Bosque de Las Almas wow I'm a princess

criss cross with JackLex!

Little streams of sunlight broke through the canopy of leaves overhead. From where Dominic was lying, it looked like a pretty satin backdrop of verdant green with sparkling Christmas lights flickering on and off. Twinkling, like magic, like stardust. The natural world was so beautiful. More people ought to just lie in the woods and appreciate it! He didn't want to lie in the soggy grass and moss, though, so he was lying instead in the middle of a quiet path. Moments like these, quiet and restful, were so rare nowadays. He really wanted to savour it.

On his chest, two squirrels played as he laid food down for them, right over his heart, and he felt their little claws rake his skin as they snatched it up greedily. He'd been watching them race around the trees, munching a cereal bar, and hadn't really expected them to come investigate, but he soon discovered they were bold. The second they noticed his stash they were running over, circling him. So he offered them a little, and now they were bouncing over him, playing, scurrying. Man, he felt like a princess out here! Albeit a princess with leaves in his hair and crumbs down his squirrel-scratched chest.


It had been a long time since Nord had a day off. He started by sleeping in as long as the dogs would allow him. Once he was fully awake he stepped outside in nothing but a thin linen shirt to feed them and let them run free on his property. The sun was just rising above the mountain and starting to fall on the spot in front of his house. It was marvelous.
Nord held his cup of coffee in his left because he had gotten used to it by now. The cast had been on his right one for 6 weeks and would come off very soon, which he couldn't wait for.
He took a deep breath of the forest air and decided that today was not a city day but one to be spent at his door step where the beautiful mountains were awaiting.

Not much later he was on one of the many treks with his three huskies when Akita started barking.He found a man laying in the middle of his path and sniffed him.
Briefly Nord wondered whether he was in trouble.
So he whistled for Akita to come back and then got closer.
"Everything okay?"
His animal friends suddenly scattered, running off to find safety in the trees. Shortly after they deserted him, the reason for it sounded off a little bark and trotted on over to give him a sniff. Domesticated pup for sure but still an adorable animal companion. Dominic smiled and reached up to give the husky a little scratch between the ears, only for the owner to call the well trained pooch away. Aw.

Expecting owner and pup to pass him by without much incident, he returned his attention back to the emerald canopy above, comforted by the vibrance of colour and fresh and earthy scents that surrounded him.

When owner and more than one Good Dog appeared in the middle of the scenery, he smiled up politely at the seemingly confused civilian.

"Everything's beautiful, buddy," he said, glancing at him dreamily. "Is your day going beautiful, too?"
Wow. This guy was not in trouble. High maybe. Or just high on life in the woods.
Nords face appeared above him, dark wavy locks dangling around his face.
"It is, my friend. It is!" He confirmed and smiled cheekily but kept the three dogs away without touching them or saying a word.
"You totally sound like the guys I grew up with in the commune on the East Side Mountains."
He allowed Boomer to sniff the strange man on the ground.
That was good to hear! Dominic would hate to have to peel himself off the forest floor to raise hell against an oppressor, but he would without hesitation!! Grinning, he nodded in approval. "Nice, man. Good to hear; good to hear..." One of the pups approached for a sniff. The young vigilante raised his hand slowly to give a little scritch, if the dog accepted it.

He was sorry for the little snort of amusement he gave, hearing about the commune. Mainly he was laughing because he didn't really know what it was supposed to mean. But he wasn't offended or anything!

"You grew up in a commune? Wild," he assessed sagely. But somehow? Yeah, he looked the kind. Was that biased? Man, probably. He'd need to examine that for a while, reflect.
The way this guy was chilling on the ground. The slow voice, reflection, choice of words. Nord could have sworn he's a pot head. Not that he had anything against them. Heck, he enjoy some of his own homegrown weed every once in a while.

Boomer seemed to be smiling when the guy gave him a rub and pressed his furry body closer to the guy.
Nord took his backpack off his shoulders, struggling a bit to open it and get his water bottle out, which he could open with his teeth. Then he had a drink and looked around.
"Yeah, my parents are hippies. They lived in a commune when I was born. Now they just travel all the time."
He was a bit concerned about the young man because he had seen three bears in the past few months so he crouched down and rubbed Boomer as well which of course cause his other two dogs to want some affection, too.
"You seem to be nice a relaxed here but don't fall asleep. We've got a few bears up here right now that have young ones."
This guy had some good dogs. Big fluffy pups who liked to be pet and were respectful and well trained. He happily ruffled the fur of the pup who was sniffing him, babbling at him, getting him good behind the ears with scritches.

Dominic's parents could have been described as hopes, but not quite the commune-living kind. Nearly! But not when he was little. He grinned up at the stranger, sort of saying 'same!' with his eyes.

The conversation moved quickly onto bears, though. More serious stuff.

" You think they'll bother me if I'm just lying here?" Dominic didn't know much about bears, except not to fuck with them.
Of course a bear would not attack someone laying on the ground staring up at the leaves over his head. But it still wasn't the best of ideas.
"I can't say for sure. When they have cubs they can be very protective. If they come close and you move away fast, they might feel threatened, you just keep your ears and eyes open so you can move away before a situation arises."

He let each dog have his pet and then willed them to moved back a little to give the man his space.
"I'm going to be hiking into the valley. But I'll be on my way back in two hours or so. Maybe I'll see you then!"
That made sense. Mama bears were fiercely protective of their babies! Good moms for sure. As a matter of fact, he had bear spray in his pocket, though oddly enough he'd never really considered actually using it against the very thing it was made for.

It was with great toffee-like resistance that Dominic sat up, leaves clinging to his curls, back dusty with dry, crumbling dirt, petting each dog as they approached for a little affection. Watching them as they politely retreated without even a word from their master, all he could think was that these pups were so good and well trained!

"Wait, so like... if a bear comes round how do I act?" Maybe he'd tag along, actually. Safety in numbers!
Nord stood and watched the man pick himself up from the dirt and leaves he'd been laying on. Heck, this guy was relaxed. It was a damn shame to actually burden him with worries about bears.
"You're actually not very likely to encounter one right here. They like the lake further down and the valley because if its stream and the trash cans of the houses. So you should be okay."
He actually also doubted that a bear would get spooked by this guy because he was moving soooo slowly.
"Just do what you're doing. Move slowly. Back away. Don't make a fuzz."
"So no, like.... tryin' to be big or anything like that? No arm waving and shit?"

He'd heard somewhere about making yourself bigger. Was that for only one kind of bar? What kind of bears lived round here anyway and what were the differences in handling them? This guy sure seemed like some kinda expert!

" You hike a lot? Is that why you know a lot about bears?"
"If the bear comes at you and wants to attack you, you want to make yourself look bigger. With a jacket maybe. But don't worry about that."
Nord out his bottle back into the backpack and shouldered it.
"I live close by. Bears occassionally wander across my property. And I work in Graupel as park ranger. So yes, I know about bears. What do you do?"
Look bigger with your jacket! But only if attacked. But don't worry about it. Huh. Well, it sounded like this dude really knew what he was taking about, so he wasn't gonna worry.

Especially if he was gonna tag along! Standing up, he brushed off some of the dust and foliage that was bugging him, leaving most of it hanging in his hair and across his back.

"Well, I mostly do like... creative prices on commission. Like I... I do crochet!" And other things! That he couldn't talk about! Secret stuff! He was grinning a little too hard to just be a crocheter, seeming incredibly excited about it.
Nord gave him puzzled look about his job description.
"Crochet? Like in....oven mittens and toilet roll covers for old peoples cars?"
He wondered whether anyone still used those fancy colorful things that looked like a hat for a roll of toilet paper.
"You live of that?"
He highly doubted it. The guy struck him more like a small time weed dealer.

The path lead through a canyon, framed by large Pines on one side and a creek with some rocks on the other. It was extremely scenic and one of Nord favourite places around.
He stopped further in where he could access the water and look for trouts.
Shoving his hands into his jeans pockets, he smiled slowly, just friendly, happy. Sociable!

"Yeah, man!" he chirped. He was proud of his crochet skills! "Like... maybe not like oven mitts. I don't like to make things that could hurt people. I do make like... toilet roll holders, plushies, blankets, sweaters, baby clothes... stuff that takes a while to make but it's really rewarding!" Sometimes he'd be up all night trying to finish even a fraction of a commission. And then still head out as Cross-Check!

But he couldn't just tell people that! But he wanted to! So he just grinned, following behind the ranger and his dogs.
So he hadn't been kidding about crocheting. Nord kneeled down to scoop some water on the back of his neck because the day was quite warm. He saw his reflection in the current and then the man next to him. What a strange fellow who was now just tagging along.
"What's your name?"
It was pretty warm but Dominic had no inclination to splash lake water on himself. Not that he had an issue with lake water. But actually didn't brain eating amoebas live in lake water? He was sure he read that somewhere before! But if the ranger was feeling it was safe then Dominic wasn't worried. He seemed like a guy who knew what's up.

"Dominic," he chirped happily, holding a hand out. Friend!
Nord was surprised by the offered handshake and reached out his right hand just to pull it back because even his fingers were covered by the worn out green cast.
"Oops. Wrong one. I'm Nord." He then offered his left, which was considered impolite.
Oops! Somehow he hadn't noticed the cast when he offered his hand, and now he felt kinda bad for trying to shake his sore arm! Quickly he swapped over, no qualms about it. Handshake's a handshake whatever angle you go at it, right?

"Nice to meet you, Nord!"

And it was nice! He liked meeting people! It was just unfortunate that he didn't have a lot of time for others, usually. Maybe they'd never get to understand why, or even appreciate it, but he accepted this. The price you pay for protecting others...
Nord scooped some more water onto his neck that had gotten very warm thanks to the sun on his long hair.
He sat down for a moment to rest and perhaps even take his shoes off for a bit of dangling in the water.
Today he wasn't in a hurry and the dogs were already in there, playing and chasing each other.
Silently he wondered how far his new companion would tag along.
Cool, companionable silence. Dominic could vibe with that, no problem.

Sitting at the water's edge, he watched the dogs at play and kinda wanted to join in. They were having so much fun splashing around! And Nord didn't seem worried about them being in the water. So he could get in the water no problem, right?

But he wasn't really for getting wet at the moment, so instead he just sat quietly with the ranger, watching the pups at play. Nice.
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