Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:05 pm
||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.
It was a nice place that he'd found himself in, a bar of all things, the sort of place he might have frequented if he'd known about it when he was still a loner. A woman that a little over a year ago had been just another pretty face, but now his mate, seated alongside him at one of the tables. They could have gone anywhere, the opportunity to spend some time with Ondine was all he was really after, away from Salsola.
They had set out earlier in the day, the pups left with their grandmother, Janik more thankful that the matriarch hadn't come along with them, than the brief freedom from parental responsibility. He'd gotten better at not allowing himself to be riled up by the in-law, but she remained his least favorite relation that joining Ondine's family had given him. In the past, he wouldn't have taken so long to get going, but covering the scent of his new secretive home, making sure the children were settled in, the last minute chatter, it was well past noon by the time they'd arrived.
A bit of haggling later, and salted meat from his first batch of the year had secured some drinks from himself, and Ondine. A tentative sniff at the jar, followed by an equally cautious lap at stuff was enough to earn the man's approval. It had been a long while since he'd last gotten a chance to drink, and the stuff felt strong as a result, but still good. ”This is a pretty nice place... this stuff isn't too bad either.”
Janik commented on where they'd ended up, before turning his attention from the jar in front of him, to Ondine herself. An affectionate nudge at her cheek with the tip of his snout preceding a more playful choice of words ”I wonder if the kids are driving your mother crazy already?”
Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:25 pm
Maybe all of these things made me who I am
It was odd, but well needed. Ondine had mentioned the bar before, especially after coming home with some goods in exchange for herbs and blends. It was an outing that the parents needed, especially with Janik still slowly adjusting to life in Salsola. To get away from the expectations of home, it was definitely more welcome than anything else imaginable.
Ondine watched as the barkeep delivered Janik's drink and her own, though her's was far less strong based on the aroma that emanated from his jar. It was far, far stronger, actually, since she had a bowl of fruity wine that would definitely take more than a serving to reach the same level of potency that Janik drank. It was definitely not a frequently stocked beverage in their household, as her precious bottle of clear liquor was used for tinctures and medicines.
"I think I said as much before, didn't I?" she said playfully as her mate nudged her affectionately. She crossed her arms on the table. She tittered, though, as she let her fingers loop into the bowl, cupping it with her palm. "You think my mother is the one driven mad? And I thought you paid better attention than that." She chortled into the bowl as she took a drink. It was pleasant enough, except that it was far sweeter than the wines she was used to.
She was taking a drink as the door opened, and an unfamiliar figure entered. But it was unsurprising that she did not recognize them; she was not a frequent visitor to the bar. But the man who entered let his eyes rove and then finally settle on her a moment, before he moved to the bar. She turned her eyes from him, back to her mate, and smiled at the pale shepherd dog. "When are you going to get your kiln going, by the way?" she asked, running a finger around the bowl. She could still feel the man's stare on the side of her face.
Tue May 22, 2018 8:47 pm
Janik forced himself to go slow with the alcohol, not burn through it as though it might be his last. Being a drunkard not how he wanted to spend their little vacation, but the taste made it a hard thing to do, alcohol a vice that he enjoyed a little more than he should have.
”You did... but that doesn't stop me from trying to take credit.” the offered as a smooth reply, his tone that of someone who didn't really plan to take credit for the place. Ondine's mention of her mother made his brow furrow a little bit, his mood still good, but clearly thinking if he had failed to pay attention. A moment's reflection that made the dog remember that she'd had to care for the pups without him, at least until he'd been able to join Salsola, and that he'd maybe spent more time working on his kiln than minding the kids once joined.
His thoughts kept Janik from noticing the stranger's arrival at first, his attention held on Ondine long enough to overlook their roving gaze. ”It's more or less ready, I'll probably do a few test pieces this week, see which spots inside are best. Maybe take the kids with me, keep you from going too mad.” Janik answered back, a toothy grin at both the playful jab, and what he thought would be a welcome offer.
Something felt off as he continued to watch Ondine though, his smile fading while he tried to figure out what that something was. The dog's eyes wandering to look past his mate, and toward the newcomer that seemed to be staring a bit longer than he would have liked. Especially when it wasn't him that the other male seemed to be appraising, but his mate. ”Can we help you?” Janik spoke in a louder voice, so they'd hear him clearly, a friendly enough tone to his words, even if it was forced.
A year ago, and a clear accusation would have gone along with his words, but Janik has learned at least the value of a false face in Salsola. He still wasn't very good at it, especially when alone, without Ondine there to serve as a reminder to behave, but he was improving. Whether that was a good or bad thing, he'd yet to decide.
Thu May 31, 2018 8:38 pm
Maybe all of these things made me who I am
"Thief," she replied with an affectionate wrinkling of the nose that could only be described as adorable. Ondine was not perhaps the most gorgeous of creatures, but she could do cute at the best of times with ease. Sultry beauty had never been her forte, for dear waif a sister Delfina had taken all the fluid graces of a nymph in the womb. Ondine had been the wallflower, well-endowed, but hardly a siren of any sort. She was more like a hearty tuna.
She did give a very pointed laugh, as though trying to make herself heard across the room, more so than anything. "Good, I could use a pot for grinding my herbs, if you could manage that," she said, feeling the unwanted gaze of the stranger upon her again. It was an uncomfortable presence upon her skin, making it crawl uneasily.
Her mate made a declaration and her blood felt colder as it echoed. There was a lull in conversation as curious eyes turned toward the stranger, who tilted his head at the duo. Then, much to Ondine's pure horror and dread, he approached them both with the most amicable look on his face that left her entirely confused.
"Actually, yes, I think you can," he began. Ondine noticed that he was relatively young, but older than her son was. He grinned at them both, shifting from the man to the woman, smiling as though he was perfectly welcome to butt into their conversation, or stare at them like a gaping sheep boy. His accent sounded vaguely familiar, though she could not place it. "I'm actually come from Ame Rouge, and I am looking for someone in the Heiwa family?" Ondine's hands tightened on the edge of the table, surprising her as she had not realized her fingers had even grappled the thing.
A hiss escaped her, eyes flickering around. The others in the bar had seemingly settled back into their own conversations, disheartened by the distinct lack of hostility to the point of complete disinterest.
"Hush your tongue," she whispered, warning in her voice. "Why are you looking for them?" Her gaze was solidly on the man and not on her husband.
"I've been sent to marry one of them," he said, rather cheerily for someone who was playing a dangerous game. Ondine's heart went straight into her throat and she could feel a rising desire to void her belly.
"Which one?" she asked weakly, hoping and praying that her mother had not sent for a future husband for her daughter. It seemed like something that she would do, something that would bring her no small amount of amusement. She likely wanted her granddaughter good and betrothed to prevent any more embarrassments to the family name.
"The youngest," began the man, thoughtfully, as though recalling a name. "Ondine, I believe her name is." The Seer groaned audibly, pressing a hand into her face.
Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:30 pm
Janik could never help but mirror his wife when she smiled, the woman's happiness very much intertwined with his own. She was his, and he was hers, that was enough to make her the most beautiful woman in his eyes. It also made him protective of her, his loyalty with the mother of his pups, rather than with the pack he'd joined.
Any thoughts of making a pot for his wife were swept to back of Janik's mind, his focus on the stranger that started to approach their table. He'd spoken a little louder than he'd intended, more than just the one stranger's attention drawn his way as a result. It didn't really matter, but Janik found himself not liking the sensation of having so many eyes on them.
The younger male spoke, the grin on his face causing Janik to grip his cup a bit tighter. He'd been young like that before, overly confident, he still was on his worse days, but stayed well behaved enough to listen to what they had to say. Most of what was said meant nothing to Janik, aside from the family name Heiwa, and the hiss that escaped his wife, his own eyes narrowing at the other man.
Janik allowed the conversation to continue, silently hoping that the grinning moron was just there to deliver a message of some sort. That patience quickly withered when it turned out to not be a letter, but some sort of arranged marriage, but Janik struggled to think of who they might have been there to marry. The thought that his daughter might have been on the list didn't occur to Janik, his thoughts turning toward any relatives that Ondine might have, a bit of disgust entering his expression when it occurred to him that his mother in law might have summoned the much younger male for herself.
His disgust was short-lived, at the mention of it being the youngest, replaced by a perplexed look. Perplexion turned to anger in an instant as the stranger spoke his wife's name, the dog letting go of the cup to avoid breaking it in his hand. The slight wobble of the half empty container accompanied by an irritated sounding growl, and a terse correction from Janik ”Might as well go back to Am Rog or whatever you said, she's already married.”.
If he'd stopped to think, Janik might have realized that it was less the other male's fault, and more the fault of whoever had summoned him, but the thought that someone was trying to take Ondine away from him had his blood boiling. Gone was the amicable mask, replaced by the look of someone only barely suppressing the urge to swing on someone. ”Who gave you the idea you were needed?” Janik gruffly added.
Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:22 pm
Maybe all of these things made me who I am
Ondine could see the anger mounting in Janik's face and she reached out quickly to grasp at one of his hands. Squeezed them tightly, as a reminder that she was not about to willingly move on from the father of her youngest children. Her eyes were almost frantic with the assurance, hoping that the man would understand her unspoken words. But his question was valuable and just. Who had sent for the man in the first place?
The man rubbed at his chin, thoughtfully looking between the man and woman, noticing seemingly for the first time that Janik was getting mad, rather easily at that. It was beyond obvious, even if it took the stranger a solid moment to realize it. He did smile reassuringly at them both, though, which should have put her at ease, but left Ondine confused and concerned.
"I'm sure there's just been a mistake." That was directed at Janik, before his gaze fell upon Ondine herself. A moment passed and she could tell that he was evaluating her, and she suddenly felt her four year and three children more astutely, especially in the way her belly pudged. She sucked it in reflexively, staring pointedly back at him. "I am Aluin de Valois," he introduced finally, bobbing his head toward the two of them, still smiling, still unbothered by the scene he had nearly caused.
"Who sent for you? Delfina?" she asked, her voice harsh. Her sister would have loved such a spectacle, embarrassing her littermate having been a pastime of her's once upon a time. The man's brows raised, though he shook his head.
"No, Isabella. Her brothers received a letter asking for a suitor and they sent me," he added, though still seemed unbothered. "I can't really go back now," he added, arching his brows purposefully, implying very well that he meant to join them in Salsola.
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:42 pm
What had begun as a pleasant outing with his wife, meant to take them both away from Salsola and the stress that place could often provide, had turned into something else entirely. Hindsight being what it was, the man wished silently that he'd suggested something aside from the bar, even if that would have only delayed the inevitable meeting with the smiling stranger.
If things had continued in the direction they were going, Janik would have eventually run out of patience with the other man, especially with the way he looked at Ondine. The woman's hand on his own was enough to keep him grounded, her look not needed to convince him that she wouldn't be a party of the scheme, but comforting all the same. ”A hell of a mistake...” the dog grumbled half to himself, just loud enough to make sure that the other man would hear.
It would be fixed, the other man would be sent on his way, and they'd get back to enjoying their day, that was the outcome that Janik played through his head to keep the calm that Ondine had given him. At least up until Ondine coaxed the culprit's name from the would be suitor, an audible sigh of disgust escaping the dog, the hand not held captive by Ondine drawn to the man's face in what was best described as an exasperated facepalm.
Any illusion that they'd just turn around and leave was at ever greater risk of shattering, the stupid expression on the other man's face, combined with their suggestion that they'd be staying enough to turn sigh to annoyed growl. ”I swear that woman is going to be the death of me...” Janik started, not speaking to anyone in particular, before his hand left his face, and his blue eyes glared at the other male [/b]”Stay, go, whatever, just stop looking at my wife like a piece of meat.”[/b]. Without the ugly tension that had been placed at the table, Janik would have thought longer on his words, he'd gotten better at that, but in that moment was just as blunt as the day he'd found Ondine.
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:16 pm
Maybe all of these things made me who I am
The man seemed a little confused as Janik's hushed tones continued. Ondine started carefully stroking the back of his hand, hoping to soothe him and keep his fists from flying into the amicable stranger's face. He seemed nice enough, polite, if somewhat forward. It was odd, though. Were she not mated happily, she would have likely taken an interest in the smooth talking male who was hardly difficult on the eyes. As it was, she had a man at her side and there was no reason to sabotage such a thing.
"I don't know if it's wise for you to join them just now, but you could always stay near here, instead?" she offered, glancing between the two men. She was far less worried that Aluin would say something or do something, but much more concerned that Janik would lose his patience. He was an easy going man, but when he was set off into anger, he was much more difficult to handle. "We'd need to talk with my mother about this," she added firmly, pointedly, toward the man.
"I suppose," he said slowly, disappointment clear in the way he seemed to drop a little. He had clearly been excited to find a place to settle, even if his marriage plans had been good and ruined before he had even made the journey from Ame Rouge. "And she is not a piece of meat," he added, a little put off by the phrase. "Your wife is lovely so forgive me for having eyes." Ondine looked surprised at such a bold speech and felt her hand wrap tightly around Janik's wrist, as though he were not far stronger than she and more than capable of breaking her hold.
Wed Jul 04, 2018 4:16 pm
Janik did a commendable enough job of keeping his hands on the table, instead of flying toward the other man's neck, but his eyes still shot daggers. He'd gotten over any worries about Ondine, he didn't really think the man was a threat to what he had with the woman, but some instincts were hard to bury under civility. Even if he was trying to do just that, aided greatly by Ondine's hands on his own.
A pair of potential futures seemed to loom ahead, one where the other man stayed in the area, and easily avoided as a result. Versus the one that he seemed to prefer, where Janik would have to see him around the pack, need to be more civil than he was currently. Thanks to his wife's intervention, the more preferable of those futures seemed to be slowly winning out, and the tension in him started to ease as a result. ”We'll need to talk to your mother about a lot of things...” Janik grumbled half under his breath, silently wishing that the elder Heiwa wasn't related to his wife, and largely immune to his wrath as a result.
Any progress Ondine had made in calming Janik down was undone by the stranger's defensive response. In some ways, it was good that he'd agreed that Ondine wasn't a piece of meat, but the admission that he was appraising her canceled any of that out. Janik's hand balled into a fist, lip pulling up in the mild beginnings of snarl. Only to suddenly still as a thought crept to the forefront of Janik's enraged mind. ”My point is you don't look at another man's wife like that, not when he's right here. Not if you don't want his opinion to be heard, loudly, when we have that talk with Isabelle.”
It was a vague threat, and built upon the lie that what he said or thought could impact the man's chances of joining. If he'd learned anything of his stay in Salsola, it was that machinations and words could be every bit a lever as just throwing a punch into someone's face.
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:30 pm
Maybe all of these things made me who I am
Ondine had had enough of the entire damned situation. She really had. Janik was getting mad and the stranger began to purposefully bait him into attacking. Why, she could not comprehend, for it was clear that her mate was a difficult man in such a situation and his fists were more than ready to start flying. Her nails started to dig into his flesh in warning, panic flaring in her gaze as the whites of her eyes showed more prominently. She flickered that gaze from mate to stranger, wishing she was far more authoritative than she was.
Why couldn’t she be authoritative? Before the man had a chance to answer the bait that her husband threw at him, she slammed her hands down on the table, pushing back the chair as she stood. She glared at them both, two grown men who should have understood some very juvenile rules of decorum in public spaces.
"Enough of this, both of you. My son and daughter behave better," she added with disappointment in her tones. Her gaze settled on the stranger. "Enough of you, you are not coming back with us, and you are going to stay here until we figure out what to do about all this." The man looked cowed and silently nodded as the woman verbally accosted him. She had waved her hands in his general direction, his ears flattening for a moment.
She put her hand out and he stare at it in confusion. "Give me the letter my mother sent," she ordered firmly, her no-nonsense look prompting him to root around in his shirt pocket and pull out a folded up piece of parchment. Ondine pocketed it without looking at it and without thanks. The man stepped back a bit as she stepped forward, his height making him tower above her and yet he was moved to silence beneath her matronly glare.
Ondine turned to her mate and jerked her head. "Let’s go, you feral animal," she directed, though there was far more affection in her tone toward Janik than there had been toward Aluin. There was something in her posture, though, that seemed to warrant no argument. She stood firm and resolute. Her night away was ruined and she was taking charge of it for a moment, at least.
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