my dreams climbed endlessly

like the kudzu in july

POSTED: Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:26 pm


Alejandra Sanctus
draiko! lmk if i need to adjust anything. <3 +300

She was granted a day — an afternoon, more accurately. She wasn't to wander far, and she was to return promptly by sundown. Twilight seemed to arrive earlier now than before, which only granted her a moment's respite, but it was a welcome escape from the prison that was Andrew Greygrief's household.

Alejandra did not know where to even go, at least not at first; she stepped out of his home and immediately felt the grip of his suffocating choke hold lift. It wasn't quite the same freedom she had once known under his hand — it was ironic to even consider it freedom at all — but it was leagues better than remaining indoors. The slave had suffered long in her solitude; the month following her branding had been a lonely, grueling hell.

The rest of the Kingdom was hardly a step above the Apprentice's house, but it was just liberating enough to make her feel somewhat normal, if only for a few scant hours.

Wandering aimlessly led her to the Mendicants' quarters, either consciously or subconsciously. She had seen Silas in and out of the Greygriefs' periodically, as he was often tasked with watching her, but today it was not Silas she had sought out. Briefly she thought of Odalis, but she knew the doggish woman was probably tied up with the Queen and her endless tasks. But there was another.

The cooling weather seemed to irritate her scar tissue further; but then again, everything seemed to inflame and anger the brand at her back. Naturally, of course, she could never even begin to pretend it wasn't there. Even the clothes she wore couldn't hide it, at least not very well.

Clutching the thin scarf closer to her body, the wolfdog gave a small knock to the door, waiting only for a moment before letting herself in. She just prayed he was back for the evening and not already preoccupied with the Kingdom's nobles.

"... Micheal?"

Her voice was a small, insignificant thing, quiet and anxiety-ridden.


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POSTED: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:55 am

The day had proved to be a monotonous one. Not hard, or easy, just tedious. He had completed all the tasks assigned to him, taking care of animals, cleaning, butchering, general maintenance, and the list went on. The only thing that had made the day truly difficult was the constant, unrelenting cold. The ragged bear cloak didn’t look amazing, but it was warm, heavy and serviceable, keeping the cold out wherever it touched, which was really all Micheal cared about, he just wished it covered a little more of him . Finally having finished everything that was asked of him, he had hurried back to the small dwelling he shared with the rest of the packs’ property, shut the door and stoked a fire, careful not to set the place alight, but producing as much heat as he could coax from it.

His mind had been drifting, so when the knock came, the youth didn’t hear it. In fact, it was until he heard his name called that he realised he’d been dozing. Jumping out off his narrow cot, Micheal sprang to his feet, thee scar on his back tightening and stinging with the sudden movement. It was only once he was standing he realised that it hadn’t been a ranked member who had entered, but someone far more pleasant. Though the firelight changed the colour of her eyes, they were still bright and curious. Micheal wasn’t sure how, but any coordination and eloquence was swept from his head.

”Alejandra.” he blurted finally, doing his best to keep his grin from looking too goofy ”I didn’t realise we had a cooking lesson today?” he half asked, sure that he’d have remembered something like that, and realising he had nothing for the two of them to cook.

”Um…come here, sit by thee fire, warm yourself up. I’ve not seen you for a little while.”

He knew he was rambling, but it was as though his mouth were disengaged from his brain and all he could do was watch himself speaking.

”I..I saw your scar. What happened?” He asked, his tone full of concern and tinged with anger, he clearly tried to keep from his voice. Even indoors, Silas had pointed out, it was dangerous to be too critical of their superiors, not the older Mendicant ever seemed to be.
Salsola
The Mendicant (NPC)
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POSTED: Wed Nov 13, 2019 7:13 pm


Alejandra Sanctus
+300

Her teal eyes found him standing rigidly at attention, but he seemed to relax immediately once he realized it was just her and not anyone important. Her lips strained in a smile to match his, and she closed the door behind her before any more autumn winds seeped inside.

"O-Oh, well... No, we probably didn't." They hadn't had a cooking lesson in quite a while, a fact they both knew. Surely he had wondered what had kept her away, and she knew that he would ask eventually. "But I... I wanted to see you." She had missed Micheal's company more than she missed the lessons.

Sit by the fire, he urged, and the wolfdog only hesitated for a moment before complying; she settled close to the flame and rubbed her hands together near it, warming them from the painful tingling of the cold air. "Thank you," she said, though the sentiment perhaps did not sound as genuine as she would have liked. The isolation Andrew had put her through still poisoned her words, even to the Mendicant, sweet and inoffensive as he was.

Even though her body felt warm from the fire, the brand at her back seared icy cold at his question. The see-through scarf of course could not hide it, as much as she still vainly prayed that it would. For a moment she was quiet, but then the slave peeled the fabric from her shoulders, letting him see the Hand of Eris in all of its terrible glory.

"... I-I... disobeyed." Nowadays what had caused it was erased from her mind; it was almost as painful as the scar to think about it. It wasn't all the patriarch's fault, but it wasn't not his fault either — in the end, it did not matter. The brand in her skin assured that nothing like it would ever happen again. Andrew's knife knew her flesh well, and he would not hesitate to use it once more should she step out of line.

She looked to him, her sad eyes already wet from tears, but she brushed them away before they could roll down her face. "I don't... want to talk... about it... i-if that's okay." It hurt too much. Other servants could relate, she was sure. "At least... not... right now."

Aly tried to smile at him again. "How have you been? It's... been a while..."


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POSTED: Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:26 pm

Micheal heard a small part of himself, one that he thought had been killed by the punishment meted out by O’Riley, it screamed at the injustice of someone, who had treated him with nothing but respect and courteous, being treated like nothing more than a piece of property. The tears in her large expressive eyes made it worse, but she said she didn’t want to talk about it? Perhaps Micheal was too used to taking orders, or perhaps he was nervous, she certainly seemed to have that effect on him, but he didn’t push the matter, at least not just yet. While Alejandra sat beside the fire, Micheal went out, cracked the ice in a butt and scooped up some cold water for the two of them to drink. There was no food, but he squatted down in a corner of the hut, looked round at her furtively and pulled out a small pot which he carried over to her, along with his musty bear cloak.

” Please, feel free to put this on if you’re still cold, at least until the fire warms you up.”

All of that done, he sat down beside her, and for a moment he felt their pelts touch, and heat, which had nothing to do wit the fire, warmed his ears and face. He wasn’t sure why, he’d brushed against many others before, but Helena’s ‘expedition’ with him had changed him, it still hurt to remember it.

”huh?” he said realising he’d retreated into a reverie [/b]”Oh, I’m fine, work as always, doing as I’m told and pushing down my deb.t”[/b]

He went silent again, apparently thinking on what to say next, steeling a glance, before finally saying.

”I’ve missed not seeing you, I’m glad you’ve come.”

As soon as he said the words, Micheal regretted them, feeling foolish, but he realised he was also holding his breath, waiting to see what Alejandra’s reaction would be.
Salsola
The Mendicant (NPC)
Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:40 pm


Alejandra Sanctus
+300

Micheal fetched water for them to drink and offered his ragged cloak to her; at first she didn't say anything, just staring at him blankly, but then she snapped from her stupor and took what was given to her. The bear pelt was thinning and old, but even the sheerness of it provided some stale warmth, especially compared to her shawl. "Thank you..."

It even smelled like him, which only served to relax her more. She was safe here, safe with Micheal. He was different than Silas; the other servant, though sympathetic to her pain, still asserted that she was Andrew's property, and that Lord Greygrief was within his rights to punish her so vehemently. But with Micheal, she felt like more than her rank.

Despite the pain searing at her back and the chill nipping at her fingers and toes, she felt comfortable with him. She felt... alive, which she hadn't even considered for a number of days now.

Things were undoubtedly the same with Micheal, day in and day out. He seemed a bit more jumpy than usual, though. She gave a little nod to his words, not having anything to really say in response, so instead she basked in the silence, in the warmth; they were shoulder-to-shoulder, their fur barely grazing the other, but Alejandra didn't try to shy away. Ordinarily she would, given how awkward she often proved to be — but her time with the Ulrich had, if anything, made her a bit more comfortable with being close to others.

He spoke again, and she glanced over to him, blinking. "I've... missed you too," she answered quietly, attempting a smile; it was a sad and pitiful thing, but it was a smile nonetheless. "It's been so lonely at Andr — I-I mean, Lord Greygrief's house. I'm just... I'm glad I could... come out here at all." She paused, hands idly fiddling with the cloak.

"He's... kept me inside ever since it happened. I mean, I could go out sometimes to wash clothes, or-or go get things from the pack stores, but..." She shrugged, defeated. "... It's been horrible," she whispered under her breath, almost too afraid to speak against her master, even among her confidant.


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POSTED: Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:17 pm

Micheal sat quietly, aware of Alejandra’s closeness, and grateful for it. In a place that seemed unyieldingly hard, she was quiet, gentle, and something so rare that Micheal thought if he pinched himself, she would disappear. Her scent was light and pleasant, or perhaps it was merely the emotions that she evoked in him that made her smell so wonderful. Unfortunately, his experience with Helena’s field trip, and his own inexperience, robbed him of any suave charm, and left exposed the bumbling and slightly awkward youth. He listened though and was present for her. Their experiences were different, but both understood how it felt to be the mud beneath the bottom rung of the thistle kingdom’s ladder.

When she finished speaking, there was a pause between them. Sounds of the evening filtered into the small hut, the wind, the creak of timbers contracting and perhaps most comforting of all, the flicker and crackle of the fire before them. Micheal turned his head to look at his companion, half his face thrown into dark shadow, his eye glittering with reflected light.

”He shouldn’t treat you like that.” Micheal whispered, frustration tinging the edges of his tone ”and I’m sorry that he does.” he finished more softly.

Once more the pause came, the Micheal continued to look at Alejandra, perhaps wishing to say something, but not having the words, or maybe the courage to say anything. His ears twitch and he opened his mouth a couple of times before finally he seemed to make a decision.

”Alejandra I-“ he broke off, looking down, he felt confused, stupid and more than a little nervous, but took a breath and looked back up to continue.

”I’ve enjoyed spending time with you. Life here is hard, but you….when you come and spend time, things don’t feel so difficult. Never had anyone that makes me feel the way you do.”

He smiled nervously, turning his head and looking at the fire, feeling stupid for saying what he had, but desperate to hear what she thought of his words. Micheal’s stomach gurgled, but for the first time it wasn’t because of hunger.
Salsola
The Mendicant (NPC)
Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:56 am


Alejandra Sanctus
so sorry for the wait on this!! +300

They were always teetering on the edge. Everything had to be done and said with purpose, with caution; one wrong move and they were sent careening off into the abyss.

She had seen the bottom — or what she thought was the bottom — and surely Micheal had, too. It etched and burned against her skin. It had broken them both down, there was no doubt about that. But even as far down as they went, as dangerous as it was to say anything against their masters... Here they were, testing their luck again and again, knowing full well the consequences if they were caught.

No one was listening, she knew that — but sometimes it felt even the walls had ears.

But he was right; Andrew shouldn't have treated her this way; he never should have treated her like this, no matter how vehemently he tried to justify it. And there was absolutely nothing she nor Micheal could do about it aside from dare to acknowledge it, risky though it was. But if nothing else, the wolfdog appreciated him saying it, even if he could do little else to help her.

Her name sounded so sweet in his mouth, but nervous too; her blue eyes softened at him, a bit lost, but when he began to gush over her, her face felt a bit warmer than before. Definitely not from the fire. It was something she had felt before, but still different somehow; something she had learned to fear because of where it had led her.

"... I-I..." She said nothing else, nothing coming to mind. Perhaps words were not needed. She felt fuzzy and warm and uncomfortable, but not because she didn't like what he had said; she was just scared of it.

For a moment she sat quietly, pensively; her expression was conflicted and unsure, projecting the internal back and forth in her mind. Maybe there was nothing more to what the other slave said, but... Maybe there was.

Was it so terrible to feel so fondly for someone else? In Salsola's eyes, in her position, it was a resounding yes. But it was easy for her to ignore those aspects in the moment.

"I enjoy it too," she wanted to say, but instead she moved her paw to his, to squeeze it as if it would transfer the sentiment to him; and soon her other hand joined it, enclosing his paw into hers gently and carefully, as if holding a priceless heirloom. It felt that way to her, at least. Micheal was priceless as far as she was concerned. Their time together was a treasure, a bright spot in this dark existence.


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POSTED: Mon Jan 06, 2020 5:23 pm

Micheal was still reeling from what he had said. How could he have been so foolish? How could he possibly expect her to answer him. As the silence grew, the young male’s fur began to prickle in humiliation, and all he wanted to do was pull back, create distance and close in on himself. Alejandra was rejecting him, she thought him an idiot, foolish a boy, of course she did. Who was he? Nothing! Micheal wasn’t even high enough to be considered anything more than property in this place. What would his words do for either of them.

Micheal stayed still though, neither pulling away or getting closer. Slowly he averted his eyes, casting a glance down at his feet, so he jumped a little when she grasped his hand. The grip was firm but gentle, and he thrilled at the touch of her hand. Her pads were rough, but the fur around and between them was fine and soft. He returned his gaze to her, his eyes expressive, intelligent and hopeful. Hopeful that this might be something different, something beautiful amidst the dull and mundane. Micheal hoped that this was something to look forward to, rather than get done before moving onto another endless task. Micheal stayed silent, there seemed nothing else that he could say, that needed to be said.
Salsola
The Mendicant (NPC)
Draiko
Luperci

POSTED: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:25 pm

lmk if any of this is no good! <3
[+443]

It was nice, just sitting here, being able to forget where she was. In this tiny house warmed by a tiny fire, there was someone she could call a friend -- and if she dug deeper, she could've found so much more. Micheal was gentle, a stabilizer, a gray-eyed anchor that wouldn't judge her or push her. They were silent in their little embrace, and for a moment he was all there was; there was no Salsola, there was no collar around her neck, there was no terrible, painful brand seared into her back. It was just Micheal and his weathered hands, his bright eyes and his quiet aura.

But it didn't last for long. Outside, there was a shift, a fluttering of wings and a caw. Alastar must have been watching from the trees, and the old raven's call was familiar to her now. He just needed her attention, because nothing seemed to be outside -- but the sun was beginning to set, its last dying beams stretching across the trees. The illusion was broken, and she was again in the Thistle Kingdom. She was still a slave sitting with another of the same rank. They were still lesser.

Her ears folded against her head, and she pulled away from him, her dark hands retreating to her lap. Nervously she looked out the window, knowing their time was short, before shedding his bear cloak and placing it near the fire. "I-I need to get going," she stuttered, blue eyes sad and disappointed. But she couldn't risk crossing Andrew again.

She bit her lip as she headed to the door, but there Aly hesitated. For a moment she didn't move, her hand hovering over the latch, knowing she needed to leave -- but something held her back.

Impulse guided her actions then, right back to Micheal.

Aly barreled into him with a hug, tightly clinging to him as long as she could; her muzzle buried deep into his chest, arms squeezing around his waist, before she peered up to him from behind wild white bangs. "I'll try to come back again," she promised shakily, not knowing if it was even possible. "B-But if I can't, then..." She paused again, eyes softening at him, before she stole a small kiss.

It wasn't very trained or even very good, just there on his cheek, but it meant something. Her legs felt like jelly beneath her as she released him, backing away to the door again, and she fled before he could stop her -- or before she could make another decision that would deeply agitate her master.
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POSTED: Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:29 pm

Micheal jumped to his feet as Alejandra said she needed to leave. An enormous vat of emotions seemed to bubble away inside of him, made up in part by a lot of same and embarrassment, but perhaps the most overriding desire in that milieu, was the one that she wouldn’t leave. Of course, Micheal didn’t say anything so articulate, he just opened his mouth and let it hang there, slack jawed and useless. No matter how hard his brain pounded at his mouth, nothing came out. He almost had a semblance of a sentence organised, when she turned around and hit him with those striking eyes, and in an instant, she was leaning against him and wrapping her arms around him. Micheal stood there for a moment longer, dumbstruck, but managing to rally enough to wrap his own arms around her as well, lowering his muzzle into her hair and taking a deep breath, she smelt and felt like nothing else. Never had the Mendicant experienced anything so thrilling, until a moment later, when Alejandra kissed him. His entire body tingled, and warmth flooded through him, that had nothing to do with the fire. He wanted to tell her she was wonderful, amazing, that he’d never met anyone like her. Micheal wanted to let the servant know how grateful he was for her friendship, and her companionship, and how much he wanted to help her, there was so much he wanted to say, but as the words ordered themselves up, Alejandra ducked out with a promise to come back, and as he watched her fleeting figure, Micheal finally managed to say ”please don’t go.”
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