[ P ] lovely
Voices along the border had drawn her out from a peaceful, slow walk. Since establishing the Sanctuary, Kylar had failed to steal a moment's tranquility. Between hunting the Pine Forest for that red-eyed beast and ensuring the integrity of their scent lines, she had stressed and strained her body til it frayed. Though her leg had strengthened, over exertion had taken her a couple paces back. Rather than being able to make it long distances, the young wolf was forced to retire early or take frequent breaks. So stressful was the process that, at times, feelings of inadequacy would plague her. Before, when there were no others depending on her, failure had held a less bitter taste. Now, every crack in the armor felt like a vulnerability to her niece.

It was maddening.

Still, Kylar had forced herself to move at a pace far more leisurely. Once Anteros' stiff, monotone voice had filtered through the forest, she had been quick to abandon peace for duty.

“You stated I was who you were looking for, if it was to find Kylar..." came Anteros' voice betwixt the leaves.

Intrigued, she hobbled more swiftly. Occasionally her paws caught on low-lying vines but, altogether, she managed to safely barrel forward.

"...I don't have to continue looking if I know where she'll be..." Answered another voice, its tenor achingly familiar.

When at last she pushed through the foliage, she found herself in a state of—odd serenity. It was as if hell had frozen over and left her vacant and devoid of feeling. Her eyes glossed over the man—her brother—that stood before her. She stiffened and, for a moment, she was at a loss for what to say. He had been gone so long that... in the end, she had no words for him.

Within, she groped for something meaningful be it an insult or an outcry. But, alas, there was nothing.

He had aged just as she had, but almost to the extent where it felt like she gazed upon a stranger.

“my sin, my soul.”

“my sin, my soul.”

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There was a long pause of silence, each word that passed had caused tension though Anteros remained stoic in expression. He would not attack the man for simply acting out on his beliefs, though he did feel strongly out him seeking out Kylar. Had things been different, had the circumstance not been so drastic Anteros' feelings towards Lucian would had been different. Every action had a reaction, even if years later, and perhaps this was Lucian's karma for such actions.

I wanted to see you for your blessing, an attempt to join your pack and right the wrongs that I've done. Can you blame me for trying?

Yes. It was an immediate answer though one not spoken out loud and without a bias nature. He could blame him, though he would not. Anteros was one who was usually unforgiving, especially under such circumstances, but this was not his situation to speak upon. “No," he answered with a slight shrug of his shoulders, “perhaps it is better that you are, as long as you are ready for the possible consequences." And he did not mean on his end, but rather from those he had hurt in the process.

I don't have to continue looking if I know where she'll be. This will be a fair warning. I'll be around those borders for awhile - an innocuous presence.

"I stated my terms," there was nothing more to be said. Lucian could stay in the Red Wood for as long as he desired, as long as one hair did not pass through to the Pines. Golden orbs rested on his company, until he heard the rustling and the familiar smell of his companion. His gaze left Lucian to turn to her, her mouth drawing a solid line—her expression lacking the familiar warmth. He knew why. Slowly he approached her, pressing his cold nose against her cheek in comfort and greeting before he pulled back to explain. “Lucian comes with a proposal, one that involves joining the Sanctuary and to write his wrong doings. I did not grand him access, rather I leave that decision to you. Do as you wish, and when you are done I will be waiting for you back home." Again he pressed his nose against her cheek, dismissing himself to begin his travels back to the Pine Forest. If she returned with Lucian he would have no qualms, he trusted Kylar and her judgement to do what she deemed necessary.

exit anteros unless stopped



For all the lost sheep there is
The Sanctuary
Lucian Fritz
the traveler

Lucian's expression never softened as he met the gaze of Anteros. You could practically feel the tension between the two of them, it was hard to imagine ever getting along with the alpha - but all tension would release at some point. Lucian would simply have to work for it. In his experience, everyone folded eventually. Though stubbornness was an fickle and unpredictable trait, and never-ending without empathy in the mix. Be his expression did soften a bit when Anteros had answered his question. "No, perhaps it is better that you are, as long as you are ready for the possible consequences." Lucian clicked his tongue - but remained impassive. He was always prepared for the consequences, it would be stupid to think there wouldn't be any. It took an immense amount of control not to mock Anteros when he said his last string of words. It wouldn't be wise to respond so he kept his mouth shut and his jaws clenched in frustration, but also smiled deep within knowing he could be a thorn in Anteros' side if needed be.

And then, without much warning there was another within the company. Lucian's eyes darted when Anteros had moved to acknowledge her, and in all his intent frustration, he'd never even noticed she was there. His scarlet eyes matched her own on shock, the expression was easy to see. He said nothing as he observed his sister, quite a bit older than the last they'd seen each other. Suddenly a whirlwind of memories berated him. He'd remember the beating his own father had tried giving him.

He waited for Anteros' to leave, jaws clenching when he spoke to her. Yet again he wanted to mock him and, yet again, Lucian stayed silent so to allow the brute to speak.

After Anteros was gone, his expression immediately softened and he stepped forward toward Kylar, but stopped. He didn't want to encroach, after all, he'd left at a difficult time. Not only left... he'd done so much harm to her. He couldn't think of any real reason why she would acknowledge him. Lucian bent back to how it was previously between the two, before the accident - his nature to tease at the forefront of his mind. "So that's the one you chose? He's a little imposing." He grinned, not knowing what her reaction would be to a small joke, and not knowing at all if the two of them were even a thing. He didn't have much else to say. Lucian never expected to see Kylar today - and in all of those previous moments of thinking how or what he would say to his sister had left him dry in the moment.

Turned to her and, briefly, her gaze flitted to his. She hobbled forward a couple more steps, her pace haggard and stilted. In this moment, she did not hide the wound that had robbed her of her independence. After all, each wolf in her company knew—some more intimately than others.

Once having settled, her breathing was exaggerated by exertion. Her chest rose and fell, her nostrils flaring for she refused to pant. Ruby eyes fell upon her kin, her stare broken only by the cool press of Anteros' nose against her cheek. A black-tipped ear curved toward the ashen man as he spoke. In a clinical manner, the newly-minted alpha explained her brother's terms. The explanation was cut and dried, its essence left as little more than leather. It lacked the grandiose quality that, if given the opportunity to explain, Lucian might have injected.

Anteros' parting touch caused her to nod her head in understanding. She might have spoken had her tongue not felt so leaden.

When the shepherd disappeared within the pines, only the Fritz were left.

A golden paw stepped forward, toying along the border's edge. Kylar stared at it before her gaze panned back up to her brother's face. Her expression was hard and impassive.

"So that's the one you chose? He's a little imposing," Lucian teased with a wry grin. A hint of wariness marred his gaze, that little seed of trepidation baring witness to his guilt.

“He has not left yet.” Her response was blunt and dry as she continued to stare at Lucian.

“my sin, my soul.”

“my sin, my soul.”

STOCK ➤CastleGraphics ART + CODE ➤ twisty
Lucian Fritz
the traveler

He didn't think he could lose an expression so quickly, but her dry response only felled his grin. After so long, he'd know idea how to reach out to her. But he recalled his thoughts on family names and blood bonds - and how useless they were. He didn't expect to be the proof of it, but he'd been stupid enough.

"Does it matter?" He didn't really understand her statement and he didn't bother to ask what she meant. He feigned, and attempted to change the subject, "Has it been too long to ask if you're doing well? I hear you've been taking care of my little girl." He knew the opportunity was wide open for her to chastise him but she didn't need much to make a weapon out of the mess he'd created. He'd just have to suffer the consequences and allow the wound to fester a little so she felt power from it. Perhaps, in that, she'd allow forgiveness to sink in. She did have control over it all, but he wouldn't let the knife go in too deeply. And - by the stars - was he stubborn.

He sat with his chin high and his eyes questioning. It had been so long, he didn't know her at all anymore, did he? But the gears churned and his thoughts toiled. The fox he was, he'd dig deep to figure out a way in even if she'd deny him this opportunity.


Does it matter?

Her ears flared forward as sudden rage—which had been dormant in her belly—surged forward. She glared at him then, the stony expression having shattered and fallen to pieces about her paws. Her muzzle wrinkled and she felt the urge to flash her fangs in warning. For the moment, however, she retained some semblance of composure.

She wanted to scream at him, to tug on his ears til a piece ripped off and more space open up so that she might yell loud enough for him to understand: leaving was abandonment. It mattered more than he could ever know. Being there for someone was everything.

But, right before her fury burst forth, she felt the steam burst from her ears instead.

Any word spoken to him would be wasted.

He filled the silence with questions of his own whilst adopting a familiar, stubborn-set to his jaw.

“So long as you take no credit for my well-being or that of my niece, you can ask whenever you wish.” Kylar refused to acknowledge Aurelia as Lucian’s daughter. By blood, the two were bonded. But in terms of time? Of effort? Lucian was not the girl’s father. He had been far too reckless to be worth that honor.

Snorting, she rolled her shoulders. “It doesn’t matter, where you’re concerned at least.” She fixed him with bitter, ruby eyes. “We’ve all learned to live well without you here. Whether you come or go is of little consequence for us.” Kylar pulled no punches and sugar-coated no words. Lucian had earned the fiercest extent of her ire, and he would endure it or he would abandon her—again.

“my sin, my soul.”

“my sin, my soul.”

STOCK ➤CastleGraphics ART + CODE ➤ twisty
Lucian Fritz
the traveler

She was angry, he could tell. He tried to keep a smile but the animosity that had sprang forth made it difficult to express much. He was deserving. In all honesty, he'd probably have better luck getting through to Anteros. The Fritz had a stubbornness in their traits that was hard to get through.

“So long as you take no credit for my well-being or that of my niece, you can ask whenever you wish.” He tsked at the comment, noting the whenever and not whatever. Did she say that on purpose? “It doesn’t matter, where you’re concerned at least. We’ve all learned to live well without you here. Whether you come or go is of little consequence for us.” Aurelia seemed to disagree with the last bit. One brow raised high while she spoke. It would be impossible to ask if bygones be bygones but he wouldn't mind spending the effort on getting within Kylar's good grace.

"I don't doubt it." He stated, thinking of what else to say to her. He wanted to kick himself for being entirely unprepared for Kylar's visit. "Do you think I never regretted leaving? Is your anger an apt sentence? Tell me Kylar, what I truly am deserving of that would fit the crime committed?" He didn't mean to be as dismissive as he was. The conversation between the two of them felt dry, his question not something he desired to ask but rather what left his maw a little to late to go back from.

She stated what he figured was already the case. He may have been needed, but they've proven themselves wholly capable without his presence anywhere near. This was especially true for Kylar, who was well off the better person without him around. The only wrong he ever truly felt responsible for the was the permanent injury he gave her, something he destroyed himself over. He would beg her forgiveness a thousand times, but it didn't feel like enough. Acknowledging the injury, and attempting to help her because of it only felt as belittlement to him. He didn't have room for pity, he never wanted to look down on Kylar because of the injury. Here, they had equal footing, she could shame him however she pleased.



Kylar's chin canted to the side as Lucian wielded his regret like a sword with which to battle. It was a rusted thing, and of little intimidation to a woman who sufferedevery. Single. Day. Her expression was forcibly cool, the quizzical tilt of her head a rhetorical slap in the face. Red eyes were rubies: smooth, cold, and hard. As he whined, querying whether her anger was "apt", the she-wolf drew in a slow, even breath. Her teeth grit and she suppressed the growl that so desperately wished to rumble within her chest.

"Tell me Kylar..."

Her brow furrowed and it became far more difficult to remain calm. Vitriol dripped from her lips when at last she spoke.

“You deserve nothing.” Her lip twitched as the urge to snarl began to creep within her breast. “Not from me. Not from your daughter.” Derisively, the Fritz snorted. “Be responsible for you own fucking actions, you overgrown, whiny, despicable child.”

Kylar snapped at the air out of frustration before whirling around. With her back to Lucian, she hobbled into her newfound home. Her crippled leg ached as she pushed forward, but she made no effort to hide her limp. Lucian could watch for all her cared, though she doubted he'd feel more than "regret". As far as Kylar cared, he could take that feeling, make a rope out of it, and tie it around his neck.

He was a bastard if he sought to victimize himself.

- exit kylar -

“my sin, my soul.”

“my sin, my soul.”

STOCK ➤CastleGraphics ART + CODE ➤ twisty

Lucian Fritz
the traveler

She was venomous. The instant he finished he could feel her anger seeping dangerously, his heart began to pound nervously. But what was he so nervous for? This wasn't unexpected, it was predicted. He knew her ire would be the trickiest to sneak past - if at all. She said her words and struck at him verbally. All the while he cautiously took a step back and held himself high, not wanting to show that what she said had bothered him. He'd always be tormented by this, did she not know how he truly felt about it all? He was not without guilt.

Then she snapped frustratingly, and left him alone. She turned back Anteros and left with no more words. The space she left felt like a void. He only stared at the empty spot wishing he could have done more but knowing there was nothing to be done about it, and his pride wouldn't let him it correctly. He tsked, shaking his head, and turned the other way. There really was no prepping for this. If she didn't allow forgiveness then he wouldn't ask for it. He'd just strut along as if nothing was wrong and see her react so harshly again.

He wished she would make it easy for him and just name a price. But the challenge was there and he'd balk at himself for not taking it. At least Aurelia had an easy heart, if not a little naive. Innocent, he wanted her to keep that. Kylar was smart, and definitely not naive. There was always the chance that she'd never truly accept him back. Lucian turned the other way but he only felt shame in doing so. He'd stick around, at least.

-end thread-


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