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 How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days

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Zoe

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PostSubject: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sat 20 Sep 2014, 12:25

Though the Texas winter had been harsh, this particular day the sun afforded Nacogdoches a bit more warmth than usual. Zoe decided to join Jana and her son on a walk through town to enjoy the slight change in temperature. The Theurge had been spending most of her spare time with both Harriet and Jana, as the new Garou babies piqued both her scientific and maternal interests.

As the women neared O'Brian's shop, Jana caught Zoe glancing in the kinfolk's direction and smiled knowingly.

"Are you going to go in this time?"

Zoe looked back to Jana, blushed slightly, and shook her head.

"Where? Connor's shop? Why would I do that?"

Jana tilted her chin down and eyed Zoe sternly.

"Seriously, Zoe?  Don't play coy with me. I know better.  The weeks you were there working on your lucifer all you could talk to me about was how kind and handsome he was. Now that you're done, have you even gone back in there?"

Zoe shrugged, looked down, then met Jana's eyes.

"I didn't really see much reason to.  My work there was done, and I was too busy finishing the process with my lucifer to even think about such things."

Jana smiled coyly.

"But you did anyway, didn't you? Think about those things, I mean?"

Zoe started to deny it but stopped herself. She had no reason to lie to Jana, seeing as how she was the closest thing she had to a friend out here.

"I suppose I did...some.  But what does it matter what I think about him?  He hasn't made any attempts to run into me or talk to me since I finished working in his shop."

"You yourself said how busy you were. He probably didn't want to disturb you, since he knew how hard you'd worked and how important this was to you.  Just go in there and make your intentions known to him."

Zoe's face turned completely red and her eyes grew wide.  She spoke in hushed tones as they were now standing directly across the street from his shop.

"Make my intentions known?  That's not how these things are supposed to work, Jana!  There's supposed to be courtship and him pursuing me and all that stuff."

Jana eyed her with a scowl then her eyes registered understanding.

"Oh, right. Garou society is still relatively new to you, isn't it?"

Jana cradled her son in one arm and placed her other hand on Zoe's shoulder.

"What I suggested is exactly how 'these things' are supposed to work in our society. Kinfolk exist, yes, to help maintain our human relations, but one of their primary purposes is to mate with Garou to make more Garou."

The kinfolk woman smiled affectionately at her child as she finished her sentence.  She then met Zoe's eyes and continued.

"The point is, Zoe, as the Garou in this potential relationship it is your responsibility to make the first move. Things may work differently in human society, and to an extent Garou try to exist within the cultural norms, but in this instance it's up to you to make your intentions known to him."

Zoe looked nervously at O'Brian's shop then back to Jana.

"And you're sure he won't think me too forward or crass to just go in there and insist that he's mine now?"

Her breathing quickened as her words started to spill forth without restraint.

"What if another Garou woman has already claimed him as her own?  I certainly don't want to encroach on another woman's territory. I mean he didn't say anything about there being someone, but the topic never really came up. Our kind are often gone for months at a time, so just because I never see him with someone doesn't mean there isn't someone."

Jana laughed out loud, which startled her baby awake.  She bounced and shushed her wee one, but he refused to go back to sleep.

"He took you to Harriet's to eat and let you sleep in his bed. If there is another woman, he certainly isn't worried about her finding out anything, which either makes him really stupid or means there is not another woman.  Either way, I need to get home and feed this guy, so go in there and get you a mate!  Bye!"

Jana turned back toward her Indian-Agency-owned home without giving Zoe a chance to respond.  Zoe called out to her, but the young mother was too focused on her crying son to hear her, which left her standing alone in the street in front of O'Brian's shop.

Zoe paced back and forth in front of the butcher's shop that faced the blacksmith's shop. The larger butcher eyed her suspiciously but was too intimidated to do anything about her presence, though he gripped his cleaver a little tighter.

Having built up as much resolve as she could muster, Zoe finally forced herself to cross the street and enter the shop.  The clang of metal on metal reverberated from the workshop in the back.  As she took a step inside, his shirtless, muscular, sweat-covered back was turned to her as he worked to shape the obstinate piece of metal. She silently watched him work unsure what to say to draw his attention and not quite ready to break his concentration.

As she admired his physique and replayed their arguably flirtatious interactions from a few weeks past, Zoe felt both hopeful and terrified. All of a sudden she had talked herself out of any resolve she had and turned for the door.

"Zoe?"

She grimaced and froze before pasting on a smile and turning back to him.

"Connor. Hi. I - uh - I was just on your side of town and - um - needed to pick up a..."

She hastily looked around the shop and grabbed the closest thing she could find.

"Hammer!  Yes, a hammer.  Sylvester was - uh - working on the new stagecoach stop, and he, well, he hit his thumb with the only hammer we had and then - uh- he just smashed it with his club. So, they sent me to come get a new one."

O'Brian eyed her curiously, clearly not believing her story, but unwilling to call her bluff.

"Well, Zoe, it looks like you found what you need. No charge for you of course, seeing as how you Garou keep us safe it's the least I can do to provide whatever you all need from my shop."

"Oh, right, of course, thanks."

Zoe smiled nervously as Connor wiped his hands and took a few steps closer.

"You're sure you don't need anything else, Miss Kostas?"

His scent overwhelmed her senses and her heart raced uncontrollably.

"No, no. Just this - this hammer here. So, I guess I'll be going. Thanks again."

He smiled and she did her best to return it before turning for the door.

"It was nice to see you, Zoe. Don't be a stranger."

"You, too, Connor. I'll see you around."

She walked casually out the door, around the corner, and rushed back toward the caern, all the while silently and not-so-silently berating herself for her cowardice and trying to cover her true motives with a hammer.  Going the back way to the caern, she missed Rends-the-Gar who was headed to the butcher.

Connor saw the Ahroun across the street and waved to him.  

"I hear you smashed one of my finely crafted hammers with your club earlier this week. I'd love to take a look at your club sometime, see if I could reinforce it or maybe even replicate it."

Sylvester gave him a confused stare then shrugged. "I don't know what hammer you're talkin bout, but if ya think ya could strengthen my club, yer welcome to try."


Last edited by Zoe on Sat 20 Sep 2014, 21:38; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sat 20 Sep 2014, 21:36

On the way back to the caern Zoe decided to stop at Harriet's house to see if she was home and willing to advise her on this matter. When she knocked on the door, however, Kefka appeared holding his daughter in his arms. Zoe smiled curiously at her brother as he greeted her and welcomed her inside. He offered her a drink, but she declined for now.

"So, what brings you here to my place, Zoe? Did you come to babysit because that would be great!"

Zoe laughed and shook her head.

"Sorry, brother, but I will hold her for you if you don't mind."

Kefka passed the tiny squirming Garou to his sister and quickly poured himself a drink, offering her one yet again, which she once more denied.

"I have a problem, Kefka, that I hoped you could help me with. You and Harriet seem happy enough and you have this beautiful little girl who Gaia blessed with Garou blood. Clearly you made the right choice choosing Harriet, but how did you know to choose her? Of all the women you have surely met and charmed in the past, why was Harriet the one you chose to stop and stay with?"

Zoe paused for a moment and looked down at the precious child in her arms before adding an additional thought.

"I ask you this because I think I have found someone who I would like to be my mate, but I don't know if he's the right person, how to know if he is, and what to do about it if he is."

She looked back at Kefka and laughed.

"I'm pathetic, I know, but can you help me anyway?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sat 20 Sep 2014, 22:03

Kefka slowly sips his drink and lazily leans against the wall as Zoe begins to tell her story, by the end of it he is chuckling. He takes another sip and scratches the back of his head as he begins to speak.

"Ah hell Zoe...I didn't think about none of that." He laughs again.

"She is a fine lady and a purveyor of alcohol. Lucky for me she was a kinfolk."

He smiles and stares off into the distance reminiscing before finishing his drink and moving to sit down at the kitchen table.

"It was spur the moment. Carnal, free, wonderful. We didn't talk about it. We jumped in for better or worse."

He looks at Jasnah and smiles.

"And I wouldn't change a damn thing."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sat 20 Sep 2014, 22:11

Zoe sighed as she looked as Jasnah once again.

"Carnal? Free? Didn't think about it? I don't know if I can do that. Actually, I know I can't."

She sniffed out a laugh as she shook her head.

"I went into Connor's shop in an attempt to make my intentions known and I left with that."

She gestured to the iron hammer sitting on the table near the door.

"I just wasn't raised that way, Kefka. Proper women don't do that where I come from. Finding a husband or wife is a time-consuming process with proper procedures and protocols. It's certainly not something one enters into haphazardly."

Jasnah cooed and reached a hand up toward Zoe's frustrated face.

"And yet...it seemed to work out just right for you."

She looked back at Kefka and sighed.

"Is that what you think I should do then? Just go for it with no holds barred? No plans? No contemplations? Just carnal wonderfulness?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sat 20 Sep 2014, 22:22

Kefka sighed as Zoe asked her question.

"It don't matter what I think Zoe. This has to be something you do on your own. It will be a relationship you have that no one else will be apart of. You have to decide on the rules and how to move forward, and who it is with for that matter."

He smiled at her.

"You need to do what makes you happy. The only expectations the relationship has to meet are yours and his. You think Red Oath was happy about Harriet and I. Hell Nah. But that didn't matter."

He laughs.

"Why not go back to his place and tell him to ask you out? Explain to him your rules.Tell him you are a proper woman and if he treats you like one maybe one day ha can have the chance to father your children."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sat 20 Sep 2014, 22:47

Zoe listened attentively as Kefka spoke, though she was constantly glancing down at the tiny eyes staring up at her. When he finished, she nodded slowly then more decidedly as she met his eyes.

"You know what? You're right. Just because Garou society does not require the same cultural standards concerning courtship and male-female relationships as human society does not mean I have to abandon my beliefs in the way I was taught."

Zoe stood up and handed Jasnah back to her father as she headed for the door, grabbing the hammer as she passed the side table.

"Thank you, brother. You've been a great help to me!"

Zoe hastened out the door without waiting for a response. She knew what she had to do and she was not going to fail this time.

About halfway back to O'Brian's Zoe literally ran into a large man, who was holding a raw turkey leg in each hand. She took a step back, apologized, then realized it was Rends-the-Gar.

"Where you headed in such a hurry, Zoe?"

She pondered her answer for a moment before deciding that if Mocks knew, Rends would likely know soon enough, and she had no reason to keep this from him.

"I'm headed to Connor O'Brian's shop to insist that he court me like a proper woman in hopes of one day fathering Garou children to me."

Her brazen certainty caught her off guard and she looked up to assess Rends' reaction.

"I mean, what do you think? Do you think he'd make a proper mate for me? How did you know Silke would be an appropriate one for you?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sat 20 Sep 2014, 23:58

Rends the Gar laughed as he slapped her on the shoulder, handing her one of the turkey legs.

"Funny you say that. He sent me after ya with this. Seems ta think you tend to skip meals when you's distracted or somethin'."

He chuckled again, then grew more serious as he considered her question.

"Me and Silke was... kinda special. You'll understand when you meet her. Some folk might say it was fate the way we met, but I don't see it like that. She was in trouble, and I stepped in to help her. Most folk would have been scared shitless seein' Garou and Vampires fight, but she didn't bat an eye. Hell, she kilt one of them herself."

He shakes his head, a distant look on his face.

"I reckon that's the kind of woman I's always gonna end up with. One who needs me, but ain't afraid to fight for herself even when she don't know what's goin' on. I've known Kinfolk who woulda been too scared to do anything in that situation and she bucked up and kicked ass. There weren't no way in Hell I was gonna let a woman like that go. I jest wish she'd hurry up and make her way here..."

He shakes his head, refocusing on Zoe and her original question.

"Connor's a good fella. And I know while you was makin' your Lucifer you seemed to like spending time in his shop. Way I see it, maybe that's enough."

He takes another bite, rambling on.

"I was tryin' to find someone fer a while before I met Silke. Garou life's often a pretty short one, especially with the stuff we tend to get involved in. I felt for a while like I needed to make sure they wasn't an end to the Clemons bloodline if I died, wanted to make sure the only thing I left behind wasn't a pile of corpses. But I reckon a mate's more than that. I was afraid if I got kilt I'd jest be another dead Garou. But Silke helped me realize without even tryin' that they's more to Garou life than fightin'. You gotta live life and take time to jest enjoy somebody who you respect sometimes."

He blinks, seeming to realize he'd been rambling. Blushing, he scratches at the back of his head.

"At least that's what I reckon. You seem ta get along with him, and you like spendin' time with him. We might die tomorrow. Hell, we might die tonight for all we know. Why waste time?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 13:51

Zoe took the turkey leg and laughed bashfully.

"He's right. I don't think I've eaten today, though Mocks did offer me a couple of drinks earlier. In hindsight I think I could've used a drink or two to calm my nerves."

I wonder what else he said about me.

She listened attentively as Rends spoke of Silke, smiling with him as he described this woman who fit him so perfectly. She nodded along as he explained how Silke gave his life new meaning. When he finished, she thought for a moment then nodded in agreement.

"Maybe that is enough, Rends. I do enjoy being around him, and I think he likes having me around, at least he does when I'm not breaking his tools in frustration or accidentally setting fire to his shop."

Rends' eyes grew skeptical for a moment. Zoe threw up her arms defensively.

"It was a small fire. It didn't hurt anything much. And he can fix his tools with his tools that I haven't broken."

She glanced down the street then back to Rends.

"Guess I better get over there before I lose my gumption. If his shop burns down later, you'll know it either went really well or really bad."

Rends laughed as he tossed his picked-clean turkey bone to a stray dog and headed back down the street toward the caern.

When Zoe approached the wooden porch of the blacksmith's shop, she paused and sighed. She took the uneaten turkey leg and placed it on the top of the hitching post. She was too nervous to eat it at the moment and didn't want raw meat in her teeth while she was demanding that this man pursue her as his potential wife.

The raven-haired woman took one last deep breath, squared her shoulders, lifted her chin high, and walked into the shop, exuding confidence, whether she actually had any or not. Connor O'Brian had his head down over a piece of paper, scribbling notes or an invoice or designs that Zoe couldn't make out from her vantage point at the door. He didn't look up until she took the hammer from earlier and placed it heavily on the far end of the counter he was writing on.

He stood up quickly, hitting his head on a wagon wheel frame hanging above him. He cursed, rubbed his head, then looked angrily at the disruptive guest. His expression immediately softened into a confused smile when he saw her standing there.

"Oh, hi there, Zoe. I didn't hear you come in. Something wrong with the hammer? Did you get the turkey leg I sent you? You looked a bit distracted when you left earlier, so I thought you might..."

Zoe cut him off with a wave of her hand.

"Just stop, please. I have something I need to say and I need you to just listen, understood?"

He crossed his arms over his chest and nodded, eyebrows furrowed in concern.

"Okay, right. Here goes. I'm still relatively new to Garou society, unlike most of you around here who grew up in it or at least close enough to it to understand how it works, and according to such societal norms when a Garou finds a kinfolk suitable as a mate she simply takes what she wants with or without the consent of the kin. Well, that's not the way I was raised because in human society, the man takes the responsibility to make his interest and intent known to the woman and her family by calling on her, sending her letters, and so on until she either dismisses him or agrees to marry him. Personally, I find the human way preferable to the Garou way, yet here we stand, a Garou woman and a kinfolk man, caught between two opposing viewpoints on how we are to proceed going forward, so here's what's going to happen. As the Garou I am telling you that I would desire to have you as my mate, and as kinfolk I expect that you would accept that. However, as a human woman, I demand to be wooed and courted appropriately and that our relationship end in a proper marriage as much as is possible in the society in which we find ourselves. If you find these terms agreeable, then I expect to be called upon within the week. If you have any reason to refuse me, due to another woman in your life or simply your disdain for me as a person, then I expect our relationship will remain strictly professional. Thank you, Mr. O'Brian, for your time."

She turned and left, not waiting for a response from the man caught in the onslaught of her words. Behind her he nodded in understanding and smiled knowingly.

"You'll be hearin' from me soon, Love."

He turned his paper over and began sketching a new design: a small iron ring with Garou symbols for beauty, passion, children, and love.

When Zoe exited the shop, her heart was racing. She couldn't believe she'd actually done it and was so afraid he would deny her request. She reached for the hitching post to retrieve her turkey leg, but it was gone. About a block up the road, she saw Eaton take a bite out of it as he walked away from her.

"Hey!"

Zoe called out and ran to catch up with the Bone Gnawer who turned and waved with the turkey leg. She snatched it out of his hand with a scowl.

"It's no wonder no one likes Bone Gnawers what with you stealing my food when I turn my back for two minutes."

Eaton could see that Zoe's face was flushed more so than the situation called for. He assumed she had been at the blacksmith's shop since that's where the turkey leg had been left.

"Hey! Sorry about the turkey leg. I thought it was free for the taking, but something else seems to be bothering you. What's going on, Zoe?"

Zoe took a huge bite out of the turkey and chewed on it for a minute, organizing her thoughts and emotions into something she thought a man would be able to understand.

"I just told Connor O'Brian that I wanted him to be my mate - well, husband really - but that I didn't want to do it the Garou way where the Garou just takes the kinfolk and makes him hers. I want to do it the human way, where he pursues me and makes me feel desired and does so properly until we end up married. But I basically gave him an ultimatum and said that he must begin pursuit of me within a week or I will consider his lack of response a response in and of itself."

Her eyes registered a sudden onset of anxiety.

"But, Eaton, what if he says no? I mean, what if he wants nothing to do with me? How did Jana respond when you made your will known to her? Was she willing because she loved you, because she was kinfolk, or was it a little of both? I really like him, Eaton. He's handsome and strong and kind and so talented with his craft. He's even Irish which reminds me of O'Toole, but not in a creepy I-want-to-make-love-to-my-father sort of way. I'm just so nervous."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 14:52

Eaton blinked once at the onrush of emotion coming from Zoe, then he smiled and said, "Well, if he says no, then he'd be a fool. Though I kinda got the feelin' that he was interested in ya. I can understand that ya don't wanna go through it the Garou way; I think us men have it easier 'cause we can still court gals and other folks don't really care if we get pushy about it. A woman doin' that, that might raise some gossip." 

He eyed the turkey leg for second hungerly, before he looked back at Zoe, "As for me and Jana? I didn't really choose her, at least not the Garou way. I just got caught up in the excitement goin' on and, well, we took a tumble. Heck, it mighta even been her idea. I didn't think of her as a mate, anyhow. Though I wrote her letters while I was away and I guess they may 'ave gotten a little poetic. But I didn't really give our relationship much thought until she mentioned she was with child."    

Eaton crossed his arms and let out a deep breath, "I ain't sayin' you should get yourself pregnant and see what happens, but that got us thinkin' about each other. I knew she couldn't raise Elijah herself in Olvidado, and she knew her role in our society. On the way up here I talked about how I felt about her, and, kinda to my surprise, she returned those feelings."

Eaton shrugged and finished, "You don't have to be so nervous about it. If a homeless half-breed can find someone in this world, anyone can. And I've got a feelin' that you just did."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 16:06

Zoe smiled as he Garou brother finished speaking.

"Thanks for the encouragement, brother. Here's hoping Connor O'Brian is no fool. I'm glad things worked out for you and Jana. Between you, Mocks, and Rends are three very different tales of finding a mate, yet so far they've worked out really well - for you and Mocks at least. We'll see what happens whenever Silke makes her way back to town."

She laughed and tossed Eaton the half-eaten turkey leg. "Here ya go, Pops. You look like you need it more than I do. And don't worry. I don't plan on getting myself pregnant and forcing Connor's hand, but if Gaia wills it, so shall it be."

She and Eaton went their separate ways and Zoe headed for the caern. At this point she'd unwittingly discussed her potential relationship with Connor with 3 of her 4 packmates. Might as well run it by Zas and make sure it stands up to all the Litany requirements.

Zoe found Zas and Ebony outside the main caern clearing discussing something. She waited for them to finish then approached as Ebony changed forms and took flight.

"Hi, Zas. Hope I didn't interrupt anything with you and Ebony. I actually have a Litany matter to discuss with you."

Zas crossed his arms across his chest and nodded.

"Very well, Hears-the-Song. What justice can I deal out for you?"

Zoe laughed nervously and shook her head.

"No, no. Nothing like that. At least I hope not. It's actually the matter of finding and acquiring a mate that brings me to you today. Just now back in town I proposed to Connor O'Brian, the blacksmith, that if he were willing to be my husband or mate that he should pursue and woo me according to the traditions of man not Garou. So I guess I wanted to make sure that was okay and not in any way a violation of Garou law. Secondarily, as a friend and brother, I am curious of your opinion of the match, me and him. Finally, I would like to know what sorts of things I can and cannot discuss with or show him since he is kinfolk and not just a plain human."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 18:52

Zas looked on at his packmate with a smile as he says, "You are right to bring your litany questions to me. I will help clear up your confusion. There is nothing wrong with Garou mating with kinfolk. It is the proper way of things. As far as your concerns of what to share with this Blacksmith are concerned-if he truly is kinfolk you can share whatever you'd like. Be aware though, the more knowledge you impart upon him, the more danger he is in. The Wyrm would love to sink its fangs into the heart and mind of a kinfolk who is well versed and intimately familiar with Gaian ways in order that it may further pervert others."

Zas takes a breath, "This is doubly true now as Red Oath has deemed it necessary to make the Caern so open and easily accessible by outsiders. The city of Nacogdoches is a prime target full of kinfolk-and many Garou."

The Philodox then steps closer to his Theurge and says as his smile fades, "As for the matter of my opinion on your Union-you ask me to speak as a brother- I will. In my culture having a family is very honorable. A dutiful bride who becomes a mother is a treasure. A dutiful bride who is barren however is still worth many horses. The duties of a wife are long, and require great care and devotion.

In garou culture though, unions are made for breeding. There is no other purpose. Yet, you seek to have more than simply a mate to breed. You seek to have a true companion-a kinfolk who is yours alone. This is not good. You cannot be a loving, faithful, and dutiful bride when you are away from your husband for such long periods of time as we are. You would not be a good wife. Not right now anyway-your focus is and must remain on the pack. When you can devote yourself entirely to your partner-then and only then would such a relationship be good."

Zas then sighs as he says, "There is also the fact that as your brother-I do not know this Blacksmith. Is he capable of providing for you? Is he a man of honor? Is he a warrior at heart? What offer does he bring for trade to your father? I know none of these things. As a brother-before I could approve of such a union-these sorts of questions must have answers."

Zas then gazes at his packmate and says, "What's done is done however, so this situation will need to be resolved. Perhaps you could find some form of compromise wherein your values of a traditional man made ceremony are still upheld while you can still both fulfill your duties to Gaia?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Sun 21 Sep 2014, 22:07

Zoe nodded in agreement as Zas explained the legality yet danger of sharing sensitive Garou information with a kinfolk. She hadn't thought about it that way before, but it made perfect sense coming from the mouth of their Philodox.

When his smile faded, her own face grew concerned then discouraged by his words concerning her current inability to be a dutiful wife to Connor O'Brian. At his questions concerning O'Brian's character, Zoe's countenance becomes almost defensive.

"He can certainly provide for me. He is the best blacksmith in the region and is constantly busy with well-paying jobs. I'm sure he is honorable and would fight to defend me if the need ever arose. I don't know that he really needs to bring my father anything for a trade, seeing as how my blood father is deceased and my adopted father is in Galveston and not strongly invested in my life right now."

Zoe's face was grim and saddened by her elder brother's words. She didn't like what was said, but she knew he was right. She could not be completely faithful to the pack and to Connor. For the time being, the best she could hope to do was to enjoy his company and pray that he would be willing to wait for her to attain the luxury of settling down with him for a while.

"I do not know if a compromise can be made, but I do know that I owe it to him to let him know exactly what he's getting into with me and how I will not be able to fulfill my duties to him as a wife if he were to have me."

Zoe looked Zas in the eye and thanked him for his wisdom and honesty. She then turned her course back toward town to rescind her offer to O'Brian.

A few hours after the initial hammer incident, Zoe reentered O'Brian's shop. The formerly confident Theurge now walked with a slower gait, lowered chin, and saddened eyes. Connor was hard at work on something in the back, so she sat in a chair in the shop until he stopped.

During the fifteen minutes that she waited, Zoe pondered what she would say and how they could still have a relationship that would be acceptable to human society, Garou society, and themselves. Unfortunately, she was having very little luck coming up with a workable plan.

O'Brian looked up from his anvil and noticed her sitting there, staring at her hands, clearly working through some intense thoughts. He wiped his hands and his brow with a cloth and walked over toward her.

"Hey there, lass. I thought I was the one what was supposed to be callin upon you an here you are back in me shop so soon?"

He pulled up a chair and sat facing her, leaning down in an attempt to make eye contact.

"What's the trouble, Zoe? What's got your bonnie face looking so sad?"

Zoe tilted her head up just enough to look into O'Brian's deep green eyes.

"I can't marry you, Connor. I know I didn't even give you a chance to say whether you wanted to or not, but I had to come back and tell you before you decided you would."

Connor narrowed his eyes in confusion, but held his tongue, as more words formed on Zoe's lips.

"I spoke with all of my pack mates and three of the four said that I should not wait and that we should just do what I'm hoping we both want to do and be content with that. Zas, the fourth, also said there was nothing wrong with me mating with you, but that to desire to be your wife would be unwise and unfair to you because my loyalty is to my pack and to serving Gaia and would prevent me from fulfilling my socially expected duties as your wife. What would people think if we got married and then I was gone all the time with four other men, leaving my husband all alone to take care of himself? And I can't ask you to come with me because you have your business here and the town needs you and traveling with kinfolk in our line of work always makes things more complicated and more dangerous."

She breathed deeply and released a heavy sigh. The emotional confusion of her day finally culminated in a few stray tears running down her face, which she had tried desperately yet in vain to restrain.

"I want to marry you, Connor. I really do, but there is no scenario where marrying you works out well for both of us. I won't ask you to wait until I have the freedom to settle down with you because I will likely die before that time comes."

She looked up into his eyes again, but was unable to read his expression.

"I'm sorry I spoke before I had considered all aspects of our potential relationship. I honestly do not know what to do from here except to leave and pretend none of this ever happened. We can just go back to being friends who work together from time to time, right?"

Zoe's wet cheeks and quivering chin made it abundantly clear that she did not want to just be friends who work together from time to time. O'Brian could see clearly that she wanted so much more than that, though she was unable to grasp a way to obtain it.
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Zoe

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Join date : 2013-09-02
Location : Nacogdoches, TX

PostSubject: Re: How to Gain a Mate in 10 Days   Mon 22 Sep 2014, 06:26

[Credit where credit is due: 'Zas' wrote this for me and I love it!]

Connor gently lifted her chin and with his thumb wiped her tears, "Look lass-I don't rightly give a flying piece of anythin' If'n even the devil hisself dropped by for a visit and told ya not to do something ya wanna do. Ya gotta follow your heart. T'ain't no two ways abou' it."

He smiled as he looked into her eyes and says, "Ya see, where I'm from-once there's been a call for courtin' made, it takes both sides to agree to break things off. An' I think it a mighty shame to let such a pretty Bonny like yourself slip by withou' so much as a pigeons peep to the contrary. Me mother, God rest her soul, would never forgive me."

Connor then grabbed her by the hand, "Now-I'm sorry to disappoint ya but me answer's no. I don't do take backs ya see. All sales is final-family trait I'm afraid. We don' gotta have all the answers figured ou' right this second, but I'm game to try this and jus' see where the road takes us. Maybe we work maybe we don', whichever it is, the trip is half the fun. Let the rest of the locals sod off, see if it bothers me one way or the other. They aren't the ones that matter."

Connor stopped talking for a minute as he thinks and then said, I'm willing to court ya, on one condition. You gotta promise before the Lord Almighty, that should you ever meet me mother's ghost-you tell her you're Catholic. Everything else-is negotiable."
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