Broken Leash

POSTED: Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:36 pm

OOC here. /+000

Hadley had headed over to the stables, the one area other than Grace's house that he actually knew. Quietly he moved through the creatures, petting their noses softly and making sure they had food and water. One of them had managed to make quite a mess of herself, and Hadley patiently groomed the horse until her coat was glistening again. Hadley lead the horse back into her stall and left the stables, sitting outside on the step.

Looking around the land he was in was beautiful. It wasn't where he belonged though, making his heart ache. Hadley hadn't had a true place he belonged since he'd first been captured, attached to a person rather than a place. Amy's constant travel and easy release of him had made that even more clear, that he was something to be used at convenience before being given away. That wasn't the case anymore, since Hadley had decided to let himself be freed. That didn't make it any more easy, not knowing what his purpose was, or where he belonged.

POSTED: Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:45 pm

Truthfully, Anatole had little to do with the horses despite his rank. He wasn’t fully comfortable on two legs, but the endless nagging of his spirit guide prevented him from staying such a way forever. Today was such a day—trying to reassure himself of what to do, he had chosen one of the female horses that had been the most evenly tempered. The mare, fat with foal, was docile enough for a rider as inexperience as Anatole.

That inexperience was something he could not allow others to see, which was why he took the mare away from the barn to practice. When he had first tried he had ended up clinging to her with fierce worry. Now, though, he was more confident—his posture was better and he no longer clung to the horse so badly. By learning to use his legs, he was able to ride her with more confidence; this allowed the horse to respond better. He still did not ride around others, and thus walked the mare back to the stables. Her hackamore allowed for this to be easily done, and Anatole, unabashed by his nakedness, led her quickly towards the building.

He was close when he smelt the stranger, closer still when he started him. Green eyes flared, ears rose high, and Anatole stiffened subconsciously. The man did not smell of AniWaya—he did not belong. “You!” He barked, advancing sharply. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

POSTED: Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:31 am

OOC i probably should have mentioned that i got permission for hadley to be in aniwaya. trying to recover from being a slave

Hadley had been doing his best to figure out what he should be doing now that he was free. Carving seemed like a useful talent, but he didn't have anyone to carve for. He was good with animals, but Hadley didn't own any animals to take care of. He didn't even know how to require some, since the only canine he knew who dealt in such things was Amy, and she would probably just happily take him back as a slave instead of selling him anything.

The thundering voice of another broke Hadley's thought. He glanced up, seeing a towering angry wolf stalking towards him. Instantly he dropped low, making himself as small as possible. Ears pasted to his skull, tail tucked up as far as it would go. If he thought he could expose his belly to the other without looking completely ridiculous Hadley would have done just that. Instead he simply twisted his head exposing his neck. H-Hadley sir. He had no good answer for why he was there.

POSTED: Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:07 am

I assumed so. Anatole doesn't know that, of course. :>

Behind him, the pale horse whinnied and shifted to and fro with fright. Unused to his display of aggression, she was fearful—but she was a trusting horse and did not try and pull from him, something Anatole did not recognize as a gift. He stilled as the man shifted, and it was to his surprise that the truest form of submission was offered. Instinctively used to allowing this, Anatole’s aggression stilled to the stiff-legged walk and bristling fur along his spine. Without a snarl, however, he was now able to approach without looking mad.

He closed the distance enough to sniff at the man, catching a peculiar mixture, only one of which belonged to his own Tribe. A frown crossed his face. “You aren’t from here,” he stated flatly. That was obvious, but he did not know how to better reason the truth of the matter. “Where are you from? You aren’t a tribe member,” he added, certain that the more dominant smell of other wolves (and likely another pack) was responsible for such a thing. As an afterthought, he sighed bullishly. “I’m not going to hurt you. You hardly look dangerous.” Harsh, but once more, true. A shadow crossed him but the wolf did not spare it a glance—it was the eagle no doubt, keeping an eye on his behavior.

POSTED: Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:22 am

OOC here. /+000

The male didn't halt his approach, remaining a frightening figure towering over him. Hadley did his best to remain still, making sure that he wasn't a threat in any way, shape or form. That didn't necessarily mean he wouldn't get hurt, just meant that the pain would probably be a lot less. Hadley closed his eyes as he was approached, not wanting to see the strike that was sure to come. Nothing touched him though. Instead the stranger started talking.

Hadley nodded his head, slowly opening his eyes, careful not to stare at him. Asked a question Hadley considered the question carefully. I-I'm from Casa di Cavalieri sir. The words were rough, saying that he wouldn't hurt him. At least there was a reason included that Hadley could understand, still not used to the idea of people just not wanting to hurt him. Hadley carefully straightened up, keeping his ears pinned down, his body held low. He didn't ask any questions, unsure of what he was allowed and not allowed.

POSTED: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:03 pm

There was a very good reason that Anatole did not think of this man as threatening—he was a full foot shorter than the tall man, but it was obvious he outweighed him. Even underfed he would have outweighed him; the doggish thing was subservient, the mark of all the domesticated animals that did not remember their roots. Spitz dogs in the north had been different; but they were dogs who had learned well of natures law of club and fang long before the fall of man. He had seen no such animals south; manners and morals had turned them weak.

Green eyes trailed over the man’s form, noting the scars, and assessing them as marks of proof of this subservience. Even he, who had been through many a fight, bore only a few scars—the most notable those under his eye, left from the cat that had infected him. In time they too might heal, something he sorely hoped would be the case.

Behind him, the white horse nickered lowly and his ears turned back to her. She was hungry and needed rubbed down, and given her condition, she could not be forced to stand around. “Well don’t just stand around,” he grunted, and led the mare into the barn. Her stall was large, likely intended for foaling. “Help me with her, will you? And tell me what you’re doing here while we work—you didn’t come here on your own, did you?”

POSTED: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:27 pm

OOC here. /+000

The mare behind the wolf nickered softly, bringing Hadley's ears to flick towards her before quickly flattening down again. It seemed the horse was rather hungry, though he wasn't entirely sure. Hadley scrambled to the side as the wolf slid past him, leading the pregnant horse. He trotted behind, making sure not to get in the way. A large stall was opened, and the horse was tucked inside. Hadley followed inside, looking around for tools to rub her down with. He found some brushes and cloths, and placed them nearer.

He might have been startled if it had occurred to him to do so when asked why he was there. Hadley lifted out some grain, making sure to work on a mixture that held all the nutrients she needed, richer than a regular diet. Grace brought me. She said she could teach me how to be free. His words were quiet, hesitant in their nature. Hadley did want to be free, but he wasn't entirely sure he'd be able to figure out how to do that.

POSTED: Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:44 pm

Still unsure of himself around the other horses, Anatole had bonded quickly with the easy-going mare. By gaining confidence with her his natural behavior came forth, allowing him to be in control of her. This was such a gradual shift he had not noticed it, though the mare had and responded beautifully to such a thing. Despite his novice work with the animals, he was learning quickly how to ride her and respond to her needs—and this was simply another step. The stranger seemed more prepared for such a thing, bringing out the tools to clean the dirt and sweat from her body.

Anatole listened with some confusion to the mention of learning to be free. He frowned slightly and watched as the man mixed grain, using the same sort of materials he had been taught to use while she was with foal. The dark wolf moved out to pick up a metal half-hook used to remove dirt from the hooves, and returned soon enough. “Why do you need to be taught to be free?” He asked, less demanding than before. With his proximity to the horse he could not behave so rashly—nor, he thought, would it be wise to do so if this man was somehow traumatized as many of the Tribe had been after the war. As if to echo this thought, a loud fluttering of wings sounded outside.

POSTED: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:00 pm

OOC here. /+000

Hadley gently rubbed down the horse's body before selecting a brush. He moved over her body with care, making it almost into a massage for the large mare. It was soothing work, one that didn't require too much thought. His entire mind could just focus on one simple thing, and enjoy it. Hadley was never a complicated person, always thinking and feeling too much for his own good. He had tried to learn to not be so sensitive, though that hadn't worked very well. Amy's training had been much more successful.

The male was calming down, his actions less aggressive and more soothing, allowing the tension to slowly flow out of his muscles. The question had him pausing, horse resting on the horse's flank, before he continued. It was a difficult question. He took some time thinking it over. He had returned to where he'd started before he finally had found an answer. When my freedom was...taken, I forgot...what it felt like. I didn't know I could be free...I didn't know I had choices...I was lost... Grace was a light, one that would help him settle, would help him figure out what he forgot.

POSTED: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:19 pm

The motion of picking out the compacted dirt from the mare’s hooves was simple enough. He positioned himself so she could rest her knee on his own, then turned the hook shape down and up with a single flick. This popped out the loose dirt in a solid pack, and he brushed it aside with his own foot. Doing all of her feet was needed, especially since the group was soft—he had been warned about caring for hooves, and the idea of an infection spreading frightened him. After his own brush with such a thing, Anatole had no desire to see anyone else suffer for it.

When finished, he stood up to look at the strange man again. His answer was peculiar, and one that made his brows furrow together. A flash of darkness and unwelcomed fear filled his mind, and he stiffened subconsciously. A glance towards the door revealed that the eagle had settled outside, and was watching him with piercing eyes…but keeping a distance and allowing him this chance without the strict guidance he often seemed to need. Perhaps this was a test.

Glancing back to the man, Anatole spoke lowly. “Were you a prisoner?” The Tribe had seen such horrors recently, and while Anatole had not been present for them, he imagined this was something that could happen elsewhere.

POSTED: Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:06 am

OOC here. /+000

Darkness flashed in the male's eyes, and Hadley flinched. It didn't seem violent, but Hadley had learned to fear all forms of darkness, whether it seemed to bring violence or not. The most frightening encounters were when Amy wasn't angry, after all. He stood still at the horse's head, trying to fight the urge to flee. There was no reason for it after all. The wolf had said he wouldn't hurt Hadley. He tried really hard to trust the male, knees buckling slightly.

His ears flashed forwards when he was asked if he'd been a prisoner. Hadley shook his head, wondering why that was asked. Hadley was pretty sure prisoners would receive better treatment, expected to stay in one place and not cause trouble, while slaves were forced to bend to another's will, always dancing on the edge of not knowing what they would be asked to do, knowing that they'd have to do it.

POSTED: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:07 am

There's a ritual I think Anatole could suggest for Hadley that involves him wearing blue ribbons--would you maybe want to work that in? :O

One hand extended to the back of the mare, scratching at the special spot he had found early in their working relationship. His green eyes trailed away from the man as he thought over the silent answer. What could a man be if he was not a prisoner? Having never encountered the concept of slavery Anatole was at a loss and felt unsure of how to behave. A glance out to the sunlit area showed that the eagle was watching him equally as quiet, though he gathered the same warmth from her as he did while out in the land itself—freedom was like the warmth of the sun and he could not imagine living without it.

“Well,” he began. “You are a guest here and we treat our guests well. Have you eaten yet?” The dark wolf recalled bringing in a kill the previous day and could grant that to the skinny mongrel. Maybe food would get him to warm up more, and talk. That would at least help him narrow down what Grace’s “plan” was. The white horse whinnied lowly and pressed her face against his chest, to which the dark wolf responded with a rumbling growl of pleasure.

POSTED: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:26 am

OOC hadley with blue ribbons would be amusing. yes!

Hadley watched with envy as again he witnessed the special bond between a canine and a horse. He had no idea how one was formed, and knew that he couldn't have one since he didn't even have a horse of his own. Hadley was a clumsy rider, albeit one that knew the basics of sitting on one and getting it to move. Steering was proving a little more tricky, as was staying on the horse once it started moving. The horse gently butted the male, rewarded with a growl of pleasure. Yes, that was something that he wanted, a connection with someone else, anyone else, that he could trust and be trusted by in return. He just didn't know if he was capable of it.

The offer of a meal had the hybrid nodding eagerly. He felt like he was starving. While Hadley had never been to that point, always kept healthy enough that he could work, his body did crave food. He was getting better at eating regularly, but he still needed prompts in order to feel free doing so. Otherwise he ended up harboring guilt, feeling like he'd stolen from others, that he needed to fix it. That didn't contribute to his diet well at all.

POSTED: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:49 pm

The fact of the matter was that Anatole and the mare had only formed such a bond because of his inexperience. Her patience and motherly attitude had won him over, and his response to her helped forge this. Like Hadley, Anatole was hardly an experienced rider—in time he might become one, but he would never be as natural as someone who had practiced from birth. It was, however, his ability to drop his guard (as the eagle was reinforcing) that helped aid in such progress.

Satisfied the mare was content with her own meal, Anatole headed out of the stall. Once he was sure Hadley was clear, he shut the door behind them and moved towards the entrance. The golden eagle, looking (at least to him) pleased with herself, made a motion that had the dark wolf slow. He extended his arm, allowing her to climb up to his broad shoulder. Despite being a spirit, her weight was still heavy. The bird looked to the stranger sharply, and then squeezed her talons into the scout’s shoulder. He spoke quickly. “Hadley, this is Donoma. Donoma, Hadley. He’s visiting from another pack and seeking healing,” the wolf explained.

The eagle cocked her head to study the male with one eye. “You are gravely wounded,” she spoke, her deep voice soft. “It is wise that you came to us.” With another squeeze to Anatole’s shoulder the wolf began to move, motioning for Hadley to follow. His path was a direct one, heading towards the central village area.

POSTED: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:39 pm

OOC here. /+000

The mare settled in to her meal quite happily as Hadley followed the other out of the stall. He glanced back once more as the door was swung shut, glad that the male was no longer growling and intimidating, though his submissiveness remained tightly upheld. He was too frightened that the male would turn around and snap at him if he relaxed too much in the wolf's presence. They moved towards the entrance when a large dark shape moved forward.

Falling into a blind panic Hadley backed up, ending up curled on the floor. He stayed that way for a while before pulling his head cautiously out. A large bird now sat on the stranger's shoulder. He had no idea why it was there, but it looked big enough to be able to hurt him if it wished to. An introduction was done, and Hadley watched the bird curiously, flinching as it spoke. He didn't know birds could talk, or that this one was female. Hadley's face twisted in confusion at the words of being injured. All his wounds had healed up or scarred over. They started to move again, and timidly Hadley picked himself up, following behind.

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