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Inigo Wynter
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It had been two days since Inigo had left the Sanctuary’s territory. The journey wasn’t a lengthy one, but he had taken his time in returning, feeling no particular desire to rush back home. He’d gone to see if the Sanctuary wolves had someone among them who could teach him more about healing herbs, and he had come close to killing one of them. He would have done, had the tall male not immediately shown signs that he wasn’t ready to lie down and die where he was. Inigo should have spoken to him, he should have told him that he could help him. He should have tried to brought him back…

It was what any sane wolf would have done.

But he couldn’t. It would have done nothing. He knew what his response would have been to any wolf who had tried to help him, back when he had been a miserable wretch, afraid that any contact with others would only lead to more pain. He would have insisted that he was fine- he had done so, more than once. It was only at the end that he had lashed out, trying to force a sentimental, overly concerned stranger to put him down, because he’d been too much of a coward to find a way to do it himself. Inigo grimaced at the thought, and the motion pulled at the scabbed over scrapes that ran over the skin between and over his eyes. Two of the wounds had bled freely and were still sore and irritated, but Inigo had paid them little attention. There wasn’t much he could do, beyond sticking his face in the river to try to clean and soothe them. He could only hope they weren’t infected by now, but he found that the thought brought him little concern just now.

He began a slow ascent up the hillside, surefooted but strangely reluctant. He thought of simply sleeping out on the range for a time, to let the injuries on his face heal enough that they wouldn’t be noticed, but he knew Atlas was waiting to hear from him and would worry if he didn’t return soon. The Titan would expect him to come back within a few days, and Inigo had already been gone longer than he intended. Inigo didn’t want to worry Atlas over his absence. Not again.

The notion of speaking to his friend made him uneasy, gut churning with nausea and anxiety. He didn’t know what Atlas would say about what he had done, and Inigo didn’t know if he had it in him to lie to Atlas about what had happened. He didn’t know if the fact that he hadn’t found a healer would even matter in light of his actions toward the Sanctuary wolf. He’d failed in that. He had failed as a warden and a member of Atlas’ pack. There was nothing valiant in what he had attempted.

It took some time, but eventually he came to the top of the hill, and turned himself toward the nearest cache. He hadn’t eaten in days, and hunger gnawed at him. When he came to the buried meat, Inigo began to scrape away the dirt covering it, his movements stiff and mechanical, his gaze unfocused.


Jul 15, 2017 09:43 PM

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135402
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Shade Dingo
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Such an afternoon like this was one where Shade would return to the top of this cliff to view the sky as it turned a multitude of colors. He didn’t mind the height. In fact, he enjoyed it. Seeing everything from so far away never failed to get him excited.

But today was different. He smelled a wolf he hadn’t met. He was vaguely familiar with the scent, though. Mixed along with the scent was the irony smell of blood. He decided to follow and make sure everything was alright.

He quickened his pace, eager to assure himself no one was seriously hurt. The hill was steep, and he knew that a wrong step could result in injury. Keeping that in mind, he treated carefully. He huffed out deep breaths which drew from his panting mouth in white puffy clouds. They dissipated soon enough, scattering and vanishing in the cool air.

The scent grew stronger still, but Shade caught no sight of the wolf. He thought it best to give away his presence. Additionally, doing so could help him locate the supposedly bloodied wolf.

Still loping toward the wolf’s scent, somewhat out of breath, Shade yipped twice.


Jul 17, 2017 09:33 AM — Post #1

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137398
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Inigo Wynter
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The scent that reached him made it obvious that the wolf approaching him was not Atlas long before he was visible. He smelled of the Alliance, though Inigo didn’t know who the male was, but that wasn’t unusual for him. He kept at his task, slowly unearthing the buried meat, his claws eventually scraping over a ragged scrap of dirty hide. Inigo paused briefly, the smell of old meat filling his senses. Fresh would have been better, but he had never turned his nose up at food from the cache. He’d take what he could get, especially now that his stomach was beginning to ache, his hunger reawakened by the smell of old meat.

He was very pointedly not thinking of the wolf who was approaching him, until it became impossible to ignore the stranger’s presence. Inigo did not turn or give any sign that he’d noticed the wolf’s approach until he heard the stranger woof at him, trying to get his attention. Inigo raised his head and looked toward the other male then, spotting the wolf’s dark form and looking him over briefly to make certain that it was no one he knew.

Inigo gave him an acknowledging glance and a quick nod before turning back to what he was doing, sinking his teeth into the scrap of meat he’d unearthed and working to pull it out of the hole. It turned out to be a larger scrap than he had expected, and he stopped and began to scrape more dirt away from it.


Jul 22, 2017 03:07 AM — Post #2

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137558
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Shade Dingo
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He drew his lope to a stop when he reached the other wolf. He was large. His focus seemed trained on the ground beneath him. He was digging for something. Shade caught a glimpse of his face, which wasn’t in any good condition, briefly when he turned around. Shade also noted the odd coloring of his eyes.

He didn’t say anything just yet as the other wolf didn’t act like he wanted to talk. Shade wanted to get a better look at his face to see how bad the injuries were. Herbs were scarce now, but he could at least clean them up for him.

But for now, he decided to wait. He wouldn’t bother the guy until he seemed ready. Shade laid down, waiting patiently.


Jul 22, 2017 01:23 PM — Post #3

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137714
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Inigo Wynter
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Inigo kept digging, but he was acutely aware that the other wolf had not made any move to approach past a certain point, nor to initiate conversation. And while he did not welcome an idle chat with a stranger just now, Inigo expected the wolf to say something, to give him some social cue that he could respond to. Instead, the other wolf lay down a short distance away and simply watched him. Inigo felt the hairs along his spine begin to stand on end as though in response to an unwelcome touch, but he said nothing. 

He didn’t feel self conscious, but it was difficult not to feel the stranger’s eyes on him. After another moment or two of digging, Inigo managed to pull what turned out to be the haunch of a pronghorn from the cache, but eating with someone lying nearby and watching him was more than he could stomach.

What?” he demanded finally, a distinct note of frustration in his tone as he turned his head to looked down at the dark male. He hadn’t raised his voice, but there was a sharpness there that he hadn’t intended. Inigo spoke again, this time his tone more neutral.

Am I in your way?


Jul 22, 2017 10:28 PM — Post #4

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138048
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Shade Dingo
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Maybe not saying anything was a bad idea. He didn’t realize just how weird it was until now. The way the wolf spat out the word, it really showed he was annoyed. Shade tried to think of something to say. The wolf was definitely Stormborn. He could smell that even through the blood.

“No, not at all. I smelled blood—yours—and wanted to see what it was about. Your face, what happened, if you don’t mind my asking?”

There. He hoped that’d clear things up and make him not appear to be a creep who enjoys watching strangers eat.


Jul 24, 2017 02:55 AM — Post #5

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138963
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Inigo Wynter
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Inigo listened, and was not surprised to hear that the wolf had smelled blood, though he’d been hoping any sign of it would be missed by any wolf who happened to get close to him. He’d been hoping that he would be able to get to the cache, get his meal, and find his friend without having anyone else approach him.

This would be the second wolf who’d approached him recently who was trying to be annoyingly helpful, and Inigo felt his tail sway behind him in agitation, the pale tip flicking back and forth. If he’d wanted someone here, there would be no one for miles.

The blood. How did he explain the blood?

Why bother? He didn’t know this wolf, and owed him no explanation, but Inigo didn’t let himself snap at the wolf again. Not at that moment, anyway.

They’re just scrapes,” he muttered. “Won’t kill me.

He said it knowing how easily wounds could get infected. He deliberately did not answer the question posed to him as he moved to scrape dirt back over the exposed cache, but he felt the burn of the scratches more keenly now, as though bringing them up had awakened the inflammation he now felt.


Jul 26, 2017 10:27 PM — Post #6

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138976
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Shade Dingo
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Ok, so this wolf really didn’t want to talk. Shade wasn’t ok with that. He clearly needed help. His face was a mess. They weren’t “just scrapes,” not by a long shot. At least, not in Shade’s opinion of what a scrape was. He guessed that term could be suggestive, however.

He’d call them cuts, and those usually needed some sort of attention. Especially on the face, because most wolves, at some point or another, will have their face in a carcass. Doing so with open wounds could end badly, especially if the carcass isn’t fresh. That said, the face certainly isn’t the worst place to have an injury, but it’s definitely not the best.

“They..no offense, but they don’t look good. I could clean them for you. I know it’s cold out now, but there might be something left this early into the season. I’m sure I could get vervain around here. It’d help keep out infection.”


Jul 26, 2017 11:40 PM — Post #7

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[ Edited: Jul 26, 2017 11:58 PM by Shade ]
139481
Name Player
Atlas Stormborn Jade
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Atlas had been expecting Inigo. “Any day now” was what he’d been telling himself. As it stood, the trip had already stretched on for longer than expected, and while it hadn’t been long enough for any real concern, it was enough to make the Titan antsy. So when he happened to catch a whiff of his friend in the chilly air, he set off in search of him.

The trail led up the slope of Falcon Rise and across the breadth of the great hill. Atlas covered the distance in a steady lope, moving with purpose… but deep down, hesitation dragged at his heels.

No sooner had Inigo embarked on his journey had Oliver suddenly returned home. Atlas had been overjoyed to see his adoptive son again, but the happy reunion took a disappointing turn when Olli revealed that the Hillside Sanctuary had vanished off the map – Xander included. He’d searched high and low for his brother, for any sign of the pack… only to come up with nothing. They were gone without a trace. Ultimately Inigo’s mission to find a healer in their ranks was doomed before he even set out.

It was frustrating to be sure, but Atlas could hardly even consider that. He could only think of Xander and his comrades, of what could have become of them – and of Inigo, who was no doubt crushed. He’d taken a shine to the young male, and now he was gone: yet another friend taken away from a wolf who had lost far, far too much. Atlas had already been dreading the fallout for some time.

And this was before the visit from the Firewing Brotherhood that rocked him to his very core.

Atlas felt his eyes begin to burn just thinking about it. But he drew in a steadying breath and pressed on. Soon enough Inigo came into view up ahead – along with another dark silhouette that proved to be Shade. Atlas approached the two of them quietly, his usual sunniness notably absent. He’d already slowed into a brisk, almost slinking gait, but as he drew in closer his steps tapered off into an ambling sort of walk. His ears sat tilted back, his eyes roaming between his two pack-mates.

Normally he would have had something to say: a warm welcome-back for Inigo, some chipper greeting for Shade. But strangely Atlas found himself at a loss. So he continued closing the gap in silence, more or less waiting for them to notice him.


Jul 28, 2017 11:37 PM — Post #8

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139639
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Inigo Wynter
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The male continued to speak, and Inigo stopped what he was doing, and slowly turned his head to regard him, feeling his lips beginning to pull back as the stress of the moment slowly began to eat away at his sense of decorum. The hair along his spine raised further, Inigo unconscious of the shift in his appearance and stance as he considered the idea of a stranger coming over to clean his wounds, of touching him at all. He would rather infection take him to an early grave. He didn’t know this wolf, and he wanted no favors from him, nothing to repay. He spurned even the barest tendril of a connection. Inigo wondered what it would take to send him off- a snarl, a charge. Would he have to snap at him- even bite him to get him to leave? Would that start a fight? He didn’t care, only wanted the wolf to go away, and the predatory look he trained on the other male was evidence of what went on in his head.

It seemed as though at any moment he might make a decision on how to respond, but the wolf’s words took a turn and helped to clear Inigo of the martial thoughts he’d been thinking. He breathed out a long, silent breath, blinking and turning to look over at the haunch he’d removed from the cache, shaking himself and making a conscious effort to relax.

Vervain,” he said, sounding almost breathless, voice monotone. “Are you an herbalist?

Inigo’s head whipped around to regard Atlas, not so on edge that he reacted strongly, but he’d been so focused on the other black wolf that he hadn’t noticed anyone approaching until they were too close for comfort. That might have been the case, anyway, had he not recognized the wolf as his friend. Mismatched eyes studied Atlas as he drew closer, and Inigo could see that the Titan’s expression was rather more dour than Inigo would have expected when he first saw him. Inigo had thought he might impart the news of Xander’s departure- and his failure to find anyone who could help him in the one task Atlas had ever given him- before bringing Atlas’ mood down. What was the reason for his glumness, then?

Please don’t tell me something else has gone wrong, he thought. There was no one, no one at all left for Inigo to lose other than Atlas himself, but the pack could take losses. One of Atlas’ siblings could be affected.

What is it?” he asked desperately, turning so that he faced the Titan. He knew Atlas would be able to tell that he was agitated.


Jul 29, 2017 11:02 PM — Post #9

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[ Edited: Jul 29, 2017 11:20 PM by Inigo ]
139653
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Shade Dingo
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Noticing his change in demeanor, Shade slowly began stepping backward. He didn’t realize the wolf was so..angry. HE knew what he was seeing were severe signs of aggression, and though this wolf was hurt, Shade believed he would be much more powerful in a fight. He didn’t trust himself to hold his own against this guy. Fighting never was something he enjoyed doing. At all.

It must have been something he said. The wolf seemed to change personalities entirely, no longer seeming to contemplate violence. Shade quit backing up now.

“I am…or, was at a point. I’m a bit out of practice.”

Shade relaxed upon noticing Atlas. If anything happened now, he knew he’d be much safer. Luckily, he felt as if the other wolf had calmed down considerably. He hoped so, anyway. Something seemed off about Atlas, though. He didn’t appear to be his normal self.

The other wolf spoke to him. Shade decided he’d listen and see where the conversation was headed. At this point, he was pretty confused.


Jul 30, 2017 01:08 AM — Post #10

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Atlas Stormborn Jade
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Inigo was very noticeably on-edge, and as he drew near the pair of them, Atlas had to wonder if it had something to do with Shade. The male was actively backing away, and while he didn’t exactly look frightened or otherwise nervous, there was a tension in the air that was impossible to ignore. Atlas’ steps trailed off as he came near, and he drew to a halt a few paces away, watching the two with a cautious eye. He knew that Inigo struggled with social interactions. And that he could get irate when pushed in just the wrong way.

It was also at that moment that he noted the scrapes on his face. They weren’t fresh, though. Not even remotely. That was both a relief and another thing to worry about.

But mostly Atlas just hoped that he hadn’t walked into the middle of something — something that might have only been put to a stop because he had showed up.

His eyes lit on Shade for a long moment, but when Inigo spoke up, sounding urgent, his attention reluctantly shifted his way.

“I heard about the Hillside Sanctuary.”

The words came out flat, dull.

Honestly, he imagined that was all he needed to say. But to explain further — and for Shade’s sake — he drew in a steadying breath and went on.

“Oliver came back a few days after you left. He’d gone to visit his brother. Said that the whole pack had… just vanished.”

Of course, Inigo had undoubtedly seen that for himself now.

Atlas shook his head.

“I’m sorry you went all that way for nothing. And…” He swallowed hard and forced himself to look him straight in the eye. “I’m sorry about Xander.”

He felt for Inigo. For Olli. Xander was a brother and a friend, and for the time that he’d been with the Alliance, he’d been a dear member of the pack. But Atlas didn’t know him like they did. Wasn’t close to him like they were.

He could only imagine the feeling of loss.


Aug 05, 2017 03:16 PM — Post #11

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[ Edited: Aug 06, 2017 12:09 AM by Atlas ]
141724
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Inigo Wynter
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What the black wolf had to say was somewhat disappointing, but Inigo supposed if Atlas had been looking for a healer, then he wouldn’t have asked Inigo if he already had someone who knew what they were doing. It was a start, at least, and Inigo might have questioned the wolf further if not for the turn the conversation took when Atlas came toward them. 

Mismatched eyes bore into Atlas’ striking blue ones, watching the wolf’s expression closely as he approached. As Inigo had expected, Atlas noticed the tension between him and the other male. Inigo might have felt a little guilty over his reaction if he had had the presence of mind to do so in that moment, but he was focused on what Atlas had to tell him. What he heard brought him no relief whatsoever, but it was at least good to know that Atlas’ dour mood had nothing to do with some fresh tragedy that Inigo hadn’t been here for. He’d only heard about the Sanctuary, and of Xander’s departure, and Inigo knew that his friend was away of how much the young Xander had meant to him. They’d been friends. He was the only other friend Inigo had, and he was gone.

Inigo’s gaze dropped from Atlas to stare at the ground beneath his paws, his eye irritated and blinking once or twice.He turned his head away from Atlas and the black wolf both, thinking perhaps that he might be overwhelmed with emotion, now that he was home and safe and with Atlas, who would give a damn about what he felt. He could express what he felt with Atlas and know that the wolf would understand what his loss meant to him. But all he felt at that moment was exhausted. Numb. It had happened again, so what else was new? His reaction to these losses was becoming redundant. The only shock now was that they could still affect him so deeply. Never again, he reminded himself. Never again.

He didn’t want to talk about Xander, and after Atlas’ apology, Inigo only shook his head once, and refused to say anything on the subject. But he could at least shed some light on the Sanctuary’s situation.

They disbanded,” he said. “There was a wolf still living there. Former member of the pack. He said they lost too much and that the pack fell apart.


Aug 05, 2017 10:11 PM — Post #12

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141996
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Shade Dingo
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Shade backed up to stand beside Atlas. He felt weird out between them like he was.

The Hillside Sanctuary was a new pack to Shade. He learned of their existence just as he learned of their demise. It was sad, really. He had yet to meet Oliver, but assumed it would happen sooner or later.

Shade had no idea who Xander was. He wondered if it was the brother Oliver went to look for at the Hillside Sanctuary–he assumed brother based on the name. It made sense to him, anyway.

Whoever it was, he must have meant a lot to the wolf, because he didn’t seem to want to talk about it. That may be the explanation for his on-edge attitude.

Shade felt content just to listen for now.


Aug 06, 2017 11:10 PM — Post #13

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Atlas Stormborn Jade
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Inigo said nothing in response, which came as no surprise to Atlas. He wouldn’t want to talk about Xander — certainly not in front of someone else.

Briefly, he glanced Shade’s way. He’d backed up so that that he was standing next to him and no longer hovering awkwardly in the middle as the two of them talked. Atlas realized that he’d sort of rolled up and started a conversation that Shade would know nothing about, and he felt bad for that. He shot him an apologetic look, but at that point Inigo spoke again. As he looked back his way, Atlas’ ears fell back.

“Geez,” he breathed out, deflated by the news. “That’s awful…”

He didn’t really know what else to say that wouldn’t just come across as totally pointless. A pack had dwindled down to nothing. It was tragic. Something that he hoped would never happen to the Alliance — although he knew, realistically, it could happen to any pack.

Something else occurred to him, though. If the Hillside Sanctuary had disbanded, what did that mean for Xander? Had he gone off with one of the former members? Why hadn’t he come to tell Oliver?

The idea that something might have happened, which Atlas had been careful not to dwell on, crept back into the forefront of his thoughts.

He very swiftly decided to chance the subject.

Only his other main concern at the moment was more bad news.

Atlas dreaded the thought of addressing it, but he pressed on, looking to Inigo levelly.

“We checked all around the outskirts of the territory, and there’s still no sign of Rhian. And now her mate’s gone, too.” His brow furrowed as he went on. “We’re assuming Sam went to look for her. He didn’t tell either of the kids, though.”

It was troubling. Really troubling. But the only thing they could do was continue to look and hope that they’d find something to go on.

Speaking of which…

“Shade’s going to be heading out to search for her, along with anyone else he can round up.” Atlas paused to glance at the black wolf. “Hopefully there’s something to be done.”


Aug 08, 2017 02:18 PM — Post #14

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143810
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Inigo Wynter
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He listened, but Inigo’s gaze slipped away from Atlas as the Titan spoke. Atlas told him about Rhian, how there had been no sign of her, and Inigo lamented only because he knew she wouldn’t be able to teach him what she knew. But he wasn’t surprised that she hadn’t come back, and found it somewhat odd that Atlas might expect that of her. No one ever came back, once they were gone.

And Inigo didn’t care. He didn’t care he didn’t care he didn’t care. He should. It should have meant more to him, should have meant something at all to him that one of his pack mates had gone, but it was a scenario that had played out so often as to seem normal. But he didn’t know Rhian and Sam, didn’t know their nearly-grown children, and the information passed through him like water through a sieve, leaving nothing behind. He nodded, the gesture stiff, cursory. He didn’t feel disappointed to hear this, because it seemed this mission had been doomed from the start. He couldn’t find any healers when he needed them, the one time he could have truly benefited from their knowledge. The one time he’d wanted to reach out, to do something useful.

No, that wasn’t true. But it was the latest attempt in a long line of fruitless, pointless endeavors, and he was tired. Tired from the journey, from the stress that had plagued him since he’d left the Hollow. He said nothing, only listened as Atlas continued.

Inigo didn’t know a Shade, either, at least until Atlas glanced toward the black wolf who had been listening in on their conversation. The wolf Inigo had been ready to come to blows with just moments ago over something so so trivial as to be insignificant, the wolf who had only wanted to help him. Inigo wanted nothing more than for him to be gone to speak to his friend without a stranger making him feel uncomfortable, but the other warden continued to stand by Atlas’ side and stare. Inigo looked between the two of them, biting back what he wanted to tell Atlas, not wanting to explain how he’d nearly killed someone in front of one of his packmates. Atlas already thought he was crazy. He didn’t need that spreading around.

Good luck with that,” he said, voice lacking much inflection.

He turned away then, his meal forgotten. Let the two of them talk about that, if they wanted. Inigo was going to do what he always did- slink back to his den like the pathetic sod he was, and hope his minor wounds didn’t grow infected and kill him.

He didn’t think he would mind, truly.

/exit probably sorry he’s the way he is lol


Aug 12, 2017 12:16 AM — Post #15

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[ Edited: Aug 12, 2017 02:46 PM by Inigo ]
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