Changes have become too severe in Anikira, and the wolves have been temporarily relocated to the Anikiran Southern Isles. Things have grown dire and unlivable on the mainland; it was time for outside intervention. Please be sure to review the full update on the staff board for more information!
The current season is fall in the Southern Isles. Due to their proximity to the equator, the region is still warm. There is currently no breeding and no birthing amongst the wolves
A slender frame cut sharply across the expanse of rock-littered earth, tail carried low behind her figure, large ears swiveling nervously atop her head. There was a distinct smell to the air that suggested an approaching downpour, and Calantha knew well enough that the weather during the summer was temperamental at best. Her legs moved swiftly, paws thumping lightly against the ground as she streaked towards the welcome sight of the caverns on the horizon, each step bringing her closer and closer to her haven. She’d been in the middle of hunting when she’d first scented it, and it had distracted her, allowing her prey to escape. Later, she thought as she moved, lips twisting wryly. I’d rather be dry and hungry than wet and fat. Truthfully she was not that hungry, having eaten earlier that morning, and yet she was sure that by the time the storm finished, she would be ready to hunt.
Thunder roared threateningly in the distance.
Fury, pure fury – that’s what this storm was made of, created from the rage of the Gods themselves it seemed. It had come on so suddenly; one minute the sky had been full of fat gray clouds that didn’t look too ominous, and then the wind had started, the sky darkening and unleashing a torrent of warm, furious rain that moved too fast to escape. Calantha had very nearly made it inside of the warm, welcoming caverns before the flood cascaded down upon her, plastering her fur to her lithe frame as she slipped into the dark cave, lightning illuminating the earth behind her. With a soft growl she sat just inside of the opening, yellow orbs occasionally flicking towards the lightning-streaked sky as she began to groom herself. Her thick tail trailed behind her, still and quickly fluffing again despite the slickness of the rest of her. When she’d licked as much of the excess water from her fur as she could, the coyote straightened, blinking slowly as the sound of thunder crashed above. Swiftly she sent a prayer to Izsyn, God of Thunder and Storms, thanking him for watering the earth and asking for a swift, safe tempest. Calantha knew without needing to be told that the wolves here on this land did not worship the same gods that her own tribe had, and yet still she kept faith, content with the possibility that her gods were not the only ones.
Slowly the time passed, and Calantha did not move, content to sit with her frame partially leaned against the rough cave wall, watching as the storm raged on.
TAG: Rikez WORDS: 432 NOTES: Sucky opening post, it'll get better D;
Rikez was tearing into the warm, soft flesh of a quoll when the first rumble of thunder swept over the treetops. His jaws crunched easily through the flesh and bone of the small marsupial, bloodying the white-spotted pelt of the prey until it was unrecognizable. Ears back and eyes blazing with bloodlust, he looked more like a demon than a wolf. He had dragged the small creature from the safety of its den, his head barely small enough to fit into the hollowed out log where his meal had been hiding.
His wrinkled muzzle dripped with the gore as he finished his meal and noticed the tapping of water against his skull. Turning both of his amber eyes to the sky, he watched as the first drops of the storm fall towards him, batting his nose and forehead. Huginn let out a cry from behind him, and the large raven landed by his side. She didn’t hesitate before plunging her beak into the remains of the black brute’s kill, taking her share of the kill before they moved on. He watched her and waited, swiping his tongue along his canines and gums. By the time Huginn looked up at him, finished, his muzzle was clean of the evidence of his meal.
Now, to find some shelter while the storm passes.
Huginn took to the sky with two powerful strokes of her wings and Rikez followed below, ebony paws falling heavily onto the forest floor. There was nowhere here in the Xayar forest to shelter from a storm, and the mountains and caves of his pack ‘s territory were a day’s journey away at best. He would have to improvise if he were to escape the fury of the storm. So improvise he did, passing swiftly over the Airila scent border and into unclaimed territory.
The trees thinned as the rain became a gale. Within moments, he was soaked to the bone, his thick ebony pelt heavy with the tears of the gods. He snorted in amusement at this notion. As far as he’s concerned, there are no gods. He had no qualms with any wolf who clung to the idea of faith. No, he simply had no need for it. He lived on this earth, his head carefully grounded to the matters he could see and feel in front of him. And right now, that was proving to be rather difficult. The sky had darkened significantly, the thick blanket of cloud above turning a dense slate grey. Any sun that had previously been able to shine through the rain was closed off completely. For all he knew, it could be the dead of night instead of the afternoon. He had even lost sight of Huginn, the dark raven’s wings acting as camouflage against the backdrop of the storm.
Just an ant compared to the vast sky above, Rikez pushed on until he found himself surrounded by a landscape of rolling hills. Usually a vibrant green when under the light of the day, these hills were home to the Niall Caverns. Hidden to the untrained eyes, even the smallest of these hillside caves would make for a decent shelter for the black brute. He spotted one almost immediately, and ducked his head into the opening without hesitation.
He had found himself a good-sized cavern. He could tell even as his eyes had yet to adjust to the sudden space. His audits brushed the hard, packed roof above his head, but he was able to move freely without brushing against any of the cavern’s walls. He stood there for a moment, dripping and letting himself catch his breath, when he suddenly realized he was not alone. A slender shape rested against the side of the small cave, ears and tail outlined as a flash of lightning illuminated the space. Immediately, Rikez flicked his ears back and let the beginnings of a growl ripple along the length of his throat. The small wolf was a female, but her scent was unlike any he had ever come across. It was not the scent of any pack in the area, but with a twinge that also pointed away from that of a rogue. As he raised his head to tower above the stranger, he cursed himself for stumbling upon this strange wolf. The last thing he wanted right now was company.
For a moment, he debated turning around right there and plunging back into the storm, but he was damp and cold and between the two of them, their body heat was already making this small space warmer than he would be outside. With a whoosh of wind, Huginn came into the cave behind him. She landed with a shake of her wings, flicking water off her feathers before coming around the black brute to peer at the newcomer.
Count | 812 Tagged |Calantha Muse | Good Notes | Sorry if this is all over the place.
Despite the rolling thunder and flashing skies, Calantha found that watching the storm pass from within the safety of the cavern was almost relaxing. The rain poured sideways in great sheets, the pattering sound of it upon the rock around her soothing her previously frayed nerves. It had been a mad flight across the plains to reach the shelter, her legs aching now from their frantic movements. The silence that surrounded her did not bother her, for she was used to the solemn weight of it, and with each moment that passed her pelt dried further, no longer clinging to her small frame like a second skin. Perhaps she would spend the night here, after hunting; there was something comforting about the nearness of the stone walls.
It seemed as if the serenity was not bound to last, however. She saw him just a moment before he came careening into the cave, a flash of ebony fur her only warning before he stood soaked and panting before her, and then suddenly he was turning towards her, amber eyes flashing with alarm and something that looked very much like…distaste. Her stomach clenched hard with sudden apprehension; she had seen it before in the eyes of wolves who looked upon her and did not understand what she was, and usually it led to disgust and, inevitably, violence. So many times she’d fled with all the swiftness that her legs granted her, and she could only pray now that she would not have to in this moment. The storm outside was vicious, but the brute had not yet spoken, and his sharp gaze was not a good omen.
They were joined by another suddenly, the appearance of the raven startling as the feathered creature perched beside the stranger, clearly comfortable with his company. Two sets of foreign eyes set upon her now, and it took everything within Calantha for her not to turn and flee while she had the upper hand. He was larger than her, of course, his slick charcoal pelt clinging damply to his muscled frame, both in size and weight. She would be quicker than him, but it was likely that his stamina would surpass hers. Shuffling closer to the wall, she curled her tail tightly around her, fighting against the tenseness of her muscles as she sat prim and proper, wide saffron orbs fixed firmly upon the brute once more.
”Hello,” she ventured cautiously, her voice echoing quietly around them. Somehow the coyote femme managed to remain composed despite the bounding of her heart behind her delicate rib cage, her large ears perked expectantly atop her skull. He smelled faintly of an area that she was certain she’d passed before, but the rain had washed much of it away, making it difficult to smell anything other than damp fur and the masculine, earthy scent of him. There was a possibility he belonged to a pack, and if so, she did not wish to offend him – for she did so at the risk of offending an entire group of wolves. She was quick, and smart, but she was only one coyote.
”You may stay, if you’d like,” she offered, gesturing to the space around her with her slender muzzle. It was an offer placed for the sake of seeing his reply; perhaps he would leave, or chase her out. Or maybe he would stay and offer companionship. The last wolf she’d encountered, Auron, had been a kind soul who’d restored some of the wariness robbed from her by wolves. Only time would tell if this dark stranger who’d so suddenly made his presence known would be the same.
With a start, the black brute realized that the femme in front of him was not a wolf at all. Huginn seemed to be thinking the same thing, her head practically sideways as she scrutinized the other occupant of the cave with one beady black eye. For a moment, Rikez could feel a torrent of emotions in him—the same ones he faced every time he came across another rogue or pack wolf. They swirled inside his gut like the storm outside, raging against his judgment. This femme was sheltering from the storm just like he was. There is no reason to be aggressive or violent, he told himself sternly, forcing his hackles to lower. The cave is big enough for the two of us. Huginn let out a small cry of annoyance, turning on the black brute. Sorry, he thought. The three of us.
Then, she spoke.
The single word that left her lips trembled with a slight hint of uncertainly, and it stopped the brute’s thoughts right in their tracks. The pitch of her voice was higher than any wolves he had previously encountered, and it was airy, as if each sound she uttered had space around it to allow her sentence to breathe. He felt his face grow slack as his audits twitched. For some unexplainable reason, he suddenly longed for her to speak again.
As she offered him stay in the cave with her, he couldn’t help but feel surprised. He had barged in, doing nothing to make her want him to stay. He hadn’t even introduced himself, yet her kindness seemed more genuine than anything the black brute could muster.
His mind—usually burning with a thousand different thoughts—was suddenly next to silent as he peered at the strange canine in front of him. The storm outside even seemed to dim in comparison to what was happening inside the cave. The only thing that reminded the dark brute of the tempest raging outside was the occasional flash of lightning. One such bolt illuminated the stone cave for a moment, lighting the pelts of the two canines. In that brief moment, Rikez was able to see her better, see the way her tail was tucked close to her paws and her yellow eyes flashed in the darkness, wide and alert. Seeing her frightened brought out a softness in the black brute that he did not even think he possessed. It definitely was not a courtesy he usually brought to strangers, but this newcomer was… different.
”My name,” he said suddenly, his voice too loud and too harsh in the confines of the cave walls surrounding them, ”is Rikez. I am a warrior of Airila. The territory is not far from here, but there is no cover on the eastern portion of our land.” He hoped this would explain why he was here.
What sort of creature is this? With the scent of earth and rain all around them, it was impossible to determine her scent, not completely. There was only a hint of her in the cave, like a promise of spring. She smelt of leaves as they fall before winter and sunshine on grass. The mix of the two was barely legible, but there all the same. It sent his head spinning. She was practically exotic. He wanted to ask her what she was, but that struck him as inappropriate. Instead, he settled for asking her a different question. ”Where are you from?” he inquired, resting his rump on the cave floor behind her, not wanting to frighten her by coming closer, but also wanting to relieve his aching feet of some of his body weight. Huginn’s talons clicked across the stone floor as she came over to rest by his side. She walked awkwardly on the ground, and as she began to preen her rain-sodden feathers, she puffed out her chest proudly as if to make up for her clumsy walk.
For a brief moment, silence met Calantha’s offer, broken suddenly by the sharp caw of the raven who’d flown in after the wolf. Calantha startled just slightly, her ears twitching atop her cranium as she stared curiously at the bird, who seemed just as intrigued by her as she was by it. She’d seen ravens before, of course – there were scores of them upon her homeland, especially around the mountains that Calantha had called home. She could remember waking up in the morning to their cackling caws as they squabbled over food, but never had she seen one so close to another creature before, especially a wolf. It was a peculiar occurrence, and Calantha might have allowed herself more time to dwell on the meaning or the possibility of the Gods sending the bird as a companion to the wolf when suddenly his voice rang out, and her yellow eyes flicked back to his form. He’d offered her a name, a position, and a pack all in his first sentence, providing her with an explanation for his presence there in the caverns. It seemed as if his previous reservations had disappeared, the glint of distaste she’d seen gone from his sharp, handsome features.
”Rikez,” she repeated, savoring the foreign word upon her tongue as she said it, her lilting voice making the syllables softer than when the deep baritone of the male had said it. Her lips curled into a slight smile, glad to see that for the moment it seemed as if Rikez had no intention of chasing her from the warmth of the cave. He sat back on his haunches less neatly that she had, but in a manner that was comfortable, the raven’s talons clicking noisily upon the stood floor as it tottered closer to Rikez. ”It’s nice to meet you. I’m Calantha. A loner.” The scent upon him was explained now, belonging to the territory that was Airila. She’d passed it a few times in her travels across the north, although she knew little of it, much like with the other surrounding packs.
”Where are you from?”
She did not miss the curiosity in his gaze, nor the way his gaze flitted across her more notable features when lightning illuminated the space around them. She appreciated, in a way, that he had not come right out and demand to know what species she called herself. Most days Calantha didn’t mind when one did not mince words, but she was weary after her brief spike of fear and concern, and his question gave her a moment to gather her thoughts as she spoke. ”I’m from an island perhaps half a day’s swim from these shores,” she informed him. ”It was a large island, but it was nothing compared to this.” A sweep of her muzzle towards the outside punctuated her point; Anikira was perhaps twice as large as her homeland had been, if not three times. There was so many things that she hadn’t seen until she’d explored Anikira; her home had been beautiful with the sprawling mountains, the volcano, the crags that offered a lovely look at most of the island from their points…but this place was so much more.
”There was a generous amount of coyotes there, but so few here. I’ve yet to meet another,” she continued, informing him of her species in the most offhanded way that she could manage. ”Many wolves, though, and I suppose we’re not too different.” This was said with a gentle laugh as lightning flashed once more, giving her a clear but brief glimpse of blazing amber eyes, inky dark fur, and the dramatic edges of his face. He was truly a splendid brute to look at, the contrast of his eyes against his pelt offering rich disparity, his pitch-black hue matching that of his feathered companion perfectly. ”Were you born upon this isle?”
A thought tugged at his brain as he settled onto the cave floor, the dampness of the storm beginning to drip out of his fur, gradually allowing his pelt to return to its natural thickness. He shivered, but it wasn’t from the dampness or the cold. I wish it were day so I could see her better. Even as he allowed the sentence to rise to the foreground of his mind, he could feel his cheeks burn with an feeling that he couldn’t identify. The act of blushing was so completely foreign to him that he was struck with embarrassment even at the idea of it. A grown brute like him, blushing? If the femme before him were able to see the flush of the pink skin beneath his fur, he would have simply had to leave right then and there.
But then, she spoke his name. Rikez. The name given to him by his father uttered past her lips like honey, softer and more delicate than he had ever heard it before. It was never a name he particularly liked, and the brute who bestowed him with such was a wolf he had sworn to hate forever. His ears flicked to attention at the sound of her voice, and he struggled to contain the emotions that were coursing freely through his veins. Part confusion, part happiness, the concoction clouded his mind like a drug. Never before had he needed to ward off such strange feelings. Is this what enjoying another’s company feels like? he thought, nearly panicked. As she introduced himself, the black brute remained calm, his inner conflict invisible to the naked eye. No, his storms always raged inside, hidden away.
Calantha. Her name was as smooth as water, and he did not dare utter it, for fear of tainting the strong combination of syllables. The name suited her, and as she spoke of her previous home, Rikez watched her smile with a small sense of wonder. She was a coyote, a creature the black brute had little to no experience with. He wasn’t even sure if there were any like her on Anikira. ”I suppose we’re not too different.”
He laughed softly at her comment, the light tone of his happiness startling to the usually silent brute. He couldn’t even remember the last time he had been prompted to laugh, even a small chuckle like the one he had just uttered. The femme across the cave from him was just so vastly different from himself that he couldn’t help but laugh at the notion that they were the same. It had nothing to do with the fact that he was a wolf and she was a coyote. No, their differences were at the very core of their beings. He was a tormented soul, broken by a cruel father and barely put back together again. His freedom had been the only thing to salvage his pieces, and still—he wasn’t whole.
But she—she was something wonderful and whole. He didn’t know her, not yet. But he could feel her goodness coming off her in subtle waves. She was a cleansing as rich as spring, and suddenly, he felt the overwhelming desire to experience more of her. Frightened by the onslaught of these thoughts, he held himself back from saying anything strange.
”Were you born upon this isle?” Even their vocabulary was different. As she spoke, Rikez felt a strong pull on his heart—a reminder of what he himself left behind. Somewhere across the sea, his family still lived together in a dense forest of oaks and evergreen. His siblings, though not defenseless, were still living with their cruel and unfeeling father. The guilt of allowing himself to be driven from their territory by their own father still pained him, and yet it wasn’t as painful as the memory of scarring his sister’s face. The injury had happened as their father spurred them to battle one another; it was a practice he forced upon them as a part of their training. Training for what, he did not know. Their father simply wanted his brood to be the strongest fighters, the best hunters, the swiftest and most dangerous predators. And Rikez had left his two siblings behind to face that nightmare without him. Most nights, he wasn’t sure if he could ever forgive himself.
”I was born in a distant forest,” he said carefully. ”I can never return.” It pained him to give her such a brief answer, but his past was something he had never spoke aloud before, not even to himself. To distract himself from the memories, he stood, disrupting Huginn. He ignored her, even as she clacked her beak together in annoyance, and padded over to the slim femme. Calantha. He pondered her name again, rolling it around in his mind like a smooth stone until he came to stand before her. Her ears were a stunning feature atop her head, he suddenly noticed. Large and alert atop her skull, he wondered how soft they would feel to the touch. Yet he resisted the urge to lean forward and touch them with his face.
”Why did you come to Anikira?” he asked instead. ”Did you hope to start a pack of your own? Or were you looking for freedom?” To Rikez, those were the two most obvious reasons for anyone to leave their past. Whatever this slender coyote had longed for, it had brought her here to these lands. To him.
Count | 928 Tagged |Calantha Muse | Excellent Notes | He thinks too much haha
His laughter, deep and unexpected but welcome all the same, had Calantha tilting her head just a fraction, ears twitching atop her head as if straining to hear it again. Already the encounter had taken a swift turn; she’d expected hostility, and instead found herself wishing to make Rikez laugh again. You are a fool, she told herself in the brief span of their silence. You trust too easily. It was a problem of Calantha’s, one that she had chided herself for thousands of times and yet never learned from. Moments ago she’d been terrified by him, by the prospect of what he might do, and now she was curious about him, about the flashes of something similar to awe she saw in his amber orbs when lightning surrounded them. She’d seen wolves confused by her, and wolves puzzled but welcoming, and yet never had she seen one amazed by her. Her heart, previously racing but now calmed, gave a gentle flutter behind her ribcage.
”I was born in a distant forest. I can never return.”
His words were measured and unwavering, and yet his confession rang in her skull over and over. Loneliness and sympathy surged through her because she knew, she understood. Never again would she be able to set foot upon her homeland; never would she see the distant crags of Lok’Mahr, the inactive volcano which had served as her residence. She did not need to speak, not at all, because there were no words or questions that would alleviate the ache associated with never being able to return to a place laden with so much meaning…but oh, she knew.
He lifted himself suddenly and advanced towards her, startling Calantha from her the recesses of her mind. Her thoughts surged briefly in panic, but a moment later she dispelled her worries. There was nothing menacing in his gait; she could faintly make out the lines and contours of his body as he moved, at ease as he came to a halt before her. She could see now how he towered over her by a good-many inches, his physique much heavier and sturdier than her own dainty figure passed down by her lineage. Vivid saffron eyes gazed up at him as his voice reached her once more, closer and richer now. Briefly she considered lying, or avoiding the nature of his inquiries, but immediately she discarded the thought. She would not pry in his past – she understood not wishing to share – but her own was one that she did not mind telling, because no matter how recently she'd met him, she wanted him to know that she understood. She’d been a different coyote then, when she’d been chased from her homeland and forced to swim until her lungs cried for mercy and her legs ached, but she had not forgotten.
”I came for freedom,” she told him, her voice softer now that he’d drawn near, her eyes glued firmly upon the planes of his face. ”My previous tribe – my pack, I suppose you would call it – was going to kill me. They would not stop as long as they could reach me…and so I swam to somewhere where they could not.” The last portion was said with a burst of hot triumph, her soft voice lit with brief passion and pride for what she had done. It had stung in the beginning months when she had been injured and weak of heart, but no longer.
A moment passed, a heartbeat, and then Calantha was relaxing once more, settling into her gentler state. She was a fierce thing for one so small, and she found that often times it came as a surprise to others. ”I’m guessing you found whatever it was you were searching for,” she murmured, her voice breathy, filling the space between them. ”Airila. What is it like?” She recalled that he said he was a warrior, and a brief pang of frustration surged through her. She could not truly appreciate him in the darkness; her gaze flashed swiftly towards the cloudy skies outside of the cavern, as if she could will them away with the intensity of her withering stare. A moment later her attention was back on him, waiting for the sound of his voice again as if she were a starved creature and his sonorous tone a feast.
TAG: Rikez WORDS: 725 NOTES: Poor Huginn, all forgotten and angry xD
There was no going back now. He stood before her nervously, his head bowed slightly so he can see her face. Sitting, her head rested at a level just below the dark brute’s chin. He had to fight a sudden instinct that tugged at his muscles as he pictured how she would fit against him if he only leaned forward a bit, taking her in an embrace. The image flashed to the foreground of his mind, and he held back from touching her. He feared what would happen if he allowed himself to seem so vulnerable so soon. He did not dare taint such a beautiful flower.
She was watching him, her eyes yellow in the darkness. How he wished he could see those eyes in the light of day, where they would show their true colors. He wondered how her fur would glow under the light of the sun. If each individual strand of fur would illuminate at the tip.
”I came for freedom,” she told him boldly, and told him of why she left. Rikez’s ears perked at the pride and strength of her voice. This delicate femme was anything but. She was an exile. Like me, he thought in wonder. She had been chased away by those who had once cared for her. Rikez knew what it was like to be chased to the ends of the earth. He had done it himself. But unlike him, she had taken her experience and turned it into strength. Resilience. While he had only turned in on his own mind, becoming pitiful and angry at himself.
”I’m guessing you found whatever it was you were searching for.”
The black brute all but shivered in response to her voice, airy and light in the small space between them. Again, he had to stop himself from closing the space between their muzzles. When was the last time he had touched another with affection? As he gazed as her and her words soaked in, he nodded. ”I believe I have, he said, his words laden with deeper meaning. I’m looking at it right now.
”I haven’t seen much of Airila yet,” he confessed, addressing the second part of her question with his usual deep baritone voice. ”Arche is temporary alpha of my pack, and he has become a friend of mine. I was lucky for him to welcome me into his ranks.”
For some reason that Calantha could not explain, his words caused her stomach to tighten, her heart fluttering suddenly in her chest. It was a confusing burst of feeling, as if her whole body had been set aflame by the intensity of his gaze, which burned through the darkness. She almost could not meet his stare, even in the dimness of the cavern; she glanced away swiftly before looking back just as quickly, one tiny paw lifting off of the ground without her realizing it, tucked close to her narrow chest. The scent of him was overwhelming now that he’d drawn nearer, surrounding her where she sat. She was dimly aware of the raven still perched behind Rikez’s frame, and yet a moment later her attention was focused fully on the male as he answered her question, speaking of Airila. How nice it must have been, she thought, to have not only a stable home, but a friend within it as well.
Outside the rain had lightened, although Calantha hadn’t noticed it before; it had not let up yet, but the clouds seemed less ominous, the sky a shade of gray as opposed to black, the ebony clouds rolling slowly onwards, carrying their ferocious torrent to other parts of the continent. Lightning still streaked across the sky, and the thunder snarled in the distance, but the cavern was a fraction brighter now, and she could make out more of Rikez. Not enough, she thought, but better. It seemed almost as if they were unconsciously edging closer to each other while they spoke, a realization that startled Calantha. Everything within the delicate coyote told her that she should be wary, and yet each glance he aimed at her, every soft breath that washed across her pelt, caused her skin to tingle beneath her fur. There was a charged feeling in the air between them that was impossible to miss.
She’d been silent for too long now, her gaze lingering upon his features. ”I’m sorry,” she said with a breathy laugh that sounded far too shaky to her own ears, her own brain cursing her for her foolishness. She was strong, she was fierce, and here she was behaving like a femme who’d never been in the presence of a male before. ”I’m not usually this…” Her voice trailed off, the words dying on her tongue before she could form them. Never had she been so flustered by another creature before, but all it took was one look into Rikez’s smoldering amber orbs for all of her carefully constructed words to shrivel and perish. Without bothering to finish her sentence, Calantha reached out before she could think better of her actions, her neck stretching as her slender muzzle brushed gently against the thick, dark fur of his scruff. His pelt was so much thicker than her own, the color so striking, that for a moment she allowed herself to linger, reveling in the coarseness of it against the short fur of her snout.
She realized abruptly how inappropriate her actions were, sitting back so quickly that her rump clipped the wall behind her, the sharp ache grounding her. Her ears flicked back against her skull in a telltale sign of embarrassment; she’d allowed herself to be driven primarily by her actions. He was not hers to touch, and she would not have been surprised if he bit her for it.
”I’m sorry,” she said lamely for the second time, trying hard to ignore the way her muzzle still burned where she’d touched him.
As he spoke, his ears strained forward from atop his head, following every one of her subtle movements. He wouldn’t have even been able to help it if he tried. His audits moved of their own accord, taking in the soft sound of her body against the hard floor of the small space, her breaths as the space between each of them quickened. If he listened hard enough, he swore he could hear her heart beating against her chest, fluttering like a caged bird. Huginn was being uncharacteristically patient behind him, quiet besides the occasional fluttering of her wings. She seemed to sense the black brute’s need to be (somewhat) alone with the slender coyote before him.
Although he was sitting still, his head bent for fear of brushing the ceiling, spine curved towards the delicate femme, he felt inexplicably alive. Charged with energy as if he were running through the forest. He never felt this way sitting idle. His heart never pumped with such conviction as it was now. And it was all because this beautiful creature was inching closer to him. Oh yes, though each movement was a mere fraction of an inch, Rikez saw each one as if she were bounding miles that stretched between them. The warnings sounded in his mind for only a moment before he pushed that back into the recesses of his brain. His overactive thoughts were not going to stop him from doing something he had never allowed himself to do before.
Before he could bend down to meet her as he wished, Calantha moved first, her slender neck stretching to allow her muzzle to make contact with his fur. Shocked, the black brute froze. Her scent couldn’t have been closer, it’s perfume amplified by the fact she had recently been wet from the storm. It was all flowers and fresh breezes and moorland, mixed in a feminine concoction that consumed his senses. She was just below his chin, and at the same time she was all around him, erasing the cave and the storm.
In that one moment, all that existed was her.
Then suddenly, she was gone. Surprised to find that he had closed his eyes, Rikez opened his amber orbs to see her shrunk against the wall, clearly leaning away from him. A pang went through his heart to see her beautiful auds flat against her skull. A brute that had once strived to chase females from him in fear now leaned towards the smaller canine, his eyes trained on her frame.
What did I do? he thought frantically. Did I speak aloud? Did I frighten her?
”I’m sorry” If they had not been in such close quarters, Rikez may have missed her voice entirely as she whispered the simple sentence. Her eyes were wide and scared, a sight that practically tore at his heart. He was at a loss as to what to do. Should he return the soft gesture, or should he leave her to inhabit the cave without him?
Even as he thought through his options, he knew leaving the cave was not one of them.
With a sudden click of talons against stone, Huginn hopped forward, making herself known. She pushed her way between them and peered straight into the coyote’s face without fear. Then, very slowly, the dark bird nuzzled the soft light fur of Calantha’s chest, her beak prodding the strands of fur in a clear display of preening. Seeing his companion do what he couldn’t bring himself to, the black brute could feel his heart swell with gratitude. It gave him just enough courage to speak aloud.
”Don’t be sorry,” he said. ”Please, you don’t ever have to be sorry. Not with me.”
Too much of the brute’s life had him feeling sorry. For himself. For the siblings he no longer had. For the wolves he had chased away on his travels on Anikira. He didn’t want this beautiful, strong, completely exquisite femme feeling sorry.
Whatever Calantha was expecting after her uncharacteristic behavior, it was certainly not for the bird to strut forward, the feel of her beak in her fur both startling and somehow relaxing. The small creature was grooming her it seemed, and Calantha’s muscles seemed to uncoil, her heartbeat slowing until she could breathe properly again. She’d been so sure that he would laugh at her for her action, or snarl perhaps, but Rikez had done neither. There had been something in his gaze when she’d pulled away, a brief flicker of contentment, and she could not forget the look of it now. When he spoke his voice was almost gentle, her heart straining against her ribcage once more at the sound of it.
”Don’t be sorry. Please, you don’t ever have to be sorry. Not with me.”
Unable to help herself, she smiled. It was slow and shy at first, but gradually the feeling within her grew, and so did her smile. She felt very much a fool, but at the same time she could not bring herself to care. The feel of the bird’s beak drew her gaze once more, and she watched the feathered creature for a long moment before glancing back to Rikez, her voice soft but curious when it came. ”Does she have a name? I should have asked sooner, how rude of me.” The last bit was offered with an apologetic grin aimed in the raven’s direction. It still amazed her that a wolf could walk with a raven as his companion, but it was just another thing about Rikez that was intriguing.
The clouds were moving swiftly now outside; she could hear the thunder still and yet it was distant, the lightening following in the wake of the storm. The rain had lightened to a manageable drizzle, and with a pang she realized that soon he would have no reason to remain here with her. He would be able to return to his pack, his life, and she would wander with him lingering in her mind for many moons to come. Gently she extracted herself from her position by the wall, careful not to jostle the bird as she moved. She passed so closely to Rikez that her side brushed his, her breath hitching at the feeling. Now that she was standing she could truly see the difference in height between them; he made her feel so small, so dainty, and she wished to tuck herself against his side and revel in the feeling of his warm protection. It was difficult to resist the urge, but her small paws carried her to the edge of the cavern, the light from outside framing her form as she stared up at the clearing sky.
”The storm is moving so quickly,” she said quietly, turning to stare at him, her tail hanging limply between her haunches as a soft sigh slipped from between her teeth. ”I suppose that means you’ll have to return to Airila soon.” She couldn’t help the tinge of disappointment that hung on her words; she’d previously been eager for the storm to pass so that she could hunt, but now she wished for it to return, to come roaring back to the plains so that she might remain here with him for some time.
She smiled, and it seemed as if the entire cave brightened with the simple gesture. It was so beautiful and dazzling, that he had to avert his eyes for fear of blushing. The black brute watched as the raven nuzzled the short canine’s chest before hopping backwards. Huginn always seemed to have the ability to surprise him. After all, they had only spent the last week together. They were barely acquainted, and yet… they were inseparable. They had walked the borders of Airila territory together, hunting and feasting as one. Her acceptance of the tiny femme only assured Rikez that his sudden feelings for Calantha were not something to be afraid of. If she approved, he could not deny the way he felt.
”Huginn,” he said, answering the coyote’s question. As her name left his maw, he allowed his lips to turn upwards in a smile: a rare and uncomfortable gesture for the usually serious brute. The large bird blinked at her wolf companion as if pleased he finally decided to acknowledge her presence in the cave with them. With a flutter of her wings, she brushed past him and hopped to the opening of the cave. In moments she was gone, just a speck against the slate grey sky.
For the first time since entering the cave, the black brute realized that the rain had ceased. In the distance, he could still see flashes of lightning streaking across the moor, but the storm had moved away from them enough that the thunder was a mere tremor beneath his paws, not an earthquake. He could barely see the drizzle of the rain, and yet, the black brute stayed where he was, wrapped in the warmth that surrounded them in such close quarters.
Before he could speak again, Calantha had risen from her position on the hard floor, her slim form padding past him so closely that they touched. As her pelt stroked the length of his side, his fur burned as if it were on fire. The tension was so unexpected and sudden, his heart nearly skipped a beat in its constant cycle. She is so small, he thought in wonder, his deep-set amber gaze following her hips as she came to stop and peer out the opening of the small cave. Her ears stood erect atop her head, their edge illuminated in a soft glow from the light outside. Each tip of her fur seemed to hold its own tiny glow as she stood silhouetted by light. As he followed the slope of her neck and curves of her back with his eyes, he breath caught somewhere between his lungs and windpipe.
”The storm is moving so quickly. I suppose that means you’ll have to return to Airila soon.”
She spoke quietly, sadness enveloping her voice like a thin veil. Rikez’s audits tilted back as her disappointment washed over him in a gentle wave. His mind began to whir with thoughts, but he fought them all down. For once, he was not going to think and fall into the darkness of his mind. He simply acted, his legs carrying his looming black body towards her instinctively. He touched her shoulder gently with his dark snout, eyes open and watching to see how she would react. When he saw that his actions were welcome, he nuzzled further, his tongue giving her a gentle lick behind one of her perfectly sculpted ears. With his thoughts pushed aside, fear that he was not thinking this through bubbled to the front of his mind, but he fought it back down. It was easy to not be consumed by his thoughts when he was busy being consumed by her fresh scent, her soft fur against his face, her wide yellow eyes. Before he pulled away, he spoke in her ear, his maw warm and close to her twitching audits. ”I must return alone,” he said as gently as he could in his deep baritone voice. ”but I would like to meet again before long.”
What he didn’t say, was that he feared never seeing her again, that he wasn’t sure if it was even possible to leave without the intent to return for her. Would she even want to see him again? Or was his looming darkness and quiet seriousness scare her off?
Count | 726 Tagged |Calantha Muse | Good Notes | You get the last post! I figured we should wrap it up and prepare for the pack meeting thread.
Huginn’s sudden departure from the cave drew Calantha’s gaze as she stood framed in the center of the cavern opening. Her stare followed the raven’s path across the sky until she could no longer see her, her thoughts flicking back to a conversation she’d shared not long ago with another wolf who had shown her kindness, Auron. How freeing it must have felt to soar away above the clouds, to feel the wind beneath ones wings. Finally the distant black dot that was Huginn faded into the gray of the sky, and Calantha turned only to find that Rikez was approaching, her heart pounding as he reached for her, his muzzle touching the short fur of one slender shoulder. Unconsciously she leaned into his touch, beaming as he caressed the space between her wide set ears. He was so much taller than her, her head fitting neatly beneath his own as she craned her neck backwards to bump her snout softly against his.
”I must return alone, but I would like to meet again before long.”
A cocktail of feelings bloomed in her chest without hesitation; further disappointment that he would be leaving, relief that he wished to see her again, and a tinge of embarrassment and confusion at how very swiftly she’d come to crave his presence. How crazy to think that perhaps only an hour ago she’d been frightened by the dark shape that had barreled into the caverns, but he’d proven to be gentle and kind, and he’d unknowingly planted the seeds of the blooming hope and affection within her.
”I’ll return here each night to sleep,” she assured him quietly, wanting to ensure that he knew where to find here. ”And I won’t wander far; only to hunt and drink. If you come back and I’m not here, wait for me.” The rocky plains that wound downwards from where the caverns were would prove difficult for hunting; prey would be able to see her from miles away, but the tree line of the forest was visible in the distance, not far of a journey at all. She would survive here with ease, for the caverns offered shelter and a stream wove through the meadow at the base of the incline. Perhaps she would be able to fish in the stream; then there would be no need for her to venture to the forest. She would wait until he found her once more, and although that time could not come soon enough, she knew she could delay him no longer. There was a chance that the storm would reach for them once more, and when it did Calantha wished to be comforted by the knowledge that Rikez had been granted ample time to make it back to Airila territory.
”Go,” she said, not unkindly; her muzzle twisted into a gentle smile as she nuzzled his side in parting, and long after he’d gone she remained seated at the entrance to the caverns, watching his receding form until her saffron orbs could no longer see the shape of him.
TAG:Rikez WORDS: 511 NOTES: Wooo thread end! I ghosted him a tad bit in the end, hope that's alright <3
POSITION. Coding Mod & Pimp Ass Sugar Daddy CHARACTERS. Eidus Thor Stark
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This untraditional coupling is one of the truly loving matches in Anikira. Although they are members of two different species, Calantha and Rikez have overcome the differences and rose above, finding love in the most pure of ways. And from this pairing, a litter born of two loving parents was conceived. These little boys and girls will have the great honor of being raised by two parents that support each other, while many of the offspring in Anikira have not had such a benefit. The pair are truly fitting of one another; both kind-hearted and generally good individuals.