Log:Riding Out the Storm
There's a beaded ribbon tied on one of the doors that Eden uses to mark herself in for Locke so that he knows which lounge to meet her in when he approaches to request her services. This time was a little different because in her own way, Eden is the one who solicited him, though from the outside view, people wouldn't much realize it. She seeded the idea of where she'd be and why with him and then waited for him to put together the subtle context that...
Yes. Eden was asking for //his// company. She just didn't say it. The Patroness has no real business saying such things, so when she gets into a private lounge and marks it as 'occupied' in that special way, she has a bit of a spell where she paces like 'oh no' to try and get the nervous energy out because it was very bold and inappropriate. But then again, maybe he didn't quite //get// it and everything is perfectly fine and not out of the ordinary.
Actually, this is Locke, he got it, he was meant to get it, she saw his eyes. But he has duties. It gives her time to drink and settle herself down at lounge against the pillows and bedding with her new battered book she got from the Scavenger bazaar not long ago. She hadn't a moment to truly read through it. The storm isn't as loud in this private nook, compared to the open dome of the Cage that's being blown and battered. It's no wonder she's tired (and more scared of storms than she's letting on).
Since Eden left the main concourse, Locke did decide to make the trip out to the Garden Tower. Draped in a heavy protective cloak and wearing heavy duty gloves on his hands, he spoke to several Monitors there, handing out protective gear for them in the case they need to make it back to Prime Tower, just as Castor and Casper had done at the Garage just earlier.
Using his Monitor privilege to bathe after already being hosed off on entrance to Prime, he spent the next half hour at the Mess Hall eating his supper before finally venturing forth to the Bazaar.
Even as he's talking to one of the other Patrons, his gaze catches sight of the familiar ribbon tied to one of the door. He'd been replaying Eden's words over and over again in his mind since she left. When he was crossing the catwalk in violent winds, being sprayed down with corrosive rain. When he was bathing, letting himself soak and scrubbing himself further in this desire to be clean. When he was seated at the mess hall for his meal of cake and greens. Those very words that led him here now.
He knock first, tapping his knuckles against one of the poles before ducking inside. Not in full uniform, he wears a custom long-sleeved tunic in tan that he had paid Lux to have made and a pair of black slacks. Combat boots remain on his feet. Missing are the more visible weaponry. No rifles or his AR15, though there's probably at least one pistol somewhere on his person and then the blade attached to the side of his boot.
Looking Eden over on his entrance, he remains standing just inside of the door, "I decided to take your advice."
Eden honestly wasn't sure that Locke was going to come. She wasn't sure how long his duties were due to take or if he is even interested in company. It's not standard for her to ask and his moods can be mercurial or like a tempest, and with the storm blowing like it is causing complications, she's starting to feel bad for even daring to bait away some of his time. Assuming he's even willing to take the bait.
So while reading, she's started to finally nod off with a cheek in hand, curled with prop against elbow on her side in the pale blue shift alone. The woman thought about going to dress properly, to do her hair, to put on Eden again as she always is when they start. But if she had and he hadn't come... how silly she would have felt, how foreignly awkward feeling, just the idea of it. She foregoes that. Eden knows she's beautiful without adornment, it just puts her on more level ground, in a way, to have the sweet armor of appearances to give people what they need and want.
The patron is thankful for the knock because it rouses her to lift head just before Locke steps in to stand inside the door. Eden's silences are never thick or uncomfortable, but there, for just a moment as she looks at the man out of uniform himself (much like her) it's... delicate with subtly held breath before she breaks into smile to start rising up, putting the book aside, "So you did. The storm makes your duties doublefold. I believe you're well and due."
Locke wasn't sure what he would find waiting for him here. The Eden all dolled up, which is what he's used to seeing during his visits or the far more relaxed Eden-- though, in truth, relaxed isn't the best way to describe her. The natural Eden.
This is what greets Locke on his entrance and he's a little taken aback by it. Sure, he'd seen her this way earlier in the day, but never when he comes to visit her initially. Those dark eyes of his looks her over, just as he'd done out at the concourse.
"I don't envy anyone needing to travel between the Three Towers until this storm passes." Perhaps, out of genuine curiosity or maybe to make small talk, he asks as his gaze falls upon her tome, "What are you reading?"
Eden starts to approach Locke with immediacy once she's standing, but when his eyes fall on the book and he wonders, she gives pause when standing to look at the marker where she's left placeholder between pages. Opening it back up, she reads a brief passage from the delicately handled pages, voice soft with recitation of text and contextual conveyance.
O you whom I often and silently come where you are that I may be with you, As I walk by your side or sit near, or remain in the same room with you, Little you know the subtle electric fire that for your sake is playing within me.
Eden tilts her head as if she's hearing what she's just read with some kind of delay, then wets her lips before closing it again to truly set aside this time. The woman pours him his drink to make //something// routine while walking over and explaining on pass over, "Walt Whitman. Leaves of Grass. It's a collection, it was very famous, roughly two centuries ago. I was lucky. I should have paid much more, but he insisted."
Eden either has no damn clue what effect she has on people sometimes, that or she's damn used to the bartering wiles because the Barter Town goods are //pricy// when they're brought in, usually with good reason.
Then, after the drink is passed, she looks up at Locke's dark eyes with noting of the obvious, not quite an apology, but it's a good opportunity to make one or gauge how he feels about her being in such a state right now, "... I did not dress."
While not the most avid of readers, Locke has the ability to read and sometimes he even looks through the collection of tomes that Scavengers might haul in from who knows where. If a book catches his interest, he'll barter or pay good lux for it. Spending an evening in his bunker reading isn't an unenjoyable task.
What Eden recites now is not a story or some tale spun out of the imaginations of the past. It was a poem. He knows that much. Honestly, it didn't matter what the Patron reads aloud (and sometimes he even brings in his own books for her to read to him), just that he's able to listen to her voice which in itself is soothing. So he listens with rapt attention and strangely he finds some relevance to this piece. "Beautiful..." He says in compliment to the work.
When she catches his staring at her, he blinks but does not turn his eyes from her. "I do not mind." Only then does his gaze start to drift, focusing on the drink which she pours and he steps forward to take it in hand when offered. "Sometimes you need to do what makes you comfortable. The weight of the citizens of Sanctuary weighs heavily on both your shoulders and your mind."
Making his way to the seating area, he settles himself down, taking a sip from his glass. He always takes up the same spot every single time that he comes here and he looks expectant of her to join him.
Eden allows Locke to get settled in his place with her hands automatically holding at clasp to watch him, the cue, the lull for him to settle in comfort, the subtle anticipation she plants in him while not yet approaching. She doesn't need her dress and jewelry armory to do everything right and to effect. Wearing just that pale blue skimming night dress of fabric, hair brushed silken and straight with her bangs partially leveled with sweep above her eyes, she's still mannered just so and just as magnetic standing at ready with posture drawn up poise.
But somehow, in some passive and inexplicable way, she looks so much softer, so much more gentle, and maybe even //more// woman than she does with adornment. There's an angelic femininity about it all, and though he speaks of her burden, she's not physically carrying it beyond the outward traces of telltale sleeplessness. It's different. It's the same. He's seated the same. He has his drink. And finally, she comes to join Locke.
But how she does it, it isn't the same.
Eden approaches without the limited trappings of high fashion attire and baubles on bare feet. Instead of seating herself next to the man, or even with lean against him in drape, she steps forward and eases into straddling melt of sit over his lap. It's intimate and very about face, her arms looping about his neck and shoulders. It's his eyes she watches, though, to make sure this change doesn't shift his mood.
Then she does another thing she generally just doesn't often do. She tells him something personal, voice driftingly soft.
"The storms falling on Sanctuary give me nightmares. They always have. I do not have to close my eyes to see them when the sky is falling. When I am in the Cage, I imagine the dome breaking and falling on us and the whole outside world's ruins blowing in. I cannot display such things. I must be strong and soothing for others."
It's always difficult to figure out what Locke is thinking when he looks on Eden. As she moves to join him, his eyes never leave her form. Sometimes they are admiring her figure beneath the thin fabric, at other times, they travel the length of her body to catch sight of those brilliant blue eyes. With his glass tilted, he's about to take another hearty sip of wine when he finds that rather than settling in beside him, she takes resident upon his lap. At this close proximity, he watches her from over the rim of his glass as he slowly drains the content. The glass, in fact, puts his mind at ease, hiding part of his face from her.
Though by now, he is used to her doing everything she can to not make him uncomfortable, which is one of the reasons why he continues to come and see her on a regular basis. One of the things. The glass begins to lower as he listens to her reveal what has been troubling her since the storm hit. This explains why she was wandering around the concourse the way she did. Licking at his lip, his eyes locked with hers now, he says, "There's nothing wrong about showing your fear, but you're right. It sets a precedence for others to follow. They see that you're calm and that, in itself, is calming. Makes them feel like they can alleviate their burden, because you are there to protect them." Leaning slightly forward and to the side to set his mostly empty glass down on a nearby table, when he reclines again, his hands hold onto her hips, with one of them brushing a firm palm over her curve.
"The Dome has survived countless storms over the years, but perhaps the walls, the windows should be inspected again to ensure their sturdiness." The roaming hand moves up to rest at her side, "You don't have to put on a strong face here."
"My imagination is surprisingly dire, time to time. I can method control myself, but it is not pleasant in certain scenarios. Storms, for instance. Perhaps you should inspect my head instead of trusting me with what is milling all around yours." Eden looks down to watch Locke's hands on her body, the barest tinge of helpless smile at residence on her lips. After raking her hands with spreading fingers up through his short hair to come together at lacing, she scalp massages with slow circle and pulse of pressure. Then her hands are away to drop and caress the backs of his hands holding and gliding touch.
With her eyes still downcast to watch the man's hands, though, she speaks soft, weighted gratitude, "It is a warmth to hear you say such things." Meaningful things. Where is she ever allowed to be 'less' in front of others, truly? She should not be so now, she knows she still has to perform to desire and put him first, no matter //why// he's here.
(Did he come for her? Or did he come for himself? She won't ask that.)
Briefly playful, despite the intense seriousness that still lingers in her eyes as she looks back up to his own, "Why do I need strength when I am seated on a wild stallion? I think all I really need to do is 'hang on'." The words, though slightly teasing, they come with bidding of one of his hands to help path over her side, then onto her stomach, accompanying him to cup and meld appreciative pressure at a breast.
"You considered not coming? I can see where it'd be a matter of principle."
If anything, Locke isn't much of a therapist, himself. Perhaps, he could have been if his life took a different route. Monitor training gives him a lack of empathy towards most things even if he has a greater understanding of people's motives. "Dire?" He inquires, "In what way? We all have dark or negative thoughts. Fears, what makes us tick. Through all their years together with her being his therapist and consultant, she knows some of what makes Locke tick. Some of his concerns, worries. Even to the point where his emotions run high alongside his paranoia and insecurities.
Even as she breaks contact with his gaze, her eyes now downcast to view his strong, calloused hands, he continues to watch, taking in the view of her face and elegant features.
Being called a stallion does a lot of things for a man's ego, he even sort of smiles at the description. A very faint one where the edges of his lips creep up. "You don't need strength here, but you have that inner strength inside of you." They both are in a pavilion, yet he still looks up to view the tent ceiling while he speaks of the Dome in itself, "Someone will be sent up there to ensure the Dome's structural security. After corrosive storms such as this, we need to maintain the structure of our towers." It's all spoken in a business-like manner.
Then comes out the question, his chin lowered and his eyes seek out hers once more, "Why would I not come to see you? With a few refugees from both Towers, we have our hands full currently... and I needed to unwind." Thinking further on this, he finally asks, "Is was hoping that your mind would be cleared of your troubles as well."
"My recurring nightmares are not limited to storms. I am not terribly affected, it does not happen so often, but they are vivid. Sometimes, I wonder if they are memories or sensory imprints from before I was found." Eden doesn't speak immediately or go into more detail, and she seems vaguely assured by the business-like planning and structural assurances. While they speak, she continues to watch Locke's hands, keeping one of them captive to pressure another knead against soft, scantly covered curve of bosom flesh. Then she moves it, down to sternum, then flattened ride and glide down her stomach.
Finally, her eyes rise as the man lowers his chin to catch her gaze with his dark one, and when she tips her face back upward, she looks at him for a few fixated, vaguely thrown heartbeats of time. It's a rare moment, and she recovers quickly, but it's there. Eden isn't just quiet in that signature way of hers, she's quite possibly speechless or at a loss for the appropriate thing to say.
Gradually, she leans in to settle them nose to nose, forehead to forehead, lips brushing lips, "Thank you. Tonight, you are giving me what I desire. This is why I thought you would refrain. I went seeking you. I did not want to be... alone. I wanted you to be wanting too." Then closing her eyes, she exhales with the feeling she's far overspoken and immediately seeks to disclaimer and correct, "I will not make a habit of it."
Eden's early life is still a mystery to Locke, though he knows that she was brought in at an early age. Far younger than he was. Staring out at her in that overly attentive Monitor way, he relays what he knows, "Possibly. The world out there is a cruel and terrible place." Yet, even when he says this, his mind wanders to his life before Sanctuary. At the age in which he was brought in, he's experienced a lot out in the wastes. "I lived out there until I was around eight. My family and I stopped by Sanctuary on a few runs until I was... given up to live here." In fact, he remembers the day when he received the news. It wasn't the most pleasant of memories.
With her soft skin beneath his rough hands, he feels the shift in her form when she moves. Their eyes eventually meet right before she leans in close to press her forehead against his, their noses touching. His hands move from where they wandered to wrap around her waist, drawing her in close as his eyes shut.
Eden's words, like always, are generous and kind and it does wonders for his self-esteem. Especially, to hear that she had sought him out when in his mind, she was wandering the concourse out of nervousness due to the storm. There's no immediate reaction to this revelation as he needs the time to think and process each and every word. "All of Sanctuary wants you, Patron. Your gift is bright and brilliant. Bright enough to warm even the coldest of hearts, I'm sure." He makes certain to add that last part on. She can feel him nuzzling against her, his head bobbing slowly before he seeks out her mouth with his own. "Tongues would wag if others knew that a Patron sought out a Monitor for companionship rather than the other way around."
Eden seems a touch surprised that Locke was brought in at an older age where he has memories in full of what it was like to live outside. In fact, she even has questions and curiosities, but she's far too polite to ask and nose into it. Besides, his hands are on her, she's leaning in and they're meeting skin for skin, words for words, then mouths for mouths. When the hands shift for Locke to draw her in tightly by the waist, against his larger solid body, he can feel her exhale something much like a sigh of something like relief, perhaps. But then again, maybe it was just an exhale with the shifting hold on her own body.
Like before, there's nothing she can quite say to the spoken sentiment, she nuzzles back with air picking up more shallowly into quicker flutters. There's a noise in her throat of due caution for the warning comment. There's a lot of things that Eden could say, but they'd be air filler. There's a lot of things she doesn't dare say for fear of more overstepping. And there's things that she doesn't even know how to explain. Eden answers in the most poignant, proving and acknowledging way she knows how.
She kisses. The woman kisses and kisses and meshes her lips and tongue and breath incessantly with Locke's, she does it until she can't breathe, gasps for small breath, then does it more. Her arm comes back around Locke's neck and shoulders, the other hand lifts and... it almost grabs for his jaw and cheek in the passion before trained familiarity kicks in and she goes to hold at the side of his neck instead, at the pulse.
But eventually, she murmurs, not sounding all that sorry at all...
"Yes. My apologies."
Perhaps, Locke will share that story with Eden one day, but in this moment, despite his mind drifting in that direction due to the Patron's own fears which may have stemmed from her own forgotten childhood, the Copper was here in the present, savoring this very moment.
He's grown used to this level of intimacy, even if the act of kissing brings him face to face with her fully exposed. He relishes in her hot breath, the way she tastes on his lips and on his tongue, all mixed with the headiness of the fragrant oil on her skin. Moving along with his natural urges, the hand which was guided to her breast, squeezes and toys before it rises further on his own accord to brush up past her collarbone where he feels her slender throat within his grasp. He feels her pulse from there, sensing the quick beating of her heart against his curved palm.
This evening, Eden is able to make him forget about his insecurities once more, for he was her stallion and she was his... he could think of so many words that he could use for her, his mind even reeling over the various options, but all of that is tempered down by the heat of his own desires once more pulling him back to this very moment.