seeming to empty in mere moments. “Hell..” he gasped softly in shock, clutching their joined hands to his chest.

Capheus scanned the retreating crowd briefly, taking advantage of the lack of attention towards them to draw his love near, pressing him to him just in case. Whoever had raised the commotion seemed to be leaving with the rest of the group, and he exhaled slowly, both in worry and relief. There was... quite a bit of blood. They’d learn what happened first thing the next day, he knew that much. “There’s a reason these only happen once every decade.” He breathed softly.

Asten hugged him tight, looking up at him. “Does this happen normally?” He inquired softly, squeezing his hand a bit as people walked right past them, more interested in leaving as soon as possible than anything.

“There must have been a screaming match at the last one.” Capheus thought aloud. He had been sixteen last time, and it was the only one that he truly remembered. Few people remembered exactly what occurred when they were six. “When you lock a load of nobles in one place, things get... dirty.” Particularly with the political occurrences of recently, what with Seabel coming into being. “This doesn’t seem to be an exception.” He murmured, pressing his lips to Asten’s hair.

He nodded a bit, frowning as he did so and tucking his face in his shoulder. “Didn’t even get to dance.” He mumbled, only half joking as he laced their fingers together and swayed gently with him.

“Well...” Capheus trailed off, a bit of a crooked grin coming to his lips. Maybe there was a little good that come out of this, he reflected. With no one around to care... He kissed his knuckles, keeping him near for a moment before stepping out, bowing to him as the last few people left. “Might I have this dance, milord?” He asked softly, a little teasingly, gazing up at him.

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Asten’s eyes widened, giggling gleefully at the mere thought of one day really being his, he let himself imagine for once. He kissed his hand. “Certainly..” he murmured a bit breathlessly, giving a crooked grin.

Capheus beamed at his answer, straightening up and kissing that grin of his before sweeping him into his arms, almost lifting him up off the ground in his excitement. He laughed, apologizing and then kissing him before positioning his hands in the proper manner. They had the ballroom all to themselves, the doors had slammed shut moments before. Empty, empty... It was perfect.

Asten squealed with glee at his actions, wrapping his legs around him as he spun, kissing his cheeks all over and squeezing his hand when he was settled on the ground again, completely careless as they danced alone in the empty room for a good part of the night.

Capheus couldn’t have asked for a better night. No feast, no other company, no songs ringing through the halls could have matched the music that his beloved made every time he laughed, nor the wonderful company that the person he loved most in the world provided. He could stay here forever, and as they twirled and waltzed together, there was nothing outside of the two of them and the cloud-painted ceiling above and the shimmering gold beneath their feet. The whole world was them and them alone, and Asten’s eyes were brighter than the stars that shone outside of the windows, and Capheus knew he needed no other light besides that which shone from his lover in his joy.

It was perfect. They were perfect, in that moment, and Capheus couldn’t have asked for anything better