[MH] The Den [Nu S2:1.0]

edited April 2013 in In-Game
Oh, Nula

So last night was the third time you've had to change. Are you getting used to it? Is it at all easier than it was the first time? Do you remember waking that first time with James' arms around you, curled together like... well, like dogs?

After the first month, James started construction on an additional room, so all three of you would have your own cells to spend the moon-madness in. It wasn't finished last month or this month. You aren't sure but maybe James is deliberately not finishing it.

That first month proved it was more or less safe for you to change together even during the moon. Since his wolf considers you his mate he won't hurt you. And he's really the Alpha of your little group so you don't seem to have done him any damage either. He can't say the same about having Jarrod in the room with you though, and all three of you definitely won't work out. So for 'safety' this is how it's been for three months.

So at least these three mornings you've gotten to wake up naked in James' arms. Jarrod is less than happy about that state of affairs. I guess the question is have you found yourself in his arms more than that? Is it intentional?

I guess it depends on how much time you're even spending over there. Do you go there, except to change? Are you and Jarrod interacting at school? I mean three months ago, eveyone thought you were a couple, right? Do you still love him? Tension is definitely on the rise and you're going to have to make some kind of decision soon.

You've been getting in trouble too, right. Actual fights? When was the last one and what happened?

Dominic has recovered somewhat but he's still weak and the Doctors still want to do heart surgery on him. Have you explained what happened to you? You've been having to make sure he takes his medicine and do some general caretaking of him. He gets grumpy and difficult about that, but you're more snappish than you used to be too, more forceful, right?

Anyway, you're just coming awake, and you can feel James curled around your back, still sleeping. You don't hear anything outside of his even breathing, but then James insulated these rooms pretty well. Still, Jarrod is probably coming awake too.

What do you do?


  • red
    edited April 2013
    Am I getting used to it? You mean being a werewolf. Being a predator. Being a monster.

    No. No I am not getting used to it.

    In fact, if you want to know the truth, my life is a mess. When I was a selkie, the seal part of me was...well, a part of me. We flowed together. I was me, no matter the form I took. This? This is something totally different, something horrifying. Wolf and I...it's like we are constantly at war. She pulls, and I push. We fight and fight and then the full moon comes and she wins. She takes over. Most days we settle on a sullen mutual dislike. Some days I hate her.

    James doesn't understand. He chose this path. The Wolf is all he knows. Jarrod doesn't understand either. The Wolf was in his blood all along. Once he got over the initial shock, horror, and disbelief, he has accepted this new life, for the most part. They don't understand why I can't do the same thing.

    That first time, that first time was the worst. It hurt. The physical change. But worse than that, the feeling of losing control...I was so scared, so terrified. I don't remember much. Blurry images, James as the Alpha Wolf, a wild and feral need to get out of the cage. But I didn't hurt James, and James didn't hurt me. I slept so long afterwards that I missed the entire school day on Monday and frightened Dominic half to death. When I finally woke up in James' arms, I was...how did James put it? I was distraught. I cried and cried. I didn't even really know why, but I couldn't stop. I wouldn't let James touch me. James finally got Jarrod, and Jarrod came and just held me. Which made James upset, forcing him to leave the house for a few hours.

    And everything just got more complicated from there.

    I haven't told Dominic the truth. I'm too afraid. He's been so weak since his heart attack. I'm afraid of how he'll react. The doctor said to try to keep him calm. So I lied. I told him I was human. I've been trying to take care of him, but it's hard. I lose my patience, and then we argue. I hate arguing with Dominic.

    I've been avoiding James. Well, trying to. I keep telling him I need more time, but time keeps passing, and I still don't know what to do. I thought maybe after that first time I changed, maybe I would just know who my mate was supposed to be. But that didn't happen. I thought Wolf would help me out with this, but I've got nothing. So I avoid James. Except for those nights during the moon when we're forced together. For "safety." And to make things more confusing, those moments when I'm half awake in James arms...those are some of the only moments I've felt even close to peaceful.

    And then there's Jarrod. Jarrod who has been growing increasingly unhappy about the room situation, increasingly confused by my attitude, increasingly concerned. I still love him, yes. I want to make things work, I do! It's just...everything is so complicated.

    I had sex with Jarrod again, about a month ago. It wasn't exactly planned, and I guess we didn't do a good enough job hiding it because James figured it out the moment he came home. To make a long story short, Jarrod and I had to lock ourselves in one of the rooms to stay...well, alive. Since then, I've been distant. I haven't gone over to his house since then, except for the night of the moon. This has only frustrated Jarrod even more, but I don't know what else to do. I'm so...I'm so angry. I hate how complicated everything is. I hate how afraid I am, afraid that Dominic is going to get worse, afraid that I'm ruining James and Jarrod's relationship, afraid of myself.

    So yes, trouble. What do you want to know? How I slapped one of Jen's friends after he called me a murderer to my face? How I tried to tackle Lily in the hall after she called me a coward for dropping out of swim team? How I got up and left in the middle of my English class because I just couldn't sit in that stifling room any longer? How I screamed at Mrs. Glen to leave me alone in the hallway? I feel so out of control, I just, I just snap.

    I've been avoiding everyone to be honest. Amy. Teddy. Nyx. Holly. Ashley. Especially Teddy and Nyx, since they know. I've been spending a lot of time alone, in my room or up on the widow's walk, staring at the ocean. But I haven't been to the beach, not since that day with Mar. I don't think I could stand it.
  • The waves are chattering around me, flecks of foam clinging to my arms as I lift them out of the water and into the sunshine. I'm smiling because there's a celebration. I'm waiting for the rest, my family, the whole clan. They're coming. I know this. I'm singing, an old Selkie song about the sea, but then the words just stop. I frown and start again. I get halfway through the first verse, and again I forget the words. How could I forget the words? I try again and this time I only get a handful of words out before the rest vanish from my mind. I'm getting panicky now. The rest of the Selkies are coming and I have to know the words! If I don't know the words, they'll know. They'll know I'm not really one of them anymore! I have to know the words! The waves go silent around me as I struggle to remember. They start to withdraw. I reach out for them, begging them to stay. "I remember!" I cry, desperate. "Listen! I remember! I swear!" But I don't. I don't remember the words. They're gone.

    I open my eyes to the dim light of the cage, tears sliding down my face. At once, James' scent envelops me. He is curled around me, his bare arm draped across my ribs. I swallow hard, forcing myself to calm down. It was just a dream. But I can't help reciting the words to the Selkie song in my head as though they will save me. I get through the whole song easily, but it doesn't bring any relief. It doesn't change anything. I haven't forgotten the song, but I'll never be able to go back.

    I slide out from under James arm, not looking to see if I wake him, and get to my feet, swiping at my eyes. My head throbs, as it always does. I'm the only one who gets headaches afterwards too. James has a theory that it's because I don't let go. I keep trying to fight it the whole time. Which would also explain why I always wake up exhausted. I pad naked over to the door and start unbolting it. We keep robes hanging up outside the rooms, and I just want to grab my robe and get in the shower.
  • James moves a little but doesn't wake. Unusual. He usually wakes when you do, tries to talk to you. But not today I guess.

    You get the reinforced steel door unbolted. You see the door to Jarrod's room/cage is open and his robe is gone. There is the faint whine of water running in the house. He's probably in the shower. You didn't hear it before because the rooms are completely soundproofed, you guys are loud, after all, no need to bother the neighbors.

    It's right when you grab your own robe that the smells register. Blood, several hours old, both from his room and from the one you and James were in. I guess you were so deep in your won thoughts you didn't notice. Isn't having a wolf nose wonderful? Wolf herself seems very quiet... you feel almost normal.
  • I freeze, halfway through slipping into the robe, sniffing the air. Blood?

    I pull open the door to Jarrod's cage first, robe still halfway on, and peer inside. I feel queasy, my heart pounding. Why would there be blood? We didn't get out. How could we? That's impossible.


    I can't even begin to think about what would happen if we got out. What we would do. I shiver.

    Do I see where the smell is coming from?
  • Oh sure. There are bloodstains all over the place. Particularly on the wall that separates your... James' room from Jarrods. In fact you kind of see a partial... well I can only describe it as a bloody wolf print.

    It looks like he beat himself bloody against the wall last night.

    What do you do?
  • I just stand there and stare, a dull sense of horror creeping over me. There's so much blood. The smell of it is overwhelming. The smell of Jarrod's blood. I feel like someone reached into my chest, wrapped an iron fist around my heart, and squeezed.

    I numbly step back, crack open the door to the cage I just exited and look inside, first at James sleeping form, then for the source of the blood smell from this room. Is it the same thing? Bloodstains on the wall? I don't remember...all I have are fuzzy images, mostly lingering emotions, but it's fading, like a dream. I don't remember...

    Were they trying to kill each other through the wall last night? Why? Is it because of me?

    I feel like I might be sick.

    If James looks mostly unharmed, I'm going to creep upstairs and find Jarrod. I need to make sure he's alright. I need to see if he remembers why he did this. Maybe it's nothing, I try to tell myself. Maybe he just wanted to get out. Maybe it's a coincidence that he chose the wall between us. James is still sleeping soundly, so I should have a few minutes. If Jarrod's in the shower, the sound of the water will help cover us talking. It's risky. If James wakes up and finds me and Jarrod together, in the bathroom, with the door shut...

    I swallow hard as I climb the stairs as quietly as I can, remembering the last time...when James realized Jarrod and I had had sex. His Wolf is fiercely possessive, protective. Even moreso now that he turned me. I've been going out of my way to avoid being alone with Jarrod around James, since that last time. Now that James caught us once, I feel like he's been especially tense, especially suspicious...

    I hate this.
  • The smell of blood in here isn't as strong. There's just a little. And it's not all over the place. Looking over James you see there is a red welt on his thigh. You've seen how fast stuff like this heals in werewolves. It was probably a bite and tear. Thing is though, from where it is there is no way that he could have done it to himself.

    You don't have any clear memory of doing anything.

    Otherwise though he's fine. I'm assuming you're still going upstairs.

    You get upstairs, right? Open the door the bathroom and steam and hot air billows out, a sharp contrast to the cool air of the hallway. You can hear the shower water running and Jarrod stop moving as he hears the door open.

    What do you do?
  • It's not until I'm in the bathroom before I realize what's bugging me about that mark on James' thigh. It didn't look serious. I mean, it could have been much worse earlier. We do heal fast. It's a little amazing. But that mark...

    I must have put it there. There's no other explanation for it. That thought actually stops me for a second, and I pause, leaning back against the bathroom door, breathing in the steam. What happened last night? Why would I hurt James? I don't...I don't remember.

    "It's me." I whisper a little shakily. Even with the shower running I know he can hear me. "Jarrod, are you ok? I saw...I saw your room...what happened?" As I whisper, I pull up my robe a little so I can get a good look at my legs and arms. Am I injured at all?
  • No, you don't appear to be hurt.

    "I'm fine. I don't know what happened." He says back, through the water and the curtain, a growl in his voice. "Go downstairs."

    You know the smell of James on you really irritates him. It's harder for you to get his scent, since the water is washing over him, there's maybe a hint of the blood from downstairs.
  • I drop my robe back over my legs and stand there silently for a few seconds. That growl in his voice is a warning, but I can still smell blood, and I'm worried that he's not fine. How could he be fine? There was so much...just so much blood.

    "Jarrod." I stay stubbornly where I am, a growl in my own voice. "I'm not going anywhere until you let me see."

    I pause, then I take two steps towards the tub. "Please, Jarrod." I say a little softer. "Before James wakes up. Something happened last night...something...bad. I can't remember." I say that last part with desperate frustration. I take another step towards the tub. "But I think...I think I attacked James, and you...there was so much blood..."

    My outstretched fingers are inches away from the curtain.
  • He pushes the curtain aside suddenly with the sharp rasp of metal on metal, looking at you all intensely for a moment, then looking down, turning the bruised cheek away.

    He looks like he's been severely beaten. There's heavy bruising all down his right side, arm and thigh, even his cheek...which corresponds to the bloody print you saw downstairs. You can see he's not resting all his weight on his bruised leg.

    "I don't remember either. Now... either get in here or go downstairs. Please."
  • red
    edited April 2013
    I jump a little when he suddenly whips the curtain open, but then I stand there, staring in absolute horror. My eyes well up. "Jarrod..." Is all I manage to choke out.

    He looks awful. He looks so...so hurt. And he did this to himself, trying to get to me and James. Could he hear me attacking James? What happened?

    He tells me my choices, and I waver. I shouldn't. I should just go back downstairs. This is really dangerous. But he knows that too. He knows, and yet he's standing there, looking straight at me. Despite the danger. And I can't look away from the dark angry bruises that are covering his body.

    My eyes spill over. I silently turn, quietly slip to the door and turn the lock. Not that it will really help much, but it makes me feel a little safer. Like maybe this isn't a horribly stupid decision. I turn back to him, sliding out of my robe, and stepping into the shower with him. I want to wrap my arms around him and hold him, but I'm afraid it might hurt him. So I settle on very, very gently taking his face in my hands, biting my lips hard to keep silent as the tears roll down my face.
  • He lets you, closing his eyes for only a second, like a long blink, when you touch his face. After a moment, he puts his hands on your hips, they fit perfectly, like always, and moves you into the hot water stream, to dampen the smell of his father, you know.

    He reaches out blindly for a citrus-smelling shower gel and the washcloth and, pouring some onto it he begins to wash you, starting at your neck, and working down. Collarbones, shoulders and so on. It's not hurried but it is pretty efficient, and of course he's not afraid to touch you. The citrus smell blocks out most others for the moment.

    He washes your back without turning you around, just reaching behind you.

    Finally done, he buries his face in your neck, wrapping his arms around you, and takes a long breath, seeming to relax a little.

    He lifts his head, looks at you again, eyes shifting slightly as they search yours, and leans in for a heartrendingly gentle kiss.

    "Don't cry, Nula... I'll be okay. This will all be gone by tomorrow or the next day." He whispers.
  • I kiss him gently back, but the tears don't stop. Every time he's so gentle, so sweet, so like James used to be, I feel like I break a little more. How many times can you break before you just shatter completely?

    "That doesn't...doesn't change the fact that...that it happened." I whisper brokenly. "That you're...you're hurt." I close my eyes and lean into him, letting the hot water wash over us. "Jarrod, I can't...I can't take this any longer. I can't. I can't do it."

    Jarrod knows by "it" I mean being a...a werewolf. He knows I'm not talking about our relationship. He knows because I've said this to him more than a dozen times now. I've meant it each time, but each time I've felt a little more desperate. I hate that I'm on edge, even now, listening for any sound of James. I hate being afraid of James, who loves me so much. I hate that there's still a part of me that loves him back. I hate that Jarrod has to wash every trace of his father off of me before he can breathe easily.
  • "Yes you can. Hold on baby, please,it... we'll make it through this. At least you're not going to... to fade, right? I..."

    He stops, stilling, and you know why. There was a noise. Something moving in the house.

    What do you do?
  • I go still too, listening, my heart pounding. Part of me wants to stand here, frozen like a scared rabbit, and just hope it goes away. But the other part of me scoffs openly at that idea. So I pull back from Jarrod, trying to look like I'm not afraid. Stay here. I mouth to him, my eyes huge and serious. It's much safer for me to check for James. He knows that. James won't hurt me.

    I slip out of the shower as it's still running, trying to be as quiet as I can. Goosebumps rise on my arms and legs, as I retrieve my robe off the floor and put it on. I fumble a little as it catches annoyingly on my wet skin. Little puddles of water form around my feet. I glance at the shower one more time to make sure Jarrod is staying put. If he is, I'll tip toe over to the door, turning the lock painstakingly slow, trying to keep it from clicking.
  • He's staying put. His eyes are fixed on the door.

    You manage to open the lock soundlessly, or close to, and creep out into the hall. It sounds like James is down in the kitchen.
  • red
    edited April 2013
    I slip down the hall, away from the kitchen, and into the art studio. I hold my breath until I'm inside with the door closed quietly behind me. Then I let out a quiet, shaky sigh and close my eyes. The art studio has become "my" room. Well. It's always been my room. My ghost lived in here long before I ever set foot in the door.

    I try to avoid coming in here as much as possible. The paintings and drawings are still on the walls, and I hate seeing my face everywhere. My face...before. Me holding my pelt. Me in the ocean. These pictures, they taunt me.

    I open my eyes and avoid looking at the walls as I make my way over to the leather chair where I left my bag last night. I use, well, attempt to use, my robe to dry my hair a little. Then I quickly slip into the jeans, tennis shoes, tank top, and zip up hoodie I brought to wear to school.


    I glance at the clock, glaring at a drawing of my face underneath it. We're going to be late. Again. Not that I really care. I turn back to look at my reflection in the mirror. My wet hair is clinging to my face. There's dark circles under my eyes. I've given up on makeup. I stare at myself, expressionless. I keep expecting to not recognize the face in the mirror, but my reflection never changes. I pull my hood up over my hair and turn away.

    I try to make a normal amount of noise as I walk down the hallway towards the kitchen, backpack in hand. I try to look normal too, but I'm wary and nervous as I round the corner, my eyes immediately searching for James.
  • You hear running water from the kitchen as you approach. You round that corner to find a woman standing at the sink washing the dishes.

    "Hi Jim," She says, her back to you. "I wondered how long you were going to be in the sho...AAAAAAAH!" She turns around and registers that you're not James, jumps and screams all within about three seconds. The coffee mug she was washing falls from her hand to shatter on the floor.

    She's about your size, but looks about James' age. She has dark brown wavy hair past her shoulders, slightly tanned skin, and dark liquid eyes. She's about your general build too, though not as svelte. And right now she's pressed against the sink hyperventilating.
  • red
    edited April 2013
    I jump too, letting out a startled shriek. I was so preoccupied with worrying about James scenting Jarrod or hearing me come out of the bathroom...I didn't pick up her scent until now. She's..this is...

    D? Is that what James called her? Jarrod's mother...

    I feel myself pale. She obviously knows who I am...or she's at least seen the millions of drawings James' has made of my face...and...other parts of me. Wolf doesn't like this. My fists clench my backpack tighter. This is our territory.

    I have no idea what to do. So I just stand there, silently staring at her, wide-eyed. Both James and Jarrod will have heard the crash and scream. I'm sure they'll be here within seconds.

    Hopefully as humans.
  • You're right. I mean, you're right in that she recognizes your face. How could she not. But the thing is, up until now she didn't think you were a real person. Even now her open mouthed breaths are slowing and she's staring at you like she can't comprehend what she's seeing.

    "What... who?"

    And then, of course James shows up. "Nula?!" Come his shout, first, then he's running into the kitchen, looking for the trouble. And he's still completely naked, like he was woken out of the dead sleep downstairs. He freezes when he sees the woman.


    Jarrod too, with a similar yelling of your name comes running from the hallway. He's at least wearing boxers. He stops dead, catching sight of Deirdre.


    Dierdre looks from her naked ex-husband to her damp son, then back to you, taking in your damp hair.

    "What in the hell is going on here? Who is that?!" She gestures at you.

    James and Jarrod look at each other.

    What do you do?
  • Well. This is...I don't...at least the light in here is sort of dim and Jarrod is standing kind of sideways so she hasn't noticed that her son is covered in horrible bruises. James must have noticed though. He wouldn't miss something like that. I'm looking between James and Jarrod and Deirdre, struggling to think of a lie that might be even slightly believable.

    I realize way too late that maybe I should be acting uncomfortable with James' nakedness. And probably Jarrod's almost nakedness. I shift, a little awkwardly, like I'm trying not to look at either of them. But then I'm stuck looking just at Deirdre.

    She looks...well...more like me than I was expecting. I press my lips together hard.

    She points at me and asks who I am like I'm not standing right in front of her. My temper flares. "I'm Nula Volkov, and I'm standing right here." I say, a little sharply. Despite my extended stay on land, I still have an accent. Dominic tells me it's lessened, but I definitely still sound...foreign.
  • edited April 2013
    Your snap seems to put things in motion. Deirdre puts her hands on her hips, brows drawn together, maybe about to say something back, when Jarrod puts in. "Nula is my girlfriend, Mom."

    You see him slide a glance at his father when he says it. You can almost hear James growl. Scratch that, you do hear him growl, quietly. Deirdre looks to James for confirmation. Instead of saying anything James turns and stalks off, presumably to get dressed.

    "Jimmy!" Dierdre calls after him, but he doesn't respond.

    She runs a hand through her dark hair, sighing in exasperation, then looking between her son and you

  • My anger vanishes when Jarrod declares I'm his girlfriend. I try not to react, but I feel my face pale and my shoulders tense. I glance towards James too, goosebumps rising on my arms when he growls. I try to look like I'm not watching him stalk away, but I am, out of the corner of my eye. At least the moon was just last night. We all seem to be a little tamer right after the moon madness.

    I don't push it though. I stay where I am, several paces away from Jarrod.

    Jimmy? Seriously?

    "Um. Yes." I almost whisper it, hoping James doesn't hear. I glance nervously at Jarrod, my stomach lurching again at the bruises. "We're late. For school."

    Wolf hates it when I get scared. Wolf isn't scared of anything.
  • She nods. "Jer, go get dre... Oh my god, what happened to you?"

    She goes to him pulling so she can see him.

    "Mom... it's... it's fine, I'm okay." Jarrod says weakly, looking at you.

    "Jarrod James, what happened?" She says, sternly.

    "It was... just a... a fight, Mom. It's fine."

    "It's certainly not fine. Don't tell me it's fine."


    Deirdre sighs again. "Go get dressed. You're late. But we will be talking about this, later, Mister." That last point she says with a raised finger.

    Jarrod, with another glance at you, retreats towards the hall to get dressed.

    She watches him go, after a moment she turns back to you. There is a long pause as she looks you over again, shaking her head in amazement. No doubt because you look so much like the girl in the artwork.

    Finally she offers her hand.

    "Hi... Nula, is it? I'm Deirdre Kent, Jarrod's mother." When you take the hand and shake, she finishes with, "So...are you having sex with my son?"
  • Yes, I want to say. I love Jarrod, I want to say. I want to say it without hesitation, without fear.

    "No!" I say instead, quick and frightened. I pull my hand back a little too quickly. I have no doubt that everyone in this house is listening right now. I can't...James will hear. "No, I just...we were studying late...and, um, my Grandfather is not allowed to drive right now....he had a heart attack...and James..." I awkwardly stop, suddenly unsure of myself. Should I call James by his name? Is that a strange thing for me to do?
  • edited April 2013
    She tilts her head, looking at you with a raised eyebrow. She's certainly not buying it. The denial I mean. After a moment more of awkward silence she speaks,

    "He lets you call him James? He used to hate that name." She mutters, but she shakes it off and straightens. "You can call me Dee. And I'll let you in on a little secret."

    She's closed the distance between you and leans in a little, kind of to the side but still meeting your eyes.

    "If you're going to lie to me, honey, you need to get better at it." She says in a mock whisper.

    There's a thump from somewhere down the hall.

    Dee glances over her shoulder a second with a puzzled expression, but then refocuses on you.

    And if you were, um... being intimate..." she says in a more conversational tone. "Well I don't approve. He's... you're both too young. But if you were I would hope you use protection?
  • I tense even further when I hear that thump, but she doesn't stop. She keeps talking. There's a growl rising in my throat. Wolf does not like this, this woman acting like she belongs here. Acting like the Alpha.

    "I think I forgot my jacket." I blurt out. I'm already backing away, then I turn and dart back down the hall before that growl escapes past my lips.

    I turn the corner and slow down when I'm out of sight, nervously scenting the air. Where's James? I need to find him...I need to make sure he's in control.
  • edited April 2013
    It smells like he's in his room. The door is closed.
  • I'm going to pause to listen for a second. If I don't hear Dee following, I'll quietly crack the door open and slip inside, shutting it behind me.

    "James?" I breathe, just barely audible.
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