Mod had managed to find himself a safe place to hide. An abandoned home in the part of the city most normal folks would avoid. Fortunately Mod was not most people. He had been trained most of his youth to be a competent mage right up until he discovered women and booze, then all of that went out the fucking window. The Order could not have one of their mages being viewed as both a womanizer and a drunkard.
He still remembered the yelling match he and his father had the day he was disbarred from the academy. Thank the heavens for his mother though. She welcomed him back home with both a hug and a smack on the noggin. She had been a talented mercenary right up until her husband got her pregnant and promised her a wonderful life under the Order’s umbrella. Twelve years and two more children birthed and she had enough of the Order’s rhetoric and the old man’s lazy ways. She bolted with her two youngest children and traveled out to the far lands, the no mans land between the Order and mamano controlled lands.
He was broken from his thoughts on his family by the stirring of the wolfkin lying next to him. In the candle light of the room he got a much better look at her features. Her hair was matted as if she had not bathed in a while and one of her lupine ears seemed to be missing a chunk of it so that it was about a inch smaller than the other. Her face was covered in a mix of blood, sweat and mud, but underneath all that he could see that like most mamano her face was beautiful.
Her features ranging from her cute nose to her plump kissable lips screamed femininity. Her skin seemed to be unblemished bar a few remaining scrapes and bruises. He never did quite understand how some mamano seemed to be able to recover so quickly. Even with his magic if he took a blow from that bestial soldier he would be down for a week. The hair on her tail seemed to be covered in knots and burrs, and shared the same matted look as her hair. Her breathing was steady and she seemed to be relatively ok. The only concern he really had right now was whether or not the mid twenties looking beasty was going to be looking for a pick me up.
Whilst on his travels he had encountered mamano before. Many of them were quite civil, however his experience with canine mamano was that they were less creatures of reason and more lust driven wildlings. He was however confused by her appearance. Werewolves had fur from about mid thigh down as well as claws, and they also had fur and claws on their hands.
This girl looked more like a homeless youko from zip than a werewolf. Perhaps a new mamano that is more reclusive than most. Based on her unwashed appearance he assumed she had been incarcerated for some time. He knew that when the Order captured monsters they usually made a spectacle of their execution, his mind flashing back to a poor manticore who had the misfortune of flying to close to a church.
This of course led credence to the belief that she was a new species, surely the scholars would want to study her. A soft murmuring came from the wolfkin’s lips, he strained to make out what she was saying. “No……stop……..please no more.” A nightmare no doubt. His compassion for the whimpering creature made him unconsciously move his hand to her head and began stroking her hair to soothe her.
The murmuring stopped, her eyes opened, and she was on him in a flash. He may have gone and goofed bad. The wolf girl had him pinned to the floor, his hands held above his head and her weight pressing down on his waist. He also noticed that her free hand now had her dangerously sharp looking nails pointing at his throat.
“Who the fuck are you?” Her voice even with her boiling anger sounded almost lyrical.
“Some call me Mad Mod.” Looking into her eyes he noticed they were the deepest shade of blue he had ever seen, he also noticed they no longer glowed.
“Well Mad Mod you are going to tell me how I got here or I am going to rip out your throat.” If she wasn’t so pretty Mod might be upset.
“Well Miss Wolf, after you were rendered unconscious, I decided it would be better for me to save you than let the Order cage you again. It was fortuitous that we both decided to escape at the same time”
The mamano seemed to be staring into his soul looking for a lie in his story, Clearly the girl had trust issues. “Why were they holding you?” Mod was beginning to feel uncomfortable on the floor.
“Well the Order does not like it when one uses magic without their consent. They like it less when you use it to lighten their coffers.” Her anger seemed to leave for but a moment, the old Mad Mod charm was already working. “Would you let me up please?” She glared at him for a minute longer before removing her hands and standing up. Mod moved to stand up and as he glanced forward he got a lovely view of her pert little rump, just before her tail moved in the way.
As she sat on the bed her eyes wandered around the room taking in the decrepit sight. “Where are we?”
“Well I decided it would be easier to hide in a part of the city that the Order doesn’t quite care about. Many homes in this area are abandoned and the financial institutions don’t want to risk losing anyone trying to reclaim them.” She again was trying to stare him down but this time with a look of curiosity.
“So what your telling me is that we have broken into a abandon home and are able to hide out here because it is a part of town so bad that the Order will not send their men here.”
Chuckling at her summary he spoke up “Yes that is a fairly accurate statement.”
“You mentioned you could use magic.” Ah now they were talking about him, one of his favorite subjects.
“Yes, I am though right now I am a tad tired so I won’t be able to do much. Although, while you were out I managed to snag us some food and drink in case you woke up hungry.” He gestured over to a small table with some fruit and jerky as well as a few bottles that appeared to be filled with water.
“Breaking and entering, since we just recently escaped I doubt you had money so you probably didn’t buy our provisions, are you a mage or a thief.” She smiled at her own joke.
“If you don’t want it you don’t have to eat it.” As he spoke he moved to the table to grab a few pieces of the jerky. At least that was the plan. Before his hand could make contact another hand managed to grasp the entire pile. Turning around in time to see a whir of flesh and fur return to the bed, he watched mouth agape at the spectacle before him.
The women who moments ago looked as if she would kill him at the drop of a hat, now appeared to have stuffed her face full of the dried meat and was attempting to chew it, checks puffed out like a child who had taken to big a bite of cake. This gave him a good look at what appeared to be sharp looking teeth as they made short work of the jerky and she gave a contented sounding sigh.
“If you don’t mind me asking what kind of mamano are you, I’ve never seen one quiet like you before.”
She snapped her head toward him like she had almost forgotten he was there. “Have a lot of experience with mamano do you? Perhaps someone’s darling little husband?”
He responded, “As it stands no, I’m not exactly the marriage type. To much walk about in me.” Narrowing eyes and a devilish smirk, Mod may soon regret that answer.
“Well now you must be very brave Mr. Mod. Carrying a monster to a secluded area. To answer your question, I am what is called a Skin Dancer.”
“My apologies, I can’t say I know much of your species.”
He noticed a hint of sadness in her voice. “We are not many.” He moved over to sit next to the slightly smaller woman.
“Sorry didn’t mean to bring up something sad.” He took a bite of an apple that he had been holding.
The subtle sadness had not left her tone, “It’s ok you had no way of knowing.”
He felt something brush up against his back, it took a moment for him to realize it was her long wolf like tail. “You know you really are very brave.”
“How do you mean?”
She moved closer to him leaning on his arm. “Isn’t it obvious? You came back to help me when you could have used me as a distraction to escape. Not to mention the fact that you are very calm sitting this close to a dangerous predator.” Red flags went off as he went to stand up but she had already moved her hands to pin him. Using her monster born strength she pushed him onto his back. “Thank you for the meal but I do need something a little more filling.”
He had fallen for the oldest mamano trick in the damn book. The little damsel routine, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and now she was within striking distance. The clever minx had him right where she wanted, she was holding his wrists and using her lower body to pin his. Fortunately it didn’t seem like she new much of magic.
Using the last bit of his reserved mana, he used a gust of wind to push her off him. She let out a yelp of surprise and Mod moved himself into position so that now she was the one pinned, but that didn’t remove the smirk from her face. “Oh so you have some fight in you this will be fun.” He could feel her trying to fight but for some reason she seemed unable to fight him off.
“Sorry Wolfie but we wont be having the fun your expecting.”
“What did you say?”
“It’s my name. Hilde” She was now red in the face and was no longer making eye contact.
“Well Hilde, I am well aware of the mamano need for spirit energy, but you must understand as I said I am not the marriage type.”
She looked hurt, at the realization she was being rejected. “Hmm but are you sure Mr. Mage I am in the market.”
He was tired and did not want to barter with the wolfkin, all he wanted was sleep. Moving her hands to the steel bedpost of the bed they were in he began chanting and light began to glow from his hand. The spell was designed to bind someone to a solid object, such as her wrists to the pole.
Realizing this she began to panic, “No please don’t do this I don’t wish to be chained anymore. I am a wolf I must be free!” She began to howl, actual wolf howling like some beast baying at the moon. Finishing her binding he attempted to silence her by coverng her mouth. He could see the fear in her eyes, his heart hurt at having to do this but it was a necessity if he was going too get some down time to recover.
“Hilde listen to me, if you do not calm down someone will come to investigate. I need you to listen and listen good, I am tired and need sleep I will unshackle you in the morning.” The woman stopped struggling and stared at him. Her lupine eyes held a sadness much deeper than rejection. He did not know how long she had been held but no doubt it had affected her. She had a quiver in her voice when she next spoke.
“Please do not bind me like this it is not for my kind to be restrained. I am sorry to have tried to attack it is the first time I have ever done such I promise I will leave you alone.”
“You’ll understand if I don’t believe you. I’ll leave you in the bed and I will take this chair over here. I give you my word that in the morning I will unlock you and we can part ways.” The girl began to blubber quietly as he moved to sit in the chair. He would try to sleep the best he could tonight hoping the crying mamano would do the same.