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What Once Was Mine

WINTER WOLF
Character
Dragonflower was in the past, but the ripple effects of the day still played out for Gerwald Lechner. By now he was over the embarrassment of walking back to the ship, and traveling back to Ryloth, mostly nude because a particular witch had stolen his shirt to cover herself. One thing Gerwald understood the more he let his wolf free was that he would have to be comfortable in his own skin, literally. Scherezade had helped to see that, albeit in unexpected ways.

Gerwald was still acting out the events of Dragonflower. He had near avoided [member="Katrine Van-Derveld"] because of it. Part of him had been upset she stole his shirt, embarrassed by being caught with no clothes, and well... he hadn't been the only one lose clothing that day. It was all in the past, but yet it gave him the perfect excuse to seek her out.

His training as a Knight Obsidian did not see them crossing paths often, but he needed to see her. She clearly had more of a understanding of what it meant to be a Lupine than Gerwald did, and he wanted to know about his species. Yes, his mother had told him they were the last of the race, but only because that is all she knew. Their family had been on Stewjon, hunted because of what they were. They adopted practices which kept them safe, but still allowed for the wolves to run free. The family had become particular about who they married, love almost never having anything to do with it because trusting their secret would remain that way was of utmost importance. Everything Gerwald understood to be true shattered the night the Confederacy celebrated their victory with the people of Stewjon. When Gerwald met her.

There was no escaping the implications of that meeting. She had been so drunk Katrine passed out in his arms. They had left the next day with more questions than answers. Feelings aside, Gerwald knew from that moment on his fate was intrinsically linked to the Nightmother of the Mandragora. How, well that remained to be seen, but it was time to face it.

He had his hook anyway.

Gerwald made his way through the Mandragora camp, likely a dangerous thing to do as he was, but he didn't understand the dynamic of the witches. In his culture men and women were equal in most cases, leaning slightly to being more a Patriarchal society. When he found her quarters, Gerwald didn't knock or introduce himself, he simply walked in. He didn't see the need to wait outside, and if anyone had a problem with it, Gerwald would deal with it. The wolf was on a mission of a personal nature though, and he would not bee dissuaded.

"You still haven't given me my shirt back," he said as he walked into her quarters. "It happens to be my favorite, and I wanted to wear it today."
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
She was on the floor, lying on her abdomen and slowly turning the pages of her spellbook when she'd sensed the familiar wolf scent waltz in, making her turn her head. Gerwald had just walked into her suite. Shirtless. Which wasn't all that big of a deal but height and size, his abdomen sorta stuck out. Katrine hadn't really met too many men she could label as beasts but the Lupine was definitely one. "Hi?" The Nightmother went before she'd actually get off the floor and stand.

People didn't just walk into her room on this ship, it was kind of a whole thing with the knocking and politeness. Not that Katrine understood what the point of it was but she'd lived in far smaller structures and inside the stronghold that she simply didn't think too much about it. Sometimes, she even slept outside when she was younger so there weren't any doors to close even but on Nocte Aranea, it was a whole new territory.

She still hadn't given him his shirt back? Katrine blinked, kinda confused by what he was saying. Well, not really that confused but mostly confused about that possessive pronoun there. It was apparently his favorite and he wanted to wear it today. "Um... it's kinda mine now," the Lupine pointed with a shrug. She could have just pretended a little longer she didn't know what he was talking about but she really didn't know how to lie. Despite being someone who didn't really know the meaning of the word shame, she liked clothes. Pretty clothes even. And sometimes, she liked odd clothes that didn't fit her. So sue her.

Turning on her heel, she walked away, into the adjoining room which stored most of her clothes on this ship. "Why is that one your favorite?" Katrine threw back a curious question without paying too much attenting to the walls filled with clothes and shoes when his shirt was on the small seater in the corner, heading towards it.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
She had picked up on his scent before he walked through the door. It was one reason he never had to identify himself to her. She would always know when he was near.

Her outfit was as much an eye full as his lack of a shirt. Part of him wanted to protest, but he had walked into her room, and without a shirt. The fact she had any clothes on at all was as much an option as none knowing that she had no shame. It had become rather clear shame was not part of the culture she belonged to, not in that regard. Gerwald was warming up to the silliness of the idea as well. He was a Lupine, and it was part of changing. He certainly felt no shame as a wolf, in fact he may feel more of it if someone decided to dress him up in some sweater designed for his canine form. Likely that person would have their throat ripped out before they could get it on him.

"Hello," he answered watching her to see if she would actually get up.

It was odd how familiar it felt to walk into her room. Gerwald felt as if he had the right to because of their shared species and because of the circumstances of their meeting. He really did not know how to explain it. It was as profound a feeling as anything he had experienced. He tired not to compare it to the hunt, but he had to. It seemed as strong.

He shrugged when Kat claimed the shirt was hers now.

"So you can just take whatever you want now and that makes it yours?"

The question clearly demonstrated the ignorance Gerwald had of the culture Katrine was brought up in. A witch could take whatever she wanted, especially from a man, and call it hers. What Gerwald was also unaware of was the fact that she could stake a claim on him. There were many things they did not know about each other because there was only one thing that seemed to matter at this point. They were Lupine, and more importantly, they were not of the same family. That one fact is what filled their minds with the questions which ran through them.

"It is my favorite simply because it's easy to take on and off when I want to change. Nothing more and nothing less. You can appreciate not ruining every ensemble you own when turn into a wolf, I think..." Gerwald motioned to the massively full closet. She sure liked her clothing, and for someone who cared less about whether she was covered or not, she had a lot of clothes to choose from. Of course there were so many he was not going to find his shirt in the volume of it all.

"To be fair... it was more an excuse anyway..."

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
His question confused her. Completely. She couldn't take whatever she wanted and it became hers? Her eyes moved left, right before finally returning to him. "Well... yeah," her voice showed her confusion but not the normal confusion, more like did you not know that? kind of confusion.

It took her a hot minute to realize he might have not. "Oh. You don't know," Katrine voiced, her sapphire gaze finding itself draw beneath his eyes. Like, how was that torso even natural? She'd seen torso, all kinds of them, that just wasn't mortal. "Oh." The small sound escaped her lips when she realized just what she was doing.

"So... um... well, I'm a Witch. Dathomirian. I was raised among them, my Mother was born one and so on. Well, it's a matriarchal society. We can take what... and who we want... and it belongs to us." It was usually easier to say it, Katrine noticed as she spoke. Women chose any man they wanted and claimed him if they so fit or they used him and discarded. Normally, she could just say it so why was it suddenly not? The question made her gaze shift slightly as she felt a small warmth in her cheeks.

She had already turned around though and going into her closet.

The shirt was his favorite because it was easy to take off when he wanted to change, nothing else. Katrine moved to the seater, picking up his shirt from it before she stepped onto the seated and sat on the back. She wasn't actually returning the shirt yet, just holding it as she looked back at him. "Most of my clothes are easy to take off. I'm normally careful about all of them. What happened during the Expedition isn't typical for me," she pointed out. It really wasn't. Normally, Katrine removed all her clothes before she changed. Of course, she normally didn't wear anything under her dress or pants and shirt because she could always change.

An excuse? She blinked. "Excuse for what?" He was still doing that thing where he was confusing her.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
Gerwald really did not know, and when that sank in for Katrine it was like a light turned on in her head. The way she said oh had made him realize that she had never known life any other way, and maybe that it explained Gerwald's behavior a little. Her explanation had been simple, and it helped certain things click for the wolf, like how she had taken his shirt in the first place. Granted he likely would have offered because it was the right thing to do, but the witch hadn't waited for the offer she had just taken. It was the later part that made him pause, and he found himself asking out loud what was meant to only be a thought.

"Who you want?"

Gerwald knew exactly what was meant by that. He had seen the way she looked at him when he was around, it was partly the reason he had shown up without a shirt. No matter how much Scherezade insisted they felt no shame, he still made it a goal to get them to blush, or at least squirm a little. It was likely a cruel game to play, but all Gerwald heard was a challenge... and his response was challenge accepted.

He was the one blushing when Katrine mentioned the ease at which most of her clothes came off. "Like the one you are wearing now," he found himself thinking though fortunately did not say. It would be a lie for him to say he did not find her physically appealing. Most warm blooded men, and even women, would agree with him in that sentiment. His eyes drifted to the shirt that she was clearly making no effort to return to him, and based on what she explained, he did not expect her to. It was an item of leverage, Gerwald had admitted it too easily.

"So you don't just chase after other Lupine's clothes be damned... good to know," he smirked as he moved closer hoping the shirt was going to end up in his possession sometime soon.

"It was an excuse to see you again," he answered, "It is not like our paths cross with you leading the Mandragora and me pledging myself to the Knights Obsidian in order to learn how to use the Force. I'm free to be who I a really am, and the more I explore that, the more I realize that I do not know what that entirely means. You are a Lupine. I am a Lupine, and I want to know what that really means besides the changing, the running, the hunting, and the thrill of the kill. I need you."

Ger should have said I need you to teach me, but he didn't, nor did he know why. The truth was, they needed each other to a degree. They were not from the same family, and that meant something as well. Traditions were different, how they viewed life was different. Gerwald knew there was a puzzle to put together, and both of them had pieces to it. Neither one was going to solve this on their own. Yet, Gerwald didn't say that either. He simply late the statement hang in the air... honestly as confused at Katrine, at how she had not seen why he was there to begin with.

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
She froze. Who do you want? Nobody, in this time or the one that followed, had ever asked her that question. Mother just assumed that when the time came, it would just happen instantly like with her and Father; Nona answered her many questions and would say things like someday, you'll fall in love too, in the mist of her answering. None of them actually asked her what or who she wanted.

It should have been easy answering, something funny or listing people she liked because technically, Katrine liked a few people but she couldn't fully understand why because the theory was easy, the practice was making her feel all kind of weird things, even without the help of the spirits. If we already know the answer to the question, then so do you, Jart whispered into her mind. She remembered their conversation about times. A small vague image passed through her mind, making her inhale a deep breath before she looked back at the half-naked beast, feeling her cheeks burn a little stronger than before.

"Maybe I want the beast," she said quietly. A regular human couldn't hear but a Lupine's hearing was far better than that. Even when she said it, Katrine knew it wouldn't go unnoticed.

She didn't chase after other Lupine's clothes? Katrine quickly shook her head. "No, that would be weird." Seriously, the only Lupines she knew ere Father, Mother, her siblings, and Damien. Keeping their clothes would just be weird and something long gone Lupines did. "I had to remember your scent somehow," the blonde admitted, still holding it. She didn't pick up the shirt to keep it if she was being honest with herself. She picked it up because her clothes were gone for having done something she never did. Kat still wasn't even sure why she did what she did when keeping her clothes intact was usually high on her list when changing. She took her time with it, not just changed without thinking. It was entirely possible, Gerwald's presence had caused it.

An excuse to see her again since their paths didn't cross with her leading the Mandragora and him pledging himself to the Knights Obsidian to learn how to use the Force. He wanted to know more about what it meant to be a Lupine. "I could help you with the Force?" Katrine offered with a tiny smile. As far as excuse went, that was a simple one to deliver. As for being a Lupine, it was hard to put into words. "Being a Lupine isn't something you explain with words. You kinda live it," she admitted, trying to figure out how to say it.

I need you. It didn't go unnoticed by Katrine what he'd said, most things didn't go unnoticed by the young woman. "Being a Lupine is about the changing, running, hunting, the thrill of the kill. It's just not everything. Like...," a thought ran through her mind as her fingers shuffled over the shirt in her hands. "Like... I don't understand it but your scent is kinda a big deal. I used to think it was a family thing, that I was missing my pack but you're technically not my pack, you know." How was she even going to explain it?

Then another thought jumped into her head as she jumped off the chair. "I'll give you your shirt if you promise if you promise to come back more?" It wasn't that she was willing to part with it but it seemed like a far better deal this way. Maybe? Yeah.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
"Maybe I want the beast."

The words were barely a whisper, but Gerwald had heard them. His question hadn't been exactly as she answered, more that he was confused that this culture still took people and made them... subservient, a possession. He did not expect those words to come from her, and the temperature in the room rose several degrees with them. Where he had been smirking, he was not any more. The little game he was playing was suddenly more complicated and much closer to reality than he had imagined.

Should he have been surprised, no.

"My scent... isn't it distinct enough already. I know yours already. It could never be forgotten."

The matter was simple. She was the first Lupine aside from his family he had met. There were more than her, but that meeting was so seared into his memory that every bit of it would always be there and recalled easily.

"Though you did smell heavily of alcohol that first night..." Ger was teasing again. He kept going back and forth between serious and teasing because he did not know what to do. This was all as real to him as everything he had experienced thus far. She was not Scherezade, and yet there was one shared thing between them, something that made Gerwald want to be there. He could not explain the pull any more than he could explain why he had cut the heart in half and given it to Katrine's ward. Did she know? Gerwald pushed the thoughts out of his mind. He was fooling himself if she did not know what her ward had been up to.

"Yes, I have been learning that... to live. The Rycrit here are absolutely delicious and fun to hunt. I know where they like to water. The wolf likes to hunt them. I like to eat them."

They were back on his scent. Why? It was a big deal, yes, everything she said was true. It was as though everything she was thinking suddenly was coming out of her mouth. It was a mystery to solve, and the only way to get his shirt back was to let her solve it. No, it was to be there, with her, more often. What was he supposed to do now... tell her to keep it.

"I will come back. You can teach me how to use the force... and you can keep the shirt... it seems you've grown attached to it.

He smiled, though now he was standing there with no shirt on, which didn't really bother him.

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
He wasn't wrong, she'd already picked up his scent and once a Lupine had a scent in their system, especially of another Lupine, it didn't fade. That wasn't the point she was making though, not in the slightest. "It is," she agreed, "but it's different than the Van-Derveld scent. I like it." It was a confession. Gerwald would perhaps understand when he met more of her family. The would-be foreign and new, different. Each unique. Maybe it was just Gerwald because while she remembered the scent his Mother had, it hadn't impressed her so much. Not like his.

Smelled heavily of alcohol? Oh, she was drinking. Yes, that was why her memories weren't too focused as she recalled. Katrine usually had perfect memory of just about any moment in her life, able to recall them to the smallest detail whether it be vision or scent and yet, the amount of alcohol she'd drank had caused a haziness. Yet now, she leaned slightly back. "I don't smell of heavy alcohol now," Katrine declared before she let out a tiny little giggle. She didn't because she hadn't been drinking. In fact, she hadn't been drinking since that night which was odd for her. Normally, she took an opportunity to taste the different alcohol but after that night, she'd been oddly clean.

With their conversation switching to Lupines, Katrine looked at Gerwald with a confused expression, head tilting as she watched him silently for a few moments. The wolf likes to hunt them. I like to eat them. Definitely confusing. "Lesson one, there's no wolf and you. There's you, you are the wolf. You can't separate what is one and the same." It was weird to hear him say it, he was a Lupine like she was, she didn't understand why he would make that mistake. The wolf couldn't separate from the essence and in reality, the human form they held was the deception. "This is a beautiful lie. We are the wolves, the Lupines." Katrine knew why she looked the way she did, she was a perfect combination of both of her parents, just as her siblings were yet her true form showed her true colors. Which she knew without a shadow of a doubt the day her curse had been beaten and the purple began to wash away from her whereas the wolf had always had white fur.

He would come back so she could teach him how to use the Force but she could keep the shirt. Katrine let out a sigh as she looked down at it. There was actually another reason why she wanted to give it back to him, making her walk over to him now, raising her head and eyes up high to look at him. Gerwald was probably the only reason in the galaxy why Katrine hated her height, especially when she wasn't wearing her high heels. "It's actually starting the smell more like me than you at this point so, you really should take it back... for a while. We can share," she suggested.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
”And yours is nothing like my family,” he added.

It was the simple truth. They both knew it. Katrine wasn’t the only one to admitting to liking his scent. It must have been a female thing. Gerwald usually did not put stock in a smell. Certain women smelled nice, others... not so much. His sense of smell was so sensitive that he did not know how to judge what was nice and what just was. It was all guess. He did know that his opinion was his. Katrine also smelled nice, but was he supposed to admit it?

She did not smell of alcohol now. The words were direct about their meeting. She had run into him, literally, looking for him. While they hadn’t known it that moment, they had been looking for each other. Her scent had called to him from across the crowd of people. It was distinct, her scent, and even without the alcohol, he knew it. A hand gestured, and with it he imagined the force lifting the she-wolf off her feet. As she looked up at him, as the shirt was offered back to him.

Gerwald leaned in and breathed her in.

”No, you don’t,” he said setting her back down.

He was showing off.

”I know the wolf is who I am. I feel it every time I change and hunt. It wants out, like I’ve worn this skin for so long that the wolf is demanding control. When I bit into the Rycrit, when I hunt, and feel the warmth of the fresh blood in my mouth, and the meaty flesh in my teeth...” Gerwald let it drop but smiled as he reached to take the shirt.

He smelled it.

”It does smell like you.”

Gerwald put the shirt on, but left the zipper undone. He liked not being fully covered ever since the night with Scherezade. She had helped him learn more about himself than anyone else ever had, so much so he had to see Katrine. Gerwald had to know what the other Lupines were like.

”I’ll give it back when it no longer smells like you.”

They were close. Close enough that Gerwald and to look down to catch her in the eye. The sapphire hue was bright, as vibrant as any he’d seen. They were as blue as Scherezade’s were green. Clearly he was learning that he was a sucker for vibrant eyes. She was a good seventeen inches shorter than he was. It was... cute, but also... he didn’t know what really. There was only one question in his mind with her that close.

”You want the beast?”

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
Katrine had never quite put thought into it. Some things came naturally to her as breathing. The familiar scent was one of them. If she recognized one, she did but otherwise, she didn't think of it all. Not until one had drawn her in, foreign and inviting as his was. Gerwald's words spoke a similar truth, hers was nothing like that of his family. Maybe it was a simple as the fact that she was never meant to encounter a Lupine that was not of her own blood, a statement that had always been true. Father had said there was only them in this galaxy and all Lupines to come into the galaxy would be related to them, either through their branch or that of her Uncles or Aunt. There wasn't supposed to be anyone else.

The statement was wrong, the Van-Dervelds weren't the only Lupines left in the galaxy. Gerwald was proof of that, as was his Mother.

Hand gestured before she felt her bare feet leave the ground, startling her. Her toes wiggled just slightly at the thin air before she connected the two actions, the use of the Force evident as she relaxed. He'd leaned in and inhaled before he spoke. She didn't smell of alcohol. Two thoughts jumped into her head right away - that's what I said and hey, you're using the Force! Katrine just kept watching Gerwald for a moment as her feet touched the floor again. "You've been learning?" She found herself asking instead, a big smile spreading across her face.

Gerwald knew what she was talking about, knew he was the wolf, just as he knew the animal they were wanted out. He also made a very good point of which Katrine was often aware of in her human shape. The wolf wanted out, demanding, especially when he caught his prey and bit into it. "I've been lost in it," she admitted unintentionally. "I've allowed for my animal side to take over. It's fierce and wild; eager to kill, eager to hunt, eager to feed, eager to dominate. Whatever humanity I have inside me, it's nothing compared to the create I could be." Katrine didn't prefer one or the other but she had a distaste for the lack of control she fell into on Orcus. It was influenced by Avarisa and yet, it was all her. Something Avarisa sought out with ease with a little incentive. "I'd rather not lose either side of me," she commented, distracted as she felt the shirt leave her grasp.

He smelled the scent off the skirt before he agreed, it smelled more of her now than it did of him. It was slightly disappointing to see him put it on now, though the sapphire gaze spied him leaving it unzipped and while Katrine herself had no shame in removing her clothes and usually didn't put much care into whether others did or not, she was kinda glad right now. Quietly, to herself, unaware of the tiny curve of her lip that gave her away. Just a tiny bit. And Gerwald, he'd give it back to her when it no longer smelled of her. "Deal!" She was happy with her suggestion being accepted.

Lowered back into her own height, Katrine had no choice but to look up again, this time meeting the blue irises looking back at her. She thought of about five things to say, four things to do, three spirits to ask questions and an AI to use to distract her in the silence but instead, Gerwald returned to the previous topic and she swallowed. You want the beast? That was what she said, what she thought. Theory sounded so easy, Katrine could talk about what Mother told her so many times, it seemed so easy. And Curupira had no secrets to keep from her, whatever her children asked, she told. Someone else might have disagreed about that sort of upbringing but her Mother's upbringing was as unconventional that she didn't know another way. Katrine hadn't actually arrived at a point where that theory could be understood in practice until now and until this time had come, she'd assumed it would be as easy as repeating Mother's words. She was wrong.

Doashim roared into her ear, making her bounce slightly on her heels. She knew exactly what he was telling her. She was strength, she was knowledge, she was the shadows. She was all the pacts, their Nightmother. And their Nightmother wasn't about to become a chicken. "Yes!" It came out loud, slightly rushed, in her attempt not to lose her nerve.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
He nodded.

"Scherezade decided I needed to be able to protect myself," he said with a matter of fact tone. He was under the complete assumption she knew what was going on between her ward and him. This statement made him question that assumption. Perhaps she did not know at all. He was going to have to tell her. Gerwald still did not understand the culture that made up Katrine's worldview. He saw things differently, and while Scherezade had been helping to see things differently, Gerwald still was taking major leaps to get there. Life on Stewjon had not only stunted his force training, but it had also drilled into him a caste system mentality, one in which he was not free to choose what he wanted. Scherezade had been the first to tell him otherwise. Kat was telling him he didn't have to because the wolf and the human were one.

The human was the deception.

Those words still moved around his mind in a way that he was still trying to grasp. He knew it was the truth, but accepting it was another thing entirely. She knew the struggle.

"Sometimes you have to give in to maintain both. If I do not hunt there is a restlessness that eventually I cannot contain. Mother would say that you do not change enough."

Gerwald was raised to accept the change, the hunger, and to allow it certain freedoms in order to keep the charade of being fully human intact. The only way to control the wolf was to let it out often enough, keep it satiated. The beast had learned it would never be satisfied, but he also knew that as long as it was placated he could maintain his humanity. Both were part of him. He was man and wolf, and he had to be both.

The topic of what... who... she wanted was one in the same as her need to change more often. Her answer was what Gerwald had already expected, and did not know what it fully meant. He didn't want to right now. The idea that she could take who she wanted, and they would belong to her, Gerwald cherished his freedom, and he could not think about the implications of the answer for the moment. He could not ignore them either. She had called him beast several occasions, but it was their first meeting which she had first labeled him as such. There was no question of who she meant when she used the moniker, and Gerwald knew it when he asked her.

He nodded. Did he have a choice? She seemed to be giving him one.

A small smirk began to pull at the corner of his mouth.

"Catch me... if you can," he said before pushing the force to his legs and speeding away and off the ship.

His clothes would be found at the bottom of the boarding ramp as a clue. Gerwald had changed and let the wolf out in the broad daylight. His paws had hit the ground and he simply ran. The force had only been enough to give him a head start. The wolf knew where to go. It had locked onto the familiar clearing deep in the forest near the camp where the Rycrit often came to water. They would not be there now, it was too open. It was during the day the could sleep safely from the many creatures of the night.

Freedom. This is what Gerwald was made for.

He smelled the air to see if she had followed.

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
Oh. "Pebble decided?" she returned the statement back as a question but used her Ward's nickname without even thinking much about it. Katrine hadn't known anything about her Ward and Gerwald spending time until now and while she liked that Pebble took the initiative to help him out, there was something else mixed in with that pride. "Okay," she let out, lips perking to annunciate the 'o' in the word with a slight shift in the time but she wasn't really sure why she sounded the way she did. Katrine wasn't really even sure why a fraction of her minded it.

Give to maintain both. She gave a nod, Gerwald was right. The wolf did become restless if contained. "You can't contain yourself. It's a balance you need to find," she offered her knowledge after her time on Orcus.

There was so much courage in just that one answer yet somehow she held his gaze even as she spoke. Katrine was usually braver than this and right now, she has learned something important about herself she hadn't know. She could be shy in very rare situations... who knew? She'd thought, giving herself a mental shrug just as she spotted the smirk. Her eyes narrowed just slightly, head turning sideways just an inch. She knew he was cooking up something in his head but until he'd actually spoken the words, she didn't know what that something was. Catch me... if you can; there they went again. Katrine couldn't help but giggle before she realized he'd used the Force to run. "Hey!"

It seemed Pebble had taught him more than just one thing, she realized as she did the same thing, using the Force to speed out of her suite and after him. And Katrine knew exactly how this chase will go, making her unhook the buttons of her overalls, letting them fall off her as she ran though once more. He already had a head start on her that she didn't think about removing the rest as she jumped and begun transforming in the Lupine mid-air before she had even exited the ship.

Exiting the ship, she landed on all four feet, the rest of her clothes shredded with the change and bolted after the scent without thinking much about it anymore. Instead, she paused for a second and howled with her head raised high before she'd run after the other wolf, his scent leading her straight at him.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
Pebble... that was a name for Scherezade that he had not heard. Gerwald was going to have to use it, likely at the most embarrassing moment possible. He smirked. Katrine sounded... proud but not, jealous, concerned... Gerwald couldn’t place what it was, but it was like something about it bothered her. Was it the whole blind leading the blind thing? Was it deeper?

No matter. He had been off and running before he could explore the feeling. The last he heard was the nightmother calling out HEY! The smile on his face was wide as he changed. The wolf was allowed out more often on Ryloth, and without fear that someone would hunt him for it.

Her howl was heard behind him. She was failing him as he hoped she would. There was no real plan as to what would happen. Gerwald just ran until he had reached the clearing where the river was. He knew the bushes well. It’s where he hid while stalking the Rycrit. She would smell him, but she wouldn’t see him. His coat allowed him to blend in well. Blue eyes peered out from the bushes. She was close.

Gerwald waited for her to get close, and the he pounced...

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
In her run, her fur brushed against the win, cold air passing her by as she'd run free as the Lupine she was meant to be. That was the other thing about her wolf form, it was the only time she was truly free and that freedom could be addictive. Now, however, the sentiment stayed with her briefly as she ran after the scent, chasing after Gerwald. He wasn't too far from her, the scent he was leaving behind fresh enough to let her know as she jumped and ran again, her eyes merely used to know she didn't crash anything as her snout guided her.

Eventually, the wolf would reach the source of the strongest scent, stronger than before. That told her he was here but the stronger sent told he'd moved about. Katrine had come to a stop and resume sniffing about the ground to find his trail. The Witch in her immediately thought of Blood trail, which would make it even easier to find him but then, it almost made her hear Nona's voice her head on how it was a Nightsister thing but Nona couldn't blame her for wanting to find Gerwald, now could she?

Thought interrupted quickly though as she was pounced by the other wolf, making her step back from the surprise attack before she barked happily and pounced right back. On the inside, she was laughing, on the outside, just more happy barks came.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
He’d made her jump back. Gerwald had surprised the wolf, but it was all in fun. This was something Stewjon had never been able to give him. First he only ran at night when no one could see. Second, he had no one to play with. He was used to being alone. That had changed since coming to Ryloth, but there was still a part of him that needed this. The hunt only satisfied one part of what being a Lupine was.

His tail wagged and his barking was happy. They both were enjoying each other’s company. Ger pounced at her again, trying to take her down. It wasn’t malicious or violent, just simply play. He got lost in it, unaware of how much time they had spent in the clearing until the scent on the wind changed. It had changed because the wind itself had changed. It was going to be nearing the evening, and he supposed they needed to head back to the ship, still, Gerwald was having to much fun.

Taking a couple of steps back, he shifted. He was still laughing too hard to remain upright. Instead he was in the grass letting it out and then sighing before he stood.

”See, you need to do this more than you have been...” he said to Katrine whether she was wolf or not he didn’t care. It was still her either way. ”Have you explored these woods yet?”

Gerwald was stalling. There was part of him that thought they should head back, and another part that wanted to remain in the clearing. This place was his sanctuary. It held meaning to him. It was where he first felt as free as he had ever felt. Yet, Katrine has made it sound like his freedom was only what she made it. If she wanted to make him hers after all.

He had to know.

”So...”

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
One pounce followed by another, his reactions were similar to hers, making the wolf even happier as she playfully fought against his pounces. He was definitely bigger though and stronger, even in wolf form that he didn't need that much to win.

He shifted though what felt like all too soon and Katrine just watched, head tilting at the sight of him. She normally didn't care about people being naked, she'd seen plenty of bodies and she herself didn't care about not wearing anything since the first moment she had changed and yet with him, she felt glad she was covered in all the fur so he didn't see her cheeks turning redder than they had been before. Gerwald was laughing though, making her happily bark, tail wagging even faster than it had been.

When he stood, the wolf looked higher as he spoke. He suggested she do this more often than wondered if she'd explored the woods yet. Her head tilted slightly before she drew back, paw scraping against the ground as she gave a half a bob of her head, communicating an affirmative response to his question. Yes, she'd explored the woods. She'd lived in the woods for a week even as part of her trials before she had formally ascended to Nightmother but she couldn't tell him that now so a simple response would have to do.

There was something in that so that kept her sapphire gaze looking up at him. She couldn't tell if he was trying to say something else or if he wanted her to talk that Katrine sat on the ground as she began to change back into her human form, in the middle of it suddenly becoming oddly aware of the girl who was without clothes that would show at the end. She shouldn't have cared, she was a wolf and the wolf had fur and in reality, the human form was a fraction of her soul and yet, she'd been born human, she'd grown as a human child, she'd reached her teenage years as a human before she'd changed for the first time.

As her change was coming to an end, her legs shuffled forward, coming in front of her upper body, hands moving to the side as her long hair let loose in front of her shoulders just as her blue gaze looked up again. "So...," came her first words, eyes still raised, cheeks still burning. Katrine still wasn't sure if Gerwald wanted to say something or if he wanted her to say something but hopefully, she'd find out soon.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
The word just hung in the air. She was waiting for him to say something as they both were in the grass. Ger had turned away to let her change. It was odd considering that he’d become so free over the past few weeks, but there was level of dignity and respect that he still offered. They couldn’t talk as wolves, that was the only reason for the change. Gerwald would have continued to run free, but her words of taking who she wanted still weighed on his mind.

He turned and saw the marks which covered her body. There were more than the tattoo of the arial predator. Each of the spirits had marked her, and while Gerwald could only see the two, he knew there was a third. His body was immaculate compared to hers. Yes he had some scars from cuts and battle damage, but they were small and largely went unnoticed.

Gerwald didn’t want to stare, but he couldn’t help but look at her.

He had to talk about it.

”So...”

Gerwald sighed. The word kept hanging there. The thoughts wanted to follow but the only words which came from his mouth were in the form of a question. He had learned to love his freedom and he wanted to know.

”What you want... do I have a choice or are you going to take what you want like you did the shirt?”

Gerwald was curious. He wasn’t sure he knew the answer if she gave him a choice. Maybe that was a lie. His eyes looked at the nightmother. She was a Lupine like him. There was something about their meeting, and being around her. What was he going to do with what they seemed to be dancing around.

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
When she was aware, she became conscious about it. Gerwald was looking at her, Katrine understood as she sat there. He let out another so after a moment and she could and her teeth scrapped at her lip. She was starting to hate that one small word filling in for words unspoken. There were words in Galactic Basic she thought as excess but she didn't think too harshly of them, she just didn't care about them at all. Now though, she actually hated a word.

Then finally, he said something other than the one word.

Did he have a choice or was she taking it away like she did with his shirt? Katrine blinked and shook her head quickly. "No, I... I should explain," she realized suddenly. "Yes, Witches claim anyone they want. They also bed anyone they want. But I don't. I mean... I've never despite my age. My parents, they claimed each other. My ancestors claim for love, they don't just claim to claim." It was odd to explain. They still claimed, it was almost like there was no choice but there was a choice. As far as she could remember back on the stories, not a single Hawk claimed without there being a choice or desire. They were weird about it but that was who they were.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
WINTER WOLF
Character
Katrine wasn't making this any less confusing. Gerwald was pretty sure she was saying that she wasn't going to take his choice away. Her ancestors only claim for love. That still didn't explain everything she meant by she wanted "the beast." Gerwald knew that was him. She used it often enough. Maybe he wouldn't be so curious if things with Scherezade weren't as they were, maybe he would be still.

He let what she said roll in his mind for a moment, and nodded when he was sure that he understood.

"I've been enjoying my freedom... getting to run free in the broad daylight. I never got to do this on Stewjon."

The answer wasn't exactly that he understood, but more that he was relieved to hear that there would be a choice. If her parents had claimed each other, then perhpas what she had said was that she wanted the same thing. It was likely the wise thing to not press any further. Gerwald didn't mind knowing. In a way he was glad that he did. Sure it was going to make a large bantha in the room whenever they were together, especially if they never got to what Gerwald wanted.

He didn't know.

"Your ancestors don't sound like typical witches then. I'm still getting used to all this. On Stewjon we had a caste system. Sure it was patriarchal, but within that we all had our rolls to play. We could only marry within our own caste, and because of being a Lupine... well mother was very particular that someone could trusted with the secret. There are not many of us, just my mother and my siblings. When I realized you were the other Lupine... it certainly made the discovery of another more interesting.."

Gerwald didn't know why he was saying all of that. Maybe he was trying to explain things as he saw them, what his world was before meeting her. She had a better idea of what it was now. Gerwald was right on the edge of admitting wanted more than just knowledge of their kind. He enjoyed having another wolf to play with too much than to want only knowledge.

[member="Katrine Van-Derveld"]
 
Heir to the Throne
Character
He was enjoying his freedom. Then there was something about running free in the day and not having it on Stewjon. Katrine kept looking at him as if he'd changed the subject. She said nothing, just kept watching him, listening. When he returned to the topic, he was actually talking about her ancestors and again, getting used to everything and Stewjon having a caste system, marrying only within the caste.

"You keep talking about freedom like I'm suggesting you lose it," she finally said. "You're also talking about marriage and castes. What are castes and what does bonding to another have to do with systems? Marriage is an odd word, with an even weirder ceremony and as I'm told, implies dating. They're all on my list of excess words." Karna had explained the business of dating, Mother had tried explaining weddings. Each of these things seemed ridiculous. Excess in the dictionary, excess in life. "I'm a Van-Derveld Hawk. My parents claimed themselves. Their bond is deeper than anything a legal system can provide in a wedding. And a lot of the times, Father has been off finding himself and now Mother's disappeared. They're still bonded and they'll still find each other when they need it."

All this talk about freedom like she had some kind of intention to chain him up made her sigh. "I'm not looking for a slave. I'm looking for a partner. It's funny to say I can claim what I want but I don't intend on claiming anyone who won't stand beside when it's time for me to ascend again." Her nerves were still getting the better of herself but right now but all this talk about freedom was weighing on her that she lay back, letting the grass touch at her back as sapphire gaze focused onto the skies above.

Suddenly, she missed her parents, missed the stories Mother told. They made everything sound so simple. Father had been in the bar, Mother had come. He chose her from across the room, murdered everyone to give them privacy and they'd been together that very night. It had been the very beginning of their story. The greatest story Katrine had ever heard. And on their next meeting her Auntie Ryori had stood witness to the words exchanged and in the evening, they'd claimed themselves as Witches did. So simple, so magical. And yet Gerwald seemed to think she was going to chain him up and make her his slave, obsessing over every detail she'd said.

[member="Gerwald Lechner"]
 
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