[P] Come Hell or High Water
There was not a sound in the forest at this time of night, which made it all the more difficult for the creeping warriors picking their way through the woods. Ciara’s chocolate eyes had only star light to reflect off of, and the important thing was to remain silent. Silence would grant them the key to their plan – the element of surprise. It had not been difficult to find the camp of the offending loners who had dared to attack Krokar’s own, leaving Taseko for dead and destroying the Outpost he’d worked so hard for, harming numerous pack members. At long last the leadership had decided to put this to an end and as Defense Magnate, Ciara was all too happy to oblige.

Since the night she’d met them on the borders with the Captains and Semini, Ciara had harboured a deep hatred for the band of mercenaries. They were honourless, despicable, and needed to be either chased off or exterminated. Ciara certainly preferred the latter, a thought she kept to herself lest she alarm her pack members with the violent want. Then had come the day they had dared sneak into the packlands and attempt to set the barn on fire. Chasing them off with more scars than they’d left with filled the Magnate with a deep satisfaction, but nothing would chalk up to truly getting rid of them.

It had been with cold concentration that she’d donned her leathers, fashioned for her by her daughter Athena who’d taken up the skill over the long hours of winter. They were thick and would protect her from bites of sword and arrow, but they were heavy and hard to get used to. Ciara didn’t dare tell her daughter this, though, she was much too proud that her girl had made her armour. The Magnate had kissed her daughter, and the Donovan trio of fuzzy slightly-larger-than potatoes, before starting out into the night.

With Aphrodite flanking her and another group set to be led by August and Sylven coming from another angle, Ciara led them closer and closer to the camp, catching the scent of smoke and sleeping loners on the wind. There was no warning from her, no signal to the hawks that had given them such an advantage throughout the past week of hell. This time, the Krokaran had the advantage and this time they would defend their lands, come hell or high water, and remove this threat once and for all.

ooc: why did i offer to start again >> wc: 4+
Avvy by the lovely Nat!
[size=85]OOC: Feel free to reference Sorcha also <3 She and Drachev will ultimately end up fighting/killing one another but either Ciara or Aphrodite could help her since he's such a beast. Shade, feel free to PP Marcella and Drachev waking and preparing to fight in your post.[/size]

Soundlessly, the silver woman followed Ciara's lead. Something was burning in her heart and she couldn't be sure if it was fury or if it was guilt. She clenched her jaw and narrowed her dark eyes, trying in vain to shove the thought away. But it bubbled obstinately to the surface and made her sigh.

Milos had begged. He had pleaded and petitioned and implored. He had offered alternatives and ultimatums. His voice echoed in her head. Please don't, Sorcha. Don't go, it said, over and over and over again. She closed her eyes. His fingers had been wrapped tightly around her arm and she could still remember how warm and sweaty they felt against her skin. The fur beneath his grip was damp when at last he had released her. She touched her arm.

But she had to go. Sorcha opened her eyes again and they gleamed dangerously in the starlight. She told him that she needed fix this; she needed to set things straight. For both of them. They could be rid of Drachev and Marcella and their entire rotten past forever, but she had to go. This was their fight, after all. They had started it and Sorcha intended to finish it. He was still begging her when she left him finally, still too wounded and bruised and aching to chase after her.

Maybe the burning was guilt after all.
Maybe it was crushing, overwhelming rage.


Ilse was awake, mashed between the thawing ground and Drachev's immense weight. One of his thick, ebony arms was wrapped heavily around her torso. She breathed him in, hating him. He was asleep, snoring gently. Some days that was the only sound she heard from him. It always surprised her how soft and light it sounded, knowing what she knew about the beast. She could almost imagine kindness and cheer from him.

Not quite.

She stirred against him and his grip tightened around her. She fell still. It was no good, she knew that by now but still she felt compelled to try. She always wanted to try. For herself. For others. Idly, Ilse wondered what Peony was feeling, being free. She had tried for Peony, then, some days ago. She had tried and she had succeeded and it encouraged her to keep trying. Always. Maybe someday she would succeed for herself, too.

There was a scent in the air. Close. Familiar. It tickled her nose and she glanced at Drachev. He was waking with the scent and she wondered if she should warn him they were near or pretend to be asleep. Out of the corner of her eye, Ilse saw Marcella stir and thought that it wouldn't be long now before the woman woke and hell rained down upon them.

Ilse closed her eyes and feigned sleep. Let them come. Let them fight.
Let them win.

[WC: 483]
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<div class="title">Marcella Fauks</div>

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