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 Sweet Temptation (Blake)

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Epror Niko
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PostSubject: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:00 pm

Paddling through the liquid, Niko let the water slide down his body through his tawny brown fur. It was a warm day. Warm enough to take a swim. The only part of his body that was visible was his head. His head disappeared beneath the water for a moment, submerged. It was a cooling effect that he enjoyed. Head re-emerging, he blinked a few times before squeezing his eyes shut in enjoyment of the water. His whiskers twitched and he rolled over onto his back, staring up at the sky through the gaps of the leafy canopy at the sky. It had been so long since he had been at a water-fall. At this particular water-fall. He had never taken the time to explore it even when he had been scouring the lands for food or intruders or just generally walking around keeping an eye on the lands. The crimson red and brown rock-face was craggy and hard, grooves cut deep into the surface with ledges jutting out. On shore, rough rocks marked the ground as well as a steep cliff. There was a pathway on either side of the pond and leafy foliage surrounded him. Trees and bushes. Dirt. But the forest floor was damp. There was enough sunlight to come through the canopy, enough to keep the plants and vegetation alive but not that much. But what a beautiful sight it was when the sunlight did manage to break through and touch the rocks and water. It lit up the blueness of the water, the hard brown and red surfaces and made it gleam because of the water that splashed onto it from the falls. In his primal form he could even see the way the colours of the rock seemed to shine brighter because of the way the sunlight hit it. Red and brown. Earthy, rustic and raw. But softened slightly by the warmth of the sun’s rays. The time had passed so fast. As if it had only been yesterday that he’d been in the house, helping to move the furniture around and made the bed for Blake. He’d done it right so it’d worked thankfully and Blake hadn’t been sitting in a bunch of broken wood on her first night when she slept. He’d given the books to Blake as well as. The ones on birds. He’d been continuing on with doing his job. Staying away from prying eyes, keeping a low profile in the non-Shifter world and doing what he needed to in the Shifter lands. Doing his own thing. Tinkering away on his own things. Creating digital systems and user interfaces for mobile platforms. Tinkering away on his robots for personal reasons and for his work. He now had one which acted as his alarm clock which he put on his dressing table. It was like a miniature astronaut with the space helmet, the suit and everything and it was as big as his hand. He wondered what Blake had been up to. She’d been talking about a garden a lot and the room they’d converted into her personal retreating area had been ready to use. The bookshelf had been piling up with books the last time he saw them. He wondered if Blake had managed to burrow some from Jagara or taken a visit to the library. And what she’d done with that retractable bo staff. Someday, he’d have to have a spar with her. He had never used a bo staff before. Leonidas and Amelia, Blake and his canary friends, had passed. He’d put them in a box and buried in the back-yard. But they had spawned many other children who had gone off into the forest. Niko still saw them time to time. He wondered if Blake did too. She had been their primary care-taker. He’d played with them. Pretended to hunt them down. Pretended to be wounded while they attacked him and pretended to beg for mercy. Then sprung back to life to pretend to attack them. And he’d helped Blake feed them when she couldn’t. Niko rolled back over onto his stomach, diving under the surface and changed at the same time into his human form. It was a seamless transition. Legs turning into arms and human legs. Paws into hands and feet. Fur gliding back into itself to reveal pure, naked skin.

Ah. Well, almost. He had to have some modesty about him knowing he wasn’t alone out here. He had some blue and white swimming shorts on to cover his privates. He wasn’t keen on showing those to anyone. He swam upwards, drifting in place and pushed himself upwards like a torpedo with a powerful kick of his legs and putting his arms at his sides so that the water wasn’t pushing his body down so much and stopping the momentum and speed. He broke through the surface of the water, shooting upwards into the air. He’d given himself some more lift with the force of the kick so that he got higher into the air-so that his body was halfway out of the water. Least that was the aim. It was something he did for fun. Just to see how high he could go. Of course gravity would pull him back down so he wouldn’t go shooting out of the water unless there was a tidal wave or something that suddenly came up out of nowhere that launched him out of the water. As it was, his pelvis managed to get upwards just above the water before he dropped back down until the water was up to his shoulders. He tread water, blowing some of it out in a fountain in front of him from his mouth as he had swallowed it on the way down by accident. His hair was plastered all over his face and ears, straight and against the back of his neck and his skull instead of curly. He could feel it. He turned around and started to swim towards the little cluster of slanted rocks that were sticking out of the water. One stroke, two stroke. One arm over his head then the other arm over his head once the first one went down in a circular motion. Feet kicking at the same time. It took a few seconds since the rocks were close by and his arms were long. He reached the rocks, turning around in the water and put his back against the watery surface of one of the thinner rocks that was at a slanted angle. It was large, more than half his height and tapered off from another rock that was attached to the shore about one and a half body length away from him. It was slanted at a horizontal angle as well which meant he could kind of lie on it on his back while part of his legs floated in the water. Stretching out his arms, he lifted his head slightly and crossed his hands resting the back of his head against them. He could feel the warmth of the sun managing to get through the holes in the leafy canopy onto his skin. The coolness of the water on his body. The smooth surface of the rock against his back. Combined, it made him feel at ease. He reached down to his shorts to grip the side and pull it up by the sides so it wasn’t falling down. He’d felt it start to slip down when he’d moved around. He relaxed again, closing his eyes and soaked in the sunshine. It was serene out here. With just the sound of the rushing water gushing over the falls, the bird calls that rang throughout the area every once in a while. Forest birds. Colourful ones. The rustling of foliage when an animal disturbed the leaves. The smell of earlier rain hanging in the air. It was easy to get lost here. Lost and never to return to the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle but his human form demanded it. And at times, he was tempted to stay in the wilderness forever like the animal that was part of him. But for now, he savoured this paradise as it was. There was only so much time until he had to return back to the human world. The only thing that could make it better was if he had someone else to share this with. Blake. Niko had thought about her more than anyone else. He turned on his side slightly, staring at the wide area of forestry that stretched out in front of him with a thoughtful look. He was a guardian. And that was that.
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:19 am

It was warm for a spring day. That very first heatwave that reminded you this was only the interim. Summer was approaching. It would bring heat, it would bring sunburns. It would bring about days of laying on the cold ground in an attempt to stay just a little cooler. It meant ice creams and shorts and most of all, swimming. The Mender loved to swim, she loved the water. It was a particular summer favourite of hers. Whether the water was fresh or salt, she loved the feel of its smooth embrace, cooling her just as a hug might warm her. She'd waited all winter for this moment, for that first hot day where she could spend some time in the depths. One might believe she'd have an aversion to being in the water, after the result of her attempts at cliff diving on Astridax, but no.  It had been twenty-five years, things had changed and it was time to move on. Twenty-five years. How quickly that time went. And how utterly boring those years had been. No excitement, no adventure. Just, predictability. It reminded her of the old days, around in her fifties, when she'd become accustomed to moving around and living the simple human life. Her days would have a strict routine with very few deviations. She worked at the hospital, and if she was not there, she was at her practise in the Shifter regions. In twenty-five years a lot had changed, but at the same time so little had changed. Their Regina was now a Rex - product of the Reginas choice to undergo a gender reassignment surgery. They had had a fleeting alliance with the Werewolves, but the operation of Edens choice had been one in a chain of events leading to the end of that alliance - or so she had heard. She'd delivered the Regina's child herself, quite proud of her leaders trust in her - then again, she was the only Mender available. She'd finished her house and tended to it with loving care. her garden never went astray, no branch out of place, no unwanted leaf litter to clutter the ground. She kept the place immaculate, although it rarely saw any visitors. Niko visited from time to time, helping to care for the Canaries. They died about twelve years ago, living a longer than average life under her care. The day Niko buried Leonidas and Amelia, she cried for hours. They had been her special friends. She'd sing with them on good days, and talk to them on difficult ones. They offered her familiarity and comfort. Their children were just as lovely, but they didn't share the same bond, nor did they visit as often. She'd found a large flat stone in the forest and had a plaque made, engraving it with their names in a tribute to the affection they provided her, laying it over the site of their burial in the garden. Even now her eyes were growing that familiar feeling of tears threatening to break free.

Such sour thoughts were not meant for days the likes of this. On her body she wore a loose grey, pocketed t-shirt, paired with some ripped denim shorts. Her feet were protected with her old pair of white sneakers and her hair hung about her in a wavy mess. Beneath the very simple attire was hidden a turquoise bikini. A little more modest than some, it was a piece she felt comfortable in, if she swam alone. Most times she would wear a one-piece for safety's sake, but she hadn't expected to be disturbed this day. Her bag, which she usually travelled everywhere with, was stored safely at the house. Her phone, her wallet, her memories all tucked up inside. The bo staff she'd extended to its full length and placed on decorative hooks above the fireplace. it felt good to have it so easily accessible, although she did feel a little naked walking around without it on her person. She had no towel, nor any other personal items with her, just a hat on her head to protect from the sun. It was a small straw fedora with a black band around the crown, it was stylish and functional, though under these trees there was little use for it. The leaves crunched beneath her sneakers as she walked, the sound of gushing water becoming ever more apparent.  She closed her eyes, in align the fresh scents of the earth. Spring was a wonderful time of new life, one she cherished. This day, the first heat of spring, was always a special one. She enjoyed that first real swim of the season. It was almost ritualistic, a cleansing of the body and soul of all the worries and troubles of the darker months. She stepped out into the light that bathed the crimson stone before her, only to see she'd been beaten and this spot claimed by an old friend. Blake wondered whether to wait for him to notice her or to approach and say hello. Or just slip away unnoticed and find somewhere else to swim. She stepped closer, seeing the leopard dive beneath the surface and emerge a man, spouting water from between his lips. Her own lips upturned in a smile. "Enjoying yourself?" She called out to him as she crouched at the waters edge, swirling her fingertips along the surface to test the temperature.

The Outfit
The Bikini


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:02 pm

As he lay there, soaking in the warmth his thoughts drifted onto another event. The change of their leader. It made no difference to him whether she…now he, was a he or a she. An individual was who they were, irregardless of what gender they held. If someone was hot-tempered and arrogant as a female, they would be hot-tempered and arrogant as a male. If someone was kind as a male they’d be kind as a female. If someone was cruel as a female they’d be so as a male. If someone was calm as a male they’d be calm as a female. But he knew there were problems that came with the process, from the change in testosterone and the physical transformation that would take many years. Anger for one. And physical problems. It wasn’t something one did without serious thought or on a whim and usually, it wasn’t that easy. And of course, Blake had been the deliver the baby because there wasn’t anyone else available. And of course, there were complications with the alliance because of that and it had become no more. Niko wasn’t surprised or really affected by the news. Discrimination was so common these days it wasn’t news anymore and that was such a sad thing to say. Just sad. It was sad that the two couldn’t come to some kind of mature agreement for the sake of both races but then again, if the basis of that love was purely physical then it made sense that it wouldn’t work anymore. These things were complicated but whatever had happened, had happened. It was the Rex’s life, not his. Only he knew was right for him. Niko wriggled further up the stone, using his leg to push himself up and wriggled with his hips and back at the same time to move until he was partially out of the water. He heard a bird call nearby. Sounded like a whistle. For laughs, he whistled back a couple of times letting the sound echo throughout the area not expecting to get a response. After a few moments a chirping noise came filtering back. Success. It reminded him of the canaries. He’d seen Blake cry again when he’d buried them, covering the makeshift grave with dirt from the hole he had dug. When he’d seen the grave last, he’d seen a stone with their names etched inside. No doubt Blake’s doing. He rolled back over onto his back, stretching out his feet to stretch his toes and started to whistle again. It was jovial tune. One which he couldn’t remember the words to but he remembered the melody. It was upbeat. As he continued to whistle, he started tapping his fingers against the side of the rock under the water. It was a subconscious thing. He enjoyed the water. The cool vapour from the water as it gushed over the edge of the falls as he felt it land on his skin. Niko enjoyed this weather. Warm but not overly so. He enjoyed winter too, more so because of the opportunities it provided him to get active. Not that he wasn’t already active but the winter cold made him want to move around and exercise. Get his heart rate up. Get warm. Get the blood flow going. Keep his body temperature up. All good things to do. Spring got a little humid with too much heat but it made him sweat. Now those were the times to jump into a pool. Or a lake or waterfall. He just liked swimming anyway. It was soothing. He raised his head to lift up a little from the rock to get a better look as he saw something approaching the edge of the water in his field of vision from the front. It was a hat. No, it was a hat attached to a head attached to a human body. It was Blake. Niko put his head back down straight away, staring up at the sky and buried his hands inside the pockets of his shorts. The water was cooling which was good. How had he not heard her? Right. The sound of the water had covered the noise. He couldn’t hear that well in his human form. Niko looked up again, briefly to take in what she was wearing again. She had on some tight shorts with a loose grey shirt that was tucked inside the shorts. Had her hair always been wavy like that? He ran his eyes up her legs, skin exposed. He couldn’t help but look. He had never seen her legs before without clothing. And they looked slim, tapering up into her waist and up her sides in a curvaceous way to highlight her figure. And what a figure it was. Had she come for a swim? He guessed so since there wasn’t really anything else to do. From experience, he knew that bikinis or one-pieces were the go-to swimsuits for women.

So he wondered what she was wearing. Bikini? He didn’t know but he supposed it’d be a bikini. She was probably one of those underneath her outside outfit. His face went blank as he pictured a string of possible options in his head. He thought she looked good right now. Extremely so. Very much so. He rolled into the water just as she called out to him and emerged, still in his human form and laughed, pushing back his hair with a hand and rubbing the back of his head. Yeah, he was. And now it was even better that she was here. He swam towards her, stopping at a rock near the shore and stopped in place, reaching up to take off her hat from her head and put it on the ground near her away from the water so it wouldn’t get wet,“You don’t need that here. There be no abundance of sunlight where you are young miss. And it’s a shame to hide that hair from the world.” He glanced at the walls of the waterfall, following the long stretch of rock-face that extended wide and far.“And there’s also plenty of water and earth. You gotta put your feet in at least. The water’s great.” He looked back at her, reaching out to touch her hand softly. For a moment he didn’t speak, entranced and said,“You know you still look like the day I met you. But older. In a good way. A really good way.” He said smiling at her happily,“So what’re you doing out here all by yourself? Did the hospital let you escape its evil clutches to come out into the daylight and have some fun?” He paused, his smile turning into a devilish smirk and declared, pushing himself off the rock and placing his hands on his hips while comically puffing out his chest in that way that was overly aggressive and masculine in a joking, teasing way,“OR did you just come all the way out here just to see the awesome me that is the leopard king of the jungle? It’s okay if you did. I’m just that awesome.” He grinned at her and said,“Come on in. I promise the water’s safe.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Sun Mar 29, 2015 6:30 am

Her fingers swirled back and forth across the surface, making figure eight, an infinite symbol. Physically, it had no beginning and no end. it just went on and on and on. Although, technically, one might say its beginning was wherever she first dipped her digits in the water, and the end was wherever she managed to stop. But she held her crouch for a while, her thoughts returning to the subject of their Regina, now Rex. Blake had not held much company with their leader since her - his - operation, but she knew of the difficulties and complications that could arise. The change in hormone levels could seriously alter her personality for a time, if not permanently. In this case, the increase in testosterone could potentially result in excessive arrogance or cocky behaviour, as males are typically wont to do. But it could also lead to increases in aggression and rash behaviour. Of course women were capable of these things too, but testosterone was a hormone that had a lot to do with such behaviour. Blake wondered how she felt about the situation. Personally she believed everyone was born the way they were meant to be, but she also believed that everyone had the right to feel comfortable in their own skin. Many people felt uncomfortable in some way or another. For many the cure was a change in routine or attitude, to put it simply, but others felt they required more drastic alterations were necessary. She had no real right to judge, the Rex was no real friend of hers, only one whom she was honour-bound to follow and serve. Perhaps that was a fault of hers...

The Epror waded closer, forcing her to pay attention to his proximity. He removed her little hat, allowing the remainder of her waves to fall about her face. Her eyes followed him as he placed it aside gently, away from the waters edge where it wouldn't become damaged. He lips twitched just a little into a smile, returning to his body in front of her. She leaned back at his suggestion, lowering her rump to the ground. Removing her sneakers and placing them in line beside her hat, she scooted forward to dangle her legs in the water. At this point the level rose up to the tops of her calves. Her hands went to her sides, supporting her where she sat watching him, head cocked just slightly as he said she looked older. Twenty-five years couldn't have put much more than a year on her looks, surely... maybe two years at most. It made her wonder how old he was. From his youthful exterior and optimistic outlook he could be younger, but again he could be older and wiser. Her mother had told her it was rude to ask someones age, though she never understood why. It was just a number, the difference between the year you were born and the current year. Why should that number be offensive in any way? It made no sense. She rolled her head across to her other shoulder, licking her lips before answering him. "You know, I do have a life outside of my work." She leaned forward to shove his shoulder, but he was a little far out, meaning her fingers only really grazed his shoulder. "And I'm more than capable of choosing how I spend my free time, although I wasn't really expecting any company." His masculine attempts only served to amuse her as they appeared exaggerated for her benefit. She liked that. She liked that he was so amusing. But his next suggestion had her nervously wrapping her arms around her torso and shaking her head slightly. "I'm doing just fine out here, really." Even though the sun was making her warmer than she would like, she lied. Her hands moved to adjusting her clothes, ensuring that her stomach was well protected from judging eyes. She wiped her hands against her thighs, feeling the effects of the heat.


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Sun Mar 29, 2015 11:13 pm

Niko could not predict how much of a personality change there would be. All he knew was that there would be due to the hormones. He had met the Rex only once when he first come to these lands. The former Queen had been welcoming and granted him a place as an Epror but their relationship had stayed that way. It didn’t bother Niko. He knew he had received a rank that was special and it was more than he could have expected upon coming here initially. An honour and it still was. He supposed that she hadn’t been comfortable in her body. He could not pretend to understand that because it was a personal thing but he wasn’t going to hold that against her. He knew Blake shared the same kind of relationship. Not friends, just the kind of relationship that spurned forth from their respective ranks. There was nothing wrong with that. He lowered his arms to his sides, glancing down at the water as he felt something tickle his feet. As long as it wasn’t an eel or snake he was cool. Not that there’d be any eels or sea snakes in here. No, none at all. He’d spent a long time swimming around here today and he’d seen nothing of the kind. But as long as he didn’t go about irritating the creatures, nothing should happen. He glanced back at her. He had caught her smile when he’d removed her hat. He paddled a bit closer and leaned forwards, reaching over the ground with an arm, out-stretching his fingers and pushing it back even more by flicking the tips of his fingers at the middle of the hat. It needed to be even less close to the water. He was glad when she took off her sneakers, deciding to put her feet inside the water. Was she ticklish? He moved closer, peering at her through the mess of hair plastered over his fore-head. He had meant what he’d said. 25 years hadn’t changed her that much. Shifters lived for a very long time. When he had first met her, she’d been this cute Shifter who’d been in need of some help. And he’d seen how kind and caring she was. She’d been interesting and intriguing. Like a puzzle he couldn’t solve or a chocolate cake with layers on layers of warm dark chocolate and white chocolate and milk chocolate that was just sitting there but couldn’t be peeled away. But she’d started to become comfortable in her own skin and started to look more mature. He had always thought she’d been younger when he first met her. But mentally, he thought she was the same as him or close to him. He liked that he could speak to her freely and they could speak about things openly. Even if they didn’t agree on some things he didn’t care. It was impossible to agree on everything. He liked that she could speak her mind about things and be honest about what she wanted because if she didn’t, then he’d just end up guessing what she was thinking or what she wanted to do and though he liked to think he knew her well by now, he wasn’t sure all the time. It made things easier and less confusing and sometimes, he was confused by some of the things she did so he was glad she could do so.

As she reached out to push his shoulder, he took her hand and tugged her. Not forcefully but enough to tug her forwards towards the water. He said, his voice lowering.“Well it’s a big waterfall. It’s better with two instead of one.” He let go of her hand, fingers slipping out of hers and swam towards the edge of the lake beside her turning around so that his back was to the earth. He leaned back, raising his arms and placed them on either side of him and tilted his head back to stare up at the sky. This was a good place. Earthy, raw. Just primal. Natural. Without the noise and grit and grime of the city. He glanced at her, saying nothing for a moment as he took everything in. The atmosphere. The sounds and sights. Her. Would she come in? He moved slightly closer, giving her a look as she shook her head. He said,“Come on. It’s a warm day out. You gotta be hot from the walk at least so you gotta take a swim.” He bumped her leg with his hand and said, smirking and flexing his bicep muscles,“Or did you really come out here to see me?” He turned on his side, resting on arm on the ground to keep himself afloat and looked at her. She had her arms wrapped around her torso. She was nervous. He didn’t know why. There was nothing to be scared of here. Why was she acting so strange? She was adjusting her clothes. Was she trying to hide something that she was ashamed of? Were there marks on her body? He had one. Two now. One from the stitches and another one on his back that wasn’t so recognizable now but it was there. He was proud about his, well especially the one on his back but he was guessing that it was different for her. Scars weren’t always something to be proud of. He was just proud of his because he’d gotten his from a fight with a wolf when he was a starving cub trying to take a meal from an equally starving wolf. And well, the one on his side was just cool. He still didn’t know that much about Blake. Her past. He knew what she was like. Her personality. Her interests. He knew she had a big heart but he knew there was a side of her that he didn’t know about and it was important to her and he wanted to know because he didn’t want her to keep feeling uncomfortable with herself. And he was interested. He wouldn’t make fun of her. But he didn’t even know if she was comfortable with speaking about it. He disappeared underneath the water, splashing her with more water in the process and re-appeared a few feet away holding a tiny baby sea turtle and raised it to his face, eying it from all angles, “Mm, mm look at this baby turtle! It looks so adorable and innocent and cute and good enough to eat!” He swam to the wall of rocks, starting to climb up gripping the jutting ledges with his feet and hands until he was halfway up and standing on the ledge. On the way up he picked up a rock with the turtle but hid it from Blake’s view. He paused and spoke to the turtle in a whisper.“It’s okay I’m not going to hurt you little guy. I promise.” Standing on the ledge (though it was slightly precarious), he looked at her and yelled, shaking the turtle,“If you don’t come in Mr Baby Turtle becomes my lunch!” He paused, glancing down as he felt himself slipping on the narrow ledge. Now was the time that big feet weren’t an advantage.
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:37 am

She'd stumbled forward into the water when he tugged on her hand, letting out an "Oh!". But not too far. She only made it in up to mid-thigh before recovering her balance. Blake had returned to her spot by the waters edge, kicking her legs slowly back and forth beneath the waters surface while she spoke. Now with her arms wrapped around her torso, she felt secure that he couldn't accidentally see her scars. She had so many and they often overlapped and connected. She knew where each one started and finished and how to distinguish the overlapping sections. She knew the exact order of their creation and their origin. Most were designed by a blade of some sort, but some of the less-obvious scar-tissue was from continuous beatings and not just fists. There were the butts of guns, claws and even her cherished bo-staff. Indeed her beloved weapon was once her enemy's. The staff once sat on the weapons rack in the command tent where she spent much of her time. When she was left alone she'd often stare at the weapons and try to predict which one would be used the next time her captors returned. She was usually wrong. She kept her eyes on her thighs while she fidgeted with the hem of her shirt nervously. His presence beside her did not go unnoticed, his curly-haired figure resting in her periphery. But she smiled at the ground and shook her head, her wavy locks  twisting about her face. "I didn't come for you. I came for a change." She insisted. Which she had. She was here to celebrate the change of seasons. She wanted a change in scenery, a change of pace. She might never find a place that mimicked the burning plains of her home in the south, but she could find a place just a little more wild than the city. She looked up, watching the ripple of muscles beneath skin as he swam away, lowering smoothy into the deeper waters. She watched expectantly, playing a game with herself trying to predict where he'd surface. But she over estimated his speed, expecting him to emerge much further out than he did. In the process he showered her with droplets. She flinched, automatically pulling her feet up closer to her body in reflex, yelping in surprise. She squinted to see what he held in his hands. A Sea Turtle? This far inland? It must be VERY lost. She thought. But she waited, hoping to hear what he had to say. It wasn't promising. She gasped, still unsure of his intent, and watched as he climbed the slippery rocks to the top of the falls. He stood, glistening wet and perfectly sculpted atop the harsh, jagged rock, holding the turtle high to ensure she could see. "Don't you dare hurt that little turtle Niko!" She called out to him. She splashed her way through the shallows, the water soaking through her clothes. But it didn't even cross her mind. For the moment all thoughts were occupied by her rescue of the turtle.

She made it to the base of the falls, where she's once sat in lioness form drinking from the clear waters of the falls. That was a long time ago. She planted her hands firmly on the slick stone and hauled herself up onto the ledge, pulling her knees beneath her until she could stand - bare footed - a few metres below the Epror. In looking up at him, all she could see was his silhouette, the sun blinding her. She bared her teeth and hissed, launching towards the rough rock face, planting her hands wherever she could find a hold. She stared climbing, all her old tricks from childhood returning to her. Three planted, one moving, she chanted in her head. It was a rule she'd learned to follow. She had to have three limbs securely planted on a hold before moving the fourth. It made for safer climbing with less errors, less errors meant a faster ascent. Although rocks were not her common climbing, she'd  trained in the trees. As a human child she'd had a flexibility and strength that her lioness couldn't match. Right hand. Right foot. Left foot. Left hand. Up and up and up again. She made it to the top, the gushing of the water on either side roaring in her ears. Blindly she groped for a place to grip and hold, an anchor to pull her up from the shadows and into the light. Without realising, her left hand found one of his feet, while her right hand dug into a crevice. She dragged her body over the edge, scraping her forearms along the way. She stood, still trying to catch her breath from the speedy climb, holding out an accusatory finger to the turtle-stealer. "Don't... you dare... eat... that... turtle..." She huffed, chest heaving on each breath, each word. She rushed forward, reaching for the turtle. She got her hands on its shell, one on top, one on the underside. She pulled and pulled, wresting it from his grip. She could feel the poor creature struggling between them, its little flippers slapping against her fingers. She pulled her arms close to her body in a sudden jerking movement, hoping to catch Niko unawares. She clutched the turtle to her chest, glaring up at him. "He goes free and you get to keep your life."


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:54 pm

He wobbled slightly as he tried to hold onto the ledge with his toes, almost dropping the turtle and jumped to the nearest ledge beside the one he was on, near a ridge. Pretending he hadn’t heard her, Niko lowered the turtle closer and closer to his mouth all in full view of Blake. He heard the splashing of water as she moved towards him. And a hiss. She’d hissed which surprised him. That worked. He cast a side glance briefly to see Blake, dangling the turtle in the air above his face. Baring her teeth, she’d lunged for the rock-face fast as soon as she saw what he was doing. Niko thought to himself. All signs pointed towards her being a feline. Maybe she was a jaguar. A feline that was of the rock-climbing, mountainous kind. From the way she was climbing, he could tell she had done it a lot before. She was using a method and it was working well. A lot well. She was going fast and she was agile. Really agile. Maybe he should move somewhere else. Maybe further away. He started to walk to another ledge and glanced down as he felt a hand grip his foot, jerking on reflex as he felt it and glanced down, lowering the turtle slightly. Blake had used his foot as a foot-hold. He stretched his arms out to balance himself and started to lift his leg slowly, aiming to lift her arm off the ledge to hold her up.  He flipped the turtle sideways towards his mouth and stopped as soon as he heard her voice. She was standing there, pointing her finger at him accusatorily and breathing hard from the climb. He stared at her, expressionless with a serious look and said,“I’m in the mood for some Turtle Soup. I just got to taste it to see if it’s good to eat. Since you’re not going to come in for a swim I’m going to eat it.” He held the turtle out in front of him.“Or I can just break the shell to make it easier…” He threw the rock into the air, catching it with one hand and prepared to swing when he felt Blake close her hand around his hand that was holding the turtle. He stood up, still holding onto the turtle as she did so and yanked back with an arm as she pulled, bringing the turtle back towards him. He could feel its flippers brushing against his skin wildly. When he thought about it now, he realized the turtle was far from home. It’d probably washed in from the ocean nearby. He guessed Blake thought the same thing, probably before he did. He backed up against the wall, back pressed against the hard watery rock to get more ground as he felt her move closer to him. He reached out to wrap an arm around the small of her back, holding her to that he wouldn’t knock her off the ledge while he stepped around her sideways and turned to face her. He stepped closer until they were almost touching and placed a hand on the rocky wall near her head. He leaned down, moving his other hand to wrap over the top of her hand which was around the turtle and whispering in her ear,“I got a different deal. Follow me into the water and I’ll let the turtle live.”  

He finally did let go and pulled back slightly, gazing directly into her eyes as she glared up at him. It was a challenge. He started to smirk at her, teasing her. He didn’t let go of her hand or remove his from the wall. He didn’t break his gaze for a long moment, waiting to see what she’d do.  Seconds ticked by. He didn’t care if she pushed him. He could survive. But he had her hand and he wasn’t going to let go. Come for a swim and he’d let the turtle go. But if she pushed him well…maybe he wouldn’t let her go and hold her tight. He smirked even more. Would she call his bluff?  Then he started to lower his gaze down to her stomach. It hit him now. The nervous movements. The quickness to cover her stomach with her shirt. There were scars or marks on her stomach that she didn’t want to show. He said softly, pushing her hand with the turtle down to the wall at her side and looked back at her, his smirk turning into a smile,“Listen I don’t care about your marks. Any kind of marks you have. They’re on your stomach right? It doesn’t change how you look to me. I just want to get to know you better.  It’s been 25 years but I still don’t know that much about you even though I've been with you all this time. I still don’t know what your primal form is and that’s what I’ve been wondering all this time.” His eye-brows furrowed, concerned.“What if someday I find you out here in your primal form and it’s not a feline like I think it is and it’s a gazelle or something? And your scent’s mixed in with all the other scents and I’m starving and I attack you.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:15 am

One moment she'd been glaring up at him, the sun shining on her righ side and the falls on her left. The turtle braced between them. But he'd moved so quickly, with the elegance of a leopard she just couldn't match. Her back was pressed firmly against another rock face, his arm sloping around to place his hand firmly on her back. His other hand rested on the wall beside her head, effectively trapping her. He seemd to have forgotten the turtle, now clutched in her hands alone. She had won the struggle, but lost her positioning. Her pride for the turtles life. It was an easy trade. She continued to glare, furious that he could suggest eating the turtle. His hand snaked around from her back to cover her hand atop the turtle, his low voice commanding. She could escape if she really wanted to, lions were notorious for their use of brute strength. But could she outclass him? Would swift technique outmatch raw force? She couldn't be sure. Being a much larger male he would have the advantage of weight over her, but being a smaller female would give her a possible edge in speed. But this wasn't a wild African leopard, print to climbing trees at the first sign of danger. This was something else. She continued to hold his gaze, chest heaving from the effort of the struggle. She held the little turtle closer to her body, at chest height, running her thumb across the groves in its patterned shell. He pulled away, still holding her gaze in challenge. She defied him for as long as she could but eventually faltered, lowering her eyes to look upon the creature whose life she believed she'd just saved. His hand still lingered on hers, now resting precariously close to her breast as a result of circumstance. She nodded, lookin back up, then nodded again, reassuring she'd given the answer. She'd go with him.

She pulled away, attempting to move towards the falls and head back down to the river, but his position held firm, keeping her in place. He wasn't done yet. He pushed the turtle out of her focus and down to rest against the wall, where one hand released it so it could return to her other side. He had her pinned and in close proximity, it felt almost predatory if it weren't for his smile. She sagged, defeated. He was right about her scars. And he had a point, what if NOT knowing was what got her killed. He was her best friend, so why hadn't she confided in him? The Regina - Rex - knew. Kenai knew - although that wasn't her first choice. Niko deserved to know. 25 years was a long time to know someone and yet know so little about them. She swallowed, unsure of where to start: with the scars or with the shift? The two went together like bacon and eggs. To understand one they had to know the meaning behind the other. She grabbed his hand with her free one, tugging him along with her while she wound her way to the top of a flat expanse of rock. "Come on," she said softly. The falls here were smoother and had less of a steep descent. They could ride the water down to the lowest level and walk from there. She sat, positioning the turtle carefully in her lap. "We can slide down most of the way." It was easier than climbing. She pushed off from the top, riding the falls like a slide in a quick drop to the lowest level. She recovered easily, standing gracefully as soon as her bare feet touched the slick rock and side-stepping out of the way. She didn't turn back, she didn't spare him a glance. She didn't think she could bear to. She thought if she looked at him it would all come rushing out and it would all sound wrong and she wouldn't make any sense. She walked to the edge of the ledge, looking down at the drop below. Hardly a jump. She took the step, making a splash in the shallow water. She walked a little further to where the water was calmer, crouched and placed the baby turtle into the slow-moving waters with a mumbled "Goodbye." Straightening up she walked closer to the treeline, retrieving her hat and shoes along the way. It may have looked like she was leaving, she knew that, and she wanted to say she wasn't, but she just couldn't. She dropped them next to a tree with a low-hanging, horizontal branch. She stood with her back to the falls, her head bowed in thought, for a long while. Scars. Or shift. Scars. Or shift. If she shifted he's see the scars translated on her primal form, but he wouldn't understand them, nor would he understand why she refused to shift for so long. Scars first. "Have you ever heard of the Feline War?" She started quietly. It was as good a place as any to start.


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:23 pm

He continued to smile at her as he glared up at him, waiting to see how she’d respond. He hadn’t been serious and it was fun to him to see how fierce she could be. It impressed him. It enticed him. Soo what was her answer? He didn’t know. He thought she was going to push him anyway but even then he’d hold her tight he wouldn’t have let her get hurt in any way. No way at all. He knew how to avoid the rocks on the way down even in a fall. They could dance up here, wrestle and play but one of them would end up slipping. Probably him because there was little room up here and it was slippery. It would be a dangerous dance with a turtle’s life hanging in the balance. He was stronger but she was lighter and had smaller feet than him. He felt her pull the turtle closer to her body, her thumb moving over the grooves and loosened his grip. As she looked down at the baby turtle, he felt something else. Something soft. But he didn’t say anything. It wasn’t something he thought Blake would appreciate at this moment. He grinned as she nodded, crossing his arms. But what of her primal form? He had been serious when he’d said that. A lot serious. Humans were gone but there were other dangers and if there ever came a time when she was in trouble and she was in her primal form, he could easily not know it was her because he didn’t know exactly what animal she was. She took his hand and he wrapped it around hers, holding it tight out of instinct. It was slippery here. He looked down the gushing water beneath, looking for a spot without the rocks to jump into. He felt like jumping. It was more fun that way. They could jump in together. He was sure the turtle would be okay. She took his hand and he felt her tug it. She was making her way down to the top of a rock. He promised he wouldn’t make fun of her and that’s what he meant. He followed her, looking down. He guessed she was looking for a safer way. He glanced back at her as he caught her catching her placing the turtle in her lap. It was gesture that he thought was sweet and as he watched her slide down, he thought that he would never forget it. The scars were important to her and linked with her primal form somehow. So he wanted to know. And he thought she should enjoy it here since she was already here. There would have been no point coming here otherwise. He watched her slide down and pushed off with both feet, sliding down after her. He was wet so sliding down made his clothes even wetter. When he neared the bottom, he kicked off landing on the rocks and slipped as he didn’t secure a strong enough foothold with both his feet. He toppled over, landing into the calmer waters near the cluster of rocks with a yell, splashing water all over. It was shallow at this end so his head ended up poking out of the water. Laughing, he looked at Blake. She hadn’t looked at him. Was she scared of what she was going to say? He started to paddle towards the shore, passing the turtle by as it swam past him and emerged from the water for the second time that day. He quickened his pace as he saw her taking her hat and shoes. Had he gone too far? He slowed down as she dropped them next to a tree, relaxing and faced her, wondering what she’d say. Feline war? That was something new. He replied, gazing at her,“No never heard of them.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:45 am

She turned her head to the side, able to see over her shoulder from that angle. "That's interesting. It's such a big part of our history. I thought, being a feline, you would've heard when it happened or learned about it as a cub, or..." something. She really thought he might've known. It was their history, almost as important as the birth of the first shifters, the tigers. It was a part of what made the shifters so dangerous. Their animal sides could not always coexist. This clan, she'd believed them doomed from the start when she'd first heard of them. But she came and she met them, all carnivorous beings, mostly feline. It worked for the time being. She'd heard a few others had been accepted at the borders, though their forms and faces she couldn't know. If they were herbivorous the chances of this little Shifter alliance holding out seemed slim. At least in her experience. Even the wrong carnivores, too many in the one place could be extremely dangerous. With wisdom gained over her years she'd come to wonder how exactly the Kingdom had lasted so long before her father ascended the throne. She turned to him, looking up and trying to think of the best way to start the tale. "It started with the Queen. In the south, many years ago, there was a large Kingdom made up of all kinds of felines. They were headed by the King and Queen, a lion and lioness. The Queen, Denala, was charged with adultery against her husband. Brought before the court, there seemed irrefutable evidence against her, so the King had her beheaded." She could see it. Her mother, knelt on the steps of the Kings Court, where the sword came down on her human neck. The blood staining the white marble beneath her body. And the outcry of the entire court. "Those present were displeased. They believed the Queen was not given a fair trial, but also that the allegations would present another quandary - were his heirs legitimate? A tiger, an old man, called the King a coward for not carrying out the sentence himself." Instead he made his own son remove his mothers head. "The tiger was beheaded alongside the Queens bleeding body. Their deaths started an outcry and rebellion. Tigers were revered in the south as the elders of their race, being the first Shifters to come into existence. Killing one in such a manner could not be tolerated." She took a deep breath, struggling with the memories before she continued. She didn't want to overload him with a history lesson, but it was imperative that he understood where it all came from. So she gave him a moment to process the information.

"What does this have to do with me? I'll get to that. The Tigers fought their way from the city, setting up rebellion camps in the outlying territories and declared war on the lions. The other felines, for the most part, stood by their King. Some joined the tigers, while others took it upon themselves to sow discord, attacking both armies in small skirmishes. Being anyone, any member in the Kings Court became hazardous. Nobles and Lords were taken from their homes and dens and never heard from again. But the worst came. The King, Murtaugh the Vicious as he was called, still searched into the allegations of his heirs legitimacy. His son was easily proven to be true, but his daughter was not easily done. Most lions have a coarse, almost yellow fur throughout their lifetime, but his daughter was so very pale. A white lioness, a Daughter of the Moon as some called her. She was believed to be an omen of death, and her birth did bring so much death." Blake fell silent for a moment, remembering the childhood of Noblemen treating her with care, afraid she might bring about their deaths, never wanting to get on her fathers bad side. That was until she was accused of being a bastard. Though Boromir was cleared of any doubt, Blake was physical evidence of her mothers disloyalty. "She was restricted to the castle, to her chambers until finally her father had her locked in an underground cell for almost three years. Two tigers found their way into those dungeons and kidnapped the Princess, drugging her so she couldn't shift or fight back. They took her to one of their larger camps and when she woke she was bound within their command tent. For two years she was questioned. They used various methods of torture to get her to talk but she knew nothing. Her father never spoke to her after having his wife beheaded. They did many things to her, but physical pain was their favourite. They liked watching her scream, watching her struggle." She remembered them all. Frederik and his followers. Their faces, their scents. She wanted to hurt them for so long. She wanted to see the face behind the balaclava of her torturer.

"No one knew what happened to the Princess. Some say she died there - maybe she did. Others believe she escaped and went into hiding. The strangest theory was that she betrayed her family and joined her captors in the war effort. But I know exactly where she is." She crossed her arms over her chest, gripping the hemline of her shirt in her delicate fingers. Raising her arms she removed the shirt to reveal her torso, scantily clad in the bikini top. Scars covered her abdomen, sides and back. One scar traced from her right shoulder at the collarbone down to the top of the opposite breast. They were everywhere on her. A few even extended to the upper parts of her thighs, but they were smaller and less noticeable. She took a deep breath, counting. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. He'd had long enough. She started the shift, her body sprouting fur while it turned inside out. Her tail, grew, twitching excitedly behind her. Blake fell forward onto all four paws, white fur reflecting the light of the sun. On her back, shoulders and hips, the scars were translated, though some of the worst of the scar-tissue was hidden by her fur. Blue eyes looked up at him. They were sad. "I'm an omen of death. A Daughter of the Moon. You're a guardian, a protector of your people. I'd understand if you want me gone." She bowed her head, exposing the back of her neck, just as her mother had in her final moments. Once more into the fray...


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Sat Apr 04, 2015 3:26 am

“Maybe my parents were probably supposed to tell me but they never got a chance,” Niko said, shrugging.“We talked about constellations a lot. Stars and stuff. The Milky Way. Planets.” His expression turned curious, waiting for her to continue. He had never heard about this before. He was no stranger to violence, generally not of his own doing but more as a product of circumstance and the situation he was in. It wasn’t something he sought out. As she launched into the tale, he found himself taking a step closer. She was speaking of royalty. Kings and Queens and a kingdom. It could’ve sounded like a fairytale if he wasn’t living in what was basically a kingdom already. Regina and Rex. The Roman terms for Queen and King respectively. It meant the same thing. Just with different wording. He took another step closer as she spoke of the Queen being beheaded for adultery, along with the old tiger for calling the King a coward. She didn’t reveal who had done the beheading. It wasn’t enough that the King killed the Queen but he used his power to execute someone. And to make it worse, someone whose primal form was revered. But he wasn’t seeing the dots that connected this to her scars or her primal form. Was her primal form a tiger? Was she running from the King? He listened to her and as he did, his eyes widened slightly. It was Shifter on Shifter violence. Not just physical but a deliberate attempt to cause civil fighting. It sounded familiar. She paused in her tale and he said, trying to encourage her,“Hey, if it makes you feel any better I bet that lioness found a good home. A good place and the King’s living a lonely, miserable life now.” As she started to lift up her shirt, he looked at her scars. He could not lie. They were prominent but he did not think they took away her beauty. He ran his eyes over each one, imagining the torturers torturing her with their weapons. Guns, knives. Sadly he wasn’t a stranger to those either. He took another step, almost closing the gap between them. He was listening to her theories. He said softly,“I think it would’ve been cruel for the princess to have been punished and die because of something her mother did. I prefer the one where the princess managed to escape with her life.” His eyes lingered on the scar that ran up her side up her collarbone. As she started to transform, he could not help but stare. Not because he was disgusted in any way but because it was the first time. He’d never seen a white lioness before. Her scars were part of her. There was no denying that. They would be there but he did not think they made her ugly in any shape or form.    

He understood. All her life she’d been led to believe she was an omen of death. She’d been tortured because of what she was. It was a disgusting act. Evil. It was fuelled by nothing but paranoia and fear. And sadly, it was nothing new. It made him sad because he liked to believe the best in people but sometimes he thought back to cruel things he had seen and he thought that it was a pointless exercise. And this, particularly this, showed how cruel hearts could be when they were guided by nothing but misguided beliefs. And it went to a whole other level of hurt when it came from someone who was supposed to love you. From your father. Part of him wanted to ask her if she even considered her father as part of her life or if she’d left that part of her behind her. But he supposed she wanted to see the people who had kidnapped her even more. She was right. He had to think about everyone. But her father’s issue was that he thought that she was an omen of death. Anyone in their right mind would not have believed something like that. There was no link. Niko had been with Blake for the past 25 years, well not the whole 24 hours a day because he had his duties but they’d lived in the same area so he’d been with her, and he was still fit and healthy as a fiddle. He wasn’t going to drop dead anytime soon and he did not think that she would be the cause of his death anyway. And wouldn’t keeping her away from the King be a better thing for him and his kingdom? Why would he want to keep someone in his kingdom who brought death to those around her? Wasn’t it better to let her kill them instead? These were the questions one would ask a madman and he hoped he would never have to. Madmen were illogical. Sane men were reasonable. He was not so arrogant to believe the Shifters could fight an entire force of knights or whatever it was that her father could’ve sent. But if the King had been serious about finding her he probably would’ve done so a long time ago. He guessed she would’ve wanted to capture her and lock her up again but Lunari was a big place. A big, big place. As long as the King had a legitimate heir to the throne Blake’s presence wasn’t a threat to him. Stay out of sight. Stay hidden. There was a chance her father could’ve poisoned her brother’s mind with his paranoia but there had to be a way. There had to be something her brother wanted. There was always something. He knelt down in front of her, running his palm over the scars gently and said, letting his hand come to rest on the back of her neck near behind her ears,“Don’t be stupid.” He gazed into her eyes, smiling at her.“If others want to believe in superstitions let them. They’re running on faith and that’s all they have. They don’t have the knowledge they need so they have to have something to go on and unfortunately, it’s fear and paranoia. It’s emotion instead of rational thinking. But I’m not going to believe in them. Omens are omens but when you strip away the fear and paranoia, all that’s left is pure human emotions. They wanted a scapegoat and you’re the one they chose. I’m not going to kill you when you’ve done nothing wrong. Your father has no idea that you’re here or your brother and we’ll keep it that way. They’d have no right coming in here. And if anyone comes here, I’ll stop them from hurting you somehow.” He wrapped his other arm around her neck, getting down on his other knee and inched forwards, putting his forehead on somewhere on the top of her neck and said, closing his eyes and stroking her slowly,“You’re not an omen of death to me. You’re like a ray of sunshine. Like a warm summer’s day.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Sat Apr 04, 2015 7:34 am

She waited for the stroke of the sword, for the feel of claws against her throat. Instead she felt arms and words. He didn't see it. He didn't see the connection. He couldn't. He was too far removed from it all. Her head was tossed over his shoulder as he knelt and hugged her. She inhaled his scent, trying to calm herself. His stroking fingers aided in this, soothing her, making her purr like a kitten. But it couldn't last. "I am an omen of death. It was because I was born that my mother was killed. My own brother took her head off himself, at our fathers order. My birth caused the Feline War, my birth costs thousands of Shifters their lives. My brother knows I'm still alive. He's the one who let me go, the one who got me out of that camp. Everyone else thinks I'm either dead or on the run. I've been running for a hundred years now. I lived as a human, hiding because I was afraid any shifters I met would turn me over to my father. My father, I don't even know if he's my real father or if some other lion is. My father who probably still has search parties out looking for me. Not to bring me in and lock me up, but to kill me. Because as long as I live, I'm his omen. My brother and I are twins, either of us could have taken the throne when we were ready. My being alive is a reminder of those who can defy and betray my father. He couldn't kill me back when I was sixteen, I don't know why. But if he was here, right now, he'd tear out my throat in a heartbeat." She raised her right forepaw, resting it in his back in some strange animal-hug. She shifted, her body returning to its upright human position. Fur clearing, tail receding into her coccyx. Her features realigned themselves into their human shape, until she was kneeling in front of him, one arm around his waist, hand resting on his back. His arms circled her neck, his chin resting atop her head. Her clothes having been removed earlier, she was barely covered in her bikini. She was more comfortable in this form, after living in it for a hundred years. Her primal form felt almost like a strange new perks she'd discovered, not the natural form she'd held from birth. There was so much to it. So much more than she could say. How she just knew her brother was alive, probably still out looking for her with his search parties. Could it be that he would catch her scent and lead them away? Maybe he'd challenged Murtaugh and risen to his position as King. She knew he'd make a great King. He was strong and brave, a warrior. But his mind for a time had been warped by their fathers ideologies. He became the perfect soldier, following orders, killing without hesitation. But he was her brother, she couldn't hate him. She did still love him. They used to share everything with each other. She was the only one who knew about his mane growing in when they were fourteen. He advanced rather quickly for a juvenile lion, but he was healthy and able to hold his own enough in a fight. He'd grown so much, it was to be expected. How no one else suspected was clear idiocy on their part.

She thought for a long while. About how differently she'd been treated as a child, how the Nobles and Lords tried so hard to gain her friendship. They didn't want it to be their deaths she predicted. They were all about self-preservation. Being human was easier. She could be detached. She could use her abilities to save lives and move one without any difficult goodbyes. She'd lost her chance to explore like a Shifter should. Before the war she'd had dreams of taking some time to be a nomad. She wanted to live with different clans and immerse herself in their culture, meet shifters outside of the feline genus. She wanted to travel as a human and learn more about them. She'd thought maybe she could go to a human school and learn the way they do and compare it to the way she'd been raised as a Shifter. Blake'd had grand dreams of being the one to bring Shifters out of hiding and live in harmony with the other races. But all that was a childish dream. She got to live in human society, but she never learned their culture. She knew enough to fit in and keep a secret life. She did go to a human school, graduating and going on to become a doctor. Returning to study and becoming a veterinarian to work with animals and further minimise her contact with people. But a lioness is weakest without her pride. Independent and self-reliant as she may be, she needed the support of a Pride. Or a Clan. So she went and found one. Nearly twenty-six years on and here she stood, alive and still afraid of her past. Her body was a constant reminder to everyone of what she was. She was her fathers shame. The illegitimate child. Genetically, it made no sense if she and her brother were twins. If one was legitimate, then the other had to be as well. Their entire argument was based upon the colour of her fur - It matched neither of her parents so surely it had to come from someone else, an unnamed father. Or that was what everyone believed. She should've been smarter, researched white lions of the wild and how they came to be. But she couldn't. She had this irrational fear that searching for such information would set off warning bells and her father spies would find her. They wouldn't drag her back south, not alive anyway. They'd take him her body as proof and claim some exorbitant reward. She sighed, resting against him, looking up and out towards the water. "Can- can we go for a swim now? I did promise. And if you're good, you can ask anything you like." She hugged him tighter for a moment, then stood. She put a hand on his shoulder, walked around him then headed for the water. It was cool against her toes, but they adjusted quickly after their previous exposure. The deeper she walked, the colder she became. She stopped when it reached about mid-thigh, turning back to face Niko on the bank. "Now get in here already!" She bent forward a little, using her hand to scoop up some water and send it flying in his direction. She didn't really expect it to get close enough to him, it was more just to provoke him.


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:56 am

Niko tried to understand. It was a lot to take in. He had always been proud of who he was. Even when others tried to push him down. But Niko’s family had been carefree and loving. Just a leopard family living in the mountains. He continued to stroke her, faltering out of surprise as he heard her purr. It was pleasant to her. That was what he’d been hoping for. As she spoke more he listened. Her birth was the catalyst for the Feline War. But she had been at the mercy of a father who believed too much in superstition instead of reason. Others had to pay because of that. Everything was twisted and Niko couldn’t think of anything to say for a moment. Lives had been lost already and they couldn’t be returned. That was an unescapable truth. Her brother had rescued her, knew she was still alive. Her brother still cared for her because he’d helped her escape the camp and that meant something. Maybe he hadn’t been warped completely. Niko could only think that it wasn’t her fault so he said softly,“It wasn’t your fault. If your father’s sending search parties to kill you I’ll protect you. I’ll help you defend yourself. If your father tries to tear your throat out I’ll kill him. He touches or hurt you, I’ll make sure he pays for it. He’d be on our territory and his search parties would be trespassing without permission. As my duty as your Epror, I’d have to protect you and that’s all there is to it.” As she placed her forepaw on his back, he kind of didn’t want to let go. It felt comfortable. He could feel her starting to shift back to human form. Paws turning into hands. Fur turning back into skin. He did realize she was barely covered. He couldn’t know what she was thinking. Maybe she found it easier to be a human as they could be more detached from things and wanted to bring peace with the Shifters and humans. But she couldn’t ignore the animal side of her. It would always be there and maybe that was what had prompted her to become a vet. She’d needed some help. He understood that. If he were to go by her animal side, he’d think that she needed a pride because she was a lioness. Lionesses always needed a pride. Some kind of support but of course, she was carrying her father’s shame. It had been a bad situation. She was the black sheep, ironically enough. Then there was the issue of her parentage. It was a mess. Niko could feel nothing but sympathy but sympathy probably wasn’t what she needed or wanted. He pulled back slightly as she sighed, wondering why but then she hugged him tighter and let go, standing up. He stood up as she put her hand on his shoulder, looking at her intensely and nodded. Though in this case, he could only see the side of her head. He watched her walk into the lake, following the curve of her sides and her hips. Her hair as it bounced when she walked. It was wavy. She turned back to face him. He spread his legs out a bit wider but he wasn’t sure why and chuckled, winking at her "I'm always good."                                        

He started to amble back into the water and laughed when she sent a wave of water towards him. It caught him, on his chest and face. But he was already wet anyway. Inter-twining his fingers, palm facing outwards and stretched his arms in front of him.“Prepare to be cannon-balled!”He boomed. He ran across the rocks that were lining the pond below the falls, climbing up the side with sturdy hands. He gripped each ridge, each spot he could find and kept his toes on the gaps on the ridge, always searching for a hold before he moved to the next spot. The sharper edges of the cliff dug into his skin and he slipped a couple of times but grabbed for another hold with his hand and foot, pressing the front of his body against the rock-face to try to keep a steady grip. He made it to the top, clambering over the edge and stood up. Looking down at the pond he searched for a spot that didn’t have any rocks and found one. Near Blake. He grinned down at Blake widely, legs spread and backing up a few paces, took a running leap over the edge of the waterfall. Launching himself into the air, he turned sideways, rotating and spinning until he was partially on his side with his arms stretched out on either side of him. He could feel the wind whipping at his skin, see the sky and the water rushing up close to him. And bam! He hit the water front-first, with his head and shoulder. Sinking into the water, he let himself float there, doing a tumble-turn to go right side up in a squatting position with his arms near his sides. He stayed there for a long moment, searching for Blake and spotting her, swam up behind her and slipped his arms around her waist so that they encircled her abdomen. He popped up out of the water, head appearing over the water and lifted her up. “Surprise!” He said cheerfully.“Didn’t hit you so I can ask you anything I want!” He sank below the water again holding her, letting go of her once her head was underwater and stayed underwater, holding his breath and making a funny face at her before starting to swim away.
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:40 am

She bit her lip with a grin, straightening up as she waited to see just what he'd do. Her arms wrapped around her torso reflexively as she waited. He was so good to her, insisting that none of it was her fault, promising to be her guardian and protect her. It did make sense, if her father or any of his search parties showed up in their lands, they would be trespassing. He'd have every right to deal with them as he saw fit. She almost wanted that to happen. She'd love to see her father come charging across the border, flanked by his highest ranked nobles - the ones who'd tried to suck up to her when she was young. She'd love to see the dungeon guards too. While she was at it, she thought she'd love to see the masked torturer and the other officers from the tiger rebellion. She had to stop herself, she knew if she started a list, she'd never stop. She'd entertained the idea of a dead-pool once before, it was a dark path she didn't want to go down. She watched him get cocky, rolling her eyes at him. "I'm always good..." Well... he did have a point, she'd never really seen him do anything that could be considered bad. She took a few steps back once he entered the water. He stretched, flexing the muscles of his arms and chest - made very clear by his extreme shirtlessness. Her head tilted slightly to the side with a smile at the idiot. "I think it's a bit shallow here for a cannonball, but you're welcome to take your chances with the falls," she taunted. He took off, running across the rocks and climbing his way up to a higher ledge. She gasped a few times when he slipped. He was a reasonable climber, but it was obvious he was better suited to trees as opposed to rocks. He was a leopard, it made sense. She did rather like his leopard form, though she'd not really taken a very good look at it. She'd always been too afraid of the other felines here to really appreciate their form, but seeing his today for a few moments was a delight. She felt the sudden urge to see him shift once more and run her fingers through his fur. She wondered if it was as soft and silky as it looked. She remembered petting her brothers fur as children, then describing it to him. It was short, rough and coarse, designed for harsher conditions. When he grew older and developed his mane, she'd told him it was softer than his body fur, but thicker. It also had a tendency to get knotted. She watched him stand proudly atop the falls, eying the water below. "No, wait! I was kidding! Don't jump, it's way too shallow! You'll hurt yourself!" She called out worriedly. Her brow became creased, forming little lines in her forehead as she feared for his life. In her head she knew that shifters were much stronger and he could easily recover from the fall, but her heart was concerned. She worried for Niko, he was her friend.'

It was terrifying when he flung himself off the falls, she was so scared he'd hurt himself when he hit the bottom. It wasn't that he just jumped, he took a running start and quite literally threw himself into the air. Her breath caught in her throat, stomach disappearing entirely. He kept twisting and twisting, she wasn't sure if he was going for a cannon-ball or a belly-flop. He hit the water with a loud splash, earning a yelp and flinch from her, and disappeared beneath the surface. She twisted around, trying to find him and pinpoint the location of his resurface. She just couldn't find him anywhere. Two hands appeared from behind, capturing her and holding her close. She was lifted well out of the water. "Aahhhh! Hahaha!" She laughed in fright, curling her knees up a little in reflex. Her arms mirrored over his own, sitting lightly on top of them hoping he wouldn't suddenly let go. They fell back into the cool running waters together, though he was careful not to drown her. She swam to the surface, flipping her hair back so it stayed well out of her face. After getting wet, her hair lost a lot of its waviness, lining straight down her back between her shoulder blades. From above the surface she could see him swimming for the falls, so she thought she'd race him. She took off effortlessly, one arm over the other in a simple freestyle stroke. After only a few metres her fingertips grazed the wet rocks, telling her to stop. She pulled herself up onto the landing, next to the falls. She stood and ducked her way behind the curtain of water to sit facing the great torrent, looking out. She leaned back on her hands, stretching her long legs out in front of her. Where oh where did my guardian go? she wondered. When he eventually arrived, she knew what she wanted to say. "So, what did you want to ask me?"


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:43 am

As he swam away, he glanced back to see what she’d do, slowing down a little. He’d done that before. Lifting people out of the water for fun. But he’d always let go once they were underwater so he didn’t end up drowning the other person by accident. He’d jumped off water-falls a couple of times. It was the rush he enjoyed. The adrenaline that came from jumping but he made sure he wouldn’t hit the rocks. But he knew that Blake would’ve been worried he would’ve smashed against the rocks because he took a running leap over the edge. As long as he made sure he jumped properly taking distance and power into account from the initial leap-off he would be okay. He thought she’d try to chase him or grab him but he saw her race past him. Caught off guard, he stared after her before furrowing his eyebrows and angling his body, kicked with his feet and propelled himself through the water, arms wheeling in circles furiously. Unfortunately, she had a head start on him. He reached out for the rock, gripping the edge and burst through the water, aiming to collapse on the rock on his stomach with his arms splayed out in front of him and ended up landing partially on something soft and smooth and wet. Exhilarated, he raised his arm and pumped the air with a fist yelling,“I win!” He paused, realizing he hadn’t landed on the surface of the rock and instead, it was a partially on a pair of legs. He could feel the torrent of water pounding on his back and back of his legs, the backdraft on the back of his neck and hair. He pushed himself up with his arms, looking in front of him automatically.

In front of him was at a pair of covered breasts. Blake’s. Realization dawned on his face. He’d lost. Only because Blake had gotten a head start on him. He looked further up immediately, smiling sheepishly at her and rolled off, lying on his back next to her and sat up. He looked away, scooping up some water in front of him with his hands and splashing it onto his face and rubbed his hands over it to distract her from his celebration. He drew one knee up to his chest, putting his other leg into the water until it was up to his knee and leaned forwards to keep his gaze in front of him, closing his eyes and feeling the water drip down his face. He put his hands down on either side of him, opening his eyes. On his right side, his hand covered hers. He nudged her left foot with his underwater, putting his toes on top of hers and played with her toes, looking at her and smiling at her. There were a couple of things he wanted to ask her. He knew what she liked doing. Swimming. And out-doors stuff. She liked adventure and her gardening. She didn’t like smokers. What about cars? Fast cars? He peered at her, shaggy-haired with the curls plastering his head and said,“Do you like cars? Super-fast cars? I know a place that holds races every week on Saturday. It’s all low-key but it’s way out on the outskirts of the city. There’ll be music, racing. I work on the cars there as an on and off mechanic. Checking engines. Making sure everything’s running smoothly.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:01 am

She leaned against her arms for support, waiting for her good guardian to show his face. When he did he exclaimed his victory, earning some raised eyebrows and an expression of disbelief from her. "I think you win at losing." She teased, a little competitive edge spurring her on. The corner of her lips turned up a cheeky smirk watching him clamber from the waters, escaping the waterfalls assault. Some of the spray sputtered back towards them, but it was so light it was barely noticeable. Plus, his body awkwardly positioned over her legs protected them from the majority of the spray. She waited patiently for him to move himself off her and out of the water, which he took his time about. He splashed water over his face, possibly an ill-fated attempt at disguising his premature celebration. The damage was done, she'd seen and it made her want to laugh. Poor guy seemed so excited to win. Maybe next time, if I let him. It seemed the competitive streak would win out. Blake lowered her arms to rest on her elbows, arching her right knee just a little, left foot stretching out to rest just barely in the water. Taking his place next to her, she rolled her head over to her left shoulder to see him better. She noticed his hand gently resting against hers between them. She saw  no harm in it and let it be. He kicked her under the water, wriggling their toes together. She kicked back, starting some odd kind of foot war between them. She giggled. Each time she tried to pin his leg against the rock, hers would slip off again. But she was determined to win. The conversation started up again. Cars? Fast Cars? The Mender sat up swiftly, pulling her legs up to cross them in front of her. Her grin grew wider and wider the more his delightful words were voiced. Her grin was wide and trapping her bottom lip between her teeth, her eyes lit up with excitement. "Oh I love fast cars! Can we go? Can we? Can we please? Ooohh I wanna see the cars race so badly." She was so excited all of a sudden, it made her seem childish. It'd been so long since she'd really seen a car go. Sure in the city there was the usual traffic, but this was a race. She'd always had a fascination with fast cars, gone and seen a few races - legal ones of course, those underground ones were tough to find. She wanted to see a real underground race so badly. See the done up cars, check out their engines, watch them drive - maybe Niko could introduce her to a few of the drivers? Oh and to hear that engine roar! It was a sound unlike any other, each car was different but the effect was similar. It punched right through her chest, leaving her breathless before her face would break into a huge grin, while her body craved to feel the effect again and again. It was an addicting feeling. She'd never been in a real racecar but had always dreamed of what the rush would be like. To be speeding along the track with a feeling of weightlessness. She could only imagine, but she wanted it so badly.


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:08 am

Niko shoved her shoulder with a hand and said deepening his voice, grinning at her massively,“I win at winning without having a head start. I will best you doctor make no mistake. ” He wasn’t angry. He was interested. He’d get her next time. She would rue the day she awakened his competitiveness. And it would be fun. He leaned back slightly, looking down at the curdling waters forming in front of them from the water as he waited for her to respond. He wouldn’t let her win next time. As he started to talk about the cars he noticed she was starting to grin. Wider and wider and wider. That made him feel happy. And he liked how her eyes lit up with excitement. It made them seem brighter than usual. So she liked fast cars. She was full of surprises. Niko wondered how much she knew about cars. He wasn’t all that knowledgeable because his field of expertise was different. He was focused more on digital stuff and robotics. Animatronics. Programs and systems. Computer code and algorithms. Designing and working on normal, everyday vehicles or machines in general. Trucks, cars, bikes. Even on submarines and planes on the odd project here and there. Mechanical arms. Little gadgets and devices. The supercars thing was a hobby he’d acquired. Like swimming. Only this hobby involved cars. Stuff like trying to familiarize himself with each engine, the specs, what each model was and what it looked like. What the engines looked like and what its model’s style and look was. There were subtle differences for each. A car was a complex machine and the engine was the most complex thing. If there was one part that was missing or wasn’t in the right place with the engine system then the car would malfunction or break-down. He guessed in that way, it was kind of similar to Blake’s work with animals. She had to check to see if an animals’ body was working right on the inside and each animal had their own internal system. Digestive, respiratory and all that. Each animal’s body worked differently. If there was something wrong and something wasn’t working as it should be as in for example, a dog was having trouble breathing, Blake had to figure out why. It was like if a car couldn’t start or the engine was making sputtering noises.    

“Wow I’ve never heard you that excited before,” Niko said with a chuckle, teasing her.“I never pegged you for the car racing type but I like it. I guess I’m not the only with a need for speed hey?” He kicked back with his foot as she kicked him back, wrestling her three front toes with the aim of pinning hers underneath his. The times she tried to pin his leg hers slip off. He pushed her foot again, placing his whole foot over hers and wrapped his big toe around hers, wrestling with it again pushing it down with his. He would win this little foot battle. Her foot would be underneath his, toes and all. She could not escape. Even if she was giggling in that cute way of hers. As he felt her foot get pinned down he grinned at her. He was going to win. He felt her start to pull her legs up and satisfied with his attack of his foot, moved his foot away. He put his other leg into the water up to his knee, moving around in place to get more comfortable. He said,“Yeah I want you to come join me. I’m going this Saturday to check up on a car for the organizer so I can come get you after work and we can go. We can hang around after I take a look at it. Check out some cars. Watch some races. You can take a look at some of the engines. You know that stuff you hear about? Super engines? You’ll be able to see that stuff in action. I’ve seen some of the cars spew out fire from the exhaust pipe. And some people go nuts on paint jobs and brag about it.” He looked at her,“None of the drivers there are anyone you’d see at Formula One or anything. They’re just normal people with a need for an adrenaline rush and speed. Some of them are in trouble with the police. A couple of them have gone to jail for assault or drink-driving and came out. There’s university students studying to become lawyers or planning to work in the medical profession as nurses or paramedics. There’s dancers, models. It’s a mixed bag of people. I’m friends with a couple but only one of them is going to show up this Saturday. But everyone’s got one thing in common. Liking fast cars. Watching fast races.” He reached behind her and shoved her back with one hand in a playful gesture and said leaning back, watching the water cascading down in front of them, “By the way, I’m the one that let you win.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:32 am

She swayed back on her slender arms, his gentle shove nothing more than friendly banter. He'd insisted on winning their little match, but she wouldn't have it. While he teased and talked her legs slipped and slid through the water around his, each trying to find purchase over the other. But her excitement found her sitting cross-legged, hands clasping her ankle as she leaned forward eagerly, clinging to the hope she could actually see a real underground race. She shoved him playfully, "Hey! Don't judge! I just really like fast cars. I don't know, there's just something... powerful about them," She had to wait to say the word. Powerful. The second she said it she knew it was the right word. It was like the echo of the sound of a fast car sped through her chest, a teasing reminder of the rush she craved. "It's so hot," She said, taking a deep breath to calm herself. She hadn't even realised how worked up she was getting. Maybe cars had more of an effect on her than she realised. She grinned and wriggled with excitement. The more he spoke the more there was to look forward to., seeing the cars, watching races plus all the weird and interesting people. To hear the stories of what brought them there, why they raced. there would be all kinds of reasons, habit, money, adrenaline. To see what brought these people together would add a whole new element to the practise. "Eeeeeeeeee!" She made this odd sound of excitement, throwing her arms around his neck. Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you! You have no idea how incredibly awesome this is! Thank you!" She leaned in and hugged him tighter. There was another thought. He had friends among the racers. Blake thought it might be fun to meet his friends. She hardly knew him outside of the clan. Here he was an Epror, their protector and third in command under their Rex. Out there she only knew he was a mechanic. She had so much to learn about her friend. Where he came from, what made him who he was. She wanted to learn, it was time she started investing in her relationships and really caring. It'd been twenty-five years already, well past her allotted time in any place and there wasn't any sign of leaving. It would be good for her to see what it could be like to have a vested interest in another person - one that was well considered.


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:52 pm

Niko lifted her leg up with his and sliding it out from under hers so that he could trap it against the rock-face again. He made to place it over hers again, twisting his leg underneath hers so that his foot was around her ankle on the outside and slanted. He started to whistle, assured that he had grasped victory when his leg slid over hers too far and somehow, her leg ended up slipping from underneath his while she sat cross-legged. He kicked some water her way, summoning a huge torrent of water with his feet to splash over her as she shoved him. He shrugged, teasing her,“I just thought you’d be too scared. Might be too fast and scary for you.” As he did, he heard her say something. It’s so hot. Niko looked at her in confusion. She was hot? It was cooling in the water and she wasn’t wearing much. They were in a cave of sorts so that provided enough shade. How can she be hot? Nah she must’ve been talking about the cars. The feeling of riding in one or behind the driver’s wheel of one. He noticed she was taking a deep breath and let go of her hand to touch her shoulder, concerned,“Hey are you o…?” He jumped, inching back instinctively on the earth as she made a sound of extreme excitement, caught off guard by the sudden noise she made and raised his hands to hold her waist instinctively when she threw her arms around his neck. To do what he wasn’t so sure but he decided to rest his hands on her waist anyway, finding it the most apt place to put his hands in the moment. As she leaned in closer to hug him, he said casually,“Yeah it’s cool. It's no big deal.” Yeah. He did this all the time. Invited friends to underground racing with superfast cars. Yeah he did. Completely. Absolutely.

He placed his hands on either side of him, sliding back into the water until it was up to his waist and disappeared underneath the water, peering up at her through his hair only the upper half of his face showing. Some bubbles appeared on the surface in between them, caused by him blowing his lips. He watched for a moment, taking in her in this image in this moment before swimming closer, disappearing underneath the water and grabbed Blake’s ankles with both hands, pulling her down deeper inside so that she was falling in feet-first. He transformed into his primal form, letting go of her ankles and burst out of the water with a thunderous roar. He was playing now. He wouldn’t really hurt her of course. He grabbed her around the waist, forelegs hugging her tight and dragging her back into the water as he plunged back inside until she was up to her neck in it just behind the curtain of the water gushing over the rocks. He kicked water with his back legs, letting her go and held onto the edge of the landing with his forepaws looking unabashed. He had let go and when he let her go, she would have ended up being trapped between his forelegs with her back pressed up against the face of the crimson and brown rock face because of the fall. His tail poked out of the water like a periscope, the tip rising out to show itself out of the water behind his flank. His furry ears, shaped like Cs on its front, leaned towards her intently and he gazed at her with bright amber eyes. If he moved an inch his nose would be touching her forehead. The long diagonal scar on his back was visible, though only if she looked hard enough because it was covered by fur. It had faded a long time ago but it was there. In his primal form he could see every little thing. From the water residue to the infinitesimal differences of the colour blue could have in her eyes. His jaws parted unconsciously, showing white, razor sharp teeth. That was something he couldn’t help. The teeth. He was part leopard. But he would never use these teeth to hurt her. A strand of hair landed on his nose near the sensitive area. He sneezed, nose wrinkling to cause his snout to wrinkle at the top and eyes squeezing shut. It was a snorting noise mixed with an exhale. He rubbed his nose with a paw, looking back at her and said, the undercurrent of a growl sounding in his throat as he spoke to her,“So I’ll meet you in the city on Saturday. I got to do some work that’ll finish late so I can come pick you up around 11:00pm anywhere. Wherever you’re going to be, having coffee or whatever. It’s about a ten minute ride from outside the city.”
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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Fri May 01, 2015 12:42 am

Ooc - sorry, this will be a short one.

On and on they continued to play. Trapping and releasing one another's feet in this teasing game of dominance. But her excitement had been so great, she'd withdrawn from the competition before victory was assured. She shook her head, hand gripping her crossed ankles in front of her."Nah uh. Fast and furious is the way I like it." She could have said more, spoken about the exhilaration of feeling ones stomach disappear once reaching that impossible speed; or the joyous fear when you first hit the accelerator, that uncertainty of if or when you would stop, holding your breath while the speedometer climbs ever higher; being sucked back into your seat with your foot practically glued to the floor. But she didn't, she didn't want to bore him with her fantasies.

After having thrown her arms around him, she pulled away, returning to her cross-legged position. She watched him slide almost gracefully into the water. Bloody leopards, she thought, always slinking and sliding, twisting and bending. Stupid graceful cats. In truth she was jealous. As a lioness she was thicker in frame, more angular and strength orientated. Brawn and teamwork was their play. She was built for endurance and strength, she could barely climb a few feet off the ground, much less get to the tops of the trees. Niko on the other hand, as a leopard, had the ability to twist and turn through the tiniest of crevices, leap great heights into the branches of trees and continue to climb. To her, leopards were almost like an oversized domestic cat. She was more like a dog (maybe a Labrador) that had been changed into a feline - or at least that was one way of putting it. He disappeared beneath the surface, hands snapping out to grab her ankles and drag her in. She screamed. First in fright, then in laughter of mirth. She wslid over the wet rocks, splashing into the water far less gracefully than her friend. She would tread water and simply float for a moment, regaining her bearings. A leopards head burst from the water with a great roar, making her jump back before she realised it was still Niko. His forelegs held her by the waist, soft wet fur rubbing against her sides. They submerged together, the murky water obscuring her vision. The first chance she got she took to the surface, trapped between his body and the rocks behind her. Over his shoulder she saw his tail sticking out of the water, making her smile. His golden-amber eyes refused to leave hers, their faces so close. She thought she could see on the tip of his shoulder a section of puckered fur that marked the presence of a scar. She quickly changed her gaze to his face, not wanting to stare.  Suddenly there were teeth between parted lips, a panting cat as though he were a predator looking at his next meal. Not good. Her breathing increased, chest rising and falling rapidly. He sneezed, forcing her to flinch back, as if doing so would protect her. She nodded with wide eyes. "Mmhmm. Okay. I'll- I'll text you or something. It'll be good." Her hands gripped the rock down by her sides, her body almost melting into the stone. She inhaled deeply, air rushing through her system and filling her lungs before slowly being returned to their origin. Blake kept reminding herself she was ok. She was with a friend.


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PostSubject: Re: Sweet Temptation (Blake)    Sun May 03, 2015 12:42 am

Niko bumped her forehead with his nose in a gesture of reassurance. His nose was wet and soft. Had he scared her too much? He thought she would be okay. It didn’t make him feel good that he’d scared her. He murmured,“I don’t like it when you’re scared of me. I was just playing. I…” He paused, eyes drifting down slightly from her face as he faltered, the words forming. Friend wasn’t all that accurate. He said,“I won’t ever hurt you. Promise.”He swam backwards a bit, letting his forepaw slide off the edge of the rock and slowly unfurled his tongue in between his teeth, closing his jaws and grinning at her, lowered his head and started to lick her face from the bottom to the top, up her nose. He paddled backwards slightly, tongue hanging out. It looked like he was sticking his tongue out at her but he wasn’t. It just looked like it. He wasn’t that graceful. Not really. In his leopard form he could move more swiftly and quicker than what he could move in his human form. He couldn’t fit in all the crevices though because he was big. He couldn’t get into small ones. Even if he wriggled he’d probably make himself more stuck. Graceful? She hadn’t seen him fall from a tree. He had done it before while he was sleeping. He’d rolled off a branch straight towards the ground. And he’d tripped over his own feet more than a couple of times, in leopard form and human form. But he’d just laughed it off. He could leap into a tree. That was fun. But she could do the same thing. Just not as good because he was built for it more than her. He pressed his forehead into her neck and upper chest, rubbing the area affectionately.

He also liked the feel of her bare skin against his fur. It was soft and smooth. He needed something human. Something real and raw. He could hear her heart beating. Each heart-beat. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump. It was soothing. Made him feel good. Feel something. He waved his tail in the air idly, kneading his furry head into her skin.“I wish I was a lion sometimes.” He said, wrapping his forelegs around her waist and rolling over onto his back so that she was on his stomach.“Lions look cooler than leopards. Male lions. Then I remember they go around killing lion cubs because they’re scared the cubs would kill them when they’re older and they stand back to let the lionesses hunt food for them. But then I think of the Lion King and I think it’d be cool to be Simba, the grown-up version. Then I remember how lions are in real life and I think nah, lions are lazy and selfish. Sure they’re strong but they’re not the strongest when you’re talking about the most powerful out of the big cats. Tigers are so if I wasn’t a leopard I’d be a tiger. And I’m clumsy. I fall sometimes from trees when I roll over in my sleep. Once I fell into the river. I also tripped over some stuff on the floor in the house.” He said,“By the way, don’t wear a dress. I’m going to be riding a motorbike and the dress might get caught in the wheel or something.”
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