Announcements: Universe of the Month Voting! » Changes to Universe of the Week! » RPG: Season of Giving 2020 » Finding Universes to Join (and making yours more visible!) » Guide To Universes On RPG » Starter Locations & Prompts for Newbies » RPG Chat — the official app » USERNAME CHANGES » Suggestions & Requests: THE MASTER THREAD »

Latest Discussions: Universe of the Month Voting! » Surviving the post-holiday apocalypse. » SL: 1097 Bestiary of Monsters » What latest tech excites me? » A question about 'hyperspace travel' and its use as a weapon » NaNoWriMo 2020 » A vacuum salesman in the Multiverse. » Being bored at work makes you do crazy things » Question here from the FNG » Recommendations of Reading material. » Do you "follow" characters to receive notifications? » My 2 Fav Poems! » Simple Vs. Detailed RPG Layouts » Warning About Communist-Inspired Upheaval and Revolution » The Best Sentence » Universe of the Month Nominations » Universe of the Week! » The SCPF Wiki Project (not related to SCP Project in 2016) » What influences you as you write? And why? » Preventing Bitrot by Hosting Images on RPG »

Players Wanted: Veilbrand: The Revolution » Gonna do this anyway. » Looking for Kamen Rider Players » Elysium » Looking for roleplayers for a dystopian past! » Revamping Fantasy Adventure RPG, need new players » Here, At the End of the World (supernatural mystery drama) » Seeking Role Players for a TOG Based RP » so I made a Stranger Things RP idk why not come join » LFP - New Roleplay » Gifted/Mutant individuals escaping the gov » Spaceship Zero! A retro horror sci fi RP with rayguns :D » mahou shoujo rp » Avolair: Academy For The Supernatural [NEW][OPEN] » Calling for adventurers to explore Xamoyos » roleplayers wanted for shifters world. » The UCF- a (soon to be) group in the MV » Neothea: Phyrian Galaxy (Open) » Students Wanted: Arcane and Human alike » A Once Upon a Time Adventure. »

Season of Giving 2020

At the end of perhaps our craziest year yet, we choose to celebrate our writing family with that extra touch of gratitude. Tip your fellow authors for a chance to win 10,000 INK, with leaderboards updated daily.

Merry Christmas from RPG! 🎅

0
followers
follow

Harlan Talbot

"You do what you gotta do."

0 · 387 views · located in BlackWater

a character in “Last Of The Revenants”, as played by Kaeru

Description

Image

ImageXXXXImage

"Keep your nose outta my business and I'll keep my foot outta your ass, how 'bout it?"

Image
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
ImageFULLXNAME
Harlan William Talbot

NICKNAME(s)
None to speak of.

AGE
Forty-four (44)

ROLE
Hunter

SEXUALITY
Heterosexual

ETHNICITY
Caucasian

HOMETOWN
BlackWater

HEX
#96cca5 / #63b077

Image
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
ImageSTYLE
Harlan has an intentionally simplistic wardrobe for the purpose of maintaining a complete emotional detachment from its contents. He doesn't have a favourite shirt or pair of bottoms, nor does he wear anything that could distinguish him from the everyday BlackWater resident. Everything he owns can be discarded and replaced when necessary. He may even soak and re-wear the same outfit for weeks at a time while on the road. He opts for cotton shirts (typically stained and smelling strongly of alcohol) with a leather coat or duster, black bottoms and black boots.

HEIGHT
185-190cm (6'0 - 6'2)

APPEARANCE
Harlan isn't exactly hard on the eyes by most people's standards. There's a certain rugged handsomeness to him and it's not hard to see that he was quite a looker in his younger years. He is definitely getting on a bit in age, although he still has an impressive figure for a man in his forties. His muscles may lack definition but he's brawny enough to give off the obvious impression of strength. His hair sits in a perpetually tousled mess, often left uncombed after nights of restless slumber. Streaks of grey now lighten hairs that were once jet black, most noticeably on the sides, and his beard is almost entirely white. He is also beginning to develop some wrinkles around his hazel-green eyes, which is most apparent in the early mornings or when he has been drinking particularly heavily.

OTHER
Harlan's torso displays the scars of a near-death encounter with one of the creatures he now hunts. With a single swipe, the wendigo had split his garments as well as the flesh beneath it. The deep grooves of these long-healed scars stretch from the upper right of his chest to the lower left of his abdomen.

Image
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
ImageLIKES
○ His best friend, Chief, who he adopted six years ago. The dog has inherited a great many of his traits and he cherishes it more than his own son at times.
○ Alcohol, particularly whiskey although he'll settle for anything if the urge is strong enough. He's very rarely seen without his flask.
○ Teasing people and pushing their buttons. Their reactions are amusing to him, especially when they are otherwise stoic in nature. Arthur is his favourite target.

APPRECIATED QUALITIES IN OTHERS
○ A crude sense of humour
○ Willingness to challenge bullshit
○ Enough sense to stay out of his personal business

DISLIKES
○ The assumption that all hunters desire to protect civilians - he despises people who are weak-willed and unable to fend for themselves.
○ The law and those who enforce it. He's a firm believer that people shouldn't be so strictly governed or have to adhere to social etiquette for fear of having their freedoms stripped from them.
○ Boredom, which admittedly isn't fun for anyone, but he becomes increasingly more agitated the longer he goes without any stimulation.

Image
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
ImagePERSONALITY
Harlan lives honestly, although perhaps not in the most conventional sense. He is, always has been, and always will be openly and shamelessly himself. There is a certain sincerity to every action, thought process, and displayed emotion that gives him the air of a man whose motivations can be trusted implicitly — whether to the benefit or detriment of those around him.

That being said, Harlan's personality can be polarising. Arthur would say that his father possesses a rather spectacular talent for pissing people off without even trying, and it's pretty true. His deadpan sense of humour and deeply-ingrained cynicism make for an unfortunate combination, worsened further by a complete lack of filter. Although, be that as it may, there is no real malicious intent behind anything that comes out of his mouth, unless of course it's truly deserved. In most cases, Harlan just likes to joke around, and appreciates those who can follow suit.

Having spent a great deal of his life as a criminal, merely out to survive this world in all its rotten glory, Harlan's moral compass is... a little skewed. Protecting his own has always been his utmost priority, as it will continue to be long after he's dead and buried. If he has to partake in some not-so-legal activities in pursuit of that purpose, so be it. He takes no pleasure in it and, to some small credit, he offers as much respect to others as the situation allows. He'll take only what's needed and attempt to avoid violence wherever possible. Harlan isn't an asshole for the sake of being one, but it's fair to say that he's developed something of a knack for detaching himself from all emotional aspects of his decision-making. God only knows how much more of a mess he'd be if he allowed himself to feel guilty for even a fraction of what he's done.

Beneath Harlan's rugged exterior is a man entirely broken by the shitty hand he was dealt in life; who perhaps has a bit of a track record for not processing his feelings in the best of ways. He wasn't always so cynical, but a person can only be fucked over so many times before they lose the capacity to trust and love and care. To say that Harlan is exhausted would be a massive understatement. Still, he always picks himself up, dusts himself off, and carries the fuck on. He owes as much to his son.
Image
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
ImageSTRENGTHS
Perhaps one of the most apparent things that set Harlan apart from other Hunters is his significant wealth of experience; painfully accrued over the (almost) three decades since he took up the profession. The combined efforts of beast and mankind alike have not yet bested him; he has survived more than most humans could even fathom. He displays excellent judgement when approaching most situations, as well as the innate ability to learn quickly and adapt to his surroundings. He carries a machete at his hip for situations that require close-quarters combat, in which he can handle himself decently well, but his speciality truly lies with the sniper rifle. His aim is frighteningly accurate, as it should be after such extensive training. In conjunction with this skill, he has mastered the art of hiding in plain sight and knows how to move silently and quickly, should he need to reposition himself. Overall, Harlan is more the type to begrudgingly settle into a supporting role within any group or pair. He is the unseeable threat of an instant and untimely demise that can unnerve even the most iron-willed of enemies.

FLAWS
Harlan's worst enemy in this world is himself. He is an unmotivated and uncaring individual who won't often pull his weight for the betterment of others. This makes him unreliable at the best of times and due to his particular set of skills, it means that he is very rarely of any use to others nowadays. He simply... doesn't care. To make matters worse, he had turned to alcohol in the past decade or so as a way to cope with his emotional burdens and thus became an alcoholic. Aside from the smell that lingers on his clothing, it's not outwardly apparent since he usually only drinks enough to calm the shakes and stave off the withdrawal. The symptoms at their worst may include anxiety attacks, vomiting, and migraines; but most of the time he simply seems distracted or on edge. He is an addict before he is anything else and there is little that comes before these urges. It's difficult to gauge whether or not he feels any shame regarding this flaw but if other aspects of his personality are being considered, it is assumed that he doesn't. Harlan knows that he's not a likeable person and he doesn't care to present himself in any other light.
Image
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
XXXXXXXX
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
ImageHISTORY
The cruel and scattered life of a hunter is the only one Harlan has ever truly known. He was born into it and raised to follow suit, whether he realised it or not. His father, Arlo, was a timid excuse for a man. Always had been. Gwen, his mother, was entirely the opposite. Loud-mouthed and violent, she latched onto Arlo and took him for everything he was worth, which happened to be a great deal. She made off with all his savings and nine months later, returned to drop a newly-born babe at his door with a note that read: "I didn't ask for this shit, you take care of it."

For the first few years of Harlan's life, he knew only neglect. It wasn't intentional neglect, and definitely bore no malicious intent, but Harlan was not cared for as a child should be. If Arlo could stay sober long enough to remember to feed the kid, it was a miracle. Too young to steal, he spent much of his younger life malnourished and sickly, and sometimes managed to catch and kill small rodents on the property. He was raised wild, that's the only way to truly describe it. His situation only worsened when Arlo took a lover; a hairy beast of a man with a mean temper, of which Harlan typically bore the brunt.

When he was around 5-6 years of age, as Harlan understands it, his aunt and uncle returned from their travels. This marks the point in his life where things seemed to be turning around, since they promptly took over as his guardians and understandably shunned Arlo for his mistreatment of the kid. His uncle, Bruce, wasn't much of a fighter to say the least, but he was well-learned and far too intelligent for his own good. He spent much of his time teaching Harlan to read and write. His aunt, Karen, was the heavy muscle of the family, who taught him to brawl in close-quarters and shoot a gun. He had a handful of cousins, ranging from 3-15 years of age, and he settled in amongst them with ease.

Harlan was 15 when he went on his first official hunt, from which he was very lucky to return, but not without a nasty scar covering much of his torso. He only went on a few more hunts with his family, before striking out on his own.

He ran with a small crew for a couple of decades, doubling as both a hunter and a prolific criminal. One thing you can say about Harlan is that he's travelled everywhere and anywhere a person possibly can, and survived more shit than most living humans can boast about. For the longest time, he felt absolutely untouchable, and feared very little as a result. What caused his downfall, however, was falling in love. He doesn't regret it, even to this day, but there's a lot he would change about the way he dealt with those feelings. For one thing, he wouldn't have run from it. He would've stayed, settled down, and been around to raise his son. As it stands, by some bizarre twist of fate, he's been given a chance to make up for those lost years, but he's not the same man he used to be. In fact, he's pretty much at rock bottom.


Image

So begins...

Harlan Talbot's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Ingles Character Portrait: Addie Meadowsweet Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Kaeru
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

"A week."

"I know."

"Seven days."

"I know."

"You know, you know, of course you don't fucking know," Arthur barked, fidgeting impatiently against the cowhide saddle of his mare. Seven whole days on the road without a single opportunity to wash up. Sometimes he envied his father's ability to live in his own filth without a care. Arthur could feel a layer of sweat and dirt beginning to coat his entire body; the skin of his cheeks and forehead becoming reddened from the constant friction of his handkerchief. He'd taken to picking at his nails in an attempt to clear them of dirt but in his urgency, he'd caused a fair few of them to split from the skin and bleed. Worse than that, his clothing had already developed an unpleasant odour. He'd discarded an unreasonable amount of sweat and blood-soaked clothing on their trip which was, as Harlan had jested, a wonderful little trail that any nearby Wendigo could use to track them down.

"Yes I do fuckin' know," the older Hunter repeated in a mocking tone, "'cause you've been whingin' about it for five of those seven days and frankly, at this rate, one of us is not makin' it back to that god damned town." A little harsh perhaps but Arthur wasn't one to openly challenge his father past a certain point of frustration. Harlan's brows were pinched together, hazel-green eyes focused only on the road ahead. If he'd judged things correctly, they would likely make it to Blackwater for their supply run within the hour, given their pace on horseback. Since his son had fallen silent, he figured it would be a rather peaceful journey from that point onward.

Dawn was beginning to break when they finally hitched their horses and, as per routine, Arthur began to unpack their supplies while Harlan went to arrange a room for the night. If there was time enough to be picky, he usually preferred to rent a room above or nearby a pub. In this instance, it was above. He could spend his evening with a whiskey glass in his hand and Arthur could go do... whatever Arthur liked to do. It was cheaper to rent a single room between them but Arthur would usually be passed out by the time Harlan returned in the early morning.

Harlan set his bags down by one of the two beds and took a moment to stretch his arms out, clicking his shoulders and back with a grunt of relief. "Right, I'm heading downstairs then," he announced, clapping his calloused hands together. Arthur's eyes found his father then, his lips pursed as he bit back words of disapproval. There were many things he wanted to say in that moment but they had repeated this particular conversation so many times in recent years that there almost wasn't any point - the judgement didn't help his father, sometimes it only made things worse. Still, Arthur was honest to a fault and could never quite manage to hide his true feelings on the topic. He turned his head without a word and began to rummage through one of his bags. Even without speaking, that said a lot.

It wasn't worth the argument, Harlan figured. They'd both spent far too long on the road together and the alone time would do them some good, not to mention he was itching for a drink. His flask had run empty the day before, despite his repeated attempts to ration his supply. He was heading out of the door when the stench first hit him; it didn't take long for the smell of Wendigos to permeate the entire room. Both men paused for a moment or two. "Well shit... that's gotta break some sort of a personal record, right?" Arthur murmured, gingerly peaking through a semi-open gap in the curtains. He got a decent view of it but only for a second. "One. Heading this way." Harlan instinctively grabbed his gun from beside the bed and joined Arthur at the window, though his eyes were scanning everything but the Wendigo. He wouldn't be of any use if it got too close to him; he needed a place to set up outside, preferably a rooftop or a window across the street. "You know the drill, yeah?" he whispered, pointing towards the door. "Take the machete and distract it while I sneak out. I need a clear shot."

Arthur didn't need to be told twice. His long legs allowed him to clear the room in two strides and he emerged from it to hear sounds of a commotion on the ground floor. People evacuating? he thought. He raced through the corridor as quickly as his legs could carry him, rounded the corner and cleared the staircase. As he did so, he surveyed the remaining patrons, some of whom were ducking behind makeshift barriers. Good idea. He dropped to a crouch and followed suit by tilting a table on its side, machete in one hand and his pistol in another. He eyed the people beside him, gesturing with his hand to capture their attention for a moment. "Sniper support across the street," he told them. "If we can get it out of here."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Ingles Character Portrait: Temperance Wheeler Character Portrait: Addie Meadowsweet Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: David Arthurs Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis Character Portrait: Josephine Wyatt
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
Image

Image
Image

Revenant // Attire // Hex: #800000

Image
Image

Scarlet remained silent as she observed the others getting behind overturned tables and other forms of protection, taking in the fact that they could at least follow simple orders. For now anyway. Just wait for things to start going south, and that's when things would fall apart. Hysteria and panic would take over and common sense would fly out the window. It always did. That is just one of the things that Scarlet found working around commonfolk, they let their fight or flight instincts take over, more often being flight and not caring about others. In her time, she had seen countless people push aside their supposed loved ones and make a run for it from a Wendigo or skinwalker, only to be killed in the end. Something she often questioned why loyalty went in scenarios like that. But then she had to remember, fear was a powerful thing, but that was something she hadn't let control her in years. She couldn't afford to.

Turning her head to look at the woman that she knew by now was the proper barkeep, she eyed the woman's weapon. Simple shotgun, but it would do more than nothing, or even a simple pistol. Thinking for a moment, before she dug around in one of her pockets, retrieving four golden color, rectangular and rounded objects. Handing them to the woman Scarlet spoke in a hushed voice, "Use those only when you have to. They won't kill them, but they'll do the trick when you most need them. So be smart with them." she said with a simple nod. They were normal shotgun shells but had one small difference. They weren't sold on the market to any average joe. Nor could they be bought in any black market or underground system. Revenants handmade them and more often than not kept a plentiful amount of hand, only if they knew for certain that they had the proper amount of ingredients for the buckshots. In this case, Scarlet knew she had at least eight left now, after giving the other woman four. She'd have to be careful and sparing with the ammo for now.

Looking around the tavern, Scarlet took into account how many people were left, all with weapons of their own. She knew they wouldn't do much against what was to come, but all that mattered was that they had something, anything to defend themselves at this point. If they could at least offer up a distraction or stall that left room for the Hunters and Revenants, that's all that mattered. Have enough of a window of time, that's all they needed. Her eyes darted around the saloon once more, and stopped as her eyes caught something from the back end of the saloon. A familiar face was poking around the corner, seeming to be looking for something, or someone. Scarlet knew full well, cursing under her breath she carefully and quickly maneuvered across the tavern and down the hallway where the person was. As Scarlet turned down the hallway that was off to the side, she was immediately pulled into a side room by some unknown force. By natural instinct, Scarlet reached for the pistol by her side, but soon found herself taking a deep breath as a familiar face stared her down. "Jesus Christ, Victoria. What the hell is wrong with you? Next time at least say something before you just pull me aside. You know what's out there-"

"I don't give a fuck. You really don't get it, do you? Three years, and now you're just back. Acting like nothing happened." Victoria said with a sour tone. Scarlet sighed softly as she was berated once more. She knew what was going to come, and she knew full well that Victoria had a point, and it was very well made. But now wasn't the time for this. Scarlet had to get back to the front of the saloon, the smell and feeling of dread was only looming closer by the second. They were running out of time. "I know, and I will explain everything. I promise. But now, now is not the time for this, Victoria. After this is over, I will explain everything. I promise. You just need to go and hide with the others...You'll know when it's safe to come out. Just, stay safe...Please" the Revenant said with a slight tone of fear and sadness in her voice. Showing that she at least did still genuinely care. The other woman simply nodded begrudgingly and began to make her way back to the others, before stopping and turning once more, "You just better come back in one piece this time, you hear me?" she called out, Scarlet gave a small nod, and a shadow of a smile appeared on her face for a moment before she turned and walked back down the hallway. Things would end differently this time, it had to.

Within a few short seconds, Scarlet was back in the main room of the tavern, as an unfamiliar face quickly ran down the stairs with a weapon in his hand, explaining how there was someone up on the roof as backup support. The revenant gave him a cold nod as her greyed eyes scanned him over for a minute. If she didn't know any better, he would easily be one to be looked over in a crowd. But she knew the way that people carried themselves, how he was dressed and the expression he bore. Hunter. But how much he could be counted on remained to be seen. It was evident enough that the creatures had made their way into town, as screams and gunshots rang out over the town. Perfect, just perfect.

"I'd assume you all know what to do. Don't get careless or reckless. And for the love of god, do not get stupid." she said coldly as she looked at the others, before crouching back down behind the table as loud and heavy footsteps were making their way to the saloon. And then silence. Except for the screams and cries of those outside, the footsteps stopped just right outside of those slatted saloon doors. There was nothing between them and the beast except for the tables, which wouldn't do much in the long run. Give them a few extra seconds before they'd have to run or be on their feet.

Scarlet took in a deep breath, taking into account of how many there were. Normally wendigos stayed by themselves, rarely ever being more than one at a time. Nevermind the number that she assumed, simply based off the scent alone. It was far too strong to just be one, nevermind two. Scarlet looked around, seeing who she could at least make silent eye-contact with. Holding up three fingers so the others could see. Hoping they understood what she was trying to get across without words.

Peering through one of the small cracks in the table, Scarlet was able to see the skeletal form of the creature. Its slender and boney arm slowly outstretched, pushing the saloon doors open as it shuffled its all too large and gangly sized form into the building. The creature had to keep its hunched over stature as he crept around the saloon, sniffing the air as its twitchy movements of the head took action. It was looking for some sign of prey. Observing its movements helped her better understand what kind it was. It was slower, more dependant on scent and feeling around for things as it evidently felt one of the walls with its all too long and boney hand. Scarlet could have sworn she felt her heart drop as the creature slowly passed by where she was hiding, and quickly tilted its head to look at her. Its glazed over eyes scanning intently, but seemed to be looking over them all. Which was proven as Scarlet raised her hand in front of the creature's face, and waved her hand. The only reaction that was given was the beast shuffled along further into the back, as if looking for something in particular. Especially as it continued to smell around certain objects. It was hunting something, or more so someone, but why? And more importantly, who?

She could have sworn she felt her heart sink even more as the creature began to slowly make its way to the hallway which lead to the backrooms and the bathing rooms of the saloon. Scarlet wasn't about to let that thing just waltz over to the defenseless people, not like this. Scarlet knew better, but she couldn't stop herself as she rose to her feet and crept around from the tables as silently as she could. Reaching around behind her, she retrieved her shotgun, checking to make sure there were shells. Four. Perfect. Stepping back, there was a loud creak of one of the older floorboards beneath her feet. Giving off her position. The Wendigo shot its head over to her direction, letting out a blood-curdling scream, it blindly scrambled over the tables and the others that were hiding to make its way to its target.

As the wendigo scrambled over closely, Scarlet gave a nod to the others, quickly firing off a single round into the beast as it enclosed its proximity to her. All the buckshot managed to do was stall the beast for a moment, and it was quickly lunging towards her once more, slamming her through the doors of the saloon and out into the street with incredible strength and speed. Scarlet didn't know what she felt first. The ice-cold boney hand of wendigo on her, or the feeling of being flung out of the saloon doors like a tin can and tossed into the street. The air was knocked out of her lungs as she hit the hard ground of the dirt street that she found herself laying on. Trying to gasp for air, weakly getting to her feet, Scarlet scrambled to regain her weapon that had been forced out of her hand and scattered to the other side of the street. But within seconds the Wendigo was upon her again, sinking its teeth into her shoulder, which caused Scarlet to let out a blood-curdling scream.

"Get the fuck off of me, you bastard." the revenant exclaimed, gripping the wendigo's shoulder and tried forcing it off of her. The wendigo didn't seem to care and only continued to sink its teeth further and further into her shoulder, beginning to pierce the bone. Scarlet wasn't going to let herself be eaten alive or be torn to shreds by a damn beast, not like this. Not like some rabid dog in the street. But she didn't know what happened first, the all too loud and familiar sound of an incinerary buckshot hitting the beast or the second the beast let go of her shoulder. But Scarlet quickly scrambled away from the beast as it recoiled in the flames that quickly overtook its body. She knew it would only last a few seconds and then the flames would quickly go out, "Aim for its head when on fire it's their weak spot!" she exclaimed, not expecting anyone to pay much attention as her eyes finally focused on the panic and chaos that took place in the streets.

Countless bodies laid strewn across the street. Half-eaten and dismembered by the other beasts blood-thirsty rampage. Scarlet got back to her feet as quickly as she could, grasping her shoulder for a moment, blood quickly covered her entire hand as the warm liquid oozed out from the grizzly wound on her shoulder. Just what she needed, Scarlet cursed to herself. Looking up to the rooftops, a few figures were seen. Obviously the backup that the the younger man had told her about earlier. But that on the roof of the saloon, so who was the one above one of the other stores? Scarlet didn't have much time to venture a guess, but she didn't much care to know, all she knew was that the figure was firing upon the wendigos whenever she had to chance to, something she could at least be grateful for. But something felt off about the figure, something Scarlet knew all too well. Another Revenant. At least there was a few others, as something always seemed to alert Revenants whenever another was around. Something she never fully got over. But now wasn't the time to dwell on this.

Scarlet managed to retrieve her shotgun, and as she took aim for one of the other wendigos, as best as she could with her now injured shoulder, something came from outside of her eyesight and slammed into her. The force alone was strong enough to fling her into the windows of one of the stores. The sound of glass and wood crashing and breaking under her weight and the force at which she was tossed so carelessly was the only thing she was able to take in. Letting out a small groan as she rolled onto her back as she laid on the floor of the building she was now in. Today really wasn't her day, and she was slowly growing tired of it. After a moment, Scarlet slowly rolled onto her side, and staggered to her feet, gripping her shoulder which now had fragments of shattered glass and wood now in the fresh wound. Cursing under her breath, Scarlet looked around her new environment. From the looks of it there were shelves with all kinds of varied items. She was in some sort of store. Figures.

The revenant let out a sigh, retrieving one of her pistols from her hip. She was slowly running out of patience. Looking to the side as she remembered hearing what sounded like a scream from behind the counter earlier. There was a rather young looking girl hidden behind the counter. Scarlet let out a small sigh and shake of her head, "I doubt you know how to use this, but it's better than nothing." she said rather coldly, tossing the pistol to the shopkeeper. "I'm going to want that back later though." Scarlet said, her tone lightened up slightly, giving a small wink to the girl before she turned and jumped out of the shattered and broken hole in the wall that used to be a large, glass bay window.

Her feet hit the wooden floorboards of the porch of the line of buildings she was on. Looking around Hunters were now out in full force as they shot at the beasts. From above and the street. Scarlet just wished this was already over. She didn't know if it was the pain in her shoulder or the fact that all she wanted was a peaceful drink at the local taverns. She just really wanted this to be over and done with. Eyeing her shotgun that was in the middle of the street, she quickly retrieved it, and hid alongside the side of one of the buildings. Swapping the regular buckshots for the other ammo she had with her. If only she could have gotten to her horse would she have been able to get her fire jars, but she didn't have the time for that. Keeping her head low and out of sight, only taking shots at the Wendigos when she had the opportunity to. This was going to be a long day, and an even longer night.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
ImageImageImageImage


Darcy is fast, but few things are faster than a wendigo. Dacy had barely been able to regain solid footing, pulling the long hunting knife she kept tucked through her belt loop free, before the creature was lunging for her again. This time she was more prepared, waiting as long as she dared to pivot away with a parting slash that did little real damage, but left the creature rearing back and hissing it’s fury. This was a delicate dance she led, lunge, slash, spin away, and purely defensive in nature. Darcy had to buy time, there was no winning against a wendigo up close like this, much less two. She’d been careful to whirl her movements as far away from the smoldering wendigo she’d hit earlier as the street would allow. It was currently injured, but Darcy wasn’t fool enough to think that made her safe from it. Still, with flames cracking across it’s charred and flaking skin, her knife would have stood a better chance. Darcy’s satchel was less than fifteen feet away, taunting her with its contents, but it was less than useless to her unless she could get a moment to break away. For now, it was all she could do to keep the monster’s teeth from tearing into her flesh, because she sure as shit wasn’t ending up anyone’s goddamn snack today! Where the fuck is Benji?!

---

In the midst of all the chaos down below, Harlan knew he would have to prioritise a target; in other words, decide who to help. Even with his experience and skill, he was no miracle worker. Singling out the most available opportunity with a shot that counted was his absolute best bet for taking one of these bastards down. From atop the saloon, his eyes scanned as much of the immediate area as he could in a matter of seconds but it was more than enough to gauge which angles were already covered. One firing from the rooftop across the way, several more on the street, and Arthur peeking from one of the saloon’s windows. The one among them he deemed to be in the most amount of potential danger was, as he could make out, a blonde-haired woman - easily in her twenties. Human? He thought. A hunter, at least, but mortal enough.

Harlan lifted his rifle with the butt of it resting against his shoulder and lowered his head enough to peer through the scope. Inhaling deeply, he held the breath in his lungs to steady his aim, allowing himself adequate time to line up the shot. He fired once but it didn’t connect, meriting a curse of impatience from the Hunter. He leaned his rifle to the side, clutching it with his right hand while the left reached for another round from his belt. Loading it into the port as quickly as his hands would allow it, he cocked it and repeated the process. Aim, inhale, take the shot. This time, the bullet connected with the rear of the Wendigo’s head and he watched as its legs gave out.

---

A shot rang out overhead, whizzing past a little too close for comfort as it shattered the window of the small shop across from her. The clatter of falling glass turned out to be a godsend though, as the wendigo turned toward the noise, and leapt at the wall. Not one to waste an opportunity, Darcy dead sprinted to her fallen satchel, eyes shooting up to scan the rooftop as she went, finding the figure of a man perched atop Addie’s saloon. His rifle was pointed with clear intent, and as her eyes raked across him, it was obvious the man was a hunter, the lines of his body poised with too much ease and confidence in a situation like this to be anything else. That was comforting, especially as the sounds coming from nearby streets meant any other potential backup was otherwise occupied. If they both made it out of this alive, Darcy was going to owe that man a drink.

Darcy had rummaged out a second jar, and a match from her tinder box when she heard the second shot, this one connecting with its intended target. It was a solid hit, but it wouldn’t keep the monster down long. It was enough time for Darcy to light a match and ignite the rag. Her eyes flicked back to the man on the roof. So far this guy was a fifty-fifty shot. Not the best odds to bet on, but she’d rolled the dice on worse. Standing up from her bag, Darcy let out a long whistle, trying to catch his eye. Carefully waving the jar once-twice, trying to convey her intent so he’d be ready, Darcy threw the jar at the Wendigo whose attention had been caught by the sound as well. Flames erupted on impact, and the Wendigo let loose a shrill, almost human, scream. Darcy gripped her knife tightly at the ready in case this guy turned out to be a lousy shot.

---

There was a momentary break in the action that Harlan exploited in order to reload his rifle once more; he reckoned he had at least a few seconds to spare while the creature was stunned and an extra round prepared ahead of time could only serve to aid him. He was just beginning to reposition the rifle when a whistle rang through the air. While it had successfully captured his attention, as surely it was meant to, he set his jaw and expelled an impatient huff of air from his nostrils. If they were lucky, that same whistle wouldn’t have attracted too much unwanted attention, but Harlan had never been a particularly fortunate man.

He searched for the woman’s location again as she had clearly taken advantage of the distraction and put a bit of distance between herself and the beast. His eyes were drawn to the brightness of the flame in her hand, noted the gesture that accompanied it, and offered a slow nod of approval. “Good girl,” he drawled under his breath, lifting the rifle and peering through the scope for his third (and hopefully his last) shot at the beast. Harlan sucked in a lungful of cold morning air in the same second that the jar collided with the wendigo, and he held it there as he poured every ounce of his focus into aiming at the creature’s head. The only downside to this tactic, he noted, was that it was exceptionally harder to line up an accurate shot when his target was literally ablaze. He didn’t feel too much of a time pressure though. This woman was only a stranger, after all, and he’d seen more than enough unfortunate deaths to know that… well, shit just happens sometimes.

When Harlan was sure he had the best possible shot in sight, he pulled the trigger with near instant reaction speed, then allowed all the breath to escape him at once. It took a second for his eyes to catch up with the scene below but he was pretty sure he’d done a damn fine job of it when the wendigo tumbled over itself before collapsing on the ground in a heap of burnt flesh and gangly limbs. A direct shot to the head he figured, but just in case, he kept his eyes on it for a moment or two longer. When he was satisfied that the damned thing was staying down this time, he lowered his gun slightly. Freeing up one of his hands, he waved his arm high enough to hopefully capture her attention in return, then pointed in the opposite direction - a gesture which told her to get the fuck out of there while she still could.

---
Image
ImageImageImageImage

“No go back! We can’t just-SHE’S STILL OUT THERE!” Benji was many times stronger than the boy wailing in his arms, but in a situation like this, that didn’t really matter. Distress oozed from the boy’s every pore, a noxious mix of snot and tears leaking down his chin as his uncooperative limbs scrambled to break free and rush back to the burning heap that had been his mother. This child’s world had just imploded, his life ripped to the core and the wound lay bare and open. Rational thought was beyond him in this moment, words unlikely to sooth.

He was almost too big for it, but unnatural strength had its advantages as he gathered the boy up in a proper grip. Small arms snaked around Benji’s shoulders, and his tear streaked face, snot and all, found a home in the crook of Benji’s neck. It was a gesture of comfort, and a promise of safety. Benji couldn’t restore the dead to life, but he could give this, just letting him be held. It couldn’t fix what was wrong with the world, but it was something, and Benji felt something in the child’s soul ease, if just a little.

“Your mother would not want you to die.” He whispered softly into the boy’s curls, gently patting his shoulders as he crept through the narrow alleyway, looking for a safer hiding spot for the boy. He didn’t want to leave a child alone in clear distress, but his sister was still out there as well, and she was going to need help.

“She needs you to live and grow up into the man you tried to be today. One day, you will be brave and strong, and the kind of man who protects others, and she’ll be so proud of you. But you have to live.” Benji murmured as the sobs died down to whimpers. He wanted to say more, but was startled to realize they were not alone. Silver eyes whipped to the opening of the alleyway they’d taken shelter in, alert and steely as he spied the wendigo, charred flesh practically dripping down its frame, stalk in after them. Benji should have sensed him sooner, but he’d been distracted. That was foolish. Wendigos are hunters, and he’s singled out this child as his prey. The sounds of weeping had surely made a convenient trail to follow, but it was too late now to change things. At least it is already injured, that will have to make up for the terrain. Benji thought grimly, as he adjusted the protective hold to the child in his arms, and reached for the knife in his belt with his dominant hand.

---

Arthur was very rarely the sort of guy who ever lost his cool in chaotic situations, or struggled to keep track of his surroundings, but what took place in that saloon had become a blur in his mind. One second they were perched behind cover, waiting for the right moment to strike, and in the second, he was left to watch in stunned silence as the red-haired woman was thrown through the doors with the wendigo at her heel. He hesitated for a moment, clutching the machete so tightly in his fist that his knuckles had turned white. The nervousness was beginning to settle in, he knew. Another moment more and his feet were carrying him forward on nothing but pure instinct. He crashed through the saloon doors, skidding to a halt in the street. By that point, the woman was already on her feet and firing at the wendigo, and it was only in this moment that Arthur truly took note of her appearance. God only knows how he hadn’t noticed it earlier, but nonetheless he felt slightly better about her chances.

He allowed himself a moment to survey the rest of the street, catching a glimpse of a man in the near distance with a child wrapped up in his arms. Arthur’s concern prompted a soft frown as he watched them enter a nearby alleyway; an expression which hardened significantly when one of the wendigos stalked in after them. Arthur wasn’t one to abandon anyone who needed his help - he simply couldn’t abide by it - but it was his mother who told him that he should always protect those who most need it. By his eyes, even if the man was capable of fighting such a monster, he would be severely hindered by the presence of a child. If any harm befell the youngster in a situation Arthur could’ve easily prevented, it would eat away at him for longer than he cared to deal with. Instead of running straight ahead, he split and made for the alleyway. At its entrance, he caught sight of the wendigo’s back. It was staring straight ahead, eyes locked on its prey. Arthur could just about see the man from before, kneeling ahead, and the child still in his arms.

Hey!” he called, eyes focused on the wendigo as its head snapped around to look at him. Arthur already had his pistol drawn in one hand, still grasping the machete his father had lent him in the other, and he waved both arms to further hold the monster’s attention. He whistled once, then lifted his gun and fired a shot at its leg. Its mouth tore open and from it came an inhuman screech of pain that bellowed and bounced off the walls of the alleyway. The wendigo turned fully and launched into a sprint, closing the distance between itself and the Hunter in what felt like barely a second. Even Arthur wasn’t prepared for the speed of the attack as it tackled him to the ground, causing him to land awkwardly on his right shoulder and cry out in pain. He even dropped the machete in his momentary panic. The creature was on top of him instantly, claws splayed and reaching for him. If he didn’t end this in the next couple of seconds, he’d be dead.

Arthur, still laying on his back, raised the gun into the air and shot three times in quick succession. Once in the chest, another in the throat, and finally the last of them was a dead shot through the eye. The wendigo stumbled for a moment before collapsing to the side of him, its low growl petering into silence. Christ…” he whispered under his breath, allowing himself a moment to breathe before he even attempted to move.

Eventually, he picked himself up off the ground with a strained grunt, leaving the machete where it had fallen. He clutched at his shoulder and exhaled shakily, fingers feeling around for the extent of the injury. He could roll the joint easy enough but he figured he’d still end up with a fierce bruise from the impact. It could have been a lot worse, so he was thankful for that at least.

His eyes settled on the pair at last, specifically the youngster still clutched in the older man’s arms, and his expression shifted from one of discomfort to visible concern. “Is he hurt?” he asked, beginning the cautiously slow walk to their position.

---

The wendigo’s frame was taunt, it’s haunches curled with clear intent to lunge. Benji shifted the grip on his knife, angling the child away for better ease to toss him to safety in case he needed to grapple with the beast with both hands. It never came to that though. The man who arrived in the alley was tall, with eyes that glistened like two river stones washed bright by the creek on a sunny afternoon. It was a strange thing to notice given the circumstances, but it was there all the same. Benji watched transfixed a moment, a sharp whistle leaving the man’s lips as he vied for the creature’s attention. The monster obliged, and Benji was snapped out of his momentary reverie by the sound of a gunshot, and the realization this man was about to be torn apart. The bellowing screech was all the warning either of them had, and between one blink and the next, the wendigo was on top of him. For a shuddering heartbeat, Benji was convinced he’d be too late to stop it. He was fast, but even revenant speed couldn’t deposit the boy a safe distance and make it back across the alley to pull the wendigo off him before the creature sunk its teeth into the man’s neck.

That too, like Benji’s knife, proved to be unnecessary. This man was a warrior, and he saved himself. Three shots, precise and button neat finished the job, and the creature collapsed. Benji approached cautiously as the man gathered himself up. He inspected the creature first, adjusting the body slightly with his foot to check for all the signs it was truly dead. Between the fire damage, and the bullet wounds, Benji was confident the monster had breathed its last. His eyes flicked back to the man as he spoke.


“Not physically.” Benji replied with a careful look at the child in his arms who’d gone concerning quiet. Small shivers had begun to wrack his shoulders, and Benji began rubbing gentle circles on his back in a wordless gesture of comfort. It reminded him of what Darcy would do when he was small and scared, and the world was loud. Benji didn’t know much about children, but it seemed like the right thing to do. “Though it seems you can not say the same.” Benji frowned as he noticed the stiff pain in his shoulder. Striding forward without warning, Benji leaned forward to inspect where he’d been hurt. Carefully peeling back the lapel and shirt collar in the way, Benji ran gentle fingers along injured skin as he assessed the damage.

"You took quite the pounding there. No penetration though.That's good." Benji reasoned with a smile, nodding his approval as he noted at least an absence of blood. “I’m Benji Lewis.” He offered by way of greeting.

“And this is…” Turning his gaze back down to the child in invitation, he watched the boy’s eyes shift to the man who stepped in to help them, and hold there as well. “Simon Grey.” He replied softly, a little lost as he clung to Benji’s side.

---

It wasn’t until the distance between them closed that Arthur was afforded a more generous look at the stranger; the eyes in particular stealing much of his initial focus. A second Revenant? He mused, fighting against the shudder that threatened to rake up his spine. This whole situation reeked of something strange and foreboding, and Arthur very much doubted this would be the end of his poor luck. That wasn’t important at the moment, however, as his gaze fixed on the weeping child. He knew all too well what it felt like to be in that position but he cut that train of thought short before it took hold of him completely.

When the man’s attention returned to Arthur, specifically the injury he’d sustained, he offered a foolishly nonchalant shrug (ignoring the pain it brought) and began to form the words ‘I’m fine,’ until suddenly the collar of his shirt was being stripped back to expose the bare flesh of his shoulder. Arthur’s breath caught in his throat, the unspoken words caught on his ever-so-slightly pursed lips. He felt fingers brushing against the yet unbruised skin but for some reason the pain wasn’t registering in the same way it had before; that is to say, it was barely even noticeable. He had become engrossed in the very presence of this stranger. Whether it was the fact that he’d never been so physically close to a Revenant before or something else entirely, Arthur couldn’t quite comprehend what had caused such a lack of composure.

He’s talking to you, moron. Arthur blinked a few times, regaining his awareness just in time to catch the man’s introduction. He consciously held back the smile that threatened to twitch at the corners of his lips, and instead nodded graciously. Benji went against Arthur’s every preconceived notion of what a Revenant might look or act like. This man who risked his skin to protect a human child, who had shown genuine interest in Arthur’s health, and who did not appear outwardly intimidating in any sense. Perhaps engrossed was not a strong enough word for the fascination that Arthur felt in those few moments. He practically had to tear his eyes away from Benji as the child introduced himself, which effectively grounded him in reality once more.

Arthur’s expression softened considerably as he knelt in front of the child, lifting a hand to run it through soft curls. “Hello, Simon,” he greeted, his tone mindfully gentle. “My name is Arthur… Arthur Talbot.” He offered a sympathetic smile, painfully unaware of the circumstances with which this child was just confronted, and racked his brain for an appropriate sentiment to express. “Don’t you worry, okay? Nothing is going to hurt you while we’re here, I swear.” He lifted his hand and curled every finger but one; the pinky finger, which he extended towards the child. “Pinky promise?”

Simon gazed at Arthur a moment, sniffling softly as he looked from his face down to his hand, outstretched digit promising a safety he was desperate to cling to. Holding onto Benji with one hand, and bringing his own pinky to match Arthur’s, the child tried for something resembling a watery smile. “...Okay.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Addie Meadowsweet Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: David Arthurs Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis Character Portrait: Manuel Castillo
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
ImageImageImageImage


The shot reverberated across the street, and for a moment, Darcy held her breath with her knife gripped firmly in hand. At first the wendigo didn’t move, but an exhale later the sizzled sack of limbs collapsed to the ground, and it didn’t look like it was getting up anytime soon. Cautiously she crept forward, retrieving her empty pistol as she went, checking to be sure the monster was well and truly dead. It had been a direct shot to the head, damn near between the eyes from what she could tell around the dying flames, which was...admittedly impressive given the circumstances.

Darcy glanced up grudgingly, catching the man’s arm move as he waved her to get out of the street. Shouldering her pack, Darcy nodded with a quick two finger salute, intent on doing just that and tracking down Benji...and that’s when she remembered the second wendigo. Which, life imperiled adrenaline rush or not, was a stupid thing to forget about. Whipping her head around, she still saw the charred corpse of the woman lying in the street, but there was no smoldered wendigo to be seen. It had moved on, the noise from the shot would have drawn it this way undoubtedly otherwise. A cold shiver swept down her spin as her thoughts followed the logical path to who it might have followed.

Another shot blasted from around the corner, and Darcy was off and running before she had time to really think it through. That had most certainly been a shotgun, which wasn’t Benji’s weapon of choice at all. Who she found though had her refocusing on the here and now. Addie was sprawled in the dirt, clearly having taken a hit. There was another man standing nearby, probably a civilian, though a brave one if he was standing with them out in the open without developing into a panicking mess. Up street, tackling a man to the ground, Darcy caught sight of the wendigo, another one. “Unfuckingbelievable…” She growled under her breath, rummaging in her pack to find a match, and the second to last jar of fire starter. They were going to be in serious trouble if there were many more of these things…

Darcy lit the ragged fuse, and picked up a rock from the dirt road. This was flying by the seat of her pants, but there wasn’t time to parse a real plan through. That guy was going to get himself ripped apart if she didn’t do something fast, so moving up the street as quick and quietly as she could, Darcy chucked the rock through a store window about fifteen feet away from it. Glass shattered and hit the ground in a chorus of destruction, and the wendigo’s head whipped around, lunging at the sound of possible threat. As soon as it was clear of the man, Darcy tossed her fiery payload into the mix, and for the third time that day, flames danced across melting skin as a wendigo shrieked in rage.

David had almost all but given up hope, having dropped his gun just a little out of reach. The pain from the wounds on his side were burning like hell and sapping his energy, meaning that he couldn’t fight as hard as he wanted to. But when glass shattered somewhere to his right and the monster’s head whipped around, he found a new surge in energy, managing to scramble for his gun as the creature lunged towards the new sound. A jar full of flames sailed towards the creature, and David didn’t waste time trying to see where it came from. He barely even took the time to line up the shot properly, firing a few rounds into the wendigo. It let out one final shriek and fell to the ground. He watched it for a few seconds to make sure it was down for good, before struggling back to his feet. Things were almost too quiet now, and he didn’t dare let himself believe that was it.

He searched his surroundings and spotted a woman standing nearby. He wasn’t sure they’d ever really crossed paths before, but one look and he knew she was a hunter. They all had a certain look to them.

“Thanks.” he called, his usual wordy nature a little beyond him right about then.

Pop pop pop pop! It seemed the guy wasn’t as down for the count as Darcy had previously thought. Good thing too, since she hadn’t had time to reload her own pistol. They both waited a moment with baited breath as the man got back to his feet. When it became clear the monster wasn’t getting back up again, Darcy let out a sigh of relief. Suddenly the sound of three shots, in quick sequence, a short distance away, only a street over maybe, but after that it was silent. Was it over? Hard to tell.

“Don’t mention it.” Darcy replied offhandedly, suddenly less surprised this guy was up and moving once she caught a glimpse of his eyes. “You’re going to need to have that looked at, come one.” Even revenants needed medical attention, and while those wounds didn’t look fatal, infection was no joke. She needed to find Benji, but Addy was hit, and this guy was hurt. Checking them over had to be the priority. Darcy had to constantly remind herself that her little brother was a lot stronger these days than his babyface suggested, but old habits die hard. One thing at a time.

The woman was definitely a hunter. It took a certain kind of person to remain so calm after that and those people were almost always hunters. “Don’t tell me, you’re a nurse as well as a hunter?” He remarked, raising an eyebrow playfully, but he obliged in following her. He was used to dealing with various types of injuries from the farm, but she was right, these weren’t the type of wounds he could just bandage up and hope for the best. Even if that had been his initial plan. “Name’s David.”

Darcy couldn’t help a snort. She’d seen her fair share of wounds from a wendigo hunt, and she was a steady hand with a needle and thread in whiskey wash, but she wasn't the first one anyone should be running to. This David character was in trouble if he was in a bad enough way to need someone with a real medical background and was stuck with her.

“Enough to patch you up in a pinch, but let's see if we can get a real doc to take a look at you before we roll the dice on me yeah?” Darcy asked with a raised brow of her own as they headed back over to Addie and the other man in the street. She needed to make sure her friend was alright as well. “Darcy. I’d say nice to meet you, but given the circumstances, I’d say we’ve both had a less than delightful evening thus far.” She remarked, before approaching her friend, carefully checking for injuries.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Kaeru


ImageImage



Arthur walked with Benji and Simon in content silence, absorbed in this separate realm of existence the three of them had formed. Birds had become the topic of conversation, it seemed, and he was continually taken aback by just how gentle this man seemed in comparison to the widely-circulated opinion that all Revenants were nothing but cold-hearted brutes. His brain worked hard to conjure up the image of Benji standing with his hands cupped together, cooing at a Blue Jay, and unknowingly smiled as it formed inside his mind. Part of him hoped that picture would stick with him for a while. It would make a decent sketch for his journal, he thought.

For just a single moment, Arthur was hit with an abrupt and unwanted feeling of dread… or perhaps it was sadness. A sudden remembrance of his first and only rule: never get attached to people. This man had captured his attention to such an extent that he’d momentarily forgotten himself. It was a rule Arthur had first made for the pair after Harlan’s brilliant idea to travel with his old crew, a mismatch of hunters and outlaws; and one by one they’d either been killed, succumbed to illness, or outright disappeared. People he’d considered family for many years… just gone. He was never quite able to get over the heartbreak each time, but fought like hell to make sure it didn’t turn him into the same cynical asshole his father had become. Still, he had his own walls to maintain, and for good reason.

It wasn’t long before Arthur was being led in the direction of a young blonde-haired woman, a stunning beauty in her own right, and someone that Benji seemed to know quite well. This must have been the sister he’d heard about earlier, during the brief conversation with those men he didn’t recognise, but that Benji also seemed to know. Arthur hadn’t said a word then, nor after the fact, and he only continued to maintain his silence. His eyes glanced between the two siblings as they exchanged concern for one another’s wellbeing. Simon had also been introduced by Benji, who had seemingly now taken responsibility for the boy, much to Arthur’s relief. Even keeping his rule in mind, he wasn’t one to abandon a child, especially after the life he’d led to that point. It was just nice to know that Simon had people who could protect him, and give him a better life than he'd find in the orphanage.

Arthur’s mind wandered to the whereabouts of his own father, and scanned the rooftops in search of him. Strangely, he was nowhere to be seen, but Arthur merely figured that he was making his way down. When the woman’s voice called attention to him, he felt compelled to extend his free hand towards her; a polite gesture that he accompanied with a well-meaning smile. “I’m Arthur,” he answered. “A pleasure to meet you, miss, in spite of the circumstances.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

#, as written by Kaeru


ImageImage




As far as Harlan could see, that was the last of the wendigos taken care of. He surveyed the street below for a couple moments more, just to be on the safe side, then slung his rifle over his shoulder and made his way down to street level. He pushed through the doors of the saloon, taking note of each of the small pairs and groups that had begun congregating in the aftermath of the attack. “Where’d that damn kid get off to?” he grumbled under his breath, eyes actively searching for the familiar face of his son.

When he eventually spotted Arthur, Harlan's instinctive response was a sudden eruption of laughter. A deep, throaty guffaw that felt entirely unwelcome among the frightened — and frankly exhausted — civilians of Blackwater. Their collective sharp-as-daggers stares and muttered accusations of insanity did little to quiet his display of amusement. “I left you alone for two seconds, and you've already gone an' found yerself a nice little family, I see,” he hollered, walking towards the group at a somewhat leisurely pace. He was wearing a grin at this point, shaking his head in mock disbelief. “Ya'know, I should'a known there was some gay in ya, son. Is this why you ain't taken a woman yet?”

Arthur stood in stunned silence for a moment, then his expression twisted into one of barely-contained annoyance. He released his hold on Simon's hand and closed the distance between himself and his father, placing a hand on his chest to keep him a fair distance from Benji. The movement of his arm sent a jolt of pain through to his shoulder and he furrowed his brows, stifling a grunt, but tried not to pay it too much more attention. "Not in front of the kid, please," he begged, casting a momentary glance behind himself.

Harlan held his hands up in a show of surrender, but had noted the stiffness of Arthur's arm and felt a pang of concern. "You're hurt?" he asked, the volume of his voice dropped to a near whisper. He placed his hand rather gingerly on Arthur’s shoulder, fingers giving it a gentle squeeze to gauge how much pain it was causing him. The lad winced a little but didn’t kick up much of a fuss. “It’s just a nasty bruise, that’s all,” he explained, placing a hand over his father’s and patting it once. It didn’t do much to alleviate Harlan’s overall concern, however, as his focus shifted to Arthur’s clothing which had become soiled with mud and muck. Credit where it was due, the boy was holding it together well enough, but he wondered how long that act would hold up if he couldn’t get cleaned up any time soon. “A warm bath then,” Harlan announced, “and it’ll be right as rain by the mornin’, I bet.” It seemed to merit a somewhat hesitant nod of agreement from his son.

With that more or less dealt with for the time being, Harlan wanted nothing more than to get off the street. Call it pure intuition or just enough experience dealing with angry crowds to spot one forming ahead of time, but something was telling him that he didn’t wanna be caught up in whatever was about to happen. “You should get outta here while you can,” he began again, this time turning his full attention to the blonde from earlier. He had absolutely no intention of making a formal introduction, but felt obligated to warn her anyhow. "This many hunters in one place is bound to cause a commotion, we ain't welcome."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Ingles Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: David Arthurs Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

david arthurs
Image
outfit | #3e5c59


Even if the wound wasn’t affecting him anywhere near as much as it would have affected a normal human, David hadn’t fully realised how bad he did feel until he sat down and felt a little better. Darcy didn’t seem to have much in the way of medical supplies, but she yelled out an order for someone to go get supplies for her.

Getting his shirt off was easier said than done, even if it was basically torn to shreds already. Stretching his torso even slightly hurt like hell, but he managed to pull it off. As he did so and tossed the ruined clothes to one side, breathing heavily with the pain, a woman called out to them and made her way over. He raised his eyebrows as he caught a glimpse of her eyes. By the looks of things, there were more Revenants than usual in town. Probably part of the reason they’d fared so well in the attack, really. He returned as the woman introduced herself as Red.

“David Arthurs,” he said briefly in return. “And it’s just a scratch, really,” he said drily, glancing down at his side. He wasn’t sure if it just looked worse than it was or if it was really just that bad, but he knew that he’d gotten lucky. A few more seconds and the damage could have been bad enough that even he wouldn’t have survived it.

Red apparently had a wound of her own that Darcy deemed bad enough to check over, but before she could do so, three newcomers arrived, two men and a kid, holding their hands. David quickly retrieved his shirt and pressed it to the wound so the kid couldn’t see it, even if his attention seemed to be focused on the two men he was with. David took a minute to assess them. One was tall, dark, and handsome, and almost impossibly neat, even despite the dirt that was on his clothes. David liked a guy that put in at least a little bit of an effort.

Something about the other man took him aback, and it took him a minute to pinpoint that was a contrast. David wouldn’t have even had him pegged as a hunter- so the fact he had distinctive grey eyes threw David. He hadn’t met any other revenants, but they all seemed to have a distinctive look.

Judging by Darcy’s behaviour, she knew the Revenant, and glancing between them, he could see the family resemblance. He introduced the kid as Simon and declared he would be staying with them, and David was surprised when Darcy just seemed to roll with that. The other man introduced himself as Arthur.

And then another older man arrived. His initial comment made David tense up for a moment as he warily watched them for a moment or two, but Arthur’s response made him relax a little. The man seemed to be a relative of Arthur’s, and the sudden influx of concerned family members was beginning to make David feel like he was intruding. Taking another glance at the wounds, he figured that he could probably sort himself out just fine. He’d only stocked up on medical supplies a week or two ago.

“Hey so, uh, you all seem busy, I’ll leave you to it-” he started, only to stand up a little quickly and pull on the wounds. He gasped in pain, gripping the back of the bench for a second or two until the worst of it passed, having to bite back vulgarities. “I’m fine, really,” he said as soon as he could speak again, not quite sure if he was trying to convince himself or the others.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Ingles Character Portrait: Temperance Wheeler Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: David Arthurs Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
Image

Image
Image

Revenant // Attire // Hex: #800000

Image
Image

Scarlet accepted the woman’s handshake, returning a rather oddly strong and firm handshake, far more so than one would expect coming from someone of her stature. Darcy Lewis, committing the name to memory, if she’d need it for future reference. “Pleasure to meet you, Darcy Lewis.” Scarlet said with the faintest of smiles before it quickly faded as she looked around at all the people in the streets. Many of they were slowly being tended to for their wounds, or were helping tend to other people’s wounds as there was only so much one doctor could do for this many people. Thankfully, the number of people that had been injured had been minimized, but there were still too many people than she would have liked with wounds, even if they were minor.

It didn’t matter how many people she had seen be killed or wounded over the years, the small pit that always formed in her stomach never ceased to make itself known. No matter how much death, decay, and rot she witnessed, it never made it any easier to see. Only trying to put on a brave face and accept the harsh reality of the world they lived in helped her press on, as well as what she had seen in all of her years, some of the worst humanity had to offer managed to always make her stay in her head. Snapping her head to the side as the man that she had seen Darcy scanning over earlier introduced himself as David Arthurs. “Good to meet you as well, David. Good to know there were...more capable people in town today.” she said with a small nod. Seeing how he was too another revenant had caused both a small bit of concern as well as relief to form in her gut. Just how many others were in this town? But if it hadn’t been for however many were here, things may have ended all too differently.

Scarlet looked back at the woman as she asked if Scarlet was okay. She hadn’t really put much of her thought into her own wound, as she was used to getting hurt, as well as learning to just ignore the pain and let it just heal itself over time, revenants did heal faster than the normal person, but this wound would take at least a week or two to fully heal over seeing how much the damned wendigo had taken out of her shoulder. “I’m alright, I’ve been through much worse.” a small chuckle barely had enough time to escape her lips before Darcy had already gotten to work at moving some things away from the bench and was already patting the place for the revenant to sit so she could look over the wound properly. Scarlet found herself rolling her eyes as she tried to insist she was in fact fine and that there were others that needed help more than her, “Really, I’m fine-” she started, but seeing the look on Darcy’s face made it clear that the woman wasn’t messing around and in fact was giving her, a revenant, orders. Scarlet didn’t know if the woman was just brave, careless, or ballsy, but the fact she was ordering a revenant around impressed and even somewhat intimidated Scarlet. Not many people would try to order around a revenant, nevermind talk to one or even really show any concern for one like this. Something must have had an affect on Darcy for her to care about a revenant more than anyone else that truly needed the help.

Scarlet sighed in defeat and walked over to where the woman ordered her to sit and sat down, giving the man who was named David a look over, seeing the wound by his side. Luckily it wouldn’t kill him and he’d heal rather quickly, if not at least be sore for a few days. “Keep it on ice and you’ll be fine soon enough…” Scarlet said with a small nod to David, before looking back up to see three more people walk over to their direction. At least one of them seemed to know Darcy by their interactions, which Red found interesting. But looking the man over for more than a moment revealed all she needed to know. He too was a revenant, and she could see a resemblance between Darcy and the younger man. He must have been her brother, and the fact that he was a revenant explained why she was so oddly calm she ordered Scarlet to sit so she could look over the wound. Her brother was one as well. That couldn’t have been easy.

Scarlet remained silent as she observed the interactions going on between the slowly forming group, biting the inside of her lip as she was slowly becoming nervous in a group of people that seemed to only be growing more in size as a man walked over to them. Her brows furrowed at the older man as he made a comment aimed towards whoever the other man was with the revenant and child. Who was at least human. The comment sent a small burst of anger through her veins, slowly getting back to her feet as she was prepared to walk over to the man for the words, which seemed to roll off the younger man’s shoulders in a form of retort. Seeing how it was clearly an ill attempt at a joke, Scarlet sat back down, keeping her eyes trailed on the man as she gripped her shoulder, more blood was beginning to ooze out from the wound, coating her hand in fresh blood as she seemed to reopen the wound already by attempting to get up like she had. Looking back at David, she arched an eyebrow as she watched him catch himself as he seemed to try to get up but was a failed attempt by the looks of it. “Just...Just give it a bit, David. Last thing you want to do is overdue it and make it worse, so just relax.” the woman insisted. Looking back up at Darcy, “Maybe I should take this lady’s word and let her look it over, just in case.” a small exhale escaped her lips, before she slowly removed her shirt, exposing the bloodied bandages underneath as well as a chest wrapping as she wasn’t entirely shy of having to let others look over her wounds. She had been through this process far too many times in the past. “Fair warning, it’s...It’s not pretty. One of those bastards took a pretty good bite out of my shoulder, just managing to avoid any major arteries. I know that much…” Scarlet sighed in resignation as she clasped her hands in front of her.

Turning her head to look to the side as she heard a vaguely familiar voice speak up, seeing it was the girl in the shop from earlier. The one she had crashed into earlier, that wasn't a good look on her part, which she still felt bad for. Scarlet smiled as the woman handed back her gun, which she had almost forgotten about until she reached towards her holster to see it was infact, lacking the presence of a gun. "Thank you, I almost forgot about that. Much appreciated." she said with a kind smile as Scarlet reached out for the gun, accidentally overlapping the girl's hand with her own. Quickly taking the gun back and placing it back by her side, Scarlet looked back up at the girl, with her mind thinking for a moment before digging in her jacket's pocket. Retrieving a few bills, she handed them over to the woman, "Consider it a way of saying sorry for the window. It should cover most of the cost for the damages and should be able to pay for repairs. I really am sorry for...Crashing through the store window." Scarlet said with a small chuckle, nervously rubbing the back of her neck. She never was one for first impressions, and that most certainly wasn't a way to make a good one.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Ingles Character Portrait: Addie Meadowsweet Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: David Arthurs Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

Image
ImageImageImageImage


“Darcy Lewis.” The hunter answered, catching this Arthur’s hand for a firm but comfortable shake. Polite and sturdy were Darcy’s first impressions, and she gave an answering smile of her own as they exchanged pleasantries. “Likewise. I assume you’re who I have to thank for keeping this one out of trouble?” Her tone was light, but the gratitude was genuine as her green eyes shifted back to her brother, who indeed appeared to be unharmed, almost miraculously so given what they’d faced in the streets.

“Arthur’s rescue was very timely.” Benji added helpfully with a smile, before turning his curious gaze to the two individuals his sister had cowed into sitting on the bench. A quick glance at their eyes told him they were both Revenants. That was interesting. Benji hadn’t had many dealings with others like himself, and now there were suddenly two sitting right there, injured and properly corralled by his sister. The sight was almost comical.

The arrival of the next man however was less so, despite his attempt at humor. Benji had tensed at first, unsure of this stranger’s intent, but his shoulder relaxed at Arthur’s apparent familiarity with the older hunter. The gentle touches and assessing eyes were easy to overlook, but Benji had been on the receiving end from Darcy enough times to recognize a gruff intimacy shared between family. They weren’t being threatened.

“Did I tell you to move?” Darcy snapped, as both the geniuses on her bench decided clamoring to their feet while bleeding out from nasty wendigo wounds was just a swell idea. Tough as nails or not, they weren't going anywhere until they'd gotten at least some basic care. She already had a clean rag dampened with the strongest proof liquor Dale could find behind Addie’s counter. Red seemed to think David’s wound would heal up fine on it’s own, which was true enough, Darcy was familiar with Revenents, and knew how fast they healed comparatively. A glance at the wound with his shirt off made Darcy think it wasn’t deep enough to require stitches, which was a good sign, but there’s was no reason to take needless risks by not a least cleaning and wrapping it up.

“This is gonna sting.” Darcy warned, bringing the dry side of the cloth down to wipe away the blood first, then the damp side to cleanse it as best she could. It already looked a little better than it had a bit ago, though she doubted David was going to feel good anytime soon. Once that was done, Darcy turned to Benji, pointing at the linens. “Think you can wrap his wound up while I take a look at Red?” Benji nodded solemnly, picking up the clean bandages and moving over to David.

“Let me know if it’s too tight.” Benji said kindly as he began wrapping bandages carefully around the wounded man’s torso. “I’m Benji by the way. Good to meet you.”

Darcy hadn’t made it much past wincing while Red undid her bandages before the man who’d bustled in a moment ago addressed her with a careful warning. She recognized him as the sniper on the roof from earlier who'd helped her kill the first wendigo in the street, and she stood by her original assessment that he was clearly an experienced hunter, if lacking in a general sense of tact based on his entrance. This close up, a quick glance told her he was a bit older, but also framed with obvious muscle, observant dark eyes, and a pair of smugly quirked cupid bow lips full enough to --Nope, full stop. That line of thinking was definitely not helpful, and Darcy blamed the day’s insane influx of adrenaline for indulging it as far as she had.

“Right...gratitude has never been a Blackwater specialty.” Darcy agreed dryly with the sound advice, tearing her eyes away to scan the growing crowd. The sooner they could move inside the better, but there was no way she and Benji were going to be able to leave town until at earliest tomorrow. Given the pensive faces glancing back their way from the crowd, Darcy found that reality regrettable, but one familiar face helped ease her rising tension. As Gus steered the wagon up the street their way, Darcy rummaged out a few coins and turned to Simon.

“Hey kiddo, I’ve got a job for you. Think you’re up for it?” Darcy asked carefully. When Simon nodded, with serious brown eyes older than a kid his age should have, she placed the coins in his hand and jerked a thumb back toward Addie’s saloon. “I need you to head inside and find Miss Addie. You give her those, and tell her Darcy needs a room. Once that’s done I need you to scout it out and make sure everything’s in good shape okay. Can you help me out with that?” He nodded again, and task given, Simon took the coins before bounding inside the saloon to do as he was asked.

Gus parked the wagon with its grizzly cargo just a little ways off, before climbing down with his surgery bag and moving toward them. “Oh good ya are alive. Nice ta know the Lewis clan is too stubborn to die as usual, no matter how half cocked the lot of ya like runnin’ into danger the first chance ya get!” Gus wasted no time laying in as he glanced at Red’s shoulder and started digging through his bag. “Flying in with no backup, no cover, against two fuckin’ wendigos...I outta tear ya a new one.” Gus groused in a way only a curmudgeonly grandfather can really pull off. “And I would, but ya got trouble heading yer way. Nash was lookin’ for ya, which means Reyens is. I shook ‘im for a head start, but he ain’t too far behind.” He said looking sour.

The name Reynes made Darcy grimace. “The hell does he want?” She bit out harsher than she’d meant to, but she’d been free of that man for years, and she sure as hell didn’t want anything to do with him now.

“My guess, it’s about the kid that brother of yours picked up. Boy’s mama was one of his girls.” Gus warned softly, pulling out a needle, thread, and some honest to god rubbing alcohol from his bag as he turned to address Red’s shoulder as best he could.

“Fuck…” Darcy swore under her breath, suddenly very glad she’d sent Simon to relative safety inside the saloon. Gus didn’t have to say the obvious, no one worked as a girl down at the Red Pony unless they owed Malachi Reynes more money than they knew how to pay back, and he wasn’t the type to let debts die with the parent. She should know.

“Well, isn’t this quite the intimate little gathering.” A voice called out of the crowd as a dark, impeccably dressed figure sauntered up their way. “I had hoped to discuss a matter of business with you Miss Lewis, but I fear the surprise may have been ruined somewhat.” He drawled, ringed fingers fiddling idly with the jeweled crow head of his cane.

“Condolences appear to be in order for the passing of Miss Tessa Grey, my deepest sympathies of course. There is however, the matter of her debt, which I fear still needs resolved.” Darcy strode out to meet him before he fully made it to the group, trying to create as much of a barrier between their injured party, and the predator in their midst, that she could.

“Her body’s not even cold yet, and you’re shaking her kid down for money?” Darcy spit back, unable to hide the disgust she felt from her eyes. Her look managed to be more diplomatic than Benji’s though. No one could see the look in his silver eyes as he gazed at Reynes as anything less than loathing.

“I’m afraid the interest rate on her initial loan does not favor such niceties, as the total has already reached a not inconsequential Seventy Five dollars. I’m sure the boy and I can come to an arrangement though on how to most...expediently pay off such a large sum.” Darcy swallowed bile at that thinly veiled suggestion, managing to keep her lip from curling in an outright snear.

“That’s not gonna happen.” Darcy stated firmly, standing as a physical barrier between Reynes and the rest of the group as much as possible. She knew how he played this game, and leverage was always key. “I imagine reclaiming whatever you convinced that poor woman to buy from you in the first place-”

“A sewing machine.” Reynes supplied helpfully in a jovial tone that belied the fact this was just a game for him, an amusing opportunity to pass the time in the presence of those who could not afford to escape it. It made a temper flare in Darcy all over again, but she knew better than to fall into that trap.

“Will be the quickest way to do that. Take it, and anything else valuable in their house, and fuck off.” Darcy finished dryly. “Odds are, you’ll come out on top with that, and if not, I’ll cover the difference.”

“That’s an interesting...first offer.” Reynes grinned, trying to lean into her space. It was a common power play she’d seen the man use a hundred times, but Darcy wasn’t fifteen anymore, and knew better than to shrink away, even if his close proximity made her skin crawl.

“Only offer.” Darcy growled back quietly. “Take the deal, and leave him the hell alone, or I swear, I will kick up such a holy goddamn fuss in town about what we both know goes on in that backroom, that even your buddy Jamison won’t shield you from the storm if you even look in Simon’s direction wrong” Threats were a gambit, but Darcy was betting the potential trouble would outweigh any benefit for dragging this game out much longer.


“And you know what happens if you choose that route. Hardly a sunset ending my dear.” He replied softly, his dangerous tone. Malachi Reynes never yelled before he killed people.

“You’re not getting him either way. Take it or leave it.” Darcy repeated firmly, trying to appear more confident in her bluff than she felt.

Silence hung heavily for a few moments, until: “Well then, it appears we have a solution. That’s what I always liked about you my dear, you always had a talent for figuring out how to pay off other peoples’ debts.” Reynes replied with a cutting smile. “You may find yourself in the coming days, in need of a powerful friend Miss Lewis, a...benefactor if you will. I look back on our past association quite fondly, and would not be adverse to renewing it once again. Same terms.”


“I’ll pass, thanks.” Darcy offered a caustic grin of her own, before turning on her heel and back to Gus, refusing to look back to see if Reyes was still lingering about.


“There, it’s handled. How’s the shoulder?” Darcy shifted back to the more immediate problem at hand. It still looked painful and angry to Darcy’s eye, with no amount of stitching able to hide the chuck just missing, but she could see where Gus had cleaned and stitched what he could, as he began rewrapping Red’s shoulder.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Scarlet Ingles Character Portrait: Temperance Wheeler Character Portrait: Arthur Talbot Character Portrait: Harlan Talbot Character Portrait: David Arthurs Character Portrait: Darcy Lewis Character Portrait: Benjamin Lewis
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

0.00 INK

david arthurs
Image
outfit | #3e5c59


David just raised an eyebrow as Red told him to just give it a minute and not let it get any worse, but smirked as she said she should probably let Darcy look over hers as well. It came across like she was trying to set a good example or something for him, which was, frankly, amusing to say the least. But he did as he was told and sat back down as Darcy snapped at him to do so.

The woman from the general store- Temperance, wasn’t it?- approached them and handed Red back her gun, telling them that if they needed anything from the store, it was theirs. David nodded. “Thank you very much, ma’am. Think I’ve got everything I need for now but it’s appreciated.”

He nodded at Darcy’s warning that it was going to sting, but it still didn’t fully prepare him. He clenched his jaw and bit back an exclamation as the alcohol hit the wounds, telling himself that the sting would likely be worth it. Even if he did heal much much quicker these days, he’d seen the damage infected wounds could do.

She moved on to checking out the other Revenant, and the man David had guessed was her brother took her place to wrap them. David nodded as the man told him to let him know if they were too tight and introduced himself as Benji. “David,” he said by way of introduction. “Thanks,” he added. The bandages were tight but not uncomfortably so, probably better wrapped than if he’d done it himself. “You’ve got a knack for this, you know that?”

At the mention of Malachi Reynes, David could feel himself involuntarily tensing up. Reynes has been hanging around the ranch the day after his mother died, talking about how David was probably gonna need a bit of help with things and how money had to be tight. He’d made plenty of inferences about how a “handsome boy like him” could earn his keep. But his mother had warned him never to accept a penny from that man. He’d been offering them help ever since her husband had died and she’d told him where to shove it on a number of occasions. And so David gave exactly the same response when Reynes made his offer to him, embellishing it with a few choice words that made his feelings clear and probably would have made his mother gasp.

And it appeared there was no love lost between anyone else in the group and Reynes. If Darcy’s tone didn’t give it away, the look of pure hatred that Benji shot the man would have done. Reynes’ sickening tone and the implication of what he had in mind practically turned David’s stomach. But Darcy knew how to handle him, and she didn’t seem intimidated by him in the slightest. He’d clearly met his match in her. As Reynes turned to leave, he caught David’s eye and raised an eyebrow, wearing the shadow of a smirk. David just glowered at him as he walked away.

“Well, sure is good to see someone who’s not afraid to stand up to that bastard,” David remarked. “If y’all want somewhere to lay low, though, I got a few spare rooms. As he said,” he said, nodding at the older man that he was guessing was a relative of Arthur’s, “Folks around these parts ain’t exactly hospitable at the best times, especially if you’ve got Malachi Reynes on your bad side.”