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by: Cedric McGarret
Ced felt a rush of contrition. He tucked his chin and dropped his eyes instinctively, loosing a whine before he realized it. His brow furrowed...when did he react so instinctively? Usually his wolf's instincts were quiet unless it was the day of the full moon...no matter.

"I haven't-I didn't..."

She was mad. He'd screwed up, he should have explained to her earlier in their relationship that Soren had approached him before he ever knew Lina and offered him a position. But now that he'd fumbled the conversation, how was he supposed to recover?

"I didn't mean to make you feel that way...I'm sorry. I spoke before I asked. I'm so sorry."

He wanted to hug her but he didn't want her to snap at him again. What was going on with his wolf instincts? They were deep and loud. Was it something to do with the shift he'd done without the wolfsbane?
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by: Lina Kalkuskov
Ced wasn't the only one filled with guilty like feelings in the room. Lina didn't want to argue. She didn't like fighting in this manner. She didn't like caring about other people because she didn't like feeling guilt over these situations. But panic was a hard thing to fight off and her fears were things that she had had all her life. Things had been good between them the last few days but it hadn't healed a lifetime of wounded moments. They still had a long way to go before those sorts of things happened, for both of them.

She sighed though, because she didn't know how to handle this shit. Her first instinct was to run. It always was running. Running out the door, away from her emotions and feelings. Lina was far too wrapped up in her own head to even realize that Ced was a little bit off. That his reactions were a little more instinct driven than normal. Marriage was this big scary thing to her and she was putting a lot of trust into the situation.

"What do you mean, they respect Death Eaters?" It was obvious to her that they were going to have to find him a pack. If it was dangerous without, then they were going to have to find one. She just didn't like the sound of this. But of course she hated Death Eaters. Her mother was one. Her sister was one. She was pretty sure her father had been one, despite her fond childhood memories of him. Death Eaters had tortured her and killed her first love. Why did Ced want to get involved with a group that respected Death Eaters?
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by: Cedric McGarret
For some reason, it would have been better if she was yelling st him. The discussion voice made it worse because he now had to rationalize his decisions and face her disappointment. Also, how the hell did he explain how a Garou thought to someone when he himself hadn't even really lived like a Garou?

"It falls back to the wolf instincts...pack is built off of who is dominant and who is submissive. Each has a role to play so the pack is strongest...alphas protect submissives, submissives empower the alpha by being their claws and fangs. A strong alpha means that the less dominant wolves have good protection. If an alpha can earn the respect of his pack, he becomes stronger. So, when Soren's pack looked into the wizarding world and saw the Death Eaters in charge, they saw a group of dominants trying to control the wizarding nation in the same way a dominant pack controls other packs. By their cultural logic, that's who you ally with...the strong ones. They give you strength in return for your loyalty."

He blew out the breath he was holding and cast his gaze away from Lina, feeling like he failed to explain himself clearly. Ced began to pace as he talked.

"They don't know that they're going to get used and discarded eventually. They'll need someone who can use magic to help them from getting destroyed by the wizards...that's where I see things going and that's why I was willing to overlook their temporary alliance."

Hopefully Lina understood...
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by: Lina Kalkuskov
Lina felt sidelined by this. Really, she didn't know what to think about all of this. The fact that this pack thought in such a manner was unsettling for her, because it wasn't how she thought. She didn't align herself with the strong, or she would have fallen for her mother's brain washing growing up. No, Lina didn't like the sound of this at all. She didn't understand a lot of other things that Ced had been hinting about. Or things that he had said.

It was all swirling around in her mind. Her head hurt. Everything hurt. She needed at least half a bottle of vodka she decided. But she didn't say anything. Instead the red head found a belt and slipped it on, tightening it around her waist as she still went through the motions of getting ready to leave. It was like her body was on autopilot, even while her mind was checked out.

"Why would another pack not agree with us being together, Ced?" She had at least snagged onto that bit finally, coming around full circle as the red head played his words around in her mind again. Lina didn't know what she was looking for in what he had said, but she was trying to find something to hold onto. She didn't want to be involved with Death Eaters. It was one of the things that she was entirely against, because of her family, and she just didn't quite understand why Ced had seemed so... happy to talk about it all.
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by: Cedric McGarret
He turned from her, physically withdrawing from the conversation. At first, his only response was a huff of breath as he tried to collect his words. When he finally found them, they came out low.

"Wizards didn't come up with blood purity. Garou did. I mean...unless we go to America or to the Scottish pack, we aren't going to get away from it...but you know I'd rather be with you than with any of them. So you make the call and I'll follow."

That didn't feel right, but he said it and was going to hold himself to what he said. She made the call for what they did with him joining the pack. Why did he bring it up in the first place? Stupid, stupid...

Ced couldn't bring himself to look back to her. If he had been paying attention, he'd have recognized it as a submissive gesture. Wrapped up as he was in his own thoughts and emotions, however, it slipped past him.
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by: Lina Kalkuskov
There was more than one part of this that was uncomfortably new to Lina. She didn't like the fact that they were fighting. There was no doubt that they were fighting. Fighting was apparently a normal aspect to most relationships because you couldn't be stuck together for long stretches of time without annoying each other in various ways. But the good out weighed the bad or some sort of bullshit that Lina didn't quite understand.

The things she did know seemed so small and minuscule next to her own fears and stress regarding the situation. She also didn't like the idea that she was hurting Ced in this. He wasn't even looking at her. But she knew that she slept better when she was sleeping next to him. She knew she felt safe when she was around him. She knew that no one else had stuck their neck out the way he did for her, not in a long time. Lina loved him and she more than assumed that he loved her.

"Would it be the best choice for you?" She was going to have to keep pushing the conversation, even if Lina felt uncomfortable for it. Even if she felt like she was hurting way too much to really keep going. The red head wanted to run right out the door and into the city beyond, because that would have been easier to deal with than this conversation. But she sat there on the edge of the bed, determinedly staying because that was what she wanted no matter how much she wanted to run.
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by: Cedric McGarret
Best? What was best? Hell if he knew, that's why he'd wanted to talk to her about it...except it blew up on him and now they were here and everything was spiraling out of control and-

Stop. Stop Ced. Look at the beautiful woman on the bed waiting for you to get your shit together. Do what it takes to make her happy.

The voice in his head was right. A little creepy that he now had a voice of rationality in his head, but at least it was right. Ced sighed and took his own advice.

"I don't know. i didn't know that I was a half-blood anything until a few years ago. I thought that I'd been bitten as a kid and that growing up as a werewolf resulted in something different than being bitten as an adult. I met Soren on a train of all places...he was just as confused as I was that I didn't know what I am."

Ced angled his face back to his bride-to-be, getting the courage to look up to her with soulful eyes as he tried to help her understand why he felt the way he did.

"He explained to me things I didn't understand about myself. I went and found my family afterwards...I didn't and still don't want to be them. I want to stay me. I want to be free from stigma and shame; I feel that around you, so...you're what's best for me. And I'll do anything to stay with you."

He meant that from the bottom of his bones, from the deep of his soul. It was best to stay with her. Anything else would send him over an edge that he probably couldn't come back from.
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by: Lina Kalkuskov
And I'll do anything to stay with you. For some reason, that hurt. For some reason, Lina didn't quite know how to take that. Was he worried that she was going to leave him? That... it felt the same sorts of things she normally felt around him. When she wasn't panicking. When she wasn't trying to fight through her own issues and troubles. She wanted nothing to do with the Death Eaters because that meant her mother. Her sister. Everything that had ever been the deepest pains in her life. Her family.

And yet her sense of family was basically dead. Even her relationship with her brother was more based on guilt and duty than an actual relationship. An actual sense of anything that meant something good. No, her family was dead. It had likely died when her father had and had just taken years to settle past it's death throes. The only person that she felt close to, the only person that gave her any sense of safety or joy or anything of that nature was the man in the room with her right now. Ced. So she wasn't going to leave him no matter how hard her panic was gripping her.

"I'm not going anywhere, Ced. I'm just... trying to wrap my mind around this." She didn't want to put either of them around Death Eaters. "What do you know about this pack? How closely do they work with Death Eaters?" It was obvious they couldn't stay with the Syndicate. Not after the way they had been used. The way Ced had been used more than her. But if they just left on their own without protection, would they be hunted down? The red head really didn't know. She had been lost in her own little world for quite some time now.
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by: Cedric McGarret
His shoulders sagged in relief as she assured him that she wasn't going anywhere. The fear of abandonment was strong in him. All of his life he had run from rejection. If he got it from her, too, there was no telling what the Garou would do. Maybe he could try to express that to her...

"I'm not sure how deeply entrenched they are with the Death Eaters. I've only met one member of the pack."

He realized how that would sound. Here he was, wanting them to join a group he hadn't even fully investigated. The pull to belong was so strong, though...Would she be willing to understand that? His jaw clenched as he bit back the words he wanted to say. It wouldn't do well to overwhelm her...let her think without an overflow, old boy...

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