• Brave || Mariana is known to act fearlessly and without flinching even in the most tense or dangerous situations. As is typical for a dominant wolf, she does not back away during confrontation but readies herself to fight for herself, her beliefs, or her loved ones. This extends into her human nature as well, as the human and wolf are very much on the same page. Her behaviour is rarely if ever motivated by an instinct of self-preservation over self-assertion, which is a quality that is often described as foolish by those more cynical or experienced. If she is forced to take the safe route instead of fighting for what is right, the werewolf gets very frustrated and dissatisfied.
• Progressive || Although or perhaps because Mariana comes from a very traditional background, she holds very forward-thinking views. She is a humanist at heart. When it comes to societal issues like racial tensions, feminism, or acceptance of the LGBTQ community, the werewolf is at par with the most liberal of thinkers and is not afraid to speak her mind when she is involved, or sometimes even without being asked. However, this is a frame of mind more than anything else, since she does not actively fight for these causes apart from moment of direct confrontation.
• Independent || Because her brazen proclamations and actions to match rarely finds much support in the traditional, male-dominated pack that she is a part of, Mari is accustomed to going off and doing her own thing on her own. For better or worse, her experiences taught her that the only person she can trust is herself (and that is not without limits either), and she learned to take care of her own needs instead of expecting others to do the right thing. Similarly, whenever there is something she wants, she does not wait or ask for it, but finds ways to get it herself.
• Pigheaded || As many who are close to the woman will attest, “stubborn” does not cut it as a description for Mariana. Whenever her mind is set on something, it is very hard to bring her off it. Whether it is an idea for an activity, a person for a romantic conquest, an opinion… chances are, if you try to criticize or convince her it is wrong or inappropriate, she will pursue it with even more vigour. The determination with which she stays on her course once it is set can be compared to lockjaw when a dog holds onto a bone. At times, the single-mindedness of her pursuits can be an asset, but mostly, it is simply frustrating for those around her.
• Selfish || There is one person that the Latin woman holds dearest in her life and would do anything for, and that is herself. Whenever there is doubt about a decision to make, she will naturally gravitate towards the choice that would benefit her the most. While others are motivated by altruistic ideals, Mariana’s experience has taught her that nobody will look after you if you don’t do it yourself. This survivalist maxim is what she lives by daily. If in doubt, even her usually progressive and liberal views have to make way for the more pragmatic considerations.
• Combative || If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of opposing Mariana Cardona, beware. As per her dominant nature, she will fight you tooth and nail, with everything that she has. Depending on the situation, she will dish out her best arguments with a healthy helping of Spanish curse words and insults. Or, if it looks like it might come to a physical fight, she will not sit back and wait to be attacked. As a woman of small stature, she knows she is at a disadvantage when it comes to werewolves in her pack, so Mari works around that by delivering the first hit. A worthy opponent verbally as well as physically, she seldom loses. In cases when she does, it is rationalized as a temporary state of affairs as losses do not sit well with her and the werewolf will look for opportunities to right the score in her favour again.
What you see is what you get when it comes to Mariana.
(With little caveats.)
Despite what her petite physique suggests, the woman is anything but gentle and fragile. Her self-assuredness and confidence is evident in the way she carries herself, the strength of her opinions and passions underlined with the force with which she sets her feet on the ground with every step, especially when she is angered. Her dark eyes observe her environment closely, and whatever she focusses on, gets her intense, undivided attention. Any doubt about her nature is finally dissolved when she opens her mouth. She is at times flirtatious, sometimes sarcastic or crude, and at others loud, but always opinionated and direct.
There is no doubt about where she stands on an issue, what she likes or dislikes. Mariana will tell you. And even if she doesn’t, her demeanour is seldom hard to read, disclosing her emotional states before she voices them. Unlike many who have many masks and change them according to the situation and who they’re with, Mariana is always unadulterated self. No edits. When she wants something, she does so with the entirety of her being, uncompromisingly, and pursues it with unwavering determination and focus until she gets it. With that being said, a quick reward is the main motivator for her actions as long-term benefits usually of a planned-out undertaking seem too far away to sustain her interest. For this reason, she is notorious for not being able to hold down jobs that do not challenge her enough. At some point, she just does not care to try anymore as something more exciting can usually be found just around the corner. Adventure calls out to her, as boredom and routine are not states that she can tolerate for very long. Never one to fall victim to doubt, the werewolf makes up her mind on issues instantly, intuitively, instinctively. The process is so quick that it feels impulsive, as if she simply does before really thinking it through.
Spontaneous and generally optimistic, Mariana does not have trouble making friends. When she wants to, that is. If she decides that she likes you, she is a charming and inquisitive conversationalist, and loves to joke around. Her humour is oftentimes unpolished and even vulgar, but she does not seek to insult but rather to have fun together. Naturally competitive, the werewolf greatly enjoys a friendly sparring in whatever discipline. She will try to involve her friends in it as a pastime activity, and gives her best effort to win. Pouting is on the menu in cases when she loses. This can usually be remedied by directing her attention to some other, exciting activity.
However, if she does not like you, you will find yourself on the receiving end of cruel silences, death glares, and very direct deliveries of her opinion. Mari has a few pet peeves that can ignite her famous temper, most of them related to some sort of disrespectful behaviour. Even if some may argue that her manner of speaking is unladylike, she is keenly aware and astutely recognizes any signs of ill will or disrespect. Once irked, she will immediately let the person know, and if the slight isn’t righted immediately, it means war. Which, depending on the situation, can be verbal or physical. However, once the battle is done and her point has been made, she can usually forgive and forget, possessing the ability to move on quickly.
This also relates to her strategy for romantic relationships: get in, get it on, get out. Mariana harbours no idealized notions about soulmates or true love, rather understanding dynamics of attraction to be based on physical chemistry and biological instincts. The connections she makes are intense and fleeting, and when they break apart either because the other person on per her decision, there are rarely hard feelings from her side. She expects no lasting bond, in fact, she actively seeks out those that have an expiration date: either with people who do not fit her character, or other species. This fear of commitment stems from the examples she has had of long-term relationships and especially werewolf mates; none of them seemed to appeal to her as the people in them were either miserable or living a traditional model that repulsed her. Mari has derived from this that long-term relationships are not for her.
Dark eyes, big, round, and alert, watching the surroundings with fascination. As is the prerogative of the youngest of the three, all you see is love and kindness directed towards you. You are babied and pampered endlessly. Everything is a wonder you want to grab and participate in.
It is later that you learn to discern that you are not meant to participate in everything that speaks to you. “No” is a prominent word, the first thing that rolls out of your tongue. It’s no wonder, you hear it so often. Spoken softly to you, but louder and more definitively to your sister. Boundaries are set clearly, totally different from those that applied to the oldest, Esteban. The different treatment of you girls and your brother registers faintly as an injustice, but you are spared from significant battles of wills. Three years your elder, Catalina gets most of the heat while you enjoy your time in the slipstream, your iron will is left untested and fiery temper in a slumber.
Not your home but the boarding school becomes your playground. The Catholic all-girl Ursuline Academy is chosen for its strict and blemish-free reputation to send both of the Cardona daughters after Cat commits an almost unforgivable indiscretion of getting a boyfriend. What is torture for your sister is an opportunity for you. You become a sort of a ringleader for other girls who seek to partake in all that is deemed forbidden and sinful: staying up after hours, drinking, dancing, sneaking out to meet boys. The stunts you pull to facilitate these “excursions” from the sleepy suburb to the buzzing city are bolder and grander every time, as you challenge yourself to top your last feat. You graduate as an unremarkable student, the most impressive fact of your life at the academy being that you never got caught with your shenanigans, having learned the art of sneaking around from the example of your sister and previously tried with your parents.
Independence. By the time of your graduation, you thirst for it with every fibre of your being. But it’s not quite in reach as your parents set up more rules and stipulations. You have to go to college to further your education, but you rebel against this expectation as the strict structure, schedules, and learning cramming things that seem irrelevant to your life seems pointless. As long as you live under their roof, it’s their rules. So find yourself a job, the first job that would take you, stocking shelves in a supermarket, as a means to get by and you find your own place. Just as long as your figure things out. You do not mean to get stuck there, you have more exciting things in mind for your life. You will recognize what is meant for your when you see it, that is your mantra.
A few years go by, with a few job changes along the way. Still have no career, but you’re hopeful as your 21st birthday approaches. Being of age means that you will be able to work in bars, finally, a prospect that makes you happy as you would be able to combine work and pleasure. The big birthday needs to be celebrated and you do so lavishly, spread over several outings with your friends. You meet with your sister too, and you flash the bouncers smiles as you proudly hold up your ID, not fake for the first time. But what begins with laughter, ends in blood.
With a pleasant buzz and holding on to your sister’s forearm as you stumble your way back home through the alleys of New Orleans, you get jumped. You spit curse words and saliva after what you think are thieves after your valuables, but you miscalculate. They are not after your things. They are after you. Later the reasons for the attack would become clear, this bloody initiation is meant for your sister, as a “present” from her boyfriend, and you are just collateral damage. But it does not matter as teeth and nails rip into your soft flesh, as the life drains from your body along with streams of red blood, and the night sky you see above you as you lie on the cold ground slowly turns dark. You think you are dying. And in a way, you were. Life would never be the same, you would never be the same after that night.
Over the next few weeks after waking seemingly unharmed in a foreign place, you try to adjust to your new reality. To your new senses, your new strength, the new being inside of you. There are new rules you are expected to conform to, some pertaining to who you are, to what you have been made into, and some that just seem arbitrary, antiquated, and irrelevant. But you did not wait years upon gruelling years to reach the age when you are considered adult to get that freedom to make your own decisions away from you.
So you end up making a decision that will turn out to be the biggest mistake of your life.
In the dead of night, you sneak away and go back to your parents’ house. Just for a bit before you can figure something else out, that is your plan, at least. But time behaves differently now. It does not yield to your plans, it follows the cycles of the moon. And with the next full moon, the inevitable happens. The wolf within you crawls out to the surface.
You do not have memories of the night, and that is the only thing you keep thanking God for, in the moments when you do not dismiss His existence. What you remember is waking up naked in a completely devastated house. The metallic smell of blood was in the air, and you saw it all across your hands. But you couldn’t see the source, the cut. You called out to your parents, without response. Then it dawned upon you. What must have happened. All of the expensive security systems your parents had put into place had only caused to keep the monster inside their house to lash out. With your eyes closed to remain blind to what you have done, you trusted your memory of the place to find the telephone, stumbling across broken furniture along the way. You could barely piece the words together when you called Cat and stayed in the spot, clutching the receiver in your hand as if it was your lifeline until your packmates came.
Perhaps you needed to learn things the hard way, some of them joked cruelly.
And you did. You bowed your head, you listened to what the others told you. It went against your pride but there was not much of it left with the devastation you had experienced. You learned to work with the animal within you instead of against her. As irony would have it, it was the wolf who would help you find your bearings again. Highly dominant, it would not take any shit from others.
Like the paws of packmates that just happened to find themselves on your body. You swatted them away time and time again, and drew your boundaries, loud and clear. You were not interested in either of them. Or a relationship with a wolf, for that matter. From the examples before you in the pack, it looked like the ultimate threat to your freedom. Being bound to another without having anything to say about it, it seemed like your own personal nightmare.
There was one who just didn’t listen, no matter how often you told him “no,” his dark predatory eyes glued on you whenever you entered the room, and always ready with a lewd comment. You decided it was best to avoid Maximo, memorized his routines and made sure not to be around the common rooms whenever he would be home.
But it was not enough.
You were in heat, he could smell you from afar, he whispered in your ear as he held you down, his forearm pressing against the back of your neck, your throat crushed against the floor, airways constricted so much that it was barely possible to breathe, let alone say anything. Flailing didn’t help as he forced himself upon you. Nothing did. He had rendered you helpless, your dark hair splayed across your face and eyes. That is how you remember it, through a filter of dark streaks like prison bars. You never stopped fighting, you never stopped trying. But it still happened.
You were furious, you were ready to pack up and leave. But you had made that mistake once and paid dearly for it. You screamed at Gadiel to kick Maximo it until you were red in the face. But the culprit was his relative. And he had different ideas: he wanted to mark you, make it official. Gadiel “compromised”: Max would remain in the pack, but was to keep away from you, the rule reinforced with an alpha command; and you could live as you wish, in your own place, with only having to show up for pack events.
It was not just, and it was not fair. How could it be, with the fucker walking away unscathed? But at least you had your freedom. Or some semblance of it.
Congratulations, you've earned it!
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Played by:KinkTimezone: GMT+1 Rating: NC17+Pronouns: She, HerSend PM
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