Morningside Cuesta sandcastles
May 14, 2017, 08:46 AM
Khoe
Approved Members


It had begun.

Khoe had been hoping for a smooth pregnancy, and seeing how it took two weeks for any adverse side effects to show, she thought that she might get her wish. However, that evening, after rising from a long day's nap, she found herself crippled with nausea. She managed to sneak away to a nearby sequoia and relieve herself in between the protruding roots, but she knew that she would have to compose herself quickly so as to dig herself a proper den.

As she trotted around to the other side of the large beast, Khoe began to slowly dig at the base as a weak attempt at creating a quarry.
May 14, 2017, 09:19 AM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon

there was a smell. her nose wrinkled at the unfamiliar and biting scent of bile, feeling her own stomach turn. deciding that is something smelled that bad, it was surely worth investigating, and getting rid off as quickly as possible. thus she set off at a brisk trot in the general direction of the stench, nose wrinkled and gaze narrowed as the contemplated what, exactly, the scent might be. 

she did not expect Akuti. " Akuti!"  she called, voice one of surprise as the rounded the sequoia and found the scent anchored to the dainty black woman. her brow furrowed in confusion, and a bit of disgust, as she questioned abruptly, and perhaps rather tactlessly, "What is that?"
May 14, 2017, 09:26 AM
Khoe
Approved Members

Dawn's voice was a welcome one, though Khoe wished that they had been able to meet under different circumstances. The warmth of embarrassment rolled over her once and twice-over, though she knew that this was nothing to be ashamed of. This is going to be a den, she laughed, trying to make light of the situation. I wasn't feeling too well this morning. I'm sorry to bother you. Khoe stopped digging for a moment and circled back around to kick dirt over the evidence. 

Care to help me? With the digging, I mean. Khoe used her head to motion back toward the shallow hole and, once again, circled her way around to continue what she had been doing.
May 14, 2017, 09:50 AM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon
a den, said Akuti. watching her digging, Dawn understood what she was doing; however, s den was not the answer to what she was looking for. "oh"  she said, agreeing a moment later to assist with a few words and a nod, moving into position beside Akuti and swiping at the earth with her paws, soon finding a rhythm and working harder to hid as quickly as possible, seeing just how fast she could go. 

"are you okay? there's a...smell."  she said as politely as she could, concerned over the state of Akuti's wellbeing. she watched the woman carefully during a lull in her digging, earth covering her front and limbs.
May 14, 2017, 10:01 AM
Khoe
Approved Members

The help was much needed and took quite a large chunk of the load from Khoe's shoulders. Her ribs were still a bit sore from the hunting incident, so any assistance she could get in the more laborious of tasks was more than appreciated. I'm alright, she assured the girl, just a bit nauseous is all. Pregnancy isn't an easy task, but I'm sure you'll learn that for yourself one day. It was a light-hearted comment finalized with a tiny grin and a nudge to the shoulder. But for me, it's always been a bit worse. Heavens know why.
May 14, 2017, 10:16 AM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon

nauseous? Dawn had heard the word, been it before, after eating a squirrel that wasn't quite as fresh as she had thought it to be; but never had the vile smelling thing come from it. her maw opened to ask further questions, but clamped shut a moment later. pregnant? while she had never given it thought, she knew the meaning of that word. she stopped her digging, turning to Akuti swiftly. "You're not pregnant,"  she stated, words hollow. "You're...pregnant?" she said, words nervous. 

barely paying any mind to the rest of her words, her eyes grew wide. "Wha- how?"  came her voice, heart constricting. she didn't want this for Akuti! Not for her to vanish or die or be murdered, too! her gaze was one of pity mixed with horror and shock, tail lashing in agitation.
May 14, 2017, 10:23 AM
Khoe
Approved Members

Khoe's brow furrowed as she stopped digging and met Dawn's gaze. It hadn't even occured to her that Grayday might not have said anything yet, but now that she had been the one to say something, she knew she would have to also deal with the repercussions. Had she hurt Dawn? Khoe remembered when her father took his third wife, and the way that she felt; in her mind, this woman was taking her father away, and she didn't want Dawn to feel the same way about her relationship with Day. Dawn, she said softly, what's wrong? 

But as to answering the question of how she'd gotten pregnant; well that wasn't something she was quite ready for.
May 14, 2017, 10:30 AM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon
she had absolutely no idea that her Da had been the cause of this. how could she? she knew that her Da was fond of the woman, and so was she, but it never occurred to her that he could have been the cause of this. how did one even get pregnant? she peered at herself, the complete absence of that knowledge bothering her. she knew, or was pretty sure, that boy's couldn't get pregnant, which was lucky for them, they were never to be doomed to motherhood. 

"How?" she asked again, the word strangled. "I- oh no, Akuti. I like you!" she said, ears slicked back, tail still lashing. How could this happen to Akuti, of all people?
May 14, 2017, 08:38 PM
Khoe
Approved Members

Khoe drew in closer to the girl, her eyes working to match Dawn's gaze. It was obvious that she was uneasy, though perhaps not for the reasons she might have assumed. Whatever the reason however, Khoe knew she had to try and fix it. Dawn, I can help you if you tell me what's wrong, love. She placed a reassuring paw atop the girl's shoulder and allowed it to slide down as she awaited a response. Anxiety forced her tail into a wag mimicking Dawn's, though she tried her best to stop it for fear of worsening the situation.
May 14, 2017, 09:16 PM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon

she was ignoring her repeated question, which was annoying, but Dawn knew when to give up; for now. brow furrowed, she said, as if explaining it carefully, " If you're...pregnant,  that means you'll be a mom. And moms are almost always murdered, or die, or vanish."  she said, worry in her tone. she did not know that Akuti was her Da's new mate, or that he had fathered the children within her, (how he did so was another matter completely). no matter where this conversation went, she'd be likely to be confused or angered, so little was her knowledge of all things moms and pups. unless she could become unpregnant, there was no way Akuti could fix this.
May 14, 2017, 09:23 PM
Khoe
Approved Members

It then occured to her that every mom Dawn had ever known had left, whether or not by choice. Khoe, taken aback by the bold proclamation, sat dumbfounded and speechless as she thought of what to say next. Oh no, she began, I'm not going anywhere. She moved forward only a bit and used her nose to rub at Dawn's forehead and somehow convey an absent understanding. She wanted to defend herself and to tell Dawn that most moms who loved their children stayed and were there for them, but she knew that she didn't fit that bill. She'd loved her children with everything she had in her, and still, she'd left.

I'm not going anywhere. I promise, she whispered as she continued to nose at the girl.
May 15, 2017, 02:11 PM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon
she was still as Akuti offered a comforting touch, yet she was far from comforted. at her final words did she withdraw, stepping back and looking at the woman with fearfully, stomach full of snakes that writhed and squirmed, tail lashing still. "How can you be sure? You could get murdered- that happened to Nikai's mom, you know. Or die, like Kieran's." she said, grief in her eyes at the fate of Akuti. 

but she wasn't going to give up her quest for information, and she asked again, "How'd you get pregnant? Did it just...happen? Could it happen to anyone?" if that was so, Keoni feared for the females of the pack, even though they were few; only Heartha, besides herself. was there a chance that this fate could befall Heartha? Or perhaps even Aoife?
May 15, 2017, 09:49 PM
Khoe
Approved Members

Oh, Dawn, Khoe sighed, this is going to be different. She thought of all the ways she could explain the situation without patronizing or insulting anyone involved, but it seemed that there were no truely safe routes. We're a family, right? she asked, then paused with a quizzical expression, Moms and dads who create families stay with them, and I don't have plans to go anywhere anytime soon. No matter how bad things got, Khoe was determined to stay alive for her children. 

But it seemed that this concern of Dawn's was the least of Khoe's worries. She bit at the inside of her cheek and hesitantly called for @Grayday. Maybe he can explain things better than I can, she thought to herself, then realized what she had just done; a sticky situation was about to get a lot more messy.
May 16, 2017, 08:02 PM
Grayday
Approved Members

Day had been sleeping nearby; he was almost always nearby, these days. Finally, he'd begun to detect subtle changes in her scent, and though they'd not yet talked about it, Day still knew, and still assumed that she knew, because how could she not?

And it worried him more than he'd thought it would. He'd begun to remember all the reasons they shouldn't have done this - that he shouldn't have done this - and it was weighing heavily on his mind. Heavily enough that he was able to push Adeline out of his mind for long periods of time, but not enough that he didn't still dream about her.

And it was after waking from one of these dreams that he paced toward Dawn and Khoe, wondering what they wanted. On the one hand, he was glad to be woken from the nightmare. On the other, he wasn't quite sure he wanted to involve himself in whatever had put those looks on their faces.

"What happened?" he asked, looking uncertainly between the two.
May 17, 2017, 03:35 PM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon
Dawn was conflicted. she wanted to believe Akuti, and that she would stay and things would be okay. but how could she, when overwhelming evidence suggested moms were generally doomed. her tail lashed and ears flicked in frustration and confusion, watching Akuti and not quite knowing what to believe. " There's a dad?  Who? Sylvas? Kieran?"  she asked, the thought that there must be a dad not even occur to her, not knowing the slightest about how a family was formed. 

Her Da arrived shortly after, and she whirled on him, saying incredulously, "Akuti's pregnant! Da, she's gonna die, or vanish, or get murdered." she said, stating the later with nervous finally. perhaps Da would be able to fix this.
May 17, 2017, 06:59 PM
Khoe
Approved Members

No, Khoe laughed, not Sylvas or Kieran. It's— Grayday came almost as quickly as he had been called. It seemed that he was nearby and ready whenever needed which served as both a comfort and discomfort to Khoe. On one hand, she appreciated the extra support and the safety he provided, but it pained her (being the independent soul she was known to be) to have someone watching her every move and not being able to protest against it.

Khoe looked to Grayday with a worried expression in response to Dawn's explosive emotions. Had no one told her the processes of such a complex practice as reproduction? Khoe herself hadn't known how things worked until she'd had her first experience, and the fear of that moment made her swear to herself that she would never make anyone else feel the way she had.
May 19, 2017, 07:42 PM
Grayday
Approved Members

Though the scene he rolled onto was confusing, all it took was Dawn's panicked words for him to understand what was going on. Oh, Amber, he thought, lamenting all the pain that his daughter had felt and seen so far. Things would be different if she'd had her own mother to look to and lean on. But she didn't, and neither did anyone else she knew.

"It'll be different this time," he said, knowing that there wasn't much he could do to change her mind about this motherhood 'curse'. Day had begun to believe in it himself, after all. The only thing that could bring him back to reality was remembering all the others that'd died or disappeared - then, he would remember that no one was safe, and that they'd only recently had trouble with keeping mothers. "We're gonna protect her. Sylvas and Kieran and Heartha, too. We're all gonna keep her safe - and 'kuti's not gonna leave." He looked to the woman. "Right?"
May 19, 2017, 07:59 PM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon
who? surely not Grayday, but he was the only male in the pack. But Da wouldn't have fathered another family, become a part of another family. And definitely not without telling them. Still, the irritating possibility itched at the back of her mind, but when her Da didn't immediately say something, she felt shame for having the thought. but also, a kind of fear that she could not name, did not want to dwell on. 

she decided that she wanted to be alone, to sort through this new influx of information that came shortly after her talk with Da. But first - "How?" a question that had gone ignored with Akuti, but now that her Da was here, she shot him a fierce glare and asked again. Holes in her knowledge were not in her liking in the slightest. "How did Akuti get pregnant?"
Hey @Khoe! Just wondering if I could poke you for a reply, as I've got a few threads hinging on this one. Thanks!
May 20, 2017, 10:29 PM
Khoe
Approved Members

Right, Khoe confirmed, thinking back to the night she'd only recently had with Day, I'm not going to leave. And I'm sure everyone will do a great job at helping out. Rather than asking Grayday out loud in the same way he'd done it only moments before, she perked her ears and lifted her brow to ask a silent, Right? Then, turning back to Dawn, Khoe sighed and decided that there was no getting out of the conversation without a bit of chaos.

After all, that seemed to be how all of her exchanges with the family occured.
May 21, 2017, 11:37 AM
Grayday
Approved Members

Linked to the referenced thread. This was back when Dawn didn't have a player, so I PP'd her presence.
Day gave a hum of thought and sat down between the two women, wondering where he should even start. Although he did not think Dawn was too young to understand the topic, he didn't think it would do her any good to know it at the age she was. She had another year or two to go before she would have to worry about it, and he didn't want her to worry.

"It's something a man and woman have to do together," he replied, deciding that information on the actual act could wait, if she didn't ask any further. "When a woman is old enough, her body gets itself ready to have a baby - she starts smelling funny, like Phiipa did when we were back at Easthollow. And if she wants, during that time, she can choose a mate and have cubs. Akuti's body was ready, and she wanted to choose me."

His ears flickered uncertainly toward Khoe, silently asking if he'd done this correctly. His eyes, however, remained fixed on his daughter, waiting for her reaction.
May 30, 2017, 06:48 PM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon

her brow furrowed at her Da's first answer, butting in with a "What? that's vague. Do-"  She broke off as he continued, reminding her of a time that could distinctly remember. it was a confusing day, was what she recalled, and she could not quite dredge up exactly what odd scent had caught her interest that day. But her father's next words put that thought out of her mind very, very, quickly. 

 "You." she echoed, fixing him with a stare. Then, an accusation. "You? and then, after a brief moment of silence, a hurricane of words. "You- you did- Da, she's - why didn't you- you're gonna be- why didn't you tell me? Why did you-"  her shoulders hunched with hurt, and her gaze was fixed on her fathers with accusation and hurt. The notion that wolves could have more than one family, more than one litter, was foreign, and thus added to her hurt. Sunny had left them, their mother was long dead, and apparently, she wasn't enough, for her Da had started a whole new family without even telling her.
June 13, 2017, 10:12 PM
Grayday
Approved Members

Skipping Khoe with permission!
Day blinked down at his daughter, a bit startled by her reaction. "Dawn - " he began, feeling concerned and unaccountably guilty - he'd thought she'd be happy! But it took him only a moment to shift his view, and see this the way she probably saw it. She hadn't been raised the way he had. "Oh, baby - I'm sorry. You're right, I should've talked to you," he agreed, only just realizing this fact. He glanced at Akuti, almost as if for help, before gathering his wits about him and realizing this was a conversation he should have with his daughter alone. "Can you give us a minute, darlin'?" he requested, glancing distractedly between the two.

When they were alone, he turned his full attention back to his daughter, not quite sure how to carry on. He knew she was upset, but he wasn't exactly sure he knew why"What's wrong, princess?" he asked her, hoping she would be honest with him.
June 24, 2017, 05:42 PM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon

hurt was written across her features, and words bit at her tongue, ready to explode. she waited until Akuti had left them, and, words resonating with the hot, wet kind of anger she hated, she spoke. "You're starting a whole new family, with Akuti. And you didn't tell me? I wasn't enough for you, Da? I wasn't enough for Sunny to want to stay, and I wasn't enough family for you?" her gaze shimmered, glistened, against her will. words exploded out of her to the effect of a bullet shredding through paper, raw and volatile. 

"If you have new kids, a new wife, a new family - does that make me a mistake?" perhaps she was overreacting. perhaps, she was too selfish in her words. but never before had she thought a situation like this would arise, and, young, she did not know how to deal with it properly.
June 25, 2017, 08:49 PM
Grayday
Approved Members

How many times will these two break my heart? he thought to himself, looking on somewhat helplessly as his daughter accused him. In his nightmares, he always reacted with anger or desperation, but here and now - in the real world - the reassurance and compassion necessary for such things came to him easily.

"Of course you're enough, princess," he said, his voice a bit sharper than he'd meant the words to be in his haste to refute her claim. "Listen to me, Dawn - you're my daughter, and there's nothing you or anyone else could do to make me love you less. I'm never gonna leave you behind, and I'm never gonna chase you away."

He let out a sigh, knowing that Dawn had been burned before, and that too many loved ones had marched out of her life for her to trust him on words alone. Hell, he hardly trusted that she or Akuti would be there in the morning.

"Baby, I know we've both been through the wringer, lately," he said, a bit more softly, now. "My heart aches the same as yours - and I'm sorry I sprung this on you; that wasn't very nice of me - but I need you on this. Because yeah, the kids will be new, but this is still the same old family. We're just addin' people to it. Not because we're not enough for each other, but because I thought it would be good to have more."

Here, he paused, a serious look crossing his features. "I can't do anything to stop this litter from happening - but if it really upsets you, there'll be no more. You're right, Dawn. I should've talked to you."

Perhaps it wasn't the conventional thing, to consult your daughter on such things as wives and future offspring. But he was all Dawn had, and there were days he felt that she was all he had, too. And she was enough. To forfeit future offspring would be a worthy investment in his daughter's sense of security.
June 27, 2017, 04:26 PM
Dawn
Swiftcurrent Creek
Epsilon

was she being unreasonable? perhaps, she decided, caught in a kind of thoughtfulness. Sunny's leaving had felt like a blow, and the concept that family members could betray you, burn you was illuminated, if not already from her mother's departure. fear had been lurking, no matter how she tried to squash it down, no matter how much she tried to reason to herself that it would never happen, that Grayday would do they same. she was hurt, in the knowledge that he had a new family, and she did not know of it until now. but that was not betrayal, just hurt. right?

the concept that Da explained had not occurred to her in her anger. not a whole new family, but instead adding new members to it. her gaze fell onto Akuti, watching her. she liked the woman, as a friend. she had never considered the prospect that she might add people to the family, but as she pondered the idea in studious silence, the flame that was her anger and hurt and fear flickered, burning lower. perhaps this would not be quite so bad. 

"They- they'd be my sisters. My brothers?" she asked, gaze moving slowly to rest on her father's still guarded and hardly nonchalant, but lacking the flame of anger and hurt. his final words had her eyes widen, and her maw slip open quickly. "I, Da. I won't - I can't-" the ease with which he had offered her the choice came unexpectedly, and her emotions swirled. was she being overbearing? was she trying to control the remains of her family so extensively that Da would think to offer her the choice? " I love you Da. And I like Akuti, too. I was- I was scared, that...you're-" she stammered,  unable to quite form the words. he was all she really had, the only person she truly loved since her relationship with Sunny had been trampled and strangled. And there was a horrible, horrible fear that she would lose that. " I could never ask you to do that, Da. You want me to be happy, and I want you to be happy, too. And if Akuti, and pups, and a bigger family does that, then...then I'm ok. I'm happy too, Da."  the words seemed pale in comparison to what she felt, and she immediately regretted them; not because she suddenly felt differently, but because they failed to convey what she felt. her gaze shifted to the earth beneath her paws, uneasily, and feeling oddly unsettled...the whirlwind of news and emotion and changes in the past few weeks had her sometimes feel a little overwhelmed. Truthfully, sometimes was an understatment.