Stone Circle life is old there, older than the trees
Joining  May 17, 2019, 11:41 AM
Merrit
Easthollow
PPC
His howl carried through the misty air, strong and resolute; he knew his call would reach the ones who mattered, so in the waiting, Merrit lowered his crown and turned his eyes upon Easthollow to watch the familiar land. His land; his home. Rain drizzled down to wet the sea of grass that lay still in the cool spring air, and in the distance, he could just pick out the silhouette of the roaming bison, unassuming in their lumbering gait, but the boy knew better than to assume them weak. They were resilient and fierce, creatures to revere and respect; mother had taught him that before he had even learned to hunt, and his heart stung at the thought of her. At the thought of mother, and at the thought of @Arlette, and his gaze turned toward the stones.

A good anyone could meet him here today, but he hoped that anyone would be them.

May 21, 2019, 03:47 AM
Arlette
Easthollow
Family
Arlette lifted her head when she heard a familiar howl. The girl sprang to her feet and rushed to the borders. She was not often patrolling. Especially with her new siblings that she would often babysit. The girl missed her own siblings in those moments but knew that they were out there doing their own thing, at least, for Merrit. Arlette ran down the hill and instantly recognized her brother. She had recognized him by his howl. The female grinned and charged at him.

"MERRIT!! You're back!!!," she whined happily and then couldn't contain the happy tears as she went to tackle him to the ground. She was probably not successful as he was so big now and she was not. She snuggled into him and didn't want to let him go but she wanted to step back and study his face. Trying to see if he was here to stay or if this was just a quick greeting before continuing on his journey. "Missed you," she admitted in a whisper.
May 21, 2019, 10:41 AM
Merrit
Easthollow
PPC
A warm and genuine smile stole over Merrit's face when his sister crested the central hill. She had grown since he'd last seen her - amazing, what even a month could do - but he could tell by the way she careened toward him that she hadn't changed. Keen had been the one who had shifted like the tides, but Arlette had always been a constant. She had remained true and strong in the face of life's troubles, and Merrit had come to realize that he admired her for that, among so many other things.

Like how freely she felt to express her; she bubbled in excitement, and the shrug of a laugh pressed through his smile. She hadn't changed, and while he covered a small distance to fill the gap between them, he allowed his sister to complete their collision.

Arlette had surprising strength to her, but Merrit had size and a force of steel, yet he kept himself from bracing and shifted his weight to assist her course. He could tell what she was trying to do, and soon the sky spun from above him, and he hit the ground with an oof!ย The damp grass splayed about his shoulder, and the weight of his sister pressed against his chest - yet her warmth flooded him, and he eased into her embrace.

He had missed her so, so much.

Her own words seemed to echo his thoughts, and he sought to comfort her,ย "I missed you, too,"ย he mumbled back,ย "but we don't have to anymore. I'm coming home. To stay."ย He hadn't found father, or what he'd been looking for, but he'd come to realize he had always had everything he'd needed all along, here at Easthollow - and as his heart stung, he held Arlette closer.

May 22, 2019, 04:04 PM
Arlette
Easthollow
Family
Arlette keened happily when she toppled over him. She had not expected that to happen. She grinned down at her brother and gave him several smooches before she was willing to let him go. Her tail was wagging eagerly when she male said that he missed her. She was glad that he did, as she had missed him as well. He always helped her with seeing a different perspective.

Arlette grinned when he was here to stay. She gave him some room to get to his feet. "Mom is going to be so happy as well!," she smiled. "OH! Mom had babies! We have four younger siblings!! They are named Newt, West, Clay, and Leta. They are very cute," she smiled and motioned to follow him over the border. Merrit didn't need permission to enter Easthollow. He was family.

She then stopped and looked more seriously over her shoulder. "Did... Did you find what you were looking for?," she asked carefully. She had not forgotten why he left. She was rather curious if he had found their father. She was conflicted if she wanted to meet him too... or not.
May 23, 2019, 10:46 AM
Merrit
Easthollow
PPC
As Arlette eased away, Merrit found he was loathed to let his sister go - but then he reasoned, he was here to stay. This wouldn't be the last time they could hold each other like they were kids again. He had never deserved the love she had shown him when he had been nothing but content to linger in his misery, completely blind to the ones who stood right before his eyes. Regret washed over him, but Merrit rose to his feet, his gentle smile still touching his lips as he listened to his sister speak, and he found rest in the familiar chorus of her voice.

His heart warmed as she spoke of mother; he still had little trust for Greyback still, but his affections would always hold for Valette, and the news of her successful delivery brightened his face.ย "That is excellent,"ย he rumbled through the quirk of a smile, but as prepared to ask more, Arlette threw a glance over her shoulder and he caught his tongue, his thoughts shifted entirely away.

"No."ย His voice was clipped, but he caught himself. Since had found himself keeping a few steps behind, Merrit allowed himself to come alongside his sister before he spoke again. They were family, after all. Equals. And besides, he had missed her company, and the way he felt when he was near her. Safe, and loved, unconditionally and without reserve. Her calmness lent him the courage to speak, and not give into his common failure of holding these things closer than cards to his chest.ย "But I found other things - or, I realized things. Father left us, but I will not be like him," and he turned to her with troubled eyes, "And in what I did - I left you, too, but I will not leave like him. You mean so much to me; you are my home, and I simply couldn't see that."ย And though he sensed no tension between himself and Arlette, he chose to address that further. He needed her to know that he understood what he'd done to her; he needed her to know that if he'd hurt her, he would never do so again.ย "I wasn't fair to you. Not in leaving, and not in how I pushed you away after father left us. I understand that now, and I can't change what I've done - but I want to do things differently now. And I want to know if you can forgive me."

May 23, 2019, 03:45 PM
Arlette
Easthollow
Family
Arlette nodded in agreement. She thought it was excellent as well that her mother had another litter. Her smile faded a bit when Merrit instantly and rather shortly said no. She had expected that he wouldn't find their father but she did not tell him that. She respected his decision at the time. It seemed important to him and she would not be disrespectful about it just because it was not one of her needs.

She was about to speak when Merrit continued. Arlette slowly nodded. She had not expected Merrit to become like their father. She had not expected him to. Only if he had not returned then she might have felt a bit abandoned. Slowly a smile crept on her face as Merrit spoke such sweet words. "Merrit--," she was about to return but the male continued. She nodded shortly when he was done. "That is very mature of you to see it that way. I forgive you," she spoke.

"Just for your information. I did not see it that way," she returned. "But, I am glad you are back and all is forgiven. I think it is very remarkable to show such loyalty for a wolf and go such lengths to find them," she complimented. "However, I can see your point and how it might look like to others. But I know you and I didn't doubt for a moment that you would return," she smiled and then bumped her nose against his shoulder so he would feel better.
May 24, 2019, 09:02 AM
Merrit
Easthollow
PPC
Her word of forgiveness rested on his ears like the cool mercies of fall, and he knew, in that moment, he had a choice to make. Arlette's kindness did not surprise him, and neither did the welling sensation that he could not accept the grace she offered him now. He didn't deserve to be forgiven, didn't deserve to get off so easy, without making recompense or paying for his wrongs. The world simply didn't turn that way.

But as his sister continued, with talk of maturity, and loyalty, and a certainty of the man she'd always believe him to be - he knew these were the things he wanted to be, the things he wanted to be known for. He had failed once, no matter the reassurance she offered, and he feared he would fail again - but he had wallowed before, and this time, though he still felt so unworthy of this hope his sister extended, Merrit would do better. And so, the raven chose to believe himself forgiven, and so cleansed to start anew, and he nosed her back and allowed himself to feel that. To truly believe that.

"Thank you, Arlette,"ย his quiet words still carried a heaviness, and he let his sentiments be visible in a rare display of affection,ย "You have grown to be a remarkable woman. I'm honoured to call you my sister. You are strong, and you are wise, and I haven't told you that enough."ย Truly, he felt like he had been all but absent for so much of her life, and he hated that he had - but again, he chose not to linger there, but rather continued with sincere and quiet interest,ย "Before I left you were studying to become a counsellor, weren't you? How has that been? Have you been learning much?"

June 03, 2019, 01:34 PM
Arlette
Easthollow
Family
Arlette smiled fondly at her brother. She loved seeing so much emotion on his face. He had really grown in his time away. The female was proud of him too. She couldn't help but flush at his sweet words. It was not often that others would be so positive about her. She was not used to be in such limelight. She was just there to help others and that was enough, but it was nice to know that her brother was proud of her. "Thank you, Merrit."

"I am so proud of you. You have grown into a good man. I can tell," she spoke and then stepped close to him for a hug. She nodded when he asked about her trade. "Yes. I have been talking to Nikai as he wants to be a counselor as well. It helps to talk to him," she smiled. "BUT! Enough about me. We should find mom! She is going to be so happy you are back, AND!! Then you can see our new siblings. They are very cute!"
June 05, 2019, 11:59 AM
Merrit
Easthollow
PPC
Would you like to wrap this up with a final post? :) The reunion of Merrit/Valette can be off-screen, but I'd love a separate, present-day thread of catching up with Valette, if you're game for that! Maybe some mother-son bonding, if the kids are old enough for Val to hang out with him one-on-one haha :)

Merrit didn't feel like a good man, but he kept these doubts to himself. He instead leaned into Arlette's embrace and allowed her warmth to brighten his unshedable night and preserve the soft smile that remained on his face.ย This was how things should have always been, and he let her peace surround him.

The news of her progress in her chosen career pleased him, but he had hardly time to comment on this further before his sister chattered on to conversation she deemed more important than herself - an assessment to which Merrit hardly agreed. Arlette held a quarter of his heart, the others belonging to mother, Keen, and Stark. Be it love or revile, he still felt something for his father, and try as he might, he simply couldn't sweep out this deep, dark recess to replace with something new. So he let this quarter be, and hoped that one day he might have the courage to overcome whatever demons he kept securely locked away in there.

But his father was not the focus of Arlette's excitement - mother was, and Merrit found his heart flood with warmth at the mention of her.ย "Yes, please. I would love that,"ย he said, and his tail waved with the anxious anticipation of seeing her again. Mother, and her children - no, his siblings, he corrected. No matter their sire, they shared his mother's blood, and that was enough to procure a room in his walled up heart without the need to prove themselves worthy of his affections.

June 05, 2019, 02:02 PM
Arlette
Easthollow
Family
I'd love that! Valette can leave the pups alone for a bit. She would be totally down for mother-son bonding!

Arlette was glad to have her brother return to her. It made her feel good to know that he had faced his demons and was ready to return to them. Arlette was quick to forgive and love him with all her heart. She did notice how much bigger her brother was! She really thought she had grown but compared to him she was rather small. Still, it was only a small thing for her to notice, what was far more exciting was that she could brighten her mother's day by showing her that Merrit returned! This was exactly what she was going to do!!

- end -