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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Lavinya

Reality Lost (Watchers side rp closed)

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Brows knit in concernation as the form writhed beneath the thin white sheets. A simple walk a long a forest trail. Bird's in song and flight filtered shadows across the surface of the forest floor in a strange dance with the darken shapes of leaves and branches caressed by the wind. By all accounts it was a picture of serenity and tranquility. A scene from his childhood perhaps, how long ago that felt now. Linten moved along the edge of the trail, multiple black forms behind him. Patrols were one of the few time he got to see the relaxed countryside around the Black Tower of death and poison that he now called home. Since his return from the Blight Isha had kept him on somewhat of a short leash. He was never allowed to travel far from the grounds without accompaniment and was constantly training. Truth be told the later was more his own doing then that of Isha his mentor. But the man had a hand in it to a degree for sure. Even before he had stumbled across the three men in the Inn. Before he had even decided to make the journey back from that nightmare. Linten had resolved himself to the hardship of training to reach the Dragon pin. Only once he had it firmly in place would there be little in the way of men to answer to. There was still a level of rank and such. But with the pin came a greater degree of freedom and self direction.

 

Tension pressed down between his shoulders and his attention swept fully to his surroundings. Something seemed out of place. He had been here before; had walked this patrol many times. But this time it seemed different, like there was something amiss yet he could not place a finger on it. The hairs on the back of his neck raised as he felt an overwhelming urge to panic. The place smelled of death and destruction now. The scent in glaring contrast to the tranquility his eyes drank in. A brief yell brought his head around as chaos erupted around him. not again ... please not more of them again. Lurching up right, deep darkness filled his vision; breath coming in labored gasps. He could feel her presence, the mild terror and fury at odds with one another filtered from the knot in the back of his head. He could draw a straight line between himself and the location of Faile. It had been a dream. A dream they most likely had feed off one another's emotions. He lay back down damp with a sheen of sweat into the knotted bed sheets. The side of his fist smacking the wall lightly as he worked to regain control of both his breathing and his emotions. Since he had foolishly followed the rest and bonded the Red he was having a great deal of hardship separating his own emotions from that of the witch several feet away.

 

The games in the woods earlier in the day was suppose to have helped him gain that control. Help remind him his emotions and thoughts were his and Faile was nothing more then a slave at his bidding. His time with Lavinya had helped cement the feeling and draw strength in it's knowledge. Strength quickly turned to dust in his hand as he struggled most of that evening with the infuriating Red in his head. Tomorrow he would take Faile for a little walk perhaps and beat some submission into her hide; perhaps a few mars to that smooth skin would bring her to heel a little better. Normally he would have stabbed the ball in his mind with more malice and hatred. But this time he left it, worked to ignore it's existence. She was sleeping and he did not need the struggle to continue by walking her. He had other quarry this night and lying here staring up in the dark at a ceiling he knew was there but could not see was doing him no good.

 

Practicing some breathing techniques Isha had shown him back before the trip to the north. Linten slowly began to calm himself down once more and let sleep begin to embrace him once again. It's touch was simple and fleeting at first as he began to toss trying to find comfort. Thoughts tried to find his mind and carry him from his purpose but he managed to slip free from them one by one until his breathing became that deep regular flow of sleep. The muscles of his body twitched several times as sleep tried to embrace every fiber of his being.

 

Darkness bloomed with a million stars surrounding him. But this was no ordinary night's sky. The Stars no familiar blanket of pinpricks high over head in the charcoal expanse above him He floated here amongst the lights, surrounded above and below; walking among them like the creator himself. Here he was neither asleep nor awake. From wandering eyes he would look like he slept and dreamed in his bed. But in this place he had begun to learn that here was no rest for the body or the mind. His fingers reached out to brush the surface of a light near him and retreated before the surface made contact. Covai had warned him of the consequences of falling into another's dream. The man had said he was not trained enough to face the strength of a dreamer in there own dream and it would take time and practice to be able to draw them out of there own dream and into his. Further frustration. Linten was like a dry and thirsty sponge when it came to the world of dreams and it's many skills and talents. He soaked up all that Covai would share with him but the man seemed to take agonizing pride in making him proceed slowly. He had no time for slowness and caution. This to him was like the Dragon's need for the men and there training of Saidin. There was little time for hand holding, he needed to gain his skills and strength quickly.

 

He floated through the field of lights, each indicating a dream, as they winked in and out of existence. At one time he had to envision himself actually walking on a black carpet to be able to move amongst the dreams. Now he was no longer sure if he floated past them or they past him. It mattered not really. The whole purpose was to find the light that was linked to the person you needed. In a sea of thousands it was near impossible unless you had visited them before or they had strong feelings toward you. The first allowed for recognition on it's presence and a sense or almost familiarity of feeling. But the second was what he sought this night. The second seemed to cause the light to pulse and grow in your vision. It drew you to it, or it to you. Again he was not sure but the end result was all that mattered to him at this moment. He had need of a certain dreamer, one that had promised to hold him in her dreams.

 

Frustration began to mount as time seemed to stretch on, his searching yielding no fruit. But time like so many things in Tel'aran'rhiod never passed the same. It was only at the point of almost giving up; anger surging in him as Linten envisioned some of the ways Lavinya would pay in the morning that he noticed a twinkle of light that seemed to remain a constant distance from him in his wanderings. Curious, he focused on the star and the small expanse of blackness between them shrank to near non existence. The suddenness of it reverberated the need that he felt to find her and he hoped the need she had to be rid of him. If this was indeed the dreams of Lavinya then his night was to become fruitful, if it was not then she would pay tomorrow.

 

His hand skimmed just above the surface of the light as he took a moment to prepare his mind. There had been a lot happen in that short exchange in the woods; a lot that could have happened. A small heated smile touched his lips as he remembered her naked form. Slowly he lent forward and viewed into the light. Jumbled images, dreams that held no beginning and always changed before their end played out before him. Lavinya was a constant throughout, an indication that he indeed had found the correct dream light. Observation began to record several key bits of information that he felt would be of use in the future. Not all was directly tactical in his pursuit of the Amyrlin, some was marked for further use against the redhead in his play sessions. One common face that seemed to re-appear in the various fragments was a man, light hair in a Tower Guard's Red Cloak. There seemed to be some connection to him, though she never let the dreams finish there stance on his future. Each time they seemed to draw them near it would flash to chaos or pain of one kind or another. Perhaps the man had been her warder?

 

Scenes of their forest time both correct in action and incorrect made up many of the chaotic fragments that filtered throughout the dreams. He was going to need a lot of rest after this to calm his mind or he would have a splitting head ache. All he could think in the background was how ironic it was that they thought the men mad. It was then that the images seemed to stabilize and a possible full sequence began to play out. It was of the forest visit again, only this time she held her demeanor in perfect form. He chuckled how her shattered mind stretched to grasp a false reality; a method to cover the cowardice that had taken her in the real world. A chuckle brought short by the change in the play. He watched as his form was beaten down and then lashed to the tree, the tree branch becoming a glowing rod of heated steel that sizzled against his back with each strike. Agitation renewed itself and took control of his thoughts. If she was so bold as to completely take dominance in the dream then she would surely be foolish enough to try it in the waking world. It was time to bring a little nightmare to her grand courage. But as he tried to think on the right way to create the terror he sought to fill her with he unconsciously lost his positioning; leaning into the light he was suddenly pulled into it's world.

 

 

 

OOC: He is still somewhat loose with his control so feel free to occassionaly take control from him. After all its your drea, that he has invaded. Smile

 

Linten al'Dracain

BT Dedicated

Keeper of a Dark Purpose

Bonded to Faile Sedai

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Lavinya had tried to lay awake, scared to close her eyes, but in the end sleep always came. She was tired, so very tired. Weary in body and soul. She curled onto her side, protecting the raw welts on her back. She had made a promise, to dream of Linten. She wanted to rebel, oh so badly, but try as she might, her thoughts had drifted back to the days events. She had cried then. Cried for her own sad, pathetic self. Doomed to be unloved by the one she loved best, attacked and leashed by a madman, and doomed to be the plaything of the most rabid of the mad dogs.

 

Her tears had dried by the time she fell asleep, her thoughts instead lingering on an unrequited love and thoughts of revenge...

 

It was sweet, oh so sweet. Every lash upon his back was a small victory won, a piece of dignity returned. She was angry, her body shaking with it. Again she let fly with the poker, and suddenly everything became vivid. She could smell burnt flesh, feel the heat from the rod in her hand. Her hand lifted again, but was stopped. Lavinya blinked, pain making her gasp as something squeezed her hand, causing the rod to drop to the ground before it disappeared.

 

"No!" She screamed at him, her freehand reaching out to claw at his face. All the fear and rage that had built through the day came flooding out in a torrent. She loathed him, everything he was. Why her? "Just let me go, you madman!" Fists evaded his grip as she pummelled his chest, screaming with each blow. "I am not a toy! I am not your pet! I am not just a pretty piece of skirt!"

 

A sob caught in Lavinya's throat as her hands were caught, her body pressed firmly against the hard frame of her oppressor. Her thoughts were all jumbled, her dreams merging to one in her mind. It wasn't Linten who was holding her, but Corin; dear, sweet, beloved Corin. "Why couldn't you just love me back?" She cried, tears clouding her eyes and obscuring her vision. "Why? Everything was perfect Corin...you and me...but I was not good enough. Why? Why am I so unlovely to you?"

 

Lavinya lifted her face, from where she had rested it against his chest, only to scream in horror. This was not her beloved. A cruel smile split his features, and Lavinya struggled in his grip. Desperately she tried to draw on the source, and nothing came. "No...this can't be happening..." Her heart beat wildly in her breast, panic surging as she remembered what he had done to her, the degredation, the pain...

 

She didn't know how it happened, but she found herself in the torn dress again, eyes wide with fear as Linten loomed over her, larger than life. This was just a dream! Wasn't it? Lavinya tried to back away, her eyes closing to block out the sight of that cruel face, the way his eyes devoured her shapely body beneath the sheer gown. She needed to escape, to find safety. But where was safe?

 

Lavinya

OOC: She was a bit mixed up there, but I'm sure she'll soon understand what's going on. Besides, I thought Linten would like some more ammo to use against her ;)

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The sobbing form of his pet continued to back away with eyes squeezed shut as if it would make everything different. Savagely he pulled her to her feet with air and slammed her against another tree. The leather leaf appearing from thin air as his mind worked to pull the dream in a direction of his own choosing. She had given him a brief glimpse of something to tear her heart apart more and in doing so force her broken soul into his hands and guidance. If he had only known what this Corin fellow sounded like, the inflections and general term of his speaking. But that was not what was offered, only a name and a face. Perhaps terror would not need or register the difference in voice. Concentrating entirely on the face he had seen he tried to remember each contour and shading. The initial look was far to quick. But perhaps her own desperately tormented mind would fill in the missing parts to complete the facade in mirror perfection.

 

Watching her with cold calculating eyes he waited for her resistance to give in and her eyes to open once more to him. She was bound as she had been in the forest, save that this time she faced out toward him rather then toward the tree in an embrace. Her wrists were bound on the other side of the tree forcing her heaving chest out and leaving her completely vulnerable. He was not even aware of when exactly the small dagger appeared in his hand but the hilts caress in his palm felt good. This time there would be no escape, fainting would not save her flesh from him. A dark twinkle met her wide brown eyes as she finally allowed them to open to the nightmare he had placed her into.

 

The air left Lavinya's lungs in a grunt as she was slammed against something hard, arms pinned cruelly behind her. Desperately she wished it wasn't so, but the rough bark chafing her arms and back told her she was indeed trapped, held as a play toy once more for that madman Linten. Her heart was pounding wildly, panic surging in her breast. No, she had to gain some control, could not let him use her so completely, not like he did before. She took deep breaths, trying to calm herself to order her mind. He had her trapped, but that did not have to mean he had won. Words and thoughts were powerful, and Lavinya would use whatever she had to fight back. Once more she tried to reach for Saidar, yearning towards the warmth she could feel just over the shoulder, but the clouds would not yield, the sunlight remained hidden from her.

 

Vexed, Lavinya slowly opened her eyes. She drew in a confused breath, for the sight that greeted her was not what she expected, not at all. Instead of Linten, Corin stood in his place, handsome and noble with his vivid red Tower Guard cloak falling over his shoulders. He smiled, but it wasn't the smile she knew and loved, it was harsher, like it was forced, and no warmth or humour shone in his emerald gaze. "Corin? What?" She shook her head, her eyes falling to the twin daggers in his hands, deadly blades glinting their ferocity. "I don't understand..."

 

Lavinya bit down softly on her lower lip as she considered her captor. Why would Corin bind her? And the daggers...and where was Linten? The image of Linten formed in her mind, and she gasped as Corin changed, his hair colour altering slightly, his build shifting. What was going on!? That smile...Lavinya turned her head, breaking their gaze. Her very dreams were turning on her, her imagination working against her. "This is not right, release me!"

 

He did not need a mirror to know his attempt at the face of another had started and failed. Her eyes and torn gaze told him all he needed of that. More work and practice was needed, it was good that she was his. He would have all the time he needed to perfect this gift from the Creator. Releasing a slow low chuckle Linten approached the gift secured to the tree. “What is not right about what you have already endured. Would you prefer I had you hug the tree again? Is it that you hunger for the lash of the branch so desperately?” A slow grin spread over his face as he remembered the fun they had shared that day. He had almost tasted the sweetness of her presence. But a slim line of restraint had kept him from her virtues. Instead he hungered for her to proffer herself before him and beg for their joining. He would arrange it ....sooner or later her mind would fold and she would give to the desire he held locked in his mind.

 

“If you so wish it to be the mind will help you remember and that which was will be again.” The light around them seemed to shimmer and then solidify with Lavinya hugging the tree now. He walked back around behind her and purposefully broke off a branch, the sound echoing louder then in the waking world. Sounds and memories were his bag of tricks to lead Lavinya to the goal he sought. “Is this what you prefer, to not seem me. To dream of Corin as your body lustfully accepts the kiss of the branch.” The soft sound of the branch moving through air was met with a solid thwack as it bit into flesh under the thin fabric of her gown once more.

 

So it was Linten, invading and manipulating her dreams. A shudder of revulsion coursed through her small frame as hatred surged above her panic. Why was he doing this to her? Why would he be so cruel, taking on the face of of her one time lover, all in the name of tormenting her? She knew all of those male channellers were doomed to insanity, but it struck her that despite her blasé labelling of Linten as a mad man, he truly was not of sound mind.

 

Everything changed so quickly that Lavinya didn't know how it happened, though Linten's words rung out in her mind as she found her cheek pressed against the rough bark of the tree. The mind will help her remember? It was hard to focus on what that meant as the crack of a branch met her ears, before pain bloomed, hot and real across the delicate skin of her back. She cried out then, in anguish and pain; struggling against the invisible bonds that held her immobile. It hurt, light how it hurt. The mind...wait, the mind!

 

Clarity arrived on the heels of vivid agony. This was not just her imagination running wild; Linten had invaded her dreams. Unable to channel, her dreams had been left unguarded, leaving a dreamwalker free to penetrate and manipulate them. Lavinya hadn't heard of anyone possessing the ability in years, but now it seemed Linten had the talent, and used it for his own ends. She was totally out of her depth, with only a limited knowledge of the world she was in, but Linten's words had sparked a slim hope, the chance that she too could control what was happening. And she would not let him simply replay that day’s abuse and humiliation. There was no way to channel anything but spirit while sleeping, that she knew well enough. So what was holding her bound? Nothing! Wrenching herself away from the tree, Lavinya ducked under the next blow, flinching as it cracked into the trunk that had previously held her frame.

 

It worked, thank the light it actually worked. Linten's threat was ominous in her ears but she ignored him, running away as fast as she could. Images blurred past the edges of her vision, fragments really, until Lavinya found herself in the familiar halls of the Grey Ajah Quarters, blessed home. It was the nature of dreams to be disjointed, and thus Lainya didn't question the how or why of it, just knowing she was within the walls of the tower, and here she was protected by wards and saidar and her sisters. The door to her own private rooms appeared before her and she dashed through it, leaning against the closed door with a sigh of relief. Everything was as she had left it, her elegant sitting room with its simple furniture. Home. How long had it been? Not that long, but Lavinya had never felt so homesick.

 

Images and memories of Linten were already fading, as Lavinya moved about her chambers, interrupted by a knock at her door. She frowned, annoyed at being interrupted from whatever it was she was doing. She stomped to the door and swung it open, frowning at a simpering form in white. The girl was taller than she, but still Lavinya managed to make it look as though she looked down at the girl as she preferred a parchment. Lavinya snatched it up, breaking the seal and glancing at the missive. A request for a meeting? With Estel, of all people? It was laughable. The last time they had met was so Estel could rub Lavinya's nose in the fact of her bonding, unable to escape the jealousy that Lavinya had been intimate with Orion long before her.

 

Lavinya eyed the girl suspiciously, but her eyes remained downcast. Why Estel requested the girl's presence was beyond her, but she didn't think to refuse the offer. "One moment child, we shall go anon." Closing the door in her face, Lavinya checked her reflection in a mirror, patting her immaculate curls and smoothing the silk of her grey skirts over her hips, all traces of wear and damage gone and forgotten; she was again the composed Aes Sedai. "Keep up girl, I will not have you slow me down." Lavinya spoke haughtily as she swept past the novice, leading her towards the home of the Blue Ajah.

 

The witch was more infuriating here in the White Tower then she was in the Black. It was obvious now the woman needed to really be taught a lesson in manners and respect. To dismiss him so simply and then order him the next. Even if she did not know it was him she still had no right. More plans formed in his head and Linten took great care in there passing to mark their way to the next color. Locations he deemed as key intersecting corridors or openings he tried to make as solid a mental picture as he could. But again the infuriating witch was traveling far to fast to be able to record much with any degree of the extreme detail he would need to be able to step into the location in Tel'aran'rhiod. In fact he was beginning to run very thin on patience for this petulant woman ahead of him and the dark smile she never looked back to see held indication of what his true intent was to be.

 

Linten paid little attention to the door that Lavinya approached. Once he had gotten the general information on how to access this blue tiled hallway from the grey tiled hallway his reserve had been completely exhausted. With great focus the hallway around them blurred when Lavinya reached out to knock on the door. The blurring was brief but his words help fill the gap before the inside of a barn sharpened around them. “You are mine pet, and I gave you no permission to leave like that.” The barn was from his home, a place he had spent most of his growing years. It was perfect to the smallest detail. A light sent of manure and hay wafted to his nose; the slanting light of an oil lamp cutting strips in the darkness around them. He felt safe here, in control. He knew the barn so well it was second nature to visualize it and meant he could focus more attention on his prey without having to work so hard on maintaining the room. It shimmered briefly, a grove in moonlight trying to form but he slammed the barn back around them with determination. “No you don't! This time you pay!” His voice dripped with vengeance as she spun to meet his eyes. Memory still fresh from the day slipped the regal dress from her form and left her bare and stripped before him. “Try it again and you may never wake from this place, never wake from my touch.” Lust twinkled in the corner of his eyes as they roved over her form once more. “You have had your rebellion and now you will fall in line as the faithful pet once more won't you.” There was no indication of question, merely a bold statement that he expected her to comply with. It would be the first step but far from the last. “I will not continue to chase you, not when you have given me so much already. Like the name of a man who will never draw breath again should I visit his dream. If you hold any value to the life of the man called Corin then you will heed my word.”

 

Lavinya was briefly disconcerted as the scene around her shimmered and changed, her hand left suspended as the door she was going to knock on disappeared. Linten's voice invaded her confusion, causing her throat to close over in fear. No...no, not again. She turned, hunting for the source of the voice she had grown to loathe. She didn't know where she was, it was no where she had ever seen before. It was a barn of some sort, the smells assaulting her senses and increasing her unease. How could she picture a place like this so clearly? Linten...he was doing things. Lavinya closed her eyes, longing to find herself somewhere else, somewhere where she had been safe and happy. The ogier grove flickered in her mind, a memory of when she was the happiest, when she was free...

 

There was venom and promise in the words, and Lavinya whirled to face Linten. Her mouth shaped a surprised 'o' as suddenly her dress was gone, leaving her naked to his lustful gaze. She tried to cover herself to little avail, and prepared to run, when a name made her hesitate. Corin? Oh light, why was this happening to her? The one man she loved above all else, who had taken a vow to protect her and all Aes Sedai had been left vulnerable by her own folly. Corin, who abjured her love, rejected her bond. He didn't want to protect her, and yet she could not let harm come to him. In that moment, she wished she hated him, yet knew she never would.

 

Frustrated and torn, Lavinya hung her head in defeat, tears stinging her eyes. She had no way to know if Linten was merely bluffing, whether he could enter his dream or not. There was no denying that somehow Linten was real and independent of her own imaginings, because despite her best efforts she couldn't make him disappear, just as her own clothing refused to return. She was trapped and helpless again, and trusting to the whim of a madman. Lavinya pressed the heels of her hands against her eyes for a moment, and took a deep breath, trying hard to ignore his lascivious gaze on her skin. She would not give in and beg, she would beat him, somehow, someway. Slowly she straightened her spine, unabashedly naked and met his eyes. "How do I know you will not hurt him anyway?" Her voice was cold, and she knew it was an error to admit the need to save him, but Corin’s life was not worth the risk.

 

A sinister smirk pulled the corners of his mouth as Linten watched the agonizing and desperation ebb from his pet. She was strong willed and would make a wonderful pet once properly motivated and leashed. But first the breaking was needed. This was a very small display of what would come with time. Her question about his word was amusing as she knew she had no guarantee and no way to secure it. It also add light to just how much this Corin person meant to her and how much he would keep that information as value to be used at the right moment.

 

Use the stick and then a treat. Never only the stick, or the pet becomes useless. He held her defiant gaze a spell, giving her mind a chance to run away with the possibilities his eyes might hide. Then with a small nod the thin filmy material of her gown returned to her form and he walked back toward one of the stalls. “His life will remain safe from my hands while you remain in mine. But when you are no longer in mine then I can not speak to what my happen ....unless you can convince me his life should not be forfeit later.” There was a hint of interest in his voice but nothing more. Collecting some hand twined hemp rope Linten made his way back to where Lavinya still stood rooted. He idly played with the rope, his eyes fixed to the floor. “There is many things that the future holds for us all. The great battle is not the worst of it though it is a major part of our future. The worst is the longing, the longing your kind would have us suffer for your own belief in the greater good. A good so skewed by your own lust for blood even now generations later you do not remember it's birth.” When had his clothes changed to the simple dusty woollens his years on the farm had seen him in? Linten's brow furrowed briefly, his hand twisted tight on the rope and then relaxed as his face blanked and the black garb of his Tower returned. “There is more for us to speak on if you are ready?”

 

Lavinya eyed Linten warily, not trusting this change in tactics for a moment. She was clothed now, and while his words confused and irritated her in the same breath, she couldn't help but look at the rope in his hands. Corin was safe, for the moment at least, but at what cost? What would she have to endure to save a man who would refuse it of her anyway? Linten's hands...she shivered and looked away, vividly recalling just what he had done to her with those cruel hands earlier, her imagination filling in the gaps from her unconsciousness. He'd alluded to using her body without her knowledge or consent, and she had no proof either way, so she simply believed the worst. It horrified her to no end, and yet now she was almost willingly offering herself to his whims...it made her sick to her stomach.

 

The clothing of her tormentor changed briefly, telling Lavinya that he was not as in control as he would like to be. Perhaps she could use it to her advantage later, if only she knew how. Until then, she would bide her time and pray for an opportunity. Maintaining her distance, Lavinya clenched her hands tightly before her. She didn't know what it was Linten meant, not really. She imagined it was to do with his deep seated hate for Aes Sedai, but what that had to do with her in particular was beyond her. No, this was most likely a darkfriend she was dealing with here, one maddened by the effects of tainted saidin. To hold her responsible for actions in the past was ridiculous, to punish her for them even more so.

 

"I will speak with you, Linten." She said slowly, still unsure just what that was going to mean.

 

“Good, good,” his voice was some what hollow. But it didn't hold the malice it usually held. Perhaps bringing her to this place was a mistake. Being home, or a vision of it was effecting him more then he expected. The smell of acrid smoke and charred flesh filled his nose for a moment before he pushed it away hard, glancing toward Lavinya to see if his mind had produced it for both of them or just his own. She made no indication and he let it pass without question fearful it might dredge up the incident in whole and give over to her far too much information. Instead he tossed the loops of rope over a rafter. It bounced lightly in front of him as it came taunt one end still in his hand. There was a chance he would not need it, but after all he had been through he was not about to underestimate a witch. If she had her way he would be gentled and left for dead long ago.

 

“I am glad you have chosen that course, it will make things easier on us both.” He batted the lose end of the rope between them, sending it swinging lightly in circles. He had to remember above all else, she was a witch, and would turn on him at lights first chance. “Each ajah has it's own quarter I can assume after what you so graciously showed me during our little visit.” He released the end in his hand and moved back to the same stall he had collected it from. “What I am wondering is where in the tower the Amrylin's quarters and audience chambers would be?” There was a faint tinkling of metal where his hands worked behind the wall of the stall; his eyes on Lavinya's again to gauge her reaction and truthfulness.

 

Linten was silent for a time, which only added to Lavinya's unease. She watched as he casually suspended the rope, toying with it idly. She knew that he couldn't channel here, even if he could make it appear so. At least she would be spared invisible bonds and forces; but the rope seemed all the more ominous in her opinion. Was he just trying to intimidate her? He was a fool if he took her seeming submission at face value. She was not about to step into his trap and give up all that she was bound to protect. Oh no, that was one thing she had to hold onto. She could not make her home, the Tower, vulnerable to the likes of this goat-kissing darkfriend.

 

Lavinya cursed inwardly, not realising until that moment that the fragment of dream that occurred within the tower had indeed been orchestrated, at least in part. The novice had to have been Linten, and she had unwittingly given him a tour of the Gray and Blue quarters. Fool! She had to keep her wits, try to give nothing away. Nothing here was as it seemed, she would do well to remember. He disappeared from view, the faint sound of metal against metal making Lavinya nervous and curious, though she tried not to let it show as she replied dryly. "I offered to speak with you Linten, I didn't offer to betray the White Tower or the Amyrlin." Doomed, she was doomed. If the afternoon's lessons had taught her anything, it was that Linten let nothing go unpunished. Light, if only Sirayn knew how well her rogue child was trying to protect her. Duty? She knew it well, and knew all the more why she had always wanted to escape it.

 

The sigh that slipped free in breathy tones from Linten was genuine; his head shaking side to side slowly. “I am sad to hear that pet,” his eyes had not left hers but they had taken on a heavy appearance. The games would continue on, and in this place he did not have the advantages he revelled in when played in the real world. This restraint act was beginning to wear thin on him. But in her dream he did not have the control and power he did in Tel'aran'rhiod or the waking world. If he could not get the satisfaction or answers he wanted now, her flesh would fail her in the waking world when they next met.

 

Stepping out from the stall he approached her slowly again; chained shackles hanging from one hand and a branding iron twirling in the other. “I had hoped you had learned this small and simple lesson already my pet. But it seems you have not so I shall offer you one simple reminder.” He noted how her eyes trailed the branding iron as he hung it on a hook next to them. An after thought of mind turned the end red hot as the stepped back toward her. “When I ask a question you answer it truthfully. If you feel you can not answer the direct question given then you offer me something you feel of equal value. If I accept your answer then we move on and life gets better for us both. If I do not then you pay the difference willingly and we continue. But,” his voice took on the cold edge it held in the woods. “You will never defy to answer me. For the payment is far more then you are ever willing to pay and I will take my payments in any form I choose, as often as I choose, and where I choose. Don't let my kindness here and now be taken lightly or as weakness. You are still and will remain my pet, and as my property I will treat and use you the way I want.” Raising the shackles before him his cold green eyes borrowed into the dark brown of her own with great intensity. “I ask only once more. Where is the Amyrlin's quarters and audience chambers in the White Tower?”

 

Lavinya could feign bravery, indeed there were times when she truly was as brave as she made out, but there was no hiding the way her eyes widened at the implements Linten carried, the way her small frame trembled in fearful anticipation. What had she handed herself over to? Thoughts of torture drifted into her mind and she hastily shoved them away lest they come true. Thoughts were powerful, here in her dreams even more so. She was a highly educated woman, thanks to the tower. It would be easy to assume that as technically this was a dream, she would be fine so long as she woke up, but Lavinya knew enough to be aware that any injury sustained in her dream could well be taken out on her sleeping body.

 

Linten's eyes bore into her own as he repeated his demand, green like Corin, yet so different. Linten's were cold and cruel, whereas Corin's gaze had always been softer, kinder, hiding the mysteries of the mischievous young man he had been once. It struck her as highly cruel that she would be forced to endure hell to protect the two people who had destroyed her happiness. Corin, for not returning her love, and Sirayn, for holding what she could not - his heart. It should be easy, just doom them to their fate and escape herself unscathed. Neither had shown any reluctance to tear her life asunder, why should she care? But...alas, she did. Where she found a conscience she didn't know, but she could no sooner forget the love she still held than she could her duty as Aes Sedai.

 

Lavinya struggled to meet Linten's gaze with all the dignity she could muster, ignoring the red hot tip of the poker beside them. Whatever happened, she would have a clear conscience, knowing that she had fought him every step of the way. Never say die. "The Amyrlin's quarters and audience chamber are both in the White Tower." Jutting out her jaw stubbornly, she offered him no more information, folding her arms beneath her breasts and praying she would wake sooner rather than later.

 

“Wrong answer,” the words were a hush. The shackles in his hand melted away and appeared on Lavinya's wrists, the chain firmly mated to one end of the rope. Before the shock on Lavinya's face could more then manifest his hands were on the other end of the rope. Linten tugged down roughly, pulling her attached hands up high over her head and raising Lavinya up on to her toes. “I warned you and now you will pay as I see fit." A few quick turns had the rope secured to a hitching post that had suddenly appeared next to them. It was time to give her mind more to work on, a few new worries to add to the waking world. His hand trailed along her midsection as he moved slowly around her. “You could have made this easy on yourself. But you enjoy the pain don't you.” As his hand came away from her when he had fully circled, a knife was present and glinting in the lamp light. Stepping forward he kissed the underside of her arm pulled taunt over head. The side of the knife coming to rest on her far shoulder and began to slowly slide along her skin tracing the deep neckline of her dress. At the bottom of the valley his wrist turned bringing the blades edge against the fabric. It's blunted back still mated to her skin. “You thrill in the pleasure of such treatment don't you witch.” His voice was breathy in her ear as the blade slowly parted the delicate fabric and made it's way to the floor.

 

Her filmy dress now hung from her shoulders gapping in the front as Linten's eyes roved back up to meet her own. “Is this the way you had Corin play with you? Is this the type of pleasure you shared together.” Rising up he left the knife embedded in the floor at her feet, his hand once more on her midsection. Heated bare flesh pressed to his hand as he slowly circled her again, the dress remnants gathering in his movement. “Do you long for Corin's touch still?” His nose nuzzled the back of her ear as he stood behind her.

 

Lavinya & Linten

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Lavinya never expected Linten to let her get away with her insolence, but there had still been a hint of hope that she would wake, or he would change his mind...anything but what happened. He was quick, showing far superior control over their surroundings. She had no time to flee as her arms were wrenched above her head, stretching them within their sockets painfully. There was no way to relieve the pressure, her slippered toes scrabbling to make purchase with the earthen floor below. In this position she was most certainly helpless. She struggled for a moment away from his touch, until the glint of steel caught her eye and made her inhale sharply. Too terrified to move, Lavinya watched the trail it made over her skin, parting her gown easily and exposing her heaving bosom once more to his filthy gaze.

 

Pain? She swallowed back a response, closing her eyes as his hot breath tickled her ear, his hand again searing her naked flesh with it's heat. Nothing he could do to her could compare to the pain in her soul, knowing she was protecting the man she loved, who would never thank her for it. How could you hurt that which was mostly dead inside anyway? Linten was too close to her, invading her senses with his touch, his voice, his smell. Revulsion and humiliation battled one another as he continued to taunt her, tried to defile what had been a beautiful thing between herself and Corin. There had only been that one night, that one, magical evening when they had finally been intimate in the Ogier Grove. She would let nothing take that memory away from her, not even insane darkfriends. It was the one happy memory she had, when she was free, and loved. Well, not loved. She had just she was. Light, what a fool she was. And to love him still, to still crave his touch...it was just as Linten said. What a pathetic creature she was. Unlovely, unworthy, pitiful. No wonder Corin didn't love her. She was a hard, callous, shallow whore, fit for no more than a darkfriend's pet.

 

Her head hung as she squeezed her eyes against her hot tears. Memories were all she had left, and now they tortured her as surely as the calloused hand caressing her skin, as though a lover pleasuring the object of his desire. Accept your fate, fool. This is all you will ever be good for. It still hurt, even just saying it to herself. There had been a time, brief as it was, that she had believed different. That maybe, just maybe, she was worth something to someone. How disillusioned she had been. Anger surged anew with the misery of her thoughts and she jerked her head from Linten's violently. "What I long for is for you to realise your games are fruitless. I will tell you nothing." She spat vehemently.

 

The smile on his face spoke of sheer exhilaration at her reaction, but it was observed only by the back of her head. “How many others have tasted the sweetness of your frame witch. Did he know? Did you tell him how you had encouraged those others to join with you? How you had cried out in their embrace.” His hands moved to collect her hips, caressing them gently. “Did you tell him how they had heated your blood before him? How they had taken you?” His lips brushed the back of her shoulders. “Are you worthy of Love Lavinya?” For the first time in a long while he used her name. Only he used it against her, used it to undermine her mind and her worth. He had seen how she had reacted in the dreams with Corin, how she reacted when he was Corin. Each time the enemy thought they had figured out your attack point you had to change it, keep them off balance.

 

“Now, with you here and worthless does he pine for you? Can you see him now in the arms of another? Gently kissing, yearning for the next touch. The touch you could have had, the touch you shared so easily with others.” Linten's lips trailed across her shoulders again as his mind added a whip to the floor behind them. Old habits die hard, he was not even sure he would use it this time around. His mind was puzzling together a far better nightmare for her mind.

 

Every word was a knife in her heart, spreading poison in her already wounded soul. She felt wretched, pain squeezing her lungs as she knew how truly he spoke. She was nothing but a worthless lightskirt, like all the rumours. How many men had she welcomed into her embrace? She couldn't count. And yet she had been the first to initiate Corin into the wonders of lovemaking, the first to share his joy. She, who didn't deserve someone so innocent and noble. Why had she ever actually thought he would want to bond a hussy like her? Light, no man in his right mind would want her for more than a hasty tumble and a quick goodbye. She'd never told Corin the full extent of her past, the truth of how her parents had kicked her out for her ways, the men she had known, the trouble she had deliberately caused. She had kept it to herself and then knowingly bedded him. What would he think, if he knew? Would things have been different? The result would still be the same. She would still be alone, would still be worthless.

 

No, she wasn't worthy of love. Not from Corin. Not with her skin pimpling under the soft touch of Linten's lips. Damn him! Anger and cruelty she could handle, but this calculated seduction was messing terribly with her resolve, confusing her and filling her with such self-loathing it was hard not to retch. He was guessing, but light how well he guessed at the truth. She tried so hard not to imagine Corin, in the arms of another. A green, she knew that much at least. Which one? There were so many, the biggest ajah in the tower. And Corin had given his heart to one of them. Did she love him, as she did? Did she welcome him in her bed? Did she enjoy the tricks Lavinya had taught him?? Linten's lips again caressed her naked shoulder, and she shuddered. It was too much.

 

"Shut up! Just shut up, you don't know anything!" She cried, barely biting back a sob.

 

The shudder was pure ecstasy as Lavinya's body undermined her determination. She was failing, failing to the softness and the hurt of her past. It could not be more perfect if he had dreamed the whole thing himself. Her heart was far stronger then her mind and by drawing it out into the open. Bringing forth the rents of pain and suffering staining it's surface he was circumventing the strength of will her mind had given her. With each passing moment she crumbled further. “Oh but I do,” his voice was not only the soft whisper for her ear that it once had been. But now a warmth entered it, as if he spoke to a lover. “I know the pleasure you shared, remember it?” His hands inched slowly up her sides. “Remember how warm he felt against the cool air.” The barn shimmered slightly and he fought back the smile that tried to touch his face. One hand lifted from her side to sweep her hair back from the nape of her neck. It was a calculated risk but with all the images and emotions she had displayed to him it was a strong one.

 

“Remember the grove,” his lips brush against the hair line of her neck. The barn shimmered again and became the grove he had glimpsed earlier. A grove with a smooth rock embedded in the grass and the moon high above bathing the area in a shimmer of silver light. “Timid, trepidation, boldness. They were all there, all ours to share, remember.” His fingers messaged the back of her scalp lightly. “You can feel it again, the air, the heat, the smell of freedom.” A gentle stir in the air brushed over him carrying the sound of water moving in an unseen brook. She was loosing to her emotions and it was only a matter of time before she would take over, at least it was his hope. “Lavinya, you are so soft,” his hand now circling her middle again.

 

She remembered, light knew she would always remember. The way the moonlight had bathed the grove with a silver sheen, reflecting dully off the sword and ring nestled in the grass. They had cast off duty that night, nothing to distract or hold them but love and desire. Linten's words were inciting her memories, along with the gentle touches, caresses. She remembered Corin, his eyes alight with wonder and lust as their clothes slowly peeled away, touching, learning, discovering. She was free. The air pebbled her skin, the soft trickling of the brook the musical background to their intimate journey, highlighted by their soft breathing.

 

His hand touched her skin, sending shivers through her body as she remembered behind her closed eyes. Lavinya never wanted the night to end, the joy, the peace, the seclusion. She didn't need anything else, her whole world was here with her. She smiled, relaxing slightly, allowing Corin to caress the smoothness of her waist. She marvelled at his touch, so determined yet at once uncertain. "Leave you?" Lavinya opened her eyes, confused. "I would never leave you. I love you Corin." Something was wrong with the picture. Warm breath fanned the delicate skin at her neck, and she tried to turn her head to look upon the face of her lover.

 

"I didn't leave you." She repeated softly, her mind struggling to find clarity. Alarm bells were ringing in her head, but she couldn't seem to shake off the languor that was suffusing her body, the heat filling her blood. All at once, she knew what was wrong. "You left me." Pain lanced through her heart, memories tumbling over one another in a jumble. The ride out of Tar Valon, the words that crushed her dreams and happiness. "You don't love me."

 

Spurned love. She felt for this Corin but he did not return it. No, something was wrong, the way her mind had remembered even the minuet detail of this grove and the flash of images as her hurt returned. There had to be something else, surely the man could not have made this night and place such a memory for a seasoned woman and not have meant something. If it was indeed true then he was far more heartless then Linten ever would have imagined. The problem was he had been making progress and now once more the house of cards threatened to fall. It was maddening, why could the witch not have a normal love life. Instead he had to get the mare who was shared around the stable like a cheap blanket; a mind messed up and fragmented. This was turning out to be far more work then he had expected. Not to mention the speed in with she had begun to catch on to certain traits about the dream and its properties.

 

“No! No Lavinya, search your feelings. Were my words and touch really that empty to you. Its her, she has forced me from you. She has kept me from your side and my touch from your face. You know this is where I will always be, here with you.” His lips had remained near her ear while he whispered the poison; breath fluttering the delicate hair nearby. His eyes focused into the black distance in front of him, outside the pool of remembrance she had built for them. There in his vision a hazy scene fluttered between near clarity and blurred color. His memory detail on the other man was not strong enough to make the picture perfect. But if he left it never quite in focus perhaps her mind would accept the scene and bring her own clarity to the false view he offered. Before them a bed wavered with the unfocused shapes of a man and woman. The man held similarities to what he had seen so far of this Corin character and the other offered nothing distinguishable beyond the traits of a woman and a very vivid seven striped stole over the bed post.

 

If her mind accepted the view then she would fill in the needed differences to bring forth a picture of the woman who controlled the White Towers destiny and a starting block for him. Even if she rejected it there was still a chance she would place a face there briefly while her confused and battered mind fought back control from her heart. Whether any of it was true mattered not. He fact that the man would have a chance to be with the most powerful woman in the world was a laugh. It was hard to tell which way the swords point would fall this time. But there were many more day's in the waking world in which to draw further information from her. This was an added bonus, a game to test his growing abilities in the Dream World before he began his walks in their Tower. “She binds me to her bed and I am unable to break free, to be with you as I long to. You know it to be true, follow your heart.” He sealed the last words with a long soft kiss to the base of her neck hoping her heart still held sway over her control. As an added touch the shimmering image in the distance seemed to reach out toward them. His hands releasing there contact on her skin as he stood back a step and waited.

 

Linten & Lavinya

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Lavinya wanted it to be true, oh how she ached with the wanting! It made more sense to think he was forced from her, that he didn’t abjure her for his own sake. She had been so certain he felt the same way, that he loved her too. No one had ever been so kind and genuinely interested in her before; the real Lavinya. Surely that meant he truly cared for her, loved her. She was special to him, wasn’t she? Light but she wished it were so, deep in her heart of hearts, the secret place she’d revealed to no one save him. But who could have such sway over him that he would abandon his love? There was the Green, and he was Sirayn’s agent…but that made no sense, who could it be?

 

An image formed in front of her, hazy and blurred, yet she knew what it was. Corin, her love, her heart, intimately entwined with another woman. No! It was too painful to watch, their bodies moving together in a rhythm old as time, and…no, the Amyrlin? Sirayn? No! Pain and fury surged inside her, and Lavinya shook her head, pushing away the images. She was of the Green Ajah before her raising…could it have been her that Corin had bound himself too? It was too unbelievable. Lavinya knew he was an agent of hers, but never dreamed Corin would give his heart away to someone as cold and unfeeling as her…but then again, that image showed an entirely different view of the woman she called mother, the woman who had held her in her arms while Lavinya cried, the woman who owned her fealty not just as her Amyrlin but well before that, as head of the Order of the Rose. Oh, the betrayal was acute, and Lavinya turned her head from the vision, tearing her eyes from the outstretched hand of her love.

 

She was alone. No gentle touch, no love, no home, no friends, nothing. Corin was bound to another, lost to her forever. Pain was shooting up her arms from her shoulders where she still hung suspended. This was all that she had left. Was it even worth going on? Was it worth the fight? She didn’t know anymore. Her life held no joy, not now. “I don’t know what to do.” She whispered, as a tear slowly trickled down her cheek. “I just don’t know.” A second tear followed the first, and another. Nothing hurt so much as seeing the finality of her relationship with Corin. “But I will always love you.”

 

Nothing, the bait was taken but she pushed the scene away so swiftly. Perhaps he had miscalculated, the wound still to raw for that pressure. Which left him back where he started; adding to the pain and making it more raw. He was amazed that her thought of safety from the images he had given her was to return to the barn. Return to being shackled and stretched out on display. Was the pain so bad that the witch would truly take this over even a glimmer in a dream. Very strange these witches of Tar Valon and there desire for masochism; he briefly pondered if perhaps it was something taught to them in the secreted walls of the Tower. Surely no sane woman would behave so, but then she was a witch and not a woman. The whip once more appeared, this time in his hand as he slipped quietly back around her; watched as the tears slid down her smooth cheeks leaving red streaks in there passing. If she where a regular woman he would have felt for her, tried to comfort her perhaps. But as a witch she deserved none of that. She was property, property that was still not falling into line completely. His eyes travelled the tears’ passage as it tipped over her jaw and fell lightly to her chest. A heat building once more in his eyes as he watched the trails meet and travel down the middle.

 

Stepping up to her he slipped the whip over her head and left it dangling down her front from either side of her neck. “Shhhh, hush my pet. You are here with me and there is no need to worry about love. Here there is only pain and the pleasure it brings. I am here for you as you are here for me.” The fended warmth and softness was gone from his voice, replaced with mocking sympathy. His hand collected her face by the chin and turned it toward him. “Are you ready to accept me yet or do you still hunger for more pain? Is it the mind and the heart's suffering that bring you pleasure or the suffering of the flesh that drives the heat within?” Jade green eyes studied her as if studying a pet; not sure if it had learned the lesson yet or not. “You failed to answer the question and you offered nothing in return. What worth are you? Have you nothing to offer a man?”

 

That cold, mocking voice returned, reminding Lavinya that she was held captive, that all she had seen was just a dream. Was it though? Could it truly be Sirayn that Corin had given his heart to? Lavinya didn’t know, but regardless of who it was, she knew that she didn’t have a look in. He’d made that clear. She really needed to push him out of her mind, out of her heart. It was too easy for Linten to use it against her, and he was, mercilessly. How much of her soul had she revealed with her carelessness? Already she had been driven to tears, hot and wet as the spilled over her cheeks. She hated giving him the satisfaction, hated knowing he had pushed her along in her imaginings, hated that she had missed a perfect chance for escape. Such a fool!

 

Linten was in front of her, unabashedly gazing at her nakedness, the light weight of a leather whip about her neck causing her heart to lurch into rapid action once more. Pain brought no pleasure! Not the pain that scarred her the most, the raw open wound of Corin’s rejection. Nothing this madman could do to her would compare to that. What she’d shared with Corin was as far from this experience as was possible. He was tender, gentle, reverent. He had made her feel like a beautiful exotic fruit, a treasure to be admired and tasted and consumed, but never hurt. And she never would have believed, then, that he ever would hurt her. Thus was the extent of her folly. No one had ever hurt her so deeply.

 

“You know nothing of my pain.” Lavinya gazed levelly at Linten, eyes flat and emotionless. She had nothing anymore. Nothing, but what she was. And she was Aes Sedai, and her duty was to the Tower. “And you know nothing of giving pleasure, if this is anything to go by.” Lavinya wriggled her wrists, clattering the shackles noisily. “I never made any sort of agreement with you, Asha’man,” Lavinya sneered the word like it was a curse, channelling all her anger, hurt and frustration to a far worthier recipient than its source. “You think I am so weak? So unintelligent as to fall for your games? I have been Aes Sedai longer than you have been alive, little boy, don’t think I am so easily beaten.” Oh but she played a dangerous game, but when you were lost anyway, what was the harm? She had everything to gain. “You think I don’t enjoy this? Why would I ever let you touch me unless I wanted you to? You dance to my strings, and I dictate the tune.” Lavinya laughed in his face, cruel and mirthless as she ran her tongue lightly over her lower lip. She was nothing better than a whore, she may as well play her part, no matter how acrid the words were on her tongue.

 

Linten's head tipped back with laughter as her tone and demeanor changed. It was wonderful. She had to be grasping for any reason now to give herself worth. He had created the picture, drawn her to it constantly and now she was playing it back to him. Each moment they spent was another moment he gained a greater dominance. “Oh really,” the joy was still bright in his voice. “I dance to you. It was you who drew me to lash your flesh, to bring me to your dream, to draw pain from you in many forms. It was you who requested my touch, drew my eye and it's subtle indications. You who begged me to take you while you were unconscious. You have been many things to many men I have no doubt my pet. But you are not the composer.” He reached up and wrenched her head back by a handful of red curls. So she wanted to be the hussy did she. His teeth drew a sharp outline in the tender flesh of her neck before sealing his lips to hers. The seal was long lasting, her ability to break it in her present position was impossible. With a sharp bite to her lower lip, a thin line of blood beginning to weep from the mark, he released her head. Watched as her breath came in ragged gasps.

 

The poker appeared in his hand again and floated just shy of her flesh as it travelled from her waist up to her cheek. “The whip, the iron, or the flesh. I wonder which way you would pick in this defiance and which you would choose in reality.” His fingers trailed up from her thigh to press to her lips briefly. “In the dream at least no one will hear you scream my name when you give in to me my pet.” His free hand collected the handle of the whip. “I have another question for you pet.” With a sudden pull the whip came free of her neck, a red burn mark from the leathers drag bright in it's place. “Would Jocelyn do anything to save the life of Rion?”

 

Lavinya hadn’t really expected to throw Linten off, make him pause for a moment maybe, but his laughter grated her pride. He thought he was in total control, and totally indestructible. Let him think what he will, Lavinya had already learned the great affect her thoughts could have on this dream, her dream. If only she could manage to turn things on Linten, she could be free. Either way, so long as she kept him away from the dangerous ground of her own pain and fealty, she believed she could endure whatever came her way. She would be sorry, but she would survive. Somehow.

 

She gasped as his teeth came down hard on her neck, marring the tender flesh before stealing a kiss, brutal and calculated. There was no escaping it, his taste, his breath. There was no finesse in the touch, it was pure dominance, and he was exerting his control as master. Lavinya was outraged. Never had such a man abused her body as Linten had, as he was. She’d known many lovers in her time, it was true, but it had always been a mutual joining, lust and fun and manipulation on her part, never this cruel taking. She found she was panting from the control it was taking not to scream and lash out, or heaven forbid break down and cry. That would be playing into his hands. She had to be strong, damnit! For Corin! For the Tower! For her own stubborn pride!

 

The poker did give her pause though. The tip glowed red, heat radiating from it and touching her skin. It would burn, so fast, so hot and furious. The pain it would bring was almost palpable. It struck fear into her core, but she would be damned if she would show it. She was not his pet, and would not bow meekly to his will. She almost smiled. Given the chance, he would have no chance for conversation, would hardly a moment to breathe. Lavinya longed to wrap her slim hands around his throat, to slowly squeeze the life from him; but that would make her no better than he. A soft cry escaped her lips as the whip was removed, stinging pain on her neck. It was mild, compared to the pain she carried inside. She could do this. She would take back control. “That goat-kissing trollop is no concern of mine,” she spat, true enmity in her voice as she thought on her captor’s wife. “She was fool enough to marry the madman, she is likely fool enough to want to save him.” Let him think her afraid of the lash, in truth she didn’t care less what happened to Rion or Jocelyn, save what affect anything that happened to Rion would have on her. “If she was intelligent, she would run from this place as fast as she can and away from you raving lunatics…sorry, asha’men.”

 

“She would, would she .... like you would save your sweet Corin?” His eyebrows rose briefly at the statement. “What would you do to save the life of a man who does not even love you. Would you truly do anything to ensure his lifes’ thread continued in the pattern?” He stepped back and placed the whip and poker on a table that materialized just below them. He continued to watch her as he slowly circled around. “Would you be the sacrifice to save the Tower, your Amyrlin, your Corin. Or are you just as fallible as them. Could it be that you want so desperately to be loved and accepted as a person that you believe your life less worth then them.” He waved his hand and the shackles disappeared leaving her to lurch forward briefly as she scrambled to gain her footing from over stretched muscles. The sliced dress still draped over her shoulders, fluttered briefly before settling to her frame. As he finished his circle he faced her eyes once more. “If you are so noble to save them, prove it. Offer me something that would distract and persuade me from harming them.” His hands planted to his hips as a small smirk pulled the corner of his lips. “Your move my pet.”

 

Free. She was free. Dumbly Lavinya stared at Linten, trying to decipher his game plan as she idly rubbed her wrists where the shackles had chafed her. Her first instinct was to run, but to do so would be to forfeit Corin’s life. No matter what he had done to her, he didn’t deserve a visit from Linten. At least she had thus far resisted divulging information about Sirayn and any other incriminating information about the Tower - save the whereabouts of Estel Sedai’s rooms. One thing was certain though; she could not let this opportunity pass her by unused. But what to do? Lavinya contemplated offering him that which he was lusting after, but immediately pushed off the idea. She would not go willingly into his arms, not for anything. The world may think her a complete whore, but she did have some pride.

 

“I have no assurance that anything I offered you would make a difference.” Lavinya said dryly, drawing her Aes Sedai calm about her like a cloak, her gaze cool and measured on his face, for all the world as though she hadn’t just been trussed like a prize rack of meat. “So I am at a severe disadvantage.” Lavinya looked to the table of implements and concentrated for a moment, hiding her surprise when it actually worked and they reappeared by her side. “But that’s how you prefer it, isn’t it? You don’t play fair, asha’man.” Idly one hand smoothed over the handle of the whip, lifting it to inspect the smooth grain of leather. “But then again that’s part of the game, yes? You dominate, I simper and kiss your feet?” Fast as lightning Lavinya cracked the whip, the sound echoing in the barn as the tip flicked in front of Linten, near enough to startle perhaps but not touch. “I suggest we change the rules.”

 

 

Linten & Lavinya

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The stare of disbelief was exhilarating, she truly was not sure what she should do. But it's lasting was short and in quick order her training returned, the Aes Sedai composure returning for now. This would make for an interesting experiment, a chance to see how far he had pushed her. But there was limits to how far he would let her run with her new found temporary freedom. He did not need to look next to him to know the table and it's toys that appeared before her was the very one from his side. The smirk pulled to a full grin. Though it did warm his heart for her to address him by title, it had taken far longer then he wanted to reach that point. Even the cost of a friendship with his mentor. If she only knew the true power of Tel'aran'rhiod instead of this simple dream, her simple dream where he had to work to maintain any semblance of control. “So you like the toys as,” his sentence was cut short as reaction drew his head back sharply while the whip's end flicked like a serpents tongue in front of his face.

 

Now she was walking a fine line that would see her immeasurably hurt if she was foolish enough to try anything too drastic in what little freedom he was willing to offer her. Arguably this may not have been his best decision, but then it was not done just yet. Any distraction, even expected to a small degree, if not pushed to the side and no longer a focus of the moment would be helpful should the need arise. Seizing the rushing torrent of ice and filth that was Saidin, Linten drew out a thick thread of spirit and set it to the shielding weave. She may be forbidden to channel, but he doubted she would not be effected even momentarily if he were to slam it home. “You would like that wouldn't you? Deep down you crave to feel the silent echo in the handle of the whip as it bites into flesh, cleaves it from the bone. Already you can sense it, feel the pleasure it would bring you and not just against me. You have a running list you would have trusted up and ready for the lashed kiss. What about the iron? Would you dwell in the scent of charred flesh as it sank slowly into your victim?” He was slowly beginning to circle where Lavinya stood, her eyes and body turning with him to keep him in view. “If you would use it against those that hurt you, relish in the payment, would you have the stomach to see Corin's flesh open under the lashed embrace. Watch how his blood began to leak from those openings, how it stained the floor while he paid for his betrayal, paid for the selfish hurting he left you with after indulging in that which so many others have. Did you teach him how to please a woman my pet? Teach him so he could run off and use that teaching in the pleasures shared with another?”

 

He was too good at this game, Lavinya reluctantly conceded. Her eyes never left the grin that twisted his face as he taunted her, walking around her as though in casual conversation. He was right, she could easily picture the damage she would inflict to his form, thorough and brutal, and it brought a mild sense of satisfaction. Though if he thought she was one who often indulged in the harsher side of love, he was vastly mistaken. No, she’d never had the urge to injure anyone, quite like she wished to hurt him, but that was in retaliation. He was fishing, taunting and probing to once again find that raw wound that was her heart, but alas he was way off course. Lavinya merely blinked, startled at the thought of causing any harm to Corin. She was hurt, yes, but not once had she ever considered turning it upon Corin; all her loathing she had turned inward, where it belonged. She had taught him though; that she would never, could never forget. Such curious interest, arousing and refreshing for its honesty. And he used the talents she instructed on another?

 

A frown tugged the corners of Lavinya’s mouth, and she made a motion with the whip, a silent order for him to stop his pacing. “You guess and you hope, Linten, but you are a fool, with nothing more in your hands than wind and smoke. You believe you have me all worked out, yes?” She raised her brows in question, but she did not seek an answer. This was a game, a dangerous game, and it would be weakness to reveal how little he knew. And Linten did not strike her as weak, many other things, but not that. “Tell me Linten, did you always hate Aes Sedai, or only since you discovered you were a cursed man? Did one break your heart? Or is the taint already chipping away at your sanity? It is a mercy we perform, gentling your type. Don’t you wish to maintain your sanity?” Her expression was sympathetic and mocking, as she gathered the whip, looping it in her palm. “Is that why you seek to hurt me? To punish me for being able to channel pure, clean Saidar? For being everything you will never be?”

 

 

A tweak at the corner of her mouth; nothing beyond that twitch played out on her face. But the absent minded demand that he stop; the whip twitching in front of his path. A silent way of requesting his obedience; something he would not give normally. But in this instance it served his purpose; gave him a chance to reflect on his last line of twisting trails. He had set her on that path of love's education and the other in this Corin's life. Internally he smiled, another chink in her armor to exploit. She worked hard to keep him at a distant; to keep him from getting too deep in her past and her vulnerabilities. The rise of her eyebrows set a delicate light to her face. He would have almost thought her pretty if it was not for the vile threat to his kind she served. Her and her White Tower would be on knee before his comrades. If the M'Hael would not do something about their insolence he certainly would.

 

A slight twitch of his brow registered the deep frown that wanted to set in place but was forbidden by his control. Her words attempted to play the same game he was about and he offered her a slight acknowledgment of credit; one General to another. It would change nothing save that he would remain cautious around her. The words and thoughts had the potential to cut very deep. If she had only known the terror he had faced that night. The absolute belief they had him this time; his life to be reduced to a hollow wisp of existence always seeing the allure of Saidin but never again to touch. No! He mentally shook himself back to the task before him. “Interesting, you believe in your high and mighty fallacy that by sentencing my comrades and me to an existence of isolation and abandonment you are saving us. Portraying a great compassion upon us in servitude.” He took a gingerly step closer, “if it is compassion and service you seek for us then all you need do is ask. Attacking us like that was really to much.”

 

His smirk spread slowly across his face, the smirk she was no doubt beginning to get very familiar with. “Ask any man and he would happily have an Aes Sedai as a belly warmer. All you need do is kneel at our feet and we will accept your gracious offers of compassion and servitude in flesh. We are not heartless monsters that seek to cut you from the source. Abandon you to isolation and forever wishing for the simple touch of Saidar once more.” His mind focused intently on a simple scene; one he had seen many times, only it twisted slightly for his needs. The barn shimmered and became blackness around them; a velvet night blanket draped heavily over them. “Perhaps you could teach me as you did Corin, teach me to love as he now does for another.” A light bloomed off to the side and shadowy figures, identities unclear but traits to tie them to Corin and another. Over one of the bed posts a green shawl draped; the familiar white teardrop highlighted almost to a glow.

 

The forms moved in an age old traditional dance. Ages had come and gone; more would be spun out from the wheel. But as long as more then one person remained in the pattern the dance would always be repeated like the weaving of the wheel. Her attention shifted, eyes swinging to the scene he had placed pleased him greatly. Fresh silk sliding softly over the flesh, Linten whispered tainted realities that floated to her ear. “Feel the heat he shares with her, the trained gift you have blessed her with. Can even her flesh resist such temptation; yours did not, why should hers? What of pleasure and the release of the whip's justice. See them move? Would you return to an empty room with the knowledge of the warmth they shared. Come to me, train me and I can be that and more to you.”

 

 

Lavinya did not like to think too deeply about exactly what it was that Aes Sedai did to those cursed men who could channel. As a young initiate in the White Tower, they were trained to fear that fate worse than death – burning out or being stilled. The thought terrified her even now. Nothing was so sweet, so real as Saidar. Losing it even now, not knowing when she would ever be allowed to touch the source again was much of her undoing. Life lost its colour and joy when viewed through the eyes of a mere human, well at least in her opinion. Still, Linten’s plight hardly moved her. She was no Red, and was generally indifferent to the whole male channeller idea...well that was before the opportunity to flee her broken heart and meeting the savages for herself.

 

Attacking them? Lavinya recalled all too vividly the way their peaceful party had been ambushed, before they’d even managed to close the gateway, for Light’s sake. Her sisters had died. And not nearly enough Asha’man had paid the price for that. Anger tightened her jaw slightly, as much from the memory as the words slipping from Linten’s lips. Kneel at his feet in servitude? Lavinya did not need him to paint a picture for her to guess at his meaning. How he ever deluded himself into thinking she would willingly fall into his bed she could only guess. The scene around them changed, and Lavinya knew it could only mean trouble. She wanted to keep her gaze ahead, ignoring the movement in her peripheral vision, but decided knowing what she faced had to be smarter than blind stubbornness, though the moment she took in the image she regretted it. It appeared like Corin and another woman, that damned green that haunted her and refused to give her peace. She had betrayed too much to Linten, had allowed him too many weapons with which to injure her. She would not willingly give him anymore.

 

Still, Lavinya’s eyelid’s flickered slightly as she watched the scene, forcing her expression to remain impassive as Linten tormented her with his barbed words. It was hard not to remember for a moment that magical evening, the way the stars had scattered the sky, giving enough light to find one another, the heady fragrance of the Ogier grove about them, the sweet smell of fresh grass, crushed beneath their bodies...oh yes, she could remember the heat, just as she remembered the cold dismissal that came after. Had Corin just sought her teaching, in order to impress the Green? She didn’t want to believe it, had never imagined him capable of such cruelty.

 

Lavinya’s head snapped around so her dark eyes could pierce into Linten’s own. Had she heard right? Was this fool asking her to teach him the arts of love and passion? No, it was some new game he played, anything to divert her attention away from his secrets. Well he may think he had her all figured out and transparent, but she was not done yet. Many a man had been fooled by her charms before, perhaps Linten would prove no different. Let him think he was going to get the prize; all the more pain it would bring when she struck. With a slow, deliberate motion, she raked her eyes over him, as though assessing him for the first time. Oh, if only he knew that this was her game! So many times had she played the part, never before had she been so determined on her goal. “You want to learn what I can teach?” She made her voice light as she took a step closer, forcing her unwilling feet to move. She did not trust him, nor this change, not one whit. “You are willing to submit? In order that we both may find satisfaction?” She licked her lower lip in a manner she knew tended to raise temperatures. Let him think her a whore; everyone else already did. She would stand and fight as she knew best.

 

 

The sudden change caught him unprepared; so sure she would take the bait, or in her run from it divulge further information. But this, the suddenness of the acceptance. It felt wrong, but she was so nice on the eyes. He battled internally with the voice who had been silent for so long; battled over her charms and the dangers that lay within her grasp. Deep down he knew there had to be a trap, she was a witch after all. They all worked for the same common goal; the destruction of all men who could touch the source. But at the same time there was an opportunity here. A risking it seemed he was willing to take. “You are beginning to see the light, that is good. But I never mentioned submitting to you.” His voice was strong, the note filled with an edge; his feet moved involuntarily closer.

 

He was after information, her flesh just another means to use against her to secure that information. Yet why should he deny himself the reward of breaking her? He was a Dream Walker, she was a mere Aes Sedai forbidden to touch the source. Clearly he held the upper hand, his eyes glued to the tip of her tongue as it flashed out and drew enticingly slowly over her lower lip. The space closed further between him; not sure now who had taken the last step. “But if you are willing to teach I am willing to learn what it is that you have shared so freely with other men.”

 

A strange tension filled his shoulders, mind somewhat muddled. This was not right and yet so right all at the same time. The area around them shimmered and the grove appeared once more as the setting. Who did that this time, her or me? He raised his hand, the weave still at the ready though it's clarity was in jeopardy of slipping. “Come, kneel here and tell me of these lessons you would give me.” He was suddenly aware of how long it had been since he had known a woman, the opportunities almost nonexistent in the Black Tower until now.

 

 

Who was in control? Lavinya hardly felt it, despite the way Linten’s eyes followed the darting movement of her tongue as he closed the gap between them. He was close, too close, and Lavinya fought a roiling surge of revulsion. This was her game, her rules, and she would not falter. She just needed to fool him, distract him, by any means. So long as he was not dictating the terms of their meeting, she would survive. Assuming she could convince him that her disgust for him was truly desire. All men where the same, it seemed. He wanted her touch, her guidance, yet refused to submit and lose any of his precious control. Let him think he played her along, in the end she would be holding the blood-tipped knife.

 

“I meant only submit to my teaching. It is hardly masculine for a man to bow to a woman in the arts of love, is it?” Light, let her choose the right words! She should touch him, all her Domani teaching told her that, cement physically what she painted with words, but she oh so did not want to. His voice was strong, but like all men he was weak, already swaying to her imagined touch, foolishly and unwittingly submitting to her will as she pulled his strings as though he were no more than a marionette. Her movement was slow and deliberate, as though indicating there was no threat in the move, though in reality Lavinya was fighting the urge to snatch her hand away and step back a few paces. Her fingers rested delicately on the soft fabric of Linten’s shirt, fearful that at any moment he would catch her in a vice like grip, but for the moment he simply watcher her, nothing betraying his thoughts save the slight swelling of his chest as he breathed deeply at her touch. You are mine, and you will be broken, Lavinya thought. “There is much I could teach you, if you were willing.” She breathed softly, hating herself deeply for taking satisfaction in the appreciative gleam in his green eyes.

 

Tread carefully, lest this moment be your last. With infinite grace and patience, Lavinya sank to her knees, drawing on all her training to stay calm. Her fingertips brushed down Linten’s arm as she moved, light as a feather, before allowing them to linger at his thigh, tense beneath the scant touch. She was in a very vulnerable position, cowed at his feet. Yet she was not unprepared. Let him think her subdued; it would be all the more in her favour if he was at ease. “What would you have me teach you?”

 

Linten & Lavinya

 

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Electricity lit every nerve ending in a charged line of contact as her feathery touch slipped over him. Concern hovered in the background, something in the back of his mind told him to be cautious. But the light pressure of her fingers resting on his chest; not fighting him. It all worked against that alarm, the sultriness that filled her voice and dripped in every word. He had heard Domani women were suppose to be wizards of spellbinding the mind through desire. A desire hinted at but never acknowledged, the intangible notion radiating to his core and filling him; pushing out the thoughts one by one as she claimed more of his focus, more of his thoughts. His mind began to wander to thoughts and dreams deeply kept. Bared from all save the voice that shared his head.

 

 

Intense pleasure lit his eyes as she slowly sank to her knee's before him. This was how it was always suppose to be; an Aes Sedai's true place. Humble and willing at the feet of male channelers. The corners of his mouth pulled up at the sight that filled his eyes, an uncontrolled shiver jolting his back as her fingers tailed down his arm matched to her movements. A part of the world as he had always know it should be bore out before him in her servitude and he made a mental note to see her like this tomorrow in the woods. Imagination began to work against him; how often had he visualized something like this, the grove shimmered and became a huge hall of midnight black expanse. Walls and floor a like in unrelieved black rock; it's only splash of color where the two golden thrones. One upon the dais; dragons adorning it. The other, little more then an ornate chair. Only it's gold appearance gave it the look of a throne. Yes his thoughts followed the movement of his eye. This is how it is suppose to be. A witch at the ready and the Dragon himself only higher. Linten glanced down at the top of Lavinya's redhead, his hand stretched out to pet her hair in small loving strokes. Approval of the master given to the pet. Perhaps he would collect her again when the time was right and allow her the honor to serve him. A place of raised authority over that of the other common witch servants. He frowned briefly as his eyes took in her bowed form. A slight adjustment of the mind and she was properly attired in the filmy material of a true Domani dress; the Black film hugging her form with highlights of red set to match that of her hair. The finishing touch was the seven striped stole that rested lightly on her shoulders. Complete, the vision was complete. His smile lifting to the large throne on the dais, the Dragon would be pleased with the place of respect his servants had finally reached.

 

“Tell me again, my dear pet, how you will lead your sisters to the peace we now share?” His voice slightly absent as he sank further into his false reality. “But first perhaps you can reiterate how you will keep my anger sated and your place secured.” His fingers entwined in her hair a grip on the verge but not in place; shadows of its existence. A whisper of the submissive toy he expected.

 

It chilled Lavinya to the bone, seeing the pleasure in the eyes of her tormentor as he gazed down at her submissive pose. She already knew fear at his hands, and now she was placing herself willingly at his feet as some sacrifice – what on earth was she doing? Did she honestly think this would work? What if it did? Could she go through with it? No, she had to, there was no other option now. The world around them shimmered and changed, a setting Lavinya had never seen, unrelieved black, save for the gold of the two thrones. Was this another game? Or perhaps an insight into the mind of a madman, his own inner desires affecting their surroundings for a change instead of Lavinya’s heightened emotions. It helped to remind her that despite his skill, Linten was not in complete control. This was the world of dreaming, and she could do her part.

 

His hand was brushing her hair as though in affection, and Lavinya had to hold in a shudder. She hated his hands on her, hated him so close, hated that he dressed her in something she would have chosen for herself, in what seemed like another lifetime. How would she lead her sisters? She wanted to laugh, to cry. If anyone believed she had gone willingly into Linten’s arms she would be practically anathema, scorned and forgotten. There would be no peace between them, not now, not ever. How could there be? Linten’s fingers were in her hair, a soft touch, but Lavinya read the silent command, knew how quickly those fingers could become a vice. If only Corin could see her now, she thought. Would it confirm her suspicions? That she was nought but a scarlet woman, putting another notch in her bedpost. Oh how she loathed herself, what she was, what she had been, what she was becoming.

 

Without a word Lavinya leant closer, her cheek resting against the fine black cloth covering Linten’s firmly muscled thigh. She knew what he wanted, knew what the desire that laced his voice betokened. He wanted to assert his complete control over her. Well, let him think he had won, she thought. Her fingertips were gentle as they caressed his calf, his knee, traced his thigh. She inched them higher, head tilted upwards to look into the face that smiled down its pleasure. There was an art to desire, one Lavinya had honed and mastered. How long before Linten grew impatient and demanded satisfaction? He had great self control, already she had learned that. Let it know hold out long enough, she thought, fingertips circling ever higher as out of sight beneath her pooled skirts, something small materialised into her palm.

 

Her finger tips continued to build a slow unyielding pressure; the fibres of his muscles tensing with each gentle movement. There was no doubt in his mind that she had been properly trained, knew the art intimately that her heritage had been praised for. So strong willed she had been, resisted almost everything he had thrown at her. The dreams had become his greatest asset, she had released more knowledge to him in this short session then she had the whole time in the woods under physical duress. But now, now she came to him broken and submissive as he had only dreamed possible. If he had not endured the earlier struggle for control in these dreams he might have believe he actually slept. The dream wholly his own. But that was not the case and he would be a fool to forget that.

 

Lavinya's head tilted up to him, chestnut gaze meeting his own. Her face was soft, the lines perfect and the expression simply breath taking in its complete acceptance of her position. The view quickened both his heart rate and his breathing. Innocence awaiting further orders painted for his own desires. No better picture could he have created in his own mind. The fantasy was mesmerizing; the reality would be breath taking. His fingers tightened their grip slightly. “Patience my pet. We have much in the way of time to enjoy the completions of such labor. No need to rush.” His voice wavered; raged edged with his building desire, her presence and skills beginning to take their toll on his control. Her fingers stop there advance but her hand remained, the heat seeping through his black uniform; cheek still pressed close. A very strong part of him wanted to close his hand tight, twist the hair it held in its grip and draw the conclusions he wanted. But he had been patient for so long now. He could afford a little more time. The innocence she played about her face contrasting with the skills she demonstrated had his head in a fog. “Tell me more about your conquests, how you would teach me; how you would serve me.” His other hand swept lightly across her cheek, “you want my command don't you?”

 

At least Linten was proving to be a little more than a crude boar when it came to the arts of the bedroom. It seemed he was content to allow her to take her time, to pleasure him completely...she smiled lightly as her hand stilled. The pleasure would be entirely hers. Lavinya stayed where she was, vividly aware of the hand casually tangled in her vivid red curls, the heat of his thigh beneath her cheek and palm. She had never truly surrendered to anyone, man or woman. Not in the manner she now appeared to obey Linten. Oh, she had sworn fealty to Sirayn, and that in itself was an incredible gesture, but she would never bow her neck to her, not truly. Of course, Linten knew none of this. For all he knew, it was her custom to bow to every whim of the man who sought her.

 

Lavinya shuddered as Linten’s fingers brushed her cheek, and prayed silently that he took the involuntary movement for desire. Things were rapidly spinning out of control, and she found herself becoming tangled in her own net. She could not lie, the oaths on the day of her raising made certain of that, and she was filled with certainty that evading the demand would bring hot coals down upon her head. She squeezed the hand that was hidden, gaining a small measure of confidence from the cool, sharp metal of the blade nestled there. “There are many things I could do for you, teach you.” Lavinya’s voice was soft and sultry, a calculated tone as she began to tell him with great detail each and every act she had ever indulged in, of all the secret goings on she had shared with her many lovers. None of them were important to her, save Corin, and of that evening no one would ever know – it was the one night she held sacred in her heart. She certainly had his attention now, his eyes locked on her face as the graphic pictures were painted for him, her hand idly stroking his thigh again as she spoke, lips moist and parted as though in invitation. He wanted those things; she could see it in his eyes. Wanted them and more, so much more. “You would like that, wouldn’t you?” She purred, eyes locked on his as the unseen knife was lifted and plunged cruelly into the muscle of his thigh.

 

Linten and Lavinya

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The heat of her breath across the delicate hairs of his wrist set his mind a flame in a kaleidoscope of visions and imagined passions. This was becoming too much for even him. How could someone simply be so perfect to all he had dreamed? She fended innocence to absolute perfection. Yet her movements; inflection in voice and choice of words all spoke of a training that promised more then even the stories could bring to picture. The hand on her cheek trembled at the descriptions she laid out before him. Of the magnitude in which she had acted, both carnal and simplistic. She was indeed the perfect pick for a companion slave to he who would rule as second under the Dragon. “Yes,” the word barely a gasp in answer to her question. He needed to taste the heat of her lips after the way she used them to control his vision, add vividness to the pictures her words painted. He leaned down, time for patience had past, time for action was now.

 

As if reading his very thoughts, pain exploded in his head, the hand from her cheek streaking to seize the delicate hand of Lavinya's; white knuckled as it gripped the knife's hilt fiercely. Shock cleared the desire filled mist she had placed in his head; the hot sun's rays clearing a morning fog. Pain was crystal clear in it's presentation, hot lines of fire racing up his nerves. Adrenaline surged through his body; both hand's closing in crushing fists. The small sounds of Lavinya's knuckles popping under the force of his grasp were drowned out by the rushing sound of his blood pumping. Fool! You play with a witch like she is a new born kitten. She is a huntress, a wounded mountain lion with no were to retreat to. “Witch!” His voice rang out hard in the darkness as his grasp riped her's from the dagger; his other was wrenching her head back and away from his thigh. “You though to kill me!” Anger fueled the near insanity rage that swept him like the foul scourge of taint in Saidin's embrace. Releasing her hand, the back of his scored hard a blow across her face. The force trying to snap her head away from him, but his grip on her hair kept it in place.

 

Emerald eyes, once lit with the heat of desire now burned with the lust for blood and vengeance. His grasp lifted her up from the ground before him, the motion carrying her across his view and hard against the table that had appeared. The space around them had changed; a dark room; instruments of pain hung suspended from no where on chains. Lying heavily over her back he secured the shackles in place. Pain; she liked pain did she? She wanted pain? She would have pain. His hands gripped the neck of the flimsy dress and ripped it down her back, baring her flesh to the air once more. His leg throbbed, felt a warm moist trail the length of it. What happened in the dream to one's body happened to the real body. Right now he was bleeding out in his bed, if he stayed he would die and she would get away with her betrayal. He glanced down briefly to the hit still sticking out of his leg. The blood was not the right color for an artery, he would live if he returned to the waking world now; sought medical attention. Leaning over her, he used his weight to press her slender form hard to the table; pulling her head back as far as he could with her hair. “This is not over. Sleep well for when you wake you will pay for what you have done.” Vengeance dripped heavily from his words as he whispered them into her ear; bit down hard on the lobe. Tomorrow she would pay like she had not imagined, in the waking world where she would have no power to stop him and no method to escape his vengeance short of death. With that he concentrated on the shiny golden dragon pin that would adorn his collar. It was a trick Covai had taught him to help in the return from the world of dreams to the world of waking. “Wake and regret the sunlight,” then he winked from existence and left her to her own mind.

 

How she had imagined the scene playing out was far different to the reality. Instead of recoiling and releasing her, Linten’s hands clenched on hers in a bone crushing grip, causing Lavinya to gasp in pain. Warm blood spilled over her hand, a small satisfaction before his cruel hand yanked her head back at an awful angle. Light, let it be a fatal wound! A terrifying rage was distorting Linten’s face, and Lavinya again new true fear, followed by blinding pain. Lights danced in her vision and fire bloomed in her cheek and scalp. She was lifted and tossed as though no more than a rag doll, making her realise just how foolish she was to play such a dangerous game with one much stronger than she. A glimpse of her surroundings was enough to make Lavinya squeeze her eyes shut as panic closed her throat, struggling in vain as she was again shackled and her gown rent from her skin. Lavinya was no expert, but she had enough learning behind her to know that what happened in the dream world could affect the waking. As much as it pleased her to think of Linten asleep, bloodying up his sheets, she was about to suffer a similar fate, if not worse.

 

Linten crushed her to the table, asserting his full and forced dominance over her. Lavinya whimpered as he lifted her by the hair, surprised it hadn’t yet been ripped from her scalp, such force he had been exerting. His words struck terror into her heart as he meant it too, before his teeth found blood in her sensitive ear...and then she was alone. Lavinya sagged in the bonds, sobbing into the table, unable to do anything else. She did not know if he was still toying with her, perhaps he was even now planning to attack her sleeping body. More and more she wept, tears of fear and anger, of helplessness and despair. She was way out of her depth, trapped in a world where she could no sooner touch Saidar than touch the moon, held as captive and slave. Why had she run away? Surely not even she deserved this! It took a while before Lavinya was calm enough to dream the shackles away, before slipping into a trembling pile on the floor...

 

She did not know what had caused her to wake, but suddenly she was back in her own borrowed bed, wet with her tears and in pain. Gingerly she pushed her legs over the side of the bed and felt on the small bureau for a taper and flint. Her hands shook so much it took several tries before she managed to light the candle, brightening the still dark room. There was a small, cracked mirror on the wall, and Lavinya hesitatingly lifted the candle towards it, drawing her breath as she took in the face that greeted her. A nasty bruise was already purpling her cheek, and there was a visible mark where the whip had burned her neck. Shaking, she pulled off her crumpled gown, gazing in horror at the thin line of dried blood on her thigh, at the marks she could completely attribute to Linten. He had promised revenge...it may be cowardly, but only a fool allowed their enemy to catch them unarmed. She would just have to make sure she was not left alone anywhere Linten could find her. Leaving the candle illuminating the tiny room, Lavinya lay back down onto the cot, curling her body into a ball and watching the flame as it danced, terrified of going back to sleep, and not moving until the first rays of sunlight spread across the sky.

 

Linten and Lavinya

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