Message not so in a bottle

[p] - Gus, Eliza

POSTED: Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:11 pm

OOC: 474 words

Jake sat on the horse, the leather of his tack and saddle creaking as his chestnut gelding plodded along the borders of the land. He shut his eyes as he realised he’d been clicking his teeth together. This was a job he’d really rather not be on, but he’d lost the damn bet. Jake put his hand over his eyes remembering the cards, he should have one, the gods obviously were not looking out for him. He spat over the horse’s neck and continued to scan the borders. Jake was not too far off of seven foot tall, but on horseback he got a bit more height still. His frame was slim and quick, knives bristled at a belt around his waist, but that and a bandana, faded from sea spray and smelling of sweat, were the only clothes he wore. His pelt was a charcoal grey with splotches of white, black and even some rusts, which perhaps hinted at a dog ancestry. Finally he spotted a figure in the distance, and he thought the form had just turned towards him. Jake put his fingers to his lips and blew a piercingly loud whistle, the sort of whistle that has to carry over nine foot waves washing across a deck. With a kick and a squeeze he trotted towards the grey figure, which resolved itself into a distinctly unimpressive, wiry haired dog. Still, this dog had obviously seen some combat, he was missing an ear after all, perhaps not that good at it then. Making sure he was several paces back from the scent markers Jake didn’t dismount, or even introduce himself. The dog smelt of the lands so he must be a member of this pack, and while their information was sketchy, he was sure this was the place. This close Jake could tell the dog was younger, perhaps by a year or so, and stood with the confidence of a leader, which was good.

”Hi there, think fast.” Jake tossed the object he’d been sent here to deliver. It was a piece of wood, varnished and carved in intricate pictures and details, holding it in the hand was a pleasure, around the wood was a strip of fur, light grey in colour and it smelt of luperci. ]”Do me a favour and give that to Jeremy.” without even waiting for a response he turned his horse around and made to leave. The wiry pelted dog stopped him with a question though.

”Who the hell is Jeremy?” came the gruff voice which was more of a challenge than a question. Jake turned around and smirked.

”Just give him the damn message mutt, we know he’s here, the captain is expecting him back.”

There it was done, he’d lost the bet and done the job, to hell with the brat if he didn’t reply.

Table by Myst | Photo by markbyzewski | Texture by Ransie3

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Draiko
Luperci Come sit by my fire

POSTED: Thu Jul 09, 2015 4:41 pm

OOC - WC - +350

The Captain---what?! Brows were screwed up in confusion but the indignant hybrid was already taking off on his handsome mount, soon becoming a speck on the horizon. The fuck is Jeremy?! He muttered angrily to himself, eyeing up the strange piece of wood in his hand and curling a lip up once he’d smelt the piece of hide wrapped around it. No doubt it belonged to some poor soul missing a chord of flesh. Disgusting.

He dropped it to his feet and smacked the side of it with the butt end of his spear, hackles rising up with a sudden and sharp stab of fear. Ah hell Gus, it ain’t alive! He chided himself with a gruff chuckle, taking a few moments of just staring down at it before bending over to pick it back up. Jeremy, The name swirled about in his head, but he still had no freaking idea who that guy was or why he thought some Jeremy fellow resided in his pack lands. Ah hell… he sighed, and slipped the strange thing into his backpack. Looked like Gus had to become detective this afternoon.

Padding on back towards Fiskebyn, Squeaks twittered happily from his left, alighting in her usual place--his nest of a head--and beginning to preen his hair to her little heart’s delight. Quit it you! He cried, half-heartedly swiping at her small fluttering wings, but this was all part of their daily routine. He sighed again, lacking his usual energy when it came to “battling” the saw-whet and she gave a timid chirrup, flopping down to his shoulder to look up at him with her big bright saucer eyes. S’nothin’ Squeeks, don’ go on worryin’ about ole Gus, he murmured, gently tapping and scratching her fluffy head, but then he spotted Eliza up ahead and found himself cursing under breath. She’d know something was up the minute she clapped eyes on him, he only hoped he could fix his face in time.

caught in the undertow


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X-tian
Luperci
GUILTY FILTHY SOUL

POSTED: Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:17 am

It was shaping up to be a fine day and Eliza had already busied herself with exercising Bernie and Flod around Krokar's flatter sections of land. Now she rode back towards the village, chattering away to the falcon and horse, her ponytail bobbing up and down as she talked.

“This float ya boat competition, s'gonna be epic! Shame I can't bring you two with me – Flod, yer too heavy for anythin' but a full-blown ship.” The dog patted the gelding's neck fondly. “'n' Bernie, I don't trust ya not to fly off far as I can throw ya.” The falcon turned his feathered head towards Eliza and she was sure that had it been possible he would have rolled his eyes.

The trio plodded on. It felt pleasant to be winding down after a productive morning. Something within Eliza had settled following the recent stresses of vanishing friends and secret-keeping. A scent wafted over, unmistakeable and wholly welcomed by the little dog – but when she drew close enough to study her brother's face that settled feeling dissolved into an anxious tug on her gut.

“Bloody 'ell brother, ya've got a face like thunder!”

Liz wasted no time in directing Bernie to the nearest tree and dismounting, murmuring a soothing word to Flod before turning to face Gus. Questions burned in her nut-brown eyes and her mouth opened to give them a voice, but it soon snapped closed again.

“What ya got there?” Gus was holding something – it looked like a piece of wood wrapped in something which Liz felt inexplicably wary of studying too closely. “Gus?” She ventured forward a few steps to stand at her brother's elbow, placing a hand on his arm as the other found her hip. Her mouth was set in a determined line – she hadn't seen Gus looking so angry in quite some time; it was unnerving.

[300+]

User avatar
Rat
Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:42 am

OOC: 516 words

Storm moved through the fishing village furtively. Ever since he’d heard about the competition he’d been particularly secretive about his own project, and would disappear to the gods alone knew where. All that was certain was that if anyone had wanted to find him, they’d had to howl and wait for him to come. Right now he was heading back to his home to grab some food before disappearing again. The fever he’d endured had ravaged his body, leaving him horribly emaciated and his muscles almost non-existent, but stubborn persistence, no doubt adopted from the Cormiers, had helped him to regain a good portion of that muscle back, and while he was still several square meals off of his ideal weight, he was getting there slowly. It was one of the reasons for his furtiveness. Storm was pretty sure that if pepper saw him working, swimming, or doing anything she deemed ‘strenuous’ or Storm would deem ‘fun’, she’d make him drink something revolting, before wearing him down and sending him home, and keep a closer watch on him.

It seems terribly cruel when you’re so concerned about one person, two much worse people to run into appear. Storm, being the master of body language, effected a nonchalant stroll as soon as he spotted his adopted family, making it look as though he’d been doing nothing more than taking a walk around the village. Storm might as well not have bothered though, Eliza and Gus appeared to be talking, the wiry grey male had a sour expression and Eliza, unusually, looked concerned.

Standing for a moment, the winter storm eyed male tried to discern what they were saying, but since he’d not tried to hide, it would’ve been pretty ridiculous to just stand there. So instead he whistled in passing imitation of Squeaks. While Storm rarely spoke, he’d taken to whistling on occasion, it seemed not to tax him as much as any vocalisation. Storm watched the little bird look almost affronted, jumping about indignantly on Gus’s shoulder before swooping towards Storm and landing on one of his outstretched palms. Gently he touched his sensitive muzzle to her beak in a familiar greeting before, twittering, she returned to Gus. He covered the distance in no time, making sure to stay out of striking distance in case his next comment prodded the bear.

Gus. You look like someone has told you to shave your moustache While the gestures and body didn’t convey humour that well, the easy smile turned the statement into an in-joke tease.

It was now that Storm was closer he got a whiff of something that made his grin falter, but for whatever reason the smell was carried off on the breeze and Storm put it down to his mind playing horrible tricks on him. The winter storm eyed male saw his brother’s backpack.

Didn’t you scrounge up enough shiny things? Storm turned the gestured to Eliza, including her in on the question. For some reason though, traces of the scent still clung to his muzzle, and it seemed to sour this impromptu meet up.

Table by Myst | Photo by markbyzewski | Texture by Ransie3

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Draiko
Luperci Come sit by my fire

POSTED: Tue Jul 21, 2015 2:57 pm

OOC - Eeep, the wooden thing is in his bag haha, but hopefully this tweaking below will make sense. Let me know if I should change anything Rat! <3. WC - +483

Just his luck, Eliza wasn’t about to ride through after she caught one glimpse of the Captain’s face. He mumbled a curse once more, rolling his eyes as she plodded off a few feet, only to dismount and come harrangering in his face all up close and personal like. He groaned aloud, ignoring Squeaks as she flapped and fluttered excitedly between the two before settling back down on his shoulder. Quit it, Ah said! He angrily fussed, frustratingly aware that his sister would most likely take offense to his sharp tongued snapping at poor defenseless Squeaks, but dang nabit he didn’t want to talk or mull things over with anyone right now!

She wasn’t having it, his freckled sister had already spotted the strange piece of offensive wood sticking out of his satchel and the next thing he knew, she was at his side, touching his arm all concerned and with big eyes imploring. Eliza…. he growled her name, his own coffee orbs hardening down the length of his stare. This wasn’t the time or place to question him about the things he carried around or found. He still needed to figure the heck out who Jeremy was and post a few Krokaran on their borders. It didn’t bode well that some stranger on a horse had come gallivanting up to their claim with a notion of knowing someone within. Someone Gus wasn’t privy to for that matter.

Just when he was about to let her have it or at least tell his sibling to bug off in the nicest way possible, the same neighborhood of telling her mind her own business, Storm had to show up. What the haell!? This cursed frustration was audible if not fiercely whispered through his whiskered lips, but he forced a strange smile when the winter-eyed youth signed some jokes. He too just happened to have questions about the things...or thing, that Gus carried. Oh for Pete’s sake, he huffed, there was no getting away from this, but in his agitation he’d completely missed the subtle shift that had come over his dear friend.

Eliza hadn’t budged and now Storm, so with a heavy and very reluctant sigh, the brindle mutt slung his bag down to the ground and unceremoniously pulled out the dang thing he’d been handed. Here, have a look yerself if’n yer so inclined! He wasn’t sure why he was being so nasty, well...he did, being taken unawares was grounds for getting anyone a tad upset. Who the frick is Jeremy?! Some feller comes a callin’ and jus tosses that thing into me hands, could get no answers from him...ain’t right...don’ feel right either, he muttered, wondering if either sibling could make heads or tails of the carved wood.

caught in the undertow


User avatar
X-tian
Luperci
GUILTY FILTHY SOUL

POSTED: Tue Jul 21, 2015 4:29 pm

OOC: Whoops! Sorry, I can't read >_>

IC:
Gus snapped at Squeaks, but Eliza wasn't slow enough to believe that his frustration wasn't at least partially aimed at her. She could be trying at the best of times and this was clearly a very, very bad time to try her luck. But beneath her stark curiousity there was genuine concern – which receded somewhat as she pressed her lips into a hard line and drew her hand away from the Captain's arm, balling her fingers up into a fist, though she wouldn't use it. Liz wasn't used to displaying her gentle side so openly, and the rejection of her concern stung – she would let her elder brother see that - but she was too intrigued by the object now mostly concealed in Gus' bag to turn and stalk away.

Instead, she turned to see another member of their family, one who made her feel even more confused. Torn between dread and rejoicing at Storm's appearance, Eliza peeked almost shyly at their younger brother from behind Gus' elbow. Storm cracked a joke, something she hadn't seen the winter-eyed male do in some time, and Liz covered a chortle with a well-timed – but hideously obvious – cough. She tried to catch Storm's eye to send a warning glance in his direction.

And then Gus was flinging his bag to the ground and snatching up the grisly item, yelling something about a Jeremy character which had even Liz struck dumb. She cast a brief look over her shoulder to see if the man who had passed the unpleasant baton was still hanging around – but of course he had made off already.

Liz's mouth popped open to speak, her gaze zeroing back in on the carved wood, but her jaws snapped shut again. She could feel a pooling of dread in her gut as her nutty brown eyes whipped from Gus to Storm and back again. Something in the recesses of Eliza's mind was touching on the fact that Storm was the only one here with a shrouded past – but she didn't want to give that notion a thought, let alone a voice.

[300+]

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Rat
Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:37 pm

OOC: 1060 words

The winter storm eyed male instantly realised he’d misjudged his audience. Gus’s mood wasn’t the usual gruff bluster Storm loved to mess with, but genuine annoyance. The younger male knew that sometimes, Gus liked to mull things over alone, understanding a problem and reaching a solution in his own time, after all he was the captain of their little crew, the buck stopped with him. Eliza and his appearance had interrupted the process and Gus’s frustration at not being able to figure out what the hell was going on or what to do, was making itself felt. As Gus dumped his bag and made his explanation Storm gestured at him, trying to jolt his brother with rough humour.

no need to get your shorts- but Storm cut off abruptly when Gus produced the message.

Storm had been able to cope with the sight of the grizzly object held in Gus’s outstretched hand, but when his brother, protector and hero voiced that name, the warmth drained from the world, and all the winter eyed male could hear was a high pitched ringing in his ears. Storm’s head swam and, though he didn’t remember it happening, he found himself on his knees, all strength gone from his legs. Distantly Storm thought he should stand up and blame his partial collapse on his receding fever, but he didn’t move. The message had left him numb, but Gus’s utterance had sent a blade of ice into his chest, leaving him winded, dizzy and heart-sore. For a moment the only movement he made was a gentle rocking as his pounding heart beat a fast but steady rhythm.

Finally Storm raised his hands, signing slowly, not for clarity, but because he felt clumsy. He was halfway through an explanation when he realised the gestures made no sense, they were meaningless hand movements, with the occasional random word inevitably popping up. His head felt wadded with leaves, thinking was an effort, and any exertion beyond staying still was exhausting. He clenched his fists and tried again, but it was no use, he knew what he wanted to say, but his hands felt too big and too clumsy as though they belonged to someone else.

”It's. From. My….Dad.” Storm’s words were breathy and rasped, his throat seemed to be sealing itself shut, trying to cut off all hope of vocalisation. It had never been such a struggle to force words out. The muscles on his neck tensing he tried to gesture again. This time the gestures were sloppy, formed with nothing like the dextrous grace so customary to any of Storm’s speech, but they were understandable.

That name is the one he gave me. The message is asking me to come home The ‘asking’ part was a small lie. The message demanded his return and the grizzly hide was a threat, though it wasn’t quite the obvious one it might appear to be.

The change that came over him after the short speech was slow, but profound, and it seemed to happen without conscious thought on Storm’s part. He crossed his arms, hiding his hands, as though merely not speaking wasn’t enough, he sat back on his heels, his gaze slowly becoming, unseeing, to the ground he sat upon, and his expression turning inwards, as though he were drawing away, pulling back deep within himself. His eyes went dull, the swirls of blue seeming to disappear, leaving only grey, the mischief and quiet joviality winked out. If determination or inner strength could ever have said to be seen, in Storm it appeared to leak out into the ground, leaving behind a hunched and pathetic figure, looking small, spent and unmoving, as though all his energy had been turned inwards to deal with some inner struggle.

Jeremy peered through the door he’d cracked open and stared suspiciously at the back of the wiry haired dog, with that ridiculous bird sat on his head. The dog was just sitting there with his feet in the water and mending nets. Jeremy squeezed his eyes shut hating the mutt that had pried his fingers off his brother, but he’d been left alone in the house, he was bored, and Jeremy didn’t know anyone else here. For that reason the winter storm eyed male had found himself sitting with his own feet in the water, keeping a good distance between himself and the wiry haired mutt, to make sure it was clear Gus just happened to be there when Jeremy was. The captain had said nothing, just kept on mending his nets. Despite himself, the youth had felt himself relaxing, the tension being leached from him by the water he’d stuck his feet in. As the wiry pelted male spoke, Jeremy jumped to his feet, the motion didn’t make Gus so much as flinch, he just carried on talking, not even looking in Jeremy’s direction. At first he heard the words but didn’t listen, refused to listen really. He was tempted to run back into the house, but something stopped him, Gus’s question was a simple one.

”So what’s ya name kid?”….

Eliza looked at him, her brow furrowed and arms crossed.

”Why the hell don’t ya talk? How am I s’posed to understand ya?”

The winter storm eyed male reflected her frown, making a rude gesture. He was still getting used to the Cormiers, so much of his time had been spent with only Gus and Lucille, but now his circle was slowly expanding, although it had hit a bit of a bump when he’d been introduced to Eliza. She seemed to be permanently cross with him, or if not cross then certainly exasperated. He held up a hand and waved it, signalling hello. He then made a series of simple gestures to let his adopted sister what he was talking about. Pointing to himself he made the gesture for Storm, pointing to her he made the hand signal he’d come up with for her. It was a spiky gesture, with all fingers splayed and crooked, it was meant to reflect her prickly nature, but he didn’t explain that part. They sat together for hours, Storm painstakingly showing Eliza gestures and symbols and movements.

He blinked, and once again he was kneeling in the dirt, all that happened only fond memories of a chapter that had finally come to an end.

Table by Myst | Photo by markbyzewski | Texture by Ransie3

User avatar
Draiko
Luperci Come sit by my fire

POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:45 pm

OOC - DRAMIERS ASSEMBLE!!!!!!!! Rat your coinage is spot on!WC - +527

His sudden outburst had Squeaks flapping about his head in dismay, but the Captain had the wherewithal to pluck her from the air, his hand mimicking the sensation of squeezing her for a few seconds, though she was perfectly safe in his fist. The saw-whet greatly settled down when he added some fingers to stroke and soothe her head, the action alone helping to calm his own nerves while he watched the varied reactions from his siblings play out. Eliza, for once, was at a loss for words, and there was no keeping the smirk from his lips, but one look at Storm’s ashen face put a deep furrowed grimace on the Captain’s face. This was not good.

What is it?! He questioned, sharing an alarmed look with his freckled sister before he took a step closer to their adoptive brother, but the winter-eyed youth was shrinking away from his touch, almost fainting really as his legs turned to jello and he slunk to the ground. Liza! Gus barked, flinging Squeaks to the wind as his hands rushed out to guide the male to the grass, but Storm was able to hold his own, anchoring to the earth at the moment on his knees. Heart racing with surprise and a tinge of shock, the mutt wasn’t sure what to do, but settled on hunching down at his brother’s side and hovering a hand over the male’s back in case it looked like he needed a bit of patting.

The little owl’s indignant screeching had gone unnoticed, but she was smart enough to know something wasn’t right and eventually hop-hop landed beside Storm, offering purred clucks of anxiety with her tongue and fluffing out to her largest size. Shhh, Squeaks, not now… Gus managed to whisper, scooping her up and putting her back on his shoulder while a myriad of unreadable signing came from Storm’s shaking hands. He glanced again across the top of Storm’s head at his sister, his eyes troubled and worrisome, but there was nothing else he could do. And then...Storm finally spoke.

Gus would never get used to hearing the boy’s voice, but the weight it carried this time, made it feel as if he’d been punched in the stomach. Yer Dad… he repeated, dumbfounded and ill at ease, hearing the words Storm went on to sign instead of seeing them, but such was the way with them if you spent enough time with the usually mute Cormier. That sinking feeling soon sparked back into another emotion the Captain was close friends with, anger.

Askin’ ya my ass! He roared, sending the saw-whet into another panic again, but Gus was up in arms over that notion having first hand witnessed how a freakin piece of wood could effect his brother. He was back up on his feet and pacing with rage, only glancing back when he realized Storm had already left he and sister a whole different world away. Storm! He cried, racing back to his side.

caught in the undertow


User avatar
X-tian
Luperci
GUILTY FILTHY SOUL

POSTED: Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:21 pm

OOC: Words, I can't even.

IC:
Eliza continued to look from Gus to Storm, and then to the piece of flesh-wrapped wood in a quick, panicky circuit. She wanted to form words to put both of her brothers at ease, but it felt like something had wrapped itself tightly around her heart and was squeezing it, dissatisfied with the speed it was beating at. And then Storm saw the macabre item and Eliza's heart was lurching into her throat as he fell to his knees.

Liz staggered forward when Gus let our her name, coming to the side the Captain wasn't already crouched at. She could offer the grey brindled male nothing but a wordless shake of her head as Storm tried to find gestured words of his own. The movements of his hands made even less sense than they had made to Eliza the day she had learned about Will and Storm's father.

And then he spoke the words which Eliza was dreading hearing the most. It was still strange to hear the rasping, stretched voice, but it was Storm's voice, and one Liz would accept the way she had grown to accept the rest of him. What she couldn't accept was the words being formed as she watched her brother's lips move. Then his hands were moving again, not as fluidly as they could, but the meaning was immediately grasped. Eliza, too, had spent a lot of time with Storm – and she had seen his hands move in this way more recently.

If she had thought it was bad when Storm's father was merely a haunting image, this was a thousand times worse, a waking nightmare.

“No!” The liver-pelted dog choked out the word immediately, slamming her fist into grass or mud or whatever lay beneath her trembling knees. Her own brain was taunting her now, telling her she could have prevented this – somehow – if she'd only shared what she had guessed about Storm's father all those weeks ago.

Eliza missed every look Gus shot her way; she was wholly focused on Storm, watching helplessly as her brother and her friend seemed to slip away from himself like a shadow. Gus was up and moving in her peripheral vision, but everything seemed blurry, somehow, except for Storm. He wasn't moving, gesturing or speaking – he was a whole lot father away than Eliza had ever known him to be, and she was terrified.

“Gus!” She choked out another word, but still didn't look at the raging Captain. “Do something!”

She shuffled around on her knees to face the wolf with her desperate plea now contained to her eyes. “Storm.” As if the name would bring him back to himself. Trembling hands reached up to rest on his cheeks. Eliza wanted to shake him, but she was frozen in fear, and she thought she might be too late anyway. “Storm,” she said again, in a voice which sent a jolt through her as she realised the name had, this time, been sobbed.

[500+]

User avatar
Rat
Luperci Mate to Milos as one we are everything we need
MOTORMOUTH
Don't Stop Me Now

POSTED: Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:38 am

OOC: 1156 words

Jeremy opened his eyes and they immediately filled with water. The stinging salt burned uncomfortably, but he looked up at the rippling sky. Bubbles and froth indicated the water was being disturbed. A grey blur appeared above him, and all at once he was blinking water out of his eyes and realising his chest burned, his mouth straining for air. His saviour decided on that moment to punch him hard just below the ribs. Jeremy vomited with the shock and pain of it, water clearing his system and managing to take a deep breath before the world started to fade. The world wouldn’t be denied for long though. Jeremy’s mind screamed the something was wrong, and despite his exhaustion he realised the hand that gripped his brother’s was being pried open. Jeremy’s reaction was instant and savage. Water he was still in turned white with foam as he launched an attack at the grey blur with strength born of madness and desperation. He must have been screaming also, because his throat felt like sandpaper. To Jeremy his screams were loud and ear-piercing, but the reality of course might have been a great deal different. All he knew was that his grip had been restored on his brother and the grey form was being kept at bay. Without warning though, his struggles were brought to an abrupt halt as the world went black. Briefly consciousness returned and Jeremy’s body was saying as he was held in the arms of the grey form. The hand that had gripped so tightly to Will was no buried in wiry fur and holding on so tightly the knuckles were white. Jeremy couldn’t stop his body from shivering, though the grey pelted male leant him warmth. The winter storm eyed male had no room for anger or hatred, a terrible sadness consumed him and his final memory was of sobbing into the mass of wiry fur

Storm’s vision swam and he took a breath, as though coming up for air. His eyes looked at the freckled visage whose cool hands pressed against his face, but if he recognised her, his eyes didn’t show it.

”Will.” was all he whispered before the dullness took him again.

Storm sat, not tense, but certainly a little apprehensive, as he watched Eliza put the finishing touches on to her cooking. Gus’s announcement of his adoption had been a quiet thing, but since it happened, Storm’s relationship with his freckled sister had been tumultuous. He was still unsure around anyone other than Lucille and Gus, but Eliza seemed to be trying hard to change that, this meal was her way of doing that. The winter eyed male know that Eliza was intelligent, she’d quickly learnt to understand the signs he made, and while her attempts at mimicking them made Storm laugh – often because she signed something completely inappropriate – her abilities weren’t bad. Storm accepted a bowl with a thick stew that smelt of cream, vegetables and fish. There was a subtle hint of something else, but Storm suspected he wanted this meal to be a success just as much as Eliza did. As soon as the fish touched his tongue Storm knew something wasn’t right. He forced himself not to gag, but instead to swallow. It was not easy, the fish had clearly spoiled in the pot. He wanted to wash the taste away, but instead he signed that the food was delicious. Unfortunately his body betrayed him, his stomach churned and he was bent over double, vomiting copiously and noisily.

Once again Storm took a deep breath, realising that he was being supported in part by the firm calloused hands of his older brother. Recognition returned, his head still swimming with memories of Lucille’s gentle touch, Gus’s support and instruction and Eliza’s playful nature. The Cormiers had showed him gentleness and kindness, demonstrated to him, a total stranger and not one of their bloodline, that hearts could be large enough to allow others in. They’d showed him love and had never truly mocked him for his unwillingness to speak, or asked questions he did not wish to answer. Their acceptance had allowed him to heal and change from Jeremy to Storm. It felt perverse that all of that could be wrecked by a lump of wood.

He raised a hand and placed it over his freckled sister’s. These were his family, and he loved them desperately. He knew his dad though, the object of Storm’s nightmares wouldn’t rest, even if it was just out of spite. How could he ask the Cormiers to stand against him? Still wobbly, but gathering back his shattered determination, Storm took his own weight back, relieving Gus of that burden.

I’m sorry he began, his gestures still graceless, but more legible I thought he was dead. I thought they were all dead. I should have told you about him but. he paused feeling shame make his ears burn I was stupid to think I could try to start fresh. I didn’t want now to bleed into my memories of then

He hoped the fear that had settled around his heart wasn’t evident in his scent or on his face. Storm couldn’t allow his past to destroy the family that had surrounded him and been what a family should be. He couldn’t hide behind their protection. Storm was no weakly and he would not allow Gus to stay his shield forever. The winter storm eyed male had made his decision, there was no question that he’d have to leave. It made him sad, and if he thought about it too much he knew he’d begin to sob, already his chest felt tight. He couldn’t tell them though, he couldn’t let them know what he’d decided. They were too damn stubborn to see what was plain and obvious, so for now he wouldn’t go.

My dad was impotent the gesture for impotent was crude and more of a sailor’s jibe than a word, but it was the clearer for it but he was captain of our ship, and for a captain not to be able to have kids was a quick way to lose the respect of your crew. He blamed my mum, but she conceived with someone else. I don’t know who it was, but the captain couldn’t do a great deal about it. He needed kids and to admit what my mum had done…

The signing stopped, the story unfinished, Storm wasn’t sure why he’d started it in the first place.

I won’t go he said at last after a long pause I won’t He kept his hand over Eliza’s and held Gus’s shoulder as the captain crouched. Whoever it had been that said it was better to know a thing and then lose it, then to not ever have known it, was an idiot, leaving his family would be one of the most painful things he’d ever had to do.

Table by Myst | Photo by markbyzewski | Texture by Ransie3

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Draiko
Luperci Come sit by my fire

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