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Simply Irresistible

By Starsong Lightwing

 

I'm breakin' promises
She's breakin' every law
She used to look good to me
Now I find her
Simply irresistible

The Emerald of Loxa.

Legend holds that the Emerald of Loxa was blessed by the love-goddess herself. It was set into a necklace and kept in the grandest of Loxa's temples. It was said that Loxa would grant the most devoted of her followers use of the necklace to win the heart of the man they most desired, for no one could resist one who wore Loxa's jewel.

Though the legend of the Emerald of Loxa is unlikely at best, the jewel itself is of excellent quality and cut. Archaeologists unearthed it in the ruins of...

Nylessa Drakely didn't bother reading the rest of the plaque mounted in front of the alarm-equipped case. None of the historics behind the jewel particularly interested her, although the thought of being able to charm anyone she wanted with a mere glance was appealing.

But where was the fun in that?

Reguardless, Nylessa was known for her jewel-addiction, and she'd wanted the gem the moment she'd seen the advertisements for its showing.

In minutes, the gold necklace was in her hand. She smiled, put it in her pouch, and quietly slipped out of the museum.

*****

Nylessa woke up late the next morning, and her eyes fell on her prize as she got dressed. Idly, she picked it up and tried it on.

She grinned in satisfaction as she looked in the mirror. The necklace was perfect, the emerald stone resting just below her collarbone as if it had been created just for that purpose. She was, in fact, too satisfied to take it off. It wasn't particularly guady, after all, the tendrils of gold curling delicately around the jewel in a setting that had a very subtle, feminine look. Quite tasteful, actually.

I suppose it couldn't hurt to show it off a little...

*****

Nylessa knocked on the door of A24, and carefully picked her way across the clutter covering the floor of Cutter's workshop. "Good morning, Jay," she smiled. "Finished yet?"

Cutter nodded. "If you'll hold on for just one moment..." He frowned at the whatever-it-was in front of him, and Nylessa watched curiously as he used a pair of pliers to twist some odd-looking wires into place. "There." He turned and went a little deeper into the room, poking around the small bags and boxes.

"It's a wonder you don't lose things in this place," she commented drily.

"Hasn't happened yet," he grinned, selecting a small bag and bringing it to her. "Aside from one or two rather unremarkable gems."

Nylessa rolled her eyes. "Just so long as they weren't mine." She counted the stones in the bag to be sure.

"Really, Lessa, I'm insulted." He grinned.

"I'm sure," Nylessa said drily. All the gems were present and accounted for, and cut just as she'd asked. "Thanks a bunch, hon, they look perfect."

"Naturally," Cutter chuckled. He paused a moment. "Pardon me for asking, Nylessa, but have you done something different? It strikes me that you're looking particularly lovely this morning." He grinned. "Not that you aren't always stunning, of course."

Nylessa looked pleased. "No, nothing special, but thanks anyway."

"Well," He shrugged, "It also strikes me that I've been cooped up in here for quite a while, and I'd like to get out for a while. Are you free for dinner tonight? My treat, of course."

"Of course," Nylessa grinned. "I'd love to. Tonight, then. Goodbye, Jay."

"Enjoy your day."

Jedar was coming in just as she left, and turned to watch as she left. "What about tonight?" he asked Cutter suspiciously.

Cutter grinned; playing on Jedar's jealousy was one of his favorite pasttimes. "I hardly think that's any of your business, now. You shouldn't be so nosy, Jedar."

Jedar's glare was far from the resigned sigh or cross look he normally returned to the younger man's baiting. Cutter's answering grin was a little colder than usual.

*****

Nylessa closed the door after the latest disappointed male, and wondered what was with everyone tonight. She'd had more gentleman callers this one evening than she'd had the past week. Two had shown up at the same time and actually gotten into a rather heated argument outside her door before she'd shooed them off.

"Ah, well," she sighed, setting the boquet on the pile that was beginning to overflow her desk, and went back to getting ready.

*****

Dinner was, as usual, entertaining and extravagant. Cutter was many things, but never dull, and never a cheapskate. There was something a little different, though. She couldn't put her finger on what, exactly--he was so hard to read. But there was a sort of intensity in his eyes when he looked at her that she couldn't remember seeing before. It was actually making her a little nervous.

But Cutter's manner was as easygoing as usual, and if he held her a little closer than usual when they danced, well...she wasn't going to complain. She put her worries out of her mind and concentrated on enjoying herself.

"Dinner was lovely, as usual, Jay," she told him as he walked her back to her quarters. "I suppose I'll see you tomorrow then."

"Why make it such an early evening?" Cutter's arm slid around her waist, and Nylessa drew in a sharp breath, rather surprised.

"You never seemed particularly interested before," she commented with a coy smile.

"I was always interested," Cutter grinned smoothly, not taking his eyes from hers.

"What changed your mind?" She couldn't help being a little suspicious, seeing as how he'd politely turned her down in the past--more than once.

"You." He pulled her into an intense kiss, and Nylessa suddenly found herself considerably less inclined to question his change of heart. She put one arm around his neck as she returned the embrace, and reached back to open the door with the other.

"I knew it! You two-faced son of a Saurian whore!"

The kiss was abruptly broken off and Nylessa's eyes flew open in time to see Cutter tumble into a rather undignified heap on the ground. He had his saber in his hand when he got up, and it was a good thing, because Jedar's was crashing down toward his head almost before he was on his feet. The two traded wordless blows for a moment as Nylessa stared in shock.

"So much for 'just friends'," Jedar growled when he finally managed to get out something more than angry snarls.

Cutter snorted. "You don't have any right to dictate what I do. Or what she does, either." He came on visciously, driving Jedar back on his heels for a moment. "It's not my problem that you can't keep her happy on your own!"

Jedar growled and met Cutter's blade with enough force to get his feet steady again, and took the offensive again. "You lying, arrogant..."

Nylessa could only stare openmouthed as blows and insults were traded. The two fighters looked possessed, both enraged beyond reason. They traded blows and insults with a venom and ferver that was extremely unlike both of them.

When Cutter opened a small gash on Jedar's forearm, Lessa snapped out of her stupor. "Stop! What is wrong with you two? Stop it!"

They didn't stop. Nylessa drew her own sword and made an attempt to intervene, but she couldn't even get near them. She spotted a familiar mane of purple hair down the corridor and waved at it. "Wade!! Come help me!" He altered course immediately, and Nylessa sighed in relief. Wade roughly got between the two and shoved them apart.

"What's wrong with you two? Fighting right in front of her door!"

"Don't look at me, Chandelle," Cutter panted. "Seemed to me the lady'd already made up her mind, but some uncouth loudmouth--"

Jedar lunged forward with a snarl and Wade had his hands full for a moment keeping them seperated. "You two are unbelievable," he laughed. "Lessa's the kind of woman that likes to live on the wild side - my kind of woman, I might add, and you two couldn't--" Sharp protests came up from both sides, jumbling together until no one could tell what anyone else was saying.

Nylessa's jaw dropped again, and she moaned in despair as a loud argument commenced. "What is wrong with you? Stop it!"

She was, once again, ignored.

"What is going on here?" a sharp voice demanded. Nylessa whirled.

"Iliana! Thank the gods-- I don't know what happened, they just started fighting and they won't listen to me--"

"Where did you get that?" Iliana cut her off, looking hard at the necklace.

Nylessa blinked. "The museum. What has that got to do with anything?"

"Get rid of it," Iliana commanded. The clang of metal rang through the hallways - the three angry drakes had once again taken to their swords to solve the dispute.

"Wha--"

"Take it off, quickly!"

Nylessa fumbled with the clasp and got it off.

"Drop it!"

She let it fall to the ground. "Iliana, what--" Her eyes widened. The legend!

The change wasn't immediate. Wade regained his senses first, stepping quickly back from the fight with a confused look on his face. Cutter was next, and as his mind cleared and reason took over, he threw down his blade and spread his hands.

Jedar's fury was slower to dissipate, and for a moment it looked as though he was going to skewer Cutter where he stood. Iliana quickly got between them and managed to deflect the blow out wide, then brought the hilt of her saber across his temple. He staggered back a little and blinked. His expression went from angry and pained to confused and pained, and he dropped the point of his saber to the floor.

"What," he asked after a moment, "is going on here?"

*****

The explanations had to be repeated more than once, and by the time everything was clear, the three men were feeling rather foolish. They appologized to Nylessa, and to each other ("Sorry about that." "It happens."), and Wade made a rather hasty exit. ("Damnit, I'm gonna miss Young and the Feathered!")

Nylessa sighed rather forlornly, looking at the necklace. "How disappointing. I suppose I can't keep it?" Iliana shook her head. "That's what I thought. Oh well..." She cast a disappointed smile at Cutter. "Thanks for dinner, Jay."

He gave her his trademark lopsided grin. "Any time."

"Well, if everyone will excuse me..." She retreated into her quarters.

Iliana retrieved the necklace from the floor. "I'll find a safe place for this." She took out a hankerchief and wrapped the gem securely in cloth, then headed off down the hallway, leaving Jedar and Cutter standing in the corridor with odd expressions on their faces.

"For a moment there, did you just--" Jedar began in a low voice.

"Yes," Cutter commented dryly. "I think it's in our best interests not to mention it to anyone, however."

 

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