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.”
Devon could visibly see the disdain she seemed to have with her people then. It was etched into her very being. He knew the loyalty the Gypsies had to one another and though she was clearly not favoring them now, despite it all, she would probably do anything to ensure their survival in a world that tended to shun and hate them. Therefore, he wasn't surprised to hear that she wanted to hunt the very beast he and his men were also trying to find in order to clear a margin of the resentment that always seemed to fall upon the mysterious travelers. The idea of working with others didn't necessarily bother him. Frankly, they could use all the help they could get. He just didn't want to see more people lose their lives to this monster that continued to decimate whole towns.
His eyes glanced down to the ring that hung from his neck. Taking the jewelry between his fingers and studying it for a moment, he looked back over to Luna as she explained what Serena had actually gotten them into, scoffing as she demonstrated the connection they had. "Yeah, well she forgot to mention the part about the rings actually pulling us together..." he muttered before cursing and dropping the cursed item. Being a Rogue wasn't a job that had you sitting on your ass in one spot. Devon was literally traveling all over in order to help others that those in power decided weren't worthy of. How the hell was he supposed to continue doing that when he was stuck with this ridiculous marriage that didn't allow him to be far from his new bride. 'Fucking Gypsies...'
Putting a hand through his hair, the Rogue stood from the bed and walked over to the cup she offered him. His eyes glanced to her wrapped hand before meeting her dark gaze after she produced the honey. "Well, it's not like you can kill me," he responded with a sarcastic smile before replacing it quickly with the scowl that probably wouldn't be leaving his face for some time. He drank from the cup and walked back over towards the bed, sitting down on the floor where he'd laid the blankets out for him to sleep. One problem at a time. They were both on the same path for now. Hunting this wolf was the first priority and then he'd worry about getting out of this stupid marriage once the monster had been killed.
His eyes fell to the flames that danced in the otherwise dark room. Whatever was coming next, it would no doubt lead to more deaths. For now, Devon felt like he could sleep a week after what he'd been through tonight. He looked over to the stranger that he was now bound to and watched as she fiddled with her injured hand. Any other time he would've offered his help, but the Rogue had the feeling she wanted none. She looked plenty capable of handling it herself and he could tell she was undoubtedly capable of many other things just by the small amount of time they shared. Instead, he laid his back on the floor with a knee up and hand behind his head glad that he would be around his friends tomorrow. Or so he hoped.
The sun spilled across the floor and over his lids, causing Devon to wake and sit up. The unfamiliar surroundings made his brow furrow for a moment until he felt the weight of the ring bounce on his chest. He silently groaned and put his hands over his face, laying back down on the floor for a few moments, staring back up at the ceiling he was now quite familiar with. He rubbed his hands over his face and was happy that he didn't feel the effects of being drugged the night before lingering any longer. This caused him to eye the empty cup next to him he was given last night before finally pulling himself up from the floor. Looking to the bed, it remained untouched. Devon glanced around the room and saw that Luna hadn't moved from the chair she'd been in last night, having fallen asleep there instead. He gathered one of the blankets from the floor and placed it over her before putting on his boots and heading downstairs to find them a pair of horses.
It seemed word had spread as expected to the people of this small town. They all looked at him with curiosity which was something he was familiar with when being a stranger in a new place. People weren't always so welcoming when things were scarce and their own needed looking after. He imagined they would be delighted to see them off. "You're one of those hunters aren't ya?" An elder man's voice came from behind him as Devon was walking towards a small stable next to the inn.
"Looking for the wolf, yes," he replied, seeing more of the townsfolk emerging from their homes and silently staring at him. Devon wasn't so much worried more than finding it a bit eerie. Reaching the stalls, he leaned back against the old structure and saw their keeper was missing. "You all are staying I take it." It wasn't so much a question than what he knew to be true. It wasn't like these people could pick up and leave their homes and livelihoods that kept them from starving to death when they were so close to that anyway from the condition of the area. It was more of a reason the monster needed stopping. "You wouldn't happen to know where the stablemaster is?"
The man wobbled his way over in his hunched position and reached up to the dark brown horse, touching his nose. "That would be me, my boy."
Devon grinned and pulled the purse from his pant's pocket, offering it to the man as he walked over and patted the animal's side. "Mind if I take two of these off your hands?"
He shook the bag and nodded with a smile of mostly missing teeth. "Looks like I don't mind at all." He unlatched the stall for Devon who began to fit the worn saddles onto the horses. "You got a family?"
"That I do," Devon replied, thinking to the Rogues he'd hoped to be seeing soon. "Recently caught myself a wife too."
"Aye, congratulations and blessings to you then, boy! The world won't see fit to strike you down now."
Devon looked to the man with a smirk and took the reigns of the steeds in each of his hands, starting back to the inn. "Let's hope you're right."
Mama certainly left Luna in an uncomfortable position. Maybe without fully realizing it. Because who was to say Devon wouldn't resent the Gypsies after the wedding. She shifted uncomfortably a moment and was grateful the conversation about her people was over quickly. Actually, she was grateful the whole conversation didn't continue too much for now.
"Doesn't mean we can't try."
Her grumbles came from a place of experience. She didn't look at him when she grumbled though and it was said under her breath with a bit of pain and tinge of bad memories behind her words. After taking the time to clean and wrap her hand back up she picked up the knife and small piece of wood beginning to widdle away at it. Fully noting that he took the floor beside the bed.
So they were both stubborn.
She was up the whole night. Keeping herself busy with her carving. Stopping to toss the shavings into the fire and watching the flames lap them up in a frenzy. When the sun rose and he did she was still up but just letting her eyes rest and was slowly falling asleep because she wasn't a morning person. She felt the blanket caress her skin and listened to him leave before moving. She took a breath of relief once she was alone. Rubbing her face and combing her fingers through her hair. She wanted to scream but she didn't.
She packed everything up and tossed her bag back over her shoulder. Leaving the wood she had carved into the innkeeper and his wife she left on the table for them to see when they came fo clean. Though they had nothing to clean really. Once outside she stopped to let the sun warm her skin. Her wolf wanting to come out and find a patch of grass to layout in. The quick happiness and peace she felt was gone when she felt eyes on her. The people here clearly knew she was Gypsy. They didn't like it. They glared and eyed her with malice in their gaze. They cursed towards her or pulled their children away if she got too close for their liking. She was just following Devon's scent to find him and get out of here.
She stopped short suddenly as one woman spit at her feet. Staring down at it and then glaring up at the woman. Trying to hold her temper. She stilled for a while. Maintaining that eye contact until Luma finally hacked up a wade and spit back towards the woman's feet. Remaining unphased. Gypsies were a lot less combative. But Luna while in appearance seemed Gypsy, wasn't. Her stern unmoving glare was quite unsettling to the woman. It was clear as she backed up and walked away. But Luna's gaze never left the woman.
"Wow. The Spade I knew would've attacked her."
That voice! Luna eased up with a deep pleasant sigh when she heard one of her brothers voice's. "Then you never really knew Spade." Luna tskd and spun on her heels. She was met with a cautious hug immediately. One she slowly returned.
Tab. He was extremely tall and muscular. And NOT one of the men that dragged Luna down isle last night. "One of Devon's men is with me. He stayed back there with the horses" he pointed and moved out of her way. Luna smirked. She knew this man of Devon's because he is one of the ones she would deal with when the rouges needed the gyspsies. She smirked again as she walked up and they took each other's arms to greet one another. "Glad you're still alive." She smiled. Charmingly.
"Where's Devon." He asked shortly after talking with Luna a moment. "Getting us a way out of here and to wherever you set up camp I'd imagine." She shook her head gesturing towards where she knew he was.
As Devon rounded the corner making his way back to the inn, he noticed the man standing next to Luna. Her demeanor didn't seem like one of overt hostility which made him believe this newcomer must've been part of her group. He couldn't help wonder where they were last night as the marriage was taking place, but perhaps their loyalty was to Serena in the end if it came to her daughter or her as a leader. Just more information Devon didn't have that he might inquire of Luna later on if there was ever a time that she might talk to him without the daggers that lingered behind her eyes. He had the feeling that was just always a part of her nature no matter the circumstance.
"Devon," he said in introduction to the man who was joining them, offering his forearm. He nodded to Tab as he returned his name and then looked to Luna, offering the reigns to her. "A wedding gift." The comment was full of sarcasm, but held no ill will to her in particular because of course he knew this whole situation wasn't her fault either. He suddenly couldn't help but feel the presence of the ring around his neck, but he still gave a soft grin to her despite it all. No reason they couldn't be cordial. After all, they were about to venture out on a mission that could see more death. Would guarantee more death. They all needed to work together or more lives would be lost unnecessarily.
His gaze moved in-between the two as he saw his fellow Rogue at the front of town with a big and telling smile on his face. One in which he might plan on punching very soon. Devon looked in-between the two of them and gave a nod as he moved passed them along the dirt road and went to meet up with his friend. "Heard you found yourself a wife. Am I sorry I missed that."
Devon glared at Milo and gave him a hard shove as soon as he was in arm's reach. "Fuck you. Where the hell were you? Any of you!"
"We didn't know, I swear!" His childhood friend put his arms up in defense, but was smirking still. "They had us all gathered at the front of the caravan watching them dance and sing..."
"And drink," Devon muttered under his breath as he continued glaring.
Milo shrugged and grinned. It was clear he was holding back a laugh that wanted out. "That wine is perfection. You know it."
He rolled his eyes and sighed out. "Useless. The lot of you. Remind me to start recruiting harder to get rid of you lazy sots." Devon took to the left side of the horse and mounted it, almost wishing he could take off at a full gallop just to get away from this all for a little while. His selfish needs would have to wait, however. More important things were at hand. "Where's the camp?"
Some time later and they were arriving at the spot in the forest where the Rogues as well as Gypsies were gathered. He could see the looks on the faces of his men who were itching to say something about his new wife. "If any of you says one word about being married, I will bury this sword in your stomach up to the hilt." Still, it was good to see how well they were all getting along despite the circumstances of this gathering. The Gypsies were always invaluable partners when it came to their scheming and Devon never minded cutting them in on the help when needed.
He slid from his horse and noticed Will missing, but learned he and another of Luna's men had gone off to scout further out to see if there were any signs of the beast lurking nearby. His eyes moved across the camp to Luna as the rest of the world buzzed around him with the men talking of the hunt ahead. Devon watched silently as she spoke with the ones she led. It was obvious to him they respected her, though he wondered if any of them actually knew her personally well at all. Luna didn't really seem like the sharing type.
The Rogue waited a few minutes as she reconnected with her people before stepping away from his own to approach her privately. "Have they noticed anything out in the woods? I can't seem to find a pattern the wolf is taking. Just seems to be hitting random towns and travelers along the road. I'm no expert on magic or the creatures in this world, but I'm guessing you and yours might have a better idea of what this thing is since you've been on the road of its path. I didn't even know about any of this until recently and not without a lot of death and consequences." Devon instinctively placed his hand on Excalibur as he said this while the flashbacks of how he came to acquire it moved through his mind like a bad dream.
A dry laugh loosed from her lips as she took the horse.
"Aw. You shouldn't have."
Her words were soaked with the same sarcasm he'd presented her with. She side-eyed this horse though as Devon went on to Milo. The horse seems to sense what she truly was as it huffed and faintly neighed. She gently placed her hand on his nose. "You're going to blow my cover, aren't you?" She chuckled as she soothed the horse. Climbing on its back.
"Wait... Married?! You married him!?"
Tab's bafflement was evident. Most of her pack wasn't present last night. They aren't most nights. Taking advantage of the strength the moon gives them to patrol. Guard the caravan from the dark. His horse trotted beside Luna. Waiting for her to reply. "Not by choice." She said through her teeth after realising he would just keep starting until she answered. His horse stopped as that registered and he looked between the both of them. "I'm sorry."
The moment they arrived at the camp Luna's demeanor changed. Even from how it was when she was with the caravan. This was her true family. Her pack. They're welcome of her showing how much they loved and cared for their leader.
Luna smiled seeing them.
They were cautious when greeting her. Careful with how they hugged her. Or touched her in any way. She sat among them as they interacted with each other and they all learned the real reason of why the rogues were with them. Most of her pack was literally her family. Not just in how close they'd become. But in that, they were either her blood siblings or nephews. Or they were her adopted siblings. So hearing Devon was now her husband and knowing her past pain quite flagrantly they all seemed to glare at Devon. Their reception of him changing as they became more defensive of their sister. Even though she was the oldest. And the strongest.
They had their reasons.
Though some of them still teased both Devon and Luna when he pulled her to the side. Tossing suggestive comments towards them. Making kissy sounds and hugging each other. "Idiots." She shook her head as she gave Devon her full attention. Ignoring her immature brothers behind her.
There was a slight change in her facial expression when she processed his question. Dropping her head. She took in an audible breath and placed her hands on her hips. They were on the same side. Hiding what she and her pack knew wouldn't benefit either group. She shook her head yes without looking at him. "We know what he's doing."
"He's building an army."
She looked up at him. Studying his eyes. "People fear what they don't understand. They outcast the supernatural in their town and their own family. Burn them at the stake. It's so easy for him to come in and save them. Offer them acceptance if they join him. Destroying their own town to prove their loyalty to him." She took a heavy breath to push the weight of her words off her chest. Her eyes catching sight of one of her scouts finding their way home. She forwarded her brow.
"He'll always attack at night under the power of the moon..." She wasn't looking at him. Clearly distracted by her own pack member. Luscious. "...when there are signs of an execution about to happen..." She began to walk away from Devon and towards her scout. Glancing back over her shoulder. "Excuse me."
She approached her scout. Eyeing him harshly. A blaze in her gaze. "YOU WHAT!?" In a flash, her pack were holding her back. Protecting Luscious. Not her. Yet another clue. Luna snarled as she tossed their hands off of her. "I'm fine!" She swallowed hard. She recomposed herself. "He's fine." She took a final calming breath. "We're fine, relax." Her pack lingered near her a second longer before returning to where they all were before. Blaming the wind for their enhanced speed to reach Luna. Though it was a lie.
She licked her lips and the scowl on her face eased up remarkably. "You're telling me you left my brother out there. Injured and alone? He got you in this... crew. And you just... Left him behind?" She squinted her eyes at Luscious. Rolling her lips together. She hummed to herself and called one of her sisters over. Her ferocious glare locking on Luscious. "Take Cube and go get Blight." She watched as they began to leave.
"And never leave anyone behind. Even if they're dead!"
She stood there watching them for a while. Even when they were no longer in view. For just a second as she sighed she let her walls down. She let her nervousness show.
Was Blight alright?
Would he be dead or alive?
How injured was he?
This was usually the time she would sleep. A time in which the Wolf they hunted wouldn't attack and the rogues and none wolves in her pack would be awake to stand guard. But now. Now there was no way she'd be able to sleep. Not until Cube and Luscious returned with Blight. Not until she knew his fate. Her eyes were still glued in the direction they had left long after they were gone. She felt the weight of the necklace around her neck shift. But before she could do anything about it she was pulled right into Devon's arms. The rings sticking together like magnets. The teasing from some of her pack members starting right back up again. Luna growled but human-like and used a bit of her strength to push off his chest and get the necklaces to separate.
"I wasn't even thinking of leaving. Just going with them for the moment!"
Devon's mouth parted slightly in surprise when Luna admitted to knowing what this monster was up to. An army? Great. Having to deal with one out of control wolf was more than any of them could handle already and now they had to confront a group of supernaturals with untold power? He wasn't an expert on the matter when it came to the abilities these creatures of the world had, but he did have a sense of empathy for them when it seemed many just wanted to be left alone and live a normal human life. In fact, it seemed the Rogues were now opening their doors to these outcasts who had to run from the persecution of their homes as well, but even he didn't mention it to others. Devon knew these runaways didn't want the world knowing their true identity and he respected that as well as wanting to avoid discord between them and his human members. It was a delicate matter that could quickly turn chaotic with just enough of a spark.
His eyes lifted to her as she continued talking, but he noticed the focus she had across the field. Devon's gaze followed as he saw what he assumed to be one of her own coming back from scouting. "Sure," was all he could respond as Luna excused herself and made her way with strong purpose towards the returning member of her group. It all happened very suddenly. Luna's voice rose above everything else going on in the camp and drew the attention of everyone on both sides. The Gypsies all seemed to descend on their leader as if she were about to murder this man and he couldn't help but raise a brow. He looked over to the Rogues who seemed equally as confused as they looked to him for some kind of answer, but he only looked back to the unfolding scene. Was this how they handled their problems? Did it normally end in them brawling it out? He couldn't help but find it odd that they all seemed to be more protective over the man who Luna had the problem with than her. Devon wasn't one to necessarily count out a woman in a fight. Not after some of the things he'd seen with the valkyries which had quickly changed his mind about women in many ways, but it seemed like they were afraid she would explode and murder him there in front of them all. As far as he knew, that wasn't really the way of her people.
Even after Luna reassured her allies that they were 'fine', they obviously remained wary. Devon listened to the conversation as he took a few steps forward and continued watching the tense scene until she ordered them off to find her missing brother. The Rogue was about to offer his help, when the sudden pull of the necklace yanked him forward slightly and Luna came crashing into him. His fingers wrapped around the trinket and he pulled as she pushed until they were finally separated, breathing out in annoyance from the connection that bound them.
The worry was clear on her face. Devon looked over to his men and nodded towards the tree line where the Gypsies had gone to go after their missing member. In understanding, two of them stood and went off to help the others if they could. "We can go if you wish. I wouldn't want anyone to be left behind either," he offered, speaking lowly as not to be heard by the others so she could have a moment to calm down. "Might be good to see for ourselves what's going on out there anyway, especially if something has happened to your brother." He tried to be gentle, but the fact was they needed to track down this brazen wolf and any of his newly gained followers if they planned on avoiding any more destruction and death.
If she could make a portrait of the Rogue's stunned face she'd frame it. She may have even laughed a little at his blatant bafflement if the circumstances weren't so severe. So instead she remained stoic and kept her phlegmatic demeanor. Luna found it interesting the various scents that came from his group of rogues. The fellow Lupines she hoped didn't expose her and her pack. The mystics. Sanguines. Sirens. It wasn't much different from her pack and family. And so again she found something that would've made her smile under better conditions. An unconscious smirk did appear on her lips though when Devon sent two of his own to help. Something he didn't have to do but also something she'd have done if the roles were reversed. Her smirk changed to a sad smile as Devon spoke. "If I go and solve this for him. What then does he learn of loyalty if I already lead by example and he still left his partner behind?" Her gaze peered towards where they headed. Sighing as she looked back at Devon "Sometimes as leaders we have to make the choice that hurts to guarantee a better future for everyone else in our charge."
She took one cautious step away. Testing the necklaces to be sure she could move away without being pulled back. Letting a breath buzz past her lips when she was far enough away to believe she wouldn't be pulled back. She socialized with her siblings and nephews a moment longer. Her attention occasionally drifting towards the woods hoping for a happy return. But eventually, she sighed. Rose to her feet and stretched. Retiring to her tent while she had a moment to get some sort of rest. Even if sleep didn't come. She hadn't been in her tent long when she reappeared. "I know. I hear it." She stopped one of her pack members in their tracks as they went to get her.
For some, the sound was just a whistle in the wind. For others, it was just a bird chirping in the woods. To Spade and her pack, it was the call of one of their scouts. She would at some point teach Devon how to recognise it. It may come in handy to him and his rogues even well after their hunt together is done. If he didn't come to hate or fear her like so many before him that is. Her pack all gathered around her. Speaking in Romani to keep the rogues from understanding. But also speaking in code at the same time just in case there was a rogue like Hawk who spoke their language. Luna didn't seem too pleased with this. Clicking her tongue and waving them away but then pushing through them when they wouldn't give her space or room to walk. "English. If we are going to be successful with this hunt we need to be in sync." She appealed to her pack and after some murmuring among them, they respected her wish.
She spoke of unity but their camp was clearly divided. Rogues on one side Gypsies on the other. She thought about how she and Devon could possibly get their two groups more unified for the moment. Forming one strong band working together for the time being. Rather than two tolerating each other. She thought all this as she walked from her side of their camp to the Rogues only to stop short when she smelled the people they had both sent out. She smiled genuinely as she trotted into the bush. Coming back moments later with Blight leaning on her for support. She could smell him through the trees. Everyone came back alive. She laid Blight down in a tent. Calling the members of her pack that knew how to patch him up and nurse him back to full strength. She stayed with him for a while. Only to freeze as she walked out of the tent and met Lucious's eyes. She searched his gaze for a while. Eventually giving him a curt nod and soft smile. "He'll live. Thanks to you... You did good finding him." She began to head back towards Devon and his rogues. "Just remember, it's more dangerous alone."
"I know. I know. I still hear it." She stopped the same pack member in their tracks again. She gently rested her hand on Devon's shoulder a moment to draw his attention. Looking well rested and a lot less worried. She smirked. "Will you follow me? Just you. There's something I need to do but you should start doing it too."
Luna's words were wise ones as he did agree with her on that point. Sometimes hard decisions had to be made in order to teach valuable lessons and he'd had to make quite a few in the past. Even worse were the ones that meant life and death. Devon could do without making any of those calls ever again, but such a wish was not a luxury he could obtain given their line of work. He gave her an understanding nod and hint of a smile for reassurance. "I'm sure they'll find him." Sooner rather than later would be best. Having her brother being out there once night fell, possibly injured and alone, would make him an easy target for that wolf and whomever else he managed to recruit.
He watched Luna walk off and head into her tent to be alone finally before turning to his men who all seemed to be itching to ask about what happened last night. Devon rolled his eyes as he sat down to join them, but gave into giving them the answers they were looking for since he didn't feel like dealing with all their snickering and incessant questions from here until eternity. "No, I don't know exactly how I'm supposed to get this fucking necklace off if we're meant to believe what her mother said," he replied to one of their questions. Devon knew by the look on Luna's face that she did believe everything the woman had said about their arrangement which meant it was looking like he needed to as well.
Milo caught his eye then and nodded towards the Gypsies on the other side of the camp. Their attention was drawn to the woods and he heard the signal too. Devon watched as one of Luna's men proceeded to her tent, but she was already stepping out which caused him to become focused on her while the Gypsies gathered together. "Why do I feel like we are being put up with instead of included?" Devon said quietly. The Rogues had worked with the Gypsies on a few occasions before and he thought there would be a little more trust than this. They'd certainly been in precarious situations together, even if that didn't involve a murderous wolf.
Devon didn't move to join them. He wasn't going to insist on their cooperation even if being tied magically to their leader, but his eyes did lock on Luna's when it seemed she was coming over to them just as these thoughts were taking root in his mind. Letting her come among the Rogues for once seemed like a better idea for an introduction and so he waited. They all were itching to meet her anyway.
He sighed in preparation for the teasing to come until he noticed Luna stopping and drawing her eyes off into the woods. Devon stood then and saw the group emerge with whom he assumed was the missing Gypsy. It seemed Will was with them as well and he hoped with some good news. "Thought I was going to have to go searching for your ass too."
"Not this time," Will replied with an exasperated sigh. "Came across Blight over there just as more of his people came back to collect him. Was a good thing too. That wolf isn't far off. I came on some tracks nearby to where I found him. A blood trail along with it and I don't think it was from that monster. Maybe a victim, but there were tracks moving along with the wolf's. Someone willing seemed to be with it."
Devon nodded to his fellow Rogue and filled him in on the new theory that this was starting to become the work of more than one beast. "You did good, Will. I'll tell Luna what you found. It may help us get started on finding this thing and whoever is following it." It was then he felt her hand on him. Devon turned and saw Luna who appeared less tense now that her people had returned. He nodded to her request and walked alongside her. "And what exactly is that?"
She didn't answer immediately wanting to put a bit of distance between them and the camp first. "I don't like the divide between our group." She took a deep breath and twisted her mouth to her honest words. " and I know it's me and my crew to blame. We've been through hell together, so we don't ever trust." She spun on her heels to look back towards the camp in the distance. "But I know when I lead they'll see it and want to follow." She tapped Devon's shoulder and tilted her head towards the camp to get him to look. A smile creeping onto her features as she watched her siblings bring their kettle over to the rogues to cook together.
And so, once again she spun around and trekked farther into the forest. Knowing Devon would follow. Again she walked without answering his previous question but the reason wasn't that she didn't want to. It was that she couldn't. See, what she needed to show him was out of range for humans. So when they were at last in range she stopped. "Listen..." She closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths. "That sound of a morning dove with no partner to answer its call is actually my scouts." She opened her eyes and continued to listen as her brow narrowed. "When they repeat it that frequently it means we're needed right now. Come on!"
Luna wasted no time taking off. Having to very quickly remind herself that if she ran too fast Devon would have questions she wasn't ready to answer. He was a rogue, however, so she didn't make keeping up with her too easy. He should be used to running through the forest. When they made it to the scouts they wasted no time in guiding them both to where they were needed. "There's a young girl in this town that just got exposed as a Lupine." The scouts quickly explained as they lead them to the town.
She scanned the large crowd that had gathered at the town square as they arrived. Making her way into it but making sure she never lost Devon. They were partners in this and she took that seriously. She stopped moving when she heard a man speak. Addressing the crowd from the executioner stage. She tried not to make eye contact with the young girl being prosecuted. Studying the area to see how she could subtly save her. She opened her mouth to ask if Devon had an idea when a muffled whine she was sure only she could hear whistled through her ears.
The girl spotted her and without Luna having done anything, immediately knew what she was in their world. Luna rubbed her face as the girl quietly pleaded for Luna to save her. Sending little cries for help that every supernatural with enhanced senses could hear. Luna scrunched her face and scorned herself because she knew what would come next. "If you kill her they'll come. He'll come." Every eye was suddenly on her and Devon as the crowd split and it was just the two of them in the center. She shot Devon a look as if to apologise for her impulse. "What then do we do with this monster!?" Those words were accompanied by a hit to the back of the young girls head and Luna couldn't stop the growl that rumbled from her chest as she grit her teeth. Thankfully it wasn't loud enough for the crowd to hear. Unthankfully Devon most definitely heard it.
"I'll take her."
Again her instincts took over.
Devon walked alongside her through the soundless woods, wondering what else she may know that she hadn't divulged yet. He remained silent, letting her open up to him about whatever she wanted without any further questions that just might cause her to close up as an interrogation wasn't something that would bring them closer. Though, it was good to hear she wanted cooperation among them all. He stopped as she did and turned, following her gaze towards the camp. Seeing the two groups mingling together amicably made him smirk. "As long as there isn't any more of your mother's wine being shared," he joked, continuing onward.
It seemed there was something more going on with her though. The Rogue followed Luna further into the woods until they finally came to a stop. His brow forwarded in confusion at first as they seemed to be in no particularly significant area among the trees. His eyes moved about the space before resting on her again expectantly. Devon watched as she stilled herself, closing her eyes and remaining silent while sunbeams shining through the trees bounced across her face with the movement of the wind. He stayed quiet as well, watching, and then in the short distance he heard the call. Of course that didn't surprise him in the least. The Rogues had their own signals as well, but hearing that this particular one was not a good call made him wonder what they might be running into as he hurried to keep up with his unusually fast bride.
In the distance, Devon could see the scouts show themselves at their arrival with the town ahead peeking through the tree line. He sighed shortly at what they told them. An execution of a lupine, a child no less, was not unheard of. People were cruel to the things they couldn't understand. Something about his kind's nature scared him more than some of the more powerful creatures he'd heard of roaming the world. He didn't hesitate following Luna ahead into the crowd as they gathered in number. The scene was becoming more chaotic as the man carrying out the girl's condemnation riled them up. Devon was really wishing he had his sword then. Plan. They needed a plan and fast. His eyes moved about to the raised platform in which the child was being held to the quick exits they could make after somehow freeing the girl.
Luna's outburst silenced the crowd along with his thoughts. With everything they were starting to learn about this monster, she was probably right. As the people parted back from them, he realized they were now the center of their attention. At least it was off of the child for now. "She's right. It'll destroy everything if you hurt her." From the looks on the mob's face, they were seeing he and Luna as accomplices to the monster and not so much as people trying to help them. The man's voice rang out then in the stillness, questioning what they should do with the girl before striking her. That was enough to cause Devon to move then, but not before swiveling his head around from the growl he heard from Luna, slowing him. He stared, catching her eyes then so she knew in the frozen moment. Only a moment. There were more pressing matters then.
He vaulted himself up onto the platform and stood directly in the personal space of the man who was causing all this commotion in the first place. It seemed he was a lot more threatened by him then the small girl he was so quick to harm. Devon could see him visibly cave as expected. All men like this were the same. He raised his open hand to the coward. "Key." The man fumbled for a moment before producing what he'd been asked of and Devon quickly went to unshackling the child. Lifting the girl, she immediately flew her arms around his neck and clung to him tightly. More tightly than a human child could. "You're okay," he said quietly to her before jumping back to the ground to move alongside Luna. "Think it best we leave now." The crowd was still murmuring and swelling. He didn't want to give them the chance to change their minds and kill them all.
It took a lot to scare Luna. Rock and shake her to her core. With all the things she'd seen and done it was nearly impossible. But the moment Devon froze and met her eyes, Luna for the first time in what felt like ages was petrified. It was only a second but it felt like an eternity. Seizing in her spot like stone. She wasn't ready to tell him yet. He was still a stranger and by all accounts, they were searching for her. Even though in truth they weren't. She had no way to prove that yet. Not unless the beast attacked with Luna still visible and present.
Maybe telling him would be easier if Lupines didn't have such a horrible reputation. She couldn't even take comfort in knowing some of the people closest to him were Lupine because you're like for her kind were a case by case scenario. Luna took a deep sigh in relief as he began to move again. Thankful for the situation they were presently in. Though an unfortunate one. She crumbled into her movements as her body unseized. Following behind Devon to watch his back.
Before anything else, Luna was an older sister and Auntie. And so the minute he held the girl in his arms Luna's hand came to lovingly cup her cheek. Silently reassuring her that she was safe now. Hiding the pain she felt for her having to leave her family. And the worry that her pack, or the rogues if Devon were willing, or even the Gypsies wouldn't be good enough in the girl's eyes. The whole time she avoided looking back into Devon's eyes. Until he mentioned taking their leave. Just giving him a glance that was accompanied by a stern nod.
She stayed slightly behind him to watch his back as they walked. Hearing the murmurs and sneers as if they were said aloud and not whispered. Clenching her jaw to hold her tongue knowing it could spark a fight. Her scouts slowly came to their side the farther from the town they got. Some staying behind to remain on the lookout. Luna was unusually quiet as they walked. Lagging slightly behind Devon and the girl in his arms. A deep thought playing out on her face like a complex symphony.
Eventually, she caught up and stopped Devon in his tracks. They were closer to their camp now than they were to the town. So they were arguably safe. She called for one of her scouts to come and take the girl back to camp and give Devon and herself privacy. Unlike her siblings who'd have taken the moment to tease them both, the scout just did as he was asked with a small smile and happy eagerness to have been asked by Luna. She waited until they were out of range of being heard.
"Build a town with me?"
She knew her question wouldn't be what he was expecting. Especially in light of their moment back in town. "We don't know much about this Wolf King. But what we know is that he will attack if he hears you have been killing Supernaturals." She wasn't afraid to look him in the eyes anymore. "We can't know what town he'd strike next if all the towns are holding executions left and right. And we can't save everyone on the stand." She let out a heavy sigh. "What we can do, is build a town. Make our crews the townspeople. Hold fake but convincing executions. Make the whole thing an act to trap this false king right where we want him."
"Control the narrative. Save a few hundred lives. Figure out how to get divorced and move on." She smirked faintly.
"It'll take time, but maybe in that time, we'll learn a few new things to take with us on our next journey when the time comes."
Only when his boots were touching grass instead of the dirt road of the town did he let the tension in his body relax slightly. He was almost expecting a weapon to be flung into his back as they quickly made their way back into the woods and away from the mob of people that were a moment's away from attacking. Still, he didn't say a word as the moments before he released the girl played back from his memory. Devon was sure of what he heard. Something that didn't normally come from humans. A low growl rumbled from Luna. It was clear and easy to hear when the crowd had been silenced moments before. A tidal wave of thoughts crashed about his mind as he tried to figure out what this meant. It was all very convenient that her scouts had found another town which planned on torturing or even executing the wolf girl when the monster was doing the same in trying to locate other species that were not human being persecuted for what they were. No, she didn't turn into that monstrous form and ravage through the village, but perhaps it was because he was there with them then. Why though? Why hide what she really was when she had plenty of opportunities over the last several hours to kill him when they were alone and continue on destroying the human towns? The Rogues would've most likely left for England if he had been killed. He needed more information. Nothing was clear yet.
"What's your name?" he asked of the girl still tightly clinging to him. Apparently she still didn't feel truly safe, even so far from the town now and remained quiet. "I'm Devon." He adjusted her a bit in his arms, though her grip never changed as her chin rested on his shoulder. A few silent moments passed before her soft voice responded.
"Hi, Sarah." The dress she wore was torn and plain. It looked fairly dirty as well to match the streaks of grime that were on her face, mixed with dry blood. "Were your parents back there in town?" Before she could answer, he felt Luna beside him, and he could see she wanted to talk. Once the scout came for the girl, she only tightened her grip which made him gasp in response. He reached behind him and placed his hand in her smaller one to pull it gently away. "It's okay. He's a friend. He'll take you somewhere safe." Sarah's eyes had gone wide and watery. "I promise I'll be there soon, okay?" He winked to the girl and put her down, letting the other Gypsies lead her away from them.
"What's on your mind?" Devon said as he turned to Luna. The next request that came from her lips only stunned him to silence. Thankfully, she continued on with her idea to build a town and lure the monster out. "Bait? You want to bait the thing?!" There was no hiding the surprise in his voice. He wasn't exactly on board with this whole idea, not to mention actually taking the time to construct an entire town. They would need resources and materials that weren't exactly available on hand. Not to mention he had an operation running back in London that he couldn't leave for so long. His hand rubbed over his face and through his hair before letting out a sigh. Then his eyes met with hers and he noted an emotion there that he hadn't seen before.
Worry? Fear? Vulnerability. It was strange seeing that on Luna's features. It seemed to humanize her more when he was so used to seeing her with an eternal wall up. He also didn't know what to make of it, knowing he had definitely heard something not human coming from her before. He wasn't sure how it all fit into this puzzle. Again, it didn't seem likely she would go through all the trouble of wanting to build a town just to slaughter the Rogues. Devon couldn't help but grin softly to her despite the circumstances. Her lack of rigidness seemed to take precedent over the idea she may be some killer. "It's odd seeing you so worried. Normally I just expect harsh responses and maybe a death threat."
Her passion was clear. Luna thought this could be the way to trap the beast and he didn't think it was necessarily a bad one. She was right. They couldn't hit every town in hopes of catching the thing. Spreading their numbers thin to cover more ground wasn't going to help if they did run into it and had to fight. However, he was going to make sure to always have eyes on her which wasn't exactly a problem with the current jewelry they each wore. Devon's gaze was still locked on hers in the few moments of silence that lingered. "Alright, but just the beginnings of building one. The Rogues and me have to get back as soon as possible. I figure we'll still use the bait and might even look more appealing for the monster to attack us since we aren't even a fully built town yet. Maybe we'll move ahead of the others."
The way he spoke of needing to leave. Of being needed somewhere was a crude reminder that he likely had no skin in this game of hunt. He was just a hired man. A rogue they tossed a coin to. If he had any personal vendetta it was formed after taking on this hunt. But it clearly wasn't enough to make him not feel hurried in leaving. Her eyes squint as several thoughts bloom and shrivel in her mind as he speaks. It was a rare occurrence for Luna to speak with someone and not disagree with them. But Devon hadn't said anything she didn't disagree with or hadn't already considered before bringing this scheme up. Well... Besides not knowing he'd need to leave.
It was a huge relief to have him agree but that didn't remove the existential dread that loomed over her shoulder. Or the stress of him asking about what he'd heard from her back at the village. "We're resourceful so finding and gathering the supplies we need among both of our groups won't be as hard as it might be for others." She returned the soft grin he'd given her in the face of her stress and worry. "Maybe what we build will be a great foundation for the innocent ones who lost their homes in this hunt." She looked around at the trees which surrounded them and took a much needed breath. Hoping it would take some pressure off her chest.
She closed her eyes as she rolled her lips together. A new dread washed over her before she spoke again. "I have to come with you when you go." She couldn't even look at him. Clicked her tongue as she clenched her jaw and that tension traveled to her fists. She didn't speak again. Just looked up at him through her eyelashes and tapped her wedding necklace. She rolled her eyes "we can cross that bridge when we get there but you should know ahead of time."
She began to walk back towards the camp slowly. "Harsh words and death threats can only get one so far in life." She winked at him with a smirk as she kept walking "Now let's get you back to Sarah before she begins to think you broke your promise."