[P] i take another sip, a huge grin full of teeth
for Bennett
OOC: set after dark at the Ugly Coyote!

The fall of darkness only rose the boisterousness in the pub, as pack members and wayward travelers alike drank in revelry. The noise and energy gave Colter something to focus on to quell his stormy thoughts, although his clawed fingertips tapped a rhythm along the wooden table he was seated at with his brother. His fidgeting was typical, as was the easy-going smile laid across his maw as he stared at Bennett, watching him with a shrewd gaze.

"Penny for yer thoughts, Benny?" he asked, his tail wagging once, friendly. His brother wasn't one for crowds, so Colt was absolutely thrilled that he agreed to join him at the pub. It had been, oh, three and change months since he had arrived at Del Cenere, and Colt fit in like a glove on a hand. It helped that his dearest sisters Peony and Belinda had already put their stakes in the Gang. Traveling up to the area known as 'Souls had sufficiently quieted Colter's wanderlust. He did feel guilty about leaving their grandmother, parents, and littersisters behind, but...Colter had to admit that he was enjoying himself.

He...hadn't quite found a good job to do yet. He was interested in horse-handling, sure, but Bennett already did that, and as he knew, Benny liked being on his lonesome. Colt blinked once, twice, realizing his bruising purple gaze had grown distant and faded as he became lost in thought. Fingers flitting back and forth, he used his free hand to grab his drink, taking a swig. It burned hard down his throat, a welcome distraction. With a sigh, he set his glass back down, flashing a grin at his brother. "Thanks for comin' out here, by the way. I know it's not...yer favorite place to be. I asked Peony, but she's busy with the pups an' all."

One by one, the Braithwaite’s infiltrated the kingdom of Del Cenere, taking over—no—staking their claim.

It was no secret that the El Eligedo’s sister, Peony, had become a leader now. Chieftain, commander, compadre… whatever it was that she wanted to be called. Bella Dama, is what she’d said it was, whatever the hell that meant. But; after all, it was her namesake to do so, it would seem. The large, pallid male, only did as he was asked, finding not a fit in this world, to which ruled around Peony, now. And whenever the questions of Colter— another Braithwaite, wowee— had aired and asked for him to join him at the Ugly Coyote, he obliged. If not simply for the reprieve it would grant from listening to Flo consistently talk in his ear.

Colter said “penny for your thoughts” and the larger brother simply shrugged his shoulders. Quietude suited him, best to leave it that way. His thoughts were nothing too interesting anyways.

Becoming lost in his own thoughts, staring into his drink for a few, his brothers’ voice but another blab. Yet, he suddenly recalled his brothers words, turned to cock his head to the left and then give a small smile. It was tight, but he needed to show his kindness to family, after all, they were all they had.

Yeh, think nothin’ ‘bout it, Colt. Yer mah brother anyways, giv’us some time together.” Like old times, except there was no mother, father or grandmother watching over their every move, admonishing their every move.

Adorning his feelings for Rafaela, once again, he drowned himself in the drink, focusing on Colter. Perhaps if he put his energies into Colter, he could drown out the green eyes that seemed to stare back at him in every face he looked at.
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OOC: ---

Bennett merely shrugged at Colter's initial question, and the pale brother smiled a little to himself. That was just like Benny, avoiding the question. Either he was thinking about something serious, or something inconsequential like whether or not he washed his hair today. Colt shrugged back, leaning back in his seat as his hands rapped a different rhythm against the table's surface. He was inwardly grateful that Bennett didn't question him about his thoughts, because they...were usually less than savory. Surface-level thoughts were usually inconsequential, but typically the underlying ones were plagued with paranoia and anxiety. Even now he could feel them pushing at his mental boundaries.

His tapping quickened. Every single canine in here has a knife. I'm a Braithwaite. I'm a target. I'm a target. Peony will save me. I bet Peony doesn't like me. She shouldn't. I'm a target. Target. Target. Peony. Target.

Colter flinched at Bennett's soft voice, looking up to find he was smiling a little. "Heh...'Preciate it, Ben. Maybe we can get all the siblings in here some time, jus' like old times, huh?" He smiled back, then drowned it in another large swig. Anything to get his mind off of his fears. It seemed...maybe Ben was doing the same thing, but Colter had already tried asking him directly about it and that didn't work... Hopefully his brother would open up a bit soon. Colter's ears pinned back a little bit as he pushed away his intrusive thoughts.

god knows I could make amends
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Opposite sides of the spectrum is where these two brothers’ sat. Though they looked alike, they were completely different. Colter seemed to be a social butterfly, and Bennett was happy in a quieter environment, enjoying the drinks and presence of the horses rather than Lupreci. His height could have something to do with the reasoning for his discomfort around them. He was a pure blooded Coyote, and the heigh difference between he and the rest of them?

At least by a foot. Even his brother he towered over, which was odd considering they were from the exact same brood. Not to mention the difference between he and Rafaela, the tiny, fiery creature, he didn’t stand a chance when it came to her. The heart inside his chest beat harder just thinking about the verdant orbs she held. The stoic expression. A deep sigh escaped then, and he composed himself turning to his brother.

Maybe!” It came out a little forceful, his eyes narrowed slightly into his drink, thinking about what exactly where was for him in this world beside horses. Peony was busy with the family, Florene practically locked herself up at night, and sweet Bernie was spending most nights away from home. It was just he and Colter it would seem. Not to mention she who shall not be named, who snuck into his vision every once in a while. Giving birth to children with the Rey? Ha, he could have scoffed in both their faces.

Well, I don’t know if we be gettin’ many thems in’ere Colt. The girls’ mighty busy raisin’ pups, an’ Bel’s off tryna sabotage my life.” A deep sigh escaped his lips. He hasn’t even talked about her since the day she acted the way she did and Peony punched her. The drinks kept coming though, and he sipped, long and slowly, transferring his anger into the alcohol. That always helped with the problems.

Another long sigh escaped him. Blowing into the drink, before realizing it was empty again. “Gon’ get us anotha round.

So he did, with a finger raised and a polite smile, Alonso brought it to him without another question, and the large, Braithwaite began to question his life. Was he actually a bastard child?
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OOC: ---

Colt eyed his brother quizzically, curly locks flopping into his face as he dipped his nose downwards. Belinda, doing what now? A bubble of disbelief and anger rose in his throat, heavy bile burned, and the gray coyote's thin shoulders stiffened. "Whassat? She's doin' what?" Belinda was family, but if anyone, and he meant anyone, messed with his siblings...there would be hell to pay. Colter's lavender gaze narrowed, and he hurriedly stuffed his muzzle into his drink to curb his anger, only to find that his drink was also empty.

Thankfully, Benny was already signaling for another round, and Colter let his shoulders relax, the tension draining at the thought of getting more alcohol in his system. He wouldn't push his brother to spill the beans, he knew better than that; Bennett was like a mule in that sense. Push him, and he dug his heels in. So instead, he changed the subject, canting his head to one side as he searched Bennett's face. "Been meanin' to ask, where did those scars come from? You get into a fight'r somethin'? Didn't think you w're much of a fighter, Ben." He traced the scarred pattern, mirrored, along his own face with a slender finger. His hands otherwise occupied, one with a drink and the other with gesturing, Colt took to bouncing his leg up and down, gently bumping the table and rocking it as he did so. He couldn't sit still, he had to be moving at all times.
god knows I could make amends
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Oh. Right, Colt hadn’t been around and hadn’t experienced their elder sister. Well, the one of them that was a curse all in itself.

Ah” he accepted the drink, took a long sip, set it back down and then sighed. “Belinda said I’m a bastard, ain’t no blood’o’er’s an’ then Peo whalloped ‘er right inner eyeball.” For emphasis, Benny pretended to punch himself in the face, and then let out a low whistle. His baritone tones echoed in his drink as he spoke against the cup. “I ain’t want no troubles or nothin’ an’ she jest wantsa cause a rukus.

The — the scars. Ben hadn’t realized that they hadn’t spoken about that either. With one hand he felt his good ear, then went to run a pad over the missing one, and the claw marks on his face. He wouldn’t mention his snout was injured either, after that bastard pulled his nose ring out. His sniffer hadn’t worked properly since that. What had it been? Five months now?

T’was a fight wit a bastard who— ah, well, he took a knife ta mah ear, then he clobbered me real good like.” This required a long glance at Colter. He wouldn’t even mention the fact that they got raided by the Calloway crew and he bludgeoned someone to death with his own fists. Just then, he dropped his gaze to the table, rubbed his knuckles, and shrugged his shoulders.

But anywhosies—” the slightly older brother said, reaching across to pinch his brother’s cheek. “Whatcha thinkin’ ‘bout doin’? I mean wit’ yerself an’ all th’t good shit.Please for the love of God, don’t ask me anymore questions. He pleaded with his brother silently.
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Colter's ears slicked back against his skull, his lips exposing sharp teeth in a snarl. "Benny, 'scuse my French, but that is friggin' bullshit!" His voice came out louder than he expected, and a couple patrons turned to stare at the brothers' table. "Fer the love 'a gob, I swear, if I see Belinda again...A punch from Peo ain't the only thing she'll be gettin'." He realized his hackles had raised, as well as the fur along the back of his neck, so he ran a hand over it to try and smooth it back down, embarrassment flushing hot under his cheek fur.

His anger and embarrassment turned to concern when Bennett told him about being attacked. It seemed the Gang was more violent than he expected. Target. You bastard. Target. You're a target. You could get attacked at any moment, even right n-- "Jeez...you alright? Hope y'gave that bastard a proper beatin'...They certainly left their mark on ya though, brother." Bennett reached over to pinch Colter's cheek and he grinned again, swatting at the larger brother's hand. "Aw, quit it! Myself, huh? Well, I've been meanin' to head over to the Stockyard to see the animals, should stock Little Miss up there while I've got the chance. I've also been practicin' my archery out in the woods outside town a bit, nothin' too fancy... But I was thinkin', maybe I could start tended the horses or somethin', or workin' with the animals with Peo." He didn't mention the part where he didn't quite want to do the same thing Bennett was doing. He also didn't mention that he felt a little hurt that neither Bennett nor Peony bothered to clue him in on the whole Belinda business.

Although, to be fair, he supposed he didn't ask.
god knows I could make amends
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His brother’s voice was so shrill, and even Alonso looked at them. Bennett’s ears fell back on his head then, eyes daring around, realizing that their topic of conversation had suddenly died down the bar’s cacophony with Colter’s outburst.

And when he said Pardon my French, the much taller— more literate— of the brothers simply cocked his head to one side letting those long, white locks fall to his shoulders. “Friggin” wasn’t French? Or was Gob a way to say God in the unknown tongue?

Then, suddenly the bustling and hustling of the bar went back to normal, his brother smoothed out the hackles that had begun to raise, and Benny stared half-cocked head, and a small frown finding its way to his lips. “Yeah,” he rubbed his cheek with a hand, before shrugging. “Part ‘o bein’ outta Palisade my brother. ‘It’s a jungle out ‘ere.” Yet, despite their previous topic of grievances, his face still have a small smile to his brother’s reaction to his pinching his cheek.

When his reply had left more questions than answers, the slightly older brother, raised an eyebrow.

Well we’d got plenty of jobs and such that’ll help ya out with that. Iffin’ yer wantin’ to work w’em beasts, ya could be a Gaucho or a Callibilista. Gaucho focuses on other animals too, I reckon Peo is one ‘o ‘em.” It was no secret that the siblings were all looking up to Peony now, who wouldn’t after she broke off the betrothal and married that mongrel? Although he supposed marrying a Del Mar would have been worse.

With a shrug to himself, he took another sip of his drink, beginning to feel the best start in his belly.
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"Jungle, indeed..." Colter sighed, rubbing the back of his neck now. He could feel his hackles tingling uncomfortably with nerves; hopefully the new round of drinks would help dull his senses for a while. Noticing Bennett's rare smile, he allowed himself to smile back and took a deep drink from his freshened glass.

One ear swiveled as Bennett spoke again, pricked up to attention. Colt pulled his muzzle out of his drink, raising his eyebrows with interest. Guacho and Caballista. He had heard those words floating around occasionally, but he didn't know enough Spanish to decipher what they truly meant. Now he understood that they were job titles. It made sense now. "Guacho an' Caballista..." he echoed, nodding, letting the information sink in. "Yer one'a them horse ones, right, bro? Caballista? An' I do reckon Peo's a Guacho... I do wanna do those. Are there any for archery? Been meanin' to practice more, anyway." A short laugh. Now that he thought about it, he did feel a bit more hopeful for his upcoming future.

Or, perhaps, it was just the alcohol. He had enough at this point that the warm haze was beginning to spread over his limbs, his movements slowing. Colter reached up to scratch an ear, humming faintly to himself. The haze was more welcome than his previous thoughts, that was for sure. "Say, Ben, you written to Mom an' Dad lately? Or Gramma? 'Fraid I've been slackin', myself... Should do that soon..." He trailed off, blinking slowly, talking half to himself and half to his brother.
god knows I could make amends
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Jungles, or forests, he couldn’t quite determine which fit best with the Del Cenere Gang.

Colter— nerves fried— rubbed the back of his head to which Bennett tried not to stare. Desperately he did, but his pale orbs traveled to his brother’s face and searched it for only a moment. As a child he remembered the paranoia he dealt with, and decided against commenting about it. Making a witticism didn’t feel wise at these moments, so he pushed his nose into the cup and took another drink.

Colter asked after the jobs, and he found himself drawn into another grand scheme of plans. “Sure am, honest work, fair trade off iffin’ I’m bein’ honest.” Fair trade for his heart to swell with love for the woman he pined after. Best to leave that out of their conversation. “Reckon yer interested then?” Easily spoken with a raised eyebrow, a small hint of a smile playing at his lips. Liquor helped in the ways of loosening up, hopefully his brother would feel the same.

After all, he knew his brother could use it. Another sip in, eyes shifted downwards, he concentrated on the drink. Those eyes steeled into the cup at his brother’s next words. Instead of looking up at him right away he took that sip, gave a small sigh, and leaned back in his chair.

Nah, I ain’t wrote to ‘em, quite sometime. ‘Spose I only was askin’ after ya an’ the gals.” He mused thumbing his cup with a padded finger.

Onto a brighter subject he leaned in a bit. “Say, I was wonderin’” he cleared his throat a bit and tried to lower the baritone tones a smidge. “Ya got any advice fer women? What one might could like as a present or… well—” he rubbed the back of his head, much like his brother did earlier, twitching his large ears. “I’unno, guess I’d jest needin’ some brotherly advice s’all.
sorry for the wait Aspen!
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OOC text

Just for a moment, he felt his brother's eyes on him. He pretended not to notice, taking another sip of his drink. A sip this time, not a swig,  he figured he didn't need too much more lest he be sick later. One ear pricked at Bennett's question, and he looked up, smirking along with the other's small smile. "Sure am, reckon I should get goin' on providin' for this pack, since I'm gonna be livin' here an' all," he replied.

Another sip. His head tilted thoughtfully when Benny spoke again. Colt nodded in understanding, frowning, as he swirled his glass a little and watched the liquid move inside. "Makes sense. I gotta admit, it's been real nice bein' able to be off on our own, y'know? Reckon I really should write home, but...'s nice to know I don't really have to. I'm my own damn man now, after all." He snorted a laugh, although it held no true mirth.

Colter looked up, blinking, when his brother leaned in closer. He leaned in with him, raising his eyebrows questioningly. "Advice for women, huh?" he echoed, a wide grin playing on his lips. "Gee, Ben, lookit you! Gettin' on with the ladies. Eh, I guess jus' be a gentleman first an' foremost. Don't act rude, or obnoxious, jus' be yourself an' be polite." He cocked his head again, thinking, trying to formulate proper thoughts through the haze growing in his mind. "...Although, I reckon tha's jus' how we were raised."
god knows I could make amends
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