Serana stared at Arthius as if he had something growing out of his head. She played his words over again in her head, making sure she had heard him correctly. "Feed from me…" she snapped out of it as the words echoed once more.
"No" Serana simply said.
"Serana, you have no energy and I'm pretty sure you'll just end up pouncing on me within the hour so just do it" Arthius replied with a bit of annoyance in his tone. Serana stared Arthius down for a moment before replying.
"I've held out this far, I can continue" she said firmly. Arthius sighed as he looked down at the deer. Its jaw hung slack as it stared away from the two of them. He simply reached over and pulled out Serana's dagger from it's sheathe and put the blade to his exposed fore-arm, shivering at the cold. Serana's eyes shot open as she watched Arthius put the dagger to his arm, terrified of what might come next.
"Arthius-"Serana said as she began to move towards him.
"I'm giving you permission, Serana. It's okay" Arthius said as he inhaled.
"Arthius!" Serana screamed. Arthius flinched as he was about to slit his arm and stared at Serana.
"Damnit, Serana, just do it! There's nothing wrong with it, and we both know you need to-"
"It's not about that, Arthius!" Serana shouted.
"Then what is it about?!" Arthius yelled back. Arthius couldn't believe that Serana was putting up this much resistance. He knew it wasn't easy, but they had no other choice at the moment. Serana clenched her fists as they stared at each other, trying not to let her anger overwhelm her. She sighed as she closed her eyes, trying to fix the words together in her head. She had never wanted to speak of something like this, especially now. She slowly opened her eyes to look up at Arthius while he sat patiently with his arms crossed. She sighed once more before continuing.
"Arthius, do you remember the first night we met?" Serana asked blankly. Arthius knew what she was speaking of, how she stood over him, contemplating whether to feed from him or not. He remembered pinning her to the ground, and watching her be taken over by sorrow. He knew this because he experienced the same with Aela. He truly felt like a monster, something less than dirt. He shifted a bit, his armor clinking slightly as he did. He stared at Serana for a brief moment before speaking.
"This isn't like that, Serana, I'm telling you that-"Arthius began as Serana cut him off.
"Whenever we sleep at a camp, I wake up most nights standing over you with my fangs bared" Serana said without tone. The breeze blew slightly, making the wind whistle. It was silent as it was Arthius' turn to stare, unsure of what to say. She sat there, head down as he stared at the frozen ground. They sat in silence, the snowflakes covering them slowly.
"She…what?" Arthius thought. Serana closed her eyes once more, letting the words stay in the air as she tried to continue, only getting so far as to opening her mouth. She knew this would come out eventually but never wanted it to happen like this. They were getting along so well, and now this may turn it all around once more. She knew he wouldn't react well to this, but it was too late to go back now. She slowly opened her eyes and forced a few words out.
"I don't know how I got there, it-"Serana paused, sighing before speaking. "Probably just instincts" Serana said as she stared at the ground. She raised her glance to meet Arthius as she finally caught herself, her eyes shining through her darkened face as her hood covered her.
Arthius sat there, unsure of what to think of it. "It's not her fault…but then, whose fault is it? Should it even matter, since nothing ever happened or…" Arthius thoughts were cut off as Serana's voice filled the air.
"But every time I did, I stopped myself. I stopped myself from giving in, from doing what came natural…from feeding from you" she paused as she stared into Arthius' eyes. Serana never broke her glance as she continued, feeling stronger.
"And now, you're telling me to discard all of that, all of it. To give in to what I had fought against for so long-"Serana paused as she grew irritated.
"Serana, I'm not-"Arthius began. She huffed as she shot her eyes back to the ground momentarily before meeting his gaze once more. Arthius could tell that she was in no mood to argue as she slowly continued.
"Well the answer is no, Arthius, and there's nothing you can say to convince me otherwise. As long as there's any other option, I will not feed from you" Serana said in a cold tone, making sure not to break eye contact as she glared at him.
"Now, shut up and eat your fucking deer" She said before slowly rising and walking away from Arthius, in need of some solitude for the time being.
Arthius sat there, listening to the soft crunch of snow fade as Serana walked away. The wind blew slightly once more, sending a small chill down Arthius' spine. He closed his eyes as he tried to calm himself, to not do anything stupid. It was then that he froze as a thought came to his head, one that he had been pushing away for some time. He didn't know why, but his mind was flooded with the memories he had with Serana. The journeys, the talks, and the night at his home. His face was blank as all these memories invaded his thoughts. He just stared forward in the cold as the wind blew, shrouded in the gray sky as he simply stared. He slowly exhaled, bringing him back to reality as he grabbed his sword.
"Why now? Of all the times, why now?" He thought to himself as he began to cut off pieces of the deer and shove them into his mouth, wincing at the burnt taste.
Serana leaned against a frozen stone wall, feeling anything but okay. "Arthius just offered me his own blood, his life essence, to help me, and I treated him like as if he was some drunk bastard trying to have his way with me. It couldn't have been easy for him to even offer, and yet, that was how he was treated for it" Serana sighed as she let her head fall back and smack into the stone. "But it was the right thing to do, I suppose, as I can't let myself do something like that. Especially after…last time" Serana sighed as she pushed the thoughts out of her mind. She stared into the mist as she contemplated her thoughts once more before slowly rising to her feet. "I've wasted enough time. We have to continue before the sun rises"
The deer's upper half had basically vanished by the time she arrived, only the head having signs of flesh. Serana Cautiously stepped forward, unsure if Arthius would snap at her or not for the way she spoke to him. Arthius sat there, leaning against the stone wall as he stared forward into the mist. She eyed him for a moment, pondering if he had even seen her. She simply sighed before crossing her arms and looking to the floor, awaiting Arthius. She waited for a few moments until she heard a soft crunching in the snow and looked up to see Arthius slowly standing. She simply turned away and began walking towards the path, assuming Arthius would be able to follow. Arthius watched her for a moment, both irritated towards her and sorrowful at his own actions. He simply huffed before following her through the snow, grabbing his shield as he went along, immediately feeling more pressure on him than before from the weight he carried.
Serana made sure to walk a few paces ahead of Arthius, keeping quiet the entire time they walked. Arthius listened to the soft crunching of the snow as he stared into the back of Serana's head, a look of exhaustion on his face. "Damnit, it's not like she's going to be the first to speak so it may as well be me" Arthius thought bitterly, only he was unsure of what he wanted to say. He felt both the need to apologize and to scorn her, leaving him with little to say.
"Serana…" Arthius began, hoping that something would suddenly come from it.
"I'm not angry at you, Arthius. I just…" Serana spoke gently.
"You just don't want to talk" Arthius said with a sigh. Serana twitched slightly at Arthius' words, annoyed yet blissful at how Arthius knew her. "But I do"
Serana sighed as Arthius said this, hoping to end this conversation quickly. "Please understand that what you asked isn't something someone can look over so easily. It's…degrading, having to feed from others. And to have a friend try and force you to do something you're not proud of, just like that…just try and imagine that if you were starving and we had nothing, that I'd try and force you to eat me" Serana said, hoping that that would keep Arthius quiet for the time being. Arthius smiled as he heard Serana's words before speaking up.
"Well you did make me dinner so…" Arthius grinned. Serana thought about it for a moment until she realized what Arthius was referring to, making her blush slightly. Serana snickered loudly, retaining herself from laughing as she tried to keep serious. Arthius smiled as he heard her, not receiving the reaction he was hoping for, but glad that it wasn't just disregarded.
Serana scolded herself for laughing when she was still upset towards Arthius. She thought of how she could somehow not stay angry at him, even if she wanted to most times. "Then again, I can't really blame myself since I'd have no one if not him" she sighed as she thought this, slightly looking over her shoulder at Arthius observing something in the distance. She turned back forward for a few moments before coming to a complete halt. She suddenly felt impact behind her as Arthius had walked straight into her, distracted by something else. She smirked as she thought back to when she rushed through the portal after Arthius and crashed into him on the other side. She turned to see Arthius sitting on the ground staring up at her. She crossed her arms as she looked down at him, considering even kicking him in the face just for the sake of it.
"Arthius…why did you offer me your blood?" Serana asked as she tilted her head to the side. Arthius stared up at her, unsure of what to say.
"Why did-"Arthius began.
"It's a simple enough question, I just want to know why you offered me your blood" Serana spoke. Arthius pondered this for a few moments, unsure if it was some sort of trick.
"Because…" Arthius began. Serana immediately rolled her eyes, turning back forward.
"Never mind, let's just continue shall we?" Serana said with a huff. She was hoping for a straight forward answer, as if he had been prepared to tell her. Instead, he was as unsure as she was. Arthius raised an eyebrow as he stood, watching Serana continue up the path.
"What in oblivion is her damn problem? I understand that it wasn't right to try and force her, but cut me a damn break" Arthius thought stubbornly. He looked ahead to see the next wayshrine, the usual with broken columns and a spectral snow elf guarding it. It watched as they slowly approached before greeting them.
"You've arrived at the Wayshrine of Reso-"It began.
"Yes, thank you, please open the wayshrine or whatever it is that you do so that we can continue" Serana said in a pushy tone. The elf did not reply but simply raised the wayshrine from the ground. Serana crossed her arms and nodded towards Arthius, waiting for him to fill the ewer. Arthius sighed as he stepped forward. By the time he finished, Serana was already ahead of him up the path. He clenched his fist and huffed before trotting up the path to catch up to her, feeling pain in his side as he did. His armor clinked heavily and he was now wishing he had brought some leather or fur armor, just while they walked. The path lead into a small rocky pathway acting as a bridge over a small gap between the rocks. Serana gave it no attention as she simply walked across. Arthius stepped slowly, avoiding the icy bits as best he could. As he neared the end, his steel boot slipped from under him and sent him crashing unto his back. He winced as he landed, forcing a small groan to leave his mouth.
"Damnit Arthius, be careful. I'd rather not walk back to all the other wayshrines because you spilled the ewer" Serana scolded him. Arthius sat up and scowled at her, outraged at her consideration of the ewer's well-being before his.
"Then why don't you carry the damn thing. I'm already held down enough carrying this armor, after being burnt alive may I add. Besides, all you're carrying is that damn elven dagger!" Arthius scolded back. Serana stared at him momentarily, face blank before slowly opening her mouth to respond.
"It's ebony" Serana simply said. Arthius raised his eyebrow for a moment before his mind raced back to when she obtained the ebony dagger. It was a gift to her from him, another reminder of the false love they once shared, and their "Happiest" memories. Serana simply walked over and grabbed the ewer from Arthius' pouch. He simply sat there and watched her as she retrieved it, avoiding eye contact the entire time. He slowly raised his hand and grabbed her wrist. Serana paused as he did this, her breath ceasing. She slowly looked up to meet Arthius' gaze and stared at him.
"I offered you my blood because I don't want anything to happen to you" Arthius said. Serana stared for a few more moments before slowly nodding. Arthius released her wrist and she rose and turned back to the path. Arthius eyed her for a few moments before rising off the ground and following her. Serana walked forward as a small sad grin stuck itself on her face, feeling a bit more at peace after what Arthius had said. They turned left and walked along the Cliffside, immediately noticing constructed bridges, connecting the Cliffside. It was a maze of bridges with famer houses along the cliffs. Arthius smirked as he saw this, imagining the battle that was bound to happen. He immediately called for Serana, putting his finger up to his mouth. She nodded slowly as he walked past her and put his hand on her shoulder, pushing it down slightly. He pointed downwards, signaling for her to stay there. She hesitated but slowly nodded, entrusting Arthius to be successful. Arthius nodded back before crouching down and pulling out his sword as he continued. He slowly approached a small house, making sure there were no falmers inside before he turned and walked up the mountain path. He slowly made it to the top, eyeing a falmer on the bridge leading to the next mountain side. Serana looked up at the falmer on the bridge above her, keeping out of its sight. Before she could react, Arthius was behind it, slitting its throat and shoving it over the side of the bridge. He waved his hand to himself, motioning for her to follow. She nodded and began to walk up to him, almost sure that she saw a smirk on his face. She was soon at the bridge, once again being told to stay where she was. Arthius slowly took his crossbow out and aimed it at one of the cliff sides. Serana eyed the area, noticing nothing but the rocky side of the mountain. Arthius shot the bolt at the mountain side, receiving a small shriek from a falmer that was almost impossible to spot even if you knew where to look. It stumbled forward and over the mountain side, falling to its death. Serana was a bit surprised as Arthius continued down the path, nodding to her once more. He held out his loaded crossbow to her, taking his sword out. Serana carefully took his crossbow, holding it to the ground. Arthius slowly walked around a bend and Serana watched him rush forward behind the rocks, followed by a gag. She walked around the bend to see him remove his blade from a falmer's throat and look at her, holding his hand out. She walked over to him and placed the crossbow in his hands. He then held her hands to the crossbow with one hand and the trigger with the other. He turned the crossbow upwards and pulled the trigger, sending the bolt through a small slit in the bridge above them. There was a small shriek and a creaking from the boards before a falmer fell from the bridge and landed in front of them. Serana stared at the falmer as blood oozed from its wound and back to her hands being held onto the crossbow. She looked up at Arthius, being met with his cocky smirk.
"If you're trying to impress me, you've made a decent effort" She said, giving him a small smile. Arthius smiled genuinely as he released her hands and continued up the pathway, crouching silently as he walked. Serana watched as he continued, suddenly pausing before raising his head and staring across the ravine at a location Serana couldn't see from her angle. He loaded his crossbow, aimed, and fired, being greeted by another shriek from a falmer. Serana chuckled at this, finding it amusing how easily he is dispatching the creatures. She slowly followed him to the end of the path as it sloped back down the rocky bridge to the floor once more. They looked ahead to see a small cave opening underneath a frozen waterfall, guarded by two more falmer. Serana smiled to Arthius as he raised his crossbow, raising her hand and pushing the end to the floor. Arthius looked over to Serana with a raised eyebrow to see her grinning at the falmer. She simply strode forwards, summoning two ice spikes in each hand and launching them at the two. The falmer were struck through the chests, killing them before they had the chance to react. Serana simply continued walking forward, smirking slightly.
"Thought I should take the lead" Serana said back to Arthius as she approached the entrance. Arthius smiled after her, his eyes once again wandering to a certain area. "No complaints on my end" he heard a voice say in his head. He sighed as he looked up and began to stride after her.
As they entered the opening, they found themselves in a small tunnel that was filled with water. It deepened until they were forced to swim in the icy water until they climbed onto solid ice. They were now in a large icy cave, a river flowing through it. As Arthius looked up the Cliffside that was over the water, he saw a frost troll being attacked by two falmer. It barely swung at them before it was struck down.
"Poor thing. I mean, I know it would have tried to kill us and all but, still…" Serana whispered as she watched behind Arthius. He discreetly rolled his eyes at this before taking out his crossbow and aiming at the one closest to them. One of them was perched at the edge of the cliff as the other inspected the troll. Arthius pulled the trigger as Serana shot an ice spike. The closer falmer took a bolt through the head as the other was shot in the chest, making a small squeal before falling over the Cliffside into the icy waters. Arthius smirked as he put away his crossbow as Serana began walking ahead of him.
"So, you have a thing for trolls now do you?" Arthius asked. Serana turned her head slightly as she walked.
"You're one to talk" Serana said. Arthius raised his eyebrow at her for a moment before responding,
"Well, considering how you tend to bed Aela…" Serana said with a smirk. Arthius laughed as Serana joined in. They both stopped as they heard a small growl from up the cliff. Serana immediately crouched down as an arrow flew above her head. Arthius pulled out his sword and shield and immediately charged forward, blocking arrows as they were shot at him. There were two falmer on a higher ridge in a camp, shooting down at the two as Arthius followed the path that lead to them. He suddenly paused as he looked at the bridge to cross. It was in pieces as it sloped downwards and back up in a crooked position. Arthius sighed before quickly but carefully stepping across to meet the falmer. As he approached one was shot in the chest with an ice spike, catching the other off guard. Arthius quickly slashed downward, cutting a deep gash in the falmer's neck side. It gagged for a moment before dropping dead at Arthius' feet. As Serana walked to Arthius, she paused at the bridge, staring at the weak construction.
"Not great at making bridges, are they?" Serana asked with an eyebrow raised. Arthius shrugged as he had out his hand to help Serana across
"What do you expect from such a simple minded race?" Arthius said as he pulled her across. They continued through the camp and into a small tunnel that lead into a larger section of the cave. As they stepped out of it, Serana heard a small creaking noise before she was grabbed and pulled back. Two large claw like constructs sprang from the sides of the tunnel, smashing into the walls. Serana was frozen for a brief moment before speaking.
"Guess they're better at making traps than bridges" Serana said as Arthius held her.
"It would appear so" Arthius said. Serana noticed how Arthius was holding her and looked up to see that he wasn't giving it any thought, just inspecting the construct as he let her go. Serana raised an eyebrow as she walked him walk ahead, wondering if he had even noticed it, or cared.
"Why should he care? And wait- why do I care?" Serana put a hand to her forehead as she winced at the thought. She sighed heavily as she glanced up at Arthius as he continued walking along the path. Serana let her shoulders sink as she trudged forward after Arthius. She watched as he took out a scroll and aimed it at a small group of falmer. They turned towards him with a screech as a large inferno engulfed them followed by a large wave of fire from Arthius' shout. Serana raised an eyebrow at him as he turned to her.
"Well…that was simple" Serana said. Arthius gave her an unamused look as he sighed.
"I'm just a bit tired of the run around with these simple creatures. The fewer of them the better" Arthius said as he crossed his arms. Serana smirked at him as she continued down the path, playfully slapping him as she passed. Arthius chuckled as she walked by, a thought racing through his mind.
"Serana" Arthius called for her. Serana quickly turned towards him, expecting to see more falmer. Arthius sighed as he ran his hand through his hair, closing his eyes as his head went back. He then looked back to Serana who had a questioning look on her face.
"So… are we good? I mean…do you forgive me for...you know" Arthius asked. Serana's face went from questioning to almost a smile. She sighed as she thought the question over in her head, expressing a more serious look. She crossed her arms as she mulled over her thoughts.
"There's not much to forgive, Arthius. I mean…it's not really your fault. I suppose it was more like you trying to make me do something I don't want to do…but really should. It's behind us now so there's no reason for me to forgive you" Serana said with a small smile. Arthius kept his expression as he look at her. Serana sighed as she realized what he was doing.
"Yes, we are good" Serana said with an annoyed expression. Arthius chuckled as he nodded at her.
"Alright, well then let's continue" Arthius said as he continued down the path towards the exit of the cave. Once they exited the cave, they immediately spotted another wayshrine. Arthius smiled as Serana sighed in relief. Arthius watched as she walked forward, completely ignoring the elf as he greeted her with the usual nonsense. Arthius smiled as Serana walked back to him after filling the ewer, rolling her eyes at the elves words. They continued down the path until they reached a large royal bridge. Arthius and Serana gazed at the large castle on the other side of the bridge. It was a large castle covered in ice. The front of it had an archway above it as well as a statue of some sort in front of the stairway that lead into the main doors.
"That…has to be the place. I've never seen a building like that before" Serana said as they approached the bridge.
"It doesn't even look real, ya know?" she said, turning to Arthius. Serana raised an eyebrow as she saw a stunned look on Arthius' face.
"Arthius, are you alright?" Serana said as she stared at the frozen face of Arthius. Arthius' eyes quickly glanced at Serana, slowly parting his lips.
"Serana…how many wayshrines did we stop at?" Arthius asked with a nervous smile. Serana raised an eyebrow at him before suddenly pausing. They stood there in silence, frozen in their own tracks as they stared back at one another. Serana's arms slowly raised up to her head and pulled her hood even lower over her face. She then slowly placed her palm on her forehead before replying.
"Four" she said in a whisper.
"Gods Damnit" Serana thought to herself.
Arthius crossed his arms with a grin as he slowly walked over to a railing of the bridge. He glanced back at Serana and chuckled as he saw her there. He then slowly turned back to the railing, glancing out over the edge into the chasm below. He then took in a deep breath, clearing his mind and smiling widely as he did.
"GODS FUCKING DAMNIT!" Arthius shouted with as much force he could muster. After a day of travelling with a small bit of arguments thrown into the mix, Arthius and Serana approached the castle as they walked on the bridge.
"…and of course it had to be all the way back at the beginning of the vale, and yet we somehow missed it" Serana continued as they crossed the bridge.
"Like I said, it's not as if we had any idea where these things were. I'm actually surprised we only missed one" Arthius shrugged as they approached the arch. Serana sighed, closing her eyes as she walked with her arms crossed.
"You don't seem to be as upset as you were when we found out" She said dully. Arthius sighed as they climbed the steps leading to the entrance.
"I suppose I'm just out of energy. I mean, not physically anyways" Arthius said as they passed through the archway, leading into a small courtyard with a large statue in the middle with two flights of stairs to its sides leading into the sanctum.
"So, know anything about this statue?" Arthius asked as they approached it.
"Well, according to what I've read, it's supposed to-"Serana paused as she glanced at Arthius' expression.
"You don't even care, do you?" Serana asked, a bit annoyed. Arthius glanced over at her slowly.
"Not in the slightest. Let's just pour the water, kill the elf, and go home. I still have to find that sabre I left in the cave" Arthius said as he walked forward to the staircase. Serana smirked as she followed, gazing up at the construct.
"Don't remind me" she thought as they walked up the steps to a basin in the middle. Arthius crossed his arms as Serana approached the basin with the ewer. She carefully poured the water into the basin, watching as it grew a bright green. The water flowed from the basin into a small canal system that flowed to the door to the inner sanctum. It then flooded into a hexagon with the symbol of Auriel in the center, glowing brighter than ever. The light faded as soon as it came, leaving Arthius and Serana gazing at the symbol.
"That was nice, I mean, definitely not worth the trip but…ya know" Serana said. She turned to face the entrance, glancing at the door.
"Well then, let's get to it" Arthius said as he strode forward, pushing open the heavy stone door. Serana nodded as she passed him into the sanctum, pausing at the scene before her. Directly in front of her was a falmer, frozen in the ice of the opening archway. Arthius followed her as he too paused. The room was a large open area with columns put throughout its space. What might have been a lovely scene once was now a gray, cold room with piles of rubble and remains. In the center was a small beam of light shining through the ceiling unto a shrine of Auriel. Many falmer and chaurus were frozen beside it, appearing to be attempting to reach the shrine.
"All of these Falmer...how did this even happen?" Arthius said as they approached the shrine. Serana glanced around, a bit unnerved.
"How long have they been like this? I thought the soul cairn was disturbing…" She said. As they glanced around, Arthius noticed a small pedestal in front of a sealed door. He quickly strode towards it, leaving Serana's side.
"Arthius, what are you doing?" Serana asked as she glanced to the door leading further into the sanctum. Arthius ignored her as he inspected the pedestal.
"Serana, can you please bring me the ewer" Arthius said, keeping his gaze at the pedestal. Serana simply walked over and held out the ewer to Arthius. He took it slowly and carefully placed atop the pedestal. After a moment, the pedestal sank down and the door raised in front of them. Arthius grinned at the opening before glancing at Serana.
"Well done, a secret passage" Serana said as she walked inside. Arthius followed to see it be a small corridor that continued around a corner. Arthius and Serana walked around it to see a large door to their left, a small gleam of light passing through it. Arthius turned to the door and opened it to a large room that was caved off by the rocks. As he looked around, Serana quickly grabbed him and threw him back with her. A large club smashed into where they were, being held by a large frost giant. Arthius and Serana landed in the corridor's hard stone floor with a thump. Arthius stared at the creature for a moment before being grabbed and thrown again by Serana as its club smashed into the spot they were. Arthius quickly gained his footing as he stared at the creature, he glanced at Serana who was already in her fighting stance.
"So, any strategies to fighting a giant?" Serana asked as she summoned her lightning.
"Yes" Arthius said as he equipped his crossbow "No mercy"
Arthius and Serana continuously fired at the giant as it approached them, roaring as it was pelted with bolts of both steel and lightning, being burnt by the explosion from the enchanted bolts. A few moments later, it fell before them with a crash. Serana fell to her knees, alerting Arthius immediately.
"No, no I'm fine just- that took a lot out of me…" Serana said with what strength she could muster. Arthius knew that she was weak, especially after that battle, let alone all the walking they've been doing. He slowly began to remove his glove as a voice ran through his head.
"As long as there's any other option, I will not feed from you" Arthius heard Serana's voice echo in his mind. He sighed as he stopped removing his glove and slowly put his hand on Serana's shoulder. He slowly placed his other hand on her other shoulder as he began to help her stand. She breathed heavily at first but slowly stood, keeping her balance. Arthius nodded at her as she glanced at him before walking to another sealed off door. He inspected it for a moment before realizing it once again required the ewer. He turned to see Serana already walking back out the room. Arthius turned back to the door and pondered of what would be on the other side as Serana came back into the room with the ewer. She simply placed it on the pedestal, making it sink in as the door opened. On the other side was a large chest with three potions of magicka, stamina, and health in front of it. Arthius chuckled as he walked over to the chest and opened it, grinning widely at what was inside. Arthius pulled out a large blood potion, grinning widely before Serana almost appeared in front of him, snatching it away.
"Wait…how did- why does he-?" Serana questioned as she stared at the bottle in her hands. Arthius smiled at her for a moment before replying.
"Well, it makes sense that he has a food source" Arthius said as he leaned against the chest. Serna quickly opened the bottle, put it to her lips, and tilted her head back, letting the thick liquid pour down her throat. Serana always thought that the potion tasted bitter and sickening, but at this moment it tasted like the sweetest nectar in all of Tamriel. Serana moaned as the drink poured down her throat, catching a chuckle from Arthius. As he was about to say something, a small trail of the potion went down from Serana's lips. Arthius stared at it, the way it moved down her skin. Serana's eyes slowly opened, making Arthius shudder at the sight of the golden orbs that have entranced him so many times before. Serana pulled the bottle away and placed it on the table that held the chest before turning to Arthius. She paused as she caught his expression, unsure of what to say. As she opened her mouth to call his attention, Arthius removed his left glove and approached Serana, stopping in front of her as he gazed into her eyes. Serana stared back at him, frozen as he slowly raised his hand. Arthius placed his hand on her cheek, putting his thumb on the edge of her lips. He slowly ran it down the side of her face, then down her neck, wiping away the small trail. Serana closed her eyes as the small tickle made her shudder. Arthius finished wiping away the trail as he brought his thumb back up to Serana. She opened her eyes and glanced at the red covered thumb held in front of her. She used her finger to smear it off before placing the small drop of potion into her mouth. Arthius immediately leaned in, making their lips crash into each other. Serana ran her hands through his hair as he pulled her into him. They parted lips as Arthius buried his face into Serana's neck, receiving a small moan from her. He raised his head again as Serana leaned in once more. After a moment, their lips parted as they stared into each other's eyes. Their kiss was short, violent, and pretty much anything other than love, but it was real.