"He will inevitably decide that it all fell apart because he had orchestrated it and he will carry the blame like a stone in his chest, too. He will add it to the pile and perhaps, someday when there are enough stones to weigh him down, he will walk into the sea and let them drown him" -- Kensley, written by Savage
Her short time in the Meadow clears her head of trouble.
She meets a young boy who distracts her long enough that she is able to shrug off the shawl of sadness shading her shoulders. She forgets that she is truly alone, for a time, and it is enough to spur her forward. Of course, where she is going is still a mystery. The old kingdoms are gone and she feels no pull towards Taiga, the place that had harbored her little clan before. The world is open to her, open for the taking, and she will not let the possibility of it fall away from her grasp again.
The tiger stands from her once-prone position in the tallgrass. Fresh blood stains her paws and her mouth – remnants of the kill she’d been inspired by Halcyon to take part in. But there is no time to waste in cleaning up; she has places to be. So she moves out into the unknown with a full belly but hungry, searching eyes.
Titanya takes her time roaming about Beqanna. Days pass into weeks as she journeys seemingly from one end of Beqanna to the other. She hadn’t done this before. She hadn’t sniffed around enough corners to find a suitable home the last time. Before, her brother had found her before she had the chance, and who was she to deny him? They were meant to be together, she was made to protect him – and now that he’s gone she is free.
Standing on a new shoreline, finally, the tigress inhales a familiar scent. She raises her nose to the sky to take it in. When she is certain, she wades into the warm, tropical waters. Swimming in her feline skin is one of the greatest pleasures in her life, she’s discovered. There is nothing that compares to the fluid grace of a tiger in the water on the move. She’s having so much fun, Titanya is almost sorry to see the island coming closer into sight with each stroke of her paws.
By the time she feels her buoyed weight sink into the sand underneath her, her energy is happily spent. The big cat drags herself out of the surf and throws herself down onto the sun-warmed beach. Her yellow eyes are luminous, but she assesses the island she has landed on with only mild interest, her eyelids fluttering and dragging her dangerously closer to sleep.
what you gon' do when there's blood in the water?
ooc: Halcyon: I figured we could start a new thread since you took him over if you'd like!
Halcyon's company had left the Meadow so abruptly, so unexpectedly, that he hadn't had a chance to ask where to find her to continue their conversation later on. And, as much as he wracked his mind, the yearling couldn't remember if he'd told her what territory he called home, either. He had left the Meadow feeling a little dejected, his paws sliding heavily against the earth until the time came that he was able to reassure himself that she had most likely left him for something important.
And then he'd forgotten about it.
Until now, as her scent reaches his feline nostrils. Halcyon lifts his head up swiftly, his feline pupils narrowing against the vibrant green that surrounds him, and starts in the direction from where Titanya's scent permeates.
He thinks as he walks that maybe she will enjoy a game, so he takes special care to set his paws silently against the sandy earth and remains downwind of the shore upon which she has alighted. Halycon stalks through the tropical forest of inner Ischia, giving himself to the predatory nature of his anatomy as he comes just to the edge of the greenery. Peering from between overlapping leaves, his orange cat eyes find Titanya sprawled against the warm sandy shore. Grinning, the yearling utters one low growl before turning on his haunches and launching himself back into the forest.
If she wants to find him, it's time for her to give chase.
She’s dozing, peacefully, when the sudden sound in the jungle rouses her.
The tigress is loath to come to full consciousness, as warm and cozy as she is, so she doesn’t. There will be plenty of time and opportunity to catch an obnoxious parrot or two later. Later, much later perhaps, when she’s had her fill of the sun’s full splendor. For now, she blanks her mind of anything but the sound of the shore being kissed by the teasing waves that crash along it. She allows her troubles to be carried out to sea, one-by-one, on each receding wave until there is nothing left to worry about.
There is only the press of her body into the sand, a gentle acceptance that she’s found a soft place to land - at least for now.
Titanya stays like this until there is another sound that pulls her attention towards the jungle. This one is undeniable. And though she’d been unmovable before, now the low, feline growl has her scrambling to her feet in haste. The chase is on.
The beach quickly gives way to thick jungle just beyond, and the tiger ducks her head against the wide leaves that form a weak blockade between the two spaces. Once through, she sees a flash of orange and black ahead of her for a moment before the jungle swallows her quarry. She takes just a moment to look around admiringly, in no true hurry to catch up to Halcyon right away. It is a game, after all. Tropical trees fat with humidity and rich soil box her in tightly, blocking out much of the light that filters down weakly from above. It smells dark and heavy and earthy, her whiskers twitch frantically as she breathes it all in. The tiger approves mightily of the place she’s landed.
With a content whuff, Titanya moves out again. The ground hardens the further away from the ocean she gets, and it becomes easier to propel herself forward through the trees. She pays no mind to the underbrush as it batters against her striped sides, sticking burrs and thorns to her in equal measure. Halcyon is just ahead of her, she thinks, or tells herself anyway, motivating her movements. But the tiger isn’t built for prolonged fits of high speed. She follows his scent trail for as long as she can at her breakneck pace, but her swim across the channel catches up to her after a while.
Slowing down, she pads over the littered forest floor, trying for the element of surprise instead. Is he behind this mossy, fallen log? Her tail twitches in anticipation behind her. She tenses her muscles, preparing to launch herself over it and onto her prey.
She is swift on her paws in response to Halcyon's low, timbered growl, forcing the young boy to respond in kind ─ he is quick to pivot, to extend his strides and flex his rippling muscles, and to disappear into the thick jungle foliage. He uses their game as a practice in stealth, balancing speed and silence, searching for the paths that will be tricky to follow but not discouraging.
For a time, he wonders if he has lost her ─ there is an absence of sound behind him, and the gentle breeze that is able to rifle through the tree boughs brings him naught but the scents of the forest ─ and so, he grows lax. Halcyon circles a smaller clearing, rubbing his tri-colored feline body against a variety of gnarled tree trunks before trying his best to climb one, digging his large claws into the wooden skin of the arbor.
The effort is a failed one, and as he falls to the earth he catches a whiff of Titanya on the breeze. She is close, and growing closer.
He crouches closer to the soil and crawls methodically to hide behind the curve of a large fallen tree; with bated breath and twitching ears, the young tiger waits for any indication of the woman ─ suddenly, though, she is above him, her pounce successful, and Halcyon is snarling in faux-fury as the barrel roll into the clearing.
He swipes at Titanya, his claws safely remaining within his paw, and then rights himself, coming to face her on all fours. A wide, toothy grin breaks across his face at the woman. "Welcome to Ischia," he tells her breathily through his grin, "I was not expecting to see you again."
As she arcs gracefully up and over the log, Titanya is thinking only of her quarry waiting below. She is utterly, wholly lost in the moment just before a successful hunt - the absolute certainty that one has done one’s best and that they will be rewarded for it in short order. She is brimming with a killer’s confidence. It rushes through her veins, this confidence, fueling limbs that have long languished without purpose. Of course, there will be no blood-soaked meal waiting for her on the ground. This time the chase itself will have to suffice to sate her appetite for violence.
The bodies connect and tussle around the log and into the clearing. The cub paws at her and lands a blow to her right cheek. Fortunately, he has sheathed his claws, but the hit is enough to garner her attention. She roars in retaliation and leaps off of him. The raw instinct of the tiger floods her mind, it tells her to press her advantage and resume her attack. But Titanya-the-mare has long ago reigned in the wilder side of herself. As her roar fades into the faraway papaya trees, she straightens and accesses the younger male.
“Is that how you welcome all of your guests, Halcyon?” She grins right back at him. “I’d have joined a kingdom and been a productive member of society years ago if that’s what I’ve been missing.” It’s not true, of course. She has always been far too brash and autonomous to live like that, to be caged like that. Why bother with niceties when the direct message quivers on the tip of your tongue? Why roam hundreds of acres when there are millions without borders?
This place – though beautiful – is still a kingdom of sorts. Ischia, he calls it. She can’t know that this is the place her family founded after the Reckoning. It is an impossible coincidence that the boy she’d talked with in the meadow had lived here, more impossible that she’d found and followed his scent months later. But here they are.
“I wasn’t looking for you,” she starts, more sharp than she means it. The tigress digs her claws idly into the soft soil, leaving gouges in her wake. She’s been alone so long that it might seem like it to an outsider. Perhaps a small part of her had been looking, in fact. “I’m not sure what I’m looking for actually,” she says, softer this time. She glances to the side as if an answer will appear from between the trees. When she turns back to the growing cub, her eyes are brighter, her moment of hesitancy forgotten. “Will you show me around?”
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