Whitefish River tonight i'll have a look and try to find my face again
Private  September 13, 2019, 03:29 PM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
backdated to last night
He returns to the space he shares with @Evergreen a little early tonight, hoping his companion might do the same. They haven't spoken much lately, which is mostly his fault — but he wants to fix that. He's tired of being a ghost to the pack, and to his friend who had so kindly taken him in. At this point he isn't even certain what he's hiding from.
He settles between the roots of the tree with a sigh, watching the rapidly-dimming sky for a few moments. It's so quiet, but he still almost misses the soft, distant rumbling in the distance. The sound chills his blood immediately, but he doesn't understand; he's never heard anything like it before. It fades quickly, and his sudden terror dies with it. He forgets it entirely within a few minutes, discarding the unknown in favor of more familiar worries. Like what he's going to say to Evergreen.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
September 13, 2019, 09:01 PM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
Although they meet on a daily basis come night fall and when exhaustion settles deep in Evergreen's bones, the bearish Count finds River an elusive creature. He avoids him whenever he can, slipping away the second Eve's attention is taken away, and while he tries to be tolerant of it, after River's attack, Evergreen has been intensely worried about the silver male.

That's why the news Dauntless delivers is the perfect excuse to return to the tree earlier than normal this evening. The sun is just setting when the bearish Count marches towards it. His lips stretch in a deep frown, mismatched green eyes lingering on the ground instead of up. And round ears droop. Yet at the rustle ahead, the bear pauses in step. Surprise lights his face when he finds River already there. Excitement and nervousness mix into one conflicting state that causes him to malfunction for precious seconds.

The tip of his tail buzzes, wagging as if he no longer has control over the limb. A soft smile starts to curl upon his lips, and yet the bear looks apologetic with the slight sweep of his eyes.

River... uh, hey, he stammers shyly. I... I have news? For you, I mean. I don't know if it's good or bad, but its important at least and... and I want you to know before you end up faced with it unknowningly.
September 14, 2019, 12:42 AM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
His heart leaps into his throat when he hears Evergreen's approach, familiar enough with the sound of his gait to recognize it by now. He stands immediately, freezing when he sees his friend's expression. Cute, he thinks, stunning himself into silence for a few moments even after Evergreen has finished speaking. Umm... Finally, he registers the other's words, and immediately flushes with guilt for having gotten so distracted. What is it?

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
September 14, 2019, 12:59 AM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
He almost continues with his ramble, glancing from the silver male to space to anything in-between. Instead, he finishes his ramble with a click of his jaws and he feels out of breath for just that brief spill. Out of practice, it seems, with how he’s gradually become accustomed to his position against his will—it still feels strange when he thinks about it, after all.

But here it has less to do with leadership and positions and all that great stuff. Here, it’s a dude trying to look out for a fellow dude. Y’know, be a good ‘friend’ or something along those lines. He’s definitely worried about River, definitely glad that the silver male doesn’t just bolt off and actually is Talking to him. Round ears twitch at the familiar rasp of his voice—a sound he’s missed.

Uh, well, there’s… this dude, that uh, says he… is your brother? And that uhm, that Dawn is your guys’ sister. Oh, his name is, Dauntless. Yeah that would have been better to start with, and the way he just spits the information out probably sounds weird because he could have gone about this situation Much Better, but he’s nervous and excited so who can blame him, right?

Finally mismatched green eyes flicker to glance at River again, curious to see his reaction.
September 26, 2019, 03:50 PM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
He manages to focus on what Evergreen is saying after a moment, trying to push back thoughts about how awkward he's probably making this whole thing long enough to process it properly. It isn't exactly what he'd expected. Oh, He says, quiet for a moment as he tries to figure out the right words for his own response. I um — I noticed their scents in the territory, actually. He swallows, suddenly painfully aware of the way his friend is watching him. His skin prickles, and he shifts, trying to keep his expression neutral. Thanks for the warning, though.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
September 29, 2019, 07:16 PM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
'Oh,' Eve wants to parrot back. His warning belated for River has already noticed their presence. It makes sense, as Dawn has been here for quite some time and Dauntless has recently joined them.

Uh, yeah, of course. The Count gives a nervous grin, mismatched green eyes finally averting away from the silver male. He is curious, almost wants to pry, because if somehow he had been separated temporarily from Thistle he would have been leaping with joy and rushing off immediately to see her. Yet, he knows when he found River he was... alone, an outcast of sorts.

His story a mystery.

Eve wants to know, but can't bring himself to ask. So, uh, yeah. I... I'm gonna grab somethin' to eat. He wants to smack his head on a tree, because it isn't what he wanted to say. Despite his words, he stays still.
October 10, 2019, 04:30 PM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
Disappointment spreads over his features as he registers Evergreen's next words, though he tries to hide it. Okay... He pauses, taking a breath as his heart suddenly jumps with anxiety. Well I um — if you want company or something, I'm... not doing anything right now. His gaze drops and he shifts slightly, cheeks heating. I mean, um, other than talking to you. Stupid, he thinks, unable to meet his friend's gaze again. Instead he stares at the ground, biting his tongue to keep himself from speaking more.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 12, 2019, 08:57 AM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
Oh, had he misunderstood River’s intentions? Eve was attempting to make it easier for him, as it seems like the silver male hasn’t wanted to spend more time with the bear than necessary… Oh, uhm, he stutters, taking in a deep breath. I’d… love company, if you’d like. His ears airplane, and he gives a soft, shy smile, before he turns to lead the way towards the fish he caught earlier.
October 19, 2019, 11:33 PM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
Relief washes over him when he does not receive the rejection he expects, but his pulse still does not slow. His throat is too tight to get a response out, so he simply returns the smile as he moves to follow his friend, drawing up alongside him with a tentative but affectionate nudge. He still feels anxious and awkward, but there's a new spark of hope lingering underneath it. He can't help feeding it a bit, testing Evergreen's openness with just a little less fear of rejection.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 19, 2019, 11:39 PM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
Surprise lights in Evergreen’s face—not in a bad way, never in a bad way when it comes to River. He just… doesn’t expect it, doesn’t know what to expect when it comes to him and their, uh, friendship. The nudge is returned with one from Eve, less hesitant than the silver companion and firm. A grin brims on his face, as he leads them through Kaistleoki, until it flickers with insecurity. He feels wrong to ask, he feels like… it’s something he should just ignore, but he cannot no matter how much he tries; Uh, I… was worried I did something that upset you. I, uh… Did I? He asks nervously, mismatched green eyes flickering towards River and then anywhere else. That tree in the far distance is suddenly so very interesting, yknow? It… sorta seemed like you were avoiding me for a bit there.
October 20, 2019, 12:16 AM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
His own insecurity quiets for a bit when Evergreen returns his nudge with more confidence than he'd managed, and after a few moments he manages to calm his racing heart. Unfortunately, that doesn't prepare him for the weight of his companion's next words. Suddenly, inexplicably, he feels guilty of some grievous crime, caught. He halts, breath catching a little, fully aware that the question shouldn't feel like confrontation, like the cold dread of impending doom. But it does.
I'm sorry, It spills from him anxiously, along with everything he's been trying so hard to keep at the back of his mind and firmly away from Evergreen. No, you didn't. I'm sorry, I — you're nice and I like you a lot — I mean, more than I should — and it's wrong, because you're a guy, and my friend and — I shouldn't have told you, I wasn't going to, I'm sorry, I'm — Going to go. He never finishes the sentence, because he's too busy turning to flee, not even waiting for a response.


Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 20, 2019, 12:30 AM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
Eve never learns his lesson, because he thinks he’ll get a casual response back that reassures his suspicions untrue. Instead, River halts. The bearish wolf strides on, only stopping once he’s gotten a bit ahead with his smile falling. An apology, that is… confirmation, isn’t it? His eyebrows pinch.

Answers are what Eve thinks he’s gonna get, but he ends up confused the longer he stands there, patient and listening closely to River’s stammering even though he wants to stop him, to comfort and take back the awkward tension that now sits in the air.

“You’re nice.” That’s a relief. “I like you a lot.” Yeah? Eve likes River a lot too, so that makes him happy to hear. But that doesn’t… explain— O h.

Heat rushes to his face, and surely he must have heard him wrong, right? That doesn’t make any sense. I mean, not because they’re guys, but… because no one would—should—ever like-like Evergreen.

But he doesn’t have time to gawk and try to register what’s going on, or the confusing scribble that is his emotions right now. River is running, fleeing away from him again. It breaks his heart, the thumping of it making Eve almost wanna cry, because he’s standing here being left again.

He takes a step forward, second guesses himself—lowers his head, bites his lip—and then he runs after him. Hey, wait a moment! River, please.
October 20, 2019, 12:57 AM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
As a young child, he'd often run to his father for comfort when something distressed him — a bad dream or a loud noise, or the sting of Eventide's teeth in his scruff. He'd bury himself in the thick expanse of his fur and pretend nothing else existed for a few moments. And it helped — until his father died, and that sense of peace died with him. So he'd sought it in his mother, until she withdrew into her depression, and then in the embrace of Aditya, his siblings — until they, too, had turned away from him, and suddenly his whole life became a hunt for even just a hint, any tiny sliver of that safety somewhere in the world.
He never found it until he met Evergreen. In this moment, all he can think about is how badly he wants that — to turn back and perhaps hear words of comfort, or feel the warmth of his touch; a childlike hope from a boy still stuck in his childhood in many ways. But he's certain his friend would have none of that for him now. Only disgust, surely. The thought leaves him cold and hollow inside, and he's deaf to Evergreen's plea. Blind and unthinking, he instinctively seeks the place most associated with that sense of comfort. He only stops when he feels his fur brushing the walls of the tree den, curling himself into a tight ball without a single moment of pause.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 20, 2019, 01:15 AM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
No matter how much he begs, in the end, they all flee. Each slipping through his fingers, and he is unable to grasp, always dealing with the phantom touch from the brush as they escape. Evergreen can do nothing; he cannot break from the carousel, it continues to circle, and thus, he chases. Try, try and try again.

The run is not far. Familiarity seeps into him, the surrounding should comforting because it is where he spends his time most with River, relaxing at night tangled in the tree den until dreams call him away from reality. This place began as a reminder of his family, of a wolf who left them all too soon, and now, it is much more.

Alas, the warmth is unable to penetrate the panic that resides within the bear. He halts before the den’s entrance; mind racing with the options he had. For surely he could choose the easiest and guard himself, he could walk away and leave this unfinished. The wound forever scarring both of them, right upon hearts already torn asunder.

River, he beckons, I’m… I’m not… mad. Eve doesn’t know what to say, doesn’t know what to do to at this point to just… get him to focus, to come back.
October 20, 2019, 01:28 AM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
Evergreen's voice cuts through his attempts at blocking out the world, and for a second he's relieved — but only a second. Even as he processes the words, dread fills him again. His throat tenses again, painfully this time, but he forces himself to answer as he looks up. Then what — He stops as he realizes how stupid "Then what are you?" would sound. But he isn't exactly in a state to come up with a more coherently-phrased version of the question, so he finds himself floundering for several moments. Eventually, he gives up, head dipping as he covers his face with his paws with a muffled I'm sorry.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 20, 2019, 01:37 AM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
At the forefront, he recognizes what he’s feeling; fear, rejected, alone. He wants so badly to burst the protective bubble around Winterbourne, who remains stubborn to hide away from him.

Eve is torn between prancing in place from restless energy and slamming his head into a tree. He decides to lay where he is, flattening his hulking form upon the ground as if he’s a fancy rug before a fireplace.

I’m scared, he says, and finds strength in admitting that he’s vulnerable. You’re… You’re hiding away from me again. I just… wanted for us to talk, and figure it out. I… I don’t hate you, I’m not mad or… He swallows thickly. I don’t dislike it, but I’m really confused.
October 20, 2019, 02:00 AM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
The movement draws his attention, but when he looks up again and sees Evergreen flattened against the ground, he isn't sure how to respond. He finds no clues in the words that follow, either — but he does find comfort in them. Sucking in a breath, he uncoils and tentatively crawls closer to the other, and tries to ignore the way his heart jumps. There are many things he wants to say, and for a few beats he's silent, indecisive, until something bubbles to the surface unbidden: Confused? So he settles for that; something simple, safe, something that isn't admitting to Evergreen how scared he is too, or how broken he feels, or how much he wants to just forget the whole thing and curl up with him for the night.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 20, 2019, 02:27 AM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
He isn't sure what part of his spiral worked, but at least the silver male turns to him. A breath of relief escapes Evergreen's lips, his expression softening. He, too, wants to reach out, so he stretches a leg and tries to bump his paw to River's.

Yeah, he whispers. I'm... 'Me.' Not good enough, a failure, unable to protect what's important to him, the list goes on. River deserves better, someone that could be with him and say the right words. Do the right thing.

It doesn't stop Evergreen from feeling saddened by the idea, of him with someone else.

Uh, no one's... expressed interest in me like that, he tries to word carefully, lest he upset River again, but it's hard when his mind and heart are racing a mile a minute. Um, so I mean, I'm grateful you... like—squeak, voice crack—me. I didn't think that would ever be a possibility. Even if he dreamed or longed, stared and drooled, Eve thought he'd grow up old and alone. He accepted that a long time ago, and was content with it.

I'm just... confused, and, uh, I guess a... a little hurt, since I do want to know you better. I do... like you, River, I'm just... Confused, overwhelmed, unsure about Everything. Scared. All things he's already rambled about and continues to. He doesn't feel ready, and wonders if anyone ever does.
October 20, 2019, 03:00 AM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
Honestly, he's having a pretty hard time following Evergreen's words. The touch sets his heart off-beat for a moment, and from there his focus rapidly deteriorates. It sounds like rejection anyway. Surely it's rejection. His stomach twists, veins turning icy as he reaches his conclusion. For a few beats he feels sick. The word hurt hits him like a blow to the face, and then — "I do... like you, River." Wait, what?
He swallows, wanting to question him, but he can't bring himself to do it. The bright ribbon of hope unfurling in his chest brings with it a nausea even more intense than prior, a deep feeling of wrongness. His gaze drops, and he fights the threat of another blind panic. You like me? He asks after a moment, maybe a little too desperate for confirmation. It almost seems too much to hope for.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 20, 2019, 11:06 PM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
Reasonably Winterbourne hangs onto that tiny confession Eve slips in, much in the same manner that the silver male had done so moments prior.

Although the bearish Count questions whether they are on the same page, it is true; he does like River. He would be lying to himself, and everyone around him, if he said that he didn’t find him attractive, if he didn’t enjoy the moments he got to spend with him.

Well, uh, Eve says, flustered. Yeah. His words hinting that he thought that much has been obvious since the start.
October 20, 2019, 11:44 PM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
It takes him a few moments to process it all. Evergreen has said many things over the past few minutes, and Winterbourne had been prepared for none of them — least of all that last revelation. There are so many things to consider here, it's dizzying. When he finally speaks, his voice is slightly tremulous. I... don't know what to do. I'm scared, too. I — people say it's wrong. For guys to like guys. Like a disease or something, or a curse, I don't know — I don't want to hurt you more if it is. But —
He swallows hard, then coughs harshly and abruptly. I-I know I hurt you by avoiding you. It hurt me, too. I thought it was... what I should do, but it felt wrong. More wrong than liking you feels, he amends quietly to himself, feeling suddenly repulsed by this hidden truth as he realizes how much it would hurt his companion. He wonders, then, why he clings so tightly to a belief that would both wound and condemn the only wolf who has offered him any sort of stability since he left his birth home. But he doesn't have time for that stinging thought, not now. Right now is about Evergreen, and... whatever is going on between them. I don't want to do that again. I — what do you want? The question is gentle, his clumsy way of trying to be attentive to Evergreen's needs.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 24, 2019, 01:06 AM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
It is news to him, that it is seen in such a bitter light; his adoptive mother always supported it, hell, his uncle, Kaisyn, is gay. Although Evergreen did not have a word for it in his youth, he was raised with it being normal. A bittersweet “love is love” picture done-up nicely with a rainbow bow.

Eve has to swallow it now, and understand the pain that Winterbourne has been going through. It is no wonder that he took to such lengths to avoid the bear, when he thought it so damned.

I want you to be happy and comfortable, he says, because that is all he is absolutely sure of. River’s gone through too much, and he deserves to feel at peace, to be happy with where he is and no longer feeling so wounded. Eve wants to see a day where this man is full of laughter and surrounded by those he loves.
October 24, 2019, 01:49 AM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
His breath catches as Evergreen speaks, and his eyes heat quickly, spilling tears before he even registers the feeling. There are too many emotions swirling within him to name a single one as the culprit. There is gratitude and guilt, disgust and love, dread and relief, and he doesn't know whether he's crying more for the good emotions or the bad. No one has ever said anything like that to him before, and he realizes in the next moment that it has been a long time since he truly felt cared for as he does now, and an equally long time since he last felt as guilty. He turns his face away slightly, silent for a few beats as he grapples with the feeling of being torn in two. He wishes he had the courage to move closer to Evergreen.
I am when I'm with you, His admission is shaky, a little surprising to him; he hadn't meant to voice the thought just yet. It almost feels like a lie, sour on his tongue. But it's true, and he knows it, and it shows in his voice. Those feelings had long preceded any notion of romantic attraction, though he can't seem to find the right words to voice that part.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.
October 24, 2019, 02:03 AM
Evergreen
Kaistleoki
Knight
Fear grips a stranglehold around his heart. He feels it thumping against the pressure, trying as it might to fight the force that seeks to crush it. Causing River to cry is the last thing Eve had wanted. Perhaps it was unavoidable, a collision of emotions waiting to happen and spilling outwards regardless of what the bearish Count did. Yet, he feels the pain of it nonetheless.

Eve lifts his head, round ears perked on his equally roundish face; he wants to offer comfort, wants to make River feel better… but he is at a lost on what is proper to do. Once more he finds himself wishing he had the guidance of Oki. She would know, he thinks.

Isn’t that enough reason to… stay close? Regardless of what others might think? He is conflicted, because part of him thinks he is causing River more pain than good, with how he cries… is this not all hurting him? This is why Eve, too, feels guilty at his core, for being unable to turn him away to find a better life with someone that suits River.
October 24, 2019, 02:28 AM
Winterbourne
Kaistleoki
Squire
Evergreen's words seem to lift some of the weight from his heart, and he tries to reason with himself again: how could this be a bad thing? How could anything involving this wonderful man be negative? Evergreen, who has given him a home and safety and a reason to love again, has never been anything but good — will never be anything but good in his eyes. He swallows, telling himself the problem is solved now. It is, at least, stifled.
I want to, He tells him softly, nervous but full of hope and adoration he can't quite keep from his tone. He dares to move closer as he speaks, reaching up in an attempt to press his nose to Evergreen's cheek. I um, I... I like being around you. It isn't quite what he'd wanted to say, and he feels his ears heating immediately as the clumsy words slip from him. I mean — I-I meant to say I care about you. A lot. Way more than I care about what anyone else thinks.

Winterbourne's voice is low and raspy due to a throat injury during his childhood, and it can sometimes be difficult to understand him.