[P] [m] Don’t count on me
P. Lyla

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: graphic descriptions, thoughts, etc..
Of course it had to be today she thought of that vile woman. 

The scars on her face, ravines, to her reality of a gruesome truth. Aani was her mother, a mother of ill intent and harboring hatred feelings She would kill her, the nightmares came back and Catalina couldn’t help but fear it was a truth. If anything else— a prediction. 

The chocolate hybrid would cut her down and piss on her grave. 

A small sob escaped her maw as she feared the worst, thought the worst, bringing in to the feeling of loneliness. She was truly alone, not that she didn’t love her adopted family, but the woman was a symbol of nothing but pure love, for an outsider who didn’t belong. It was true, whether she admitted it to herself or not. Catalina was alone, fear grappling into her soul and hooking in, not allowing her any reprieve. 

So she dressed, silently, bid the family Nazario created farewell and found herself in the middle of Charmingtown. A numbness curled into her bones, causing a rather massive headache to start in the base of her neck and grip onto her cranium. 

Why? Why was it like this always? Why was she such an outsider in a home she so desperately wanted to cling to? Both her mama’s were leaders and she wanted for nothing— yet, she lacked an understanding of the why’s to why she felt this way.

So she carefully treaded, keeping her head low and hood up, as she walked softly down the streets. Stopping at the Ugly Coyote to retrieve a basket she knew was inside. The hustle and bustle was almost too much as she blinked back frustrated tears and approached the bar. 

E-ex-excuse me-me…” Her voice was lost in the cacophony and so she stood, eyes wide, ears lowered and what would appear to be frozen in place. What a cruel world this was. 

Lyla had spent the better part of the day sitting at a table near the back of the Ugly Coyote with her nose buried in a book learning all she could about birds. One particular bird in fact, she had looked up information on Gyrfalcons, and this book had some information and sketched out pictures with them although it was really difficult to read because of how worn the pages were and how small the handwriting was. She had acquired the book as a gift from her parents forever ago, but had only been really interested in reading it when she had stumbled across a bird that had damaged its wing outside her little home.

Her eyes quickly flew over the text, the other two books she thought might have been helpful were in the satchel that hung off the back of the chair as she took a few more gulps from the mug she had gotten when she arrived. As the day wore on and the sky steadily grew darker, the Ugly Coyote seemed to come to life and it was starting to make reading too difficult. Letting out a frustrated grunt, Lyla hopped up from her chair at the table, quickly threw her thickly furred cloak over her petite shoulders and threw the strap of the bag over her head and crossed it over her body before shoving the book into it against the other two. Lifting the mug to her lips, she chugged down the rest of its contents and stomped up to the bar as if the noise had been a nuisance to her and slammed it down before turning to head out the door.

As she spun on her heel, she nearly collided with the petite girl that had some how silently gotten in beside her. It was about the only thing quiet in this damn place. Lyla was about to get real rude, really quick when she spotted the tears in the other's eyes and her expression softened a bit.

"'Eh, Catalina? You alright?" she asked, her ears perking up on top of her head as she looked at the younger girl. They had not really ever spoke to each other, but had crossed paths a few times enough to be on a first name basis within the gang. Her tail drooped as she realized no one had heard the younger woman and Lyla quickly turned on her heel, slamming her hands down on the edge of the bar to boost herself up to be seen.

"Hey, barkeep, my friend wants ya!" she yelled over the loud conversations that were happening around them. That caught his attention and he quickly came up, drying a mug in his hands as he looked at the two girls expectantly. Lyla's pale stormy eyes fell back upon the girl beside her waiting for her to respond to him.

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Oh to be a fly on the wall, watching these folks and noticing the trembles that shook the room. 

But alas, she was not, and a simpleton would have stopped to talk to the timid femme. However, Lyla was no fool, so her immediate thought went out of the window whenever Lyla had slammed her drink down and then turned to glance at Catalina. The actions alone made Lina’s skin prickle, her ears flickering on multicolored cranium. A hand went to her hair as she toyed with the curly locks to ground herself. 

That booming voice made the petite vixen flicker her gaze from her top, to her bottom, and meet at her pale azure orbs. A reminder of Bennett’s own pale eyes, despite his pallid complexion they still stood out. Was she okay? No, everything’s not okay, my world is falling apart and I feel like a freak. I feel so alone. Instead, she said nothing. 

Before she could even think to say something else Lyla was demanding the attentions of the barkeep with another loud slam on the ground that caused her to flinch. Were all the Winthrop’s this boisterous? Judging by the look on the barkeeps face he hadn’t recognized her presence and the shock that entailed made her squeamish. “I-I… needed a-a bask-basket please.” She leaned in to say this to the barkeep, his head lowering so he might hear her better. Catalina felt hot suddenly, the noises, and the weird looks she was getting from Lyla’s enormous personality. “Th-thank you-you.” She said to Lyla, eyes dropped to her personal long, flowy dress. 

So, just a basket Miss Catalina?” 

Isn’t that what she just said? Catalina wanted to curl into a small ball and never come into public again. “Y-yes…” Along with a head nod, because her voice wasn’t nearly as loud enough as she had thought. 

Maybe one day she would belong. With two hands, she grasped the large woven basket and ushered her way out the door. Whether Lyla chose to follow her or not was their decision alone, Catalina couldn’t stand all the discord and unrest in the crowded bars. In fact, she preferred the quieter outside and once she was around the small corner, her back was placed up against the wall, taking a few calming breaths.  
awkward is awkward

The girl had seemed to have shrunk in on herself with Lyla's booming voice like a loudspeaker over the noise of the bar. An odd drop in volume was experienced for but a moment as the attention shifted briefly to the two girls before growing once again when nothing of interest was happening. When the coyote behind the counter came up, Lyla's eyes flashed back to the smaller girl expectantly as she stammered out what she was here for. A basket? Hell, Lyla could have run out back and grabbed that herself, seeing as her parents had their hand in this place keeping it running for the longest time before giving that up for "family life" whatever that meant.

As if she could not look any smaller, it was as if she shrunk further and her voice grew almost too quiet for even the Winthrop woman to hear and she was standing almost directly beside her. When he brought back the basket, the other girl swiftly turned on her heal and fled out the doors letting a blast of cold air rush through and hit them. How did something so small move so fast? A little dumb founded over the whole ordeal, Lyla grumbled to herself something along the lines of a thank you would have sufficed. Yet, feeling a little worried over Nazario's latest project, Lyla scooped up her things and followed the girl outside, just catching her scent on the wind as she fled around the other side of the building and was leaned up looking as if she was trying to collect herself against the wall.

"Uh, did you need anything else?" Lyla asked, flicking her cinnamon hair out of her eyes as she skidded to a halt on the icy path almost colliding with her as she had not expected her to be there. "What's wrong with ya? It's not all that bad in there," she asked bluntly, her right eye squinting a bit in confusion over the whole ordeal that had just taken place. "Lucky for you," she continued, without a care or a notice if her presence had even been welcome or not, "I just finished up what I was doing and was on my way out anyhow. Need someone to walk ya home Miss del Bosque?"

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Breathing in through her nose and out through her mouth, the mouse-ish creature hid within the wall trying to force herself to become one with it. At least that’s what she had been doing before Lyla came running around the corner and caused a squeaky squeal to erupt from Catalina’s mouth. At first she’d only seen the blur of coppery brown, and an image of Aani popped into her brain. When the scent flooded her senses, Catalina’s bugged out eyes seemed to normalize, once again.

She came after her? Why? Did she forget something? Calming herself down from the initial thought of someone may be hurting her, Catalina patted her coat and she still had her note and otherwise. So what was it?

And then she spoke— quicker than Catalina would have liked and poking and prodding in all the wrong ways. Taking a step back, only to find still a wall in her way, she looked from Lyla’s grey blue orbs to her hair and then back. “L-loud… too loud.” It was an impish whisper, but loud enough so that Lyla understood where she was coming from. Once her heart rate has begun to settle down, the timid creature stepped to the right and then back, on the other side of the wall, so in case she needed to run, she wouldn’t have anything stopping her. Lyla was fierce in her words, and the way she pressed on made Catalina feel cumbersome in her next actions.

A shaky hand rose to tuck a curly hair out of her eye, before aquamarine ones glanced to her feet. Momma Peony always told her to straighten her shoulders when she spoke, so she did just that, her androgynous body containing hardly any upper body padding that most females seemed to have. It made her look younger than she really was, or perhaps older in the way she, now anyways, held her scarred face high for the other to see. Even her eyes met with Lyla’s.

That’s my girl.” Peony would have said, wrapping her into a tight hug before pulling away and then lifting her chin up with her clawed finger. “You’re a powerful, strong, young lady who will not let anyone bully or hurt anymore. Do you understand me? You are capable, Catalina, mi amora.

Even just the memory of her adopted real mother— not her momma Nazario because he wasn’t really a she, he was a he, even though a vague memory of her other mother who was a he but was a she, clouded her memories for the briefest of moments— caused her to give a gentle smile. “O-okay, I wou-would like that-t.

Because truly she would like that, if not for the beautiful woman’s company.
- -

It surprised Lyla that the girl was so skittish, there were not that many skittish coyotes in del Cenere. To be honest, while she may have been loud and boisterous, so was most of the Gang members in a way. You had to be strong in order to survive, especially in an area that was infested with wolves all around. They had a pack not too far East of them, as well as a few others that she knew of that dotted the coast that were well established despite the others that had come and gone. She had learned about a few of them from her parents as she was growing up, but their teachings of each of the packs were starting to fade from her memory. She always wondered exactly where Catalina came from, but had never been close to anyone to be bothered to ask.

A complaint of it being too loud in the Ugly Coyote had barely been heard, if it was not for her oversized ears that could target a mouse under snow from a hundred feet away - maybe a little bit of a stretch - she probably would have made the girl repeat herself. "Too loud? Yeah, that's why I ended up leaving. It always livens up towards the end of the day when everyone is done tha chores around these parts," she said with a cheesy grin. "Myself I was readin' before I got rudely interrupted by the lads getting a little too sloppy," she laughed, patting at the book that was tucked neatly into her side bag with all of the information she would need on birds of prey and their care.

"Well, c'mon then, I'll take ya home," quickly she pulled the girl out of the alley and hooked her arm through hers as she pulled them forth through the streets. Lyla had no conception of personal space sometimes and the touch may have been unwanted and unwarranted, but the girl was so light she could easily pull her along.

"Whatcha need the basket for anyway?" she asked, picking back up as if they did not just abruptly start on their trek through town. A little shudder ran down her spine as she attempted to tuck her furs around her to keep warm in the frigid drop in temperature as the sun began to hang lower and lower in the sky above. They would need to hurry before her toes turned into little icicles as they padded down the beaten down icy path before them heading to where Lyla thought the girl lived. "Uh, this is the direction you live in, right?"
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Slight PP let me know if you need anything changed. xD
Those grey eyes stared into her soul, it felt like and the youth felt somewhat uneasy. Not for Lyla’s presence, more or less, it was the way Catalina was. How could someone of Lyla’s social structure and stature want to spend their time with a dainty, timid little thing such as herself? Not to mention the angelic voice and pretty face she had. Catalina was merely a devil compared to her, and the comparison between them left her staring down at the sod, beside Lyla.

Heh, yeah-ah.” Catalina added, albeit so silently it was likely swept away in the wind.

Surprise etched all over Catalina’s face at Lyla’s brazen actions, hooking her arm in hers and skipping away. She asked after her basket… Lina almost froze up, but whisked away by the more social creature, she only gave an anxious laugh. “Oh-h… fo-for co-collecting-ing rocks-s, a-and dea-dead pla-ants…” now that she said it out loud Cat felt as though it was childish.

The lithe female was so caught up in her thoughts she hadn’t realized that they both had gone the wrong way. It wasn’t until they’d gotten out of the hustle and bustle and into the cooling air, that Lyla had questioned if they were going the right way. Glancing around she didn’t really want to say no… Momma Nazario’s home was the other way, back the way they came! In fact, Peony’s home was to the east of here, and the way they were currently heading was more towards an old abandoned shack she had found once as a child.

Instead, she cantered her head. “Y-yes…” Lina lied, now pulling her friend— was she even a friend?— towards the right where the old, moldy, musty, overgrown building would have been.
looks fine to me <333

Lyla tended to clash with those that had much stronger personalities than the timid thing at her side presently. That was probably why she liked Catalina so much, the girl hardly ever spoke and therefore Lyla never clashed with her. These were the types of friendships that she held onto best, well, she did not really have any closer friends per se, but she definitely had some luperci that did not care for her excitability. With her arm hooked in the other girl's arm they had set off in a direction that felt right to the Winthrop woman, forgetting that Cat had lived with Nazario.

"Rocks and dead plants ya? Well, we got lots of those 'round here, don't we?" she giggled, waving her free hand out towards the outskirts of town. Winter was great for killing off the little bits of vegetation that had managed to survive the stifling heat of summer. "If ya'd rather go collect some rocks and such we could do that now? Before it gets too dark?" she asked a little hopefully, just happy to have someone that seemed to be putting up with her obnoxious attitude enough that she may not be left feeling dejected when she reanalyzed her whole day and berating herself for saying certain things or acting certain ways when she laid in bed unable to sleep at night. It was a lot to unpack in her mind every day, keeping busy tired her out enough that she did not ruminate on things too long before passing out.

Her answer to the question about whether they were heading in the right direction did not seem confident enough and this almost stopped Lyla in her tracks to question her own sense of direction, but the girl started to tug her just slightly off in a direction that she seemed a little more confident in so the cinnamon haired girl fell into step and followed along beside her. The chill in the air was warded off by the other female's warmth for now as they skipped along through the paths that intertwined around the Ashen lands.

"So, Catalina, what do ya do for fun 'round here?" she asked, sparking up a conversation as she did not like to sit in the silence of her own head for too long.

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Catalina was silent most of the time, and being with Lyla she felt somewhat awkward, fumbling over her words and staring at the pretty woman in front of her. It was no doubt that the attraction was there, but Catalina felt strange, as if it wasn’t a mutual attraction. Why would it be? Catalina was mousey, and timid, and just all around the most demure woman whom ever existed. Perhaps, that was why she liked Lyla. She talked and talked, and talked and Catalina never said too much, in fear of her vocal chords betraying her again.

Yet— Lyla struck up conversation again, and Lina leaned her head to one side to better listen. “Ye-yes…” That why Catalina was collecting these objects and specimens, she could probably collect seeds from those dying plants and create a new garden. The rocks were mainly because Catalina liked to decorate with them. More often then not, it turned into a problem in Nazario’s house, what with the new puppies. But Peony never minded the rocks scattered throughout her home and in her yard. The thought made her smile to herself.

The way they were headed now was towards an old hunting cabin, of course, with its wear and tear and all the vines growing out of it, Lyla would surely take one look at it and refuse to enter. But Alina cleaned it up inside, decorating it with plants, and jars of sap, as well as rocks. It was a botanists dream, but the snow covered it most of the winter and the Del Bosque feared it would become a hinderance to others.

Instead of heading towards her second home, or rather what was her safe Haven, Catalina slowed her pace and looked at Lyla. “O-oh… I-I lo-look fo-for flowe-flowers.” It was admitted with sheepish words, and her eyes turned downwards towards the ground. But she didn’t want to say anything else, because in all honesty, the little Del Bosque was entirely boring. Even though the house came into view, tattered and cracking and broken in places, Catalina gave a sheepish smile.

sorry for the wait

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