The sun was high in the sky and the little ‘wolf in the barn tended to the horses with the barn doors wide open. There were aches in her body and she was sure that her muscles were hating her at that moment after the start of her training with Zach. Adjustment, she kept telling herself she’d just need to adjust to it and get through it. Besides, she got a break since someone had to take care of the horses and even living with Zach at the moment, Shiloh wasn’t gonna give that up. Plenty spiraled up above her head, threatening to crash down on her, but she kept her head held high. At this point, nothing could really get her down. Not even hard-headed Zach. Literally and figuratively.
Even now it was quite plainly evident as she sang aloud that something had her in good spirits. While she loved to sing and play her guitar, she was always self-conscious about it around others–minus the Sundays that she went to perform. Shiloh hadn’t missed a beat of her song as she brushed Battle, Gabe’s horse, who seemed to have taken a liking to her singing ever since he’d joined the other horses in the barn so long ago. “You’ve missed my singing, haven’t you?” Shiloh stopped to murmur to the horse with a smile. “Promise, I’m back to normal and you won’t ever miss it again.” The little blonde closed up Battle’s stall, moving to drop the brush in a bucket and wash her hands in the water from the spigot.
Shiloh Holmes is a southern belle at heart, but one who really isn’t afraid to get down and dirty when it comes to having some fun. She’s a girl who will go tubing on a lake, shoot a gun, and play around in a giant mud pit. It hadn’t been intentionally, leaving the hose on while she was giving one of the horses a bath. It just turned out that when she’d turned around, there was a giant mud pit and it had been calling her name ever since. With the idea of having fun, she recruited Thommy to join her and now she was putting work aside. It took some digging around before she pulled out two lawn chairs, a cooler that she filled with ice, soda, and only two beers. She didn’t think Thom would need any more than that and she wouldn’t let him either. All that set, Shiloh also grabbed a bag of chips and some cookies from the kitchen. Maybe she was going a little overboard but she wanted to have fun and just spend time with someone who wasn’t busy or going to ask her to do something. The heat was beating down on her skin, Shiloh not able to even wear jeans and she stuck to wearing shorts and a tank top with her boots. For this though, she kicked her boots off by the chairs and cooler that were safely away from the mud pit. “Thom! Where are you?” Shiloh huffed impatiently, looking around. When she saw him pull up though, Shiloh let out a squeal and went running as soon as he was coming over, jumping into his arms.
Shiloh was sitting on the ground; leaning back against a shelf while her crutches were laid down on one side of her and a stack of books on her other side. She’d gotten a ride since she couldn’t really drive herself, walking in with a bit of hesitance. A library wasn’t exactly a place she’d find herself in, but recently she’d wanted something to do. As to when it all started, the want to pick back up and learn whatever she’d missed from school, she wasn’t sure. Shiloh never was the best, couldn’t spell those big words to save her life and she could figure out long division despite how many times her father sat with her at the big dinner table and tried to explain it to her.
At first she just wandered around, picking out whatever books that pertained to classes she would have had in high school. All those classes that Shiloh slept in or day dreamed during before she just dropped them all together. Never had she really regretted dropping out of school, it just wasn’t a setting that she could find herself sitting in or concentrating in. Shiloh remembered that the school counselor had told her parents on occasion that she was more of a one-on-one learner, but they couldn’t afford a tutor. At least, not a good one. Like any girl would do, she kept telling her parents she’d do better. That was at age thirteen, the year her dad died. It was only three years later that she gave up altogether and dropped out of school.
Throwing the book in her hand to the side, Shiloh grabbed another one from the stack and opened it up to a random page, flipping to the beginning of that chapter. “The Enlightenment or the Age of Reason are…blah, blah blah…Among the new political phil-philosophies associated with the Enlightenment was that of the Englishman, John Locke, who expressed the contract theory of government. He said that there existed a contract between the people and the government; that the people were ultimately sover..sover-whatever and had created government in order to meet certain political needs and I don’t get what this all means.” Shiloh let out a frustrated groan, throwing the book to the side with the other and just resting her head against the shelf, closing her eyes.
A garish sloshing sound broke through the silence of the barn, a moment later one of the horses letting out a laughing whinny. Coming up to stand straight once more, Shiloh tilted her head to the side and looked over to Sugar and Honey who both seemed to be laughing at her. “Y’all think that’s funny, don’t ya?” The southern beauty let out a laugh of her own, ignoring the fact that her jeans and boots were now covered in water. A little water never did hurt anyone so she paid no mind to it as she moved to the faucet to fill the bucket back up again. All the horses were taken care of this morning, but Shiloh had found herself bored and with nothing to do other than be out in the barn. Every other animal had already been visited by her, except for the horses that she spent more time with.
Shiloh filled the last of the water tins for Battle—the newest horse in the stables. The blonde used the faucet once more to wash her hands and a towel from her back pocket to dry them off. Barncat sat nearby on a stack of hay, letting out a mewl when Shiloh went over to scratch behind the cat’s ear. It ran off only a second later and the small girl watched only for a few seconds. Her eyes drifted to the second level of the barn, bales of hay kept up there for storage and her own personal sitting area whenever she wasn’t in the mood for being in the house. Shiloh sauntered to the ladder on the far end, climbing her way up and onto the wooden floor of the second level. She sat down on a stack of hay, grabbing her guitar that was nearby that she’d brought up much earlier in the day.
Her fingers toyed with the strings, playing a few chords and attempting to find something to start her off into a song. Only moments later does she start playing a song she’d written recently—well, mostly written. “When you’re lost in the dark, when you’re out in the cold, when you’re looking for something that resembles your soul, when the wind blows your house of cards, I’ll be a home to your homeless heart…” Shiloh sang softly, her accent lighting up the words and a smile on her lips as she continued to play the cords, humming softly along with the notes she pictured in her head. Shiloh was completely in her own world, the word she felt safe in with her guitar.
The rain had let up finally, allowing a break in the constant torturous weather that kept people inside for long hours. The weather man had only said a few light showers but those light showers seemed to have turned into heavy ones. It was like she used to say when she was younger, ‘hurtin’ rain is comin’ down’. Shiloh took advantage of the rain letting up, changing her clothes for jogging and pulling on her tennis shoes that were already caked in mud. The little blonde made it out to the kitchen as she tied up her hair, looking around to see if she could spot anyone. It was quiet enough for the crickets to be heard so she just grabbed a pad of stationary and wrote out a quick note that she’d gone out for a run and would be back in an hour or so.
Officially ready, she headed out from the farm and started on her jog. Much like she always did, Shiloh started to let her mind run away and she focused on the sound of her feet hitting the ground. Everything was wet and it made the vegetation that sparkled green seem that much more alive, breathing life into everything around her. It helped her to run like this, to forget about it all. When she put her mind into it, she could really run. That’s how she often found herself crossing over the lines of Kinsey’s farm and territory and she ran till she was in the State Park and sweat covered every inch of her skin. Shiloh stopped for her few moments to catch her breath, wiping her forearm across her forehead and looking around at her surroundings.
Shiloh finally found one of the trails that ran through the park and darted down to it, figuring she could follow the trail for some time till she decided to turn back and make her way toward the farm. For now, she continued down the dirt path and found her pace again with ease. It started to drizzle just a little but it wasn’t anything serious and she continued along her way. The path started to slope down, the high hill rising up on her right side and towering over her. There were hills all along the park, some of which Shiloh slid down mostly out of fun or tried to jog up by stepping on the large rocks that were usually jutting out.
Her ears suddenly caught a sound, something rumbling and shifting. Shiloh slowed down and came to a stop, looking around before she turned her head to the top of the hill. Mud slide. The water must have loosened up the dirt and rocks too much and they were now all coming sliding down toward her. Fast. Shiloh let out a curse and tried to run out of the way, her brain figuring that it wasn’t a large enough one that could cause serious damage if she got out of the way. Shiloh jumped toward a tree, wrapping her arms tight around it and while it was just out of the way from the main slide, she felt the hard dirt slap at her, threatening to knock her away from the tree if she wasn’t careful.
It seemed like it was over with a few rocks still falling till a tree that was uprooted came crashing down near her, scaring her. She let go and went flying down the steep hill with the rocks, hitting others locked in the mud and scraping her skin till she hit the bottom. Shiloh covered her head as if it would protect her till something hard came crashing down on her ankle, a piercing scream leaving the blonde now caked in dirt. She barely managed to twist her upper body around, spotting the mud covered rock on her ankle. Shiloh—shaking and crying—attempted to move but that only resulted in another scream from her. Her ankle was smashed and she had no way to get up.
Shiloh hummed softly as she stood in the kitchen, scooping up ice cream into two separate bowls. It didn’t seem like too long ago when she was here last, that time talking to Gabrielle about things that had happened. There was a light at the end of the tunnel now and she was working her way through it one step at a time.
Being back at Woodmere allowed her to sink into the familiar scents and feel the comfort of home again. Of course, she lived with Flynn now and that was home, but a good part of the pack lived at Woodmere so there was a comfort that she couldn’t get anywhere else within the walls. Still humming, the blonde put up the ice cream carton that she’d bought and grabbed the two bowls that sat on the counter where she’d placed them earlier.. Carrying it up the stairs as carefully as she could, Shiloh made it to Gabe’s room and pushed open the door with her hip. “Sorry, that took longer than I thought. Kinda got lost in the ice cream.” Shiloh joked, toeing off her shoes near the side of Gabrielle’s bed before handing off one of the bowls.
“Strawberry ice cream and a side of best friend. Reckon ya can’t get anythin’ better than that.” The little ‘wolf took up a scoop into her mouth, smiling at Gabe around the spoon itself before she pulled it out of her mouth and licked her lips. “So talk to me 'bout what’s goin’ on because it’s obviously startin’ to bother ya a lot.”
Shiloh hadn’t been home long and since she’d walked through the door, she’d put her contacts into her new phone, gone into her bedroom, and tried to sort out everything. She knew when she left that people would worry and be upset. She knew people would be mad. Especially Indiana and Kinsey. Part of her couldn’t help but keep peeking at the door as if it was going to open and reveal an angry alpha. After their last talk, Shiloh didn’t want to anger the wolf anymore. The time away helped some, but not much. She knew that all along. Even as she hobbled to the bathroom and took her shower, she thought of her time away. Shiloh had stayed in her wolf form the entire time even though it probably wasn’t a good idea. She’d ran up to Knoxville and roamed around in between there and Pickens the entire time. She hadn’t crossed back into Pickens and their territory until earlier today when she had her little upset that required more attention than she wanted. Part of the reason why she was wondering if Mason hell was going to come down on her. Two Masons, now three, were all more than likely pissed at her and she couldn’t really run from it. Not that she would.
Coming out of her shower and getting changed, she knew she’d admit to what she’d done, admit that she was wrong, but she’d tell them the truth. She needed it. They would have stopped her or sent someone along with her, but she needed that time alone. To run. Things were clarified when she ran. It might not stop the nightmares, but it did help. Now though, Gabe was back and wanted to talk to her. Shiloh didn’t mind talking to the other ‘wolf in the house, figuring she was the safest bet to avoid yelling. Shiloh walked to the girl’s room, knocking on the door gently and then opening it as she slipped into the bedroom. “I was beginnin’ to wonder if you were ever comin’ back.”
For a while, she thought about not going and just continuing with all the work she was doing on the farm, but even she needed a break and if it was to see Flynn…well, she didn’t see a problem with it. Changing into a clean part of jean shorts and a purple button up with rolled up cuffs, Shiloh headed out of the kitchen and made her way over to the kitchen. She quickly scrawled out a note that she was just going to go see Flynn for two hours tops and would be straight back. With the truck keys in hand, the little blonde had made it to the front door and shoved her feet into her boots at the same time of texting Indiana her plans just to be on the safe side. Thankfully she knew where the cabin was and didn’t have to spend forever searching for it considering her sense of direction–when driving–is absolutely horrible. Shiloh blamed her over concentration on not crashing into anything. To her impatient self, it seemed like forever before she was finally at the cabin, slowing the truck and eventually putting it into park before she grabbed out her phone. Outside. The ‘wolf shoved her phone into her bag and headed out to get to the door of the cabin, ignoring the butterflies in her stomach that were going to make her sick if they didn’t stop.
With everyone in one place, there was quite a bit of chaos. It didn’t help that half the pack was in pain while the other was trying to take care of everything else. Shiloh had kept to Flynn most of the time, but eventually found herself digging through the freezer and pulling out ice cream. She had always kept some in there when she was living at Woodmere and was happy that no one had taken it. Two spoons in hand, Shiloh headed off to where Thommy was. Despite having been kept away from most of the action, she was exhausted herself. She’d tried to take a nap already, but that failed with her needed to get up and check on others. Shiloh knew she probably worried too much, but she’d rather do that than not worry enough and have something happen. When she got into the room, Shiloh handed off to ice cream to Thom with a smile. “I’m givin’ you my ice cream, so you better feel good after. Besides, ice cream cures all, you know.” She sat down, handing off the first spoon to Thommy. “Ya sure ya don’t need anythin’ else?” The little ‘wolf couldn’t stop herself from running her eyes over Thom, not quite believing that he was even a little okay. If she could baby everyone, she would. “Cora been takin’ good care of ya?”
Shiloh pulled her blonde tresses up into a high ponytail, her hands coming down and lightly running over her sides before she pulled on her shirt over her bikini top and slipped on her shoes. As quiet as she could, she headed out from her bedroom and down the hallway, cutting out the back kitchen door to get outside. Even though Zach had texted her to get Flynn or Indiana to come with, Shiloh didn’t think it would be so wrong as long as she was with Zoe. The two of them together was better than being alone. Outside, Shiloh headed around the front of the farm house, hopping up on the porch and leaning against the railing while she waited for Zoe. It really wasn’t too long of a walk to the water hole, especially since Shiloh went all the time and she knew the way to get there as fast as possible. Maybe it would get her mind off everything that happened yesterday. She still had to figure out what she was going to do, but today she just wanted to have fun and relax.