OOC Hey! It's Ruki! :D Been workin' on a new skin, which is why I haven't posted much, and it's finally done! Mostly anyway. Change it to Umber Fields and you should see all the fun. There are bound to be a few kinks in the display, so please tell me if there's anything wrong, or if something just looks odd to you, like if the font's too small. :C I'm thinkin' it might be. Staff ppl should pm me with 100x100 icons. Also the mini-profile circle images are 125x125. I thought they were 100x100 at first, but no, I forgot about the circle border edits. |D Couldn't have gotten it done without the codes from the people in the credits, so silent shoutout to them. Staytuned for more weird updates. Might do some re-arranging of the boards. Anywho, hope you like it!
OLD: 4/04 Ruki says: NEW SEASON! Spring has started! We might start advertising places again now that midterms are over for all of us, and posting is back up. Not exactly OOC news, but Enheit Alpha Sinead has PUPPIES. If you wanna adopt the last one, the adopt thread is HERE! Ody and Raven have their own rules for this, so read them and adopt a pup if y'all want. SPRANG BRAAAAKE.
2/26/15 WHY HELLO! Guess who it is again. Ruki. I've been busy condensing rules and tips into a handy updated guidebook here on THIS PAGE! with the help of my fellow staff buddies. It's super important to read and make sure you get all the fun info down. The newest rule is about ALPHA ACTIVITY, so be sure to read the Lands and Territories section. The gist of it is that yall leaders gotta post once a week. If you don't POOF. No more land for you. This is a new rule, but if you haven't posted within the next few days and haven't been active in a while, you best get on that 'cause yo' land's 'bout to be snatched.
IC Spring is here at last and the land is beginning to flourish with new life once more. Young animals are plentiful and slowly others are rousing out of hibernation. April showers rain down, and springtime flowers are budding out from their winter beds. SPRING will last from April 1st - June 1st
To Nirco it should have been hotter under the sun than it was. Years had passed since the male had last stepped foot in this region, long ago when he had been nothing more than a wandering soul, and somehow he had imagined it would have been excruciating as it beat upon his dark pelt. Instead there was a cool breeze in the air, rustling forgotten twigs and sands across the dunes and rocks of the desert spread before him. It was just after dawn and the heat of the day hadn't yet scorched the earth, though Nirco had a sneaking suspicion the winter months would yield some relief for the residents of these near forgotten lands. It had been a wise choice to wait 'til now to brave this journey, for he wasn't sure he would be so at ease if it were a sweltering summer noon.
It had taken the alpha many days to trek from the hazy swamps of Groavche to the borders of Einheit even when moving at a brisk pace. He had left his home to Ramsay for the time being after informing the other male this was a journey he had to brave sooner rather than later. At first he'd toyed with the idea of bringing the other along; two were more powerful than one if things went sour. In the end he had left him there. Though Nirco had never been one to instill great trust in the intentions of others he found no quarrels or concerns with his beta's ability and loyalty. When he returned he expected to find it every bit the same as he'd left it. Truly he did not like leaving at all but with rising tensions and no real information of the other packs Nirco resigned to the fact this was something he had to do. He had to discern his neighbors intentions, even when they lay far from his own shelter. Something told him he would find no friendly faces here, for surely his recent exploits at Auktion Rock hadn't gone unnoticed. Whether others had figured out the culprit behind the slayings of the guards he did not yet know if he had yet risen the bar.
His large skull lowers with purpose when he was sure he was on the borders. No one side looked any different than the other but the faded scent of a dominor was blatant in his nose with each sniff. It had been at least several days since anyone had passed this way which meant soon someone would come to reinstate their position through this invisible force. He snorts, the aroma cascading out his nose in a puff of dirt and he shifts his gaze around. Perhaps he should have recognized it then; that familiar perfume so faint on the wind, but it was mostly masked and overwhelmed by the stranger these lands belonged to. None the wiser to a presence he had yet to see in some time, the over-sized brute paces onward. A border was never a solid line, so he had no real qualms about heading inwards a short distance before he made his presence known. He wasn't invading, after all, merely visiting.
Except Nirco didn't get all that far before it finally hit him like a landslide burying him under its weight. Suddenly his head veers, followed by the rest of him until he'd come to a rigid halt. Orbs of a sharp blue had gone wide, watching, searching his barren surroundings. That scent. Out of nowhere it had overruled all else around it, conquering his senses in a way that has his heart jumping into his throat and his stomach twisting. His ears have gone pinpoint atop his skull and his tail straight and rigid behind him. He'd never really been one to act without thought but soon enough large paws are carrying him forward and off the path he had so diligently set for himself.
It was there, in a rocky outcrop with a dead tree as its crown that it overwhelms him. Chalandra. Nowhere is she to be seen, but by the forces he could not see with his eyes it was obvious she had been there very recently. So sharp and pungent was it that Nirco was sure he couldn't have missed her by more than minutes or an hour. It shocked him, slapped him in the face, toyed with his mind in a brutal manner. She'd left him when he hadn't succumbed to her charms (possibly the greatest task he had ever overcome) and on the lonely nights he sank to memories she was yet still there. He didn't think he would ever find her again and out of nowhere he was ready to forget his task and, for once, chase after her.
Nirco does not leave, though. It strikes him that there is something strange about the place. It was unassuming and unimpressive, sure, but some instinct he couldn't discern had him searching more closely. He dives deep into the den, sniffing out the slowly fading scents until he realizes there's another one he doesn't recognize. And it doesn't take him long to stumble upon whom it belonged to, for tucked away in the darkness and shadows is a small form of silvery greys. At first the male isn't all that sure what to make of it, thoughts stumbling over the discovery and desperate to grasp for stability again. For the longest time he stares at the ball of fur slumbering in the depths. Many things race through his mind and he can't help but wonder what he should do with it, as if it such a decision is his to make. Really, he could have left it there and gone chasing after who he was really after but Nirco wasn't oblivious. If Chalandra had been here as recently as this pup then there was only one conclusion: it was hers.
For a long time Nirco stands frozen where he is, merely watching, waiting, though he wasn't sure what for at that moment. Some deep, primal, buried instinct surges only briefly and flatly through his thoughts, no doubt brought forth and stoked by some unspoken claim he had over Chalandra. And he did, if only he had acted on it and give in to her feminine whiles and asked her to stay with him. This instinct is one uncharacteristic of the male; maybe he should get rid of it, take it away, discard of it because some bastard had gotten his paws on her and though he had no right this somehow agitated Nirco. The evidence was before him as clear as the daylight outside. But this idea is fleeting and he does not act on it for outweighing the brutal thought is his stronger nature to protect all things associated with Chalandra. He didn't want her hurt, and as quickly as the violent thought had come to him it is suppressed by his conclusion that the small life form in front of him shouldn't be punished for the actions of its parents.
Hesitantly, tentatively, gently, the large male inches towards the sleeping baby. His dark nose barely brushes its fur and he does not wake it but stores its strange new scent in some secure place as he had its mother's. It smells startlingly like the silvery vixen and far beyond the awful ideas that had passed Nirco found he wanted to get closer, curl around this precious thing and defend it from any dangerous beast that might invade the space; any dangerous beast that was not him. Yet Nirco concludes that it isn't his place and he has not a clue as to what Chalandra would think if she were to come back and discover him so near. He hoped she came back. He toys with the thought that he should head out after her, make sure she's okay, but finds he is too anchored to the fascinating treasure hidden in the dark.
The male turns, heads out and up until he's under the barren, dead tree that sat like a silent sentinel over the den. He joins it in its watch then, lowering his hulking frame upon the rocks just above the entrance to the makeshift nursery. Already the Groavche alpha has decided his initial quest can wait for now; Chalandra is more important, the secret she had left for him to find was more important. There he resides until her return, guarding over fragile form below the earth that isn't even his to protect.
It was with a racing heart and fraying nerves that Chalandra slunk along the brushes of Einheit's most verdant section, which by all accounts wasn't very green at all. There were, at maximum, five small tumbleweeds that posed heartily as noble forest brambles, given away by their sparseness and lack of vibrancy. They were just enough, either due to Chalandra's skinny frame or general lack of mass, to shelter the grey she-wolf from her prey for the time being. The land was dry and devoid of life besides Chalandra, the fleeting sparrow she stalked, and the very scrub bushes that stood between them; time ticked ever forward as they all stood still against the howling of the wind. Had there not been a breezy chill across the desert, the day could have been mistaken for summer's arid conditions. Seasons in Einheit were revolving, changing only in temperature, forever lost to the hues of khaki, tan, and drab beige. And like the land itself, Chalandra's life was beginning to see double.
With a mighty heave, the sklavin launched herself at the tiny, perched bird. Claws scraped vainly at the sky and a cry escaped her as the bird skittered away into the blue realm. She leaped once more before staring disparagingly at the retreating black form. The sparrow's chirp was lost to the wind that rattled grounded pebbles and gusts threatened Chalandra with more than one lost meal as they raced over the land and chilled into her fur. It was, no doubt, winter in Einheit.
The silver she-wolf blinked away from the sky, scanning the horizon with her blue eyes. There was nothing here to provide her pups with. There was nothing to keep her milk flowing. There was, quiet obviously, nothing here at all. Frustration bubbled at the back of Chalandra's throat as she nervously considered the situation and she clenched her jaw to hold back the howls of desperation that would give her position away. She'd been gone long enough from the den and her pup, but she also had nothing to show for her time away. What use was it to return with nothing for the life that depended on her? She'd already lost one...
Whining softly, Chalandra lowered her head to the ground and sniffed desperately, hoping beyond hope that she could find something, anything to return to the den with. A lizard, some berries, a tasty root to chew on... Please Eperna. At the scent of a possible meal, she trotted slowly forward, ambling this way and that way as the images of hare grew stronger and stronger. It would no doubt be small, but it didn't matter. She'd eat the carcass of one of her own at this point. And then, before she had even the slightest moment to concede further, the wind took a sharp turn and the aroma was replaced by another, sharper and bolder smell. It was a odor she knew, one she had hoped for, one she had grown angry with. It was, unmistakably, Nirco.
Chalandra pulled up in shock, her eyes wide and her ears splayed flat as emotions swept through her, mimicking the gales across her home. It couldn't be. It wasn't. And yet, whether she admitted it or not, Nirco's scent was as fresh and pungent as the milky, puppy smells on herself. Flustered with herself and oddly heart-achingly worried for her young son, Chalandra dashed towards her den, eyes alight and her thin body trembling. Something wasn't right about this. Something had to be wrong. Something inside her screamed to move faster, that her son was in danger, that Nirco couldn't be there, that it all was a trick, a trick, a trick--and she moved like water as she ran in response to her mind, her heart racing, her thudding chest unsettled and agonizing over her young, innocent pup.
She skidded slightly as she entered the den, ignoring the ache in her paws from the harsh sand and grit that lay embedded there, forcing herself to shrink to the den walls for the sake of reaching her son. She burst into the main den with a snarl on her lips against the strength of Nirco's scent; it had grown completely and utterly indisputable and the fury and hurt buried within the she-wolf released itself as she made to crouch over her small, grey look-a-like, teeth bared and eyes narrowed. However thin and gaunt she now looked was probably easilyapparent, but she pushed the thought away, staring unyielding into the male's similar blue gaze.
"You," she breathed heavily, her voice raspy from disuse. It was then that she paused to collect herself, her head buzzing and a faint fog threatening to cloud her senses if she wasn't careful. Chalandra, charged with adrenaline for her young, ignored the feeling and simply narrowed her eyes in clear judgement as she spoke. "I didn't know you were into pups these days. Oh, how things change." She was still breathing heavily, and forced her muscles to remain tensed, her fur spiked and her claws kneading the den's earthen floor. It pained her for a moment to be so abrasive with him, but then she remembered the way he had denied her and the walls built themselves back up. Try me. Just try me, you b*tch.
Where only minutes had passed that Nirco remained perched on the rocks above the den, ever in watch, it had felt like so much longer. Centuries could have swept by in that moment of time and he'd have been none the wiser. He couldn't settle, couldn't get comfortable. He paced atop his lookout with his mind never wavering from the subjects of his unease. He thought restlessly about Chalandra and her state of being and was plagued viciously with thoughts of the innocent life slumbering in the depths below his paws. The male wanted to go out and search for her, bring her back, ask her how she had been and how the miracle in the darkness was possible. As it turned out, it was a blessing that he resisted this call.
Not long after his arrival, a dark shape had slithered its way over the rock and dirt towards the opening of the world below. And Nirco's keen eye hadn't missed it. Immediately the massive brute was lurching forward, trailing after in a desperate chase that was no more than a flurry of dust and sand. In the blink of an eye he'd scrambled through the entrance and taken the invader in his teeth. It didn't matter what kind it was; it didn't matter if it were poisonous, deadly or if its fangs had whipped around to latch deep into the flesh its attacker. It never got the chance for the beast had crushed it between powerful jaws long before it could possibly have known what hit it. He slinks much like the serpent then, shuffling back through the darkened space with the slain enemy still in his grasp. The movement is quick, desperate, as if somewhere in his subconscience he fears he'd missed another that might have made it all the way back. He is relieved to find the pup is still very much asleep, unharmed, perfect in the small ball it had folded into.
As suddenly as the snake had invaded the space, a snarl was ripping through the den and resounding off the confined walls. Nirco whirls, dropping the scaled thing to the floor so that his jaws might be free if he needed to defend himself. Defend the pup. What jars his alert gaze instead is a gaunt, thinned figure that takes him a moment to recognize. She'd always been lean but what met him naw was startling. She didn't look on death's doorstep just yet, but certainly like she might reach it very soon. She seems frazzled, on edge, panicked, as if she'd sensed danger lurking in here. And, perhaps, the fears were not unfounded. Nirco did not dare touch the small form that she so readily guarded, though.
Her name is on his tongue, the sight of her fluttering his chest and warming his fur. There is a prominent part of him that is startled by the sudden and unexpected way he had stumbled upon her and perhaps it's the initial reason he hesitates. He has no idea what to do with himself in that moment and she takes the opportunity to turn on him, berate him. The words are clipped, chastising, angry, fierce. Every breath seems to rock Chalandra's thin form and a part of Nirco is afraid she might collapse or shatter to a thousand angry pieces. But he does not go to her.
The darkest ear atop his skull flicks back, corners of the maw falling downward ever slightly. At first he races through his memories in an attempt to decipher what fueled her blatant resentment towards him. So many times he had turned away her advances. So many times he had told her no, as if maybe he'd never wanted her at all. But the truth couldn't have been more different. Nirco had wanted her so badly, needed her so fiercly, that in the end he had forced himself to turn his back. She had seemed so unabashedly desperate for him that it had never seemed right. The brute was not inexperienced with females, he had entertained their whiles before. But Chalandra had gripped his heart like a vice, squeezing it, owning it, and he had long ago admitted that he never accepted her because he was afraid of her. If he had given himself he wondered if she were the one that would have turned away from him instead.
And yet he is angered, flustered by her accusing stare and her words. That startling blue gaze flicks once between the she-wolf and her newborn before settling on her. His lips pull over his teeth in a silent snarl for he dare not provoke her further. She was so much smaller than him but he didn't wish for a confrontation. She's looking at him as if the road that had lead her here is his fault. Although Nirco hasn't a clue as to what has become of her, he cannot fathom how his rejection had turned her down this path of motherhood and obvious starvation. "Nothing changed," he barks at her, voice rumbling through the small space. It was a lie, in some way or another, because he'd indeed change so very much. Startlingly, his feelings had not.
Not wanting to stoke the flames licking within her and not oblivious to the instinct to defend her pup, he skirts the walls until he's at the farther end of the main den and away from the pair. For an extended moment he is silent, watching her with a mixture of wariness and concern. Who was the father of her sole offspring? Where had she gone? Why was she here in this forsaken land of rock and dust and unrelenting sunlight? Would she have come back with him to Groavche that night long ago if only he had told her? If only he hadn't been such a fool or a coward? "What happened to you?"
NOTES: Oh look, breakfast! Who's hungry for some snake? lol WORDS: 984 TAG: ⋆Ravɛn | »Image
Last Edit: Jan 15, 2015 23:55:28 GMT -5 by Ὀδύσσεια♐
Hmph. Nirco's soundless snarl made Cha's fur ripple angrily, and she simply snorted in response. Yeah, whatever you say Silent-paws. As he moved and the silence settled in between them, her blue eyes followed him like a shadow, unwilling to drop from him. Now that the first suddenness of the whole ordeal was past, she looked at him closer, inspecting the way his fur fit his frame, catching the way his eyes darted between Bjorn and her. He was awfully interested in the young pup, a fact that made the silver vixen warm with pride.
"What happened to you?" Nirco was the first to break the silence, watching her with those unblinking, blue orbs. She shuddered internally, reigning in her sexual deviant before it had a chance to sway her current irritability with the black wolf. He was still just as gorgeous as when they'd met all those moons ago. He was strong and well built with those broad shoulders, that thick fur, and those eyes, oh those eyes... Focus. Chalandra narrowed her eyes and forced herself to mull over an acceptable answer for the male. By now it was clear that Nirco meant her no harm, and as Bjorn was beginning to squeak softly for his mother, she relented and nestled down next to her son. He wiggled for a few moments and she watched hesitantly, before finally nudging him into a better position to nurse. Her eyes turned slowly back to Nirco, considering him for a long while before she spoke. Her voice turned soft and became absent to all her previous vexation and fire. She was, admittedly, quite tired.
"I moved on," Chalandra's pale eyes grew sad for a moment before she leaned down and licked Bjorn's head roughly. "There were two. The first was dead before he was alive. Not exactly a good season for pups." She glanced up from Bjorn to judge Nirco's reaction but shyly looked away before he would notice her inspecting him. What was there really to say? Surely he didn't want all the nitty gritty details of her rejection, her fall into slavery, her reckless night with that white male, the ensuing pregnancy, her lack of nutrition, and Sinead's continuous beatings. Nor did she want to tell him those things. She'd lived the days enough. Recounting them, in any capacity, wouldn't ever be necessary. She'd artlessly had a fall from grace, Eperna help her. And she'd managed to lose more than herself in the fallout.
Speaking of... Chalandra glanced across the den towards a small tunnel that led further into the earth. She still needed to bury her other son. The pain and grief had been too fresh when the pair had been born two days earlier. But the more she waited, the more she found other things to occupy her time, and a further, primordial fierceness to keep Bjorn living beat deeply inside her. What if she left the living to bury the dead and he was taken as well, by chills, foxes, or otherwise? She'd never forgive herself. Burial and acceptance of her loss would have to wait until she could find time between meals for herself and nursing Bjorn.
The fog was closing in again. Chalandra blinked a few times, trying to clear her head. The warmth of the den, the lack of a meal, the rhythmic heartbeat of Bjorn against her chest... Blindly, she tried to shake off the waves of numbness. Her eyes groped around the den's slate walls for Nirco's and when she met them, the blue locked. She needed to center herself on that idea. That he was here. That Bjorn was alive. And that, up until this exact moment, Sinead hadn't found her or her young pup. There was hope yet. Chalandra, her eyes struggling to focus against the tug of sleep and faint hunger, murmured a coo to her pup before presenting his name for the first time to the world.
"His name is Bjorn. For the strength of bears."
Iudex knowing, he'd sure as hell need it.
notes ! this was extremely difficult and yet cathartic.
The soft squeaks and cries from the corner were what initially drew Nirco's attention away from Chalandra. His gaze finds the small pup through the darkness of the den, the creature blind and deaf at this stage but wriggling and calling for his mother as if some sense told him she was there. The brute's own ears fall back as he probes and scrutinizes the newborn through unblinking, unwavering eyes. While the flitting idea of discarding of it had briefly flashed through his mind upon first discovery, this thought had completely evaporated and drastically transformed until it was unrecognizable. Now he was merely curious, wanting to get closer but outweighed by the desire not to upset Chalandra more than he already had. It was her son and Nirco did not wish to provoke her by thinking it his place to inspect the strange, small creature. His curiosity and need to understand be damned.
In silence she finally settles in her space next to the desperate pup and Nirco keenly observes. There were times, when Chalandra would beckon him and slink against his large form, ever tempting, that he wondered how she had avoided a fate like this before. Sometimes he would imagine what she'd look like with a litter at her heels - his or someone else's it had not mattered, because no matter how hard he tried the image always seemed unnatural and foced. The sly vixen that so easily captured his attention was never meant for this, he had always thought. To him, it had been like asking a fox to sprout wings and fly. Yet now... now as he looked upon her with that tiny soul snugged safely to her soft fur, nothing else in the world could have been more right. Nirco felt great sorrow that she had ended up here, half starved and obviously desperate with a loss so great, but he found the sight before him not at as unusual as he expected it to be.
Without warning the brute was on the move, snatching up the serpent that had lain forgotten in the dirt. With one swift motion he had severed the head from the body, making a mental note to rid of the former before the pup could ever near it. And then he pads with tentative steps towards Chalandra, disposing the slender corpse in front of her. "I know snake is not appetizing but it will replenish some of your energy. I can go and capture you something else in the meantime." The last bit was somewhat of a request as he pinned her with a searching gaze, tearing through her own for any sign that she might not want his aid. There was a disturbance in the air around them, as if he could sense the exhaustion aching her, weighing her down like a thousand sinking boulders in a pit of unrelenting tar. He made no mention of the gut-wrenching tale she had shared; he had the distinct feeling she didn't want to discuss it.
Silently he then turns away, prepared to depart on a desperate hunt for their survival, when her voice rings through the space. Turning lightly with the tug of his maw, Nirco cannot help the ghost of a smile when that last detail greeted his ears. For the dozenth time he flicks his eyes between mother and son before once more settling on Chalandra's features. Even after all this time and after all that had come upon them, he cannot battle the fondness harbored in his heart. "A fitting name," he says softly, "he will survive this, Cha. I won't let anyone lay harm to your son." A bold promise with the underlying tones of his suspicions. She had not come to be this way on her own, he was sure of it, and there were others out there that would seek to damage them further. Perhaps she did not want his help but by the very life and breath of him, Nirco would not fail her again.
NOTES: Feeeeels. Also, sorry this took me ages. WORDS: 676 TAG: ⋆Ravɛn | »Image
Last Edit: Jan 16, 2015 0:12:26 GMT -5 by Ὀδύσσεια♐
Winter was upon Einheit, and Sinead thrived with it.
She crossed the sand as if she’d been born in it, her paws devouring the miles as the wind tore at her khaki-gold fur. Although prey had become scarce, she’d managed to feed herself well, and she showed it. She was all lean muscles and thick fur, her feminine figure all the more lovely because of it – in her opinion, anyways. She ran like a she-wolf on a mission, and indeed she was. With the coldest season now upon her land, it was vital that she marked all of her territory thoroughly to discourage any straggling loners, and then she needed to find Chalandra. The silvery freior-turned-sklavin had been such a pain in Sinead’s tail ever since her belly had begun to bulge. Naturally Sinead understood the emotions and hormones that came with a pregnancy, but she had never taken up a mate nor conceived, so her sympathy was severely limited. She couldn’t imagine how it must feel to shuffle around, wide belly swollen beneath her, struggling to find double the food supply. Chalandra had gotten herself into her situation, likely by sleeping around Sinead thought snidely, so she did not offer any comfort to the sklavin. Difficult was the task of finding Chalandra, who certainly harbored no fond feelings for Sinead. But today was different. The Einheit alpha hadn’t seen Chalandra in a noticeably long time, and with her time so near, she knew what she needed to do.
First, however, her border. It was pleasantly convenient that Chalandra’s scent seemed to suggest she’d headed in that direction, and Sinead was off, seagreen eyes glistening with all the barely restrained power that flowed through her. She felt like an alpha, here in her territory with the sun upon her back and the wind in her fur.
She slowed to a quick lope as she approached the border, moving to begin her round, when suddenly a startlingly fresh scent assaulted her nostrils. Freezing in place, she lowered her muzzle, snuffling at the ground. It was certainly male, and she had no males in her pack as of yet. The only brute who’d passed her borders was Eneko, and she knew his scent well enough to know that it was not him. Power and contentedness giving way to anger and a slight inkling of fear, Sinead bounded after the scent, paws carrying her quickly across the earth. The concern she felt was, although she hated to admit it, for Chalandra, although not in the most caring of ways. It was strictly possessive, because Chalandra belonged to her, much like the pups the harlot was carrying, and Sinead would not let them be stolen from her. I should be glad to be given an opportunity to get rid of her, she thought viciously as the scent brought her to the edge of a den. It reeked heavily of both the strange scent and Chalandra, and immediately she was suspicious. Pulling her lips upwards into a snarl, she hurled herself into the cave, her eyes quickly adjusting. Chalandra stood over her pup – just one? – thin and doting, and before her stood a hulking brute, his fur dark and his eyes a pale blue. With a horrible growl that ripped from her throat, Sinead slid in front of him, sizing him up. He was larger than her, quite obviously, but that only meant that she would be quicker than him should he attempt to attack. If he fought her in the den then she might have the advantage, considering his size and the closer quarters, but it would risk the sklavin pup. And then suddenly as she stood staring at him, the pieces of a puzzle seemed to click in her mind, and she cast a quick accusing glance over her shoulder in Chalandra’s direction before she focused on the brute again.
”Oh, it’s you,” she said, a dangerous edge to her words. She could remember the day Chalandra had waltzed into her lands, inquiring about a certain large dark brute named Nirco. Indeed, Sinead had also heard rumors of the brute and his beta, both who vehemently opposed slavery. ”I heard you’ve made quite the name for yourself around Auktion Rock. Do you care to tell me what the hell you’re doing trespassing in my territory, brute? Einheit doesn’t welcome rebels, no matter how deliciously handsome they may be.” The last part was purred, although her words contained about as much warmth as a viper spitting poison, and was uttered solely to jab at Chalandra. She cared for the brute, Sinead thought, or had. Currently Chalandra didn’t look very happy with him. Sinead’s eyes flashed a clear warning, the steel in her voice still ringing through the tense air. She was furious, and she wanted him to know it.
"I know snake is not appetizing but it will replenish some of your energy. I can go and capture you something else in the meantime."
Chalandra looked down as Nirco dropped the snake in front of her paws, the blue eyes slowly making their way back up to his face only to be greeted with a matching set. His entire demeanor had changed in the presence of Bjorn, and she blushed heavily beneath her silver fur as he searched her face, almost looking for something. Blinking lingering bits of sleep from the corners of her vision, Chalandra leaned forward slightly to take the snake in her mouth, crushing the bones quickly as she realized how hungry she had become. Everything in her that would have normally shied away from the idea of eating a snake was gone, replaced by a desire to keep herself and her son alive. Nirco made move to turn away, but he paused at the last moment.
"A fitting name. He will survive this, Cha. I won't let anyone lay harm to your son."
In that moment, she was nothing short of breathless. For weeks and weeks she'd tormented herself about her carelessness, worried about what he would think when he finally did find out. And now yet here he was, acceptance as clear as his eyes as they glittered at her through the darkness of the den. Chalandra licked her lips of the snake she'd swiftly finished and gave a very soft, petite whine of thanks. All of her previous anger with Nirco--his stiffness, her desire, and the rift that now only hovered between them--it all seemed like something that could be worked through.
Only mere moments passed between them, Chalandra nuzzling Bjorn closer to the curve of her body, before the silence fell flat. She smelled the khaki she-wolf before she saw her, and Chalandra's eyes shot wide before she started a low growl in response. Her pale grey head lowered as Sinead's full presence entered the den but her irritation was cut clean off as Sinead snarled loudly at the pair. Chalandra faintly felt Bjorn squeak in fear, but her own anxieties overwhelmed her faster than she knew how to respond. Something in her called to Bjorn then, but with her mind spiked and focused on the alpha before her, she didn't dare offer reassurance as Sinead stepped haughtily between her and Nirco. There was a pause, a building, building, building...and then, wildly enough, recognition.
”Oh, it’s you.”
It was a weird half-vexation, half-malice sass that Sinead used then, and Chalandra looked helplessly at Nirco from behind Sinead as she drew the lines clearly.
”I heard you’ve made quite the name for yourself around Auktion Rock. Do you care to tell me what the hell you’re doing trespassing in my territory, brute? Einheit doesn’t welcome rebels, no matter how deliciously handsome they may be.”
At the flirtatious drawl, Chalandra gave a sharp warning growl and considered taking a swipe at Sinead before thinking better of it. She expected to feel the beating of retribution coming, and she cared not, flattening her ears before carefully licking Bjorn's tiny head. His whines had gotten louder throughout the encounter and Chalandra incessantly licked his fur until he quieted and returned to suckling. She cast a sidelong glance at Nirco, her eyes pleading. If they could somehow just get out of this situation alive... Sinead was harsh and if she thought Nirco had had any involvement it wouldn't be good for the either of them. If Sinead thought Nirco a threat...
Chalandra, her blood pumping and her eyes alight with fear for Nirco and Bjorn, nudged her son away before slinking around her alpha to stand just in front of Nirco. Her ears remained pinned to her head, tail and body both lowered. She just had to make her understand. Maybe then Nirco could talk sense into Sinead, reassure her that he was a dominor who owned slaves, convince Sinead into allowing him to be her new dominor, anything, anything to save her and her son from this place. Taking a deep breath, she plunged.
"He's not who you think he is. He's not Bjorn's father."
The river was freezing. She was being whisked further downstream, her paw strokes hard and deep against the river's rapids. Tentatively (and quickly as to not anger her), she blinked up at Sinead for a read on her emotions.
"I was his, I mean..."
She faltered, looking at Nirco for help as she struggled against the current. Everything that had happened had moved so fast. The den's darkness was a blur for a spot in time, and Chalandra felt sick to her stomach as the world slipped beneath her. Shaking, her grey legs trembled for a moment before she centered her focus on Nirco's eyes and wearily glanced back at Sinead.
"I was a sort of plaything of his."
Her words were soft and quiet, a sense of embarrassment sneaking from the heavy parts of her. The absurdity of it all, after all of his rejections, after all of his firm will, overwhelmed her. Here she was, begging for her life by admitting that the one thing she'd wanted and been denied, had been carried out in full as a service. It was out now. If Sinead found her muddied lies she cared not. I tried, I tried... Exhaustion threatening to submerge her, Chalandra staggered backwards into Nirco's frame.
Satisfaction washed over weary shoulders when Chalandra did not pull away from the small meal. He'd half expected her to turn up her nose much in the manner she had the day he'd caught her a fish the first time. The day we met, thought the brute fondly, sweeping back to it for only a moment. The brief flash of this memory brought a twitch of a smile to his maw, though it was quickly swiped away and replaced by that typical stoic mask of indifferent confidence. He was in a desolate land ruled by a haughty dominor and could be found trespassing at any moment, despite his good will and his honest motivations for coming here. Focus was key and despite the great distraction that lay just in front of him he could not allow his mind to wander to precious memories that might cloud his mind. He had made a promise, and he would be long dead and rotting before it was ever broken. Even if it meant that hardness returned to his gaze, even if it meant resisting the heavy urge to curl around the silvery vixen and finally hold her close.
Something in the air shifted like a wave, a scent wafting through his nares the very moment the other came barging in with a ferocious snarl. It tore through the space and into his ears, which immediately pinned to his skull. The Einheit alpha. Though he did not know her by sight, he knew her by the same smell that coated the borders in warning to "rebels" like him. Lips pulled over sharp canines and Nirco matched her viciousness with his own. Great hackles rose along his shoulder and spine - as if he wasn't large enough already - and he pinned the unwelcome company with eyes of fire. He did not think his presence would be welcome and immediately he knew what this might look like. He had come here seeking to acquaint, get a handle on what his actions at the Rock and his presence as an alpha meant to these far neighbors. Not anymore. If such was still his goal he might have introduced himself with calm indifference. But now, with a promise in the air and Cha very much in danger, he was not so easily deterred.
She could move more quickly about the space, but its confined limits also meant there was nowhere to run if he managed to sink his massive jaws around her neck. Plenty of hotheaded slavers had fallen victim and more surely would in the future. Nirco had not come here seeking confrontation yet the only thing grounding him in that moment was Bjorn. The space was too small for a fight without the risk of trampling the pup. Be grateful, harlot, for the only thing saving your wretched hide now is one thing you may very well despise. The desperate squeaks and cries echo through his skull, edging him onward. All he could see in that moment was Chalandra's thin form, her hunger, her desperation... her body slinking away the last time he had denied her, not to be seen again. With a great huff that expands his chest a moment, Nirco knows where his mind must not go. And it was the mere will of that mind that allows a sense of mild calm to overtake his features. Inside his heart is thundering and his mind abuzz, but his teeth disappear and the growls that threaten to tear from his throat fade.
"You mistake my motives. I do admit you find me trespassing, though only for the fact I recognized a scent dear to me while skirting your borders. What sort of brute would I be if I let it pass over my head so easily, for she could have fallen to harm?" The male completely ignores the flirtatious jab, not at all charmed by the viper hissing before him. He does not think she will be moved by his words for what he sees is a she-wolf of khaki stone and soulless eyes. "I admit, I was not expecting to find her with a little one," he says this with every intention to continue, matching this beige wolf's gaze evenly, contemplating her next move or word. Always had he been adept at reading the face and action of others, picking them apart until there might not be anything left to hide. Always know the next move. What Nirco was not expecting was Chalandra's voice to chime through the moment of silence he'd left hanging through that tense and volatile air.
"I was his, I mean... I was a sort of plaything of his."
Pupils dilate slightly and Nirco sucks in a sharp breath. It was an absurd thing as much as it was a lie and though he knows the urgency he is still surprised to hear it. The nerves and embarrassment permeated the air as if they themselves had life and Nirco knew he could not screw this up. Chalandra was risking everything. Her life, his life, and her pup's. His gaze shifts from her to the other female, lids narrowing as he fixes her with a look so hard it could have cracked stone. "She is honest." For someone so bent on truth and often brutal honesty towards the world, this lie slipped easily. "We were separated after a vicious storm many months ago," this, at least, had in fact transpired. He could still remember the way she left him, sweeping from the den and out into the rain as if the thundering storm above was better company than his. "I would like her back, if you would not mind. I fear she has nothing to offer someone of... your anatomy," his eyes sweep the dominor's form briefly and the words feel like dirt on his tongue, "she cannot be worth her weight in food or space to you."
Suddenly the familiar figure of grey is falling, bumping his larger frame. Nirco might normally push back to hold her steady, yet he pitches his shoulder and chest to let her body find the ground. Then he is stepping over her, legs like stone pillars, guarding the exhausted and half-starved she-wolf with a fierce gaze. "I ventured here to make an introduction, which has surely gone wrong. But give me the sklavin and her son and I will bother you no longer. She will bother you no longer. They are my burdens to bear."Refuse, and I will tear your limbs from their sockets. Do not make me spill blood this day.
From the moment Sinead burst into the den, chaos ensued. Behind her she could hear the frantic cries of the pup, startled by the noise and likely the tension in the air, but what stood ahead of her was what held the alpha’s attention. The massive brute had responded as Sinead thought he might, with bristled fur and ivory canines flashing. Despite this, she did not back down. Her sea-green eyes blazed with fury as she stared him down, the challenge in both her stance and her gaze as clear as day. Briefly she considered calling for Fane, the brute who had recently joined her ranks as both bodyguard and warrior. Surely he would not be far, for it was not often that he let Sinead wander too far out of his sights. She would only have to howl and he would undoubtedly come raining down upon them with all the force he could muster. He was not as tall as Nirco, but he was certainly bulky and could hold his own. Together, she and Fane could teach the disgusting sympathizer a lesson…and she almost did it when Nirco spoke, almost initiated the battle that would have either left her victorious or dead, but then Chalandra was suddenly stepping forward, occupying Sinead’s thoughts. It irritated her that the silvery vixen had the nerve to stand beside the brute as if he were her ally, and Sinead’s lips pulled further up into the vicious snarl that had formed.
"He's not who you think he is. He's not Bjorn's father. I was his, I mean... I was a sort of plaything of his."
Sinead paused for a brief moment, eyes flicking from Chalandra to Nirco, attempting to detect any flicker of untruth. If they were lying, however, they hid it well; Nirco’s head dipped in acknowledgement as agreement slid from his muzzle. Very slowly, Sinead covered her teeth, closing her mouth in consideration as he went on to explain the circumstances of their separation.
"I ventured here to make an introduction, which has surely gone wrong. But give me the sklavin and her son and I will bother you no longer. She will bother you no longer. They are my burdens to bear."
Silence followed his words, and Sinead made no immediate move to break it. She stood watching the two, observing the way they reacted to each other. The pups squawks had quieted to whimpers in the background, and Sinead frowned. Normally she would never consider handing over one of her sklavins – indeed, if someone had asked her for Merona or Sayang, she would have ripped their throat out for their insolence. But Chalandra was another story entirely. She had been nothing but trouble since she’d stepped foot into Einheit, and now she’d brought a pup into the world who would surely grow to loathe Sinead as much as his mother did. That combined with the troublesome sklavin she’d recently claimed from Auktion Rock was what swayed her to consider. She was so very tired of having to spend her time babysitting them, whipping them into shape, and feeding their worthless, ungrateful mouths. Chalandra gone would lift a weight off of her shoulders, and would save her from having to feed the pup.
But there was something else, something deeper that whispered to her. For the past few moons, Sinead had considered what would happen if she died. Einheit would be abandoned, left to rogues and pathetic dominors who wished to claim it. It would not do. She had spent months here, making this her home, making it perfect, and she wished to have someone to leave it to. Pups, her mind whispered to her. She wanted pups, and a face swam in her mind each time she considered it: Eneko, handsome and strong, who would certainly oblige her if she asked. She would have healthy, sturdy heirs, and Einheit would thrive with it. And that was where the problem entered. If she denied Nirco, if she kept Chalandra, he would not forgive, nor would he forget. She could see it on his face, in the murderous gleam of his eyes. He would haunt her, and if he discovered she was pregnant, what then? She would be more vulnerable, and if she did manage to have her litter with no complications, they would be in danger until they were large enough to fend for themselves. Even if she set Fane to guard them, accidents happened. How did she know that Nirco would not attempt to steal or slaughter them? Or Chalandra, for that matter? She didn’t, and Sinead would risk there being no danger posed to her potential children. She would make a bargain, then.
Slowly she turned to glance over her shoulder at the pup, whose name she did not even know. She almost asked as she approached him, dipping her head low to sniff at him, but didn’t dare. He smelled odd, like a mixture of Chalandra and someone else, like new life, and she fought to keep the smile from her face. Soon she would have a wriggling ball of fur just like him to call her own. Her mind made up, she stepped away from the pup, turning back to face Nirco.
”Take them and go,” she said coldly, putting as much steel as she possibly could into her tone. She did not even look at Chalandra, did not bother to acknowledge her presence at all. Instead she continued to speak directly to the Groavche alpha. ”If you do not return, you may live peacefully. I will not bother you again, and you may play the part of precious father to her unplanned whelp. It matters not to me. But if she ever steps foot in Einheit again, I will kill her on sight, and you can be sure that her son will receive the same treatment should I ever catch his scent here again.”
She lifted her head with all the poise of a queen as she strolled past them, arrogance and disdain left in her wake. It was only once she was at the opening of the cave that she paused, turning to glance over her shoulder, her eyes finally meeting Chalandra’s.
”Who was the father, if not this gallant knight?” She asked scornfully. There was something in her gut that told her that this information might be very useful. ”If, that is, you even recall.”
NOTE: after Chalandra answers, we'll just say Sinead left ^.^ | WORDS: 1071 | TAG: »ImageὈδύσσεια♐
"She is honest. We were separated after a vicious storm many months ago. I would like her back, if you would not mind. I fear she has nothing to offer someone of... your anatomy. She cannot be worth her weight in food or space to you."
Chalandra's mind raced as Nirco spoke, trying to contain her nerves as they frayed further. Either she'd be granted leave or Sinead would sniff out their lies and try to kill them both just for attempting such a maneuver. Keeping her demeanor even, she lowered her eyes to the ground, away from Sinead's inspecting gaze.
"I ventured here to make an introduction, which has surely gone wrong. But give me the sklavin and her son and I will bother you no longer. She will bother you no longer. They are my burdens to bear."
Burdens. Chalandra flinched at the word, physically recoiling as Nirco made move to cover her with his own body. He hadn't meant it like that, but as she blinked up at the male she couldn't help but wonder how much of a positive force she'd been in his life so far. She'd flirted dangerously and unrelentingly with him, forced him to acknowledge her presence. For all of her curves and devilish promises she'd gotten nothing in return. Just a fierce argument and a blunt force trauma to the head and heart as she left that night, plunging into the thunder and darkness. She remembered the night through flashes in dreams, through Nirco's harsh tones in nightmares.
Silence had enveloped the four of them, and Chalandra glanced up anxiously. By the looks of those sea-green eyes, Sinead was genuinely considering Nirco's proposal. And then, the alpha moved slowly and purposefully towards Bjorn. His grey body squirmed under her careful watch and Chalandra whined softly, kneading the ground as she fought the internal desire to protect her son. He was so fragile, so small; Sinead's glimmering teeth would be more than enough to shake or tear the life out of him. Did she know that now was her chance? In a year he'd be big enough to learn to fight, to learn to hunt. In a year he'd be a strong young male with emotions and feelings--the ability to take action on those things would be his. At the current moment he was a small bundle of whines and closed eyes, valuable and modifiable. Chalandra half expected Sinead to ask to keep Bjorn in return for her freedom, but at the last moment the tan she-wolf turned to face Nirco, her interest in Bjorn fading.
”Take them and go. If you do not return, you may live peacefully. I will not bother you again, and you may play the part of precious father to her unplanned whelp. It matters not to me. But if she ever steps foot in Einheit again, I will kill her on sight, and you can be sure that her son will receive the same treatment should I ever catch his scent here again.”
Sinead's voice was stiff yet decisive and Chalandra's heart dropped at the words. She was free. Just like that. A wave of a paw, an easy dismissal. In a heartbeat she'd gone from sklavin to freior. Well, technically, she was Nirco's 'plaything' again. Half-tempted to cast a glance at Nirco to judge his reaction, Chalandra instead moved to pick up Bjorn. She carefully used her teeth to grab the nape of his neck and turned back to face Nirco, her eyes tired but her ribs lifted, as if something had repaired itself with Sinead's words. Bjorn swung from side to side as Chalandra moved across the den and she walked slightly awkwardly.
”Who was the father, if not this gallant knight? If, that is, you even recall.”
Sinead's haughty tone cut the distance and Chalandra blinked softly before putting Bjorn carefully down. She didn't answer right away, instead trying to fight off the need to look at Nirco, to apologize for her actions. She'd gone hunting for another male because Nirco had denied her and she was utterly, utterly lonely. And to top it all off, she hadn't even gotten the male's name..
"He never gave me his name and I never gave him mine. He was a white wolf."
The last bit was vague for reasons Chalandra kept to herself. She wasn't exactly sure how her 'dominor' felt, but she didn't exactly want to find out right now, in front of Sinead when they were so close to freedom. She wanted to forget the white male, forget those blue eyes that had seemed so like Nirco's. She wanted to forget the way her heart sunk when the other male had lain over her, the way his black fur and rejection had invaded her thoughts just when she'd gotten what she wanted. She wanted to forget.