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 Let's Not Waste The Moonlight, tag: ciar
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Kat is Offline
** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 30 | 32 POSTS
Wand 28

14" Alder, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Gryffindor) alternative text
May 16 2018, 01:04 AM
Summer had come and gone far too quickly for Royce's tastes, and in September he started to attend Eastwick, starting off the semester right by joining a few clubs and expanding his network with the rest of his DADA and the Law cohort. He had found less time to spend hanging out at the ministry, focusing more obviously on his studies. However, he'd built a certain bond during his internship with Ciar Pierce, and the young man didn't want to change a single thing once he got more busy. It would be the more romantic thing to write, and he did try for a while to make something work given his close friend's blindness, but times had changed- and most people had handled their crushes through texts on a screen. He wanted to be considerate, he wanted to be thoughtful- but most importantly: he wanted to show Ciar that he cared. So he called. As often as he could.

Royce didn't care and did care about many things- there was no spectrum, there were always extremes. If it wasn't in his immediate scope of attention, he paid absolutely no mind to it- but once he was determined to achieve a goal or satisfy something in his heart, Merlin help the people that stood in his way. He had to be absolutely mad. At first glance, Ciar had been seen as a mere idol of lust before his eyes, but when they got to know each other over the summer, learning each other's anecdotes he'd feared that he's stumbled into his first unrequited crush on a male. It made him nauseous, it made him want to throw things, and it made him want to reach for the stars and try.

But how?

Distraction.

One. He requested that his family not celebrate his eighteenth birthday. Two. Instead, he wanted a Halloween party, and if people wanted to bring presents, they were allowed to. Three. He wanted it to be classy, very mature. No gimmicks or kegs or similar to that of his secret parties in the Gryffindor dorm last year. Four. He wanted to invite Ciar to attend, so he did the only way he could- by dropping by in person during one of his less stressful weekends to do it himself. Inside that office he'd come to know for the summer like the day they first met face to face.

The night of the party, Royce had jitters all over his body, waiting anxiously on the large balcony overlooking the front lawns, watching every single guest appear in cracks and brooms in front of the Chevalier residence. He'd opened a few presents, blew out his candles, and spun on the dance floor in a matter of three highly social hours- but still no Ciar. He'd made is way back to the balcony, looking up at the sparkling sky- the expanse of stars so clear in the middle of Parisian nowhere. Maybe this was how it was meant to be- maybe this older guy was meant to inadvertently break his heart like this. The practical part of Royce tried to reason that this was meant to teach him how to not put all his eggs in one basket, when he heard the door to his room open behind him.

"Mama, for the last time- I'm not interested in dancing with Sylvia again, why do you keep trying to set me up with-" He saw who it was, and his heart stopped. "-her." He opened up the double French doors, and walked briskly over to take a closer look and enjoy the view in his doorway, a cheeky boyish grin that never endured the risk of disappointment displayed on his features, "The name's Bond, James Bond. I'm so glad you made it."

CIAR PIERCE

on the prowl
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The Fool on the Hill is Offline
CIAR PIERCE
Ministry Worker
*** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 35 | 60 POSTS
Wand 2

10" Apple, Hippogriff Talon
NET WORTH: 1471 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
May 16 2018, 04:30 PM
Ciar had found himself falling for his intern much faster than, he was sure, was ever appropriate. He had always had a problem with fancying people when he knew he shouldn't have, and here he was lusting after someone who had just come of age. What was wrong with him? It wasn't as if Royce was even interested. He was older, he was goofy, he was...homely. And he couldn't see. How could anyone love a person that could never tell them they were beautiful?

For some reason, after his time at the Ministry, Royce kept calling. Ciar was close with his parents now, and his little brother was a delight (which they all were at that age) and Ciar enjoyed spending time with the little one. It seemed like, even after they were finished with one another, they were always around one another. It might have been his imagination, but it seemed like Royce was going out of his way to be around Ciar and to talk to him. It turned out they had more in common than they'd thought and Royce was endlessly charming.

When Royce came in to personally invite him to his Halloween party, Ciar had effortlessly worn a smile on his face, but his stomach was in knots. What did this mean? Surely, he was just being polite, but he had gone out of his way to come and invite him and make sure that Ciar knew he wanted him to attend. That seemed like something special. He'd said he would do his very best.

The night of the party there was an accident at the Ministry. Stirrings of a strange new organization had been rumoured around the office. The president of Denmark had an attack on his life by a British citizen and Ciar was in a meeting that went far too long. The young man had been focused on an act of terrorism, but Ciar could not have defended him even if he'd wanted to. Still, with his position in the Department of Magical Cooperation cemented only recently, Kee had to deal with it.

By the time he'd gotten out, the party had been going on for hours. He wasn't even sure it was still going on. His brain was spinning with guilt as he hurried toward the row of fireplaces, bumping into co-workers and guests on the way out. He groped around for floo powder and unceremoniously stumbled into the fireplace as he shouted for the Chevalier household.

Claire greeted him with comforting words as he arrived, a little dusty from the floo network. She dusted him off and reminded him it was a Halloween party. He asked her if she would please turn his bowtie orange. That ought to do it. She led him to Royce's bedroom through a mass of noise and physical confusion.

"Well..." Ciar raised his eyebrows. "I mean if you really don't want to dance with Sylvia...but she seems lovely." He kept a straight face for only a moment before his face broke into a huge grin. He heard Royce approach, announcing himself as James Bond, and before he stopped to think about it he reached out with gentle fingers and touched Royce's chest to examine his costume. "Is that what you are? I'm...well I'm not dressed properly. They frown upon fancy dress in Ministry meetings..." The smile dropped from his face and his hand fell to his side again. His other hand gripped his white cane nervously. "I'm so sorry I'm late...I was on time and we had an incident...."

ROWLAND PRICE

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** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 30 | 32 POSTS
Wand 28

14" Alder, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Gryffindor) alternative text
May 16 2018, 05:45 PM
"Sylvia Cullane can't dance for shit, and Mama thinks it's funny that she fancies me." Royce went red in embarrassment, remembering that for entire hour he just had to bop his head to a beat while she did some sort of interpretative dance around him like some drugged up sprite while the rest of his family laughed, "Thank you for saving me from further traumatizing my guests," he froze when Ciar seemed to brush against the fabric of his suit jacket and decided to make a daring move, taking the cane gently from the older man's grip and putting it gently on his bed, "The wind from my balcony is the best, you have to feel it."

It almost made him want to burst into tears he was nervous, and was a hundred and ten percent sure that Ciar could feel his hands shaking as he guided them back outside. A part of being so youthful was an impulsive fearlessness and disregard for consequences, as most pop anthems went these days: tonight was the night, life fast die young, make the most of your moment- it all blurred into one message. Royce stepped onto the cold stone, the juxtaposition of natural warmth mixed with late autumn breeze created a comfort to him. He saw a patch of blonde hair in a short dress with a fur scarf in the distance, yelling out. He chuckled suddenly and bent over a little so the light from his room wouldn't make their silhouettes so apparent in the night sky.

"There she goes... you can hear her screeching from here." He was both amused and genuinely scared that they'd be found out, but it seemed like Sylvia had gotten a hold of the firewhiskey, "You look great by the way. I know how strict the Ministry tends to be in terms of dress, if I had my way this past summer- I'd have been in sweatpants the entire time." As he saw Sylvia get closer to the house, he decided to lower his voice even more to a whisper, purposefully putting himself even closer to Ciar- such a smooth excuse, "She's coming this way..." he added before going to address the man's previous comment, "What happened? My father is still in Denmark, but we expect him later this week."

It seemed like the International Magic Cooperation was becoming saturated with more cross-country disputes than ever, little uprisings and diplomatic trips had to be made to secure peace. There were times when he worried for the sake of his dad, but Eliott always came home unscathed. He didn't know what he'd do if Ciar had to go on one of those business trips- the Wizarding Wireless was still a relatively new experiment of integrated magic and technology. Even he didn't have the determination to fully take advantage of all its uses yet. His heart fluttered at not being able to hear that voice on the other end, recognizable without even glancing at the caller ID.

"Royce's eyes are like a jungle, he smiles it's like the radio..." Sylvia had found a guitar from out of nowhere, running through his lawns under trees and started singing at the fireflies, "He whispers songs into my window in words that nobody knows..."

"Aaaand now we're about to get a concert. Nope. we don't need this." He took out his cellphone and quickly texted his mother to take care of Sylvia and get her back inside. The last thing he needed was for Ciar to hear one of her famous love-sick songs she often liked to create about guys she fancied, and Royce was unfortunate enough to be on such a list, "She's so crazy. She's ruining... my view."

He covered his face with his hands, peeking out at Ciar next to him, and his heart sank remembering that he'd never be able to see all the constellations that seemed to shine exclusively just for them. He wished he could steal all the stars in the sky and use whatever magic they were made of to give Ciar's vision back so they could see each other completely, but to see true love without one's eyes was an even more complicated and deeper kind of fall.

And Royce didn't mind a single bit.

CIAR PIERCE

on the prowl
+ London
+ Libra
+ Pansexual
+ Single
The Fool on the Hill is Offline
CIAR PIERCE
Ministry Worker
*** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 35 | 60 POSTS
Wand 2

10" Apple, Hippogriff Talon
NET WORTH: 1471 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
May 16 2018, 07:59 PM
Ciar chuckled at Royce's insult where he felt he would have frowned were it someone else. He tried not to laugh. Honestly, the thought that there was a girl that fancied Royce rubbed him the wrong way, but she wasn't the one standing in his bedroom now, was she? Ciar scolded himself silently. He had to stop thinking that way. There was no evidence that Royce was interested. He was allowing himself to be carried away in fantasy. The whole experience, though, was making him giddy, and he couldn't help but laugh a little at how frustrated Royce was.

"You know I'm always up for saving you, should you need it." He laughed nervously, thinking maybe it would be safer for him if he just didn't talk for the rest of the evening lest he continue to embarrass himself.

Ciar felt the cane being gently taken from his hand. His initial reaction was to hold on tighter, but immediately he realized Royce must be taking it and he loosened his grip immediately. Did he trust this man to literally be his eyes for him? Yes, probably. That was an alarming thought, but he allowed himself to be led to the balcony. "I would be delighted..." He could think of nothing else to say and didn't trust himself to speak.

The balcony was lovely. There was a light breeze and it was rather warm for October. Ciar took a deep breath and tightened his grip on Royce. "This is wonderful," he said with a serene smile as he put a hand out to search for the balcony railing. His hand landed on a wrought iron bar and he moved carefully to the edge, releasing his grip on the younger man.

He giggled at Sylvia screeching and wondered just how much she had to drink, but found himself distracting and blushing at Royce's compliment. "Thank you...I know a three-piece must be a bit much for your party..." He straightened the lapels on his jacket as he spoke, but stopped when he felt Royce get much closer to him. The other man's low voice and close proximity sent Ciar's brain into a frenzy. He was suddenly overtly aware of his entire being and willed himself to calm down, though his heartbeat was betraying him.

"Your father is fine," he said softly as he struggled to recall the details of his meeting. "We have a few people in Denmark...there was a diplomatic meeting and...some kind of radicalist group planned an attack on the Danish president..." He knew he wasn't supposed to give any details to anyone outside their department, but Royce felt like part of the department and his father would most likely give him an update when he got home anyway. Ciar didn't want him to worry while Eliot was away. "He will be fine, I promise. We just spoke this afternoon, he seemed completely..." He trailed off as he heard some strange squealing from below.

Apparently the squealing was singing and it was Sylvia. Ciar chuckled again, but it was apparent her presence was bothering Royce. "Well, if she's bothering you then let's go inside," he suggested with a soft smile. He laid a hand on Royce's arm and was reminded again how close they were standing. "Come on, let's go inside."

ROWLAND PRICE

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Kat is Offline
** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 30 | 32 POSTS
Wand 28

14" Alder, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Gryffindor) alternative text
May 16 2018, 09:42 PM
"You're just a regular Prince Charming, aren't you?" Royce teased, "Guess you finally have a costume. It fits."

Even though Thibault was the technical crown prince of the family, this didn't mean like Royce ran his life as if he didn't grow up with privilege and splendor. Tibby at his young age was so much more humble, where Royce was more boastful and proud. But there were never any fairy tales with two princes, the hetero-normative pressure of finding his own princess during his days at Hogwarts was so uncomfortable and unpleasant. He'd lied to Phoebus for three straight (pardon the pun) years about enjoying a "proper" snog with some female-nobody in the nearest broom closet. And don't get him started on how horrid it was to get even more physical than that.

Royce was glad to hear his father was okay, but things in Denmark sounded intense. He hoped that sort of dispute wouldn't happen close to home and risk his family's lives. There were enough whispers around about some group named Purium with deep red robes committing crimes against muggleborn, which seemed enough political unrest to last for decades to come. He'd hoped it was all over when Voldemort was defeated all those years ago. As Ciar suggested they go back inside, he agreed audibly and opened the double French doors wider to accommodate them. The screeching had seemed to fade as quickly as it came, and their feet were now standing on fluffy carpet.

"Hey... I saved something for you. Feel free to take a seat over here." He walked with Ciar over to a couch near by the fireplace in his room, and once settled he got up to exit the room, jogging downstairs towards the kitchen, "Pardon me, no thanks on the punch, please clean that up, excuse me- pick up your dress or someone's going to fall over, Tibby's accident prone," he said quickly as he wiggled through the sea of people.

Once he got what he needed, he carefully ascended up the stairs, making sure that he wasn't being followed. Royce closed the door with the back of his heel and set a glass of cold milk on the coffee table in front of them, the warm glow making Ciar's skin shine brightly. He wanted to apologize for leaving, even for a second, because it had to be quite disorienting to simply trust a young guy like him. Still, he hoped that it was all worth it.

"The day we met, you said that your favorite food was chocolate cake. So, I saved the last slice just in case you happened to show up. Here's the fork." he put the utensil in Ciar's hand and sat back, relaxing on the couch, wanting the butterflies in his stomach to stop, "I also got milk."

Royce knew he could be a very careless, selfish bastard. But infatuation and a very chosen few got to see this side of him. It was startling how differently he wanted to act around his former summer associate, this crush was like this overflowing cauldron with a brew he wanted so desperately to taste. What Royce would give to lick that icing off... down, teenage hormones.

CIAR PIERCE

on the prowl
+ London
+ Libra
+ Pansexual
+ Single
The Fool on the Hill is Offline
CIAR PIERCE
Ministry Worker
*** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 35 | 60 POSTS
Wand 2

10" Apple, Hippogriff Talon
NET WORTH: 1471 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
May 17 2018, 07:33 AM
Ciar chuckled along with the Prince Charming comment, but felt his face getting hot - an irrational, biological reaction to flattery. How was it that this man - a boy really - was allowed to be so smooth and charming himself? Ciar had always been proud that he was a people person, able to charm his way in or out of most situations with sincerity and a quick smile. But Royce was something else. It's like he was blessed with the innate ability to make Ciar feel good. That should have been a crime, and yet here they were, going back into his bedroom together. Oh boy.

And suddenly he was alone. He wasn't sure what Royce had saved for him, but Ciar sat contently on the couch by the fire. How had he gotten here? This was like something out of a dream. Here he was, in Royce's bedroom, next to his fireplace, getting all cozy. A pang of guilt flourished in Ciar's stomach. He probably shouldn't be here, taking Royce away from all those people downstairs. What if someone came looking for him?

A second later he was back and Ciar heard a clink of a glass on the table next to him. His first thought was Royce had brought them drinks, which sent his heart into overdrive. "What..." But when Royce spoke his heart sped up for an entirely different reason. He wasn't trying to get him drunk, he was wooing him with cake. "Oh my god," Ciar said under his breath. "How...how did you remember that I said I loved cake? This...wow. Thank you." He could feel his face heating up again, but part of him felt a little awkward eating the cake alone while Royce was watching him.

"Would...would you like to share it with me? I'd feel badly eating it in front of you..." He held the fork and the plate precariously on his lap and took a bit. "Oh lord..." he nearly moaned. "This is amazing. Thank you for saving me some." He paused a minute to swallow and chuckled, hoping he didn't look to awkward. "So...how is the party going? Are you enjoying your birthday so far?"

ROWLAND PRICE

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+ Scorpio
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Kat is Offline
** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 30 | 32 POSTS
Wand 28

14" Alder, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Gryffindor) alternative text
May 17 2018, 08:12 AM
"You're welcome, it's my pleasure." Royce blushed, glad that Ciar was enjoying his own surprise, "Sure, I'll have a little bit. I have to tell you, though- I've already had four slices of Mama's cake, so maybe it's good that you're not seeing me right now gaining fifty pounds. My family will have to wheel me out of here on a gurney."

He took the fork after Ciar had taken a bite and sliced off a bit neatly for him to take. There was a passing second when he thought about feeding him, his eyes widening and suddenly embarrassed at the temptation and layered scenario building rapidly in his brain. He took the bite without another thought could cross his mind, making the most of the spongy layers on his tongue and the chocolate whipped cream icing with the ganache in between. He would never tell Ciar, but for his birthday wish- he just wanted the man to arrive, even for two seconds. Now they were having this precious moment being close by his fireplace and eating cake. Royce was absolutely over the moon and giddy with how everything was turning out.

"A birthday is a birthday, I don't feel any different, to be completely honest." He wanted to underplay that it was indeed his eighteenth birthday, since he hated feeling like he had something to prove, "I used to have having my birthday the day before Halloween because it was hard to get people together when they wanted to plan out their costumes. But tonight's the first time I've chosen to embrace it instead of being an egotistical prat. The moon's full, the fog's in the air- it's always felt pretty ominous yet so beautiful on nights like these." Royce had always been drawn to the macabre of Halloween, he loved horror movies and creatures that hid under the bed fascinated him, "So, i'm glad you're enjoying the cake full of drugs... it's been my plot as a Vampire to drain your blood." he chuckled and sat back in the chair after taking a gulp from the glass of milk between them.

CIAR PIERCE

on the prowl
+ London
+ Libra
+ Pansexual
+ Single
The Fool on the Hill is Offline
CIAR PIERCE
Ministry Worker
*** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 35 | 60 POSTS
Wand 2

10" Apple, Hippogriff Talon
NET WORTH: 1471 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
May 17 2018, 09:34 AM
He giggled as Royce took the fork from him. They were sharing cake by the fire. How...romantic. The forbidden word crossed his mind and he recoiled immediately. No. He shouldn't think like that. Ciar reached out for Royce again, his left hand steady on the plate of cake, right hand landing on what he quickly discovered was Royce's shoulder. Light fingers danced over the lapels on the younger man's jacket and up to his neck. "You certainly don't feel like you've gained fifty pounds," he said as he dropped his hand. Mapping out an image of someone using touch was a normal way of assessing things for him. It seemed like almost nothing to reach out and explore. Even with Royce. There was one thing that was bothering him though. For the first time in a very long time, Ciar wished he still had his sight.

"You've never had a Halloween party before?" he exclaimed. "I would have combined my birthday with Halloween every year. I used to love the decorations, jack-o-lanterns, all the fancy dress..." He remembered how amazing Halloween had been. It was a big deal in his household. "A birthday wrapped up in a holiday seems like even more cause for celebration. Oh!" Ciar carefully placed the cake on his lap and reached into his jacket pocket in order to dig around for a small, red envelope which he pulled out and handed to Royce. On the front, in terrible chicken scratch, was Royce's name.

"I'm sorry I didn't get you more than a card, but, to be honest, I wasn't sure what sort of gift I could get you so...well I figured a promise would be good enough. I'll take you out somewhere. Wherever you want. We can celebrate." He beamed at the younger man. Secretly, he'd been rehearsing that for weeks in his head, and now his doubts of rejection were bubbling up but only slightly. It didn't seem like Royce would object much to the two of them going for tea somewhere.

"Also, if you can't read it, let me know, because I hand wrote it and...well I haven't seen my handwriting in a very long time." He had asked Dani a colleague to help him choose a card and he'd filled it out himself. It was probably a mess.

He took another bite of the cake. It was one of the most amazing cakes he'd ever had. It probably looked beautiful and cost a fortune. "I'm okay with that," he said in answer to the vampire comment. "The cake tastes so good I think it's a fair trade. What are you going to do? Throw me on the bed and suck me dry?"

As soon as the words were out of his mouth he froze. "I..." He felt his face getting hotter and hotter, the terrible sensation crawling down his neck. "I meant...well there's this old muggle movie called Dracula about a vampire...and in the movie he...tosses the girl on...it's....nevermind. Oh god." He could barely speak. "I'm sorry...that sounded so awful haha...." It was probably painfully clear to Royce now that Ciar's intentions were not entirely platonic. He had the sudden urge to flee from the house.

ROWLAND PRICE

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Kat is Offline
** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 30 | 32 POSTS
Wand 28

14" Alder, Kneazle Claw
NET WORTH: 5 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Gryffindor) alternative text
Yesterday at 12:07 am
Royce watched very carefully where Ciar's hands were travelling, wishing nothing more than to take it and kiss the man's knuckles, but maybe it wasn't the right time. He didn't want to put a foot out of line just yet, still terrified of being turned down by someone so accomplished and older. Royce shivered, turning his neck to the other side as if moving into those fingers that danced so gracefully on his body regardless of blindness. He finally had the opportunity to regain his breath once that contact faded away and he craved that physical attention, pleading through his eyes to bless him with that secret sin again.

'Used to?' he asked in his head until it dawned on him what it probably meant, especially with all the decorations. He desperately wished he possessed all the magic in the world to give Ciar his vision back, and he internally made that promise for as long as he was on this earth- to go out of his way to try. If it was at all possible. It was a bold statement, a bold promise he did not feel comfortable or ready to share aloud, but Royce's ambitions seemed to reach toward infinity and beyond.

"I just never made a big deal out of my birthday, just hasn't been as important to me. After fifteen it just felt... boring." He honestly didn't want to talk about his age any more than necessary, he felt like it would remind Ciar of the few years gap they had between them, "This was the first party where I allowed my parents to combine the two. I might be a changed man now. My own celebration of spooky things."

As he was handed an envelope, his heart warmed at the sheer image if Ciar trying to write his own name over the front. He traced the wobbly letters and his bottom lip quivered, a trait he'd inherited from his mother when trying to hold something back. Hearing what his present was made music play in his head, like the beginning of some grand orchestral score. It was very confusing. Did this mean anything? They'd gone out to eat on work-lunches before, and he'd imagined all of them ending differently. They were always kept professional, in public, laughing and joking about their daily business and getting to know each other over time.

"You might need to read this for me," he said softly before getting distracted by mere phrasing, "I-" they started forming sounds at the same time, his mind going obviously south, "I know the movie, you don't need to explain it to me. My father has a penchant for classic films."

Royce knew he could be a very careless, selfish bastard. But infatuation and a very chosen few got to see this side of him. It was startling how differently he wanted to act around his former summer associate, this crush was like this overflowing cauldron with a brew he wanted so desperately to taste. What Royce would give to lick that icing off... down, teenage hormones. He folded his hands over his lap and stared down at the carpet again, his bottom lip quivering harder, the constant onset and reminder of how all this effort could be for naught was shaking up his entire world.

"Ciar, Dracula couldn't have possibly gotten it all wrong. He was a monster, but at least he was passionate. But by no means are you a Mina. I'm sorry," he shook his head, "... If I was Dracula and I had to pick someone to steal away and ravish deep into the night, I'd probably pick someone I didn't have to change for keeps. Because maybe they're wonderful and handsome and intelligent all on their own."

The room had gone quieter now, and he allowed his confession to drift in the air- waiting for a pin to drop.

CIAR PIERCE

on the prowl
+ London
+ Libra
+ Pansexual
+ Single
The Fool on the Hill is Offline
CIAR PIERCE
Ministry Worker
*** Halfblood Wizard | AGE: 35 | 60 POSTS
Wand 2

10" Apple, Hippogriff Talon
NET WORTH: 1471 ʛ
Hogwarts Alumni (Ravenclaw) alternative text
Yesterday at 08:45 am
Ciar’s heart slowed ever so slightly as they both tried to diffuse the awkwardness from the situation. He seemed to understand that the phrasing had just been strange...and even though Ciar had still embarrassed himself beyond reckoning, the atmosphere in the room had become stressful, but for a whole different reason.

Royce launched into a rather long sort of speech, and Ciar found himself entirely confused. His thought process almost entirely stopped as Royce spoke. He’d...pick someone...wonderful and handsome? Surely he couldn’t be talking about Ciar? ”Oh...I…” For a few moments after Royce was finished, Ciar sat, trying to determine what was going on. It seemed like...he was trying to instigate something.

It was always a mystery how one knew when to act upon internal, unconfirmed feelings. There was nothing concrete that told Ciar that it was a good time to do something, but he could feel it in the tension in the air. They were sitting too close, and he thought he could hear something in Royce’s voice and in his words. Without deciding on a course of action, he reached out and took the young man’s hand in both of his and held it tight. He allowed cautious fingers to trail over his knuckles, up his arm, and to his chest where he gently, but firmly, grasped the edge of Royce’s jacket lapel. The back of his fingers brushed against the other man’s tie and Ciar tugged Royce forward so carefully that Royce would certainly know what he was offering, but he couldn’t instigate himself. Ciar leaned forward, holding himself steady with his free hand on Royce’s knee so he didn’t topple forward. He wasn’t sure how close they were, but he thought he could feel Royce exhaling. Ciar held his breath. The air was thick with anticipation.

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