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[r. axhubs] Sweet Dreams {m[x]m} |18+|

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Offline matinsandvespers

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LAST TIME ON SWEET DREAMS

http://archive.visionary-tales.com/r-axhubs-sweet-dreams-m-x-m-18-t22516.html

Zoello had consumed the liquor which such speed that he could already feel some immediate results. With little warning the youth head felt like it was swimming in some sort of haze the likes of which he had never experienced. Also, the kissing of warmth burned at his cheeks his pale face broke out into a bloom of red. "No, no, that would be unnecessary." Such a hassle would not have been necessary in order to get Zoello water, especially if this was Isak's prescription of what was best to resist the bitter frost. "I am pretty cold, so... this... concoction will suffice me."

Light dusting of snow could be seen through the window pane as a heavy wind creaked the cabin. Log cabins were known for their resilience in resisting the elements, but a heart and thick logs did not compare to central heating and modern insulation. Zoello manifested that he was chilled; the air slicing through his thin frame like a knife through paper. Almost involuntarily, Zoello took the ale to his lips and sipped, finding Isak to be right. With the sip came another warm sensation that eventually he could feel expanding out through his body. The youth could not tell if it was psychosomatic, but he was not concerned. The sensation did make him feel better at least, even if he did cough and sputter after some of the sips that he took.

As dinner persisted, Zoello continued to learn that Isak was not at all the conversationalist. This kind of meal that he was sharing with the pine-scented mountain hermit was altogether diverse from that to which he was accustomed. Typically, whenever Zoello's parents were actually home, his parents had a litany of different questions for him. He would either be interrogated about his academic accomplishments, or he would be questioned about what kind of company he was keeping with regard to his social life. They also did well to inform him of the sundry state events and banquets at which they were required to present themselves. This dynamic, however, made Zoello somewhat uncomfortable. There was no sound of the clinging of silver and porcelain together. There was no pitter-patter of servants' feet, but merely the sounds of eating and drinking and awkward silence.

"So, do you have a lady friend, Isak?" At this point Zoello was trying to find something that would get prick the lumberjacks interest so that he could be remotely interesting. "Or, are you more of a hook up kind of guy?" The youth uncharacteristically chuckled at his question, the ale beginning to take its effect. "I am sure that most of the ladies wouldn't mind taking of piece of you." Despite the alcohol, Zoello was surprisingly maintaining his composure. Perhaps he just needed a little more time for the alcohol to work it's way through his blood stream.


Offline axhubs

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The glorious thing about impaired social functioning was that you didn’t feel the effects yourself. Everyone around you might be uncomfortable, but you were fine; you couldn’t even tell. If it hadn’t been for Isak’s mother giving him some kind of education, Isak could have sailed through life this way. Had only his father raised him, he would be eating squatted down by the fire, spearing the cheese with his knife and combing the crumbs from his beard.

Instead, he painfully felt his own deficiency. He was well acquainted with silence, but silence was a fickle friend. One more person to witness it and it changed its form completely. Isak chewed his bread for longer than he needed to. He kept his eyes on his plate.

At least the young prince, or whatever he was, had not refused Isak’s pauper’s fare. He had even taken to the ale. Whether or not that was a positive, however, threw itself into sharp relief when Zoello once again began to speak.

Isak brought the bottle of ale, which was halfway between the table and his mouth, back down again. He fixed Zoello with a stare. Did aristocrats speak so freely of private things amongst themselves? Isak kept the company of nuns.

And how old, really, was Zoello? If he was of age, then barely. Perhaps his hormones were still running wild. Or else he was just trying to provoke him. Isak was no stranger to that, either, a massive man with a wild beard glimpsed between the trees in the woods. People had thrown rocks at him before. He almost preferred that to this; at least he knew where he stood with rocks.

Bereft of a strategy, or the verbal wit to undermine him, Isak gave Zoello a straight answer. ‘No,’ he said. ‘There are only nuns here. They are not interested. Or - they are not allowed.’

Isak felt his cheeks grow hot. He prayed to whatever it was that was out there that his flush did not show, or else that his beard sufficed to cover it. Straight answer, yes - but the whole truth, that was locked away somewhere deep within the confines of his chest, and idle chit-chat was not the key to it.

‘What about you,’ Isak said, desperate to pass the onus, not interested in the least. ‘Are you - betrothed?’


Offline matinsandvespers

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To him Isak's answer was not overwhelmingly surprising by any stretch of the imagination. From the few short hours that the youth had gotten to know the giant there were several things which had become apparent to him. 1) Isak was exceedingly socially awkward and lacked extensive conversational skills which betrayed a lack of frequent social interaction.(2) His pantry was sparse and his house ill-prepared for guests of any kind, which indicated that he did not have people over, especially not women. (3) He lived in the middle of no where, which communicated rather boldly that Isak wanted very little to do with the world outside. Isak could have built his home closer to a more populated area, but instead the location of the lumberjack's wooden hovel was a loud statement of "stay the fuck away." Isak seemed to have some sort of general aversion to other human beings in general, and Zoello -- though he could totally sympathize with him (though most likely for other reasons -- was curious to know why. If not for anything else than to entertain himself. There was little else to do for such an undertaking in the middle of a snow laden forest other than being mauled by bears, and, though exceeding great fun the first time around, it was a ride in the which Zoello had no desire to indulge again.

Torture Isak it was.

However, it was difficult to torment a hermit when one had little control over his thoughts. Zoello could feel his motor skills disengaging in a most pleasant and unsettling way. His lithe body swayed involuntarily to and fro as he tried to stabilize himself, and he could feel the liquorice red heat spreading from his face to the rest of his body. Zoello tried his best to collect his thoughts as they swam through a sea of vapors floating about his brain.

"That... is a pity." Was all that Zoello could muster at first before he was taken off guard by a soft giggle. "I am sure that some of those nuns would like a piece of that ass." His laughter grew louder as he mulled over the though, and louder still when Isak posed his question. "O heavens no!" He torted.

The superadded laughter came from the memory of all those divers attempts that his parents had made in the foregoing years to betroth Zoello to an eligible woman of a noble stock. He had turned them all down as soon as they came to meet him. Even now he could remember the face of one young Countess of Thurinsburg who burst into tears when Zoello not only turned down the offer her parents made for her hand, but also told her that her brother was far more attractive than she was. His parents forced him to write a formal letter of apology after that.

After several seconds of laughter, Zoello could finally finish his thought. "I really have very little interest in relationships at this time. Though..." The youth thought about his next words as best he could, his expression becoming a little more sullen. "I will eventually have to take a bride one of these days." He took in another drink of the ale, sputtering less than before as he became more accustomed to its burn. "Gah! Do you have just plain water?" Zoello slurred out. "And what exactly are you going to have me do while I am here, Herr Minze?" He asked, beginning to slouch forward. "Are you going to going to make good... use of me during my stay here. You can't work me too hard now, it's only my first time with a big man like you." Zoello swaddled himself in his scarf and chortled in with faux timidity.


Offline axhubs

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There was nothing in a sister’s vow to prevent her from having an ale. Isak had cracked a bottle or two with the nuns before. They had the cleanest water for miles to drink at the abbey, but there was hydration and there was souse. Upon a late delivery of firewood, say, to reward him for his labor, them for a day of theirs.

Isak could not recall an occasion where he had gotten drunk off of ale. If he were to drink enough to even get him tipsy, the sheer volume of it would make him sick. But Isak had seen a nun or two drunk before. Isak had heard that giggle Zoello produced before. He had heard the comments Zoello had made about his figure, too.

Was it bad form to get his guest drunk? Isak mulled the question as Zoello laughed. He seemed to be having a good enough time. The dawn could be rough. At Zoello's behest, Isak stood from the table, reached into the cupboard and leaned out of the door for a bowlful of snow from the nearest drift. He shivered in the sharp air for a moment or two longer than he had to. It might be good for Zoello to catch a lungful of it, too.

He latched the door again and left the bowl by the fire. It would melt quickly. Though Zoello persisted in being untoward (Isak thought, though he could not be certain, for even slowed by the ale, Zoello’s tongue was too quick for him), he was surprised to find that he found Zoello tolerable this way. Isak did not like pretense, and alcohol had a way of stripping it away.

‘You don’t need to work,’ he told Zoello. ‘I am just a host to you. You can sit in here all day and all night if you want.’ If there was one thing he had enough of, it was firewood. He had to keep the fire going through all those days and nights of this endless winter, anyway, lest the hut itself freeze over.

‘But it is boring.’ Isak shrugged. ‘Nothing to do here but work, eat, sleep. No fancy parties or the things I think you are used to.’ There was no hint of apology in his tone. ‘If you want to be busy, then I can find something for you to do.’

Probably. He could hardly see Zoello chopping down a tree. Isak studied the sliver of a man with a characteristic lack of guise. ‘Do you have any skill?’ He asked, with the same.


Offline matinsandvespers

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"No parties?" Zoello grabbed both of his cheeks and made his voice relatively more high pitched than usual, as though he were a damsel-in-distress. "Whatever shall I do?! O me! O my! I don't that I will ever survive!" He broke character. "I think I'll be fine."

In all honesty, Zoello was a rather boring fellow. Or at least he would be a boring if he were not a public personality. As a member of a lordly house, Zoello was obligated to attend galas of all kinds: for friends, for foes, for people he could care less about. Perhaps to be hid from the public eye would be a nice and refreshing change of pace. Of course, Zoello was not thinking that at the present time. He was far too drunk for that. "I'll show you a fancy party, Mister!" The youth cackled to himself again, taking another sip of ale. He had forgotten that the words that had just come out of his mouth were not internal, but quite the opposite.  He also had forgotten that what was in his cup was not water at all, but his face showed that he was quickly reminded before he put down his cup of ale.

As Zoello reached for the melted ice that was sitting before he hearth, he listened to Isak's question. "Do I have any skills? DoI have any skills? Sir, I have so many skills you would be amazed!" When he said "amazed" it was accompanied with his hands being thrown up into the air. Perhaps innumerating Zoello's catalogue of qualifications was not something that he should do while he was inebriated. When the youth would wake in the morning, he was going to earnestly regret his behavior. He took a long sip his ice cold water, as though he had never had water in his life. "I can be your happy little homemaker while you do... uh... whatever it is that you do."

The stream of consciousness blather that was erupting from Zoello's mouth was interrupted by a protracted yawn. The day had been well-spent, and the sun had hidden itself well below the horizon. The moon shone brightly through thick billows of clouds that made the dense forest wax and wane between scintillating with snowy light or drowning with the blackest silence. The only sounds that were outside were the sounds of the wind howling through the trees. No animal could be heard. It was so cold that none dared go about in such bitterfrost.

The conversation dwindled between the two men, the silence from outside seeping in through the wooden walls of Isak's house with only the cracking of the logs to keep a full silence at bay. Somehow in the middle of Zoello's speaking he had, as it were, given up the ghost. At one moment, he was trrying to hold some semblance of a conversation (to no avail) and then next he knew his forehead was pressed against the table and his long, sighing breaths announced that he had passed into sleep.

Perhaps, when Zoello arose he would be back in his own bed like he was supposed to be. Perhaps.. but the chances were low.

Seeing as Zoello had fallen asleep in such an uncomfortable position, Isak, who reveled for a while in the silence on his own while he drank his ale slowly, took pity on the young man, and picking him up moved Zoello to his own bed. Zoello was so small and compared to Isak it was a light thing indeed to transport such fragile waif of a man. As he carried, Zoello. Isak may have heard a word of gratitude strike his ear from muttering lips, but it was probably just his imagination.


Offline axhubs

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Isak had quite literally never heard of a great number of the things that Zoello claimed he could do. Should he be making it all up it was all the more impressive to him. Isak didn’t have the imagination. Slowly, as if demonstrating how to perform an act of sleight of hand, he removed Zoello’s ale from in front of him and decanted the remains into his own tankard. Waste not.

Zoello did not seem to need any input from Isak, and he was happy not to provide it, finishing his meal instead and sipping his supplemented drink. Zoello petered out eventually. From there, it was a matter of seconds to coma. He was so quick to lose consciousness that Isak could not prevent his head from hitting the table. He winced. He had the feeling that Zoello was the type to take a visible mark on his face quite hard. Then again, Isak didn’t own a mirror.

The silence, which had long passed from companion to omnipresence in Isak’s estimation, swept in to reclaim its rightful place. It felt a bit hostile, as if resentful of usurpation. Once Isak had finished his drink, he got up and Zoello from the table.

He was bleeding less than the last time Isak had hoisted the man over his shoulder. Isak laid him on a softer bed than his stack of logs had been. Zoello was dwarfed by Isak’s, narrow as it always seemed to him. Isak tugged the borrowed boots off his feet. He pulled the covers out from under and over him.

A strange man in a strange bed, claims of grandeur and nothing else to his name. Isak stood over him, rubbing his fingers against his palms. He had been right, he supposed, to save his life, but he did not envy his predicament. At least Isak had no claim to grandeur; he had never known anything better.

He turned away from the small, sleeping form and scanned his little home. He blew out a breath. If he shifted the furniture a little, he could stretch out beside the bed, as he did on occasion when his back ached him.

He snuffed all the candles but one and made space with a push here and there, wincing only at the first shriek of wood on wood. It became clear quickly that another bear attack would not wake Zoello from his slumber. Isak unloaded the last pelts from his closet and spread them out on the ground. He walked out once more for a piss before wedging the door firmly in place, stripping his own boots off, undressing to bearability and laying down on his improvised bed.

Ruminations had just as little place in Isak’s mind as flights of fancy did. He ended every day too dog-tired for them. He fell asleep once he had accepted his state of discomfort. And as he always did, Isak woke when the fire went out.

Degrees of pain did not register to him as much as they used to do, but Isak was confident his back had not benefited from his night on the floor. He dragged his head up to squint at the window. Morning, though winter’s dawn would need at least an hour to break. He pushed himself to his forearms and looked to the bed. The form was still there.

Floor to stove, fire. Unregistered by Isak, the scent of peppermint wafted through the room. Pantry to stove. The same fare as the night before. The bread toasted and the scents mingled. Isak steeped tree-bark tea and decided that if the form did not move, he would not wake him. He would leave a share of the breakfast and get on with his work. Company or none, the nuns would need their wood. All the more, if they were to bake and cook and churn for another mouth in the woodcutter’s hut.

Isak laid the tiny table with an unpleasantness besides hunger nestling in his gut. Zoello was still weakened. Hungover no doubt. Today might as well be a wash. But the next day, and the next? Would he improve here? Would he become with time a mouth and two helping hands? Or would he end up the way that poor mutt he had fed through to the winter had, curled up by the riverside one day frozen dead?


Offline matinsandvespers

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Before the sun had crowned the snowy, forested horizon, the morning had already roused Zoello to a resurrection. In the dark, his eyes fluttered open. When he woke and his eyes adjusted to the morning darkness, his surroundings were crude, creaking wooden beams painted with the writhing bright shadows of fire from the hearth. Had he been kidnapped?! To abscond with a member of the nobility had been ways whereby men had fetched a pretty penny in the past, and now someone had made off with him in the middle of the night as he lay sleeping! O God. How was he going to get out of this one? Zoello bolted from bed. He sat up and looked around in panic.

O...

A calm distilled over the youth when his memory began to re-inform him of his circumstances. Still he was in the home of that strange man who had saved him those few days ago. Zoello turned his head. The lighting in the house had changed little from when he had entered the night before. Through the portal of the small bedroom, the youth spied the fire in the hearth, burning with the same colors as previously, though the wood which it was consuming had been exchanged for newer lovers.

Zoello, though wide awake, stayed in bed for a little while longer. He laid back down, feeling the air -- much cooler than the blanket warmed by the calor of Zoello's body -- nibbling at the blanket from the outside to caress his exposed skin, a stinging transition which the youth wanted to avoid. He, however, could not stay long in bed. Prolonged idleness was sure to stagnate into a melancholy the likes of which Zoello was more anxious to stave off than the cold air. With a sigh and a grunt, Zoello cast the heavy blanket off of himself and shivered as the air rushed upon his bare thighs.

Somehow Zoello had lost his pants during the course of the night. It was a common occurrence of his, since he was out of the habit of wearing pants in sleep. Seeing as it was uncomfortable, he much rather preferred to wear something short (like the silken ones he had been wearing when he first stumbled along in the forest when he had been attacked by the bear). Now all that he wore was the sweater which he had been wearing when he was interred for the night. Zoello couldn't be bothered to put on pants however. The sweater, far over-sized, was more than enough to cover him from indecency, and -- besides -- something told Zoello that Isak would not mind or would not care.... but he did not know Isak all that well, so he could have been very wrong in his assessment. But, then again, Zoello was not sure if he cared. One should suppose than an experiment was in order.

With a few more grunts from the stretching of his cold-stiffened muscles, Zoello rose to his feet and crossed the floor, peering out from the darkness of the room's threshold into the light of the firelit areaway where Isak had just sat to take breakfast.

"You didn't come to bed last night," were Zoello's  first words to break the morning silence. He was leaned against the doorpost with one of his arms holding the other; his straight, fine, black hair falling into place after being jostled by sleep. "I'm sure you weren't comfortable on the floor all night." He moved from his post to the table and stood opposite Isak at the table. The youth tried his best not to make a face at that the fare. It had been an iteration of what was set before him just hours before.

No matter. Fare as common and unextraordinary as bread and cheese and butter were both good and so  generally mediocre to the taste that one could bear eating them repeatedly: like oatmeal or a sandwich. It was the lavish meals in life that tended more to weary the palate. For instance, who would eat cheesecake every day? Would it be possible? No, indeed cheesecake was just too good to be lowered to common use of ever day fare. Things of that nature had be treasured as a treat.

"Did you sleep mildly well at least?" Zoello did not take his seat but lowered his upper body so that he was leaning his weight on the chair with by his forearms.