Lover's Lane, passing on the right
Spring had arrived and people were starting to come out in droves, any reason seemed to work; they were just tired of long cold grey days. It was night now, still cool though not so horrible as far as Sorcha was concerned. She brought Gwyn out to the beach so they could both stretch their legs while splashing all the young lovers walking along the shore.
For that reason she was wearing khaki capri cargo pants, a peach tank and with a white loose fitting cover up that slid off one pale shoulder as she ran. The unruly mass of red hair was thrown up in a high pony tail and her turquoise sandals were looped over the fingers of one hand.
She was currently chasing her enormous white dog down the edge of the surf, laughing at his antics as he barreled toward some poor couple and then veered away once he got close. Sorcha mused that it probably meant she was a terrible person and an even worse ex-nun to find this all extremely entertaining.
But back to swearing at the Elder. Mai had said the other Elder was causing trouble, slipping her guard. Damaris was quite proud that Morrigan hadn't gotten away from her... up until now. She'd shifted and started after her charge. The form had a number of advantages, not the least of which was... Morrigan didn't know about it.
Loping down the beach her long legs easily ate up the ground as she kept herself alert for for signs of the escapee. Seeing a very tall red head playing in the surf Damaris barked happily and sprinted toward her only barley skidding to a stop instead of plowing into the woman.
Wait, this didn't look right. Close but no cigar as it were. But that didn't stop her from running along side the woman. It was possible Morrigan was trying a glamor or some other trick and Damaris was determined not to be fooled. Again.
She looked around the beach to see if anyone was coming to claim their pet but saw no one. One didn't let a dog large enough for small children to ride just run loose in a populated area. It was asking for a law suit these days even if all the dog did was scare someone by licking them repeatedly. Sorcha snorted to herself, apparently it was not in good form to have a pet that you couldn't conveniently stuff in your handbag.
Leaning down to the new arrival, Sorcha looked for signs of a collar or tag and found none. Odd, you didn't normally see feral wolfhounds here and the dog seemed friendly enough. She wouldn't expect it to be so sociable if it were truly a stray. Perhaps it had simply slipped out of its collar and there was a frantic owner out there somewhere.
Looking into its eyes, she sent [So, now who do you belong with?]
Damaris was surprised to hear a voice in her head. Vampire! It was... not Morrigan. She smelled wrong. Just to be sure Damaris gave the new red head a through sniff, although she did polity avoid more awkward areas. Nope. Not Morrigan.
Yipping cheerfully she bounced back a bit and played the happy stray for a bit. There was no way to know if she was dealing with a vampire who just spoke to dogs or an Evenhet with sending. Either skill would work. More likely a dog speaker though, she couldn't imagine anyone sending to a dog.
Jumping up and placing her front paws on the redhead's shoulders, tail wagging, she answered.
[I belong to myself.]
She kept the answer simple, much like a dog would have. And certainly she wasn't going to go asking after the Elder. She was trying to deny she'd lost said Elder.
[Well okay then.]
She scratched the wolfhound behind the ears and stroked her fur.
[You're quite the pretty one to be out all by yourself. ]
Gwyn whined, his own tail wagging. He inched forward and sat, looking up at her hopefully, then inched forward and sat again. The new hound was getting all his attention and while he was polite and well trained enough not to growl at her, Sorcha could tell he was a little jealous. She sent her loving affection to him and he barked happily in return, bounding around her and the new dog with puppy like glee.
Sending to their new companion, she said. [ Would you care to join us for our game? Gwyn here can show you.] The white wolfhound waited a moment, panting happily at the other canine before bounding off down the beach toward the next couple strolling hand in hand.
Cocking her head at the cheerful white hound Damaris decided that this woman was a dog speaker. Hopping down from the woman's shoulders she engaged the dog, inviting him to play a little but he already had a game.
[Games are good.]
Some days it was good to embrace this transformation, joy was a lot easier to find. It didn't take much to learn the rules of the game and Damaris ran along with the big white dog. She'd take one side, he'd take the other... OK she should -not- be amused by this.
The next couple were busily gazing into each others eyes, talking quietly about...well, whatever lovers talk about while walking hand and hand along the shore. What they weren't doing was paying attention to the beach ahead of them.
"You're going straight to the Christian hell for this." Rio ran along beside her. Sorcha could tell that her sister, while antagonistic, was amused and trying to hide it.
"I'm only going to hell if they die of fright. Besides its good for them. Reminds them that other people are out here too. And Studly there can be quite hero and save his woman from the vile clutches of two enormous man eating canines....or not."
Sorcha and Rio watched as the couple finally saw the two dogs. It was the man who screeched like a small girl and took off backward for a few steps before stumbling in the sand. Gwyn came to a halt and wagged his tail at the woman, looking for all the world like he had just done her a favor.
The woman looked at the dog and then back at her companion before dissolving into a fit of giggles.
Laughter was harder to manage as a dog, but not impossible and that girly shriek brought it on. Apparently his date felt the same way Damaris yipped along with the woman for a second or two.
The big white dog's reaction was equally amusing. She wondered about this tall red head who looked enough like Morrigan to make her do a double take. Damaris did feel a little guilty about playing instead of looking for the Elder, but she was calling this networking. After all you couldn't know too many vampires with a sense of humor, and she was predisposed to like anyone who had a fondness for wolfhounds.
Unable to resist she licked the fallen man's face once or twice before trotting back to the woman. She sat down politely near her borrowed companion. She cocked her head looking up.
It was hard to remember to keep her answers so basic and harder still to know how to get her point across that way. But she hadn't made up her mind if she'd be letting the redhead in on this little game.
The stranger actually nodded. "Its no problem. Gary will be okay. I just think his pride is hurt right now. Isn't that right, pumpkin?" 'Pumpkin' didn't look like he was inclined to agree but he was back on his feet at least, brushing sand off the back of his shorts. The woman gave Sorcha a mischievous grin and signed back. "He had just been bragging about standing up to these -huge- guys in the gym" She giggled "No doubt the big man is embarrassed that he was scared by an obviously very friendly dog. I would pay to have that on video."
Sorcha smiled with the woman and signed back "Well, tell him we're sorry again. And if we come back this way I'll get the camera out."
They moved on and Sorcha turned to the grey wolfhound. [I don't know them. Strangers.] She thought about it again and asked. [Do you want to know who is next?] She looked over at Gwyn and he barked happily ready to start the game over again.
Damaris chuffed. That had been the wrong answer, a perfectly logical conclusion she had to admit but wrong answer. Unfortunately, unless she was ready to give her game away she had to try and respond like a dog. It was an interesting challenge and one she had really never run into before. The odds of her needing this skill in the future were slim and none but, it never hurt to be prepared. Did it. She just wagged her tail for a second.
That seemed like a good way to clarify the question, and she nudged the woman with her nose to emphasize her point. Trying to keep to her doggy nature though she leaped up, barked cheerfully and lowered her forequarters at the big white dog inviting him to play before taking off at a dead sprint down the beach for a bit and then turning back to again 'play' with her new friend.
They made their way further down the beach. Sorcha watched both dogs as they charged ahead, occasionally creating a stir but nothing so spectacular as before. Eventually Gwyn seemed to tire of the game and came to a halt, waiting for her to catch up and then sitting down. Sorcha sat on the beach beside him, leaning a shoulder against the big white dog.
[We wore him out. ] She laughed and told the other wolfhound.
"Oh my gawd! Are you nuts?!" Sorcha looked up to find a small brunette stomping towards her in the sand. "Those dogs aren't on a leash! They should be on a leash! You can't have them out here without them being on a leash! Its against the law!"
It was all said in one breath and Sorcha wondered, with that much hot air, if the woman's head would explode if she did not regularly open her mouth.
She signed to her telling her that they were not bothering anyone. Both dogs were sitting calmly on the sand. A few minutes ago...well, that didn't matter.
"Oh don't give me that act. You can obviously hear me."The woman huffed and put her hands on her hips, bending over and frowning down at her like a parent would an errant child. Sorcha felt Gwyn lean forward and mentally asked him to stay, telling him everything was okay.
Arching an eyebrow at the woman, She opened her mouth wide, showing the self righteous imbecile the partial lack of tongue. Predictably the woman leaned backward in horror and disgust. It was her next reaction that took Sorcha by surprise.
" That's gross! Why would you show me that?! I don't need to see that!"
Well that was different; she'd never had to come up with a name when she took this form. She should have thought of that. Her mind through several possibilities and Damaris finally lighted on one her father used to call her when she was a child.
Loosely translated it meant treasure. Well perhaps to him. She decided not to think about it and played with the big white dog instead. It was surprisingly entertaining, she didn't often encounter another wolfhound these days and he was smart.
As her two new companions seemed to tire and settle down, they seemed content in each other's company and Damaris debated wandering off, but by way of a thank you for the game instead stretched out in the sand, for all the world looking like a massive throw rug made of wiry gray hair.
She had just been standing and stretching, it was time to get back to hunting down her escaped elder when a rather small rather shrill woman thought she had the right to accost them. It wasn't really her fight Damaris reasoned, besides Sorcha was a vampire and should be able to handle herself. The only thing she did was sit down on the other side of the red head. The woman now had two large dogs flanking her.
That should have been enough to give a sane person pause. But no, this one had to lean over Sorcha. Well Damaris wasn't restrained by the rules of being a good dog or even a pet; she growled a low deep growl that was very clearly a warning.
It was the total disgust that set her off. She'd seen people react like that to Ambrose and -loathed- that kind of ignorant behavior. So... that was it. Taking advantage of the burnet's backwards stumbling Damaris jumped at the woman, knocking the ignorant human on her ass. She then placed large sandy paws in the middle of the self righteous idiots chest and snarled down at her, for dramatic effect she barked once or twice, right in her 'prey's' face. She'd bite, but well the burnet probably tasted bad and Sorcha had no way to prove that Damaris -didn't- belong to her.
[Its all right. She's not worth the trouble.]
Looking down at the woman, she considered her for a moment. She sent the embarrassment and resentment she felt at being looked at with such disgust. Briefly Sorcha let the woman feel the frustration of not having the use of her tongue, not being able to communicate. The brunette's eyes went round in fear and she clutched at her mouth, hoping to find that important muscle still attached.
Releasing the glamour, Sorcha waited until the woman realized she could speak once more.
"I'm...s...sorry. I didn't realize. I... should go."
The intruder got up and ran.
Sorcha turned back to both of the dogs with a shrug. [How long do you think that lesson will last?]
Perhaps a while, she wondered if the woman would have nightmares. If she did then perhaps she'll be a better person for them. Really, Sorcha didn't think it was that big a price to pay.
She leaned down and hugged the grey wolfhound. [Thank you. I appreciate it.]
Damaris happened to agree with that, but that didn't mean she was backing down and she lingered growling down in the woman's face for several long seconds taking her sweet time letting the brunet go. When she finally did move she made sure to sneeze in the other woman's face for good measure.
She watched the woman run and cocked her head at Sorcha.
[Longer if I chase her.]
It was a little surprising how upset she was about this. But it was an issue she was close to.
The hug was surprising and Damaris had no idea what the appropriate response was as a dog. She sure as hell wasn't going to lick Sorcha. She had her pride. She settled on just leaning into the hug.
[You are welcome. I can help again.]
She wagged her tail cheerfully.
That was probably wrong of her and likely didn't help the case that the dogs should be on leashes. However, both dogs had been perfectly behaved when the woman came along. It didn't matter much unless the woman ran into a policeman and tried to report the grey wolfhound but Sorcha didn't think the woman would stop long enough for that.
[I would appreciate that. You did a great job.]
Dusting herself off, Sorcha looked around the beach for any vendors that looked like they carried anything good enough to feed to the dogs. Sadly it seemed to all be junk food and she wouldn't feed that to a goat, much less a canine.
[Are you hungry? Perhaps we can go find food somewhere?]
Huh. There was pickle number two. Damaris almost never ate. She'd fallen out of the habit years and years ago, it had just wasted time. On the other hand she had only rarely seen a dog that wasn't hungry or at least willing to eat what was set in front of it.
She really did have to get back to work finding her escaped elder too. Damaris cocked her head to one side an thought about this for a moment. Duty won. It almost always did.
[Late. Must find some one. Will you be back again?]
She wouldn't mind meeting up with these two again. Chuckling to herself she wasn't sure if she'd show up on two feet or four.
Sorcha laughed silently as she watched the grey dog take off hot on the heels of the brunette who sought to cause them trouble. Gwyn looked at her, and she gestured at him. He ran after the other canine, barking happily at the chase.
They came back not long later.
stated that she was late and needed to go find someone. Sorcha leaned down and hugged the wolfhound again, scratching her gently behind her ears.
[Perhaps some other time. We had fun.]
She thought about the question asked. How to explain time to a dog? It was a difficult concept. [Yes, when its dark out. ] They could return looking for the other wolfhound and hopefully they would manage to see her again. It was still strange that there was no collar or any other sign of an owner on the giant dog.
Ah well, if S
didn't have an owner and they saw her again then she was plenty welcome to come home with her and Gwyn. What was one more enormous canine in an apartment?
[We come often to run.]
((OOC: Out pending response ))
[Me too. I'll try and be back.]
It took a lot of effort not to laugh, not even a canine laugh at the idea of after dark. She bounced back, took her leave of Gwyn and barked happily. At the last second she decided to leave Sorcha something to think about.
With that little tease Damaris took off at an easy lope. She -was- going to find this missing elder and then tie her to a chair and make her stay put.
((OOC... Damaris out))