la mort et de la beauté

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Hades & Persephone || Markus+Belle || FB(-3)

umbra-interitus:

Seeing her small retreat from his advancement sent another pang of sadness through him. Despite his apparent fury, Abaddon never expected Sofiel to flee from him, even if it was only a single step. Reluctantly, he planted his feet, forbidding himself from pressing any further. He couldn’t bear to experience such rejection after hearing her words that matched. Of course the demon was foolish to think that she would turn her back on god and most of all Azrael. He placed the same mistaken confidence in his twin, who refused to align himself with Lucifer’s cause. Instead, he continued to dance on that fine line between divinity and corruption. He had every reason to assume that Death would follow him, but Sofiel was different. There was no darkness in her, she was always pure.

"I never lost sight of what I was. This is who I have always been; I am The Destroyer. It is just as Archangel Michael said - everything I touch will burst into flames, even the hearts of those I hold dear.” With those final words, a bit of sadness leaked into his tone. In all his years of damnation, Abaddon did not regret his decision at all, until now. Sofiel’s Fall was his doing, had he not left her she would have never turned to Sitri. He figured she’d give her affections to another of their angelic kin and live happily with them. How could he have been so wrong? Both of his companions did the exact opposite of what he expected them to do. 

"Was he worth it?" Abaddon heard himself ask flatly. The question slipped from his lips like verbal vomit and they were already said before he could pull them back. He mentally cursed himself for asking the question, the demon knew well enough what her answer would be. 

"There was a time, and I recall it vividly and clearly, when you were not so cruel, when you lent your hand to the growth of a new thing and not its destruction." Belle paused, frowning. "There was a time you would not have so easily heeded the words of Michael, or been so eager to prove him right." Her tone remained calm, reflective. 

That note of sadness did not go unheeded. It tugged at Belle’s heartstrings, made her think that, perhaps, there was something of the man she had so fiercely loved to be found in this new vessel if only she dug down deep enough.

His question, though, strangled that new-born thought as it lay in the cradle of her mind. The Abaddon of yore would never have asked such a thing, not in this way, not to harm both her and himself. It was a simple question, but it carried such a complex answer. 

She had loved Julian, loved him still, and bore no regrets in having grown close to him. She did not regret giving herself to him, tasting that forbidden fruit, consummating decades of attraction and flirtation. She thought, with more or less certainty, she did not regret having been caught, as was bound to happen, and exiled. What she did regret, what pained her and brought tears of anguish in the quiet hours of the night, was the collateral damage caused by her selfish recklessness. A brother betrayed, a church abandoned; this weighed heavy on heart and mind and made her doubt herself. 

When she answered her voice did not betray this doubt, instead staying clear and firm. “Yes. He was.” Then, because she, too, could not leave impossible questions unasked no matter how much they hurt, “Why did you never come to me with your doubts? I would have helped you had I only known the danger you were in …” 

Pause and Let Live || Shiloh + Belle

shilohgarrett:

Shiloh felt oddly content. If this was what being ronin was leading towards verses the constant struggle of actually surviving than he could die happy. The festival was exactly what Shiloh needed to distract the handsome wolf from any worries he did harbor. His time with Belle always seemed to draw a different feeling out of him regardless. One of comfort, and the chance to be himself without harsh judgement. No matter the layers of clothing covering his skin, or the warm press of her palm in his forearm, Shiloh found he enjoyed the pause to his hectic life. Belle did that for him like all those who cared about his well being strived for.

Slowed him down, made him stop.

At her words, he brushed a kiss to her cheek wanting to see the thin skin flush under his attention. Shiloh wasn’t one to hide his affections even in public, but if he was being honest. It was hard to tear his eyes away from her at all. Shiloh thought she was beyond beautiful on any ordinary day, but something about today was making it hard to ignore every detail of her. And not even because of her attire, though that was part of it. Belle’s entire aura shifted the second they walked into the city, like maybe even she needed this break but never voiced it.

"Hey," he said quietly, tugging her close, wrapping his other arm around her waist until they were chest to chest. The pull of his thin leather armor tightened along his biceps, and he felt suddenly constricted in the articles. Almost yearning to strip to shorts and drag her back to the woods where they belonged. His large frame crowded over her as he hugged her, needing the comfort she always gave him with no questions or expectations for answers. It was too crowded here, but he was okay. He was so thankful he was okay.

His lips brushed her ear, letting her feel his smile along the shell as his eyes noted the many vendors walking by. Eyeing the apples, and pastries with practiced longing. “I think rain is needed to feel all that is given to the world. It’s my link to Gaia, it brings me peace, and calm. Slows me down like you are helping me do today,” his eyes carted up to the sky, pulling away enough from her space to look high, but kept himself tangled in constant contact. “We pray for rain for different reasons, and maybe it will help these people. Maybe not. Maybe it not raining is just a way to make their yield stronger for the following season. She always has her reasons, I’ve just learned to listen to them a bit more. Even if I disagree.”  

He took a calming breath, smiling softly at the peace that he felt. Lowered his cheek to hers to not seem so menacing in size, and taking in the scent that buzzed his head happily. His nose dragged behind her ear, and down her neck. Scenting the small flowers rested on the crown of her head with her own unique blend. “You always tell me to talk to you, offering that door open. And I step through it sometimes,” he pulled away. Lacing his fingers with hers to lead them to a stand full of new tools he needed for building houses. Picking out a few new ones that were painted with bright blue accents which would help him know they were his. 

"But if you ever need anything, no matter how dangerous, or simple. Or if you felt like I couldn’t handle it…I promise you I can. I want you to talk to me too. I need that from you. Need at least one person to trust me completely," he said squeezing her hand. Handing the coins to the vendor and placing the items into his leather bag strapped on his back. "Now where can I spend money on you?" he added with grin, and quick change of subject.

Belle allowed herself to be swept up in the warmth of Shiloh’s embrace, his smile returned in the wake of his simple displays of affection. She nodded, understanding, at his words regarding his maternal deity; God’s will was just as mysterious now as it had been in her divine days. 

Fingers brushed appreciatively along the hafts of wooden and metal tools. She had no doubt these would go towards the constant repairs and rebuilding of dockside homes. Her own Joseph, the thought flashed, like a quick-swimming fish breaking the surface of a placid pond, across her mind and she felt a slight tinge of guilt for having had it. This, however, was quickly usurped by a string of thoughts, bound like pearls on a necklace, regarding the others in Shiloh’s life. Who were they that they did not trust him? Did they love him as she did and, if so, how could they if they could not take the wolf for all he was and was not? It was not the first time she had pondered such things and, like before, she refused to give such misgivings voice. His life, and his partners, were his choice and she had sworn to never ask that he make a choice.

Belle banished the grim thoughts; today was a day for celebration and joy, there would be plenty of time for morose reflection later. “I do trust you, love,” she said, a small smile lifting the corners of her lips. “You have held my life in your hands more than once and, more than that, parts of my past. I have no doubts regarding your ability to navigate through danger; all I ever ask is that you take care.” 

She did not answer his monetary question, instead drifting, her fingers disentangling with his, towards a stall heavy with rows of carved icons and figures. There were hammered medallions bearing the images of saints and angels, painted portraits of the same - all recognizable via mode of death or held item - and all promised, or so the merchant claimed, to bring blessings untold to whosoever should purchase these iconoclastic idolatries. 

Belle met the man’s claims with a polite, if somewhat skeptical, smile. She wasn’t drawn to promises of a blessed hearth or a saintly intercession; what drew her were the static, familiar faces of those she had once known. Tucked amongst saints and martyrs were angels and archangels. Gentle fingers grazed picture edges and figure’s heads before lighting on a small, nearly hidden, square of wood. The style, once she had lifted it free, was Eastern, Orthodox; the figure depicted draped in black, a thin golden halo encircling a shrouded head. In one hand the figure held a needle dagger, the other was lifted in a sign of blessing. The script below was Cyrillic and though she could read it, she didn’t need it to tell her who this was.

"Azrael …" The word came as a breath, exhaled between softly smiling lips. How far this image must have travelled, what set of circumstances saw its journey from Russia to here, in her hands? Mysterious ways, indeed. 

The merchant launched into an explanation about who Azrael was, his prayers and blessings and domains, and Belle could only think, You know nothing about him. Her eyes wandered and attention drifted as the man continued talking and lighted on another familiar face, this one in the form of a small wooden figure. With her free hand, Belle picked it up, cradling it in her cupped palm, examining its features with an almost pained expression. Peering over her shoulder, Shiloh could see it depicted a female angel, her face and hair and dress all beautifully and intricately carved. A crown of tiny flowers bedecked her hair and a green paint stained her dress to give it color. The beatific smile on her wooden face was an intimately familiar one, though the still prattling merchant hadn’t made the connection.

Belle was looking at herself or, rather, at who she once was.

Turning the thing over, she saw a maker’s mark on the bottom; two runes burned into the wood. It had come from Norway, from her church. Again, she wondered at the object’s journey. 

"Please, sir," she finally spoke, cutting the man’s long-winded speech short. "I’ll take these." Then, to Shiloh, "You do not have to spend your money on these things, these pieces of my past …" 

“When is a monster not a monster?
Oh, when you love it.”

—   Caitlyn siehl (via insanity-here-i-come)

(via knightofmercury)

Belle || Headcanon || Saint Swithun’s Feast Day Outfit

Pause and Let Live || Shiloh + Belle

shilohgarrett:

Shiloh wasn’t the sort to dress up in the finest of human garb for anyone. He had with Xeni, naturally it was for a job that paid very well, and his deceit in the manner of wooing the right woman had came easily. The wolf cleaned up very well from his near naked style that most people associated his appearance with. It wasn’t hard to see his English heritage come out with the dirty blonde hair, and bright hazel hues. Freckles marking along his nose and cheeks, and skin tanned from working the Ports for the last six years. 

The wolf was built like an obvious fighter both from his non stop training, and being a Garou. His strong shoulders covered in soft thin leather armor were brought out easily with a hunter green shirt under to keep him cool. Soft brown leather pants sat low on his hips, though the tunic hid that fact, and tight around his legs so they tucked in his boots. Those boots were actually his, and not permanently borrowed from a ship the night before like everything else he was wearing. Emery’s silver dagger always secured to his ankle no matter where he went, it was just today you could actually see he was wielding it. 

He was taking Belle out on the town today. It wasn’t a date. Not really. He saw her enough that he preferred to keep the labels to a minimum between them but maybe it was, by all definition a date. He snorted at that thought as he came into the city where he was meeting her. She had spoken about a small celebration that meant a lot to her, so he promised to escort her through it. It could be fun, pretending for the one day to be completely carefree with no worries, or planning of his future.

"Belle!" he called out before he was even a handful of steps away. Not sure if she had ever seen him fully dressed before. reaching out to make her spin with his fingers. "Wow, you look amazing! Well I might need to find more reasons to celebrate if I can see you dressed up like this." His lips dotted along her fingers like a proper gentleman, but he ruined it quickly with a kiss to her soft plush lips. Crowding her with a strong grip to the curves of her hips, "Hi," he said with a wide smile. "Where we off too?"

The butterflies that had crowded Belle’s stomach since the night before seemed to have grown in number as the morning dawned. She could think of no reason why she should be so beset by nerves; after all, it was only an afternoon spent with Shiloh and that was nothing new. Since meeting him, the girl had spent a fair amount of time in the wolf’s company. He was a constant in the uncertainty of her mortal life. But now …

Perhaps it was the formality to this outing. This was no chance meeting in the woods during a hunt or an afternoon’s lounging at the beach near the docks. They would be out, on the town, in the pressing company of people, passing themselves off as any other citizen. She would sharing with him a small aspect of her faith, of the celebrations designed to glorify a god she viewed, more than any man could, as a heavenly father. She would be showing him, too, a glimpse of what she once looked like.

The ethereal grace was gone, rended from her just as heavenly gifts and wings had been the day she fell, but the resemblance remained more than passing. For the feast day celebrations she had donned a forest green gown, simply cut and styled from linen, long fitted sleeves and back laced with lengths of decorative ribbon. Her hair was down this day, freshly washed and softly waved from the braids it had been held in. A crown of blush pink apple blossoms adorned her head, sprigs held together with green ribbons. Belle lacked the simple magics Sofiel possessed that ensured floral crowns stayed in place.

About her waist sat a leather belt, the end looped and tied in a knot, and at her hip hung an antler-hilted knife; an accessory she never went without. At her other hip hung a rosary, carved from bone and looped through and around her belt. A face newly scrubbed showed a peaches and cream complexion, nose and cheeks sun- and weather-kissed. The young woman who stepped out of the small room atop the tavern bore little resemblance to the girl who hunted game in Athoria’s woods. 

Shiloh’s shouted greeting brought a wide smile to her lips; she met him halfway, a laugh bubbling forth as he spun her around. The nervousness of earlier evaporated under the heat of the wolf’s smile and kisses. Once released, she looked him over, head to toe, taking in the delightful sight of him in full dress. 

“You are quite handsome yourself, love. These clothes suit you.” Her smile remained and she looped one arm through his, a long-fingered hand resting at his elbow. “We are going away from the Slums, to the city proper, for the celebration of Saint Swithun’s feast day. Folklore holds that what the weather is on this day will hold for the next forty days be it fair or foul.” 

The festival itself was held in the town’s square, the path towards it easy to find as Belle and Shiloh were far from the only ones on their way to enjoying the summertime festivities. A common theme, Shiloh was quick to spot, was apples. The fruit was heaped on carts, sold in a dizzying array of treats and pasties, their blossoms adorning booths and heads. Other booths sold hand-made goods, leather goods, metal-worked goods. Still others sold icons and medallions and religious trappings, most depicting the saint being feted but other popular saints and angels could be seen, too. Priests and other holy figures mingled amongst the crowd and booths, offering prayers and blessings and reciting memorized scripture passages. Music could be heard, though just barely, notes trailing behind traveling bards strumming lyres and blowing into pipes.

The scene, despite its rather somber staid Christian roots, had a joyous, nigh-pagan air about it. These were people celebrating the coming of summer and a healthy harvest just as much as they reveled in the glorification of a dead saint.

As they entered the space proper, Belle continued her explanations. “It is said that rain on this day blesses and christens the apples,” she said as they passed a heavy-burdened cart, pulled by flower-crowned oxen. “In life, Swithun was known for his charity work and church building. He wished to be buried outdoors, to be rained and walked upon, but his remains were moved indoors. On that day, it rained and it continued to do so for forty days, and so the tale was born.”

Her hold on Shiloh’s arm tightened and she pressed closer to his side as they joined the bustling crowd. “What catches your eye?”

Never Threaten a Pirate | Tak / Belle | FB

takeshi-bin:

The Captain’s quarters felt strange standing in when he knew his crew wasn’t on the ship. It sat lonely in it’s darkness, like the very vessel had fell upon a curse and lost all the golden brightness he associated as a phoenix at sea. He had sent Belle down stairs only to distract her, not wanting to see him in this moment of weakness again. His knuckles were spread tight in white, hands gripping the desk to keep himself upright but panic and fury was brewing as churning waters under his skin. On the desk was another parchment, the black X splashed across the page with a lock of Molly’s hair.

Pirates were some of his biggest enemies at sea. Naturally they ran into one another many times when following leads on treasures, but most of the ones that weren’t drown at sea knew Tak had magic on his side. He didn’t exactly hide that fact with his threats, sending a boat on it side with a powerful gust of wind, or drowning the Captain in front of their crew created stories no matter who survived. But Captain Campbell was out of line with this. It was more than a direct challenge, this was war. He was being a coward, wanting Tak to hand himself over yet choosing to hurt his crew over attacking him. It was why he always went after the Captain. The crew usually didn’t deserve such treatment when they were following orders, but in this case he wanted them all dead.

He pulled out the other X, and his first mates hat, and threw them on the table before dumping the leather bag out to see if those men he killed had any other clues. When Belle stepped into his crowded space, he peered up around the hundreds of books to see her showing him another object which dropped his stomach at the thought of another warning. His hands cupped to hover over the talisman in the cloth and spoke a spell clearly, “ostende te.” It pulsed twice like it contained a heartbeat, illuminating a white glow that swirled around the object like a pearl. His eye fluttered close as the the face of Cook appeared in his head, and he sighed to say. “This be Cook’s,” quietly, taking the cloth with the coins and the talisman from her hands with a sudden sneer on his lips.

Placing the object on the table with the others, he took a breath, then another, pacing behind his desk and in front of the massive bay window where you could see the entrance to Fern in the background. The air felt charged, a static on magical energy buzzing in the room, and Tak slammed his palms to the desk with an outcried rage induced scream. The books toppled over as he shot his wand at the pile, a burst of wind exploding the pages into the air. He kicked his chair sending it crashing into the window, but thankfully not shattering it to sea. Tak lost himself for a few seconds in his anger, destroying his room and everything he owned until it was nothing but piles or debris.

The desk and Belle remained the only two things that hadn’t been hit with a spell or with his own two hands, and Tak returned to grip the desk. Arms trembling as he fought to not blow up his ship. “Aye can’t sail t’ ship without me crew, I can’t let ‘em take t’ fall for somethin’ I did!” Tak screamed, flipping a dagger on the desk to stab it through the note. Knowing exactly what he needed to do with a growl. He tore off his coat, hat, and shirt with fluid moments. Tossing the items onto the bed. His anger wasn’t direct at Belle, though her presence was keeping him calm enough to not gather his magic and do something destructive in land.

"Belle, take this," he said handing her a piece of milky white caulk, while ripping a piece of parchment from a book uncaring of what was on it to draw a symbol on the page. "Draw that on t’ floor here, ‘bout a foot wide," he demanded harshly, but allowed himself the second to linger the very tips of his fingers on her hand as he pressed the object into her hand. "Ye won’t like this, but ye have t’ trust me," his voice had lowered a bit when he said that, before he left to pull a map Titus had drew for him that was the surrounding seas of Athoria. Setting the map on the desk, he set a bronze bowl before him, and lit a candle.

Tearing the dagger from the wood he slit his hand easily, bitting back any noise as he squeezed his palm to let the blood fill the bowl. Setting the lock of Molly’s hair into the bowl, and the talisman he quickly tied his hand with a piece of scrap cloth instead of healing it, he handed the map to Belle. “Ye first time seein’ a location spell? Place that in the center, it’s only workin’ cause of Molly’s hair, the talesmen will help if they be at the same location. T’ map will burn ‘n’ show us t’ location,” he explained quickly. “I need your hand though lass,” he said holding the dagger with obvious intent on needing her blood as well. “Please.”

He casually left out that it was also a bloodbinding spell. One that linked them to Molly and Cook’s for a moments time so they could see through her eyes as a passenger in their heads. The spell called for two samples of blood. This kind of magic was cruel like that with its demands, and it would be excruciating as well. Having used this spell with the Twins and remembered the sheering hot pain that shot through his head. How they will black out here to awaken there, only to be ripped from the host without warning when the map finished burning to show the location. No. He wasn’t going to tell Belle this. One drop of her blood and a whispered spell was all they needed. Maybe she would forgive him for not asking, because the alternative was forcing his hand at taking it. Better to apologize than to ask.

As Tak’s fury exploded, Belle stood back, quiet, watching and waiting as one who sees a storm roll in and counts the minutes until it passes, revealing sunshine once more. She was not one for violent outbursts and destructive, impotent anger, but she understood where it came from. She, too, found herself to be protective, perhaps overly so, of those precious few closest to her and she could not say that she would display any less fury if one of her own were taken or harmed. Deftly, she sidestepped tossed books and wooden debris, flying pages and skidding furniture.

She remained mute, too, though her face bore a curious expression, when the captain’s rage passed, replaced by the fiendish energy of a mad plan laid and hatched. She took the chalk, nodding at his instructions, and her expression softened as his fingers lingered on hers. “I trust you, Captain. I’ll follow your lead no matter where it might take us.” 

Then, as he retreated to his desk, Belle moved to the empty floorspace indicated. Rituals were no strange thing to her; her creator’s church was builded on such things, candles and incense and repeated prayers in dying languages. The drawing of symbols was familiar, too, as it was in that way that denizens of the infernal realms were summoned to the mortal plane. Careful to copy the design exactly, and to close the circle, Belle marked the well-worn wooden floor with sweeping curves and crossing lines and arcane symbols. Once done with her handiwork, she stood, careful to not disturb the freshly laid markings, and stepped back to Tak.

"I’ve not seen much man-made and -wielded magic before crossing paths with you, Captain," Belle admitted. "Divine and infernal, yes, but nothing like what you weave …" She took the map and placed it in the middle of the symbol. She was more hesitant about the pirate’s next request and, given the dagger and bloodied bandage about his own hand, it was plain to see what he meant to take from her. Still, she had promised to aid him in his quest and she would not rescind on her word.

Nodding slowly, she held out her left hand, her right being the dominant, and held her breath as she waited for the blade to slice through skin and muscle.

Though she had expected, experienced, the sharp sting of metal cutting through flesh, she was caught unawares by the magically-wrought pain that followed, bringing with it nigh-hallucinogenic visions. She was burning from the inside out, bone and blood and muscle and skin nothing but sharp, fiery pain; a thousand thousand red-hot iron pokers stabbing her, wielded by a thousand thousand unseen hands. She was on a ship, another ship, below decks, suffocating in the heat and humidity, crudely bound, hands nearly numb, hooded lanterns throwing wan dim light that came and went with the motion of the ship. There were others with her, prisoners, a sneering guard bending to gloat and remind her of her future fate, a fate that would have her wishing for death. Another guard, calling the first back above, then —

Nothing. 

Belle gasped for air, as if surfacing from water after nearly drowning, surprised to find herself on hands and knees, the blood from her cut hand smeared on the floor, more dripping from her face like tears. Belatedly, her body reacted to the pain, had her shuddering and gagging and shaking. Weak-kneed, she stood, supporting herself on the table’s edge. “They’re on a ship,” she managed to say, her voice weak and cracking. “Not enough crew to man the decks and keep an eye on the prisoners below. They’re unharmed for now.”

With her uninjured hand she pressed fingers to her eyes in an attempt to clear her head and was surprised to see blood on the tips. “I know I swore to help you recover your crew from enemy hands, and I will see that promise through, but do not deceive me again, captain.” An edge, sharp as the knife at her hip, could be heard in her words. Kind and willing to aid those in need she might be, but the girl was not one to be taken advantage of.

Head cleared, Belle bound her hand and, as she did so, she glanced down to the map, now burned to nearly nothing. All of Athoria had vanished, leaving only the eastern shores of sea and lakes.

"It would seem our path is clear, captain. We travel east."

Burn so Bright | Shiloh // Belle | Closed

shilohgarrett:

bellevenna:

Belle flexed her fingers as Shiloh interlaced his with hers, taking simple joy in the press of palm to palm. Eyes darted from one side to the other, peering to catch a glimpse of the animals Shiloh claimed to be close by. She did not take his words to be prideful boasting; his ability to gauge distances was an inborn skill, a result of his wolfish nature. 

When he began telling of his past, of his beloved lost pack in England, Belle turned all her attention to his words. She knew precious little of his life in England; it was a sore subject, she well knew, and she had always been loathe to press too hard. These newly divulged pieces of the past were carefully considered and stored away like so many precious jewels to be inspected again and again in later days.

That he worshipped an earthen goddess came as little surprise. Belle had seen, often, over the course of their friendship, the respect Shiloh showed the woods and its creatures. He had never shown himself to be reckless in that regard and, more than once, she had found herself wishing he would show the same care when it came to his own person.

"It’s a beautiful prayer, Shiloh," Belle said after a moment, pressing a kiss to the back of his hand still held in her own, "And I thank you for sharing it with me. I think I might understand something of your experiences; when I was still one of Heaven’s own we, too, showed mercy and kindness to lesser creatures …" A small frown at that, for creature didn’t seem quite the right word, "Yet there was no quarter given on the field of battle. We did not think anything of it, for what were foes but obstacles, forces, to be overcome and defeated?"

The question was mostly rhetorical and, even if it were not, she did not know that an adequate answer existed.

"In those days, too, a church was builded on my word, by a knight returning from the Crusades. The Church of the Sacred Green it was called and they named me the Green Lady." Belle smiled, somewhat embarrassed by the revelation. "My monks swore to protect and aid the creatures of the land, wild and domestic. They saw to the protection of the nearest villages, too, and though they served God the Father, their prayers and requests were sent to me. I think of them, and wonder how long before they turn their back on me as I’ve turned mine on them …"

The confession came as a sort of tit for tat, though she knew Shiloh expected no such thing. It felt right to the girl to share of herself and her past as he had done; to her, it showed a trust, a willingness to meet the other and share their life, their experiences, their pain, their joys.

"Perhaps your goddess played a guiding hand in leading you to me. If so, I offer her my thanks … I thank her, too, for her protection and care of you. Lost children we might be, but it would seem our holy parents have not given up on us just yet …"

Shiloh nodded, finding his head lost in his own world thinking about her words. He had a lot to do now. It was always the case, this constant work load looming upon his shoulders. At least with RADULFR they shared the work, Shiloh knowing his place and his role. Sometimes he was so busy hunting, and guarding the line that weeks would pass before he could break. And other times he would go months with out a problem to worry his mind. It was the time schedule of an immortal. When even seasons didn’t move slow, or fast. Everything just moved forward. 

"I would like to believe that as well," he said quietly, finding the old pain that didn’t effect him nearly as much anymore suddenly flare in his core. There were so many people who cared about him, but it was like that in England too. They all loved him, wanted to be there for him, then turned on him. It could happen here if he wasn’t careful, because humans were trouble, and didn’t deserve to be around the Garou. No matter how badly he needed to be here. 

"I give my thanks….to you, because…" Shiloh swallowed back those words, finding them tangled in all that made him drown in the darkness. That it was hard to explain his head space on matters of pain and death, so he just kept those things alone. "You deserve it," he finished with instead knocking her hip. "But thanks for understanding, not many people take the time to let me explain myself. Its difficult to find the right words more so than me not wanting to explain things."

He liked her hand with his, it dwarfed his own, but she always carried herself stronger than what she appeared. Not sure when that would completely change, or if she would always carry that little spark of grace that shone behind her bow. His hand reluctantly left hers, wrapping around her shoulders to bring her right up against his hip, fingers carting over her arm as they walked the rest of the way. Knowing that there would be more than enough obstacles for them both, but for this moment they didn’t have to worry about any of them.

Burn so Bright | Shiloh // Belle | FB

shilohgarrett:

They walked back with only shared whispers, and a wide arc around the inferno still burning so bright in the distance. The slums wasn’t a place he ventured too often, but he knew the course easily enough with Belle and her infinite knowledge of the forest. The sounds of wildlife here always tickled his ears in a predatory way, the scrap of hooves, or the scurrying of rodents. “It’s so loud here,” he joked that the near silence wasn’t anything like the noise of the ports. His fingers wrapped with hers as he spoke. 

Taking a deep breath, letting it expand his chest, fill his sinuses with all the scents of the forest before releasing it slowly. A smirk tugged at his lips but he wouldn’t let it fully develop. “There are two deer east,” he said taking another breath, letting the west air wrap around them. “A rabbit? maybe a fox around those rocks there.” He nudged her shoulder trying not to sound like he was showing off when all it took was a few breaths to determine the rough location of easy game. 

"My pack in England, they were called RADULFR," he said quietly, worrying his lip between his teeth as he huffed a sad noise. "All the wolves wore this brand on their spines, it was an honor. To be a bitten wolf among them. They were all natural wolves, pure English lines, some are actually siblings, they had a family a long time ago but that ended…anyway." He shook those thoughts, squeezing her hand not sure where he was going with this. 

"Before a hunt, we would pray to Mother Gaia for a successful one. Then with every kill we would give thanks to those creatures. It is strange, to think we took such loving care of those animals that fed us, but when it came to a soul wondering onto our land…we just slaughtered them." His eyes darkened at that, not out of sadness or regret, but that sometimes he missed that powerful feeling over another soul. He glanced down to Belle and quickly scratched his head feeling embarrassed, and on the spot even if he started the conversation. 

I welcome you in my life, I focus my consciousness on your existence. I place my wish and my intent on experiencing all of your expressions,” he spoke part of a prayer of gratefulness that was for his Mother out loud in a hushed whisper, though he was mentally chanting the entirety of it. Feeling he wanted Belle to hear how he connected her to everything that the wolves, that he, believed in. “And though I initially withdrew from your sudden voice, I am now open to hear and see. Thank you for entering my life and giving me a chance to ripen, to feel a richness, a deepening of my understanding, an increasing connection with life in its many varieties.

He blushed as he whispered another piece, knowing it was cheesy hearing it on a human tongue when he usually spoke in his native, but it was already bringing him peace. And after everything that happened today, to sharing a prayer with Belle. That peace was a welcoming embrace.

"Its part of a prayer," he said, closing his eyes with a hum. "I lost that part of myself, my Mother, Gaia, for years after I was banished, and then one night a fae named Din helped me find her again, and I haven’t let go of that connection with her since. I thank her daily for leading me here, for helping me grow, and being a better wolf. I am far from okay, I am littered in scars seen and not seen, but she is getting me there. Where ever she wants me to be. Even if I know I will make monumental mistakes, I think it’s getting easier. Everything will be clear eventually." 

Belle flexed her fingers as Shiloh interlaced his with hers, taking simple joy in the press of palm to palm. Eyes darted from one side to the other, peering to catch a glimpse of the animals Shiloh claimed to be close by. She did not take his words to be prideful boasting; his ability to gauge distances was an inborn skill, a result of his wolfish nature. 

When he began telling of his past, of his beloved lost pack in England, Belle turned all her attention to his words. She knew precious little of his life in England; it was a sore subject, she well knew, and she had always been loathe to press too hard. These newly divulged pieces of the past were carefully considered and stored away like so many precious jewels to be inspected again and again in later days.

That he worshipped an earthen goddess came as little surprise. Belle had seen, often, over the course of their friendship, the respect Shiloh showed the woods and its creatures. He had never shown himself to be reckless in that regard and, more than once, she had found herself wishing he would show the same care when it came to his own person.

"It’s a beautiful prayer, Shiloh," Belle said after a moment, pressing a kiss to the back of his hand still held in her own, "And I thank you for sharing it with me. I think I might understand something of your experiences; when I was still one of Heaven’s own we, too, showed mercy and kindness to lesser creatures …" A small frown at that, for creature didn’t seem quite the right word, "Yet there was no quarter given on the field of battle. We did not think anything of it, for what were foes but obstacles, forces, to be overcome and defeated?"

The question was mostly rhetorical and, even if it were not, she did not know that an adequate answer existed.

"In those days, too, a church was builded on my word, by a knight returning from the Crusades. The Church of the Sacred Green it was called and they named me the Green Lady." Belle smiled, somewhat embarrassed by the revelation. "My monks swore to protect and aid the creatures of the land, wild and domestic. They saw to the protection of the nearest villages, too, and though they served God the Father, their prayers and requests were sent to me. I think of them, and wonder how long before they turn their back on me as I’ve turned mine on them …"

The confession came as a sort of tit for tat, though she knew Shiloh expected no such thing. It felt right to the girl to share of herself and her past as he had done; to her, it showed a trust, a willingness to meet the other and share their life, their experiences, their pain, their joys.

"Perhaps your goddess played a guiding hand in leading you to me. If so, I offer her my thanks … I thank her, too, for her protection and care of you. Lost children we might be, but it would seem our holy parents have not given up on us just yet …"

Birthday Wishes || Caden & Belle || Flashback Winter

caden-atlas:  

Caden nodded with an approving hum. It was a bit surprising to find a female hunter, but not a bad thing at all. He wondered how she got into that trade. He could bet that there was an interesting story there.

"Perhaps I’ll have to get some furs from you later. I can always use the extra warmth." Caden began to cut the meat into chunks that would cook in the stew and add extra flavor. He laughed at her question as Qarīn peered back at her.

"This is Qarīn. He’s pretty friendly." Qarīn, almost as if on queue, scuttled out of the bowl and closer to Belle’s hand. Caden took the meat and put it into the pot, stirring the stew.

"As for my trade, I mainly do mercenary work. So if you ever need a guard while you hunt, I’m your man." He smiled at her widely. Qarīn reached out a leg, trying to get a sense of how friendly Belle was to the spider.

"Hello, Qarīn," Belle said, friendly fingers softly stroking the spider’s back and legs, cheek resting on her other folded hand. Her pronunciation of the foreign name added another layer to the mystery she presented; she said the word close to a native speaker. "I thought those named such were jinn, wish granters …" She looked up to Caden once more, the question plain on her face. 

His offer of protection was met with a smile and slight inclination of the head. “Thank you, but I rarely need protection in the woods. I know this place’s woods and denizens better than most know the cities and villages of their birth. And when disaster does strike, as it inevitably does, I have a friend in one of the wolves, Shiloh.” 

The mention of the man’s name softened the smile on her face, the color rising slightly in her cheeks. She lowered her eyes, looking back down to the spider still feeling inquisitively at her fingers. The affection she felt for the wolf was plain to see; surely even Qarīn knew it. 

"I would not be against a hunting companion, though. Perhaps on my next hunt? Or when winter’s snow has thawed …" 

Belle || Headcanon || Old Norse Prayer

When Sofiel’s Brothers of the Sacred Green pray, they recite the Lord’s Prayer in the dying language of their native Norway. Old Norse can be heard within the walls of her church and it can be read in the books her priests and monks keep. And when the rest of the land has forgotten the language and the words of their forefathers, the Brothers will remember.

Faþer vár es ert í himenríki, verði nafn þitt hæilagt
Til kome ríke þitt, værði vili þin
sva a iarðu sem í himnum.
Gef oss í dag brauð vort dagligt
Ok fyr gefþu oss synþer órar,
sem vér fyr gefom þeim er viþ oss hafa misgert
Leiðd oss eigi í freistni, heldr leys þv oss frá öllu illu.