Level 29 ~ Vixie

Cen had fallen asleep with his head on her lap. He’d need to wake up first if something came anyway, but Vixie wasn’t expecting an eventful second watch. They’d found a good secure spot to camp for the night. She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Vixie loved the way Cen’s scent worked its way through the dust and grime of their hike through the mountains, with the sweet mint on his breath to add just the right flair.

What happened to Andrew wasn’t anybody’s fault, no matter how much she felt like somehow it was hers. And then when Naomi left and it was just her and Cen… He’d been so supportive; he’d known what she needed even before she did. It was his idea to go back to Calon and see if Layla wanted to go out and practice controlling her shifting on the road for a while. Seeing her little sister’s reactions to the world reminded Vixie of when she’d first left home herself so long ago… Layla had learned to control her were-leopard form much more quickly than Vixie had. Cen said it was because she had a good teacher, but shifting wasn’t something you could teach. Vixie had always been wild, temperamental, and Layla had always been the sweet one. Well, controlling lycanthropy wasn’t that different than controlling one’s emotions—so of course sweet Layla had picked it up faster.

Vixie wasn’t ready to say goodbye to her little sister again so soon. But she knew Layla missed home, and was ready to go back without risk of revealing their family’s secret to the rest of the village. Vixie also knew that she herself could never live in Calon again. Settling down scared her, made her think of getting old, of dying. But Calon was so perfectly isolated, nothing ever changed there. Vixie could feel it. Smell it. Taste it. Her adventuring days were over. She and Andrew could have hunted demons until the end of time, and they would have been together. But now Andrew was gone, and Naomi and Feanthar had been right. She couldn’t go to Hell after him. He wouldn’t want that.

She ran her fingers through Cen’s hair. It was actually a lot softer than hers. When did he find time to wash it? Cen was so sweet, and she though she loved him so much her heart ached to think about it, she had been ready to choose Andrew. She was ashamed that she didn’t love Cen as much as he loved her, and still he stayed by her side never asking anything in return. Vixie was going to need him by her side until the empty wound inside her heart had time to mend. But when it did, she was going to love him so much.

Cen wasn’t an adventurer. He could keep up but he’d never enjoy a life on the road the way she did when traveling with Feanthar, Sheya and Andrew. Or Andrew and Naomi after that. No, Cen was going to want to settle down and have a family. But if they could do it in a port town, or somewhere the world could come to them? Vixie was ready for that life, with Cen by her side.


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