Rosalie stops on the trail of a bear after she smells the blood.
Warm, rich, human. The roil in her stomach, the empty pang of hunger makes her dig her heels into the ground to stop herself from leaping blindly at the source. She had to rationalize, assess. She had to remember that she would never forgive herself, and that one's own opinion on oneself was the only opinion that truly mattered.
It could be that men hoping to acquire bear meat met a grisly end. It could also mean she'd be caught with her hair down and no shoes on. She wants to roll her eyes – that had happened before, and Edyth had laughed mercilessly over the new local legend of the 'witch of the woods' in some tiny town in New England.
She scents the air again. There was no discernible sight or sound of a human, but the blood was so fresh. But as she wandered over, she sees that there were marks on the ground, long, dragging. They don't go far.
There lies a figure, face-down. Whimpering lightly, breath hitching. Big, in brown clothes and thick boots on. His hands were covered with dirt, nails cracked. He had been mauled, where the clothes ended the flayed flesh showed through. In delirium he must have had tried to crawl to god knows where.
She feels a spike of pity, and no small amount of helplessness. Dying and discarded did not sit well with her. She had nothing to help this dying man, save stuffing her skirt under his head as a pillow and perhaps being here to keep him company in his last moments.
She's gentle, carefully plucking him up and turning him over. "There, there," she murmurs.
From the figure comes another cry at the movement. High-pitched and breathy. But it clicks in Rosalie's head, as the gore-streaked face was revealed – this was a woman.
The pity turns in her belly – the next moment, Rosalie had the large body in her arms, cradled protectively and gently. The woman's face was square and not at all delicate, even when dying there remained a heartiness to her features. A strong chin and a broad, flat nose. Her brown eyes flutter, and Rosalie surmises that she's handsome, even dashing, when not in pain.
"Hold on," Rosalie murmurs, not sure if she was heard, before she grips her tightly, and starts to run.
The blood was borderline over-whelming, and stopped Esme from walking into the room. In fact, in a moment she's darted to her garden at the front porch and stayed there, covering her nose with the lavender she plucks up. She stops breathing, only thinking on Rosalie's package with shock and confusion. Edyth, for all her protestations against her telepathy lending itself to habitual snopping, stayed behind, absolutely unable to leave without answers.
"What on earth, Rose!" She exclaims, looking bewildered. It seemed the telepath was not able to glean clarity from Rosalie's thoughts.
"She needs help!" Rosalie declares, her voice wrought. "Carine!" She screamed.
He was down the stairs and easing her instantly. "Put her on the dining table, there we are." He tells her, his voice stern but gentle. He glances out the window, sees Esme, gold eyes large and wobbly with worry, the blossoms across her mouth. He struck with the image of Bussière's blonde Isolde, until his first daughter's voice pulls him back.
"Her?" Edyth asked, astounded, looking down at the close-cropped curls and broad body. "Oh my lord," she says as Rosalie swipes at her to move as the extent of the damage reveals that while wearing a pair of obviously men's step-ins – this was indeed a woman. With thick arms and large shoulders, and a torso gruesomely gutted. "Well – I was very worried about the first man in the house in 20 years dying immediately thereafter." Edyth says.
"She's been mauled, by a bear." Rosalie says, unable to rip her gaze away from the woman to glean Carine's own reaction.
"Poor wretch," Carine replies, "I don't think the hospital could help her if she made it there breathing. I don't think she has enough blood in her veins." His gaze is clinical, but he did seem mournful of every life as it were – everyone in the room could hear the poor creature's heartbeat slowing..
Rosalie was able to look at the blonde woman then. Drawing herself up to her full height, a touch shorter than Carine's whip-lean figure. "Do to her what you did to me." Rosalie said, fiercely petulant. "Make her mine."
"You already have." Edyth tells her, because there was just a hint of a scent, of the woman's blood near Rosalie's face. But Edyth had used the last of the breath in her lungs and knows not to try and take another.
Carine looks at Rose, with something like hope. "You want her?" He asked, as though beginning to be happy by the news.
"I need her." Rosalie's face is dark, and Edyth, for a second, looks nervous. Rosalie was the type of woman who thought in words, but at this moment, all that was in her head was the image of the wretch on the table.
Sober now, gazing upon such an expression, Carine inclines his head, leaning further down, mouth open, biting directly into the red exposed meat in the woman's ribs. He does this several times, a hard, intent look on his face.
Rosalie kneels by the woman's head, smooths a white hand over her forehead. Edyth comes into the garden and gripes onto Esme's arm as they watch through the window, tense and fretful. Esme felt the phantom burn in her lungs, the want to breathe that was not a need anymore, and must pull herself away.
Esme was the only one that seemed to notice Carine's fearsome and dark face. She felt as though she had never seen the kindly woman make an expression like that before. But she had. In her hazy, human moments. Her very last moments. He had looked at me that way.
"It's best the two of you leave." Carine reminds them.
Rosalie takes one last look at the pale, dying woman, and when she runs Edyth follows. Edyth doesn't say anything, stays back far enough that when Rosalie crashes into a bobcat and eats it immediately, Edyth can only stop and stare. It was the first time she had ever seen Rosalie hunt.
Carine is a he/him butch jsyk