Life was ever-changing. This was an indisputable fact that not many were able to truly escape from, no matter how fast or how far they would try and run from it. Some things might stay the same, like the warmth and comfort a soul would find in the embrace of those whom one cared deeply for and those who in turn cared for them just as much. Even if the bond between two heart shifted with time and whatever obstacles like might be placed by the hands of Fate, there would almost always be smoldering embers left behind by old flames - intimate, familial, or otherwise. There would need to be something so extreme, so utterly soul-shattering and world-shaking, that would vanquish the soft yet very much persevering glow from existence entirely, leaving nothing more than cold ashes of what had been lost. And yet, for each rare thing that remains steadfast in one's life, there were countless others that would change as swiftly and perhaps even as often as the seasons. No amount of wishing that they might stay for even just a moment longer would be enough to keep them as they were. All that would be left would be the faint, vague feeling of what it was like once, flickering shadows of images to faces or places and how they'd existed before change had come along and made them into something almost completely unfamiliar. At times, it was harder to hold the memory of someone or someplace and the way that one knew them before things had changed. For many, it was not easy to forget those who left an imprint on their minds and memories, but in the same heartbeat, there would be some hollowed feeling, some sense of no longer belonging, that made those memories seem as though they belonged to someone else.
And, just as one might become accustomed, familiar even with that sense of constant change, grow used to and accept the understanding that there would be others who would walk in one's life only to walk out later on despite the fierce want for them to stay forevermore, life would shift yet again. It was as though balancing the steady with the shifting were like the sun and moon, locked in an eternal dance with one another as one would rise only for the other to fall. However, unlike the rise and fall of those great giants whom ruled the heavens and provided life in their own vastly different yet absolutely necessary ways, the swiftness with which change descended varied widely. There would be moments where it was like that of a softly sloping hillside, the earth beneath one's feet shifting with such subtleness that it was nearly unfelt until suddenly they found themselves at the bottom. With this pace of change, it was something that could be witnessed frame by frame, perhaps even in slow motion and lending some sense of control - even when there wasn't more often than not. It could be both comforting and distressing to watch as change happened in what felt like slow motion, offering a sense of self control or the polar opposite. Then, there was the sort of change that happened suddenly, like white-hot lightning striking down upon a forest depraved of rain for far too long. In less than it would take for one to draw a singe breath, a spark would catch upon the smallest leaf and ignite a roaring flame. This was the change that left many stunned into stillness before finding themselves scrambling - often frantically - to save what they could before it would be devoured by the unrelenting force that threatened to destroy everything.
It was change that carried the beast's paws to the outskirts of the city beneath the sterling light of the full moon this evening, beckoning him deeper into the depth of the forest that towered over the quaint, peaceful southern district of Sacrosanct. Though he was far from being a stranger to change, having lived a vast majority of his life as a vagabond, traveling across the world in aimlessness for something he didn't yet know he was searching for, the sort of change he found himself in was one of an unexpected kind. For the first time in over a decade, perhaps even two decades, Roman was no longer living alone. Rather than simply renting a room in some hotel, uncertain of how long it was that he would linger in the same place, he had entered into an rental agreement and now had a roommate. The very word itself was foreign upon his tongue and his thoughts. What's more, this creature was female... and human. Miya was a sweet, endearing spirit. She was someone that he found himself enjoying the company of, but he feared for her fragility, the woman reminding him of a fawn in some ways. While the co-existed peacefully, Roman worried that she would find him existing in a form that would without question leave her shocked, if not terrified and utterly shaken to discover what he was. And so, it was on nights like this that the lion sought sanctuary in the serene sensations of the wilderness that surrounded him. He reveled in the coolness of the soil beneath his paws that made little to no sound as he walked further into the trees, in the icy evening air brushing gently against his muscular build that filled his lungs and brought forth a deep, rumbling hum from within his powerful chest.
His gait is slow and leisurely, stopping only once to survey the shadowy landscape before shaking his thick pale golden mane and continuing onward. Although the lion is hardly keeping track of the time that passes him by, he knows that he has reached his destination when the trees give way to a small clearing. At the heart of this place, a large rock formation stands silent and stoic above the tall, softly swaying emerald blades under-paw. Here, the beast has fond memories of those he'd met years ago, before he'd wandered away from the city only to find himself standing in this hidden world once more. The lion lingers for only a moment more on the edge of the clearing bathed in moonlight before continuing those smooth, strong strides forward. When he reaches the largest rock, flat and smooth, thick muscles tighten and then release as the beast leaps with effortlessness onto the cold stone surface. Lowering his large, maned head, Roman sniffs at the perch which had served once as his favorite sunning spot on those warm summer afternoons existing only in his memories now. He finds nothing there of another who might have claimed this quiet place, and with content at knowing nothing - and no one - of concern had been here in at least a week, the lion settles himself onto his side and allows his large frame to stretch out upon the stone. Golden-hazel eyes flutter closed then as he lay his head down on one side, an ear almost entirely hidden in his thick mane swiveling to catch the midnight serenade of nightlife and the only signs of movement from the beast save for the slow, steady rise and fall of his side as he simply exists. He could easily, blissfully remain like this for hours upon hours, until the first light of dawn kissed the eastern horizon.
Moments pass, Roman entirely unaware of how long he lingers there in that restful state when suddenly the serenity is disrupted by the sudden sound of a distant explosion. The lion abandons his sprawled position then, though he simply shifts so that he is sitting up on one side, front legs still stretched out in front of him while his hind legs are still sprawled out behind him. He listens intently as another eruption rings out through the trees, closer this time. Calling upon his power, the beast strengthens his already heightened sense of smell, catching the frantic fear scent of a hare. Something - no, someone - was chasing it. The explosions, too, grow louder and the lion is almost certain that their maker was closing the distance between them and the lion with every fleeting heartbeat. Suddenly, the hare erupts from the shadows, racing towards Roman's rock. He makes no move to sit up, golden-hazel eyes instead staring into the shadows from where the creature had appeared, though he hardly has to wait long as a black body, lithe and lightning-quick, bursts from the tree line in pursuit. As though deciding that its odds with Roman were better than those with its pursuer, the hare hardly diverts from its path and darts into a burrow below the rock. The panther, so intent on her prey that she does not notice him, lunges after the hare only a moment too late. It was only when Roman now pulls himself into a sitting position upon the rock that her glowing gaze spots him, sending her leaping a few paces back in surprise before sitting upon her own, smaller haunches only to announce that he'd taken her meal."My apologies, miss", he answers in his own low, rumbling baritones, dipping his large head to the female before him.
No, he hadn't taken anything from the she-panther, but he wasn't keen on the idea of arguing over the hare with this stranger either. Despite the sheer size difference, the beast himself weighing at six-hundred and sixty pounds, he maintains that calm and relaxed disposition. He'd never seen another were-cat outside of his family, not in all his years of wandering and certainly not in his time spent within Sacrosanct. Raven and been a she-wolf, Malia a she-coyote, and Abby a red panda... and although he might have assumed that there were others similar to himself living in the city, Roman hadn't encountered any. That is, until tonight."If it's any consolation, there's likely another burrow entrance on the other side, if you've the time and patience to wait", he says then, blinking down at the she-panther casually as he evaluates her for any signs of aggression, weighing the risks of resuming his nighttime cat nap while knowing that she would be nearby. Truthfully, the lion had no quarrel with this admittedly beautiful stranger, her glowing gaze not too unlike the full moon that hung above them in a starry blue-black sky. However, despite his clear intent to avoid the use of teeth and claws, the way in which he held himself was enough to let her know that he was not going to allow her the pleasure of an easy fight if that was what she sought in return for the loss of her prey. While Roman was more often than not a creature of peace even in his bestial form, he was entirely capable of defending himself as well as his own space. After all, when he'd grown up with five siblings, two of them having been his older and younger brother, there'd been plenty of sparing and rough play that led into them learning how to properly fight whenever the need might arise.
And yet, despite this, the lion is hopeful that it would not come to that.
= Roman Royce Lionel =
No life can escape being blown about by the winds of change and chance