[P][M] I warned myself, I shouldn't play with fire

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.

Specifically, this thread is marked mature because of: .

OOC: For Helena! ;)

IC: It was her first night as part of the Ashen. Having safely unpacked in a room of her choosing at the Trailside Inn (causing a bit of a side-eye spectacle of herself as she insisted upon unloading and hauling all of her saddlebags and belongings up the stairs a by herself) Anya now made her way to the bustling, noisy Ugly Coyote saloon. Running her hands along the ruffles and lace of her black skirt, the newcomer smirked and sauntered up to the door, pushing it open with ease and entering. She was immediately bombarded by the scents of multiple canids, most of whom were very, very drunk. Their raucous laughter and slurred jeering carried across the room as glasses and mugs clinked and clanked on tables and cards flicked and fluttered in gamblers hands. Tobacco and marijuana smoke combined into a haze that clung just at or above head height as the Southpaw wove her way between tables, ears flicking this way and that, catching snippets of conversation. The bright red feather stuck in her hat bobbed along giving away her position amidst the crowd as she made her way up to the bar.

Flashing a smile, she nodded to the bartender. Orange eyes smoldered like cinders as she rested her bosom against the counter and licked her lips eyeing the man with modest interest. "Say par'ner...What can a girl get to sate her thirst 'round here?" Much to her delight, mild but pleasant banter occurred as she then ordered herself some whiskey and learned the man's rank and name Comandante: Boone Winthrop. With a swish of her tail, Anya set off back into the room, seeking a table to settle at to consume her drink and do some crowd watching. She could get to know some of her pack mates, observe them at their most relaxed, when they wouldn't be as apt to notice a new face in their midst. She would properly introduce herself in due time, of course, but as it was late, and this was only her first night, she could take her time.

Only the right people would notice her. If anyone paying attention tonight realized there was someone new in town and worth maybe greeting or getting to know...well, there she was. As the Southpaw woman slipped into a chair at a vacant table in the back, she felt the fur on the back of her neck prickle. She felt as if she was being watched. Taking a slow, deep sip of her whiskey, the alcohol burning like liquid fire as it slid down her throat, Anya scanned the room with her eyes only. The quality of the brew surprised her almost causing her to lose her composure as she began to cough a a little, eyes smarting. She would need to be very careful with this stuff.

Setting down her glass and dabbing at her eyes, the coydog finally spotted who her observer was. A tall, gorgeous, red doggish hybrid woman with bi-colored eyes sat at a table at the opposite end of the bar, half in shadow. Anya's chest tightened, heart rate quickening just at the sight of the the mystery woman. Danger. Trouble. ...Intrigue. That's what she was. Anya knew immediately. And right at that moment, their eyes met, and she couldn't help herself, she held the woman's gaze for half a moment, daring her to approach, before darting away and down back at her whiskey. In spite of herself, a small grin found its way to her maw as a small shiver ran down the Southpaw's spine. Oh now she'd done it... Your move.

[Image: Anya-Pixel-Mini.png]

News traveled. It came quickly, dancing from one silken ear to the other. Whispers of a new Ashen, and with a lack of anything else to interest her, she looked out for the distraction. Little and less was there a good reason to be found that should stay her impulsive hand, for she had not the patience to deal dice or fake other drunken fools to bankruptcy with cards. She was ground against the scarring grater of control.

So she indulged in the less lively way, and soon found herself to be quite inebriated.

This was not a declaration of trust, for she gathered no more reliance upon the Ashen's character than she had upon her first arrival. It was a mistake, pure and simple. The world tilted, untethered at its mooring, she waved away a further drink of alcohol and settle for water to sip at instead.

Returning to her empty, cold house was untenable though. Its silence would press upon her as surely as the drink had stolen her good measure. He was away, a short trip, he had promised. This was not such a burden, the trouble blossomed that she had grown used to his soft breathing by her side at night. His generous presence during the daylight hours. She found herself full with disquiet for the absence.

Taking herself to the corner with her flavorless drink, she settled into the shadows, watching but apart from the general revelry that irritated her even as it soothed away the snappings of loneliness in the back of her black, torrid mind.

Chugging back her water, the wavering of the floor and the walls settled itself down. Truthfully the intoxication of drink compared not at all to the datura and the salvia, a plush, easy senselessness of opium, the sweet rush of the hallucinogenics or the euphoria of the flowers.

Lost, ensconced with only her memories for company of more pleasurable times, Helena bored a hole into the cast of tomorrow's skin with sightless eyes, a smile of half measure set onto her dark lips.

Coming back to the present allowed her the awareness to sweep her gaze, and find a new, and intriguing presence in the bar. Running her tongue across her teeth, she placidly watched, making no moves to hide this fact. The small jerk of flesh, fragile twitches of ear and whiskers, all came to the fore as this mystery woman realized she was being catalogued.

Orange were the eyes that came up to greet her and they burned with verve. Filled with daring. Helena's tail twitched, as a cat would before launching into its swift, airborn pounce. The other glanced away first, Helena kept her expression there, digging into the flesh of the woman's throat, sweeping across her ruffled skirt, the pale shirt, and fur coat.


She made a decision.

The sashay of her hips covered the wobble in her step as she shimmied her way through the crowded bar, plucking a burning cigarette and an unattended mug of ale from an unwary reveler.

Settling herself down in the unattended chair, she stretched out her long legs to cross at the ankle and set down her drink, holding the cigarette between her teeth,

"Bonjour, Mademoiselle Southpaw... yes?" She grinned, sharp and intense, and took a puff of her stolen cigarette.

Helena Troy Lykoi
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