Badar Consultant Agency - 1 - Entropic Spiral - 5C | Penana

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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 - 5C
May 14, 2018
12 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!8RhMXjbithRvjkTAi5Ofposted 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 protection20PENANAs8B7xq2k0q

He quoted under his breath, “... fell asleep on an airplane.copyright protection20PENANAz9iQVga6yE

His eyes went wide.copyright protection20PENANAop9IJ2j287

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 protection20PENANAhAfTINjK7k

“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 protection20PENANAbHutypJIwi

“It’s a new invention called morning drinking,” Woody said with a showy gesture.copyright protection20PENANAmVIvDrxWuF

“Mm… Wanna go hunting today?” He set the glasses on the little table between them.copyright protection20PENANA3LgjFY6ZJe

“Do I have to be sober?”copyright protection20PENANAjUWNoud8cK

Jude gave him a sidelong look. “Tonight’s the honest-to-God full moon. Is drinking--”copyright protection20PENANAqyF83jABg4

“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 protection20PENANAhjQxDwwKvg

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 protection20PENANAZObVCzpQIC

Pieceofshitsonuvabitch, Woody grumbled internally.copyright protection20PENANAA9afiezSPP

Well, we are what we eat, Jude thought at him in reply.copyright protection20PENANAX79OFMkcxP

“I’m getting more Kokanee,” Woody said, choosing to ignore his jabs. “Want anything?”copyright protection20PENANAswEDshdS7V

“Beer’s fine.”copyright protection20PENANAuH5FXnUxgK

Oui. Kokanee for two comin’ up.”copyright protection20PENANAmeRv2winIP

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 protection20PENANAdbmRPP92Hg

Jude scoffed, “Two months without nicotine? You can forgive me a carton… Besides, you’ll die from secondhand before that happens.”copyright protection20PENANAYcY3SWqMtH

“You should take care then. I’m your blood bag. You gotta take care of me now.”copyright protection20PENANAwPVolYVDlE

“Uh huh,” Jude agreed with a smirk as he took a swig of his drink. “Ugh. I’d rather wine.”copyright protection20PENANAtyPQqEFAHn

“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 protection20PENANAQFAPJsLaff

“I’ve literally taken one sip! Slow the fuck down.”copyright protection20PENANARL5MaqK536

“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 protection20PENANAJxFzn6d3GV

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 protection20PENANAqxB0mkt8vI

Woody winced. “Crime of passion.”copyright protection20PENANAnmus9ETUKW

Hunt for Red October?” Jude guessed, his voice deadpan. He’d seen him reading it.copyright protection20PENANA0tuG3RMhUs

“I liked the movie better. Alec Baldwin and Sean Connery? Please and thank you.”copyright protection20PENANAcl0Nlm8OvD

“I’ve never seen it.”copyright protection20PENANAwT00m9Ff3p

“Tell me you’re kidding.”copyright protection20PENANAc4TGLWxxds

Jude laughed before clearing his throat. “I’m kidding.”copyright protection20PENANA0qN0d9nmYS

“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 protection20PENANAZvLZw88bnc

“Oh, that’s the first thing, huh? Not the new season of Black Mirror? Not finishing Game of Thrones? Not Annihilation?copyright protection20PENANABzhuf2rNAE

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 protection20PENANAgA44AidXEc

Jude smiled, giving him a look that he couldn’t quite read. “Alright, Pookey.”copyright protection20PENANAQEICDeKMq7

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 protection20PENANAZ1HhwWjXKT

Jude considered this. “As has Bossman.”copyright protection20PENANAC0uH450i3F

“Granted…” He gave the other a nervous smile. “So?”copyright protection20PENANAuTjdvWrgJS

They were quiet for what felt like ages before Jude said, “Mm… Koa.”copyright protection20PENANAoIU5Zq1joM

“What?”copyright protection20PENANAd1MHJRMK9P

“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 protection20PENANApEJIRfFjvo

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 protection20PENANAbT75Y6w0qV

Finally, Woody said, “Pookey can stay.”copyright protection20PENANAMDXzlGq7qA

“Why not Koa?” Jude wondered innocently.copyright protection20PENANAXQfGy7Verr

“You know what it means?” The vampire shook his head, staring out into the woods. “It’s Hawaiian. It means ocean.”copyright protection20PENANADClKIjRfkh

“What’s wrong with that?”copyright protection20PENANAb7V8GgP7og

Woody thought about it. “It reminds me of home, is all… I’ll live without it.”copyright protection20PENANAIl6X2F5XUw

“Whatever you say, Pookey” Jude said with sigh, finishing off his beer with a grimace.copyright protection20PENANApx9KiS4a7o

“How about Bitchy Face for you?”copyright protection20PENANAsjvnscDhk2

“How about Suck My Dick?” Jude replied with a prim smile, ashing his cigarette.copyright protection20PENANAy2nF0pl5nf

Woody laughed, wiping ash off his jeans with a calloused palm. “Sucker! Done!”copyright protection20PENANABNNLx5DCgL

Jude’s smile fell. “That’s lame. Pass me another beer.”copyright protection20PENANA0I5w5xJJP3

“They really grow on ya, don’t they, Sucker?”copyright protection20PENANALn5936yobW

“No, I just figure I’ll enjoy your company more if I get blitzed.”copyright protection20PENANAENJsygycSO

“Ow-wie…” Woody cracked another one for him and passed it over.copyright protection20PENANAYTw3qBAalp

After a while longer, Jude said, “After tonight, we need to go back.”copyright protection20PENANAe7NkgRqOfB

“I’ll be ready,” Woody whispered. Then he asked seriously, “Will you?”copyright protection20PENANAKUoumXKUaD

“Yeah,” Jude said with conviction. “I’ll be ready.”copyright protection20PENANAJ8xfbYRM9c

“It’s kind of exciting in a… you-might-die-again kind of way.”copyright protection20PENANAcnj0HzR7o7

Jude snorted. “Me again? What about you?” When Woody glanced in his direction, the vampire was grinning, looking at him for a reaction.copyright protection20PENANAI917Do5ojg

Woody gave him a smirk of very real bravado. “You’re not getting rid of me that easily.”copyright protection20PENANA22oAhAy9nI

“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 protection20PENANAlz5FAMfrUD

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 protection20PENANAyDNzLqYQPh

“Is it hard to be friends with me?” Jude asked quietly. His gaze had returned to the forest.copyright protection20PENANA7RjvrB60Kt

Woody shrugged. “Is it hard to be friends with me?” he asked in reply.copyright protection20PENANAI63OLDA14v

“You can’t kill with a word. You can’t destroy just by thinking about it.”copyright protection20PENANAFD8sdTTbKI

“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 protection20PENANAsRAMn1nt28

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 protection20PENANAXKe1yZE90J

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 protection20PENANAFGnN8AH2Ls

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 protection20PENANAKejk1Gmoao

“Sure.” Anything to quiet the mix of emotions in him. Relief, regret, shy contentment…copyright protection20PENANAw89K9IKOSL

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 protection20PENANAyxrVlAv2Ch

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 protection20PENANAunvOIwv4VG

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 protection20PENANAtsODdYlYNe

Woody shook his head, queasy. Then he laughed hollowly. “No… I… Cool,” he said.copyright protection20PENANAJlLbg7MMap

Jude cocked his head to the side. “What’s wrong?”copyright protection20PENANA3FMztu6Zz1

Again, the werewolf shook his head. “Spins. Drank that last one a little too fast.”copyright protection20PENANAF2uuFHs1Gf

Jude looked like he wanted to pursue something, but then he closed his mouth and smiled.copyright protection20PENANAfqB1BR8oEi

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 protection20PENANANHXzhr4nqD

Jude frowned out of the corner of his eyes. Then the pale man snorted. “I wasn’t always.”copyright protection20PENANAp5GTAmB2nh

“Yes,” Woody whispered. “You’ve always been stronger.”copyright protection20PENANAiCITEkLMIp

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 protection20PENANA4v725ot9MT

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 protection20PENANANbZt5zPHCd

He glanced around then, took a deep breath in to steady himself. He was shaking.copyright protection20PENANAZVQHPu1AgJ

He attributed it to the cool mountain air and his drunkenness.copyright protection20PENANA0lf8nlxRuj

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 protection20PENANALivKMAkBiX

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 protection20PENANAPhSFZI90jq

Woody thought it was hoping too much when he wished that the lights would go out.copyright protection20PENANAKjM0salZ1Q

When they did, he only sighed.copyright protection20PENANAjM8OxUoSwH

Jude just laughed in the dark.copyright protection20PENANAQlYJ1YrbYK

Then, despite everything, Woody started laughing too.copyright protection20PENANACJ4oJwy5wA

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