Custom gun skins near me
Pebble: An E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android
2012.04.18 11:08 Clapyourhandssayyeah Pebble: An E-Paper Watch for iPhone and Android
Pebble is an e-paper smartwatch that launched in 2013 and was followed up in 2015.
2015.02.22 13:45 VoidRayBeach Learning new things
The AdvancedGunpla subreddit aims to help inform, instruct, guide and share our different techniques and ideas. Hopefully allowing us all the opportunity to produce something better every kit! // The core of AdvancedGunpla is to teach what others don't know and learn what you don't know, lack or having trouble with. // Always remember that if something works for YOU, it doesn't mean it'll work for SOMEONE else. // Above all else, be civil, kind and mature.
2012.05.18 21:49 JagoDago Paintball Buy/Sell/Trade
A place to buy, sell or trade anything paintball related! Please look at the rules before posting and make wise decisions when conducting business with other users. Moderators are not responsible for any transaction that takes place via this Subreddit. They are also not liable for any resultant consequences of failing to follow established rules, i.e. Subreddit ban, scam victim, etc.
2023.03.30 06:16 RianOplayer To all Sky veterans: What motivates you to keep playing?
I've played Sky since the beginning of 2021, I was 16 and had a lot of free time, playing almost everyday. I "beat" the game in one or two days, and slowly learned about everything. I collected candles, bought lots of cosmetics, spells. Not everything because I'm F2P.
I finished high school last year and recently started university. Just noticed I haven't played Sky in 2 months, and every time I logged in, I didn't feel excited anymore to play. I couldn't think about a direct logical answer for this, my thoughts is because now I'm an adult and "have responsibilities", I'm having a little more pressure on myself thinking about university than how to enjoy some free time for games. Actually, the only game I've played is Hollow Knight (the mobile port, it's my first time in life playing the game, everything is new), and I love platform games. I don't search for good games in Play Store anymore, almost everything is cashgrab.
What amazed me in Sky was its open world, the ability to fly (lol, yeah I love games where you can fly) and graphics. Somehow it captivated me to keep playing for nearly 2 years. I made in-game friends, some stopped playing. Today, again I logged in, walked around for 2 minutes and logged off. This is not the first game to happen this: "Love at first sight, play it A LOT for months, then suddenly don't want to play anymore."
One of the answers I got to myself is: You can only make the most of a game in your first/second/third time playing it. And for Sky, I feel like I did everything, explored everything. I didn't buy everything, but this doesn't motivates me. I'm aware of new updates, but, nhe... I don't know. If I get to unistall, I'll say goodbye to my friends, just so I don't suddenly disappear for years.
To all veterans: How was your first experience with the game? And if you still play, why? I'd love to hear other players opinions about this.
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2023.03.30 06:15 Sanbaddy Manger gave us “homework”. I refuse to do it.
My manager gave our department “homework” , which she says we must type a paragraph explaining a part of our job (customer service). Something that can easily be explained in a meeting, that want us to submit it to her.
I asked to take care of it at work on work time, and both times was told no and to do it on my personal time after work or on lunch/break. I refused, because I’m not taking my unpaid personal time to take care of work related issues.
In case they try and write me up or something, what should I do?
submitted by Sanbaddy
to legaladvice [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:14 MasInMarian Youtube should reward quality over quantity.
I don't post everyday. I don't think I have de capacity to produce a video each day. Not decent quality at least. And If I had. I guess my established audience would get sick of me sooner than later. A sort of competitor of mine uploads almost daily but when I go to see their channel all videos seems all the same to me. I can't tell a thumbnail and title from the other. That's nearly flood and YT seems to reward that at some point. I must add that some channels that post every single day seems to get less views/subs in their videos. I can tell that 10%+ of my subs watch my videos. But YT doesn't seems to be rewarding me pushing them to new audiences and I feel that unfair.
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to NewTubers [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:14 Solar_Guts My boyfriend's love language is physical touch and it's making me sick
Hey so Me(m15) and my bf (m15) have been in a relationship for a little over a year. Since we are both young and new to dating we prioritize communication. From the start I made it clear I am on the aromatic spectrum and will need just some guidance on the whole romance thing but I am sure I romantically love my boyfriend and I make sure to tell him often. There is really only one issue, my boyfriend's love language is physical touch. I HATE physical touch and always have. It's been like this my whole life, if I don't initiate it or have a moment to mentally prepare myself I can't stand it. I wish it was just a dislike but it makes my skin crawl and I get physically ill from discomfort. Not even my parents are allowed to hug me and I like it that way.
Well this led to my boyfriend having to sit me down in December to explain that his needs were not being met, and he understands my position but he needed more. I understood this completely, and said I would try harder. I did, I never tell him no when he asks for hugs, I let him mess with my hair, I let him grab my hands and arms even when I'm doing things, if he comes up from behind me and starts hugging/kissing me I just accept it and no longer move away (once I realize it's him). I try to initiate when I feel I may be okay with it. I thought I was doing what I was asked.
That was until early February when he sent me an entire block of text saying that he didn't feel like I love him anymore and that I was only with him because I pity him. This was on account of me being demi-romantic, he felt his needs were still not being met, and I'd become closer with a mutual friend of ours. He'd also send me a link to a tik tok a week later of someone coming home from work and wanting a hug from they're partner and the partner saying "not right now I don't want to feel suffocated I'm working" and the person explaining how that reaction mentally hurt them.
I profusely explained I still loved him completely and said I'd try harder to meet his needs. I continued letting him initiate physical touch as much as he wanted and he was wanted it alot more recently. I invited him over to watch movies and cuddle and I even accidently dropped our friend for like 2 weeks in the process. I began getting physically exhausted, my grades were dropping and I was starting to feel sick and tired by noon because being around people in general is draining and I felt I was no longer getting the personal space I needed to recharge throughout the day. But I knew this is what he needed so I kept doing it cause I don't want to hurt him. People started to notice how tired I've been recently but i just say it's bad sleep cause I feel I'm being selfish.
Today he was being VERY touchy. I was trying to explain the details of a very important fundraiser that my friend and I have been working on for months and he kept grabbing me,hugging me, rubbing my shoulders, messing with my hair and I was starting to feel physically sick. I could no longer focus on the words I was saying and was having a hard time staying in the right state of mind cause the only only thing my head would process is "don't throw up don't throw don't throw up, stop touching me stop touching me Just. Stop. Touching. Me!" He did move on after a few minutes but my friend was obviously very annoyed that I wasn't explaining anything properly but we got through the convo.
I know I need to bring this up to him because it's getting mentally and physically taxing on me and people are starting to notice me looking sick and pale when he's randomly cuddling on me. It's keeping me up at night cause I don't want to hurt him. I'm doing everything and have dropped every boundary I have for him and it's not enough. I may post this to aita
because I'm just wracking my brain trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong. So my question is, how do I bring this up to my boyfriend without hurting him and our relationship? Thank you in advance for whatever advice you might have. TL:DR my boyfriend needs physical touch and I don't know how to tell him it's effecting me mentally
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to TwoHotTakes [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:14 Live_Another uThermal series
Let me start by saying I have never actually played a game of starcraft. However I have been watching pro play and some fun streamers/ series for nearly 10 years. I have a good understanding of the game, and I love watching talented players do stuff outside of the meta. Despite the recent controversy I was hoping we could think up some new suggestions for to GM series.
Uthermal has amazing micro, and still has a lot to learn outside of his main race. Things like immortal prism micro come to mind. Any ideas?
submitted by Live_Another
to starcraft [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:13 BiBabyB Why can’t the US change their gun laws?
I’m not from the US and like the rest of the world we always hear the news of mass shootings. Whether they occur at a school or anywhere else. But truly this should not be the “norm”.
Is it really hard to change the gun laws? Why?
I think I’ve heard that it’s mentioned in the Amendment or something but surely there are ways to change it?
I think it’s ironic people have them for “safety” or even “protection” when it’s literally becoming the leading cause of death in the US.
I don’t even know why people have them. What are these people protecting themselves from? I guess there’s stuff like hunting but I don’t get why.
From an outsider pov, guns also seem easy to get. That seems so absurd to me.
Hopefully the laws can change.
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to NoStupidQuestions [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:12 EmoNightmareHotTopic The only costume piece I got to design and make got cut from the show last minute
I'm a college student, and I've been working in the costume department all school year. I had been a nursing major, but over Christmas break, I started looking at changing my major to something I actually enjoyed, specifically costume design. I talked with my boss, and she was able to give me loads of helpful info, but she also offered me the opportunity to be a student designer for our musical, so I'd actually get to design some costumes. I obviously accepted, and I got to design two costumes. I designed a red and white dress, and an outfit with a white shirt, brown shoes, and brown & orange plaid pants. I started work on the dress, but it didn't look quite right, so my boss remade the pattern while I was out for a few days. However, because of how little time we had left, and because she had to construct the costume as she went, the dress got completely made while I was out. Everything else except the pants got pulled from stock, and I got to completely construct the pants, from start to finish, and I was super happy with how they turned out. Tonight was our final dress rehearsal, and tonight our director decided she wanted to cut the pants and swap them for a skirt that would look more romantic. We ended up on deciding on a red plaid skirt, but the costume is no longer the one I designed. The color scheme changed, the shoes will likely need to be changed, as they were picked because they match the pants, and I worry that this costume will now be nearly indistinguishable from the red and white dress costume. I wouldn't even be as upset as I am if our director didn't decide this on final dress rehearsal night, or if we weren't swapping the only piece I got to make, or if it wasn't the statement piece of the costume, or if I had been able to design more than two costumes. But it's literally all of those things, and it's not the costume I designed anymore. I don't know if I can even use it for my portfolio anymore since it isn't being used, and I don't know if the dress can be used in my portfolio either since I didn't construct it. I planned on the pants outfit being the start of my portfolio, and I don't know what I'm gonna start that with anymore.
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2023.03.30 06:12 thetorontobot Toronto Daily - Mar 30th 2023
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2023.03.30 06:12 oxnarddentists Channel Islands Family Dental - Veneers Dental
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2023.03.30 06:12 uncomfortablypink Dogs keep emerging from the forest and sleeping on my back porch.
I live in a modest house right on the edge of a large forest in Arkansas. I live with my wife and a German shepherd named Kaiser who is a retired police dog. I'm an active police officer and he was formerly my partner in the field. Since retiring and coming home to my family, he's always been quite the paranoid dog. Often, he would wake up in the middle of the night and walk to the back door, and growl at something. We live in a pretty rural area, so I would always check to make sure there wasn't a problem.
On some nights, he would remain on guard at the back door all night. He would never walk out, though. Even if I gestured for him to come outside with me to check if there was anybody outside, he would refuse and appear concerned. Once morning came, he was back to normal as if nothing was bothering him. But over time, his behavior began to change. He less frequently wanted to sleep in the bed with my wife and me and he stopped getting the zoomies altogether. We took him to the vet and she said he was likely experiencing depression.
The vet recommended a few things that we started doing to help Kaiser. I'm a member of the bomb squad and Kaiser was a bomb-sniffing dog. So, every once in a while, I'd hide a decoy in the house and order him to find it. I would also exercise him more. My wife and I are active runners and we started taking him with us. Both of these things seemed to make him much happier, but it still didn't solve the issue of him laying at the back door every night.
I decided to install another security camera that would look directly at the back porch and I started leaving the back porch light on each night to see if I could catch anything. The first few weeks saw no activity. Kaiser would still do his routine, but there was never anything outside. That was until one cold and snowy night in January. It was eleven at night and I hadn't gone to sleep yet. I had my laptop open on the counter with the live feed of the back porch camera on. Weirdly, I noticed a dog appear behind my house and lay down below the steps up to the porch. The camera feed was fuzzy, so I couldn't make out the breed, but I could tell it wasn't a small dog.
I called my wife down the come look at it. "What the hell is some random dog coming to sleep under our porch for?" she said.
"I'm not sure, but this has to be why Kaiser's been acting so weird."
"Are you gonna go out there?"
"Probably not, I'm not sure if he's friendly. I'll give it a few days and see if he comes back." I looked back at Kaiser and he was standing at attention with his ears perked up. I reassured him everything was okay and tried to get him to come upstairs with my wife and me, but he still would leave the back door.
Unsurprisingly, as the next night came, the dog returned. Then the next night, he returned. Finally, when he returned the fourth time in a row, I decided I'd go out to check on him. Not knowing if he was friendly, I got the handgun and flashlight from my nightstand and kissed my wife.
"Get ready to call animal control if he turns out not to be friendly," I said.
"You're taking the gun with you, is that even gonna be necessary?"
"This is my last resort, the last thing I wanna do is shoot a dog."
Once again, Kaiser refused to come outside with me. I could hear the rustling from under the porch when the dog heard me step onto the porch. I left the door cracked just in case Kaiser wanted to walk out with me. I called the dog a few times but he didn't come out. I could hear him moving, but I couldn't hear any clanging from key chains on a collar.
After a few minutes of trying to call the dog out, I walked down to the grass and try to look under the porch. I shined the flashlight under the porch and saw him laying down as far back as he could. He appeared to be an English mastiff, but he was quite dirty. I tried calling him out but he stayed still staring at me. I went inside and got some of Kaiser's food. Surprisingly, he came out when I offered it to him. Once I stepped back away from the bowl, he began to eat.
As I looked closer at him, I noticed quite a few scars and bruises on him. This dog was trying to get away from an abuser. But where could he be coming from? I know all of my neighbors and their dogs and none of them are English mastiffs. I decided to would just try to take care of this dog for now. Once he was finished eating the food I offered him, he went back to laying down under the porch and I took the bowl back inside.
I kept watching the camera feed for about an hour before I went to bed and he never walked out from under the porch. I went under the porch on the morning after and the dog wasn't there. My wife and I decided to name him Buck for the time being until we figured out his real name and who owned him.
This continued for a few nights. I'd bring him some food, he'd come out from the porch just to eat, I'd go back inside, and he'd be gone by the morning. My wife recommended calling animal control to get him out, but I decided not to since he wasn't causing any problems.
After about a week, Buck let me sit next to him while he was eating. He was a bit skittish when I tried to pet him, but he allowed it. But then something even more strange happened the night after that. Buck brought a friend. A blond lab that my wife and I named Charlie. Charlie also had scars and bruises. Weirdly, Kaiser decided to come out with me this time and greet Buck and Charlie. I tried to get Buck and Charlie to come inside so they didn't have to sleep in the cold, but they refused.
My concern was growing high at this point. I knew these dogs were getting abused and that infuriated me. But they refuse to come into my house and would always go back to wherever they were coming from. So, I decided instead of trying to keep them at my house, I'd follow them to whatever they considered home. The next night, I put on my police gear, grabbed my shotgun and flashlight, and waited for the dogs to walk away. When they finally left, around two in the morning, I quickly followed, as did Kaiser.
I kept my phone on me with GPS location turned on so I wouldn't get lost. I searched through the forest for about an hour with no sign of anything. Kaiser was constantly on alert. I knew he was stressed, but he'd been through a lot in his life already, so I knew he was confident. After an hour and about a mile away from the house, I noticed a faint light through the trees.
I kept Kaiser close while we made our way closer to the light. It seemed to get dimmer the closer we got. When we finally reached the location, the light was already out. What we came across looked like a sinkhole with some sort of cave-like opening and an artificial path so you could walk in and out of the hole.
Despite my better judgment, I walk down the path into the sinkhole, Kaiser following skittishly behind me. I shined my flashlight all around the bottom and noticed there was something buried under a pile of leaves. Kaiser started smelling around and he went digging through the leaves. To my horror, he found Charlie nearly dead. He appeared to still be breathing, but he had a huge gash cutting across his torso. I wanted to do something, but it looked far too bad to be helped. Kaiser was whining and looked back at me, his ears plopping down. Rest in peace, Charlie.
I couldn't let whoever was doing this continue. Kaiser didn't want to leave Charlie, but I had to keep him near me so it didn't happen to him, too. We began walking into the cave. My flashlight was still the only light. The smell in this cave was beyond bad. I know what a dead body smells like, and this was far worse.
I began to hear sounds coming from the cave. Kaiser was starting to get more tense, as was I. As we got further down, I could start to make out the noises more clearly. Dogs were whining and barking. The cave started to take shape and look more like a dungeon. I reached the end. There were tons of cages with multiple dogs in each cage. As I walked through, all the dogs turned to me. I couldn't imagine what kind of sick freak would be doing this.
A loud, blood-curdling scream came from the end of a hallway. All the dogs stopped barking, just quietly whimpering. I shined the flashlight in the direction of the scream. It didn't sound human. I walked down, ready to shoot a freak. I turned the corner, and what I saw sent me into a living nightmare. It screamed again, almost deafening me. I shot.
My ears were ringing. I could faintly hear the dog begin barking again. I look behind me and Kaiser is standing, ready to receive an order. I give him the word to attack. I gather my bearings before calling Kaiser back. It was dead. It looked like some demented feline monster. Its ears were cut up, its face was mangled, and its teeth were gnarly.
It was about the size of a large dog, like a dingo or Great Dane, and hairless. But why and how could a creature like this organize a doggy dungeon like this? That was a question I didn't really want to know the answer to. All I knew was I had a bunch of dogs to rescue and get home.
I never found Buck, but I decided to bury Charlie in my backyard. If anybody would like to adopt a rescue and you live in Arkansas, I have plenty that are in desperate need of a home.
submitted by uncomfortablypink
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2023.03.30 06:11 lucyferzyr How do you deal with your beard?
Somedays I hate it, others I don't, so I'm not interested in getting rid of it with laser.
But if try to get rid of it, my face will get sore and my skin start to get irritated for the next couple of days. I can trim it (without going to the lowest level possible) but sometimes I don't like how it looks.
Does anyone have any advice ):?
I have a skin care routine I do each day and night, I have tried shaving in different ways and also tried using some after-shave products, no one of them have worked for me. I feel like I'm missing something in the "how to shave" process :/
submitted by lucyferzyr
to FTMfemininity [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:11 muhdahzi My sleep paralysis
Has anyone had an experience where they don’t see demons or hallucinate something negative? I’ve experienced sleep paralysis since a kid (I’m in my early 20s) yet I’ve never experienced seeing a shadow or a dark presence… in nearly all my experiences I only tend to see a blur or candle lit background from wherever room I fell asleep in. I’m usually scared because I can’t scream or “move my body” but, I realize quickly early on I can move … but, i can only do so if im not in the state of being “scared” or “terrified”. Once I get over that I’m able to do so.
The first time I got over the fear it felt I was eventually able to get up and move around before snapping back awake .. I always felt confused when I did because it didn’t feel like a dream. It felt like i actually got up and did what I could at the moment. Every time I realize I can move, I snap back.
Before I moved out of my moms house. I was still in the fear of being paralyzed but, again, once I got over it, i could move around the room. Though, my first instinct was always to go wake her up so she can wake me up. It took me awhile to wonder how that was ever possible … i kind of figured out I’m in some kind of out of body realm, like a spiritual realm. Maybe my mom was a safe spot I could come too.
The first time I was able to walk out the door of my room to try to wake her up, I was met with a long ass hallway to get to her room and gave up on trying to wake her up so, I walked back to my room and for the first time ever I saw myself sleeping. I ran back and jumped into my body & snapped myself awake. Ever since I been trying to go further out of my room when I’m “paralyzed” in but never can.
My sleep paralysis is kind of scary in the sense that I know I’m leaving my body I can’t tell if I’m confusing it with dying .. I almost always know when I’m getting one before I sleep or can induce one. Quite frankly I actually enjoy it. I’m an active dreamer this to me feels like a game. A different level of dreaming that I’m not there yet.
Can anyone else relate? Every time I research on this it’s always some type of nightmare. I’ve experienced hallucinations but never “scary” ones. There’s had only been one video I came across that I can relate too. https://youtu.be/MT44cpy2e78
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2023.03.30 06:11 ZeusOfOlympus Sharing my HeroQuest journey so far!
I always dreamed of playing Heroquest as a kid, I used to look at the box every time I went to a toy shop.
Finally, 30 years later, I bought HQ a few days ago and have been playing against the app and I love it so much! It is really fun!
- I just bought the Rogue expansion for the new character on Amazon. (I am a sucker for characters.)
- I am about to buy Kellar's Keep and ROTWL today on sale locally.
- I am up to Quest 4! On the base game. Have mates coming this weekend to play from scratch so will start a separate team for them.
- My Dwarf died on the 1st quest, and my Barbarian only had 1 HP left. I had used all my spells except rock wall. and thought I was done by killing the boss. But then found, and entered, a room on the way back with 2 x Dread Lords that nearly killed my entire party …. it was so close!! I also missed the room with the Mummy AND treasure. What a noob!
- I have acquired a few health potions now and the staff for the wizard. And a heap of gold I need to use for Equipment which I have not done yet.
- I am going to print out faux character cards and the spells for the Warlock, Bard and Druid for this weekend for my mates and use proxy figures. ( Is there anything else I need to print for them... i.e. artefacts, weapons?) Note: I will 100% be buying these and the knight when available.
- If Hasbro/Avalon DO read these forums: Please please please release the wizard expansion soon, AND the rumored wizard solo quest pack I read about. Having more spell schools and artefacts and stuff for the wizard would be an absolute DELIGHT and day one purchase for me!
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2023.03.30 06:11 cmcreaser More info on CARP
I came across some information online about CARP that I didn’t know and was never explained to me by my dermatologist so I figured I’d post it in this sub.
“This condition is caused by a bacterium that lives on the skin called “Dietzia.” This condition only affects your skin, and it is not an infection, meaning it is unlikely to be spread from person to person. Additionally, it is a chronic condition, which means that it frequently comes back despite being treated.”
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to CARPskincondition [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:10 LowPepper9742 I fell in love with my student
I'm so embarrassed and I can't help but to feel this way. It's one if the strangest feelings that I've ever had in my life...before you jump the gun, what I mean by love here to this person is a father figure affection ( not romantic ). Im a secondary school male teacher 27 years of age and I have this insane bond with one of my female students in my class. I've been teaching her for almost 2 years now and she's like ( as strange as it sound ) a daughter to me and I truly care and love her unconditionally. Her biological father passed away when she was 8 and I can't stop thinking about taking care of her and I JUST WANT HER TO BE IN MY LIFE FOR SOME REASON. I talk with her mom ( who is 52) on a regular basis to check on her, which made feel like a wierdo but I just cant help it. All I want to do is to take care of that girl and watch her grow infront of my eyes.
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to CasualConversation [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:09 nhutlord [Routine help] help me improve on my routine and understand what to use and not to use and such. Skin type oily and acne prone
Am: 1.Cleanse Cerave foaming facial cleanser 2.Garnier Vitamin c serum 3.Cosrx dual radiance essence(used with face still moist) 4.La Roche posay double repair face moisturizer uv( SPF 30)
Pm: 1.Double cleanse with softymo deep cleansing oil 2.Cleanse Cerave foaming facial cleanser 3Exfoliate With Paula choice 2% bha(2-3x a week) 4.Cosrx dual radiance essence(used with face still moist) 5.Cetaphil hydrating moisturizer
I do also have tretinoin and good molecule Discoloration correcting serum and daily brighting serum. Idk how to incorporate anything
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2023.03.30 06:09 MarriageThrowaway777 Are we doomed because we are both so passive?
This may come across more like a vent but hoping for some perspective.
I’m a 36 year old man married to a 36 year old woman. Married 7 years, together 12 year. Two preschoolers in daycare and we both share household workload equally. Both working professionals medium/high stress jobs, financially secure. Decent communicators about household plans and kid stuff. We have an amazing intermingled and tight friend group, 5 other couples we all got together at the same time and had kids same age. From the outside we have a great life. And I really like the life we have.
But since kids (5+ years ago starting with first pregnancy) there is essentially zero affection, signs of love, not to mention sex. I feel insecure in the relationship. No words of affection. No “I love you’s,” “Goodnight” or “ how was your day” from her unless I say it first, and I have lost most of my interest or desire to show affection in the last year after the last few years of this getting little to zero from my wife. There is no enthusiasm. When she had it, it was early on, which involved a Long distance relationship, and it usually involved alcohol. Realized in therapy recently that any intimacy we have had came after drinking alcohol. Not just sex,-- cuddling, kissing, words of affection too.
We don’t share hardly any hobbies. We don’t even like watching the same TV, she won’t watch movies. We’ll sit on the couch and watch sports or HGTV or if we’re lucky a netflix/prime show we both like. I will admit to being conflict avoidant and feel substantially criticized by her for frankly nitpicky stuff increasingly over the years.
I’ve definitely been feeling resentful at the situation. I feel like we’re wasting the prime of our 30’s when we’re both physical in shape and still very attractive. Also periodically sad that this is what I dreaded would be my romantic life in my 30s if I got married.
I think we’re both so passive and non-initiators, for whatever reason, that we’re going to be stuck. I know I am very much to blame. I have always been super passive, and not experienced or comfortable initiating. I also seem to have some major issues with communicating personal/intimate issues with loved one– it’s something I am in therapy for. Same thing with being proactive/non passive in life– I just don’t initiate affection or intimacy easily. Which is terrible because I really need physical touch/affection to feel secure.
I know I need to work on taking charge because most of my life things have come naturally. But my wife is just as bad, she absolutely never brings up feelings or emotions or our relationship issues. So we just exist as coparents and roommates. No one says anything and I feel worse and worse and can’t bring myself to say anything, and I feel even worse if I think about the fact that she doesn’t say anything either so she either doesn’t care or similarly can’t bring herself to talk about anything serious about us. I worry we’re just naturally reactive/passive people and it’s not fair to force either of us to be what we aren’t.
Sex is non existent. Maybe 2-4 times a year in past two years. Multiple 1-2 year gaps during pregnancies and each kid’s first year. Sex was decreasing before kids, only picked up when we decided to try for a kid. The lack of sex, the lack of any enthusiasm or initiation from her over the years except in very rare alcohol laden situations has led me to lose nearly all of my own interest in trying. It’s definitely become an major issue I’ve dwelled on but have not spoken to her about it much. I’ve read about “responsive desire” and that could be something we both have but that’s just speculation. I felt like I had a high libido for most of my life, in the last 3-6 months its really dropped. I often think she’s a lesbian or asexual, which is unhelpful.
6+ months ago I was so upset about having no affection I decided to tell her how insecure I felt in the relationship and how I needed affection. I had to have some drinks to muster up the courage and then became a blubbering mess. She said she loved me and understood. Nothing has changed. Lack of sex is a problem but not even getting a kiss, or hugs or sitting next to each other on the couch is brutal. It makes me sad that our children are loved and experience affection from their parents but they don’t see their parents cuddling, kidding, etc.
So are we doomed? Did we ride the wave of new relationship energy and alcohol to get to where we are and now we don’t have crap? We’re both so passive, or scared to talk about serious issues, or we don’t care enough to– that clearly nothing will get better. I don’t feel comfortable asking about couples therapy (I get seriously freaked out and locked up thinking about mentioning it, just like any other serious relational/intimacy issue). Again, I know I’m to blame for doing nothing but I can’t get over the fact that she won’t do or say anything either, so I end up thinking why should I be the one to fix this? I probably have a long road ahead in therapy.
submitted by MarriageThrowaway777
to Marriage [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:09 SnooGuavas785 CMV: Lil Darkie is a Good Artist, Just Misunderstood
Lil Darkie is typically thought of as a "bad rapper". Why? Because his music can come across as offensive. His music and lyrics have deep meaning, and he doesn't care what people think of him. The thing that really annoys me is that people judge him by his popular songs, but not his underground songs with deeper meanings and the content of his character.
People are also angry that he says the "n word" and the "f slur". The reason for this, is that he doesn't look like he can say the "n word". The thing is, he is allowed to say these things. He is mixed. He has said in multiple of his more underground songs, such as, "Learning Not to Give a Fuck", that he was called a "sand (hard r)" and discriminated against because of his skin color when he was younger. Sound familiar? Yeah, black people were called the "n word" and discriminated against less that 100 years ago, and that is why they use the word today. He also is bi, so he can say the "f slur" according to this generation.
I get if you just don't like how his music sounds, but that doesn't make it right to hate on him as a person and give him bad reputation. A big reason why he is hated is that people judge him without giving him a chance, they don't listen to his more unpopular songs, and they don't see the deeper message in the phrases he uses. I promise, if you give him a chance, you will look at him differently. Me personally, I don't like the rapper, Eminem, but I don't go around saying, "EMINEM IS A BAD RAPPER". The thing is, Lil Darkie doesn't care what he says in his music, that is why he says it. He uses his music as sort of an outlet. He is one of only rappers that says things without being afraid to be cancelled. He only says these things in his songs, not outside of them.
Some songs that I would recommend to listen to that could get you into him are, "Hall of Fame", "Therapy", "Anxiety", "Banana Pie", "Revolver", "The World Is Ending" "Awakenese", "Tour", and "Just a Little Bit Longer". Once you get more into him, you could listen to some of his harder songs that can be seen as more controversial, here are a few, "Colossal Conflict", "Nothing Matters", "F.A.N.U", "Darkie Still Cannot Rap", "Black Sheep", "Methhead Freestyle", and "Fight!". Now there are SO many amazing songs that I haven't listed, but that's besides the point. The point is, he has so many songs that people haven't heard, and people still judge him based on how other people look at him, or just because they misinterpret his lyrics.
Something that has happened in this generation, is that we have become soft. We get offended by every little thing. Now, some things that Lil Darkie says, I don't 100% agree with, but does that make him a bad rapper or even change my view on his music? NO! The whole point of his music is to say things freely without care. He says things that you will not hear in other music, that is why I love him. Take 21 Savage, all his songs are so similar, they all are sort of about the same thing, now I like 21's music, but I don't listen to a lot of his songs because they are so repetitive. But Lil Darkie's music has deep meaning to each word. Something that really brought attention to me was in a song called "Therapy" is when he said, "I'll run it for all you n**** hating on my style And all you n**** towing pistols talking wild / This is my therapy". In other words, he doesn't do this for attention, he does it to express himself. He is also trying to prove a point, that point being that race is fake, here is a better explanation of this in his song, "Revolver", " And I pray that you understand and I'm sorry I'm so aggressive If I had a hundred bands I'd invest it into my message / That race is fake / And people equal but don't wanna be / It's all because of greed and how we structure our economy".
He overall is trying to spread a positive message, and to the people who hate him, he doesn't care. He isn't doing this to attract fans, he is doing it to express himself and spread his message.
submitted by SnooGuavas785
to changemyview [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:09 EXPLRWater Recent pick-ups
| || | submitted by EXPLRWater to skylanders [link] [comments]
I recently got back into wanting to collect Skylanders now that I have income of my own.
I started with some of the SSA variants as there wasn't a close enough Toys R Us near my house growing up, and we played our Skylander games on the Wii up until superchargers which is when we got our Wii U, We never owned a 3DS or anything from the 3DS family until a year ago. earlier in the week on the 24th I purchased the four variants for SSA, it was a buy three get one free offer on ebay totaling $47.92
and they arrived the 27th and I happened to purchased Spry on the 27th off of WhatNot and he arrived today for $4.32.
As of right now I'm pretty happy with the result for a first time ebay purchase, this definitely help towards my goal of completing my SSA collection. I'll keep you guys that are interested in my journey updated, if you feel generous and want to help and sell me some or point me in the direction of a good seller for SSA figures please it will be much apricated Spry The legendaries and Dark Spyro
2023.03.30 06:09 Agile_Virus_7868 I don't really know where to continue from here and I feel like my writing is sloppy, any advice?
I'm just looking for advice on where to take this and if it's even good. I don't know what direction to head in after this. Should it be fantasy or more reality like? I started writing this probably about a year ago, I really like the idea that's going on, but I don't know where to go from here. As you can probably tell from my writing, I'm a huge amateur, so it would be great if you could read it and give feedback and tips. It's going to be a bit messy because I haven't reread it much, but it's right below here.
It’s the same as any other day, I live a pretty basic life, in fact, scarily basic. I’m a normal 16-year-old high school student. I slave away at my schoolwork and then come home and play video games. Just rinse and repeat all of that and that’s my life at the moment. I’m currently just staring at my ceiling right now trying to force myself to go to sleep, because I know I'll hate myself tomorrow for not getting any. I guess that’s the downside of staying up all night and sleeping all day on the weekend. I turn around and force my eyes shut trying to drift away. After what felt like hours of just laying there, I finally fell asleep.
I wake up and realize I’m late for school. I get up, put my clothes on and run out the door, sprinting towards my school. It’s pretty handy when your school is only a 15-minute jog. As I'm running I realize how quiet it is. I stand there with the void of sound only illuminated by my ragged breath. I start looking around till I see something strange. A gummy bear, just over a foot tall, and it looks like it’s staring at me. As I'm walking towards it I see it start animating as it shifts towards me. I look at the abnormally large gummy bear and crouch down next to it. As I look at it, it responds by looking at me with cute sparkling eyes. I reach my hand to pet it and all of a sudden there is a sharp burning pain going throughout my entire body. As I stare at the gummy bear I see its cute eyes replaced with eyes that look drowned is blood, and razor sharp teeth holding something. As I try to focus my eyes with the burning pain I see what looks like a finger. I finally look down towards the source of the pain and see a hand covered in a sea of crimson red with 4 fingers. I take a step back and then realize I'm surrounded by the same bloodshot eyes gummy bears baring their teeth at me. As I try to process what's happening, suddenly the same yellow gummy bear dyed in my blood leaps towards my leg, my reaction causes it to go flying with a kick with all my strength which shakes off in an instant. Suddenly like a hallucination coming undone my vision flickers as it reveals corpses sprayed across the ground like crumbs, and the gummy bears reveal their true appearance. A swamp green creature with fur covering its back like a hedgehog and the same razer teeth and blood filled eyes. As the creatures start closing in on me, I and everything around me, is now covered by a shadow that looms over as far as I can see. I look towards where the sun was and see nothing but a deep black surface…. Or is it even a surface? I can't tell what it is but what I know for a fact are those familiar blood filled eyes stared into my very soul….. No, my very being of existence, everything I've ever known or loved was being peeped at by this…. thing. I stood there with a single tear stretching across my face as I accepted my fate.
Is this the 100th time? No, it may be well over the triple digits, at least that's what it felt like. I lost count an eternity ago. It looks like every time I die I restart the day in my bed, with the time always the same on my alarm clock. I've tried almost everything I can think of. I've tried knives, guns, bats but they've all produced the same result, dying. Hell, I've even tried to stay in my room but one thing that never changed is the feeling of being watched. I realized that I'm under something like a hallucination that makes me unable to truly see what things are like. It seems something like an ability that the creatures I've called gremlins (I’ve neither the creativity nor the energy to be unique right now) use to give their prey a sense of safety, although in the 5 senses it seems it can only change sight. It also seems that they can only change it to an extent, for example, they can't seem to reanimate organisms, although that might be because they can't reproduce their speech. But I do know that they can't make themselves just disappear, and it seems their go-to form is a gummy bear. I've done extensive research on them and here is where I'm at.
Their biggest weakness I found so far seems to be blunt weapons. I don't know the reason as I can't exactly dissect them, but it seems that knives and guns don't work nearly as well. Part of the reason that I do know it is that the gremlins have an extremely fast regeneration rate in which they can heal gunshot wounds in only 15 seconds. I think blunt weapons work because they crush their internal organs if you swing hard enough. It seems like their durability to attacks is surprisingly low, maybe because they've evolved without needing a lot of durability because of their regen. I think that swords would work well if you just cut them in half, or at least almost in half. I've no way to test that as I have no way to get close enough to them with my knife without losing some fingers. But by far the most important thing I've found out is how to get out of the illusion. It seems if i focus some type of energy into your eyes the illusion becomes undone. I can do it right now without the need of outside sources, but it is a lot easier with pain. But even after all those retries and all that research one thing, I still know nothing about is that thing in the sky. I still don't even know how to describe its irregular body color, because when I look at it, it just looks like nothing. I feel as if for the first time I've seen nothing. Not the surrounding air, no that has tiny little gas particles everywhere. But when I look at its body it reflects no light, I can't seem to focus on its body, and it doesn't even have any sense of the depth of it. It looks like it tore a section of reality itself and its peering into my world in a state of nothing. Although one thing I am sure about is its eyes. What seems like a hundred feet in circumference all it does is watch, it hasn't made any movements as I've been killed or killed the gremlins it just stays put staring at me, like I’m a source of entertainment. But besides my research, I'm currently in my kitchen looking for something to use to try and kill the gremlins. As I'm looking for something I smell something I've become quite acquainted with over the past hundreds of restarts.
As I look around, I realize I'm still in the hallucination state and can't see what's happening, so I look around the kitchen to try and find something to get me out of it. I consider chopping off a finger, but I know I'm not brave enough for that yet. I then see a lemon and decide to try that out. I slice open the lemon and squeeze the juice into both my eyes. I clench my eyelids down as the burning sensation bounces around in my eyes. After about 30 seconds I open my eyes and look around and I finally see what I've avoided finding this entire time, my mom. As I stare at the soulless corpse, I see what's left of my mom. It seems like the gremlins bit almost completely through her throat and completely ate her arm. I fall to my knees and tears start running down my face. All the emotions I've been holding back set in, the loneliness, the sadness, the anger, the hopelessness, all finally break out of the cage I've locked them in and are taking control of my thoughts.
My voice comes out coarsely, barely audible.
I break down. My sobs echoing throughout the empty house. My head caked in her blood as I rested it on her chest. After ten minutes I lay there, out of tears. I've realized, This isn't some fun game where I get to defeat some enemies or some comic where I get a cool superpower and defeat an evil villain. No this is real life. And even if I defeated all the gremlins, there's still that thing in the sky. And even if theoretically I defeat that, there's nothing left, no friends, no family. Soon enough the power plants will shut down, I'll run out of electricity, water, everything. Assuming there are any survivors besides me I don't know where they are, and with that, there's no way to even carry on humanity. And if I live my life until let's say I'm 70 and best-case scenario there's another human who's a girl, who becomes my wife and we become the new Adam and Eve. I’ll still die eventually and when that happens, I'll restart. This isn't some fun cool superpower, no this is a curse, I've been cursed with this by something, and it has seemingly no end. I pick up the knife lying beside me and hold it against my throat. I realize there's no point in that and just drop it. I get up and walk outside, with tons of those gremlins outside my door they start leaping towards me, gnawing my skin and bones until there's nothing left, before my eyes give out, I still see in the sky, that eye staring at me. As I fall and close my eyes. I subconsciously let out a smile. After all this time the only thing that proves my existence, the only thing I've come to have as a friend is pain. And as my friend sores throughout my body, I can't help but laugh. A laugh comes out of my blood-filled throat, a laugh I could only think of coming from a psychopath. That laugh rings throughout my head as everything goes black. A familiar feeling. Death.
I open my eyes once again staring at my pale ceiling, everything's the same. I figure there’s no point in trying right now. I could lie here for however many lives I wanted. Nothing would change. I close my eyes again trying to shut myself off from the world. After a while of lying there, I heard something coming up the stairs. It’s a bit early but the gremlins have come again. Although it was strange. I only heard one pair of footsteps coming up. Maybe for some reason, it hasn't told its friends it found me. And then something even weirder happened, the door opened, and on the other side of the doorway was something that looked exactly like my mom.
“Shane! What are you still doing in bed? School started over an hour ago!”
My Mom used to call me that. Everyone used to call me that.
It started speaking. The figure that looked like my mom has started speaking and it knows my name.
“Mom, is that you?”
I said with tears streaming down my face. My Mom, with a worried look plastered on her face, asked me.
“Of course, it’s me, what's wrong? Did something happen?”
“Just a nightmare “
I said with my face moist with tears. Although I know, that was no nightmare. Nightmares are dreams that never last that long. I felt it, I felt everything going on. Especially the pain, that pain was the most real thing I've ever experienced.
“Well just because you had a nightmare doesn’t mean you get to skip out on school.”
She sighed with a frown on her face.
School…. I forgot that it even existed.
“Alright Mom, just let me get ready and I’ll be down in 5.”
“Okay Shane, breakfast will be ready downstairs.”
My Mom left me alone and I sat there in disbelief.
Is this real, am I in another dream? Is this a dream and the other world is reality?
Well, thinking won't solve anything but I'm glad I'm out of that hellhole, even if it's temporarily. I quickly get ready and put on my backpack. My Mom made me some eggs on toast, and I headed out the door. It feels great, I heard the birds chirping, and my neighbor mowing his lawn. And no smell of blood. But one thing hasn't changed. Someone is watching me. I look in the sky, but a blanket of blue covers the vast plain. I shake it off, I’m probably still paranoid from the dream. I take a deep breath and continue on my way.
After around 30 minutes walking i finally arrive at school
Why didn’t I just take my bike?
I sigh and open the front doors to the school. I walked into the front office and as my pass was printing the office lady started speaking.
“There are 20 minutes left of the first block, so I’d hurry up.”
“Alright, thanks Mrs. Garcia”
“Anytime, now hurry up.”
That’s Mrs. Garcia. She lives near me, and I frequently do Jobs for her like Pet sitting and lawn mowing. She's kinda like a grandma I've never had.
I arrive at class and knock on the door. My classmate lets me in and as I walk towards my desk and see a familiar face frowning at me.
“Where have you been? You haven’t been responding to my texts, I was worried.”
I smile and look at her face. I still don’t know how I managed to get a girlfriend as beautiful as Katie, even after these past months of dating. I’m definitely glad I built up the courage to ask her out.
“Yeah sorry, I overslept and kind of forgot to check my phone.”
Katie makes a bitter face then sighs.
“I’ll forgive you now, but don't let it happen again.”
I sit down next to her and try to pay as much attention as I can, but my mind always ends up wavering from the subject. Before I know it I’m either on my phone or trying to talk to Katie, which she interrupts with a stare and shushes me. Finally, what feels like hours later I’m out of the block. I pick up my bag and say my goodbyes, then I trial off to second block. As I’m walking, I just can't take my mind off what happened. I can’t figure out whether it's a dream or reality, it’s almost as if I was trapped inside some kind of simulation for years, or even decades. I also don't know whether I should tell Katie or not or even any of my other frie-
My thoughts were interrupted by someone knocking into my shoulder. I look at the perpetrator to see who it is and my mind is relieved.
“Shane! What was that for? Trying to knock me over?”
I look at my friend and scoff, me and Jake and I have been friends since middle school, sometimes he’s a bit too much for me but he's a good person. He has a similar build to me but instead he has blonde hair and blue eyes in contrast to my brown hair and amber eyes. We’re also racing to see who will reach 6 feet first, we’re currently tied at around 5 '11.
submitted by Agile_Virus_7868
to writing [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:09 Litespeed111 Performance friendly alternatives for RW2?
Maybe different water mods in general? Honestly, I have seams in my water no matter what, and a couple rare, strange glitched areas that have "chunks of river cut out" and its probably related to depths of skyrim and/or realistic boat travel, must-have mods for me personally. Regardless, I just really want less seams in my water than vanilla because it's alot and when I have Realistic Water 2, it gives me a decent level of frame drop, and still has some seams and more strange chunks missing and stuff like that.. even when it's on the very bottom of my LO and i even had all appropriate patches for any other mods available with RW2 compatability that i had which wasnt more than 2 patches. I had nothing else affecting the water that i havent said that Ik of.
I'm sorry for such an info dump, but I'm desperate to fix this one un-immersive issue taking me out of the super immersive moments this game gives me. Every time I'm in ivarstead, riverwood, the reach, northern falkreath, or the north of the map around the sea of ghost(Annd alot of the DLC areas: solstheim, volkihar, ice lakes are near the vale, etc.) Point is I'm very commonly around water. A whole lot. So I'd love help figuring this out. The more options for me to test with this, the better!
Thanks to anyone who can help.
submitted by Litespeed111
to SkyrimModsXbox [link] [comments]
2023.03.30 06:09 vren55 [A Fractured Song] - Chapter 183 - Fantasy, Isekai (Portal Fantasy), Adventure
Cover Art! Just because you’re transported to another world, doesn’t mean you’ll escape from your pain.
Abused by her parents, thirteen-year-old Frances only wants to be safe and for her life not to hurt so much. And when she and her class are transported to the magical world of Durannon to fight the monsters invading the human kingdoms and defeat the self-titled Demon King, Frances is presented with a golden opportunity. If she succeeds, Frances will have the home she never had. If she fails, Frances will be summoned back to the home she escaped.
Yet, despite her newfound magic and friends, Frances finds that trauma is not so easily lost. She is dogged by her abuse and its physical and invisible scars. Not only does she have to learn magic, she has to survive the nightmares of her past, and wrestle with her feelings of doubt and self-loathing.
If she can heal from her trauma, though, she might be able to defeat the Demon King and maybe, just maybe, she can find a home for herself. Teaser: Martin and Ginger are thrust into an unenviable role.
] [<=Chapter 182 part 2
] [Chapter Index and Blurb
] [Chapter 184 on April 5 or now on patreon
] The Fractured Song Index Discord Channel
Just let me know when you arrive in the server that you’re a Patreon so you can access your special channel. Despite his curly crimson beard and heavyset build King Jerome was quite a mild-mannered man. His soft chin and cheekbones lent the man a face more inclined to smiling than scowling.
He was doing both, which wasn’t something Martin nor Ginger had seen that. His eyes were narrowed and brow furrowed. His lips however were tilted in a wry smile.
“We did give you the authority to make treaties with Queen Janize directly, but these are harsh terms for us, Sir Martin, Lady Ginger.”
Martin had set up their mirror so he and Ginger were standing in front of it. He dipped his head, placing one hand over his chest. “I am afraid I don’t see any other option, Your Majesty. You know of the strategic situation and the dragons that Thorgoth has under his command. We didn’t want the civil war in the first place, but now we must end it or risk annihilation.”
Queen Forowena, despite her limp, was pacing around her chair. One hand clenched her chin. “We don’t even know if Janize will agree to meet with us in the first place. Though, that’s beside the point. You want to know if we ought to approve of this at all.”
“Yes ma’am, I mean, Your Majesties.” Ginger swallowed. “More importantly, we want to know if there are any terms you are demanding Queen Janize to accept.”
The eyes of Forowena and Jerome met. No words passed between them. Jerome only raised a thick eyebrow and Forowena nodded, before turning to the pair. “No, but I do have one question. Did Elizabeth and Frances tell you about my infertility?”
Martin winced, whilst Ginger coughed officiously. “Elizabeth did, Your Majesty. She said that she will take full responsibility for that breach, and states that trying to keep the secret was impossible given the nature of her mission and our involvement in it.”
Nodding, Martin braced himself and clasped his hands behind his back. “Which brings the question, Your Majesty, with all due respect, did you intend for us to assassinate Queen Janize and her child?”
Forowena and Jerome again glanced at one another. This time, Jerome was giving his wife a knowing smile and the Earl was pinching her nose.
“To speak truthfully, Sir Martin, Lady Ginger, we were not sure ourselves whether we wanted to kill Janize if she was pregnant. We have continued to debate the question and its consequences,” said Forowena.
Jerome grimaced. “What we knew for sure was that Erisdale had to be put to siege. Now, I argued that my sister should be spared as with her child.”
“And I argued that Janize and her child were a threat to our rule and our chosen successors. I don’t want to kill them for both moral and practical reasons, but I was not sure how to neutralise them.” The Earl ran a hand through her hair and glanced at her husband. “Dear, I believe that we can accept most of the terms that Martin and Ginger have offered our behalf except for the second point.”
The king took her hand, running his scarred fingers over Forowena’s knuckles “You are correct my dear. We will allow Janize's child to enter the line of succession, but we have chosen our successors.”
Martin did his best to keep his expression neutral. “Your Majesty, I don’t understand. There’s no other direct descendant of House Grey left.”
Forowena sighed, her eyes meeting Martin and Ginger’s. “No. That’s why after very careful thinking, we planned to appoint our successors. We have even talked to all the other lords and ladies who support us and even our kingdom’s most powerful mages. That’s why there’s no way we can fully accept that second condition. It would be impractical if not impossible to get them to switch their support.”
Martin frowned. He suddenly recalled a call where his mothers and sister had given him a very strange look. They seemed oddly proud, even when they’d just been talking about family gossip.
Jerome nodded, “That and we would still be at war with Alavaria. A child successor would be inherently less appealing, and especially one underneath the influence of Queen Janize at that.”
Rubbing her temples, Forowena drawled, “It’s also why Janize and her child are such a threat. Unless Janize formally renounces her claim, she’d always be able to make a bid for the throne through her child. Not to mention she could just influence the throne through her child if he or she becomes ruler of Erisdale.”
Ginger coughed into her fist. Lifting her chin, she glared defiantly at the mirror. “With all due respect, Your Majesties, it would be better than continuing this pointless civil war. So long as we execute Darius and strip the rest of the Traditionalists of their power, who cares if Janize has some influence over her child? She won’t be able to harm Alavari in Erisdale, or affect lasting change. We’ll still be here. We’ll watch her and if she goes too far we will have Queen Titania’s Alavaria assisting us.”
Martin narrowed his eyes. Forowena and Jerome were exchanging looks again. Both were smiling at each other, but the ends of their lips were curled into just a bit of a smirk.
“Your Majesties, perhaps you can enlighten us on who you decided to be your successors? If they are not a very popular choice, maybe we can accept Janize’s terms.” The knight watched the king and queen carefully as his words hung in the air. He watched as King Jerome blinked, tried to avert his gaze, before forcing himself to look him in the eye. He noted how Queen Forowena forced her features into an expressionless mask.
Martin felt a cold shiver run through the very core of his being. Unconsciously he grabbed Ginger’s hand. His fiance blinked, tuning to look at him with wide eyes. Martin swallowed.
“That is, unless for some insane reason you’ve chosen me and Ginger?”
The queen let out a small breath, while trying to keep her neutral expression. Jerome’s shoulders sagged and he patted Forowena’s shoulder. “Told you he’d figure it out.”
Ginger’s head whipped back to face the royal couple. “Wait, what? Impossible. I’m a commoner. A former convict!”
Forowena’s eyes narrowed and her voice rose. “You’re also popular with the people, one of our national heroes. If your little rebuke to us was any indication, you also are loyal not to Erisdale’s monarchy, but our country and people. As for the matter of your commoner background, you’re marrying Martin and you know what that means.”
Ginger hands clasped behind her head, almost screamed, “Yes, I am marrying into a distant relation of the Royal Family and one of the founding noble houses of Erisdale. I was ready for that! You’re asking me—us to become King and Queen of Erisdale!”
“Yes.” Forowena growled, bitter tears wetting her eyes. “And we would never do so if there was no other option, Lady Ginger, but I can’t conceive a child!”
Jerome’s hand reached over to squeeze his queen’s shoulder. “And there’s no way I’m divorcing my queen. I am a man of my word and I vowed to be with Forowena until death do us part. That won’t change.”
Martin coughed to clear his throat and crossed his arms. “Then why didn’t you just have a surrogate give birth to your child, Your Majesty? I know it would be shameful but did you consider that we may not want to be king and queen?”
The king blinked, looking a little like an owl caught by torchlight. Forowena grimaced. “I did discuss this with Jerome, but I couldn’t quite convince him. You do have a good point, Sir Martin. However, even if Jerome did finally agree to father a child with a surrogate, we would still want you and Ginger to become the next King and Queen.”
“Right, potential child ruler. Not good for Erisdale,” Ginger muttered.
Forowena grimaced. “That and how many children could Jerome father? He cannot simply start fathering children haphazardly. More importantly, children are vulnerable. Even if by some miracle I could bear children, I would push for you both to be added in the line of succession.”
Jerome nodded solemnly. “Neither of us are willing to risk the fate of Erisdale on a child, even if it was our own. Considering that our original discussion was about the potential for Janize’s child to inherit, I think you see our point.”
Ginger, biting the tip of her thumb, yanked her hand out of her mouth. “We couldn’t have been that popular a choice, though…right?”
Forowena grinned. “You weren’t everybody’s first choice, but you were on the lips of many and once we started to seriously press those who were hesitant, they agreed you two were the best option. They even pledged to support you.”
Ginger glanced at her husband, but he was still crossing his arms. He’d gone so still for a moment she wondered if he was breathing. Then her mind caught up with her.
“Every lord and lady under your command agreed on us?” she stammered.
“Including your sister Mara, Martin,” said Jerome.
Clutching her hands, Ginger took a deep breath. “But why not Lady Edana—
“Of Erlenberg and not Erisdalian,” said Forowena.
Jerome shook his head, wincing. Forowena sighed. “Otherworlder and clearly too close to Prince Timur to make her look out for Erisdale’s interest.”
Ginger pressed a hand over her mouth, her free hand clenching into a fist and opening. “Shit. This…this is really happening.”
Martin closed his eyes and nodded. “I believe so. My…personal feelings aside, I will do my duty. But what do we tell Janize?”
“That we’ve appointed our own successors, but her child will be in the line of succession, with our successors house to take precedent over her own. That might complicate the succession law for the future, but that can be resolved in time.” Forowena snapped her fingers. “Ah, and we will also make it a condition that the amount wealth and land confiscated will be determined on the basis of who the Traditonalists persecuted and to provide compensation for property damaged by their forces in the war.”
Martin and Ginger exchanged a glance. “Including Alavari, Your Majesty?” Martin asked, his voice quiet.
Jerome nodded. “That is the intention, Sir Martin. Now…I believe you and your fiance have much to discuss. If that is all, you may request to be dismissed.”
“We do wish, Your Majesties,” said Martin, bowing. Ginger mirrored her fiance and the images of the king and queen faded.
Promptly walking over to one of their chests, Ginger fished into it and drew out a bottle of wine.
“Care for glass?” she asked as she fetched a goblet.
Martin sat down heavily onto his bedroll. “Yes. We…well nothing is guaranteed. I mean we haven’t even gotten married yet.”
Ginger poured herself and her fiance two glasses and handed one to Martin. “But we pledged to after the war, and so have the other lords and ladies of Erisdale. Damnit, of course Frances, Elizabeth and the others would support us, but everybody else?”
“It’s unexpected, but now that I think about it, most people wouldn’t want to be named heirs to Erisdale. It’ll be a hard job rebuilding this kingdom after the war and essentially starting a new dynasty.”
Sitting down, Ginger sipped from her glass. “Dynasty. Fuck, I’ll have to do something about my family.”
“Give your parents a stipend and nothing else.” Martin pursed his lips. “Of course, if you don’t want to be queen, Ginger, you can just—”
His fiance leant against his shoulder. “Finish that sentence and I will smack you. We’re in this together, Martin.”
“I know and I love you. I just wanted to make sure.” Martin took a deep gulp of wine and swallowed hard. “Hopefully, this is the last of the big responsibilities we get.”
Ginger snorted. “I would not bet on it my dear knight.”
Her fiance chuckled, before his lips pinched together. “Promise that you’ll never start calling me Your Majesty, please.”
Wrapping her arm around the blonde man, Ginger smiled. “You’ll always be my shining knight, Martin. Nothing will change that.”
“Thank you, Ginger.”
Pulling her feet off the table where Janize’s mirror was and sliding them back into slippers, Leila crossed her arms. “How many years since you’ve seen your brother?”
“Not since the civil war started, so about two years.” Janize smiled gave Leila a peck on the cheek. “Honestly, I am both irritated and a little proud of Jerome. I didn’t expect him to hold out, much less turn the tables on me. I always teased him when we were younger. He was too honorable, to the point that he was dumb. I suppose he just needed to find the right group of people to help him along. How long before the meeting by the way?”
Leila glanced at the high noon sun outside. “Not long now. I’ve also redoubled the security spells and checked the room.”
Janize nodded serenely. “Good. Anything else you can think of with regards to the conditions we have and their terms?”
The Otherworlder tapped her fingers on her arm. “Well, it’s not exactly something they demanded, but it might come up. They probably will demand compensation for the Alavari that we’ve been experimenting on. It’s probably why they demanded land and wealth from our rebelling nobles.”
Leila frowned, meeting Janize’s narrowed grey eyes. “I mean, it’ll be hard to argue with them. They’ve captured several of the labs and have our research notes—”
Janize raised her hand, her usually relaxed brow now furrowed. “Leila, what are you talking about? What do you mean by labs and experiments?”
The Otherworlder’s eyes widened and she found herself sitting up ramrod straight. “Um, is this a particularly amusing prank of yours?”
“We are minutes away from a critical meeting. Why would I joke about this with you now?” Janize hissed.
Leila blinked and slowly shook her head. “You’re kidding me. There’s no way you could have not been aware of this. The castles and labs were garrisoned with army troops and Red Order mages.”
“Leila this is the first time I’ve heard about these labs and castles—” Janize grimaced as the mirror began to glow, the sign that a call was coming. “Oh dear. Oh dear. I…I suppose I will have to request to be informed.” Settling herself, the queen touched the mirror and watched as King Jerome, Queen Forowena, Elizabeth, Ayax, Martin and Ginger appeared.
“Hello Janize,” said Jerome, coolly.
Janize smiled without mirth. “Greetings, Jerome. I must begin this meeting with a bit of a somewhat incredulous confession. But please bring me up to date on what exactly has been going on in the labs you have found that were apparently operated by my forces?”
The queen’s smile thinned as sceptical scowls and narrowed eyes met her question. Ayax blinked, tail whipping side to side. “You’re joking right?”
Janize cut before the stunned looking Reformists could ask another question. “I wish I was, but I was just informed by Leila here that they did exist. Speaking of which, how did you come to know about them, Leila? This is not something discussed in my palace.”
A grim, almost haunted look came over Leila’s face. “I found out about it recently as well. A few months ago, Master Scarlet of the Red Order requested Otherworlder assistance in defending their outposts and castles. They had no strategic value so we pressed her and she told us they were magical research laboratories and they couldn’t move the research easily. After that meeting, Earl Darius tried to convince me, saying that it would please Janize if I sallied forth. I wouldn’t normally have believed him, but our situation was so desperate I thought it made sense. I started to prepare a counterattack, but then it didn’t matter anyway because you folks in the Lightning Battalion started to attack them and there is no way in hell we would survive a fight with a full army division.”
Taking a deep breath, Elizabeth tried her best to get her own temper and confusion under control. “You mean you weren’t told what was going on in there? When did you find out about the children?”
“Our standing orders were to take Alavari prisoners of war and hand them over to the Red Order. So I figured—” Leila dropped her arms to her side. “Hold on. Children? What the fuck are you talking about? I thought they were experimenting with prisoners of war and criminals?”
A cold snarl twisting her normally serene expression, Ayax rose to her feet. “You Traditionalists haven’t even been fighting the Alavari! How could you have gotten prisoners of war? And experimenting on them is still wrong!”
Feeling a headache coming on, Janize gingerly massaged the side of her temple. “Wait, children? I thought that was propaganda you were spreading. Where the hell did you even get children from?”
“From the Alavari that lived in Erisdale, and from those that you kidnapped from Alavaria!” Elizabeth hissed.
“I authorized funding and troops for magical research, not that.” Her stony-masked stoicism wavered as her lips twitched. It was as if the queen was trying to prevent a wince. “It’s not that I don’t believe you, but this is extraordinary.”
His eyes narrowed, King Jerome leaned onto his elbows. “Janize, I don’t understand. How could you have known nothing? You don’t trust Earl Darius or Master Scarlet that much.”
Janize pulled her hands from her temples. Drawing herself straight, she narrowed her eyes at the mirror. “No I don’t, but this is the first time I’ve heard about these experiments.”
Leila blinked. She knew her lover better now and as good at hiding her feelings the queen was, she did have some subtle tells. In this case, her shoulders were just a bit too stiff, stretching skin across her high collarbone. “Janize, I’m sorry, but that’s…not entirely true isn’t it?”
The queen tilted her head toward the Otherworlder. Her grey eyes glared daggers at Leila for a brief moment, before she turned back to the mirror. In an arch tone, she hissed between gritted teeth, “I know they were making mana batteries. However, it’s the first time I’ve heard about children. I have been suspicious about why Master Scarlet and Earl Darius require so many facilities for some time and have been trying to audit them. They’ve been stonewalling me with magical and military jargon or burying it in budget books under nondescript lines.”
Leila blinked. “Oh that’s why you were asking me what those words meant.”
“Yes, dear. Now, if the interrogation is over, I will agree to offer compensation to those children and their surviving family members. In return, I have my own conditions.”
Forowena sneered. “Name them. We have our own conditions as well.”
Janize grinned back. “First, my child is not to be next in line to the throne of Erisdale. In fact, I would like to renounce my right of succession and that of my child.”
It was rather hard for Elizabeth, Ayax and their allies to hide their surprise. Admirably, King Jerome only managed to show his shock through a series of rapid blinks. “That’s a major concession, sister.”
The queen turned her chin up. “In return, once you depose Earl Darius, you grant me his personal lands and make me an Earl.”
Crossing her arms, her thoughts racing a mile-a-minute, Elizabeth muttered. “You’d become Erisdale’s chief powerbroker.”
“I am surrendering after all and most of my allies will be gone. You got to give me something. Besides, if I remain Earl, I’d be able to keep what remains of the Traditonalists in check. Exile honestly doesn’t suit me, as comfortable as it would be. I want my child to have a future, not one where he or she has no allies and is bound to the crown.”
Forowena and Jerome glanced at one another, exchanging frowns.
Martin also looked to Ginger, who shook her head. He nodded. They’d had their own discussion about Janize’s possible offers and they had their own opinion.
“Go get em, Martin,” Ginger rasped.
The knight swallowed and coughed officiously. “If I may be so bold, Your Majesties, I propose we grant Queen Janize a county, not an earldom. In return, we shall protect her from reprisals and reparations that the Crown of Alavaria will undoubtedly request.”
Leila rolled her eyes. “What crimes? As you said, we didn’t fight Alavaria.”
A shit-eating grin blossomed over Ginger’s face. Idly twirling a lock of her hair, she crossed her legs. “Earl Darius’s forces kidnapped Queen Titania’s niece, Princess Morgan Greyhammer from the Alavari Academy of Magic and subjected her to a year of torture and experimentation.”
In the silence that followed, all that could be heard was Leila trying not to sputter. Janize was quiet and still. Yet the color was drained from her face.
“That dumb bastard,” Janize whispered.
Leila slammed her fist on the table, causing Janize to flinch. “Fuck.”
“So a county it is, then?” Ginger asked in an airy tone.
“Yes. Do you confirm your side of your terms?” Janize asked.
“We do. Our demand was that your child could not be our successor, which you have agreed to.”
“So the dynasty of the House of Grey ends I suppose.” Janize let out a shuddering breath and shook her head. “Then who is to be your successor?”
Martin and Ginger clasped each other’s hands in unison before facing the group.
“We are,” said Martin slowly.
“Until someone better is found,” said Ginger.
Janize arched an eyebrow. Leila sighed. The queen, however, nudged her Otherworlder quiet and gave a nod of assent. “A wise choice. Shall we continue?”
Author’s Note: So yeah, this is a bit of a twist, let’s see what happens.
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