Yva Darrows and Jak Balthasar are a couple that simply shouldn’t be, but for reasons Yva’s player can’t even quite wrap her mind around, they work incredibly well together. Enjoy.
She didn’t wake gracefully.
There were odd days here and there when morning light struck her face and she felt vibrant and ready to face the world. Then there were the three hundred and sixty others that she groaned, flopped onto her stomach, and buried her face in a pillow for another fifteen minutes, wishing she could go back to sleep. Today was far less the former than the latter, and she snuggled into the blankets, enjoying the cocoon of warmth the two down comforters had created. Her hand reached over to the right side of the bed, expecting a lovely source of heat in the shape of a six foot tall male, but she was left wanting in that regard: Jak had seemingly left early.
She fell out of bed at just after nine, nearly tripping over the puppy stretching by her heels. Dog – the poor canine still lacking a proper name beyond that as Jak insisted it had to be perfect and nothing had inspired him – yipped and darted towards the kitchen, clearly expecting his morning meal. Yva managed to avoid being tripped by the four legged menace, but only barely. He cut her off at least a half a dozen times through the course of four rooms.
“Coming, coming,” she murmured, piling meat scraps and rice into a bowl. Dog jumped at her side, trying to speed the feeding process up by showing her exactly how hungry he was, look, wasn’t he starving and requiring sustenance right that moment or he’d surely perish, and she rapped him on the nose, telling him “down” every time he lunged. She held the bowl above his head, one hand on her hip as she repeated the “sit” litany until he figured out what she wanted. When his furry bottom planted itself on the tile floor, she dropped the bowl in front of him and watched him dive in.
The chomping and gurgling noises were less than appealing, but at least he was enjoying himself.
She got herself a cup of coffee and a biscuit, meandering out to the living room in her nightgown. She plopped down on the couch and ate her breakfast. Bunny lurched up to her foot a short while later, his little nose twitching as he sniffed her toe, and she scooped him up into her lap, patting his soft fur. He oozed across her legs like he had no bones, quite unlike other bunnies in that regard (which she had to attest to his rather solitary condition as an undead rabbit). She scritched behind floppy ears and he began to drool, his sole unsavory zombie bunny trait. She stuffed a wad of napkins beneath his mouth and continued her pettings, trying to ignore the small lake of spit forming under him.
Dog finished his own breakfast a few minutes later and, as per usual, bounded into the living room, big brown eyes pleading for a post-meal walk in the small, Dalaran park just around the corner from their apartment. Yva removed the bunny from her lap and made her way back to the bedroom. Dog circled at her feet, again a hazard to her health. She was fairly certain he wanted her to fall and break her neck, but she sidestepped at every turn, having grown rather adept at avoiding him. She’d never been a great dancer, but thanks to the pup, her footwork had increased threefold at least.
She tugged a simple black robe out of the closet and tossed it at the bed. She stooped to pat the puppy behind his ears, trying to calm him so she could dress in peace. He wriggled down onto his belly, his tail thudding against the floor, his ears flopping forward. It was the best she was going to get and she knew it. She turned back to her dresser, opening her lingerie drawer and fumbling inside for a pair of underwear and a bra.
Her hand met wood, as in the bottom of an empty drawer. There was a sad lack of lace, satin, or otherwise inside.
“What the . . . “
She pulled the drawer further out, confirming what her hand had already ascertained – her underthings were gone and she had an incredibly empty dresser in front of her.
“Oh no. Ooooh no.”
She pulled her other drawers open, hoping to find her things stuffed elsewhere, but no – slacks, blouses, gloves, even some bracers, but no underwear. It was likely the early hour that made her slow on the uptake – or perhaps the uniqueness of the problem. How often did one’s undergarments simply go missing, after all? But, after a mental tally of what possibly could have happened to her extensive collection of unmentionables, her thoughts flitted back to the Pig and Whistle the night before. Jak had demanded a drink, she’d delivered in in the guise of a dragon and – when he didn’t even NOTICE – she’d stuck an ice covered digit into his ear in retribution.
His lack of reaction was disappointing, yes, but more so it was unsettling. Jak Balthasar was not her victim, he’d never just take something like that lying down. The last time she’d instigated he’d tossed her over his shoulder like she was nothing more than a sack of potatoes. So when he’d not done anything, even as the ice had crept over the back of his neck, she’d been confused and just a little bit taken aback. Later, when bedtime had come and there wasn’t even a mention of her antics, she thought it was past them, that he was going to let the ice attack go because he’d treated her like a common wench ordering a drink like that, and weren’t they even now, the joke’s on him.
“Oh you miserable sod.”
Apparently, her lover was not only insidious, he was patient.
The dog whined behind her, clearly needing the walk more than wanting it now, and she had little choice but to shimmy into her gown without anything underneath. She supposed some women did this often enough, but Yva’d been raised to be a good girl, and good girls didn’t tromp around major cities hoping beyond hope that the wind didn’t blow the wrong way.
For extra protection against accidental nudity, she wrapped an ankle length coat around herself and made for the door.
Though the path of Dog’s walk was usually down the street, around the park twice while he snuffed and did his business, and then back to the apartment, today it was half as long, Yva checking the tightness of her belt at least three times. Every time the wind blew she frowned, and by the time she returned to the house, she’d gotten herself into a fine snit.
She tromped inside, tossing her coat onto the back of the chair, not even noticing that it landed on Bunny, who squeaked and flopped onto the floor to lurch away. Dog waggled off, finding a piece of rawhide to gnaw, and Yva was left to search. There was the remote possibility that Jak had taken the underwear with him when he’d left, but she knew how he traveled and where he traveled to. She sincerely doubted he’d greet Lord Darion Mograine with a sack of women’s lace at his side. The only other possibility was that he’d found someone to babysit her lingerie while he was off at work, which was only slightly less preposterous than the first scenario.
Deductive reasoning told her he’d stashed her things somewhere in the house, then, as taking them outside would have been a bizarre chore, but the problem was where?. She eyed the buzzbox, tempted to just stab in his frequency and demand he tell her where the bloody things were, but that was what he wanted, and she’d not give him the pleasure.
In fact . . .
She marched over to the box anyway, pushing in the familiar numbers and waiting for his voice. He didn’t disappoint.
“Good morning, Dear.”
“Feeling well today?”
Did he sound smug? Oh yes he did. That smarmy bastard.
She made sure she kept her tone light. “Quite well, yes. I just came back from walking Dog, and he’s happily gnawing on . . . something. A bone, your shoes, what have you.” By stating that, she made it clear that she had gone out, had had to change and thus knew about his horrid little trick. She thought she was being clever.
Then he ruined it.
“That sounds about right. I’m in the middle of something now, but if you need anything, let me know? I should be home soonish, actually.”
His tone was far too even keel, far too knowing, and it made her ball her hands into fists. She wanted to shout at him and demand that he return her underwear, but with her luck, he had a dozen ebon knights around him and they’d all start laughing at the shrew screeching about her missing panties. Then he’d be obliged to tell them how he’d pulled one over on his lady, and . . .
“I’ll talk to you later Jak.”
She shut the box off with a frown, knowing – KNOWING – he was grinning like the cat who ate the canary. The search began in earnest then as she tore through every drawer, shelf and cranny she could think of. The living room was first, then the kitchen. The laundry room wielded nothing, her ritual room was empty, and wasn’t the bathroom lacking any signs of underwear.
A thorough apartment search took her almost two hours, and by the time she was sure there was nowhere left to look, she must have been wrong and he had taken them out of the house, he was home himself, clanging through the front door with a cheery “Hello”.
Dog flew past her to greet him, tail wagging, and Yva frowned, brushing the sweat from her brow. She watched him greet the puppy and then begin the laborious process of dismantling his armor, placing each piece on the rack they’d put in the corner specifically for his things.
“How was your day?” He said over his shoulder.
“It’s just beginning, but . . . so far so good.” She snatched a glass of water off of the counter and guzzled it, trying to steady her breathing. It wouldn’t be good for him to know exactly how hard she’d been working. He’d likely take an absurd amount of pleasure in her agonies.
“Anything interesting going on?”
“No. Just a little bit of housework, a walk.”
I will not give you the pleasure. I will not you evil, evil thing.
“Ah! Well enough. I’m going to make a sandwich. Care for one?”
“That sounds excellent, Dear!”
Her eyes bore into his back as he made his way to the kitchen. She could have sworn she saw his lips twitch as he whirled around, like he was trying to contain a mirth so great that it threatened to split him apart at the seams, but that could have been her imagination, too.
That’s not your imagination. He IS enjoying this because – be honest with yourself – it was a bloody brilliant trick.
She sank into the couch cushions, swallowing back a fragment of song. He emerged from the kitchen a few minutes later with some beef and cheese sandwiches, crackers, and fresh berries. He’d even been kind enough to pour her a glass of her favorite wine, and she accepted everything as gracefully as her grit teeth would allow. There was still the gut instinct to shout at him, to demand he return her things and end the entire foolish debacle, but that was giving in, wasn’t it? And that was what he wanted, for her to submit.
Worst case scenario, underwear could and would be replaced, he would not get one over on the White Witch.
You really did have beautiful lingerie, though.
She stifled her whimper with a huge bite of sandwich.
She muddled through their idle chatter, trying to keep all of her conversation as airy as possible, like she didn’t have a care in the world. For his part, Jak was equally as pleasant, and by all appearances, they had a lovely lunch. The puppy played with his toys, the bunny flopped on Jak’s foot and drooled, and everything was as it ought to be.
“Well then,” Yva stood, assembling her dishes into a neat pile. She even took his dishes and deposited them into the sink which – all things considered – was rather charitable of her, in her humble estimation. “Thank you so, so much for lunch. That was lovely.”
An idea blossomed in the back recesses of her mind, and she smugged to herself, stretching and smiling as sweetly as she could manage.
“I could use a bath I think.”
She took the last swallow of her wine, and though it was horribly out of character to do so, in the middle of the living room, she pulled the gown over her head and stood stock naked in front of him. His eyes grew wide, and she took the opportunity to wad the dress up into a ball and throw it at him, stalking off towards the bathroom so he had a full view of her pale behind. Her hand reached around and she patted a cheek at him, telling him just what she thought of his underwear-stealing-ways without having to say a bloody word.
And that was all it took.
Jakob Balthasar cracked. The laughter was loud, it was obnoxious, and it seemed as endless as an Azerothian ocean. Though she tried to keep her faux anger about her, it was no use. Hearing him cackling like a man in bedlam, she began to giggle in tandem. Her hand reached out to start the tub water, but she couldn’t even manage it, and ended up in a sloppy heap on the floor. Jak staggered in, face red, hand at his chest like he wasn’t getting enough air. He tried to talk, ended up just laughing again, and crooked a finger at her for her to follow.
She’d like to say she actually walked behind him to the hallway, but it was more the crawling of a woman defeated by mirth, and she watched as he walked into the linen closet and reached up – far higher than she herself could get at five foot tall. There was a latch and there was a cubby, and as he pulled the latch open, a flood of lace and satin rained onto the floor. A pair of blue panties landed on her head, looking like the world’s most ill-placed doily – and Jak swept them aside with another bark of laughter. Tears had gathered in the corner of his eyes, and he dashed them away, sliding down the wall to join her on the floor.
It took a while for them to collect themselves. The puppy was in the hall at that point, barking in confusion and not just a little bit of worry that its human parents had gone completely mad. Yva wadded up a pair of red satin underwear and tossed them at him, groaning as he took them into his teeth and bounded off, likely to destroy them in some corner or another.
“Well that wasn’t very smart of me, was it?” she managed, fanning her face with one of her hands to try and regain her equilibrium.
“Not really no. Dog, bring those back. Only I get to do that.”
“Oh bloody . . . Jak, HONESTLY!”
“Honestly what? You’re the wench sitting around as naked as the day she was born. You don’t get to pull moral high ground, dear.” His grin turned only slightly wolfish, and Yva picked up a bra to throw at him, giggling again as it landed over his face. He was peering at her through the loop of an armstrap, and when the grin remained in place, she knew she was in trouble.
She scrambled onto her hands and knees to make for the door, trying to gain her footing, but satin on tile was significantly more slippery than she’d ever figured before, and she didn’t get very far before his warm fingers manacled her left ankle, and then her right. She squealed as he started pulling her back, her front protected from harm by the cushion of lingerie beneath her.
And though she’d started out the day thinking he was the most vile, wretched man who’d ever graced the planet with his presence, she ended it thinking that there was no one in the world she’d rather be snogging in a pile of unmentionables.