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Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Instincts - Part Four


by nimras23

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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 together.

     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 than yours."

     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 went better.

*****

     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 pack now.

     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...

 
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Other Episodes


» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Instincts - Part One
» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Instincts - Part Two
» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Instincts - Part Three
» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Instincts - Part Five
» Chronicles of the Court Rogue: Instincts - Part Six



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