[P] [M] Did you say this is called a "picnic"?

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: Alcohol and who knows what else.
out of character text here [+456]
The Feast left behind memories of excitement, of joy, but also wasn’t without its share of seeded anxieties. For a time, Atica and Rohan, for reasons not entirely known to them, had to endure some greater protectiveness from their father. And one that was not, for once, all too eagerly disputed by others. Yet after a few days, the Realm lived on calmly enough. He lost no sleep over further worries, whether by his wife’s side or curled up a dark wolf at her feet, with the puppies cradled against him, similarly quadruped.

He met another morning in the latter form, yawning with tongue curling in his mouth. Hopping off the bed to his feet started off his preparations. Shifting, for one thing. The children had to have been out and about already. He was hardly surprised at that anymore. Not every venture out of the Bastion was done with either of them closely guiding them.

Standing tall and stretching just a few minutes after waking he turned his head in the direction of the bed. “Good morning, Fennore.” He murmured, sounding slightly groggy. Something his tongue would shake off with a little more talking. A quick glance out the window proved he’d given himself somewhat more time to sleep on this day. Which means he was missing daylight that could be spent doing something.

Something useful, preferably. Something…

He paused. Was this really it? Were they really going to have a brief conversation and only reconvene later, temporarily unbound from their respective duties? Work was important, and Bellad was accustomed to working hard. But even he would outgrow the need for more frivolous members of the pack to remind him that there were other things to occupy himself with as well. That there was time for rest, for revelry.

That there was most assuredly time for love and family.

After aiming his glance, at first, towards the door, he suddenly made a sharp turn away from it, as though to yank himself off this reasonable path out of the room. Instead he marched his body towards the bed and he… knelt? It would be a strangely grandiose gesture for the morning to make before Fennore. And if it was meant to be, then his attempt to rummage under the bed certainly ruined its otherwise passable choreography.

Finally grasping whatever it was that he sought, he removed it from under the bed, producing what was unmistakably a bottle full of a richly colored liquid.

“Fennore, would you… like to spend today together? Perhaps outdoors? I have a… this.” He indicated the bottle somewhat awkwardly, lacking the capacity to properly sing the praises of the wine he’d procured weeks ago but never found a deserving occasion for.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]The Isiltári and her Starseeker fell into a routine rather quickly, not entirely by their own choosing, but rather because their obligations and newborns demanded it. In the days leading to their birth, there had been much uncertainty — on the day of, Fennore was temporarily relieved of this, if only because she was far too fatigued and exhausted to do much else than watch in mute awe as their children took the first breaths of their lives. And then, like clockwork, the routine resumed, no doubt altered, but a driving force all the same.

They thrived off of this routine. It was a rooting force, their separate responsibilities, their places in the High Court, their new positions as the center of their children's universe (until they could explore on their own, anyhow). For her part, Fennore could not imagine life without some sort of strict itinerary: she operated on-schedule, only reluctantly allotting time for any unforeseen circumstances that threatened her carefully curated agenda. It served her well at the helm; where Iomair was driven by emotion and heart, she was more meticulous and regimented. There was balance in all things.

She had not expected for this to be tested in her own home, not until the cubs had grown a bit older and more independent, but it was Bellad that first challenged this sacred routine. Rising with the sun, the wolfess had glided across the room to groom herself, in the midst of brushing out her long hair when he posed the question.

Pausing, she considered his proposition and the surprising bottle he had produced, held somewhat sheepishly in his hands. Her eyebrow rose, somewhat suspiciously, before she set down the wide-toothed comb and came to stand before him, wary.

"I had planned to take inventory of our stores today," she said, deflecting his offer as she moved passed him to the chest that held her fine dresses. "Much was taken for the Feast. I suspect little was brought back to compensate."

Her fingers flicked through the multicolored garbs, all neatly folded and pressed, before she chose one of the older pieces, a dark green gown. "I should think you have Guild business to attend to? There is no better time for a healer, what with the incident at the Tavern..."

The words trailed off, ending with a sigh, before she rose to face him again, the fabric loose in her hands, and she chuckled.

"Besides, imbibing in the finer pleasures of life so early in the day seems rather unbecoming," she chastised him. It seemed more of Wither Rose's idea of "fun" than Bellad's, surely.

sig by Despi
ooc [+454]
Not one thing that Fennore said in response to his strange suggestion was wrong. Was he even fully awake to try to pull something like that? Forced to stand up and watch as the Isiltári prepared herself for what was, beyond a doubt, a day rife with responsibilities that she would face with dignity, he thought to himself just what reason he had to object.

There was always Guild business. And supplies had to be counted. And…

“Fennore…” A tiny hint of yearning snuck into his tone, disguised into urgency. “Listen, I… listen, you are right of course and there is always much to do.”

And so he could spare himself further embarrassment and return to the line of duty.

“But… I wish for us to spend time together...” He set the bottle of wine aside. It was foolish to try to use it, yet it was still an expensive enough item not to simply toss it dismissively to the side. His silhouette warped against the murky glass as he gestured while talking. “It is as you told me recently, is it not? You told me that we have our duties, but are no longer alone in them. The pack grown to Realm. My brother and I, now with other healers, grown to Guild… Then, have we not those we could entrust with respective duties? Perhaps we could give them direction before we depart with what little we would require for our own meal.”

She knew all the right things to say to make him second guess this frivolity. The Feast introduced them to a haunting possibility. That they were not safe even on their own turf. What was it, exactly, with weddings and holidays in New Caledonia, that so readily invited violence? It was a wonder their ceremony went as it did, that is to say without bloodshed, whether successfully perpetrated or simply attempted.

Straining against doubt, he approached her. He’d seen her in many colors. The green dress she held in her hands now brought back memories. The healer was fairly certain she’d worn it the day he took her to the Silver Strip to watch the fireflies together. With her eyes on him he reached a hand out. Only his fingers brushed against her shoulder. He wouldn’t dare attempt to take hold or restrain her with any semblance of force.

“Please. I ask this not as the High Lord presiding over the Circle of Athelas. And I ask this not of the Isiltári, but of you, My Light.”

As if the minute touch was meant to take part in delivering a message, when he was done talking, so did he lower his hand from her. Only his eyes remained on Fennore.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]As she so often was, of course Fennore was right. It was not a point of pride, but a point of mere convention; nothing that came from her mouth was said with the sort of levity that Bellad suggested to her now. Seeing that the Realm operated at full efficiency required her full intention, much patience and resolve — undercutting it with a day off such as this seemed so —

... Necessary, she thought belatedly, her eyes softening as he spoke reason to her duty-hardened heart.

This, of course, she did not voice immediately, but the cogs in her mind had began to turn, the blandness of her face unlocking into something vulnerable, or at the very least willing to hear him out. His dark fingers skimmed across her shoulder, calloused paw pads tickling her soft fur, and briefly her gaze fell to watch them, her mouth drawn into a dubious line.

When his hand fell away, she found herself yearning for the small bit of warmth it had given her, the sort of warmth she had coveted and treasured since leading him out into the sea oh so long ago.

"Perhaps..." Her words were quiet as idle thumbs drew circles in the viridian garb. "A day free of worry would do us well..."

Her brows knitted together as she beseeched him with her eyes again, doubt bubbling at the surface. "And what of the children? He does not mind, I know, but I loathe to ask Ierian for what is surely the thousandth time to watch them."

Though his elder brother had come so far in his recovery, still a paranoia lingered in the back of her mind that some unforeseen tragedy might befell him, despite his growing independence, despite his progress. He was a wounded man, now and forever.

"I will allow your bounty," she gestured to the bottle with a dry humor hidden in her tone, "but I refuse to be found in such a dreadful state before high-noon, Ser Songthorn. You would jeopardize my reputation so?"

Reluctantly, tentatively, gratefully convinced, she scooped the curled copper tresses over her shoulder, fluffing out the dress to pull it over her head. She presented her back to him where the ties were loose and mangled, looking from over her shoulder with long, batting lashes — a wordless request she made of him time and time again.

"What would you have us do, then?"

sig by Despi
Smol time skip. Feel free to cover most of the journey! I came up with a destination in Lebennin for my next post already [+816]
Her agreement, however tentative at first, made Bellad perk up progressively. “Yes!” The healer voiced with somewhat more excitement than his tendency towards rigid self-control demanded. Noticing it he chuffed at his own brief bout of unrestrained expression and averted his eyes for but a moment. He brought her back into focus as she asked questions.

“I feel I may find myself trying to take them from Ierian’s care back into mine more than I do actually asking him for it…” The younger Songthorn mused. It wasn’t entirely true. Or rather, it has only been a recent development. Bellad’s been otherwise quite fixated on keeping the care over his offspring in his own hands. It was fairly recently that he finally caved to the abundance of volunteers, many of whom urged him to share the load. Unsurprisingly, Ierian was foremost among them. “But… Yes, I can make my brother proud by asking for help.”

The bottle once again was brought into view. It was funny really. Fennore would no doubt know more about imbibing such a thing than he would. How many times did it take somebody else all but shoving a goblet into his hands for him to even remember to partake of anything of the sort? It was no wonder then that Bellad very nearly took her words at face value. “I wouldn’t dare. I… I leave the choice of when to sample this humble offering in the hands of my Isiltári.” He finalized, evening out his tone for the courteous remark.

With that out of the way, there was but a tiny thing left to do. A trifle really. A plan.

How was it that he suggested this without a plan?

If only for a moment, he actually looked nervous like he was about to lose all the ground he’d gained in convincing her to so frivolously take a day off of their respective work. Would she leave and tell him to come back when he came up with an idea? His eyes shifted gradually around the room, to the window, as though to read an answer from the morning light. He hummed with thought, a sound that transitioned into actual words. “I… think I know what, yes.” That didn’t answer the question and he dutifully corrected himself. “Lebennin. I would take a few things with us, along with the… wine and have us go there. I should think it would serve as a place with no worries.”

Nor anyone to bring said worries to them, he hoped.

It seemed they’ve covered everything and so Bellad looked to her with clarity now, voicing his suggestion in full. “We should go and speak to those who would watch over things while we are away. I will make sure Ierian is with the children and that the Circle is being tended. Let us meet by the Fort’s Edge, then we can set out together. An… hour or so. I should be able to get everything ready by then.”

The plan’s approval he sealed with a brush of his muzzle along the side of hers. A gesture perhaps somewhat more feral than a kiss, but Bellad’s execution of it always brimmed with tenderness. “I will see you soon.” He promised, soon parting with Fennore, only to meet again later.

An hour may not have been the most generous estimate, but he made it work. Ierian nearly seemed to sense that Bellad was on a tight schedule. His uncharacteristically brief “Yes. Go.” almost felt like it’d been locked and loaded for a while now. This of course bloomed into a far gentler and nurturing speech about the time and place for things. Little Atica actually yawned at the exchange. That lull, Bellad thought, would certainly not last long before his daughter would go and try to get into trouble.

He gave the Circle slightly less detail regarding his expected absence, but found no resistance despite that. The recent attempted attack at the King may have put some on edge, but failed attempts at the lives and wellbeing of pack-mates did not exactly translate into bodies in the infirmary. A day with only a slight Songthorn presence would not be too dire for the Souls of New Caledonia to survive.

The rest, of course, involved stocking up. Bellad did not much bother with dressing for the occasion. Flashing outward signs of distinction did not seem all that necessary out in Lebennin, yet he did throw on a cloak. If nothing else, he could think of a few improvised uses for a large span of cloth.

This would be the way she would find him by the wall. Standing cloaked, ears perked up and listening for signs of an approach – hopefully hers, in his hand a wicker basket in which dully glistened the bottle from earlier. Besides that, a mix of scents wafted from it - meat and apples.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]A humble offering, indeed. She snorted at his choice of words, but listened all the same as he verbalized the steps necessary in order for such a boon to ever grace their lips. When he drew close, she breathed in the full scent of him, taking comfortable in it before he drew away and began his preparations.

She sent Macha away to find the children and keep them company, even though they would no doubt be well looked after under Ierian's watchful gaze — but Fennore knew rather (too) intimately the handful they could prove to be, and having the feline handy would occupy some of their limitless energy.

Her tasks for the day were easily offloaded onto Iomair and others at the Dye Studio and in the Trading Company. They were all simple things, but quite numerous; small tasks that would make everything much easier in the long run. In addition to their stores was the issue of getting the Ashen's wool broken down and processed, as was commissioned of them; and though the brunt of the job had been completed thus far, securing it all for delivery was the next step that Pippa certainly couldn't do alone.

But, thankfully, the Portland native was in no rush. Del Cenere hadn't sought to rush the order. There would always be tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. It was quite against Fennore's nature to push these sorts of projects back — just as it was against her nature to stop and enjoy the little moments where she could. Today could be a day of firsts, she settled upon, so long as Bellad was there to hold her accountable to it.

Her hair had been plaited into a utilitarian braid strewn across one shoulder, but just before they were set to meet, she tugged it loose and began anew, weaving her mane into something of a crown atop her head. When the wolfess exited the Bastion, she found him there, waiting patiently, and it tempted a smile from her.

"Shall we?" After looping her arm into his, the pair was off, leaving behind the ambient buzz of the Square as they started toward the Lebennin.

Just as frequent as their words was the silence, but it was never uncomfortable or awkward. Occasionally they would exchange glances and wordless sentiments, a warm look or a squeeze of the hand.

Perhaps she had needed this: a day away from the children, away from the Realm. They both had.

Curiously Fennore had noticed, along and along, that Bellad seemed to be preoccupied, his amber eyes scanning the landscape as they traversed the river valley.

"Are you looking for something?" she prompted lightly, but as they came upon a hillside, it seemed as though the High Lord had discovered what he was seeking.

She had not expected to see many flowers survive the transition into fall, but sprawled before them was swatches of warm lavender against the green, a field of heathers giving the air a floral, herby note.

sig by Despi
ooc [+645]
From the very start of their journey onwards, it seemed the healer was determined to make good on the promise of a day of proper calm. Their way through Lebennin had been slow paced, with Bellad mostly leading them some distance away from the water. Where at times he would find a ditch or small brook in their path, the taller man would step in front of Fennore then turn to face her, hand outstretched to provide leverage where necessary.

A few times such a step would bring her close to him as though for the opening stage of a dance. At those times he would linger and smile at her.

Not many words were exchanged along the way, but with just one another and the surrounding landscape, as well as the promising smell of food they’d brought along. In this quiet it was easy to find Bellad occasionally scanning the surroundings with purpose. Whether by pausing to take in a scent or else studying the valley with his eyes, one could almost take it for the wolf attempting to hunt something down.

Surely enough, Fennore caught on.

“Ah… yes, I am hoping there is still some to be found.” This was not the first time that he had some cryptic gift to lead Fennore to, but at least this time he had more of a hint to share. “Try to read the air. Can you smell it? It might be a little difficult to make out past the grass.” And the smell of their supplies. Knowing this, rather than play a guessing game, he lead Fennore further towards a hillside.

It’s from there that he found the view he was hoping for and there was a palpable sense of youthful triumph in his voice. “Yes! I was right!” This kind of joy they could sometimes hear from Atica whenever she reached somewhere difficult by the standards of a pup, or bested her first tiny prey, or found something remarkable to her young eyes. The far more grown up Bellad indicated the hillside with his hand, as though parting a curtain and presenting the wolfess by his side with the entire stretch of observable land. There among the green a color yet brighter stood out, not entirely unlike that of Fennore’s eyes. “Heathers. They still bloom in Fall.” Turning from the flowers, he eagerly looked to her, in no hurry to distract her from taking in the sight, yet quite invested into her reaction. The road here took patience. It was only fair for him to let her take it in as she wanted.

That said, it was not as though they were going anywhere from here soon, or so he hoped. The hill seemed quite suitable for a break. They could move on to the stage that would both be lighter on their legs. Bellad lowered himself to the ground, folding out the cloth that he had covered the basket with to lay out an assortment of food for them to partake of.

Not long into setting up on top of the hill overlooking the field of heathers, Bellad found himself absorbed in his company. The tasks which were always plentiful for the married nobles, the troubled thoughts that came with some of them, seemed like things distant and disembodied. In time, he found there was little of his mind left to devote to them. And the distance they covered on foot certainly stirred up an appetite, urging them both to enjoy the food along with the company.

Apples from the orchard, some fresh and some dried and arranged into garlands, suspended on long strings. The spoils of the pack’s hunters cooked and flavorfully preserved. Then of course there was the bottle that had to wait its turn. The healer let the authority over that particular morsel remain in the hands of the Isiltári.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]His face lit up with an excitement she had only witnessed on rare occasions, one not unlike the same youthful revelations that their children stumbled upon frequently in their formative months. "Ah," she breathed an approving sound as she let her gaze linger on the field of heathers, "Do they bloom every fall? How have I missed this?"

Even as they fell into their routine, Bellad still managed to surprise her, breaking up the monotony of rearing cubs and toiling away for the good of the pack day-in and day-out.

"They are beautiful." As her mate set down their boon, she crouched down next to some of the little flowers, plucking the prettiest ones she could find and returning to him, drawing close to tuck them in his dark mane. She chuckled as she observed her work, letting her hand linger at his cheek for a moment more.

"It suits you, I think," she commented, and, without much prompting from either party, they picked through the spread of meat and fruits that the Songthorn saw fit to bring along.

The wine she considered with a long, pensive stare. But, after a long internal debate, Fennore decided against strictly abiding by her inhibitions. A small sip could not hurt her now, could it? And did they not earn something of a celebratory drink for... well, everything? The wedding, the pups, their accomplishments. Fennore could think of more than a few things deserving of a small taste.

This was the danger in justifications, Fennore knew. Once she made her mind up about something, it was very difficult indeed to change it back. Bellad had put one foot in the door and, little by little, she had been the one to wedge it open further.

She swirled the bottle in her hands, watching the liquid slosh around the sides, before taking a swallow of what was, unfortunately, to be the first of many.

It burned all the way down, as any good wine should, but the Isiltári hadn't drank in so long that it sort of surprised her. Blinking away the little tears that formed at her eyes from the initial shock, she cleared her throat, holding the wine out for him.

"I will humor you, just this once. Take care not to waste this golden opportunity, High Lord."

Fennore would pace herself. She would pace herself. I will pace myself, she repeated the mantra, as if to cement it into fact.

sig by Despi
ooc [+618]
“Some of their kind do. They are hardy things.” Bellad explained, true to form. He basked for a time in the satisfaction of being the one to show this to Fennore. Even after sitting down to prepare their modest feast he watched her set out to pick flowers in the field, then sat still for her when she came back. “Ah, so that is the next step then, after braiding my hair?” The words were uttered with a coy smile and though her caress was fleeting he found himself tilting his head slightly into her touch.

From here, the progression seemed natural. They ate, though in Bellad’s case the custom of praising the food was absent. Small talk on the other hand. The children, the seasons, the ceremony, Ambrose’s best and worst songs. Bellad's as well. And then there were periods of gentle silence. Up until the one during which Fennore held the bottle.

One thing he oft failed to be before Fennore was inscrutable. And much as he tried, he still seemed somewhat anxious when she examined it. Would she find it to be a profane gift which would spoil an otherwise perfect moment? Was it something he’d have been better off giving away to somebody, enjoying the gratitude and thinking nothing of it past that?

She finally swallowed a mouthful of the drink, and Bellad leaned towards her when he saw her expression change. “How is it…?” Truly knowing how to chance upon a blooming field or remembering places to take Fennore to see a beautiful sight was, to the Songthorn lord, an area of greater expertise. Yet, the wine was accepted and he saw fit to take his turn for a gulp.

Was it supposed to burn this much?

He coughed briefly and held his eyes shut as the heat washed through his chest and flowed somehow to his limbs. A potent purchase from the Del Cenere trader indeed.

Before long Bellad drank and feasted with Fennore, flower-crowned by her hand and casting his worries aside. The wine helped, whether he recognized it or not, although it seemed the wolfess spent just a bit more time holding on to the bottle than he did. Faintly aware of this, he would try to keep pace whenever the wine was returned to his hand. It is not as though the tribe had been prudish enough never to enjoy a drink. Soon enough, he would no longer shiver slightly with every gulp.

Smiles, laughter, chasing the heating drink with an apple now and then. At times he would reach out to her. One time their hands met while hovering over their selection of food. Then, suddenly, Bellad propped himself on his arms, then stood up. He held out an open palm towards Fennore with the kind of grace only her courtly teachings could have imparted on him. “Would you care for a dance, My Light?”

Dancing without music was not unprecedented between them, though having their movements thrown wider by the wine they drank gave it a wild quality. Unlike the hall in the Bastion there were no walls here, and yet this instance felt just as intimately theirs as the other. He kept his eyes on her, and they moved hand in hand on the hilltop. Unpracticed and raw, and yet he still felt so warm with her. Even warmer by the hour.

Just then, pulling her closer, reality ensued. Behind his back the incline of the hill had become steeper. The pull of gravity stole ground from underneath his feet. The flowers tickled his back and shoulders and served as a passing reminder that the dancing pair was, in fact, taking a tumble down the hill.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]I will pace myself, she swore again as the bottle passed to her willing hands, helpless to stop herself as they plunged further and further down a slippery slope.

It became regrettably easier to drink more of the potent liquid the further along they traversed this uncertain road. In the past, Fennore had only ever used it as a social crutch, liquid courage to bolster her bad decision-making where potential paramours where concerned; with Bellad, it was a different sort of tool. He needn't not be impressed or swayed, given he was already in the palm of her hand and unlikely to leave it.

Though the prospect of a waltz seemed much more alluring with the amount of firewater sloshing in their stomachs. She took him up on the offer readily, draping her arms over his shoulders as they began to sway, the earth beneath them seeming to move with the motion.

She did not expect him to stagger as he had, and a surprised gasp passed her lips as they ended up on the bed of flowers, the pain altogether numbed by the wine.

A laugh escaped her, despite herself, and Fennore pushed herself up to a sitting position beside him, forcing stillness as the spinning world tried to catch up with her.

"Not my finest dance, I'm afraid," she admitted, her voice ever so slightly flavored with a strange lilt that only ever found the light of day when she indulged herself in the most despicable of all earthly pleasures.

The wolfess found herself drawing near, nearer still, before she leveled her gaze with that of her mate's, magenta eyes rendered dark from her wide pupils.

"Look what you have done to me," she scolded him, but her breathy tone indicated this was far from his gravest sin, "the state you have left your Isiltári in. I ought to banish you to the Underthing for such a crime."

sig by Despi
ooc [+442]
What an absurd thing to laugh at – the two of them falling like that. Why couldn’t he stop? Bellad went from trying to keep his head off the ground to letting it drop into the dubiously effective cushion of flowers underneath. The alcohol must have, in fact, done the vast majority of the cushioning. “I… oh, Myriad, are you… haha… are you alright?” Even firewater wouldn’t steal his concern for her entirely, although he voiced it still through a laughing fit, if only at picturing his own clumsiness in drunken retrospect.

Lying on his back, he felt strangely, blissfully heavy. Like staying right where they were, even if it took a literal roll down a hill to get there, would be a great idea. That Fennore sat right beside him made it all the better. He found himself trying to find her hand by touch and placing his palm over hers, looking over at her, somewhat unfocused and with a smile that a sober Bellad would have found despicably thoughtless.

Of course, Fennore found a seeming improvement to make to their position, and Bellad’s smile grew a bit more bashful as she hovered so close and with her eyes right in front of him. There was something new to her voice, but he wasn’t sure what. “You’re… talking different?” Not his most eloquent question, but then it was certainly not as important as answering her accusations.

Words swirled and sloshed and refused to line up and build into an answer. Words were what he meant to respond with, were they not? Yet the Isiltári wasn’t the only one in a state, and Bellad’s was sufficient that he wouldn’t remind her that him being stuck in the Underthing was at one time a grim reality. One that, ironically, did wonders to increase their pull towards one another.

The kiss happened before he spoke, and he wasn’t quite sure just when his addled mind decided that rather than talk he’d just close what little distance remained and put his muzzle to hers. But as it happened, he wouldn’t dare complain. Soon after he lowered his head back down and stared at Fennore’s face, himself on the ground framed by partially trampled flowers.

“Mm… and would my beloved Isiltári not miss me?” He asked, following the spontaneous kiss. Surely all reason must have abandoned him if he would dare utter the question in so playful a tone. Even if the way he just barely managed to pronounce Isiltári took somewhat away from the delivery. The warmth that coursed through him certainly helped circumvent such trivial worries. Just as it smothered both inhibitions and lingering concerns.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]She had not even noticed until he pointed it out; quite rudely, she thought unreasonably, and she scoffed at him, waving a hand in the hair, casting the last spell locking them into this drunken fate.

"I am not," she certainly was. Fennore intentionally ignored it, the ancient Gaelic lilt a sour taste in her mouth. Fortunately, there were other things she could occupy her mind — and her lips — with.

The kiss was soft, a ghost of a touch, and she hummed into him, breathing life into a fire that quietly stoked between them both.

"Of course she would." Her voice, still foreign and very much not her own, was colored dark and deep, a lust often kept tightly under wraps beginning to tear down her weakening defenses. Bellad had seen this before; and he would battle the beast yet again.

"She should show you," her hand began to creep along his chest, claws tracing out a wavering trail across muscle as it traveled southbound, just over his stomach, "just how much she would miss you."

Part of her felt sick, the alcohol etching jagged lines in her mind, yet the other felt alive, eager to see how far her lessening inhibitions would allow her to go.

They were already this far gone. What was a little more?

Little circles made by eager fingertips curled round and round near sensitive flesh, intended to tickle and tease him. Her head was swimming, the little rings at her ears jingling with the motion of her bobbing vision.

She did not wait for an invitation. She did not need one.

Fennore sprawled out onto the flowerbed, her hair an auburn halo below her, as she coaxed him into climbing onto her.

sig by Despi
ooc [+424]
Of course his actions would have consequences, and as Fennore spoke and as she touched, Bellad felt slight jitters building up in his chest and limbs. He still tasted her breath while her claws grazed him through coarse fur. Maybe harder than she thought they were, but he didn’t care. The longer this lasted, the more she would get to see the pinkish red of his mouth, his jaws parting to let him pant lightly. As her affections intensified, his breath became broken up with the occasional low groan.

When it ended and he seemingly received some respite, he was left with a look of hunger on his muzzle. Right next to him, his wife sprawled out without a hint of shame and tugged at him slightly. He did not need much coaxing. Bellad pinned her down even as his vision bounced uncomfortably. The breath that exited his throat, washing over as hot apple and wine scented air over Fennore’s throat, was mixed with a growl. It was his turn to give her more things to potentially miss.

Even at his best following her lessons in civility, Bellad remained in some ways significantly more feral than others. This applied to him as a lover as well. Needless to say being emboldened both by the drink they shared and far more so by the tantalizing touches from moments ago had an effect. His claws were out as were his teeth. No intent to hurt, but certainly an intent of making them part of their foreplay.

Any part of her that was exposed seemed to be fair game. Light bites transitioned into kisses and slow, sensual licks of a warm tongue. The tightening grip on her body had the pinprick of the tips of his claws blended in like an aftertaste. To think that early on they weren't sure what to do with a whole day to themselves.

For a moment, clothes did present something of an obstacle. The passionate married couple would almost certainly need to do something to decide their fate between merely being crumpled or torn outright to make more room. Luckily the lifted hem of Fennore’s dress made for access enough. Mostly.

Panting, hovering over Fennore, he found his thoughts still swimming. It was like pulling too far from her only worsened the vertigo. He did feel so much better when they were pressed against one another.

“I love you.” He said breathily, staring into her eyes from above. “I want you.” He growled eagerly, his gaze an amber blend of adoration and lust.
[Image: pretty-flowers-hi.png]Ordinarily, Fennore did not care for the lack of control that substances introduced. It widened the window of opportunity for mistakes and regrets, two things that the wolfess certainly did not need in her life.

Then again, when had any decision she had made in regards to her husband ever been a mistake? Even as she thought her life was over when becoming pregnant, the moment they were born, she realized just how wrong she had been — and Bellad had been there every step of the way, encouraging her, anchoring her.

Here, too, he was the only constant; as her vision crossed and she swore she could feel the earth underneath her swelling and heaving with its own rhythmic breath, he was still there, still real and tangible, his orange eyes ablaze as he claimed ownership over her body.

Those three little words held such a sway over her. Fennore was helpless to the moan that escaped her in response.

"I love you," she echoed, hands reaching up to his chest to pull him downward. Hot breath licked at his ear before she nipped it, a soft but needy gesture.

A trail of kisses led her to Bellad's mouth; and once more she found herself staring at him, pupils dilated, and Fennore could not think of a place in the world she would rather be in this moment.

She couldn't wait anymore. Neither, it seemed, could he.

"Then take me."
fade to black?! ;D

sig by Despi

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