Sun Mote Copse Something happens and I'm head over heels
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#1
All Welcome 
It seemed that with the fall of the rubble blocking the grove and the forced assimilation of the two packs, more and more wolves had shown up at their borders. She was grateful to hear that Phox and Figment had been among the wolves to return, as well as Maia who was yet another friendly face. She'd heard a rumour that Clover, as well, had returned, but had yet to cross paths with her. It would be nice to have her old hunting buddy back again. All in all, with more wolves in the pack, it did mean more mouths to feed- but it also meant that she could spend less time patrolling and more time hunting, and that large prey would be easier to take down with more adult members. 

The food shortage had not yet let up- it seemed like catching a rabbit was the best she could do lately, which was discouraging considering the fact that she wanted not only to feed herself, but to make sure her son was eating as well. He'd lost his puppy fat, and was now catching up to her in size, but ideally, she wanted to see more muscle on him...Nearly impossible this time of year, though. So, amid the gently falling snow on a slightly cloudy morning, Niamh patrolled along the borders, optimistic that she might also find something to eat.
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he is close enough to be seen from the borders at a distance, but not close enough to be trespassing! <3

there was but one pack in the hinterlands that asmodeus could spot. he followed the trailing scents to a pretty little inland cove, redolent with dozens of fragrances, many female.

ah.

the daemon hunted laboriously through them, seeking the presence of an elder male, or the budding receptiveness spun by women readying themselves for spring.

a large pack, and one with ranked males. a lover who preferred not to have his pelt yanked out by the root. asmodeus retired reluctantly into the wood, casting one last glance toward the promise held so well-guarded.
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OM NOM NOM NOM

As she continued to slip through the wooded copse, she cast her gaze beyond the lazily falling flakes of snow to the distance which was all but obscured by the amount of trees. She couldn't see a gap of light past them, no sign of the clearing that she knew would be about twenty minutes ahead of her and there, a chance for a meal should something have wandered there in search of snow-covered grasses. The cedar grove wouldn't be too far off either- and she knew that deer had a penchant for stripping cedar bark in the winter when they were desperate...So she hoped that by the time she made her way to that edge of the borders, she might find something worth rallying the pack. 

Instead though, she caught a glimpse of light passing into the darkness of the forest, and her ears pricked. A soft rumble begged to find its way past her lips but she kept them tightly sealed as she gazed into the darkness where the figure had disappeared. It was far enough away that she didn't need to be concerned...but Niamh, of course, was of the persuasion that if she could see someone from the borders, then they were too close and in the very least, merited an interrogation. 

She left the borders, venturing out into the woodlands which matched identically the woodlands within she lived, moving briskly so she could catch up. Eventually, she could see the whisp of light up ahead again, and had found his tracks. He didn't seem interested in infiltrating their borders, but she was still curious- so she continued her pursuit, with no attempt to keep herself hidden.
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asmodeus was careful, cunning; it did not take long before he realized he was being followed. the apparition did not immediately turn, instead choosing a meandering path that took him outside the copse. then, and only then, did the spry beast turn.

she was a melodically beautiful sort, all honey-shades and cascades of flaxen tresses, and asmodeuus rather wondered if she was from the pack he had just left behind. for a long moment, he did not approach; then a low rill of laughter flowed in his throat.

"tell me," the phantom murmured when he had drawn within earshot, sunless stare sweeping her with the smeared pen-spill of his interest. "do blondes really have more fun?" asmodeus was aware he could just as well be attacked, but the diversion was what held him in thrall.

he waited.
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Others might have taken offense upon discovering that they were being openly pursued. She risked that, of course, but she felt entitled to her decision- after all, she was just making sure this stranger didn't get any ideas about the copse being defenseless, right? Niamh told herself a lot of lies in order to be able to sleep at night- and this assurance was certainly one of the more harmless ones out of the collection. He didn't startle, but the slight cant of the head- just enough to reveal a glint of obsidian- was enough to tell her that he'd noticed, but that he wasn't immediately threatened. 

He turned, and she didn't alter her path. There being still enough distance between them, she didn't consider her decision to close the gap to be too foolish, given she still had ample space to avoid a rush attack, and as her ears were met with a low, rolling rumble of laughter, she assumed that at least for the time being, he wasn't going to be a threat. 

She did stop and perk her ears when he asked her a question, and a younger, more naive Niamh might have laughed. The idea of blondes having more fun...Well, she had certainly lost enough by now to realize that her looks had gotten her what she'd wanted- but it'd been taken away from her regardless. "Depends on the company." She answered with a voice that was more deadpan than she'd intended. Where had sassy, young, flirty Niamh gone? She gave him an obvious once-over, before raising her somewhat skeptical gaze to his. "Depends on your definition of 'fun,'" She said, adding a bit of an edge to her voice- but she would allow him to determine whether she was trying to be flirty, or if she was actually threatening him. She hadn't made up her mind yet.
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ooh, roused his interest. asmodeus preened the fur of his chest, plucking out bone-white tufts as he groomed himself thoughtfully.

"well," he began, deciding the firmness to her tones was worth the potential risk, "when is the last time someone made you feel nice?"

surely in the recent past; the woman was one of those cold sun-chased beauties, brilliant as amber and just as hard.

perhaps he could coax a little warmth to her surface.
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Was she sensing that he'd been flattered by his comment, or was he merely toying with her? And was he expressing a bit of vanity as he sussed a few tufts of barely unruly fur from his chest, or was he merely putting on a show to try and lure her in? He succeeded in drawing her attention to his coat, how like the shade of clouds before beginning to gather moisture for a terrible storm. Against the snow, he was in contract, but at dusk when the waning light would cast shadows of lilac and indigo, he would be nearly invisible. 

His tone was inviting, but unfortunately for him, Niamh was a reactive creature, and stiffened immediately when he alluded to what she immediately assumed was sex. Given that it was too early in the season for hormones to drive her against her grief, she did not succumb like a satyr to the golden fleece. Still...It had been a long time. Long enough? She didn't know- she wasn't sure what the appropriate answer was, and so, mildly flummoxed by tempting the handsome male into waters she was not even prepared to tread, she did her best to doggy paddle, gracelessly. 

"I....Awefully bold question for you to ask," She accused, though half-heartedly. She sniffed lightly, trying to recover. "What makes you think I meant that kind of fun anyway?"
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ha. he had gotten under that burnished pelt it seemed, though he admired how closely she stood by her morals. no one would ever accuse her of being a loose woman, and that was what asmodeus enjoyed.

"because that is the kind of fun i meant," the jet-eyed man purled. he expected her to decline in the next breath; asmodeus let his pitch stare flicker over her curvaceous figure approvingly.

"i'm a bold man, duchess," the ghost smirked. he had not drawn closer to her; he would respect the bristle of her offended person in the parameters she had set for herself.

he was quiet, watchful.
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She felt an attraction for the sly man before him- for the pristine shade of his pelt, accented about his shoulders with a crowning cape of faint lavender, for the strength of his body, and for how it might feel to be in his clutch- and she might have been seduced in an instant by the velveteen tones of his voice if it hadn't been for his eyes. He hadn't neared, but in the stillness she could not perceive the natural border between iris and pupil, nor could she see reflection or depth within them, as though the light that touched them simply became trapped, and could not reflect. Still with those cool pools of ebony he cast a look over her which made her feel claimed, not invited. She felt the importance of her will and volition begin to dissipate as she sensed how little they might mean to him. After all- he greedily took with his gaze what he would, without shame. What was to stop him from doing the same with his fangs?

Her fangs, of course. 

And given the fact that that idea was set squarely within her current definition of fun, she was able to keep herself from becoming too daunted. He was playing a game...And with the challenge that presented itself came the icy prick of spurs at her sides, urging her forward and greasing the wheels in her mind. "Duchess?" She said, her tongue flicking against her teeth, as though in disdain. "Is that what you think I am?"
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she was warming to their little dance. asmodeus could see it in the careful way she chose her words, in the fact she did not drive him off, or try to threaten him.

she was intrigued.

that was his goal.

the flat glitter of the man's eyes allowed him privileges, for he was unnerving. and asmodeus pressed this to his advantage, enjoying her height, the pierce of her tongue.

long sculpted limbs that carefully tucked up into a waist near aching to be embraced; intelligent, knowing gaze above a slender, quick muzzle.

"i hope you are," asmodeus rejoined wryly. "i don't much care for queens. they always want something from you." blackglint stare appraised her again.

"you didn't answer my question."
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Both of her gilded ears tipped back at his first declaration, and she felt dismayed. He really suspected she was something akin to royalty? While her ego demanded that her supposed fine lineage be acknowledged for once, she still preferred sporting the angle of the royal brat who'd spurned her responsibilities for the sake of being a rogue. She much preferred to be a spitfire rather than a useless piece of nobility. At least he admitted he didn't care much for queens- but it still meant that he expected something more of her. 

And he reiterated his question. 

"Suppose I am," She said, enticed. She took a couple steps forward, in seeing something- be it a flash of her own golden reflection, or a splinter of a sunbeam- scatter diamonds of light across his hematite gaze. Somehow, it made him seem like perhaps he was more alive than she had anticipated earlier...And Niamh had never been one to back away from danger before. Now, with so much less to lose...Why should she bother to be wary of such a risk? "And suppose...It had been a while...Am I then to be in want of a Duke?" She asked, watching his expression to see if he perhaps considered himself to be such a thing.
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against the light glancing from the untouched snows, she seemed otherworldly. she did not blend into the winter-world; she stood out of it, eye-catching and coin-bright.

her auds had tilted back; asmodeus suspected she rather did not enjoy his comment. but it was the truth: she carried herself with an unconscious regality to her nature, without the arrogance of a true ruler.

the man ran tonguetip across the ridges of his teeth as she stepped forward, allured by him as he by her. without the season to sully her sense of decorum, asmodeus knew she approached out of pure interest.

 he too drew closer, closed the small distance between them easily. "i haven't ever been called a duke before," asmodeus murmured, noting how evenly matched in height they were. a slow smile blossomed onto his cunning lips.

"but i'll answer to whatever you'd like."
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Inch for inch that they came closer, it became clear that Niamh wasn't sporting the same advantage she'd thought she'd had. Niamh had a tendency to hold her head low while in motion, but bore it high with an egotistical tension in her neck whenever facing a stranger...And this fellow was not shorter than she was. Naturally, she was attracted to males who were her size or larger- but she also knew that in a stranger, this strength could pose a threat to her- and she wasn't entirely sure yet if he meant simply to seduce her, or if he meant to harm her. 

He was still charmed by all these pretty words and posturing, and when he offered to be whatever she wanted, Niamh finally broke character and rolled her eyes. She could only truly hold up her end of the act for so long before she tired of it. This wasn't even her typical manner of flirting- this was some sort of pretend, some sort of masquerade which was cute at first, but she wasn't about to pretend she was royalty. Niamh had no aspirations for leadership. She didn't want to be a duchess at all. 

"Why not just be you, whoever the fuck you actually are, rather'n offering to be some piece of garbage royalty just to get it on with some stranger you don' even know." She commented with a huff, relazing her shoulders a bit, loosening them up. "Honestly." She said, finally glad she'd decided to give up on the whole seduction scheme. "And I ain't a duchess. I'm a Sergeant-at-Arms." She said, dropping that bomb to see how he responded to that, unapologetic bit of truth.
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her voice was smoke and whiskey, edged in an open frustration. asmodeus chuckled softly. "at ease, sarge," he commented, tailtip flicking as he moved to the left in a casual motion.

"you were happy to be a duchess for a second. i was happy to fuck you like a duke." he walked some paces and stopped, knowing she would not allow herself to be encircled. 

the spirit looked at her again, admiring the vision that touched his eyes. even if nothing came of this, asmodeus was intrigued enough to make a return trip. 

long muzzle shifted toward her; the blackstone of his eyes did not shift. "so now that we aren't pretending, why don't you come with me?"
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The casual way he addressed her- now that all pretend facades had been dropped- still managed to get under her skin somehow...Even though she'd openly confessed that she had nothing to be worshipped. She huffed a half-laugh, and told herself to relax. No more of this pretending game, and she nodded when he gave her what might have been considered a clever command. Still, her guard remained in place, and she pivoted as he moved, following his movements with a watchful, but intrigued gaze. 

She felt something cringe at the next words he said, and she was reminded again of her grief, and now felt more guilty than ever for having been seduced. It was too soon. It hadn't even been a year. She'd been led astray before- but this was the closest she'd come to doing something unfaithful...If it could even be considered such. Her ears flicked forward and back with uncertainty, a clear sign of her indecision. 

He invited her to go with him, and she thought to question him for a moment- see where it was he wanted to take her. But there was no harm in simply following, and so- not really wanting to know the full answer, she moved toward him, bridging the gap and while she still kept one of her honeyed eyes turned toward him, she gestured. "Lead on, then," She prompted, waiting to see exactly where he wanted her to go.
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the woman agreed but did not agree, stepped after him but her intention was not to come with him in the manner he would have liked. she was protracting their meet, her unsurety clear in the flicker of her pretty ears.

too lovely to be unmated, asmodeus suspected her old man was the reason for her hesitance. but if he was around, why wasn't he here, jealously guarding her? the wraith could only assume he was not around, and opted not to consider the details. they were irrelevant at present.

and so he stepped away with a loose, easy gait; he strode until he could not longer spot the borders of her pack, then turned his coalglut stare upon the woman. they were alone now, save for the whisper of wind-talk in the high snowy boughs.

he was silent, taking only a single deliberate step in the temptress' direction as his gaze vied with her own.

she knew why he had brought her here. would she admit it?
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He moved, and she followed, and as they travelled, her pack's boundaries disappearing behind her, she had to wonder- was he alone? Was he simply a lure, sent out to call forth the gullible and pull them away from safety so that they would be made vulnerable? She had suffered hunger from the famine long enough to have an awareness that hunger could drive a wolf to commit desperate acts...And cannibalism wasn't necessarily off the charts. He'd lured her with the promise of physical ecstasy, but she had lost interest in that not long ago. And the further she trode from Colt's grave, oddly enough, the closer she felt tied to some form of everlasting fidelity. 

Which was why, when he stopped and turned to her, taking one step in her direction, she stared him down and snarled, flashing her off-white teeth at him in a warning. Turmoil rattled her instincts, and she fought with and against some unnamed desire, but all she could do now was stare him down, and hope he accepted her warning not as a deterrant- but as a challenge.
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the woman didn't know what she wanted; first she had played his little diversion, and then she came after him. now she spurned asmodeus with the impressive glory of her teeth.  if she wanted to leave, she could. he was many things, but a rapist was not one of them.

but she stayed, and in the angry bluster of her nectar stare, asmodeus fancied that he saw a glint of something more, a gesture that appealed to his primal nature as available suitor.

again he stepped toward her; this time his plume described a proud colorless arc against the sky, and his legs were stiff with the gauntlet she had thrown. ears thrust forward, muzzle tucked to throat, asmodeus silently tested her boundaries with a quiet lift of his lip and another short approach.

he could earn her, but it was still a game. certainly the golden woman knew that. the difference was that it was not only a game.
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She held her grund, four feet squared as though she faced a danger, but allowed him to move without snapping or lunging herself- which damn near took every bit of her restraint. Part of her was allured by the assuredness of his movements, but it deterred her too, knowing he was willing to chance his safety to get close to her. She felt partially drawn toward him, wanting to lower her defenses- but part of her also wanted him to come closer so that she could rip him to shreds.

The steps he took toward her were one thing- but when he displayed his confidence with an arch of his tail, Niamh responded in kind, pricking her ears and curling her own tail above her haunches, the tip quivering slightly in the wind. She narrowed her gaze and a shudder of uncertainty pushed the fur to stand like quills along the back of her neck, and the ridge of her spine. She exhaled through gritted, still slightly bared teeth, and waited to see how he might proceed.
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like a copperback she awaited him, coiled in tight hot musculature. asmodeus drank in her fallow flanks and the flaxen pelt only highlighting her tense figure.

up swept the butterflame of her tail; he glanced at it with the fathomless glint of swart approval.

asmodeus did not take another step. here was a crossroads, and she had not invited him further. nor did the woman whisk herself away. he would not brave her fangs upon a lark. 

silently, the alabaster basilisk watched her, waiting, only the stirring of his flanks evidence that he still breathed.
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He didn't come any closer, and Niamh watched him, her gaze narrowing as the seconds were spent, deliberating whether to make a move, or to drop her guard. The clarity with which he had extended his invitation- and the fact that she had in some way accepted- haunted her now, and she was left to deal with her choice, but she wanted to retain some of whatever reputation it was she'd forged. He'd moments ago considered her to be a duchess, though she'd softly, playfully rejected the idea, and had then formally dropped that possibility. 

Without taking her gaze off him, she steadied her hindquarters, shifting the weight from one hind foot to the other- before she lowered her haunches to the ground, all the while maintaining her level gaze. In a not-so-subtle way, she wanted to remove the sexual option from the table; and she couldn't risk challenging the male just for fun- not when winter had only really just begun. 

"I'm Niamh," She said, giving him something, at least, as an offering. She waited expectantly, then, for how he might react.
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asmodeus watched placidly as she settled herself in the snow to give her name. his interest had waned immediately, but this niamh, as she called herself, still held intrigue for the ivoried man.

"asmodeus. it is a pleasure to meet you, lady niamh," came the sneaking sibilance of his amused tones. 

she sought to test his willingness to remain with her, in spite of her formal declaration of chastity.

very well; he would play along. but a serpent was never held for too great a  time.

for the moment, however, asmodeus too lowered himself to sit and watched with with unblinking black stare.
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He called her 'lady Niamh,' causing her to narrow her gaze slightly, as it wasn't a title that Niamh particularly liked, and she wondered by now if he was using this form of formality as a means of eliciting a response from her. Trying to get any response from Niamh was as easy as sparking dry gunpowder, so if his intentions were to rile her up, he would succeed, easily. Still, this Asmodeus was an interesting fellow. She found his name odd- and immaturely found it amusing, but she chose to keep that comment to herself. 

"You were wandering near my pack's boundaries earlier," She remarked, choosing this opportunity- now that he'd seated himself, which in Niamh's view, left him open for interrogation. "Were you looking for someone?"
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"no one in particular," asmodeus purred. "though i did spend a little bit of time with a rosebud named chanel the other day." let her muse over what that time had entailed. or maybe she would find it laughable, below her. asmodeus did not care; he spoke things for his own amusements.

"what if i was looking for you?" the snowsprite suggested, stretching his lithe body in the snow, eyes onyx chips against the bright glow of the barren drifts.
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her suspicion lessened until he spoke about Chanel. She was a pretty little thing, from what Niamh remembered, but she hadnèt personally spent much time with the female and had more or less written her off as just another plain-jane member of the pack. One who avoided conflict, and who wasn't sucking up to her superiors. She was wary, though, that Asmodeus spoke of her the way he did. She felt jealous- but she also felt a bit creeped out. "If you're looking for q quick fuck so you can leave some pretty babies behind this breeding season," She said, "You can go elsewhere. A family pack we may be, but we're not interested in rearing someone else's bastards." She said, and flicked her ears forward for effect. 

And when he referenced her, she snorted. "Same goes for me. And if I were to ahve kids again this year," She said, looking him up and down, "I'd choose someone a bit more reliable."