The Hunter's Companions Ch. 05bySinisterSpiders©
"Nitawa Kee!" The sound of Kalendras's voice broke through the rabble of the common room and Livinia turned around to see him pushing his way through the crowded room. She couldn't help the smile that spread across her face.
"You're back!" Livinia said as he approached her and he grinned.
"Yes and I got into your guild!" Livinia gave him a quick "I'm very glad to see you again." He reached down and traced his fingers along her arm softly.
"Do you want to go upstairs so we can talk properly?" Livinia asked him, getting to her feet. Immediately she cursed herself for the knee-jerk reaction. She still hadn't figured out what to do about her situation but she had decided that a day or two of abstinence might help to clear her mind. However, it seemed as though that was now off the cards.
"I really would love to talk, but unfortunately we have to go."
"We?" Livinia's eyebrows shot up, suddenly interested.
"Yes. Kahora said that we're all needed for a raid today." Kalendras explained. Kahora, the Guild Leader, always found the most exciting tasks. So, even though Livinia would have loved to have spent some one on one time with Kalendras, the possibility of a good job was too good to resist. She asked Kalendras to wait a moment while she ran upstairs and got her stuff together.
Livinia's arrow nestled in the sweet spot between her enemy's shoulder pad and chest plate and she heard the creature's piercing scream of pain.
"Have you told him yet?" Kalendras's voice hummed through the loud clamor of battle.
"No." Livinia snapped.
Her next arrow took the creature in the neck and he fell to the ground, twitching and spluttering all the way down. She watched as Belcarm swung his mace around, swept up in the adrenalin of the battle, and then turned her attention to the enemy spell caster fifteen feet behind him.
"BORRIS!" Livinia cried, voice high and clear.
"THERE!" She held an open palm out to the spell caster and her shimmering red mark appeared in the air above his head. With a ferocious growl Borris detached from one of the sword-wielding minions and crossed the distance between himself and their new target, crossing the last five feet with a powerful pounce.
"When are you going to tell him?" Kalendras asked, turning his attention from the melee to her.
Livinia pulled her bowstring taught, and then whispered a spell as she sent the arrow flying towards her enemy.
It pierced layers of flimsy cloth and buried into the woman's breast. Even though it was a good shot, the best part about it was that the woman's constant muttering stopped and all of the spells she had begun to cast fizzled into nothingness.
"You did say you were going to tell him, didn't you?" Kalendras asked. Livinia clenched her teeth and wished desperately that she could bury one of her arrows charmed with a silencing spell into Kal's thick hide.
"Shouldn't you be concentrating on healing everyone?" Livinia growled, Kalendras just laughed.
"Don't worry Nitawa Kee, everyone is perfectly healthy.... Why haven't you told him?"
"Give it a rest, will you?" Panther asked from the other side of Kalendras before the other Blood Elf Hunter sent a spray of arrows into the fight. She was an interesting character that one. Livinia didn't know what her real name was, because Panther was certainly a strange name for a Blood Elf, but she was such a seasoned member of the guild that Livinia figured it had something to do with one of their many conquests before she and Belcarm had joined.
Ten minutes later the battle was done and their party regrouped to loot the corpses and distribute the spoils. Livinia was recovering some of her arrows from a body when she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned quickly, ready to stab the person with the bloodied arrow, but pulled her strike at the last moment when she saw who it was.
"Belcarm." She said, with a stiff nod.
"How did you fare?" He asked, running a set of critical green eyes over her body.
"Fine!" She said defensively, her arms crossing over her chest. One thing about the Paladin was that he often became overprotective. She could hold her own in a battle, they both knew it, but sometimes this coddling became too much for her to bare.
"No injuries?" he asked "Nothing that I need to heal?" His eyes looked at her again and settled on her breasts. "Nothing at all?"
"No Belcarm, I'm perfectly-"
"I assure you that I am more than capable of healing this Nitawa Kee." Kalendras's voice boomed from behind her, and he took a step up and rested one massive hand protectively on her shoulder. Belcarm's eyes met Kal's and he raised his eyebrows in a quizzical expression.
"Nitawa Kee?" Belcarm asked, looking between Kalendras and Livinia curiously.
"Little One... in Taur-ahe." Livinia said matter-of-factly.
"She doesn't look so little to me." Belcarm said, sizing up the Druid behind her. He took a step closer and Livinia's hands clenched around her arrows. The tension that she could feel, being wedged between the two males, was thick. Kalendras because he knew of her relationship with Belcarm, and Belcarm because he was concerned (and rightly so) of Kalendras's attention towards her.
"Perhaps that is because you are so small yourself?" Kalendras asked, Livinia's mouth fell open and she tried to turn but a second fuzzy hand clamped on her other shoulder and held her firmly in place. Belcarm casually reached behind himself and scratched his armor where his mace was clipped to his back.
"I may be smaller than you are," Belcarm begun "but I assure you that size is no indication of ability." Livinia rolled her eyes and tried to shrug free from Kal's protective grasp to no avail. Belcarm looked between Kalendras's hands and face and stepped closer to them.
"I'd say that Liv would be the best judge of that." Kalendras said, haughtiness creeping into his deep voice. Livinia's throat tightened as she watched anger flare in Belcarm's eyes. She tried to step away from Kal again but he held her fast.
"And I'd say that Liv wants you to leave her be." Belcarm said in a tone that Livinia had come to know was a warning that there was bloodshed to come if Kalendras didn't let her go. Belcarm eyes the way that Kalendras was holding on to her with great disapproval and gave the Tauren an angry glare.
"Hey- do either of you three want this shit?" A perky troll voice sliced through the tension. Zin'Jiri held up a dangerous looking staff and the two males reluctantly took a step away from Livinia. They stood for a moment, looking at each other, before Kalendras let out a guttural growl and stalked away.
"Kalendras seems quite familiar with you." Belcarm said, ignoring the fact that the others were arguing over who should get an item that he probably needed more than the three of them combined.
"Well, we've been friends since we were a few years old." Livinia said with a shrug. Belcarm stepped closer towards her and put one armored hand on her cheek, the metal was hot on her skin.
"I've been lonely without you." He said intimately, his voice lowering so that only she could hear his words. "You have no idea how desperately I want to bury myself inside you." He said, her stomach was flooded with desire as green eyes met emerald. He leant forward and planted a chaste kiss on her lips, innocent enough in itself, yet it held the promise of so much more.
When Belcarm pulled away from her, Livinia looked around just in time to see Kalendras's gaze dart away from her. The desire was replaced with guilt and she closed her eyes.
"Can I get everyone to meet at the Green Skin Tavern tomorrow night after we all get a chance to clean up and rest?" Kahora said, his voice dispersing the intimacy between Livinia and Belcarm very efficiently. There was a general murmur of agreement and Livinia took the opportunity to make her way over to Panther and check out her new weapon.
Later that evening, just as Livinia's eyes had fluttered closed, there was a loud knocking on her door. The sound startled her and her eyes snapped back open, all of the drowsiness banished into the darkness. It had taken her hours to get to that sleepy stage, she had spent most of the night trying to figure out the awkward love triangle she had gotten herself into.
"Who is it?" She sat up in her bed her ears strained for the answer.
"Me." Even that short word was enough for her to identify the voice. She sighed as she got out of her bed, pulling the rough linen sheet with her. As she crossed the room she wrapped the fabric tightly around her and tried to reign in her anger.
"What do you want?" She opened the door and was met by Kalendras's confused face.
"What do you mean?" He asked gruffly, shaggy brows knitting together in confusion.
"After that stunt you pulled today?" Livinia asked, he continued to stare at her and she sighed and then took a step back to let the Tauren into her room. Once he was through the threshold she slammed the door shut.
"The stunt I pulled?" Kalendras waited until she turned to face him before he spoke up. She could see anger bubbling in his eyes and she took a deep breath to calm herself down.
"Yes, you." She said in the most patient voice she could muster "You know I haven't told him yet! So what do you do? You get in there an act all possessive and start making snide remarks about size!" She threw her hands up in the air, all pretense of calmness dissolving with the angry motion.
"Oh, I see." Kalendras begun "This is all my fault, is it?" His voice was sarcastic and it grated Livinia's temper.
"No! Well- yes! You should have just shut up. You know I haven't told him yet- but you had to go and make a show of it... Why couldn't you just leave it be?" She asked. The Tauren's thick fists clenched and unclenched.
"You've had plenty of time to tell him!" He barked "And you haven't! And you let him kiss you, Liv!" He said, he stepped closer to her and lowered his head so they were eye to eye. "You let him kiss you and I was right there." Livinia pushed past him and sunk onto her bed, putting her head in her hands.
"I'm sorry Kal!" She said weakly through her hands, exhausted from the unbelievably consuming confusion "I- ... I just don't know..."
"You need to tell him." Kalendras said, his voice was still tight but there was a little hitch in his tone and Livinia knew that his mood was softening.
"Tell him what?" She asked, throwing her hands in the air angrily.
"Tell him that I love you." The words floated down around her like a soft blanket of snow, they blanketed her and her entire body was chilled to the core. Her eyes rose slowly, eventually meeting his in the dismal flickering of the candlelight.
"What?" She asked nervously, not sure she had heard right.
"I told you to tell him that I love you." Kalendras came and kneeled down on the floor in front of the bed.
"But- you never... We were never like that! We always just did our thing and then you would leave!" Livinia stammered, confused, bewildered and flattered all at once.
"Why do you think I am in Orgrimmar?" Kalendras grumbled "Because I like the Orcs? Pah! I hate this place! It stinks like Orcs, shit and stale dirt!" He said, his snout scrunching up in distaste. "Give me the Wild any day!" He looked around the cramped room before returning his gaze to her, his light brown eyes soft. "But you are here. In Orgrimmar... And now I am too."
Livinia looked at the familiar face of her best friend. His shaggy fur freshly washed and combed after their earlier raid, but clean or not she had always thought he was quite fetching. Even if he was a completely different race, they had grown together for too long for her to care about that. She reached out and put her hand on his shoulder, and she could feel his soft fur and hard muscles through his thick robe.
"Why now, Kal?" She asked "After all this time you tell me now?" She didn't mean to sound hurt, but she couldn't help it. She had always pretended that she was fine with their casual arrangement, but they had been friends far too long for either of them to miss the signs that they both wanted more. The way that Livinia would purposefully venture to whatever area she had known him to be in, the fact that Kalendras always managed to hint in his letter when he would me making a trip to Orgrimmar, the strange coincidences that were really carefully planned opportunities for them to spend at least a little time with each other. Although she did feel a sense of relief at having him so close by, she couldn't help but wonder what made him change his mind.
"It is because you heard Belcarm and I, isn't it?" Livinia asked. Kalendras shook his head and looked away, but not before Livinia caught sight of the tell tale flicker of emotion in his eyes that confirmed her theory. "You were happy to know that I was just having a fling here and there, but now that you think there could be something going on between Belcarm and I you have decided to waltz in and claim your property?" She asked. The Druid shook his head.
"Is there something going on between you two?" he asked "Something more than just rutting?" Now it was Livinia's turn to look away.
"I.... don't know." She admitted, frustrated with her situation. Kalendras had told her that he loved her, something that, although she loathed to admit it, she had fantasized about for a long while. This was supposed to be where she finally got to tell him that she loved him- as more than just a friend with benefits. She opened her mouth and tried to form the words but they dried up in her throat and her lips shut uselessly. She couldn't do it.
"How can you not know?" Kalendras growled. She could tell that he was angry that she hadn't responded properly, hurt that she didn't return his sentiment.
"You were never there Kal! What was I supposed to think? I was just a plaything to you!" She groaned.
"Never! You have always been my best friend. We both just had things to do, different paths to follow." He told her, his heavy hands resting on her thighs.
"Yes, but we never made any commitment to each other! The sex was just casual- we both knew that... And then I find out that Belcarm likes me-" She stopped, not wanting to go on, but she was too confused and frustrated to hold back any longer. "Belcarm who has always been there for me. We travelled together for years, he always had my back... When you didn't." She looked up into his eyes. "He had my back when you didn't Kal... What was I supposed to think? What was I supposed to do?"
"I thought you liked being independent. I didn't think that you'd want me hanging around all the time." Kalendras said.
"I do. But Kal, being independent doesn't mean being alone. I don't like being away from you. Not now, not ever. But we had different paths to follow. You were with the Cenarion Circle and I had my own future to forge."
"I thought that you were okay with the situation Liv! If I'd known you were unhappy I would've come back. All you had to do was say and I would have tried my best to make it work!" Kalendras said, his fists clenching and unclenching in frustration.
Livinia's mouth opened and shut uselessly a few times. What could she say? Why was he only coming out with this now? After years of pining after him and wondering if they would ever be together he comes along at the worst possible time and demands her attention. It was confusing, and it was strange. Livinia bit her tongue to stop the tears from welling up in her eyes. Kalendras let out a deep whine and put his hands gently on her cheeks.
"Well, you know what I want you to tell him," Kalendras said, his eyes searching hers for any sign of a resolution "now you just need to figure out what you want to say." His tongue flicked her cheek affectionately and he got to his feet.
"I love you too." Livinia finally managed to blurt out, but it was too late because she said it just after the door slammed shut behind him.
The sun had just kissed the horizon good night when the guild members had gathered at the inn for the meeting Kahora had called. The Tavern Owner, had happily given them a large private room at the back of the establishment and had rolled in an entire barrel of ale for them. Livinia was chatting happily to Sierra and Kalendras about the day before when Belcarm, the last person to arrive, made his way into the room. He had traded his armor for a handsome red surcoat with detailed black embroidery. He walked straight over to Livinia and stood behind her, his hands resting softly on her shoulders. Livinia's stomach tightened and she wished that they were alone so that he could place his hands somewhere else. Somewhere much lower.
"Took your bloody time Belcarm!" Kahora said loudly but not unkindly. "Right- let's get this show on the road shall well, I'm tired and want an early night." The Tauren waited for the room to quiet down and for everyone to take a seat. Livinia scooted over on the bench and patted it, making room for Belcarm to sit down. She ignored the slightly annoyed look that Kalendras was giving her.
The first part of the discussion was taken up with the introduction of their newest recruit, Kalendras Totemrunner, and by tying up some loose ends left by their latest conquests. There was one dispute over looted jewels that Kahora settled, and then the shaman was able to get down to the real business.
"We have a few jobs over the next week or so that will require a bit of creative delegation." Kahora said, "I know that we have all gotten used to working with certain people, but these jobs are very specific and will require that everyone fills a role appropriate to their skills and abilities... so I don't want any complaining, the sooner we get the jobs done the sooner everything will go back to normal."
Belcarm's hand crept over to Livinia's thigh under the cover of the table and she turned to give him a reproachful look. Belcarm grinned back at her and shrugged innocently. Livinia rolled her eyes and decided that it was best to ignore him. She went to look back at Kahora but she caught sight of Kalendras out of the corner of her eye, and the look he was giving her made her inch away from Belcarm slightly and subtly remove his hand from her thigh.
"First up, myself, Panther, Sierra, Belcarm, Jervis, Mak, Trei, Zanthis, Fiorestra and Rorge are all heading to Scourgeholme. There had been some recent reports that the dead are once again becoming restless. We are heading off first thing in the morning. Everyone okay with this?"
Liv looked at Belcarm and could see the shock in his eyes. As far as guild runs were concerned they had only been separated once before; Kahora always did his best to keep friends together. The other times that they had spent apart had been because Belcarm was away on Blood Knight business, or because either of them had to visit family.
"Can Livinia not come as well?" Belcarm asked over the general mutter of conversation, Kahora looked at him and frowned.
"No, I have another job in mind for Livinia... Zaela has asked for someone to do some scouting to determine the number and position of Mor'ghor's forces. I think Livinia is best suited to that job."
"How about Panther?" Belcarm asked, giving the other Hunter a pointed look, Panther just shrugged.
"You and Liv have been spending more time in the Twilight Highlands than I have. I've only been there once. I don't know the land nearly as well as Liv does."
"Well can I go with her instead? You have Sierra going with you, surely you don't need me as well?" Belcarm asked. Kahora gritted his teeth angrily.
"We are going to quell the restless dead Belcarm, you are a Paladin. Isn't that what you do?" Kahora asked.
"Well, yes, but by all reports Mor'ghor has gotten very brave lately and has been killing any horde envoys on sight. He might confuse Liv for-"