ardent

The Secrets That You Keep

Mama Tam



Artorias

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1 Year
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Joe

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05-02-2021, 10:27 PM (This post was last modified: 05-02-2021, 10:28 PM by Artorias. Edited 1 time in total. Edited 1 time in total.)



Artorias watched Corbin take flight from his balcony into the cloudy sky, the black bird fading into a speck amongst the gray canvas the further he got with each flap of his powerful wings. He had done as Sirius had asked and sent the summons for Briar and the missive for Naiche on behalf of the injured Warlord. A silent prayer escaped his heart for his companion's safe travels; the weather was still notoriously unpredictable, even though some days seemed to be getting better than others. Perhaps it was finally heralding the end to the awful extended winter they had been forced to endure? The boy could only hope.

Once Corbin was out of sight, Artorias dropped his paws from the balcony's balustrade and turned back into the warmth of the castle, shutting the doors to keep the cold out. He was still pretty shaken by his loss of total control against Sirius the day before, and although he and the Fatalis patriarch had a heart-to-heart and made amends, he still felt a nervousness when he considered how easy it had been to lose himself like that and get that violent... Seer had promised meditation lessons for the lad once he healed, so for now all he could do was wait and let their wounded guest recover.

Wandering aimlessly around the castle's second floor, Art eventually meandered into the grand foyer, trotting gracefully across one of the upper walkways that connected the west and east wings of the castle when he heard the sound of someone breathing fast and shallow, as if they were running for their lives or about to burst into sobs. Artorias stopped, peering over the railing in time to spot the smaller black-furred form of his mother rushing up the stairs, appearing distraught and on the edge of a breakdown. His brow furrowed, concern painting his visage while amber eyes followed Tamsyn's path up to the tower stairs until she had disappeared from sight. Had something happened that he wasn't aware of? What had his mother in such a state?

He had to know. Changing directions on a dime, Artorias moved with a brisk canter back across the walkways to the tower stairs, peering up them for a moment before giving pursuit to his mother. Up and up and up the fast becoming familiar steps he went, higher and higher until he reached the trapdoor at the top. Except this time, it was still open. Tamsyn had forgotten to shut it in her rush to reach the zenith of the Carpathius fortress. It allowed Art to pull himself up to the tower roof almost silently, spotting his mother a short distance away.

"Mom...?" he called out to her while he pushed the trapdoor shut, giving them some much needed privacy. "Is something wrong? Are you okay?"


"Artorias" | Thoughts | "Corbin"




One big happy family

Artorias has a raven named Corbin. Assume he is within calling distance at all times unless otherwise stated.

____________________




Tamsyn

The Hallows
Templar

Master Fighter (240)
Master Navigator (275)

age
6 Years
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Female
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Shelby

1KBeeventBronze Medal 2020
05-02-2021, 11:29 PM

As she raced up the stairs two or three at a time, hoisting herself up as fast as her healing body could bear. She just had to get as far away as possible, from Resin, from her children, from anyone else in the pack. Space was good. Space gave her relief. Space gave her a time alone to break down without someone questioning and worrying. She wouldn't have to hold back if she was alone, she wouldn't have to be strong. By the time she got up to the tower and threw the trap door open she had already began to cry, heaving gasps of air into her lungs from the mad dash to get up here. Space, she just needed space. She staggered over to the other side of the tower platform, sinking to her haunches with her back to the trap door, leaning her shoulder against the railing as she hung her head and finally gave herself over to absolutely everything that was making the guilt, fear, and panic grip at her lungs. Her panting turned into hiccups of breath while the sound of Resin's maddened laugh continued to ring in her ears.

She hadn't heard Artorias climb out of the trap door and didn't know he was there until she heard him call out to her. It made her gasp as if she had been shocked, but she didn't turn to face him right away. Without me, you have to be the pillar of strength. You have to set the example. Resin's voice, her Resin, filled her mind and she quickly rubbed away the tears on her cheeks, swallowing it all back, fighting to clear her thoughts and sniffling softly before she finally glanced over her shoulder at him. She forced a smile onto her lips at first, telling him, "Of course, darling! I'm okay!" But that was before she saw his face. The worry he wore told her that she had been found out, she hadn't moved fast enough, hadn't escaped his watchful gaze. Her smile faltered as she turned away from him again, not wanting him to see her face as her expression fell again, her head leaning into the brick beside her.

She hadn't been able to help Resin before it was too late. She had paid the price for that with the scars on her face. She hadn't had the strength to hold true to Resin when presented with the smallest temptation. She had paid the price for that with the haunting guilt that Resin had dealt. They couldn't even wait until we were dead. Now she had failed to be the strong pillar that Resin had made her promise to be, and now she was going to pay the price for that. She was going to have to look her son in the face and admit that she had failed, that she couldn't do it no matter how hard she had tried.

Tamsyn squeezed her eyes shut, another sob trembling her shoulders as she tried to bring herself back to some semblance of calm so that she could actually look at her son without breaking down entirely.

"Tamsyn" | "Blue"



Tamsyn has a blue eyed black lemur named Blue who is usually somewhere near by unless otherwise stated



Artorias

The Hallows
Baron

Master Fighter (245)
Advanced Navigator (115)

age
1 Year
gender
Male
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Joe

Critical Hit!1K
05-03-2021, 12:54 AM



Tamsyn turned back to him with such a start that it shocked Artorias, almost not fully registering the big fraud of a smile on her face between that and her glassy eyes that betrayed her lie. Then, all at once, Tam's facade buckled under itself, and his strong, loving mother dropped the phony smile and slumped against the parapet surrounding the tower's edge. He could see his mother's smaller, sleeker form quivering with the effort of each sob that rocked her. Artorias didn't wait to move closer to his weeping mother, brows knitted tightly together in concern and his breath held in his chest. What was going on? Was the weight and grief of their situation just getting to her? He could understand that, the tension had become almost unbearable with Resin's suffering. He had to remind himself that, although she was his mother, she was also Tamsyn's mate. They shared a connection far more intimate. It couldn't be any easier for her than it was for him or his siblings.

Artorias moved up closer to Tamsyn and rubbed his side against hers in a comforting nuzzle to announce his presence beside her. He leaned his muzzle down to his smaller mother's face, ginger licks swiping away the tears on her cheeks, being extremely careful around her scarring wounds on the right side of her face. He looked at her with such heart wrenching sorrow and empathy. This was what Sirius had been talking about when he said the hardest thing to do was watch other wolves fight their battles with things he couldn't attack. He wanted to fight his mother's sorrow, to tear it to shreds and obliterate it so she could smile more genuinely again. Art just wanted her to be happy again.

"It's gonna be okay, Mama," he spoke softly, moving to date a foreleg across his mother's heaving shoulders to bring her into a loving embrace against his side. He knew it wouldn't be okay. He knew what the outcome of their situation would be. Whether it came in a day, a week, a month, a year... it would only turn out one way. But he could be strong for her, help keep her standing tall and push through the pain. Tamsyn was never alone as long as Artorias and the rest of their family was around. "Did something happen...?" he asked, still trying to figure out what had broken his mother's final resolve. She had been so stressed and angry when she came home yesterday, and although there was still some tension between him and her, it didn't diminish his care or concern for his mother.


"Artorias" | Thoughts | "Corbin"




One big happy family

Artorias has a raven named Corbin. Assume he is within calling distance at all times unless otherwise stated.

____________________




Tamsyn

The Hallows
Templar

Master Fighter (240)
Master Navigator (275)

age
6 Years
gender
Female
gems
642
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Medium
build
Light
posts
445
player
Shelby

1KBeeventBronze Medal 2020
05-03-2021, 01:22 PM (This post was last modified: 05-03-2021, 06:57 PM by Tamsyn. Edited 1 time in total. Edited 1 time in total.)

Tamsyn’s ears pinned against her skull when Artorias approached her, brushing so gently against her side, carefully licking away the tears from her face. He was too good for this cruel world. He was so much more than she could ever have ever hoped for her son to be. She wanted to be the one to be able to support him and protect him - him and all of his siblings. More and more she was beginning to feel like she couldn’t. She had given every last ounce of herself already and there was nothing left. Every time anything happened that trudged up old trauma or hurt it broke her. There was no time to heal because she never stopped hurting.

She scoffed when he told her that it was going to be okay, knowing that it was a lie. A sweet lie, but a lie none of the less. How could anything be okay when her mate was fracturing apart at the seams and she had strained the only other friendship she had in this world? She let him put his foreleg around her shoulders and pull her away from the brick that was holding her upright, instead bringing her to lean into his side. When had he gotten so big? Where did her little fuzz balls go? She remembered how terrified she had been when Resin helped her realize that she was pregnant and now she would do anything to go back to that moment. That fear felt like nothing compared to this feeling of her heart being ripped away from her chest.

”Did something happen...?” She couldn’t help but give a quiet, broken laugh at her son’s question, blinking her eyes open and looking down toward the stone under her paws while she leaned her head against him. It felt like it would be easier to say what hadn’t happened at this point. But how much should - or could - she tell Artorias? How poorly would be look at her if she told him the truth? Where did she even begin? By now her sobbing had calmed noticeably, tapering off into the occasional shuttering sigh and sniffle. As much as she hated that he was here, his steadying presence did help. He was more of a strong pillar than she could ever be. "I... I made a mistake,” she told him softly with a heavy sigh. Meeting his eyes felt impossible. The shame was too much.

Gods, how did she even begin to explain? "Do you... Do you remember when I told you about what having a crush is like? And how you’ll know when you found the one?" Surely he would, but she hoped that would at least give him enough context to begin to understand. "I found that twice... I obviously found that in Resin, but... but also in Sirius." She couldn’t look at him, she didn’t want to know what his expression was. "I never would have pursued anything with him. He was married long before I met him. But the feelings were still there - I just hid them and never told a soul."

“But... Yesterday... I went to talk to Sirius after they finished patching him up after your fight. We were both so exhausted that we ended up falling asleep next to each other. He had a nightmare - he didn’t hurt me, but I guess just in his panic and worry that he had and... I don’t know... maybe relief that he hadn’t... He kissed me and...” Her ears fell back again and she looked off over the edge of the tower, her stomach churning and squeezing with guilt. “It brought back all those old memories and feelings. I thought...” Gods how could she have been so stupid? “I told him. I told him that I had always loved him.” She was furious with herself for thinking that maybe, just maybe, he could have been feeling the same things, that maybe he could see past Zee for just a moment...

She gave a hard shake of her head, turning her gaze back toward the stone in front of their paws. “Of course, he didn’t agree. Told me that he couldn’t.” It had always been Zee. Fierce, platonic love. “But by that point I just... I just felt so, so hurt and guilty. I felt like I had to tell Resin. Even if I hadn’t initiated it, I still felt so, so guilty. So I went to tell her just a little bit ago...” Her breathing hitched as she thought about it. That awful, heart wrenching, raspy laugh. They couldn’t even wait until we were dead. “She’s... She’s slipping more. Wasn’t herself. She... Oh Resin...” Her words devolved into hurt wines, her eyes squeezing shut again. She’d do anything to have her Resin back. Anything in the entire world.

"Tamsyn" | "Blue"



Tamsyn has a blue eyed black lemur named Blue who is usually somewhere near by unless otherwise stated



Artorias

The Hallows
Baron

Master Fighter (245)
Advanced Navigator (115)

age
1 Year
gender
Male
gems
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Extra large
build
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posts
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Joe

Critical Hit!1K
Yesterday, 02:28 AM



Artorias was more than a bit perturbed by Tamsyn's strange reactions to his words, his comforts, hell even his presence. His mother kept shifting her weight, keeping her head low and eyes averted from his. In fact, other than that first glance she had cast him over her shoulder, she hadn't looked at him at all. It was as if she was ashamed of something, or guilty of something, and couldn't look him in the eye. But that was absurd. What would his mother have to be guilty or ashamed over? She had done nothing wrong as far as he could tell. So what could have happened to get her in such a state? It was beginning to worry the lad more and more, despite Tamsyn's sobs gradually starting to settle down again into shuddering sighs and congested sniffles.

Finally, Tamsyn explained that she had made a mistake. Artorias' brows creased with further befuddlement. She had made a mistake? What kind of mistake would do this to her? He continued to peer down at her with soft amber eyes, hoping she would eventually look up at him and explain. She never did. Instead, Tam asked if he remembered her explanation of what having a crush was like. Okay, that really didn't clarify anything, but yes, he did. His nose crinkled up at the thought, but pushed aside his adolescent repulsion for the sentiments to hear her out. "I do," he replied. Tamsyn then explained that she had found that feeling not once, but twice, in his mother Resin—and also in Sirius. The world seemed to come to a grinding halt like a record scratch. Wait... what?! His mom was crushing on Sirius? Artorias hoped that his mother would explain more, because his confusion wasn't getting any better, it was getting worse.

She elucidated the situation: she had started having feelings for Sirius long ago, but he was married to Zee. She never would have pursued anything with him. She just hid her feelings from him. Artorias' eyes darted back and forth, not really focusing on any one particular thing while his brain worked to try to make sense of these loose connections. It was possible to be crushing on more than one wolf at once?! He had thought one crush would be bad, but two...?!

The story continued. She had spent the day with Sirius after he had been patched up following the slaughter—he couldn't even call it a fight—to make sure he was okay. Art nodded; he had known that when he saw her when he visited the Warlord. She told him how she had spent the night there with him I the hospital bed. His nods slowed; ooookaaay, a little weird, but not that weird. Other wolves slept next to each other all the time. Sirius had a nightmare, he panicked and thought he hurt Tamsyn—and then he kissed her. Record scratch again. Artorias' body tensed up, going rigid while his brain scrambled to make sense of the words he'd just heard. Sirius... Kissed... My mom... Sirius kissed my mom... The normal aversion to anything romantic came back, but along with it came a twinge of upset and confusion. How could Sirius kiss his mom? She was mated to Resin! That wasn't right... right? Crushes didn't give you free rein to start kissing other wolves, right? That didn't make sense, otherwise what was the point of getting mated with and marrying other wolves?

His jaw locked up, tense with the conflicting emotions of confusion and upset, but he didn't act or say anything just yet. He had a feeling he didn't have the full story yet. Sure enough, Tamsyn admitted to telling Sirius that she loved him, even after all this time. Sirius had rejected her, and Tamsyn had felt so guilty that she told Resin. That sent an icicle straight through his heart; his mother had gone to see Resin and he still hadn't yet. Why was everyone else disobeying her requests and visiting when he wasn't? Fuck it, he'd go see her too! But that could come later. Right now, he focused all of his attention on his mother, watching while she still kept her gaze away from him out of humiliation. Resin was slipping more and more each day, that wasn't a surprise, but Art couldn't tell what Tam was more upset by: his dying mother, or her unrequited love with Sirius.

Artorias wasn't sure what to say first. He wanted to comfort his distraught mother, but he also still wanted to confront her for treating herself like something disposable and not caring for her own safety and health by pulling stunts like what she had with Sirius. And then there was that whole matter with Sirius to discuss too, because none of that made sense to him! He opted to go for the far kinder route first, and the boy tugged his smaller mother into another embrace, nuzzling the side of her head and cheek with his muzzle.

"I know, Mama, I want her back too..." he spoke, voice soft, doing his best not to let it crack and not let the sorrow seep out of his heart. "We have to stay strong together for her though. She gave us all she could to keep going, with or without her, and that's what we need to do right now. Weather the storm, just hold on until we're on the other side..." It wasn't the encouragement he wanted to give. He wanted to assure his heartbroken mother that they would find a cure, that Resin would be saved and come back to them good as new, but the boy knew how much of a pipe dream that was by now. Now came the less kind path. "Why did you let Sirius kiss you...?" his soft voice hardened for just a fraction of a second, some of that uncertainty manifesting itself as a guarded tone. "You and Mom are mates. He should know better. But... you didn't stop him...? You told him you loved him...?" It was all very confusing. There was a brief pause, then the harder hitting question that had been his first while listening to her story. "Do you love him more than Mom...?"


"Artorias" | Thoughts | "Corbin"




One big happy family

Artorias has a raven named Corbin. Assume he is within calling distance at all times unless otherwise stated.

____________________




Tamsyn

The Hallows
Templar

Master Fighter (240)
Master Navigator (275)

age
6 Years
gender
Female
gems
642
size
Medium
build
Light
posts
445
player
Shelby

1KBeeventBronze Medal 2020
Yesterday, 06:40 PM

Hearing Artorias tell her how they had to continue to be strong and hold true till they were on the other side only made her feel tired. Maybe she'd feel different about it in a day or two once the sting of seeing Resin begin to fracture in front of her began to fade, but right now, in this moment, the thought of trying to hold it together for even a minute longer was exhausting. She understood what he was trying to do though so she wouldn't hold it against him and she continued to be thankful that her son had grown into such a strong young man, but she couldn't bring herself to do more than give him a small nod as he spoke and pulled her into another embrace.

Then came the part of her story that she didn't want to have to explain. She wished that she hadn't told him about Sirius, but it was one of those things that she just had to get out of her mind, out into the universe so it could begin to dissipate and hopefully release her from its clutches. She needed to talk it out with someone and her very limited list of friends and family only gave her so many options. Artorias just happened to fall into her lap at the moment when she was at her weakest so she had allowed herself to over share with the poor boy. His hardened tone and accusing questions were absolutely justified and she just allowed it to fuel her guilt, reminding her why a life with Sirius could and should never happen, forcing her wayward heart to match up with her brain.

His question of if she loved Sirius more than Resin hit her hard, squeezing at her chest painfully. She decided to start there, knowing that was the worst of the bunch "No... No, I don't love him more than Resin," she told him, becoming more sure of the words once she said them out loud, finally allowing herself to look up at his confused, pained face. Resin had locked herself away in a dungeon as punishment when she attacked her. Tamsyn would punish herself for this betrayal by forcing herself to face the hurt in her family's faces as they discovered what she had done. "It's just... different. They both mean a lot to me, but your Mom and I have shared so much together and she will always have the biggest, most important part of my heart." She knew it would all be so hard for him to understand and she hardly understood it herself so it felt like blind leading the blind.

"I know it doesn't make sense... But Sirius didn't do it consciously. The same way he hadn't meant to hurt Briar and you hadn't meant to hurt Sirius as badly as you did. Wolves to a lot of crazy things when they're under a lot of stress or emotion. He did know better and right after it happened he immediately apologized." Did that make it any better? She wasn't sure. "I... I kissed him back for similar reasons. It's so hard to explain, but..." A shaky sigh passed her lips and she glanced away from him again, guilt and hurt written across her face. "Knowing that I'm going to lose Resin... It just makes this huge hole in my heart. After spending every day of my life with her for so long I'm just..." Just what? Lonely? Lonely didn't really begin to describe how she was feeling. "I was too desperate to feel something besides heartbreak that all of my common sense just went out the window and... All those feelings from a long, long time ago popped back up again. Once you feel like that towards someone... It never really goes away. It just gets buried."

It was a terrible excuse, but it was the best one she had. "It's not okay to do what I did... I'm not saying that it is," she emphasized, lifting her eyes to look at him. The last thing she wanted was for his future relationships to be strained because he looked back on this moment and thought that it was fine to kiss anyone. Her situation was strange and strained and painful and that was hard to get across in just words. "Even if Resin is lost to me now she is still my mate for at least a little while longer... I... I shouldn't have let my pain and heartache get the best of me... It was a mistake and I'm sorry..."

"Tamsyn" | "Blue"



Tamsyn has a blue eyed black lemur named Blue who is usually somewhere near by unless otherwise stated