more than willing to offer myself

POSTED: Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:03 am

Word Count → 8+ :: table © sie

ooc; sorry for the monster post! the rest wont be as big, i swear :P

She had spent a long time in the walls by the water.

The ocean cliffs of Arbres de la Falaise had been the woman's temporary home for a long time now. The sheer rocky surfaces held up a plateau of wild game and prosperity, normally untapped by the self-sufficient pack of Cour des Miracles. But she had retreated there, to the lonesome howling winds and the cave that had served as a haven - A birthing place.

It had felt right to the colliewoman. She of little sacrilegious belief had found spiritual comfort in the small stone maw near the cliffs, whose walls therein were decorated with the most peculiar designs of leaping animals and little bipedal figures holding spears. They had been old images, etched into the bones of the cave by hands far older than her own, and Alaine had found solace in the knowing that they had watched over her and her three new pups.

Yes, this was the reason that the Apothecary - Normally so dedicated to her craft so as to forgo any personal reason not to attend it - Had disappeared from the world of the living for just over two weeks now. In this time, a snowstorm had ravaged the world beyond her little cave, and for many days Alaine had listened to the moaning winds for any desperate call that had demanded her presence. She was, after all, still loyal to those who she called her packmates, and the thought of them injured and without assistance had burned in her heart. But the woman had more things to attend to now, than just herself and her duty; She was a fresh mother now, and three young lives were totally dependant on her ability to warm them and feed them and love them. Elvira, Elijah and Odette had been her entire world from the time they had come into her life.

However, time had slipped away fast, and for days now the Winters woman had been preparing for her trek back down into the heart of the packlands. Her heart beat fast, nervous at the concept. What would come of her arrival, after such an unannounced disappearance? Would Vigilante, the king and merciful ruler of this land, refuse her children entry into the pack? What if - and here, her heart quailed at the thought - what if he found out who the father was? But she could not hide in her oceanside secrecy forever. The time had come; having taken no assistant, she was the only healer in the territory, and could not desert her duty to the pack.

She had left early morning, but progress was slow. One pup, that which was older than the other two by a month or so, was heavy. She could not walk the long distance, and Alaine had to carry her bundled in her arms more often than not. This child was different - Although her blood was dog blood, it was not Alaine's. The healer had claimed her as her own, though; As a mother grieving for the third pup she had lost, the adoption had not been difficult. Odette had needed her, just as her heart had needed Odette.

The other two whelps were bundled in soft cloth and placed with utmost care into her healer's satchel, which was now empty of all the food she had brought for the journey up to the cliffs. However, Alaine's figure shone with good health, as there had been many wild hares that had sheltered in the safer highlands of the cliffs during the storm, and had been caught in the snares she had lain out. In fact, the healer looked a lot healthier than she had in a long time - There was a wholeness to her gentle smile and her soft emerald eyes that had not been present there for a long time now.

Closer now to the flatland of the territory, Alaine witnessed much destruction. The storm had uprooted trees and tossed about debris like it was childrens' toys. The damage made her anxious; What if Vigilante was angry with her for not being here to help the pack? Would he understand that she had had no option but to follow her base instincts, and take refuge in solitude with her newborn pups? Loosing a gently wavering howl to call her king to her, the woman could only hope. She had met the handsome ruler only briefly before, at various occasions - Birthings, pack meeting and the such. He had been one of the first to welcome her to the pack so long ago, when Jac had still been King. Alaine had always respected the doggish male, and had been glad that he had stepped up to take the role of leader when their unruly collie king had disappeared.

POSTED: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:52 pm

500+ words.

The dog mutt had been busy in the weeks after the snow storm that had ravaged the pack's lovely territory so much, as he had been focused on searching out each individual bit of damage that had been done and considering all that he could do to help the situation. The biggest emotional blow to the pack had been the loss of Firefly's Cabin, and though he had discussed rebuilding it in the spring with Amaranth and Niro, the King did not know for certain that it could even be done. He was willing to try it for the sake of his oldest daughter, but he could not knw yet whether or not it would be a fruitful endeavor.

Members were still missing, which troubled the King greatly. Kambujiya had yet to turn up and Vigilante feared the worst for him, though as his body had not been found either, he hoped that his adopted son had left of his own accord and would perhaps return to the Miracles pack when he was ready. The pack's sole Apothecary, a woman he respected greatly, had also not been spotted during the storm, which worried him immensely. Other members had also been missing, though some had been gone since before the storm. He had noticed the absence of Ever's brother, Overo, and the pack lands seemed strangely empty. There were certainly new additions in the form of puppies, his own nearly two months old now, but the King noticed the missing members with great sadness.

The King had left Liam at home with his mother, but Noah once more accompanied the King on his rounds in the pack's territory. Vigilante worried that the boy might fall ill or get injured, but nothing he could say would deter the boy, and he preferred knowingly taking him, rather than the times that the boy snuck out after him. "Do you think Kam will come back?" the small puppy asked, bicolored eyes turning up to his father. He did not understand why his older brother had left, but thankfully, he did not share the same worries that Vigilante felt regarding the boy's ability to live through the storm on his own. "I do not know, son, but we can hope."

The sound of the howl drew both males attention, though Vigilante understood the message behind it more clearly than Noah possibly could, as young as he was. "Dad, who was that?" he asked, trotting quickly after the larger secui male that he idolized so, who was moving with such determined purpose. "Was it one of the missing ones?" Vigilante did not answer, but merely nodded and indicated that his son should follow closely. He could smell Alaine before he saw her, but when he did, he recognized the difference in scent by the puppy she cradled in her arms. "Hello, Alaine," he spoke warmly, "We had worried we had lost you. I am glad you are safe."

POSTED: Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:26 am

Word Count → 5+ :: table © sie

She did not have to wait long.

Although he had not howled a response, it seemed the Vigilante wasted no time in finding her. The woman had remained standing still where she was, shifting the wriggling puppy in her arms to better distribute its weight. Odette was growing larger by the day, and carrying her and her two siblings, Alaine's blood-children, put a strain on the woman's already aching muscles.

Relenting, she dropped the downy white pup to the ground, where the little miss instantly began to sniff and explore.

When she heard the male approaching, a low "Uff" was uttered into the silence. Knowing instinctively what the sound meant, the older pup returned instantly to the Apothecary, and she stooped to pick the little form back up again. Emerald eyes scanned for the familiar figure that she hoped was approaching. When Vigi finally came into sight, a relieved smile curved slightly at the corners of the lady's pixie maw, although her expression still held an anxious glint. As much as he projected friendliness and availability to his subjects, Vigilante was still a King, and his word was final.

When the male spoke, he spoke warmly, and Alaine felt some of her fears slip away. It was obvious that he did not yet blame her for her disappearance. "My Lord," She replied in smooth greeting, smile growing slightly at the genuine words. Although many others in the pack did not name him so formally, that was simply the Apothecary's way. Emerald eyes dipped down to the boychild that had scuffled at his father's heels, a hint of adoration coloring her cheeks. Alaine had known of the royal litter, but it was another thing to see how well and strong the Cour des Miracles prince looked. "And you, little master," She smiled warmly at the pup. Odette, who had once again begun to wriggle in her arms, was lowered to the ground where she hide shyly behind Alaine's legs. The girl-pup was not yet old enough for adequate speech, although her nose wriggled curiously at Noah's scent.

The other two pups, not yet a month old, remained peacefully sleeping in the leather satchel - As yet, the were unseen to the King, but Alaine did not doubt that he would be able to smell their presence. "Vigilante, there are things I must tell you... Things I must explain," Although by now it was rather obvious as to what had happened. The woman had left, rather rotund, and returned slim and glowing with three young pups. Her gaze remained slightly fearful. How would the King respond when he found out who Elvira and Elijah's father was? There were many complications to be considered. Perhaps, he would allow her to keep that secret, and not ask of it. Nobody else in the pack knew - Nobody else in the world knew of Alaine's children, and who had spawned them.

POSTED: Thu Mar 03, 2011 6:01 pm

500+ words.

The King had met Alaine for the first time shortly after she had joined the pack of Miracles and he had been appalled by the way that she had been treated by Leroy then, though he himself had been nothing but a mere member, while the black and white dog had been one of the higher-ranked members of the pack. Vigilante had found Alaine to be polite, but scared, and a lovely woman to be around. He was glad that she had seemingly grown significantly more comfortable in the pack and that she was not one to be upset by the change of leadership so many months ago. It had been a difficult time when he had decided to step up in the complete absence of Jacquez for weeks at a time, and though some members had not been entirely pleased, the pack as a whole had accepted the change. Alaine had been one of the ones to more readily accept it, as far as he remembered, and he had wondered what her opinion had been of Jacquez that she had been unbothered.

Though he did not require it of his pack members, the King appreciated the respect with which the collie woman addressed both him and his son. "This is my son, Noah. Noah, this is Alaine Winters, the pack's Apothecary," he spoke with respect. He watched the small puppy in her arms for a moment before she was lowered to the ground, scenting more than simply the two females in the air, but he did not draw attention to the puppy or the Apothecary's absence. Alaine certainly had her reasons for calling him and there was no need to press her for information she may not be ready to give just yet. Though some might have been questioned immediately, the dog mutt King trusted Alaine and her judgement well enough to know that he could simply wait and she would explain. Noah pressed forward, peering through bicolored eyes at the white puppy with interest. He had only been exposed to his brother and, very briefly in the hotel during the storm, Princess and Haven's newborns. It intrigued him to see a puppy older than a few days that was not his brother.

He listened as she spoke again, and as he had expected, she was willing to tell him the things he was wondering without the need for him to ask, it seemed. Vigilante did what he could to remain available to his pack members at all times and he appreciated when they called for him, as she had done so now. "Do you wish to speak here, or somewhere that is warmer or perhaps more comfortable?" The King did not have a preference, as his coat was thick and his secui form added to his protection against the cold, but she had young puppies with her and he had his own son. He would allow her to decide and choose a place, should she wish to go somewhere, or they could simply walk together, or speak while their children played in the snow nearby.

POSTED: Sat Mar 05, 2011 3:29 pm

Word Count → 5+ :: table © sie

The king seemed to take her formal addressal of he and his son in stride, as she'd known he would. Many found her titling somewhat unerring, and in turn made her uncomfortable by expressing a wish to be called less, but Alaine found comfort in giving rank where rank was due. It seemed Vigilante was aware of this. He took the time to introduce her to the prince, to which Alaine smiled generously, taken with the curious little face that peered up into her own. It seemed that fertility was high in the pack this year, and for that, Alaine was glad. She did not recall being called for the birth of Noah, and assumed immediately that it had gone well - the king's mate was a strong woman, and she had birthed before.

Noah did not linger with her presence for long, instead diverting his puppy attention to the little offwhite puppy that nestled between Alaine's footpaws. Odette was a strange child, and very attached to Alaine - Often, the Apothecary speculated that the amount of dependence the girl had on her foster mother's nearness was unhealthy. However, not knowing the girl's origins, the colliewoman was loathe to spurn her adoring attentions, instead allowing her abandonment issues to grow deeper.

The woman's next guiltily words did not at all appear to surprise Vigilante. It was as if the king had predicted her mannerisms - She had, at one time, been rather firmly friends with the man. Back when Leroy had kept her prisoned within the old Chien Hotel, which had quickly developed into the best home she had ever had. However, duties seemed to have come before any true friendship that Vigilante and Alaine might have had - She, having taken the place as Apothecary for the entire pack and for most of the southern region of the land, and he, eventually stepping up into the momentous rank of ruler. As it were, Alaine was now merely his subject, and although she deeply respected the male for the kindly but firm hand with which he guided his pack, she could not assume his benevolence.

His suggestion was taken with a slight sigh of relief. Her pelt was not as thick as his, and her legs ached from the walk down from the oceanside cliffs. Her two newborns continued to sleep soundly in the leather bag, but after the long trek, they felt far heavier on her shoulder than they truly were. Seeing a fallen tree nearby, Alaine gestured to it mildly, and moved to sit on the thing. She settled the satchel on her lap, careful not to disturb the two bodies therein, and gestured to Odette to take interest in the king's son. It would be good for her to have friends her age, not restrictive to the other two pups in her immediate family, and it would definitely be good for her to make a strong association with the prince.

After a moment, the woman began to speak. "Vigilante - My King. I should have told you sooner, but I was not sure that they - That my children - That this was going to happen." I was not sure they would survive. She did not deliberate further, for the memory of her previous miscarriage was still tender, "There was a strong urge, and I had to obey it. Forgive me that, for I was absent from the duties that I am committed to." Emerald eyes looked fleetingly to the male, and they were full of anxious sadness. As yet, there were no others to take her place as healer from the pack, but she did not doubt that a crueler ruler would have blamed her for her absence, perhaps punished with demotion.

POSTED: Mon Mar 21, 2011 6:21 pm

300+ words.

The collie Apothecary was one of the more devoted members of the Court, the King knew, and he appreciated her formality greatly, though he did not require it. Her presence in the kingdom was very much welcome and enjoyed. He found her pleasant to be around and a lovely woman, both by nature and the less important physical aspect of it, and if the time had permitted, perhaps they would have developed a close friendship long ago, as close as he would have allowed, of course. Friends were not something that the King had many of, and he never had, but Alaine was one of the closer acquaintances he had in the pack. He had been worried by her absence, but he had not been angered by it, even during the storm. Rather, he had been concerned about her safety and had wished her to be found for that reason.

He padded to the fallen log and sat beside it, jade eyes watching the way that she handled the satchel with such obvious care. Away from Noah and the small female puppy, the pair of them exploring each other with interest a short distance away from their respective parents, the King could smell the bag’s living contents more strongly now. The off-white puppy seemed too old to have been born to the collie woman, but this made more sense. He listened to her words and found no fault in them; he certainly would not punish her for doing what she had felt that she had needed to do. She did not have a mate within the pack and she knew her own body better than any possibly could, as they all did. He could not hold that against her simply because she had been absent for a short time.

Admittedly, he had felt ashamed to know that he had not known of her pregnancy, but his attention had been elsewhere. His own puppies were young and the snow storm had taken precedence in his mind. “I could never fault you for doing what you felt was right for yourself and your puppies. Luckily, no one was injured in the storm and there is no harm done by your short absence,” he spoke with a gentle smile offered to the collie woman.

POSTED: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:07 am

Word Count → 3+ :: table © sie

She watched as her king observed the ivory puppy, the girl who had not been born to her but was Alaine's regardless. Blood meant little to the colliewoman, a fact she had made known when she had adopted the collie girl Sylvie, so long ago. In some ways, Odette reminded her of the other girl - But that was a life apart, a time that she had buried deep in her mentality and viewed only as the tragic story of someone else.

Vigilante's face remained neutral, but the Apothecary knew him to be a very clever man, and she did not doubt that there was more going on behind his emerald eyes than he let show. The burden of responsibility seemed to have toughened the male, or wearied him - There was not as much energy in his frame as there had been the day they first met. The healerwoman resolved to make him some tonics when she got back to her well-stored kitchen in the Chien Hotel.

There was no doubt that being the leader of this pack and a new father must have placed reasonable strain on the handsome, doggish male. With the absence of Ruri, the previous Lautari, he ruled the land alone. That was a lot of weight for one creature to bear, and she did not blame him for not realizing that she had been carrying. It was somewhat of a relief, for the secrets that shrouded her children also kept them safe, and if more people had questioned her sudden pregnancy, then dangerous answers would have had to be given.

"You are a gracious ruler," The shadowy green of her eyes roamed over to the two puppies, who appeared to be sniffing at eachother curiously. There was clearly a great heaviness troubling her mind - There was no doubting Alaine's loyalty to him and the pack, but she wondered if the news she was about to give the King would strain her position here. "Perhaps you would not be so merciful if you were to know of their father...?" If he requested the information from her, Alaine would tell it, surely. But perhaps he would allow her to keep her secrets.

POSTED: Thu Mar 31, 2011 8:13 pm

300+ words.

He had aged so much since arriving in Cour des Miracles and taking up a position as the Constable, and then making the even more difficult decision to rise to the rank of King during the prolonged absence of the pack’s founder and original ruler. Vigilante was so vastly different from the dog he had been when he had arrived here, strained by the murder of his sister and the worries of his past finding him. He would never have suspected then that he would be sitting here as he was now, the leader of this band of misfits and mutts. He was proud of his position now, though certainly now in the same others might have been, and he was happy. The storm, however, and other recent events had made him feel tired. He was aging physically, as well, having passed his fifth birthday during the storm. The dogs of his ancestry did not live the longest of lives and he had more experience than many. He was beginning to actually feel his age, though it was not visible.

The Apothecary had been one of the pack’s most formal members for as long as he had known her, and he greeted the words with a small smile. “Thank you,” he spoke, wise jades watching the two young puppies before returning to the collie woman’s delicate features. She spoke as if she was unsure, perhaps as if she believed he would scorn her and her children because of their parentage or her lack of a mate or explanation. “They cannot be judged by who their father is, and I cannot demand that you tell me,” he said simply. The only one in the pack that knew of his past was his mate, but he would have hated for Noah and Liam to be judged by his bloody history. He could not do it to the puppies she held.

POSTED: Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:53 pm

Word Count → 3+ :: table © sie

Her worries were quelled with the man's smile, and his gentle words. At once, she felt an overwhelming peace and weariness, and longed for no more than to sit on the log and watch the children frolic forever. What a lovely world that would have been. "You could, my lord, if you willed it" She amended him softly, disagreeing with the ruler's statement about not being able to demand such information from her, "But you would not, I see," She smiled gently, and felt a kindred soul with his wisdom. They were growing old, he and she, but each served the pack with fullest intentions, and Cour des Miracles flourished beneath his reign and her care. She praised her luck, that the war had not come to their doors, and that the storm had not taken any victims. "This is what makes you a good King," She spoke softly, with thoughts of the previous royalty in her mind. He would have wasted no time in making such crude demands.

Relief left her warmer toward him, and although the two had not spoken in solitude for a long time, she felt comfortable in his companionable company. "Your son looks healthy," The Apothecary remarked mildly, her emerald gaze drifting from the ruler to the prince and back again, "Your mate too, I presume?" The Lady Ayita was very kind, and the two females had met before. The healer was rather fond of the family, for they had proven themselves to be a dutiful and kindly sort. Her clinical gaze, filled with the knowledge of her trade, was watching him now. "You seem tired, Vigilante. Perhaps I could give you some brews for energy?" She did not expect him to accept the offer, but the woman wished to be of assistance regardless, in any way she could.

POSTED: Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:00 am

300+ words.

Many leaders would demand answers and he was almost certain that the past leadership of this pack, the former King and former scarred Constable for certain, would have expected the answers immediately. Vigilante was not the sort of leader to make such demands of his pack members and he was more than willing to allow Alaine her secrecy. As the Apothecary corrected him, he did not argue back. The things that seemed so obvious to him might not be to the rest, and though he would not make such demands of her, there were those that would. He merely nodded at the compliment, a gesture of acceptance. He did not strive to be anything special, his leadership capabilities merely related to his own life experiences.

"She is well, as is his brother, Liam," he spoke with a tender smile. Ame was not spoken of. Though she was not a secret, the King did not wish to bring her into conversation on the daily. He had mourned in his own way and they had buried their only daughter together, and he had moved on to focus on the living boys that had already made such an impact on their lives. "And yours, as well?" The alabaster girl certainly could not belong to Alaine by blood, and the King was curious not only about the colliewoman's pups, but also about the adopted girl.

The caramel-hued King smiled almost ruefully. "There is much on my mind, and I am not as young as I was," he said simply. "I know very little of the healing arts, only basic field medic knowledge, but if you know of anything that may help, I would not decline, I do not think."

POSTED: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:34 pm

Word Count → 3+ :: table © sie

He was humble, but not irritatingly so, and absorbed her compliment with a slight nod and contemplative silence. Regardless of whether or not he believed her praise, Alaine knew his qualities to match his role, and she thought him a suitably good King. That was all she could ask of him.

At her remark to the health of his children, Vigilante seemed to noticeably brighten. The Apothecary was pleased to hear of the health of his new family - She had been unaware that he had had more than one son, but the information was wonderful. Two princes! It truly was a winter blessing. "I am glad to hear it," The colliewoman replied honestly, her emerald eyes still trailing the antics of the two pups before them. With a soft smile, she finally moved to lift the lid of her healer's satchel, and gestured for the King to take a look at the wealth within.

The two fuzzy bodies curled about eachother like the ying and yang - One was a soft blond and ivory, the other mottled Merle. "Elvira and Elijah," She murmured, waiting a beat more before closing the leather bag to keep in the heat their small bodies generated, "They are well. The other-" She gestured now to the ivory girl, sitting in the snow with his son, and her smile momentarily darkened to an expression that hinted at a deep anger and sorrow within. "I found her abandoned on the peaks. Someone had left her there to die... I have named her Odette, and she is now mine, also." There was a firmness to her voice that would allow for no argument, not even from the likes of a king. Within, the Apothecary had a streak of sheer stubbornness, and it was clear that she considered this girl as much her daughter as the two pups that had come from her own womb.

Her riled expression quickly melted back to a calm concern as Vigilante spoke of his own health, and she murmured a gentle sound of agreement. "Yours is not an easy task," she offered the king a gentle smile, wanting to give him some reassurance that his weariness would pass, "I will prepare some brews for you when I return to the hotel."

POSTED: Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:41 pm

Talk of their children would always bring pride out in parents, as it did for both Vigilante and Alaine as the puppies were spoken of in turn. As she briefly opened the satchel, the dog King peered in at the puppies of yin and yang with a soft smile before his sharp emerald gaze returned to hers, such a similar color. It was only in other dogs that he saw this shocking color, though it was strangely visible in Niro, as well. "They're lovely, Alaine. All three of them," he added. As one who took in homeless puppies himself, he would never question her motives or the girl's place in the pack.

Her tone and expression changed as she spoke of the King's job. It was not easy, and he had never expected it to be, but he handled it well and he enjoyed it. The role suited him. "I would appreciate that," he said, though he did not know what her brews might do for him. He knew little by way of medicine and the art of healing was one he did not study frequently.

POSTED: Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:08 am

Word Count → 3+ :: finish this up? <3

His praise for her offspring pleased the colliewoman, and warmed the pride for them within her. She would be as fastidious in motherhood as she was in her profession, and it calmed her to know that Vigilante approved of her brood. The ivory girl would surely grow quickly, and Alaine hoped to rid her of her clingy-ness and raise her to be a contributing member of her beloved pack. Perhaps this was why the woman had no mate - Her love was for her craft, and for the eclectic members of Cour des Miracles that she had made a home.

There would always be the loneliness on long dark nights, when shadows crept behind closed eyelids. With her children, she would ward them off, even in sleep. But deep within the woman was envious of those who had found romance - The King and his family were lucky indeed to know the happiness of their love. Her family would know much harder and colder truths, for the children from her womb were destined to be different. Little did the glowing mother know what twisted thoughts fate held for them; the daughter with a raptor's eyes, and the son with his mind trapped in his body.

She rose, somewhat stiffly. Thoughts of her bed in the old Hotel were welcome and wistful as the cool air nipped beneath her silky cream coat. "I should return now - There is so much to be done," The Apothecary looked fondly on the face of her ruler a moment, before casting emerald eyes so similar in hue to his own off in the wayward direction of the Chien Hotel. There were plenty of stocks that would need replenishing, plenty of brews to be made for those who were troubled by the season change with light illness.

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