Man Speak

Timeline: Morning of January 25th, 2008

It was mid-morning as Ramiel walked through the forest. He walked a path that he often took when looking for his favorite alpha. Usually it did not take very long for Ironclaw to find him.

Last night had been difficult to watch. In truth Ramiel had fought the urge to stand up for Lyla. Not to mention his baby. But he knew that she had miss-stepped and what needed to be done about it. Anne-Marie’s warning had not fallen on deaf ears either. Ramiel noticed that Ironclaw avoided endangering the baby.

Today he wanted to talk to his friend, not the Alpha. So he walked and waited for the familiar voice to speak up or bark.

It was a good, leg-stretching hike of a couple hours before he ran into Ironclaw. The big ulfric had a length of twine tossed over one shoulder from which dangled a pair of rabbits this morning. He was standing with his back toward Ramiel enjoying the view from a small, rocky outcropping that overlooked falls created by a small mountain stream. He seemed to be simply enjoying the view and the fresh air after the hard work of (apparently) catching the rabbits by hand.

“Mornin’ Ramiel,” he said without turning around. “It’s a good day for a walk.”

“Yes it is. Good day for a drink too. Interested?” Ramiel walked up next to him and followed his gaze outward at the scenery.

“Naw,” he said. “But thanks. I just filled my canteen in the stream. Nothing tastes better than fresh mountain water with only a hint of pollution from big cities.”

“You’re not going to make me drink all this alone are you? I suppose I can save it for later and perhaps talk you into a few then.” He paused and looked at Ironclaw. “Don’t suppose I could talk you into hanging out with me today?”

“Sure, buddy.” He frowned as something unpleasant occurred to him. “Shit. Is Lyla okay?”

Ramiel smiled. “I thought you would want to know. Yeah she and the baby are fine. John says she will be good moving in no time. I told her to stay home today. Not that she will listen.” Ramiel went to a nearby boulder and sat down. “Nice job by the way. Your form is nearly perfect. I was glad to se that you avoided the baby.”

“Thanks. I can handle myself, but to be perfectly honest? I’m passable. More power than finesse. I have my tricks, but you want to see a real brawler, you should see my dad fight some time.”

“I’d love to.” Ramiel was quite for a moment. “Did you know about the baby before Ann-Marie said anything?”

He shook his head slowly. “No.” He looked at Ramiel with some worry. “Yours?”

He considered for a moment. “Hmm.I don’t know if I like that look. What are you thinking? I mean you guys never penetrated right?”

“‘Course not,” Ironclaw stated. “But I don’t know who all she might have chosen to have in her bed. I mean, has either of us ever had a say in that?”

“None what so ever” He said. “But yeah it’s mine. Se told me once at a time that she was extremely sincere. She has not had sex with anyone but me for a while now. It was a surprise to find out. But then I was not exactly careful with her lately.”

It was Ramiels turn to show concern. A new look for him as far as Ironclaw knew. “So how are you doing with it? I mean, with your feelings for her. I could just be over reading here, but it looked like there was more than pack business in that fight.”

“I think I’m okay with it. I know I was rough with her. I guess I was angry, but I didn’t want to do anything I’d regret later.”

“I could tell you were angry. I told her you would be.” He watched Ironclaw. “I have seen Lyla use men for a long time. She had this relationship with you for so long that I thought she was in love with you. I tried to tell you that when you told me how you felt about her. She told me a few weeks ago that she realized what she was doing was wrong. She just wanted to make sure she was heard in the pack. I told her that was bad, and even worse to just stop. Especially since you cared for her so much.

“For what it is worth I am sorry you were hurt over it.” He chuckled. “Though I think I was just as upset with her. You are a good man and she shouldn’t have treated you as she did. She is just not used to dealing with Uratha.

“She did good in the fight though. It wasn’t easy to watch. I was worried about the baby. I knew Lyla would loose and heal. Anyway, I hope you got it out of your system. From the look on Anne Marie’s face you at least got a good fuck out of it right?”

“I’ll put it this way; with her I don’t have to hold back, don’t have to worry about… breaking her like I would with a human. And I’m not limited in my forms. She has a real passion for new experiences. But honestly, we’ll just have to see where it goes. Right now I think the interest on both sides is mostly curiosity, with a good dose of being excited about something new.” He flashed him a grin, “Her ego is as big as mine is. So we’ll have to see how it works out. But what the hell? I’m willing to try and the past couple night have been very… good.”

“Damn!” He said with a smile.” Guess I missed out on that then, Unless of course you are up for a night of sharing.” His cheshire grin returned. “Forms you say. You shifted with her. Why?”

“All our senses are enhanced in every form but human. In human it feels we are nearly scent-blind and deaf. We can feel more deeply in other forms.”

“Oh.” Ramiel said quitly. “Lyla has never even brought that up with me.” He thought a moment. “Hey Ja… Ironclaw. You told Lyla whatever power she had over you is gone now. Do you really think she had power over you? From what I saw she never did. I thought she had your respect and friendship. Does she still have that? Is this going to create a problem?”

He looked at him for a moment. “I only settled here for her. But now I think I have friends, true friends. A weakness I have not allowed myself for a long time. But damn it if you and Grey, Michael, even John… “He opened a beer and chugged it.

“Actually, I think I respect her more than I did before. I’m not angry with her, either.” He uncorked his canteen and took a swig of refreshingly cold mountain spring water. “I thought maybe she just got lucky when she beat Rose for Lupa. In time I realized that she fit the role perfectly. She did have power, too, even over me. She had me by the nuts, so to speak. But she never really used it. I think she was just afraid of not having a say in her own life, so she used what she had to tempt me.

“She’s not a leader. She’s too independent to really set a good example that way, but she makes a good second. When Bjorn leaves, the things I had relied on Bjorn to handle is going to be her responsibility. That might not make her exactly happy, but it’ll keep her busy and I think that’s more important. She gets idle, then she gets into trouble.

“When she took down the Pure Alpha, that really solidified her position in my mind. And the fight she put up yesterday was as brave as it was stupid in a way. But in another way, she showed a lot of restraint. She didn’t expect me to go easy on her because she’s pregnant, and when I did find out she trusted me to do what I had to without hurting her baby. The fight turned my remaining resentment and hurt into respect for her instead. She’s my Lupa for real now. I consider her one of the two best friends I have in the pack.”

Ironclaw paused before addressing the other issue. “Don’t worry about her not mentioning the fact we feel much more in our non-human forms, though. She was just doing what Rose recommends. Uratha should not shift on humans during sex because it can a lot harder for us to control ourselves in those other forms. It leads too often to human lovers getting hurt or worse.”

“There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her.” Ramiel finished off the beer. “What do you say we grab Grey and head into Concord or somewhere nearby and have a little fun?”

Ironclaw considered a moment, but shook his head. “Thanks, but I need to stick around, check on some spirit business. Little trouble with a Jaggling who seems to want to slip across the Gauntlet for some reason.”

Ramiel was unable to hide his feelings. His eyes showed everything. He intended to find trouble. “Your loss then. Guess I am on my own.” He stood and stretched.

“Why not take Lyla?” Ironclaw asked.

“She’s resting.” He said.

He raised an amused eyebrow. “Oh I see. Need a break from her, do you?”

Ramiel grinned. “From everything it feels like. Myself included. I just want to go somewhere and be sombody else for a while. Feel something else.” He was looking at the ground when he said it so his eyes would not show.

“Hm,” Ironclaw grunted. “Why is that? I bet a lot of people would like to be you.”

“Heh.” His laugh was empty. “You think?” Ramiel looked Ironclaw inthe eye. “Would they want they cravings and nightmares too? Do you suppose?” He took another beer from the pack and drank about half of it. “I am loosing myself, that which you think so many would like to be.

“I don’t know why I am even saying this. Guess I trust youto be the one to kill me when the time comes.” He laughed. “I don’t want Lyla to have to be the one. I don’t want my kids to see the monster I am.”

“Yeah. I am the monster in this town. I have been my entire life. Though for a while I was able to be something else. But here I am again finding so much joy and release in death, even the thought of killing is not so bad anymore. Those I should have years ago.” He took another drink.

“This power is so intoxicating. It feels so good, better than anything. I think I should have killed her that way, with my power and not my hands. It feels right.”

Ramiel took a step toward Ironclaw. “Yeah I need to get away from myself from time to time.”

Ironclaw looked at him with concern. “Who is the woman you’re talking about killing?”

“Lilly Montclaire. If I find her again I will kill her. And if Julia is around, becasue that would be just perfect, I will kill her too. I didn’t a few years back. I gave them mercy. Though they had trapped me, let me fall in love with her, and intended to sacrifice me to Ishtar. I let them go. I had their leader on the ground with my gun to his head. Now they are back, at least Lilly. So if I see any of them they are dead.”

Ironclaw didn’t say anything for a long moment. Then he said, “Maybe I’ll have one of those beers after all.”

Ramiel took another for himslef and handed the rest to Ironclaw. He moved to the edge of the cliff and sat down, feet dangling over the edge. “It’s me. I know you have thoughts about my involvment that night. But it would have happened eventually. It is in my blood. So master always told me.

“He changed me when I was young. Put me on a different path. Now I think I am stepping backward on that path. There are days like today when I can see that. Then there are others that I see and just don’t give a damn. There is too much that needs to be done for it to matter.”

“So why do you feel like straying from the path you’d so carefully followed until lately?”

He looked at Ironclaw and his eyes were filled with a dark lust, and satisfaction. “Because it feels good.” He said matter of fact.

Ironclaw drained his beer. “Lots of things feel good. Good things can feel good. Bad things can feel good. It’s more important to me to do what feels right instead of what just feels good. But knowing what feels right is harder than just understanding what feels good. Any animal knows what feels good. And they’ll just keep doing it because they’re just animals.

“I know animal. I know that feeling good is the be-all and end-all of existence when I let the animal take over. When I let the beast out it feels good to kill, to eat, and to fuck. And it’s hard as hell to make it stop. Luckily for us and everyone else, Luna gave us a built-in time limit. It has to end, or it’d quickly become hell on earth for everyone else.

“But I think human men can reach that same point. It’s a long road, but men don’t have the blessings of a god to save them from ruin. Men can lose touch with what feels right. They forget that its more important to do what’s right than it is to do what feels good. And the worst part is that no one can save a man whose lost himself, whose become an animal, unless he wants to be saved.”

He popped open another beer and watched Ramiel as he drank some more.

Ironclaw could see the tears well in Ramiel’s eyes, but they never fell. He was looking at a man who was just such a beast. A man who had all the answers in the universe. And not enough questions to match them with. He could see that Ramiel had begun the struggle of what is right and wrong, and was definitely endulging in what felt good more. “I miss my mother.” He said quietly.

“She treat you okay growing up?” Ironclaw asked curiously. He wasn’t a shrink, but it seemed like Ramiel really needed someone to talk to right now.

“Yeah. I always felt she knew way more than she was telling. She did everything for Lyla and I. To keep us happy and safe.” Ramiel looked at Ironclaw. “Did you know your mother? You mentioned your father, did you have a family growing up?”

He nodded. “My mother raised me as an only child. I didn’t know my father was even alive until he came for the night of my First Change. She’d always said that he disappeared one day on the way to work down at the garage. He’s a mechanic, or at least that’s what he told her. Anyway, there was some big traffic accident and a lot of cars were crashed and burnt. His body was never found and she thought he’d died.

“The truth was that he was trying to lead a double life; one of an ordinary husband and the other as a werewolf. It was stifling, choking him, like his whole life was being squeezed to death in a vise. Finally, he just couldn’t take it anymore. He saw an opportunity to get out before he snapped and killed his family, so he did.”

Ironclaw shrugged. “So he grabbed me and showed me the ropes after I Changed. It took a while and Mom thought I’d been killed too, because there was a lot of blood around where I ‘disappeared’. She hung herself about a month later.”

“Lilly, Lyla’s mother died during childbirth. My mother Melisande raised us both. Our mothers had grown up together. It was very hard for mom. Raising both of us. I could see that Lyla was trouble enough for her to keep an handle on. I could also see the fear in her eyes as she watched me from the door at night when she thought I was asleep.

“I changed my ways after master, for her, for Lyla. I didn’t want my mother to be heartbroken when she found out her boy was a monster. But still I think she knew what I had done.

“I can still see her beautiful blue eyes empty before me. She died there on the floor in front of us. We couldn’t save her, as it was the very last remnants of life that echoed in her eyes when we found her.” Ramiel took another drink.

“Will you guys take our child too one day?”

Ironclaw blinked. “Us guys? What do you mean?”

“I mean like the Brafs. Your father came for you. Rose gave her baby away to some of her wolfbloods. Our baby is wolfblood right? Because Lyla is Uratha will the pack take our baby?” He looked at Ironclaw then with too much emotion in his eyes.

Ironclaw was thoroughly surprised both at Ramiel’s reaction as well has his concenr. “If you and Lyla give you child up to be raised by someone else, and if it is going to even have a First Change, and if we are close enough, then we will need to help the child through it or risk having the Pure or maybe some malicious spirits take the cub instead. But you and Lyla are very close to the pack and anyway, it would likely be Lyla and you to take the child if, in twenty years or so, the child is even going to change. But that would be more like repossessing the child as your own, wouldn’t it?

“‘Cause if you didn’t give up the child but decided you’d take on the challenges of protecting the child when Lyla can’t because of her duties, then you’d never have to give the kid away, right? So then they’d always be near the pack, or at least as near as you and Lyla wanted the child to be.

“See, you and Lyla don’t have a situation like the Braffs. The Braffs had a problem because the husband, Wilson, was wolf blood and it just so happened that his kids by Abigail inherited their true Uratha heritage, when he did not. And in fact, their mother had no wolf-blood heritage at all and knew nothing about it. The odds were very much against those kids going through the First Change, but it happened. And it was bad for them because the kids were taken by Wilson Braff’s relatives in the Pure tribe to the west of here. The Pure are very aggressive when it comes to recruiting new members — or converting captured Forsaken.”

“So I would never be shut out because I am not Uratha? I understand I will have to be a Mister Mom in this. Lyla is your second now. I am not saying it won’t be risky for the child. But with everyone around, we could manage right?” He paused for a moment and stared at Ironclaw. “You will be the godfather right? I mean I haven’t asked Lyla but I know she would agree. Hmm with our lives maybe more than one god parent would be good no? What do you think, Michael and John maybe.” Suddenly he put his head down.

“I need help.” He said and the tears finally fell silently to the ground. The thought of his child seeing what a monster he was had become too much to tolerate. He had gone beyond a ledge. A step toward an abyss and he knew he eas slipping farther. The magic had become too intoxicating for him to let go of it. The inhuman cold had settled in his heart again. That is not what he wanted to be. Maybe he could really become something more, but he knew it wasn’t going to happen on his own as he had been. Ironclaw was the one he knew understood, as a man. He had been Uratha longer than Lyla. He had seen more, known more temptation.

Suddenly, he felt strong hands grip his shoulders and looked around. Directly below him was the edge of a cliff and a potentially lethal fall into the small but rocky waterfall. Without realizing it, Ramiel’s body had taken him where his mind was.

“You’re on the edge,” Ironclaw stated. It was his hands that guided Ramiel back to firm ground. “Listen,” he said, “I can’t think of anything more natural than being a father. Grab onto that if everything else feels like its slipping out of control. All you can do is try to be the kind of father you think you child deserves to have. Just try, that’s all.” For Ironclaw, it was much the same; he had no children of his own biologically, but he regarded his entire pack as his responsibility and in the same way tried to live up to being the kind of leader they need and deserve. He knew it must be like being a father; it had to be.

Ramiel was surprised by what had happened. “It’s getting worse.” He said as he contemplated what had happened. “You know that was your chance.” He said with a smile and dried eyes. “You could have let me go and wouldn’t have to put up with my bitching anymore. “He put a hand on top of Ironclaw’s, gving it a squeeze. “But thank you, for not taking that chance.” The gesture may have been too intimate for Ironclaw. Ramiel had certainly never touched him before. Though he had offered. It was brief and over in just a matter of seconds, enough to show his sincerity.

“I will try.” He said. “But the side effects of what I am are getting worse, will you help me?” As he said the words a question formed. “Are you a father?”

“I’ll help. Sometimes I feel like I’m the father for the whole pack,” Ironclaw said with a smile. “But no, otherwise not.”

“Do you want to be? I mean have you thought about it?”

“I haven’t really looked for it,” he said. “I’ve been too busy running the pack and everything else.”

“I guess I hadn’t thought about it either. Just not careful enough. But with Lyla she felt too good. Did I tell you I was sorry for being wrong about her. Yeah I did. Well we can either get drunk or I can continue to ramble on like a woman. What do you prefer?”

“It’s too early to get drunk,” Ironclaw said. The big guy clapped Ramiel on the back. “Let’s talk a walk. You can be a bitch out here all you like and no one will know,” he said with grin. “Hey, do you suppose becoming a mother will change Lyla?”

Staggering a little from the force of Ironclaws strength. Ramiel looked a little saddened at the prospect of not getting drunk. He looked at Ironclaw with a wry smile. “Only for you.” He said witha smile. “It’s been a while since I was with a man. But for you I might consider it.” He laughed.

Keeping pace with Ironclaw the two started walking through the woods. “Change her? I am sure to some degree. Like making her meaner. Can you imagine her scolding us when mom factor kicks in. whoauugh!” He wiggled his shoulders as a cold chill went down his back.

Ironclaw just quirked an eyebrow at Ramiel’s prior comment, but he chose to let that one be. It was safer that way. Instead, he addressed Ramiel’s comment on Lyla. “Hm. Well, hopefully that’s the only ‘change’ in her we’ll really see. I’ve gotten used to the current Lyla.”

“Truthfully I don’t see much of anything changing her drastically. Besides I am going to be the one with the kid most of the time. But one good thing is that Uratha don’t sleep much. So she can stay up with him. You didn’t answer me by the way, about being a Godfather.”

“I’d be honored,” he said with a smile.

“That’s great!” He said excitedly.”What do you do all day? I mean if you think it is too early to drink.”

“I trade patrols with Lyla, Rose and Selene while Grey and Chaska monitor things in Shadow. Then I take those available with me to Shadow and we try to clear certain areas of spirits we don’t want. Reshape the Shadow to be more like the territory I envision for my pack. That has repercussions here in the material world because Shadows reflection is the world and vice versa. Thus, by doing that I indirectly reshape our territory in this world. Then of course there is time set aside if training is to be done, and gifts to be sought from spirits.”

“You do keep busy. I always wondered what you guys do. Kinda like me. I have money coming in form other sources, enough to keep us going. Well truthfully Lyla has always provided the main income. So I guess I get to do whatever I want really.

“I see so many working all day in mundane jobs, I feel sorry for them. Slaves to money. Guess we are lucky that we are different and can get around normal lives. Bleh leaves a bad taste in my mouth.”

Ironclaw grinned. “And I’ve noticed that it’s usually best not to ask Lyla where she gets a lot of that money. I asked once and I learned I really don’t want to know.” He laughed at that.

“Oh the things she does for money.” His entire posture relaxed. “Some things are best left unknown. Though lately she hasn’t been doing that. Just putting all her time and effort into the Blood and Brew. That’s how we know the baby is mine. She hasn’t been with anyone else.”
Ironclaw laughed. “I can only imagine what you do to keep her attention here and squarely on you.” He reddened visibly and cleared his throat. “Oh, I think maybe I’d rather not imagine that right now. I’ll leave that for when I’m in my bunk later.”

Ramiel smiled and it was not an amused one. Rather it was one full of lust to match his eyes. “Damn. I must share Lyla’s pull to power. Because the thoughts that just went through my mind would end our walk rather quickly.

“That plus I am assuming there will be no more nights of sharing. That is too bad. Nothing I like better than watching her with someone else we both like.”

Ironclaw remained red as he cleared his throat and tried to clear his mind. “Yeah. That’s probably for the best anyway. She was… terribly tempting.” He shook his head. “Anyway you could always invite someone else. You’ve got lots of friends around.”

“Wouldn’t be the same.” He smiled his chesire grin. “Michael keeps turning us down. But damn it is fun teasing him. I’ve known him for a long time. But I don’t think I find him quite as appealing. Of course I would love to watch Anne Marie and Lyla go at it.”
Ironclaw chuckled. “As would I. But if I recall correctly, she said something about that just being a phase or something. Who else do we have?” he wondered a bit rhetorically. “Selene is with Michael and she’s pretty much a one-man girl, same with Rey and Grey. Chaska really shouldn’t for the same reasons I shouldn’t. But then there is Rose who just seems to sleep with whoever suits her fancy at the time, but mostly wolf bloods. So there might be something there for a now and then thing, if Lyla doesn’t mind that. I don’t think that lawyer guy would interest you, right? And then John Beckett, like you mentioned already. Maybe Michael, too. If you don’t mind paying for it, there are some sweet young whores down at the hub. Locals, too. Say, that might not be such a bad idea, actually, especially if things like that keep Lyla interested enough not to go looking for it elsewhere.”

“No offense, but John? Bleh. He’s not quite my type. I make few exceptions when it comes to men. There are certain pre-reqs so to speak. I would consider Michael. I think Lyla would to.” His eyes grew wide.

“Speaking of Grey and Rey. I had the worst and best thing happen the other week. You know how I was helping him out that night? With the hot spring stuff. In order to do that I had to scry on Grey. Well Lyla interupted me. So the spell kinda stuck. So I had a wide screen veiwing of their night together. From what I saw I don’t know how Grey wears jeans like he does.”

Ironclaw erupted in laughter at that.

“Don’t tell them though. It wasn’t intentional. Neither was the horns. Hookers you say. Hmm. Nah underage and all those two. But now I am in the mood to find a woman. Wanna go find someone to share? Or continue plotting who we can get Lyla in bed with. I bet Anne Marie would do it if you asked her.”

“She might but… well between you and me? If she had sex with you and Lyla I’d be really worried she might not want to come back to me,” he grinned. Ironclaw seemed to be having the most fun plotting who they might get Ramiel and Lyla to sleep with. “But what about Rose? I mean, same sex Uratha can’t actually mate, so no problems there. And Rose is pretty hot. Or what about that Tara chick? She’s… different.” Ironclaw hesitated. She was very attractive but she was also damned strange in a lot of ways. Then again, this was Ramiel he was speaking with. Strange was practically his career.

“Oh. You mean I get to be envolved in the scenario. Well. Hmmmm.” He thought for a moment. “Don’t worry about us stealing Anne Marie away. I save my best for Lyla. It is a task to wear her out and fully satisfy her, but one I take very seriously. I have a chest full of lovely toys. Knowing she is Uratha makes it all the more fun. I designed a set of bondage straps that have little silver nubs on them. Just the right amount of pressure on her skin so she doesn’t freak. You know, the good pain.” He inhaled and let it out slowly.

“Tara would be interesting. Rose too, but I know she is with Chaska in a way. Wouldn’t want to upset the big guy. Wouldn’t be fair of me to sleep with her when he can’t.

“Now my mind is on what I can do to Lyla. There are some toys I haven’t tried out yet. What do you think?”

“Rose has been spending a lot of time with Chaska, hasn’t she?” Ironclaw said. “I’m glad they’re making good friends.

“But daaaaaang, man, silver? You and she really do walk the knife’s edge, don’t ya?” He just smiled and shook his head. He figured that by now they knew what they were doing. “I think I’m afraid to ask about those toys. My imagination is filling more blanks than I think I want to know.

“I am more than happy to show you.” Ramiel said with wicked grin. “But if this is too much for you just let me know. Personally I hope it isn’t. I am having too much fun right now.

“Yeah. Silver. See it rubs against the skin, but doesn’t break it. So it is the equivalent to hot wax on your chest. It stings but feels great. Really. If you are getting blown and have pain at the same time. Unhhh.” He paused. “Say have you been bitten By Ann Marie? I was bitten once and it was reaaly good.”

“Yeah,” Ironclaw admitted with a wistful sigh. “I like it and dislike it at the same time. I know how it makes me feel, but my instincts scream at me that I am not prey every time it happens.”

He stopped in his tracks and looked at teh big guy. ” Wow. You faught it? I had no …no..nothing. I felt nothing but bliss. I didn’t have single lucid thought. I knew what was happening because I had watched it happen to MIchael. But really all I felt was.. well almost better than sex. Though don’t tell Lyla. She doesn’t like vamps too much. Anne Marie is the exception I think. But I can’t imagine being bitten while having sex. You really faught it?”

Ironclaw nodded. “Once. It was the most difficult test of will I’ve ever had. Ann-Marie and I had a long talk about it later because I don’t care how good it feels, the Ulfric is nobody’s meal. I let her bite — she calls it a Kiss — from time to time as a way to heighten intimacy and sex, but never otherwise. It might be too easy to… like it too much. More than is healthy for an Uratha alpha.”

“Why not make her your meal. Take her from behind with a firm grip on her neck and ride her to the ground screaming. Take her hard and fast and make her submit.” A wild fire was burning in is eyes. Lust was simply oozing off him at this point and his excitement was noticable. “I did with Lyla and well, baby. But you don’t have top worry about that, just be Wolf King and make her pay proper respects.”

“Oh, we’ve done that,” Ironclaw assured him with a wide grin, “and a lot more. She’s been very interested in all kinds of… little games. I don’t have to hold back with her. And better yet, she really likes it that way.”

“Now you’re making me jealous.” He said with a pout as he untucked his shirt. “So how do we do this? Who and where and when? Even if it doesn’t happen this is too fun to stop now. You know what. This is off subject. But how would you like to see like a Mage?”

Ironclaw did a double-take. Sometimes it was hard to keep up with Ramiel. He grinned. “Er.. you’re serious? Hm…” he considered that seriously for moment, but Ramiel was already waiting for him to answer another question. “See like a Mage? Well, I’m not sure what that means, but sure!”

“Alright. Sorry for the gear shift. But as you can see I need a breather or release. Since we are alone out here, breather it is. Now I am not sure how much this will differ from how you see as Uratha. But if you look at me you will definately see something new.” He concentrated and began to chant then he reached out and touched Ironclaw gently with the tips of his fingers. Right between the eyes.

As Ironclaw looked around he could see the very energies of the universe moving about him. the resonance of sunlight filtering off leaves. The delicate movement of air passing through the grass. Even sound carried it’s own energy as it passed through space. As he looked at Ramiel he could see he was doing something else. As he did so he began to glow with a bluish wind. The sounds of distant thunder could be heard. Then as Ramiel cast his spell the energy around him exploded with the fury of a thunderstorm. Clouds rolled and thunder crashed as aan etherial wind moved his hair.

“Whoa!” Ironclaw staggered around, nearly crashing into trees. “What the… Gah! You slipped me acid!”

Ramiel laughed. “No. But I can see where youwould think that. What you are seeing is the universe and all that it is made of; energy, Ironclaw. The reaction and movement of that which can not be destroyed only manipulated and changed.”

“It is simple. See the energy of the air moving around us?” Ramiel moved his hand in a Tai Chi move gathering the air around him. He used his magic as he did so to change the wind ceated into an swirling mass of electricity. “I command that which makes up the universe. Electricity form wind, and back again.” Ramiel returned the electric force back to it’s natural state.

“What do you think of that?” Ramiel asked with a smile.

He stared with wide-eyed wonder. “It’s… wierd. So… that’s magic?”

“Partly. One aspect I should say. I gave you only one version of sight. There are other types I can use. One let’s me tell what a person is, so long as they are not masked. So when I first met you I knew you were not human. Not vampire either. SOmething different. Best summed up by saying your aura is very distinct.

“The magic itself is vast, covering all aspects of the universe. I use that term because of the nature of the universe. Never-ending and in constant change. Both beautiful to behold and dangerous to wield. No one has power over the universe, but for mages we can influence it.

“That might be the simplest answer I can give. Phenomenal cosmic power, no restraints save our own morals. Though there is a high council who governs over those who would endanger our kind and our world. Kinda like our Ulfric.”
Ironclaw grinned. “Oh? So I can tell on you if you turn, say, Daniel’s body into a bad wind?”

“If you wanted to be a tattle tale. Yeah. Not that I can do that. Michael maybe when he gets stronger. I’d have to ask. But I could make Daniel’s blood boil. Or drain his essence. Almost there. Spirits beware.” He laughed.

“Yes there is a governing body to keep us crazy mages in check. Just as you would keep your pack in check.

“So why don’t we go have some fun now. I think I am past my whiney bitch phase. I can cast some more stuff on you and we can really have fun.”

“Um,” Ironclaw said as he scratched his head, “well okay, but no making my blood boil and no cuffs with silver spikes in them.” He grinned at Ramiel.

“Spoil my fun then,” he said with a wink. “No, I was thinking along different lines.”

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