Wolf's Rain Fan Fiction ❯ Lullaby for a Stormy Night ❯ Hope so Frail ( Chapter 12 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

A/N- Time to end that Cliffhanger, ne? lol
 
Read and Review! Reviews keep the story going!
 
Chapter 12 Hope So Frail
 
Kiba lowered his head while his hackles under his soft, downy fur rose in anger. Keeping Darcia with in his sight, he addressed Akira who was still acting as a base support for the panicking Cheza.
 
“Akira, whatever happens, stay with Cheza and protect her!” he snarled.
 
“Kiba?” Akira didn't want to believe this was happening. She didn't want to understand why her brother was allied with this man some how and seemed like there was no second thought in his crazed mind to kill any one of them if they got out of line with this noble called Darcia. She had seen what happened to the warrior like wolves such as Heart or Tsume; they had yet to move from where that energy laser thing from the ship had zapped them to! And here Kiba was telling her to stay out of it??
 
Toboe got a brave steak and stood defensively in front of Cheza and Akira, bearing his fangs at Darcia, but keeping the prowling enemy wolf in his sight as well, “I got your back Kiba!” Toboe growled.
 
Kiba darted forward with more speed than Heart, Tsume or Hige had before him when they attacked. He seemed to flash out of sight like a phantom wolf under the moonlight sheen. Darcia however scoffed mockingly at the attempt when a laser shot out and delivered the very same blow to Kiba it had before to the others.
 
“You wolves are very pig headed aren't you.” he sighed.
 
His blue eyes widened however when the laser narrowly missed the white wolf, it's powerful beam carving into the ground and throwing up debris and dust; shielding the white furred phantom. Again the lasers shot out, getting closer to its mark. The shock of it blew Kiba off track of his evasive maneuvers and knocked him right into another laser's beam. A pained yelp escaped him as it cut though his flesh.
 
“KIBA!” Akira barked in alarm while Toboe gasped anxiously in front of her and Cheza clung more tightly to her neck in fear. The flower maidens face buried in the thick red and white fur of the part-she-wolf's neck. The chained collar's cool metal pressing into the frightened maidens' cheek.
 
Darcia stopped his easy walk toward the others to watch as the dust settled; amused to see the wolf was struggling to get up.
 
“Very pig headed” he groused when the white one stood on all fours with a bit more difficulty than usual and prepared to attack again.
 
A loud battle cry like snarl turned the surprised Lord's attention to the youngest of the group, Toboe, who took advantage of the distraction to go into an attack himself.
 
“Fool!” Darcia held out a hand, signaling 2 lasers to zap out and attack the vulnerable young wolf. Toboe went flying back at the girls. His body didn't move when it settled from its tumble near Cheza. Cheza cried out as if in pain with horror.
 
“TOBOE!” Akira's tears started to blurry her vision. She caught movement from where Jasper was and looked up to see the silver white-gray wolf prowling toward Kiba who had gotten up again with vengeance after the lasers had tore into him once again in his failed attempt to ensnare Darcia vitally.
 
The white wolf didn't look like he would have a chance at the older, stronger ones attack from behind while all his energy was focused on Darcia. When he leaped in the air, Jasper darted forward for the kill. Akira acted on impulse and shot away from Cheza's terrified grasp before the flower could know what was going on.
 
“AKIRA!” Cheza screamed.
 
Kiba's golden eyes widened when he heard a very painful yelp behind him. Completely forgetting Darcia, the white wolf landed not 15 ft away from his intended prey and looked back to see Akira's half brother and herself locked in a confused jumble of fur, teeth and claws. Jasper had her pinned under him with surprise, realizing that was the wrong target under him. With an angered snarl, he shoved off her and started for Kiba again, leaving Akira to deal with her wounded shoulder from where his sharp fangs tore into her unintentionally. He didn't want to attack her, but Kiba he was fine with. His blood sang for a fight and his fangs were thirsting for blood of his `brothers'' enemy, the white one.
 
But Akira didn't seem to allow that. She tossed herself with all her strength into his side to knock him down. Jasper snarled and started to try and wrestle the inferior female off him. In his current state of mind, he was barely able to restrict his violent thirst from her. His claws dug into her fur much as she desperately clawed at him to keep him put.
 
“Don't harm HER!” Darcia hissed furiously when he saw the siblings going at it and they started to get more brutal.
 
Kiba charged once more at Darcia, but he was shot back again. This time, he could feel his vision failing him and his muscles strain with pain from his wounds all over him. He landed next to Toboe near Cheza. The flower maiden approached the struggling wolf with a saddened expression while he tried to get up again. She knew he would keep hammering at this until he died to protect her and Akira. She rested her hand on the fur of his neck gently.
 
“No, Kiba. Do not fight for this one.” She whispered.
 
“But… Cheza…” he rasped, still trying to get up.
 
“No, Kiba” she started to plead, “This one feels the pain of all of you. This one refuses to be the cause of this one's friends' pain. This one will go with Darcia willingly and peacefully” she whispered to him while his form stilled.
 
“No, Cheza, Don't go!” he pleaded desperately. His body betrayed him as it stilled when her gentle hand stroked his fur soothingly. Against his better judgment, his body relaxed as if he were about to sleep. He was in such pain…
 
“Stay, Kiba. This one will see you again” she whispered to him and then stood up to address Darcia, “This one will follow with out protest.” She winced when she heard the fighting snarls and noises from Akira and Jasper still wrestling brutally, “Call off Jasper while this one says her goodbyes, please”
 
Darcia inclined his head, “Acceptable request” his eyes darted toward Jasper. As if by magic, the silvery wolf jumped away from his half sister from mid attack form. He obediently kept his fangs to himself, no longer snarling maliciously, and trotted to Darcia's side faithfully.
 
Akira panted for breath while Akira approached her, “Rest easy now, Akira. It is over now” Cheza set on hand on the K9's back to coax her to lay down and stroked her wounded fur marred deeper red with blood. She waited till Akira's panting evened out before she approached the other wolves, pushing her healing abilities into their wounds to help ease the pain and heal them while making their bodies relax enough to sleep peacefully.
 
Kiba stubbornly got up again and approached Cheza in a pained hobble near where Akira now lay. The flower maiden frowned when she sensed he had gotten up again, “Cheza” he wheezed through his strain, “Please…. Don't go” he pleaded in a whimper.
 
Cheza coaxed him to lay near Akira with a light smile and focused on making Kiba too tired to even think about coming after her just yet, “Rest, Kiba. Rest, and when you awaken and find this one no longer there with you in body, know that we will meet again. Until then, take care of your true soul mate. More than just I request that you take care of her at all costs and love her from the bottom of your heart” Cheza stroked his cheek fondly, then stood up to follow Jasper and Darcia back to the air ship. Kiba saw her walking away from him just as his world went black.
 
“Cheza ….”
 
 
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Blue popped the collar of her leather jacket up closer to her while the wind whipped at her unforgivingly around her in the desert she trekked through on the trail of that heavenly scent of that girl who had awoken the wolf inside her. She always knew there was something not quite right with her, but being a wolf was a surprise. And ironic surprise that made her frown every time it crossed her thoughts. She had to leave Quent behind now. He would never want a wolf to follow him around. Even if she had been all he had. He probably doesn't even know where she is or why she left him.
 
“I wander how Pops is doing right now.” She wistfully looked up to the waning moon and frowned. She lowered her gaze mournfully to her boot tops while she walked on, “Yeah, like he ever gave a damn about me.” She whispered in self loath.
 
You're part wolf too, aren't you?” a calm, familiar voice softly spoke to her in a moment of vulnerability while Blue lay bloodied and beaten in the middle of the ally just minutes before the last time she saw Pops ever again, “A human must have done this,” the wolf approached her and dug into her pack to toss her some meat, “Look, I don't have time for much, but some meat will at least help your healing along, if not enough strength to drag you from whence you came. My advice,” the stranger paused to stare at Blue in the eye. Sapphire clashed with ruby and both felt like something had been there once before, “Don't bow down to any human from now on. You're wolf too and therefore in order to survive, you must buck up. You can't rely on them anymore.” With that the strange part-she-wolf walked off.
 
`There's another like me…' Blue thought deeply, `Another wolf blood yet also that of a dog as well.' She looked up. Her blue eyes seeing crimson eyes that were so familiar to her, `Will I ever see her again? Who was she?' Blue thought with a sigh.
 
“It does me no good wandering about phantoms all the time” she stretched her arms above her head and paused a moment when her stomach growled. She grimaced.
 
“Damn I'm starved.” She noticed the town that held a dominate scent of that enticingly curious maiden and those wolves she's been following led her, “Best find some food then” she started off into the town.
 
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“I feel like shit” Hige groaned from where he lounged in the small, abandoned building at the back of a dark ally the wolves found to rest in.
 
“You weren't the one who you landed on” Heart grumbled.
 
“Like I could WATCH where I was about to land while I was flying in the air!” Hige snapped moodily.
 
“With your weight problem, I can agree with you there” Tsume groused just as coolly.
 
“YOU GOT SOMTHIN TO SAY TO ME OL'MAN?!” Hige stood up threateningly.
 
“Bring it, Porky! We can feast on your liver after I tear you down piece by cocky piece!” Tsume snarled.
 
“Look whose talking!” Hige scoffed, “If I'm cocky, then you're so arrogant that your ego's big enough to satisfy the stomachs of the Death Forest Pack back there!”
 
Tsume stood up and was about to approach the annoying wolf when Toboe stood between them pleadingly.
 
“Come one guys, cut it out!” he begged lightly with how tired he is, “We're all worn out, let's just try and be a bit more civil.”
 
“We're wolves, Toboe” Kiba snapped angrily, “Civil isn't in our blood or instinct! So shut the hell up and leave them be to tear each other apart. We all deserve that kind of retribution after we let down CHEZA!” he snarled.
 
Toboe was speechless.
 
Akira groaned very pissed off at Kiba's attitude with poor Toboe. The kid was only trying to help and he looked like he would fall over with shock with what Kiba slapped him with.
 
“Kiba” Akira warned.
 
What Bitch?” Kiba growled lowly at her at his side.
 
Akira just stared at him in disbelief, before she shook her head to dispel it, “Look, I know how you feel about letting Darcia take Cheza and all, but STOP TAKING IT OUT ON TOBOE!” she shouted at him angrily. The wolf had done nothing but snap and snarl at any and everyone around him since he awoke, “There was nothing we could do! Alright? We gave it our best shot and we failed miserably! All you lost was your precious flower!” she hissed while tears welled up in her orange eyes. Her chin length red bangs started to cover her left eye and she didn't bother to push it behind her ear like usual, “I FOUND OUT THAT I LOST A BROTHER!”
 
Kiba snorted at her, “Whoop-di flipping do” he grumbled.
 
Akira couldn't take it anymore. She raised her hand up and slapped him open-handed across the cheek, “SNAP OUT OF IT! STOP BEING SO…. So….” She wasn't well versed in cussing so this part to describe her anger was very limited, “ARGH! JUST SO FUCKING MOTHER MEAN!”
 
Hige and the others exchanged a confused/amused glance behind her back, “Fucking…. Mother??”
 
Heart shrugged, “She's not big on the whole cursing thing.”
 
Kiba was too shocked to react, but his eyes widened when he realized the truth to her words and he hung his head from where he froze after she slapped him, “I know….” He whispered, “Damn it all, I know what a bastard I'm being, but…. I …” he was at a loss.
 
Akira's rage deflated at the sudden heavily weighed atmosphere. She sighed, cursing his uncanny hold on not only her heart and body, but now her emotions. She was just thankful he hadn't yet figured that out yet.
 
Mindful of both of their wounds, Akira approached him from where she had backed away previously in her anger and slid her arms lovingly around him, letting his forehead rest on her shoulder. He took in her scent thankfully and held an arm around her waist, trying to pull her closer to him. Though Cheza was gone, and he felt the guilt of it strongly, having Akira so close to him did relieve his pain a great deal. His heart didn't feel so heavy with her near. In fact, it fluttered and stopped a beat every time their lips touched. Or she said his name.
 
Akira and Kiba ignored the others who were watching on curiously while the pair comforted each other in one another's embrace, “It's not yours or anyone else's fault that Cheza is gone. All we can do now is go after her and take her back. If Darcia could track us all over to take her away, so can we. Stop beating yourself over this.” She soothed him while her fingers ran through his tousled dark hair.
 
He closed his eyes to soak up the small escape of his frustration, anger, pain, and stress.
 
“Akira…” he whispered close to her ear.
 
Hige straightened from where he and the others decided to recline against the wall to watch the serenity of the couple's private moment. He looked to the door in alert.
 
“We've got company!” he called.
 
The other wolves watched surprised when a young woman similar to Heart with short, full black hair and bright sapphire eyes dressed in black leather coat, Minnie skirt, pink scarf, and thigh high spiked heel black leather boots darted into the doors of their hide-away. Hige ogled at her happily.
 
“It's A BABE !” he happily announced.
 
“We didn't notice” Tsume grumbled.
 
The blue eyed woman looked over each one of them in surprise. She obviously didn't expect anyone to be here. When her eyes met crimson, she froze.
 
It was her!
 
Heart's nose snorted at the familiar scent of the female. It was the half-dog like her!
She was fully healed now, probably thanks to the full moon last night.
 
“STOP HER!”
 
“SHE WENT THIS WAY!”
 
“DON'T LET HER GET AWAY!”
 
Three different male voices were suddenly coupled with the sound of running feet just outside of their little hideaway from behind the blue eyed black wolf that just entered looking startled to have come upon the small pack.
 
Heart's Ruby eyes shifted from curiosity on the wolf to wryness at the door when 3 thuggish looking men followed their visitor. All with some type of makeshift weapon from a pipe, crow bar and a wooden piece of a table.
 
“Look, she's got friends,” one of them smirked. He was in a white slightly scruffed business suit with dreadlocked brown hair and sunglasses.
 
Blue turned her back on the wolves to face her hunters and backed up a bit to put some distance, ready and willing to fight, but unsure of the pack behind her. She could still smell the flower with them, but it didn't seem as strong as before. She growled warningly even though she was in her human form.
 
Hige sauntered from behind her and stood firm between her and the 3 thugs, “What's a couple of shit heads like you doing with a girl like this?” he demanded cockily.
 
Heart noticed that the men didn't seem too taken back that there were more of them than just the girl. She tensed in preparation to defend her if Hige's mouth got too brash and angered the men to attack.
 
“You must not be from around here, are you?” the man on the right, a scrawny comparison to the brick on the left and the sly one in front snickered at them, patting his crow bar in his other palm teasingly.
 
“So what if we aren't?” Akira demanded threateningly as she took up Hige's side, shielding blue from the men's sight.
 
Blue was taken aback when she saw the red head defending her after what they had gone through before in the last city they met up in.
 
“Ooh, Another little girl?” the sly, dreadlock one smirk widened at the sight of little Akira as his hazed eyes raked over her form. Kiba didn't bother to let his snarl go unheard from behind Hige, the black female and Akira, “Profits are starting to look up today. This town is in high demand of young bodies. This broad you're defending so gallantly is our merchandise. And now, so are you”
 
“Whore slavers?” Hige snorted in disgust.
 
“That's part of it. These two ladies will probably end up on that market, but medical businesses need young, healthy parts for patients and testing…..” the sly one drawled as he started to approach them.
 
Apparently, Heart's dark features camouflaged her in the dark corner she resided. None of the men saw her slip to their rear and position herself behind the large, gangly brick like man.
 
“And we're supposed to just go with this little scheme of yours, ne?” she said in her low, seductive way.
 
The brick man straightened in surprise as a shiver went up his spine. Not seconds later, she round house kicked the tall one with enough force to slam him into Tsume.
 
“You didn't really think we'd just hand over our bodies did ya?” Tsume looked livid at the tall mans sudden horrified expression when Tsume started wailing on him. Even when the guy fought back, Tsume was too fast for him to land a hit.
 
The other two men looked taken aback. The sly one turned to the scrawny with gritted teeth, “Get what you can and get out of here!”
 
“Ye-yeah! Okay!” the scrawny one gulped. He quickly chose to go after the smallest female, deciding that she looked like a weaker link than even the young boy her size. She had just turned away from him, intent on trying to get out of Hige's way from attacking the sly, dreadlock guy when his bony fingers wrapped around in a binding fist in her long slightly waved crimson tresses. Akira yelped in pain when she felt him yank her back.
 
“GOT YA!....?” he didn't have much reaction time before his hand was forcefully, yet careful of Akira's hair, ripped away from her and he was right-hooked to the face with such force he was knocked backwards on his rear. The scrawny thug shook his head of the dizziness and tried to get his bearings only to notice a dark shadow looming over him. On top him, a snarling white wolf bore its sharp fangs down on him with a snap of its jaws.
 
“GAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! IT'S THE CURSE! THE CURSE OF THE HOUSE OF DARCIA!!” he cried out in horror.
 
Kiba was getting high almost at the feel, the scent and the sight of this filths' fear and panic. He decided to have a little more fun and opened his jaws as if he were going to bite the man and rip him into pieces. He wanted to do so desperately since this piece of shit touched Akira and caused her pain, but knew she didn't like death. If he saw the human later with out her present,….. There wasn't anyone to rat him out to Akira if he “accidentally” killed him. He snapped his teeth at the man and stopped from biting him just in front of the man's nose, letting the human feel his hot breath and hear the snap of his teeth up close and personal.
 
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHhhhhh…….” The man's scream died out as he fainted under Kiba. The white wolf shoved off him with his nose crinkled in disgust…. The guy was scared shitless, literally, AND he had pissed himself.
 
He looked up to the others, “Let's go” he said, leading them out of the dark damp hideaway before the men woke up.
 
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“My love, my love, why do you not see me?” Jagura sang gently while she watched in a pool of purified, bewitched water move in a picture for her. She could see the inside of Darcia's keep as if it were her walking its halls personally.
 
“My love, my love, why did you not choose me?” she sang with a bit more hurt than before.
 
A woman with pinned up pigtails came into view. She seemed to be carrying a tray of utensils for something, but when her face was visible in the pool of water before Jagura, she dropped it in horror. The view was suddenly blurry and not a few seconds later did Jagura see the same woman pinned to the wall with 2 of the thicker utensils embedded into her palms to keep her there before the viewing continued to walk on.
 
“My love, my love, how you pain me so. For you chose a wretched wolf over this pure hearted doe.” She sang on when door seemed to have been shoved aside and a dark room was revealed. A woman with long, cascading hair of silvery yellow color and purple lips and eyes was seen connected to thousands of small tubules that seemed to be pumping nutrients into her body while she lay motionless except for the small rise and fall of her chest, signifying that she was breathing.
 
It was Jagura's sister, Homina. The woman who held Darcia's heart. The woman who loved every part of Darcia and even set foot into the nobles paradise with him with ever intention of living the rest of her life with the cursed man she loved and loved her back. But… she had fallen ill with Paradise sickness. Her soul is forever trapped inside a paradise that is only a small, dim, reflection of what it could be. The real paradise opened by the blood of the moon, the wolf and the flower would be able to bring her sister salvation. But that is not what Jagura intends. It is what her beloved one-sided love, Darcia seeks, yet she must force him to see her and not her sister who was forever lost.
 
She would force him to love her. Her sister was gone and now she would be sure there was no body to return to. She would seal the fate the gods had allowed her to.
 
“Finish her” Jagura whispered.
 
On the other side of the water pool, green eyes bore down upon the slumbering beauty. Her mistress looked so much like this sleeping woman that it haunted Diya greatly to think of the reason she was sent here; what she was about to do. She let a small whimpered sigh escape her before she steeled herself to become the monster that her mistress had honed her to be. A cold killer.
 
The now cool green irises of a fox wolf glared down at the slumbered beauty with hate that reflected her mistress. Her eyes glowed purple while her mistress's power fused into her so she may live the moment her cursed sister died at the fangs of her servant. A creature that shadowed her loves' darker half. Ironic, wasn't that?
 
A snarl erupted and fangs bore down on the delicate throat. The machine hooked up cried out as the pulse of the slow beating heart suddenly froze for all time……..
 
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“Did you see the looks on their faces?!” Tsume chuckled maliciously from where he sat atop the pile of junk in an abandoned junkyard the group had retreated to, “I could smell the piss on all of them before we even hurt them!”
 
“That felt really good!” Toboe grinned widely.
 
“I needed something like that” Kiba agreed with a smile of his own from where he sat just below them on the pile with Akira near by. He wasn't willing to let him out of his peripheral just yet.
 
Hige had eagerly chose to stand closer to where the black she wolf stood a bit away from the rest, just as satisfied with how it all worked out. Heart had chosen to stand closer to her out of curiosity. Both stole glances at one another every now and then, trying to figure out why they felt tied.
 
Akira sighed, “I still say you guys could have been less of a horror job on those humans, but I'm just glad we're all okay. No one's injuries were reopened were they?” she looked around to get negative nods from everyone.
 
“What about you? Are you okay?” Heart finally met Blue's eyes.
 
“Yeah, thanks for helping me back there.” Blue said, shifting her eyes shyly away from the confusing rubies.
 
“It's not like we did it for you, you know.” Tsume gritted out harshly, killing the sudden lift of mood, “Those guys just caught us at a bad time is all.”
 
“Tsume!” Heart warned with a light growl. He promptly ignored her threat, though he didn't seem too hurried to meet her glowering glare on him now.
 
“Hey, lighten up, old man! She was just trying to thank us.” Hige defended then snorted, “You know, it's not like we run into girls much these days.”
 
Heart's glare suddenly rounded on Hige who was much too close to shrug it off like Tsume was able to. Not only were daggering ruby eyes snarling at him, but piercing orange from Akira as well at the poorly placed comment as well.
 
Hige seemed to back pedal, “I-uh…. I didn't mean it like that, you know….”
 
“Sure you didn't” Heart hissed.
 
Hige backed toward the only female that seemed to not want to castrate him at the moment. Blue seemed very amused at the chubby wolf's behavior at the 2 pissed females' snarls of annoyance and laughed at him at his expense. It made Hige feel warm inside to hear that noise come from her and turned around to stare in awe.
 
Heart's growl faltered out at the ogling look she saw in the other wolf's eyes and Akira couldn't contain a giggle at how funny he looked.
 
“Is he always like this?” Blue addressed them since they didn't seem as hostile as the other males around them.
 
Heart chuckled, “You have no idea. His name is Hige by they way, and this is Akira and I am Heart.” She didn't bother to introduce the other 3 since they obviously wanted nothing to do with the she wolf for one reason or another. Even Toboe seemed hostile against her.
 
“My name is … Blue.” Blue replied `at least that's the name Pops gave me' she thought as an after thought. Her blue eyes looked up from their bashful down cast to settle on the 3 above the 2 females and corky male in front of her on the trash pile, “It's been a while hasn't it?” she called to them. Then her blue eyes settled on Akira, “Sorry about before, no hard feelings?”
 
“All is forgiven. I won't attack you in my sleep. I can't seem to hold grudges very well” Akira smiled reassuringly.
 
“Wait a second, you guys know each other??” Hige gawked at the others.
 
“You could say that” Kiba grumbled unwillingly.
 
Akira shot him a confused look, `What's his problem now?' she thought.
 
“How are your wounds? Last I saw you, you looked pretty beat up.” Heart asked softly.
 
“I'm okay now. Thanks for the food though. I know it helped a bit.” Blue thanked gratefully.
 
“You gave her food” Tsume demanded.
 
“It is no concern of yours Tsume, so leave it at that. It was my good deed,” Heart defended at his accusing tone with a light growl.
 
“DOES EVERYBODY BUT ME KNOW HER?!” Hige whined.
 
“Just about” Toboe mumbled, much like Kiba had.
 
“Then why are you guys all hostile and Akira and Heart are civil with her? And what's with the `no hard feelings, forgiveness' thing, Akira?” he looked to the red she wolf that was still resting near Kiba, but looking unsure of the way things were going with this.
 
“Her human and she had hunted me because of a….. Misunderstanding…” Akira hesitated, “I don't hold her against it though”
 
“You hardly hold anyone against anything though” Kiba countered dryly.
 
Akira lightly glared at him.
 
“You did some pretty nasty things to us last time we met, too” Tsume said lowly to Blue. Still as accusing as ever.
 
“That old guy… where is he?” Toboe hesitated.
 
“We got separated in the last city” Blue turned away from them as the memory of why she actually hadn't bothered to go back to him resurfaced in small flashes.
 
“He was still tracking us there as well” Kiba nodded.
 
“I know he was; that's why he was there and he attacked Akira when he thought she had killed a young boy. He just went berserk after she escaped and it finally lead up to us getting separated after I was too wounded to follow him” she admitted.
 
Akira turned away when she mentioned the boy, “I am sorry that he misunderstood that.” She said softly.
 
“It's not your fault” Blue reassured, “Pops would follow a wolf to the ends of the earth regardless of what you've done or haven't done.” Blue looked back warmly at Akira when their understanding gaze met.
 
“But…. I don't get it, aren't you a wolf too?” Toboe tilted his head, his uncharacteristic hostility melting away as he started to understand things from Blue's point of view.
 
Blue's eyes suddenly brightened when she was upwind of Akira and caught the scent of Lunar flower.
 
“Hey, that girl, you know the one that was with you? She had a really strange scent. Like yours' Akira, but …. Stronger I guess” Blue's eyes darted around them hopefully.
 
“A girl?” Toboe echoed curiously, then his features faltered, “You mean Cheza?”
 
“Cheza?” Blue tried out the name, “Yeah, where is she?”
 
It suddenly got really quiet.
 
Hige jumped up quickly to change subject, “UUUH, about that” he laughed nervously, “Let's just say that's not something to talk about right now!”
 
Blue looked at him strangely for his sudden change in attitude at the subject she brought up and the sudden pained faces on the others. Had she said something wrong?
 
“Hey! I know!” Hige's fist tapped his palm with an epiphany moment, “Let's go get some food! I mean we did just bump into each other and it's not safe for a girl to be out wandering alone!” he chuckled eagerly, “Those guys we knocked silly back there is proof enough!”
 
“Not. A. Chance.” Tsume cut him off.
 
“Why not?!” Hige shot back with venom.
 
“As if, Porky” Tsume snorted with a roll of his eyes, “I'd never lower myself to stick around the likes of her. I mean, she was doing all she could to kill us not a week ago.”
 
YEAH, BUT,” Hige tried to argue.
 
“You know you're only saying that `cause it didn't happen to you,” Toboe said dryly.
 
“HEY! She attacked Akira too, didn't she? And look at her! You don't see Akira getting all hostile and moody!” Hige defended.
 
“That's hardly a good defense for them to go by and you know it” Heart sighed.
 
Blue laughed lightly, “It's okay. I don't wanna hang around a bunch of kids anyways.” She turned to Heart with a solemn nod, “Thanks again. I owe you sometime.” She then winked at Hige, “See ya later” and then she turned to leave.
 
“HEY! WAIT UP!” Hige turned to the others and snarled, “ARGH! Don't you think you guys are just a little bit too cold!?” he then plowed down the mountain of trash after her.
 
“HIGE!” Toboe called.
 
“Let him go, he wags his tail after anything that's got four legs, is canine and female.” Tsume snorted.
 
Heart was suddenly behind him snarling, “DON'T talk about her like that!” she warned.
 
“What's it to you?” he growled back tauntingly.
 
Heart's snarl stopped abruptly and she straightened. Only a flash of confused pain crossed her face before it was hidden behind her nose long bangs.
 
Akira got up worriedly and approached her friend, “Heart? Are you okay?”
 
Heart looked down at her a moment then turned on her heels away from all 3 of them, “I'm leaving for awhile. Don't wait up for me, I'll catch up” she said coldly.
 
“What?” Toboe blinked.
 
Akira's eyes widened suddenly, “No, Heart! Wait!” but it was too late, Heart was gone, “Grah! First Hige chases after Blue and now Tsume chases Heart away!” she groaned stressed out.
 
“And that's my fault, why?” Tsume dryly looked over his shoulder at her.
 
Akira glared down at him and put her fists on her hips as she stood over him in anger at his stupidity, “THINK FOR JUST TWO SECONDS WITH YOUR `I'M-TOO-MUCH-OF-A-BADASS-TO-CARE' BRAIN AND FIGURE IT OUT FOR YOURSELF FOR ONCE!” she shouted at him then started to storm off after Heart to try and calm her back down.
 
Tsume blinked. Not one, but BOTH of the females of the pack had just blown up in his face and he still didn't quite get why or why he seemed to care! He turned to the remaining members of his pack with confusion written all over his face.
 
“Don't look at me, you're a big boy now, you should know what you did” Kiba groused, while he lay down to get comfortable. Toboe was torn between following Akira after Heart and staying here with Kiba and Tsume. Finally, the young wolf sat down near where the older two lay resting.
 
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Jasper was once more in his human form, following unwillingly after his `brother' into his keep with Akira at Jasper's side. He could see why the others liked to keep her near them, she smelled as good as when he worked at the keep she was once held in at FreeCity with the rest of his family.
 
Cheza clung to his strong arm while he led her following Darcia in. he could tell she had calmed down, but her sweet scent was still spiced with fear. When he allowed her to cling to his arm, he noticed that even that small fear was dampened just from her touching him. Was if because he was a wolf? Didn't see sense that he was tainted now? With a humans eye to counter Darcia's curse from a doomed fate to a fate that was slowly turning the noble back to his true form his family and so many other humans once were? A wolf?
 
Jasper stiffened a moment when a strange scent came across him. He took a few sniffs before his eyes widened in shock. Darcia noticed his hesitation and stopped as well, “What is it, my brother?” he asked calmly.
 
“Blood. I smell the scent of blood. Mixtures of it from inside the keep!” Darcia's heart stopped.
 
“Do you sense anything else?” he demanded.
 
Jasper's lips pulled back in a snarl. The foul scent of the only thing he hated more than Darcia, Jagura.
 
“Jagura has been here.” he said darkly.
 
Darcia sprinted forward, “HOMINA!” he cried out to the heavens.
 
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“Hige's been gone for a while now, don't you think, guys? And what about Heart and Akira?” Toboe was once again on his feet pacing anxiously for his friends to return, “It's already sundown. Shouldn't we go after them?”
 
“Hige will come slumping back once he's been dumped and as for the girls….” Tsume sat up to look Toboe in the eye, “Do you really want to go after 2 pissed off females alone?” he taunted.
 
Toboe gulped, “Well…. I'm just gonna go look for Hige. You know, check up on him. I don't like just sitting here doing nothing” with that, Toboe started off to find Hige.
 
Kiba and Tsume relaxed and took the waiting time for a bit of some R&R with a sigh. Kiba's eyes spotted a familiar symbol on a stone that was ancient leftovers apparently.
 
“That's the same symbol from that Darcia clan Tower a while back.” He commented briefly.
 
“Hmn” Tsume looked over his shoulder to gauge the symbol himself, “We're still probably in that fallen Lord's territory then”
 
It was silent for a while.
 
“ `The Darcia-Clans' Curse'. That's what that guy said when he saw us.” Kiba said thoughtfully.
 
“Humans have always referred to our kind with some type of Curse. It's nothing big” Tsume smirked. Then a thought came to him. He glanced over at Kiba, “By the way, why did you stop just short of finishing him? I'd have thought that you of all people would jump at the chance to kill a human.”
 
“Even if I did, I doubt he would have tasted great” Kiba shrugged nonchalantly.
 
Tsume chuckled, “I'll give you that, but I know that can't be the only reason. That couldn't have been what stopped you.” he pried.
 
Kiba was quiet for a moment as he watched the twilight start to brighten the sky before it faded to darkness of the night.
 
“I just couldn't bring myself to do that….. Not in front of her.” Kiba admitted.
 
“Her as in Akira, I'm guessing” Tsume smirked, “Now why would that matter? She's a wolf isn't she? Even if she's not a full blood, she understands what you are and how we think”
 
“She's still…. Different. She's convinced that humans and wolves or anything else regardless of species shouldn't be above one or the other.” He sighed, “If I had killed them in front of her, she wouldn't be storming off just because you pissed off Heart and didn't catch on why or how you did.”
 
“Sounds like someone's whooped.” Tsume snickered.
 
“And someone's not as perceptive as most of the male species.” Kiba shot back smartly, “Have you figured out why Heart defended the half-breed yet?”
 
Tsume snarled and turned away almost pouting, “What's it matter anyways?”
 
The corner of Kiba's mouth quirked up in a small smirk of his own as the tables turned, “Just so you don't look even more like an idiot when she returns…. She defended Blue because they're one and the same. Blue only found she was part wolf when Cheza touched her and told her she was. That's what woke her wolf blood probably. Then there's Heart, who is part dog and wolf. It's hard these days to find a kindred spirit even when you're a full wolf, yet Heart and Blue are both the same. Dog and wolf. Akira's ancestor was a fox somewhere on back, so she can only kind of sympathize with Heart. Heart took it wrong when you said you wouldn't stick around with the likes of `her'. She probably took it that you're still hostile toward half breeds and didn't trust them. Meaning her.”
 
“And you thought of all this at the same time she was playing it out?” Tsume grumbled.
 
“It's been a few hours, and I've had nothing else to really do in the mean time.” Kiba smiled.
 
Tsume shook his head, “You're all just over perceptive. You read in too much to things.” With that, Tsume turned away from the other wolf. Waiting for the others to return.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Chapter 11
Chapter 13
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