The Guest Post: Charlie tells us about Therian markings
In Rise & Fall, we learned that Therians are capable of “marking” their mates, though it’s a very complex process and one not taken lightly by all parties involved. It’s a decision made by the pair, and something that’s very instinctual. Marking isn’t discussed out in the open. Because marking comes from a Therian’s feral side, many refuse to acknowledge and attempt to ignore the urge to mark a mate. Therians spend a good portion of their lives being treated or looked down at as if they were animals, so any traits that come from their feral instincts is a hot topic for many.
Here are a few facts about Therian markings.
* Therian marking is done via the claws while the pair is in their Human form, especially if one of them is Human. It’s extremely painful and incredibly hard to control as the Therian must shift only enough to draw out their claws. Since marking is usually done during very intimate moments, emotions are already running high, so coupled with a Therian’s heightened senses, the process is dangerous for those involved. Markings are usually done on the arms, legs, torso, back, or shoulders.
* If the couple involved is comprised of two Therians, the dominant of the pair will do the marking. Certain Therians are more dominant than others which reflect in their personality, even if we don’t see it often. For example a wolf and tiger Therian pairing, the tiger Therian would do the marking. Only one Therian does the marking, the other is marked.
* A ceremony may be held after a marking to celebrate the union of the pair. They may choose to get married, but for most involved, a Therian marking usually supersedes marriage.
* Marking involves sinking the claws into the flesh deep enough to cause a scar once the wound is healed. A Therian mark will take long to heal.
* A Therian mark gives off the scent of the Therian who did the marking, as well as make others aware this mate has given themselves up for marking. This will alert other Therians that this mate is claimed and spoken for. Unfortunately this can be dangerous. If another Therian likes the way a mate smells with the mark, they may challenge the Therian who marked them.
* Marking is for life. It’s a deep bond that connects the two in a way unlike any other. There’s no divorce from a marking. If a pair separates, the mate who is marked will be rejected by other Therians. Although a Therian might challenge another and attempt to steal the mate, they don’t want a marked mate who’s been “discarded”. It’s the equivalent of being tainted. For this reason, many Therians resist marking. The dominant mate however, is free to mark again. Due to the nature of the bond, a marked mate will never be far from the Therian who marked them, no matter how much they may want to leave. They may find happiness in a Human relationship, but a part of them will always belong to the Therian that marked them.
* Simply because a Therian is interested in another’s marked mate doesn’t mean they’ll challenge the dominant mate. A dominant Therian who marked their mate will defend their mate fiercely and challengers know this. For example, a dominant jaguar Therian isn’t likely to be challenged for his mate, unless it’s by another jaguar Therian. However, someone may try to hurt the dominant mate by going after the marked mate.
I had a lovely reader ask if Ash and Cael would mark each other, and that’s a tough one. There’s still so much for Ash to get used to, as we see in Against the Grain, and unlike Sloane who can get swept up in his emotions for Dex, Ash can be very logical. He can compartmentalize, setting aside his feelings in order to see something logically.
Ash’s concern would be for Cael. He would never do anything to hurt Cael, and with their job being as dangerous as it is, his fear would be marking Cael and something happening to Ash, leaving Cael marked by him forever. Ash will always put Cael before himself, and before his desires and happiness. Leaving Cael with his mark while he’s gone and depriving him of the possibility of a happy future with someone else is more than I think he can accept.
Well I hope you all enjoyed this little lesson on Therians! Thank you so much for joining me!
As the fiercest Defense Agent at the THIRDS, Destructive Delta’s Ash Keeler is foul-mouthed and foul-tempered. But his hard-lined approach always yields results, evident by his recent infiltration of the Coalition. Thanks to Ash’s skills and the help of his team, they finally put an end to the murdering extremist group for good, though not before Ash takes a bullet to save teammate Cael Maddock. As a result, Ash’s secrets start to surface, and he can no longer ignore what’s in his heart.
Cael Maddock is no stranger to heartache. As a Recon Agent for Destructive Delta, he has successfully maneuvered through the urban jungle that is New York City, picking up his own scars along the way. Yet nothing he’s ever faced has been more of a challenge than the heart of Ash Keeler, his supposedly straight teammate. Being in love isn’t the only danger he and Ash face as wounds reopen and new secrets emerge, forcing them to question old loyalties.
At one point, Ash felt Cael’s leg pressed up against his, and it was ridiculous how happy the tiny gesture made him. If it was even a gesture. Ash swiftly put it off to being an
accident, but then a little later, Cael reached over and wiped a thumb over the corner of Ash’s mouth, telling him he had a breadcrumb.
“You should have seen him,” Dex said with a laugh. “He looked so adorable with his cheetah fuzz shaped into spikes, from his head down to his back. Like a little spotted punk rocker.”
Maddock shook his head at Dex. “It took me two hours to wash all the hair spray off your brother’s fur.”
“We were pretending to be Guns N’ Roses,” Cael explained. “Dex was singing ‘Welcome to the Jungle,’ and I was backup sing—er, chirping.”
Ash laughed and playfully bumped Cael’s shoulder. “I’m going to have to agree with Dex. That’s adorable.” Even in his Therian form, Ash thought Cael was the sweetest thing he’d ever laid eyes on. Cael could be in his Therian form among thousands of cheetahs, and Ash would be able to point him out. His little gestures, the heart shape of his nose, or the way he chirped away, as if anyone not in their Therian form might understand him if he tried hard enough.
Dex grabbed Sloane’s arm. “Tell me you recorded that. Doesn’t matter. I have witnesses.” Dex stood and motioned to all of them. “Witnesses! You all heard it. Ash said he agrees with me.”
“Oh, good Lord. We’re never going to hear the end of this,” Maddock sighed, getting up to clear the dishes.
“Do you realize how epic this moment is?” Dex said, helping clear up.
“It’s not really that epic,” Maddock replied.
Dex let out an exaggerated gasp. “Where have you been living? Ash Keeler has agreed with something I, Dexter J. Daley, has said.”
“About your brother being adorable. Not exactly earthshattering. He’s thought that since they met.”
The table fell into silence as they all gaped at Maddock. Well, this was news to Ash. What the hell? Seeming to notice the quiet, or more likely the lack of Dex talking, Maddock looked up.
“What are you, fish? Close your mouths.”
Four mouths promptly closed.
“It’s not rocket science. I’ve known that boy since he joined, and he’s threatened every agent he’s ever met with kicking their ass. Except for Cael.”
Hard to argue with that. It was the truth.
Dex frowned at Ash. “You threatened to kick Hobbs’s ass?”
Ash nodded. “Yep.” Was it his first week of being on the job? He was pretty sure it was the first week.
“Dude, that’s not cool. Hobbs is awesome.”
“He can also be a pain in the ass. Plus when we first met, I didn’t know he had selective mutism. I asked him a question, and he wouldn’t answer me. He’d whisper to Calvin, who’d answer for him. I got pissed off and told him if he didn’t tell me himself, I’d kick his ass.” Ash had never met a tiger Therian as big and insecure as Hobbs. The whole encounter had left him confused. Here was their new demolitions expert, and he couldn’t talk. How the fuck was he going to communicate with his team? Ash wasn’t proud to admit he’d had a shit fit. He understood the THIRDS was about equality and representation when it came to hiring, but he had been genuinely concerned about the safety of his team. Not long after, Ash had seen how wrong he’d been about Hobbs. Not that he’d admitted it.
Dex let out a sound of disgust. “Dude, not cool.”
“I said I didn’t know. I apologized afterward, and that’s saying something.”
Ash got up to help clear the dishes, with Dex going on about how he should really think about using some of those scented candles Rosa had gifted him. Ash proceeded to flip him off.
When Cael stood to help, Ash put a hand to his shoulder.
“Relax, I’ve got this.”
He gave Cael a wink and walked the dirty dishes to the kitchen with Dex yammering on behind him. The guy was like a fucking mosquito buzzing in your ear and trying to suck the life out of you. Ash placed the dishes in the dishwasher, giving grunts and one-word replies. He grabbed the dishes from Dex and put those in as well. He wished he could stick Dex in there. Finally someone up there decided to give him a break, and Dex left the kitchen, singing some stupid song about a lion sleeping tonight or something.
Ash frowned at Maddock. “Does he never shut up? How the hell did you live with this for so long?”
“It’s called patience,” Maddock replied. “Not exactly your forte.”
“Oh, I can be patient. That’s not what’s required when dealing with your oldest. I’d say sedative is more the word you were looking for.”
Maddock laughed. “Just get in there, Keeler.”
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Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.