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    Wolfbane -- Year 210


    "She presses into him greedily, hungrily, and demands more. She does not know how to be gentle when she is with him—does not know how to quell the aching in her belly, the neediness in her touch. She would devour him whole. She would sacrifice herself completely. She would give and give and give—" --Tabytha, written by Laura

    [open]  the north, the north, the north is on fire.
    She had been like him, once.

    Lilliana hadn’t known what to be afraid of. She hadn’t known fear other than the childhood ones - of thunderstorms, of strangers and silver demons who waited by riversides. After all this time, she still doesn’t know what to be truly afraid of. The copper mare is blinded (and binded) by her promises and to keep them, the western woods of Nerine pays a price.

    Certainly (and foolishly), she doesn't let herself be afraid of him.

    She will apologize later - in private - to the Khaleesi. Her plan hadn’t intended to be carried out this far. The Taigan mare had thought one step ahead but Ghaul had flown three ahead of her.

    There is a rather classic eyeroll of their Queen as Lilliana studies her from where she stands, momentarily distracted from the buckskin stallion and his ring of chaos. An ear flicks towards him before she glances to her dappled friend. "If I can?” Lilli quips back, not intending to sound as sharp as she does. Was that a command or a dare?

    Her blue eyes come back to the winged stallion again as if she is truly considering the words that Neverwhere has spoken. She studies his size - a form that dwarfs her own - and accounts for his wings, his horns, the fangs, and the talons and the scales. (And these are only the things she can see - there is the troubling thought there could be much more to Ghaul.) Could she keep him?

    Her dark mouth curves downward at the thought. The trouble that had been building behind her eyes drowns her whole expression and the chestnut mare turns her full attention to the Pangean heir.

    Could she keep him?

    Not likely. But the laws of this land give her a momentary hold - a proverbial edge - and she means to hold on to that as long as she can.

    He laughs at her - at Neverwhere’s words - that he is her responsibility. Something in her means to wince, to shy away from him but instead, she is all quiet fury. His rage had been exposed by the smoldering ruin around them and hers is kept within - burning away at the last restraint she holds. He slinks closer, approaches her as fluidly as a snake slithers through the meadow grass.

    She means to look at Brazen to confirm an understanding between them but his size and presence prevent her. Her name coming from his fanged mouth keeps the chestnut mare in place though every inch of her wants to recoil away from him. She can’t, she knows. She is the reason he is here. "Brine is to be returned immediately,” Lilliana states. "Unharmed.”

    "If either she or Brinly have been harmed in any way, your release is recanted and you will finish the rest of your sentence.” (And then Lilli smiles at ghaul like she might place flowers in his wings and tease him for how lovely he looked afterward), "with me.”

    And at his mention of favors, well - Lilliana is done with those.

    "And a year of peace between Nerine and Pangea. No steals. No fighting.”

    Her blue eyes return to Neverwhere, "Provided you and the Khaleesi agree to these terms, you are free to go.”


    all that i'm after is a life full of laughter
    (as long as i'm laughing with you)

    art by vhitany

    cold in the violence after the war
    hope is a fire to keep us warm

    She does not regret her actions even if Neverwhere does not approve of them. She has never pretended to have the same restraint they seemed to share, and certainly she would not stand idle as he made flippant threats against her friends and home. Perhaps he seeks to intimidate her, but the flame he breathes across her serves only to flatten her ears against her nape and bring a glint to her eye.

    Still, when Neverwhere pushes her way between them, she does not resist, though she never breaks her furiously watchful gaze from where it rests on Ghaul. Certainly the presence of the dapple mare between them would not stop her should the draconic stallion prove less amenable to ceasing hostilities.

    Fortunately for all involved no doubt, she feels no need to insert her opinion into the more diplomatic negotiations. She is, after all, not a diplomat, nor does she have aspirations to be. Her aggressive greeting had been purely a response to his equally aggressive arrival. Her fury might have been much more easily mitigated had events transpired differently. But, as it turns out, she is a less than forgiving sort (which likely comes as no surprise to any who know her parents).

    When Ghaul moves however, sidling closer to Lilliana, Brazen is quick to move as well. Just as Neverwhere had inserted herself between Ghaul and Brazen, Brazen wedges herself between Lilli and Ghaul. Head low and ears flat, she glares at him. She doesn’t say anything, but her actions make it perfectly clear that while he may be Lilli’s responsibility, the chestnut mare is fully under her protection.

    Anyone that wished to hurt her would have to go through Brazen first.



    Hey all you cool cats and kittens

    They shift and jockey for position like birds on a branch and she quickly grows tired of it. The smoke of the flames makes her eyes stream and her skin flush red, but as it curls thickly around her, she stands firm, apart from those that gather now around Lilliana. A semi-permanent frown is etched onto her lips as the chestnut diplomat speaks her terms in response to Ghaul's somewhat cryptic offer.

    "A favor." The word is flat against the lively fire crackling behind them. She is inclined to refuse outright, they will all lose their grip on their prizes, given enough time, but she is curious, too. What can the Pangean want from Nerine? His actions previously have appeared to simply be the spreading of chaos across the continent and without any real political motive. Pale eyes flick to Lilli and her frown deepens. Neverwhere was not brought up in a world of politics, was never trained for these things, and her instinct is to trust the hard line being drawn by someone who was, and yet...

    "I want my stolen people returned, Ghaul, unharmed. All of them." She says it without looking away from Lilli, attempting to read the mingled expressions on the other mare's face. Of course Neverwhere agrees to those terms, but why should Pangea? What do they gain, beyond the return of the fire-breather, who would go back to them in a year's time regardless of Nerine's ability to hold him? "But, we will not agree to secret terms, you are going to have to be more plain."

    That bitch, Neverwhere

    Image by Ratty

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