Autumn, Year 761
The sun was beginning to end its reign over the endless stretch of blue sky over Windborne. Shadows grew longer, as the light source arched down towards the horizon. In the western portion of Westhaven, red mountains jutted from the earth’s surface. This time of day, their chiseled faces lit aflame with the vibrant colors of the sunset, as they played across the rocky surface. The flora had browned over the course of the dry season, but the wildlife knew it would soon be lush and green once more, with the return of the rain.
A golden buck ambled through the elevated region, coming to stop on a ridge strewn with gumtrees. Across the way, down a steep cliff face angled to the west, a waterfall poured out over the titian backbone of a precipice. The brute’s eyes rested on the magnificent cascade, as he caught his breath from the hike.
It had proven to be a rather lazy day for Sparrow, up to the point where he decided to take an afternoon stroll. Even now, the herd was not too far from where he wandered. He just needed to get away from all the ruckus activity for a while. The rut brought on a buzzing, competitive nature to all who partook, and the constant clashing of antlers and clattering of hooves against densely-packed soil was enough to drive a man crazy after a while!
Though Sparrow thoroughly enjoyed the rut, he couldn’t stand overly-rambunctious, hotheaded staggards, fueled by copious amounts of testosterone always breathing down his neck. They were all so touchy about “their” turf, and always needed to be on the lookout for where others placed each, blasted hoof. The heavens be damned if an unfamiliar male stepped an inch too close!
Sparrow rolled his eyes at the thought, deciding to take an opportunity to sit down and have a rest. Ah yes, it was truly a miracle when the only noise around was the thundering of a large chute! Shasta
It was that time of year again: a period that every doe both loved and despised.
The wind slowly blew through the haven, as an ashen doe trotted between each proudly-standing tree. Her ears were lightly pinned to her head, and her tail gave a small swish with every step she took. A small urge in the back of her head told her to get closer to every buck she could find; however, her conscious being told her otherwise. "Man, I cannot wait until this is over and I can go back to work as usual,"
The doe murmured to herself. Her hindquarters prickled as she walked, only making her more and more irritated. She gave a slight pant when the prickling replaced with a heat. "I must stay as far away from the herd as possible till this passes."
She picked up speed, only to spot a buck resting just ahead on the path. Sparrow
Enjoying the last of the sunshine, Sparrow hardly noticed when traces of another presence wafted in on the breeze. It wasn’t he noticed a lithe, grey frame racing towards him that he was shaken out of such a relaxed state. The stag bounded to his feet, nerves frayed from the shock of seeing another. And here he thought he’d escaped all that!
If it weren’t for the fact that she smelled so bloody sweet, the grullo brute would’ve fled to higher ground in hopes he would finally be rid of others of his kind. However, the figure before him was lovely. Her coat was the most stunning shade of smoky black he’d ever seen! Her mane and tail grew in chocolate, ombre tresses around her nape and hocks. The faint markings on her face and legs decorated her pelt, while a slim, arching horn grew atop her crown. She also wore something—a pendant, it seemed—around her throat. Sparrow’s sharp eye for trinkets could pick out the material easily: lapis lazuli. Pleased, the stag met her eyes, anxious to meet such a fit, young prospect, who also had an eye for jewels! “Good evening,”
he said, practically purring the words. His hormones rampaged through his body—he could feel it. Still, the buck tried his best to keep his cool. The fae seemed to be about his age, and Sparrow wondered if she could feel it too. Though the feeling wasn’t unbearable, it resulted in a bit of discomfort and awkwardness. Perhaps one day the stag would learn to embrace it, but for now, it proved difficult to keep under control.Shasta
Shasta gave a mild sigh before analyzing the stag. He was a pale grullo color with a deep bay mane. The restricted fawn definitely made his pelt seem to pop. Her eyes traveled along his mane and hind legs. She noticed the multicolored beads that were strewn throughout his hair, as well as on his back, right fetlock. Her eyes traveled back up to his belfry, only to be met with a pair of gorgeous, brown globes, which only further agitated the young fem. Still, she redirected her attention once more, to the impressive bulk he sported atop his head. By far, the most stunning part of him was his rack. The design definitely looked too flimsy to be used for fighting, but the mere intricacy of it stood above all else. It seemed to wrap around his entire skull only to meet at each cheek. Definitely a handsome stag he was. "Evening to you too,"
Shasta stated, somewhat coldly. She really didn't want to talk to any
fawnling, much less a stag. Her tail steadily swished back and forth at her hooves, making the prickling sensation stop, but sadly scattering her scent about simultaneously. The forest that once smelled of fresh pine and cool air but now reaked of hormones that made caused the blood to heat up in her hindquarters. One scent she caught replaced the prickling with a strong intake of heat that caused her to feel strangely light-headed. "Ooh, I think I need to sit down,"
She muttered, as she plopped her rear into the ground, wrapping her tail tightly around her hindquarters. "Sorry if I come off as a bit mean . . . I get more edgy and agitated this time of year,"
she mumbled, choosing not to meet the stag's eyes. Sparrow
Though the young dame was a bit feisty in her initial response, it only fueled the stag’s fire. It was a challenge, and in the competitive spirit of rut, that was what every male truly desired. However, a different set of instincts set in as the dame’s knees wavered, and she dropped down.
Sparrow’s ears perked in concern, until the doe spoke again, explaining herself. At this, the brute smiled courteously, “There is no need for an apology. I feel it too. That’s why I decided to come up here.”
He turned his gaze, looking back out over the magnificent scene before them.
The sun was beginning to sink, sending fiery rays shooting across the bright summits. The world was bathed in a striking, red glow, as if the sun was pushing the animals to feel even more sensuous than before. Yes, red: the color of passion. In the world of crystals, it meant confidence, energy, and enthusiasm. Vanadinite, for example, offered stamina, clarified creativity, and boosted intimate desire.
Sparrow was relieved not to be carrying anything of the sort on him, however. For him, hormones seemed to be plenty enough at the moment. Still, he didn’t want to make the dark fem feel uncomfortable. “I could leave, if you’d like . . .”
he offered politely, though humor saturated his tone.
Shasta “No, no you’re fine . . . ”
Shasta’s voice trailed off, as she glanced sideways in embarrassment. Her tail flicked back and forth again, and she pawed at the ground awkwardly. "I could use the company,"
she panted at last. Ears stiffly laid against her head, as she looked back up at the stag and smiled slightly. "I didn't quite catch your name, stranger."
One eyebrow arched slightly, as the doe attempted to sound slightly seductive. . . The rut was really getting to her.Sparrow
Sparrow smirked, pleased at her protest. Curling his tail, he pawed the ground elegantly. “It’s Sparrow,”
he said, his tone smooth and confident, “And you?”
A much desired wind picked up, rustling the branches of the trees above the two beasts, and showering a few of the weaker leaves upon them. Sparrow inhaled, causing a small gale to swipe the greenery from his pelt. Taking a step closer to the doe, he deepened his focus, attempting to cool the air around him in hopes that it would sweep beneath the hot air surrounding her, and clear the debris from her as well. Sure enough, it was only a moment before a cold front was created, and the refreshing breeze took hold of the fallen leaves that clung to her coat, dragging them away and over the dropoff.
With a smile, Sparrow dipped his head. “I couldn’t just leave you in tatters over there. I hope you don’t mind,”
his words came as though dressed in honey, followed by a hearty laugh and a playful grin.Shasta "Err the name's Shasta."
She kept her ears low. She gave a content sigh, feeling the hot air shift with an incoming, cool breeze. When the air shifted to get the gunk and grime off of her pelt, her eyes widened. She smiled when she noticed her coat was rid of its once-dusty aesthetic. The smoky black pelt shimmered in the light when it was ridden of the extra layer. "Thanks Sparrow. My pelt definitely needed a cleaning,"
she chuckled playfully, turning back to him. When the dizzy spell cleared from her head, she got back on her feet, a bit wobbly at first but quickly gained her footing. She gave a quick whisk of her tail over her back, quickly dusting a couple stray leaves back to the ground.
"So what brings you around these parts? I-I mean I figure you're a Windborne stag but why'd you choose this area?"
Shasta asked with her head tilted. Her tail lightly wagging back and forth, making the prickling sensation, for the most part, subside. "I've never seen you around and I'm pretty knowledgeable about the herd's members. I am a soldier after all."
Sparrow grinned and dipped his head at Shasta’s expression of gratitude. A half-smile adorned his burnished facade at her next inquiry. “Just escaping the chaos for a bit, honestly,”
he said. His tone was relaxed, however his body was anything but. “Ah yes,”
he added after her later statement, “well, I tend to move around quite a bit, so I’m not surprised. It’s not that I’m necessarily against staying in one spot, but when the opportunity presents itself, I generally take off. Usually, I go out in search of items . . . or sometimes answers.”
At that, he eyed the doe closely, “And you? What are you doing way up here?”Shasta
The doe gave a light chuckle and nodded her head, "I know what you mean! Anything that shimmers in the sunlight definitely catches my eye—especially when it's blue, like my Lapis, here."
She smiled smugly at the buck as she puffed out her chest to show off the deep blue gem.
Shasta heard the soft question the buck asked her, and looked into his deep, brown eyes. Her tail flicked slightly and she averted her gaze from his. "Well this is a rather . . . awkward time of the year for me. I seem to become a bit clumsier than usual, and I'd prefer to keep that to myself. I took some time off scouting to clear my head a bit."
Shasta gave a small, meek chuckle. Her gaze looked down at her hooves and she unconsciously stood back onto her hooves. She wanted to show off her more spunky nature than this awkward one so she gave a playful tug on the buck's mane and slowly made her way to his hindquarters. Shasta looked at his tail and playfully nipped the tip of it, a childish smirk spread across her features. Sparrow
Sparrow’s gaze softened at her mention of the enchanting blue stone that rested against her heart. “I love Lapis,”
he stated gently, “It has such deep, ancient meaning. It’s quite a remarkable rock, and it looks lovely on you.”
With her next words, and the movement following, Sparrow felt a chill run down his spine. The playful little fae inflamed the stag’s inner lust, leaving him rather enticed. The grullo buck appreciated how comfortable Shasta acted, as if they were two old friends. He was sure the heat of the season had something to do with it, but he found it an altogether agreeable behavior nonetheless.
Sweeping his tail out of her reach, the brute whipped around, meeting the side of her neck with a flirtatious nuzzle. “Yes, quite the klutz, but quicker than I had anticipated.”Shasta
The doe gave a soft gasp of shock when she felt the nuzzle but soon nudged him right back. Her tail slowly brushed back and forth at her hindquarters, wafting the scent of heat from her rear but at the same time suppressing the tingling sensation that crawled at her thighs. "Gotta be quick at any time of year, even in a crappy time like this."
She gave a seductive chuckle before trotting away and into the undergrowth. Shasta looked at the stag out of the corner of her eye before disappearing completely. "I suppose now's the time to play hard to get,"
she murmured to herself. Sparrow
A sooty ear twitched. Sparrow’s muscles bunched, as he prepared to pursue the fae. He was certainly enjoying her game. He took off into the wood, leaving the magnificent scene of the falls behind, just as the sun made its final descent over the granite face of the mountains.
The delectable scent of the doe was easy enough to trace, while visions of seduction and fulfillment spurred the young stag on ferverously. Sparrow decided to allow his passions to get the better of him; he flew towards the doe daringly, trying his best to match her pace. She was quite fast, though—there was no doubt about that!Shasta
Shasta's ears swiveled around, as she picked up the hoof steps of the buck. She gave another wide smirk, before leaping over a log and carving a hard left. Her pace started to slow when she caught the scent that the grullo buck gave off. He smelled of ardor, signaling that he definitely wasn't going to give up this chase easily. Shasta's tactic was to utilize her agility to her advantage, so she ducked under low-hanging branches, leaped over logs, and nimbly walked across even the smallest of rocks.
Shasta could feel the prickling heat grow stronger in her loins, as the young buck gained on her. Still, she pressed on. The doe swung a right, and wound up at a clearing in the path. It was covered in lush greenery, and even had a calm brook running through the middle. She sighed, thankful, and slowly made her way towards the water. Her ears loosely dropped to the sides of her head as she stepped into the refreshing liquid. After taking a little soak, Shasta made her way to the far side of the river and laid down, patiently scanning for the buck.Sparrow
The brute nearly lost the fem several times. His own skill was no match to hers. Still, he pressed on, urged forward by the dull throbbing below his barrel. He tore through the undergrowth, whipping around the gumtrees, and bounding over the oversized deposits of granite. The land was now a cold, blue-grey hue, as the moon pecked the earth’s cheek.
As he reached the clearing, Sparrow slowed, nostrils flared, both with expenditure from the run and determination for what might lay ahead. Lunar light pooled into the glen, reflecting off the surface of the small stream that cut through its center. It reverberated around the clearing, landing gracefully on the distant form of the doe. Shasta’s dark pelt glistened from the shadows, echoing the intention of the night sky.
Sparrow crossed the stream, keeping his footsteps steady and sure, but avoiding any rush. There was no need—she was waiting for him. His blood ran hot, and his eyes were brimming with intrigue. Anyone who kept him this enthralled could easily steal a piece of his heart. “You certainly had me on the run, there,”
he said, but the words were fairly empty. His eyes laid claim to hers, expressing far more than what needed to be spoken aloud. All the while, the stag did not pause in his pursuit, inching closer to the dame with every step.Shasta
The fae watched the buck's movements closely, every step he takes making her ears flick lightly. When she heard what he said, her tail flicked over her back and relieved the mild tingling in her loins.
"Hey, you have to be able to bound through the undergrowth with lightning speed when you're a soldier,"
Shasta spoke with a slight smirk. When their eyes met, she quickly looked away and made her tail the most interesting thing in the area. Her eyes followed each wag she made before she turned back to the buck. "So, now what?"
Shasta asked looking up into the buck's eyes, her's laced with mischief and lust. She slowly stood up, ready to bolt at any moment, if only to see his reaction when she disappeared again. Sparrow
When he reached her at last, arched his neck, meeting the tip on her nose with his. He held her gaze, before parting his lips to speak. “No more running,”
he said firmly; however, the light behind his eyes showed he meant her no harm or disrespect.
Once Sparrow confirmed he could trust her to stay put, he brushed past her, lifting his tail enough to softly sweep against her front legs, then her belly and flank. He encircled her, ending up on her left side, facing the same direction as the doe. He pressed his body against hers and said, “So, tell me, why do you despise this time of year so much? Why do you choose to run from it?”
The words came as a warm whisper, and Sparrow completed the action by speaking them directly into her ear, then tracing the side of her nape with his snout.Shasta
The doe’s eyes widened when she watched Sparrow’s actions. Her tail lightly flicked by her hooves before tightly wrapping around her side. She looked down awkwardly trying to keep from meeting the buck’s gaze. “I guess I just feel . . . I don't know, more cowardly around this time. I often trip over my own hooves trying to sort these feelings out. I guess it’s just not my luckiest time of year.”
Shasta raised her head, allowing her gaze to travel over Sparrow’s figure once again. From his muscular legs to his impressive rack and even his proud stature, Sparrow was definitely a handsome prospect. This only made Shasta’s yearning more prominent. Mimicking Sparrow’s actions, the doe brushed her tail over his stomach, chest and hindquarters. “Powerful muscles you have there, Sparrow,”
she spoke seductively, with a new-found confidence.Sparrow
The buck eyed her carefully. Words didn’t seem necessary. The night was warm and clear, and the moon was enormous, casting a silvery incandescence upon the glade. Insects sang in the dimness. Fireflies lit the open space—their tiny, glowing bodies reflecting in the swift-moving stream that drifted in front of the two figures.
Sparrow wore a grin as he moved around her backside, breathing in her unsurpassable scent. “As are yours, little soldier. I think you have a beautiful frame,”
he said, teasing her with a quick nip on the rump, then circled back to meet her face-to-face.“So, now what?”
he asked daringly, repeating her earlier question.Shasta
The doe jumped slightly feeling the nip on her backside and quickly looked at him with wide eyes. These eyes, however, went back to normal as she gave a smug grin and leaned forward touching her nose to his. Shasta gave a soft giggle before putting most of her weight on her hind legs and giving him a mischievous snicker. "Why don't you tell me? I asked you first, after all."
She walked along his side to his rear, her tail raising and lightly running its way from the tip of his nose to his rump. When she was behind him, she rose her tail a bit higher, before angling her head to look over her shoulder. Her eyes were glazed over with a lust she'd never before felt for a stag. Sparrow
Sparrow’s heart thudded against his chest. He could feel the blood pounding in his ears, drowning out any sound that didn’t come from her. His pupils dilated, and he felt a shiver rush from his crown to his croup.
With a satisfied snort, he advanced to claim the doe, at last acting on the primal urges that plagued both of their bodies.