Then I'll follow you into the dark

POSTED: Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:16 am

DADDY. 8) let us bond!!

Word Count → 368

Summer had been set in motion, a curtain of heat settling in earnest over the seaside kingdom. It was Hati's first summer, and he was disappointed to find how oppressive the warmth was; the combination of his dark hue and thickness of his hybrid pelt had been keeping him indoors even more than usual. He was already waiting for autumn's arrival, when the leaves would fall and the crisp frost would replace this languid humidity. That would also mark his first birthday, a personal milestone he was anticipating. Things were changing for him, maturing and shifting just as the seasons turned around him. He felt he was growing more introspective as he eased the transition into adulthood; he was ever the opposite of his extrovert brother.

He was more active at night now, exploring the kingdom under the moonlight while the rest of the courtiers slept. He had shared this night world with Skoll, so it was no longer a secret, but in return this allowed him more freedom. The main exception he made for traveling in the daytime was for his frequent visits to the stables. He was finding that he loved the court's horses even more than reading the books in his family's library, and Alder's gentle guidance was helping him learn how to interact with them instead of simply watching. There was something special about horses, a quality that drew him to them just as it had his littermates. They were alluring, mystical even, with their soulful eyes. And once he was confident enough in his riding abilities, he could ask for a horse of his own...

...Today, though, he was in his Lupus form, curled comfortably on the grass in the shade of his family home. The sun was past its zenith and beginning its descent toward the horizon, finally easing some of the heat. The air tasted as though it could rain tomorrow, or once night fell and the earth cooled. Hati lay panting, idly watching the silhouettes of seagulls against the blue sky. It was an easy day, and the wolfdog felt sluggish and content in the balmy climate. Once the sun set, he would shake off the drowsiness and find something to do.

Table by Raze!

POSTED: Fri Jul 06, 2012 4:18 pm


His children were growing fast, already approaching their first birthday. When had that happened? Liam's second birthday was this coming winter; in the King's mind, he did not think of the darker of his first sons now. He did not think his son was dead, but for all intents and purposes... Noah was gone. He had not come back and he had been gone for a year now. The exact date was unknown to the caramel King, but he knew it had been roughly a year since. He wondered if Ayita thought of Noah often; he knew he tried not to.

Nosing open the door to their home, the King spotted his darkest son resting in the shade. A small smile met the sight. Hati was much more of a night owl than his siblings, and as such, it made sense that he would be out now, when the sun was beginning its descent into the night. He approached his resting sun at an easy pace, his head held low to the ground, relaxed as he was without the need to hold himself up in the place of a King.

"Enjoying the cooler air?" he asked, lowering himself to sit beside his son.

POSTED: Fri Jul 06, 2012 6:55 pm


Word Count → 507

Hati barely stirred when he heard the door creak nearby. If he had wanted solitude, he would have to leave his home far behind; there were always comings and goings here. His was a busy household full of good food and good company, and he would not mind if one of his kin wanted to spend time with him here in the shade. His ears flicked idly, listening to the sounds of someone approaching. As long as he was not about to be pounced on by Skoll or Terra, he was not concerned. He was surprised, though, to hear the deep rumble of his father's voice, and he quickly straightened his lounging posture without consciously realizing he did so. "Yes, Father," he replied quickly, plumed tail thumping against the grass in greeting. "It's been so hot lately..." He was going to ask if the heat was bothering him as well, but his voice trailed off when he realized it was a silly question. His father could weather anything without complaint; why would he care that it was summer? "...I hope you are doing well," he finished, his formal tone even as always, concealing the vague intimidation he felt as his father settled on the grass beside him.

His sire was still bigger than him, and perhaps he always would be. That was the way it was meant to be, Vigilante as a powerful larger-than-life figure to him. Hati held a deep admiration for his father and the respect that his rank commanded, that much was irrefutable. But there was also some strain in their relationship, a tension caused by the uncertainty Hati held toward his own worth. He wanted to be an asset to his father and the kingdom, to shoulder responsibility and be seen as mature and useful. But he did not know how. There was no talent revealed to him after he had finally shifted for the first time. What was his purpose? He did not feel close enough to his father to ask him for advice, fearing it would be seen as a childish weakness.

Still, Hati and Vigilante held more in common than he had realized when he was younger; they were both quiet males, content to listen while others spoke before carefully choosing the words they would say. Perhaps they shared the same seriousness, the solemn dignity with which they viewed the world around them. But Hati knew he lacked the courage and confidence it took to be a leader like his father, something his charismatic brother had inherited instead. He was slow, always the last to learn new tasks or try something for himself. He was self-conscious of this, and perceived judgment in his father's eyes whether it was actually there or not. He did not know how much independence was expected of him, whether he should be traveling to other packs as Skoll did, or if it was alright that he would rather stay at home with Mother. He doubted himself, and he expected his father to doubt him as well.

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POSTED: Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:28 pm


"I am doing well," the caramel-colored dog mutt said with a pleasant smile, "though I would be happier if it were cooler more often." Despite his son's beliefs of his father, the dog King was not above wisher that the summer were already over. The thick heat and the blinding sun were more than he was happy to put up with, as used to the cold and the dark as he was from having been born and raised in Alaska. His children had never seen that part of the world, and for their sake, he hoped they never would. Kaktowik was a place darker than what he wished for his children.

Though he did not spend much time with all of his children together, he spent some time alone with them each in turn. Perhaps this type of parenting was not ideal: Hati was extremely formal with him, Skoll was extremely independent, and Lottie was very much his princess. "I was thinking about trying to catch some fish down at the ocean. I've never fished before and thought I might give it a try. Would you like to join me?"

POSTED: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:16 am

Word Count → 371

Father smiled at him. Hati felt a glimmer of optimism shining through his anxious haze. "Absolutely," he agreed, smiling modestly in return. He had no reason to be nervous, though he had to keep telling himself that. He expected stern judgment, to hear that he was disappointing his family in some way. It was his greatest insecurity that he simply could not measure up to expectations. Always comparing himself to his brother, always coming up short. It was an awkward age for him, trying to find individuality and independence. It didn't seem like his siblings were struggling with adolescence at all; why was it so easy for them to be themselves?

Hati blinked in surprise, turning to meet his sire's powerful emerald gaze. "I... Are you sure you want me?" he asked uncertainly, wondering if Vigilante might prefer the sunnier presence of Lottie or Skoll. He would not be very offended if this were the case; it already seemed to be common knowledge among the littermates that they got along better with their father while Hati remained closest to their mother. But he regretted voicing this almost immediately, because it seemed churlish to turn down the rare offer. The dog King was always so busy, defending their borders and organizing their pack. What little free time he had was doled out to his mate first, and then his children if they had need of him. Hati could not remember the last time he had spent an evening with just his father. Perhaps they never had.

He tucked his ears back apologetically, letting his blue gaze drop to his paws. "That is to say... I've never gone fishing either, and I wouldn't mind trying it out..." His tail thumped lightly against the grass, feeling very small and subservient in the presence of the King. He racked his mind, trying to recall if he had read anything about fish before -- was sunset a good time to find them in the ocean? Would they need tools, or would they try to catch them in their jaws? "At least the water will be cold," he added shyly. It would be nice to splash around and cool off, even if they failed to catch anything.

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