The Animal In Me

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:40 pm

Lex's silver eyes darted to her hands as she changed her mind regarding which one to use to handle her glass. Odd, remembering that she used her left hand to loose her arrows and to draw her dagger. Why would she be using her off hand in such a simple task? Maybe she blistered it during the fight. Lex thought no more of it and decided to carry on the conversation, until she winced drinking her liquor. Definitely odd... "Yes... i'm not sure where that comes from, really. But it's served me well in the past, as you can tell." He couldn't help but feel a little self-satisfied, knowing that his roar can instill fear in the hearts of others.

"I don't know his reasoning... i'm not him, nor do I wish to be anything like him. But whatever the reason, it's important to him and he's not stopped hunting me. I think i'm the first one of his experiments actually survive. I can't imagine that I was his first attempt, nor will I be his last." Another swig from his glass drained, prompting him to pour some more. Her next question threw him off quite a bit, only because the answer was not an easy one. Again he checked around for eavesdroppers, then leaned in a bit closer to her.

"Sometimes I have... memories, from before I died. I sometimes remember some of his minions, just brief flashes of memory. Mennoix was not my first kill, and he won't be my last." Lex touched their glasses together, causing the material to clink briskly in the soft warm air. "I'm here because I proved to be much stronger than he expected. But I was disoriented, like a drunk stumbling through the night I retreated. But if he has taught me anything, it is that he has no intention of letting me 'live' peacefully. He is going to hunt me down until one of us is destroyed."

"My turn... what happened to you while we were apart? Were you mugged?"

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:41 pm

Liliya had just taken a sip of her drink and nearly choked. She put her hand to her mouth and coughed trying not to laugh. It wasn't hard not to laugh since just from coughing her entire face hurt. Mugged? Did he forget who he was talking to? “Don't be ridiculous. As if I'd let some simpleton get the jump on me.” she scoffed, with a roll of her eyes. She purposefully did not answer his question. It was none of his business where she was the hours they were apart. The deal was for her to get answers, not give them.

“So, this mysterious Doctor brought you back to life for reasons you don't know. You escaped because you were underestimated, and now you're just wandering about looking for people who work for him so you can be free? And you have no memory of really.. anything.. Did I get all that?” Liliya cocked her head to the side, trying to wrap her head around it all. He was dead, but alive, and the man who did that to him was hunting for him. Sending people after him. “How did you die in the first place?” She paused for a second. “If you don't think you're going to be the last... experiment, then why is he still hunting for you? Can't he just make another... you?”

As she sat there, talking to Alexandre, not attacking him, but just conversing with him, she got another chill down her spine. The feeling of being watched again overtook her, and she turned her head looking around the room, studying the faces of the few people that were there. None looked familiar, none made any movements to suggest that they were watching or even listening to the conversation. None of them seemed interested in the pair of them at all, but she still felt like someone was watching them. Liliya straightened her back, her body tensing; she was incredibly uncomfortable.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:41 pm

"I didn't say it was a simpleton. If something like me jumped you for extra cash, it would still be a mugging. But your hang ups are just that. Yours. If you want to put up some front like you can take on the entire world by yourself, then by all means, die trying. But here's a word of advice, whether you want it or not. What happens to you effects more than just you, and if someone actually expresses an interest into something that troubles your life... try not to be so rabid." Lex's words left his mouth as if he had just sucked the poison out of a wound. Her distinct lack of appreciation for the tiniest of gestures was almost insulting. Being what he was, Alexandre learned to appreciate the little things in life, for they were often the most important.

Draining his glass again, he pour himself what would be the final glass of the evening for him. No sense in throwing sobriety to the wind just yet. He wondered if he should even answer her questions at that point, but he decided to humor her for a little while longer. He lifted the glass, looking through it rather than drink from it, gazing at Liliya through the amber liquid as if it offered him some sort of divine sight. "I don't remember... I have random flashes of memory, times before this one. I don't know what I did. I don't know how old I was. I only know my name because the Doctor used it."

Pushing back from the table, Lex slouched in his chair, his eyes still locked on her. She was cold and uncaring, but there was a person there. He'd tried the sympathetic approach and gotten no where. "Can he make another me? I don't know. But that's not in the realm of our agreement. You said you wanted to know what I am. I told you. If you want something more from me, you'll have to give me a reason to tell you."

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:41 pm

“I'm not trying to— I wasn't—“ Liliya frowned, her eyes narrowed. She wasn't being rude intentionally. Niceties of any kind were lost on her, even the smallest ones. Not many hunters were greeted with any kindness, or gratitude for what they did,nor were they the nicest people themselves. Liliya didn't know how to handle it. “I'm not trying to take on the world.” She finally managed. “I... I ran into my—into someone I knew.” She was beginning to get irritated. “We talked, that was it.” And that was a lie. She ran into one of her brothers, and they might have talked, but she also broke his nose. In return he gave her a black eye, a split lip, and almost broke her right wrist. A lesson, he had said, for trying to negotiate with a target. He threatened her. Liliya did not like being threatened.

Again, the hunter turned her gaze on the room. Her paranoia was starting to get to her. Her brother had promised to leave her alone if she swore to take Alexandre out, but she was beginning to think he was still watching them. “I don't have to give you a reason for anything.” Liliya snapped. “I didn't have to take this deal, and if I want information you're going to give it to me. You don't have a choice.” That last sentence was more directed at herself than at him. She didn't have a choice.

So badly did Liliya want to believe she was an honorable person. If she had not run into Niklaus she would have turned her back as Alexandre left, after her curiosity had been satisfied. She would truly have let him go. She always kept her word, but she cold not let Niklaus get to her father. A broken wrist was something she could walk away from, an encounter with her father.. there would be no walking away from that. Slowly, Liliya pushed her chair back and stood up, her left hand gripping the hilt of one of her daggers. She wasn't looking at Alexandre.

“I'm sorry...” she whispered.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:42 pm

"Liar," he spat. Words could wound the heart, the soul, and the spirit. But in his experience, a word never split a person's lip. She was getting defense, that much was clear. Lex grinned internally, for he knew he was finally getting somewhere. She was stammering and back-peddling. Making threats as if he was actually afraid of her. Sure, he had no issue with dying again, but it wasn't high on his priority list. His only goal was to be free of the Doctor. Once that was completed, he would give himself time to find something else to fear. But in the mean time, Lex tilted back in his chair slightly and kept his eyes locked on the woman.

"You're right. You didn't have to make this deal. But you are mistaken, Volkov. I do have a choice. You see, I hold all the cards. If you kill me, you won't get the information you seek. If you take me back to the Doctor, awake or unconscious, you won't get your answers. The only way for you to get what you want is to play by my rules. If you want more information from me, then you'll quit lying. If you don't want to tell me what really happened, fine. I don't have to tell you anything else.

Lex watched her as she stood, his eyes narrow and focused. She was drawing her dagger... not a good sign. Though she did not look at him, anything involving steel would cause problems. If she attacked him, Lex would have to defend himself again. If she attacked someone else, he would have to leave the town before he intended. If she attacked herself, he would always feel a certain amount of guilt. There was no time to think, only to act. His eyes darting to the direction in which Liliya looked, Alexandre picked up the bottle of brandy and kicked the table out toward her. Not hard enough to injure her, by any means, unless it hit her the wrong way, but hopefully enough to distract her. He then stood, poised to move however he needed to move to stop her from doing something foolish.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:56 pm

Because she was holding the dagger in her left hand, she put out her right to stop the table from hitting her. It was a momentary lapse of judgment; as soon as the full weight of the table hit her wrist, she yelped and brought her hand up to her chest. Liliya scowled, but did not move to attack him, she just tightened her grip on the blade in her hand. Her wrist was throbbing, sending jolts of pain shooting up her arm and down her spine. Her emerald hues darted around the room, the patrons were staring now, the barmaid frozen as she wiped off the counter. But she was not interested in any of them, she was interested in the figure she didn't notice before standing in the far corner of the bar. She got furious. Niklaus promised he would leave!

Liliya didn't have time for this.

Not only was her brother standing in the bar watching them, Alexandre was going to refuse to answer her questions unless she told him what happened? What was he playing at? “Why do you even care?” She hissed. “It's none of your concern what I did, or who I talked to!” Liliya glared at Alexandre. This was all his fault. If he hadn't suggested a wager in the first place, she could have just went on and either killed him, or incapacitated him and turned him in for the bounty. It was a mistake to think that for once, she could stray from her path. She was stuck.

The hunter flipped the dagger in her hand, her eyes never leaving the monster in front of her. It was time to shut down, to shut the world out; if she didn't feel anything, she wouldn't feel guilty for breaking her word to him. “We should go outside.” If her tone got an icier Hell would freeze over. “We don't want to bother anyone.” That was what made Liliya a lethal hunter. Since she was female her training was harder growing up, and she learned how to mentally block any—and every—thing that could potentially distract her from getting the job done.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:57 pm

As the table slammed into Liliya's wrist, Lex took a step back, watching the woman carefully. Still she was defensive, with her dagger drawn in her off hand and looking very angry. She glanced at the door, just as another left in haste. Lex could only assume that was the figure she'd been watching for. Perhaps he was another from her wanted posters. Alexandre didn't care if he cost her another score; it was clear to him that this woman wanted nothing to do with allies, or even acquaintances. It was painfully obvious that she had decided to close herself off a long time ago. He felt sorry for her. Choosing a life of solitude was one thing, but isolating oneself with violence was another.

"Why do I care," he retorted disdainfully. "You have got to be the THICKEST person I have ever encountered! Too stubborn and too stupid to realize that someone might actually just want to pay you a kind word or gesture for no reason. If you want to go outside and finish this, so be it! I'll put you down just like those who came before you." Spitting at the woman's feet, Lex turned and stalked toward the door, completely aware of the fact that he had turned his back to a cold-blooded assassin. His anger was high; he could feel his body vibrating with fury. Once their fight began, he would not stop until she was a blood stain on the ground. He announced loudly before hitting the door, "Your secret's out now anyway. Kill me or no, you are ruined."

Suddenly Alexandre braced himself against the door frame, holding his forehead and gritting his teeth in pain, as if something had bludgeoned him. Though it lasted only a moment, a flood of memory washed over the monster like a wave of thick mud. The pain was intense, but he shoved it aside and took another step, then another, and another. He didn't care if Liliya was charging behind him, or even moving. One way or another, their spat was about to be resolved. With blood, and steel, and hate, there would be silence to follow.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:58 pm

“There is always a reason.” Liliya walked slowly towards the door, her voice calm, but empty and cold. “No one is kind just to be kind. Always there is a motive behind it. You are the one too stupid to realize it. You're naive. You're holding onto the notion that you can be free.” She paused behind him at the door, making no move to attack him. She did not stab a man in the back. “Even if you manage to kill me, you will never be free.” Turning to the barmaid she spoke again, “Lock up and go home. Don't go outside once you're there. You will not want to be out tonight.”

Liliya stood outside of the Tavern, a blade in her left and now her right hand. Her wrist ached, sending little shock waves of pain through her body, but she ignored it. She didn't have the luxury of being distracted by something as little as a hurt wrist. This would usually be the point when she'd draw her bow, but Niklaus had taken it from her. More punishment, he'd told her. She would have to take Alexandre down with her daggers or her fists.

It was lucky that the Tavern they had been at the edge of the town, otherwise there would have been the problem of keeping innocent civilians out of harms way. “You should make peace with whatever demons haunt you. I doubt you'll get a second chance.” Liliya shifted her body into a defensive position, bringing her hands up by her face, like she was getting ready for a fist fight. “I am truly regretful that it had to tun out this way.” Her expression was blank, just like her eyes. Shutting down was getting easier every time she was forced to do it.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:59 pm

Stepping into the street, Lex took about fifteen paces then turned around to face Liliya, a look of anger and disgust chiseled into his face. He found more and more that this woman was less human than he, and it enraged him to no end. His eyes flashed angrily at her, locking on and keep her in the center of his vision. Lex drew his large sword and held it in one hand while the other hung loosely at his size. He didn't notice the passersby scurrying into shops and homes back toward the center of town. He waited, carefully contemplating the situation as much as one could when one's vision was colored red.

"What's the life of one hunter worth? No, I won't benefit from your death. I'll only sleep a little better knowing that I killed a mannequin. You're nothing more than a puppet. You call me naive, yet you seem to assume that you know enough to kill me. You have no idea what evils exist in this world. You regret nothing, liar. Do not speak to me of regret. I doubt you know the true meaning of that word. It's just something you say to people so you don't feel like a monster."

A roll of thunder echoed overhead and the wind picked up a bit. A storm was coming to join them in their clash. Digging his sword into the dirt, Alexandre removed his cloak and his shirt, not willing to give the woman anything she could cling to. He, too, would suffer his secret lost in that town, for the way he fought would certainly reveal him not to be human. His deep scarring was displayed clearly, including the hideous vertical scar that ran the length of his torso. Some scars looked fresh, while others appeared to be older. All looked to have been cauterized, and some still had some stitching visible.

Lex lifted his sword again, pointing the top tip at Liliya as a flash of lightning lit up the sky. "I feel sorry for you, Volkov. All the time I've been running and fighting for my life is nothing compared to the time you've been running from yourself. My demons I can kill. Yours have no life to take. You are nothing more than a tool, and that is all you will ever be. Come. Come face your quarry, and die knowing that you failed."

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:59 pm

“I do regret things, monster.” Liliya crouched, her eyes slightly narrowed. “There were unavoidable circumstances.” She could have given him more information, she could have tried to explain, but her fate was sealed. She was a hunter, he was a target; this was how it had to be. There could be no negotiating, or deals, she should have realized that before it got to this. Although, Alexandre might have been right, Liliya was a puppet. It wouldn't be far fetched to call her soulless, but that was the point wasn't it? If someone were to compare hunters and the hunted, they would see the same thing. The point of it all was what? To die catching a target, or become a target and be killed by another hunter. A vicious circle. If she could help it, Liliya would like to make Alexandre her last catch as a Hunter, because as he pointed out, her secret was out there. She would become hunted.

A deep breath in, a slow release. It was time.

The hunter flipped the dagger in her hand one last time, before she flicked her wrist sending the blade shooting straight at his chest. She was anticipating him to dodge, so she grabbed another so both her hands had a blade once again. Liliya was not so amateurish that she would rush him, especially not with that sword, and knowing now what he truly was. He may have been hiding his strength, or just caught by surprise at her arrows. She had no advantage now, as before. This was the true test. Who would win, and who would die?

“Come, monster.” She murmured, the wind making her words inaudible. “I am ready.” Another flash of lightning streaked the sky, the clouds opening up as a few drops of rain began falling from the sky.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:59 pm

"There is always a way out, Hunter. I have found it. If you can't, you are blind. Every being has a choice. You choose to dual me, injured, against a stronger opponent who caries a larger weapon. You are choosing death." As angry as he was, Lex could not help but plead with the girl to spare her own life. She was throwing away so much, totally unaware of what future she may have. There was more to life than death. Surely she could see that. Perhaps he could still convince her stop, to coax her into a peaceful resolution.

As the dagger came flipping at him, Lex brought his sword down and deflected the blade and charged forward, intent on closing the distance between them as quickly as possible. Every step was strong and heavy, his feet churning up the dirt underneath him. He sprang into the air, rebelling against gravity and the droplets of water that were beginning to fall from the sky. Bringing his sword down, just as he had during their last fight, only this time his aim was slightly off. The strike would be relatively easy to avoid, but that was the point, to force her to roll to the right where his fist was ready to hook in and catch her jaw. Whether it did or not was up to her, but her survival was preferable.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:00 pm

“I never had a choice.” Liliya retorted, her body tensing, readying for his attack. “Death is my way out. You don't know them. They will do worse things than kill me, if I allow you to leave. There is only one path for me and I am on it.” If she could have chosen any other way to get out of maiming him, she would have. He didn't know her family, he didn't know the torture, the pain, and how long they would drag it out. He only knew his Doctor, what pain that mad man could inflict. Liliya was more terrified of her father, than Death, and if given the choice she would welcome the latter with open arms and a smile on her face.

His attack forced her to move to the right, but she foresaw another attack, and dropped to the ground, his fist brushing so close to her face that she felt a breeze on her cheek. Rolling backwards, she landed with one hand on the ground. Grabbing a handful of mud, she threw it at his eyes, hoping to distract him enough so she could create some distance between the two of them. Leaping back she threw her second dagger at him, twisting around and jumping up into the nearest tree. The branches were low enough for her to grab onto, and she threw herself up and into the leaves. Her wrist screamed at her to stop, but she couldn't. There was only one ending to this fight and it would not be a happy one.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:00 pm

Lex didn't expect the woman to dodge his second attack, and he would have been impressed if they were not locked in combat. His little finger tipped the fabric on her cloak; it was a close call for her. Had he connected, she might have found herself flat on the ground. But her skills as a hunter and assassin were showing through as she grabbed hold of some soaked earth and hurled it into his eyes. So distracted was he my the maneuver that he could not properly defend himself against her attack.

Though he knew the dagger was coming, Lex could not determine which way to dodge. He tried ducking underneath the dagger, anticipating a shot at his head, but he was too slow. The dagger buried itself in his abdomen, lodged firmly above his naval. Roaring loudly in pain, Lex left the knife where it was, choosing instead to wipe the mud from his eyes. The weapon would hopefully slow the bleeding, but it was a gamble. Liliya was a crafty opponent, and might get the idea to use the blade to her advantage. It was a risk he was willing to take.

Liliya was in a tree when he regained his vision, but seemed to be moving slowly, still favoring her right arm. Without hesitation, Lex charged the tree and delivered a might chop, cutting a large chunk of the trunk away and causing it to waver precariously and violently. His hope was to dislodge the girl, and to end the fight as she fell. But just for good measure, he lifted the hunk of tree in his left hand and lobbed it at the girl. Let's voice erupted again as he hurled the makeshift missile. He wanted to end the fight quickly, and it showed in his voice.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:01 pm

Perched in the tree with the rain shifting and moving the leaves, her vision was obscured. A small smirk formed on her lips when she heard his roar of rage and pain. Good, she hit him. It was a chancy throw, but the mud obviously did it's job. Partially hidden in the darkness by the leaves, Liliya moved to lower branches to be able to see him better. The dagger was just above his belly button, if she could get close enough, and if she were fast enough, she could either slam it in deeper, or yank it out and stab him again, before moving away. She had to admit, he was incredibly resilient. And quite determined to rip her head off it seemed.

As she ran options of her next move through her mind Lex moved and gouged a chunk out of the tree. She was not expecting that. The tree jerked underneath her, and with the branches becoming quickly soaked by the falling droplets of water, she did not have a firm enough grip on the branch to stay there. Liliya slipped, but managed to grab a branch as she fell, but with her right hand. An excruciating pain shot up her arm, and out of pain reflex she let go, and allowed herself to fall. What she did not anticipate was the chunk of tree to come flying at her. Because she was free falling she did not have any way to dodge and just tensed herself for the blow.

The large piece of wood hit her in the chest, and sent her flying backwards. Her back slammed against the tree causing it to become even more unstable; the trunk, as compromised as it was, cracked and fell. Liliya only had a second, but she rolled out of the path of the falling tree just in time, and another branch slammed into her stomach knocking the wind out of her. Gasping, she weakly shoved the branch off of her, turning to locate Alexandre in the darkness. He was closer than she liked him to be, and she only had one more dagger. Liliya moved to stand, but an unexpected pain sent shock waves through her body and she crumpled to her knees. He was definitely stronger than he looked. Liliya struggled to breathe, pushing herself back and away from him, pulling her last weapon out of it's sheath. Her right arm was completely useless; her attempt to save herself with the branch had caused the bones in her wrist to dislocate and she didn't have the time to fix it.

This was it. She had one more shot at completely disarming him. If she failed, she would die.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:02 pm

With a sickening thud, Liliya's body collided with the tree, her vector redirected when the chunk of hurled tree struck her in the chest. The tree itself had fallen and his opponent was all but crippled. The way her hand hung off the end of her arm suggested a break or dislocation, and the force with which the bit of wood slammed into her must surely have cracked a rib or two. Though victory was within his grasp, almost literally, Lex felt no satisfaction in her defeat. In fact, as she laid there he could not help but feel some measure of guilt. Sure she was a ruthless, cold-hearted assassin. But everyone's lot in life was different. People could choose to change, even if it was nearly impossible. She hunted because she had to and because she was good at it. Perhaps she enjoyed it, but he doubted it. It was something he saw in her eyes that told him she was not as cruel as she made herself out to be. She had sealed her own fate, but it didn't mean she needed

Still brandishing a dagger in her left hand, Alexandre narrowed his eyes and stalked toward her. Liliya couldn't hardly stand, much less defend herself. But even a snake could bite after its head had been severed. He would not be reckless. Lifting his right leg slightly, he swiftly kicked forward to pin her hand underneath his boot. Lex didn't want to give her an opportunity to regain the upper hand, so he sought to squash any chance of that. With his left hand, the dagger still protruding from his abdomen, he swiped at her face, hoping to knock the woman out. He'd killed before, but every death haunted him. It was the eyes... those vibrant orbs of life. He remembered them all. The colors. The size of the pupils. The way they frantically darted all around as they realized in horror that their lives were about to end. The way they dulled and glazed over as their breath left their bodies.

'Not this time... your eyes will not haunt me...'
he thought silently, though his own eyes expressed the very emotions he feared seeing in hers.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:03 pm

Liliya stared at Alexandre, the look in her bright eyes was daring and defiant. She wasn't scared, and she wasn't going to beg for her life. She turned her hues to the dagger in her hand and frowned. There was a slight chance that she'd be able to at least distract the monster with it and run. Not very far, but it would be something to show that she wanted to continue on living. Yet, she wasn't sure that's what she wanted. Liliya was tired of running, and she was in a lot of pain. Maybe it would be better if she allowed him to just end her. With one last glance at Alexandre she turned her face to the sky. She could hear his footfalls on the ground and knew he was going to kill her; she felt... relieved.

It was a shame the storm clouds covered the sky, Liliya would have loved to see the moon one last time. It was so bright and beautiful; oh well, it might have been better that way. If she saw the beauty of the moon she might have changed her mind. “Will anyone mourn for me?” She whispered at the clouds, not meaning to actually speak out-loud. Her father and Niklaus would not mourn her, but maybe Elijah, Niklaus' twin, would. Where Niklaus was cold and cruel, Elijah was warm and kind. Would he even find out that she had passed? Liliya closed her eyes, and coughed, her chest feeling like it was caving in. Soon, there would be no more pain.

Alexandre was looming over her now, and he pushed his foot down on her left hand to keep her dagger still. A numbing pain rolled up her arm; it was just about over, wasn't it? If Death could take her pain, her sorrow, and the forever aching loneliness, then why not just let him have her? Liliya shifted her gaze to the monster, and the corners of her lips twitched upwards into a sad smile.“You win..” she murmured. The blow to the side of her head knocked her out cold; her body slumping motionlessly to the side. The jarring hit allowed one single tear to roll down her cheek, blending with the rain.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:04 pm

"You win..." she mumbled just before his hand struck her cheek, sending her slumping to the side completely unconscious. As he stood over her, unaware of the tear that disappeared amidst the droplets of rain, Alexandre could not help but feel sorry for the girl. She fought bravely, despite the odds, and in the end she proved that she wanted to live. Despite his victory, Lex very much felt like the defeated in that moment. No one emerged from their homes or shops to come to her aid. No one came to see if she was alright. The entire town allowed their fear to override their compassion, one of the very few traits that Lex felt to be a redeeming quality in mankind.

Staring at the crumpled body, a flash of memory returned to the monster. It came and went like a bolt of lightning, but the image burned into his brain as a brand would be forever remembered by the skin on which it rested. He saw his own body after he was awakened from his supposed eternal slumber. Lex remembered how he wished there had been someone to help him then, and realized that he could not leave her to die as she was. It was then that Alexandre d'Fluer made one of the most important decisions of his afterlife. After sliding her dagger into his belt, the other still resting in his chest, the monster lifted the woman off the soaked earth and trudged away from the battle site, seeking private refuge from the storm.

The inn was out of the question. There would be no public place in town that he could hide. Surely word of his true form would have spread by that point, so he did the next best thing. Many shops had already closed down for the night, their owners having retreated to their living spaces to ride out the rainfall. This allowed for a few options. Alexandre chose a familiar place of business: the town apothecary's shop. In life he was an herbalist, and knew the plants that he would need to assist her healing. Of course, they were of no use to him anymore. Only fire could treat his injuries by that point. Lex carried Liliya down the stairs into the basement and carefully laid her against a support beam.

After a few minutes of searching, the monster-man had the proper herbs to lessen her recovery time. Thankfully she'd sustained no life-threatening injuries, but they would be quite painful and possibly heal incorrectly without proper treatment. He first treated her wrist by applying a numbing salve to her skin, then resetting the bones and wrapping her wrist in a split to keep it still. Her fingers were receiving blood still, so he did not worry about dying flesh. The challenge, however, was the damage to her torso. Not did the position of the wound cause modesty troubles, but broken ribs could not be healed except by time and care.

Alexandre untied the bindings that held her armor in place, then carefully lifted her blouse high enough to see the broken bones clearly. 'Only two... God is with her... he mumbled almost inaudibly. There was quite a bit of bruising, but he could hear no moisture in her breath. Applying another ointment to reduce the inflammation and another to take away some of the pain, Lex took some clean bandaging and bound most of her chest within it. Even if she was asleep, the reanimated man could not help but feel slightly embarrassed by the situation. If she knew he'd not only cared for her wounds but had seen her in such a state, she would be angrier than the Devil himself.

Almost half an hour had passed since their fight. Lex wondered how Liliya would act when she woke as he sealed the wound in his chest. The hiss and odor of burning flesh filled the air, forcing him to grit his teeth to keep himself from crying out. He'd burned himself many times in life, but nothing hurt worse than heat in his afterlife. He shook his head and focused again on the future. Would she be grateful? Angry? Enraged? Regretful? There was no way to know, honestly. But he would not stick around to find out. Lex tried his best to redress her to maintain her modesty, then donned his own cloak and slipped back out into the rain. Perhaps he had just sealed his own fate, but at least his conscience would be clear.

"I hope that posterity will judge me kindly, not only as to the things which I have explained, but also to those which I have intentionally omitted so as to leave to others the pleasure of discovery."

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:05 pm

A cool breeze wafted across Liliya's damp skin, making a shiver roll down her spine. She groaned in protest, as the cold air was pulling her out of unconsciousness, and she wanted to stay in the unfeeling blackness. It was peaceful there. Unfortunately she was awake enough now to feel; forcing her tired eyes open she looked around the dark room she was in. Her vision was blurry, and it didn't help that her head was pounding like someone had beat her over the head. Wait...

Liliya was fully awake in seconds, and she sat up abruptly, which was a mistake. All the air left her lungs and pain from her ribs exploded through her torso and up her back. It took her a moment for the room around her to stop spinning, and when it did she saw where she was. In a shops basement. Who brought her there? Had someone interfered and stopped Alexandre from finishing the job? No, if that had happened, in that state, all he would need to do was look at whomever tried to jump in, and more than likely the person would flee. So, then, how? Unless.. a thought struck her, and it made her frown deeply. Did he take pity on her and let her live? Her eyes narrowed dangerously; pushing herself to her feet she needed to lean on the basements support beam to keep herself upright.

As much as she was hurting, it was a lot less that what she expected. A quick examination of her injuries told her why. Someone tended to her wounds. Since she knew how most normal people thought, there was only one person who could have or would have done that. But why would he threaten her, and fight like that only to patch her up? It didn't make any sense. Sighing angrily, she started towards the stairs out of the room, when she suddenly stopped, a thought popping into her mind. A bright red hue tinged her cheeks. Feeling her ribs she groaned, the redness in her cheeks growing brighter. There was no way in Hell she was letting this slide. First he spared her because he felt sorry for her, then to add insult to injury he helped her, and in doing so.. she shook her head, not wanting to dwell on what he may or may not have seen.

Liliya managed to make her way out of the basement, taking the stairs rather slowly. Upon exiting the building she felt that it was still raining. Good, maybe the rainwater would clean some of the mud caked onto her clothes, hair and skin. The huntress wasn't overly vain, given that she'd hidden her appearance to everyone she'd ever met for so many years, but she felt incredibly sticky and she didn't like it at all. But that was not her objective at that moment. Her goal was to find Alexandre, and even though he helped her and spared her life, she felt the need to gouge his eyes out. Mostly out of embarrassment. The only thing now was to figure out which way he had gone; the sole fact that his secret had been discovered, led her to believe that he was leaving the town. In that case, she would follow him, find him, and promptly rip out his peeping eyes.

“Little Volkov bitch.” The woman was so focused on finding the monster that she did not hear footsteps closing in on her, and when a voice spoke from just behind her, she jumped. The huntress whirled around, her eyes wide with surprise. “We heard of a woman trying to pass off as a Hunter.. didn't believe it until now.”

Liliya scowled. Of all times, a hunter with his ego bruised had to find her? “I'm busy. Find someone else to blame for your lack of skills.” She snapped, straightening. No way would she allow anyone to see her hurt like this.

“Oh, are you going hunting?” The man laughed, and it was in that moment that Liliya felt the presence of at least four more men. All surrounding her. She was without any means of defense. If they were going to attack her, she was going to have to fight hand to hand. Under normal circumstances it wouldn't be too big of a deal, but she had broken ribs and a wrist currently out of commission.

“I do a better job than you.” Liliya assessed the man and smirked. “I can tell that much by your lack of decent weaponry.” Yes, she was egging them on, but she needed this to get over with quickly. She had other business to attend to.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:07 pm

Alexandre left the store in no particular hurry. He was not quite sure why he was dragging his feet;logically speaking he should have beat a speedy retreat as soon as possible. Further still, he should not have spared the life of a Hunter who seemed keenly determined to cut short the rest of his after-existence. Why had he saved her? What gain or profit was there in sparing a woman hell bent on bis demise? Logic had given was to compassion and a yearning for companionship, even if he found it in a psychotic overzealous Hunter with a borderline obsession with knives. Let began to realize that, even though she had just tried to kill them for the second time since their meeting, Liliya was the first person to actually speak with him on more than one occasion.

Ideas began to creep into his mind, slowly worming their way into his conscience. If she was caught in the cellar, she would likely be arrested for burglary. If she went with them, she would end up in jail or worse. If she resisted, then no one would have a good day. He was no physician either. Suppose she contacted an infection, or became ill from exhaustion. How would he feel knowing that she could be slowly dying a painful death which he could have avoided by simply observing her symptoms. Perhaps she would even be grateful for saving her life and finally agree to pursue him no longer.

Doubtful, but possible.

Deciding again to throw away logic and simple reason, Lex turned around and started back toward the apothecary. With any luck, Volkov would still be in the cellar, passed out but resting comfortably. He had just barely cleared the town borders on his trip out, so he arrived quickly and made way for the store. It was his ears that halted him in his tracks as they picked up the familiar sounds of unsavory characters. From what he could tell at that range, they had narrowed in on their prey and we're ready to pounce. If it was one thing that Lex detested in the world, it was disregard for humanity.

Creeping forward in the shadow of a tall building, with no moonlight to give away his presence, Lex approached the scene cautiously, only to find that the situation was worse than he had assumed. Liliya herself stood alone, surrounded by four brigands, each one undoubtedly dreaming up the more hideous of crimes one could commit. Unacceptable. There was no excuse for such behavior, and Lex meant to show them exactly that. They would soon know that there were monsters out that night.

The four men closed in around Liliya, eyeing her like hungry wolves. Their intentions were clear to anyone who saw them, but like most other villages, the residents turned a blind eye to the atrocities that were developing on their streets. With no constable to arrest them, they were free to roam the streets for the next victim. "Oh don't worry your pretty little head, Volkov. We're going to keep you nice and warm tonight. It's going to be fun... for us!" Lex drew his sword, ready to cleave the closest villain but waiting for the right moment. Even against four, timing was paramount.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:09 pm

Liliya frowned hearing one of the other Hunters mention keeping her warm. The meaning was lost on her for a moment, then it sank in and she visibly paled, her eyes widening a fraction. The man that was in front of her saw her reaction and he smirked. “You're still innocent?” He chuckled. “This is going to be more fun than I thought.” He shifted on his feet, then charged her.

As much as Liliya wanted to flee, she couldn't. She would not back down from a fight, and even though fear was pulsing through her with every beat of her pounding heart, in order to do what they threatened they had to catch her first. When the hunter got close, she twisted out of his way, raised her left foot and kicked him square in the spine. He stumbled and fell, growling in irritation. The hunter to her right lunged at her, but she saw him move from the corner of her eye, and trying to move as little as possible as to not increase her injuries she leapt into the air, back flipping over him. As soon as her feet touched the ground she threw herself at his back. Latching her legs around his waist, she placed her left hand on his forehead, her right on his chin. With a quick jerking motion and a loud crack, she broke his neck, dropping off of him as he slumped to the ground.

Liliya's wrist twinged, but she ignored it. One down three to go. Whirling around to face the other Hunters she ran straight into the first one. He grabbed her injured wrist and squeezed making her yelp, his free hand wrapping around her waist, yanking her towards him. Blinded by fear, Liliya head butted him, bringing her forehead down, hard, on the bridge of his nose. She felt—and heard—his nose break, and he let her go. Enraged the hunter backhanded her. It wasn't a particularly hard blow, but her head was still spinning from her assault and she stumbled. The last two Hunters took advantage of this and each grabbed one of her arms forcing her down to her knees.

The hunter with the broken nose approached and leaned down so his face was level with hers, grabbing her chin roughly he turned her face to him, his next words dripping with malice. “I will enjoy tearing the innocence from you. I can not wait to make you scream.”

Liliya widened her eyes, fear paralyzing her. The hunter pulled a long thin blade from his belt and cut the clasp on her cloak; the fabric fell to the ground around her. Liliya realized she was trembling, and so desperately did she want it to be from the cold rain, but she knew it was fear that was making her quake. This was a new kind of fear for her, one she did not know how to handle. Moisture brimmed her eye lids as she stared, frozen, at the hunter before her. There was no getting out of this one, there was no one to save her. This was a fate worse than death, and she wished that Alexandre had killed her. She would rather be dead than have to face this horror.

The man before her began cutting through the bindings on her armor, snapping her out of her terrified silence. “No,” she breathed, her chest constricting tightly. “No!” She jerked backwards feeling her tears falling down her pale cheeks.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:10 pm

'Not yet...' he thought to himself, watching the scene unfold before him with careful consideration. Liliya was fighting back, and doing quite well considering her injuries. Perhaps her wounds were not as bad as he suspected. One brigand slumped into the mud, dead from a broken neck, his body flat against the ground and his head twisted into an unnatural angle. Another suffered a broken nose. It became clear that he considered himself above the rest, for they held her bound while the third began to undress her with his dagger.

There, on top of the building, sat the black wolf of red eyes, watching Liliya carefully, it's eyes like glowing rubies in the darkness. The ruffians did not seem to notice it, despite the fact that the eyes were clearly visible, almost begging Liliya to look at them, to notice it was there.

That was all the prompting that Lex needed. Darting from the shadows, the monster ran straight at the group with his sword raised high above his head. With a mighty heave, he chucked the blade into the small crowd, burying the weapon to it's hilt in one bandit. His grip on Liliya's right arm was wrenched free as he fell several feet away, falling dead against the side of a building. While confusion and chaos dominated their senses, Lex took advantage of the situation by shoving past the assumed leader and wrapped fingers around the face of the man who held Volkov's left arm, who had been staring back at his cohort's body and was unaware of the fact that a monster was headed straight for him.

With a squeeze of his hand, Lex's claws dug into the man's head as his screams rang out through the night like the cry of a crow. A quick pull silenced the screaming as the head was separated from the brigand's neck. In death his fingers lingered on the Hunter's wrist, but they dangled their precariously, like the last bit of frost clinging to a blade of grass as the sun threatened to melt it away. Though the entire action only took a few seconds, Lex chose not to linger, darting back into the cover of shadows to watch what happened next. He had no doubt that Liliya could take care of the remaining criminal and he wanted her to do just that, figuring that she would already resent him for stepping in.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:12 pm

Liliya stared with wide eyes as it seemed that the two men holding her had met untimely deaths. The hunter who stood before her, had a look of utter horror and confusion, his eyes darting to Liliya as if she had anything to do with it. Now free, Liliya pushed herself to her feet, her whole body still shaking; turning her attention on the man in front of her, she cocked her head to the left, her tangled red hair falling in her eyes. Slowly, the woman knelt down and pulled a knife from the dead mans belt, the sickening body not affecting her in the slightest. The male stumbled back away from her as she straightened, her silence eerie. Not seeming to care about his companions the hunter turned and started to run.

Liliya followed him, not running, but walking, flipping the dagger in her hand. She waited until he was a good distance away before she threw the blade. It sliced through the air and struck the man at the base of his spine, severing the nerves that allowed him to move his legs. He collapsed to the ground, using his arms trying to crawl away desperately from Liliya. As the woman caught up to him, she nonchalantly yanked the blade out of his spine, and he yelled out, fear evident in his voice.

Liliya knelt before him, turning the weapon over in her hand, her eyes focused on the blood clinging to it. Her emerald gaze flicked to the man for a second, then back at the blade. “You know,” she murmured softly, venom dripping from her words, “I think I am the one who is having all the fun.” With her right hand she grabbed the hunters hair and yanked his head up, exposing his neck. “Try to scream. I want to hear your voice fade to nothing, as your life leaves you.” She knew she was being unnecessarily cruel, but she had been on the verge of being violated by this man and his friends; he deserved no mercy and no kindness. If he had no problem going after her like that who knew how many other women there were.

“Please..” the man begged, but Liliya ignored him and slit his throat, blood splashing across her emotionless face.

The huntress let go of his head, dropped the blade and stood up. Now that everything seemed like it was over, a barrage of feelings began to overwhelm her. She started walking back toward where her cloak lay abandoned but she didn't quite make it that far. Her knees gave out and she folded into the mud, leaning on her hands, her chest heaving. Relief crashed over her, followed quickly by a sliver of residual fear, and then an almost blinding anger. As she sat there, letting the rain fall over her, the adrenaline rushing through her body faded and pain pulsated through her. Her wrist was burning, and it pained her to breathe, even the tiniest of breaths.

“Alexandre.” She wheezed sitting back on her heels. “I know you're watching.” her eyes were narrowed, their bright emerald hue shining against the crimson liquid clinging to her skin. “I think there are some things we need to discuss.” Liliya was unsure if she wanted to rip out his eyes, punch him in the face, or, and this was very far down the list, she wasn't sure if she should hug him. He had saved not only her life, but her innocence. Now what she had to figure out was how she was going to repay him.

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:14 pm

Lex watched Liliya dispatch the last Hunter with curiosity and intrigue. She was displaying a very dark side of her personality, one the monster had suspected was present but had never truly seen it in action. The way she ended the life of the lead Hunter was a tribute of her fear and loathing. The expression on her face was callous and uncaring, though he did not blame her. Even as the blood of another sprayed across her face, she did not flinch. The body of the male hunter twitched as life left it, his blood mixing with the mud and the rain. Then, stillness. Calm. Even the rain seemed to fade into a drizzle, as if the Earth was breathing a sigh of relief at the passing of such a heinous villain.

Lex started to move, however, when Volkov suddenly collapsed to her knees. It was possible that her injuries had finally caught up to her, but he believed it more likely that the gravity of her situation had finally sunk in. She was very nearly been raped in the worst possible way, and even left alive and broken in the middle of the street. Death was a mercy compared to such a fate, and Lex was grateful that he could spare her that Hell. He owed her nothing, but could not see any other choice. She may want him dead, but that was what separated him from humans: he legitimately cared about the welfare of others, rather than helping with one hand extended, awaiting payment.

Before he could make his way to her, the black wolf suddenly appeared next to the woman, seated in the mud and staring at her thoughtfully. It was maybe two feet from her, and did not touch her at any point, but stared at her as if it were waiting for something. It made no sound at all. It was perfectly still, but for the bit of breeze that blew gently against it's fur. Lex did move after that, but not directly toward her. Instead he went to retrieve the clothing that had been ripped away from her, then sloshed through the mud.

"Here," he began softly, his voice barely above a whisper, though he knew that Liliya would have no trouble hearing him. He placed the garment in front of her reverently, not wanting to force her to take something from his hand. No doubt she was dealing with the emotional trauma of what had just taken place. Lex saw through her steely exterior, and was finally beholding the real Liliya Volkov. Everyone is afraid of something. "You're right. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a situation and there is no choice. There's only one action a person can take."

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:16 pm

The wolf companion of Alexandre appeared beside Liliya, and for a long moment she didn't move, or look at the animal. Then slowly she turned her head and stared at the wolf; reaching her hand out she went to put her hand on it's head, but hesitated, letting it drop to her side instead. The huntress shifted her gaze to her former target, and greatfully grasped her cloak and wrapped it tightly around her body. She tried to still her trembling body, but was having a hard time focusing her thoughts on any one thing. Liliya didn't want to think about what could have happened to her if the monster hadn't shown up, but seeing the bodies strew around that was all she could think about. That, and she had killed Hunters. That was rule one: never kill another hunter. She had broken it.

“Liliya.” She looked up at him, not even trying to move from her sitting position. “You saved my life, twice, you have earned the right to know my name.” Her breaths were coming out in short shallow gasps, so it was hard for her to speak, but she had things she needed to say to him. Liliya needed answers and she wouldn't wait to catch her breath to have them. “I don't understand why...” Managing to push herself shakily to her feet, she held her cloak close, her fingers clenching around the fabric. “Why did you help me? Why did you save me?”

Liliya didn't understand. It's not like she wasn't appreciative of the help, but it seemed like he couldn't make up his mind. Kill her, save her, runaway, come back, save her again. Now she owed him her life; it's not like she had any motive to hunt him anymore, though. Killing him would do no good, as she was no longer a hunter. She'd get no more jobs, and even if she did she wouldn't get paid for them. Men did not see women as fit to be hunters. The moment her secret got out, it was over.

“I owe you my life.” And my innocence. But she did not say that part out loud. It was bad enough Alexandre had to see her in such a vulnerable state, she didn't want to admit that she needed his help, and was rather glad he jumped in. “But I need answers.” Liliya started walking slowly away from the town, the muscles in her body protesting her movement. Now that the rain had all but come to a stop, she could feel peoples eyes on the pair of them. No doubt someone else wold be coming to try and take down one or both of them. “Not here, we need to go somewhere else. Somewhere private.” As she passed the body of the hunter whose neck she broke, she hesitated. Did she really have to snap his neck? Her gaze turned to the others. Did Alexandre really need to kill them? With his strength and speed he could have easily forced them to let her go without murdering them.

It didn't mater anymore. What was done was done, and she needed to accept that. Glancing down at herself she frowned. What use was there, wearing her hunters armor now? Liliya dropped her cloak and yanked her armor off tossing it to the ground. Her shirt and pants were soaked, the fabric clinging to her body, but she didn't care. Oddly enough, she felt lighter, more free. Almost startled by the thought, she turned to face the monster. He said that there was always a way out. Was he her way out?

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Re: The Animal In Me

Post by Danry on Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:19 pm

The pitch black quadruped watched her hand raise and lower, it's nostrils flaring as it sniffed at her fingers. It was almost as if the creature was intelligent enough to interpret her actions or read her emotions, for it might appear incredibly docile despite it's size and the notoriety of similar animals. As Liliya shifted her gaze to Lex, so too did the wolf. As the monster approached, it stood and meandered around the area, looking in windows that were both illuminated and dark. So curious a creature, full of wanderlust but absolutely calm in even the most stressful of situations.

Lex listened with serene surprise as his former enemy muttered her name. Liliya Volkov, the wolf who had nearly killed him. But in her current state, she seemed so frail and vulnerable. Those men did not just just threaten her life. They almost took from her something that she could never get back, no matter how many throats she cut. Though she still wore clothing, she was stripped of all her defense and left bare to the world, naked to those who would take advantage of her. Though only minutes early he was bent on ending her life, he found himself feeling... more than sympathetic. He wanted her company.

"Liliya... that's a pretty name. It suits you." Lex smiled a little. Their conversation could have gone a number of ways. She could have pursued him still. She could have broken down, becoming catatonic and completely useless to the rest of the world. But she had chosen gratitude instead. It was nice to see a softer side, and slightly gratifying, for he had began thinking that she was a very one-dimensional human. "Why help you... to be honest, there were a few reasons, but none of them make sense. No matter how much we hated each other, I needed to make sure you were okay, maybe even try talking to you. But most of all, I think we are not so different."

Lex watched as she, for lack of better words, shambled toward the body of the first Hunter she slayed and stared down at him. It was a curious thing to see her cut away her armor. It seemed to signify so much; it was almost her life as a Hunter. But then, she was no longer a Hunter. Once word spread that she was a woman, and was saved by the very thing she was contracted to capture or kill, her reputation would be ruined. Alexandre felt some remorse for the fact. If she had not met him, she would still have her career. He didn't agree with what she did, but at least she could continue her life.

As Liliya turned toward him, her clothing clinging to her body and leaving very little to the imagination, Lex averted his eyes. After a moment's hesitation, of course. He was, in a sense, a young man, and still felt a yearning for the female form. He did try, however, to be a gentleman. "I know a place, a few miles from here," he said finally. "It's not luxurious, but it is dry and secluded. We should be able to stay there for a little while until we come up with a plan. For now... I think it might be best if we stay together." Lex removed his cloak and draped it over her shoulders, pulling the hood over her head and guiding her out and away from town. Occasionally the wolf would appear ahead of them, a sort of guide in the night, it's red eyes piercing the darkness.

"Call me Lex, please. Alexandre... it takes too long to say."

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Re: The Animal In Me

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