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Riley Morgan

"I know the Law all too well."

0 · 552 views · located in The North West

a character in “Time for Change”, as played by SugarNspikeS

Description

1. Name: Riley Morgan
2. Age: 26
3. Species or Hunter: White Were-Tiger
4. Physical Discription:Riley, like most therians, has three forms he can shift to at any time. In his human form his look are rather decieving, he is only 5'9" and about 165lbs, but he still has all the strength of his tiger form and at any point can shift individual parts of his body to his to tiger form such as his teeth and his claws. In his were-cat form he's a more realistic 7' tall and 250lbs of solid muscle in the form of a bipedal white tiger. And finally there's his tiger form which is just a typical white tiger, though he retains his sense of self and logical thought in all three forms.
5. Picture (Any style is okay, I'm not Picky):
Image/Image
6. Any other Background info:Riley grew up the son of the sheseru (Teacher/keeper of the law, leader of the Enforcers) for his tribe and was later disowned when he came out of the closet and was deemed a genetic dead-end. He was banished from his tribe and is now out to destroy the hunters.

So begins...

Riley Morgan's Story

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan
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“Two-thirty in the morning. Why the hell am I out here at Two-thirty in the fucking morning?” Riley asked himself as he watched the lady from the roof top. “Why the hell is this chick out in the middle of the morning, she’s just asking for trouble.” He watched the girl as she walked to her car. A short distance behind her she was being followed by a guy with a distinct ‘thuggish’ aura about him as he pulled out a switch blade.
“So cliché.” he thought to himself “A dark alley, a defenseless young woman, and a thug that wants to do who knows what to her. I guess this is where the monster comes in to save the day.”

He took a giant leap from the building to avoid hitting the fire escape as he landed silently behind the thug on all fours, still in his human form.

“Hey man, that’s a cute letter opener you got there. What do you plan on doing with it?” Riley called out, startling the man and warning the woman who ran to her car and drove off.

“Big mistake.” the thug mumbled. “Now I’m gonna have to take all your money.”

“Money?!” Riley laughed. “It’s always about money. You know there’s tons of government assistance programs out there right?” He joked as the man came rushing at him, clumsily thrashing the switch blade at him.

“Really?! That’s the best you got?” He asked as he caught the back of the guy’s hoody just under the hood and lifted him into the air. “Look, man, you don’t stand a chance here.” He grinned and flashed a mouth full of sharp teeth clearly meant for tearing through flesh. “Run away, and get your shit together.” He dropped the thug who quickly ran away.

Riley started walking to his apartment, he had a car, but rarely used it. “That little bastard is lucky this is Neutral Territory or I would have really scared the shit outta him.” He muttered. “Would have been nice if that girl had said thanks, maybe bought me a drink or something.” He got to his apartment and noticed that something didn’t smell right. His senses instantly went into feral mode. He heard nothing inside, but he could tell by the smell that someone else had been here and they wanted Riley to know that they had been here. He let his defenses lower slightly as he opened the door to his studio apartment. He was fairly certain that whoever had been there was now gone. He went right to his fridge and was relieved to see that the seven value packs of steaks were all still in there. “Well they weren’t hungry.” He sighed. He pulled out a pack of steaks and put three of them into a large frying. He seared them lightly on each side before putting them onto a plate and going to take a seat on his futon. He tore through the steaks with no fork or knife just his teeth and claws. He reached for the remote and noticed a small post-it note on it. There was a simple message written on it, only two words. “Come home.”
“Awe fuck!”

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: Roland Grouf Character Portrait: John Keeler
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Roland putted into town in his beat up old pickup that looked as if it had tried to become one with the forests out of town. Mud caked its wheels and body, leaves and foliage clinging to the underside and it was questionable whether the bed of the truck was stained with blood or incredibly dark soil. This man was undoubtedly some sort of backwoods redneck. At least...that would be anyone's first impression. The second impression would be made only by those who knew the Therians existed. He must be one of them.

The pickup pulled into the lot of a small convenient store, the engine puttering sickly to a stop with several odd grinding noises and a clank. The man who stepped out was astonishingly....not what one would expect. He seemed an almost disappointingly ordinary man with a short scruffy black beard and wildly untamed black hair. Grime smeared his cheeks and forehead making his true skin tone impossible to discern but one couldn't miss the weary black eyes that peered from beneath furious brows. He had an odd build, large in a way where you couldn't quite tell if it was from muscle or fat or just a naturally large frame.

Roland hated being in his human form. He felt as if his large form had been stuffed in a small skin and capped in with a cork. His entire body itched and cramped and a low anger boiled constantly in his stomach. He caught the sound of shoes and hurried panting and just as he rounded his truck a woman collided head long into his wall of flesh. Roland grunted as his stomach was compressed under the blow but he wasn't moved his hand shot out automatically to make sure she didn't fall back on her ass but she squealed and smacked him in the face with her purse. Roland took a few steps back. "Hey! Lady I was just making sure you're ok!"

"You get away from me!" She snapped and ran to her car.

Roland scoffed and turned his gaze to the ally. A white tiger seemed to be harassing some thug. His instinct to challenge the stranger stirred in his gut before it faded. This was not the place, he was outside his territory, besides this was neutral land there was no reason to start conflict. 'Right this isn't the forest.' He sniffed and scratched his jaw before entering the convenience store. He went straight for canned and dried goods, things that would last him a while as well as a cocktail of fresh fruits such as grapes and melons and apples. Enough to feed one person for many moths. Like a bear preparing for hibernation he liked to pack for the long run because he despised entering town.





Meanwhile just outside Riley's apartment building a massive shadow moved at the crest of the slanted roof. The perfect silhouette of a beastly shaggy mane poking up into the night sky and the piercing glare of two highly reflective pale green eyes shining in the buds of early sunrise. John peered down through Riley's window, affirming that he'd gotten his little note, before disappearing on the far side of the roof. He ran along the roof, descending with quick light thudding footfalls, each step grounded and evenly distributed by large softly padded paws, he lept off the side of the roof, catching himself with extended claws on the rails of the fire escape to the next building. He wall jumped his way across the alley leading parallel to Riley's street, each jump deliberately lower to the last until he landed, transforming and shrinking back into human form. His bones popped and he shook himself, stretching his muscular arms and chest before adjusting his leather jacket which fell neatly on is shoulders as if it had always been there. John stopped only momentarily by a cluster of trash bins, his nose catching a particular scent. An idea crossed his mind and he smirked, unzipping his fly he immediately began marking the corner. "Hmh.....neutral my ass, a man should be able to keep his own back yard, right?" He mumbled under his breath as he shook the last few drops and zipped up his pants. "That should confuse the strays for a while." He grinned. As he looked up he noted an old mexican lady staring at him bewildered, frozen in the middle of putting out her trash her one slightly lazy eye made her look even more perplexed. "What? When man has to go, a man has to go." He said simply before leaving on down the street, confidently his hands in his pockets.

He'd signed himself into a shitty hotel within walking distance of Riley's home, upon re-entering the room he checked under the bed to see if his bag of weapons where still there and sniffed about, quite literally to make sure hunters hadn't entered. Everything was secure. with that John plopped himself in the stiff bed, kicking off his boots but leaving his clothes still on, allowing himself a half hour or so rest before he started his day up again.

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: John Keeler
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Riley took the note and sniffed it. Not that he really needed to identify who wrote the note, the handwriting made it easy to tell who had written it. The note looked like it was written by a someone who had not shifted from his cat-form, like it was written with a paw rather than a hand. Only one person was ever that lazy to not phase long enough to write a note. And, luckily for his tribe, it was the only person in the tribe that he would listen to.

Riley got a little angry at the thought of his last night in the tribe. Things had not ended well for him. Riley had been one of the best hunters in the tribe and his father couldn’t have been more proud of him, at only 12 he was able to track, stalk and kill any prey that he was presented with. Most weren’t able to do that until 17 at the earliest. By the time he was 17 he was bringing home feasts for the tribe. During this time he had discovered his attraction toward the males of his tribe and not the females. He boldly worked up the nerve to tell his father about this and ask for advice, but sadly, his father did not meet him with understanding. After Riley had confessed that he was having these emotions, his father became outraged and called him a genetic waste and an abomination, he then knocked him out with a wrench. That would have been bad enough, but he took it even further. He called up a group of Enforcers to help as he tied him to the back of a car and drove it out of the territory to the Neutral territory dragging him the entire way. When they stopped, his father told him that he was banished, then the group beat the shit out of him until he was on the brink of death, they dumped him in a ditch and left him for dead.

Without even realizing it, Riley had crumpled the note into a tiny little ball as he was remembering the events. He decided to be proactive on this. He sniffed the note again and picked up John’s scent and started following his path. He went to the roof of the neighboring apartment, then back down the other side, into the ally across the street picking up the intentional marking he had sprayed among the garbage cans making it much easier to follow him now to the cheap motel in town. He saw the run-down Cammero that John had been working on rebuilding since he was 15 and he knew that this was definitely the place he was staying. He followed the scent to the room where he was sure John was staying. He knocked on the door. He heard rustling in the room, but not the typical type, he distinctly heard a gun being cocked before he heard the latches unlock. The door opened the slightest crack.

“You know your handwriting still sucks and you left a really obvious trail.”

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: John Keeler
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John cocked his gun before opening the door only the length of the chain on the lock to peer a pale green eye out into the hall. Riley stood before the door peering back at him and a grin spread itself across his face. He'd definitely aged since they last spoke a dusting of sand colored facial hair sprouted from his chin and along his jawline matching the wild sand colored mane atop his head and while the wild playful glint in his eye remained the same as ever the smile on his lips seemed strained and tired. He put the safety back on his gun and tucked it into the back of his belt, unlatching the door and throwing it wide to welcome Riley in. "Well yeah, little brother the goal was to get your stripy little ass here not hide from ya!" He laughed heartily and embraced Riley in a brotherly hug.

"You're lookin' better these days, finally put some proper strength on!" He squeezed Riley's shoulders to feel his muscles and chuckled. "What have you been up to, huh? Heheh saving damsels in distress? Huh?" He chuckled, teasing him for his empathy towards humans, as per usual.

"How about we go get some beers, catch up some. A drink will do us some good. We have a lot to talk about." He put an arm over Riley's shoulders and grinned, as he weaved Riley through the usual pleasantries. After the melodrama of leading Riley there he was quite reluctant to get to the point, the reason he went through all the trouble to track Riley down after all that time. It really wasn't hard to figure that he either had bad news or some kind of brilliant confession to make. Perhaps John too had been banished, it didn't seem so far fetched a concept. He had been adored by many of the tribes females in the time that Riley knew him but not once had he actually took one to be his. Then again that could be because he was a lion in a tiger tribe, for all they know perhaps it wasn't allowed, there where some who had been more concerned with the purity of the tribe than the usefulness of a strong and healthy male. Regardless, whatever the reason that John was there it had to be somewhat important.

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: John Keeler
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When he heard the door unlatch he was a little excited to say the least. He hadn’t heard from anyone in the tribe since the event, and he was certain that his father hadn’t given anyone the whole story about what had happened that night. God that was nine years ago, by now John had probably become an Enforcer for the tribe. The door swung open and there he was; all rugged and as wild looking as ever. Riley was digging the stubble, it made him look more mature that the 18-year-old kid he saw last.

"Well yeah, little brother the goal was to get your stripy little ass here not hide from ya!" he laughed and gave him a big hug. He missed that most; the fact that even though they were different species, he still looked to him as a brother, though Riley was never sure if it was more than that.

"You're lookin' better these days, finally put some proper strength on!" he said as he gave Riley’s shoulders a squeeze.

“Yeah, well I’m a bouncer at the only night club in town, so I kinda have to stay in shape.” he replied with a slightly uneasy laugh, he wasn’t used to others being so touchy-feely around him, not that he minded, he just wasn’t used to it.

"What have you been up to, huh? Heheh saving damsels in distress? Huh?"

He thought about what had happened earlier that evening.

“How long have you been watching me?” he leered at John, not even sure if he was serious or making a joke about his noted human-sympathizing in the past.



His mood suddenly shifted to something more serious. Riley assumed it had something to do with why he was being asked to come home.

"How about we go get some beers, catch up some. A drink will do us some good. We have a lot to talk about."

“You ain’t kiddin’.” Riley replied, thinking of how he was going to have to explain the events of his last night in the tribe. He also didn’t look forward to explaining how he was essentially was stranded in this shitty town, due to the treaties between the tigers and the neighboring tribes of other Therianthropes and the fact that, unless the chief of the tribe revoked the banishment, he couldn’t return to the tiger territory.

“C’mon, we’ll go to my work and get a drink.” He said as John put an arm around his shoulder and they walked out to the old Cammero. They made the usual small talk as they drove to the club. Neither one of them liked the silence very much when there was another person around to talk to. They pulled into the empty parking lot and got out. It was after two am so the bar was closed, but Riley knew that the owner was there. He tapped on the door to get his attention. The owner, Jerry, came over, opened the door and greeted the two of them with a big smile. Jerry was a nice guy and treated Riley like a god ever since the night that Riley saved his life, but riley didn’t want to get into that right now.

“Hey, Jerry, you mind if my brother and I have a little bit of time to catch up, I’ll cover the drinks?”

“Riley, you can do whatever you want in my book and don’t worry about the drinks, they’re on me.”

“Okay, thanks man. I really appreciate it.” Riley smiled as the pudgy little bald man left the room and went to the back office. Riley went behind the bar and grabbed a bottle of whiskey poured quite a bit into two glasses and topped them off with Coke and put cherry grenadine into the one that was to be his. He slid the drink down to John and walked around and took a seat next to him at the bar.

“So what’s going on? I don’t see you or anyone else for nine years, and no one seems to care enough to find out how I’m doing. Then you show up out of the blue and leave me a note telling me I need to come home. You should know better than anyone that I can’t do that. I’m stranded here, my father knew I would be when he ditched me here. There isn’t even an airport in the neutral territory so I can’t even fly to the nearest tiger tribe all the way in Arizona. And I don’t dare try to even drive through the other territories that would break the treaties and an all out war would break out.” He couldn’t even bring himself to make eye contact, mainly because it was a show of dominance among felines but also because he missed being home so much. He missed his mom’s cooking, he missed hunting, he missed not having to hide what he was from everyone around him, and he really missed John. He didn’t have the heart to tell him that he was partly the reason he was here. The only reason he even knew he was gay was because he kept finding himself being attracted to John. That was the whole reason he stopped hanging out with him, he didn’t want to get caught in an awkward situation. And now here he was asking him to come home.

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: John Keeler Character Portrait: Reegan Tinfil
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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: John Keeler Character Portrait: Reegan Tinfil
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Reegan ran threw the street's at a blinding speed, she still felt the present of a man behind her.She kept running with no shoes, and barely any clothing on.She hated this gang, and their life's.The wind threatened to turn her into a fox, but she kept her breathing steady and hoped for the best.She heard distant gun shot's, and cried out for help."HELP!PLEASE SOMEONE!" Reegan screamed, her voice being carried by strong winds.Reegan suddenly stopped moving and laid on the ground, curling up into a ball.The man got closer, and closer.Reegan was terrified.

The man tried drugging her with something, but she bit his hand.Reegan screamed again, and again, till the man covered her mouth. He slapped her and kicked her.Reegan stayed still and tried not to shiver, she felt her skin changing, and she screeched, a fox screech.Soon she was smaller, and was running across the road, like a white flash. The man got out his gun and started to shoot at her.Reegan heard, then suddenly felt a gun shot in her paw. She let out a whine, but kept running. She breathed out of her snout heavily.There was a blood trail behind her.

Reegan soon dropped on the pavement, whining to what came next.She started to black out, foot-step's, screams..

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: Lapin Izhmash Character Portrait: John Keeler
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"Yeah." John chuckled and took a swig of his coke and whiskey letting the fiery burn of the acidic drink and alcohol travel down his pipes. "I won't admit how long it took me to figure a way to find you. Took me long enough just to get your father to spit out what happened. One day your there the next they tell me you've been banished and won't say exactly what for."

John tapped his foot on the foot rest of his bar stool, making his knee bounce up and down anxiously. "Riley...you should have told me what was going on. I know we hadn't talked much in a while but, hell we grew up together. I gave you hell as a cub."

He looked over to Riley, his leg stopped bouncing. "Shit's changed since you left. There's been a hunter outside our territory just......circling, and he's a damned good one. I can't get a fix on him, even our best tracker can't get a fix on him. It's pulling our tribe apart....and it's...." He paused a moment, looking away. "It's killed your dad."

"If there's ever been a time we needed your nose here it's now, the tribe can either piss and whine about the way you are or they can let you help as the strong able bodied tiger you are." John looked to Riley once more letting the news and request sink in. He wasn't sure how Riley would react to it. John knew roughly about what his father had done. He dragged his own son out and hurt him. In what way he never got out of the man, but this hunter was no joke. He'd left the old man's scull for them to find on a set of dead end tracks. It was a warning to every single tiger in that tribe that his game was just starting. John was out of his depth here. He was combat trained. Guns, knives, blades of all kinds, claws, hand to hand, but this was right out man against animal sport. The man could be perched a mile a way ready to take them down one pelt at a time.

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: John Keeler
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This was a lot for Riley to take in. “My father is dead?” He whispered, only because the shock was enough to choke him up. He took his entire drink in one gulp after that. As much as he loathed the man for what he had done, he was still the man who had raised him from a cub. His big blue eyes started to well up with tears. He finally lifted his head to see John’s expression. It was pleading, friendly and scared all in one big mess of emotions written all over his face. John had never been one to hide the way he felt about anything, so his poker face was less than effective.

Riley tried to gather himself and address John’s statements one at a time. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes to try to relax.
“I’m really sorry about not saying anything to you, I know you really wouldn’t have cared about the fact that I was gay, but there was more to it than that, way more. I don’t know how it works for lions, but I remember the classes we took explaining the courting rituals and mating habits of the were-tigers and there was one part about it that worried me. When males are looking for mates there’s a thing that sometimes happens without their control; they will sometimes imprint on a potential mate. When this happens it’s as if there is no one else for the male to even consider as a mate. In most cases the other person will be receptive to this and they will mate, but on rare occasions the other person won’t return their feelings and the male will usually die alone pining over the one he loves and can’t have.” He droned on for a little bit giving John a biology review.

“I figured out I was gay when I was thirteen, and I distanced myself from you to avoid something awkward from happening, and I could have gone on like that for a while, or at least until I was able to move out. But when I turned seventeen the unexpected happened; I imprinted …on you. I went to my dad to ask for advise, but I got the words ’I’m gay’ out and then I was knocked out cold. So, even if the chief does revoke my banishment and I can help, I still won’t be able to stay. It’d be too painful. Seeing you all the time and knowing that you don’t feel the same way, I couldn’t do that.” He paused looking back up at him again, as he had turned away while explaining himself. He closed his eyes and let out a sigh, it was a relief to get that out in the open and, whatever the response, he knew it was the right thing to do instead of trying to hide it. “If you can get the chief to revoke my banishment, I’ll help you track down this hunter, I was the best hunter in the tribe before I left and sometimes you need a hunter to catch a hunter.” He opened his eyes and saw the look of shock on his face and wasn’t sure how to react, he just waited for a response.

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: John Keeler
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John's brows where raised, shocked to hear all this. The fact that Riley, his closest friend, his brother had not just fallen for him, but imprinted on him. It was like an iron seal of permanence had locked John in an uncomfortable position of romance with his best friend. He wasn't sure how he felt about all this. He cared a lot for Riley. He was a member of his pride......but a mate? At the same time.....part of him had always known that Riley was into him at an early age. There was a time when Riley would do anything if John asked him to, occasionally John would dare him to do things like lick a frog they'd found but regardless of what John put him through Riley came running out of the house when John called for him. He would never do anything to purposely hurt Riley. He remembered rescuing Riley from a massive swath of stinging nettle when they where both only about ten. Riley had slipped from a tree and landed in a bed of it. He waded through the stuff to carry Riley home and he remembered saying, covered in the little red spots and welts that he'd do it again for his stripy brother. Who knows, maybe there was something there, maybe it was just him acting like the older brother Riley didn't have. Then as they both got older and more mature John began noticing other things. Riley wouldn't wrestle with him anymore, they wouldn't spar in their full feline forms like they used to, biting and growling and rolling about in the dirt. Hell he wouldn't even dress in the same room. "Jesus, Riley...." He said, carefully. He poured himself another shot of straight whiskey this time and took a drink. "Riley....even if I was gay, which I can't even be sure of. I've never really....thought about getting a mate. Were-lions are no good with monogamous relationships. I've read on it just out of curiosity, and we act exactly as a lion pride. One dominant male with a bunch of females and maybe a few other males that he tolerates. I've never heard of a gay were-lion before but I'd expect it would be the same. One dominant with a pride of lesser males."

John glanced to Riley. "I've been raised under a system that isn't 100% natural for my kind. By now I would have started my own pride if I wasn't in the tiger tribe. I'm not a dominant male, the Chief is the dominant male, my superiors are the dominant males so....I've sort of, been delayed in my mate-finding. I've experimented here and there but...not with other males, and certainly not with a permanent pride of my own. Frankly I don't think the tribe would be happy to hear I've created a liger cub." John chuckled slightly. "We're both outsiders here, Ri. I'm the lion in a tiger's den, and you're the gay tiger. If they don't let you back home now then they can say goodbye to my strength too because what's the use of having a strong able bodied feline if he can't contribute his genes, right Riley? They need us. Especially now, and we'll work this imprinting thing out you and me. I'm not giving up on us yet, we just need some time."

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Nearly the second he had said the words, he wished he could take them back. He did the next best thing; he took the bottle of whiskey and took a big swig right from the bottle. He shuttered a tiny bit and slammed the bottle down on the bar. He looked at the man of his affection, then back to his feet.
“Right, what’s the use of having me around if I can’t pass down my genes?” He echoed with all the sting they had just inflicted.

Sure, he knew that wasn’t John’s intent, but damn it hurt to be told that. It hurt even more to know that he was right and that was the way the tribe probably felt. They all held fast to their old tribal ways.

“I’m sorry, I might have had too much to drink. Or not enough.” He took another swig straight from the bottle. “It’s just… you’re right. Fuck, what’s wrong with me? Did I really think that dropping a bomb like that on you would end well? And what is the point? Why the fuck would I even imprint if it doesn’t help to pass down my genes to the next generation? I can’t have cubs, at least not by any traditional means. I’m the outsider, you’re just in the wrong pride.” He looked up at John again and saw that his vision was blurring a bit, then he looked at the bottle and realized it was almost empty.
“I think I might be drunk." He slurred then finished off the bottle and looked at John with a mock-innocent look on his face. “What?! I was just informing you, I never said I was gonna do anything about it.” He laughed. “But seriously, I’m glad you’re being so nice about all this. I’m sorry I just blurted it all out like that, I just didn’t know if I was gonna have another chance to tell you and I didn’t want it to go unsaid. I wish I could have found a better way to say it.” He looked at the empty bottle and tipped it upside down. A tiny drop clung to the rim. He stuck out his tongue and shook the bottle over it until the drop fell. He looked back to John again “So how are we …or should I say you gonna convince the chief to let me onto tribe territory?”

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: Lapin Izhmash Character Portrait: John Keeler Character Portrait: Reegan Tinfil
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Even before he was trained as a hunter Lapin enjoyed his hikes in the forst , there was something peaceful about the emptyness of the wilderness that had always drawn him in, .
He sighed quietly remembering the long hours of physical and mental training he had been forced to take by his father or rather mentor as far as Lapin cared.

A few decades ago, he had thought his training and family's fixation on were-creatures was laughable if not delusional. That had changed with his first encounter with a were-creature in Iraq. Had his father not been so damn stubborn he would have been dead like the rest of his squad. That time in his life had changed him in more ways than he ever cared to admit, but i had solidified one fact for him, were-creatures were dangerous and needed to be slain.
A mixture of emotions crossed the old hunter's mind as he reviewed other bits of his life, it left him with an empty pit in his stomach.

At the end of the day, they were people and that's why he hadn't hunted them like animals, they were far more dangerous than any animal.
He inhaled as he neared the kill, clearing his mind to center him self. He'd mull over the morality of what he was doing later, as always.

The hair on the back of his neck bristled as he drew near the elk's dead body, something was off.

He froze , scanning the treeline around him, only slowly moving his head as needed.
He had learned to trust his instincts , it had saved him more times than once.
That's when he noticed the girl curled up by the elk.

' What in the world?' He almost said aloud from confusion. She hadn't been there when he had shoot the elk.

Tentatively he crept closer to the sleeping were , muzzle raised.
The girl was lovely, no denying about it, even being a were. He debated killing her on the spot or using her to his advantage.

Moments ticked by,he took up the slack on the old trigger.
On one hand she was the enemy.. On the other hand she might have information about the area Lapin need.
. Lapin's mind tried to race back to the interrogation of the tiger-were.He shoved the thought away avoiding the fact
he had done terrible things to the man to gain names and information but the tiger had held out on descriptions and locations, or rather that information couldn't be trusted because of the means of which it had been extracted.

After what seemed like an eternity, Lapin lowered the rifle , he wasn't going to kill her...yet.
He set his rifle and backpack down at a nearby tree but kept his sidearm and knife handy. He'd be kind to this girl, odds were he'd get more information out of kindness than a gun pointed to her head.

He worked quietly, gathering bits of wood and kindling for a cook fire, after all he had just killed dinner.

As he worked he couldn't help but glance over at the contrasting white skin of the human like were, the contrast alone kept catching the corner of his eye.
The forth time he had done this he had gotten sick of looking at her and went to a his bag and took his poncho out to offer it as a blanket to cover her self.

He cleared his throat standing a little ways off , looking away to be polite. " 'Excuse me Ma'am." He said allowed in a stern , but deep and pleasant voice. He waited for her to wake a little before he went on.
" Hope you don't mind my intrusion, but you've curled up by my meal." He explained still averting his eyes, or seemingly to anyways.

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: Roland Grouf Character Portrait: Lapin Izhmash Character Portrait: John Keeler Character Portrait: Reegan Tinfil
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"No I....I didn't mean..." John started to apologize. The words managed to trail off some as he listened to what Riley had to say though.

"I’m sorry, I might have had too much to drink. Or not enough.” He took another swig straight from the bottle. “It’s just… you’re right. Fuck, what’s wrong with me? Did I really think that dropping a bomb like that on you would end well? And what is the point? Why the fuck would I even imprint if it doesn’t help to pass down my genes to the next generation? I can’t have cubs, at least not by any traditional means. I’m the outsider, you’re just in the wrong pride.”

"Well....you are too Riley. We're more than just wild animals, we ought to think more like reasonable people as well. I'm sure you're not the only gay were." Jack finished off his glass and watched, in some amount of surprise as Riley finished the bottle on his own. Sorrow and despair really does fuel the thirst.

“I think I might be drunk." He slurred then finished off the bottle and looked at John with a mock-innocent look on his face. John chuckled slightly and nodded. "You deserve it after what you've been through. Honestly I'm not entirely sure it would matter to me if you did 'do something about it'. If anything it would provide me with sure fact of where I stand on the matter. I just don't want you to hurt. It's the worst part of all this. If I'm not gay we can't be around each other like this, like brothers, like friends. If I don't fall for you in the end you've got no choice to pine over me and me alone. That's what sucks here." John wished he could down himself another glass but he figured he should get Riley home at least. Some rest would do them both good. They'd been up all night. John had been tracking him all week an then some.

"I honestly don't know how I'm going to convince the chief. Whatever it takes I suppose. It's the pack's safety or your homosexuality. I just hope he can see what's important here. No matter. We'll figure this out in the morning. Let's get you home." John stood and put an arm around Riley for support, draping Riley's arm around his neck. He could easily keep Riley on his feet with one arm out for him to grab onto but he just wanted to see something. The slightly smaller were was close enough to fill his sensitive nose with his scent now, mixed with the strong smell of whiskey and the traces of his supper of rare steaks. He really had been getting stronger, John could feel it by the muscles that flexed in his arm and back as he walked. Flashes of mental images of Riley pumping iron and jogging on treadmills at a sweaty gym came to his mind. He chuckled slightly under his breath comparing such exorcizes to his own rigorous training in the forest, running for miles on end lifting weights in two of his forms and sparing in all three forms with whomever challenged him for his position at lead guard. He always finished off a spar with a mighty roar. Being the only lion his was the loudest and most impressive and could be heard five miles off at least. He'd had to avoid doing that since the hunter was spotted nearby though. A roar so loud would definitely lead him to their doorstep.

John helped Riley into his car and they drove on back to Riley's house, talking of more casual things to ease the mood and John explained that he'd only been watching Riley for about an hour before he found the note mostly out of curiosity. "I didn't realize your love for humans extended far enough for you to play hero." John chuckled, "I recommend a cape next time and some tights."

Once they got back to Riley's home John offered his support again, this time holding out an arm for him to hang onto should he need it. John really liked Riley's loft. It was comfortable. Once Riley was off doing whatever it was he was to do to get ready for bed John found himself a beer and made himself comfortable on the couch. Despite it not being his home he found himself inadvertently putting his scent on it, more or less shifting around to get comfortable, putting as much contact against the fabric as he could muster. He kicked off his shoes and reclined himself there letting himself dose off slowly.





Meanwhile in the forest at a small little nook territory in the woods, an old beat up truck putted along an unmarked road leading to nowhere. Roland was finally heading home. His home was a hand built log cabin one he took the liberty of constructing with his own two hands. It was mostly a placeholder of course. He only lived there in the few days of fall and spring when the game that wandered through his territory wasn't enough to fill his appetite. The tiger territory wasn't far off from there, it was just off the mountain in a valley nearby. Roland had never been there before and he hoped never to have reason to. He slowed his truck to a stop as the headlights from it bathed over the entirety of his little shack. He turned it off and climbed out, collecting his shopping bags and kicking the door shut behind him. Nothing but crickets sounded off in that part of the woods. Crickets and the soft rhythmic huff of the bear's breathing. He unlocked the door to his home and entered letting the screen door slam behind him. It was all one floor and three rooms. A bedroom bathed in animal furs, mostly deer and wolf. He didn't let any of his food go to waste. Almost like a proper hunter his meal also became his rug, the comforters to his bed, the thin dry leather of the lampshade and the frame to his chair. Bones skin and fur. Even a hunter might mistake him for another hunter. He was far from it though. There was one thing missing. Guns. Not a single weapon lay in viewing distance from any angle, no guns bows or darts. Only thing he used at all where knives to prepare the flesh. Large chunks of raw venison sat in the fridge and the freezer thawing out methodically to conserve food. He dumped the fruits in as well before lumbering exhaustedly to his bed.

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Riley wasn’t quite as drunk as he seemed to be, he figured John would have known this given that the therians had a higher tolerance for toxins than the average human of the same size. Granted he was a little tipsy, but not plastered. However, when John put his arm around his shoulder and neck, he couldn’t help but enjoy the closeness. It was like they were Ri and Johnny again, not adults, but the kids, the best friends, the brothers they once were. He remembered all the times they had come so close to danger in the past both severe and imagined. He remembered the incident with the stinging nettles how Johnny had saved him, though he was not in any real danger. He remembered the conversation between his mom and Johnny while Riley was laying in bed covered in calamine lotion to relieve the stinging and itching and looked like he was passed out.

“Thank you so much Johnny, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

“It was no problem Mrs. Morgan, I’ll always be there for my stripy little brother.”

She then put the lotion on his legs and arms as well, though under protest from the boy who always felt he had to prove how tough he was.

“This isn’t so bad.” Riley thought to himself. “Maybe I can go back to the tribe. Maybe this is more important than primal urges. Maybe I can function with the human side of myself and trust that having my ‘brother’ around is better than making myself miserable over not having him romantically. Maybe all those other males just brought the torture on themselves. I’ll tell him later though, there’s no way he’ll take me seriously when he thinks I’m drunk.” He also couldn’t help but notice John inhale a deep breath through his nose as he guided him to his car. He noticed a smirk on his face, but had no idea what was going through his mind. He smiled a little bit too just because he was happy to have Johnny back.


When they were in the car John made a comment about super hero stuff like spandex and a cape.

“There’s only a few reasons I do that. One: I’m not allowed to hunt on neutral territory. Two: Like you, I’m nocturnal and I need something to at night and this beats going to a sweaty gym. Three: it’s the right thing to do, if you have the means to help someone who needs it why wouldn’t you? You taught me that one.”

When they got back to his apartment, he unlocked the door and let John in. “Make yourself at home.” He said as John went to the fridge and took out a beer. Being a studio apartment, the living room and bedroom were the same room. He went to and old looking dresser and pulled out some baggy sweat pants and a pair of boxers. “I’m gonna go get a shower, you’re free to crash here instead of that cheap motel if you like.” He said as he opened the bathroom door. He turned and saw John already stretched out on the futon. He smiled. He went to the shower and turned on the heat pretty hot . He stripped and walked in. The heat felt really relaxing. He stood there motionless for a few minutes just letting the water wash away the drama of the day. He gathered his thoughts trying to make sense of it all. Could he really manage to stay in the tribe with John just because the pain of being alone was so much worse? Would the tribe even accept him again? If they didn’t what would happen? Should he help John find a lion tribe so he had a fair chance to pass on his genetics? Was there even a possibility that John might actually be attracted to him, not necessarily gay, but could he be with Riley in that way? And what about the hunters? The one who killed his father, Riley didn’t care what territory he had to go onto, or what treaty he had to break, he would have his revenge. As the thoughts raced he shifted through his forms, first to were-cat, then to full tiger, back to were-cat, then human again. He did that as a means of healing any bodily damage he may have gotten throughout the day. When a therian shifts, their bodies go through an accelerated healing process, so rapid shifting equals rapid healing. He got out after getting good and clean and dried off. He changed into the sweat pants and went shirtless. He walked out of the bathroom to find John still sprawled out across the futon and asleep. Riley was a bit irritated only by the fact that he hadn’t had the chance to pull it out into a bed yet and he now had nowhere to sleep. He didn’t want to wake him and he figured this could be a good test for him. If he could be this close to John and not get all worked up over it, there was definitely hope that the friendship could be kept in tact, even if the romance could never be and that might just be enough for him. He grabbed a spare pillow and some blankets out of the closet. He threw one of the blankets over John and spread one over the floor and put the pillow at one end. He closed the blinds at the window and made sure the door was locked. He shifted into his were-cat form because he always seemed to sleep better that way, then curled up into a ball on the blanket with his head on the pillow and was out cold in a matter of minutes. Despite how menacing his form was, he was utterly adorable laying like that and having his best friend there he couldn’t help but purr in his sleep.

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(I hate posting without someone else posting between us mate but...people seem to be going their own pace here.)

John shifted from his human to his were form to his full lion form as he slept, he grumbled deep in his chest and panted in restless slumber, his claws unsheathing and clutching at the fabric of Riley's futon couch. He was having nightmares. Ones that hadn't been so bad since the day he was dropped off at the tiger tribe. He growled and groaned, a deep low frequency rumble, that made rib cages rattle. His lips drew back and he bared his teeth to the hunters that strutted through his dreams shooting down the ghostly apparitions of his family. Were lions lay dead everywhere, their blood staining the long grasses and coarse leather tents. John backed as far as he could to one side of the couch, his haunches tense as he watched his mother run at a man wielding a bone knife. The expression on her face was a permanent mark in his mind, the fierce wild rage of a protecting mother. Her throat was shot through at close range with a shot gun and she hit the floor before she could let out a single word in defiance. She was left with the sight of her only cub cowering in terror in the shadow of a wooden shelf. Calling to her with his pitiful baby lion cries. He could remember almost hearing her words urgent in his mind as she mouthed her final words to him bright green eyes fading in the dusty light shining through the leather tent. Run, child! He ran, but didn't go three paces before the ground was yanked from him causing his heart to clench as if it had been left behind.

John started awake, eyes wide sweat cold on his skin making his tee shirt cling to his body like some form of restraint. He was back in human form again but the residual fear made his form quite unstable. His hair quivered at varying lengths as he gripped the edge of the couch with strong claws, forcing himself to his feet. He carefully stepped around Riley and escaped to his bathroom to throw cold water on his face, still trembling from head to toe. Looking at his pale face in the mirror a scowl began to form as fear turned into frustration and anger. Why is this happening again? His claws dug at the porcelain as his grip tightened on the sink. "One hunter and you fall to pieces.....it's no wonder they doubt your strength." He muttered under his breath. His mind's eye flashed to the image of the tiger scull laying in the grass, clean, almost polished white positively glowing in the sunlight. 'I couldn't even bring him back safe...' John stared at his reflection for a while, be fore he dried himself off, looking even more exhausted than he did when he went to sleep.

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(yeah, I like the free flowing format though)
Riley, having the hunting instincts he did, wasn’t able to ever sleep heavily. He woke the instant John stepped next to him on his way to the bathroom. Riley sat up, forgetting that he was in his were-cat form, and propped himself up his back against the futon. He listened as John ran water and he heard splashing. This confused him as he knew that lions weren’t the type to enjoy water like tigers did. He sighed a little bit and noticed Johns scent was all over the futon. “Guess I won’t be spraying any Fabreeze on that for a while.” he thought to himself. He noticed John was taking a while in the bathroom and something didn’t seem right, he could feel tension in the air and it was unnerving. It felt like he was watching himself in a horror movie and he didn’t know where the killer was hiding. He slowly got to his feet and walked to the bathroom, all his senses in feral mode, and he saw the door open just a crack and John standing at the sink. He saw the reflection in the mirror and he looked like he had just been through something very traumatic. He opened the door slowly and asked “Is everything okay?” But it didn’t come out in words, but rather a cross between a whimper of concern and slight growl. This was, of course, because he was still in his were-cat form and not capable of making real words. The sound startled himself almost as much as it did John. He shifted quickly to his human form.“ What’s wrong, John? You haven’t looked like this since you were a kid. You used to have the worst nightmares.” He looked at John’s expression and it clicked. “Oh god, you’re having them again aren’t you? I thought you were past that years ago. What happened?” He put his arms around his shoulders to comfort him and pulled him into a hug. “It’s okay, I’m here for you.” He whispered petting the side of his straggly main. “Damn, you’re on the verge of shifting, calm down brother, you’re here, you’re safe. You want me to make you a couple steaks? It always calms me down when I’m stressed.” He said before taking a deep breath and inhaling his scent. God, that man smelled good. He was all musky and there was somehow a hint of freshly mowed grass in there. He held him close until he was ready to speak trying to be comforting and not to come across as the weird pervy younger brother.

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John suddenly turned to Riley and embraced him, his large and awkwardly half formed were-body almost completely enveloping Riley's small and by comparison frail human form. His sand colored mane cascading down his back and over his shoulders. John seemed to try to say something to Riley but all that managed to come out was a soft rumbling chuff. He shrank down gradually as his heart calmed and his thoughts became clearer as he buried his face against Riley's shoulder. He chuckled faintly as he realized how ridiculous he must seem. "Twenty two years and it still haunts me, all it takes is one death one murder by those....hunters to bring it all rushing back" He murmured, after a moment he pulled away, wiping his face again with his sleeve. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you." He cleared his throat as if to muster up his tough air again, not being one to maintain a weak appearance for long even with Riley, especially with Riley. Though Riley was always the one who seemed to bring him back down to earth. "Steak would be nice..."

His pale gaze still seemed distant though and he left the bathroom only to pace the floor in the sitting room/bedroom. The moment of him and the group of trackers and enforcers coming upon the tiger scull replaying in his head. "Listen, don't worry about the steak....I'll be fine." He said turning to Riley. "You should get some sleep." He absently dug his hands into the pockets of his leather jacket. "I think I'm going to go get some fresh air."

He simply couldn't bare being around Riley at the moment, knowing what had happened to his father. God knows what that hunter did to the were tiger. John could only think of the worst, and while he did think the man deserved punishment for what he did to Riley this was not something John would wish on his worst enemy. He blamed himself, being the enforcer, the guardian for the tribe. It was his job to keep tabs on the members of the tribe and any dangerous creature encroaching on the territory, man or beast. Being predators were tigers had little to be concerned with from nature, it was humans and other weres he had to look out for and he failed. The man had gone missing one morning and it was a damned miracle they figured out it was a hunter that took him. Whoever that hunter was he was good at covering tracks and even better at not leaving them. The human had left his scull behind, clean of any flesh or debris but John had been around the man enough in all three of his forms to recognize it, even more so after Riley had been banished. John had ridden his ass for months every year trying to pull information out of him about where Riley was. If Riley had known the effort John put into finding him he would probably be less concerned about how John felt about him in fact towards the end John began to suspect Riley's father suspected him of being gay.

Anyways, John left the apartment to get some fresh air. He sat against the building on the sidewalk as heat from the already risen sun beamed down on him. Three in the morning had become well past seven. John pulled a box of cigarettes from his pocket and stared at them quietly. A relatively new habit and he already found himself craving one. He sighed and leaned his head back against the rough cement of the building, embracing the warmth on his skin.

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Riley stayed out of John’s way and let him go out for some fresh air. He took the opportunity to pull out the futon into a bed. He couldn’t help but inhaling deeply again of John’s scent. “You’re not supposed to be getting worked up, remember?” He said to himself. He put the blankets and pillow on the futon, now stretched into a full sized bed. He lied down and snuggled into the blankets closing his eyes and breathing deep. Without even thinking, he started purring, rubbing his own scent into John’s scent on the futon. Within a few minutes he was out cold and still purring. The early morning sunlight peering in through the space between the blinds on the window gave an added sense of warmth in the bed.

Shortly after falling asleep Riley also started experiencing nightmare of his own. Perhaps it was the atmosphere or the pheromones in the air from John, but they were not pleasant. He woke up and he was 17 again. He saw his father reach for the monkey wrench and swing it at him. He wanted to stop it, but he could do nothing to prevent it. He seemed to only blink his eyes and he was tied to the back of the car again, only this time he was facing away from the car. In the distance he saw his father laughing at him. Behind his father he saw a faceless hunter sneaking up behind him with a big hunting knife. The car started and he tried clawing at the ropes and chains holding him to the car. The car started moving and he clawed at the ground trying to get back to his father, still laughing at him as the hunter silently walked up behind him and sliced open his throat. He shifted frantically trying to get out but continued to be dragged until everything went black. He woke up freaking out clawing at the blankets, still not fully awake. When he realized where he was and what was happening, he looked down at the blankets and saw that they were shredded all to hell. He got up and in spite of how great the futon smelled, he reluctantly decided to stay up. He looked at the clock, it was eight thirty. He opened the blinds on the window and saw John on the stairs leaning next to the building with a pack of cigarettes in his hand. “When did he start smoking?” He muttered. He went to the kitchen and pulled out the frying pan and put a few steaks on. He seared them for about a minute on each side, then put them on a big plate and made some eggs to go with them and a fresh pot of coffee. When everything was cooked, he poured himself a big cup of coffee then went to the door. He gave John a look of disapproval at the cigarettes, but didn’t say anything about them. He knew that John knew what he was doing and that the therians could handle toxins with less chance of addiction.

“Breakfast is ready. Sorry it’s not what you’re used to, but I can’t hunt on neutral territory. It’s torture really being a hunter that can’t hunt. Better get it before it gets cold, then I’ll pack and we can get going.”

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“Breakfast is ready. Sorry it’s not what you’re used to, but I can’t hunt on neutral territory. It’s torture really being a hunter that can’t hunt. Better get it before it gets cold, then I’ll pack and we can get going.”

In the end John indulged himself on a single cigarette, which he enjoyed while Riley slept. He stayed out there for quite some time until Riley showed up on the steps of the apartment building. He stuffed the cigarette pack back into his pocket and stood, going back inside for breakfast. He spotted Riley's look of disapproval and he couldn't help but allow his charming, amused expression back onto his face. "I don't do it that often." He assured him. He followed Riley back up to his apartment, hands in pockets, watching Riley from behind his thoughts a-buzz but much more relaxed than before. He really did look good. John's playful challenging nature stirred, wanting to get rough and let his pent up emotional energy out in a show of proper masculinity and dominance. He was about to swat at Riley from behind, playfully to initiate a match of teasing but one of the other apartments opened up and he found his shoulder bumped by some man in a suit rushing to work. John bared his teeth momentarily as the man uttered rushed apologies but the werelion just waved and nodded. "T's ok..." he mumbled.

He sat down at the counter once they'd re-entered. "Don't worry Ri, when we get home I am taking you hunting. Me, you and a bunch of the guys. The prize dinner is hunter flesh and I hear it tastes fantastic." He chuckled.

It was as if that morning never happened. Thus was John's way of 'coping'. John's entire lineage was built on alpha males taking charge and taking what they wanted be it wives, jobs, or influence and it often poked through in the way John acted. He was always defending his position in some way. John dug into the steak with gusto, abandoning silverware and using his claws to carve it into manageable chunks. He stabbed the yolk of one egg with his claw and hooked it through dropping the morsel into his maw. The state of the futon then caught his eye. "I didn't do that to your couch....did I?" He asked, horrified at the thought of damaging Riley's hard earned property.

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Riley could feel the tension in the air as they walked back to the apartment. They sat at the counter on the two barstools. He made the comment about eating the hunter’s flesh, and he had to admit, in spite of his sympathizing, his mouth was watering at the thought of tearing the flesh from the bones of the hunter. He simply smiled at the comment and watched as John went to work on his breakfast. He had forgotten how nice it was to eat with others whose table manners were more primitive like his own. He let out a little snicker as he followed suite and grabbed the steak by the bone and tore into it, ripping and tearing the meat as the blood dribbled down his chin. However when it came to the eggs, his were scrambled, so he simply lapped them up off the plate. He looked at John and gave him a big goofy grin when they had finished, both of their faces covered in the blood from the steak and, to anyone who wasn’t a therian, this would have looked gory and disturbing. However, for the two of them, it was incredibly funny. It instantly reminded Riley of when they were kids and used to have races to see who could finish their deer first. It was all he could do to not bust out laughing at how funny he John looked. He took the dishes to the sink and grabbed a few paper towels off the roll and threw a couple of them at John’s face as he wiped his own off.

John noticed the shredded blankets on the futon. "I didn't do that to your couch....did I?" He asked with a distinct note of concern in his voice.

“No.” Riley sighed as he finally assessed the damage he had done. “This was from my own nightmare. Guess they’re contagious.” He laughed it off to assure him it was no big deal.

Riley walked over to the closet and pulled out a suitcase and threw it on the futon. He opened it then opened up his dresser and, after setting aside what he planned to wear that day, started filling it with clothes. Then, when he was sure he had all that he needed, he opened up the bottom drawer and reached up under the drawer above it and pulled out an old hunting knife. It was in a leather sheath and had an elk stag bone handle. He sat on the edge of the couch and pulled it slowly out of the sheath. He inhaled deeply and his eyes began to water. I was obvious that this was a knife that his father had given him. In fact it was a hunting knife that had been passed down for generations in his family. His father had given it to him the day he had been accepted to be the youngest tribe hunter in the history of the tribe. He remembered how proud his father had been that day. That was the father he would avenge, that was the father that loved him and he would use this knife to get this justice. He re-sheathed the knife and put it on top of the clothes in the suitcase. He grabbed the clothes he had set aside. He started to strip, his back to John, and when he took off his sweat pants his tail flopped out, apparently he hadn’t fully shifted back to human, and was sticking out just above the waist band of his boxers. It was swishing and twitching about as if it had a mind of its own. He was pulling his jeans up before he actually noticed it was still there. However, rather than trying to focus on shifting it away, he just tucked it into his jeans, this was part of the reason he always wore baggy clothes. He pulled on a black tank top and a black hoody to go over it. Winter was moving in and this was as close as he came to bundling up. He turned to see John staring at him wide-eyed and mouth slightly agape. Riley was confused at first, then realized he was just in shock that Riley had gotten over his awkwardness about changing in front of him. He decided to make a bad joke to break some of the tension.

“What?! You see something you like?” He asked with a bit of chuckle.

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“No.” Riley sighed as he finally assessed the damage he had done. “This was from my own nightmare. Guess they’re contagious.” He laughed it off to assure him it was no big deal.

John licked his lips of the blood and steak juice and was about to wipe his face with his sleeve when he realized he was still wearing his good leather jacket. He used a napkin instead and finished, using the fur of his hand and tongue to groom away the grease. Watching a were clean himself like this was interesting to say the least. John preferred it to showering, being strongly against getting himself sopping wet, and could be caught on occasion licking himself in lion form. It was part of the reason his scent seemed more potent than Riley's. He reinforced it with his own scent glands kind of like putting on his own John-scented perfume. He remained clean as anyone who scrubbed with soap and water, using the barbs on his tongue to remove dirt grime and the smells that lingered during the day. Regardless John paused mid lick when he spotted Riley at the corner of his eye getting changed. He slipped back into his human form and watched inadvertently staring as his tail came flopping out of the sweat pants. Wow....not self conscious anymore, is he.

“What?! You see something you like?” He asked with a bit of chuckle.

John's jaw snapped shut, nipping his tongue painfully and drawing blood. He winced at the pain of it and his ears went a faint pink. "I-I wasn't....."

He cleared his throat and shifted in his seat momentarily. "Ow...." He chuckled "Hurry up and get ready I have to get my shit back at the hotel." He snapped, feigning impatience.

Once Riley was done packing and had everything in order the pair left the apartment and got back in John's camaro to head to the motel. John paid for his nights and picked up his things, a meager two bags, one for clothes one for weapons both of which where tossed into the trunk next to Riley's things.

John then sat down in the drivers seat and they pulled off down the main road out of the city. "Off we go. It's going to be a long ride, took me three days to make only because I've had to weave in between all the territories to get here, god forbid we stop at a gas station in a panther tribe's territory. Shouldn't take more than two days going back though. I know a place we can stop for the night, an old friend of mine about halfway, hopefully I can convince him to let us cut through his place...he can be....difficult."

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Riley got into the car after throwing his suitcase into the trunk. Part of him was thinking it’d be a better idea if he took his own car and just followed John, but why waste the gas? It also didn’t help that, when he sat down, he was suddenly aware that the whole interior of the car was permeated with John’s scent. He sat down and it was like a junkie getting his fix. His eyes dilated, his nostrils flared and his teeth grinded together. He discretely inhaled as deep as he could before John got into the car. However, unlike the effects of a true junkie getting his fix, he suddenly felt calmed and relaxed. He smiled a goofy grin. They went to the motel and picked up John’s things and while he was in the motel he couldn’t help but rub around in the seat like he had put catnip on it or something. He couldn’t explain why, but he wanted to feel as though he was connected to John and this helped with that craving. Either he didn’t realize or didn’t care that at the same time he was putting his own scent into the seat while he was rubbing around. He saw John come out of the Motel with his bags and Riley quickly halted the rubbing. As John sat back down in the car he sniffed a little then looked at Riley with a mocking accusatory look.

“What?” Riley asked as innocently as he could.

John didn’t answer, he just shook his head turned to start the car. The first part of the trip wasn’t too bad, they made small talk here and there as John navigated through back roads and small middle of nowhere towns on their way. Eventually, though, Riley began to succumb to the calming effects of John’s scent-laden upholstery and fell asleep with his head against the window. He once again was visited by ghosts of the past in his dreams, only this time they were pleasant.

It played out like watching an old home movie reel in his mind. He was ten years old again and wrestling around with Johnny in the field behind his house. All of a sudden, Ri stopped what he was doing, even though he was winning. This was the first time his senses ever went feral. He jumped off of Johnny, who he had pinned, and turned to face the woods his eyes wide.
“What’s going on, you were winning? Why’d you give up?”
Ri didn’t answer only held a hand up to silence him. A second later he had completely shifted to a tiger cub and was running into the woods, Johnny following suite, was right on his heels. It was almost as if he had turned into a different person going solely on instinct. They got a short distance from a meadow and Ri came to a screeching halt, Johnny almost running into him. He then started moving very slowly and quietly towards the meadow. When they got to the edge, he saw his first prey; a small doe grazing in the meadow. Then, like a blot of lightning, he blasted from the underbrush and out at the deer. Ri was one of the fastest cubs in the tribe so he had her by the neck and pinned to the ground before she was half-way to the edge of the meadow. With a quick shake of his head, he snapped her neck and started digging into the fresh kill. He looked up, his face covered in blood and smiled as best he could in his tiger form when Johnny emerged from the bushes looking shocked and thrilled at the same time. They shifted back to human form so they could talk.

“What the hell was that?” Johnny asked in awe.

“I don’t know, it was like I suddenly heard the munching of grass and smelled the deer and I couldn’t help myself. I had to get it.”

“That was so cool. You should ask your dad if you can be a hunter.”

“You think so? You think he’ll let me, I know he really wants me to train to be an enforcer or a guard?” He asked a little unsure of what he should do.

“Yeah you should. Just take this home and let him see what you can do.”

“Okay, but you gotta come with so he’ll believe I did it and didn’t just find it out here.”

The two brought the deer to Ri’s house and his father was the proudest tiger in the tribe. He agreed that night that Ri should train to become a hunter, and with the proper training, he could be one of the best in the tribe.

The movie reel in Riley’s mind faded out. He slowly woke up as he noticed the car had turned off of the paved road onto a gravely road. He noticed snow everywhere, which wasn’t uncommon in November, and he figured they had gone up into the mountains to avoid someone else’s territory. Riley loved the smell of snow and it was a little warm in the car so he opened the window to let the night air in. He took a deep breath to smell the snow and his senses went feral.

“What the fuck are you doing? We need to turn back NOW. This is bear territory…” He trailed off as he noticed John grinning at his reaction.

“Oh shit, your friend is a bear isn’t he? Goddamnit, you really should have told me that first.”

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: Lapin Izhmash Character Portrait: John Keeler Character Portrait: Reegan Tinfil
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"T-Thank you sir.." Reegan soothed, looking at the man.She sat down at the tree, and scooted a bit closer to the fire.Reegan couldn't care less about the blood and gore, she just wanted food, and some decent clothing.'Why isn't he hurting me..?' She thought, looking at the flames of the fire.The ashes flying into the air, then dropping to the ground .Her thoughts were all over the place, but the one real good thought was,'Is there anymore like me?' Reegan felt stupid just thinking about other people like her, and if there was, why wouldn't the save her from this hunter, was the hunter even going to hurt her?Shivers were sent up her back just thinking about it.Reegan scooted a bit more closer to the fire, cold sharp wind ripping at her bare feet, and legs.

Her belly grumbled each time the man cut deeper into the Elk, Reegan just wanted food.She looked at her arms and legs, they were sticks compared to the man with muscles from when he was younger.Her back hurt, so she laid back down, still keeping close to the fire.Reegan had felt her eyelids close, and she started to dream about others like her.People with an animal spirit like her.She'd dream of a tiger and lion, both men, fighting with each other.

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: John Keeler
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Night had fallen again in the mountains and the only sound was the gentle rumble of the car engine and the crunch of tires on snow. He'd had to slow down for the past few hours of driving as the road out there in the forest where little more than dirt trails. Snow, ice and broken limbs littered them but a relatively recent set of tire tracks suggested at least one person had been down that road sometime in the past two days. John had all but succumbed to the lul that came with continuous driving and his ass muscles where cramping from sitting for so long. He yawned widely, a low growling roar bubbling in his throat as he did so. He glanced over to the passenger seat where Riley slept. The chill of the weather and the cute look of him curled in his seat gave John the passing desire to lay next to him and share the warmth, grooming the fur on the back of his neck. Who knows how long since Riley had been groomed by another of his kind. John turned his gaze back on the road. Would that even be ok? John wasn't sure what was ok to be done and what wasn't anymore. He sighed and turned the heating up to a more comfortable level.

A few moments later Riley seemed to wake up and rolled down the window to let in some fresh air.

“What the fuck are you doing? We need to turn back NOW. This is bear territory…” He trailed off as he noticed John grinning at his reaction.

“Oh shit, your friend is a bear isn’t he? Goddamnit, you really should have told me that first.”


John chuckled and pulled off the dirt road to an even rougher, steeper path, forced to slow the car to almost a crawl the deep forest musky scent of bear crept in like a cloud, sending a deep foreboding feral kind of warning through their systems. John shifted in his seat and peered up the hill. There was....what could barely be called a cabin up ahead. The wood making up its walls seemed to be literal tree trunks stacked on their side. Moss still clung to them and ivy ran up the corners. A lone window stood at the side facing them. The inside was dark and there was no window pane to speak of just a whole bunch of heavy curtains hung to keep the wind from blowing in at full force. The door was rickety and didn't latch properly and seemed to be cracked open slightly. John pulled the car up next to a pickup truck that almost camouflaged itself with the side of the mountain with how much muck and branches covered it. "Here we are...Um......just.....let me do the talking at first....he's very territorial...to strangers and people he doesn't like." Which is just about everyone, John finished in thought. "Here's to hoping he hasn't gone to bed yet."

John got up out of the car, glanced over at Riley and approached the door, his senses on edge. The cabin seemed dead silent. John knocked on the door, hiding the nerves he felt recalling the last time he'd met the bear. It was after the party the tribe had thrown upon winning his promotion to head Enforcer through bare handed combat with the former leader. They had all been drunk and thought it would be funny dropping John in 'The Bear's' territory as a joke. You know how guys get sometimes...Needless to say Roland was not happy about finding a passed out lion in his hunting grounds and John had to fight the 700lb beast by himself. It was an invigorating experience for him. John knocked again after several minutes of silence.

Masked by the power of his own territory marking skills. Roland walked right up behind the pair without them noticing. Only speaking once he was directly behind Riley. "The hell are you doing here, cat?" He snapped in a gravelly voice. Roland was in pure human form, a somewhat chubby, tall man with a scratchy unkempt beard and a dirty plaid blue shirt on over an off white dirt stained tee, loose faded jeans and a pair of old hiking boots. He was lugging the carcass of a rather large grey wolf over one shoulder, its pink tongue lolling from its mouth.

"I was wondering-" John started after flashing a friendly smile.
"No." Roland snapped, pushing past John to open the door to his house.
"Just for one night! We'll be out before dawn I promise!"
"I told you I don't want to see your smug little face in my territory EVER again! What makes you think I'll let you AND your... mate in my house?!" He glared distastefully at Riley.
"Because as enforcer of the tiger tribe I can pull strings to let you access to the East river in spring! The salmon, Roland! Think of all the salmon!"At that Roland paused thoughtfully. He looked over at Riley again quietly. "Fine. One night then you leave my territory and don't ever think of coming back."

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Character Portrait: Riley Morgan Character Portrait: Roland Grouf Character Portrait: John Keeler
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Riley couldn’t believe his ears, not that the bear thought he was John’s mate, that was an easy mistake given that he was practically bathing in his scent earlier in the day. What Riley was confused about was John’s complete indifference to the comment. He said nothing to correct the bear and that threw Riley for a loop. Did he feel something other than friendship? He was probably just trying not to provoke the bear, after all he was trying to get them a place to stay.

He stepped out of the car and looked up at John who was motioning for him to come inside. “You go ahead, I’m gonna go for a walk. I need to stretch my legs after the long car ride. I won’t go too far, just come get me when you work out the food situation, I’m starving.”

Riley wandered out into the woods being careful to stay close to the cabin. Bears were usually solitary creatures unless it was mating season so he figured there wouldn’t be any other bears getting to close to the cabin. He was just out of ear shot of the cabin when he saw a small clearing in the trees. There was a log laying on the ground and Riley brushed the snow off and sat on it like a bench. He looked up into the night sky with more stars than he could ever hope to count and let out a sigh. “You up there Dad? If you are I could really use one of those Lion King type moments right now.” He paused as if he were actually waiting for a response. “Still not talking to me, huh? I guess you’ll just have to listen then. I miss you, Dad. I have for a long time now. You know this really sucks that you’d leave me like this, right when I need you most. I’m not sure if I’m good enough to do this, Dad. This hunter is good, he’s getting past all the other hunters of the tribe. Yeah I know you think I’m the best, but you were always a bit biased.” He gave a noise that was indistinguishable between a laugh and crying. “Why’d you have to end it the way you did? Fuck, you were so proud of me. You loved me the way any parent was supposed to, but two words out of my mouth and all that changed. You beat me, you threw me out like a piece of trash and left me for dead.” He cried. “A parent’s love is supposed to be unconditional, not something that can be destroyed with two fucking words. You didn’t even let me explain why I came to you in the first place. I was trying to tell you that I imprinted. I was seventeen and I had just imprinted on my best friend, I needed some compassion, some understanding, some advice or something, but you didn’t give me any of that. And I could have done a lot worse than imprinting on John. Yeah, that’s right I imprinted on the lion. But we were always told that, when you find a mate, they should be caring, loyal, know you inside-out, and be someone you can’t imagine your life without. John fits all that, he just doesn’t seem to have the same feelings for me.” He stopped talking and just stared at the moonlight making the snow appear to glow.