Bearclaw Valley Sleep with one eye open, clutching your pillow tight
Private  February 13, 2018, 10:46 AM
Onyx Saefyn
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@Dakarai night night time! Set after this thread!
Finding a small place where they could rest wasn't difficult, and as she sat down on her haunches that night, she felt her eyelids grow heavy, but she fought sleep hard, knowing the nightmares were on the other side of the flimsy wall she had put up. Several times she jerked her head awake, and several times she succeeded, but at last, her muscles could no longer hold up her aching body, and she laid down, curling into a ball, her breathing evening out. Her last thought was Dakarai's reaction to her odd actions and hoping he wouldn't leave her side. Rising and falling, her chest was the only thing moving as she took a deep breath and let it out, finally sinking into oblivion.
February 14, 2018, 03:54 PM
Dakarai
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He hadn't come to the den right away, but instead had tucked the catch Onyx made somewhere safe for the morning or whenever it was that they woke up. He'd covered it up within the territory and then found himself exhausted, despite wanting to continue exploring the territory for a little while. So with sore muscles he made his way back, tracking Onyx from where they'd been accepted and then sliding in next to her. He lay against her as she seemed to fight sleep, jerking awake and then falling back asleep a few times before seeming to finally become at peace in her sleep. He sighed softly and lay his head across her back, closing his eyes. "How do I make you trust me...I'll never leave you" he murmured against her fur softly before falling silent and resting. He wouldn't sleep for a while, he wanted to make sure nobody would disturb them.
February 14, 2018, 04:41 PM
Onyx Saefyn
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Her descent into the darkness didn't begin until she felt his head on her back, then,for awhile, she slept. Peaceful, deep. But it didn't last long as the fingers of her nightmares came clawing at her brain again, as suddenly as a thunder clap, as quickly as a lightning strike. It made her body jerk as the angry fire lit up images of her violent past. 
As Lonzo crept into her mind, blocking most of the fire, the shadow his hulking frame threw made her body tremble as the dream wolfess scrambled away from the shadow as if even touching it would poison her. His venomous, rolling laugh echoed in her head as he walked towards her, across the blood ridden snow. Her feet kicked as she tried to flee from the dream, her throat releasing a terrified whine. He grabbed her scruff, and she fought back, her whine getting louder, more guttural. She began to shake as he hurt her again and began to whisper. Please, Lonzo.. I'll...I'll be good. Just stop... 
Her last word ended in a while, the painful memories becoming real in her mind yet again. His voice was amused and as his twisted laugh reached her ears, he spoke, and the voice that had been like tar on her brain sank into it further. Her own lips moved with his words. Oh, Sunshine, you're weak. Look at me. His smooth voice was a poisonous command, yet her head turned on it's own. His pale eyes changed into blue pools, and she gasped. No, it wasn't Dakarai. It couldn't be. Her whole body jerked as the shock of the familiar face woke her, and she scrambled from the touch, forcing herself against the wall. Yet her legs could not hold her, and she sank into a ball, whimpering.
February 14, 2018, 04:50 PM
Dakarai
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There had only been a few moments peace before she began to tense up. He opened his eyes and moved closer against her, ears flicking warily. Her body jerked against him and he whimpered "Onyx..." he murmured hesitantly before she began to thrash and kick out. She didn't wake up or seem to hear him as she fought against some unseen monster, a scary sounding whine leaving her maw and shaking him to his core. Then she spoke...that same blasted name and the familiar pleas that often came from her when she was sleeping. "Onyx wake up!" he said in a louder voice though it shook with fear for her. Then suddenly she turned and stared at him and the terror in her gaze wounded him deeply. As she scampered away he lay still, shaking almost as violently as she was. He held her gaze for a moment before doing the only thing he could think of to immediately show he wasn't a threat. He rolled onto his back and exposed his belly, stretching out his throat and muzzle toward her with a placating whine.

"Onyx...it's me Dakarai. Nobody's hurting you...it was a bad dream love, come here. You're safe with me." His voice came out in a tense whisper, his eyes wide with concern and fear. She didn't look like herself at the moment, but more of a wild thing that could lunge at any moment.
February 14, 2018, 05:07 PM
Onyx Saefyn
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The image of him was still seared into her eyes as she stared at the wolf in the den with her, not recognizing him. As he spoke and rolled over, she blinked, curling tighter into a ball. It was a trick. It was the first though that came to her mind. Shaking her head, her glazed eyes landed on his, terrified and confused. Her whisper was pained, her ears down. Please stop...Lonzo, you aren't the one I love. Go away. 
Chills ran all over her, yet something was off about that voice. It wasn't his...was it? Shaking her head, her side still pressed into the wall, she looked again, and the image slowly faded from her eyes. Dakarai. She let out a soft, relieved whine as she belly crawled close enough to nuzzle him, a smear of blood from her shoulder on the wall unnoticed. Her shaking didn't subside,but her voice was clearer now, her eyes bright with relief. Dakarai, it's you. I thought...I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Her tail wagged slowly, yet the regret in her voice was thick as she continued to shake.
February 14, 2018, 05:59 PM
Dakarai
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His breath came in slow inhales and exhales, blue eyes focused on her as she curled up despite his attempts to soothe her. Another whimper left his maw, this time a plea as he wiggled toward her. Then she spoke again and he froze up. You aren't the one I love... his ears flicked backwards. There was someone else? Had he mistakenly formed feelings for her when she was attached to another? He swallowed back his doubts, focusing on the woman in front of him instead. She was what mattered whether she loved him or not. He loved her...he knew this at that point, he loved her and he would be by her side. 

She looked back at him and he saw the shift in her gaze. Her whine of relief mixed with his sigh of relief as he gave a questioning thump of his tail between his legs. His body relaxed a bit as she crawled toward him and he pressed his nose to her throat, licking at her muzzle and cheeks slowly and lovingly. "You thought...I was Lonzo. It's alright...I forgive you. But Onyx...you need to tell me who Lonzo is. I need to know everything so I can help you. If I know I can protect you. Déarfaidh mé mo fhuil agus anam" He spoke softly as he covered her with kisses and before he knew what he was doing he'd recited his home pack's oath. An oath that if broken would curse the one who spoke it. He tensed up before deciding he really meant it....if anyone deserved and needed that Oath more, it was onyx.


translated: I swear by my blood and soul
February 14, 2018, 06:42 PM
Onyx Saefyn
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As he began to lick her, the shaking became trembling, and the nightmare faded almost entirely. But she kept her eyes open, just in case the nightmares tried to find her again. Her voice was serious as she murmured against him. He...he changed into you..in..the nightmare...he..tricked me. He's not even here, and I let him trick me. A clear disbelief at herself was in her voice. He's right. I am weak. As he spoke again, she blinked at the strange language. What had he said?
She shook her head and nuzzled his neck before reluctantly moving away. Her voice was resigned...resigned to the fact that it was her burden and he didn't need it, resigned to the fact that Lonzo would never not be there, and resigned to the fact that she was weak. He was...my past. I don't think he would go this far...I mean to chase me this far..would he? Her voice changed to uncertainty as she continued talking, her ears flattened in fear, knowing deep down that the snake would.
February 15, 2018, 09:42 AM
Dakarai
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He remained still as she spoke, though he continued to lick at her fur. The kissing changed into something more like grooming, his tongue rasping across her fur in slow, long strokes. "I will never do anything to harm you. I am nothing like him and I know you aren't weak. There's a difference between being traumatized and being weak." he said firmly but in a soft voice. As she moved away he slowly rolled over and pushed himself into a sitting position.

His ears flicked back as she questioned whether or not he'd chase her down. His thoughts went to how Blackfeather had gone out of their way to hunt him down across teekon, but he didn't voice these thoughts. "If he does, I'll be there to protect you. I...I won't ever let him hurt you. Even if he takes you, I'd hunt you both down and fight for you until he breathes his last breathe" the thought of Lonzo taking her made his heart skip a beat as a jolt of fear went through him. Would he fail to protect her so badly that she'd be taken?
February 15, 2018, 10:20 AM
Onyx Saefyn
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As his voice calmed her, her own heart did not let her rest inside. She wanted to believe him, but the words never left her...'You're weak'. Watching sit up, she smiled slightly, a little in surprise. He was still here. The others had fled at her nightmares, yet... She wanted to just sit next to him and listen to his heart, but at his next words, she froze, her tail unconsciously wrapping around her again. He thought it was a possibility. Her breath caught in her throat for a moment before she began to breathe again. Closing her eyes, she shook her head and spoke, her voice almost pleading. Are...you going to go after him? He's dangerous, Dakarai. You don't know his past...our past. The word felt bitter on her tongue. 'Our'. Taking a deep breath, she dropped her head, shame and fear filling her yet again.
February 15, 2018, 10:54 AM
Dakarai
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He felt his chest tightened at her fear. He felt so helpless, just sitting around only able to try and coax her out of this terror with words and gestures of comfort. She asked if he would go after Lonzo and he sucked in a breath. He would if he knew how...he would track the man to the ends of the Earth in hopes of ridding Onyx of the nightmares that plagued her. "I don't know his scent...or what he looks like. Or the sound of his voice. I don't have enough detail to track him down. If he comes here...I promise I'll only be a howl away. I'll come running and I'll kill him." he said and approached her. He nudged her head up to look at him and met her eyes, his own gaze soft and warm. 

He nuzzled against her cheek in an affectionate way and pressed his nose into the crook of her shoulder briefly before pulling away again. "What did he do to you Onyx? Just tell me..you can trust me. I won't leave you, I couldn't leave you because.." he paused for a moment, unsure if he should admit what he felt at the moment. Deciding to push forward he released a soft sigh. "Because I love you. I love you and I wont allow anyone to take you from me. I will protect you and end him, even if it kills me." He whispered the confession and looked her in the eyes, almost afraid that it would make her turn away from him.
February 15, 2018, 11:31 AM
Onyx Saefyn
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She heard him drawing in a breath, and she sat there uncertainly, not knowing what he was thinking or how she should react. Even the short time that her and him were together, he had conditioned her, molded her into thinking she was to react the way he wanted, the way she thought he wanted. The times she got it wrong...She trembled slightly, then he spoke, and she froze, not quite comprehending his words. It almost sounded like he would. But why? Why? For her? Blinking, she was silent as he padded over softly. As he lifted her head, his beautiful blue eyes met her emotion filled ones. Pain, doubt, fear, uncertainty, and an unreadable one, as if she didn't know what it was yet.
She closed her eyes for a brief moment as he nuzzled against her, a bittersweet feeling flowing through her. He pulled away, and a loss pricked at her. His question made her almost cry out in pain, fear and humiliation. Why him? Why did he care so much? Why wouldn't he leave? The thought of him leaving brought tears to her eyes, and she tried to blink them away. Then he said those three words. Not once but twice. Her heart stopped. Did he mean it? Searching his eyes with her chocolate brown ones, a tiny hope blossomed within her. Maybe.
She nuzzled him, wanting to say it back, but she shook her head, her voice almost pained, yet soft as she pulled away from him. A war was taking place inside of her, and it showed in her speech. Don't...don't...say that. You don't know what I did. You don't know...what I am. A quiet sob broke from her throat as she dropped her ears, her tail wrapped as tightly around herself as possible, as if trying to protect herself against the rejection she felt was sure to come. Letting the tears fall to the earth, she almost breathed the words, flinching as she did it, self loathing clear in her eyes, if he could only see them, as they were pointed towards the earth. I was...his...once. She seemed to curl into herself more as she sunk to the ground, afraid of his reaction.
February 15, 2018, 07:13 PM
Dakarai
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When the tears filled her eyes he faltered, heart squeezing with pain for whatever had happened to her. He wanted so desperately to fix this....if killing Lonzo and ridding him from this world would do that then he would even if it meant his death. She nuzzled him and he closed his eyes, blinking away the moisture that had filled them within the past few seconds. He felt loss as she pulled away again and looked into her eyes before she turned away, shaking her head. Her words struck him almost physically but he didn't back away, he wouldn't back down. "It doesn't matter what you've done. I know what you are. You are Onyx Saefyn, A beautiful, courageous, funny, kind woman who was so strong she managed to escape a man who obviously did bad things to her."He spoke with conviction. He took a step forward, his tail wagging slowly. 

"This is the beautiful thing about teekon. You can come here and leave your past. If Lonzo is here, I'll find him and I will end him. You do not belong to him anymore Onyx, you don't belong to anyone. I love you but I'd never ask to own you. I'd ask to live by your side and hunt together, sleep together, maybe have a family together. I want you to trust me enough to tell me what happened...I want leave you. I won't run. I'm here to stay, whether you love me too or not." his voice shook with emotion as he spoke, eyes wary but with a bit of hope. He yearned for her to believe him, to trust in him, but seeing how broken she was he knew it would be hard to ask of her.
February 15, 2018, 11:18 PM
Onyx Saefyn
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She just shook her head, his words not sinking into her soul. Instead, they sat on her heart heavily. Hardening her heart, her eyes became closed off as disbelief swallowed her, an empty void with no hope. He didn't know. He just didn't understand. She stamped her foot in pain, in confusion, her body shaking from an overflow of emotions. He didn't know. He just... didn't. The thought swirled in her brain, pounding against her ribcage, keeping time to her painful heartbeats. Why did she fall?
Swishing her tail, she started pacing in a small line, her breath fast, her body portraying a picture of a torn woman. His words stopped her in her tracks, and she looked up at him, her eyes searching his for the truth, her eyes almost black with emotions. Tears fell as his simple words tore down the stone walls around her heart. Her tired body sagged as she sat down and spoke, her head down. He.. was charming, slick, and...the best liar I have ever come across. Her words were spat out in a low volume as contempt for herself dripped from every word. She had fallen for the oldest trick in the book. Not taking into account how young she was, she wondered how he could love her. She continued after taking a deep breath. I fell for it. Every word. I...was his mate. For 7 months. 7 months. 
Her eyes searched out his as her head lifted slowly, as if it was as a boulder. Tears streamed down her face, silently breaking over the ground. She paid them no mind, her voice quiet and steady, almost monotone. His parents were alphas in the pack. He was innocent and spoiled. I got..pregnant. I don't know why, but he brought me before the leaders and accused me of...allowing a lower male to inpregnate me. Taking a deep breath, her body was completely still, her only movement was her lips moving and her gaze dropping. She couldn't look at him anymore. Not with what was coming up. Tucking her tail around herself, she shrank down, as did her pained voice. They... excommunicated me. They threw me out...in the middle of winter. 
Swallowing hard, her body had an urge to pace. She tried to stand, but her legs were too weak to hold her, and she sank back down. Maybe it was the reliving of the past that made her weak in this moment. Maybe it was her fear of seeing his back as he walked away. Maybe she was just...weak. Any way, she couldn't, so she curled up and spoke the part that she feared the most, and besides the mental abuse, the most painful. Her body shook, her voice trembled, her stance went hopeless. I gave birth...on my own...to 5 wolf pups. 3 male, 2 female. I watched as they died, one by one. I was useless... Her voice completely broke, an agonized whimper crawled out of her maw..a long, low whimper as she held back the flood for only a moment before curling in on herself. 
She shook her head in case he wanted to come over, then a pained whisper fell from her mouth. I was useless, Dakarai. My pups. Even from him, they were my pups. My children. And I failed them. I am a failure, Dakarai. The tears pooling on the ground, they ran back to her, soaking her paws. About two months later, he...found me, trying to convince me to come back. He said it was a mistake and...asked about his...children. I refused him and refused to tell him. He got...mad and told me that if he couldn't have those pups, he would have more. He forced me. I ran. I lost him. Then, about two full moons before I entered this territory, he found me again. This time...this time it was for fun. With two I recognized from his pack. They...had fun, and then left me for dead. I was bloody and weak. I... didn't move for two days. It...was in a forest...like the one we passed through. I thought I could become stronger. 
Her breathing was rapid and shallow. She had never spoke what had happened outloud. Pouring out her soul to him, fear clenched at her with icy fingers. She finished with a simple statement, as if she had told a story for children. Then I met you two months later. The end. She gave him a bittersweet, exhausted smile and spoke one last time. The alpha..the one that accepted us...his voice is so like Lonzo's, I almost can't tell the difference. His eyes are pale, almost like mist. He is black as a moonless night and huge, with white in his coat. He is smooth with his words, and his logic is almost flawless. He is dangerous. He will try to make you doubt your own thoughts. His smell.. 
She snorted suddenly, as if even the memory of his scent was poisonous. ...his scent...He smells like the forest after the flames die out. Mixed with fresh fallen pine needles. She fell silent, the last words floating between them as she laid her head down, spent and used up.
February 16, 2018, 01:02 AM
Dakarai
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His heart beat rapidly, eyes still focused on her as the silence hung heavy between them. She began to pace and stomped her paw, the gesture making him flattens his ears back in fear that he had said something wrong. His eyes swam with concern,sadness,anger at what had been done to her as they met her own blackened tormented gaze and his mouth hung open with unspoken words. Then finally she began to speak and from the first sentence his heart tore itself apart with her. As she poured out her story to him he found himself struggling to swallow back a growl of outrage. Lonzo...the name would forever be stuck in his mind. This man had tricked and used a magnificent woman and reduced her to a broken thing who believed it all to be her fault. His body trembled with protective rage as he closed his mouth, swallowing the bile that rose in his throat. When she turned away from him he lifted a forepaw to go toward her but stopped again, not wanting to disturb her as she told him what was so obviously hard for her to get out.

When she told of her children his eyes filled with tears. He couldn't imagine watching his own offspring die without being able to help, the mere imagining of it brought pain surging through him like a tidal wave. As she finished up the story of her tormented past he found himself sinking onto the ground. The information swam through his mind making him feel sick. Not because of her, but because of what had been done to her. "You...You couldn't have known. Even I've fallen for lies...lies that ended badly. So badly. Tricksters...they have a way of doing such bad things and then twisting it so we believe it's our own fault. You were the victim." He croaked out, throat tightening with emotion as he looked at her. He felt his flanks heaving with the effort of withholding his tears. He didn't know what to say or do...all he knew was that he'd kill Lonzo whenever given the chance. 

After he spoke he stood up and slowly walked over to where she lay turned away from him. He sat down and then lowered himself to his sides pressed against hers. After a moment he lay his head across the back of her neck and sighed, his tears beginning to drip down onto her fur. No wonder she didn't trust him, it seemed everyone in her life had done nothing but hurt and break her spirit. He wished he could take away her pain, even temporarily so that she could have a moment of peace without fear. "You aren't to blame for any of this. Not even the best of mother's could have done anything for five newborns in winter. I won't let the alpha touch you, but I don't think he would anyway. I won't ever let Lonzo hurt you. I will never leave you Onyx Saefyn. And I promise you....I will end Lonzo even if it kills me. You will be freed from him once and for all and even then I will stay by your side." the words came out choked as he cried, unable to hide how utterly awful he felt for her. It was always one of his faults...or one of his strong suits if you chose to look at it like that, he was open about his emotions around those he cared for.
February 16, 2018, 05:52 PM
Onyx Saefyn
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As she lay there, curled in a ball, she felt more defeated as the silence grew. Tears still dripped down her face as she tried to curl in tighter. Her soul was bared. The only one she had ever bared it to. She felt cold, uncertainty filling her. His voice was hoarse As he started to speak, and her tears began anew. She had caused him pain. Nothing good ever came out of her. 'You were the victim' lingered in her head, but she pushed it away. 
Surprise made her jump a little as he pressed himself to her. Swallowing hard, she closed her eyes as she felt the tears. Why did she hurt him? He began to talk, and she trembled slightly at the word 'newborns'. The promise surprised her, and she pushed back her hope. Why she was so stubborn, she didn't know. Maybe because it had saved her heartbreak. 
Not questioning it, she forced her body to sit up. Everything in her wanted to comfort him, an ache building in her. Even if her soul doubted that someone would stay, she gently licked his tears nuzzling him, wishing she could do something.. anything. He shouldn't be crying... especially over her. Her voice was soft, no emotion but love and concern. How can I help? Please let me help dry your tears. Don't cry. I'm here. I'm not leaving. I love you.
She froze on those words, surprise clear in her eyes mixed with fear. Why did she say that? Looking at him, her eyes grew warm as her voice dropped to a whisper. I love you, Dakarai.You are the one I love.
February 16, 2018, 06:41 PM
Dakarai
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The silence killed him but he gave her time to process everything he had said. Meanwhile his eyes dripped tears and he nuzzled against the back of her neck soothingly. He felt her begin to stir and lifted his head so she could sit up, lifting his gaze to follow her. She spoke with concern for him and he shook his head, a sad but warm smile on his maw. "My tears will dry once I've succeeded in making you safe." he responded in a more stable voice. The next words she said made him freeze and his eyes widened with surprise just as hers did. She loved him....she loved him! His tail began to wag as he stood up and moved toward her, eyes filled with shock and happiness. "Nothing will take me from you. I'm here Onyx. I'll always be here. Please....trust in me." He murmured as he met her gaze before leaning in and placing tender feather light kisses against her maw and jawline.
February 19, 2018, 07:17 AM
Onyx Saefyn
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His words made her nuzzle him. He wanted to keep her safe. What did she do to deserve this?  Her words seemed to shock him as her soft voice echoed. It had not yet faded as his tail began to beat the air. A gentle sparkle entered her eyes, and a happy smile on her face as he walked towards her. Her own tail began to wag slowly as he began to speak. Nothing? She wanted to believe that, yearned to believe it as she looked into those beautiful eyes of his. 'Trust me'. The last time those words were spoken, she was ignorant enough to trust. Closing her eyes, she smiled as the kisses landed on her. Her tail beat the ground as happiness swelled within  her. Trust tried to raise up, but she pushed it down firmly, trying to enjoy this moment. She might not have another opportunity. As she softly planted a few kisses herself, her tail wagged slowly, voice soft. Would you...hum or sing for me until I fall asleep? It might help. Laying down beside him, she curls into a ball, putting her tail over her eyes.
February 19, 2018, 08:47 PM
Dakarai
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She seemed satisfied with his response and nuzzled him, a gesture he was more than happy to return. When he and olive had met it was this instantaneous connection with no real chance to develop and while he had loved her fiercely they hadn't really had a chance to be together before life decided to separate them. Here he had a woman who he'd already had a chance to learn about and spend time with, who needed him to take it slow and he was happy to do just that. He was happy to simply relax in this moment and not make any more major Revelations. When she kissed him he made a low groan of delight, his eyes squinting shut before she requested he sing to her. "Of course i can....um..lemme think" he said and scooted closer so his body would provide warmth. A good song from his home pack came to him and his gaze softened. He'd sung this song to Oxsana while she slept after birthing their children. He hadn't even thought of it since then...but Onyx was special...he'd sing for her.

"Dún do shúil, a rún mo chroí
A chuid den tsaol, 's a ghrá liom
Dún do shúil, a rún mo chroí
Agus gheobhair feirín amárach

Tá do dheaid ag teacht gan mhoill ón chnoc
Agus cearca fraoich ar láimh leis
Agus codlaidh go ciúin 'do luí sa choid
Agus gheobhair feirín amárach

Dún do shúil, a rún mo chroí
A chuid den tsaol, 's a ghrá liom
Dún do shúil, a rún mo chroí
Agus gheobhair feirín amárach"

His voice started out wobbly but then became smooth until his deep baritone crooned softly into the nighttime air. He swayed from side to side a bit, rocking her gently as he sang the same lyrics but In english this time.
"Close your eyes, my love
My worldly joy, my treasure
Close your eyes, my love
And you will get a present tomorrow

Your son is coming from the hills
With game and grouse in plenty
So close your eyes, my love, my joy
And you will get a present tomorrow

Close your eyes, my love
My worldly joy, my treasure
Close your eyes, my love
And you will get a present tomorrow"
when he finished that he fell silent, looking down upon her with a soft expression. It was solidified in that moment, that he would do all he could to make sure nothing went wrong here.
February 23, 2018, 02:41 PM
Onyx Saefyn
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Last one from me! I enjoyed this thread. Thanks! :)
As his voice floated over the night air, she felt her muscles relax. The cool air wafted in, and she shivered slightly, yet her trembling was assuaged. His heart beat was calming, a lullaby in itself. The strange language was beautiful, and she yearned to speak it herself one day. 
He began rocking, and she snuggled closer, her eyelids fluttering. Forcing them to stay open for a moment, they drifted shut as he began to croon the words she understood. She sighed softly, enjoying these few peaceful moments before the darkness of sleep claimed her mind. As her breath evened out, the last few notes hung on the air, the melody's sweet ending the last thing she heard before drifting off.
February 24, 2018, 03:09 PM
Dakarai
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The singing brought him peace as well, the familiar song giving him a bittersweet feeling. As he felt Onyx snuggle closer he smiled faintly and quieted his singing some focusing on her breathing. On the last notes he lay his head across her back giving her more warmth and staring outside of the den. Whatever the future brought he prayed it would lead him to a long life with her by his side in the end. "Oíche mhaith a chroí" he murmured softly. goodnight my love.. he repeated in his mind before drifting off to sleep, ears twitching occasionally at faint sounds outside the den.