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by: AC

June 15, 2012
7:30 a.m. - The Den

Bree Byrne, Lucky 7's resident sniper, was having a good morning.

The pack was whole again and had finally spent a night together for the first time in what felt like ages to the older woman. Carver was healing up nicely and seemed to be returning more to the goofball he was known to be. How much of that was Stana's doing Bree had no idea, but it didn't take a genius to know that there was something between the pair. Mia and Tao, the two quiet ones, had brightened up noticeably. Rafe, the voice that grounded everyone, was in good spirits, and passed out in one of the arm chairs. Shadow was curled up in her bed roll under the window sleeping more easily than she'd done in a long time. Even Jace, arm flung over his eyes and sprawled haphazardly on his claimed couch, seemed to be doing much better even with his current injuries.

Bree let her green orbs settle on her alpha's busted up foot that was resting easily on the ground and she shook her head as a wry grin threatened to break. Her gaze shifted upward and she focused on his chest, noting the easy rise and fall with each breath. Ever the trouble maker her alpha was. He'd been lucky in both that he'd survived another round with the Devil, and that the sniper hadn't found him in the ally or Bree was certain she would have put a bullet in him, alpha or not. Jace had been filthy, bloodstained, broken, and looked like someone had dragged him through a bunch of barbed wire for "shits and giggles". All stubbornness and rage, tempered only by a mere human.

A soft snort of amusement cut through the silence and the older woman reached for her cup of tea that was sitting on the end table that occupied the space beside her chair. Honestly she still wasn't sure what to think of Kara. The Order leader so far had proven her mettle, and yet at the same time, had caused the pack a good deal of trouble... the least of it being her interference in what Jace had been certain was a kill.

But that was a fight for another day. While she might have reservations about Kara it was not a fight she was willing to pick. If anything perhaps Kara would continue to act as a ground for the ever volatile and unpredictable man. Bree continued to sip on her tea and let herself get lost in thoughts as the seconds ticked away, enjoying every minute of the lull the totems seemed fit to grace the 7 with.
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by: Zeva Reid
Zeva yawned and stretched out her arms, reaching up and out before she sat up. What time was it? Wasn't 8, she never slept past 8. Actually, she was usually up by now, out practicing with Stana or doing her morning routine and meditation...Why did she sleep so long? There were no complaints about that, really, she was just surprised more than anything. Zeva hadn't been sleeping longer than a couple hours a night, but if her calculations were right, she might have gotten a full-night's rest. She rubbed her eyes and looked over the room, noting the sleeping forms of Jace and Rafe in their respective spots, and Carver quietly talking to Stana in the corner. Mia and Tao were out of sight, which meant they were probably still asleep, but the only other person awake, already sipping her morning cup of tea was Bree. As usual. The sniper was almost always awake before the rest of them, already dressed and ready for the day.

As she slid out of her bedroll, Zeva folded it up and tucked it out of the way near her spot by the window and she stood up. She was dressed down to a black spaghetti-strapped tank and her black boy-short undies, but that didn't quite bother anyone else as they sometimes walked around in far less than what she had on. There was no room for modesty in a pack.

She made her way across the room, patting Rafe on his head before joining the older garou at the table. She pulled out the free chair across from her and motioned at it for a moment, in case Bree had any objections to her joining (which she hadn't before, but she was at least trying to be polite), and she took a seat. Instead of plopping down into the wooden chair, she quietly sat down, pulling one knee up to her chest, letting her foot rest flat on the edge of the seat. There was a bowl of fruit next to the tea, so she pulled an apple off of it. "Mornin'." Zeva smiled lightly.

It was like the calm that came after the storm, a peaceful sunshine and breeze--one that she could feel through the open window beside the kitchen table. Zeva closed her eyes and took a deep breath, letting that sweet summer air fill her nose. Ah, she loved that. "Still not used to waking up indoors...and it's been what, four months?" She chuckled. Hell, four months. That's four months longer than she thought they'd last here with the Order, and despite the speedbumps they hit at full speed along the way, Shadow knew things beyond the walls could be far worse than their current digs.
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by: AC
"Good morning Shadow, tea?" Bree answered simply as she pried her eyes away from the form of her sleeping alpha. The older woman nodded her head to Shadow's unasked question to join her and a grin spread across her face when the younger woman accepted. It was always nice to spend time with the younger woman. Bree took another sip of her tea before setting both the cup and saucer down on the table and set to fix her beta a cup if she wanted one.

"I'd be worried if you got to used to it dear, though I will say it has been a bit of a treat to not be sleeping on the ground for days on end. Though I will candidly admit I miss the stars at night and the smell of the dew at sunrise." A bit mellow dramatic, sure, but it wasn't often Bree spoke her mind outside of when someone was stupid enough to get on her bad side. It was one of the perks of being the oldest of the 7 and not in a leadership position. It gave her all the authority to knock people down a peg or two as she saw fit and not have to deal with all the other stuff... though when it come to high society, Bree liked to think she was an expert on that.

"So how have you been holding up these past days?" Bree nodded in Jace's direction. "Our boy has been quite the handful these past few weeks..."
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by: Zeva Reid
Tea was Bree's trademark. No one dared tread on that turf when it came to camp; Tao tried one time, an old recipe his mother had for some black tea concoction that tasted like he just scooped it out of someone's trench. Shadow could still taste that shit from time to time and it gave her the shivers. No one made a good cup of tea quite like Bree Byrne, so she couldn't help but accept it with a small smile. "Sure. Thank you. One creme, no sugar." It wasn't an order, but a request, since she knew that might be the next thing Bree would ask. Then again, she'd already done this a hundred times over for the pack, she probably didn't need to say a word and Bree would work her magic.

As she waited patiently (and eagerly) for her fresh, warm beverage, Shadow brushed the apple she'd fetched on the bottom of her shirt, and took a bite. She hugged her knee to her chest with her free hand and started chomping away on the sweet piece of fruit. She made sure to keep her mouth closed as she chewed, not how most of the pack normally ate when they were completely starving, smacking their lips and loudly gnawing on whatever they'd gotten to eat. Beta or not, Bree would surely rip her to bits over that, if she didn't mind her manners. "It's nice keeping the bugs out of our hair or other shit out there, but that's why I'll sleep out on the grass sometimes. I miss it too." It'd been a few days since she'd done so, but Shadow loved being outside too. The entire pack did, so she would find a nice patch of grass behind the building where she could just curl up and fall asleep without being bothered.

She'd been looking outside the window but when Bree asked another question, she turned her head to look where Bree had been pointing with her eyes. Shadow huffed. "Past few weeks?" She snickered, but nodded in agreement. "Yeah...he has."

That was a loaded question. There was a lot going on in Shadow's mind, and the pack sensed it on more than one occasion, even though she brushed it off. From the time she and Rafe were sent in to investigate Kara and that motherfucker Liam's home and bar in town, to the recent incident with Carver and Jon at his safehouse and that motherfucker Devil... She stewed in her thoughts before shrugging and deeply sighing. "I could be worse. I could be Carver with his broken ulna over there. I could be lying in that bed with my eyes shut and no idea when I'm going to wake up--" Zeva nervously chuckled. Her humanity was showing, and she knew it, and her words trailed of in that soft laugh. Poor Jon. The two of them had become close through the stockpile of an ordeal Kara had brought to light in the recent days. After her attack and in the days that followed, including the night Jace was poisoned, Shadow and Jon spent a lot of time trying to pick up the pieces for their Alpha's and keep them glued up tight. Zeva ran a hand through her hair, "I'll be fine. But what about you? Shit, I've been so wrapped up in everything I haven't even asked, how have you guys been? You? Mia, Tao?"

For a unit that worked together on multiple occasions, it was strange that she didn't hear too much from the other half. She took that as a good thing, sometimes, since reports were usually negative. But while they were sitting here, trying to have a normal conversation, Shadow was glad to have gotten the opportunity to ask just how her packmates were faring.
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by: AC
Bree took the time to fix up Shadow's drink as she listened to her beta get things off her chest. Once done, the sniper slid a cup and saucer to the younger woman before sitting back to digest what had been said. There was just as much said with words as without. Years of living together in close proximity made picking out tells and emotions fairly easy. Probably the most unsettling thing that was said had been the direct mention of Carver's injuries, and the indirect mention of that human, Jon. Injuries of various severity were common place in the mercenary life... even nasty ones like Jace had picked up... Was her beta going soft? Or was this just the human side reaching out?

"No one is ever simply fine Shadow. Some are just better at hiding it than others." And it was true. The events of the last few days had delved into something the older woman was not comfortable with and it wasn't for the first time she had to wonder if Jace had led them astray. This recent bullshit with Kara and the devil only furthered to aggrivate the older woman because if what everyone had said was true, the devil was alive, and Jace and Jon injured as they were because some human had interfered in her alpha's kill... Bree finished off the last of her cup before pouring in new hot water and dropping in a tea bag and kept her last thoughts to herself. If Shadow was up for conversation Bree wasn't about to chase her off.

Bree rose a brow and locked gazes with the Beta at her general query into the well being of everyone else. Surely she had to have felt the uncertainty and underlying tension due to recent events. For totems sake Rafe and Jace had had a brawl over leadership... something that hadn't happened in years. The sniper pulled the teabag from her cup and added a small spoon of sugar before taking a small sip.

"Tao and Mia are as quiet as ever though the place, especially the wooded area are growing on them. Mia has let her bookish nature get the better of her and she's been busy picking up magics from some of the other Order members. Tao has been practicing his kata and meditation more than usual but nothing seems out of the normal if that's what you are getting at. As for me, well, as you can see I'm doing fine, though I think I'm due for a change of scenery soon I think."
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by: Zeva Reid
Zeva accepted the drink with a smile, warmed at the gesture. Not only was it nice to have a nice cup of tea and a place to sleep, but her current exchange with Bree brought a sense of normalcy, as if they were just seven roommates tucked away in a quiet little den as opposed to what they were before, seven animals arguing about what rock to sleep on. She would never in her life call Bree her mum but the woman's demeanor, her talent for brewing some outstanding tea, her general protective nature over the crew, and the way she could handle the Alpha at times made that term implied. She hooked her finger through the loop of the small mug and brought the delicate saucer to closer to her before she took a sip. She didn't want to spill any, but she wanted to drink it properly, even if she was still sitting on her chair like a five-year-old at breakfast, her knee hugged to her chest. The hot tea felt nice as she drank it down. She smirked. Bree had a point. Who was ever "fine" these days? She'd been chasing behind Jace and their new magical cohorts around with an imaginary broom, trying to keep everything contained.

She sat the saucer and cup down for a moment, and tangled her fingers in front of her, holding her knee close. She was courteous enough to listen to the answer Bree gave to her recent question and she nodded. Tao and Mia were indeed quiet. Tao moreso than the youngling, and her admiration for their current surroundings was sweet. She was finally in her element--at least, part of her element--since she had some magical folks to work with instead of using the pack as test subjects for spells and all of that. "She can point at things and blow shit up that isn't us, so I that's a plus. And given the current events, I think I might have to join Tao for some of his evening meditation." He had his solo time to practice his kata, and his sundown rituals of meditation that she and Carver used to poke at. Now, she respected the hell out of those, and knew that some quiet time to focus might work for her.

"Oh?" Shadow took another sip, "Where d'you wanna run off to next?"

Zeva wanted just that. To run. Yes, beds and showers and hot tea were nice--but being in the moonlight, under the stars on a regular basis without the peace being drowned out by scurrying children or fluorescent lighting was nice. She didn't take the older woman's statement as a need to run away from what alliance and luxury they had here, since they'd been running for so long, they weren't used to being this stationary. Pros and cons seemed to stack pretty evenly when it came to whether or not they should stay or go, but with Jace and Kara keeping close company with one another, Zeva knew they were going to stick around for a little while. She pondered a minute behind her cup, staring out the window, before she turned back to Bree and asked, "What do you think of that?" She looked over at Jace, who was still sound asleep. Bree had to know what he meant by that question. Zeva wanted to know what she really thought of Kara.
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by: Jaleth Lenor
Ahhh, another day.

After preparing a nice breakfast for Diana, Jaleth prepared to head to the den. The wolves den, that is. For some reason, it made him nervous, even though they'd proven time and time over that they were okay with his company and even Jace had taken a shine to him, what with all the meetings and interactions they'd had as of late. Honestly, when he was first told that Kara made an alliance with a pack of wolves, he wasn't sure what to think, and he surely didn't think they'd like him one bit either, especially the way Bryden carried himself across the manor. That demeanor reminded him of the Guard they kept around when they took over the school. Morally degrading, physically abusive, verbally uncensored sort. The old Jaleth would have crumpled to that type, but since his rescue and the fact that he now had someone beside him, someone to protect, had changed everything. Jace as of late, was a little easier to digest, especially after the poisoning, when he and the Alpha saw eye to eye for the first time. Jaleth just reached out to help someone who was being persecuted for no reason, and that worked in his favor.

Seeing Kara in a seat of power and being trusted enough to come on as her advisor was something else, too. Because of their history, the way he left her, the way things went surrounding the death of his sister... It was just funny how Elana brought the three of them together: Kara, Jon and himself. He wished so much that she was still alive, but her death brought them all closer together.

It still blew him away, sometimes. Kara was with Jace. It wasn't too difficult to wrap his head around the idea, but just how well they were suited for one another was uncanny. Kara had been in some bad spots in her love life, himself included, but Jace seemed to fit well with her, a nice balance of character. As long as he loved her in return, and didn't harm her in any way, Jaleth was quite alright with them being together. Not that they needed his blessing, but it was something he thought about when he saw them together. They just...worked.

He carried a small package across the way, his footsteps crunching in the gravel as he walked. It was nice and refreshing to have a walk across the grounds, as he tried to think pleasant thoughts that would distract him with fear from the task at hand. He was just delivering a package, why was he so frightened? Was it the one with the guns? No. The one Stana was with now...Carver? Or maybe the older woman, Bree, who was testing Kara every chance she could get yesterday? He couldn't blame Bree for doing so, but Merlin, was the tension ever strong in that room that day.

Once he reached the door, he balanced the box in one arm and reached up to knock, but before his knuckles hit the surface of it, the door already creaked open. He stood there, wide-eyed, trying not to exude so much fear to his allies.
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by: AC
Bree offered Shadow a warm smile a the attempt with proper manners. Even if she was sill in her sleepwear and sitting perched on her chair as if a pup it was a treat, a rarity. It was something the older woman tried to instill in her pack mates and when they chose to use them outside of jobs that required a bit of decorum, it made the sniper all kinds of happy.

It was to hard to hold back a laugh when Zeva commented about Mia being able to turn her magic on others for a change. It was a sentiment that could be shared with the rest of the pack. Unfortunately with a lack of magical contacts, or, well, anyone with a modicum of magical talent, that left the various members of the pack as guinea pigs for whatever the young woman wanted to try out.

"It might be good for him too if he had some company now and again." It was said with a wry grin and a playful tone. Once upon a time Tao had asked if she'd be interested in learning the forms, and while they looked interesting and relaxing enough, Bree was far more happy and relaxed with a cup of tea in hand and a good book.

Bree offered her beta an amused snort when the conversation shifted back to where she'd like to run off to. "No where in particular. It's just that we've stayed in one place for longer than I can remember and the wolf inside wants to roam. After years of doing just that it's been.... an adjustment." The older woman chose not to elaborate on that point further figuring that Zeva was smart enough to know what she meant. While the constant roof over their heads, 3 square meals a day, and the piece of mind staying at the compound gave, it could never replace the nights spent under the stars, or running after prey, running from other predators. It kept everyone sharp, in tip top fighting form. This, while nice, had a attendance to make people soft, slack.

The older woman lost herself in her train of thought but was quickly brought back to the present with Shadow's next question. Bree let her eyes settle back down on the form of her sleeping alpha. What did she think of him? And presumably Kara judging by the way the question was asked. Bree hid the need to respond right away behind her cup as she thought carefully about what she wanted to say. There was no point in trying to lie about her feelings, the uncharacteristic needling of Kara the previous night was probably enough to tip the pack off to her feelings about the Order leader. It was a fine line to walk on that was for sure.

"I think-" she started after a long moment of thought, but was cut off by the sound of approaching footsteps. Now who would be here at this hour of the morning? The older woman cocked her head to the side and listened intently. The weight of the step and the gait suggested a man, and after another short moment a scent was picked up and recognized as that of the professor. Bree let out a huff and set her cup down and took a moment to tighten the belt on her robe. Once done she motioned to Shadow and the door. "Be a dear and get that for me will you. I'd rather not have sleeping ugly and sleeping uglier wake up if it isn't necessary."
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by: Zeva Reid
Much like the rest of the pack, Bree wanted to run free, see the sights beyond the wall, live outside every once in a while. Made sense. She didn't want to feel tied down either, but with their current agreement and ongoing situations with Kara and the Order, finding the time to run free was sort of slim.

When Bree stopped, Zeva set down her cup after taking another gulp of tea. She sensed it too, that someone was coming. And at the good part of the conversation too! Ugh. Well, she would get back to it, for sure. She was ever curious to know what Bree really thought of their Alpha and his mate, uncensored that is. The display back in Kara's office was a slight tip-off, but she wanted to hear the woman's evaluation before chiming in with her own thoughts too as they might have similar views on Jace and Kara. Not that they were gossips, they were just trying to ensure the safety of the pack and make sure their alliance was still in their best interests.

She couldn't help but snicker at Bree's choice words for the two troublemakers still asleep on the chairs. Zeva nodded at Bree, and quietly scooted her chair back so she could get up without alarming anyone and then stealthily padded across the living room area. Rafe snored loudly and tossed in his chair, shifting to his other side before falling right back to sleep again. Zeva smiled, painfully holding back another laugh at the gunslinger's sloppy sleeping habit before finally reaching for the doorknob. She turned the deadbolt and opened the door, to find Jaleth standing there with a box in hand, forgetting she was in her underwear and tank top, though it didn't seem to bother her much.

Jaleth, however, was stunned. "Uhm..."

Zeva had her forefinger pressed to her lips, to signal the professor to keep his mouth shut; her head jut backward at Rafe and Jace still asleep inside.

He took the cue and whispered, "This came in the express post and Kara wanted me to deliver this to him. Er uh..." He was having trouble focusing on Jace's beta, as he was trying not to stare at her face since he was flush with embarrassment. Any lower and he'd be ogling her chest, and lower than that, he would surely find a nice new broken nose. He cleared his throat and reached back to scratch his neck, still trying to adhere to her request for quiet.

Zeva took the package and looked back at Bree with a smile and an arched brow that the Professor seemed to have trouble with the way she was dressed. It was too funny. She lowered her eyes to search for his for a second and she nodded. "Thanks."

"Welcome... Alright. Bye." He said, before scurrying off.

Zeva watched him off, before closing the door, quietly securing the deadbolt and latch before making her way back to the table. She set it down, and read the label. "The Iron Banner Forge..looks like it's from Ireland? She said aloud, still keeping her voice as low as it was before so she didn't disturb Rafe or Jace. "You heard of that place? I wonder what it is..." She was curious what was inside. Medium box, seemed innocent enough, and Jaleth would be a damn fool to bring some sort of trap or trickery into the Wolves den. Zeva was tempted to shake it but if the contents inside were loose, it would more than likely wake up the boys.
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by: AC
Bree watch the exchange with a wide grin and soft chuckle. Humans were so funny when it came to modesty and the older woman didn't even need to fully see the professor to knew he was flush with embarrassment. She could feel his discomfort and insecurity, though the older garou did raise an eye when her delicate hearing picked up the topic of conversation. Something had come via post for Jace? Bree shifted her gaze back to the sleeping alpha, then back to Shadow and the box she was now holding. Now what on earth could that be? Jace never got mail. Ever.

She shook her head in the negative when asked if she knew the name of the packages origin. Ireland? Even more curious. "Never heard of it... but if it's from a forge.... weapons of some sort perhaps?" Though the suggestion still didn't really give them any indication as to what was really inside. "Did he order something at some point? Normally we get our gear from Keo and he gets his stuff local if I remember correctly. You should open it. All in the name of protecting our hot head over there."

She said it with a laugh and silently wondered if Shadow would follow through with the suggestion. It wouldn't hurt anything. Besides, if Jace had ordered something he certainly had to know that if he wasn't the one to officially receive it that someone else would. The 7 by nature were a curious and suspicious lot, so even if their alpha was miffed about it he could simply suck it up.

As Bree waited for Shadow to make her decision, the older woman thought back to her beta's question from earlier. She wouldn't be able to hold off Shadow for to long and Bree was certain once the novelty of the mystery package was solved the conversation would naturally drift back toward that. She let out a soft sigh.

"You asked what I honestly thought about them yes? personally I think he's an idiot, letting his heart get in the way and while he might still think he's got the pack first and foremost in him mind it's clear he doesn't. His actions lately have been driven by something else recently. Kara has put us in a bad position more than once now and could very well have killed our alpha the other night."

"It's frustrating to have to play nice with a weaker race. Coddle them."
Bree took a moment to compose herself. She'd pushed back at Kara every chance she had last night, testing the woman's mettle and while she found it lacking, watching the alpha and her interact spoke volumes. The sniper began to fix herself up another cup of tea before continuing.

"But I've never seen him like this around anyone before that wasn't us. Not even with his family. It doesn't take a genius to that he's different when he's around her, more stable if you will. And as much as I loath it I truly think that ice cold heart of his feels something for her."
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by: Zeva Reid
Forge meant weaponry, that was for sure. Zeva nodded at Bree and shrugged, still looking at the box on the table. "Yeah most of Keo's stuff is made in house or sent local. Castello wouldn't let us hear the end of it if we went elsewhere for stuff he gathers or makes himself." Zeva laughed. The smug Yankee grunt loved boasting about his ability to fashion new weapons or acquire whatever Keo's contacts were looking for.

"Professor mentioned Kara ordered these so..." She didn't sit down quite yet, as she was wondering what was inside. Bree did bring up a good point, something she was already thinking.

"Quality control, it is. Old man won't mind us taking a peak, right? Safety reasons." She grinned. Pulling one of Carver's knives left on the table, Zeva ran the blade over the package seal and opened the top flaps, exposing a bunch of packing material to the air. Zeva didn't smell anything out of the ordinary, but she still stood back in case something was set to blow. When nothing happened after a few seconds, she leaned in and pulled at the bubble wrap to expose a black foam tray with a set of five throwing knives, shining steel, with black and red handles. The fangs themselves were serrated near the slightly curved tips, teeth that looked sharp as hell.

"Well...shit." She uttered, impressed by the new weaponry. Zeva placed the tray on the table and found another row of blades beneath it, and a leather bandolier. This was definitely for Jace, alright. The gift was like Yule had come early and she was sure her Alpha's face would light up at the sight of these. "I'll be damned." Zeva grinned as she looked up at Bree. It was a damn good replacement for the band Jace already had, which, by the looks of it, lost a lot of ammunition after the fight. This would hopefully brighten up his spirits, even with his broken as shit foot.

Zeva placed the trays back into the box and let it sit on the table beside them, setting aside so it didn't obstruct her view of Bree across the way. She returned to her seat, still treading and moving as quietly as she could and looked up. "You were saying?"

Bree went on a rant, and she let her. It was something she wanted an answer to, after all. It was no secret, especially after her display just yesterday, that Bree didn't much care for humans, Kara specifically, but Zeva liked hearing it all out loud as opposed to assumptions and implications. She nodded when Bree mentioned the shitty situations Kara had brought about as of late, because it was true. But when she explained Jace's mood changing around her, she hid a slight smile behind her cup of tea.

Zeva nodded, with a soft chuckle. "Funny you say that. I knew when we got here he'd go after her but never in a million years did I think it would last longer than a night or something. You're right though. He's different with her." They might have had their nights together in the past, but that was a long ass time ago, and meant nothing more to her than a roll in the hay for...stress relief purposes. But still, the entire pack knew Jace wasn't the "find a mate" type, and she was blown away by the fact that he had taken to Kara, the way he had. They balanced each other in a way, she calmed him. He supported her too, changed the way she led, in a good way.

She looked up at Jace for a moment, watching him as he slept, curious to know just how far he wanted to take it with her, wondering if he felt their relationship would last.
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by: Stana Chastaine

It was late morning, by the smell of it, something she was taught to detect before she even opened her eyes. She felt a presence behind her, with their hand on her hip as but when she rolled onto her back, they pulled away.

Stana yawned and stretched, the thin material of her gray t-shirt pulled up over her stomach to expose her skin as she reached up. It was a long, satisfying stretch as she pushed out from her fingers all the way down to her toes. She felt a hand on her skin, fingers gently poking and tickling her that she curled up and giggled, but not too loud since Rafe was snoring and the old man Alpha was still sleeping on his couch across the room. At least Shadow was awake, she thought, as she spotted the beta sitting at the table with Bree. Stana didn't want to get another kick to the damn shin just because she was zonked out so hard she was snorting as loud as Rafe.

Her laughter came out in short puffs of air through her nose, as she stifled the sounds that were threatening to come out at full blast. When her efforts to try and get him back were squashed, she gently smacked Carver on the arm and proceeded to curl up next to him on their bedroll. Her blue eyes opened, peeking up into his, and she smiled. "You just want me to get killed by those guys, don't you?" She whispered, and jerked her neck in the direction of the sleeping beauties as she glared at him, playfully.

"Who? Me? Nahh..." Carver just grinned, exposing some fang as he winked at his girl. It wouldn't have been the first time Carver played tricks on Stana to earn her a nice healthy backhand from Shadow or a shot from Mia, or a vulgar threat littered with colorful curse words from the Alpha. In fact, one of the first times he tried to screw with her was when they were training. That whole plan backfired and the two of them ended up fighting out in the fields... but just look at them now. He often told her that he was proud of her, and even now she was picking it up without him saying it out loud. Stana was getting a lot better at everything each day: Her fighting skills were being tested by Shadow and Tao, her aim with Bree and Rafe, and she and Mia exchanged spells and books every so often. Carver was also helping her with her communication (which was funny in itself, since Shadow and Jace often complained that com was his worst skill), and with tracking and investigation, showing her how to navigate even without the blessing and curse of garou abilities. Not to mention, the occasional spar to test her was thrilling as hell.

He pulled his good arm out to let her cuddle into him, his damaged arm settled on his chest as he held her there. The chance to lay out and not do a damn thing was helping the healing factor make work of the injury to his arm from Jon's, a couple of night's before. Carver wouldn't say it aloud but he couldn't stop thinking about that night and the images bothered the shit out of him. As mercenaries, kills, blood, broken bones, battered bodies weren't necessarily anything to weep over, but the sight of that shit wouldn't leave him alone. What he saw, the condition of the Devil, and then the horror of discovering the healer in a bloody heap outside of the crashed vehicle... He fucking knew that man. He knew that man was pack to the Alpha of the Order, her beta even, someone who had been kind to Carver regardless of what had gone down with the poison and the attack on the safehouse. But luckily for him, he didn't fall too far into his worries and thoughts, because the serene warmth of the woman beside him, and the soothing feeling of bliss filled him. Carver breathed that in, and relaxed.

Stana scooted closer and threw her arm over Carver's stomach, placing her head on his shoulder. Her fingertips gently swirled over the scarred patch of skin on his side, something that they both found comforting. The closeness. Other than a couple of teasing remarks from Rafe and Mia now and again, the pack didn't seem to mind them together. Comments about pathetic humans didn't faze her much since she was already at a loss for faith in her own kind as it was--so she fit right in and shrugged or nodded whenever those complaints and bitching came around. She wondered if her age ever bothered him, especially since she hadn't had much experience with boys, not even in school, and even though they hadn't had sex or anything yet (for which she was completely and utterly nervous about), Carver was still a sweet ol' bastard for putting up with her and her shit. She tilted her head down as she felt his lips on her forehead and she closed her eyes again, a happy sigh exhaled as she held him.

Her stomach grumbled so loud, she was sure Mia and Tao heard it from the other room. Her eyes widened.

Carver opened one eye and peeked down at her with a chuckle, "Need me to get up and fetch breakfast?" He pulled her closer, giving her a gentle squeeze.

Embarrassed, she curled up into him, burying her face in his chest. Stana laughed, muffled by his body and clothing. "Just five more minutes."

"Alright." He smiled, closing his eyes once more.

There were some trying moments that tested her faith in herself and some times that made her wonder if she made the right decision to leave the Order and join the garou. Of course, that plan blew up in her face, since the pack decided to stay with the resistance, but life here with this tight-knit crew showed her that there was still hope that people could care for her. They were a family, and she was a part of it. That made any doubt or regret fade away, and fast.
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by: AC
Bree let out an amused snort. Leave it to Shadow to pick up on the smallest of details. When they'd first arrived at the compound and the older woman watched the exchange between the Order's alpha and Jace, Bree had seen nothing beyond the normal chest thumping and honest desire of her alpha to make Kara squirm. Take and not give, the M.O. of the 7 since the pack was formed, and a game Jace seemed to relish playing.

A soft whisper had the sniper tuning her head in the direction of Carver and Stana a moment and the small amount of conversation she could pick out brought a grin to her face. Speaking of unlikely duos... It was surprising to see how quickly Stana had taken to mercenary life, to garou life. Sure the girl was lacking the natural talent of a garou but she had enough tenacity and determination to make up for her human failings. It was, in a fashion, refreshing.

The sound of movement, followed by the opening of a door indicated Mia and Tao were both awake and about to join the motley group of half awake shifters gathered at the table. Without a word Bree prepped two more cups of tea and offered them to the pair as they joined Shadow at the table. Both looked well rested and in good spirits after a full night of rest.

"Different is a good way to put it I think." Bree turned her attention back to Shadow with the intent of carrying on there earlier conversation if the beta wished. "It will be interesting to see how things develop and if he can keep it together. As much as I dislike the idea, the heart wants want it wants, yet on the same coin I don't want to deal with a broken heart. I think it safe to say we all know the fallout from such a thing would be.... unpleasant."

It wasn't that the sniper didn't want things to work out for her alpha. It was quite the opposite actually, but his very nature was working against him. Over the years Bree witnessed the full brunt of Jace's rage unleashed on various people. Uncontrollable. Unpredictable. An animal in its own right. She'd seen the fallout when he had unintentionally hurt those very, very few people he cared about, and as callous and as cruel as Black Spirals were know to be, Bree didn't want to see her alpha go through that if he snapped on Kara someday.
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by: Zeva Reid

Zeva set down her empty cup of tea and pushed the saucer forward, as a silent request for more if Bree was offering--but also to set it out of the way so she wouldn't knock it over. (She knew first hand that breaking anything that belonged to Bree, especially her tea set, came with some hefty ass consequences. Her shoulder never set quite right after that.) She wrapped her fingers together and held her knee to her chest, sitting with her resting straight against the back of the kitchen chair. She turned her head slightly when Bree acknowledged the young girl and their youngest male in the pack, and a grin formed over her lips, knowingly. Zeva nodded her head in amusement, not saying a word but letting the content young lovebirds have their quiet moment. Zeva had been quite impressed with the acquisition; Sure, she had to knock the girl down a few pegs to get her in line and took some pleasure in kicking her ass when she didn't get the blade dancing formations right--but if she wanted to learn, she needed to pipe down with the hormones and just pay attention sometimes. Hell, Zeva even had to kick Carver's ass for distracting her, and he knew better than to come back around after that.

Lovebirds everywhere, it seemed. She looked over her shoulder and followed Mia and Tao over to the table. Mia sat down first, nudging Zeva slightly with her hip to her shoulder and the beta just laughed. "Aren't we all bright-eyed..." Zeva mused at Mia, winking at the girl who seemed to enjoy the moments she got to spend in private with her man. It was the norm, so she left it at that, unless Mia had anything else to add besides sticking out her tongue like a twelve-year-old-girl would do to their mum.

She turned back to Bree, and nodded. The older woman's input mirrored that of her own when it came to the Alpha, but the same words applied to Stana and Carver, and even Tao and Mia. However, with Jace, it held a different weight. A heftier one, that is. He was the Alpha, and never had any other 'romantic' ties besides her and a handful of other women over the years. "It is weird as shit, I'll agree with that. But I see how he is with her. It's so fucking strange to see that guy smile--and I'm not talking the sort of smile that comes after a kill. This one's different. So that's gotta mean something. I think... I think it'll be good for him...you know, if they stay together." They were a great pair, a great balance, and had already proven to one another they would go to the ends of the earth for each other. Bree was right though. No one would survive if that cold black heart of his was ever broken. Zeva shuddered at the thought

Mia raised an eyebrow, the girls getting their chance to gab at the table since Tao decided to take his sword outside to polish it before settling down for tea. In all honesty, he figured Mia would drink his anyway, so it wouldn't get cold or go to waste. "Oh, J-man and Kara?" She blurted out, at a volume that would be heard as normal conversation to anyone else, but at a high enough volume to make the snoring man stir where he slept.

Zeva's head whipped over to face Rafe and Jace, and then she looked at Bree before smacking Mia on the arm. "Jesus, Mi--inside voice, yeah?" she scolded her, hoping they had a little more peace before the two men woke up.
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by: AC
When Shadow pushed her empty cup toward her, Bree to a moment to refill to as well as her own. She watched as Tao declined but offered Mia a welcoming smile as the young woman chose to sit. It wasn't often that "girl time" was just that, girl time, and in the snipers mind it was a wonderful treat. Bree nodded in agreement as Shadow offered her own opinion on the current topic of conversation. A smile from the alpha when he wasn't killing or torturing anyone was incredibly rare, and the older woman was certain she could could count on both hands the times Jace had cracked a smile because he was happy....

"Yes, I think it will be good for him too-" The rest of her thought was cut off by Mia's overly exuberant exclamation when she caught on to what the pair had been talking about. Bree cast a cold glare at the younger woman before turning her head in Jace and Rafe's direction. The alpha had stirred and sat up somewhat, though his glassy eyed expression indicated his reaction might have been instinctual rather than something born of actual awareness. Bree put a finger to her lips and froze, hoping if they were all still and quiet, Jace would relax and go back to sleep.

It took a while but eventually their patience was rewarded as the older man lay back down and let his eyes close. Bree let out the breath she'd been holding before giving her own brand of scolding to Mia. "If we are done with unnecessary outbursts...?" Once she was sure Mia understood, Bree took a calming sip of tea before deciding to continue with the conversation.

"As I was saying, yes, I think it is good for him and while I might think his choice in mate questionable at best, they do seem to balance each other out. She gives him a calm in that sea of rage he's constantly swallowed by, and he gives her the confidence and backing to act as an alpha should. Funny how we as garou strive to keep the natural balance and are seemingly seeing it happen before our eyes with this pair. It's like the Weaver and the Wyld in some macabre dance that only Jace and Kara can see."

Bree wasn't sure if the younger members of the pack would remember the early lessons of how the weaver was the magic in the world and how the wyld were it's creatures. Of course it went deeper than that. The older woman remembered spending many a night with pack elders, being told the very stories of the creation of the world before they had been forced to run. In fact it was something she missed. Story telling by an open fire. Garou history was oral, and passed from generation to generation. It was something she felt duty bound to instill in the 7 whenever she could though it had been a long while since anything like that had happened.
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