Et tu, moon?
Continues from I like what you did with the place
Viv stood on the back porch of the Den and tried not to lose her mind.
She had managed to experience her last full moon of her pregnancy right at three months, before the baby grew too big to halt the transformation process completely. This was the second lunar phase she would miss and the wolf in her ached as she looked up at the full moon.
Her first a month prior had been spent locked in her apartment with wood nailed over her windows in complete darkness. It took everything not to destroy her apartment and poor Brig could do nothing but leave her be for those three nights as he ran in the woods with his Pipers. This time the insanity wasn't so bad.
Ok that was a lie. Viv was suffering like you would not believe.
This time Viv gave in and stood in the pale moonlight, her hands cradling her ever growing baby. Her only comfort was Brig's uniform jacket - his scent inundating her senses to the point of distraction, but when the howling floating up from the property's forest began, she slowly fell to her knees and covered her ears.
Hammer flanked him on his right and his father to his left, their large wolf forms barreling through the smaller trees instead of around them. The three of them had fed and their gullets were full, but the moon still held her sway.
They ran the edge of the Tikerak until Hammer broke off, heading back into the forest, a scent undoubtedly catching his attention. Brig maintained his direction, taking him directly to the Long Run and back to the Den in hopes of seeing his mate. His mind wavered between lust and intense need for his female but his human mind reminded him that she would not be able to join him. Breaking through the brush that led to the Long Run's green yard, her scent immediately hit him like a jackhammer. Coming to a halt, he dug his paws into the earth and howled for her, long and hard.
After a while, Viv just assumed she could not have children. There had been plenty of men in her sixty plus years and lots of sex, but she had never once gotten pregnant. But she had gotten pregnant, while on birth control, within a month of meeting Brig as far as Viv could figure. It had been so unexpected, so implausible, and she wouldn't change anything if she had to do again. So despite the uncontrollable shaking from the adrenaline in her body aching for the transformation and the feel of hot needles pricking her skin, Viv knew she and Brig would have many children and would voluntarily go through this horrible process as many times as the good lord saw fit to bless them.
A loud and distinct howl pierced the Long Run to the west of her and Viv recognized it as her mate's. She felt a ripple of pain tear through her body her wolf so desperately wanted to call back to him. Slowly, from the darkness of the tree line, Brig's massive red form moved toward her. His blue eyes locked on her brown ones and he chuffed at her, his jaws opening. He climbed the steps quickly and approached her as she remained knelt down in front of him. He towered over her. The sweat from his running mingled with his scent and she immediately reached out to him and pulled his bear like head close, hugging him tightly.
Their transformation was a release that men took for granted. Their females doubly suffered for their families - the uncomfortable aches of a pregnancy and the denial of their own release. There was nothing he could do for her, and as he climbed the steps of the back porch, Viv immediately reached out to him, inundating him with her scared and tortured scent.
He pressed his forehead against hers as she reached up and pulled at his fur. Brig so badly wanted to transform back, but the moon had not finished with him yet. Settling back on his haunches, she came to him, pressing her soft body against his chest. She was so small, so vulnerable in her human form. Her tiny hands touched his jaws, not at all afraid of his large, sharp teeth. It broke his heart to hear her quietly sob as she suffered. Brig curled around her so she could lie against his giant body. Viv whispered gently up into his ear, telling him how much she loved him and that she was ok, despite her tears.
Suddenly he lifted his head and turned toward the soft crunching in the grass by the tree line he had just come from. Standing, he gently jostled his mate off him as his ears swiveled back, hearing another wolf come into the yard.
Brig immediately turned and rose from his perch next to Vigo's daughter, his hackles rising. Vigo felt the tremor of a growl ripple across his snout and did so angrily.
"Father?" Vivienne said in a confused voice. Slowly she rose to her feet and pulled at the jacket she was wearing to temper her shakes in front of him. She looked weak, there was no hiding that.
Vigo's attention turned back to Brig who was edging closer to the steps in front of Viv, protecting her. They lowered their bodies and their ears went flat against their heads - each trying to exert dominance, claiming Vivienne. A bubble of anger surged up from his chest and he barked harshly at Brig, admonishing him for his insolence, but Brig refused to back down. Vigo realized why - there wasn't much of anything that could undo the fierce protectiveness of a mate. His nephew hadn't quite crossed that line yet, but he wasn't backing down either.
His eye glared at the boy, despite Brig being over one hundred years old. Brig would not dare cross that line, whether he was Vivienne's chosen or not. Vigo took three forceful steps forward, but was cut off by another large red, one that was his equal.
Instead he shot off further down the tree line, in search of his brother in law. They could maybe chase down game or give the Pipers a run for their money. The madness did swell in him, but at almost one hundred and fifty, the moon's sway had quelled enough for him to think through it, although he could never resist her. Why would he? Her pull was a magnificent twist of fury and her strength and power could be felt from the tip of his black nose to the swish of his deep red tail.
Picking up Vig's scent was easy, but curiously it led him back to the edge of the Long Run. Moving swiftly through the trees, Duncan heard the deep rumble of his brother in law's growl. Redirecting his path, he entered the Long Run just north of Vigo and saw him advancing on Brig. Vivienne was standing on the porch, stinking of her sweat and suffering through the pull of the moon without any type of release. Brig moved in front of her, protecting his pregnant mate. Looking back at Vigo, Duncan's hackles rose in anger. Vig was trying to assert his dominance with Vivienne. Again. Only this time they were held captive by their wolf instincts and Vig was about to cross the line of what would be appropriate and start something he could not possibly justify.
Inwardly his human mind sighed unhappily and the wolf in him was torn, but only for a moment.
Vig took no more than three steps before Duncan was on his flank, snarling at him a warning that could not be mistaken. His brother in law turned and snarled at Duncan, snapping his jaws angrily, telling him to mind his business.
Duncan, equal in size and ability, moved within a foot of Vigo, pressing his ears back, barking back with equal tenacity. He threw his shoulder into Vigo, forcing him to back off. Vigo lunged at Duncan again, snapping his massive jaws just inches from Duncan's face, but he held his ground.
Then the party really got started.
Normally the Pipers kept their comments to themselves, never gossiping about leadership, but even LT was curiously confounded by Elder Hammerthynn's reaction to Viv and his uncle. Vigo Hammerthynn was, for all intent and purposes, Viv's father. They all knew the story and saw the relationship the two in question had, even though Elder Hammerthynn was never once publicly affectionate toward her. It was his angry dominance that he took no trouble to hide. It made all the Pipers uncomfortable, but LT saw the indecision on his uncle's face, but Uncle Brian ignored it, as best he could. That was in human form with common sense and propriety on his side, but as a wolf...LT knew his uncle's claim on Viv as his pregnant mate would not be rivaled. By anyone.
LT was compelled to act, but chain of command could not be ignored. Without hesitation, LT moved into the clearing, flanking the angry Elders, and behind him four Pipers moved into position on the opposite side.
Two Pipers moved between the CO and the Elders as LT and the remaining Pipers readied themselves next to him. There was nothing LT could do but protect the Elders, despite their Commander's angry stance. His uncle was challenging a superior, but was protecting his pregnant female. LT was confused but the power the Elders held over the Pipers was undeniable. The only person in the clearing that could even act against Elder Hammerthynn was his grandfather and family Elder, Duncan. The chain of command had to be obeyed.
His uncle moved down the steps, his growling low and vicious, and LT could not refuse the challenge against the Elder. Moving himself in front of his Uncle, the two Pipers on his flanks assumed their protective position, halting the Commander. It killed LT to do it, but what choice did the Pipers have?
"Jesus Christ," Viv said angrily from the porch. JT looked up at her now and could smell the sweat permeating her scent. She was the first pregnant female he had seen struggle with the inability to transform. Viv was shaking with fierce tremors, her skin was covered in sweat, and her color had paled. "Stop!"
The Commander turned his head and looked back at Viv who gave him a pleading look. JT could only imagine what the CO was feeling - he was only protecting his pregnant female. 'His' being the operative word.
Elder Hammerthynn snapped at Elder Jameson and both Elders fought to exert their dominance as the Pipers held their Commander at bay.
He had broken off from his Uncle and cousin to pursue the scent of a delectable doe, even though they had just fed in the past half hour. But Hammer was a large man with an even larger appetite.
Hammer's graying red fur was stained black with the doe's blood around his mouth and his initial bite had torn the animal's jugular vein and common artery, splashing an angry spray of its blood up his face. As Hammer pulled the flesh off the bone, the startled howl of his LT broke his concentration. Lifting his mammoth head, he turned his nose up to the sky and listened.
Movement through the trees echoed past him - fast frantic wolves tearing through the thinner brush, answering the LT's call. It wasn't an enemy on their territory, although it was as urgent. Hammer stepped away from his kill and moved at half speed toward the clearing.
Low guttural growling filtered through the trees until he heard his father's angry barking mixed in with his Uncle's. He did not think it was necessary to interfere, especially with an Elder conflict, but as he silently moved to the edge of the clearing, the issue at hand unfortunately required his immediate attention.
It was Vivienne that noticed him first. Her tortured demeanor and thick sweat inundated their air. Of course, he thought. Her pregnant female pheromones were everywhere, causing a problem. With who the problem was affecting surprised him the most.
"God damnit," she muttered, her hands clenching Brig's jacket that she wore. The Pipers came into the clearing and the LT blocked Brig's advance as the others protected the Elder's flanks.
Duncan was forcing a confrontation with Vigo, trying to distract him, but Vigo's angry gray eye kept flicking back up to Vivienne on the porch. Guilt rose up as she watched her father exert his dominance on his long time friend.
"Brig, stop. Stopstopstop," she said stepping closer to her mate, but he turned his head to the side and growled, immediately stopping her, much to her surprise.
In the wolf hierarchy she would be submissive to her mate. He was at least three times her wolf size and the obvious protector of his family and pack. As a pregnant female she felt the pull of Brig's authority more as a wolf than as a man, so she could no longer disobey him as turn against him.
Brig turned back to his nephew and took two aggressive steps toward him, forcing LT back with a renewed control that Viv had seen wither not months earlier during his fight with Hammer. The Pipers flanking Brig all took a step back, but held their ground. The LT shook off the obvious fear of his Commander and pushed his ears back, growling angrily at Brig. LT was maybe fifty pounds lighter than Brig, but he was making up for it in tenacity. They were all acting accordingly and it was pissing Viv off to no end.
They were all concentrated on either Brig or the Elders, so when Hammer stepped into the clearing, it was Vivienne who saw him first.
And she paled at the sight of him.
Vigo began his assault on Duncan, pushing against the other Elder, telling him to back off. Brig's father retaliated and a flurry of fur and spit erupted. Vicious growling and jaws snapping broke the thick silence of the clearing. LT ignored the fighting and kept his eye on Brig as he moved to the side, wanting to assist his father when Brig noticed his nephew turn and immediately tuck his tail in fear.
"Shit," Brig heard Viv say in a scared voice behind him and the presence of a higher authority stepped closer to the crowd of Pipers.
Hammer may have been the Elder Hammerthynn's son, but his presence as the greater Pack's Beta was unattested. Brig relaxed from his dominating posture and they all turned toward Hammer as he approached the Elders.
Vigo and Duncan broke off immediately, but Hammer's father remained in his aggressive stance, snarling at his son.
Brig chuffed at LT and swiveled his head back, immediately sending the Pipers back behind him. JT moved up to Vivienne and gently nudged her back with his massively black head. There was nothing else as Commander Brig could or would do with Hammer asserting his position.
As Beta, Hammer was gigantic in size, even slightly bigger than Brig even though he was taller than his one eyed cousin. Hammer's shoulder blades rolled, popping up almost through the tough skin of his back as he moved slowly through the clearing, toward the Elders. His face was black and matted with blood and the skin on his snout rippled with anger as he growled at the subordinate wolves. Hammer swung his massive head in Brig's direction and he immediately felt the pull of Hammer's authority, pushing him back and out of the area.
Out of respect he did not turn his back on his Beta as he stepped back up onto the porch, pushing Vivienne out of the area along with JT.
It didn't matter that he had raised Vivienne as his daughter, loved her only like a daughter or acted only as a father. Vigo had no claim in challenging Brig for Vivienne and that his nephew was only acting accordingly. If his human mind could convince the wolf in him, he'd see that he would be putting Brig what he himself had to suffer through as a young man when he lost his own mate.
Losing Emma had broken him in more ways than just his heart. It forced Vigo to refuse to deal with the loss of his mate, the only mate he would ever willfully choose and love, and turn his back on his own flesh and blood. His own son suffered, doubly so, in losing not just his mother but his father as well. This was the little boy that entered the clearing that night, not when Vigo turned and looked at Hammer.
Iov was eleven again, looking up at his father with the threat of tears in his eyes, silently begging for his father's comfort, but Vigo could not see past Emma's beautiful contribution to their son. Iov had her smile, the shape of her face, the color of her hair and it killed Vigo just to look at his own son. Instinctively he railed against the memory of his lost mate who's gentle features adorned their beautiful son.
Vigo turned his anger toward Hammer and sudden he was no longer the sweet eleven year old boy he denied a father.
Hammer was a grown man now with a family of his own and the burden of an entire pack on his shoulders. Vigo looked at his son, covered in blood and wielding a power Vigo would never know. It wasn't his son's position that he envied, but the fact that he had a mate to share it with that tore Vig apart.
Immediately Vigo stepped back as his Beta approached him, relaxing out of his aggressive posturing and showed respect. Just short of tucking his tail, Vigo cowered, feeling the silent power of his son.
Duncan immediately broke off and backed up, showing the Beta respect. This was no longer his fight to defend and took his leave immediately, following after Brig and the rest of the Pipers. Hammer would have to regulate, but he would not do it in front of the others to save the old man from disgrace, but Duncan suspected the damage was already done.
Brig was pushing Vivienne back toward the doors and the rest of the Pipers were heading back toward Tikerak. Duncan watched as Viv reached down and gently touched his son's face, stroking his fur and then finally disappeared back into the Den.
Duncan waited for Brig at the edge of the porch, chuffing at him to follow. Brig waited until the doors had closed and Viv was away from them before joining his father. Together they ran back out to the Tikerak, their huge paws digging into the dirt.
The night had peaked and was ebbing closer toward the beginning of a new day. Duncan finally felt the release of the moon's pull and he led his son to one of the large lakes on the property. Lowering his head, he forced his change and painfully transformed back to his human form. Kneeling near the edge of the water, he took a deep breath and ran his fingers through his hair. Brig took a few minutes, circling angrily, trying to reign in his wolf and finally he did. Kneeling on one knee, Duncan looked at his son and could still see the anger just under the surface.
With a deep breath, he looked back over the water and said, "I'll talk to Vigo."
"No," Brig snapped but then shook his head. "Viv should be the one to talk to her father. She keeps putting it off because...shit, I don't know why."
"You have to understand something, son," Duncan said, settling down and leaning his arms on his knees, "when my sister died, it changed Vig. He...closed in on himself. To him, he's losing his mate all over again."
"But she's not his mate, dad, she's mine. What he's doing is wrong on so many levels." Duncan flicked his eyes at Brig, not at all pleased with the disrespectful tone. Brig held his hands up, "I'm sorry. But she's not his to claim."
Duncan sighed. "I don't think Vigo even knows how this is effecting him, your choosing Viv as your mate and starting a family. She's been everything to him."
Brig looked confused and asked quietly, "What is she, exactly, to him? I've seen fathers hold onto their daughters, but not like this."
"He's not in love with her. They've never had that type of relationship, son." Duncan saw the look of relief on Brig's face. "Hammerthynns procreate, they're not like us. Love isn't...Vigo was lucky enough to love his chosen wife. Emma was five the last time he saw her before meeting her as his betrothed. Their marriage had been planned a generation before, to keep the Piper bloodline strong but varied enough not to be genetically broken. I swear to you, they loved each other the moment they met."
Brig looked up at his father and saw the smile on his face. "I know you do, son. I can see that. Your mother has thought so since we got here."
"How does mom know?"
Duncan grinned sheepishly, "I sent her a bit of video of you and Vivienne."
"Oh dad, that's creepy," Brig said with a laugh. "What did she see?"
"Your mother saw what everyone else does. I've seen you two together. Viv's a good woman, I know that. There wasn't anything she wouldn't do for her father, hasn't done."
Brig was stunned to hear his father refer to Vigo as Viv's father. Brig had only recently gotten used to it, but it warmed his heart to hear it, if only for Viv. He was curious though as to what Viv had done for Vigo over the years.
"How is it possible none of us knew about her? Why didn't you at least tell me?"
"That was Danil. He wished it, but not the reasons you think."
Danil Hammerthynn, the legendary old Elder Hammerthynn who kept popping up in the families' history. Brig had never quite known the older wolf, only that Vigo was 1/10th the man Danil was and that was saying a lot. "Who knows?"
"Vigo's brothers that were there that day they took their retribution on the Sena pack. Your grandfather as the Elder at the time and myself as his successor. But Danil had us never speak about her. As far as the rest of the clan knew, she was an outsider Vigo used. A resource. She was never allowed on the property or introduced."
"What type of resource was she supposed to be?"
Duncan took a deep breath, "Vigo used her when the Pipers couldn't officially handle a situation."
"Or to clean up after us?"
"I wouldn't call it that," Duncan said with a shrug. "She's capable, I'll give her that. But Vig kept me out of the loop in that regard for plausible deniability."
Brig and Duncan sat at the water's edge silently for a few minutes, watching the moonlight on the lake. Without looking at him, Duncan quietly said, "You have my blessing, son."
Looking over at his father, he grinned, "I don't recall asking for it."
"No, but you'll need it, Brian."
Brig paled, the smile falling out of his expression. He would have married Viv regardless of what his father said - whether he had given his blessing as Elder or not - but with it, it would make Brig's choice in keeping a Vyusher R'asa as his mate that much easier. Their children would be Kadzait, but the stigma of Viv's original pack and colors will stay with her for the rest of her life and their children's lives. Nodding, Brig appreciated the man his father was and his ability to see beyond what was proper for his own children.
"Thank you, dad."
Walking along the perimeter of Den, he nudged his way into the building and stalked back toward the residential wing. As he passed through the dining area, Vivienne's familiar scent wafted toward him, although it was tainted with her tortured sweat. Moving toward the scent, he found her sitting with her head in hands, alone in the darkness of the seating area.
Hammer looked at her for a few moments as her body shivered with the agony of no release. He sympathized with the pregnant females and had wondered how Viv was fairing through her pregnancy, if only as a concerned Beta. He knew the days were better during the full moon phase, but the nights were unbearable for some and apparently for Vivienne.
He had watched Lily suffer through her own miserable lunar phases during her pregnancy with their son, but he was, at best, a guard against prying eyes and had not been able to comfort her in the least. But then, Lily's husband had not either.
Hammer watched her from about twenty feet off, his nose sniffing the air when Viv finally lifted her head and looked at him. Her face looked haggard and tight with stress at the same time. Gold brown eyes stared back at him, reflecting what little light there was in the room. Curiously he tilted his head at her, studying the expression. Unable to understand what she was going through, he moved closer and stopped in front of her. Hammer was eye to eye with her, his enormous girth was infinitely bigger than her, but she showed no fear looking at him.
This is what his father loved, this female torn between two worlds, two men, and only one life. Why was she so important to his father? What was it about Vivienne Sena that Vigo would defy his own father and ask for her life? She was only ten, but his father saw something in her or maybe she represented something in him, something he felt he had lost.
Or maybe he kept her alive because Hammer's mother would have wished it so.
Hammer blinked his good eye at Vivienne then turned away and left her there.
Letting himself in, he walked into the bedroom to his left and heard the shower running. Still naked from his transformation, he padded in quietly to the bathroom and tapped his finger on the shower stall glass. With a click the door opened slowly, steam pouring out of the stall. What he saw broke his heart.
Viv was still shaking, even under the hot water. She looked miserable, her arms wrapped around herself and a half hearted grin on her face. Stepping in, he closed the door behind him and pulled her into his arms.
"You ok?" he asked.
Viv pressed her cheek against his chest and her shaking tempered down immediately. "Your scent makes it easier, somehow."
"Does it get easier?" Brig honestly did not know. He made it a habit to steer clear of pregnant females for obvious reasons.
"It's supposed to, but I guess it can't get any worse."
Brig kissed the top of Viv's head and smiled as he felt her baby bump between them. Laying his cheek on her head, he sighed. "I love you."
"Yeah, I saw that outside."
Brig pulled back and looked at her. "You're going to talk to him." It wasn't a request.
"I will, Brig."
"Tomorrow or later today. You can't just ignore what's happening. What he did out there?"
"He's my father. He means the world to me."
"Does he mean more than me?" Viv refused to look at him. He bent his knees and looked her in the face, making her look at him. "Does he?"
"That's not fair. I love you. Why ask me something like that?"
"Because I really need to hear it right now." Brig put his hands on Viv's arms and squeezed gently. "There isn't anything I wouldn't give up for you and our daughter, Viv."
"Don't say that, Brig."
"I mean it. The pack, my command, stepping up into my father's position."
"I wouldn't let you do that."
"My place is with you," he said, laying his hand on their child, "with this little one. I'd give it up, for you both. So I need to know, right now, that I mean that much to you, too. I can't go on fighting Vigo for you. It'll tear our authority over the Pipers to shreds and the very reason you came out here for would happen, because Vigo couldn't let you go."
The tension from Brig's body slowly released as she ran her hands over his skin. She was avoiding the conversation and was on the verge of using sex to do it. It made her ill. Stopping, she rolled the soap in her hand and looked at it.
"Tonight was...awkward. I never thought it would come to that. I know my father loves me," she paused, helplessly lost. "He wasn't like this with my two other husbands."
"You weren't pregnant with his Piper Commander's baby, either." Brig paused. "Have you ever been pregnant? Before?"
"No, not even a scare. I was on birth control when I got here, but I just assumed." She shrugged, finally looking up at him. Brig's eyes were so blue and so full of concern. His scent engulfed her, mesmerizing her with an intense arousal that was sudden and almost painful. She could barely keep her hands off him when he looked at her like that. A hot blush burned her cheeks and she grinned, looking away.
"What?" Viv could hear the humor in his question.
"Nothing." She couldn't help but snort.
"Are we done talking about this?"
Goosebumps prickled across her skin, making her blush even more knowing Brig could see her reaction to him. "No, it's fine."
"Do you want to be done talking about this?"
The achingly sexual promise hidden behind the question made Viv tingle, knowing full well the tremor of his voice could do that to her. Brig's hands came around her waist and he laid his hands flat against her skin.
"I'm not looking at you," she said laughing.
"That's all right," Brig said, his lips coming down on her neck as he pulled her close to him, skin to skin. "You don't have to look."
Viv closed her eyes and sighed, "Dirty."
Brig's laugh rumbled deep inside her as his lips found hers.
((OOC Everyone out))