you're too young & eager to love
09 October 2016 @ 09:15 pm
 
I exist in two places,
here and where you are.
- Margaret Atwood




His hair is long when he finally accepts Austin, when he is ready to defer.

(It will be cut when he is forced into the compound. This will be their first act, the men with their needles and white jackets. They will shear him, clumsy cuts with dull scissors that leave the sides short and the top long, uneven, falling forward into his eyes. He will already be transformed by the time Ita sees him. He will be more beast than man, more feral dog than human heart.)

Austin drags her fingers through it, dark oil slipping against her callouses, softer than her own coarse curls and tangles. He is barely more than a boy; she is still half a girl. She nips at his strong jaw, pushing her nose into the curve of his ear. He holds her hip, laughing into her neck.

They have spent years together, picking their way through the wasteland of barren, drifter cities, creating a home in the heat of the desert. They are well suited for it – creatures of craft and shadow. They find a balance. She is stronger than he is, quicker, more persistent and capable. He is too prone to anger, too haunted by their shared pasts and its aching horrors. He does not speak of his parents or his brother, and she knows he has replaced all of them in his eyes, that she has been transformed into a new being entirely. She is herself, and then she is Austin.

(She does not mind, does not see the burden. He would die for her, she knows and it is enough. Sometimes, she wonders how much of it is genuine and how much is biology.)

She makes a choice. She will lead. He will follow, an eternal phantom limb, her second right hand. Austin seals the pact in the only way she knows how, in the only way that is provided to them: in flesh and blood. A promise born in salt and sweat and her body braced above his.

They will find the others together. One by one, they will join, until a family of six is forged.

A pack.





“What was she like?” Ita asks, highlighted in the warmth of the fire’s glow. There is sand in her eyelashes, under her nails, scratching her smooth skin red.

“Is. What is she like.”

“How can you know? That she is still alive?”

“Because I do.”

“Because you are bonded.”

Chason laughs, harsh like the wind through the sand. “No. We do not bond like that.”

“But–”

“You think we’re all sentimental birds?”

She flinches around the eyes at the insult, catching her lip between her teeth. Her mouth is dry with tension. “I think she was your-”

“She’s Austin. Don’t overcomplicate everything with your expectations.”

They are not bonded, he says. He insists. Like a liturgy.

He presses Ita to him on their third night, and she feels her heartstrings tighten and knot around their bodies. Something in Chason responds, the deep well inside of him lessening, ebbing, until he has made room for her inside of his chest, protected by the sharp cradle of his ribs.

It is familiar to him, and yet completely foreign.





They change together. His muscles harden, his skin darkens, his laughter deepens. She becomes taller, sinewy, more dangerous. There’s a sharpness to her jaw and a cunning to her green eyes that beguiles. They spend those first years growing strong until they have wrapped around one another, two solid oaks whose branches have intertwined.

Austin learns that his laughter stems more from nerves than confidence. That a heat storm causes the hair on the back of his neck to stand up straight. That he sleeps with an arm thrown over his face, careless as a housecat, although every muscle in his body is poised for a fight. Chason learns that she loves to run, in any form, her long legs pumping her narrow body forward and faster, her hair catching in the wind, her laughter like lightning. That she is not ashamed to cry, tears thick on her eyelashes, mouth twisted into a scar of grief. That she sings to herself, soft wordless melodies, fragments of a childhood far warmer than the world they found themselves facing now.

Their roots go deep.

Like all close pairs, they keep to themselves. They move every few nights, never staying more than two weeks in the same spot, circling back around to familiar, isolated haunts like ghosts. They become acquainted with the desert, learning its foul plays and temperamental nature. Austin knows the skies, the hazardous sun, the trickster moon. Chason knows the shifting dunes and the paths their feet have crossed, his mind an ever-growing map, forever adding details and never missing the mark.

If they sleep in each other’s arms, it is because of the cold.

If he cradles her sharp face in his strong hands and tries to claim her mouth until she accepts, it is because of loneliness.

Like so few remaining things, she has become a comfort to him.

She thinks it her responsibility.





“She had a sister. Has. We found her, somehow. It seemed like a freak accident. There she was, skin and bones. A cough that sounded like a death rattle. Just working in one of those end-of-the-world bazaars out by the Eastern slope, where the desert is the worst. You know they say there’s an oasis out there? But we never found it. Never went further than that bazaar. It was like Austin saw her sister there, and that was enough for her. She was ready to rest for a while. And why not? We knew the desert, or thought we did, we’d been living like that for years.”

Ita is sunburnt, her lips cracked, her fingers bleeding. But she doesn’t mind; Chason has been talking for twenty minutes, his voice low and full of growls, and he has been patiently untangling the knots in her silver hair. He pulls and slips the strands over his fingers. He has been in a better mood ever since he caught the pack’s scent four nights ago, and it shows.

“What is her name?”

“Sabra.” He twists the last section of her hair before letting it coil down her shoulder in a thick plait. “There. That should last for a day at least.”

Ita does not ask how he learned to braid or whose hair he learned with. She doesn’t need to. Instead, she feels a storm of emotion twist, low in her belly, so she turns her head suddenly and peppers small, sweet kisses across his jaw and neck. He laughs, smoothing his hands across her shoulders. Dips his fingers with more insistence and unwinds the many layers of scarves she wears for protection.

“Were you always this eager?” Ita asks.

Chason rasps a snickering sound against her wrist. “You mean, with others?”

She smiles, not half as bashful as he expects her to be.

“My circumstances have always required urgency, Swan Lake. I didn’t have the luxury of protective walls.”

“… Neither did I.”

She says it so softly that he barely hears her, his mouth already wet on her collarbone. He ignores it for now, preferring to keep her a treasure, untarnished and golden in a rotten world.





Austin stands with her hands on her hips. The darkness creeps across her face with the last remnants of the setting sun. She tucks the long, rope-like twists of her hair behind hears and sighs. Chason touches her elbow. He feels the sweat on her skin, can sense her nerves.

“They’re close,” she says. “The men with their big guns and bigger traps.”

The pack cackles behind them, warning howls on the horizon.

“We should leave then.”

“Nowhere else to go. We don’t have the supplies to head back. Wherever we go now, we’re all caught up in their nets.”

“We’ve been in tough spots before.”

There’s a sad little smile on her mouth when she turns to face him. A kind of knowing. She pushes her hand back through his hair, leaning her weight into him, feeling him brace against the sand to steady them both. “I think I made the wrong decision. We shouldn’t have come back. We should have taken Sabra and continued East. Should have found the oasis, the others, those rebel camps.”

Chason shrugs. It says a thousand things and nothing all at once. He dips his head and presses his hard mouth to her temple. It’s meant to comfort, but he can tell it doesn’t.

“Where you go, I go,” he says. He wants to make her smile.

He doesn’t realize how true his statement is until it’s too late.
 
 
you're too young & eager to love
15 July 2014 @ 07:00 pm
 
This is unfinished, but I sometimes wait too long to return to a piece and then I have difficulty picking things back up. Blah. I blame working and grading lackluster papers.

Anyways, I wish this could be longer and have an actual ending! But my wifey-poo wanted more Chason and Ita desert moments, so here. Since they exist in the same universe as Roman and Lene, I figured it wasn't cheating on our current storyline.

--


Gone.


Disappeared.

That is what the watchmen and guards must tell Harrow, although the official report of the incident will say: escaped (abduction possible but not probable).

It doesn’t seem likely, even with the power outage and thus the failed footage from the security cameras, that two of the compound’s occupants managed to escape so quickly (they’re never labeled prisoners - in fact Ita’s file clearly marks her as a companion and all the receipts for her various legal transactions, ending with the one baring Harrow’s father’s signature, are included. Chason is merely called a donor but of what his file does not say). The desert surrounding the area is vast but hardly impenetrable; there is little protection from the environment and even fewer places to hide. It is true that the confusion that night lasted for hours and struck a panic in every human heart, making the blame difficult to place. Some of the holding cells’ automatic locks were released when the power broke and rumors of half-human beasts, grotesquely frozen in mid-change, clawing the throats of every civilian they encountered, spread like wildfire. The affluent hid behind their prized and paid for guards, too ignorant to fear the possibility of anarchy, while the armed men fired their guns at shadows too quickly and too often.

In Harrow’s arrogance, he had never thought to check on Ita, so it is only when the power is restored that he finds her missing.

An eight-hour lapse in judgment.

When she is not found in a week, it is only Roman that will dare to say to him – perhaps, perhaps she should just be let go. There will be others. There are always others.

But Roman does not understand, cannot understand, for how, Harrow demands, how can he let go of what is clearly his?

--

Chason knows this world. He has prowled and hunted for years, surviving on sweets hidden within the barren lands. He knows how maps can be made by the moon and stars, how to follow the light on the horizon, and he remembers all the dilapidated shacks that still exist as icons from a different time.

Eight hours is enough – half of it spent as beasts, the other in human skin, and all of it cloaked by the deception of night.

The human’s drugs (forcibly injected twice a day – he has the marks to prove it) make it impossible for him to keep his dog-like form for very long. When they stand on two legs, he must drag Ita up the dunes by the elbow, persistent and overbearing. Her body gets tangled in the burdensome layers of her heavy skirts, her scarves that do not shield her from the burning rays of the sun once the day breaks above the horizon.

She is tired and wounded, but somehow not as wounded as he. Or so he thinks. He feels the old terror drilling inside of his heart – the constant rhythm of fire and storm and ash, half anger and half despair. Chason does not know what he has done or what his future holds, and he finds himself uncertain on the grimy, barren precipice of tomorrow.

When they finally stop to rest, Ita’s hair is thick with sand and his mouth is dry with worry.

She says, “It’s like you’re the wound, open and raw, and I am the fist full of salt.”

Chason laughs, barking and bite-like. “And here I thought I was the salt.”


--

He thinks it must be easier for her, in so many ways. He holds this like a bitter taste on his tongue, a prickle of cactus leaf that he’s half addicted to. A sense of self-righteousness.

But he loves how the light gets caught in her hair and the taste of the salt on her skin when he licks her collarbone.

She laughs so easily at times that it startles him.

“Is this it?” Ita asks him over a scavenged dinner against a burning desert fire.

“What?”

“How freedom feels?”

He shrugs his dark shoulders, sprawled comfortably against dry wood. Freedom to him is the cackle of pack mates, the thrill of a hunt, the smell of Austin’s sweat and the somehow cruel look of her approving smile. “You tell me. Do you miss your silver platters? Your scented baths?” He sounds harsher than he means to.

Ita bites her lip, runs her fingers nervously against her knee. She has her legs tucked close to her body but she’s still cold. She doesn’t know how to tell him that all cages are not gilded and freedom is more internal than external. That now is the first time her heart feels full and flooded and that she would prefer his harshness to Harrow’s most gentle of days.

Some things take time.

--

During their third week, they get caught in a lightning storm. The sand around them swirls, and Ita heads for cover. Chason watches the bolts of fire and feels a laugh erupt like a threat in his chest. He forms trenches in the sand, pacing with worry. The arid heat prickles his skin, makes his hair stick up and his fists clench. He wants to shed his clothes and bury himself into the night, slink like a feral beast against the weather, bowing his head to the will of the storm and a fate that he finds unbearable to fight.

He goes to her instead and tries to lose himself, to tangle his fingers into her hair, to cradle her head within his palms and bruise her mouth with his. She is pliant and willing and too easy to mold. He thinks he can hear the beat of his heart and hers in his ears, her palms against his chest and the small of his back like irons that scald his skin, the slick crevice between her thighs acting as the anchor between their bodies. He bites her shoulders and the tender spot beneath her ear. She drags his nails over his spine in an attempt to claim him, and he laughs her name against the pale column of her throat.

Afterwards, she draws lazy circle across his chest with his fingertips and asks about children.

He does not tell her that the compound’s medicine may have sterilized him or how Austin had tried for months, craving that particular feminine need, an attempt to fill a certain void, or how her disappointment manifested in the sharpness of her bite. Instead, he nips at her ear and snickers.

“Fatherhood,” Chason says, “is best left for brutes.”

“It could have your spots.”

“With your wings?”

“The better to shock them with,” she says, laughing with mirth. A sound that rumbles against her chest.

Outside, the lightning continues to strike.

--
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you're too young & eager to love
01 August 2013 @ 11:46 pm
 
I thought this was an interesting idea to investigate, but I got sidetracked by a pair of newbie characters. Therefore, I think this piece just panders on and doesn't really reach fruition. Whatever that means.

Oh well. It's 1900 words though!

Chason and Ita and angst and experiments. <3

the tides change )
Tags:
 
 
Current Music: without you -- rent
 
 
you're too young & eager to love
12 May 2012 @ 03:47 pm
 
 Who doesn't feel like putting this behind a cut? 

Me, that's who. 

More with Chason and Ita. A bitter, exhausted, angry at the world Chason. 

-


Chason sits for a long time after the fight has ended, his pulse heavy, holding ice to his face. He is beginning to feel less and less victorious the more his muscles rip and his skin breaks, although he has done better than some would have expected. His bones ache. His jaw is bruised and there are angry welts across his arms, his back, and one dangerously close to his throat. His left eye is swollen and now even breathing has begun to hurt.

Seven out of ten fights – some more easily won than others – but he still cannot shake the burdensome weight of each loss. He thinks of torn feathers and ripped wings until he feels sick to his stomach, until his fingers curl into fists at his sides. He thinks of losing even when he’s won, and he knows he’s incapable of doing this forever.  

 

 

The attendant finds him in the treatment room, his knuckles pressed against his forehead, the bag of ice melting in his hand. She clears her throat and Chason glances up tiredly, though he neither moves to rise nor speaks. She smiles, a pretty, slender Vietnamese woman with graceful hands. She moves fluidly and touches gently, working ointments into his wounds and threading stitches into his skin.

“They talk about you throughout the facility.” Her voice is even, lacking an accent, but not unkind. She tilts his face down in order to stitch the cut above his eyebrow, so close that Chason can smell salt on her skin. The nametag pinned to her shirt reads Tuyen.

“What do they say?”

“That you fight for her.”

Chason jerks his head away, his eyes sharp, but the woman waits patiently, needle in hand. “Her?”

Tuyen laughs, a twinkling, silvery sound, before gripping his chin between her fingers and lowering his face once more. “Don’t be stupid, Mr. Waters, otherwise I’ll have to tell the others that your reputation is misleading. You know whom. Harrow’s swan. The prize.”

Chason hisses when she slides the needle into his bruised, bleeding skin and she chides him under her breath. “This is nothing.” With her free hand, she pats his shoulder reassuringly, and he feels the lingering sweep of her fingers across his arm. “So, do you?”

“Do I what?”

“Fight for her.”

“Fighting for my life isn’t enough?”

After she has finished stitching, she uses cotton and antiseptic to clean the welt near his throat. “I have been at this facility for some time, Mr. Waters, and I have seen many fights as a result. Men like you are fighting for something bigger than themselves. Turn around please.”

He moves slowly, flinching around the eyes when the antiseptic is applied to his back, the burning sensation feeling like fire. “You’re shaking.” She says, touching the back of his neck in a gesture of tenderness that surprises him. But it’s true – his arms are shaking and the tension in his shoulders is iron tight. “You’re exhausted. Well, that’s to be expected.”

Tuyen finishes in silence, inspecting old bruises and bandaging fresh wounds. She has almond shaped eyes that are very dark and a full, soft mouth. He wants to touch her hair as she leans forward to inspect a mark on his shoulder but he keeps his hands by his side. It’s only when she turns to leave that he grabs her wrist, swift enough to take her by surprise, and presses his mouth, his nose, into her palm. There, beneath her skin, close to her veins, Chason thinks he can smell her. Salt and ocean spray and mackerel and something else, something he has never known.

Tuyen, bemused now, takes her hand back but not before touching the ends of her fingers briefly against his lips.

“What are you? I don’t recognize you.”

She grins and dips her eyes. “Lissodelphis borealis … Dolphin, the Northern Rightwhale variety.”

“You must be rare. Why aren’t you in a cage too? Leashed by Harrow and fought over? ”

“Who says I’m not?” She moves aside his hair before stepping away, speaking over her shoulder. “A guard will be here to escort you shortly.”

 

 

 

            The room changes each time. It is always nondescript, sparse, and heavily monitored on the outside. Chason tries to create an image of the area, of the hallways and corridors, the stainless steel doors and the identical uniforms, but it’s difficult when everything looks the same. He’s been planning his escape ever since they were captured and brought back, but the process is slow and daunting.

            He stands by a window overlooking an impossible cliff and leans his weight against it. He is hot beneath his clothes, the simple cotton shirt and denim jeans. Too hot, even for him. He can feel a sickness entering his pores, threatening fever, and his palms are slick with sweat. He stands for some time, waiting, listening, and finally Ita is allowed to enter the room. She stands too, close to the door, and he can feel her eyes on his back. What he must look like to her – a tall man, lean and worn bare, battered with injuries, full of grief and hate and, somewhere, tenderness still.

Chason does not turn. He does not face her.

“Come here.” She tells him, softly, and not the demand he had given her, months ago, in the desert. “Please.”

Shoving himself from the glass, he moves slowly. So much slower than she is used to, his hands in his pocket and his eyes downcast. He views her everywhere but directly, the blue of her linen dress, the length of her hair brushing her shoulders and neck. “Isn’t blue for royalty?” He asks while grabbing the silken hem, his knuckles brushing her thighs in the process, and presses her against the back of the door with the demanding presence of his body. He makes a cage for her, catching her between steel and flesh, until she places her palms on his chest and is forced to look up at him, made uncomfortable by his anger. Her eyes are large, and she stifles a gasp when he catches her face between his hands unexpectedly, leaning down to press his forehead against hers. When he kisses her she feels as though an arrow or a bullet has struck her.

 

Ita can feel him shaking.

He places his strong hands behind her thighs and lifts her, using the door to balance her meager weight, and she hooks her legs around his waist. He pushes her dress up, impatient, freeing himself from his jeans while leaving marks across her collar and the top of her chest with his teeth. The scratch of his beard reminds her of desert sand, but his strangled breathing and the forceful, hard way he tears into her makes her cry out in pain.

Chason takes – what he wants from her, what he thinks he is owed, and the snapping, bestial force inside of him only continues to grow.

 

 

Afterward, his eyes clouded and his mouth tight, he slips her into his arms with effort. He almost stumbles, Ita pressed into a ball against his chest, his arm under her knees and her cheek against his heart. He thinks he can smell blood, but he isn’t sure if it’s hers or his.

The bed is soft and white. Sterile colored. Chason takes the time to undress her now, slipping her dress up and over her arms, ignoring the marks of other men on her body – other victors. He lets her pull his shirt off, her hands lingering above the many wounds, and they watch each other. The slow way he pulls her too him again but only to cover her mouth with his, imploring, seeking. How she responds instinctively, tracing his jaw line.

He tells her he is sorry, his mouth against hers, and she wants to let the sob escape her throat but she doesn’t. Instead, she tells him that he has no need for apologies, that she is the one who owes him.

 

 

They lay together in the darkness, breathing, hands nearby on top of the mattress and Ita’s hair damp with sweat. Chason studies the ceiling, the cracks and weaknesses, before reaching to stroke her hip absently. It is not too unlike being in the cellar of the old house, except they are running out of words or they simply have no use for them now.

 

 
 
you're too young & eager to love
01 May 2012 @ 12:19 am
 
1, 223 words!

Switching up the point of view.

For some reason, I have the scene from The Brave Little Toaster where the psycho Air Conditioning Unit yells “It’s my function!” stuck in my head. It makes me laugh.

… I felt like sharing that information.

Also, I have a bit of an infatuation with Hebrew culture. I decided to reveal that in a tiny bit with these characters, just because I can. Also, the beginning is set after Austin has been rescued and they’re all waiting, recovering, and then progresses forward from there.

--


The last night you spend in the tilted house, the night before the government finds you for a second time, you lay in the dark trying to think of the right thing to say. Your pack is upstairs – they’re sleeping soundlessly, bodies curled together for heat and comfort. The cellar is much cooler, but you did not seek out damp shadows and lightless corners. You had simply tracked another. It’s habit now, the way you follow Ita into the cellar, a routine bred from your need to protect. The pack is less than enthusiastic about the swan girl’s presence, and you do not trust their yellow eyes when Austin is still too weak to lead. (If you listen closely, you can make out her breathing from all the rest. It’s weak, wounded, and the sound fills you with foreboding.)

Ita sits on the lowest step, quiet. Her wings have been sheathed, her feathers replaced by the white of her skin. You can still sense her change in the thickness of the air.

“When I was little, my mother used to tell me about the lamed vovniks. The thirty-six holy people. The existence of the world depends on them.” You slant your eyes towards her, although you know you have her attention. Her fingers are very pale in the darkness, and you see her pluck at the loose threads in her skirt. “I wanted to be one of those thirty-six.”
“Why?”
You place your hands behind your head and study the ceiling. “My mother said that the Messiah would be one of the lamed vovniks. Every generation is supposed to have one person who has the potential to be the Messiah. Maybe he lives up to it, or maybe he doesn’t. Maybe the world is ready for him, or maybe it isn’t.”

The silence creeps back in. You think she is elsewhere, claiming her own thoughts, until she finally speaks in her shivering voice. “Are you saying that you want to be a savior?”

You laugh – you can’t help yourself. It is sharp, rattling against the cellar walls. “I am saying that religion is bullshit, and my mother was full of false hope.”

And yet.
And yet these are not the words you want.

-

You leave the cellar and return to Austin. The fever eats away at her. It’s so visible that you think you should be able to touch her sickness, that if you brushed your fingers across her mouth you might be able to capture it in your palm.

“You smell like a bird.”
“You’re dying.”
Austin laughs, but it’s a crackling, inconsistent sound. She reaches her hand out, her fingers dirty and her arms bruised. It hurts you to look at her, but you take her hand. “So? Better out here than in that cage.”

“Don’t.” You say, simply and urgently. On your knees you take her head in your hands. With difficulty she focuses her eyes on you, and she drags her nails down your forearms.
“I don’t take orders from you, Chason. Even on my deathbed.”
You want to howl and slaughter and rage. You despise men and their inability to accept difference, change. You think of your parents and her parents, their early deaths, and the years the two of you spent in hiding, spent collecting others of your kind, spent together. She was lovely and fierce then; you cannot recognize the woman she has become. “This is not funny.”
Austin shrugs her sharp shoulders. “I think it’s hilarious. Everything is in the end.”

-

You do not get to bury her.

The government arrives with their loading trucks, ammunition, and guns. They burn the house with her body still in it, and your pack laughs like dogs. They flash their traitorous eyes at you in the heated night, sinister and sly.

-

In the facility there is a man you have seen before only in glimpses. You know he is Harrow instantly by the way Ita clutches, unexpectedly, at your arm.
“No.” You tell her, removing her hand and shaking your head. “You are stronger than that now.”

She is collected from you and given to him. He inspects her with his eyes and then his hands, tilting her chin to the left and to the right as though he assumes you have scarred her lovely neck. When he does turn his attention to you, you keep his gaze solidly. You bite your tongue until you taste blood. The sharp tang of copper strikes the predator inside of you, and he chuckles as though he can sense your anger.

“Do you know what pain is, boy?” Harrow gathers Ita’s hair into his fist and pulls her neck back, stiff. “Are you aware of its intricacies?”
“You cannot hurt us.”
“Us?” Harrow exclaims, raising his eyebrows. “How delightful, but you misunderstand. Punishment need only be felt by one.”

-

Your first fight is with a cougar.
You are required to shift inside the arena – the scientists hoping to record the effects of intimidation in male predators – and you are relieved when your opponent smells of infection despite his large, muscular frame. You stalk the perimeter of the enclosed space, smelling previously spilt blood, thinking you can hear the whimpers and roars of the last hour’s opponents.

Ita is above you, seated next to Harrow in an expensive suit. He has the hard, crooked lines of cruelty in his otherwise handsome face. You have to crane your neck to see fully, but you can make out the leather line of a collar and a leash attaching her to his hold. You focus on her eyes and hold the stare.

When you attack, it is with savage grace. You expose the cougar’s weaknesses with your teeth and cunning. The blood in your mouth provokes you further. The guards have to end the fight early, and your core trembles with the crash of the crowd. The world was not meant for this, you know that. But you also know that barbarity is a stronger foundation for civilizations than compassion.
You turn your back to the cougar, tasting death on your tongue.


-

A victor laying claim to his spoils, you are brought to Ita. You hands shake, so you shove them into your pockets.

You do not tell her that you thought of her in that arena. That you won for her. You pictured her endless hours with Harrow, the silent sorrow built inside of her, and you wanted it to be his throat you were ripping. You wanted to eat the meat from his bones. “This world is a disgrace,” you say while surveying the immaculate, emotionless room. You feel burdened, unusually heavy inside, and you do not know how to compose your body. You cannot relax your shoulders or slacken your mouth. Your eyes feel hot and your muscles sore.

You thought of Austin too. How her vivid eyes had turned lifeless long before her pulse ended. You thought of her hair and how it had become brittle in your hands, how she had been forced to waste away, to join the dust of bones and ghosts. You breathe hard when you exhale, approaching Ita and her bare legs, grasping her skin because it is soft and tender and something you do not need to shred.

-
 
 
you're too young & eager to love
29 April 2012 @ 12:40 am
 
After watching Shame, a movie about a sex addict, I decided to indulge in writing emotional!sex. The ending half is a little choppy, in my opinion, because I was running out of steam. I broke 1000 words though!

--



“We ran so hard we thought we would spit blood.”

Chason has been talking for nearly twenty minutes, unhurried, and pausing every time he catches the scent of some far off predator. (Men with guns and needles and immunizations – men who are searching for them.) The fire is dying, and his voice is low across the flames, thickened by the desert sand. Ita watches the way he tangles his hand into his thick hair near the nape of his neck, the beast inside of him laughing at the futility of their situation. She does not feel like laughing. She feels cold and hot simultaneously, caught somewhere between sadness and interest.

“That was just supposed to be the sound of childhood, you know. Heavy breathing and our feet scraping the hard earth. I was supposed to stop running, eventually.” The laughter crawls up his throat and out of his mouth though it sounds like a growl, grim and dangerous. “Every time I see a man kick a dog, I feel it behind my eyes.”

He is so very hungry. He has not hunted alone in years and the desert is not known for its hospitality. There is nothing to scavenge. Chason slips his heavy palm over his eyes and breathes out hard. He can smell her. Her scent is mingled with the desert now and the embers, with sweat and heat and prey-like. With his eyes covered he tells her that she is lucky – she has the gift of flight. For a reason he does not comprehend she laughs, short, and a little bitter.

“Come here.” He says suddenly.

Ita moves slowly but elegantly. Her clothes are burdensome and dirtied. The white is blotched by the sand and the sun, but they have protected her skin well. She looks like cream, Chason thinks. There is sand in her hair and he can feel it against his fingers when he places his palm behind her neck, coaxing her down and towards him. He looks at her lips, her fingers, the pale color of her eyelashes. She found wet sand earlier and she had dug deep to get to the seeping water; there is dirt beneath her broken fingernails as a result and when he takes her thumb into his mouth, biting softly, he tastes the wasteland.

Ita turns her long neck and Chason anchors the hold he has in her hair. He catches her in mid-turn, his mouth full and hot against hers. He feels her hands on his arms, their tight stillness, and the way she wavers. There is a rip inside of him, a gash made of teeth and claws, and he feels the hunter inside escape. When he kisses her again it is more like biting; he digs his fingers into her clothes, stripping the first wrapping of cotton away from her.

Ita makes a noise that he associates with the wounded and suddenly Chason, with great effort, stills. His hands are at her throat. He’s not sure why, but he strokes his fingers up and across her jaw, touching the corner of her mouth. He thinks he feels her tremble, but her eyes are very clear in the dark. Her breathing is shallow and he drops his right hand to slip it beneath the gauzy material of her shirt, touching the smooth expanse of her stomach. Somewhere inside of her there are wings threatening to tear free, beating against her heart.

“I don’t take without permission. You have to want this.” He tells her and his voice is very soft, softer than she’s ever heard. “You need to tell me. Do you want this?”

He feels the shape of her answer against his fingertips.

-

Chason undresses her slowly. He places his mouth against her spine and moves up, tracing the knots of her hollow bones with his tongue. He keeps a hold of her in some permanent way, either by gripping her hip or tangling one of his hands into her hair.

He is a heavy weight, but he braces himself above her with his arms, murmuring noises into the night. The desert is still around them, and they sink into the sand, making shapes and markings that will confuse the men following their tracks.

Ita does not know what to call this, a place before tears.

He is rough and demanding, unaccustomed to her slender body, her delicate frame. They are not used to each other yet. He hears the cackling, howling sonata inside of him instead of the sounds she makes. But he is keenly aware of the trembling in her legs, the almost panicked, desperate way she lifts her hips to meet his thrusts. With his teeth against her collarbone, he makes her come.

It happens with a fierceness he was not expecting.

-

She is bruised by morning. Her lips are swollen.

The smell of himself against her skin, inside of her, wakes him before the rising sun. His palm against her lower back, he strokes the skin there absently. Ita stirs and there is a slackness to her mouth, a comfortableness to the way she now sleeps against him that worries Chason.

He untangles himself from her body unceremoniously. The movement and the sound of him dressing wake her. She watches the way he pulls his shirt on, followed by his jacket, and how he turns his head into the wind. He tells her that they need to start moving.

The sun breaks over the horizon, and Ita’s hair shines like a crown. Chason shields his eyes with his hand. He wears the same slick smile he wore when photographed at the facility; when he laughs at nothing, Ita hears it as a question she wants to spend her whole life answering.

He destroys the remnants of the night’s fire. Ita is unsteady on her legs as she waits, and he wonders if it’s because of him. He wonders many things. When she tries to brush aside the hair that falls into his face, he catches her wrist. He has the keen gaze of an animal still – a quality about him that promises never to be sated. “What’s happened to you?”

Not without force, she pulls herself free, rubbing her sore wrist afterward. She is able to meet his gaze before looking past him, steeling herself in a way he hadn’t thought likely.

“I saw you last night. I didn’t cause all of those bruises.”
“… There are birds in the distance. They’re circling water. We head in that direction.”
“So we’re strangers yet.”

He does not see the flinch in her eyes. He makes a noise heavy with resentment before turning, moving easily across the sand. She falls after thirty feet, stumbling in her inappropriate shoes, weighed down by her clothes once more. Chason does not help her this time. He bites his tongue and his instinct, shoving his hands into his pockets.

-

It takes most of the day for them to reach the water. It is a shallow, unimpressive lake, more mud than water, but it is cool beneath the blazing sun.

Even after Ita seeks solace in the murky lake, Chason can still smell himself on her. It sears his senses like a brand, an oil she cannot shake from her feathers.
A thread he can track.
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you're too young & eager to love
22 April 2012 @ 07:47 pm
 
More writing/fiddling with the newbies!

-



He was only one of hundreds in the security files. Harrow saw him as another study experiment, though he had taken the precaution to mark his file with the yellow alert symbol signifying the possibility of a threat. A name (Chason Waters), age (27), and breed (Crocuta crocuta) with an impressive amount of statistics already listed. Most new captives take weeks to be tested so thoroughly, but the nature of his arrest and the volatile class of his species made it necessary to analyze his data fully upon arrival.
Ita felt a pang of sympathy. The tests are grueling, humiliating, and painful. She looked at the file on the computer, pausing occasionally to listen for the sounds of approaching footsteps or the rustle of keys unlocking a door, and tried to calm the hurried excitement of panic low in her stomach. But she continued, scrolling with forced patience through the record. Dark-haired, six foot two, and smiling in his picture. Captives don’t often smile in the pictures. They stare straight forward, and sometimes all the vulnerability is revealed there, the fear. But he was smiling, or at least there was some amusement, some cleverness there.
Thick black hair, falling down on the forehead, and his eyes bright with threats. He wore a shirt that had been ripped during processing, and there were angry marks on his neck as though something had nearly clawed open his throat. His arms were folded rather than by his sides. In the three other pictures, he stood with his arms lowered but there was the same faint amusement, though he’d tried to conceal it a little. Maybe somebody had told him not to smile.
Maybe he had laughed afterward.

-

His hands were rough, calloused, and he hurt her when he held her by the inside of her arm. He moved quickly, so quick that even Ita’s long legs had trouble keeping up. She felt awkward, somehow, even though she knew the corridors and the hallways better than he did. “Come on.” He growled, eager and low, and she tripped over the heavy layers of her clothing.
He did not leave her. He put his arm around her and lifted her easily to her feet. He thought she was coming apart, breaking down, unsure of whether or not leaving was the best option. She was pampered and pleasured and too much of what Chason considered a traitor. (Rich little thing, wasn’t she? Fed proper and exempt from tests and loved for her beauty.) But he needed her secrets and her knowledge, so when she turned towards him in the dark he felt himself kiss her hair.

-

He built fires for warmth in the desert. It was for her comfort rather than his. He was unusually warm, and she remembered how her arms had felt almost burnt after he had held her in the facility, pulling and urging her forward.
Ita wrapped herself in protective scarves, and Chason listened to the night intently. He spent so much time watching the horizon that she was, suddenly, surprised to see him looking at her from across the fire. Like he never saw a female creature before in his life. He didn’t look dangerous or unmanageable, but he looked unpredictable – as he had all along.
She could feel the way he removed his clothes, the hurried, close to ripping movements. She thought she could sense his change, the shift in the air when he relented to the beast, and Ita heard his breath in the darkness. She saw the reflection of the fire from his canine eyes before he slipped into the barren terrain.
That was for her comfort too.

-


They travelled mostly at night. Chason was searching for a town safe enough to deposit her at so he can continue alone. He could travel quicker without her, but he promised to return. He did not promise much, so she took his words with a heavy seriousness.
He was not as quiet as she would have thought him to be. He was quick to anger and impatient, but he spoke freely in a voice permanently coated in dust – the type of growling tones that sent shivers up her elegant spine.
He told her of his childhood and so he told her of Austin.
“You love her.”
Chason laughed, a snickering, goading type of noise. “No.”
“But you … you have mated with her, haven’t you? You speak as though you are devoted to her.”
He rubbed the back of his neck, digging his fingers into the tight skin. All he could taste was sand and ruin. He was not sure if the desert or the cages made him more animalistic. “There are many types of devotion.”

She slept huddled close to the dying embers of the fire. Even bundled in her layers she felt the cold fiercely. Chason heard her noises in the dark, the soft, throaty gasps as she shivered. He let her feel the loneliness of the cold for three nights before he started to sleep beside her.
His arms were heavy and felt like binds, and he pulled Ita to him easily. It was a demanding gesture; he was used to taking. His hands did not wander, but he kept his mouth to the back of her neck as though he would pin her to the sand and keep her from straying.
Chason was surprised by her stillness and the way her mouth softened.
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you're too young & eager to love
22 April 2012 @ 02:12 am
 
Here we go! Testing out a new set of characters - lycanthropes that exist in a futuristic setting where they are being hunted and contained for study. Or used as pets.

I am way too lazy for a cut.

My tenses jump all over the place here, fair warning.

-


It was dark inside the military facility – the dark of a power outage. No emergency lights, or digital displays, or dull blue glows from refrigerators or ovens. The woman went limp, her soft knees nearly touching the ground, but Chason did not slow to accommodate her. He snarled, his eyes already adapted to the lack of lighting, and pushed her tall frame against the metal door forcefully. He could smell her fear, the blood beneath her breakable skin, and he turned his face up, into the shell of her blonde hair, the scratch of his beard sharp against her ear. “Enter the code.”

This was the third time had had spoken to her. He punctuated the words with grim laughter, and even she knew there was nothing jocular about his demand.

-

Ita is on display when he is brought in, poised like a decoration, adding warmth and beauty to a desolate environment.

His eyes have the flashing alertness of someone either unstable or very cunning. He seems to move with the guards, but he is slick and straining, testing their awareness and the restraints they have shackled him in. He makes a noise that hurts her ears. A gnawing, gnashing, whining call. It is surprisingly high pitched for a man of his stature – darkened by the sun, weathered by the forces, but strong and leanly muscled. Ita presses her soft palm to the wall, seeking balance and stability from the stone.

A woman is brought in behind them with a second group of guards. She is dark and dust covered, spitting and fighting and cackling. There is blood on her mouth and fingers. She smells like heat and hunger but there is no fear in her. At her arrival, the man bucks within the hold of his captors, twisting his neck and raging. He would have broken his wrists if given the chance, would have torn through his leg with his teeth if it meant that he could be free of the shackles. “Austin!” He yells the name as though he will never be allowed to speak it again, and the woman makes a curious moan in return. He answers with a yelping kind of laughter.

The exchange is primal and primitive and happens within mere moments. The two are separated (Austin to Departures headed for the Rebel Facility C and the man to the infirmary for documentation) in a frenzy of actions. The guards shout commands, and the new arrivals speak their language of beasts.

-

Austin wore her hair in braids. It was cooler and more practical but Chason would unbraid them when she allowed it, digging his fingers into her scalp and biting at her mouth. She would push him away, scratching at his shoulders in the process, until he whined like a pup. Austin was the type of woman who grew used to hearing the whimpers and wants of men.

She was able to thrive in a world that barely fostered weeds.

Austin was the one who gave the orders and made the decisions. The one who bedded each member of their pack, and yet she would sleep pressed against him, her limbs tight with strength and stress, occasionally murmuring in her sleep with her lips pressed to the hollow of Chason’s neck.

They were close in age, and they had known each other as children. (The societal battle had only been a scuffle then – adults speaking politics in raised voices and the government threatening new legislation.) She had kissed him first, and it was only after her parents were detained. Only when she needed his strength to fuel her own. They left together, picking up their own kind as they went, forming a group of six that learned survival and the safety of shadows.

-

The land is wasted.

They hunt as animals and shift in secret. They distrust strangers and the cawing, insignificant laughter of others.

Chason fears a metal cage, observations, breeding studies, experiments, and the way the government can steal an essence now. Austin fears silence and lack of control, but she is quiet about such matters. When they hear news of the recently developed tagging system she says it’s impossible, but she spends the night in the desert, a lurking wolf-like creature whose spots are abyss dark.

-

At the facility, Chason paces in his cell. His skin bristles, his mouth is dry, and the first time he is removed for surveillance he bites off the hand of a two hundred pound guard. The blood and flesh inside his mouth spurns him forward, and he makes a rapid succession of low pitched, soft sounding grunts that declare his attack.

He is isolated for a month and tranquilized. He dreams of milk skies and thunder and a restless hunger. He does not dream of Austin though he hears the cries and growls of hyenas in his sleep. They cannot kill in silence, he thinks in drugged fashion, because the sounds are part and parcel of our strength.

His lucidity arrives with a grievous headache. He does not have to be briefed by the doctors to know he has been tagged. He can feel the serum in his blood, restraining him, limiting him, and he wants to rip the tongues from all the men who think that power can be bottled.

-

He sees a statuesque blonde when escorted back to the holding pens. She is dressed elaborately like some of the other women at the facility, and there is something deceiving fragile about her perfect stance and placid smile. She meets his gaze, however, and Chason feels laughter rip up into his throat as a warning. If she flinches he cannot see it, but he catches the scent of her in passing. Something sweetly oiled and rich with a hint of familiarity.

His mouth waters instantly, which amuses him. He breathes again before realizing that the familiarity is Austin. A sour wind smell of animal and sickness and canine, but it’s still her. “Where did they take her?” He barks at the woman, already six feet in passing, and the guards give him a blow to the back of his shoulders that makes him grit his teeth.

“Stupid dog.” The guard who dealt the blow snaps. “Beasts do not speak to the companions. Move on.”

Even shifters had social statuses, Chason knew, but he did not care now. He strained and caught her gaze again. He thought he saw her shoulders slip and her head fall minutely to the right, just the briefest of gestures to a corridor labeled Departures, but he couldn’t be sure.