Licking ones wounds
It had been an exausting run, but Diane finally made it home.
As she grew closer to the large porch she slowed her gait so that her footsteps were light. Her breath came in pants not only from the distance she had traveled but from the pain she was currently suffering. The change had been fast and brought on from the result of panic and fear, which was never a good way to go about it, but sometimes there was no choice. To make matters worse, she had been badly injured before shifting forms and it only amplified the pain when the broken bones tried to shift and meld into new structures. She had managed to damage herself even further and the thought of changing back to human right now was not a pleasant idea.
Limping up on the porch, Diane plopped her hind quaters down on the wooden surface with a dull thud. She was alive and for now that would have to be enough. She had failed at her original mission but succeeded in forcing the damned vampire, Panos, in backing down. Diane's threat had been made clear, and she didnt think that he was foolish enough to test her on it once again. Killing wasn't something she did lightly but when it came to her family or his, she wasn't going to be on the losing end.
Her body began to heal itself and as it slowly mended she wimpered softly. To take her mind off the pain she let the events replay through her mind. She had managed to hold them back thus far, as her only concern had been making it home, and now they raced past each in other in a colorful blur.
One thing stood out amongst the rest and her stomach began to churn as she saw the light in Chryseis's eyes go out once again. Diane mentally watched as the lethal woman's body fell to the ground literally a step behind her. Not only had she been a breath away from her own death, she had killed someone.Diane felt the full impact of what she had done hit her.
The insides of her stomach suddenly became decorations on the porch with one heavy wretch.
None the less, he never slept soundly when Diane was out for any length of time. Usually he would read, or go out for a run on his own. Making the shift more often now, he was becoming extremely adept at it, and suffered no ill effects or delays at all any more. Had he known the advantages of shifting so often, he might not have avoided it as much as he had.
Tonight's run had been exhilarating to begin with, and offered him a good 'head clearing'. Everything around him became 'more'. The night air was clearer, and crisper than it had been so far, reminding him winter was on the way. The sky was blacker, and held more stars. The scent of pine, and flowers filled his nostrils, and the rare kill he'd made of the summer fatted rabbit tasted remarkably delicious. That alone told him he had come a long way recently.
But the trip home had worn him down, and he was looking forward to seeing Diane upon her return, and getting some sleep. What he never expected was to find his lover lying prone on the porch, heaving up the contents of her stomach. Fear exploded inside his head, and he shifted without thought.
"Diane? What the hell happened to you? Are you okay?"
Unmindful of his nudity, Bastian knelt on the porch, and lifted Diane's head to see her eyes, and offer her some comfort.
Gingerly, Bastian brushed her hair from her face, and looked Diane over for signs of injury.
"Can I lift you? Get you inside?"
She winced as he lifted her head carefully. A massive headache was taking root and she breathed a few deep breaths before she spoke.
"I promise not to go out alone again, and this time I mean it." Her attempt at a joke was hindered by the slur she produced as a result of only using half her face to talk.
She sat up and wobbled, still disoriented. Feeling her face gently, Diane noted the swelling and turned so Bastian could see. No doubt it was bruised badly.
"I'll be ok, it's mostly my face and maybe a few ribs. Sorry about that." She pointed to the mess on the porch.
With a painful sigh Diane looked up at Bastian's face. The worry was clear in his eyes and she felt a pang of guilt. This was a definate 'I told you so' moment but instead of fearing his reprimand she knew she deserved it. Hell she would have kicked her own ass for this stunt if Panos hadn't already done it.
"I thought you were asleep inside..." It was a lame statement and she knew it. It hadn't been her intention to let him find her like this, by the morning most of wounds would have been nearly healed and less gruesome looking. Now she had caused him unneeded worry.
Where did she start?
"Today I went to kill someone and got my ass handed to me and ended up killing someone else instead and maybe even a second person."
Actually, that sounded pretty good.
"Well, I went to put an end to my little blood sucking problem, got a little roughed up ended up killing a different vampire that snuck up on me and possibly another person. A real person, human. She smashed her head on the floor because I knocked her down."
So she had reworded it a little but it didn't change the fact that she was a murderer and by the end of her sentence, she was crying like a baby. Feeling foolish she leaned into Bastian and hid the good side of her face into his shoulder. Just the smell of him was a greater comfort that gave her the strength to calm down. Even if he was angry with her, she would be able to handle it because the bottom line was they were safe now. Broken bones and bruises were worth it.
Her voice was such a comfort, Bastian didn't really hear the words, but rejoiced that she spoke at all.
Besides that, a woman would do what she wanted, no matter what she said. Bastian knew he loved Diane, and trusted her with his life, but also understood she had certain passions not even he could dissuade her from. This damn vampire she'd been stalking was one such thing.
It didn't phase him that she had been in wolf form when he'd first approached, and that she had shifted just before he reached her. They had now been together long enough to have seen each other shift often enough that it was as normal as getting up in the morning and dressing. The veterinarian in him could have just as easily treated her wounds in wolf form, but he admitted to himself he felt more relieved to see she was already healing in her human form.
Holding her shoulders as she sat up, Bastian gave her the support to keep her upright. Lightly tracing the bruises around her face, Bastian's eyes narrowed.
"You know I don't sleep well when you're gone. I'd gone out for a good run, and only just started feeling weary."
Her comment about the vomit on the porch was completely ignored. Bastian could have dealt with a hundred times worse as long as she was okay, or going to be so.
Still lightly running his hands around her body, feeling for anything that felt unusual, Bastian listened as Diane filled him inon the details. Any time she talked about Panos he felt his anger begin to boil inside, but he had become adept at keeping that to himself for the most part. Tonight though, seeing the condition she was in, he couldn't help but let it out.
"Madre dios, Diane! I do hope you are sincere when you say you won't be going after him alone again. I can't keep watching you as you push yourself closer and closer to death!"
And now she had killed a different vampire, and possibly a human as well? Aside from the obvious ramifications, Bastian knew this was going to be something Diane would live with the rest of her life. And it was that, above all else, that made him fear for her.
Without any further ado, Bastian scooped Diane up in his arms, and slowly carried her upstairs into the master bath. He'd have the maintenance men clean up the porch later...it would keep...she would not.
"We'll talk more later...count on it...but for now I want to get you cleaned up and in bed."
Any other time those words would have had a substantially different meaning. Tonight he wanted her resting as soon as possible, somewhere safe, and secure.
Sitting her on the padded bench inside the master bath, Bastian went to the large jacuzzi tub, and turned the water on. Once it was nearly half full of warm water, and epsom salts, he also turned the jets on low, then retrieved his wounded lover.
"Sit here for a bit, and I'll run down to get you something warm, and potent to drink."
Placing her into the softly bubbling tub, Bastian put a rolled towel behind Diane's head, kissed her lips with a light brush of his own, and then left her to her thoughts.
It made her want to weep like a baby once more.
Instead she waited till Bastian left the room and sniffed back the tears and unattractive snot that was threatening to run it's course.
This was what made Bastian a head above the rest. Anyone else, herself included, would have had a hissy fit to begin with and then remembered the injured person on the floor. She knew that she wasn't out of the pot with him just yet but she took comfort in the subtle reminders of why she had went after Panos to begin with. Not that she needed any, there wasn't a day that went by that she didn't find herself simply watching Bastian in complete wonderment. In her eyes he was perfect. She knew without even needing to think that any amount of beating was worth protecting this.
Splashing water on her face Diane let her hands linger a few moments. All she wanted to do was curl up next to Bastian and feel his warmth beside her. Never again did she want to see the fear in his face or hear his voice strain with concern because of her own transgression. She waited for him to return so she could tell him just that.
Fortunately the pain from his outburst brought him up quick, as he stopped and stared at his hand, covered in dust, still half stuck in the wall.
Shaking his head, Bastian gingerly removed his hand, noted the bloodied scrapes, and the damage to the wall, all the while cursing beneath his breath.
Yes, part of his anger was directed at Diane. As much as he tried to give her space to be her own woman, he just couldn't help but be afraid of losing her. Didn't she understand that no one is immortal? She herself had killed a vampire! And vampires really were supposed to be immortal! Even as strong as werewolves were, they were alive and could be killed in most of the same ways as mere humans. But a vampire?!? Diane had killed one. Bastian couldn't begin to fathom how she had managed that, and wasn't sure he wanted to know. As it was his mind was already forming images that he could have happily lived without.
Forcing himself into the kitchen, he dug out the teapot, a tray, and a bottle of old and expensive brandy. Waiting for the pot to boil, Bastian ran his hand under some cold water, letting the water run unattended. He stared out the window at the lightening skies and again gave thanks that Diane had made it home alive. For them to remain together, and share the life Bastian envisioned, he knew he would need to have a serious talk with Diane soon.
Not only could he not live like this indefinitely, but there was Joey to think about as well. And soon...well, once they were married, Bastian wanted more children. But he would not want those children to be in constant peril of losing their mother either.
The teapot began to whistle and Bastian shook himself from his thoughts. Patting his hand dry he was happy to see the damage was really minimal, and should heal quickly. A cup of tea and a shot of brandy, one in each hand, made their way upstairs.
As he moved to the doorway, and could see her sitting in the tub, his heart was wrenched all over again. He really did love her. Had he told her? She looked so beautiful there, and so fragile. He knew she was strong, but not invincible.
He didn't know what he would do if he lost her. He would tell her. They couldn't continue like this.
"Odd." She thought to herself.
Given the time she had been soaking in the tub she could already feel the change in her injuries. Where her face felt full and large before, now she could see out of both sides of her face. No doubt it was a few wonderful shades of greens and yellows. It still hurt like all hell, but then again healing sometimes felt just as bad as the injury.
Diane felt the air stir as Bastian came into the room and she gave him a small lopsided smile.
"I hope you've made yourself some of that alcohol as well. What was that noise downstairs?"
She waited for him to come sit near her all the while feeling like a kid who'd been caught sneaking in.
"I meant what I said earlier Bastian, I really do."
When she spoke Bastian realized he'd just been standing there staring at her. He wondered how long.
Walking to the tub he knelt down and handed her the brandy first.
"A small altercation with the wall."
He shrugged, but smiled.
"Drink this first, then you can have the tea."
Right now he just wanted to get her safely into bed, where she could sleep, and heal, and he was pretty sure he wouldn't find a need to worry anymore tonight.
He was glad she professed sincerity in her promises to leave the vampires alone. He also knew if circumstances presented themselves in a way that went against her soul, she probably wouldn't adhere to them. And yet he still couldn't fully fault her. The only major consideration was that she had others to answer to, and as long as she did, she would need to fight her instincts at all costs.
"I hope you do, Diane. Not just for your own self preservation, and not just for me..."
Gazing into her eyes, Bastian's own softened even more as he leaned in and brushed her brandy kissed lips with his own.
"I love you, you know." That he would suffer unimaginably if he were to lose her was unspoken, but certainly visible on his face.
"More than all this is you can't leave your son alone. And Dios willing, if more babes should come, they will need you too. Those are the lives that will be affected, if you were to continue this way."
Brushing a curled tendril from her forehead, Bastian left his hand to linger at the back of Diane's neck.
"We need to talk to someone who 'can' do something about the vampires."
"I went after him to protect all of that,... all of this. I didn't want to spend the rest of our lives always looking over our shoulder, waiting for them to come here and find us. I couldn't let that happen."
Diane shifted to release one her arms, bringing a hand up to his face. As she traced over his lips and then his jaw line with her fingers, she felt the desperation inside her swirl. If Panos and the other vampires had come here, to their home...She couldn't even begin to concieve of what would happen. It was the worst possible scenerio.
It didn't matter because it wasn't going to happen, they were safe now.
"I love you too Bastian, and nothing breaks my heart more than knowing I am causing you pain. I hate that and I'm sorry, it's the last thing I've wanted to do."
It occured to her then that they were both worried about protecting the same thing; their future. She smiled and rested her good cheek back onto her other arm. Her physcial wounds would heal, but it was her heart that would never mend if anything should ever happen to him or her son.
"We don't need help. It's over. I've killed his aunt and threatened to come back and kill Delilah if he ever comes near me again. He's backed down."
She felt sure of herself that Panos wasn't going to come back into the picture anytime soon. She had delt him a heavy blow and shown him how fast she could tear apart his world. Sure it had been a fluke she had gotten the female vampire,but she was dead regardless. Call it delusional but Diane felt confident the vampire problem had been taken care of.
Her fingertips felt cool against his cheek, yet he felt tiny electrical shocks in her touch as well. He narrowed his eyes slightly as he studied her.
"It is not for you to worry about my pain. I can deal with anything, as long as you're back home safe. And if you're sure its over, I'll let it go. I will try to believe Panos knows better than to pick up things again, but I would feel a lot better if our Alpha knew of this threat, even if it has passed."
Bastian wanted to voice his concerns over possible retaliation, and how it would make perfect sense if this Panos was very close to the aunt Diane killed. Diane killed. It hurt more to think such a thing than the pain Bastian endured when he smashed his hand into the wall. His little Diane had killed someone, and now would live with that the rest of her life. Justified? Bastian was confident Diane had been, but he doubted that would offer her solace when she remembered the deed.
Standing he reached for the lush bath sheet, and held it up to her.
"Let's dry you off and get you to bed. We'll discuss it more tomorrow when we can do so with less emotions. I believe you feel there is no more threat, but until I can agree I won't rest easy."
Her eyebrows arched high as she debated if he was the victim of a concussion.
"Your pain and ways to keep you from it, are amongst my top priorities. I know that sounds kinda ironic seeing as I keep taking off to do wonderful things like hunt vampires, but it's for the over all good."
She stood and accepted the plush towel he offered and wrapped it around her body. The bath gave her over strained muscles the much deserved soak that they needed and she would forever greatful to Bastian for it.
"And if it will make you feel better we can tell the Alpha. I just don't want to put more lives in danger than I already have. "
It troubled her that despite her efforts to protect them, Bastian was still left feeling uneasy. It wasn't that she didn't want the Packs help. She had finally come to terms with being apart of the Pack and she was willing to to trust them with her life and that of her family, she just wasn't sure that the Pack would agree with her decision to take care of it on her own. It was why she hadn't gone to them in the first place.
Diane had been afraid they would of told her to stand down and ignore the vampire, let them take care of it. It was something she knew she couldn't of done. So instead of seeking their approval she had acted on her own. Now in the light of the evenings events, going before the Alpha seemed alot less scarier than facing down another vampire. Hopefully come morning she'd still feel the same way.
He also had no real worries that Thanos would find issue with what Diane did. Even if the Jiro disapproved, and as well he probably would, Bastian couldn't help but believe he would also recognize that what was done, was done.
"I think by telling Thanos about Panos..." Momentarily distracted by the way their names rhymed, Bastian grinned, and shook his head. Rubbing his hands along Diane's towel wrapped body, Bastian plucked her from the tub, and cradled her close, standing in the center of the bathroom. "We'll be removing some of those dangers."
Now moving back into the bedroom, toward the bed that he had earlier turned down, Bastian placed Diane on her back on the mattress. Slipping the towel from her body, he replaced it with the sheets and comforter, tucking her in snugly. Having a higher metabolism than his lover, Bastian rarely slept beneath the covers, even if he started out that way. But he didn't think the chill that Diane felt was completely based on temperature.
Slipping into bed beside her, from the other side, Bastian drew Diane close again.
"Thank you for going along with my wishes. Sometimes we just can't do everything by ourselves, no matter how much we want to protect those we love. I hope you're correct, and that Panos is out of our lives forever, but I'm just not as optimistic as you are."
As she snuggled closer she reached up to play with his hair. Closing her eyes she inhaled his scent and let herself forget that only hours ago she had killed someone.
"I'll be optimistic for both of us. It's worth..." Her reply came out disoriented as the fuzzy edged of exaustion creapt up and devoured her. Diane's fingers stopped twirling in his hair and before she could finish the sentence she was asleep.
Tonight there would be no blood drinking monsters in the dark corners waiting to pounce. No evil men or women lurking just outside the perimeter of her vision, silently threatening to destroy everyone. Even her brain was too worn out to conjure up any images. Tonight there would just be peace and rest. It would be a dreamless night at last.
(ooc ; Diane out )