[P] [M]By the Flickering Firelight
For Jazzy/Cedric.

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: .

All day long the snow had been falling, each snowflake, large or small tumbling to the ground, thickening the blanket of snow already preset around Wolfville. It was also one of the coldest days that Casa di Cavalieri had experienced so far this winter and the gusts of arctic air would chill any luperci to their core, even with the densest of winter coats.  Because of this, among other reasons, Kai had decided to stay in for the day, and use it to clean up around the house, repairing a few odds and ends, and work on organizing all the herbs that had gotten tossed about when treating Borya and Vezda.  It also allowed her to keep the shutters and fur-lined curtains closed and a fire roaring for warmth.

Ever since the sable woman and Lune had confessed their feeling for each other, she hadn't been able to pry the smile off of her muzzle.  Nothing bothered her and even if something didn't go exactly as she hoped, Kai simply shrugged it off and her thoughts returned to the silvery man and the joyous future that laid ahead of them.  Most of her time was spent humming a happy tune as she worked on the house, and took care of the animals that resided with her in between her helping packmates and visits from Parzival who seemed to come around more often than not for affection and treats. Of course, Kai never minded having the giant cat around, it just made her home feel more whole, especially when Cedric joined them after a long day of work. Her heart was overflowing with joy and love, what more could she ask for?

For just a moment, the Wolfe-Denahlii woman stepped out on the covered porch and watched the snow clouds darken as the sun sank down behind them. Her heart began to race with excitement, the end of the day meant that her love would soon be by to visit.  After a gust of frigid air swept around her, she crossed her arms over her chest as inky paws rubbed her arms trying to warm up.  That was enough cold for her and she headed back inside to feed and stoke the fire that had been burning all day.

The problem with the cold weather and having to keep the windows closed was that little light made it's way indoors, and as it grew darker outside, it was getting fairly hard to see inside.  Humming once again, Kai walked around the house and carefully lit candles, the flame flickered and danced, casting shadows on the walls and giving off ambient light.  Next she made her way to the kitchen and rounded up some different meats she had gotten from the Five Shields earlier along with a few pieces of bread and laid them out of a wooden carving board and took it out to place by the fire.  The last order of business was heating up some tea over the flame, and she grabbed a few ceramic mugs and placed them on the hearth.  Still smiling she looked around to make sure everything was in order, with a satisfying nod, she curled on the fur blankets beside the fire and waited for the silvery man to join her.

  [552] // Ooc Takes place after this thread.//
Through This Magnifying Glass - I See A Thousand Fingerprints - On The Surface Of Who I Am 

OOC: Word Count: 426

Thick snow lay in blankets across Wolfville, pathways dug out like canyons in the mounds of soft ice and making it easy to almost get lost as if in a maze. Darkness dropped over the town and Cedric felt like he had nothing left to delay him from going home. Only, the man didn't run back for the Fort, instead aiming for a faded blue house with a certain partner he longed to spend time with. In his natural form, Cedric almost blended into the snow; with only flecks of silver and the bright glows of his orange eyes giving him away as he rushed down the shoveled streets to where Kai lived. Much was on his mind, ever since confessing feelings and then sharing their time with one another. Cedric was beyond happy, as if a part of himself that had been locked away for so long was finally being released, but he also felt nervous. 

Not for the state of their relationship, but the fragility of life itself. Not two moons ago had Cedric almost died without warning, the man dared not thing what other dangers might be ahead of them. In his position especially, nothing could be predictable, so the Lune didn't want to wait any longer. He knew Kai loved him, and he to her, but they were old enough now to not just consider this like a mere fling or short relationship. Cedric wanted a family, and he didn't just mean that in terms of having Kai as his mate either. 

Lucian put the idea in his head, though truth be told it had lingered there ever since Celia and Soledad were born, but now Cedric needed to ask the one who would share the joy and responsibility of it with him. Slowing to a trot as he reached Kai's home, Cedric took a moment to shift back up to his bipedal form before creaking open the door. Inside was a wave of warm air and dancing fire light, so the Lune entered with confidence that Kai was home. 

She seemed ready for him as well; sat by the fire with food prepared and tea on the way. In silence, Cedric approached and sat next to her, bumping his knee into her own and flexing his hand before deciding to let it brush through her hair. Small steps of showing affection, proof that Cedric was already taking this very seriously. "Good evening Kai, I hope today has been good for you despite all the snow." Cedric began.

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Mismatched orbs watched the flames dance, the heat warmed her dark pelt and as time past by waiting for her beloved to visit she sighed deeply as she fought off the drowsiness, eyelids becoming heavy and she blinked several times trying to stay awake. She was so happy, happier than she had been in a long time, maybe ever been.  To have someone fill a void, that she was unsure she had, Kai's was almost glowing.  Humming she rocked back and forth, imagining what the future may be like, and she never imagined her life without Cedric, they were together in every situation and in every idea that came to her.  And that was both scary and exciting, dozing in and out of consciousness she even imagined a family together, with pups playing around them.

Ears flicked with the sound of the door opening and clicking shut, a wide grin spread across her muzzle and her heart skipped a beat before beginning to race.  The sable woman still got butterflies when the silvery man came close to her.  There love was so new, but at the same time so old and natural, they fit together perfectly.  The faintest touch of his knee against hers, or the feel of his hand through her hair made her ears flush, Kai loved being close to him.  Looking over and slightly up to him, she gave him a small kiss on the cheek still smiling. 

"It was a good day, spent it tidying and fixing up a few things around the house.  Your son stopped by for a visit earlier and lounged in front of the fire for a while, Parzival is always good company.  Of course, not as good as you."

The Wolfe-Denahlii woman chuckled softly as she sat up to pour the hot tea in the mugs.  Handing one to the Lune, she wrapped her delicate fingers around her own mug holding it close to her chest before leaning back into place and scooting closer to the man so that she could lean back into his chest.  Gently she nuzzled under his chin and into his scruff and let out a sigh of contentment. It was a perfect ending, to a perfect day, curled in front of the fire with the one she loved. Softly she spoke again,

"How was your day my love?  Hopefully pleasant enough?"

Blowing on the steaming tea briefly, before she took a sip, she began to hum quietly and happily.  Snow began to fall again outside, and the temperatures dropped, but inside, it was warm, and the fire flickered and danced before them.  So perfect.

  [422] // Ooc Here//
Through This Magnifying Glass - I See A Thousand Fingerprints - On The Surface Of Who I Am 

OOC: Word Count: 400

Understanding more of himself really came as a benefit now. Cedric would not compare what he had with Kai and what happened with Cidro, but the man did feel more at peace now than he'd done before. Nothing to blame his partner at the time on, but more Cedric's acceptance of his own feelings. Around Cidro he always felt so tense or confused, only growing relaxed after months. Yet with Kai, it felt instant; the moment he came to her the Lune could feel his body relaxing. The day's stress leaving with each breath and very little need for his mind to panic over what he should or shouldn't do. Kai wouldn't mind, no matter how awkward Cedric acted, he knew she would love him anyway. 

So the brush of her knee and touch of his hand brought Kai closer, making Cedric smile softly, relieved in himself for not feeling too nervous. 

"You might find Parzival move in some nights, sleeping on your bed or blocking a door. He's very fond of you, fond enough to trick me like he did in order to get us talking." Cedric commented back with a soft chuckle, then shuffling a little so he could prop himself up with one arm and tuck the other around Kai as she leaned against him, also holding his mug of tea. 

"A good day yes. Spent some time with Freddy, still getting used to how well he can talk now and... the fact that he is the equivilant of Del Cenere's War Lord." Cedric commented, "I thought he would take his own path after leaving Casa but... he's more like me than I thought I was worthy of. I am proud of him, if a bit worried as a father."

But that worry was easily balanced out by the logic and confidence Cedric had in his adopted son. Freddy had come so far after all, truly a boy that was small but mighty, and would let the world know each day to not doubt him for appearances. Thoughts of his son made Cedric smile, before a question burning in the back of his mind resurfaced... one he needed to bring up with Kai before it was given time to disappear. 

"Kai," Cedric began after a sip of his drink, "Do you... ever think of having children of your own?"

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There was something relaxing about listening to a fire crackle and watching the flames dance, almost like telling a story that calms the soul. The fact that her new found love was there to enjoy it, made it that much more special and even more relaxing, if that was possible. Sighing contently she fixed their tea and she couldn't help but laugh softly as the silvery man talked about the mountain lion that had stolen both of their hearts and Kai couldn't picture her life without Parzival in it, just as she couldn't see Cedric not by her side for many years to come, in fact she hoped that they would be able to grow old together, and spend countless moons and seasons in each others presence.

"You know, I would welcome the company of the giant house cat, he helps it feel more homey with him here.  The same goes for you as well.  I don't think I realized what this place was missing, but now I know that it was family."

The fire warmed the sable woman's pelt and the tea flooded the inside with warmth, but it warmed her heart and soul feeling the Lunes arm wrap around her as she leaned back.  Kai smiled and listened contently to the man talk about his day and his son Freddy, even before he said it, she knew how proud he was of him from the tone of his voice.

"I think it is normal to worry, especially with such an esteemed position in Del Cenere, but he will be okay, he has you as a father to help guide him and be there for him should the time arise that help is needed.  And he has me too now, I will always be there for him and the girls should they have a need."

For a few moments the dark furred woman sat there, watching the fire and resting her head against Cedric, listening to his heartbeat.  It was soothing and she felt like she could fall asleep right there in his arms, should it be slightly more comfortable for him and didn't have to worry about spilling the tea that they both held in their hands. She could feel the rumble of his voice in his chest when he spoke her name, mismatched orbs looked up at him as and listened. Again his question made her smile, causing her to become almost giddy, like some young adolescent who was falling in love for the first time.  But for Kai, she had never felt this way, she had never been in love, the type of connection she felt with Cedric was different than anything she had ever experience before.  So in a way she was that young girl. Kai took a moment, nuzzling into the man's neck and scruff again, inhaling his scent deeply, her tail wagged a few times.

"Growing up my mom and I were always on the road, traveling from place to place.  I guess I never really thought about bringing children into this world like that, or thought that I'd be in a place to settle down.  But then I came here…and I met you. I found my place, and place that I could call home, and a family to call my own..in a way I guess.  Until now I never thought it would be a good option for me, but now…now that's all changed.  When I think about us and the future I can see us surrounded by pups, Parzival laying on the ground, letting them play all over him.  You getting to continue to be an amazing father, it fills my heart with so much joy and love. I look forward to making that dream a reality one day, if it's something that you want as well."

She paused for a moment, sitting up she took both mugs of tea and set them back on the hearth, before twisting around slightly to face her love with a soft smile and wagging tail,

"Is it something that you would want?  I know you have the girls and Freddy already…would you want to have pups with me?"

Kai's eyes were wide and her ears laid back unsure of what Cedric's answer might be, he was the Lune after all and very busy and sometimes he put his life on the line for the pack.  With her heart racing, it felt like it would pop out of her chest. She hoped and prayed that it was something that he wanted, but even if it wasn't, it wouldn't change how she felt and Kai would continue to be madly in love with Cedric and love Celia, Soledad, Freddy and even Parzival as her own if they would allow her to do so. 

  [814] // Ooc Here//
Through This Magnifying Glass - I See A Thousand Fingerprints - On The Surface Of Who I Am 

OOC: Word Count: 456

Stability was something Cedric always wanted. Whilst he was a man of change; with his reign of Casa already bringing in so many new additions to their culture, Cedric also held tightly onto things being safe and predictable. Waking up each morning knowing his pack was alright, his Cavaliers were working together and no one was in danger. Having the chance to better himself along with the others, rather than pull himself around in various directions to just help make sure everyone felt comfortable, shouldering their burdens himself. Cedric did a lot of things to ensure life in Casa was as peaceful as possible, that their home lived up to greatness and that the future was always looking up at a shining horizon. His personal future, and that of Casa's, bled into each other due to Cedric's position as Lune. Even being with Kai would be a shift in the Lune's life and influence on the pack. Having even more, such as children, would also have an impact on things. 

But Cedric had thought about it, long and hard as he always did, seeing the values of having a family and his deep desire to be a parent once more. To give that chance to himself, but also to the one sharing such a thing with him. Years ago, Cedric had wanted children for not just himself but for the joy it brought Cidro. His daughters never saw their other father, but they brought so much life to Cedric despite the tragedy surrounding their birth. They'd helped him survive through a lot, the kind of warmth children brought to his heart was something Cedric wanted once more. 

"I see that future as well... in this house too." Cedric commented quietly, glancing around the spacious room. "Plenty of space, a home with a lot to give." It felt like fate that both wanted the same thing. For Kai, it would be her chance to have something she never thought she'd get the chance to have. For Cedric, it was continuing to fill his life with the things he loved and, in turn, help Kai achieve her dream. Motivation in itself. 

"I would like pups with you yes." Cedric began, moving his arm to hold Kai closer, warmth growing between them as the fireplace flickered with heat. "And... I would like them soon." A claim that would be the deciding factor; Cedric's desire to get things moving as soon as possible. "Life is... unpredictable, we both know that now. And I have loved every moment with you, enough that I don't want to wait much longer for something like this, not when I fear it could be taken away any day."

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For a moment it was like time stood still, internally panicking as if she had said something wrong, or realizing that it was a conversation they had never discussed before getting together, what if they had different ideas of what their life would be like together.  But as time started to move for her once more, the tension in her body melted away, she smiled again and her tail began to wag happily.  It wasn't just her that could see their future here, in the house she had made a home, now their home.  Mismatched orbs looked around the old house, so much space for their family to extend, she could almost hear the laughter and play growls of pups echo through the house that was silent besides the roar of the fire and Cedric's soft voice.

Kai's heart began to race, the happiness wanted to explode from within her when she heard that her love did want to have pups with her.  Feeling his embrace once more, she moved as close as she could next to him without sitting in his lap, and continuous wag and smile on her muzzle. 

For moment she was shocked as his next statement, but then she remembered the tragedy that struck too close to home, the loss of life and the possibility of something else happening was all too real, life was short and she agreed with the silvery man, tomorrow was never guaranteed, not for her or him. Kai pressed more into the man, nuzzling into him once more, her heart fluttered briefly when he had stated loving every moment before returning to the serious conversation they were having.

"Then we won't wait…"

Kai smiled more, her cheeks and ears grew flush and warm, but she would blame that on the fire that still danced before them, the heat kissing their pelts.

"As soon as we are able, we will try to make our dreams come true."

The sable woman let out a content sigh, reaching for his hand so that there fingers could interlock together.

"Cedric, I can just see them, three or four pups, maybe even six of them…  Running around playing, snuggling up with us, it's perfect.  I cannot wait, I love you so much and I am so happy here with you."

With her love here in this house, and the possibility of pups and Parzival joining them, it truly would make this house a home. 

  [413] // Ooc Here//
Through This Magnifying Glass - I See A Thousand Fingerprints - On The Surface Of Who I Am 

OOC: Word Count: 379

Cedric was not frequently anxious about the future. He had to weigh the options of tragedy of course, to better prepare for it, but Cedric didn't wake up each morning thinking it might be his last. But he was also a man of logic, as well as hope, and logic told him of the danger he faced in his position. If someone with dark intentions wanted to bring harm to Casa, then their aim would be the Lune and Sola. Assassination attempts were incredibly rare given Casa's defences, yet not two moons ago Cedric had almost died from poison, so it was clearly something in the realm of possibility. Also if someone wanted to shatter the resolve of the leaders rather than outright kill them, then harming loved ones would come next. Cedric's heart still stung with intense pain whenever he thought of the moment when the Scots had threatened to harm his children should he not comply. Such a thing would ruin Cedric if it happened now, to Kai or his children. 

Rather than let such anxiety build, Cedric wanted to make the most of the present and the near future, think towards hopeful things rather than let logic force him to feel like doom was always approaching. Not to be blinded by love and family, but to have it as a light to always guide the Lune forwards, so he might never falter. 

Kai was in agreement, and Cedric leaned over to kiss her cheek, a push of his limits but made out of the relief and love for her. "Of course. And thank you... having a family will be ours to share, but I know of the burden it brings to mothers and I am beyond grateful to you for taking such a risk on." Kai would no doubt know the circumstances of Cedric's birth after all, therefore assuming his belief in the risk of carrying children, another risk to add to the pile of worries but one Cedric would push through. 

He glanced around them, picturing the scenes of puppies playing, growing up together as a large family. "As many as we can manage, or fit on Parzival's back." Cedric replied with a chuckle. "But I can see it too."

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