Late March, 112
She waited for him in virtual reality by a pool that resembled something from ancient Amarr. White columns surrounded the water, stretching up into the sky covering the area with a dome shapped painted ceiling. Flower petals floated across the water. Candles and torches were scattered about, illuminating her lithe form. She smiled. "Ah, there you are."
He glanced around at the manifested scene, smiling, "This is cool," then looked to her frowning, "Doesn't beat seeing you in person though How are you?" He stepped over to her.
Shalee bit on her bottom lip as he he frowned. "I am well." Her feet dangled into the water as she sat on the edge of the pool. She wore a sheer white bathingsuit wrap across her torso, bunched up around her thighs. "You don't like VR?"
He smirked as he pulled out a piece of paper and unwrapped it, revealing a dark chocolate, "Nah....it's cool, but it's virtual....you know?" He shrugged. "Still good to see you though." He sat down next to her and offered a bite, "Want a piece?"
She gave a little nod as she leaned over to him and opened her mouth, "Yes."
"They say you can almost taste it..." He moved his hand up and placed the bar on her tongue.
She wrapped her lips around it and pulled it from his fingers, slipping it into her mouth. "Mmm." She chewed and swallow. "I can taste it." She looked at him trying to gauge his mood, wishing she knew him better.
He chuckled a bit and smiled at her, "You can? Hmm...so, aren't you going to ask how I am?"
"How are you Eran?"
"I'm good actually.....very good, thank you." He smiled as he tore his gaze from her to look around the place again, "So is this somewhere you know?"
She shook her head, "No I've never been here. I just thought it was pretty."
"It is nice...tranquil."
"....intimate." She said, staring at him, her heart racing.
"Yeah...." He turned his head to her, looking into her eyes, his mouth opening a bit in surprise. "...what have you been up to the past two days?"
"Missing you. And you? What have you done?"
He chuckled a bit, "Sleeping....and spending any other time planetside. I've been thinking of you too."
"Thinking what, precisely?"
"Hm? Just about you....wondering what you've been up to. When I would see you again." He smirked.
"And yet I had to contact you. I almost thought you were losing interest in me." She side glanced at him.
"At least this seems real, maybe." He frowned, "I'm sorry, I've been busy. Very tired too..."
She smiled prettily, attempting a sultry little pout of her lips, thinking she wasn't the best at seduction, apparently. "Don't apologize, you don't owe me anything." She stood and walked over to the steps that lead into the marbled pool. Firelight flickered behind her from one of the torches, illuminating her every curve as she pulled away the wrap, letting it fall to the floor before starting into the water. She gave a glance to him, blushing, "Will you swim with me?"
He looked over at her, as she descended into the pool, his eyes wide, "Uhm...s-sure, why not?" He laughed while standing up, taking off his shirt and kicking off his boots, he jumped into the pool with the rest of his clothes on, shouting as he cannonballed, "Waaaahooo!'
He emerged from the depths and shook his dreads, wiping his face with his hands, then paddled over to Shalee. He smirked and splashed her face lightly by smacking his hand on the water.
She sighed to herself, turning her head as he splashed her, "Stop." Her tone was sharp, frustrated.
"Okay..." He frowned "Not in a playful mood, I take it?"
She submerged herself into the water dipping beneath it to hide her utter humiliation before coming up for air in time to hear his question. "I can play." She forced a smile as she splashed him.
He closed his eyes and smiled, "I dunno....something seems on your mind...."
"Nope. Nothing." She sent another angry splash at him for good measure.
He opened his eyes again and looked at her curiously. Realization slid across his face.
She turned suddenly and swam away to the far end of the pool, swaying the water to shove away some of the flower petals.
He watched her in awe. His smile twisted into a licentious curve of his lips as he started to swim to her, never taking his eyes off of her. "So...what has you that you can't meet at Soft River?" His gaze travelled across her, taking in her wet hair, resting on her inviting lips, then finally he locked his eyes with her.
She pressed her back against the marbled wall, "I could have."
He neared her, extending his arms around her and pushed against the wall to stop himself inches infront of her, "But...?"
She tipped her chin up to meet his gaze. Every muscle in her body went tense with anticipation. "But...I couldn't... I mean..." Her cheeks flamed red. She'd never been good at seduction and was failing at it now. "I had a proposition."
He rested one hand on her shoulder and another lightly on her neck, "A proposition? What do you propose...."
She shivered beneath his touch. Her breath caught in the back of her throat as she stared at him. "I umm....you said.. that you would marry me. If you could. And the only thing stopping you is being on the wrong side of this war....so. I came here to tell you that I would marry you if you fought for this war." She went her lips nervously ..."in the Amarrian militia."
He looked at her, puzzled, then quickly pulled away.
"I will belong to you and only to you, Eran. I will be yours."
"Why would you propose that....you know I can't....I would love to be with you Shalee....I think.....but you asking me that...."
"Why? You say you want to end this war? You say you want to be with me? Then prove it. Be with me."
"Being with you won't end the war. Especially if I'm in the Amarrian militia."
"But you don't even care, Eran."
"I'd just be living a lie.....care about what?"
"You say you're leaving the Minmatar militia after the fall of Arzad?"
"Shortly after, yes."
"You don't care to stay and fight really but it is my passion. Winning this war is my passion, it means everything."
"And if it doesn't fall, I will leave anyway. Or at least pull away from the front."
"So stay with me. Fight with me, not against me. Be with me."
"I plan to stay with Valklear..." He looked sadly at her, feeling weak and helpless. "I don't want to fight you....I don't want to be in this war...but what I want isn't always for the best...for myself or those around me. You already know this, you told me before I should 'do my duty' if I needed to shoot you....you know I wouldn't. I just....."
She had gambled and she had lost. She had tried to tempt him with sex, love, and marriage, offering herself to him completely, "I know."
"....you know I can't turn on those who depend on me and love me."
"And what about my love?"
"If it's conditional upon me being a traitor..." He shrugged, torn. Hurt. "Understand my love for you isn't conditional. You seem a lot more bothered by the fact CONCORD allows us to shoot each other than me. We are people, not bound by CONCORD, but by God. That is what marriage is about."
She nodded, "It's fine. I didn't think you'd agree to it anyhow." She suddenly ducked underneath the water again, humiliated.
He frowned deeply, watching her submerge. He sighed and looked up at the painted ceiling, waiting for her to resurface.
She stayed beneath the water for as long as possible. Even if it wasn't reality, it felt real enough that she was breathless when she finally came up. She inhaled a big breath.
He swam back to her, stopping a foot or so infront of her. He took hold of one of her hands lightly as he looked at her, his expression worried, as if he's thinking what to say.
"You don't have to say anything."
"Whether or not we are fighting on the same side....well....yes, it would raise a lot of issues." He sighed, "Is your love conditional?" he asked with a weary sigh.
"No. But...wanting to be with someone who believes as I do? Who shares the same passions? Someone I could actually meet in public. Marry. Someone I could fly with instead of having to worry if his corp mates are going to murder me? We are in war Eran. And that is the cold harsh reality of you and I. Enemies beyond our games and this virtual reality. Thats why I brought you here. I can give myself to you here, but not for real. It's all pretend. Anyhow. I had to try, I hope you understand. But lets not speak of it anymore."
She swam away from him, pausing at the steps of the pool, "Do your duty and I will do mine."