[P] [m] a highway back to the heart
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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.


689 27 jan


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The village felt something like home again -- Vesper was back, and they'd slept beside one another the previous night, curled up tightly together. Myrika was more comfortable on the furs -- the corner had not been pleasant, though she had felt it deserved. When she awoke the next morning, it was the best she had felt in weeks, though she was not miraculously recovered of that underlying feeling of dirt and grime. She was not without her well-deserved guilt, but things were -- okay. So far they were very much okay. She hadn't damaged anything beyond repair, and in fact now they were mates, pledged. Any other trespass she made was one against that bond. Myri had been foolish enough to betray Vesper once, and she did not even need that concept of mateship to know it would never happen again.

Yet it was something -- there had been joy, and though no one was there to witness it, they were something else now. It made the children theirs together, Myri thought, more than any of the other words they'd spoken. The woman stretched out on her furs and rolled over, blinking slowly at the golden-yellow light. Some of the leathers had been pulled back. She didn't know if that was Vesper's work or Kaena's. Either seemed likely. The former was away seeking food -- though Myri was not particularly hungry, she needed food all the same. The latter -- Myri could not say. The old woman might be in her own room. She was often quiet enough to miss. She might be wandering, too, though Myri had asked her to avoid the borders alone.

There was no changing Kaena's mind, though, once she'd decided something. Perhaps, too, she was doing some errand on Myrika's behalf -- she had said as much to the old coyote some days ago, she recalled. It would not have surprised her; though she publicly maintained she'd given up the position of Centurion willingly, Myri knew the truth of it. Gabriel had asked her to step aside, and she had done so only by his request. Maybe it gave her joy to act in these small ways to aid Inferni. The redhead wouldn't strip it from her. It was good to have some small privacy from her; she had been especially intrusive since the news had broken.

She was alone, but for Halo's ghost and her thoughts. The children would need names. Could she flip through a book and select at random? Surnames were an easier matter than first names -- there were only so many they could pass along. She'd honor father and sister with Asylum, and grandmother with Lykoi, and the memory of her mother with her own surname. If she could, that is. She knew nothing of average litter sizes and hadn't thought to ask Kaena yet. There were many such questions -- perhaps questions a canine as old as she was shouldn't have. Myri had always shunned such talk, though, and now regretted it to some extent.

You look ill. Is that why you've been avoiding poor me? the voice said, intruding on her thoughts and chasing away any joy she'd accumulated since the previous day. Her muscles turned to stone and she didn't want to look at the window. There was a scrabbling sound, however, and a two-legged coyote stood in the room with her, hand on one hip. Why are you in that form, anyway? He sauntered to the desk and deposited himself on its flat surface, lifting one leg so he might set his chin on it. Come back and share my form, you were much better that way.

Myri wanted to retreat to the bed but she felt frozen in place. Only her ears moved and that was to lay them back against her head. He seemed unconcerned with her reaction, only sniffing the air with a curious look in his pale blue eyes. They were icier and brighter than she remembered, and there was a glinting to them she did not like.

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772 hi I are a Sie

The coywolf looked on the big coyote with calm eyes, appraising her. She had been fun, if a little stiff, and he had perhaps wanted to give his luck a second go. Her lupus form and his own, however, were not attractive things. He preferred breasts and hands to grab them with -- mating as their ancestors had was just savagery. It seemed she was not in the least inclined, though -- she regarded him with wide eyes the color of blue ocean, ears flat against her tawny-colored head. Cirael regarded her with his own sharp-eyed gaze, curious. She looked aghast. That was not a good sign in the least. A twinge of worry was brushed away idly, as he might have done with dirt on his tawny-silver coat.

Before he could speak -- perhaps to make his leave, or perhaps to needle her again -- she did it for him. There was a strength in her that had been lacking that evening, he thought. Curiosity kept him rooted in place. He wanted to see where this was going. I'm going to have -- puppies. CJ was unmoved. They're not yours. The blue-eyed coyote regarded her for a moment, wondering if he should give her some of the sweetness he'd given earlier -- mothers were such delicate things. He could make a jab about her getting around -- that was a dangerous option, though, she was supposed to be an Aquila. Myrika did not very much act like it around him, though, so why should he treat her like one? In the end, the coyote only shrugged.

If I told you I didn't want them anyway? He straightened, dropped his leg, and looked at her hard. If they are mine you might not want them, either. He let that hang on the air and was standing, turning to leave. What did he care for the get of a one-time incident, one unlikely to win him favor or power or anything other than scorn in Inferni? He ought to leave altogether, but he refused the notion quickly. If he stayed and these children were his and born healthy, he could stay to claim them. Such a move might just win him what he sought after all.

They're mine. And Vesper's. Not yours. She was trying very hard to sound fierce, but Cirael was generally unimpressed. He had stopped departing and stood, back to her, one ear cocked to listen. What do you mean? Myri said, her voice high and nervous. He stopped, contemplating turning to meet her gaze. Why wouldn't I want them? She was moving, then, a surprise to CJ -- he thought she might cower in her little fur bed the whole time he was there. Instead, she positioned herself between him and the exits, standing.

She did not look very pregnant to Cirael, but it had not been so very long since he'd had her, either. He supposed they were not the first -- there were a slew of women he'd left behind at some point or other, little distractions from his mother. She was just so doting and protective and had only ever bored him, truth be told. Some might have been elated to have known such good care in youth, but Cirael had never been one for much gratitude. He appraised the Lykoi with blue, blue eyes and ran one hand over his bicep, where the deep bite-scar was. It was not exactly a threat -- he wouldn't want to cause her and those puppies any damage.

He had wanted her again, and that spark of defiance made her more attractive even in Lupus form. He was gripped with a sudden urge to touch her, but restrained himself. He wanted to tell her how a woman would never provide that same satisfaction, but he restrained that urge too. That made him sour -- there were a great many quips in his head, and CJ was not used to keeping them all to himself. Perhaps it would have been easier to play the nice one. She was rejecting him, though -- he could not be expected to be nice in the face of rejection.

Well, dearest, he said. What if they come out with little flippers and soft skulls? Toothless little monsters, heads no good for more than bashing. I won't want them until it's proved they're -- whole. He hadn't meant to be that harsh, and he regretted it the moment he saw the anger flash across the coyote's face. It was the strongest emotion she'd shown him yet.

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429 sorry raze <_< u can has reply after this! no rush


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Myrika wanted very much for him to go away -- when he turned to leave, her relief was palpable. Her legs were trembling again and she wished Vesper was here. Part of her, anyway -- part of her feared the retribution that was to be her mate's. The phrase, though new, did not seem at all strange to the rust-colored coyote. If nothing else, Ves would protect her from CJ and make him leave. But when he spoke, she did not want him to leave. What did that mean? Why would he say that? She'd demanded it of him and stood in his way so he could not leave, glowering and staring with as much strength as she could muster.

She watched him touch the scar but paid it no mind. She was in her own home; he was no physical threat to her. Perhaps that was a foolish thought, though. Whatever niceness he'd had that night had evaporated altogether, leaving on this grinning, smirking man. How could she have? But he'd been nice, he'd been so sweet -- even before that. The coyote gaped at him openly as he spoke, and the shock quickly festered into anger. The growl rumbled in her throat and her ears were nearly flat against her skull.

What do you mean? Why the fuck would you say such a thing? They would be perfect little children; there was no cause for them to be monstrous. CJ was healthy, she was healthy, and Vesper would make sure she took care of herself. The panic rose in her and she wanted to ask again, but CJ was grinning now and she found herself altogether without words. Did she really want to know? Maybe it was better to dismiss him from her life altogether -- but he said he won't want them until they were proven healthy -- meaning he'd want them later. She was cold all over when she thought of that, and did not know if she wanted the answer to the question she'd asked.

I don't think I want to tell you, he said, pursing his lips and wrinkling his muzzle. You'll just chase me out, and if I don't tell you -- you'll have a reason to keep me around, he said. He said this brightly, with a grin on his muzzle and mirth twinkling in eyes pale as ice. Myrika wished she had hands so she could throttle him. Her teeth showed in a frustrated snarl.

Tell me, she demanded. Now she must know.

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826 I ramble at you because I love you! Also, I marked this mature for various imagery and things that Vesper is sure to do or say. :|


Ves and Myri are by Sie!

It was a comfort to sleep, and feel warmth seeping into her weary body. It had been more of a comfort to have the much-loved scent in her nose, the feel of another body curved against hers, her mate beside her. She wasn’t alone any longer, and had risen almost shaking from relief, gazing down on that precious face for a few moments, before managing to whisper that she was going to find them food.

Vesper had run into the rocky grasslands feeling a thousand times lighter than before, and her paws skated across the snow. Her relief brought her speed, and her determination was enforced by the thought of the little creatures she would be providing for, too. She would find a simple rabbit for herself, and eat it and use its strength to find more, ones that Myrika could devour and that would nourish the tiny things growing inside her.

Once repulsed by pregnancy and the implications surrounding it, there was a strange wonder in the Centurion now. Her mate was not showing yet, but Ves could almost imagine her swollen stomach—making her look more awkward than she was, probably, but that would be all the more precious and perfect to Vesper. She imagined she’d look quite beautiful, and perhaps when they slept at night Ves would be able to feel the baby coyotes inside. The specifics didn’t matter as much, though they took up her thoughts now as she lay in wait outside a warren for the first rabbit to emerge into the white surroundings. How many would there be? Would they be little boys or girls, and what about their names? She decided she would leave the naming to Myrika, because though they were equally her own puppies, she didn’t want to tread on the other’s rights. Any comfort she could lend Myri to feel in control of these puppies sired by the wrong father—she would give it.

The first rabbit fell with a squeal and a crunch, and she wolfed down its meat ravenously before scraping the bones under the snow, a treat for another coyote to find, perhaps. She started to run again, and soon had two more. To keep from straining her neck and jaws, she shifted into her Optime form and grabbed them in her hands. She had a feeling she’d be in this form more, now that Myrika was stuck four-legged. She’d show Myri all the tips and tricks she could to navigating a Luperci world without the Luperci shape, but there were many comforts the woman was perhaps used to that she’d be unable to do now, and so Ves would help—to pull back leather curtains, to char food over the fire, to turn pages as she read. She was ready to do all that was expected of her and more—perhaps still desperate for a chance to prove herself the right soul for Myri to spend the rest of her life with. Even the sense that things were going to return to normal—or almost normal, with children on the way—did not fully erase the small scar on her heart from her insecurities.

She made the trip back to the village, dead creatures in hand, and wondered if she might roast them in her own crude way or not. As she came toward the fire pit, however, she caught a flash of an Optime body in the window and the whiff of a scent not quite familiar to her. It was not hard for her to place that something was wrong, and when she realized what it might be, she ran for the doors and wrenched them open.

She heard Myrika’s demanding snarl—a rare enough sound, and one that set her hackles standing on end as she turned to stand in the doorway of their room. Claws gripped the frame as she looked over her mate’s head to the man—the grinning, ice-eyed man. The smile nearly faded from his face, but then grew almost mocking, condescending, at least up until the point Vesper stepped toward him and smacked him hard across the face with the stiff rabbit.

Do what she says, the scarred coyote stated, her voice devoid of emotion. Her other hand relinquished its grip on the dead prey, but had lifted and was ready to grab, and pull, and tear, if he dared make a move to defend himself. Do what she says or I’ll break each of your fingers until you start talking.

And she would. Her eyes made promise of that, and of other things, things she wouldn’t speak aloud for Myrika to hear—starting from driving metal down into his inner ears, to breaking said fingers and his wrist and his elbow, to perhaps snapping off that cock of his. All of these things slowly, of course, and messily, bloodily—all of these things until she got bored and really wanted to hurt him.

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371 hi I are a Sie

The tawny-hued wolf looked at this woman -- some cousin of a cousin, he thought -- and wondered whether he would tell her. He really didn't think he wanted to -- but he'd already spoken, he'd already threatened. There was no taking it back now. Though Cirael saw little fault within himself, he did think sometimes perhaps, maybe -- he spoke without really thinking about it, saying things better left unsaid. Perhaps he should work on that.

He was readying some other quip when the noise of an entrance caught his attention, drawing it away from Myrika. He looked in time to see a one-earred coyote entered. So this was Vesper, then? Surely they did not satisfy each other as well as he could have done for either one. Cirael was in the process of smirking again when the scarred coyote abruptly hit him in the face with the corpse of a rabbit. Shocked, CJ stepped back and lifted one hand to his face. He stood in stunned silence, his bright blue eyes flickering from one canine to the next.

Myrika whimpered, seeming to have no eyes for Cirael anymore. Ves, she said, plaintive. He says they'll be monsters. Why would he say that? She whined again and took a step toward the scarred coyote, absurdly out of place in the schoolhouse room in her four-legged form. CJ calculated, trying to figure some way out of the situation. He hadn't really thought of Vesper's return, and now he'd talked himself into a corner.

Perhaps it was best to remain silent -- she wouldn't really break his fingers. He was a coyote of Inferni and due their protection as any other. She looked pretty serious, though. Cirael tried to think of some lie -- he was good at that. I only mean -- I meant, he stopped, hanging there and looking from one face to the other. Myrika's was scared, and Vesper's was -- something flat, blank. All but her eyes -- they were sharp and brilliantly blue. What could he possibly say?

The alcohol, he said, seizing on it suddenly. It might interfere. Satisfied this was an answer good enough for the two women, he dared smile.

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333


Ves and Myri are by Sie!

She might have wanted to laugh at the look on his face, but there was no pleasure in her, not when she heard her mate’s plaintive whine and knew the hurt he’d caused—then and now, now all the more pressing because she could do something about it. Her eyes only grew harder, colder, and the look she threw the man was one of dark questioning. Why he would imply the puppies would be born wrong, other than to upset Myrika, she did not know. And upsetting Myrika was a grievous offense.

Trapped into speaking, into stammering something, CJ quickly supplied an answer: alcohol. Something so strong and fiery as the moonshine the coyote chefs brewed would certainly do some damage to developing infants, even Luperci-sheltered Ves could gather the truth of that, but as he spoke she wrinkled her lips back, dropped the other rabbit. It stank of lies, and even if she did not know much she knew enough.

Wrong, Vesper informed him bluntly. Unless Myri was gulping bottles now—and she wouldn’t be, she wasn’t shifting or doing any other harm so she wouldn’t drink—she doubted the liquor Myri had alluded to during the event would do a thing, when the puppies were no more than clouds of sperm. It was this imagery, this and the look on Myrika’s face and everything, that caused her to reach out like lightning.

She grabbed his pinky without mercy, and it snapped, and CJ cried out before swinging a punch blind with rage and pain. Her own anger lent her speed, and she ducked to the side before reaching back out with two hands. One encircled his throat, the other gripping his wrist, and the claws of each thumb pressed against his flesh.

Try again, she urged him lowly. If you move an inch, she warned, and let her claws finish the sentence—one rubbing almost tenderly across his pulsing jugular, the other touching the trail of his veins in his arm.

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565 :3


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The panic was back, and this time it was for the children. She hadn't entirely acclimated herself to the idea that they were real, they were coming, and they'd someday soon draw breath -- but as soon as the idea was planted in her head, the anxiety began to rise. She had to know why he said what he said -- perhaps he'd had other children and they were all deformed in some manner or other.

The thought was harrowing; she wanted to whimper and whine, but she kept still and stared, expectant of an answer. The one he spoke rang hollow even in her inexperienced ears -- how could alcohol damage them then, unless drinking did things to the body in general? Vesper did not seem to think so -- the scarred coyote told him it was wrong and moved lightning-quick. There was a crack and crunch of bone, and the coyote was swinging his fist toward her Vesper. She cried out, a strangled sort of sound that was half-growl and half-yowl, but before it had entirely left her lips, he was in hand.

The pale coyote twisted and struggled, trying to free himself from the coyote's grip. Vesper seemed to tighten it, and Myri saw the flesh of his neck indenting inward -- the blood would flow any second. Tell us, she urged, not entirely certain she wanted to see it on the floor of her room. Maybe -- maybe she did. She supposed it depended entirely on the way he chose to answer. The truth. By some force of effort she kept her voice even, staring at the tawny-hued coyote. His teeth were shown in a snarl, but he could not struggle further without impaling his neck on Vesper's claws.

If I tell you, he said, teeth gritted with pain. You'll hurt me more. Why should I? His defiance held a certain note of fright now, however -- Myrika looked at Vesper, and the scarred coyote dug in her claws. The blood trickled out from beneath the claws embedded in his neck, and CJ gave a choked sound, writhing still. Her other hand's claws seemed to bite into the flesh of his arm. Myrika should have felt ill at that -- she had never cared very much for the sight of blood -- but she found she wanted to see more. He'd threatened the children and he'd lied and now he wasn't telling them something -- something important. She would have torn it out of his flesh herself if it had been written somewhere.

The trickle of blood at his neck coursed southward, cutting a crimson trail through sand-colored fur. It ran down his clavicle and chest, a thin and bright red line. His arm was worse -- there were several welling points of red. One droplet spattered against the floor. The coyote's earthen-hued ears flicked backwards and he yelped, though his struggles were limited to just that verbal protest -- he dared not move more for fear of invoking Vesper's wrath.

My name, he said, between another gasp of pain. The arm with the broken finger was trembling. It's Cirael June -- Lykoi. Or it was. Your grandmother, my great grandmother. Aren't flipper babies what happens when you fuck a cousin? He jerked suddenly, trying to pull away. Cunt, he hissed between gritted teeth.

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500


Ves and Myri are by Sie!

She had the bastard in her grip, and she wasn’t going to let go. She didn’t care if he was a member, and that by letting him bleed out on the schoolhouse floor she was committing some sin—but he deserved any punishment she threw his way. She was sure of that, sure that others would understand, and also sure that she didn’t care what they thought even if there wasn’t understanding there. She was half tempted to make her grip slip and slash his throat there, but Myrika had wanted an answer to her question, and in her own twisted way Ves wanted to know this great secret he was keeping, too.

CJ complained, if it could really be called complaining in this situation, and she was unmoved. The sight of his blood curving down his throat made her show her teeth, and rather deliberately the pink tip of her tongue swept a quick pass over her lips. Anything to unnerve him, to get him to speak—she’d threatened worse, shown this monster’s mask, for the safety of the clan before. The only difference was that she didn’t have to try hard to let it take over her features, warping them into something sharper and crueler. Perhaps there were traces of her father’s smile there.

The pale coyote yelped, but she didn’t relinquish her grip, just kept her hands clutching at the same pressure, her claws embedded lightly in his flesh. She stared at him, and waited, though her ear was turned back toward Myrika. Despite her fury, she didn’t want to overstep boundaries and upset the woman more than the man already had.

But then the coyote spoke—Cirael June Lykoi spoke, and his words caused a ripple of shock to spread through her stomach. But then cruder language followed, and his last hissed curse caused heat to rush up into her spine.

Vesper snarled, violently ripped the claws digging into his arm away, leaving blood to splatter on the tiled floor. She was shoving forward, and he struck the desk and fell from there, and she paused long enough to stamp her foot down—once, hard, on his awkwardly bent ankle, but that didn’t satisfy her, so once more, until a garbled noise left him and she was sure he couldn’t run away if he tried.

She fell upon him, knees crushing into his abdomen while one hand shot out to press his neck to the floor, slamming his head down even as he tried to defend himself. His good hand reached up to bat her away, but she intercepted it—and with both clawed paws occupied, leaned forward to set her teeth into his face.

There was something that made her pull away, a creak of the door opening wider, a withered voice speaking out. Vesper jerked her head back, crushed something globular and oozing in her teeth. Cirael gasped and stared up at her, blood welling in an empty socket and running down his exposed cheekbone.

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The floor seemed to drop out from beneath her, her stomach with it. Her first thought was disbelief. That can't possibly be. I've written everyone down on the tree. There's no one named CJ -- Cirael June -- on that piece of paper. She clutched onto that thought, as if the ink on rawhide could make more truth than blood. She shook her head slowly, trying to process how it could have happened. He'd deceived her, and everyone. He should have said his name -- she would have never -- if only he'd said his name.

She felt very much like she ought to go outside and throw up, but she also felt that her limbs were glued to the floor, stuck in place. Myri was shaking again, but she was not aware of the shaking -- she was hardly aware of Vesper's flurry of motion, the feeble attempts of Cirael to fend her off. There was noise, but it bypassed her ears entirely. They were his, they were his and hers and they shared the same blood. She had accepted Helotes and Zana, but she had not condoned it -- it was different, with love. It hadn't been love between them, though -- only an awful, terrible mistake that had just gotten that much worse.

The coyote looked up in time to see the ankle snap beneath Vesper's kick. She did not want to look away. The crunch and snap of bones was sweet, and sweeter still was the look on his face as teeth descended to strip him of one of those blue eyes -- they had been pretty once, maybe, but now they were just filled with fear. His cheek was torn to ribbons and where once there had been a brilliantly blue eye, only an empty socket gaped. Red meat covered its innards, and a tide of red coursed from the emptied socket. Myrika looked up dully, recognizing Kaena's presence for the first time.

What's this? the old woman demanded, her voice shrill and high and scared.

The redhead was more numb than anything, but she pulled her wits together. Grandmother, she said, softly. The old woman was in her two-legged form, clutching something that looked suspiciously like a dead chicken. It seemed Vesper was not the only one who wanted her to eat -- eat for the monsters. The intrusive thought bubbled up from nowhere. Myrika laughed. She laughed and laughed and couldn't seem to contain herself. CJ -- Cirael, Cirael June Lykoi, she reminded herself -- writhed and moaned, bleeding profusely. Myrika could not stop laughing; she'd managed only the one word.

The scarred hybrid's small, sharp-featured head swiveled from one figure to the other, bewilderment plain on her features. Vesper? she asked, fright still evident in her. What's happened? She stepped forward, still absurdly clutching the chicken, and set a hand on Myrika's neck, putting herself between the rust-tinged Aquila and the scene of carnage, the writhing coyote with one eye and his attacker.

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Blood spilled from her mouth, dripped between her teeth. She spat out the remains of the pretty blue eye and turned her head fully to look at the scarred, grey old woman who'd entered the room -- who'd been the one to speak and draw her out of her frenzy. Her face contorted in a half-sneer that she directed down at Cirael, feeling confident enough to loosen her grip even as he writhed in pain. If he moved again, her bared teeth promised, she'd take his other eye and break his other ankle and cast him out into the snow for a hunt. Even though her sudden fury had cooled a few degrees to allow real thought back into her mind, those thoughts were not necessarily a pleasant place for CJ anyway.

Kaena stood with a chicken, and Myrika spoke to her quietly, and then horrible laughter bubbled out of the tawny Aquila, sharp and yapping and not seeming to stop. Fear rolled up into Vesper's throat, and her anger fled as quickly as it'd kindled. She was starting to rise even as the Evocati addressed her for answers, and she frowned with a glance down at the bleeding man. He didn't look like he'd get up to attack, even if he could, so she felt fine with letting him lay there wriggling feebly as the life poured from him in a million punctured and torn places.

He came here, the Centurion said, flicking her messy hair back and stating this as a condemnation. He'd already caused so much trouble, and in coming here had signed away most of his rights to a sound body. She looked at Myrika, ears falling back, and approached -- moving carefully and showing submission to Kaena if only to assure her that she wasn't going to cause harm. She was certain she looked far from innocent of this affair -- so much blood coated her now, but she chose a hand with slightly less on it and used this to reach under Myrika's jaw and close it very gently. Sweetheart, she murmured, crouching in front of her and leaning forward, nudging at her with her snout and resting her head against the other's. She herself was trembling now, worried at what might be going through her mate's mind, worried that she might start up laughing again and be lost to them forever.

Her voice was tremulous, too, as she offered Kaena a brief explanation. He said the pups would be born monsters. He's a Lykoi too. And then he said things he's regretting now, she finished tersely, reaching out to try to pet Myri's fur, and coo to her, and bring her back out of her shock -- she hoped she could, she hoped.

Vesper herself didn't know what to think of the situation, now that she wasn't pursuing the single goal of fucking CJ up as much as she could in the allotted seconds. She'd not seen babies born wrong before, but neither had she been exposed to incestuous relationships until Inferni. She knew the Lykoi bloodline had tangled in on itself, and had seen the fruit of Helotes and Zana's loins, but -- but she didn't know what to think. All she knew was that these babies were supposed to belong to her and Myri, and she didn't want them born different, didn't want them weak or deformed as CJ had implied. They were supposed to be theirs and whole and good, and -- and she didn't know. She murmured meaningless words, rubbing her head against Myrika's, trying not to smear too much blood, and shook.

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So much had been ruined and spit upon with one single word. She wanted to scream and cry and throw herself at Cirael to finish what Vesper had started, but she could do nothing but remain where she was, four paws glued to the earth and laughter still burbling from her now and again. The touch at her neck was nothing, and though she heard Vesper speak, the words were very distant and far-off. The laughter rang louder than anything else, louder even than the feeling of Vesper pressing against her. Myri pulled away, though she could not have said why -- the touch was overwhelming, and the sunlight streaming in through the windows too bright. The smell of blood was strong on the air, and it made her feel dizzy.

She half-heard the offered explanation, though some part of her still wanted to wave around the family tree and protest. She could not think of anything else to do, but realized slowly that Vesper was still beside her. She cringed toward the scarred woman, trying to hide her face in Vesper's fur. She was unmindful of the bloody patches on her fur, the spatter and stain from the wounds she'd inflicted on Cirael. She did not want to look at him and she did not want to be looked at. She wanted to burrow beneath Vesper and into the earth, covering herself over with dirt. She was very tired, and none of the words anyone said made any sense.

The old Lykoi was quiet for a long moment, looking from Vesper to the prone coyote. She moved over to him and toed him in the ribs. He's an idiot, the old woman asserted. Who's child are you, dead man? she demanded. When the coyote only moaned, she toed him again. Your father -- who was it? she inquired, perhaps thinking it would be one of her sons -- it was always a son. One blue eye and one bloody hole regarded her, pain and hatred written into his snarl.

Merrick Lykoi, he hissed through clenched teeth. The old woman stood, her one golden eye regarding Vesper and Myrika. She nodded, just the slightest thing -- a confirmation of the man's blood. One of Ahemait's children, the lost ones. Are you going to let me live? Cirael asked, perhaps of Vesper or perhaps of Kaena. His voice was thick with pain, and his breathing came in quick panting breaths. Kaena made no response; she had no say in the man's life.

Myrika did not know what the man deserved. There was no room in her for anger, only the yawning abyss of madness opening up before her. It was Vesper's touch that kept her dangling over the precipice rather than plunging down into it. The raw and red scent of blood flooded her nose, but she pushed her face against the scarred coyote harder, willing the dumb exhaustion and numbness away. One obeyed, the other remained -- she had only fear, the deepest and blackest sort -- maybe he was right. Monsters might well be growing within her.

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Fear gripped her harder as the laughter refused to stop, and the ginger-maned woman pulled away from her touch. She ceased with her affections for a moment, wondering if -- if something had just shattered within her. She thought very suddenly of her father, of the few memories of the ember-eyed black monster he'd been. Marcel had been mad, he'd been mad and she couldn't have anything like this in her life. She was on the verge of weeping, if only because she feared that she'd gotten Myrika back only to lose her again forever. She was shaking like a leaf and the adrenaline rushing through her did nothing to help, none of it helped.

But mercy came in that moment, and she very nearly sent a prayer to Helotes' stupid god as Myrika seemed to change her mind and nudge into her instead. She slowly brought herself down, kneeling on the floor rather than trying to balance in that ridiculous crouch, and she wrapped her arms tightly around Myri and pulled her face against her fur and gently stroked her scruff. It's okay, it's okay, she murmured over and over, hoping somehow the mantra would take hold. But her voice wasn't really the smooth, gentle thing she'd hoped it was -- it was whimpering and sharp sobbing, broken pieces of her own terror she was trying her damnedest to hold back together.

Cradling Myri close, Vesper was barely even aware of Kaena stepping over to the man and interrogating him. Meaningless words passed between them -- a question, a name in answer. It was not until the pale man forced out his own question that she lifted her head, steeled herself. Her hand continued to stroke her mate's fur, the gentleness of the touch in stark contrast to the look on her face.

Oh, you will be alive, Vesper stated, and made it clear that this was not the better option.

From that moment, though, he became unimportant. She hunched over slightly, as if trying to take the woman into herself, a small ball she could shelter forever in her gut. Fingers continued to lightly touch, and her nose had found its place pressed firmly between her ears, her blue eyes closing. If you'd like to do something with him, Kaena, feel free, she told the Lykoi matriarch gently, her voice half-muffled. Perhaps he would die anyway if the blood continued to flow, but she knew little about such things and was not about to abandon Myrika to tend to her enemy's wounds. Kaena could escort him to a different room or let him bleed or anything else -- Ves did not care, and did not wish to order her to do anything short of making Myrika better.

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The old woman regarded the wolf with one sharp golden eye. He did not look capable of walking, and she was not certain she could carry him -- but he did not need to be here, all the same. The old woman said nothing, and seemed to be considering leaving altogether. The hybrid dropped the chicken, tossing it down carelessly. Food did not matter very much just now. It was something of a surprise -- she had not expected to meet a great-grandchild, and she had not expected him to provide his mother's name. Samael would have surprised her less -- his infidelities were numerous, though she knew just where his heart truly belonged. She could speak of Samael -- she could try to make them understand. This was nothing; Myrika might have had more pressing issues to worry about, if this trifle concerned her so much. Kaena knew better than to say that just now, though, and so she kept her red-splashed muzzle firmly shut.

The old woman summoned up every ounce of her strength when she grabbed Cirael by one bloodied arm and gave a yank. He slid across the floor, aided by the pooling blood. It left a wide swath of bright crimson across the greenish tiles, but it lubricated the wolf and made him easier to move, at least. The old woman pulled and yanked him into the hallway, unmindful of the yips and moans he gave. Shut up, dead man, she said. Be glad it's not me five years ago dealing with you. She had dealt with blood-betrayers before, oh yes, she had. She might suggest to Vesper that they tattoo him with the star, only to tear it off again. The old woman did not return to the room to make her suggestion, however; she closed the door softly behind her, and set about tending to the tawny-colored canine's wounds. It wouldn't do to let him die with whatever Vesper had in mind for him. She was old and done, but she was capable of that much.

Back in the room, Myrika still trembled and an occasional chuckle or snort emerged from her muzzle. She was no longer entirely hysterical, however, and the murmur of Vesper's voice, choked and strained as it was, brought her slowly back to consciousness. She was so tired though -- Myri could have collapsed and slept right then and there if not for the adrenaline still hammering through her. Her heart felt like it was trying to burst from her chest. She whined, long and low, and pressed herself against Vesper, trying to sink into her flesh and through her bones. If she tucked herself away, curled up somewhere between her ribs, she'd be safe forever.

What if they are monsters? she asked, voice dry. Her voice sounded flat and echoic in her ears, false and not her own. She did not know how she'd spoken or where the voice had come from, precisely -- it wasn't anything she'd wanted to ask. She didn't want to know, even -- they'd been a curse one day, something to mend the bond between herself and Vesper the next, and now again were a curse -- monsters, she thought, and she could not quite bite back the sob that erupted from her throat.

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Vesper closed her eyes and held her mate tighter, though she heard the man's yips and cries as he was hauled by the old woman, his body sliding across the floor. She made a small noise and gesture that she hoped Kaena would be able to interpret as thanks; any other speech would necessitate she break contact with Myrika. She managed to hear the soft thud of the door closing and the movement beyond it, and she figured that she'd be on hands and knees trying to soak up and scrub out all the blood from the mess later. She just hoped none of it stained -- though the puppies themselves would be reminder enough of all that had happened, as sad as that truth was.

The puppies. Vesper held the woman in her arms a little tighter, but her sputters of laughter finally started to cease, and the cold pit in her stomach was beginning to ease its hold on her thoughts. She still clutched at her, though, brought her tightly against herself as she could even as the other pressed harder, a whine leaving her and seeming to travel through both of their bodies.

Myrika spoke words, then, her voice sounding small and strange. Vesper shook her head fiercely and gathered her more into herself at the sound of her sob. Sshh, she murmured. They won't be monsters. They won't be, Myri -- they'll be perfect. They'll be perfect. He isn't their father. He wasn't, she couldn't associate that word, no matter how little it meant to her, with the bastard. He's the monster, she added fiercely. But our children won't be like that.

She didn't know what she would do if the day of their birth came and that was proven wrong. She didn't know just how warped an infant could be, but the name he'd called them and that mental imagery caused bile to sting at the back of her throat. She nuzzled her head against Myrika's, repeating her words again. They won't be monsters.

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#15
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587 unexpected myri is unexpected @_@


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She looked at the bright red streak across the floor, hardly seeing it. It was wide and wet, though already drying and turning to a rust-brown color in places where it was not especially thick. A tattered piece of flesh sat in one of the pools -- it looked faintly blue, though it was too covered with gore for Myrika to properly tell just what it was. She remembered the crunch and snap of bone -- these things echoed in her head. She wanted to hear more of them, and she might have hated him for that above all else. There was no vengeful bone within the redhead's body; she was not her grandmother. Yet she did want it with him -- she wanted it bad enough to taste on her tongue, just as she still tasted the salt and copper of blood in the air.

The tawny-furred coyote listened without really hearing. She could not even look at the puppies as something that would bring them together -- they were a bomb in her belly, little monsters waiting to emerge into the world and bare their little monster teeth. What else could they be? The circumstances of their conception, this now -- if children in the womb could feel a fraction of what their mother felt, there was no question of damage. She exhaled slowly, pushing her head against Vesper's. She licked the other woman's cheek gingerly, and her vicious little monster savored the sharp twang of blood on her tongue. She licked again, rubbing the side of her muzzle against Vesper's cheek.

I'm the monster. I brought him into our lives. There was still that flatness to her voice, but some faint hint of determination had crept in, too. The edge no longer seemed so dangerously close. She wanted to withdraw and pull away again, to leave and do what needed to be done then and there. Why wait? I brought him in, she repeated. I will remove him. Myri was still staring at the bright red streak against the floor, gaudy and brilliant in the otherwise muted room. She hadn't noticed, but at some point noon had come and gone, and the afternoon was winding steadily toward night. Night and shadow were coming, and she could take care of him. There wasn't even any need for her to look -- she could take him out and throw him into the bay, and the water would fill his lungs and drown him. He was broken and bloodied; the swift tides and the strong currents would do for him.

That way, though -- it was too impersonal, too distant. She wanted to see blood, more than Vesper had spilled. He'd lied, he'd violated her, and he was the source of her own shame, too. Perhaps that was it, above anything else -- erase him, scrub him out, and he would no longer remind her of what she'd done. At least -- he wouldn't. Her belly would, and the children that emerged from it, too. It might not even help anything in the end, after all -- but she didn't want to ask it of Vesper. She didn't want her mate to sully her hands any more than she already had. He was her mistake, and hers to take care of. Maybe if she slathered herself with his blood to the eyes she could wash away the horror of the children's creation -- maybe there was redemption enough for them in that.

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#16
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476 Silly characters doing what they WANT, don't they know they are our slaves?!


Ves and Myri are by Sie!

A warm tongue touched her face, and Vesper went still as the female licked her. She pressed her cheek against Myri's as Myri did, but continued to run her fingers through her rust-colored scruff anyway, not wanting to remove any inch of their contact. She almost hoped that she could pass on her comfort through her, send her waves of calmness, ease the panic that'd erupted out of her in sharp giggles and terrible laughter. She was starting to shake again, and she wrapped her arms tightly around the other at the first words coming out of her mouth, shaking her head and pressing her muzzle into her fur. You're not, she began, but Myrika continued -- speaking of how she'd brought CJ into their lives, started all this. It was logic Vesper couldn't exactly refute, but she didn't want to be hearing this coming from her mate.

But her next words -- determined words, simply stated words -- made Vesper draw back slightly, her hands reaching for the other's face to hold it gently. She stared into turquoise eyes and considered, her ear falling back against her tawny hair. Not quite a year ago, she remembered speaking words of comfort when Myrika had killed her first wolf -- in the heat of the moment, out of need and hot-blooded defense of her friend. She'd seen the woman grow sense then, but she couldn't imagine that she'd grown enough to want to kill again.

I don't want you to regret anything, Vesper said to her somberly. She knew she wouldn't regret anything she did to Cirael, because there was a cold-blooded spirit buried within her that wouldn't flinch away from this messy work. She had been flawed from the beginning, detached enough and prone to setting her teeth too long in another's throat, a made killer that only took some time to grow into the role. Even then, she'd had nightmares of Oliver gasping and gurgling in her jaws, whimpering for his mommy as she pressed and pressed and heard that windpipe crack like a plastic water bottle. She knew regret, even if Cirael deserved much of what they threw at him.

She exhaled slowly, and brought her snout down between the other's ears, still holding, though the shaking had subsided and she was suddenly more tired than she'd ever been in her life. If you feel like -- like it would fix things, she stated slowly. If you feel like you would need to, Myrika, and if it wouldn't hurt you more. And she would want to be there, to carry a little bit of the burden on herself, if Myri even came to that decision -- like holding back the Boreas wolf's head as Myri slit her throat.

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392


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She did not have hands -- only teeth could be used in this form. She would need to taste his blood, feel the sharp points of her canines sliding into flesh up to the gums. He wouldn't be the first, but he was the first she could walk away from.

It was not a question of regret -- she had enough of that to suffice for a whole lifetime. It had gotten easier each time -- the first had threatened Halo, the next had threatened all of Inferni and their way of existence. This -- him -- he was not a threat on the same magnitude. The redhead did not fear him for his strength or prowess with a weapon -- yet in his way, he'd been more damaging than the sharpest sword, the heaviest mace. He deserved the same fate as the others. Myrika would not lose sleep over him dying -- there was enough to do with him that would cost her sleep.
But she hung on that -- would it even help? What could it fix? What was done had already been done, and she could not undo it by spilling blood. She wanted to ask, but could not draw up the willpower to do so -- perhaps because the answer was already apparent, or simply because she was exhausted.

She was too tired to feel anything else and much too tired to think. Evaluating anything as to its potential to hurt or help seemed an insurmountable task -- like climbing a mountain with an entire horse's weight on her back. So she let go -- she retreated from conscious thought, relinquishing ideas as high-minded as regretting, hurting and helping. Beneath all of it, the slinking and unhinged beast that must surely lurk in all of them raged and howled, rattling the bars of its cage. Wronged, wronged, wronged, it intoned in a thousand low voices, aware of nothing else -- least of all her own part. Revenge, it roared, louder than all the rest.

Had she the higher facilities to consider it, the coyote might have seen the crossroads where she stood -- she might have seen other options, other ways. In the end, though, perhaps nothing would have been capable of drowning out that other voice. She clenched her teeth together and spoke through them, voice low and full of sharp points. Give him to me.

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