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    version 22: awakening

    COTY

    OCEANE -- Year 208

    QOTY

    "Because if she had not met him, she knew she would have been searching her whole life for the piece that he filled her heart with." -- Eva, written by Shelbi


    the dark light [Castile]
    #1
    do you ever wonder...
    ...do you ever dream?

    When Velk realizes the gravity of the predicament he finds himself in (you know the one: Mary is pregnant), he brainstorms whom he could discuss this with. Valdis lingers close by as, he often catches a whiff of her perfume. Solace or Kagerus are his default advisors though, both had enough on their plates right now. Similarly, there is Ilma. Though, all three of them are more than a day's hike and, he supposes he should not venture away for that long. Finally, he thinks of Castile. How was his father since he last saw him? And, hadn't Velk heard that he is the King of Loess now? Perfect! Sylva answered to Loess and, should he or, Mary or, their child, need sanctuary, he should reconnect with his dad.

    The black and white male pushes off into an extended trot before he breaks into a canter. He navigates the narrow path between the trees and, swiftly covers ground on his way to the rolling lands of Loess. Velk crosses the border in less than half a day's trek and, once free from the shadows of the forest, he slows to a walk and then, halts atop the first knoll. Though he guesses he will most likely be welcomed at first scent, Velk remembers his diplomatic upbringing and, politely waits here, just inside the domain. He makes his intentions clear by emitting a single call intended for the winged stallion. The black and white stands nobly upon his platform with his lobes alertly poised and his limbs squarely aligned. A breeze, crisp (for the South) and dry, rustles his sapphire blue tresses.

    Velk

    Reply
    #2
    and underneath the layers, I find myself asking what's left
    a hollowed out form, the skeleton of a ghost, the pitiful echo of what once was
    Their mother raised them well; Castile will always give Solace proper credit regarding their twins. What turmoil he faced, what destroyed and pulled him from his family, still weighs heavily on his shoulders. Ever since childhood, he vowed to himself to be a present father, but the first opportunity he had was futile. Naturally, he loves them both, but the sense of failure has been a constant thorn in his side. Things could have been different. Alas, the world works in funny ways and fate is inexorable.

    Peering through his forelock, Castile rather quickly glimpses his eldest son looming near Loess’ border. There has never been a need for a visit, much to his dismay truthfully. It piques his interest. Subliminally, he considers whether Solace sent him to chisel away the king’s stony exterior and soften his intentions for the kingdom. With a deep breath, he withdraws from grazing to join his son.

    ”Velk,” he greets amiably as a smile tugs at the corners of his mouth and blurs the sharp edges of his face. Forever and always, his children will hold his heart and bring out the compassion that he so rarely exposes to the world. Reaching forward, he bumps Velk playfully on the neck. Simultaneously, he breathes in a lungful of air that is heavily tainted by Sylva. With much difficulty, he harbors the distaste for the territory and conceals it from view. ”What brings you to Loess?” And with a thoughtful pause he asks, ”Have you seen your sister during your travels to the forest?” He mentions not of Mary who is also heavily mingled with his son’s scent.

    castile


    Velk
    Reply
    #3
    do you ever wonder...
    ...do you ever dream?

    Sapphire gaze locks upon the familiar winged form of his sire. Poll lifts in recognition before crest arches to draw in whiskered muzzle to broad chest. A smile breaks out across his tense features as Castile nears. He steps forward into his sire's greeting and, breathes a sigh of relief. Although their bond is far from strong, the presence of the dragon shifter emanates strength and security. For the moment, Velk feels at ease. With his nerves settled, the two-toned steed can actually focus long enough to listen. What brings you to Loess? Have you seen your sister?

    The first question refires his nerves and, the tension sets into his jowls. What would his father say about what he has done? He does his best to keep a level head and, instead, focuses on the other question. The second question is easy to answer honestly and, he decides to start there, trying not to sound too distracted by his thoughts. "As a matter of fact, no, I have not seen Valdis as of late." That would surely suffice and, probably, raise more red flags as to why he reeks of Sylva. He swallows the large lump in his throat and then, continues. "Dad, I need your advice. I am in over my head and, I cannot be sure what to do."

    Okay, he got himself through admitting there is something wrong and, he answered the first question, albeit vaguely. He needs to go into more detail and, it is at this point that Velk bites his lip. Through a tense jaw, he goes on. "Let me start from the beginning. I stayed in the Cove, training alongside Kagerus and, at the ready to heal any Hyalinian in need, for what seemed like an eternity. There had been no word with regards to Solace or, Valdis, for months. I was going mental. I had to get out so, I travelled to the closest common land, the Meadow. It was quiet as everyone kept to themselves. All except this lovely lady named Mary. She was genuine and, it felt wonderful to connect with someone interested in me. I didn't want the feeling to end so, I went home with her. One thing led to the next and, we made love. I have never felt so strong about someone else. I just cannot get enough of the power I feel when I am with her. But, she got pregnant, with twins. I, just, I don't think I am ready to be a dad."

    He had been holding his breath and thus, his words tumbled out exponentially. He exhales deeply and, slowly, regains control of his breathing. It takes all of his courage to maintain eye contact with his father and, silently, he studies his features to gauge his response in real-time. What had been done was done. But, what should he do now? Hopefully, just maybe, Castile could help.

    Velk

    Reply
    #4
    and underneath the layers, I find myself asking what's left
    a hollowed out form, the skeleton of a ghost, the pitiful echo of what once was
    Admittedly, Castile’s heart sinks a little when Velk admits not having seen Valdis of late. The mixture binds together – both that he wants the twins to ever remain bonded, and that his eldest remains unspoken for – and churns his stomach uncomfortably, but he offers a nod nonetheless. ”I guess we can only hope she is doing well,” he murmurs into the cool air between them before his eyes lift to study Velk’s. He sees more Solace than himself in the boy – no matter his age, he will always be a boy in his father’s eyes – which brings an odd sense of relief. She, their mother, was always stronger in spirit and devotion. There have been many times Castile cursed himself for having let her slip through his arms, but their lives spurred apart. They were far too different to have worked.

    But at least when their lives were entwined beautifully, they were able to create their twins.

    With Solace having nurtured them in childhood, Castile finds himself trying to dominate their adulthood. He welcomes Velk’s confusion and question with a gentle tilt of his head to begin. As he listens, however, he finds himself nearly at a loss for words.

    His mouth opens, shuts, then opens again only to rattle out a hesitating hiss that stabs into the quiet space between them. His teeth clap shut again. His eyes fall and his ears swivel in uncertainty. ”Mary,” he grumbles, unable to mask the underlying distaste for the woman. As much as he wants to criticize Velk’s choices, he finds himself incapable of putting his son down. Sometimes, there is no controlling what the heart wants and needs.

    Still, honesty always rears itself.

    ”Are you sure the twins are both yours?” Beneath his unruly forelock, Castile’s eyes narrow in mistrust. She reeked of multiple others and her pompous attitude made him question her extensively. Thoughtfully licking his lips, Castile takes a single step back to sweep his mismatched eyes across his son. ”I didn’t know if I was ready to be a father when you and your sister were born,” the confession pains him because he failed them without ever intending to. ”But I grew up loved by a family. You know what it’s like to be loved, so extend that to them. Be present.” A sweep of his tail is a minute distraction to the surfacing sense of reminiscent unhappiness. ”I wanted to be there for you and Valdis, but the world works in odd ways and tore me from you both. Don’t fall into that trap, or any traps,” his voice hardens now as his mind constricts around the idea of Mary mothering his grandchildren. ”Don’t let her use your children against the family, Velk. Stay close to them, love them…” he trails off but blinks and resumes, ”… bring them here to visit. I want to get to know my grandchildren.” I want to keep them from Mary’s poison, he doesn’t admit.

    castile


    Velk
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