Aden was walking through the forest, trying to clear his mind after another sleepless night. The events surrounding the village of Telnd still haunted him even this many months later. A small part of him wondered and maybe even worried if his brother survived the attack. He suddenly heard a growl and looked around trying to find where exactly the noise came from. 'Great,' he thought, 'I wandered too far, again.' He got into a fighting stance but he still wasn't prepared for the raging mass of red and orange fur. Teeth sunk into shoulder and Aden hissed in pain, twisting his body around until whoever it was who was attacking loosened their grip and jumped away. "Kazan!" he exclaimed with a growl upon seeing his attacker was his older brother, all thoughts about the safety of his brother leaving his mind. His brother just growled, a look of fury in his eyes before lunging at his younger brother. Aden jumped out of the way, snarling at the other wolf. "How does it feel, brother," Kazan spat out the word, "to know you had a part in destroying a whole village." He feigned going to the right and when Aden moved to block tackled him from the left, effectively pinning his younger brother. "Did you enjoy killing innocent women and children, do you thrive ruining families like the army did to us?" Aden struggled for a bit but was finally able to get his brother off of him. "My feelings do not matter." he growled in anger. He was in no mood to answer any of his brother's questions, no matter how accusing they were. "What are you doing here, Kazan? Deserting the resistance?" he smirked. A look of pure fury crossed Kazan's face that quickly turned sinister. "You know you were never supposed to happen. Mother and Father did not plan for you, they were happy just the way they were before you came." he snarled. "Lies!" Aden screamed in fury before he lunged at his brother. They fought each other for what seemed like hours, only snarls and growls exchanged between each other. They both stopped in their tracks at the sound of a large group approaching. Kazan looked around to pin point the group's exact location before he glared at his brother one last time before running deep into the forest. Aden just stood there panting, he knew the group was most likely the army, his men, he had no reason to run and hide from them. When the small band finally came into view the rushed to their commander, asking him a barge of questions about what happened, who attacked him, where did the attack go. Aden just shook his head, not wanting to speak at the moment as his brain began to process the words he exchanged with his brother. "He went to the right." the words spilled out of his mouth, it was a lie, his brother had gone left but even though he had just been ripped apart by his brother, both physically and emotionally, there was still a sense of loyalty to his brother. His men, satisfied with his answer began to hunt down the attacker while Aden made his way back to camp, his mind still playing the fight between them over and over again.
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. -Maya Angelou


"Badar," Aden sighed. "I grow tired of this life. I...the life with the army isn't for me; especially after what happened in Telnd. I just want to leave." He turned to the wolf he considered his only true friend. "Is there even a resistance any more Badar?" The gray wolf frowned for a few minutes before speaking quietly. "If you really want out, Aden, i know someone, someone who can get you out." Aden blinked in surprise and just nodded in reply. "Meet me in the forest in a few weeks, I'll tell you more from there." With that he left the tent and disappeared into the night.

Four weeks later, Aden was traveling through the forest, looking for any signs of Badar. Just when he thought it was going to be another trip to the forest in vain, Badar stepped out of the trees. "I am glad you came, friend." He stated simply. A bird flew from an unseen tree and landed on Badar's head. "I hear you want out. I can help you leave this life if you wish, but first, I will require you to do something." Aden looked at the hawk suspiciously. "And what, prey tell, is it that you require?" He asked. What sounded like a chuckle came from the female bird. "It is only a few things to prevent anyone from looking at your supposed death to closely." "Wait, what? Death?" he said shocked. He glared at Badar, "You never said anything about me faking my death." he growled in anger. "Relax, wolf." the bird stated calmly. "The only reason i have to do this with you is because of your position. You are a leader in the royal army; don't you think that they would hunt down one of their leaders who simple vanishes, whose mind is filled with top secret information? No, this is simpler. You will have to be careful of course, but this way you won't have to go live in a hut in the grasslands, although I heard that is something your kind likes." Aden growled at her, baring one of his fangs for a few seconds before he composed himself. "I agree with your reasoning, bird. So what do you want me to do?" he asked her. The hawk raised her wings, preparing to take off in flight. "Make sure no one will miss you, give the army a reason to not want to avenge your death." She flew up, nearly hitting Aden in the face. "And family is included; break your ties with them. Completely." she called out as she flew away. Aden snorted, "Like that would be hard, he already hates me." He watched her fly off until he could no longer see her and turned to Badar, or where Badar was, the gray wolf had disappeared in his typical fashion, without a sound. Aden shook his head and headed back to camp, planning on how he was going to accomplish this.

"I've learned that good-byes will always hurt, pictures will never replace having been there, memories good and bad will bring tears, and words can never replace feelings." -Unknown

Would 'sorry' have made any difference? Does it ever? It's just a word. One word against a thousand actions. -Sarah Ockler