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Tiber Loche

He'd side-eyed the note more than once as he trotted by the all too familiar cabin. Tiber had been reluctant to make his way inside for as long as he could remember. The fact that it was there at all sometimes left him feeling like he was living with a ghost. Being haunted. A constant reminder of the past. He'd lost count of how many times he'd moved on; how many times he'd relapsed and had to physically and mentally pick himself up again and push forward. It got easier every time— that was no lie, but he'd succumbed to the fact that there were some wounds that never heal.

One day the note simply appeared.
Tiber hadn't so much as read it until now.
Her curly little signature adorned the bottom of the page. Words as thoughtful and effortless as they had always been. As though there weren't a thing in the world to be concerned with.

The man crushed the note in his hand and, finally, made his way inside.

Almost barren, the cabin hosted a singular table, one that he recognized from the many years that it sat in the kitchen. Memories lay scattered across the tattered oak, black & white, and colored where it was important. There were many faces looking back at him, and some that were not. Photos of John, who'd been difficult for Quinn to capture, and photos of Addie, who'd been a little easier to catch. Zarith and William were scattered throughout the black and white pictures. Bennie, Julliet, and Solomon were all there too.

Now, it's not that Tiberius didn't appreciate the sentiment, or enjoy the fact that Quinn had left behind these tokens of their life together for him to have. They were nice. Thoughtful. But as much as he wanted to covet these gifts, he couldn't bring himself to turn off that incessant nagging at the back of his head.

They're gone.
They're gone.
They're gone.


It's difficult to process the emotion that begins to bubble just beneath the surface. The man is sad, nostalgic, and angry all at once, but it's his anger that maintains the reins. Tiber's temper wants nothing more than to flare, burning red hot against his sub-conscience. Instead of that ginger little touch of his finger against the glossy photograph of Quinn and Sol, the tips edge beneath the lip of the pale oak.

A soft swivel on his heel is all it takes to send the table crashing out the front door, its wood splintering into a million pieces as photographs swirl in the air around him.
July 16, 2019 07:26 pm

Adara Litvinova

It was a normal day for Addie; most of it spent chasing after a precocious toddler. Quiet, peaceful, warm summer day in upstate New York meant that they were spending most of their time outside, which is exactly how Ads would see the larger figure moving to what was now an empty cabin on the Den property.

They would have to finish the picnic later.

Crap.

This was probably going to be bad.

She already needed a drink.

“Tab, take Ella to the house.” She wouldn’t wait for a response, there was no need to as the bartender had a nose for trouble herself and was already moving toward the Den proper as Addie’s long legs ate up the space between the lake and what was once a home to one of her dearest friends. That thought, that single jolt of a memory, would have the (once) blonde’s steps faltering minutely; she could understand exactly the way Tiber felt, the loss, and she wasn’t quite sure anymore about disturbing his grief.

At least she thought about it; momentarily.

And in those few moments, it would at least save her from being pummeled by the table and door that suddenly decided to explode as her feet finally turned the corner; green orbs widened but she wouldn’t say anything until her lanky frame was standing in what used to be a doorway. Even then, she really wasn’t sure what she was supposed to say; sorry your ex-wife is dead, everyone is gone, you left what did you expect?

Not at all the things he would want to hear, even if it was something he needed to hear.

For now, Addie would do what she does best.

Ignore the obvious.

“You know you’re gonna be the one to fix this, right?”

Succinct as ever; the corners of her mouth would tilt upwards, just a gentle reminder that while her words may seem a bit cold, albeit rude, she did understand him and why there was just a small temper tantrum involved. Especially, when her eyes fell across the photos that were scattered around the new doorway Tiber had provided; okay, so, maybe they both were going to need a drink.

“I think it might be time to let it go.” It was as much for her as it was for him; right, so she really didn’t mean to say it out loud, but the past was gone, all of them… gone. So, maybe it was something they both needed to deal with, apparently Tiber’s way was breaking things.

It’s going to be one of those days.
July 17, 2019 10:39 am

Tiber Loche

There are handful of ways Tiber knew Addie had arrived. Most of them wouldn't make sense to anyone who lived outside their little plane of existence. Call it pack mentality. Call it intuition. Maybe he'd even assumed, just a little, that she'd show up eventually, in the way that Adara always did; at just the right time, and not a moment sooner.

Which was great, for her, lest she wind up with a kitchen table to the face.

It's the shift in the air around him. That's how he knows she's there. Doesn't get that confirmation until she finally speaks, and in truth, he shouldn't have expected anything different than what she'd offered. The man's attention snaps to, and he turns to face her with a soft snarl painted across his visage. "It doesn't need to be fixed." A shoe-less foot raises from the floor, Tiber's knee drawing in toward his middle before it releases like a snapped elastic. His heel digs into shards of wood that hang helplessly from the door frame- now flying through the air somewhere opposite from where he stood. "It needs to be gone."

He's doing his best, really, to ignore all of those fvcking photos scattered around the floor. But they call to him. They scream— demanding his attention though he was determined to prove he was the most stubborn.

"I'm tired of this, Addie." He'd gruff, allowing the silence to hang in the air between them while he thought long and hard about what exactly those words she'd spoken implied.

I think it might be time to let it go.

"There's nothing left to let go." The level edge of his tone fought hard in it's attempt to undermine the anger etched in his features. "What's the God damn point of any of this." He gestured idly, impossible blue hues finally falling over his companion.

Tiber can't ignore the way his stomach churns in apprehension. His behavior is turbulent, and unpredictable, with Tiberius scratching at the concrete walls of his insecurity with razor sharp claws. There are I told you so's and I never would have let this happen's rolling through this mind— but he keeps his gaze trained on Adara. "Just let me have my pity party in peace. I don't want to hear it. Any of it."
July 17, 2019 10:08 pm

Adara Litvinova

She wouldn’t flinch, to be truthful, Addie knew there would be more to this tantrum and to say she wasn’t used to sh-t getting fvcked up was an understatement. On the other hand, she was internally screeching because holy fvck Tiber was definitely in a mood; one that would have her hand clenching and unclenching, wanting to reach out to him, to comfort.

And maybe wanting to punch him right in the mouth.

She was complex like that.

Addie also cared dearly for the giant toddler; okay, so maybe she was being really mean, but it was inside of her head so no harm done and it may have just been her own way of dealing with things like this. The woman had one hellava survival instinct and that usually meant she was calm when she wanted to be raging, but this, this wasn’t about her and focusing on that was enough for her to forget her own problems for the moment.

I’m tired of this, Addie

God, she knew. She knew what and why. But she didn’t know how to help him, so like him, she would just let the words cling dangerously to the silence and her mossy orbs continued to bore into the figure next to her, like waiting for the next shoe...or foot to drop.

Yep, there it is.

That anger threatening to boil over, barely unchecked; normal people, people not like them, they would have every right (and the common sense) to be afraid of the sheer energy coming off Tiber in waves. But not Addie, she was far from normal and well, apparently when it came to things like this, she lost all common sense.

Plus, it just sounded like a dare.

“You want me to leave you alone? You want me to go so you can throw a little tantrum because you feel… what? Slighted? Abandoned? Well, newsflash, people leave. And our Quinn, she was gone long before now.” California, they never spoke of it, they never talked about it, but it was clear, Quinn had been different, is different.

Quiet as the words were, she knew they’d sting; but whatever he was going through, she wouldn’t let Tiber deal with it alone, not like this anyway and if he wanted to do it on his own, then his ass was gonna just have to prove it.

“You want to be alone, then make me go.”

Crap, crap, crap.

What is wrong with this picture? Survival instincts, my ass. So.Freaking.Bad.

Standing toe to toe, just a slight shift in movement putting her damn near in his face, (if she were a bit taller, ya know) Addie’s jaw clenched, finger stabbing into his chest; the woman knew that if he didn’t lance this sh-t then he would be no good for her, for Ella, for everyone calling this place home. But man, this was gonna sting.

“Better yet, let Tiberius out… let him, make me.”

Fvck.Fvck.Fvck.
July 18, 2019 11:11 am

Tiber Loche

Tiber can feel the change in temperature around him. Heat radiates off of his body as his anger threatens to explode. He'd become better at keeping it in check over the years; had taken the necessary precautions to keep Tiberius docile, and the people around him safe. It didn't change the fact that he was capable of such aggression. That somewhere deep down inside his very core, the strength of his vexation has been enough to split him (figuratively and literally) in two. Even now as he stood in the familiar space of this cabin that did not belong to him- with enough solvent running through his veins to keep a baby elephant in a coma- destruction is imminent.

And Adara exercised her willingness to challenge him.

There's a very real disturbance in his conscious. It leaves Tiber feeling nervous, and something else feeling... Thrilled.

"I'm not a child. I'm not upset because my friends don't like me anymore." Tiber spat through gritted teeth, though his words may have been difficult to decipher. "It was our job to protect them."

His jaw tightened, and he swiveled on his heel, turning to face Addie while he took a healthy step forward to clear the tattered doorway.

Formally? Tiber hadn't taken on the responsibility of his crew members until many years after he'd joined Adara and John in The Den. It didn't change the fact that he felt like he could have... SHOULD have done better. Had he not been so caught up in his own troubles, and this parasite that festered inside of him...

"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" The wolf's tone is accusatory, Adara closing the space between them as she steps toe-to-toe to Tiber. His head begins to pound, as does his pulse. He can feel it in his chest. In his stomach. In his throat. His words come from a place of hostility, and deflection; ones he would come to regret later, but cared little about in the moment. "Turn the monster back on. Let him destroy everything. Fvck, he's done a pretty good job of that so far." Tiber's lip curls. "Burn it all down..."

His knees begin to bend, and suddenly he no longer towers over Addie, but instead he lowers himself to face her, with his teeth bared and his brow creased. "Tiberius wont make you do anything, Addie. He will kill you."

The brightest of cerulean pools darken slightly, gaze holding steady.

"Tiberius is incapacitated."

Tiber himself wasn't expecting the confession to roll off of his tongue as easily as it had. There was approximately one person who knew about the serum that pumped through his veins, and that was the hoodoo priestess who'd created it for him.

"I am not."

The man stands and takes a full step back, his expression softening immediately, as though a dark cloud had completely dissipated. Tiber reaches a hand into the pocket of his jeans, fingers wrapping tightly around a tiny little box.

"We can rebuild it." He pulls the matchbox from his pocket, thumb pressing against the edge until the red-tipped matches are exposed. "We'll rebuild all of them." Thick fingers pull a single match from it's bed, holding it into the air between them. "Our Quinn is gone. Our people are gone."

His gaze flickers back to Addie. Tiber doesn't think he needs to say it out loud. These spaces belong to them, and no one else. How can they offer refuge to the young wolves of the Realm when their home is plagued with bits and pieces refusing to let them move on?

Tiber strikes the match and pauses, almost as though he were waiting for permission.
July 21, 2019 10:28 am

Adara Litvinova

Fingers would curve as his rant went on; he was provoking her ire and that would never end well.

However, as his fingers held the lit match between them, like some kind of destruction fueled olive branch, a slight tilt to her full mouth would mean nothing but the woman acquiescing to the situation. Although, not yet, apparent by her fingers lifting to pinch the flame and those mossy orbs went diamond hard and twice as cold; no more smile..

Can’t burn it all down yet, because she was about to get ugly.

“We’ll come back to this.” Promises, promises. Not that she would go back on it, but it might take a little while for her to regain her composure long enough to let him burn everything down.

This wasn’t easy for her, despite the fact that it certainly looked that way, it probably would look cold, unfeeling, or harsh; but it was far from it, everything Addie did or said now, was thought about long and hard before allowing it to take a life of its own. It might not seem like it, but acting rash was a distant memory for Adara, she had more and more people depending on her and she could not take a chance with the lives that they wanted to live as well.

“It’s not your fault. They all chose their own ways. You can’t protect them if those are their choices.” Okay, so she wanted to call him an idiot for this way of thinking; sure, in a perfect world, the people we love, we would place them in a perfect little bubble away from the nastiness of the world. But life isn’t that way, everyone that left, did so on their own volition and no matter how much Tiber beats himself up over it, it would never change the outcome. “Yeah, Quinn is gone. Our people are gone. It happens. Get over it.”

Those last three words ended on damn near a snarl that would match the twisted look upon her heart-shaped face; someone needed to kick his ass and as laughable as his earlier statement was on killing her (she didn’t laugh, I swear, she wanted to, but.. restraint!), she couldn’t help but feel a little apprehension on forcing his hand when it comes to letting himself let the bad one out to play.

“As for protecting anyone now, Kedvesem, how would you do that being… so… neutered?” The same hand that extinguished the match would sweetly lay upon Tiber’s scruffy cheek; adoringly, almost lovingly. Completely belied, of course, by the hard words that tumbled from her mouth; unimpressed, was barely the word to describe how she felt at this moment.

“You have your own way of dealing with things, I can’t tell you what to do. But know this, keeping a part of yourself buried, it’s not healthy.” Addie’s hand would punctuate the last word with a light cuff to the cheek she so very much wanted to pop for being an idiot, though, the slap wouldn’t be described as gentle, despite the fact that it could have been worse. His own demons wouldn’t change the way she felt about him, so he’d work it out, or eventually Tiberius would make his way to the surface and she’d kick his ass too.

Until then, she’d let it go (not really), and deal with the situation that she could handle at the moment; her hand was once more moving, straight into her pocket to pull out a trusty little metal box that she would immediately hold out toward him as her face softened and her shoulders shrugged. Of course, they'd rebuild. Together.

“You’ll need a little more than just a match, I think."
July 22, 2019 10:58 am

Tiber Loche

Tiber knew that. Knew everything that she had said to him held at least some bit of truth. He didn't continue to beat himself up in spite of it. There was a great chance that subconsciously it just felt like it might be easier to deal with if he accepted part of the blame. Would he admit as much? Not likely. But this was Tiber Loche, and he'd lived the majority of his life this way. When Caleb had died, he punished himself for years, even knowing just as well back then as he did now; Malcolm Loche and his malicious intent had absolutely nothing to do with him.

Alas.

Here he stands, staring down the green-eyed barrel of an Adara shaped gun, not entirely sure what he was ready (or even willing) to do in regard to this sword he was about to fall on. It was no secret that his stubborn nature remained strong, and however temporary his outbursts could be, they didn't always come to a head so gracefully. Since Tiberius had been otherwise incapacitated, the occasions with which he'd lashed out had been minimal. Aggression had been curved. Anger and rage swept under the rug in favor of a life that was a bit more... Agreeable.

The itch is always there, however faint. And she would encourage him to scratch it.

In the face of everything he had done to keep this monster chained, he considers a new challenge.

Let go.

There had never been two words that meant more than those did to Tiber.

His attention stays with his Alpha as she addresses him. There's heavy consideration given to everything that she says, though not everything gets through to him. Tiber didn't so much as flinch when she'd extinguished the match. Hardly blinked when her warm fingers came into contact with his stubble soaked skin. Sure, he can't help the bubble of gruff that breaches the back of his throat when she has the audacity to call him neutered, but it's that last but that stirs him. That sharp slap against his cheek that casts the shadow across his oceanic hues, and springs him into motion. The man grasps her wrist, drawing her away from his face with a scowl.

"It's not healthy." He mimics, releasing her from his grip right away. "I am starting to believe that healthy is just a state of mind." Bitter. So bitter are his words that he can practically taste them on his tongue.

But he knows she is right. To some degree, she's always been right.

She moves again, and he's not entirely sure what to expect. Maybe she was going to stab him. Take care of him for being a miserable little sh-t who'd given her much more trouble than he was worth (in a matter of his opinion, anyway). But Addie produces a small box; streak of silver catching on the light over head. There is no reluctance when she turns it over, and he takes it in his hand with a stimulated curiosity.

When he opens it, his gaze flickers back to the blonde set before him. All squared shoulders, and pointed expression, even as she softened slightly beneath his stare. Adara could be rigid- a quality that Tiber needed in someone he considered to be his companion- but she was not unsympathetic. No, he suspected that he was getting a very real look at her own personal brand of letting go. Suddenly, he can't help but wonder if there were a few things he could learn from her yet.

He pushes that idea to the back of his mind for now. At the moment, he pulls the zippo from it's box, inspecting it briefly before he flicked the top open and gave the flint wheel a start.

The flame dances in the air, and Tiber turns to look at Addie once more. "I'm not going to do this without you."

Not any of it.

I can't.
July 25, 2019 07:57 pm

Adara Litvinova

Adara knew what it was to run from what itched beneath the skin; eleven years before she had nearly died with her best friend, two girls that trouble had followed, still followed for the most part, and that had instigated the changes that Addie put forth in her life to become who she is today. To be fair, she still had her own issues of letting go, moving on, becoming her own self, as it were.

Today was no different.

Her eyes had locked to his and then to the flame dancing; tempting her to allow this place to burn so that he could let go of whatever it was he was still clinging to; hurt, guilt, anger. But it was not her that could decide the best course of action to remove those feelings that she had allowed to provoke her every move lately; Adara was not the best person for this job. She clung to her own failings just as hard; needing them to move forward with her life.

A life that had only one light in it, EJ. Until recently that is and that was an entirely different story on its own.

Mossy orbs drifted from the flame to the clear blue of her companions before falling just past his shoulder; a window, with no obscured view of the house she once called her home. One that was filled with laughter and sadness, of anger and ferocious battles; it stood, vacant and daunting. Dead.

And as her fingers twitched, itching, moving closer to his own, entwining between the larger digits, her own way of standing with him, to say he was never doing anything alone again; her mossy orbs hardened momentarily, she could not be kind.

But how could she be anything but kind to him.

“Burn it down, destroy it by hand.” Short and not at all sweet; not a command, but more of an observation, for as always, there was more to be said.

“It doesn’t matter what happens, it’s only a place; wood and glass. It’s what it would mean to you to allow it to stand; to lie vacant and grow unkempt with time. You have to decide for yourself what is necessary for you to be happy and live your life the way you want.”

Shoulders lifted, a slight shrug, while fingers still clung; despite the same feelings his first night home running though her, she would hold on, because right now, she needed that just as much as Tiber did.

“No matter what you decide, Tiber, it will never be without me. Together we’ll get through it all.”

How does that old saying go?

In for a penny...
July 27, 2019 11:29 am

Tiber Loche

Adara's fingers entwine with his own, and for the first time in a very long time, he doesn't flinch from the lack of warmth. A vampire's touch, or a witch, or a human- they're all so different. Lifeless, or cold. But she stood with him now, a near perfect match in almost every way. As he thought on it later, it would almost terrify him. Right now? It was nothing less than completely comforting.

What better time to start, he thinks, as the flame flickers between them and Tiber's eyes pause over the blonde before him. There's a soft shadow of a smile that insists against his lips, and without pause he reaches out for her with his free hand. Lightly, delicately, he'd graze her cheek with the backs of his knuckles, a gesture perhaps more intimate than he'd realized before he'd given in to the urge. But that didn't matter. What they were doing- the things they were going to do- all of that would transcend these mortal ideals of what intimacy entailed.

No one could ever truly understand. Not unless they were like them. Tiber had began to believe this more and more as the days went on.

"This is for both of us." There was a finality to his words. They bore no explanation, or opinion; they'd simply been a statement. With Addie's fingers laced with his own, Tiber finally moved his hand, flicking his wrist and releasing his grip on the lighter.

He could dramatize the moment, if he wanted. Say that watching that flame sail through the air was like witnessing a disaster pending in slow motion. But that's not how it felt at all. The fire came into contact with whatever furniture was left in the cabin. Worked over by cobwebs and dust; a fire hazard in their own right. It took little time at all for the arrangement to go up in flames, and Tiber could do little but stand and watch, as a very heavy chapter in his life had started to burn away at his feet.

Smoke filled the room, shadows all but disappearing in an instant as though someone had hit a very powerful light switch. The wolf can feel the heat start to radiate, bursts of hot air lapping at his skin with a relentless vigor. Tiber isn't thinking at all when he reaches for Addie's hand, his feet still planted against the wooden lip of the doorway.

But he isn't not thinking.

Cerulean pools finally peel away from the scene, with enough time to escape the flame before they'd began to close in around them. Tiber turns his head to look at the woman with a thoughtful smile.

"One down."
August 08, 2019 04:44 pm

Adara Litvinova

For Adara, it was different; taking that chance on showing the solidarity rather than preach it, to willingly offer such part of herself in what others may perceive as a small motion, inconsequential, it was everything to her. While she was comfortable around those she knew, Tiber more so than others, clear from how she reacted to his arrival back home, where he belonged. However, tender gestures were usually not in her wheelhouse; though as the years had passed by, she had grown more accustomed to some, through Ella so it was quite a bit different than what her hand in his meant.

Not that Addie was even sure what it meant herself; just that it felt like the right thing to do.

It would be the unexpected touch of his hand brushing her cheek that would clear the cloud of confusion and allow her to finally know, why it felt the way it did; not that her expression would give away anything, stoic as always though it was hard to not let a ghost of a smile pull against her lips. It was the declaration that would do it, ...both of us., easily the hardest words for her to accept, yet, here she was, still reeling from a caress and suddenly it was... So.Much.More.

If she had any questions now, they would be about the roller-coaster of emotions that just washed through her; something new, something...

Oh.

Oh no.

Oh crap.

Her eyes widen at the realization, luckily, Tiber was far too preoccupied with tossing the relic from her past to take notice of the shock and acceptance flitting across her heart-shaped visage. Addie could have watched the lighter fly and even the fire catching hold; but her mossy orbs couldn’t seem to pull away from him, even as the heat from the flames washed over the two, she could not, willingly change the course of her gaze, not that she would if given the choice anyway. It wasn’t until that thoughtful smile moved, to spill simple words, that the spell was broken, one down was not quite that simple; instead, it was more the start of the future than any of the demolished cabins would ever be.

“And I know the second...”

And the third.

Quite possibly, the fourth, as well. It was safe to say that, Addie had plans to raze it all.

They would rebuild; together.

A new home, a new Den.

Their home.

“And then we’ll make it ours."
August 12, 2019 01:18 pm
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