years I've walked in the coldest winds
from sorrow and pain I find my strength
the more I hurt, the clearer I see.
That genteel caress of his mistress' affinity caused a shudder to run down the length of his curved spine. He knew the sensations of her power intimately well. Numerous were the nights he'd spent beneath the sway of her every whim while she ravished his body and mind. The very idea of it was enough to propel the lanky feline forward, even though his every movement was altogether futile. He knew the hopelessness of his escape. That very game was designed for his failure. His endurance would give out long before theirs, his capabilities for hiding paled in comparison to the predatory instincts of the vampire, their strength would best him, their senses were sharper and she....she would always find him. A backward glance was given towards Darcy as Tetradore raced through the underbrush and between the towering evergreens that surrounded him. Her absence concerned him and yet, somewhere out there, Tetradore knew Risque laid in wait, poised and ready to strike with viper's grasp. He was oblivious of her affinity for nightmarish terror as it filled the forest, stretching outward for miles around the quickly approaching feline. It wasn't until that first flash of the flickering conflagration that the Alpha's gait faltered. Those flames were quickly whipped into a frenzy as the evening wind tore through them, climbing higher and higher around him till his world was bathed in crimson and gold.
Effortlessly, those old memories were dragged to that surface, that fateful night seemingly coming to life yet again before his emerald irises. How many times had she made him relive those horrific details? How many times had her various affinities drawn to life this very night? Those wounds still too raw from all the times she'd ripped them open over and over again. He had watched flames consume the confines of Syn time and time again, he'd watched his parents die over and over, he'd heard their screams in his hallucinations and in his nightmares but the treehouse....the presence of his treehouse was entirely new. He could hardly believe that he had run so far from the city limits of Sacrosanct to reach his childhood home and yet, it was undoubtedly his fort. His childish handwriting still was scrawled upon the sides, declaring it off-limits to all 'gurlz'. He had thought it had burned - along with the rest of the pieces of his once blissful life. The very heat of those fires pressed closer upon him, those memories blossoming beneath Risque's expert control as the sound of those screams filled his ears, causing them to flatten against his skull as his emerald irises darted around those ever-pressing flames. He was oblivious to the way Darcy's feet dug within the lithosphere as the man strove to stop his once abrupt chase, only to join Risque in her concealment within the blaze that surrounded him.
Tetradore shifted, the feline turning in his place as his gaze sought desperately from some sort of escape from those fires. His father's baritone voice echoed within his skull - a pressing whisper that could only just be heard over the cries of his aunts and uncles and cousins. Run. Run Aiden. Run to the treehouse. Run and don't look back. Run. Run. Run. Her laughter cut through those very sounds as the cat slowly lowered himself closer towards the ground, all but ignoring the mud underfoot as he backed himself up against the tree that held his childhood playhouse. It alone was spared from those flames, though even he knew it was but a temporary sanctuary. A growl reverberated within his throat, that sound was all but instinctual as the fur upon his puffed habitually in reaction to his potent fear. That flames roared higher above him, the heat akin to hell's fires itself before his mistress burst through those flames, dancing with the same liquid grace he'd once watched mystified as a mere boy. Oh, how well he knew now not to be enamored by such poise. The near musical tone to her soprano voice did little to still his beating hard as she drew that metaphorical noose tighter around his neck. There was nowhere to run - nowhere he could flee that she had yet to find him and drag him back. How many times had he tried to run from her? No matter how many days head start, no matter how much Matteo tried to help, Risque and her entourage always came for him.
It was the mention of his parents, however, that caused his jaws to part, the panther's roar echoed even amongst the snapping and crackling of those flame-licked woods that surrounded him. The mention of his grandfather, however, coaxed a glimpse of confusion upon his features. His grandfather? It was the first time Risque had ever mentioned the man. What...sins was she referring to? He took a step further back from her, his paws digging deeper into the mud, that glistening bracelet around his paw hovering precariously a mere breath above the muck and grime. That hiss upon Darcy's lips was all but drowned out by the like sound from his mistress as Risque's boots sank deeper into the mud. Any answer Tetradore might have given, however, was cut off as Risque moved with otherworldly speed, her flames dancing above him, reaching out with long tendrils to kiss above him, effectively caging the cat that wearily eyed the constraining flames. How he detested that feeling of being trapped! Between the vampiric woman and the fire that prompted within him that shudder of anxiety. He leaned forward, his body fully intending to dash from that quickly encasing fire only for Tetradore to find himself hoisted from the ground by the scruff of fur upon the back of his neck. Immediately, Tetradore's body twisted within her grasp, his claws extending instinctually as that adrenaline within the Alpha took over. His paws were muddied enough to leave prints within his way, his talons sharp enough to slice through skin and clothing in the event either of which made contact with Risque's slender figure. It was that sharp jerk alone that prompted the cat to pause as he was smushed against Risque's chest, the sudden tightness of her squeeze prompted a wheeze from his lips as he stilled immediately against her.
Tetradore was well aware of her cheek brushing against his, that closeness of her body against him was not something he was unused to. His emerald irises settled upon Darcy in the intimacy of that moment. He could see the grinding of those teeth even from that distance between them and yet, how he abhorred Risque's affections. Tetradore was far more eager to allow the cowboy those touches then he was to take them himself and yet, of late his mistress had turned far more of her attention towards her fellow vampire then himself - at least, as far as those more sensual matters were concerned. It was a fact that he was grateful for, even if it hardly seemed enough for Darcy. Tetradore tensed the moment Risque's sharpened canines brushed against his fur, the pressure of her teeth altogether slow as all four pierced his flesh. He winced beneath the weight of her teeth pressing harshly against his neck, her grip somehow tightening in that very moment as she feasted upon his blood. Her venom only increased that flow and yet, Risque seemed more than eager to drink her fill. A soft hiss left the panther's lips, his body so quickly becoming saturated with that substance so unique to his mistress. Tetradore was all too familiar with those first symptoms of those hallucinations she so often wrought upon him - the sounds and sensations and visions that simply weren't there and yet still so effortlessly toyed with his senses till he struggled to place reality from fiction.
A soft breath of relief left the panther's lips as Risque's fangs withdrew from his flesh and yet, her voice seemed so far away compared to the whispered murmurs of those illusions that echoed within the feline's ears. Tetradore was hardly prepared as he was thrown unceremoniously upon the ground. He had only just gotten his paws beneath him to slink away when a hand reached down to slam his body back towards the ground. For the present moment, he saw little reason not to comply to those hissed words, particularly when Darcy's grip was less than kind upon the skin at the back of his neck. His dull, emerald irises eyed the muddied ground in front of him, the shine of Risque's silver heels seemed to dance with the ebb and flow of the moving ground beneath him - a direct result of her venom in his bloodstream. He was ignorant of Darcy's attention to the wound upon his shoulder, much less the way the vampire licked the panther's blood off his fingers. It was the sudden heat of Darcy's breath against his fur that saw the panther jerk away from the vampire - though the movement hardly gained him much distance with the man's hand so firmly positioned upon his shoulder. He struggled to comprehend those words, the panther overwhelmed by his stimulated senses before Darcy's tongue flicked out to lick at the blood that saturated his ebony fur. A faint growl rumbled deep within the Alpha's throat and yet, any movement of his mistress was enough to send Darcy leaning back as if he'd never sampled that blood at all. His emerald eyes slowly fluttered upwards towards Risque, the panther merely observing those glimpses of intrigue upon her features with a vague hint of disinterest. Frankly, he couldn't wait for tonight to be over...and it had only just begun.