Introducing Gage

April 3, 2011

Setting

Survivalist Compound - Ivy Cottage: Front Room - Wauconda, Illinois
The little cottage faces to the north, letting in the best light through the diamond-paned picture window in the northern wall. Centered beneath that window is a claw-footed, camel-backed sofa upholstered with emerald green velvet. Tapestry pillows rest at either end of it for comfort. A colourful rug extends from the front edge of the sofa to end where the kitchen begins. A pair of leather armchairs bookend a pedestal table across from the sofa. Holding down the middle of the carpet is a massive coffee table that displays a collection of candlesticks. Books are stacked up beneath it. Near the northwest corner of the room is the sturdy wooden door that leads out to the garden and the road.
The small fireplace in the west wall has a blackened interior and a smoke-stained mantel. Nothing clutters the mantel's surface between a matched pair of silvery candelabra. Just beyond the fireplace, the south side of the room holds the kitchen. Dark cupboards line the southern end of the western wall. They extend along the southern wall as well, but are broken by a double window above the deep sink with its old-fashioned hand pump. A black, cast iron cookstove sits against the southern end of the eastern wall. The door to the bedroom is nestled between it and the armchairs. A small, round table with four chairs sits mostly in the kitchen atop the polished, wooden floor. Cheerful, golden curtains hang on the kitchen and living room windows and stained glass suncatchers add a splash of colour to the floor in the daytime.

Cast

Ahikam
Auranna
Forest
Gage
Grace
Zack

Auranna sits in front of the fire looking into the flames. She is rather subdued. She looks up at Zack comes back out from the direction of the back room. Ahi is in the kitchen cooking.

Ahikam has a pan of sausage and some toast done fairly quickly, with two sunnyside up eggs, which he gets all on a plate, and gets a glass of juice by the time Zack comes out, heading out to Zack, "hey hun, hope you are hungry," offering the plate and glass to Zack, his beast brushing against Zack's, low and submissive as usual, but affectionate.

Zack has just stepped out of the back room after taking a short, but scalding shower. He is wearing a pair of jeans. The rest he sets down on the floor to accept the plate of food and juice. He smiles, "Thanks, Ahi… It looks great." Apparently, his stomach thinks so, as it rumbles in response as well.

Auranna looks back over and just keeps her hands in her lap, and looks back to the fire, she wants to let Zack eat and such.

Ahikam smiled to Zack, "glad you like," heading back to the fire to sit down again next to Aura, sprawling out on his side next to her to relax.

Forest comes into the cottage from outside, having been up early to work on some repairs to the outside of the building. Just inside the door he pulls his work boots off, frowning a bit as he picks them up and studies the bottoms before setting them back down. His eyes move over all in the room, when they fall on Zack they soften and he smiles as he moves over towards the blonde.

Zack looks up as Forest comes in. He smiles at the man, brushing his beast around him. He offers the plate in his direction, "Hungry?"

Auranna turns as the door opens again. She sees Forest and she remembers that she wants to talk to him but sees Forest head towards Zack and just nods a little. She lets the two have time as she turns back to the fire, not really wanting to interupt them.

Ahikam peeks up as Forest comes in, a bit worried, he was unsure how he stood in the Raj's eyes after their last meeting, bowing his head to Forest in respect, and nuzzling Aura's shoulder a moment, his voice soft as he sat up, "i could cook you something more if you wish my Raj?"

Forest leans over to rub his cheek against Zack's in a fond manner, "Smells good." He smiles and wraps an arm around Zack's shoulders and turns to move over to the couch, his eyes going to the two sitting on it at the moment, just waiting. He simply nods to Ahikam as he picks up a piece of Zack's sausage and takes a bite.

Zack moves with Forest to the couch. He waits to see if Forest is going to accept the food that Ahikam made or not. He leans against the Raj, purring softly. His beast brushes against the two by the fire, with a soft, comforting push.

Auranna gets up abandoning where she was sitting. She moves over to greet Forest. She is still very subdued. She looks almost like she doesn't expect her greeting to be accepted for some reason, and waits on anything else.

Ahikam nods to Forest and rises, heading directly for the kitchen, now he was the one walking on eggshells, but he wasn't going to go running, the pans were still hot, and he rinsed them out before he got out more sausage and put it into the pan, as well as starting a couple more eggs, and some slices of toast going, it wouldn't take him long to replicate Zack's plate.

Forest leans forward and rubs his cheek against Auranna's returning her greeting, his beast brushing out over hers in a gentle manner. He then moves to sit on the couch, pulling Zack down with him and smiling as he nuzzles his mate.

Since Ahikam is fixing some for Forest, Zack takes that as a sign that he can eat. He scoots up close to the larger man. He curls his feet up on the other side. He nuzzles back for a moment before starting attack the food on the plate.

Ahikam comes out of the kitchen a few minutes later with a glass of juice, and a plate with two sunny side up eggs, a lot of sausages, and two peices of toast, looking around a moment before he headed for the couch, a bit unsure in his movements, he wasn't quite sure how he would be recieved, but he took a deep breath and calmed himself, moving to the couch, slipping smoothly down to his knees, and offering the plate and glass up to Forest, "My Raj, is there anything else i may get you?" his voice soft and quiet.

Auranna's own beast is very subdued, almost hiding, though it does respond a bit at the brush from Forest's. She dips her head, "If you have time later, I would be honored to speak to you, if you are not priorly engaged." she says to him, and then moves to sit on the floor, pulling her legs up.

Forest takes the plate of food and drink from Ahikam, resting the plate on the arm of the couch. He takes a drink of his juice before setting it carefully on the floor where he won't spill it as he picks up a piece of sausage and eats it. All the while he's studying Ahikam in a calm manner. When he's finished the sausage he speaks in a soft, kind voice, "How are you Ahikam?"

Ahikam bows his head while he awaits Forest's response, baring his neck to the Raj, his hand resting on his thighs, "I am well my Raj," came the response when the question was finally asked, his body calm and still.

Zack digs into the food like a starving man and lays waste to it in not time. The young blond snuggles up next to Forest on the couch as he looks at the other two.

Auranna blinks a little and gets ignored, so she just takes that as he doesn't have time for her now. She looks over and watches Forest and Zack eat, and then she looks away to look the flames, losing herself for a moment in her own thoughts.

As Ahikam bares his neck, Forest leans forward and lightly presses his teeth to the exposed flesh briefly before setting back on the couch and picking up his plate to eat the food, the moment passing. In between bites he speaks, "I'll try to meet with you later Auranna."

Grace pushes opens the door, even with the snow on the ground she's dressed in a simple t-shirt and her normal tight pants and boots. She was here for a purpose and her hand held the door open for whoever was behind her. Pale green eyes take in the forms of those present and after Gage moves through the door Grace moves to Forest, standing in front of him and pressing her cheek forward lightly to not offer him any resistance. This move also shows her vulnrunable neck. There is no speaking yet.

Ahikam shivers softly at the feel of teeth to his neck again, a bit of tenseness fading from him in an unconcious response before he pulls his wits back together again, glancing back and jumping a little as he notices Grace there, a little startled, having lost a few seconds it seemed. He started to scoot around the end of the couch so that he wasn't in anybody's way.

Zack sits up straighter as Grace, and Gage, enter into the cottage. He looks to Ahikam and subtly gestures form him to move to his side. It is a gesture offering him at least a feel of security.

Auranna turns and nods to Forest, "Thank you, only if there is time, I understand if you are busy." she looks over towards the newcomers for a moment, but for the moment that is all she does.

Gage comes in behind Grace, but rather than approach Forest or anybody else, he waits by the door. Watching Grace greet Forest he smiles faintly, his hands tucked into the pockets of his jacket. His power simmers about him casually, comfortably - neither hidden away nor boosted. His multi-hued eyes take in the people in the room, all of them known, and so they only truly linger on the one called Forest, the stranger in his midst. He studies him for long seconds, his power brushing against the Raj's briefly while he waits to be acknowledged.

Forest smiles as Grace approaches him, moving to rub his cheek against hers in return, a hand moving up to her shoulder. Then he turns his eyes to the new presence in the room, considering him quietly for a few moments before he rises to his feet, turning to face the man, "You must be Gage." His beast moves out to brush against Gage in a brief manner as Forest moves over towards the man, holding his hand out to him, "I'm Forest."

Ahikam notices Zack's gesture and changes direction, heading back over to sit on the floor at Zack's feet, staying quiet for the moment, and he nods his head in greeting to both Grace and Gage, his beast slipping out to make rounds, his submissive power sliding against Gage and against Grace before he pulled it back, leaning his head against Zack's knee for right then.

Grace nodded as Forest accepted her greeting, then she moves to Zack, doing the same and affording the Ra the same treatment as the Raj. She lightly touches her cheek to his and offers her throat. The interaction behind her is listened to with a keen ear.
Auranna just sits there and her arms around her legs holding them. She smiles and does send her energy out towards Gage, a greeting, respect, and then she pulls it back. She does turn back to watch them all.

Zack puts a hand on Ahikam's shoulder, before he rises to greet Grace. He lightly brushes his cheek against hers, before running the back of his fingertips across her offered neck. He flips the hand over to run down her shoulder, stopping at the upper arm. He offers a light and friendly squeeze, "Good to see you, Grace." Likewise he turns his attention to Gage at the doorway, offering a nod to the man and a light smile settles on his lips.

Gage steps forward, closing whatever distance rests between the two, and takes Forest's hand. His grip is firm, strong, but not challenging, his voice even, "An honor to finally meet you, Raj." He dips his head slightly, and then draws his hand back, crossing wrists behind his back, "I am Gage Mallory, former Second to Chance Bishop, and long-time defender of the Chicago pard. I assume Zack informed you of my claim for Second? I tell you what I told him: I have made my claim, and will step down from it if forced to." Clearly he doesn't mean via a harsh verbal talking to, either. He grins though, his tone easy yet, sure and confident. "I present myself to your decision. Make me pard, and accept my claim, and I am yours." For now, Gage acknowledges nobody but the Raj, his whole focus on him.

Forest returns the shake with an equally firm grip, releasing to hook his thumbs in his belt loops. Nodding as he considers the man, a friendly smile upon his face, "He spoke with me, I've been looking forward to meeting you." A small grin plays on his lips, "If you can keep it, you're more than welcome to be my Second. Welcome to the Pard of Chicago, Gage."

Grace moves back a step from Zack and nods as the greeting is accepted. "You as well," The other two are not greeted, obviously waiting for them to come to her. So she waits with her hands clamped in front of her form and taking in the meeting with Gage and Forest. She is silent, intense and watchful.

Zack watches Forest accept Gage into the Pard. He remains quiet, though a pleased smile stretches across his lips.

"Thanks," he says, dropping a bit of that seriousness, stepping forward to offer his cheek to Forest - his cheek, but not his throat. Exchanging scents - nose to ear - the man grins as he draws back, "I'm glad to finally get formalities out of the way, and to be a legitimate member." He stops just shy of saying 'again'. Turning his gaze to Zack he nods once more to the man, his beast making its way over to greet him, gage himself arriving to offer his hand and his cheek, an equal greeting as he offered Forest. The rest are expected to come to him.

Forest nods to Gage, returning the brush of his cheek, nose moving against the man's scalp to take in his scent briefly before drawing back. Then he smiles as he turns to watch Gage greet Zack, once they are done he motions to the couch, "We were just getting something to eat, care to join us?" With that he sits back down on the couch, leaving room for Zack and Gage, and picks up his plate to go back to eating.

Ahikam rises slowly after a minute, he had met Gage, but never really greeted him, stretching slowly for a moment, slipping towards Gage first, though waiting till he was done greeting Zack, his head leaning to the side to bare his neck, his beast brushing gently against Gage again, "its good to have you with us Gage, do you want anything to eat? or you Grace?" looking to Grace briefly, but greeting and offering to Gage first.

Grace remains standing, when Ahikam comes up to her she kisses his cheek a little. "I'm fine, thank you." It's a caring gesture, she's not all aggression and stubborn resolve. When Gage moves to sit however she moves to him and runs long fingers down his arm, she wants to sit too. "Gage was also Second to Chris and Maeve," the red head offers, boasting her Alpha's background. Yes, her alpha >.>

Auranna stands and makes her way over Gage and moves to offer a rub of her cheek to his, "It is good to see you again." she says softly. She then moves to glance around and step back to lean against one of the walls.

Zack takes Gage's hand, returning the handshake. The small blond brushes his cheek against his. He returns to his spot on the couch next to Forest. "Good to see you, Gage." Zack is being a little on the quiet side, not so much withdrawn as watching everything a little intently.

Gage returns Auranna and Ahikam's touch with his own, and though lips brush against Ahikam's throat, teeth do not, thougha low growl sounds in his chest. "Grace and I are fine," he says, glancing over at Grace with the faintest of grins, before he comtinues, "But thank you Ahikam." Taking his seat he turns his gaze on the Ra and Raj, "I understand Auranna requires some sort of escort to be nearby? I'll be starting work in The Basement in a short while, and so I offer up myself as a guardian, and Grace as well - providing I understand why it is she requires it?"

Ahikam shivers a bit beneath the touch og Gage's lips, though not as strong of a reaction as Forests teeth had drawn, though he does lower himself beneath the growl, nodding to him, slipping to Grace next and returning the kiss with a nuzzle to her cheek in return, baring her throat a bit to her, before he withdrew, nodding, and slipping for where his mate was still sleeping, settling in again in the animal bed and wiggling back in beneath the blankets, shirt being tossed aside on their pile of stuff a moment later, apparently planning on going back to sleep, all of this dominant stuff had him a little shakey for the moment, not used to it, or perhaps it had been the teeth to the throat.

Watches as Gage is greeted by the others, nodding a little as he finishes off his breakfast before answering. He holds the dirty plate out towards Ahikam as he speaks to Gage and Grace, "Auranna has a tendency to not follow the rules." His eyes move over towards Auranna, looking at her briefly with a faint frown before returning his attention to Gage. "She is for all training purposes a new leopard. She was told the rules of training, and yet she found herself having sex with a human woman. She shifted on the woman, a cop no less, and scratched her." His disapproval is evident on his voice but he doesn't look to Auranna again as he explains things, "Luckily the woman wasn't injured or infected." He continues, "She also got herself bit by a vampire without permission, there is a rule among the pard that none are to be fed on without my approval."

Ahikam takes Forest's plate before he heads to bed then! and goes to collect any of the other dirty plates around and gets them to the sink and washed before heading back to bed!

Grace felt the almost invisible hand brush up against her thigh as she pawed at Gage. She smiled satisfaction blooming on her strong features and she perches herself upon Gage's lap. It's clear that the two know each other and are rather friendly. She positions herself so that Gage can still talk to the other two and her pale gaze comes to rest on Auranna as Forest speaks, the red head still remaining silent as Gage offers her up for babysitting work.

Auranna looks like she was visibly slapped in the face, at Gage's words but not until me mentions, and Grace as well. What confidence and strength she had are quelled at Forest's words. She turns and walks for the door, using the one thing she can rely on, her speed to go before she can even be stopped, she will deal with fall out later.

Zack frowns as Auranna runs out. He shakes his head as she once again shows her immaturity. "Auranna spent most of her youth not being allowed to be a child, so since she came to us, she's been making up for lost time."

Gage watches Auranna leave, a quirk to his brow and a tilt to his head the only indication he is surprised by it. At Zack's words he turns back, "I see. I've done a bit of training before, I'd be willing to help with her, if you wanted." He glances between Forest and Zack, "But if she truly is a danger, it's probably best she stays with one of us - where is she living?"

A dark frown crosses the man's face, brows drawing down together briefly as he watches Auranna leave. He then returns his gaze to Gage, "She lives with her mate, Jin, in the city. I believe he is helping her with her training but in all honesty, there are many in the Pard who need help. I've been giving some thought to having extra training for everyone here at the compound." He moves his arm around Zack's shoulders, pulling the blonde in against his side as he speaks, his expression thoughtful.

Grace snorts a little as the asian woman runs out, "Seems y'all have bigger problems than just an aggressive little ol' me," giggling and attempting to sound innocent. Yeah, she was pushing it, but she couldn't stay quiet anymore, especially now that the others were gone. She always felt like she could 'play' more when she was the lowest.

Zack lets out a soft huff with his irritation at Aura's little outburst. He gets pulled closer to Forest, as he shakes his head, "Never said you were our only problem." There is a hue of humor in his voice, as it starts to melt at his aggitation. "No, the biggest problem is that before Forest took over, all the weak leopards were left behind when all the stronger ones left. It left already broken cats even worse off. In the three months since my infection, I have noticed that things have gotten better.. "

Gage nods a little, and comments, "Fair enough. I will leave it to you to decide where she stays." He considers the other's words and smirks at Grace, his head moving close to nip at her ear - not entirely softly - before looking back, "No offense Zack, but if you are only 3 months infected, I'm not positive you know what 'good' is - better, perhaps, but not where we sould be." he says no such thing to Forest, assuming the Raj knows what is what. "I hope that if I offer my input now and again, it is taken to heart?" His arm slides around Grace's waist, who sits in his lap in one of the chairs. Zack and Forest are on the couch, and Crystal and Ahi are alseep in the corner.

Outside, the low sound of Cale's car rolling it's way into an open spot announces his arrival a short time before he actually gets up to the door. Soon after the man himself is walking up to the cottage, having not dawdled outside. He has a certain distraction to him and, as he opens the door to enter the cottage itself it takes a moment before he looks up and considers the room. A brow arches slightly, but as he closes the door and steps in, he starts at once towards Forest and Zack.

Forest nods a little, relaxing back on the couch now, happily nuzzling Zack as he speaks, "I will speak with her and Jin, reassess what her needs are, sometimes it's not best to have a mate training you." He grins at Zack playfully before nodding to Gage, "Your input is always welcome, though I can't say it will always be heeded to."

Grace just snuggles up into Gage, giving a little whimpering noise as he bites her ear. Zack's lighter mood is noted she giggles a bit, staying quiet as the 'big boys talk'. Giving Gage a little pinch, feeling playful today.

Zack nods to Cage, "I said better, not good, and no offense was taken." He looks towards the opening door and smiles slightly as Cale comes in and approach Forest and himself.

Gage's eyes move to take in Cale as he enters, a hand lifted in greeting - since he cannot actually get up. Nodding to Forest he comments, "Glad you said it, and I didn't ahve to. Not that she'd appreciate that particular detail." He shrugs a shoulder though, none too concerned with it. At Grace's pinch he shifts a tiny bit, whatever is done left unseen though. "As for heeding what I say, I can't force you to," well. THat has yet to be decided. "But I've been the way I am for coming on 16 years now. Not that makes me any sort of expert, but." He shrugs a shoulder again. Glancing at Zack he just nods a little, "Anyway, I can't stay, sadly, I have to get home and shower before I head in to work."

Cale dips his head as he passes behind the sofa, a soft brush for Forest, then Zack's cheeks. He passes around to the other end of the sofa and pauses, dipping his head and eyes towards Gage. Grace gets a slight nod and he half sits on the arm of the couch without committing to settling there. FOr the moment, he lets the talk go without his comment, though he does listen quietly, his eyes passing between speakers.

Forest nods as he listens to Gage, "I'm sure we'll have more time to talk soon Gage. It was nice meeting you, I hope we work well together." Cale's entrance is noted, a brief brush of his cheek returned and Forest seems to be fairly relaxed and in a good mood. "I'll be needing to get out of here soon as well. Work today."

Grace groans out as that unseen hand of Gage's does something to her. Her scent turns more feral as she is basically teased. She still stays silent, though now she gets up to let Gage have room to get up himself. There is a smile, cheshire, over her lips and the girl gives Gage's shoulder a soft bite, pale eyes on Cale as he nods at her. She nods back, equals in her mind.

Zack smiles as he returns Cale's greeting. He looks to him, "You doin' okay, Cale?" He looks at the interaction between Gage and Grace, before smiles, "Well, have a good day then, Gage. See you around." He growls playfully at Forest, "What? Oh, that's right… I was thinking you were off today. I really need to get back into thinking in days."

Gage stands up behind grace and growls softly at her bite, part warning part pleasure, then turns to kiss her temple. "Later Grace. And thank you, again, Forest for making things smooth. We'll meet up soon and talk a bit more, perhaps." To the rest he simply dips his head, and then moves towards the exit.

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