Friday, 16 March 2012

The Grieving Process

Blaze stood out in the glade in the fading late afternoon light. She could see Marcus in the distance by the lupinar stones, his figure faintly silhouetted as he crouched beside Graea, both of them before the Luna stone memorial.

It wasn't particularly cold yet a faint whispering breeze rippled past, lifting her hair from her shoulders to flutter for a moment, her arms drawing about herself. She closed her eyes as lifted face to the sky, features bathed in the new glow of emerging sliver of crescent moon overhead. It should have been an empowering moment, even if subtle and gods knew she needed it. But instead was a slow creeping sensation of being overwhelmed.

Pained breath drew in over her lips, long and mournful shudder expelled with a sigh as lashes slowly parted revealing burdened and tired blue sheened gaze. She watched the sun fading as dipped beneath the horizon then with last look toward the occupied gravestone she turned sadly and wandered away from the glade, deeper into the forest and finding a secluded grove of trees she sunk down to curl within the grass.

She took another deep breath, trying to focus upon the ball of tension in her chest, sooth it away, breath it into calm. But it lingered and tightened like a snake slithering its body over itself within her, coiling tighter, constricting about her heart.

Head lay to the side, gazing without any real focus across the terrain, watching the shadows slowly creep across the ground; small flecks of golden light began to rise up and dance within them. Softly she smiled, remembering fond times and special places; allowing herself to be consumed by such there was a craved sense of comfort but never enough.

Slowly she outstretched her arm toward the lights as if feeling for something just out of reach, her blue eyes hooded and betraying of exhaustion and a quiet grief of her own. Softly her pulse resounded in her head, lulling and stealing away her sense of alertness and of perception. A heart that beat in solitary searching of its missing mirror strum.

"I miss you" she murmured into the relative murky quiet. "I miss you more than I ever thought bearable" whispered to herself feeling her eyes prickle with tears, gathering warm and wet before splashing down her cheeks, falling freely with no effort to wipe them free.

Upon her finger her ring glistened, the moonlight filtered from above caught at the elegant elven twist of metal and sparkling stones, like a fallen star lain within her hand, winking of special secrets. Gently she moved her fingers, dancing them up and down in slow surrender to soft melody she began to sing under her breath. It held no words to discern just a lilting haunting nature of running notes and vibrating resonance of emotional, eventually fading whisper.

Her head turned, hair spun out like shiny raven wings about her face as eyes turned back up toward the sky, the cluster of surrounding trees seeming to lean outwards all about her to provide an un-obscured window overhead. And there the first pinpricks of distant stars began to appear as sun made its final descent in way for the rolling purple haze of dusk.

"Where are you?" she wondered aloud though her voice barely a whisper. "Are you out there, you watch me? Hear me? Feel me?" sliding her arms about herself, embracing the nothingness before her with so much desire to feel familiar elven flesh. She could happily die in his arms right now if he would only filter down from the sky and scoop her into eternal embrace.

"Why did you leave me?" she asked desperately, cracking edge to her voice as shoulders shuddered with first consuming sob. "Without you I am but half here" cried softly into the audience of stars in far off galaxies.

"I've tried to be strong...still trying. But it's hard's so hard. Everyone needs me...but I need you...I just need you!" her breath poured out of her into a whining whimper. For a long moment after she was quiet, eyes gazing but speaking nothing, barely breathing though her chest rose and fell in slow rhythm.

Overhead the clouds drifted in, the curved waning moon hidden from view behind swirl of backlit lavender mist. She watched it in somewhat surreal wonder, breath, a new soft sweeping breeze rustling past her, tearstains upon her cheeks drying as if kissed with warm loving breath.

"Alastair..." she murmured, her heart flooded with sudden intense aching yet her eyes widened in surprise as the clouds seemed to swirl and morph, filtering into shape of a small wolf, spirit in form and with its head turned toward the waning moon as if in admiration.

Caught in the moment and feeling a strange sense of comfort she reached out with careful fingers, tracing the shape in the space between, almost tenderly. "I love you" she whispered "Wherever you are...and I'll wait for you...wait for you to come take me in your arms and if you day...our day...I will run to you and never look back"

Monday, 12 March 2012

Doomed Journey

“Amme, Amme! Look Amme!”

Excitable squeals were heard before small bright face was seen, wide blue eyed cherub of an elfin looking boy appearing before waking eyes. Blaze sat up and rubbed over her face, smoothing back her hair “What is it Gaelin? Have we arrived?!” she chuckled as pulled herself up to stand from the small cabin bed and allowed her small son to lead her by the hand towards the porthole. She drew alongside Alastair who held an equally bright eyed child against his hip, long lashed Celeste with her face near pressed against the glass. She allowed the child to clamber up into her arms to join his twin sister in gazing out at the bustling human port. Blaze smiled with a sigh as glanced sidelong at her husband “So glad to see this same view for good reason this time around” she spoke and kissed against the back of her son’s curly haired head, arm slipping around Alastair’s waist as all four of them looked upon the final destination of their ship.

Alastair stepped away from the window as the ship started to pull in closer, ready to toss down anchor and extend the wooden walk way down from the ship to the docks. He unhooked his daughter’s small hand from some curtains hanging in the way to head toward the outer deck. "Yes it is nice for a change" he agreed with a chuckle "I’m sure Ackley and Calora will be pleased to see Ele's little sister and brother, spoil them to no doubt. Mostly I’m looking forward to sitting outside on the porch and watching them play while I recline with tea" he smirked.

He led his family out to the deck, as usual passengers and cargo was being made ready to exit the ship by plank, rope and pulley. Alastair made sure to stand well out of the way, pulling his hood up and held his daughter close to his chest.

"Now don't run too far, stay close" came a mothers warning, spoken with a smile as playful screams and laughter echoed through the woods. Bluebells flourished in a carpet of lilac between the trees, a few crushed underfoot by carefree little legs that went chasing back and forth. "I do hope Ele is already there" Blaze mused as she walked hand in hand with her husband, watching over the twin’s game of tag as they followed the forest path.

"Seems forever since we last saw her, I do...hope..." she trailed off catching scent of something...faint burning on the air. Lips pursed and she squeezed Alastair's hand a little tighter but let small fleeting feeling of unease drift away as gurgling children's laughter distracted her at once.

He nodded in agreement, though he raised a brow at her as she stopped mid sentence, wondering what caught her interest. "Gaelin, Celeste" he called, an instinctive reaction. Gaelin was close enough to be scooped back into his arms with a quick stride forward. Their daughter made her way back as well and Alastair hefted her up as well, one child balanced to each hip. "What is it?" he asked as he too lifted his chin up and scented the air, he had noticed a burning but he hadn't put it past much else when farmer’s stoves and fire places going.

Blaze felt unease swell in her, fleeting adrenaline of panic until he'd gathered children back safe to him. "I'm not sure...just...a feeling." She led the way given he carried the twins who seemed to know to keep quiet as she ventured on, cautiously. The forest path swerved to a sharp turn where the tree canopy suddenly cleared overhead. She paused again "Alastair..." whispered sharply, blue gaze directed upwards, for there in the sky could be seen the clear coil of smoke in the distance, rising up from the farmhouse they were headed too.

Alastair narrowed his eyes at the sight not far before them, he passed Gaelin to Blaze and walked a bit further, stepping into a quick jog to get a glimpse around some of the bushier trees along the edge of the road. More plumes of smoke were rising up in straight columns in the distance further back spotted though patched of rolling friends and forest. "Those are not from fireplaces" he stated sharply and with grave concern. He looked back and forth surveying their immediate surroundings and where they had come, unsure what was  going down but it was clear whatever was rampaging hadn't yet made it to the small fishing town though no doubt would be there soon. He then handed his daughter to Blaze to hold as he had been previously tending both children.

"Get into the forest Eleni, I am going to sneak ahead to Ackley and Calora's..." he kissed her cheek but then was rushing forward, tossing armour to the ground, running as fast as he could. He shrugged from his shirt as he bound through a nearby wheat field, kicking boots away, unclasping belt, unbuttoning his pants.. near naked ashen gray elf running with unworldly speed before he lunged forward just as the wolf within burst from his skin growing three times his size at least, midnight fur dancing with each mighty bound he vanished quickly from sight.

Blaze clasped the children tight to her, could feel their little hearts pounding against her as if picking up on their parents unease. She paused only to see him turn and break into a run before she stepped backwards and turned, veering off the pathway and into the trees backtracking at a quickening pace though with the baggage of two children now past their years as babes she moved far slower than she'd have wished.

Ducking under branches and sidestepping tangled tree roots in small leaps on deft feet she did not stop for a good five or six minutes. Reaching a particularly knarled trunk she set the children down on their feet coaxing them back into the hollow it created. Gaelin reached for his sister’s hand as Blaze held finger to her lips, standing and shielding them from view as wild blue eyes peering towards the trees as if she would spot danger behind every one.

Nearby the sound of twig breaking underfoot had her head snap to its direction, low unavoidable growl stirring in her throat, arms pressing back against the twins to keep them safe as she readied herself for anything that may come. Celeste let out a soft frightened squeal and began to whisper for her mother. And it was in the instant as Blaze turned just for a second to beg her for quiet that the arrow hit sending birds scattering to her cry clear across the forest, cry that told not only of pain but of warning.

Alastair rushed through the field, barrelling through wheat the dark lycan made large strides, deep chest allowed for massive lungs to push him forward with speed and stealth. The house was in sight, he could smell the smoke as it came down wind making him cough and place his nose lower to the ground as he neared at a running pace. He could hear no screaming, no sounds of struggle inside, just the sound of roaring flames and crackling beams, shifting supports as the house would soon start to crumble on its foundation.

He rounded on all fours through the back door of the farm house claw scraping on the wooden floor. He snorted and tried to peer through the flames searching for anyone trapped, Ele his daughter, her foster parents Ackley or Calora. But he found neither. Drawers were pulled out of the kitchen counter and upstairs bedroom dressers, the place looked ransacked, clearly someone had quickly rummaged.

Ash and soot collected in his already black fur, the air getting to thick with smoke. He rushed back down to the living room area where one of the windows had already blown out. He would have kept going but movement outside in the distance caught his eye. With waves of heat rushing past he tried to bare it a few second to make them out. Dark skinned creatures, average height but slim build. Some were cloaked but then few more joined, gathering together not far down the road from him. A few he could see held the unmistakable contrast of snow white hair. Drow.

This was a drow raid? They must have been making their way into the village pillaging what they could take. No bodies meant they were taking slaves with their riches. He felt another adrenalin rush, old feelings and hates swelling deep within but primarily his concern and thoughts went to his family. He jumped through another already bust open window and heard Blaze’s scream echo out over the landscape. The worst came to mind as he raced back.

Back amidst the trees the silvery white lycan had burst from already heated skin in an instant. Slender frame contorting and twisting, seeming to peel back to reveal within a mere second a towering muscular beast that rose above the surrounding cloaked figures...figures that were drawing close to form a net about mother and children. The arrow that had struck deep to bone was wrenched free with the shift though the dull pain and bleeding lingered. Piercing blue eyes that glittered with aggressive intent glared over those that clearly meant harm. Against the muffled cries of her son and daughter whom were pushed back, hidden behind their mothers fur did a low warning snarl of defiance echo through bared teeth echoing about the trees.

With sweeping glance and perked ears did she surmise quickly there were six, perhaps seven hooded attackers, drow it seemed for their scent carried heavy and foul on the air. Glint of silver sparkled against the half light that crept through the tree’s canopy overhead, faint swish of feathered ruffling as dark skinned fingers swept through arrow fletch and the sound of coiled rope being twisted and tightened within one’s grip told of the intent.

Her chest heaved with fury, claws scrapping threateningly against the ground though she would not move, would not uncover her children to them. She knew what drow did with children and the very thought of it filled her with hatred and disgust. Blood trickled down her chest staining shimmering fur yet she seemed to pay no heed, the discomfort nothing to the aggression and fear she felt churning inside of her. She’d always hated drow and inwardly was most intimidated of their capabilities...ever since the underdark. “Stay back!” she growled in her thick heavy lycan speech, leaning weight forward with a heavy step though still looming tall over them all. Perhaps they may not understand the exact words but the warning was all too clear.

One of the hooded figures boldly stepped forward and she caught the wisps of white hair framing her face not quite yet tucked back. A female. Between her fingers was a rope which she coiled about her wrist then yanked hard to have it snap taught between her hands threateningly. Foul, ugly sounding tones hissed off her lips as she too spoke in her mother tongue though it was obvious to Blaze the subject were her two terrified children. She growled all the more menacingly, leaning back now ready to pounce and maim any that dared to try and take them.

The gathered drow began to approach closer, whether brave or foolish they drew in, closing the net. Blaze’s fur bristled as her lycan eyes narrowed sharply her head turning at an angle regarding the approaching drow sidelong whilst trying to keep sharp eye upon the rest knowing their likely tactic; lure her to attack with one whilst the others would make grab for her children.  Further underdark hissing syllables whispered like creeping spiders into the air, goading in tone, manipulative, testing. Gums vibrated with her growl, gruff heavy breaths sending trail of mist from flaring nostrils.

A twig snapped overhead causing her head to lift, ears pivoting wildly as dark shape dropped from the branches above. The female drow made her move, stepping in with glint of blade appeared from nowhere. But the Lycan was too quick. With one muscular arm she grasped the air, supernatural strength snatching the lithe drow before his feet hit the ground, rolling him towards her as elongated black claws tore down his back only to then send him flinging away toward the female, tumbling into her with such ferocity she was knocked clean off her feet, blade spinning away through the air.

Instinct took over, snarling silvery beast lunging forward like a massive coiled spring, jaws parting revealing gleaming rows of teeth and fang that clamped down upon bitter tasting drow flesh, fabric shredded away as if made of rice paper. Vice like grip sunk down deep, distinctive gruesome sound of bone crunching against enormous molars accompanied by her victims shriek of pain that almost tore the eardrums and the shouts and hissed threats from the others poised to attack though seemed understandably wary even if the lycan was still vastly outnumbered. Blaze shook her head aggressively, shaking her prey like a rag doll, flesh and sinew torn and gaping then ground the squealing male into the ground, leaning all weight down as the crowd looked on, not one approached yet to aid him. Only when satisfied he would never recover did she draw bloodied maw away, eyes glinting momentarily as gazed over the shredded mess left behind.  In his own macabre way, Alastair would have been proud.

Back at the road, Alastair had finally reached the tree line, leaping over the winding dirt path he burst through into the thick foliage following scent of blood, he could already smell Blazes and another laced together hanging thickly in the air about the tree trunks and forest brush. His heart pounded faster, more for shier worry then rage, though his blood boiled hot, enough the massive black beast pressed forward, maw open and panting. Broad paws turned up the forest soil with the force of each muscled stride.

Blaze and the drow heard the sound of misplaced bushes and foliage as Alastair closed the distance, not as loud and crashing as one might think from a beast his size but not caring so much about stealth and just wishing to reach his family he paid little mind to the foliage he ran into. Blazes white form was the first thing he saw though the shade as she stood out in stark contrast, he could see the crimson stain in her fur then the bloody gory mess all over her muzzle. With a roar he ran directly at her side, somehow instinctively he knew the children were behind her pressed to the tree. He took a stance beside his white wolfess also blocking in the children though wild silver blue eyes glared with a raw and venomous vitality at the surrounding drow who all seemed to take a visible step back at the arrival of a second.

The drow only faltered in resolve a moment though. In the blink of an eye their mind would go from questioning to greed; what sort of drow would give up opportunity for such a prize? Two lycan and their cubs, of which most likely they hardly expected to find. They strengthened the circle. Alastair recognized the tactic, felt the need to lunge now before they could regroup from losing one of their companions, now mauled and mutilated, seeping its blasphemous blood into the forest floor.

He lunged at the closest one to make a move. Like a snake maw opened wide showed rows of white teeth only for a split second until it connected with the drow’s arm. Crushing pressure and a quick yank from his muscled neck would tear the limb from his body. Rage blinded him from the truth, a worthy sacrifice for the team for such a prize. While Alastair busied himself taking the drows life another prepared fine darts into a narrow hollow cylinder. The females hood fell back, her long hair cascading over her shoulders as she stuffed the weapon full. Alastair turned, looming up tall to redirect the assault but the shrill screams of his terrified toddlers came as one tried to slip past Blaze during the distraction.

Crafty spider worshipers though seemed to have met their match used the obvious distraction. Alastair turned to the sound, his children were his priority and their fear rang loud and clear in his mind. A new adrenaline surge rushed through him but before he was able to grab at another assaulter, he felt his shoulder hit three times like a bee sting but it was whatever potent substance laced to their tips that made him fall. It invaded the pulsing blood stream, vision blurred quickly and his body seized up. He crashed hard to the floor, muzzle falling to rest on the edge of the drows boot, the one whom had tried to grab at his child.

Blaze roared her despair to see her mate fall, her own bristling body leaping towards the escaped child also. Trying to turn in mid air she landed with a thud that made the ground shake an ear splitting whine sounded from deep in her throat. Ears perked back, taut like shark fins and her head turned to the female that had downed him, wild eyes narrowing and snarling with deep set hatred and rage, emotion boiling over and with fur flying she pushed off the bloodstained grass and barrelled into her as she tried to sidestep, familiar sound of whizzing darts sounding again.

It ended in slow motion, darts finding their target though barely felt; each frame moving before her eyes like a dream shrouded in a vast mist that clouded in from the edges. Her heavy bulk slammed down atop the female, breaking her spine, an almost merciful death compared to what could have been. Tormented frightened cries of her babies rang agonisingly in the breeze, failing eyes seeing their small forms running, running where she could no longer reach them. Her head lolled to the grass, shaken drow moving back in like leeches to take the spoils. Her heart cried with despair to fail in her responsibility but with only moments to endure it as eyes flickered then closed for good.

Wilds Bound

The wind changed suddenly causing the Ambrea bound ship to lurch wildly to one side. Loud shouts from the ship’s crew echoed through the sound of a high crashing wave and pounding rain, sodden sails billowed in the last moments of a short lived yet dark storm, straining tightly against the northerly gust that rattled the high wooden mast before an almost eerie calm descended upon now darkening waters. Night was almost here.

Two piercing eyes snapped open, pupils dilated with an intense pigment, a wild sheen that seldom seemed to fade. After several minutes without blinking, a final closing accompanied a long sigh, a sigh that whispered of impatience and in ways a taking stock of much emotion and worry. Eyes barely winced against the salty spray that had now dusted the almost deserted bow, yet warm tears did well behind those wild yet tired pupils as a very lonely Blaze stared out to the gloomy horizon.

The view matched her mood perfectly, almost embraced her as if such clouds were conjured from the sheer force of her emotions as she glanced overhead, waiting for the moon that would tell her she was nearing, finally upon that last stretch, give that glimmer of hope and steer her back from a smouldering, darkening disappointment and deep churning guilt for her leaving in the first place. It had been for nothing other than a bitter closure. Still she would embrace that and turn it to something to guide her, it’s what she did now…thrived and worked hard, determined, focused, empassioned to her drives and instincts. Yet she was still human…somewhere.

The sky was not yet black, rolling clouds of mottled gray rumbled faintly overhead as the storm moved on. No stars twinkled above and the moons silvery glow mostly feeble causing her to sigh once more as gaze stayed lifted in hope to see them both. Such a miserable picture…still even darkest clouds held a silver lining.

A dark cloak rippled behind her like a textured shadow as the cool breeze lingered in wake of the more violent gusts. In the instinct for comfort rather than any felt shiver did she clutch it more tightly to her noticeable thinner form. Fingertips caressed lightly back and forth against the nape of her neck then around to her throat and downwards as if fingering an invisible pendant nestled between her breasts.

“I’m coming home Brego…please be well. I’m coming home…”

Her whispered voice sounded over rosy lips, soft yet determined in her velvety way, undertone of gruffness that hinted she was perhaps not all she seemed. Lashes lightly brushed her cheeks as she blinked again, the tiniest crystal like tear threatened as it had for hours yet by lifting her gaze higher to the breeze it evaporated before falling.

“I should never have left, never have parted. I never knew distance could hurt this much. Please be well…please be well…”

She sniffed softly and looked down to her hand which had snaked from her swirling sleeve and grasped the wooden rail as she poised to step up flush against it. The ship dipped back and forth as it plowed onwards taking her home and hopefully to waiting arms. Yet somehow the closer she got the more impatient and desperate she became.

The last few weeks had been beyond awful. Nothing had gone right, so much she had known or led to believe turned upon its head. Confronted with truths that ought to have shook her to the very core and at first they had for such truths were enlightening indeed and had stung deeply…and yet…she would survive, closure upon a misunderstood and much denied past would help her move forward with a stronger mind, no lingering back there anymore.

Blaze of Skaersjborg; the cautious, quiet vampire who arrived in Ambrea desperate to fit in over two and half years ago was all but gone. The last fragments of any connection to that forsaken title and family now severed and put aside once and for all. She’d long now lived with her happier, stronger identity. Her bloods thrived even if irratic, her will determined and her hopes and wellbeing cemented in instinct, survive and unshakable loyalty and bond.

All she would miss would be the beautiful landscape but she knew she had her ways to revisit it safely. Far graver was that she had left at all…parted from her soul mate and the flame of her strength and it seemed for nothing for there was little good from this heart aching distance. Like millions before her she wondered a moment upon the desire to rewind time and make different choices but with a frown she pushed such thoughts away and with them the events of the last weeks (to be told in another blog!) Her focus was determined, she had grown much and getting home to her family and her Wilds was all that mattered now.

A subtle twinkle caught her eye causing her to smile, curling her fingers to a fist then straightening them once more. She brought the ring close to her lips and drew in a deep needful breath.

“I have missed you so much...please be well…I’m almost home”

She felt that thud of loneliness wash over her, it was torture to know nothing of his wellbeing, nothing of their children who she missed with just as deep an ache, nothing of their new home and purpose left on the cusp of a new and exciting life, the life she’d striven for and led them too proudly and ambitiously. She had tried to tell herself that he would not waste a drop to simple tell her he missed her, that it must be taken as a sign of good, that all was well or as well as could be expected being so far apart. Yet as weeks turned into a month she thought about that vial more and more as her stomach churned with worry.

Finally stepping up against the rail she snapped herself out of it with a low growl in her throat. Too much time alone, just like before, left the mind to wander places it should not. A gust of salty air caught at her hood, unveiling her long glossy yet tangled hair. It whipped about her face then tumbled behind her, dark as midnight yet now held more prominent sign of her taints evolution. The recent full moon had seen changes that she knew he would notice and hopefully be proud of.

Blue eyes gazed to the horizon still, chin lifted as moonlight finally broke through the cloud overhead, dancing over the water with an enchanting glow, waves rippling and breaking with shimmering crests that seemed to roll in a watery path that would bring her home. Through the hazy retreating mist the outline of mountains loomed and she felt her heart lift and lurch all at once. What would she return to? She’d left so abruptly after heart wrenching, agonizing decision. It had taken deep persuasion and assurances that they were strong enough to cope...this was something she had to do or risk a lingering regret that may never grant her real peace. But that did not make it any easier and as the ship had pulled away from StrongHaven harbor all those weeks ago she had relented to sob as she seldom had before.

Would the Wilds be theirs? Would the home she’d long desired and searched for be all she had expected? Would Alastair have settled well even without her? Would the fae have moved in as rumored on her departure? Would life have moved on so much in a month so she would be the outsider in a world that was supposed to be hers…for once she had thought to be the heart of? She chewed her lip in thought slowly considering each in turn. However Ambrea received her return she would face with strength and will to reclaim her place and grasp that need she’d held for so long. To have something to protect, apply her strength and her skills to something she believed in and felt belonging to deep in her veins. And to do so with him…finally somewhere together they could truly thrive after so many years unsettled and lost in their sense of acceptance. It was their time, by gods they had earned it!

Her eyes shimmered much like the waves with a determined edge and she let hope fill her head and her heart as the stars now blazed the path ahead, home to a loving embrace and a purpose once more. She would protect the Wilds with everything she had. Cunning mind, ferocious temper, strength of will, tooth and claw; everything would be dedicated to that she had craved for so long. Those within the Wilds would see her true worth, see her finally in her element and she would fight for them so long as they respected her. Her bloods would take no more disrespect…it would be earned and maintained or gods helped those that came against her will or dared to test her. No longer would she hide from or be made to feel ashamed of her gifts or her instincts. She was tough but she was fair, she could be surprisingly kind and yet when necessity demanded she could be most cruel, she was trustworthy yet she gave trust most cautiously. It took someone special to break through her guards and so for now the winds winged her gratefully and hopefully even if a little anxiously towards the one who who’d surpassed them all…

“I’m almost home Brego…almost home..”


“One needs to just open their eyes...”

Blaze sat bolt upright with sharp intake of breath as if she’d just surfaced from underwater. Her awareness and supernatural senses quickly roused though it took a few moments for the room to focus properly around her, to tune in to the peaceful sounds of sleeping babes and Alastair laying beside her in dreams of his own, one arm wrapped loosely over her waist. Hearing her heart thud in her chest she slowly looked about the room, shadows played on the walls yet a glimmer of moonlight streamed through the window as the curtain still lay partly open.

She let out the breath she held, feeling it ripple cool over her lips. It was the early hours still, or so she guessed and she felt...unsettled and in some ways touched by something she could not quite comprehend. Into the relative quiet hushed the repeat of those words, whispered into her dreams yet echoing here. Closing her eyes she heard them flatter at her ears almost as if the breath that spoke them could be felt upon the nape of her neck.

She shuddered with a cringe, brushing off the blankets as she slipped gently free of Alastair’s sleeping embrace to step barefooted to the window. The distant sounds of the fountain in the village square disturbed the nights silence yet the streets were deserted, only her pale reflection looked back at her from the slightly frosted glass. She touched at the skin between her breasts sliding upwards to that ugly scar, delicately and with fascinated frown she traced along with careful fingertip.

Slowly she sunk down to sit in the window seat, curling her feet beneath her and drawing blanket up towards her chin, she hid the scar away with a passing flash of resentment for the one who caused it. Dilemma played on her mind. She hadn’t enjoyed going to the Giljaar pit for the tournament but in ways she had needed to for her own pride, to show she would not be left afraid or backed into a corner. She may have suffered an axe to the throat but in no way did it leave her unable to stand up for herself, to defend her family, it was an unfortunate incident suffered in the line of duty. Still she hated seeing Alastair so concerned, worry etched so deeply in his brow last few days amidst his careful care of her and a deeper guilt she knew that lingered, guilt that he had not kept her safe, a guilt she wished he’d be rid of for he was the best guardian she could ever hope for. Only one other had come close...yet in the end he’d betrayed and continued to do so ever since.

She glanced back to Alastair, his position moved slightly, sprawled out more, eyes hidden behind his endearing mess of dark hair. The elven inked markings along his arms and back glowed softly in the moonlight compelling her to return to him, to press snug against his back, sweep along her palm over warmed ashen skin and rouse him to turn, to reconnect and find that alluring familiar taste. Her eyes misted over emotionally as she thought on his recent request. So eager to find way to make his desperate wish a reality, complete the circle of their supernatural bond. If she could make him feel whole then she knew she could always protect him as she so desperately wished and maybe he would feel more secure in his own protective ways. She would go to the ends of the earth and beyond for him.

Closing her eyes she fell to still contemplation on the possibilities, methods and ways to achieve their shared desire. The workings of the mind, the manipulation of bonding could be complicated and dangerous when in the wrong hands or with the wrong intentions, she had wealth of experience in dealing with the darker kind and usually to her suffering and betrayal. Yes this would be different, it would be entered into with complete trust and embracing even if dealt with the realms of dominance and ownership, she knew it would strengthen their connection on a whole new level.

Gradually the cogs of her mind slowed, tiredness claimed her once more as her head lolled against the cushions propped against the wall, moonlight slowly drifting over her eyelids and making the raven sheen of her hair glisten and the milky splendour of her skin gleam in iridescent radiance. The world faded to dark as tired and healing body gave into temptation of much needed rest.

“Screams of delight are not unheard of here my dear. But things work out in the end all the time. Do then not?”

Her lashes flickered open again. That voice...that deceitful, sly and cunning familiar voice. Voice that made her hackles rise, stirred an anger and yet a resentful intimidation deep in pit of her stomach. Was a voice that belonged to a ghost, for that was how she viewed him, demon ghost that haunted her ever since she succumbed to the temptation of offered blood. Once, just the once but it had been the start of a love hate relationship that never seemed to be laid to rest.

She made to stand in defensive stance but found she was not in her bedroom. The cosy warmth of her Ravenscraig home was now far away. She stood in the dark, knowing exactly which dark so was irritably curious rather than unnerved or afraid.
“Kain...” she hissed softly “Why are you here?! You should not be here!” she spat darkly, appalled that he should squirm way into her inner mental retreat. This was the place she came to for comfort and reflection, to reminisce and escape...not to be pulled into some new game of his making. Was long since he had hold on her that way, her mind and will was her own...for only Alastair did she bring here!

Stepping forward she touched at a luxurious curtain, heavy and ornate she did not recognise it. With frown she drew it to one side, candle light illuminating a figure standing in centre of a vast and deserted room. She knew it was him, just as she had known it was him the night of the Bellmont Ball. He gave an arrogant bow, his head never quite lowering enough to not continue staring her way, for she knew he was, behind that dark mocking mask he wore. She felt the same repulsion all over again for the man that tormented her and her husband so. He straightened and extended his hand to her as if to dance, but she would not dance again, she would not dance to his tune... She let the curtain fall behind her yet refused to move closer, eyes narrowed with growing wild blue sheen.

''Not everything is as it seems, sometimes people are not who they used to be. One needs to just open their eyes''
he gave one of his trademark smirks, even unseen she could hear it in his tone as he chuckled “But sometimes in one’s eyes, they betray that person.”

She growled lowly in her throat, feeling the pain of her injuries bristle causing her to wince. Still in centre of the room he tilted his head in what seemed like concern though she would not believe he felt. He had betrayed again and again and never once, ever had she returned the favour when for so long he had deserved it. He was going to do it again! Fool her into believing he cared! Well she would not have it. Not again, no delusions this time. She snapped and strode forward with purpose, twitching for the itch to shift and tear into him, spit his demon blood in his face...fingers reaching to rip away that which hid him...

"I only like games of my own making"
she seethed in dangerous whisper feeling her heart pound in her chest "And certain people never change whom they are on the inside, even if the outside they evolve from one beast to another!" feeling a growing anxiety she suddenly curled fingers to the edge of his mask "do I dare to peek? I am not sure I shall like what I find"

She felt frozen in that moment; his hand gripped her wrist tightly making her want to rip into his flesh with her nails. She had a mask too, an invisible one that held back a darkness that had never been fully exploited, never fully embraced but so much better understood...waiting, coiled ready, accepted finally to use to protect those she loved. Protect from the likes of him. Her eyes burned up at his towering form in frustration and then she heard it...


Her heart skipped a beat. It was Alastair’s voice, full of self doubt and confusion. It sounded close and yet she could not see him. Pulling away from the demon she backed away with wild sweep of her arms, pacing him in urgency as pupils flickered wildly into the darkened space.

“Brego? Brego?”
she called with rising anxiety before she spun back to Kain, voice laden with venom “Where is he?!” her chest heaving with deepening breaths, suspecting something wicked. “You cannot have him; I told him he was a fool! We do not need your help! Stay away you hear me? Stay away...he is safe with me, we do not need you!!” she screamed feeling her throat tear with the effort yet he stayed still and composed and she felt that smirk again, hidden yet unyielding.

“He is already of us” he held his hand to her "Welcome to the family"


Bonds of Burden

Eyelashes fluttered slightly, wincing for the room seemed bright, more so after an entire day stuck down in the darkness of the catacombs. The low burning fire crackled gently nearby, almost down to the amber glowing embers alone which illuminated the space around her. Soft fur caressed at her cheek where she lay, carried up here by her husband the previous evening. She felt a suffocating dread surface from deep inside rising like the bile that had festered within her, result of her near drowning in the dark flooded tunnels.

She lay there a moment listening to her still erratic breathing trying to settle it with a hopeless calming sigh. With slight tilt of her head she glanced towards the window to see it was still dark outside, swirl of snow at the glass that made her curl tighter slightly even though she did not feel the cold. But she had down there...perhaps not on the surface but it had seeped through to her bones and it had been agony.

She wished she'd never gone, wished she'd not agreed to show Harry the way, wished she'd stayed at home to proudly watch over her husband as he threw himself into his new business. It's where she ought to have been and yet...

He'd become so withdrawn lately. She'd seen him lost on numerous occasions as he tried to find his path, balance his light elven side with the darker lycan within him. And always she had been there, supporting him, guiding least as much as he would let her for often he was stubbornly broody and in some strange way seemed to prefer to be caught in that same old trap feeling sorry for himself.

But she could only sympathise and understand for she herself had been there many times. Until finally she had found her way, embraced herself as whole and risen above those self inflicted shackles to pursue a path that felt right to her even if it made her seem cold to others, worryingly she often felt afraid of leaving him behind as he dithered with his own life but always..always loving him regardless. She would rather turn back to embrace him than ever leave him behind.

No matter what he did she would always be there. There was nothing she could not forgive him. The past was littered with examples. Yet seemed lately she was always the one saying sorry.

And yet...

She wanted adventure. She'd seen the small group gather excitable for what they might find. Yes there was likely danger but she was strong, believed she could take care of herself. Wasn't often she socialised these days...Alastair worried about her closing off from others, though she knew was as much his own insecurity as he needed friends more than she did.

Denied the running of the full moon, hating the divide that threatened between them as she found her strength whilst he seemed to stumble in deeper insecurity...a distance she'd voiced and though they had argued heatedly had such really been resolved as their passions got the better of them and they'd fallen together upon the apothecary floor?

She would have sent word, even run back to tell him, rosy cheeked she would have excitably told him they had found the entrance and would he come with her? Exploring together. How many times had she voiced her wish for them to snatch time for such things? Yet there had appeared Alabaster and everything had happened so quickly...instinct driving her to follow him down the dark shaft and into the catacombs below. She had to watch over him, keep him safe. She'd had no idea of the nightmare they were to face.

She could hear Alastair vaguely below downstairs moving around. Her heart ached for his embrace, wanted to reassure his fears but she was no fool. She knew how deeply this affected him, so attuned she knew his jealousy, his anxiety that he had a competitor for her care. But how much he forgot, how much he ignored to wallow in his insecurities. Still the guilt ate her up, weighed her down to the point she felt she would drown in it. She knew how much such jealousy hurt...she knew only too well.

The episode in the catacombs had only made things much worse...if only he could truly see that she would put no one before him. Nothing compared to the way she felt for him and nothing ever would. How could she get him to see? How could she prove herself when right now he had case for her proving otherwise...that she'd gone to the catacombs without him.

She curled tighter turning her face down to the fur felt eyes stinging for the unfairness of it all. She had not asked for this...imprint. She did not want to feel this way or do this to him, to either of them. No one was comfortable in this situation...what good was it for? She closed her eyes tight trying to find escape from her burden, she thought of her children but only made her feel worse as she missed them so much. But again was her own fault for their absence. With a troubled painful sigh she drifted off into fitful sleep...


The air was cold...colder than snow for it held an ominous sensation that froze deep at the soul. It was a frightening gripping cold, one that suggested no escape for it was tight and unmerciful. Even in the darkness she knew where she was..back there...laying upon stone as her body tried to revive from its ordeal. She could hear her slow laboured breathing as she tried to remain calm and not fall to paranoia and despair for being trapped back in here...was as if somehow on some deep level she knew she was dreaming. That thought kept her sane for now.

In the distance she could hear arguing. The voices were distorted and yet distinct in a way. She tried to push up onto one arm, head tilted blindly to where she thought it came from.

"You should never have come here! You knew she would follow you, she has no choice..her instinct forces her to keep you safe when will you see that?!"


"NO! I keep her safe...not you! Not you! She is mine, do you hear? She's mine...I won't let you lure her away for that she has."

"Did...not mean...harm"

"Shut up....just shut up! I hate this! I HATE IT! She's mine, only mine...I should be all that she has, all that she wants, all that she follows...YOU HAVE NO RIGHT!"

"Blaze..makes...own...choices!" eerie kind as if the world held its breath She frowned as she heard a furious yet desperate growl. It pierced into the silence instilling panic deep into her heart forcing her up from her watery resting place to waver uncertainly, spinning in circles in the dark until her scratched and bleeding palms found surface to cling to, stumbling along until she picked up the pace suddenly tearing along in the dark uncaring of her step or the unseen dangers. Bursting through the gloomy tunnel she had entered she rounded to a skidding halt as a pocket of light was seen to the side, entrance to a smaller stone chamber one she knew well for being trapped within it for hours.

"Brego!?" she cried out in shock and bewilderment at what she saw for there stood her husband looming tall and menacing in full lycan form over a crumpled body on the floor. the glint of familiar twin blades lay between them and she could see the defensive wounds upon Alastair's chest as he turned towards her teeth bared and snarling, near shaking with rage.

"You didn't...please tell me you didn't!" she stated desperate, furious and distraught all at once as she propelled herself forward away from the edge of the stone ledge that lay just behind them, the ledge to shadows and oblivion. As she neared she recognised Alabaster upon the ground, he was still breathing but he was covered in blood, deep vengeful claw marks all over his chest and his face, throat gurgling as he tried to breath. He'd been shredded in jealousy and rage.

"What have you done! What have you done!" she wailed feeling skin prickle with desperation, falling to her knees at Alabaster's side. She felt numb and yet weighed down by a pain she had not felt for a long time. Her hands reached out to her human, gathered him in her arms yet she knew it was too late...he would die here covered in blood at her husband's hand, her husband that could not stand to share, that was lucky his own imprint was upon the woman he came to love not placed in her predicament, forgetting he held not only her love in return but also supernatural bond of her own vampyric and as strong as any lycan imprint.

He seethed in reply, rumbling with bloodlust and a sense of morbid satisfaction as he gave a growl in reply. "He asked for it Blaze..he led you here to danger..he took you from me! You went with him when you should have stayed with me!" came his vibrating guttural response. For a moment she looked at him in dismay too shocked to reply. In her arms Alabaster grew still and heavy, life slipping away through cascading wounds and lungs filling with blood. There was no saving him now...only way was to bite and she knew he would not want that.

"Requiem! No..please! Requiem don't...don't leave!" she begged pitifully as it was too late. She heard his last gargled breath and the final desperate strum of his heart. She hung her head with a deep stuttered gasp, despair washing through her, threatening to drown her. She had failed, failed to protect him, she'd failed her bond. She felt worthless.

She lay him on the ground delicately a moment, closing his eyelids in a detached numbness. She felt broken. She stood up slowly not knowing what to do...she would not could not leave him here to rot in the darkness..she had to get him out, he deserved that at least...she'd have to tell Redy...she felt her life on edge of crashing down.

Suddenly there were arms around her, not lycan but elven. His skin was beyond warm, hot from the pumping fury that had moments ago flooded his veins. His grip was tight and at first she tried to get away, squirming and turning but he only held her tighter. "Blaze...I'm sorry...I'm sorry...Eleni...please...stay here, stay with me!" he spoke erratic, frightened almost as if he knew by his own love and his own bond to her that he had likely just caused her insurmountable pain, the very thing he was supposed to protect her from too.

All she could do was tremble, whether in rage or in despair it was uncertain as she stood there numb in his embrace. Her thoughts wandered to the future...they would be hunted for this, Redy was not the type of wolf to let her mate be murdered and not seek vengeance and she held much sway with people...they would be hunted, perhaps their children would be targeted, used as bait. Her mind ran ahead into paranoid delusions of what may face them.

"We have to leave" she mumbled holding back the urge to turn and rage on him, her bonds battling with each other within. Looking up to him with defeated cold eyes she suddenly began squirming again, thumping at his chest with her fists trying to get away but he did not let go, he stood and took it all. "You've ruined everything!" she screamed at him "You never lost me to him, I was always yours...why couldn't you see that!" managing to twist away and stumble back a few steps though look like she might launch back at him again.

"Eleni...I...I tried so hard. Do you know what it feels like to watch you pine over another?" his hand outstretched almost pleading. The change in him almost unbelievable from what he had been just moments before.

"Of course I know!" she snapped back "Or do you want me to remind you?!" she slithered back to him as if she was driven by more than will. "Brego...he never had my love...he never had my are my love, but now he's dead! Dead! I was supposed to protect him!" she burst into angry tears as she clung to his bare skin. "I failed him and have driven you away" she twisted from his grasp once more sharply and wandered to the edge of the stone platform, staring down into the abyss below. the way she felt was inexplicable..defeated and yet so much more. "I don't want to lose you too" she murmured feeling a cold breeze ripple past her skin. The dark depths called to her somehow.

But he was already gone. One moment there and the next vanished. She sobbed hearing the noise punctuate the eerie silence, looking back to where Alabaster's body lay she saw he was gone too. "I'm losing my mind" she mumbled to herself hugging her arms and staring back down into the darkness. She felt hollow and alone and the loneliness was biting, was like no pain she'd ever experienced before as it brought her slumped to her knees.

She clutched one hand to the other, trembling fingers gliding over her wrist, tracing the subtle bumps, tell-tale scars of her previous attempts at pitiful escape. No longer did sinking fangs provide the release she needed when life crashed down around her...she needed something else.

With concentrated expression she moved slowly closer to the edge, fingers felt where the stone lipped and a few crumbled fragments eroded against her fingertips and sifted, plummeted to the depths below. She wondered what was down there. Was there a cold bone breaking death awaiting all who fell? Would she perish with a simple crash? Or would she fall forever with time for regrets and time to suffer as only a vampire could, thirst driving her slowly to insanity and then coma as she plunged into nothingness?

"Alastair" she whispered eyes closing against fresh brimming tears "I never meant to hurt you, I never wanted that bond...I would do anything to have never had it and never let this happen. I can't live without you...wherever you are let me find you, forgive me and I'll forgive you and we'll find a way to survive...we'll leave Ambrea and we'll start a new life..just us and the children..we can put all this behind us, we can survive this, we can survive anything" she lamented and slowly got to her feet. She tried to imagine his arms around her, but nothing could ever compare to the real thing "I need you" she pleaded "And I'll find you...I won't give up, I promise. .." she turned from the precipice and walked forward with purpose back towards the tunnel and into the darkness.

"Khil'seith" she whispered voice savouring every intimate syllable hoping somehow, somewhere he would hear her "I know we've changed and it's hard sometimes. But we will always be one even if I can't be who you are. Our differences can help us thrive as much as our similarities. Let's keep it You and I...and leave out all the rest"


Bleed It Out

Unique blood.

Luring scent, enticing aroma, taste that makes the spine tingle with pleasure.Warm ashen skin that calls, peels open willing and tempting invasion of the bounty beneath. Crimson splendour that rises to greet, ripples over desperate tongue to sooth and calm, rejuvenate and heal, intoxicate and exhilarate, excite and arouse...capable of all and so much more.

There is nothing like his, nothing compares.

And it was hers, all one else until...someone stole. Manipulated and fooled, twisted vampire tricks that she knew all too well and sinful they were.

Probing fangs, touching lips, dirty creeping fingers upon beautiful elven skin. Elven skin with the great wolf simmering beneath. Yet he’d been fooled this time. The very image made her sick.

Sick enough to bite? To take away the image that assaulted even behind the eyes, into the mind...never leaving, forever tormenting, even in sleep? It had been a long time yet some things hurt just a little too much. A little too deep.

Possession ate at her, jealousy churned and stained insides with a bitterness that sank down to the soul. Watching him rest after admission, confession...strange mesh of fury and dark despair consumed her. She could erase the memory but would mean reliving it, both of them. What to do? What to do? Every impulse to wipe it out, replace imperfect punctures with her own. Reclaim. The feeling consumed her until could bare no more.

Outside the crisp air was biting, whispers of winter laced in the cold sting that for once she felt cut deep as she walked. Footsteps on the cobbles echoed until grass underfoot provided softer hint of her sweeping away, eyes narrowed into the distance.

She ought to be with him now. Waiting for him to wake. Caring for him, supporting him, showing him it mattered not...but it did. Would he shy from her now, would wild blue eyes upon that perfect curve detest him? Make him turn away, tremble with unease. The wrong kind of shiver?

Criss-cross of faded scars looked back at her, milky skin that seemed to whisper...take me, break me...if you can’t him then who else? Oh how she wanted to seek vengeance now. Both sides tensed coiled like a deadly spring. The vampire who could assault minds and torture memories. The wolf that could assault flesh and torture limbs. Yet all she had found were deserted castles and evaded knowledge.

Satisfaction was denied of her as she walked unknowingly, a ghostly figure with imposing demeanour. Sidestepped, avoided, ignored...lucky for them she had allowed it for her dark distractions.

She needed vengeance. It ate away at her like poison, bitter and corrosive. She must pay, filthy undead parasite. Retribution would be claimed. For her. For him. But first...

Fangs strained and ached against bleeding gums, taste of it sharp and familiar. A hint but not enough. It was no worthy substitute but it was better than nothing.

Fangs grazed, eyes gleamed, lashes fluttered. Blood spilled. Soft accompanying groan might have sounded approving, relieved yet it was more pitiful, more unfulfilled...brief welcome oblivion swelled all too quickly with imposing clarity.

It had not been like this before. It had been her release, her escape as self serving and disgraceful as it was. Was it no longer enough?

She was stronger now, so much stronger. Her nature embraced and instincts followed. She didn’t hide in the shadows anymore; she walked them freely uncaring of what anyone thought. She had become selfish and colder, detached from what she once had been, pathetic and desperate to please, to be accepted. In ways it made her ugly, indifferent...a bitch, a bully...a loner with a hardened shell that only one could truly see beneath.

Thoughts of sleeping babes, gratefully oblivious to their parents’ hardships. Yet would not be so forever. She had to protect them...protect them all. And yet...just a moments release, was she not deserving? Just a moment, a brief respite before she’d hunt on.

Fangs pierced through unresisting skin once more, purplish prominent veins spilling forth over salivating tongue. But still not enough. Flair of anger growling out of her in vibrating resonance glaring at torn skin. It was not enough...she needed him now...her own bite not enough. Bleed it out she needed to bleed it out.

She lifted her face to the moon, hair rippled in the breeze, sudden gust whipped it against her face and like a lion feeling the sting of the ringmasters lash she tore into her skin again, ferocious and desperate to feel that abandon. Again and again in a crimson haze fangs tore until she slumped back to witness the result. Smooth silky skin mangled and devastated. Arteries slashed, muscle torn, bone exposed. She blinked with neither satisfaction or remorse. Blood oozed and snaked twisted path between ravaged flesh down to her elbow.

She’d grown strong despite the waver that threatened to tip her sideways as she rose to her feet like a thorn ripped up between through the roses. Brief thought of familiar lycan teeth upon her own neck brought a subtle dark smile to her lips, a needful sigh. She’d have no one spoil that which was theirs, shared blood, shared had been too long.

Flingers flexed to the earth, staining droplets to follow as she stalked silently back towards the torch lights in the distance. If she could not find comfort and fulfilment of her burning needs this way...she would seek that which she’d shied from for what seemed like too long. For all its danger, all its risks she missed the afterglow...the twisted could kill her yet it only made her stronger.

They would pay for what they stole.


You rise, you fall, you're down then you rise again
What don't kill you makes you more strong
You rise, you fall, you're down then you rise again
What don't kill you makes you more strong

Rise, fall, down, rise again
What don't kill you makes you more strong
Rise, fall, down, rise again
What don't kill you makes you more strong

Through black days
Through black nights
Through pitch black insights

Breaking your teeth on the hard life coming
Show your scars
Cutting your feet on the hard earth running
Show your scars
Breaking your life, broken beat and scarred
But we die hard

The dawn, the death, the fight to the final breath
What don't kill you makes you more strong
The dawn, the death, the fight to the final breath
What don't kill you makse you more strong

Dawn, death, fight, final breath
What don't kill you makes you more strong
Dawn, death, fight, final breath
What don't kill you makes you more strong

They scratched me
They scraped me
They cut and rape me

Breaking your teeth on the hard life coming
Show your scars
Cutting your feet on the hard earth running
Show your scars
Breaking your life
Broken, beat and scarred
But we die hard

Breaking your teeth on the hard life coming
Show your scars
Cutting your feet on the hard earth running
Show your scars
Braiding your soul in a hard luck story
Show your scars
Spilling your blood in a hot suns foray
Show your scars
Breaking your life
Broken, beat and scarred
We die hard

We die hard
We die hard

Why Blaze Should Not Cook

"I have something for you at home..." she chewed her lip "It's probably rather awful but I tried my best!"

Alastair raised a brow at her. It’s probably rather awful?" he repeated with an amused expression "Did you attempt to cook?" he teased, based on her wording it sounded like that. She nodded with a wince "Like I said it's likely rather awful" she touched at the counter in a shy fidgety way but was on verge of laughing.

"Well what did you try and make? Something easy I hope? Like a sandwich?" he tried to coax more information from her. For a second she looked rather dismayed "I think I could manage a sandwich" she said stubbornly then looked worried "But no...It’s a erm...pie, pumpkin pie" already regretting it.
"Pumpkin pie!? So you found a pumpkin and cooked it up first and eveything? Made the crust and all?"

Blaze nodded still wincing slightly. If he looked carefully he might see a floury streak across her cheek she's tried to wipe free with back of her hand in frustration whilst burning her fingers at the stove, having pastry refuse to stick together, sugar burning and getting herself in an unorganised mess though she had painstakingly cleared up afterwards, only leaving to find him once pie was left cooling, eyeing it in scrutiny, unable to leave until she'd broken off the charred crust edges and angled it to look its most presentable though it still looked made by a four year old. "I tried my best" she repeated thinking of her shouting at the complicated recipe she'd been following and ended up hurling at the wall when it condescendingly told her she appeared to be doing it all wrong.

Alastair grinned at her and kissed at her lips gently "Well it’s the thought that counts, so if it tastes like the abyss Ill still appreciate it" he chuckled "Shall we go home then? Or did you have some chores here to do first?" She nodded "Just hope I don't poison you with it" she said glumly but had to smile, fully prepared for it to taste awful. I'm done here, only came to look for you initially anyway"

And for that he laughed at her "Eleni! Even if you messed it up beyond repair, you cannot poison me with it, unless you accidently grabbed wolfsbane instead of cloves! But then I don’t think we keep the dangerous stuff with the cooking ingredients." he patted her affectionately on the head "we can go to my sail boat; I have it docked by the pier." She swatted him away with a grin "alright, let's go home and put that to the test then"

"I don’t know now I’m worried" he laughed again but headed out the door at her swatting.


"Should I write out my will first? Encase this pie eating goes horribly wrong?" he chuckled as he stepped up behind Blaze and gave her bum a small slap. Eyeing that pie on the table with a sigh, she gave him a 'look' at his comment and caught at his hand "might be a good idea" she mused looking slightly bewildered "Why did I do this again?" Oh yes to cheer you up...what was I thinking?!"

"I’m just teasing Blaze, I can’t see how anyone can go wrong with pumpkin and sugar, and unless you burned it black but you haven’t so I’m sure it will taste fine." he moved over toward the pie, looking at it. Smelled alright as far as he could tell. He pulled a small utility dagger from his belt to cut him a slice "are you trying any of this too?" he asked her while sitting down.

Blaze looked from the pie over to the massacred pumpkin shell discarded against the wall "Not sure I could stomach it after the amount of grief that thing gave me" He nodded expecting such to be the answer. He looked at the pumpkin pieces on the wall and raised a brow "well I can tell you love went into this" he smirked and then brought the pie to his lips "Here goes nothing" he said and then took a bite.

Watching with a winced expression she nibbled on her lower lip again, she'd done good job of making it look good once all the burnt bits were broken off and extra sugar thrown over the top to hide to overdone texture. She had a feeling this was a big mistake but at least would prove she really really couldn't cook even when she tired her damned hardest.

The texture seemed alright, it was smooth and soft just like the pumpkin pies he was use to, but on mashing it up with tooth and tongue there was an odd flavour that came out of the background of overly spiced pumpkin pulp...he might have been able to handle the overdose of cloves and cinnamon, but whatever else it was nasty. He tried to pin point what she did.. Maybe the pumpkin wasn't ripe? Something bitter was in there assaulting his taste buds and threatening to make his eyes water. It was on the verge of something rotten, if she used year old flour maybe that was it. He wondered if she even bothered to check for flour worms. He did his best to chew it... nodding subtly "hmm, mhmm" he mumbled doing his best not to give away how horrible it was. Forcing himself to eat the first piece. He prayed the spirits he kept a straight face and not a sour one.

Blaze folded her arms over her waist, though she knew she was awful she still had a little pride and was not overly convinced by his act. She sighed and touched nervously at the table dropping her other hand to her side where it balled in her skirts "It's awful isn't it?" she asked with heart sinking expression though a grim acceptance. "No.. not at all..." he said with shake of head whilst reaching for some cold tea to wash it down "It's not bad at all for your first pie Eleni" he smiled trying to be encouraging, he didn't want her to never try and cook again. "You have all the right spices in here it tastes like" he pointed, and not commented that it was a bit too much spice. "Good consistency to it...good color"

She watched him with a creeping smile as he reached for the tea. She came to the opposite seat and slipped into it facing him leaning across "Really?" she asked eyes wide and hopeful "But I burnt the sugar and the top flew off one of the spice jars....and....I'm sure I mixed the flour all wrong, had the heat up too high" she sighed and shook her head "It's really not that bad?"

"Not that bad at all" he lied once more but gave her a supportive smile. " I mean I can taste some subtle thing a bit different about it, but nothing you can’t perfect" he reassured "But that's the way with everything in life, you need to keep it up to further perfect your skill" She rest her elbow on the table and slipped her chin onto her palm "So it wasn't a waste of my time?" she pushed the pie dish towards him "Glad I made a big one now!" she gave him fanged grin eyes twinkling naughtily "So you can stuff your face!"

Alastair looked at the pie with a sort of blank expression as she pushed it toward him. He looked up at her and gave an awkward smile "Right.. but best not had too much pie at once, need a main course that's how it goes..." he said and then cut into the rest of his slice using the small knife as his force and started to force himself to finish at least what he cut, or else all he said nice about it would be for nothing. He opted to only chew once or twice and just swallowing as much as he could of it whole to keep the unsavoury flavour from building to strong.

Blaze turned her head a little coyly looking back at him sidelong "that's not the Alastair I who eats a whole tray of muffins in one sitting or makes himself sick on chocolate" she watched him trying to force it down "Oh well you can have some later then...probably enough there for a few days yet" she said happily corners of her lips twitching.

"Right, well..I did eat a bit last night I brought myself some food when I went to work. Drank a few ales at the tavern.. But don’t worry I'll finished this treat up in the next day or so I’m sure of it" he said while thinking of ways to be rid of it without her knowing he didn’t eat it.. Though if he wanted to be legit and not lie to much, he could eat the whole thing in one go much more easily in wolf form, they he could say he did eat it for real.

Slipping out from her seat she came around to his side, by now unable to hide her grin, devilish playfulness to her eyes that felt good after their week from hell and all thanks to a truly hideous pumpkin pie. "You second helping now?" she murmured, slipping an arm around his neck and leaning down to kiss against his shoulder, reaching across to draw the pie dish closer and waft it before him with a suppressed chuckle.

He felt his stomach turn at the sight of it, but he looked up to Blaze with a boyish smile, seeing how pleased she was to believe her pie came out satisfactory. "Well I guess I can’t resist one more piece" he agreed though inside winced dramatically. He took his dagger and cut another slice.. Pulling it from the pan and holding it in his palm carefully. Maybe if he held his breath while eating it would help. He took the first few bites quickly, making fast work of the pie, swallowing it back before chewing too much. Bearing the awful taste to please her.. Until he was down to just the pie crust which was a relief.

Blaze stood straight and had been about to protest but he ate it so quick, almost strangely eagerly to her eyes that she almost wondered whether it was alright after all...yet she knew him to well. The big brooding moody and aggressive lycan elf that almost everyone feared or despised, so few knew this sweeter side that would willingly eat down something so disgusting just to make his wife smile. "You know what I think..." she whispered taking the remaining crust out of his hand and tossing it back into the dish "There is something even more delicious I could have waiting for you after a hard days toil"

Alastair looked up at her with a slightly furrowed brow as she took the pie from him, or what was left of it anyway.”This is delicious" he lied again but trying to keep up the act to make her believe she did a good job. "Did you make more things?" he asked her then, a bit wary she had and none too keen to try more of her cooking experiments right then. She chuckled "I think I'll leave the cooking to you...come here..." tugging on his hand to pull him out his seat to face her, would lean up and brush her lips to his, offering him a taste she knew he adored.

He moved from his seat as she willed him to do so, legs slipping over the bench and standing to face her, having to lean slightly to accommodate their heights as he saw she was offering him something indeed sweeter. He kissed back subtly though, not wanting her to get any hints or tastes of her horrible pie, because then she could taste for herself that he was lying. He did enjoy the gesture and took opportunity to let his hands sweep over her hips to rest at her behind.

"I know it's awful" she whispered "But I love you for pretending otherwise" lingering close to him still "Now how about I dump that poisonous pie where it belongs and get you a stiff drink, then I can make it up to you properly" she chuckled "Though could send rest of it anonymously to StrongHaven's tavern to be served" she grinned stepping back from him.