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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