[MH] A Pack of Trouble [Nu S2:1.2]

edited May 2013 in In-Game
So you get outside and head off school grounds. Are you headed through the woods or along the road. It's a bit of a walk back to Bar Harbor (about 5 miles.)

The air is crisp and you certainly feel less stifled than you did in school. Wolf seems a smidge happier.

But as soon as you get outside you call James. He picks up relatively fast, maybe two rings.

"Nula? What is it?" His voice is low, as if he's doing his best not to be heard.
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  • Normally I would stick to the road, but Wolf is urging me into the woods. So I'm stumbling through the snow, getting my tennis shoes sopping wet. But I do feel better. Lighter. Less trapped. When it's like this, when Wolf and I aren't fighting each other, it's not so bad I guess.

    "James..." I stop walking, suddenly not even sure what to say. I'm so angry with him, but I'm scared too.

    "I need to talk to you." I mean for it to sound angry, but there's an undercurrent of fear running through my voice.
  • "Hold on."

    He takes the phone away from his face. "Becky, I've got to take this, I'll be back in a few." you hear him say. Then the sounds of movement for maybe 30 seconds. Distant traffic noises, the shutting of a car door. He's back on the phone, his calm voice on.

    "What's the matter?"
  • "You didn't tell him!" I blurt out, angry and scared. "You didn't tell him, James! You said you would explain things, but you didn't!" I suck in a breath, my eyes burning. "He's picked me. Jarrod's Wolf has picked me too."

    I sink down to my knees, ignoring the cold and wet seeping into my jeans. I feel like I'm drowning. Nothing is right. Nothing. Not with me. Or Jarrod. Or James. Or Dominic. Or Teddy. Nothing. And I don't know how to fix any of it.

    "I don't know what to do." I choke out.
  • "What?"

    You can hear the shock in his voice.

    After a moment of silence.

    "Where are you?"
  • I swipe at my face and glance around. I've walked into the woods a ways. All around me are trees.

    "In the woods." I say miserably. "Jarrod is...in class. But I don't know what he'll do when he gets out."
  • HIs voice is definitely tense now.

    "I'll be there in a few minutes. Can you get to the road?"
  • I'm silent for a second. I can still smell Jarrod on me. I squeeze my eyes shut.

    "I think so." I whisper. "I'll...I'll find you."

    I hang up the phone quickly, stuffing it back in my backpack. Then I take a handful of snow and scrub my face with it. It's cold and it burns, but maybe it will take off some of the smell. I peel off my sweatshirt and after some conflict, drop it in the snow. I can get a new one. Goosebumps rise on my arms. Jarrod's smell still faintly hangs around me, but maybe he'll think it's just because we rode together to school.

    I shoulder my backpack again and stand up. My jeans and shoes are soaking wet. I shiver and then start trudging through the snow in the direction I'm pretty sure the road is.
  • True to his word, by the time you find the road you see Jame's unmarked police cruiser prowling the road. When he sees you, he stops nearby and waits for you to get in the car.

    When you get in he doesn't pull out right away, instead sitting there and staring out the window. He takes a deep breath, scenting the air in the car, then his jaw tightens and his hands clench the wheel a moment.

    "How.... How sure are you that he's... picked you?"
  • red
    edited May 2013
    "I'm sure." I say numbly, watching his hands tighten on the steering wheel. A knot of fear turns over and over in my stomach. At least his hand looks better.

    "He knows." I add in a whisper. "About how you picked me too. I...I had to tell him."
  • James shakes his head.

    "No... you didn't have to tell him, not about that. Well... shit. I warned you about sleeping with him. Damn it."

    He puts the car into gear and pulls out onto the road, headed towards town.
  • "Yes I did!" I cry, frustrated and hurt. Is he saying this is my fault? "How would you feel if I kept this a secret from you? We can't keep secrets, James! It's too dangerous!"

    I glare at him, my eyes burning. "And I haven't." I say, low and angry. I haven't slept with Jarrod. Not since James almost killed us. But I'm not going to remind James about that. I glance at the road. "Where are you going?"
  • "I'll take you home to Dominic and come back and get Jarrod."

    He gives you a look that says he's much rather take you somewhere where he could have you in his arms for a few hours. He turns his eyes back on the road.

    "What was I supposed to say?" He growls back. "Look Jarrod, this is the reason I couldn't stay with your mother? Because I've bound whatever capacity to love that I have, to the girl that you're in love with, and lived with near obsession over her for twenty years? And oh, yeah, maybe you better not pursue that because every time you even look at her I have terrible urges that involve ripping your throat out, and if you're stupid enough to mate to her too, one of us is going to die?"
  • I pale at his words, my fingers tightening on my knees, the fight knocked right out of me.

    I should have pushed Jarrod away. What was I thinking? I was so selfish. I might be a werewolf, but deep down I am a selkie through and through.

    I swallow hard, glancing sideways at James. He's suffered so long. I have made him suffer for so long. Twenty years of pain. I keep telling myself that I want to make things right, but all I've done is make everything worse. No, I will be better. If I truly want to make this right....If I truly do....I know what I have to do.

    "No. Don't...don't take me home." I say in a small voice. "You can't...James, you can't be alone with Jarrod right now. I won't let you. Not when there's a chance...a chance one of you might..."

    I reach out, pulling his arm towards me until I can curl my fingers around his. I don't look at his face. I look at our hands.

    "James..." I say, soft. I feel so cold inside. "I know this is not a good...I wanted to tell you this later, but..." I slowly lift my eyes to his face. "I made my decision. I want to be with you."
  • It's hard to read him. There's a moment of silence. His eyes are on the road. He curls his fingers around yours, flexes them slightly.

    "Do you love Jarrod?"
  • I watch him not look at me.

    "I care for him." I finally say slowly. "It is still hard for me...to understand love. I thought that as a selkie, I knew everything about love. But I knew almost nothing."

    Lies. Of course I love Jarrod. But Jarrod has not loved me for as long as James has. Jarrod has not suffered like James. Jarrod still has the potential to be happy.

    I hold onto James' hand like I'm drowning, then I bring his hand up, resting the back of his palm against my cheek. "But I know I loved you, James." I turn my face to gently press my lips against his hand. "And I realized that I still do." I whisper.

    It's not a lie. I do love James. This is the right choice. The right choice.
  • Another pause.

    He pulls his hand away form you, it shakes a little as he puts it back on the wheel.

    He sighs, glances at you with pained eyes, then back to the road. His mouth is a line on determination. His voice is hoarse with emotion when he speaks.

    "You better learn to love him then. It's too late, Nula. If your Wolf chooses... it better be him."
  • I blink.

    "What?" I'm genuinely confused. What is he doing? "James? What do you mean?"
  • "I will NOT put my son through what I've been through." It comes out with years of pain threaded into it. " No... no, not that. I won't... won't cripple him that way. And I won't hurt him or make him hurt me. Maybe if his Wolf hadn't chosen you, we..."

    He shakes his head. His hands tight on the wheel again.

    "Never mind. You're going to be with him now, and I'm going to go. I'll give Dee the house. She'll stay. I can make her stay. He's almost 18 anyway. And he'll have you. I can't see another way."
  • red
    edited June 2013
    I stare at him, silent, wide-eyed, and hurt.

    It surprises me how much it hurts.

    "Go?" I finally whisper brokenly.

    And then suddenly I'm angry. I'm furious, really. At him. For doing this. All of this. Because it hurts. And I love him. I love Jarrod too, but I made my choice! And now he's shattered the one chance I have to redeem myself.

    And I can't bear the thought of him leaving.

    "I don't want her to stay!" I spit out, before he can answer, glaring at him. "I don't want her here! And what about what I want? James, stop taking away my choices! Stop making them for me!"
  • edited June 2013
    He pulls the cruiser over. He has to. He slumps a little. He's a strong man but this thing...

    "You're right. It is all my fault. All of it. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry I did this to you, to him, even to Dee."

    He leans his forehead forward onto the wheel.

    "What would you do, Nula?" He asks quietly "I want you more than anything. God knows. I never thought I'd feel whole again, then there you were, a bonafide goddamn miracle. But... How am I supposed to be happy with you when I know that it will make my boy suffer like I have for so long. Suffering that nearly made me do something desperate more than once. How do I live knowing that he won't be able to love anyone else, ever, because of me. And his life is just starting! Twenty years! It is a long time for humans, Nula." He shakes his head. "What kind of father does that to his kid? I hate myself for even wanting to, and I do want to."

    He looks at you.
  • I sit, unmoving, and look at him. My eyes are full, but I'm trying hard to keep any tears from spilling over. I'm so tired of crying.

    I search my desperate mind for answers, and come up empty. I don't know how to fix this. I understand. I don't want to hurt Jarrod any more than he does. I hate that I have to choose between them in the first place. I love them both...it's just...James has suffered so much. I can't turn my back on him again. If only Jarrod could just forget—

    Wait.

    "What if..." I start off slow, watching him. "What if I found a spell to make Jarrod forget about me?"

    Teddy. And Nyx. And even Holly. Teddy put a spell on Jarrod just an hour ago. And the three of them somehow raised Aubrey from the dead. If they could do that...surely they could help me. The thought of it stabs me through the heart, but I try to ignore it. I'm sure Teddy would jump at the opportunity to make Jarrod forget me.
  • He lifts his head and turns to look at you.

    "Is this some Selkie magic? I mean... can you even do that?"

    Go ahead and roll manipulate Nula.
  • Manipulate James
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )
  • "I believe that I could do it, yes." I say, trying to hide the fact that I'm being evasive. I don't know why I don't just tell him the truth about Teddy and Nyx and Holly, but I don't.

    I look away, down at my hands, tired and miserable. "I don't want to hurt Jarrod either." I add in the quietest whisper. "It...it kills me to think of hurting either of you. Don't you know that, James?" I glance up at him, smiling a twisted, humorless smile. "This choice between the two of you...it is no less painful than trying to choose the land or the sea."
  • He studies your face for a moment.

    He nods. "I wish I knew how to make it easier... for all of us." He looks outside again at the passing people on the street. The windows are a bit tinted, and no one seems to be taking exceptional notice of the car. "Maybe this will work, but it has to be done soon, Nula. If we can't do it, then.... then I need to go."

    You realize that you were wrong a moment ago. Someone is taking exceptional notice of the car. Maybe it's just the hairs on the back of your neck. You look out and across the street you see a few groups of people moving around, but one is standing still inside a doorway and looking right at the car. Right at you it feels like.

    It's Mar. He's standing there, dressed as a human in jeans and a nondescript heavy jacket, his eyes boring into the car. You haven't seen him since that night a few months ago, right?
  • I follow James gaze, sucking in a shaky breath, about to say...something. But then I freeze, every rational thought vanishing from my mind. It's like my eyes were drawn to him, out of everyone. Like he called to me.

    Mar.

    I stare at him, shocked, but then I'm scrambling to get out of the car. I keep my eyes locked on Mar like I'm afraid that he'll disappear if I look away. I need to get to him. Desperately. I don't even know why, but I do. It's like a piece of myself has returned, like the ocean reached out for me, like it still cares. It's Mar. My best friend. My oldest friend. If I can manage to get out of the car, I run straight towards him. I'm sure I look like a disaster. My shoes and jeans still soaked through. My hair is a mess, my face all tear streaked, haunted shadows under my eyes. But I don't even care. It's Mar! I need to touch him, to throw my arms around him. I said horrible, hurtful things to him the last time I saw him. I need to make sure he's real so I can tell him how sorry I am.
  • "Nula!" James calls as we watches you bolt from the car. He even opens his own door, stepping halfway out to see what you're doing.

    There's a screech of a car stopping suddenly in the road when you cross it. Angry words from the woman driving it.

    You try to keep him in sight, among the moving people but you're just not that tall, Nula. It's only a moment that you loose sight of him, but it's enough. When the knot of people passes you find yourself in the doorway but Mar is gone. Is it your brain? Are you seeing things?

    But no... there. He's left something for you. Something from home... or the sea, I mean. What is it?
  • It's coral. A piece of coral.

    But not just any piece of coral. It's a piece of coral from our favorite cove. A piece of coral that I kept in my room at home. My favorite piece of coral. He gave it to me the day he first kissed me.

    What does it mean?

    I crouch down in the doorway and pick it up with shaky fingers. Has he forgiven me? What does it mean? And why is he still here? Why hasn't he gone home? Does this mean goodbye?

    I stay there, crouched, looking at it as my head spins. My fingers brushing across the familiar rough texture. Longing floods me, knocks into me like a tidal wave. I miss my home. I miss my family. I miss being a part of the ocean, being connected to it. I miss Mar.

    I stand up, closing my fist around this piece of my home, this piece of my old self. I desperately scan the crowd, looking for Mar. Why did he leave?
  • Hard to say, but you don't see him now. However it seems clear that he's watching you. Or at least he was today.

    A glance back across the street and you see James still halfway out of his car. He's in a conversation with someone. Of course he's well known around here. Do you wait for that to be over and rejoin him or are you going to head home on your own or do something else.
  • red
    edited June 2013
    I stand there watching James. Watching the way his lips curl into a smile. How he holds his shoulders. How he leans on his door. So familiar, but so foreign at the same time. He is a mix of the boy I loved and the boy I love.

    What I am thinking of doing is wrong. It is wrong to use magic against someone like that. I try to convince myself that I'm doing it because I love Jarrod, because I have no other choice, because it will save his life, because I love James, because I have hurt James too much, because because because.

    It's still wrong.

    And it still stabs me in the heart to think of Jarrod brushing past me, no recognition in his face.

    I start walking down the slushy sidewalk, the coral still clenched in my fist. My feet are taking me in a direction I have avoided for months. They're taking me towards the ocean.
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