Of Love and Magic – A Gentleman Visits Some Friends

They had made it through the night undisturbed and the simpering girl seemed to have cried herself to sleep at some point before sleep came to claim Mod himself.  His sleep was unmarred by dream or nightmare, but it was clear to him that the girl’s had not been so.  She had fresh tear marks streaming down her face, the tears having cut a trail through the grim that marred her features.  The pillow he had given her had fresh stains showing where they had pooled.  He regretted his actions last night, but he could not spend his energy feeding a hungry mamano and she could not be trusted after what she had tried to do.   

 
Glancing out of one of the holes in the wall, he could see that the sun had already rose and that based on its position it was getting close to midday.  Mod was unsure of how long he would be able to hide here before the Order decided a renegade mamano in the city was a big enough threat to look throughout the poor side of town.   

 
There was still some fruit left over from the light meal last night, and some bread he had kept squirrelled away when the wolfkin grabbed at the jerky.  Moving to the bed he looked at the mamano and began to wonder what the best way to wake her would be.  He began gently nudging her in the side, trying to be gentle as her arms were still bound to the bed.   

 
She began to squirm slightly and her eyes began to flutter open.  When she locked eyes with him she began to struggle slightly trying to move her arms.  “Calm down Hilde, I just want to talk a moment before I remove your binding.”  She stopped her struggling but there was still panic in her eyes.  “How are you feeling?”   

 
Her voice no longer had the quiver it held the previous night.  “I am fine but would like to be released, as I said before I do not do well with confinement.”  He felt even worse about his actions, but with his energy back he would be able to escape her if she tried to overpower him again.   
 
“How long were you there, in the prison I mean?”   
 
“They held me for eight days, I was chained and unable to move.  It was by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me.  Then I attain my freedom only to be re-bonded by the man who helped me escape”
 
Well now she was trying to guilt him.  “As I said before I will remove the binding.  You seem to be calmer.”  He moved his hand up to where he had bound her the previous night and shook his hand as if wiping away some dust.  The binding disappeared almost instantly and Hilde’s natural reaction was to massage both of her wrists.  She eyed him cautiously for a moment before he spoke up, “Would you care to join me for breakfast?”  He gestured toward the small table where he put the stolen provisions.  Before waking her he had also moved two chairs over by said table.  He stood up from the bed and moved to occupy one of the chairs.  As she took the one opposite of him she asked if there was any of the salted meat from the night before.   
 
“Unfortunately someone decided to wolf it all down in a single chomp.”  She ignored his jab and reached for a apple on the table.   
 
“I suppose a breakfast of water and fruit will have to do.”  Mod took notice of the mock indignation in her voice.   
 
“Someone who looks like she has spent all her free time rolling in the mud should not be picky about what she eats.”  Even through the dirt and grim he could see her flush with embarrassment.   
 
“What kind of jerk mocks a women’s appearance after she has been in captivity for more than a week.  I don’t know about yours but my cell was certainly no five star hotel.”   
 
He chuckled slightly, “My apologies Madame .”   
 
“So, do you have a plan to get out of the City?”  Her voice carried a bit of uncertainty to it.  Mod thought about his options.  Up until recently the city had been completely mamano friendly.  However, when the city began to have financial trouble the Order offered them a considerable amount of gold for land rights to build their little fort.   
 
“Well fortunately I do not stand out much so I will be able to walk out of the city.”   
 
She looked slightly disappointed.  “I see, I wonder what I shall do?”   
 
Mod chuckled to himself.  “Well I figured you were going to walk out beside me.”   
 
“Oh, and how do you intend to let me do that?”  Finishing their breakfast Mod explained that he was going to procure a few disguises and sneak out of the main gate.  
 
“You make it sound like getting these disguises will be easy.”   
 
“My dear woman I have some friends in town who will take care of that little caveat.  You wait right here and I will get what we need.”  Mod began to move toward the door when he heard the wolfkin speak up.   
 
“You will come back wont you?”  Mod faked an appearance of indignation.  “Why little wolf what kind of man would I be if I abandoned you now.”  With a smirk, out the door Mod went.
 
Mod moved through the city blending into the crowd moving towards a familiar shop front.  Stan’s Clothier was a fantastic place to get some clothes.  It was also a great place to fence stolen goods, a excellent place to pickup a job on the side, and a mediocre place to get a drink in the back room which was in fact a bar.
 
Stan had established a base of sorts for the mercenary faction of the city’s residents.  These men, women, and mamano took all manner of job from high profile theft to the stealthy removal of undesirables.  Walking into the front door of Stan’s he noticed the man himself standing behind the counter.  “Stan my man I need to cash in some of my store credit.”   
 
Stan’s eyes lit up at the sight of his old friend.  “Well now if it isn’t the shittiest merc in the business.”  Mod laughed, his comrade coming over and giving him a slap on his back.  “So using that store credit, must be something serious brother, what did you need?”   
 
“Well for starters I’m heading to my old holdout in the mountains, so I’m going to need some warmer clothes.”   
 
Stan laughed his smile causing wrinkles to form on his face.  “Still referring too your mom’s house as a holdout huh?  You must of pissed of someone fierce to run back to that part of the world.  Still a miracle you haven’t been married off.”   
 
“Well Stan the ability to make fire from thin air tends to deter most folks from sexual assault.”  Flicking his wrist to create a small gout of flame.
 
Stan laughed his hardy laugh, having known the mage since his expulsion from the Order, hell even giving him his first job as a mercenary he was well aware of his ability to sling fire and wind around like most mercs slung a sword.  “Alright so some warm clothes, a few fire kits, some poultices for emergencies, any gems?”   
 
Mod thought for a minute about what he may need.  He would need to replace his acid gem just incase and he would need to replace the things he lost by being caught by the order.  “Yeah I need one of those escape specials, as well as some basic supplies rope and such, oh and I also need some winter clothes for a lady friend, something that can cover her pretty well.”   
 
Stan looked taken aback as if someone had slapped him in his face.  “A lady friend, the hells did that happen?”  Mod moved close to his friend as if he was going to give him a secret so deep it should never be muttered past the lips of a living soul, his voice so quiet as to be the lowest level of a whisper.   
 
“Sorry buddy, cant tell you.  Plausible deniability and all that.”   
 
Stan Leaned back and uttered, “Fucking Asshole.”  Both men chuckled and Stan began running the numbers on his ledger.  “Oh and I forgot I need jerky, lots and lots of jerky.”   
 
Stan looked up and wrote some more numbers in the ledger.  “Alright brother, I got ya all tallied up.  You got more than enough credit to cover.  You wanna look at the jobs board before you head out?”  
 
Mod knew better than too look because he’d want to pick up a job, but right now it would be wise to lay low.  “I’ll pass friend I need to get home, check up on the family, and make sure everything is in order.”   
 
Stan’s wife, some type of spider mamano by the name of TyLee, came from the back of the store and noticed Mod standing there.  She stood a few inches taller than Mod though do to how her lower half was it was not her full height.  Her spider half alternated between a black and yellow striped pattern.  TyLee had been around since before the Order, she had even become a common sight at many of the city’s meetings,  one of the many who spoke openly against taking the Order’s money.  She kept herself afloat by being a gifted tailor in the area and expanded her business when she and Stan were wed.  Mod still remembered how gorgeous she looked in the wedding dress she designed and wove herself.   
 
“Mod!” She exclaimed moving over to the mage and trapping him in a bear hug.  Damn  she was strong, she had no problem lifting the medium build of the mage.   
 
“Hello Ty.  How have you been?”  TyLee began to open her mouth as if to say something but stopped suddenly.  Placing her face into mods hair, she inhaled deeply.
 
“He smells like a girl! Mod why do you smell like a girl, there is definitely girl smell coming from Mod.  Stan why does your friend have girl smell?”  Stan stood mouth agape merely staring at the spectacle before him.   
 
“I’m sorry sweetie he won’t tell me.  Says I can’t know because of plausible deniability.”   
 
TyLee let go of Mod and he took in a big breath of air now that his lungs were no longer constricted.  “TyLee, I smell like a girl because I stayed in the same room as a girl last night.  Before you ask, no nothing happened and I am not married.”   
 
TyLee let out a humph.  “I was all excited about making a wedding dress too.”  While most mamano felt that human marriage ceremonies were unnecessary, it had become popular amongst the more civil species to celebrate the joining of man and woman with feasting and revelry.   
 
“Well sorry didn’t mean to get your hopes up.”   
 
Stan walked over to his wife and draped a arm around where her human and spider half met.  “Mods heading up into the mountains love, probably did something stupid and is running to his mother’s estate.  The damn mama’s boy does it every time he gets in over his head.”   
 
Mod flushed with embarrassment, mostly due to the fact that it was true more than anything else.  “I came for supplies for my trip, not snide remarks from my asshole best friend.”  Stan had finished bagging the supplies Mod had asked for including what appeared to be about ten pounds of salted meat.   
 
“Well then brother, you came to the wrong store.”  Both men laughing at the joke, TyLee simply sighed.   
 
Returning to the makeshift hideout Mod cautiously approached the door.  Cracking it open a little he was treated to the sight of Hilde attempting to clean herself with what looked like a washcloth.  The water was glistening on her skin now unmarred by the grime and blood on her before, her pelts and undergarments placed across the chair.  Her long hair still mated hung just above the middle of her back. A few inches below that her lupine tail now looking slightly less dingy was being pulled around to her front so that she could clean it with the cloth and a brush it, with what Mod could only assume was a pick brush she found in one of the cabinets.   
 
“I do not mind you watching, I only wish there was more of a bath here so I could put on a better display.”  Mod feeling slightly embarrassed at having been caught walked over to the door.   
 
“The view is quite nice my dear.  I acquired some clothes for you, with a little luck they will hide your features and we will be able to walk right out of the gate.”  The still nude mamano turned to face him while standing up, her front now on display.  Mod was able to get a good glimpse of her nude form.  Her bust a smaller C cup, was obscured by her hair, and her toned stomach curved slightly before flaring out to full hips.   
 
“You confuse me Mr. Mod.”  No doubt caught staring for the second time today Mod was now staring into her eyes, she had moved close to him while he was distracted.  “Clearly you like what you see yet last night when I offered myself you decided to restrain me instead of taking advantage.  Why?”   
 
“Because you are not the first mamano I have encountered.  I know that when you girls get a taste of a man, you tend to get attached.  As I said before, I’m not the marrying type.”  She stared at mod for a brief moment before moving back to the bed and putting her garments and furs on.   
 
Mod began unloading the pack that he had brought for her, removing the clothes first offering them to the wolf girl.  “These were made by one of the best seamstresses in the city and she told me to tell you good luck with your escape.”  Hilde took the clothes and began to unravel them before holding them out in front of herself examining them.   
 
“A mamano friendly tailor in a Order controlled town.  How fortunate.”  Mod was double checking everything to make sure she had what she would need in her pack.   
 
“Well, the town is not Order controlled.  They just have a base here.  The seamstress was in fact a spider woman.  There are several mamano in town.  So it’s really just the Order guard we have to watch out for.  The prison they have here is basically there cause the city at one point needed some money and the Order offered. “   
 
Hilde had finished dressing herself in the clothing Ty had recommended  for her.  The first thing Mod had noticed was that she seemed to have placed her pelt cloak underneath the winter clothes, a tuft of the lupine hair sticking out from the edges of the collar.  The feminine purple sweater given to her covered her front well.  A traveling dress of a darker grey covered her legs and a pair of warm looking brown boots covering from about three inches above the ankle down.   
 
“I am not used to wearing clothes, my people do not usually get cold as long as we have our furs.  How do I look?”  Mod Grabbed the brown winter cloak before approaching the mamano.  He slung it around her shoulders and tied the front of it.   
 
“Why you look like a young woman about to set off on some adventure.”  He moved back to the table to grab the bags and offers one to Hilde.  “Though I would put the hood up to hide those ears of yours.”  She does so before taking the smaller of the bags from Mods hand.   
 
“Thank You Mr. Mod.  I fear I may not have been able to leave this town without your help.”  He moved toward the door and held it open waiting for his temporary companion to walk through.   
 
“As I said before, what kind of gentleman would I be if I had left you to your plight.”  She stepped through the door with Mod right behind her.   
 
“What kind indeed Mr. Mod”

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