Khamira slipped through the square when the sun was low on the horizon, its rays casting a soft amber glow over the stones of street and building. She was using the side entrance to avoid notice, and the shout behind her was one she didn’t listen to above the din of the crowds still lingering in the market square. When she got to the first step she heard it again, and this time it registered: “Stop” in the Druhili tongue. It was a masculine voice, heavy and rich and deep. But her hand was on the door already, the wood rough under her calloused palm.
“Stop,” he said again and this time he was close, a few steps away. She had not heard him move down the alley, which made her instantly suspicious. She froze in the doorway, her hand tightening against the smooth, cool wood of her staff, its light orb pulsing with her heartbeat. Of course it would want to turn around and fight this man, because that’s what Illara was made to do, and she did it well.
The man’s breathing was fast. He was certainly lucky he had not reached out and tried to grab her, lest he find himself missing a hand. Still, she could hear that he had stopped moving, so she stilled herself.
“Please,” he said, without pleading, “turn around? I believe…” he babbled, his sentence trailing. Whatever he believed wasn’t her concern, but his identifying her would be a problem. She sighed inwardly, and slowly turned around, raising her head and looking him straight in the eye.
There was no disguising the sunset gold of her eyes, made all the more visible by the markings on her nose and high on her cheekbones that identified her as Mariellan. The man — who was handsome, broad of shoulder and very tall — gasped and stepped back a pace. The slightest movement of her head warned him not to bow to her here.
She moved to him, gripping her staff tightly, holding his gaze. “You believe what?” She asked in Druhili.
“I thought I knew…” he stammered, mesmerized by her eyes, as they so commonly were. “I was mistaken.” He finally broke their intense staring contest, looking down at the dusty stone steps.
She raised her left hand to his cheek, cupping it tenderly, once more raising his eyes to hers. “You were mistaken. Go back to the market. You’ll remember what you were doing once you get there.” He nodded dumbly, turned and walked back down the alleyway, disappearing around the corner. She was never fond of having to make that delicate connection, and to wipe memories from the untroubled. But she was here for a reason, and her mission could not be compromised.
She drew her hood down over her face and slipped into the building.
Featured shoes: ISON Cult Riding Boots in Tan by Harry Hyx
- Head: Catwa Annie by Catwa Clip
- Skin: Atelier Pepe Khadijah Skin in Natural by Pepehair
- Body: Maitreya Lara by Onyx LeShelle
- Eyes: Mayfly Luminous Mesh Eyes in Sunset by Arkesh Baral
- Hair: booN POI481 by boo Nakamura
- Bodysuit & Hood: Moon Elixir Roguish 1 Bodysuit RARE by ElixirBlack (gacha item)
- Necklace: MINIMAL Monoton Necklace in Gold by Ors Quan
- Hands: Slink Avatar Enhancement Hands in Casual by Siddean Munro
- Manicure: Hello Dave in Temptation by Maia Gasparini
- Face Paint: LeForme Native Paint 4 for Catwa by Louise Marsault (tinted)
- Doorway: Fanatik Tower by Funatik
- Staff: AF/AL Light Staff by Apple Fall (warehousefifteendesigns) (gacha item)
- Poses custom by me