burnt out ends of smoky days

[shiloh]

POSTED: Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:49 pm

--

''Nothing's changed.'' Her son's voice was laced with a hint of astonishment as he peered about, his natural gray irises taking in their surroundings with unfamiliar curiosity. Lilin couldn't bring herself to feel the same. It was a hot, muggy thursday afternoon. She should have felt it. Lund certainly did - his panting was hard to overlook although she wasn't sure if it could be attributed to the ambient humidity or the anxiety that came with the prospect of seeing his sire and siblings. Lilin couldn't relate. She felt cold to the bone. Chills came in endless waves and a sense of dread settled over her. ''Everything's changed, baby boy,'' she murmured to herself, feeling intimidated by the scent of wolves carried by the late summer wind. Facing Vinatta was the last thing she wanted. It was Lund's happiness that overtook her cowardice; his desire to be reunited with his birth pack burned bright in eyes.

Her verbal apprehension had fallen on deaf ears. Lund marched forward confidently and she merely followed in his footsteps, receivers pinned back against her skull with mediterranean blue orbs riveted to the earthen ground; a demeanor reminding her of the sister she'd left behind as well. For hours they carried on in silence until they reached what had once been an impasse between the vikings and the nomads. Much to their astonishment, the western side of the Grand Lake had been the most viable option; seemingly unclaimed by their former, barbaric inhabitants. There they set up camp for the night, grasping the opportunity to gather their thoughts and nourish their bodies. ''Wonder what happened to them,'' Lund wondered aloud, handing a makeshift blanket to his mother. Her response was a simple shrug as she accepted the offering, wrapping it around her shoulders. Warmth still escaped her, despite the typical summer temperature. Her guess was as good as his; their scent was still there, but it was much too faint to cause any worry.

Last edited by Lilin Soulstorm on Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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POSTED: Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:15 pm


I am so frackin' slow, sorry!

--

The land beyond the lake had opened up to them, and now the Dawnbringer woman felt like they had breathing room. It had unnerved her, due to her own personal experiences with the threatening X'ies and then a less-than-courteous X'yrin, to pace by the waters and smell them on the other side. However, the traces of the Nomads were weak, and she was safe in traveling out into their former land, around the water's edge.

It was new territory to her, as she was not one of the founding members to scout the territory before settling Vinátta. She was shocked to find it was not too dissimilar from Vinátta just on the other side of the water, though there were foothills in the distance in contrast to the low stretch of beach back home. She walked at a slow pace, her wooden fighting staff in hand for defense and the occasional assistance in balance, and was glad for her choice in clothing today. Though hints of autumn came in cool winds from the bay, it was hot today. She wore her simple pink summer dress, her tail wagging behind her and making sure air moved under the skirt of it, her tongue lolling lightly -- as befit a lady, though she had the blessing of a pale coat that reflected the sun's heat.

All in all, she was content even in the summer heat (which faded slowly into a dull evening warmth), until the smells around her changed abruptly -- something very much amiss in the land. She froze, her body tensing and her staff gripped in hand, and sniffed again. Blue eyes widened with disbelief, then narrowed, and then her mouth fell into a grimace that was hopeful and uneasy at the same time. She sniffed and walked, stopped, sniffed again.

Then Shiloh set her jaw and walked deliberately toward the source of the smell when she was certain it was no olfactory hallucination.

She did not stop to gawk when the huddled, dark shapes came into view. She strode toward them, almost on top of them, and finally came to a halt a distance that was just a few inches past what would be considered polite to a wary stranger.

"I did not expect for the gods to bring you here," the Araedi murmured, and smiled tenderly at her nephew.
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POSTED: Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:29 am

--

''That thing came in handy, didn't it?'' she admitted reluctantly, nodding towards the barbaric onyx flail laying on the ground next to her son; a newly acquired weapon that he'd already put to good use. His first birthday had yet to pass and Lund already had blood on his hands. It surprised her little. He was destined to protect, following in the path of the great Thor; this she had known from the moment she'd first laid eyes on him. Her firstborn's taupe fingers wrapped around her right hand, squeezing lightly in hopes of offering comfort. ''They had it coming. I regret nothing. I'm just glad Gunnarr's okay,'' he countered softly- mirroring the same soft, reassuring smile his sire was capable of using. Lilin pursed her lips tightly, wondering if perhaps she'd taken his childhood away from him, if he would have turned out differently in the company of Saul and his siblings.

''I love you, mamma,'' he insisted urgently, grazing the side of her face with a salmon pink tongue. Her troubled mask crumbled then, momentarily replaced by a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. With him at her side, she would make it through this. This newfound sense of comfort was swiftly brushed aside when the scent of familiarity wafted up to the pair. Lund pulled away from her before she could even react. Without reaching for his weapon, he jolted up immediately, standing tall while Lilin pivoted to face the female. They knew. Shiloh spoke first, extending a smile to her long-lost nephew. ''Aunt Shi!'' he exclaimed with glee, throwing his hulking arms around her with little hesitation. Lilin remained silent for a minute, not wanting to interfere. Although the Araedi had greeted Lund with a smile, her sentiments would clearly not be the same towards her former sister-in-law.

''Lund, will you please give us a moment?'' she pleaded, not wanting her eldest to hear what they undoubtedly had to say to each other. He hesitated for a moment, his gaze jumping from one female to the other. ''Yeah, I'll go wash this off or something. I've missed you, aunt Shi,'' he said with a broad grin before picking up his weapon and making his way to the shore. Lilin's attention promptly returned to the Dawnbringer, mediterranean orbs gazing at her expectantly. ''Hello Shiloh.''

Last edited by Lilin Soulstorm on Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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POSTED: Sat Sep 14, 2013 11:35 am

Shiloh Dawnbringer
Word Count: 338

One dark shape sprang to its feet, and Shiloh grinned softly as her nephew came toward her. He'd grown so big, and she had to fight away a lump of emotion in her throat as he wrapped his powerful arms around her. She'd seen his siblings shift and grow, but it was still strange to her, her brother's eldest son before her now, smelling almost -- but not quite -- like a stranger.

She wrapped her arms around him, nuzzling into his shoulder. "I missed you, sweet," she murmured to him, and licked his cheek. "You're so big. I hope you're doing well."

It was only with great reluctance that she let him go; there was much she would want to share with him, joyful news of his new cousins, the blossoming of his siblings and old friends. The voice of her former sister-in-law sent crackles of emotion, sharp and cold, through her, but she still reached out with a white hand on Lund's dark taupe shoulder for a moment even as Lilin urged him to give them privacy.

She nodded at him, smiling, though blue eyes fell briefly to the flail, and her heart grew cold. Though -- he might have seen conflict, if he'd stayed. Would he have been safer with the Ironsiders attacking the borders? It had changed his father, no doubt -- but Lund had changed, too, in a small way, even as he grinned at her, a blend of Saul's features and something else.

And then blue eyes shifted to her, and Shiloh immediately dropped all pretense.

There was an immediate, startling change to her posture and expression. The courteous diplomat had given way to the guardian, a quick and deadly change, the sharp stab of the elegant heron. Her lips tightened, the hint of a fang showing underneath curled lip, and her eyes hardened. Her grip on the staff returned.

"What," Shiloh asked in a low growl, "do you have to say for yourself, family-breaker?"

you're walking to me from the timbers, faded from the winter

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POSTED: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:16 pm

--

What began as a crusade for civility soured into an open conflict before she could bat an eyelid. The accusations, although legitimate, stung Lilin's attempt at keeping calm. Oddly enough, anticipating confrontation did not make it hurt any less. ''Nothing,'' she hissed through clenched teeth, her eyes furious. ''I'll grovel and beg my family for forgiveness if I have to, but I don't owe you anything.'' Perhaps she would have reacted the same had their roles been reversed - but this was something she would never admit; refusing to withstand such belittlement from a woman she had once considered her sister-in-law.

Her first instinct had been to offer a lousy justification for her departure; the reason why she had wanted to distance herself from Saul at the time. It was all so pointless, though. These were matters best discussed with the father of her children, and not his sister. ''I'm bringing him home,'' she continued as her gaze found the distant silhouette of her eldest son, her tone of voice just a hint softer. ''I'm coming home.'' This was said with a little more conviction, dripping with defiance. ''And I hope you won't make it any harder for us. For the sake of all my children, not mine.''

Last edited by Lilin Soulstorm on Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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POSTED: Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:32 pm

Shiloh Dawnbringer

Mediterranean blue eyes blazed with anger, but her words only caused a cold, cruel smile to slide slowly across Shiloh's pretty face. She let out a short laugh. "You do. I've suffered, too, seeing Saul like he was after you left." His fingers clutching his fur, his sobs buried against her shoulder, holding on, a shell. "He was my brother before he made the mistake of choosing you for a mate," she growled, and her ears and tail lifted. She believed in family, but while Lilin carried a storm in her name, she'd revoked that right to trust, to acceptance.

And then the Soulstorm woman announced that she was coming home, and mentioned her children -- as if she cared. Shiloh snorted. "I love my niece and nephews; I wouldn't dream of making this hard on them," she said, almost calmly, until her eyes darted back to the other's face, split in black and brown. A dual life written in the hue of fur.

"I'm afraid you've already chosen to make it difficult for them," she continued, her voice falling low though she wanted to shout. "You abandoned Sólieri and Rúni, made them have to deal with a broken shell of a father. If anything, I did my best to mend things; I stepped in, I tried to pull Saul out of that dark place, tried to play mother for Sóli." The girl had come to her, confided in her, confused about the things in life her mother should have been able to answer.

Shiloh tightened her grip on the fighting staff, and spoke blandly. "So yeah. You come right on home. It wouldn't have been the first selfish thing you did."

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POSTED: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:49 pm

--

Indictment came in endless waves. Lilin listened and observed, digging her claws into the ground and closing her fingers tightly around a pile of dirt. The sheer amount of self-righteousness and alarming self-certainty in the Araedi's dialogue made it all so surreal. ''Where were you when your brother came to me for help back then? He wouldn't have made that mistake if you'd been there,'' she quipped, remembering how Saul had sought her out in time of need - alone with a puppy in tow. No one had been around for him back then, including the female standing before her - no matter how devoted she made herself out to be. Lillith Stormbringer had been just as haughty and devoted, right before she'd gone mad.

''That's right. You tried and I'm sure you did your best, but apparently it wasn't good enough,'' she interjected, satisfied with Shiloh's overuse of the word 'tried'. Knowing that Saul had gone through hell and back was poignant - a knife through the heart. Although she'd been the one to end things between them, she'd had her fair share of regrets and heartache. She couldn't imagine what her former mate had gone through. Lilin merely shook her head, allowing her gaze to rest upon her interlocutor's tightening grip. ''Get over yourself.''

Last edited by Lilin Soulstorm on Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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POSTED: Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:04 pm

I'm so sorry for the wait and Shiloh is mean

Where was she? The Solbjorg, protecting others of my family, she answered simply. She wasn't even defensive; she was somewhere else, and she did not babysit Saul. I didn't make the conscious decision to not be there, she added. Again, her tone was cool, quiet. Part of this was due to the quiet surety she felt, confident that she was in the right of all this. Part of it was the cruel desire to needle at this other woman, to hurt her like she'd hurt Saul. Shiloh did not think that she was a vengeful creature -- but there she was. She wouldn't be satisfied until Lilin broke and stopped trying to hide behind blame and excuses.

Her fur bristled at the other's statement for her to "get over herself," and she curled her lip. Yes, I tried, which is more than you did, even if I 'wasn't good enough'. You told Saul you both were falling apart -- and what did you do? Her smile was daggers, and did not even pretend to be a smile. You ran off. With another male.

She thought, momentarily, of Silvano. She began to hate herself, and for a brief moment pain broke across her face.

You bitch coward, she growled, weakly, and stepped back a few steps as if to signal that she was done with this stupid argument. She looked to Lund, wanting him there -- and wanting him home. She wanted them all back home.

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POSTED: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:09 pm

-- think we can end this here, yah? :3

Nothing she could have said or done would have appeased her former sister-in-law; Lilin had been well aware of this since the beginning of their conversation. She felt foolish for having made an attempt, for fuelling their argument and perhaps giving Shiloh the satisfaction of engaging in a confrontation. This was Saul's fight, not hers. How much had he told his sister? Had he blown things out of proportion to victimize himself? Lilin hadn't taught him capable of such a thing but Shiloh's thinly veiled accusations of infidelity only served to prove her wrong. Assumptions or not, the words spoken made every hair on her body stand on end.

''Just goes to show how little you know,'' she snorted, her voice laced with derision and disbelief. Saul had been the first, the one and only male she'd ever devoted herself to. Lilin had been prepared to deal with accusations of desertion and selfishness, but the recent change of subject was ludicrous. Shiloh's final jab was acknowledged with only the flick of an ear, indicating that she too no longer wished to carry on. Lilin was grateful for the growing distance between them. It wasn't until she felt herself relax that she realized how tense she had been all along.

''Lund!'' she called out to her son, keeping her gaze steady on his approaching silhouette in an attempt to avoid all eye contact with the Araedi. ''Your aunt's leaving,'' she said matter-of-factly, granting her eldest son and his aunt a chance to say goodbye. Lund obliged in relative silence, his steely gaze anxious and full of unspoken questions as he embraced Shiloh one last time.

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