The beginning of a story between myself and Skullblade.
The OOC is here: Clickie
Written by Skullblade:
Isabella never considered herself to be anything above average; however, she knew that some day she would outgrow the conservative and savage laws of her pack. In a world ruled by top predators Bella had been born as a snow leopard, which was not necessarily a rare species, simply a secluded one, only residing in the coldest corners of the world.
Growing up in the clan had not been as tough as for other since her father, one of the councilmen, sheltered her. With her mother dead since her birth and no siblings, Bella had lead a rather uneventful and sometimes lonely childhood. She knew her father loved her, but she was also aware he considered her to be weak simply because she did not agree with slaughtering outsiders or torturing prisoners.
Bella’s father adored his only daughter but knew that her pureness and innocence were her strongest downfall among the clan. He did not like to admit it, but he knew Bella was not a fighter… nor could she stomach the reality of what was best for the clan. As direct lineage of a councilman, she would one day have to take his place. Bella, however, had a different plan.
By the time Bella turned the equivalent of twenty-three human years old, she had decided to vanish from her clan and commence a new life: free of judgment, obligation to murder, and where compassion was not necessarily a weakness. She knew civilization would be somewhere south where the climate became warmer, preferably temperate so she would not be completely out of her element. Isabella knew this had not been thought out properly, but she had enough confidence in her survival capacities… after all, she was a “sociable leopard”. She sighed and almost cringed, ultimately choosing to hope that the rest of the world would accept her gentle nature. Bella grabbed a leather backpack where she packed a change of clothes, a blanket, and enough food so she would not be forced to hunt within the village outlands.
Bella did not look back as she gained distance from the village in fear she would change her mind. She was fully committed to the decision, yet she could not bare the pain she would be causing her father once he learned she was gone. She had become an outcast by choice, leaving her with no home to return to…
“Forgive me father,” she thought to herself with great pain as the faint scent of her village finally vanished. The chill in the wind shifted her focus to the upcoming blizzard making her quicken her pace in the hopes to find some shelter from the storm. Twenty minutes into the storm she was able to find a small and secluded cave. She would not be able to make a fire, therefore opting to stay in her leopard form to retain warmth.
The storm carried throughout the night allowing her to catch on some sleep and fortify her thoughts towards the journey.
Days turned to weeks before she finally saw a hint of civilization, which were mainly sheepherders and the occasional farmer. Bella decided to travel through the woods at the borderline so she could maintain a productive pace in her animal form. It was during a downpour that she decided to cave in and finally make human contact. She did not have a problem with snow, however cold rain was a whole different subject she was not fond of… especially when there was lightning involved. Bella left the shelter of a hollow tree and sprinted toward a castle she could barely make out in the distance through the curtain of water. It took her about ten minutes to reach the breath-taking structure. Not missing a beat, the young leopard climbed over the stone mural not wanting to wait at the gate until someone responded to her call. Dashing through the rain, she reached the massive castle doors and transformed into her human form. Her white hair heavily draped onto her body, giving into the weight of the water. Out of breath, and now shivering from her bare human skin being exposed to the cold, she pounded on the wooden doors three times. Just before someone opened, she managed to retrieve a drenched blanket from her bag remembering that her nude form would not be the best of civilized approaches, and certainly not the best first impression.
Ambrose lifted his hand to his head, resting his elbow on the large mahogany desk before him. He hadn't left the sanctuary of his study for three days. It was vital that he plan accordingly, as the neighboring clan had given numerous hints that they were devising a hostile take-over. He cursed lightly under his breath. This was all so beneath him. Of course, he knew of various other clans. Some still lived as savages, out in the wilderness, surviving, not living. Like the animals they could transform into.
His kind had been around for thousands of years, and yet some refused to leave the petty, archaic methods behind to the modern luxuries the humans provided. Ambrose was not one of these. He learned quickly that the best way to get ahead in this world was to assimilate into the human culture. The days of living in huts and hunting down kill were long gone. He had betrayed his own pack by disregarding their ways. They spent the majority of their time in their animal form, living in dens, drinking from rivers, scratching fleas. It was difficult to tell them apart from the common animals that surrounded them in the wilderness. From a young age, Ambrose knew he was a capable leader, and if his own family wouldn't listen to his ideas he decided he would go out and create a new pack. A few followed him when he left, creating an even bigger rift within the family. He knew that leaving would make him an enemy. Someone the pack wouldn't hesitate to take down and kill, regardless if he was their son, brother, cousin, or friend. But truth be told, Ambrose preferred it that way. It was a lesson he was thankful to have learned early in life. Trust no one but yourself, rely on no one else.
He had never regretted his decision. Especially now, that he was considered a formidable foe. The small pack he had started out with, a mere three wolves, had now grown to over fifty. He commanded a vast part of the northeastern continent of North America. And he liked it that way. Ambrose stood, facing the mirror that hung against the wall that faced the front of his large mansion. His dark brown hair was kept short, and since puberty, he refused to shave the scruff on his face. It was the only part of him that resembled the wild past he came from. It was all he would allow. He dressed in only the most expensive clothing, typically suits, or high end clothing that was tailored specifically for him.
Movement outside of the window caught his eyes and he saw as a snow leopard climbed over the large fence surrounding his property, and transform into her human shape before coming at a stop before his front door. A small smile spread his lips. He had't seen any of her kind in decades, and had assumed they had all died out. Did the petite female believe she would be able to form some kind of attack against him in her state? He paused as he summoned his Beta. Perhaps this was intended to be some kind of trap? To lure him out using this girl to attack him. Not a moment later, Troy entered the study.
The Beta was younger, but none the less experienced than Ambrose, which is why he was one of the few allowed to set foot on this side of the house. Troy had been one of the first three that had left the pack with Ambrose in the beginning. They were cousins, and had known each other since birth.
"'Sup, boss?" he asked, crossing his arms.
Ambrose gave him a look of pure contempt. "Put on a shirt," he growled. "What good is it to have your men patrolling my gates if one, weakly looking leopard can make her way to my front door?"
Troy chuckled and shrugged. He held out his hand and a shirt materialized itself into it. "We figured she wouldn't be a threat, and it would make for an interesting story. Don't get your nipples in a twist, I have ten men with their eyes on her if anything happens. I just figured this might be something to help bring you out of this goddamn room," he said as he pulled the shirt over his head.
"Do you not use your head at all?" Ambrose growled. From the look in his eyes, it was not difficult to see the animal that resided within the man. "Honestly, sometimes I doubt why I allowed you to come with me."
"Aw, it's 'cause you love me," Troy winked.
Ambrose gave him a death glare, "Go let her inside. I'll be down shortly."
Troy nodded, "Sure thing, boss." He made his way down to the front door and opened it. He smiled widely at the girl, and motioned for her to enter. "You don't look like you've been having the best of days, huh?" he said with a small chuckle. Their kind was accustomed to nudity. Young ones who were still learning their powers, and did not have command of their magic would often times be unable to clothes themselves after a transformation. Troy looked over the girl, knowing that she was far past that stage of her life. She was no girl, she was all woman. The smile on his lips grew into a smirk. 'What a lucky day for me,' he thought. Sure they were accustomed to nudity, but that didn't mean he couldn't enjoy what was in front of him. And he could tell that underneath the blanket she covered herself with, there was nothing but skin. The only reason she would have been unable to magic clothes on herself was either because she was too weak, or she was one of the 'savages' Ambrose loved oh so much. "Haven't seen your kind in a long time. Where do you come from?"
Last edited by Ambrose; 09-18-2012 at 12:18 PM.
Bella was slightly taken aback by how handsome the young man was and how friendly. In all the books she had read, it was an older man that would greet the guests to such houses, and as naive as she could be at times, she was expecting to encounter the same.
Lightning struck nearby the property, making her take an involuntary step into the mansion. An embarrassed chuckle escaped her throat, once again making eye contact the young man, "yes, definitely not one of the best". Bella immediately looked down at the puddle of water she was making on the marble floors and gripped her blanket tightly, "thank you for you hospitality, and I apologize about the mess... I'm from up north, but I've gotten tired of it and decided to start a new life in southern lands. I'd still be on my if the conditions were more favorable," she commented with a gentle laugh.
Troy nodded, the look of concentration on his face as she spoke. His friendly nature was something he was quite proud of. It lured those around him, made them feel comfortable, put them at ease. It was one of his best weapons to use when trying to get information from enemies, since none would expect the military-like genius he held in his mind. So she was from the northern lands. Perhaps much farther north than the edge of their boundaries. Ambrose would be very interested in this.
"Well it's not at all a problem, as you can see," he motioned around himself. "We've got more than enough room to spare." Troy knew that Ambrose would be expecting detailed information before meeting the woman himself. "Why don't you follow me to the other room, there's a fire where you can warm yourself." He lead her down the hall, all the while the friendly smile on his face shining brightly. It was difficult to keep the thought of purging information from this woman when she was so delectably ready to be ravaged instead. Troy masked his arousal and cleared his throat. "How much farther north would you say?"
They reached the vast room where a large fire was blazing in the fire place. A marvelously plush carpet covered most of the floor, and atop it sat comfortable couches, lounges, and to the back, a small table near the windows. He lead her to the couch nearest the fire and stood beside her as she explained the vicinity of her people's territory.
"I see," he mused.
At this exact moment, Ambrose, who had been standing just outside the entryway, made his presence known as he walked towards the pair. The look in his eyes as he and Troy made eye contact was enough for the Beta to know that his arousal was not masked enough for the Alpha. He politely excused himself, and as he walked past Ambrose he could almost feel the anger bubbling from him. It was something Troy had always been able to sense, even though he retained the calmest of exteriors.
Ambrose fumed at the blatant disregard to protocol that Troy had demonstrated. It was bad enough that the woman had been allowed to cross the gates, but now he was crossing the line. The wolf would have much explaining to do later. He pushed these thoughts out of his mind as he nodded politely to the female. "I am Ambrose," he introduced himself. "Master of this territory."
He took pride in the fact that the younger woman looked slightly taken aback by his appearance. He enjoyed being admired. His eyes scanned her over, looking for clues that would denote she was not what she appeared and that this was indeed a trap. Upon finding nothing, he sat on the other edge of the couch.
Ambrose had heard the conversation she and Troy had shared, and despite himself, his interest was now caught. She too had decided to leave the safety of her clan. "Would it be too much to ask for you to share the reason as to why you abandoned your clan?" His tone was not rude, but cold, distant. It was the same way he was to all of those around him. There was no warmth in his eyes, or kindness in his tone. The only thing to be found was polite respect, and just underneath it, the knowledge that he could, at any moment take control of the situation and completely dominate the other person.
Bella locked her ice blue eyes with with his green orbs, matching the sparkle of curiosity. A soft smile overpowered her rose pink lips, now taking complete interest in the man before her. She might have been kept from the world her entire life, but she knew what raw power smelled like; the type of power that you are born with. His reserved attitude was more than understandable... after all, she was a stranger. However, she was genuinely happy that he was asking questions and had provided shelter from the freezing rain. Unfortunately, if it would have been him in the same situation and in the perimeters of the clan, he would be dead. No questions. No pity.
A cloud of sadness engulfed her, her smile dropping, but the gentleness remaining. "I left because I simply couldn't handle the entrapment and subjection to their rules. They saw me, and they saw weakness... so I simply decided to do them a favor and remove myself altogether, opting to truly live life for the first time". Her throat tightened as the weight of her decision sunk once again. 'Don't look back,' she thought to herself; a mere whisper that would have to gain confidence and strength to carry her through her new life.
Ambrose felt compelled to continue speaking with this woman. He was never one to feel connected to another human being, and in his line of work it was never helpful to have any kind of attachments. If need be, he would even be able to dispose of Troy, though it wouldn't be the easiest of tasks.
"I can understand the sentiment," he stated solemnly. He stood, and in his hands an intricate dress appeared. Ambrose handed it to the woman. "For you to feel more comfortable. I don't normally allow this, but under the circumstances, I will allow you to remain at my estate until you feel healthy enough to continue on your journey."
"Oh, thank you very much. I'll be out of your territory first thing in the morning", she said retrieving the beautiful dress from his hands. Bella gave him a gentle smile, taking in his scent and basking in his strangely pleasant aura. The animal in her felt slightly uneasy, alert, and fully aware that this man could tear her to shreds; yet her woman side felt safe, and somewhat comforted. "I do not mind sleeping here, since i've clearly intruded enough... which I am sorry by the way. I realized the commotion I caused once I jumped your fence". She had been aware of his staff's movements and watchful eyes, having experienced it her entire lifetime as the clan observed her every move and reaction closely.
Ambrose knew that had he been living within his pack this woman before him would have long been killed. The rules that governed the animals was one of no compassion. She would have been seen as a danger to his clan. His people guarded their homes diligently. It was where they had their young, and feeble, mothers who were nursing, the ones who would be unable to defend themselves. It was why intruders were killed. Upon escape the location of their dens would be known to their enemies, and the clan would be vulnerable to attack. The fact that Ambrose was allowing Isabella to not only live, but also remain in his home and leave unharmed said a lot about his confidence as well as his disregard for the way his pack lived. Although he preferred for others not to know the exact coordinates of his home, he knew that in today's day and age anyone with a computer would be able to pin-point him on a map. Long gone were the days where you had to guard your treasures. Banks did that for him now.
"That will not be necessary," he said. "As you can see, I have more than enough room to spare." Ambrose motioned to the large hallway before them that lead to other areas of the house. "If you'll follow me, Isabella, I will show you to a room where you can rest for tonight, and change your clothes."
As the female stood, he looked away, finding it difficult to ignore the parts of her flesh that the blanket did not cover. He understood his Beta's reaction to the woman. She was young, and beautiful, and it was difficult to find women when one was so busy with wars, and running a pack. Ambrose stifled his more animalistic emotions and lead her out of the sitting room through the vast corridors of his home. Adorned on the walls were banisters, statues, and other pieces of art that demonstrated his sophisticated taste.
He paused before two large doors and opened it slightly for her. "You can retire here," he said. His eyes scanned the two rooms to either side of the one he was providing her with. "You won't be as lonely in this area of the house. You have neighbors on either side." It was a subtle way to let Isabella know that although he was being generous, he still was no foolish man. He would have eyes on her. Just in case.
Bella took in the sight of the luxurious chamber that would be hers for the night. Everywhere she looked, the room was finished with impeccable taste... something she was not quite used to back in the humble cabins of the clan. "Thank you Ambrose, you have been far kinder than I expected anyone to be so far," she managed to say before her growling stomach interrupted her. "I apologize.." she chimed embarrassed, looking away as her soft pale facial complexion slowly reddened. "I hope you enjoy the rest of your night," she added stepping into her chambers, in the hopes he would paid no attention to her complaining stomach. The last thing she wanted to do was further inconvenience that man standing before her, considering she had nothing to pay back his generosity. She would leave first thing at dawn knowing he would be able to go back to his normal life once her scent vanished forever. Bella was aware that as much as she had been welcomed... she really wasn't.
"If you'll please," he said, holding the door open with one hand. It was strange speaking to a woman. It had been a long time since he had spoken to anyone outside of his pack, let alone someone of the opposite sex. "If you're looking for something to eat, I can have our chef prepare something for you." Ambrose was not ready to see her retire into the room for the night just yet. He told himself it was purely for the purposes of getting information out of her.
Linus, the younger cub that resided in the room next to the one he had provided for Isabella, poked his head out of the door. He still learning the ways of his people and it had only been a few months since he'd been allowed to live inside of the house, but he knew better than to interrupt the Alpha. When Ambrose had finished talking he stepped out. "I could show her where the kitchens are, if you'd like."
Ambrose looked over to the youngster. He was Troy's much younger brother, and that was one of the few reasons that the child had been allowed to move into the house. "Fine," he agreed. "Bring her down to the dining room once she's prepared for dinner." He made eye contact with her once more, "Isabella, I will meet you there." With those parting words, he left as silently as they had come.
Linus smirked and made his way to the slightly open door, curious to see the intruder. It was the first time Ambrose had trusted him to do anything other than run him some paperwork. He smiled at her and waved, "Hi, I'm Linus."