[M] a spot of ale
#1
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WARNING: This thread contains material exceeding the general board rating of PG-13. It may contain very strong language, drug usage, graphic violence, or graphic sexual content. Reader discretion is advised.
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Ya need ta find yerself a proper wuman an settle on down, the buxom harlot breathed through a thick plume of smoke. He cracked a cheshire's grin before taking a long drag on his spliff. Now why pick a single pretty rose when I can have the whole garden? She clucked her tongue with mock dissaproval and swatted his arm, taking a luxurious moment to squeeze his toned bicep at his cheeky reply.

Well ye can tend my garden any old day lad, but then again Ah'm no pretty rose. Nonsense Rian! I could take you to bed right now if you'd let me, he winked one sparkling turquoise eye, garnering a a delicious giggle from her before she pushed herself off the couch and rose to return to the bar. Another pint then? He agreed with a nod, watching her hips sashay away.

The Quivering Hills was still very much a home to him and it's denizens his family of odd sorts. No other place called to the rogue's blood like the sweet and tangy perfume of the bar and brothel that housed a handful of familiar comely faces. Many of the Johns that frequented the establishment had become just as regular as the girls he took to his room, a space he was still generously offered even after the connection at the old Outpost had been botched and he'd almost lost his life. Now he did odd jobs for the place and it's Madame, running booze, bringing in potential clients, and occasionally chasing off the riff raff by use of force.  The latter usually called for backup via his brother Eros, whom was better skilled with or without a weapon by far, but Quin found no shame in admitting his weaknesses...he was a lover, not a fighter anyways.

More recently, or since the red star had fallen, the starry eyed male had been spending a lot of time with Palaydrian collecting herbs and learning a thing or two about gardening. He idolized the viking woman and felt he owed her his life since she'd saved his after all. She was more than happy to answer his questions and had seemed quite pleased to teach him what she knew, which was quite a lot. Too much for him to fully absorb in a handful of lessons here and there but the most important parts--things he deemed for himself--were taken to heart and committed to memory. He had an idea brewing in the back of his dreamer's mind, and one day he hoped to see those aspirations to fruition.

Et's on tha house. The Irish matron returned, plopping down a foaming pint of the Hills' best ale. My thanks Ri...and I meant what I said, he grinned again before topping off his mug.
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#2
With a small flurry of commotion, the fiery pelted Damaichu appeared in the bar. He looked clean, smelt fresh and appeared to be feeling very pleased with himself. Eros was relaxed, which was partly to do with the warm soak, but also a lot to do with the tingly feeling in his nethers. He was well rested, and he’d just finished a cleansing and very satisfying time in hot water. As always his knives were belted at his waist, his only form of clothing or adornment, and when he saw his brother he winked and headed over. Sitting down beside his starry eyed brother, Eros placed a small wrapped bundle on the table.

”Another present for Omara, that’s ‘for Omara bro’” He said raising his brows for emphasis ”Though the leaves were harder to get this time, not sure why.”

As he placed the bundle, with a quick hand, he took Quin’s ale and took a deep swig, playing back in front of his bro, licking white froth off his nose.

”Seriously Quin, you should definitely try this.”

The fiery pelted Damaichu had arrived late last night, smelling like he’d just been hunting, and in time to catch one of the more drunk patrons getting a little rougher than one of the girls, Eros forgot which one, was appreciating. Often Eros’s advantage lay in his quick strikes. He hadn’t tried to reason with the drunk, just punched him once in the stomach, so hard the guy had thrown up over the girl, better vomit than a rough housing though right? The guy had collapsed, winded to the floor, and to make sure the guy got the message, Eros had struck the guy on the side of the head. Eros had dragged out the unconscious form and dumped it a way off from the brothel. A few of the patrons, and one or two of the girls, gave him weary looks, but there had been no other issues. Eros had slept for a long while, not even wanting to play that evening, although his wake up call had been much appreciated.

”So who you been doing Quin?”

Eros asked, admiring the girl that’d appeared to attach herself to his brother. The fiery pelted Damaichu gave her a smile, but said nothing else as he waited for his brother to answer.
#3
The familiar and comforting scent of him hit his nares before turquoise eyes shifted to regard his handsome brother with a mock look of offence. For Omara it is… he drawled, huffing a low laugh as Eros pilfered his draft and slaked his thirst. He glanced back at the retreating plump rump of Rian and gave his own dark and scarred lips another lick before transferring full attention back to his russet furred sibling.

That so? He lightheartedly sneered, waving to one of the newer barmaids to bring over another mug. Of course he took the time to revel in her curves as well, sneaking a quick pinch of “the goods” before she scampered off with a giggle. Quin poured himself another hefty pint of the ale and finally tipped the libation back. With a satisfied sigh he leaned back into the plush cushions and propped the mug on one knee just as the pretty barmaid returned with a tray of smoked delectables for the two to partake in.

This shit is good, he agreed with a smile, taking another deep swig while his free hand inspected the bundle Eros had dropped onto the table. It’s gotta be those thugs from the Outpost, Quin mused, brow furrowing with disappointment for a moment before he pulled the new girl onto his lap. You know how to keep secrets don’t you? He teased the flirty hybrid, gently nibbling the tips of her fingers when she offered him a piece of the lightly charred meat.

’course! ‘Mara wouldn’t have it any other way, she smartly retorted, drawing circles in the thick of his chest fur while Quin shot Eros an indulgent swig. It’d be safe to talk business here. And your name? The rogue inquired. Cherise, was the wolfdog’s smoky reply while she chose another piece of smoked flesh and offered it teasingly to the fiery coated male.

Well there’s your answer brother…Cherise, Quin dared and his tall ears were rewarded with the girl’s bubbly laughter, he'd take it as a promise for later. Heard you had some fun without me last night...who was it this time--that jackal fellow? He’s been coming around more often, making some of the girls skittish, the Knight continued.
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#4
Eros picked, what had become, his pint up and took another swig, his yellow eyes never leaving the passing staff. If the fiery male stopped and thought about it, it might seem strange that sex was like and itch and no matter how much he scratched, he was always ready to keep going back. He licked the foam of his lips, his ears catching what Quin was saying, but his eyes only turned in that direction when Cherise sat down, a smile, that could only be described as predatory appearing on his maw. He watched her run a hand down the taut muscles of Quin’s stomach and stopping at his navel, but she reached a thumb down, rubbing the fur agonisingly close to a place, that had she touched it, would have meant Quin would haven’t been able to hear a word Eros said. The fiery pelted male had seen it done before, it was a trick to tantalise and excite, gaining the attention and promising a great deal. She might’ve been young, but Cherise was clearly already good at what she was doing, after all, she quite literally had Eros eating out of her hand. He let her feed him, wrapping his tongue around her fingers and sucking a little as she drew them out, she laughed, and he took another drink of ale.

Of course, Quin had to spoil it with memories of last night.

”It was a Jackal, whether it was the same one, who cares. He was drunk, and I was tired of leaving subtle hints. I think the girl he was with got chucked up on, but better that than what would have happened I bet.”

Feeling somewhat untended, especially with Cherise making such a fuss of Quin, Eros was about to call Rian over when a commotion in the hallway stopped him. His eyes turned to the entrance to the bar in time to see, what had to be, one of the most stunning female’s he’d ever seen in his life. Her fur was white, but that only barely described it, there were shades of white, if there could be such a thing. Her hair was long and, an almost pearlescent cream colour. Right now it whipped about as the female looked left and right. Finally her gaze fell on Eros and her expression, could only be described as fierce. The Fiery Damaichu barely noticed though, as her eyes were a deep, and dark green, with swirls of ocean blue. Just looking at her, Eros could almost hear icebergs creaking and breaking off. She smelt of tundra winds and fire smoke, of cured meat and salt. Eros was already picturing them together.

”Eros!”

Her accent was exotic and impossible to determine its origin, the kind of voice that just begged to be listened to. Eros however was looking confused. His brow was furrowed, his smooth moves thrown out the window as soon as she seemed to know who he was. Unsure what else to do, he looked over at Quin, perhaps hoping his bro might be able to jog his memory.

”Hi, Uhh…do I know you?”

The look she gave him went a few steps beyond withering. She spoke a few words in a language Eros didn’t understand, though from the tone he didn’t think they were ‘I’m so pleased to see you’.

”I must return north with my pack, our trading is done here. I’ve already stayed too long. My pack won’t accept her, and…”

All of a sudden this strange female looked incredibly sad, and her eyes had gone to a bundle Eros hadn’t noticed before, but all now it was difficult to take his gaze away from it. When the female spoke again, he could hear that there must be tears in her eyes.

”There is a note for her, I’m sure you can find someone that will read. It will help her find me if she wishes to, and it explains….everything.”

Eros was starting to get a very bad feeling about this. The anonymous female bent down and pulled back a flap in the bundle, but Eros couldn’t see it, she kissed whatever was in there though, and then forced Cherise to take it. With one steadying breath she gave them all a last look and disappeared out.

”What the fuck?” Eros finally asked, when the power of speech had been returned to him. He looked at the bundle Cherise was holding, and tentatively pealed back a flap. A tiny white pup lay nestled in the fur, she was so small her eyes had not yet opened, but she reacted badly to the cold.

”Crazy bitch just dumped her pup here.”

The cold wind made the small thing try to turn away and as she did the russet splash over one side of her face became very clear. When he looked up Cherise was watching him.

”Hey, this isn’t mine, I don’t know who the hell she was. So it’s got red fur, just like a million other luperci.”

Still, he unwrapped the coca leaf and began chewing, quite forgetting the fact he’d meant the bundle to be for Omara.
#5
She was absolutely stunning and seemingly blown in by the North wind itself. Harlequin's breath had been taken away mere seconds after the strange female had arrived and the pretty little thing on his lap had become yesterday's news. Who was she? He had to know while the tiny bubbles from his ale seeped into the down fur that lined his lips. Cherise grew impatient and downright green with jealousy seeing the attention of both the Damaichu-Knight males focusing onsomeone else and drew her claws possessively through Quin's fur. He trapped her wrists with both hands and gave them a warning squeeze but both turquoise eyes had honed in on the she wolf and remained fixed there even after she addressed his brother with a tone he'd heard too many times before.

Of course Eros had taken the girl to bed. Who would consciously pass up a chance such as that? He was only sorry he hadn't been the first of the pair but Quin had no qualms about sharing. Unfortunately, the Arctic goddess wasn't talking about sticking around or indicating she was down for a round two with either Eros or his gawking sibling, but as quick and dramatically as she'd come, Beautiful was already walking out the door.

The hell was that? He murmured with a slack jaw, quite ignorant of the implosion happening all about him until Cherise elbowed him sharply, forcing him to look down at the bundle loosely clutched in her arms. Eros was already up in arms about the pup not belonging to him when it finally dawned on Quin what had transpired. Well it ain't my problem! Gone was the wolfdog's pretty speech or attempts at flirtation. Taking care of someone else's kid wasn't a part of her job description and she wasn't about to start.

Arrow... Harlequin spoke softly, watching his brother withdraw into himself after he pinched off the product meant for the Mistress, but his eyes had already returned to the tiny babe. It became uncomfortably apparent that Cherise wanted nothing more to do with the duo for the night, as she'd begun to slip off the Knight's lap, and was making to push the bundle towards Quin. He refused the squirming thing at first but Cherise was coming awfully close to dropping the thing so eventually, and with great reluctance, Quin cradled the swaddled pup. She retreated back to the bar before he could protest, leaving the two and a half without a backwards glance.

Well...fuh-kuh. An amused and yet pained grimace spread across the rogue's face when he peeled back the flap and took another peek at the tiny welp. Eros could try all he wanted at explaining the child away, but there was no denying, to Quin at least, whom the pup belonged to. Uncle's gotta a nice ring to it, he tried lightening the mood, a bit shellshocked himself but steadfastly, and perhaps a little naively, remaining optimistic.
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#6
The fiery pelted Damaichu was ignorant of everything that was going on around him. The appearance of the northern goddess had sparked nothing but very graphic carnal images, until of course, she’d dropped, almost quite literally, her bombshell and left. Now his reality had shattered into a million pieces and he was doing his best to remember if he’d ever slept with her, or when it had been. Fragments of memory danced around, more images and feelings than anything particularly coherent. He was pretty sure he remembered those eyes, and feeling a burning lust, stronger than anything else he’d felt in his life. He’d quenched his sword and it’d felt utterly amazing.

It wasn’t until Quin spoke about being an uncle that Eros returned to himself, and realised he’d stopped chewing the leaf. Silently he stared at his starry eyed brother holding, what the female claimed to be, his kid.

”Well uncle Quin, consider her an early birthday present, because there’s no way in hell I’m keeping her.”

Rian appeared, as if from nowhere and gently squeezed Quin’s bicep. As current pup holder, she took his free hand and put, what looked like, an artificial teat in it. She didn’t ask him if it was okay, or whose it was, she just gave it to him, expecting him to do as he was told.

”Now title it gently and brush it against her lips, she’ll do the rest. She needs feeding.”

Perhaps Eros shouldn’t have been surprised that the place had an artificial teat. Somewhere like the Hills must have ‘accidents’ all the time right?
#7
Not keeping her? Accusation and bewilderment were in his tone while he experimentally followed Rian's advice and became quickly amazed at the hungry movements the tiny babe made to begin noisily suckling whatever was in the soft leather pouch. Goat's milk, the barmaid answered the question forming on Quin's lips before it could leave.

A couple of the girls have young'ins that need feedin' too, I'll see if one of them would be willin' to offer the real thing for that one, but for now...that'll have to do, she went on and adjusted the Knight's hold so his elbow wasn't sticking quite so far up in the air. Not too high or ya'll choke the poor mite! She tutted and then cast a glare at Harlequin's russet furred brother. I won't be hearin' nothin' about no abandonment, the pup is yer's and I'm expectin' you to do right by her...

--Rian! Quin cut her off, shooting her a heart melting smile as he continued to feed the famished child. I got it from here, he just needs some time, he affirmed, and whether it was from the booze or the smoke from earlier, the Knight was feeling pretty confident. Their well endowed friend hesitated for a moment before moving away to see to the other customer's, but the Irish girl continued to glance over at them, perhaps waiting for Quin to wave her back in.

With a soft sigh, turquoise eyes finally returned to the male sitting across from him as the pull at the end of the bag became less desperate in his hands. This isn't something you can very well run away from Eros, he reminded his brother, --and as much as you'd like to gift me this present, I simply cannot accept, he continued with a chuckle. It doesn't mean I won't help you though, he added as a quick after thought.
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#8
The fiery pelted Damaichu watched as the tiny and perfectly form little thing drank, small dribbles of white clinging to her small maw. Eros spat contemptuously, the coca leaf making a wet slap as it hit the floor.

”You’re a sucker for a pretty face Quin. Someone comes in here and says the kid’s mine. You saw what she looked like, you think I’d not remember fucking that?”

Eros leaned forward, looking at his starry eyed brother, he seemed pretty comfortable in his new role as uncle, and seemed to already have the hang of a good feeding. The small bundle appeared to have dis-engaged from the teat and was nuzzling Quin’s chest fur, sniffing and snuffling, she let out a quiet whine, before yawning and lowering herself back into the blankets.

”Even if she was mine, and I’m not saying she is, I’m not a dad. If she is mine though, get me a brick and I’ll solve this problem pretty damn quick.”

He leant back, his golden eyes smouldering, and bright with cold.

”Fuck!” he suddenly hissed, and smashed his mug, the ale in it spraying over the table and dripping onto the floor. ”I need some air.” he said standing, grabbing the coca leaf and tossing it onto the bar as he passed. A number of the girls smiled at him, but he ignored them and went to the entrance. It felt like a very long time ago that Quin and him had been standing down the path just watching and unbelieving that such a place existed.

With deft hands, Eros rolled himself a joint, lighting it, and taking a drag, already feeling his mind clearing of his sudden burst of anger and thinking more clearly. He could dump the thing on his parents, and if they didn’t take her, well then he could always just leave the pup somewhere, she’d be bound to be found by someone else.
#9
Won't argue that, he laughed at his brother's comment, but soon became engrossed in the small bundle cradled in his arms. She naturally took to the artificial teat like her life depended on it, and it did. A thought lingered in his head while she nosily suckled down the goat's milk which felt warm to touch inside the supple shaped leather pouch. He vaguely recalled Callum talking to them about a female's heat and how they'd both been far more interested in the details than their brothers had been though for all the wrong reasons. What was it he said? He pondered while Eros went on talking. 'A female's season brings pups...' or something like that..

By now his face had screwed up in a look comprised of confusion and introspection, but that's when 'brick' registered in his psyche and the stupid look instantly vanished. Don't say that shit! His sudden vehemence and intense urge to protect the child both startled and overwhelmed him for a second, but the rogue's sharp edges were quick to soften, and he covered up his sudden outburst with a show of laid back swagger by balancing the babe in one hand and bringing his mug of ale up to his mouth for a healthy glug.

Fuck is right...he mused darkly after Eros slammed down his drink, ignoring the rivulets of drink that pattered down onto his legs as they ran off the table. By now, Little Miss Unnamed was milk drunk and asleep, her soft muzzle burrowed into the dark fur that covered the taught abdominal wall Quin was quite proud of. From the commotion, Rian already had eyes back on the table and Harlequin gave her a wordless nod. After carefully transferring the sleeping babe to her arms, the starry-eyed Knight joined his brother.

A hand reached out to welcome the joint should he give it, but a question seeped out between them. What's the plan? His jovial demeanor had returned and a cheshire's grin played on his handsome mouth.
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#10
The fiery Damiachu’s golden eyed gaze shifted to look at his brother. Eros ignored the reaching hand as he took another suck on the joint. Eros was angry. Angry at the idea that he should have this thing dropped on his lap, and angry that Rian and Quin somehow already thought it was his problem.

”Has anyone ever told you, you’re a fucking scrounger?”

Eros said as he handed over his joint. There was no real venom behind the accusation, the number of times the fiery pelted male had lifted up the floorboard to take Quin’s stash had to make them, at least even. Eros blew out the smoke he’d had held in his muzzle, the sweet smelling cloud familiar and reassuring. Quin had a point. What was the plan? Eros sighed, his ears flattening against his head.

”There’s no way I’m keeping her. She’s not mine, or at least if I did screw the bitch that came in, I was so off my face, I don’t even remember. If I wasn’t so pissed I might be impressed that I managed to get it on when I was that far gone. If I kill the thing, I’m pretty sure Rian’d flip out and make sure I didn’t get to come back here.”

Eros paused briefly at that thought. The run down pile was more of home to him than New Dawn had ever felt, and to be cast out of this place was certainly something he didn’t like the thought of.

”You said you don’t want her, so I guess the only other option is stay here a few weeks, and then go down to Casa, see if dad’ll take her in.”

Eros looked directly at his starry eyed brother.

”Unless of course, you got any bright ideas?”
#11
He smiled roguishly back at his brother's comment at first and then coughed out a laugh after sucking greedily on the joint's end. Getting high with Eros was such a norm for Quin akin to breathing the air that fed his lungs and oxygenated his blood. Sharing is caring... he quoted with another classic Harlequin grin. He truly felt anything he owned was just as much his brother's as his own, but when it came to responsibility, namely the mewling pup back inside, the starry-eyed male was suddenly at a loss. He always had the russet furred male's back and he knew Eros would always have his, but this was an entirely different circumstance, a scenario he had not yet envisioned for either of them.

Fatherhood. It didn't quite fit as a title for Eros, at least not in Quin's mind. He considered himself and his brother to be bachelors for life, but occasionally, and most likely after a few rounds of drink and too much to smoke, Harlequin did in fact dream about having his own kids someday. Not in a conventional way of course...him becoming someone's mate, that was a laugh, but more in a sense of having pups with multiple lovers. He wondered what it'd be like to be called "Dad" and to share all of his wisdom of debauchery and adventure with some young blood hopeful someday. Of course, these random musing and ramblings were usually dreamt up and weaved together with whatever flavor of the week it was and not shared with his brother, and perhaps the only true secret Quin kept from him.

You're not killing anything, Harlequin surmised, passing back the joint after he'd taken another heady pull. And fine...she's not yours, a laugh--but that tall glass of water certainly thinks she is, and now she's gone. He gave his brother a moment to let things further sink in, cocking his head back his way when Eros started to piece together some semblance of a plan. Callum? You still talk to him? It was asked with an odd tinge of envy. Quin rarely bothered to make contact with the rest of his family in the South and was honestly surprised to hear that Ro would considered running to them for this.

Nah...no ideas here, he continued with a shrug, though that small naive part of him, or perhaps it was the weed talking already, had him thinking maybe they could raise her themselves. It was probably more of the stubborn streak that ran through him. From his birth family, only Eros mattered to him, and somehow relenting this possible genetic piece of his brother to a father he never bonded with, felt wrong. It's up to you...I mean...we could---nah forget about it, he stilled his tongue before the crazy idea could come out.
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#12
The fiery Damaichu accepted the joint back, wishing he didn’t have to think of this. What he really wanted right now, was to wind the clock back and not have been sitting there when….damn, he couldn’t even remember her name, walked in. He took another draw, but it was half hearted and distracted. Quin’s tone when his brother mentioned Cal brought Eros back though, his gold eyes looking at the starry masked male.

”I wouldn’t say we talk. He walked in on me…” Eros didn’t finish the phrase, it had been a horrible scene. ”Really knows how to kill a mood, but we’ve talked once or twice. If you don’t want her though, I’m not keeping her, who else is there Quin?”

This was definitely the shittiest thing to happen to him in a long time, but as bad as it was, Eros was glad that his bro was there to share it with him. In a life that went from drugs to booze to sex and back around, there were occasions, just once or twice, when Eros realised he might be lonely. They were secrets he kept pretty close to his chest, but on those occasions, he always sought out his bro’s steadying company.

Harlequin’s fraction of speech caught the fiery Damiachu’s attention again, and the corners of his lips quirked up in a smile.

”What? Hey dude, I’m open to any ideas right about now. Besides, if you don’t tell me, I’m not sharing my joint with you.”

He grinned cruelly at his starry eyed brother.
#13
It's nothing, Quin lamely argued, shooting his own shit-eating grin back at the fiery pelted male before he swiped the cherried joint from his fingers. He took a slower drag this time after a laugh, drawing his eyes closed for a moment and holding the smoke in longer before exhaling it on a sigh.

Just thought for a sec what it'd be like for the two of us--ya know...with a kid or somethin'. Chicks dig 'em, don't know why, but maybe that thing would bring us more tail or---whatever, the Knight shrugged again, looking rueful while he offered the stolen smoke back as a peace offering.

It's stupid I know, high talk, he surmised, but the idea kept lingering in his now drink and pot dulled mind. In truth, neither of them was mature enough to even dream of raising someone's kid, and Harlequin had no real understanding of what it took to keep another being, other than himself, alive. He didn't fully comprehend that though, and another laugh escaped him.

Us with a kid! Imagine it, another grin spread wide across his starry-eyed face as the cacophony from inside, poured all around them. The Quivering Hills was certainly no place for a pup, but somehow a handful of the employees somehow made it work.

Dad good though? What that's the...second time he's caught you in the act? Quin chuckled, the high making him feel curious and concerned for once about the family he'd not spoken with since New Dawn had faded into the past.
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