Author Topic: Conflicted  (Read 9312 times)

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2015, 10:35:13 PM »
.: Chapter Twenty: The truth behind it all :.
[size=9]March 3rd[/size]


The Playboy himself was seated upon a couch near the hearth, one hand wrapped around a glass of scotch, the other holding a clear glass tablet that was alive with various lines of data and graphic displays dancing and scrolling across it. It was the latter that held his attention for the moment.

"And so she said I could bring Michi along next time but otherwise, she hired me at least for Fashion Week." Addie explained as the pair wandered up the front walk. She held a steaming cup of cocoa in her hands, little wisps trailing into the misty air. "Maybe Michi too if I can ever get her down to the shop to have her try stuff on."

Looking around as he listened to Addie as she spoke of her being hired as a model. "Surprised that you have tried to talk me into getting all dressed up for that." Glancing to her with a flash of a grin, while tucking his hands into the pockets of his coat. "But I wouldn't look good in a suit."

"I dunno if she's looking for dudes, you know?" She copied his grin with her own imitation and steps up onto the porch to shake off a bit of moisture that had collected on her jacket along the way. "Oh shush, you'd be fine in one."

"Probably not." Following her up the steps onto the porch, before moving to open the door for her. "No I wouldn't. Suits and me don't get along."

She snorted, rolling her eyes as she stepped inside. "Whatever Kane. I know otherwise." Entering the inn, she only had to blink a few times to get her eyes to adjust to the slight change in light. It was empty save for the one on the couch. Addie squinted at him for a few long moments before heading further in toward the bar.

He chuckled at Addie snorting and rolling her eyes at him and followed her inside. "There's no proof to say otherwise." Shutting the door before looking around, noting the lone figure at the hearth before heading for the bar as well. "Rather quiet in here." Murmured.

"Umm, the Governor's winter ball? You wore a suit to that." She leaned up onto her tip toes to whisper something into Kane's ear before continuing on her way. "SHHHHHH, don't say that word!" The q-word got Kane a trio of swats to the arm.

Blue-grey eyes moved away from the flow of information scrolling across the surface of the tablet towards the pair entering, looking them over. Neither seemed familiar, but then, he had been away for a while. The hand holding the scotch was lifted in a kind of wave to them before he took a swallow and went back to perusing the data he'd been looking over.

"I don't remember that event." Of course he did as he tilted his head to the whisper, followed with a light chuckle and nod to those words. "What? Quiet?" Grinning dispite getting swatted with a wave back towards Edward.
S
apphires narrowed at her warden and she shook her head before climbing onto a bar stool and sipping from her cocoa. "Yes, stop saying it or the Inn is gonna blow up or something."

Something scrolling across the surface of the tablet drew a snicker from him. Setting the scotch down, he played his fingers across the glassy screen, a swift tapping and sliding to send a brief message.

Waggles of brows at her as he made his way behind the bar. "Let it blow up." Sideways glance to Addie as he headed for the cooler.

Her hand scooped up some peanuts from a nearby bowl and she threw them at Kane's head. "Don't say that. The Inn's fix itself, I'm not fixing you."

The Playboy chuckled as he picked up his glass again, taking a swallow and setting it and the tablet down as he stood and stretched lazily. "Ah'd really pr'fer it didn't jus' yet, if it's all de same t'you." Heading barward, he stopped at the counter, only to lean over it and snag a glass from behind it before heading back to the couch to resume his seat.

Pelted by the peanuts and paused to dust the ones that remained on his coat off. "Oh fine.." Upon hearing the two as he snagged a beer from the cooler, only to hop up to sit near Addie on the counter.

She squinted at Edward, twiddled her thumbs a little and quickly picked up her cocoa for a drink. Ow, hot liquid is hot. "Do you gotta put your butt on the counter?"

"Yes I do." Aside to Addie. "I could stretch out on the counter." Pausing for a sip. "Besides. Who's going to complain about me taking up such a small space?"

Edward was used to being squinted and/or stared at. It seemed to happen a lot, really. He pretended not to notice as he picked up his tablet again.

"Uh the people that put their food and drinks on the counter. I know you were taught better manners than that." She reached over to poke him in the hip.

"I know of having better manners." Swatting at her poking hand as he remained on the counter. "Plus I'm wearing pants. I could change that."
"Kane Darkwing, you better your damn pants on in public." Another narrowing of the eyes at him. Izumi was given a smile though, expression softening at least until she looked back at Kane.

The dragon hatch had its uses and not only for the dragon lot. It opened, it closed, seemingly with nothing happening between. Ah but up in the rafters shadows did slink and crawl along. While the hunt was fun Katt just couldn't shake the excitement of seeing the man on the couch. Adjusting her footing she positioned herself much like a cat ready to...well...pounce.

"I'll keep them on in public for now." Prize winning grin at Addie for a moment, before looking and nodding to Izumi upon spotting her.

The tablet had his attention for the moment. Reading a message displaying itself on the surface, he grinned, setting the empty glass to the side. The dragon hatch opening and closing pulled his attention upward for a moment, eyes searching the shadows of the rafters a brief moment before he turned his attention back to the tablet again.

"I'm not wholly sure where his ass has been, so don't count on that." She grinned at Izumi and leaned out of Kane's reach just in case.

Coiled muscles coiled suddenly released and Katt sprung down to land on the edge of the couch, without flipping it, and she plopped down next to her brother. Arms thrown out she ...well she wanted to smack him a few times but instead he got a hug.

Looking between Addie and Izumi for a moment, before smirking behind his beer. "You know where it has been as you stare at it every night." Poor Addie.

"I do not!" She squeaked and flung more peanuts at him.

"Yes you do!" Laughing even as he got pelted before looking towards Katt as she appeared.

Edward didn't seem surprise, didn't even jump a little when Katt landed next to him, and in fact he was going to hug her at the same time as she was. "Well, hey dere lil sis. 'Bout time ya showed up. What took ya so long?" He of course was grinning the whole while.

"Do too." More chuckling before taking another sip. "The jerk that you love." Countering.

"Someone with bad directions." Katt eyed Edward. A polite nod was offered to the trio at the bar, her chin settling on Ed's shoulder. Hug for a while, he was going to have to deal. "What took you so long?" See ..that question can go two ways!

"Uh huh." He's totally not buying Addie's words. "We could test that."

"You forgot giving birth on the counters." Aside to Izumi. He's heard the stories.

Sideways glance to Addie and slowly smiled at her. Nope. He wasn't planning on being bad. Not him!

Edward didn't seem to mind the hug. With a chuckle he shrugged. "Been hanging out in N'O'leans, workin' on a project de past coupla mont's." Totally vague-like. "Jus' got back an' tryin' t'play catch-up."

Kane'd drag Addie down with him. Now looking between Addie and Izumi. "Easy way to deal with those types." Shrug of a shoulder as he shifted to stretch out on the counter. One hand behind his head as a makeshift pillow.

Sharp greens slowly narrowed at Edward's face but Katt'd let him be vague. Slowly releasing him she sat back and folded her arms. "Playing catch-up? Like...?"

"Eliminating them." Kane was being honest as he propped himself to glance towards Izumi, then peered at Addie. "You still adore me."
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2015, 10:39:54 PM »
Edward grinned, feeling that look on him and disregarding it for the moment. He had his reasons for being vague. "Well, Ah've been gone fer almost a year, sis. Ah'm perty sure dere's t'ings Ah've missed in dat time, yanno."

"Yeah lots of stuff. Pretty sure all your groupies were happy to see you returned...Mmm..How long have you been back?" Katt's lips pursed a little as she tried to situate her questions in a sort of order. "I've been worried..."

Leaning over, Edward picked up his half-full glass of scotch from the nearby low table, where it sat with the bottle and the other glass, and took a swallow, sitting back. A tap to the edge of the tablet shut the screen off and he set it aside. S'far's Ah know, yer de only one dat knows...Ah jus' got back dis mornin'." He smiled at her, shaking his head. "Yer always worried, sis. Ah keep tellin' ya dat ya shouldn' do dat. Yer gonna end up wit' grey hairs." He reached out and flicked a long dark lock
of hers with his fingers.

"Yeah well sorry for not wanting to lose you. I mean you can tend to be very...reckless." Understatement much? Absentmindedly Katt reached up to comb down some of the dark hair that he had flicked. "It isn't greys that I am worried about..." Shaking her head she glanced at his glass, empty glass, then back to him. Hint...hint. "I am glad you are back."

Edward could take a hint. Another swallow went down and he leaned over to pick up the Dalmore and pour a couple fingers' worth into the glass, which he then handed over to Katt. "Ah'm reckless? Who was it dat jumped off de Tower roof after me when Ah was tryin' t'do a flight test wit'a new suit?" He grinned and poked her in the ribs. "Ah'm glad t'be back, sis. Ah missed ya while Ah was gone."

"That would be you." She accepted the glass with a smile. A glance was made to the door and a slow nod of greeting was given to the pair. Looking back to her brother she shook her head. "And lets not go into the other stuff that I ended up finding when you looked like you were inches from death." That alone was reason enough!

His glance went around to nod and wave to those incoming. Shylah he recognized, and the man with her, though he couldn't put a name to the face. With a chuckle he turned back to Katt. "Okay, Ah jumped, but Ah was perfectly safe. You, on de ot'er hand, jumped after me. Ah still don' know what ya t'ought ya were doin'." The last comment he let pass - as she said, they didn't need to go into all that.

"As long as you have the bloodjewel I can shadowwalk with you in tow." With a strain since he was in his suit but still. "I didn't jump without a plan." she shifted slightly and lowered her eyes to her glass. "I don't think you realize..how important you are..."

He frowned slightly at that. "Ah don' know 'bout dat, sis. After all, life went on wit'out me...an' Ah ain't gonna live forever, ya know." He said this last with a smile, shrugging. "All right, so we'll chalk dat one up t'bad timing. But it's good t'know dat in de future." Reaching up, he slid a finger under the collar of his shirt and pulled out the bloodjewel, wrapped in platinum and hanging from a fine chain of the same. "Good t'ing Ah keep it on me."

She made a little sound in her throat. She obviously disagreed with him on a few levels but for now she'd let it go. Seeing the jewel on him seemed to surprise her..just a little. Okay a lot actually. She figured he probably kept it tucked somewhere. A small smile ticked the corner of her lips as she stared at the jewel but slowly her sharp green eyes tilted up to look at Ed. "(s) Where did you go?"

He looked at her a long moment, quietly contemplating how to answer that. He'd said he wasn't going to hide anything from his sister anymore, and he was already keeping something quiet about himself...mostly because he wasn't sure what to make of it yet. They'd get to that conversation eventually. Finally he spoke, swirling the contents of his glass idly. "Well, dat's a long story in itself, an' a list b'sides. Clayton took me out t'where he managed t'track down where he t'inks Leo is, but dat
was a bust...Ah couldn' cross de boundaries o'de realm. Apparently de area ain't compatible wit' any kinda artificial objects."

"Artificial objects?" She tilted her head a bit as she sniffed at her glass. No it wasn't that she didn't trust her own brother she just scenting to guess which Dalmore he chose.

It was the Trinitas, his personal favorite. Of which he'd noticed was down to one bottle in his private stock. But, well, he had been gone a while, as previously noted. Her question got a gesture to himself by way of an answer. "Yep. My entire genetic structure's been artific'ly altered, 'member? Ah took one step inside de boundary an' Clayton had t'drag me back when Ah collapsed. Felt like somet'in' was tryin' t'vibrate me t'pieces."

She blinked and lowered her glass slowly. So she was right. They did go in search of Leo without her. She wasn't sure how she felt about that but for now she focused on the information he gave her. "Yeah I remember..." Non-happy there. Her brows furrowed, "That must of been around when we lost contact." She was guessing, mind you. "Are you okay now?"

He nodded, tipping his glass back to drain it. "Yeah, Ah was fine soon as yer man pulled me back. Evert'in' technological we had on us was trashed, t'ough. Clayton's cell phone act'ally exploded. An' my suit was completely nonfunctional...had t'make a new one." This was, of course, only a small part of the story. He regarded his sister thoughtfully a moment. "Clayton didn' tell ya any o'dis?"

She listened quietly. The talk of exploding tech made her lips purse...briefly. It was the question about Clayton telling her that had her eyes turning to the rafters. "I've been keeping him busy with other things. I think he was waiting for you to get back to tell me, too." Slowly her eyes lowered down to her brother and how the hell was she keeping such a straight face?

His eyes turned briefly to the door when the Amazonian figure came through it, and a smile spread over his features. He was about to wave to get her attention when what Katt said cut through his divided attention. That, and that look. "Y'know...Ah don' need any details. Somet'in' tells me it's a good t'ing de Haven don't have any close neighbors."

A raise of her chin was offered to Issy before she lifted her glass to sip the Dalmore but not before speaking into the glass, "Not my fault he's loud." ...Okay maybe she's partly to fault...

Oh, so she wanted to play that game? Okay, so be it! He snickered as he reached for the bottle of Dalmore to refill his own glass. "Is dat so? 'Cause de reports Ah got from de manager o'de apartment buildin' say he ain't de only one dat's loud."

"Yes well...He's louder." She blinked slowly and her chin rose. "Is there something else I should be told? I feel like something is missing."

He eyed his sister a moment longer, lifting his glass for a swallow as the blue-grey eyes focused on her. "Yer t'inkin' Ah finally got a hair up an' d'cided t'take off t'find Leo wit'out ya, huh? Ah r'member dat conversation." He shook his head, his eyes shifting as he did, catching Issy's stare. In typical Playboy style, he lifted his glass in salute to the Judge with a grin, as if he'd only seen her yesterday, rather than almost a year ago. Possibly more. He looked back at Katt and shook his head. "Nah, sis...it was my idea t'go out dere, sure 'nuff, but dat was just a side trip. We went t'Clayton's homeworld first."

She glanced over to Issy and gestured to a nearby chair if she wanted it but her attention seemed to shoot back to Edward. "I..You...wha?"

He nodded to Katt, lifting his glass for another swallow. "Yeah. An' b'fore ya get all mad at him fer not sayin' anyt'in' or askin' ya t'come, don't. Ya couldn't've gone dere, 'specially not where he had t'go. An' he told me dat he didn' tell ya b'cause he wouldn't've been able t'tell ya no." He chuckled softly. "Ah swear, Katt, dat boy's got it fer you bad."

There was a minor ping of guilt when he said that and she shifted on the couch a bit. "Why couldn't I?" It seemed a legit question...and he had the answer. She knew he did. Her lips thinned as she looked into her empty glass.

It was a legit question, sure enough, and he knew it would be asked. And he did know the answer, but was he comfortable explaining it? Not entirely, because it wasn't necessarily his to tell. But he also knew Clayton, and he knew the big cat would be even less comfortable about it. That made for an interesting conundrum. "Let's jus' say dey ain't fond of non-humans dere at best...an' yer...well, you. Dey hunt an'kill yer kind dere...dey're kinda rabid 'bout it."

"And he brought you along? After your," she gestured a finger at him from head to toe..the rest of her question kind of dying because she wasn't sure how to ask if he could still be considered human or not. The gesture ceased mid-action and she blinked slowly at her brother. There was a slow tension that started to grow in her arms. "The hunt Reevi?"

He shook his head. "Dey considered my condition as bein' cybernetic. Dey don't have a problem wit' dat." He lifted his scotch for a swallow before going on. "Not Reevi, specific'ly...if dey ev'n have 'em dere. But anyt'in' dey consider d'monic in gen'ral...such as yer unique di'tary requirements, fer instance."

"Oh. Those type of people." she was familiar with those types. Not the race but people, yes. Raising a hand she clasped her fingers around the stone that hung from around her neck. There was no expression to read but she was worried now. "Then why me?"

He shrugged at that. "Apparen'ly it's some kinda deep-seated cultural issue. From what li'l Ah could gat'er, dat world had a real problem wit' supernatural predators in de distant past...so much dat a portion of de population evolved to hunt 'em down an' destroy 'em." He watched Katt when he said this.

It was ironic or if anything poetic. Slowly her fingers released the jewel and she glanced over to her brother. As much as it pained her to ask, "If he has grown up learning to hate and kill my kind then why is he with me, Edward? Do you think he is just with me to learn of me? Observe me?"

The gaze he fixed on is sister was thoughtful as he spoke. "Y'know, Ah asked him dat. He didn' seem like he wanted t'talk about a lot of it wit' me. But he did tell me dat dis," and here he leaned towards her and tapped the softly glowing heartstone, "ain't no ord'nary stone. It's a piece of his heart, right?"

She tensed and her hand went up to guard the stone from her brother's touch but she stopped herself. Barely. Instead the hand went up to wave to Jewell. "Hey Jewell!" Her hand slowly lowered and she looked to her brother. "Yeah. It is. At least that is what I was told." She didn't know the full details of it.

He nodded and leaned back. The thing gave off a strange sort of heat, he noticed. "Yeah, well, Ah'm pretty sure dat's what it is. Ah saw a few while we were on his world. Anyway, he said a coupla interestin' t'ings 'bout it. One was dat de only way dat one can be made is if a Y?mni's heart is content and full of love. De ot'er is dat ya couldn' wear it if it wasn' meant jus' fer you. An' apparently, him givin' it t'you is a pretty big deal..." He trailed off there, uncertain whether he should tell her the rest.

Are you happy? Lucien's question played in her head. Offering out the empty glass she apparently needed more. "Content." She was apparently chewing over what he had filled in.
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2015, 10:47:08 PM »
He reached out for the bottle and refilled his sister's glass, nodding. "Ah had de same t'ought as you when Ah found all dis out...was a li'l worried about de man wit' my li'l sister. He could prob'ly explain all dat t'you better'n Ah can. But de point is, Ah b'lieve him an' how he feels 'bout you. Ah wouldn' have let him come back t'ya if Ah didn't."

It looked like she was going to have to talk to the great cat when she saw him next. Once she had more in her glass she leaned back slowly and started to take a sip. "Is there anything else I should know, Edward?" The movement had Katt's eyes turning up and she smiled to Issy. She tilted her head to her brother like..'look who I found!'.

Isuelt stood before the couch and bent slowly near Edward to land a hand on his shoulder. Her voice dipped in volume a bit, "I'm glad to see the rumors of your demise were greatly exaggerated, Mr. Batten."

He thought about that for a moment. There was only one other thing, but he didn't know what it meant yet. Fortunately, he was saved from answering for the moment by Issy's approach, and he looked up at her with a wide smile. "Why, hello dere, stranger. Ah hope ya didn' listen t'any o'dose rumors. Anyone dat knows me knows Ah ain't gonna die easy."

She watched the two of them. Yeah if Edward had been dead there would be hell to pay for sure. "Now he can take his shoes back. I'm tired of filling them."

Conceding a nod, "Indeed, I know that to be true, Mr. Batten." She smirked then, letting pretense fall into a chuckle. Especially after hearing Katt. Over her shoulder she grinned to the raven-haired beauty. "You did fine." Then she looked back to her brother and lowered her voice. "It's good to see you, Ed." She knew that she was interrupting the siblings, but she wouldn't be bothering them for long and hopefully Katt would forgive her butting in.

She had offered a seat with them earlier so no it didn't bother her none. In fact she leaned back to give the two some time, sipping her Dalmore while falling into some thoughts.

He grinned at his sister. "Ah heard no complaints, sis." With a chuckle he looked back at Issy. "S'good t'see ya too, chere. How ya been?"

Issy nodded to him as she let go of his shoulder and straightened up. "Good, actually." And she meant it. For the first time in a long time, she was balanced and tip-top. Even Katt had noticed that she looked like she was fully rested. "But we can talk about me later. I'll leave you to your sister."

"Nonsense Issy. If you wish to join us," now she figured Issy had missed the gesture earlier, "Feel free to pull up a seat. Pretty sure he'd like something to look at besides me."

He had to laugh at that, shaking his head. "Ah t'ink ya underestimate how important you are, lil sis." He grinned over at Issy. "Alt'ough dis is a nice view, Ah gotta say."

Issy bowed her head to acknowledge the compliment from her colleague, complete with a cockeyed smirk. "I'm afraid your viewing will have to wait for another night. I'm needed in the West End tonight." Grinning. And she was no fool, she tossed a bemused expression to Katt, "Don't rake him over the coals too badly, eh? The city needs him." A deep chuckle rolled around deep in her throat.

Edward got a sort of snort as Katt sipped on her Dalmore. "Do you need assistance, Issy?" She figured to ask or maybe she was just dancing around the comment of dragging her brother through the coals. Hmmmm...Thanks for the idea Issy.

"Should be okay. But if I do, I'll let you know without a hesitation, Katt." After a moment, looked back to her brother. "Welcome home, Ed." Issy offered as a final, quieted sentiment.

He chuckled and nodded to Issy. "T'anks, Iss...s'good t'be back." The thought of being dragged over coals - literally or metaphorically - didn't seem to faze him.

Her thumbs hooked onto her belt as Issy walked from the couch and then released hold of the weapons' rest as she offered waves to the friends gathered at the bar. Reaching back, she took hold of her hood and this time pulled it up and over her forehead before she pushed out into the evening.

Katt watched Issy for a bit before looking to her brother. She had seen Andu's expression and for a moment she looked amused.

He had the feeling he was going to get a lot of those looks. Andu got a wave and a grin before he looked back at his sister.

"Oh My! It not only looks like Ed, it waves and grins like him. Where did you find such a skilled animatronic, Katt?" Andu resumes his lumber around the bar toward his usual spot along the patron side.

"Don't look at me. I didn't start any rumors of you being dead. I told people you were off somewhere doing who knows what." She was right too! "I'm still waiting for an answer by the way.." She blinked over to Andu. "Anim-wha?"

"Fancy moving statue." Andu grins.

"No I assure you that it is the real deal. Back home, finally." She nudged her brother a bit while finishing off her Dalmore. Looks like she may have to restock before he found out how much had gone missing in his absence. A whole year gone? That is a ..lot of booze..
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #48 on: March 05, 2015, 10:52:43 PM »
Difficult to tell what he smelled more of; damp, horse or mud. Whatever the case they were honest scents, not the chemical stink of commercial fragrances, and Mesteno wouldn't apologise if there were complaints. Sure as hell better than the camphor oil in the Temple District. Letting himself in through the front door, he smeared back a few clinging strands of water-darkened hair from a tawny cheek and went striding for the bar.

"I didn't even have to pry him out this time. He came out all on his own." Scary right? Sharp greens tilted to track Mesteno. She could smell him from way over there but then again she had a better nose than normal. Hmmm...To pester him or continue pestering her brother...

A kitty-Katt had come slinking out like a little ghost, how about that? Mesteno flashed the woman (he thought of her this way, rather than a girl since she'd so complained once upon a time) a fiendish little grin, and he thought nothing of curving his path past her in order to touch a wet palm to her shoulder. Perhaps it was affection. Perhaps he merely intended to earn some word of complaint. "Salvete," he greeted those present, his throat a little raw sounding.

Great! Now she was going to smell like wet Mesteno. Horse? Both... She blinked when his hand found her shoulder and her chin rose slowly. There were no complaints but she did give him a look that suggested something more. A smile ticked the corner of her lips in ways of greeting the man. "Bonjour, Mesteno. It is good to see you." And it seemed like her brother zoned off so she had no problems in shifting on the couch like she might very well stalk after Mesteno.

She actually had to think about that for a moment. "Well you are part of the reason, yes. I was hoping to see you." After a stretch and a poke to her brother who had gone silent, she went off to play Mesteno's smaller shadow. She needed something else to drink than that Dalmore too. Sharp greens dipped to the ground watching the trail that Mesteno left in his wake. "You stink." Oh wait that isn't how she was doing... "I'm doing good now that my brother is back in town."

Genuine surprise he could hide no better than half-effort lies, and he turned it on his slimline shadow as if he intended to determine whether she was being serious. Evidently he believed her, because he didn't scoff. No, he was too busy laughing at her remark, and doing nothing at all to deny it. "I smell like work. But don't worry, I won't rub it all over you." Beyond the bar he plucked down his bottle of Grand Marnier, and waited for her to direct him to her choice of booze, a lean hand
half-raised, ready to pluck it from the shelf. "What're you having? And why was your brother absent?" He knew who she meant, even if he couldn't recall ever having been introduced to the man.

He smelled like horse and they both knew how Katt disliked those beasts of burden. When he looked her way her gaze turned up to him. She wasn't joking in any way. She was hoping he would show face. It isn't like he ever answers his cellphone. When he laughed her lips twitched a hint of a smile and she craned her chin just a bit to the left. "If you are willing to share," she gestured to his usual, "As for his absence I don't really know the full story. Stuff...for over a year..." A year was a
long time, "That is mostly why I haven't been around a lot. Taking care of his business and doing my work for the Gov." Sharp greens tilted and she observed the patrons one by one, familiar and not.

He kept himself tucked in tight against the edge of the bar so that anyone else rummaging for rot-gut could slip past without stumbling over his feet. At Katt's request, he searched out a pair of tumblers, and poured them both a few fingers of the over-sweet liqueur. The bottle left within easy reach of both of them, he stayed put on the opposite side so they could talk face to face. "So you're neck deep in the serious **** now," he remarked rather than asked, "You let everything else go for
good?" Last they'd spoken, she'd been furious over the matter of a particular business he chose not to mention for fear of resurgence.

"Not no more. With him back it means he can fill his own shoes again." And she'd gladly give him the reins back. Her gaze followed the creature heading to the hearth before turning on the woman who the creature seemed to come with. Slowly her attention found Mesteno again and for a moment she just stared at him. She knew what he was getting at. "The Bon Bon was shut down months ago because I was tired of the bullcrap I had to deal with. I still do catering and personal requests but the whole
business has been placed to rest. Other things I have done in the past are still going if not a few extras tucked under belt." Taking a seat she folded her arms on the bar. "What about you?"

The necromancer kept himself well out of the way of the new woman, though for no reason other than space was short and most people weren't fond of sharing. Curling a palm around his tumbler, he took in Katt's news with a hum that suggested he wasn't surprised, but was perhaps disappointed it hadn't resolved itself in a more... satisfactory manner. "On the bright side, it's one less thing to get you all prickled. I am sorry though, that place was your baby." As for himself? He considered quietly,
then hitched a shrug. "Ain't much to tell. I help out with Ivanya's people, do some work in the Temple District, hang out here when I can and that's about it."

Her shoulders slowly rolled in a shrug. "There are enough bakeries that mine going under probably won't even be noticed. I will still be bringing pastries and such here so it isn't as if much will change." She still hadn't touched her drink but she was thinking. Yeah it had been her baby and moving it to Wonderplex had been a big mistake. Craning her chin she watched Shae a bit, her brows twitching before lowering more. Slowly she looked back to Mesteno, "What of Evander?" She noticed that
wasn't on his list of things. It was followed by, "You work? Like a normal job?"

One or more of her questions made him laugh, and his smile stretched broad, crooked despite the even lines of his teeth. "Oh Evander's the same as always. Avoidin' bein' social, busy with his own gigs. We get done an' head home and harass each other." There had been a spell where they'd both been off world, and the after effects had been long-lasting, still yet to be shaken off, but to Mesteno it didn't matter. A little hardship meant nothing. "And yes I have a job... just ain't a 9-5 or legal in most folks' opinions." But who was to say what was legal in this damn metropolis? "Don't worry though, s'nothing that would... cause trouble for your government business."

"I like that. My government business." She mused a bit and slowly nodded. Hearing this about Evander and Mesteno still being together made a rare little smile show. This was good news indeed to her. They were, after all, one of her favorite couples. "Afraid I'd have to whoop you again huh?" It was hard to tell by most, and surely that didn't know her, but she was teasing Mestneo. Finally the glass was taken up that had been poured for her.

To some it might come as a shock. He'd had ill luck with lovers over the years, and after Samiel he'd been ready to resign himself to good old, meaningless sex. Evander though... well he'd stuck around despite all the necromancer's faults (oh there were many.) "I think you're remembering it wrong," he drawled. "I seem to remember you an; me duelin' and you all red faced and blubbery at the end." Pause. "Snotty nose and everything."

There was a crack in her expression, lips twitching out a small smirk. "I was not blubbering or snotty nosed. You know under different circumstances I might just of challeneged you to another." She waggled a finger at him while watching the woman with the fox and the man. Neither she knew but that was fine... Slowly she shook her head. "The red faced was for totally different reasons and you know that." There was a mumble and likely the word 'ass' somewhere in there.

Mesteno lifted his glass for a greedy swallow, gold-shot eyes lively with mischief. Oh he remembered well enough. He also knew Katt had proven herself a very competent fighter, though he'd expected that before he'd ever agreed to a sparring match. Briefly, he followed her gaze to the strangers, but it was a transient shift of attention, and all too soon he was watching Katt again. "You ever get that other matter settled?" Her armour. He simply wouldn't say it aloud, and hoped she'd just
miraculously guess what he was prodding her over.

It was easy to get lost in watching others sometime. The heavy, unnatural stare moved from other patrons to find Mesteno again. Digging through her memories she had to figure out what he was vaguely asking of. "You are speaking of my condition?" Slowly her head shook, just enough to disturb the obsidian hair that fell well past her shoulders. "I wish I could say it was settled...It has been a pain to be sure."

"S'been a long time," he murmured thoughtfully, surprised to hear there'd been no resolution. "You just kinda resigned to it or still searching for a fix?" Mesteno understood the people watching. He fell into the same habits more often than not. A result of old faces vanishing and new ones filling the gaps. He'd never had much talent for making nice with new visitors.

"It is ...complicated." It was her go-to answer but really it was. "If anything is done wrong I can perminately be hurt or killed. I've already been found in a pool of my own blood twice in the past year. I haven't given up. I'm...too stubborn to give up." She mused a bit and sipped on her drink. "I have kept up on my other skills, however. Train daily and most likely have raised the bill on costs for my brother over the past year or so." She didn't look like she felt bad about it either.

He knew about her inherent healing abilities, had seen her recover from a collection of bullet wounds that should have put a swift end to a simple human, so the fact that her 'condition' could be life threatening despite it left his smiles absent and his expression all frown and scowl. "I'm sure your brother'll barely even notice the outgoings," he snorted. "You still with your guy? Clayton, wasn't it?"

She blinked slowly at Mesteno for that comment. "What do you mean he'll barely even notice the outgoings, Mesteno?" At the mention of Clayton her lips thinned and she craned her head just a bit, cat-like turn of attention. "He was with my brother but arrived earlier by a months time. I am not fully sure why they were off doing whatever it was. I am still with him but there are...questions..now.."

"I mean what's a little extra money to him," he clarified. So far as he'd heard, there was a certain wealth to Batten Industries, and if Katt had been increasing expenditures he doubted there would be an issue. Her reply about Clayton, but perhaps more the body language involved, had him watch her closely. "I hope it's something you can resolve... if it's meant to be," he murmured. If her heart wasn't in it, if the trust wasn't there, he wouldn't blame her for wanting out.

"Oh he's not worried about the money, Mesteno..and that wasn't his reason for leaving. Apparently Clayton had asked him to go on some sort of travel with him." Her hands settled on the bar. Fingers stretched and she drummed them lightly. Her voice dipped as she looked up to Mesteno, "I am just finding out that his race pretty much grow up hunting and killing mine..."

"So the pair of them up and left without telling you where, and ou're only now learning about the slightly significant race issue...." He arched a brow at her. No doubt he sympathised, but he expected there was a whole lot of damn annoyed Katt all boiled up in there, too. "Do they know who he's taken for a lover? They gonna come hunting the pair of you now?"

She was annoyed but it wasn't boiling annoyed. She wanted answers. Lots of answers. "Pretty much. I wouldn't of exactly been able to go and considering their side trip is was likely just as well." Her hands clasped around the glass, not realizing that she was clinging too hard. "I don't know, Mesteno. That is some of my questions, actually. I was concerned about him maybe using our relationship to observe and hunt me..."
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2015, 10:56:05 PM »
That suspicion he clearly hadn't expected. Both eyes widened a touch, and he gulped down what was left of the liqueur, pouring himself a second glass before he even contemplated offering a reponse. "I can understand why that would be your initial fear," he told her, edging away from the bar to make way for Amber. He slipped around to lean against the bar beside Katt instead. "But you 'n he have been all sorts of intimate, right? You've let yourself be vulnerable around him. There must have been
opportunities where he could have done it and he hasn't. So why still suspect him of it?"

She flexed her fingers in a wave to Amber and would likely steal one of those tacos when nobody was looking. Sharp greens watched Mesteno in his trek before she actually would frown. "It depends on how much he wanted to learn to learn of me. I mean what better way than to get close." raising a hand she curled her fingers around the stone that hung around her neck. "I haven't spoke to him yet and there is only small doubt really. If anything it makes me...nervous.."

Regina was wise not to try the sneak attack. In part, she'd likely have found herself spiked upon uncomfortable body modifications. Mostly, she'd have wound up covered in damp, mud and horsehair from his less than tidy clothing. Slouching as he was though, Mesteno did spy the lady mortician, and he offered her a slim smile before he tilted his head back towards Katt to hear out the reasoning for her suspicions. "You've right to be nervous," he told her once she'd explained herself, "but, at risk of
sounding like a sentimental idiot, I think you know right here," pat-pat over his chest, "whether he's been playin' you for malicious reasons."

She chuckled quietly at Mesteno. Sentimental idiot. "You? Idiot?" She tsked quietly. Slowly her head shook and she glanced over to Regina. When she looked at Mesteno she held that serious stare of hers. "I know, Mesteno...and I'm scared. I don't like admitting that but..I am. I don't really know what to make of it. I mean he knows what I am. He grew up hating those like me. He grew up killing those like me. So why me?"

He squinted at Katt narrowly, as if in asking such a thing, she was really putting his rep on the damn line... but it was Katt, and so he sighed, and the scowl fell away as if he couldn't keep it fixed right. "The heart wants what the heart wants. The brain can pin whatever logic it likes on a situation, but if the connection is there, if the chemistry is there, that logic counts for nothing. What he feels for you must be strong enough to make him forget whatever bias, whatever stigma there is. He's set that all aside because you're more important to 'im than what he was brought up believing. Be happy." He swallowed down some more booze, as if being nice was withering his tongue up in his mouth.

That sounded like something she would of told someone else. Fingers combed through her dark hair to pull it from her face. "I know. I know. Like I said there will be some talking." Katt smiled a bit and glanced over. "Is that how you feel for Evander?" And no she's not forgiven him. There is still doom somewhere in his future.

It got worse!? Talking about other people's feelings was a whole lot easier than confessing his own. For a moment he said nothing, just nursing his booze with his expression relaxed and his eyes distant, far-seeing. Finally... "Ain't got the words for it," he confessed. Nothing he said could do it justice. That said, he wasn't the most eloquent of men.

Finishing off her own drink she nodded to Mesteno. "You are happy?"

"With him, yes. Life's always got room for improvements though," he told her, flashing one of those sharkish smiles. Truth be told he was plain picky. If his problems got sorted, he got bored. There had to be trouble enough to keep him walking the knife's edge.

"Going to adopt a kid?" She managed to keep a straight face with that one. It was damn hard though!

"You," he told Katt, "Are a punk. You're lucky I didn't say I'd adopt you, what with you still bein' all young and weak." It was a lame counter, but he was poking at the points she got snarly over most often. Apart from the pregnancy thing, anyhow.

"You'd unadopt me within twenty-four hours. We both know it. And for the record I am wearing steel-toe boots right now. I am not afraid to kick you where it will hurt." Which might be any part of his person. Gotta leave some surprise!

"Probably," he agreed mildly, turning his glass this way and that so that the alcohol climbed the sides, sticky-sweet. "Truth is, I've never been good with kids. Never wanted 'em, never even liked one save for Desdenova, and that's only 'cause he's so weird he ain't really like a kid, you know?" Such praise. "I like kids about as much as I like... wasps and ladyparts. Together. Wasps coming out of ladyparts."

"Thanks for the mental picture." She snorted. "Yeah I kind of figured that though. As long as you are happy though..." She paused a bit, "If I am able to fix my problem I'll let you know. And...thank you."

"Oh you're very welcome," he drawled, unashamed of the juvenile mental picture he'd painted. A final swallow drained his glass, and he pushed away from the bar. "I need to get a move on. Get the monster back home," he teased.

There was a brief confused look but then she looked to the door and gave quite a scowl. The horse...bleh. A nod was given to Mesteno. "Learn to answer your phone..."

"I'll keep an eye on it," he assured her. It'd make a change to receive actual messages rather than pictures of bodyparts (not that he ever complained of them). "You ever feel like another sparring match, feel free to hit me up." And with another light handed touch to her shoulder, he went slinking off towards the door.

She watched amusingly for a moment before looking over to Mesteno. "Until next time.." she mumbled after the man. He left her with a bit to think on.
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #50 on: March 14, 2015, 03:34:38 AM »
[size=9]March 6th[/size]

Four beanbag chairs were her friend right now. Yes she was hording them...no she didn't care. Nor did it seem the owners of the shop did. She had made a nest of sorts near the fireplace and was more or less staring off into space. The past few days had left her with a lot to think on, moreso after her talk with Mesteno.

There was no such thing as sneaking into the Teas shop, thanks to that bell on the door. But then, he wasn't in a sneaking mood today. In he came, opening the door and slipping through with his familiar catlike grace. A polite smile and a nod went to the old man behind the counter as his green-gold eyes turned about the room, settling on Katt in her nest. He couldn't help the grin that came across his features as he approached her. "Hello, Kathryn. You look quite comfortable."

Hearing that voice left her with a variety of mixed feelings. Slowly her eyes tilted up and over to the cat in manflesh, a small smile ticking the corner of her lips. The little handheld was settled against her lap but oddly enough she wasn't wearing her earbuds and listening to music or something. It was just there as if some sort of comfort. "Hey." A shift of her frame had her attempting to move in order to make room for him but it was like trying to swim against the current. After a bit of movement she gave up. He'd have to figure out something!
   
He couldn't help being amused, watching her struggle with the beanbags. When she stopped he finally moved, settling into the nest she'd created with feline ease, right next to her. He didn't need to be an empath to know she was filled with questions - he'd talked to her brother and gotten the details of their conversation. For a moment he simply watched her, green-gold eyes taking her in with no small amount of pleasure, before he finally spoke. "I understand we need to talk, love."

She was brooding for sure and it was likely why she chose this place, of all places, to do such. She watched him settle and slowly her eyes drooped when he spoke. Her brother apparently warned Clayton ahead of time. She wasn't sure how she felt about that. "Yeah...How much did he tell you?"

He shrugged, still smiling. He couldn't help it, really. She could be on a rampage and he'd still be happy to see her. "He told me everything you talked about." The green-gold eyes settled on hers, and he breathed a soft sigh. "I imagine you must have many questions."

He would find that her sharp greens were just staring at him. There were thoughts going on in that head of hers...and she wasn't sure where to even start. Slowly her brows furrowed, showing the struggle all the more. "Why did you go to your homeworld? There was a reason, wasn't there? It wasn't just a pop on over for the hell of it..." Slowly she sat up in order to face him a bit better. "Why didn't tell me? Why didn't you tell me about...about..." Slowly her chin lowered, ever so slightly
tilted to the left. "....what your people hunt. Beyond that ...why me? I mean..you know...what I am.."

He was silent for a long moment, regarding her. They were all valid questions, He answered the easiest first. "I went back because of my brothers. They were in trouble with the...'civilized' people of our world." He almost spat out the word 'civilized', clearly indicating his opinion of those he was talking about. "But I couldn't go alone...that is why I asked your brother to come. He would be accepted there, and he's the only person I trusted to watch my back that I could bring with me. You couldn't come because...well...of what you are." He looked at her. Not with pity, not with sadness or regret or resentment, but a simple warm, loving look. "That is no fault of your own. To me, you are the most beautiful thing I have ever laid eyes upon. To the people of my world...you are a creature of darkness...to be hated, feared, and hunted like an animal." His gaze fell to his hands. "I didn't tell you because it is not something I am proud of. It's true, I...I used to be like them. Like the rest of my people. But my people, the Yamni...most of those that hunt demons do so out of necessity, because that's what they were born to do. The others of my world do it out of fear and hatred. But myself...and a few others...we..." He looked away from her, and now shame crept into his voice. Shame, and a deep sadness. "...we did it for the pleasure. Because we enjoyed it."

Hated. Feared. Hunted. It explained why he was able to keep up with her when she went berserk. He was built for it. The more she listened to him the more she felt that ping of fear in her chest. Born to. He was similar to those that hunted her from Unity to Rhydin and after... Hunted, not out of necessity, but for the sheer enjoyment of it... Her eyes slowly turned away and landed on the fire. Slowly she drew her tongue over her lips, wetting the painfully dry flesh. She was listening more than he could ever imagine. So very closely... It was almost painful to breath and she was measuring out her breaths. "Why were they in trouble? Your brothers that is..."

He didn't look at her. Couldn't. He was afraid to see the look in her eyes. "They were on a hunt. It took them into the middle of a city. We...they...are not welcome there. They're treated much the same as the demons are, though marginally more tolerated." He forced himself to look in her direction now. She wasn't looking his way yet. He hadn't answered all of her questions yet, and after a moment, he spoke. "You asked...why you. Even knowing what you are." A smile found its way to his lips. He couldn't help it. You still have no concept of how you effect people, my love." His tone grew warmer as he spoke. "But that doesn't tell you what you want to know, does it? You want to know why someone like me - a creature born, bred, and evolved to fight demons, one that even professes enjoying it - would go and fall in love with one." He peered at her, reaching out to lay a hand on her shoulder, green-gold eyes seeking hers out. "Am I on target?"

"I don't...understand. I mean I can see a hunt being unhappily looked upon if taken into a place full of people but..what do  you mean they are treated much the same?" She was confused a little now. She was straining to keep certain things from spilling out. She had always felt that a person should be judged by who they are not what they are. Their race didn't define them. But this... Why did this feel so different? She likely wouldn't of answered, or even looked to him, if it hadn't been for his reach out to touch her. She tensed, nearly taking a full leap out of her own flesh. Sharp greens turned up to him quickly, "Yes..."

He sighed softly. "To explain what I'm talking about, when it comes to the people of my world who are not Yamni, would require quite a long history lesson. Suffice it to say, they are a fearful people, of anything that they regard as supernatural in origin. Including the Yamni, despite the fact that we are of the same world, the same ancestry." He didn't take his hand away, not moving to distance himself or come closer just yet. "Unlike most of my people, I've left my world. You must understand, my world gets interdimensional traffic much as Rhy'din does...though not nearly on the scale we see here.But our people don't leave our world - it's like a cultural phobia, stepping off our own soil. It was terrifying, the first time I left my world behind. But I did it, and once I was no longer on my world...I discovered many things that most of my people will never be able to fathom." He paused a moment, looking into her eyes again. "But perhaps what changed me the most was that my life was saved by one of the very creatures I spent my time hunting."

She silently listened to him, those heavy unnatural eyes of hers scanning his face. Scanning for any tell-tale signs? No. Just..searching. She wasn't even sure she knew for what. Eventually her eyes met his. As much as she wanted to avoid it she just found her gaze settling there. A slow curve of her lips took place as she started to spill a question but she stopped only to form another, "When we first met, that night at the teas. Were you...hunting me? Is that..why you were drawn to me?"

"Because you are a demon, you mean?" He shook his head at the question, smiling. "I was not hunting you...I was not hunting at all, in fact. I was simply...drawn there. When I first saw you, I knew you to be a demon - that can't be hidden from a Yamni - but...you're not like any that I met before. The demons of my world are cruel, unfeeling creatures with little thought outside of their hunger...except maybe for the pleasure of the kill." There was a return of the guilt in his features. He had been no better than the creatures he hunted, and he still hated himself for it. "You're...not like that at all. You're the complete opposite, in fact." And then a smile appeared on his features, and a hint of blood showed in his cheeks a moment. "Although I suppose it might explain why you smell so good to me..."

"You've seen me angry. I can be cruel..." And in her past she was all of those things. Cruel...unfeeling.. And there was part of her that still enjoyed the spilling of blood. She'd never admit to that. Damn it.. why was it every time he blushed she ended up staring. It was just...so damn fetching.  For a moment she was silently just staring at him though she did make a single sound to him saying she smelled good to him. That...was so wrong..in so many ways. Bad Clayton! A smile started to twitch her lips but something seemed to click and the smile shot down quick. "Do people know you are with me?" Her eyes turned to meet his. "Are you in danger because of me?" No..she didn't ask if she was in danger. She was always in danger! Him...Him and Edward...those were what meant most to her...

He blinked at the sudden turn of her mood, but he smiled and shook his head, lifting his other hand to touch her opposite shoulder. "No, my darling Kathryn, we are not in danger. My people know, but they will not pursue me." His smile turned a little sad as he said that, before he warmed again, one of his hands reaching to touch the heartstone at her neck gently. "And they cannot harm you, because of this."

Her brows dipped and she turned her eyes down to the stone that she was quite protective over. "Because of it..." She'd shake her head and look back up to him. "I am not worried about myself. I am worried about what they might do to you. They don't know me. They do know you." There was a bit of a pause and her brows furrowed. "I ..know you..right?" If anything she was making sure that at no point...he had been leading her on. She didn't want to think that but she did have to make sure. She had to make sure..

He couldn't help the purring chuckle as he looked at her, lifting one hand to caress her cheek as he looked into her eyes. Again, there was no regret, or sadness, or guilt, or even hurt in those eyes. Just warmth and love that was all hers. "You do know me, my lovely Kathryn. Better than anyone living." He shook his head to her previous question. "And no one will be coming after me, I promise you that...so long as I never return to my world." Before she could make any noise of protest, he moved his hand from her cheek and pressed his fingertips to her lips to silence her. "And before you say that I should not have to sacrifice that for you, please understand this: it is no sacrifice. That world is no longer my home...perhaps it never was. My home is here. With you, for as long as you will have me."

She knew if it came down to it...if someone did try to come hunt him..Well it just wouldn't be a pretty thing. No..that would be very..very ugly. Before she could say anything she found herself being silenced. Slowly nodding she squinted up at him. She'd trust that..right up until nipping his fingertips. Slowly her head drew back. "Is there anything else you feel I should know?"

He shook his head at the question, smiling. "Just that I'm sorry I didn't say anything before now. I intended to, but...well, we have been a little busy." He waggled his eyebrows suggestively at her with a very feline grin as he scooted a little closer to her on the beanbag chairs. "I just didn't want you to doubt that what we have is something real...I didn't want you to doubt me or the way I feel about you." He reached down and took one of her hands in his.

More than I already have..you mean.." He did seem to get a chuckle out of her with the waggling of his brows. She didn't attempt to stop him from getting close and her eyes turned down to watch his hand creeping close to her own. "I...do have something I should tell you..It doesn't have to do with this..subject. Though I am..happy ..that it has all been cleared up." Her fingers flexed and slowly curled to his own, more pressing than trying to claim. "Do you ...remember the subject we talked about at the inn?"

His fingers curled around hers as he chuckled, arching an eyebrow at her. "You may have to be more specific. We tend to cover a lot of ground when we talk, lover." He thought for a moment. There were only a couple of things that immediately sprang to mind. "You mean about having your godchildren in a couple of weeks?"

"No." She did chuckle though. He was right. When they talked they did tend to cover a rather large amount of subjects. Her eyes turned up to his face. "I was informed by a source that...I can't have children, Clayton. My insides are too screwed up..." she watched his face for a reaction. She already knew her own..she wanted his.

He frowned slightly as she said that. There was disappointment there, in no small measure. Ever since he had heard of a possible future with her, with children perhaps in it...the thought had been intoxicating, to say the least. It hurt to know that she couldn't have children, and not only for his own sake, but hers as well. His voice was soft as he spoke. "I am sorry to hear that, Kathryn. You would be a great mother." And then he brightened again, the purr back in his voice. "But we could always adopt. So long as we don't end up like Icer and Aurthur, taking on a quarter of the city."

There was a disappointment she understood and then there was hers that, as a woman, went slightly deeper. Her eyes drifted down to her stomach. "I don't...want to adopt." Her brows furrowed a bit. "If there was a way I could fix myself...do you think I should take it?" She didn't look back up to him. Instead she had turned focus on his hand. "I mean...it would be worth the chance...right?"

He blinked at that. It was a thought that hadn't occurred to him, though this was Rhy'din. If it could happen anywhere... Something registered to him, just as he was about to feel a ray of hope, and his gaze focused on her intently. "What do you mean? What chance?" He had to think a moment to really be able to voice what he was thinking, what he wanted to know. "What would the cost be?" If the cost was her life, even in some small chance, he wasn't sure he could agree to that.

"No cost beyond it working or not...as far as I know." He had the same thoughts she did. Slowly her eyes turned up to his face. "And the source that would be fixing me...you might not agree with." Hell she wasn't sure she agreed with it much herself. But it was a chance she was ...almost willing to chance. Suddenly her eyes went wide and she looked away, scowling at herself. "I am so sorry, Clayton. I shouldn't...even be talking about this."

"Kathryn." His hand found her cheek, a gentle touch to turn her eyes back to his. "If...you think it worth the chance...if it's really what you want...I would be by your side, no matter what. I won't deny that I want this for you...and for us. But it really is more for you to decide than it is for me."

For a moment, just a split moment, she considered not telling him. Or her brother for that matter. "The one who use to refer to herself as Renna...the woman who infected me with the Shadow Virus.. She said she could fix me by injecting me with another virus. One specifically for..fixing me."

He considered that for a long moment. He had only heard of the one called Renna, and encountered her perhaps a single time that was more fleeting than anything else. He only knew she was dangerous in the extreme, according to what he'd heard. "Do you trust her?"

Oh boy.. That was the question, now wasn't it? She looked away as she considered that. "I don't know... Partly? I do know she has the means..." She looked back over to him. "And I am not sure I should ask Edward about it. I mean it is a weird subject to bring up to my brother..you know?"

"Having never been able to get pregnant - as I'm male and all - I don't really know from experience." He let out a purring chuckle as he nodded to her. "But I do see your point." He fell silent again, thinking a moment, moving to slip an arm around her and pull her close. "She made this offer to you?"

Slowly she leaned into his arm and she closed her eyes. She was, just for the moment, soaking up the warmth... "When she ...infected me she learned all my ..well..we can just say she knows me inside and out and some. She said she can reproduce my .." she gestured at her stomach, "Or fix..Yeah..She offered it to me. Said she owed me for what she did to me. What she took from me..." She paused there. She was half expecting him to ask what even got the two of them speaking of pregnancy.

When he gestured to her stomach, he laid one of his hands on it. He couldn't help but be amused at the way she had trouble articulating things in that area, even now. For a moment he simply curled up with her, savoring the feeling of her close to him, a comfort like no other he could imagine. After a moment, though, he voiced the question she was expecting. "Might I ask how you came to this subject?"

Her stomach dipped in when he touched it, quivering under his touch even. She knew it was dumb to be thinking of having kids. When she heard the question she made a strange little sound that was more of a strangled groan than anything. "She...is with child.." Yeah. Everyone she knew was having kids. "I...asked her what it felt like..and it just came to me saying I didn't know if I could..and she said I couldn't."

He hadn't known Renna was having kids. But then again, there were few enough events in Rhy'din that caught his attention. Still, it made sense that the conversation might drift that way. He made no move to take his hand away from where it rested at the moment, just looked at her, into her eyes. "What would you like to do, my love? What is it you want?"

She was relaxed against him a little more until muscles had simply melted and her full weight was his to deal with. Not that he ever seemed to mind. Meeting his eyes she just stared at him while she considered the question. "I don't know... Being under the influence of the Shadow Virus was a nightmare for me. But...if this virus does nothing more than fix me..." Her brows twitched. "I know it is too soon to be thinking about it but it is something I would like to do. I mean...have kids. It is something I want to experience..."

Of course he didn't mind. She weighed about as much as a feather might to him, and the feeling of her molded against him was perhaps his favorite sensation in the world. Next to her scent, and other...more intimate sensations they experienced. "I would like that too, my love. And not simply for me, but moreso for you." He leaned in close and touched his lips to her temple. "You really will be a great mother. I'm certain of it."

Not simply for him. He ..wanted to have children with her. It still surprised her a little. "Clayton? Why...do you keep saying that? That I ..would be a great mother?" It was a question she suddenly felt she needed an answer to. She wasn't exactly motherly. Hell she had problems getting close to her godchildren... "It..will be something I bring by my brother before I cross that bridge though. I don't..want to keep anything from him."

He chuckled softly, a low purring sound as his lips brushed soft against her skin. "Because in my experience, my love, it is those that are most troubled and frightened at the prospect of motherhood that turn out to have had nothing to be frightened of." He leaned back a touch and eyed her thoughtfully, then nodded. "A good idea. Though I do not expect him to be very happy about it."

"I..." her brows furrowed, "Never really thought of myself as a mother or having children until..you. Or rather..that conversation. I still don't know." Yeah it did frighten her. She was a screw up.. She didn't want that for any living soul. "Yeah I know he won't be. I mean I don't want him to think that I am not turning to him because I don't think ...I don't want him to think I don't view him as someone I can turn to. I just..I don't want to make him uncomfortable. That is why I didn't..accept her offer when she first asked. It is something I am simply thinking on.."

He nodded, curling his arms around her with a soft sigh of contentment. "It is your decision, lover. Whichever way you choose, I will be with you." A purring chuckle escaped his throat for a moment. "Though I hope you will forgive me if I choose to be absent when you talk to your brother about this." Curious as he was about the aftermath of that conversation, he didn't want to get the looks he was certain he would be on the receiving end of from her brother.

She laughed under her breath. "Are you afraid that he might eyeball you as the reason for my decision?" She really wasn't sure how her brother would react. It was, to say, going to  be an interesting conversation for sure. "I'll forgive you but I think I might call claim that you owe me one." She grinned playfully to him and placed a soft kiss against his cheek. "Thank you..for letting me know about everything. You've no idea how much I've been ..." fretting? Worried? Concerned.

There was a long list.
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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« Reply #51 on: March 30, 2015, 02:00:15 PM »
[size=9]March 26th[/size]

The night was rather cold for it being March and the snow was freshly coating the ground. She found herself at a spot that she normally visited when her mind was a mess. The fountain... She didn't know why but for as long as she could remember it was a spot she sat for hours on end, sometimes thinking - sometimes not, but always sitting.

Waiting.

Waiting for what...?

Staring at the sky she was deep in thoughts tonight. Thoughts of a party just so recent. It had been a spur of the moment thing she wanted to do for her brother. He deserved it as far as she was concerned... A surprise birthday party.

A surprise birthday party that was turned around into something ... else.

Her brother demanding attention had her thinking...well... the guy wanted to make a big show of his opening the gifts. It confused her why he gave Clayton 'the floor'. She could still remember that soft smile that Clayton wore. She couldn't remember seeing the cat in man-flesh so...nervous...

"My people have a saying, that our hearts are the hardest parts of ourselves, because it is the part we hold onto tightest. Sometimes, however, we may find one who can touch that part of us, and we loosen our grip enough to share it with them."

Her hand rose up, without even thinking, to the stone that hung from around her neck. Fingertips softly stroked at the stone with affections that were meant for only one.

"You have my heart, my love, and I can think of no other I wish to hold it ever again."

She hadn't understood why he was saying this in front of all of the party guests. Why he chose then and there to speak such words. What's more why did Edward have to make a scene of it. Even as Clayton had taken a knee and produced the small black box from his jacket pocket, she hadn't understood. It seemed everyone had up until that point except her... The ring, in all it's beauty, had been overlooked at the time. The cat in man-flesh had her attention. Her worry... Her concern...

"So I ask you, Kathryn Ayanna Batten, will you marry me?"


Even now as she thought about it, those words floored her, and at the same time left her with a million questions. Why? Had it been because of their recent talk about her being unable to have children? No. He cleared that up. Was it because of Edward bullying Clayton into proposing? No. That too was cleared up. Was he really proposing?! To her?! Why?? Why would anyone want to be with someone like her...?

Maybe it was the years of being told that she could never truly be loved that was tugging at her mind...She had thought she had gotten past that...

Maybe it was the fear that it was simply a dream. That Clayton and Edward were still MIA and off somewhere...But the weight of the ring felt so very...very real...

Maybe...

He'd known she would be here. Some things never changed, and this was her spot when she had things on her mind. He paused some feet away, green-gold eyes fixated on her as she sat, a smile curling his lips that he could never seem to help whenever he saw her. In motion once again, silent, stalking steps brought him closer, his softly purring voice carrying to her on the cold night air. "Good evening, Kathryn." The clock tower sounded its twelve chimes, and he chuckled. "Or morning, I suppose, now."

She inhaled suddenly and rather soundly. Either by his voice or by the ringing of the bell did she seem to return to life and the present. Slowly her eyes turned over to the cat in man-flesh. A smile ticked the corner of her lips and she slowly relaxed her posture. "Good morning, Clayton." Hands slid free of the hoodie and pressed to the edge of the fountain. She didn't dismount from the ledge but she did lean forward a bit. "I suppose it is pretty late isn't it?" Her own chuckle left her lips. "I just finished patrolling so was taking a little break."

He nodded as he approached, moving to settle into a lean next to her on the ledge of the fountain, close enough to be touching. Interlacing his fingers together, he looked down at them for a long moment, then towards her. For a long moment he simply just...looked at her, the green-gold eyes intense, before he finally spoke. "You have doubts."

She watched him as he came close and she slowly leaned to rest her shoulder to his. When he looked to her..with that intense gaze of his..she tilted her head slowly. Why was she getting that look? When he did speak she turned her gaze a little. "Not..so much as doubts. Concerns? I don't know. Dee thinks I am overthinking everything." She turned her eyes back to him and her fingers slowly crawled across the fountain's surface until her fingertips brushed what part of him they could.

He tilted his head as he listened, watching her. Her touch against his side was leaned into slightly, his hands unlacing and the one closer to her seeking her fingers out to curl around them. "So tell me. Let us bring the monsters out into the light and slay them together." His tone was laced with affection and warmth, even with the purring chuckle heard within it.

"I..." she curled her fingers against his own. "You...asked. I wasn't expecting it... I ..It wasn't because of our conversation about me having children. You cleared that up. You said when you when on the trip?" Her eyes slowly drifted up until she found his face. "Why? Why me? I mean..." her brows furrowed as she looked at him. She didn't have ways to make it into words. "Are..you really sure?"

The smile spread across his features as he nodded. "I've been sure. When I was on my world, and amongst my people, they knew who I had given my heart to. My brothers told them, after they heard it from me." He shrugged. "I was given a choice: to come home and renounce my love for you...or be banished from among my people forever." He let out another softly purring chuckle. "I took no time in realizing that I would rather be apart from them forever than never seeing you again."

She straigthened as he spoke and she stared at him in utter disbelief. "They...they..banished you? Because of what I am? Because you.." Her jaw tightened and soon relaxed. She couldn't help the apologetic look he was given. Hell she didn't even know she was doing it. "Did you go there..knowing that may happen?"

He nodded, the smile still on his lips as his hand came up to stroke her cheek. "Don't be saddened by it, my love. I'm not. Most of my people have not had the experiences I have, even the ones that are older than I am. It has left them close-minded and inflexible." At her second question he nodded again, and with it came another shrug. "I knew. Not that it mattered. It wouldn't have changed anything."

For a moment she allowed herself to find comfort in the grace of his hand at her cheek. "I can't say I am surprised. Your...race..Is much like the hunters that followed me here." Her brows furrowed and her eyes opened to look up at him. She couldn't remember some of the times during her younger years in Rhydin. It was odd..."If you are sure. I mean it is a little late now." She broke a smile, that smile that was only for him, "I kinda already said yes. Though I'll admit I have ...had difficulty accepting that it had happened." She didn't want him to know that she still hadn't looked at the ring. "Andu on the other hand! Boy he seems to enjoy making sure I let people know. Moment I stepped into the inn he was having me tell people."

He had to laugh at that. "I cannot say I am surprised. Though I rather thought Dylan would be the one spreading it around as fast as she could find people to tell." He chuckled softly, his arm moving to slip around her waist. "I am sure, my love. More certain than anything else." His other hand moved to take her left hand, the one with the ring on it. "I had meant to give you this in a more...private setting that night. But your brother's idea appealed to the romantic in me, I suppose."

She didn't lean away from his arm and she leaned into his arm. "My brother. Wait...you told him before you actually proposed to me?" She blinked to him and slowly drew her fingers along his own. "Is that what you two hens were clucking over when he pulled you away?" Did she just call them hens? Yes! She made a joke... "Mrm...I ...I know my reaction to your ...proposal was not ..normal." she mumbled quietly, "And for that I am sorry. Your words were very..." her free hand moved up to rest against her chest and she kneaded over her heart. "It was perfect..."

He chuckled and nodded to her question about her brother. "It's traditional even among my people to ask for the blessing of family before asking for a hand in marriage, and your brother is the only one I could think to consult." His eyes found hers as his arm tightened around her waist, pulling her close against him. "You have nothing to apologize for, lover. You are hardly the typical woman, after all, and that is just one of the many reasons I love you."

"Shows how much I know about the whole proposal thing, doesn't it?" Her hand moved from her chest to his own, fingers stretching out. She always did enjoyed feeling his heartbeat. "What..did he say when you asked?" Because she was nosey... Her other hand left his hand in order to draw her arms around his waist and hug him close. "I don't...regret accepting, if you are concerned about that." She wanted to make sure he heard her so her eyes were just a staring a him.

He let out a low, purring chuckle, though the chuckle faded and a softly purring sound rumbled from him as her hand found his chest, resting over his heart. Such a soothing touch, and what beat beneath her hand was hers, a subtle reminder that he loved. "He asked me why. I told him what I told you." His eyes met hers unflinchingly as he nodded, smiling. "I know, love...though I am glad to hear you say it. I can think of no one I would rather spend my life with, and I suppose I could have had that without asking you to marry me...but the idea of being not just yours, but tied together, is something I do want very much."

Her lips twitched and grew into a soft smile. Tied together. Her finger kneaded softly against his chest. As far as she was concerned..they were. In more than one way. Blinking she chuckled quietly if only to herself. "When..um.." Her chin dipped a bit in attempt to hide her face. "When do you want the wedding to be?" Was she blushing? Most likely...

No amount of hiding would conceal that blush from him. He could practically hear the blood rushing to her cheeks. "To be completely honest, I'm not sure...though I think I'd prefer during the summer. The idea of an outdoor wedding is quite appealing, and here that is pretty much the only season one could do it in without risking hypothermia."

"I don't know... The way winter is butting into spring..." she chuckled and lifted her eyes. "Do you..Do you have a place where you want to? If..um..if not there is a place I'd like to show you. There is a place near Mount Yasuo. Cherry blossoms trees waiting to bloom." Since winter has yet to decline so spring could take over. The blooms had yet to happen much to her disappointment. "I mean.." she blinked. "This..year?"

"I know." It was still cold, though the bitter edge had faded somewhat. He eyed her as she made her suggestion, letting out a softly purring chuckle. "I hadn't really thought about a location, but yours sounds like it would be perfect. If the trees bloom, that is." Arching an eyebrow, he grinned at her. "I wasn't sure of an exact date, honestly. I thought that should be something we discuss together."

She seemed to grow silent, drawing in on her thoughts...or maybe just her imagination. "Would you like to head home and talk about a date later or...or are you wanting to discuss that now?"

He considered that. It was getting rather late - or early, depending on one's perspective. "It's not something we need to discuss right this second, I think...though perhaps in the near future we probably should make it a point to talk about it." With a smile, he moved to stand, pulling her with him. "Right now, though, I believe I hear a bed calling our name."

"Sounds like a plan!" She exhaled a little and jumped off the edge of the fountain. Grabbing his hand she curled her fingers to his own and smiled. A little tug...a little pull...she'd head home with him on tow.
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #52 on: October 29, 2015, 03:38:20 AM »
.: Chapter Twenty-One: A brother's gift :.
[size=9]Sept 6th[/size]


"Miss Batten. There is a message for you from your brother."

She had almost missed D.I.A.N.A's message. The training facility was mostly dark but the floor was splattered in a rather alarming amount of blood. Huffing heavily in the middle of the floor she looked up to where she had figured the voice came from. Both shoulders were loose, body hunched over with her hands between her knees as she just stood there, struggling to collect herself. Blood trickled down her arms, pieces of flesh missing along the limbs that hung there.

"What's the message..." she rumbled a quiet growl as she forced herself to stand straighter, ignore the pain that coursed through her.

"Meet me by the fountain in the marketplace. I've got something for ya."

She blinked slowly and flexed her fingers, stretching the torn flesh along her arm until it didn't feel like it wasn't going to split any more. "Alright. I'm done for now, Diana. Thank you for the message."

"You are welcome, Miss Batten."

Making her way to the door she could feel the vitae dripping from her fingertips and leaving a crimson trail behind her. Once outside the door she grabbed up a roll of bandages and started wrapping up her hands, right up to her bicep as if it were an every day thing. It was something she went through weekly, if not daily, for months now. It wasn't a fun process and she hadn't grown any use to the pain but it was a necessity. She had to figure out some way to get her Reevi to work properly  and so far forcing it to manifest seemed to be the only course she could come up with. That, however, proved to do nothing more than tear her up. The Reevi still manifested inside the flesh instead of coating over it.

Sighing she finished tucking the bandages and sliding the hoodie over her top and shorts. To say she was surprised about getting a message from her brother was a mild understatement. She hadn't heard from him some time. He seemed to always be so..busy...

With what? She didn't know...

He was waiting in the marketplace. Despite having had no sleep, he looked fresh and rested, dressed in the long trenchcoat he always had on him, as well as jeans and a Batten Industries t-shirt, a familiar-looking black backpack slung over one shoulder. The message had gone out only a few minutes ago to his sister, and now he was just waiting for her to show.

The message had been received... but there was no reply.  Granted he wasn't left to wait for long.  Not far away she had stepped from the shadows, sharp greens looking to the man she was approaching.  She was looking him over for sure. "Edward..."  She wasn't there because he said he had something for her...

He truthfully hadn't expected a reply, but he knew she'd show. When had she not? He couldn't help the smile that found his features as he turned towards her. After all, how many sisters did he have? He didn't move from the leaning pose he had taken by the fountain, just beckoned her over. "Hiya, sis. S'been a while. How ya been?"

He looked well and it did help ease some of the worry.  Lips pursed briefly before she released a breath. Slowly she made her way over to him.  It took a bit not to grab him up in a long needed, reassuring hug. "Worried...It is good to finally see you out and about.". She was still looking him over a bit and after that her heavy gaze seemed to ease.  "You've been missed.."

The hug was much needed, and as she approached he pushed off from his lean and met her, reaching out to pull her in for that embrace. "Ah'm sorry, sis. Ya know me, always busy wit' some damn t'ing or 'not'er." Letting her go, he stepped back, giving her a wide grin. "Ah t'ink Ah'm gonna take a vacation from work for a li'l while, t'ough. Di keeps t'reat'enin'  t'lock me outta de tower if Ah don't."

The hug was leaned into, arms embracing the man and her forehead bumping his shoulder. She soaked it in for as long as he allowed. Once he pulled away her eyes tilted up. "I was starting to consider going into your lab.." Destroying things. That is most likely what she would of done. "So you will listen to Di and not your sister." She huffed a little at him. "I am glad..to see you." She really..really was. Maybe she would talk to Di about locking Ed out of the tower but maybe...that wouldn't work. Di listened more to him than her after all.

He stuck his tongue out at her, looking for an instant every inch an impish big brother as he chuckled. "Ah been workin' in de penthouse. Ain't been to de lab in a few weeks at least...been finishin' up a few projects and figgered Ah wanted t'be comfortable doin' em." He gave her a grin and a wink. "Speakin' o'dat..." He unslung the backpack from his shoulder, which she would recognize as being the one Clayton had been delivering to him recently, and held it out to her. "Dis is fer you. Took a bit t'get it de way Ah wanted it fer ya, but better late dan never, an' Ah didn' wanna wait 'til yer birt'day t'give it t'ya."

"So I should burn your penthouse instead?" Her eyes drooped a little as she stared at him. "You...haven't been in there for weeks with a bunch of women have you?" Yeah..projects. She was calling his bluff. Plus it stopped her from grabbing at his tongue. Sharp greens tilted to the backpack and slowly she reached out to take it. It was looked over before she turned eye to him. "Why was this at the inn? And why ask Clayton to get it for you?" He had to know there would be questions...

He chuckled. "Ya couldn' burn down de penthouse even if ya wanted to, sis. An' Ah had it stashed at de Inn 'cause Ah didn' want it t'be discovered. Ah had somet'in' Ah was developin' for dis, an' dat was de place Ah knew nobody was gonna find it." He grinned at her, seeming almost as excited as an overgrown kid. "'Member when Ah told ya Ah was makin' ya a suit?"

She was quiet as he talked. Couldn't but she sure the hell would try! She rumbled a quiet, displeased sound at him but it seemed to ease the longer he talked. It might of simply been his voice..the talking. When he asked the question she slowly nodded. "Yes..You didn't say why for specifically but it had been...mentioned. I figured it to be one of your back burner ideas or something."

He shrugged at that, the grin remaining on his lips. "Well, wit' one t'ing or anot'er, it kinda was put on de back burner, Ah'm afraid. Dat an' Ah had a couple t'ings in mind fer it dat took a bit o'time to develop properly. Sorry, but Ah wanted it t'be perfect." The grin widened. "Ya wanna give it a try?"

A gift from him.. If he would of known how much she treasured the pcui.. This had her looking at the backpack. "Perfect..." Now she was curious. "I do..." because now she was curious. About as curious as he was excited. "How?"

He looked around the marketplace. There were entirely too many people here for him to be comfortable with doing it here. The suit took time to get used to, even with previous combative training and skill. "Ah don' t'ink we wanna do it here. Wanna walk wit' me to de glen?"

Spending more time with him? What kind of question was that?! Shd nodded to him and slung the backpack over her shoulder. "Sure. As we walk you can tell me what you have been doing..."

He grinned at her as he turned and started towards the path south that led towards the Glen. "Aure, alt'ough ya'll prob'ly find it borin'. Data analysis, diagnostic stuff, dat sorta t'ing." He turned his gaze sidelong at his sister, arching an eyebrow. "An' you can tell me what's goin' on wit' yer impendin' wedding."

"Nothing." she said it simply as she walked along side of him. Hell she might of been trying to avoid talking about it. No..not really. There wasn't anything to really talk about. She just kind of shrugged as they walked. "Though Claire's sibling seems to find it amusing sending me pictures of pink froofroo dresses..."

He came to a momentary halt as they walked along the path, blue-grey eyes settled on his sister, a frown touching his features. "Waitasec. Whaddaya mean, not'in'? Do Ah need to light a fire under yer fiance's furry rear?"

She blinked slowly at him. Why ..was he frowning? She looked at him ..confusedly. "Why?" She craned her head and turned her eyes to the surroundings. "When he is ready we will ..talk."

He eyed her for a long moment, his head tilting slightly to the side for a moment as he regarded her thoughtfully. After a moment more he started walking again, looking around, scoping out the area. "Ya sure he ain't waitin' on you? Pardon me fer sayin' so, sis, but ya don't seem overly excited at de prospect."

"I am still surprised he even asked." She answered honestly to him. "I am..excited in my own way but it still feels.." She searched for a word as she followed him. "Surreal?"

He considered that a moment as they walked, looking around, then turning towards a clear area and heading towards it. "Ah s'pose Ah get dat. Alt'ough ya shouldn' be s'prised, sis. De man's head-over-heels in love wit' ya." He glanced at her and flashed a grin, then turned more serious for a moment. "Ya mean more t'him dan his own people. An' Ah t'ink he asked ya b'cause he wanted ya t'see dat he means t'stay wit' ya forever, no matter what comes."

Pressure much? No..she didn't think about it that way. She knew everything he was saying... He had said it before. She understood it but there was a deep seeded fear she just couldn't shake. That..and something else. "I know Edward..I know...And we agreed to talk about it. When he isn't busy...Or you keeping him busy." She tilted her eyes to him. Yeah she was calling her brother out for making Clayton an errand boy! "Is...it bad...that we haven't just jumped into the wedding?" She tipped her head. "Has...he said something to you?" Yep..now she was shaking him down for info!

They arrived at the clear area, and he came to a halt, turning to face his sister. "Not in so many words, lil sis. He ain't in any rush, dat much Ah know. He'd be perfectly happy t'stay wit' ya, married or no. He said dat much." He chuckled softly. "Since Ah'm takin' a vacation, Ah s'pose it'd be alright if Ah let him have one too." He gestured to the backpack. "Put it on. Bot' straps."

She almost told him that he needed to settle down himself but she knew, better than anyone, that it wasn't that easy. "There is one thing I do want to talk to you about ..that I need to speak to him about." She slid the second strap on and adjusted the pack to rest better against her back. "I..know that normally a woman takes her husband's last name...But.." Her eyes turned to Edward. "I..am not sure I want to. Not that it isn't a nice name..."

"Katt Sheridan." He considered it for a moment, then grinned, shaking his head. "Jus' don' have de same ring to it, does it?" He chuckled, then turned serious again. "De backpack is de deployment unit, an' attuned t'yer mental an' neurological patterns. It ain't gonna work fer anyone but you. Make sure ya have it on like dat, t'ough, or it won't work. When ya want it t'activate, all ya gotta do is t'ink de word 'armor' an' it'll do de rest."

"That isn't it.." she said quietly to him. No.. It was so much more..personal. Deep. She settled her hands on the straps as she listened to his explanation. "Hmmm." She was listening and maybe thinkin ga little too hard cause..yep..she thought the word. Wanna guess what happened next?

Sure enough, the single word thought activated it. The backpack split open and with fluid-like smoothness the armor flashed out to wrap around his little sister, the deployment a swift thing that took a matter of seconds, encompassing her from the top of her head to the bottoms of her feet. Her head was the last thing to be encased by the armor. Ever mindful of his sister and her own private fears, however, as soon as the helm was in place the holographic display came up, replacing darkness with  a full-field view in front of her vision. Air circulation systems built into the suit gave her fresh air, together with the display almost making it seem as though the helmet weren't even there.

So that answered her question of accidently setting it off! Her inital reaction was to jerk from her rooted place but it seemed that the process simply followed her. She didn't even have time to panic as the vision field came on leaving her almost as if the helmet wasn't even there. She had worn helmets before but normally they never closed. This..this was different. Almost as if it were not there at all! Raising her hands she gave a look over her plated fingers, testing out the motion by clenching and unclenching...Her eyes eventually turned down. This...was almost like wearing armor..not one of his bulky..large suits. "It..is lighter than I expected.."

He grinned as he walked around her, blue-grey eyes inspecting it. "Figgered ya wouldn' be comfortable in one o'de walkin' tanks Ah go 'round in. Ah d'signed 'round yer p'tic'lar skills." He winked at her as he came around the front of her again. "Ya always were de sneaky type. Wit' dat in mind, Ah kept de weaponry at a minimum. Ya got extending blades in de forearms, a pair o-detachable swords on yer back, an' de pulse generators in yer palms. All t'ought controlled. But de icin' on de cake is de stealt' system...a sorta cloakin' device dat took a while t'develop."

Her particular skills. There was a sound of amusement in the helmet. She wondered..did she sound different on the outside? "I do not mean to ..sneak..often." Just kind of happens. She really was in awe the more she listened. Swords and blades. "Pulse..generators?" She turned her hands so the palms were up. She blinked and turned her attention to him again. "Stealth system? Explain?"

He looked like she'd just asked him tell her a list of his favorite treats that she could make him. "De stealt' system is a retro-reflective coating dat'll activate wit' a t'ought. Stealt', cloak, invisible, or any sim'lar t'ought impulses will activate it an' render ya completely invisible to just about any met'od of visual detection in existence."

While he was explaining she seemed to of been going through the weapons, testing how they came to be and the fluidity of how the suit moved. She was, of course, careful of his presence. "Any method? Including your system searches?" Aka she was asking..if he could track. Instead of waiting for his answer the air around her shimmered and she disappeared from sight.

"'ey! Don' be disappearin' when Ah am lecturin' ya!"

"How about a game of hide and seek?" she quickly countered with a laugh.
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #53 on: October 29, 2015, 05:02:32 AM »
.: Chapter Twenty-One: Close to the Heart :.
[size=9]Sept 13th[/size]


She had lost time...

She did that a lot when she was just going through the motions. Patrolling...coming to the inn and doing the same thing..even if most people never realized that. It was fine by her really. She didn't do what she did for recognition, thank yous, or what have you. Hell more often or not she received someone's ire. Such was the way of things, right?

No this loss of time was different. Her mind seemed to of nearly shut down thanks to a little 'announcement' that One dropped on days ago.

"Edward is dying."

Such a simple statement...

Yet it was an massive impact..

And yes...he was human. Of course he was dying.  A slow, deteriorating death that all life eventually comes full circle to. But she was sure that was not the death that One was speaking of.

She wasn't quite sure why she even believed One. The reincarnation of Renna...

She never did like the woman calling herself 'One'. It bugged the ever living hell out of her. She even made it a point to say so.

Even still...Why believe her? Why did she know? Why wouldn't Edward of told her?

The longer she sat on the questions...the more it made sense... After all before he kept something like this from her and despite her venomously scolding him over it she knew that he would continue to keep things from her. For whatever reason he was...

She couldn't help but feel he didn't trust her... and that right there was where it hurt.

It ate at her... Stole her sleeping hours and made her not just restless but overworking. She avoided going home and seeking comfort in Clayton's company. The reason for that? It was quite simple, really. For one... She couldn't talk about it. She wasn't suppose to know about it after all and she knew she would end up telling Clayton. Second...What if he already knew? What if all this time he had been spending with Edward was exactly because of that. He knew.

...She wouldn't be able to handle that...

While she felt she couldn't talk about it to anyone there was one she did turn to. One she was going to talk to. Why? Because in Rhydin she and this person had a rare sort of relationship. She knew that she could tell him and since he didn't know Edward that he would not go off seeking to speak with Edward. Not only that but this person could keep a secret. He sure did keep her secret...

...Had for years...

She trailed around the building a number of times before going inside. She disabled any sort of devices that could be for recording.. That included D.I.A.N.A. and her PCUI. She made sure that for a short period of time that the Great Hall became a dead zone. After she was content with the dead zone she went looking for that person...
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #54 on: October 29, 2015, 05:06:25 AM »
He made no attempt to strike up conversation on that walk across the city to the market place where the Hall was located. Katt didn't seem to be inclined to speak where there were ears which might overhear them, and the necromancer seemed to be reticent, suffering a verbal drought some would have been relieved by. He held the door for her when they reached the entrance though, and let it drift closed on the cacophony of the summer marketplace on the other side.

Once they made it to the hall she took a moment to do something on her pcui...Not that he would see it. She walked past when he held the door open, sharp greens drifting about the place. Did she strike up conversation on the way..? No. But once inside she paced near to the center of the room before turning to him. Of all sources. Him. Why? ...There was a reason. "I need..advice, Mesteno. I.." There was something that showed, now. Something rarely seen on her. She'd wait a few breaths, "I..don't know what to do.."

He trailed after her, and despite how echoey the room was when Katt spoke, there was no sound carrying from his feet. He slipped a wide-ranging look about before answering, too, just to make sure they really hadn't any company. When all seemed clear, he contented himself with a seat on the window ledge, and leveled a shrewd look on her. He was observant enough despite his seeming lassitude of late, to realise she seemed anxious. Despite the odd choice of coming to him for advice (because let's face it, he wasn't going to win any prizes for good decisions) he seemed willing to lend her an ear. "Disclaimer, you follow it at your own risk," he drawled. "What's happened, Katt? Y'not usually like this."

Any other time..she might of laughed at that. This time? Not so much... "This..what I am about to say..." she pointed a finger between them.."Stays here." she wasn't asking but seemed to have some amount of faith that he would honor that. Her hand slowly lowered. "My...My brother is dying, Mesteno.." just saying it seemed to bring a measure of fear and pain. It was almost as if she couldn't even handle the thought. "The thing is..he hasn't told me. In fact he has gone to lengths to keep it from me...And I don't know what to do..."

Although she ought have known he'd keep his silence, he did her the courtesy of offering her an acquiescing nod; she seemed to need the reassurance just now. The news drew the thick lines of his eyebrows to knotting, and though he never asked for her brother's name, he assumed she meant Edward, since she'd referred to him as such in the past. "That musta been hard news for you," he murmured quietly, watching her still. "If he's gone to lengths to hide it, how was it y'came to hear the news then? Were y'snoopin', or hear it from someone who couldn't keep their trap shut?"

That..was an understatement. Hard news indeed. Her hands kneaded inside the hoodie's pockets, clenching and unclenching the fabric violently. You would think there would of been tears. Would of been something. There was a reaction, of course, just a little harder to see. The sharp hue of her eyes had dulled and her pupils were thinned to the point they were nearly swallowed by the green. "A third party who..felt that I should know. It was, in a way, a debt paid. I was not asking...Hell I thought he was just ...spending too much time in his lab. I bugged the crap out of him to get out..."

He didn't press her for the name of the third party, since he suspected she was disinclined to share it, but he nodded to assure her he followed what she'd explained so far. He could see she struggled, but he also knew it was the show of compassion that tended to break down the flood gates for most people, and Katt had her pride, just as he had. He wouldn't be that cruel. "I'm guessing that this third party made you promise not to act on the news he was givin' you," he ventured, lacing his
Mesteno   fingers loosely in his lap, letting his spine wilt lazily. "But you're torn 'cause you want to offer y'brother your support now you know."

It isn't the flood gates that are the problem. It was likely to be far, far worse than a few tears. "No..In fact they insisted I ..trap him and make him talk." She shook her head a single time to his assessment. "No. It isn't just that I want to offer support. I want to know why the hell he couldn't come to me! Why he couldn't trust me with this. He has to know that it was not something he should be keeping from me. Why..all this time that he kept something like this..from me..." Her lips drew and she took a moment, "But at the same time...Do I have the right to? Shouldn't I let him decide to come to me with it? Or...I..." she just allowed it to die there.

He wasn't doing well so far - his guesses had all been wrong! Still, he listened attentively, offering no interruption as she opened up on the matter, and gave it all due consideration as her words failed and silence ensued. His reply was not immediate, but it did come. "Some folks are like that. There's no rule that says they have to darken anyone's day with their troubles, even if they know that person wouldn't consider it a burden. I suspect he's trying to be selfless. He's come to the conclusion that what time he has left isn't going to be spent with people watchin' him with sorrow or worry in their eyes. Y'see people watchin' you that way and you feel... weak somehow." He wasn't sure how well he was explaining it, but he understood the man's choice. "This is happening to him, Katt. Hard though it might be to hear, you have to let him deal with it in his way. Unless there's something you can do to prevent his death, give him the bit of comfort he has in thinking he's protecting people."

She was listening. Oh how she was listening. He might of found her gaze a little more intense than normal as she watched him. While his words were not exactly..what she wanted to hear she did understand them..understand what he meant. No.. She didn't like it at all. Slowly her head dipped in a nod. This..Right here was the reason why she came to him. That trust he would give an honest point of view and opinion. "I am not sure how I will handle it when the time comes." She meant the death.

It was only opinion. She might have heard something more to her liking had she sought another source of advice, and perhaps the outcome of all this might have been quite different! Despite her nod, he wasn't sure she'd refrain from approaching her brother. "If there comes a time y'can see it in him, that he's failing, that he can't hide it anymore... At that point there's no reason to pretend. Maybe then he'll want someone to confide in, and if you're as close as y'seem, it'll be you he comes to. And I'm sure you'll be broken hearted, cara, because there's no point in pretending otherwise, but if he's suffering, be happy for him when it happens."

Approaching? No. She may very well avoid him. It will likely depend... "I am not even sure what he is dying of but when I saw him recently he ..didn't seem as if he were in pain." Unless he was on some good stuff! "In fact he seemed more of...like a child in a candy store..talking about the new thing he made for me." It did make it a little more clear why he wanted to give it before her birthday. And why he seemed...so intent on the wedding. "Do..all men hide such things from those that..are suppose to be close to them?" Wow..if she couldn't of given him more of a pointed look...

Either the pain relief was good, or he was a fine actor! Mesteno couldn't guess which, since he'd only ever seen the man in question in passing. At her mention of the wedding, he grimaced. Not because of any opposition to such things of course. "S'not gonna be any kinda happy day for you, with dark clouds like this looming," he sighed, lifting a hand to scratch absently at his jawline, before the pointed look she was giving registered. "You know better'n to ask that. Men are as varied in how they handle **** as women are. Some're far from independent - just look how many turn to their mothers when they're sick, how many call for 'em when they're dyin'. Some're gonna suck it up 'cause they were brought up that way, or they're proud, or they think society expects it of 'em."

"And some of them become super grouch." Her hands kept working inside of the pocket and she was likely to tear the fabric at any moment. She was still chewing over his words and opinion. "Could you do it? Act like everything is okay when you know it wasn't?"

Well, he wasn't about to deny that he could be grouchy. He did angle a brow up as if to ask, 'me?' but he spared her the innocent act. He was no good at faking it. "To the best of my abilities," he told her wryly. "My poker face needs some work. Usually I just tell folks I don't want to talk about whatever's botherin' me."

She nodded slowly. "Seriously needs work... "
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #55 on: October 29, 2015, 05:33:47 AM »
[size=9]Sept 17th[/size]

How long had it been she was going on without sleep? She had lost count on the days now. Within the inn she had a few pillows nudged on the floor near the hearth and had slumped down into them somewhat like a cat getting comfy in its favorite place. Cheek settling to the side of one of the pillows she made no attempt to draw in the fan of dark hair that had spilled across the other pillows. She wasn't into sharing it seemed.

Shaking her head, One found herself moving away from the bar heading for the hearth to a particularly upset lionless of the Batten pride. Upset? It was not hard to tell. She looked like hell and chances were, she was hiding it pretty well from the others. Her footfalls ceases behind the prone Katt. She said nothing for the most part. She simply stared at her.

"What do you want?" Katt mumbled against her arm and the pillow. The question was directed without looking over to One.

"You look like s***."

"Captain Obvious." Wait didn't she have a bottle of water somewhere? She shifted to look down into the pillows. Somewhere...in there..

One muttered. "One does not think that a suitable heroic name."

Another time..she might of found that amusing. Finding the bottle of water she clamped her teeth to the cap, pausing to glance her dulled gaze at One. "What do you want?" was repeated.

She looked back with own equally dulled gaze. But that is only because she was refusing to express enough emotion. Slowly one got onto her knees so she was at a close level to Katt, right behind her. "Your biometrics indicate you are exhausted. Given the news to which I had imparted upon you, This One predicted this outcome."

A sound echoed in her throat when she felt One getting entirely too close for her liking. She didn't need to say it did she? Oh the 'back off' was right there on her tongue but she'd glance over her shoulder to One. "Stop checking my biometrics."

"It is automatic." One quickly fed her arms around Katt's waist and pulled her into an embrace.

She probably looked like she was about ready to twitch clear out of her own flesh when One suddenly wrapped around her. The sound in her throat exploded into a loud, gurgling growl and she pressed her hands to One's shoulder. "What the hell are you doing?!"

She kept the embrace. "Hugging you."

"Release me." she warned One quietly and made no efforts to yank One off. It was a simple hope that One would do so on her own without no physical force. "I ....appreciate the effort but I don't want to be touched." Seriously..no touchie!

"It must be frustrating." One stared. "Knowing someone you love will die." She tilted her head. "It must be hurt. Upset you. You must be thinking about it all the time. Is This One right?"

Her hands clenched on One and she yanked the woman down onto the pillows as she rolled over. Her voice lowered as she growled at One. "Shut up. Shut up. Shut up! It isn't your place to talk about it for everyone to hear." She'd try to pry One off of her then so she could get up.

One held on. Vice-like grips on both of her shoulders. Katt might be strong, but One was built stronger. She stared blankly at the growl. "I said nothing other than the limited needed information. I can name, names... but that would be obvious, wouldn't it?" She remained on the pillows, at a disadvantage. But she continued. She grinned darkly. "Be glad I won't be the one to put the nail in that coffin. The subject of our conversation is nothing more than a waste of space - a liar, a cheater...a creator of chaos for gains that suit the one but the many. Ever wondered, Katt, your situation? Surrounded by those that use you for what you are meant to be?" She tilted her head. "Katt. Death comes to everyone. Unfortunately, it comes to those who seek it."

"Let..me...go.." it was her last warning. She wanted to be released and fingers pushing low into One's arms to try and get her arms loose. "Just let me go..." Something One said caused her eyes to narrow and she shifted around in attempts to stand, regardless of being clung to.

One smiled. "I refuse."

Katt was not amused. "Rosa. You are pissing me off. Let go. I want to leave and go do some work. I can't do that with you latched on. I don't want a hug and if you are trying to give me comfort you are doing a piss poor job of it. So if you want to give me comfort...let...go."

"Ironic." She spoke, leaving go, laying there on the pillows. "One figured perhaps a violent reaction would make the Subject feel cathartic."

"You should see the training facility." Or what was left of it. She blinked slowly. "You ....were provoking me in attempt to get me to attack you?"

One tilted her head. "Obviously."

"When have you ever known me to throw a punch first...?" By now, of all people, she should know that Katt only got violent like that..if needed. It seemed not even being emotionally distraught changed that. "...Thank you, Rosa. But..you hurt me more than helped me. What you said..hurt.." Which was the point, obviously. "Excuse me..I need to go.." She really did.. Turning on her heels she started to the door, a dip of her head to Thorn and Les.

One lent up, eyes wide. "That was not my intention." Her wide eyes narrow at the closed door. She stood slowly and then glanced to the bar. "Ironic." One muttered.

Katt made her way into the city, her feet carrying her quicker with each step. There was no path taken.

It was simply...

...fleeing...
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2015, 03:45:35 AM »
[size=9]Nov 5th[/size]

The Playboy strolled into the market square, dressed in his usual black ankle-length coat, a hand-tailored suit showing under the open front, nodding and waving around to the citizens that passed near enough. Despite the lateness of the year, it was a pleasant enough day, and he planned to take advantage of it, stopping to peruse stalls and vendors at random.

Tomorrow was another town meeting and she was suppose to go over the security detail with Ebon. That and...Ebon wanted to talk to her over some business. What business? She didn't know. It was enough to get her out and about though. After briefing the inn, long enough to retrieve her mail, she made her way to the heart of the city with a stride that was purpose filled but lacking a certain umph. Her goal? The smoothie stall and the fountain for what one could consider..lunch.

He had stopped at a stall to chat with a vendor, a man selling a rather unique assortment of what appeared to be intricate crystalline lattice sculptures, but was surprised to find out they were in fact a sort of three dimensional puzzle. He'd never seen the like before, and was fascinated by them, apparently oblivious to everything else at the moment as he examined one from every angle he could manage.

She had gained the banana and strawberry smoothie and was just about to tail it to her favorite sitting spot when something caught her attention. It wasn't the sight...No. It was a scent on the afternoon breeze that caused her head to tilt just enough to peer across the crowd. Unmistakably ...spotted! For a moment she eyed the brother figure eyeing the crystal sculptures and she was torn in what to do. Go see him or leave him to his peace. That lasted a few minutes before she'd actually push from her rooted place and began to cut the distance between her and her brother. Sharp greens turned an eye to the vendor he was speaking with but didn't offer to butt into their conversation. Instead she stood behind Edward some feet away and just..eyed his back.

She'd come up just as they were negotiating price. "Dat much? Dat's ridiculously overpriced." He said it with a grin, however, as he picked up one of the more confounding-looking three-dimensional puzzles. "I'll take it." Handing over the currency as well as the puzzle, he waited while the vendor boxed it up. Once he had it, he tucked it under his arm and turned to go looking around some more...only to find his sister standing nearby, staring at him. Oh boy. Well, what else was there to do, really? Starting towards her, he gave her a smile, acting as casual as he could manage. He was still the Playboy, after all, nothing could change that fact about him. "Hey dere, lil sis."

"You didn't even try to haggle..." she pointed out to him in a way that was so matter-of-fact. Just..you know..being her. Same with her staring at his back, patiently waiting. Seriously did he know her to ever butt into one of his conversations? Unless she was involved, of course, but that was a different story all together. "It is good to see you out and about."

He chuckled easily, looking down at the box under his arm for a moment, then back at his sister, as he came near and to a halt. "S'not like Ah can't afford it, y'know. Why should Ah haggle?" He was taken aback for a moment. He'd been expecting something less welcoming, given the circumstances. "S'good t'be out'n'about, sis. Well...out'n'about doin' normal stuff, at any rate."

"Isn't the point of being a businessman to keep the money you earn to some degree." Hence..haggling. He would find that she wasn't going to act on anything. After all...she wasn't suppose to know. Nor did she know that he knew that she knew. It...wasn't easy though. She rumbled a sound. "Normal stuff." That statement almost amused her...Almost. Slowly her eyes drifted down to the box. "Is that what has you out?"

He snorted at that. "Sure, Ah s'pose dat's somet'in' t'consider. But on de ot'er hand, part o'de fun of bein' filt'y stinkin' rich is spendin' money of friv'lous, useless crap whenver ya want." He eyed her a moment. Clearly, she wasn't going to broach the subject, and he had a feeling if they didn't discuss it now, it would be uglier down the road. "Ya know, one t'ing Ah've ne'er been fond of is havin' a proverbial elephant in de room. Ah know ya spoke t'Renna, sis. Or rat'er, she spoke t'you."

He..did have a point she supposed. A person that had everything at their fingertips. Katt grunted quietly and her lips started to seek out the straw...until he said...that. She stopped and eyed him long and hard. "I was waiting for you to trust me enough to tell me yourself." There may of been something of a nerve struck that sounded in her tone. "Which conversation did you hear?" One or both.. Did matter. The fact she hadn't said anything else thusfar..might want to cause him concern.

The casual expression slipped from his features, to be replaced by something else. Anger, clear and simple, hardened his blue-grey eyes. "Bot' of 'em, but dat ain't de point, is it? Do ya really t'ink Ah didn' say anyt'in' 'cause Ah don' trust ya? 'Cause dat's just a stupid assumption right dere." He glared at her. "In case ya didn' know it, dere's damn few people in any world Ah actually trust, an' yer at de top of a very short list."

His anger only fueled her own and her eyes showed it. Katt glared right back at him. "You told me..No. You promised me that you wouldn't keep crap like this from me again. Remember?" She placed the cup to the side and held her hand open for the box he was holding. "How the hell am I suppose to feel? Tell me that?" Her jaw clenched and worked as if she were chewing on something. Most likely her own anger. "I should of been the first on your goddamn list to tell. How long have you known?"

He made no move to hand the box over, and when he spoke, his voice was low, full of building fury. "Ah found out a whole two days b'fore dat arrogant b*tch told ya, t'anks. An' did it maybe occur t'ya dat de reason Ah didn' say anyt'in' might've been 'cause Ah didn' want anyone t'know? Ah sure's hell didn' tell her, she found out 'cause she somehow picked up on it on her own. All Ah wanted was t'live de rest o'what remains o'my life like Ah have been, wit'out anyone but me worryin' 'bout de inevitable. Honesly, Ah never worried 'bout it before, an' de only reason Ah do now ain't fer me. De only diff'rence between den an' now is dat now Ah know how it's gonna happen, but jus' like ever'one else, Ah ain't got no idea when. 'Till den, Ah don' want anyone treatin' me like Ah'm 'bout t'keel over, or ask me how Ah'm doin' wit' dat damn expression on deir face ya always see when dey t'ink yer fragile or somet'in. 'Cause Ah ain't."

He can keep the box then. The more he talked the more she wound up and he'd barely get the last few words out before Katt was swinging at him, closed fist and for his right cheek. If he thought back he'd recall.. She did warn him if he kept anything like this from her again she'd punch him. She was keeping true to her word! "For a smart person you are really, really dumb! It took you all this time, knowing damn well she told me, to say anything?! And even then I had to basically corner you? What in the world makes you think I am going to think you are fragile?! The only thing that would change is that I would want to spend more time with you and get you out of that stupid lab! I mean seriously?! And just because you are dying doesn't mean I am going to treat you like glass! You of all people should know me better than that!" Furious didn't even describe how she looked but on top of that..there were tears. As rare as they were in public..they were there now. "Do you even have any idea how important you are to me?" She knew he was important to other people but that didn't matter right now. Nope. Totally selfish at the moment. "You promised me... In that it is your fault that I questioned your trust in me. If you should be angry at anyone it should be yourself!"

The automated protection system in his armor saw her coming, and by the time her fist found his cheek, it met not flesh, but the unyielding surface of the Ranger suit as, quick as thought, the coat he was wearing shifted to cover him up completely. Even so the blow snapped his head to the side, though it didn't stagger him as it otherwise might have. He turned his gaze back towards her, his voice coming out filtered by the armor. "You really don't want to do that. You'll speed up the process." The suit flowed away, reforming into the long coat again, but this time the expression on his face was resigned. "Ya know what, yer right. Ah shoulda told ya. But fer yer information, Ah've been spendin' my time tryin' t'find a solution t'dis. Ah ain't 'fraid o'dyin', but Ah ain't in no hurry t'get dere, eit'er. Best Ah can do is slow it down. But dis...dis ain't 'bout you, Katt. Ain't even 'bout me. What's happenin' t'me is..." He sighed, looking around. "...ya don' understand...if.....dis can't be contained, an' Ah go in de wrong place at de wrong time...it's gonna be bad, sis...fer ever'one."

She gurgled a sound when her fist met the metal. Fhkh that hurt! Even though her hand reeled back she didn't show it on her face. Nope..That punch was to prove a point...even if it hit the metal. "All this time you've been hiding away from the world to find that information. I could of been spending that time with you. I could of been helping. Or at least been there." Precious time that could not be gained back. It was important to her, even if he said it wasn't about her or him. He just..didn't get it. Still.. She did something she was ever good at. Her eyes closed and she bottled up the emotions that had caused the tears. Stuffed them nice and deep. By the time her eyes opened she was looking back at him with that masked that was ever so perfectly crafted. A gesture was made for him to walk and she would, of course, join him. "Explain."

He started walking as she gestured. Somehow, through all that, the package he was carrying hadn't been dropped. "Ya don' get it. Ain't not'in' anyone can do 'bout it. Ah can slow t'ings down, give m'self more time, but Ah ain't got a clue how much. Mont's, maybe years, d'pendin'." He sighed. "S'complicated. All comes back t'dat exper'ment Ah did awhile back, de Guardian Project. 'Member dat?"

She wanted to say he was the one who didn't get it but it didn't matter. She forced herself to swallow it down and she took to his heel, eventually making to walk at his left side. She was still chewing over the fact that he thought she, of all people, would actually treat him like..glass..fragile. He wasn't that..by far. Even if he was dying. She grunted at him when he asked. "Yeah I do. But...why is it back then you looked like hell ran you ragged and you look fine now? Or is it that the base of what is wrong with different...symptoms." She wasn't even sure if that was the word she would use for this.

He shook his head. "Diff'rent problem entirely. De exper'ment is what caused it, t'ough...alterin' my entire genetic structure, incorporatin' properties of de OmniPower material into my DNA. Made me stronger, tougher, faster, all o' dat, but dere was somet'in' Ah didn' know was happenin' at de same time." He looked sidelong at her a moment. "How much d'ya know 'bout how de armor works?"

Still sounded like the base of the problem. The root. Where it started. Katt shook her head and raised a brow at him. She tapped her pack and raised a brow at him. "No clue actually. You've never told me and I've never asked. You are the one who is all into the techno-mumbojumbo, remember? I am pretty stupid when it comes to all of that. What I have learned thusfar is all because of you." She chuckled and craned her head a bit as she looked at him. Hm...

He smirked. It was true, of course, and a lot of the information involved was beyond the understanding just about everyone but himself. "Well, t'give ya de basics...the armor is its own power source. It works by convertin' energy from any force dat can make it change shape. Ya could power yer armor jus' by walkin' around in it, if ya wanted to. Heat, cold, de force of an impact, all dat causes it t'produce energy." He paused a moment. "Well, now dat same material makes up part o'my genetic structure, an' it's been doin' de same t'ing. Problem is, de power it's been producin' is bein' stored in my cells, an' Ah never knew it was happenin'. It's been buildin' up since den...but de cells can only hold so much before..." He stopped there. The implications should be obvious, even to someone who knew as little about technology as Katt.

"So the energy has been building with no release or escape. So..." she blinked and glanced over to him. "You are going to explode..?" It was a guess and yep..in her mind? Edward was a balloon. Same concept, really. See she got it! She wasn't as dumb in it as she would like to think. After all it was him and D.I.A.N.A that had been teaching her.  She was watching his face to see if she got it right.

 Edward Batten: He was silent for a long moment as they walked. It was technically correct, of course, but... "Yeah...but dat don't quite cover de scope of it, sis. Ah mean, ya got it right, but if my calculations are c'rect - an' dey always are - me explodin' wit' all de energy stored up in my cells could take out most of Rhy'din, if not all o' it an' part o'de surroundin' countryside."

She didn't like the silence and the longer he was silent the more she seemed to be staring at him. At his explanation she pursed her lips thoughtfully. "You can't make something... to contain such a blast? Like..If you made a room of the same material as.." she tapped her pack. "That wouldn't..." Her shoulders slumped a bit. No she didn't like the idea of him blowing up. Not in the least..but she did understand his concern.

He shook his head. "Ah t'ought o'dat. De material can take a pretty signif'cant blast, but dat much energy bein' released all at once..." He sighed, his head bowing for a moment. Hell, he didn't like the thought of exploding either. He tried to avoid thinking about it as much as he could, in fact, or tried to distance himself from the thought when he was working for a solution. "Ah'm sorry, Katt. Ya shoulda heard it from me, not dat arrogant..." He choked down the word he wanted to say. "...and ya would have, too. Maybe not right away, mighta taken a coupla days, maybe a week, maybe longer, Ah don' know. But you woulda been de first t'know."

"What about multiple walls of it. That way it doesn't have to absorb it all at once but in waves and chunks? Wouldn't that make the waves weaker?" She stopped speaking when she noticed his head bowed. Reaching out she grabbed his wrist. He was scared. Maybe not scared of dying..but the ultimate of it all maybe? "I would of wanted to of known as soon as you could of. Edward..I have no want to baby you. Maybe spend more time with you..to make more precious moments and have that time...I am here and here for you to lean on. You seem..to not want that tho." She tugged if he'd allow if only for a hug. While there was still question if she was ..just an experiment..these were also her feelings. "I have to admit...I have told one person..but only because I needed someone to speak to...I didn't know what to do. It is someone you know..barely..by name..someone I know that can keep a secret. And I've no intentions on telling anyone else. It is your business to tell who you wish..when you wish..If you ever intend to."

He let her pull him in for the hug, and returned it. "Ya know s'not dat Ah don't want it, sis...Ah'm jus'...used t'dealin' wit' m'own problems on my own. Still not used t'someone else worryin' 'bout me..." He leaned back a bit to look down at her with a grin. "...not even after all dis time." He did arch an eyebrow at her when she said she told someone else, though. "Spill. Who'd ya tell?"

She hugged him for as long as he would allow before slowly releasing him. "Mrm? Mesteno..." Not Clayton. Not Race. Not Issy. She specifically picked someone..he didn't have close connections to or any at all really. "He is the reason I didn't come to you sooner. I ...wanted you to tell me when you wanted to." she mumbled the last bit quietly.

While they talked they made their way through the city, Katt not allowing him to leave until he had lunch and dinner with her. As far as she was concerned he owed her at least that much!
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2015, 03:51:43 PM »
[size=9].: Later that night :.[/size]

Parting ways with her brother had not been easy for her. It seemed like the time they spent that day had been so...short... Informative...but short. Not enough to fill the void that the past months had left her feeling. That, however, was something she made sure not to show.

She was letting her emotions get away with her. That...wasn't normal. But it was him. Her brother. Her family. He really had no clue how important he was to her. How... much his presence meant in her life. How much it bothered her that she couldn't do anything, nothing at all, to even ease his mind. He did manage to, without even realizing it, ease something that was nagging at her mind.

Somewhere...another world...another alternate life...Edward Batten was not her brother but rather her Master. He was not the brother figure that he was to this day. No... He molded the beast. He controlled the monster. She was the abomination that her blood-family had worked to create.

A tool and nothing more...

Surrounded by those that use you for what you are meant to be?

She had to wonder if One actually understood those words... What they meant. In more ways than one. And for a time...yes..she questioned. Was Edward just using her?

Not just him...

Was that all she was meant for? To be used? To be a tool meant for nothing more than death?

Her eyes drew half-masted as she found herself standing before Asile-aux-Falaises. The place her brother allowed her to stay since she and Clayton got a little too loud for the apartment building.

Wasn't her fault Clayton was a screamer!

Slowly, but surely, she started her way inside and was greeted excitedly by the tuxedo cat and the Moor cat. The Moor cat nearly toppled her over but she managed to keep her footing while petting his massive head. The stroking to the large head ended as her eyes turned up to find the cat-in-manflesh standing in the doorway, a look of surprise. No doubt surprised to see her after nearly a month's time. She'd use this moment to her advantage and made her way to him.

Her hand stretched out, gently tapping her fingers against his hand before curling her fingers to his. When she saw his lips move to speak she shook her head faintly. Silently she tugged and drew him to the bedroom, tattered shoes kicked off along the way and somewhere along the way the burnt hoodie found the floor. She saw the questions in his golden eyes grow in number. He must of caught the scent of blood that was clinging to her.

Instead of even attempting to answer any of his questions she guided him to the bed and crawled in, his hand tugged on weakly to pull him along with her. He'd barely make it into the bed before she was headbutting her forehead to his chest, her arms curling to his waist to hug him, and her face buried. Inhaling his scent she pressed more until he had gave in and they both collapsed onto the bed. Face buried against him she remained like that, even as his own arms found place around her.

It was like this that she finally found sleep, his heartbeat a rhythm that she got lost in. After a month without any true sleep past a hour here and there she'd likely sleep the night away, unknown to the tears that found their way past closed lids and onto the flesh that she was nestled against.
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #58 on: April 06, 2016, 04:40:06 PM »
.: Chapter Twenty-Two: Triggers :.
[size=9]Jan 20th [/size]

Early morning in the Batten Training Facility there was a crash that left one of the doors twisted and bent open like a ramp welcoming someone to enter. The horrific screech of metal being manipulated was enough to have Kyle down to investigate though by D.I.A.N.A?s report he could already assume what was going on.

Katt was training again?

She trained hard and at times got a little carried away, sure, but what he found was not to this expectation. It was far, far worse. Climbing over the path that was once the door he found that the training room was, unsurprisingly, a wreck but what was surprising was the fact that Katt herself was sprawled on the ground in a pool of her own blood. The flesh looked as if it had been peeled off at certain places on her body leaving muscle and even bone exposed to the air. Even as he approached he could see she was still alive. Her chest heaved from the labor of heavy breaths and by the way her hands were moving against the ground it was almost as if she were trying to get up even in her current state...or she was twitching heavily in pain. Either way he took care in collecting her and moving her with care to the medical ward.

Stirring hours later she shifted in a bed that was not her own. Rather it was the bed of a room she had been placed in to rest up. She could tell that she had been given some of the specialized painkillers that her brother had made from her but there was also a feeling as if she had been given blood. Likely to ease and hurry the healing process. Either way it still took time before her mind reached out past the muddled stage to even think of moving?

...She really didn?t want to?

She didn?t need to think about what happened or how she ended up there?

Training to try and force the Reevi to reset was the attempt but not only that she tried to do what someone suggested. Instead of just using a part of the Reevi, why not a full body transformation? It, however, had been a horrible idea. Horrible and downright painful. She didn?t even manage a full body shift before the pain became unbearable?

?So you are awake. You are becoming rather reckless, Katt.?

Her head turned away when she heard Kyle?s voice. It wasn?t as if he were scolding her but rather lecturing out of concern, she knew, so didn?t need to see his face. ?Mrmm?? There was silence and when Kyle didn?t speak up again she decided to ask, ?You didn?t tell my brother did you??

?I am pretty sure he was alerted long before I even got there and D.I.A.N.A has been keeping him updated on your current condition.?

Nodding she slowly sat up, struggling in the efforts but eventually managing. When she looked over she took note that Kyle had been sitting nearby in a chair for some time? Even had a magazine with him. Now the question that weighed on her mind was how long she had been out. ?I managed to keep the damage down to the facility to a minimum.? That was always a good thing, she figured.

?You mean until you go training in your suit again.? Kyle chuckled and rolled the magazine between his hands.

He was right...of course. While she had been alternating between getting use to the suit and fixing herself, she had been doing a bit more damage than normal. Really she was expecting her brother to sit her down one day and tell her to stop. Tell her that the facility repairs was costing him a fortune and she was going to make him broke? ?I am just trying to get use to it. I think Edward wants to train me a little himself. I could be wrong?? Plus he had a lot on his plate already. Not that she knew all what was on his plate. She seemed to be the very last person to ever find out things. No matter how much she wanted to be there for him, he just wouldn?t let her?

The magazine was used to bop her head as Kyle stood. ?You won?t be any good to anyone if you go off and killing yourself.? He waved on his way out the door.

Probably had work to do, she figured? ?Thanks.? A smile ticked the corner of her lips as she bowed her head after the man.

Waiting a while longer before moving she glanced down to her arms. Already the flesh was regenerating but it was still damn painful. She had tried so many routes to fix the Reevi issue. Hell she had gone so far as to ask Ebon to go into her head, which anyone who truly knew her, knew that was not something she liked. Someone else in her head. Someone who could get swallowed up by the madness that was the abyssal chaos that was her mind?

...maybe she feared someone finding out that despite everything she really was the dark monster that she tried so hard not to be?

There was a deep seeded fear of that darkness. Being in the pit of nothingness. Being nothing. Feeling...nothing. No joy,  happiness, sadness, or fear. Not even pain. Whatever, or whoever, had awaken the emotions had left her with a gift she was not so willing to let go. She had been given life...

One question did remain loud in her head and had since the moment she found out her brother was going to die. When he did...how would she handle it? She had seen him nearly get swallowed whole by a dragon and a berserker's rage consumed her both mind and body. The dark part of her laid claim fully that day, leaving her with time lost and wounds gained when she woke. So if he died...and she lost him forever...how was she going to deal with it? Would she be able to? Or would that be the nudge that would send her spiraling down into the depths of her own darkness?

Frightful questions that left her shaking her head and despite not being fully healed she escaped from the bed sheets to gather her shoes. It was because of questions like those that she kept herself so busy. So she didn?t have think about them?

There was very little she ran away from but her own self seemed to be what she ran away from the most...

After changing into the clothes that Kyle seemed kind enough to bring her she started out of the room only to nearly bump into a nurse. The woman was barely taller than herself but kept herself planted.

"Oh, well, good evening, Miss Batten!" the woman quickly spoke while trying to usher Katt back into the room. "I was told to keep you in your room until you were fully recovered and you don't look anywhere near that."

"I'm leaving." It was so simply put as she slid past the woman's waving clipboard and slipped past her fully. She'd only stop once she was behind the woman. "See. I am recovered enough..."

"Miss Batten. I am under direct orders from both Mr. Pontius and Mr. Petrov to sedate you if I must." The woman was stern in her voice but it was clear she was nervous in speaking with such a tone at Katt.

Sharp greens had narrowed at the threat of being sedated. Both Kyle and Big Mike huh... Shame on them for hiding behind a nurse to get her to stay in bed. "Tch..." The sound escaped her and she considered...just for a moment...to just leave. Was she concerned the woman would try to sedate her? Not in the least... "Fine. But you inform Mr. Petrov that he is officially signed up for my next five training sessions." She didn't even specify if it was with or without the armor just to leave the man sweating a bit.

She moved back into the room, leaving the nurse standing there rather baffled. Most likely due to how easy that had been. Maybe she was expecting some sort of fight. "I want something from Rene for dinner too. No hospital food." Not like Batten's medical ward gave hospital food but still.

"Alright, Miss Batten. Is there anything else I can do for you?" The nurse asked while hooking Katt back to her IV but making it so that Katt would be able to pull the unit around if she desired to move around.

"Mrph." She grunted quietly. "No..."

The dark haired woman looked at Katt with a confused expression for the sound she produced. Like she was being scowled at and she wasn't sure why. "I'll check on you again in a few hours." The nurse stated as she exited the room.

A nod was given to chase the nurse out but if she, or anyone for that matter, thought she was going to stay in bed for twenty-four hours had another thing coming. They'd be lucky if she stayed until nightfall and that was only because she was expecting food from Rene.

For now she'd just sleep and try not to think too much about things...

Like when she was going to be asked about the wedding date...

...Again...
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]

Katt Batten

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Re:
« Reply #59 on: July 03, 2016, 04:30:30 AM »
.: Chapter Twenty-Three: A Reminder :.

A large tree arose from the yard at the Ilnaren's city home, and Doran stood by it, leaning against the trunk as he waited for Katt to come.  He'd told his father to pass the message along, when and where... being all mysterious.  As he waited, the youth lifted a flute to his lips and began to play a lilting melody.

Normally she would've snuck on in and tried to surprise the youth and yet not tonight. Instead the message had her confused but something else entirely kept her from doing anything...well..shadow related. Still the night clung close and seemed to separate from her as she approached closer. The sound of the flute caused a rare little smile to tug at her lips and once she was close enough she would just fold her arms and lean into her heels, listening... Maybe entirely too patiently...

Since she wasn't being intentionally sneaky, Doran noticed Katt when she stepped out of the night.  Reaching the end of his tune, he slipped the flute into its little carry-holster at his belt, and turned to look at her with an odd expression on his face.  Not angry, or upset... just a little half-smile that spoke volumes and nothing at all simultaneously.  He looked very much like his mother at that moment, with the moonlight coming from behind a cloud to catch his blue eyes.  "Hello, Katt.  Thanks for coming."

She was mildly curious if the flute was the one she had crafted for him or not. She didn't pry into it. Instead...she focused on the expression he wore. She could not think a single time when he looked upon her with such a face... Slowly her head tilted to the side curiously. "Good evening, Doran...Is something troubling you?"

It was, in fact, that same flute.  "You weren't at the Midsummer party the other night."  Pause.  "Well, not as you are, anyway."  Subtle?  Perhaps not so much.

"Mrm? Oh..." she shook her head slowly. "I was..." She grunted and glanced to the side. "Grumpy after an encounter at the inn so I ...stuck to home for a few days trying to shake off the feeling it left me with..." Her brows dipped briefly before she glanced longways to him. "What do you mean...?"

"She called herself Sylva."

"I'm sorry..I don't understand.." Sylva. The name didn't ring any bells.

Doran realized that he was being more subtle than he'd thought.  "Apparently she didn't like it when people kept referring to her as Katt."  Stepping away from the tree, he approached her, eyebrow raised--marking him as his father's child now.  "She's a teenage girl, living in a cave... and she's you.  You as you were, or at least as you might have been.  Did you know she's here in our Rhydin?"

Doran managed to do something that few ever could. She went stark still, like someone had shoved a broomstick down her spine. "****." Err....opps. Hopefully Ebon would forgive that...She grunted quietly and turned her attention fully to him. "She...is me..but at the same time..not. I am...aware she is in Rhydin, yes. She has been for a few years..."

"A few... years?"  In the time they'd known each other, Katt had seen Doran's face full of amusement, elation, boredom, worry, and more than a few times with puppy-dog lovesickness.  This might have been the first time she'd seen cold steel in his eyes.  "She has been living... on a cold... stone... cave floor... for a few... years?!  And you knew this?"

...She was getting scolded by a boy! She stared at him for several long moments. He was one of the few that could get away with that look and her not get livid. She understood where the look was coming from... "Doran... I tried to get her to stay at the dojo. She wouldn't. She finds my presence..disturbing..and quite frankly I find hers to be the same..." Her arms slowly folded, making no attempt to hide the fact that her arms were bandaged from the fingertip to her upper arm. "She wants no help from me...nor Clayton. When I tried to go to the cavern to give her food she moved elsewhere. After finding her a few times it is very apparent she wants absolutely nothing to do with me. It isn't for my lack of trying..." She huffed a bit. "So..she was at the festival? I suppose the amount of food drew her..." Easy targets...

He stared at her for a long moment... and then smirked a bit, not accusingly but more in amusement.  "Well, you tried, at least."  Faith in humanity, restored!  "You aren't lying about her finding you disturbing, she was vehement about not being 'that woman'.  And yes, she was at the festival, at least the first night.  I bought her some jambalaya and a couple of beignets.  I, ah, didn't tell her that you'd made them."  Doran chuckled a little at that, before growing somber once more.  "I know how disconcerting it can be when first encountering another version of yourself.  When I first met Velen, even I was a bit skeeved out... and Sylva is, I dunno, she doesn't even consider herself a person.  How much of her life do you know, that shaped her like that?"

She scratched at her cheek. "Every time someone sees her they call her by my name and I think it frustrates her. At that age I...I didn't have a name. Which.." She blinked and lowered her hand. "She's calling herself..Sylva?" When he asked that question she visibly winced. Her past was not something she would of wanted Doran to know of her. Ever. "From what I gather...when she arrived here it was about the time that I...I was just finished being trained by Master Silver. I was told throughout my youth that I was nothing but a tool...an abomination meant to kill. To follow orders until either I am deemed unusable or ..I died..." She didn't like telling the youth this. She knew it might bring up other questions and some likely pointed more at her than her younger self.

"Hmmm.  No wonder Pa feels a kinship with you."  Doran let it go at that; he may not have been able to 'read' Katt, but being an empath was as much about picking up on silent cues and body language as it was psionics, and he knew she wasn't comfortable.  "Yes, Sylva... someone gave her that name.  Desdemona, I think... I don't remember.  It suits her, in a way."

She nearly groaned. "It sounds like she has been getting out more if she has bumped into Des. And yourself." Raising a hand she rubbed at her face. "I don't know what to do about her, Doran...and at her age it was just before I came to Rhydin. So things for her are...different than I remember. By now I had a ...friend.." her brows furrowed as she tried to think of that friend but it was foggy, at best. "But emotions..were not easy for me. I was more an animal than a person. Just stealing and eating to survive. She won't accept help from me because I..scare her." She shrugged helplessly. "But thank you for feeding her..."

"I did more than that.  I gave her a way to call if she needs food, help, anything.  A jade figurine upon which I left an empathic impression.  If she thinks of me while holding it, I'll know, and I'll be able to find her."  He gave a little shrug.  "She may never use it, but... she's broken, Katt.  I couldn't just leave her with nothing."

Her head tilted and a soft smile curved her lips. "You have a good heart, Doran." The smile faded. He was right. She was broken. She knew too well... "I know you may not like it but you do know..you could always force her hand..."

There went that eyebrow again.  "That's a dangerous way of thinking.  Forcing something--or someone--that's broken tends to shatter it completely."

She glanced to him and chuckled. "Oh trust me..I know...But ...what do you intend to do? Just leave her be unless she calls? If you rather force her hand you can always go to her instead... I am not sure if she trusts you or whatnot but instead of waiting and hoping she will call for you..." She shook her head slowly. "I cannot say I know she would or wouldn't."

"Do you... know where she is... living?"

"Somewhere in the cave structures up past the glen. I have been cheating and having Felix finding her for me. If you ...are considering my idea I can get him to help you." Oh wait..had Doran met Felix? Hmmm..

"Felix?"  Apparently not.

She tilted her head faintly to the side and glanced to the trees. Without so much of a word a large feline that resembled close to a tiger yet black as night came strolling along. Wearing a half awake expression the large cat trotted its way to her side and stared at Doran with bright blue eyes. This cat was one of the great Moor Cats from the Ravenlock family, no doubt. A rare sight indeed. "Doran..Meet Felix."

He smiled amiable.  "Hullo, Felix."

The large cat yawned at Doran and huffed. Eventually the large cat moved close to plop himself on the ground at Doran's feet while Katt...well..she rolled her eyes. Yes, Doran saw her do that. "He hasn't been hunting in a while so I fear he may of grown...lazy."

"I think sometimes cats want you to think they're lazy so they can catch you off-guard."

She chuckled down to the large cat. "Felix says he likes you. You are smart witted. I..agree." Slowly her eyes tilted to Doran. "May I...ask you something, Doran?"

"Of course."

She tipped her head faintly. "Are you ..helping her because of me..?"

"I'm helping her because of her.  Because nobody should feel like nothing more than a tool, a weapon."  His tone was firm, though not harsh.

She wanted to smile at his testimony but something caused her to just look away. "Who else knows about her? Besides you and Des?"

"My father, Maggie, Aunt Rhi and Uncle Gory... they all saw her, but I didn't tell them who she was.  Andu seemed to know something of her, and there was someone else she mentioned but I didn't recognize the name."

That did explain why Ebon seemed to have no idea the reason of the meeting. "Yes....Andu was the one who spotted her some time ago and alerted me to her in the first place. It was..weird." She craned her head. "What was the name?"

"I don't remember... I may have imagined that, come to think of it."

"So worked up on helping her that you are hearing things?" Did..she just tease him? Maybe a little. "Are you planning to help her? If so I will give you some money to do so...Just..don't tell her it came from me."

"I'll help her if I can, yes... but don't worry about money, I'll manage that.  I'm an up-and-coming star of the stage, after all."

"Stubbornness runs in your family I see..." She tilted her head. "As you wish but the offer stands..." Her lashes drooped a bit. "And be careful, Doran. At that age I had yet to master my thirst...And it is likely she hasn't been feeding as she should be. Do not approach her wounded...alright?"

"Duly noted."

"Then again..." She turned her chin and looked out into the darkness. "You might end up liking it..." Did she just tease the boy? Only a little...in a really weird way.

"...well, she is cute."

Okay..that backfired. Blink.

Then he just flashed a grin full of mischief.

She glanced over to him to see that grin and knew she had been duped. Clever little boy... "I think maybe a change for her looks in some ways...haircut or changing her hair color...I am not sure what clothes she is wearing. Something to distinguish herself from...well..me..."

"There's a thought."

"Will likely help her stop giving evil eyes to everyone who asks." She chuckled and gestured to the large cat. "He is at your disposal until you are done with him. Speak to him as you would me. He will understand you but..he does not speak back. And..thank you, Doran..." She clasped her hands and slowly bowed at the waist.

He returned the bow in kind.  "You're welcome."

Slowly she straightened herself. "Do..you need anything else? Or ..want to talk? Questions.." She knew he likely had a few under belt he was dying to get off his chest now. She was giving him a chance.

"No... perhaps another time.  When you're older."  Was that another teasing grin?

Her lips curved a strange smirk. "Be careful saying things like that, Doran..." Her chin dipped faintly as she seemed to give something a thought but whatever it was she shook her head. "Please...be careful. If something happened to you...your father would have my head." Nevermind the guilt she would feel. She felt like she was sending him into a lion's den. A lion who was hungry and deprived.

"I'll be careful.  Thanks, Katt."  He looked down and gestured to Felix.  "You're welcome to stay here, if you like, or come inside... it's just me here tonight, everyone else is at the manor."

She watched as the great cat stretched out then rose, moving to join at Doran's side. Something hit her at that moment. "Doran...Do you remember when I said that she may not be feeding properly? At...this age I was struggling with something else..." Raising a hand she settled to fingers against her collarbone. "My blood, to be precise. At her age it is before I had one part of my blood locked away. So there may be times she seems to be in terrible pain..." She was warning him ahead of time so he didn't freak out.

"How does she feed?"

She tilted her head and watched him. It only occurred to her a few moments of staring that...he didn't know. Her lips parted to show her canines before slowly closing her lips in a low murmur, "Vampiric... I am not a vampire by any means but the way she feeds is very..vampiric..."

"I... see."  He nodded once.  "I'll be extra careful, then.  No going in wounded, as you said before."  See, he was paying attention!

"Correct. Because likely she will pounce from you and feed without permission. She won't kill you but...yeah...Some people find it alarming." Though like she said he might end up liking it. She just kept that part to herself for now. Turning slightly she glanced to him, obviously concerned.

"I am capable of defending myself, Katt, trained by more than a few capable instructors... though hopefully I won't need to.  I'll be careful."  He smiled and gave a jaunty salute.  "Good night!"

She sighed quietly and saluted him back. Silently she turned away and resumed on her exit. Felix huffed and stayed with Doran, moving along with him like a silent guardian.
[i:5d85fd8482][color=red:5d85fd8482]Stand my ground
I won't give in
No more denying
I've got to face it
Won't close my eyes
And hide the truth inside
If I don't make it
Someone else will[/i:5d85fd8482][/color:5d85fd8482]