on the road again...

POSTED: Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:06 pm

I'm so sorry that this is so freaking stupidly long. It had to be done. x.x / 2,101 words

The mountains were so beautiful this time of year, the end of summer when the nights were just starting to get more of a chill and there was sometimes a frosting of icy dew on the grass upon waking. That wetness would cling to the plants and rocks dotting the huge mountain peaks, causing a brilliant light show whenever the sun was out. In Dixie’s eyes, there was nothing so pretty…except for the sight of the wild horses running through the grass. That was something she would never forget and hoped to see again many, many times.

Wayne wasn’t so sure about traveling through the mountains so far, wondering if the horses could take the pressure. Of course, his worries were unfounded as the beasts seemed to love the higher elevation and being out in the wild. Dixie would just laugh at him, telling him over and over again that there was nothing to be worried about. Their travels were taking them deeper and deeper into the mountain’s, back the northern way in which they had originally come from. Riding throughout the Nova Scotian territory had been wonderful so far, but she wanted to explore more, see what else she could find.

The terrain was steadily getting rockier and harder to navigate, to the point now that Wayne had to get off of Gypsy and simply let the mare follow along without his extra weight shifting her balance. After a while Dixie had to do the same with Duke. He snorted and dropped his head down low, watching the ground for a while as if studying the rocky foot paths. Their new horse, an appaloosa mare, walked a few feet behind Gypsy, with a rope connecting the two together. Wayne had rightfully named the large mare Queen, because of her regal way of holding herself and walking. Whenever met with a new challenge, the mare would arch and curve her neck, bring her hooves up in a high step, and whinny at the foe. It was quite a sight to see.

Dixie climbed up on some rocks, ignoring Wayne’s huffs of protest. He always hated it when his tiny companion put herself in danger for no reason. He could have easily climbed up onto those pointy rocks, but no, she had to prove something and scare him half to death with her little stunts. Perhaps he was controlling about certain things, but he just could not think about her getting hurt, it freaked him out too much. When she climbed down, he grabbed her tail and tugged on it just enough to hurt a little, chuckling when she yelped and smacked him. Grinning still, he lolled his tongue from the side of his mouth and shot a wink in her direction before turning and taking the reins for both Gypsy and Duke, starting the walk down the trail again.

There is somethin’ down there; a big cave maybe…looks like some of those old machines from before our time as well. Let’s go have a look. She smiled up at Wayne and started walking, picking her way down the ragged hills quickly as he followed along at a slower pace with the horses. A few times he called out for her to slow down, but of course she ignored his warnings and just kept going. Near the bottom her foot caught on a dark rock sticking up from the ground and she went down face first. The girl yelped loudly and got up onto her hands and knees immediately, holding her face. Her nose was bloodied from scraping on the ground and she knew her skin would be sore and tender for a while.

Wayne ran down quickly, leaving the horses to make their own way. He scooped Dixie up in his arms and placed her on a boulder, pulling her hands away from her face and giving her fur a short inspection. Growling in frustration, he hugged her close and nuzzled his face into her soft stomach, angry that she had put herself in danger once again. After a few moments of hugging, he pulled back and glared at her, growling again to reprimand her behavior. She sighed and licked his face, right in between his eyes, and then slid down off the rock. I’m sorry, Wayne. I’ll try to be more careful, promise. She walked away from him with her head down, tail tucked between her legs and ears pinned flat, feeling emotional shame and physical pain.

After the little incident, Wayne turned his eyes to the things scattered around the mouth of the “cave”, as Dixie called it. The girl was already touching and picking things up, inspecting them and wondering what kinds of things they could be used for. Dixie! Look at this! The excitement was clear in the large male’s voice as he ran over to a hunk of rotting wood. The girl followed him and looked it over, taking a few moments for her to finally realize what it was. Oh! You think we can fix it!? We’d be able to carry so much more! Her little body was practically vibrating with energy, the fall and pain forgotten for the moment. Wayne nodded slowly and walked around the dilapidated wagon, trailing his hands over certain parts.

After a few minutes, he grinned and grabbed a hold of the piece that would connect a horse or cow to the entire structure. Leaning his weight back against his, he gave a sharp tug and slowly pulled it a few feet. Loose and rotten pieces began to shift and fall off, and by the time he had pulled it fifteen feet, the sides were gone and a few chunks of the flooring was as well. Overall though, it seemed to be in good working condition. The wheels weren’t in need of much repair, which was wonderful and a big relief for the two. Dixie, being the smaller one, once again ignored Wayne’s protests, and climbed up onto the wagon slowly. She moved around on it, cautiously stepping on bad looking parts and testing the wood to make sure it was stable. Hey…I think some of these parts are metal, so they will be fine. It’s just the really rotten wood that needs to be replaced. She shrugged and sat down in the seat at the front, grinning when it bore her weight easily without even making a creaking noise.

Wayne nodded and whistled lowly to the horses, jaw dropping slightly in surprise when they all obeyed and came directly towards them. Even the appaloosa, Queen came trotting over, not that she’d have been able to stop, being connected to Gypsy still. The big male smiled and untied Queen, reattaching her rope to Duke’s saddle. After taking the saddle and bags from Gypsy, he draped a soft skin over her back and led her over to the wagon and slowly brought the connector down over her shoulders. The mare snorted a bit and shifted uneasily, but stayed put. Dixie leaned down and rubbed her hands over her back, trying to soothe the mare’s nerves. It seemed to be working, and Wayne had an easy time fashioning a new belt like strap to go around the horse’s neck and withers, holding the wagon to her without cutting off her air supply.

He untied the reins, effectively splitting them into dual sections and then fetched a rope to extend the line. Handing the ends to Dixie, she sat back in the seat up on the wagon and clicked softly, flicking the make-shift long reins. Gypsy started moving easily, walking forward and pulling the wagon without a problem. A few more small pieces fell off, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed with time and some good tools. Dixie pulled on the reins and Gypsy came to a stop, dropping her head down to nibble on some grass. The other horses were doing the same a few yards away. The girl went to the packs that Wayne had removed from the large mare and took out a thick, large skin, draping it over the hole riddled bed of the wagon. There…you think some of the packs will be able to stay on now? Her arms strained as she lifted the heavier things up onto the back, setting them up with the heaviest at the edges so the lighter things wouldn’t go tumbling off.

It wasn’t as if they had so many things, and there were only two bags and a saddle resting on the back of the wagon. The wooden construction wasn’t very big, but they could definitely fit a lot more on it when it was fixed up. As it was, Wayne figured the thing could take a few more pounds. ”Look around, try to find anything else useful.” He grinned at his companion and went back to searching, happy about their discovery and what they could do with the wagon. He ventured a few feet into the mine shaft and began to sneeze, the smell was horribly musky and smoky, and it was hard to see anything. The male stripped his cut off jeans away and folded them up, placing his hat on top and then shifted into lupus form. He was a rather odd looking specimen in this form, large and thick furred like a wolf, but with a stockier, more muscular build like a Labrador.

It was much easier to move around in this form, and he quickly found a few things to take back out into the light, grabbing them in between his teeth and carrying them out one at a time. Dixie came over to see what it all was, bringing her own find. Sorting them out, they figured that there was a rusted saw the length of the girl’s forearm, a few hammers of different sizes, two files that would be good for caring for the animal’s hooves. It was a decent haul, especially when added up with the wagon. The things were placed safely and Dixie got up onto the wagon again. Wayne dressed himself and mounted Duke, shaking his head when the stallion tossed his head at the doubled weight. He was used to the small female riding him, not the monster of a man. He’d be okay though, he was a strong boy and after they got out of the hilly terrain, the horses could take turns pulling the wagon.

They rode on for about two hours, the sun was now high up in the sky. Anywhere else it would be boiling hot, but up in the Halcyon range, the weather was chilled and perfect. There was even some snow in the shady parts! The sharp hills and rocky terrain was starting to even out again and become soft ground, so Dixie and Wayne decided to pull up and take a break. The girl hopped down from the wagon and took the connector off of Gypsy’s shoulders, rubbing the area for a while before letting the mare walk away. Wayne allowed Duke and Queen to go graze and roll around in the deep grass as well, pulling out his flask and taking a deep gulp of water as he walked to Dixie. ”Do you smell that? There is a pack nearby, I think; northeast of us by a few miles. We need to be careful, okay?” She nodded and took a few sips of water as well before inhaling and drawing in the scent of multiple strange canines. It wasn’t surprising that there was a pack up in the mountains, as the territory was so full of life and rich life giving resources.

The girl yawned and stretched a bit, striding over to some large boulders that sat half out of the ground near the wagon. Climbing up on top of one, she stretched her body out and soaked up the warmth of the sun, closing her eyes for a short rest. She knew they’d have to start moving again soon, as the scent of a pack was making Wayne nervous and fidgety. The male really was not fond of the unknown, and he hated the fact that he couldn’t properly keep Dixie safe if he didn’t know what kind of creatures lived here and if they were friendly to strangers or not. Sighing in frustration, he fixed his hat and sat down, resting his back on the boulder. A strip of grass was pulled and placed between his lips, the little teeth in between his k-9’s nibbling at it in an attempt to stem his nerves.

POSTED: Fri Sep 02, 2011 1:28 pm

mind if we set this for the 25th August? Saul is already in two threads on the 23rd!

He was getting somewhere with Maia. It was a revelation that was sitting well with the male, as well as the dark stallion that rocked beneath him. Of course, Hermes was more concerned with the fact this his progency was growing in the chestnut mare, or the possibility was. Saul had attempted to breed them about nine days ago and while both had been immature and inexperianced, he was hopeful that it had worked. Since then the black stallion had spent a lot of his time at Maia's side, making sure that nobody else went near her. It made his training time with her a little more difficult but he managed anyway. It had taken Saul locking Maia in her stall today to get Hermes' to co-operate coming out with him. Arete was happy with the newly renamed Finn as Gideon had left him in the ranch so the two were perfectly happy to continue as normal.

Bright sunlight slit through the sparse trees as he exited the lands through Phoenix Forest. The gentle trot was quick to turn into a measured canter as the two of them let loose. It was times like these that Saul would have liked to shift into his lupus form and run alongside the beast. It seemed the horses were happy to take orders off of two leggeds, but seeing their masters in their four legged form was too much like being hunted and they often spooked and ran for their lives. So instead the male stayed on top of the stallion, not realising that the animal was taking him a different way than they'd gone before. He wasn't aware of where they were headed but as they exited the trees and continued Saul thought they might be heading towards the ocean once more.

Perhaps they would have found the ocean if they'd continued but bodies up ahead made Saul pull the stallion into a trot and then a nice walk. Keen green eyes could make out at least three horses and a male, although one of the other figures looked odd on a rock. He dismounted, slipping Hermes' bridle off as he came to a stop in front of the pair. Glancing towards the other horses, he patted Hermes' neck. The horse didnt seem to bothered and ambled over to the paint mare not far away. "Namaste. I'm Saul Stormbringer, from Ichika no Ho-en. Its a lovely day, don't you think?" He said, right hand fiddling with the satchel strap across his chest while he looked from the male to the female, wondering which would speak.

word count → 000 ;; image © Fir0002/Flagstaffotos ;; table by lin

POSTED: Fri Sep 02, 2011 4:09 pm

OOC 27th, as i stated she was already going into heat. Post fixed!

Word Count → 681

Dixie was so relaxed, comfortable even through the rock was hard and little pieces were poking at her tummy. The sun warmed her back and her eyes drooped, sending her in to a soft doze. Wayne just sat there on the ground wringing his hands and rubbing at his face nervously, scenting the air every few minutes. He knew that a rest break was needed for the horses…and it looked like Dixie needed it as well, but he wasn’t comfortable with their close proximity to the pack. What if they were aggressive and didn’t want strangers anywhere near their home? The male was confident in his ability to protect for a certain amount of time, but he knew that his fighting skills weren’t the best. There had never been much reason to learn, as no one had ever really threatened the two.

A while later the still mostly wild mare looked up and watched something in the distance, her ears flicking back and forth while the other horses ignored whatever it was and kept eating. Wayne stiffened and slid his small knife from the pocket in his jeans, ready to fly at whoever or whatever was coming if they meant any harm at all. The heavy hoof beats indicated it was a rather large horse coming…probably one of draft descent. This would have been just wonderful if there was no rider, a horse running right into his arms? Jackpot! Of course he knew that there was a rider, but there was nothing wrong with wishing.

When the huge black and white horse ran up and came to a slow stop, Wayne pushed up from the rock and leaned back against it, his chest and shoulders pretty much hiding most of Dixie’s body. He tipped his hat to the stranger and watched the multicolored stallion, the large stud was gorgeous and young looking, obviously very strong and smart as well. When the stranger’s horse walked up to Gypsy and Duke, they got a mostly friendly greeting. Queen got as far away as possible, while Duke just ignored them all. Gypsy lifted her head and looked around though, moving over to the stallion and sniffing at him a bit before neighing softly with a load of curiosity, wondering where the new horse had come from. It was the first time Wayne had seen Gypsy being friendly. His face was a bit slack as he watched, very surprised.

Shaking his head, the big man turned back and nodded to the man who called himself Saul. ”I’m Wayne McCoy, and this little filly nappin’ up here is Dixie-May Jackson.” His voice was a low timbre with a southern twang, probably not something the Nova Scotian canines didn’t hear too often. Just as he introduced them both, Dixie rolled onto her side and pressed her head to Wayne’s shoulder, nuzzling her face against his neck before yawning and blinking sleepily at the new guy. ”H-hi there… Nice ta meet ya. You can call me Dixie, Mr. Saul.” Her face lit up with a friendly smile, only to be broken again by another yawn. She shook her head and slid down off the rock, showing the contrast in size and body type between Wayne and herself.

”Horses seem to be getting’ along good…’cept little Queen. She is still too wild to know we ain’t gonna let nothin’ hurt her.” She smiled fondly and moved over to the bunch of horses, not worried in the least about getting hurt. When she walked up to the paint mare and stallion, she noticed Saul’s horse lifting his upper lip and scenting the air. Her eyes then flicked over to Gypsy and the girl groaned. ”Wayne…Gypsy’s about to go into heat…real soon now, and this boy here thinks she is smellin’ just mighty fine, huh you big hunk?” Dixie was a silly little girl, and she rubbed her hands over Hermes’ shoulder, scratching his thick hide enough to get him to start relaxing. ”Some beautiful horses you got here, Mr. Saul. Where’d you say you lived?”

Image courtesy of PNNL@Flickr; table code by the Mentors!

POSTED: Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:02 pm

27th August! haha

Green eyes could still see the petite feet of the female but the big body blocking his veiw was demanding most of his attention. He focussed on the man instead, noting the slightly defensive pose he took over the female on the rock and the nervous energy that seemed to emit from the males body. He could understand where it came from, where this wariness came from. They smelt wild, and therefore they belonged to no pack, they were relatively unarmed it seemed and unprotected, plus they had livestock to defend as well as themselves. It was clear they could smell Ichika from here and this would have put them on alert. Or at least the male, since the female still appeared to be asleep. His attention was momentarily dragged away by the horses' antics as Hermes and the paint mare that he had found sniffed at each other, vocalising a few thoughts it appeared.

The voice that bought his attention back to the pair was like nothing he had ever heard before. There was something of a drawl to the vowals, something different to the way most others spoke around here. It was not prominant enough for Saul not to understand him, but it was still there. "A pleasure to meet you Wayne... and Dixie-May" He offered in return, a grin tugging at his lips. He found that he quite liked the male he was speaking to- there was something very down to earth about him. He glanced over to see what the horses were up to, feeling embarrassed when his own horse twisted his head and lifted his upper lip to taste the air. He was saved from having to say something by the stirring of the female now known as Dixie-May.

"Dixie it is. And please, just Saul will do!"

He returned, finding that he quite liked the female as well. Both of them were friendly in his opinion despite the energy rolling off of Wayne's posture. She commented on the horses and Saul turned his body to look at them properly. They'd moved on to immature prancing about each other, nipping softly at each other's flanks in a game of sorts. "She'll get there eventually, you've just got to build up some trust." He reassured her, thinking of how Maia was coming around. She would allow him to touch her now and was doing very well on the lunge rope. Dixie moved over to the horses and Saul moved with her, glancing back to see if her companion was going to come with them. Saul's stomach dropped as Dixie picked up on their behvaiour, an embarrassed shrug moving his body. He couldnt very well drag Hermes away without ending his conversation with the both of them. Dixie's voice made him pause and look back. Her horse was about to go into heat, or perhaps she was already in heat from the way Hermes danced around her.

"I-I'm so sorry. I don't know what to say!" He stuttered as Dixie moved to the stallions side and began to scratch his shoulder. Luckily he seemed to enjoy the attention more for the moment and relaxed at the females touch. Dixie looked back and complimented Hermes before asking where he lived. "I live in Ichika no Ho-en, a newly formed pack just over the mountains. I'm real sorry about Hermes..." He said, coming to stand by her side. He had Hermes' bridle in his satchel and the horse was only tacked up with his saddle so there was no way he could pull him away even if he wanted to. Mortified he waited for the pair to speak once more and turn the attention elsewhere.

word count → 000 ;; image © Fir0002/Flagstaffotos ;; table by lin

POSTED: Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:34 pm

Hehe, silly horses. 441 words.

A deep rumbling laugh sounded from behind Dixie and Saul, vibrating through Wayne’s chest. The horses perked up and peeked over at the usually stoic male, not really hearing that sound very often. Wayne just chuckled at the way Saul apologized for his horse and how nature worked, shaking his head and walking closer. The stranger was had a very calming presence, as he didn’t come off as threatening in the least bit, which helped Wayne see around the fact that he was an unknown. Still grinning, the large male rubbed one hand over Gypsy’s back and sighed, watching the two horses as they “flirted” like foals. ”Damn imbeciles…” He muttered softly, obviously not knowing what it was like to be around a female in heat.

Dixie rolled her eyes and patted his arm before turning back to look at Saul, smiling happily. Her eyes jumped to the horses and she watched closely as they pranced around together, tossing their heads and stomping on the ground playfully. ”Perhaps she is closer than we thought…Duke never reacts to her because she’d kill him if he tried anything, so he is never any help in that area.” She reached out and stroked a hand over Duke’s dark chestnut coat, scratching his shoulder amicably; her baby boy was a good horse. She sighed and frowned at Saul, shrugging her shoulders once again. ”There ain’t much we can do about this…they are both way too big to drag away from each other, and seperatin’ ‘em is just plain mean.” She pouted a little and looked at Wayne, giving him her famous big green puppy eyes.

The large male growled and settled his hands on his hips, ears forward in a show of slight annoyance. ”What is it, Dixie? What ya want now?” His voice came out harshly, but was diluted by the mischievous look in his eyes and the soft playful lilt as he asked. Dixie kept her hand on Duke and peeked in between the male canines, trying to gauge their reactions. ”What if we let them…you know? Gypsy could get pregnant. Though traveling with a fat, useless mare wouldn’t be too fun…” She sighed and rested her head on her horse, watching the two playful ones having fun together.

”It’s about time we got a foal from her, don’t you think, Wayne? She is pushin’ on five years…in her prime. She’ll do good to have a chit.” Wayne huffed again and looked away, watching his mare being all stupid in the head over the stallion. They sure were a nice pair, both large and muscular, beautifully colored…their babies together would be amazing…

Table by Fae

POSTED: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:24 pm

<33

There came a laugh from behind them and Saul twisted around to see Wayne laughing. He didnt know Wayne, nor did he know that it was an unusual for him to laugh, so allowed himself a soft chuckle instead. He felt responsible for his horses behaviour and did not understand that there was really nothing he could have done about what was going on. Wayne approached and ran a hand over the paint mare, who Saul learnt was called Gypsy, before muttering something. Saul thought it sounded like an affectionate insult but it was too low for him to hear. He still like the male, but there was something standoff-ish about him that Saul couldnt place. There was no reason for him to become anything less than friendly though so he chuckled along with him.

Dixie dominanted most of the speech though, explaining about the horse. Saul glanced over at the chestnut horse. While he was the same colour as Maia coat wise, they were completely different. In body type, temperament and every other way. Plus the fact that the horse named Duke had a chestnut mane and tail, whereas Maia had a flaxen mane and tail. It seemed Gypsy was much more alike in temperament to Maia than the chestnut stallion was. "Poor Duke... won't she let you near her?" Saul cooed softly, leaning over to stroke the horses side. He glanced back over at Dixie as she spoke again, nodding softly. It would be mean to take away each others fun and since they seemed to be having so much of it, it would be cruel to tear them away. "Yeah, I guess you're right." He conceeded, glancing back as Gypsy gave a squeal of pain or delight, he wasnt sure, to a particularly well placed nip from Hermes.

He almost missed the interaction between the two. The male, Wayne, seemed to be able to read Dixie's mind or something because she didnt have to speak before his growl rumbled forward and he asked Dixie what it was. This was a surreal situation considering the fact that he'd literally only just met them. Saul allowed his ears to flash back as Dixie spoke about letting them. Hermes was getting more than Saul was, which was never a good thing. He remained silent as Dixie continued to speak about how Gypsy was in her prime. Once they had finished speaking, Saul interjected. "Well, Hermes' is certainly up for it. But if you were worried about having a pregnant mare with you- why don't you board her in Ichika until she births? She'd be safe and secure at the ranch and you'd be able to come and collect the foal whenever. Plus Hermes seems determined to build up his harem..." He offered. Nayru and Razekiel didnt seem bothered by the livestock in Ichika so he was certain there would be no problem in boarding the mare during her pregnancy.

word count → 000 ;; image © Fir0002/Flagstaffotos ;; table by lin

POSTED: Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:41 am

...on the road again.. xD / +508

Dixie watched Saul as he pet Duke and spoke to him softly, the male seemed to be a softy for the large animals. Smiling happily, she moved closer and shrugged slightly, ”He is too sweet for his own good…and lets her push him around.” She sighed and wrapped her arms around Duke’s neck, hugging him tight and earning an annoyed snort from the medium sized stallion. Laughing softly, she pulled away and went back over to Saul’s side, watching the silly horses again. The squeal was of both delight and pain, Dixie could see. Gypsy was excited, not only in an aroused state of being in heat, but she didn’t often have another horse to play with since she was such a little meany to Duke. Having this sort of attention poured all over her was making her more hyper than she’d already been.

Saul was a really smart, fast thinker! His idea for leaving Gypsy with his pack while she carried out her pregnancy was absolutely perfect. Wayne wouldn’t be in love with the plan so much at first, but he knew how much of a hassle a pregnant mare could be, and would agree with a soft sigh and a nod. There would be no dragging the horses away from each other now that they’d bonded and Hermes was determined in such a way. Nodding slowly, Dixie turned away from the paints and looked up at Saul, grinning. ”I like that idea…it just might be perfect for our little situation…We can be ready to go in just a few minutes.”

She patted Duke more and sighed, it was his turn to learn how to pull the wagon, since they were on flatter ground. Grabbing a handful of his thick mane, she started walking and he followed without a problem, his soft nose pressed to her shoulder as they moved together. The young woman turned him and got him to back up a few steps, then draped the skin over his back and settled the connector over his shoulders and buckled it around his chest. The stallion flicked his ears back and forth a few times, shifting his body weight as well, trying to figure out what was connected to him now. Dixie smiled and rubbed his face while walking forward, prompting him to do the same. Just like Gypsy, he had a pretty easy time pulling the smallish wagon across the ground. ”Good boy, Duke.”

The three bags and Duke’s saddle were placed on the skin covered wagon bed and Wayne cautiously caught Gypsy and saddled her. He never got between the two horses, and while that made the process take a bit longer, it insured that he didn’t get bit or kicked. Once mounted, Gypsy settled down and stopped her foolish playing, opting instead to pay attention to her rider. Queen was tied to the wagon and Dixie was sitting there as well with the long-reins in hand, ready to follow Saul when he managed to get his stallion calmed and ride-able again.

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