[M] More than Feeling

Perc and Tora <3

POSTED: Thu May 09, 2019 6:54 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.



Word Count → 428
OOC → words

It had taken her a good month to heal enough to return to Biff's. She knew Percy would rather her stop traveling like she was, but Inara loved to dance for the bar. The crowd got her adrenaline going, and she felt beautiful when she was dancing for them. She could feel like a confident woman who was under control. When she first came to Biff's to dance she didn't expect for it to become more than an experiment and way to learn how others operated so she could overtake them, or more than a secret way to find the woman that captured Percival's interests. She had her close calls to danger and been overwhelmed on more than one occasion, but she always returned. This was just the first time she was caught injured.

Percival was not happy, she could tell. He seemed curious about Tora, and Inara almost wanted to keep Tora mysterious. In the end, Inara told Percy that Tora had helped her, and left it at that. She knew his main concern was her injury and she did mention that the attacker was still out there, and he even made suggestion that he'd get her again. Percival was upset, even seemed moreso when he saw the injury itself while she was changing the cloth and adding more healing herbs. He was a bit fascinated by how adept she was with the herbs. She explained she remembered from her time with her clan. She was just learning, and this was a simple recipe compared to what she planned to learn.

Now the coydog had been at Biff's for a few days meaning she was away from the Shoal for almost a week. A ping of guilt touched her as she knew Percy would have surely known she was back at Biff's. This was the first time that she felt guilty for dancing. But the look of concern, and care on Percival's face was etched in her mind. Perhaps this would be her last trip to Biff's? It was all that was on Inara's mind as she walked off the stage. The cat calls and wolf whistles weren't even getting her to smile as she went to get a glass of water before her next dance.

Her eyes looked around and she saw Tora in his usual spot. Her mind went from the downing thoughts to how this humble drunk helped her. A big smile spread on her thick muzzle, she mustered up some energy and skipped on over to Tora, "Hey you! How are you today!?"

Last edited by Inara Ailurus on Wed May 22, 2019 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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POSTED: Mon May 13, 2019 8:50 pm

Tora had thought about his new acquaintance a few times over the month, usually while he was out scavenging or riding around looking for more people willing to sell their tobacco . Whenever he was doing his chores around the Petite Cour or
brushing Jolie's mane his thoughts wandered back to Inara. How was she doing? Had her cut healed properly? Had she told anyone else about the incident in Biff's Bar ? He couldn't ask her any of these things, since she never seemed to show up anymore. Maybe she had been scared off by the attack, that would certainly have been a reasonable reaction if a bit saddening. The older male had genuinely enjoyed her performances, the way she manipulated her tambourine while her chubby abdomen moved as if separate from the rest of her body. She was very pretty, if not in the conventional sense with her big boned frame and injured ears.

He hadn't returned to Biff's for a few days, getting kept away by different obligations. When he had returned he was somewhat distracted, mumbling his order at the bar before collapsing into his usual seat and getting engrossed in his work. He had managed to procure a selection of paints to fill in the charcoal sketches he made and was excited to try them out. Carefully he traced an outline of a female figure, simply letting his mind wander and his hands go where they wished. When the figure had taken shape he went to work with his paints, filling in spots of deep black and rusty brown on a bed of white. He only realized by the time he was finished just who he had depicted. Evidently he was still thinking about her.

But he had been so absorbed in his work that he hadn't noticed that she was even there, looking up in surprise as he tucked away the art to dry. "Ah, hello my friend." he said happily, eyes shining with warmth. "I'm doing well. You look lovely today!" And it was true. Her elegant dress fit her body quite well, the deep red a vibrant contrast with her multi-toned body. "But then again, you look lovely every day so I shouldn't be surprised."

A little bit of harmless flirting never hurt anyone. He didn't expect it to go anywhere, but it was fun and who knew? Maybe he'd get lucky.

Wordcount:409
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Luperci What the spud!?
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POSTED: Mon May 13, 2019 9:36 pm

Word Count → 244
OOC → words

She let out a little giggle, her ears pivoting back as she dipped her muzzle, when she realized she surprised him. "Hello," she repeated with a warm friendly smile. She was glad to know he was doing well. It seemed he wasn't drinking as much, and he didn't look like a hot mess. His comment on her being lovely wasn't quite expected, but she was flattered. He looked her over and added more making her blush a little. If only Percy flirted like this..she thought. But it was beginning to sink it that perhaps all she was was family to him. Inara's eyes looked up with a flirty air about her, "ooh? You think so?" Inara twirled for him, fanning out her dress. Her head bowed looking her dress over. This outfit she worked on the entire time she was out. In was her debut dress after a long absence.

She sat across from him, her elbows on the table so she could prop her head up. "Thank you again, for helping me home. You're quite the gentleman, Tora." Her tail swayed gently behind her as the bartender brought her water. She glanced around to her band to see them enjoying a drink while she took a drink of the water. I have a few minutes before I have to go on... she thought before bringing her attention back onto him. "So, I've noticed you're an artist...what is it that you've been working on?"

Last edited by Inara Ailurus on Mon May 13, 2019 10:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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POSTED: Mon May 13, 2019 9:52 pm

The coydog's blush didn't go unnoticed, Tora's smile taking on a more roguish bent when he saw his words were having an effect. "Oh definitely."he responded easily, eyes now openly roaming her body. "It's always a treat to see someone with natural beauty and the grace to carry it." His compliments came as he clapped his hands appreciatively at the sight of twirling tail and fabric."And the dress isn't exactly ugly either? Where did you get it?" He was clearly enjoying himself, having fun making small talk layered with suggestive undertones to such a lovely, how could he not be? The grin didn't leave his face an Inara sat across from him, pleased that she had decided to take her break with him. He waved the thanks away with a lazy hand, his own postured relaxed and carefree as the dancer propped her head in her hands. "Don't worry about it. I wasn't going to let him do anything I could have stopped. Besides, you allowing me to look at your beauty is thanks enough." He winked.

The ronin laughed with a mixture of amusement and sheepishness when asked what he had been working on. "Well, artist might be a bit strong but I appreciate you flattering me." He brought out the paper, sliding it over for her to see. "I did my best, but it comes about as close to your real elegance as a candle to the sun."

Wordcount:250
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POSTED: Mon May 13, 2019 10:22 pm

Word Count → 418
OOC → words

She noted how her blushing had gave him courage to flirt more. Even though he caused her to blush, genuinely, she couldn't help but note how she was able to cause him to feel more confident and relaxed. This could be a useful trick. The way he openly looked at her caused her to feel a warmth spread over her, and her cheeks to burn. It was one think to have a crowd captivated by her and even though this wasn't exactly a new situation. She'd had individuals flirt with her, but Tora she got to know. He was a nice guy, and she didn't know what to do with his compliments and flattery.

When he spoke about the dress, she grinned and looked up from her shy demeanor, "Oh, I made this. This is my latest creation! I use what I earn from dancing and what gifts the patrons give me to get textiles, thread, and the like. This is my favorite design so far." She smiled wagging her tail with pride, "It can be a pain, but so worth it."

Her eyes looked up from her dress and she saw him bring out the paper. Her ears perked with great intent as she leaned over to look at the paper he slide to her. She was amazed at his work. She couldn't draw herself, well...she never tried. "Wow! You are an artist!" She picked it up and then moved the chair to be beside him as she pointed out how he drew the lines, "Charcoal can be messy, and you made these lines so well." It was then his words sunk into her. "I'm not that elegant..I certainly haven't---" She cut herself off feeling a hot cold flash come over her. "Anyway," Her eyes looked up at him from over her shoulder, "I think it is really nice...you should be proud of your work. Not many can draw...let alone paint like this."

She admired the piece a little longer before finishing her glass of water. Her eyes looked up to the stage seeing her band getting ready. Her eyes looked back over to Tora with a flirty mischievous grin, "I think this next dance should be for you...a little treat for taking me home.." She stood up, and ran a finger under his chin. "..hope you like it.." She whispered in a sultry tone then made her way past the patrons as she let herself sink into the persona she let out only here at Biff's.

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POSTED: Fri May 17, 2019 7:21 pm

In the weeks that followed Inara's return home, injured by a deranged patron and escorted by a kind soul, the questions and the confusion and the concerns that spun within Percival's young head were myriad. And the uncertainty that each of those things contained generated feelings of anger and irritability. How had this happened? Who had done it to her? What could be done to keep it from happening again? Why was she so eager to go back?

And, perhaps the one that gave him pause: where were the canines who should have been protecting her? Where was he when Inara needed protecting? Why hadn't he been there? Who would protect her if anything happened again?

Home, because, and nobody. Those were the responses that ricocheted within his mind whenever Percy found himself posing these questions to himself and they sounded weak and unacceptable every single time. If his father could go off gallivanting around the territories, why should he be stuck within the confines of St. John's Chokehold most of the time? And there was no scenario or situation where "because" was a good answer to anything!

Somebody should have been there to keep her safe. He should have been there to keep her safe.

And so it was that, when Inara failed to come home after only a few days, Percival started straight for Biff's Bar atop his faithful ox, certain that that's where she had gone. There were no thoughts of the mysterious woman this time, her allure having faded gradually over time until it was nothing more than cooled ash. Percy's sole purpose for his journey was to find Inara and, if he couldn't convince her to come home, then to be the presence he thought she needed in order to stay safe.

Tying Pim's reins to a low-hanging branch, the young Parhelion pushed open the door to Biff's Bar and wrinkled his nose at the smells hidden within its walls. After the intensity faded, Percy cast his nutmeg eyes around the bar and saw her there, across the room, sitting with the very man who had shown her such kindness. A fluttering of something – jealousy? embarrassment? chagrin? relief? – stirred within him and he watched wit

He started toward them but slowed to a hesitant stop when he caught sight of Inara leaning toward him, running a finger along the angle of his chin. Someone nearby made a sound that might have been sympathy, but Percival didn't hear what was said. And, before he could collect his wits again, Inara rose and was moving away from him with her lovely crimson dress flowing behind her.

And all the while, within the pit of his stomach, a solid nugget of terrible confusion settled heavily.

[WC — 469]


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timshel

POSTED: Sat May 18, 2019 11:18 pm

Word Count → 782
OOC → Here is what the music sounds like and how she is dancing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZqJ1_827Ic

She skipped her way and twirled up to her band. Leaning down she told them which song to play. The hybrid hadn't a clue that Percival had shown. She never once thought that he'd come to Biff's by himself, even after he had been so upset from her injury. Nor had it crossed her mind that he'd ever come back here. Still as she turned her mind was on her dancing, and she was soaked in her persona as the seductive gypsy girl. She smiled back at Tora, then her eyes went over the tops of all the patrons heads. She kicked out her leg in a flirty manner before her shoulders bounced to the music. Centering herself she let her arms float out, then her hips began to jig while her torso then began to have a life of its own. Her body lost in the music.

She danced along her stage, twirling once or twice, her eyes lightly scanning the room. It was when she changed her direction recentering herself that she caught sight of someone. ..did I see Percy!? Inara dared not look back in that direction, fearing her eyes were not playing tricks on her. She kept her face locked in her persona, but inside she was on panic mode. The coydog continued to dance. Her legs kicked out grabbing her dress and she confirmed it. Percival was here...and....and he was watching her! Her smile faltered and she looked down for a moment as she swallowed the lump. As her back was turned for a second she closed her eyes and took in a breath, continuing her dance not wanting to ruin the show for the patrons and hoped that neither Tora or Percy noticed her falter. Though in her mind she knew it would be hard not have seen the drop in her smile. It was only a second, but it was long enough. Shit, stay confident..stay confident... She chanted to herself.

It worked as she regained her peppy smile and twinkle in her eye. Inara danced her dress back and forth smiling at all the patrons and even Percival as she tried to pretend he was just another patron. But when her eyes met his nutmeg eyes, she felt her body want to clam up and it warmed. It was a feeling she didn't understand. She pushed the feeling away, not wanting to deal with it. The mere moments of dancing felt like an eternity. The only time she could relax was when her back was to the crowd. It was her only sanctuary to regroup herself. Never had she felt so out of her element up her. Still she kept her moves flawless. The days and months of practice allowed her to do this.

When she dropped to the floor and shimmied back up she regrouped more coming up able to rest back in her persona. A sly smile and a seductive glimmer in her eyes as she locked them to Tora. If she stayed locked on Tora, she could keep herself together. She'd seen him a lot over the months and he was a friend. One she could relate to, and one that had seen her dance like this many times. She was able to finish her dance strong, dancing away, toward the storage area where she kept her bag and change of clothes. But she was not going in there to change, she needed a moment.

Once the door was shut Inara leaned against it, feeling herself fall apart. What is he doing here!? Percy is here! Why!? She knew the answer and yet, she didn't expect it. Her nose went to the ceiling and she took in a deep breath. You can't stay here forever...he's waiting... "I know!" She yelled back at herself as her eyes watered. Another heavy breath and she opened the door back to the bar, making sure to lock the door back up. She feared turning back, afraid he'd be right there. Stop being stupid and turn around!

Inara twirled around, her eyes looked for Percival. Despite her fear, she actually had wanted to see him again. A part of her was still sure she had seen an illusion. Her mouth felt like a desert at this point. With great care she stepped away from the storage closet and looked around, she ignored any stare, smile, or cat call to her. Inara was focused on finding Percival and though it felt like another eternity to her, her eyes finally found him again. Her broken ears went back and she shyly smiled up to him. She wanted to say hi, but she couldn't bring herself to say any words.

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POSTED: Sun May 19, 2019 5:50 pm

Tora grinned proudly as Inara praised his work, glad that his practice had paid off. It had certainly been a struggle to learn how to manipulate charcoal but he had managed to figure it out. The happy smile morphed back into a subtle smirk as the young dancer reacted to the compliment, the older man enjoying the rise he got out of her. Or seemed to get out of her. There was certainly a level of performance to her job even off the stage, he wasn't stupid. But what was the harm in him inflating his own ego and going along with the ruse? He payed his tab and was polite, he could pretend that his comments were really that intoxicating.

But was it just pretend? Tora was second guessing himself now, keeping up a mask of suave charm while conflicting thoughts swirled in his head. Was it even proper for him to be talking to the girl like this? He didn't know her age but she was clearly much younger than him. Maybe it was best to pull back a little bit, take things slow for the time being.

But Inara pulled him back in with that playful grin and gently stroking finger, Tora's tail wagging as he watched her ascend the stage. The music started up again but he didn't care, the noise of the band and Biff's other patrons melting away in an easily ignored hum droning in the background as the coydog's body began to sway. Her momentary smile towards him inspired him to take out paper and pen again, freezing the image of her as her leg kicked out and letting his hand roam the paper by itself as he continued watching the show. He noticed the moment of hesitation but chalked it up to a momentary stumble, not noticing the dog that had just entered.

There was no way he couldn't notice the way she remained locked onto him towards the end of the dance. Perhaps the young woman was more receptive to his words than he had thought, or maybe she had sized him him up as a easy mark to get gifts out of. He was fine with either. As she stepped into the closet her packed up his supplies and walked over, a hungry grin on his face. "You were amazing up there, as always. Would you be willing to show me more, somewhere private?"

Not exactly subtle, but good enough for his purposes.

Wordcount:420
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POSTED: Tue May 21, 2019 5:44 pm

Somewhere, the first notes of a song began to play and Percival could only stare as Inara took to the stage and began to dance. His bottom jaw drooping and his eyes wide, he watched and wondered who this woman was and what had happened to his sister. Of course he knew that she could dance – she had told him as much when she talked about her family's culture – but this was not what his little head had thought of when it considered what it meant when she talked about dancing.

This... Well, there was nothing within Percy short memory that could compare to what he was watching unfold before his big, nutmeg eyes right now.

He did not notice Inara's slipping out of character, for he had never before experienced what she was like to be in character. But he did notice when she locked eyes with someone within the bar and did not look away and, from deep within, something familiar stirred. Hesitantly, Percival tore his eyes away from Inara's dancing form and attempted to find the patron she was making eyes with. His first guess was to the man she had been talking to just before she went on stage and, whether right or wrong, he felt convinced that he was the subject of her seeming affection.

Quietly, Percy continued to watch. He looked back and forth between, ignoring whatever sounds the audience was making, until the music died away and Inara removed herself from the stage. With her gone from his sights now, he considered leaving; slipping out into the cool spring air without a sound to carry on as everything had been before.

Except what was the point? Nothing would be the same now.

So he stayed and he waited and, eventually, his adopted sister appeared once more and met his nutmeg eyes with a shyness that seemed to him now, after seeing her movements on stage, to be all an act. But before they could come together, the man from before stepped between them with hunger on his face and spoke words that made Percival go rigid.Remembering his lessons from Keabetswe, Percy closed his eyes and took in a deep breath that he released as slowly as he could muster. It came out again a stifled gust. "Could we have a word first?" he asked, looking pointedly at Inara with heavy brows.

[WC — 402]


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Luperci we were infinite; there was no time in those days They stole my dirty socks... :(
timshel

POSTED: Tue May 21, 2019 9:04 pm

Word Count → 748
OOC → If I post with the wrong character one more time...I'm going to yeet myself.

Inara was so happy when she had found Percival again, however, the look on his face made her feel so small. Like a pup caught in the act of slipping out of the den too early. Still, she moved forward, their gap beginning to close until Tora came, seemingly out of no where. Instantly, shame was all she felt at this moment. Shame for leaving the group to come dance. Shame for sneaking away to avoid Percy. Shame for leading on Tora. She inhaled deeply then put on a fake smile but her eyes betrayed her. "Oh...ah, thank you, Tora." But before she could answer the older male's request, Percival cut in.

She felt that same rush of cold and hot that she had felt the day she told Percy that she danced here. What was that feeling about? Her breath was hitched and her stomach felt twisted. Her mind began to reel. Was he mad at me? Had all I worked for backfired? She wanted him to get jealous and by doing so, maybe she would find out if he liked her--the way she liked him. Now, it seemed like she made him hate her. She looked down frozen in place for a minute as the voice of her childhood demon hissed in her ears. Chicken the deep voice rumbled in her head...weakling, pathetic. You think you deserve love? You think you will ever be loved? You're nothing but a gypsy whore's child, and no one loves a gypsy whore's child. Did you not how he saw you? You were being a whore up there on stage...just like your mother.The deep voice then cackled at her.

Inara felt like she was going to shiver with anger and frustration. Instead, she clenched her fists tightly and stood up more straight while her white brows lowered with a serious air. A shift happened inside her, I am no whore...I am not my mother. Even though, she recited those words, she still felt insecure...that maybe that voice was right.

Her rich chocolate eyes looked at Percy looking at his demeanor once more before she looked to Tora, "Tora. I apologize. I will have to entertain you another time...I think my brother needs to talk to me." When she said brother it was bitter. She never had addressed Percival as her brother before, and the word left a bitter taste in her mouth. She could tell she was already pushing Percy, emotionally, away. The gypsy coydog then bowed to Tora before addressing Percival, "..let's go to the lounge..." Inara now spoke with a hallow tone as she shoved her own emotions away. She had gone from being vulnerable to the dog hybrid to feeling like a stone. The coydog began to move, assuming he'd follow her to the back room.

Drawing the curtain to the lounge, she addressed the few patrons that were back there. A mere look from her and some understood and left. Others weren't so familiar with Inara and so she nodded to the door for them to leave and they, then, got the hint. She turned to see if Percy did follow, and waited for him to come in before she shut the curtains. She wanted to make it more private for just the two of them, not wanting to be scolded in front of the others. She had to keep her 'act' up, and she was surely going to be dropping her guard down, maybe.

Keeping herself cold she walked to the couch and plopped down. Her ears pinned back as she stared at the floor waiting to be scolded. Her mind only playing back how she was so caught off guard seeing him, and then the way he looked at her when she finally came out of the storage room. It was enough to convince her that the voice in her head was right. The air felt thick and she could barely breath as the silence was too loud.She had to say something, had to initiate it, to get it over with. She lifted her head, and looked in Percy's direction. Her facial expression numb, but her eyes shown hurt, hurt that she wished she could hide.

"You're mad."

It was all she could get out. She had to say something, she had to fill the silence, and now the doe was in his range.

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