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Redemption Pt 2

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The Barghest [Zaire]

Massive paws thudded against the ground as the massive canine chased down one of the many zombie-like creatures inhabiting the world these days. The beast’s fur sparked in flames, black trailing behind it as it ran to catch up with its prey. It snarled, pouncing on the zombie and gripping its neck in a massive, flaming maw. With a twitch of that massive head, the neck SNAPPED, and it pulled the head completely off before tearing into flesh. Neither Zaire, nor the Barghest knew exactly where they were. Only that it was away from the city. And she was away from home. Internally, Zaire pleaded with the beast to just let her have control. To stop this rampage that it was on, to let her go /back/. <SHUT UP,> it snarled at her as it continued eating its meal. <You go back when I SAY we go back.>

 

<They /need/ me. Zenith, Daesyn, Kenna, Rowan, and Amais need their mother. And Ezra and Gus must be worried.>

 

A wrench of the beast’s head jerked another chunk of flesh from the corpse. <Oh, please. As soon as they were born, you ran off. Afraid everything will go to shit now that they’re around?> Zaire fell silent at the beast’s words, retreating deep into her mind. The Barghest didn’t care. All it cared about was the silence. Had she not seen that Solarian, as most called him, she wouldn’t have been so eager to fight back. But the Barghest wasn’t done watching the world spiral into chaos yet. It was an omen of death, after all, and it wouldn’t be doing its job if it didn’t watch the death happening all around. 

 

The crunch of bones could be heard, the ripping of flesh, but any of that tainted blood that the zombies held within was burned away by the beast. It knew better. It knew that these things would kill it otherwise. But that was fine. It was pretty much dead as it was. It lifted its head, ears pinned back against its skull, and a howl of victory ripped forth from its throat. One that could be heard for miles.

Augustus Octavian

The children were safe. That was the first thing he would have wanted her to know. They were all back home, wet nurses keeping each of them nice and healthy while Zaire’s return was awaited. They needed her, more than she needed them. He hadn’t understood why she had run, even though he knew personally that it hadn’t been her decision but more than likely, the barghest that lurked beneath that brittle mind of hers. Ezra had left several hours ago in search of her, displaying wings Augustus had never seen, never asked about and Kage was busy helping the wet nurses with the now very filled house of theirs. He knew where she was, could feel it through the bond they shared as god and priestess. He hadn’t wanted to chase her down, had wanted to give her all the time and space she needed so that she could come back on her own terms, but the cries of the girls and boys who now looked as if they were several months old rather than just a few hours had given him something of a headache. Through a portal, he appears in the midst of that crunching of bones and the ripping of flesh. He is not surrounded by zombies who give him a wide berth, doing the same for her only moments later. It is the void within him, the fact that he controls them doubly with necromancy as well. All that combined give him a benefit most others would not have. “Come home, Zaire,” he half-orders, reaching out to that power of his within her. “Come back home to our children, your children with him.”

The Barghest [Zaire]

His presence made her react internally almsot immediately, the Yuki reaching with her mind, trying to force herself to take control. But something about this whole situation had made the beast stronger, and it silenced the Yuki’s consciousness with a snarl. “You might be /her/ Master,” it growled towards Gus, never lifting its head fully away from the corpse. “But you are not mine.” Arrogant. That might be the only thing to describe the beast, other than large. On all fours, it might have been shorter than Gus, but if it decided to stand on its hind legs, it might actually be taller. There wasn’t an ounce of fat on the creature, only rippling muscle that moved and flowed like the flames pouring from its fur. It did look up a little, those mismatched eyes peering up at him before it decided its meal was more interesting. The beast huffed, what might have been a laugh, and ripped another chunk of flesh from the zombie. “You. You’re not fond of two of those children, are you?” Another huff, and it stood from its position on the ground. “You can command her, make her submit if you want. But I am far older, and far wiser, than she is. I am not so easy to force into submission.” It knew it shouldn’t try to fight on a full stomach. But it was enjoying its time to feed. 

Augustus Octavian

Augustus had tamed wild creatures before, had been around werewolves, lycanthropes, and garou the better part of his whole life. His own father/grandfather was a garou through and through and several of his siblings had come out being werewolves. Of course, throughout his history, he had been reborn as one twice only to die and take up the mantle of his vampirism again where it had left off. The meal had come to an ending long before he would have interrupted and dark blue eyes watch with abstract interest right till that last moment where she looks up at him before returning to it. He shifts his weight from one foot to the other, eyes now glowing within their sockets. The very air seems to writhe and toil in place around her, her meal, her meal that now becomes bile within her throat, stomach acid and goop that would probably immediately kick start the gagging process in order to rid her stomach of what she had already eaten. “It matters little to me what your age is compared to her or how much stronger than she you might be. I brought you to the surface, I can put you back. Of course, you’re a part of her and that part of her needs to reconcile with you in order to bring you back to normal but I’d much prefer you submit before I make you. Nothing you could do would hurt me.” He moves effortlessly in her direction, stopping only a foot or so away as she noms on that zombie and he moves to reach out a hand to run it over her backside. “You’re more than I imagined but I very seriously doubt you’ll ever be able to keep me from getting what I want.”

The Barghest [Zaire]

The beast heaved for a moment, but its vomit wasn’t normal. It was pure fire, scorching the ground beneath it. Once the fit subsided, it looked back up at Gus. “Nothing?” Had the beast been graced with a humanoid form, it would have grinned. “Do you know how easy it would be to just /refuse/ her control?” It say on its haunches, that arrogant look clear in its mismatched eyes. The red one seemed to glow a bit, that massive maw hanging open for a bit. It might have /seemed/ like any other wild beast, but it had far more intelligence than any othe canine. At least, more than a normal one. “She’ll never reconcile, you know. Do you know the truth? Why she ran?” It let out that huffing laugh once more, ears pinning back for a moment. “Her leaving had nothing to do with me. I actually had no idea that any of this was going on until I showed up. And not even you will shove me back in that cage.” It stood, snarls rippling from its form, and it took a step forward. It seemed to bristle in anger when he touched it, head jerking around to snap at him. “NO ONE will put me back in that cage. I have allowed her enough control to “behave” myself, but I think its time I find myself more interesting prey. Something that actually fights back. It’s been decades since I’ve tasted the flesh of a mortal being. I think it’s time to change that.”

Augustus Octavian

Fire he can deal with because his own fires are much hotter than the Barghest knows. Not even Zaire knows, truthfully, the extent of his abilities and that’s because there’s never been reason for her to experience them first hand. She would have only been able to do so if she had done research on him, learned his past before she married him. Her voice, its voice, is a growl within his ears that begs for dominance over its preordained existence. He inches closer, even closer than he was before, before slightly tilting his head in response. “Tell me the truth, then. Or what you believe to be the truth.” When its body bristles at his touch, head jerking around to snap at Gus, he remains in place as teeth wrap around his wrist only to find that it’s biting something that feels like hard, cold steel. There’s no dent, only a very hard clink that leaves her jaw rattled. “I let you out so you wouldn’t have to be in the cave, so you two could co-exist. Not so one could have control over the other. You both have immense power that can be utilized to protect one another and the children we have birthed.” He pauses, looking her over again. “I do not hate any of the children. I may not care for sharing her with someone else but her love life is her own as far as I am concerned when she and I are not together and alone.” He moves to step in the creature’s path, blocking it’s potential leave of presence. “You’re not going anywhere.”

The Barghest [Zaire]

It pulls its head away from his hand, another snarl rippling from it. “The very /birth/ of those children sent her spiraling right back into madness.” It ignored those internal pleas for it to just STOP TALKING! Zaire, personally, wanted nothing more than to go home. To be with her children, to be with /him/ and Ezra again. She just wanted things to go back to normal. “She’s still expecting things to go wrong, you know. Still convinced that she’s going to, in her words, fuck this up somehow.” Its fur bristled once more. “You want her back so badly? Fine. Do what you will. But I’m not going quietly. I wonder just how badly I can rip her apart on the inside before you pull her back to consciousness.”It was still, those eyes glowing in its skull. But screams could be heard. Zaire’s screams. As if it was already doing as it had just said. There wasn’t a way to really see what the Barghest was doing to her, but every so often, the screams would die to whimpers, little pleas for the pain to just stop. “These emotions she has. They’re so useless. They make her weak. I thought you had no desire to deal with weakness?” It huffed once more. “Seems this so-called love is clouding your judgement.”

Augustus Octavian

As that snarl rips free of its maw and it begins to tempt and taunt Gus, Gus steadies himself and in one swift moment, it’s like a blanket of dark black lightning and flame has erupted around the Zaire within the Barghests’ mind, keeping the Barghest from completing it’s on true goal of ripping her apart from the inside. He’s a master telepath, someone who has been using the magic within his mind since the very moment he had been born. A hedge witch that the Barghest couldn’t escape if it decided to try and force itself into an eternal struggle with the power that is Augustus’. He curls an arm around the beast’s throat, just squeezing enough that it becomes harder to breathe but not enough to strangle the creature or to actually cut the air from its lungs. He pushes the beast with one hand, hooks its back legs with one of his own to knock it down and onto the ground so he can move to hover above it, his face inches from its teeth. “I’m sure she’s listening this very moments. She can’t fuck this up. I wouldn’t allow her to. She is a mother and the children, and her along with her current husband, are under my control. She shouldn’t worry over things like this because the punishment I’d dish out is ten times worse than how I’m holding you right now, beast.” He leans down, nudging his nose against the Barghests’ throat. “You want to be in a cage? I can fasten one that you’d never be able to free yourself from no matter how hard you try. Now bring her back to the surface before I have to spank you into submission, before I have to prove to you that I am a man of my word.” He bares his teeth, black jettisoning through his eyes, streaking across his face in thin, spider-web like veins. “Are you going to make me force you, ‘Zaire’?”

The Barghest [Zaire]

The screams stopped, replaced with whimpers and panting gasps as Zaire tried to regain what little control of herself she still had. Personally, she wouldn’t have minded the beast being shoved back into its cage. It was better than the alternative, which terrified her. The Barghest struggled, kicking with its back feet, trying its best to get its feet beneath it to roll and try throwing Gus off of it. But it didn’t work. And after Gus spoke, and it looked up at him, the right eye shifted to yellow. If canines could cry, she might have been right then. But, on the inside, she was more terrified of anything that Gus could potentially do to her than anything the Barghest could do. It had been proven already that her flames wouldn’t hurt him, and the beast erupted into black fire that consumed its form. Slowly, the flames became golden once more, and it wasn’t a flaming canine pinned to the ground. It was Zaire. Surprisingly, her clothing was mostly intact, only a few rips here and there. She groaned, squirming under him, her eyes a little hazy. “Are you angry with me?” Her voice was a murmur, and she refused to meet his eyes. But there was something different about her. It was a physical change, the scars on her face seeming somewhat less visible against her skin. And the fur around her ears and tail seemed thicker, her fingernails just a little longer. Almost as if she was /her/, but parts of the beast had remained imprinted on her physical form.

Augustus Octavian

He half-expects the creature to fight harder than it does in trying to get free of him but instead, it goes up in black flames that lick and bite against his clothing until he is next to naked atop of the fiery, intact clothed woman that is also his wife a few minutes later. Scars are less visible against her face and her voice is a gentle murmur as she refuses to meet his eyes, as fur and tail grow thicker with a rich plume of fur. Nails still press to his wrists, against his sides but he leans down and captures her lips, at the same time pressing that mind protection upon hr so that the full brunt of that magic is used to protect her more than hurt her. “You’re not the object of my anger and you can only prove to annoy me sometimes believing you’re an issue,” he states with a small sigh. “I’ve given you a chance to connect with the Barghest, to form a working relationship with her.. Already, your body has begun to show signs of that being the case.” He momentarily catches control of her mind, looking at her in a way only he can and as he does, she’ll, just for a moment, be able to see herself through his eyes, the changes that have taken place and root within her before he loosens his grip at her. “That doesn’t mean I won’t have to punish you for taking off without talking to me. Even if it wasn’t directly your fault… But it won’t be too harsh.” He shifts, settling to her side against that blood stained earth next to her, his hand moving to push hair from her face. “Our babies need us.”

The Barghest [Zaire]

She managed to look up at him, her ears held low. Part of her seemed… hurt. As if the thought of annoying him was more like a knife in her heart than just a few words. Her eyes widened for a moment, fingers lifting to trace along the faint scarring on her face. There had been no change to that blue left eye of hers, but she had known about it for a while. When he moved away from her, she sat up and curled against him. She didn’t speak, but it wasn’t because of him. Or anything he had done. She was exhausted. She had used more of her energy than she had intended to, fighting for control even as the Barghest was distracted by Gus. She nodded, though, her entire being accepting of any punishment. She had learned once, the hard way, not to fight it. “It…” She had to pause, clear her throat, and avert her eyes from the bone piles scattered around the area. Her throat hurt, her bones ached, and her head was a swirling mass of thoughts that she couldn’t quite make sense of. “It wasn’t my memories that sent me away,” she finally managed. She didn’t want to lose the memory of her first children, the reason she had been fighting herself to stop being so /nice/ to everyone and everything and getting herself into these situations. “I just…” She furrowed her brow. “I wanted to make sure the rumors were true, at first. And then…. something…” How the hell was she going to explain it with her brain as foggy as it was? “Something seemed… to break? Fracture? I can’t explain it. Something was just /different/ and it took over again.” She froze, though, realization coursing through her. “I didn’t…. I didn’t hurt anyone? Or…. Or kill?” The zombies didn’t count, and she was fairly sure he knew what she meant. She couldn’t really remember.She just knew there were times over the past few nights where unconsciousness had overtaken /her/ mind, and the Barghest was allowed to roam free. 

Augustus Octavian

His intention is not to hurt her but open her eyes. Three times, she’s done something that’s put herself in danger because she thought that she could not open herself up to him and let him know where her mind lay. She had obviously done the same thing to Ezra, though he was far more lenient than Gus ever could be except Gus was the truest form of penance for wrong doings. Her eyes widen and she moves to trace fingers against her face, her eyes watching him as he watched her and in the end, as she finally managed to talk, he leans down to press his hands to the sides of her face. “You need to come to me. If you can’t, go to Ezra. Otherwise we’re not there for one another the way we should be as wife and husband, husband and wife.” He strokes said fingers through her hair and then shifts his weight from one side to the other until he begins rising to his feet, grabbing hold of her to lift her up from the ground and to her feet. “You didn’t hurt anyone or kill anyone, as far as I know. There were zombies but they are currently attacking the planet so it was within your rights,” he clears up. “I’m not angry with you or annoyed right now. Just worried. I wanted you to do your due diligence in accepting the barghest, Zaire. She’s apart of you as you are a part of them. That’s why your body has taken on some of these new physical changes..” speaking of… he reaches out to lightly stroke his fingers against her now fluffier ears. “We should get back.”

The Barghest [Zaire]

Zaire offered no resistance as he helped her to her feet. Originally she wanted to apologize, but she decided against it and nodded her head. She wanted nothing more than to sleep. Just for a little while, enough to feel coherent again. “Good,” she muttered. She might have held nothing in her heart for the Unkindled, but some of his morals had rubbed off on her. And she would have never forgiven herself if she had killed someone without good cause. She leaned against him, leaning into his touch as he stroked her ears. “Would…” She paused, frowning a little for just a moment. “Would you be willing to help me with learning control? It… it scares me. It’s just so full of /anger/ and /hunger/, I don’t… I don’t know how to stop it sometimes.” Her arms wrapped around him, though, and she nuzzled against him. “Let’s go home,” she said after a moment. “I need some sleep. And to not think about food for at least the next two days.” She chuckled, though, her tail wagging slowly behind her. “I can only imagine how many of those things it ate.” 

Augustus Octavian

He wants them to go home, to be with their children, but he also wants to deescalate the situation, the anger the barghest must feel at having to of submitted to him so easily. He’s come to a new understanding that it’s not just her memories that have pushed her, unwillingly, past the brink of her control but her thoughts on being a mother again, at knowing that there is a possibility that she and her children can end up in the same situation again, souls trapped by a primordial who wishes not to give them what their hearts wane for but simply to hold them hostage. As she leans into him and his touch, her voice a distant reminder that he, too, must offer some protection toward her thoughts even now, he nods and clears his throat. “Anger can be controlled. I used to be an emperor and I was just recently a dictator on Hellifyno. Most of my decisions were wrought from anger on the heroes and it led to my downfall each time. Being reborn into what I am has tempered a lot of my emotions and given me new insight. I can more than help you with it, Zaire. You just need to let me or Ezra know when things are getting bad.” She leans into him, nuzzling against his arm, and he curls those arms of his around her tightly, gently squeezing at her sides. “We’re going home but you’re not allowed to sleep yet..” he lightly teases. “You’ve been kept to yourself the last few weeks. I have not properly been able to be with you, my wife, and neither has Ezra. We both have desires and I wish to curb mine with you and to make love. I just want to be with you for a few hours before he gets you back. I deserve that, right?” His fingers tease up and through her hair before settling at her ears again. “We’ll learn how to control things together. And the barghest, you… it’ll all make sense.”

The Barghest [Zaire]

This time when she had taken control again, she didn’t /lock/ the Barghest away in that mental cage it had been in before. But she hadn’t let it fuse with her consciousness like she should have. The idea of going back still unsettled her a little, but she honestly would have gone anywhere with him. That was the kind of trust she had. The soft rumble of his voice seemed to soothe her somewhat, and she nodded. “I will,” she promised. “I didn’t think it would get so bad. I’m /happy/, Gus. I am. I was just so afraid.” The squeeze at her sides, though, brought her back to the present, and she let out a contented sigh. She lifted her head, eyes closing as she pressed a kiss to his neck. It was true. She had been sequestered, by her own free will, keeping to herself like a goblin who wanted nothing more than to hoard every snack known to mankind. But that was all just before she gave birth. Now that she had recovered from the whole process, she was beginning to feel those desires creeping up on her once more. She chuckled a little as he told her she wouldn’t be allowed to sleep, a soft moan parting her lips. “You most certainly do deserve that, my love. I honestly missed you, having kept myself away from everyone.” She leaned her head into his touch at her ears, a soft nod being offered. “We will. But, for now, I want to go home and be with you.” Color rushed to her face, a blush spreading across her cheeks. Any idea of punishment had been swept from her mind, only focusing on the fact that she would make it up to the both of them. Neither of them, in her eyes, deserved to worry. And that was precisely what she had done by running off the way she had.

Augustus Octavian

It would take time for the both of them to bond the way they should have when she had first realized it was within her. He could tell she was having second thoughts, could see it in hr eyes, but she nodded in response and promised, despite the fear that was made clear through her vision and, of course, her words. With that contented sigh, she pressed closer and kissed at his neck and in response, he squeezed her tighter before tugging her close and into his arms. In a moment, the world around them begins to deteriorate and then with one sudden berth of energy, the world crumbles away and the two of them are left deposited in that little apartment of hers downstairs, upstairs the sound of cooing children, babies really, echoing through the walls. It’s fortunate, though, that this room in and of itself is guarded by magic to keep the world outside from hearing what happens within but he reaches out to stroke her face, lifting her head up by her chin so that he could look into her eyes as she leaned her head into his touch and offered a soft nod upon the breadth of moan-parted lips. “I have missed you dearly,” he claimed with a curt nod of his head. He clears his throat before inching closer, leaning to kiss at her throat before his fingers curl at her top and he tugs her close and into his arms again. “You don’t need to be afraid now, Zaire. I have you. And Ezra knows you’re home but not to come back just yet… He’ll be upstairs with the children.”

The Barghest [Zaire]

Zaire had long since grown comfortable with the flashes of power he displayed. And knowing that it was with the purpose of bringing her home, she was far more comfortable than ever before. Those canine ears twitched as she listened to the sounds of their children upstairs, a soft smile touching her face. They were fine. They would /be/ just fine. She was far stronger now than she had been when her first had died. She could protect them this time. To many others, he might have been imposing, terrifying, but not to her. When he pulled her closer, she lifted her hands and rested them on his chest. She wasn’t as tired now, not while she was in his arms like this. She moved her hands off of his chest, and she gripped the hem of her shirt. She pulled it over her head, revealing that she most certainly wasn’t wearing a bra beneath. She draped her arms over his shoulders, pressing close to him. “I’m never afraid when I’m with you, love,” she whispered. And it was the truth. It was almost as if his very presence washed away her fears, her anger, her sadness. She was /her/ when she was with him, and the same went for Ezra. She felt safest with them. 

 

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