Perhaps changed most of all out of all of the packs is this place. It was stripped out of its forested home and now instead lays at the edge of an ocean. The vast sparkling eternity of the water lays to the south of the land, while the rest of the land is made of rocky outjuttings. Gone are the trees, and all that remains for greenery are the short shrubs that dot the paths in the rock, and the moss that grows thanks to the spray of the waves. Further toward the shore, barnacles are a plenty, and look to cut the pads of those who slip on the wet surface. These extend out into the water itself, and the tough land has multiple caverns scraped into it, providing ample dens for the wolves that live there. Depending on the tide, however, the lower caverns may flood, and the vicious swirling water may prove to be dangerous as there is a strong undertide ready to pull unsuspecting swimmers to their doom. Even the tide itself is powerful enough to push intruders against one cliff or another. The ocean does provide, however, plenty of food for those who brave the waters - there are many breeds of seals and sea lions, though the males that protect each of these are vicious and territorial. There are also turtles that come ashore to breed and to lay their eggs - both the adults and the eggs themselves can provide sustenance to the wolves. But they must take care - the water is deep enough to allow sharks to come to shore from the depths below. Those unwilling to venture the waves or wet their paws with the moist sand of the shore can find snakes and hares in the rocky outcroppings, but they must beware the Komodo dragon and other monitor lizards that perch upon the shore - they are swift and move in groups, not to mention they carry venom in their bite that causes immense pain, paralysis, and prevents blood clotting. This is not the land for the weak of heart or the weak at all really. This is Uyaraut - ‘The Diamond in the Rough’.




Her poetry—excruciatingly explicit, filthy words spoken by a gilded tongue—had Kershov struggling to control his breath. Each exhalation wanted to escape in ragged panting gasps, his body reflexively priming him with oxygen for a feat the two gladiators had not yet fully consented to. The stirring in his pelvic region flared into a beautiful agony that arched its way up into his thorax, roaring, a thunderous reaction to the words of passion Athene poured so eloquently, so easily from her elegant jaws. Her subdued purr as the phantom demonstrated their next exercise touched him with nearly tactile power: its effect as intimate as if Athene had rubbed herself catlike down the length of his body. It took a valiant effort not to allow drool to pool around his exposed fangs. Or to leap on top of her and use every weapon in his vast arsenal to pull helpless moans from her lips. You’ve started a war of attrition, Athene. And I’m not entirely certain I would be sorry to lose.

Magma threaded the earth between them, an undercurrent of red-hot heat waiting to erupt. Kershov felt that silent potential to catch fire oozing beneath his paws and throbbing in time with his heartbeat: true admiration tinged with slavering lust that stimulated his mind as well as his loins—an instinctive recognition of Athene as perfect. He could not help but drink her perfume and wonder what new hidden notes he would discover as he buried his snout in the luxury of her ruff while taking her from behind. Their eyes met—molten gold and polished onyx—and lightning arced in the space it would take to run their tongues hungrily over the other’s fur. The alabaster wolfess with her streaks of ebony presented herself as prime breeding material, just as she had pegged Kershov as a worthy sire. Their very blood demanded to be mixed. Whatever offspring they produced would be strong, intelligent, incredible. Kershov had not experienced this aggressive primal pull toward a female since . . .

No. We’re not going there.

An unexpected stab of pain soured his desire for but a moment, the rot of an old wound encroaching on his current hungry bliss. Within seconds the ivory warrior had recollected himself, banishing the ache with an emotionless blink, and he refocused his attention entirely upon the exemplary wolfess beside him. Athene was real, and she was here, close enough to touch with her perfume flooding his senses. The light of her presence scorched away whatever hurt dared linger in Kershov’s chest. He was a new wolf, damn it—he’d promised himself not to fall back into the accursed madness that had torn his life apart not so long ago. That version of Kershov was dead. The new Czar had buried him in the snow without a single marker for his grave.

Athene was already dipping low to repeat the three-limbed pushup, her features organized in an expression of intense concentration. If the Pharaoh had been paying more attention to her reactions, rather than the tantalizing curve of her flank, he might have noticed the fleeting look of irritation pass across her visage . . . but alas, those haunches looked good enough to eat. He could only imagine their flavor if he were fortunate enough to sink his teeth into—

The knock of her shoulder against his snapped Ker back to reality. He grinned evilly, prepared to offer another punishment for her wavering of form . . . but then Athene nuzzling unabashedly into his mane, pressing so close to him they could not have fit a pine needle between their warm bodies. Her muzzle traveled up his pulsing throat, over the corner of his mouth—her tongue slipping out to caress his exposed fangs in a teasing kiss. Kershov’s breath stopped. His talons raked into the earth to anchor him in place. That hidden magma boiled and buckled against its earthen restraints; the Alpha felt lava drizzling over his hide and burning him to the bone. Athene bit his ear with no mercy, a growl lacing her aggravated lyrics, and the dam holding back a torrent of molten rock burst.

Hours later, Kershov would not be able to recall precisely how he’d twisted himself in hopes of shoving the she-warrior off balance and into the ground, his forelegs aiming to trap either side of her skull so that she had no choice but to peer up into her King’s frightful face. He would only remember the overwhelmingly beautiful scent woven into the tapestry of Athene’s soft throat, her fur as smooth as a swan’s feathers, as he gulped her in like a glass of cool water. “How rude of me—you wanted my thoughts, and I failed to provide them to your liking.” His words would be muffled against her canvas, his muzzle pressing close to the waves of her robes. “You inquired as to my preference, correct? Well then, Madame Athene . . . I can imagine no view I would prefer more than your superb womanhood bared to my sights alone, wet with anticipation for me, that mouthwatering perfume of yours drenching my pelt. The arch of your spine, the slope of your hips, the taut lines of your limbs . . . your form is flawless. And you completed that exercise rather nicely, as well.” A dark chuckle would curl like smoke from his knives as he traced the long plane of Athene’s neck . . . maw parting so that he might taste the corner of her mouth, an invitation to explore him as he wished to explore her. He realized, completely, that the fearsome wolfess might decide to reject his advances; Kershov had attempted to pin a monstress, and their potential position would give her plenty of opportunities to use her daggers against him.

Yet the Emperor doubted his brindled prize would try such a thing. They were having too much fun tormenting each other.


【King of Uyaraut – tied to none – father to Kirastasia and Kavik – xathira】


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