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[ P ] Almost Love
Loner

rank:

gender: Male

age: 2

posts: 71

post log:

Claerie

Stardust: 260✪
#1


A Deafening Silence



His stomach growled, rattling his ribs and strangling his intestines. It was a tantrum that he had felt before and rarely ignored—particularly when food was within his jaws. Tantalizing was the warm blood that dripped onto his tongue and stained his teeth. From his jaws hung a hare of ample size. Spring and summer foraging had been in the rabbit's favor. Today, however, had not. Too much luck and one became complacent—or so a sage might have said to beautify the prey's demise. Elias, however, did not dabble in such philosophy.

As such, his mind was blank for the skitter of white noise. He followed directives, scenting the air and piecing apart the land from the wolves. One scent in particular guided him, drawing pale paws toward a thickly wooded part of the forest. He had scented it earlier and, in a fit of madness, had gone to hunt—but not for himself. Instead, the northern prince (albeit of a deposed kingdom), approached with a gift and little fanfare.

He dropped it before the golden she-wolf, his gaze impassive and expression stark—as always.

Some time had passed since last he'd dragged the yearling to his mother friend. The healer Nastasya had fussed about not having anything to heal but, after enough cold staring and silent protest, the herbalist had found something to offer. Time had gone on and he had parted ways with Phaedra, albeit only officially. The man had made an unconscious effort to keep tabs on her general whereabouts.

Today was one of the days where he appeared uninvited and—likely—unwanted. Perhaps it was a blessing that he hardly cared.

"We are all young and naive still."

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Loner

rank:

gender: Female

age: 1

posts: 39

Di

Stardust: 210✪
#2

chase the wind
and touch the sky
Phaedra was not expecting company. Her makeshift den in a thick bushel of branches and thorns was unkempt, and she was embarrassed of it anyway because it was so small and hastily thrown together. She did not like to think she lived in a little hovel, even though she did. She'd grown up in beautiful caves, adorned with shells and fluorescent creatures, light by shafts of moonlight. Now was quite a different story. She had stuck to the pine forest because it was there and was available, and it offered her some shelter from the relative openness that she feared. There was the smell of wolves, so she did not feel entirely alone, but there was a distinct lack of their immediate presence, which made her feel safe.

However, a dull thump announced the immediate presence of Elias, and her emerald eyes widened slightly in surprise. He'd snuck up on her, ghost-like, and had deposited the hare neatly before her without so much as a word. Did he know he was standing right near her little hovel? She let out a soft breath -- oh -- as she realized it was not at all tidy. Or grand. Or, really...anything. It just was. She took a slight step sideways, as if to block it from his view. But he probably would have seen it and would know she lived like a little squirrel in a bundle of branches and thorns, trying to put as much foliage between her and the outside world as possible. No, it was too late to be ashamed, but she felt a twinge of it anyway.

She also felt surprise. She had not seen Elias since he had taken her to Nastasya to be checked after the bear fight. Nastasya had been kind, a mother hen type woman who had insisted on giving Phaedra an herbal concoction despite the fact that she'd had no real pain. Phaedra had been polite and happy to be doted on. And a bit embarrassed for how much she missed it. She'd gone home and cried a bit, then, for missing her home, but long after Elias had left her. She wasn't sure when she'd expected to see him again... She had assumed it would be eventually, considering Elias tended to appear when she least expected him too. When she thought about it in plain terms, he was pretty much her only friend. So, of course, she'd been hoping to see him again. And now here he was, a hare thumped neatly on the ground in front of her, staring right into her eyes. She looked down at the prey and then back up to his face and said, "Hi." It was a somewhat lame reply to his gift, but she followed it with a somewhat pleased smile.

Then her smile brightened slightly. "I see you actually caught the hare this time." She was referring to their first meeting, when he had almost taken her out chasing a rabbit. He had teased her during the bear fight, so she felt it was only fair to return the favor a bit. It lightened her mood and made her feel less embarrassed of her little den, though she still stood halfway in front of it.
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@Elias
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Loner

rank:

gender: Male

age: 2

posts: 71

post log:

Claerie

Stardust: 260✪
#3


A Deafening Silence



"Hi."
Elias only blinked, expression impassive—though in truth, that was only to the onlooker. For one that knew him well, there was a glint of something bored and mildly dismissive in his gaze. The emotion was not half so strong nor so serious as to be taken offensively, however. If anything, there was a playful note to it—albeit one required a tad of imagination to see it.

With silence as her answer, Phaedra continued. A smile crossed her lips and, truthfully, Elias was surprised. He had seen many expressions on her face: anger, rigidity as she tried to control her anger, frustration, pain, exhaustion, confusion, and... loneliness. Happiness made her look like a ray of sunshine. It brightened her eyes until they put the leaves to shame and—"I see you actually caught the hare this time."

Gray brows knit in a moment's annoyance. His lips pursed and he huffed. It was the most emotive he had been since meeting the yearling, but such was his nature to slowly melt over time.

He snagged the rabbit up once more and, assuming the she-wolf didn't backtrack, he pressed its still-warm hide to her cheek. Annoyance sparkled in periwinkle eyes as he smooshed it against her. If his gaze was to speak, it would snap: eat and stop talking.

"We are all young and naive still."

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Loner

rank:

gender: Female

age: 1

posts: 39

Di

Stardust: 210✪
#4

chase the wind
and touch the sky
His kaleidoscope eyes were full of things today. She wondered if it was just the way the sunlight was hitting them, a trick of the light, or whether she was starting to read him better. He seemed to always shield himself in a teasing layer, some occasions more bitter than others. Boredom was his sword, and he wielded it well. Phaedra remembered that the first time she had seen him, she'd been offended by it. But now... Now, some things had changed. She had to admit that. Time and circumstance had worn down Elias's place in her mind, and that same time and circumstance had made him softer. His eyes were no longer just impassive; they danced with something hidden, a mysterious secret. Even his silence meant something. His eyes were always intent upon her face, as if she were the only one in the room even when she was not. His presence was like something physical, a barrier between her and the world. She was not sure if she saw it now with experience, or if it was because he'd chosen to let her. She didn't really care.

It felt good to be seen the way he saw her.

Her words elicited a huff from him, the briefest flash of annoyance. Even these were rare finds, diamonds in the rough. Every expression he gave her seemed like a gift. He stooped and grabbed the rabbit, and for a second, Phaedra's stomach dropped, thinking he had taken true offense and was leaving. But then he stepped closer. She had never pulled away from him, and so she allowed him to press the rabbit's still-warm body against her cheek impatiently. His eyes bore into her own: eat. So she did what she was told. Gently, she moved her head so that she could grasp the rabbit. When he inevitably gave it to her, she was relieved. They had been very close there for a moment, and she'd felt a strange swooping sensation like she was about to throw up. But the moment passed as quickly as it had come, and she obligingly placed the rabbit on the ground and sat down thereafter.

She pulled flesh off of the hare, knowing Elias too well to offer it to him as well. It was a gift, and she would actually offend him if she tried to give it away. And truth be told, she was hungry. When was the last time she had eaten? Hunting was hard. She was not as skilled yet as she'd like to be. She was quiet for a few moments, until she felt warm contentment spread across her from a full belly. It made her feel better, but that general better-ness could not make her forget about her shabby little den, which she had sat down in front of. Perhaps he would have seen it by now. She felt like it was an elephant in the room. Swiping her tongue across her lips, she cast a glance back at it: a small nestle of brambles and branches, forming a makeshift den where she had just enough space to curl up at night. "It's not a lot," she said quietly, the smile fading from her face. She didn't know what Elias had. Maybe he had a big huge den and he was thinking right now that he'd made a mistake to come here and see her in her squalor. "Um," she said, trying to fill up the dead air and make her cheeks not feel hot. "I'd like to learn to hunt properly. I only know what I taught myself, and sometimes I'm not very good." Her eyes drifted back to the hare's carcass. Her performance at the bear hunt would have shown her completely inadequate experience, but she would not lend credibility to the tale with stories of how she failed many, many, many more times than she succeeded, even on simple things. She had been raised in a priestess's life, a gift from the gods. She would not have lived long enough to be taught basic skills like hunting. "Would you..." She took a breath. "Would you teach me?"
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@Elias
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Loner

rank:

gender: Male

age: 2

posts: 71

post log:

Claerie

Stardust: 260✪
#5


A Deafening Silence



He had not known the golden wolf long enough to know her, but she had small intricacies that reminded him—oddly—of Thea. Though he had not chosen to dwell on it then, he had noticed that parallel when they had first met. It had been the stormy look within her eyes when she had rounded him, her expression alight with fury as she rebuked him for his carelessness. That look was similar to the one Thea had given him when first she had returned from the Malmordre. His flippant reaction to her kidnapping had, in turn, severed the bond that had once held them close. In truth, he had missed the other half of his soul. It was during that time, however, that he had grown used to the vacancy.

Phaedra was not the golden key to unlock that hidden box within his heart, but she did rattle the chains that held it closed.

That first similarity had given birth to more and now, even, he felt a flash of surprise as she delicately took the rabbit from him. Phaedra, like Thea, was no obedient creature.

Then again, the two were not shadows of one another. If anything, they could not be more dissimilar—and so he found those moments of nostalgia to be glaringly odd.

He settled onto his haunches and glanced around the wood whilst the she-wolf ate, tucking into the rabbit with gusto. Not once did he turn his gaze to the girl's den for, not once, had he thought it was one. Only when she drew attention to it did his ears perk, gaze training on the mess of branches.

In truth, he was more of a pauper than a prince. He had slept in ditches far worse than this and he had dined upon meals more putrid. His tastes were not lavish, and so his brow only lifted as Phaedra seemed to shrink beneath the weight of some unknown guilt. Her candlelight flickered and, for a moment, he thought it might all be snuffed out.

His head canted to the right slightly, a questioning glimmer in his gaze.

Almost immediately however, she flipped the conversation to hunting. Still the golden girl appeared bashful and, for the moment, Elias felt utterly lost. It was not often that he cared to commune with others, and now that he was trying, he found himself ill prepared. Nastasya was always so focused that she was easy to follow. Phaedra by comparison was winding path.

At last, she squeezed out a request: "Would you—would you teach me?"

Elias gazed at her impassively.

A single ear flicked as he turned away, rising to his paws and taking several steps away from her. Then, like water, he sank lower to the ground, his belly nearly brushing the ground. He turned, pivoting upon an ankle before rounding on the golden wolf, his steps quickening until he leaped, paws outstretched to catch her shoulders.

Ideally, she was surprised and stunned—and now quaintly pinned if not just beginning to struggle.

Assuming she had not turned into a piranha, he would gently nip the fur at her neck.

"Dead," he whispered simply, ears flicking forward as he gazed with expectant, almost curious eyes.

"We are all young and naive still."

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