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» Seeking Solace, Michael
Auryon Diana Ward
 Posted: Feb 20 2012, 09:30 PM
[QUOTE]
88th & 100A Games
429
posts
26 Years
Female
6'1"
184 LBS
District Four
18-April 11 • 2150 Moneys

Sonia


Anger. Anger and rage and hatred was all she knew. It was all she felt and all she could think about. When that blood red haze started to lift from her mind, Auryon began to feel again. Tense and trembling, her breath came in short, staggered pants. That was all she knew for a while. Her panting and the hammering of her heart in her chest, but slowly she started to feel soft ground beneath her boots, the smell of the woods, and the familiar leather grip of her knife in her hand.

Knife?

Her hand tightened on the hilt, and Auryon seemed to notice everything at once in that instant. The knife in her hand, the one she usually carried. The blood she was covered in, not just Aleron’s from earlier. The man at her feet, already dead.

It was instinct that kicked in first. Auryon didn’t know where she was, just that she was in the woods. Scaling a tree gave her little more information. She was further away from home than she was used to. These weren’t the woods she usually prowled. The lights of the city glowed far to the south of her, but Auryon could see the ocean to the east. The road was far to her left. There was no danger in anyone stumbling on the body, but after dropping to the ground again, Auryon dragged the body further north until she found signs of predators. Leaving the body in their territory would ensure that should anyone happen to find it, there wouldn’t be much left to find.

Instinct had driven her to hide the body, but something else made her continue walking north. She couldn’t go back to Aleron. Not like this. With her survival instinct neutralized, reality started to set in.

What had she done?

The victor was no stranger to murder. She’d killed twelve people before that man. What was one more? But despite that rationale, a sickening feeling began to churn in Auryon’s gut. She didn’t even recognize the man, but his wounds… they had been very methodically cut into his major arteries. Even if she hadn’t still had the knife in her hand, Auryon would have recognized her handiwork. It was what she’d done to Selene. She’d bled this man like an animal. She’d hunted him down and murdered him.

Why?

‘He tried to kill Ryan…’

Was it really that simple? An angry haze had taken over her. A blood red fog had fallen over her vision and her body moved on autopilot without any active thought. Instinct. That was what guided her. Rage and instinct had made her leave Aleron’s side to chase that man down. She remembered flashes. Running after the car. Dragging the man out. Leading him to the woods. Telling him to run. The rest wasn’t hard to figure out. He ran. She hunted. Clearly he hadn’t run fast enough.

The sickening feeling in her stomach wasn’t leaving. This wasn’t killing for her own survival. It wasn’t revenge for Aleron’s death. He was alive last she saw him with a promise he would be alright. It was a reaction, an instinctual response to something that might not have even been intentional. She wasn’t even sure.

An instinctual response.

Auryon’s breath quickened and her brisk walk quickened until her feet were flying across the forest floor, running from something she could never escape. Reality. The truth that Auryon had known for a long time, had admitted to everyone but herself.

Her instinct… Her natural response…

…Was to kill.

The huntress pushed harder, forced her body to run faster through the dense forest. She couldn’t go home. Not now. Not like this. She had no place next to Aleron like this. But if she stayed out here in the wild, if she let herself live on instinct and a will to survive, she would sever that bond entirely. She’d become more like the creatures she loved to hunt than the one she lived for. She’d thought about it, but couldn’t abandon Aleron. Even now when she felt completely unworthy of his affection. Or perhaps especially now when he needed her most.

‘Does he?’

It was a question that haunted Auryon. She needed Aleron to survive. She lived for him. He was all that mattered in her would. But he… he wasn’t as reliant on her. He could function without her. She would never doubt his love, but he wasn’t dependent on her. He would move on. She was sure of it, and it hurt. It hurt more than any wound she’d ever suffered in the arena. Knowing that he would survive without her… A tightness settled in her chest, wrapped around her heart and lungs and slowly… slowly started to squeeze. First her breath left her lungs and then her heartbeat began to slow, straining against the fingers that held it, but it was a futile fight, and without her breath or heartbeat only agony and cold remained. No light. No laughter. No love.

An agonizing scream ripped from Auryon’s mouth and she stumbled, barely managing to catch herself against a tree trunk. Her fingers dug into the bark as the sound continued until she no longer had the breath to voice it. And all it left in its wake was tears, and sobs, and heartache.

At that point all Auryon wanted to do was collapse at the base of the tree and let instinct take over. That wouldn’t require so much pain. The laws of nature didn’t deal with love or attachment. Only survival mattered. But for the first time in her life, Auryon’s instinct frightened her, and no matter the pain it caused, she wasn’t willing to abandon Aleron.

She couldn’t stay here. Here was cold and alone. Auryon needed warmth. She needed a body. She needed Aleron, but that was out of the question. As she pulled herself off her knees and started running again, Auryon realized she’d never felt more alone. Her unwillingness to tolerate people, her devotion to Aleron had all led to keeping people at arms’ length, so where did she go when she didn’t have Aleron?

Auryon’s feet kept moving the same direction. Instinct was guiding her again, but as she realized where she was going, she didn’t fight it. There was one person she could stand, one person who tolerated her, and no matter how angry she still was at him for giving up, Auryon had nowhere else to go.

The huntress couldn’t recall if she’d ever been to District Twelve, but it wasn’t difficult to navigate. Dawn had broken a short while ago when Auryon climbed the fence near the Victor’s Village. Most of the houses weren’t occupied, making it easy to locate Michael’s, and Auryon started pounding on the door. She wanted to call for him. She needed him. Now. But the moment she opened her mouth, Auryon knew she’d scream, and instinct was telling her the last thing she needed was for more people to see her like this: clothes torn and covered in blood. So with tears still falling from her eyes she let her fist keep pounding on the door. He had to be here. Where else would she go…?

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Michael Tomsy
 Posted: Feb 20 2012, 10:59 PM
[QUOTE]
68th Games
665
posts
43 Years
Male
5'10
150 LBS
District Twelve
16-April 11 • 2380 Moneys

Meadowlark


Michael's eyes were closed and he was sprawled out across the old couch that looked odd in the opulent Victor manor. A corgi was sleeping across his feet at the end of the couch, sleeping soundly. Runner was lying right next to the couch, rolled onto her back and twitching occasionally in her sleep. In his hands, a guitar was laying across his chest. Now and then his hand would strum across the strings and send music dancing through the air.

He couldn't sleep. Of course he couldn't. He couldn't drink. The closest he could come while not inebriated was resting with music to lull him into a false sense of security. The kids were sleeping, and with the Victor manor so huge, the guitar shouldn't bother them. He'd been doing this all night anyway, he was sure Tristan would have informed him if he was being troublesome anyhow.

Michael's lips twisted into a sad smile. Tristan was almost refreshing compared to Antoinette. He deserved their hatred. Deserved it and she instead treated him with kindness and respect he had never earned. Certainly not after being responsible for their parents murder. He strummed the guitar again, taking an unsteady breathe. He'd rested at least. More than he'd done the night before, when he'd simply paced around the house, humming lyrics to himself as he went and fought the urge to get himself so drunk he'd stop caring. Just to numb the pain. Just for long enough to sleep.

He slept mostly during the day. For some reason, it was easier then. Easier to take cat naps and pretend all was well when the solemn silence of nightfall didn't fill him mind with troublesome guilt that he could do nothing about. He was just strumming the guitar again when Runner rolled over and gave a soft woof. His eyes opened just as the sound of someone pounding on the door reached him. Michael's brows furrowed as the corgi woke and shook itself, bounding off the couch and rushing out of the living room and down the hall towards the door. Runner stayed by his side, but her ears were alert, and she was sitting up, staring the way the corgi had gone.

Michael groaned as he set the guitar down beside the couch and rolled to his feet. He might have ignored the door (nothing this early could be good), but soon one of the kids might wake and notice and he didn't want that. So he trudged down the hall in his slept in jeans and old worn shirt that had seen better days. He grabbed the hat he'd let fall to the floor on his way into the room, settling the black fedora over his disheveled golden brown hair right before he nudged the corgi back and opened the door.

His sleepy grin froze as he stared at her. His mind registered "Auryon" but he didn't recognize her right away. Covered in blood...her face contorted with pain...she was crying...Auryon was crying...and in dirty tattered clothes? Runner whined next to him and he snapped his mouth shut. He hadn't expected to see her...here of all places. They hadn't parted on good terms.

"Get inside," he blurted out, his voice distant as he realized with a chill of fear how bad it would be for anyone else to see her like this. His heart twisted seeing her in such a condition, and he barked at the dogs to get back when the corgi tried to surge forward. He didn't even wait for her to move before more questions followed. "What happened? Are you hurt?"

Because there was a lot of blood. And her clothes...fear and grief and anger sluggishly battled exhaustion.

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Auryon Diana Ward
 Posted: Feb 21 2012, 07:35 PM
[QUOTE]
88th & 100A Games
429
posts
26 Years
Female
6'1"
184 LBS
District Four
18-April 11 • 2150 Moneys

Sonia


As the door opened, Auryon froze and just stared back at Michael. She watched his grin fade and knew how bad she must look. She hadn’t actually taken the time to look herself over, but between trying to tend Aleron’s wounds earlier… yesterday. That was yesterday. And then her bloody murder of the one who’d harmed him, she had to be a mess, and she read that in Michael’s face, but didn’t care to look much further. She didn’t fear much, but for a moment she worried that he’d send her away, and the feeling of cold that gripped her, stole her breath away for a moment.

Michael’s invitation or rather direction had barely left his mouth before Auryon threw herself at him. Trembling hands clenched Michael’s shirt as Auryon dropped her forehead to his shoulder. She pulled close to him, needing the warmth of another person to help ground her. For as harsh a person as Auryon usually came off, she craved contact, and she usually got it from Aleron, but he wasn’t available now, and it was the only thing that would start to drive away the cold, hollow feeling inside her. It was what she needed to start to feel human again. And she needed it from Michael.

She was shaking, trembling with fear, anger, sorrow, and no small amount of fatigue. She felt very raw, open and exposed emotionally. She was never good at hiding her emotions. She was pretty much an open book when it came to how she felt, but this… this was different. This wasn’t bearing her irritation, her anger, her frustration at the world. This was personal, private, and not something Auryon would have chosen to share if she’d had a choice.

Auryon only barely processed his questions, and she wanted to answer, but the only thing that left her mouth when she opened her mouth was a scream into his shoulder, filled with all the agony that still consumed her.

This post has been edited by Auryon Diana Ward: Feb 21 2012, 07:36 PM

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Michael Tomsy
 Posted: Feb 21 2012, 09:03 PM
[QUOTE]
68th Games
665
posts
43 Years
Male
5'10
150 LBS
District Twelve
16-April 11 • 2380 Moneys

Meadowlark


His arms automatically closed around Auryon and his mind was scrambling to catch up and understand what was going on. Auryon was shaking. Auryon. Shaking.

What the hell had happened?

He used one hand to shove the door closed because while it was rare for someone to walk through the Victor Village in twelve, especially at this time, the Peacekeepers did patrol the area on occasion. And Peacekeepers were certainly the last people who he wanted talking to Auryon until she'd calmed down and explained...what had happened. The certainty that whatever it had been was terrible was cemented as her muffled scream shocked the last of the sleep from his system and the arm wrapped around her tightened instinctively as though the gesture could somehow protect her from whatever it was that had already occurred.

His worried gaze moved down the hall. Other than the fact that he had to make sure she wasn't about to pass out from blood loss, there were the kids to think of. If one of them saw Auryon here...like this...

Michael had made so many mistakes lately whenever he tried to do the right thing. Particularly by people he cared about. His mind scrambled to find the next step to take when he still couldn't quite comprehend that Auryon was there at all, nonetheless in the condition she was in. Prioritizing actions was hard when he was overwhelmed and almost afraid to make any move at all.

Take care of Auryon. Then worry about everything else.

"Come on," he said quietly after holding her for a moment and trying to make up his mind about what to do next. He was almost afraid to ask about what had happened again. Her reaction made him feel maybe she needed time before she'd be able to reply anyway. That she'd need time made him start to brace himself for whatever storm had landed on his doorstep in the form of his Victor friend. Either way, they needed to move. Out of the hall where it was possible that Tristan or Antoinette would just walk in. Where was closest? The living room where he'd abandoned his guitar maybe. The corgi had scampered off, but Runner stood nearby, obviously agitated by the smells or tension or something.

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Auryon Diana Ward
 Posted: Feb 21 2012, 10:17 PM
[QUOTE]
88th & 100A Games
429
posts
26 Years
Female
6'1"
184 LBS
District Four
18-April 11 • 2150 Moneys

Sonia


Michael’s warmth was inviting and soothing. It wasn’t as familiar and cozy as Aleron’s, but it was certainly enough to begin to settle the huntress, and as his arms wrapped around her, Auryon let herself slowly soak it in. She preferred skin contact, but in the place she was right now, she had no intention of being picky. This was plenty. This comforting, welcoming warmth that slowly started to ease the cold out of her body. Her shaking was calming a bit. It was still present, but the severity started to lessen as Auryon let the warmth relax her, ease her back toward humanity.

Everything about her still felt very primal, very instinctual right now, and considering what Auryon had finally decided to recognize about her instincts, she didn’t want to rely on them right now. She wanted the reason and logic that she’d lost sometime yesterday. That was what would make talking to Michael easier. Too soon, however, Michael was trying to move them, but Auryon refused to leave his warmth. Keeping her solid grip on Michael’s shirt, Auryon remained as close to him as she could, but allowed him to guide them into a different room. Auryon had little care where they were so long as Michael didn’t leave.

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Michael Tomsy
 Posted: Feb 21 2012, 11:20 PM
[QUOTE]
68th Games
665
posts
43 Years
Male
5'10
150 LBS
District Twelve
16-April 11 • 2380 Moneys

Meadowlark


The way she clung to him only deepened his concern for her. Auryon was always someone he'd considered incredibly strong, one of the reasons he'd expected her to win the Games unless luck turned against her. His concern was growing sharply along with anger. Not directed at her, but it was there, lurking unhelpful beneath his worry and confusion, waiting to see what it should be directed at. Because something had to have happened to Auryon, hadn't it? What? Auryon was strong. Strong enough to withstand an attack from anyone or anything, or so he'd surmised. Except the Capitol. No one is that strong.

He bit back a snarl at that thought and tried to guide her to sit down on the couch. Tried to bite back his impatience because as much as he feared an answer, he still didn't know if she was hurt, and with her latched onto him it was damned hard to tell. One of his arms was still wrapped around the younger Victor, and he was pretty sure Auryon had stopped shaking.

Maybe she'd be able to speak then. He didn't want to push her...but he couldn't be caught off guard if someone was chasing her...like Peacekeepers. Or if she was indeed hurt.

"Auryon. Can you tell me if you're hurt?" he asked quietly. She might not want to talk about it, but if she could even just shake her head in reply he'd feel a lot better about proceeding slowly with trying to untangle this mess.

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Auryon Diana Ward
 Posted: Feb 22 2012, 08:56 PM
[QUOTE]
88th & 100A Games
429
posts
26 Years
Female
6'1"
184 LBS
District Four
18-April 11 • 2150 Moneys

Sonia


Michael lowered them both to the couch and Auryon didn’t fight. She needed his warmth and would follow wherever he went in order to keep it. Quiet settled around them, making the pounding of Auryon’s heart and rapid breathing seem very loud to her, but beyond that she started to feel Michael’s own heartbeat beneath her hands. He asked her a question that Auryon didn’t answer right away.

Yes. Yes, she was hurting. More than she ever had before, but something told her that wasn’t what Michael meant. He meant physically, and Auryon wasn’t really sure. She was certainly skilled enough with a blade to not end up cutting herself, but had her prey harmed her? Had he fought back? She couldn’t remember. She hadn’t really checked, and aside from the agonizing heartache, she didn’t feel much at all, but she didn’t think so, so she shook her head anyway.

Pressed close to him, Auryon’s tears began to calm, and her breathing began to even out, no longer so erratic and no longer catching in her chest every few breaths. Instead her breathing settled into a steady but rapid rhythm. Slowly. Slowly she was starting to feel more like herself. Her normal self. Usually Auryon took great care to balance her human side with her feral one, but it’d only taken one event to severely tip them out of balance. To leave them unbalanced was to lose a piece of herself, and Auryon wouldn’t stand for that. She needed to rebalance the scales again, and pressed against Michael’s warmth on the couch, she began to be surer that she would be able to. It would take a while, but this was taking the edge off, helping her settle.

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Michael Tomsy
 Posted: Feb 22 2012, 11:19 PM
[QUOTE]
68th Games
665
posts
43 Years
Male
5'10
150 LBS
District Twelve
16-April 11 • 2380 Moneys

Meadowlark


Discordant notes. Auryon had been...a jumble of discordant notes. And she still was, but she seemed to be getting better. He was able to settle back into a better mindset when she nodded and he felt some of his panic dissipate and the patience he had once been good at grew easier to hold onto. Michael barely stopped himself from humming the tune that he realized had been forming in the back of his mind since he’d opened the door. Crystallizing as he’d seen Auryon in a light he’d never seen her before. He doubted she’d appreciate that much though, and he held the song in. It didn’t stop the music from playing in his mind though. It wasn’t a vulnerable melody at all...if anything it was simply sharper and more clear. Michael wondered, as he had before casually on occasion, if he was as insane as others claimed he was.

How had Auryon found her way to twelve? Why had she? Of all the incompetent people she could have run to, he was by far the worst. She’d seen that. He’d lost his mask for a bit at that party he’d tried to climb down the balcony at. And she’d even acknowledged how horrible what he’d done in the Games was. So why had she come to him for help? It must be because there was no other choice, he decided, feeling the queasy weight of responsibility hang heavy over him. He tried to focus on something else. What could account for her condition? Why would there be no one else to turn to? Her brother? Michael knew she had a brother, she'd spoken of him before. He gazed down at the tangled hair one of his hands brushed against as he tried to sooth his fellow Victor. Blood. Why was there blood? And if she wasn't injured...had something happened to someone? Her brother? Why?

He found himself humming softly then. He didn’t want to push her, he didn’t want to move almost. As though perhaps he’d cure whatever was wrong by holding her and keep whatever had chased her there at bay by not acknowledging its existence. And maybe with the still forming notes of song that formed instinctively to sooth his own frayed nerves. He stopped as soon as he realized what he was doing, the melody cutting off abruptly.

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Auryon Diana Ward
 Posted: Feb 23 2012, 07:47 PM
[QUOTE]
88th & 100A Games
429
posts
26 Years
Female
6'1"
184 LBS
District Four
18-April 11 • 2150 Moneys

Sonia


As the quiet settled in around them, Auryon found it easier to focus on Michael’s heartbeat. She slowly unclenched one of her hands and just pressed it to his chest over his heart. The beat wasn’t as steady and strong as Aleron’s, and it didn’t synchronize well with the firm beat of her own heart, but every so often she’d feel them beat together. It was… comforting.

Auryon didn’t feel quite so hollow anymore. Michael’s warmth was starting to fill her, pushing out the cold that had consumed her. The agony still remained, but that would be very difficult to heal, and would likely require Aleron himself. Even with his presence and comfort, however, it wasn’t something that Auryon thought would go away anytime soon. She’d thought about it before, how Aleron would handle losing her, and each time the ache got worse. It never really went away either. It might dull a bit, but it was a wound that she could never truly mend. Intentional or not, no one could hurt her like Aleron.

A few moments later the silence was filled with the sound of Michael’s humming, and it made her blink out of whatever daze she’d let herself slip into to glance up at him, momentarily surprised before letting her eyes slip closed to listen. The sound filled her, calmed her, and soothed her, but all of a sudden he stopped.

Auryon’s body jerked a bit, startled by the sudden end of the tune, and she turned her head to look up at Michael without removing it from his shoulder. She wasn’t going to say anything. When he did or didn’t hum was none of her business, but the words left her mouth anyway. “Why did you stop?” Her voice was raw from screaming, making it raspier than she normally sounded. What she noticed more, however, was the lack of feeling in it. Despite the fact that she was starting to feel more like herself, and the cold was being forced out, her voice still sounded very empty... broken.

This post has been edited by Auryon Diana Ward: Feb 23 2012, 08:13 PM

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Michael Tomsy
 Posted: Feb 23 2012, 10:42 PM
[QUOTE]
68th Games
665
posts
43 Years
Male
5'10
150 LBS
District Twelve
16-April 11 • 2380 Moneys

Meadowlark


The hand pressed to his chest made Michael only too aware of the steady thumping of his own heartbeat in the silence that filled the room in the wake of his cut off tune. Guilt lanced him as he tried to find an answer to her question. He leaned back to try and look at her, his brows furrowed.

“I don’t...” he paused. She was speaking. He should find out what had happened. He didn’t know what held him back for a moment. A reluctance to break the silence once more, the urge to continue humming until he felt more on solid ground. Especially if his melody didn’t bother her. Especially if it was helping her. But he felt too comfortable holding her, and there was danger there. He was not a safe haven for any, particularly friends. Twelve was a dangerous place for any Victor at the best of times, and his stunt had made this far from the best of times. “What happened Auryon?” he asked quietly.

She should have been safe. The Victor of Victors...from a Career District. Feral and strong and powerful...she should have been home, safe with her brother and whomever else she trusted in her life.

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Auryon Diana Ward
 Posted: Feb 24 2012, 10:31 PM
[QUOTE]
88th & 100A Games
429
posts
26 Years
Female
6'1"
184 LBS
District Four
18-April 11 • 2150 Moneys

Sonia


Pain flickered across her face, and Auryon tilted her head down again. She wanted to tell him, but now that he’d asked the question again, it all started to come back to her in flashes. Their walk. The car. Aleron hurt. Leaving him… It brought with it a fresh wave of agony, making her eyes start to burn again and her throat begin to tighten. The hand she’d flattened against Michael’s chest quickly clenched his shirt again as she fought back the emotion that was threatening to choke her and make it impossible for her to answer him. She wanted to tell him. She needed to tell him. In exchange for his warmth and temporary sanctuary, she had to tell him.

“Ryan… Ryan was…” She started softly, but the words weren’t coming out. Auryon was never a particularly eloquent speaker, but she could normally put a sentence together better than this. The flashes came again, but this time it wasn’t pain they brought. It was anger. The fury Auryon had felt came rushing back, and her muscles tensed as it filled her, giving her strength. “We were on the sidewalk!” She finally managed, voice still raw and laced with rage and pain. “We weren’t in the street! But it still… the car still hit him.” Auryon’s voice cracked with pain, despite her attempts to replace it with the anger the memories were bringing. “Seeing him lying there… hurt like that… I… I was so…” She wanted to say angry, which wasn’t a lie, but it was more than just her fury. And despite Auryon’s attempt to catch herself, she admitted it anyway. “…scared.” She whispered. The confession sucked most of the anger back out of her, letting the pain reign again. “He’s all I have… He means everything to me. And the driver… he… he tried to take him away from me.”

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Michael Tomsy
 Posted: Feb 25 2012, 12:31 AM
[QUOTE]
68th Games
665
posts
43 Years
Male
5'10
150 LBS
District Twelve
16-April 11 • 2380 Moneys

Meadowlark


The pain in her voice was difficult to hear and Michael realized he’d somehow made the wrong choice. Again. Found a way to hurt someone he was supposed to be helping. Ryan...her brother? He felt the breath freeze within him, tensing as he waited to see where this was going. Hit by a car. He closed his eyes for a moment. Please, please let him not be...

He looked at her, brows furrowing as she continued. Scared. The word seemed to echo strangely in his mind. He was no stranger to fear, and it made sense. He’d be damn scared if someone he loved was hit by a car. But Victors didn’t admit that sort of thing. Not even to each other. Maybe especially not to each other since they so rarely actually got along long enough to stay in the same room together.

Tried to take...wait...

Michael assessed the situation again as a chill ran down his spine. She seemed so afraid still. Vulnerable. And what did a predator do when it was scared and vulnerable?

It took care of the threat.

His mouth was dry as he stroked her back. Blood. Blood stains and none of it her own. He tried to muster words. He was usually so loquacious. But they wouldn’t come. There was fear, but that wasn’t what still him. At least not fear of her. Fear for her. Did that make him some sort of monster, he wondered dimly. That he couldn’t find the empathy that should have him jolting away from the woman who’d come to him in distress after realizing she’d maybe...that she’d...

Maybe he was jumping to conclusions though. That blood...maybe it was Ryan’s. If she had been near when the accident happened...and maybe she’d just run...

“Did you attack the driver?” he asked. His voice was calm and soothing, which surprised him as he was feeling anything but either of those things.

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Auryon Diana Ward
 Posted: Feb 25 2012, 01:33 AM
[QUOTE]
88th & 100A Games
429
posts
26 Years
Female
6'1"
184 LBS
District Four
18-April 11 • 2150 Moneys

Sonia


Was it really that obvious? Did everyone really know?

Of course they did. She told them again and again. She was good at the Games. She was good at murder. She wasn’t really talented at anything else. How could Michael come to any other conclusion? Hadn’t she told him in the hospital? The only reason he should have expected her to win was because she was the best killer. Sure, the blood she was covered in probably helped him come to that conclusion, but what else does a murderess do when her brother is attacked?

“Isn’t that my real talent?” She wanted it to sound bitter, but it sounded too painfully honest to have the effect she wanted. “I chased him down, and dragged him to the woods.” These flashes weren’t so clear. She didn’t remember it very well. It was all fragmented and covered in the red haze she’d fallen into. “I was so angry. So… furious at what he’d done.” Auryon told him. The cold was seeping into her again, most notably in her voice. The anger was returning, but so was the sickening feeling she’d felt when she’d first realized what she’d done. “I hunted him. I hunted him down and killed him. Slowly.” It wasn’t her style to kill like that, but she’d done it before. When she was angry. When she wanted revenge. Just like this time.

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Michael Tomsy
 Posted: Feb 25 2012, 02:40 AM
[QUOTE]
68th Games
665
posts
43 Years
Male
5'10
150 LBS
District Twelve
16-April 11 • 2380 Moneys

Meadowlark


The cold he heard in her voice seemed to be sinking into his bones. The words were painting a bloody image in his mind, fuzzy without too much detail, but still...a clear enough outline of where this song was going to lead. Not song...story. Where this story was going to lead. The ice that seemed to be crawling through his veins made him feel curiously distant from himself. The arm holding her tightened almost involuntarily. Tried to think back to her Games. There had been something hadn’t there? They were showing more highlights of Auryons first games on television now, and though he tried to avoid it every so often he’d catch a glimpse of something. Something like a girl being bled...

He didn’t need to think of that. That wasn’t the issue here. He made a sound, a murmur. Her words only clarified what he’d been thinking earlier didn’t they? Covered in blood but not her own.

“Did anyone see you?”

She killed someone. Outside of the Games. Shouldn’t that bother you? She’s right. It’s her talent. She’s dangerous. You could read it in her before this, before even the Victor Games. It was in that dangerous melody that is playing in your mind, that seems so much more complete now...as though you took a final step back and can see her truly now for the first time, not just the bits and pieces the shadows aren’t hiding, but the hunter who was always there, who won the hunger games twice. Who killed outside the hunger games...

It didn’t bother him. It should. He knew damn well it should. He could see it even bothered her.

If they didn’t want us to be killers, they shouldn’t have handed us weapons and told us to survive.

What did it matter if the killing was inside the arena or out? He’d killed four people in his Games. At twelve, four people. One he’d stabbed, letting the blade sink in deeply and feeling the blood cover his hands. Watched the life slowly sink out of the boys eyes. He could have run. But he didn’t. He should have. He should have but...

And then Jewel. He swore he’d take it back if he could...but would he? Really? Maybe that was what really haunted him. He wanted to believe he would trade her life for his, but he couldn’t, and he’d never know if he would have held that primal scream in knowing it would make her live and him die to do so. Who was he to draw lines saying who it was ‘okay’ to kill and how?

Auryon hadn’t just killed though, he tried to remind himself. She said it herself. Slowly. He should be afraid. But he felt that strange melody rising in his throat and he could barely subdue it. He was just tired. Just tired that was all. He wasn’t thinking clearly and maybe that was for the best, because she surely wouldn’t want to deal with him panicking over something that could not be changed.

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Auryon Diana Ward
 Posted: Feb 25 2012, 10:40 AM
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88th & 100A Games
429
posts
26 Years
Female
6'1"
184 LBS
District Four
18-April 11 • 2150 Moneys

Sonia


The arm around her tightened, holding her closer rather than rejecting her. Protective? Perhaps, but at the very least he wasn’t saying what she was thinking. He might agree. He had to agree because really it was a fair description. But he was either too polite or too stunned to comment.

‘Monster…’

The name whispered at the back of her mind. She’d heard it on occasion after her victory. There were plenty of Careers who knew how to kill, but Auryon was extraordinarily efficient at it. She wasn’t crazy, or bloodthirsty, or sadistic. It came very naturally to her and she was very calm about it. Something about the combination of her calm, natural talent to hunt, and high kill count made the whispers start. They’d angered her more than anything. Why did being a calm efficient killer make her a monster, but being a crazy made others amusing? She didn’t see how it was different. It irritated her, but didn’t let it bother her. Killing them hadn’t bothered her. Not even Selene. And she hardly cared what others thought of her. Aleron didn’t think of her like that, so she didn’t care.

‘What about now…’

Something twisted painfully inside her again. How? How was killing that man different from killing the eight… no, twelve people she’d killed in the arena? Why was it different? She’d hunted them too. Tortured one of them like she had the driver and none of it touched her, but this...

This was more than just hunting. More than killing to ensure her own survival. It wasn’t justified.

‘He tried to kill Ryan.’

Defense of him then? But the threat was gone. That made it revenge. And how she’d gotten her revenge made it torture. But was that really what bothered her? What she’d done to him? Not really. What was bothering her was that she’d lost control. She’d let instinct take over, and her instincts had told her body to kill. There was no conscious thought involved. She never actually made a decision to kill him. She wasn’t even really aware she was doing it.

Which is what was making it difficult to answer Michael’s question.

“I don’t know.” She admitted. It hadn’t been the question (or the reaction) she’d expected from Michael. She’d expected him to be shocked, or sickened like Auryon still felt. Not calm and checking to be sure there were no witnesses. “There were people on the street when I…” Abandoned Aleron. Went to hunt. “…left. I don’t think anyone saw me get him from the car but…” Did she want to admit it? Did she want to tell him how out of control she had been? “I didn’t really realize what I was doing.” She told him. “I was so furious. I just… let instinct take over.” And that natural response had led to her hunting down the driver. “The first thing I clearly remember is seeing him dead at my feet.” She was quiet for a moment. “No one saw me kill him.” She was pretty sure of that. “…I think would have killed them too.” That would have been her survival instinct right? Kill the witness. Could she have not noticed? Possibly, but in the state she was in, running on primal instinct alone, she would have known. She was nearly positive of that.

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