A flash, lightning blazing through the sky. Ominous clouds painted the very heavens dark grey; vicious shining green feline eyes glowing mystically focus on what's ahead scanning the thick forest, powerful legs carrying the strong body forward with grace. Wings held tight against its body, a leap carrying it over a fallen log with ease. Thundering hoofs pounded the ground as they speed towards the beast, driving it forward fear in its heart. The combination of well-placed steps and muscle bound legs made it easy for them to nimbly avoid trees till it reached the swift but silent stream. With a quiet moan of pain a large green maned head set a small egg into the stream carefully; a tear drop falling on the fragile shell as the current gently took the egg with it a light glow trailing behind. With a leap the great beast flew over the stream wings snapping open catching the breeze carrying it all the way across. Touching down, it dug its long sharp claws into the loose grass and it raced off trying to keep the sound of hoof beats at bay.

'Live, my child, please, for me' the creature sent its thoughts to her egg. Skidding to a halt she found herself face to face with the one thing, one creature, she was trying so hard to avoid.

"Beast. You cannot escape me. Serve me or die manticore." The manticore looked at the tall darkly clothed man with in front of her with pity; the Noctis Enox behind him glared at her its front claws digging into the ground and back hooves stomping, and wings held open in challenge. She growled lowly, rejecting his offer and crouched ready to fight. She lifted her blood red bat-like wings high in the air, unsheathing her long deadly front claws. Green eyes soon filled with hatred towards the man in front of her, and she let one more tear drop fall as she felt her own death coming soon. She saw the dark bone dragon one second too late, its tail struck true piercing her back into her heart pinning the manticore to the ground momentarily. Her dark blood staining the grass under her paws. Her mighty form fell and eyes dimmed as she took her last breath. The sky itself was mourning the loss of one of its very own creations as it broke into a heavy rain.

A dark chuckle was all that was left of the evil man that had been before her. The outline of the Noctis Enox barely visible as it took to the sky. The bone dragon let out a small keen of pity having no other choice but to obey and made its way through the dense forest awaiting further orders from its hated master.

The hard rain hit the pane of the window with soft thumps, trees swaying with the wind barely seen through the thick glass. Dark amber eyes watch the clouds in silence, mind to full of thoughts to even enjoy the soothing sounds of the weather. Another flash of lightning darted through the ever-gray clouds.

Shifting fabric brought those eyes to focus on the slender form and dark brown eyes across the room. The outline of ears held high, tilted forward, curious, and alert could be seen in the dark room as they made their way soundlessly toward the window.

"Sweetheart, Kynali, you should be in bed." Said the quiet voice from their fanged muzzle. His gentle paw soothingly rubbed the shoulder of their beloved. Eyes locked momentarily and a knowing silence befell both as the storm continued on outside. A small sigh left Kynali's lips as she pleaded mentally to be allowed to stay up a bit longer. The concern in his eyes made her smile softly.

"Just a bit longer Shirai, my Heartling, I am just thinking things over." Shirai wrapped his arms around Kynali and rest his muzzle on her shoulder cuddling her close. Both watched as the lightning danced across dark clouds in small bursts of energy. Kynali shivered a little and Shirai chuckled knowing they both needed their sleep in the warm safe bed. Gently he led her to stand and walked her over to the bed soon to be pulled into it as well.

"Love you sweetheart." Shirai whispered into Kynali's ear. Nuzzling into Shirai, Kynali soon found sleep and both rested the sounds of rain and thunder putting them at ease.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.

Quiet careful steps and small clicking claws woke Kynali. Feigning sleep Kynali rolled and nuzzled herself closer to Shirai. His strong arm soon reached around and held her tight. The steps got closer and the feel of Shirai's tail softly running up and down her calf told her that he too was aware of something in the room.

What could only be described as fox like sneeze put both at ease as the silvery head and paws of the fox kit peaked over the bed eyes alight with mischief. With a bit of a struggle the little Arkenian Kitsune climbed its way onto the bed, its little claws clinging to the fabric of the bed. Kynali reach for her little kit and cuddled it close smiling brightly as it licks her face and Shirai's muzzle in greeting.

The head of a large Dire wolf soon popped through the door, a relieved sigh leaving its muzzle. The little Arkenian Kitsune's ear flattened and it burrowed its way into the blankets. Shirai spoke to the wolf in Wolf tongue dismissing the Hatchling Guardian from the task of bring the little kit back with it. A yip of joy was heard from under the covers as it made its way to jumping on Shirai's chest licking him in thanks.

Not to soon after all three end up on the floor. Kynali pinned to the ground by a triumphant Shirai and the kit sitting on her chest licking her face. Shirai victory was soon over as he is rolled and pinned to the ground, again. Leaning down Kynali kissed him softly and nuzzled into him, the little Kitsune sitting not far away tails waving happily.

Both soon got up and made their way to get dressed, Kynali heading to the large bathroom to get changed. Walking out a few minutes later to see Shirai in his normal attire, white shirt and red Magi jacket with the fire crest proudly displayed on the right shoulder smaller kanji written beneath showing that fire isn't the only magic he uses, only one who really knew Japanese could tell what they stood for, his khaki pants seemed to hang loosely on him but fit quite well its many pockets holding bits and things he normally liked to have with him. Shirai looked Kynali up and down approvingly and she blushed at the silent compliment. Her light purple shirt went well with her dark colored jeans and light blue Magi jacket water crest on her left shoulder only having 2 less kanji then her beloved. Slipping into well used sandals Kynali headed out the room slightly annoyed that Shirai being a Timber wolf did not need shoes. The little Arkenian Kitsune sprang onto Kynali's shoulder wwrapping her tails around Kynali's neck.

They split up, Shirai to the kitchen and Kynali to the room for hatchlings to take the kit back. The Dire wolf standing guard was relieved to see her coming and wagged its tail licking her hand in greeting. Opening the upper half of the door Kynali set the kit in the room and was greeted by the several others in her care. Two wyrms, one gold one black, hurried over from the pond they were playing in soon followed by Kazue the little Telvian Panther female who nuzzled the Arkenian Kitsune glad of her playmates return. Saying her good-byes to her little ones Kynali went to the kitchen hungry and loving the smells coming from the hallway.

"Hey Sweetheart." Shirai called out tail waving back and forth slowly, ears relaxed one tilted back showing Kynali that he was listening. Picking up two plates Shirai set them down for breakfast, rabbit steak and eggs, their favorite. After praying Kynali dug in hungrily Shirai not partaking in as fast eating, taking slower bites.

"That was delicious, you are amazing, and I don't think I would be eating this well at all if it wasn't for you." Kynali leaned in and kisses Shirai, who kissed back chuckling and nodding his thanks at the compliment, tail waving a bit faster. Getting up and putting her plate in the sink Kynali looked around the kitchen and focused in on random things trying to remember what she wanted to do. Finally settling on what she wants, Kynali grabbed her messengers bag and kissed the top of Shirai's head before hurrying out. With a chuckle Shirai put his plate in the sink and went on his way to do a few things of his own.

Getting on a trail she knew well, Kynali headed towards the Keep. The fresh smell of day after rain made her just close here eyes taking in the very addicting scent. The trees were high around her and she smiled enjoying the calm forest. As a defense the area was under a spell that made anyone who didn't follow the trail lost and soon back to where they entered. The short journey was quiet, seeing the end of the maze like forest, Kynali picked up her pace. To many unwanted people liked to sniff around the area. The entrance to the forest was harder to find if you were new to the area. The high grasses helped hide the trails, almost head high felt like a hallway of grass.

"Ky, baby, sweetness, lookin hot today. How's my favorite Magi babe?" The sound of the very voice she didn't want to hear stopped her in her tracks. An overly friendly paw reached around and hugged her, ignoring the tenseness in the hug back. Jade green eyes shined with haughty, smug, and all around egocentric attitude, it made Kynali want to smack him. The high grasses hid John from her sight till it was too late. This pissed her off even more since she couldn't even avoid him. Meaning he was waiting for her. The cur.

"I'm just fine John." Keeping her tone civil among wolf Magi like him was so hard, but she knew how to act, and acting she was. This wolf happened to be a top alpha and that meant only her mate or future mate could stand up to him without a chance of her having to fight the Cur known as John. Moving his paw lower, it slowly rubbed her lower back lightly trying to relax her, doing quite the opposite.

"Glad to hear it babe. You still with that," leaning in John scenting her neck, "pup Shirai?" Biting her tongue she nodded silently and kept still not wanting to incite him to bite her into submission, that'd be against protocol but she was unmated and he was an alpha.

Having wolves in the Keep wasn't anything new but, for Kynali, it was new. She'd been at the Keep 7 months and from where she used to live they'd never seen anything besides a Dire wolf. The different creatures she'd seen since she first came here after finding out she had magic astounded her. From Wolves who walked on two and four feet that were considered Magi, to the dragons and even High Phoenixes who trained there. Most of the time the humans wouldn't need to worry about the rules or pack alphas but being courted by a wolf changed the game. The fact a wolf wanted her made her a prime target and had other wolves looking her way.

"Did you need anything John, or was this just my lucky day to see you?" John smiled what he thought was a winning smile, fangs gleamed a slight yellow tint but looked like they'd still hurt. His fur looked mousy brown getting darker at his tail and paws. It looks like he spent a day grooming himself.

"Oh babe, I just wanted to see you." The feeling of a tail on skin soon, alerted Kynali that he was going a little too far. Growling she grabbed his wandering tail before it went down her pants. A yip of surprise turned into a growl and she soon found herself pinned to the ground.

"You have no right to touch me there, tail, paws, or otherwise; now let me up and go." John smirked and barred his fangs in rejection to her command, scenting her fear.

"Ky, babe really now? That pup of yours hasn't even mounted you yet, I can show you a real wolf." The lust in John's eyes and voice scared her and she couldn't focus enough to even use her magic, mind frantic. Trying to calm down Kynali felt as John put his muzzle into the crook of her neck taking deep breaths. Closing her eyes she knew what he'd do next, unless she stopped him. She stilled when she felt that tail of his slipping up her shirt. Her last line of defense, she took in a deep breath and screeched. Loudly. Ears flattened, John rolled off of Kynali to get away from the eardrum shattering sound. The sound of a vicious growl silenced Kynali, Kazue, now a fully grown and very angry panther, stood a leap away from John pinning him with her stare. She was not the source of the growl though. Kynali visibly relaxed. It was Shirai, and he was pissed.

"Leave! Now. Kazue here would have given you a quick death. Now if you want to see how long a wolf takes to die, stick around." Shirai's voice was dangerous and the look John gave him was like an omega, fearful. Kazue quickly moved to stand over Kynali; ready to kill John if he got near. John leaped to his feet and turned tail running. The heat from Shirai's paws was visible but faded quickly. In shock Kynali was still; Kazue moved as Shirai, making a sure not to startle Kynali, moved over to her. Sitting and pulling her close Shirai nuzzled Kynali who buried her head into his shoulder.

"He...H-e...was that cur was...gonna..." Stuttering, Kynali tried to get out her thoughts only to be hushed by Shirai.

"I'm here hon. I'm here. He left and I've got you." Cuddling her close Shirai looked her over. Jacket full of dirt, clothes rumpled, and bag half open still slung on her shoulder. Helping her stand, Shirai led her over to Kazue who did her own inspection, sniffing over Kynali licking where John's scent was too strong for her taste. Nuzzling her large head into Kynali's stomach she purred out her approval.

After walking her back, Shirai had Kynali sit and rest for a while visiting with her hatchlings. He smiled as he watched her light up, smelling how calm and happy she became instead of the fearful scent that clung to her while walking back. He honestly wanted the smell of that cur off of her as soon as she'd let him. Chuckling he watched as the little Arkenian kit nuzzled her, covering John's scent with its own. Giggling Kynali tried to push her away but the persistent kit was a little too quick. The two wyrms had her distracted as well, hating the cur for touching their 'Mom'. A newly hatched Hellhound pup uneasily made its way over yipping in concern.

.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

"That Bitch," Snarled a furious John.

"What is your grievance now young Alpha?" The voice of an annoyed looking Higher Magi asked.

"She refused me! First she was all submissive like a good bitch, and then she assaulted my person. Her panther and that pup Shirai stopped me from even punishing her like she should have been." Opening a scroll the Magi looked over wolf code and rules. Nothing there stated that she had to be punished, but it did say that a female not alpha above a male may not attack unless they wish to challenge that male for rights to mate. It was a stupid rule in his eyes. Wolf society was not kind to young meek females nor to stubborn humans with an unfair disadvantage having no claws, teeth, or the same bulk wolf people had.

"You wish me to do something about this young Alpha?" The Magi studied the body language and didn't like what he was seeing. If only the High Alpha Magi, had been in the great hall. He'd be able to take care of this issue, scenting out lies or half-truths. Pressing a small tab in the table he had one of his Kitsune runners slip in for a moment. It looked at John and the Alpha growled at it. The Kitsune looked to his Magi and tilted its head. Making a momentary mental connection he sent it off.

"I want that bitch as my mate so I can show her what I do to bitches who don't know their place." Raised hackles showed the High Magi he was not going to be reasonable. Or patient. John wanted to force Kynali to submit. He'd relish in the victory then force a mating, if the poor girl lived he'd most likely do what humans amounted to as rape. A knock on the door drew the Magi's attention. The door opened to reveal the one person who could pound in any form of logic into the head of the fuming wolf.

"The Kitsune you sent tells me you have a loud unruly pup in your midst. I see now it forgot to mention it was one of my loud unruly pups." High Alpha Magi seemed to have the silencing effect on the wolf in front of him.

"This young Alpha has a problem he wishes to have solved." It was interesting to the High Magi to see John force his ears from dropping flat. The fire in the boy's eyes was gone and he just nodded along.

"Well boy? Tell me what happened. Do not waste my time so spill it." The High Alpha Magi barked at John.

"Well...You see... Uh...I-I was in the forest-"

"Come, now boy. No lies and speak firm. Are you not an Alpha?" The High Alpha was not as mad as he first seemed. The high Magi noted the slight mirth in his eyes asking that question.

"Oh...ya...I-I am. I am an Alpha. Well, I was out for a walk...Near the forest. I came across the Bitch Kynali. I was a perfect gentleman till she assaulted me. I was going to punish her when I was outnumbered by her friends."

"Not what you told me young Alpha," the High Magi cleared his throat," You said it was just her panther and that pup Shirai." John became visibly shocked by the fact he was caught in another half-truth.

"I-I ya two to one, Out numbere-"

"How can an Alpha not be able to handle a panther and a lower rank wolf?" John's ears flattened and tail curled in. The High Alpha Magi also scented fear, embarrassment, and hate...Along with an older scent. He scented arousal.

Turning and leaving the room the High Alpha Magi made his way towards his Niveus Enox. Getting on her back he rode out to the forest edge and saw what was left of the scene. A scroll, small light brown, lay partially hidden in the grass caught his attention. He smelled that same scent on the pup. It was that same female; now he had a reason more to visit. Entering the forest, he saw the pathway and felt the protective magic light but effective as he noted its properties. Hurrying his way he had his Niveus Enox take the path.