Hideaway Strath A not so secret I need to tell you
Saints Of The Dying Light

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#1
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Arlette had known before, had her suspicions, but with Aerin confirming it she was too giddy not to tell her mate. Especially with the fact that she had said that it hadn't been her fault her previous pups died. It felt... good. Just a weight lifting of her shoulders. She made her way to the male. He might have his suspicions too, but she wanted to be the one to tell him. When she found him she excitedly greeted him. "Hi," she spoke, tail wagging. She had been eating more lately and now her belly was starting to show, only if you looked really closely.

"I've got news. Aerin confirmed that I'm pregnant," she smiled at him. She knew he was going to be excited, he had wanted a family after all. But now it was real. It was confirmed they would be parents this spring.
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*screams* SORRY I'M SO LATE

Derg was resting at the den that he now shared with his mate.
Dozing lightly in the warming sun, letting his body rest for a while.
Soft, happy footsteps roused him enough to lift his head and wag his tail, stretching to greet Arlette.
"Hey," he mused, a dopy smile resting on his lips.

He looked her over, looking again at her slightly rounder, barer belly. He'd noticed her softer skin a few nights ago. He couldn't help run his nose over her belly to tickle her.
The excitement in her voice had him tilting his head.
Pregnant.

Derg beamed wide, then rose and leapt up with a shout of joy. He danced around her a little before pressing a number of kisses to her face, his excitement uncontainable. "You're so perfect," he whispered, then moving to inspect her belly. Touching his nose to her sides.

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No worries, love <3

Arlette grinned at him with a happy smile. She had to laugh when the other tickled her. In this moment she felt so happy and loved. She flopped down next to him so he could take all his time exploring her expanding belly. This time there was no angst and fear that they weren't allowed. That they wouldn't be welcomed by their family. These little ones would be welcome.

She had to laugh when the male was so excited. She was showered with kisses. The female happily returned those to him. "No you are," she returned and exposed more of her belly. 'They are probably due in the next month, when looking at the moon," she spoke. She then grew a bit more serious. "Aerin also told me the last time I lost my pups was an accident and not my own fault. Severe trauma's can do that to a pregnant lady apparently. So I cannot have too much stress of have a trauma."
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She flopped to the ground.
The snow was mostly gone, but it was still a bit chilly and patches did remain. But here the grass was growing and flowers were starting to bloom.

When Arlette rolled over, Derg laid down, gently resting his head on her belly.
He was going to be a father. He was...he had a mate. He listened to her silky voice tell him about their children. One moon. "Not long to go," he smiled, shifting his legs a bit.
But her last litter was lost because of the trauma. No wonder. She was lucky not to lose her life.

"I guess," he mused, "I'll have to keep you in the den for the next moon then." He chuckled softly. "You like breakfast in bed right?"
He wouldn't actually force her to be holed away. She'd soon enough beat his ass into line. He grinned at her, tail wagging.
 
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Arlette agreed to that. It would be soon that they would meet their children. The female smiled at Derg and how lovingly he looked her belly. It was all very excited because this time she didn't need to hide that she was pregnant. It was a nice change really. She playfully nipped him when the male teased her so. "No way, I have other wolves to mend and heal," she commented with a smirk. "You are not stopping me,' she returned, confidently. She was getting better at that, in believing in herself.

"I think in the territory I will be more than safe,' she assured. "But I wouldn't say no to breakfast in bed," she hummed. She was hungry, she was always hungry these days. She leaned against him, her tail wagging too. "Simmik is also have pups, and Nyra too," she added then. 'So we are not the only ones."
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He laughed, flicking his ears and clicking his teeth back at her.
He knew her medical works were too important.
"Of course love." He'd likely still follow her around the territory, especially close to the borders. And beyond.
He didn't want her to have fear again.

He couldn't stop smiling around her. Arlette's presence always seemed to make his work three shades lighter. At least.
He hummed softly at her acceptance of breakfast. "What's your favourite?" He hoped it was grouse. Or something similarly abundant in the territory. Though he wouldn't give up on finding her favourite meal just because it wasn't in the Strath. Derg would go to the bottom of the ocean if she so demanded it.

The news of Simmik didn't surprise him - he expected it. But Nyra? "Nyra? From Kynareth?" He lifted his head, his face slightly puzzled. Why would that blithering oaf pipe both of them? They weren't exactly on good terms as far as he knew - especially after Zsuzsa and Whrist verbally punching Simmik when she first arrived.
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Arlette thought about it, what was his favorite meal. She was not really that picky really. She did like fresh meat, but that was an understatement. Since everyone liked fresh food over old and dirty meat. "I like the bird thing you brought me. But I am not picky. I like rabbit as well," she thought. "It only is so little. What I liked about the bison was that you could eat until extremely full, and still have left overs. So I wouldn't mind a deer." She looked over at Derg. "I know what your thinking and no, you are not going to take a whole deer down on your own. I just got you fixed from your last injuries," she warned him.

She was serious about it and it showed. She did like that she had some scoop that Derg didn't know yet. The female slowly curled her smile into a grin. "Oh no, not Kyna. I think he doesn't even know yet. Nyra went in heat and bred with the new guy, Charles. The small brown one." She was curious for Derg's reaction to it. Charles was new, and the Saints did have their ranks, to have a new wolf breed with a wolf of status. Perhaps it was quite scandalous. "Nyra was really happy with being pregnant. But that means three females will have pups this year. The saints will really grow this season."
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He listened. Grouse and ribbit were fine. But she wanted a bison or deer.
He must've got that calculating look in his eye because she scolded him already, just for thinking about it!
He laughed softly, stretching his legs out to the side now. "I'll see what I can get for you my love."
Maybe they could get one of those elks. If they hadn't moved on too far yet.
He smiled, tail wagging. Yeah, they could possibly do that.

But this was some NEWS. Nyra and Charles? That weedy little yearling with the frosty jugganout? He shook his head, "I do not believe you," he grinned. He did, but he couldn't picture it - not that he wanted to picture the deed - but how the hell did that go down? He would've thought Hemlocke would see some action but...Charles?!?!?
"I won't believe you until they come out looking like him." He laughed again, resting his head back on his mate's swollen belly. Did she know he was desperately trying to hear or feel them? Probably not she would have teased him by now.
Would Nyra's kids be brown, or white, or both? Would they be big or small? Or something of a mixture too?
Gods, with Kynareths kid's running around he doubted they'd...last long.
The Saint's will have their hands full controlling the brindle's spawn. They could barely contain the matured male himself!

"Kynareth will want them trained as warriors and guardian's, y'know. I don't think it's a bad thing but..if that's something you don't want I can stop it."
He was probably scheming up some sort of training programme with Simmik and Nyra already. It would be good for them to learn to protect themselves and each other, but he didn't want them to not have other interests.
"They talk of war these days," he mused, looking to his mate. As the General, he'd be in charge of the training. And of leading the Blades into war. "With Ursus. Ky and Ny want them wiped out."
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Saints Of The Dying Light

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Arlette almost jumped up when Derg said that he didn't believe her. But then she saw the look in his eyes and playfully glared at him. "My knowledge comes straight from the source," she spoke proudly. "Go ask Nyra," she added. It was funny to see the looks on Derg's face. She was familiar with them now, that she could read them. She quirked up her lips into a grin. "I also don't know, I didn't get that much detail," she just commented. She could just tell he was thinking about that.

She was unaware of Derg trying to listen or feel them. It was too soon for that, she hadn't felt anything like before though. Her smile faded a bit when Derg spoke of Kynareth wanting their pups to be warriors. She thought about it, since this wasn't something she had thought about before. "Well, It is not so much that I don't want it... I'd rather have my children decide what they want to do. I wouldn't want one that is perhaps... more like me... to be forced to fight," she admitted and looked at Derg. Derg knew she wasn't weak. First she felt weak and defense less, but she had survived, survived her wounds, survived her family. She was strong, strong in a different way. She knew that now.

"They won't join any war before they are past the age of one and half." She commented. Plus she would demand proper training before they would get into any of that shenanigans.
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He laughed again, shaking his head in disbelief.
"I'd rather not." He knew Nyra would either tell him to piss off or give him too much detail.
Thinking about Arlette was...almost too much detail.
He smirked at her as his mind drifted back to their time in the chambers.
He didn't let her leave until the next morning.

He stood, standing over her to lick at her neck and chin.
He stopped to let her speak. He remembered some childhood wish to be a naturalist. Something that was quickly beaten out of him.
He thought for a few moments. No war until one and a half.
"Train them to be medics." It was the safest and easiest way to keep them safe. A way to keep his whole family safe so they wouldn't have to fight at his side and watch him... Ursus was brutal. Derg didn't know if he'd be able to stand against them, especially if he is to command Kynareth's kids.
And it would be useful for their entire lives.

Derg licked at her again, a soft whine came from his throat. He didn't want her to worry before they were even at that stage. He shouldn't have brought it up.
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Arlette grinned at her mate. "I can get that information for you," she teased, she was pretty sure that Nyra would tell her every detail if she asked. "Nyra called me her sister the other day too," she told him. She really was settling in nicely. She felt that the bigger white female was like a big sister to her as well. But she wanted Derg to know she was really fitting into his family.

Arlette smiled when he said that. "I will, if they are interested at least," she agreed with him. She smiled when he licked her. She leaned into him. He was quiet and she wasn't sure if he was agreeing with her or disagreeing. He didn't look like he was really against it. She licked under his chin. "I'm very excited for our babies," she admitted. "I'm glad you convinced me," she admitted to him.
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"No thanks," he almost grimaced, but he couldn't stop smiling at her.
Finding out about all of that? Not his cup of tea.
He settled back down next to her, pressed against the as he watched her talk.
Her voice was so warm and inviting.

"Of course," he smiled softly. He was worried though. If Kynareth wanted to have his way, he and Arlette would have to fight back.
He said before he'd take the position of Grandmaster for her. He'd lead the Saints.
Or...Rusalka. He knew the pirate Queens would be lost in the world so easily, it wasn't possible. He'd find them along the coast at some point. They will have to go take a trip along the coast...it will have to be with their children. Unless he felt like he could let them stay here with Leigh and Aerin while they take the trip.

Two options. Both feasible.

"I'm excited too,"
he grinned, tail wagging as he pushed closer to her. "I love you," he tucked his head gently against her. "What colours do you think they'll be? Most of my family looked like me. What about you?" Maybe she had some funky genes to match in with them. He never clocked she was albino, he just thought that was something normal despite not seeing it before.
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Arlette grinned at him teasingly but left it at that. She wouldn't ask about it to Nyra, unless she was somehow curious herself to learn more about their coupling. The pale female hummed happily. Glad to have Derg next to her and that they were just chatting and bonding.

She was unaware of Derg thinking ahead, wondering about the future. She felt at home with the Saints and felt little for leaving again, just now she was settled once more. She liked this territory too. The mountains surrounding them felt safe. She liked the chambers as well. She quirked up when he said he was excited and that he loved her. It was always good to hear that. "I love you too," she smiled warmly.

"I have no clue, they could be any color. My mother, well she is dark in color, and my father, my father was too actually. By brother looks just like him. Tones of Black. Keen was the color of my mother. I was the only pale one. Apparently, I look just like my grandmother, my mother's mother," she explained. "My mother's father was white as well. I think we can expect almost any color," she chuckled. "My mother said I am albino. I should be another color, but because of something my fur doesn't have color. I am not sure what causes it. Maybe I am brown like my mother but it is just so faded that it all looks white. Oh! And it turns eyes red too? No color on my body," she muttered. "Not sure if any of the pups look like me. I don't mind though," she quickly added. "If they look like you they are perfect."
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He loved hearing her talk about her family, even if it might be a strange thing for her to do.
Not being with them anymore. And...how they treated her as far as he knew.
She talked about being albino. No colour eh?
"You're albino, Arlette, because your personality is so colourful," he grinned, knowing it was cheesy and a bit goofy. But he was sure it'd make her laugh.
He'd almost forgotten Keen was her sister.
Someone else to find.
"My sister Grezig looks exactly like me. My sister Uruuk was paler than us." He didn't quite remember Zuruzog. His brother was pretty absent, always away on scouting missions.
"My younger siblings also look pretty much like me. Father was darker and Mother was lighter." They all looked much the same in his bloodline. 
"If they look like you they'll look perfect." He grinned, pressing another kiss to her face.
As long as they were alive they were perfect.
Because they'd be theirs.
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Arlette had to giggle at that comment and almost playfully smacked him really. She had to laugh at him though, which was good. He made her so happy, especially when he could make silly jokes like that. "Oh stop it," she chuckled and shook her head. The female then listened to him and listening to his family's coloring.

"Sounds like your agouti coloring is pretty dominant," she grinned at him, teasing him a bit. "So we will definitely have some little Derg's then. That is really good," she hummed, pleased. "No you cannot steal my words," she grinned back, nipping him playfully as he kissed her.

She then paused. "I'd like to give them more nature based names," she admitted. 'But-- that would be selfish not to discus that with you. Did your family base their names off something?," she asked curiously. "Where did the name Derg came from?"
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He nodded, a soft hum in his own throat. Grezig's children were agouti too. He hoped the pair of hellions were safe.
Little Xizur and Tizir. 
He chuckled as she nipped at him, "You can't steal them back love."
He nuzzled her, breathing in her scent. His.
Names, right.
They'd be cute with little nature names. Names of herbs and stuff.
"I like that idea," he agreed. "I don't know where my name comes from. As warriors, we were brought up to speak the language of the Mother, and we have war mantras from it. But that's all I know," he grinned. Even now his mantra rung in his mind. 
Ann buaidh no Bàs thigibh a’ so ‘s gheibh sibh do dh ' feòil.

"List some names for me, I'm sure you've been thinking of some," he smirked. She wouldn't bring it up if she didn't have ideas in her head.
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Arlette smiled at Derg when he said that he liked the nature names. She was happy about that. She was surprised that he said something about the mother. "Is that the same as the mother stone we had? What is the mother you talk about?," she asked since she felt he was not talking about his own mother. 'War mantras?," she then asked more quietly. Could it be that her mate always had to fight? 'Derg... how much death did you cause in your life if war was so dominant in your life so far," she asked, not sure if she wanted to know that answer now she thought about it.

She thought about the coloring of their pups but it felt really less important now that she was starting to realize that her mate might have never known peace, always in a fight with someone. After all, when they met he had been attacked by Ursus.
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He thought for a few moments. He was never one to care for the Mother.
Not like his Father did. "The Mother is the creator of all, she takes all and gives all." That was all he remembered really. He smiled softly, wondering if that aligned with her mother stone. Though he thinks that her 'Mother Stone' is only the giver, not the taker too.

But she wanted to know about his past. His wars.
He felt that familiar heaviness settle over his back, embracing him with heavy arms and crushing him slowly. His tongue dried out as he tried to think of the words to explain. But his tongue was lead in his mouth.
He sighed heavily, wanting to just bury his head in her fur and forget about everything. "I have killed three, certainly. Others may have died from..wounds or the, uh...rest of the pack."
Three, dead in his jaws. He never knew them. They were just unlucky enough to need to be put down.
Derg, being small, stocky, and rather fast was one of the front lines for his family. One of those to go first and disable as many as possible.

"I'm sorry," he murmured, sitting up. He wanted to let her be happy, take his problems away from her. She didn't need them - those thoughts. 
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Arlette thought about it and then shook her head. "Our mother stone stood for something else,' she mentioned and then thought about it. "She stood for warmth and forgiveness, not the creator of all," she explained. So it was different then. It didn't seem that Derg was still much alined to it really. She quirked up her lips, good to know. She was slightly worried though about his next answer.

She thought about his words. "The... Saints? Or your birth pack?," she asked for clarification. It was a bit of a shock to her that Derg killed wolves before but in war... She shook her head. "Don't be sorry. You had to, right? To protect your loved ones?," she offered. She didn't think that Derg was just a cold blooded murderer. One would just kill wolves because he felt like it.