Shaking the snow from her fur, the alphess stepped away from the entrance to the den, signalling an end to her announcement. She expected questions. After all, none of this had come with any warning. And some might think her decisions foolish. This would be their first real test as a pack and a family. She only prayed they would be able to pull through it in one piece.
Seaver had been resting among his new pack mates in the main den site when not only did Athena's voice startle him but the sight of an unfamiliar juvenile female who was being guarded by Alcatraz and Alexandro. She looked nervous, and certainly was a skinny thing surrounded by massive fluff here and there, but she was dull looking. A sight he knew all too well. She was starving. His heart wrenched inside his throat when his attention was brought to Athena, who stood tall atop the den. He headed over to listen to see what she had to say about all this sudden curiosity.
The news came to him in quite a shock. His eyes widened and his brows raised, and he could have sworn he heard Raghaalr gasp behind him. He knew of the Blutwald wolves, and all the tales he had heard of them were nothing but trouble. It was the Blutwald Alpha male who left Impala broken physically and spiritually. For the first time in his life, he felt anger bubble inside him, and he narrowed his expression, upper lip twitching. First they harm Impala, and now they invade on his new territory? Blutwald was beginning to mess with the wrong guy...
His thoughts were mostly consumed by images of Impala getting mauled and only fueling his new found anger. He hardly listened to the rest of her speech until he heard his name, followed by his assignment during the time of her absence. He blinked for a second, trying to understand what she had just said when it hit him. He shook his head but kept his voice quiet, even though he wanted to yell WHAT?! He was fine with kids sure, but THIS kid on the other hand... His orange gaze turned down to a skinny little pale pup who looked right back up at him with dead green eyes, as if he were staring into his soul. Immediately he felt violated and his spine fur stood on end. This kid was like a walking grim reaper.
Suppressing a sigh, he then looked up to Athena and gave her a brisk nod as she moved on with her assignments. Like it or not, this was part of his job being a Courser, and Riley was his Alpha's son. He'd deal with it until she came back. Perhaps it wouldn't be too bad, all he had to do was watch him, right?
As Athena stepped down he then nodded at Riley for him to follow as he approached the dark female. "Lady Athena, are you sure you'll be okay on your own? I've experienced first hand what Blutwald is like. They mauled my friend when I was in Kausen, she was an Emissary." He explained, concern flashing in his eyes. This was a whole new side of him that he'd never expressed before. All he could think about was Impala and how mangled she was, and how miserable she looked. He'd hate to see Athena that way.
It was the first question Athena had expected to hear, and in reply she issued a high, confident laugh into the winter air. "I'll be fine, Seaver." But as he continued his story, the sinking sensation in her stomach deepening. She hadn't expected a friendly greeting, of course. But all the same this new bit of information unsettled her. Did Blutwald have no honor? Her anger was evident as Athena replied, in a voice as sharp as winter frost. "I'm sorry to hear that." And then, "Blutwald has much to answer for." Diplomacy would be no simple thing here. It made her feel better about keeping Bloom captive; Aryn was going to need every advantage it could take. Assuming the red pack valued their members enough to care.
Athena looked back at Seaver, giving him an encouraging smile and a friendly lick. "I'll be careful, alright? This isn't my first crusade."
Charaka shifted worriedly as Athena left and Seaver followed to ask the question all of them was dying to ask. 'Would she be okay on her own?' She would have ran after her too if Seaver hadn't beaten her to it. However, Charaka didn't know a better way to solve this problem than Athe. Even if it was better not to go alone, there simply wasn't anyone the pack could spare at the moment. Wincing from her healing shoulder wound, Charaka moved from her spot next to Raghaalr to join the two males surrounding the female called Bloom.
She hadn't been part of the patrol that had brought the red-orange wolf in. She had been patrolling a different section of border, but hurried over at Lady Athe's summons. She knew vaguely what was happening over at Blutwald thanks to her recent run in with her friend Gypsee, but she would wait her turn to tell this to Athe. In the meantime, she wanted to take a good look at this Blutwald female. She wanted to make sure that this youngster wasn't one of Gypsee's and Caidan's or Crash’s pups before too much happened. Confident the captive wasn't stupid enough to snap at her. Charaka sauntered up to and and started sniffing and investigating this Bloom girl, ignoring any kind of discomfort the female might show.
She could tell immediately she wasn't her friends' offspring, and the smell of starvation was certainly was present. However, there was still something familiar about her scent. Something that stirred her up and made her pissed off for some reason. Then she finally matched up the smell, like she did when she first encountered Alexandro and smelled his relation to Athe. Her reaction was sudden and violent! Snorting in an attempt to get the offending stench out of her nostrils, she backed up, fur bristling, and snarled down at the captive. "Stallion." she spat, loud enough for anyone to hear. "You're that insane wolf's pup aren't you!"
Since she had nowhere else to go and her shoulder was still achingly sore, she sat quietly between the two male wolves. Instead of her head bowed like a hostage who's lost all hope, her head was raised high and her ears pressed forward. She glowered only at any wolf who dared to look at her. Her red coat was bristled in fear though. This might not be a big pack, but..it was certainly big enough for her to feel threatened. If they wanted to hurt her, she wouldn't be to stand a chance. Her moss green eyes that looked much like her mother's cut to the black she-wolf that brought her here. The leader of this tiny pack was going to go to Blutwald.. Bloom shut her eyes and inhaled the foreign scents around her, this..wasn't going to end well. She hoped her mother could somehow pull herself together..
Suddenly she heard paw steps and a wolf was quickly approaching her. This wolf began to circle her, fearlessly coming in close. This female was so sure she wouldn't snap. A low growl rumbled in her throat as the female inhaled her scent. When the female suddenly turned aggressive, Bloom bared her fangs but remained still; secretly frightened that if she attacked she'd be punished on the spot by the males on either side of her. Then, this female dared to speak ill of her father. Her claws dug into the ground to keep her anchored, and she turned away to ignore Charaka's exclamation. No. They couldn't know she was related to the Alphas of Blutwald...
Then, naturally, the unexpected happened. Charaka let out a vengeful proclamation loud enough to fill the whole clearing, and the pit in Athena's belly twisted into a knot. Shit.
Lunging to Charaka's side in a heartbeat, the alphess could scarcely believe her ears, even though there was no way for anyone not to have heard the announcement. "Are you certain, Char?" Athena growled. She peered down at Bloom, who was avoiding eye-contact, and demanded, "Is that true?" The last time the alphess had heard anything from Blutwald, Stallion reigned. And he was not known for being merciful where his family was threatened. Great Spirit above! Holding a beta's pup hostage was one thing, but the daughter of an alpha? That was a double-edged fang. The stakes were much higher than she'd thought.
Assuming, of course, Charaka was correct.
If I don't say something, they'll know its true. If I lie, would it be better or worse? her thoughts were racing as she looked directly into Athena's eyes. Perhaps the female would be more inclined to let her go if it was known that her Father was Stallion. Even if he was no longer ruler of the pack, but her mother instead. However, these wolves did not seem to know of the change of power. Perhaps it could work in her favor then. She could avoid punishment from these wolves with the threat of Stallion bringing hell to them.
Bloom smiled, her teeth glinting. "Yes, my Father is Stallion." she confirmed. Memories flashed behind her eyes of the blood thirsty monster that had attacked and murdered her Uncle. But, perhaps the memory of her Father could get her back safely to home..
Alcatraz listened to Athena’s words, but one phrase really stuck out to him more than any other, even more than hearing his own name. ”I will be leaving for Blutwald’s border before nightfall.” The big male’s ears perked and he tensed. He knew of Blutwald. One of their members was responsible for the scar on his shoulder. As soon as she was finished Alcatraz got to his paws, a growl forming deep in his chest as he planned on refusing to let Athena go alone. But Seaver beat him to it, and he stopped, glancing down at Bloom beside him. She had left him with a great task, not only of just guarding Bloom, but of taking care of the pack in her absence. But such an honor was lost on him at the very thought of Athena’s traveling into those unknown lands alone.
But he did not protest. Not yet. Not in front of the others. He had to support her whatever she thought was best. She, after all, was more than just his friend. She was his Alpha. And he saw the possibility of this pup being the Alpha’s daughter as a positive more than a negative. As long as Athena was firm but reasonable, then there was no way that pack would risk her safety. He narrowed his pale yellow eyes as he glared down at Bloom, who was growling angrily, anxiously back at Charaka. If Bloom’s Alpha should lay one claw on Athena, he would water the ground with the juvenile's blood.
No… he had better not have to do that… or else all of the Blutwald blood he could get his fangs on would be spilled over the land, saturating the air for miles around with its sickly pungent scent. But even that thought did not satisfy the increasingly desperate fear that was overtaking him. He didn’t care about killing Bloom, or killing any wolf in Blutwald. He just didn’t want Athena to get hurt.
His tail tip twitched uncomfortably, unhappily, as he watched Athena round on Bloom, questioning her. She seemed anxious and worried about the news. Bloom soon affirmed the accusations. In his own anxiety, Alcatraz was particularly gruff when he chose to speak, “Settle down.” Alcatraz growled, mostly to Charaka, who clearly was very angry, “This is a good thing. If Blutwald gives a single rat’s tail about this female then they will be reasonable with us.” His yellow eyes flicked down to Bloom, “or else she won’t be returning.”
When his aunt and Alphess had finish her announcement, he looked to his side seeing the she wolf next to him, he knew he had to guard but on the other hand...she seemed in poor shape, not a threat to anyone in the pack, when the others start talking about Blutwald pack he put a concerned expression on his face, the things they said of Blutwald were just...scary somehow, even Charaka and Seaver seemed angry and frustrated to this pack and Sir Alcatraz well, he was trying his best to be reasonable, he could see that nobody want Lady Athena to go alone, and that wasn’t helping to much either.
“Sir Alcatraz is right Charaka, calm down yourself, it must be a reasonable reason of why she was here…” he was trying to make peace between the stranger and his pack mates but also wanted to express his opinion “I mean, if she is daughter of such important wolf, whoever it is, then why she came all the way here alone? and also look at her! no offense but she isn’t in great shape either, but i trust your words and Seaver’s too, and also we need to know the reason and the only one who can find the answer is Lady Athena, i believe she will be fine, after all she is not an inexperienced leader, and having this girl hostage is a great idea, for now we must follow instructions and wait for the best” he ended looking at Charaka and Seaver with a smile, trying to calm down the two wolves.
“Also if we could someone would definitely go with her but we can’t, and if we stay like this without doing nothing things could get worst, if it pass to much time they could send some wolves to find her and we could be in more trouble…” he looked at the orange female well, in a nice way then his other pack mates, she sure wasn’t having a nice time being insulted and kept hostage, also she seemed hungry, he felt sorry for her, he knew about being in that shape while he was a loner, life sure wasn’t fair sometimes.
Seaver’s ears only shifted at the sudden bickering conversation between his packmates. He was worried for all the conflict, but even more worried so because he knew what Blutwald was capable of. The alpha male had attacked Impala without reason, he wasn’t sure he could protect any of his new brethren if they decided to take Athena as a hostage and declare war on the tiny pack. But he’d darn sure try. Alexandro’s smile some of his nerves at ease and he sighed. If this little female, Bloom or something, really was the product of the Alphas of Blutwald, then maybe there was something bigger going on here. He knew from Impala that the pack had closed itself off from everyone else. They declared isolation against Kausen, Impala was proof of that. He furrowed his brow. “Wait a minute, Alexandro has a point. The reason why Impala came back in such poor shape was because Blutwald declared isolation. Stallion wouldn’t let his pack members outside the borders, let alone his own family. Somethings wrong if one of his own daughters came here by herself starving.” He said, concern flashing in his eyes as he turned his orange gaze to Athena, then to everyone else of his packmates. At this point they were in a circular shape around Bloom, who was heavily guarded by Alcatraz and Alexandro. “Lady Athena, if I may, let me find something for the girl. I almost died of starvation once. It can be small and something expendable.” He said, lowering his ears as he addressed his Alpha. Starvation was something he didn’t take lightly, not after what had happened before to him. Something must be wrong in Blutwald if now they’re looking for food in other pack’s territories. He wasn’t the best hunter, but he could certainly find berries, and while they satisfied hunger they couldn’t restore strength, which seemed like the best option if they wanted to keep her alive.
All of this hub bub made no sense to him. What was Blutwald? Who was this new wolf? Certainly not someone who was coming to be apart of Aryn, that’s for sure. He had been messing with the slush and dirt just outside of the main den when mother came out to give an important announcement, but he didn’t quite understand what was happening exactly. He kept his narrow face emotionless and almost lifeless as his dead green eyes looked from older wolf to older wolf. They all seemed concerned over something. He shrugged and continued his observation below his tiny paws, when hearing that Seaver would be watching him made him stop. He understood what that meant, mother was leaving. But not for long, right? She never left for long. He looked sharply to Seaver, who looked like he wanted to protest at his sudden assignment and even more so after he turned his bright orange gaze to him. The same spine shiver caught him, as it did anyone who looked him deep in the eye. This was funny to Riley. For some reason everyone was disturbed when looking at him directly, and it was funny seeing the fur rise up like some big forest cat.
At the command he trotted over to Seaver’s side as he approached mother, but didn’t pay attention. He was more curious about the younger red one uncle Alcatraz and Alexandro were guarding. Apparently Alexandro was his cousin or something, but he hadn’t yet found out for himself. She was funny looking, all poofy around her neck but really boney around her sides. She looked like a see-through, only everyone could see her. The voices around him grew louder as Charaka yelled something, but he ignored it. Instead while Seaver wasn’t watching him he sauntered up between tall legs and walked right up to the little wolf, well bigger than him but still little. Now at a closer look, there was something about her that was familiar. He furrowed his brow and began to sniff her, like Charaka did. The smell was very… green but it held something he knew. Something he knew? Wait, why? He looked up at the red wolf’s eyes and just blurted out “Aunt.” Even he wasn’t sure why he said that, but he just stared blankly at her.
If one payed attention, they would see the two had nearly identical fur shape; long skinny legs, massive fur around their necks. If anyone knew better they would have immediately seen that he was a mini white Stallion, with the same eye shape and same fur pattern, but just near albino. Of Course Riley didn’t know any better, he didn’t even know who this Stallion guy was, or that he was a relative of him, but he’d never know that.
Her fur was bristling in panic, heart pounding against her chest. She wanted to flee, but deep down she knew she’d be quickly apprehended. This black Alpha was going to Blutwald, and some these wolves knew of her Father--well, his past actions anyway. More than that though, due to her condition she was giving away the secret. That her pack was slowly starving. The commotion was beginning to overwhelm her and her eyes just stared at her paws, ears pinned back against her skull.
She ignored the idle threats against her made by one of the males beside her, the other seemed at least compassionate, but she did not meet his eyes. All she wanted to do was curl up in ball and ignore the conversing wolves. She couldn’t though, she brought this upon herself. Upon her Mother.
Amidst the raising voices she heard tiny paws crunching through the snow. She opened her eyes which she hadn’t realized she’d shut. Now a small pup was standing in front of her. Her moss green eyes blinked slowly her eyes observed every little feature of this small pup.
“Aunt!” the pup blurted out. Her brow furrowed and she dared to lower herself down to come nose to nose with Riley. Her nose twitched as she inhaled the pup’s scent. Her eyes glanced to the side, seeing the familiar neck fur her father was famous for and that she’d inherited herself. Was this pup somehow related to her Father?
With a shake of her head, she raised back to her paws and remained silent and shut her eyes tightly..
Blutwald. Oh yes, that name rang a distinct bell within her mind. Yet, she had never before encountered one of their ranks. All she knew was of second-hand accounts of others, even prior to joining Aryn. And yes yes, although Ragha would welcome a fight she too agreed that such tactics would prove fatal to the small pack. A sharp huff escaped her jaws as she sat back, reddish stare flicking over towards the pathetic-looking figure of the captured wolf. Her muzzle wrinkled in distaste.
At the sound of her name she jerked her head up, attention refocusing on the blue-black alphess. Goody, plant-duty again. Well, she reminded herself, it was something she was good at and enjoyed. The only thing that bothered her was how silly it sometimes sounded, especially when she prided herself on her size and strength to fight. But, she brushed away the pointless thoughts and merely dipped her head, not really caring whether Athena saw the motion or not. Hm. Despite the season, Aryn still had relatively lush land, and Raghaalr had been quite successful with gathering herbs she needed. The thought of teaching them to others made her grin sourly.
With the closure of the meeting and dispersal, the dark-colored female remained seated thoughtfully, having nothing that she needed to fuss at anyone for, as it seemed everyone else did. She watched the rest of them dully for a moment, before slowly getting to her paws and trekking a bit away towards the edge of the clearing. Perhaps now would be a good time to set out and stockpile. Maybe she could ask someone to accompany her. Maybe. Crimson-colored eyes darted back towards the other wolves with little enthusiasm, and she soon turned away and nosed at a green clump of witch-hazel by her paws.
As Lady Athe ran up beside her Charaka made room. She didn’t need to answer Athe’s question as Bloom readily offered up the information with a toothy smile. Charaka merely rolled her eyes at the young female. It wasn’t as if her father was coming to save her, perhaps she thought just the sound of Stallion’s name would make them release her with a river full of apologies. Plus Alcatraz and Alexandro seemed to think she was about to attack the female and told her off. For no reason! Pouting, Charaka sat down with a humph as merely listened as the rest of the pack, with the exception of Raghaalr, said their piece. They didn’t say anything she didn’t already know from her meeting with Crash and then Gypsee and her son. Charaka would have offered her information sooner but she was still de-fuming. Anything she said in anger would just sound argumentative, and what was Alexandro doing smiling so nicely at the captive!? Bloom wasn’t that cute! No... Alex was nice to most people. it didn’t mean anything.
Now grumpy from her own unwarranted jealousy, Charaka eyed Bloom. The girl now looked close to panicking and had her eyes closed. Alex and Seaver were right though. The poor girl was obviously going through a rough time and being starving didn’t help either. Her thoughts were interrupted by Riley saying ‘Aunt’ and Charaka’s eyes shot down to the white pup in between Seaver’s paws. Alarm shot through her as Bloom dared to lower her face to sniff at him and Charaka’s face also dipped forward, although to gently pick up the pup as Bloom backed away.
Riley safely in her care she walked a few paces away from the circle and laid down, placing Riley firmly in between her front paws to prevent him from doing something else thoughtless. Charaka had endless concerns when it came to Athe’s adopted son. He just seemed not right. He lacked all semblance of self-preservation and did odd things. The significance of his previous remark of ‘Aunt’ went over her head. He called none of the pack Aunt so it was probably just him saying things again.
Firmly holding Riley, Charaka felt calm enough to finally say what she need to say. “Guys. Stallion’s gone. He left Blutwald. He seemed to be growing increasingly loopy ever since he put Blutwald in isolation. Then he just up and vanished. No one knows where he went either. And now they’re starving over there. No prey and they have two litters to feed.” she said in a calm but strong voice. Then a bit too late Charaka realised they probably would want to know how she knew all of this information. That would meant admitting that she had ignored the rule about not leaving Aryn’s borders, or lying and saying that she had let a member of a dangerous pack so close to their lands. The latter was a far worse crime.
Shifting guiltily, Charaka thought it would be best to spit it out now than later and added hastily, “I met one of them when I was pursuing a deer outside our borders. It was an old friend of mine.” As she said ‘old friend’ Charaka shot a meaningful look at Alcatraz. She didn’t want to say Gypsee’s name out loud in case Bloom told on her friend.
While the others argued, Lady Athena listened and thought, carefully. She threw Alcatraz a warning glance, and would have asked if he really thought he could kill a starving juvenile, were that starving juvenile not sitting between them. In truth Athena wasn’t sure what she would do if Blutwald decided not to parley for the life of Bloom. Which was why she remained conservative about the threats she issued to the girl. Alexandro offered his full support, for which Athena was inexpressibly grateful. She knew she could count on his voice to lift the spirits of her growing family, no matter what happened during her absence. And Seaver’s suspicions only served to solidify Athena’s own.
“Exactly.” She told the he-wolf, casting Bloom another critical glance. “That’s part of the reason I’m going alone. One wolf will be less noticeable, and I have many questions Blutwald might not feel particularly inclined to answer. If they turn me away at the border, it will come down to intrigue.” Her days as an apprentice of Old Aryn had taught her the ways of a Ranger. And spending so many seasons as a wanderer had only honed the small black she-wolf’s talents. Playing the part of the sleuth was second nature to her. She would do better alone in this, without another companion to worry about keeping hidden and safe.
But as Seaver requested to offer food to Bloom, the Alphess’s expression soured. She got the distinct impression that the Blutwaldan would be too proud to accept the offer. Well, why not? Best not give the girl any room to pretend that her captivity had been ill-spent. “If she is so inclined to eat, you may feed her. But only once the rest of the pack has been sated.” That stipulation was made more principle than as a real problem to expect.
Riley’s approach sent a jolt of alarm through her, he had come up so quietly Athena didn’t notice until he spurted out ‘aunt’ and she realized that her son was close enough Bloom might easily grab him, and claim a hostage of her own. Athena let out a vicious snarl as Charaka pulled the cub away. The alphess very nearly slammed into Bloom in her rush to get between the captive and Riley, “Seaver. You will not let my son within twelve paces of this girl, understood?” She had hoped that would’ve been obvious. Apparently it was not. “She is to be considered dangerous, no matter how much you pity her.”
Turning to Charaka, Athena stared at the Warden seriously for a moment. For now, she would overlook Char’s blatant disregard for the rules. That was a problem to be addressed later. The information the fawn she-wolf offered was far more important. More and more it was beginning to sound like Blutwald was well and truly desperate. Much like with a wounded animal, Athena would have to be very careful not to make them feel cornered. The alphess gave Charaka a look that made it clear this discussion wasn’t over, and replied, “You will give me the names of these ‘friends’ in private, and tell me everything you know.”
Alcatraz returned Athena’s warning glance with a mild, but still somewhat stubborn glance of his own. Not defiant or disrespectful, but more like a promise, whether she would want it or not. He clearly did not at all like the possibility of something bad happening to her. He had just found his family, and now it was separating again. Only for a little while, sure, but nothing was for certain… The dark male listened to Alexandro and flicked an ear. He was right, and his support for the Alpha was the best thing that Athena could hear, even if he could not help but be anxious about her safety himself. He gave Seaver a glance as he spoke of feeding the she-wolf. Alcatraz had to stop himself from snorting. An intruder of a hostile pack should never be fed! This was not supposed to be a pleasant experience! But he did not say anything. Seaver’s compassion was admirable, he supposed even if he himself saw such behavior as silly.
He looked away as the others continued to converse. He had nothing else to add, and his mind began to wander to the possibility of Blutwald attacking. He thought back to when he was young, and his old pack had been attacked. Many of his family and friends were slaughtered before his eyes. And it seemed like such an event had the chance of occurring again. The anxiety he felt was portrayed as an even darker glare as he stared out into the forest.
A flash of white made him whirl around in alarm as little Riley walked right up to the prisoner. He got to his paws, letting out a fearsome snarl as Bloom bowed her head. He did not even hear the pup’s words, or care what he had to say, as he shouldered forward the same moment that Charaka had scooped the pup up, blocking Bloom’s view from Riley and the rest of the pack with an angry snarl.
He stepped back to let Athena’s fury unleash on the surrounding wolves. He shot Seaver a glare, then looked back at Athena. A mother’s love, and a mother’s fear, was clear in her icy blue-gray eyes. His tail swept to the side. He felt as if he had failed. Bloom could have snapped the pup’s neck in that moment if she had the mind to. He had almost let his family down. Now his pale yellow eyes flicked across the wolves, out into the forest, and back to Bloom before circling again. He was on high alert.
Charaka’s news was interesting to say the least. So Alpha Stallion was gone. It was impossible to know whether this was a good or bad thing, however. “I wonder who took his place, in that case,” he said thoughtfully. They must not be a well inclined leader, letting their wolves starve in this way. It was more of an observation that indicated to him that the leader was either weak or perhaps thrown into the position with little prior experience? Or perhaps the lands of Blutwald were simply infertile. If that were the case they could be all the more dangerous. He glanced at Athena sideways as he waited for what Aryn would say next.
She snorted into the vegetation before stepping forwards again, pushing her nose to the matted leaf mold and soil. Mhrrfm..maybe there’d be some roots still good to use. Then again, the underground parts always kept better than the above-ground parts. Licking her muzzle, she drew up her head and shook her thick dark coat, lifting a paw and lapping at the roughened paw-pad. For a moment she glanced backwards, eyeing the group of Aryn wolves gathered around the Blutwald prisoner. Her eyes narrowed again. She turned away and leaned against a sturdy pine, rubbing her coat against it with a soft grumble, relieving the itch from her coat.
The she-wolf plopped her haunches to the ground for a moment and scanned ahead, then huffed, got to her paws, and returned to the clump of witch-hazel. She didn’t want to head off too far yet, just in case things became overly heated (and that would be interesting to watch). So, she lowered her nose and busied herself with nipping off a piece.
When everyone else start arguing and confession, Alexandro felt a little lost in the whole conversation, now things were getting interesting, of what he could understand Charaka had some friends in Blutwald, well he already knew that, but he never told anybody to not get her in trouble, but he didn’t really see the big deal of it, she had been in a pack before, it wasn’t her fault to know her friends who moved from Morrow to Blutwald.
When Bloom bowed down her head to see Riley, he immediately did the same, but looking at her, with his eyes all open, he was ready to snap at her if something, but in his eyes she didn’t really seemed that kind of wolf, when the pup said aunt he got confuse a little, but quickly ignore it, he was always saying weird things that drive others crazy or freaked out, only his aunt could love such a strange pup, when Charaka grab him and walk away with him he return to his posture, until Alcatraz’s growl and actions, which made his ears pinn back and put him a little nervous, it wasn’t for him but he could still feel Alcatraz’s anger, and that was scary, when he saw his opportunity to speak again, now having a lot of information he took it “It must have been the Alpha’s mate right? i mean, if Bloom is his daughter, and you are all talking about an incident and other stuff, he sure seemed to want to protect his own family, but it worries me their situation, because maybe Lady Athena can go, but it isn’t guaranteed that they will believe her without proves, i wouldn’t, and i don’t think that tearing her apart would help us in anything if they don’t accept the fact of having her hostage” he looked at Alcatraz and then to Bloom by his side, it sure had to be a bad experience being in her place, he also looked at Charaka worry about what his aunt might tell or punished her for breaking the law, he wanted to be by her side but he had to guard little Bloom, he also felt sorry for Seaver for letting Riley get so close, he could feel the anger on Athena’s tone, mothers and their instinct, a mystery for him, and Rahghaalr well...she seemed to not really care about all this, or pissed of, one of two, on his opinion this was a weird situation since they were so close to Blutwald and just imagine wolves starving living in a pack was another whole story.
Charaka wilted at Lady Athe’s harsh stare and her face and ears fell as Athe wanted to talk later ‘in private’. She was in so much trouble and she knew it. She would have to tell her alpha everything. Well not everything, she hoped she could take the fact she had given Gypsee, and indirectly Blutwald, her felled deer and offered to do it again to her grave. Lady Athe would probably explode and toss her out of the pack if Charaka told her that…
Hiding her face behind Riley Charaka’s embarrassed gaze wandered over the rest of her pack members before meeting Alexandro’s concerned one. She knew he couldn’t really comfort her with an angry Athe and currently saddled with guard duty. Picking Riley back up she moved over slightly so she was closest to the charcoal male but still twelve paces away from Bloom. A small attempt gain strength from his presence.
His entire entity of his stomach caught in his throat as he watched the pale little pup walk right up to their captive, and his blood turned to ice when the entire pack pulsed as one to protect him, followed by the sting of his Alpha’s words. He bowed his head in shame and defeat as he backed away with his tail tucked, feeling awful for allowing her son to get so close to danger. But in all fairness he was prone to do that, the little guy was so quiet he always got away from the adults watch. But he still felt horrible. The rest of his pack continued on, and he kept his gaze low as he moved over to Charaka as she coddled Riley in her lap. Even if she was watching him at the moment he still had to be close, if not right on top of him practically just to keep him out of trouble. He sat down next to Charaka and gave her a quick glance, almost to say ‘heh, we’re both in trouble now aren’t we...’ But he returned to keeping his gaze down as he listened to the rest of his packmates. The looks he received about his offer to feed her were brushed off. After all, even though she was a prisoner that didn’t mean he couldn’t help keep her alive. Besides he was only going to give her berries, which made him huff and pout some.
Being picked up suddenly didn’t really surprise him. He was often picked up when he did anything, it was almost his signal to just clam up and keep still, which was often what mother told him to do anyway. Charaka’s lap was warm, but she kept a firm grip on him, and while he didn’t mind it he was bothered by the fact that no one listened to him. Maybe Charaka would listen. He swiveled his neck around and looked into her brown eyes, his own lifeless green eyes prying away at her soul. “She’s kin.” He repeated, but in a lower voice so that it was only for Charaka to hear. Maybe no one heard him the first time. There was something so familiar about her scent, he didn’t know why. Maybe it was because she reminded him of the white one that gave him to mother in the first place. That’s all he could remember anyway, that was his first memory.
Leaning back, Athena sat down and sighed between tightly clenched fangs. She closed her eyes for a long moment while the rest of the pack conversed. Charaka and Seaver both appeared to be well and truly cowed, and the alphess was beginning to regret snapping at them. Truth be told she was more frustrated with the situation at hand than with their behavior. In different circumstances she might’ve not taken issue at all.
But these were not different circumstances. They were holding Stallion’s daughter prisoner and Athena was about to travel, alone, to meet with the Red Pack and attempt to broker some sort of agreement. A hunter sharing gossip, or a pup-sitter getting careless… with so much on the line, these could prove to be be fatal mistakes.
This pack was young, and the prospect of war was a frightening task to test them with, so soon after coming together. They would have to learn quickly how act as a unified force, if they hoped to stand any chance of establishing themselves against Blutwald.
Bloom gave a yelp as the larger black female practically barreled into her. She leaped away to avoid getting pushed into either males that were beside her. Now, she stood unguarded and behind the conversing wolves. Her tail flicked upwards, now the same height as her hindquarters. She stared at the small group of wolves as if waiting for them to act upon this. Now the female had picked the white pup and had carried it away from her. If she wanted to hurt the pup, she could've easily done so, but she didn't. Did that not mean anything? The black male, that had a kind face began to think aloud about who had taken over and if it was Stallion's mate. Not a lot of wolves knew about her mother. They didn't know what she had been through, that she was slowly losing her mind due to wolves leaving the pack; including her two sisters..
Would it do any good? Her maw wrinkled, glaring at all these wolves. "You wolves know nothing of my family and what they've been through! Stop pretending you know what goes in Blutwald, none of you know! And, you" her eyes found Athena, "Let me go with you.. Don't leave me here with these..wolves who no doubt want to rip inch for inch and treat me like some threat.." she looked at Alcatraz and Chakara, her eyes narrowed. "My mother won't attack you outright..if I am with you.." she exclaimed. She did not want to stay here, where she'd no doubt be treated like dirt. From all the hard looks..if she was alone this wasn't going to be a good experience..
Charaka kept her posture, laying still and out of the way with Riley safely in her grip. She gave Seaver a weak grin when he shot her a sympathetic glance, but she said nothing. She knew what she did was wrong and expected to be punished for it. Hopefully whatever the punishment was it didn’t involve stripping her of her rank and duties. She didn’t know what she would do in that case. Then Riley turned around in her lap and looked up at her with his weird green eyes that always just looked right through you rather than at you. Charaka frowned but didn’t avoid his gaze as he simply uttered two words; ‘she’s kin’. ...Kin? Who was kin? Charaka broke eye contact to examine the females present. Obviously Athe was kin but why in the world would Riley bother to tell her that? Neither Raghaalr nor herself was considered kin, so that just left…
Frowning deeply Charaka glanced between the staring white pup and the reddish Bloom. Riley may say a lot of strange things, but they always seem to have something undeniably true about them. First Aunt, and now Kin. Charaka could see some resemblance of Riley in Bloom: the skinny legs and strange fluffy neck fur. She sniffed Riley but couldn’t find much of a resemblance to Bloom or Stallion in his scent. Although if Bloom was his aunt then Charaka doubted the bastard’s scent would be that strong. As if to convince herself, she looked at the pup seriously and whispered, “So the red female over there is your aunt huh? Fine. I’ll make sure to tell your mother and the others.”
Decided on a course of action other than cowering, Charaka promptly stood up and handed Riley over to Seaver. She hesitated a moment before whispering something to him as well. “Seav, can you go ask if Raghaalr knows some kind of herbs to help Bloom? You should find the time to ask her when Athe is-” Then Bloom’s outburst interrupted her and Charaka looked back at her angrily.
“We’re not going to harm you unless you do something stupid, idiot girl!” she snarled at Bloom. She had other things she wanted to tell the female, but held them back. Athe was more than capable of winning this ‘disagreement’ without her help. After giving Bloom one final exasperated glare, Charaka nodded goodbye to Seaver and then walked over to where Alexandro stood. She softly brushed up against him briefly before making herself stand near the edge of the forest clearing. Head low and waiting for Athe to drag her off and interrogate her.
The situation seemed to even tense more than it was, he was still looking at everyone when suddenly Bloom said that nonsense, she should be aware of her position right now! And she still dare to talk that way, this girl seemed to be stupid or something even worse, she should just shut up and stay still.
“That’s why we are arguing about it BLOOM, in the first place we wouldn’t have to be worry and in all this problematic situation if you know you’re place, this is our territory, are rules, and you just broke the law, being the daughter of an alpha should make you think more responsible” he tried to control the sudden anger he felt in does moments, it was just that this wolf was being so sinic to even talk that way to Lady Athena that pissed him off, and for her fault Charaka and Seaver were already in trouble with the Alphess, this was just great.
He calm down when he felt Charaka’s contact, he just let out a tired and frustrated sigh, he just wanted this to all be over and continue having a happy life, without any of this problems! just because of this juvenile’s rank didn’t mean she could do whatever she wanted, she had to think more in the consequences of her own acts, well he will just follow instructions and hoped everything ended up well to his pack mates, specially Charaka that seemed in a very bad situation now, he looked at her one more time before she would leave with Lady Athena, trying to not worry too much, he knew his aunt wasn’t mean but she could still be scary when she was angry.
Seaver hadn’t been listening to the other wolves talk about the present situation, only watched Riley with guilt ridden eyes as he weaved in and out of his limber legs, chasing a gnat when suddenly an unfamiliar voice rang out, drawing everyone to a silence as the juvenile princess spoke up. Even Riley stopped to pay attention, which never happened unless you spoke his name to get it. What happened next could have resulted from a number of things; her underaged bratty tone, her disrespect towards Athena, or even the fact that she was Blutwaldian. No one would have known for sure what was going through his head when he then stood up, ears pointed forward and orange eyes narrowed. Never before had he appeared fully aggressive, after all he had never felt this way ever before in his life. He nudged Riley’s rear end to sit firmly down in the snow, for which he did, and approached the little female, getting close enough to her so that his deep tone could be heard nice and clear. “If I were you, I’d remember who feeds the pack around here. You’re in no position to start throwing your attitude around.” He said with a grim threatening voice, making it very clear that he knew that by not giving her food she could die within days of being kept there, and the future was unpredictable.
With that solemn threat, he lifted his chin above her and looked down on her as if she were some spoiled brat, and turned to walk away, heading towards Raghaalr’s direction. “C’mon Riley.” He called, not even bothering to look back but he knew the little guy would follow, he never disobeyed commands. He let his brow furrow as his thoughts consumed him. Why all of a sudden did he get so angry when she spoke? Something about her arrogance made him think back to when he found Impala in the medical den. She explained her attacker as someone who acted without reason, and for him, someone who acted on impulse needed to have a reality slap in the face. While he never acted on impulse, starvation was an extremely serious matter, especially to him, and by laying that threat down he knew exactly what the consequences meant. He shook his head as he silently made his way away from the crowd and towards Raghaalr.
Though she’d not been paying mind to the conversation behind her, as soon as voices were raised she jerked up her head and stared at them, a clump of witch-hazel hanging from her jaws. The she-wolf frowned, her ears flicking back a moment. She, of course, had no sympathy for the captive. Shouldn’t have been skulking around where her paws didn’t belong. Wrinkling her nose, she moved to lower her head again, only to see a shape moving her way, quickly recognizing it as Seaver. She gave him a blink in way of greeting, her head tipping down a moment towards Riley, who was at the Courser’s heels.
“Yes?” she queried huffily, allowing the herb stalk to fall from her jaws. She flexed her forepaw overtop it and tipped her head to one side as she studied the younger he-wolf. Her reddish gaze darted back towards the crowd for a moment, and then to Seaver, and she wondered if her assistance was required.
"MY PACK IS STARVING!" she snapped her jaws angrily, the words blurted from her lips before she could stop them. Her eyes widened as she realized what she said. Her hackles dropped and she stared at the ground. Her tail lashed to the side in agitation as the the once kind wolf turned on her in anger. What did she expect, she just turned on their Alpha.. Yeah, these wolves probably thought she was just some pampered, spoiled Alpha brat.. She didn’t care though, she did what she had to do to save her newborn brother, her mother and pack. Her head lifted when the slim red-coated male approached her. She arched her head back, her eyes narrowed angrily, “I do not care if you are the one who feeds this tiny pack..” she growled, meeting his gaze fearlessly. Stubborness. Red-hot anger. It ran in the family.
Athena’s glare was sharp enough to split a glacier, her snarl very like the rending of one. “ENOUGH! All of you!” On her feet in a heartbeat, the alphess emanated an aura of absolute authority, commanding the obedience of those present.
Grey eyes cold as a winter storm, Athena rounded on Bloom, fangs glittering. “Someone in your position would do well to keep a civil tongue.” She threatened, poised like a serpent prepared to strike. “You may lack all honour or forethought, but do not presume that my packmates bear the same moral poverty. I have known starvation. I have watched it kill wolves. Family.”
Athena had lost others, too, to sickness, injury, and age. Even anger. She knew the pain it left inside your heart. “It did not turn me or my kin into skulking thieves devoid of wit, which is more than can be said for you. So be grateful you yet live, girl, and keep that insolent tongue behind your teeth.”
“Furthermore, I will not hand you back to your pack and surrender the one advantage my family has in this dispute.” Bringing Bloom along would be handing Blutwald their rival’s leader and hostage in one swift motion. Blatant stupidity. Athena was rather insulted the girl had the gall to even suggest it. Besides, the alphess was already formulating a plan, one Bloom’s presence would undoubtedly disrupt. “You will remain here. As long as you do not pose a threat, you won’t be harmed, I swear it.”
Turning once more to face her packmates, the alphess pricked her ears forward. Their quickness to rebuff the insult was admirable. Seaver, especially, had surprised Athena by his reaction. She was impressed, if too frustrated to express it fully. Her gaze softened as it came to rest on the omega, but that was all. “You all have jobs to attend. Get to them.”