Adventuring through twisted time.
And so, The Wind blew. Carrying the shrill screams of people as their towns burned and they themselves were ravaged. The scent of death floated through the air joined by floating embers. The Gypsies always came before the fall. This destruction following in their wake; Making their reputation worse. Until The Wind blew again. And so, from the shadow of the destruction, the Gypsies bloomed forth...
They treaded in with caution. Spade at the front of her pack as they arrived in this new ravaged town. She and her pack always headed out in front of their caravan to survey the land. Be sure it was safe for their families there before arriving. Spade's steady gaze took in the sight before her. In a matter of seconds, she surmised what happened here. The scent of wolves, ash and death. The fear riddled and clearly shaken survivors just trying to process it all and help each other be okay again made it crystal clear. Spade clicked her tongue. Her pack waiting for her command. She gestured her head toward the town and they knew it meant she wanted them to help where they could.
Spade wasn’t friendly. She was often feared from rumours and tales alone all built around her name.
She was violent.
She was merciless.
She was malicious.
She was sinful.
But really if anyone actually bothered to watch her. To look at and see just her they’d see she wasn’t any of those things. Though depending on the moment, she could be if that’s what was deserved. There was some truth to the rumours and stories. Spade wore her heart on her sleeve in actuality. She hid it well and the stories helped. But in moments like this that angry glare that took over the features of her face on a consistent basis faded. And the undying fire in her eyes turned down to a low simmer. The people here needed grace and while she was definitely not associated with the word, she could provide it when needed.
“What should we tell the caravan?”
“Tell them to come halfway.
The people here can’t afford
the backlash of a gypsy camp being here.
But we can help with food, drinks
and entertainment to lift their spirits.
If they come to us.”
She sent three-pack members back to the caravan. All with strict instruction to watch each other’s back. The rest stayed with her and continued to help. Spade wasn’t big as a human so she wasn’t expected to be able to do the amazing feats she could very well do. And so, to avoid people's suspension and curiosity of her she conformed to the ways of humans and only displayed the strength and speed any normal human her size would have. With the trace amounts of silver and wolfbane still lurking in her blood, it was a bit too easy for her taste.
She caught her breath with the rest of the townspeople as they all worked together to move piles of fallen and burnt wooden pillars and crumbled stone. Trying to clear the road as best they could while the people who lived here decided on their next steps. She was rubbing her hands together to get most of the soot and dirt off them when she spotted the notice board. That usual ferocious facial expression reclaiming her facial features as she forwarded her brow. She stared at the poster on the board up close before ripping it off. Curious as to why it hadn’t burnt up with everything else. The only logical explanation she could find was it might have been posted after the raid. This was her old wanted poster. Her eyes keenly searched all the information given. She hadn’t seen the poster in eight years give or take but she was sure this was the one for her head. She recognised the portrait of her wolf anywhere.
She turned the page about to be sure she didn’t miss anything but after a moment she was sure it didn’t mention anything about her directly. At least not any more. The name Spade now just reduced to “The Wolf King”. She snorted to herself. They didn’t even know the proper term. Furthermore, they didn’t even know it was a lady Lupine in the portrait. She clicked her tongue deciding to keep this and bring it to the caravan with her. Her old one was stuffed away somewhere and she wanted to compare the two to be sure.
“They say he can control other wolves.”
An old man approached capturing Spade's attention.
“One look from him is all it takes and now that wolf is his.”
“He came through here like the devil himself.
Tore up who and what he wanted.
Dragged anyone or thing he liked away.
His wolves dancing with destruction as they tore through town.
And then, they just vanished! Out of the blue like they weren’t even here.”
Spade's face changed to that of confusion. Dashed with a bit of concern and swarming with whole lotta anger. She’d only taken her eyes off the old man for a second but now he was gone. Subtly she looked for him but something told her she wouldn’t find him. He left no scent in the air or tracks in the wet mud and soot on the ground. But just like the story he sort of told he left Spade with reasonable distress she hid just as well as she hid everything else.
The sun had long set. The gypsies all crawled from their tents or scampered out of their carriages as the moon rose. The giant bond fire already ablaze while the musicians tuned their instruments and the storytellers began to weave their wild tales as the people from town came in and sat before them. Spade was in her tent. Her eyes dashing back and forth between the two wanted posters. She was clearly perplexed now in private. The posters were almost identical. The old one she’d kept for years had more information than the newer one. It held her name. The status she had within the supernatural world. Distinguishing marks.
She'd heard the last of the people who knew about her original bounty had died years ago. The lacking information on this new poster confirmed it but it didn’t make her feel much better. She clicked her tongue and rolled her lips together as she tossed both posters into the giant bond fire and watched as they burned to a crisp. She didn’t stay with her people as they danced and communed with the townspeople she’d helped earlier and that brought Mama into her tent.
“So just like a thief in the night you’re leaving.”
Spade sighed at Mama’s words. Glancing over her shoulder at her as she stopped packing.
The silence from Mama made Spade hum. Her silence more telling than any answer.
“You'd be safe with us!”
A long silent breath left Spade. Her facial features slowly tightening as the breath left her. “But you wouldn’t be safe with me. All things in the dark will come to light. One day someone will find out this “king of the wolves” is actually a woman. And what if someone finds out I’m a wolf? One with black fur and gold eyes and matching the physical description of the wolf in the poster? What if my old wanted poster is found lost in The Wind somewhere?”
It was Mama's turn to click her tongue. Trying to convince her daughter she’d still have a better chance with family or anyone really than on her own but Spade was stubborn and once her mind was made up that was usually the end all be all. “Well then tell me. What makes this hunt different from the last?” Mama curried and sent Spade into deep thought.
“I don’t know
there were these rogues in town. Human ones, not wolves.
They’re hunting the Wolf King; One of them had a...”
Spade stopped speaking for just a moment as she peered out the front of her tent at the rogues coming into the caravan camp now. “...sword.” Mama with forwarded brow peered out of the tent after Spade. “Is that Ex-” “-Yes.” Quickly Mama pulled the flap to Spade's tent down and grasped her daughter’s chin. Spade jumped and flinched away from being touched but stopped herself, and with a steadying breath let her mother continue.
“Moonpie in the next few seconds, we’re going to walk out of this tent and welcome those men.
How we treat them, however, is all based upon you and how you answer my questions.
With faint hesitancy Spade nodded her head. Mama riddled out a slew of questions all to do with being sure these rogues didn’t suspect her daughter in any way. Spade would bet her life on them not knowing anything about her other than her being a Gypsy. And so, being convinced that these rogues were just here to accept the invitation of food and drink and entertainment given to them earlier Mama walked out of Spade's tent with a smile. Determined to give them a warm welcome as she always did to everyone. Spade begrudgingly followed but not to welcome them. She never did.
“Smile for once Moonpie.”
“That’s not happening.”
It had been over a week since Devon and the Rogues began tracking the monsters that seemed to be lurking through the region and always they were too late to find them before another town was destroyed and lives had been lost. He wiped the sweat from his brow and looked down to the blood that covered his hands and shirt. None of it belonged to him, but it was mixed from the different people who had been butchered in the pack's newest slaughtering. It had been hours of he and his group trying to pick up the broken pieces of what little life was left here in this small village and it only brought more anger to fill him deep in his gut. Devon felt like he had been failing each of these people and as he watched the townspeople burn their dead for fear of their loved ones turning into those beasts, he swore he wouldn't show an ounce of mercy to these savage wolves.
More and more Devon believed that when the stranger came looking for he and his group, that man knew exactly what they would be up against, but had decidedly left out the details. The world of magic was something Devon and his men were just starting to come to terms with and he would bet anything that this pack of monsters was somehow a part of that world; He was a gambling man after all. His fingertips rested on the hilt of his sword as his normally blue hues shifted a darker gray while the ash and smoke of the fires of the dead wafted into the air. He couldn't stand the sound of flames and wailing women any longer and walked to the outskirts of the village, staring off into the dark forest where he almost felt like he was being watched by the very thing he was hunting.
Time seemed to move quickly as the sun set an eerily blood red. The Rogues moved through the forest and followed the sounds of the music and voices which floated through the air. Apparently a caravan of Gypsies had moved through the town and were offering their condolences in the form of entertainment in some attempts to bring a lightheartedness to blanket the aching the people were feeling, but to Devon it was only a short distraction as he knew more blood would undoubtedly by spilled in the coming days. He looked to those that flanked his sides and didn't want to deny them the chance at a good time. Their failure in capturing the wolves was weighing heavily on them all and a night of revelry was something they were due, even if he himself would prefer bottomless ale and a spot alone and away from everyone.
The sound of music and laughter filled the rows of tents alongside the smells of smoke and food. Devon glanced about and fell on a woman dancing in a veil for the crowd, but was suddenly pulled away by an older woman who seemed to possibly be the one in charge. She hadn't even given her name before immediately inquiring about their time in the village and what, if any, information they had on. He leaned his weight to one side and rested an arm on the hilt of Excalibur, sighing heavily. "No, we haven't gotten any closer to finding the wolves responsible for these murders. Tracking them has proven difficult, but we aren't going to be giving up. We've had difficult chases before and this one has gotten personal." His mind slipped back to the previous village where Devon had lost a close friend of his; An old man that helped the Rogues store their stolen wares and given them a place to hide when running was no longer an option. "You lot should be careful though. A caravan of people on the move might be an opportunity to these monsters."
The Rogues had begun to spread out among the tents and were quickly getting lost in the distractions available to them. Devon did as he had hoped and stayed mostly away from everyone, watching from a distance and drinking deeply from his cup of a wine that was more sweet than the bitter he'd been used to. It was quickly intoxicating him and the rivers of blood he'd seen earlier were washed away as he smiled softly at the others around him enjoying the break from the chaos that skulked about their land.
Upon hearing the remark from Devon to Mama about the Gypsies being more careful Spade Scoffed. A bit louder than she’d intended to but regretted nothing. If only he knew, the monsters he warned of were all right here. Mama seemed pleased by his concern nonetheless. Spade never greeted the man or his men and mostly kept to her own kind. Sitting with a few of her wolves she watched everyone have their fun. The cup in her hands never rose to her lips she didn’t even want this cup to begin with. She handed off the undrunk drink to someone she was near as she stood. Flicking another of her wolves in the back of the ear as he plotted a prank right in front of her. He hit the floor before she walked away and rolled around on the ground dramatically.
Everyone around laughed and even though Spade didn’t she'd admit it was funny. You’d maybe even catch a very faint smirk at the corners of her lips if you looked close enough. But it was gone as soon as it appeared. All the wolves and even a few Gypsies with advanced senses all snapped their heads over to one of the carriages as if a loud noise had thudded through the caravan. Spade was much more subtle in her motion to look over because she knew what had just happened. The sound these gypsies had heard was not loud at all. Buried under the music. People chatting and laughing. Spade let out a gentle sigh. Making her way over she bent down near the front wheel. Let her fingers graze the wood and metal of it. “I can level it tonight. I just still can’t fix it until we find a town that has what we need.”
She gave the family she spoke to a smile. A fake one. All her smiles we’re fake nowadays. But convincing. She stepped away from them a moment and headed back towards her tent. She thought she'd be safe from Mama as she snuck by her because she was busy trying to get the man with the magical sword drunk. She shook her head and shot a harsh breath from her nose but was soon stopped by none other than Mama. She gave Spade a chastising look and once again riddled out a bunch of questions at her. This time in their native Romani tongue not wanting Devon to catch on. Even if he was by chance already drunk. But Spade didn’t answer in Romani. She responded in English with one simple sentence. “I’m just grabbing my tools that’s it.” Mama let her go believing her and returned to Devon.
Spade didn’t even think twice about Mama beguiling this man and the rest of his men into drinking more and more. She figured it was so that if someone did something that was a little less human, they wouldn’t get suspicious because they were too inebriated to not blame the spirits they drank. She grabbed her tools and headed back to the carriage. Just like she said she would. And so, about halfway there she stopped and stared up at the night sky. The moon had peeked through some of the breaks in the trees and touched her skin. She was always grateful when the moon wasn’t full. Tonight, wasn’t any different. She even thanked the gods if any could hear her that it wouldn’t be full for a little while longer. She dreaded those full moon days under normal circumstances. Now though, her dread was worse.
She made it to the carriage and made quick work of levelling it out and making it steady. Honestly, if there weren’t any guests here, she'd had been much quicker but that would take a great display of speed and strength. Which she obviously couldn’t risk. She stood and spun on her heels coming chest to face with one of the bigger Gypsy men in the caravan. Four more brooding behind him. She studied each of them quickly. Then around them even quicker and suddenly her eyes went wide as she surmised what was going on now. Devon had already been grabbed up and sure enough, Spade was next.
They grabbed her despite her immediate fighting and carted them both off to separate tents to prepare them for a wedding against their wills.
The woman who had greeted him and his men when they’d begun to make their way through the camp was making sure they were being welcomed with open arms as she continued to pass around the wine. Devon had completely lost count of how many goblets he’d gone through, but it was enough for him to know that the next one would have him slurring his words and in need of a bed.
The music and laughter continued through the tents as he still kept further away from the merrymaking. Despite his feeling much more relaxed due to the bottomless barrels, he just couldn’t bring himself to fully let go. Not with so much death and not when the hunt was still on. Knowing that there was only going to be more gruesome murders to come from another village made his jaw clench unknowingly.
His gaze was far off as the older woman returned with the communal jug she carried with her. She smiled widely to him, motioning to raise his cup for another round. Devon tried to refuse, but she was insistent and it would be rude to not accept as her people were being nothing but generous and kind to them. He smirked and nodded to her offer, raising the goblet. “Honestly, you all have some of the best wine I’ve ever had and I’ve surely had my fair share.” Raising the drink, the wine went down smoothly, but there was a slight bitterness to it that he noted which wasn’t there before. His features scrunched slightly from it, giving a chuckle. “Must mean that I’ve had enough.”
A sudden tingling began in his mouth which moved through the rest of his body. The grip he’d had on the cup fell away as it went crashing to the dirt below, spilling the small bit of wine that had been left. Devon stumbled slightly, reaching for the tent fabric for some kind of support, looking to the matron in confusion. “Wh… wh…” but before he could question why she was trying to poison him, Devon’s eyes rolled back just as two men grabbed his arms and his legs gave out beneath him.
The world was spinning as he felt himself being carried away. He could feel the tips of his boots dragging through the mud as the once before lively music seemed muffled and far away. Devon forced himself to focus as he lifted his head. The flaps of a tent moved aside and he was dropped down as they entered it. There were hushed voices he couldn’t quite make out and from what he could tell, in a language he also couldn’t understand. “What the hell is going on?” he demanded, mostly to the ground, as he pushed himself up slightly before collapsing once again. Whatever that woman had put into the drink, it wasn’t poison, but some type of relaxer.
The two men who had brought him to the tent reached down to pick him up again and Devon didn’t hesitate to punch one in the jaw, but was quickly restrained as he felt rope being wrapped around his wrists and ankles. They propped him on his knees as one of them kept a firm grip on his shoulder to keep him from falling forward on his face. Whatever they were planning, it seemed he was meant to wait for whoever it was that was in charge and if he had to guess, the woman who was so keen on keeping him and his men drinking would be that very person.
Despite the thrashing and fighting, Luna couldn't get away. A very humbling realization for her. She was dragged into a tent. All her limbs held. And before she could even process things entirely a cup was nearing her lips. The scent of the wine hit her and they didn't even get the chance to bring it to her lips fully. Luna regardless of the rumors actually hated transforming. In any way. Most of all she hated using her position as Zeta or her strength over others weaker than her to get what she wanted. Or scare people into obedience.
And so as the cup came close her fangs came down. And with a quick snap, she bit the hand of the gypsy bearing it. She snarled. The men that grabbed her still holding her. Trying to pin her to the ground. She was growling very lowly as to not be heard by any of the guests. Mama entered her tent then checking the Gypsy's hand and telling him how to mend it. He wouldn't change. Luna made sure of that.
"What the fuck mom!"
Mama's eyes went slightly wide in shock. "Watch your mouth, Moonpie!" Mama rarely. If not ever rose her voice so everyone in the tent with them stilled. "Oh, I'm sorry I'll look down at my mouth next time!" Luna snapped back still fighting. Mama shook her head and gestured her hand. All the gypsies in the tent with them left except the men holding Luna in place. "Your father is making sure the rogue's leader is being changed. I'll join them in a second." The tent flap opened as yet another few gypsies came in and began to change Luna. Quite forcefully. And then, a siren came in.
It was suddenly easier handling Luna now. And once she was almost completely changed Mama left for Devon's tent. Leander the Gypsy king was with him. Sneaking him some water after making him change clothes but not doing anything to help him out of this situation. It was his tradition. "Everyone decent?" Mama walked in once she knew it was okay. Excalibur in her hands. "We don't want this. This wasn't a ploy to take it or kill you for it. The world still needs you." She was quick to reassure as she placed the sword down with his folded up clothes along the side.
"You have questions. The answers will come with time."
She came face to face with him. Kneeling down on her knees to study his face. Look him straight in the eyes. Keeping her distance even though they were surrounded by a few other men and her husband. "We're giving you a wife." She said like it was something to be proud of. Something held in high regard among the Gypsies. And it was. Even more of an honor and scarce among them was for the King and Queen to give an outsider their own daughter.
"Mama, Spade is..."
The gypsy entering the tent to give his message was cut off. Mama was quite a peaceful leader along with her husband. But she was called Mama for a reason. The kind and loving expression she was giving Devon flipped to a look of disapproval and disappointment at hearing her daughter being called Spade. The messenger dropped his head. "Sorry. Luna is ready." She nodded and thanked him for the message. Checking his now bandaged hand since this was the same Gypsy Luna bit. Careful to not indicate that he was bitten.
She stayed on her knees with Devon. She knew what questions must have been running in his head. What anger was swirling beneath the surface. Except this wasn't why she was clearly contemplative in front of him. She knew Luna could be a very big culture shock to anyone. Even more so to a man forced to marry her. She wanted to prepare him somehow without being ungraceful or frightening him. Luna was better met than explained.
"You two will fight. You won't always get along. I can't even promise that love will come. But this is what The Wind our god, wants. At least for now." She finally stood up just as another messenger came in to tell her it was time! She began to leave but she stopped suddenly.
"I'd imagine you like many have never seen a desert rose."
She spun to face him once again. "Not many know what they look like because they're wrapped in a ball of hardened thorns. Only getting sun in breaks of space through its protection. To see it's rare and beautiful you've got to first see the thorns. And then you must be willing to fight through those thorns just to reveal the arcane and one of a kind flower within." She smiled at him. Knowing her words would eventually make sense. If he paid enough attention to his... wife.
"Now. You should smile. It's your wedding after all."
Devon eyed the people moving in and out of the tent, but didn't do anything rashly as he wasn't exactly sure what they wanted with him in the first place. However, he could take a most assured guess that it had very much to do with the sword that was an extension of himself. The fact that he was apart from the weapon was already making him more anxious than he currently was in this frustrating situation. He could feel that it was somewhere nearby; The pull of it always apparent when it was close. The Rogue never once assumed the Gypsies would want anything with Excalibur as they were meant to be keepers of peace, or so for the most part. Still, he couldn't imagine any other reason why they would want anything to do with Devon if not for that. Perhaps the only reason he was still alive was because its true source of power was not unlocked unless an ancestor held its hilt.
'Perhaps his bounty?' His thought was interrupted though as another older man came into the tent who seemed completely at ease with what was happening inside. The several men around him seemed to straighten up a little more as this man entered which Devon did not miss. He let out an annoyed breath as he came closer and could see a bundle of clothing in his arms. A single eyebrow rose as the Rogue looked from the man and to the clothes before he scoffed with a defiant smirk. "I'm not putting those on." But apparently, he was. Some minutes later and he was in the foreign feeling garb that was colorful and beaded and so not like him. The men had untied him, but were keen on staying near as he changed, making him more than a little uncomfortable as he made sure to give them plenty of side eye before turning his back and accepting his predicament. He was grateful for the water the older man had given him which was hidden amongst the clothing in a small satchel, though Devon wouldn't show it no matter how much he yearned to get the bitter taste of the drug out of his system. Frankly, he wasn't particularly excited to drink or eat anything any of these people provided again.
Once he was bound and on his knees again, the matronly woman who held some station among these people came through the tent in bright spirits, though Devon's eyes instantly focused on what she held in her hands; Excalibur. His earlier thoughts began to circle in his mind, but halted once she revealed that it wasn't the sword they were after. A look of confusion passed over his features as the woman lowered herself to be eye level with him. She seemed incredibly pleased with herself as a moment of quiet passed before revealing the intentions of this whole charade. "A what?!" This woman had completely lost her mind. A wife? This was the very last thing he was expecting to hear. In fact, he'd much rather be fighting for his life over the sword than being forced to marry and marry a complete stranger, no less.
The entire thing was such a shock, he hadn't been able to say a word as she seemed to be introducing his soon-to-be, as if some riddle. It was only after hearing the word wedding leave her lips did Devon finally find the sense to begin his objections. "I am not marrying anyone! Have you people completely lost your minds?" Devon attempted to get up, despite being bound and still flanked by the men who had been charged with watching him. There was a lot of foul and colorful language that began to spill from his mouth and no amount of pulling at the ropes that held him was going to help get himself free as he felt his skin burn from the resistance. Somewhere around the time when he cursed their God and told the people around him where the God could stick this little marriage arrangement did a rag come around his mouth and was tied tightly to keep him quiet. There was nothing that could be done. None of the Rogues would be looking for him because they were all off having a good time and would assume that he was too. He was a victim to whatever game the Gypsies were playing for now and so he stopped fighting and waited as the ludicrousy around him continued.
Weddings were supposed to be happy. Filled with love and joy. And so while this one would be stunningly beautiful, it'd be missing the real glue that would keep it all together. Luna had been writhing around the whole time Mama was speaking with Devon. At this point, she knew. Something in the back of her mind told her this was going to happen. This wedding would go forward. Her people were clever. Lining her clothes and binds with silver in a decorative manner. They were careful that none of it touched her skin and yet at the same time kept her weak enough for them to handle her.
To the untrained eye, it blended in and just added adornment to a rather bland and ominous add on in this wedding. Her binds. She stilled when Mama entered and smile down at her daughter.
Weddings were supposed to be beautiful.
The smiling bride after months of stress and planning, at last, gets to marry her best friend. The nervous groom gets to see his future smiling at him as she approaches in all her glory. And so he smiles too. Overcome with joy and excitement. Love most of all. Instead what they got was loud music to drown out any sounds of objection or fighting and colorful powder swirling through the air to hide said contention.
And the bride. She didn't smile. Nor was she presented to Devon by her father. Four large men accompany her. Two on each arm. Two behind her. While the siren male walked in front of her. He was the first clue to Luna's little big secret. The men with her were the next. A normal woman wouldn't need such a force. A normal wolf wouldn't either. The third clue was the silver. All the signs were here. Hiding in plain sight
At last, Luna came face to face with Devon.
Except she was dazed. Her eyes glazed over and unfocused until Mama stopped the loud music. She blinked a few times then. Trying to gather her bearings. She looked around subtly holding a growl at the back of her throat. Never once looking at Devon as she forged a path to freedom in her mind.
"Apart you two are powerful, but together you'll be unbreakable."
Mama, who was obviously marrying them had them turn to each other. By force on Luna's part at least and had the binds on their writs removed. Luna let out the faintest wince, not having the silver in her binds on her gave her back some strength and relief. Not enough compared to the silver on her clothes. Her subtle reactionary wince, clue number four.
Luna took a breath but eventually looked Devon in the eyes. There wasn't that usually anger he would come to know. Just a look which said, " I'm sorry." Without her ever speaking. Mama took each of their left hands and bound them together with a beautiful scarf that seemed to float in the wind.
"Repeat after me...
...Blood of my blood..."
Devon huffed out in frustration and bit down on the cloth in his mouth. The drug she'd given him was still making him feel out of sorts. Struggling against them wasn't going to prove successful. His vision was blurred, but he could make out Excalibur's outline as it sat atop his clothes, though what good could it do him now? As much as he was against everything that was currently happening around him, it wasn't like he was going to kill any of them even if he was able to get his hands on the sword. Whatever deranged idea this woman had in her head wasn't warrant enough to kill her or the people following along. He didn't exactly like his options right now, but if conceding to this nonsense meant getting the hell out of there, so be it. Getting drugged again for compliance wasn't something to look forward to and he had the feeling this was going to happen whether he was conscious or not. They may end up being married to the Gypsies, but that didn't hold any water in his mind.
As his intended was presented in front of him, the Rogue rolled his eyes and glared to the matron with as much anger as he could muster. He recognized the woman in passing from earlier in the night. What he wouldn't give to be one of the magical beings of the world right now instead of human just to maybe have some chance at getting away and to avoid this insanity. The notion was absolutely ridiculous and he couldn't help but try and pull at the bindings one last time.
His eyes moved instead to the woman that seemed not to be particularly thrilled with the current situation either, though her complacency was rather alarming. Devon couldn't be sure seeing as he wasn't exactly at full awareness either, but she appeared almost dazed in a way as if in a fog of her own. The moment her gaze found his though, her true feelings were apparent without a word needing to be said. This wasn't something she wanted either. Fantastic. Once this ridiculousness was over, the two could go their separate ways and never see each other again and he could mark this down as one of the worst days of his life.
Devon felt movement behind him as one of the men took hold of his bound hands. The sound of a knife being unsheathed made him raise an eyebrow, but he suddenly felt the release of the bindings, making him roll his shoulders from the strain they'd taken in his struggling. He pulled the rag from his mouth and tossed it to the ground, but held his tongue. He didn't really feel like being overpowered again for speaking his mind on having an opinion on being forcefully wed. Instead, he watched their customs continue to play out as his hand was brought to his would-be bride, being tied by a delicate fabric.
The matron continued forward and then came to the part where it seemed she needed cooperation from him. Devon wasn't about to give it so freely just yet. "If I play along with this madness, do you swear to let me and my men leave so we can continue hunting the monsters that are killing people, maybe even yours soon? You travel the woods and no doubt these things will see your caravan as easy prey. I'm sure the sounds of tonight will no doubt have grabbed their murderous attention. I would hope the lives of your people would be more important than your need for this marriage." He'd deal with this idiocy later. Right now there were more important things happening that needed his attention and slipping away to never see these people again wouldn't be difficult after the hunt was done. "Let's hurry up and be done with this if I have your word."
If ever there was something that tickled Mama more, Devon's words about the Gypsies being in danger topped them all. In fact, all his words seemed amusing and ultimately pleasing to her and soon a mischievous smile adorned her face. The music stopped. The people stilled. No one spoke to Mama this way but Luna. Except Luna never did it publicly. The last thing she wanted was more hate from her people or for her people to think it's okay to speak to their leader in such a way.
An obnoxious and deeply wicked laugh erupted out of Mama. And so, the world around them fell right back into the chaos of the night. Luna scowled at Mama. An unsure look burning in her gaze.
"Once this is done you're free to go!"
She said it to Devon but halfway through speaking looked at Luna. Who dropped her gaze then. She growled at last but in a human manner. "Well, you heard the man. Let's finish this." Luna's voice finally joined the fray and caused Mama to smile even brighter.
As if they had signed their lives away and didn't even know it.
She clears her throat capturing everyone's attention. "Repeat after me..."
" Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone. I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One. I give ye my Spirit, 'til our Life shall be Done."
The moment the vows were said by them both the delicate scarf unwrapped and flew off of them all its own. Yet before they could do anything a shawl was brought over their heads. Separating them for the world.
"I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Sawyer"
Mama announced to the crowd. And so as her words were spoken a necklace formed around each of their necks. Luna went to pull away clearly uncomfortable with their closeness but before she could the necklaces pulled towards each other and locked together. Luna stumbled even closer to Devon. Putting her hands on his chest to catch herself and give them some space. She stared up at him for a second simply because under this shawl it was hard to not focus on each other but she still managed to pull her gaze away.
"I won't force you two to kiss." Mama joined them under the shawl cutting Luna off. She looked between the two of them and while she smiled proudly at her new son in law she frowned faintly towards Luna. Who was turned away from both her and Devon and staring at the floor. Her eyes then moved to the necklaces and she seemed pleasantly surprised. She hummed to herself and allowed her hand to hover under the pieces that linked and locked together but didn't touch them yet.
"Your souls are tied now. This pull is as strong as your heartbeats, it will guide you to each other when you are in need. Help you keep the other safe. You want them off one of you will have to die. You won't be able to get them off any other way. This is a symbol of your marriage."
She left them under the shawl alone with a quickness. Yet not without tapping the necklaces to unlock them. As soon as Mama wasn't with them they were each grabbed and pulled apart. Luna was dragged to a tent while her people were going to try and get Devon even drunker and convince him that consummating the wedding was a good idea.
Luna naturally knew this was coming and had other plans. She did a quick change but not without burning her left hand on some of the silver on her clothes. Quickly wrapping it as they threw Devon into the tent with her. She caught him. Using her strength to keep him on his feet and pretending to struggle slightly so he wouldn't find it suspicious... if he wasn't too drunk that was.
"I got your clothes and sword."
She handed both to him and spun around to give him privacy to change but also get them a way out. Grabbing a sack and swinging it over her back she headed towards the back of the tent. She used one of her talons to slice through the fabric but not without making sure he wasn't looking. She'd later tell him she used the knife in her bag somewhere to do this. If he asked of course.
She slipped out of the tent without a sound and stayed low. Quickly scouting out a clear path to freedom for them but when he started to take a while to come she slipped halfway back into the tent.
"We have to leave now because, in the next few seconds, we're either going to have to start fake moaning and pretend like we're sleeping with each other or actually fuck each other's brains out. " she gave him a stern look and tilted her head indicating to follow her. Once again she stayed low. Her steps not making a sound.
"My men will bring yours to us in the morning." She whispered once they were far enough. She then froze. Slyly slipping around the nearest tree, bringing Devon with her to avoid one of the Gypsies now clearly looking for them. Her intricately henna painted hand slowly and gently pushed on top of Devon's when she noticed it on Excalibur. Silently she shook her head no a mixed look of concern and anger in her eyes. "Just follow my every move instead."
She peeked and watched the Scout. Waiting for an opening and when one was big enough for them both she ran. Hoping he would follow.
All they had to do was get to the nearest town. Buy some horses and find a safe place to sleep. He just needed to follow her.
Devon couldn't help, but notice the silence that followed after his given demands. You could hear a grain of sand fall to the ground. He noticed everyone's eyes were on the woman who was hellbent on this marriage as if waiting for something to happen. He thought for sure this was the moment that perhaps the Gypsies would suddenly surprise the world and become the violent people they were never meant to be, but as the woman burst into laughter, the tension in the tent melted away with it. 'What the fuck is with these people...'
Hearing that he could finally leave this nightmare with her consent was plenty enough for him to mumble the words that were required. He watched as the scarf which bound them together suddenly lifted, drawing his gaze over to his newly obtained bride for only a brief moment after this incredibly strange barter. Another large fabric quickly engulfed them completely and he felt a pull drawing him towards her. They collided, he wrapping his arms around her briefly as not to collapse before looking down to the necklaces that were now connected.
Devon's hues fixed on the matron as she appeared with them in the small and personal space. Her words made him stare with his mouth slightly open with more questions, but everything kept moving so fast. He was suddenly being pulled away again by the men who were becoming his shadow, surrounding him with shouts of excitement and more rum. It was a whirlwind and he didn't know if his head would ever stop spinning. Instead he tried to focus on where the sword was, but couldn't see it through the chaos. Pushing through them seemed futile and throwing a punch was looking more and more like an option because his patience was surely out.
Instead, the Rogue was then ushered quickly into another tent, stumbling into someone. If not for her stopping his momentum, Devon wasn't sure he'd still be on his feet. A slew of curse words flew off his tongue as he yelled at them from inside the tent before finally letting his eyes draw to his acquired wife who stood before him in the now quiet tent. "You're all crazy. All of you," he muttered somewhat breathlessly, pointing his finger at her before she suddenly revealed that she was in possession of his belongings. Feeling the sword in his hands again gave Devon a wave of relief from the mad situation and grounded him for a moment. He looked back to her and watched as she hurriedly moved about and shoved things into a satchel. 'She's packing. She wants to leave too.' Fine with him.
He hurriedly tried to change and didn't even bother looping his belt, as he hopped on one foot towards her, pulling his other boot on. Devon's brow shot up at her remark with a quick reply waiting to be said, but he didn't respond as he followed her out of the tent instead. She would know the best way and was fine letting her take the lead. Whatever her deal was, she seemed to want out just as badly as he did.
Devon moved with her quietly until she abruptly stopped which made him nearly bump into her. His eyes noticed the man she was being wary of, making him reach for the hilt of his sword, but the look she gave him along with her touch made him pause. He rolled his eyes, but did as was told. "Wasn't gonna kill him," he whispered shortly, though it would've been nice to at least give him a bloody nose to make up for some of this disaster.
Leaving his men behind didn't sit right with him. It was the reason he glanced back to the caravan more than a few times before the lights of the fires dimmed into the darkness of the night. Walking through the forest wasn't exactly the best idea knowing there were murderous beasts stalking the villages nearby, but escaping those people was more the priority. It was mostly quiet minus the occasional rustling of a small animal in some brush or the bugs singing. His hues moved over to the dark haired woman that guided them and decided some conversation wouldn't hurt. Maybe. "So, what's your name? Why's that woman so desperate to marry you off? I figured she would've preferred someone from your own people."
There came a clearing in the trees as they walked. Allowing the moon to rain it's borrowed light down on them. Luna stopped. Feeling the light of the moon's embrace. She stared up at it and now more than ever. Now more than earlier in this very night she was grateful it wasn't full.
The poor bastard doesn't even know he's married to the enemy.
Her gaze turned to him first followed by her head. Her eyes seemed to glow in the pale moonlight as she hesitates.
"Luna." Her deep voice smoothly cuts through the silence of the night.
"Everyone knows me as Spade though. Especially rogues seeing as I'm there contact among the Gypsies. Which means I already know you're Devon." Her eyes turn back to the sky. The wind blows but it never touches her. Flowing through the nearby bushes and trees but never her clothes or long locks. She inhales a huff through her nose. Holding it in for just a second until puffing it out from her mouth.
"Madame Serina or more affectionately called MaMa. The queen of the Gypsies." She clicked her tongue. "She made a promise on behalf of the Gypsies to the original owner of that sword who knows how long ago. Seeing as I'm her eldest daughter she most likely believes this ensures she can keep that promise." Luna scanned through the trees easily able to see in the dark of night. Spotting the animals of the woods and eventually their path.
She began to walk again. But not before taking one last look up at the moon. Trying to calculate how long she had until it was full. "Although, I'm sure if we asked her she'd tell us that it's because we're made for each other. We're soul mates. Some bullshit like that. Knowing full well I don't believe in true love and the like any more."
Unless Luna was being sarcastic her words were always serious. And true whether you liked it or wanted to hear it or not. Which gave her a dilemma here. The truth of what she was wasn't easy.
Now she was in a mental war with her moral compass. But she knew. She knew she'd have to tell him. And so her conflict shifted. Learning to trust someone was naturally hard. For Luna, however, with the past, she had been given it was far harder.
"There's a stable just out of these woods. We can get two horses there to get us to the next town over. The townspeople will be naturally cautious of us but they won't turn down giving a rogue and his new gypsy wife..." Sarcasm. "... A safe place to sleep."
Devon did indeed know the name Spade well. He didn't necessarily deal with her people often because of how always on the move they were. He needed to be back in London more often than not to make sure everything else was running as it should. Checking up on the other Rogues would be pretty difficult if he was always on the move. He'd appointed specific people to certain areas of the country and even so far as to go outside its boundaries when necessary to deal with potential partners beyond their normal routes and the Gypsies were no different. Never in his life did he think he'd actually be married to their contact.
Hearing her continue to answer his inquiries was nothing he ever expected. He imagined the surprise look on his face would show that. How did they know so much about the sword? Not only that, how did they know more than he did? Not that that should be much of a revelation anymore. It seemed everyone knew more about it than he did despite being the one that was meant to guard it from the wrong hands. He wondered why the Gypsies had a hand in its history and which owner it was Serina had promised. This sword was hundreds of years old. Sure, Serina appeared older, but not that old. Then again, to assume she was human was probably not too smart of him either. It made him look over again in thought to Spade just then, wondering if she was even human. The headache was starting to return and he groaned internally.
Devon scoffed at the idea of soulmates. Seemed Serina's daughter had more sense about her than she probably liked, but he did note the keyword when describing her own feelings on this whole situation. "Anymore?" That alone meant she did believe in something of love at some point, but it was torn from her. He wondered what that was. Devon wasn't exactly the type to believe in that nonsense either, but the story of his ancestors would prove differently. To him, it seemed they didn't have a choice in the matter anyway. Cursed magic was the reason for their demise and he had yet to be shown otherwise.
Spade seemed to brush aside his question though and the Rogue wasn't about to push. Subjects like that tended to not be pleasant ones and he wasn't about to continue making this night any more stressing than it was. Instead, he stayed quiet and followed her along through the quiet woods, but did notice her peering to the moon every so often. He wondered if she found comfort in it. He usually did.
Though it was late in the evening and most of the town was asleep, the innkeeper seemed to be happy for the payment in order to get a room. Naturally, there was only the one available so sharing the space was just going to be more continued awkwardness. It was a decent place though. They were even given some edible food and a fireplace. He'd paid more for much worse in bigger cities and usually opted out of eating the bits they called a meal. Taking his boots off, he grabbed the extra heavy knitted blanket which lay over a small wooden chair and laid it down towards the foot of the bed, silently claiming it the space he would take up to sleep. He then poked at the fire in which the innkeeper's wife had started for them when she brought them to their room. His gaze moved over to Spade as she put her bag down, noting now would be as good a time as any to ask. "So, why are you leaving your people? I could've just left and you would hold no obligation to me, as I'm sure you could've guessed." Devon placed the poker down and sat on the edge of the bed. "What's making you want to run away and help me and mine with the monsters terrorizing the nearby towns?"
Right now Luna was feeling like she'd said a lot. When she hadn't said much about anything. She wasn't used to talking a lot outside of giving her pack orders. Looking through her bag she unpacked just two things. A small piece of wood she found on their way here and a tiny knife to widdle it. From her peripheral vision, she notices Devon lay claim to the only bed in the room. Had Luna been anyone else she'd probably fight him for it or make him share it. But she really didn't care. She was on edge having to remain this close to a stranger. Which meant she and her wolf would be up all night.
There was also the fact that the Romani could sleep anywhere...
She stayed silent. Almost as if she wasn't going to answer. If they were with their crews she'd find a distraction and disappear into the woods somewhere to be alone and completely process how betrayed she felt by her mother and the situation she was truly in. Never answering his questions... Unless he managed to follow or track her down. "My people..." She obviously couldn't disappear here. She kept her eyes down on the table where her stuff now laid.
"That's a heavier answer than I'm prepared to give right now."
She looked up but since her back was mostly to him it wasn't him she looked up at. "What can I share for now though?" Her eyes scanned around the room as she thought. "Gyspsies don't have a great reputation. It's common knowledge." Finally, her gaze landed on him as she leaned against the table behind her now. " But this wolf you're hunting ... The Wolf King was it?" She pretended not to know the name they gave it. "Had been showing up in the wake of us and making us look like we're the one's bringing him." She stood back up and turned her attention back on the contents on the table.
The innkeeper's wife had noticed Luna's hand and give her fresh supplies to properly clean and wrap it. "My crew and I have been hunting it down to clear our own names for a while now. Teaming up made sense... Fuck!"
She closed her eyes to compose herself quickly. Mainly, everything that had happened tonight was catching up to her. This is why she didn't want to talk. How was she going to fight this wolf without being in full wolf form herself? Things just kept getting more complex. "I... Hate... The gypsies sometimes." She took a breath and looked at him again. "There is another reason though. Did you actually listen to what Madam Serena said about these?" She drew her wedding necklace out from under her top and held the ring that was way too small for any creature to actually wear in her palm. "Or did you just tone her out like I usually do?"
She didn't wait for an answer. "Had you left without me the necklace would've dragged you right back to me. Same thing goes the other way around. These wretched things tie us together. They'll let us know when the other is in danger. It prevents us from killing each other. But more than anything if you even think of leaving or try and take it off it will pull you right to the other." She let the necklace dangle around her neck. Dug her heels into the ground and attempted to take the necklace off just to show him.
Immediately her necklace pulled towards him and it took all her strength for that moment to stay put. She stopped trying to remove it and it stopped pulling her. She turned and dug into her bag again. She poured a cup of water that was given to them and placed it on the table for Devon along with what she just took out of her bag. "It probably does other things for us as a unit but I'm not really interested in finding out what. Stir this into your water before you sleep or you'll wake up feeling like you've been trampled by a stamped. " She picked up what she was referring to. The thing from her bag. "It's just honey." She broke a piece of the comb off and ate it to prove it was safe.
Luna sat in the chair he took the blanket from and began to unwrap her hand. Hiding the wound from him because she didn't want more questions. She actually didn't want to talk anymore. She really had truly done far more talking than she liked. She stared at the burn a moment and then began to clean it.