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1 - Entropic Spiral - 5C
May 14, 2018
12 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!ZxDL1tf18Ujkem3Norvzposted on PENANA

The house still smelled like someone had left a handful of pennies in a vaporizer, so the werewolf found himself sitting out on the porch, rubbing his sore wrist. Even though the bite marks were gone, healed by Jude’s methodical ministrations, the memory of the wound was still stuck in his skin like the vampire’s teeth had been. He went back to the paperback open on his lap and readjusted his reading glasses.copyright protection15PENANA0BYBxMiKhh

He quoted under his breath, “... fell asleep on an airplane.copyright protection15PENANAUgOx2Q0hS9

His eyes went wide.copyright protection15PENANAccuqzyeX0J

Woody pitched the Tom Clancy novel across the yard as he stood up, downing his beer and pitching the bottle after it where it shattered against a pine tree. “Fuck you, Jack Ryan!” he growled as he bent down and reached into the cooler for another beer only to discover it empty. With a whine, he turned to go back inside, and nearly had a heart attack as Jude put hands out to keep him from running into the vampire. “Fuck me!”copyright protection15PENANAx1kvCShVCz

“We’ve discussed this, darling. You need to stop coming on so strong,” Jude said with a smirk as he pushed the drunk back into the porch swing. “A little early for day drinking.” He kicked the empty cooler with a toe before taking a seat next to the werewolf. Somehow, he’d gotten ahold of Woody’s reading glasses and he looked through the lenses with a squint.copyright protection15PENANAcwP14RS59K

“It’s a new invention called morning drinking,” Woody said with a showy gesture.copyright protection15PENANAelXJMxh1ui

“Mm… Wanna go hunting today?” He set the glasses on the little table between them.copyright protection15PENANAK1j5xVXOQA

“Do I have to be sober?”copyright protection15PENANAn36d4b5Wge

Jude gave him a sidelong look. “Tonight’s the honest-to-God full moon. Is drinking--”copyright protection15PENANAHvAEenbwoG

“Okay, okay,” Woody stood up at that, grabbing up his little cooler. “If I knew this was gonna be a lecture, I woulda started running now… and just kept running until you stopped bothering me with bullshit like a needy girlfriend.” He made like he was about to make a snapping formation and dance off the porch, but stopped himself before the impulse ran its course. The movement looked a bit like he was ducking from a blow while snapping a finger.copyright protection15PENANAO9I7ff3d4U

Jude laughed. “You’re just a big fur ball of contradiction, aren’t you?” he said, pushing the chair into a gentle swing. “You’re worried the wolf won’t listen to you again. So what do you do? You sabotage yourself so you’ll for-sure lose control and rip me a new one. That would teach me a valuable lesson, wouldn’t it? Nursing me back to health, you’d go on and on about how you’re a failure and you feel bad, but deep down you’ll really be nursing a proud sense of victory… Or am I wrong?”copyright protection15PENANANrXUF15KYm

Pieceofshitsonuvabitch, Woody grumbled internally.copyright protection15PENANAZFRzk6XwCl

Well, we are what we eat, Jude thought at him in reply.copyright protection15PENANAcqvVxKbBXf

“I’m getting more Kokanee,” Woody said, choosing to ignore his jabs. “Want anything?”copyright protection15PENANAvLHsFmuL6s

“Beer’s fine.”copyright protection15PENANA768YGs5DYH

Oui. Kokanee for two comin’ up.”copyright protection15PENANAZb7u7Feigc

The werewolf returned shortly and waved a hand to clear the cloud of smoke that had built up in his absence. “You’re gonna kill yourself with those cancer sticks,” Woody said as he took a seat next to the vampire and passed him an opened beer. He popped one for himself from the replenished cooler and took a long draft before settling into the swinging chair.copyright protection15PENANAxMXefDAJoH

Jude scoffed, “Two months without nicotine? You can forgive me a carton… Besides, you’ll die from secondhand before that happens.”copyright protection15PENANAcvNkutMz7L

“You should take care then. I’m your blood bag. You gotta take care of me now.”copyright protection15PENANAh6WpA34Pml

“Uh huh,” Jude agreed with a smirk as he took a swig of his drink. “Ugh. I’d rather wine.”copyright protection15PENANA2T8Z7nDI71

“Of course you would. You’re basically a sorority girl on the inside. Just drink it. It’s the only alcohol in your fridge.” Woody finished off the beer with a comfortable belch and pulled another from his cooler. “Need another?”copyright protection15PENANApjxdE2HrCO

“I’ve literally taken one sip! Slow the fuck down.”copyright protection15PENANAcTU9ivdnlz

“Pfft. Slow down? Nah, you need to catch up!” He clinked the necks of their bottles together and took a fresh gulp of import.copyright protection15PENANAJnsRnAe0im

The distant sounds of birds and wind through the trees met their companionable silence as they drank on the porch. Jude started in on another cigarette before he frowned and asked, “Is that a book?” He gestured at a patch of grass halfway to the treeline.copyright protection15PENANA2IFzVkCCLf

Woody winced. “Crime of passion.”copyright protection15PENANAqY8l7rRlOc

Hunt for Red October?” Jude guessed, his voice deadpan. He’d seen him reading it.copyright protection15PENANAUyAnpXXEYg

“I liked the movie better. Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery? Please and thank you.”copyright protection15PENANA00YGAU0cwM

“I’ve never seen it.”copyright protection15PENANAsXKAiS2adR

“Tell me you’re kidding.”copyright protection15PENANAm7pXvOUttS

Jude laughed before clearing his throat. “I’m kidding.”copyright protection15PENANAJtTIatCbG8

“No you’re not!” Woody looked aghast, then insulted. “That’s it. When we’re back in Dareklind, that’s the first thing we’re watching.”copyright protection15PENANAX85IJoALyN

“Oh, that’s the first thing, huh? Not the new season of Black Mirror? Not finishing Game of Thrones? Not Annihilation?copyright protection15PENANACVV2SqRNTk

Woody shook his head. “I’ll not be placated by your instantly streamed garbage. We’re doing a Tom Clancy marathon and that’s final.”copyright protection15PENANAGDOzlY3XaK

Jude smiled, giving him a look that he couldn’t quite read. “Alright, Pookey.”copyright protection15PENANA67ScPCBqoa

Woody, inebriated as he was, had heard a red flag like that before. He frowned. “We need new nicknames for each other. Better nicknames. Pookey’s lost its luster.”copyright protection15PENANAd1593YAULu

Jude considered this. “As has Bossman.”copyright protection15PENANAfr731t24rc

“Granted…” He gave the other a nervous smile. “So?”copyright protection15PENANAOykHKajlAI

They were quiet for what felt like ages before Jude said, “Mm… Koa.”copyright protection15PENANAvOJBXMzxHl

“What?”copyright protection15PENANA1WN90OC2T4

“I’ll call you Koa. Woody’s just… It doesn’t fit you. Morning Wood, anyone? There’s a snake in mah boot? And Glenn’s your dad’s name. So why not use your middle name, right? Calling you Sherwood’s reserved for the times I’m pissed at you.”copyright protection15PENANAfHCzpmKJIk

The werewolf finished off his beer and reached for another. His face felt hot. He pressed the new bottle to his face to cool it off. The only person who’d ever called him Koa was his mother. But she’d only called him that when she’d been mated to him. He couldn’t get Jude mixed up in his already mixed up head. He’d start thinking things he didn’t want to think; fears he couldn’t voice in the quiet of his drunk mind for fear that Jude would hear them.copyright protection15PENANArd8aP5XpDE

Finally, Woody said, “Pookey can stay.”copyright protection15PENANAKFByOBmqEg

“Why not Koa?” Jude wondered innocently.copyright protection15PENANAuUY7tntd6b

“You know what it means?” The vampire shook his head, staring out into the woods. “It’s Hawaiian. It means ocean.”copyright protection15PENANAyypGJfMGEq

“What’s wrong with that?”copyright protection15PENANAkp5WXTxjkc

Woody thought about it. “It reminds me of home, is all… I’ll live without it.”copyright protection15PENANAzP6yWAVqO2

“Whatever you say, Pookey” Jude said with sigh, finishing off his beer with a grimace.copyright protection15PENANABmA13jgQ0V

“How about Bitchy Face for you?”copyright protection15PENANAhlkmhhgPBA

“How about Suck My Dick?” Jude replied with a prim smile, ashing his cigarette.copyright protection15PENANA1bq8JnJFNx

Woody laughed, wiping ash off his jeans with a calloused palm. “Sucker! Done!”copyright protection15PENANAHpUirYCHPC

Jude’s smile fell. “That’s lame. Pass me another beer.”copyright protection15PENANAD6XXtefJ3Q

“They really grow on ya, don’t they, Sucker?”copyright protection15PENANAk52LeM8XrV

“No, I just figure I’ll enjoy your company more if I get blitzed.”copyright protection15PENANAv8kqrLp3te

“Ow-wie…” Woody cracked another one for him and passed it over.copyright protection15PENANAF7lC4ORkxV

After a while longer, Jude said, “After tonight, we need to go back.”copyright protection15PENANAaS1dDfZLdq

“I’ll be ready,” Woody whispered. Then he asked seriously, “Will you?”copyright protection15PENANAHIz290Oy4h

“Yeah,” Jude said with conviction. “I’ll be ready.”copyright protection15PENANAMJp8mtWdNu

“It’s kind of exciting in a… you-might-die-again kind of way.”copyright protection15PENANA9Ymac0qbLE

Jude snorted. “Me again? What about you?” When Woody glanced in his direction, the vampire was grinning, looking at him for a reaction.copyright protection15PENANACtncvwdj4h

Woody gave him a smirk of very real bravado. “You’re not getting rid of me that easily.”copyright protection15PENANABR00ZntVBh

“Ally still hasn’t gotten back to us, we haven’t been discovered yet, no one’s attempted contact--magically or otherwise… I put up a web yesterday, just a protection from scrying spell, and I could feel the edges of something there, as if we’d already been spotted. But if that… It’s just so peaceful out here that I’m not anxious to leave.” He sipped at his beer. “This has been a nice reprieve… but I know what we need to do when we get back. I know what we’re up against.”copyright protection15PENANAqKgNVtNlFz

Woody was too drunk to follow him keenly, but he nodded anyway. “Kinda reminds me of war movies… Y’know when you know the good guys are gonna win, but they’re still scared shitless. It’s like… It’s not a happy thing to know you can destroy an entire group of people. It’s not a comforting thing. Because they know too. It’s hard to be friends with someone you know could kill you with a word.” He took a drink of beer. “It’s hard to reconcile that.”copyright protection15PENANA0h2nuxTHQY

“Is it hard to be friends with me?” Jude asked quietly. His gaze had returned to the forest.copyright protection15PENANAYrPZrPmVLX

Woody shrugged. “Is it hard to be friends with me?” he asked in reply.copyright protection15PENANAdbIuYDXMZC

“You can’t kill with a word. You can’t destroy just by thinking about it.”copyright protection15PENANAlZUnmoUf6L

“No…guess not,” Woody conceded. Then he sighed and pitched his empty bottle out into the yard before them. After a moment, he took a deep breath and looked over at the vampire, head lolling slightly. “I’m afraid of you if that’s what you mean. But it’s not hard to be your friend. You’re friendable.” He couldn’t come up with a better word on the fly, but after some consideration, he said, “You’re… one of the most thoughtful people I know. You gave me a chance. And you know what? I think you’re pretty freakin’ hip. You’ve got one of those old souls, y’know? You connect with people--whether you wanna connect or not.” The both of them laughed at that.copyright protection15PENANAd5d35ESrAD

Then Woody, seeing his words were getting through, said, “You smoke too much. You stay up too late. You leave towels on the floor, y’sonuvabitch. You flip the toilet paper toward the wall and I fuckin’ hate that. But my God, you can cook! Holy shit! Every time you make dinner, I go on a fuckin’ trip in my head. Italy, France, Georgia, India… It’s like…” He grabbed another beer and cracked it open. He could feel the vampire’s eyes on him as he shrugged. “I dunno. You’ve got the whole world on your shoulders, but you’re willing to share that world with me.”copyright protection15PENANApOO7iNLfzK

He heard Jude choke on a laugh and his eyes narrowed above the lip of his bottle as the vampire was reduced to tears, flashing fang with his head tipped back like an open Pez dispenser. His hair really is like spun gold, Woody remarked internally, still glaring. In a brief mental misfire, he wondered if the girls Jude had dated ran their fingers through it; wondered if Jude got weird compliments about its soft appearance; wondered how the kid would react if he just reached out and… ruffled him.copyright protection15PENANASUKMi6bdmi

Before he could go through with the motions, Jude turned to him and asked, “Wanna see something wild?” His cheeks were rosey, his eyes flecked with silver and cobalt, his smile easy.copyright protection15PENANAYAncDsQwUr

“Sure.” Anything to quiet the mix of emotions in him. Relief, regret, shy contentment…copyright protection15PENANA9kfYsxMdNl

Jude set his beer aside and hopped up. Hips swaying, he descended the steps to the chopping block and picked up one of the logs that had been spared Woody’s earlier attentions. Jude held up the sizable wedge with one hand like a showman. The werewolf noted absently that the vampire’s nails were chipped and jagged. The only whole one, on the pointer finger, shined at him like a sly wink. “Watch,” Jude proffered before he turned the log sideways and gripped the other side with the other equally ravaged hand. Then, without any more preamble, the log buckled and slit with a groan and a snap. The vampire discarded the two pieces of pine with a satisfied grin, flipping the eighths with a flash of fang and tongue.copyright protection15PENANAYGgIsyPEMb

Woody blinked, realizing that he’d stood up. He gripped the arm of the porch swing then and sank back down into it heavily. “Jesus Christ,” he huffed under his breath.copyright protection15PENANAWLMjXqMOWH

Jude continued to grin savagely. “That’s the power of a full stomach.” Then his smile faded a little when he registered Woody’s paleness. “You wanna see me punch a tree down?” he asked, half-teasing, half-testing.copyright protection15PENANAf61v4t3QHQ

Woody shook his head, queasy. Then he laughed hollowly. “No… I… Cool,” he said.copyright protection15PENANAcFwtoZ2dDO

Jude cocked his head to the side. “What’s wrong?”copyright protection15PENANApAzbUwCGky

Again, the werewolf shook his head. “Spins. Drank that last one a little too fast.”copyright protection15PENANAnAEo5JS8Az

Jude looked like he wanted to pursue something, but then he closed his mouth and smiled.copyright protection15PENANAZNewgDwiQa

Woody took a tentative sip of his beer as the vampire rejoined him on the porch. “I forgot,” the elder one said quietly after they’d been silent for but a sliver in time. “I forgot how strong you are… How much stronger you are than me.”copyright protection15PENANA6gKGrFd3ly

Jude frowned out of the corner of his eyes. Then the pale man snorted. “I wasn’t always.”copyright protection15PENANACJ9h8e10nB

“Yes,” Woody whispered. “You’ve always been stronger.”copyright protection15PENANAAnpPUFsrYj

They sat like that for another hour, enjoying the wind and the drop in pressure that told them both that rain was on the way. There was that tang of ozone in the air, the very smell of anticipation. Woody was shaking. He gripped his warm beer and stared into the woods, watched for any movement out of place, waited for the telltale plips and pats of water that would hit dried leaves and dirt and stone.copyright protection15PENANAB4zmL11Z5n

It didn’t start raining until Jude finally got up, discarding his bottle with a delicate flick. The glass tipped and rolled when it hit the chopping block, tumbling to stand upright in between the pieces of pine he’d snapped in half. The exposed grain of the shattered ends were almost white compared to the weathered appearance of the rest of the wedge. Woody found himself staring at them when he smelled water and churned earth.copyright protection15PENANAxH6GZfV0gj

He glanced around then, took a deep breath in to steady himself. He was shaking.copyright protection15PENANACQG1FBG82E

He attributed it to the cool mountain air and his drunkenness.copyright protection15PENANArEJ01v12u6

Woody got to his feet and went back inside, steady on his feet, but still feeling numb even as the warmth of the cabin enveloped him.copyright protection15PENANAq1OxINMDN2

Jude had dinner ready in the next half hour and they both ate it in silence. The house shook when lightning struck nearby, the lights flickering.copyright protection15PENANAXpTDqzf7Hi

Woody thought it was hoping too much when he wished that the lights would go out.copyright protection15PENANAL8Wv9X0a0u

When they did, he only sighed.copyright protection15PENANAhqw5YfTKSH

Jude just laughed in the dark.copyright protection15PENANANP7HtxgJFX

Then, despite everything, Woody started laughing too.copyright protection15PENANA1r6XWfVXqV

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