Down in the Dark [FIN] Rowan Caverns
Posted 13 January 2010 - 05:19 PM
The waterfox seemed more than glad to be rid of the torch, even tilting up her head a bit so it was easier for Kiel to take. She barked softly in what could have been taken as a laugh when the 'vari joked that the big guy was a "rock fox". Enid figured that if there was such an animal, Bran would have found it by now. Whether or not he would have chosen to shift into one was another matter, but it wasn't an entirely far fetched notion.
Furry white ears swiveled down a notch, as Enid whined and rubbed Kiel's thigh with the side of her muzzle. The 'vari was unsettled. She could smell it about him, feel the uncertainty in his movements, hear the quickness in his voice. She needed him to look and feel confident ...
Wow. That was fast. Suspecting that her efforts had little to do with Kiel's sudden mood change, she never the less perked her ears right back up and yipped encouragingly. That was much better.
With an authoritative bark, she hopped forward then settled into a casual trot, staying just ahead of the 'vari. She avoided natural hazards, and tried to keep Kiel going at a steady clip.
Enid knew that her family was pacing them. They couldn't be sure that the one kumo had been fully responsible for the many deaths. Kumo had hunted in the caverns for years, and nothing so devastating had happened since the giant spiders were first discovered in the tunnels. For so many to have died .. No, it would be fine. If there were more, she and her pack would find them and end the threat. End of story.
alert for any sign of trouble, Enid set her mind and body to the task of guiding the 'vari to safety. Yes, her pack would worry about hunting down any remaining threats once he was on his way. Besides, there were the acknowledgements to consider. Would it be best to boost the 'vari's ego and allow him to take the reward for himself, and then inform him of who aided him, or should she shift before he reported to the Sentinel and take the credit for the Tunnel Runners? Hm. Decisions, decisions.
Posted 15 January 2010 - 09:19 PM
The 'vari was going to end up on his arse if they kept going at the pace she'd chosen, so Enid obliged him and slowed down. The man's talking to himself was amusing in a way, though she couldn't imagine him ever being able to sneak up on anyone like that.
How did the 'vari hunt, anyway? She'd heard all sorts of fascinating rumors about the race, but rarely did she see their legendary powers at work. This guy certainly didn't seem all that powerful. He'd fallen prey to a kumo's web, after all. Then again, many of her race had been tricked recently, as well. Could it be that 'vari had just as many limitations as therians? Food for thought.
Kiel's determination to keep talking to Enid even though she was lacking the vocal chords to respond properly made up her mind. She could have altered her vulpine voicebox to allow her to respond, but the guy had been nervous enough earlier for that option to not seem very wise. Instead she stepped to one side and stopped. Turning around, she barked at the a pool of shadows, then sat on her haunches to wait.
Out of the darkness came the same firefox from earlier, carrying a small handbag in her mouth. Aithne disliked being the fetcher, but they'd all agreed beforehand that Bran staying out of sight was paramount for everyone's safety. He was their backup in case the girls got in over their heads, and the element of surprise improved their chance of survival. Regardless, the taste of the tunnel dirt on the handles of Enid's bag was making Aithne grouchy. Not to mention that she hadn't gotten the chance to boast to the delectable 'vari about just who had saved him. That was making her really twitchy. With a melodramatic huff of breath and a bristling of her tail, the firefox dumped the bag by the waterfox's front paws, yipped once, then spun about and sashayed right up to defiantly headbutt Kiel's leg in the hopes of getting some attention. Just because she couldn't tell him who she was didn't mean she couldn't get something out of this bodyguard/guide gig.
The waterfox didn't seem perturbed by the firefox's behaviour. She just peeled the flap of the bag back carefully with her teeth, then buried her muzzle inside the thing. Once her head popped back up with a mouthful of cloth, she scampered out of sight. Aithne and Bran would take care of the man while she shifted and got dressed. It wouldn't take her long to do either.
In fact, not four minutes later, a bare foot so pale it seemed almost white stepped into the pool of light the waterfox had left Kiel standing in. The light kept traveling up to reveal a very feminine, seemingly human woman in tantalizing stages. It crept up her leg to pool between her shapely thighs, and ... well, to describe the rest might have been a bit lewd, for she was wearing but a thin white sleeveless dress that didn't quite reach to the middle of those creamy .. Eh hem. The skirt's hem was pretty short. The top of the dress dipped down just enough to give interested folk interesting ideas. The whole thing looked very soft and inviting, just like the rest of her. Long and straight silver-white hair brushed the woman's hips, and she twirled a strand of it about a slender finger as she smiled slowly up at Kiel. Her other hand was carrying the bag the waterfox had raided. Friendly cornflower blue eyes did their best to draw Kiel's attention to the woman's face. They lit with warmth while the woman said, "Yes, the heart of the Rowan is not far now. That is why you hear what you do."
As she casually approached the 'vari, Kiel might have noticed that the lady was at least two inches shorter than he. That only lended to her dainty appearance. "Please accept my apology for not introducing myself earlier. I am Enid, and you have already met Aithne."
The firefox yipped in what could have been agreement, then planted herself beside Kiel's nearest leg. She was so not going back into hiding. That was boring, even if the view of the 'vari's hindquarters was pretty nice from back there.
"Come, it should not be long now," Enid prompted before half turning in the direction the noises Kiel had overheard were originating from, "Perhaps on the way we may yet learn more of one another, mm?"
Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:18 PM
That's perfect, Emma. Thank you. ))
Aithne was getting grumpier by the moment. First Bran took the kill, and then Enid was making the 'vari's eyes almost pop out of his head. She was being completely ignored, and earlier she could have sworn that the guy was checking her out. What in Xanth's name was the problem? Was her firefox form not cute and fuzzy enough? She had half a mind to start gnawing on Kiel's ankle to see if that got his attention when she heard the sounds that indicated people moving in a nearby tunnel.
Well, that sucked rancid deer fat. She couldn't let her jealousy of her sister's physique get in the way of keeping her family and the 'vari safe. With a low growl, Aithne nipped the air by Kiel's leg, then dashed off to take up her previous post. If trouble was on the way, she and Bran would circle around and flank it. Aithne was pretty sure Kiel was too oriented on Enid's swaying hips to notice her tactical retreat, anyway.
"Pick up a stray, Flynn?"
Enid's lips curved into an amused little smile as she shifted her position to be between the therian males and Kiel. It was so very kind of the fellows to hand over an opportunity to tease some answers out of them. Perhaps they would know which of the tunnels had been explored thoroughly and recently? Recognizing some of their faces, in particular the one who was partially morphed into a serpent, she opened her mouth to respond, then slowly shut it when the Sentinel entered her field of vision.
Few folk commanded Enid's total respect. The Sentinel was such a man. Enid didn't care about where the other males were headed, just that they were leaving her pack alone to deal with the Sentinel. She could always catch up with them later to gather information, preferably before Aithne decided which one she'd be dragging off for the night.
Dipping her head slightly while maintaining eye contact with her people's leader, Enid then darted her gaze to the right of the Sentinel's countenance before nodding once. That was the signal that all was not as it seemed. Enid knew that he would want to discuss the details with her later, in private, for there were some things that outsiders should never know about the Rowan Caverns and those who had made them home. "The kumo has been taken care of," she calmly stated, "This 'vari was instrumental in the hunt. We are grateful that you permitted him entrance into the tunnels."
She stepped back, allowing Kiel to be closer to the Sentinel as both her hands raised to hover before her chest. Turned so her palms were facing outward, the top of Enid's fingers were barely touching. She bowed slightly, at last lowering her gaze submissively. "We wish for the kill to be his."