Adventuring through twisted time.
Into the dark of night, she ran.
Over everything else, running was the one constant thing she seemed to be the most skilled at. Although many people would argue that. Libelle and her other ladies all knew this night was coming, it was just a matter of when it would. Ostana had told them she would go sometime soon but couldn't bear to tell them when because the moment they said their teary eyed goodbyes her resolve for leaving would crumble. She needed to leave though. Every woman here had some sort of life before coming to work at the brothel and it caused them to know themselves away from work.
Ostana didn't know herself outside of Ruby or before that Oz. She never truly got the chance to get to know just Ostana and what it meant to be her. Getting away would be good for her and she had some help finding a place that no one would recognise her as Ruby but even more importantly as Oz. Having access to the Gypsies through Libelle was truly a blessing at times. It allowed for her to know of this place she was off to, to begin with, but even more so because of them, she had her own home in this town so she wouldn't have to rely on looking for an inn.
She let out her wolf once she reached the woods. Letting her run free as she tried and failed to recall the last time she allowed her to do so. Her wolf limped for a while at first from the muscle memory of her paw being broken though it had long been healed. Had it been that long since she shifted? Since the last time, she was injured? After frolicking through the forest for a few hours she made her way to its edge and found the clothes a Gypsy left hidden for her. She'd have to travel the rest of the way as a human but her wolf got her quite far already.
She froze at the sight of her crimson cloak. Hesitant to put it on when the cool morning air began to nip at her back. She wasn't cold but she knew that if she didn't wear it people would find it concerning that she was underdressed for the cold weather. So although the color of the cloak clearly stood out she put it on to blend in. Her wolf had run all night and now as she walked the sun had come but did little to none with warming the world and in fact, it had even begun to snow. The description of This town reminded her of home almost with its consistent cold weather and battle ready and weary people. The only difference was her home was native to the Lupines and while she couldn't be sure who or what was native to this land she knew it wasn't wolves by the smell alone.
What she could smell however this far out was blood. Fresh from a kill and it made the wolf within her stir but there was more to it. There was the smell of death beyond just the fresh kills it was like something she'd only smelled once before from one of her clients. The closer she got to the scent the slower her tracks became until she altogether stopped. These scents were growing stronger as she continued on her path and she wasn't going to just foolishly walk right into whatever it was. She sniffed around and froze again as now yet another scent was caught but this one took over all her senses. It intoxicated her and lulled her ever closer into the unknown. She forced her legs to stop moving forward when she realised she was moving.
She was dazed for a moment until she heard a scream and like a ton of breaks, her senses came tumbling back down to Earth. Her wolf stirred again but this time because she was nervous for the bearer of that blood curling scream. What if they bore that scent? Even if they didn't they were clearly in trouble and by the sounds of things whatever was happening was sure to be an attack and not a fight and Ostana in good conscience couldn't just stand idly by and let that happen when there was a good chance she could help. So she took off and followed her nose and the sounds, accessing the situation before launching out to attack.
A young woman surrounded by men and running for her life. These weren't the ones that smelled like death and there wasn't any blood about. She corked a brow as she watched from the shade of the trees, watching as this woman ran towards the very scents she had followed here. A trap? Was she luring them to their deaths like a black widow? She quietly hummed to herself in thought but in a matter of seconds was out and standing between these men and this woman. Who had fallen, due to being shot in the leg with an arrow. Ostana let out an unnatural growl which made the men flatter slightly. Watching them become even more unsettled as she suddenly sensed she wasn't alone as that scent of death and fresh blood grew closer to her back. Soon everyone attacked but Ostana stood her ground to continue to guard the woman. Kneeling to remove the arrow and staunch the bleeding.
"Just going to stand there big guy?" She snaps towards Vestein. Showing him nothing. No emotion or attraction or all the things she should be, as his scent completely invaded her senses because he was her mate.
But that was just it. She didn't want one.
Cocky, Arrogance, and Egotistical were all the things that he was called long before his life changed to one where he was dependent on blood. Becoming the thing that killed him, vowing to keep others from his fate with his fellow warriors that fell with him that day. Time seemed to blend together between endless fighting, or boredom. The Viking was finding the inability to gain rest tiresome as that night he started to walk down the road, to breathe in the cold night air to gain some sense of self again. He was feeling rather lost in the rut of his life when he heard the shot of an arrow off in the woods.
He paused and the scent of blood filled his nose, his fangs reacted, growing. Yet with the scent of blood came the scent of fear. He rolled his shoulder as he stepped back into the shadows and was there in a blink of an eye. Watching to see what was happening. These men seem to be trying to either rape the girl or take her to sell her into slavery. Neither would be happening that night. His fangs only grew more when another scent hit him. One that fogged over his brain. He was still hidden in the shadows as Ostanna was there on the ground with the girl, growling to the males.
As she snapped towards him he was frozen for a moment as his brain and body burned with the thought, she was his mate. Though quickly he stepped out of the shadows and in a blink of an eye all the men were beheaded not really wanting to toy with him like he would have done before. He looked to the last head before tossing it behind him and moving closer to her. Covered in blood not caring at that moment. His eyes flicked to the screaming woman and using his power of Hypnosis he spoke in Nordic to her. “You are going to forget this and go home.” Another blink of an eye the arrow was gone and her ankle wrapped.
After she was sent on her way, Vestein turned to Ruby. With a strong hand he wrapped it around her forearm pulling her closer. His other hand moved to her hair which he tugged lightly to pull her head back as he pressed his nose to her neck taking a deep whiff of her scent to confirm that what he smelled before was her. It was intoxicating, so much so that he couldn’t stop himself as his fangs dug into her neck causing his euphoric venom to spill into her vein. Tasting her blood was like tasting chocolate for the first time. He wanted to drink her dry but after the taste he pulled back letting a loud groan of pleasure out.
“Mate.” He said in her tongue. What a way to meet. They were now both covered in blood and he was being a savage just how any would expect from him. He pulled back and moved to pick up the headless bodies. “Where...you... from?” He struggled to get out, clearly not comfortable with English as it was still foreign to his tongue but he had been practicing.
Suddenly, everything was moving far too fast around her. She blinked and the men were dead. She blinked again and the woman was wrapped up on her way home. Again and she was unexpectedly in his arms and his lips were on her neck.
All before the men's heads could hit the floor and roll.
The one very sobering thing about all of this. That kept her grounded even through him bitting her without her consent and his venom seeping into her veins. Was his harsh grip on her wrist. Even if she had wanted to lose herself to this. Which she absolutely didn't. She wouldn't have been able to. All her defences went up the moment she felt the very triggering and far too familiar feeling of a possessive grip on her arm. She shook her head. Trying to clear the fog billowing up in her mind.
She forced herself free of him. Her hand immediately came to her neck. Her eyes scrupulously stuck on him. She snarled at the gall of this brute. Allowing her wolf to growl viciously. She let her k-9's descend. Flashing them at him in warning as her wolf's eyes came to the forefront. She used her hidden strength to pry herself out of his grip. In actual disbelief that he thought this was all okay as he spoke. Picking up on his accent and the way he struggled to communicate in her tongue.
She punched him.
Holding nothing back because she wanted him to feel everything. He might have been fast but she was strong. And she was sure to make sure he didn't see it coming. "You forceful bastard!" She kept herself from punching him again. Sure he'd dodge it that time. And be sure she said it in his tongue. Wanting him to understand she didn't approve of what he'd just done. "Stay. Away. From. Me!" Her words seep out like poisonous gas from a vial. Still speaking in his tongue.
"Or it'll be more than just a punch next time." A hard growl followed her threat. And she wasted no time spinning on her heels and walked back towards the direction she was headed. But not without making sure he didn't follow because she wouldn't care who he was to her. She would kill him. Fortunately, the town she'd be staying in was lively and crowded. Easy to get lost in the multitude and blend right in... Once she shed herself of her ruby cloak of course. Picking up a black one from the market and swapped it right then and there before, at last, arriving at her new home.
It was a quaint little shack. Perfect for one person and very clearly run down. But that brought a bright smile to Ostana's face. She would enjoy this little fixer-up. But for now, she needed rest. And to be sure that bastard didn't mark her. Once in the safety of her new home, she let the venom she had been fighting so hard against course through her veins fully. She rubbed her head as she swayed.
This felt good. Better than she wanted it to. She was quick to cover her windows and make sure everything was locked. Though she could smell death all around. Telling her this town was a home for namely Sanguines. Which bought her mind right back to her mate. "Fuck!" This isn't what she wanted. She had come here trying to escape love not fall into it.
He wouldn't understand.
Her head bumped the wall with a faint thud. She leaned against it and slid down to the floor. The venomous high crashed as she descended. She groaned in mixed frustration. Pulling herself to her feet. Her new home wasn't fully furnished but it had the necessities she needed. A working chimney to which she lit a warm fire and a small cot to sleep on. To which she plopped upon as she could feel her face flush the color of her name. She would begin her journey into making this house a home tomorrow.
At this very moment, she had another intoxicating issue to handle. One she hoped sleep would help.
Watching the beauty of her wolf dance along her features he was lost in the beauty of her wild as the hook of her fist met him. Feeling his body budge under her small hand he gave a gentle chuckle running his fingers along where she hit. “Amazing.” he managed to get out as he staggered for a moment only to right himself. Once her voice hit his ears in his language the man felt the buckle in his knees as they went weak for a moment. “You speak my language?” Confusion was there since her accent told him otherwise. “Mate!” he said again towards her as he blinked, “How can I leave you?” He said then confused at her abrasive nature.
He watched her walk away knowing full well that she was speaking her words true and a huff left his nose as he looked at the mess on the road. With a growl he was quick to pick the heads up and set the bodies on fire before making his way back to his nest. Once there the heads were boxed and sent off to his cousin to verify they were criminals she was after before he made his way to bathe the blood off of himself. He cleaned himself up trying to make himself look propper before making his way into the town as night grew darker. Stopping at a shop he paid for a bouquet of flowers.
As he followed the laces of her scent that called out to him towards the small shack. Taking it in he gave a gentle huff in that moment. She was going to need some proper wood if she planned on staying there. Setting the flowers down in front of the door he moved off to rip down some trees and breaking them apart. He pulled them in front of her home, setting them in a stack before returning to the door and picking up the flowers and placing a gentle knock upon the door. Rocking on his feet for a moment he wondered if he would be met with a fist or an open hand. He was confused by her nature and denying what was there between them. Was it possible to have a one way mate? Something he would need to ask an elder.
Ostana slept rather peacefully for such a cryptic dream. It might have caused a jump scare for others. For her, it would take much more to scare. She only stirred when she smelled him and even then her eyes came to a slow open well before he arrived at her door. She laid still and listened. Squinting her eyes once he stepped away. Huffing when she heard the creaking of wood as it snapped. Rolling onto her back and rubbing her face a bit annoyed. It didn't just take a lot to scare her. It took a lot to impress her. Make an impression. Intrigue her. Etc... It worked in her favor in her line of work. But she got called outside of her name rather often because of it.
She waited. Like a lioness in the bush waiting to catch its prey. Waiting for him to build the courage to knock. Hoping he wouldn't. Yet of course he did. They always did. She rose and wrapped herself in the black cloak she had. The red one she needed a mental break from. When she opened the door she was rather emotionless. Her face showed neither annoyance nor excitement to see him. And her eyes seemed empty. Seeing her now you would wonder how she was the most popular lady in the Dragon Lady but since she wasn't working at the moment there was no need for her to turn up her intoxicating charm. In fact, she was playing it down for him because the smallest hint or move and she was sure he would be planning their wedding.
After staring at him for a moment waiting for him to say something. Her eyes wandered down to the flowers in his hands. Looking behind him slowly too to see the wood. Her eyes quickly landed back on him though. She didn't not trust him now that she knew he seemed entitled to just grabbing and kissing women.
Or at least her.
When he didn't speak she sighed. She wasn't a bitch as many might try to imply. Gently taking the flowers from him. " Thank you." She knew his language better than he might expect. Another perk of her profession. She smelled them without ever letting her watchful gaze leave him. "For the wood too. Though I was and am looking forward to haggling with the merchants over what I need." She continued in his language. Her buttery voice was kind and without a hint of disappointment. She laid the flowers down on a small table near her door. She wouldn't let him in and knew he probably wouldn't leave. So she stepped out and closed her door. Crossing her arms over her chest. "So you gonna tell me your name big guy? Or just stand there like a Greek statue?"
When the door opened as he stood there like a fool lost in his thoughts on if he should ask the elders questions on if it was possible to have a one way mate. Watching her face remain emotionless and empty was intriguing, not even annoyed that he was there to annoy her. Trying to remember how to speak with an English tongue was hard when he was staring at her. He had questions for her, wanted to get to know her but also knew that his normal grunting and Norse dialect could be hard to understand.
He held the flowers out slightly to her and when she spoke more in his language his shoulders seemed to release the tension that they were holding there. “This makes it easier to talk at least.” He did try not to talk super fast though wanting to make sure he didn’t confuse her knowing this wasn’t her first language. “I mean you’re welcome.” He said as he stared at her for a long moment. Watching her take in the scent of the flowers he brought her.
“Merchants are hags here, you shouldn’t go alone, one would try to pickpocket you or give you poor products because they believe women do not know what good is.” He said with a slightly frustrated tone. As she came out he took a step back and then ran his hand through her hair slowly. “I’m Vestein Winther of the Winther Viking tribe.” He looked her over quickly before looking away from her.
“I must ask for forgiveness for my actions when I first saw you. Everything screamed in me you were my mate and I must mark you. It was not kind of me to kiss you or bite you without your permission.” He rubbed his hand on the back of his neck with a soft chuckle. “My cousin would have my head if she knew I did that, well maybe tie me up and torture me and not take my head since I try…” he trailed off realizing he was talking far to much. “What is your name?” He finally looked back at her. “Why are you here?”
Her vibrant blue eyes travelled to his lips as he spoke to help her understand what he was saying better. His language wasn't far from her own which is how and why she was able to pick up from her clients so quickly. She knew quite a few languages as a pro to being in her business but this was one of the harder ones. And with Vikings constantly coming and going. Never staying long. And her own caution of one of them being from her home it made this one of her weaker languages. Up until now, she hadn't yet taken him in fully. Given the circumstances under which they met.
So she subtly took him in as he spoke. He wasn't half bad. And she even found herself staring at his lips and remembering what they felt like. Of course, her skills in keeping her thoughts off her face were unmatched. So she appeared unphased. Until he spoke of the merchants like she knew nothing at all about how conniving and dangerous they could be. Maybe for a human woman who wasn't raised as a man. Or lived her life as a sex worker. The merchants here couldn't do anything to her that she hadn't dealt with before. She knew Vestein didn't mean anything by it. However, she didn't want or like her mate underestimating her.
And she would remind him of doing so every time. She had to because she couldn't sit on things in perfect silence. She rolled her eyes and grabbed the bottom of his face. Pulling his face to hers. "Vestein. I would like to see those merchants try something with me." She smiled viciously. As the blue in her eyes deliquesced into the violent red of her wolf's. And once she was sure he saw that she pulled him even closer until her lips brushed against his ear. "You'd do well to remember that though you are faster than me. I am stronger than you." She let him go. Gently rubbing the part of his face she was just grabbing as eyes frosted back to blue. But she quickly recoiled before he took that to mean something it didn't.
She wasn't harsh the whole time she held him. But he wouldn't have been able to break free from her grasp if he tried. She also never raised her voice. In fact, she used her bedroom voice on him. Against her better judgment. "Merchants are no threat to me. " she shrugged. "Winther?" She recalled him saying and her brow rose. "As in Astrid Winther?" She didn't know her personally but she knew of the queen. She had tried to make it to her when she ran away from home. Hoping that the stories she heard of her protecting women were true. She never made it. And maybe that was for the better in the end because she met Libelle instead.
She also knew of the war between The Gypsies and the Valkyrie. And how although the war was ended sometimes peace just couldn't be kept. If war were to happen again because of her loyalty to the De La Vega family she would be on the side of The Gypsies. While he would be on the Valkyrie And Viking's side. For the first time since meeting an emotion crossed her face. And it was a grimace. She hated the idea of fighting her mate. It faded quickly, however as she heard his apology. Cousin? Was it Astrid? She thought piecing the information he gave together.
"Léah. Just Léah" she said with no hesitation. It wasn't a lie either. It was just her middle name and as a precaution what she went by to strangers. She was wanted as Ostanna Bellinfold by her father and ex. And Ruby was too well known of an alias it would give her away immediately. She hesitated though for the next question as the answer wasn't as easy as the first. "I needed time to myself." She says less confidently. "To get to know myself away from everything in my life and To break my own heart." She mumbles over the last part and immediately changes the subject. "We should get to the merchants before it gets too late no?" She brushed past him to walk.
Those captive eyes of hers held his form as he talked, any other person he wouldn’t have overly minded but with her it felt as if she was trying to get into his mind. That scared him, as his mind was the only thing he had to himself. He had never been a man of many words and yet he was using them all as he talked with her. She wasn’t going to give him an inch willingly it seemed. Yet he had so many questions about her and who she was. He was vested, and acting in ways that no one had ever seen him like. Yet he had never met anyone like her before, she was his mate.
As her fingers came to grab the bottom of his face he stopped talking, feeling her pull him down to meet her gaze only made him smile wildly. “I am sure out of all the people that they try to mess with, you would be the one to leave them on their toes and wanting more.” He took in that smile as it touched her face as those gorgeous blue eyes turned red. He was in awe of her at that moment wanting to remember it. It was the feeling of her lips against his ear that made his knees weak. He wanted to buckle to the ground and beg for her to do it again. Once she had let him go, a smile of his own creeped on his face. “I would like for you to show me some time.” he willingly admitted as he was in awe of how feisty she was.
Just her voice stuck in his ears of her words made it hard for him to focus on much else before hearing his cousin's name past her lips. “Yes, Astrid is my cousin. The blessed Valkyrie I fight for. She is the true leader we needed.” He gave a hefty nod of his head before offering a bang to his chest. “How do you know Astrid? Are you friends? You are not of winged blood I know.” He tilted his head to the side wanting to know more. Still not knowing what her work was, just that she seemed to be traveling and had the money to do so since she was staying where she was. “Are you venturing to see her?” Seeing the grimace on her face caused him to drop his head to get a better look but as quick as it was there it was gone. “Are you okay?”
“Léah?” He said the name, letting it sit in his mouth for a moment and then gave her a smile. “Time by yourself and I am ruining it for you I see.” he gave a hearty laugh for a moment before rubbing the back of his neck with his hand even though her answer sounded off compared to her other words. “A journey of self discovery. I had one of those after I was changed.” he mumbled under his breath before focusing back on her. “What broke the heart of one so strong?” he asked as she brushed past him. He helplessly followed behind her.
He slowed his steps to match hers to be beside her. “What do you need while you are on your journey? Do you want meat? Bread? Wine? All the wine?” he asked as he looked her over with a smile. “Maybe the mixings for a nice soak?” he wiggled his brows to her.