wilted flowers, and those in bloom

POSTED: Mon Nov 07, 2011 4:49 am

Picking flowers doesn't make her any less manly... She just got hands. :| This is open for anyone! <3

It was nice to be outside again, at least for longer than what was required to stretch her legs for ten minutes and take care of business. By no means was Vesper completely healed still, but her limp was not as prominent as she walked out of the guest house where she’d been resting since her arrival in the clan territory. She was slightly less bandaged than before, some of her smaller gashes closing up and able to heal naturally; it was nice to feel the wind on them. It was nice to feel the wind in general.

She lifted her muzzle against the cool breeze, letting it ruffle her tawny coat. Now that she didn’t feel half dead, and the threat of someone brutally murdering her in her sleep was out of her mind, she allowed herself a small smirk of contentment before reclining on the porch like a scruffy dog.

The scent of flowers from the garden growing around the mansion made her lift her head after a while, and she knew she wanted to get moving again, as nice as it felt to simply relax. She gingerly rose to all fours and jumped slowly down from the porch, landing on the sidewalk. Days ago, a move such as that might have opened up one of her wounds, but she was feeling confident now, confident enough to trot toward a clump of the plants.

A quick investigation showed that some of them were already dead, possibly from an early morning frost. Taking a seat, the coywolf stared at them stupidly, the browning leaves and the curled, withered petals.

Vesper frowned suddenly. And then she reached tentatively for something she’d pushed harshly away.

The change did not take as long as it had the first time; the first time, stress and confusion had dominated her mind. However, it was by no means quick. Limbs elongated and bones crackled; bandages stretched taut, and paws became hands. She quickly turned her head to analyze one of her injuries, making sure that it hadn’t reopened under the stress.

And that done with, Vesper remained hunkered down in front of the flower, balancing precariously on her haunches. She reached out for the dead flowers, fingers clasping around their stems, and picked them.

POSTED: Mon Nov 07, 2011 6:36 pm

helloooo!
WORD COUNT → 312

Tedros had spent his first night inside his room in the mansion, and it had been everything he could have asked for. It was quiet, and smelled of Inferni. The scent was finally starting to cling to him again, and it was making him easier to move on from his old life and start anew. Standing up, he stretched his long arms and outstretched his claws, inhaling and exhaling his new home. Ted ran a hand through his raggedy mane and then walked outside.

He headed to the left as he exited the house, making his way towards the lake and garden. The day was beautiful, sun shining down upon him, warming his red-hued fur. Snout lifted into the air, Teddy inhaled the world around him, noticing a unique smell in the garden. Wine-colored eyes met the femme. She was in mid-shift, and it was certainly a sight to watch. The tan hybrid was covered in wounds, and was most definitely not used to shifting. She seemed to old to Tedros to have just begun shifting for the first time, though.

The male stood there, curiously and intently watching, until she finished her transformation and knelt to the ground. Slightly worried that she had lost her balance (she could have been very weak, looking at all those scars), he moved towards her, only to realize with a sigh of relief that she was picking flowers in the garden. A grin moved across his maw. “You’re picking the last few living flowers.” Tedros chuckled, demonstrating that he wasn’t actually upset at her action.

“Are you new around here?” He scent was like his; a hint of Inferni, and a lot of the past. Tedros could only hope that this luperci was a member because he certainly wasn’t in the position to do anything about it if she wasn’t. Although, she was defacing property.

POSTED: Mon Nov 07, 2011 7:20 pm

Hello! :D Thanks for joining.

These hands were so strange. Vesper lifted the flowers closer, gave their dulled petals a sniff, held them out away from her body again. She experimentally slid her fingertip pads together, watching the stems twirl in response. Her hands were not as dexterous as born luperci, of course, but she wanted to learn. As a loner, she could never afford to waste even the slightest advantage; and she would work this damned virus to her advantage.

The scent of another canine made her turn her head, and her ears flattened into the mess of her torn and sheared mane as she realized that he could have been standing there for the long minutes it took her to change forms. She felt vulnerable, suddenly, and as he remarked upon the flowers, she pulled them close to her chest. It was such a girlish action, though—and Vesper had never thought of herself as girlish. Frowning, she let the flowers drop from her hand, not trusting herself to speak. Whereas normally she’d have a sarcastic retort witty, his appearance had caught her off guard, and she could think of nothing to say that wasn’t stupid.

Vesper stood—slowly, carefully, the faintest wobble in her limbs. She had found herself able to adapt to having two legs oddly well, as in not stumbling absolutely everywhere she went, though she still couldn’t quite get used to them. Nor could she get used to her new height; originally small, she would have had to crane her neck to look up at him. Now, however, she could stare across at him and size him up easily, unable to abandon the wary processes of a loner.

Deciding the ruddy, middle-aged coyote would not be a threat, she listened to his question. Awkwardly, not sure what to do with her arms, she crossed them over her coal-splattered pale chest and shrugged. “I’m new to Inferni territory, but not technically part to the clan.” She wasn’t quite sure how to describe her unique position to one of its members, but she did her best. “Enkiel found me on the borders when I was injured and brought me in. I’m to stay as I heal, and then—” She trailed off, met his reddish eyes, and smirked. Honestly, she admitted, “And then I might just stay, who knows.”

She paused, finding conversation oddly difficult. She was capable enough of being social, but she felt like she’d changed so much, she didn’t know what to do or say anymore. “Are you new? What’s your name?”

POSTED: Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:33 am

I like Vesper. :O
WORD COUNT → 250

This coywolf seemed to seriously be on edge. Tedros assumed it had something to do with the fact that she was covered in healing wounds or perhaps because she was obviously a newly-turned luperci. Either way, when she stood up it made him feel uneasy just to look at her, wobbling around on her new two legs. When she finally responded to his question, it wasn’t exactly what he was expecting.

She mentioned an Inferni member (or so he assumed) named Enkiel. Of course, he had never met someone named this, and so he basically had to take her word on it. Tedros wasn’t positive of how Ezekiel de le Poer would react to having a lone hybrid wandering Inferni until she recovered, but he figured that this Enkiel character probably took care of it and told Ezekiel about it.

Tedros relaxed for a second, especially after she said she was thinking about joining. That would certainly make it easier. A prospective member? He could roll with that.

“I guess you could say that I’m new,” Ted responded conversationally. “I was born in Inferni just over six years ago. My father was the leader at the time,” he paused, not sure why he was talking about that irrelevant point. “I came back a few days ago.”

He stretched his arms and looked towards the sky, remembering for a second where he had come from and the memories of his lost lover.

“I’m Tedros Talik, by the way. And you are?”

POSTED: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:22 pm

And I like Teddy. <3 Older characters are always interesting, what with all their history. Also, sorry for the randomness of this post... I wasn't satisfied with the really short one I started out with when replying to this. xD

Vesper hated how uncomfortable she felt, despite mental reassurance that this fellow wasn’t going to bother her. However, she knew that she had to adjust if she wanted to make it in this clan, which she was seriously considering by now. One individual in particular had made sure she knew her place, and survival might mean a few adjustments and a less bold demeanor.

Her crossed arms pressed inwards slightly, holding her upper abdomen as her blue eyes watched the ruddy luperci carefully. He explained that he had been born in the clan but had only returned recently. “What caused you to leave?” she asked, a brow quirked, before amended, “You don’t have to answer that.” She was curious if there were issues she needed to know about; if he had wandered off for strictly personal reasons, she wouldn’t have to worry. She was hurting for a home, but she was still independent and proud enough to have her standards and full reject Inferni if there were problems, enemies be damned.

That thought gave her slightly more confidence, and the coywolf nodded at his introduction before saying, “My name’s Vesper.”

She wasn’t sure if the older male would be bothered by a two-year-old’s constant questioning, but she would risk it if it meant understanding a little more about where she was and what she might be a part of. “What was Inferni like? I’m sure it’s probably changed a lot since your father was leader here, but…” She shrugged then quickly directed her attention to the ground. There had been movement, and immediately she dropped into another crouch, putting one hand to the ground for better balance.

Ves flashed him a look she hoped conveyed she wasn’t lightheaded, and then she parted the grass to see what she’d seen scurrying through. Her nose told her that it was a mouse, and she quickly plunged her other hand among the flowers, brow furrowed in concentration.

She yipped suddenly, drawing her hand back, though something small and furry was clutched in it. She held the mouse up to him with a slightly sheepish smirk then passed it to her other hand, wiping the blood from its bite on her hip. “I guess this form isn’t totally useless,” she muttered, pleased that she had been able to grab the mouse by fluke.

POSTED: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:29 am

:D I don't mind randomness! Also, I totally start rambling at the end because I wanted to hit 500 words. >__>
WORD COUNT → 506

The sepia-toned male grinned a little as he watched the woman awkwardly maneuver her new appendages. Tedros couldn’t remember a time where he didn’t know how to shift, didn’t know how to stand so at ease with the form of his body. There was some sort of pansophy in his own little world, and he couldn’t help but be intrigued while watching someone adjust.

A little bluntly, her voice infiltrated his ears, asking why he had left. The multi-hued hybrid quickly heard how that sounded and repealed her question, but Tedros figured he’d answer anyway. “I left because I needed a fresh start.” It was a simple answer at best, convoluted at worst. But he didn’t pay any mind – Ted assumed that she wasn’t actually all that interested in his personal life.

Vesper, she introduced herself as. The Tirones smiled, his enlarged tail swaying contently back and forth. It wasn’t long before the young loner asked yet another question. This was one he had to think about. There were so many memories that he had of Inferni, and he could never be sure how skewed they were. He had been so young, and in some skewed way, in a position of power (albeit a small a position of power).

Suddenly there was a noise, and Vesper dropped down. This time it seemed like she had done it on purpose. Ted’s ears perked up and sniffed the air, and then Vesper yelped. Wine-colored eyes went to her hand as she stood, and Tedros grinned widely at her prize. “There certainly are perks,” he responded.

He shook his head slightly, trying to remember what he was thinking about, and then was off. “Inferni was home,” he said, using the past tense out of habit. “We were much more familial of a pack, than say, a wolf pack.” Tedros Talik spoke from experience – his lover’s pack, with whom he’d spent the past few years with, was friendly, but still very set in ranks and submission and hierarchy. “Back in the day, there was also an unspoken sort of hatred against wolves, even hybrids,” he glanced at her, flicking his tail and cocking his head, “but you have nothing to worry about now. It seems that most of the pack is made up of hybrids, and many, like myself, do not find wolves to be so disgusting.”

Tedros ran a hand swiftly through his mane and shifted his weight. “So, are you just looking for a home, or?” he asked, trying to understand the perks of a pack from a loner’s perspective. He hadn’t spent too much time as a loner himself. The male coyote always seemed to find at least one other creature to roam the earth with. He remembered the first girl he had met during his first leave from Inferni. The way she had reminded him of his sister. And like that, the smile slid off his face. Tedros Talik really missed his sister, and this unforgiving, relentless odor of Inferni was bringing back so many memories.

POSTED: Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:18 pm

lol I've done that before x3

Vesper nodded in understanding when he mentioned a fresh start. It was a vague enough answer, but it was one she could understand. It was part of the reason why she’d crossed the mountains in the first place, heading south into new lands. The memory of her family and the coyote band had been too close for comfort where she’d hunted as a teenager.

And it looked like the real new start had come. She wouldn’t embrace this with zeal, but she would find a way to twist this to her advantage, even if it meant being a pack luperci.

The older coyote grinned at the mouse she’d caught, and she watched the little creature struggle in her hand. She adjusted her childish grip, holding it by its tail as it squirmed to get free. “There’s a lot that I can do now, I guess,” she admitted to herself. “I just can’t begin to think about it. My mind doesn’t work like that.” She knew it would be less cruel had she been born this way, but everything happened for a reason. She would have a far different perspective on life than born-luperci, and she knew it’d make her more sympathetic to the four-legged—once her kind—if not anything else.

She listened quietly to his explanation of the past, about the close family ties of the coyotes as well as the prejudice against wolves. Her mind flashed to the skulls that decorated the borders, and she wondered how long they had stood there, empty sockets watching for trespassers.

He reassured her that things had changed, as far as prejudices, and the hybrid nodded slightly. “A young coyote I met before this,” she gestured to herself and her recent scars, “told me that there were few purebreds here.” She smirked faintly, tilting her head. “And about wolves—well, I have reason enough to hate them because of my father, I guess, but I’ve met too many good individuals to hate the species. Eventually prejudice dies out once people understand more.” She thought of sweet Blind and her bi-color eyes, her throat clenching suddenly.

While she was distracted by the unexpected onslaught of emotion, the mouse had managed to swing enough to bite her. She dropped it this time, blue eyes following its progress back into the grass. Had she been in lupus form, she wouldn’t have thought twice about chasing after it and snatching it up in her jaws, but she’d never even seen someone eat in optime.

Tedros had asked her a question, and she blinked before answering awkwardly. “I never really had a home. If I did, it was with others rather than an actual territory.” Her mother, and Juniper. “I’m a born and bred loner, so the thought of settling down in a pack still makes me anxious, but… I know the perks, too, and Inferni is a place I think I can respect. I wouldn’t even consider it if it wasn’t.” She rubbed the back of her neck. “So—yeah, I guess. Or comrades if not really a home.” She was a loner from her mother’s side, but the wolf blood from her father sang for pack and love. What better place to follow both sides of her heritage but here?

POSTED: Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:52 pm


WORD COUNT → 562

His red-hued eyes swung back and forth steadily, watching the mouse sway in her hand like a pendulum. Tedros’ tail flicked subconsciously as he realized he hadn’t eaten yet today. But Vesper began speaking again, and so his focus left his empty stomach and met her eyes instead. It was strange for him to hear about her luperci verto. Similarly, Teddy couldn’t quite grasp being born into a one-shape body, just as much as she was struggling with the idea that she now could take on two new forms.

The curiosity overwhelmed him about her transformation. He wasn’t stupid, naïve, or young. He knew how luperci worked – transmission through bodily fluids – and he assumed that, regardless of the case, the situation must have been personal. For him, it was an easy answer. His mother and father were both luperci, and so he was, too. For her, it had to be something much more. The male coyote wanted so badly to know, he wanted to know if it had to do with all of the healing wounds on her body, or perhaps a blood transfusion when Enkiel was trying to heal her. Or maybe it was something else entirely. But the six-year-old was old enough to know that it wasn’t his business. So he kept his mouth shut, regardless of his curiosity.

Vesper continued to speak about wolves and prejudices. Inside, Ted was only thinking about his lovers. He didn’t understand why he was only attracted to males even after all of these years, but even more so, he didn’t understand why he was only attracted to male wolves. Sometimes he thought it had to do with their large, muscular optime forms, and how he could simply disappear into them and hide from the world in their arms. Sometimes he thought it was simply because his first lover had been pure wolf. Tedros Talik honestly had no idea.

As she finished speaking, her eyes seemed to glaze over (as his were, no doubt), and the mouse squirmed and bit it’s way out of her hand. Although his hunger panged him to see the little snack get away, he hadn’t been ready to chase a field mouse in optime. Sometimes lupus was more practical.

The coyote sighed, and listened to her respond to his question. He tilted his head, his eyes squinting a little, trying to understand where she was coming from. Being anxious to join a pack? This was where he belonged, with others. Even just one or two other canines, he needed the company. It was hard to believe the young female before him didn’t.

“Inferni is definitely a good mix between loner and pack,” he said, turning to look at her directly. Tedros felt like a salesman, and it made him laugh in his head. Perhaps he was just fitting back in to the role he had played in Inferni before he left. The greeter. “But I think it’s great that you’re trying to understand the pack before just throwing yourself into it. I’ve seen so many temporary coyotes come in and out simply because they lack the intelligence to do as you are.”

There was silence for a moment before the question, against his better judgment, fell out of his mouth. “How did you become luperci?” Quickly, he added, “You don’t have to answer that,” stealing her line from earlier.

POSTED: Sat Nov 12, 2011 1:43 am

Grouchy grouch.

Burgundy eyes fell upon her sky-colored ones, and Vesper nodded thoughtfully as he described the clan as a good midpoint between the two lives she sought after. She didn’t think she could deal with a pack that swarmed her with attention, even if the intentions might have been good. She wanted to be able to seek out company when she desired it and be left alone when her moods dictated so. Inferni seemed to be full of sensible coyotes so far, or at least those who might understand where she came from. She had even found mutual if grudging respect for the dusky male who she’d vowed undying vengeance on shortly after their first meeting.

Tedros commended her for actually checking out the pack before joining, and the she-yote let out a little snort, arms crossed. “I’ve come across several wolves who’ve hopped right into the first pack they ran into. I can understand if they’re in great need of someplace to stay, but… I’ve never been that desperate.” She shook her head slightly, knowing that went for the other packs, as well. Many would take in whatever stray showed up at their borders, or at least she observed from her position as far away from packs as possible.

In the silence, she scratched one of her upper arms then glanced at her fingers as casually as she could without looking like a fascinated puppy. She then shifted her weight, her right foot-paw turned slightly as to hide the missing toes, though it was an entirely subconscious action after long months of having the injury. But then he spoke—a question, one that caused her ears to flatten. When he corrected himself as she had before, though, her uncertain expression transformed into an amused, if slightly bitter, smirk.

“I suppose it’s fascinating,” Vesper muttered. She let her arms drop at her sides then took in a deep breath through her nose. “It wasn’t rape.” The fact was stated darkly, challengingly. She saw herself untouchable in that regard, most like a man strutting around with nothing to fear from other men, though sadly her invincible perspective was a warped one. That dusky coyote had shown her that, or very nearly.

“It was a fight,” she went on, and it was clear that she was struggling through the story even if she told it. She talked with her hands nervously, making small gestures to accent her words. “A prissy mongrel—some random loner who decided she wanted to take prey from me. Maybe if I were any less proud, I might have given her the damn meat.” She flashed a smirk—not caring about how goddamn arrogant she was, embracing her flaws. “But instead, we fought. She had a companion with her, and the pair of them tore into me pretty good. I got a few good bites on them, though, which I guess is why the blood mixed and the virus spread.”

Her paws stilled, only for one hand to touch some of the newly-healed gashes on her upper abdomen. “Enkiel is the medic. I was delirious when I crawled to the borders, but he managed to fix me up. I thought I was home free when the change came.”

And that was where her mouth shut. She remembered her panic, that first time, but took some solace in that it hadn’t been as hard when she came out today. Still, she didn’t want to dwell on her recent memories.

“And don’t apologize for asking,” Vesper growled.

POSTED: Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:24 am


WORD COUNT → 593

He knew he had asked an inappropriate question. It wasn’t like him to do so, but he just couldn’t seem to help himself. In all honesty, Tedros wasn’t sure if he had ever had a one-on-one conversation with a luperci verto. Sure, there had been one or two that had passed through his life, but the number seemed to get increasingly small as the virus spread mainly through birth. The math added up – the more luperci there were (and the older and older they became), the more likely the majority of them would be luperci ortus. Eventually, Tedros believed, that every canine would have the virus, and there would be no more verto left.

Tedros noted the sneer-like smirk that barely crossed her maw, and he felt his tightened muscles relax just a little. She spoke his mind for him, preaching to the choir about how fascinating the whole ordeal was. But the next words that came out of her mouth were blunt and harsh, and yet positive at the same time. Becoming a luperci through the act of rape must be the worst way to go about it, Tedros thought. Yet for some reason the coywolf didn’t seem to be thrilled about it not being rape. The smile originally on his face faded as he looked at her fierce eyes.

She clarified. A fight. Like he had figured. But it was a stupid fight, at least in the eyes of Tedros. The new Inferni member was probably the most peaceful of them all, unwilling to fight in just about any situation (save for self-defense or safety). So the fact that Vesper would put herself in harm’s way simply for a piece of meat seemed ridiculous. Was it really worth all of the trouble?

If Tedros had been the leader of a pack, this statement would have been enough to question the strength of her character. But it wasn’t his pack, and his mantra certainly didn’t follow through to the rest of Inferni. His mind fell to darker thoughts of Kaena Lykoi, and all of her descendants who had her dangerous, angry blood within them.

Vesper continued talking, and Tedros drew his mind away from the negative thinking. He watched her body, awkwardly using hand gestures for what he assumed was the first time. She spoke of the first change and her body language changed slightly as if she were remembering how awful it was. He couldn’t blame her. Not knowing that your body was suddenly going to change form had to be awful. It had been scary when he had been in control of it, he could hardly imagine what it must have been like for her.

His apology was forming in his mouth as she growled at him not to apologize. Tedros Talik smirked and tilted his head toward the ground, not quite sure what to say next. They sat in silence for a few moments, Tedros listening to the wind rustling through the field.

“Shifting gets easier,” he said, trying to offer some piece of advice to break the silence. “And there is so much more that your body will allow you to do. The half-way point your body stops at – that is ideal for travel. It’s the fastest form. And as you have probably seen, being on two legs has both advantages and disadvantages.” He paused, knowing that he was rambling about things Vesper probably already knew. She wasn’t stupid.

“You know, you certainly have the personality of an Inferni member,” Ted said honestly, smiling a wide, solicitor smile.

POSTED: Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:15 pm

Sorry for the wait; had to write a ten-page term paper. And it's probably clear from my short post that I don't know what to add to this thread. We can either wrap it up, or we can move it on in a different direction if you can think of anything! I'm not in any hurry to finish it but I don't mind any way.

The smile slipped away from the ruddy coyote’s face, and Vesper wondered how he was seeing her. Was she a survivor or a naïve risk-taker? A strong woman or a little shrew? But if he had any negative thoughts, he wasn’t speaking them, and except for pretty girls, Ves didn’t really care what others thought of her. She didn’t try to cover up her flaws.

She shook her head mentally, though the slightest smirk of her amusement crossed her lips at his own. The fragrance of the flowers and the scrabbling of the damn mouse held her attention for a few moments before Tedros spoke again, his words unexpectedly reassuring. Her blue eyes darted to his wine-colored ones, but she nodded. She’d had faith that shifting would become normal for her, but to hear this—and other advice—coming from the mouth of an older luperci made her feel oddly better.

His final remark, accompanied by a grin, made Vesper chuckle. “I suppose that’s a good thing around here,” she mused. She looked at the ground for a few moments then back at him, and she shrugged. “I never dreamed of joining a pack in my life, but it seems I found a group seemingly made for me.” It was obvious that she was not entirely serious, but there was still the thoughtful gleam she’d possessed ever since she’d been brought in by Enkiel. After all, Tedros had left then returned—perhaps she would be permitted to do the same, if she found that clan life wasn’t what she’d wanted and needed a break.

POSTED: Fri Nov 18, 2011 2:46 am

ending it here, unless you want one more reply. :) i figure we can thread again in a little while and they can catch up on how she's enjoying life in da hood Inferni?
WORD COUNT → 273

Vesper smile warmed him on the inside. Tedros wasn’t exactly sure what to make of this multi-hued hybrid. Her personality was both harsh and soft at the same time. She obviously didn’t want to be considered a weak, can’t-do-anything-for-myself female, as he knew some females liked to be treated, and that was certainly a positive attribute in Tedros’ head. But at the same time, she was foolish, naïve, and a little blunt in her remarks. The old coyote figured it had something to do with her maturity, and was simply glad that he achieved making a smile cross her maw.

He had meant what he said, though. These characteristics seemed to define Kaena Lykoi, at least when he had been younger. Although he didn’t see the personality shine through (yet) in any of her offspring he had met, Tedros wasn’t holding his breath.

She spoke of Inferni’s fit for her and he nodded, continuing his smile. “Who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy having some similar-minded company around.” And with that, he realized that he, himself, was not so similarly-minded. There was a moment of silence before Tedros realized the conversation was dying down. “Well, I’m going to head back inside for a little bit,” he said, motioning towards the Mansion. “Not that I think you will, but if you need something, my room’s on the first floor,” he stated, making sure that Vesper didn’t take this as an insult to her intelligence.

“I hope I’ll see you again, maybe as a member of Inferni.” Tedros smiled and left her to experience her optime form on her own, and returned inside to his empty room.

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