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 Just Another Day in Paradise (Pandora)

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PostSubject: Just Another Day in Paradise (Pandora)   Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:37 pm

Belladonna had been out all night. She had left Pandora sleeping peacefully in a room over a barber shop the night before. The restless shifter cat couldn't rest no matter how she stretched and yawned. Her body seemed to be somewhat lethargic, but her mind was far from it. In fact she was still reeling from the altercation in the alleyway. Something had definitely been all kinds of wrong with that man. She wasn't entirely sure what he was, but he was strong. Too strong. He had shaken the very foundations of the woman's confidence in her abilities, but she wouldn't let that stop her. Bella had stayed in tiger form after the ordeal and simply ran and rolled through the woods hoping to burn off some of the excess energy.

Her system was still full of adrenaline and she hoped it seeped from her nerves by morning, but the sun was going to crest soon so she headed back to their stolen room for the night. Near the edge of the city she transformed back to her human form. Her muscles squeezed tightly and coiled together as the blood pumping through her veins slowed for them to shrink there fibrous tissue. Her bones began to bend and contort into arms, legs, abdomen, and chest. After a few seconds Bella stood unclothed in the line of thicket. She reached down and grabbed her garments that she had carried in her teeth away from the city and stashed in the tree line.

Now she stalked into town proper. She kept to the shadows where the fingers of daylight hadn't quite reached yet and made her way back to their newest hidey hole. Of course, this wouldn't last long. They would have to move again tonight, only now she had the means to do so easily. She patted the pouch tied to her waist band. It was actually quite hefty. The heavy coin within would keep the girls well taken care of for a spell. Bella, ever careful to not allow detection, crossed the back alleys without a sound. It didn't matter that barely anyone would be awake at this hour, still, she was more than cautious when she came upon the building that would house Pandora.

Bella slid through a few loose boards on the back side of the hovel and crept across the cellar that was attached to the building. She climbed a ladder in the corner up to the top floor. Once there she silently crept across the squeaky floor boards of the cellar attic until she came to a window. Once there, she climbed out of it and then skulk across the roof top and climb up a small ledge that led to the roof of the connecting barber shop. There was a trap door set near the center and she slid easily down it once she opened its rusty hinges. Inaudibly her feet dropped to the floor.

It wasn't much, but it was a roof and that was like a paradise for the twins. She removed her cloak and armor pads. The heavy clothing was placed on the floor with care. Then she crossed the floor to peer at Dora. Her sister laid on a pallet of fresh straw and Bella had even swiped someone's hanging sheet from a line down the street for her to lay upon. Easing toward the pallet she lay down and inspected the smooth curve of her beloved twin. She was lost in peaceful sleep. It was something that Dora hadn't gotten a lot of lately and Bella silently berated herself for not providing better.

They were twins of course, but Bella had always taken on the leadership role in this duo. She held a deep sense of responsibility that had only brought her sister center stage. The rest of the world could burn to the ground and as long as Dora were taken care of, Bella wouldn't frelling care. Lovingly she brushed a lock of white blonde from her Dora's temple. Her soft snores bringing a smile to Bella's face. Soon, they would awake and find food. Hunting would be fun in the morning, but they had to try and adapt. Instead they would find a place to buy a nice hefty meal. The tastes of the city were far from the fresh food they were accustomed to in the wild, but Bella didn't find them completely unpalatable.

Laying there she felt the familiar tug of relaxation pull at her body. She would drift off to sleep laying next to Dora, the sounds of the city far from her thoughts as she dipped into the unconscious state of dreams. Some filled with blood and violence, or nice ones of gurgling streams filled with fish and endless landscapes with which to run. Dora would wake her soon she knew. She would allow herself a few moments filled with rejuvenating rest of which she did so little. Later, was her last thought. Later they would go together and find yet more means of survival, after all that was what life was and all it had to offer them so far, survival. The means with which to live. Even if they were Maelivas.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Another Day in Paradise (Pandora)   Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:07 pm

Pandora woke up slowly, her eyes opening to the shifting light from the broken window that lay in front of her. Her crystalline blue eyes took in her surroundings, the bare room, the open rafters above her head and slowly over to her side where her older sister lay next to her, sleeping lightly. Pandora knew that her sister seldom if ever slept anymore, seeming forever worried about getting them somewhere safe. She was thankful for her twin, and her obvious protectiveness, but Pandora hated being cooped up and never allowed to run. She hated that she was almost always told to stay inside while Bella would go out hunting, or go out to get whatever supplies they may need.

Animal instincts would take over, and it wasn’t uncommon for her to get into quite the little spat with her sister, and the results were relatively evenly split between the two of them. Pandora was smaller than Bella which also at times, caused an issue, because when people would see them, they would assume her to be the weak one. Truth was, neither sister was weak. They had proven it on several occasions when the need arose, but even then, she felt stuck. She longed for a community where they would be accepted and not forever hunted, forever on the run. She wanted to run for fun, not because she had to.

She stared at her sister’s face as she continued to sleep, frowning before slowly, carefully getting up. She needed some fresh air. Careful not to make a sound as she moved, she grabbed her long black coat and slid into the warm fabric. It was the one piece that she refused to let get destroyed. It was something she had made to fit her small frame, and was the only long coat that would ever fit her properly. She slid a long blade into the sleeve and pulled the wide hood up over her white blonde hair. Walking silently over to the ladder up to the open hatch in the roof, she climbed quickly, slipping out to sit silently up on the roof, curled up into herself, looking like nothing more than a chimney with her small frame folded as it was. She kept the hood low on her pale skin, just showing enough to allow her to look around.

She watched as people started to move around slowly, sleepy in the early morning light. People seldom looked up at the rooftops, and so she went unnoticed by the masses, wishing that she could just be like them, doing their daily chores, going about their lives. She longed for normalcy already. She longed for stability and safety and security and RIGHTS. She was a fighter, she could fight them all, if it wouldn’t get her sister killed in the process. She watched as a young boy walked next to a little girl, the girl smiling and laughing playfully as the boy spoke to her. She looked back down at the opened trap door just behind her and sighed. Her sister was everything to her, but she could never fill that gaping hole.

She let her mind wander, to what might have been if she hadn’t shifted into what she had. The only thing that truly gave away her mother and her mate as the liars that they were. She wanted to hate them, to be angry at them for doing what they did, but it had been beaten into her from such a young age that she would not be there, had it not been for her mother’s damned soft spot for a bloody canine. If only things had been different. If she hadn’t of shifted into a wolf instead of a feline like her sister had, then they would be home, with their family. She would have been able to have her pick of the clan males, her mother being who she was. It would have been nice. She could see their faces now, the young males circling around her only to have her smirk slowly, looking at each of them appraisingly before a sound down below of a small scuffle breaking out on the street knocked her out of her dream.

She looked at the two men who argued and pushed each other, throwing a few punches, neither landing a solid one on the other only made her roll her eyes and shake her head, muttering, “Humans…” before carefully getting up and sliding back down the ladder to the floor below and looked over to see her twin sitting up and staring at her, “I just needed some air…” she said quietly, her daydream being interrupted had not left her in the most docile of moods this morning.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Another Day in Paradise (Pandora)   Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:51 am

Bella pulled herself and balanced on the balls of her elbows, relinquishing one side she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. The sun filtered through the loose beams above and she realized she hadn’t been asleep all that long. That was good. She didn’t want to waste too much time getting out of here and finding food. The day was beginning and last night was… interesting to say the least. She had faced an opponent far stronger than she had ever dreamt of. A creature of the night, who would have smashed her into tiny kitty kibble if she had made one wrong move. She still didn’t know who or even what he was. There stood Pandora in her white glow. The girl really had no idea how lovely she was. Bella respected her sister above all else, it was what made her so protective.

“Could have got that after we both got out of here…” She didn’t mean for her tone to be so harsh, but it was mostly a dry throat, lack of sleep, and residing pain from having her hip nearly kicked off the night before. The pain still radiated in her side and she attempted to stretch out the taut muscle, her run hadn’t been nearly long enough to keep it malleable. The groan escaped from her lips before she could really stop it and she shifted higher up into a seated position. Reaching across the pile of planks she took up a skein of water and gulped heartily. This running was becoming so tiring, she was an animal, of that she had no qualms, but sleeping in a nice soft bed with fluffy pillows had its upside.

Reaching further into the pile of clothes she pulled out a hefty leather sack that was about the size of a large grapefruit. She spilled the contents onto the pallet and looked up to see Pandora’s reaction. “Should be enough to keep us for a little while.” Laying in a gleaming little pile of gold were pieces of currency. The beggars in the streets would call it a King’s ransom. Carefully, Bella placed them back into the purse and counted as she went, she stopped mid-pile, “After we get our stuff gathered, we should go down the road and get a meal.” Food, hopefully not a gelatinous concoction that some cook thought was like manna from the heavens. Fresh eggs, barely cooked steak, raw would be preferable, but just kissing the grill would work.

After counting all of their money she stood up and stretched fully. She twitched a little at her hip and bent down to retrieve armor. It would go in a soft leather back pack, even so she was armed with a boot dagger in case of emergencies. When she bent, a large bruise covering her left hip would be visible from a split in her shirt that met her under garments. She hissed a little at the air even touching it but forged onward. Pain was for the weak, the girls had been taught to embrace pain like a weapon using it feed their feral senses. Besides, pain let you know you were still alive. “I had an interesting encounter last night.” She slid on her pants, more soft leather encasing her shapely legs, “I just went to lift this little cache from some fat guy in an alley and was interrupted by a man.. well…” Bella struggled for words, “Something in a human form.”

The man had most assuredly not been plain human, he was too quick, “Dora, he ran up the side of a wall as if he had sticky boots on.” The thought caused her to drift even further down the memories of her adversary. He had been like a fallen angel, all good looks, but nothing more than hate and blood in his eyes. He was a frightening sight to behold, but much like a moth to a flame, Belladonna was fascinated by this creature. His power as well as his control of it, and forget about the money aspect. He was a man who got what he wanted and wasn’t afraid to do whatever necessary to get it. She could respect that in someone. At this juncture in time, the twins were looking for a home. Some place that they didn’t have to run every morning from their beds. They didn’t have to sleep with one hand fisted around a sword. Her sword! He had taken her weapon. What a jerk, as if he needed it. That had actually not been easy to come by!

She shook off the memories of what could have been her death and looked to Dora, “Get ready, we need to move before we are found out. I don’t think they’ll take too kindly to squatters in the attic.” She pushed the remainder of her meager belongings into the knapsack and latched the hook. Then Bella began to kick around their bedding, be their scent was very deeply ingrained. She pulled out her bag again and a box of lye soap. It seemed to really cover their scent for the most part. She dusted the dry goldenrod rushes liberally with the powder and kicked them around some more. Then she all out grabbed fistfuls and flung them into a corner, following that up by dusting more of the lye on the wood floors and then in the corner where the rushes were heaped. It was everything to cover their tracks, the most important aspect in fact.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Another Day in Paradise (Pandora)   Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:57 pm

Pandora looked down at her older sister, her wide blue eyes narrowing ever so slightly at her sister’s words and a quiet growl formed in the back of her throat only to come out even more in her words, “Says the sister who goes running around at night and leaves me here by myself. Oh, did you think that I slept through everything?” she asked darkly, walking over to the side of the small opening in the wall for air to circulate through the attic, looking out from the corner of her eye, her animal instincts telling her not to turn her back, even on her sister, for the sake of her health. She loved her sister, but she often resented that there seemed to be a whole different set of rules for each of them.

Sitting down next to the small spot of fresh air, she grabbed her bag, pulling it close to her and gingerly taking out a beloved book. It was one of the few that she hadn’t stolen, and one that she refused to leave behind. It spoke of the time before the war, when peace was still prevalent in the world. She longed for such a time now, and knew that this life was far off, even with there being cities where both shifters and humans could coexist together without always trying to kill each other, but it was no place for her.

As her sister shifted again she looked at her and rolled her eyes, seeing that she was obviously still sore from something, waiting patiently behind the pages of her book for her sister to speak and tell her just what had happened, since clearly something hadn’t gone to plan. Her twin was injured, and the sword that Pandora had gone to so much trouble to steal for her, was missing.

Hearing the intake of breath that she recognized as her sister beginning to speak she looked up over the pages at her twin, her face a mask of indifference, only to have a single eyebrow raise slightly seeing the coin she poured out of the leather bag, impressed at the take, and hoping that maybe it might buy them some food and somewhere decent to stay for a day that had a bath that she could fill with hot water and relax. She licked her lips at the thought of being able to feel clean once more.

Hearing the mention of food, her stomach growled slightly and she winced, putting her hand to her abdomen, frowning before setting her book back into her bag and stood up to start dispersing and throwing away the evidence they had been there, choosing to fold up the blanket that her sister and swiped for them to sleep on. She watched her sister get up and wince and was about to finally ask what had happened when her sister spoke up about some ‘encounter.’

“So what you’re telling me, is that some man came up, beat you to a black and blue pulp…” she started, holding up a hand as she saw her sister start to say something and pointing at her sister’s side which had shown the massive bruise and indicated her favoring her hip, both without a word “STOLE the sword I stole for you, and then went and ran up the side of a building?” she asked, her tone sounding off but she knew her sister wasn’t one to exaggerate. If she said this man did what he did, then she believed her. She however, couldn’t help asking the next necessary question, “So what else did this purse of coin cost us?” she asked, hoping there were no more surprises between now and getting breakfast.

Watching as her sister covered their tracks with the lye soap, she quickly made sure that they had everything, pulling her satchel onto her shoulder and climbed out of the building discreetly, keeping low to the tiles as more people were on the street now, and seemed to be looking around, walking in a more leisurely pace and more likely to look up. She waited for her sister, carefully off to the side, “Are you coming, Bella?” she asked, leaning her head back in.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Another Day in Paradise (Pandora)   Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:51 pm

Taking a cursory look around the room, purposely ignoring her sister’s harsh tone, Bella sniffed the air. She was in no mood to deal with a hungry Dora. Lack of sleep, dealing with her revelation of finding the darkest man she had ever ‘met’, and she used that term loosely, combined all with the pressure of finding out where to go next was giving her an early morning headache. At the very least she could have been out hunting or killing something. You know enjoyment. Instead, it was the after effects of getting what they needed. She never expected Dora to say thank you. Never wanted her to feel beholden, but mornings like this she just wished Dora would shut the frell up.

Glaring over at her sister in a show of displeasure and the plea to stop while they were ahead she finished her task of checking the room. Once satisfied with the state of their departure she headed toward the window they were climbing through. Pandora was so at home anywhere she went. She just seemed to stop caring a long time ago. Not that Bella really blamed her; they had been running for so long that at this point it all seemed like a giant waste of time. If there were going to be tracked into civilization, it would have happened before now. She just couldn’t get past old habits.

She easily slid down the pipe they had climbed up and sidled up to Dora, “I think I smelled a place to get food just a couple of streets down.” She headed off in the direction of the shop she had passed early this morning. Bella didn’t even turn her head to see if Dora was following. The girls never seemed to need to do that. It was just understood where one went the other followed. They were among common humans now, Bella could smell it. The fetid air of unwashed bodies, untended sewers, and desperation were all thick in the air. The girls would definitely not bed down in this part of town again unless they couldn’t help it.

One gentleman, if he could be called such, stood on the street corner eyeing up the ladies passing by. He wore a charming smile, and wore fine clothes. He was looking for ladies to work for him he said to any that would listen, but Bella wasn’t stupid she had seen his type before and was very much unimpressed. Let him make his own money on the flat of his back she thought. She grabbed Dora and hugged her close as they walked by, heads down. He called out to the “pretty blondes” passing him by but Bella didn’t say a word. She hoped Dora wouldn’t either, but as it were that was seldom the case.

They crossed an intersection the smell began to dwindle down to nothing as the people here were better clothed, clean, and mostly going about their morning chores. They continued to walk through the streets of Bastion City. “Just a few blocks Dorrie.” They continued on until the smell of fresh bread, baked pasties, and stewed meat began to waft in the air. Yeah, today they would eat well. Rounding another corner they saw the shop on the right. Bella stopped, “This is it.” She stood there for a moment just getting a basic scent of the place and the people surrounding it. Bella tried to be as careful as possible; it was just in her very nature.

When it seemed like everything was okay, she started for the door and they entered a bright little café of sorts. Heavy wooden tables with thick spindled chairs dotted a large room. She made her way to a corner table all the way in the back. Better to defend in that position. She took a seat and slid her knapsack below the table at her feet. “Now, once we eat, I’ll tell you about last night.” She wasn’t about to broach any type of subject with her until they both had full stomachs.
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PostSubject: Re: Just Another Day in Paradise (Pandora)   Fri Aug 31, 2012 11:22 am

Pandora looked at her sister as she finally joined her, shaking her head a little at how long her sister could take clearing a place of their scent, “You know they are unlikely to track us here… and with the stench around here, they would be hard-pressed to even find our scent in the first place.” She grumbled but walked next to her sister, knowing that she should be more grateful towards her sister for what she did. Behind her icy exterior, she just worried about her sister. She knew that her sister liked the sword as a weapon, and so she made a mental note that she needed to go and track one down to steal before they made it very far.

She was lost in her thoughts on where to head in the city to find what she needed when she heard her sister mention the place to get the food, her stomach growling again, “Apparently we had best hurry before it tries to eat me...” she said quietly, trying to lighten the mood with her sister, but also trying to ignore how hungry she was for some reason. This human form seemed to enjoy making her suffer through hunger since she didn’t really like food all that much to begin with.

Her mind slipped once more into contemplative silence as they walked, staring at the space in front of her, almost without seeing, but her instincts kicked in, making sure to keep her peripheral vision on her sister and her body moved easily to keep up. She was thinking about her sister, more curious about this thing she had met getting their coin, her mind going over what her sister had already told her, trying to picture what it looked like, what it could have been. She wanted to go to her books to make sure once her sister told her more, but she knew that it was unwise to try to talk to her like this. She just couldn’t understand her mood today.

The man calling out to the “pretty blondes” knocked her once more out of her thoughts and her eyes narrowed to ice cold shards, piercing through him as she looked at him. Pausing in her steps, intent on going after the monster that would DARE proposition her sister or suggest that she should enter such a trade, but the feel of her sister wrapping her arm around her and hugging her close limited her to only words, “I would suggest you make the money yourself you slime, were it not for the fact that you clearly are ill-equipped,” she growled, pointedly looking down his body with a sneer before walking on next to her sister.

If there was ever a thing that would drive Pandora to senseless murder fast, it was someone like that suggesting things to her sister. They were not to be trifled with, and had her sister not dragged her along with her, she would have shown him just as much. She readjusted her skirt, sliding her hands down over the rough fabric that was designed to travel. It reached just to the middle of her thighs, with long leggings underneath to keep her pale skin covered from the sun, her boots coming up over her knees to completely cover them. Sliding her hand to the blade at the small of her back under her coat, her hands moved over the matching shirt to the skirt, rough but fitted tightly to her form to allow for no restriction in movement.

She gripped the handle of the blade just as they approached the small café, looking around and taking in their surroundings, she waited until her sister mentally deemed it safe, following her into the building and to a seat at the back. She looked at her sister, her face impassive but her eyes showing a hint of concern for her well being, only nodding to indicate that she had heard her say she would tell her more about this attack after they had eaten.

Looking around the little café, she felt eyes on her and her sister. Looking up to meet those stares head on, she found a man with a woman, and a young child, whom she assumed to be their offspring. The little girl was looking at them curiously, only to have the mother look over at Bella and Pandora, then back at her little girl and quietly scold the girl for staring. Dora let a little kindness show for the young girl whom she hoped would grow up strong enough to survive in this world, and gave her a small smile and a little raise of her fingers from the table in a small hello gesture before looking at the menu on the table, debating on what to order.
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