As Rukbat began to descend toward the horizon, the guard knew his patrol was nearing it's end, he'd gone as far as he could before having to return to the Pack. As the copper gave a lasting look at the misty jungle he'd yet to scout, a soft growl escaped from the depths of his belly, a warning to any threat that lay just out of sight. This foul fog unnerved him, allowed him to believe that there could be anything hiding in it's obscurity and he had to see for himself that the perimeter was clear. Another lingering moment as he stood his ground, keen eyes and ears waiting for any movement through the fog around him or any unusual sounds, but the guard neither saw nor heard anything to cause alarm. A huff was given as he finally turned away, moving parallel to the unknown jungle beyond for a while before he shifted course even more to angle back toward the Weyr proper along a different route to patrol on the way home.
The mists began to part as he grew closer to the Pack, but that was not the only change he felt as he neared. For a moment, the copper was sent on edge, his ears pinned down to his knobs as he approached the Weyr, all senses searching for the source of this difference. The dragons were still fluttering about carelessly, as they were wont to do in his opinion, and their nocturnal cousins were beginning to emerge from the tunnels and caves, all seemed well within the walls of the Weyr. There was no danger it seemed, and the copper's ears relaxed as he strode further into the Yard, before he was caught in midstride by a cloying scent on the breeze.
That was it. The scent of a female ready to Run...but not just any female, was she?
Nekhen had watched her since a hatchling, and once he'd caught the scent, he knew it could only be hers. She'd come from the wilds, yet chose to bond to one of the only humans that the copper himself had considered, so naturally the guard had to keep an eye on her and Kinali. The guard was still without a handler, but Nerosali had chosen well, though he'd been sure to keep a watch on her upbringing and her bond with the lad. The chimera had his respect in that regard, and so far she'd proven to be a worthy addition to the Pack no matter where she'd been hatched. It seemed that this evening, she would blossom into something more, take claim to her role as a Rose, who'd give them a Chase that any guard would be proud of.
The copper didn't bother with initial pleasantries among the Pack then. He'd been on patrol all day, and if he were to give the lady a proper Chase, he would need fuel to keep him strong, keep his endurance peaked. So Nekhen moved straight for his first kill, dark muzzle latching onto the wherry like a vice and began to suck down its' life blood to sustain him. Only when he was satiated did he drop the carcass and lick clean his bloody maw, and he could feel the warmth seeping into every fiber of his being, renewing him and giving the daywher the fuel he would need to sustain the rugged pace the blackrose would undoubtedly set. The copper didn't doubt that Nerosali would give everything she could into her maiden Run, and he knew that she wasn't going to be easy to keep up with tonight and woe be to any male who thought otherwise.
He was waiting for her as she came for her own kill, a stout guardian standing by nearly as still as a statue, watching her intently with red whirling eyes and muscular body taut and ready to spring the moment she took to the ground. Nekhen said not a word, for his presence was enough to show her that he was willing to go the distance for her, that he would give her the Chase she deserved and desired, that he would not falter and would not bow out. A steady gaze told her all she needed to know, that he would not fail her and was determined to see this to the end, no matter the outcome. He was ready when she was, and the moment her paws hit the ground, he would be right behind her.
Roman began gathering up his things in the office and the rustle of papers and clink of small bottles seemed to alert the day wher lounging in the corner. Ears swiveled, but the two toned head did not lift just yet, though lids pried open to watch the Weyrhealer as he stuffed those belongings into the satchel on his desk.
You do realize that you practically live in this office, so it's not like you're really taking work home with you...In fact, it's more like you're just constantly working. Don't you ever stop?
Bespoke the blood wher, in a slightly bemused tone with his handler, a man who's love for the wher was just as deep as his passion for his duty.
"I'm not always working."
Roman defended himself, though he caught himself trying to think of the last time he hadn't brought part of the office home with him, or to dinner, or lunch, or breakfast...
Really? I can read your mind you know, and even you can't remember the last day off you had, let alone the last night off.
Gio replied with a soft snort as he hefted himself to his feet finally and slowly padded toward the healers' desk.
"There was that time....we had dinner with Xacke and Xarria."
The man finally announced, smiling broadly as though he'd stuck on the perfect answer.
That was last season...
"....Was it really?"
Yes. One night, many months ago.
The day wher gave another snort, almost like a chuckle as he moved closer and nosed against the man's hand. Even the Weyrleaders take more time off than you do. Leave those things here, they will be here in the morning. Let's go home, read a book, or enjoy a glass of wine...When was the last time you played the violin?
Roman had to pause a moment there, lowering the strap of the satchel back to the desk, though his hand hadn't quite let go yet. "I...don't remember."
And there was the slightest twinge of sadness in that reply, for he could remember a time when the instrument was rarely out of his sight, and now he had to remember where he'd put the case. "Oh blast it, you're right..." As usual. "...fine, I'll leave it here for tonight, but come morning these reports need to be finished and I might even have to come in early to get them done."
If that is the price to be paid.
Giocosoman said rather frankly and butt his head into the man's hip, starting to get him moving toward the door, away from the desk, out of the office and into the evening air without that satchel over his shoulder filled with work.
As they emerged from the Infirmary, they both seemed to take a deep breath of the fresh air, but Gio caught something that Roman couldn't possibly had smelled. There was a perk in the blood wher, his ears standing at attention as he prowled forward a little more. The healer gave a quirk of his brow as the blood wher stepped away from him, but a few steps carried him back to the day whers side as they moved across the Yard. "What is it? Something wrong Gio?"
No, nothing wrong...I just might not be joining you tonight.
The two toned wher said, a glance tossed at the man and then toward the Pack dwellings. Before Roman could question what he meant by that, the call came from the chimera of her intent and Giocosoman could feel the stirring within his bones and it drifted through their bond as the silent answer to the unspoken question.
"Ah, I see...Well chap, you've inspired me to enjoy a night off, so you might as well too."
Roman said, patting the blood whers' haunch affectionately. "Perhaps I'll pull out my violin to entertain me while you're away."
The man continued, a wry sort of smile creeping over broad lips. "Don't let me keep you any longer from her, or you might fall behind before it's even begun."
He added with a soft slap to that haunch which spirited the blood wher into motion once more, moving toward the feeding pens where the others were beginning to gather. "Good luck Gio."
There was a soft rumble from the day wher as he departed from the man's side. On one paw, he'd made promises to the man of a comfortable and enjoyable evening without the woes of work, but on the other paw, perhaps an evening to himself was exactly what the healer needed and Gio could not quite pass up the opportunity presented to him. Nerosali was a gem among them all, a beauty of a chimera that was blossoming into her full potential this eve and as one of the oldest blood whers in the Pack, he owed it to her to give Chase, to respect her and follow her through the dusky mists. With only one more glance over his shoulder, to be sure that his handler would be alright, Giocosoman quickly padded toward the blackrose to offer his fealty for her maiden Run.
On an evening such as this, there could be no better for you to take what is rightfully yours. You are as swift as the wind, as lithe as the shadows and as clever as the mists themselves. We will be hard pressed to surpass you while you are in your element sweet rose.
The two toned blood wher crooned sweetly to the chimera, only a glance spared at the other males before she took his full attention and he silently vowed to earn her attention as well. He was a blood, an experienced one, and he was built and bred for moments like these, to prove himself worthy as a sire, as a mate, and he would give everything he could of himself to Nerosali and show her that he was the right choice for her. With bated breath, he watched her, waited for the moment when she would spring into action and Giocosoman would gladly follow her into the darkest jungles.