"No.. .No I don't think I am... " Clovis whispered as he surveyed the tiger before him, the fact that it spoke was no surprise at all. Even if he hadn't spent the last few months with Kyera, who spoke quite fluently in both human and animal forms, this would not even touch the most unbelievable things that had happened today. Not even in the first fifty things on the list for the day alone. The tiger slowly lifted onto his hind legs and shifted form.
Before Clovis stood a man, dressed in exactly the same as the day he was born. Short sheared hair flowed in soft spikes around his head, a warm white glow from the strands. He offered a boyish smirk, filled with confidence and swagger. The boy had every mark of one who knew exactly who he was, unashamed and unafraid of any who might cross his path. Those eyes were filled with curiosity as well as appraisal as he looked him over from head to toe, not hiding his obvious a judgemental stare.
"Why, boy, do you smell so heavily of The Princessa of Shadows? Whom are you to carry her scent?" He asked walking forward, though he had no weapon, Clovis finally understood what it was to stand before a true predator. Without a single weapon, he was certain that even with his dagger, he would not have a chance in hell if this man decided to take his life. The Displacer beast had been something else, wild and feral but no forethought, she was hot a human. This man was a blend of the Beast and Man a hunter at his very core.
"I am… Are you Keenan?" Clovis asked the name striking him from a past discussion with Kyera. This man before him seemed very much like that man. There was something rather interesting about the way the man's expression changed. There was a soft laugh from his lips, but it had a underlying note of amusement.
"Aye, that be my name. I take it you know my Sister well if she told you my name." The man asked as he held out a hand, as if offering to shake. Clovis took a deep breath and relaxed just a fraction. At least this tiger might not kill him, being as they were kin.
"I am Clovis of the Dancing Winds, Kyera is my wife." Clovis replied as he shook the man's hand. Keenan pulled him in for a half hug, patting him on the back heavily.
"It is a pleasure to meet you, Brother. I could tell by your scent that you were close but that we are kin, I was unaware. Welcome to the Realm of Shadows, why are you stranded here alone?" He asked raising an eyebrow at him, taking this in stride. Clovis was pleasantly surprised that the man seemed so calm about this. No one had taken their marriage this well, he was not going to question it now, in a time of such need.
"Well, your sister was suppose to come with me but something happened. The portal closed before she got through." He replied running a hand through his hair. Keenan nodded seeming to think this over for a moment.
"That is not a good thing. I knew something was wrong when I couldn't find the portal itself. I've never had that issue before. I decided to look for the champion since your kind of stranded here. I'm glad I did. Sis would not have been happy if something had happened to you here, in our homeland. Come. I will show you around." Keenan offered running a hand through his own hair, teasing the messy strands into standing in all different directions. He shot him another rather smug smirk, and Clovis knew instantly this man was a stealer of hearts when he lived.
"Sure thing, I need to get the Nectar though and return home soon. The Matriarch isn't doing well." He pointed out, remembering his duties.
"Yes, Of course. I knew there was trouble when their last few champions fell to the trials at hand. You however don't need to face them." Clovis was shocked by Keenan's words.
"Pardon me?" He asked.
"Your family, the tree will gladly give you the Nectar you seek. It only forces those who have yet to prove themselves to the Shadow family to prove themselves it her. The issue is that you have bedded my sister. To the Shadow Family, that means she has given you her trust. That's enough for us." Keenan replied with a bit of a sideways glance. The teasing grin on his lip was embarrassingly clear. Clovis coughed slightly, he could feel his ears turning red.
"I see. Well that will make life easier then. I was concerned I wouldn't know exactly what to do. I mean, I know so little about all this." Clovis pointed out and Keenan looked at him curiously.
"Then why did you come here? Kyera never would have sent you, with or without her if you didn't want to come." Kennan pointed out and Clovis smiled shaking his head woefully. It was clear he was a bit at a loss for a answer.
"She's lost so much, I wanted to give her a chance to know her Grandest Mother and serve her people without her mother's touch tainting the connection." Clovis pointed out and Keenan's face turned grim. He looked down at the floor, pain in his eyes.
"I see. I take it Mom and Sister have not patched things up, as we had hoped?" Keenan asked, almost hopefully. Before Clovis could respond Keenan shook his head "I knew she would never truly forgive her, that's why I fought so hard that night. Why I fought not to die. I didn't want her heart to be consumed by hatred."
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