Blacktail Deer Plateau If I say something now, who gonna check me huh?
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#1
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Snow had become a permanent feature among the plateau.

Which meant he imagined @Ash Paw lacked access to a lot of herbs now that the ground was frosted and dusted. Nor did he have the knowledge to know what might still be salvageable in this cold weather.

So he brought her a different kind of gift.

Hardly refined enough to be considered worthwhile, but he hoped the intent would be clear. The fur off of a salvaged deer leg hung between his jaws.
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Ash Paw took moments to herself. She avidly tended to the sacred spaces. Clearing debris and old sacrifices from their faces. She made sure to keep them clean of snow and other such things. This was a sacred place, and she would keep it as such.

Though today, she had done what was needed, and she simply sat with her tail wound around her petite paws. Enjoying the snow as it fell in large flakes down upon her, to pepper her in white.

She was thrown from her thoughts when Syrax came upon her, fur dangling from his maw. Amusement lit up her blue eyes and she lifted a small paw in hello and then waited for an explanation.
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#3
She welcomed him.

It was a relief in a way he hadn't realized it would be. As if he thought he might be rejected, turned away for his recent ghosting ways.

He approached close enough to set the fur down at her paws. Then once more moved back, mindful of her personal space.

For you.
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He moved away and she wondered at his brusqueness, his ways. He had been so open before, funny and easiy to get along with. now he was closed off, almost angry it felt. He wasn't of course, but she just didn't quite understand his mood and his motive.

Colored plume waved behind her and she lifted her nose in the haughty way that was her's alone and spoke with a smile in her voice.

are you done avoiding me now? Hmm? And thank you.

She touched the pelt with petite paw, running paw pad along the edges of the soft fur. It snagged in some of the cracks that were there, but she liked how it felt.
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#5
He was not hurt by her words, for once.

It was the truth. It had been obvious that he had danced around her since he had fumbled over his feelings like a manchild. She held every right to point it out like a brandished sword, right into his chest.

Mmm, figured it would be best to come back with a gift, right? The beginning of humor wormed into his voice as he watched her appraise the fur.
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Ash Paw squinted at him and shook her head. A chuckle dipping form her maw. Blue eyes dancing at him. 

You know. You have the excuse of youth for now. But if you like someone or you want there to be more. You should really learn to speak it. Hmm.

She laughed at his next words and nodded. Yes I agree. Come with me. I want to put this in my home.

She didn't let many near her small cavern, he would be one of the few. If he followed. She'd lead him towards the small bend in the forest floor. Between trees, and well cushioned inside. The inner sanctum overflowing with small bark full of herbs and plants, hanging vines around the front entrance. She had found it merely on chance and had quickly dug it out. A root system sat at the back from a large tree above her. It made for small nooks and crannies of places to hide what she wanted. There was enough room for two or three, though she hoped to make it larger some day.

She lay the rabbit fur near the newest plants. It would be useful come spring.
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#7
Barbed words with a well meaning behind them. At least he figured there was a good meaning hidden in there.

Last time I did that, she wedded me and then disappeared. In the same month. Bad political move. Now he felt like he had exposed too much maybe. Not that it really mattered. He had jumped aboard a sinking ship with Calida and paid the price for it.

Now he was here, following Ash along to her home. Which genuinely did feel like an honor.

He looked around the place for but a moment. Noted how she kept things, how she added the fur to her collection. It rumbled something within him. Warm and sparking.

It's nice here.
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#8
Ash Paw meant no cruelty in her words. Though she would be remiss if she didn't admit that some small part of her wasn't curious what he wanted from her. If his kindness was just that. She herself didn't have much experience in that area. Truthfully.

Ash stared at him, her mouth slightly agape. Well now...she doesn't sound like a very good...umm wife. If she returns will you go back to her? Just so you are aware I would think it foolish but it is not my place to dictate. Politics? You will only wed for politics?

She made a soft hmm in her throat as she dug from the one corner some meat to share. She lay it at his feet and continued around the area, putting things just so.

That sounds lonely to me, but perhaps I am a little more of a romantic heart as it were. But I suppose i get that from my parents and my auntie. Who loved her mate until the day she died with such fire, it consumed her at the best of times and burned her alive at the worst.


She smiled as she looked around. Thank you. I find a home important. It gives you a sense of comfort.
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#9
She seemed intent on making him at home, even while she poked and prodded. Granted he had invited it he supposed. By returning, by bringing these things up.

No. I'll never return to her again and I'll never wed for politics again. It was genuinely stupid on my end. Sincerely. I was raised to do those things and I have shed it with my growth in Basilica. He had had better chemistry with the soldier he had tangled with than her. Wedded for a kingdom that didn't exist. He felt more than happy to leave those things behind him.

Then she brought up romantics and his gut did that thing again.

Burning, stirring, flamed.

I'm sorry for avoiding you, for the record. You're right. I should have just said something. Talked more or whatever.

Now he fell into a silent existence as he softly plucked at the meat she provided.
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Ash Paw couldn't quite help it that she liked to poke and prod. It was a constant condition of being her, she was nosy, boisterously so. She liked to think it was because she had been so sheltered as a child, refused to acknowledge that it was a flaw of hers.

She nodded, pleased at his answer. She didn't understand the point of doing such things. If you weren't happy in your life or with your partner. WEll what was the point.

Basilica has a way of making you grow into yourself. She smiled softly at that, finally settling to her haunches, and listening fully.

She shook her head a small laugh curling of her tongue. You needn't eat if you aren't hungry. I know it's hard to speak. Perhaps it is a product of my upbringing. My family was very open when another was upset.
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#11
I'm not upset.

It slipped free a bit quicker than he had expected. Almost reflexive.

I'm not. I mean, I don't feel...angry with you or sad about you. It's not being upset. He abandoned the meat in favor of trying to form words. Just like she had asked. I don't know how I feel about you exactly, but it isn't upset.
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#12
Ash's ears went to her head at his quick tone, and she lifted her chin a notch, that haughty expression slipping into her face, as it always did, when faced with resistance. Though she tried very hard to tamper it down. She was being unfair and an absolute nuisance, really.

She nodded her head, but said nothing. Choosing silence to let him find his footing and his words. SHe would wait and see what it was he wanted to speak on. What it was he wished to say. She wasn't even certain why she cared. Why she pushed.

She is so b**chy I apologize lol
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#13
LOL I love it so much <3

Silence.

For a moment, he remembered why he had let her be. The fact that he had manned up just enough to dump out some thoughts only to be greeted with a stone wall.

I'm speaking it. Like you said.

Then stared at her, a bit deadpan and hoping that she'd be verbal now.
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#14
I'm glad lol.

He didn't seem to appreciate that she was trying to be kind and listen, before she snapped off and told him to take his simpering elsewhere. Then she was horrified at her own thoughts, good goodess what kind of wolfess was she, beside the fact that she was a total beast.

And I'm listening. I appreciate it. So you don't know how you feel. Whether you are my friend or not my friend or anything. Or if my presence makes you happy or irritated.

Ash frowned in thought. I tend to annoy other's usually. I have a little to much pride.

She stared back at him, a crackling in her blue eyes.
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#15
You don't annoy me. I mean, yeah, sometimes you're like a thorn on those plants you collect but it isn't annoying. It's exciting. It makes you fun to be around.

He sat tall for a moment, rolling his shoulders. Then hunched once more to fit properly in the space she claimed.

I want to be something to you, but I want to know if you're even entertaining that thought. At all.
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She chuckled at the first part. Hmm well you know thorns are there to protect the plants.

His next words, drew her breathing to pause. She wasn't sure what to say. She had teased and coddled and pressed, but she had not really truly thought of what it would mean. Did she have designs. She had to answer fast, so he didn't she was avoiding the question, because she had entertained the thought.

I have yes. Have I made any decisions, no. I get along with you probably best, you can handle my most chaotic ways. And you let me be myself. So yes I have entertained such ideas.

She gave a decisive knod. Though she had to tread carefully, and get a measure for him and the others. Because the simple fact was she was one of the few females in a pack full of men.
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#17
Did she want to protect herself? Is that what she implied?

Regardless, she gave him the possibly best answer he could have hoped for. That she did entertain the thought. It was all he could ask for. Consideration, entertainment.

I'm not asking for any decisions. Not now, not ever really if you don't want to. We could entertain the idea forever as long as I know you are.

A weight off of his chest. Yet he felt that another would soon settle in instead.
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Ash most definitely meant about protecting herself. She wasn't certain if she could love as selflessly as her auntie had, and her dad. She just wasn't sure if her's would have conditions, which made it almost a moot point, right? But she couldn't help the little fantasy that perhaps it wouldn't be too bad.

Ash chuckle dryly. I would not be that cruel. And I hope that you wouldn't either.

She would need to think in more detail for the fture. About what she wanted and what he wanted and what she was willing to give. 

What did you do while you were avoiding me? Did you get your task from Dreadfather?
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#19
I wouldn't.

He meant it. Although he hadn't seen it as a means to be cruel. He had only meant to give her an out, in a way.

Mmm, I'm a Reconniter now. He informed her. Almost absent minded with his words. Thoughts heavily rooted elsewhere. I figured it'd give Basilica a bit more...range.
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An out. Ash Paw was many things, but one thing she didn't do was shirk from things. Were she to find herself not interested, she'd tell him so. Probably rather coldly truthfully, but she didn't want to think on that.

His next words drew her pause and she nodded then spoke. have you been to a place called Akashingo? I only ask, because well.

She frowned. I met a priest from there, and he and I didn't see eye ot eye on a lot of things, and I feel perhaps I was rather rude, but he did deserve it. I mean who thinks that the gods belong to one person.

She slapped her tiny paw into the dirt, A small tuft of air flying upwards.
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#21
He shook his head no at her question. Yet remained silent so that she may carry on.

Do you plan to ask me to go down there and teach him a lesson? I know you're busy here.

There would be an inkling of humor in his voice, yet every bit as serious as she wanted it to be. He had no qualms on seeking out this supposed priest of Akashingo.
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#22
Ash Paw sniffed. her nose inching higher. Of course not I told him off myself. Foolish man. Honestly, you would have thought that a man of a god would have better manners and more kindness. But no.

She mumbled to herself as she moved in restless abandon. Though she looked back at him. Would you if I asked? For future reference that is?

A note of humor creeped into her own voice, and she allowed her eyes to dance at him.
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#23
He could have been rude and suggested she look in the mirror. After all, they had discussed how thorny she could be. Instead he remained silent, holding his humor to himself.

Mmm, for the right price maybe. I can't let personal affairs tangle up my duties to Basilica... And yet his voice was nothing but comedic.

His tail offered a slow, soft rhythmic tap behind him.
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She knew in a sense she was being hypocritical, but one thing despite all her short comings. She felt all gods belonged to others. Though she shouldn't say much. Wasn't it she and Ingram dreadfather who had physically fought over whose gods were better. Was that why that fought? She shook her head

What would the right price be? I am of basilica...helping out your packmates is a kind of duty. She poked at him with her paw, as she always did when caught up in the fervor of their conversations.

Her own tail moving to it's own beat as she spoke with candor.
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#25
Suddenly she was there, a claw in his chest. He could not help the sudden suck in of air for his desperate lungs. Stomach clenched and pushed up into his body from his overwhelming nerves.

Well that depends on what you have to offer. I know not to make the asking price first.