Jagex is watching from the plateau above, hidden beneath the cover of a boulder on the ledge. He's studying the scene below intently, the dark wolf's behaviors are particularly interesting. The fact that he let the doe go and is now sobbing like a little bitch. Why did Serinth even bring him here?
Jagex glances back to Serinth and his blood turns to ice. She's staring at him. Her head twisted around to face him, could she see him? Of course not. But she's staring at him anyway.
If you had asked Jagex to describe his team leader in a single word, he'd tell you that was a stupid fucking idea and demand to know who you were working for. But if pressed on the subject and given a drink or two, he might settle on the word 'uncompromising.' Uncompromising, that's what Serinth projected when she looked at him, through him, like she saw through his arm and flesh and into dark secrets he dare not reveal to himself. Within her pale eyes her pupils were black holes, not things but a place, a place that cut Jagex off from the rest of the world. She stared at him as if daring him to reveal himself, as if reminding him. "You are not in control of the situation." And then just like that he glanced back at her notebook, as if she had simply lost interest.
It wasn't a threat, a reminder: He was not in control of the situation
We mention up front she is 'gazing' at him.
We say even her silence seemed to command attention and may want to add Serinth's descriptions here.
He looks down to do his paw exercises, like that Fox told him, but when he looks up she's staring at him.
Jagex turned to his aching right paw. He tried to draw his stubby fingers into a fist but couldn't close it all the way. They seemed numb, unresponsive like they were fusing at the bone. The wolf winced as he forced his paw to open and close methodically. He always repeated this endless exercise--as the fox had advised him--whenever he was alone. It didn't seem to be helping.
Maybe we include that part about her wearing the skin of a living thing, we can mention her robotic movements and being least interested in what she is saying here.
Could she see him? Of course not. But she was staring at him anyway. Laughing at him with her eyes. (Then maybe "She's challenging you." and then the segue into "If you had asked Jagex to describe Serinth..." and then the segue into describing her eyes.)
And when she looked at with those eyes. Jesus...the things they showed you. Two black holes carved into ice. Not things but a place.
And we mention when they drew you to them, sucking everything up while revealing nothing in return. When she looked at him it felt like there was nothing in the world but him and those eyes. Like he was naked, like she saw right past him, through him, beyond the his armor and fur and the flesh underneath and into dark secrets he dare not reveal to himself. When she looked at him if felt like she was staring into his soul.
Then cut to her just suddenly turning away, back to her book, as if she had just lost interest.
Jagex jumped up immediately and backed away from the ledge. As he swallowed he realized he was holding his breath and forced himself to exhale, his racing heart thumping in his ears. It was so silly, what was he even afraid of? She had never felt the need to hurt him before. Maybe that's what scared him so much.
That last line seems somewhat odd, but as we see in the follow chapters, he's tried to kill her many times and she's never even struck back.
Shuik (off-camera): When do you think Pyren's doing okay?
Jagex (yelping): Shit!
Jagex twists around to see a juvenile wolf staring back at him quizzically. He's laying on his back, his own book in his paws.
Shuik (surprised): What?
Jagex (angry): For fuck's sake Shuik, how many times are you going to keep asking me that?!
Shuik: It was just a question...
Nah bitch, he's fucking dead!
Jagex (interrupting): Well worry not cub because he's fucking dead! Alright? He's never going to come back because something's already caught him and now they're picking his teeth with his bones. You got it?!
Jagex turns back around, still trembling from the spike of adrenaline, and flattens himself back against the ledge to continue watching.
This dialogue below sucks and needs to be reworked.
Shuik (clearly concerned): Pyren's not dead.
Jagex: Yeah, whatever helps you sleep at night...
Shuik (scoffing nervously in an attempt to assure himself): He's not dead. He's the fastest wolf I know. Nothing could catch him.
Jagex (over his shoulder, annoyed): Yeah? If you already made up your mind then why did you ask?
Shuik (annoyed): Why are you so preoccupied with spying on Serinth?
Jagex (growling): I'm not 'spying'.
Shuik: No, then what are you doing?
Jagex: I'm Serinth's guard. I'm guarding Serinth.
Shuik: If you're guarding Serinth then why are you hiding from her?
Jagex (trailing off): Because unlike you cub...I don't...want to be...a distraction...
Shuik waits for the rest of the response but it never comes, Jagex is clearly preoccupied with his astute observations.
The below dialogue sucks and I hate it.
Shuik: Why don't you just go down there and say 'hello'? I'm sure she could use the company...
Jagex (snarling): Shut up.
Shuik perks his ears and so does Sulin, Jagex is clearly pissed off.
Jagex (growling, cont'd): Nobody forced you to follow us, Shuik. You could have asked to join Sulin and the others on the hunt. But you knew they wouldn't invite you, because you're useless. So instead you decided to pester us. But what you're going to do right now is back down and read that book of yours in silence.
Jagex (cont'd, turning around, snarling) Because I swear to god, cub: If I hear one more of your incessant whines today I'm going to throw you off this fucking cliff and you can greet her yourself!
Shuik (in disbelief and defiance): Is that a threat, Jagex?
Jagex (cocking his head is annoyance): What do you think?
Shuik: You can't talk to me that way!
Shuik (cont'd, pleading to the only other source of authority he can think of): Ryzon!
Ryzon, for his part, had widely stayed out of the debate. The old wolf lay on his stomach, eyes closed over crossed paws. Gray was beginning to cover his muzzle. Over the past several hours the old wolf had provided only a sleep yawn or stifled sneeze as evidence he was still alive.
Ryzon (murmuring, eyes still closed): Jagex is your superior officer, do what he says.
Jagex cocks his head affirmatively.
Shuik (pouting): I'm not a cub...
Jagex (growing annoyance): What?
Shuik: I'm nearly fully grown!
Jagex (inspecting Shuik carefully): I doubt it. If you want to wander aimlessly with the others be my guest, but if you're going to stay here you will follow my orders. And right now my orders are to sit down and shut up. So sit down and shut up!
Shuik looks around for something on which to direct his scorn, the snow ridge and empty evergreens revealing nothing in particular.
Shuik (pouting): Fine...
Shuik (cont'd, sitting down and picking up his book, shaking the snow off it): ...jumpy enough lately?
He probably picks up the book then puts it down again, instead looking for something on which to direct his scorn. Then he looks up at the clouds, at the Overlook, he wonders if it ever parted.
The reality of it, Ryzon ponders as he opens his eyes, is that Shuik really was a cub. The juvenile wolf's coat was a dull tan without even a hint of the hint of the pattern or coloring that would imply a greater bloodline. He lay on his back as Ryzon studied him, his book flat on his stomach, staring up at the clouds in disinterest. Never doing a good job of hiding his boredom, or anything really, and perhaps this earnest disposition was why Ryzon liked him.
In truth Shuik showed remarkable intelligence despite his modest lineage, an intelligence Ryzon wasn't sure Shuik even knew he had--even if it was perhaps somewhat tapered by the naivety of his young age. In any case he was loyal and eager to please, which meant easy to manage. Most importantly Serinth liked him, and that endorsement was enough from Ryzon.
The old wolf let out a mock young and shifted his paws, turning to face the other wolf. Jagex on the other hand was decidedly not easy to manage, and Ryzon still wasn't sure what part Serinth expected him to play. The source of Jagex's immaturity was not youth or an inferior bloodline, but an insufferable sense of having been wronged in the past and the the desire to get back at those he deemed responsible.
Ryzon (internally): Oh yes, charcoal wolf, I know all about your story...
Jagex had covered himself from snout to tail in armor. Metallic singles were woven over his chest and back, tied together by leather straps at the abdomen. Ryzon could only guess at how heavy it was. Across Jagex's right side hung a sheathed sword, nearly as long as the wolf himself. The whole wardrobe had been polished to a mirror shine and when the sunlight hit it just right the glare threatened to blind you.
It was ridiculous. Too conspicuous, too unwieldy, and what the hell was a wolf going to do with a sword? Ryzon smirked as he imagined Jagex fumbling with the hilt in his paws, awkwardly tottering about on two legs. The strength of a predator comes from the element of surprise, how were you suppose going to surprise your prey when they can hear you rattling about from miles away? But if Ryzon had these concerns he never voiced them. Better to keep his mouth shut and let Jagex play leader.
The old wolf shifted once more, directing his attention to the ledge and the basin below. Now this was his real problem. The black forest spilled into the ravine like a cancer. For hours Ryzon had stared into its depths, searching for some sign, some hint of life. All he found was darkness. Absolute darkness.
We probably describe the trees as 'leering' at him.
Shuik: You guys want to hear a joke?
Both of them at once: No.
Shuik (cont'd): So what do you call a fox with a runny nose?
Shuik (cont'd, looking between them): Eh? Full!
Shuik starts sniggering but Ryzon just cocks his head curiously, which Shuik notices.
Shuik (leaning up, abruptly explaining): 'Cause it's cum. Because foxes are sluts.
Ryzon (unimpressed): That's not a joke, Shuik, that's a fact of life.
Shuik huffs in boredom and falls back into the snow, watching the armored wolf upside-down.
Shuik: Do you think Pyren's okay?
Jagex (sighing): I'm sure he's fine.
Shuik: What's Serinth up to?
Jagex: Like you give a shit.
Shuik: Well you stopped talking after Heyoke showed up.
Jagex (grimacing): She was writing, now she's talking.
Shuik (cocking his head): Writing and talking? Could you get any more descriptive?
Jagex: What, do you want me to paint you a picture?
Ryzon: Don't be so hard on him, I'm rather curious as well.
Jagex (turning back to look at them): Oh for Christ's sake--she's just writing and talking, okay? That's all she's doing. That's all she ever does. All day, sitting in her library, scribbling in her notebooks and giving people orders. That's what she was doing when Shuik met her. That's what she's been doing for the past month. And that's what she was doing yesterday. So tomorrow, if you're wondering to yourself, "What are Serinth's plans?" She's still going to be telling us what to do, and she's still going to be working on her fucking memoirs!
Shuik (timidly): Yeah okay...sheesh.
Jagex shakes his head and turns back to the ledge.
Shuik (smirking, edging him on): What do you think she's writing about?
Jagex (closing his eyes and resting his head on the ledge in defeat): I hate you...with all of my hatred...
Shuik (grinning, turning to Ryzon): I bet she's writing about that dark wolf, notice how different she's been since he started coming around? I bet that's her mate.
Jagex (annoyed): He's not her fucking mate!
Ryzon (to Shuik): You know they're related.
Jagex (studying the dark wolf): Only by blood.
"You know they're related..." Ryzon said to the tan wolf.
"Only by blood." Jagex replied.
But not naive enough, Ryzon suspected, you watched the way he carried himself and you could tell the boy held secrets.
He mentions she was writing, now she's talking to Heyoke.
We may want to change this to have him not reading the book yet but just looking up, we re-iterate the canyon and the clouds above the mountain.
Ryzon: What are you reading Shuik? Shuik (checking the cover): "An assorted collection of Rosewater shorts.", this one's called "Leviathan." Ryzon: Is it any good? Shuik: Nah, it's kind of shit.
When Shuik says I bet she's writing about that dark wolf, you see how different she's been since he started coming around? Maybe he's her mate.