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Kalmuli

The Pendulum III: Potions and Pleasantries

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Ingrid agreed with that. After her own incident, she never worked alone and someone had to be in the building with her. The policy trickled down to Kalmuli's schools as well. She watched as he worked on her legs, keeping them outstretched so he could feel along the full length of them as she took a seat. "Yeah...after that incident, everyone is on guard now about working alone."She said, her eyes watching the mindfulness of his hands. 

Ingrid exhaled, relaxing a moment and nodded. "I'll keep that in mind...though I think I've already had a pretty hard lesson."She said as she reached up and scratched her scalp a little. "I wouldn't have Camille if it weren't for that. I think having him was a good wake up call and a reason to keep studying harder."

She looked down at her feet. "I'm lucky it seems he didn't seem to inherit his biological father's violence. He's incredibly sweet. He would love you and Aldorto."

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Makiel would work along Ingrid's calves and the back of her feet, around her heels. For most people there was a lot of tension built up there, Ingrid was no different.

Makiel  flashed a smile "When we return Ingrid, I'd love to see your boy." Makiel would return to working on Ingrid's legs. Mostly the work would be around grounding Ingrid's pathways to her feet. 

It would take minutes of pulling and manipulating Ingrid's legs but he'd finish up on Ingrid. "There, take a moment to walk around than get some water. A sip of Mana restoring potion might not hurt either. I'll stay here for a little while to make sure you're alright before I see your mistress. Besides gives me some time to blend up the oil for you. Go ahead and move around a bit. If you're doing fine than I release you from my care."

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Ingrid smiled, nodding and remaining quiet while he finished working. When he was finished, she rolled her feet around a moment at the ankle and got up slowly. She felt good. Better even. Ingrid didn't feel sore or as tired, rather feeling like something foul had been purged out of her like a taste in her mouth. She walked from one side of the room to the other, not feeling anything out of place. "I feel a lot better...I don't feel quite as stuffy as before."She said as she stopped at the door of the room. For a moment, she listened to him and looked toward the stairs. 

Right...she should probably do a little cleaning up there and trade off with Kalmuli if he wanted to work on her too. "I have a nice tea I make that gives a little boost...I'll have a bit of that. Let any of us know if you need help."Ingrid said as she gave a small wave to head up stairs. After having a good talk with Makiel and his work, she didn't feel quite as self conscious. Upstairs Kalmuli was still cleaning in them main shop area and she quietly went to the kitchen to make the tea.

While it brewed, she played a bit with her own mana. She made the little light spell again and noticed that the shape of the small orb was more refined and the light more condensed. She let it dance around her finger tips, transferring it from one hand to another. Ingrid could get used to this.  Kalmuli in the mean time snuck downstairs to the herb room, peaking in and grinning. 

"Have fun getting handsy with my apprentice?"She teased him.

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Makiel would take in a deep breath, attempting to gain back some of what he lost working on Ingrid. After she would leave, he'd know his work was done and done well. After she left, Makiel helped himself to the tools and began to work on Ingrid and Kalmuli's oil blends. He'd felt a touch guilty that he hadn't used the oil on Ingrid but there was still time left in the day. He had the separate oils in their respective dishes where he was using his own flames from his essence to heat the pans and in turn, heat the oils. The smell would waft up the stairs. Flora enhancing oils for Ingrid and arcane efficiency for Kalmuli. The plan was to make an oil for Kalmuli that would allow her spell casting overall to be easier as the pathways would receive mana signals faster. It would allow spells to 'fire' quicker as well as move mana smoother.

When Kalmuli popped her head in, Makiel was just beginning to look over the oils to see if they were finished and ready to be put into respective glass jars. "Ahh, yes, I think she needed the touch. Though I didn't have the time to brew up a oil blend for her. Maybe later today or next time we meet up. Luckily, your timing is good. The oil I brewed up for you should be done now. When you are ready we should go somewhere more private to work. I don't think your apprentices would appreciate seeing their mistress unclothed in the open."

The scent and look of the oil seemed to be done. Makiel would begin to pour the oils into the jars than nab a label for each one. Kalmuli's came out looking pinkish where Ingrid's was a more dull shade of purple. Both smelled distinct, the purple batch smelled more like the dirt and moss where as the pinkish one was more a smell of herbs used in rituals, mostly lavender and some hints of mirth. 

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Kalmuli wandered in, leaning to look at his work. Both smelled remarkable and she was eager to get a sense of how it felt. She smiled, holding onto his arm and leaning in. "Hehe...Well..it wouldn't be the first time they've seen me naked. Most of the time it was because I was horrendously drunk."She chuckled and let him go. "Of course we can always go into my room...it's right next door."

She gave him a little bump with her hip. "And if it comes to your techniques, I wouldn't mind being your favorite test subject."Kalmuli would grin up at him. "Though, maybe tonight after we finish cleaning and make sure Aldorto is okay. I want to make sure we have a nice, long session...or at least a part two. It's got to be good enough that it'll always be on my mind when you're away."

 

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There was a warmth when Kalmuli leaned in and held onto his arm. "You, drunk? I find that a bit hard to believe." The gesture of going back into her room gave him a red face. It was the though of going back into bed with her that wasn't on his mind until she rubbed up against him. "Ye-yeah, I think I could get used to that." 

Makiel would clear his throat for a moment before speaking up. "I'm ready to get started whenever you are. The oil I mixed up is a half-ass version of a blend we used to make back home. It aids in overall efficiency of casters as well as the techniques I know That can also extend the overall efficiency. I'm a bit excited to see how well it will work on you. So I might be a bit giddy to get started." There took a moment where Makiel began to feel more at ease again. "Besides, there's plenty of oil for a few long sessions, I'm sure you could get plenty of use out of it with me here and away." 

A light smile cracked upon Makiel's face, "So I believe this is the part where you invite me into your room so we can get started, am I wrong?"

 

Upstairs, there was an ethereal veil beginning to creep from Aldorto. Shadow essence was starting to pour from his body and gave the elf an aura. He started to rise from his bed, not truly awake, in a groggy haze where he was mostly using his subconscious and his instincts to navigate. Aldorto rose from the bed, sitting up, shaking off some, than letting his bare feet touch the floor. He'd leave behind a shadow in his stead to rest in the bed. Something was stirring him from his rest. Aldorto slipped across the floor without a sound, a wisp crossing tile and carpeting. As he would get up and move, Aldorto would head towards the door, letting his essence flood around the door to silence the noise of the door. With a light pull of the handle, the door would open and the elf would slip out, closing the door behind him, unaware of anything else. 

Aldorto would turn, staring up the building and leaping up to catch the ledge and pull himself up and up until he would find a place to rest at the top of the Pendulum's roof. Fur would begin to seep out from his pores and the werewolf blood would sit free, staring into the city. Gaining a look at his surroundings as though he'd been here for the first time. His fur bore a pattern of dark grey almost black fur atop his head, down to his nose and across his back and covering the top of his paws. The bottom half of his fur was a light grey hue. His eyes were red, staring out at the world. Memories were flooding from places he'd never seen before, people he'd never met. The memories of the real Aldorto were starting to flood in. The brew Salvine had distorted was taking it's effect. The body was becoming as one, Aldorto's muscle memory transferring over to the host. It was confusing for the young wolf. 

Inside there was pain, anger, anguish. Aldorto's memories were replaying, the good, the bad, the regrets, the love and loss. All, in vivid detail. It was painful, cruel, but it was necessary. This was all things he knew to be true. Part of the job, something he wished he would not have to deal with but here it was. The two wolves were both dealing with all of this, sitting atop the shop, staring into the open sky. Both felt as though they were right there, both the inner Aldorto, and the outside host. Tears fell from the wolf, memories washed over him of fights, of assassinations, each kill, but with it came memories of friends dead and gone, loves that broke him the feeling of being crushed, all the painful injuries and the trials he'd faced throughout his long existence. It was intense. As the wolf sat there, a shadow ripped from the fur, moving to sit beside the true wolf, resting beside it's master. Aldorto had ripped his conscious away to rest beside his body as a shadow. 

It was tough going through it again, yet here he was reopening all his wounds. He tried to hold it together but he fell apart. It was too intense for him to handle. Where the host elf did not understand the memories or feelings, the shadow which was now Aldorto's consciousness was slowly breaking down. Ethereal tears flowed down his cheeks. Pain echoed through him. His feet carried him away from this place, taking him out of the city, out of the gates, deep into the woods. Here he would lament, and feel it all again.

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Kalmuli beamed. He had flowered away from being completely shy and unsure of himself as far as sexuality went. She looked him over and then down to the oil he spoke of. She looked at it, taking a moment to open it up and smell it. It was reminiscent of the lavender soaps and washes she used often. Smiling, she corked it back up and looked back with a grin. "I love a gentleman who knows what I like..."She chuckled and took one of his hands that felt nice and smooth from working on the oil itself.

"Especially if he's got magic hands. Let's away to my bedroom for a little while. I think Ingrid has the rest of upstairs handled."She said as she gave him a little tug to lead him to her bedroom just one room over.

Ingrid sipped the restoring tea that she had made while taking a moment to enjoy a little break. The shop was quiet. She looked down at her tea cup she had emptied, looking down at the tea leaves. It was a very old form of fortune telling, mostly used by girlish noblewomen with nothing else to do. Ingrid tilted her head a little, setting her cup down and getting up. She peeked her head out to the ward. 

Aldorto looked like he was still sleeping, Ingrid wandering over and sitting on the foot of the bed. She gently rubbed one of the shade's legs on top of the quilt, tilting her head as she watched him. It wasn't weird to watch right? "I don't know what you're going through...but I hope you'll be okay."She spoke softly. 

Whenever Camille had trouble, there was an old lullaby that she remembered Kalmuli would sing when she was ill. She shut her eyes, mulling over the song and started singing softly. "Sing all ye joyful, now sing all together...The wind’s in the tree-top, the wind's in the heather; The stars are in blossom, the moon is in flower, And bright are the windows of Night in her tower...."

She looked to the shop a moment, expecting someone to walk in on the moment but no one came.

"Dance all ye joyful, now dance all together...Soft is the grass, and let foot be like feather...The river is silver, the shadows are fleeting; Merry is May-time, and merry our meeting. Sing we now softly, and dreams let us weave him...Wind him in slumber and there let us leave him. The wanderer sleepeth. Now soft be his pillow...Lullaby.. Lullaby... Alder and Willow.  Sigh no more Pine, till the wind of the morn... Fall Moon... Dark be the land...Hush! Hush! Oak, Ash, and Thorn...Hushed be all water, till dawn is at hand..."She said, gently patting her hand in rhythm as she sung the lullaby and hoped, whatever was keeping him asleep, would be put at bay for at least a little while. Ingrid would sit quietly, watching him for a little while before she got up to go finish up the shop cleaning.

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Makiel would smile, following inside without any resistance. He was eager to see what his technique could do as well as the oil to increase Kalmuli's casting efficiency. Anything else was a bonus. It was a curiosity as to what a caster of stronger and higher tier magic could do with efficiency or if it would even increase their casting ability at all, and if it did, to what degree. Would it create a larger casting pool for them proportionate upon their larger casting pool or would it not increase by a significant amount at all. He would not be the only one interested on this research, Salvine would be keeping his tabs on this one as well, listening in and watching the results and the technique to keep his notes on for a later experiment.

Aldorto would experience each memory after another. It would finally break him, he needed a kill, blood needed to be spilled. The savage nature of the wolf and the itch of an assassination was heavy on him. This was what Salvine was waiting for. Illusions were sent to keep Aldorto enraged, to keep him in this thrill of the hunt. Aldorto would see illusions of his past, his rivals, his sworn enemies, the demon lord himself. All fighting Aldorto. The wolf let loose a howl, long and loud, though as a shade it was more ethereal sounding like a ghostly wail. Claws and teeth would fly and snap as he launched a vicious assault against his illusory attackers. His mind would feel pain as though he would be struck by them but he would take no actual damage from each strike. 

The host wolf, the young wolf, would sit and experience the battles and fights, the wisdom of the old wolf until it was finished. It was overwhelming, hard to process it all at once. The body felt it all, unlocking the knowledge of the assassin that rested inside his body. The young Al was shaky, found it hard to stand. He cautiously made his way back down the roof. Making a large 'thud' when he landed. He would open the door, walking in on all fours, his eyes half open, looking glazed over, his paws felt weak but strong enough to carry him forward. He felt his body was not his own. "Ingrid.." He heard her voice but did not truly know where she was. His feet carried him back towards his bed, where the shade that occupied it before would start to vanish. 

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It didn't take long or much to lead Makiel into her room and not so gracefully knock the door closed with her foot. Her room, despite their frequent coming and going into it stayed relatively clean like it was cared for by little invisible servants. She rubbed her hands together, eager and excited to get started. Though for this time, she would go and grab towels from the bathroom to lay out on the bed to protect it from any residual oil. "There...that should still be pretty comfy."She said, reaching to her top and quickly discarding it with no shame. "Should I start on my back or my front?"

 

Ingrid had been working in the front of the shop again when he came in. She had been cleaning up some of the cards in the ward. When she saw the giant wolf, she almost dropped the potion bottles she had been organizing and quickly set it on the cart and moved over to look him over. So he hadn't been in the bed? She turned a little pink at the realization she had just been singing to a shadow. Ingrid approached him, kneeling and holding his head in her hands. He looked terrible. Whatever happened that made him go wandering off and thrashing about, it had been enough to really beat him up. Ingrid kissed him on the snout. "Let's get you back into bed..."She said as she rose back up and ran her hand along his head, petting him and easing up to let him walk over to the bed he had claimed before. Though considering his size, while he was making his way over, she pushed another bed together and spread out the blankets so he had a nice, large space to flop in if he needed it. 

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Makiel would help spread out the towels as they came over to him and would arrange the side table so that he could set the oil aside in an easy to reach location. A calmness was beginning to take over him, his mind getting adjusted and used to the work to come. "Front or back, which ever you'd like me to start with. Most tension is the back side, though the front holds tension, the back is generally a good place to start."

Makiel stretched out his arms and back, his body began flowing with good essence flow through his body. His mind was starting to flow with a peace and stillness. "Rest as you like and I'll get started, I advise loosing as much clothing as you care for, it allows me to work more efficiently."

 

The young wolf had followed over to Ingrid but refused the beds. "Fire.." His body was cold at his skin, as the warmth in his belly was gone, replaced by a mass of shadow and cold. The body's reserves of shadowmancy and it's newfound cryomancy had set in. Though it wasn't peaked as the true lord of the Ardesians it was still significantly more. "..water..." His body was exhausted yet again from the change but it was his mind that was not at ease, not his body. The mind was spending all it's effort making sense of any of what had just hit him. Experiences, memories, friends, rivals, betrayals, pain, injury, everything all at once but now he was in the aftermath, the wake of it all and trying to gather himself during waves and waves of this new intake. He would need his body to be strong enough to speak and feel it all.

As for the old wolf, his fight had grown loud, the city gates would have to take notice or ignore him actively. The ethereal wails of the rage that had been festering inside Aldorto for centuries as images of his rivals and bitter enemies all trying to beat him yet again. Aldorto had already slain two illusions and was keeping another five at by. Snarling and gnashing teeth as he fought on in purest anger. His senses were raging on, calling for his most primal side to let forth his instincts and to kill. The gambler had taken the field from far enough back to not be noticed and was hiding behind a wall of illusion. Guilt struck him but he needed to do this to the one person he called friend. There would be no point in silencing his wails of anger, it would do no harm to his missions or to the surrounding peoples unless they interfered. Something he would alleviate if they attempted to show interest. Things had been changed in the web of fate and again Salvine was in the light of all Weavers for toiling with the weave. Reprimandation would be swift but this was his own decision to interfere.

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Kalmuli had no arguments there. She would shrug and start removing the rest of her clothes to stretch out on the bed. She flopped out over the tower, holding onto a pillow and burying her face into it. She was overjoyed to get a little more attention and another deep massage from him. Laying naked on the bed, she exposed all in preparation for him. "No need to tell me twice, Mak...Nudity and Kalmuli both have 'I' in it."She grinned.

Ingrid could feel how cold he had gotten and wondered how to help. The biggest fireplace was down in Kalmuli's room but they had a small one for cooking in the kitchen's cauldron. She would grab the quilts off of the bed, draping them over him and helping to guide him to the kitchens where she could get the fire going. She would get the kindling going, using a cantrip to ignite it. It would get warm soon and she got a big, cold bowl of water to drink from. "You should get warm soon..."She spoke softly, adjusting the layers of quilts to keep him nice and toasty. "What on earth happened? First you're sleeping in bed and then I find you half-collapsed..."

She sat with him on the floor, petting his head while they waited for the fire to build in strength. "If you don't want to talk about it...it's okay...but don't run off like that again."Ingrid scolded a little, holding his face in her hands. 

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Makiel would wait for a moment to compose his mind and body to one single being on the same page. His hands would run over Kalmuli's back and shoulders, rubbing along her muscles before he would assess what he needed to do. Her body was a bit tense from her work but not as bad as Ingrid, overall. Her mana was heavy but not as clumped up. She'd received some bit to help her paths, whether it be soaking or this type of work before but it felt neglected from proper work. His hands would run from her shoulders down her back, over her hands than back down her hips to her legs and feet. The path was sound but had some issues with how fast it traveled it seemed. One hand stayed upon Kalmuli's foot while the other went to the base of her skull.  "Sith ve lan gresh." An incantation to send a 'signal' through the body, a light thunderous vibration that would start strong than travel to each pathway before coming back to meet his hand. 

It came back as he though, less of what it started. Her essence was heavy making the signal still carry but each point weakened it point by point. "Your points need opening and your muscles are sore, the work will be both mana and body. It'll take some time. The oil I prepped myself, if you'd like you may examine it to your liking. This is my assessment of your body, my work will involve hitting your points and working a few knots from you than ending with an overall flush of your mana and then a relaxing work over you to get the body to ease into the work. Is there anything that you wish to voice about the assessment or the plan?"

 

Aldorto would ease by the flame and lap up the water. His strength would take a long while to come back but to speak would not take long. "Time..please..." He needed to calm the storm for a moment to be able to speak of what happened. His head would move to keep Ingrid against his fur and skin. He needed the attention.

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Kalmuli felt his hands, warm and calloused against her frame and let out a long, pleased sigh. She kept her face down but her ear tilted so she could hear him if he had anything extra to say. His hands smoothed down her shoulders, along her back and down to her legs, trailing back up slowly. "No need...I trust you."She said, moving her head so it was to the side and looked back at him. "Oo, so professional...I'll have to pay you handsomely for such high caliber work."

She let herself relax a little further down away from the pillows, face mushed against the towels. "I could return the favor...though I'll be taking care of your body more so than your mana."She said, wiggling her eyebrows at him. "Don't be afraid to put a little muscle into it."

 

Ingrid would quietly nod, stroking his head and letting him lean his weight into her. She could support him easily and the pillows of her thighs were always a welcome comfort to some. She would gently stroke along his snout, between his ears and to the back of his neck as she made long, slow trails in his fur. "You've got lots of time..."She whispered softly, continuing to spoil him with petting. 

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Makiel would start with light work, easing the muscles so he could get deeper into the body. Around the shoulders and the nape of the neck is where he found himself beginning. His hands would begin by rolling the muscles between his thumb and forefingers to ease up the body. There was a light essence of flame that would warm his hands up so also help ease the muscles. "I'd recommend loosing your focus and easing into my work. Rest if it so calls for it. Anything else would distract you from what I'm about to do." 

Makiel moved over some to grab the bottle of oil, maneuver his hand to open the jar, and bring it over to pour onto his opposing hand. It was a light amount, enough to cover Kalmuli's upper and middle back as well as her shoulders. Application with heat would begin to attempt to sink into the muscles and cause sensitivity to mana for a while, which is what it was meant for, sensitivity so her body would accept a joining of his own mana stream to hers. Makiel would apply the oil along her mid back and up with flowing motions with a light amount of pressure from his palms. A few passes and his pressure would grow until he was at a good enough pressure to start manipulating tissue. "If my work needs adjustments don't hesitate to speak up..if you can stay awake through it." 

 

The young wolf was hazy still. The water and warmth was helping alleviate the lethargy he had underwent taking in the influx of cyro and shadow essence. "Memories..just...came..flooding in..They..weren't mine." It was still a lot to process and he hadn't really grasped most of what happened but his mind was off focus and his body was cold but it felt as though his eyes were wide open even if his body was heavy and weary. 

The gentle touch along his fur was helping ease his nerves and to help still his senses, though minuscule it was still something. His breathing was in long rasps of air, having to focus on actively breathing for the time. The mind itself was a mess of memories attempting to burst forth demanding to be felt again, however it wasn't as rough as when it happened, something was holding that feeling in check. 

 

The old wolf was still in a heavy rage, feeling attacks that dealt no physical damage from opponents that were not physically there. Less and less of his attackers were left standing, until there were only two left. The demon lord and the head of the dragon flight that took his wife from him. Rage, large than he held before, was now at the forefront of his mind. These two..of all that there could be in the world, the demon lord that had imprisoned his sleep and the dragon lord that had his wife killed. Another large wail came from his throat, it washed over the guards at the front gates of Drakiss and rolled strong through part of the city. Darkness surrounded the wolf, seeping out of him and covering the nearby area, larger than he'd produced before. A dome nearly 50 feet in diameter spread out from his body. Before the assault began it was silenced. Salvine had stopped the fighting by placing the assassin in stasis, suspended in animation. The wolf, his imposing solid blood red eyes staring out from the darkness he had created around himself, eager and prepared for his attack. This is how the gambler wanted to preserve Aldorto until he needed to be released from his prison. He was suspended and sent back inside the young wolf, back inside where his physical body was locked away. When he was to be set free, death would quickly follow anything unfortunate enough to be caught in the zone.

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Kalmuli let out an agreeable groan in the mattress as he started rubbing the back of her neck and shoulders. She didn't respond for a moment, huffing and looking back at him. "Mmm...I suppose. I haven't done some deep meditation in awhile. I could zone out for a bit...."She said before turning back over. Kalmuli would inhale deeply and exhale slowly to ease herself into a nice calm, easy state. While she could feel what Makiel was doing, she wouldn't respond much except for a few sounds that came out of her mouth when he hit a particularly sensitive or sore spot. Her breaths stayed nice and even much like sleep and she let her mind slip off to somewhere for a little while.  

For some reason it took her to the beach. She almost felt like something was pulling at her mentally when she pulled herself away from what was happening and moved to a place that was dark. Very dark. It was an eerie land of stillness, almost like the water had stopped rushing on shore and the wind stopped moving the sand and trees. Where was she? There were figures that seemed to be stuck in place and no matter how hard she pushed them, nothing on them moved. This beach was Drakiss right? When she moved about, she could see a blur in the distance that was the Keep and down the way to the Sand Garden...Kalmuli stood in this quiet space and felt only warmth. 

 

Ingrid grew more concerned. Kalmuli and herself had come across the older form of Aldorto before...but the amount of strain it put on the wolf seemed to be enormous. She continued to pet him, trying to help him feel grounded and calm. "They could be dreams...or just very bad day dreams..."She said, trying to reassure him. Ingrid kissed the top of his head. "It'll be okay...Let's just get you resting again."

Ingrid would shift her position a little so she was on her back but laid down at his side. She gently took his head, letting it rest across her stomach and chest at a spot where she could gently wrap her arms around him and pet him more along his neck and between the shoulders. It was a precarious position to be under a werewolf but Aldorto was plenty wore out. "Try to sleep a little...I won't move until you're ready."

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