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    version 22: awakening


    OCEANE -- Year 208


    "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

    [open]  That's my shape, I made the shadow
    isn't she lovely?
    Spring has become her least favourite season.
    Once called a filly, our born-again golden mare weaves her way delicately through the tall red woods of Taiga. Her build no longer the narrow, lanky doe but instead strong and beautiful. Her mother had left her mark, the widened hindquarters and wind-knotted stark cream mane practically built by Brine herself. Though Ruthless carries herself differently.
    She emerges from the treeline far beyond the Taigan border, the soft coo of the river pulling her forward. Slowly her head lowers to the water line, her soft pink muzzle brushing the surface as the cool water ripples into her nose.
    A branch falls.
    As if awoken, she lurches forward into the river before spinning around to face the source of noise. A loud, alarming snort sounds as her nostrils flare. The afternoon sun gleams down onto her like a poorly timed spotlight, the soft whistle of wind blowing the tops of the pine trees in a serenade.
    To say she has been on edge would be an understatement. With Kalil being gone, her stability had shifted. It had felt like with his leave he had taken her footing and left her to continuously scramble to stand. Lilliana had been… off. No one in Taiga seemed the same. Is that what home is supposed to feel like?
    As peace settles again her ears twitch and finally her neck lowers to an even height with her withers, watching as soft cream strands fall aimlessly down her side with some strands even long enough to brush the water’s surface. The silence that ensues is so pure that Ruthless finds herself lost in the distant coo of nature.
    And for the first time in what seems like forever, Ruthless isn’t lost in her mind at all. She is temporarily present, cooling herself in the soft pressure of water.

    father x mother or rank

    He strolls quietly along the riverbank, wings tucked neatly against his sides, feathers tickling his skin in perfect synchrony with his footfalls. It is warm this late in the day, hazy for spring, the humidity causing a fine sheen of sweat to darken his pale shoulders and flanks. Today, he thinks, is a perfect day for a swim.

    He winds along the well beaten trail that his hooves have memorized, his mind wandering to things long ago, places he’d been, horses he’s met. He is lost in late memories, eyes open but not really seeing when something above falls from a tree, hitting his wing. Instinctively the appendage kicks out, sending the offending stick flying upward into the other branches, subsequently knocking another loose that comes to crash unceremoniously at his feet. His brow furrows, ears turning backward in mild annoyance with himself as the unnecessary adrenaline immediately begins to fade. He hears a splash just over the bank, ears turning forward to catch the sound as he slowly replaces his outstretched wing.

    Striding forward, cresting the small bank his eyes are greeted by the body of a golden girl in the River. Fading sun’s light glinting off her coat and causing a technicolor rainbow to gleam in the waters around her. Like melting caramel and cream. He clears his throat, tangled silver tresses bobbing about his neck with the action. ”Sorry if I startled you, I have an unfortunate tendency toward clumsiness.” he offers in good nature, toes coming to rest just outside of the water’s reach though it licks frantically at the sand where his feet come to rest. He smiles at her, hazel eyes alight with amusement ”Although, in my defense it is a beautiful day for a swim. he tells her, eyes retreating from her to admire their surroundings for a moment. When they find her again he offers ”I’m Uconn, its nice to meet you.”

    isn't she lovely?
    He emerges from cool earth tones, his stark grey build paired with heavenly matched wings holding his sides together like glue. Her eyes trace every feather and every curve as memories of her flying days flush back in full force.

    Long before she had surrendered them, the last piece of her mother removed. Excruciating, but worth it.

    He walks with a confidence that engulfs her attention before coming to bay at the river’s edge. Part of her feels her heels dig into the clay beneath her, as if waiting for an excuse to run. The other half stays stationary, curious—no, intrigued.

    Clum-si-ness,” she repeats slowly attempting to place the word, the consequences of isolation now coming to fruition as she finally learns a word she hasn’t heard yet before. If she could glow an embarrassed shade of blush, she most certainly would be now, “What an odd word.”

    “It is beautiful,” she—however—doesn’t remove her eyes from the soft-spoken stallion, still inhaling his confidence as she feels a wave of contentment wash over her spine. Men had never been her favourite company, her uncertainty with their intentions more obvious than wet stains from water darkening her golden coat.

    Though, he felt different.

    Safe, maybe.

    He offers his name, and as he does so the tense stance at which Ruth held melts away into a relaxed form. Uconn.

    “It is nice to meet you,” she nods with a softer expression and honeyed tune, hazel eyes finding his before adding, “I am Ruthless, but I go by Ruth more than not. What brought you here?”

    father x mother or rank


    He would have to be blind to miss the unease that radiates from the golden girl as she peers at him with restless eyes. She repeats his earlier verbiage, testing the syllables with her tongue, and he cants his head slightly as the world falls from her lips. He smiles at her next statement, considering her words. ”I suppose it is, isn’t it.” he offers with a soft chuckle. To be honest he had not previously considered the oddity of the word, although hearing the admission has made him ponder how such a word came to be.

    He removes his gaze from her to comment on the serenity of the day, an obvious observation to make polite company.  When his eyes find hers again, he notes that her gaze has not strayed, and although she only gives him hints of her unease he cannot help but be saddened for her. Many in these lands did not have the luxury of an easy life. Indeed, his had not been easy either, but being male the odds were stacked favorably for him. His life had always been, and would always be, his alone. Due to his sex he was not easily victimized, a fact that had been brought to his attention by interactions similar to the one unfolding before him. He smiles softly at her confirmation to his observation.

    He is pleasantly surprised at her reaction when he offers his name, her tension melting away like the liquid gold of her coat against the ripples of the water. He takes a breath, his worry of startling her and sending her scurrying unintentionally fading. She offers her own name, and he repeats it gently ”Ruth…” he tests, consonants rolling off his tongue with languid ease. A pretty name, much better than his own.

     She asks what brings him hear and he grins, tilting a pail shoulder in a semblance of a shrug. ”I was whacked with a stick as it fell, it startled me, which I think….startled you. I heard a splash and came to investigate.” he offers, amusement at his own expense evident. ”Other than that, I usually visit the River to wade and cool off. The reprieve from the springtime flies is heaven.” he adds casually, content in the moment. He studies her again ”What about you?


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