timid twitch in your wide eye

POSTED: Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:57 am

000 --

This was as far-flung as he had ever been.

Initially star-struck with the idea of striking the tinder and setting himself free from the ties of guilt to Helena, his mother, his life, Julius was quick to accept such offers to venture south to trade ports, to learn and stretched cramped wings without knowing, without realizing, the daunting task at hand. Avidly, he avoided sticking around bloodlines he had here for youthful and bitter resentment, but found himself stranded and homesick.

The Kingdom was all he had known.

Light filtered through large, fanned leaves, dappling the ground by his legs as he had attempted to turn knobs on the strange instrument aquired from a foolish merchant. It had three strings, but it was a start, and his tutor had shown him how to string the bow proper, to lace it with resin to make his instrument sing clumsy, deaf notes. The goal was harmony, but Julius was hurried and stressed, sleepless nights bleeding into ceaselessly hot afternoon dazes and half-forgotten lessons. Helena hadn't been there to fix him.

But he didn't need her fixing.

At least, this is what he told himself, when his vision blurred and he thought he saw shadows dancing just out of his peripherals, and when his head hurt him the worst. Did she miss him? He certainly hoped so.

A chord snapped with a sharp and awful twang, flipping up to catch Julius in the nose, hands dropped the instrument immediately, and fingers pressed to the little cut he had given himself only to withdraw to examine the damage, rusty and tacky color smudging his fingertips. Expletives tripped off his tongue, and his pink tongue lapped over coppery beads of blood, before pushing fingers back to it again.

"You alright?"

The tenor voice struck the young Valentine by surprise, blue eyes severe and narrow as he glimpsed up to the ill-bred mongrel, a stringy, scrappy thing that shared teachings with him.

"I'm fine," came a clipped and candid response, tearing his gaze from the unwelcome company and audibly sniffing, wiping a ruddy smear on the back of his palm. Ever ostentatious. Unapproachable. The cherry glow of the cigarette between the white dog's teeth made Julius's lips curl. "Figure you'd be off sulking somewhere, you didn't show up for the lesson."

"Did you think maybe, you should've left it, and that these lessons are mundane?"

"Considered it. Came, anyway."

The golden Valentine glowered at the mongrel, and snapped the cigarette from between his teeth with quick fingers, before helping himself to the acrid smoke, poorly hiding his cough into the hook of his elbow. "Mind your own business, Avault."

Shoulders rolled into a lazy sort of shrug through the pale dog's posture, before he turned on toes to head back towards the trade hub, and ocean-blue eyes watched after him a solid moment, sucking another long drag from the cigarette, before the coyote hybrid quickly trotted after him, swallowing up the space with a jaunty and quick-footed step. "Wait-"

Avault turned his pale green eyes on his classmate, speculating. "Want company, after all?"

"Hardly. I just... Need to make sure nothing's along the path home, is all. Safety in numbers, all that."

"Mhmm."

Salsola
The Family
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