“Am I good enough… to be decent?”
This cabin, this beautiful magical cabin in the middle of a forest I had never explored before, had suddenly become my world. I had sauntered in on a whim, although maybe it was a calling I’d felt in my soul… Either way, I was here. I’d spent the first night reacquainting myself with an old friend, Lycaon. I say, friend, we’d crossed paths multiple times on our roads to vengeance, even helped each other out occasionally. If you’re lucky, maybe we’ll tell one of those stories.
I had come in earlier than I’d originally intended, for some reason I was anxious, and there was no one to be seen. Figures, Lycaon was a werewolf, after all, he’d be sleeping most of the day away. So I decided to do him a favour. I would create my own wards and strengthen the ones that were already up. To keep us, and any else who came, safe. I snapped my fingers and a delicious Indian beat filled the room, and I began to dance. It was my favourite way to cast, and I donned a traditional belly dancing ensemble and moved to the music. My magic flowed out of me and surrounded the cabin, it was more of a hunting lodge than a cabin, but still. My protection seeped into every crack and crevice of the building and I smiled.
The hours passed, the music changed, more to match what kind of threats we could be fending off, and as the music changed, so did my outfits. It was a way I channelled my power into the magic I was working, and I looked good doing it. I’ll admit to my vanity, no one ever accused me of being ugly on the outside… No, I love fashion and style, and I kept up with all the latest trends wherever I travelled, and my closet would be full of clothing I barely wore until I needed it.
But that was the way of magic. To hoard things we hardly needed, until we did and then bam, it was there. To me, my clothing was integral to my casting. I had found back when I dealt with the druids in ancient Ireland, the flowing clothing that made me stronger. At the time I created a green/brown dress, that didn’t hinder my movement, and have only made slight adjustments to it over the years. When I had finished dancing, I looked up and was proud of what I had wrought. The entire lodge was warm and welcoming, the peace and protection a feeling I was not used to. If I was being honest, most people who Lycaon was looking to recruit would be used to it either.
The door was kicked in and I looked over to see Lycaon, and I sighed. “What’s got you so angry Lycaon?”
He looked at me and smirked. “Angry? Who is angry?” His voice was confidant and teasing, and I wanted to throw him down.
I look at him coyly. “Oh no? Then why are you kicking down doors?”
“I’m testing to see if there are protective wards.” He looked at the shredded door. “Gonna need to mend that issue. Can’t have just anyone coming in here after all.”
I place my hand on his arm, feeling his muscles below me. “Would you like me to set them up, or strengthen them? More than what I’ve already done?”
“If you’d like to set them up, and strengthen them, that would be lovely.” Lycaon steps to the side, and extended an arm toward the doorway.” Lycaon looked down and noticed blood on his collar.
I noticed the blood as well and stepped in beside him. “Is everything ok?”
Lycaon nodded. “Mmm, just a problem in NOLA, I took care of it.”
“Ah, glad to hear it.” I wave my hand and the blood disappeared. “Now, what kind of protections did you want up?”
“As strong as you can make them. I have a feeling we’re going to attract the attention of… powerful beings.” Lycaon replied.
I smiled wickedly. Well, I’ve already started casting enchantments to keep whoever we welcome here safe. But…. there is one last thing I can do to strengthen what you have already put up.
“Pretend… oh I don’t know, waves hand back and forth…Hekate wanted to get in. I have a feeling we’ll have more magical allies soon.”
I give him a side-eye look. “And why would she be trying to get in, I am one of her priestesses, or at least I was…”
“Not her…per se, I just mean someone of her level of magical abilities.” He glanced sideways, and I stare him down.
I hold up my hands and focus every ounce of magic I have into this spell. I knew it was going to take a lot out of me, and I concentrated on the words I needed to focus the spell. “όσοι δεν είναι ευπρόσδεκτοι σε αυτούς τους τοίχους, θα βρουν μια μοίρα χειρότερη από το θάνατο!” (Those who are not welcome in these walls, will find a fate worse than death)
Lycaon shocked me, although I don’t know why, and added the “Για κάθε απεργία των καταραμένων, τόσο ο εχθρός πέφτει.” (For every strike of the damned, so much the enemy falls.)
As I send the magic forth, I see the shield, the wall, encircle the building, casting off a purple hue to any with the gift to see. Once the shield had closed I looked at Lycaon and fell to my knees, weak from exertion. “There, it is done… any less skilled than I, or Circe, will need the backing of a god to breakthrough. As for the magical strength of Hekate…” I shrugged my shoulders, too weak to move.
Lycaon bowed his head and whispered. “Για την τιμή μιας ζωής, είναι μια ζωή. (For the price of a life, it is a life.) Thank you, Medea.”
I nod and slump in the doorway. “Now, Lycaon, you will have to invite people in, like vampires… Don’t expect much of me for the next, hour or so, that took a lot out of me…”
Lycaon laughs shortly. “Of course. I’m expecting a very old vampire soon.”
“Ah…” I start trying to stand, “then perhaps I should move away from the door.”
Lycaon chuckled again and lends a hand. “He’s not coming that soon.”
I take his hand, feeling his strength, and smile. “Thank you, even still, witches do not look good on floors.”
He winked at me. “I suppose that depends on the witch.”
I looked sideways at him. “Oh, have you had many witches on your floor before? And what per se were they doing on the floor?”
Lycaon tsked at me. “I’ve wrestled with a few witches over the years. And I’ve wrestled with a few witches.”
I blush unconsciously and headed over to the fireplace. “I see… got anywhere comfortable to sit?”
“Anywhere you’d like.” He glanced at sofas, bar stools, recliners and benches along the walls. “Of course, this will be the lounge. We will hold meetings on the top floor.”
I spy the sofa. “I could have created one, but I’m tapped out… Thank you.” I make my way to the sofa and practically fall on it. “Meetings?”
Lycaon nodded. “You see that long table? That comes from Camelot. Guess the “round table” wasn’t round after all.”
I nodded and smiled “You have many… connections old friend.”
“That’ll be moved upstairs for meetings. Alliances and movements will be discussed. I’ve things planned for this guild.” Lycaon said I could hear the pride in his voice.
“A strengthening of supernatural ties so to speak?” My words had slurred a little. “Damn, the worst part of magic recuperation…” I mumbled out.
“Exactly.” He replied
I nodded. “Ok, will I be a part of this… guild? I have nothing else to occupy my time now.”
Lycaon replied smugly again. “That is entirely up to you.” He pulled a cigar out of his jacket.
I sighed and smiled, my face turning giddy. “I’d like to help out Lycaon… I’m very good at… different things… I… hic! Ok, I’ll explain something quick while my senses are about me.”
Lycaon’s eyes danced as he watched my wits begin to fail. “I can see that.”
“When I deplete my magic as much as I have tonight and I start the process of replenishing it, I become, childlike… It was drilled into me to never drain myself this bad. I will have little to no control over myself, and while I can’t move that much, I may try… other spells and such.” I whispered almost conspiratorially.
Lycaon chuckled softly at me. “Oh? I’ve never heard of that cost of magic before.”
I looked at him, my eyes steady given how weak I was. “I need to trust you Lycaon, with this secret, with me, I need to trust that you will not take advantage of my situation, nor will you let me cast any magic. It’s specific, Circe, myself, the old school, it was how we learned our limits.” I grabbed one of his hands and held tightly.
He looked at me seriously. “You can trust me. As long as I am here.”
I held his hand and looked at him. “No magic Lycaon, and thank you.” Lycaon left, he had some business to attend to, and I was going to rest here. I knew my magic would hold and that unless Lycaon had invited them in, they would not be getting in.
After a few hours, I could feel my body start to wake and I begin twitching my fingers. “Good,” I muttered and sat up slowly on the couch and smiled. “Finally, now I need to get some water.”
Lycaon walked back in as I was finishing my water. “Good, I see you’re up.”
I smiled easily back. “Yep, for the most part, still a little shaky, but almost back to fighting form.”
I look over at him, my face serious. “Honestly though Lycaon, this… condition is one is my gravest secrets, I can’t let it get out.”
“That sounds better. What other spells take this much energy from you? Also, your secret is safe with me.”
I thought for a moment. “Not many, what you asked of me was a feat and a half.” I nodded smiling, relieved for the support. “Thank you, that makes me feel better.”
Lycaon sighed. “My apologies, Medea. I shouldn’t have asked such a Ward from you.”
“It’s fine,” I replied. “I’m ok, and the place should be seriously warded.”
“That makes me feel better. Thank you.” Lycaon said seriously.
“I’d say anytime,” I chuckled, “but I’d rather not make a habit of being weak in front of you.”
Lycaon laughed in agreement. “No worries. I’d rather have you at full strength as much as I can.”
I laughed with him. “Full strength it is, but I can… unwind here, correct?”
“Yes, you can. There are beds on the fourth floor, showers on the third.” He replied to me.
I breathed a sigh of relief and stood up. “Do you mind? I’ll be quick.” The thought of a shower was delightful.
Lycaon chuckled at my urgency. “Not at all. This is as much your place as it is mine. This is all our home, if it is wished.”
“A home?” I spoke wistfully. “I haven’t had a home since… since Corinth…”
Lycaon nodded. “You do now.”
I whispered and kissed your cheek. “Thank you. I am going to pick out a room, and then shower.”
Lycaon smiled. “Sounds lovely. I’m going to go upstairs. There is some research I need to update.”
I cock my eyebrow at him and begin the walk up the stairs, legs faltering less with each step. I found a room at the end of the hall and smiled, it had large beautiful windows that opened into the surrounding forest, and I fell in love with it. Lycaon cleared his throat and I turned to him. “Yes?”
“Oh, nothing.” He said sheepishly. “It’s just the pull of the moon. Still gets to me now and then.”
“Ah yes, she is ever beautiful… May I have this room?” I point indicating the room I liked.
“Mmm. Beautiful and deadly. Yes, you may. You are the first to arrive. Room 401 is yours.” Lycaon stated softly.
I bowed gracefully. “Thank you Lycaon, may I ask, where your room is?”
He smiled darkly at me and I shivered down my spine. “Down the hall…419. It faces the north, to keep the moonlight out.”
“Right, then I’ll be off for a little while. I really need to get… clean.” I wink as I turn away and head back to the stairs.
“Yes, you do.” Lycaon winked at me. “For me, I’ve some rather nasty business to attend to tonight.”
Before I disappear down the stairs I turn and look at him. “If you need me, for anything, you know where to find me.”
“I certainly do.” His eyes flashed bright red. “I’ll be back in a couple of hours. Perhaps if you’re awake…a nightcap?”
I nodded, awareness in my eyes “Perhaps… I am still very tired so maybe an early morning one?”
Lycaon half-smiled at me. “Very well. I’m more of a nocturnal type myself.”
“I used to be, I’m not quite sure when I stopped, but now… shower.” And with I disappeared down the stairs
Lycaon whispered before I was out of earshot. “Goodnight, Medea.”
I heard the wicked sounds of a werewolf roar filling the forest, but I’m not frightened by them, and I jump into the nearest shower, allowing the clothing to dissolve from my body, into my new room. After a while, I shut the water off and finds a towel to dry off with, wrapping it around my body. I pad quietly back up to the fourth floor and walk down the hallway to my room, flopping down on the bed before locking the door with a wave. “Tomorrow, I’m personalizing this…”