Lucas didn’t care for going into the human domains. He had no strife with the humans but the villages and towns themselves. Having so many of them in one place. The bustling around nearly hurt his ears.
Evesdale was a four-day run from his pack lands but he did not mind the journey as long as he got his spoils. When he was just outside the city, he headed to some bushes. He shifted into his human skin and cleaned himself up a bit.
Evesdale was a port town. They saw many-a-folk from orcs to fae to elf. It wasn’t unheard of for shifters to live in cities but most in that region were countrymen like himself. The first thing he noticed as he hit the outskirts of the town were the smells. So many. Fish from the ocean. The dirt of the earth. A faint smell of cinnamon blowing upwind. Lucas walked with purpose towards the shopping district. Evesdale had been prosperous in recent years. The homes were looking finer. The people greeted him warmly as he walked by. The town was known for its apple trees and they lined every street. Lucas plucked one as he passed by. They built the city alongside nature rather than leveling it and he could respect that.
When Lucas arrived at the pier the smell of the ocean assaulted his nose. It was a good day for sea-travel and the sea smelled of harmony. Along the pier there were vendors and shops of all sorts. It was busy today, people coming and going off ships, travelers selling and buying wares, and townsfolk buying their goods. Lucas had traveled in his younger years. He had wanted to see the world. It didn’t take long for him to realize he’d rather build his own than try to change this one.
He walked down the rows of tents first, stopping to look and everyone. It had been four years since he bonded with his mate and Keiya had just given him his first pup. She was also very fond of human things. One person sold wooden bowls and dining ware. He picked one up. Good material. Sturdy. Well-crafted to say the least. Yet it put it down anyway.
And on and on it went. Stall to stall. Picking up items and placing them down gently. When he got to a clothing stand, the vendor spoke up.
“Help you find something?” she said. She was human yet her eyes indicated she had fae in her blood.
“I’m looking for something for my mate,” he said.
“Well what do they like?” she was next to him, picking up different fabrics to show him.
“She likes...human things,” he said. Keiya was so fascinated with other cultures. He loved that about her. Her eagerness to learn.
“Well sir you’ll find plenty of human things here,” she laughed. Lucas could feel himself flush a little.
“Apologies, she just fancies too many things it’s hard to pick,” he said.
“That’s quite alright. Let’s see. Well, I have all sorts of fabrics here. Perhaps a dress. You can have it tailored for her?”
Lucas thought for a moment. He could fashion something more suited to their styles. Simple colors. Something frilly. She loved ruffles. But she had been gathering too many clothes lately. He didn’t want to feed her habit.
“Not clothes I think. Thank you though,” he said finally.
“Well how about a book?” she said heading back to her chair behind the stall. “There’s a bookshop not too far up the road there.”
“I think I will have a look. She’s very fond of reading,” he said and thanked the woman before leaving. He reminded himself to buy something for the new pup. Though she didn’t need much, he was sure Neena would grow before he knew it. She was already crawling about. He came upon the bookshop but the doors were barred shut. A piece of parchment was on the door.
“Out for lunch.” Lucas supposed he could wait. He decided it was high time he had lunch as well and searched for some meat. Preferably rabbit.
Lucas looked around, eating his meal as he waited for the shopkeep to come back. He came across a blanket so soft, it was as if angels themselves had blessed it. Neena would love it. He also found a stuffed toy. It was shaped like a sea turtle. He picked that up as well and placed it in his pack.
As he headed back to the bookstore, something caught his eye. A magic item shoppe. They didn’t have such things in the pack lands but Lucas was a curious fellow so he stepped inside. Just for a peek. This shop featured weapons, staffs, and armor. Lucas had no skill with a sword but he was not ignorant of the heat of battle. It seemed this shoppe had books as well. Perhaps he could buy something here. He looked around for a little while before the shopkeep spoke up.
“What do you need sir?” he asked. He was a tall man. A mixed-breed but distinctly Dragonborn.
“I’m looking for something for my mate. She is very fond of human items so I was thinking a book might be appropriate,” he said taking one and then the next off the shelf. Most were spellbooks. Some were histories of distant lands. One was a book on demon culture. Lucas did not think such books were written.
“Well, we carry learning material here. If you’d like something for leisure, there’s a bookshop not too far down the road,” he said.
“Yes, I know. It’s closed for lunch,” he said. The shopkeep stroked his beard.
“Well...how about some jewelry? I have a couple of rings and amulets in the back,” he said going off before Lucas had a chance to answer. When he returned, he had two padded boxes that he set on the counter. Lucas couldn’t help but look.
“They are very...human,” Lucas said, drawing a laugh from the shopkeep.
“That they are. Some of these have properties embedded in them,” he said placing a couple on the counter. “I think you’ll like these. This one summons whatever you set it to. This one allows you to read minds. This one binds allows you to another,” he said pointing at each.
“Reading minds? She can do that already it seems like,” he chuckled. He picked up the other two. He wondered briefly if he could set himself to be summoned. In case something happened. He placed it down. They were already soul bonded. Even now, he could tell she was at peace. A little tired but she was not in harm’s way. Though, he knew that husbands and wives would wear rings to show their love. Keiya would be tickled by that.
“Do you have another?” he asked.
After picking up a few more things and a much-needed nap, Lucas started his long trek home.
As soon as he stepped through the door, Keiya was waiting by the door. So excited, her ears and tail were out. He laughed and scooped her up in his arms. She laughed wildly as he twirled her around and hugged her close to him. He kissed her forehead and her tail swished wildly.
“Hello my love, did you miss me?” he said, scooping her up and heading to their bed. He laid down and held her close. Neena was napping in her crib, sucking her fist gently. Keiya cuddled close and nuzzled against the crook of his neck.
“Yes, my heart. I missed you too much,” she said. They wrapped around each other and savored the other’s scent. He didn’t like being away from her for so long.
“I’ve brought you something,” he said after a few moments. She looked up at him with a smile and he retrieved the two rings from his pocket. She blinked, a little confused.
“One is for you,” he said, taking her hand and placing it on her finger. “And one is for me,” he said placing one on his own. “You are my mate. The one I will love forever. You have brought me a pup and I am nothing without you. Just as we are bonded through my mark, these rings represent our bond so that all creatures will know that we are mated. Husband and wife,” he said pressing his forehead to hers. She was flushed and stared at the ring before pressing her lips to his.
“It’s perfect,” she said before kissing him once more.