When solid ground grows soft with emerald moss and rivulets of black mud, and coffee-colored water pours slowly around the trunks of densely carpeted trees, this marks the beginning of Laod Mor: the swamp of Blossom Forest. Time itself seems to slow to a soporific crawl . . . the humid jungle air grows stagnant, thick with the scent of rich flooded earth and an abundance of green things that can be found nowhere else—except perhaps Caidir Olc. In some areas of the swamp, water rises so high the only way to cross it is to crawl across fallen logs or massive roots arching from their liquid beds; in other places a wolf might wade easily through the mire—or find a fortunate stretch of mostly dry earth. Pieces of the great river, Glaesfaet Sceawere, also slice through from time to time: small falls that feed into surprisingly clear pools, only to terminate into tar-like pits. Of course, Laod Mor’s beauty shines brightest at night. Here, fireflies gather at all times of the year . . . suffusing the shadowy place with millions of twinkling lights.

Those looking to hunt here of course find a myriad of water prey, including caiman, turtles, fish, crayfish, otters, and toads.


h e a r t . t h r o b

you don't have to love me . . . you don't even have to like me . . . but you WILL respect me

A delighted, savage cackle jangled in between Kira’s teeth when she heard Drizzt launch immediately after her, the eager young brute apparently unable to wait even a few seconds to touch her again. Their paws beat the sun-warmed earth in a lively syncopated harmony—his large paws hitting on the downbeat, a heavier thud and more desperate scrape of claws to follow her softer dancer’s leaps—and the sound of his excited breathing made her already racing heart thrum like a hummingbird’s. The fishnet punkette decided to tease him; she purposefully slowed her pace so that her fluffy banner skimmed the space just before his panting muzzle only to jump forward, shapely haunches bunching and long legs churning to pull farther ahead. “My, my—so fast!” Kirastasia crooned over her shoulder, shooting the Tempest a saucy wink before focusing ahead. “But not fast enough to catch me!” She gathered her muscles and flexed with liquid grace to sail effortlessly over a fallen log, its velvet emerald moss skimming her belly. Storms had hit this section of the forest hard, toppling trees so that cracked trunks leaned against one another like ancient refugees or collapsed to the floor in rotting bridges. It served as the perfect obstacle course—and the snowbird raced through lattices of branches as if testing the limits of her body.

At one point, just as the humidity of Drizzt’s panting began stirring the fine white hairs of her flanks, Kira veered sharply to the left—clambering up a devastated log caught between the still-standing trunks of two strong sycamores. The fallen sentinel had been supported by its fellows for longer than Kira had been alive; spongy moss carpeted its exterior and fungi shelved its sides, transforming it into a sculpture of decay and regrowth. Kirastasia’s paws sank softly into the log’s back as she clambered up it—tiny leaves and flaky textures tickling her toes—and as she reached the highest point where the apex nestled snugly in the crook of those twin sycamores she finally slowed her pace and twirled about to smirk at the Tempest. “Well then, son of Hocus and brother of Malignant . . . it appears I am caught. Trapped between a rock . . .” She gestured behind herself with a grand sweep of her tail before eyeing him lasciviously up and down, biting the side of her velveteen jowls as if staring at a delicious feast. “. . . and a hard place. Whatever will you do with me now?”

While she spoke, Kira inched higher and higher up the wooden beam, swaying her curvaceous hips with each backward step. Her maple pools never left the male’s ivory-carved face, drinking in his authentic expressions as they shifted across his blue-lit features. Inwardly her soul rejoiced. This experience—his attention, his energy, his honesty—poured into her like sunlight on a dying garden. She bloomed under his glowing gaze. She blossomed. Grew. Warmth that Kirastasia had never felt before started creeping from the center of her chest and tingling through her goddess frame, filling pieces of herself she’d always struggled to feed. How could the tundra princess explain what Drizzt did to her? How his presence soothed the tiny crying shred of herself that had never dried her eyes since the day she was born? Mine! Her eternally cracked heart sang, throwing its notes into the space between the two wolves. Hunger that reached and hunted and whimpered and growled quieted into a playful purr, urging Kira to twine herself around this willing creature now, right now, before he changed his mind and ran away . . .

At last her rump backed into the V-shape where the fallen log rested, halting her progress. Kirastasia chuckled low in her throat, pressing herself more firmly to the bone-smooth bark, alabaster plume sweeping high over her spine . . . and she used the closest tree to support her as she dipped low and then arched her spine high, a languid slide to show off just how gracefully her large warrioress silhouette could move. “Are you going to tag me, Drizzt? Then it will be my turn to chase you . . . unless you’ll give me another chance?” She bowed low to look up at him through smoky eyelashes, the eyes of her mother—the eyes of a succubus—shimmering up into twin oceans of sapphire. “What are you feeling right now, Tempest? Are you having fun?” If he was not already standing in front of her, close enough for Kira to stretch out and touch, the wolfess soon corrected this by shifting forward and upward. Her nose would sweep the curl of fur on his chest first and explore its way up his throat until she could nudge into the side of his face with incongruous gentleness, considering the flames in her eyes. “Do . . . do I frighten you? I dearly hope not. I want to get to know you, Drizzt. I want you to know me. But what could an unwanted femme like myself do to interest such a nice lad?”

why? 'cause I'm the boss!

【Heiress of Malignant – pining for Kahlan – daughter of Kershov x Queens – sister to Kavik – LSVK】


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