2010021126 - Of Wolfly Concerns

Sat Feb 26 03:40:22 2011


Yellow Bungalow: Living Room - Taylor Street: Little Italy

This likely used to be a small living room and a smaller dining room, but it has been opened up to a single space. The floors are old wood that, though recently stripped and waxed, show years of wear. Windows face the drive to the south and open west to the front porch. At the east side of the room, an arched opening in the south corner leads to the kitchen, and a hallway on the north side runs to the back of the house. The walls are painted off-white, almost cream, and show signs of having been patched.
A Mission-style hall tree with mirror, storage bench, and hooks for hanging coats stands next to the front door. Beyond it, a brown leather couch and matching oversized chair form a sitting area around a red and green Oriental-style rug, with a side table for the chair and a low green chest serving as a coffee table. These face the shelving unit that holds a television, audio equipment, a sparse rack of CDs, and a few, mostly practical books. A round table set with four ladder-backed chairs sits in front of the bay window at the west side of the room. One picture hangs over the couch, another over a shallow table holding a cordless phone that is set against the east wall.



Sleet outside, and cold with it. Robert is eating his breakfast, an early enough start for the man. The television is on, softly enough to avoid disturbing the others, loud enough that Robert can get a hold of the morning's trouble before he steps out of the door. The scents of bacon, sausages, eggs and toast float on the air, along with the usual coffee.

And coming out of the bedroom is Karmen, shutting the door softly behind her as no doubt to not wake Raymond's sleeping form. Wrapping a robe around her form she follows the scent of food, stomach rumbling as she steps into the room and see's Robert. She stares at him for a very long time before simply moving to take a seat next to him on the couch, hands clasping. "Robert."

Eden will be coming out of the hallway a few moments after Karmen, a fresh plate of those lovely, simple breakfast foods laid out. It might be obvious he planned to cook for more than just one and perhaps heard Karmen stirring. Thus he comes out ready, a plate set up for her. "Good morning!" Offered as he comes over towards the couch and table, setting the fresh plate with utensils down. "If you need more, I made more," he says before he bounces lightly back towards the kitchen.

"Karmen." He glances up, meeting the stare, questioning with a tilt of his head. He doesn't stop eating though, picking up a piece of bacon, munching his way through it quickly. "Eden is a morning person." The observation is almost grumpy, as the man reaches for his coffee. There is something in his face that suggests he is waiting to hear it. Whatever it is.

Karmen parts her lips to speak but then Eden brings her a plate of food, a soft smile to Eden. "Thank you Eden. You are very kind." A touch to his hand before he goes back towards the kitchen, watching him for a moment before looking to Robert and answering his waiting look. "Several things, but this first. Do you love Raymond as a person, Robert? Or do you just feel a sense of duty towards him. I need to know."

The soft clatter and rush of water from the kitchen speaks to Edens' continued work back there, easily heard. It will be a few, though whether or not he hears what's being spoken of is anyone's guess. But for now he'll be a bit busy, giving at least a modicum of privacy.

Robert glances at her, lifting an eyebrow, finishing his mouthful before he replies. "If he asked, I would answer that question. But my feelings are not everybody's business." He continues to eat, his face neutral, retaining that impassiveness. "The next thing?" He is slowly demolishing his food, clearing the plate easily as he glances at her.

"Will you take him with you and the other wolves to find Joliea's killer?" See, straight to the point, moving on to the next as she eats a piece of bacon, watching him.

"No. He is not a fighter, nor trained in any way. And he does not ask this himself." Robert's reply is equally as blunt, as he sets his plate aside. He takes up his coffee mug before he leans back into his chair. "Those I am taking with me all have a history of combat, and will not become emotional at a vital moment."

There is a soft shift in the sound from the kitchen. A little extra clatter. A pause, then a resumption as the two here speak. Then things settle back into regularity within the kitchen. Eden is still tending to things for the moment.

"I am sure he will ask you himself, Robert. I just want to see your eyes when I ask this of you." Her hands are still on the plate as she just gazes at him. "You want him to prove himself that he's useful to the pack, yet you will not let him try. You will baby him to where everyone thinks he is a child that needs coddling. Would you take me if I asked? Or is it just the big boys who get to go revenge Joliea's death. Two of which who hardly knew her."

His eyes don't say anything about his feelings. "Useful is not necessarily a fighter, and I will treat him as he acts. He becomes emotional when he should be quiet and controlled." He holds his coffee between his hands as he leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees, giving her a direct look. "And we are going to prevent deaths. I am not a man who feels the need for revenge. Knowing her matters less than the skills to do the job in front of us. Each of the wolves I have selected I know and can trust their abilities. I cannot say the same for either you or Raymond at this moment."

The sound in the kitchen falls off. Work done and Eden will approach the living room again lightly, though he pauses at the mouth of the hallway, his own plate held in hand. But he seems a bit reluctant to emerge fully. And yet he lingers, his expression more composed than before.

"How could you say that. You have been Raymond's Ulfric before." A shaking of her head as she just stands from the couch, holding her plate in her hands. "You are hurting him Robert. And pushing him away from you and his household. You need to give him some sort of responsibility. He is no Alpha, but he is still a person and my Mate." A lifting of her shoulders before they fall before she looks to Eden. "Thank you for the breakfast Eden, though I will be finishing it in my room."

"I have never been an Ulfric before. Your information is incorrect." The words are almost hard, from the man as she rises. Spoken with a slight tilt to his head, he adds softly, "And you may not make statements like that and leave. Sit." Clearly an actual command from the Ulfric, he waits in silence for her to obey, his gaze resting on her face.

Eden smiles at Karmen as she gives her thanks and, without being shooed away he gets enough confidence to ease into the room slowly. His expression thoughtful as he goes to one of the chairs and curls into it, plate on his lap. Though he does not speak, he seems to be giving the trouble some thought.

"Then their Alpha. You were in their old pack. You know them." Soft words from Karmen as she retakes her spot in the chair, picking up a piece of bacon as she shreds it through her fingers. A small nibble, then a bigger bite. She waits for Robert to speak, breaking her toast in half.

"An Alpha in their old pack, yes. I know that, as Ulfric, I must put the safety of the pack above the feelings of one." He considers her, looking at her steadily, "You wish me to consider him a man, and yet you come to me speaking like this. It tells me that you do not believe he can ask me himself successfully. I am not pushing him away, nor have I been unavailable to him. I suggest that Raymond take responsibility as a man, and others will then view him as such."

"What does he want to do?" Eden's light question. "I mean.. I think Rober's making the right choice. If he isn't trained to fight, then it wouldn't be good to take him into a fight. That'd be too dangerous. If he wants to fight, he should learn. Then he could." He pauses, then adds, "I'm going to learn more about medicine so I can help more. And other things."

"He is my half, my Mate. I worry for him. And I just told you, he will be speaking to you on these matters, but they concern me as well. His pain is my pain…" A quirk of her lips to Robert at this as she picks up a chunk of eggs, inspecting it briefly before eating it. A sideways glance to Eden at his words then back to Robert. "It's not the same to take responsibility as a man, when there is nothing to present him with. Have you even considered, putting him in charge of guarding the more weaker wolves while you and Riley and Monty go off fishing for this man? There is so much for him to do Robert. Myself as well. You told me to prove myself to you, but like Raymond, we are offered no direction. So yes, I am speaking about myself as well. Not just Raymond."

"I would respect the request more had you just said that you wish for direction, or offered to protect the weaker wolves. I do not require emotional blackmail with requests like this, Karmen." Blunt words, delivered by the taciturn man. "My Geri is in charge of protecting our Vargamor but yes, the others will need to be placed safely. Since you have come to me with this, I suggest you two arrange this. You can either use the warehouse or this house, since both have secure doors." He pauses, considering the next words, a flicker of a dry smile. "The words taking responsibility are representative of an action by a person, Karmen. In the same way I took Ulfric, I expect to see the people in the pack doing the same. Taking responsibility. I am not going to gift it to them, nor force it upon anyone. I need a signal that they can see it and take it. Do you understand?"

Eden nods his head a little, though not to anything in particular. And he quiets again as he looks down to his food. Starting to eat, though picking at it lightly rather than a faster, heartier pace. His expression turned to thoughtful again, lips lightly pursed when he chews.

"I am not blackmailing you emotionally. I am trying to speak with you about this. I see it… is not being taken as it was intended to be." Starring down at her plate for a few moments in silence her eyes drift back up to Robert's as she just gazes at him. "Fine. Raymond and I will take on the task of protecting the lesser wolves of the pack. Just come back safe to us. All of you. He has finally stopped crying in the night, be it as it may. He doesn't need to lose another Ulfric. None of us do."

"You tell me that I hurt him, that I push him away from me and the household. This sounds to me as if you wish to use emotional to demand from me a response that you felt you otherwise would not receive. I neither push him away, nor prevent him from speaking with me, and so I treat him like the others in the pack, as an adult who is able to bring their concerns to me, seek my advice, and so on." His words are softer, a tilt of his head before he continues. "I do not plan on dying, believe me. We are taking every action to minimise the risks we take." There is the faintest trace of dry humor in his voice and eyes as he reassures her.

"He'll be ok," Eden agrees, a light smile coming to him, mingling with the simple assurance that he has in that outcome. "And I hope you both can find where you want to be. Though it doesn't have to be fighting. Dunno if Raymond thinks he has to fight to belong, but he doesn't, I bet. If it's not what he really wants to do."

A hand moves to rest it on Robert's forearm, just silently starring at him for a long time. "I am speaking the truth in how he is hurting Robert. It was not meant to blackmail. He speaks of wanting to move out. I do not want to move out. I like living here with you, and Eden. But I will stand by his decision." A pause from her as she clears her throat, "Which brings me to another thing. Are you… happy. With us living here? I mean, we can leave… if you would prefer us to leave for sexual reasons. I do have a home. We have both agreed, that we do not want to make you, or Eden, uncomfortable."

Robert returns the stare, impassive and neutral, "Then tell him to speak of his problems himself, Karmen, because I am not unavailable to him. If he wishes to move out, it is as you say, his decision." Robert glances at Eden, the next question clearly not one he is entirely comfortable with, and he clears his throat before he speaks. "Obviously, our hearing is excellent." Apologetic almost.

Eden flushes lightly and shakes his head slightly. "I'm just Robert's guest, it's his decision," he demurs. "I have a lot of music I like to listen to and I bought some new headphones, so.." The red touch lingers as he starts to eat again. A good reason to keep his lips shut.

Karmen gives a shake of her head. "He plans to speak to you Robert, I just happened to see you first… and you know I am very… 'grrr'." A flash of a grin to him at this. "If I see a problem. I want it fixed." Another patting to his arm before she pushes her eggs around more on her plate, "I know your hearing is excellent. But that was not really an answer. Are you and Eden alright with this. With us being intimate almost every day, if not duplicate times a day."

"You are a very strong woman, Karmen. If you do things for him, it might weaken him in the eyes of others, as if he is in your protection." Robert's words are soft, gentle, and he adds, less comfortably. "I would not ask you to leave over a little moaning. Or the other noises." Dry humor flashes through his eyes as he finally sips his coffee, pulling a face as it has grown cold.

"I'll get some fresh coffee," Eden says, seizing upon the face pulled. He'll set his plate aside and rise, looking to snag Robert's cup as he makes his way back towards the kitchen again. "Do you want some, Karmen?"

Karmen gives a rolling shrug of her shoulders. "It is hard. To not protect the weak. I will admit at times I want to protect Raymond. To me that is part the role of an Alpha. To lead, but to also protect." When Eden offers her coffee, she flashes him a warm smile. "Please." Then back to Robert. "I will attempt, to not baby him so much myself, as I see I do it to. He is strong though, I have seen it. I will not think ill of you for not taking Raymond with you, but thank you. Really. For giving us both the task of protecting the other wolves. I think I will let him take the lead on it, and just be there to guide him if he needs it."

Robert nods slowly, considering his words before he speaks. "Sometimes if you protect the weak, you make it harder for them to be strong. My hope is that by expecting Raymond to take responsibility, he would take it. Reach out and take it. You see?" A flicker of affection in his gaze as he considers the woman, "For me, it is my role to make my wolves be all that they can be. I expect of Raymond what he can be, not what he is. Now, Madison and MJ will be guarding Ricci. That leaves the other wolves in your care. Come to me with a plan for this." Business but with a light touch of approval as he glances towards Eden, clearly hoping for hot coffee to emerge. Like magic.

Eden is, perhaps, not magic. But he isn't slow in the coffee getting. Just enough time spent for him to secure a second mug, clean the first briefly, then pour into both before he comes out of the kitchen and through the hall to the living room once more. His light steps allowing him to make good time without spilling a drop. And he extends both towards each, his smile warm. "Here you go."

Karmen takes the coffee from Eden, a flash of a smile to him "Thank you," before turning back to Robert. "It will be done, my Ulfric." A blowing at the contents of her liquid, then a sipping of it. "I will discuss this with Raymond, but feel free to tell him about it as well when he speaks to you, which I'm sure he will. I think he will be very honored, that you will give him this chance to lead and prove himself. Is there anything else you wish to discuss with me before I return to his warm body?" A wistful tone in her voice, clearly a longing there.

"I do not believe it would be fair to keep you from that." The dry note in his voice is obvious, matching the flicker of a smile hidden in his beard. The arrival of his coffee is welcome and he takes the mug, wrapping his hands around it, his acknowledgement to Eden a warm thing. "Go, enjoy your time together. Come back to me with a plan."

Eden takes himself back to his chair, settling in to resume eating. Quiet again, content to merely listen as business is handled and leave is given. But he does offer Karmen a light wave, sure that she'll be off quickly enough.

"Sure thing." Standing now with her coffee and plate of food in her hands she simply takes her leave of the two men, heading back towards Raymond's and hers room. A soft hum starting from her as she does so.

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