Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Instincts - Part Four
Danner was very glad he had the next couple of days off;
he wanted to stay with Jeran until Illusen cured the recently turned Werelupe.
The blue Wocky leaned back in his chair, expertly shuffling a worn and fraying
deck of cards while he watched Jeran prowl around his cell curiously. So far,
Jeran had ignored him completely, more intent on inspecting every nook and cranny
in the small stone cell.
Danner dealt himself yet another solitaire game;
he was having a miserable run of luck with it today. Not quite as bad as Jeran's
recent run of luck, though, he amended. He'd far rather lose a game of cards
than turn into a Werelupe. Thank the Fortunes there wasn't a Werewocky variation.
Danner suddenly had a horrible mental image of
what would happen if there was a Were-variation for every one of the species
on Neopia. While the idea of Wereblumaroos was kind of funny, Weregrarrls would
be utterly terrifying. Why did Lupes even have such a curse? He knew that Werelupes
had been around since before the different species had even started working
As far as he knew, there'd always been Werelupes.
Hiding at the edge of civilization, in the dark and the shadows; as far as most
people were concerned, Werelupes only existed as threats evoked to keep rambunctious
cubs in line. The blue Wocky supposed that it was one of those questions that
had once had an answer; but no one alive knew the answer anymore, and it could
never again be answered.
The sound of the door's lock clicking startled
him. Quickly he looked at Jeran, then relaxed as he realized it was the door
to the solitaire area that was unlocking, not the cell Jeran was in. Except
- Danner started. No one but him was supposed to have a key to either set of
doors. Turning sharply, he saw a tiny pirate Lupess shutting the door after
she entered, carrying a small wicker basket. It figured; he should have known
Mareian would be able to pick the lock.
Danner quickly stood, his deck of cards falling
to the ground in a scattered sprawl. "Mare, you shouldn't be here." He tried
to keep her from getting further away from the door and seeing Jeran, but the
tiny Lupess easily sidestepped him.
"Illusen gave me something to give Jeran. She
said it should help." Reaching into the basket she pulled out a small glass
phial of dark amber liquid.
"I'll give it to him," the Sheriff promised,
desperately trying to think of a way to get her out before she saw Jeran. Jeran
didn't want her to see him.
Mareian hesitated, her hazel eyes searching his
face. "So he turned," she said softly. "Illusen thought he might; she said he
had to be pretty desperate to volunteer to be locked up." Holding up the glass
phial, she explained, "It's supposed to keep him asleep. That way he can't hurt
anyone or himself until Illusen's ready."
Danner paused; a sleeping Werelupe wasn't really
dangerous at all. Thank the Fortunes for Illusen and her bright ideas. "Think
he'll drink it if we give him a glass of water?"
"It's worth a shot," Mareian said.
The tiny pirate Lupess started to cross the room,
close to the line of sight into Jeran's cell. Reaching out, Danner caught her
arm. "Wait, Mareian, Jeran said he didn't want you to see him if he became a
Werelupe. He's too afraid he might hurt you."
He'd pushed his luck too far with her. Pinning
her ears, Mareian jerked her arm away from him, stepped back and bared her teeth
angrily. "Until Jeran tells me that to my face," she snapped, "he'll just have
to live with it. Don't you think for even one second that he's any less my friend
Hearing her angry tone, Jeran snarled, slamming
himself against the steel bars of the cage, bending the thick metal with his
impact. Instinctively Danner grabbed Mareian's shoulders and pulled her away
from the enraged Werelupe.
"Danner." Mareian's voice was quiet and urgent.
"Let me go." She was looking straight at Jeran, who was frantically trying to
get past the bars of his cell.
Stepping back, the blue Wocky looked from the
tiny Lupess to the giant Werelupe.
"I'm alright," Mareian said, walking slowly towards
the now torn Werelupe, who seemed unsure if he should be making sure Mareian
was alright, or if he should be attacking Danner. Mareian held out her arms.
"See? He didn't hurt me. He was only trying to keep me safe."
Danner was impressed at her composure, her soothing
tone and relaxed posture. It seemed to work, Jeran stopped snarling and pricked
his ears at the pirate Lupess. Jeran regarded her carefully, obviously looking
to make sure she wasn't hurt, and sniffing curiously at her. Apparently satisfied
she was alright he turned and looked at Danner. The blue Wocky couldn't help
but shudder at Jeran's scarlet gaze. I hate you, it said. I will never
forget you, and if I ever get my hands on you, I will kill you.
It was easy to forget what a big, strong person
Jeran was, Danner realized. The Lupe and Wocky had been best friends for over
twenty years, and Jeran always been so laid back and such a nice person that
it was easy to forget just what he was capable of. Danner uncomfortably remembered
all the times the Lupe had easily bested him in hand to hand training.
Mareian carefully poured the sleeping potion
Illusen had given her into a sturdy cup and filled the glass the rest of the
way with water. Expertly, she stirred the thick potion with the water, almost
as if she were mixing an exotic drink. Cocking her head, she looked at the mixture
critically. "Does that look appetizing to you?" She gave the Wocky a wry grin.
"I don't think I'd drink it without seeing someone else drink it first."
"Maybe I should give it to him," Danner said,
pulling himself out of his reverie. "Normally we make the prisoners go back
to the far wall of the cell until we're done giving them things, but I don't
think Jeran's going to listen."
Mareian gave him an amused look. "After that
little show, Danner, I think you're far more in danger from Jeran than I am.
He wants to protect me. You on the other hand, look like lunch. Or at the very
least, a new blue fuzzy chew toy."
It was hard to argue with logic like that. Danner
just hoped that Jeran wouldn't kill him once he was cured for letting her get
close to him as a Werelupe. That would be just the blue Wocky's luck. Shaking
images of his own mangled body out of his mind, Danner bit his lip nervously
as Mareian carefully slid the cup between the bars of Jeran's cell.
Unfortunately, Jeran only sniffed the drink curiously.
After pushing the cup around a little bit, then deciding it didn't make a very
good toy, he curled back on the bed and went to sleep on his own.
"Why don't we go get dinner while he's asleep,"
Danner said to Mareian, "then we can take shifts watching him until Illusen's
cure is ready." Locking the door securely behind them, Danner hoped tomorrow
Something was wrong. Jeran sniffed the air to
find what had changed, then opened his eyes to confirm what his nose had already
told him. She was gone, as was the small male who had threatened her. There
was no scent of distress in the air to say that he'd stolen her away against
her will. After seeing how she'd handled the runt last time, Jeran had no worries
about her being able to take care of herself if the male should try any funny
business with her. Still, Jeran wanted to know that she was safely with her
Prowling around his small area, he growled at
the bars that kept him in this cage. At least it was darker now, and he could
see better. Craning his head up, he peered at the window. Air from the outside
wafted down, carrying the fresh scent of grass and trees, and the old scent
of people. The area by his window must not have a lot of people at night. That
was good; it would make finding her scent easier.
He grabbed the bars of his window with an easy
jump, and with some straining pulled the bars blocking his way down and set
them on the floor. Another easy jump and he wiggled his way out though the small
window out to freedom. Now all he had to do was find her. He'd better keep his
nose peeled for the scent of the small male too, he'd already threatened her
once that Jeran knew of - he'd not have the opportunity to do so again after
Jeran got a hold of him.
To be continued...