She pricked her finger with the needle again, yelping in surprise and glaring down at the cloth, putting it aside as she cursed her wound, treating it overly seriously in an excuse to take a break. “D'is gets easiah, right?” she pouted, her tiny blue lip puckered out as she looked to the older orc, whom watched her movements. Jez was a lot of things, but graceful was not on of them. She was, in fact, quite clumsy, often stumbling over her tiny needle, still getting Gromth to thread it for her from time to time. Gromth simply nodded, grunting a “Dabu,” to her as he returned to his own work.
She smiled at him with a teasing grin, “ju too serious.” He looked up at her, then back at his work as she giggled, returning to her own work. Gromth was often serious with her, though he did enjoy the company of the cheerful Troll girl, as much as Gromth could enjoy the company of someone else.
He had offered to teach Jez to sew the day they were fighting together in Shadowmoon Valley. She had complimented his robe and always interested in new and powerful clothing, she leapt at the chance for him to train her.
Since they had begun training, she had often teased him for being too uptight, giggling girlishly at the frumpy old orc who was nearly old enough to be her father, as he patiently taught her to sew. The two of them spending most night’s together, sewing in near silence, often on a floating island in Nagrand. Both enjoyed the cool of the air and the quiet nights, but Gromth pined for Draeka. He spoke of her rarely, never speaking her name, and only when Jez pried. She knew he was lonely and missing her. Draeka had barely spoken with him since they returned to the Horde, Jez knew, and lately had been avoiding any contact with him.
Gromth was deeply lonely, and Jez often stayed sewing longer than her attention span would usually allow in order to keep him company. Zij didn’t usually get home until very late over the past few weeks anyways, and she craved company herself, and could only tolerate Zer for so long.
She didn’t mind the imp Gromth kept at his side or the odor of death and fire that clung to him, or even his gruff and unsociable demeanor he held about him. There was something about him that kept her at his side and made her enjoy her time with him, despite his unhappy silence.
She smiled up at him, the Nagrand light fading, casting his shadow long on the grass, thunder clapping in the distance. She eeped playfully, throwing her body into his side, pushing him to the grass. She laid on her side and smiled at him as his face went from shock to irritation, his eyes scanning hers. She simply continued grinning her girlish grin. “Thundah!” she exclaimed, fake fear in her eyes, her grin turning wicked as he returned to a sitting position.
She sighed, exasperated, sitting close to his side, their shoulders touching. She grabbed her needle and cloth, piercing the fabric in tiny movements. He watched her for a few moments, no expression on his face, before he grunted and returned to his own work. The two spent most of the night silent, the thunder still clapping every once in a while. When her eyes grew tired, he returned her to her hut in Orgrimmar, before returning to his cold, damp cave in Azshara. The warmth of it gone since Draeka’s things had slowly been taken, only a few spare pieces of armour and a few tiny items left around.
There was no redemption for him, no way for him to earn her friendship back, her trust, let alone her love.
His lover had dragged him back to the Horde only so that she could have her freedom from him. She hadn’t spoken with him in weeks, hadn’t touched him in longer, hadn’t loved him since…
He sighed, his heart heavy as he thought of her. He had given up. There was no hope for him. Battle was never as enticing as it was with her, and life wasn’t so worth living without his mighty Titaness at his side.
Over and over the scene replayed in his mind, his thick hands wrapping around her neck as he lay atop her, her face registering shock and then fear as his grip tightened, her eyes rolling back in her head. He knew that was when he lost her. She knew it was long before that.
He sat in the cave, his back against the wall, his eyes flittering, though not yet allowing him to sleep, as their entire relationship played on endless loop. He always loved her. As a little girl who used to beat him up, as the teen that stole away with him and her sister in the night, as the young woman who fought for the Horde. He did all he could to please her, failing at every turn, in his eyes. In hers, she did love him, before.
But he wanted power. Too much power. He became greedy for it, turning to the darkest magics, the ones that pay in power, but take everything else. He was convinced she would love him for his power, and he used it, trying to win her affections, and failing that, he used his power to take her, to feed her the blood lust, to bind her to him. But no longer was she the girl who would beat him up or tell him he was wrong and stupid for turning to the Fel. Draeka was still the strong warrior, cutting through dozens of foes, but with him, she was different all together.
For a while, he accepted this, overjoyed to be welcomed into her arms at night, but with time it wasn’t enough. The tests he put her through, the hoops she jumped for him.
Every night, the same thoughts went through his mind, his misery growing, his eyes growing harder and colder. The orc was becoming a lifeless shell, lost in his own misery of losing the one he loved. There was no redemption he could seek, no hope for the orc warlock who had sacrificed everything he could have had for the power that no longer brought him joy. He let out a deep sigh, his eyes turning to her old set of armour, moving it to the cold floor carefully, running his thick finger down the front of the steel chest piece. He lay down beside it, wrapping his arms around the cool metal, spooning into all he had left of his warrior woman.
Draeka crept into the cave in the dark, walking in cloth items so as not to wake him. She grabbed a small skinning knife from the corner of the cave, frowning down at the huddled form, before taking one of the mageweave blankets he had sewn and placed it over him before softly touching her lips to his forehead.
She came every few days to grab something and leave something else so she’d have an excuse to visit the next night when Zij returned to Jez. The only time she could bare to see her former lover was when he couldn’t see her, the pain in his eyes too much for her to handle. Slowly, she had been spending more and more time with Zij, spending each night wrapped in his arms, and though she had never been more genuinely happy, there would always be a chunk in her heart for Gromth, her first friend, her first love, her first lover, her first mate.
She sighed again, placing an old axe where the skinning knife had been, and turned to go, the sun rising over the golden trees of Azshara. Without casting a glance back to Gromth, she put the knife on her belt, walking confidentially out to her wolf, Voktar, smiling at the prospect of another day with Zij, her heart still heavy with pain, but alight with passion for her new secret lover.