Home > Unreal > Tethered Romance > Tethered Romance - Part 8

Tethered Romance Tethered Romance - Part 8

Author:none Category:Unreal Update time:2022-10-26 13:52:11

"The point is that I am here. Thats an answer enough to fate, don question how I got here." My knees trembled slightly at his words, an outreach to me, when every event past, I was the one outreaching. "Seishin, you have a choice to make."

I sauntered in the same way that I danced toward him, my head tilting from one shoulder to the other, a motion that mimicked how my heart fought between making sense of his figure there in my dressing room, and his figure laid out on the floor in my room.

"You said this to me before." I came to rest before him, leaning over him and placing my hand on his shoulder, letting my face hover only inches from his. "What is so important that you couldn wait for me in my room like you always do?"

He didn move in reaction to my touch, and I was usually rewarded at the end of my performances. My mind and body were spent, my eyes heavy and half-lidded, and I had nothing more that I cared to dig out for him. It was his turn to perform for me.

"Seishin, listen to me."

How dare he, I thought as I rose from my hover over him, intoxicated still not by sake in the least, but from the lingering cheers of the crowd I had just danced for ringing in my head. "Its time for me to go back to my room, will you join me?"

"Seishin!" His voice was low like an animals growl as he spat my name, rising to stand in the same syllable. My body tensed, wanting to shy away from this side of him, but enticed by it as well. "When you came to me in the shrine, I told you I would help you." I tried to turn away from, uninterested in his conversation. I felt his hand land heavy atop my shoulder, stinging as if his fingertips were whips as they curled into the silk of my kimono. He turned me back to face him. "So now you have a choice to make."

I looked up at him, tilting my head to display my confidence, knowing if I merely cast my eyes upward to meet his gaze, my expression would be mistaken for submission. "Then what it is, Master?" I mocked his serious tone.

A smirk crossed his face. "Not Master yet, I suppose, but if that is your choice." He said. "I serve no God, I act only for myself. Like you, I am a selfish creature, I act only upon what I desire. And Seishin, I desire you." He was speaking quickly, and I searched his eyes as I listened to his words for any sign of truth or sincerity. "You asked me a favour long ago, and I delivered. I gave you a love that you could lose yourself in, and make up for your sins. Now what will you give me in return?"

With both my hands, I wrenched his grip from me, backing up a few steps. "What do you want? Have I not given you everything already?"

"Our entire existence together has been for you, Seishin. Now I want your entire existence to be for me."

Heaven wept for us when we danced, because it was beautiful. I wanted to give him everything about me, I wanted him to reach inside me and take my soul if he could use it. There was never space between us when we danced, we danced for no one but ourselves, and I thought that even though that innocent part of me I danced with before was shameful when compared to Sugai. There was something between our eyes like an invisible link where he could read my mind, and I could tell him stories like how I believed in love, without ever saying a word.

But our worlds collided harshly. So forceful was our passion, intense and real, that I felt it wave after wave like pain. When I touched his skin I could feel a pull so strongly that I expected to be fused to him, never to be free. He was binding, I felt I couldn live without him, because when he was gone in the daylight, the loss of his energy made me weak. But I wasn strong enough for his love.

I wanted distance because I felt I could never be tethered. I wanted to live apart from him because I wasn suited for love, but I had drowned in him and adapted to him for my air to breathe. When I stood before him with a katana, my will was gone. Even the slightest breeze would push and pull me, as I let every muscle in my body relax, faced with him, blade drawn and laying limply on the sand.

The samurai stood ready, his left foot forward, his right back to support his weight, his arms up to guard his body and both hands clasping the katana raised stiffly. "Whats wrong with you?" He asked, jerking the blade toward me, motioning to me.

I shook my head to him, lowering my gaze so my head fell forward with it, the hair covering me, so I could cower behind it. "I don want to fight you."

I could feel his body relax, the tension in the air dispersing. "You want to learn how to fight."

But I stood steadfast, letting the katana slip from my fingers. I couldn move. The thought was in my mind, and so I could manifest it: my control lost, my blade within him, a trickle of blood from the curve of his lip. It was because I hated him. It was because with the desperation I felt to overcome him, it pulled him to my blade like a magnet. I projected the image of Sugai before my eyes from the way he was burned into my memory. I would never use force, because my life was entangled with his. We were bound together, but my katana would get in the way, and I would force it through his relenting skin when I moved to pull the strings that held us together. And I would whisper, "I love you", because I wanted him to know why I had come to hate him.

At first I could only hear footsteps pounding the dusty ground, and a cloud of dry earth wafting towards me with the forward momentum of the steps. Over my own heartbeat, it was quiet. When I looked up, his face was inches from mine, and he was split in two by the blade of his katana that sliced through the air before me. I could smell the steel. Should I have wanted the pain, I could have touched my tongue to that blade. I sucked in my breath to ground myself, felt the earth pull me through the bare soles of my feet.


e a coward." I looked up to his eyes. I saw my reflection there, etched upon his spirit, like my name. I was his spirit. And I was so drawn into the slender shape of his eyes that I hardly heard the words he spoke to me. "How will you learn to fight if you only stand there and hope your trainer won hurt you?" He stepped back, relaxing the sword. "You

e too beautiful. Many samurai would think you need a scar on your face."

He stepped around me, placing my body between him and the katana, running his fingertips down my arm to my hand. He placed it on the handle of the katana next to his so our fingers touched, like I was his puppet, like he would always be placed there behind me, and I would never move unless it was by his whim. He placed my other hand on the swords handle in the same way, letting go of his strength so my own was forced to replace it. He was wrapped around me, in synch with me, limbs stretched along the same lines, both operating the same blade in the same motions. He stepped his right foot back, and as I felt his weight on my back with the shift, I stepped my own back to keep my hip flat against him.

I took over. I took control. I drew from him, stole his energy, and that was how I learned from him, when I could touch him and predict every move he would make before he was even conscious of it. When we touched, we moved with such a fluidity, like a waterfall into a dry stream, like flock of birds against the sky. Step for step I matched him, he matched me, a block with the blade of the katana, a strike into the empty air. Like a dance. So it was my skill, drawn up from my feet where I was grounded, coursing through my veins, and into his where our skin connected.

"Fight an invisible opponent." He told me. "Dance with the katana. Let your body move on instinct."

He spun away from me, rolling his back across mine, placing his hands on the katana I held, and ended facing me, blade drawn and ready. "Its a dance, Seishin. Its just a dance."

A dance. Something familiar to me. On stage, in the dark of my room under the cover of only the moon, everything was a dance, a performance, and I knew how I was supposed to behave. But he gave me a powerful weapon, a way to gamble with my life or his, and the opportunity to experience ruin.

Hesitation left me. Dancing was my game. I knew he would see the movement of my body before I could retrieve the katana from the ground beside me, and he would strike, because he was trained and never taught restraint. Behind my yukata, I lifted my knee enough so only the tips of my toes were touching the ground, not shifting my weight in the slightest. I looked to the katana, turning my head in the dramatic way I did when my hair was styled for the stage.

As I predicted, he moved on impulse, on the presumption that with the look I cast to the sword on the ground, it was an indication that I would move for it. When he lunged forward, I flexed my leg, snapping a kick with my toes and the top of my foot into his throat while he was forward, prepared to strike me. As he fell forward, my hand met his on the handle of the katana he held, and I swept it out of his grasp as I stepped aside. I turned in my step, first my back to him, then facing forward again in one fluid motion, and snatched up the katana still on the ground.

He rolled over on the dusty ground to prop himself on his elbows and face me. "You learn the weakness of your opponent quickly."

I smirked inwardly, not wishing to show pride. "My profession depends on it."

Sometimes Sugai stayed with me through the night. He slept beside me like I was a child, and he was my guard to ward off nightmares, or apparitions that would drag their fingers in burning trails over my body. When he was pressed against my back in deep slumber, I could hear what whispers his soul made stories with, and picture everything that he hadn spoken of his life. As our skin was exposed, held tightly together, his thoughts became louder, and they were funnelled through my mind to become my own.

The moon was my signal. We lay together, he was still and silent, but with my chest against his I could feel his breath still quick in pace. My eyes wouldn leave his face, as I traced every contour, my fingers followed. I slipped my hands up between us, where we lay together as he held me tightly, determined to put as much of our skin together as I could. My gaze wasn enough, my fingertips couldn touch the parts of him that I ached for. With every breath he let loose over the them, I could feel a tug at my heart at the distance between us. It was his spell.

"When I touch you, I can see things about you." I whispered to him, unaware if he could hear me or not.

But his lips curled away from my fingers, into a smile. "My memories leak into you." He whispered back. "And yours leak into me."

I could feel the comfort from my face fall. "What kind of magic is it?"

He opened his eyes to me. In the darkness, they seemed to glow with the light of a million lives looking into them. "Do you believe in magic?"

I considered him. I considered how we had come together, the bond I felt, the hate I had. "No." I said. There was no magic. There was nothing but my own will, my own energy that did the bidding in my life. I wouldn let control slip away from me that easily. It wasn magic that drew me to him, it was my love that I let grow. It wasn magic that showed me pictures of his life. It was my imagination that had dreamed him a past to suit my present. "Theres no such thing as magic."

"Theres a place on the other side of the world from here, Seishin, where I came from." I wondered what we might have looked like from the window, should there be eyes on us. "You somehow went to my shrine every day, though it was tucked away deep inside the forest and no one ever went there anymore. You found my shrine, and you asked if someone would answer what you wished for, and I heard you. If thats not magic, then it doesn exist."

"Is this the life you expected when you answered me?"

"No, I had something else in mind." I felt his hands slide over the silk of my yukata, in a motion to hold me tightly. "Someday, I want to show you the life I had wanted to give you." Let me tell you all my secrets, his soul said. And Ill tell you all of mine, my soul replied.

I breathed a laugh. "You

e lying." But I couldn take my eyes away from his, and deep inside them somewhere, was a truth strong enough to negate me.

He smiled to me, in a sly way that showed embarrassment. "You

e right. Theres no such thing as magic."

If I fell asleep during the night, he would have vanished when I woke. He defiled me, he was a sin on me, because he murdered the love in my heart for any other creature. Death was a sin to me, a child of Shinto, because life and energy were used to move the universe. I was wasted, because my thoughts were on him, and so the energy I used was for his sake. Love was beginning to make me weak. When I fought with the samurai to train my hand with a katana, I could feel the energy being drained from me from far away. He was in my mind, and so mind had to share instincts between what was in front of me and where my body would be occupied later. Every time I fell during battle, let my enemy get the better of me, I was angry. I had become too skilled to loose. The only other thought in my head was of him, and so if my anger was not to myself and my skill, it must be to him.

There were so many reasons to hate him. I was taught long ago that love was a dangerous emotion that brought misfortune to those who felt it. That it was never returned, and the seeker was meant to be tortured with it forever. But I felt he had saved me. I felt a different definition of the love that I had been taught. When I danced, I danced with him in mind. When I fought to learn the ways of the samurai in Edo, I fought with what he had taught me. He lifted the damnation from me because he loved me, and that was more reason to hate him than any. I wasn made to have meaning to my life. I wasn made for love. I was made to be a toy, disposable, and I was wrecked with impurities so thick even the strongest Kami couldn erase them from me. When someone touched me with the intention of kindness upon me, they would share my blessings, and also my sin. The Gods had turned their eyes from me.

Specks of light seemed to rain from the ceiling, the candles flame warming where the ghost of his hands skipped over me, and I watched the patterns those specks made before my eyes in the dark. The luxury was presented before me, as I turned my head to the twitch of my fingers supporting it. My arms were folded delicately, warm tingling spreading to the tips of my fingers. Silence echoed in the hollow bath house, the rain pounding the earth outside the wide open door, I swallowed the tension in my mind and relaxed again into his trusted hands. Every now and then, and order would slip through the thick quiet, though he needed to say nothing at all; his force was gentle, and I was pliable, an understanding in the actions that we never took slow enough to realize was between us. Each time I felt my eyelids fall, the razor would bite a little sharper, I would look up to see his wandering smile fade into the tip of the candle flame. I sat upon the tiny hinoki bath house chair, and Sugai at my feet on the floor, close to the open door of the bath house because I liked to watch the curtain of rain as it cascaded it way across my field of vision.

"Move your leg up more." His voice was a whisper, and I smiled at the painting of his concentration as he guided my foot to rest on his knee. Sweep of the blade was a phantom of a touch dusted over the curve of my calf, and I fought back a blush of heat I felt swirling, almost surfacing. I couldn place a reason for the blush to be there; the hands on me I knew well, the mind I trusted, and I felt nothing but complete relaxation in my complete nature and lavished in attention. I brought a finger to my lips, letting a sigh slip between them barely controlling the voice that followed it. I wondered then, as I watched his brows crease above his nose, what he must have felt to compromise me in such a way. He let the ice cube linger for a moment longer that he had to, heat of my body melting it around the edges, weeping as it ran in trails to soothe the skin left burning.

"I wonder what you think of me right now." I peered at him, holding the gentle fold of the kimono across my lap to see his face. It wasn there to save anything between us. I smirked to myself at the thought, through look of heaven on my face like a crystal prism, shattering the picture as it came together, and no one would know it was there in the end. I felt heavy with the weight of the humidity in the air, the warmth of the rain and of the air enveloping me in a shroud, so even my eyelashes were soaked, my eyes half-lidded.

He put the blade down, shifting the candle back. The metal of the plate scraped against the wood, a secret of a hint of the torture he could easily have set his mind on. It wouldn leave marks, not a whisper of his existence left to support what grievances I could scream. The prints in his fingertips would run shallow, so as the burning of my skin melted his repose. I knew his body, but I could only wish his mind loved me just as well. "I think you

e beautiful." He got up on his knees between both of mine, prowling forward and raising his head to steal a kiss from my lips. All the while I sat watching, completely open, willing and fragile.

I closed my eyes and drowned in the night, darkness, felt the blade upon me again where his hands had been replaced. I let a smile play on the corners of my lips, heat of the blush fading again into the depths of my comfort.

If I had willed my eyes to fall shut for the last seconds, I could have realized the deeply binding things I asked. I could see in every move he made, no matter the size of the blade he held, his hands were skilled and careful. And I lived by it; nightly to the beat of the drum and the clack of my zori, while behind those prying eyes the blade cleansed me. It was a mask made by exposure, so the sins could be wiped away and free of entanglement. I was someone new every night, someone innocent with a tighter hold, a firmer handshake. Daily my knees would shake with the apparition left, sprinkled before me to mark the path of the enemy who mocked me. I would hear them talk, and I would hold my head to the glare of the sunlight reflected on my sword. Two cycles of my existence, one blade shy and one blade proud, and he was the same. He was a man of the night and day, a tempered bestial sword, and I a sheath for it.

I let my gaze remain unbroken to the view of the door. Had it have been a different type of shade, a mirror reflecting my image, where the lightening burned the sky would be my courage, leaving blue streaks of memory just faint enough to be ignored. A first drop of the rain leapt through the window, snuffing the life of a lonely candle out with a sound like it was painful. I wondered, shallowly, if it hurt a flame to be doused and reasoned; did it hurt to bathe an open wound, or choke on the scent of sulfur?

He sat with his eyes on me, sending shivers to my spine with every movement they made. I never looked away from the window, smiling at the rain and pretending I didn notice him watching me. I was sure he knew the rules of my game, I was sure he knew that I felt it. At that moment, it didn matter to me if I won or lost, gave in or held back. The trail of red adorning my fingers was the mark he gave me to remind me, his ring, his promise; that he would save me should the rain of my sorrow threaten to extinguish the candle flame of my passion.

I wondered foolishly what it was like to die. I imagined myself as that little flicker of light dancing atop its wick, a balancing act competing with the breeze that wasn there. I wondered if I could envy it, fighting in a life so fleeting to surrender so quickly. If I considered my life gentle for a second, I could close my eyes and feel the starkness of the air as it hugged and caressed me; but the warmth of unwelcome hands chased away the freshness of a day unspoiled by a night of solitude.

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