(Warning on this one for language/violence/adult stuff)
We interrupt this story arc to bring you..... a random Lark story.
When Lark first met Pitch, she had some stuff going on. I worked out what it was fairly quickly, but hadn't bothered actually writing it out until now. Tonight I figured I would get it out of my head- I could really use the free space... >.>
Also, young Tuah was really fun to write about. ^_^
The Night elf sat on a rock overlooking the beach, just at the edge of the trees. She felt empty, drained, as she wondered just how her life had suddenly turned out so bad.
* * * * * *
Lark paced around the tiny cottage, waiting for Darik to arrive. She was filled with mixed anger and humiliation. How could he have gotten away with this for so long? She shook her head- it didn't matter anymore. She was done with him.
When she finally heard his step at the door she was ready. The big, burly human stepped inside and shut the door, then halted in surprise when he saw her. "So," she said, cold anger in her voice. "When were you planning on telling me about your other 'toys', hmm? Or were you ever going to? Must be nice to have a half-dozen girls all waiting at your beck and call, with none of them knowing about the others. Not even your wife." She spat the last word out, then waited for his reaction.
Darik simply stared at her, his expression devoid of any emotion. "Where did you hear that?" he finally asked her quietly. "From your drinking buddies," she replied acidly. "All of them, and all separate, so unless they all collaborated the story ahead of time, they spoke the truth. You can't talk your way out of this one, Darik."
Now he came toward her, and she took an involuntary step back at the fury that suddenly showed in his eyes. "So you found out. It doesn't matter, anyway- you're stuck here, away from your people and surrounded by mine. This changes nothing." "Oh you think?" she snapped back. "You think I'm going to stick around and play nice whenever you're around, knowing that as soon as you get bored you'll go off to one of your other whores? Think again, Darik. I'm done here." He grabbed her arm, the fingers digging into the skin and muscle. She tried to pull away, but he was too strong and held her easily.
"Listen to me, you bitch," he snarled. "I'm not gonna let you leave and have you run off to tell the rest. You're stuck with me until I say so, or else." "Else what?" Lark snarled right back, trying to hide the fear she suddenly felt. "Just what do you think you can do to stop me, tough boy?"
Lark was taller, but Darik was still stronger. His fist swung out of nowhere, and she felt her lip split under the blow. She tried to strike back at him, but he still had her arm in his other hand, and he yanked her off-balance. His next punch knocked her to the floor. Her head struck the ground and she saw stars for a moment, then Darik was kneeling over her, his knees pinning her arms as he rained blow after blow down on her face.
After what seemed like forever, the blows stopped. Lark was struggling to hold on to consciousness at that point, too sick and dizzy to resist. She could feel blood running from her lip and a cut above her eye. She managed to open her eyes, to see her former lover glaring at her with a spark of triumph, and something else, in his eyes. When he began fumbling with his belt, all she could do was close them again and hope she passed out.
She had no such luck, and when he finally climbed off her she felt degraded and humiliated, as well as beaten half to death. "When I get back," she heard him say. "I expect to find supper ready and waiting. You can clean this mess up too, while you're at it. You've bled all over the floor." He leaned down over her as her eyes opened again, and she fought to keep from flinching back. "And if you still think you can leave, keep this in mind. If you're not here when I get back, I'm gonna track you down and finish this. You won't be able to tell anybody anything if you're dead." With that, he turned back toward the door and left.
Lark curled up on her side and just lay there for a long while. When her head stopped spinning, and she was finally sure of which direction was up, she slowly climbed to her feet. Then she went to the wash basin and cleaned herself up, before going to get a bucket of scrub water.
She hated herself for it, but she knew he was right, in one thing at least. Darik was a superb tracker, and made his living from hunting rare creatures out in the marsh, then taking the skins, meat, and trophies from his kills and selling them at various markets. Now she knew why those markets were so scattered- it made hiding his "toys" that much easier. She knew that when he had promised to track and kill her if she left, he was perfectly capable of carrying out the threat. And she also knew that he would do it without hesitation. So she couldn't leave; not while he was alive, at least.
While she worked, however, a cold, calculating anger was spreading through her. She didn't want to see him again, couldn't stand the thought of him touching her. Thoughts and plans worked themselves out in her mind as she went through the motions of putting a stew together, then scrubbing the floor clean. When she was done, she went and found one of his skinning knives, then hid it just under the edge of the mattress on her side of the bed.
When Darik returned, everything was as he had wanted it. He didn't bother even trying to hide his smirk as she fixed his plate for him, then sat down with her own. Once supper was over she was hoping he would leave again, but she wasn't at all surprised when he pointed toward the bedroom, looking at her expectantly. The thought of having him touch her filled Lark with violent revulsion, but she made herself play the cowed, well-behaved mistress, and let him have his way. She knew full well that he usually fell asleep right after.
He didn't disappoint her, his light snores filling the room soon enough. Lark slowly slipped her hand to the mattress edge, then underneath, pulling the knife out silently. She turned over to face him, steeled herself, then clapped one hand over his mouth. Her other hand drove the knife home, into his heart. His eyes popped open, staring at her in shock before they slowly glazed over. She waited until she was sure he was dead before removing both hands and the knife, then she quickly left the bed.
She pulled on her traveling clothes, then started filling a pack. Darik hadn't been particularly well-liked, but he was still a human, and she knew that the other humans would immediately start an investigation into his death. She had to get out, and fast. The moon was still high in the night sky when she slipped out of Theramore and into the marsh.
* * * * * *
She couldn't remember much of her flight to Auberdine. She felt a bit safer back among her own people, but realized that she would have to stay on the run for possibly a long time. But for now she just wanted to rest, and try to collect her scattered thoughts.
Lark had killed people before- mostly they were criminals with bounties on their heads, although on a few rare occasions she had had to kill to defend herself. But never had it been in cold blood, with the other person looking into her eyes. She sometimes woke in the middle of the night, feeling Darik's eyes staring once again into hers. The nightmares- if they could be called that- were fading, but slowly.
She had lost track of how long she had been sitting on the rock when a curious trill broke her reverie. She looked over to the side to see a young moonstalker, probably about a year old, playing the keep-away game- creeping up to sniff at her, then jumping back out of reach. Lark just watched for a bit, then the moonstalker froze in place when she chuckled. "All right, what are you up to?" she asked him. The cat blinked at her, looking for all in the world like a toddler that had been caught doing something he shouldn't, then suddenly jumped away, dashing back into the trees.
He was back within minutes, sneaking up on her warily, unaware that she was watching him from the corner of her eye. He crept up to her pack, lying near her feet, then froze again when she looked directly at him. "Excuse me, I don't think that belongs to you," she told him mock-severely. The moonstalker sat down and began washing himself nonchalantly, as if to say Look at me, I'm not doing anything wrong. Lark chuckled again, and he stopped to stare at her. "Don't you have something better to do?" He grumbled at her, sounding like a grumpy old man, and she laughed. The louder sound startled him, and he went running into the trees again.
She watched for him, but he didn't return and she finally gave up, going back to her private musings as she looked back out at the waves. A sudden, soft blow on one foot interrupted them again, and she looked down to find that the moonstalker had snuck up on her and was now playing with her boots. He looked up but didn't run when she chuckled again. "All right, all right," she told him. "I get the point." He grumbled and went back to her boots.
When she finally left the rock, the moonstalker followed at her heels.
* * * * * *
Four years later...
Lark wandered into the small Eastvale inn, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the dimness. Tuah waited patiently outside, keeping watch over her gear. After four years, Lark finally felt that it was safe enough to be among people again, especially now that Darik's death seemed to be long-forgotten. She still had moments, but it was good to be with others again.
The hunter peered around at the few occupants in the common room as she went to the bar and ordered a drink. She listened to the gossip with half an ear, but she really wasn't interested. Right now she was looking for certain possible... company.
She ignored the humans- she was done with that road and refused to travel it again- and spotted another Kal'dorei sitting by himself at a corner table. She watched him for a while as she sipped her drink. He was definitely alone, and looked younger than her though not by too much. His clothing marked him as a druid; going by his build, most likely one of the feral path. He also appeared lost in thought, playing with his glass instead of drinking, and gave Lark- who considered herself a good judge of people- a general feeling of "safe". Her target acquired, she headed over to his table to say hi.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
(P.S. She will probably, at some point, tell Pitch about this, but most likely won't speak about it to anyone else.)