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POSTED: Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:18 pm

And the stars will be your eyes, And the wind will be my hands

At first, he didn't believe that he'd seen it initially.

Dutch was snuffling about, green was curling up from the roots, the mud, the thawing ice, and Santiago had been sitting, enjoying the sun while watching his horse pluck up sprouting grasses with hungry little tugs and the wiggling of velvety lips, when he saw the curl of shoots from roots in the trajectory of his steed's path, and he got up to push that big muzzle away from them to get a better look.

They were small, surely, but there, little bursts of white among the greenery that could've easily been mistaken for more thawing snow - but sparse, amidst the shoots, were little starburst shaped flowers, and he clicked his tongue in disbelief.

"Well I'll be damned," he murmured, soft and quiet, before fishing about in his pouch for one of those tiny bottles of shine, and pouring it out, before scooping a minuscule amount of thawing snow in with his finger and cupping it between his palms, hot breath puffing against it to thaw the ice, and bedding it down into the mud a moment before scooting closer and pinching off stems, dipping them into the waiting, impromptu and very small vase, before getting back up.

"C'mon, Dutch," Santiago murmured, fetching the lead, before shuffling on back to camp.

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POSTED: Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:56 pm

It was getting warmer, though the going was painfully slow. Still, with the gradually lengthening days and the gently warming sun, it was a sign of things to come. That was the hope, at any rate, but for the time being Evelyn had found it necessary to continue wearing her layers of cloth and furs.

Climate of origin aside, missing patches of fur had a way of making the regulation of body temperature a bit more challenging.

Tugging at her cloak, its hood lifted over her head, she passed passively through camp. Casting her eyes about her, only the one cast in flames taking in the sights around, she caught sight of Blackjack nosing at the the wet snow for sprays of dead grass. It would be good for them all, she thought, when – if – this barren wasteland thawed at last. Maybe then they would all stand a change.

Nearer than where her steed grazed, movement from her blindside stirred and the sound of it tickled her ears. Evelyn turned her head and watched as Santiago lead Dutch toward her. "Mr. Tejada." She narrowed her eyes at the sight of the glass vial between his fingers. "What in hell's name is that?" she asked apathetically, looking from the flowers to her comrade's face. Her eyes spoke the words her lips did not.

Moonshine was worth more to them than flowers and unless them flowers were meant to enhance their moonshine... "You best tell me that was an empty bottle."

[WC — 251]


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Mate to Santiago Little Bandit They stole my dirty socks... :( Venerate savagery, Die savagely

POSTED: Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:40 pm

And the stars will be your eyes, And the wind will be my hands

Shit.

His hindsight was certainly twenty-twenty, and he offered a thin, wary sort of smile, those tall ears folding subtly back a little at the vicious fire in the Vicar's gaze, and he offered a bubbling sort of laugh, rough at it's edges. Shit.

"What, this? Yeah, it was empty," he lied, quickly dismissing her suspicions. "Just had it on me, you know, Miss Escuella." Quick. Think quick.

Her gaze didn't let up its narrowed state. He needed to change the subject.

"But! Enough about that, look-" Santiago was desperate to save face. "Thing's are thawing, Miss Escuella, and if this damn place can grow things delicate and pretty like this, then that means there's more stuff springing up." Seemed as logical as anything - "Did... You want to maybe try to forage around? See if we could find anything worth a damn? Tea?"

He was mumbling by the end of it. Why did he ever think he could reach her with simple sentiment?

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POSTED: Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:33 pm

She narrowed her eyes more when Santiago offered her a wary smile and a bubbling laugh, her mismatched gaze a mere slit. There was nothing unique or unknown about his reaction: it was a response she had experienced time and and time again with little positive connotations. As his voice trailed off, the response eager to disengage from her suspicion, Evelyn continued to watch him severely without evidence of placation.

It wasn't until he changed the subject abruptly that the Vicar blinked and, flicking her eyes from the scarred man's face to the planted vial in his hand. She considered the starbust-shaped flower without expression while Santiago argued his point to her with perceived passion. While she watched the little, fragile flower, the fire-scarred coyote considered her companion's mumbling questions with serious thought.

She blinked and when she opened her eyes again, her fiery gaze was on Santiago. Evelyn held it there silently for several beats before she replied. "Okay," she said simply, glancing at the flowered vial again with a gentle tip of her long nose. "But you best get rid o' that bullshit quick-like. Got more use for that bottle than growin' flowers in."

Evelyn started forward a few steps but paused quickly again to turn and look at her companion expectantly, her eyes flicking from the vial to his face. "Seems you know where t' go 'bout foragin'," she surmised, judging by his floral prize. "How's 'bout you lead th' way?" Though she wasn't particularly in the market for tea, it might have purpose in her alcoholic concoctions. One never knew...

[WC — 272]


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Mate to Santiago Little Bandit They stole my dirty socks... :( Venerate savagery, Die savagely

POSTED: Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:16 pm

And the stars will be your eyes, And the wind will be my hands

The gaze Evelyn was giving him was chilling, clear through to his bones - she was seething there, before she simply dismissed the (admittedly foolish) gift he'd thought to bring, and for a moment, he simply offered his easiest smile, broad and dumb and charming as he could muster. Evelyn hated the expression, or at least, always seemed to; it did little to stop him from trying to mollify her begrudging moods. His whiskers twitched at her words, and he withdrew the finger from that vial, before chucking the melted snow aside, and simply tucked the star-blossoms into her scarf with a pat of his finger.

"Mark my words, Miss Escuella, I'll make a sappy romantic of you one day yet," he vowed, seemingly assured, before he cleared his throat and dipped himself back and away, quick enough lest she should smack him for his insolence. He skittered ahead, stiff legged, for several paces before gesturing for Evelyn to follow him. "This way, now."

There was a hurry in his voice - less so that the greenery would somehow up and die or vanish, and moreso that the fire-kissed coyote at his tail would take a chance to sink her claws into his impetuous hide for his cheeky wag of the tongue.

It was best he take the quickest route he could to find the vegetation, though he got pulled aside into the boughs of some evergreen by his own curiosity, sniffing before he dipped down into the shrubs to better follow his nose and pale eyes - Juniper?

Short juniper. He procured a sprig of it, and held out the pallid grey-washed berries for her to better ascertain their value.

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POSTED: Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:02 pm

Her eyes followed the movement of his big, dumb lips as they split open his face and exuded sickening charm. Christ, he could be an idiot, she thought as she watched him dump the melted snow from the vial and gently nestle the little white flowers into the weave of her scarf with tenderness. Though her face didn't show it, her heart softened. But hell if he ain't my kind of idiot.

"You prepared to accept that challenge, Mr. Tejada?" she asked neutrally, feeling annoyingly disarmed – so much so that she didn't bother backhanding him like she had been planning to just moments before. Evelyn's eyes sunk as she watched Santiago skitter off in a stiff-legged scamper, watching his brush of a tail wave in the open air. "Hn," was the grunt she replied with before following his lead.

Evelyn was not displeased with the view as he lead her through the drab forest, and it had nothing to do with the vegetation. But when Santiago was pulled into the boughs of a conifer, the fire-kissed coyote lifted her eyes curiously and watched with interest as he presented sprig of juniper. She looked from the blue-grey berries to her confidant's scarred face, subtle approval evident in the loosening of her lips and the softening of her brows.

Taking the sprig from Santiago's hand, the Vicar sniffed the needles and the berries quietly. "That ain't bad," she said, her thoughts on its use in their moonshine. "No, that ain't bad at all." In a rare moment of weakness, Evelyn betrayed a small, soft smile. "Some essence of this in our 'shine would be mighty fine, I reckon." Her eyes on his ragged face, the coyote woman fell silent again and waited expectantly.

[WC — 302]


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Mate to Santiago Little Bandit They stole my dirty socks... :( Venerate savagery, Die savagely

POSTED: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:58 pm

And the stars will be your eyes, And the wind will be my hands

"Always ready, Miss Escuella. Always ready."

As if it were a question.

Beneath her burns, the prickly demeanor, he still remembered her well, and even knew as to who it was she had become, and it was all the more endearing in his eyes. Even half-blinded, the fire having claimed her face, her hands, in its righteous kiss - she was soft, somewhere, deep in that center, too scared to let it out. Her father had instilled that in her.

Sometimes, in the summer, he remembered seeing her, at that old creaky ranch house, demanding the rule over her brothers, ashy blonde hair pulled up and tight into a bun - not a hair out of place; probably something that the Father had instilled in his lone daughter, 'loose hair reflects loose morals', or something of the like.

At least, Santiago thought he remembered something along those lines at Sunday Mass. How long ago, it seemed. How long ago, it felt.

At his proposition, she smiled, a thin and unused, frail little thing, but to it, he beamed, his eyes soft as they beheld her face, and he laughed softly.

"Judgin' by the drink I've already gotten taste of, 'round these parts, yours is still the best, Miss Escuella. And this? This'll only make it better." He spoke as he stooped, plucking up sprigs, and pulling pale gray-blue berries from the stems, and taking a moment to upturn one of her bandaged hands to deposit them. His own rough fingers traced the backs of hers, sealing them over that little bounty in her palm, and he held that hand a moment in both his own, very slightly dwarfed by his own, before slowly relinquishing Evelyn's hand. "S'pose I should start harvestin'!"

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POSTED: Mon May 13, 2019 2:17 pm

Of course he was. Had there ever been a time in her life where she had thought the opposite? Matters of heart were easier for him – or perhaps more compelling to him – than were matters of brawn or of leadership or probably even of self-preservation. What made a coyote more vulnerable and open to ridicule than displays of affection, than confessions of love? What was easier to manipulate than the heart?

Evelyn held her single burning eye on Santiago's scarred and broken face while these thoughts and speculations marched through her mind in straight and orderly succession. When he turned and lead the way, her eyes lowered and she followed after him with her thoughts stepping in line along with her. It had been a very long time since she thought of her daddy, but she imagined he would be mighty proud to know that she had never strayed far from her convictions when it came to her own matters of the heart.

But she still had one somewhere, hidden away in the center of her chest, and it stirred as her thoughts carried on marching down that rabbit hole of memories. Santiago had been whole and handsome once, too. And, if she was being honest with herself, whenever she looked upon his ruined face, she still saw him as he was.

With his hand, Santiago upturned her own and dropped the little berries into her bandaged palm. She felt as his calloused fingers caught gently on her bandages as he traced the back of her hand. She found his eyes again, the stirring of her hardened heart still carrying on uncomfortably as his hands held the one with the juniper berries. "I do reckon you could be right," she conceded, her thin lips still turned marginally upwards.

The cold that closed in when he removed his hands was unwelcome, but Evelyn did not object. Instead, she tugged out a ragged old pouch from beneath her layers and tipped the berries within. "We, Mister Tejada," she corrected him firmly, adjusting her cloak again before looking up at him. "An' there ain't no time like th' present." Brushing past him, her shoulder grazing him with what might have been intent, The Vicar sought out more junipers.

OOC: UGH WHAT ARE THESE FEELINGS EW

[WC — 378]


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Mate to Santiago Little Bandit They stole my dirty socks... :( Venerate savagery, Die savagely

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