Badar Consultant Agency - 1 - Entropic Spiral - 4B | Penana

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Badar Consultant Agency
Co-Writer Blondemaverick*
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Beta Reader Heywood Williams
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  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
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Badar Consultant Agency
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1 - Entropic Spiral - 4B
Apr 15, 2018
16 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!x1MWYJtWcLmCkRH8OfZ2posted on PENANA

Present… copyright protection15PENANAjzCid8f3lk

“How’d you know I used to do barber work?” Woody asked as he sat Jude in a chair in front of the fireplace.copyright protection15PENANAmSl9PjSig5

“I didn’t pull it out of your head if that’s what you’re wondering,” the vampire said. When Woody only gave him an uncommitted grunt of disbelief, he said, “Ally told me… Maybe you should wear a tinfoil hat if you’re so worried about my intrusions, huh?”copyright protection15PENANA4CHotpwiEw

Woody chuckled under his breath. “I was only curious… So what can I do ya for?”copyright protection15PENANAlX5Xgi6wmr

“Can you give me something that says I work for a living, but hate my job? Something that says I like to work out, but I want to eat an entire burrito baby from Chipotle too. Something like… I love The Sound of Music, but I don’t want people to accuse me of loving musicals. ‘Cause that shit’s gay. Maybe a little faded so it seems like I give a shit, but not so perfect that people think I care too much about my appearance.”copyright protection15PENANAQIkbS9vKrL

Woody laughed out loud. “I gotchu, fam.” He misted Jude’s hair until it looked like wet hay and started cutting the unkempt mop from his scalp with practiced ease.copyright protection15PENANAPvoxURWr9A

“You don’t know how to do nails too, by chance?” Jude asked as Woody tipped his head forward.copyright protection15PENANAXuy3sPmzlI

“You’re SOL on that account,” the werewolf said with a grunted laugh.copyright protection15PENANA0brlnjuS4W

“Damn… Sugar scrub?”copyright protection15PENANADTs1qnTnO3

“That’s a negative, Boss-man.”copyright protection15PENANAYMywQ0mcAH

“Mm… How about a nice aromatic massage?”copyright protection15PENANAVATnWgGr8L

Woody grinned as he said, “This isn’t a retreat, ya know.”copyright protection15PENANAnMEQO5dHs1

“So, that’s a no to the massage, then?” He lifted up his head as Woody focused his attentions on his overgrown bangs. The scissors clipped away for a time. Jude watched the way he pursed his lips to the side in concentration, his brow furrowing slightly.copyright protection15PENANALqOjXEkjRU

Woody smirked when he noticed the scrutiny. “Well, I took a physical therapy class in Colorado once, but I’m pretty sure I’d probably do you more harm than good.” He rolled his eyes and backed away for a moment. He said, “I’ve been told I’ve got a heavy hand. Ally hated it whenever I tried to treat her. She said it was like getting pounded by a waterfall. Said she felt like a karate student returning from the mountains.” He chuckled under his breath at that.copyright protection15PENANA1MvVarbRSk

“Shit, really?” Jude turned his head so Woody could get light on his left side. “That’s pretty legit that you’ve at least had training though. I’d be willing to take the risk if you’re serious,” Jude said. Woody turned his head again to get the other side. There was a confidence in his movements, which made Jude wonder how long he’d actually been a barber. Ally had made it seem like a casual thing. He caught himself not breathing again and commenced to inhale and exhale mindfully.copyright protection15PENANACg7h6VmkDP

This was where he’d wanted to be for that last two months: at Woody’s mercy.copyright protection15PENANAmogaIdO2xG

“Yeah, if we’ve got the time,” the werewolf said quietly, fixated on making his sides even.copyright protection15PENANAWztruDTGuM

“I’m feeling lighter already,” Jude said. “I let it get out of hand… for too long.”copyright protection15PENANA0627n93KtG

Woody started grabbing his hair at the roots, pulling straight and clipped away. “It’d be easier with clippers, but there’s something about cutting that I like,” he said softly.copyright protection15PENANAAP5QZN4OPC

“It’s intimate,” Jude said unthinkingly.copyright protection15PENANAvMbYeFB8m5

Woody paused for a second’s breath, but then he resumed cutting. “Yeah… I supposed that’s it, isn’t it?”copyright protection15PENANAUmcWuA5ykz

“No homo,” Jude mumbled as an afterthought.copyright protection15PENANAeUokKo8PdY

Woody barked a laugh. “Right, right.”copyright protection15PENANArIKCGZii7E

The sounds of the fire, Woody’s deep breaths, and the swishing click of the scissors lulled the vampire into a sort of trance. Jude felt… human. It had only been two full days since their egress from the Crimson Circle, but it felt like an eternity. It felt like concentrated R&R. He closed his eyes and before he knew it, Woody was shaking his shoulder. He looked up sleepily. “Mm? How long was I out?”copyright protection15PENANAo11AYwa44v

Woody laughed. “Literally two seconds. Sorry, just wanted to make sure you were okay.”copyright protection15PENANADjq2EbqM0E

“Oh, I’m great,” the vampire said with a little bit of spice. “Just a million bucks, really.”copyright protection15PENANAKrmv43unlB

“Oh, well that’s just excellent to hear,” Woody said dryly, recognizing the sarcasm for what it was, but playing along.copyright protection15PENANA2JD3kCAvGF

Jude waited until Woody went behind him again before he asked, “What’s the deal with your mother? She’s in a home or something? What are you protecting her from?”copyright protection15PENANA1kYrnDCNpC

He heard Woody take a few slow breaths. He restrained himself from reading his friend’s mind. He would let Woody run the show. He wouldn’t take over like he so wanted to. He wanted to pry the information from him like they had stolen information in the past during their honeymoon period. That golden age of money and peace… seemed like a distant dream now--a time that didn’t exist anymore--swallowed by his own pride, his own misgivings. Black Heart had brought them together… and her ghost had pulled them apart. Now, where were they? Healing? Bridging the gap?copyright protection15PENANAr94OE8R8vd

He wanted to know what the werewolf was thinking, but he didn’t dare.copyright protection15PENANAKxXoBh0cNH

Did Woody understand that? Or was the taller agent waiting for him to read him?copyright protection15PENANARO2QfptRdS

Woody finally returned to cutting as he said, “I was ten when my dad and I fought the first time. He was pack alpha. My mother was beta. I was the unspoken heir. There were eighty of us… All of us either wolf or soon-to-be… It was the turn of the millenium. Times were changing faster than ever before. We were in danger of being discovered then more than ever before. I can’t remember what started the fight. I think I said something cute… something that I thought everyone would laugh at and let go, but I misread the situation and my father was at my throat in the next second… But I was smaller than him. While he was trying to get a hold of my neck, I went for his sack. I tore him from taint to groin.”copyright protection15PENANAuF2ytGHlPc

“Fucking Christ,” Jude said tightly. “So… things were strained after that, I take it?”copyright protection15PENANAyAKvZmN0yB

“For two years, he tried to get my mother pregnant again. If he could just get her carrying, he’d have an excuse to kill me off for good… But it wouldn’t take. He was too damaged… There’s a thing a bit like law in the pack. You don’t kill each other without good reason. You don’t start a war with another group without good reason. You run with the pack or you get… eaten by it. Well, I was the heir. He couldn’t kill me. But… he could fuck me over. He could destroy my mind. He could make me incapable of ever living a normal life. He could torture me…”copyright protection15PENANAIqpKgFaKwn

Woody fell silent then and Jude knew he was exhausted, mentally fatigued by just recalling that much. He didn’t need to read his mind to know that.copyright protection15PENANAD12FzwmgRc

Jude began, “I hadn’t realized that there was a… You… We can talk about this later, if…?” He couldn’t finish the offer. He really did want Woody to finish his story. The suspense would eat him alive if they paused now.copyright protection15PENANAtqNeWMAJN9

“You’re not that patient,” Woody said quietly, his voice just above a whisper. He started in on Jude’s hair again. “Almost done anyway…” He cleared his throat before he began in earnest once more. “Pack law… It’s an unquestionable thing. It’s instinct. If my father couldn’t perform as alpha, someone else would have to. The responsibility to continue my father’s line rested with me. I would have to take my mother as my mate.”copyright protection15PENANAkvzKfQpqBW

“No!” Jude blurted. “No fucking way. That’s… That’s…”copyright protection15PENANANeXQTxmgNe

“Gross. Despicable. Alien. Disgusting. Inhuman… Yes. But I had a responsibility.”copyright protection15PENANAthEgvA26kQ

“You didn’t.”copyright protection15PENANAfFlPpBGO1h

“I couldn’t. I told him No… and damned me and my mother both. My father hunted us down against the wishes of the pack… We hadn’t even had time to pack. My mother kept trying to convince me to see reason. But I couldn’t. I wouldn’t bed her… The fucked up part is that pack law is instinctual. When the alpha commands you to do something, you want to do something. And you know what desire does to us. It consumes us… I wanted to be with my mother. I stopped seeing her like my mom… I stopped seeing her like my sire. She was my mate. Pack law had made her into just Tsumia Sherwood.”copyright protection15PENANALOwIEqf1G3

Jude didn’t know what to say.copyright protection15PENANAf9kUqQvtXP

“It was fucked up,” Woody supplied and Jude gave him a no-shit sort of expression. “When I refused pack law, the pack refused me. My mother tried to convince me to go back and tell my father that I changed my mind. She went for her gun, hoping to have something to defend herself against him if he came at her as a man… But he didn’t, of course.” Woody swallowed. “The short of it? When my father attacked us as the wolf, we fought him as wolves. I don’t remember much of the fight, only that Tsumia was confused. She had a duty to her alpha, her sire, but she had a responsibility to protect her mate, her son. We ripped each other apart. When the dust settled, I had eaten my father… Tsumia hadn’t been so lucky.”copyright protection15PENANAjcuE2UfJJg

“Hadn’t been so lucky?” Jude repeated the words.copyright protection15PENANA1u5xdKXsLE

Woody sighed, setting the scissors aside. Jude stared into the fire as Woody wrapped his corded arms around him. It was a comforting thing, feeling his weight on him, holding him down. He knew the werewolf was using him as an anchor, a foundation to stand on as the memories threatened to take him off his feet once more. The vampire knew that feeling, the need to grab onto anything or anyone to keep from slipping and drowning in the undertow.copyright protection15PENANAw1ORWeIrHF

“She was blinded in one eye. Teeth were still embedded in her skull. My teeth, broken off in the fight. She was… bleeding everywhere… I thought she was dead. She was mine and she was dead. I left her there. The pack law was broken with my father’s death. I was the new pack law. I didn’t think of my mother as my mate. I was the alpha, but the pack was scattered, ruined. They wouldn’t hear me. I was too young. Maybe now, I’d be able to bring them together again, but it would take too much time… too much coordination… and there’s still no guarantee after all that.” He sighed, all the fight going out of him in one breath.copyright protection15PENANAh0SMEUGUEp

“But your mother is alive?” Jude prompted quietly, leaning his head against him.copyright protection15PENANAaFUgc70aAM

Woody nodded, his beard scratching at the side of his neck. “I found out years later. You see… I was still messed up about it. I didn’t think of her as my mate, but the memories were still there, fresh. It was maddening… What was she to me? What could have happened if I’d given in? Would she still be alive? Ally helped me after we ran from her father’s… She severed the tether between me and the memory of my mother as my mate. Without her, I’d probably have an oedipus complex or something.” He laughed humorlessly.copyright protection15PENANAO6ODYKRGcy

“So… how did you find out she was still out there?”copyright protection15PENANAluydgd8X7M

“Ally told me five years ago. Severing the connection had connected her briefly with my mom. She’d kept it secret for that long. She’d been afraid that I’d leave her for my mother. She had to be sure the spell had worked before she told me.”copyright protection15PENANAnishyFoyPY

“That’s a little insecure, even for her… but it makes sense. You’re important to Ally.”copyright protection15PENANAlE49h2U9J7

“I left her anyway,” Woody admitted. “It was time to put old ghosts to rest. I’d already encountered Black Heart by then. I thought I was grown. I was done running from the past anyway. I found my mother in a hostile in Chicago. Her mind’s still in those days before the fight that killed my father. Every time she looks at me… she just sees Glenn Michael, my father. She doesn’t see me as her son. Sometimes, if I call her, she’ll remember who I am, but after listening for a time, she’ll revert back. I put her in a nice home near Ally’s place. Ally checks up on her for me…” With that, he petered off into silence.copyright protection15PENANAH4BghSuqPB

“Maybe she’s trying to forget what they did to you two?” Jude speculated.copyright protection15PENANAcdUEusjS19

“No… In her mind, she’s still mated to my father. It doesn’t help that I look so much like him… It doesn’t help that I sound like him. She sees me as her mate.”copyright protection15PENANARmOWw6ZqfI

Jude reached up and held his arms. “Your father was a real sonuvabitch.”copyright protection15PENANAyWM9d42HuS

“Mm. Yeah.” Now that the words had been said, he felt Woody’s energy had all but left him, coring the werewolf into a hollow, sad husk. “He was a piece of fucking work alright.”copyright protection15PENANAjH5dmzGGsH

“My dad works in airliners. Airline food quality in the nineties? His doing.”copyright protection15PENANAPj4EfAKe1Z

“Alright, you win the Shittiest Dad Award,” Woody said, and Jude could feel his smile against his skin.copyright protection15PENANAWzWJJ9NLRi

“You’re… heavy,” the Holland boy stated, a smile of his own tugging at the corners of his cupids bow.copyright protection15PENANADa0Iomi42K

“I know,” Woody said airily, but then he seemed to realize himself and he relinquished the vampire in a rush. He grunted as he stood up straight and Jude heard him flattening out his shirt self-consciously. “Sorry…”copyright protection15PENANAMS4Qwjrgys

“I don’t mind,” Jude said, then rolled his eyes. What the hell am I doing? he wondered to himself. He rubbed at his scalp, scattering all the loose hairs still clinging to him. “Thank you… for telling me about her… I’m sorry it happened like it did.” He turned to look over his shoulder. He was surprised to see Woody watching him, the supernatural’s cheeks flush with embarrassment, his expression a mixture of shyness and relief. “So… the reason why you’re reluctant to give in is because of her, isn’t it? You think you’ll hurt someone again?”copyright protection15PENANAgv2ceLm2xd

“You know my greatest fears have already come true on that front,” Woody said.copyright protection15PENANAkaolTMHcRJ

“I can help. What’s the worst that could happen? You kill me again?”copyright protection15PENANAWDC1t8kVpT

Woody shook his head, but then he ran a tired hand through his hair. He seemed done fighting. He looked away and shrugged meekly. He seemed like some angsty teenager, scared of his own strength, scared of his own lack of impulse control. He’s aware of it, isn’t he? He’s aware of what he does to people? He has to know he’s got those kicked puppy eyes… Jude thought idly to himself. I thought I understood why Gene fell for him. I thought it was because of the stupid broad shoulders and roguish smile. I thought it was because he can make anyone feel like they can take the world by the balls and squeeze… But I get it now. He’s a mess. He’s a beautiful goddamned mess, just like she was.copyright protection15PENANAnFoqSCbeEI

“Can we talk about the blood issue before we talk about the wolf issue?” Woody deflected.copyright protection15PENANAsZTQkND2Zu

“Blood issue?” Jude repeated, startled back into the present.copyright protection15PENANAMW7oXBwiwW

“You’re going to need blood if we’re going to return to Dareklind.”copyright protection15PENANAbUBzktcwIR

“Do you remember the first thing I said to you when you found me on that slab?” The vampire stood up, pulling his shirt from his torso to shake out the loose hair. He could feel the other supernatural’s eyes on his marks, but otherwise, Sherwood didn’t say anything. “Well, do you?” He balled his shirt up and threw it in a corner of the living room. “I want to hunt the other cells down. But I don’t want to turn into their monster… I’ll go back, but not on their terms.”copyright protection15PENANAeaR81cVEeV

“We’ll need your magic, no matter what we do,” Woody said, insistent, and Jude could tell he was trying to keep his anger in check. “Whether we go in under the radar or guns blazing… I’m sorry, but when you couldn’t access your magic after you died, you were lucky to be able to read minds. For all your contacts in the city, without your magic you’re just another casualty waiting to happen, Jude.”copyright protection15PENANA90RgoPSV7o

Useless. Powerless. Vulnerable. A fucking liability?copyright protection15PENANARjitSCX58F

The vampire’s anger was white hot. “A year playing Black Heart’s blood bag wasn’t enough for you?” he snapped, instantly regretting the words.copyright protection15PENANAWnQNwS0swe

Jude wondered, not for the first time, how extensive Black Heart’s torture had been. Woody kept himself so grounded, so covered up, it was hard to tell where the real holes in his armor were; hard to tell what about his trauma would make him laugh, and what would make him break down.copyright protection15PENANAnGfeXD3Pzb

Jude’s words broke him down.copyright protection15PENANAdquvTn8Rsg

Woody blanched. He put his scissors and comb on the coffee table and shook his head like he was trying to shake off ghosts. His breathing became erratic. “You didn’t mean that,” he stated, trying to convince himself, but then he grimaced, looking down at his feet. “I’m sorry I put it so bluntly…” He tried to take a deep breath, but he didn’t get halfway through the draw before he had to brace himself on the armrest of the couch. “You need blood. I won’t back down on that.” Jude could see a bead of sweat roll into the collar of his shirt. “Listen, I…”copyright protection15PENANAwpEncafdCM

The werewolf looked up then, panic in his expression. “I need to find a place to change.”copyright protection15PENANArZsGepkifT

“Now?”copyright protection15PENANAtskYYel65O

Now.”copyright protection15PENANAnCd1ZqcfDP

Jude crossed his arms, looked guilty for Sherwood’s sake. “It looks like neither of us is going to get what he wants. So let’s agree to a compromise.”copyright protection15PENANA14PuL4T6m8

“Jude!” Woody whined, a warning more than a plea.copyright protection15PENANA0QBlPzzaGF

“I take from you if you agree to let me help you control it.” He’s not really alright with the idea, Jude thought. He just doesn’t want me unprotected, is that it? That’s sweet. And unnecessary. “I know you’re looking out for me, but you said someday I wouldn’t have to sacrifice so much.”copyright protection15PENANAZ3hc5hCiwf

Woody stilled, but his breathing still had a stutter to it, his body tense like a whipcord.copyright protection15PENANA7xkX161Vdo

“I don’t want to give up the last of my humanity,” Jude said. “But it might be too late for that… Too late for a lot of things.” He met Woody’s eyes. “It’s your turn to make the sacrifice.”copyright protection15PENANA4dfGy4f8fW

Too many things passed behind the werewolf’s gold eyes. Unspoken things, painful things. Then he let out a groan. “You’re not turning into Black Heart. I keep telling you that…”copyright protection15PENANANeZ5q5m3oT

“Apparently I’m not the only one you need to convince,” Jude said simply. He came over to Woody and grabbed up one of his arms to support him, pulling him close. “Glenn… Come on. Let’s get outside.”copyright protection15PENANAjwqEtsKuoY

The older one leaned against him gratefully. “I had time. I don’t know what’s happening.”copyright protection15PENANATtc89LcpTr

“I pushed you… I’m sorry.”copyright protection15PENANAlHFlN6ra9P

“No, you’re not.”copyright protection15PENANA3slu6OWRjl

“No,” Jude admitted. “But you won’t see reason until it’s tearing at your throat.”copyright protection15PENANAQcO2lXNynG

“Right back at you,” he said stiffly.copyright protection15PENANAZIoF4bMvlV

The Holland boy huffed a laugh. “Look at us. Two idiots in denial.”copyright protection15PENANAkooFSvtPnN

Outside, darkness had swallowed the perimeter of the property. Woody groaned, falling from Jude’s grip to the porch. The last time Jude had seen Woody transform near a full moon, it had been from behind the comfort of a panic room’s six-inch-thick steel door and it’s little window of shatter-resistant glass. Now, as exposed as he’d been when they’d first encountered Black Heart four months ago, his heart was thudding slowly, dully in his chest--what passed for excited beating.copyright protection15PENANAad0ZflX2Tk

He helped Woody to the grass, but then the werewolf pushed him away. “Get inside.”copyright protection15PENANAJT28z6jlBF

“I’m not going anywhere.”copyright protection15PENANAhW4GBXb5Nz

“Jude, please don’t do this… Not like this.”copyright protection15PENANASYMTX1fU48

“I’m not going anywhere.” I meant it when I said it before, stupid. I’m never leaving you again, Jude thought and he considered repeating it telepathically, but he didn’t know how the other one would react to that kind of manic-sounding conviction. Maybe Tristan was right. Maybe I love him. Jude shook off the memories as he pulled Woody toward the treeline. Holy shit… Maybe I actually love him. copyright protection15PENANAeN2hVCofY0

What the fuck am I doing?copyright protection15PENANAVfWZVyW7DK

Comments ( 2 )

Mikha'il - *le shocked but curious gasp*
2 months agoreply

2 months agoreply