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I come back and stay throughout my twenties [s] — Swallow Swallet 
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Played by Ghost who has 636 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle
All welcome! Late afternoon, light rain, 51F/11C
tw: swearing

It felt like returning to the scene of a crime. The leader had not been back to this part of the forest since the first day that he and Vanadis had met, and he had never thought he would be back here again. He wasn’t even sure why had come here now. Something about the light rain following the freak snowstorm a few days ago had put a worm in his brain that he couldn’t get rid of and eventually gave in to.

Besides it gave him something to do other than pace around and try to avoid packmates out of fear of taking their heads off. He didn’t want to be angry anymore, but he could not help it. It was like his blood was just below boiling point in his veins and even the smallest frustration pushed it over the edge. He was surly, and snarly, and generally preferred being alone. He didn’t want to hurt the ones he loved but couldn’t seem to stop himself from doing it either.

Viorel stared down into the sinkhole, just like he had done years earlier. Only this time he was alone and the love of his life wasn’t going to come and save him from himself. Lip curled, ”Fuck you Vanadis.” It was a quiet sentiment, but the way the words echoed back to him was satisfying.

(This post was last modified: Jun 06, 2023, 12:50 AM by Viorel.)
Played by Cade who has 144 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Clouse Charity Archer
Clouse didn't have to worry about @Rashina so much these days it seemed, his sister finding support in Niamh and purpose in the woman's journey through motherhood. Whatever worked, right? That gave him more freedom to roam, increased slack he gratefully took advantage of. His wandering took him north into the thicker growth of Cedarwood Forest, beneath limestone bluffs and over shallow falls, thinking of @Loach often. What he'd think of the features, how he might be doing, if he'd rooted himself yet or not...

The ground gave away in front of him and halted, blinking down at the dark abyss. A sink hole? Caverns? His eyes followed the expanse, and found another surprise; another wolf at the opposite edge.

"Not thinking of jumpin', are ya?"

It was the first thing to come to mind, a benignly-intended joke, but the moment it was out of his mouth he felt a twinge of regret. What if the guy really was? Checkmate on him, he guessed.
Played by Ghost who has 636 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle
tw: self harm?
Also want to make this very clear this is not my opinion on self harm Viorel is just a big grumpy idiot

Yellow eyes blinked in surprise as a second voice echoed down into the hole and then bounced back at him. Viorel looked up to see a dark wolf who he did not recognize who appeared somewhat apologetic. The leader let out a humourless snort and his tail twitched once in acknowledgement before he answered dryly, ”I’m not that much of a coward.” Jumping into a hole just because things weren’t going well seemed just about the stupidest thing anyone could ever do.

He goaded, ”But if you go first I could be tempted to follow.” Is that why this stranger was asking? Was he planning on throwing himself down into the abyss because he just couldn’t deal? If so, Viorel would be here to judge him for his choices. The larger man stared intensely across the pit, almost unblinkingly at this new acquaintance, waiting for some kind of response. Or maybe a jump. Whatever this fellow wanted to do.

Rain continued to fall around them, wetting the soil and causing a very satisfying tip tap echo to come back from the sink hole. Viorel looked down just in time to see a swallow flit from one side to the other, seeking cover from the weather. What would it really be like to fly down there?

[Image: s38i5ZS.png]
Played by Cade who has 144 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Clouse Charity Archer
The stranger's response was almost harsh. His own eyes looked back at that inky darkness again, considering his own opinions on the matter.

But if you go first I could be tempted to follow.

"So cowardice isn't your thing, but stupidity is?" his silver eyes flicked back up to the other's gray-fringed features, playfulness glinting there while his smile tilted into a smirk. Seeing the somber severity upon Viorel's countenance too late. Oh well. What was he gonna do, leap across the chasm? Clouse could be gone in a flash if this wolf exploded. He'd seen others lose their temper over far less before.

"... what is your deal, then?"
Played by Ghost who has 636 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle

Viorel’s mouth twisted into a strange sort of smile at the other man’s reply. He stayed silent and instead just continued to stare intensely at the stranger while he pondered what his deal was. Eventually he shrugged nonchalantly and offered, ”Anger? Revenge? Crimes of Opportunity? Take your pick.” Why he even said any of those things to someone that he didn’t know he wasn’t sure.

Maybe it was because he didn’t know him. It was safer to let it all out here to a man across an abyss than it was to say anything who lived within the pack. Yellow eyes looked back down into the abyss, face hardening, ”The mother of my children used to come here, before she fucked off on and abandoned them.” That was only a half truth, but it made him feel better. Looking up the leader continued coldly, ”Maybe I was hoping she would be here so I could give her a little push.” He wasn’t even sure if he truly meant that or not, but it felt like a weight off his shoulders to say it.

Snorting he asked, ”And you, what’s your deal?” Surely he had one, everybody did.

[Image: s38i5ZS.png]
Played by Cade who has 144 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Clouse Charity Archer
At least the other had found some kind of humor in Clouse's teasing. 'Crimes of opportunity'? That was a topic he could delve into with a stranger over a nice, bottomless pit. His haunches settled down upon the ground, listening as his company gave him even more information. Something that sounded like he'd needed off his chest. If only just saying things aloud lifted such weight completely.

Clouse watched him, thoughtful a moment, but regretted his silence when the query was returned to him. It would be easy to say something safe and unreal. Baring a piece of himself had been a slipup he did not need to follow, and he felt he owed nothing to Viorel for it. Still... he glanced down into the darkness, wondered a moment. Could he even give a name to the petulant emotions that plagued him?

"... I'm disloyal."

His silver eyes lifted again, to see what reaction the other might have.

"What good has settling down ever done you?"

Especially when it had apparently just gotten the guy left. Clouse wasn't sure how else to say, 'I likely have more in common with your ex.'
Played by Ghost who has 636 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle

Disloyal felt like a crime that used to be the worst offense that the salt and pepper wolf could think of. Now though, now he kind of felt like this stranger had a point, what had settling down ever got him? He had the power of leading a pack, which felt like more responsibility than power most of the time, a bunch of kids who hated him or were dead, and a wife who had left.

He pondered the words for a moment before responding honestly, ”more trouble than it has been worth for the most part.” For a fleeting moment he had the fantasy of just disappearing into the woods and never returning to the Backwater. Coming up with a new name and backstory and living the young, carefree life he had robbed himself of. The life he had been destined for if he had stayed in the Estuary where he could have coasted by on his surname alone.

Looking across towards the dark man he inquired, ”And has been being disloyal done you any better?” Maybe he hoped that he would say it had brought him everything he had ever wished for, or maybe he was hoping he would say life sucked either way. Viorel knew he couldn’t leave the pack now, but god it was tempting in this moment.

[Image: s38i5ZS.png]
Played by Cade who has 144 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Clouse Charity Archer
Rather than argue, the other wolf seemed to agree with the unspoken. Living without ties was better than living with them. Clouse shrugged at the next question, a small, benign smile upon his lips.

"Sure feelin' like I'm doing better right now, not gonna lie."

After all, he wasn't the one wishing uxoricide. Sure, there were some pretty intense moments of... wistfulness, he supposed he'd call it. That was better than pain, though. Better than feeling hate and trapped.

"You seem pretty young yet, still plenty handsome. Y'don't have to be held back, y'know."

The stranger had the appearance of being able to survive on his own for quite a few years yet. What was stopping him from just leaving all that visible strife behind?
Played by Ghost who has 636 posts.
Dead Empress Backwater I. Leader
Viorel Valle
Viorel exit, feel free to fade on your next post!

Viorel let out a single loud laugh at the other man’s words and he nodded with a smile. So the other one was better off for being unloyal, and maybe Vanadis felt the same way and that was why she hadn’t come back. She had had fantasies about running away before and he thought they had talked through it, but maybe it had been building up inside of her until she couldn’t take it anymore. Just like he felt it some days.

He looked up suddenly, staring intensely at the dark man for a long moment. Visions of turning the opposite way of home danced in his head, of just never going back today. Of being unloyal, and selfish, and giving into his impulses. Then the spell was broken and he sighed, ”Maybe someday that will be true. But for now, someone has to be the responsible one and take care of the kids I helped create, so at least for the time being, I do have to.” He got to his paws, gave a respectful nod to the stranger, who he hoped he would never see again, and turned to leave.

Because he was afraid if he didn’t go home right then, that he would give into temptation and never go home at all.

[Image: s38i5ZS.png]
Played by Cade who has 144 posts.
Inactive No Rank
Clouse Charity Archer
"Fair enough," was all Clouse had to say, and he certainly didn't strive to hold the other back. Instead his eyes went down into that abyss they'd both stood beside, in no hurry to miss out on investigating the curiousness of its existence. After all, he had no responsibilities, and only two tethers, both blessedly lenient.

/Fade