Shadewood ulu ⚯
Private  January 31, 2019, 02:29 PM
squirrel. elk. deer. weasel. 

kukutux narrowed her eyes, calling to mind each of the beasts that had started to grow familiar. the words still lodged in her throat, however, for they were foreign. her father had seen fit to allow the traders who landed on their beach to teach kukutux and her sister the common tongue; for this was the girl grateful.

but there was still much she did not know, so very much. it was almost dizzying to think of how ignorant she was to the ways of this land. kukutux fixed her mind to other things now, namely @Cry and how he had not mentioned her offer again. for now, she had a small den of her own, with fish drying in what sunlight there was over a flat rock. but she had no husband.

he had, however, brought her an egg and a bird he called 'turkey.' she had thanked him and divided the meat to cure also.

so lost in her thoughts was kukutux that she heard the approach of no creature.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
January 31, 2019, 05:29 PM
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It wasn’t until after dark that he had come back, his tidings with Koro finished for the moment. He felt rather off about just giving the food to the woman and not staying to chat, or atleast see how she was doing.

or to address the red wolf in the room. 

A sigh wrestled from his chest as he trudged mentally through the slaw that he had gotten himself into. Should he have left her? What if Gwen had been with him the day he had met Kukutux - what would she have done in such an instance? We’re the wolves she had been raised by having of customs like this? Would she understand if he mentioned to her “I picked up this woman who wants me as her husband since I’ve given her a meal and a home.” Or would she turn those deep blues on him and swear him off as her own? The only way he could find out for sure, would be if he personally asked Gwen her perception of the matter. 

But first, he had to see if Kukutux would turn off this potential desire for him, if she could simply be content with her being a member or the Family, living as her own free and independent self. 
Should she remain adamant on this matter...
then he would bring this matter to Gwen.

Then the complication arose - should he have Kukutux with him as he did that? Or would it be better for him to be alone to address his wife? 
Cry made his way almost begrudgingly to the humble home of the woman who was busy with her home keeping, his mind so consumed by this matter that he kept his steps silent on mere accident. It was natural. 

And before long, he stood before the entrance to the den, curing meat calling to him both mentally and physically, stomach growling as his hard work left him famished. 
Did Gwen know how to cure meat, too? 

Softly, slightly hesitant, Cry called out gently to the fae within. 


Hearing the shuffle within, and respectful of the woman’s dwelling, he asked, “May I enter?”

January 31, 2019, 06:52 PM
the sun had gone to its sleeping place, and kukutux, still tired from her journey with cry, had fallen into a doze within the shadows of her den. it was not until cry's deeper tones sounded that she was roused. blinking at his inquiry, kukutux glanced at the spare inches of space left within the den. "there is not room," she called to him. "wait — i will come out."

almost beneath his muzzle did the girl slip, moving carefully to the flat rock where the meat of the fish and the bird dried in the cold air. even if it froze, it would keep. she searched for a suitable surface but found only a ragged piece of bark. deciding that in the morning she would search for more fitting pieces of wood, the girl drew a generous offering of meat onto the makeshift plate and nudged it along the ground in cry's direction. perhaps he had already eaten, but he had come to her home. it would be inhospitable not to serve a guest.

her heart beat like a drum as she worked; afraid he would hear it, the girl settled opposite him, the flat stone between them. head down in deference, kukutux waited for him to eat. then he would tell her why he had come.

she hoped it was to accept the offer of herself as bride.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
January 31, 2019, 07:28 PM
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Cry thought he would find relief in not being within the den with her - it would seem intimate, and Void forbid he be caught in another woman’s home for this impending topic. However, as she told him to remain, she snakes out, small and lithe as a fox would. Passing under him, he smelled the settle of aromas that had perfumed her, flecks of fish scale and slivers of meat or blood that had darkened her pelt just over the light blond of her slender shoulders. The urge to clean her was there, to lean forward and rake a tongue over that beckoning delicacy. 
The ex-Assassin pulled himself free of this vile mind, surmising those urges to be just that of intolerable hunger. 

Before he went to issue his statement, or even a reason as to why he was here, the quiet woman seemed to read his mind, as she pulled free a half petrified shank of bark, and pulled hefty hunks of meat upon it, only to push it towards him. Bringing an incredulous look to her, he was curious as to how she knew he would be hungry, not knowing this was simply the custom of a homely woman. He hadn’t been catered to; instead he catered to his Family. But to rest momentarily, to be able to enjoy a meal without fighting to hunt it or pulling it free of cold dirt and worms...that was something completely new to him. It felt relaxing- 

and it scared him. 

Gulping, he tried to remain calm, to quiet the quaking tremor that tried to pull him from the calm self he had remained to be all his life. “Kukutux,” he started, tried fiendishly hard not to ravage the delishesness she placed before him like some rampant beast. “I have to speak with you on your offer.” Looking almost as lost as a child, Cry revealed himself much more than what he should have to a newer recruit, as she seemed to be much closer to him than that. Was it by choice? Or was it fate? “I do not know your customs...I do not know what rules you grew up with nor the society which bound you...but we live differently here in Teekon- or so I thought.”

Taking a deep breath, he tried to be as collected as he possibly could, fighting two sides of a disturbed war within him. “I am scared I will lose Gwen should she have more than one litter with me. I am scared she will not be able to put herself through such a painful thing as childbirth as she endures another few years of age. As that is something I can not fight, nor kill.” Meeting those familiar sapphires that yanked his heart so painfully, he continued. “But I would love to have many more litters that just one...and I had thought about this before I had crossed you. This leads me to believe you and I have met for this reason. Your offer stands, and while I can and will wait for your year, while can accept this offer of yours,” he clarified his deepest feelings. “My decisions are dualed by my Wife’s. And depending on how she takes to this ordeal, it will be the deciding factor to how I take to it.”

Cry had got the hard part out, his own heart warring across his ribs like some tantruming bird. But through this trial, he continued. “But I value you...and that includes your opinion, as well.” Tilting his head, he genuinely began to gauge her, that keen deciphering skill barring forth through the rust of time. 

“Do you feel I should bring this up to her? Or should you?”

January 31, 2019, 07:49 PM
cry did not eat first; he spoke with weight to his tones, a care that brought kukutux' head up to regard him as he moved through his missive. and while the girl kept her features impassive, not wanting to show cry the relief and the glee that passed across her soul as his words sounded, she straightened before the man.

his fear was understandable, and it was a source of silent, brief amusement. not for gwen's misfortune, of course. but this was the reason that a man might take more than one wife. his love could not keep away the call of the dancing lights, to where all wolves must go when their seasons had ended. where her people had gone. could not cry see the benefit in it now?

and it was no small feat to announce the taking of another wife. there was a price to be paid, arrangements to be had. resentment could spark a wildfire of hatred within a man's household. and while the assumption, while the hope, was that the three of them could one day live in contentment, kukutux was not so young as to believe that was always the case.

her lush gaze traced the handsome swarthiness of cry's features as he ended what it was he had to say, with a question. and while it was not seemly for a man to ask such of a woman, kukutux had heard him accept her offer. at least for now. conditionally ugix.

"i would be second wife. second to her, to her wants. what work she does not want to do, i would do. what tasks she laid for me, i would keep," the duck began softly, explaining the role she would take beneath cry's roof. "she is the woman of your ... chest," she stumbled, crimson flaring beneath her cheeks as she realized she did not know the word for 'heart' in his tongue. "i would not expect that of you. you would give us both children. i would have your protection."

such an odd thing, to discuss openly with a man! lowering her gaze now, the girl sought the answer to his question. "you are the husband. i do not need to be involved in your private decision." marriage of convenience, she supposed, and her soul ached. the one who had stalked seals upon the ice had loved her, but he was gone now. kukutux must carry forth her line, and cry was who she had chosen, even if his spirit had already been tied with that of another.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
February 02, 2019, 09:25 AM
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She seemed flustered but spoke with the clarity of a stillwater pond, her voice soft and mellow like a spring breeze. Cry tried his damndest to follow her words and though they settled against his monogamist culture like oil against water, the ex-Assassin tried to somewhat mix the two. 
 “If she is the one of my chest, then that would make you the one of my chest too, would it not? Especially if I am to make children with you,” he attempted to rationalize this mess, not understanding that Kukutux had meant the one whom he would love the most. He assumed chest in her mind meant who he’d be having sex with. 

The rest seemed even more subservient - and that was simply going to not be a rule in this house. She would not be bending knee to both him and Gwen...he just would be torn. He was not a barbarian, he was no monster that would make a woman do his bidding. “I can’t let that happen,” he said in reference to the totality of this religion she was brought up in. He could only allow so much to haunt him in this. “We will work together. No one will be ordering you or being a taskmaster to you. I protect you all, just as you all protect this home.” They were all Family. But he spoke this justifications as though he were more trying to lay them down for himself, rather than her. “If I take you as anything intimate to me, you are an equal. Especially if you are mothering my children, our children in Shadewood.”

Cry had never been regarded as an Alpha before. He never had planned to be an Alpha. But Gwen had needed to be released of her shackles and given her rightful place as Empress once again. One does not simple go backwards, and become some lowly member. Her being here, it had helped her flourish, bloomed that watercress lily into a breathtaking majesty. Would Kukutux take root and see this too could be her destiny? To find herself here, homed, and without worry of any and all? To bond with everyone here, as opposed to secreting herself away to tidy until her days end? Cry tried to find some way to merge these two cliffs that gaped at one another, but those were the only bridges he could build. And if Kukutux did not want to cross them, then there was no rope he could throw her.

”And if you will be my equal, you have a say in decisions as well.” There was no getting out of this. Should Gwen and Kukutux be on these pedestals in his life, they would see each other as equals. 

But what if Gwen preferred Kukutux beneath her? What if secretly Gwen shared this very same religion, and brought this to light only now that someone had come to revive it? Would Shadewood soon become Stavanger Bay?

He was already laying down wouldn’t be long before he started making demands, too.

February 02, 2019, 02:04 PM
did he not understand the things that she had said? shifting uncomfortably, kukutux attempted to make sense of the life he presented. it seemed unrealistic that gwen would simply accept her, especially if she had already bonded with cry in the way he had with her. "no, i mean ... she is of your spirit. here," the girl corrected, lifting a small paw to her chest as she peered in his direction. "i am not that." perhaps now the man would see what she meant.

as for the rest, kukutux realized that the role of second wife was not something a male could fathom. her concessions to gwen would be to make the pale creature more comfortable in her own home, less convinced that she could lose her place to the younger. and it was proper this way, for the girl did not expect to be seen in the same light as was the woman cry already loved. 

to be second was not to be thought of as less, or to be a slave. she would expect that cry claim and protect their children alongside any from his first wife, and provide her with what she asked as his mate. and once she had given him sons, gwen could not drive her out. her position in the shaman's home would be permanent. 

feeling slighted, and as though cry would never accept that this was the way things must be done if they were to coexist, her springmint gaze fell to the stone between them. she must fish tomorrow, kukutux decided, and search for berries to grind once she had found a beast that could provide the shuddering slabs of yellow fat. but for now — cry commanded her attention once more, and the girl lay back her ears in submissive acceptance of his word. 

"if ... if your mate does not want another beneath your roof, then i ask you speak on my behalf if another man wants me as wife, and tell him that i will do well." for had she not already? pressing for what she desired was unseemly, and could only result in strife; the protection of this pack was sorely needed, even if their ways were ironbound with a lack of logic. kuktutux would not further press the issue; she had offered, cry had spoken. there was nothing more that needed to be said.

[Image: kukufoot.png]
February 02, 2019, 06:20 PM
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His decision felt lost, adrift the coldening bluffs of drifting snow winds while he tried to figure out any other way to make this somewhat imaginable. He couldn't victimize Kukutux for this...he wouldn't do such a pitiful thing. 

Glitterless glacials ran over the pale blonde fae as he tried...
Tired what?

Voices swam within him as loyalty to the pack, as resilience, as honor of any sort tired under this situation. He aimed so hard to please, to protect, to intermingle for the sakes of others. But it was clear Cry had already fucked up. Those same quiverless voices reminded him so many times...Love was not meant to be had effortlessly. Love would leave you scathed, whether it was by your own hands, or someone elses play. And now it would be either him, or Gwen. 

The torment roused deeply in his chest, the crashing of icebergs colliding in the atlantic, the sea scouring the graceless jags within  and out of the frigid heart...his heart...the heart Gwen had held with a key around her neck. And now because him, it was either a necklace,...

Or a noose.

Gritting his daggered ivories as he forced himself not to speak for the next four seconds, as his fear, his temper, his emotions grew out of their cage and wrought havoc on his mind. Cry had seemed to make endless mistakes since committing himself to Gwen...but for him to have given up his assassinhood was the worst of all. He was losing control, crossing clear borders and he was dragging heels to the gape of an abyss that he knew he had no savior from. There was no remedy, no panacea for this toxic embrace. Love had gotten him-
And now he was stuck, growing sicker with each passing smile, every laugh, every joke. All of it was releasing the hellish fiend of humanity in him. And Kukutux had managed to snag a single piece of him without his notice...
In a way-
He felt she knew it.

Finally, those four seconds were up, and he exhaled. Standing, a single paw gently pushed the plate of food away as he forced his mind to reel back to him once more. He wouldn't know what would come after this. But he would see this through the smoke and flames sure to follow.

"That won't be necessary...I will talk to Gwen. And we will settle this for good."

Cry was a lone soldier in a war he had never intended to be involved in...
But this war was his.

With intense meaning settling frostily over his cold eyes, the Phantom rose and left Kukutux, his shadowy hide a stark contrast to world arond them until the shades beneathe the trees absorbed him once again in their void overhang. 
And as his kind would, the ex-assassin disappeared.
February 07, 2019, 01:45 PM
long after he had gone, kukutux stayed as she was, letting the new snowfall collect over her shoulders. the meat was left where cry had pushed it; she stared unseeingly at the small pile, hunger clawing at her belly. but sorrow whetted a sharper knife, and soon tears stung the girl's eyes, caused her lips to tremble.

why had she left her people? why had she come here? it was a strange land, with customs that were not her own. not for the first time did her soul lament that kukutux had not released it to travel up, to be with the other spirits. 

a sob; salted droplets falling to the earth.

some time later, the girl turned stiffly and lay down in the cold recesses of her den, curling tightly into the leaf litter and shivering as a fitful sleep mercifully overtook her.

[Image: kukufoot.png]