There is such a thing as too much. Too much pain. Too much loss. Too much bloodshed. Too much war. Generation after generation of darkened days and funeral marches on both sides of this cursed war. Till times of peace and of love and of life had gone, faded beyond all manner of reach or recall. The vampires, in their stone castle upon the hilltop, soldiers of speed and of fury. Their viciousness and venomous bites. Their tactics well-thought and brutal, it was no wonder they were feared enemies.
Their opponents, just as fierce and vicious, in their dens of carved mountain halls, deep in the darker woods around the castle upon the hilltop, were the werewolves. Their attacks brutal and involving tearing flesh from bone. Soldiers of strength and brutality, their dedication strong and their unbroken will standing firmly in their homeland.
Between such races, there could never be peace. Not without possible annihilation of each other in the process. None even recall who started this war or the reason for their fighting as now it has all passed to the simple lust for revenge of the fallen. But more dead lead to more revenge, an endless cycle of hate. The idea was impossible. The thought was insane. And yet, it was the last chance they had. The only chance.
The heirs of both races were to be united. Soldiers or not, they would be forced into a union of desperation for some plea of peace. But how could two people so full of hurt and hate learn to love that which has haunted their nightmares for the entirety of their life? It seemed an impossible burden for anyone of their races to bear.
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Alabaster looked over the group she’d ended up traveling with. She knew each one of the three in this vehicle. Zane had called shotgun. A fledgling of The Hunt. His silver scar had not even healed all the way. Why her Father had agreed to bring him instead of Brom was beyond Alabaster’s comprehension. This was going beyond enemy lines. Into the very heart of the Vampire’s land and bringing the inexperienced was daft to even consider thinking about. Eldar Aramick was in the middle of the back, snoozing away as though they were not in serious trouble. Veridae sat against the other door, putting the Eldar between them. She was a senior of The Hunt and her unease was a calm and collected one, though the act would hide her fears from all but those who knew her. Drving the vehicle was her chosen mate, Zachary. They were an unbeatable force when together. Though it was odd to see them at the same time unless they were back at the Cove.
None of the three spoke. Zachary had rolled down the windows just a smidge to be able to hear better when it came to the outside world. They were all silent as silence does, waiting for the hammer to drop. For the fighting to start and the bloodshed to rip through the vehicles. None of them trusted this treaty, it was plain as day and clear. Blood was on the air, too. Which only made it worse. The smell was unmistakably…vampire? That made no sense at all. Alabaster growled softly, speaking without words as trust was low to the hearing of vampires. [b “How many are in the other car? And Who?”]
She wanted to know who was with the Alpha’s party. It was Zane who answered, again with a low growling. [b “The Alpha rides with Truse, Jarek, Eldar Grazel, and Alaia.”] He was slow to add the last and Alabaster tilted her head in curiosity. Jarek, a senior Hunter, would be driving. Her father would be in the middle of the back next to Truse…Which meant Eldar Grazel would be in the back with them and Alaia would be in front. But …Why Alaia? Out of everyone going, she made the LEAST amount of sense to be bringing along. [b “Alaia? Do they intend to pamper and design the vampires to death?”] She snickered under her breath. Alabaster had known Alaia for years. She was her mother’s Beta-Fi. The woman would have killed her own young for the happiness of the Alpha-Fi. She was a devoted handmaid, but no warrior at all. In fact, Alabaster was sure the wolf filed down her claws regularly, which would do them no good here.
Zane joined Alabaster in her chuckle, but the other two were resolute in their silence and a short, curt, soft, bark from Veridae made them silence again. The blood smell was thicker now than it was. It was no longer a dull scent, accumulating strangely at a distance. Was there a skirmish? Where? And with you? Something didn’t feel right.
After a moment of waiting at the gate, claws sliding from fingers of not just her own hands, but those with her, Alabaster noticed a shadow of a being, garbed in black, who seemed to be the one to open the gate. However, with him was more the smell of blood from a distance…as well as a scent that only Alabaster had caught to. [I ‘Lucien.’] The thought made her steal her gaze, even though he was out of her vision, being in front of the first car. When the vehicles stopped before the doors, Alabaster watched the first car open and those that exited it. The traditional garb was not lost for this meeting. Pride in their people being who they are, the look went with it. Alabaster was the last to leave the second car, almost trying to hide from the gaze of her father, which was a futile attempt as the group assembled.
His wrath could be felt with a single glance, but he couldn’t say anything as the front doors opened, the loud tone of the vampire kings’ greeting made several of their party jump slightly. They pressed closer together, a discreet protective circle forming around the Eldars and Alpha as the servants poured from the palace. Startled, into a reactive formation, but calm and sharp, The Hunt was headed by Truse, as it should be, and moved as he moved. It was not until Mortis placed a hand on his shoulder that the Master of the Hunt stepped to the right, allowing the Alpha to lead their group. [b “Well met, your highness, I do hope our presence has not caused too much of a stir within your lands.”] He followed the vampire’s lead and the pack followed, an instant feeling of unease following them as they walked through the place.
Many eyes were on them, making every hair stand on end as they entered the Main hall. They remained standing by the opposite end of the table, Mortis being the only one to take a seat there, far opposite the Vampire king and his group. The two Eldars stood, one to either side, still behind the Alpha with Alaia between them, behind the Alpha with head bowed low as was her place. Alabaster fell in behind them all, standing at attention with The Hunt. [b “Your welcome has been most generous, and your kingdom is grand. Forgive the state of my party as the journey has been a long one from our boarders through your own.”] Mortis sat comfortably, as much as he could, but hesitated in seating his party to be so. It was not just a show of discipline that he was displaying, but the freedom to move, and quickly, should the need arise.
Alabaster allowed her gaze to travel over the vampires within the room. Noting some faces she had seen before, as others she did not know...and then Lucien...the dark garments he wore suited him far better than the clothes he had worn to the meetings prior.
[b "There's nothing to talk about,"] he responded. [b "I'm well aware what you are about to say. You want to make a threat, right? You want to say something along the lines of doing a good job protecting the dogs and if I don't, then I die, yeah?"] He had heard this spiel before. This time, his threat would mean nothing to him.
[b "You shouldn't assume I'll say what you expect, boy. There are three reasons I have made you the their personal guard."] The prince stopped walking spinning on his heel and sitting on the grass.
[b "Alright, old man. Lets hear these reasons then. I'm all ears."] his father turned and approached him hold up corresponding fingers.
[b "Number one, You are the best person for the job. Number two, attacks on the envoy are inevitable. It will happen so I need someone with the speed to eliminate these threats swiftly without delay. And the third reason..."] Victor stopped with a chuckle and smile. [b "They need a demonstration."] Lucien raised an eyebrow of confusion. A demonstration? Why would he think the mutts needed such a thing? The prince pondered for a bit recalling the last two meetings as best he could and found an answer. Even as powerful as the dogs were, they still feared the vampires. During the meetings, anytime fangs were visible, a reaction was found. Thinking about it more, it made perfect sense. Without their transformation they were little more than human aside from a view characteristics. The sheer arsenal in a single vampire was extremely high, but the limits of their physical prowess went largely unknown. Only the alpha-heiress had any type of clue from her bouts with the prince. Not to mention the prince being in a class of his own in a few categories.
[b "I see..."] Lucien spoke softly. His father had walked past to the castle. [b "This is the only chance to save our people. Treat any disruptions with extreme prejudice. Those that would defy me deserve death. Am I clear?"] he asked not waiting for an answer and walking off. The prince let out a sigh before laying back in the grass. It was going to be a long day that day. He would actually need to prepare to battle his own kind. Surely both sides had many outliers that didn't agree with the will of the leaders, but he'd soon find out. Lucien sat up in a meditative position in order to focus on the task soon to be.
~~~Three Moons Later
[b "Everyone be prepared! The Alpha and his party will arrive soon!"] Victor had just finished preparations in the main hall for the guests to arrive. Servants stood lining both sides as he exited to wait at the front door. Lucien stood atop a tree by the border of territory; conveniently where he and Alabaster had done battle before. He was in dressed like what the human called a [i street ninja]. The hoodie he wore was made of a durable cloth that would resist most forms of damage, but the important thing to him was the hood. The sleeves flowed just beyond his hands and Gwyn rested on his hip. Lucien cracked his neck and heaved a heavy sigh. After raising the hood on his head, only the rose glow of a single eye was visible. He was to do this part alone in order to show off just a bit. Victor wanted him to give them a show and he most definitely would.
As the wolves crossed, the feeling of blood lust rose almost instantly. [i [b The old man wasn't kidding,]] he thought. Lucien could sense several intents to attack the envoy, but they wouldn't get the chance. Only a streak of rose of his eye could be seen as Lucien zipped around the forst to subdue and apprehend the threats. They were mostly only soldiers that probably threw a fit over the treaty being enacted. They never saw the prince coming. Though there was temptation to just leave and let the whole thing fall through, he enjoyed putting the fools in their place. He needed to let off some steam from what the alpha-heiress had done to him before. It was something that wasn't going to be let go very easily.
Lucien landed in front of the gate raising a hand as the gate swung open. The prince glided across the grass leading the envoy the rest of the way until he reached the front door. [b "Assure that they are taken care of, Belino,"] Lucien told his servant as he nodded opening the doors allowing Victor to come out. [b "Welcome!"] Shouted Victor spoke in a grandiose tone. [b "The servants will take your things. Come now to the main hall,"] he spoke as servants poured out to follow up on his word. Lucien stood in place lowering his hood. He heaved another sigh placing his hands in his sleeves like that of a master as he waited to escort the wolves. Victor himself had already taken his seat at the head of a long table along with some elders and officials. History was soon to be made for better or worse.
Alabaster tried to keep track of the conversation. Her father’s concerns echoed as those of her side fell quiet. The Alpha was speaking and it demanded silence. Still, the laughter that the vampire king let off made the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. She felt tension raised from just the exposure of fangs, something that the Wolves were not comfortable with.
The threat was mixed with a scent she knew really well by now that the others would not. The smell of blood would be obvious enough, but she knew exactly who was bleeding, which most would not. Her gaze even darted to the young Prince, seeing the restraint he tried to keep in the heat of the moment as the decision was made. The vampire king’s reassurance did nothing to stave off the tension that had entered and stayed within the wolven side of the tent. Alabaster especially had to swallow words of concern as the King mentioned Lucien would be their guard. It almost would have made her scoff, though she heard the under-breath growl that told her to keep still and would have to thank Truse later. Scoffing at the selection when trying to find peace would not do any good.
The eyes of the wolves followed the prince out of the tent, unfollowed as he had requested to depart. It stirred a bit of jealousy in Alabaster herself, wishing she could just up and leave all her problems in the middle of a meeting like that. Go for a full on dead run into the middle of nowhere and howl all of her frustrations to the Mother Moon. But no. Here she was. Stuck. To deal with these raging emotions internally. Mortis waited for the young man to leave before he spoke again. [b “Three moons’ time indeed. And I will accept your additional guard to our party. We will, naturally, have our own escort of 6 of The Hunt with us, as I’m sure you understand. You need not be concerned with my people attacking your own unless prompted. Disobedience of that nature is not tolerated within the pack.”] His sharpened and deep tone made it obvious he was speaking to his people as well as the Vampire’s.
All of the wolves lowered their gazes a moment, each knowing the severity of such blatant disobedience to The Alpha and how bad the punishment could be for it. There were rules. Standards. If not met, the pack would crumble. Any threat to the Alpha’s reign would be looked at as complete defiance no matter the size. [b “Three moons time. We will come to the castle. We will be taking advantage of the human custom of driving, so as to transport belongings and not draw as much attention or run into any troubles. I have heard your lands are perpetually protected by many forms of traps and we would not wish to accidentally run afoul of them while running across your lands.”] Mortis then nodded to the idea of a meeting between the leadership and flicked one hand, seeing several bow and start to leave. Alabaster stood, not finding herself stopped, and took the time to depart, though noted that Truse and one other of The Hunt remained. Senior members who would kill anyone who attempted to attack the Alpha without mercy. They were his constant shadows, not needing to be told to stay to know The Alpha would not be rid of them.
It felt good to get out of the tent. To breathe fresh air. All of the emotions started up again…the prospect of being the mate to that damn vampire was insulting at best. Wanting to shed the emotions and everything else, she did just that. Shedding clothing, and vulnerable flesh to let loose the red fur and feel paws on the ground again, taking off without warning. She needed to get out of here…she didn’t want to go back to Brom, knowing he would ask her questions and make demands that would not be hers to fill anymore. Deciding to head off, away from the camp and the tent and the meeting place, she kept going until paws left trees and grass and hit asphalt. [I ‘If the humans kill me, then it can’t be the vampire’s fault, could it?’] She mused, but headed straight for a farmhouse at the other end of the street.
Entering human society needed practice and preparation. The barn and farmhouse were a covert pack-safehouse. A slaughterhouse and butchery would allow for feeding while clothing was provided, at a fee, to enter the world of the humans. They had a faction there, though smaller, and suburbanites that hid their identity from the world. Alabaster made use of them when the stress of obedience was too much to handle. The Brecken family often welcomed her with open arms, a branch of her mother’s pack.
Three moons. She could stay here a while. Just to forget. To try to calm her internal struggle with The Alpha’s judgement before snapping at someone she shouldn’t. Besides, babysitting the pups was always a joy.
….Three moons time….
Domestic life would have grown on her. She could see why these wolves would risk living among the humans, and despite the howls she heard at night, calling her name, it was nice to get away and pile in the floor with the nice folks who held no real bar for her to keep up to. It was sad that these people had to sacrifice things to live here…the pups were not at all as in-tune with the earth and sky. Their senses were dulled to the sounds of rain and trees. But it was a sacrifice, to be afraid of humans, to outrun the vampires and live away from the war while losing their natural selves. They did not ask Alabaster why she had come and she did not tell them. It was common practice that the war stay as far away from these households as possible and everything to do with it was banned from the homes.
She almost lost track of the days, doing chores, and hanging out with the carefree of her age. Taking care of the little ones and eating dinner at the dinner table. She had only been here once before, after gaining the sword from the vampire prince. It was the howling that night calling to her that brought her out of this safe haven. The Alpha was howling. It made her get up, as the Brecken adults were awakened also, to fetch her. Saying goodbye to them, she did not bother to change clothes, taking off in the jeans and striped top she’d gotten from the humans.
Meeting up with the pack as they were loading the vehicles from the human side of the world, she joined them, climbing into one with a few of The Hunt that she recognized but knew would not seek conversation. She watched her father, from a distance, as he entered another vehicle. His traditional werewolf garb was unmistakable, and if he had seen her, she would have been forced to change as well. Luckily, her presence was known by scent alone, which seemed to satisfy him at the moment. More than likely, he did not want to give her the chance to make a fool of herself by trying to prod against the subject without defying him outright. With him, were Vampiric envoys, no doubt there to ensure they made it safely to their destination.
A knock on the window startled her, meeting the panicked, hurt, and confused gaze of Brom. He placed a full hand there against the glass and she touched the other side, her own a look of dread and hint of fear, as well as guilt and apology. No words passed between them, none were needed. The Alpha had spoken and her fate was sealed. She released the window first, a symbolic gesture of releasing him from her grasp, dropping her gaze from his own as no Alpha blood would have done to a met gaze.
The engine roared to life, moving the vehicle forward…ah. So Brom would not be joining them. A feeling of great unease took hold of her.
The sky grew darker. One could hardly see the moon from the shadow of cloud that loomed over the fortress of the Vampires. A cloud that could have loomed over her very soul as they moved further away from her forests, and deeper into the territory of the enemy. This could all be a trap. Some elaborate plan to wipe out the rest of the Alpha line. Grinding her fangs, claws extended as she and those in the vehicle with her found themselves uneasy, Alabaster watched land and buildings roll by, concrete turning to dirt, then to stone under the wheels of the vehicles, finally stopping before the giant gates of their destination. They would be entering these gates soon. Meeting with the damn bloodsuckers. Being protected by the pompous prick of a prince. It made her stomach turn.
Lucien's fists clenched with anger. He was ready to do as he had done before and speak out against the Alpha's decision, but a hand on his shoulder made him hold his peace. He could feel Belino telling him to calm down. This was to be for the sake of the rest of his kind, but for Lucien, to hell with his kind and their lies. The prince made no move for an outburst, but from his hands dripped blood ever so slightly.
It wasn't over. The Alpha continued on about safety in enemy territory. It was Lucien's own fault for leaving the other time. This also meant he knew what was going to come of such a statement. Victor reared back with laughter at the Alpha's words.
[b "Rest assured, your safety is secure. I will have my very best to guard your party. No harm will come to you,"] Victor spoke as he glanced over at his son, [b "...isn't that right, Lucien?"] Of course. It was so very predictable. This had been the reason his father hadn't said anything to him about the incident before. He was going to make him pay for it another way. Now he had been publicly charged with the protection of the mutts worked so hard to combat. It was the ultimate blow to the prince's pride. Even so, the prince opened one eye aimed at his father.
[b "Yes, Father. I will ensure that the Lycans go unharmed,"] He stood and bowed in place to both leaders. [b "Father, may I be excused?"] he asked. He wouldn't send any of the beasts after him if he asked the proper way.
[b "Go in peace, my son,"] Victor replied as Lucien made his way out. [b "In three moons then?"] Victor asked. [b "Time is of the essence after all. If you prefer, we could discuss this between you and me as leaders in a more private setting. I'm fine with either choice."]
Lucien took a long trek unleashing his rage on the forest. He had punched clean holes through nearly every tree his walked by. This absurd ordeal had been confirmed. They were actually going to make him take a pet as a mate. He wasn't just suspicious of the vampire elders anymore. He was skeptical about the wolf side as well. What did anybody really gain from this? There had to be some kind of hidden agendas shared. All of this was still small potatoes. Lucien would have to see that dog multiple times from now on. He would play his part though.
Despite her stoic leave from the encounter, Alabaster found herself shaking. He could have bitten her… he could have ripped her throat out and she’d have gotten herself into the position to do so. Trying to let go of the feeling, she aimlessly wandered a while before finding their small camp set up a few miles away from the Meeting tent. Whispered circled as she entered, walking past their various fellow travelers who muttered as she walked by, she made her way towards the sleeping area of The Hunt.
Several had already gathered there to pile for the daylight hours in their small tent. It felt good to join them. Though as she rested her head on the lap of a sleeping woman, Brom moved closer to her side. The anxiety on his face was something she did not want to deal with at the time, being left tired. [b “It’s bullshit. The vampires offering peace like this. To even suggest a vampire and werewolf coupling is …insane. Are they wanting you both to kill each other?”] He growled, curling next to her as she sighed and shook her head, not wanting to meet his gaze. [b “It stinks. Like an undead trap. The Alpha is no fool, Brom. He’ll say no. I’m sure of it. He has to.”] After the encounter today, she was sure there would be no peace between herself and this Lucien prince. Forced or not.
Brom slid an arm around her middle and breathed gently across her neck. [b “I hope you’re right. I cannot stand the thought of you being the bloodslave mate to some goddamn vampire.”] hatred was rich in those words and it made her smile as she fell asleep in the company of several of her own.
Mortis was seated, as they had been, always early for when the vampires entered. Alabaster had given up on the dress of her formal name and returned to the black garbs of The Hunt. Her face covered save for her gaze. Her father’s disapproval did not lay too heavy on her head as he had not caught her to demand otherwise before it was too late to change. Sitting, as she had the day before, on her knees beside Truse, the vampire kings’ words pierced the air. It sent child through all as silence fell.
Mortis hid his emotions well enough, staring into the flames between them before speaking. [b “This war has claimed many lives on either side of our nations. It has bred nothing but hatred and pain for both our peoples and your suggestion, though absurd, resonates with the same desperation that is felt in the hearts of all of our peoples.”] He started, almost sounding tired as he said so. [b “After much deliberation with the Eldars, it is with grave concern that I must agree with your attempted plan of action.”] Mutterings and raised tones were heard. Growls and hisses from either side as Alabaster’s heart stopped in her chest. She felt her blood drain and went rather cold, willing herself to stay upright and conscious with her heart beating in her ears.
[b “It will take us some time to prepare for any journey to be had. Though I am willing to walk into the halls of the Vampiric lands to meet again and discuss these matters and details further. If you are willing and capable to grant such protection to my party, then we may have a chance with this form of ending. If not, then there is no point in trying to start the affair at all.”] A test is what this was. A test of the strength of the vampire’s command. No one would disobey the Alpha. Not a single wolf would dare attack a vampire under his protection. After the Prince’s …display, it made him wary of the vampire kings’ control.
Lucien fell a blow between his knees that filled him with feelings of great pain and nausea. He fell off to the side with his hands on his crotch. He cursed at a rapid-fire pace in an ancient language. Such words would make a hardened soldier cry. His entire sense of focus and awareness had been disabled by a single blow. Even his vision was blurry when he tried to open find her within his vision.
He could make out the sounds of other Lycan around him, but he couldn't even focus on their words. After a few more minutes the beasts had vanished Belino stood by him. The prince had regained everything he had lost in such a short moment. Needless to say, he was pissed.
[b "I'm gonna kill that fucking dog,"] he growled.
[b "If you were going to do that, you should've killed her long ago, young master,"] Belino replied. [b "Now we are in a time of truce. Should this method of peace fail, then you will have your chance."]
Lucien groaned in pain as he stood using Belino as a rest.
[b "She'll pay for this one way or another. I'll make sure of it,"] the prince swore.
~~~Three Moons Later
Lucien was on time with the rest of the vampires this time. He had spent the past few days in his room to himself like usual. He was in deep meditation over the situation trying to see the real reasoning for making a crappy deal like this. He hoped the Alpha would disagree with this plan, especially now. Having taken their seats, Victor spoke.
[b "Now then, she we once again discuss my proposal? The chances of success are extremely high."] Lucien scoffed at his father with his arms folded and eyes closed. Just seeing that damned mutt would be close to setting him off.
He was good. Almost too good. Alabaster had to remind herself that he had been fighting for a few years longer than herself or he wouldn’t have been hunting her way back when…they were both children. His responses did not make much sense to her at all. Prophecy? Lies? Fighting his own people? It was all so strange, but not completely ignored, despite the way he had taken over their fight.[b “You vampires and your mysterious magic lore bullshit. And you wonder why we can’t stand you bloodsuckers.”] She growled at him, though as he lowered to inches above her face a new realization pulsed through her veins.
His eyes…Mesmerizing orbs met her own. She watched his lips move, catching sight of those fangs and it made something shiver over her entire body. The sword she had stolen…it was so important to him that he hunted her down. That was the only thing precious to him? Would he break the treaty for it? As he loomed over her, she breathed haggardly and found a chill at the thought of his fangs being so very close to her neck. It was the closest she’d ever been to the lips of a vampire….and mixed with those eyes that were rumored to hypnotize others, a sudden knee-jerk reaction had her leg bending to slam her knee between his own. [b “Get off me, you damn…”] She went into wolf speak to throw insults as she pushed him off, hearing a loud command as she turned to attack him again.
[b “ENOUGH! Alabaster, fall in with the others. We will take him back from here.”] Truse was panting, had he come after her? [I ‘shit’] She would hear about this later. It was a dirty move. Four of The Hunt, emerged from the trees, surrounding the Prince and taking hold of him as some were changed and some were not. [b “The Alpha will not be pleased with your appearance. Walk away. We will deliver him as promised and return to our resting camp.”] He was commanding and powerful, fully transformed and bipedal under the light of the full moon…a moon that would be vanishing from the sky soon enough. Sunrise was coming. Alabaster wanted to scoff and defy the orders, but instead nodded and glanced over her shoulder before taking off without a word.
The heiress pulled a few fancy maneuvers on him and managed to flip their positions yet again. She spoke of vengeance being her reason to fight. Again, that was a notion of which he had no luxury aside from a single instance. Her words seemed slightly illogical, but that was only because he knew the truth. The research he had been doing while scouring the castle was starting to pay off.
[b "I fight to LIVE!"] He exclaimed. Though her technique was good, Lucien was no slouch himself. He tucked in his knees quickly to get under her frame and extended to flip her over his head. Afterwards, her locked her in a mounted position with her wrists extended. [b "You ask me why I fight in a war where only elders know its origin! You wanna know why I fight?"] he asked not waiting for a response. He brought his voice low in volume but high in intensity to keep the whispers of the trees quiet.
[b "I wasn't given a choice! My defiance was foretold in the prophecy of blood! I was raised on lies! My life was always at risk in the hands of my own people! So, I became strong and I continue to do so until truth is whole!"]
Lucien lowered his face an inch from hers.
[b "The only person I've ever fought for vengeance is you!"] he hissed low. [b "Not because you're a mutt, the enemy, or any of that shit! But because you took the one thing I have of my mother's from me and defiled it!"]
Didn’t want? Did any of them want to kill the other? Revenge burns in the hearts of every single being of both sides. You kill to revenge those killed. You kill to protect what little is left behind. You kill to not be killed by an avenger or attacker. Alabaster couldn’t help the scoff. But said nothing. It was clear, from his words that he felt himself superior. Maybe he was? Had she lost her touch so much?
The attack had worked a little differently, as she’d landed atop him in his turn, wrestling for control of his arms as she pinned him, the shock soon wore off of him and he pressed to swap them, leaving her stuck under him. His own calm and collected manner seemed to crack. It was an outburst she did not miss, though. Wrapping her legs up and around his own, she pressed forward, jerking to the side to roll them both again. This was her own territory, hands on and dirty. Still, the human form she held was weak. Trained or not, his well-trained and older form would always have the upperhand. [b “Lucky?! If you haven’t had to lose anyone close to you then YOU are the lucky one. You don’t get it. If not for the revenge of those you’ve lost, what the FUCK are you even fighting for?!”]
This time, the growl was louder, and as she wrestled with them, her hands were the first to change. But only from wrist to fingers, trying to gather enough strength to hold him without pressing too far into a wolven form. [b “You want to call me blindly obedient, but at least my drive is my own. You and your kind…killing the helpless. The unarmed. Torturing young pups for sport. Is that what drives you? Some sadistic need to inflict bloodshed?!”] Alabaster managed a grip on his forearms, pressing them above his head as she growled down at him.
It was unclear whether or not Alabaster knew vampires had as extensive as a hear as the dogs. Lucien became aware of the deaths of her family not too long ago. He was told about the raid in which she had lost her family. He found out that he had killed her sister when the higher-ups scrutinized him over leaving the other heiress alive.
[b "I didn't want to kill your sister,"] he spoke firmly. [b "Like I said, you wouldn't understand if I bothered to explain it in the first place."]
Lucien waved his hand at her words concerning their bouts.
[b "Semantic and excuses. You couldn't knock me out or catch me even when you had the clear advantage."] It was true, but that was also due to the fact that Lucien had many special skills that she and the other pers were unaware of.
Then, a sense of danger struck Lucien. He whipped around to look, but he was too late to react. Alabaster had lept and tackled him at a monstrous speed. Lucien ended up pinned after a brief period of rolling from her impact. However, she was still in human form. She wouldn't have the raw power to keep him disabled, so he pushed back enough to flip their positioning.
[b "You are so damn annoying!"] His temper steadily rose over the course of this encounter and now, it was starting to burst. [b "You were lucky to have had and lost! I didn't get the same luxury!"]
Lost on her….the idea of failure? His proclamation of not being able to understand her pain only made her want to rip his head off more than before. How dare he. What an arrogant statement to toss at her so selfishly. Still, she was sure that he had indeed suffered. Most had in this war in some way or another. But that didn’t need to be the focus of this meeting….and there was that line again. It made her growl and mutter under her breath. [b “Sparing one child doesn’t rectify you killing the other child in cold blood, unarmed.”] It was the softest sound of her voice, remembering watching her sister fall dead on that day several years ago now.
The sudden calm that had broken returned quickly, a guise of emotionless stone taking the place of tears and anger and pain as he listed off their recorded meetings. It was clear he had let their last encounter go to his head quite a bit. Still, he had pointed out a fault that she should never have let him see in her to begin with. Tears. Weakness. A member of The Hunt being so vulnerable was disgraceful. Why was he so good at getting under her skin like that? [b “Bested twice, once as a child who should never have stood a chance against a vampire on the hunt. And once...because I let you. How proud you must feel over two encounters such as these.”] She sighed softly, growing tired of his banter.
It was his last comment that made her stare daggers into his back. Her place. Her place was homemaker. Her place was a mate and a mother. Her place was never meant to be a warrior, that was Carnelian’s place. Her place was not to be the heiress to the Alpha. That was Travertine’s role before his death..and then Zircon’s until his passing. Breccia and herself were supposed to be safe….Proud breeders of the Alpha line. This was not her place. This was nowhere near her place and yet there she was. The last of her litter. The final Alpha. The hunter and the heiress. And why? …because goddamn vampire bloodsucking freaks.
In a sudden and quiet movement, with the speed she once boasted over years ago, she was after him in an instant. From ground to air to tackle the vampire prince with a growl, though remaining in her human form, as the treaty called for not killing him. If she landed right, it would topple him over, leading to quite the struggle.
Tears came again. It seemed like the Alpha-heiress was prone to crying easily. She did so most of the time they met each other. [b "I knew it would be lost on you,"] Lucien told her. [b "You won't ever know the depths of my pains."] The prince lived a life he wouldn't wish on anyone. Lucien doesn't even know his mother's face. From the tender age of four, he was bred to be the ultimate warrior among the He never had friends or allies he could call on at the ready. Even his personal guard was just some guys his father picked assuming they were skilled enough to protect the prince in the first place. Each challenge or task he was given was completed with relative ease.
There were never any hiccups in his progression. He did exactly what he was told and never questioned anything. But when he first met Alabaster and she reverted forms, the first of many lies shattered. That's when Lucien's defiance reared its head. [b "I spared you for reasons I don't think I should share with a mutt."]
Alabaster had once again, threatened Lucien, but the prince couldn't help throwing his head back and laughing. What she said had been very amusing. [b "Let us go over the record, shall we?"] he began. [b "We have fought a grand total of three times. Of those, you have been bested twice. If you couldn't beat me before, what makes you think you have a chance in hell against me, pup?"] They still stood so close to each other and Lucien was grinning directly in her face. [b "Besides, you can't even fight your tears let alone me. Unless this is a ploy to try and trick me into killing you so desperately again."] He turned walking away from her waving her off. [b "Know your place."]
Alabaster noted the way he was ignoring her. Like some spoiled brat with their fingers in their ears. Until she mentioned his father, as that seemed to have struck a nerve. His response did make the corner of her mouth raise just a hint as the words had gotten under his skin. Thinking the prince would throw some sort of tantrum and she’d have to drag him back, it was surprising to her as the change of calm seemed to creep over him.
His demeanor made the hairs on her neck stand on end as he approached, his words not making much sense. Still, every time he stepped forward, she stepped back, her back hitting the tree. The foot distance had made her a bit uncomfortable, claws sliding from her fingers without much thought as it was reaction to the sense of danger.
His words did not fall on deaf ears, though she tried to discern what he attempted to gain from them. Reminding her that he spared her twice…why not regret it? It was a failure he could have avoided. Both were. And yet, he’d embraced it? …there was that word again. The word with no answers. [I ‘Why?’] It had plagued her from the start. Those eyes…she’d seen those eyes before, back when he took her hair. Though his words were true to her in ways he could not understand.
It burned with her, and words flew over her lips she did not expect as she closed the gap between them just about, having to look up to meet his gaze. [b “Your failure? I am your great failure?! Whoa be it to the Vampire prince, he let one mutt go and he’s failed us all. At least your failure doesn’t involve more than just yourself. At least your failure did not cause the torture and deaths of your mother and brother. At least you have the chance to correct this great ‘failure’ of yours. Right here. Right now….Bloodsucking freak.”] She growled at him, a sudden urge to slap him arising before she regained herself.
Blinking a couple times…were they tears? She growled again, softly cursing under her breath before shaking her head. A sigh left her lips before she spoke again, more calm and collected. More resigned and stoic. [b “However…Since you don’t wish to correct this great failure of yours, that is, as you say, your choice. For reasons I cannot fathom.”] She did not step down from him, but did cross her arms, watching him prepare to head out before laughing slightly.
[b “Do you honestly believe, vampire, that I would turn my back to you again and walk away and just ‘trust’ that you’ll be right behind me all the way there? Forgive me if I find it hard to trust creatures who have been known not to be so honest in the past. No. I will give you a counter deal. Either you come back with me, or I carry your unconscious body back, over my shoulder like some deer carcass, to plop you right into your father’s lap. Your choice.”] She grew tired of him. He’d broken through her resolve once and that was enough to tell her that he could put her on edge. It was annoying.
Lucien physically waved off most of her words as if he were bypassing them until she got to his father sending her after him.
[b "He did what?!"] he exclaimed before letting out a low growl. [b "Damn that old man. He did that shit on purpose. He knew I would up and walk right out."]
No matter how much he hated his father, he could always anticipate his son. The stunt his father pulled would sow further discord between the prince and the higher-ups of his race. Victor excelled in making his own race look foolish at the expense of his son.
The Alpha-heiress talked about his sparing her in their first encounter as well as his potential ones. His situation wasn't so simple.
[b "Contrary to what you might believe, I've never regretted sparing you the first time,"] he began as slowly approached her. [b "I have my reasons, but I don't feel they should be shared with a dog."] Now he was about a foot from her staring her in the eyes.
[b "Imagine someone like me being considered one of the most prodigious among his race."] His eyes narrowed as if looking through Alabaster. There was no pride behind his words. Only lament could be felt. [b "Who could argue the raw skill and talent? But it's just a curse. They all hope for one failure so they can whine and jeer thinking they're the ones that made me. And my one failure in their eyes..."] He paused focusing his rose visage on her again, [b "...is you...not once, but twice. Killing you could've been the key to our victory and I let it slip twice. Even so, it was my choice and not theirs."]
Lucien turned from her fully buttoning his coat and slipping on his gloves. [b "I'll go back behind you, but not with you,"] he spoke waiting for her to leave.
Jealous? …perhaps he was not wrong. His freedom to express his dislike so irrationally and with such raw power behind it was something she missed being able to do. Sitting there, unseen by him, in the other side of the tree when she wanted nothing to do with him, and why? Consequences. Disobedience would be punished severely by both The Alpha and Truse.
[b “Tricks? I have a few. Though if you're wanting me to shake or roll over that's not exactly the kind we teach anymore. I can see why my obedience to my father might confuse you into thinking I have no will of my own, but I can see that your temper and lack of self discipline have done oh so well for your people. Was it not your father who decided to throw you to the wolves? most literally.”] She could not help the small twinge of a grin as she slowly stood up, dusting herself off before moving around the tree to lean against it, arms crossed. [b “Perhaps he saw how well our people raise our young and decided it might teach you to hold your damn tongue.”]
Alabaster's eyes took in his figure, noting, with some surprise, the scar on his chest which he quickly covered. Shouldn't that have healed by now? Herr thoughts slipped as he mentioned their last encounter. Fists balling at the memory and staying so as he pushed further on the subject of her failures. Head bowing slightly, until he asked her to leave. Taking a breath and releasing the building turmoil, he had accidentally reminded her of her duties, bringing back a calm restraint. [b “If battle scars and old wounds mean ownership then a lot of your people would be not but slaves to mine. But this is neither the time or place to discuss such things. As much as I would like to leave you be, your father has requested that we track you down and return you to the meeting tent. He seemed quite adamant that your own people were not qualified or skilled enough to catch you and put on quite a show in asking my Alpha for assistance.”] She knew that this fact would probably anger him. As she moved from the side of the tree to in front of it, facing him as she stretched.
[b “It must really annoy you. The fact that you should have killed me and did not all those years ago. Then I would not be here for your people to offer you to. I wonder…what failures deemed you no longer worth protecting? Should my Alpha agree to this arrangement, at least I have a reason why.”] Despite her calm outward appearance, Alabaster’s eyes would have betrayed a deep sadness.
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