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Mehrdadstan - OPEN
From out of the desert, a lone figure walked. She was dusty and tired, having walked a long way to get here. She trudged toward what looked like a city, but may just have been another mirage and wonders what she was doing in this place.

Amalthea stopped a half mile from the city and just stared. Nothing in her life had prepared her for a walk along a blasted sandscape with no company but the wind and the sun and the scorching heat. She caught her breath on a lone rock, just barely out of the sand, and leaned back as she tried to figure out what kind of land this must be. A barren one, but not devoid of all forms of life. And apparently with human involvement after all, she noted looking at the rising city ahead of her.

After taking a drink from her waterskin, she capped the spout, and with a sigh moved forward toward the waiting city and the coming dusk, greatful for the lessening of the heat. She walked forward and wondered what this place would have in store for her.

Tags: amalthea, hunter

From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/18/2007 23:03:36  

It had been a full week since Hunter had last been in Mehrdadstan. Things hadn't gone quite the way he expected back up north and so he was back now to sell his wares in the city. He was better prepared for the desert now, with supplies and waterskins so he didn't need to stop at the outposts. As he approached the city, he noticed a lone figure walking towards it, and it was clear even at a distance, she wasn't a native.

He approached, brows furrowed as he caught a whiff of her scent, a strange ethereal silver-white scent with some nameless atrribute.

She was different. "Ho there," he called as he approached, more to alert her of his presence than real greeting.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/19/2007 00:29:06  

Amalthea had just steeled herself to walk to the strange city when the voice called to her from over her left shoulder.

She turned to be faced with... a man? Surely not. This being was more canine than man. But still, she was accustomed to stranger things now. She arched a brow briefly, and said to him,
"Ho there yourself stranger. I was not expecting to see anyone out here, away from the city."
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/19/2007 07:22:26  

Had Hunter known her thoughts, he'd have been swift to correct her. Canine implied dog. He was a wolf, a far cry from a tamed house dog, or even a wild-dog. Lupine were an different breed altogether, and he would have emphasized the point. But he had no idea what she thought of him.

His nose twitched as he got closer, as he tried to place that odd, magical scent about her. "I could well say the same. The only people out here are those by the outposts to aid travelers like ourselves." And it was clear she was a traveler. There was no way she lived in Mehrdadstan, not when she was even paler than he.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/19/2007 11:54:30  

As the figure drew nearer, she saw that she had been mistaken. This being was of wolf and man, not dog as she had previously thought. There was something too... crafty, feral, prone to wander about him. She was going to have to pay more attention in these strange lands. Who knew what would happen in this place when ones wits were half asleep.

"So you are a traveler yourself then?" She said as they grew close enough to speak comfortably. "Then what can you tell me of these lands? I have not been here before, and there are many things new to me. I have seen some strange things in my time, but... I know not where I am nor what to expect once inside the city."

From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/19/2007 12:03:22  

Hunter fell in step beside her and pondered her question. "I have only been here once myself. The city is full of activity, marketplaces full of clothing, spices, wares, and people. It can be busy. Overwhelming for some not used to crowds."

He eyed her curiously, still very curious about her scent. "May I ask which direction you came from?"

Feral and crafty he may have been, a part of him at least, but in contrast, he could be polite to a fault where it came to women.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/19/2007 12:17:35  

"Overwhelming, you say? Then perhaps I will need an escort to steer me around so I don't get lost. Where do you think I can find someone like that?" she said with a smirk that was more playful than anything.

She had decided cautiously that she liked this man... thing. He was very polite, but not too polite. Besides, she was sure that if she needed to, she could find guards once they were in the city.

She laughed slightly "A direction that lead me here from over that way" and points due east. She then pauses, and thinks for a moment, then turns to him and says, "So what should I call you?"

She waits a few more steps for him to be beside her, and wonders what will happen then when she sees his true nature.
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/19/2007 12:38:39  

did you mean to reply here and not to my last comment?

Hunter blinked. "I could escort you into the city, if you'd like. I'll admit up front, once there, I have business to take care of, but I'll make sure you don't get swallowed up by the crowd."

He eyed her for a moment and then congtinued walking with her. She had the faintest of marks on her forehead, and light purple starbust that seemed too off to be a simple birthmark. But Hunter didn't ask about it. Instead he sniffed lightly, just once, catching another whiff of that scent that smelled like pure magic. What the hell was she? She didn't at all smell like an ordinary human, that was for sure.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/19/2007 13:02:22  

No... I suck.

"I would appreciate it. Andd of course you have your own business elsewhere. So what should I call you?"

She was almost afraid to admit that she did enjoy this man's company. There was something... powerful and protective about him. She would have to be more careful with her feelings because this was far too early to know if she could trust him yet.

"Is there anything I should know about this place? Customs or traditions?"

Then, when his eyes darted up to her brow, and his nose twiched yet again, she couldn't take it anymore. SHe stopped, looked him in the eyes for a moment, and said,

"And why do you keep sniffing at me?"
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/19/2007 13:12:39  

Dork. It's ok. I just won't get the notification if you reply to yourself, =P

He'd managed to miss that question somehow. He blamed it on the magic smell he couldn't quite get out of his nose now. His nose twitched. He sneezed. "Excuse me. Hunter. You may call me Hunter. As for customs, I can't say I know too much yet. All I really know is what I've been told at some caravans. I only stopped in briefly after a hunting excursion in the jungle there."

He sneezed again, and rubbed his nose as she asked him point-blank. "To be honest, your scent. It's different. Magical." He gave a sort of helpless grin. "And I think I'm sadly allergic to it." He didn't give her much explanation, he knew. He rarely did.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/19/2007 13:21:14  

I hit the wrong button. ::sheepish grin:: and OMG your icon!

She laughed and warmed to the man. Offering him a handkerchief she chuckled and said, with a laugh in her voice, "Well Hunter, I am please to meet you. I am very sorry that you're allergic to me."
She made a curtsey, still offering the handkerchief to him. "Is there anything I can do to help that go away?"
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/19/2007 13:35:34  

I figured. XD And I'm certain Hunter's got the best facial expressions EVER.

He shook his head. "Thank you, I'm fine. No need to have me sully your handkerchief there." He was sweaty, dusty, and dirty from the road and the hunt. Her handkerchief would be a mess if he used it. "No, I doubt it. It's your natural scent. It's just... more full of magic than almost any I've ever come across." That Goodfellow fairy had smelled of magic, but dfferent. His was dark green, with specks of yellow and black, full of woods, mischief, and bits of malice.

Hers was... almost pure white-silvery magic, with the hints of some color that didn't really exist. "Oh, what should I call you, by the way?" He wanted to ask what she really was, but wasn't exactly sure how best to phrase it.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/19/2007 13:45:16  

I gotta go. Be back on later b4 Supernatural!

She shrugged her slender shoulders, sighed, and put the handkerchief back in her pocket. "I've got plenty more if you want to use one. Up to you of course."

She re-shouldered her pack and with a somewhat worried look in her heyes, for no more than a few quick seconds, said, "Maybe it's the heat. Oh, and you may call me Amalthea."
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/19/2007 14:13:48  

Ok, catch you later! Get on gmail next time! =P

Hunter caught that look, caught a whiff of worry, almost fear, and raised his eyebrow. However, all he said in response was, "That's a pretty name," and continued waking with her to the city that drew ever-nearer.

She didn't like that, he could tell. That he knew she was a being of magic. Why he wasn't sure. Perhaps she was hiding, hoping to come across as merely human. Far be it from him to spoil her ruse.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/20/2007 00:36:26  

"Thank you," she said as they walked to the city. A friend gave it to me was what she thought.

She didn't know what exactly to think of him. Was he just genuinely this nice, or was there an ulterior motive behind it? He had offered to take her through the city, if only for a while, but she still wasn't certain that she could take the offer at face value. And what did he guess of her? Could he tell she wasn't human? Could she tell what she really was?

She hoped not. There were far too many people still hunting her kind for her to even think about exposing her true nature. As it was, there were only three people living who knew what Her true form was. At least, she hoped they were still living.

"So, where is it that you hail from? Are you native to... this place? Or somewhere far from here? The desert doeasn't seem like your native home, if you don't mind me saying."

The walls to the city were now only a few meters away, and she steeled herself for the bustle of people.
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/20/2007 09:17:53  

Amalthea was smart to be wary of strangers, but this one? No, Hunter was actually had no ulterior motive. The woman was alone, and not exactly the hardiest of people. He didn't want anything to happen to her; it was simply a natural protective instinct, similar to what he was discovering he had for Red.

Hunter knew she wasn't human. No human smelled like that. Her scent wafted under his nostrils again and he sneezed once more. At the very least, he knew she was a creature used to magic, though she hid it for whatever reason. Any non-magical being like a human would have reacted to his scenting ability - much like the beautiful woman he'd met in the jungle just a week prior, who found it fascinating - in some way or other. Whether in curiosity, confusion, distaste, something.

But this Amalthea simply shrugged it off, as if it were normal, not something strange. Hunter pondered it for a minute, breaking his thought to answer her next question. "No I'm not from around here. I suppose you could say I live in the Sleeping Woods to the northwest. It is where I spend most of my time." And on his last few words, they stepped inside Mehrdadstan, between the watch towers where magicians guarded the city. They were on the main road, and it was crowded, people jostling back and fortha nd Hunter kept close to Amalthea, so she wouldn't get swept away.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/20/2007 13:19:46  

He was sneezing again. Which means he was probably sniffing again. Thank goodness she had spent so much time with the wolves in the south of her forest or she would have NEVER gotten used to it. THey couldn't smell her magic, but they could certainly smell her, and the thought made her smile a little wistfully, but it was indeed a smile.

"Oh, the Sleeping Woods? To the Northwest you say? I had actually been planning to... go..."

The words trailed off as Amalthea stepped into the city. There were SO many people. She disn't know really what to expect, but it surely wasn't this. There were so many emotions that crawled up into her brain at those first moments of being in this strange city. The one that was threatening to take a girp right now was PANIC! closely followed by fear! but she steadied her grip on her emotions with some deep breathing. She also "Stumbled" a bit so that she could catch herself on Hunter's arm, if only for a moment, so that she could feel safe and steady herself a bit more.

SHe hoped he didn't think she was clumsly, but clumsy was better than scared. Never let a predator smell fear. Walk slowly and don't make any sudden movements. She breathed a little quieter and stepped a little more sure as they made their way into the heart of the city.
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/20/2007 13:39:34  

He didn't mean to be sniffing her again. It wasn't his fault he had such a heightened sense of smell. It wasn't exactly beneficial in this case. However once in the city, it was a moot point. The smells of spices and people and everything nearly drowned hers out.

At least it did until he was sideswiped by the overwhelming scent - stench almost - of fear. She stumbled and grabbed onto him, but he'd moved to tug her out of the way of a cart anyway. She was terrified, he could tell, and he frowned. "Are you sure you want to be here? The woods might be a little more to your liking. You'd just need to be careful of the wild magic and the fey..." He looked concered. She looked... almost ill.

Never let a predator smell fear? Well she'd just done that. Lucky for her this predator was still in his human form.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/20/2007 13:53:51  

"N-no I don't want the be here, I need to be here. I'm looking for.. people that I know, knew a long time ago. I don't know where they are, so I figured I'd just look everywhere. They have to be somewhere in this godsforsaken place," Now she realized that she was saying too much, so she caught her breath, "And you don't need to listen to a ...woman getting hysterical in the streets. Thank you for escorting me. I'm sorry..." Amalthea shook her head, clearing the emotions out as she did.

She then said, "If you like, you can just point me in the direction of an inn or a tavern. You have been so kind to me, I thank you for that, but perhaps it would be best for me to go..."

Taking in more sights and sounds, she almost wanted to vomit at the riot of colors that passed, the smells that wafted, the noises that bounced off of everything, but she couldn't. She needed to find someplace relatively quiet to collect her thoughts. But she didn't want to leave the man just yet...
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/20/2007 14:03:52  

I have to go! I'll reply later, promise!

Hunter pulled her gently off the main road and went down a side street, surpised to find it far more manageable. In fact, all the side streets were like that. Quieter. Less crowded, less intense. It seemed only the main thoroughfare was so intense. "How about we find a place, and I make sure you're all right here before I go off?"

And he'd be checking on her, that was certain. He didn't question her rambling about people she knew, not when she cut herself off as if she'd said too much.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/20/2007 14:14:41  

No problem!

As soon as they were off the crowded main road, Amalthea felt much, much better. It seemed like she could think again, which was a blessing. She had almost called him a wolf, and she didn't want to run him off with that, or anything. This was a genuinely nice

She pulled herself together more, and said, "I would like to find somewhere very much, but you don't need to wait on my account. You have things to do, and I am most probably keeping you from them. But thank you. FOr everything." Not that she didn't want the strong male protecting her, but she needed to learn how to do this on her own, because she knew that she could not always rely on the kindness of strangers.
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/20/2007 15:49:56  

Hunter was wary of leaving her. She seemed to need some kind of guardian, and he almost insisted. Almsot. But then he caught it again. A scent, a faint whiff of honey-jasmine-frankincese, and he knew she'd been here, down this very road.

First things first. He needed to go to the palace, speak with the queen, and then he could spend time hunting down the elusive scenta nd the woman who belonged to it. As for Amalthea... "I will be checking in on you, I hope you know," Hunter said with what could have been a smile. Their luck took them past an inn, nothing huge and gradiose, but perhaps someplace she could stay. Hunter offered as much, because it'd be easier to find her by knowledge, than by sneezing and sniffing his way.
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/20/2007 16:08:37  

"I thank you, but I do not need a keeper. I wouldn't mind the friend though. Friends stop in and see each other from time to time. Here," she reached into her pack and pulled out a small white pebble, "This will allow you to find me even if I am not here. Just say my name and it will locate me. Really, thank you so much. I guess I needed a little watching."
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/20/2007 16:13:32  

Hunter didn't bother to tell her he didn't really need the stone. He could find her easily enough without it. But it was so seldom he was so quickly referred to as 'friend' and he genuinely liked her, he didn't mind the small token. He took the stone from her and gave that not-quite-really-a-smile again. "Then, friend, I will look for you later," he replied as he tucked it away safely. "And now I must go. Be well. I'll see you again."
From: [info]booksby_rabbits Date: 04/20/2007 16:21:04  

She was hoping he really would become a friend. She only had three, when she thought about it. SHe hopes this one would prove to be a good friend.
"Be well Hunter. May your ventures here be profitable. I hope to see you again soon, and thank you for your help and company. Both were appreciated."
From: [info]whos_afraid Date: 04/20/2007 16:23:33  

Hunter waved as he headed off in the direction of the palace. Amalthea was nice, he could smell it on her. She had secrets, as did most people, but there was no falsehood, no guile, nothing he could sense that would prove her untrustworthy.

Likely she'd become a good friend indeed.
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