Status

Recent Statuses

13 hrs ago
Current Can y'all at least wait till I finish this essay before launching into hysterics? Seems like whenever the sitcom is on I have schoolwork to do
2 likes
3 days ago
Hacksaw Ridge is a masterpiece
1 like
6 days ago
Yeah, if I'm not sweating and crying then why am I even eating
1 like
9 days ago
Except Disney owns more than twice the amount of the film industry owned by its next largest competitor but nah, they don't have a huge influence on media
9 days ago
I'm glad supercorporations with overwhelming industry pluralities have such valiant supporters to defend them in their time of need
1 like

Bio

Current RPs:


A now-less-stressed university student who loves to write. Timezone: Atlantic, GMT-4

My memory sucks! Don't be afraid to ping/repeatedly PM me if I’m holding you up.


A bit about me:
  • Birth year 1998
  • Female, if you care
  • I'm from Canada, specifically Nova Scotia (home of the world's largest non-nuclear explosion, baby!)
  • I'm a university student, and will remain so for the foreseeable future (even longer now since I've decided to shoot for law school)


RP wise:
  • I have weaknesses for gladiators, mythical creatures and status/class differences
  • I don't really have a gender preference for characters and I write a wide range of personality types
  • LOVE character and world building
  • Active in the OOC - I like to know the people I write with! (add me on Discord, Obscene#1925)
  • My scratchpad in the character sheet section is where I put my WIPs and reference content. You’re welcome to lurk, but don’t expect it to make sense.

Most Recent Posts

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Throwing another smile Aaron’s way, Lilie carefully made her way to the nearest hallway, her hands pulling at the string keeping her mask on. She pushed open the door with her shoulder, slipping off the golden peacock mask and tying it to the small purse she wore. She knew it was redundant to have done her makeup when everyone was wearing masks, but she had been told it was going to be pretty fancy, so she erred on the safe side. So safe that instead of going to the bathroom like she had expected, instead she found herself outside.

Aaron watched Lilie go, following the subtle bounce of her mask feather as she threaded through the crowd and feeling like he was on top of the world. It was an unexpected turn, having to lift her up like a ballerina, but he certainly wasn’t complaining; it was more than a little exciting, and the fact that she seemed to be having a good time with him made Aaron’s heart soar. But as he watched her make her way to the edge of the ballroom, his face fell; she wasn’t heading to the bathrooms, but one of the exterior doors, pushing through it and beginning to untie her mask without hesitation.

Wait, she was leaving?

Aaron’s brow furrowed as he watched her disappear, holding his breath in hopes that she’d turn around and come back. Several seconds passed, but she was nowhere to be found. No, she hadn’t just ditched him, he told himself. Right?

She had asked him to wait for her, so wait he did, for all of thirty seconds before his nerves started getting the better of him. Did the lift freak her out? Or tilting her head up while they danced? She had seemed like she was having a good time, but maybe she was just indulging him after all. Maybe he came off too strong and scared her away.

No, no, she wouldn’t do that. Lilie was too sweet for that, he couldn’t even imagine her making a mean face, let alone just ditching him like that. Although, she didn’t actually come to the ball with him, so it wasn’t like she was walking out on a date or anything…

Maybe he should check.

Making up his mind, Aaron made a beeline for the exit, turning down the corridor toward the door and finding it empty. He was a little crestfallen, but pressed on, pushing the door open and peering out into the darkness. “Um, Lilie? Did you come out here?”

Lilie jumped in place, clutching a small makeup palette and brush as she stared at Aaron, wide eyed. She blinked a few times, embarrassed that she had been caught red handed.

"Y-Yeah," She admitted, feeling her face turning red. "I didn't know this led to outside...so I thought I'd just touch up and go back...but you caught me." Oh how she wished the ground would swallow her whole to save face!

Aaron turned his head toward Lilie’s voice, where she was apparently hiding behind the door, and heaved a sigh of relief. She wasn’t leaving in secret, she just made a wrong turn! And judging by the flush gracing her cheeks, she was too embarrassed to backtrack.

Stepping out of the doorway, he let the door close behind him and approached Lilie, smiling once more. “I was just a little worried, I thought you were upset or something,” he half-lied. He wasn’t about to admit he was worried she decided she hated him and wanted to get out as fast as possible.

Lilie's expression fell slightly as she approached him, shaking her head. "Upset? Why?" She asked him, a little concerned.

“Well, I wasn’t sure why else you’d leave the ballroom completely,” Aaron replied, a little bashful as he realized just how big a leap he’d made in retrospect. He peered at Lilie a moment, though, when he remembered that not everyone could see well in the dark like he could—a helpful side effect of his affinity that he often took for granted. Looking around shyly, he folded his hands in front of him and leaned forward, whispering, “Isn’t it a little dark to fix your makeup, though?”

Lilie hung her head in shame, nodding in agreement. Yeah it was, but she couldn't face anyone who had seen her leave! "W-Well, I can kinda see if I turn like this," She resumed the position she had with her back to the party and barely got any light from the window on the tiny mirror of the palette.

Aaron couldn’t help but smile, taking pity on the girl. He could certainly understand her clinging to her pride. “Here, let me help,” he offered, stepping a little closer to her. He held his hands a little higher than her head height, cupping them and focusing for a moment until a little ball of light formed between them. He took a moment to adjust the brightness, bending the light around them to a soft, natural white, before drawing his hands apart and stepping away. “Maybe that’ll help?”

Lilie’s jaw dropped as she looked up at the little ball of light, impressed by Aaron's magic. "Handy!" She grinned, bringing up the mirror and immediately grimacing. She had rubbed off more than she thought, though as she reapplied the glittering gold eyeshadow, soon it resembled the other eye. She drew a thin, white line right at her eyelid and deemed herself finished, looking up at Aaron and batting her eyelashes at him. "How do I look?" She asked him as she stowed everything away in her purse.

“Stunning,” Aaron all but blurted out, realizing his boldness a second later as heat flushed his ears. He chuckled a little, hoping she didn’t think anything of it, and quickly added, “That was really quick, too. You must be good at it.”

Lilie pushed some of her hair off her shoulder, happy to hear his compliment. As she tucked a hair behind her ear, she grinned at him. "I like to play with this sort of thing a lot," Her hand waved around her eyes as she spoke. "Practice makes perfect, and I think I have it down pat by now."

She looked at the ball again as she reached up and poked it, delighted when it flickered slightly. "Amazing," she sighed, her gaze looking out to the sea. "It's beautiful, isn't it? I was looking at it when you found me. This place has a really nice view."

Aaron smiled at Lilie’s delight when she poked the light, even though the flicker she saw was a result of her interrupting the flow of magic within it. He dismissed the light when she turned away, Aaron following her gaze to the glimmering ocean beyond the cliff. It really was quite a sight, the widest expanse of water and space Aaron had ever seen in his life, shimmering under the moonlight.

“It really is,” he agreed, recalling how captivated he'd been the first time he'd taken a proper look at the ocean between classes. “You know, I had never seen anything like it before I came here. I can see why Her Highness chose this spot to build her Academy; she and Princess Nox both hate being cooped up in the forest.”

"Really?" Lilie asked, though she supposed she wasn't too surprised. Even where she lived deep in the valley she had met people that had never seen the sea. The fact that the princess made sure the academy was close was really nice. "There's a river close to where I live, but we used to go to the beach at least once during summer. This beach is a lot bigger, though!" She sighed as she looked at it, though she suddenly got an idea as she looked back at Aaron.

"Let's go down, then," she suggested. "You can see it up close and watch the waves."

Aaron peered between Lilie, the ocean, and the cliffside for a moment, briefly wondering if there was even a way to get down there, but Lilie sounded like she was familiar enough with the place to know better than him. Of course, at Lilie’s behest, he wouldn't entirely object to scaling the cliffside either.

“Okay!” He replied cheerfully, pulling off his mask and hooking it around his arm like Lilie had. “How do we get down?”

The girl took a second to look around, taking a few steps forward as she looked down the cliffside. Climbing down would actually be fun, but she doubted she would get too far in her fancy dress and heels. Considering there was an exit right here, she figured there must have been a way to the beach from where they were. She squinted as she looked for any lights or a mark, though she noticed that there was a dirt path leading downwards, one she realized looked familiar as it was the same she had gone down before.

Lilie pointed it out to Aaron. "That's how we'll get down," she told him excitedly, leading the way. As she approached the slope, she was more cautious, walking as carefully as she could. If she were wearing normal shoes it would be a lot easier and wouldn't require so much thought, but the thin heel made it difficult to balance and kept sinking into certain places.

Aaron followed dutifully, eyes adjusting seamlessly as they left the glow of the ballroom for the darker, moonlit path. He kept a sharp eye out as Lilie lead the way, knowing she probably couldn’t see as well as he could, but while there was nothing in her path that needed warning about, she still seemed to be struggling. She moved at a snail’s pace and kept glancing down, wobbling like her knees were liable to give out. It took Aaron a moment to realize she was struggling because of her shoes, her heels stabbing into the dirt and costing her her balance.

“Do you need some help? Here,” Aaron strode up next to Lilie, offering his hand if she wanted some extra support.

Tearing her gaze away from the ground in front of her, Lilie opened her mouth to assure him she was fine before her left heel sunk deeper than before. She contained her cry of surprise but couldn't quite hide her arms flailing as she rebalance herself, her eyes wide with shock. She stayed still, afraid any movement would send her tumbling down the hill, but after a few seconds she relaxed, sheepishly taking Aaron's hand.

"If you don't mind," she gave him a grateful smile, holding onto his hand tightly as she resumed the trek, though she was happy that she didn't have to worry as much as her steps were easier to make with Aaron helping her balance. She kept her gaze downwards just in case, but she relied on his sturdy guidance as they descended carefully. She figured he had experience helping people down uncertain steps, but even if that wasn't the case she was happy he was so willing to help. He always did, now that she thought about it.

"You know, I was wondering," she decided to voice her thoughts, looking up at him. "You're always helping me out with stuff since day one. Doesn't it get annoying that I'm always bothering you?"

Aaron was happy to help Lilie descend, surprised at just how light she felt, even when she seemed like she was putting a good amount of weight on him. He kept a careful, concerned eye on her to ensure she didn't trip, though he'd have to admit his eyes did wander to her bare shoulders and gently curled hair once or twice in the process.

He raised his eyebrows at the sudden question, a little perturbed that Lilie would feel like she was a bother. He shook his head. “No, of course not,” he assured her gently, “on the contrary, I'm just happy I can help at all.”

It certainly felt good to be able to help, especially since it felt to Aaron like the only thing he could capably do lately. “Truth be told, I'm flattered you come to me. I suppose I must be doing something right.” He flashed a grin.

Lilie’s followup question seemed to get stuck in her throat, her eyes searching Aaron's expression for a moment. He seemed genuinely happy to help her, his words touching her greatly and adding a little to her guilt. His grin earned him a small smile on her part, most of her concern gone. She seemed to fight herself for a moment, though she figured maybe she had been worried for nothing.

"I'm lucky, then," she admitted. "I felt like I was dropped in a dark cave and you're my flashlight." She didn't want to think about what she would do without him, her hand holding his a little tighter at the thought. "Maybe I can make it up to you someday."

Aaron waited patiently for Lilie’s response, but when it came, he swore he felt his heart skip a beat. He didn’t miss her little squeeze of his hand, and hearing her speak as if she depended on him was gratifying in a way he wasn’t used to (but certainly wasn’t complaining about either). He felt his ears heat up under his hair at the praise, and his grin turned bashful.

“Oh, that’s not necessary…” he murmured, though he couldn’t wipe the smile off his face if he tried. Even though he didn’t expect it, she’d already made it all up to him and more simply by staying his friend after that horrible public apology; he felt as if he embarrassed her even more than he embarrassed herself, but she barely acknowledged it, and it sometimes seemed like she was the only person in the school who didn’t look at him like a freak ever since.

Lilie lifted her free hand to wag her finger at Aaron, her smile wider as she looked at him. "No, no, I'm gonna make it up to you one way or another," she dismissed his comment playfully, stopping at the start of the staircase leading to the beach. Taking a moment to appreciate the view, she breathed in the salty air happily as she looked around. They weren't the only ones enjoying the beach, a flash of flames followed by a loud cheer catching her attention. Her eyes lit up as she knew exactly what was happening, turning to Aaron excitedly.

"A bonfire!" She hopped in place, pointing to the few gathered around the fire. "They do them here, too!"

Aaron laughed good-naturedly, eyes on Lilie as she looked around, before following her excited indication to the fire she was pointing at. It was a fairly large fire on the sand at the foot of the cliff, safely out of reach of the tide. A number of figures surrounded it, though Aaron could only definitively make out the ones in front of the blaze, seated with one of them holding something large in their lap.

While Aaron had never even seen, much less participated in, a bonfire before, Lilie’s excitement was infectious. “Would you like to go check it out?” he asked curiously.

"Yeah! Let's go!" Lilie answered him immediately, practically pulling him along as she descended the steps in record time. She stopped as she reached the sand, stooping down to take off her heels. She loved the feeling of sand, taking a second to enjoy it and waiting patiently for Aaron to take off his shoes.

Taking the hint from Lilie, Aaron took a moment to awkwardly remove his shoes and socks, unable to contain the grin that came with the absurdity of walking in a full tuxedo barefoot. But the sand would damage his shoes and did want to follow Lilie’s lead, so off they went, leaving the man amused by the unfamiliar texture of sand under his feet and the entire situation more generally.

Lilie grabbed him by the arm as soon as she saw he was done and practically dragged him over to the far end of the beach, her previous hesitation apparently forgotten now that her heels were gone, not that Aaron would complain. Aaron couldn’t help but laugh, and Lilie did too, though amusement turned to butterflies in his stomach and a cheerful smile turned bashful as Lilie’s hand slid down from his elbow to his hand.
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J’torha followed the pair of merchants to the building, tail still twitching in mostly false outrage - though that “desert kit” comment did help him keep up a good facade. Still, he held himself proudly, arms crossed as he followed into the building.

Inside, the building held only a table in the centre of the floor and walls lined with shelves. The shelves were lined with books, and one such book was open on the table, full of figures that he took to be sales records. Lucky, that; the page was covered in some pretty big numbers, and it gave him an idea of just how much he could leverage out of the poor fools.

As the door closed behind them, J’torha kept his back to it, allowing the merchants to settle where they may and regarding them both coldly, perching a hand on his hip and letting his tail swish behind him. He glared between the merchant and his dark-haired friend a moment before speaking, just to let a little tension settle over the room.

“My payment, then?” he demanded, keeping up the charade a little longer. The brunet was still swallowing it, after all. He eyed Tilman. With interest. I think you owe me that much for my trouble.”


Prob cause once you hit 18 you just throw it in there just in case, that way you don't have to worry about censoring anything should adult themes arise. Plus, I can't speak for others, but I'm more comfortable writing with adults than minors in general.


@Prosaic I present to you: half-assed backstory, the person
Banned for too many 9's
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Hearing that Salem had been drinking made Lilie frown, wondering if that was a common theme, but she supposed if Cassandra and Salem did it, then there must not be anything wrong with it. Aaron’s assurance was a little curious, but there was little time to ask any further, his hand extended to her as he asked her for a dance. He was always a little formal, but this really took the cake. Not that she found herself minding that very much, finding little reason to say no. How hard could a waltz be, anyway?

Lilie gladly took Aaron's hand, nodding happily as she mentally prepared herself, following him as he led her out to the floor. There was still a tiny part of her that was nervous, but she had every reason to believe Aaron would take the lead and she would just have to apologize to anyone she bumped into. That being said, she found herself face-to-face with Aaron--or as face-to-face as she could be with someone almost a whole head taller than she was--as he assumed a starting position. His hand on her waist actually gave her a hint of butterflies in her stomach, making her wonder when was the last time she had been so close to a guy, though as he held her hand in his, she was distracted by how much bigger his hand was than hers. It felt nice and secure, and she took a second to breathe.

“Should I apologize now if I happen to step on your toes?” She asked him as a joke.

Aaron smiled kindly down at Lilie. “Nah, I’m tough,” he assured her with a wink.

The music began, and gently Aaron led Lilie into the first few steps of a simple waltz. Dancing had never been much more to him than another skill he had to master, and he’d danced like this with just about everyone he knew back home, from his mother and aunts to his etiquette teacher back when he was learning. Somehow, though, his heart still managed to flutter at the chance to waltz with Lilie. Even as inexperienced as she was, occasionally getting her legs tangled up with his, her movements were still fluid and alluring, and Aaron found it hard not to stare.

Aaron's confidence was something else tonight, the white-haired girl all but determined not to make a fool of herself. Easier said than done, of course. Lilie should have known better than to agree to something out of her league; she assumed a waltz was simple, but what little experience she had showed as she found herself having to play keep-up with the blonde. Aaron was well practiced, which should have made it easy to follow, but letting someone else take the lead proved a lot harder than it should have been. He was more graceful than she had anticipated, but seeing as how he came from a place where etiquette and poise were the norm, she shouldn't have been surprised.

She mentally counted out the tempo, finding it a little easier to map out her steps as she looked down at her feet. Just as she looked up at him to ask how she was doing, she caught him staring, the mask accentuating his eyes and making her feel like he was looking right through her. Lilie ended up looking back down so quickly she was genuinely surprised her neck hadn’t snapped. He probably thought she was hopeless, her gaze fixated down to prevent him from seeing how embarrassed she was.

To Aaron, on the other hand, dancing came as easily as walking, allowing him to focus more on his partner than his own steps. And focus he did; on how she moved, how shy she suddenly became—there was such a sharp contrast between Lilie in the arena and Lilie in the ballroom that Aaron forgot himself, apparently staring a little too insistently as Lilie averted her eyes when she saw him.

A low chuckle escaped him; he felt a little bad for laughing, but something about a bashful Lilie was just so damn endearing and cute that he couldn’t help himself. She did seem tense, though, staring down at her feet and apparently very concerned about her footsteps.

Suddenly, another flash of courage struck him, and Aaron brought his hand up from Lilie’s waist to her chin, gently tilting her face up so their eyes could meet. “You should be looking at me,” he told her gently, flashing a smile.

His touch alone brought Lilie out of her counting, and the next thing she knew she was looking up at him again. Aaron’s expression was so gentle, so inexplicably warm that she found herself frozen in place, unable to tear her gaze away. She wasn’t sure how she never noticed it before, but his eyes had this gorgeous shade of blue that she hadn’t seen before. Maybe it was her own personal longing to return to a simpler time, but they reminded her a lot of a blue sky on a sunny day.

Still, she found herself smiling with him, having to remind herself to breathe for a second. “Okay…” The word came out so quietly she wasn’t even sure he heard it, unsure why she was finding it hard not to get too excited.

She seemed to catch herself as she realized that now she was the one staring at him, clearing her throat as her brain scrambled trying to think of how to get herself out of that awkwardness. “Where—where did you learn how to dance?” Lilie asked.

Aaron felt none of the awkwardness that Lilie did, him simply thrilled that she seemed to be enjoying his company. He took a deep breath to calm the fluttering in his chest as he placed his hand back on her waist, leaning down a bit so he could hear her when she asked a question.

“The same place I learned everything, Noila Castle,” he replied, airily maneuvering the pair of them away from another couple to avoid a collision. “I think we’re usually supposed to learn around age six, but apparently they started me early because they couldn’t get me to sit still.” He gave Lilie a cheeky grin.

“How about you?” he asked, stepping back and guiding Lilie’s arm up over her head for a spin in tandem with the rest of the dancers, “Have you ever done anything like this before?”

The spin definitely made Lilie dizzy, though she was starting to think it had more to do with her partner than anything. Managing to keep herself rooted, she found herself surprised at his admission that he couldn’t sit still as a child. Aaron was so well-behaved that the idea of him being unruly even as a kid sounded so unlikely to her.

“The only dance experience I have is from my ballet lessons when I was little, unless you count poor Salem pulling me around as I stepped on him,” Lilie shook her head. “Even then I preferred dancing solo, but our group dances were nothing like this.”

Aaron wrinkled his nose. “Oh, I used to hate dancing alone,” he replied, “Cello solos, fine, but anything else always made me too self-conscious.” He laughed a bit, shaking his head before returning the conversation to Lilie. “Ballet though, that’s impressive. Although, considering the fencing, I suppose I should have expected it. Do you still dance?”

Aaron’s humility was admirable, and Lilie had to admit the idea of him being self-conscious made her feel a little closer to him; they had more in common than she thought, even if it was in different ways. At his question, she immediately shook her head. “Oh, no, I went into gymnastics after we couldn’t afford—” She cut herself off as she caught herself again. It was a little too easy to talk to Aaron, but in their current setting and knowing who he was, she felt like it wasn’t the time or place to get into too much detail. “I mean, no. Sorry. I went into gymnastics once I went into high school.”

Despite wanting to get the conversation off of her, Aaron had said something that got her attention. “What do you mean when you say you expected it?” She asked him curiously.

Lilie’s little self-correction made Aaron’s face fall a little, but he wouldn’t press the issue as she moved the conversation along. “Well in my mind, fencing and ballet are similar,” he explained, chuckling. “Probably why I was never good at either.”

He pulled Lilie’s waist a little closer to him as another couple swept close behind her, but continued, unconcerned with a few trajectory adjustments. “Anyway, fencing and ballet both involve a lot of beauty and grace and fluid motion, not to mention complicated footwork.” He could hear Lucan’s voice in his head now, lecturing him about that very thing. “I guess I think it suits you,” he concluded with a smile.

The sudden movement nearly made Lilie lose her footing, clinging onto Aaron. Now that she had let him fully take the lead, the dance was so much easier. For the moment she put that aside as he continued, surprised by his response. Beauty and grace--was that how he thought of her? It was actually very flattering, her smile widening. If she didn’t know any better, she would probably have thought he was flirting with her.

“That’s so sweet of you to think that,” she told him. “I feel more like I’m clunky and constantly stumbling, but if you think I’m graceful, I’ll take the compliment.”

“Good,” Aaron grinned, sweeping Lilie into another spin in tandem with the ballroom. He’d been raised to the standard that refusing a compliment was rude, even if you didn’t believe it; in his opinion, though, her insecurities were wholly unfounded.

The dance picked up a little in pace and complexity as it neared its end, and conversation fell to the wayside as Aaron led Lilie (more or less) through the steps. She spared the occasional glance down at her feet, but otherwise kept her eyes up as Aaron had instructed; Aaron himself was finding it very hard not to lose tempo completely as the threat loomed of getting lost in her eyes. Something about sapphire eyes framed by the gilded edges of a gold mask sucked him in, Lilie’s every move - even her mistakes - captivating him, and soon, all he saw was her. That was, of course, until a flash of red in his periphery told him they were about to knock into another couple spinning by.

Jerked out of his reverie by the realization, Aaron did the only thing he could think of in an instant, grabbing Lilie by the waist and hoisting her up and out of the way. Lilie yelped in surprise and Aaron turned to put her back down on the other side of him, just as the song ended and the other dancers swirled to a stop. The rest of the crowd bowed to each other and clapped for the musicians, but Aaron, a little shocked, could only cover his mouth as he struggled to contain laughter.

“I’m sorry,” he laughed, reaching out apologetically and looking to Lilie with legitimate concern, despite his grin. “Are you alright?”

Lilie had bit down on her lip to prevent her own burst of giggles, nodding. "Yeah! I was just surprised!" She said, fanning herself to cool down her flushed face. After a few seconds she reached under her mask to rub her eye, only to realize her mistake when she saw the side of her finger glittering. Oh shoot, she completely forgot about her makeup, having rubbed her eye out of a slight sleepiness she usually had at this time.

"Um, I just need to fix myself up," she excused herself. "I'll be right back, so wait for me, okay?"

Aaron collected himself enough to nod, still smiling. “Alright, I'll stay here.”
____________________________________________________________________________________

Hearing that Salem had been drinking made Lilie frown, wondering if that was a common theme, but she supposed if Cassandra and Salem did it, then there must not be anything wrong with it. Aaron’s assurance was a little curious, but there was little time to ask any further, his hand extended to her as he asked her for a dance. He was always a little formal, but this really took the cake. Not that she found herself minding that very much, finding little reason to say no. How hard could a waltz be, anyway?

Lilie gladly took Aaron's hand, nodding happily as she mentally prepared herself, following him as he led her out to the floor. There was still a tiny part of her that was nervous, but she had every reason to believe Aaron would take the lead and she would just have to apologize to anyone she bumped into. That being said, she found herself face-to-face with Aaron--or as face-to-face as she could be with someone almost a whole head taller than she was--as he assumed a starting position. His hand on her waist actually gave her a hint of butterflies in her stomach, making her wonder when was the last time she had been so close to a guy, though as he held her hand in his, she was distracted by how much bigger his hand was than hers. It felt nice and secure, and she took a second to breathe.

“Should I apologize now if I happen to step on your toes?” She asked him as a joke.

Aaron smiled kindly down at Lilie. “Nah, I’m tough,” he assured her with a wink.

The music began, and gently Aaron led Lilie into the first few steps of a simple waltz. Dancing had never been much more to him than another skill he had to master, and he’d danced like this with just about everyone he knew back home, from his mother and aunts to his etiquette teacher back when he was learning. Somehow, though, his heart still managed to flutter at the chance to waltz with Lilie. Even as inexperienced as she was, occasionally getting her legs tangled up with his, her movements were still fluid and alluring, and Aaron found it hard not to stare.

Aaron's confidence was something else tonight, the white-haired girl all but determined not to make a fool of herself. Easier said than done, of course. Lilie should have known better than to agree to something out of her league; she assumed a waltz was simple, but what little experience she had showed as she found herself having to play keep-up with the blonde. Aaron was well practiced, which should have made it easy to follow, but letting someone else take the lead proved a lot harder than it should have been. He was more graceful than she had anticipated, but seeing as how he came from a place where etiquette and poise were the norm, she shouldn't have been surprised.

She mentally counted out the tempo, finding it a little easier to map out her steps as she looked down at her feet. Just as she looked up at him to ask how she was doing, she caught him staring, the mask accentuating his eyes and making her feel like he was looking right through her. Lilie ended up looking back down so quickly she was genuinely surprised her neck hadn’t snapped. He probably thought she was hopeless, her gaze fixated down to prevent him from seeing how embarrassed she was.

To Aaron, on the other hand, dancing came as easily as walking, allowing him to focus more on his partner than his own steps. And focus he did; on how she moved, how shy she suddenly became—there was such a sharp contrast between Lilie in the arena and Lilie in the ballroom that Aaron forgot himself, apparently staring a little too insistently as Lilie averted her eyes when she saw him.

A low chuckle escaped him; he felt a little bad for laughing, but something about a bashful Lilie was just so damn endearing and cute that he couldn’t help himself. She did seem tense, though, staring down at her feet and apparently very concerned about her footsteps.

Suddenly, another flash of courage struck him, and Aaron brought his hand up from Lilie’s waist to her chin, gently tilting her face up so their eyes could meet. “You should be looking at me,” he told her gently, flashing a smile.

His touch alone brought Lilie out of her counting, and the next thing she knew she was looking up at him again. Aaron’s expression was so gentle, so inexplicably warm that she found herself frozen in place, unable to tear her gaze away. She wasn’t sure how she never noticed it before, but his eyes had this gorgeous shade of blue that she hadn’t seen before. Maybe it was her own personal longing to return to a simpler time, but they reminded her a lot of a blue sky on a sunny day.

Still, she found herself smiling with him, having to remind herself to breathe for a second. “Okay…” The word came out so quietly she wasn’t even sure he heard it, unsure why she was finding it hard not to get too excited.

She seemed to catch herself as she realized that now she was the one staring at him, clearing her throat as her brain scrambled trying to think of how to get herself out of that awkwardness. “Where—where did you learn how to dance?” Lilie asked.

Aaron felt none of the awkwardness that Lilie did, him simply thrilled that she seemed to be enjoying his company. He took a deep breath to calm the fluttering in his chest as he placed his hand back on her waist, leaning down a bit so he could hear her when she asked a question.

“The same place I learned everything, Noila Castle,” he replied, airily maneuvering the pair of them away from another couple to avoid a collision. “I think we’re usually supposed to learn around age six, but apparently they started me early because they couldn’t get me to sit still.” He gave Lilie a cheeky grin.

“How about you?” he asked, stepping back and guiding Lilie’s arm up over her head for a spin in tandem with the rest of the dancers, “Have you ever done anything like this before?”

The spin definitely made Lilie dizzy, though she was starting to think it had more to do with her partner than anything. Managing to keep herself rooted, she found herself surprised at his admission that he couldn’t sit still as a child. Aaron was so well-behaved that the idea of him being unruly even as a kid sounded so unlikely to her.

“The only dance experience I have is from my ballet lessons when I was little, unless you count poor Salem pulling me around as I stepped on him,” Lilie shook her head. “Even then I preferred dancing solo, but our group dances were nothing like this.”

Aaron wrinkled his nose. “Oh, I used to hate dancing alone,” he replied, “Cello solos, fine, but anything else always made me too self-conscious.” He laughed a bit, shaking his head before returning the conversation to Lilie. “Ballet though, that’s impressive. Although, considering the fencing, I suppose I should have expected it. Do you still dance?”

Aaron’s humility was admirable, and Lilie had to admit the idea of him being self-conscious made her feel a little closer to him; they had more in common than she thought, even if it was in different ways. At his question, she immediately shook her head. “Oh, no, I went into gymnastics after we couldn’t afford—” She cut herself off as she caught herself again. It was a little too easy to talk to Aaron, but in their current setting and knowing who he was, she felt like it wasn’t the time or place to get into too much detail. “I mean, no. Sorry. I went into gymnastics once I went into high school.”

Despite wanting to get the conversation off of her, Aaron had said something that got her attention. “What do you mean when you say you expected it?” She asked him curiously.

Lilie’s little self-correction made Aaron’s face fall a little, but he wouldn’t press the issue as she moved the conversation along. “Well in my mind, fencing and ballet are similar,” he explained, chuckling. “Probably why I was never good at either.”

He pulled Lilie’s waist a little closer to him as another couple swept close behind her, but continued, unconcerned with a few trajectory adjustments. “Anyway, fencing and ballet both involve a lot of beauty and grace and fluid motion, not to mention complicated footwork.” He could hear Lucan’s voice in his head now, lecturing him about that very thing. “I guess I think it suits you,” he concluded with a smile.

The sudden movement nearly made Lilie lose her footing, clinging onto Aaron. Now that she had let him fully take the lead, the dance was so much easier. For the moment she put that aside as he continued, surprised by his response. Beauty and grace--was that how he thought of her? It was actually very flattering, her smile widening. If she didn’t know any better, she would probably have thought he was flirting with her.

“That’s so sweet of you to think that,” she told him. “I feel more like I’m clunky and constantly stumbling, but if you think I’m graceful, I’ll take the compliment.”

“Good,” Aaron grinned, sweeping Lilie into another spin in tandem with the ballroom. He’d been raised to the standard that refusing a compliment was rude, even if you didn’t believe it; in his opinion, though, her insecurities were wholly unfounded.

The dance picked up a little in pace and complexity as it neared its end, and conversation fell to the wayside as Aaron led Lilie (more or less) through the steps. She spared the occasional glance down at her feet, but otherwise kept her eyes up as Aaron had instructed; Aaron himself was finding it very hard not to lose tempo completely as the threat loomed of getting lost in her eyes. Something about sapphire eyes framed by the gilded edges of a gold mask sucked him in, Lilie’s every move - even her mistakes - captivating him, and soon, all he saw was her. That was, of course, until a flash of red in his periphery told him they were about to knock into another couple spinning by.

Jerked out of his reverie by the realization, Aaron did the only thing he could think of in an instant, grabbing Lilie by the waist and hoisting her up and out of the way. Lilie yelped in surprise and Aaron turned to put her back down on the other side of him, just as the song ended and the other dancers swirled to a stop. The rest of the crowd bowed to each other and clapped for the musicians, but Aaron, a little shocked, could only cover his mouth as he struggled to contain laughter.

“I’m sorry,” he laughed, reaching out apologetically and looking to Lilie with legitimate concern, despite his grin. “Are you alright?”

Lilie had bit down on her lip to prevent her own burst of giggles, nodding. "Yeah! I was just surprised!" She said, fanning herself to cool down her flushed face. After a few seconds she reached under her mask to rub her eye, only to realize her mistake when she saw the side of her finger glittering. Oh shoot, she completely forgot about her makeup, having rubbed her eye out of a slight sleepiness she usually had at this time.

"Um, I just need to fix myself up," she excused herself. "I'll be right back, so wait for me, okay?"

Aaron collected himself enough to nod, still smiling. “Alright, I'll stay here.”
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