The cure has been found! Wolves on Anikira are recovering from the disease and life is moving forward with the promise of pups in many packs. And yet darkness looms on the horizon, daring the creatures of Anikira to relax and allow themselves to get comfortable once more.
[attr="class","text"]Escaping from the overbearing eyes of the feline and the blue eyes of his mother, Draco found the opportunity to move from the den. He took it swiftly, as quickly as his form could carry him. He wanted to get away from them - he felt like he was suffocating. He didn't want to be around them all the time. He did not belong. They were dark, he was not. They were kind, he was not. Draco was his own wolf, his own being. The young male, even as young as he was - he knew what he wanted. He did not like Vasilios, not truly. It belonged to his mother, which was fine - but he never felt like this was his home. He liked the trees, and the water areas. But ti was odd here, he could not explain it. He wanted to know where his father was going every single time he left. Where was he living? He bet it was quiet, that it was peaceful and he would actually be able to think of everything happening.
When he was clear from the trees he knew, he came to an area that was covered in a thick fog. It was odd for this time of year, he was told. He liked this. It was calm, it was peace. Tranquil. He liked this best. He moved towards the water, allowing his paws to rest in the chilled waters. His eyes watched as the ripples spread out until they just disappeared. He did not wish to disturb it again, probably thinking that his own siblings would have done that. They did not care about the things around themselves. They were loud, they were obnoxious, and they were annoying to him. Draco moved his body to lay on the shore, not wishing ti bother the water, but he wanted to relax. In the cloak of fog it would be hard for his siblings to come and seek him out. An adult would probably be able to find him with ease - if they even cared he was missing.
[attr="class","post"]Dione and Pollux had been unable to catch him, but Vorilye was not about to let his son get lost in their territory. This was absolutely every fear the male had about this day; why could they not keep them little and safe forever? As the brute had watched his light-furred son disappear into the trees, nothing could stop the sheer panic that overwhelmed him. He could not let anything happen to Draco. And so the brute had made sure that his other three children were safe with their mother and taken off after Draco, his paws carrying him as quickly as they could go while still keeping to the young male's scent trail. What in the world had he been thinking? They were so clear about staying together, that that was the only way they would get to spent time out and about right now. And yet Draco had taken off in an instant, leaving Vorilye filled with a different kind of fear than what he had ever experienced before. Watching Draco's little blonde tail disappear into the brush had brought visions of all sorts of horrors lurking in the woods straight to the surface.
Was this how Dione had felt when she realized she was pregnant? Vorilye did not have the same physical closeness to the pups that she had experienced, but he knew he would readily kill to protect those little ones. It was a feeling that had started up after the initial dust of her separation had settled. That innate protective nature was nothing new to him, for he had always watched closely over his sisters in youth, but there was just something different about his own children than his siblings. He had been forced into a paternal role there, where he had grown, matured, and had a much greater capacity to care for these pups than he had ever been able to in youth. It was times like this he missed his mother and her guidance... times that he wished he had a father to go to to tell him that he was not messing everything up for these four miracles. He wanted to be reassured that he was not a poor father, that his son's need for isolation was normal and that everything was going to be okay.
"Draco!" he called out after the pup after momentarily losing his scent trail. Vorilye picked up on it again soon after, unsure how the pup had made such great distance in a short period of time. He was getting closer and closer to the lake, and rather than calming the brute, it scared him even more. All he could remember was the day that Cryphe had fallen into the river, nearly being swept away to her death. Pups were careless and thought they were unbreakable. Vorilye knew better, and he was not about to let a single hair on his son's head get hurt. He was grateful when, not far from the water's edge, he spied the signature bright coat of his young son, a relieved breath escaping his lungs that he did not realize he had been hold.
"Draco, we told you to stay close," he sighed, no anger slipping into his voice as he approached the pup, quietly taking a seat beside the boy as his red and golden eyes gazed down upon Draco. "Why did you run off like that?"
notes: Poor Riley is gonna have a heart attack tagged: @draco word count: 629 words
[attr="class","text"]The young male rested on his elbows, his weight slunk to one side of his body. It was perfect here. He was hidden from the harsh rays of sunlight that had bothered his eyes upon first seeing it. He hated the sunlight, the warmth it gave off. He wished he could live within the wide open shadows. But how many lands would be like this? He could see the other side of the lake, and he was told he was not to leave the pack boundaries. Crossing the water would be a deliberate disobedience act. It was one he was honestly considering. That is - until he heard the sound of his father's voice. He did not stir, he did not even budge. He stayed where he was laying down, still trapped in his thoughts of leaving this place behind. He was surprised that father did not greet him with anger or opened jaws. Often times he had been captured by either the feline Pollux, or mother herself. He was sure that if he escaped enough times, she would send the whole pack after him.
"Father." He spoke as the male sat beside him. His blue eyes did not shift to the male that gave him life, instead he stared at the lake, still planning his departure from this place. "They annoy me," he retorted. There were no traces of emotion in his words. He did not like being forced to be around them, to hear them all the time. Elara talked way too much and complained even more. Cygnus at least had some sense to him, as an older brother should. And Draco had not really paid much attention to his remaining sibling, Carina. All he wanted was to be away from them all. The bickering, complaining, and whining was enough to last him his whole life. Complaints were a skill of the weak. He did not agree with such things, just wanting to be left well alone. "What is on the other side of the lake?" he asked as he turned his head to the side, gazing up at his father's stoic form. He focused on him now, just as he always had.
When he looked at Vorilye, he could see his genetics making their mark in his siblings. Mother was light, but not like him. She was dappled with dark splashes of color. Cygnus had the red mane of his father and anyone that saw him should know just who fathered him. Both Carina and Elara were both very dark like him. They had mother's dappling. A very small part of him wished that he looked more like them, that maybe he would have had some of the dapple. But the rest of his body was happy that he was nothing like them. He didn't have to live in their shadows. He could pave his own path and others would be forced to follow or get out of his way.
[attr="class","post"]Vorilye sighed. He could not force his son to talk, nor could he force him to like his siblings. It seemed a bit out of place for a pup so young to have such a resentment towards the rest of his family. But Vorilye had never seen that from his son; if anything, Draco seemed a touch happier around him, and that warmed the male's heart. He may not have thought he needed family, but everyone did in one way or another. He just did not realize it yet.
It was then that his son asked about the other side of the lake.
"That, Draco, is where I grew up," he explained gently. It seemed like a lifetime ago, and the male had never had an opportunity to sit down with anyone and talk about his puphood. It seemed like all the time he was so busy focusing on what he wanted to do moving forward that he failed to look back and realize that he had a whole life behind him too. "I grew up in a pack named Valyn. My mother ran the pack, and she was a strong and fair leader," he told the pup with a smile. He missed his mother, and Saphira had never been able to tell him what became of the Seraphim. Vorilye knew in his heart that his mother never would have walked away from her pack though, so it was unlikely that she was still with the realm of the living. The brute's heart hurt at the thought that he might be an orphan; but there was nothing he could do to change that. "Across this lake are fields and valleys... flowered trees like you've never seen before. There are plains and rivers. There are mountains that stretch up until they touch the sky almost," the brute elaborated, explaining the lands of his own puphood. "There are tons of birds and squirrels and frankly?" he chuckled a bit. "It's a lot less dreary than this place." He did not inherently mean to talk bad about Acerbus, but it always had a very gloomy air about it. It was why the brute had decided here soon, he would officially take his leave from Vasilios and take up residence there once more. With no pack controlling the area, all he needed was a little bit of independence for a bit. He knew Almathea was still lurking nearby though, and he was interested in meeting back up with his cousin. Something about her presence had been calming to the male. It was as if they were on a bit more level playing field. He did not have to fear her; they were blood.
"I know your siblings get under your coat, but you have to learn to tolerate them, bud. You live here, and running off like that is going to give your mother and I a heart attack," he finally addressed the elephant lurking nearby. Draco could not keep taking off and expect everything to be just fine. "Nothing happened to you this time, but I don't want you to get hurt. You scared me a lot, and I'm sure your mother feels the exact same way." He saw the way that Draco looked at his mother, and it had always caught him by surprise. The brute seemed very distant from her, where the other three had always been close to her. It was almost as if he was emotionally disconnected from everyone, and that concerned him. He knew there was some less than stellar genetics running on their mother's side, and Vorilye was constantly living in fear that something would happen to any of them. This was his family, and he would move mountains to protect them.
notes: Alright he's a bit calmer now lol tagged: @draco word count: 688 words
[attr="class","text"]As his father began to explain what held those lands across the water, Draco could not pull his eyes from it. He wanted to see it. He wanted to go where his father had been raised. Maybe that was the answer? He listened to what the lands were like. There was a mountain that was as tall as the sky. Good. Draco would probably be given the chance to kill the sun so that it may never accost his eyes again. Draco listened to the details of the woods and the fields. He was not much of a runner, never really wanting to exert much energy. He only ran when he absolutely needed to. Getting away from his family was all he had wanted to do. Father found him, but did not treat him as mother did. She would have yelled, raised her voice, and probably got the cat to catch him. Vorilye was calm and spoke to his son as though he was an adult as well. He would save the questions about Valyn once he got his father to understand why he did what he had done.
"I understand they are my family. But I am different from them. If I do not get my way, you will not hear me complain. I have never shed a tear. Mother is more friends with a feline than she is her own kind. I am tired of being picked up in Pollux's jaws. I have to get away from them for my own sanity. You are not there all the time, you don't understand." He was not complaining, just voicing his opinions. He was never afraid to do so. His eyes looked at his father, looking over his features and staring at him. "Where do you go when you leave the den?" Draco noticed that their parents gave affection to the pups, but not to each other. He was very aware of the situation, even if he did not truly understand what was going on. Father had never slept in the den, or spent much time with them. With being allowed to leave the den, he was given more of the freedom he truly wanted.
"What happened to Valyn?" His father did not understand how lucky he was to not be forced to live with his family. He got to come and go as he wished. That was what Draco wanted for himself. "I want to go there." He said as he turned his head to look back at the lands. He could not promise that he would not stop running from his family. For that would be a lie. He could lie to his mother and his siblings, but he felt doing so to his father was wrong. He was the only one that seemed to try and understand what was happening within his blonde mind. "I don't wish to live here anymore." He knew that if mother ever heard him say those words, her heart would shatter. But he wanted to be happy and he was not happy here. Surely she would be able to understand that.
[attr="class","post"]Vorilye could not help the way that his heart tore at Draco's comments on his absence. He wanted to be there for them every second, but he could not bring himself to smother Dione that way. He was trying to be respectful of her, and he still was not sure he could tolerate being in her presence constantly at this point. His emotions were still far more raw than he would like. But what he did not expect was for Draco to ask after him... to try to find out where he spent his time. His daughters and Cygnus had not expressed any interest in where he went yet, though he was sure it was only a matter of time before the question came up for them all. He would not be able to paint a pretty picture between he and their mother forever. They knew that Dione and Vorilye were not a traditional couple, and it would not do him any good to pretend that they were.
"I usually head across the lake," he explained as gently as he could. "I am not a member of your mother's pack. We don't always agree, so I come back to spend all the time I can with you and your siblings." It was the best answer he could offer in that moment. He sighed at the little male's comments that he was different than his siblings. They were all very unique from one another, but it pained the older male that his son felt so segregated from his siblings. "You may look a bit different, but you're not as different as it seems, Draco. You're unique, and that's a good thing. You're exactly how you should be," he reassured the younger male.
It was a question about Valyn that caught Vorilye off guard. "I don't actually know what happened with Valyn," he admitted. He wished he had more information about his birth pack. "I was away when the pack collapsed. I've lived here for most of my life." It was a strange realization that he had spent more time in Vasilios than Valyn at this point. He had been given such a short window in which to spend time with his family, and he was not going to lose that opportunity now. He would not send his child away. He would not turn his back on them. "Draco, don't say that," he admonished softly, "Valyn is no more. There is not a pack for you to go to there." It seemed so strange to him that his son was so eager to get away. Was he doing the right thing here? There was no manual for being a father, and Vorilye had not had a role model to learn from in his own youth. Most of the pups in Valyn had been fatherless, and it was a cycle that Vorilye did not want to see continued. There was nothing more valuable in a pup's life than his or her parents. And he was asking Vorilye to pull him away from his mother. He was no fool; he knew what these pups meant to Dione. He could see it in her eyes when she looked at them.
"I don't know what you want, Draco. I can't give you Valyn."
notes: You're confusing poor dad. tagged: @draco word count: 606 words
[attr="class","text"] Father explained that he was sleeping across the lake. Every time he came to them, he came this way. Maybe he walked around the water, or swam through it. How deep was it? He could not see the bottom from where he stood. He wondered what it was like over there. It was one thing to hear it described, but a whole other thing to see it for himself. Draco listened to the words of his father. He nodded his head, though he really did not understand. "Were you ever?" he asked the other. His voice was low. He loved his father and he loved his mother, he was just annoyed by her more times than not. She had been overprotective and he just wanted to be free. Father gave him more freedom and he did not have to worry about some sort of feline grabbing him and forcing him to come back. Vorilye had to come after Draco himself, and maybe that was part of why he idolized him. He felt better that father appreciated how different he was from the others. He was "unique".
"We don't need Valyn." Valyn was not a place, but an ideal to him. Yes they were no more, but his mother was a Queen and his grandmother was as well. Surely that meant that his father could be a King. "I do not need to be in a pack, me and you could explore together. Everyone is fine in Vasilios, but I am not. Just as you are not fine in Vasilios." Vasilios did not feel like home to him and he never really knew why. Perhaps it was the excess of rules, perhaps it was the suffocating feeling that rested in the air around his family. He wondered what it was like to be an only child. Would he prefer that life? It was nice to see them when he wanted, but right now he really had not wanted to see them as of late.
"What do you think dad?" he asked as he looked up to the darker male. He did not want his father to deny him of this wish, but he would understand. Things had to be the way that they were sometimes, like waiting to leave the den for the first time. His eyes focused on the large wolf's form. His ears pressed as forward as they would go. He was anxious, but he tried to hide it the best he could. Surely his father would want what was best for him.
[attr="class","post"]His son's questions never ceased to catch him off guard. Some days it struck Vorilye as odd how well spoken he was for his age, but he had been much the same in his youth. Even when he had been little more than a pup, he was analyzing situations, trying to determine what they meant for him and his family. He was looking to protect his sisters, and he was trying to grow better by the day. Sometimes he had to remind himself that the eyes a pup saw the world through were not the same as his. Everything was not black and white. Things were more simple when one was little, and now there were consequences to every choice. He wished for that carefree nature more days than he cared to admit. He wished the other three of his pups were as upfront with him as Draco had always been, and he did not understand why there was such a breakdown there in the way that there was not with his pale son. Draco's eyes were inquisitive as they stared back up at him, that simple question about if Vorilye had ever been a member of his mother's pack.
"I was once," he stated softly, mirroring his son's tone. "Your father was once a King." It seemed like eons since he had uttered the term, and it still hurt to have stepped away from what helped build here. But he was not going to lie to his son, nor would he want Draco to lie to him. The little one was just so enthusiastic about his desire to go with his father that it tore at the male. He wanted his children to want him, so why did it feel so bittersweet to him? Maybe it was because he still did not want to hurt their mother, regardless of what she had done to him. His love for her had morphed, and even if Draco did not prefer his mother, he did not want to be the reason that his son walked away from her. But more and more, he felt a sense of closeness with Draco. It was something that he simply had not had with the other three, for he had never been afforded one on one time with them in the way that he was having with Draco now. They were always with their mother, and while spending family time together was important, he wanted to develop a bond with his kin independent of their mother, just as he knew Dione wanted to connect to her four pups as well.
"We may not need a pack," he agreed gently, "but I would never take you out into the loner world, Draco. You have not seen the way life works outside of pack lands, but I have. There is no way I would expose you to that; you mean too much to me for me to ever put you in harm's way." But the gears were starting to turn in his mind. Dione would never forgive him for taking Draco out on his own into the loner lands, but perhaps he had another option. Perhaps he would be able to create a place for them... make sure that everything was safe and build a new family. He would never walk away from his children, but Vasilios was not his home anymore. It had not been for a long time; it just took him far too long to notice it.
notes: He's literally being talked into creating a new pack by a puppy. tagged: @draco word count: 649 words
[attr="class","text"]Hearing that his own father was once a King made the male feel so much better about all of this. Kings were strong. Kings could fight and beat any foe. Not that Draco was looking for some sort of revenge or a wish to fight anyone directly - in the future it might be necessary. He was in awe of the other, more so of his own mother that he had seen in the role of her position. "Then you can do it again.." The words came out as they were, no emotions, no feelings. It was a matter of fact. It was just truth he was speaking. "You cannot protect me forever." This place, though big for him now, would not be that way forever. Draco would need to explore, to expand his mind, to see the world. He could not do that staying in one place, but for now he would leave that issue for another time. His eyes moved back to "Valyn". He stood up, looked to the water, watching it as he thought about jumping in and making his way across to the other side.
"Will you show me where it is you go exactly?"
He was restless, and the time for talk was over. He wanted to do something - together. Vorilye was there and of course he would need to be going back home soon. Draco wanted to see the new lands while the terrible sun was still shining. He was worried about the coming summer, and how much brighter the sun might become. Draco moved into the water, all four paws soaking as he turned around to face his father. "Come on dad!" He lowered his chest to the ground, splashing as he pushed the water towards the shore. His tail hung over his back and he pushed through the fog. It wrapped around him, and he knew if he went deep enough it might just consume him in the shroud. This was a game he was willing to play. He gave out a laugh, looking to the other. He would wait for his father to chase him.
[attr="class","pltxt"]Sometimes Vorilye wondered what he had done to deserve such undying trust as Draco showed in him. There was something in his tone that was so confident in his father that Vorilye contemplated if the brute actually saw his sire properly. But he wanted to be everything that Draco saw in him and more. He wanted to be someone that Draco and his siblings could look to and be proud to say that he was their father. And as much as Draco seemed eager to grow up, he needed to slow himself and enjoy the time he had while he was little.
"I may not be able to protect you forever, but I can protect you for right now," he reaffirmed with a smirk in his son's direction. Draco was so eager to become something more, and he found the pup's enthusiasm refreshing. It was as if the little male saw something in him that he felt had been lost lately. He spent so much time being upset about his circumstances that it took the undying love and admiration of his son to bring his head back above water. He was capable of plenty. And while he had chosen to take his leave rather than exist as a subordinate to his prior mate, that did not mean he had to remain subservient and lowly forever. Draco was right in that aspect; he had been a king before, and perhaps he was able to be something great again. Logically he knew he should be harder on Draco for having run off the way he did, but Vorilye understood him. He was not one to helicopter constantly, but he would keep a close eye on his son. And if Draco wanted to learn more about him and his side of the family, he was certainly not going to stifle his curiosity. Vorilye had a rich family history, something he was proud of. While he did not wear it as a banner on his back at all times, he was not ashamed of where he came from and what he wanted to be. "We can go, but you'll need to be careful," he remarked sternly, the warning seemingly falling on deaf ears as Draco took off, continuing to move further and further away from his father. Vorilye sighed. There was no winning with this kid.
And so he gave in to the pup inside him, his paws splashing in the water as he trotted after the blonde boy, constantly adjusting his pace so not to mow down Draco or draw too far away and lose sight of him. He was still anxious of the lake and the possibility of injury to his son; he might have been a bit more lax with the young one, but that did not mean he was going to let anything happen to Draco on his watch.
He did not really feel like being skinned alive by Draco's mother.
As Draco taunted him, Vorilye let out a hearty laugh, his pace quickening to storm up on his son. He could vaguely see the little brute's figure, but without moving quickly, he would catch Draco quite off guard. The fallen king leapt into the air, four paws landing on opposite sides of the pup to virtually cover him in his entirety by Vorilye's large frame. The male swung his neck down, staring upside down between his legs to meet the gaze of his troublesome son with a smirk on his face.
"I think you forget who you're dealing with," he teased.
Words: 642 words Tags: @draco Notes: Playful papa incoming :3
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[attr="class","text"]It was not often that Draco got himself evolved in games, but right now he wanted to be with his father. He wanted to spend anytime that he could with him. And it was then that he realized he did not want to go back "home". Where father was going to take him would be his home now, even if Vorilye did not allow him to actually live there. He would constantly escape from Mother's trap, her prison. He would leave and always return to this secret place. Mother would never leave home to find him. He was not the favorite. Surely Carina was that, and she would only care if Carina disappeared from the lands. When his father's laugh could be heard, Draco allowed himself to let out a giggle. It was an odd feeling and though he liked it right now - he would probably never do it again. When father charged towards him, he splashed the water at the male, trying to get him more wet. Luckily he was staying closer to the shore, so it was not too deep just yet.
Father's paws rested on each side of the pup, and when his face got to eye level with the pup, he opened his maw and nipped at his neck. It was playful in nature, but also trying to get some practice in. He reached forward, grabbing his shoulder softly, but also hard enough to hold onto him. He wasn't really sure what kind of game they were playing. If they were to wrestle, it would be best to move out of the water - but he could not be bothered with that. Blue eyes looked to the red mane that rested around his neck and chest. It reminded him of his brother so much. How had he been so lucky to get the looks from his father? Draco allowed the deepest growl to escape from his lips.
[attr="class","post"]He still did not understand why Draco had bonded with him so quickly in a way the others had not, but Vorilye wanted nothing more than to share moments like these with all his children. He was desperate for that little bit of approval from his children that he was a good father; something he had never been able to judge when he had been a pup himself. He wanted to be there for them, and what should have been a less than pleasant scolding for the little brute running off had turned into a wonderful bonding moment for them. As Draco snapped his little muzzle up at his neck, Vorilye did not immediately rear back, allowing the brute to take hold and practice striking at a target.
"Good," he grinned at the little one, "always make sure that you keep a close eye for a weak spot and you'll go far." Though he doubted Draco would see it as anything other than condescending ribbing, the older male reached down with his snout, filled his muzzle with water, and dumped a waterfall of liquid on the male's head, mussing up the brute's coat in the process. He laughed before gesturing for them to move towards the shore. He was sure his son would not let the action go without protest, but Vorilye was going to fulfill one of his wishes, so he could not stay too upset.
He was going to take his son to the other side.
"We'll have to hurry if you want to make it there with me before dark. It's a little bit of a walk," he remarked offhandedly, wondering if his son would catch the meaning. Vorilye was still uncertain about keeping Draco with him permanently, but he did not want his life to be a mystery to his children. He wanted them to feel comfortable coming to visit with him, and while Vorilye knew there were those in Vasilios territory that wanted nothing more than to see him fail, out east there was nothing but his reassuring cousin at the moment. He was grateful to have at least one friendly face there to great him; though he had not known Thea growing up, he could not help but wish he had. Saphira had only had one litter that he knew of, and her pups were mostly out of Vasilios as well. He knew that the femme had come to Vasilios because of his presence there initially, or so he thought at least, at the disappearance of Valeria. He sometimes wondered what would happen with those members of the pack that were more bonded with Vorilye than Dione. He did not wish to see her fail; on the contrary, he wanted a stable home for his children. He simply hoped the rift would not cause problems in the future. Valyn was no more, so there was no pack for Kairos to retaliate against. He had been honest in his concerns with Messoria, and if she had any sense she would not convey any ill feelings towards Vorilye. He loved her daughter in the only way that he knew how. It just seemed that the two spoke completely different languages of love.
Perhaps he could help his son to see that his mother did not mean ill will to him. Perhaps a bit of space would give Draco the time to realize that he did not hate his mother or his siblings; he was young and growing, and everyone needed family... Whether they thought they did or not.
notes: Riley is always gonna encourage a good relationship with the rest of his family lol. tagged: @draco word count: 662 words
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