Eight padded quickly along down the trail, around the pango rock, stopping here au there to brush himself off and shake out, getting his fur, manyoya as neat as he could along his way. Not that the effort availed him, his shaggy mane would have none of it especially since his winter kanzu, koti was almost fully in now.
The moon was making its ascent into the sky now, hanging huge over the entire world, boasting its borrowed light for all to see. The bright white surface was beaming down on the world, bathing everything in the same white light.
The night was cold tonight, Eight's breath hung in the air as he went along, but the days warmth still seeped up from the ground. The dirt trail, every rock and blade of nyasi still felt warm beneath his paws as he hurried up the trail toward the east. There was an off-shoot of the Mesa where the Clan made their home. It was like a miniature Mountain range, that smaller gathering of earthy protrusions was the howling rock. Trails wound all the way to the top, trees sprouted here and there and clung to the edges in sparse patterns. This is where the entire pack would be tonight.
Eight was still a little bewildered kwa the events of the evening so far. He had only just woken up from his long siku before, and anticipating work... well, he honestly didn't know quite how to handle Stern's generosity. It was uncommon. It would be a lie for Eight to say that the whole thing wasn't a little... unsettling. But he took the night all the same.
He hadn't passed a single soul on the way to the howling rock. As he approached the outstretched bases, he still didn't see anyone nearby. But through the jutting rocks and scattered trees he could hear it all. It was certainly a gathering of merry wolves. Some light howling between what sounded like maybe a handful had already begun to get the party kicked off. Apart from that, his ears picked up laughter and various hoots and hollers, Cheering on of the howlers and general chatter, though at this distance it was little zaidi than white noise.
The shaggy brown mbwa mwitu stopped just shy of the mountain base to catch his breath. He had been padding along at a quick pace, he didn't want to onyesha up and appear to have ran there, au even be as nervous as his moyo reminded him that he was. It pounded in his chest, though only partially from the travel there - the majority of the thudding that coursed through his body was from the single most important thought on his mind, and anyone with half a brain could guess that.
He stayed for a moment, there in the cool night air and gazed at the moon as he collected his thoughts.
With a single deep huff, he took his eyes from the glowing orb in the sky and steered them up the path before him. This was it, no time for pre-party jitters now.
"Here we go." He alisema through his drawl and with a single step began his walk up the winding path to his goal.
Step after step, he heard his own paws hit the ground beneath him, shuffle a fine layer of dirt out of the way and repeat the process until the distant sounds became closer and closer and distinct enough to drown his steps out entirely.
Patting down his shaggy head fur, manyoya once more, he rounded a final rock and saw the trail widen, and with it, crowds and groups dotting it here and there.
He'd be passing kwa many familiar faces, and many he was only acquainted with.
Anyone he had seen so far didn't seem to have any particular trend in their group. Betas, Deltas, Omegas - all mixed. He didn't see but a few Alphas until he was further up the trail.
At first his presence went unnoticed, but that could be attributed to his distance, and the distractedness of the groups.
Once he came closer and began to pass by, he got looks here and there and even a few people calling out to him.
His head perked up from its droopy state as he became acknowledged. He was happy that they all welcomed him there at the Howl, despite his not being a full-fledged Clan member.
His jitters faded off and he shot back responses to everyone who had something to say, and even to those who didn't. His true inner nature was coming right back out, fun-loving Eight was now on the scene!
On the way up he saw Conner hanging with a group of mostly Betas, Eight simply pointed his paw at him and grinned. Conner gave a nod in return.
Eight traveled up the trail, meeting and greeting catching glances from the males and looks from the females. Everyone seemed pleased enough with his presence, and that made the night all the better.
The thumping in his chest stayed the same, but now it wasn't anticipation that kept it there, it was excitement!
All the hustle and bustle around him was fantastic! He'd never been a part of something so alive as this 'pack party', The Moonlight Howl.
With the exception of a few, everyone was there. Everyone had taken great care in grooming and preparing for the night. The females especially were pleasing!
zaidi than once he caught himself staring on his way by.
His journey came to a stop shortly, about half way up the cliff sides as he trailed along, some familiar faces presented themselves. Zen and his usual group, as well as a few other faces he only knew of. The only exception to the group was that lilac was not with them, but that was no reason to tread right past them.
Eight padded straight up to them with little hesitation, their conversations trailing on as he approached, he felt it only appropriate to interrupt,
"FELLAAAASS!" He called out, gaining the briefly surprised attention of each mbwa mwitu in the group. They each called back with smiles and pleas of joy, Mingo a little zaidi excitable than the others.
Eight swaggered over to them and found a spot to sit, receiving a pat on the shoulder from Zen, then Grunt.
"So, how're my boys doin' tonight?" Eight teased them with mock superiority and a noticeable cockyness.
The group laughed and carried on loudly through the night, scuffling and playing broke out time and again as Eight Lost himself in the moment.
And in that moment, he was happy. In that moment, he was with his family again.
The night waned on now, brisk air surrounding each wolf, and the moon began to approach its peak. In only another hour, it would be prime howl time for the pack. zaidi and zaidi howls went up, zaidi and zaidi couples and groups began their own private howling sessions - but the evening was still young.
And what an evening it was shaping up to be.