Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Merula
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The second time the tail moves Autharyx is not caught of guard and all it does is send a little shiver up his spine. He feels... heated up in a way he hasn't before, not even under the midday sun and it's intriguing to say the least. He feels like there's something he's missing, but it's not something bad and he wants to... wants to...

He's not sure actually, but it involves staying in bed and seeing where this strange new thing leads and that isn't an option. Because Viltez is looking quite miserable with the whole situation, body tensing up as he stammers through his words with a strained-sounding voice. Autharyx might be curious, but he won't make his host uncomfortable to satisfy his silly whims.

"It didn't, I woke up on my own," he said with a smile, injecting some calm into his voice in an attempt to make Viltez more comfortable. The tail around his leg had felt nice, but it is a bit of a bother now that they are trying to move apart. It wraps tighter and Viltez' expression drops even further. Autharyx only hesitates for a moment. Touching the tail in the past had not always gone well, but it had at least gotten a reaction out of the appendage and it is the only thing he can think off to do. Other than waiting, of course, but thus far that had only led to the miserable look on Viltez' face and he doesn't want any more of that.

So he reaches down a bit to run his fingers through the fur of the tail where it starts coiling around his leg. He pets it lightly before threading his fingers into the fur and scratching it a bit, offering his arm in an attempt to get it to wrap around that instead.
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'Well, he sounds calm at least. Not disturbed, not scared. . .' Taking a slow breath he replies softly, “I'm glad. I hope you slept we-” his voice is cut off however as suddenly he goes very stiff. His body trembles and a sharp gasp steals his ability to breath. No thoughts come to his mind as that hand continues to caress and pet the willing appendage and his grip on the dragon's shoulder tightens. His eyes snap shut and he bites his lip hard enough to draw blood. With the state his body has been in since he woke he is helpless against the feelings now coursing through his body and he begins to tremble as the tail loosens it's grip, moving towards the good feeling.

His breath finally returns to him but comes only in small gasps, punctuated by small whimpers and moans as every part of him seems ready to follow behind his tail's example and just enjoy tis other man's presence. He resist however, the only part of him really moving besides the tremble his tail, and that is doing it's best to make sure he has to put all of his effort into keeping himself from shamelessly crawling on top of the man. Tears squeeze their way out from beneath his tightly closed lids as he begs his body to not act on his impulses and assume that the man is trying to do anything but get the tail off his leg.
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The two slowly talk to one another and eventually come to an agreement of shared interest. Together they explore one another's bodies for a short time, each reaching their peaks one after the other and leaving them both relaxed and satisfied. . .For now. Afterwards Viltez fetches a bucket of water and some rags for them to clean up with.

~*~

Viltez works carefully, wanting to make sure he's fully clean before getting ready for his day. Being apart from Aryx is enough to keep him relatively calm, even if his tail continues to wriggle and sway in the man's direction. 'Well of course you want more, you've been acting like this from the beginning you sex fiend. . .' Shaking his head at the wayward body part he flushes lightly as he turns to re-wet the rag for another pass and catches sight of his guest looking his direction. He keeps his eyes high, not ready to take in the man's full figure just yet, and turns back quickly, still hiding himself from view.

Once he's satisfied he pulls on his clothing for the day, turning back towards Aryx once his private bits are secured behind two layers of fabric. His tail is coiling into it's usual position when Aryx addresses him. The beastman pauses, thinking over his day. Smiling at the offer to go get some meat Viltez nods slowly. “Yes, that sounds wonderful Mister Aryx. Anything you can bring in I will cook to the best of my ability!” He smiles wide, pulling on his shirt. “I have a fence to repair this morning, and then I will be going to Mister Mullion's for lunch, he likes playing a game with me and he gives me free food. Then after that Mister Russel has asked me to work at the mill, and I will be there all afternoon, returning here around sun down.”

He gives Aryx a sympathetic look. “Sorry I do not have more time to spend with you today. I have things set most of this week to do. People ask for my aid weeks in advanced, and it is how I keep food on the table and a roof over my head.” He smiles faintly, motioning for them to move their conversation to the living room. Once out of the bedroom Viltez heads for the kitchen and begins making a simple breakfast of vegetables and bread.
Hidden 3 yrs ago Post by Merula
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It's a bit disappointing to hear that they will not be spending a lot of time together, but now that it is clear Viltez will come back to him at the end of it, Autharyx finds he doesn't care too much. Of course it also helps that the beast-man himself seems unenthusiastic by the idea. It's strange how this relatively insignificant and small mortal has so easily wormed his way under his skin, but then perhaps it is easier for him since he is mortal himself as well?

Autharyx frowns a little at that thought. It's a bit... disconcerting to think that all his interest in Viltez might scatter like leaves on the wind if he sheds his mortal form. Surely that doesn't make sense? He is still himself after all, even with this mortal shell, and he finds Viltez interesting for perfectly legitimate reasons that will still exist whether he is in his true form or this smaller one.

"I completely understand," he says, smile back now that he made short work of that insignificant line of thought. "I only makes sense that there are plenty of people who enjoy your company as well as your skills." He's still figuring out whether compliments are an acceptable substitute for a proper tribute, but even if they aren't, they can never hurt. Besides, it is not as if he would stoop to lying about this, and it only makes sense to let Viltez know he is appreciated.

"I am sure I can find things to occupy myself with until sundown," he follows Viltez into the kitchen, though he makes sure that this time he doesn't get in the beast-man's way in the confined space,

"What kind of game has your preference? If I have the whole day to track, I might as well try to hunt us up something special." He add's the 'try' for Viltez' sake, but of course he has no doubt he will be able to get them exactly what the other wants.
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Still a bit flushed from the compliment the beastman makes sure to keep his mind on what he's trying to accomplish and not to simply use his hands as a pathetic way to hide himself from them. 'I know he is just being nice, and that he's probably just teasing me, but it's still nice to hear. I like the feeling of someone wanting me around, and he. . .Perhaps likes me around in, a different way' He flushes still deeper at this, though his looks pleased rather than upset. 'I guess he's right. People find me useful, and tell me so, and that is good too. . .'

Taking a deep breath he adds a little honey to the bread before placing the sliced veggies on top of it. 'Sweet things, he likes sweet things. . .' Reminding himself to buy more sweet things for his guest he turns to him with a broad smile and nods, handing over Aryx's portion to the man. He tries to think of something he likes specifically but as he tends to simply buy whatever's cheapest in the market he's not even sure if he has a preference. Looking at the man however it's clear he wants to try and get something specific so with a warm smile he says brightly, “Elk, would be nice. . .” 'It will also keep me in meat for months, depending on how long Aryx stays and how much he can eat'

He's not noticed the man eating overmuch, and recalling the previous day with them bumbling about in the woods he doesn't have too high of hopes, but he feels that if the man is going to do his best to bring in some serious meat to the house, he'd better be ready to take it in. Finishing his bread and veggies he checks his knives and wonders if it would be better or worth it to let the actual butcher in town do the butchering and curing. 'It would take a couple of days, and we could cut off a bit to eat tomorrow. . .Eat some fresh. . .'

While doing his plotting he finishes checking his knives, washes his prep dishes, and begins doing his checks for leaving the house. He's jolted out of his thoughts as he runs his hand over his coiled tail to make sure it's properly in place and a strong sensation races through his that normally doesn't happen during checks. He flushes again, getting a vague idea why it's so sensitive. Glancing over at his guest he smiles softly before covering his tail once more and smoothing out his shirt. “Well!” he says brightly, “Is there anything you need before I go? I can make you a lunch you can carry along with you while hunting or something. . .” He tries to think of other useful things and comes up with nothing, so he simply waits to see what the man has to say.
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"There will be no need for that, I'm sure I will be fine" Autharyx says with a smile. His mind is already half in the forest as he wonders how he should get that elk he promised. Yesterday had come rather closer to being an embarrassment than he likes, and he's eager to impress Viltez where he had failed before. Logically he knows that the opinion of a mortal means nothing to him - even if it does concern a rather interesting mortal. Least of all now that he is inhabiting a fragile human form. If anything it should please him to know that a human form does not instil the same amount of awe as his proper form.

He he pushes the line of thought from his mind as he waves his host goodbye. It may be a bit... disconcerting to realise how much he cares about the beast-man's opinion, but he is sure it's just a side-effect of inhabiting a mortal form himself. Mortals care about each other's opinions all the time, it's probably some kind of defence mechanism to force them to band together against the dangers the world poses.

He looks at the forest, hesitating for a moment before going back inside to grab a couple of supplies. He knows he doesn't strictly need anything, but he can't very well carry his prey back here in his true form, what with the proximity of the town and all. He digs up a coil of rope from a cupboard for the purpose of transporting his catch, and decides to take the bow and arrows as well. Might as well look the part of the hunter if he's going to go into the forest, he decides as he wraps the supplies in a bundle for carrying.

Thankfully he doesn't meet anyone on the path to the forest, so he his free to let his mind - and his perception- wander a bit. With Viltez around he's always made sure to keep himself settled firmly into his mortal body since he isn't eager to be found out as anything but mortal. Now, though, he is free to let his senses bleed out a little beyond the confines of mortal flesh, and he can almost feel the energies of the forest prick up at his passing. He's still looking through his eyes and listening through his ears, but now he can also feel the pulse of life around him. It's familiar in a way he hadn't realised he missed, and for the moment he doesn't think about the purpose he set for himself as he makes his way deeper and deeper into the forest.

Even though he's only shedding a little part of his mortal veneer, it's easy to fall into the familiar patterns of his timeless existence. Now that he's reaching out to the energies around him again, the gentle roll and pull of the sky above the treetops is a familiar rhythm in the back of his mind. There is life all around him on the forest floor as well, skittering through the underbrush and flitting through the leaves and branches at higher levels. At first they scatter at the sound of his footsteps, but as time passes Autharyx falls into the rhythm of the nature around him and the tiny mortal pinpricks of life pay him less attention. There are bigger beast too, this deep into the forest. A family of boars is digging up a dead stump to the north, to the great dismay of the badger that has her burrow situated there. There's a clearing off to the side, the verdant grass a lure that pulls normally-shy grazers out into the open. There's a family of deer, and even a young elk quietly grazing at the edge.

Autharyx frowns slightly, blinking a couple of times as he pulls his thoughts away from the tangle of energies around him. An elk... He is looking for an elk... As he focuses on the thought, he also starts to notice his body more. He feels... cold now that he thinks about it. The trees are blocking out most of the light from the sky, and he's been walking for... It's been pretty long, hasn't it? He can't see the sun, but he knows it must be past noon by now and he's been wandering the forest for hours. He's never thought to divide the day up in something as insignificant as 'hours' before, but time passes so much differently for mortals than it does for him.

A shiver passes through his spine entirely separate from the cold he is feeling. Never mind 'hours' - for most of his existence 'days' barely had any meaning as well. He'd notice the seasons - and then he might have missed plenty here and there. Humans had always seemed so hurried, rushing around their little lives before they disappeared forever. He had never cared about it before, but now the thought settles uncomfortably in his chest.

It had been so very easy to fall back into the flow of the world and the hours that had passed had felt like no time at all. What if he hadn't remembered? How long then before he would have thought to check back in with Viltez? Days? Weeks? Maybe even years? The knot in his chest tightens even further at the thought. Viltez is already so certain that Autharyx will leave him, so he probably wouldn't even be surprised if he'd stayed away. Just... resigned.

With that thought Autharyx find himself filled with a nervous energy. He won't be the cause for that resignation in Viltez, not if he can help it. His original idea had been to catch himself some game in his true form, but the thought has since lost all its appeal. If he just lost hours by letting himself bleed into the world a bit more, who's to say if he will have a good grasp of time in his true form? He hadn't even considered the possibility before, but now that he does he can't even remember if he ever really registered the passing of time in his true form as he does now.

He has had dealings with humans before, of course, but had he adapted to their time schedule? Thinking back he cant even remember if he'd been able to tell the humans apart, so there is really no way of knowing. Though being on completely different schedules would explain why the humans always seemed so impatient to him, always complaining when he went out or told them to come back 'later'.

The cold is settling in properly now that he is standing still, and it's making his already sore muscles stiff. He can't sense the boars or deer or elk any more, and he doesn't dare reach out again. The thoughts impressing Viltez with game have fallen away completely, and now he just wants to make sure he gets back to the house before his host will have time to worry.

Finding the way back proves to be more difficult than he had hoped. He's not familiar at all with human ways of navigating the forest, and every time he reaches out to find the direction he needs to go in, he jerks himself fully back into his mortal shell before he can get lost again. Travelling is also a lot more tedious now that he's aware of the time, and he feels clumsy and unwieldy as he struggles through bushes and over fallen logs.

Eventually he does manage to find a path, and the progress gets slightly easier after that. It's still already starting to get dark by the time he's back at Viltez' house with nothing to show for his efforts. He can't quite bring himself to care about that, though, as his nerves pick up again when he nears the cabin. It had only been a single day, hadn't it? Surely he would have noticed a night passing?

He knows he must look slightly... wild by now. The trek through the woods hasn't been kind on his clothes, and he's guessing he has a some light scratches here and there as well from when he'd had no choice but to push through that wall of brambles. Worst of all must be the look in his eyes, though. He's been keeping himself carefully mortal, but can't (won't?) tamper down on the tread of anxiety that has been weaving its way through his mind the whole way back. How long had Viltez expected him to be gone? Surely he won't have been worried already?

Whatever the outcome, there is no sense in putting it off. When eh reaches the door, he raises his hand to knock on the solid wood.
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'Well, he seems cheerful enough. I'm glad' Smiling back at the man, Viltez nods and finishes his final checks before heading to the door. Holding it open for Aryx he closes it behind them, the sun above warming his skin and calming his nerves a bit. He knows the heat can sometimes be a problem with his furry tail, but the light means being able to see his work better. Better view, faster work gets done. “Well then, I'm off. I hope you have luck Mister Aryx.” He flushes lightly, wondering if he should still be calling the man 'Mister' now that they've. . .

Shaking his head he waves, smiling with a faint flush as he heads off into town. The people who see him coming smile and wave and he returns the gestures. His skin dances a little, wondering if anyone suspects anything. He can't recall being too loud, or sounding inhuman or anything, but away from his new friend the beastman's old fears and nervousness arise and are given voice, making him far more alert than he normally is around the visitor to their small, quiet village.

A man calls him over, a full basket of apples in his arms. He asks Viltez to test them for flavor. “Sure Mister Willus.” He replies, his usual chipper face in place. The smile isn't exactly false. He doesn't hate this man, and to tell the truth, he kinda likes him. But the fear, the fear always there, waiting to consume him, keeps him from ever being truly happy. “The apples are great sir!” he chimes, the note of enthusiasm making the grower smile. Back on his path moments later, he wonders how many can actually see through the mask. How many of them pity his just enough to not call him out on his false nature.

His mind drifts back to the forest. Running around, laughing, his tail relaxed and zipping about with ease and precision. 'I had fun out there, just being myself. . .' A shiver runs through him however as he approaches his first job of the day. A chill runs up his spine as he recalls almost getting caught by someone out there. In all his enjoyment, in all his foolishness, he knows he could have been caught. He knows that all these smiling faces could have been transformed in an instant if someone saw, reported back to the village. 'The price of fun. . .Is it too high? Is fear the only thing keeping me alive?' He almost wishes that he could regret his actions, but then Aryx's face passes behind his eyes.

“Hello Miss Tarsha!” he calls, waving at the middle aged woman sitting on her porch. She waves back and calls for him to make sure the fence is done up right this time before going back to her knitting. He'd done it right, every time he's repaired this fence, she simply has a little problem involving grand kids, and horses. 'Mister Aryx looked so happy too. Like we were sharing something special. I mean, it was just a romp in the woods, but the way he smiled. . .' His hands feel warm as he picks up the tools for the job, and a soft smile plays on his lips the entire time he works. He can't imagine denying that many any smile he can provide. His skin flushes under the heat of the sun, but he knows very well that it's not the sun making his cheeks pink as he takes his pay from Miss Tarsha and moves on to the next task of the day.

He works hard, and earns some relaxation time with the man who likes to simply spend time playing games and talking off a patient ear. Viltez listens, smiling, playing the board game with his usual poor skills. He's not exactly bad at the game, but the sooner he loses, the sooner he can move on and maybe get some shopping done before heading off to the mill. Unfortunately, the man is in a particularly talkative mood and he actually has to excuse himself to head to the miller for his afternoon job. He gets a little extra for the chatter however and smiles in true gratitude as he takes his coins.

The work at the mill is hard, and occasionally Viltez finds himself simply staring off towards the forest. The mill rests atop a hill, giving him a good view of the dark treetops dappled with the occasional flash of color in the form of birds. He wonders what Aryx is up to. If he's been successful. If he will come home and want a bath or have any other needs. Humming softly, he decides to get everything ready for the man once he gets home. 'Maybe. . .Maybe if I make the place inviting enough, he'll. . .he'll stay a little longer. . .' He turns his eyes back to his work, his own muscles beginning tom complain from all the lifting and twisting.

The sun sets the forest ablaze with it's fiery light giving it a brilliant hue as sundown comes over the village. Still working hard, the beastman finds himself thinking once more about getting some food to add or replace the elk, depending on how the hunt turns out. He asks for a short break to grab some things from the market and is shooed off, the miller knowing that everyone is packing up at this point. Racing down the hill he lets himself go at full speed until the market comes into view where he slows to a trot. Not completely sure, but he has a good idea that humans aren't normally so fast, or sure on their feet.

Indeed, everyone is packing up, but with a few well placed smiles and a good amount of flattery, he snags some good cheese and some of the apples from the morning, along with a couple old sweet rolls that would have been tossed had Viltez not asked for them. The baker insists on baking things fresh each day, but Viltez has no problem with hours old rolls dripped with honey. Once he has his food secured he makes his way back to the mill, working an extra half an hour at the end to make up for the break.

He gets home just as the last orange glow begins it's retreat from the sky and is both nervous glad to see that Aryx isn't waiting outside. He would never want the man to have to wait on him, but the longer he goes without seeing his face the more he worries that he never will again. Not ready to panic yet however he heads inside and lights his lamps, putting the food in the kitchen before heading to the bathroom to prepare a nice hot bath. It takes some doing, but eventually the water is just right, the fire beneath the tub keeping it just the right temperature, and he's even laid out some clothes for Aryx should he need them.

'The forest can be rough, and depending on how he went about hunting. . .' He looks around and notices the bow gone, smiling and nodding as he heads to the kitchen to organize things a bit while he waits. His body cries out for the bath in the next room, but he simply ignores it, reminding himself over and over that it's for Mister Aryx, not himself. He doesn't have to control himself long as soon after he settles into the kitchen he hears a knock at the door. 'He doesn't have to knock, but I suppose I've never told him that' It never even crosses his mind that it could be someone else coming to call. He just knows, it must be Mister Aryx.

Smiling he opens the door. “Mister Aryx, welcome ba-” He stops mid sentence. The look of the man sends a slight fright through the beastman and without another word he reaches out to pull Aryx inside. Taking the bow and arrows away, he sets the rope atop them and begins looking his guest over worriedly. “What happened Mister Aryx? You look like you we chased or fell into some brambles or something!” He Reaches up tot try and remove some burrs from the man's hair but stops himself as his mind snaps back to the tub waiting in the next room. “Come, I got the bath ready for you. We need to get these scratches cleaned up and burrs out of your hair before things get worse!” His voice is clearly worried, his tail sneaking out to wrap around the dragon's arm and he gives the wild looking man a swift hug. His hand slides into Aryx's and he turns to lead the man to the bath, hoping nothing too horrible happened. That something isn't going to chase him off.
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The smile falls off Viltez' face as soon as he opens the door, but the beast-man starts pulling in him right away, so it's probably not a bad thing. Autharyx lets himself be drawn in easily, leaning in just a bit more before he catches himself. Is it a normal impulse for humans to want to press in close and breathe in each other's scent? He hasn't seen it happen before, so best not to chance it. In stead he lets Viltez lead him into the next room, hands and tail all very welcome points of contact, grounding him further into this moment, this body.

He wants to melt into the attention, to let go of the coil of worry that has been building for the entire trip back, but he doesn't quite dare. He's more shaken by this all than he's willing to admit, and the last thing he wants to do is to alert Viltez to that fact.

"It's okay," he brings out, smoothing his face out a little before attempting a smile. "It's nothing really, I just..." he breaks off for a small moment, gathering his thoughts. He can't very well say that he almost let himself flow out of human consciousness and into the forest around him. What did human hunters usually have to deal with?

"I had to take a small detour around a bear, and the slope was steeper than I had imagined. It took some time to find the way back to the path." He perks up at the sigh of the bath, feeling better already now that he's come up with what sounds like a reasonable excuse.
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A faint tug in the back of Viltez' head tells him that Aryx isn't being completely truthful, but he shoves the feeling even further back, not really caring at the moment. For now, all he really cares about is that the man did what he could to get back to the house. Back to him. That thought puts a smile on his lips as he squeezes the man's hand. “Well, I am glad you made it back safe.” he murmurs, letting go of Aryx's hand to check the water and make sure it's still a good temperature. His tail continues to coil around the man's arm, the blade stroking gently across his collar while his hands are busy.

'I'm. . .So happy that he's back. I can feel him here, like he's a part of this house. It felt. . . .So empty with him gone' He swallows, still turned away. 'But I can't keep feeling that. He will have to move on at some point. He's just a visitor, he's not. . .I can't. . .' Steadying himself with a breath he pulls back, the faint smile back on his lips. Holding out his arms he murmurs, “I can take your clothes if you like. The bath is a bit warm, but it should help with the cuts and scrapes.” His tail retracts reluctantly so the man can remove his clothing. “I was about to begin on dinner. Is there. . .Something I should grab from outside? It's okay if there's not, I got enough just in case. . .Not that I doubted you, I just know the woods around here can be difficult to. . .” He flushes, realizing he's babbling and suddenly cuts himself off, looking down at his feel, arms still outstretched to take the tattered garments.
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"I'm glad too," Autharyx says as he lets himself relax into the comfort of Viltez' presence. It's becoming harder and harder to remember that just a few hours earlier he'd been at risk of zoning out and leaving Viltez behind for who knows how long. It's not like he hadn't known about the brief, fleeting lives mortals lived, but he hadn't really known. His fingers twitch at his side, but he keeps from reaching out to Viltez, keeps from touching him to reassure himself that he is still there and Autharyx is still with him. It doesn't matter. He's not going to take stupid risks again.

Viltez' tail is a by-now familiar pressure on his arm, and the tip of the wicked blade at the end is moving in a way that sends a small shiver over his skin. Where the unintentional reactions of his mortal body had annoyed him at first, they are now a welcome reminder that he is here, in this body in this moment. He doesn't let his mind skip forward to the future, all to aware that he has no way of predicting any of is. Sure, Viltez seems to want him around for now, but Autharyx is pretty sure that the possessive edge his thoughts take when he's not paying attention is... frowned upon amongst humans. He'll just have to figure this thing out as he goes and take what he can get.

A bath sounds good, and the promise of hot water dulls the sense of disappointment he feels as the tail retracts again. He already has his shirt pulled over his head when Viltez begins about 'grabbing something from outside' and he's glad for the distraction when he can feel his fate heat up in shame. Not only had he not caught anything, Viltez had anticipated him not catching anything and had taken precautions. A part of him bristled at that insult, the fact that it had ended up being necessary only heightening his indignation.

"That's... There is not anything," he finally manages, words stilted and awkward as he forces them out. The promise that next time will be better- will be more impressive- hovers at the tip of his tongue, but he swallows it back down. Sure, he can take down anything with ease in his true form, but he's not in a hurry to try something like this again. And since he has no way of doing anything of the sorts in this weak, clumsy human body with it's soft nails and blunt teeth... He's not sure how to deal with that line of thought quite yet, so he shoves it to the back of his mind as well.

He recovers by stripping off his pants as well and then moving in closer than strictly necessary to hand his host his clothes, settling his hands briefly on the beast-man's arms.

"Thank you," he says, uncomfortably aware that he has little control over how strongly his emotions shine through in his words.

"I had a brief fear that I might not see you again. It was... unpleasant." The words were more truthful than his earlier excuse had been, but he couldn't really bring himself to care if he was giving too much away.
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'Mister Aryx is clearly embarrassed. . .Maybe I should have waited until he brought it up?' He feels a faint pang. 'I just won't talk about it any more now. Let it pass, let the idea move on. . .' The tattered shirt settles across one arm and he smiles faintly at the dragon, glad that he seems to be glad for the bath he'd prepared. Viltez can feel his body shiver slightly as he takes in the other man's form, flushing as his guest removes the last bits of fabric. He feels it would be polite to look away, but at the same time something about their interactions before tells him he shouldn't feel bad about looking.

'I mean, we weren't completely nude when we. . .did that. . .I. . .' His thoughts trail off as Aryx moves in close. The pants are placed on one of his outstretched arms but as Aryx steps between them he can feel the shiver returning, urging him to hold the other man. In response, before he can think about it, his tail slides out to wrap around the dragon's waist, trying to pull him in closer. Viltez flushes deeply, both the actions of his tail and his guest's words bringing the heat to his flesh. The touch is soft, comforting, but still rather foreign feeling. He likes the idea that, maybe, one day, it will become a familiar feeling, but the easily depressed part of his mind reminds him that Aryx won't be here forever.

“I was a little worried to.” he whispers. “I thought of you all day. I hoped you were well. . .” He flushes deeper, eyes going to the floor as he feels embarrassed admitting such a thing. Swallowing hard he tries to get his mind back to normal, tries to smile and brush his own words off, but as he looks back up at Aryx he instead lets out a shuddering breath and leans in to place a soft kiss on the other man's cheek. “I am glad you've returned. . .” The soft words tickle the dragon's cheek and he pulls his face back a moment later, worried that he's invading Aryx's space.
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Autharyx must still be settling back into his body, because his skin seems more sensitive than ever when Viltez' tail slips around him to pull him closer. The feeling that runs over his spine feels kind of like a shiver, only it's under the skin and leaves a pleasant heat wherever it travels. Viltez' pupils seem very large all of a sudden and the dragon's eyes can't seem to decide whether they want to settle on those eyes or his lips. It all feels terribly unfamiliar, which should be annoying, but somehow really really isn't.

"I am well now," Autharyx manages, voice coming out a lot more breathy than he's aiming for. Viltez is right up in his space, lips and breath on his face and he will gladly let the bath grow cold if it means he gets to stay like this. Then the beast man leans back and Autharyx doesn't even think before moving to keep the distance between them as small as it was. He only has to lean down a little to fit his nose into the soft warm space beneath Viltez' ear and breath in deep.

"Hmmm, you smell good," he says thoughtlessly, lips just brushing the skin and voice a deep rumble that's almost a purr. His brain catches up with his mouth a second after and he straightens with a jerk before he can give in to the instinct to chase that scent with his tongue.

"Er, that is... Um, it's good to be back." He feels like this is probably the part where he should take a step back, but the tail is still around him and he doesn't want to start pulling it.
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The second he pulls back slightly it's clear that Aryx isn't a fan of this idea. Viltez shudders as he feels his guest's face against his neck, the tickle of him inhaling making him feel a little weak. Letting out a small noise his eyes slide closed and he lets the feeling wash over him. The moment is brief, just a passing instant of heart pounding closeness, then Aryx is pulling back and the beastman is forced to come to his senses. “Yes, it is good that you are back.” he murmurs, flushing deeply at his momentary lapse and with a force of will he makes his tail retract itself. Holding up the clothes he murmurs something about taking care of them before shuffling awkwardly out of the room, flashing the dragon a warm smile so he knows he's not mad or anything before closing the door and scurrying over to where he puts the dirty clothes.

'I will have to wash these first thing tomorrow' he muses, the light feeling in his head making him wander a little before he winds back up in the kitchen, the clothing tucked away in with the rest of the filthy things that need washing. His breath still isn't quite settled as he sets back to the task of finishing dinner and he doesn't quite get his bearings until a bit of hot food jumps out and “bites” him on the arm. Cursing softly as he comes fully back into focus, he licks the burned spot and whines at it, his focus fully back on the task at hand.

'I really need to get control of this' he thinks with a scowl. 'I mean, it was just a little contact. . .What am I, an animal? I'm not some dog in heat, I can't be letting every little thing affect me like that. . .Even if it feels so good, and he doesn't seem to mind. . .Well, almost, he did pull back, but he was the one that moved in after I pulled back, and. . .Why is this so complicated!?' Letting out a huff, he finishes with the more active part of the cooking and settles against the counter to wait, keeping an eye on the sweet soup. When he hears Aryx leaving the bathroom he can feel his heart jump but he keeps himself still, calling out instead of rushing over to greet him. “I hope the clothes fit you well enough. I will take care of the wash in the morning so you don't have to put up with them for long, I promise.” He smiles warmly as the dragon comes into view, his tail coiling happily this way and that at the sight of him.
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Autharyx stands still for a while after Viltez has left the room. He still feels unsettled by how close he was to losing track of himself, but being back in the beastman's house is doing wonders for settling in. Everything smells like Viltez, or at least reminds him of Viltez. There's nothing like the clean crisp tang of ozon on the air, or the earthy scents of the woods. Those are familiar to his past life, whereas he never smelled anything like the inside of a house when he was still a dragon. It's not exactly that the scent of home is better per se, but it is far enough removed from his previous life that Autharyx is able to relax a bit.

The hot water helps too, when he thinks to get in the tub. The heat sinks into his muscles, and it's only now they start to relax that he realises how tense he was before. The cuts and scrapes he got from trudging through the underbrush without regard have already healed, but it still feels good to wash away the last traces of blood and mud that had still been clinging to his skin. His hair is a bit more of a problem, but with a bit of patience and some soap he manages to untangle it before it gets a chance to become too unruly.

He's not sure how long he's spent in the bath, but by the time he clothes himself in the simple outfit Viltez left behind, it seems the food is already done. His hosts smiles at him as he enters the room, so he's pretty sure he's not delaying the dinner.

"The clothes are fine, I'm not 'putting up' with them," he says honestly. Sure, they seem to fit a little more snugly than his other set of clothes, but they are soft and comfortable and smell of Viltez- so now he kind of does too. It reminds Autharyx of lying in Viltez' bed, and those memories are hardly unpleasant.

He knows where to find the plates and cutlery this time, and goes to set them out. A few days ago he would have probably seen work like this as beneath him, but now it just feels like he's contributing something to a shared meal.He takes care not to brush against the beastman more than can be explained by the cramped kitchen. Though it pains him to admit it even in the privacy of his own mind, he is aware that it's probably a bad idea to follow his own impulses when it comes to contact with Viltez. With so much unknown social rules, it seems best to follow the example of the one who actually lives amongst humans.

"So, how has your day been? More fruitful than my own, I hope?"

Self-deprecation does not come naturally to him, but it is still preferable to any amount of pity from the other man.
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Pleased to hear that the clothing isn't uncomfortable for his guest Viltez smiles a little wider and hums softly. His tail clearly wants to get back to being around the slender man, but Viltez knows he needs to pay attention so as to not burn the soup so he does his best to keep the appendage in check. It's a little harder when Aryx comes closer to grab the dishes they will be using for the meal, but he manages to keep it from completely wrapping around the other man with a decent amount of effort. It does however slip out to brush against Aryx when it can reach and Viltez hopes he's not being a bother.

From what he can tell, Aryx doesn't seem to mind and indeed, seems to be in a relatively good mood. “No more than usual.” he responds with a smile, nodding as he stirs the soup. The little bits of contact fill his mind with distractions but he manages to talk about his day without stuttering or pausing. He talks about the hard labor, the simple tasks, the mad dash to get the last minute ingredients for the meal near sundown. “The soup took some preparation, so other than the bath I've been working mostly on making sure it turns out okay.” He flushes a little. “I've never had opportunity to cook for anyone but myself before you came, so I'm doing my best. Not sure how well I'm doing, but. . .” He flushes a bit more, giving Aryx a sideways smile before removing the soup from directly over the heat.

Dividing it into two bowls he brings them to the small table along with the sides he prepared, setting the meal out on the dishes Aryx had prepared for them. He smiles, settling down opposite his guest, the fireplace at his back as he settles on the floor so Aryx can use the bench. His tail stretches out almost like a happy dog in front of the fire as it would be awkward to reach around to the guest while they eat. Trying to find a subject to talk about, Viltez decides to turn the question around a bit. “What job did you have where you come from?” he asks innocently.
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If Autharyx is honest, Viltez' day sounds dreadfully boring. Hearing him talk about it, however, is not, so he just hums and nods at what he hopes are appropriate places as he get the dining area ready for their dinner. He turns around just in time to catch Viltez' smile and blush, and surprises himself with how... endearing that small action seems to him.

"As I see it, you are doing great," he cocks his head, curious to see if the compliments will make him blush even more. "Far better than I ever made for myself, that's for sure." He pauses a bit, then quirks his mouth in a slow smile.

"Or perhaps it is just the company that is far more pleasurable in this instance."

The ritual of sitting down together to eat is becoming familiar by now, and Autharyx finds himself genuinely enjoying it. So much so that he doesn't even really get nervous from having to come up with a plausible answer to the question about his past occupation.

"I took care of the shrine, as my family has done for generations. But where people used to come with the seasons to give praise and leave offerings to the protector of the lake, it has fallen into disrepair in the recent years. I am not even sure how long ago it was that anyone other than a fisherman sharing part of their catch has come to the shrine. I figured that I might as well get out a little and see beyond the lake and its river, though I do plan on returning there eventually."
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Compliments do indeed cause more of a flush to blossom on the man's cheeks, and the blush lingers as the meal begins. He's surprised to hear that Aryx was some kind of shrine guardian and smiles wide at learning something new and very interesting about the man. “That sounds like it was a big job. It's sad to hear that people stopped coming. I've never been to a shrine before, but I know from travelers that there's a long history of people relying on them for temporary shelters, for guidance, and for peace of mind. Worship is important to a lot of people.”

His tail drifts back and forth as he speaks, enjoying the calm, relaxing talk and peaceful atmosphere. His flush fades a bit as he thinks about what it must have been like growing up with such a grand purpose. He's just a random half-breed, born to a nobody mother and father, and abandoned in a random village. He eats slowly, enjoying the food a bit before a question occurs to him. “Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't even think to ask, but what being was worshiped at your shrine?” He knows the standard beings of worship are gods, but sometimes beings of immense power or historical significance have taken that place of honor.
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Autharyx smiles as Viltez talks, both at the words and the blush on his face. It is good to hear that Viltez seems to see the importance of worship. He hadn't really expected otherwise, what with the greeting of the sun and all. Mortals these days seem to take everything for granted, and it is good to see one that knows how to appreciate things.

"It was a big job, or at least it used to be," he says easily. Of course there hadn't been human attendants to the shrine for a long while, but back when they were there they were useful enough he supposed. They certainly helped keep the place clean and beautiful, which was nice when he thought to look at it.

They eat in comfortable silence for a bit, when Viltez' next question grabs his attention. Her tries to keep at least a bit of a casual air around him, but his gaze is intent as her considers what he want to say.

"The shrine is to... the guardian of the lake. A great spirit that lives in the shrine and has dominion over the lake and the woods around it. Its spirit flows in the water of the river that feeds it and in the clouds that dance at the cusp of a storm," he sounds proud, of course, but that would make sense even if he weren't talking about himself, wouldn't it? He kind of wants to stop there, but he can't quite help from mentioning the next bit as well.

"I was named after it, actually," he's trying for 'casual', but he's pretty sure he's missing the mark.

"Autharyx. Its name is Autharyx." Somehow, with all the lies he's told Viltez, this one feels like the worst. Because it is not a lie. It's not justified by needing to seem human, its just a calculated untruth because he really wants Viltez to know his name.
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Viltez listens with rapt attention as his guest describes the spirit that's worshiped at his shrine. He knows the spirit seems to have lost his following a bit, enough that Aryx felt it was okay to just leave the shrine and travel for a while, but he's still in awe of hearing about a real, actual being of worship from a man he's grown to trust. There's always a lingering doubt when he hears from travelers about the gods and spirits worshiped in other places, but with Aryx, he trusts the man enough to feel that he must be speaking of a being that is very, very real.

Aryx talks about how the being is connected to the would around him, and the beast man feels in awe of someone being able to connect with the very elements around them. 'Well, he's a being of worship, not a person, so they can do anything, but it still sounds like it must feel amazing. . .' His back straightens a bit, his interest piqued when Aryx mentions that he was named after the being, and his tail comes up to curls over his shoulder, almost as if it wants to listen as well.

As the name rolls off his guest's tongue, Viltez can sense something strange, and powerful, behind his words. The look in the man's eye, his tone filled with self pride, and the name itself combine to send a shiver down the beastman's spine. “Authuryx. . .” he echoes, feeling the name on his own tongue as he thinks of a being that has dominion over lake, woods, and whose spirit can dance in the clouds before a storm. He lets the name linger a bit before smiling wide at his guest. “It sounds like a great being to be named for. I bet it feels great to share a namesake with such an incredible being.” Grinning brightly at his guest, Viltez completely doesn't catch on to the fact that Aryx is talking about himself. Looking down at his plate, he pokes his food a bit. He doesn't know what meaning his name has, if any at all, since he never got the chance to ask. A flicker of longing to know passes through him, but then like every other thing in his life that has to do with a selfish desire, the desire passes and his focus returns to his companion with a bright smile.
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Whatever inkling of shame he might have felt at the lie falls away at hearing Viltez say his name. Even cut off from everything as he is compared to Autharyx, Viltez seems to know the weight there can be in a name and the sound of it on the beast man's lips cuts right through to the core of him. For just a moment, he feels seen- feels known- and that thought send a shiver of delight down his spine.

He wants to hear it again- wants to have Viltez know that it is him that he's praising as an 'incredible being'. He wants to show Viltez what he is, what he can do. Wants to take him to his chambers under the lake and show off his vast collection of treasures, to set him up amidst jewels and gold and silver and have him look at him with awe. To pin him down with his arms, or his claws until Viltez cannot but realise that he's his.

Then he blinks and the moment passes, leaving him feeling slightly off-balance in the wake of it. Never in his long existence has he felt bad about indulging in his whims and desires. Who was anyone to stand in his way if he had the power to take what he wanted? And yet... while the thought of stealing Viltez away for himself was undeniably a good one, somehow he couldn't help but try and picture how Viltez would look at finding out Autharyx had been lying to him. He wouldn't even be all that angry about it, would he? Just... resigned. Even though he was easily the most interesting creature in this village, the beast-man had seemed surprised every time Autharyx stated that simple fact in one way or another.

Logically, the feelings of mortals just didn't mean as much as his own- not even a mortal as fascinating as Viltez was proving to be. And still the thought of somehow... hurting him sat wrong with Autharyx. As did the thought of failing to consider what he himself might want. It was... a novel kind of feeling for him, and he was pretty sure he didn't like it.

With Viltez still right there and smiling brightly at him, though, it was simple enough to push these complicated thoughts aside to smile in answer.

"It does," he finally says, "I am very lucky indeed. And what about 'Viltez'? Do you have a namesake or are you the first of your name?"
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