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cages or wings — Secret Falls 
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Played by Greyer who has 239 posts.
Paradise Falls IX. Subordinate
Adelard Gerau
November 30th; Mid-Afternoon; Broken Clouds; 39.15 ° F, 3.97 ° C

The sun was setting. Just as it did after every sunrise and afternoon traipse across the sky. Nothing, according to Adelard, was new apart from the flittering feelings in his chest.

Riven was gone. Had been gone. For a while now. It hurt, but there were other things the Leader had to do and lend his mind to. He could not afford to linger about and mourn what could have been a lifelong friend... sweetheart? Love? Whatever the actual word, he had to move on. It was only natural, after all, for wolves to come and go.

Ever restless limbs brought Adelard beyond pack borders. Again. This time, however, he struck out to the east in search of something new. Something interesting. Anything, really. Anything to keep his mind off of the missing and the longed for.

Eventually, his meandering led him further along the white-covered, red-tinged hills. The cool winter air toussled his thick winter coat but did little to chill him. In the background, a quiet roar rose in a continuous whisper. Only when he stepped straight into ice-cold water did he come back to the present. Thoughts of Huddy, Aubine, Riven, and memories he thought he had forgotten... all gone.

He surveyed his immediate surroundings. On first impression, there seemed to be nothing beyond him and the Falls. There was only the wide open, icy-blue abyss, and a cascade of water against a backdrop of rust red. The Leader took a long-drawn breath inward, defeated. His brows drew together and, for a time, he succumbed to the dry sobs in his chest.

The paw that had splashed down into the water finally recoiled with a couple steps backward. Tired back limbs folded as he sat, his tail curling around him as he bowed his head. The life that had been laid out before him among the poppies was not what he had wanted. But, this, whatever this was, was not what he had expected. He stood on his own four feet before, why was it he was finding it hard to do so now? A grimace contorted his face. This was unacceptable. It was ugly. Disappointing and terrible. Perhaps his parents had failed him. Perhaps he had failed his parents. Either way, he hated this.
(This post was last modified: Mar 06, 2022, 02:22 AM by Viorel.)
heat stroke, bring the fire
ADELARD GERAU
black smoke, I take it higher
Played by Cade (inactive characters) who has 187 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Leviticus Armstead
Leviticus had changed after finding nothing left of River but scuff marks in the dirt and the scent of someone unplaceable. It was getting to a point that he couldn't recognize who he'd been when first entering this place they called the Lore, everything had taken such twisted turns. To finally find his friend, after everything he'd gone through to do so, just for the blonde to be missing again not even months later? He was heartbroken, he was torn, he was filled with a new emotion he could only liken to hate. Hate for himself and his choices, for the world and it's callousness, for whatever it was keeping him and River apart.

Should he leave, chase blindly after the boy once more? Or continue to wait here, where he knew River called home, where he had to return to, eventually, right? What if he couldn't, what if the medic needed help?

Levi's tangled thoughts fueled itching paws, and without intent he found himself at the same Falls as his new alpha. He saw the man's dark shoulders, hunched, rising and falling with his breaths. A shadow obscuring the falls' end.

"... Adelard?"

His own voice was thick from both misuse and the turbulent emotions swelling within. He'd been so wrapped up in catching up with his long-lost friend that he hadn't really gotten to know any of the others, and after -- well, it was difficult to bring himself to talk these days much less converse. Still, it wasn't often he saw their leader outside of the pack's territory. Was... he okay?
(This post was last modified: Dec 13, 2021, 07:50 AM by Leviticus.)
[Image: qfzMxz5.png]
Played by Greyer who has 239 posts.
Paradise Falls IX. Subordinate
Adelard Gerau
"... Adelard?"

The utterance of his name made the side of his face twitch. He frowned and scowled further to get the muscles around his maw functional again. If worse came to worst, his brows would be the only dead giveaway that something was truly not right.

He lifted his head to peer into the face of the only other male in Fools Gold Chasm. Levi, if his memory served correctly after a brief talk with him and Saga. He managed to compose himself with an uneven smile, taking in the muted tawny tones of the man's coat.

"Hey," his voice was low, but the informal greeting was welcoming. An invitation to shoot the breeze and touch base. "What brings you out this way?"
heat stroke, bring the fire
ADELARD GERAU
black smoke, I take it higher
Played by Cade (inactive characters) who has 187 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Leviticus Armstead
Adelard appeared to be as he normally did, and Levi could not tell if this was merely a sign of how little he really knew the other wolf or if his own emotions were simply tinging his perceptions. After all, waterfalls usually filled him with awe, but at the moment he felt nothing in his chest for nature's display of persistence. Everything had lost it's color and appeal once more, and it had nothing to do with the blanket of snow draped over the wood.

"Jus' thinkin'," he answered softly, coming closer now that there was enough evidence his presence would not be unwelcome.

"Wasn't really payin' attention."

He hadn't exactly meant to travel away from the pack, and hoped their leader's presence was a sign he hadn't strayed too far. It wasn't as though he'd been keeping track of time or distance.

"What uh, what're you doin'?"
[Image: qfzMxz5.png]
Played by Greyer who has 239 posts.
Paradise Falls IX. Subordinate
Adelard Gerau
Levi had just been thinking, not paying attention. Adelard scoffed at himself in his head. That sounded familiar to some extent. The Leader rose to his feet, then sat again so he could see the other man, without having to turn or look over his shoulder.

"What uh, what're you doin'?"

This one didn't seem to skip a beat. Adelard's mind didn't have the time to run off on a tangent before Levi managed to ask the right question. What was he doing?

For once, the answer came easy. He echoed, "Thinking." About what, he honestly could not say or even begin to start listing it all. "There're just too many things." An admission with a tinge of defeat. Then the truth and a bit of musing, "It's kind of nice to get away once in a while, isn't it?"

His black-tipped tail swept across the ground to curl around his other hock, "The Chasm's nice and all. It's just a little stifling right now."
heat stroke, bring the fire
ADELARD GERAU
black smoke, I take it higher
Played by Cade (inactive characters) who has 187 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Leviticus Armstead
Leviticus reclined too, wanting to stick around a moment rather than merely slip by as he'd done so many times before. These wolves were still, in many ways, strangers to the young wolf. They hadn't been that to Riven, however. Clearly, they'd meant quite a lot to him. So what was the barrier causing him to keep himself separate?

... nice to get away once in a while, isn't it?

He wanted to agree, but the sentiment stuck in his throat and refused to come out. Maybe that was the attempt, but every problem had just followed along. It wasn't the place or even the wolves, for Levi; it was him, the holes in his heart which he was forced to carry with him every where.

Stifling. That was an odd word, and Levi's gaze lifted slightly, hovering at the other's muzzle even as the words faded from the air. Fool's Gold was the smallest pack he'd ever known of, it was easy to avoid the few others if really desired. Silence persisted from the more lightly-colored wolf as he carefully pieced things together. They'd been friends, Adelard and River. Of course the blonde's disappearance was affecting him.

"... you still miss River too, don't you?"

Levi's voice was soft, almost tentative.

"... it feels like I failed him all over again..."

Gods, would his friend ever find a pack that didn't let him down? The nutmeg-dusted wolf's eyes began to sting.
[Image: qfzMxz5.png]
Played by Greyer who has 239 posts.
Paradise Falls IX. Subordinate
Adelard Gerau
Adelard sniffled at the sound of Riven's name, but it wasn't Riven... it was River. He felt the grimace threatening to twist his masked features again, a chill teasing at his spine. Maybe he had been lied to or Riven wasn't the wolf Adelard had thought to be. No matter how soft Levi's tone was, it yanked at his heartstrings. He had cared too much.

"... it feels like I failed him all over again..."

Here Adelard's ears went back, "You and me both." He swallowed, his gaze finding the surface of the pool. A bit of silence. Now that he thought of it, he and Riven never clarified anything. There was nothing figuratively set anything in stone, nothing promised, nothing vowed. Only one admission: Adelard would have killed for Riven, for his safety and wellbeing. That was all, and Adelard had failed to keep him safe and sound within pack borders. Riven had been taken from him...

"It feels like it's been so long," he sighed, "I feel like I have no choice but to move on. I have no resources to spare when I need you all close to home."
(This post was last modified: Jan 06, 2022, 09:38 PM by Adelard.)
heat stroke, bring the fire
ADELARD GERAU
black smoke, I take it higher
Played by Cade (inactive characters) who has 187 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Leviticus Armstead
You and me both, the man said, and Levi's eyes lifted. A measure of empathy ran through him, partly sad that someone else was also burdened with such horrible emotions, but also... something about it felt good, too. He wasn't experiencing all of this by himself, and that could be as comforting as it was sad.

When Adelard spoke again, however, heartache once more reigned. It was as Levi had realized, too; his first time bolting into the unknown after River had been foolish, and almost gotten him killed. On one paw, he wanted to say that he had found him in the end, and if it could be done once, it could be done again, right? But maybe... maybe he was just chasing the other boy away, maybe it wasn't natural for them to be together. It's what his parents would have told him, what their faith would have dictated. Maybe the universe was screaming for him to just keep his distance and let River live his own life.

But the tossed up snow... No, Adelard was right. You couldn't track without a trail, and there were children here that needed protection, food and attention. They had no choice.

"... doesn't make it hurt less," he couldn't help but reply, miserably gritting his teeth to keep back any more emotion.
[Image: qfzMxz5.png]
Played by Greyer who has 239 posts.
Paradise Falls IX. Subordinate
Adelard Gerau
"... doesn't make it hurt less," this made Adelard's eyes open wide. Levi understood. He lifted his gaze to look upon not just his subordinate and packmate but a prospective friend. Maybe one he could keep close rather than at a distance.

He stood up for the briefest of moments to inch closer to where the amber-touched man had laid down. Again, he let out another exhale. This time, the pressure in his chest seemed more manageable than before.

"It doesn't," he agreed with a small shake of his head. "But, I guess we have each other--" The revelation dawned behind his eyes, "and, that's enough. It has to be."
heat stroke, bring the fire
ADELARD GERAU
black smoke, I take it higher
Played by Cade (inactive characters) who has 187 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Leviticus Armstead
It helped to hear him agree, rather than attempt to correct or mitigate. Levi sniffled, then took a breath, one that helped to clear a little bit of what was so stubbornly lodged in his chest. It was easier to let emotions flow through oneself when one wasn't afraid of judgment and stifling.

But, the younger wolf braced himself against the single word. There it was, Adelard was about to attempt to corral the mess that Levi was...

I guess we have each other.

Instead of a blow, he was gifted with the first semblance of a welcome he'd experienced from someone in the Chasm who was not River. It wasn't that they had necessarily made him feel unwelcome, and maybe it was something he'd started by giving all his attention to the blonde alone instead of making friends with the other wolves whose home he occupied. Whatever had led to it, he just knew that he hadn't felt anywhere near as hopeful that he might actually fit in here until he looked up and met the sunshine that was their leader's gaze - he actually meant it.

That's enough. It has to be.

It was as true as their inability to help the wolf they both cared so much about. Levi nodded. The urge to scoot the remaining distance between them and rest his cheek upon the other's shoulder was strong, that old craving for comforting touch rearing its head. He refrained, the intimidation he felt when around the stoic, strong wolves of Fools Gold Chasm persistent regardless of this reassurance.

"... I'm glad I ran into you, Adelard," he spoke with the faintest of smiles on his face.

"Thank you."
[Image: qfzMxz5.png]