[Leon Davenport] It was friday evening, a night to go out and have fun. Instead, he had called a meeting he dreaded going to. He had been given the loft’s adress when he had contacted Lukas and drove the black Lexus there. He stepped out and made his way inside. The tall, athletic blond man was dressed in a dark suit, with a blue shirt and no tie.
He was greeted by lucille and lead to Lukas’s location. He was nervous, ucomfortable and partly afraid of how things will turn out. He had no real hope it’ll go well ofr him, but sometimes things had to be said and done no matter how hard they were.
He stopped, looking serious, offering a small bow to the Shadow Lord when he was in his presence “Good evening Rhya, thank you for seeing me” He says in a polite tone
[Wyrmbreaker] Might not help that there’s thunder in the sky tonight. A sudden and humid warmth in the air, almost oppressive in its abruptness and in the contrast to month upon month of ice and snow. Even now, driving up to the Loft, rain patters against Leon’s windshield. Leaves the shoulders of his suit faintly damp as he enters Katherine’s home; is shown upstairs by Katherine’s maid.
Lukas is in the rumpus room, feet bare. No restaurant service for him. He has a weapon in hand that no one in this Sept has ever seen him use in combat, and no one outside of his pack has ever seen him use, period. It’s a longsword: the cross and pommel unadorned, the blade long and gleaming-dark, indicative of carbon content in the steel. It looks old, but it’s not an heirloom. Not judging by the way he uses it, slamming it through quick straight cuts, blindingly fast.
Leon comes into sight and Lukas comes to a stop. He’s casually dressed – a plain white t-shirt, grey drawstring pants, swordbelt crossing his wide chest. He sheathes the sword over his shoulder, grabbing up a towel to blot sweat off his brow, the back of his neck. “No problem,” he says, gesturing Leon toward the cluster of couches and beanbag chairs near the entertainment center. “Thanks for coming out to the Loft.
“What’s going on?”
[Danicka] Lukas’s iPhone, lying — perhaps — on top of an end table where he left it, chimes. Or buzzes. And a picture of a rather lovely blonde woman, smiling good-naturedly (patiently) at the camera appears on the screen with big friendly letters: Danicka
[Leon Davenport] He watched Lukas handling a weapon. Great, jst great. Well this is the night I die it seem, he thinks sourly to himself. Well there’s no time like the present for it no? He took a deep breath “I have three things I need to talk with you about. Some not really..enjoyable for me.”
He walk and sit on the couch. He was nervous and tried notto show it. He was here to do the honorable thing after all, and also do things properly. Too bad ofr him, the honorable thing will probably put him in more trouble and then the proper thing will be denied. He knew it but will go through the motions anyway.
“The first thing I wanted to talk to you about was your impression of your tribesmate Nathalie. A kin of my tribe is living with her. Nathalie gave me a good impression, if too eager when I met with her. I jsut wanted to know if you think it’s safe for my kin to hang with her”
Ok, first subject on the way. The most innocent one too.
[Wyrmbreaker] Quick, a faint frown sketches it way across Lukas’s brow. “Nathalie generally means well,” he says, “but her rage sometimes exceeds her control, and her better intentions sometimes lead to worse ends. She’s sworn to do better. If nothing else, I believe she’ll try, and Shadow Lords don’t often make futile attempts. But in the end it’s your call, and you’ll have to make it based on your best judgment. As far as I can tell, you’re the one standing for the Walker kin now.”
His phone goes off. Lukas turns his head unhurriedly, then reaches over to pick it up. “I have to get this. Can you give me one minute?” He slides the accept button, raises the phone to his ear. “Ahoj, lásko. I’m at the Loft meeting with Leon right now.”
[Leon Davenport] He considered Lukas words about Nathalie. Well that was interesting. Seem liek Mickey went from the frying pan into the fire. He’ll have to talk to her about that. Then again, he’s not the one the kin wants to bed, so she mgiht ignore his warning and stay with the Shadow Lord anyway.
He nodded to Lukas “Thank you Rhya, I wanted the opinion of someone who knew her some. I’ll decide what I’ll do about it”
HLukas’s phone rang and Leon watched the Adren pick it up. He nodded to him when he asked for a minute and looked around. His pericing blue eyes looked at the room, not sure if he was grateful for the interruption or not. Part of him want this to be over as quickly as possible. The other part, wants to get the hell out and move ot Hawaaii
[Wyrmbreaker] Whatever the response is, it gets a brief smile out of Wyrmbreaker. Brief, but it’s genuine. Warm. And not an expression one sees often on his face; not quite the same way he smiles at a friend, or a packmate.
“Sounds good,” he says. “See you.”
After she hangs up, he does as well, locking the screen on his phone and setting it back face-down on the endtable. He turns his attention back to Leon, his expression expectant.
[Leon Davenport] He exhale slowly when Lukas’s attention came back to him. Here goes nothing “I have something I want to ask you, but first I need to tell you something that happened in february, something that was settled but keep popping out. So before you hear about it from someone else, if you haven’t already and because I well I need your approval and don’t feel I’d be worthy of it if I hide something like that”
He paused, what he has to say doesn’t seem like it will come out easilly “When I arrived in Chicago, late january, I met Amunet, Sarita’s sister. We started seeing each other, with her sister’s silent consent. It didn’t go very smoothly and after quite a few incidents, that i won’t mention unless you really need me to, I frenzied briefly on her and hit her quite hard, in Crinos. She got a commotion and broken wrist from that blow”
it was hard for him to confess, and his shame was apparent in his face. “I talked to Sarita after the incident, to apologize and set things right. Later, she had a talk with my Alpha to set conditions for me. Maybe our inital agreement wasn’t enough or maybe I was wrong and only thought weagreed. Anyway, they came with three conditions that I”ve been following: No contact with Amunet, no pursuing kin from another tribe without that kin’s Elder’s consent and take anger management lessons with a Philodox”
“He tilt his head “I don’t agree particularly with the last one but I’ll do it. I messed up and will take my responsabilities. I was hoping I could talk to Honor’s Compass about it. I think it would please Sarita if somone she trust and respect was supervising those lessons.
I’m not proud of what I did, and still feel the guilt for my actions. I have learned that, despites the saying anything worth having is hard, well sometime you just have to let go.”
He look at Lukas “So there you have it. This is what I needed to confess before getting to the other reason for this meeting”
[Wyrmbreaker] “I’ve heard about it,” Lukas says simply. “I’ve heard about why you lost your temper, and to be frank, I’m surprised you didn’t mention that yourself. It’s a mitigating circumstance, if nothing else.
“I have some questions, though. First: ‘silent consent’ — does that mean you asked her and she didn’t say no? Or that she found out otherwise and didn’t stop you? Second: you frenzied and hit her? Or you bit back a frenzy before it took hold and hit her? When we descend into frenzy, Leon, we use tooth and claw.”
[Leon Davenport] He seem to relax a little. The weight was off his shoulders and Lukas already knew. Now the hardest would be coming, once the hitting Amy subject was over. “I could hav talked about those circumstances but in the end. I made a mistake. I should have walked away sooner instead of waiting till I snap”
He paused before answering Lukas’s questions
“Silent consent is that we didn’t hide from her. She was with us the first night Amy decided to sleep with me. Ishould have asked her directly I guess, but he knew where Amy and I were gonig and didn’t say anything. Then on the next few days, we hanged the three of us. She neversaid no. So considered that she wasn’t against it. We laso had a few talks about what was happening between me and her sister. She gave some advises and all. To me, it meant that she accepted what was happening”
Another pause as he consider Lukas’s question “Did I frenzy? I odn’t know for sure. I mean I know I saw red, my brain shut down for a while, almsot liek a black out. I found myself towering over Amunet sprawling on the floor with parts of a broken bed in hands, ready to stab her. I stopped there, shifted back to homid and left. Maybe I jsut lost it in a purely human way, or had some kind of flash frenzy. I did care for her, maybe that stopped me fron killing her. Though Iheard about other frezying and once it was over, they had killed loved ones.
I wish I could tell you with certainity. I know I went nuts, lost control and got it back at the last moment”
Sarita, Leon says you gave implicit acceptance of his relationship with your sister before he blew it. He also says after he hit Amy, you and he settled it on the condition that he stays away from Amy, asks tribal alphas before pursuing another tribe’s kin, and learns to control himself from a Philodox. He says on those conditions, the two of you put the matter to rest. Is that true?
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Sarita Ecos de la Risa
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A pause. Like, a couple of beats of dumbfounded pause.
Oh, you gotta be shitting me. Honestly, no that’s not accurate. The first part is true. I let them see each other. The second part is true with several details changed. The first time we talked over it, he threw two grand at me like that was gonna cover shit. At the time I was more worried about my sister who was acting like an abused house wife and we had a shattered bed that he almost stabbed her with as well as medical bills, so I used it to pay for those. Later, after I talked to Sinclair I realized that I wasn’t looking out for those other kin he might be around, so I talked with Matthieu. He and I came to that arrangement, yes. I don’t think he’s completely met it, since it’s been a month and he’s made no attempt to contact any Philodoxes, but yeah. I’ve still held up my end.”
to Danicka, Wyrmbreaker, Katherine Bellamonte
[Wyrmbreaker] There’s a pause on Lukas’s end too, so long that Leon might wonder if the Lord had somehow gotten ahold of a philodox’s gift for seeing truth through lies. It’s not that, though. It’s something at once simpler and more complex: astuteness, intelligence. Thought.
“If you want to put this behind you,” he says finally, “then you need to own up to your faults and rise above them.
“It’s true that you came to me; you told me what had happened. You didn’t necessarily have to. This matter was settled, and even if it wasn’t — I’m not a Philodox. But there’s a defensiveness about the way you’re telling me that makes me think this isn’t just a fit of conscience. You spin the story to make yourself look better. Less guilty. More victimized. You didn’t tell me that Amunet cheated on you and that’s why you lost your temper, true. But nor did you tell me you tried to buy Sarita’s silence first, and only later, at her insistence, went to the mediation of Matthieu. You imply that because Sarita never protested, you didn’t need to seek her permission in the first place. You quibble over whether or not you actually frenzied, when — let’s be honest, Leon — if you had, Amunet would be dead.
“Now, you keep alluding to a third reason you came here tonight. That makes me think the reason you came to me at all, confessed at all, is an attempt to look good so you can ask me for something. And I’ll tell you this. The appearance of honor isn’t going to cut it. If you want me to think you honorable enough to trust, you need to show me genuine remorse. And you need to show genuine reformation in your actions.
“Whether or not Sarita protested, it was your duty to go to her as Amy’s guardian. To tell her of your intentions, and to fulfill whatever condition she asked of you. That burden is on you, the suitor, not her, the warder.
“Whether or not you were angry with Amunet, you didn’t lose it entirely. If you did, she’d be dead. You had the presence of mind not to rip her apart. You chose, on some level, to go to warform and hit a kinswoman.
“Whether or not she deserved punishment for what she did, you should have sought the price from another Garou. The other one in her bed, or the one that warded her. It’s dishonorable to take that price out on a kin.
“Whether or not you agree with this … anger management deal, you made it, and you must abide by it. You must pay that debt.
“And you need to own up to all your other faults. So long as you slink about defending your actions and your wrongdoings, you’ll never leave them behind completely. The only way to restore your honor is to stand up and say, yes. I fucked up. I courted a kin without permission. I took a bloodprice out on her when she was disloyal to me. I tried to buy off her warder. I haven’t paid my dues fully. I know it. I won’t do it again, and I’ll prove it starting today. Starting this moment.
“When you can do all that, you’ll start winning back your honor. Until then, the deeper you bury this, the more it’ll rot and stink.”
“Now, what was your request?”
[Danicka] A little while later — she must have already been in her car driving around when she called — Danicka’s Infinity pulls up to the Loft. It’s been a long time since she’s been here. She didn’t come for Katherine’s celebratory party. She’s been here to pick up or drop off Gabriella after spending an evening contributing to the deliquency of a minor. She’s been here to meet with Katherine about maybe doing the exact opposite of contributing to the delinquency of that particular minor.
Truth be told, she has little knowledge whatsoever of what became of Gabriella. And truth be told — it tells you a great deal of what sort of woman she is — Danicka has never cared enough to ask.
The Infiniti parks, and Danicka gets out, wearing a pair of sheer black stockings with a flocked pattern of widely latticed ribbons creating diamonds of sheer within bands of velvet black. Her feet are slipped into patent black heels with electric blue soles, but the color of Shadow Lords ends there. Her dress is a lighter blue than the undersides of those heels, a rather shiny wiggle dress straight out of the 60s that ends just below her knee and is cinched about her waist with a silver belt. There’s a silver bracelet around her left wrist, a white gold ring around her third left finger, and a thin chain around her neck that might be white gold, might be something even more fine, ending in a small pendant that rests atop the shiny blue dress. It’s simple, really, a diamond set within an infinity knot.
She strides to the front door, is allowed in by Lucille, and soon enough her heels can be heard tapping quietly on the floorboards as she makes her way towards Lukas’s voice.
[Wyrmbreaker] [wait! um. reword: “But nor did you tell me you tried to buy Sarita’s silence first, and only later, at her insistence, agreed to the present terms.”]
[Wyrmbreaker] [i am too lazy to transcribe that into totemspeak but you can all assume Lukas gives an abridged version of what-all is going on across the totemlink!]
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Sarita Ecos de la Risa
[Leon Davenport] He blinked. Ok..not exactly what he was aiming there. He frowned slightly but stayed silent for a long time.”
“I didn’t come here because of the third reason. It just happened to be timed well with the decision to come to you. You may or may not believe it. It’s fine.” He say and shook his head
“I could probably argue all night about what you told me. The gist of it is true. And I”m willing to own up to what I did. But a lot of what you know might be incomplete. And that’s not the point. I didn’t come here to blame Sarita, or Amy or myself. I just wanted you to know what happened.”
His piercing blue eyes looked at lukas “As ofr the third reason, your words told me your answer. I pretended, I ‘haven’t paid my price, so no matter what Isay, until I’ve done so, t’s not even worth wasting your time and ask it”
He had a feeling Sarita gave him her version of events over the totem phone. It didn’t matter. “I’m sorry I took so much of your time Rhya” He said, getting up
[Wyrmbreaker] “Ask me anyway,” Lukas says, “so I know what it is you want.”
[Leon Davenport] He stop in his movement and sat back. He took a few breaths “I wanted to ask your permission about seeing one of your kin, Luana Kirchmann. Not claiming her or anythign like htat. Just the right to spend time with her, talk to her and see where things will lead.
I met her around the time I met Amunet. We spent some time together, and learned only recently that she was kin to your tribe. We had a falling out for some time but things are better. She knows about everything I told you. So I was wondering if I could be allowed to be in her presence. ”
He say, politly. He hand his hands on his knees and tried to look relaxed. But he knew Lukas’s next words will probably hurt. He cared for Luana, more than he did for almost everything else. He knew that being denied the right ot be around her will kill him. He expected both..the refusal and the death.
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] They can feel it. That self-control…holding back and trying not to say anything. She clearly wants to but she doesn’t want to sound like the defensive woman who’s sister got hurt and now is just lashing out.
The resolve doesn’t hold, and it bursts out of her mind like water out of a dam that’s been blown up in some James Bond film. “Oh MY GOD he’s so full of shit about just wanting to let you know! He and Matthieu both were both specific about keeping you two out of the loop.” Meaning Lukas and Katherine. “I’ll bet you a gajillion dollars that he’s pissed because I saw Gina playing footsie with his knee at the Kin-Elder meeting, and I told Matthieu that if Matt was going to court Gina that it was his responsibility to keep my kin away from Leon, Gina included. I may be letting the matter rest, but I’m still not cool with any of my kin being in his presence unless there’s someone around to keep them safe. Stupid cockpunching shitribbon cumdrizzling little fuckstain of…” This goes on for a few moments before she drifts off
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Wyrmbreaker
[Katherine Bellamonte] From Katherine — where was she, anyway, they have the impression of a car, flashing scenery of Chicago at night somewhere nearby — Wait, what? Matthieu said he wished to deliberately keep me from knowing about this matter? Why? I am a Half Moon, if anyone, I should be the very sort he is seeking out.]
to Danicka, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker
[Sinclair] It’s Sinclair’s voice now, for the first time in this conversation. Sarita… hon, I love you. But you’ve gotta calm down a little here. I don’t like Leon either. I was wary of leaving Chicago because he seemed kinda keen on representing the tribe if I wasn’t going to. But take some deep breaths, trust Lukáš — funny, how she pronounces his name correctly in her head, at least, — to handle it, and accept that however this ends up, you probably won’t be perfectly satisfied.
That said… Lukáš, I don’t trust Leon any more than Sarita does, to be honest. Just… be wary. He seems like the always-the-hero-or-victim-never-the-villain type you’re always referencing.
to Katherine Bellamonte, Sarita Ecos de la Risa, Wyrmbreaker
[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Okay, sorry…I’m pissed, that wasn’t spoken well. I’m breathing now. Leon wanted to keep you out of the loop Kate…Matthieu just was specific about Lukas since it was ‘none of his business’ and wanted it resolved privately without being known Sept-wide and hurting the reputation of his pack and their purpose of working with humans and dealing with kinfolk.
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Wyrmbreaker
[Wyrmbreaker] Not that I’d put it so bluntly, but the Fang is more or less right about me. It wasn’t my business. I’m not his tribal elder, nor hers. I’m not a Philodox. The only reason it is my business now is because he wants one of my kin, and if nothing else he at least had the balls — or at least the cunning — to tell me before he asked.
As for you, Kate, it might feel like he’s gone over your head. But if he and Sarita worked it out to their satisfaction, there’s no reason it had to go to a Philodox, either. If he’s not keeping up his end of the bargain, though, that’s another matter.
As for how I’m handling the situation here, on hand, between Leon and my kin — truth is even if he hadn’t slammed a kin around I’d be hesitant to approve this little courtship. Kin aren’t tagalongs in the Tribe. Their spirits are tied to the totem. You take a kin out of the tribe, it’s as much a theft as taking a cub.
to Katherine Bellamonte, Danicka, Sarita Ecos de la Risa
Expected or not, that answer – quietly spoken as it is – must sting. And there’s that in Lukas’s eyes, at least: a sort of sympathy.
“And I’ll tell you why. It’s not just your past behavior with Amunet, though that doesn’t help. It’s not that you’ve yet to fulfill your terms with Sarita. Even if none of that were true, I would still deny you.
“Kin are every bit a part of the Tribe as Garou, Leon. I realize ancestry and roots matter less to a Glass Walker, but even your tribe still has a Homeland where the spirits of your Tribe go after death. For my tribe — we may not measure a Garou’s worth by the worth of his ancestors, but we care about our family. Our blood. Some of our lineages go back to the very beginning. My line goes back hundreds, thousands of years; farther. All Shadow Lords. All my forefathers, my friends from other lives, my brothers and sisters from ages past — waiting for me in the Homelands when I die. I can’t tell you what comfort that brings me, knowing that I will die, and sooner rather than later. Knowing that when I do die, I can wait there, in the Homelands, for my own mate to come to me.
“Luana has her heritage too. She may not even know it in this life, but when she dies her spirit will remember. If you mate with her, the spirits will recognize her as a Glass Walker. When she dies, her spirit goes to Cockroach. All her children’s spirits, too. They lose the friends and lovers and family of a thousand lifetimes before. They are alone, separate, cut loose from their history.
“Even were she to somehow remain a Shadow Lord in spirit, the outcome is inevitably heartbreaking. When you die, you go to Cockroach. When she dies, she goes to Thunder. Your spirits remain apart with only the dimmest hope of finding each other on Gaia’s face again in your next lives.
“You’re not committed to this yet, Leon. You’ve spent some time together, that’s all. So I’m saying to you: leave off. This isn’t about ownership or possession of our respective kin. This is about mercy and the price you’ll pay — you and Luana both. Find yourself a mate from amongst your own tribe. Don’t take my kin from her people, and don’t doom yourself to losing her.”
[Danicka] my own mate to come to me
Lukas is saying, as Danicka is standing in the doorway to the room they’re in, her footsteps silenced now, her lean body leaning against the wall. She’s quite the vision, isn’t she? Leon can breathe her scent in. She doesn’t wear perfume. She smells soft. Clean.
But most of all she smells warm. Like… home. Like cubs resting nearby, like a full belly, like the security of hearth and pack all gathered close together. She smells, perhaps most intoxicatingly, like fertility. Verdant earth, crops ready for harvest, one’s female growing swollen with your litter. It’s a little distracting, but only so much as any kinfolk’s breeding is distracting. And it depends on the wolf.
She’s heard him talk about this before. The Homelands. What she once thought was a lie. She breathes quietly as she listens, standing in the periphery.
[Leon Davenport] His face is unreadable, cold, drained of all emotions. He almsot snorted but didn’t. Kin of his tribe. So far in this city, he had met one who seem to enjoy women…Shadow Lord Ahroun female at that, the other one was a high class escort no matter how she wanted to paint it. Yeah, kin form hsi tribe. Not likely. No kin ever it seem.
He got up “Thank you for youre time Rhya. And maybe oyu should have this talk with Nathalie since she is trying to have a relatioship with a female kin of mine. I’ll certainly talk to my kin.”
He nodded to him “Have a good night”
He doesn’t mention Sarita’s conditions. They aren’t worth shit to him anymore. Not seeing Amy, fine, no courtin kin of another tribe…fuck that, happening anymore it seem. He lsot the one person who could soothe his rage. He had no intentetion of wasting his time with someone else. Anger management? Well if she cross his path again, he’ll mamange his anger in the bloodiest way possible.
His blue eyes found Danicka “Good night” He simply tell the kin.
He walked away. Not looking back, heading toward the exit
[Leon Davenport] (*not happening anymore..)
[Wyrmbreaker] Levelly, “It’s Nathalie’s responsibility to go to you if she’s courting your kin. She should know that, but I’ll inform her. It’s your right to accept or deny her. If she doesn’t bide by your decision, let me and/or the Philodox Elder know.”
Leon turns to go. Lukas watches him for a moment, thoughtful. Then he descends the stairs, out of sight, and Lukas shifts his attention to Danicka.
She heard a lot of that. The last part, at least. He doesn’t have to explain why he crosses the room to her — smelling of exercise, war, sweat — and wraps her in his arms, bending his nose to her hair.
“Hi,” he says quietly. He sounds a little sad.