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Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - Printable Version

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Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - danixiewrites - 08-17-2015

<div style="text-align:center;][/img]"http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/milesfromnowhere_zpsef7n2mpv.jpg" style="" style="font-size:10pt;max-width:100%;][/align]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - danixiewrites - 08-17-2015

<img style="Owen Flayred" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/owenFlayred_zpsqax4owau.png" style="max-width:25%;float:right;margin:0 0 18px 18px;]Owen Flayred sped through a chat to her underlings, fingers flying over the on-screen letters, emerald and red eyes narrowed at the messages that came back. "No," she growled at her phone as if she were talking directly to a person instead of yelling at a machine, "you will NOT use the puce. Verdant Shores. Accept no substitutes!"

<font color="#ec7f99]@ If they can't mix it right, we'll take our business elsewhere.[/font]
<font color="#be8986]-- Bosslady. There's nowhere else open on a Sunday.[/font]
<font color="#ec7f99]@ Fine. Our future business.[/font]
<font color="#be8986]--This one's looking much better but I still think it's more Shamrock than Shores.[/font]
<font color="#ec7f99]@ Mpfh! Go pick up Lars. He can mix it for them.[/font]
<font color="#be8986]--They won't like that.[/font]
<font color="#ec7f99]@ <img style="" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/dontcare_zpsft8t7hpk.gif" style="max-width:100%;]
@ How do you hire someone for a job then not make sure they can do it?[/font]

She didn't give a flying flip if they had 12 unsellable pints of off-green paint before they were done; she invested enough of her time and money to get it right. Her clients knew it, her more labor-intensive employees knew it, and it was why she did so well for herself.

She shoved back a mass of brown dreadlocks, irritated for all that she'd had a half-pot of coffee and it wasn't even noon.

But it was close enough to start looking for a cab. No such thing as late for a lunch meeting like today's. It'd likely be an even bigger debacle than incompetent paint mixers; meeting with her dragon kin over sushi. The elders had "ways" and "rules" and "sayings" and Owen just wanted to get things done, stop wasting her time with superstitions and whatever...just get back to leaving shiny, pretty things and places in the world.

Tapping out another series of commands to the duo who was supposed to be disassembling a particularly hideous bathroom, Owen strolled toward the edge of the sidewalk. One thumb hiked out even as she continued texting. One short ride later and she'd put her calls on silent mode--the last thing she needed was the elders calling her out on her tech.

<font color="#a89a9e]"Flayred."[/font]

Shit. They'd beaten her there, which meant even at 7 minutes early she was late.

<font color="#ec7f99]"Good morrow, Elder Caz."[/font]

<font color="#a89a9e]"Don't you good morrow me, youngling."[/font]

<font color="#ec7f99]Ah. This is off to a great start.[/font] She slid into the booth with five other dragons and didn't wait for them to offer food before she pulled over a spicy tamari roll. Shoving it into her mouth, she could practically feel the disapproval radiating from her dragon-kin. Nothing new. She'd grown up a golden child but now that she was middling 20s, she couldn't seem to do anything right based on their traditions. What was it going to be today? That she needed to settle down and build her own horde? How trite.

"You recall when we last spoke...about your dragon?" her mother asked as she offered a glass of water. "About honoring your abilities and learning how to use them properly?"

Owen frowned. <font color="#ec7f99]Ah. Training.[/font] <font color="#ec7f99]"I don't need to learn how to use my dragon. There's been no cause to use it in my entire life--why would I start inviting it to take over now? What possible benefit does that net me?"[/font]

She was comfortable. Happy. Busy. Well-off, and no dragonblood was going to screw everything up, nor burn everything down.

"By shoving your dragon back, you are harming yourself, child," another elder contributed. "You continue to refuse our council, deny your blood."

<font color="#ec7f99]"Look, the only one it's bothering is YOU. There's nothing wrong with ME."[/font] Owen shoveled down another series of rice-covered fish and wasabi and grinned. <font color="#ec7f99]"Why can't I just live the way I want?"[/font]

<font color="#a89a9e]"We can't take the chance your dragon will correct the course of nature and assert itself in a populated area."[/font]

Reasonable, except her dragon was pleased as punch to be making pretty things. She was in no danger of transforming--unless she purposefully called it out. Owen opened her mouth but Elder Caz continued, <font color="#a89a9e]"Because you continue to ignore our warnings, we have to take action."[/font]

<font color="#ec7f99]"Action?"[/font] It was followed by a sudden crackle of fire and Owen yelped as it raced toward her. Were they going to force her to change HERE? So much for concern over a populated area...

The fire pulsed in the middle of the damned restaurant. It consumed her, wrapping her like a cocoon until she could no longer see her companions. And then it was gone, and she stood in the middle of Verdant Shores. Or the nature equivalent of the paint color she'd wanted--it was perfect and it was everywhere and it was sticky.

Heat didn't bother her but humidity? No sign of shelter where she could keep her hair from frizzing out to the moon? Used to the usual illusion-magic of her kin, she sighed. <font color="#ec7f99]"Where did you pretend to drop me, ye olde mouth-breather?"[/font]

No cell reception. <font color="#ec7f99]UUUGHH. [/font] Shouldn't have been, not with an illusion.  But she supposed they were pulling out all the stops. <font color="#ec7f99] "Taking action.  Pfft."[/font]  Her phone had about a 30% charge left, and she had a battery pack in her oversized purse, so that'd buy at least another day until her punishment was over and she woke up in civilization. Longer if she wasn't on it constantly, and in the middle of a fucking jungle illusion...she might not have much cause to use it beyond the flashlight.

Out of habit she scrolled through her gif folder, found one, and crossed her eyes. Owen's laugh came out with an edge of panic as a centipede crawled up a branch near her face.  <font color="#ec7f99]Real.  Live.  Giant.  Bug.[/font]

<font color="#ec7f99]Oh my god.  They didn't...they teleported me.  I'm actually in a jungle.  This is an actual fucking jungle.[/font]

"Is this supposed to appeal to my lizard?" she grumbled. "Jungles have bugs and spiders and snakes and FUCK YOU ELDER CAZ!"

<div style="text-align:center;]<img style="" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/thor_zpspmyp4uak.gif" style="font-size:10pt;max-width:100%;][/align]



Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - megs - 08-17-2015


<div style="text-align:justify;]<font color="#cc3300]<span>    </span>"That is a terrible idea."[/font]

<span>    </span>It wasn't the smartest thing to say to the prince regent, but Sairus said it anyway. He didn't flinch away from the heat of the other man's glare, either. That was likely going to make him angrier. Sairus cared very little about pleasing the prince regent.

Elliot cleared his throat out of habit. A nervous one that meant he was buying time to gather his thoughts. To say the right thing - or at the least the thing people wanted to hear. <font color="#139954]"Your duty-"[/font]

<font color="#cc3300]<span>    </span>"Is to the queen."[/font] Sairus was quick to interrupt him. Yellow eyes narrowing. Flashing brief glimpses of unrestrained anger in the prince's direction. He would enjoy nothing more than to put the would-be usurper back in his place. The Guard-Captain watched the way the prince looked cautiously around the room. Elliot always spoke and held himself as if he were addressing a grand council. And to be fair, he often was. At the moment two men were only joined by the princess.

<span>    </span>Darcias approached Elliot, and placed a hand on his shoulder. He turned his face to look down at her and she shook her head before he could speak; snow-white wings flaring out behind her. <font color="#1cc5c5]"We have good reasons to think the queen might be in hiding there," [/font]<font color="#ffffff]she explained, turning the intensity of her iced blue gaze in his direction. Now that both of them were literally, and figuratively looking down at him, Sairus was beginning to feel like the one being put in his place. 
[/font]
<span>    </span>He pressed his lips together to avoid saying something that would get him in trouble. The roll of his eyes was mostly involuntary. The only reasons she had were the ones Elliot gave to her, and those reasons were often lies. The prince would do anything to keep Sai as far away from the monarchy as possible, and knew even this was just another one of his wild goose chases to figurehead a non-existent effort to find the queen.

<font color="#139954]<span>    </span>"Just go, Captain Weatherfare,"[/font] Elliot insisted. <font color="#139954]"Please,"[/font] he added. If the word hadn't been forced between clenched teeth, Sairus might have thought he was actually sincere. Sairus would go, but he wouldn't be going for Elliot or for Darcias. He would go for the queen and he would go for himself, because perhaps there was the smallest chance that Julianna would be found there, and he would not forgive himself a missed chance to find her.

<span>    </span>All in all there was nothing he could have done; even though this particular decision had been his own. Being imprisoned for disobeying orders would have been worse than wandering the jungles of Dakannore for two weeks. Two weeks and counting. At least this way he was free to continue his own search, albeit through slow, fruitless correspondence.

<span>    </span>It was the yelling that drew his attention. A short burst of it, but still a surprise to be heard over the sounds of the jungle. He stood, abandoning the trap he'd been crouched over to repair, cocking his head to better hear if it happened again. He had scouted the island more than once; it was known to be uninhabited. Perhaps the heat, and the solitude where finally getting to his head. Sairus kicked out of his boots, the trap forgotten, before pulling his shirt over his head. He stepped out of pants, that had been unbuckled and pushed towards his ankles, before shifting into his lynx form. The transition was smooth and painless, considerably lucky compared to other breeds of shapeshifter. If you blinked, you missed it. 

<span>    </span>Despite being twice the size of a natural cat and of an unusual coloration the form was obviously a lynx. Rust-colored tufts of fur bordered the face and ears, golden spots on dusty fur, black rings around a short tail. He stalked quietly through the jungle in the direction he thought the voice had come from, until he caught an unfamiliar scent. He ventured closer, following the smell until it drew him towards a brief clearing the dense foliage.

<span>    </span>Sairus settled into his belly, watching through the underbrush of verdure. He had been the only person on this island for two weeks. Where in seven hells had this woman come from? She was dressed... oddly, and it certainly wasn't conducive to the climate. And what had she done with her hair? He dropped his head onto his foremost paws and continued to observe. Curiosity and cats and all that. 

[/align]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - danixiewrites - 08-18-2015

[/img]"http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/owenFlayred_zpsqax4owau.png" style="Owen Flayred" style="max-width:25%;float:right;margin:0 0 18px 18px;]Owen might have stomped her foot. The heel of her studded ankle boot might have squelched and she might have let out a squeal so faint and high-pitched as to be supersonic before she caught herself and held still. She took a deep breath that smelled of green, everywhere green, and then her shoulders slumped.

No signal meant no GPS meant no way of knowing where the nearest highway was.

<font color="#ec7f99]"Oh, gods. What if there is no highway?"[/font]

She took another deep breath and gave an uneasy tug at her suspenders. At least she'd worn light gear rather than drapes of fabric today--although was hardly going to protect her cleavage and the rest of her exposed skin from <font color="#ec7f99]poky branches and biting THINGS...GODS, ALL THE THINGS[/font]...She snapped her teeth together with a harsh click, a habit that both pissed off her dentist and effectively acted as if she'd physically devoured the spiral of her thoughts. <font color="#ec7f99]No. No THINGS. They can kiss my ass.[/font] She could do this. And she could do this without interns.  Without her dragon, without it rising up, coming out, setting the whole jungle ablaze.  <font color="#ec7f99]Fuck them.[/font]  Showing back up on Elder Caz's doorstep with a centipede skewered on a stick would be rather satisfying, and maybe it would prove to them what she'd been saying all along: Owen and her lizard were in sync, and nothing needed to change. Ever.

<img style="" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/funny-octopus-curse-you_zpswdzzojlu.jpg" style="max-width:100%;]

Of course, the first step hadn't gone well, but walking more lightly and perhaps not directly in sections of mud would prevent loss of her shoes. And sure, wilderness survival wasn't exactly her primary skillset, but she was determined. Facts slowly surfaced from that one wilderness camp she'd gone away to when she was in middle school, a concession to her mother when she would have rather been wallowing in fabric samples and flinging paint chips around like raining dollar bills.

Facts. She knew for a FACT that moss only grew on the north side of trees. She knew for a FACT that people settled near rivers and rivers had bridges and bridges were connected to roads. Owen studied the tree with the centipede and blanched at the bug before the emerald and red rings of her eyes swiveled away from the offending branch and toward its connected trunk.

Where the moss appeared to curve around ALL SIDES of the tree.

A slightly hysterical laugh leaked upwards, crawling from her lips. <font color="#ec7f99]"Nope."[/font]

<img style="" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/giphy_zps0dp1xqen.gif" style="max-width:100%;]

Already starting to dig up a gif out of habit, she frowned and quickly tabbed the screen off. There was no one to send it to. Tucking her phone into her bag, she wiped her hands on lightweight denim-clad thighs and found the sweat STILL THERE. <font color="#ec7f99]"Nope."[/font]

And that centipede was still fucking crawling. <font color="#ec7f99]"Noooope."[/font]

Owen turned her back on it. Like that would help. Or somehow make it less visible on the inside of her brain.  Tugging on the end of one dreadlock she muttered, <font color="#ec7f99]"Maybe I'm just remembering the moss thing wrong. Maybe it's some kind of special fungus."[/font]

So she couldn't find north. Big whoop. She certainly couldn't stay here; who knew what she wouldn't be able to see come to crawl around in her vicinity once the sun went down? <font color="#ec7f99]"Okay. I can find a river. Can't be too hard. You hear those things well before you see them.  Follow it to someone's cozy jungle bungalow, stay there for a few days until Caz gives up and fetches me.  Problem solved.  Let's do this."

[/font]And then she proceeded forward as if she knew exactly where she was going and how to do whatever needed done to get there. She'd done it before...with less...jungle.  It was how she made her living, how she'd survived in the brambles of the city, how she'd survived at all--and there was no reason to change.


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - megs - 08-18-2015


<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>The shrieking sound of her displeasure caused his ears to twitch. She seemed confused, which in turn confused him because this was not somewhere you just stumbled upon. Briefly, he considered that this was some sort of jungle-induced hallucination, but he had never seen this woman before, and his imagination had never been so creative. Watching the way she pulled at her clothing, Sairus lifted his head. He chuffed quietly, because he was almost certain that this woman was going to die.

<span>    </span>Not right at this moment, but eventually. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>She was already pacing, and talking to herself. He didn't know if these were signs of heat exhaustion or if she was normally prone to hysteria. He dropped his head back down, swiping an oversized paw over one of his ears. Doing his best to push clinging droplets of humidity off of his fur. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]    </span><span style="font-size:10pt;] What did she keep looking at in her hands? He couldn't tell from where he was. Its purpose also remained undetermined, but it commanded a lot of her attention, regardless. </span><span style="font-size:10pt;]This was not at all his problem. He needed to turn around, immediately. Go back to his camp and forget ever seeing this woman (who he still wasn't </span><span style="font-size:13.3333330154419px;]entirely</span><span style="font-size:10pt;] convinced was real) and continue focusing on his very important mission.</span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>The words in his own head seemed to fall on metaphorical deaf ears, because as she started walking again, Sairus pushed himself from the ground. She wasn't moving very fast, which was smart. And made it easier for him to keep relatively quiet as he followed her. Still hidden behind the overgrowth. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>At least he didn't have to worry about losing her with the way she didn't seem to stop talking.</span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>The determined nature of her chosen path would have been impressive, had it not been mostly stupid. Currently, she was very determined to walk face first into a scrub of water hemlock. Sairus chuffed again. He should absolutely not let her do that, but if he stopped her he would then be responsible for her. Which was not something he really had the time or the patience for. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>If he didn't stop her he'd be a giant fucking asshole. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He quickened his pace, proceeding ahead of her in case she did have some sort of weapon. Not that there was any guarantee she wouldn't attack him even if he gave her a decent amount of space. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>The giant cat pushed out of the underbrush, stepping directly into her line of sight. Effectively blocking her path. He did his best to appear non-threatening, which was difficult but doable. One would just have to ignore the fact that he was a very large, very dangerous animal. He steadied his yellow gaze in her direction; his posture was alert. Ear swiveled forward in her direction, and he made a low, rumbling sound in his chest that was something like a warning. 

<span>    </span>Hopefully it sounded like a warning, and not  a threat. 
<span>    </span><span>    </span></span>[/align]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - danixiewrites - 08-19-2015

<img style="Owen Flayred" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/owenFlayred_zpsqax4owau.png" style="max-width:25%;float:right;margin:0 0 18px 18px;]<font color="#ec7f99]"Why does it smell like something died?"[/font] Owen wrinkled her nose as she minced forward with purpose, dismissing the idea of taking a whiff of her Altoid container as she didn't think even 'curiously strong' positive scents could overwhelm whatever was happening here.  She'd never been the type to fret over broken nails and the like before so she could fucking put on her big girl panties and deal with a little foul air.  <font color="#ec7f99]Still...[/font]<font color="#ec7f99]"It's nature. It should smell fresh. Cleeeean. Like...Yule logs. Drying linens.  Earthy and deep and warm, like...Treehouse Memories."[/font]

This of course was nature according to Owen and it came almost exclusively based on selections of candle scents she often chose for her clients. Aside from that wilderness camp, she'd spent her entire life surrounded by concrete and the odd park. She had very idealized, commercial views of what nature should be and her dragon had never seen fit to correct any misconceptions.

She had no knowledge of what quicksand or bog land looked like, and certainly no idea that some of the ground cover might not actually be covering ground. Presumably there were creatures larger than that centipede she'd have to worry about, since it wasn't an illusion the Elder had cast her into.

This made her steps falter slightly with concerns over just what kinds of creatures that didn't crawl could have been lurking around her, and though she recovered her rhythm, the thought was in her head as a massive hunting cat strolled in front of her like it owned the place.

It probably did.

She gasped and immediately tried to take a step back, her boot deciding to dig itself deeper into the jungle floor instead.

<img style=" " src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/whaaa_sex_and_the_city_zpsvd2bia91.gif" style="max-width:100%;]

<font color="#ec7f99]Good gods, it's huge. Does every fucking thing grow giant in the jungle?[/font]

<font color="#ec7f99]"Nice kitty."[/font] She held out a hand in the stop position, afraid to pull at her foot harder because the last thing she wanted to do was have a repeat of the elevator incident of '10. Ripping free of a sticky situation underfoot only to land on her ass. <font color="#ec7f99]Oh, hello mother,[/font] she imagined the phone call would go because a text with a WTF gif just wouldn't do, <font color="#ec7f99]just me, talking to a wild animal and literally stuck in a jungle. This's been real, but for serious--done.[/font] <font color="#ec7f99]"Please don't try to eat me. That will end badly for both of us."[/font]

It was pretty--pretty yellow intelligent eyes, pretty whorls of color dancing along its agitated fur. If she'd seen a picture of it, it might have inspired a wild interior of barely noticeable grains of color among dusky shades--wood, glass, lots of both--but this was real, not some paint concept, and it was growling.

If her dragon had any sense at all, if it wasn't too fat and lazy from all the playing with shiny pretty things at her day job, it'd defend her upon threat of whatever claws the thing was packing. And then she'd be barbecuing an innocent wild animal along with possibly protected rainforest (<font color="#ec7f99]And how stupid would the Elders have to be to put me in one of those? Seriously stupid! Probably think they're all smug and smart, making a point![/font]), neither of which were exactly on her bucket list nor in her wheelhouse of personal values. Wastefulness aside--fish was more her speed than most other kind of meats because she wasn't a fucking barbarian like, say, all the elders ever--she definitely was below this thing on the food chain as a human, and as part-wild beast herself she felt a kinship must exist in terms of end goals: she certainly wouldn't want to be anyone's trophy kill or meal.

<font color="#ec7f99]Gods, don't make me have to kill it. That would be THE WORST.[/font]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - megs - 08-19-2015


<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He would have rolled his eyes had he been able to. Nice kitty. What a weird thing to say to a predator. Holding out her hands like they would really fend him off. It  actually did nothing but confirm the fact that she had absolutely no business in this jungle. But, credit where credit was due he supposed because she wasn't descending into complete Panic Mode at the sight of him. A real lynx would have no idea what she was saying, anyway, and would not feel the need to be slightly offended by it. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He ceased his rumbling, because it didn't seem to be helping. Thinking on it, there probably wasn't a noise he could make that she would interpret as friendly. He took a few steps towards her, trying to be slow and lazy about it. Making it seem as if she was the last thing he was interested in. He kept his nose to the ground, because she was very clearly stuck, and he wanted to be sure that his only issue would be mud. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Only issue that wasn't her, anyway. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
<span>    </span>Getting them both stuck in quicksand wouldn't do any good. 

[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He stopped his focused snuffling, and lifted his head again. He shook it once, accompanied by that annoyed chuffling sound he'd been making earlier. Please don't eat me, she had said. How ridiculously polite of her. Had he actually been dangerous, he didn't see how that would end badly for anyone, but her. He considered the possibility that he could be underestimating her, but she obviously wasn't from Veridian. She obviously wasn't a lynx, and insofar he expected her to have already used any means of protection she had against him. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Sairus didn't want to, but he shifted back into his human form while he was still a few paces away from her. It was not exactly a solution, since an enormous naked man, was probably just a terrifying as a lynx. Pushing himself from the jungle floor and back on his feet, he groaned, rolled his shoulders and his neck like he was trying to recover from being in an uncomfortable position for too long. His form was mostly comprised of muscles encased in tanned skin. Unusually golden hair had been rendered stringy from being awash in rain and mud. Having absolutely no concern for his own nakedness he finally leveled his gaze on her dual colored irises. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span><font color="#cc3300]"Are you stuck?"[/font] was all he asked, not sounding as amused as he sort of felt. Sonorous tones were rough, and unused, vocal cords grating against one another with the effort of producing the sounds. He stretched a weathered hand in her direction, something she could use as an anchor in an attempt to right herself, if she wished. </span>[/align]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - danixiewrites - 08-20-2015

[/img]"http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/owenFlayred_zpsqax4owau.png" style="max-width:25%;float:right;margin:0 0 18px 18px;" style="Owen Flayred]<font color="#ec7f99]Thank the gods, it's not wild, it's CIVILIZATION. HE. Is people.[/font]

For all that he didn't look that civilized. Owen's mouth gaped open and for a very long moment she let her gaze drift over him. His face. Not...the rest of him. As a fully grown woman--and as one who'd been around shapechanger types her whole life--she was mature enough not to ogle.

[/img]"http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/lol_doctor_who_zpsioalwb5t.gif" style="HAHAHA" style="max-width:100%;]

<font color="#ec7f99]Also, I invented the thermostat. You're welcome, humanity.[/font]

She gave a light snort at herself. Most people lost in a jungle and approached by a stranger would be understandably suspicious and might even cower somewhere until said stranger could be proven to be not an enemy/threat.  Especially if their initial greeting had been a growl.  Not Owen. Relief was palpable, drawing a breath into her lungs that made her realize how tight they'd actually been.  With a slow nod to the man who, by her estimation, looked like he'd been rolling around in the mud, she greeted, <font color="#ec7f99]"Shifter."[/font]

Which was far more calm and collected than her first instinct: to dance around him in a pleased circle with a gleeful laugh and demand he take her to his cozy bungalow so she could get to more effectively plotting how she'd stick it to the Elders for this ridiculous teleportation trick--lesson, whatever. She restrained herself. Only because she didn't need him to leave her here because he somehow got the idea she was insane.

<font color="#ec7f99]Oh, this is perfect![/font] A slow smile bloomed across her features. It might actually turn out to be a nice, productive break from the front lines; inspiration and all. Her people would stall until she got home and in the meantime, she had notebooks, pens, a book of paint swatches. She could work on sketches for clients she had on her waiting list.

<font color="#ec7f99]"I think I might be."[/font] She looked down and gave a slight experimental tug on her boot, which held fast. <font color="#ec7f99]"Mud, right?"[/font]

Smooth fingers grasped a calloused hand. <font color="#ec7f99]"Thank you,"[/font] she said politely, accepting the leverage in favor of moving to a greener spot of ground. <font color="#ec7f99]"I should apologize for my initial greeting. I thought you were, well. A giant wildcat."[/font]

It didn't occur to her that 'nice kitty' was not how one should greet a giant wildcat, whether or not it was sentient, nor that he might be offended. The closest she'd been to an actual wild creature of that size was her massive wide-screen, wall-mounted Infinity-Def television. Her hometown had a zoo, but Owen had never seen the point. Most shifters she knew chafed at the concept of cages in general--for any creature. She rubbed her palms against denim again, unbothered by the heat but feeling more irritated by the damp as minutes passed. <font color="#ec7f99]"Is the road far? Your city?"[/font]

AC would get rid of all the humidity quite nicely.

Her lips pursed, considering. Asking for a cell tower seemed a stretch, but maybe once she got a place to stay she could get looking for an internet signal. She wouldn't have to wait for the dragons in her life to get their collective acts together if that were the case. Savings would come in handy, regardless of how meager they might be. One of her employees could buy her a plane ticket.  More problems solved, and she hadn't even had to be in the jungle that long!  


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - megs - 08-20-2015


<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Brows shot up, briefly, before falling to knit tightly above the bridge of his nose. <font color="#cc3300]"Not a shifter,"[/font] he corrected, unnecessarily. It was a bad habit; an argument of semantics bred from old age. Not that Sairus looked as old as he was. Veridian Islanders had never considered themselves the same as other shifters. Perhaps it was pride that caused them to make the distinction; having been a great race long before the first breed of shapeshifters. Or perhaps it was just prejudice. Not that he offered any of this as an explanation. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Intrigue surfaced, regardless of his standoffish nature. She knew about shifters so that was interesting. He looked her over, but didn't offer the same courtesy of keeping his assessment to her face. She was human-looking, but that didn't mean anything, and most humans didn't have eyes like hers. He didn't know what to make of her clothing. It was all strange layers and useless looking clasps. She was going to break an ankle in those shoes. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Her attractiveness might have been noted, if Sairus had ever been skilled at noticing that kind of thing. </span>[/align] <div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He only nodded when she questioned the ground. A man of few words overall, tempted to talk only when it really benefited him. He didn't return her smile, either, or tell her that she was welcome, but that was because he was a jerk. Having a categorized her as A Problem did nothing to help his manners. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>When she seemed steady enough he released her hand. He shrugged, turning away from her to scan the vicinity. <font color="#cc3300]"To be fair I was a giant wildcat,"[/font] he replied, distractedly, before he pointed in the direction she had been heading, specifically to the bushes she had been close to barreling though. All tall, green stalks with star-like extensions of tiny white flowers. <font color="#cc3300]"I figured I should stop you from walking into that. It's called water hemlock. It's poisonous."[/font] </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>This time he laughed, sort of. It wasn't an entirely accurate description for the strangled noise he tried to choke back. Useless in the end, because the curled corners of his mouth still gave him away. <font color="#cc3300]"My city?"[/font] he repeated, clawing hands through mud-caked locks. <font color="#cc3300]"My 'city' is twenty-seven thousand miles away from here. Do you not know where you are?"[/font] </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Sairus already knew the answer, but his questioning was more to access for any sort of trauma. They were quite literally in the middle of the jungle. It would have taken her days to get this far if she'd come from the coast. Even that would have been an impressive feat, since most of Dakannore's edges met the water in giant basalt cliffs. Aside from her now mud-covered footing, she didn't look like she had been on the island any longer than twenty minutes. </span>[/align]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - danixiewrites - 08-20-2015

<img style="Owen Flayred" style="max-width:25%;float:right;margin:0 0 18px 18px;" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/owenFlayred_zpsqax4owau.png]Her mouth went into an offended moue at his gruff rebuttal. <font color="#ec7f99]"Then what do you call what you just did?"[/font] A thin brown eyebrow went up a little haughtily and she quirked her lips to one side, wiggling her fingers in the--<font color="#ec7f99]more or less universal, right?[/font]--sign for 'hocus pocus'. <font color="#ec7f99]"Magic?"[/font]

Owen cocked her head as he spoke, smiling slightly if a bit bemused at his totally-not-smooth-at-all jungle-man scrutiny. And then the utter lack of reaction to an outfit and body that usually got either one of two as a matter of course: a leer or a sneer. She shrugged. <font color="#ec7f99]"A pic'll last longer. But knock yourself out."[/font] Since he obviously didn't have anywhere he could have been hiding a phone, she opened her mouth to sarcastically offer to email him one of the multitudes of selfies on her oversized data card. And then snapped it closed when she considered how that might sound. <font color="#ec7f99]"On the other hand, and not that I care, but you can feel free to restrain your manly self at any time,"[/font] she said instead.

Sparing a glance for a copse of yet more unidentifiable green, she huffed out a breath. <font color="#ec7f99]Is there anything out here that isn't either giant or poisonous?[/font] <font color="#ec7f99]"Thank you,"[/font] she said instead of blurting out her near-hysterical mental lamentations. <font color="#ec7f99]"Water hemlock. I'll have to remember that for later."[/font] She wouldn't. <font color="#ec7f99]"That would have been unfortunate."[/font]

More unfortunate than getting teleported to a jungle: dying in it.

For all that she assumed her dragon would swoop in--swoop out?--and save her from physical threats, it couldn't seem to protect her from something so inane as food poisoning. So how would it fare against a strange plant? The specter of death circled her thoughts for a moment until she realized he seemed to be laughing at her. Owen frowned. <font color="#ec7f99]Maybe it's not so much a city, and more a vill--[/font]

She made a broken sound in her throat that might have been hysterical laughter had it not been smothered by partial hyperventilation. <font color="#ec7f99]"Twenty. Seven. Thousand?"[/font] she asked, ending on a slight squeak. Her hand went automatically to the front pocket of her messenger bag before she remembered the map app wouldn't work without a satellite signal. And that he must have been joking, taking her literally--which was not very nice.  <font color="#ec7f99]"Ohh. Okay. So. Okay, wiseguy. The other side of the planet? Very funny. And yeah, that's great for you. I meant, obviously: how far to the nearest city. And maybe which way?"[/font]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - megs - 08-21-2015

[/img]"http://i.imgur.com/Qduf0O0.png" style="max-width:25%;float:left;margin:0 18px;" style="avatar]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span><font color="#cc3300]"It's not the same,"[/font] he replied. Attempting not sound argumentative in the face of her offense because he didn't want to make a whole thing out of it. There was no decent explanation anyway. Just that aforementioned discrimination rearing its ugly head. "It's difficult to explain," he offered. He could already tell she would be quick to cop an attitude and he imagined that would be wholly intolerable so he was doing his best to avoid it. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span><font color="#cc3300]"What?" [/font]he asked, brows knitting in confusion because he had no idea what she meant by take a pic. <font color="#cc3300]"What?"[/font] he repeated, a bit sharper this time because she sounded offended and he had no idea what he had done. He'd only been observing her poor choice in clothing for what seemed to be a very impromptu expedition. He kept any comments he'd gathered to himself to avoid confrontation. Especially since he had no room to speak due to his very own lack of clothing. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Which was now brought glaringly to his own attention, and now he felt all sorts of awkward. And perhaps he was making her uncomfortable.</span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He'd neglected to take that into consideration. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span><font color="#cc3300]"You should probably be more careful,"[/font] he continued. Ignoring that there had been no actual tones of gratitude in her words. <font color="#cc3300]"The island is dangerous for the inexperienced."[/font]</span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>His head cocked, almost involuntarily at the squeaks in her tone. The gesture was entirely feline, representative of a cat reacting to a strange noise. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He opened his mouth to make a comment on her terrible sense of geography, but closed it again as he thought back on what he had actually said. <font color="#cc3300]"Hundred,"[/font] he corrected, much to is own chagrin. <font color="#cc3300]"Eryra is twenty-seven hundred miles from here."[/font] It wasn't exactly a comforting correction, since it was still pretty damn far away. He had misspoken and now she thought he was just being a dick. He huffed. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span><font color="#cc3300]"This is Dakannore. One of the Verifiable Isles?"[/font] he explained, gesturing to the jungle around them. It was phrased like a question, testing to see if she had any idea what he was talking about. <font color="#cc3300]"It was abandoned during the war and is mostly uninhabited now. The closest civilized island is still over a thousand miles away."[/font]</span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He was not helping. Sairus was not good at helping. Not that there was anything that he could say that would be something she wanted to hear. If she'd been looking for a fabulous island vacation she had picked the wrong one. <font color="#cc3300]"How did you even get here?"[/font] </span>[/align]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - danixiewrites - 08-23-2015

[/img]"http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/owenFlayred_zpsqax4owau.png" style="Owen Flayred" style="max-width:25%;float:right;margin:0 0 18px 18px;]<font color="#ec7f99]"Uh hum."[/font] Owen's eyebrows went up and she performed an extraordinarily long blink in lieu of an eye-roll that'd make the iridescent rings of her eyes blend to a hideous brown. Aesthetics aside, most people got touchy when faced with the more juvenile eye-roll versus the mature-and-super-tolerant eye-blink, and as he was the only person she'd encountered in the endless amount of time she'd been forced to endure the jungle, she didn't want to make him walk off.

<font color="#ec7f99]"Take a picture,"[/font] she said more slowly, then, <font color="#ec7f99]"It was dumb, forget it. It's not like there's somewhere you could be stashing a phone, looking like that." [/font]

<font color="#ec7f99]"Jungle,"[/font] she corrected automatically, even as on the inside of her head the word <font color="#ec7f99]Iiiiiisland?![/font] dragged out. Owen smoothed her hands over her dreads and then gave a series of irritated tugs on her bandanna, trying to keep things in order even though it wasn't going to help the impending humidity disaster. <font color="#ec7f99]"I'm aware that a jungle is dangerous. And I was being careful. It's not like I planned on a sudden trip, you know."[/font] Duh. He didn't, obviously. She huffed through her nose. <font color="#ec7f99]"Well, now you know, anyway. Don't you think I would've at least packed some bug spray?"[/font]

<font color="#ec7f99]Iiiisland?[/font] repeated inside her brain. <font color="#ec7f99]As in a clump of land surrounded by water.[/font]

But then <font color="#ec7f99]Oh good, he's prone to swapping up words[/font], she thought with little relief as he corrected his thousand/hundred math--and didn't make things better.

<font color="#ec7f99]"Eryra? Dakannore?"[/font] she repeated. <font color="#ec7f99]"The...Verifiable Isles?"[/font] <font color="#ec7f99]More like totally unverifiable,[/font] she groaned inwardly, and she was definitely lost without her apps. <font color="#ec7f99]Stupid satellite signal. Stupid jungle. Stupid Elders.[/font] <font color="#ec7f99]"Yeah, I actually don't kn--Wait. WAIT.  ISLES. Island. UNINHABITED? You aren't just screwing with me again, are you?"[/font]

And island.  Oh, that was just cosmically wrong. When she'd considered catching a flight home, she'd ignored the irony in it in favor of the certainty that there'd be set landing strips for planes. But no. It seemed the Elders intended her to catch a thermal or something--whatever it was that made flying happen for dragons--because the great, wise Caz had dumped her in an empty, out-of-the-way jungle-so-not-a-paradise-island.

<font color="#ec7f99]"Gods, this is. Not even. Happening."[/font] She groaned the words through gritted teeth. <font color="#ec7f99]"You can't be telling me the nearest indoor plumbing is a thousand miles away. Wait. You're here!"[/font]

Just because civilization in droves was that far out didn't necessarily mean the catman's jungle bungalow was out of the question. Owen smiled prettily all of a sudden, and asked, <font color="#ec7f99]"So...where are you staying?"[/font]

<font color="#ec7f99]"Unwillingly,"[/font] she answered with bite, and added for clarification,<font color="#ec7f99] "Fire tornado teleportation."[/font] <font color="#ec7f99]Of course.[/font] She wiggled her fingers in that ridiculously faux-mystical manner again. <font color="#ec7f99]"You know. Magic."[/font]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - megs - 08-26-2015


<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Sairus frowned. She didn't believe him. Even though he knew she wouldn't believe him he still found himself unnecessarily bothered by it. He reminded himself that it was absolutely not worth getting into an argument over, she was an outsider and probably wouldn't bother taking the specifics to heart anyway. Waste of time. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span><font color="#cc3300]"Picture?"[/font] he repeated, cocking his head, sounding more confused than he'd been previously, despite her talking to him like a child. She kept using a language, or at least a type of slang wordage that he didn't understand. Which was a problem because he had enough time talking to someone without a language barrier. <font color="#cc3300]"I don't know what a …"phone" is?"[/font] he decided to admit, instead of brushing her off; talking down to her wouldn't get her out of his fur any faster.</span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span><font color="#cc3300]"Yes. It's jungle on an island,"[/font] he replied, sounding somewhat exasperated. Having no idea why she had corrected him to begin with. He exhaled sharply through his nose, an obvious indicator of disbelief. If she was being careful she wouldn't be on this godforsaken island at all. But then she started tugging at her hair, using words he didn't understand again. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>He did understand that he did not like the way she huffed at him. Even if he'd been doing the very same thing without noticing. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span><font color="#cc3300]"Veridian Isles," [/font]he corrected, not realizing he had been the one to mix up the words in the first place. But even if he had, he would likely be more content to blame the error on her, and pretend to know nothing of it. He watched the way realization flooded her colorful eyes with a hint of amusement. He nodded, punctuating all her points with a grunt that was supposed to verify her correct statements; shaking his head quickly when she tried to accuse him of fucking with her. He didn't reiterate that the closest island was indeed that far away, or offer to explain what he was also doing there. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>More panicking, more strings of words that made no sense to him. Made him want to turn back into a lynx and slink off to leave her to figure this all out on her own. But then she smiled at him, and he frowned in return. Not at all interested in falling for the charms she suddenly felt like using. <font color="#cc3300]"My camp is not far from here,"[/font] he found himself saying, unwillingly, because apparently some part of his brain wasn't interested in leaving her as a meal for something else. </span>[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]
[/align]<div style="text-align:justify;]<span style="font-size:10pt;]<span>    </span>Sairus made a disgusted noise, because she kept talking about magic and he hated magic. It was fickle and passive aggressive, a thing of nature that no one could control as well as they really wanted to think they could. Instead of prolonging the conversation, or extending a verbal invitation Sairus turned into a russet-colored lynx again and turned away from Owen. He pushed his way through the underbrush and back into the jungle. He figured she was smart enough to follow. </span>[/align]


Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - danixiewrites - 09-03-2015

<img style="max-width:25%;float:right;margin:0 0 18px 18px;" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/owenFlayred_zpsqax4owau.png" style="Owen Flayred]Dual circles thickened around each pupil as her eyes went wide and disbelieving. <font color="#ec7f99]"Who doesn't know what a phone is?"[/font] Gods, how primitive was this place and its not-shifter inhabitant?  Did he communicate by radio, maybe?  Morse code?  The original 'dial-up'??  Or more likely, oh...what was the jungle equivalent of heat stroke?  As soon as the thought crossed her mind she felt a little contrite.  Perhaps it wasn't the technology.  Perhaps she should be seeking medical attention for the poor man. Clearly he was having trouble thinking.  Too bad she didn't know the first thing about applying medical attention.  Or even seeking it, here.

<img style="max-width:100%;" style="" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/downton-abbey-phone-call-scam_zpstsdra1rf.gif]

<font color="#ec7f99]"Yeah. Phone."[/font]  With a quick smile, Owen slid her hand into her bag and back out without a beat, pulling out the holy rectangle of technology--the one glimpse of civilization she was apparently going to get. The chrome glint around its edges was barely visible under the bright pink flowered life-lock case. She tabbed the screen on and swiped her finger across. It made a tinkling sound between them and she shook it dramatically, as if that would help jog his memory or save him from jungle-stroke. <font color="#ec7f99]"Telephone? Telefono?"[/font]

Owen was preening and getting only a frown in response which was just as frustrating as the grasping the concept of 'jungle island'. Not that she was very good at playing the seductress; after all, she hadn't needed much practice as of late. Being in charge usually came with snapping orders and hail-to-the-queen-style lightning fast responses as her people scurried about to get jobs done. It'd been a few years since she had to resort to twirling her hair and licking her lips. Sadly, her name wouldn't open doors here--and it looked like her boobs weren't going to be much use either.

Her pose fell back to her normal stance, the hand wrapped around her phone propped on her hip.

<font color="#ec7f99]"Camp," [/font]she repeated slowly. Owen Flayred did not 'camp'. Perhaps he was being...catty. Offended by her attempt to soften him up. <font color="#ec7f99]"By camp, you mean charming jungle cottage. Gods, tell me you mean charming jungle cottage."[/font]

She huffed when he slid back into his cat shape and...left. <font color="#ec7f99]"Where are you going? You didn't tell me which--get off!"[/font] Owen swatted at her arms as something uncomfortably oversized and winged brushed against them. For a moment, she thought she might have felt something stir inside her mind, an offended thought flitting through that something so puny thought it could share her airspace.  As soon as it appeared, it was gone, so Owen shrugged it off as she took off after...oh hell.  What was his name?  She'd been so pre-occupied by mud and bugs and JUNGLE...

<font color="#ec7f99]"I'm Owen, by the way, in case your royal catness cares,"[/font] she halted to call after him, heedless of whatever else might have been in the jungle.  Possibly she should have been treating the wilderness like traversing a back alley in the city--quietly and as if she wasn't actually there--but Owen didn't really do quiet.  Or handle inconvenience with any measure of grace.  <font color="#ec7f99]"You got a name or should I fall back on 'nice kitty'?"[/font]

<font color="#ec7f99]Fantastic time to pick to try that conversation topic on for size, O,[/font] she grumbled inwardly.  <font color="#ec7f99]What's he going to do, purr at me?  Make me translate cat growls?[/font]

<div style="text-align:center;]<img style="font-size:10pt;max-width:100%;" src="http://i1299.photobucket.com/albums/ag76/danixiewrites/idiot_community_zpszgdy8jjj.gif" style="][/align]
She blinked, realizing she couldn't see him among all the green anymore.

<font color="#ec7f99]"Oh hell no. You are not slinking away and leaving me to be eaten by giant flies,"[/font] she muttered, mostly to herself, and continued in the direction he'd disappeared. Her boots slid a little on moss and brown, rotted vegetation underfoot, but she took moderately more precautions than before. Testing the ground, then stepping, so she didn't wind up in another sinkhole. Which would probably keep her from getting muddier, but also meant the swishing tip of his tail was getting further away. <font color="#ec7f99]"If I get lost, it's your fault."[/font]

She was beginning to rack up quite the list of responsible parties.


RE: Miles from Nowhere [1x1] - megs - 11-18-2015

The answer was Sairus.

Sairus did not know what a phone was. His gaze dropped to the object in her hand, and he frowned. He watched her play with it, head cocking to the side as images changed and noises sounded off. If she continued to wave the thing in front of his face like some sort of damned holy grail they would learn sooner, rather than later, that it was not only where she had been sent, but when.

"We don't have those here," he settled on as an explanation as she thrust the contraption in his line of vision, again. Sairus already knew he didn't like it by the look of it, even if he did not understand it's function. Too bright, and too noisy and a lot like magic. The more magical she appeared to be, the more Sairus lost interest in being around her.

The case of Sairus' lodgings, if they could be called that, were certainly not what one could refer to as a charming. A single tent in a tightly knit out-cropping of trees with low branches, near a fire that was kept low when he wasn't present to attend to it. He shook his head, furred ears flopping around with the force of it, because, no, he did not mean cottage.

He was starting to wish he'd let the jungle have her.

The cat kept moving forward, trampling through brush while he listened to Owen talk. Which did not seem to be a thing she stopped doing. He did make a mental note to tell her his name when he was no longer a lynx, because he wasn't completely without manners, and it would be a useful thing for her to have if everything went to hell like he imagined it would.

Especially if she didn't quiet down.

He stopped, when he didn't hear her stomping footsteps any longer, looked over his shoulder to find that she wasn't right behind him like he had assumed. With an annoyed chuff he turned, sticking his nose to the ground to follow his steps back to a plausible spot in which he could have lost her. He poked his head through the foliage, reappearing just as she threatened to blame any ill will that fell upon her on him.

Sairus made a high-pitched shrill of a noise, mouth drawing back to reveal a full row of glistening teeth. Despite the show of sharp canines, it sounded more like he was scolding her for falling behind, than threatening her. If she stayed close this time, they would break through the jungle into a clearing that revealed what was probably Owen's worst nightmare: the opposite of a cute, jungle, bungalow.