the outlaw torn

POSTED: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:30 pm

How long had it been since he'd smelled her? To be honest, he couldn't even say. Most of the wounds that littered the male's body had become angry scars, so he knew it had been at least a month or two, perhaps even longer. Both he and Kol had slipped in and out of consciousness several times during their incarceration, so any sense of time was lost completely between the two of them. The male couldn't help but shiver as he stood at the border of the only place he'd ever felt at home. Were he a weaker soul, he would have given in to the sweet sense of homecoming as familiar scents wafted to his nose from the borderline, and his heart beat faster as one of those scents poignantly touched his soul. Alexey...

Dreyrugr sighed heavily in both relief and trepidation. His mate, the only woman who'd ever managed to hold his wayward heart, was still there, somewhere within the borders of Dahlia de Mai. Along with her sweet perfume were mingled the scents of the other leaders of the pack he called family; both Haku Soul's and Cercelee's were indisputably present. Regardless of anything else that had changed in his absence, the core foundation of Dahlia had seemingly remained the same. The Stormbringer was beyond glad of that. He'd had quite enough of unfamiliar and hostile surroundings, and was quite ready to be back among the familiar trappings of Dahlia de Mai's welcoming lands.

For a moment, the wolf was unsure of his next move. Dahlia was more home to him than anywhere he'd ever roamed, and yet he knew that for all intents and purposes he and his sister had seemingly abandoned that home without so much as a whisper of word. The pack couldn't possibly have known what had happened, and he knew that after an absence of that length his place in the pack was questionable at best. The scent of Dahlia de Mai no longer clunch to his crimson coat, and he was no different now than any other rogue loner who cam across the border. As much as his heart longed to run into the lands and collapse into the arms of the woman whose heart he knew he'd probably inadvertently broken, he resisted.

Swallowing his pride and his heart, the Stormbringer stood statuesque a few feet from the territory line. His coat no longer shone with the gleem of health, and his form was a bit more gaunt than the last time he'd set foot in his home, but his green eyes still glittered with the hard determination that had carried him through the past few months. His face and neck were scarred, his ears were absent of their usually ever-present decorations, and he had saved his energy by making the trek home in the lupine form he otherwise rarely saw reason to use. Though the soul within remained the same, Drey was unsure if his outer appearance was still as recognizable. Then again, it wouldn't matter all that much. He would have to start his life over from scratch either way; he just hoped that new start wouldn't be without Alexey. His life would move on if it would, but he already knew his heart never would. All he could do was hope, and wait to see what fate had decided to throw him.

POSTED: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:42 pm ... /free3.png); background-position: top center; background-repeat: no-repeat;">

The smell carried by the evening breeze was unmistakable. It had travelled all the way to the small cabin she now shared with Conor, coaxing her away from home and toward the southern border. Multiple feelings tugged at her heart; a vortex of emotions spiraling out of control. Although part of her wanted to run away, as far as she possibly could, her duties required her to do otherwise. His essence was poison to her, and she’d never wanted to see or smell him again; not after what he’d done. Not after the pain and heartache she’d gone through. Just when things were getting better, he’d come back to haunt her. It became obvious then, how Stormbringers enjoyed breaking her heart; first Aiden, then Kol, and now Drey.

She kept a steady pace, taking her sweet time in getting there. He deserved to wait much longer, considering the fact that she’d just spent the last two months of her life waiting for him to come home. Now, after an unimaginable amount of wasted tears, she would make him pay. Alexey had always been a forgiving woman, sweet-natured and considerate of others. It felt as though her (former) mate had taken advantage of that. No compassion went out to him. For the first time in her life, her position within Dahlia de Mai would prove to be useful. Being a council member had many perks; Dreyrugr would find out the hard way. Their roles had been reversed; he would listen to her for a change.

As she got closer, the male’s blurry silhouette became clearer. Honey-hued eyes swept across his body, lingering over the new scars adorning his body. Her heart sank but she did her best to keep a straight face. It was his fault for leaving in the first place. “Can I help you?” she offered, her voice dripping with sarcasm. She halted several feet away from him. Her eyes had lost their natural warmth; her body was stiff with caution.

POSTED: Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:05 pm

She was a stranger to him, but could he truly have expected more? Realistically speaking, of course not. He'd betrayed her, vanished and blown off like a leaf in the wind, and she had every reason to hate him. The woman that approached was not the sweet-natured girl he had cooked for and spent days wrapped up with in their bedroom. The eyes he'd so often lost himself in were no longer the soft golden hue of honey, but rather had hardened into an unbreakable shell of citrine as they'd come to rest upon him. His heart broke as he felt the ice in her glare, and he did his best to shield the one glint of softness in his own eyes. It was clear from the Acer's mannerism that this would be a strictly business-like encounter, and knowing his place, Dreyrugr lowered his stance and his gaze to match. His message was clear, she would get no fight from him, no conflict, no defiance. The situation was entirely under her control. After all, he was the failure here, not her. And as far as Drey was concerned, the circumstance of his failure of Alexey didn't matter. It only mattered that he had.

The Stormbringer forced the lump in his throat deeper into his chest at the sound of her voice. It held no hint of the warmth from the past, the tone that he would give anything just to listen to for hours. The sound from her once-welcoming lips was hard and unforgiving, and his tumultuous heart roiled with dark self-hatred for letting down the one he'd come to care for most in the world. Maybe it was a bad idea to come home after all. In an unusual circumstance, Drey's gravelly baritone was soft, though steady, as he fought for what to say. "Yes, you can, if you have the heart to. I know I've failed you, you and Dahlia de Mai, but...I desire nothing more in the world than to come home. I know I don't deserve forgiveness, regardless of my reasons, so I won't even bother to ask. Whether or not you and the pack give me a second chance, I had to try. And I had to come back to you, even if all I get to say is that I'm sorry. From the bottom of my soul Alexey...I'm so sorry." He'd never felt the need to apologize so honestly for anything before in his entire life, but there it was. No matter what fate granted him from that moment on, at least he'd had the chance to do that.

POSTED: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:20 pm ... /free3.png); background-position: top center; background-repeat: no-repeat;">

Her first question had been a tasteless one, she knew. She could’ve asked him something much more important, anything pertaining to his wellbeing would’ve been better than what she’d come up with. But doing so would’ve meant giving in; consequently allowing him to think all was forgiven. She couldn’t allow that to happen. A few months prior, she’d been head over heels in love with the man. Although her feelings hadn’t changed, she now saw him in a different light. He had betrayed her in ways she’d never thought imaginable. In her overly-dramatic mind, their relationship had been nothing but a game to him. He had succeeded in seducing her and thus, hadn’t felt the need to stick around any longer.

No matter how wrong her assumptions were; they were real to her. She’d played the same scenario in her head, over and over again, for the last two months. Her theory was unbelievably fitting; Dreyrugr the womanizer had won yet another trophy. She was ashamed of what she’d allowed him to do, and it was written all over her face. Alexey had never been able to conceal her feelings well; behind that cold gaze hers, several other emotions could be seen. His apologies were meaningless. He’d always had a way with words, as she remembered correctly. She scoffed at his submissive behavior, most particularly at the first sentence he’d muttered. If she still had the heart to? The Caregiver wondered if she still had a heart, because it felt as though it had been ripped out of her chest.

“Dahlia de Mai doesn’t take kindly to deserters,” she said pointedly, making sure to mention the pack as a whole. There would be no “I” in her statements; not yet at least. Her pride prevented her from referring to their relationship. “Give me a reason why I should give you a second chance.”

POSTED: Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:10 pm

Her icy tone pushed the last of his hope at rebuilding with her down to the pit of his stomach. He knew she probably had some horrible picture painted of him in her mind, and the gods knew he probably deserved the karma being lumped back on him. Her callous statement need not have been said; Drey knew well that no pack took kindly to deserters. Then again, it also told the male that Alexey was keeping this a pack ordeal, and had no desire to discuss the two of them personally. It tore at him that she was being this cold, but what the hell could he do about it?

As he replied, he tried to keep the ice out of his own tone. He'd come back, hadn't he? The least she could do was hear him out before making a judgement. "Deserters rarely come back, am I right? I'm here, and I'm not simply assuming I'd be let back in. That should count for at least a start, I'd hope. I know how deeply I hurt you, and the gods know I would rather die than have been the cause of that, but I didn't leave of my own free will. I would never abandon Dahlia (or you...); it's the only home I've ever felt right in. Kol and I were taken, Lexey, we didn't just run off. And now she's fighting to recover quickly enough to save the pups she's carrying and I'm back here. I came back to you and Dahlia de Mai as soon as I knew Kol was going to be alright. I fought to get back, and I failed. I tried more than once to get word to anyone about what had happened, but I couldn't."

He bit back his tongue as he felt his blood heat with the unfairness of Alexey's judgment, but he reigned in his temper carefully. He didn't want a confrontation, it was the last thing on his mind. "It was my father who finally realized something was wrong when he hadn't heard anything from either of us for too long. Apparently, sometime last year, a fanatical Dawnrunner named Azrael managed to form something of a cult within a cult, hell-bent on weeding out the Stormbringer bloodline by force. Miskunn was the first to be taken; she simply vanished in the middle of the night. She was eventually found, and she was carrying the proof of Azrael's new ideals. The pups were born a few months ago. I assume he figured Kol would be a good target since we're so far from Solbjorg, but he had to take both of us. Kol's pregnant, but we don't know if it's from that demented son of a cur or if they're Elliott's. And honestly? I don't know how we'll find that out." The growl that emanated from his throat had grown throughout the explanation, and he took a deep breath to calm it before continuing. "We tried to escape Lexey, it nearly got both of us killed the last time. My first and only thought past keeping Kol alive and fighting was getting back home to Dahlia...and to you. Whether you believe me or not, I have never and will never lie to you about anything. If I could have come home, I would have."

His explanation was short and left out several details, but Lexey hadn't asked where the siblings had been or what had happened. He could only assume she really had come to not care about those details, and he could feel his heart hardening at the idea that the woman he loved more than anything could be so spiteful. Kol loved her like a sister, and Drey had originally thought the Acer's first question would be concerning her, not him. Fate seemed to be enjoying twisting things lately.

POSTED: Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:10 pm ... /free3.png); background-position: top center; background-repeat: no-repeat;">

The Acer felt light-headed, floating in a sea of uncertainty. His explanation was like static; a mixture of sounds intermingled together. Her mind was reeling from the information thrown at her. She was succumbing to the inner turmoil, feeling her composure shatter with every word spoken. Honey-hued orbs remained focused on those emerald eyes, seeking comfort in his gaze like she'd done a million times before. As much as she hated to admit it, he was partly right. Deserters didn’t normally come back. Shaking her head at the overflow of information thrown her way, Alexey cautiously took a step back. While she understood now that perhaps he hadn’t meant to hurt her, the damage seemed irreversible. There was a heartrending feeling in the pit of her stomach, threatening to break loose any moment now.

His version of the facts was extravagant to say the least, but the Caregiver found it in her heart to believe him. Kol’s disappearance made it all too plausible. Knowing that her missing best friend was now carrying products of rape made her insides churn. Although she was terribly saddened by the revelation, she couldn’t help but feel angry with the two siblings. No one had infiltrated Dahlia de Mai prior to their disappearance, or the Koios girl certainly would’ve been able to track the foreign smell. Her flair was one of her best assets. “Where were you when this happened?” she questioned, remembering the countless times they’d fought over Lexey leaving the pack lands on her own. It seemed as though the Stormbringer siblings could’ve prevented this from happening, had they been more careful.

“I’m glad she’s doing okay, despite the circumstances.” she continued, making allusion to his dark-colored littermate, Pretending not to care was too hard, and Kol didn’t deserve such a treatment. It was ironic really, how both of the Stormbringer siblings had made it their life’s mission to protect Alexey, when they should’ve been watching their own backs before anyone else’s. “Don’t disappoint us again, Filix.” Her eyes flashed with golden fire as his newly assigned rank rolled off her tongue. She wanted nothing more than to let him hold her. The tawny femme missed his touch, his warmth, the aura of security emanating from his body. A lump had formed in her throat then, knowing she’d eventually have to tell him about DaVinci. That is, if she ever found the courage to do so.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to check with Conor before coming home, seeing as it’s his house too now,” she asserted, allowing herself to loosen up ever so slightly. Her eyes were the epitome of mischief.

POSTED: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:21 pm

The Stormbringer stood his ground, maintaining his submissive posture despite the heat that had boiled in his blood. He very nearly snapped a response to his former mate's accusatory inquiry about the siblings' whereabouts on the night of their disappearance, but the tiny crack in her cold gaze made him hold back his temper. He simply sighed softly, a defeated look slipping into his emerald gaze as he looked away. "We were in the old Souls lands of the Concrete Jungle. The wildfire had destroyed nearly everything, but Kol wanted to look for something that had belonged to our Aunt when she'd lived there. We let our guard down, I'll be the first to admit that, and there were just too many of them for the two of us to take down. The fact that they were aiming to capture rather than kill made it all that much harder." The male's fangs clenched in restrained anger at the memory, stretching the scar that now extended from his right brow to below his jaw.

At Alexey's next words, Drey's gaze returned to her. He could see the woman's golden eyes soften slightly, and the grassy hue of his own reflected the same. It was all he could do to stand unmoving as he met her gaze, when all he wanted was to wrap her up in his arms and fix everything he'd ever broken with her. When she'd first approached, that particular hope had nearly faded to nothing. But he could just begin to see the little cracks in her shell, and her eyes could hide her heart no better than his own could, at least concerning his feelings for her. After a moment, he nodded in assent to her statement. "She'll recover completely, we're just not sure about the pups. She wants to keep them, whether they're Elliott's or not. We're just...we're all praying they are. There's just no way to know for certain, even after they're born."

Silence hung for a moment between the pair, but Alexey was the first to break it. Dreyrugr's eyes widened just a touch at the mention of his assigned rank. He'd honestly expected to come back to the shameful rank of Solum within the pack, especially after being accused of being a deserter. It was a pleasant surprise. But it was Lexey's next comment and the immediate relaxation of her stance that surprised him further. The tension in the air between the couple had snapped almost palpably. Not being able to help himself as the stiffness eased from his body, the Stormbringer let his lip curl into a playful smirk as he stepped welcomingly back into Dahlia. "Oh really? And I suppose the little runt's made himself king of the castle now, hasn't he?" There would be plenty of time to ask about the circumstances for the boy's relocation. For now, Drey wasn't keen on ruining the steadily lightening atmosphere. He'd give anything just to see the Acer smile, to hear her musical laugh dancing across his ears again. From his lower vantage point, it was only as he stepped closer that he noticed the glint of precious metal sparkling from his former mate's side. Much to Drey's surprise, the amber and silver engagement bracelet he'd given to Alexey still hung from her wrist. The male's green eyes softened a touch at the sight; perhaps there was still hope left afterall.

POSTED: Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:25 pm ... /free3.png); background-position: top center; background-repeat: no-repeat;">

What irked her most was their imprudence; leaving ‘Souls without notifying anyone had been a foolish thing to do. The Concrete Jungle was located far beyond Halcyon Mountain and getting there was no easy task. There’s no way they would’ve made it back to Dahlia de Mai in a day’s time; that much was obvious. So why hadn’t they said goodbye before leaving on their journey? It had been his responsibility, as her mate, to notify her of his whereabouts. He had failed to do so; miscommunication had ruined their relationship.

Kol’s expected recovery was the highlight of their conversation. At least she wanted to keep the puppies, which demonstrated how strong of a woman she really was. Alexey knew by now, that if raised properly, children could become the greatest joy of one’s existence. And she had no doubt that Kol would give them all of her love, despite the tainted blood that flowed through their veins. Alexey sincerely hoped she’d get to lay eyes on them someday.

A smile tugged at her lips when she noticed the surprise in his eyes. He’d made a mistake, but the rank of Solum was reserved for those who truly deserved the public humiliation. Their conversation had taken a pleasant turn, until the word runt was used to describe her protégé. Her eyes darkened momentarily, displaying how attached she’d grown to the child. It was true. Conor was the runt of the litter, but she hated when people referred to him as such. “Don’t call him that.” she warned, attempting not to sound too brash. Little did she know, Emwe would soon follow in his brother’s footsteps and move in also.

The spark in his emerald orbs hadn’t gone unnoticed. Her gaze followed his, settling on the bracelet attached to her wrist. She could feel her cheeks radiating heat as a wave of self-consciousness washed over her. “Where will you be staying?” she asked, hoping to steer some of the focus away from the piece of jewelry. Her question clearly indicated that he couldn’t come home just yet, not until Conor was informed of the circumstances.

POSTED: Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:25 pm

OOC: No table cuz I'm at work and having issues with my copy/paste. -.- I frigging hate it here. And I fail hardcore for taking so long with this.

He could feel the lightening of the mood with each passing moment, until the fool made the grave mistake of fondly referring to Conor as a runt. He'd meant the name in a teasing tone, but apparently it was a sore spot for the pup's foster mother, as Drey could feel the instant snap of renewed tension with her retort. Once again his beloved proved an enigma to him, and he sighed heavily as he visibly gave up on getting back into her good graces anytime soon.

The male's emerald gaze traveled furtively back to the pair's engagement bracelet, then focused again on Alexey's honey sweet eyes as she posed her question. He'd known all along that there was no hope of regaining his place back at the house, but he had yet to form a decision about where he'd make his new home. At the rate things were going for the wolf now, he shoved any hope at all of rejoining Lexey back into the farthest recesses of his mind. No point in getting one's hopes up, it only lead to disappointment. Drey emphasized his indecision with a shrug. "I hadn't thought that much about it, to be honest. My main concern was just getting back and explaining things to you before anything else." His mind flitted briefly over staying in his brother-in-law's sturdy treehouse not far from the cemetery, but that thought didn't last. It was assumedly far too close to his former home for the Acer's lasting comfort. "There's no shortage of rundown buildings in Berwick, I'm sure I can find something sturdy enough there." He hoped the answer was good enough to put Lexey's mind at ease that her former mate had no intention of forcing himself back into her life. He knew the woman well enough to realize that that particular course of action would only serve to alienate her further from him. Better to let their closeness renew itself naturally...if it would return at all.

"I supposed I should probably get looking for that new place to stay, I know I've kept you from your priorities long enough already." In truth, the reunion had taken an awkward, painful turn after his accidental offense, and his weary body was swiftly urging him to find rest and perhaps a bite to eat. His half-healed scars had begun to itch again as well, and he knew there was a pond nearby in which to rinse off the dust of the journey. Closing his eyes, the gaunt male bowed deeply to the lady he loved, and set his paws to the northeast in the direction of Berwick. He paused once as he passed the Acer, her scent calling up better memories in his tired mind, his words a gentle whisper as they left his lips. "I never meant to hurt you fugl. I hope you know me well enough to realize that. And no matter what happens between us now, I'll never stop loving you with all of my heart and soul." His footsteps were nearly silent as he walked away, not looking back to his former mate as he set off to find himself a home that wouldn't remind him too starkly of his newly acquired bachelor status.

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