Roadwolf's portal for his random thoughts and ponderings

Part 10: Sap

{If you haven't please read the first part of the story, located here:}

Roady and Sooleawa run for a while, but slow down to a walk once they are a good distance down the logging road.

Limping along, Roady winces in pain with every step. Sooleawa, sobbing heavily, slows to let him catch up, and then paces beside him.

“Are you okay?” Roady asks of Sooleawa.

“I... I am sore, but I think I am alright.” Sooleawa says, sniffling. Herself walking kind of akwardly.

“I am sorry, I couldn't do anything...” Roady says, feeling guilty.

“It isn't your fault Roady.” Sooleawa says, her head low. “Nothing you could of done.”

“I need to rest somewhere.” Roady says, grunting in pain with each step.

“You are badly injured,” Sooleawa says looking over at him. “Do you think you can make it to your Den?”

“I can try.” Roady says, wincing, as he hobbles along.

The pair travel down the clearing, following the power line. The rough terrain difficult for Roady to manage. Clouds roll in, as the wind begins to pick up. Sooleawa, worried about Roady, follows him and tries to help him along.

“Do you want to rest here?” Sooleawa asks, as they reach the point where the power lines cross the game trail that runs along the shore.

“No” Roady answers, finding some strength, now that they are on a trail. “I think I can make it from here.”

Sooleawa's tail now hangs low, but is no longer tucked between her legs, as her concern over Roady increases. Following Roady back to his den, watching him limping and moaning, she feels as helpless as Roady felt watching Nodin have his way with her earlier. She is so lost in thought, trying to remember what Chitsa taught her ages ago, that she doesn't even notice as it begins to rain.

Roady notices, and the cool rain on his fur seems to have given him a little extra energy. Pressing forward, he picks up a little speed. “I'll make it, it isn't too far away.”

Still lost in thought, Sooleawa just replies with a simple “Okay.” as they pass under a fur tree. Sooleawa smells the sweet smell of the sap, and looks over at the tree. A tall tree, the lower branches were all mostly barren. Approaching the tree, letting Roady continue for a bit on his own, Sooleawa sniffs a wart in the bark. Fresh sap oozes out of the wart, like molasses.

“Hey!” Sooleawa exclaims. “Come here.”

Roady turns and looks at Sooleawa “What?”

“Come here, I have something that will help.” Sooleawa says, nodding at the tree trunk.

“How will that tree help me?”

“The sap, it will help heal your cuts.”

“Really?” Roady says, limping over to the tree.

“Yeah, it may sting a little tho.” Sooleawa says as she pokes the wart with one of the nails on her paw, and lets the sap ooze out onto her paw. “Okay, now hold still.” She applies the sap to Roadys back and shoulder, as he winces and shudders. Dabbing it on softly, she looks deeply into Roadys eyes.

Roady relaxes as the sap oozes over his wounds. Looking back into Sooleawa's eyes, he smiles. “Thanks, it feels much better.”

A tear rolls down Sooleawa's cheek, as she smiles back at him and just nods. She realizes that she cares deeply for him after such a short time knowing him. She continues to dab sap onto his back, her own paw covered in the sticky sap mixed with his blood.

The cold rain falls steadily on the two wolves as they sit under the fir. None of them notice Angelina approaching from up the trail. She comes up behind them, her fur soaked, causing them to jump a little as they see her.

“Hey,” Angelina says, “Am I interrupting anything?”

“None of your concern.” Sooleawa says, growling slightly.

“I think we will be okay Angelina.” Roady replies, not thinking.

Angelina looks at Roady's wound. “What happened?”

“It's nothing, don't worry about it.” Roady replies.

“Looks like it hurts?” Angelina examines it from a few paces away. “Are those bite marks?”

Sighing Roady gives in, “Yes, they are.”

“From who?”

“Taima...” Roady.

“Taima?” As Angelina looks at Sooleawa.

“Yes, that idiot who thinks he is the fricken alpha around here.” Sooleawa says, slightly annoyed.

“It doesn't matter.” Roady says, as he gets up on all fours again only wincing slightly at the pain. “We'll be fine Angelina.”

“Okay, okay, I can tell when I am not wanted.” Angelina says, raising her chin up slightly. She turns and walks back up the trail without another word.

Watching Angelina walk off, Roady nuzzles Sooleawa, who is still sitting beside him, her head lowered and eyes closed. “Come on Sooleawa, we should get going.”

Sooleawa gets up and the two wolves continue to Roadys den together in the pouring rain. Sooleawa's paw, sticky with sap, collecting small twigs and leaves along the way.

Reaching the glen, they finally relax. Covered in mud from the pouring rain and, still sore from earlier Sooleawa decides a swim might help her feel a little cleaner. She dips into the warm steaming water. The rain dancing on it like hundreds of tiny insects. “Come on in, the water is great.”

Shaking his head, Roady declines, and decides to try to make some shelter before night falls. Covered in mud, sap and blood, he begins to painfully dig under the tree roots he had started to dig under before. Finding that the mud was easier to dig out then the dry dirt, he makes quick work of the hole and finds an empty cavity under the tree trunk. Entering it, he looks around. A few cob webs and old roots poke into the cavity, but nothing that can't be cleaned up.

Climbing out of the make shift entrance he looks across the glen at Sooleawa, who is curled up alone in the shallow part of the hot spring. He walks over to her and curls up beside her, enjoying the feeling of the warm water on half of his body and cool rain drops on the other half. Murring, he begins to groom her softly, his tongue licking the fur on her neck and shoulder.

Sooleawa, murring softly, enjoys his touch. “I do not want to go back there.” She says softly.

“What do you want to do then?” Roady asks, softly grooming around her ear.

Thinking about it, she pauses, “Well... We could run off together. Maybe start a pack somewhere far away from all this?”

Blushing heavily, Roady ponders this latest development. He liked Sooleawa... Well perhaps a little more then like, perhaps it is love. But did he want to run off and become mated to someone he just met the day before? He stops grooming, mostly out of being distracted in his own thoughts.

“That is a big step.” He finally says. Returning to grooming her neck softly.

“Do you not feel that it is the right step for us?” Sooleawa asks, closing her eyes slightly as Roady's touch again.

“I don't know, I guess it is. A lot has happened.” Roady says, trying to buy himself some time to think about this. “I really can't think too straight right now.”

“I guess you are right,” Sooleawa sighs softly, turning and licking Roady's ear teasingly. “We need our rest. How is the Den?”

“It'll do for the night” Roady replies, getting up, and groaning at the pain. He leads Sooleawa to the Den and allows her to enter first. She steps down into the cavity below the tree trunk.

“Not bad.” She says, “Not bad at all.”

She waits for him to get down into the den, and curls up on the ground. “Keep me warm,” She says softly. The rain pattering away at the tree stump above them.

Roady curls up against her back, placing his paws around her shoulder, cuddling her. “I will.” He says softly nibbling on her neck before closing his eyes and laying his head down to rest. Sooleawa murrs softly, and they are both asleep within minutes.

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