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 An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)

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PostSubject: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon May 01, 2017 1:26 pm

It was mid afternoon and Julienne had found herself within the owlery. Sometimes the girl wandered to the space when she sought refuge in the vastness of the Castle. The immensity sometimes became too much for her mind to comprehend. Despite the fact that she had now been at Hogwarts for almost three years, the Hufflepuff still managed to get herself lost multiple times a day. One time, she had meant to go to the library in order to find a book for a paper that was due on hippogriffs or something of the likes. One wrong turn had led to another and she landed herself in the astronomy tower, her eyes seeing an exchange between two older students that no-one (or telescope, for that matter) should have to see.

At this moment, however; Julienne was not lost. A small smile formed in her lips because for once she had gone exactly where she'd meant to go. The owls looked so content in their ways, flapping around in their areas. They looked content with their lives, despite their captivity. If she had been an owl, the girl would have flown far from here long ago. How could a bird stay in one place if they were able to swim through the sky and never look back?

She found the tips of her hair turning from brown to a soft green. A sigh of frustration escaped her mouth before she could stifle it, causing a nearby owl to awaken from the serenity of his nap. Lately, she had found that her features, especially her hair, had become susceptible to her mood. Blue for sorrow, red for anger, and so on and so forth. In this moment, the green more than likely represented her envy towards the owls' freedom.

Moments later, one specific owl began to call out to her. The owl flew towards Julienne, attempting a flip in the air but failing on the way. The girl smiled. The owl seemed to have sensed Julienne's displeasure with the world in which she lived. Out of her pocket, the Hufflepuff gathered a few berries from a small pouch in her pocket.

"Thank you, Echo," she smiled to the bird for her efforts. In all Julienne's years, Echo had been one of her only friends. The bird had always known what Julienne was feeling and she could always lighten the mood. Julienne appreciated having her around.

She then heard the sound of shoes tapping against the floor, footsteps approaching the owlery. Julienne's breathing quickened. She hadn't expected to see anyone today. She was not prepared for the world. Quickly, the girl motioned for her owl to follow her to a small corner in the room. She hoped that the stranger would be unable to see her.

As the room grew silent, Echo cried out. The owl's sound rang through the owlery. Julienne shuddered. She was no longer safe from interaction. The owl seemed to smile, mischief glowing in its eyes.
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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Wed May 03, 2017 2:20 pm

Latest letter in one hand and a sketchbook tucked under the other arm, Kylian made his way up to the owlery, hoping not to get lost this time round. The first time he tried to find the owlery, he'd gotten the layout of the castle very, very wrong and ended up in the Ravenclaw's tower. How, he had not been sure. There was a dim recollection of someone asking him a question that he wasn't sure how to answer (Who founded something for some reason; he couldn't recall the name), and so he did what he did best -- he retorted with a dry comment ("Someone with a mother and a father who was alive").

A door had opened and he'd entered, heading towards the stairs, only to stop halfway in a step as he realised he was surrounded by Ravenclaws looking oddly at him. There was a fireplace, and a banner that held the emblem of an eagle, and his eyes went wide.

"Nice common room," he found himself saying. "Thanks for having me." He spun and left before anyone could say anything and hid in his room for the rest of the day, both mortified and amused that he'd managed to get there in the first place. It wasn't until later that he discovered that, apparently, smart-ass answers were accepted by the door from older students who had, by that point, gotten bored of the whole thing.

He'd made a few friends from that incident, Ravenclaws his age who had found it hilarious a transfer Gryffindor had 'broken into' the Ravenclaw tower, and he'd been pardoned for his mistake. One of them had shown him the proper way to the owlery, and Kylian had done his best to memorise it. From then on, though, he always double checked the door before entering.

Stepping out into the open air, he smiled to himself, whistling sharply once. His owl came flying towards him, and he tied the letter neatly onto the animal's leg. "For dad," he told the owl. "Don't bother waiting for a reply. Merlin knows he takes days to pen one, and I'll probably have a letter for mum waiting for you when you return."

The owl hooted and took off, and Kylian moved to one of the benches. He enjoyed the breeze up here, and he wanted to work on a sketch he was doing for his mother -- a compilation of smaller doodles of things she loved, forming a flower. It was for her birthday, and while that wasn't for a few more weeks he wanted to be prepared. She'd forbidden him from buying her anything after what happened the last time (he'd gotten her an adult toy as a joke; she'd laughed and then hexed him) and so it was a drawing it was to be.

A hoot caught his attention and he turned towards it, frowning a little as he saw a shadow that was definitely not from an owl in a corner of the building. Standing, he left his drawing on the seat and headed in its direction. "Hello?" he called out. "Is someone there? Are you okay? Do you need help?"
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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Thu May 04, 2017 1:00 pm

Julienne looked at Echo, trying to appear angered but ending up unable to shield the fear from here eyes. She curled up tighter in an effort to stay unnoticed, her heart beating quickly against the knees that she'd brought up to her chest. Through the owlery chaos that her feathered companion had instigated, Julienne heard a male voice calling out.

The girl's face had gone pale, her hair morphing back from green into its normal brown. She wished that this power of hers had come with the ability to camouflage into her surroundings. But of course, her power never managed to make itself practical.

"Is someone there? Are you okay? Do you need help?"

As she listened to the stranger calling out for her, Julienne found herself able to steady her breaths. Her heart reluctantly slowed its pace, causing the panic to subside. But without the panic, her body found itself craving a differing form of torture. Where the fear had once been, a deep pit of guilt crawled its way into her. Like a tick, the guilt was out for blood.

She hated herself for worrying whomever this was. He was wasting his time yelling through an empty room, only to eventually find Julienne hiding in the corner. She knew that he'd be disappointed that he hadn't found someone whom he was able to assist, or at least someone with whom he could converse. Julienne was sure he'd see her and just walk away.

But despite this, she couldn't bear the idea of leaving this stranger to wander the owlery, waiting to find someone who did not want to be found. Julienne took a few deep breaths, counting 4-7-8 alongside each exhalement.

Slowly, the girl forced herself to lift from her seated position. Echo looked to her with pride, as if this had been the owl's plan all along. Julienne's entire person quaked, legs feeling as though they had morphed into some form of gelatin (which, even though it was possible, did not actually happen).

She exited her corner of safety, the owls hooting as though they were cheering her on. She walked with her eyes focused on the floor, looking for another pair of feet instead of a face. The thought of maintaining eye contact seemed an unreachable goal. It would be better this way. Eventually, she saw a pair of sandals standing before her. Her lips began to curl themselves into a smile; he hadn't left yet.

'I'm alright,' The Hufflepuff wanted to say. She wanted to walk up to the boy and tell him that she was grateful for his efforts, that she appreciated the fact that he could care for a shadow that he'd never met. She wanted him to know that she appreciated the chivalry.

But instead, she offered him a shaky, "hello," never looking up from the ground. In that moment, she hated herself. There were a million things she could have said to the boy who cared enough to stand in a room and yell to her, but that was all her voice could manage to release.

Her eyes continuously focused on the floor, Julienne stifled a tear from her eyes. She was an idiot.

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Thu May 04, 2017 1:44 pm

Kylian was quite certain someone was there. The silence was almost uncomfortable, and he shifted from one foot to another as he looked around, wondering if he hadn't been heard -- if he should call out again -- or if he was simply being ignored, for whatever reason. Silence had simply never been something Kylian had ever grown used to; if there wasn't people around him, talking, he was listening to music on his phone.

The only reason he'd gotten one in the first place, really, was to keep in touch with muggleborn friends (or other halfbloods that had one). And then he discovered video games and music (Muggle artists weren't all bad) and now his phone and headphones were found wherever he was.

So no, silence wasn't a word in his vocabulary, but some deep instinct (probably obtained from his mother) told him to wait, to not make any sudden movements. It was new, this inner voice instructing him, but he'd heard enough stories from his mother and her colleagues to know that, if it ever popped up, to pay it full attention; more than likely, it was right. And as such, Kylian stood there in the awkwardness, waiting for something -- what, he wasn't quite sure.

But then, from the shadows, almost like a phoenix from the ashes, movement caught his attention and he turned, slightly, to see a female standing there. He didn't recognise her -- although that wasn't something out of the ordinary; he did just move to Hogwarts, after all -- but there was something about her that was familiar.

It wasn't so much her face (even if he couldn't see it, he knew it wasn't going to be familiar) or her clothes, or her hair, or anything physical. Rather, it was the posture, the way she refused to look up, keeping her gaze on the floor. It was the way she had taken so long to emerge. It was the way the 'hello' came out, shaky and uncertain and soft, as though afraid of her own voice.

Where had he seen it before? Kylian couldn’t place it. All he knew was that something was wrong -- very wrong -- with the female before him, and he didn’t mean that like some would say it, demeaning and harsh, words meant to hurt. Something had happened to make her like this, either experiences or brain chemicals (he had a friend with ADHD back in France, and he’d explained the technicalities of neurotransmitters to Kylian, who tried his best to understand but didn’t -- not fully). Either way, it wasn’t her fault, although he knew some people liked to blame those who had it; that wasn’t fair, and Kylian already found himself wanting to protect the person standing before him.

He also wanted to pull her into a hug and promise her things would be okay, but he wasn’t stupid -- firstly, he didn’t know her, and physical touch was always a personal preference. Secondly, and more importantly, sometimes things didn’t turn out okay, and he would never lie to someone in need.

But instead of doing either, all Kylian did was smile gently, although she couldn’t see it, and say, “What’s wrong?”
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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Fri May 05, 2017 1:27 pm

Of all of the abilities that Julienne had found herself capable of, the most useful had always proved to be the ones that took no magic whatsoever. As a young girl, even before her magic had begun to develop, Julienne had found that the best way to occupy her time was to walk around whichever world she was in and watch the different people who passed by her view.

Over the Summer months, Julienne often found herself exploring the expressions that would present on different faces. Her eyes danced across the language that flowed from each body. She noticed the emotions that were signaled by the twitch of an eye or the pauses between laughter.

By the time that she'd begun her time at Hogwarts, Julienne had gotten very good at reading people; not just by face or body language, but by the way with which each person presented emotion through their speech patterns. A lull between conversation usually meant that the two instigators had grown uncomfortable within the conversation. A softness within what was usually a strong voice meant a mixture of sincerity and unsureness.

And despite her opening assumptions, the voice before her did not come across as one of anger. There was no cruelty in his words, as there would be if he felt that Julienne was wasting his time. As he asked her what was wrong, Julienne knew in her heart that he was sincere. Her mind; however, told her otherwise.

'Some people are able to disguise their intentions within their vocal chords,' she told herself. You don't really believe that he is here for you, do you? That he cares? He doesn't know you, Julienne, and when he does he'll wish that he didn't'

She attempted to open her mouth, to let him know that she'd heard his sincerity and that she was willing to confide in him. But her mind morphed itself into a needle, stretchy its negative thoughts into thread and sewing her lips so that no sound could escape.

"I-" she tried to say. "I-"

'I-I- I what? What do you have to say, Julienne? What do you want him to know? Would you like to inform him that you're different? That your parents are so afraid of you changing that they are unwilling to even look at you for more than a few minutes at a time? Or would you like him to know that his being here is torturing you, even though I am sure his intention was definitely to help a stranger whom he as never met? Would you like to tell him that, Julienne? Because I'm sure he'd love to hear it'

Her mind pierced her heart as if each thought was a sharp piece of metal that mistook the organ for a pin cushion. She stood there, unable to elaborate in her words. She knew that if she spoke, the stranger before her would listen. But she'd lost all hope that she would be able to speak because she was incapable of even the smallest amount of conversation.

For a single moment, she forced strength into her muscles. Julienne forced her focus from the floor to his eyes. His eyes. One could get lost simply by trying to decipher the colour of this boy's eyes. They were brown but they were grey or perhaps they were somewhere in between and they were beautiful. Julienne did not deserve to be looked at by these eyes.

"I-" she tried to tell him once more, making sure to speak directly into his eyes. All she managed to say was, "I'm sorry." And she was. She was sorry for so many things. Sorry to her parents for being someone whom they were afraid to love. Sorry to herself for her inability to make connections. Sorry to this boy for wasting his time, even if he did not know that that was what he was doing.

All the girl ever did was tell people that she was sorry, because she would never not be.

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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Sat May 06, 2017 4:43 am

He waited, the silence taunting him. He wasn't usually one who ever questioned his motives; he knew what he wanted, and if he deemed it right he did it without second guessing himself. But seeing her standing there before him, Kylian began to doubt if he'd done the right thing. She seemed so small, so fragile, so precious, almost like a butterfly with broken wings -- full of life and colour and beauty, if only one took time to admire it. But many people, he knew, would take advantage of it, doing their best to stomp the life out of her, either for their satisfaction or because they didn't know any better.

Kylian waited, said nothing as she stuttered. She would speak, in time, and if that was what she needed then that was what he was willing to give. There was something about her that called to him, whispering things into his heart and mind in a language he did not yet understand; but they were beautiful things, things that made him want to cry -- and he was not a crier.

You what? he prompted, although only mentally. You're beautiful? he added, a moment later, although he knew this was not going to be what she said. Oh, but she was. There was a beauty about her that he couldn't begin to fathom, a quality that seemed to take hold of his senses and turn them inside out, leaving him uncharacteristically nervous. He sucked in a breath of air, but it felt damp and heavy, like he was breathing in her presense. He let out the breath. What was happening? He couldn't figure it out.

And then she looked up.

Suddenly everything made sense again. Her eyes were hazel. No, he decided a moment later. They're green. Like the ocean. But as she continued to gaze at him, he felt himself changing his mind yet again, and he eventually settled on the colour of a forest in autumn. Life, but life dying, but also a promise of more. Of better. Of hope. Of love.

He shook the thoughts from his mind. Her eyes were haunting, beautifully so, and he found himself wanting to know the story they held -- the girl hiding behind them.

Her apology caught him off guard, and Kylian forced himself to breathe. To act normal. But internally, he was screaming. He was telling her that she had nothing to apologise for, that anyone who made her feel that she owed an apology for looking at him deserved to be hexed into oblivion, that she was worth so much more than constant apologies. He said none of this.

Instead, gently, softly, Kylian asked, "For what?"
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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon May 08, 2017 1:26 pm

Julienne had not expected for her apology to be followed by an apology. She was used to conversations that began with "I'm sorry" and ended with "Goodbye," every word following directly after the other like the members of a marching band.

No-one wanted to hear her sob story, even though her physicality assured them that she would not have the strength to tell it. But this boy, the one looking to her with the brown-grey kaleidoscope eyes, this boy wanted to know the meaning behind the few words she'd been able to tell him.

'For nothing, she thought.
'For everything, she thought.

The Hufflepuff breathed slowly, grasping each breath and struggling to maintain the strength of her lungs. Just for once, she wanted the ability to control at least one function of her body. She yearned to be able to breathe steadily without having to make it the sole focus of her mind. She wanted to style her hair in the morning with assurence that it would look the same at the end of the day. She wanted for her knees to not feel like jelly and for her lips to release the words that hid beneath her mind.

Most of all, Julienne wanted to run into this stranger's arms. If the warmth radiating from his person was any indication, the girl knew that there would be safety in his embrace. She knew that he would protect her from the world. Protect her from herself.But she stood there, lost in her thoughts and his eyes and this moment. Because she knew that those dreams would never bring themselves into the reality in which she lived. Julienne knew that love was not something that she could have.

She imagined laying alongside the warmth of a partner, kissing them goodnight and drifting off to dreamland. She imagined the next morning, in which her hair had chosen another texture and the pigmentation of her eyes had shifted. It would be impossible to hope that someone could love a girl like that.

No-one would want to live a life where they did not know if the girl they loved one day would be the girl that they loved the next. Minds were to frail to comprehend the idea that non-continuity could be beautiful, and that inibility to comprehend was why Julienne knew that she'd never have goodnight kisses and sleepy eyed good mornings. It was in her DNA.

Pulling herself away from the labrynth that was her mind, Julienne told herself that the boy standing in front of her deserved a response with more depth than a two-worded apology.

"You thought that someone was in trouble," She spoke slowly, each word a knife that pierced its way through her anxiety and into her heart.

"But all you found was me."
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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon May 08, 2017 2:21 pm

Kylian continued to wait, watching her eyes, her face, taking her in. There was a sort of hidden beauty about her, and something else that screamed of innocence -- but not the kind that came with immaturity or a lack of education. No, it was pure, fresh, and he had no metaphors for it; it was unlike anything he'd seen, or read, or watched, or heard.

His mind kept taking him back to a single image, though, from his summer holidays. He'd been in the park when he saw a butterfly cross his path, and, following it with his eyes, he noted the next time it landed that it had a torn wing; a part of it was missing. But in the air, when flying, he hadn't noticed it -- only when it landed. Broken and torn, but still beautiful -- still capable of flight -- and, perhaps, even more beautiful for that fact.

That, he found himself thinking, was exactly what the girl before him was -- a butterfly with a broken wing.

The idea, though, was forgotten as she began to speak, and he held back a frown. None of what she was saying was right. Not one word.

"But?" he repeated, stressing the word. "But?" It was all he could think, mouth working at the same time as his brain. Over-analysing things had never been something he'd done, and right now he couldn't so much as think straight. "You're not a 'but'. You're..." He paused. He hadn't thought that far ahead, and he found himself lacking words -- not because he didn't know what he wanted to say, but because he didn't know how to say it.

Beautiful? Stunning? Amazing?

"You're worth it." He didn't know what he was saying. The words were presenting themselves, and as his braight caught up he wondered what he meant; it had sounded right. Deciding it was best to take a back seat and let his mind do what it did best before actually trying to think about it, Kylian went on. "You're not a 'but'. You are. Doesn't matter if you're in trouble or not. It's you I found -- not as an alternative to what I was hoping, but better. I found you, and that's not something to apologise for. Not now. Not ever."

He paused to offer her a tentative smile. "You are you. Never be sorry for that -- ever."

Stopping, Kylian let out a slow breath. "Can-" He faltered, knowing the question he wanted to ask but suddenly realising it might not have been the best one. Still, he'd already started, and it was too late to back out now. Swallowing and lowering his tone, he finished, "Can I give you a hug?"

That was a first. He'd never really been huge on the whole physical touch thing. Sure, his friends and him often put their arms around each other or poked, tickled, or linked arms. But that had always been something done absentmindedly, a casual throwaway action that didn't really mean much. This time? This time he'd been intentional and careful, and he wasn't quite sure where this was coming from.
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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Mon May 08, 2017 5:40 pm

Julienne watched as the boy began to speak, slow at first but seeming to build momentum with every thought. His words left the warmth of his lips and surrounded the girl’s ears as if he were a siren and she a ship wavering from the harbour; Led astray from the course but enjoying the idea of a different path. It was like a scene out of a movie.

She was the distressed damsel, unwilling to even speak without requiring assistance from her knight in shining armour. But this boy did not stand as a knight would. His presence was warmer than that of a warrior, more willing to use words to heal than a sword to destruct.

His words were kind and constructive, but not like the other words that had come into her life. No punchline followed his monologue. No laughter or sorrowful glance. His words were a bottle of glue attempting to piece back together the portions of a broken girl. She wondered if he saw her as broken.

Did he look into her eyes and see the porcelain doll that had fallen off of its shelf and lost shards of herself on the way to the ground? Did her lips tell him of the worlds for which she yearned, the sand she had never felt beneath her toes and the sky that she had never felt beneath her wings? Did her hands show him that they had never been held? Did he see how abandoned her pieces were? Because she hoped that he didn’t.

She wondered if she was a girl to him. She needed to know that he saw the thing before as a human being, as something worth talking to and laughing with. But she could not read the revelation in his smile.  Humanity was not an emotion that Julienne had seen before, so how would she be able to sense it within the only person she’d ever imagined could possibly possess it?

For a moment, she told herself that she was not worth the kindness that was being given to her.
A moment later, he assured her that she was.

She noticed as his breathing slowed, as if he was unsure as to whether or not his next thoughts would have the reception he hoped for. She was sure that these words would be knives, ripping apart everything that had been said. He would realise that he’d made a mistake and leave her here among the owls, never to speak to her again.

But his next words were not a rejection. They were a reception. She looked into his eyes as he offered her refuge within his arms, and she smiled. It was not a meek smile, but something resembling a purity that she’d not experienced. She nodded.

Moments later, Julienne could feel heat emerging from her cheeks. She felt warmth within the idea of what he was proposing, though there was still unease within the idea that she’d never had a genuine hug before.

Within the heat, she asked herself if this was what it felt like to blush, and her self responded almost instantaneously. The emotions that she had discovered were not content with simply being felt. Starting at the bottom and slinking its way upwards, the ebony of her hair began to shift into a light pink colour.

A piece dangling within the range of her eyesight, Julienne’s heart began to race.
’Not here,’ she thought. ’Not now.’ Everything that this boy had said, every compliment and word of wisdom that had escaped the genuity of his lips. She was certain that every syllable would fall into the void as he witnessed the thing that had driven everyone else away.

“I-I,” she spoke, unsure of how to explain what he’d just witnessed. “I’m sorry.”

She knew that he had instructed her against using the phrase, but in this situation they seemed to be the only two words that made sense. They were the only two words that she’d ever known to say to those who witnessed her curse. He had liked the girl who existed moments ago, and now she was gone. And there was nothing that she could do except for appologise.
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PostSubject: Re: An Echo in the Silence (Kylian)   Tue May 09, 2017 12:20 pm

Her smile told him that what he'd said was right, and proper. It made him smile, too, filling him with a warmth that felt like he'd drunk a hot chocolate on a cold winters day. And then she nodded and his smile grew. He'd hoped, deep down, that she would agree; somehow, he knew he had to hug her. Had to tell her without words that she was safe, and more than safe, she was going to be okay. A hug, he knew, did all those things.

But then something caught his attention and his mind faltered. Her hair...

He watched, a confused expression lingering on his features as he noted the change beginning to happen. From black to... was that pink? If it had been one or two strands, he might have told himself it was a trick of the light or his imagination. But it wasn't. A few moments later, the entire thing was the same shade of pink, and as it registered she'd changed it, it also registered what she was; he'd heard about them, when he was younger. His mother had a colleague that was one, and his mother often joked about how easy it was for him to go undercover.

Some of his favourite bedtime stories involved said guy, tales of amusing changes and practical jokes played on newcomers. This guy was, after his mother, Kylian's personal hero.

"You're a metamorphmagus?" Kylian asked, eyes wide in awe, a grin on his lips. "That," he added, a moment later, "is what makes you the coolest person I've met so far. What on earth are you apologising for? It's beautiful. You're beautiful."

He realised the words had left his lips a second later, and he felt his insides twist in a way they'd never done before. Who was he to say something like that to a stranger? It wasn't proper or right, and yet the words had felt nothing but those things; they were, after all, the truth, and he'd never seen a problem with speaking the truth.

"You're beautiful," he repeated, as if trying to familiarise himself with the words. The only people he ever really said that to was his mother or when his step-sister asked him how she looked in a new dress. He'd never really said it before to any of his friends -- you look beautiful, sure, but not you're beautiful -- and to find it came so naturally, without needing to think about what he was saying, came as a surprise. It was true, but it was a surprise nevertheless.

He took a few steps forward to meet her, only then remembering he'd received an answer to the question he'd asked without thinking, and, despite how awkward and clunky it felt, pulled her into a hug. It felt natural, the way her body filled the space around him, as if she was made to be there and he was made to fit her between his arms.

There was a faint scent of something sweet, almost flowery, like a rose, and he took in the smell with each breath. He held her in his arms, gently, softly, protectively, for no more than a few seconds, although he wanted it to be more, and then let go and stepped back, establishing the distance once more.

Tilting his head, making sure to look her in the eyes, Kylian softly asked once more, "What's wrong?"
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