Sunset Valley i make the money, not wash the clothes.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#1
All Welcome 
staying vague!

they moved away from the mark, he and @Indra III. colt led them down into an expansive valley and immediately began to scent for prey.
the deer had fed them but had cost energy. "rabbits today, girl," he ordered. this time his scarlet eyes stayed on her, and eventually he lifted his chin. "where'd yew come from anyway?" he asked with a harsh grunt, at last pulling his stare away from indra and back to the horizon.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#2
Rabbits. It would give her a chance to show her abilities off better than with larger prey. So far, life with Colt was not so bad — and as the only social contact she'd had in the past few weeks, the value of his opinion was ever growing in value.

Head down, body snaking. Indra would seek any sign of a meal, or a warren, so that the man would not go hungry. His question caused her to pause with a paw raised, and slowly she placed it down and continued her survey.

Nowhere, she answered. After a moment and some sleuthing along, Indra adds: Had a... a mom, then I didn't. The dwindling of her voice was answer enough beyond that. She did not sound sad, though; it was like explaining a half-remembered dream to someone a week after dreaming it.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#3
"quit all that now." but his tone was rough, jovial even. colt pressed his crown against indra's carmine shoulder, then snorted hot breath over her ear. fetid breath, with how often he chewed the birchbark.
"don't matter who yew had before," colt growled warmly. "i got yew now."
mine, mine, mine to me.
the rogue drew away as sharply as he had pressed, half-roused beneath the hunger. but the hunger was what mattered.
colt put his nose to the earth, abandoning his questions as quickly as he had left natigvik.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#4
He was not interested. Indra was happy not to explain; she didn't think he would care much about her life story to begin with, and she could only remember some things, and refused to think of others. Better to forget. I got yew now. A rare sentimentality clawed its way up Indra's throat, at that.

She put distance to her thoughts. Send them further afield than she dared venture, metaphorically, so that she could focus upon what mattered: food, drink, sleep. Her path cut across the tail of Colt's own, then veered back again.

Something spooked. A small body ricocheted away from the undergrowth by Indra's feet and towards Colt, then shot away again as if it were rebounding off of his shadow. Indra was tense when she spotted it and as the shape returned her way, she moved to intercept — and back, again, it went, to Colt.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#5
his yellowed teeth flashed once, twice. the rabbit screamed, a piercing shriek which was sure to carry toward all ears.
as if on cue, a flock of pheasants lifted from the trees and flew away from the pair. 
colt's jaws were bloody. he flung the limp warm body to indra and watched her with his crimson eyes. "eat." her first, always. one might think he was gentlemanly. colt only didn't care for dead weight, which he would cut loose in a moment.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#6
Indra thought herself to be quite fleet-footed. She did not match with Colt, who did not hesitate the way she did, and in the next moment the hare was dead and thrown limp at her feet. Eat.

Open-mouthed and panting, the girl looks from the meal to the horizon and back again. Her heart races from the momentum of the run and how startled she'd felt when the hare had first appeared. There is a dizzying sense of deja-vu here; she's probably dehydrated, probably overtired, nothing more.

She sets upon the thing quickly and strips it apart while it is still warm.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#7
he watched her, and he wondered. blood on the ground. blood on the girl. there it was again, that familiar sensation, rearing. wanting to be glutted.
his nostrils flared.
the rogue set off without another word, ranging out for a meal of his own, scarlet eyes hunting the horizon with intensity.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#8
He left her as she ate. At first Indra was unaware; he was silent with his movements and soon enough was at such a distance, should she have noticed him she would have certainly thought the flash of gold to be a trick of the light.

She pulled the head off of the hare and did not touch it. The rest was stripped to pieces, with the smallest organs eaten the last, and savored. By the time the meal was complete there were bits of fur and bones scattered across the earth.

These, she arranged mindlessly. The ribs together shaped a broken circle, irregular in formation. What was left of the spine she broke with her molars, and scattered the pieces like dice across the bare middle. Indra did not track how they landed - she was busy cleaning at the rabbit's head, and those soft ears, which she refused to damage.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#9
in the end colt found nothing. he contented himself with grubs dug from beneath several stones, and a fieldmouse he stepped on completely by accident.
he spat the tiny bones out and eventually sauntered back to where he had left indra. she was crouched over the remains of the rabbit.
his eyes narrowed to see what she was doing: arranging all its parts and particles in a way that deeply unsettled colt. he was a superstitious man. had to be out here. the circle, askew as it was, seemed unnatural. the rest of the ivories were scattered as she tended to the soft bits.
"what are yew doin', indra?" his face was a mask.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#10
She was stroking the rabbit's ears with her tongue, carefully, as he came crawling back.

Without looking to him, or up or away, she heard his voice and gave a small shrug. The woman of Sapphique had not taken kindly to her altar before and so Indra was reticent to share what this was; she was aloof about it, outwardly.

You left me. I got bored waiting. It was a half-truth. She could have followed after him as she was supposed to, rather than obsessing a little over the rabbit's head; within her was a warring sentiment. The memory of the pit, and the rabbit bodies that were her playthings, and soft moments such as this that had become so very rare for her.

She finally took her eyes from the rabbit's cleaned ears and looked to Colt as innocent as any child might. Did you catch anythin' else?
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#11
colt's mouth twisted. he wanted to find a reason to punish her, to say she had done wrong. he remembered the first time indra'd ever looked at him.
he remembered the fear.
colt knew he could have it again. it only took a movement. a word. a second in time, just a split one for her to really understand she should never fuck with him.
her eyes saw none of this. he relented with a long bullish snort and a toss of his head.
"ain't found shit since that un," colt grunted, settling onto his laurels and jerking his muzzle toward her rabbit. "guess yer gonna have to take second shift."
his crimson eyes were filled with something. "need t'start keepin' up with yer end of the huntin'. cuz i can hunt fer us both, shore. but then yer gonna have other ways to earn keep."
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#12
The rabbit head was posed between her forelegs, where it rested as if nesting there, and the long ears tapered to her paws. They had been cleaned. The had stared blankly towards Indra with glassy eyes and a gaping little mouth, neither which offended the girl.

Colt had failed. It was her turn to do something to benefit them both - and for a second Indra wanted to say no, and be the child, and test the limits of his patience and his hunger; but he said something about other ways that unsettled her.

I'll go. But she didn't rise with any immediacy (or at all).

She didn't want to dispose of those soft ears yet. Indra focused on the rabbit, choosing that instead of the nagging feeling in the pit of her belly that tried to urge her guard up again. She took comfort where she could find it, unaware of a similar vein of thought that now passed through Colt.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#13
he slid down to one elbow. "go on then, girl. follow where i left a trail; go find water'n look fer what's about." but his eyes had not left her, and he did not relax.
his turn to stare at the rabbit. it looked soft and almost alive, beheaded and downy. it turned something in him and his cunning serpent's eyes flicked back to indra.
her obedience was pleasant. but it remained to be seen if she would truly heed.
silence roiled in an unseen mist.
might be best to take that step; better him than crueler folk. and yet he was endeared with his own mercy, to let her range afield and prove herself to be mercenary as he.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#14
He sank nearby. She did not so much as eye him, but the feeling remained, and she tended the rabbit's head a few more times before reluctantly settling it to the earth and standing.

Indra gave one cursory glimpse towards him as if suspicious he might disturb her new and favored thing; but she did not let the sentiment linger long. All things would be taken, she had learned early on. Attachments only led to pain, in the end.

As she departed, sulking more than before, she tried to keep that in mind.

The trail he had left was obvious enough to her now: she had traveled with him for weeks and thought herself accomplished enough to track him, to see his tells, and such things. She would go on to roam further and further, leaving the man with the rounding ribs and the precious rabbit's head.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#15
colt knew indra would hate him if he were to pick up the odd little trophy and chuck it into the nearest stream. he was tempted all the same, just a reminder that she existed by his grace.
made more sense to let her keep it then.
when a single daring crow alighted nearby, trying to tweeze one of the staring eyes, colt snapped at it. 
he pulled the head closer. he yawned and lay his muzzle beside, guarding it quietly.
while indra hunted, he would quietly doze.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#16
The first path she followed brought Indra to the trail of something long-bodied and heavy, but larger than a rabbit. She tried to suss out which way it went, then grew impatient and gave up in short order. The weasel - or whatever it was - had been there hours ago, and the trail Indra had found ran cold.

The next came as a surprise: a snake whipping its way across her path, which moved slowly because of the cold. It wasn't something she ever expected in this place; but she caught up to it, pinned its head, and snapped its neck. The long tendril of its body hung from her teeth as she made her return.

When Indra came upon Colt's lazing body, she was immediately at-odds with him. She could not see her rabbit head, and thought that he'd done something to it. As a result, she threw the snake to the earth and stiffly approached where the rabbit's ears had previously been splayed, unaware that Colt guarded it now so closely.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#17
he caught her footsteps as indra returned to their makeshift camp, but did not stir. a rattler's trick, lying still. he smelt the reptilian blood and was impressed; colt listened to how her gait changed from travel to frustration.
the air was suddenly tight. she really liked the damn thing. 
colt made a grand show of waking: yawning and stretching and letting the rabbit's head tumble into view. "one o' them ratbirds come along while yew were gone." 
he rose to sitting, scratched behind one ear, and grinned crookedly toward indra. he shoved her prize across the cold ground. "yer welcome, princess."
with a cackle colt rose and stalked past her to see what she had found. snake meat would do him well. he tossed the body into the air and leapt to catch it, his companion ignored for now.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#18
He unfurled, and the head came free. She saw it and a dangerous light flashed across her iris; a rage she'd kept contained was now sparking to life, but the trade was made. He took the snake, and she hurried to the rabbit's skull to tend to it as if it were alive.

Gathering it to herself, she hunched over it and arranged, groomed, tidied, trying to make it right. Colt said something about rats, birds, she wasn't listening — fully involved with the head that had quickly become extremely precious to her.

Her heart was racing and she didn't know why. She couldn't look at Colt. Her lavishing of attention upon the rabbit's ears became roughened, rather than softening her as it should have. It was a comforting gesture she sought. Instead, Indra felt unhinged as she wallowed in anger.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#19
when colt turned back, it was to watch indra hunched over the head yet again. he skinned the snake casually, fitting long pieces into his mouth.
the flinty gleam in her eye was recalled now: possession. possessiveness. colt chewed contemplatively. 
irritation began to riot in him. had indra ever been grateful in the same way as she had been that night? his nostrils flared.
but he had eaten, and she was only an unhinged female. colt glanced at the sky. "come on now." his voice was casual but his eyes warned her to move quickly, that he was tired of the outburst no matter how quiet.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#20
The meal might've made Colt happy for a while. It didn't appear to last as long as Indra wished, as he was upon her with commands again. She grimaced and hunkered closer to the skull instead, refusing him.

He'd gotten what he'd wanted (or what Indra perceived as his desire); he could wait for her now. She sat there arranging the skull in the circle with the ears carefully laid out, and groomed them over again as best she could, but she was hasty and erratic with it.

The edge of one eartip tore, and Indra's teeth flashed again, this time at the earth.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#21
the spoiled little cuss.
colt briggs operated by four principles: heart, body, loyalty, and respect. 
indra was a dead weight in this moment but moreover, she ignored him and continued at whatever blasted shit she was doing.
colt justified his choice in a split second; he took three strides toward her turned back and moved to scruff her, shoving her face roughly into the dirt if successful.
a cold rain broke overhead. colt sought to kick the rabbit's head away. "now i know yew heard me, indra."
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#22
His teeth grasped at her neck. They overlaid the older scars there, unbeknownst to the pair, and suddenly her face was shoved in to - through the rabbit and in to the dirt.

Something cracked; the rabbit's little grin was missing teeth and one of them had scraped against Indra's face.

She'd made a strangled noise, almost a no, which was muted as she was held to the dirt.

Indra heard the scuff of bone as Colt kicked the head away, and she moved as if to lunge for it, but he was stronger. Her cheek grazed gravel and burned.

Okay, m'comin, She murmurs, eyes glassy. There is no use fighting back now, she knows. He's won this scuffle and suitably crushed a piece of her spirit.
Loner
539 Posts
Ooc — ebony
Offline
#23
that darkly insistent part of colt's mind reminded him that he could. but it had never been part of his operation. he wasn't about to start now; he had scruples after a fashion.
he and indra had both brung in hunting. that made them equals at the proverbial fire.
"yew jump when i say jump, girl. don't forget it or else i might see fit tradin' yew to the first bloke who lends a hand to a big hunt."
he left off her and stepped aside with a swagger. indra would do well to remind herself that she was not in charge. she could run. she could leave by herself. but each of them knew she was unprepared to be alone.
colt set off, humming part of an old roaming tune.
312 Posts
Ooc — Talamasca
Offline
#24
He said his piece. She tried to nod but didn't have the leeway with the pressure of him there, not until he let go and she was free. At that point Indra rose up on shaky limbs and stretched her neck and shoulders, feeling the familiar blooming of bruise-pain where he'd set his teeth.

Colt turned to go and then there was some distance between them. Indra could've run, then. She could've sought the skull's remnants and taken flight then and there.

Instead she looked to the circle she had built, and then to the path Colt had taken. She moved towards the circle and with a kick sent the rib bones splaying across the earth - and then, she turned and followed.