"There is still something of himself - something of the Wolfbane who would always love her - that rallies against the slime. It says, 'lie in the bed you’ve made'. So he gathers the covers and tucks himself in." -- Wolfbane, written by Calcifer
she fell for the idea of him and ideas were a dangerous thing to love
He is difficult for her to figure out, and maybe she puts too much effort into trying. It’s an ingrained habit, though, to try and figure out what makes them tick; to decipher the almost covert inner workings of their minds, even if she can only scratch the surface. Part of it is a fascination, if only because her mind could never possibly function that way. But mostly, it is survival – learning what she can say and do without getting hurt or killed, testing invisible boundaries to see what the limits are.
There were some like Carnage, where that limit was ever-changing; days where she almost foolishly trusted him, followed by days where a mere glance felt like a lethal mistake. And on the other end of the spectrum, Skellig – where there were no limits, no boundaries, and everything was theoretically as it should be. But she took all that freedom, all that safety and trust, and wove herself the shortest rope to hang their love with.
She stares at Atrox, and wonders where he falls amongst the rest of them. She is afraid of him, but not the way she is afraid of Carnage; maybe, almost, similar to the way she had been afraid of Dhumin. Because while Dhumin had never physically hurt her, he had a way of looking at her and making her feel like she would rather be swallowed by the earth than to live with disappointing him. She was not ambitious in the way other women of the valley were, her tongue was not sharp and the scars that laced her body were not from battles fought. She was not the ideal woman for men like Dhumin, or even Atrox; she was just their willing victim.
“Did you just call me princess?” She laughs, and even though the phrase was dripping with sarcasm it does not land the insulting blow it may have been intended as. Her skin was thicker than it may appear, and it was unlikely there was much that Atrox could say that would offend her.
“Maybe,” she says in response to his comment on how she has other means besides fighting, but her tone is noncommittal. She’s been told that before; that she is interesting, or that she wasn’t what someone expected. She doesn’t see what they see, and she finds it hard to believe that her skillset is truly so different than most any other across Beqanna. She thinks that she is not so different from every other woman; that the ones that are not brazen and bold must have figured out how to be subtly sweet enough to not spark their anger and instead capture their interest. To learn to be that strange mixture of obedient but not so meek that you are completely disposable.
“I did want to come,” she concedes with another wisp of a smile on her lily-white lips. “I came for the scenic views but obviously I’m staying for the meaningful conversations I know we’ll have.”
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