Within the dark that fell after twilight, with the moon hanging in the night above, the chill of leaf-fall could be felt rather frigidly. However, the raven feline that surpassed through this night like a mysterious shadow seemed unfazed. The only parts of her that moved beyond the lithe legs that carried her was the flicker of her tailtip, paired with slightly swiveling ears and roving eyes. What she was feeling, thinking, even seeing...well, that was beyond unknown. To most.
Perhaps even she was not entirely certain.
All the same, the feline had a duty, and thus soon enough she found herself seated upon a rock just beyond the edges of the two-leg village, not far from the fringes of Moorclan's White Forest. She knew precisely why she was there, and who would be meeting her soon. After all, she bore great attention to many things.
The feline she had met before had been an...interesting sort. Her opinion on him was irrelevant...he was a customer, after all. Upon hearing his plight for wanting kits he was unable to have with anyone he knew - the details were just as irrelevant really - the raven feline had shown herself and introduced to him as Midnight. She told him simply, that she could take him to Majesty, who would fulfill his wishes as she did for many others before. All he needed to do was to meet her here tonight, just as the sky had grown dark, and she would guide him to the Palace.
In case the tom was hesitant, of which he seemed the sort, Midnight would wait a moment longer before returning to the Palace.
Notes | Starting with Midnight, Majesty's NPC adviser/second - will switch to Majesty at the palace, she just does not often tend to leave lol.
♚ fallowbreeze was struggling. He had always been the sort to struggle with things, especially making decisions and actually following through with them. it was completely new to him that he had actually planned this out, and that as of present date he was still committed to said plans. But speaking them out loud, well that was hard to him. he had stuttered his way through the lengthy and all too detailed explanation when he had met the dark feline before. And while she had been completely uninterested, he hadn't been able to help himself from continuing on in his rambling fashion. and when he had finished explaining, and she had agreed to help him, well he had all but broken down into tears of happiness.
but he wasn't sure what he was getting into entirely. you see he had only been given more information. meet her here, at this time, and then all would be revealed. and while at first, this has seemed like the best outcome...now that the time was here, he was beginning to panic.
pacing back and forth the tom spilled words out into the open..."you should've just told Starlingstep...she would understand. Or perhaps even robin...robin would have come with you. But that's not an option, it was specifically come alone. alone and with nobody else. just yourself fallowbreeze." his lithe body repeated the same line of movement over and over again as the sun set overhead. he was going to be late if he kept this up.
as if a suddenly realization hit him dead on, he stopped. if he wanted kits, he had to go. this was not an option, it was his ONLY option. nodding his head, the tom took off, trotting quickly to close the distance and arrive as close to on time as he could.
"I'm here! I-I'm here! I showed up. I'm sorry i was late. i couldn't...well i suppose it doesn't matter but i am here and i am ready." His words spilled into the open as he approached the dark furred feline. there was no turning back, and his heart skipped a beat as he realized he could no longer go back.
Ears flicking toward the hurried pawsteps well before the rambling voice of the clan tom sputtered out, Mightnight had already risen to her paws, tail flicking languidly behind her as she watched the male with an unreadable gaze. By all appearances she seemed emotionless.
Whether or not this was the truth, however, was not something the tom needed to know.
Once the rambling was finished and the male clarified his presence, as unnecessary as it was, the raven molly gave a definitive nod. "Good. Follow me," was all she bothered to say, and as briskly as before, the molly leaped off the rock and padded into the longer grasses. However, this time her ears would subtly angle back, and if the tom dragged behind, she would pause and send a blank glare over her shoulder as she waited for him to catch up, before continuing on her way.
Like a silent shadow, she moved with sleek efficiency toward her destination. While the path was far from simple, there was no hesitation to the twists and turns she took, nor to the tunnel she ducked into and padded through the dark and heavy silence of without a slither of discomfort. Eventually, she would lead the tom to a building, made by twolegs but smelling now only of cats. Her head dipped briefly to a rather dark tabby, who almost blended into the shadows in which he stood, and he gave the ticked tom a brief glance, before offering her a curt but rather respectful nod.
Whisking her tail for the tom to follow, she gave him a brief glance to ensure he would, before she ascended the various boxes and ledges to the square hole above. It was similar to those covered by a clear barrier or boarded by wood, but instead it yawned empty and dark. Not the most inviting, but that was not to say the same for the interior of the building once she slipped through and backed aside onto a ledge. Within may not be well lit at this time, but it was clearly decorated by the guidance of someone who desired only the best comfort a cat could manage to find without human assistance.
As was only fitting for Majesty.
"Midnight, is this the seeker you told me of?" The voice that rung out was soft and feminine, an alluring and surprisingly gentle note for one that saw the raven molly ducking her head to the point that it touched her paws, her forequarters stretching out slightly to accommodate the resemblance of a bow, before she straightened once more and whisked her tail in gesture for the tom to step forward.
"Majesty. This is Fallowbreeze of Moorclan," she offered promptly. Intrigue flickered through the golden gaze of the calico who stepped forward from the shadows, peering over the newcomer with an almost foreign kind of curiosity. "He comes with a request." Of course, Majesty had been informed what it was the tom wanted. However, Fallowbreeze need not know that.
Notes | Skipped most of the journey cause Midnight is an NPC lol
♚ to say he was overwhelmed was an understatement. he found himself terrified and almost ready to turn back with each step he took. but the constant reminder of kits, the promise that this cat could help...it pushed him onward. he needed these kits, they were his only chance at true happiness. starlingstep didn't want him anymore, or at least it seemed like she had revoked the feelings she once had. and that was enough to make him look elsewhere. he had blew his chance with her, and well...there was nobody else in the clan that would even look his direction except for the tom cats...and they could not give him the kits he wanted. that and he didn't like them the way they thought he did.
he followed the black she-cat, and all but stopped in his tracks as large tom barely visible nodded towards him approvingly? or was it simply in acknowledgement? he decided he wasn't about to ask, and instead kept on keeping on. the building they had entered was rather...run down looking. and the hole she had invited him to follow her into...well it left many questions in his mind. was this a trap? he scurried up the boxes before he changed his mind, and squeezed his eyes shut as he entered the crevice.
Another cat? the voice threw him off slightly as he peered into the darkness. his internal flight system was beginning to kick in but the voice kept him still. It sounded gentle, and relaxing. he felt as if he could trust it....so why shouldn't he stay?
Her name was beautiful. one that he could only dream of having. Majesty. but as he was introduced and pushed into the spotlight, he found his paws shuffling as he stared at the calico. "hello...I..yes...i want..." words weren't coming into the air like they were supposed to. his anxiety was too great and the willpower to stay was hard to come by.
"i...i was told you could help me....i just..i want a family." his voice was soft, and pauses were met with great difficulty. had he spoken any softer, she probbaly wouldn't have been able to hear him.
The raven molly that accompanied them hung back in the shadows, crouching down to observe attentively, though she did not leave. Instead, she merely lapsed back into silence and awaited to be called upon once more. Majesty did not even seem to care, her full attention now shifted to the tom, her newest deal. The tom who looked at her as though she were a star fallen from above, and she could not help but bask in the appreciation. Clearly he must have been thinking how gloriously beautiful she was, how he had never seen a finer thing.
After all, that was what everyone ought to think.
The tom seemed to stumble over his words, uncertain of himself in her presence. Part of her felt like cutting to the chase, naming her price for the request she had already been informed of by her adviser. However, these things simply did not work like that. Sometimes they required patience, a more...delicate touch. So, the molly gazed upon him patiently, and flicked her ears forward with interest at his vague request, as though hearing of it for the first time.
"A family, dear?" she hummed, curiosity lilting the faux gentleness of her tone. Padding forward, the molly kept her gate slow yet purposeful, letting her movements seem as natural as though she were gliding as she approached, circling around him in curious observation, before lightly flicking her plumed tail toward his flank, just barely enough to brush him as she tilted her head in aim to meet his eyes once more. "Well of course I am always happy to help those in need..."
Keen as she was on manipulation, Majesty kept her tone smooth like honey and movements as fluid and graceful as she had when trained for the shows she used to attend in her former life of luxury. This feline seemed the nervous type, not that she could be surprised. Most that came to her tended to be desperate, and everyone who was desperate felt awfully vulnerable.
It was easier when they felt more as ease with her.
"Though tell me...your clan cannot provide such for you?"
Notes | She is just loving having a deal to make lol
♚ fallowbreeze found himself almost unable to breath. and as she approached, the anxiety and fear threatened to constrict the last breath out of him. silently in his head he tried to soothe himself, this was normally starlingstep's job. but if he were to have a family, well....he found have to do this. kits weren't able to calm themselves. they didn't think rationally, and he would have to be the stillness and calm figure in their lives. IF he was able to somehow come out of this situation with kits.
it still didn't make sense. and as she approached him, he quickly focused his attention back to her. his yellow orbs tried to take everything in, her movements. she was graceful, and clearly one who could handle herself. while he, well he was a blubbering mess who stumbled over his own paws. Her words made him feel slightly better...so she could help. "you have no idea h..how happy that makes me. i need the help. " his voice was a tad louder this time, he was finding some sort of relaxation, perhaps in the acknowledgement that his dream had the chance to become a reality.
as she asked about his clan...he found himself unable to formulate the correct words to explain his situation. he didn't entirely feel like letting this outsider know that everyone in his clan thought he was incapable. that he had no true love for she-cats. this was his one chance to have a clean slate, even if it was with some beautiful outsider that he was making some sort of backdoor deal with.
"they...they cannot. or rather they won't. or she won't...i guess. she doesn't want to have a family with me." sadness overcame the tom and he cast his eyes to the floor. it was his fault that starlingstep didn't know his true feelings, and the nasty rumor had just stopped them from getting any further. "But you can....right?" he looked to the molly, tears welling in the corner of his eyes, threatening to expose his overly sensitive nature...as if that wasn't already clearly visible.
He aim seemed to be a little slower reached with this tom - however, her words did do their part in relaxing him a little, and the molly chuckled. Still, sensing his tension with her proximity, before she offered her response she backed away and little and seated herself, plumed tail curling smoothly over her snowy forepaws, of which she crossed before her out of habit.
"I believe I do have some idea..." she ourred out cryptically once she was comfortably settled. She had seated herself upon a strange, plush nest coated in something akin to soft fur, that she had insisted her subjects steal from wherever they might find any. To please her, a few of the comfortable nests had been found, tucked into different locations at varying elevations. This one was far from her favorite, yet it was one she occupied frequently.
Another was settled not far from her, and she gestured toward it with an inviting smile.
"Come dear, sit," she cooed lightly. "You must have travelled a long way to get to me - standing around is certainly not a comfortable way to discuss matters." However, while there was an insistence to her tone, the molly kept the gentler demeanor she was displaying to the flighty clan cat by making no command for him to obey.
The sadness he showed next was, in all respects, rather pathetic. She had been through worse that a silly rejection, and she knew that many of her subjects had gone through hell even compared to what she had faced. Midnight herself was far from better of, Majesty was well aware. Still, it would do no good to make him uncomfortable now, so she offered instead a look of sympathy.
"Oh my, you poor dear. Your love does not return your feelings, I assume?" she pressed lightly, before leaning just a little closer, her tone lowering to something falsely confidential. "You know I always say we should strive our hardest for what we want - that is how I got where I am today, after all. You must be very brave and determined to have come to me for what you want - it is truly inspiring."
Lies. In her eyes the tom was a frail wimp. Still, she figured bolstering his confidence would also heighten his trust in her, and to get the most out of this deal, trust was precisely what she needed. Besides, would it not be fun to see just how much she could twist him around her claw?
Oh how she loved a good game.
Settling back, the molly lay down in the plush nest and tucked her paws beneath her chest. She looked entirely at ease, no doubt - another way to garner more trust and thus better opportunities from the stranger. However, the real reason she let herself relax beyond such, was because she trusted Midnight with every fiber of her being to defend her queen with her very life. She did not have her role for nothing, after all.
"Now. There are many ways me and my Palace could provide you with a family...though my assumption is you seek kits, yes?" Without waiting much for confirmation - she already knew the answer after all - the molly went on smoothly. "However, do you have a preference as to how these kits would be provided? After all, they do not simply come out of nowhere, especially if you seek them to carry your own blood."
♚ the ticked tom watched her carefully. one could never be too cautious, and outside of his clan territory he was especially vulnerable. but if she were to help him, she surely wouldn't harm him? the question lingered for a moment in his brain before he attempted to draw his attention back to the femme. She had moved herself away from him, to some sort of nest. But it was not one of twigs and moss, rather something else that one of the other cats could have possibly drug in.
of course that was only an assumption, for he couldn't possibly confirm or deny that she was inf act the leader of this band of cats. although the way the dark she-cat before had interacted with Majesty, well...it was safe to say she had the last word in matters around here. when she beckoned for him, his ears twitched lightly, and he gave a nervous swallow before doing as she said. "yes. you're, you're right. I suppose i could rest a bit before returning. but i have to do that before dawn. i can't be gone forever, they'd wonder where i had gone off to and then..well...with tensions..." the tom trailed off, realizing these words meant nothing to those he was surrounded by now.
As she spoke, of starlingstep, fallowbreeze found himself wincing lightly. if only it were that easy. but he wasn't going to put the real story out into the air, and so he just nodded along with her words. sure, she didn't return his feelings...that was exactly the case. "i just..i just want kits. a family. i'd do anything..." the words were perhaps the most damming ones he could have spoken, but he was oblivious to this fact and only motivated by sheer determination that she was indeed ready to help him. this dream of his could become a reality.
"I guess...i would love for them to by my own..but i..i just...i..." it was hard for him to find the correct words. to connect his feelings to the thoughts that were coursing through his mind. if they were to be his kits, well then...but who? her? the she-cat that had led him here? the thought almost had him ready to change his mind...but he couldn't. not now. not when he was so close. "what would it take? for them to be mine... or how do we go about this? i just want them to come home with me to live a clan life."
finally. some words that made sense and weren't a complete shit show. some part of him had to gain confidence, or at least it had to try.
In truth Majesty really did not care for his situation, be it a lie or otherwise. Hated, shy, abandoned...it mattered not to her. Instead, it was another word that rung clearly in her head, one that saw Midnight's gaze shifting silently toward her, the expression of the raven molly unreadable as it often was. 'Anything?' Majesty echoed silently. 'Now that is something I can work with...'
However, acting on such a thing now would scare the skittish little tom away. Poor thing, he reminded her of a young female she saw at their first show once, freaking out as everyone's attention settled on her, whilst Majesty watched on in regal amusement. Sometimes it was just as much fun to see cats squirm - however she was not in this solely for enjoyment. She needed something out of it to. Or at the very least, she would insist on something.
Finally, a little bit more confidence was shown by the tom. Barely.
"If that is what you desire..." the molly hummed vaguely, weight shifting slightly as she gazed about her palace. Whilst no one else could be spotted among the shadows, the cat scent was hard to miss. They may not e here to listen, but there were others beneath her control. "It is fair to wish for kits of your own...though you may be hard pressed to find someone willing to surrender her kits entirely, just as hard as it would be to find a Palace resident willing to join the clans..."
The warning was a gentle one, though only on the surface. Within she felt like a spider weaving her web, creating a trap to ensnare her prey. After all, the tom seemed softer than others...he was more likely to fall at her paws if she mothered his kits, rather than loading them off on someone else.
She was not coming out of this empty-pawed.
"However..." she continued, straightening herself a little as she curled her maw into the slightest of unreadable smiles. There was a purr to her honey-sweetened tone, and part of her wondered if he would ever sense the trap. "I can see how much you want this, and I can sympathize with your plight...perhaps if i know how they would be raised and can be confident they would be in safe paws, I could offer you these kits myself."
♚ it was hard to know what he was truly getting into. he hadn't surveyed the area well before coming. of course, he didn't know this place even existed...the palace or whatever she kept calling it. and now that he was here, well...he was stuck. snared. trapped. and the only way to really leave was by striking this deal. by continuing the transaction as requested. after all, he was the one who got himself into this mess.
AS she spoke, he listened, attempting to decide how to respond correctly. as if there was a way that he could control how he responded. the tom was barely able to keep his emotions in check, if at all ever. "I wouldn't...i don't wish for...i don't mean to make anybody live in the clans. its not a life for everyone but for some. i enjoy it there, i just wish to enjoy my life with others that i can care for...." her words were enough to shake him slightly, and his blabbering words came flying out of his mouth to try and save his skin.
while she hadn't outright threatened the poor tom, he could sense any sort of danger when it started to near him. he had always been flighty and it was perhaps why he was still alive. or at least, its what kept him going. and as he watched her, he found himself wondering what sort of deal was being struck. after all, deals were often give and take....what would he be giving?
"they would have a safe home. they would be kept safe and warm and wouldn't want for anything. we can keep them safe. i can keep them safe..." perhaps too much desperation seeping into the air, but he couldn't help it. now that she, the pretty molly herself, had offered him the kits...well...there wasn't much holding him back. even if he was walking straight into a trap.
So he did not wish for the mother to stay. Interesting. In that case he was definitely narrowing his options, which only lured him further into her web. He was asking that the mother would give up her kits - certainly, he had not denied it at least - and there were so few who would be okay with such a price...her among them.
The desperation was quick to edge back into the tom.
Not that it had ever really left, Majesty noted. Still, she pretended not to notice, instead flicking her ears to catch his words, before nodding thoughtfully. However, she had not gotten in so much as a word before a flicker of movement drew her attention. Gaze carrying toward it, Majesty watching as Midnight returned to the exit where a new arrival stood awaiting a receival - the guard from outside, and he spoke to Midnight in a quiet tone that even Majesty could not catch, before retreating back to his post.
Majesty's gaze narrowed upon her adviser, who turned to give her a simple nod.
'So he will be returning sooner than expected...' the molly thought, giving Midnight a swift nod in return. The raven molly slipped out of the square hole and disappeared into the world beyond the Palace, leaving Majesty to turn her full attention back to the clan cat before her.
"It would seem our time will sadly be cut shorter than expected - though I assume you ought to be returning to you clan soon before your absence is too greatly missed." Flicking her ear, the molly sat up in the soft nest, feathered tail unfurling to spill over the edge. "You will have two days to think - please meet Midnight on the second night at the same time and place, and I will ensure you get your wish as well as my own terms."
Giving the tom a warm blink, Majesty nodded toward the hole he entered through.
"Outside an escort is waiting to take you back to your border," she assured lightly, tone drifting honey-sweet once more as she continued. "I do hope to see you back at the Palace again soon, kits are always a blessing to any cat."
♚ a soft and subtle commotion soon drew the attention away from him and he found himself feeling more at ease. with eyes not on him, and others not paying attention to him it was a little easier to try and get a grasp on the situation. but this situation, his situation, was not a normal one. Nothing about this was normal and it was his own fault entirely....except it wasn't. if the rumor hadn't started...the nagging thought begged to differ and he sighed to himself.
majesty spoke and he nodded in agreement. he would return....as long as he still had the guts to go through with it.