Creature City

Discussion in 'ROLEPLAY GRAVEYARD' started by Midnightbackup, Nov 17, 2015.

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  1. -In a world where Creatures and Humans are divided, and each have branched off into their own civilizations, a human is found not quite where it should be.-

    (( I hope this kind of works guys, since I literally don't know how to do anything on this site. * flails at keyboard.*))

    When the Creatures of International Rights hold up traffic in protest, a protest against the oppression they face, people start to realize something has to change. When they shout from rooftops with slogans on signs painting a picture of their lives after being affected by the 'normals', people start to listen. When they tell of lives not being valued, a revolution is in motion. As more and more families start to leave their homes in search of peace, the Humans and the Creatures are divided. Years later, in the distant future, a law is put in place to prevent further war and conflict. Creatures have their land, Humans have theirs. Grandparents tell of the conflict and protest, and the younger generation listens.
    #1 Midnightbackup, Nov 17, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2015
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  2. ((oops we didn't establish who'd be in control of the tiny human xD))

    For years, humans and creatures remained in peace on either side of the border splitting their territories. Creatures didn't see humans, and humans didn't see creatures- except for those few that wandered across the border. They were slaughtered, by humans and creatures assigned to patrol the border to ensure such a thing didn't happen. Eventually, the two sides began to forget what the other looked like. The only ones who knew were those who patrolled the borders, and they were a set amount who couldn't tell or document their discoveries to anyone other than their own family, who would later take over the duty. The legends of the war remained, and the struggles they went through, but nobody remembered what the enemy looked like. Until one day, centuries later, when a tiny human, small and curious, managed to slip through...

    Alexis held tight to Jet's hand as they walked. They created quite the contrast; despite both being dark angels, their skin remained at opposite ends of the spectrum, and to anyone who hadn't seen them the contrast would have been amusing.
    Thankfully, where they were there wasn't anyone who hadn't seen them.
    Alexis made sure, despite her adoptive mother's protests, that the both of them knew the majority of the people around. Jet didn't mind so long as she kept her links; if there was one thing she hated, it was being out of the loop. That was one thing she prided herself on. She knew everything about everyone, and got information from inside and outside the border. Alexis was her prized messenger. Fast, swift and stealthy, the two of them would often spy together, or Alexis would head out at night to spy on certain targets. The two of them, currently, were shopping for the week's groceries and a few other things they would need for them and the local families living around them. They supported the few families nearby, who were good friends and associates of Jet's, and the children were all friendly and fun with Alexis. She was never short of playmates- something Jet, as a single mother, was very grateful for. There were many days when she was overburdened with work and spent the day in her office, and she was happy the child couldn't get bored. Days like this were bonding days for the two creatures, where they both could kick back, relax and have a good laugh. Jet could allow herself to be a child again with Alexis, something she hadn't done for many years. Alexis could act like an adult, something she found a strange enjoyment with doing, and it was something that endeared her to the shop assistants and staff.
    Yes, the two of them were well known.
    So when Alexis pulled Jet into an alleyway, to point out a small child in the corner, huddled in the shadows and crying quietly, Jet was surprised to see that it was one she and Alexis didn't know.
  3. (( Ooooooh this just got exciting already! But yah, we totally didn't. Oops! XD ))

    Cullette wrapped her arms around herself, shivering. The night was cold, her breath coming out in puffs of air, her sight aided by the dimly lit street lamps. Clouds shifted overhead, covering the moon and making her walk home seem all the more gloomy. When she heard the soft voice calling for her attention, her mandibles twitched in irritation.
    "Hello darling. " Cullette didn't need to see who it was.
    Minerva's voice was something of a purr, as she laced her arm in Cullette's. The young girl's face twisted in disgust. "You know. It is cruel. What you do. "
    A soft chuckle, and a low buzz filled the air. " They get what they deserve. Boys like that, they got no respect." With the pad of her thumb, she wiped a smudge of crimson from her lips. The shadow wore fishnet stockings, and a small tight-fitting sweater made with six sleeves. "I thought you of all people would understand, Cullette. A spider's got to live. Got to eat. So I don't see the problem in making a little money while I'm at it. " Minerva examined her fingernails, expertly keeping pace with the girl.
    She flashed a glare, walking faster and trying to shake the web-weaver off her. "I have nothing to say to you. Araneae."
    The young spider sported a wounded expression out of her peripheral vision. "Now that hurts. It really does. You and me, we're just the same. Years ago, our ancestors chose the same path. Hell, our own kind even lived together for a while. Nobody goes throwing around those words anymore. " Silence fills the space between them, the hybrid's dismissive irritation directed towards the other rising. "Yet you eat what you eat, and throw your vulgar scent around here as if this place is your home. Don't insult me by trying to persuade we are alike in anyway."
    #3 Midnightbackup, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  4. Alexis was the first to approach the unknown child. She stood directly in front of them, extending a hand covered in skin as black as coal out to them. Jet stood nervously behind. People she didn't know, in her area of the city, filled her with dread. She found out about newcomers and visitors fairly quickly so that was never a problem. But this? This was the first documented case of a child, someone she hadn't received any news of or heard anything about, in years. To say the least, she was apprehensive. But Alexis had been trained to have an excellent judge of character, and Jet relaxed seeing the child apparently willing to help this stranger. The poor thing's clothes were soaked through with mud. Leaves and twigs were tangled in their hair, and they were shivering away in the corner. It seemed horrible to leave the child like that, but first she had to make sure it didn't mean any harm.

    Galzra ran a hand through his hair, walking home. Jet-black reptilian wings fluttered on his back; a matching tail swished back and forth, the arrowhead on the end scraping against the ground. Beside him padded Azur, his batlike wings almost glowing in the fading light. How a demon and a dragon halfling had come to be friends was beyond the pair of them, but neither were going to complain. A red tongue flicked across bloodied teeth as Azur gave his friend a dark smirk, which was returned with an irritated sneer.
    "Y'know, sometimes I really do wonder why you have to feed all the damn time."
    All he got in response was a shrug from the demon beside him. He refolded his collar and straightened his white cravat, cleaning his pale skin properly. "I dunno, how do we stay alive? Sunlight? I'm not a plant, and neither are you."
    "Sometimes I wish you were." Galzra responded. His red eye flashed as he pushed black-rimmed glasses back up his nose, adjusting his guitar on his back. "We wouldn't have to cover your tracks so much."
    Azur simply shrugged. Atop his head, brown catlike ears tilted almost in amusement. "I know a few plant people. Wanna meet a treehugger?" The glare his friend gave him answered his question, and he returned a lazy smirk. "Suit yourself."
  5. "Harsh. " Minerva rubbed a left arm, smiling despite the blunt comment that was delivered a moment ago. "I can tell, you know. Us Araneae, as you call us, are the keepers of secrets. We traded our numbers for intelligence, and our warmth for prediction and knowledge. So tell me," the young spider flashed a mouthful of sharp needle-like teeth. "What exactly are you hiding, wasp?"
    A clicking sound made the spider flinch. The sound of wings locking. A warning.
    Cullette let out a hiss, finally shaking the surprised spider off in a sudden movement. Her walk quickly turned into a run, and she flared her war gland, adrenaline running through her body and she sprinted down the nearest alley.
    Minerva stared blankly ahead, watching the girl run. "Well, shit. " She produced a cigerette with her left hand and lit it with her third. Shoving her hands back into her pockets, she wandered ahead. Lost, but knowing where her home was.
    #5 Midnightbackup, Nov 18, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  6. Azur's ears twitched in the direction of fast-paced footsteps. Galzra turned his attention to his friend's eyes. Gold irises set in black eyes where white should be, the pupils slit like a cat's, stared out curiously at the darkness of a street nearby. The absence of any white in his eyes used to unnerve the dragon, but he'd gotten used to it eventually. However, the curiosity that had settled was completely new. Galzra followed his gaze, and saw a girl running like she was being chased down a darkened alley. Although the light levels were so low it was hard to make out anything other than a shadow, Galzra could have sworn the girl had wings. It would hardly be surprising.
    A simple glance between the two of them made up their mind, and they took off after the girl.
  7. Cullette ran ahead, hearing only her heartbeat as she broke free of the arachnid's grasp and made a wild dart to the left. The sound of footsteps catching up with her were drowned out by her need to get away.The Araneae were a dangerous breed, their kin-scent strong and bold. When she was a child, her nest would often murmur with the talk of their kind, how they tricked and decieved. Hatchlings would whisper tales of kins sacrificing their own to the Araneae in exhange for knowledge during hard times. This particular spider, Minerva, roamed the night in search of confused and guilty souls, taking advantage of their unfortune and making all sorts of wicked deals under the cover of darkness. Yes, her sisters had warned her about their kind. She ran until her throat burned with the cold, stopping only when she got to a closed-off area near the mazes of corners and turns. Only then did she hear the footsteps approaching, pounding on the pavement. No, these were not the footsteps of a spider.
  8. Azur hopped down in front of her, quickly raising his hands. Gold irises glittered with amusement of a casual nature as he moved to the center of the street. Galzra came up behind him, his orange eye glowing faintly to bathe the alleyway in a soft orange glow. He could sense her panic, and gave a reassuring smile, wings folded away and tail twined around his right leg- the sign of the Draconem people that he meant no harm. Azur bowed, his black tux seeming to shimmer in the faint light coming from his friend's eye. His ears twitched in amusement as he observed the girl before him. Galzra rolled his eyes, and with a wave Azur had gone to keep an eye on the alleyway. Galzra turned to the girl and wasted no time in getting straight to the point.
    "Who was chasing you?" he offered. His voice was low; he knew they might be being followed, and didn't want to draw unnecessary attention.
  9. Cullette let out a gasp as a shadow dropped down in front of her, and she stumbled backwards in surprise. When she saw the figure raise his hands, the low hum surrounding her dropped its volume.
    Behind him, an orange glow lit up the alleyway, and as it moved, she realized it was coming from the amber eyes of a fellow hybrid. A Draconem. He twined his arrow-head tail around his leg, wings tucked non-threateningly behind his back. He meant no harm, but as her eyes glided towards his partner, she grew uneasy. His cat-like ears twitched near his head, and with a dismissive wave from his friend, he walked past her to guard the street.
    The question caught her off guard, but she breathed outwards and steadied herself before replying.
    " No one was chasing me. I was running away from-" She paused, unsure if she could trust these two strangers. "A member of the Araneae. They often prowl the streets at night, and I was foolish for thinking I could walk the distance home without protection from my kin."
  10. Galzra raised an eyebrow. "The Araneae? It's odd that one of them would be so far out here..."
    Azur looked over. "Don't they prowl a few streets away normally?"
    Spiky black hair swished about on his head as he nodded his agreement, pushing his glasses a little further up his nose. "Yeah, they do. Although I think Jet was saying something about them starting to move further..." He sighed, and extended his hand. "Sorry you had to get into trouble like that. I'm Galzra, and this is Azur. We're college students."
    Azur bowed deeply. "Apologies for this....unusual meeting. We didn't mean to scare you."
  11. Cullette shook the boys hand, smiling. If one of the spiders had followed her, she definitely wouldn't have been able to fend them off without help. Her eyes scanned over the unlikely pair of friends, before replying gratefully.
    "Thank you. And it's quite alright! Not many people come to help others this part of the city." She looked around, and in reference to Azur's comment, she replied quickly. "The Araneae come closer everyday. Their territory is expanding, although their numbers are just the same." It was a puzzling thought, but not an unlikely feat for the creatures of their kin.
  12. Galzra sighed, running a hand through his hair as he pulled back. His orange eye shut, the glow briefly disappearing, as his red eye looked away. "She won't be happy to hear this..." he muttered.
    Azur nodded. "Yeah, but we gotta tell her." To Cullette, he said "Whereabouts do you live? We'll walk you home, make sure you don't run into any more trouble." He winked. "We've dealt with Araneae before, we can handle them again."
    His raven-haired companion elbowed him lightly with a growl. "He likes to blow stories out of proportion. We've fended off Araneae, so yes we can protect you, but we haven't 'dealt with' them before, contrary to what he'll tell you." He gave her a warm smile, both eyes looking back at her with a friendly warmth to them. "Eitherway, we'll walk you home. It isn't exactly safe in these parts, as you may know." On the way here, he'd noticed that in her panic she'd managed to stumble into the shady area of this town. It had taken all his willpower- and a lot of persuading from Azur- for him to pursue her down here. Even now he was still a bit wary and eager to get out. Even though he could fight, it wasn't exactly something he enjoyed doing.
  13. Minerva had been on her way back to her apartment to deal with a client she'd suddenly remembered she'd kept waiting, but had stopped when she had heard a familiar tune emanating from her pocket, and fished her phone out. "Hello? "
    " Hi Minnie." A sympathetic tone on the other end.
    " Hi Ma." There's a pause on the end and a ruffling sound. She's been crying again.
    " Uh... Everything alright?"
    "Minnie... Your brother. He's... Well. We can't find him. I know you know him best, and I know... It's hard, but can you bring him home? You know what he's like when he gets-" Minerva sighed, lowering her phone so the harsh glare of its light wasn't in her eyes. There's muffled mumbling on the other end.
    "Yeah mom. I'll bring him back. Don't worry, yeah? S'alright. I get it. Okay. Bye." She hears the click on the other end and shoves her phone back into her pocket, thinking about the Vespar girl she'd met and her interesting little secret.

    Cullette nodded, dipping her head. She eyed Azur, smiling before turning to Galzra. He seemed anxious to get out of the alleyway, and she was too. Standing between the two, she led the way home.
    #13 Midnightbackup, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  14. Azur walked a few feet behind the other two as he typed a few digits in on his phone. Galzra remained next to the girl while he made a call to a familiar associate.
    Jet looked up from tending to the small child, and picked her phone up. A familiar rock tune played out, announcing the sounds of one of her favoured clients and close friends. "Yes?"
    "Heya, so we found this girl who ran away from an Araneae, and apparently they're expanding again."
    "They're what?"
    "you heard. They're coming into the shady parts, and over into our town. Thought you should know. We're gonna escort the girl so we'll be home later than scheduled." With that he hung up with a click, and hurried to catch up to the others. With the casual way he walked and conversed with Galzra, it was almost like he hadn't just made an important call and would have to dump a load of information later- and likely go out on another mission.
    #14 Dragon-Zubicu, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  15. Cullette pretended not to listen, an interested hum surrounding her despite this. Who was this mysterious woman the boy was phoning? She bit her lip and tried to further lower her intrigued buzz to a soft drone. They were talking about the Araneae, that was for sure, but for what purposes? They were the dangerous low-lifes of the city, but perhaps they posed some bigger unknown threat too? She listened quietly, until Galzra clicked his phone off. She gave him a questioning look, but decided to say nothing on the subject as they approached her house. "As previously said, I owe my gratitude to you boys. The city is a dangerous place, and it's nice to feel protected in such a place."

    A boot lifted the spider's chin so they met eye to eye. Abner grimaced, slumped against a wall while a dimly lit street lamp flickered overhead. "Talk. " Prompted the man with the threatening weapon.
    "Ha! I thought I was talking plenty." A sharp kick was administered to the ribs, the expensive black boots forming bruises underneath the skin. Abner smiled through a busted lip, taking the kick as if he'd been kissed. He waved a hand through his restraints, snickering. "But I ain't telling you shit about what you want to know."
    The blonde-haired figure frowned, and tightened the cuffs around the spider's arms.
    "Why are the Araneae expanding their borders? " He demanded, knife going to the hybrid's throat.
    The spider changed the subject. "Hey, y'know, what's with the cuffs anyway? This some sort of covert sexual advance? 'Cuz I'd be all for that." He tipped his head back and laughed. "A BDSM fantasy of yours?" He teased, prompting a callused hand to close around his throat in a vice-like grip, lifting the spider off the ground. Abner gasped, feet kicking into the air. Four hands flew to the man's arm, trying to loosen it while the other two dangled by his side.
    Then, with a swift movement, the spider was dropped on his ass again with a thump. "Second thoughts?" Said a hoarse voice, and Abner cocked an eyebrow.
    The man shook his head, narrowing his eyes. "It's not worth it. Talking to scum like you. I'll get someone else to do my fucking dirty work." He spat a cigarette butt out and crushed it with the toe of his boot.
    Abner sighed, leaning his head against the alley and breathing outwards as the man sauntered back down the street from where he came.
    #15 Midnightbackup, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2015
  16. Galzra smiled. "No need for that. You were merely someone in distress, we were obligated to assist you." His expression had become a little knowing, as though he knew she'd been listening in and wanted to know what was going on.
    Azur nodded in agreement, eyes sparkling. "Yeah, we wouldn't want you to get attacked again, y'know? Especially with what those guys can be like. You take care now, y'hear?"

    Jet groaned, slumping down into a chair. Alexis was in the other room, taking care of the small child, who had fallen asleep almost as soon as Jet had picked them up. She had a suspicious feeling about the second small life form now in the house, but didn't question it for now, instead just letting Alexis take care of them. Besides, she had information to process. The Araneae were progressing deeper into the town? She wasn't sure whether she should be concerned or not. For part of it, it was fine; Araneae were still creatures like the rest of them and should be fine. But they had a dangerous reputation. Jet couldn't hide her concerns as to what would happen to her ties should one of them get ahold of any of her sources of information.
  17. Although Cullette had been initially suspicious, wary of the demon and his scaled friend, she had warmed to the two, and thanked them kindly before entering her house with a jangle of keys. Who knew strangers could be so kind? Picking up the post and settling into her arm chair, she sighed softly. What had the web-weaver wanted with her? The way the girl talked as if she knew her gave her an unknown chill. Perhaps she was just trying to weasel something from the fellow hybrid, pick her pockets while they resumed friendly conversation. Cullette the recalled the Araneae saying her name passively, something she'd overlooked before. She knew her kin often exaggerated the powers of the spiders, but if they truly were the keepers of secrets and creatures that could spell out prophecy... She shook the thought away, and opened a letter addressed to her from the nest. Her sisters seemed to be doing well there, and all was momentarily at peace.

    Minerva frowned, running her eyes across cobbled path and closed shops that would be bustling with shoppers when the morning came. She had to work quickly to find her brother, trying to recall where he would go if he was in 'one of those moods'. Sometimes her brother was unpredictable, like an injured animal. Refusing help and hurting himself even further with substance abuse and bad decisions. If only he would let people help! But to do that would be to destroy his pride. Nevertheless, he was always mother's favorite.
    She made a quick turn, and wandered her way down to the gardens a few blocks away. Well, if he wants to be elusive he can goddamn well be elusive for all I care. As if by coincidence, a well-known exhausted voice interrupted her thoughts.
    "Hey sis. " Unable to see where it was coming from, she turned left, then right. "Down here, doofus." She looked down, hair falling down her eyes.
    For a moment she didn't recognize her brother, even though she knew it was his voice that she had heard. He was sitting, limbs splayed and head tipped back against a wall. She narrowed her eyes. Probably high. As she looked closer, however, she noticed the busted lip and the bruises on his jawline.
    "You been in a fucking fight, Ab?" She asked, and cringed at the sound of her voice. Devoid of concern.
    "You could say that." Abner rolled his shoulders, trying to stand up but quickly falling back down again. He pressed a hand to his head and groaned, balling his knees up and resting his head on them.
    "Look, lemme help you." She grasped one of his hands, only to see that his other hand came with it. They were cuffed together! This night just keeps getting weirder. "Who did this to ya, Ab?"
    The spider exhaled slowly. "Some bozo with nice shoes. That's who. Came here asking about... Us, I guess. Wanted to know why we keep moving around so much."
    Minerva sighed, feeling a headache coming on. She decided to ignore the previous statement, determined to reassure her mother. "Let's get you back home, yeah?"
    "Yeah. You gonna help me up or what?"
    #17 Midnightbackup, Nov 20, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  18. Azur turned around, and headed off. "I don't know why you insisted on helping her, Gazz. She's just another hybrid."
    "Might I point out that both you and I are also technically hybrids in the same sense. You're the offspring of a demon who decided to fuck a werecat, and I'm a Draconem. She's like us. And she was threatened, it's kind of our duty." came the response, as Galzra jogged to catch up, spiky black hair waving slightly in the wind.
    A groan slipped past Azur's lips, and he took to the skies, Galzra soon following, and headed home. "If you could refrain from reminding me of my parent's tastes in women, I would appreciate it."
    Galzra grinned, only to be slapped in the face by a furry brown tail before he could make a dirty joke. Instead he laughed, and with a teasing "Butthurt~" fired his way followed his friend back.

    Jet was pouring over documents by the time they arrived. She heard the door downstairs open and shut, quiet words being exchanged with the innkeeper, a grating sound as a hidden panel pulled back to reveal a separate set of stairs, and footsteps walking up them hastily. Finally they came into view, walking in through the door. With a flick of her hand they were pulled forward and sat into seats, a yelp escaping Azur despite the fact this nearly always happened when she was in a rush or panicked, or when they reported with important news like this. She looked up at them, and gestured for them to talk.
    "We don't really know all that much," Galzra admitted, a little sheepishly. "We just know they're expanding, and one wasp hybrid nearly got caught by one earlier. We helped her get home."
    Emerald eyes narrowed at the two. "I've already heard reports of the Araneae getting attacked for their information. I expect you two to follow up these reports. If you find one in trouble, you protect them and guide them like you did your little companion tonight. Once you've done so you report straight back about the incident and any, and I mean any, additional information you might find. Got it?"
    The two could only nod as her magic released them. They let out a simultaneous gasp of relief, and hurried to their rooms.
  19. "Is Ma worried about me or something?"
    Minerva rolled her eyes. "She's always worried about you, Ab." She tried to keep her responses short, playing the disapproving sister. Abner, oblivious, ran his hands through his hair and ghosted them over bruises, eyes flashing slightly in pain. "Does it look bad?" He tilted his head to the side, giving Minerva a look at his dark-ringed eyes and busted lip. She frowned. "Yeah, it does."
    A rift of silence opens between them and they walk home in quiet. "So..." A deep breath. Abner clasps all three sets of his hands together, blinking in the haze of street lamps. "They uh... Evicted me. From my place. Landlord said-" He's cut off as Minerva leans forward, spider-like eyes closing in on him. She stares at him for so long it becomes unnerving. Look at him. His pathetic face.
    Abner sniffs, and steps back slightly. A hand darts out and grabs his jacket, pulling him closer to her. "Hey watch it will ya? This stuff is-" He's running his mouth again, weasling out of a situation with desperate words.
    "Listen you coke-addled fuck-up, I don't know what damage all these drugs did to your goddamn head, but last time I checked you were Ma's favourite. Always have been, always will. And it would destroy her, if you were killed because of some stupid alley knifing. Now I don't know what kind of shady deal you're in, and frankly, I don't want to know. But you've got to..." She clenched her fists. "Straighten up. If not for yourself, then for Ma. Okay? Last time I heard your name it was because somebody was telling me your body was found in a ditch off the coast of Gem Bay." There's venom in her words, and Abner's shoulders slump, expression growing tired.
    "Look, I'm sorry, okay?" Minerva glares at him.
    "I'm sorry I'm a screw-up. I'm sorry I spent my goddamn rent on drugs and the landlord kicked me out." His voice cracks, and his bottom lip trembles. "I'm sorry, Min. For not showing up. For not telling you anything, for not answering your calls, and for worrying Ma so much. And I'm sorry for all the shit that's happened, mostly because of me. I'm just..." The spider takes in a breath, and then spreads his hands in an open gesture. "Sorry." Minerva lets go of him, sending him reeling backwards, and sighs. She wants to believe him. To envelope him in a hug, to tell him it's fine. Things are OK. But they're not.
    #19 Midnightbackup, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2015
  20. He hated doing this, but what choice did he have? Jack stared down at his bloody hands, a piece of hacked-off antler clutched in each grey palm. The knife he’d used was tucked away in its sheath and the bloody stumps of his antlers were covered by a thick crop of dark red curls, but that didn’t lessen the agonizing throb. He was the Chief, a fearsome beast of the streets who played the black market like snakes and ladders, and yet, here he was – reduced to a sobbing mess in a back alley a few streets away from his flat. He couldn’t let anyone find out he did this; as far as anyone (even Arrow) knew, he was a vampire. The only one who knew was his guardian, Kastra – but she couldn’t speak. Not that she would tell if she could; she was bound to Jack and lived to serve him. He turned the pieces of his antlers over between his fingers then threw them into the shadows, washing his hands in a puddle and drying his eyes. Blood leaked from the severed appendages, but he healed fast and didn’t worry about it showing.

    “Evening, Chief,” the bartender of The Dragon’s Head recognised the redheaded young man walking confidently towards him – when he was a gangly teenager, the boy had been an employee of his. He worked for scraps and a place in the storeroom to sleep. Having watched him flourish, he felt oddly proud of how well the young vampire had done for himself.
    “What can I get you, lad?”
    “Nothing, thanks, Sir,” Jack smiled. “I’d better get up to the flat.”
    “You’ve been away a while,” he commented. “What’ve you been up to?”
    Other pub-dwellers listened in, eager to know what the young street rat had been doing to better his ruthless reputation.
    “I couldn’t possibly tell you,” the redhead said dryly. “But I do know this. Those Godforsaken Araneae are on the move again – they’ll swarm around these parts soon enough.” He raised a russet eyebrow and heard the murmurs of those around him at his news. They were dangerous, those creatures. More so than him.
    “Goodnight, Sir,” Jack tilted his head a little in confident respect and tried not to wince as his maimed antlers sent sparks of pain through his temples.

    Above the pub there was a tiny rundown flat, and Jack unlocked the door to it quietly, slipping inside. The whole place was lit only by a fire in the hearth and the moonlight streaming through the large window (he wanted curtains, but couldn’t be bothered to actually get any). Lying on the threadbare rug by the crackling flames was his guardian, the wingless Griffin Kastra. His icy features melted into a smile at the sight of her sprawled in the warmth and the sound of her soft snores. Instinctively he reached up to his neck and touched the golden feather on a chain that kept her close to him even when he was away, and he shrugged out of his thick coat. Wendigos had to wear ridiculous amounts of clothing to keep warm, since they were cold creatures, and Jack rubbed his hands together, deciding to keep his beanie and scarf on until the fire warmed his blood. He padded over, noticing a figure stretched out on the sofa – Arrow. He too was asleep and his phone dangled from one hand, as if he had been waiting for a call. Jack shook him gently with a grey, icy hand.
    “Hey, Arrow,” he said softly as his flatmate began to grumble. Bleary yellow eyes flickered open and focused on the redhead, flooding with warmth at the sight of him.
    “Jack,” he murmured. “I was waiting up for you.”
    “You didn’t have to,” Jack perched on the arm of the sofa and let Arrow take his hand. Arrow’s hands were hot, almost too hot to bear – after all, he was half phoenix.
    “Of course I did,” Arrow responded, kissing each of Jack’s bruised knuckles. “Are you hungry? There’s meat in the fridge.”
    “It’s okay – I already fed.” There was a comfortable silence as Arrow shifted to make room for Jack on the sofa and the Wendigo settled beside him.
    “You were away two weeks this time,” Arrow rubbed circles into Jack’s hand with his thumb.
    “I know. I’m sorry.”
    “It’s all right – I wasn’t accusing you,” the Nix boy rested his head on Jack’s shoulder. “Did you do good?”
    “Of course,” Jack said with a cocky grin, staring into the flames. “They don’t call me the Chief for nothing. Business is booming at the moment – vampires are desperate for humans. They’ll do damn near anything to get at them; which is good, because I can give them what they want. Plus, I’ve got a new supplier – she fixes me up with pixie dust. I have a fair few clients that want the stuff from me, too.”
    “You’re an evil genius,” Arrow sighed, his yellow eyes darting around their tiny, grubby flat. He hated that they had to stoop so low to scrape an existence, though they were doing better than many.
    “I’m not evil,” murmured Jack, turning his head to kiss the Nix’s temple. “I just have a family to take care of.”
    #20 She Wolf, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
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