Two Roads Converged
|Noli Joudain||Really, what did it matter that she was on her way to California to rejoin Gideon and Quinn.
No, of course she could just turn around and come to New York.
Whatever her dear brother wanted, right?
Not that he couldn’t like, I don’t know, have told Noli he wanted her to come there instead of waiting for her to land in Virginia, spend countless days with their parents (that wasn’t pleasant at all) before deciding that she needed a break from life and would rather spend down time at a cult.
This was her life now.
She would end up in New York City.
Landry, the wunderkind of private detectives (maybe that was just his opinion?), you’d think he’d be around since it was him that had her come to the city, but not a chance, she was left to her own devices in a place that she held no love for. Magnolia Belle preferred her swamps and the quiet; something she would have had if her brother hadn’t waited a week before telling her to go north of the city into the wilds, he had a cabin, of course.
Sure, why not?
Not that she wasn’t cursing his name for practically dumping her in a place she knew nothing about while he was off doing whatever her brother did, however, the small cabin he owned, was in the perfect area; she couldn’t see anything but trees and rocks for miles and, for this, she would be thankful.
In the only way that Noli could be; cursing his name with one breath and praising him the next.
Seriously, what was she supposed to do by herself?
Think about the disaster that was London?
The amount of “serial killers” in the world?
She missed her dog.
Her own company sucked.
And so, what would she do? Go on a hike in unfamiliar territory, that’s what.
Not the brightest moment of her life.
Granted, the last few months really haven’t been, so, maybe this was par for the course.
Of course, this would be exactly what the brunette would be thinking when she decided that she had enough of staring at the same four walls of the tiny cabin; traipsing through unknown territory was far more her speed because why not get lost in the middle of nowhere with no cell service.
And no one to call.
She had gone from respected teacher to dumbass in one single moment.
If her sister wasn’t dead, she’d kill her.
Stomping through the woods, awakening with the sounds of nightfall, wasn’t making her mood any better; this was on both of her siblings, Noli should have just went on to California to the family she had been drafted into, those people might be crazy murdering psychopaths but they wouldn’t have her lost in the middle of upstate New York. Not.At.All.
This, of course, was not wholly true. Sure, Landry had sent her here. Just like her eye-opening excursion to London, she figured this would be something needed or he would have never sent Noli to “connect with herself in the wild”. However, it wasn’t like he told her to go stomping through the woods to find a quiet spot to read further into the life of Belle Joudain and certainly didn’t explain to her that being in the dark, she’d get turned around and never find her way out.
She was going to die in this place and no one would know.
That’s when the hyperventilating would start.
And every little stressor she had dealt with in the past, large and small, would push adrenaline through her veins.
The unexpected, pain-filled scream that would accompany the shredding beneath her skin would echo throughout the darkening forest; her gut twisted, her body literally trying to tear itself inside out would help Noli to find herself hitting the ground, fetal position as her breathing become labored.
She was never normal, that would have been obvious the first time a book flew at her head, but as her pupils dilated, blackening her odd colored orbs, it was easy to see just how different the brunette really was; the moon’s bright glow setting alit the loose stones, twigs and leaves performing a maelstroms dance surrounding her. This, this showing of bewitchment would last as long as it took for her body to betray her further, the explosion (really, a cracking) of bones beneath her skin, would see the blackened eyes glow golden before the punctured lungs gave out and Magnolia Joudain would still not catch on to her family’s real secret as she felt her death was imminent underneath the full moon.
She really was gonna die out here.
|October 05, 2018 18:29|
|Tiber Loche||Tiber had a very simple, normal childhood. As far as he knew, there was nothing out of the ordinary about his life. Having a surgeon for a doctor promised long hours without a fatherly figure in his life, but both his brother and his mother had made up for that. It was fine. Everything was fine.
Until it wasn't.
There was no bite; no scratch that had turned his world upside down. A late night run, an overdose of adrenaline, and a fight or flight instinct had kicked his hormones in to overdrive. Thanks to his legacy— the gene that his 'hero' of a father had passed down to him from a long line of Loche wolves- Tiber's life changed forever.
And the b-stards hadn't so much as warned him.
Since then, the moon had become a very bittersweet symbol for the course of his survival. So much had happened since then, and though he could blame the big, bright, nocturnal ball in the sky for his strife... She was also the only thing who'd stuck around through it all.
More importantly, over the past four months he'd been able to enjoy the phenomenon of lycanthropy for the first time in his life.
Tiberius lie dormant, and Tiber had the needles and scars to prove it. He was slower than he used to be. Tired. His patience ran more thin. But the moon, oh, she was far sweeter than she used to be, and Tiber loved her.
The lunar cycle had become a bit of a ritual for the man; more forgiving than it used to be. Where chains used to exist should he managed to lock himself up before Tiberius had taken hold, he no longer needed them. No longer came back home with blood dried in the creases of his fingers. There was nothing to fear, only a night to enjoy. And that's exactly what he did.
Erring on the side of caution, he would leave the comfort of his cabin at The Den and make his way north, safely nestled in the upstate where a hundred-thousand acres of forest awaited him with open arms. He was less likely to come across any able bodied individuals late at night, therefore unable to cause as much harm as he might if he stayed home. But that didn't bother him.
This was Tiber time.
He reveled in it.
The pack he carried with him was a decent size, and large enough to fit the clothes he traveled with, water, and protein. Before he... started, he'd strip down, stuffing his clothes and shoes into the pack so that he didn't ruin or lose them. The other essentials were for recovery. Tiber found that he was always famished the next morning.
For the short amount of time before his transformation began, the man absolutely delighted in the moments he was able to run around... Naked. It hard to explain to anyone who had never experienced, or enjoyed the ordeal. At a time where every one of his senses were heightened; when the thin line between human and animal had been blurred completely, he felt such a heavy sense of satisfaction. Of happiness. Tiber was entirely in his element. Drinking in the wisdom of the environment; the pure affection offered of the earth.
During the height of his transformation, every bit of his body snapped and contorted into another shape. His bones, bent- his tendons and muscles wrapping around them in ways that in that moment were utterly agonizing. But when his mind cleared, and his silver paws finally hit the ground, the pain dissipated and none of that mattered. His screams would be swallowed by the trees, never falling on another set of ears. It was as if Tiber and his anguish had never existed, and for a long while, they didn't. They wouldn't. This beautiful, powerful pack animal existed in his place.
That night, Tiber howled joyously at the moon, his front paws planted firmly against the damp, cool ground beneath him. Then, he took off.
And it was glorious.
|October 06, 2018 12:22|
|Noli Joudain||Magnolia would do the only thing that she could during the excruciating pain screaming through her lithe frame; rationalize. Maybe she wandered through some sort of hallucinogenic mushroom patch and her grandmother’s books she had been reading caused her to manifest some sort of psychotic break that induced hallucinations.
It could happen.
I mean, reading about werewolves, angels, vampires, and demons... maybe that was it, maybe she was being possessed by some demonic power. Did she not go to church enough? Who are we kidding, she never went to church; except for Easter and Christmas (that was more about being made to go) and if Noli believed that begging for respite from some higher being to prevent whatever was happening to her, she would.
Probably not, it would be a lie.
And omnipotent beings would know this, right?
A lie would make it worse, for sure.
She lived her life right; she was always kind until she wasn’t. She loved teaching, there was nothing better than a child learning. She was a good person.
So, why was this happening?
The brunette wouldn’t be able to think on this any longer; the need to remove binding articles of clothing that seem to burn her skin would overtake any rationalization, she had to get free. A freedom, she would have; fabric gone, shredded beneath nails that would lengthen, sharpen to match the shifting form of the woman. Gone the raspy breathing of organs that couldn’t function, pale skin covered, protected from the chilling night air; Noli would find freedom, because it had finally found her.
A snout would inhale; clean, fresh and the scent of prey and predators alike roaming through the woods, one she would, of course, avoid, the other, well, apparently the animal she had become was starving and was determined to gross out the woman left inside the shared consciousness (okay, so it didn’t give a sh-t about grossing anyone out, it was an animal, but come on, Noli is not exactly normal, is she?).
Frolicking, eating, napping; these were the things on the beast’s mind. Minutes stretched into hours and with it Noli’s control on her own mind became less and less, it was almost like falling asleep; which was good for her, because after the third fluffy animal consumed, the poor little teacher from the backwoods, had just about enough of that sensation.
Luckily, it would seem whatever had taken hold of her had finally had enough and the painful shifting back into a very pissed off and confused woman would take place; covered in dirt, blood, and god knows what else, Noli would stumble for mere seconds before her odd-colored eyes peered out into the woods. She could hear, smell, feel better than she could before, but it still wouldn’t prepare her for the large moving predator winking in and out of the light of the moon through the trees.
“Oh, look, a puppy...”
And with the barest of whispers, okay, she thought she said it in her head, Noli would do something she had never done in all of her twenty-seven years; her knees would buckle and those multicolored orbs would roll far back into her head as she hit the ground in a faint.
Who could blame her really?
Alright, it was the blood; have we learned nothing from her time here? Dead body, barely any blood, and she wanted to die.
And maybe, just maybe, a giant ass wolf circling her had something to do with it.
|October 07, 2018 10:32|
|Tiber Loche||Even if you never believed the stories about Lycanthropy, chances are you're at least mildly aware, to some degree, of Werewolf stereotypes. From an endless enslavement to the moon above, to the unwavering hunger-- Both ferocious and unwilling to be tamed. There's a scale of truth behind each of these examples, often sliding and never affecting the same monster twice; Tiber had never stopped to consider the specifics in which he'd been plagued. There was always blood and it was almost never his own, but that was that. His stomach had succumbed over time and of course his assumption had been that he'd simply gotten used to the changed. It never occurred to him that his body had learned to properly digest raw meat.
This time around, the unsullied fury left him feeling less apprehensive. If he'd known any better, Tiber might even have described himself as feeling... Frisky. Playful.
Not like any monster at all.
It shouldn't really have mattered what he'd been carrying in his mouth as he trotted through the woods. Shades of sable and tan colored fur around his chops had been matted down with a thick paste of blood and dirt. Closer inspection might reveal the leg bone of a deer-- still thick with muscle and bits of meat that the wolf had yet to clear. A snack for later, perhaps. Tiber had always been the hungry sort.
Before he'd sensed any bit of a commotion, he'd managed to catch an unfamiliar scent. Though his mood had not been completely deflated, it became immediately apparent that he would need to defend his food against any predator who might seek to plunder his stash. At first, he'd dropped the bone to the ground, lowering his snout with a soft growl; eyes of hazel and gold scanned the area around him for activity. His movements were brisk, paws digging into the ground as he hollowed out a spot in the earth to bury his bone. It was only then that he afforded himself the opportunity to investigate.
Tiber would hang back against the treeline, his thick fur integrating well with the dark, earthy tones of the forest around him. He crept low, his stare intense as the figure in the cushioned clearing moved. He evaluated, doing his best to determine if this critter would pose any threat to him and the remainder of his meal. Tiber was sure he'd made eye contact with the creature. A girl, no... A young woman. Vulnerable and open to attack. Her posture screamed to him, Danger! Danger!, but not because she posed any hazard to the beast-- no, but because she smelled weakly of leftover entrails and dried blood, and if he could smell that... So could any other mutant that had been pacing these grounds along with him.
It only took a moment for him to dig up his bone.
When he returned he'd found himself more inclined to close the distance. No longer were her movements fluid; instead she lie still against the ground. The wolf could hear her breathing, and slowly he crept closer until there was barely any space between the two of them. Bone wedged tight between his jaws, Tiber nudged against the girls cheek with his cool snout. Finally dropping the remains next to her head, he sat back against his hind paws, his tongue flopping out briefly as he huffed. Anxiously, he peered around, and with the help of one deep inhale of cold autumn air, Tiber exhaled an enormous, frightful cry into the air.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
Tiber's cabin was as cozy and well kept as it had ever been. The interior left much to be desired, decoration less than astute, but it remained true that he'd never been much for embellishment, or design. It surprised him that the woman had slept through the entire ride back, nestled inside a fluffy blanket that he'd oft left tucked in the backseat of his truck. His sofa was more of a loveseat, and he was relieved to find that the stranger had been petite enough to fit.
In his dresser, stray articles of Quinn's clothing had remained. The light coloring of a loose fitting dress would stain easily, streaks of blood from the woman's body entirely unforgiving against the breathable cotton. But he dressed the stranger none the less, careful not to anger any superficial wounds that might remain undressed across her skin. Like anyone, it was possible she'd feel that Tiber had violated her personal space, but in weighing the consequence against her waking up in his home exposed...
Tiber sat alone in his kitchen while she slept, sipping a mint flavored tea that always helped to settle his stomach after a night out. What would happen when she awoke was anyone's guess.
|October 23, 2018 15:57|
|Noli Joudain||The sensation of floating, weightlessness; would not wake the brunette.
Clothing draped over her unconscious form, not even a whimper.
Placed upon a nondescript loveseat; not a chance.
But a nose that twitched at the scent of mint wafting from the kitchen; of course.
Or it was the repeat of the Ed Sheeran nightmare that had plagued her for months now, either way, Noli was slowing pulling herself from the fog of something she would never accept as her dead faint, she was just sleeping...
And not by choice.
Panic would well up in her chest, breathing was near to impossible; it wasn’t like she had any clue where she was, who had brought her here, and the biggest question of all, what the hell had happened to her in the woods, okay that wasn’t her biggest question of the three, but it was important.
The who, was the issue.
She could be with a serial killer.
That could have just killed her while she slept, but Noli was not considering that.
Currently, the woman was trying to get her breathing under control as she shifted her lanky frame to a sitting position and odd-colored eyes took in the sparse surroundings; at least there wasn’t blood stains and large knives lying around.
She knew that her shifting around would likely be heard, there wasn’t any way she could escape without notice; not that she even knew where she was, so bare feet took her shaky frame and she’d follow her nose toward what she hoped was not the person that would cause her to meet her end. Her strange eyes would rove over the figure sipping tea and despite the fact that he had already been far kinder toward her than most people she had lived around, those hazel orbs would roll upward.
He was pretty.
Where Magnolia was from, pretty boys were usually *******s.
“Um... thanks.” What else could she say; her fingers brushed over the light dress that obviously he had lying around, so offering her thanks for covering her up with what could be his latest victims clothing seemed the proper thing to do. “You got any more of that? Or maybe something stronger?”
Thin shoulders lifted with a deep breath, tampering down the panic or vomit that threatened to erupt from her; alcohol could easily help that or at the very least, put a little color into her pale cheeks. At least her thinking had not been lost wholly; although her priorities might seem skewed at the moment.
“You didn’t happen to find a cellphone out there, somewhere? Or, I don’t know, see what the f-ck happened?”
Yep, here comes the hysterics.
|October 28, 2018 17:59|
|Tiber Loche||For hours he listened to the steady melody of her breathing. She didn't move much as she slept, nor did Tiber where he sat. Occasionally he checked his phone for messages, or thumbed through a magazine that lie on his table.
But then, his guest shifted.
Her easy breathing changed. Tiber's sprightly gaze shifted from the pages of the magazine to where the girl now moved to sit up on his couch. He flung the glossy booklet with haste, but paid little mind to where it had landed.
The large man clambered out of his seat, his bare feet against the cold floor presenting a shock. Without realizing, his fingers tightened around the mug in his hand. It was nearly empty, and the tea by now had surely gone cold.
"I, uh..." He stumbled over his words, which were merely a series of thoughts fighting against one another. "Yes. Both."
Good job, Tiber. Outstanding.
After he'd moved to place the cup down on the table, Tiber turned back around and started in toward the living room. Without getting to close, he'd find the arm of a bulky and mismatched chair that sat opposite the couch, and take a seat. It wouldn't bode either of them well if she suddenly spooked. Especially since she, apparently, had many questions that she was expecting him to answer.
Unfortunately, he wouldn't be able to offer much else apart from a stiff drink and some food.
Oh, and her safety. But he wouldn't bother emphasizing how he could have simply left her.
Mostly because he'd never do that.
Tiber pointed a thick finger at the end table next to where she sat. If she pulled the latch on the front, a cupboard would reveal itself. Inside, various brown liquors that were meant to be savored neat.
"Help yourself." And he meant it. "I didn't find a cellphone, but I have one if you need to call someone." Tiber wondered if that would help to calm her nerves at all; offering her a way to escape immediately.
She certainly was not being held against her will.
His palms found the front of his jeans, and his fingernails scraped lightly over the denim while his eyes scanned over her. She was properly awake now. Without the primitive veil that the moon offered, the stranger seemed... Normal. Small. Terrified, maybe. Unfortunately, she still smelled strongly of whatever she had gotten into in the forest. The smell of his tea had done a good job of masking the scent while he was in the kitchen. Now, it was much more difficult to ignore.
"Are you feeling okay?" Tiber wondered aloud, not realizing that any paranoid stranger could misconstrue his concern for any number of things. Hows the poison I slipped you? or Do you need anything before I chop your face off?.
Quickly, he shook his head.
"I saw... Something." He offered with half a shrug. "I'm more curious as to what you think happened?" Tiber didn't know if she knew, and in the moment he's not entirely sure if he's prepared to explain to her what he thinks he saved her from in the hours before.
It wouldn't have been the first time, or the first person.
|November 29, 2018 16:22|