save his chief's life during a time when an exhausted
Wildlight would certainly have gotten himself killed,
Snapjaw resorted to extreme measures, taking Wildlight
in a chokehold from behind to induce a much-needed
sleep in the chief.
when Wildlight awoke, days later, confined to bed,
he remembered nothing--nothing save strange feelings
of uneasiness and distrust around the eldest elder.
a dreamberry vision made Wildlight leap at the shadows
thinking they were Snapjaw, he decided to pay the
eldest elder a visit to get to the root of what was
troubling him... for better or for worse.
* * *
really wasn't on the chief's way to his den in the Great
Tree, but somehow, for some reason, Wildlight found himself
wandering in that direction. Something in his heart told
him he was looking for trouble in a place where trouble
didn't need to be trifled with.
When he approached
the treeden and found it abuzz with the sounds of activity,
he wasn't sure whether to be pleased or disappointed. However,
he'd come this way and the old elder had been seemingly
hard to find lately. High Ones only knew when their paths
would cross again.
at the den's opening silently for a moment, wondering what
had happened in Snapjaw's den to make him work so hard so
close to morning. Still, he waited for a lull in the action,
a silence in the sounds, before he sent.
that you in there?**
In his treehome,
Snapjaw was stuffing his new feather pillow under the furs
in his sleeping den when he received the chief's sending.
He had finished plucking the longnecked honkers, the naked
birds still sitting outside at the treeroot waiting to be
gutted. Timber was asleep at the wolf's usual spot at the
entry of the tree.
The eldest elder
ducked out of the smaller den and then out of the tree,
careful to step over his wolf-friend. Plucking stray, whisper-soft
pieces of feather-down out of his dark brown hair, Snapjaw
regarded Wildlight with a neutral expression. Any number
of things could have brought the chief to his tree, and
Snapjaw wasn't about to give anything away. He also wasn't
going to invite Wildlight into the tree. Better to stay
out in the open. Those speculative, half-suspicious frowns
the red-haired elf had been giving him over the past moon
may have finally sprouted into full-blown comprehension.
over?** he asked.
speak at first. He merely grunted an affirmation that was
followed by a very awkward-feeling silence as he scratched
the back of his head and pondered why he was really standing
late," the chief finally answered in his low, gravelly
voice. "And I didn't really feel like dancing."
His gaze shifted
from the nearby shadows to the elder who had emerged from
his den. Strange, the shadowplay of the near-dawn was just
enough to remind Wildlight of his dreamberry-induced vision
he'd had just a while ago--the one where he'd swore Snapjaw
was sneaking up to him threateningly, suspiciously. But
he wasn't sure he was ready to discuss that... yet.