#even the vets complimented me on how chill you were
staliasjeronica · a year ago
Jeronica Headcanons 9
1. Who loves flower crowns more?
- Ever since Veronica learned how to make one in mythology class (for an interactive reading) she became obsessed with them and made one for Jughead. He thought it was dumb but cute at first, and then he started to like them and LOVED taking pictures of Veronica and him (and Hot Dog!) with flower crowns.
2. Who is the one who likes to cuddle?
- Jughead. He will cuddle any chance he gets that sometimes even Veronica has to tell him that she just wants to lay there by herself for a little while. He respects that, of course, but is eager and ecstatic when she invites him to rest his head on her lap so she can play with his hair while they watch a movie or something.
3. Who has awful taste in music?
- Both feel like they have the best taste in music. Veronica’s is much more well rounded because she kind of listens to a little bit of everything. Jughead would probably have the worst, but they both can always agree on one thing: country is the worst.
4. Who is the meme lover?
- Jughead is too lazy to type or speak his thoughts so he’ll just find a meme or reaction image that sums it up. Veronica will usually join in but sometimes she just wants to have a conversation with him so she’ll call him (which he does not want because Jughead hates calls, so then he’ll start using the speech to text or typing)
5. How did their second date go?
- Their second date was very chill. They borrowed Sweet Pea’s truck for the weekend and stargazed for awhile until they decided to go and sleep in the yurt Veronica rented for the two of them.
6. How many children do they want/have?
- Two or three, maybe more later on in life.
7. Who hides the weapons?
- Veronica because Jughead leaves them out sometimes or he forgets where he hid them, so Veronica has to buy a safe that at first she doesn’t give him the password to (she wanted him to guess it for a prize ;) )
8. Who is the better dancer?
- Definitely Veronica. She’s learned multiple different dances and while she has taught Jughead a few of them, he messes up a lot. But she finds it cute because when she helps him off of his butt, she’ll kiss his nose and encourage him to work at what he’s doing wrong.
9. Do/Did they have a theme wedding?
- It was a gothic wedding, really. It suited their style, and also told Hiram to stick it so it was perfect for both of them.
10. What do their parents think of them dating?
- Hiram absolutely hates it, but he has no say in it. Hermione pretends she’s not fond of them dating, but that’s simply for Hiram’s sake. In reality, she loves that Veronica is safe and happy with someone she loves. FP wasn’t surprised at ALL because he knew Veronica was more his type, although he was surprised that Jughead got the courage to tell her about his feelings for her. Gladys was ecstatic too because she liked Veronica’s drive.
11. Are they a super sappy couple?
- In public, no. Jughead always made fun of those annoying, sappy couples in the hallways of the high school and he doesn’t want to become one of them. But behind closed doors? Complete sap. A simp, if you will, for Veronica.
12. How did they get together?
- Honestly? It started out as an insult match. Which lead to heated faces staring down the other extremely close, and then making out. They ended up having sex, and later talked about it and Veronica admitted that she was genuinely surprised she liked it. Jughead confessed he liked her, and she figured they could be good together and decided to try it out. And she is so glad she gave him a chance.
13. Who asked the other to get married?
- Veronica figured Jughead would be too busy with the stress of trying to find the right time, so she did it for him. Inviting him out to the house she had recently bought for them, and after the house tour he turned around to find her leaning up against the wall with a smirk and a ring box held open. To this day it’s one of his favorite stories to tell, although it does tend to make him wish he asked her first. But that’s just the societal norms talking.
14. Who stays up too late and makes stupid jokes?
- Jughead. Not only has he never had a stable, good sleeping schedule, but he’s a writer and always stays up to write because it’s quiet and he won’t bother Veronica with his muttering. When he gets distracted he’ll start cracking jokes, which will make him laugh and Veronica will wake up and join him if she wants to.
15. Who is the nerd?
- Jughead.
16. Who knows the most obscure facts?
- Jughead thought it was him until him and Veronica started dating, and she would walk into the room and say some random, obscure facts.
17. Who makes the other a flower crown?
- Veronica.
18. Who likes to read?
- They both do, but Veronica tends to read more than Jughead because he’s usually busy writing.
19. Who bothers the other person while the other person reads?
- When Jughead gets distracted while he’s writing and wants attention so while Veronica’s reading he’ll sigh loudly, and groan in hopes of Veronica putting her book down to kiss him. She does sometimes, but usually she’ll chuck a pillow at him and tell him to concentrate.
20. Who tutors the other?
- They both kind of tutor each other. Both are from different worlds/classes and so they help each other with the other side of the world that they didn’t grow up in.
21. Do they have similar taste in movies?
- Yes. They love old, black and white movies but they also are into many other genres. It depends on their mood, but they have the same sense of humor so they do like a lot of the same movies.
22. How do their personalities compliment each other?
- There are many ways their personalities compliment one another, but Jughead is very closed off and Veronica is much more open so she helps him open up more and he helps her tone herself down because sometimes she comes across as too strong and assertive and it scares some people away.
23. How do they tell everyone that they are going to be having a kid/adopting a child soon?
- After they find out Veronica can’t have children and they’ll have to adopt, they were ecstatic to be able to adopt. They told everybody by having a small get-together to catch up and chill, and towards the middle they announced it.
24. Who has better fashion sense?
- Veronica. When they finally moved away from Riverdale and Jughead was still… missing something in his life, she realized that what he needed was to find his true style after watching Queer Eye together. He had always had clothes based on availability or hand-me-downs, and after she brought in Tan France to help Jughead, he became much, much happier.
25. Who will punch someone out if they are rude to their partner?
- Both of them. Jughead is much easier to anger, however. Veronica tends to go other routes that are less violent but definitely hit where it hurts.
26. What songs do they sing together in the vehicle?
- Veronica has made a playlist of songs in the genres they like that both of them know and love, so they can belt out the lyrics with the music blasting and the windows down.
27. What other couple would your otp get along with?
- It has been years since they were truly friends with Barchie, but they’re okay with them. But Choni is definitely the couple they get along best with.
28. Who likes to prank the other?
- Veronica started the prank war. She lives for it, and on one day of the year they have a prank day where they absolutely CANNOT trust one another. But just in case they have a safe word if something is serious.
29. Who is the one who loves to take pictures?
- Jughead likes to take pictures when they’re out in nature, but Veronica takes all of the selfies and such when they’re out and about just being themselves. So… both?
30. How would they react if they found out they were soul mates?
- If they hadn’t of been together already, they would be absolutely appalled and confused because they seem like complete opposites. But after they accept it and start to hang out more, they’d realize that fate/the universe wasn’t wrong and become glad that they were pushed together.
31. Where would they live?
- Every time I think of adult!Jeronica I automatically go to New York. Because Veronica’s job would be something high up and classy, like a fashion designer or something, and Jughead is into writing and New York is great for both of them.
32. What type of dragon would they own, if they could have one?
- An ice dragon because they love cold drinks :3
33. If they were both vampires, what type of vampires would they be?
- They’d be TVD vampires
34. What would they dress up as for Halloween?
- They would dress up in a couples costume or simply characters from the same show.
35. Can they name each other’s favorite food?
- Yes, seeing as both of them are food lovers they have memorized each other’s favorite food and know how to make it just the way the other likes it. 
36. Do they have pet names for one another?
- Yes, a lot of them but the ones they like to use most are “my love” or “darling”. Jughead started out saying those mocking high class society but then it became an actual thing.
37. How do they cheer each other up?
- Jughead will take Veronica out on a date to a restaurant and then a museum, and then they’d come home and play a game or just go to sleep or something, Veronica will run to the store to grab all kinds of snacks and goodies, then help Jughead make the most comfortable couch to ever comfort and dig in for a movie/relaxation day. 
38. Do they show a lot of PDA?
- Not really. They’re more low-key with holding hands and short kisses on lips and cheeks and sometimes foreheads.
39. How old were they when they got together?
- 18-19
40. Who is the one that would bring the puppy home?
- Veronica. She’d spot a lost little puppy on the way home and Jughead will sigh, tell her that they can’t keep the dog, and then go give it a bath so they can take it to the vet the next day so they can officially adopt it.
41. Can they do yoga couple’s poses?
- They tried once because Veronica wanted to, but Jughead’s body just does NOT bend that well.
42. What is their song?
- A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton because it played in the car around the time they started dating and Jughead seemed to open up to her more after that.
43. What does their room look like?
- Neat. Sometimes it gets a little messy but it doesn’t stay that way for long.
44. Who would be the one to kill zombies while the other keeps them grounded?
- Both to each.
45. Who makes the other breakfast in bed?
- Jughead because she wakes up early and he gets to sleep in since he works from home.
46. Who loves kids more?
- Jughead. Veronica was an only child and every other child she knew was treated like an adult so she never really saw the big deal.
47. Do either of them have a crazy ex?
- Veronica does. When they move up to New York, they come across an ex of hers who did NOT like the idea of her moving on with some lanky looking fella who didn’t (at the time) bring in much bank.
48. What are their favorite colors?
- Veronica’s is purple, Jughead’s is blue or red depending on his mood.
49. Who likes to cook?
- Veronica, because it gives her peace of mind but they LOVE to cook together.
50. Who is the forgetful one?
- Jughead. Veronica has to set a million reminders on his phone when he’s sleeping so he doesn’t forget to bring some important papers to a meeting.
51. Does either of them know how to fight?
- They both do. Different kinds, really. Jughead is more street style, but Veronica has learned multiple different kinds of fighting styles because her parents wanted her to be able to protect herself considering their family business.
52. What do they do for Valentines Day?
- Depends on their mood that month but usually they’ll go out to eat or find a nice place to picnic, and then later at night they’ll gorge on sweets and watch rom-coms.
53. Who swears more?
- Jughead, but they both swear like sailors because “it expresses how passionate I am!”
54. Who has the better comebacks?
- They both have pretty good comebacks but Veronica’s is always sharp and painful whereas Jughead has some that lack the sting.
55. Who would start a fight with another parent at a bake sale?
- Jughead has a hot head sometimes, and he can reign in it if he wants to but ever since Jacob, another parent in their daughter’s class, has hit on Veronica and they fought in the parking lot, they have a rivalry 
56. Who reads buzzfeed?
- Veronica does but mostly because she loves the quizzes, and loves making Jughead take them after her.
57. Who is the hopeless romantic?
- Neither, really, but Veronica fits best between the both of them.
58. Do either of them know how to do a handstand?
- Veronica used to do gymnastics, so yes.
59. Who can rap better?
- Jughead likes to THINK he’s better but everyone else knows that Veronica is surprisingly really good at rapping.
60. Do either of them want to go sky diving?
- Veronica already has, but Jughead wants to so he can rub it in Sweet Pea’s face.
61. What do they usually text about?
- They like to send risqué texts because that’s how their relationship is, but outside of that, they send one another memes and “that’s u” to some ugly troll they found on the internet. But it’s all in good fun.
62. Who is the dramatic one?
- They both can be dramatic but Jughead is the one who tends to make a big deal out of things.
63. Is either one confrontational?
- Mostly Jughead, but sometimes Veronica gives in and gets aggressive instead of the long game that her family has instilled in her.
64. What is their favourite cuddle position?
- They love it when they’re on the couch and Jughead’s practically sinking into the middle but Veronica is wound around him and they’re just chilling there in their underwear watching TV.
65. Who are their favourite musical artist(s)?
- Krestfäll is a new band they’ve come to love.
66. What are their parenting styles?
- Veronica is stern yet understanding and able to let it go if need be. Jughead is also stern but has a harder time differentiating it because of how he was raised.
67. Who would be the more laid back one?
- Veronica, because her parents didn’t really care as she was growing up and wouldn’t care what she did as long as it didn’t kill her.
68. Who listens to more vulgar music?
- Jughead. He got it from listening to music with the Serpents in the Whyte Wyrm.
69. Do either of them have secrets even the other doesn’t know?
- Yes, because secrets (that don’t affect the other) are good in relationships, but they’re always small and insignificant. Not like “I cheated” or heavy, relationship ending secrets like that.
70. Who is their go to couple for a double date?
- Choni or Swangs
71. Do they tip the waiter/waitress on their date?
- Yes, they both realize how hard it is to make a living so they tip as much as they’re able to. When they start to make big bucks, they tend to leave more money as tip just to make their day and hope it helps them pay for something important.
72. How do they work out a fight?
- Veronica goes for the silent treatment, Jughead goes for getting food and letting it kind of slide away once they’re not angry anymore.
73. Who brings home an illegal pet?
- Jughead if it’s Serpent business (outside of that, though, then Veronica)
74. What side of the bed do each of them sleep on?
- Veronica gets the side facing the window, Jughead gets the door. Veronica (playfully, sorta) said it’s because if there comes an intruder, they’ll go after Jughead first so she, as the unsuspecting female who’ll definitely not be seen as a threat because sexism, will be able to go after the attacker.
75. What is their favorite photo of them two together?
- Before getting married/having children it was on a date, right before Jughead laughed so hard that Coca Cola came out his nose. But otherwise it’s a tie between their wedding photos and the photos of their family.
76. Who takes longer in the bathroom?
- Veronica.
77. Who has more songs on their iPod?
- Veronica. Jughead has a playlist or two of songs he’s currently into, but Veronica finds every song she even kind of likes and creates a billion playlists that she can’t organize without basically restarting.
78. What movie did they first see together?
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s was playing at a theater near them so that was where they went on their first date.
79. What do they like to see each other in?
- I mean,,, nothing. But Jughead adores Veronica in skinny jeans and t-shirts (or his t-shirts and nothing else), and Veronica loves it when Jughead wears sweatpants OR plaid. She’s not sure why.
80. Who makes jokes during inappropriate times?
- They both do but mostly Jughead.
81. At what age do they discuss the possibility of children?
- After they’ve been together for a couple of years, say, late 20′s.
82. What do they love about each other the most?
- Jughead loves Veronica’s smile, Veronica loves Jughead’s eyes.
83. Who is the one that sees the big picture, while the other focus’s on the small details?
- Veronica sees the big picture, Jughead focuses too hard on the small details.
84. What would they write on their partner’s social media’s for their anniversary?
- Veronica would be that annoying one who writes like a novel talking about their love and journey and such, and Jughead would write a short, sweet poem (mostly because Veronica makes him, because he hates showing off/being all gooey in public)
85. Who is bad at math?
- Jughead.
86. Who googles everything?
- Jughead, he usually knows they’re both right but always has to check.
87. Who does stuff on impulse?
- Jughead.
88. How do they comfort each other when they are helpless to do anything about the situation?
- They just be there for one another, and encourage and support the other on their plan no matter what it is.
89. What is an inside joke they have?
- Veronica used to have this boyfriend who would undo her bra and yell “BBF!” standing for “boobies be free” and she told Jughead once and it became a thing to just randomly say BBF and they’ll be in a fit whereas everyone else is confused as hell.
90. Who makes the other smile with almost no effort at all?
- Veronica. Even if he is having the worst day possible, Jughead will beam as bright as the sun when Veronica jumps on his lap and kisses him all over.
91. What is their favourite holiday?
- Halloween because scary movies, candy, and cuddles!
92. Who is the one that is calm and collected while the other is angry and destructive?
- Veronica is calm and collected, Jughead is angry and destructive.
93. What is their favourite board game to play?
- Sorry! Because they’re evil little shits and will go after one another so hard… they’ve VERY competitive.
94. Who accidental sets something on fire?
- Jughead, because he’s an idiot, sometimes.
95. Who has the car ready while the other is robbing the store?
- Veronica.
96. What artist/group did they go to for their first concert?
- Panic! At The Disco
97. Who sleep talks?
- Both do a little bit, but Jughead’s is more noticeable.
98. Who is the more social one?
- Veronica.
99. What are their karaoke songs?
- Old rock songs, the usual kind of Karaoke songs.
100. Who would get up on stage and make a fool of themselves just to make the other laugh?
- Both, but mostly Veronica because Jughead wouldn’t believe she’d actually do it.
lol am I still posting headcanons even though someone stole my responses and pretending they were theirs? Yes, because this was halfway filled out and I wanted to do SOMETHING so :D enjoy, if you try to take them to show others PLEASE show them WHERE you got them thanks 
Questions taken from https://the-moon-dust-writings.tumblr.com/post/159857601812/100-otp-questions
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winryofresembool · a year ago
Things We Lost in the Fire, ch 18
aka Caleo uni au
Fic summary: Calypso starts studying at a new university, but to her annoyance her new flatmate is a loud mouthed mechanic who also likes to sneak his dog in whenever. But as she learns to know him better, she realizes they might have more in common than what she first thought. Eventually, even the darkest secrets come out…
Chapter summary: Leo's life is hard (but maybe there's some hope left).
A/N: Yay, time for a new chapter! I decided to make Friday my new posting day so that’s when the future updates will (hopefully) happen.
It's not time to resolve the previous drama quite yet but dw, that's coming! Meanwhile, I hope you'll enjoy this Leo centered chapter. It’s also time to bring Frank in!
Don't forget to let me know what you think! :)
Characters in this ch: Leo, Frank, Georgina, Jo, Emmie
Words: 1700+
Genre: romance & hurt/comfort
Warnings: none
previous chapter / next chapter / AO3
“Maldita sea!” Leo yelled at himself as his wrench flew at the wall, thankfully not causing damage to it. Nothing he tried to fix or build that day seemed to go right. He hadn’t been able to figure out a pretty basic seeming issue in someone’s phone, one of his own inventions had broken and even solving a physics problem that would usually have managed to distract him only felt frustrating.
There was a lot going on in Leo’s head. Well, he’d argue that he always had a lot going on there due to his ADHD, but this time his usual methods to calm himself down didn’t seem to work. He would probably have to quit studying the only field he was truly interested in. He couldn’t do his work. His flatmate for whom he may or may not have started slowly developing some very not flatmate appropriate feelings had apparently had a thing for his friend, which not only complicated Leo’s situation with Calypso but also with Percy. And his mother’s death anniversary was coming, which was always a hard time for him. Leo imagined she’d probably be so disappointed if she saw him now. ‘My son, a failure in every aspect of life’. No, Leo’s real mother had been way too nice to actually say something like that out loud, but he just knew she’d at least think that. And Jo, Emmie and Georgina were counting on him too.
After throwing the wrench, Leo decided to take a break because his hands had started shaking too much to continue working. Taking a deep breath, he leaned against his worktable, closed his eyes and started tapping a rhythm that he had memorized years ago. His mother had taught him Morse code when he was a kid, and this particular phrase was one she had used a lot when he had needed calming down. Written down, the code looked like this:
.. .-.. --- ...- . -.-- --- ..-
I l o v e y o u
He whispered it very quietly a couple of times before looking out from the window and saying aloud:
“Mom. I’m trying to be strong. I really am. But sometimes it just gets too fucking hard. Everything seemed to be fine. Really. My other family is great. I was studying something I actually cared about. My new flatmate… uh, she’s an interesting force of nature. But if she likes someone like Percy… I’d never have a chance. And all my career plans are about to run down to the sewers because I can’t use fire, in any way. Not because of what happened to you. Because of what I... I just feel lost.”
He took a deep breath and rubbed the corner of his eye dry quickly. Saying his thoughts aloud seemed to make him feel a little bit better, and he decided that maybe getting out of the flat and getting some exercise would help with the shakiness. To his relief Calypso wasn’t home either so he didn’t have to answer any awkward questions about why he looked like such a mess. Leo found himself jogging all the way to Waystation, which was several miles from his flat. As he reached the yard, he noticed Georgina with Festus, but even with her back to him he could sense something was wrong. Of course. There was always some way the day could get even worse.
“Hi, hermanita!” he started, trying to sound cheerful even though he didn’t think he was a very good actor. Georgie could probably see right through him. His suspicions were confirmed when Festus didn’t even run to greet him as he usually did. “What’s going on?”
“I tried to call you,” she said, hiding her worry badly. “Moms went to run some errands and something… something happened to him…”
“What do you mean? What exactly happened?” Leo insisted on knowing.
Georgina seemed to grow more and more upset each moment. “I… I gave him a bully stick… but I forgot to put it in a holder even though moms always say you should do that when you give him one because he always tries to swallow them so fast… And then he started feeling sick...”
To prove her point, Festus, who was laying on the ground, made a loud gagging sound. After that he tried to whine but even that didn’t sound like it usually did.
Leo’s ADHD kicked immediately in, in the form of him wanting to act fast.
“We’ll discuss this later, I need to borrow Jo’s car now that I can take him to the vet,” he exclaimed and ran inside the house to get the keys to the car from the spot Jo usually kept them. He picked them and Festus’ leash and ran back, telling Georgina to stay home to tell Jo and Emmie what happened when they’d return.
At least one thing went right that day: the emergency vet clinic was fairly quiet when Leo arrived there. Not long after that, the vet took Festus in. He had an intern with him; a young man who Leo suspected had his roots somewhere in East Asia. He had black, short hair, a bulky body and kind of child like face even though the intern was probably older than Leo. As the vet asked Leo some questions about what exactly had happened to Festus, the student wrote down some notes and occasionally added a short comment as well. When Leo was about to explain why exactly Festus had gotten issues with the bully stick, he heard the intern mutter something to himself.
“What was that?” Leo asked a bit more aggressively than he had planned, having already been stressed even before the issue with Festus had come up. He had to admit, though, that it had distracted him from the other issues.
“Nothing,” the intern quickly said, pretending to focus on his papers again.
Leo didn’t give up that easily. “I heard you, though. You were implying that I had somehow caused this.”
“Well, you did give him the bully stick, didn’t you?” the young man asked.
“I wasn’t even there when he got one!” Leo growled, starting to feel the frustrations from earlier that day flooding out of his system. “My… uh, little sister gave him one when our parents left to run some errands and he kept whining and wanted something to chew! It wasn’t her fault either, she’s a child and she didn’t know that could happen!”
“Mister Valdez, please calm down a bit,” the vet interrupted him, and Leo immediately shut up. “There’s no need to yell. Festus is going to be just fine; I’m going to give him some medicine and fluids to help with digesting the stick and we can watch how he’s doing overnight. And Frank, please don’t make assumptions like that about clients.”
“Yes, sir,” Frank said, to Leo’s surprise actually looking regretful. Then he turned to Leo. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to…”
“Nah, I kinda lost my cool there too…” Leo said, the frustration leaving when he saw Frank’s face.
“Kinda,” the intern said, attempting to joke about the situation.
“Yeah, sorry ‘bout that;” Leo rubbed the back of his neck.
After that the vet asked Leo a couple of more questions and did some more examinations on Festus while Frank helped him.
“Other than this stick issue, he seems like a healthy dog,” the vet complimented after the check up. “His fur and teeth look good. I think you’ve been taking good care of him.”
“Well, to be honest he lives more with my parents than me because they have a lot more space…” Leo said, “But yeah, we all try our best. Even Georgina, my sister.”
“I’m glad to hear that. It’s a good thing you got him here that fast so he’ll get the best possible treatment,” The vet said.
After that he wrote some notes on the computer and then dismissed Leo who scratched Festus from behind his ear and promised to come back soon to get him. As he was putting his jean jacket on in the lobby, the intern, Frank, approached him.
“About what happened earlier, I really am sorry. It isn’t like me to attack clients; you can even ask my boss about that. I just…”
“Chill, man,” Leo said. “I’ve heard this story before. People assume things about me because I look like a problem teenager. Truth to be told? You’re not entirely wrong. But things have changed. And trust me, Festus is my best friend and I’d do anything for him. I’m sure Georgie has learned her lesson too now.”
“Good to hear that,” Frank said and extended his arm to Leo. “Well, I guess I’ll see you tomorrow when you’re coming to get Festus.”
Leo nodded. “Yep, I have a feeling my whole family will want to join me. Anyway, I’m off now. Thanks for the help!”
“I’m glad we could help!” Frank told him before he started walking towards his car.
Jo and Emmie had already returned to Waystation when Leo got there.
“Is everything OK?” Emmie asked immediately. “We didn’t really get much out of Georgina… Just that something had happened to Festus and you took him to the vet.”
“Nah, it’s gonna be fine!” Leo reassured her. “He got some digestion issues because he gobbled a bully stick too fast but that’s being taken care of now. Georgie sure remembers to be more careful from now on, won’t ya, hermanita?” he addressed the young girl then.
“I will…” she promised, not even protesting about the nickname this time.
Once Leo had explained with more details what had happened at the vet and it became clear that Festus would be fine soon, the family moved to other matters. Unlike usually, Leo was happy with mostly listening to the others. The incident had reminded him that there were bigger matters than girl issues or his studies and he realized that those things didn’t feel quite as hard to overcome now as a few hours ago. Yes, he still needed to deal with them, and yes, his past would probably never stop entirely haunting him, but when he had people like this around him? It wouldn’t be impossible.
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malachite-isms · a year ago
Your Kiss is on Their List Pt 5: Yang Xiao Long
This was familiar. This mental soup of lingering ecstacy and satisfactory subordination, she hadn’t always known it, but it was normal for her now. It wasn’t overly often that this would happen, all parties involved had things to do of course, but it was common enough that there was a sequence of events she was used to going through. As were they.
First, she would go to the club, that fateful club where she had made an impressive, if a bit unnecessary, show of force on the establishment’s security detail and owner in lieu of getting the information she needed. There, she would do some drinking, maybe a bit of dancing, or even, more recently, shoot some pool in that newly renovated nook beside the bar. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing one couldn’t find in most other nightclubs in cities like Vale. Great music though.
Then, the odd dance would begin. They would approach her, those bedeviling women, and they would flirt like they’d only met once or twice before and hit it off. They’d give her an opening line, she’d shoot something charming back and they’d go back and forth like that for a while. Then they’d invite her to the back, she’d push through the cool rush in her chest and say yes at an appropriate volume. They’d then escort her to the back, and she would positively relish the jealous looks she’d get from charmless men. Very few got the honor of meeting up with the twins in private regularly, save for Yang Xiao Long and one other.
Then they’d lead her to their room, lavishly furbished with leather furniture, modern art, and the most well-stuffed bed she’d ever been on. It was always just a little chilly in there; not cold enough for an additional layer, but you’d always be doing the little things to warm up ever so slightly. Things like crossing your arms, or being close to someone else. Part of their setup, no doubt. There, one of them would sit her on the couch and heap compliments on her while the other sat on an adjacent chair and methodically apply vibrant red lipstick. She’d catch her staring, she’d always catch her staring, and the other would know exactly when to stop talking and redden her own lips as Yang was caught in a suggestive gaze. They were frighteningly good at what they did.
Then, with gentle tugs, they’d pull her from the couch to the bed and begin the main event. They’d lean on either side of her and start with her cheeks. Gentle, lingering kisses that let her relish in the contact and warmth. They’d refresh the kiss-shaped stamp they had on her brain. They would work their way to her nose, and her forehead, and her temples, and her jaw, and her neck. Then they’d help her remove her jacket and scarf, she’d often already in a trance at that point. With only her tube top remaining on her torso, they’d kiss her neck, then her shoulders, then they’d let her slowly fall to the bed as they worked their way down her arms and to her hands.
At that point, they would ask her the question; how far would they go tonight? Yang would have to tell them, with a please. They never demanded one, never even asked for one, but she’d always say please. They’d always oblige her, if she asked for a full coat, they paint her red from head to toe. Sometimes,  when she was in the mood, she’d ask for something along the lines of “the full package,” and they’d oblige her.
Finally, they’d be done, and she’d be speechless. It had been a long time since the first occurrence of this, but she would always be speechless, staring at the ceiling, and simply plastered in impressions of lips, residue of blissful kisses that would put her firmly on cloud nine, regardless of whether or not her pants stayed on. They’d leave to the adjoining bathroom and clean themselves up.
Recently, if they hadn’t gone all that far, another step would occasionally come up. She would, without cleaning herself up, pick herself off the bed and wobble her way to the bar. She would be too love-drunk to care about the bewildered stares she’d get from the jealous and the envious, and order herself a lite beer, or even a water. Something simple to revitalize her system. There, she’d be joined by the only one to be able to truly sympathize with her, the only one who could claim to be in her shoes more often than Yang herself.
Tonight was one of those nights, and Cody Baxter was that individual.
Cody was, in many ways, Yang’s polar opposite. A passive pacifist who never looked to instigate anything aside from chill vibes. He was a writer by trade, and wouldn’t consider himself charming. Which made it as baffling to him as it was to many others when the infamously seductive Malachite Twins rented out a space in the club for the guy and showered him with affection whenever they got the chance. The only one more often covered in lipstick from the twins than Yang was Cody.
Though tonight, he was clean and Yang was the recent target.
“Y’know,” he started “,we gotta stop meeting like this.” 
“What,” she shot back, words slightly slurred “,you think you could hold up any better?”
They both chuckled like old war veterans, warmly recalling what others would consider nightmares.
“I take it this was your way of getting a ‘lightened sentence’ as it were?” he asked with a glance at the blonde.
“Yyyyyyou could say that I guess.” She took a swig of beer. “If what they did to my team was their version of going easy, I’d rather this,” she gestured to her marked self “,than whatever they were planning for an old vet like me.”
“Y’know, you say that,” he said, melancholy slowly entering his voice “,but I don’t think either of us handle them better now than when we got got for the first time.”
“Oum, the first time...”
That club was so nice on her first visit, and cleaned up so nice the second, why not go again just for fun?
She was owed a drink, after all. Yang strutted into the club, the music was back, the patrons were back, and Junior was back. Back, too, were those twins who she never got to be properly introduced to.
With strawberry sunrise in hand, Yang took a seat between them at the bar. This place was worth being a regular at, best to ingratiate herself with the staff, especially the boss’s right hand girls.
But there was two of them so... right and left hand? Anyway.
“W’hey there!” she opened “So, I’m not so great at apologies, so how about I just buy you ladies a round?”
The two haughty women rolled their eyes and nodded in acquiescence.
Yang signaled to the bartender who promptly slid some fancy drinks to the twins, their favorites, Yang presumed.
“So, dunno if you’re cool enough with me for this, but would you mind if I got your names?”
A heavy pause followed.
Yang was thoroughly surprised. She would’ve bet her bike that, no, they were not cool enough with her yet. Might as well strengthen her advantage then.
“Well, I gotta say, Melanie, Miltiades,” holy shit, did she just nail the red one’s name on the first try? “you girls are pretty damn good fighters.
Apparently, the praise was enough for the twins to deign her with their gazes instead of cold shoulders.
“I mean, most people have to fall back on their semblances when I go on the attack, but you two? Correct me if I’m wrong, but you guys didn’t even raise your aura when I hit you, did you?”
Another heavy silence.
“Knowledge is power,” Melanie said plainly.
“Uhhh... huh?”
“If we used our semblance for every punk with their head in their ass,” Miltiades clarified “,people could scout us for planned attacks.”
“Not that you’d know anything about that.” They scoffed in unison.
“W-well,” Yang tried to get back on balance “,I’ll be the first to tell you, I have a lot of muscles that might be the strongest,” she flexed her arms to drive the point home “,but my brain ain’t in the running!”
Self-deprecating humor, she didn’t use it often, but this seemed like a good time to bust it out. Some humility never hurt when trying to earn some forgiveness, right?
Yang felt what happened, heard what happened, but her brain needed some time to process it. she looked to each of her biceps and found a red lipstick-imprint on each of them and a twin caressing an arm each.
Yang’s face lit up like a traffic light, but no words came out. Noises escaped her mouth for sure, but they were most definitely not words.
“You know, for as hot-headed as you are,” Melanie said, pausing to kiss Yang’s forearm “,you definitely have a charm about you.”
More noises, no words.
A soft hand cupped her cheek and turned her toward its owner; Miltiades, who had closed the distance and was inches away from her face.
“Y’know, you’re so cute, we can’t stay mad at you. How about we get away from the crowds so we can... get to know you better?”
There was a heavy silence.
Without taking her eyes off Miltiades, Yang picked up her strawberry sunrise, downed it in one go and croaked out “Sure.”
“Well if it isn’t our two favorite patrons!”
Melanie’s peppy arrival snapped Yang out of her recollection.
“Heyo, Mel,” Cody greeted the twin “,to what do we owe the honor?”
“Just a quick bit of correspondence we would like our blonde friend to deliver.”
Curious, Yang turned to the pair fully to find Miltiades holding out a business card. She took it, read it, and her eyes widened.
“Uhh... girls?” she said with trepidation in her voice “,I don’t wanna tell you how to go about your business, but this... this might not be the best idea.”
“Yang, for real, we appreciate the concern,” Miltiades said with uncharacteristic bluntness given their recent escapades “,but we’ve done our research. Trust us, we’ve planned this one out thoroughly. We know what we’re doing.”
“If you say so.” Yang looked down at the lipstick-stained card. “Better brace yourself, vomit-boy.”
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najatheangel · a year ago
Hi~! Can I have a written ship for ateez, bts, and nct 127 please? I’m 21 years old, American, 5’4, Gemini, and I have green eyes. I’m very shy and awkward at first, but I’m more talkative, bubbly, weird, and feisty once you get to know me. I’m also a little moody and lazy at times 🥴. I’m going to school to be a vet tech (love animals) and I love taking naps. I enjoy sweets, soft/cuddly stuff, and trashy tv shows. I prefer to stay inside than go out to have fun, but I do enjoy shopping. Thank you so much! 🤗
Hii sweet pea🌸🌸, thanks for requesting. You sound like a sweetheart. I also appreciate your patience here’s your ship...
From Ateez, I ship you with...Seongwha
Positive Side: An adorable little duo. First of all Aries and Gemini’s are total couple material. There’s very strong communication and strong personalities that can handle each other. So both of your shells would open fast once you meet each other and at that point, the attachment becomes stronger as your days together goes by. Although Seongwha can be the more aggressive one in the relationship, it’s only because he’s a lot more passionate and excited about how things will start to develop in your relationship. Dates together are very soft! Since you both can be lazy at times, you both love to binge watch your favorite movies, dramas and tv shows together all day and have discussions in between every episode. His reactions to every app always makes you laugh because there so over the top. When you try to cuddle close to him, he would try to push you away acting like he didn’t like it at first, but then a second later he would pull you back close to him caressing the top of your head. He would be so supportive of your vet tech career and will be motivating you every step of the way.
Negative Side: As a team, it’s hard for the both of you to follow through with finishing a task/project without the other person. You both have this habit where you tend to procrastinate very easily by taking long naps, talking to your friends or even scrolling through social media. It’s understandable because your both working hard to take your careers to the next level but sometimes it can be hard to keep up with deadlines. For example, one day Seongwha would have to have an extra day exstension for not learning the choreography all because he was hanging out with his friends. In the case with you, you could miss one quiz one night because you stayed up all night watching Boys over Flowers.
But...: You both don’t let this happen all the time, especially when it all depends on your future. If it’s a goal you really want to accomplish or finish something your really interested in, your going to dedicate all the the time and put in effort in order to complete it. Once the job is done it’s back to the normal routine which doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad thing. When both of you complete your goals, you reward each other by going shopping or going out on a ice cream date. That’s the best part about this relationship, celebrating each other’s proud moments.
Uggh my gahd, stop it your too cute. 😭✨
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From Bts, I ship you with...Jungkook
Positive Side: This bunny boy would love you in ways nobody else has shown you in a long time. At first it took sometime for you two to open up because of how shy, quiet and awkward you two can be when meeting each other, but he wanted you to feel comfortable by breaking his shell out as you were the one opening up to him first. Jungkook just follows your lead in the beginning when it comes to having conversations and even hanging out with him. After awhile, he just knew in his heart he wanted to be with you and worked for it until you accepted his confession. Jungkook loves exploring when it comes to trying new sweet spots with you. If you wanted a pound of chocolate chip edible cookie dough, he would get it for you. Also when your shopping with him to help him get his stage outfits for the next concert is a time where you both get silly chasing each other in and out the dressing room. Also you hyping each other up when getting each other’s hair done. “Wow look at my scrumptious blueberry. I love the blue hair on you.” He looks to the side blushing ruffling his hair. “I could say the same about you. They did amazing with your highlights.” Lastly, he would be there for you the whole time throughout your time finishing school. In a sense, he knows what it feels like to handle the pressure of graduating while practing as sn idol at a young age. He would give you words of encouragement and even right messages on sticky notes in your notebook every do it can boosts your energy.
Negative Side: Your both homey people which works out for the best, but out of the both of you, Jungkook is the more adventurous one. It’s expected that he’s more energetic because of his busy schedule and being an idol. Whenever he tries to ask you some days if you want to come along with him to go to the beach with him and the members or even try to tag you along with him to his next performance, your schedules wouldn’t line up or you were tired from working all day and just wanted to get some sleep. The both of you feel upset whenever you can’t see each other those days, but the you know that you have to finish your jobs for the day.
But...: Once a special occasion comes up such as a date, anniversary or a holiday comes up, you both plan months ahead to dedicate that time off. Once you get the approval to spend time with each other, it’s just makes your whole day. If it doesn’t ever work out, you guys still find time to FaceTime from your locations, you even decide to have fun with it. One time you had decided to do a FaceTime dinner date where you both dressed fancy and ordered the same food from different hotels. “The steak tastes so delicious babe. Thanks for recommending it to me.” “It’s no problem. I always know what you like. You look stunning in that dress baby.” The both of you blush at the amount of compliments you give each other and chat the whole night until you go to sleep.
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From NCT 127, I ship you with...Haechan
Positive Side: Y’all would have a love-hate relationship. When y’all first meet, from the jump he would be dying to get to know you asking you all kinds of questions, but that’s because he wanted you to open out of your shell. Once y’all got to know each a lot better and become best friends, get ready for this man to tease you nonstop. He would jokingly try to push your bottons by making fun of how you eat soup, the way you walk in heels, literally anything and that’s when you both bicker back in forth coming for each other’s throats. After awhile, you both start developing feelings and it was awkward because the both of you were trying not to make it too obvious, but once you finally confess to each other it was a beautiful moment that you both can cherish. Not much changed in your relationship at that point it was more like best friends doing romantic things. He would drag you along everywhere whenever him and his 127 members travel around different states not giving a care in the world who was gossiping about the two of you. You also have chill dates where you’d sneak into each other’s rooms helping you study for school or watching movies all night long, but y’all would be distracted either way by play fighting or making out under the covers. Since both your moods change fast, it makes sense that this is your routine, but you both wouldn’t ever wanted things to change.
Negative Side: In the beginning, Haechan would sometimes go a little to far getting on your nerves bothering you constantly. One time you were tired from class and had to redo a paper from one of your English classes and all of a sudden Haechan was already on a ten dancing baby shark sexily in front of you. At first you were laughing and told him to stop, but then that turned to hours of silliness which led to missing your deadline to your paper. Even sometimes when he roasts you infront of the members, it turns into a big blowout with you both ignoring each other for days. “You know what Haechan you play too much and I’ve really had enough of your games. Your sleeping on the couch tonight.” “Fine by me, you snore too much anyway.” Snatches your pillow from you and slams the door. “I swear, he’s such a child..”
But...: The members couldn’t stand how gloomy you two were around each other and put you two in a private room to work out your differences. It was hard at first because your constant arguing. Once you both realize how hard you were on each other, you both made up and started to learn when not to cross the line with hurting each other’s feelings. He’s never going to stop messing with you, because that’s how he shows his form of love for you. What’s even better is that Haechan can be the best boyfriend at the same time being your number 1 supporter, teddy bear, best friend and lover.
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Out of everyone, I ship you the most with...Jungkook ⭐️
@ermbabyel I hope you liked your ship and feel free to request again anytime in the future.
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anxiousbabybirdb · 8 months ago
B! other than the usual ships, like Ushi, iwa, ran, draken, taiju, Bucky, etc. I also ship you with hawks (saw someone else say that and definitely agree), dabi, nanami, jean, and koko! Maybe also Loki, heh
in a platonic way (unless you want otherwise;) I ship you with hirugami (med and vet school buddies), mikey, and a b sanzu rindou friendship? the power behind that- oh OH AND YUZUHA! And Emma!
-🐉 anon (I feel like this was a clusterfuck of ‘whos personality do I think compliments b’s from what I know?’ ‘who do I think b would be good buddies with🤔’) I hope this was okay!
Ushijima, Iwaizumi, Ran, Draken, Raiju, Bucky, EXCUSE ME WHILE I SWOON! And idk if you knew this, but before I simped for any of these other men, I was in love with Keigo Takami and Dabi. I have the most in depth AU I developed during my COVID quarantine that is Hawks x me x Dabi in this perfect little poly. I have fanart that my younger cousin drew for me with Dabi and she even drew the 3 kids I would have with Hawks and Dabi (we have twin boys and a baby girl lol). Nanami is a new one and I'm going to have to think about that that a little further--I only recently watched JJK and I think I'm going to try and read it! JEAN! I fucking love Jean soooooo much. He's hands down my favorite by far in AOT. I have the biggest crush on him and he would make me so fucking flustered because he would see so easily how he affects me, and he would eat that up so much. Kokonoi!! I was thinking about him this morning actually lol. I don't know how well we'd get along, but I could see it. Loki could legit have everything he wanted (fun fact: my Ushijima fanfic Blindfold was originally a Loki fanfic when I was big in the Marvel fandom 😅)
I loveeee that you included platonic ones! I would totally be friends with Hirugami! We'd be smart besties and it would be awesome because I'd use his height and him to give my tiny ass scary dog privileges lol. I'm already snarky enough with my 5' ass, if I had backup in a 6'5" dude who could crush someone (even though he's a sweetheart puppy dog, they don't know that lol), I'd be unstoppable🤣I'd be trying to take over the world with Mikey, it's world domination up in here! B X SANZU X RINDOU FRIENDSHIP OH MY GOD! We'd be the most terrifying trio because I'm smart and if they listened to me and were the ones carrying out my plans, it'd be terrifying. If B x Sanzu x Rindou was a friendship, everyone should be scared!! I would LOVE to be friends with Yuzuha, I feel like she's such a strong character, I'd love to be her shoulder to lean on, but I'd also wordlessly run into the fire to protect those I love just like she does. Emma is baby and I'd want to protect her so much. She would definitely make my mama bear friend come out hardcore lol.
AS FOR YOU my darling, wonderful little dragon, I ship you with Kazutora, Sanzu, and Rindou!! Kazutora would be your biggest simp, alternating between cute and crazy and it would always be fun! Sanzu on the other hand is always there to take you out for a good time and he might be a little crazy and possessive, but he does it out of love 🥰 Rindou is just amazing all around and in my head, he's the more chill Haitani but damn, if anyone ever disrespected you, he's the first one to knock them on their ass with a hand around their throat until the apologize.
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written-within-the-stars · a year ago
Words Come Easier When Your Eyes Don’t Distract Me – Part Three – Together
Continuing on from
I smiled at the way she reacted when I told her about the medicine, and the praise and affection she showed Nova. Harper really had a capacity for caring beyond what most people were capable of, and I so longed to be on the receiving end of her affection.
I heard her whispers to Nova, and I pressed my lips together to keep myself from smiling, my heart sputtered. She was feeling it too, she was feeling something... but did she think she was going mad? Or was she just saying that the way people did when what they were thinking, or feeling was just too unexpected to believe?
I smiled at her. "It can get cold out here when the sun gets low." I heard her heartbeat faster when my fingertips brushed against her hand. I hadn't had many girlfriends in my life... people told me I was fussy, but mostly I was just awkward, and I needed to feel a connection with people. Obviously, none of them ever came close to the connection I had to her. But that... the heartbeat thing, that didn't happen from that kind of accidental touch. That was another sign that there was something deeper happening for her too. "I would never say no to hot chocolate." I chuckled.
She was beautiful, her features were so delicate. I couldn't help but laugh when she almost poked herself in the eye. "I think this is the first time I've seen you without your glasses on."
We headed towards the beach; the crunch of the gravel softened to the sound of ocean worn stones on sand.
I cleared my throat a little and tried my best to act natural. "Yeah, there normally would be a few more people around on a sunny day. It's like I said, it's rare we get a sunset that's not blocked by the clouds or fog."
I set the blanket and flask down on a thick driftwood log. "But we have a little time for a scavenger hunt before the show if you're up for it?" I motioned to the driftwood lining the beach. "Do you believe in magic, Harper?" I asked the last question with a smile, watching her closely for her reaction.
Willing myself not to prove my lack of concentration as my feet moved over the gravel. I was distracted by being close to him again, and the last time I’d been here, I had to walk over these in my flipflops which had been a bad idea.
“I have experienced that cold out here. Char and Jess invited me to join them some time back to surf. I was frozen. I have no idea how they did it.” My shoulders shook at the memory of the ice-cold water hitting me from all around, while #Charlie tried his best to keep me from drowning under the large swells. Even in a wet suit, it hadn’t helped to keep my body heat up.
My feet were moving one before the other and I couldn’t help but smile seeing Nova’s tail wagging from side to side. This was a good sign; she was excited and wanted to play after the day she’d had.
My eyes kept stealing glimpses of him, and I couldn’t stop that stuttering of my heart. It was unlike anything I had undergone before. I tried to concentrate on the moments, the time in the now. And yet I found my mind wondering towards my heart and chest and the reactions they had when he was by my side. That sensation of something missing I’d always had was slowly closing its gap. I could feel an allure towards him without knowing why or how it was possible.
The voice in my mind telling me this was insanity. It had to be. How could I have been so lost all my life, the nomadic pull to never stay in one place too long. Then show up in a small town like this by mistake and now it was over night starting to feel like a place I was meant to have been? 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙞𝙣𝙨𝙖𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙮, I was never one of those who jumped in with both feet. And here I am.
“Deal, on the hot chocolate, I promise to make it especially for you.” Nova’s head popped around and I shrugged my shoulders. “No Baby girl, you cannot have any. Maybe a nice healthy cold carrot for you?” I laughed softly and then bit my lips to stop myself. “Here I thought you would most definitely be a coffee man.” My cheeks were burning now. What was I talking about? he could like coffee and hot chocolate at the same time! I did... ‘Such a fool.’
I smiled nervously and gazing over the sky and the sea to hide my reaction. Then to the rock faces in the distance as the wind picked up and blew my hair. Thankful now that I dried it and then tied it up and out of the way.
I could feel his eyes glancing over towards me, and I was so grateful that he’d not caught me looking at him. How could I ever live such a thing down?
The words he said bringing my attention back. He had noticed that I’d forgotten my glasses.
“Oh, they are in the car. I don’t need to wear them all the time, however with work being so busy of late. I never seen to take them off.”
Did I really have to give him such a detailed answer? Could I not be such a nerd and say something simple in my reply? I closed my eyes and shook my head. ‘Oh lord.’ I whispered to myself.
As the hardness of the gravel turned into a much softer feel and sound below our feet, he cleared his throat and now had my full attention once again.
I stood beside the thick driftwood log as he set the blanket and the flask down on top of them. My glance following him up the beach, I could see the smaller broken branches of driftwood scattered over the sand.
"A scavenger hunt?” Looking around us. “Would you like to collect the wood?” I asked pulling my hands out of my pockets to step around the log. However, I came to a stop at his question.
My eyes found his and found myself tilting my head to the side. ‘𝘿𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙗𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙫𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙘, 𝙃𝙖𝙧𝙥𝙚𝙧?’ A sense of déjà vu penetrated the moment. And in my mind, I was stood in my practice with #BillyBlack asking me this very same question. ‘𝘿𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙗𝙚𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙫𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙢𝙖𝙜𝙞𝙘, 𝘿𝙤𝙘𝙩𝙤𝙧 𝙅𝙚𝙣𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙨?’
“Uhmm.. You… I.. Well.. You are the second person to ask me such a question today.” I smiled slowly starting to walk up to the driftwood on the ground.
“It would be a lie to say no, there has to be a little magic in the air for us to be here, doesn’t there?”
Did I sound unsure of myself?
“I mean.. All these beautiful things in the world… The sky, the sea, the sand even the pebbles.”
Add to it all the unanswered questions I was trying hard not to tell him as I had told his uncle the chief of the tribe when he came to see me today.
I laughed at the idea of her surfing. “You need to invest in a pretty good suit, but even then… the chill gets to you.” I chuckled. As we walked, I was sure I felt her eyes on me, but I told myself I was imagining it. But my wolf lifted his head, reminding me we had finely honed senses. I let my eye flicker just barely, using my heightened peripheral vision to glance at her and caught her looking, heat rushed up the back of my neck… creeping towards my ears.
Her heart was doing that thing again and it made mine do the same… and smile like an idiot too.
Nova gave a little tug on the leash at the mention of her nickname, but she settled quickly. It was almost like she was trying to impress Harper by being on her best behaviour. Not that it mattered Nova was always pretty impressive to anyone she met.
“The magic word!” I chuckled. “She loves carrots more than dog biscuits.”
I knew better than to try and tell her she looked amazing with or without her glasses. I would stammer and ramble and somehow manage to insult her. Like that time, I accidentally told a girl she looked better before she did her make-up… thinking it was a genuine compliment. You know… her natural beauty and all that. Needless to say, I spent the next twenty minutes talking to a bathroom door.
I nodded at her when she assumed correctly. “We are looking for something about the size of your hand or bigger.” I took her hand and laid it flat on top of mine, that held Nova’s leash, and held my free one about two inches above hers. “At least this thick, we only take what we can use.”
My smile widened when she told me she was already asked that. “Uncle Billy.” I chuckled and dropped my eyes to the sand. “I should have guessed. But this place… Is full of it. It’s in the air, the water, the trees… that land.” I pointed to each as I spoke.
“It will show itself to you a little at a time. Let’s start with this, just take a look around and see what feels right or different.” I smiled at her. “You don’t need to be able to explain it, you’ll just know.” I realised all my awkwardness vanished when I told her this… because there was no doubt about what I was saying. I knew it was true, that magic was in my blood, it was probably the only reason I was still alive. I believed it to my core.
I grinned, that was almost verbatim something #Billy had said to me when he was teaching me to carve wood as a kid.
“Then I’ll tell you that story I promised… if you’d like.”
“Oh, I don’t have a suit, I’d never really thought myself as a ‘surfer chick’ in my life.” I made quotation marks as I said the words. “Char had borrowed one for me when Jess told him I was coming down to the beach. I don’t think Char believed I was going to be as bad as I was.”
I was smiling at the memories of that day, the way I was about to turn back and drive off. However, all in all it had been the first time since I’d moved into town that I had allowed myself a little fun.
Tapping the side of my nose. “We Vets know all the magic words, don’t you know.” I teased a little, this time when I glanced towards him, I noticed the reddening of his ears. With his hair pulled back there was nowhere for him to hide really. About to move away from him for the scavenger hunt, I stopped when he took a hold of my hand.
My eyes widen, and that pull was back telling me to step into him. The way his hands took a hold of mine had my heart racing and my breath caught in my chest. A new flush of blood flowed into my cheeks and my stomach filled with sensations I could never explain even if I wanted to.
I had to chastise myself, he was trying to explain something to me. And all I could think about was how him taking my hand sent a rush of excitement in me. I took a few slow breaths, I blinked myself free of the whirl wind taking place in my mind.
“Big as my hand. Okay. I believe I can do that.” I looked up into his eyes, but I didn’t pull my hand free from his hold. I could feel Nova’s lead under my hand, the roughness of his skin was something familiar to me. It was how my father’s hands always felt too.
He smiled at me and again my heart fluttered, there was something so sweet about the way his smile made his eyes crinkle in the edges. “You guessed correctly; it was Billy who asked me that very same question today.” My voice sounded like mine, but I was sure that it was a pitch higher than my norm.
Clearing my throat, I licked the edge of my lip. He sounded a little like #Leah now too. She always told us that we had to respect everything that was around us. The air we breathe, the water that brings life, the trees who give us oxygen, the earth and the animals who feed us. “Everything around us has a touch of something in it. A pull, a desire to protect.” I said it without really thinking of the words.
I shifted on my feet, slowly taking my hand back I stepped backwards. “I best find the right amount of wood so that I can hear this story you want to tell me.” I smiled, tucking a free strand of hair behind my ear as I turn walking towards the first few broken bits of wood to collect them. So aware of his eyes on me and how I had to stop from making a fool of myself now.
I chuckled when she said #Charlie didn’t believe how bad she’d be. “A lot of people around here think it’s instinctual… they all started learning when they were young. I mean when you have the surf right on your doorstep why wouldn’t you?” I gave her an understanding smile. “I didn’t really learn until I was fourteen. I snuck to the beach a few times to try it out. But after a few cases in pneumonia, even pre-teen boys will start telling you it’s a stupid idea.”
Of course, I didn’t tell her when I finally learned to surf that I was a shapeshifter, unaffected by the cold and had agility and strength that humans could only dream of. “It’s a little in the season.” The words caught in my throat. “But maybe next summer I could try my hand as your teacher?” My heart thundered. Oh, damn! That was stupid! You just met this woman! You can’t make plans for something a year away. You idiot!!! I berated myself before my wolf needed to. “I… um… I mean… if, you know. You’re still in town. And, um….”
‘Nudanvdvna’ (Fool) My Wolf growled, low and gravelly. ‘Stop talking!’
I cleared my throat and got back to the topic of Uncle #Billy. “Um… yeah. Every bonfire… when he would gather the little kids up to tell them the stories, he would always start with…” I mimicked his serious tone.
‘Do you believe in magic?’ I guess it kind of stuck. And when we came here… or went into the woods looking for something for him to carve. He would tell us to find the magic, feel what was inside waiting to come out.”
Her heart seemed to be in a constant state of changing rhythms, the corner of my lips pulled up on one side. I could listen to those sounds forever. I stepped between the logs and occasionally glanced down even though I wasn’t looking for anything, I just wanted her to find something. I didn’t know what the plan was for it yet exactly, but my hands would be guided when the time came.
I watched her closely; even if she wasn’t as clumsy as she made it sound when she was talking about walking into and tripping over the flat packs in her house… it was still easy to trip and stumble here. The tides didn’t exactly leave the trees in neat rows when they washed them up. The wind was blowing her hair across her face and I was close enough to catch her scent; it was clearly cutting through the salty air. It filled all my senses, my wolf practically purred, his previous irritation was completely swept away now.
I had never seen this kind of beauty before, from the tiniest detail of her face to the tiniest her. I wanted her to know everything about me… and not be afraid. Please, don’t let her be afraid of me. I sent the silent prayer to the Ancestors, the Spirits… anyone that would listen.
Bending at my knees I started to collect broken branches of the drift wood from the beach. His voice was so easy to listen too, but my outstretched hand stopped for a moment at hearing him. “You suffered from pneumonia from surfing in there?” I was now looking back over my shoulder to him and pointing out to the sea.
“No sport is so great that we would allow ourselves to become so ill.” Picking up a few branches I stood to move on to the next lot a few feet away from me. But then my mind went back to something he’d told me a few times. How he’d been a poorly child when he was younger and how his mother had been worried about him.
“Summer plans for the coming year?” Was this something I could even think about? what was I to say to him? ‘Yeah sure, if I don’t get the itch to run and leave town before then.’ Only I didn’t know what my plans were for that far away.
I twirled around on my feet and my footing was a little unbalanced, but I fixed it before anything came of it. I’d never have thought myself clumsy at all, but the way things were playing out with me of late I had to take a little better care of my footing.
“Do you really have seasons here? Is it not just rain and a little sun now and then?” I couldn’t help but smile.
Those were the only weathers I had witnessed here since I came into town. I tilted my head a little to the side, holding the wood in my arms close to my chest. He was doing this thing where it looked as though he was in the middle of some mental debate. I had to smile a little, it was something I’d seen him do before.
“I have heard these bonfires are something amazing. Seth always said he could eat the most burgers and still be the best-looking guy around the fire.” I smiled as I collected a few more branches before walking back towards him and Nova.
She was sniffing the sand, and I could see that look in her eyes. The one that said, ‘I’m thinking about doing something you don’t want me to.’ Then right away, her head went down followed by her shoulder and she rolled herself into the wet sand.
“Oh Nova!” Both of them, Nova into her mischief, and Collin mimicking #Billy and his voice made me burst out with laughter.
“You sound like the Chief.” Holding out the wood I ask.
“Where are we setting this down?” I smiled up at him
I laughed softly; my eyes kept moving to her. “Not exactly.” I pressed my lips together. “Remember I told you I was a pretty sick kid… Well, I was also a bit of an idiot. I’d sneak out to the beach to go swimming or surfing and I’d end up with a cold or something. Sometimes it was fine but others… it would get worse and worse… and then it was another trip to the hospital.”
As an adult now, I knew I’d kind of put my parents through hell. But at the time all I wanted to do was be with my friends. “I completely agree, now… But when you’re ten and listening to all your friends talking about their surfing skills. You can convince yourself you’re immortal.” I laughed again. “Foolish… But I think I’ve mostly grown out of it.”
When she asked about the seasons, I just made a non-committal sound. “I mean the trees lose their leaves in the fall… the flowers bloom in the spring. But the rain never really goes anywhere… It means when we do see the sun, we appreciate it more.” I was hoping not to put her off staying here. “And when it snows… It’s so beautiful.” I watched her stagger, but I held back from going to her, she managed to catch herself and I tried to act like I hadn’t noticed.
I knew what was coming before she even did it. Nova started rolling around in the sand. I shook my head at her. She was wriggling and showing us her round belly, I wondered if she’d had the chance to grow up before this, would she be showing yet? The sound of Harper’s laugh had my heart skittering again. I could listen to that sound all day long, every day… My wolf reared his head and reined me in. I was definitely getting better at talking around her. The stammering seemed to disappear sometimes, depending on what we were talking about.
“As you can tell Nova 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙡𝙡𝙮 likes the beach.” I chuckled and glanced back up the shore. Still not spotting anyone from the pack, did Rachel really ask them to stay away? Or was it a coincidence? I took some of the wood from her and smiled, pointing back up the way we came. “Back where we started. Are you feeling the cold yet?” I asked as we headed back to where I had left the blanket and the thermos of coffee.
I couldn’t stop the sensations of my emotions Yoyoing. One moment this all felt right, and I felt like I was home. And then the next I was questioning if I could or would stay and truly make a home and a life for myself. What was it with being here in La Push? Or was it from the habit of a life time. The not fitting in anywhere I went that got me to rethink these feelings which were showing themselves for the first time? I glance down to Nova, and then Collin and the questions to pop into my mind were:
Could it have something to do with him?
The pull I have towards this man?
A man I don’t know, and yet it feels like I’ve known him all along at the same time?’
I let go of some of the wood when he reached for it, I lent down on my knees and rubbed Nova’s belly. “So cute baby girl.” I whispered, my eyes wondering over the rounded pot belly, which was a tell tail sign of her being pregnant now. She twisted to stand up and shake. I quickly turned my head away and stood up to glance up to the sky once again as Collin spoke of the seasons. Summer, winter, spring, and fall. All the seasons were to come with a side of rain with them.
I licked the corner of my lip following him back up the beach the way we had come, with the cold wind blowing all around us. The shiver in my body started from my shoulders and made its way down through my legs. “I’m… I’ll be okay... It’s only cold when the wind kicks in.” Which was every few minutes. However, I was thinking about all he’d said of his time as a child.
“If… it’s not too rude… or intrusive… of me to ask...” I was stumbling on my words once again. Why was it that I was so lost when I was with him? “And you know you don’t have to answer….” Now I was rushing through the words to a point I wasn’t even sure he heard me, or could make any sense of what was being said. “…I mean… Would it be okay for me to ask... What was the cause of your illness as a child?” There... I finally asked. And now I felt my cheeks burning, was it any of my business to ask him such a personal question?
I couldn’t help but smile at the way she was with Nova. No matter how many times I saw them together I always remembered my dad saying; you could tell a person’s true character by the way they treat their animals. Okay sure, Nova was mine… but the concept still applied. Then, of course, she decided to shake wet sand all over Harper, I just shook my head and laughed. “Sorry.” I said quietly.
She was stammering almost as bad as me. I pressed my lips together trying to hide a cheeky smile. She was adorable when she did that. It was strange that she didn’t want to pry… but it wasn’t really, that was normal, she’d only known me a short period of time… there was hardly anyone in my life I hadn’t known for most of it. But that wasn’t normal either. I guess maybe for La Push and definitely for the Packs, she came from a different world.
That thought both stung and intrigued me… I wanted to know all about her and the world she came from, but would she like this little patch of the world, the one that exists in the small little bubble of La Push?
“Oh...” I looked over at her, picking up the blanket and the Thermos. “No… not intrusive. You can ask me anything… I mean… We’re getting to know each other, right? So… ask away. If you have… You don’t have to…”
‘Answer the question!’ My wolf yawned; he was unimpressed.
“Anyway… um…” I cleared my throat and headed further down the beach to find a spot halfway between the bank and the water. “I was born really premature… I was in the hospital for months before they would let my parents take me home.” I put everything down and handed harper one corner of the blanket to spread out on the ground. “I mostly had problems with my lungs… Even after I got out of the hospital I was a lot smaller and more sensitive. Anytime the flu or a stomach bug was going around I always ended up catching it, and my immune system wasn’t like everyone else’s; so I got sicker. My mom kind of… hovered.” I laughed. “She eased up a tiny bit when my sister was born, but not by much.”
I stepped onto the blanket, keeping my shoes on because I didn’t want her to take hers off and freeze. I grabbed the flask and motioned for her to sit down.
“Oh please—” His laughter was contagious “—There is nothing to apologise for at all. A little sand is nothing compared to what I have thrown at me on the best of days.” I waved my free hand in the air. It was forgotten the moment Nova was done shaking. But the hilarity of it would stay with me that was for sure.
I still felt that fluster, pushing my shoulder up I leant in wiping my cheek to the cold outside of my coat. Hoping it would help to cool down the burning sensation which had engulfed me in the moment. A small smile played on my lips quirking up one of the corners as a flash of a moment in the past came to mind. But it was of me watching #Kenz and #Jenna sat in a coffee shop.
#Jenna always full of confidence, her eyes on every person coming and going. #Kenz shy and a little lost in any moment, needing us to pull her in when she floated too far. And then there was me. The one to do all the pulling. Pulling #Jenna back from any trouble she happily dived into head first. And then pulling #Kenz out of her mind into the now whenever she was too lost. That Harper would look at me now and for sure want to shake me. What would that Harper say to this one? ‘Just be who you are in the moment.’ It was good advice.
We walked part way down to a spot he was happy with. Setting the wood that I still had in my arm down to the side, I took the edge of the blanket without needing to ask why I pulled it out and lay it down over the sand. I was about to step out of my boots not wanting to spoil his blanket. I blinked seeing that he wasn’t doing the same. My lips curled in and I pursed them tightly before I followed suit to sit myself down to face him, with the back drop of the ocean behind him. ‘He is extraordinary to see.’ That voice in my head had said and I agreed with. His black hair pulled back, his ears showing a light tinge of red to them. His face almost like a child with a smidgeon of innocence to it.
Imagining the early years of this strong man who was sat before me, a premature baby who’d needed help. Who had to be so careful when all he wanted to do was be like the others around him. To play in the water, but it would end up being so dangerous for him.
“Not sure we can hold that against Mrs Littlesea for caring about her baby boy.” Pulling my knees up to my chest, Nova dropped herself with her body pushing into my side. Even with the cold around us, I still felt an element of warmth. My hand moved to rub her head as she settled herself, another sign that she needed a rest.
“This is why you weren’t allowed out to play as much I take it? How are you now? I bet you still have to be careful of the changes in the weather and if there are bugs around?” I glanced around “Should we be out here?” My eyes once again moved over him. To look at him I’d never had guessed such a thing. He was tall, muscular, healthy and strong by the way he picked Nova up and moved her around. And yet there was still a look of concern filling my expression a little worried for him.
Again, there was a realisation of this worrisome emotion I felt for Collin. A guy I hardly knew. ‘Is that not what you are doing now, getting to know him?’ Yes this was what we were doing. Getting to know one another just as he’d pointed out.
“You have a younger sister, how old is she? Is she a younger version of you?” Another Collin walking this earth? My mind was picturing her and him as children playing, laughing, and joking together.
I wrapped my free arm around my legs as I sat there looking at him again, the other rubbing Nova’s back slowly to help her relax ( not that she needed it ). ‘Don’t stare, it’s rude.’ I could hear myself thinking. However, it was hard to take my glance away from him. He was calm and relaxed, and I felt warm whenever he was close by.
I laughed and nodded. “I can imagine that your job is a lot messier than mine… And if you don’t count my co-workers, I bet mine smells better most of the time, too.” I teased her. I would imagine the family pets were fine but… the farm animals. Oh no! Did I just… accidentally tell her she smelled bad? “Uhm…” I stammered. “Not that eh… I mean… You smell great, just that… you know livestock and… eh…”
A growl in the back of my mind stopped me in my tracks, heat flared up the back of my neck and my ears burned red.
“I get it now, but back then…” I shrugged. “It seemed like she was trying to keep me from living my life; but now I know she just wanted to make sure I had one. I see some of my friends with their kids now and how much they worry over the littlest things.” I sighed a little. “I try to imagine what it was like for my Mom when I was so small, I fit in the palm of my father’s hands.”
I set the two plastic cups on the blanket and poured us both a cup. “Coffee? At the very least it will keep your hands warm.” I smiled at her and tried to be subtle as I shifted closer so she could share the heat coming from me.” I laughed, licked my lips, and dropped my eyes for a second, then moved them back to hers. She was concerned about me. “I haven’t been sick since I was thirteen… I guess despite all my efforts to sabotage her, being my mother’s son really paid off in the end.” I chuckled. I felt a pang of guilt, it was the truth… but it was only half the truth.
It was because my Mom is a Black that I got the gene and joined the pack, the only reason a kid as small and weak as I was, would phase in the first place was because; the threat to the tribe was so great and I happened to be the right age. But it still wasn’t the whole truth… and that felt no different than a lie to me. “Don’t worry, I outgrew all of that years ago, I’ll be fine. Promise.” All truth. I smiled at her, able to breathe a relieved breath.
“Yeah, I have a younger sister. She’s away at college now. People say we look alike… she refuses to accept that, of course.” I chuckled. “I guess she is a little like me… but recently I think I’m more like her.” I tried to hide a smile by taking a sip of the sugary coffee.
Shifting where I sat, I slowly without making it obvious bent my head down and took a sniff of myself. It was a mix of the Jojoba Shampoo, and the relaxing shower gel that #Jenna had put into the last care package to me. I liked the way they smelt, but maybe I still had the light residue of work still on me.
“Uhm… Well… Sometimes it’s not the nicest of smells to work on, and some of them do cling on for a few days. Especially in my hair.” Taking a hand, I curled it around the ponytail and glided it from the top all the way down to the bottom of my dark hair. Again, the scent of Jojoba filling my nose. Did I really smell bad? Maybe I should have stayed in the shower longer?
My eyes widened at the way he started to stammer, he was a little like me? This had me smiling. Trying to rectify and explain what he’d said. It made my cheeks burn and I felt a rush of something inside of me. “It’s okay… I.. uhm.. I understand... My friends used to tease me about it back in Thompson too. And Seth really had a sensitive nose. He could pick out animals a day later sometimes.”
Pulling my knees closer to my chest as he started to talk about his childhood again, the information piqued me. I was intrigued to learn more about him and his history. I watched him closely as he started to pour out the coffee.
With the blink of an eye the breath was knocked out of me, by such a small movement he made. My vision tunnelled down to only see him. The background a blur as my eyes widened slightly at the way he moved his eyes away from me to glance down. A bite of his lip and then his eyes were back on me. There was a hum of something playing around me, it felt like there was music, but I knew there was nothing. It was him. Nova and I. The sound of the sea, the wind mixed up with his voice, and the thudding of my heart in my chest as his eyes found mine again, that was it. And yet I could hear it. A whisper filled with joy and something more.
I finally saw his lips moving, the steam coming out of both cups as he held one out to me and I took it giving him a smile. “Thank you, this will help to stay warm.’ My fingers curled around the cup and I was lost in thought again. This time of him as a new born baby.
“You were so small.” Opening one of my hands up I tried to imagine the size of #Kevin’s hands and seeing his son fitting into it. The heartbreak and the joy all mixed together in one, how could his mom not want to protect and keep him safe? It was a given. “I’m glad you now see that your mom only wanted the best for you at the time. And I know it’s not easy when you are having to worry about breaking the rules, she may have set out for you when all you wanted to do was play..” My eyes didn’t move from him. “Dad always says It is like a double-edged sword to be a parent. They are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t.” How true he was, I only came to understand it when I saw #Jenna with #Carl in her arms.
“I will believe you, knowing that you will tell me if it becomes too cold for you out here.” The last thing I wanted was for him to fall sick because of me.
He moved in once he handed me the coffee. My blood rushed to my cheeks making me chastise myself. I really needed to get a grip on myself. Out of nowhere I started to feel warmer. When I would be close to Collin there was this sensation that overwhelmed me in the nicest possible way. I could not help but feel that he was a Sun, and anybody who came close to him, could feel the warmth from his kindness. Bringing the plastic cup up to my lips I blew on it a few times, before taking a sip. It was hot and sweet, making me smile. The taste of coffee was something I never really had gotten used to. So, shots of the sweet stuff and milk always made it taste that much better.
“Like brother, like sister? Or is it the other way around?” I asked taking another sip from the cup. “Do you have a picture of her with you?” He was a photographer, but more so it was the way he spoke of her looking like him which had me wanting to see if it was so.
I laughed awkwardly at her comment about #Seth. “He always was a little weird… in a good way, though.” It was true… #Seth would say the most random things sometimes. I pressed my lips into a tight line and dropped my eyes again. I could only tear them away from her for a few second at a time. She was incredibly beautiful; it was almost impossible not to stare.
Her heart started to pound, and she was looking at me… the way the other girls looked at the guys and nothing like them at the same time. It was completely unique to her, but my wolf instantly recognised it as the way an imprint looked at her wolf.
‘Tunnel vision.’ is what Emily called it. Nessie used the word ‘Spotlight’. Kim would say her world stopped turning. My heart pounded and I kept my eyes on hers… silently trying to tell her;
‘𝒴𝑒𝓈, 𝐻𝒶𝓇𝓅𝑒𝓇… 𝓉𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝒾𝓈 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓁. 𝐼’𝓂 𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒. 𝐼’𝓂 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇𝓈. 𝒟𝑜𝓃’𝓉 𝒷𝑒 𝒶𝒻𝓇𝒶𝒾𝒹.’
When she looked down at her hand, I tried to gather whatever was left of my senses, I took a deep breath and just focused on her words. “We can all be guilty of not taking our parents seriously, but I learnt…” I chuckled. “Eventually. And don’t worry… honestly. The cold doesn’t really bother me anymore… but I will let you know if it does. You have to promise me the same.”
I lifted my cup and sipped at the dark liquid. “She was always more of a people person… Like Jessica. She’ll talk to anyone… complete strangers like she’s known them her whole life. She has a really open heart, not afraid to jump in with both feet... you know? Even after she’s been hurt, she just follows her heart.”
I smiled when she asked to see a picture of her. “A picture of Ana? Of course.” I fished into my pocket for my phone, of course, I had plenty that I had taken but she had sent me one a few days ago so, I figured recent was better. I pulled it up and held it out to her. “She sent that a few days ago. She had a date with a guy from college.”
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“She has barely broken up with the last guy she dated, and she was insanely excited about this date.” I shook my head thinking about her. She never let anything get her down for long. “She’ll be madly in love in a week.”
“I like weird, life full of normality is overrated if you ask me.” Blowing on the coffee before taking a sip.
The music still hummed in the back, I wanted to listen to it to understand it, but at the same time felt so unreal. Like a waking dream which would evaporate with the turning tides. I glimpse at him and I could sense the unspoken words. Or at least it felt that way. like his eyes, his lips, the aura around him was telling me.
“𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝓈𝒶𝒻𝑒… 𝒟𝑜𝓃’𝓉 𝒷𝑒 𝒶𝒻𝓇𝒶𝒾𝒹”
And I really wasn’t, unsure, uncertain of what I could hear and what I was seeing… Yes. But afraid or unsafe? No… not at all. I knew I was staring at him, willing myself to stop. To Please stop before he thought I was some crazy bunny girl. And then he made me smile and then laugh.
“The cold doesn’t really bother you? I mean now I want you to jump up, start dancing down the beach singing Let it go.” Placing my free hand over my eyes I covered them and shook my head. There it was the nerd in me showing herself. In my mind’s eye I could see #Kenz and #Jenna, and #Teddy shaking their heads at me to stop talking now.
Nova’s head pushed up under my hand, she licked up the side of my face as I held the cup of hot coffee out of her way. “I am fine baby girl.” She must have thought I was upset or crying by the way she was licking my cheek. I rubbed her head, giving her a kiss over her nose. “I promise.” I laughed and glanced over to Collin. Patting Nova’s back, she finally lay back down pushing into my side and I could feel the sand in her fur.
Setting the cup of coffee down to the side and out of Nova’s way in case she moved again, I leant into Collin and then reached out to take the phone from him. My fingers grazed over his, and again that sensation of warmth and the shock of something sparked in my fingertips. I shivered from my head to my toes, but it wasn’t due to the cold. Now that I thought of it, I wasn’t really feeling as cold as I had before.
“Ana? Oh wow, she is beautiful!” Her complexion, her eyes, the nose, and the lips… All looked the same as Collin. I glance from the phone to him. My gaze moving from his deep brown eyes, his cute nose, and those lips of his. ‘Stop It!’ I scolded myself. “She sounds like the perfect younger sister to me. And you were not wrong, Ana really does have a strong resemblance with you. And I have a feeling she’d hate me saying such a thing.”
I held out the phone back to him again.
“Are you telling me she tells you about her dates, and you do not climb into your truck to go check the guys out?”
Smiling as I teased him.
I chuckled and nodded in agreement with her. “Definitely, and #Seth’s kind of weird is always something the world could do with.” The heat rushed up my neck and tinged my ears again; when she teased me. But I laughed and smiled… smiling around her felt different from every other time, as if there was so much more than happiness bursting to be shown in the expression.
I watched her hiding her face and teased her. “I’m not sure which one of us should be more embarrassed by that.” Nova licked Harper’s face and I laughed softly, again. I watched the two of them, the words " 𝐼 𝓅𝓇𝑜𝓂𝒾𝓈𝑒." resonated in the air around us. I was thinking of the promises I could make her, the promises I 𝙬𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 make and how I wouldn’t ever break a single one of them.
Her skin was cooler than mine, even cooler than when I touched her hand in the diner. Yet, her touch burned electric on my skin and sent skittering sparks up my arm. My heart thudded in my chest. It made me want to move even closer, I was glad nova was sitting right up against her; she would offer her some warmth. The light was creeping lower and turning a deeper orange with every passing moment. Harper’s gaze moved from me to the phone and flushed again, I was used to people comparing us even if she did insist, we didn’t look alike… the prevailing opinion didn’t agree.
“That’s her.” I smiled. A little twinge of guilt that I hadn’t told her about Harper yet crept in, but she would be on the first bus home and subtlety wasn’t my sister’s strong suit. “Ananya… Ana for short. But you’re right.” I laughed. “It drives her crazy when people point it out. So, when you meet her… please feel free to bring it up, often.” I gave her a cheeky smile.
“Um… I’m more likely to pull that with guys I know.” I chuckled. “But mostly no… Ana is a free spirit, she may fall in love easily, but she doesn’t really do heartbroken. She believes some people are meant to be in our lives briefly and others… Forever, but all of them leave an impression on our hearts.” I laughed again, dropping my eyes. “She’s a bit of a romantic…” I stuffed my phone back into my jacket and turned my gaze out to the rippling orange and red rays that lit up the dark waters, as the sun began to touch the horizon.
“It’s almost time.” I smiled and moved my eyes back to hers. Her beauty took my breath away, again. “Do you still want to hear those stories?” I smiled hopefully… I needed her to understand what the wolf meant to our people. I needed her not to be afraid of them.
My eyes zeroed in on the redness in his ears. I tilted my head a little wondering if it was a tell. And if so what to? Did he feel shy, or embarrassed? It couldn’t be. He looked so happy in the moment, he felt relaxed and his expressions were that of somebody who was content in their surroundings. So, was it due to what I had said, or did he feel this way with everybody? I don’t know why it was, but I wanted to be the reason for it. And I knew that was impossible.
“How about if we agree that this was all about being 𝙁𝙤𝙤𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙩𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧, and it’s not embarrassing for either of us?” My eyes found his before I pulled them away to look down at Nova laying to my side. My cheeks burning hot, I’d meant to think those words, and now I’d gone and said them out aloud.
“Ananya” I allowed the name to dance over my tongue and lips. “What a beautiful name too.” I couldn’t help but smile again, pushing the fly away strands out of my face and behind my ear. There were things a parent wanted for their child the day they were born, selecting names always told a story in itself.
“There is a sure-fire way to make sure she doesn’t like the new vet in town. I could imagine she’d take Mr Custard all the way to Port Angeles if I were to tease her that way.”
Picking up the cup of coffee again, I took a sip, my smile seemed to be plastered in place as I listened. “I have one of those people in my life too. They are good and kind hearted. They help us to see the magic in the world around us. To believe when we may have lost our path. However, at her age to have such an ethos about life. She must be a lot more mature then the years she’s been here.”
I followed his glance out to the water, my eyes widened at the colours I was witnessing before us. the Reds. Oranges, Yellows all coming together at the heart of the sea, and with it there was a calming sensation to be had.
“All this time I have been here, I’ve only really seen the sun set once.” The memory of that run sent a chilled rush through me.
“Almost time?”
My eyes met his as the both of us bought our gaze back from the skies above or the water below at the same time. Licking the corner of my lip, I nodded my head slowly. The stories he had wanted to share with me. There was some pull and connection with him as my brown eyes couldn’t break away no matter how much I was willing them to.
My voice had come out in a whisper, unsure if he could even hear me over the waves. “Oh… Yes… Please… I really would like to hear them.”
That smile of his. it was a conversation all to its own I was sure of it.
“Excellent Idea!” I laughed when she suggested we file the whole thing under the 𝙁𝙤𝙤𝙡𝙞𝙨𝙝 𝙏𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 heading. She was blushing, her cheeks tinged a darker pink than the cold had made them… it took all my self-control not to reach out, touch her cheek and tell her how beautiful she was when she blushed. Or simply how beautiful she always was.
“She’ll like you.” I chuckled. “Just like everyone else around here that’s met you.” I smiled brightly at her. It was the truth, anyone I heard mentioning the new vet was singing her praises. I laughed at her assessment of my sister. But she was right, she grew up a lot faster than I did. But that was a girl thing too, they matured faster. “Yeah, my Mom always said it was clear from the day she was born; that Ana had been here before… But I was brand new.” I laughed. Considering I had inherited the gene it seemed more likely that I had been here before, more so than the other way around.
I smiled when she said she still wanted to hear the stories. I sipped my coffee and shifted closer to her, my leg pressed against Nova’s other side. She looked at me like she did not want to share her new best friend.
“I don’t know if you noticed around town… All the totems and depictions of wolves?” I raised a brow at her. “It’s because wolves are our protectors. But we have to go back a little further before I tell you that story. We came to these lands by sea and made them home.” I smiled. I hadn’t ever told the stories like this before. Normally I was the one listening to them.
“Years passed, new generations lived and died here. But then others began to covet the place the tribe called home. They wanted the harbour and rich fishing grounds for their own. We were small in numbers and couldn’t defend ourselves. So, we fled, the Quileute were great shipbuilders. We fled to the sea. Our ancestors were gifted with the ability to leave their earthly bodies and walk with the Spirits. The very first Spirit Chief Kaheleha called up the magic in our blood and the men left their bodies. Their Spirits returned to the land to drive out our enemies.
Without physical form the men couldn’t fight the enemy, but they could call up fierce winds and turn the forest against them. The invaders came on dog-sledges and since animals walk in both the spirit world and the earthly plane the Chief and his warriors promise the animals freedom if they turned on the masters that enslaved them… And so, they did, with the bats and birds. The enemy fled, believing the land to be cursed. The men returned to their bodies and reclaimed what was theirs.
Word spread to the nearby tribes that these were savage lands, protected by magic. They made treaties with the Spirit Chief. We lived in peace for generations. The men of the tribe would use their magic to protect the tribe from smaller threats. Walking in the Spirit world while the women, great warriors and protectors in their own right, protected their defenceless bodies, they became the tethers that guided the Spirit Warrior back to their rightful bodies. They were more than just protectors; the Warrior's spirits became intrinsically linked to the woman that protected his body and guided his Spirit back to where he belonged. And he protected her more fiercely than anyone else. They were connected by destiny. Soul-to-Soul, Heart-to-heart… so no one would ever be lost.”
I stopped and smiled at her. My tether… My kite strings. My whole world. I hardly noticed that the sun was half obscured by the boundless horizon, I was so lost in her.
Finding myself lost in the sound of his laughter, and the way his lips curled. There was a glint of something more in his eyes when he did it. I laughed too when he said that his sister Ananya would like me, just as all others in town had. But I shook my head, I knew there were at least a handful of men who wouldn’t agree with him. Here or back in Thompson. But for now, they didn’t need to be remembered or brought up.
Nova shifted a little glancing up as Collin moved in and started to tell his story, that sound of music on the air started to play along with his words. I was drawn into him, the sounds of his voice mixed with the waves and that of the air all around us. My hand lay over Nova’s side as she dropped her head again to rest and settling knowing that both Collin and I weren’t going anywhere.
“Fishers, I remember Seth saying that La Push was a fishing village?” I interjected when he asked if I knew about their past. But when I’d come to La Push a few years back, I hadn’t known that because the town was strongly surrounded by the idols of wolves.
Nodding my head to let him know that I had indeed noticed the Wolves, and of course Sue, Leah, Seth, and the Chief himself had mentioned it to me. The small carved wolf by my bed was a telling sign of such a past. But this?
My mind opened to the possibilities coming from the story he was telling me was slowly coming to life in my mind’s eye. Glancing back down to Nova who sat between the two of us I smiled, my fingers lost in her fur. I had always had a pull to protect the speechless souls in our world. The purest of souls, who wanted nothing more than love. To hear that these were some of the animals, who have been a part of a history that Collin and his people believed in shed new light on the reasons why the community wanted to do good by their animals.
My heart sped up a little listening about the Warriors of the tribe. These men who would fall asleep and wake to be free of their bodies? Wives, Mothers. Sisters of the tribe coming to stand all around their protectors as their souls walked and talked to the animals.
“So, the men would talk to the animals and work with them to protect the lands, but it was the women of the tribe who would shield their soulless bodies until they returned?”
Leah came into my mind. Her tall frame, the muscles on every inch of her body, that fearless look she got in her eyes when somebody endangered those, she called friends. #Jenna had once said that Leah was the kind of a woman, we all dreamed of being, never backing down, never apologetic for who she was and more so, when you were family, you were 𝙛𝙖𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙮. She was the embodiment of what Collin was saying.
“Like Leah? She is all that and so much, more right?” I hide my face. Once again, my thoughts were on my lips and not staying where they were meant to. “I just mean, that if we were back in those stories, I could see the likes of Sue and Leah as those women. But what did the men’s bodies need to be protected from? If they were spirits, why would they need to fear anything?”
He was smiling at me again, and I couldn’t help but feel that his wordless smile was saying something more to me.
I nodded as she spoke about the Spirits communicating with the animals. “Yeah, they worked together to protect the tribe and the land.” When she referred to Leah being like the women that stayed behind to protect the men’s bodies I smiled and dropped my eyes. I could see why she’d assumed that; Leah the strong and fiercely protective.
“I think if Leah lived back then… she definitely would have walked in the Spirit World with the others. She has always been deeply connected to our ancestors. And even though the women’s tasks were just as important as the men’s… She’d have gotten itchy feet at the concept of 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙗𝙚𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙙.” But Harper had no idea how close she was.
I fixed my gaze on hers; the plastic cup in my hand was completely forgotten. “The women that were chosen to protect the warriors… they were all very different; some of them were like Leah just as you described them. But every warrior was also a man, and their jobs weren’t done after his soul returned. As the generation passed they became so much more, they were their greatest love… soul mates. They were the thing that reminded them why they needed to return to their human bodies, they stopped them getting lost in the power and the trawl of the Spirit World. They were friends, lovers, wives… sisters… and so much more than anyone looking in from the outside could ever understand. It was their destiny to find one another, and the bonds were unbreakable.”
I wanted so badly to reach out and touch her. Her hand… her shoulder… anything. Before I knew it, before I could think to stop myself, I was resting my hand on the back of hers. Slipping my fingers between hers and feeling Nova’s soft fur between our hands. Nova didn’t even look up. She just watched the tide ebb and flow, the sun dipping lower with each passing moment.
Could she feel our unbreakable bond? Was there an invisible force pulling her towards me? Just like there was for me to her.
I chuckled softly. “And we haven’t even gotten to the good part yet.”
When he dropped his eyes like that, there was a pull to move into him. To tell him ‘𝐼 𝓈𝑒𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊’.
My mind’s eye worked its own magic, as the words he was saying turned into images and colours for me. The ease of how I was transported from this beautiful beach with the sky darkening to times before.
˜”*°•. 𝓘𝓶𝓪𝓰𝓲𝓷𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓟𝓪𝓼𝓽 .•°*”˜
The sun was shining down on a small fishing village sat on the edge of the water front, the forest flowing all around the settlement, giving the village protection from three sides, with the sea, and its waves giving protection from the fourth.
The women in native tanned hide clothing, adorning all colours of handmade jewellery. Their long dark hair tied up in rawhide strings. They walk around the village laughing and singing, running after the children as they play. Working to keep the village together and their people of the tribe happy, as the men hunt and fish.
The spirit of the people full of joy and content with life and all that the world had to offer them. Until the sky darkened, then the energy changed from the joy and happiness into a deeper, darker and distress emotion engulfed all who were there.
The Warriors of the village came running out to watch the sky changing its colour, and then they fell to the ground, as their souls moved to walk in the world of the Spirits. The women rushed to their sides. Covering their men. Their friends, lovers, husbands … brothers… They stood tall over the sleeping bodies until one of the women Looked up to the traveling souls and then her body too fell to the ground.
Terror filled the other women at seeing this happen, but they moved to engulf their sisters’ body to protect it too. She was alone woman in the sky with all the men, and yet they saw the force she could fight with. When this woman turned to show herself, it was the eyes of Leah Clearwater looking back down over the village and her tribe.
˜”*°•. 𝓘𝓷 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓝𝓸𝔀 .•°*”˜
“Like a lighthouse calling them back…” I whispered.
A rush of electricity weaved its way up from the tips of my fingers, up my arm and into my heart. The beating of my steady heart started to rush and thump in my chest with a rush of blood heating me from within. My gaze found his, and I sat there taking in the look he was giving. There was that smile again, his fingers curled into mine with Nova’s fur beneath us.
Words rushed into my mind and then they were gone again. The whispers all around me once again felt like a song, but I couldn’t make out the lyrics, and yet I knew I wanted to learn.
“Are you leaving me on a cliff hanger here?” I couldn’t pull my glance away from his. Without thinking I squeezed his fingers to say. ‘𝓀𝑒𝑒𝓅 𝑔𝑜𝒾𝓃𝑔’.
She was lost in the world of her own imagination… and hanging on every word I said at the same time. I nodded at her words ‘𝐿𝒾𝓀𝑒 𝒶 𝓁𝒾𝑔𝒽𝓉𝒽𝑜𝓊𝓈𝑒 𝒸𝒶𝓁𝓁𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓂 𝒷𝒶𝒸𝓀…’ A bright smile slipped across my face.
“Exactly!” I replied when she seemed to pull her mind back from her daydream.
I heard the rushing beat of her heart, and mine was galloping even faster. My ears and my cheeks burned, and I knew they had to be burning red. “I don’t know…” I teased her quietly and a gentle breeze swirled around us. The sun was almost gone. “The sun has almost set, and it will get very cold soon. Maybe I should save the rest for another day… so I have an excuse to see you again soon?” That wasn’t supposed to sound like a question, but it did.
Why did I keep doing that?
Should I wait… make another date with her to tell her the rest of the story? I met her eyes again, something in the way she was looking at me; gently pleading to know more. But something else too; something that told me I didn’t need an excuse; that she would want to see me.
‘Listen to her heart, child.’ My wolf spoke. I knew he was right. But was that cocky? Was I reading into it too much?
“Do you really want to hear the rest now?” I felt the squeeze on my fingers and the butterflies were back again, swirling in my stomach. If I told her about the great wolf it was the next step to telling her the whole truth. Our truth… Why her heart beat harder when she was near me. Why she felt like she could tell me things she’d never told anyone… and how fiercely I would love her if she let me?
So much of me ached to tell her everything right now and conversely… I wanted to make every second with her stretch on endlessly.
A smile crossed my lips, a little sense of pride at my ability to understand what it was that he was sharing with me. “What extraordinary women they would have been.”
The image of seeing #Leah in the middle of the story he was sharing, I knew was remarkable and silly all at the same time. But it had been a story I was sure she too had heard, and I was sure she’d have imagined herself in those times too.
His ears had changed to that deep red as had the apples of his cheeks. This was not the first time I’d seen the deepness of his shy persona come to the forefront like this. However, for some reason, here and now, just the three of us. It had taken on a different meaning. I wanted to reach out and touch his face, to feel it and see if it were burning the way mine felt like it was around him.
I shifted back, taking my hand off Nova and away from his, as he said that it was time to go. I didn’t want to break away. But I wasn’t going to out stay my welcome. My cheeks burnt from embarrassment that I had come so close, a desire growing in me to stay with him for as long as I could. And adding to that the fact that he was willing to share his history with me? These incredible tails could help me to better understand him, as well as the tribe’s people.
“I am sorry.” My gaze drawn towards the setting sun and the horizon which was stealing the light away from us. “I do” I answered his question on if I wanted to hear the story. “ However, I don’t want to monopolise all your time. I am sure you have to get Nova home. The poor girl has had a long and testing day.” Moving to sit up on my knees, Nova felt me moving and sat up to lick my face.
The cup in my hand was empty so I set it down and rubbed Nova’s ears, resting my forehead to her. “Thank you for letting me crash your evening. It’s been lovely.” My heart started to feel funny, and not in a good way. I took a deep inhale and then held it. What was wrong with me tonight?
I chuckled and nodded in agreement to her calling the imprints extraordinary women. “They still are.” I said without thinking. “Quileute women I mean. This place is overflowing with them.” I quickly corrected. “You’ve met Leah and Sue… My cousin Rachel and so many more I’m sure you’ll meet soon.” I smiled softly. My wolf hadn’t stirred at the subtle slip… I wondered if it was her that was keeping him quiet and calm.
I could see the red pool in her cheeks and my skin burned when her hand was pulled back from mine, already craving her touch again. I’d said something all wrong again. I rubbed my hand over my chin in the hopes of concealing a nervous expression.
“You have nothing to be sorry for.” I blurted out. I watched her with Nova. She was so, so beautiful. Her heart took on a strange new rhythm. “We have all the time in the world… If you want to hear the rest,” I smiled, and my cheeks and ears burned. “I guess… I can, um, always find another… excuse to, eh, ask you out again?”
𝔻𝕒𝕞𝕟 𝕚𝕥.
That sounded like a question too! I took a breath and zeroed in on her heartbeat; it made me smile a little more confidently. I reached back and grabbed the corners of the blanket. My heart was pounding so hard now I could feel it thump against my ribs. I held the blanket up and extended one arm out to her, inviting her to come closer and I could pull the blanket around us both… even though it was the last thing I needed. Who cared as long as it was with her?
“C’mon we can keep each other warm.” I smiled, swallowing hard. My heart was hammering now. “Besides it seems like the Spirits are smiling at us tonight. Your phone hasn’t rung… we should take advantage of it while we can, right?” I looked up into her brown eyes and all the tension and nerves melted away. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
I stilled myself from getting up, my head jolted up to meet his gaze. What had he meant by saying 𝙏𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙖𝙧𝙚? As his smile returned, and he clarified his statement for me, I understood what he meant right away. “So far, the women I have met have been incredible, I can vouch for that fact. Leah, Sue and Rachel all exude those vibes.” The image of #Leah floating in the clouds I could tell was one I wasn’t going to forget.
Tilting my head to the side I found myself drawn closer towards him again. He was stammering, stumbling on his words as he spoke to me. Was I making him anxious? It couldn’t be so. He had nothing to be nervous about here. “You are going to look for an excuse to see me again?” I giggle a little, dropping my eyes to the blanket unsure how to answer him, or to understand if an answer was even needed right now? “I’m still here—” I teased pointing to myself and then to him. “—We don’t have to think up excuses for meeting even if we weren’t here now.”
Sitting back on the heels of my boots I watched him as he lifted the edges of the blanket. The rhythm of my heartbeat sporadic once again. He sat before me with one arm extended, welcoming me into his personal space. The wind blew in my face, pushing a few strands of fly away hairs into my eyes. It felt like a curtain shielding me from the question of if I should stay or if I should go?
My hand moved over my pocket where my phone had laid silent so far. At his mentioning that it hadn’t rang. I wondered if #Jessica had something to do with it. Had she diverted the calls ? “Tonight, has been the quietest evening I have had since moving into town.” I agreed with him “And you are sure you aren’t too cold?” I glanced over to the drift wood, considering if I should offer to start the fire for him?
But I thought better of it, shifting I brushed the hair back out of my way, my eyes lingering on his for a few moments before I pushed up onto my knees and then turned, sitting back into his arm and into the blanket. Pulling my knees up into my chest, I curled my arms around them to hold them in place. ‘Good move’, I could hear #Jenna’s voice chime into my mind, making me smile to myself.
“If I didn’t know better Mr. Littlesea, I’d say you were trying to steal me away from Nova.” The baby girl stood up and started to walk toward something that had caught her attention. “See, she’s going now.” I teased, my cheeks burning red hot again, at the fact that I’d allowed myself to say those words out aloud to him. ‘What was I even thinking?’
I smiled when she didn’t get up. I wondered if I was overdoing it… But it was like my Uncle and #Seth had said, I needed to trust my instincts; they were honed to pick up on her needs and wants. “They really are.” I chuckled. “They keep us all in line.”
The heat flared in my ears and face again when she said we didn’t need excuses to see each other. She wouldn’t have said that if she didn’t mean it, so there was something here for her to… even if she wasn’t sure what it was yet. “I’m not cold at all.” I assured her. “Are you?” I knew getting closer to me would fix that if she chose to.
She moved in closer and I froze for a second… This was what I was hoping she’d do and now I was stumped on what I should do next. I took a deep breath and wrapped my arm around her shoulder; the blanket I was still holding enveloped the two of us now. “I most definitely am, Dr. Jenkins!” I laughed, a little shocked at the cohesive statement and nodded to Nova sniffing around the beach close by. “But what hope do I have… I mean how cute is she?” I smiled. “She won’t go far.”
“Okay… you ready? Because this is where the story gets good!” I told her with a grin and continued with the part of the story that I hoped, would quell any fears she had about werewolf or shapeshifter legends. My hand lightly rested on her arm, and my heart pounded like it was trying to crack my chest open, just from being this close to her.
“Decades past and slowly the enemies of the tribe began to disappear. The greatest of the Spirit Warriors, Taha Aki was a great leader. But there was one man that believed the tribe should use their powers to attack nearby tribes, claim their lands as our own. One day when the men walked in the Spirit World Taha Aki heard Utlapa’s thoughts, they had grown dangerous. So, he banished him and forbid him from using his magic. He was enraged but outnumbered and he left, but he watched Taha Aki and waited.
The Chief hadn’t found his soulmate and he made the fatal error of leaving his earthly body unprotected. He left his body in a cave and entered the Spirit world. But Utlapa had been watching him, he followed him to his hiding place and entered Taha Aki’s body and murdered his own. By the time Taha Aki had returned he found only Utlapa’s dead body. And he was trapped in the Spirit World.
Utlapa returned to the village in the Chief’s body and delivered a grave warning, that he had been given a vision, and the Warriors were never to use their magic again or great sorrow would befall the Quileute’s. He knew the moment another warrior joined the Spirit World that they would see the Chief and learn the truth. But it also meant his dreams of conquering the other tribes were dashed. He began making great demands and changing the tribal laws, he even took two new brides.
Alone in the Spirit World, his magic wasn’t enough to kill the imposter, even though he knew the act would mean the end of his life; he knew he needed to protect the tribe from him. So, he summoned the Great Wolf from the mountains and entreated him to kill Utlapa.
But the Wolf was just that… a wolf. And when he first stalked into the village seeking out the one, they believed their Chief; the people fought back, and the Great Wolf killed a young warrior. Taha Aki realised that this task was too delicate for the wolf alone. So, he asked the animal to share his body with him and together they could end his tyranny. The wolf consented and they returned once more, to complete their goal.
Utlapa hid behind his warriors, but the men knew the behaviour of the animal was not that of a wild beast. He charged and retreated, searching for a way through their defences, but he hurt no one. A brave young warrior disobeyed his Chief and left his body to find this wolf, and immediately he knew that their true Chief resided inside the great animal.
When he returned to his body to tell the tribe what he had heard, Utlapa killed the boy. Taha Aki’s rage was too much for the wolf’s body to contain. The massive creature transformed from the wolf to the man. The whole tribe knew that the boy had been truthful, and they killed the imposter.
From that day on Taha Aki and his descendants shared their form with the wolf, able the change at will, into large wolves that protected the land and the people. That magic still lives on all around us… in the blood of the tribe.”
I turned to watch her, the wind blowing wisps of hair over her face. The fading light touched only some of her features, making them shimmer softly. My keen eyes could make out every detail, even those in shadow. I glanced around for Nova who was a few yards away happily digging in the sand, her butt sticking up in the air and her head was down in the hole… sand flying out behind her. I laughed at the sight.
“They keep us all in line” I repeated his words again, laughing now as the image of #Jessica flashed in my mind, to the night she was hunched over all the old files as we tried to update our records from hard copies into soft copies.
“Is it crazy to think that Jess is my soulmate?” I laughed again hoping I wasn’t offending him. “I just mean, you know. She is always keeping me in line, bossing me around. When technically… No actually I am her boss?” I thought for a moment longer. “Then again I wonder if it’s a Clearwater thing?” The last question to myself laughing with a shake of my head. “Could you imagine if it were possible?”
Sitting back, I moved into him, and then froze for a few moments as his arm came to rest around me. The cold chill that had started to push its way past my winter coat, slowly started to feel like a faded memory. “I was getting cold. However, now…” I smiled looking at him. “… I’m feeling warmer. I guess this sharing a blanket thing really works.” Biting my lips as soon as I said those words. This wasn’t my first time outdoors in the cold with a blanket around me, but I don’t remember warming up this fast ever before.
Tugging my eyes away from him, I laughed looking to see Nova lost in her little world, happy even after the testing day she’d had. “Poor soul. I’m not sure you will win this battle with Nova as your opponent at all.” I was truthful. “A soul who can’t speak in words, has other ways to connect with us. It makes the connection even stronger.” Smiling as the voice of my mother rang in my ears. Even after all these years, she was still my guiding star.
“Uhmm.. Ready” I shifted myself, turning to give him my full attention. My heart stammered once again as only now noticing just how close I was sat to him.
There was that voice in my head again saying, ‘Move away’, it was the voice of reason that I used with my friends to tell them all to slow down. However just as I was about to move, the wind around us picked up as it had before. And the music was back. Light whispers singing some song I did not know, and yet it felt like I knew the words in a past life. The world blurred out of my vision and only he was here. I could see him so clearly. His eyes, those little crinkles when he laughed and smiled, his nose and the way it moved as he spoke. His cheeks filled with a shade of pink and his ears, the tops of which matched his cheeks. The whispering song speaking to my heart telling me to 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙮.
The song melted into the background as Collin continued with the tales from their history. Stories I was sure that were shared by all the grown ups at bedtime with their children. And once again my mind transported me back into the past. As his words were spoken the images started to come to life.
A Tall strong man stood before my eyes and I knew him to be this great Chief Taha Aki, and in the shadows another man hides, and I knew him to be Utlapa. Seeing the chief leaving his body with no one to protect him, and then fight in the world of the souls. I heard the words the chief would hear by listening to Utlapa’s mind, and how Taha Aki would urge Utlapa not to go through with his plans. And then there was the betrayal that took place.
The wolf came out of the woods, tall and strong just like the Chief. And in his eyes, I could see the face of Taha Aki, an animal sharing his body with that of a human. A soul which could not speak our language, stood ready to trust a man who was as pure at heart as the animal’s soul.
I closed my eyes as the blood of the young warrior fell for telling the truth. And a tear slipped down my cheek at the thought of an innocent young man losing his life.
The sound of laughter bought me back to the now and I smiled the moment my eyes opened to see what Nova was doing. Another innocent soul was right here before my eyes. Wiping my cheek with the back of my hand, so many questions bubbled inside of me.
“I do not like this Utlapa man, to betray his chief in such a way? I mean he needed two wives; this explains how wrong his intentions were.” I shook my head. “And the Chief, why did he not ask one of the other soulmates to look over him? Or is that wrong to do? To ask another’s soulmate to protect you?”
It was all coming into my mind and I was never one to just say what I was thinking. Until now. “It’s the connection they have, right? like you said before? Only one person can be 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙣𝙚? The true protector of their Warrior?”
I turned to look at him again. “And what did you mean by the chief could hear Utlapa’s thoughts? And the wolf! I mean… It shared himself with a soul of a human. Giving up a part of his being to share it with Taha Aki?” The questions didn’t stop coming until it occurred to me that I was going a mile a minute. “Sorry, have I become a little too invested?”
I blushed and dropped my eyes for a second. 𝐼𝒻 𝑜𝓃𝓁𝓎 𝓈𝒽𝑒 𝓀𝓃𝑒𝓌. I thought to myself. But I got why she jumped to that conclusion. “I think that’s more of a Clearwater thing.” I laughed, I knew this theory would be easy to correct. I tightened my arm around her when she leaned into me, my stomach filled with those butterflies again. I turned my body the tiniest bit towards her to share more of my heat with her. “Anything is possible if you believe in it strongly enough.”
‘𝘈 𝘴𝘰𝘶𝘭 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴, 𝘩𝘢𝘴 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘶𝘴. 𝘐𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳.’ She said and I immediately thought of my wolf.
He could only speak through me, and the fact that he and I were one; was the sole reason I was utterly and completely hers, even though she didn’t know it yet. I heard her thumping heart and I had to fight to stop myself from smiling. I felt her body tucked gently against my side as I told the stories. I had always thought of La Push as home, I had always 𝕗𝕖𝕝𝕥 like La Push was home. Nothing had ever felt more like home than being here with her.
I finally understood #Seth’s choice to follow #Kenzi… Not that I’d ever misunderstood it. I had felt the imprint bond before… but that shared feeling was only a shadow compared to this moment.
I shouldn’t have been stunned that she’d have questions, she had listened so intently to every word. “Utlapa betrayed all the Quileute’s on that day.”
I thought about the second part of her question. It was one I had never thought to ask myself. The rest of her question came out in a rush and I smiled, she didn’t miss a single word. “Not at all; I’m glad the story touched you. You can ask anything you want and I will try to answer.” I paused. “Um no, it wouldn’t be wrong, they protected the tribe as much as the men did. But it would have been the physical protection only. The tribe had known many years of peace, so I suppose he just didn’t believe there was any danger on his own lands.”
I moved onto the third thing she’d asked. “In the Spirit World, the Warriors had access to the thoughts of the others. That gift passed on to the shape-shifting warriors too, and with that evolution, there were other changes. The Alpha’s orders were absolute and the others were bound to follow them, willingly or unwillingly. It was a sacred duty and only those that wouldn’t abuse the gift would be chosen by the Spirit’s.”
I kept moving my eyes back to hers, the urge to tell her it was all true swelled up again, and I battled the urge to reach up and brush my finger over the soft pink flush in her cheeks, but was that taking it too far? I did that would I be able to keep myself from kissing her? Would it be too soon to try and kiss her? Her heart was still beating faster than normal… But I knew that could mean a lot of things.
“So… does the idea of men that become giant wolves not scare you?” Her intrigue seemed to tell me the answer was no… but I needed to hear it.
His cheeks redded once again and I wondered if it was because of what I was saying or was there something more to it. The way he dropped his eyes, it was like he was hiding in plain sight. And yet, I found myself holding my breath until his eyes moved back to meet mine.
“There is so much more to the Warrior and their soulmates, that even if Taha Aki had asked another to help him at that time. What was to stop Utlapa from trying when the Chief was alone.” This was to myself as I processed what Collin was sharing with me.
I felt his arm around me tighten, and now the shaking in my body had all but gone. There was a warmth around us like something I had never felt before. I felt safe in a cocoon, and even with the wind blowing into my face from time to time. It felt nice now and not ice cold.
“I am sorry, did you just say that the gift passed down to the shape-shifting warriors?” Had I missed something in the story? “Taha Aki was the one to share the body of the wolf, and then the other warriors did that very same thing too? Or was it that the wolf was a shape-shifting warrior?”
I moved my finger to push the rim of my glasses up my nose, poking myself between my eyes only now remembering again that I’d left them in the car. Over the last months it had become a habit to keep them on all the time. And when I was trying to think of a solution, I would play with them. My eyes widened at his question and I had to smile.
“Let’s just say that I am not the kind of girl who stays in doors at a full moon. Anyway, these were stories, and I may not be great with horror movies or stories. But these tales of the warriors, and their protectors are not horror.. not to me anyway... It is not filling me with fear. They are tales of love, protection, loyalty, and a sense of belonging.” The last of which I’d never felt in all my life.
“I am more trusting of animals than of humans. Animals have limits, they have boundaries which they will clearly set, and show us. Telling us how far they are willing to go. It is humans, people... who wear masks, pull you in, and then they can hurt you deeply without any warning at all.”
I shifted, resting my chin on my knees as I thought about what I was saying. How life had taught me not to be so open and trusting. And yet, how people from this town had started to show me that not all people were bad.
But how would I feel if a man stood before me and turned into a wolf? I shook my head. That was crazy thinking. This was just a story. Right?
I smiled at her insight. "The Spirits are all about balance, they can't gift us with great strength without vulnerability. It’s why they're blessed with protectors of their own. But even men as wise as Taha Aki can stray from the wisdom of the Spirits.” I sighed contentedly, sitting here with her, talking about the legends like I never had before, there was a sense of wonder that she was giving out as she listened. “The bond they share is really something special. When you look around at all the epic love stories that this town has... You can tell that the magic of it is still all around us."
I chuckled at her question. She didn't want to miss any tiny detail. "Well, Taha Aki was the first, after that day he was able to change at will. But The Great Wolf itself was a mystical being. He wasn't like the other animals of the forest; he was one of a kind. But Taha Aki's son's inherited the gift, and the Wolf lived on in their blood. When they grew into manhood; then they too had the same ability to shift into the form of a wolf too. The way they found their soulmate changed as well." I smiled and let that new information settle in the air around us. I wasn't sure how much I wanted to tell her right now... but I was inching closer and closer to the whole truth.
I couldn't bring myself to hold back anything that she so clearly wanted to know. Before I needed to clarify my last statement she poked herself in the eye. Instinctively, I reached up and took her hand away from her face. The coolness of her skin was like a soothing balm on a burn. "So, the glasses are for your own protection and not your eyesight at all, right?" I teased.
I smiled when she answered the question about being afraid; my heart broken when she mentioned that people were the ones that hurt you. The way she spoke made it so clear she'd been hurt before. My hand moved soothingly up and down her arm. "You know a friend of mine has this philosophy, he describes it as '𝐿𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓂𝑜𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉' but when you talk to him about it one-on-one its really more about taking the opportunities that are in front of you... Or the ones that make you feel something at least. Not being afraid of what might hurt you, because wounds can heal. But time only moves forward and living with what-ifs..." I shrugged; #Embry had never gotten much further than that. "Uh... Well, I guess it just doesn't fit with the '𝐿𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓂𝑜𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉' lifestyle."
The way she sat with her knees pulled against her and her chin resting on them gave me the perfect view of her side profile, the dim moonlight started to illuminate her face and cast light shadows on her features. She was so incredibly beautiful that it completely redefined the meaning of the word in my mind. She looked far away again, I stayed quiet and let her imagination run its course.
“The Spirits” I smiled to myself hearing him say it brought a warmth from within, with the memory of the first time I’d met #Sue and #Leah. I sat and watched the way they both reacted to #Seth and #Kenzi that night. And those words were something new I heard for the first time when they spoke with one another. It was a new way for me to think, to understand life through the eyes of my new friends.
But now learning about the balance. My imagination took me back in time once again. But this time it was the tall, red brown skinned sons of the Chief who were stood in front of the tribe’s people. A Glint in their eyes showing the wolf within them all, and yet again there was no fear in the eyes of those who knew what they were.
“Without vulnerability people would think themselves too powerful.” I wondered now if that was what the Chief had seen in Utlapa in the first place. With him wanting Taha Aki and their tribe to fight others around them. “ Especially if they were given so much strength maybe?” I smiled and turned towards him, pulling my gaze away from Nova, she gave up on the digging and had come to lay down beside us again. My fingers moving over her lightly damp fur full of sand now.
“If Taha Aki was the first of his tribe to change, was it the same wolf… This Great Wolf who stayed with him forever? Or would the spirit of the wolf come and go between him and his sons?” What could that have meant for the generations to come? What was I even thinking here?
“There are epic love stories here? The only love stories I know are from books—” I stopped as it occurred to me. “—Unless Mom and Dad count? And then there is Damian and Jenn, and of course Seth and Kenz.” It was slowly coming to light there were love stories surrounding my life too, and I’d never taken the time to think of them. “But you say the way the warriors found their soulmates changed, how was that the case?”
Shaking my head, a little I rubbed between my eyes feeling the rush of blood coming to my face. I’d hoped that he had missed me making a fool of myself. However, Collin seemed to notice everything. He reached out his hand and took mine. Out of nowhere a bolt of magic shot through me. His hand was so warm that it felt like a comfortable blanket around me, and then as it moved over my arm it felt innocent, like I knew there was no underlining thought from him. What I saw was what I got with him so far.
“I don’t know, maybe you have a valid point there. The glasses mean I don’t poke at my eyes.” I curled into myself a little further wishing the ground would swallow me up.
'𝐿𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓂𝑜𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉'
“Now there are some words I know well. “I hope your friend isn’t as laid back as mine who has tried to make me live that way? I’m not against it. But up until now, life has been about the steps I needed to plan so that I could make it to the next.” Until it was time to run, then living in the moment without any foresight was my action plan.
I was finally looking at him now again, giving up on the urge to fight the need to see him. I smiled back catching his eyes on me. The night light had changed, and yet there was still something about looking at him. He was most definitely preponderate and again I questioned why I had this pull. “Magic.” I whispered and covered my mouth with my hand. What was going on with me?
“I mean…. Uhm.. You… You said that there is magic here? Chief Billy said the same thing to me before….” Hoping I’d managed to get out of that slip of my tongue.
𝘞𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘷𝘶𝘭𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘱𝘦𝘰𝘱𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘰𝘰 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘶𝘭.” She was very insightful, but of course, hearing these stories as an adult, their lessons were less sub-conscious. Her mind still picked out all the important parts and not just the idea of men turning into Wolves. “And that’s where Utlapa had it wrong; he thought their power made them better than other tribes. But that’s not what the power was for. It was to protect their people and their land.”
Nova came back to lay on the end of the blanket that wasn’t wrapped around us and I smiled as Harper automatically reached out to pet her, not so much as flinching at her damp, sand-filled fur. Spirits, she really was perfect.
“The Great Wolf stayed with Taha Aki, he became one with The Spirits and he is still with the tribe today. I guess it’s more like the two became this one great being and his descendants were gifted with the powers of their father both the wolf and the man.”
I laughed at her comment about epic love stories. “There are plenty around here, I hope you’ll get to meet these people sometime soon.” Those stories were better told from the points of view of the women involved, this was a lesson I learned when I asked #Paul about the first time he saw #Rachel after she moved back to La Push and then Rachel too. Her version was a lot different. “And Mom and Dad always count.” I added with a smile.
I laughed when she was talking about #Embry’s philosophy. “He does think it’s the solution to all our problems. But he’s too laid back to try convince us to live that way.” I chuckled. “I understand the need to plan, but I always try not to be too rigid about it… mostly I fail… but something comes along that makes it easy.”
There was something in the way she whispered the word 𝓂𝒶𝑔𝒾𝒸 that made my heart pound in my chest. I didn’t look away when she caught me staring; I wanted her to know I was fascinated by her. “We’re surrounded by it here, always.” The words were softer than any I had ever spoken.
I reached over, turning my body slightly towards her; and brushed a strand of hair from her face, tucking it behind her ear, letting my hand linger against her cheek. I could hear her heartbeat, I wanted so badly to kiss her… but I didn’t want to cross any lines she wasn’t ready for. “You really are so beautiful.” The words were out before I could think to stop them… but I didn’t want to take them back. I wanted her to know.
“It has to be the principles behind the words that have come down over time. I mean to imagine these prodigious tales of Warriors who stood tall with the spirits of the wolves. Knowing they have this power, however choosing to use it for the good of those they protect... It is astonishing in so many ways.”
To share in the lives of these people today had been an experience from the moment I had arrived. They were a small town sure, with the norms of any town where the community was close nit. But unlike those places where an outsider had to prove themselves before being allowed in, I was welcomed with open arms. And then there was something more that I’d felt myself.
“Do you ever wonder what this magic is in the air that protects the people here? I know you believe in these Spirits and these Warriors in the past. But today. Here. Is it still them looking out over the people who live here?”
I couldn’t bring myself to say it out aloud like I had with #Char who had told me ‘𝒯𝒽𝑒𝓎 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝒿𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝓈𝓉𝑜𝓇𝒾𝑒𝓈 𝓅𝒶𝓈𝓈𝑒𝒹 𝒹𝑜𝓌𝓃 𝑜𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓎𝑒𝒶𝓇𝓈’.
And then there was the Chief #Billy who had said, ‘'𝒟𝑜 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒷𝑒𝓁𝒾𝑒𝓋𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝒮𝓅𝒾𝓇𝒾𝓉𝓈 𝒶𝓃𝒹 𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒶𝓃𝒸𝑒𝓈𝓉𝑜𝓇𝓈 𝒸𝒶𝓃𝓃𝑜𝓉 𝓈𝑒𝑒 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒸𝑜𝓂𝓂𝒾𝓉𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉 𝓉𝑜 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝒾𝓇 𝓅𝑒𝑜𝓅𝓁𝑒? 𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝓉𝓇𝓊𝓁𝓎 𝓂𝒶𝑔𝒾𝒸 𝐻𝒶𝓇𝓅𝑒𝓇 𝐿𝑒𝑒, 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒿𝓊𝓈𝓉 𝒹𝑜𝓃’𝓉 𝓀𝓃𝑜𝓌 𝒾𝓉.’
And yet hearing Collin say 𝒲𝑒’𝓇𝑒 𝓈𝓊𝓇𝓇𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹𝑒𝒹 𝒷𝓎 𝒾𝓉 𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒, 𝒶𝓁𝓌𝒶𝓎𝓈, rang true in my heart of hearts. I had felt this 𝓂𝒶𝑔𝒾𝒸 myself.
His laughter made me smile, it was welcoming and drew a person in, and I found myself unable to look away again. ‘Pull it together Harper Lee Jenkins.’ I chastised myself for the umpteenth time.
“I am sure that once I start to meet these people and hear their stories if they wish to share them. It will be as fascinating as all the greats.” Of course, true love stories always had so much more to give then the novels I’d read. There was always a twist in witnessing the connection between two people with your own eyes. “And As for your friend, maybe the philosopher will be happy to share some wisdom of how one should ‘Live in the moment’?
I laughed softly as I was sure that the advice would be the same as #Jenna has given me for years, about letting my hair down, and not letting the small moments pass me by.
My fingers were still moving softly over Nova’s fur when she turned her head and pushed my fingers to a spot I had clearly been missing, and she wanted some attention on. I smiled glancing down at her, before I felt him move his body. My eyes linked with his and my hand stilled, a tranquil silence fell over the beach, even with my mind telling me that the sound of the crashing waves was still there. I was frozen in place as his fingers moved the fly away strand of my hair, and the warmth from the tips of his fingers brushed my cold ear. I swallowed hard, as my heart spun out of control with the blood rushing to the spot where he touched my cheek.
I blinked at hearing those words. It wasn’t the first time I had been told I was beautiful, however as it came from his lips. It felt like so much more. My eyes dropped to the blanket twisted around us as the beating of my heart felt like it was about to come crashing out of me. “Thank…. You….” I whispered so low.
Collin ( First Kiss )
“I mean… Maybe now, but even just a few centuries ago, people had stronger senses of loyalty and community.” I sounded like an idiot, but it was true. “But here there are quite a lot of people that think as they did… I mean, I’m not saying La Push is perfect but… its home.”
Her question was a deep one, but a deep one I knew the answer to instantly. “I do… The Spirits and our ancestors. The forest, the sea, the sun and moon… The magic is everywhere it runs through the people, the trees, all of the rivers. It touches all of us. They are all still with us. No one is ever truly gone; even when it feels like they are out of reach.”
I had to laugh when she called #Embry a philosopher. “Please don’t tell him that… He’ll refer to himself as one for years!”
Then we were so close, and her heart was hammering. I didn’t think it was possible for someone to be so still when their heart was thudding like that. Then again mine was the same and I froze, electricity jolted up my arm from my fingers. She didn’t turn away from my touch, even though she was looking down and blushing. The red hue in her skin was captivating and my eyes seemed to be naturally drawn to her lips. My pounding heart became erratic. The need to feel the touch of her lips to mine would not be denied.
“Harper.” I whispered to draw her attention back to me. When her eye’s met mine again, the moonlight glinted in them. I leaned in slowly. Giving her every chance to pull away. My eyes closed and my lips touched lightly against hers, all my senses heightened. Wave after wave of fulfilment flooded through me… I had literally been waiting my entire life for this kiss, just as I waited to meet her, and get to know her. Every decision I had made had led me here; the decision to stay in La Push, even my decision to get a dog… and hers too. Every choice Harper made all added up to her moving here.
My warm hand still cupped her cheek and I dare to move closer, my lips moving gently against hers. While my stomach roiled and my heart threatened to break through my ribs.
This had been something I could understand and relate to. My father would say as I had grown up that we had to hold on to old traditions, that new things weren’t always best. As I sat here now those lessons seem to ring true than I knew as a child. “No place is perfect, however sometimes there are things and people who help us look past those imperfections. Because those are the things that may make home special in the first place?”
I knew that was a very rose coloured out look on life, but there was a part of me that was trying to see the good in the world. To see the positives in what was on offer to us. I knew what he meant. Thompson Falls was by no means perfect, but it was a place with memories for me.
My glance moved over all that could be viewed with the moon lit sky, the wind, the sea, the rocks on the beach and the sand. The trees to the far ends, with Nova beside me. With Collin sat so close and I could imagine the truth in what he had said. That the Spirits were everywhere and in everything. The sun, the moon, the air and the water, the earth, and the fire, it was all a gift and so much more. ‘𝒯𝒽𝑒 𝓂𝒶𝑔𝒾𝒸 𝒾𝓈 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇𝓎𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓇𝑒 ‘ And yet I’d never thought of these things in such a way. And when he said ‘𝒩𝑜 𝑜𝓃𝑒 𝒾𝓈 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓇 𝓉𝓇𝓊𝓁𝓎 𝑔𝑜𝓃𝑒; 𝑒𝓋𝑒𝓃 𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓃 𝒾𝓉 𝒻𝑒𝑒𝓁𝓈 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓎 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝑜𝓊𝓉 𝑜𝒻 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝒸𝒽.’ This was something I had indeed heard before from #Seth, when he spoke to me about my father.
I laughed softly again at the mention of his friend. My voice still low as I spoke. “I don’t know him, however if you don’t want me to tell him... I will see what I can do for you.” I was teasing of course. Unless his friend was walking into the practice, I knew there was no way I would walk up to him to tell him anything.
My eyes were glued down, hiding myself the best I could as the heat from my cheeks told me that my blush could be visible. However, I couldn’t have been more thankful for the night light changing on us. At least I was saved from the embarrassment of him seeing me. I glanced up a little lost in my thoughts as he said my name. My name, something I had heard so often and yet now as he said it, I felt the sensation of pure joy leaping out of me because when he said it just now, it sounded so different.
“Hmm?” My eyes discovered his right away and again, I found myself surprised at how close the two of us had moved. I saw his lips part ever so slightly, as he slowly moved into me. My mind went blank instantly as my heart still thudding in my chest told me what was about to happen. It was now? He wanted to kiss me? My eyes darting from his lips to looking into his dark eyes as they closed. And then it happened. His lips touched mine, and I hadn’t moved away. I had stayed there wanting this too.
I closed my eyes, my heart swooned, and I was floating free from all the thoughts that had been racing only a second before in my mind. The questions, the what if’s, the uncertainty of it all was gone. All I could feel were the soft lips of his moving over mine as a bolt of something strong washed over and engulfed me. My toes curled in my boots and right there in this blissful moment for the first time in my life, I let go. I let go of all the fears and all that I had been holding onto. I felt him move into me, his warm hands cupping my cold cheeks. His lips and mine dancing together and this moment, this 𝓁𝒾𝓋𝒾𝓃𝑔 𝒾𝓃 𝓉𝒽𝑒 𝓂𝑜𝓂𝑒𝓃𝓉. It felt 𝓹𝓮𝓻𝓯𝓮𝓬𝓽.
I heard her heart begin to pound and mine moved in time with hers. There was only one singular moment in my life that stood out as blindingly brilliant as this. It was that moment my eyes fell on her when she came into view that morning in the animal clinic; that all-consuming shift in the core of my being. The realization that every moment, every choice, every heartache and joy... that, all weaved together had brought me to this moment.
The knowledge that being chosen to protect my people by the Great Wolf I had spent the evening telling Harper all about; also gave me this profound ability to feel love more deeply than anyone outside of it, could hope to understand.
And she was kissing me back.
Her skin began to warm under my touch, my whole body was charged with an electricity I never thought possible from such a tender touch of lips. My eyes were closed, my fingertips caressed her cheek, and I swore I could feel the blood rushing into them, knowing they were tinted deep red now, without the need to look; much like my own must be too.
I moved not even a fraction of an inch and then took a deep breath, replenishing the air that she'd stolen from my lungs. A smile broke out over my face and again I pressed my lips to hers; a little more eagerly now… as she'd not turned away, her heart raced with the same anticipation as mine.
My fingers slipped from her cheek and trailed slowly down her arm, finding her fingers, and twining between them. A low hum spilled past my lips and I opened my eyes. I took her in; her flushed cheeks, those perfect lips that set a man's heart to the explosive rhythm mine was drumming right now. A dazed, excited sigh was the only sound that seemed to pass my lips; her heart beat was all I could hear.
The Spirits danced in the soft, salty air all around us.
"See." I finally gathered enough of my senses to be somewhat coherent. "I told you... Magical."
His lips moved over mine in the gentlest way, there was a heat radiating off the two of us and I was sure it meant that maybe he was feeling what I was too? My heart was racing a hundred miles a minute at the way it had taken a blink of our eyes and this was the outcome of it.
His fingertips caressed my hot cheeks, and I knew it, I knew if the night sky had not come down all around us he would have a front row seat to the blush that was covering my face, neck and I was sure body by now. But more so, as his lips kissed mine, the blankness in my mind changed into colour.
I was transported for a moment to the first time I saw his shocked face. He had been sitting in the waiting room of my practice, when all my attention had been on the baby girl. However, in the moment I had looked up to find his brown eyes looking down at me, I had smiled. I had felt something that I couldn’t explain. I had this pull towards him that I could never place into words. And This was the same pull my heart was feeling right now. That pull to him had been there when we met for hot chocolate too. The first time he reached across the table to take a hold of my hand. The warmth I felt then was the same that I was filled with now too.
My lung screamed out for air, just as he moved a little, giving me the time to pull in the cold sea air sending a chill down my spine before his lips were back once again. He’s hot and soft lips touched mine and there was an eager edge to it this time. The sensation of pureness engulfed me as his fingers left my cheek and a rush of cold air awoke me from the place, he had taken me to. His moved down my arm, I felt a shot of electricity through my coat, as his fingers found mine and without a word, I entwined mine with his. My cold chilled fingers curled around his and I felt that heat radiating from us again.
My lips tingled as he finally pulled back, I could feel his touch still as I kept my eyes closed. Savouring the moment, the feel, the sensations he had made me feel. Slowly opening my eyes when I heard him say ‘𝐼 𝓉𝑜𝓁𝒹 𝓎𝑜𝓊... 𝑀𝒶𝑔𝒾𝒸𝒶𝓁’. I wanted to say ‘𝘠𝘦𝘴, 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘔𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭’. However, my words were lost to me, all I could see was him, I could hear that music in my ears all around us again. But he had taken my breath away.
That was until I parted my lips to try and say something, and out of nowhere Nova’s face and tongue pushed in between the two of us. Her damp body pushed to be in the middle, and she franticly started to lick both our faces one at a time. Giving both Collin and I kisses and sharing her love, making me laugh a full belly laughter. I rolled back a little to give her room, but she became even more animated in the love she was sharing with the two of us.
“Magical” I whispered between my laughter. Because this truly was.
The sound of her heart racing was the best thing I had ever heard. Kissing Harper was nothing like I had imagined it to be, and in the short time I had known her I had imagined it more times than I could count. But there was nothing in my life that could compare to this moment. Nothing else existed, time stopped just for us.
My lips hummed like they had when hers were still on mine. Already I wanted to kiss her again, but she’d completely taken my breath away. With the way she pulled in a deep breath of the cold air, even I couldn’t deny she lost hers too.
I watched her eyes flutter open and thanked the Spirits for blessing me with the gift of being able to see every delicate feature of her face in this fading light, as I could in full sunlight. She was astounding, my heart pounded again as she took me in now. I didn’t even sense Nova’s approach. No sight… no sound. Not until she was assaulting us with kisses, and I laughed right alongside Harper; her laugh, her smile and Nova’s pure joy in being the centre of both of our attentions. “Perfect.” I smiled, burying my fingers in Nova’s coat. My eyes glued to Harper, but that of course wouldn’t do... “Ugh!” I laughed at Nova’s assault on my face forcing me to close my eyes or get my eyeball licked.
Then she was right back in Harper’s face again. The perfect interrupted first kiss. My eyes moved out to the ocean; where the moon now shone on the water and I sent up another silent thank you.
“Completely perfect.” I whispered and found Harper’s hand again.
(Music: Daughtry - Start of Something Good )
My hands were in Nova’s fur, rubbing her and patting her as she licked and kissed me. “I know baby girl, I know. How dare we...” I was laughing a real laugh again. The moment with Collin had been perfect in every way, unplanned, unexpected, however so right in every way possible. Until now. With Nova coming in and kissing us.
I shifted back a little, giving Nova some room as she moved to lick the full length of Collins face and he was laughing too. Sitting there, watching her tail waggling back and forth, her body shaking and moving to the same beat. It was something nobody could understand unless they took the time to really listen to her body language.
Nova moved her attention back to me and pulled me from my internal conversation with myself. “I’m right here Nova.” I giggled as her tongue worked over my face, and now I knew it was a good thing that I wasn’t wearing my glasses.
When she was done, she pushed her way to sit partly on my lap and partly on Collins. Unbeknownst to her she built a bridge between the two of us. Connected us with her body, and I wondered what these sprits of his would have to say about such a thing?
I shook my head. ‘What a stupid thing to think? You just met this guy, and you are floating on air?’ That voice in my mind said to me. But it was true, his kiss had made me feel some way I’d not felt before. I felt the warmth of his hand over mine, I felt that tingle shock me and this time it was riding up my skin and right into my chest.
He had been lost in his own mind as I had been in mine. However, when I glanced over to him his eyes were on the dark ocean. I wasn’t sure if I heard him correctly over the sound of the waves. Had he just said;
‘𝒯𝒽𝒾𝓈 𝒾𝓈 𝒫𝑒𝓇𝒻𝑒𝒸𝓉‘?
The End
-- 𝚃𝚑𝚎 𝙵𝚞𝚕𝚕 𝚃𝚎𝚡𝚝 𝙲𝚘𝚗𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚊𝚝𝚒𝚘𝚗 --
From HARPER: [ Hi there, I’m sorry it’s taken me this long to contact you. Just wanted to see how Nova and you are. HLJ ]
TO HARPER: [ Don’t worry. It’s that time of year, right? Lambs? You’re a bit of a legend with some of my friend’s parents right now. Nova is still running around like a crazy one, no matter how hard I try to keep her chilled out. She sleeps in the whelping box during the day now, after the advice you gave me. I’m doing good, keeping myself busy. I really hope you’re finding time to sleep. I hope I can see you again soon? When things aren’t as busy… My Uncle is planning on stopping by as soon as he can ]
To COLLIN: [ Yes, Lambing is coming to an end now thankfully, I just need to catch up with my other patients now. Nova after all is still a puppy and will be full of energy. As long as she’s not chewing on things which are bad for her. And it is good to hear she has taken to the whelping box already. Every little thing helps. And thank you once again for speaking with your uncle, I promise I will have my proposal ready and waiting now that things will slow down for me. I plan on catching up with sleep really soon, as long as the animals of La Push and Forks behave themselves tonight. Why would you need to keep yourself busy? Are you frightened of free time? I was hoping maybe that you maybe free next weekend for the… you know that ‘F’ word and pizza gathering you offered? It would be nice to see you again and catch up. HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ I wouldn’t say frightened… Averse, maybe. I tend to overthink when I have too much free time on my hands. Mostly projects for fun, my weekends are wide open. We can’t leave those “F words” lying around much longer. I’d love to help you out, let me know when and I’ll be there. I can’t turn down free pizza… or your company. }} I pressed send.
To COLLIN: [ I never thought that ‘Overthinking’ or just thinking was unscrupulous, however if you wish to keep your free time filled. I am happy to help on the weekend. I would have to agree with you about the ‘F’ Words, they are starting to hit back. They took my toes out the other morning, and a knee too. If they are left unloved, I’m worried they may take me out completely. It’s the Pizza isn’t it? It’s the deal maker? HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ Trust me… It can be hazardous. See, I was going to try and draw out the process, to try and sneakily make another opportunity to see you. But now that I know you’re a klutz I can’t do that! I’ll have to come up with another devious plan. }} I sent the text and grinned.
To HARPER: {{ I mean… yeah. Totally all about the pizza. }} I followed up quickly.
To COLLIN: [ Since when do friends need to have an excuse to see another friend? I mean to say, thank you so much for not wanting to draw it out and all, I believe my “F” words are trying to kill me. And I knew it!! It’s always about the pizza. The word is out! – Little Miss Klutz ]
To HARPER: {{ Wow! I made it to the friend’s category already? Such an honour! Don’t worry we’ll get those “F” words sorted for you and I’ll make it my personal mission to ensure you survive the night. I’ll even anchor them to the wall for you… because of the whole Klutz thing. Plus, if you ever want to rearrange the furniture, you’ll have to call me }}
To COLLIN: [ Would you prefer it if you didn’t make it to the Friends category. I know a certain woman who would say you should be down graded to an acquaintance for such a comment. And how thoughtful of you, taking on the responsibility of my life. It is a dangerous task you know, with this new found ‘klutz’ thing I seen to be picking up a reputation for. And are you turning into the guy who wants to leave the door open for the return visit? Always looking for a reason? I told you, friends don’t need them. HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ Hey, you can’t demote me just on Leah’s word. You are a strong, competent woman. Stand by your friendship decision! How About I withhold making a final determination on the ‘Klutz thing’ until I see you in action next weekend? Would it be bad if I were turning into that guy? I’ll remember that. But don’t worry. I’ll try not to abuse the privilege. }}
To COLLIN: [ Oh, I see what you did there, stoke my ego and hope I don’t take the wise one’s advice? Intelligent move there Mr Littlesea. It’s a shame I can see past it. And I only feel it is fair to hold on to all judgments until you see me in action. I could blow your mind with my skills. I am a carpenter’s daughter after all. As for turning into “That guy”, I’m not worried. I don’t know why, but I am not worried at all. – HLJ ]
TO HARPER {{ But I learnt something new about you now! You are so much more than book smart! And you aren’t as easy to catch off guard when we aren’t face to face. Using the nepotism argument? You’re still a carpenter’s daughter with boxes of “F words” lying around her place, trying to kill her. If I promise you had nothing to be worried about would you believe me? }}
TO COLLIN: [ Is that a kind way to say I am more than a Nerd? What can I say? There is always more than meets the eye, even with those who claim to be open books. They may not mean to hide, but life just makes it happen. Not sure what happened to me face to face. It’s not how I am. Or not how I ever knew myself to be. Let me correct you and/or myself. I stated I am a carpenter’s daughter, however I never said I was a good one. So ixnay on the “F words”, and let’s keep them a secret from you know who? As for believing you? I want to say I would, but I know that is foolish. I don’t know you. And yet. I still want to say Yes? - HLJ ]
TO HARPER:{{ What’s wrong with being a Nerd? I’m a bit of a nerd myself and proud! I’d like to say I’m not normally that nervous… But that evening was next level. Then I’d start to get myself together and you’d laugh, and I was a rambling mess all over again… and thoroughly enjoying every second of it. My mom always told me; “You will do foolish things but do them with enthusiasm”. I always thought they were wise words to live by. I may be a little biased, but I think Yes is the right answer. Just wait and see, in the meantime Let’s be “Foolish”.}}
To COLLIN: [ There is nothing wrong with being known as a Nerd at all. Proud member of the NA ( Nerd Association ) right here, I will have you know. The rambling was.. Cute.. and I joined a new club that evening with my own inability to string words together. Your mom seems like a woman with great advice. So, you know, I am stealing this advice, I am sure I will use it time and time again. How would somebody even begin to walk the path towards becoming Foolish? -HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ Cute and handsome! Damn, I’m a catch! She has her moments, but don’t tell her I said that. I think we’ve both passed the point of no return when it comes to being foolish. I’m already far too happy about seeing you again to even try to play it cool. }}
To COLLIN: [ The point of no return? You know this nerd would never jump without anchoring herself to a big strong rock at the top of the edge. And if this so called ‘Catch’ is nice to her, she may be willing to attach a line to keep him safe too. I’m not sure playing cool is something I can do; it would mean to hide behind something. Which I can’t seem to do right now. -HLJ ]
To HARPER:{{ Well… I’m pretty strong. One might even say ‘rock-like’. Just in case you find yourself in need of one. But I would let you save me if you let me return the favour someday. Hiding is very rarely an answer; I try to avoid it whenever I can. You really should get some sleep while you have the chance… as much as I would love to monopolise your time. But that would be selfish of me.}}
To COLLIN: [ How about we leave the door open with the knowledge that we are willing to save one another. Good Night Mr Littlesea, thank you for keeping me company tonight. HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ The door is wide open. I hope you’re sleeping well. And watch the clouds tomorrow, the sun will come out and if you pay attention you might see the silver lining shining through. }}
To COLLIN [ I see you had some words with the sun to ask him to come out to play for me today. Now I wish I had the time for a run. Good morning, I did sleep very well. I hope you and Nova did too. – HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ We had some words, I can be very convincing. I haven’t run in a while; I don’t want to wear Nova out too much. Pity you’re a big, important, busy doctor… you could join the baby-mama and me for a walk on the beach before work. It’s a perfect day for it.}}
To COLLIN: [ If you could maybe have the same talk with him on my day off? I would forever be grateful to you and your convincing skills. And that is a good idea, baby-girl needs to take it easy. Until her body is used to the changes. This VDM would like nothing more than to join you both, however work calls. Rain Check? – HLJ]
To HARPER {{ I’ll do my best; I may have to use up my last favour though. We go at the same time every day. Second Beach. Rain or shine consider this an open invitation. You’re welcome to join us. Nova would love to see her new best friend outside of the office.}}
To COLLIN: [You truly shouldn’t use up your favours for others, especially somebody you don’t know. And thank you for the open invitation, I don’t believe I’ve been to that beach. So, you may regret asking me to come. Have a lovely walk, I do wish I could be there with my new fur friend. HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ It wasn’t all for you. I rather enjoy the sun too. It’s beautiful here, and not normally as busy, the surfers don’t want to carry their board down the trails. I’m not big on regrets, how about this? If you join us and we don’t enjoy your company, I promise we’ll rescind the invitation. }}
{{ Have a good day at work. I’m looking forward to the weekend. }}
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To COLLIN [I don’t feel as guilty knowing you enjoy the warmth, and now that you have an out. Thank you for the photo. It looks stunning there. You and Nova enjoy the walk and your day. Looking forward to the weekend too. HLJ ]
To HARPER : {{ I hope you’re having a great day… and enjoying the sun. }}
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To COLLIN: [ Another beautiful sight and image. You have an eye that’s for sure. My day has been a little out there and indoors. Your uncle the Chief came by this morning. He is such a kind man and made me something. Thank you for making it possible. Hope your day is amazing. HLJ ]
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To HARPER {{ #Billy is the kindest person you will ever meet... apart from #Seth. Did you know it’s the Spirits of the Wolves that protect us all here? It’s how our Protectors show themselves to us. I'd love to tell you the stories. Maybe I could even teach the Vet something she didn't know about an animal. }}
To COLLIN: [ I would have to concur, there is something about Billy that makes me feel at home. He told me that the wolf was a protector, and that my wolf would look after me. I’m not sure if I should take him home, or leave him here in the office? I would love to hear and learn more. But I wouldn’t want to intrude on your time. HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ Just take a moment and listen, he’ll tell you where he belongs. I could call you tonight if work doesn’t pull you away? Or would you rather hear them in person? And what happened to our little foolish agreement? You’re just making me feel greedy now because I fully intend to intrude on any spare moment, I can steal with you. }}
To COLLIN [ I will ask him and then listen to his reply. I am giving you outs from that agreement, and you don’t want to take them? So, Let’s be foolish together, if work allows for it. I would like to hear all about it. I don’t mind how you choose to tell me; I will listen as you find ways to become a little greedier. HLJ ]
To COLLIN: [ No more outs it is, I wish you luck! And One of those friends just told me I’m bad at taking hints, and that I am an overthinker. I may have missed the subtle attempts; however, we clearly have an audience guiding the way. My first impression of you is far from terrible trust me when I say this. I don’t wish to make you nervous, however it would be a lie if I didn’t admit to being the very same way. HLJ ]
TO HARPER : {{ I don’t know if it’s a case of you being bad at taking hints or not. I’m not great at dropping them… maybe it’s a foolish combination of both? I was never really for being the centre of attention, but I suppose it’s not necessarily a bad thing either. Do I really make you nervous? You are so beautiful… I find it hard to believe a dorky guy like me, could make you nervous. I know it shouldn’t… but that kinda makes me smile. Is that weird? }}
To Collin [ Finding ways to make me feel better at being blind to the world around me? There is a brownie point for you in there somewhere. I have to say that two alma maters like us from the school of Dork and Nerd should become really good friends. It’s written in the rules you know. As for the nervousness? Yes, you do. I seem to lose my words when you are looking at me. And you know there is nothing wrong in a little weird, normal is over rated if you ask me. HLJ ]
To HARPER :{{ As long as it’s the kind of nervous that makes you want to see me again. I like watching you scramble for words. It reminds me that I’m not the only one. I’m happy to hear that you think weird is good… Because there is a lot of weirdness in my life. But I have a feeling you may have figured that out already. }}
To COLLIN: [ I’m not sure I want to see you again. I’m going to put out a restraining order on you if you don’t stop being so kind. I mean who in their right mind would want to sit listening to my inability to string words together? HLJ ]
To HARPER: {{ See, now I’m questioning your membership to the nerd club. Because most people would wait until after their F-words were put together, to reveal that. Also, I never claimed to be in my right mind... Maybe that’s why it gives me butterflies when you scramble for the right words. If that’s true, then I don’t want to be in my right mind. I’m much happier this way. }}
To COLLIN: [ Questioning my life time membership to the Nerd Club? How dare you Sir! This calls for a Duel at Sunrise! This is me slapping my virtual glove at you as my challenge. Also, Nerds don’t really think of life in such a selfish way. We Nerds are happy to give, and we never wait to see what it is we will gain if anything at all. Do I really give you butterflies? Because you give me the same sensations too. HLJ ]
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wtf-is-jibea-writing · a year ago
Day 20: “Fine, Walk Home Then”
Bea’s Entry
That was the third time this night as we fought for what seemed like the hundredth time for this week alone. I cupped my cheek as I fought to keep the tears from streaming down my face. I was not going to let him have the satisfaction of seeing me cry again.
He was breathing hard which made him look bigger than he already was. I didn’t want to admit it, but I have grown to become terrified of him.
I don’t know when it started – the abuse, I mean. I don’t know what happened. When we first met, he was the epitome of chivalry and he never failed to tell me that he loved me. I loved him too. I would even go so far as to say that I had once thought he was the love of my life but at this point, I don’t even know what love is anymore or if I still love the man sitting beside me.
My mom had told me from the very start that I was very similar to her when it came to picking men and how he was very much like my father.
It wasn’t a compliment.
My father liked to paint different shades of violet and red all over my mom’s body and if that wasn’t enough for him, he’d do it to me and my sister too. He only ever hit us when he was drunk but ever since he lost his job and was unable to keep the follow jobs after that, the only times when he wasn’t intoxicated was when he was asleep or when the social worker came to check up on us due to various calls from our teacher about the bruises that were evident on my legs almost every single day.
My mother eventually left my father after ten years of that torture and we had thought that we were finally going to get a brand-new start or at least we hoped. It didn’t take my mother long to find someone new and there were so many men that walked in and out of our run-down apartment and so many she claimed to love that the definition of it started to seem blurry to me. In time, she found a guy and they had both convinced us that he was nowhere near the likes of my father.
Abi and I were still hopeful that all men weren’t like our father, but I think that was just pure desperation to have what most of our classmates had whenever there were events held at school. We both just really yearned for a family and we really thought we had that when Jim came into our lives. It was good for a couple of years. I guess you could even say we were happy – until we weren’t.
Though, it wasn’t a sudden change. It was something that slowly progressed over time and by the time we had noticed it, it was too late to do anything about by then. It had started off with him bringing his college friends over one night. My mother was skeptical about letting a few strangers in our house, but Jim had convinced her that they were good people and that they’d stay out in the patio. He introduced them to my mother who I guess took a liking to them since they started coming over more and more until it seemed like they were home more than we were.
“Are you fucking listening to me?” He asked me as he gripped my shoulders, stealing me away from my thoughts.
I hadn’t notice I had been picking my nails when I looked down and saw blood on my fingertips.
I looked back up at him. “Yeah. I’m sorry.”
He took a deep breath and punched the steering wheel. “Tell me who that asshole was earlier or I swear I’m going to make you walk home tonight.”
“That was my colleague,” I replied, leaning my head against the car window as I looked at the empty parking lot.
He laughed bitterly. “I know he’s more than that. I saw the way he was looking at you like you were some fresh fucking piece of meat.”
“Can we please stop this? He doesn’t mean anything to me, okay?” I sighed, not bearing myself to look at him. “Can we please go? I still have school tomorrow.”
He raised his hand and for a moment, I thought he was going to bash my head into the dashboard and for a moment, I was scared until I realized that I wanted him to.
He stayed silent for a while until he started the car and we finally exited the parking lot.
“I’m sorry,” He said, searching for my hand in the dark.
I looked at him this time and forced a smile. “It’s okay, but I promise you. He’s nothing more than a guy I work with, okay? Besides, I think he’s gay.”
He laughed for real this time and I desperately tried to hear the man I once fell in love with in that moment until I realized that this wasn’t the usual route back to my apartment.
I jolted up in my seat. “Where are we going? This isn’t the right way.”
“Babe, relax. I just wanted to take a short detour okay?” He said, a smirk forming on his lips.
“Why? You know it triggers my anxiety when you take me somewhere without telling me,” I said, looking around hastily for a landmark that may spark some familiarity within me.
“Is that shit even real? You talk about your anxiety and depression all the time, but maybe that’s just your way of asking for attention.” He shrugged. “You know, if you wanted it, you could have just dropped all that bullshit and asked for it.”
I felt my anger suddenly rising as I looked at him and all the hopes I once had earlier vanished as quick as they had appeared. “After all this time, do you honestly think I faked all my anxiety attacks? Do you think I cut myself just because I was seeking for attention?”
He sighed as he stopped on the side of the road and looked at me. “Look, babe, it’s not like that. I just think you were faking all that shit, okay?”
“Well, I’m not,” I said as calmly as I could because I didn’t want him angry again.
“Jesus! Chill out, Beth. I was only stating a very likely possibility,” He said, putting emphasis on very. “But I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry.”
“Can we just go?” I asked, tugging on my jacket.
I had only noticed where we currently were, and I could feel my heartbeat rapidly beating against my chest. I did not have a single clue as to where we may currently be as I took in the long trees surrounding us as if seemingly waiting for us to get out of the car so they could swallow us. The road was no longer cement but a path paved from the ground by vehicles that may have had to take this route – for what reason, I didn’t know since the road ahead of us seemed like a cascading array of trees. The road ahead seemed endless that if you looked long enough, the trees seemed to disappear leaving only the darkness to stare at and the possibility of what hides amidst it to play tricks with your mind.
It was all so terrifying but at the same time, it was also very familiar, but I couldn’t put my finger as to why. Have I been here before? Have I seen this place before?
I was interrupted from my thoughts when I felt something grip my thighs.
I yelped, surprised by his sudden change of emotions. “What are you doing?”
He started to come closer to me with a similar darkness apparent in his eyes. “I’m sorry for what I said earlier, babe. Let me make it up to you.”
“Stop.” I said, my voice becoming smaller with every inch that started to close between us. “I don’t want to do it right now. Please stop.”
“I know you want it as much as I do,” He said as he finally closed the gap between us.
I didn’t. I didn’t want it as much as he did. I didn’t even want it at all. I wanted to scream and push him away from me, but I didn’t want him to get angry and storm off, leaving me in this unknown area. I know he could do so because he’s done it before. Instead, I said nothing and waited until everything would start to get numb and he would get what he drove all this way for.
I closed my eyes as I felt his hands start to make his way underneath my shirt. I thought back to who he was several years earlier when his touch didn’t feel so foreign and how his presence didn’t make me want to run and vomit out of fear. I imagined the boy who held my hand at a party because my thoughts started to get the best of me and I started having a panic attack or the boy who held me in his arms as I cried after I had just received a call from the vet about my dog who had just died after a yearlong battle with cancer.
I felt tears streaming down my face and he must have thought that I had wanted more because I felt his hands start to search for the zipper on my jeans.
I looked at the window and I blinked my eyes hard because I thought I had just seen her.
When I opened my eyes, she was gone, and I hoped that the windows would start fogging so I couldn’t see outside anymore.
His hands finally found my zipper and he had just started to undo them when my eyes darted back to the window again and I saw her.
It was only for a split second, but I saw her disheveled brown hair, her favorite nightgown and her eyes. Her eyes looked just like they had looked that night – so blue but also so incredibly full of fear.
I jumped back, suddenly wanting to go as far away from this place as possible.
“You fucking bitch!” He screamed.
I hadn’t realized that I had accidentally hit him until I saw him touch his left cheek which was now red.
“I’m sorry! I thought I saw something. I didn’t mean to-“ I tried to reach for him when he suddenly punched my arm.
He punched my arm again before he reached for my neck. “I’m going to fucking kill you.”
I started to lose the ability to breathe but I was more scared of the very likely chance that he would leave me here to die.
He finally let go after what felt like a century and I instinctively reached for my neck where I knew there would later be a bruise, but I’ve been in this predicament so many times now that it didn’t seem to faze me anymore.
“I’m sorry. Please don’t be angry.” I cried, reaching out for him.
He immediately pulled back. “Don’t touch me, you fucking slut.”
I was taken aback. “Why am I a slut?”
“You flirt with that asshole back at the party and since you couldn’t have him, you wanted to play fucking games with me,” He said, his voice rising again.
“I didn’t flirt with him and I wasn’t playing games with you,” I pleaded, reaching for him again when he yanked my hair.
“You’re disgusting and pathetic,” He said as he reached for my neck once again. “I should leave you here to die.”
“Please, don’t.” I cried. “How am I supposed to get back?”
“Walk home.”
“Please. I love you. Please don’t do this to me.”
“You fucking liar.”
I didn’t know what had happened afterwards because everything started to become blurry.
The next thing I knew, I could feel him carrying me and the cold air blew into my face causing a shiver to go down my spine. I tried to open my eyes, but I couldn’t. I don’t know why but it felt like something was prohibiting me from doing so and I blacked out again.
Once I woke up, I could finally feel my eyes start to open but once they were, all I could see were darkness.
It was the kind of darkness wherein it was hard to decipher whether your eyes were really open or not.
I looked around the area for him and the headlights of his car.
Maybe he’s playing a joke on me. It’s not funny but I’ll forgive him. I’ll forgive him.
I could feel my feet start to bolt until I realized that there was really no escape. He had actually done it. He really left me here to die.
My legs were the first ones to give up. I start to feel the tears forming in my eyes and for the first time in a long time, I actually let them fall. I cried for my mother who has encountered possession in the form of love so many times in her lifetime that the line that separates them both were almost near invisible to her. I cried for myself and the future that I could have had if Jim hadn’t entered our lives. I cried for Abi and her desperation for a family that it cost her her life.
I had been crying for what seemed like a periodically long time when I heard footsteps behind me.
I looked up and I saw a figure emerging from behind the trees.
“Who’s there?” I asked as I immediately stood up from the ground.
I frantically searched for any weapon that I could use to defend myself. I found a big rock near me and while it may not do much damage, it was better than nothing.
The figure said nothing as it started to make its way towards me.
“Don’t come any closer. I have a weapon in my hand,” I said as fearlessly as I could muster.
The figure didn’t stop at once and I started to sense the need to run but my feet seemed glued to the ground.
The figure stopped and under the light of the moon, it may look like any other person but I knew those eyes anywhere.
“No!” I cried, falling to the ground. “You’re dead! I saw you.”
She didn’t say anything but instead, she started to come towards me yet again but this time, I could feel my legs spring to life.
I ran.
I ran as far away from her and as fast as my legs could take me.
She’s dead.
I know it.
I remember that night so clearly like it was yesterday, because it still haunts my dreams until this very day.
My mother had informed us earlier that night that she was stuck at work, but that she would be home as soon as she could. Abi and I were delighted because it meant that we could stay up longer than usual and we had made plans to read a magazine she said she had bought from the mall, but I know that was a lie. She had picked up this habit of getting things that weren’t hers, but I let it go since I hadn’t notice her take any of my things. We were about to get the magazine when Jim went inside my room and asked us if we wanted to go on a drive with him and his friends.
I could sense that something was off, so I declined. Abi, on the other hand, thought that this would be a good chance to bond with him and decided to go despite my disapprovals. I stayed up all night waiting for her and until what seemed like forever, I heard a car by our driveway.
Thinking it was my mother, I hid under my covers and pretended to be asleep in fear of being scolded for still being up so late at night. No one came in my room that night and after a few minutes of pretending to be asleep, I eventually fell asleep for real.
I woke up in the middle of the night and ran towards Abi’s room and what greeted me first were her blue eyes. The first thing I noticed was how scared they looked.
I fell to the floor as I stared at my younger sister who was hanging from her ceiling fan in her favorite nightgown.
A few months after, we had found out that one of Jim and his friends had took advantage of my sister that night. Apparently, they took turns passing her around like she was some sort of doll. The police eventually caught them, and they stood trial for their sins. They were given a sentence of one year.
I was too distracted replaying the events of the night my sister died when I hadn’t noticed a log in my path. My feet collided with it and I eventually succumbed to gravity as I fell over and landed on a patch of dirt.
I looked behind me and when I didn’t see anyone following me, I started to calm down a bit and I had just noticed the scrapes on my knees when I noticed what had been the cause of my fall.
It wasn’t a log at all.
It was me.
I looked at my hands and then back at the lifeless body again and sure enough, it was definitely me, but I didn’t seem to be moving. My head was filled with blood and my neck and arms were covered in bruises.
I was going to go near it when I noticed a figure beside me.
“Is that me?” I asked the figure.
I was afraid.
I was afraid of who or what was beside me but I was also afraid of the fact that I was currently looking at my lifeless body.
The figure said nothing as I noticed it come closer to me.
Suddenly, the events from earlier that night came back to me.
I remembered him hiding me here after I blacked out. He was looking around the area and muttering about where to hide my body when I woke up.
He jumped up, clearly startled and picked up a rock nearby and hit me repeatedly with it.
“I’m-“ I stopped because regardless of what I said, nothing could change the fact that I was dead.
I felt hands on both of my shoulder and I spun around and I was faced with the sight of my sister.
She looked the same but not the same.
She looked exactly like she did when I found her that night but there was something different about her. I just didn’t know what.
“I’m sorry”, I cried.
Her face didn’t change as she raised a hand and put a bony fingertip on my forehead.
Everything suddenly went black.
“Are you fucking listening to me?” He asked me, gripping my shoulders.
I looked down at the blood on my fingernails and looked back at him. “Yeah. I’m sorry.”
He took a deep breath and punched the steering wheel. “Tell me who that asshole was earlier or I swear I’m going to make you walk home tonight.”
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samstrugglingwithlife · 2 years ago
1/2 Can I have a Mashup for haikyuu? I'll be Owen Anon, my age is 18 I'm 5'0 and male. I'm more introverted and get easily scared when meeting people. But once you get to know me I'm kinda the mom friend and use the words "buba/baby/hun/love" a lot. I'm trying to get into vet work because I absolutely adore animals, cats are my favorite! I usually spend my free time drawing, writing, and sometimes I just go outside at night to look at the stars. I have freckles but I'm very insecure about them.
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Hello Owen! I hope I didn’t make you wait too long. I actually kinda went through your blog and in your description you seemed to like Noya a lot I’m not a stalker, I promise!!! But if I had matched you with him, that would be way too predictable. So after thinking long and hard and drawing a whole pros and cons table with various characters, I came to this conclusion. It’s your first matchup so I really wanted to make it as special as possible. Lemme know if you don’t like this and I can try to rewrite this with another character!
Hanamaki Takahiro
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How You Two Met
You guys were classmates for a very long time all throughout school, but the first time you two noticed each other was in your third year when you were seated behind his lanky ass. You had trouble seeing the board, and you didn't have the confidence to ask him to move to the side a little. That is until it became too much for you when you couldn't copy the lecture off the board that was important for the upcoming test. You shyly poked his back with the clicker part of your mechanical pencil, he turned around with a bored expression on his face and raised a thin brow in question. You quietly told him that you couldn't see the board, he muttered a monotonous apology and moved his shoulder so you could see the board better. From then on, he always remembered to sit in a way that would make it easier for you to see the board easily without craning your neck. Whenever he forgot to do that, all you had to do was gently poke him in the back, and he would move aside without a word. That was all the interaction between the two of you until one day you arrived in class and saw him sitting in your seat. He saw you and waved lazily, you were confused, but you waved back nonetheless. He gestured for you to sit in his seat, "It's easier for you that way." From that day onwards the two of you often made small talks, sometimes, though very rarely, he would even sit with you during lunch. It was a comfortable friendship. You guys would often joke and throw around sarcastic comments at each other. He became close enough to you for you to call him ‘buba’.
How He Asked You Out And Your First Date
You knew Hanamaki was in the volleyball club, but you never watched any of his games, nor did he ever bother inviting you. So one day you decided that you would visit him during practice, not because you liked him! It was only out of curiosity, yes, that was it was, just curiosity. You were surprised that the gym was packed with spectators, all cheering for that one brown-haired pretty boy, but your eyes were drawn to Hanamaki. It's not like he was playing extraordinarily but because he looked so different from when he was in the classroom with you, even when he had the same bored expression on his face. You saw him interacting with his teammates, joking around and teasing his friends, your heart may or may not have skipped a beat. He noticed you among the crowd, you were the only one looking at him; he flashed you a grin and a peace sign. Unbeknownst to you, his heart also did a flip when he saw you watching him from the sidelines. Maybe it was instinct, or maybe you guys were way too obvious about your feelings but somehow you both knew that you two liked each other. You were the one who asked him out, this fucker kept grumbling that he wanted to ask you first and how you beat him to it, but he said yes. On your first date, he made it clear that he wanted to do the things that you liked. Oikawa (even though he didn't ask for it) advised that dates find it impressive when you tell them that. He expected you to swoon, but you just shrugged and led him around to your favourite places. Don't get me wrong, your heart did leap in your chest when he said that, but you weren't gonna give him the satisfaction of seeing you flustered. You guys interacted, how you usually would when you two were in class, joking and teasing, but this time you two were more aware of your feelings for each other. Hanamaki noticed a lot of things about you on your date. He noticed how fond you were of cats when you two were at the pet cafe, the way you passionately talked about wanting to become a vet; and honestly, he could not have found you anymore adorable. Since you were the one who was in charge on this date, you insisted on walking him home He laughed but he was secretly so moved. You two walked to his house hand in hand It was a fun date, he was a fun guy to be with.
Whats Your Relationship Like
He finds it so cute when you worry about him and keep reminding him to drink water and eat his snacks, he teasingly calls you mom. He's very observant, so if you're ever feeling down, he will take you out to do your favourite fun activities without saying a word. On chill winter nights, you two will go out onto the rooftop with a bunch of blankets and hot chocolate, and just stargaze. He'll probably rest his head on your shoulder and stick his tongue out at you when you complain how heavy his head is. I see him as the type to not really care much about science but he listens when you wanna talk about it, he'll even ask questions. Though, he'll intentionally try to sound as dumb as possible just to irritate you. He regularly visits animal shelters with you and you two play with the little kitties, he got scratched on his wrist pretty badly. He always insists to let him read your writing but doesn't push too hard if you don't want to. He does, however, badger you on and on about drawing him like "one of your french girls", fucking headass. He doesn't say much about your height, but he loves the difference and often bends down to kiss your forehead or the top of your head. In fact, Hanamaki does not say anything about any of your insecurities but shows you that he loves each and every part of you with small gestures or hidden compliments. You say that you don't like your freckles and he will just hmm in response but sometime later he will walk up to you and grab your face and kiss all over your freckles and just walk away. He likes to lay his head on your lap and just take long naps like a house cat, but when you lay your head on his lap, he starts to bounce his knees, just to mess with you. He gives up after a good laugh and just lets you sleep and absentmindedly strokes your head as he watches TV or scrolls through his phone. Oh shit! You say you can't focus, you have a short attention span? Well, good luck asking for help from this annoying fuck, he won't do shit. In fact, he is so unbearable sweet that he will distract you even more, he'll poke your back and sides in class when you're trying to focus. All in all, you guys are a couple that is also best friends. He understands you even when you don't say anything. He never gets tired of you, everything you do is so cute and endearing to him. He looks bored, but only you know how much attention he pays only to you. I think you guys have a cute and fun relationship. Also, don't let him become unemployed, I beg you.
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little-ideas · 2 years ago
MANKAI Messenger pt. 3
I’m not done yet lol
Spoiler warning: I think I merge things from various routes in MysMe so if you haven’t done all the endings (including secret) then proceed at your own risk
Assuming Itaru and Banri aren't already playing LOLOL, MC makes a comment about how they’re surprised they aren't on it and Itaru and Banri install it immediately
MC tells them that Yoosung and Seven play and they demand to know on which server and promptly begin grinding their levels to challenge the other two
MC instantly regrets saying anything
Itaru, Banri, Yoosung, and Seven challenge each other
Sakyo, MC, Izumi, and Vanderwood had to threaten to disconnect the internet because they were all being sore losers and matches were continuing all day
They now are required to inform someone when they are planning on playing against each other and for how long
This gets strictly enforced
When they're in a party together they're invincible
Seven probably knows who all the top players are and once when they're planning for a group event and need 1 more member he tells Banri and Itaru they should ask Citron to join
Nobody knows how/when Citron finds the time to game but he's really good at it
Banri and Seven team up to prank Yoosung, Tenma, and Taichi a lot
Zen and Tsumugi bonding over learning to use technology together
It probably got mentioned because one of them was struggling to do something and one of the RFA members then commented about how Zen just forcibly updated his computer
They showed an image
Tsumugi's probably like "Me too!" and he and Zen start bonding over the computer and the limited functions they would use it for and lament how difficult modern technology is
Everyone else is flabbergasted
Some of the younger kids have never even interacted with such old computers
"You both are 24 how do you not know how to use technology???"
"Even Sakyo knows how to use this!"
Sakyo feels even more like an old man now
Jumin sends fancy cat food for the cats on Veludo Way
Probably also tried to start his cat hotel business internationally there
Jaehee was never more happy she moved on to start her coffee shop the international laws and paperwork would have been such a nuisance
Yoosung checks on Kamekichi and the Veludo Way cats whenever he goes to visit once he becomes a vet
Kamekichi probably has a love-hate relationship with Yoosung because Yoosung compliments his intelligence but puts him on a diet
If Misumi ever hears that one of the cats isn't doing well, he phones Yoosung
It takes a while, but Masumi and Saeran become buddies
Send each other recommendations from various bands and videos
They both just chill together
Probably escaped all the noise/needed to take a break and ran in to each other
Got locked in the storage room together accidentally
Masumi's wearing something like a band tee or a bracelet or Saeran happens to hear the music from his headphones and goes "Is that ___?"
Masumi's surprised since nobody else knows them and it's awkward at first, but slowly they start talking more
Saeran probably understands some of Masumi's obsession with Izumi, but knows that it's not healthy
They have a talk about it eventually
Masumi actually listens
Nobody quite knows what happens but, at some point, they start realizing Masumi isn't as possessive over Izumi. He still adores her, but it's not so uncomfortably unhealthy anymore
If RFA meets MANKAI before "The Adventure for Sardines" you best believe Jumin donated to the costume fund and went to see every performance
Zen avoided the messenger for a week because Jumin was constantly on it and he couldn't stop sneezing
Yuki got sick once and couldn't work on the costumes so Seven helped finish them
Yuki helped Seven design a cosplay as thanks
Kazunari convinces Jumin to download snapchat and snaps him photos of cats
Probably thinks Jumin's blurred photos are hilarious
Muku's asked Zen about how to be a prince
Muku's pure admiration for Zen convinces the man to start having some better life habits
Zen just wants to live up to the cinnamon bun's hopes and dreams ok
Jaehee's handmade marshmallows are a favorite of Juza and Hisoka. She usually makes them during the winter and sends them alongside Tsuzuru's coffee.
Homare finds out when Jaehee is considering putting tea on her cafes menu and they discuss tea for HOURS
If anyone is learning a language that MC knows, MC will speak to them exclusively in the language at random times to help them learn
If they're working on listening comprehension then they might even just have conversations with one person speaking Japanese and the other speaking the target language
For writing they start an exchange diary
Yuki's probably corrected a teacher once
If MC is female, she, Izumi, and Jaehee have girls' night
Also at least once a month just MC and Izumi (since travelling is expensive)
Izumi and Jaehee if MC is male
The boys all encourage it
RFA and MANKAI all need more positive female presences if you disagree with this friendship then fiGhT ME
ok but becoming more than friends yes please owo
So you know how Seven wanted to be an engineer? He and Sakoda just click. The inventions they create…the discussions about machinery and how things work…they spend hours deconstructing and reconstructing tools and Sakoda taught Seven how to operate heavy machinery.
Ngl Vanderwood was likely offered a position in Sakyo's yakuza family
Sakyo's family head and Izumi have been invited to an RFA party
MC gets in on the cooking rotation and the guys are grateful because less curry
Posts a weekly menu
Whenever cafés have dessert deals for couples, MC takes Juza with them
They share the sweets
Even if they're awkward and not convincing, Juza's so scary that nobody dares question them
It's a win-win arrangement
Yuki teaches MC how to sew, and once he deems them proficient enough to help out, he'll often wake up to find pieces or details finished he can finally sleep right after practices
Sakoda often accompanies MC on tasks
Izumi and MC make Russian roulette Valentine's day chocolates containing curry
All things considered it wasn't as bad as it could've been
MC catches Reni's attention and he has an existential crisis when he finds out they're with MANKAI
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girouxes · 2 years ago
can I please have some voskoboynikov headcanons/tidbits. I think I love him
what you don’t understand is that i LOVE daniil voskoboynikov and am willing to DIE for him and he is a full ass characters in my head so prepare urself
— so vosky was born in st petersburg, russia, and his parents have a family law firm focused on international business and they moved to tennessee when vosky was a teenager
— vosky used to play for ska’s junior team and had represented russia in u16, u17 (twice) and u18 worlds and he’s in the national team bc he’s a brilliant playmaker and his wristers are fuckin dirty like damn
— he’s a forward and he likes playing right wing the most but makes a decent center too!! he shoots right and his stick has the weirdest curve like everyone chirps him about it
— he didn’t get to play a lot in tennessee because he hopped into college hockey like two years after they moved and then he was drafted to the sharks!!! he went first round too my baby!!! i’m so proud!!!!
— he played in the minors for like, half a season and then got brought up due to injuries in the roster, and he had an okay rookie season like it could’ve been better but he produced good plays and solid goals and he’s a shootout king i swear
— despite his family being well off, they didn’t exactly support his hockey bc vosky has always been shifty af, like his interests when he was a kid went from 0 to 100 and back to 0 real fast, so like, he played with second hand gear a lot growing up because his parents didn’t want to put too much money into hockey in case vosky decided to quit, and that has lead to him being so whatever with his gear like the equipment guys HATE HIM bc he’s always like ehhh whatever and doesn’t have preferences other than his stick
— we all know vosky is matty’s best friend but he actually made friends with leon first!!! or considered himself to be leon’s friend while leon considered him to be a fuckin pain in the ass
— just because vosky has a nutrition plan doesn’t mean he’s following it..... he’s literally always snacking, like, anything as long as it’s available and snackable! grapes, cookies, mints (i knOW), berries, chips, DRIED BUGs..... just anything that’s in a bag/box he can shove his hand into
— he’s quite lanky and lean, and he likes being half naked most of the time so there are lots of awkward photos of him circulating on the internet.... the fans make fun of him for not growing into his frame yet but spoiler: he never will!!! he looks so well proportioned in hockey gear and then when he strips all that off...... who is this CHILD???
— he’s not the strongest on the team but he’s a scurry little fucker like he’s fast af with his head AND his feet and most importantly his fists lol
— not a big fighter tho, but he’s had his hockey fights!! despite his size he has good reach, quick hands and he can sike a motherfucker out like no one else
— vosky is not insensitive but he’s like... so oblivious to things?? it’s almost like he isn’t aware of differences and doesn’t understand that ie being gay could get you bullied, he’s just like ur gay? ok but did you get me my cookies?
— he’s like a good bad ycp rep too lol like holtby’s always rolling his eyes at him bc while he truly supports the cause, his speeches and statements can be a bit ummMmMmm aggressive and his things are always littered with russian and he calls homophobes tits in russian
— uses rainbow laces on his skates ❤️😩
— once the team didn’t have an away jersey with his name because of a mistake and he didn’t want to be a bother bc it was their second game of a back-to-back and they were in the middle of a losing streak and everyone was tired and grumpy so he used duct tape to write his name (it was ridiculous because he did the first letters too big so it was like... two rows of letters) and number on the back of a blank jersey, and no one noticed until he was already on ice and the equipment guys went livid and got him a correct jersey by the second period but it was a good laugh
— constantly mocks leon and matty and brings up all their weird hotel room shenanigans he had to endure while he was rooming with matty before they got together
— leon proposed but not before panicking a full seven months about it to vosky like, i’m talking like daily freakouts via text, worried calls at 3am (”what if he doesn’t love me!!!” ”dude you guys have been together for like four years, i think you’re ok”) and finally ring shopping and naturally he was leon’s bestman and while they were standing around waiting for the wedding to start vosky had sour patch kids in his pockets and offered them for leon to try to get him to chill
— has the weirdest accent like he studied english big time when he was still living in russia (his parents figured he’d value good english skills later in life) but then he lived in tennessee and picked up a lowkey country accent like y’all..... 
— vosky’s parents still live in tennessee and they have five borzois and his mum is a dog show enthusiast so they’ve had borzois as long as vosky can remember!! he loves em a lot and he gets his own dog after buying a house in seattle except he gets a fuckin caucasian shepherd that’s called TINY except he weighs like 155lbs..... tiny is the chillest boy ever and whenever vosky is out of town his neighbours look after tiny and their kids love tiny a lot
— his team thinks it’s ridiculous that he has such a huge dog so when he comes across this russian toy rescue at the local dog shelter he donates food and vet services for, he adopts her IMMEDIATELY!!! her name is originally CASS but vosky calls her lady cassandra a lot bc she a princess and a diva and hates everyone except leon for some reason
— the most obnoxious texter ever!!!! and he sends memes all the time!!! addicted to snapchat filters!!! livetweets dumb everyday events like getting lunch with matty and putting ikea furniture together etc
— LOVES KERFY!!!! SO MUCH!!!!!! kerfy’s his center 😩 and best pal.... sometimes coach be yelling at vosky like LEAVE THAT TO THE D when he goes after guys who go after kerfy!!! god like 90% of his career fights in kraken have been bc someone hit kerfy lol
— vosky and kerfy’s go to karaoke song is don’t you want me bABY OOO-Oo-ooOoOoh literally sing that everytime they go out and get mad drunk (tbh not even that mad like they’ve performed that shit sober too)
— big ovi fan and defs did not skate into the glass first time the sharks played the caps and he realised he was on ice with the great eight..... ovi complimented him once in a pregame interview when vosky was leading the goals stats by like two goals over ovi and vosky has that clip on his phone and he shows it to people all the time
— vosky is a basic bitch his favourite pizza is margharita, he loves a pumpkin spice latte and is on first name basis with all the regular baristas at the coffee shop closest ro the rink, and he watches real housewives (all of them) religiously
— literally does not care how he dresses ??? he never shops by himself so most of his clothes were picked out by girlfriends and like, all of his clothes fit and look good on him, it’s just that.... combining them into outifts...... catch him like wearing sweats tucked into trendy socks and shower sandals but with a button down shirt and a cap... somehow he still looks good ??
— he’s so attractive though like he’s is clearly eastern european, soft eyes but kinda intense bone structure and an odd nose, and he’s unable to grow a real beard so he keeps it clean, and he’s got a messy mop of dark hair on top of his head
— when they win their first cup as the seattle kraken vosky gets a tramp stamp tattoo that says ”stanley cup champion” and when he wins olympic gold he adds above it ”olympic gold medalist” i’m cryin and he’s actually PROUD OF THE TATTOOs
— he loses four of his front teeth in overtime of game seven of the stanley cup finals when they’re about to win their second cup and it goes like this: a huge scrum happening in front of the goals and vosky goes down and sees the puck and pokes it into the goal with his stick but someone smashes his fuckin jaw in with their stick (it’s an accident tho) but then he goals horn blares and it’s fucking over and vosky’s scored the game winning goals and his teeth are gone and mouth bloody and they cheer like mofos while leon’s being a responsible captain and picking all four of vosky’s teeth from the ice
i’m So Sorry this got away from me
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crimsonrae · 2 years ago
Across the Road, At the Brothel
Chapter Twelve
Summary: Jaskier fell in love any day that the sun rose in the East. It was a trifling, pleasurable experience for him. Even when he was jumping out a window to avoid cuckolded husbands. So what happens when his trifles start to become more significant? Jaskier/OC. Some Yennefer/Geralt
A/N: Jaskier is just too adorable not to write about. This is a relationship development story with an OC. There will be smut in later chapters and plenty of angst. Okay, so this chapter is a bit of filler to get to the next plot point and character development. Bear with me and apologies for any grammatical mistakes I didn't have time to do a thorough vetting of this chapter. Thank you for all your support, I love hearing from you guys. Please enjoy.
Rating: Mature
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Jade Eyes and Trees
The chill from the creek water was both refreshing and uncomfortable. Geralt held in a hiss as the frigid current rushed almost too harshly against his new and healing wounds. He wouldn't deny it felt good to remove the blood and grime from his skin, but he rather wished he had been able to do so in a warm bath. He washed quickly, not wanting to be caught in a vulnerable position. It mattered little to the witcher that Lyrra had proven herself to be a friend, he was still out in the open and despite his capabilities the years of surviving alone had his instincts screaming to move quickly. It didn't help that the cottage had a steady stream of strangers due to him stupidly walking into an unknown situation unprepared. He doubted the man who had attempted to save him would have been so direly wounded had Geralt brought more than a dagger with him. It had been careless and stupid, an act of hubris, and not one that he was typically prone to. Cold water was more than he deserved.
Grunting quietly, he gingerly removed the bandages from his shoulder and rinsed the wound. The skin had broken open slightly. Not as bad as it could have been, but still annoying. His movements felt sluggish in their haste and he bit back another hiss when he slipped against the bank of the creek.
A scowl painted his mien as he pulled himself out of the water and to his clothes. He didn't bother drying properly and instead yanked on his trousers and boots before sliding his dagger into his boot and another in his belt. A thin stream of blood began to trickle down his chest at his sharp movements which only deepened his scowl as he caught the faint scent of jasmine and cedar.
"I thought I told you to rest." Geralt paused in his movements and arched a brow as he turned to look over his shoulder. Lyrra stood only a few feet away, hidden by the shadows of a tree, but he still saw her. What bothered him was that he hadn't heard her approach.
She met his glare with a raised brow, "You were under the impression that I would listen?"
His glower turned exasperated as he briefly thought of how perfect she and Jaskier were for each other, "I don't need a nursemaid."
Lyrra bit back a smile as she drew closer, "What can I say, I'm a worrier."
Geralt sent her a disbelieving look before laying out the bandages and a small rag he had taken from her cottage. His shoulder wound had already clotted, but his chest was still stained with his blood and would only get worse once he applied his healing poultice. Lyrra stepped just within arm's reach and he barely graced a look to her open palm before sighing and nodding to a bag behind him, "Grab the balm inside."
He ignored the rustling behind him as Lyrra did as he bid, he noted that even that soft sound was almost nonexistent. Briefly, the thought crossed his mind that she had made noise on purpose, instinct told him that she could have removed his supplies without him being any the wiser if she so chose. The thought mulled about as she snagged his rag. Geralt sighed quietly but leaned back to give her space as she tended to his shoulder. Admittedly, the process went quicker when it was done by another set of hands, but he wasn't inclined to admit it.
He raised a brow at her as she finished tightening the bandage and handed him his shirt, "Happy?"
"Ecstatic." Lyrra intoned back with that same dry tone.
She avoided his awaiting gaze and barely kept from fidgeting as he remained silent. Geralt wasn't stupid and he was patient. Something was on the former Princess's mind, other than his wound-care. Her grey eyes flickered to his golden stare before darting away again. Where he had grown used to Jaskier prattling incessantly to fill these silences, Lyrra seemed to be more inclined to endure it.
At least until he began gathering his things together. A shuddering breath escaped her and he turned his awaiting gaze back to her face. Lyrra's mouth moved silently for a second before halting words flowed forth, "The creatures... from the Croorey House... if there are no further ones up there, Glynedol should be safe, correct?"
Geralt tilted his head as he studied her, he had the suspicion that her inquiry had different motives than the town's safety. Slowly, he gave a nod, "As safe as it's ever been anyway."
"Would that mean your business is finished here?" She asked softly, her grey gaze flickering away from his again.
Geralt blinked, "Should it be?"
He wouldn't be surprised if the locals were pushing for his departure. It wouldn't be the first time his presence had been ill-tolerated... Except his presence had been chiefly ignored in Glynedol. He had been given a few suspicious looks from a local or two, but most had level a measuring eye to him, sniffed, and then moved on with their business as if he were no more a burden than a traveling merchant.
Lyrra seemed to sense his line of thought as she grimaced faintly, "No one's demanding you leave. It's just your wound actually isn't too far from healing fully; despite the new collection of bruises you've acquired. You mentioned you'd stay as long as it took for you to heal..."
"I also said I would stay until your attacker wasn't a concern." He reminded her as he tugged his bag over his shoulder, "It's been a week and I'm not satisfied with your training progress."
Lyrra rolled her eyes and muttered something about overprotective idiots in Elder under her breath. Flushing faintly when he responded in kind about stubborn princesses.
She hummed curiously, "How many languages do you know?"
"Enough." Geralt grumbled quietly, "As for overprotective – will I get that lament when I tell you not to go to the Croorey House tomorrow?"
"Yes." Lyrra huffed with a light glare, "And I'm going anyway."
The witcher frowned, "It's dangerous."
"So's waking up, yet I do that too." Lyrra mouthed petulantly and he was tempted to smack her upside the head or make her go through a training drill.
He breathed out through his nose and began to meander back up the pathway to the cottage, "You're not going by yourself."
Another huff reached his ears, but no protest followed his words. He wasn't sure if that meant she was agreeing to his terms or was merely placating him. It didn't much matter either way. He stood by his statement; he wouldn't let her up there alone.
                                    »»————-  ————-««
"Two hundred crown?" Jaskier grimaced as he looked about the cozy little inn the dice tournament was taking place. There were, maybe, thirty other potential gamblers present, surely the entry fee shouldn't be so high for this motley little crew, "Bit extreme, don't you think?"
A pallid man with wireframe rims that seem to extended passed his nose near to his mouth frowned unimpressed at the bard, "Two hundred is the buy-in. If you don't have the coin then piss off."
Jaskier scowled churlishly as he handed over his coin purse, suddenly glad he had paid for his room and board before entering the tournament. Now, he just hoped he didn't lose it all.
Wireframes handed him a green tassel to mark him as one of the players. He pulled the soft fabric through his fingers as he meandered away from the entry table. Lazily, his azure gaze flicked about the room as he took in others waiting to add themselves to the tournament and those who had already gained their green tassels. Strangely, he noted there were more than a few noblemen participating. At least Jaskier assumed they were noblemen based on the expensive cut of their clothing. Actually...
Jaskier spun languidly on his heel as he realized there weren't many who didn't look like they had a fair amount of coin... To be fair, he supposed, the buy-in for the tournament was a little extravagant, but not wholly unattainable. It did make him pause; however, he did not want to end up on the bad side of some landed gentry. Well, not through gambling anyway. Lords tended to hold grudges over lost money far fiercer than they did their wives.
"You look lost."
The bard startled slightly as a voice of warm honey breezed right by his ear. His head sharply turned more curious than alarmed, already rambling out, "No, I'm...uh..."
His words petered off as jade green eyes enraptured him and he felt a rush of air escape of his lungs as he murmured a soft, "Oh..."
The vixen before him smiled coyly. A dark lock of curly hair fell across her forehead and into her eyes and he wanted nothing more than to reach up and brush it away. She giggled lightly, "Oh?"
"Hello." He uttered, unblinkingly. His gaze devoured this woman's delicate features and smooth skin. She was stunning and he was caught unaware by the flow of arousal that suddenly spiraled through his veins, "I'm Jaskier."
A delighted trill seemed to purr from her mouth as she repeated his name, "Jaskier...Buttercup. How sweet. You're a bard."
Despite the fact that she hadn't paid him any true compliment, Jaskier's chest puffed up in diminutive pride as he replied, "I am, milady."
"Oh no, please... call me, Inara." She simpered prettily and reached out to trail her fingers lightly across the back of his hand.
Jaskier felt flushed at the contact and he swallowed tightly, suddenly unable to focus on anything other than the desirous fires that lit his veins. Somewhere a small voice screamed at him that something wasn't right, but he couldn't bring himself to listen. He nearly choked on his breath as he fought to remember how to form the words with which he made his livelihood. Finally, he managed to breathe out, "Inara..."
Her smile widened slightly in satisfaction as she proceeded to ask, "Do you sing as handsomely as you look?"
"I... uh... I." A clever retort danced at the tip of his tongue, but yet his struggle to remember how to make his voice work continued. As did the strange war of lust and hesitance waging inside him.
He was interrupted from further replying as Wire Frames made a call to the end of the participating entry. The small man's shrilly dull voice was enough to break his stare from the enchantress before him as his azure gaze swung briskly toward the front of the room. Instructions were being spoken of the tournament's rules and penalties for those caught cheating. Yet, the brief interlude was enough to cool the flames the mysterious Inara sparked.
Once again feeling in control of his faculties, Jaskier turned to address the lady but found that she had disappeared from his side. He searched almost wildly about the room but found only a man watching him intently from a far corner. He arched a curious brow but quickly followed the other gamblers into the main room. He felt unsettled and uncertain as he stood at the table for his first game.
What the fuck had he stumbled into?
                                 »»————-  ————-««
It was just before the light of day that Lyrra made her escape from the cottage. She pulled on her trousers and shirt next to the creek where she had found Geralt only hours previously. Her sleep had been restless as she listened to Nyria and Myer take turns watching over Tyllan thru the night. The old blacksmith had barely given Lyrra and Geralt a glance when he arrived, his focus firmly planted on his ailing son. Lyrra was still trying to determine if his current dismissal was boon or not – worried parents were an enigma to the former princess.
Biting back a sigh, she tugged her boots on and pulled a light vest over her shirt. She had briefly considered grabbing her headscarf and hat, but the Croorey House laid on a long-neglected path. There was only overgrowth and light forest between it and her cottage, no one would see her dressed so. She had tethered her hair into a long braid, but that was more for practicality than vanity. Once she deemed herself ready for the four-mile trek she set off at a brisk pace. She hoped to be back before the rest of her cottage's inhabitants broke their fasts for the day.
Of course, best-laid plans and all that... she was halfway to her destination when she realized she was being followed. She would have panicked, the thought of her attacker still lingered in the back of her mind, if it weren't for the fact that she had a decent idea of who exactly was following her. Holding in a quiet sigh, Lyrra made her steps as quiet as possible as she trekked onward.
The foliage around the path to the Croorey House began to thicken and she knew that it wouldn't be much longer until she reached the safehouse. Quickly, she stepped off the path and began to use the shadow of the trees for cover. Despite that Geralt had killed the creatures he had encountered in this area, even he had been hesitant to say that the fleder infestation was completely clear. It was why he hadn't wanted her to come up here alone. However, he didn't understand it was quicker for her to do her work when she had no one accompanying her. Also, she had the distinct impression that the hulking witcher was beginning to put the pieces of her past together and she wasn't quite ready to divulge any more about herself to him...or Jaskier.
A small pang of guilt and hurt continued to resound in her at the thought of the bard. Lyrra knew that he was giving her space, but she hadn't expected him to vanish completely. Yet, even that seemed unfair when she realized they had been parted for less than a day. Somehow, without his chatter or quiet strumming to fill the silence, it seemed like he had been gone for much longer. It uneased her how quickly she had become used to his presence...expected it even. She had to remind herself that his absence was a good thing, even though it was beginning to make her feel wretched.
All of this played through her mind as she swiftly ducked under branches and sidestepped small dips and burrows in the ground. An ominous quiet had fallen over the section of the forest she scurried through – she was close. Unthinkingly, Lyrra leapt and grasped a low hanging branch. She dangled for a moment and then took a deep breath before gently swinging her legs.
One swing.
Her hands lifted up slightly as her legs kicked back.
Two swings.
Again. she gained a little more height.
The momentum was enough for her to heave up on top of the branch before scaling a little higher. Her arms weren't nearly as shaky as she expected them to be. It had been a long time since she had performed any type of acrobatic feats, but then trying to hold a sword against a witcher was bound to reform her muscles. She had been tediously sore the first few days of Geralt's little training regime.
With a swiftness, she didn't quite feel, Lyrra jumped from one tree to the next until she was at the edge of the Croorey property. From the ground, the old house look liked a grouping dilapidated ruins and overgrown weeds. This had been done purposefully, a marker for those who knew what to look for, and an uninteresting spot for those who didn't. However, if one climbed high enough - as Lyrra had – the view of the Croorey House became much different.
Gone was the image of the old ruined site and its place stood a modest rock and log cabin and a well. Perfect for a person, maybe two, to stay in, but not much more than that. This could only be accessed from a specific spot to the North of the house.
Not too far from the entrance, the bodies of the slain fleders and bruxa lay rotting. Lyrra grimaced at the sight but tried to keep her sharp eyes focused on the windows of the cabin. She didn't want to enter the property if she didn't have to – despite setting off without the witcher, she actually was rather averse to violent danger and had a healthy respect for staying alive. She wouldn't chance to encounter one of the foul creatures below if she could help it.
So, she stood.
Quiet and watchful.
Looking for any hint of movement or life from inside.
She leapt to a nearby tree as nimbly as a squirrel and viewed the property from this new vantage point.
Again nothing.
She repeated this process a few more times, but encounter no sign of someone staying in the cabin. At least no human person. She had heard of fleders before and were fairly certain that they were creatures of the night... she would need to ask Geralt, but if that were the case then she may see no movement if these creatures were resting.
Sighing, she gingerly dropped to the ground and abruptly froze as she looked up into a pair of unimpressed golden eyes. She pursed her lips, suddenly feeling like a child caught stealing sweats before hesitantly asking while gesturing to the tree, "Heard me?"
"Smelled." Geralt grumbled.
Lyrra crinkled her nose in faint disgust, "That's lovely."
A faint hint of amusement shined in his gaze before he raised a brow at her, "Well?"
It took her a moment to understand what he was asking before she replied, "I saw no one, but it is light out now... those creatures? Are they nocturnal? They may be resting."
Geralt pondered her words. Fleders were sensitive to the sun, but that didn't necessarily preclude they'd be inside. He'd rather be thorough with his check of the property. He licked his lips, "How do I get past the illusion?"
Lyrra was silent a moment. She only knew of the Croorey House because of her need of it years ago, part of her felt like a snitch to divulge its secrets now. Yet, Geralt already knew so much, giving him the last of the secrets would likely do little harm, "There's an entrance to the north. You'll see a glimmer of blue light. Enter. That's how you get inside."
Geralt nodded and pulled his sword from its sheath. She noted for the first time he was more properly clothed for a fight than he had been last night. His leather armor still had a rent in it, however. She would have him take it to Hillard to be repaired when they returned.
"You will stay here, Lyrra." Geralt ordered with a dark look. He hadn't forgotten her disregard of his instruction not to come up here alone.
To his surprise, she nodded and leaned against the trunk of the tree she had disbanded from, "Alright. Just be careful. I don't think I could get you back to Nyria by myself."
He snorted at her but kept from commenting as he slipped silently from her side. Lyrra watched after him amount before she scaled the tree again, this time to watch his progress.
Geralt was quiet...more quiet than she expected for such a large man and fast. His speed did not surprise her as much. Training with him had allowed her to be on the receiving end of his speed far too often. She observed how he quickly located the glimmer and stepped past the illusion. He seemed to pause once he had entered the property and she didn't understand why until she found his golden gaze locked on her again. A shiver spurned down her back... this was the first time she became fully aware of what a predator the witcher truly was. She had never known someone to be so aware of their surroundings.
It was vaguely terrifying.
In all, it took him maybe ten minutes to clear the property, inside and out. A look of mild consternation coated his countenance as he returned to her. Lyrra raised a brow at him from her place on a branch as she reiterated his earlier question, "Well?"
Geralt glared speculatively at her before replying dismissively, "Nothing."
The witcher said nothing. His mind elsewhere as he started the walk back into Glynedol. Lyrra stared after him, perplexed before dropping to the ground a second time and running to catch up. She didn't understand. What did Geralt mean by nothing? Was there no sign that anyone had stayed there or just no one present?
She didn't ask, not sure how to frame her questions correctly to gain the maximum information. Geralt was hardly verbal at the best of times, something she didn't ordinarily mind, but now her inquiring mind wanted to know.
She finally parsed out what she would ask when they arrived in town, but it hardly mattered as she was instantly waylaid by Hillard and Owain. Both looked grim and she suddenly feared the worse had happened to Tyllan.
She tensed at their approach and felt more than saw Geralt do the same. Hillard was the one to start, "Lass..."
"Is he dead?" Lyrra asked quietly, not liking the awkward look on either man's face.
Hillard blanched for a moment in confusion before realization took him, "No, Tyllan's still bein' watched by Nyria and Myer. It's yer boy."
Hillard nodded, "He's left, lass."
Geralt stared intently at the barkeep over her shoulder, "What do you mean he left?"
The older man seemed to falter for a moment, having forgotten that the bard traveled with the witcher. Owain had no trouble taking over, "He mentioned somethin' about a tournament an' said he'd be back in a day or two."
"A tournament?" Lyrra muttered bemused as she tried to remember what the gossip in the Pine had been.
Geralt sounded weary as he asked, "A tournament where?"
"Bellhaven." Owain answered.
That made Lyrra's eyes spring wide. She cursed under her breath as she remembered what exact tournament the innkeeper spoke of, "The dice tournament?"
Owain shrugged and Hillard grimaced. It was all the answer that Lyrra needed as she rubbed tiredly at her face. When she looked up Geralt was watching her expectantly, "We need to go get him."
The witcher quirked a brow at her.
"Jaskier's about to be introduced to Toussaint's Syndicate." She all but mumbled.
Geralt stared at her for a moment before heaving a sigh and quietly cursing...Fuck.
Previous Chapter
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Spitefic (after a long break)
So, I don’t normally write Iron Man specific spitefics, but this one has bugged me for a long time. Another post about how not noticing Stark Weapons on the black market wasn’t Tony’s fault prompted me to put them together. Takes place some time between Iron Man 1 and 2 TW: Homophobia, Transphobia, hints of racism.
Tony left a devastated Rhodey in Pepper’s capable hands - she’d handled him as an incoherent mess enough times to get the details out of the good Colonel - and walked down to the lab, where he kept the hangover cures and the phone with the direct numbers of several people too high up to be bothered with calls from just anyone.
Rhodey had called Happy a few hours ago, asking for a ride. Happy Hogan, finding his boss’s bestie drunker than even Tony managed to get on the regular (a few epic benders nonwithstanding), panicked and took him back to Stark Tower, taking the direct elevator to Tony’s penthouse. Rhodey had been barely able to stand under his own power, and calling his speech ‘slurred’ would be a compliment to the unintelligible rambling pouring out of him like water from a fountain. It would be like comparing a fight between alley cats to the Gettysburg Address, even, and Tony liked his friend too much to do that to him.
The most Rhodey’ s friends had managed to extract was something about how his life was over and assholes who couldn’t keep their mouths shut.
Rhodey had been deployed on a flyover mission for the past week, perhaps something had happened there? The Military as a whole might be pissed at Tony Stark for halting his weapons division, but enough of them owed him favours that they should give him at least an outline of an answer. The General who picked up didn’t sound happy to hear from him, but agreed to send him a copy of the report.
Bringing his StarkPad with him, Tony headed back upstairs, skimming through the report as he went.
The mission itself had been routine, but there was a note about Colonel James Rhodes being called in for Disciplinary Action as soon as he landed, leaving the junior pilot who had been his wingman to deal with the report and debrief. That, from what little Tony understood of military protocol, was unusual in the extreme.
He emerged from the elevator to find Pepper and Happy talking in soft voices, concern clear on their faces and Rhodey nowhere to be seen. “Where did he go?”
Pepper sighed, “I put him in one of the guestrooms to sleep it off. He’s not in a good shape, in any respect.”
Tony nodded, relaxing a little. “Thanks. Which one, I brought aspirin and a hangover remedy.”
The look his girlfriend and driver exchanged didn’t fill him with confidence. Pepper took both from his hands. “Happy, will you take those in? I’ll explain matters here.”
Something a lot like relief flashed across Happy’s face, which didn’t make Tony any less suspicious. Or apprehensive, when he noticed the chill in Pepper’s eyes that only appeared when he really screwed up. Pepper folded her arms and aimed the full force of her disappointed frown at Tony.
He squirmed, trying to deflect. “All the General told me was that there was a Diciplinary meeting once he got back from the mission he was on.”
Pepper inclined her head, the frown not wavering an inch. “Colonel Rhodes received a dishonourable discharge, for conduct unbecoming and against the regulations of the US Military.”
Rhodey, discharged for dishonourable conduct?
How? Why? Rhodey was one of the most honourable and rule-abiding people that Tony knew! It made him a terrible spokesperson, since it was way too obvious when he was shading the truth, but an excellent leader. Why would anyone think that kicking him out was a good idea.
Tony spun on his heel and stalked back to his lab, ready to shout at whoever he had to in order to get this fixed. 
This time, the General was far less helpful. “I’m sorry, Mr Stark, there’s nothing we can do. He came out as having had homosexual relations, in front of a dozen personnel. Even if he did so with your support, we can’t hush that up now.”
With Tony’s support? A dozen personnel? Rhodey was tight-lipped about his personal life at the best of times...
Oh, shit!
Tony cleared his throat, sure that he could still pull a few strings. “Is this about what I said about Spring Break? That was just me trying to make Rhodey squirm and get the others to lighten up.”
He could practically hear the General shrug, and wondered if the slimy note in his voice was just the landline connection. “The only loophole would be if discharging him was against the best interest of the armed forces. While you were so closely connected with the Military, having your friend in charge of your itinerary was beneficial. Now that you’ve announced your decision to no longer sell weapons, however...”
The implications were clear, and Tony froze in place. He had finally had it rubbed in his face that selling deadly missiles to the highest bidder was a bad idea that got people killed. Until he discovered whether Stayne had been working alone in his blackmarket dealings, he couldn’t risk adding more blood to the flood that already stained his hands.
The General hung up before Tony collected himself enough to reply, and Happy stuck his head in. “Hey, Boss, there’s a lady here asking for Rhodey.”
Oh, what now? Tony went down to meet the mystery woman, who turned out to be a tall blonde with a faint accent and rather more muscles than Tony was used to seeing on a woman. The angry, narrow-eyed glare that she aimed at him was less unfamiliar, though Tony didn’.t remember sleeping with this one.
The elevator dinged again before the newly-minted Iron Man could put his foot in his mouth, and they both turned to see Rhodey emerge, looking only marginally better than when he arrived. The woman pushed past Tony and ran to his side, slinging Rhodey’s arm over her shoulder, supporting him and earning the faintest of smiles. “Thanks, babe.”
The woman pressed a light kiss against his cheek. “I have a few friends who let me know whenever someone falls victim to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Figured it was the least I can do, since it’s indirectly my fault.”
The pieces clicked together. 
Tony had left out most of the details about that particular spring break, like how Ivan was actually Ivana, who moonlighted as an escort to pay off her Top Surgery medical bills and save for Transition. She’d thrown her drink in Tony’s face when he misgendered her one too many times, which resulted in her date of the night starting a brawl (Tony still wasn’t sure if he’d been actually unaware or just pretending, and they’d both vanished by the time Tony returned from changing his shirt. Rhodey hadn’t mentioned Ivan/Ivana again, and Tony assumed that it had been a one night stand, or a drunken make-out, or something.
Apparently, Rhodey had just applied his legendary discretion to his own relationship, and had very specifically not told Tony. In hindsight, of course, Tony couldn’t blame him, especially not now.
Rhodey paused for a moment on his way out. “Tony, I know what High Command asked for in exchange for not discharging me, and I know that you make bad decisions when you feel guilty. This time, don’t. I won’t be responsible for more deaths than I have to be.”
Ivana squeezed the arm that she had wrapped around Rhodey’s waist. “There’s a network, matching discharged vets with more open-minded businesses. It’ll be ok.”
Maybe Rhodey would be ok, but it wouldn’t be any thanks to Tony. 
Perhaps it was time to take Pepper’s advice and talk to a behaviour therapist, instead of blurting out whatever glib witticism popped into his head.
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punkscowardschampions · 2 years ago
Saint & Leilani
Saint: How's it going? 🙂 Leilani: it's going as expected Saint: I know how to answer questions without saying anything, remember Saint: you can't fool me Leilani: I was relying on the 😇 thing to do being you pretending you believed me Saint: You'd think so, but the issue lies in if that would require me to leave you in discomfort Saint: which would be nothing but the worst manners Saint: okay, what's one thing that's been okay and what's one thing that I could help make a bit better? Leilani: the kids are extremely adorable in their costumes, I'm in support of that Leilani: & how many of the grown ups decided to go in on this too Leilani: but maybe I was hoping you were that kind of big brother & your other sisters & brothers weren't as young as they are Saint: The majority love an event, that's true Saint: I don't know if it's a genetic thing or a cultural, but it's always been like this Saint: I'm sure the twins would have you know they're very mature for their age Saint: 🤔 how about I introduce you to Mattie? Saint: She's about your age Leilani: 😅 yeah I'm considering taking one of them with me since you already made the offer Leilani: she's Jay's sister, right? Saint: Correct Saint: she's similarly more chilled out too Saint: maybe less adorable than the kids but she shouldn't object to hanging out, kidnap might be a step too far tonight but Leilani: I don't know, it's a good costume, some people would still say adorable Saint: 😅 Saint: a good opener Leilani: thanks, I'll use it Saint: 👍 have fun Saint: let me know what you think, and if I need to get my wings into gear and do more Leilani: [pretend she's been chatting to her for ages because I feel like they'd get on, soz she don't go to your school hun] Leilani: I am now so I guess your wings won't be falling off Saint: [always the way, at least you will have an ally at these functions] Saint: 😁😁😁 Leilani: take a 🍭 Saint: 😏 More counterintuitive than the sticker ⭐ Saint: definitely finding you a new dream before you wreck the 🦷 of every kid in Dublin just to fix them again Saint: very 😈 of you Leilani: 😅😅 Leilani: maybe I'll become a vet if Grace agrees to the 🐱 Saint: What about the 🩸? Saint: though you seem to cope with the fake Leilani: oh yeah.... Leilani: I was only thinking about the 😁 parts again Saint: I do hate to be the 🌧 on your parade... Saint: it's pretty adorable how 🌤 you are Leilani: but you do need to step in there before I fully commit & get genuinely 🩸 splattered Saint: I can promise that without feeling I'm giving you unfair expectations Leilani: it'd be awkward if you had to take that costume off on account of being 😈 Saint: it really would Saint: the feathers aren't leaving much to the imagination as is 😬 Saint: no one wants that Leilani: you're not 👶🏽 enough to be running around without clothes Saint: Ahh Saint: so tough being the oldest Saint: suppose I should leave some 🍭 🍬 🍫 for the kids too? Leilani: I can't promise to fix your 🦷 either way Saint: I'll make sure to brush well tonight when I'm defeathering in the privacy of my own room Saint: I like your ears, by the way Leilani: I'll resist the urge to come & watch over you since you're the one who can fly & I'll never be a qualified dentist Leilani: thanks, I keep forgetting they're there so for a moment that was an unusual compliment Saint: I'll send you a picture if you like Saint: for evidence Saint: I'm sure your real ears are lovely too 😂 Leilani: what am I supposed to send you a picture back of, in line with you wanting to work for the government? Leilani: like, I could salute but that's getting into a weird girl guide territory Leilani: & I've never been camping Saint: Oh dear Saint: the less pictures I have of underage girls the better, I think Saint: too young for the scandal yet but best to start as I mean to go on Saint: my family aren't big campers, if you can believe it Saint: but I've been with my grandma, and for this young leaders thing I did last year Leilani: I probably shouldn't fill my phone with pictures of older boy's dazzling teeth either, my mum is very overprotective Leilani: was, I mean Leilani: maybe she'd come back & haunt me Saint: Potentially Saint: though I can try to assure her and you my teeth are not at all predatory, this might not come across as sincere with my pearly whites 😁😬 Leilani: if your teeth are harmless, you might need a dentist sooner than I could become one Saint: 🧛 gotcha Saint: okay, so not harmless, but your neck is safe Leilani: why do they bite their victims somewhere literally everyone can see? Leilani: I'd be more secretive if my goal was to live undetected forever in some moody castle Saint: You can cross vampire off your list too, you're clearly overqualified Saint: I think it's about that sweet, sweet jugular vein but there's plenty of others that are less of a Saint: 'look what I did' Leilani: maybe whoever wrote the 1st 🧛📕 didn't want to commit to going under the clothes Leilani: it was racy stuff already Saint: also potential code for same-sex relationships? Saint: but what wasn't 😅 Leilani: is Dracula gay? Leilani: good for him Saint: I think so? Saint: Unless I'm confusing my classics Leilani: I haven't read it before & I feel like if I do now everyone will think I'm going goth Saint: Not an impression you want to make? Leilani: not really Leilani: 🌤  > 🌧 Saint: we'll keep it secret or off the reading list Leilani: first rule of our new book club? okay Saint: You can think of the 2nd Leilani: there has to be some kind of limit on length, War & Peace is too heavy in every way Saint: which brings us nicely to rule number three then Saint: no Russian literature Leilani: 😅 Saint: but I'll leave it with the rules for now, this is a party after-all Saint: would you like a drink? Leilani: what can you offer me that's 🧃? Saint: [so the pub, 'cos always the pub, probably doesn't have sassy mocktails 'cos not the vibe but he can go make her one] Saint: any major allergies or dislikes I need to know? Leilani: no Leilani: you've got total freedom Saint: I like the sound of that Leilani: what are you drinking? Saint: [probably red wine, you seem the type, not getting crunk] Saint: 🍷 Saint: 🧛 of me Leilani: if you're coming out to me atm you have my unconditional love & support Saint: 😅 Saint: Thank you Saint: unnecessary but appreciated Leilani: oh then you want to do the most with the teeth cleaning for the pics you're sending later Leilani: I'm not 😤 Saint: As much as the before and after would be impressive Saint: you might feel a bit 🤢 Leilani: I've set myself up as way too squeamish here, I don't like the sound of that Leilani: I'm not like 🥀 Saint: it's your story to tell Saint: though I wouldn't accuse you of being a wilting wallflower type, for the record Leilani: please don't accuse me of anything on the record 😅 I'm not a Lolita type either Leilani: I haven't even had a boyfriend yet Saint: I think painting myself as that unreliable of a narrator would really undermine my public persona and the trust I aim to inspire Saint: is that purely because of having a protective mum or did your own thoughts and feelings come into that too? Saint: plus, technically, Nabokov was Russian, I don't know if we can read it? 🤔 Leilani: the behaviour of many boys my age came into it too Leilani: but maybe they'll be different at this school, your sister did say we're uncultured at my old one Saint: I can see that Saint: When did she say that? Leilani: 💬📱 Saint: 😕 Oh Saint: she can be quite Saint: blunt Leilani: it's okay, I know Saint: She doesn't always think before she speaks, which is definitely a bad habit Saint: but I'm sure she didn't mean that to sound so...that Leilani: I'm sure she put more than enough thought into everything she said Saint: I'm sorry Saint: I would talk to her, see why you got off on the wrong foot but I'm not so out of touch to not realize that would potentially do more harm than good Saint: I think she's insecure, for context, she didn't get into the school she wanted to go to Leilani: I know why, but I'm not sure I would've been able to approach it differently, even if I should've Saint: Is it strictly girl's business? Leilani: what does that even mean, St? 🤔 Saint: Well Saint: code for none of my business perhaps Saint: in this instance, at least Leilani: it's not becos you're a boy, it's becos you're her brother Saint: Okay Saint: if it helps, I know how she can be, and it's not because of you, it's a her thing Leilani: it doesn't help but that's more becos you tried to tell me how she could be & I rose to it anyway Saint: I could've been clearer Saint: I didn't want to seem like I was insinuating you couldn't talk to her, or something like that Saint: and I don't want to talk badly about anyone, even if it is at times warranted, she's not, you know Saint: 👿 Leilani: I found out for myself, that's the fairest way Leilani: & I'm sure I overreacted once I was 😤 Saint: I know it would make this easier, if you were to get on Saint: but just know you're under no obligation to Saint: with any of us Saint: if nothing else, I can assure she'll give you a wide berth if she has nothing pleasant to say Leilani: maybe we will in the 2nd attempt Leilani: my moods are all over Saint: Now that is girl stuff, correct? 😏 Saint: it's very possible Leilani: that's getting into weird 🧛 territory Leilani: I meant becos I'm 💣💥 by grief not being a girl Saint: Joke in poor taste at the expense of your hormones Saint: 🤐 Leilani: becos I'm a girl is never an excuse for anything, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie I have read some of Saint: My sincerest apologies Saint: you'll have to educate me Leilani: thank god for book club Leilani: you're fine though, losing my mum isn't an excuse either according to your sister Saint: She really said that? Leilani: yeah but she's just the 1st, I don't think she'll be the only Saint: But that's just Saint: bullshit Leilani: she doesn't think so, she built an entire argument around it Saint: even if you were using it as an excuse, which I see no evidence of Saint: it's a pretty valid one Saint: and it's just so Saint: callous to even suggest that, never mind assert it Leilani: it's about her, I dared to say she shouldn't make fun of Grace & by extension treat all of you badly Saint: That is a sensitive topic for her Saint: but still Saint: THAT is no excuse to behave like that Leilani: she's been looking at me like she's got every reason to be 😤 Leilani: 🙏 we're not face to face 🗨 Saint: I'll distract her Leilani: 😇 Saint: [do so boy, soz to you lol, sure she's being a delight] Leilani: [do the salute you're not gonna send him a picture of lol] Saint: [casually meet eyes over this party moment] Leilani: [what a #mood] Saint: [honestly Venus can leave early anyway we all know why you're here and you probably have somewhere else to be hoeing it up] Leilani: [yeah exactly, as much as I hate that you're like this, we know it's real] Leilani: thanks Saint: no problem Saint: I learnt not to bite a long time ago 🎣 Saint: not that that's on you, but you know what I mean, diplomacy is my friend Leilani: does she know she's helping you in your career goals? Saint: I have to assume not Saint: unless she thinks I need a running mate 😨😅 Leilani: in that costume, it'd be a stretch to 💭 that Saint: Don't even get me started on that Leilani: if you don't want to drop your workout secrets that's your choice Saint: Oh no, I was talking about hers, sorry Saint: she's really gone with the Elle Woods thing...which is just a bit strange Saint: dad's a lawyer so Saint: yeah Leilani: oh... Leilani: an extra dimension has been added Leilani: I thought she was going with Regina George Saint: easy mistake to make Saint: sure she'd say as much if I said anything Leilani: she'd say worse about both of ours probably Saint: she got her 🎁 she should be in a good mood now Leilani: why is she getting 🎁 on your dad's birthday? Saint: Right, you're an only child Saint: when you're little, and you went to birthday parties, did you ever get mad that you weren't getting any gifts or attention? Saint: it's that Leilani: I can't relate Saint: What did you and your mum do for your birthdays as a kid? Leilani: she liked to throw me a party, on theme for whatever I was super into that year Leilani: smaller scale than this but all my friends would be there Saint: Sounds like a good time Leilani: it was Leilani: what did you do? Saint: My birthday is Christmas day Saint: 💔 Leilani: I'm sorry Saint: 😅 It's not really that bad Saint: it would be if you minded Saint: but I still get presents and to see all the family so Leilani: I still feel like I should buy you a 🎁 in the summer Saint: that's when I'd have parties with friends as a kid Leilani: you don't have those parties any more? Saint: Not really my scene now Saint: I'm alright with Vee claiming that kind of attention Saint: I usually get dinner with friends as close to my birthday as we can without all the office parties being out in full force Leilani: 🍷 Leilani: very you Saint: Is that my branding? Leilani: would you like a rebrand? Saint: I'm not 😤 Saint: just curious about your 💭 Leilani: it's very blood of christ 😇🙏 Leilani: so fitting Saint: That wine is very bad though Saint: 😝 Leilani: maybe they don't want to promote 🧛 Leilani: if you drank my blood it probably wouldn't taste nice Saint: Why not? Saint: Not admitting a desire to do so with that Leilani: I don't know becos it's 🩸? Saint: 😂 Saint: Fair point Saint: just wanted to see how you'd put me off yours specifically Leilani: we'd circle back to me being underage Saint: do you think vampires ask for identification first? Leilani: no, but in this case you know how old I am Saint: I'm not going to suck your blood Saint: you have my word Saint: and I invited your here, sort of Saint: you'd have to invite me in Leilani: ignoring that being what someone who was about to drain me would say, you must've been to Grace's house before Saint: Probably? Saint: not as if I'd have much call to be there though Leilani: I'm honoured that you're looking for an invite now Saint: I never said that Leilani: 🤔 Saint: I said you would have to invite me over if I were to go all 🧛 Saint: so you're perfectly safe here and now Leilani: [giving him a look like okay boy] Saint: [little lol like okay fair enough] Leilani: [a smile back, excuse us everyone] Saint: [i'm like who a nosy hoe here 'cos I'd be 👀] Leilani: [well Astrid would just say it and we know she's there LOL] Saint: [truuu but she is an innocent soul so she probably just thinks he's being more friendly than his face usually suggests lol] Leilani: [I like to think the twins know what's up, they're sassy] Saint: [be those cheeky children who embarrass you] Leilani: [definitely & Matilda is probably 👀 on this vibe] Saint: [is cute] Leilani: [love that you're being less serious rn sir] Saint: [it's out of character enough to be a Thing™ like he's not a dick but he doesn't have to go this hard for anyone in the fam like protection, caring mode obvs so it'd be like oh hey] Leilani: [enjoy that fam, I know some of you adults are nosy hoes] Saint: [lol the goss, god bless] Leilani: what did you put in this drink? Saint: What? Saint: Nothing? Leilani: no, I mean like ingredients Leilani: it's nice Saint: Oh Saint: [whatever sassy concoction we've made 'cos you'd have that knowledge even if you don't party that hard 'cos Ruster kid] Leilani: 😄 Saint: you like it? Leilani: it's delicious Saint: 😁👍 Saint: Do I get a sticker now? Leilani: yeah Leilani: & more 🍭🍬🍫 Saint: the kids are gonna hate me Saint: better share or get mobbed Leilani: I could just invite you over to eat what the trick or treaters didn't before we got here, you know Leilani: keep you 😇 Saint: You really want to secure my spot in heaven Saint: My acceptance would hugely depend on what 🍭🍬🍫 was on offer Leilani: [the list of everything Grace bought and we know she's extra so] Leilani: so you see, I'm thinking of my own 😁 Saint: Did she expect the whole of town to show up or? Saint: I better intervene before you look like a 👶/👵 depending on how you think about it Leilani: 😅😅 Leilani: I think she's expecting me to eat my feelings Saint: Nice to have the option Saint: perhaps not at the detriment to your 🦷 or 🩸 sugar though Leilani: we'll pretend midnight snacks don't count Saint: No calories after midnight, everyone knows that Leilani: the later it gets, the less there are? Leilani: becos we'll definitely still be here later than that Saint: Might even get to breakfast Saint: what would you have then if calories didn't exist? Leilani: for breakfast? Saint: Yes Leilani: 🥞🍨🍓🍫🍒 Saint: Well that just sounds 😇😇🤤 Saint: Perhaps we can go make that happen when we finally leave Saint: or will Grace object, take on that protective role fully Leilani: taking advantage of her fear of overstepping isn't very 😇 but it is honest Leilani: & this isn't a date date Saint: Not my intention, though if you think that would be a direct impact then perhaps we shouldn't Leilani: it's okay, it's just breakfast Leilani: the calories don't even count so it can't hurt Saint: It is Saint: I wouldn't want anyone to think differently Leilani: start as you mean to go on, I recall it Saint: I mean Saint: that wouldn't be right, would it Leilani: if people think something else is happening to what is, it's easy enough to set them straight Saint: Why would they even think that Leilani: retro 💭 Leilani: you can't spend time with anyone of the opposite sex unless they're interested in the same or you're interested in them Saint: It's just ridiculous Leilani: yeah, but you are 😇 & the fittest so I can't blame people for thinking I would be Saint: I assume people would think that's the last thing on your mind Saint: but maybe I'm giving too much credit Saint: most conversations seem to end up back to when am I going to get another girlfriend Leilani: that joke you made about my girly hormones works for my age too Leilani: especially becos I haven't had a boyfriend Saint: 🙄 Saint: It isn't the be-all-end-all Saint: trust me Leilani: not a classics 📚 way of thinking Leilani: if this was Russian Lit you'd die for her Saint: that's why their particular brand of melodrama is banned Saint: and 'she' doesn't currently exist, as I said, unless you'd like me to pledge my undying, unwavering love to the idea of women in general Saint: I can knock up a speech now Leilani: sounds like fun Leilani: go ahead Saint: 😅 Leilani: not the answer you wanted? Leilani: if you offer me a speech, I'm gonna say yes Saint: I need some time to write it Saint: I also need to find a pen Leilani: [hands him a pen in a sassy manner because she would have a handbag with this outfit] Saint: [the ultimate cliche of lingering when you take something lol] Leilani: [when you can't keep the sass up cos you gotta smile at him again like...I love to think about everyone watching this] Saint: [obviously we're smiling back and being all bashful like gotta go find some paper] Leilani: [looking in that handbag for something he could write on but there's nothing because she's not that hoe carrying everything but the kitchen sink so a cute 🤷🏾 like soz] Saint: [go find a napkin to write this speech about love and womens on then find her and give it to her and hope no one else reads it 'cos that is pure flirtation if I ever saw it] Leilani: [we're keeping that napkin hens & soz Matty even though we BFFs you're not reading it luv] Leilani: okay, I'd vote for you 🗳 Saint: [not explaining that inside joke hun we have no time sorry] Saint: That's all I really wanted from you, naturally Saint: 😈 Leilani: I'm naturally powerless to do anything but swoon, we've gone full classics now Leilani: you got what you really wanted there Saint: Having you powerless to my every whim and will sounds like another genre than classic to me Saint: unless you'd like to state your case for 50 Shades Leilani: 😅 I need to read it 1st Leilani: so thanks if you're choosing it for book club Saint: Top of my reading list, I just needed the excuse 😏 Leilani: isn't there like a whole series? Leilani: you'd know Saint: I officially decline to add that to my brand, thank you Leilani: I get why, you're angry she wrote out the vampires, obviously Saint: Precisely Saint: What kind of discrimination... Leilani: [a lil irl lol like peeps aren't getting enough of a show with this] Saint: [😍] Leilani: [I hope you're re-reading that napkin or talking to your bff right then cos if you see them 😍 you'll die] Saint: Who's costume do you think would win? Leilani: your dad's Leilani: the birthday boy has to win Saint: just because it's his birthday or Leilani: yeah, Grace's is the best Leilani: I chose it for her Saint: 😅 If you do say so yourself then Leilani: if you're arguing it's becos you want me to hype up yours more Leilani: she looks amazing Saint: I'm simply saying on your 2nd go you and Vee should get on like a house on fire Leilani: 😧 Saint: It's not a bad thing Leilani: 🤔 Leilani: okay, who do you think should win? Saint: You have things in common, is the point Saint: I don't know, the kids are probably the most imaginative Leilani: what things? Saint: 💅💄👗 and thinking you're very good at them Leilani: I think I did a good job at picking her specific outfit tonight Leilani: you don't have to say it like it's a bad thing Saint: I didn't Saint: I specifically said it wasn't Leilani: sure Saint: I'm sorry if that's how you took it Leilani: I'm sorry if that's what I look like to you Saint: What, interested in how they present themselves? Saint: I don't see why you'd apologize for that Leilani: up themselves Saint: I didn't say that Leilani: I don't know how else you expect me to take thinking I'm very good at something Leilani: you didn't even say I was very good at it Saint: Does it matter what I think? Leilani: not if it's that I have an ego the size of your sister's Saint: I meant it as a good thing Saint: I don't know what else to tell you Leilani: I don't know what else to tell you other than that's not how I took it Saint: And I said sorry so that's that Leilani: yeah Saint: Don't think about it, it really didn't mean anything Leilani: I won't cause a big scene about it either way Saint: Just enjoy your evening, okay Leilani: I am Saint: Good 🙂 Saint: that's all anyone wants Leilani: I didn't mean to get all 💣💥 it just upset me, what she said Leilani: so you saying we're alike isn't something I want to hear atm Saint: I understand Saint: that's fine, it was the wrong thing to say Leilani: it isn't fine, she's the one who got to me, not you Leilani: I'm sorry Saint: I was insensitive Saint: I just don't like conflict Saint: but it can't always be straightened out so easily Leilani: I will have a 2nd go when I see her at school Leilani: maybe it'll get straightened out Saint: How are you feeling, about school? Leilani: stressed Saint: I bet Saint: it'd be weird if you weren't Saint: but you seem to be good at making friends so you'll be okay Leilani: but that was before, now I'm not gonna know if they feel sorry for me Leilani: or think they have to be nice to me Saint: Do people have to know? Saint: You need a story why you've moved school, but it doesn't strictly have to be the full truth, or the truth at all Leilani: Venus knows, I'm not having her catch me in a lie Leilani: anyway, it's what happened Leilani: I can't escape it by lying Saint: Fair enough Saint: it is the best policy, after-all Leilani: it wouldn't be fair to my mum to change the story, she can't Saint: That makes sense Saint: disrespectful Saint: well, I think, however unfortunately, that people's sympathy only extends so far Saint: you might lose some, but you will find out who your real friends are with time Leilani: there's that word again Leilani: time Saint: I think it's pretty unavoidable Saint: it sounds worse than usual Saint: but people you think are your friends can turn around and not me Saint: for any reasons, it isn't that this is happening, or going to happen just because of your mum Saint: you know? Saint: It doesn't sound comforting, it isn't Leilani: it is a little bit Saint: People are flaky Saint: you just notice when you could use some of them to not be Leilani: who hurt you? other than the girls you're unwilling to die for, I mean Saint: What? Saint: No, no one Leilani: your friends haven't? Saint: I'm fine 🙂 Leilani: I don't believe in 🙂 Leilani: give me a real one 😁 Saint: [IRL 🙂] Leilani: [IRL 😁] Saint: [looking awayayayay] Leilani: [getting him another 🍷 because you are soz you kicked off] Saint: [just like 'who served you?' 😏 bants 'cos he's not even old enough yet either] Leilani: [we just loling because this is a fam function and everyone knows it's for him but asking if she can try it, to which I say don't do it gal wine is gross] Saint: [offering it but warning her it's an acquired taste 'cos truly] Leilani: [taking a sip and her face would be ICONIC because ew, just don't spit it back into his glass babe] Saint: [loling and asking if she wants another mocktail instead] Leilani: [a hard yes because need that taste out of our mouth] Saint: [go get that boy] Leilani: you should've written a speech about why you like drinking 🍷 Saint: A toast would be more fitting Leilani: shorter & easier too Saint: and more warmly received Saint: especially by this crowd Leilani: 😅 Leilani: [gives him the pen back like there you go then] Saint: [swap that for her drink and get to 🤔] Leilani: [take a sip so he can see your happy face when you taste it compared to a second ago] Saint: How am I meant to argue with that? Leilani: I'm not doing your work for you, St Saint: 🥺😏 Leilani: maybe you could compare it to a girl, that was a very good speech Leilani: [re-reads it] Saint: Acidic...bitter...goes straight to your head and stays there 'til the next day Leilani: disgusting, leaves a horrible taste in your mouth Leilani: makes you say things you maybe don't mean Saint: might get half the room to raise their glasses Saint: if they're feeling brave Leilani: if they're feeling 💔 Saint: Yes, that too Leilani: there must be some reasons why you drink it, other than frustrated vampirism Saint: the 💔 obviously Leilani: you said you were 🙂 fine Saint: Philosophical 💔💭 Leilani: what does that mean? Saint: I'm just theorizing on it Saint: no personal experience worth noting Leilani: ... Saint: We don't need to bring the party down with my non-issues Leilani: no announcements, just me Saint: Alright Saint: but only because you don't want to be treated different, not because I think it's important or a big deal or anything at all Saint: I did have a girlfriend, 'til quite recently Saint: but no one here knows that she cheated on me, and that's why I ended things Saint: with one of my friends Leilani: how 🍷 of her Leilani: are they together now? Saint: I'm not sure Saint: Guess I'll see at School Leilani: how long were you with her? Saint: About 2 months shy of a year Leilani: that's horrible, that she didn't end it properly Saint: Yeah Saint: we were really alike Saint: I thought Leilani: we're both dreading school, I wish that was more comforting Saint: I don't want to complain, like it's anywhere near the same Leilani: it doesn't have to be the same to be something we can talk about Saint: I know Saint: it's just Saint: I already feel stupid without complaining to you Leilani: she did something stupid, you don't have to feel like that Saint: I do though, we're a close group Saint: they're both in all my classes pretty much Saint: then I think that the rest of them had to know Saint: so, what does that mean for all of those relationships too Leilani: you won't know what it means until you know whether they were keeping it from you or not Leilani: but you get to decide what happens next with those friendships either way Saint: People pick sides, and even if they already haven't Saint: it won't be the same Leilani: maybe it shouldn't Leilani: if they've picked his side or hers, you deserve different than that Saint: It's my last year Saint: bit late for all that anyway Leilani: if you go into it with that attitude, yeah Leilani: you wouldn't say it's too late for me Saint: You have time, and reason to make it work Leilani: you too Leilani: we haven't known each other long, claiming you need years is a stretch Saint: This is different Saint: I don't know how to explain it Leilani: join a club with me or something, we'll make new friends together Saint: 😅 What kind of club? Leilani: I don't know Leilani: obviously not the Russian Lit appreciation society Saint: Maybe they'll have an anti-appreciation society Leilani: 😅 it'd be popular & so would we Saint: You will be Leilani: there must be genuine clubs you are interested in 🤔💭 & I'll sign up too Saint: I have lots of extra-curriculars Saint: but there's probably a few left out there I haven't tried Leilani: great Saint: What do you want to do? Saint: Sports, music, etc... Leilani: my only demand is no swimming Saint: The chlorine? Leilani: the cap I'd have to wear Leilani: not cute Saint: 😂 Saint: [and IRL] Leilani: hey! I'm serious Saint: Okay, no swimming Saint: we have a pool anyway Leilani: oh, good idea, throwing a party would be a good way to meet people Leilani: 💅💄👙 instead Saint: Hold on, who said anything about a party Leilani: me Leilani: just then Saint: It's a bit Leilani: ... Saint: You do know my sister lives at my house too, right? Leilani: she told me she's back & forth to Paris, can't we do it when she's 🛫? Saint: Not as much as she wishes Saint: I mean, I suppose you could Saint: long as you don't post it all over socials and trash the place Leilani: we could Leilani: the point is, you're there too Saint: A pool party full of underage girls? Saint: I don't know if that's the right direction to be going in Leilani: the 2nd point is, they won't all be underage or girls Saint: Well as mentioned, I don't exactly have a lot of older boys to invite Leilani: that's why we join a club 1st Saint: How many steps does this plan have then? Leilani: I don't know Leilani: it depends how those go Saint: You're funny Saint: And I don't mean that in any way but the words I'm saying, for the record Leilani: I'll be proud becos your laughter is transformative Leilani: it makes you look & me feel really different Saint: Those are some pretty persuasive words Saint: maybe you should write the speeches Leilani: I'll add speech writer to my vision board when I get back Saint: You could do it for me Saint: if that wasn't such a 🥱 prospect Leilani: I think it could be fun Leilani: but what's my cut? Saint: Paying staff is part of a MPs fabled expenses Saint: we can make that wage up as we go along Saint: as long as people don't think I'm favouring you for any reason beyond your 🖋🗯 Leilani: [bats her eyelashes at him in an OTT manner like who would ever think that] Leilani: 😅😅 Saint: [😏] Saint: you'd get to live in London, if you wanted Leilani: who wouldn't want to live in London? Saint: It certainly has its charms Leilani: 🛍🌃💃 Saint: Those are some Leilani: add yours then Saint: 🏛 🛥 ⛪️🚇 🕌 🚖 🕍 🎭 ☕️ 🍷 🍽 Leilani: I was with you until 🍷 Leilani: still, you can show me around before I start work Saint: It's a deal Saint: maybe you'll like white, or rose Leilani: let's see Leilani: [goes off to get wine like] Saint: It takes time Saint: to acquire the taste Leilani: to kill your tastebuds Leilani: [imagine the scene of her with a glass of wine in each hand taking a sip from each and making different but as ICONIC faces of disgust, we're giving them to Matty, fill your boots gal] Saint: How many 👎s? Leilani: as many as poss Saint: 😅😅 Saint: Stick to juice Saint: apart from being bad for your 😁 and the possibility of a sugar high Saint: better option all 'round providing you brush Leilani: is this where you ask for photographic proof back? Saint: 🤔 Saint: I think I trust your dedication to pearly whites Leilani: thanks Saint: You seem...disappointed? Leilani: do I? Leilani: trust is nice, I'm not 😤 Saint: Good Saint: you can send me evidence if you want Saint: maybe your breakfast 'gram, if it lives up to the expectations Leilani: aren't you gonna be there? Saint: Didn't we decide that might not be a good idea right now Leilani: I've only had 3 sips of wine & I don't remember agreeing so Leilani: no? Saint: I don't want my eyes scratched out 💅 Saint: you did a good job on the 😱 factor on her Leilani: I don't have my 🐱 yet Leilani: you can be scared then Saint: You are a 🐱 Saint: so had I better come or else Leilani: if we share the 🥞 you'll be helping curb my chances of a sugar rush & cavities Saint: So that's the for argument Leilani: yeah & I'll keep being funny Saint: You're meant to do against now 😏 Leilani: 🤔 Leilani: the risk of your own sugar rush & cavities Saint: 😂 Saint: I would hate for you to think I'm scared of a little sugar Leilani: 🧄 & 🌤 right? Leilani: or maybe underage girls & unreliable narrators Saint: I'm the unreliable narrator underage girls are scared of Saint: except I'm not, obviously Saint: I'll take vampire rumours over that any day Leilani: at least that means you won't take some other girl for breakfast on the morning of my 16th birthday Saint: That would be very cinematic Saint: but also very rude Leilani: 💔😿 Saint: You'll have to tell me when it is so I can keep it free, avoid the 👿 Leilani: [her birthday whenever we decide that is] Saint: It's in the diary Leilani: 📱 or 📖? Saint: I have both Saint: but I'm not quite that nerdy that I've brought my paper one to a party Leilani: I was just 💔😿 that you borrowed a pen from someone else Saint: Okay, so that's pretty 🤓 Leilani: excuse you, it's not my fault I don't have 20:20 vision Leilani: 🕶🖤 Saint: You aren't that blind or I'd have noticed by now Leilani: I'm wearing contacts Saint: I mean 🕶 is a bit of an exaggeration Leilani: it's a cute emoji, I'm sorry Leilani: & 🤓 is not good teeth representation for me Saint: [actual lol] Saint: Okay, you can have it Leilani: [actual 😍] Leilani: thanks boss Saint: [try not to 😳] Leilani: [use your skin tone to save yourself boy] Saint: wait 'til the tour to decide if you accept Leilani: becos what happens on tour stays on tour or? Saint: depends how much evidence you collect 📸 Leilani: you're the 😇 Saint: Allegedly Leilani: it's your own promo Leilani: meaning you could also convince me you're 😈 Saint: I don't see the benefit in that Leilani: [a LOOK like] Saint: I'm not going to convince you of anything 😈 with just words Leilani: I definitely don't remember making it a words only rule Saint: 🤐🤔 Leilani: ... Saint: [miming both again but we're smiling] Leilani: would you like to dance? in classic 📚 it's totally scandalous Saint: As long as we leave appropriate room for God Leilani: I think if I was fully playing by my god's rules you'd have to be in the next room Leilani: & I'd be wearing 🧕🏾 instead of ears Saint: That would make your outfit very confusing Leilani: this outfit is too tight to be islam approved Saint: [show up to dance like lemme take a closer look] Leilani: [we're having a moment & all I can think about is Grace peeping] Saint: [peeping in a costume which just makes it more amusing some reason] Leilani: [it's happening but I am gonna cockblock this before it goes too hard by saying she starts crying because she can't wait to tell her mum about this & realises she can't #beentheregal] Saint: [oh baby] Leilani: [so then we embarrassed & have to go outside cos there's always peeps in the toilets at any party/fam function] Saint: [at least as Grace is peeping she can follow you and deal 'cos we're gonna assume that isn't what you want him to do] Leilani: [when you wanna go home because mortified especially since he hasn't followed so you think he's mortified but you also don't because you were and are having fun which is the whole reason we cried like #ohjoy thank god Venus is not here] Saint: [we're in actuality worried like oh we shouldn't have done that/any of this lowkey] Leilani: [lowkey outside for ages until Grace is probably freezing to death so we're back but NOT looking at him because dying] Saint: [the awks, go make yourself busy boy] Leilani: [when you're avoiding him but you don't want him to avoid you] Saint: [a mood, at least it is your dad's bday so you can make it look not blatant] Leilani: [maybe this is a good place to end the convo, like it's rude to them but legit] Saint: [agreed, like, can't really come back from this tonight, you will be going home soon gal and breakfast is not happening today] Leilani: [it'll be a hilarious awks but good starting point for the next convo we do like yeah soz I sobbed on you sir]
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in-tua-deep · 3 years ago
First time anon wanted to say I love all of your tua au’s. They are absolutely fantastic and I am soft for all of them. However I did amuse myself with the barking mad au, noticed you never write about Pogo in your au’s (do you not like him btw? No pressure on it just curious), but I just like the thought of him meeting/talking to partially feral!Five and he can’t quite figure out which language (animal or english) is more appropriate to say ‘master five what the ever living F****?!’ in.
!! hello first time anon! thank u for messaging
asdfHJGFSDG you caught me,, i don’t like Pogo and don’t think he should have a place in the children’s lives so I never write him into any of my aus because I lowkey want him to disappear
mainly because Pogo was complicit in their abuse to the point where even after Reginald was dead he was still keeping secrets - like he was complicit in drugging a child almost her entire life and emotionally abusing her by backing up the “You’re ordinary” narrative Reginald built up
and even after his death, Pogo stood up and said their dad left behind a complicated memory but then proceeded to compliment the man because presumably Pogo owed so much to him etc. etc. 
Grace I can excuse, because she’s a robot. She functionally had no free will since Reginald was fully capable of tinkering with her programming and forcing her to obey and keep quiet, but Pogo was an adult sentient being capable of free will and he still looked the other way. 
Yeah okay you could say maybe he did it because he was afraid that if he turned against Reginald, he wouldn’t have anywhere to go. You could say he didn’t know how to help beyond attempting to be there for the kids and turning a blind eye to some of their shenanigans (like going out to Griddy’s). BUT. After Reginald’s death he continued to keep the kids in the dark about their dad’s plan, withheld information, and made no move to correct anything. Like i’m pretty sure if he told Klaus “the box contained your father’s journal recording your sister’s power, no not allison, actually your dad drugged her all her life and I’d like to set the record straight on her being ‘ordinary’” klaus would have tried a hell of a lot harder to get it back
Grace, after Reginald’s death, was glitched out of her mind tbh but once fixed she made it clear that she did not support Reginald. After all, telling ur son that you’d like to go out when you were never permitted and then telling him that his dad isn’t around anymore to give orders is a pretty cool moment if I do say so myself
and in the day that wasn’t, Grace was going to tell all the secrets she’d been forced to keep over the years in the park as well. She tried to put it right pretty much as soon as she was capable
Pogo didn’t. He purposefully made efforts to continue Reginald’s plan, up to and including attempting to frame Grace for Reginald’s suicide, not telling Vanya about her powers, not telling anyone about that whole skeezy business, fixing Grace but then reminding her to keep secrets (which she rejects), and just generally. continued supporting a man we know to be an abusive piece of shit idk
so yEAH I don’t like Pogo and consider him to be an accomplice to Reginald’s abuse where I don’t hold Grace accountable because there’s free will involved and while he might have advocated for the children, I doubt he ever pressed if Reginald put his foot down which is why i never include him in anything lmao
as far as i’m concerned in all my aus he’s off chilling at one of Reggie’s other properties or something because Vanya doesn’t want him around (and for good reason) so he can live his days in retirement,,, anywhere else
as for the barking mad au, getting back to ur original ask, I think Pogo is?? Too human-ized? I doubt he’s been a proper chimpanzee for many years, a minimum of like. actually when was he introduced to the household? Was it before the kids were there? Average lifespan of a chimp is what, forty years? And he looked older with his cane and stuff so. Probably? 
But regardless I doubt he can understand anything Five is ‘saying’ with body language beyond what humans can read, mainly because dogs/cats and chimps are different (though Five also knows some sick birdcalls and can mimic alarm calls and ‘hello!’ and other cool thing) and feral!Five lived with only cats and dogs during the apocalypse. It’s a little like dumping a dog in with a colony of chimps - confusion on all sides rip so while Pogo probably would be like “Master Five what the Fuck” it’s more because Five is behaving like,, well,, an animal. Which all of the siblings are also thinking tbh
dog people or cat people would probably be able to pick up things here and there though. like that specific meow cats do when they Hunger, or the wiggling that says ‘happy and probably overstimulated’, and growls/hisses/showing teeth should be self explanatory tbh but like, there’s other things. Like quietly mirroring to hang out, slow blinks as affection, the way dogs will playfully run up and then run away in an almost crab scuttle to see if you’ll follow to play (with bonus jumping powers!), the either cowering down with metaphorical tail between legs or PUFFING UP to be the BIGGEST when threatened, whines that mean ‘hurry up!! come on!’ when someone is going too slow, the running ahead and running back to check and running ahead again
like look i have a pretty quiet dog all things considered, and i had an even quieter dog before they. She only really barks when people come up to the door tbh, but I Know People who own dogs like huskies who are the most vocal little shits in existence and who WILL scream when inconvenienced or nervous
(my sister, a vet student interning at a vets, has regaled me with tales of huskies brought to the clinic who just screamed like they were being murdered the entire time despite them not even being examined or anything. they were literally just chilling in the kennel.)
Feral!Five is actually more vocal than ur regularly scheduled Five but everyone wishes he Wasn’t (he’s also way less standoffish and very likely to just full body rub himself against his siblings or drape himself across them tbh bc like. if they wanted him to quit all they’d have to do is give a warning snap or growl or grumble and they don’t sO)
BUT HEY if u want to write something for the au then feel free to include Pogo and your idea because it is very cute!! I just don’t like Pogo and refuse to include him in things lmao
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eekispyykes · 2 years ago
Mr Sparklepuff Feline Obituary 5.1.2020/Abridged
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Mr Puffs 4-2002-  5-1-2020
by Michael Bench
Mr Puffs was an excellent friend and adventurous hiker. He loved to be outdoors. A ferocious mouser ; he did an arc'ing jump on mice and chipmunks from 2 clumps of brush away. The porch frankly stank from all his gifts. An amazing climber and very fast sprinter crossing a square acre in about 3.5sec. Some would ask why he was named as such and close friends know the whole story. A primary point was so people had a good vibe about him and would let him be. In the past two years  he had cancer of the face that spread. He had been treated with surgery to remove the tumor. At a shade over 18yo, he set to rest as every night he was shivvering in normal home temp and couldn't keep weight on; refusing to leave the couch; hating being put in pet clothes/infant flannel.
2017-2020 were tough years for him adjusting to a new stray friend we “adopted” from the wild. They were startingn to get along. It played into the stress.I feel bad about this. it split us up somewhat.  My younger cat was more forceful about claiming me. It weighs on me; Frankly it seemed like a few rape attempts also that difficulted the social cue of ‘normal cat spooning”.. Mr Puffs was able to get out on a van ride of Fogelsville,PA about three months ago. He also gave some love to his plush hedgehog toy. He gave it a consensual drilling every once a while or daily.
What you should know about Mr Puffs:
:My grilling deputy  and trout inspector
:Loved to play the mysterious thing under blanket or newspaper game
:Love to play the mysterious tapping fingers under the many basement stairs game
:Fine taste in music and loved being my karaoke fan. Love you buddy. Not very keen on Tv after Keenan Michael Keys left Animal  Planet's morning show.
:Enjoyed less usual faire like potatoes and adored bbq chicken pizza; he could handle medium wings. He WAS WARNED each time and kept him away from it till it was obvious he wanted it. Honey ham, turkey, .. and salami**. Mind you, he has never been overweight and was complimented by his first vet for muscle tone. It's his compliment to own.
:Enjoyed jumping apartment building gaps while in town: we had to rough it for a month in a storage facility after an unexpected eviction.. which we then would go for walks 1a-3a to get his exercise and water the landscape mulch at 11th street Fred Meyers. There's a little marsh back behind the store that became our little daytime haven.
:His Hiking career started in Eugene, OR. We would go night walking ,w/o a leash and whenever someone was coming he would detour off the sidewalk and into the nearest house’s bushes.. This was optimal because he would get back on the lit sidewalk and learn to keep course. This advanced to 5-7 mile hikes from U Oregon campus to Hendrix park and back. One trip such trip he was panting so he didn’t really want to run away anywhere or into traffic fortunately.. The sun had come out of the cloud cover and heated things up above the usual. We stopped at an icecream place on the way back on the edge of campus: Agate and 19th. Even though he was tired, he was a smart and collected guy. so he slinked to the back of the shop till I came back out..It was like escorting the supermodel of manly cats.  It was at this time I knew leashes or more distant locations were necessary.  
:While we were driving back to Pennsylvania, he decided to have a playfrenzy on the dashboard while I was in heavy traffic nearabouts of Nebraska/Rushmore on the interstate.
:Short story : Since he now had room in the yard to runaround Puffs tested his speed and momentum to get up tree trunks. Our front yard had a medium sized maple oak something. Mr Puffs ran up the tree and alarmed a family of nesting doves. The doves and Mr Puffs seemed to flee the tree foilage each in horizontal directions at about 8ft off the ground.  
:Other than a shoulder injury from a fight of somesort, he was very durable. His parent's owners had coined him 'Jaco” after the famous bass player.. A green -eyed Russian Blue tuxedo, angular white paws.  with little white hairs across his coat. At times I also referred to him as “Cactus Jack”. Massive front incisors like a miniature sabertooth. I pitied the rabbits who he caught which were still squealing.
:Another Short Story. I coaxed my mom to live a little and put that front addition on the house she always wanted. She got an enclosed porch. Theres an open porch on the back of the house also. When the framing was done.. I went out to the backyard to enjoy the night sky, I heard nothing. When I turned around I had two bright eyes scaring me  to the ground. From 9ft, the top of the roof porch he looked at me Apparently Puffs had climbed the 8ft of framing from the work table, crossed the rafters, crossed the whole house roof and decided to voyeur me on the other side of the house. I was very glad he didn't tempt the electric lines whose pole he had tried to climb other days.Stressing moments on me as well.
:Puffs became a pro at taking baths since 2017, and getting nails trimmed at the same time. The trim helped him jump (getting pad purchase)  and helped the furniture too.
:Another quick story. Cats can swim. I took him to go swimming in the creek and that went pretty good the first time. (Must always be on leash. And probably use partially inflated swimmy muscle). He was really comfortable in the water if it was shallow(2.5ft). The problem with the creek is its near a road so don't be near roads even with the leash on.  He was swimming a good crawl in about 4ft.  A fish mustve brushed his foot because he panicked and started jumping out of the water like a bass on a hook. I literally had to swing him in the air (with leash) and onto the shore into some leaves and grass. There's some fault in not being close enough to him to pick him up out of the water directly. He swam pretty good and at range.  To ease that trauma.. (nearly heart attack probably; that went sour) , I let him calm down. At a much shallower area no taller than his knees(5-6”) I set him into the stream without much resentment and just petted him to get him calm.  (He wasn't a lap cat before that either.) At that point the swimming  got shuttered for downhill walks and other casual stuff.
: On similar climbing points.. even till about 2015, he liked to jump the gap from the upright piano top (4ft) to the top of the entertainment center (7.5 ft) plus the hallway gap of  3.5 ft and he was really solid at it. Would stay up there for a while and then jump down onto the sofa table (3 ft tall).. He was always calculating a new feat. When that one item stopped being in his wheelhouse it was clear he was getting bothered/ annoyed and the stress of a cat territory issue wore him down.
If you were to be near him, you'd end up watching him. This statue of a male cat with really long tail. Not lemur-long but really long.. a gray panther. And, maybe you'd try to pet him since he looked inviting. Yet, you wouldn't get much petting done. He'd probably tolerate two brushes and then give your hand a carving with his claws, hiss at you and find a new place to observe the room,  That said, he would cruise the neighborhood looking which apartment I might've visited, slink in and check out how other people decorated. A very dignified personality, sometimes to the point of indignant.  He was  a cat you'd want to clone over and over because he was just that cool on himself. Cloning him was on the slate too until those type of businesses were closed with political force.. He actually inspired a jazz song  (currently in midi form) that I’ve yet to record. I was tore up about his first cancer surgery so I started writing. Hope that will be out soon enuff. I hope this can help you appreciate Mr Puffs. He was buried at a spot he chose. It was nearby a set of brush he would choose to hide in hours near the middle of  hikes.
.. he loved to hide.  Back in Oregon I'd take him  in the van with my mentally handicapped clients. He'd be set loose to get his relaxation in. By the time it was time to leave. he wanted to stay. He hid in bushes and culverts. I learned very quickly that such outings had to be local or I'd be driving back hours to go get him at night or worse. Once I knew that, we'd take rides on the bus to the edges of the bus line and just chill on hills overlooking boating lakes. Fern Ridge Reservoir had a nice pine overlook off Territorial hwy.  He really enjoyed outings and variety. Maybe thats what kept him interested as a matter of longevity. I want to end on that.  He showed me lessons in best intentions and good in the bad.. and murdering all my Egyptian spiny mice within hours of acquiring them and their replacements. Its not like I wouldn't have gotten him a feeder mouse but there were plenty stinking up the walkway as it was. I'm blessed to have spent that month sheltered in a renta-shed with him. It seems the alternative .. without having enough for a pet deposit elsewhere (that moment) was to lower my standards for the landlords daughter and by whatever 'influence' she had. 'evicted us for periodic renovations”. So, eventually we chose instead to leave and he got a brims of fieldmice, chipmunks and forest romping. I hope that was an appreciated choice. He liked city life too. Should you choose to tribute to Mr Puffs, I welcome it. He’d be the type of cat Dos Equis beer would be looking for if he actually drank it.
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Hope you’re feeling better, Puffs; BFF 
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