Drinking With the Persistant Kin

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Good old Cabrini. Nothing like a slum as a good place to have a good time. Not long ago, Sabrina shot a coke dealer in the head outside of a school in this general vicinity. She hasn’t been afraid to come back, and that’s probably foolhardy.

But then, that’s Sarita.

She walks into a bar, looking like she’s been in a fight. This is a shitty part of town, and the bars are equally shitty. So a person looking like she’s been in a fight is not that uncommon. In this case, she looks like she won, even if she looks a bit battered. And she looks like she enjoyed it. She’s grinning as she rubs at a bruise, looking around and heading for a table.

[Derek Anderson] He walked into club, tall, muscularm good looking and confident. He knows people like him don’t usually go into bars liek this one. He was dressed in boots, jeans, long sleeve shirt and warm coat. His kind blue eyes looked around and found the person he was looking for. He smiled when he found her.

He went to the bar and order a pitcher of beer with two glasses. He made his way back to her “Good evening milady”He say with a grin “I wish I could tell you you look good, but you kinda look like shit. What happened to you”

He say placing everything down, a touch of concern in his voice when he asked the question

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Got in a fight!” she says, way too brightly. She is clearly Amy’s sister, except (and she would never rub this in Amy’s face) Sarita is actually built by Gaia for being a reckless bitch. She has a bottle in front of her already but she finishes it off, setting it aside.

“Couple gangbangers who thought I iced their boy a couple weeks ago.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “Want me to arrest them? Or you think they learned their lesson?” He ask her tilting his head, pouring them beer then sat down with her. He watched her for a moment “Are oyu all right Sarita…seem liek every time I see you, you’re troubled”

She actually seemed in a good mood..maybe jsut too much of a good mood after a fight. HE know she won’t tell, but it idesn’t mean he won’t ask

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Dude, I’m fuckin’ fine.” She grins. “First time in a while. I needed a good brawl, I think.” She lights up a cigarette.

“And naah, don’t arrest them. If they couldn’t pick me out of a lineup for their boy before, they could now.” She shrugs. “They get uppity I’ll beat their asses again.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her, drinking from his glass “All right, I’ll leave them alone.” He leaned into his chair “It’s really good ot see you again. How are things going? With the Unbroken, family and all?”

He pause “I know it’s pretty personal, we can jsut keep it..light”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs a little. “Naah, it’s cool. If it gets too personal, I’ll let you know.”

She takes a drag of her smoke, leaning back in her chair. “It’s okay? I’m meshing well so far. Amy’s been avoiding them though, I think. She spends all of her time with Hunter and his pack Defiance. Which is cool, I have no problem with them and they remind her of old friends and shit. But…I dunno.” She frowns. “I’m worried about it, I guess.”

[Derek Anderson] He tilt his head “I’ve met Hunter. I think I met some members of his pack…John and Joey right?” He ask, remebering the friendly blonde and the silent man looking to be if not close ot Izzy at least respectful of each other. Which wasn’t easy with Izzy…she was a tough one to get close to.

“If I read your sister right the only time Isaw her, she look liek more street level than what the Unbroken look like. I mean SInclair and you seem more hands on. Katherine and Lukas do seem..well more upscale and all. I liek them, all of them, you packmates I mean. Though i could understand why your sister would go with the more “regular”guys. ”

He drank some more “Are you feeling like you’re losing her? Taht your paths are going in different directions?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Right, but she hasn’t even given them a chance. I don’t even know if she’s met Kate yet.”

She frowns when he asks if it feels like they’re going in different directions…if she’s losing Amy. He clearly hit a mark. “For most of my entire life, I haven’t had anything constant. It’s the way we are. Just happens. Amy’s been a constant. She’s the only thing I have…she’s blood, y’know? Not just kin, but real blood.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded and reach to place his hand on hers “Look. I don’t know her much, barely really. I do know you some. If she shares jsut a gene or two with you, eventually, she’ll come to her senses and realize that nothing is worth losing you. As you know nothing is worth losing her.”

He looked into her eyes..fuck it if she don’t like it. He has been looking at some true born in the eyes lately. Maybeb Sar will accept it, he’ll know soon enough

“As for the Unbroken, they are the elite. Some people fear the elite when they don’t know them. I mean, I was uncomfortable around them for a while..now, I think that I’d be fine. After the other night, I got ot know them better and they’re good people with problems liek everyone els.e Of course I won’t start nudging Sinclair or tell Kate jokes, but you know..they’re not bad persons.

In time, Amy will realize it. Heck I could talk to her about them, About family. But most importantly..once she get past her misconceptions, she won’t be as hostile toward them.” He paused “Well I think”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks at the hand on hers, and then up. She doesn’t seem to mind that he’s looked her in the eyes. But then, when you consider her sister, she’s probably used to bold kin. She smiles…not one of the half-crazy grins, but a real, sincere smile.

“Yeah…” She nods, then says it again with a sigh. “Yeah. You’re probably right. She just needs some time with them.”

[Derek Anderson] He nod “Don’t force it though. I think that she need her time on her own if it can be said that way. I heard she has made a few msitakes, maybe she need to make a new set before she listen to you. Or maybe it won’t be a mistake at all, that hse’ll walk that path ofr a while, help her grow and understand your pack better. Sheu might even pick a skill or two that’ll make her more valuable to them. I mean…I’m good..but I don’t think I could bring anything to your pack if I wanted to hang with them. You’re one of the giants in the city”

He gave her hand a squeeze then let it go slowly. He liked of her skin felt, but he didn’t need long physical contact with her. They were..drinking buddies..maybe friends, who knows. Nothing more

“She’s probably intimidated and need to boost her self confidence before facing them.” He took another swallow “I do want to congratulate you though..unless it’s not officla yet, you joining them?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She finally pours herself a glass. “It’s more or less official. We’re engaged, so to speak. Just not married yet.” A little smile at that.

She takes a drink from her glass. “What have you heard about Amy? I mean, mistakes and shit.” it’s not accusing or interrogating, she seems sincerely just curious.

[Derek Anderson] He make a face but he wasn’t going to lie ot her “That was easy, crazy, direspectful..I mean I got someone telling me if I want a good time, there was a girl in room 10 that could give it to me.and well I know she wasn’t talking about you. Got someone else who’s pissed madly at her enough to want to beat her up.”

He paused “So I don’t know your sister. I haven’t made my mind about her. And until she mess with me directly, or really do something bad to someone I care for, I won’t have a problem with her. And no, not gonig to tell you who said whatI told you. And no, I won’t let anyone beat her up if I can help it”

He tilt his head “Not that anyone would dare with you, your pack or her friends around. It would be crazy” He shrugh

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She listens, not surprised. When he mentions the person who beat her up, she scowls a little, but that’s the end of it.

“Jesus.” She shakes her head. “No, you’re not surprising me at all. Making me want to beat some asses, but not surprising me. Thank you for being honest, and for what you just said. I appreciate that.”

She pauses. “For the record, she doesn’t just fuck anyone.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “And you don’t have to defend her to me. I never believe everything people say about someone. Beside, it’s her life. She can sleep with whoever she want.” He shrugh “But I believe you for what it’s worth. One day maybe we could do something, the three of us. So I get to know her better.”

He smiled “And yes, I”m finding reason to drink with you again” He ginned and raised his glass to her before drinking

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Maybe, yeah. If I can pry her away from Hunter and company.”

When he mentions finding a reason to drink with her, she smiles and raises her glass as well. “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.”

[Derek Anderson] He grin “Well then…to drinking together” He drank with then smiled “Well I don’t care if she invite them. I think they’re ok with me. I just think it would be easier to get to know her some without others around..others that might have her act differently.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods and takes a swallow of beer.

“I’ll let her know. It might be nice.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “Ok. So..I’m sure she’s really nice but enough about Amy..what about you..what have you been up to? Just hanging with her?”

He look at her, his eyes focused on her, looking ,ore interested in her than Amy’s life. Not that he was nonchalant about it. He did meant everything he said. Amy was important to Sar and it meant that it was something they would talk about. But hios firend’s life was more interesting to him..because it was about her..and not someone else through her

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ehh.” She shrugs. “Not much exciting. Workin’ my money mojo. We’re movin’ out of the Broho soon. Getting a place between Bronzeville and the Loft, so that we can be in easier access to both.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “Well you can tell me even if it’s not exciting. I mean..it about you right? So at least I’m interested in hearing about it. As for you new place. Found something yet? You have a limited budget? I’m asking because I could look around for you. I”m already doing it for a friend of mine. So..if I can help”

He emptied his glass and filled it up again

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ehh, we can make it work. I did some hunting today.” She smiles and drains her glass. “Thanks though. I ‘preciate it.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “All right..I’ll check things out…find various priced placesand send then to you anyway. Just in case it help” He drank some “What would you like to talk about? I barely know you. Might be how you want it but I don’t know much about where you’re from, your life before the change..your family.” He smiled

“Or we cna talk about something that’s not you”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, god.” She smiles at that. “That’s a whole story. Okay, I can do that.”

She takes a drink off her glass, collecting her thoughts. “I actually grew up outside the Nation completely. My dad, Esteban…he had a one-night stand with my mom. Then went on his merry way. I grew up knowing nothing about that shit, ’till my mom died. Then he showed back up, ’cause I’d gone through my First Change.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded listening to her “I know most true born has a rough time going through the change. How did it go for you? Yeah..I”m a curious man”

He smiled watching her, drinking and listening to her

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A little frown, and she shrugs. “Mine…wasn’t your normal change, I guess.” A little shrug, and she lights up another cigarette.

“It happened literally the night my mom died.”

[Derek Anderson] He blinked “Oh..I’m..so sorry”He said. He didn’t really want her to dwelve too much on her mother’s death. Losing a parent is nver easy, but he had ot ask the question and it was related.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shakes her head, putting on a smile again. “S’fine. You didn’t know. She got shot by some methhead junkie fuck at the place she was waitressing. I don’t remember much after seeing her on the gurney, but from the way Esteban told it, I had my First Change and tracked him down and killed him.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “Still I”m very sorry..especially about the way she died. That’s the kind of thing I work so hard to prevent. And it suck for not matter what I do…there will be something like that somewhere I’m not”

HE shook his head “I know it doesn’t cahnge anything but I”m happy for you that you got him. What happened once your dad found you?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Thanks…I appreciate that.” She says it sincerely, and warmly.

She shrugs when she asks what happened next. “Esteban found me, told me what I was, got me emancipated and then showed me how to use my new shit. Then sent me off to the nearby sept and went on his merry way.”

[Derek Anderson] He nod “Hmmm he had the need to travel in his blood…guess most of your tribe do right?” He say watching her with a smile “I think you might understand him a little since you’ve travelled around right?”

He finished his beer and and poured himself another one. His eyes never left her, he was truly listening . It was interesting

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I do. But…” She shrugs. “I dunno. According to Amy, he like…told her he visited me every year when I was growing up. And told her all the things I was doing. So he came and checked up on me, made his other daughter–who I never knew existed–feel like shit because I was so fucking cool, and never bothered to say ‘Hi, I’m your dad.'”

She’s not truly angry. She’s not even bitter. It’s just a sudden truth about him she learned very recently and so the wound is still fresh, even though the damage was inflicted decades ago. Kinda like Dim Mak.

[Derek Anderson] He tilt his head “Your dad was an ass”He said then blinked and jsut realized what he said and to who he said it. He offered an apologetic smile “Sorry..but I think he was. I think it was unfair that he made Amy feel liek shit or looked out for you but from afar. I could understand the travelling and all..but..I don’t know. I don’t get why he didn’t make himself known to you, or tell Amy that she was as cool as you”

He shook his head “I’m judgmental and talking about things I don’t know about..go on..I’m shutting up”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, you’re right, he was a dick.” She smiles a bit. “You’re not speaking anything I haven’t said in the last twenty-four hours. I don’t know either. But…he was my father. I literally only knew him for like three months, but…”

She shrugs. She can’t explain it.

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “Maybe he was one..but I apologized because he was your father, and no matter his mistakes, that won’t cahnge. I have no right ot insult your family and it’s perfectly normal to still love him despite what it did. I still love my sister even though I put a few hundred miles between us to escape her”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Just do yourself a favor, don’t suggest to Amy that she might love him. She fucking HATES him.” She sighs a little, smiling a bit. “Anyway. I fostered at the Sept after I decided it was time to actually show up. Grand Elder HAAAATED me.” She grins. “Tried to make my life hell. I just took it as a way to keep proving him wrong and piss him off. Eventually I had my Rite of Passage, passed, and hit the road.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “Don’t worry. I won’t. I think I could be her right now if my sister had been my parents. So, I’ve been luckier than her. Not going to say anything about your family when I meet her”

He tilt his head “Now are you telling me your ex Elder was on crack, I think you do. No way someone wouldn’t like you.” He grinned “Seriously this must have sucked bad. At least you had your Rite. Where did you go?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs. “Anywhere. Everywhere. I wandered around for like, nine years. Don’t think I spent more than a month or two in one spot. New York, Miami, New Orleans–okay, I spent like two months in New Orleans. It was Mardi Gras.” She grins. “But yeah, San Fran, Portland, Seattle…even down into Mexico and up to Canada. Just wandered, and learned. And pissed people off, too.”

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled at that “Well i still can’t understand how you pissed peopel off, but I”m going to believe you. Since you mgiht be joining a pack, does it mean you’ll stay arond for a while now?” He ask, looking at her as he drank

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A chuckle. “Yeah, well you haven’t seen me when I’ve decided someone needs to be taught a lesson.”

She nods and finishes off her glass. “That’s the plan, yeah. I’ve wandered enough. I want to stay somewhere a while. I may leave eventually, or take trips for a month or so. But not for a long while. For now, I’m here.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled and filled her glass up, motioning to the bartender for another one. “Well I”m glad to know I’ll be able to see you..regularly..or at least frequently maybe?” He said watching her

“And don’t worry..I”m not getting ideas..I know we’re not of the same blood and all..though maybe Kate would allow you to if you wanted it. I”m just happy to be spending time with you like we have, like we are”

Hedrank some more “I really hope you’ll be happy here while you stay”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins at that. “Well, I appreciate that you’re not getting any ideas. Don’t get me wrong. You’re cute, you’re a sweet guy, and the cop dating the drug dealer would have the perfect Romeo and Juliet vibe, in a Baz Luhrman, Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes kind of way. Though between you and me, Mercutio was way hotter than Leo. But I would totally break your brain, and you don’t want that.”

[Derek Anderson] He raised a brow “Hmm I wasn’t sure that what you did. And you have to admit, whoever I date is a risk to my careeer. Just by your nature. I might be sweet, nice and all that, but I”m tougher than you might think.”

He paused “Mind telling me how you’d break my brain? JUst in case I can shoot that argument down. Won’t change anything but you know..I’m curious”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs and smiles, and leans forward a bit. She hasn’t done a speech like this in a while. She doesn’t know if she’s any good at it.

“Listen. You’ve caught me on my best behavior so far. I know you don’t think people can dislike me, but believe me, I make it happen. Partly because it’s my job in the Nation, to prick egos and remind people that change is good, and they can’t get set in their ways. But it’s not just a job. It’s what I’m made for. And so it’s not something I can turn off when the nine to five is done. And the other part is…I’m just fuckin’ crazy. I go into a battle with war wolves wielding a .44 Colt Anaconda instead of my fangs. I tell nearly-frenzying Shadow Lord Ahrouns to beat the shit out of me, rather than go out on the street and tear apart some human. You probably think you can handle that, but you can’t.”

She shrugs. “I’m just like my sister, except the reverse is true in that I can heal, and anyone I can be involved with can’t. We’re mirror images of each other, and trust me. You’d lose it.”

[Derek Anderson] He watched her for a moment, listening to everything she was saying “I get what you’re saying. I really do. And yes you sound pretty crazy. And maybe you’re right, maybe I can’t handle it. Though..I think I should be free to decide that. I accept your fears and I won’t harass you Sarita, because I like you. ”

He drank some “But I have two questions for you. Why do you think I’ve only seen you on your best behavior and as crazy as you say you are..are the chances of you physically hurting me bigger than say a female warrior of my blood that i would date?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles a little. She doesn’t mean to sound like she’s laughing at him, and in truth she’s not. She’s just bemused by the fact that she hasn’t scared him off yet. “I say that because you HAVE seen my on my best behavior. With Unbroken, or out on the street when I knew you just a s a cop who happened to be kin. I’ve been behaving, trust me, and if you think I haven’t been…well, consider that. As to the other…”

She shrugs. “I dunno, to be honest. I haven’t gotten to know a lot of Silver Fangs. I know what their claws feel like, but haven’t gotten to know a lot in-depth. It isn’t about Tribe, Derek. It’s about me.”

[Derek Anderson] He leaned forward and looked into her yes again “My point Sar..is that you’re no more dangerous to me than any other female true born that I might end up mated with. Your rage is less than some, you seem to have better control over it. You mgiht be crazy, but you’re smart. You won’lose it on me and have me end up scarred like some other would. That I’m pretty sure of. So..I”m not afraid for my safety..no more, no less than with any other”

He tilted his head “As for my first question, I think you proved my point. I have seen you on your best behavior..I understand why with the Unbroken, but your other excuse..my job? We both know it doesn’t matter at all when it come odwn to you or the others. It’s not like I can throw any of you in jail. I might have a big ego for what I”m about to say..but I also think I mgiht be right. I’ve seen you on your best behavior because my presence make you act that way.”

He paused “Yes, I’m guessing a lot and feel free to destroy my arguments. It’s your job to deflate egos after all”He smile genuinly “And I can take the truth”

[Derek Anderson] (her eyes again)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I ain’t worried about frenzying on you or some shit. I’m worried about the stuff a Theurge can’t heal.” She smiles, a bit muted. She likes the guy–not in that way, for now at least–but she likes him. And his persistence is endearing. But she also likes him too much to ruin him.

“As for the cop thing…sure, no I know you wouldn’t. But there are some out there who would try. If only to prove a point. They suck, and you don’t…but still.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded “All right. Look..I’m not going to press the issue..not because I don’t want to, but because I like you too much to annoy you. I might be an idealist but I think that if you don’t lose it with me around, you care for me and are faithful…there’s nothing you can do that will scar me mentally. Not the coming home all bloody and in pain, not the going away for a month or two and not the BSD crashing the door because of who we are.

As for my job. I love it, it pays well and I help people. It’s part of me but it doesn’t define me. If I lose the job, I can find something else. And don’t forget I am a cop. I’ve seen weird shit and if I make it ot homicide, I’ll see even more troubling things.

I’m not fragile, of body or mind.” He leaned back “And that’s all I”m going to say on the subject from now on. You know how I feel, how I see things..if you ever feel liek giving me a chance one day. I’ll be here. If not..well we can always continue ot hang and drink”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little. She really does like him…only like at this point, but she does like him. She feels kind of bad about letting him down, even easy. But she seems to truly think it’s for the best.

“I promise, D. If the situation ever chances, you will be the first to know. Probably by getting grabbed and thrown in the back of my van for a good, long ride. And I ain’t talkin’ about driving.” She grins and takes a sip off her beer.

[Derek Anderson] He smiled at her “Sounds like a plan to me” He drank some “Don’t worry Sar, I won’t be sitting home and wait. Though you’d be worth the wait and the caring for. But I know you don’t want me to do that. So I’ll live my life and do thing. If it’s meant to be, so be it. If not” He shrugh

“So big plans for the coming week? Or life as usual?” He ask, drinking, changing the subject. There was nothing else to be said. Either she’ll accept she is worth loving or not.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Taking Amy to the Loft. Apartment hunting. Ummm…” She frowns. “Probably some more fights. Intentional and non. Sort of the norm, really.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “Sounds good to me” He smiled, drank some more as the bartender brought the pitcher he asked. “And you’re sure you want to bring Amy to the loft so soon?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah.” She nods a little bit. “I think she’ll fall in love with the Loft. And that will make her less opposed to the idea of them in some small way. It’ll go from there.”

[Derek Anderson] He nod “Have her bring a swim suit then…the pool should secude her…I think it’s magical or something”he said with a grin, remembering his only time at the loft and how things turned out by the pool

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A laugh. “Yeah, I have already sold the idea of the pool to her. It’s a big plus in the Loft’s favor to her.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled “True, who wouldn’t fall in love with that part of the loft. I should go again just to enjoy that pool again” He looke at her “Ok..weird question of the night. What do you want out of life Sar? Any goals or dreams?”

He doesn’t know where it came from, but it felt like the kind of question you could ask a Ragabash

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow. “Fuck…big picture? Hell if I know. I’m still trying to figure out short-picture, that’s hard enough.” She grins. “Somewhere to belong. A place for me and my sister. Her happy, and me happily driving people nuts.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled at that “Well I hope it’ll happen. I really hope your sister will find her path and it’ll be alonside you. That it’ll turn out well.” He doesn’t say she deserve it, it sounds corny, but maybe she noticed it in his tone. So he now he was sitting, drinking, watching her, silent. He had asked her many questions tonight, learned about her past, a little about her current life and even a glimpse of her future.

He could ask a thousand more. What color she like, music, movies, all kind of trivial stuff but, it could wait. It felt liek an interrogation enough as it is. Maybe she has questions, maybe she want some silence for the moment. Somehow, being silent with her didn’t make him uncomfortable..or so he thought..it never really happened before come to think of it

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[And faaaade…]]

A Quuick Quinn Interlude Turns Into a Long Talk

[Carter Roth] “Nothing, she’s done nothing but be kind and try to bring me into the fold.” He admits at least that she has been good to him. “But she saw, and that means word will spread, and eventually, someone who see’s people like us as more property then people, will come for me.” He pauses. “And then it will get ugly.”

He looks at Quinn then and shakes his head. “No, I was just leaving.” He said with an absent scritch behind the big dogs ear. “I will talk to you later Amy, maybe when I don’t feel like shit.” And he starts to walk away once more.

[Amunet Trujillo] She looks over to the girl, blinking away her crowded thoughts long enough to focus with a slight shake of her head. “Huh? Oh. No, he’s totally fine. I like big dogs”

Isn’t that an understatement of sorts. She focuses her attention on the pup for a moment, squishing it’s face in her hands, rubbing just ahead of it’s ears with her thumbs and just behind them with her fingers. “‘Cos he’s the good puppy isn’t he? Yes he’s the good puppy.” Laughing, she continues to love the dog while glancing up at the girl with an apologetic smile.

“Sorry. I got dropped on my head or something. I forgot your name?” The girl had hers. They’ve obviously met at some point.

“Carter.” It’s quiet, just loud enough to reach him. “So tell her to keep her fucking mouth shut. Just phrase it better. Either things will be as fucked as you expect them to be, or she’ll surprise you.”

[Quinn] Quinn with Amy, and well, with nearly anyone staying at The Brotherhood, has been like two ships passing in the night, almost literally. The Fianna woman owns a tavern in Lake View, and as such her schedule is off-set from the norm, making her more nocturnal. It’s only on rare Mondays that she really gets to go out and feel like she has a life of sorts.

So it doesn’t surprise Quinn that the Strider doesn’t remember her name. Her own memory is like a steel trap, more blessing than curse. She remembers things, details, most would let slip by the wayside. For instance, though she and Carter haven’t been properly introduced, she’ll remember his name if she sees him again. Given that they’re kin, it’s very likely she’ll see him again, maybe sooner rather than later.

Amy continues to love on the pup, who is completely beside himself with it. He’s only two months, and already he’s the size of a lap dog, and still has so much more to go. Quinn watches Carter leave, making note of his name, noting despite herself other things, and looks back over to Amy.

“Quinn,” she answers, brows lifted in surprise at Amy’s words directed the other way. “Another kin?” she asks, tipping her chin toward Carter’s back.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Quinn. Sorry.” She gives an apologetic smile, nodding. “Yeah, Carter.”

Quinn… Quinn… Why does that want to connect with something in her head? Her eyes widen a second later. Oh. That girl.

And then as if by perfect comedic timing, her brain decides to come back fully and her eyes widen even more. OH…. THAT girl.

She looks guilty, as if she’s in on a secret that she shouldn’t even know exists, let alone be privy to.

[Quinn] [empathee]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 3, 4, 8, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Amunet Trujillo] (And the streak remains sullied by only Joey!)

[Quinn] “Don’t worry about it,” she says, understanding, shaking her head. She’s dressed for the cooler weather in jeans, boots, and a leather jacket, a blue and white knit hat over her long dark hair.

She sees the look that crosses Amy’s face, and frowns. Is that guilt? “What’s wrong?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Nothing.” She smiles, very brightly, petting the dog while moving somewhere that she is absolutely sure she will not be upwind of Quinn. “Cute dog.”

[Quinn] [intuition: what are my guts telling me today]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 5, 6, 8, 8, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 5 at target 6) Re-rolls: 2

[Amunet Trujillo] [Girl makes her living lying]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 7, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Quinn] Nothing, Amy says. Bullshit, Quinn’s brain says. Quite adamantly. But she doesn’t know Amy’s connection to Hunter, or Hunter’s pack. Usually when she sees the Ahroun he wants to talk about other things, or at least try to negotiate for more than she’s willing to give.

There is most definitely something there, something Amy is wanting to hide from Quinn, but without more information, and considering she so obviously doesn’t want to bring it up, Quinn doesn’t know where to start questioning. Besides, though she’s curious, and it shows because unlike Amy, Quinn can’t lie to save her life, it would be rude to continue pressing.

“Thanks,” she says, and when she looks down to see what the pup is attempting to do to Amy’s shins, she yanks back on the lead. “Hudson, no. He’s such a handful sometimes,” she says with a laugh.

[Amunet Trujillo] She laughs too, the sound only slightly nervous now. “No, he’s fine. Totally fine.”

The newspaper in her hand taps against her thigh. “So….. You know Hunter, hey?”

Smooth, Ames. Really. You should write fucking books about how to not look like a complete fucking moron.

[Quinn] “Yeah,” she says, “but if I don’t train that out of him now, there’s no way I’ll be able to stop him when he’s big enough to ride.” A newspaper taps against a thigh, and Quinn crouches, forces Hudson’s hindquarters to the cold pavement as she yanks upward on the lead. Hudson gives her soulful eyes. It gives her something focus on before she answers that supposedly simple question.

Looking up at Amy, she says, “I guess so, yeah.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Sleeping squished between two lupus Garou on a hard wooden floor in a freezing cold house? Surprisingly even less restful than one might think.

This is what she blames for the staring slack jawed at Quinn, her first statement somehow connecting in Amy’s brain with her second question. The blink is so hard that it’s nearly audible.

“Um. What?”

[Quinn] Biting her lip, Quinn rises, patting Hudson absently (good boy) on the way. She’s tall, slender, leggy. Hudson will be the same when he’s grown, a tall dog for a tall woman.

“Are you feeling alright?” Sleeping on a hard floor in any event would leave a person tired and worn, and it shows a little on Amy’s face.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Me? Oh, yeah. Totally. Long night. Gotta find an apartment…” She’s babbling, nodding like a bobblehead and waving the newspaper a little.

“So. He’s pretty great, huh? I mean. He’s pretty great….”

[Quinn] “Yeah,” she says, smiling warmly. “He’s pretty nice. A bit thick-headed sometimes, but I guess that’s a full moon for you.” Obviously, she’s assuming the conversation is switching back to the topic of Hunter Matthews. “How do you know him, if you don’t mind me asking.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She doesn’t even try to hide the look of panic at that. “We. You know. Hang out.”

[Eli Booker] The sun is shinning today, and while the temperature hasn’t climbed into temperatures that scream spring just yet …it’s a lot more tolerable than below freezing. It’s nearing lunch time for the majority of Chicago’s working class and Eli, counted among them when the mood strikes him, is strolling down one of the many paths cutting through Grant Park.

His attire suits the climate – dark hooded sweatshirt, navy blue Dicikies with a wallet chain resting against his hip. His leather boots are steel toed construction boots and are scuffed and dull from wear. In one hand he’s got a bag clenched. The front of it bears the logo of one fast food joint or another. In his other hand is a large (super extra large) drink.

Dark sunglasses cover dark eyes that scan for a bench that appeals to him.

[Quinn] [what does that mean! empathee]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 3, 6, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Amunet Trujillo] She bites her bottom lip, trying to decide how much longer she can babble like an idiot without sacrificing her personal safety.

“Just. You know. I was doing some stuff there and he knows and we did that big fight the other day with Stefan and Joey and…..”

[Eli Booker] Eli is, for the sake of game play, not quite 20 feet from the two women and the over sized dog when he finds a bench to his liking. There were not tell tale signs between kin. No secret handshakes or cliché winks to alert one another that they were in the same club. So, when his eyes wander over the both of them they don’t stray to long on one or the other, instead they move toward the dog as he digs out a very large cheeseburger and sits the bag of remaining food next to his right thigh. The soda rests between his legs. Dark eyes shift from joggers or mothers with strollers to the dog and back again while he eats.

[Quinn] “Oh?” she asks, watching Amy, listening with interest as Hudson rises from his seat and trots toward a bush, sniffing and snorting at the muddy, slushy snow hidden in the shadows. Apparently Amy hangs out with Hunter, this information is accepted without concern, nor is the knowledge that there was some sort of fight. This is Chicago, danger lurks around every corner it seems. “What sort of stuff?” she asks, curious about what other kin are doing in the city, and if it aids the Garou or not. Tugging absently on Hudson’s lead, she tips her chin toward one of the trails, indicating that they should walk. The dog needs it, and maybe motion will help Amy’s tiredness a bit.

Hudson reluctantly leaves the bush behind and trots beside his mistress. At only two months old, he comes nearly to her knees, but he still moves with with gawky awkwardness of a puppy. So when a scent catches his attention, his whole head and shoulders swivels in that direction. Food. Fooooooood. He can smell whatever is wafting from Eli’s lunch bag, and he wants it, whatever it is. So he shoots forward, and is most distressed to find his progress cut short by the length of the leash.

[Amunet Trujillo] He’s going to MURDER her. Horribly. And she’s deserve it. “Just stuff, Quinn. Serious. We ran into Lukas at the club last night. Nothing big.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Unlike her sister, someone got some rest last night. Well, if you can call “sleeping it off” rest. But she’s back into her regular clothes..the leather duster over a pair of snugly-fitting jeans and a shirt. Today, it’s cold enough that the shirt is a heavy, long-sleeved number. She’s walking along through the part, humming to herself and smoking. She takes a drag off her cigarette and…

Waitagodamnminute…she squints as she looks ahead. When she sees that it is who it is, Quinn and Amy, she smiles a little. Her pace picks up and footsteps make her way in their direction. “Hola, señoras. ¿Qué pasa?

[Quinn] “You guys went to a club last night?” she asks as they amble along. “I’m sorry I missed it.” And she means it. Last night was her night off, and she spent it at home like a spinster, playing with her puppy and cleaning out upstairs rooms at The Winchester. Then again, if she’d gone out, her spinsterhood probably would’ve been obvious. She’s not young, not by the Nation’s standards, where the life expectancy of their Garou doesn’t have them leaving their teens.

Groaning, she forcibly yanks Hudson back toward her. “Sorry,” she calls to the mohawked man with the tattoos. He’s a stranger, looks rough and tumble, yet Quinn is unconcerned with his gruff appearance. She works in a bar, has served Ahrouns, has fought for the Nation since she was still in junior high. Bikers don’t scare her.

And she stops, ordering Hudson to sit, which he does, leaning heavily against her leg. Looking at Amy she says, “Look, if it’s something to do with, you know, you don’t have to protect me. I’m not a some delicate hot house flower.” She’s smiling assurances when Sarita finds them, so that smile gets directed toward the Garou. “Hey lady, how goes?” Hudson looks up at the Ragabash with wide eyes, scrambles to his feet, and scurries behind Quinn’s legs. It’s his first Garou. He doesn’t know what to do with himself.

[Amunet Trujillo] OhthankGOD. She smiles to Sarita, looking decidedly less like she’s about to freak out. “Heeeeey. Hi!”

[Eli Booker] The burger is huge. It’s very probably two thick patties and four slices of cheese topped with every condiment one could imagine. On more than one occasion his tongue snakes out to catch a smudge of mayo or ketchup that gets left on his lips. It takes very little time for the mohawked man to make quick work of said sandwich. He’s done, poking his tongue at the back of the mouth and watching the dog.

“Cute dog.” He says with a nod. The bag sits on his right side but he reaches for it with his left. “What’s he eat?” He asks, because it was a very well known fact that some dog owners fed their pets nothing but the best organic / healthy dog food that they could afford – and nothing else. Eli couldn’t judge if Quinn was one of those pet owners or not.

She does not pass him by in quick strides or avoid eye contact with him out of fear that me might speak to her. Other than the hardened exterior Eli wore a very personable expression. His eyes are hidden by sunglasses but his face bears faint lines from laughing and his brow is slightly creased with too much worry.

With Sarita’s approach, he returns his eyes back to the joggers and mothers with strollers, his fingers coming free with a handful of greasy fries.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Quinn…how YOU doin’?” It’s a question a la the great Joey Tribiani from Friends, said with a little smirk as she approaches. When Hudson does the “hide between the legs” trick, Sarita gives a sympathetic smile and holds where she is. She gives a shrug to the question. “I’m a’ight. Other than the fact that I ~got ditched~ last night at a nightclub.”

A mocking sour look is given to Amy, complete with narrowing of the eyes. She can’t hold it too long though, just smiling at her sister after too long. “Good night?’

Eli is also noticed. She can’t help but notice the guy on the park bench with the strong Fenrir genes, after all. She gives him an appraising look and grins, giving him an upward nod as well. “S’up?”

[Amunet Trujillo] Her eyes get even bigger, switching between Sarita and Quinn.

[Quinn] Quinn most certainly isn’t the hippie sort of pet owner. She grins at Eli, looks down at the massive pup pressing up against her calves. “Uh, you’d think industrial strength fertilizer, but he just gets Purina.”

She looks back to see the mocking sour look, and she smiles at Amy. “Ditched, huh? Sister before misters, Amy, I thought everyone knew that.” The look she gives her is a knowing one, one that says Oh so THAT’S why you’re so tired today. “I hope he was worth it, at least.”

[Amunet Trujillo] All she can do now is keep her mouth shut and hope that it doesn’t get any worse. Her hand runs in her hair, and she leans into Sarita a little.

“Yeah. Well… You know.”

[Eli Booker] Eli’s breeding is not as strong as it could be. Even still, it’s apparent to Garou. His face bears the features of some long dead Hero from generations already passed. And, even if he doesn’t realize it, it’s likely the root cause for the swagger in his step and the confident arrogance he all too often bears.

The soda is drawn to his lips and then left to rest on the ground between his booted feet. He leans back on the bench, his posture relaxed and unconcerned for the moment.

To Sarita he nods, overs the faintest of grins and appreciative look,”Hey.” It’s less formal than hello.

“You feed him scraps?” By now Eli is digging in the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt for his cigarettes. A Marlboro is slipped between his lips and lit. The wind thankfully keeps the sharp smell of carcinogenic smoke from lingering too long around them.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She slips an arm around her sister’s shoulders, supporting the tired kinfolk without complaint.

“Naah, it wasn’t like that. Crazy little chica here was hopin’ she could follow her new buddies into some kinda of fight. And I keep remindin’ ‘er, all she needs to do is wait ’till I get drunk enough and then we can find a good fight against some douchebag clubber or another.” A little sigh. “Guess the random clubbers don’t do it for her anymore.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fucking Lukas…. Wasn’t going to have any fun with him there.”

[Quinn] “Did you find some, then?” she asks, with a mind toward Amy’s tiredness. “Nah,” she says to the man on the bench, the faintest touch of irritation bleeding into her tone that she tries to rein in. He’s a stranger looking for idle conversation, and he’s finding it with a woman otherwise engaged, at least for the moment.

The exchange of greetings between Garou and unknown-kin is noticed. “Do you know him?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “We talked. That’s it.” She scowls at Quinn for a second, then leans into Sarita again.

[Eli Booker] Eli nods, stands and grabs the nearly empty bag of food at his side. The soda is scooped up as he’s straightening and without anything further to the group of strangers he starts down the path opposite of them.

Lunch was, after all, only thirty minutes.

[Eli Booker] (Thanks for the scene!)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Awww.” She grins and squeezes her arm around Amunet’s shoulder. “Yeah well, you should have stayed. Homie was at least a sheet and a half to the wind. Everything woulda been fine.”

In response to Quinn’s question, she shakes her head. “Nope. Think Kora might, though.” And just like that, her attention turns to Eli. “M’I right, or m’I right?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Delete the part about talking directly to Eli.]]

[Quinn] [D: WHY YOU SCOWLING?]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 1, 8, 9, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Quinn] [NO SERIOUSLY C’MON]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 3, 5, 6, 10 (Failure at target 7)

[Quinn] [FINE]

[Amunet Trujillo] “Maybe. Or Homie might be a good fucking actor, and I’d be completely fucked right now”

[Amunet Trujillo] [No empathies for you!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Trust me, he was gone.” She raises an eyebrow at the scowl she gives. “You’re grumpy when you haven’t slept.”

[[Don’t feel bad. You’ve actually done well on an Emp roll against Amy. That makes you…well, the second but the first player still!]]

[Amunet Trujillo] “You try fucking sleeping between two fuzzy fucks on the floor”

….FUCK

[Quinn] The scowl is answered with a wide-eyed look of surprise, and one hand lifted palm out as if to ward off a blow. Or bad mojo. She studies Amy’s face, perhaps a little more intently than she means to but the girl just scowled at her. Maybe it’s the tired? Maybe she’s touching too close to something?

Sarita says Kora might know the smoker (Marlboro’s, a man after her own heart), and she gives him another look over. Not Garou, so he must be kin. This factoid will be stored away for later, as the man gets up and leaves before she can invite him over to join their little party.

Turning back toward the sisters, she seems wary toward Amy now, unsure what might earn her another look like that. The mention of sleeping between two furry fucks on a floor gets a raised brow, but nothing more.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Okay, that gets about the same reaction from Sarita as it did from Quinn. She arches a brow and then shakes her head, taking a drag off her cigarette.

My fucking god, this is a goddam disaster waiting to happen. How long till the kid who delivers papers down the Mile knows?

She just chuckles a little and lets it go, looking to Quinn.

“So, on that uncomfortable note…how’ve you been? Ain’t seen you a lot lately.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Sure, she’s prayed for death before…. but that was always for selfish reasons. Now, clearly, her ceasing to exist in her current state would only benefit the world as a whole.

Hands in her pockets and shoulders hunched, she errs on the side of just shutting the fuck up before she makes everything much worse.

Should have just said she fucked him…

[Quinn] There’s no way of them knowing how Quinn would react to the news that Hunter fucked another kinswoman. Firstly, it doesn’t get brought up. Secondly, so far as Quinn knows, and she doesn’t know anything when it comes to whatever keeps passing into Amy’s face, making her scowl at her, all anyone could possibly know is that Hunter likes her. But if there are rumors about her apparent slutitude going around again, she’s going to find a new use for her shotgun.

Her eyes on Amy, her head turns toward Sarita. Whatever the kid who delivers papers down the Mile knows, he hasn’t told Quinn yet.

“Alright. I finally got The Winchester cleaned up enough to live in, hence the puppy,” she says, looking down again, twisting about to look at the pup, who looks back up at her with those soulful eyes of his. “It’s a whole lot of empty, isn’t it, boy?” It doesn’t take much of a bend of her body to lean over and scratch his ear. Hudson lifts his head and licks her fingers once before continuing to give her that look.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Right on.” She smiles and nods to that. “I gotta stop by there one of these days, for more than just a couple of minutes. Inflict my patronage onto your and your establishment.”

It’s said in that good-natured, humored way that she has. Not that Sarita showing up would be some sort of affliction…though you can never completely discount it.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Yeah, we should stop by.” She nods. What the hell. “I can bring Hunter. You guys can talk.”

[Quinn] “We’d love to have you,” she says, straightening. “Family owned and operated, so we welcome the Nation especially. And if you’re in the area and need a place to crash, just, um. Hm.” She looks thoughtful a moment, brow furrowed as she lifts a hand to tap a finger against the corner of her mouth. “Oh, duh. Let me give you my number.” Wrapping Hudson’s lead around her wrist, she digs around in her bag until she finds a scrap of paper (an old receipt (&+9835; four sweater vests &+9834;)) and a pen.

“Here you go. But don’t go spreading it around,” she warns. “We’re open to help, but, uh, yeah I’d sort of like to be familiar with who’s coming around, you know?”

A confused frown to Amy. “Hunter comes around enough, I think.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She gives the confused frown right back. “What? You don’t like having him around?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Oh Jesus Fuck.

She just takes the number when it’s offered. “We’re cool. We’re actually looking into getting our own place. But thanks…the offer’s noted.”

Amy gets a look that may not seem like it from outsiders, but is clearly Daughter-Of-Estebanese for ‘Quit digging the hole.’

[Quinn] “I don’t mind,” she says, thoughtful. “We’re friends,” she finishes with a shrug, wary of saying more. They’re neither his tribe nor hers, but Quinn is still careful. It’s true, she and Hunter are friends, that’s what she got him to agree to be. “He comes around enough without needing more of a reason to.”

[Amunet Trujillo] The scowl returns, but at least she shuts up.

[Quinn] Another scowl? Quinn flinches slightly, then the expression clears somewhat. “Do…do you like him or something?” she asks, cautiously testing the waters.

[Amunet Trujillo] What’s it going to be, Ames? Save your ass, or campaign for your friend?

“We’re friends. We hang out, but he’s waiting for somebody else to give him a chance.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She rolls her eyes and slips her arm away from Amy. She’s already tired of this conversation. She was tired of this conversation and ones just like it a week ago. She takes the excuse of being done with her cigarette to gain some distance on the conversation, flicking a the stub into the garbage can before she lights up another.

[Quinn] Somebody else. It doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to figure out who that somebody else is, unless Hunter finally has gone off and found himself another girl to lose himself to. Quinn’s gaze drops, lifts to follow Sarita, then goes back to Amy.

And she sighs. “Did he happen to tell you that Somebody Else is a widow? And probably won’t ever be able to give him a chance?”

[Amunet Trujillo] She nods. “Yeah. And now, sure. He said shit was pretty new, but… Never say never, you know? Those guys…. It’s hard as fuck to find good guys like that. Just seems kind of stupid to make blanket no statements.”

[Quinn] Quinn watches Amy, her expression serious, blue eyes dark with some hard to forget emotion.

“Have you ever lost someone, Amy?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I don’t think that any of us haven’t ever lost anyone. After a while? It’s just an excuse.”

She runs her fingers in her hair. “I’m not saying to to fucking Vegas. But let him hang around if he wants. Stop worrying about why you shouldn’t, and just get to know him. Give him a chance. If it doesn’t work then it doesn’t work, but at least then it’s not for lack of trying.”

Amy. Mistress of the lost cause.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She takes a drag off her cigarette, watching the two. There’s a frown on her face as she looks between them again, once again relegated to the outside looking in on the situation around her sister.

[Quinn] Quinn looks at her, and it’s sympathetic more than anything. It’s just an experienced veteran looking at the young, new blood. They’re probably close to the same age, but right now, right here, Quinn seems older. Weathered. Worn.

When she speaks, it’s with a slight upward quirk of the corner of her mouth, and her voice is steady, even almost until the end when it starts to crack. “Tell you what. You go on and spend most of your life with the other half of your soul, and you stand by their corpse during their Gathering for the Departed. You try to live with your heart buried in the ground, or incinerated, or whatever it is your tribe does. And when some fool comes sniffing around your door, begging for a chance at your severely broken heart, you come find me, and you tell me that you don’t feel the tiniest bit guilty that you can’t give it to him.”

She tugs on Hudson’s lead, urging him to his feet with a cluck of her tongue before she looks back to Amy. “And for the record, no one’s stopping Hunter from coming around The Winchester. We’re friends, that’s all. I’ll see you around.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Aaand there’s another potentially friendly conversation ruined because Amy had to bring up one of the Defiance boys in conversation. She gives a disgusted look and takes a drag off of her cigarette. A smile is attempted as she nods at Quinn.

“See you, Q.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She had, apparently, not thought about it like that since the brief consideration last night. She can see it in her head, way too clearly for comfort. She can see it, knowing that it’s an absolute certainty.

Nodding a little, she sighs and wraps her arms around her middle. “Bye Quinn. Sorry.”

[Quinn] As Quinn walks off, she loosens the slack on the Great Dane pup’s lead, letting him run and roam and romp as she’d intended coming here. She lifts her hand as she goes, though, not looking back to the sisters as she offers them a wave.

[and she’s out! thanks for the scene, peeps!]

[vikthya] [thanks for letting me lurk!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She watches Quinn go, and snorts. “Jesus Fucking Christ, Ames. Nice work.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She’s quiet.

It’s been happening a lot, lately. Nodding a little, she just stays quiet.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns at Amy’s reaction, almost as much as she did at the conversation. This is not an Amy she’s entirely familiar with.

[[Why Not Try: Emp!]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 2, 6, 7, 7 (Success x 4 at target 6) [WP]

[Amunet Trujillo] (Woooow)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Yep!]]

[Amunet Trujillo] This is not an Amy she’s familiar with, because this is not an Amy she’s ever seen before. Her Amy runs head first into things, and doesn’t bother with consequences until they come to bite her in the ass. Sarita, for the year that they’ve been together, has gotten to know Reinvented Amy.

Out of Her Element and Fucking Terrified Amy lurks for a minute, then goes away and leaves Sarita being scowled at again.

“The fuck are you looking at?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns, deeply. It’s clear that whatever she just saw, she didn’t like it. She shakes her head and gestures toward the sidewalk. “C’mon. We are leaving, and we are talking.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “We need to look at apartments.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I said, come on. We’re leaving, and we’re talking. The Bitchmobile isn’t far.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Instead of arguing, she shrugs a shoulder and waits for Sarita to indicate which direction they’re going.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She flicks her cigarette away and walks along the path. After a couple of minutes Amy can see the VW bus coming up in their view.

[Amunet Trujillo] She doesn’t way a word all the way there, getting into the van and settling into the passenger seat as if it’s any other day.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She drives along for a while, silently. The radio is off for once, leaving only them, silence, and the sounds of the road. She’s not heading anyone in particular, just driving.

“What’s going on with you,” she says finally.

[Amunet Trujillo] “That’s kind of broad.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You know exactly what I mean, Amy.” She frowns. “I barely recognize who you are half the time anymore.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “People change, Sar.” She’s looking out the window, specifically to avoid looking at her. “They grow and they move on and they get packs and find things that they thought they couldn’t have. It happens.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns, silent at that for a long time. “Yeah, people change. And it’s not always for the better.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Just come the fuck out and say whatever you want to say”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m saying that I don’t even know if I know who you are anymore. I’m saying that you’re obsessed to the point of unhealthiness with them, Amy. Seriously fucking obsessed.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I am not fucking obsessed. Jesus fuck. You GOT your pack, Sar. Let me have mine.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “This isn’t your pack, Amy. This is your boyfriend and HIS pack.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “How is that any worse than my sister and HER pack? At least I fucking fit in with them”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You haven’t ~tried~ to fit in with the Unbroken. You offered to fight with them, they said no and you gave up on the fucking spot. And Hunter’s not letting you go out and fight with him. You may think he’ll soften up, or maybe you can work on John and have him get Hunter to let you go out and do stuff with them, but it’s not going to happen.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “A fucking Lord Elder and his Project fucking Runway girlfriend? Really? And a fucking Fang with more rank that everybody else I know put together? Did you just fucking meet me? I’m not going to fit in with them. I’ll run scout shit because they’re your pack, but I seriously don’t have a fucking clue how you can look at me, and look at Unbroken and Defiance, and honestly be surprised by who I want to associate with.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Even if that were the case, and you are totally judging off of appearances which is completely unfair, that’s not the point Amy. You are completely obsessed. Do you know when the last time we had a conversation that didn’t revolve around them was?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m not fucking obsessed.” She waits a second. “When?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I don’t know. Seriously, I legitimately don’t know, and I was asking you. Maybe a couple weeks ago? Maybe more?” She frowns. “You are completely obsessed and you’re all about them 24/7. You can’t even stand to not be around them for a night it seems.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Why do you keep putting it like that? Obsessed? Do you even know what the fuck we’re doing that’s taking up my time? Do you have a fucking clue what’s going on with them?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I know what you tell me, which is shit like ‘He’s got a big cock,’ ‘We spend all night talking’ and ‘Oh yeah, we’re moving to Bronzeville.'”

She scowls. “You’re hiding shit from me, and literally ALL you do is talk about them. Even not with me. We couldn’t even go OUT last night without you inviting them. Without telling me. And then when Lukas showed up and you had actual WORK–which is what you’ve been dying for and which you haven’t bothered to even ask about–you skip out.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I don’t belong with Lukas. Neither do you, but it’s your life. And I told you that I’d do whatever Lukas has set up and needs done. I’ll play nice, Sar. But I don’t belong there. Especially not now.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s silent as she drives, still more or less wandering around the streets. She doesn’t look at Amy…in fact, she’s looking ahead so strongly that it looks almost seems painful somehow. Her face is set in a taut expression.

[Amunet Trujillo] “I miss my other family, Sar.” She looks out the passenger window as things go flying by. “I miss the guys. I miss feeling safe. I miss all the shit I got yanked away from because he was in a fucking hurry to get on the road.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “And I miss you.” It’s said with a tightness to it, though she takes a breath and shakes her head. When she speaks again, it’s a touch more relaxed.

“There’s a difference between reconnecting and submerging yourself in it. You’re hiding in there.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Because I know I’ve only got so much time. With all of it. The clock is ticking.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Are you THAT sure this is all going to blow up?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m not even talking about blowing up. That Thunderwyrm thing? That was like ‘Oh. Must be Tuesday’ to them. One of these days they’re going to go out and not come back. Same with you and Stefan and Leon and everybody. We die for Gaia. It’s what we do.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “There are forty, fifty year-old Ahrouns out there, Amy. So what you’re saying is that you’re going to bury yourself until they die, whether that’s next week or next year or five, ten years down the road?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “It’s been four fucking days, Sar.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, and before that you were falling into the same trap with Leon. And before that, John the first time.”

She shakes her head. “When was the last time you even slept at home?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I was using Leon. Leon wasn’t any different than the guy in St. Louis or the one in Denver. Really not the same thing”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “And the last time you slept at home?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Okay, I’ll give you that. Like, last week.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “And tie that in with the fact that we haven’t had a conversation that hasn’t centered on them in a lot longer than that.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Then what do you want to talk about?” She sags a little, shoulders hunching.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay well, to start with what’s with that reaction?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I don’t know what you want, Sar. You don’t want me to talk about the guys fine. I won’t. But you’ve got to help me out then.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh my god. Amy, it’s not about individual symptoms. It’s not about having a single fucking conversation with you that doesn’t involve Hunter and John, or having you spend a couple nights with me.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Why Lukas? Seriously.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Because HE FUCKING ASKED ME.” She slams on the breaks, nearly causing a car accident, and looks over at her.

“He. Fucking. Asked. Me. I don’t know why you have this sudden, livid hatred for Lukas all of a sudden, but you know what? He showed an interest in me. Fucking Hunter can talk all he wants about how he was scouting me out, but nobody FUCKING told me that for at LEAST three FUCKING weeks. Fucking Joey was all about ‘Yeah, we should go on a hunt.’ NOTHING. When we’re together, they don’t talk to me. They talk to fucking YOU. They COMPLETELY FUCKING IGNORED me last night because you were there. And you had NO problem with Lukas and didn’t act like he was the fucking enemy–which even now, he’s NOT–until you started hanging with them.”

Her hands are tightly wrapped around the steering wheel, knuckles white. “Why Lukas? Because it’s somewhere I’m WANTED. And it’s somewhere you’re WANTED to. I’m sorry that it can’t be all about you with the Unbroken. If I could be kinfolk and make you Garou, I would. I would move heaven and earth for you, and you know that. I am letting you put many, MANY Garou in direct harm’s way, including myself, because it’s what you want. So please, TELL me that Lukas is the enemy and how I don’t belong with the people who actually WANT me.”

[Amunet Trujillo] There’s John’s influence, and her thinking it through before she talks again.

“They’re a little fucking busy, first of all. Second, I never fucking said Lukas was the enemy. Fucking EVER. And I seem to recall Hunter fucking talking to you, but you were probably too busy being pissed off at me for having people that care about me now that you didn’t fucking notice”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, because they totally couldn’t have just picked up the phone and said ‘Hey, Sarita, come by and we can talk.’ I didn’t say you said he was the enemy, but you’re sure acting like it. And yes, he talked to me. Once he realized I was there, fricking five minutes after the fact.”

Cars are screaming behind her and so are the drivers. She clearly doesn’t care.

“I’m glad they like you. Fucking great. But you know what? They don’t give a shit about me unless it has to do with you. But please, tell me more about how I belong with them.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “How is that different from Unbroken and me?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, you know it’s kind of hard to say since you’ve avoided them like the plague outside of that first night when you talked to Lukas.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “He put me in my place, Sar. There wasn’t a whole lot that needs said after that.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “And how is that different from what Hunter did, except that you actually decided to stick around Hunter?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Because he’s doing it for totally different reasons. Because he gave me a chance first, and a choice of what I wanted more.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Really. Hunter took you out fighting?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Did you miss the part with the Thunderwyrm? He didn’t shove me off in a corner for that”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, but he didn’t TAKE you to it either. If you were around when the Unbroken were forced to fight something, the same would happen.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She’s quiet for a few minutes.

“Are you jealous?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sits back in the seat, sighing. The anger’s drained out of her for now.

“Honestly? Yes, a little. Not of you, but of them.” She shakes her head. “But that’s only a small part of why I’m upset. I’m upset because I don’t even feel like I know you anymore. I feel like you’re someone entirely different and you know how many times you told me to stop you if you changed into someone else.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “If I changed into the kind of Kin I hate. That’s what I said.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Other than the fact that you’re not getting pregnant any time soon, tell me the difference between who you’re becoming and the kind of Kin you hate?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Do you really think that I’m just blindly doing whatever they tell me to? I’m still going to do stuff, Sar. I’m just not going to fight.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Fucking I don’t know. Yes, that’s exactly what you’ve made it sound like, and you’re…” She sighs.

“Jesus, Amy. You’re acting fucking meek and scared around people now. Like with Quinn. TELL me that’s not the kind of Kin you hate.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Hunter is in love with her. I was trying to figure out how to tell her to give him a chance, without blowing my cover. But then she dropped all that about her mate… That terrifies the fuck out of me. I used to only have you to worry about, now I’ve got them, too. Same reason why I’m not going to fight. You didn’t see the look on his face when he came to make sure I was okay. Not just not hurt, but really okay. What kind of selfish fucking bitch do I have to be to keep putting you guys through that when I get it now?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs. “Fine. I’m completely wrong, everything is fine, I’m just fucking nuts.” She starts driving. “Where do you want me to drop you off?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “You’re not nuts. I’m not being a drone. I’m just thinking about shit other than myself for a change.” Her head shakes. “Wherever. I’ve got stuff tonight, but I’ll come back to the Broho for a couple of days tomorrow, okay?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Sure.” She doesn’t seem to have any conviction that it’ll happen. She shakes her head, turning to head toward Bronzeville.

[Amunet Trujillo] “He wants you in. You’d like them.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Never bring that up to me again. Please.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I think you’re making a mistake. I know you. I know them. I know it would work. That’s it though. I won’t say anything else about it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Then they should have asked me. I don’t turn my back when I make a commitment to someone.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Jesus fuck, Sar. You’re so fucking stubborn. And you haven’t made a commitment. You’re fucking engaged, that’s it. You’re still not official.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pulls the car to the side of the road and gets out. “Drive it to wherever you need,” she says as she starts to walk. “Bring it back tomorrow.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Sar…”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She keeps on walking. “I’m DONE with this for tonight, Amy. Fucking DONE.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Get in the goddamned van. I need to get some shit from the Broho anyway.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You can’t even keep a promise for five seconds!” she screams out as she walks. “Jesus Christ!”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Jesus FUCK!”

The door of the van slams a minute later.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She tenses when the door slams, and she looks back. The Strider is still angry, but she sighs and turns around, walking back toward the van.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Which is running and left alone, as Amy walks the opposite direction”

[Amunet Trujillo] (Oops. *Erases the ” “*)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Amy…” She looks around and starts running after her. “C’mere, please.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She stops walking, but doesn’t turn around

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She walks up behind her, sighing, and wraps her arms around Amy from behind. She doesn’t say anything, just holds her tightly, eyes squeezed shut.

[Amunet Trujillo] She leans back into her sister, arms wrapped over hers and not saying anything.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s silent, hugging her for several moments. After a couple, her shoulders start to shake, face burying in Amy’s shoulder.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Please don’t make me pick, Sar.” Her voice is quiet, and she reaches back to pet her sister’s hair. “You’ve got your pack, and I’ve got mine. Neither of us want to pick.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She speaks in a cracked voice.

“This is gonna go all wrong, and I’m gonna lose you. One way or another. I know it.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m not planning on it. You’re going to be spending this much time with them pretty soon, then we’ll be even.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No.” She goes to pull away, wiping at her nose. “I don’t think so.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Why not?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She steps off to the sidewalk, feeling around for her cigarettes. “I just…” She shrugs. “Even with them, I’ll still need you. They might be my pack, but you’re my fuckin’ blood, Amy.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m not going anywhere. I can love them and still love you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I know you can, I just…” She shakes her head. “Yeah, sure.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Just what?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Just…it’s not about love. We both know how well love works out.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Shitty, yeah. All I can do is hope that this is different.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “That’s a lot of faith against a whole lot of shit, Amy.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “What am I supposed to do, Sar? Ignore how he makes me feel? I can’t. And I can’t ignore that being with him and Hunter makes me really happy. It’ll probably all go to shit, yeah. That’s why I’m going to enjoy the ride as long as it lasts.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “And what happens after?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I don’t know. I don’t want to think about it. Not yet.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I can’t help but think of it.” She wipes at her face, finally finding her cigarettes. “It’s not gonna be good.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Just let me enjoy it? Please?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs. “Yeah. I ~will~ pull you out if I think it’s getting too close though. For you and John.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “What do you mean, too close?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Too close to the end for you guys.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Her jaw sets, and she looks angry. “Don’t you dare. Don’t do that to me. I don’t want to be yanked away from anything else.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You’d rather get a few more days or weeks with him than possibly have a chance that you both ~LIVE~?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “If it starts going that way, then we’ll end it. But it’ll be ours to end. Not yours or Hunter’s or Lukas’ or anybody else.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs. “You’re fucking insane, you know that?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Probably. But you’ll notice that I’m not trying to get myself fucking killed anymore.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah you are. Just in a different way.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She sighs “How?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Tell me that you don’t think this will lead to you getting a deathwish if something happens to John.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I don’t think it will. I’ll hate it, but what good would it do for me to self destruct? How is that honoring him?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “What if it destroys all of us? What then?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She doesn’t seem to be speaking down of it at this point. She’s still upset, and she’s still wiping tears away. But she’s just asking Amy’s thoughts now.

[Amunet Trujillo] “We won’t let it get to that point.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Once it hits the breaking point, it’s not in your control, sweetie.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She looks upset, eyes on something far away.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m sorry.” She sighs and walks over, hugging her again. “I’m just…I’m trying to figure this out in my head. I’m not…I’m sorry.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I spent so much time obsessing over how I could make it work, and now there’s so many reasons to worry about what could go wrong. I just want a few days to enjoy it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “So shall we plan for my shitting on this say…this time Thursday?” It’s a weak joke, but an attempt at humor.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Sure. Tell you what. We can spend all Wednesday and Thursday dissecting anything that could go wrong.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’d rather not.” She sighs, squeezing her arms around Amy. “To be honest…and don’t take this wrong…I don’t want to talk about anything relating to it.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Alright. Fair enough.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh…before I forget.” She pulls out a scrap of newspaper clipping, handing it to Amy. “This is what Lukas wanted you to look in on.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She takes the clipping, reading it over twice before nodding. “Okay. I’m on it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey. The streets took them. That’s totally danger.” She smiles a bit. “Right up your alley.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She forces a little smile, folding the clipping and putting it in her pocket.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You know what we’re doing Wednesday? I have it planned out.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “What are we doing on Wednesday?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, or Thursday. Or maybe both.” She produces a key from her pocket. “Hanging out by a pool.”

[Amunet Trujillo] To her credit, there’s only a half second of panic. “I could be alright with hanging out by a pool.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “We got a room.” She smiles. “And I’ll see if I can find us a good apartment tomorrow. If I can, I’ll get us moved in Ay-sap.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “At the risk of pissing you off again… Can you help me take a few things over to the house tonight?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Like what kinda things?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “There are a couple of blankets and some candles that I want to take over. I need to find a little propane heater until we can get the power turned on.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh gee. Can I help you bring things over so you stay there more?” She sighs and nods. “Yeah, I guess. If only because I know otherwise you’ll be carrying that shit down the street.”

A pause. “John owes me some serious fuckin’ gratitude here, by the way.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Her jaw sets” Nevermind.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, sweetie. Homey owes me some gratitude regardless. That particular comment was just a joke.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “You know, you’re making it pretty fucking hard to not just move in there, period. Don’t worry about it. Hunter will help me out, and you don’t have to deal with the house.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs. “Wow. Really? I can’t make a fucking joke anymore?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “You know, if this was the other way around, I wouldn’t be going out of my way to be a bitch.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m not goin’ out of my way, chica. Just comes naturally. You know that.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m going to go. I’ve got shit to do”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “C’mon. I’ll give you a ride and help you bring the shit, of course.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She wants to say no, but it’s fucking cold and a long way from the Broho to the house.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Listen, I’m sorry. I was trying to be funny. Even I’m not 100% on that.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Alright.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Forgive me?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I always do”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs and hugs Amy again. “I really am sorry. I didn’t mean to be bitchy about it. C’mon, let’s buy you two lovebirds a space heater and shit and get them over there.”

A Long Talk, Then Clubbin’

[Amy] More than half her stuff is packed into her bags which are piled on top of her bed. The bed she hasn’t slept in in a few nights, now.

When she slips into the room, she knows that it’s time to face the music.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita knew that this decision would involve change. When she came home last night to find Amy’s stuff packed, she realized that it was far more change than she was aware of. She’s sitting on the bed, staring at Amy’s. The Strider doesn’t look as if she’s slept all night; she’s dressed in a white tank top and jeans. An ashtray full of cigarettes sits on her bed. She looks…tired. Worn down…exhausted. A little bit haunted.

She doesn’t look up when the door opens and closes, just takes a drag off her cigarette. “Hey.”

[Amy] “Hey”.

She smells like him. Not in a ‘Broke the fuck out of the Litany’ way, but in a has spent several hours in contact with him way. It’s faint, and people wouldn’t notice. But Sarita isn’t people, and Amy comes to flop down on her sister’s non-luggage-laden bed with her. She’s not hiding anything in the brief minutes that she doesn’t have to.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over finally, settling tired eyes on the kiinfolk. The smell is obvious to her, and she takes a breath before looking back to the other bed. “So, when were you gonna tell me you were moving out?”

[Amy] “When I explained what the deal was.” She looks over her semi-packed things too. “It’s one of Hunter’s conditions. I move to Bronzeville, so that we have some sort of cover. I told him I wasn’t going without you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She snorts. “Wow. So my choice now is to move away from the rest of my tribemates that were currently living here, or go back on the whole thing and say ‘Fuck off, I’m not cool with this’ and be the bitch.”

Letting Amy go without her isn’t even mentioned as an option, because to the Ragabash, it isn’t one.

[Amy] “You’re going to fucking make me choose too? Fucking really?”

She hops up, favoring her still not entirely healed wrist as she searches through her bags for the Ace bandage.

“I already fucking picked him over Stefan, and him over fighting, and fucking Bronzeville over fucking indoor pool at fucking Katherine’s. I’ve picked him over every other fucking option there was, and now it’s going to be all for shit because you’re going to make me pick too?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Did I say that?” Her anger rises, at the same time that she rises off the bed.

“You didn’t fucking tell me this when you asked me. And you damn well know that this completely changes MY fucking life as well. You’re making me lie to my fucking packmates-to-be. At least you MADE the choice between Bronzeville or Bellemonte Loft. I apparently didn’t get that choice. Frankly Amy, I think you’d choose him if it meant that you got beaten within an inch of your life every god damned day. And you don’t care who else you hurt when you do it, you selfish bitch.”

[Amy] “Fuck you.”

She doesn’t look behind her as she wraps the wrist, trying to keep her breathing even and slow and getting even more angry when it hitches and gives her away.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her jaw is set, hands clenched into fists at her side. Some of the anger immediately drains at that tell-tale sign in the catch of Amy’s breath, and when she speaks again, it’s calmer.

“Tell me that I’m wrong, and I’ll apologize.”

[Amy] “If you don’t want to go, then we don’t go.” She briefly wonders how many conditions Hunter would let her wriggle around before he just put an end to it himself.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “It frankly doesn’t make sense.” She shakes her head and walks over to Amy. She wills her anger away and slips her arms around her sister, leaning on her. It’s most for support, but because the No-Moon is a but unsteady on her feet.

“Nobody gives a shit if you make trips to Bronzeville. That should be obvious by now. If we move out of the Brotherhood into Bronzeville, people will start wondering why. Especially when I’m moving into another pack’s territory despite being not being a part of them. Double especially if Hunter is right about the fact that they were looking at me first, and told Lukas that. That needs to be talked out.”

[Amy] “I’m just doing what he says, Sar.” She sounds exhausted, wiping her eyes with her freshly wrapped hand and leaning back into his sister. “There isn’t a fuck of a lot that I wouldn’t have agreed to”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, he’s being a fucking idiot. No one’s tailing you into their territory.”

[Amy] “Yet.”

[Amy] She pulls her phone out, texting with one hand and waiting.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Why would they at all?” She frowns. “You’re doing shit with the pack. That’s not news. Although, I guess you’re not now, which is kinda also stupid because it means ‘Okay, we’re going to throw away a perfectly valid cover and replace it with one that seems completely out of the blue.'”

[Amy] “No. I’m not doing shit with the pack. Not anymore.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I hate how much you’re changing yourself for this.”

[Amy] “I can still do shit, just not for Defiance. I can still do whatever Lukas lets me have.”

Which, from her tone, she doesn’t expect to be much.

[Amy] Her phone beeps, and she reads. “He wants to know what issues.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “We’ll have shit for you to do.”

She frowns when Amy reports what the text says. “Just tell him that I want to talk to him about the living situation.”

[Amy] Type type type. “Should I probably mention that I was a complete pain in his ass last night?”

[Amy] She winces when the return text comes through, handing the phone to Sarita and wandering back to the clear bed.

“nothing to talk bout she can live there or not live there, not my problem, your choice”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She scowls. “Fuck off, dickbag.” She dials the number and puts it to her ear.

[Amy] It’s a test. It has to be. The whole thing is just a sick fucking joke to see how loyal she can be. There’s no going back at this point, though. Stefan will join Defiance, and that’s the end of him. She still won’t be able to work with them. She won’t even be able to be friends with them.

Making her pick between any of them and her sister? They should have known that’s the one place she’d draw a big fucking line.

But then again, maybe that’s what they were counting on, Ames. Because you can’t take a fucking hint.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey, Hunter.” She starts to pace, putting on a smile and taking a good-natured tone. “We gotta chat a bit about this moving thing.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a bit at Amy and starts to talk. “So, here’s the thing. You’re going to draw a lot more attention to the situation if Amy and I move out of the Brotherhood out of nowhere and into your territory. Especially when I’m packing up with Lukas and company. And honestly, I don’t get how this works as a cover, since no one is questioning why Amy’s spending time in Bronzeville anyway. I mean, you’re talking about being worried about sneaking through the tall grass, so you’re instead having her set fire to the grass instead.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, yeah. She insisted because my sister and I don’t live apart.” It’s said fairly matter-of-factly, with a sense of finality to it. “We are a package item, and that’s something that needs to be clearly understood out of the gate. Now frankly, I don’t see the problem as long as they’re not showing up at the Brotherhood for their dates or hanging out cuddling there together, but hey, I can compromise. What I’m saying is having us live in Bronzeville as a primary residence is equally not an option.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns at what comes over the receiver, a look that says she’s not particularly pleased with what was just said.

“Like I said, a compromise. To find out what a decent compromise spot would be, I just need to know what you’re looking at for this living place. Are you expecting somewhere that they’ll be able to hang out and be a happy couple? Just a place where she’s not going to be followed leaving from, or what?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “None taken. And that’s what I’m saying…people wouldn’t bat an eye if Amy moved out into your territory, but me they would. And we’re a team.” She sighs. She hates this whole thing. She hates the way that it’s changing Amy and turning their lives upside down.

“Here’s what I’ll say. We’ll get a spot more or less halfway between the Unbroken’s loft and Bronzeville. I’ll try to get a spot within the loft itself too; she’s gonna be doing work with the Unbroken, it’s going to be necessary so that Lukas doesn’t just show up at her front door with ‘Hey, I have a job for you.’ Which I don’t think he would, but I’m being cautious here. That’ll give us a spot outside of your territory but a lot closer than we are now, with a private location that has no kinfolk or True eyes but mine. And it’ll also mean that I’m having to be a lot less dishonest to my packmates-to-be.”

[Amy] She hops up suddenly, shaking her head and heading out the door “I gotta pee. I’ll be right back.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s laying down on her bed when Amy gets back, the ashtray on her chest and a cigarette being smoke. She seems more relaxed, now. A little, at least.

[Amy] She’s gone longer than is necessary for a potty break. Her knuckles are scraped up when she gets back.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks up from her bed at Amy when she comes in, frowning a bit. “Jesus Fuck, girl. What the hell did you do this time?”

She gestures to Amy’s hands, to make sure Amy knows she’s talking about that and not something she may have discussed with Hunter on the phone.

[Amy] “Hit stuff” She leans in the doorway. “So?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “So, compromise accepted.” She smiles tiredly. “We got time to find a place between the Loft and Bronzeville. I’m thinking we can find something cheap near the University. I’ll hit up Katherine, see if we can claim a room at the Loft as well. In the meantime, when you wanna meet with your boy-toy, to quote Hunter ‘they meet at ‘the house’, whether she’s livin’ there or not.'”

[Amy] “How pissed is he?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I think he was okay by the end. He was kind of pissy about midway through…or he just doesn’t like a hell of a lot of talking being sent his way. But I think he’s cool.”

[Amy] “He’s going to think I changed my mind.” She drifts over to the first aid kit that they keep stocked, cleaning up the blood on her knuckles.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “About being with him?” She shakes her head. “I don’t think so. Seriously, I think Hunter’s fine.”

[Amy] “About agreeing to all his conditions.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, some of his conditions were bullshit and he put you on the spot. I’m your voice of reason, looking out for you.”

She looks over, watching Amy through shadowed eyes. “Can I ask something? What big changes is John making in all of this, to be with you?”

[Amy] “Putting his ass on the line, knowing that when the all find out, it’s not an unreasonable expectation that they may just slit his throat.”

She looks over at Sarita, challenging her to argue the weight of the concessions.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods, not arguing that. “And you could be fucked, too. My point is, you’re changing your whole life around for this. And there’s a shit-ton of risk for all involved…I just wanna know it’s not all you making yourself what he wants to be. Bein’ with someone is about loving who they are. Sure, tweaks might happen here or there, but…”

She shrugs. “You know what I’m saying?”

[Amy] “I know.” She at least has the good grace to look ashamed. Once her knuckles are cleaned, she comes to sit on the bed again. “How long do we have to find somewhere?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Wasn’t specified. I’ll go out looking tomorrow.” She sighs. “And I’m assuming by that look that it’s all you changing.”

She stubs the cigarette out. “I’m still not going to let you become something that the you before you met John would have hated. Just so you know.”

[Amy] “All I’m doing is not fighting with Defiance anymore.” You know. The only pack she’s actually been able to do anything with so far. “Nothing else is going to be any different.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay. I’m just putting that out there, so you know not to be pissed if I start giving you shit as needed.”

She gives a faint smile.

[Amy] “Can you do me a favor?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “If I can, of course.”

[Amy] “Don’t call him my boy toy. This isn’t something I’m going to just get tired of in a week. He’s not somebody to keep me company until a new somebody comes along. It’s disrespectful to talk about him like he is.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little, apologetically.

“I wasn’t trying to imply that. I’d call someone’s mate a boy toy. I know this isn’t just some fling for you, obviously.”

[Amy] “You know that dad is rolling over in his fucking grave right now.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs. “Why, ’cause you’re settling down, or who you’re settling down with?”

[Amy] “The who. He made it pretty clear that he expected me to be” She shifts into a deeper, gravely voice that’s a fair representation of the man “Hecho con toda esta mierda y actuar correctamente algún día.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A snort, and she shakes her head. “I loved Esteban…you know that, right? At least, as much as a girl can love a dad she knew for all of like eight weeks. But homey had no room to talk about doing the right thing. You know that as well as I.”

[Amy] “Well, I fucking hated him. So he can shove his right thing right up his ass”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Can I ask something?” She looks over at Amy. “If you hated him so much, what’s with the whole, ‘hunting down his killer’ thing? Was that just looking for a way to get in on action, or was it legit?”

[Amy] “I want to hunt down the fucker. He was still our father. Even if he was an extraordinarily shitty father.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A little nod. “Fair enough. Had to ask.”

[Amy] “Because I’ve been too busy seeing what I can beat up and who I can fuck”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, ’cause I’ve always kinda wondered.” She shrugs. “I know how much you hate him, so…the question was always kinda there in the back of my head. Probably shoulda asked earlier.”

[Amy] “I didn’t hate him until mom got sick, and they couldn’t find him.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s quiet for a little bit. “What was he like when he got back and found out?”

[Amy] “Pissed off. He wasn’t expecting to have to take me with him when he left again.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Was he upset?”

[Amy] “I can’t say he wasn’t, but I never saw it if he was. They didn’t like each other very much.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns at that, and nods. “Gotcha.”

[Amy] “Do you ever wonder what would have happened, if you were the one he was around, and I was the one that barely knew him?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “A lot actually, yeah.” She sighs and sets the ashtray down, turning to curl on her side toward Amy.

[Amy] “I don’t think that either of us would have been nearly as fucked up as we are.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Maybe. We might not know each other either, though.”

[Amy] “We probably wouldn’t. I wouldn’t have had any reason to come find you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “So thanks dad for that, at least.” She gives a faint, though somewhat strained, smile.

[Amy] “Fuck him.” She turns to her side to face Sarita now. “The other night at the house? The first fucking night we’re together and we don’t have to worry about anything, you know what he did?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] An eyebrow arches. “What?”

[Amy] “He asked me to tell him about myself. About where I came from and shit. Shit that other guys never bothered with.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles a little. “Very nice.”

[Amy] “I told him all about home and mom and wandering. About how I used to fucking hate you, until I found you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay, so I don’t want to beat his ass quite as much now. That’s good.”

[Amy] “He isn’t like other guys, that’s for sure. In a lot of ways that makes me crazy, but in some ways…”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs, and shuts her eyes. “Yeah. He seems great.”

[Amy] “You can fucking hate him if you want. You don’t have to like him just because I’m in love with him.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I don’t hate him. Not at all.”

[Amy] “I’m sorry.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs. “I’m disgustingly jealous of you. You know that, right?”

[Amy] “Because I’m in an impossible situation that is only going to get people hurt?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “’cause you got someone who makes you happy.”

[Amy] “It’ll happen, Sar. And fuck, you’re getting a pack. So we’re pretty fucking even in the jealousy department.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs a little bit, turning on her back to stare at the ceiling. “Fair enough, I guess.”

[Amy] “So we’re each getting something that the other wants.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A faint smile. “Yeah. Lucky us.”

[Amy] “It will be nice to have a place, though. Just ours, you know?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, that’ll be nice. Just keep the fuckin’ noise down, a’ight?” A little grin emerges.

[Amy] “Fucking bitch.” Her nose wrinkles. “Hunter said she’s not a friend or anything, so fuck her.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles. “I wasn’t talking about that. I mean that you’re loud, Screamer.”

[Amy] “Yeah, well, lucky fucking you. I guess part of keeping it on the down low is going to have to be me keeping quiet.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Naah. You don’t have to worry about anyone else finding out. You just have to worry about me turning the hose on you guys.”

[Amy] “We’ll probably be at the house most of the time. It’s kind of our place.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh. Well, okay.” She looks over. “Does that mean I’m never gonna see you?”

[Amy] “No, that doesn’t mean you’re never going to see me. Shit, you’ll probably see more of me now that I’m not going to be playing musical beds.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Sorry. I just remember when you were with Leon, you were here like one out of every three nights.”

[Amy] “Yeah… you know what he told me? I went to see him the other day.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Who Leon?” Her nose wrinkles. “What did he say?”

[Amy] She nods slowly. “He said that if I wanted, he’d claim me and then let me go to John.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She snorts. “Yeah, ’cause he’s totally all trust-worthy and shit. Fuck him and his fucking bullshit.”

[Amy] “He scares me now. Still… ” She shrugs. “It was sweet to offer. Unless it was just a ploy to get me to agree to let him claim me.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, it totally was. I have no doubt about it.”

[Amy] She’s quiet for a few seconds before launching in again. “Stefan said that if things don’t work out with John, that he’d like to try again.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She blinks. “Wait…seriously?”

[Amy] “Seriously. But he’s packing with Defiance, so…” She shrugs a shoulder.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “So who the fuck cares? If he’s supposed to be okay with John being with you, then John should be able to be okay if the reverse happens.”

[Amy] “Yeah, I know. Fuck, it might not even come up. Or he might be involved with somebody else when it does. I think it just says something that he even offered, you know? I come and tell him that it’s been fun but I’m going to go off and sneak around with a Metis, and he says that he’ll take me back if it doesn’t work out.”

She blinks hard when the words come out of her mouth, as if she hadn’t quite thought about it like that before.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over at Amy, blinking.

“Dude, seriously. How the hell do you fucking do it?”

[Amy] “It’s not as much fun as it might seem. I feel pretty shitty about it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m not saying it’s fun. I’m just saying I’d like to harness a fucking fraction of it.”

[Amy] “Yeah, well, you can have it. I’ve got the one that I want now”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Just write down your secret or, like, distill it into an essence. Then I’ll be set.”

[Amy] “Fuck, I learn to distill that shit and we’re fucking selling it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Potential Side Effects: May cause insanity and Obsession Over Metis”

[Amy] “Total fucking insanity.” She nods, looking thoughtful. “You think I wouldn’t be all like this if he wasn’t Metis?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, I don’t think it has to do with him being Metis, other than the fact that it makes sure you’re not relegating to being the baby-maker. I think you’d still be like this if you’d let him have a chance.”

[Amy] “Yeah. I told myself that’s all it was, too. But it was bullshit. I mean, the part where he’s had to work his ass off too, just to get a chance. That’s more it than anything.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods a little. “Yeah, I can see where that appeals to you.”

[Amy] “That, and he’s got a fucking HUGE cock.” She manages to keep a straight face for ten whole seconds before she cracks up

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She rolls her eyes. “DUDE. Did NOT need to know that.”

[Amy] “Which is why I said it. You can decide how true it is.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m not going to think about it.”

[Amy] “You believe me, right?” She’s more subdued now, moving to lie on her back and look up at the ceiling.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “About what?”

[Amy] “That I’d ditch him if it came down to him or you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A slight shrug. “Would you be angry if I said that I wasn’t completely sure?”

[Amy] “No.” She sighs. “I don’t get to be pissy over something like that. Not after all the other shit.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, not an issue now.”

[Amy] “What do you want to do tonight?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A little smile. “Something that doesn’t involve us sitting in here talking.”

[Amy] “She hops up, stretching.” Good. Where to?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Fuck if I know. A bar, a club, whatever. Just get me the fuck out of this room, I’ve been staring at your bed for since like eleven o’clock last night.”

[Amy] She winces, nose wrinkling. “Sorry…. So… Club?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sounds good. She sits up, sighing. “Lemme go shower, and I’ll be good.”

[Amy] “Yeah. I should probably do that too” She moves to dig through her packed clothes, half unpacking by way of dumping things on the floor.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A chuckle to herself, and she grabs some clothes before heading off to the shower.

Nightclub

[Amy] DJ turn it up
It’s about damn time to live it up
I’m so sick of being so serious
It’s making my brain delirious!

She gets them shots as soon as they get into the club, wriggling her way back through the crowd toward where she left Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s taking a lean near a wall, head nodding a little to the beat with a bit of a grin on her face. Sarita is dressed to impress tonight, the duster changed out for a black leather jacket She’s in a short skirt and low-cut top…out of everyone in Chicago, only Amy has seen her dressed like this. She’d probably have a rare moment of mortification if anyone she knew did. She takes a drag off of her cigarette, looking over and reached for a shot as Amy comes up.

“Gimme gimme!”

[Amy] Amy should probably not mention that she texted Hunter and John to invite them along, then. Which she will not. The shots are set carefully on the nearest ledge, three for each of them. The girl should wait tables from all of this experience carrying multiple glasses.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles and takes a shot, knocking it back like it’s water. “Yeah, that’s the stuff. You’re awesome.”

[Amy] “Fuck yes I’m awesome.” She’s in jeans, boots, and a tanktop, but the jeans aren’t skin tight and the tank covers a lot more than most of her other ones do. She must have had to dig to find it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Another shot follows, and she takes a drag off her cigarette, looking around. “It feels good to get away from all the bullshit, even for a couple hours.”

[Amy] “I’m sorry that we didn’t get to do this the other night.” She does two of her shots to keep up with Sarita, feeling the slow burn in her stomach.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ehh. I needed it more tonight, so s’all good.” She leans against Amy, watching the crowd. “S’nice to get out though. I just need some downtime where everyone’s as much of a ship in the night as I’ve been.”

[Amy] “Think we can find some E?” She tosses it out casually, with enough of a flip tone so that she can say she was joking if Sarita responds badly.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises a brow, but nods. “Yeah.” She looks back out to the crowd. “Man, I haven’t done E since…like, I was thirteen.”

[Amy] She considers before speaking. “You want to?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I dunno.” She frowns. “I dunno what that shit would do to someone like me, you know? Do you?”

[Amy] “I don’t know. I mean, you can do pot okay. I think it would be about the same.”

She checks her phone, just in case.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I guess, yeah.”

She shrugs and nods, looking over. “Everything okay?”

[Amy] “Totally okay. So what do you think? Should I go find some?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks like she’s wavering a bit. It’s borderline with what she considers good versus not good in the way of drugs. Finally, she just shrugs.

“Yeah, sure. Why not?”

[Amy] She grins, knocking back her third shot before winding her way back through the crowd.

[Amy] [Cha+Street=Score?]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 6, 8, 10, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She settles back, an arm folded around her middle as she smokes. She looks just a little bit nervous now as she sits there against the wall, picking up her last shot and downing it.

[Amy] It doesn’t seem like she’s even been gone that long when she moves back through to Sarita. She’s carrying another set of shots, and is trailed by a tall, handsome, stunningly built man.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow when she sees her come back with a guy. She swipes her hand through her hair, giving Amy a questioning look.

[Amy] Grinning broadly, she sets the shots down before holding her hand out to him. He puts two gelcaps in her hand, and she gives one to Sarita.

“This is Corbin”

She gives her sister a meaningful look, stepping back behind Corbin and nudging him closer to Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives Corbin a friendly smile and leans in close to Amy, murmuring under the beat of the music.

¿Olvidaste que yo, dijo que las relaciones sexuales al azar con la gente normal no lo estaban haciendo por mí?

[Amy] Her eyes roll, and she shouts over the music “Jesús puta mierda, necesita tener sexo con ALGUIEN!”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shakes her head, sighing, and gives the man a smile. She leans in to speak to him, patting his chest lightly. He doesn’t quite know to make of what she said, but nods and heads off across the club. The Strider pockets the gelcaps and takes a drag off her cigarette.

[Amy] “What the FUCK, Sar?” She scowls at the departing man, then back to her sister.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m not into the fuck random…” She doesn’t know how put it in a crowded club, so she just waves in that direction, though it’s somehow more expansive. “People like them thing, anymore. It doesn’t fucking do anything for me. I appreciate the thought, but I told you that already.”

[Amy] She shrugs, leaning next to Sasha and handing her a shot. “Fine. Fuck. Where’s your pill?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Sasha? Where? 😉 ]]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “In my pocket. I was waiting until Hottie Boy was off first.”

[Amy] “Oh. Okay.” She checks her phone again, scrolling through messages before putting it back in her pocket once more.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Someone call?” She adjusts the low-cut top, taking a lean against the wall as she takes a drag off her cigarette.

[Amy] “Noooo….” Check out that innocent look.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She arches an eyebrow, now starting to look a little nervous. She is TOTALLY not dressed as the image she likes to project. “Should I be worried?”

[Amy] “They probably won’t come. I don’t think that clubbing is their thing, really.”

But she’s not taking the pill yet, just in case

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her eyes narrow. “They WHO?”

[Amy] “The guys.” She smiles brightly and hands Sarita another shot.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “The gu–” Her eyes go from narrow slits to silver dollar-sized.

“You mean Defiance.”

[Amy] “No. I didn’t text Joey or Eve. I can’t.” She looks thoughtful. “I don’t know though. I guess they might have.”

She takes a tiny step back, just in case.

[Hunter] The club totally can’t even handle Defiance right now.

They emerge from the stairwell, easing past the bouncer and pushing through the doors to the main floor. John enters first, slightly more Ragey than he was the previous night but still remaining short of his potential. Hunter thrums a bit hotter, a bit heavier, though even he fails to bristle like he is known to.

He’s wearing a button up shirt. This never happens, does he even own a button up shirt? It looks nice too, relatively speaking, it fits him perfectly — though that is more to do with his body than any inherent value in the shirt — and beneath it are a slightly less stained but no less worn pair of jeans. His chin twists from side to side, checking for the peeps who managed to convince them to get out here in the first place.

“She better be here, if this was some fuckin’ trick..”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her teeth make a gritting gesture, a strangled sound coming out. That’s just before she launches a stream of Spanish vitriol.

Oh mi dios de mierda que usted perra loca, vas a ser la muerte absoluta de mí!

She looks around, suddenly self-concious, and looks back.

“What part of ‘I really needed to get away from all this bullshit’ wasn’t fucking clear, Amy?”

[Amy] “Jesus FUCK Sar. We’re fucking out. I invited my boyfriend and his best friend to come out too. That’s IT.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The normally casually-dressed Strider, rarely seen without her duster and boots, is looking VERY different than what Hunter and John have ever seen her. The duster is changed out for a black leather jacket, instead of jeans and a shirt of some kind she’s in a short black skirt and low-cut top. Hell, she doesn’t even have her gun…nowhere to put it. She’s not that chick from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, after all.

“Great. I’m going to feel ~totally~ not like an outsider here.”

[Amy] “Calm down. Fuck. They’re not going to even show up, and you know it.”

Another shot is taken, and she takes Sarita’s hand to tug her through the crowd to the dance floor. Amy is dressed very much like Taken Girl out with Single Girl. Jeans that fit but aren’t tight, a tank top that covers more than her usual tank tops do, and boots.

[John] This is not at all John’s scene.

Even without the mountain man beard, he still has the look of a big dumb farm hand that makes him look ridiculously out of place here. He had wanted nothing to do with nice clothing, and so he’s wearing the same damn ensemble he has on every night: shit-kicker boots, jeans that haven’t been washed since Friday night, a dingy white t-shirt that probably came out of a pack of three, and a brown Carhartt jacket, unzipped despite the fact that it’s cold as Hell outside. Though he doesn’t stare around at the cluster of bodies around him in consternation or confusion, neither does he step through the room with a powerful motion.

Hunter is grumbling about she better being here, and John hands him a look that says Relax. Perhaps he himself is worried that this is, actually, a trap, but if he is it’s buried so deep that all the world sees is someone who strikes chords of cognitive dissonance into those who look at him.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She still looks like she’s frustrated, and particularly nervous and self-conscious. But she allows herself to get tugged toward the dance floor, albeit looking around while she does.

[Amy] She was a little irritated that her clubbing night got destroyed on Friday. On balance though, she’s happy that things worked out like they did.

There’s at least a subtle shifting of people on the dance floor when the girls arrive. Low rage is still rage, and before long Amy is dancing up a storm inside an area that’s been cleared around Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She is nervous for a bit still, but once she gets out there she lets it go for the moment. She starts to get into it and become one with the music. She’s actually quite the dancer, and while that and her look attract a host of potential hookups, she’s keeping them at bay. She’s not here for a random hookup, just to have fun.

[Amy] Hour and a half, six shots.

Each.

Amy is in her extended happy place, considering the E in her pocket now that she’s convinced her sister and herself that they’re on their own for the night.

[Hunter] “Let’s get a drink, I think that’s what we’re supposed to do. Fuckin’ girls.”

He mumbles the last part and the roughly shoves someone out of the way as he wanders over to the bar. A seat is vacated just as he arrives — make that two, no three seats and he drops himself down into one of them. They have to wait to be served, places like this are notoriously hard to get served in if you have a penis.

“Two Jacks, don’t fuckin’ skimp none either, fill em up.”

The drinks are poured and then:

“Fifteen Fifty.”
“What, you’ve got to be fuckin’ shitting me. Do you fuckin hear this guy John? Fifteen Fifty he says, like we’re fuckin’ payin’ in russian money or somethin’. You’ve got some fuckin’ nerve guy, some fuckin’ nerve I tell ya.”

But he hands the money over, these will be the only drinks the two members of Defiance get out of their own pockets.

“Fifteen fuckin’ fifty, jesus christ.”

[Amy] Amy…. needs more alcohol.

She grabs Sar’s arm, tugging to get her attention and pointing at the bar before starting through the crowd again.

[John] John doesn’t have any luck with male bartenders, at all, so he doesn’t even bother. He stands by, trying not to look too awkward as Hunter haggles and harangues and eventually hawks up enough money for a bus ticket to Canada. The Modi lifts his eyebrows at the price, as if he’s heard wrong, and doesn’t sit down until the drink is poured out in front of him.

He’s going to be nursing this mother fucker.

One foot flat on the floor in case he needs to stand quickly, John lifts the shot in his typical Thanks man gesture, careful not to spill any of it, and takes a sip rather than tossing it back. The expression on his face, once the gratitude has been handed over, echoes Hunter’s own: Jesus Christ…

[Amy] [Mama needs some money]

She wriggles through the crowd, touching and tugging just so.
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 2, 3, 4, 6, 10 (Success x 3 at target 6) [WP]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She is easily tugged along, a big smile on her face as she slips her way through the crowd. She’s got a good, solid tipsiness going herself as she slides along through the crowd.

[Amy] She’s going through the wallet when she walks up toward the bar, her attention on what cash she can find rather than the fact that there’s a huge empty space in front of her.

[Hunter] They might notice the Rage, they might notice the space eventually, what they won’t be able to ignore at all is Hunter’s voice which is a loud rumble. He sounds annoyed and rather uneasy.

“Fuckin’ last time I was in a place like this I had to fuckin’ bail before I ripped someone’s legs off. You remember that Luana chick? Yeah, fuckin’ hell. Got all up ons, had to leave fore I did somethin’ I’d regret.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She skids to a stop when she sees the space, and hears Hunter’s voice. She looks around, seeing the two, and she freezes.

“Oh hell. They came.”

[Amy] Cash liberated, she puts her hand with the wallet to her side, going a few more steps before letting it fall to the floor and finally turns her attention to where she’s going.

Well goddamn…. Two thought occur to her. A. She’s glad she’s not rolling. B. Sar is going to KILL her.

[John] Though John’s eyes are cast towards his high ball glass, he’s well aware of the fact that his Alpha is uneasy. They both are like fish cast upon a sandy, filthy shore here. Though his Rage is waned, it still creeps under his skin like implanted embers, and he has to focus on something else so he doesn’t acknowledge that yeah, actually, places like this are foreign and not all that comfortable.

There are a lot of bodies. A lot of squishy, fragile bodies filled with liters of blood and lungs that produce piercing shrieks when said bodies are compromised.

He looks over at mention of ‘that Luana chick,’ and he has to think for a moment. The process is visible. John goes from frowning to blank-faced to having a light bulb moment in a matter of seconds, and then he flicks his eyebrows as if to confirm that leaving was the best of his options at that moment. Though John doesn’t speak across the totem link, or go for his journal, the sentiment is practically audible:

Fuckin’ women.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She swallows hard and runs her hand through her hair, before she pulls her jacket shut. Her jaw sets and then she takes a breath, gesturing.

“Let’s go, I guess.”

[Amy] There must be something wrong with the woman that marches up to the misfit pair that everyone else has left alone. Her eyes flicker over John briefly before she looks at Hunter, head shaking.

“Daaaaaaaaaaaym. Who died and made you hot?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pauses, blinking, when Amy walks up to Hunter and hits on him. The expression on her face tells the tale clearly.

What the fuck is going on NOW?

[Hunter] He frowns, it isn’t a subtle gesture. It’s more of a scowl, really, than an actual frown, but the confusion in the expression makes it appear more so towards the latter.

“The fuck?”

The words are simple, to the point. What the fuck Amy?

[John] John laughs that voiceless laugh of his, glancing over at Hunter as if to see what it is Amy is seeing that he isn’t. A quick glance up at down reveals that the Bone Gnawer is wearing nice, clean clothes instead of what John has chosen to wear out tonight, and when he looks back at Amy he cocks a thumb at Hunter and makes that falling-water gesture he’s cobbled together to express showering.

At Sarita’s arrival, he is somewhat guarded. The last time he actually stopped to converse with her, he ended up punching her in the eye. Since then, he’s barreled past her after talking to her sister, been in the same room with her while Amy fumbled through giving him a computer tablet, and fallen asleep in her sister’s bed without noticing the Ragabash’s presence.

Then she and Hunter both react strongly to Amy’s question, and it stops being funny. He puts his hand down, coughs, and puts it in his pocket.

[Hunter] Hunter looks at John, hears him laugh and he visibly relaxes. “Guess your girls got good taste afterall.”

[Amy] “Teasing. Jesus fuck. You fuckers are all way too uptight.”

She glances at John, smiling brightly before shaking her head.

“Yeah. We’re going somewhere else now, aren’t we?” She hooks her arm in Sarita’s, nodding to the bar top “You guys do your shots, we’re going to go change clothes back. I TOLD the bitch that I look better in that than she ever could.”

Sure, she wants the points for not dressing like a tramp in front of John. But she wants her sister to be comfortable more.

[Hunter] “What you mean change? Just in the fuckin’ bathrooms? We just fuckin’ got here.” He looks at John incredulously. “I knew this was a fuckin’ trap.”

He groans with exasperation.

“Fifteen fuckin’ fifty!”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shifts on her feet when the tension seems to be growing between everyone; she’s already completely off her game, and John being distant while Hunter doesn’t seem to even notice that she’s there in favor of his packmate and her sister have her about ready to melt back into the crowd. She is completely the outsider here, and she looks and feels it. More to the point, she looks like a girl who’s trying WAY too hard to get a guy by her clothes, and trying to cover the top with her jacket just makes her even less comfortable.

When Amy links arms with her, she tenses as if she’s about to be thrust forward face-first in the awkwardness. She relaxes a bit when Amy says they’re going to change, and she gives a little smile to the two man.

[Amy] “You bitch like a girl, Hunter”

She waves her newly gained cash at him. “I want to stay, but you two already look pissed off, so if you want to go somewhere else, we can go.”

[John] He knew this was a fuckin’ trap.

John holds up his hands, slowly flailing them back and forth while noiselessly shouting. Oh no! It’s a trap! It ceases to be amusing after a matter of seconds, and he stops, huffing out a breath as he plants his hands on his hips. Looking between the other three, an expression that ought to be familiar to them by now hits him.

Go on, guess.

[Amy] Oh! Oh! Is he confused??

She leans into Sarita, looking John over again before her eyes move back to Hunter for his answer.

[Hunter] “You fuckin’ shoot like a bitch.” Hunter retorts.

[Amy] “Fuck yeah I do. You want to go to the range sometime? Give me something ELSE to laugh at you about?”

There’s absolutely no question that she’s kidding, and even goes so far as to let go of Sarita to lean in and playfully jab at his side.

[Hunter] He snorts, then barks a bit of laughter, shortly followed by a twisting of his torso when she jabs at his ribs. “ACK! Quit it, go get fuckin’ changed. This club can’t even handle me.”

[Amy] “Yeah, nobody can handle you. Too sexy for your fucking shirt and all that shit, right?”

Grinning, she glances to John once more before dragging Sarita off to switch clothes.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] When Amy lets go of her, Sarita is already moving off to go change. Amy has to pick up the pace to catch up with her.

[John] Dear god.

John draws a breath, that confusion lifting into resignation and acceptance of things he can neither change nor fucking understand, then lifts his chin in a farewell nod and turns back to his drink. Fifteen fucking fifty.

He takes another bracing sip, then frowns and reaches out to take a swatch of Hunter’s shirt between his fingers, as if he can’t figure out what the attraction is. He isn’t going to sniff for pheromones, but damn that is nice material…

[Hunter] “Somethin’ like that.” Hunter smirks, then when they turn away he’s shaking his head, a look at John shares the thought.

Fuckin’ women.

[Hunter] [Hunter *lisp* “It’s Egyptian silk”]

[Amy] Amy looks…. hot.

She strides out of the bathroom a few minutes later, all low cut here and super short there and curves in all the right places. The leather jacket was left with Sarita, who’s now safely tucked away in Amy’s jeans and tank.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Hold off on that second part, Sarita may not be coming with. 🙂 ]]
to Amy

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Hold off on that second part, Sarita may not be coming with. 🙂 ]]

[Hunter] Hunter is about to take his shot when Amy strolls out of the bathrooms, it’s midway between the bar and his lips, nearing his chin when his head tilts to the side and his eyes go wide.

“Fuckin’ hell John.” He declares, just as the 7.75 shot cracks in between his fingers and goes splashing down the front of his shirt.

He doesn’t even notice.

[John] He isn’t the most aware-of-his-surroundings mother fucker to ever walk the face of the planet, so it isn’t until Hunter’s eyes go wide that the Modi figures out something is amiss. He sets down his shot and turns to see what the problem happens to be. It isn’t actually a problem, that he can tell, although Amy strolls out wearing a much more revealing outfit than the one she’d had on a few moments ago. For whatever reason, he doesn’t have quite the reaction Hunter does.

Maybe it’s because he would like to not die at the age of twenty unless he dies defending a Caern.

His gaze is appreciative, but not outwardly lecherous. Perhaps he thinks the Grand Elder or the Philodox Elder have nothing better to do than lurk in dark corners waiting for sin-born to eye-fuck purebred kinswomen from other tribes. He’s respectful, and while Hunter is giving his shirt his shot, John just flicks his eyebrow and tosses his back.

I know, that eyebrow flick says. He lets out a voiceless huff as the alcohol burns his throat.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Guys, can you give us just a couple minutes please? We’re trying to figure some things out.]]

[Hunter] [oh totally! no problemolos!]

[Amy] Some smartass tries to grab her as she makes her way back to the bar, and gets punched in the face for his efforts.

She arches a brow when they get back to the bar, looking Hunter over. “What the fuck happened to you?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She comes out alongside Amy. She still looks off…she’s not skittish like she is before, but she’s still got more make-up on than she’s comfortable with Hunter and John seeing her in, and she didn’t exactly get a warm, welcoming feeling from the two when she was out there before.

She walks up behind Amy, heading straight to the bar and ordering herself several shots, straight up.

[Hunter] “Huh?” He says to Amy, then looks down at his shirt. “Oh..nuthin'” A scowl, he turns back to the bar and wipes his hand on his jeans before brushing it along the front of his shirt.

[Amy] Either she’s oblivious, or she’s mercilessly fucking with him.

Placed in front of Hunter, she leans into and around him to grab one of the shots that Sarita has ordered.

[Hunter] Amy isn’t oblivious, he knows this. She is fucking with him, without a doubt. There is no movement from him – even to pull away – like she wasn’t even there, though an observant individual might notice his nostrils involuntarily flare and his jaw clench.

“You always such a big fuckin’ tease Amy?” He finally says when she has her shot. “Go fuck with John, I wanna talk to Sarita.”

[Amy] “Not always.”

She’s pretty obviously pushing it though. Drawing back from him, she glances at Sarita and scoots over to John.

[John] It’s abundantly clear that John, at least, is oblivious. After his shot is gone, he sets the empty glass down, stomach settling quickly, and leans against the bar with his arms crossed over his chest. It’s hotter than Hell in here and he’s starting to sweat beneath his coat, but he doesn’t take it off until Amy scoots closer to him.

Hunter isn’t the only person who noticed her when she walked out of the bathroom. The Modi sighs, the sound not even a sound at all in this loud room but still etched into his face and body, and shrugs the lined jacket off his upper body. Without gesturing first, he drapes the coat over her shoulders.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s already downed two shots in the amount of time it’s taken Hunter and Amy to have their exchange. Sarita looks over at Hunter, masking whatever has caused the strange self-consciousness in her to flair with a grin. It’s not overtly sincere, but it’s there.

“Yo.”

[Amy] She gives him an apologetic smile, leaning up to talk right into his ear.

[Hunter] “Waddup,” he’s still situated in his barstool , twisted around to the the side to face Sarita but when she gives him that grin he reverts back to looking straight ahead. She’s right next to him, they can talk huddled over their drinks.

“You’re all fuckin’ quiet tonight, what’s up with that? Usually can’t shut you up.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a shrug. “I just didn’t know you guys were coming out. If I did, I woulda…” NOT COME BECAUSE I WAS TRYING FOR A GOD DAMNED NIGHT WITHOUT BEING SURROUNDED BY THIS WHOLE DAMN THING 24/7 GOD DAMMIT AMY THAT WAS A DIRTY SNEAKY TRICK “…dressed a little differently.”

[Hunter] [ORLY]
Dice Rolled:[ 3 d10 ] 2, 3, 10 (Success x 1 at target 6)

[Hunter] [aaaaaaaaand]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 1, 5, 6, 10, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[John] [… was that Empathy? Put that shit away it’s so tiny it’s not even worth it.]

[Hunter] [AHAHAH DON’T MOCK ME YOU HAVE ONE MANIP POOL]

[John] [I WILL BEAT YOUR ASS CLARENCE]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[YA RLY I LIE I LIE I LIE RELLY GUD]]
Dice Rolled:[ 6 d10 ] 1, 2, 4, 7, 9, 10 (Success x 2 at target 6)

[Hunter] [oh you jerk you’re defender]

[Hunter] Hunter studies her face, for more than a few seconds. He looks her in the eyes, looks at her lips and the way she sits, the way her hand holds her glass — Hunter takes his god damn time with this. Probably because he’s terrible at it — as indicated by the fact that he comes away none the wiser.

“Oh yeah? S’wrong with that? Seems fine to me.”

[John] He isn’t monstrously taller than the kinswoman, but John still ducks his head to meet her halfway as she lifts up to speak into his ear. Eyes made nearly black by the dim lighting in here focus straight ahead at nothing, seeming to stare straight through a throng of scantily clad, barely legal college coeds gyrating several yards away. He isn’t paying attention to any of the humans in this place, other than to answer the question as to where they are in case of any number of scenarios in which they would become impediments rather than simple background elements.

There are far too many of them, but for now, they’re just there.

Whatever Amy says to him is lost to time and rampant cacophony in the background. He returns his arms to their crossed position over his chest once he’s divested of his jacket, and when she concludes whatever it is she has to say, John bobs his head in a nod. All the response she gets is him reaching out to solemnly yet playfully grip the top of her skull in one hand, then rest that arm on the bar behind her without touching her.

He’s about as sly as church flatulence, but he’s not exactly trying to be sneaky. He probably just wants his damn arm to rest somewhere. The Fenrir can’t lie worth a damn.

[Amy] She laughs when her head is grabbed, swatting at his hand before twisting around to watch Hunter and Sarita.

So what if it puts her back almost touching his arm? Girl can’t lean and watch the devastatingly handsome Gnawer talk to her sister?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a little shrug, downing another shot. “Yeah, this is. I don’t think you noticed when I was wearing what Amy is now.”

[Lukas] The last time Lukas went clubbing with Danicka was New Year’s Eve, and he ended up soaring on ecstasy, pawing indiscriminately and fascinatedly at the seats, the windowglass, the ceiling upholstery, and the woman beside him as they rode the cab back to the W.

Tonight’s excesses aren’t so … excessive. The only substances in his system are a jolt of red bull (disgusting stuff, but Sinclair swears by it) and two shots of turquoise-blue AMF. He’s laughing as he comes up out of the tumultuous sea of dancing bodies, though, fingers tangled with Danicka’s, hair mussed, one shirt-sleeve rolled up to the elbow as though he’d done that much before forgetting the other.

Wait,” he all but shouts — they’re passing near the wall of subs — “wait wait wait, hold on, my shoelace is untied.” And he ducks down to knot it by touch, looking bar-ward, shrugging a drop of sweat off his temple and onto his shoulder. “Hey,” and he nods in Sarita’s direction, “that’s Sarita. Have you met her yet?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Per+Alert: Do I see Lukas?]]
Dice Rolled:[ 5 d10 ] 4, 6, 6, 10, 10 (Success x 4 at target 6)

[Hunter] He reaches out his hand for one of the shots, a little sigh escaping his lips – twisted in the corners revealing perhaps a hint of amusement. The floor behind them pounds, though the speakers are deliberately setup to limit as much noise as possible around the bar. It doesn’t make it quiet, not in the slightest, but it makes it possible to actually order drinks and shout in each others faces in an attempt at communication.

John doesn’t have this problem, of course. Bastard.

“Fuckin’ glad for that too. Last thing I wanna be doin’ is checkin’ out some fuckin’ wolf.” He laughs, it’s probably lost in the noise around them but it splits his lips and tips his chin.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks up, eyes falling on the Shadow Lord and his mate. She pauses a moment, drawing up just a bit. It would be very difficult to see the change in her demeanor, because she’s good at covering it and…well, they are in a club and the duo are a bit away. She smiles and waves as she directs her words toward the others. She knows Hunter understands Spanish and can get the message to John, and Amy can as well.

Señoras y señores … un Shadow Lord Elder se acerca. Sólo para que tengan conocimiento.

[Danicka] “Nooope,” says the blonde next to Lukas, smiling benignly. Her hair is actually up tonight, a rather thick ponytail with tendrils curling around her face. She came to dance, maybe, and not whip her hair back and forth. She’s not exactly sober at the moment either, though she perhaps handles herself — ironically — better than the Full Moon beside her. Her pants are tight, the fabric and color hard to discern with the lighting in here. Her shoes are flats, which make her height and his more lopsided than usual. Her shirt is some body-skimming metallic blue thing with short sleeves that is held on by a series of ties over her shoulders. Her coat is checked.

“Why didn’t you wear loafers?” she asks him when he’s done re-tying his shoelace. “You have those nice ones from Aldo. Who is Sarita?”

[Amy] She can’t hear it, but she sees the look to someone across the room and reads “Shadow Lord” on Sarita’s lips plainly enough.

Fuck.

She leans back into John’s arm for a second, just long enough to let her make full contact with him before she shrugs out of his coat. It’s caught and handed to him, and a moment later she’s scooted just barely out of Tits on His Arm range of Hunter.

[Hunter] “Que bueno.” Is Hunter’s reply to Sarita and he quickly throws back the shot. This time it goes down his throat instead of down the front of his shirt. Then it’s time to swivel on his stool and look around the club like a blind man trying to find his reflection. It’s dark in here, there are far too many people, the only thing that helps him is the breeding and the Rage.

Luckily there is enough of it to fill a small truck. He passes the message down the phone to John and then–

There are tits near his arm. He sighs.

[John] John doesn’t speak Spanish, but he reacts to what Sarita’s said seconds after she says it, anyway. His eyes flick down the bar toward her as Amy is handing back his jacket. He holds it in his left hand for a moment, fighting the urge to look around the room to find the source of Sarita’s announcement, and drums the fingers of his right hand against the tacky bartop.

Fabulous.

Sniffing, the Modi drapes the jacket over the crook of his elbow and keeps his other arm where it is, looking nonchalant as hell with no drink nearby, nothing to chew on, nothing to smoke. He seems perfectly content to just stand here and watch the proceedings, so that’s what he does.

That and try not to exhibit schaudenfreude in Hunter’s anguish.

[Lukas] “See,” Lukas says, a little more loudly than necessary, “when your outfit consists of a buttondown shirt and jeans, how dressy or undressy you look depends entirely on what shoes you wear. And these,” he points at his shoes, old-school skate shoes in black and grey, “are appropriately casual.

“Plus,” he adds, getting back up, “they’re better to dance in. And Sarita’s a prospective packmate. A Ragabash Strider. I like her. Come on.”

If Lukas weren’t inebriated, he might have caught the little reveille that goes through the Cliaths and kin at the bar. He is, however, inebriated, and less of a fuck is given all around.

[Danicka] “Why are you giving me fashion lessons?” Danicka wants to know of her mate. She looks at him like he’s grown a third head. She doesn’t resist when he starts heading over to the Cliaths at the bar. She looks quite pleased with the world in general, Lukas’s shoes and inability to remember who he is talking to notwithstanding.

“Hello,” she says to the lot of them when they arrive, smiling and giving a little wave.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Lukas!” She smiles as he comes up, giving him an upward tilt of her head. “What’s shakin’, trial-run boss?” She grins to him. Her regular duster is gone and she’s wearing more make-up than he’s used to seeing her with. It’s more of an ‘I’m going clubbing in order to try and catch something’ look, although the clothes–tank top, jeans–don’t match. They aren’t baggy or the like, but they’re just more casual.

Danicka gets a warm smile from her as well, and a little nod. She doesn’t know the woman, but any friend of Lukas… “Hola. Funny to find you guys here. Club often?”

[Amy] She’s flirted with guys to get what she wanted for years. It’s gone beyond flirting more often than not, and the Owlet has never been above using any man when it suits her purposes.

After all, just look at Leon.

So why then, when she glances to Sarita in between big, flirty smiles for Hunter, does her expression shift to one of painful guilt before the expression is quickly wiped away?

[John] John’s player can’t be fucked rewriting what he looks like tonight. Typical Dorn Ahroun: hot dumb and doesn’t talk. Boom, roasted.

The Adren was a Fostern when one of the Cliaths met him. When they all met him, actually, but this particular Cliath met him when he was a mere step above him on the food chain, and he’d been bold enough to look at his cheekbones then. The Fenrir doesn’t look far past his throat as he and his mate mosey off the dance floor, though he does look over at the kinswoman and give her what is supposed to pass for a polite smile and doesn’t quite make it, as though the muscles responsible for smiling are so dusty and out-of-use that it isn’t going to happen. His eyes crinkle at the corners, slightly, but that’s about all she can expect tonight.

As if to make up for it, he lifts his right hand off the bartop long enough to give her a motionless wave. Hi, it says. He, however, doesn’t open his mouth.

[Lukas] “Because,” Lukas replies, and then just … kind of laughs.

They’re with the others by then, anyway. And whatever tension was brewing between Amy, Hunter, and John more or less flies right over Lukas’s head. Or at least he gives a very good impression of entirely missing out on it. Unmistakeably tall, dark, and rageful, the Ahroun returns Sarita’s grin with a slightly lopsided one.

“Sort of. Not really. This is Dani&+269;ka, my uh.” A blank; a durr moment. “Mine. My mate.”

He looks happy to say this. It’s a little absurd. A moment later Sarita can all but see him taking a breath, mustering some amount of respectability for the others. “Dani&+269;ka, this is Sarita. Hunter. John. And Amy, Sarita’s sister.” He turns his head, speaks into Danicka’s ear, then.

Talented lipreaders might catch it: John can’t speak. He’ll write instead if he needs to.

[Amy] Hey, did you hear that Sarita’s wayward sister is a slut? No? Well just look at her.

She isn’t as lean as Sarita, so the low cut top is clingier, and the short skirt is shorter. She’s dressed for clubbing, even though her makeup seems a little subdued for her clothing.

Because this goes SO far toward Lukas seeing her as an actual asset. Really it does.

[Hunter] “Yo,” Hunter offers in return to the arrival of the Lords once Lukas has done his introductions. His back is up against the bar, his feet perched on the frame-work of the stool. Raising both elbows, he lowers them to the surface behind him and flicks a glance at Amy – she’s doing that thing again. By the time he walks out of here he will probably figure it out, right now though she gets a look of annoyance from the Gnawer. But he doesn’t shove her off and a second later his attention is elsewhere, leaving her to smile devilishly and rub up against him all she wants.

Tension in the trio, perhaps, but beyond John looking bored, Hunter looking annoyed and Amy looking like she’s trying far too hard – there isn’t much to see.

“A club Lukas? Really?” He can’t help himself, his eyebrow raises. It’s like seeing your principal at the arcades.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, nice to meet you, Danicka.” She grins and holds out a hand to her. The whole thing that is going on behind her, she seems oblivious to. “Forgive the outfit…I usually travel in much less respectable clothing. Amy was nice enough to switch with me, though. I overdid it, I’m afraid.”

A friendly, grateful smile to her sister, and then she looks back at Lukas. “How’s tricks been? Keeping busy and up to no good?”

[Danicka] The first word that comes to Lukas’s addled mind is mine, which fits. His mate. Danicka looks thoroughly amused, turning her head away from the others to look at him for a moment. She shakes her head, not quite laughing, and then laughing quite out right when he does Very Serious Introductions. She puts her hand over her mouth to stifle it, nodding absently at whatever it is Lukas mutters in her ear. She’s holding his hand, too. She doesn’t have a drink anymore, but her green eyes are bright and it’s clear enough that she’s feeling loose and having a good time.

She extends her hand in turn to those that want it, greeting them in turn. “Hi. Hi. Hello. Hi. Good to meet you, Sarita!” That given with a flash of a smile, as bright as her eyes. Warm as her hands.

Then Hunter speaks up and she looks over at him. “What? I met Lukáš in a club.” A beat. “You’re not going to get all weird because of his rank or something, are you?”

[Hunter] “All weird, what ya’ mean by that?” He tilts his head, curiosity in his tone. “He just don’t look like much the dancin’ type.”

[Amy] She scowls at Hunter when he flat out ignores her, though the look seems to be more exasperation than irritation.

Reaching into her prominent cleavage, she fishes out a lighter and pack of cigarettes as she yells to be heard by everybody. “I’m going out for a smoke. I probably won’t be killed or anything. Nobody go with me”

[John] He can’t read lips worth a damn, either, but John ends up watching the couple as the male turns to speak into the female’s ear. It isn’t that he’s ignoring what’s going on next to him, but he certainly doesn’t seem to deem it worthy of his attention, either. A kinswoman flirting with Hunter?

Woooo. Fetch a Galliard, that’s one for the record books.

When Danicka pulls away from the huddle and begins with the hand shakes, the tallest of the three Cliaths looks around as if waiting for his cue. His shaking hand is resting on the bar, which is crawling with Christ knows what sort of bacteria and filth. John glances down at it, then decides to spare Danicka exposure to whatever is clinging to his skin by holding it up again, acknowledging her Hi with a pan-flash of a smile. It’s like ripping off a damn Band-Aid, how fast he does it, but he makes the attempt.

Hunter’s observation makes him laugh. So he can smile, he just chooses not to. How atypical of his tribe and auspice. The Modi cants his head to indicate his Alpha, then gives a facial shrug. It’s true: he doesn’t look much the dancin’ type.

[Lukas] “I don’t think Hunter even remembers my rank half the time,” Lukas replies.

His eyes level on Hunter for a beat. There might be a veiled warning there. Then he pulls a barstool out with his foot — he doesn’t even bother looking over his shoulder to make sure no one’s sitting on it. No one ever sits on barstools near Lukas for long. That stool goes to Danicka. He doesn’t actually sit, himself — he turns away for a moment, leaning over the bar to call out a drink order to the bartender.

That accomplished, he turns back. “At least no more cannonballs into pools,” he replies to Sarita, that smile resurfacing, crooked now. “By the way — ”

he cuts off. Amy announces she’s stepping out, no one come with her, she’ll be fine, really. Lukas’s eyes, dark and straight, flick up.

“Do you wanna go with her?” he asks Sarita.

[Lukas] [er. Lukas’s eyeBROWS, dark and straight.]

[Danicka] “I think you just challenged him to a dance-off,” she informs Hunter.

Angelina yells that she’s going out. She won’t be killed. Nobody go with her. And Danicka bursts into laughter, forgetting — at first — to clap her hand over her mouth.

A barstool is picked out for her. She does not seem to notice it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles and nods to Amy when she steps out, and looks back to Lukas.

“Nope. Don’t need to smoke, and if I just followed her out there…it would get ugly. If someone snatches her off the street directly in front of the club, she’ll let us know. Or kill them.”

She says it with a chuckle. “She’s cool. She’s just…well, she’s Ames.” As if that explains it. “Now, what about cannonballs and by the way?”

[Amy] She can’t be killed. She’s tried fairly recently, and all it gained her was another hospital stay and another conversation that she doesn’t want to have to have.

She gives Sarita a smile when her defense is lept to, nodding and taking a few steps away before stopping and backtracking to John.

“Can I borrow your coat?”

[John] Watch this, this is how poor a liar he is: Lukas tells Danicka that Hunter doesn’t remember his rank half the time, and the Modi, who up until that point had been watching the Adren, lifts his eyebrows in something like disbelief, or surprise. Maybe he’s amused; it’s hard to tell with him. Whatever the case is, John slowly looks over to Hunter before lowering his heavy brows and squinting over at his elder. He pops the knuckle of his right thumb with its buddies, then rests his half-fist back on the lacquered slab of wood and crosses one boot over the other, continuing to lean his fine-ass self against the bar instead of sitting down like a normal person.

Amy asks to borrow his coat, and he doesn’t even think twice about it. He does manage to pull his attention away from their superior long enough to unbend his elbow, drop the coat into his hand, and give it to the kinswoman. With his head turned, the rest of them can’t see the exaggerated look of warning on the Modi’s face, as though there will be dire consequences if she gets killed while wearing his jacket.

[Amy] She just barely nods, pulling on the dirty Carhartt over her lovely club clothes and hunching into the coat as she goes outside.

[Hunter] Lukas looks at him, and unlike his Modi pack-mate, the Alpha of Defiance doesn’t look the Adren in the cheek bones or the throat, he looks him right back in the eyes. There isn’t much of a challenge in it, more like just how Lukas put it. He doesn’t put much stock in rank. Words are held for now though, because Amy is looking like Hunter just yelled PASS in her face, or at least that’s how it seems to the Gnawer.

She gets no response from the Gnawer, not at the hints of her dying out there and not when she wanders over to grab John’s coat. There’s something far more interesting that has him grinning.

“Dance off?” He laughs, “I just take em’ at his worth. Man like Lukas’ll get me yappin’ to his song regardless’a what titles are floatin’ over his head.” He smiles, Isn’t that right Lukas?

[Lukas] “Hm.” It’s a thoughtful sound, a little curious. He leaves it be, though. Not quite the first night he met Sarita but the second or the third, she told him what it was like for her and her sister. They were tight. She protects her sister. Two desperadoes back to back against the world, all that. Only at the same time — she realizes what she can and can’t do. Can and can’t change.

Gives her sister freedom, even if it’ll kill her.

Lukas can respect that. He doesn’t really get it — not with his protective instinct which sometimes, frequently, verges into over territory — but he respects it.

Anyway: the bartender slides him his drink. Dear god, it’s another adios motherfucker. The Shadow Lord takes it and gulps it down like nothing. Eastern European jokes abound. Setting the half-drained glass aside, he crunches an ice sliver between his teeth.

“By the way,” he picks up where he left off, “we should talk sometime. About the totem, the pack, philosophy, all that. Maybe later, when I’m less … y’know. Drunk.”

There’s talk of a danceoff going on over there. Lukas flicks an eyebrow up, doesn’t comment. He does pass his drink over to Danicka, though, sharing like they taught him to in kindergarten.

[John] Good thing John left his phone in his jeans pocket and not his jacket pocket: when the stupid thing buzzes for his attention, surprising him to the point that he starts slightly but does not jump like an electrified cat, he reaches into his pocket to grab the thing. The screen produces a light so weak it barely penetrates the darkness, the glow dying inches from home. Whatever it says makes John’s squint deepen.

He elbows Hunter in the side, lighter than he does when he’s horsing around, and shows the contents of the cheap prepaid phone’s message to the Bone Gnawer.

[Danicka] Danicka’s laughter does indeed die down after awhile, into giggles and a single demure sniff. Amunet walks outside and, frankly, they’re in a nice area of Chicago. They are in what counts for the upper twenty-five percent on Danicka’s mental spectrum of swank –> divey. If Amunet going outside for a smoke is something worth batting an eyelash for in anyone’s book, it’s a book Danicka’s not reading.

She’s eyeing Hunter as he opens his mouth again. A drink slides towards her and she looks at it, then at Lukas, wounded. “You didn’t get me my own?” she says, bereft. “Worst boyfriend ever!” she says adamantly, and leans past him to flag down the bartender.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hell to the yes,” she says with a nod to the Adren. “I am game literally whenever you are. Assuming, you know. I’m not in the middle of a deep sleep, dreaming that Javier Bardem is one of Owl’s kin and mine, ALL mine.”

She gives a Cheshire grin at that, though there’s something a bit…bitter, perhaps? That may be the word to describe what swims well under the surface. The woman had her opportunity to get laid tonight thanks to her half-sister, but Sarita’s not into the random lays that she picks up from clubs. She’s done the Coyote Ugly morning one too many time for that, and she’s had enough experience with it to know that nine times out of ten, she’s not satisfied with some random nobody who she’ll never see again. Still, she’s had kinfolk/Garou relationships swirling around her head for weeks now, and it’s starting to take its toll in reminding her that she doesn’t have that.

She picks up a shot from the five or six she has lined up in front of her and downs it. “Amy definitely wants to talk at you more when she can too, about seeing if there’s anything she can get involved in such as what you mentioned to her before. Scouting and such. I don’t know that there’s much at the moment, but I know she’d love to get active, when she can.”

[Hunter] If there’s any reaction to the text that John showed him, it isn’t expressed by the Gnawer beyond a glance to the Modi and another at the door. It shouldn’t be unfamiliar to anyone here — the sharing of information, silently, between pack-mates –, so perhaps it isn’t a surprise when both members of Defiance stand from their stools.

Sarita begins her talk with her to-be Alpha and Hunter is frowning, tight lips, tight jaw, there’s something in the look he gives both of them but it is fleeting, resolving into half-hearted wave of his hand – a twisting of the corners of his lips.

“Sorry to leave, duty calls, corners to clear n’all that. Cya Lukas –” eyes turn to Danicka and she gets a nod. Sarita’s farewell gets said over his shoulder as he’s turning to go.

“Later homie.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Later, Hunter. John.” She gives them both warm smiles and waves, then looks back to Lukas.

[Danicka] “You know, I’ve never been particularly attracted to Javier Bardem,” Danicka muses as she waits for her drink, leaning on the bar. She takes no notice of John and Hunter leaving, even managing to miss Hunter’s nod in her direction. “He looks like… a Cro-Magnon. A noble, philosophical Cro-Magnon.” She looks over at Lukas thoughtfully, as though mentally comparing, then picks up a bright blue drink identical to the one Lukas ordered and turns towards Sarita as she mentions her sister again.

There’s interest in her eyes as her lips close around the straw in her drink. She doesn’t slam it. Well, she’s a slender thing, and female, and closer to mortal than Lukas. Maybe she wants to take it easy. He looks like he’s at least on his third or fourth; this is probably her second, third at most. Chances are she can’t hold her liquor all that well.

“Can she shoot?” Danicka wants to know.

[John] [Sam, Ange, thanks for the scene!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh man…it was Vicky Cristina Barcelona that did it for me. Just…oh, Dios mio.” She grins and shrugs. “I was hooked. And he can be a creepy little fucker too.” That’s an attractive trait? Hey, no one said the sisters were normal. Speaking of which…

“Can she shoot?” She grins widely. “Better than me, and to be perfectly arrogant, I shoot well. Hell, just the other day she unloaded one to help Hunter and Joey take down a freakin’ Thunderwyrm.” She nods. “Yes, she’s insane…I don’t dispute that. But girl’s got some serious mettle to her.”

[Lukas] Lukas, downgraded to worst boyfriend ever, doesn’t seem particularly heartbroken about it. He huffs a laugh, drinks his drink, and then lays a thoughtless, gentle hand on Danicka’s back as she leans across him to order.

“Night, guys.” That, offhand, was to Hunter and John. Back to Sarita and Danicka, “There might actually be something afoot. One of my contacts forwarded me this from the paper today,” and it’s not actually a newspaper he pulls out but his iPhone, fingers flicking deftly over the touchscreen until he pulls up a webpage, which he passes to the females.

“One or two homeless folks disappearing into the cold isn’t unusual, especially with this year’s weather, but half the expected population is a bit much.”

[newspaper clipping is this one: http://www.chicagodusk.com/smf/index.php?topic=8172.0 — and Amunet’s already signed up for that scene with jacqui, so consider this your ic lead-up *LOL*]

[Hunter] [thanks for scene!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow and takes the iPhone, looking it over. She doesn’t actually own such a piece of equipment herself–she’s been considering snagging one like her sister is so adept at doing, but not yet–but she does have an iPod so she can navigate it fine. Bless the evil conglomerate Apple and their love of a universal iOS. She looks over the article, frowning.

“The streets take them? Jesus, that’s ominous. Like, some kinda Joss Whedon creepy prophecy ominous.”

Her phone chirps, and passes the iPhone along to Danicka as she pulls her own out to look at it. A little frown, and she texts back.

[Danicka] “I never finished that movie,” Danicka says. “Never even got to the point where apparently the two chicks made out.” She shrugs. “I can’t ever get into Woody Allen’s crap.”

She has called Lukas her worst boyfriend ever before. That time it actually ended up in a series of phrases that made him turn his head away so he could hide his glowing, beaming smile of pleasure, but this time he just scoffs it off. They do have a certain comfort with each other, less like an old married couple and more like people who have been dating long enough not to Freak Out over every little thing.

His hand on her back, for instance. She doesn’t suddenly flutter, or blush, or drag him to an empty restroom. She smiles, and he leaves it there, and so it goes.

Her eyebrow lifts when Sarita mentions the Thunderwyrm, and Amy helping bring it down. Danicka doesn’t comment on that, nor does she look terribly interested in the newspaper clipping at the moment. She listens, though — this is the first she’s heard of it. “I like Joss Whedon,” she muses aloud. “Sometimes. The longer he goes on the more it becomes clear he’s a self-indulgent sexist.”

[Lukas] Another small laugh. The ice cubes in his glass clink together as Lukas drains the last of his AMF. The iPhone — which truthfully was a gift, not a purchase he made himself, and is in fact a by-now-outdated 3GS — comes back around to him. He puts it away.

“There aren’t a lot of details yet. But I believe Laughs in the Face of Death, the Ragabash elder, is thinking of having a look. If your sister wants to poke around the storefront end of things, so to speak, we might be able to use her information.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A little bit of a nod. “Oh, well that’s perfect. Amy’s been hanging out with them a bit. Obviously, hence the Thunderwyrm thing. I’ll let her know.” She sends another text and slips the phone away.

[Danicka] For a few minutes there Danicka is the only one present who is not using her iPhone. Then again, where would she put it? She doesn’t have a purse on her, and her clothes are tight and pocketless, her left hand stamped with the insignia of the club, her drinks on Lukas’s tab. She’s finished her AMF.

Maybe not taking it so easy, after all.

[Lukas] “Great.” Phones go away. Danicka has finished her drink. Lukas’s is a pile of ice. Business set aside, he smiles, indicating the dance floor with a tilt of his head. “You guys ready to head back out? Maybe we’ll find you a Javier Bardem lookalike out there.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles. “I’m not here for a pick-me-up. I’m not that kinda girl anymore. Just here to have fun.” She downs her last three shots in quick succession and nods, standing. She’s weaving a bit.

“Hey Mr. DJ, put that record on, as the Queen of Pop said. Let’s do it.”

[Danicka] “You two…” Danicka informs them slowly, “…start without me. I’m going to get some water and… be… sitting for awhile.”

[Lukas] Lukas’s eyebrow quirks up at that. He looks from Danicka to the empty glass and back. Then, meeting Sarita’s eyes, he quips, “She probably won’t get killed. Nobody stay with her.”

Sarita’s not exactly sober either. Neither is Lukas, for that matter. One weaving, the other swaying a bit, they head out onto the dance floor with its legions of clubbers.

[oy, sorry that took so long — getting sleepy here! that’s probably gonna be my last post tonight.]

[Danicka] To that, Danicka snorts a laugh, bordering on derisive. She sits on the barstool Lukas originally tried to pull out for her, leaning back and watching Lukas go off with his potential packmate. She just smiles. Orders one more.

[Danicka] [Yeah, sorry I got so slow, too. I v tired and going to bed now! But thank you guys for the RP!]

[Danicka] [Night!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Sarita grins and follows Lukas out on the dance floor to get down. Even intoxicated, she’s a decent dancer, and she is happy to forget all the bullshit flowing around her mind, the anguish that it’s brought down on her, and just enjoys the night until it ends.

[[Nini! Thanks for the scene!]]

Party in Room 10

[Hunter] There’s an Ahroun wandering around the corridors of the second floor of the brother hood. He’s leaning on doors, hands touching corners, head peering around to see if he can find anyone. Who is he trying to find? Nobody in particular. But he looks all the same.

Such is the life of a Garou, no destination worth getting to, but they keep on driving regardless.

“Helllooo? Anyone home?”

[Amy] She scrambles up when she hears Hunter, swinging open the door to 10 and poking her head out. “Hunter?”

[Hunter] He pauses, he’s got his back to her by now and he spins around to look at the head peeking out him.

“Amy? Sup.”

He saunters closer.

“What you up to?”

[Phoenix] There is a naked man in room three – the cursed room – contemplating on which lotion to apply to grease up his…

Never mind, wrong story, we won’t go there.

There is a stoned man in room three – the cursed room – contemplating on the gallon tub of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in his hand, there is a large kitchen spoon in the other. He’s giggling, he’s talking to the ice cream as if it were sentient. They can’t hear the awakened ice cream talk back to him, whispering the little words of ‘Eat Me’ every time he stares at it and giggles.

The ice cream is awakened, a thing done at the suggestion of Phoenix to another Theurge he’d just got back from 7-11 with, stoned off his ass. He begins to wander into the hallway, spoon diving into the ice cream and scooping it into his mouth, moaning deliciously as it melts.

It was THAT DAMN GOOD.

[Amy] “Nothing.”

It’s quick, and there could be an argument made that she sounds guilty of ~something~.

“You looking for somebody?”

[Hunter] “No, not really.”

He pauses, eyes narrowing on the kinfolk.

“What are you up to, you little owlerina.”

Somewhere behind him down the corridor he hears footsteps headed this way.

“Anyone else around? Who dat?”

He starts wandering back to the corner to check it out.

[Amy] “Owlet.”

She watches him wander away, feeling nervous although there’s no reason for it. She hasn’t had a certain packmate of his in her room in ~days~.

[Phoenix] He’s wandering down the hall, an eyebrow arching as the sound of voices sings into his ears. Phoenix stops, an eyebrow arching as the mountain of rage turns a corner to peek at him. He eyes Hunter, offers a wave of his spooned hand, and approaches.

“Hello.”

[Hunter] “Thought you didn’t like Owlet?”

He throws the words casually over his shoulder as he goes to investigate the noise down the hall. He stops at the corner, pokes his head around and then —

Hello.

“Oh, sup?”

[Phoenix] There is a tub of Ben and Jerry’s nestled into the palm of the Gaian’s hand. He looks up from it, tilting his head at Hunter, stopping in the middle of the hallway as the other greets him.

“Sup.” he holds up the tub, “Ice cream? It’s really fucking good.”

[Amy] “Sar doesn’t like Owlet.”

She stares after Hunter, edging out of the room to follow him.

[Hunter] Hunter looks from the Ben and Jerry’s, up to the face of the man then back again a few times.

“I like icecream.” He states.

His hand reaches into his pocket, pulls out the baggie Sarita gave him yesterday. It is decidedly emptier than when she handed it to him, but still has a fair amount remaining.

“Let’s trade.”

And he flicks his head, turns around and heads back as Amy is following him.

“Aaaammmyyyy, can we commandeer your room for a bit? I know, I know, smoke your sisters shit in her own room. Real classy. What can I say, I’m a fuckin’ Gnawer.”

[Amy] “Yeah, of course. That’s totally fine.” She nods rapidly, looking like a bobblehead doll.

[Hunter] Eyes narrow on her again, he pauses, looks her up and down. It isn’t sexual or sensual, more like he’s just checking her over. Does that horse have anything wrong with it? Let’s find out.

“What’s up with you?”

[Phoenix] Phoenix eyes the baggy that the Gnawer magically pulls out to wave in the air. He blinks, glancing down at the tub of ice cream, shrugging his shoulders as he follows after Hunter.

“I’ll warn you now. The ice cream is spiritually awakened, you can hear it say ‘Eat Me’ if you stare too long at it.”

[Amy] Jesus fuck, Ames. Little over eager much?

She stares back at Hunter, eyes narrowing a little. “Nothing. What’s up with you?”

Instead of waiting for an answer, she motions Hunter, Phoenix, and the ice cream along into her room.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Footsteps sound on the stairs, taking every other step and skipping the rest. The Strider is in a fairly good mood tonight for some reason. It’s as if she’s not dealing with ninety-five different things simultaneously, few of which have to do with her actual goals and more to do with damage control. Hey, she signed on to be the sister of a crazy kinfolk…okay, that’s not true, she didn’t sign on. But that’s neither here nor there. She is one, and she wouldn’t have it any different.

Most days.

She looks around the common room and, seeing no one there, she shrugs. She walks over and turns off the television, muttering about people wasting electricity. Of course, she does the same thing, but we aren’t talking about HER. Well, we kind of ar. Are not. Are too. ARE NOT! ARE TOO ARE TOO ARE TOO! Okay, now you just sound like you’re screaming Star Wars names. OBI-WAN! QUI-GONN! JAR JAR!

Ahem. Sorry. Anyway, she heads into the hallway, humming some song or another to herself as she heads down the hallway toward her room.

[Hunter] Hunter gives Phoenix a little flick of his head again. This way son. It’s not like he’s commanding him, it isn’t anything like that, it’s just wolf behaviour. Hunter is the bigger dog, this man is new obviously, he’s showing him around.

“Whatevs Amy.” Hunter says with a shrug of his shoulders. “Nuthin’.”

And wanders into her room. He has never been in here before, but he’s seen inside similar rooms around the corridors.

“Where can we sit? where’s yo sis at anywho?”

[Amy] “How the fuck do I know?” She settles on her bed, waving her hand. “Sit wherever you want. Who’s your friend?”

[Phoenix] The Gaian skewers his eyebrows together when Hunter flicks him on the head. Nostrils flare as the Gnawer tries to play at being the bigger dog in the room, it makes his eyes roll up to the ceiling and a sigh escape his lips.

“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t do that. You’re killing my buzz already.”

He peers into Amy’s room, hovering in the doorway as he leans on the frame, the ice cream tub still in his hand. “Phoenix, room three, the cursed one. Rooms with the Fury Adara.”

[Amy] She nods at Phoenix, grinning. “Hi Phoenix room three. Amy, room ten. Rooms with Strider Sister Sarita. Have a seat wherever. Did you say the ice cream is awakened?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow as she sees the door open and hears voices coming from it. A little grin quirks as she creeps up, listening as she does. She hears voices…she recognizes Hunter and Amy’s voices. The other one is unknown. Iiiinteresting…

She comes into view and leans into the frame of the door. “Party in the hizouse, is it? Should I start throwing my hands in the air, following such action by waving them like I just don’t care?”

[Phoenix] He laughs, tipping his head in a nod to Amy, brown hair falling across his forehead.

“Yes, it’s spirtually awakened, it enhances the flavor and brings on a rather euphoric sensation. Coupled with pot, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven to speak frankly.”

The spoon was stuck in the middle of the tub of Ben and Jerry’s as he explains to Amy, stepping into the room just before Sarita appears. “Another Theurge and I were hotboxing the laundry room, and went out for snacks. Decided to wake up the food.”

[Amy] “Well fess the fuck up, boy.” She holds her hand out at Phoenix, opening and closing her fingers in a ‘gimme!’ motion.

[Hunter] He raises eyebrows at Phoenix when he states his dislike of Hunter nodding him around the place. Apparently he’s killing his buzz already. He grins. It isn’t that Hunter is playing at being the bigger dog in the room. He just is, and it takes a much bigger dog than Phoenix to change that. But of course, the Theurge doesn’t know this so he just looks at Amy with that grin, flicks a thumb towards Phoenix

“Get a load’a this guy.”

By the time Sarita wanders into view, Hunter is sitting on someone’s bed and he’s rolling a joint. He talks while he’s licking.

“Yo Sarita.”

Meanwhile Phoenix is describing the sensations of awakened Ben and Jerry’s to the owlet.

[Hunter] [1-3 Kyle 4-6 Amy 7-9 Sarita 10 REROLL for who’s bed]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 9

[Amy] (Oh. Thank. God.)

[Hunter] [oh apparently I got it wrong there are only two beds? 1-5 Amy 6-10 Sarita]
Dice Rolled:[ 1 d10 ] 10

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[It’s Fate!]]

[Amy] (Apparently, the dice only like Amy when someone else is doing the rolling)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Also, there go ALL your high rolls for the night!]]

“Yo, homey.” She grins and steps inside, kicking the door shut behind her. She grabs a towel and puts it at the door. She’s a considerate pot-smoker. She looks up at Hunter and grins a little.

“I’m guessin’ that’s my shit. You had any of it yet?”

Pheonix gets a quick once-over, and a little nod. “Hola.”

[Phoenix] “Nothing’s been touched as far as I know of.”

The Gaian finds a perch against the wall, watching them with some amusement. He offers the ice cream to the kin if she wants it. But he doesn’t make any movement to sit.

[Amy] She sighs and makes a face when she has to actually GET UP to get the ice cream. “You just going to hold the wall up?”

[Hunter] “Hell yeah we had some. Me and JoJo got fucked up last night. Some good shit.”

By now he’s finished rolling the joint, he reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a worn zippo.

Not the best for lighting a joint, so he just singes the end of it then puts it in his mouth and puffs a few times. Smoke starts to fill the room and he leans across to hand it to Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She takes the joint and hops up on the bed next to Hunter. “Scootch your angry ass over. You’re on my bed, cowboy.” She takes a hit off of it, holding it in like someone who’s been smoking out their whole life. There’s a reason for that…she has been.

When she exhales, it’s a slow letting out of her breath, smoke curling into the air. She hands it back to the Ahroun. “Hey, tell Joey she needs to find me. We were s’posed to do a hunt or some shit to see what No-Moons in Chicago are like and all that miss. I dunno where the hell you guys are, and she ain’t come to find me for it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[mess, not miss]]

[Phoenix] He blinks, seeming to space out for a second or two when Amy says something to the theurge that brings him back to reality. He glances down at the ice cream before pushing away from the wall and offers it to the kin, handing it and the spoon stuck in it to her. He runs his other hand over his hair, shrugging his shoulders.

“The wall is perfectly stable and comfortable, I don’t see why not.”

[Amy] “Bitch, if you don’t share that, I am so fucking on your bed next time.”

Not that it will be any time soon. She takes the ice cream and spoon, nodding to Phoenix as she settles back in with it. “Well, whatever. I don’t bite, but whatever blows your skirt up.”

[Hunter] Words are thrown around, Hunter’s eyebrows look like they’re going to shoot of his face when Amy says she’s going to be fucking on Sarita’s bed next. But he doesn’t comment on it, instead his attention reverts to Sarita.

“See, Thought Joey was supposed to be checkin’ yo ass out for me, for Defiance. Told Lukas I was lookin’ at ya’, next I hear you’re joining The Unbroken? What’s that shit about?”

[Amy] Uh oh.

She gets up slowly, creeping over to pluck up the joint and get it out of potential firing range.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives her sister a sweet smile. “Amy, my loving, darling sister. You’re my favorite person in the whole, wide world. You know that. But if I lay down on my bed and there’s a god damned wet spot that I was not directly involved in, then I’m dipping your rags in concentrated pepper spray.”

She gives the woman a little wink, then looks at Hunter. She blinks at that, entirely surprised. “Um…really? ’cause that’s kinda sorta the first I’ve ever heard of it. Lukas and Sinclair made the offer to me like, two weeks ago.”

[Hunter] He smiles.

“I bet they did.”

Finally he scoots on over near the head of her bed, leans back against it and hangs his legs half off to the side. He stretches his hands up behind his head, lets out a little yawn.

“Well, don’t matter now does it?”

[Phoenix] “Hmm.”

He is watching the conversation between Hunter and Sarita, grey eyes passing over to Amy as she scuttles out of the way, stealing the joint. He pushes up from his position against the wall, glancing towards the door, his head tilts to the side listening to nothing but the air.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, shit.” She frowns a little, running her hand through her hair. “Sorry, I guess. Seriously, I had no idea. If I did—”

She pauses a moment, and blinks. The expression on her face is something akin to befuddlement mixed with bemusement. “Wait a minute. What strange, weird fucking Bizzar-o world did I wander into where I was a wanted free agent? Should I be wearing a goatee or trying to destroy Nega-Sarita or some shit?”

[Hunter] He laughs, shakes his head.

“Don’t think on it.”

Eyes turn to Phoenix, until now they haven’t introduced themselves properly. “What you listenin’ to? You a crescent or some shit?”

High – Check
Strange awakened substances – Check
Randomly talking with walls – Check

[Phoenix] He is sobering up, Phoenix can feel it.

The tug on his ear makes him twitch, like he was just stung by a bee. He lifts a hand to rub two fingers at the back of his left ear, furrowing his eyebrows together. He doesn’t register what Hunter says to him right away, distracted easily when there wasn’t a need to focus on a conversation that didn’t involve his attention.

“Hmmm?” He glances over to the Garou with high rage, dipping his chin down in a small nod of his head, “On my days off I typically perform ritualistic gatherings, exorcisms, purifications of wine, walk on water and all that happy horse shit.”

He grins just a little, “Dove-spirit, says its going to go shit on your car.”

[Amy] (Sorry. Dogs.)

She takes a long drag off the joint, partly to get herself a little buzz, and partly to keep herself from saying anything stupid. Once she’s done, she waves it at Phoenix.

[Phoenix] Phoenix shakes his head at Amy when she waves the joint at him. “No thank you. I think I’ve reached my limit for one evening.”

[Hunter] He grins, tips his head to the side and the expression reveals strong pearly white canines between pink lips.

“That’s funny, coz my car’s inside a warehouse on the south side gettin’ a tune up.”

A pause, he licks over his teeth briefly.

“Those dove-spirits are fuckin’ crafty though. Names Hunter Matthews, Burnout to the nation, Ahroun, but ya’ guessed that already. Alpha of Defiance, Gnawer.”

He holds out his hand and leans forwards slightly from the bed. There is still a fair gap between them.

[Amy] “You are no fucking fun.”

She takes another drag then, getting up and walking across to Sarita’s room to flop down on the bed with her and Hunter.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Fine, then, pass that shit back here, hermana/i] o’ [i]mina.” She grins and waves for the joint, then looks over at Phoenix.

“So come on, Homey G. What’s your story?”

[Phoenix] If the two Garou have not felt it by now, the theurge in the room is probably not a lot of fun as far as Amy is sure of. There is a dullness to his rage, he is too calm for one of their own, too nice, despite the fact that he was a Child of Gaia and that was a stereo type of the tribe. Phoenix was rather docile for his kind. He offers Hunter a tilt of his head, raising his eyebrows at him when the Gnawer mentions that the car is in a warehouse getting a tune up.

There is a hand extended out in offer of a shake, he accepts it, forced to push away from the wall yet again to cross the room to take Hunter’s hand, his grip lacks the strength that the Ahroun carries. “Did I mention the dove-spirit happens to hang out with a couple of cockroaches on Saturday night to play poker? You’d be amazed the network of connections they have on the other side.”

Sarita prods for a story, he shrugs his shoulders, “Phoenix Builds~From~Ashes Taylor, Child of Gaia, Theurge. Rolled into town a few days ago to chaos and misfortune amongst my kin.”

[Hunter] A shake, he doesn’t crush Phoenix’s hand though the ability to do just that can’t be kept out of his grip despite the Gnawer’s best efforts. The shake is brief, he releases his grip quickly and relaxes back on the bed, making sure there’s room for Amy who came shuffling over.

There’s a grin on his lips, then a bark of laughter at cockroaches and doves playing poker.

“Theurge with a sense of humour. Ain’t been one around here since the last occupant of ‘the room’.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, welcome to Chicago. Which I have barely got a right to say, since Ames and I have been here all of a month-plus, but whatever. S’cool.” She takes a hit off the joint and passes it over to Hunter.

[Phoenix] “I’ve been here less than four days and already playing mediator between kinfolk that want to slap each other around.”

A sigh of exasperation escapes his mouth, he naturally falls back to his previous position against the wall, “Are you referring to three? Adara and myself are its current occupants. Perhaps the curse only extends to a males. I hear there was a Child of Gaia curse floating around about a year ago, where they all died when involved with certain blond female of the tribe.”

[Hunter] “Yeah, room three.”

A pause, he licks his lips.

“I was friends with the previous occupant.” A tilt of his head. “He moved out though before he died, don’t believe in no curses. What’s this bout’ mediatin’ kinfolk?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She seems content to let Hunter and Phoenix talk, looking back and forth between then like she’s watching a tennis match. She looks over at Amy after a few moments.

“Soooo, how was your day?”

[Phoenix] “One of the Fenrir kin took it upon herself to punch one of the Gaian kin outside a coffee house the other night while I was inside talking with another. I should’ve followed them out the moment they left, I didn’t pay attention to the friction that was between the pair. I manage to get outside to stop it before it escalated into something worse and the Gaian kin lost her unborn pup.”

He didn’t believe in curses either, which is why he took the room in the first place. He explains the situation to Hunter, his gaze traveling to the sisters with interest.

[Amy] Jesus fuck…

She shrugs at Sarita, reaching for the joint again.

[Hunter] He raises an eyebrow, blinks.

“Christ.” He looks at Amy, grins. “And I thought you were fuckin’ batshit.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She raises an eyebrow at Amy. “That good, eh? Or that ‘meh?'”

She looks at Phoenix and blinks. “Holy Jesus. Are you kiddin’ me?”

[Amy] She grins back at Hunter. “You ain’t EVER going to see me threatening to slap some other fucking Kin around.”

[Phoenix] “No, I think I’ve worse.” He snerks.

[Phoenix] He shakes his head at Sarita, “I wish I was kidding.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “That’s some seriously fucked-up shit.” She shakes her head. “I’m starting to feel sane around here, and that’s saying something.”

[Amy] “I’m starting to feel fucking well behaved.” She wriggles around to lean on someone, assuming that it’s Sarita but not really bothering to check.

[Hunter] “That is fuckin’ sayin’ somethin’. Both of you.”

He grins, then suddenly he frowns, looks at Sarita.

“Hey I’ve been meanin’ to ask ya’ somethin’. Who the fuck goes into a fight with a fuckin’ mutant with a chainsaw and three fuckin’ wolves — WITH A PISTOL??”

[Phoenix] “Shit happens, what can you really do about it.”

He rolls his shoulders back, crossing his arms over his chest, an eyebrow tilting up curiously at what Hunter asks the Strider.

[Amy] “Fuck you. It’s Harry. Harry is a fucking GOD.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey. Hey-hey-hey-hey-HEY.” She grins from her spot on the bed. “I will have you know that I had a perfectly good plan there. If I hadn’t been a victim of Loki’s terrible luck at that particular moment, I woulda gotten a shot off, blown mutie-boy’s brains out and been able to shift and run before the wolves got to me. And then it would have been a case of hit and run tactics.”

Maybe she’s not totally insane. Not quite. She nods to Amy and looks back. “Also, what she said. Harry’s a GOD.”

[Sofie Janssen] There’s loud people, smoking joints in room ten. Sofie has been sleeping in room seven, they’re not exactly next to each other, but with the place relatively quiet, combined with restless slumber, has their muffled voices becoming an irritant.

Throwing aside the covers and climbing out of bed, she scruffs hands over her face and through her hair, and begins out the closed door and into the hallway. They are louder there. She follows their voices towards the social room, dressed in a rumpled t.shirt and a pair of jogging shorts.

[Amy] “Fucking God.” She nods for effect, then nods again just enjoying the motion.

[Hunter] He looks between Amy and Sarita, quick short bursts of his head snapping between the two Striders. His mouth is open, but no words come out. Not at first.

Finally:

“Okay, who the fucks Harry?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “The Handcannon From Hell.” She looks at Hunter as if he should get the reference, and then her face falls with a sigh.

“Fuckin’ culturally-nonexistant, man. Harry. Dirty Harry? Carries a big-ass hand cannon and says ‘Are you feelin’ lucky, punk?'”

[Amy] “Sooooooo…. Hunter.”

She’s entirely too relaxed. Sarita may well recognize the warning signs of impending doom.

“Since you guys fucked up and lost out on Sar, I could probably be persuaded into unofficially joining up with your asses. Just so you’re not totally out of the awesomeness that is us.”

[Hunter] “Oohh, that Harry.”

He nods.

“Ain’t seen that shit in fuckin’ ages. I’mma get —”

He pauses, there’s a relaxed few words from Amy and then an offer. He blinks, he rubs his forehead.

“Christ. It’s a fuckin’ trap.” Luckily there are footsteps sounding down the hall towards the room to distract them all.

[Sofie Janssen] There’s a knock on room tens door, it’s abrupt and forceful.

Seconds later it’s followed by a semi-familiar voice for some, and a complete stranger to another, either way the Fenrir Kinfolk does not sound particularly impressed. “Hey! You in there, keep it down ‘eh? There’s a common room, go and use it, away from those trying to sleep back here.”

[Amy] She stretches languidly, looking over at Sarita as their room door is pounded on.

Her mouth opens, then closes shut with a snap. Maybe she’s not as high as she seems…

[Amy] Three. Two. One. Think, then speak Ames.

“The fuck? We’re having a fucking conversation. Not like anybody’s fucking screaming their fucking head off.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Amy, relax…” She pats her sister’s leg and hauls herself off the bed. She walks over to the door, pulls the towel away from the bottom and opens it. It’s not like there’s a cloud in the room…Sarita tends to keep the window cracked open for just such occasions. There is a smell of pot though, obviously. She smiles at Sofie.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you if we did. We’ll chill.”

[Hunter] Hunter peeks past Sarita, half leans off the bed and has to place a foot down to steady himself.

“Sofie? Shit what’s the time anywho? Should probs be goin’.” He stuffs his zippo back into his pocket and stands up, stretches his arms well over his head and half yawns-half groans.

“Aight, nice chattin’ with you folks. Phoenix, you should come down to Bronze some time, always in need of a spirit-talker.”

[Amy] She mutters something that could be ‘Not fucking likely’, then stretches her leg out to nudge at Hunter with her foot.

“So?”

[Sofie Janssen] “Well take your fucking conversation out on the street and give other people some respect!” It’s snapped through the door, and even though she can’t see who is in there, she knows who at least one of them is. She suspects that John might be in there too, or any other number of males. But that isn’t so much her issue right then.

“Seriously,” she says more level, trying to be reasonable, “show some courtesy. We’re guests here.”

She’s about to say something else when the door opens. Sarita sees its quite clear that Sofie’s just hauled herself out of bed and doesn’t look too impressed. The stench makes her nose wrinkle and her upper lip curl distastefully. With her sort of features, it looks closer to a snarl than she intended.

Oh look, there’s Hunter. Surprise.

“Thanks.” It’s short but means well, and she turns on foot, ready to walk off. But since she’s up, she heads the opposite direction down the hall, intending on getting something to drink from downstairs.

[Amy] Normally she’d be up on her feet and halfway on the way to kicking someone’s ass by now, but she’s trying very hard to make a good impression. Instead her jaw grinds and she keeps her gaze on Sarita.

“¿Quién coño es eso?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Wow.” She sees the look Sofie gives her and frowns. The Strider can deal with a lot of shit, but some things get on her. Whatever it is, Sofie just hit it. When she stalks off, Sarita shakes her head and shuts the door. “Yeah, fuck you very much too. I’ll be sure to keep that in mind next time I hear you bein’ a bitch to someone in the common room through the wall we share with it and I’m trying to sleep.” She walks over to the bed and sits back down, looking at Amy.

“Name’s Sofie, I think. Fuck if I know, really. Someone who already hit my last fuckin’ nerve.”

[Amy] “Perra necesita su culo fantástico. Libra en nuestra maldita puerta gritando acerca de cómo estamos demasiado voz alta y luego pisar fuera como una perra …” She scowls, her good mood ruined.

[Hunter] His eyes flick between Amy and Sarita, a grin appears on his lips even as he’s reaching for the door.

“Usted tiene una boca sucia Amy.”

He pulls open the door, peers out to make sure there isn’t an angry Fenrir kin waiting to ambush him, then steps out into the corridor.

“Night ladies, Phoenix.”

[I think shann has gone]

[Amy] Fuck.

She gives Hunter a sheepish smile, brushing her hair back with her hand. “Um. Oops?”

[Sofie Janssen] Angry Fenrir Kin isn’t waiting to ambush, she’s down in the kitchen getting herself some filtered water and leaning against the counter, enjoying the silence and the hum of the fridges. Her feet are cold on the floor.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Naah, let it go.” She shakes her head to Amy. “Ain’t worth it. Here, toke up.”

She grins when Hunter busts out the Spanish and gives him a wave. “Tener una buena noche, Hunter. Dile a Joey que me llame, ¿vale?” She’s just using Spanish to drive in the point that Hunter got one over on Amy. Which impresses the Ragabash.

[Amy] “Oh, fuck you.”

She makes a face at Sarita, waving at Hunter. “Night, boss man.”

[Hunter] He smiles back at Sarita, nods his head.

“Sure, will do.”

Fact of the matter is he probably already has. May have even been talking to her this whole time. A little salute to Amy and then he wanders off down the hall, to the common room and eventually down the stairs.

[Amy] She’s veeeeeeeeeeeery quiet until she’s sure she heard him go down the stairs.

“Well, he didn’t tell me to fuck off.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks at Amy and grins once the door is shut. “Smooth move, supa-star.”

[Sofie Janssen] She watches Hunter come down through the main floor from where she’s drinking from a glass. Lowering it down, she holds it at a comfortable waist level, gaze following him through the main floor without saying a word, yet. Apparently she had run him out of their room.

[Amy] “Grab the bull by the fucking horns and all that shit, right?” She gets up and shuffles over to her bed, flopping down.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She watches Amy, frowning. There’s a few moments before she rolls onto her own back, shutting her eyes. “You’re pushing too much, too soon I think.”

[Amy] “But he didn’t tell me to fuck off.” She positions herself just so on the bed and inhales a deep breath.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You have an impressive skill at ignoring all logic, you know that?”

[Amy] “So I guess that whole ‘What are you going to do if I pack with Hunter’ speech of yours wasn’t so far off, hey? What the fuck is up with that?”

She flatly ignores the comment, curling on her side to look at Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She shrugs, letting her eyes drift back open. “I dunno. Guess it’s a little late now though, like Hunter said.” She frowns a little. “In all honesty, probably saved me a lot of agonized back-and-forth on the deciding. So maybe it’s for the best.”

[Amy] She shrugs and makes a non committal sound, eyes shutting.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, fuck off.” She grabs a bean bag from next to her bed and throws it at the light switch, hitting it smack-dab to kill the lights. THAT’S why she uses a gun. [[Thanks for the scene, guys!]]

Chillin’ in Bronzeville

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m just saying that it’s not going to kill us if we’re not selling here anymore. That’s all.”

She walks quietly and carefully, paying attention to her surroundings even as she talks in a low voice.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Seriously?” She shakes her head as she walks alongside Amy. “There are people out here selling crack to pregnant mothers and kids, and you’re saying that selling pot is the problem?”

[Amunet Trujillo] She sighs heavily. “I’m saying that I have to show him I’m serious, and it won’t look like I’m helping them if I let you deal. It’ll look like I’m helping you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Not at all. You’re not thinking like we think, Amy.” She takes a drag off her cigarette. “First off, you’re not going to stop drug dealing. End of fucking story. Kill them all, and you have a vacuum that more will fill. What you do is wipe out the worse ones. And the ones who just deal little shit and aren’t cancers on the earth, they stay there to stymy the hundreds of scumbags who will crawl out from under the rocks.”

She looks at Amy. “You know this shit.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I need to get this shit right, Sar. What’s the big deal about staying here?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I make a shit-ton of money and I have many of meth peddlers to shoot at to boot. You really need to ask?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[I have my choice of meth peddlers…]]

[Amunet Trujillo] “And that’s more important than me helping them out?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You’re not listening to a fucking thing I’m saying.” She sighs. “Jesus Christ. Patrick buys pot out here. So does that Gnawer Lou, I think. Probably most of the Sept who doesn’t buy from me–which is pretty much everyone–buys out here. So I think that dank is not your worry.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Okay. Great. So just do whatever the fuck you want, and I’ll figure out how to not make it look like I’m giving you a free pass. Thanks.”

Her voice has raised a bit, and she lowers it while glancing around to make sure they haven’t drawn any attention. “I just don’t think you realize how much I need this.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You know what? Fine, whatever.” She shakes her head. “Yeah, sure. I’ll stop selling pot in Bronzeville. I can sell in Cabrini where there are dealers wanting my head for shooting a coke dealer outside of a school. That will actually be more entertaining for me. But here, it’s fine. My regulars can start buying from the guy who cuts his weed with toxic shit. But hey, if you want to look good to Hunter instead of actually fucking FIX anything, then by all means, feel free.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Her eyes narrow, and she stops walking. “What the fuck is that supposed to mean?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m saying that I’ve been telling you umpteen reasons WHY it’s a good idea for me to deal here, and you’re not even addressing them. All you’re saying is that it’ll make you look bad.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Then deal here. I can work on the bigger shit.” She’s subdued now, walking again. “There’s lots of shit to keep me busy.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “That’s what I’m saying.” She shakes her head, chain-lighting a cigarette off the butt of the old one and flicking the old into a nearby garbage can. “So what then, you’re gonna be just handling the local beatdown of the shitty drug dealers?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I don’t know I need a plan. Hunter said not to cause trouble, and not to bring John with me when I do.” She half smirks. “It’s like he’s got no faith in me.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles. “He will. ‘Don’t cause trouble’ is pretty vague, though. Trouble how?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I don’t know. Just trouble.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Fucking with drug dealers is always trouble. Fun trouble, but trouble.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Then I guess I’ll have to behave myself otherwise, hey?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She snorts, amused. “Yeah, that’ll be the day.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fuck you. I can behave.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yes, I’ve seen you behave in many different ways.” She grins.

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m serious about this Sar. If the only way I can be around him is doing shit for his pack, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Wait…” She frowns. “We just need to be clear about this. John knows you guys are together, right?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I told you what he said.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No, not really. You said that you guys went out on your patrol and that you weren’t going to do sleepovers at our place, and that you were going to beat up frat boys.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Maybe on the frat boys. I don’t know. But…. I mean, I told him all that, and he was okay with it. I mean, if he didn’t want me hanging out with him, he would have told me to fuck off. I told him that if he didn’t want me around to tell me to fuck off. He didn’t.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She frowns. “Amy…you and I hang out, occasionally sleep on the same bed and beat up frat boys. We’re on a patrol right now. But we’re not dating.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “You’re my sister. Freak. And I don’t go that way.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You are completely missing the point.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I told him, Sar. I told him everything, and he took my hand, and he walked me home and slept in my bed which still fucking smells like him. What am I supposed to think?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Why have you not just ASKED him, spelled out?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I spelled EVERYTHING out, Sar.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks extremely skeptical, but shakes her head. “Okay, fine.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fucking what, Sar? Do you think he doesn’t know what I meant?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m just trying to look out for you and make sure the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted. I’m happy for you. It’d be nice if at some point you thought to ask how my days have been, but otherwise I’m happy for you. I’m just trying to make sure nothing happens to make you unhappy.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Which is why I haven’t just spelled it out and asked him” She frowns at the ground, arms around her middle now

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pauses, looking at Amy. Her face falls. “Because you’re not sure.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m sure that he didn’t freak out and I’m sure that he lets me touch him, and I’m sure that I got to sleep next to him and I might get to do it again.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She sighs, and she does something that she doesn’t do all that often. Out of nowhere, without warning, she steps over and hugs her sister.

[Amunet Trujillo] She doesn’t pull away, head rested on Sarita’s shoulder. “I don’t want to push it. I’ll take whatever I can get. I broke shit off with Stefan, just in case.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “This is a terrible idea.” It’s significant that she doesn’t say ‘Don’t do it.’ Her arms squeeze around Amy. “I mean, this is a legendary, watershed moment in the history of terrible decisions made by the daughters of Esteban Trujillo. And that says something.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “One of us is going to be dead within a year. So at least it’s not a long term bad idea.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I fucking hate it when when you say shit like that.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “You know I’m right, though.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Doesn’t matter. Don’t fuckin’ say it.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “You know, My mother picked the exact fucking wrong man to fall in love with. So did yours”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Generally, I tend to wonder if there’s a such thing as the right man.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Probably not.” She pulls away and starts walking again. “Ask him if you want. I don’t give a fuck. I can’t do it though.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “No.” She shakes her head. “It ends just as quickly if I ask. ’cause then he’ll ask you, and you’ll have to get it clarified, and…” She sighs.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Then fuck it. I’m happy with how things are.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pulls away finally. “How did Homey D. Shadow Lord take it?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “If I had a goddamned ounce of sense, I’d just ride it out with him and see what happens”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Chica, no one ever accused you of having any sense.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fuck you. If he’s still around when shit blows up with John, maybe we’ll start hanging out again.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “See, that’s smart. You keep a backup.” A half-smile. “Like the Boy Scouts, be prepared.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “It sounds really shitty when you put it that way.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Didn’t mean to make it sound shitty.” She doesn’t say that it’s not shitty, but she’s not trying to call attention to that.

[Amunet Trujillo] “So.” She starts to walk again. “Hunter said no fighting right now.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Okay…” She nods, walking alongside her. “Even in dealing with the drug dealers?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “No, like, with them. No patrols, no hunts, no nothing.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, I know that you’re still totally the person to call on when Unbroken needs the kinds of shit that Lukas mentioned done.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Like scouting? Hunter said he was fucking nuts for that, too.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A roll of the eyes. “Yeah well, pardon me for saying so, but I’ll trust the Ahroun Elder who just became an Adren over Hunter.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Hey, I’m not complaining. I’ll take whatever the fuck they want to give me over nothing.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Dude, you’ve got to see Katherine’s place. It’s pretty bad-ass.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “When were you at Katherine’s?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Saturday night. I was gonna tell you when I woke up, but then I did and there was an Ahroun in the bed. Seemed like a bad time.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She grins a little, brushing her hair behind her ear. “Yeah… Sorry.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins. “No you’re not.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Well. I’m sorry you woke up and found us. I’m not sorry he stayed.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Dude, you walked in and I was asleep, and laid down to sleep. That’s like saying ‘I’m sorry you got shot in the ass, but I’m not sorry I took aim and pulled the trigger.” She chuckles.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Could have been worse. Could have been not just sleeping.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “And then we would have gotten to see how well a pissed-off Ragabash does in a fight against an Ahroun and kinfolk mid-coitus.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “So it worked out for everybody just the way it was. So what are you bitching about?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I wasn’t bitching. I just said you weren’t sorry.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m not. It was nice. We’ll have to get a motel room or something next time.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, do that.” She chuckles and lights up another cigarette. “It was intimated, by the way, that if we wanted to we’d might have the option of living at the loft.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Wow. Really?” She bites at her bottom lip. “What do you think?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I think that you’ll love the place, for one. Full-sized fucking swimming pool for exercise.” She smiles and shrugs. “S’worth mentioning that it was Sinclair and Lukas who mentioned such, but their seperate wordings were, and I quote, ‘If you or your sister take up a room here, she’ll probably be thrilled’ and ‘you know you can crash here and Kate would probably be ever so stoked if you did.'”

She shrugs. “It’s something to think about. I do like the fact that we can keep an eye out for when Kyle decides to actually show up. Oh and hey, did you know that Gina is right next door to us now?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Who’s Gina?” She’s clearly lost in her own thoughts.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Gina?” She gives Amy a ‘If looks could kill’ expression. “You know, the Strider kinfolk you said you were gonna talk to like, two and a half weeks ago?”

[Amunet Trujillo] Blink.

Fuck.

“Oh. Right. Gina. Sorry. I thought you said Tina.” Mina. Sabrina? Fuck.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Dude.” She shakes her head, sighing, and looks ahead as they walk.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fuck. I’m sorry, Sar. I totally spaced it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Just talk to her at some point.” She shrugs. “Anyway, what do ~you~ think?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Yeah. Because I’m a great fucking example of Strider kin, right?” Her nose wrinkles, then she shrugs. “I don’t know. Might not be the worst thing to have somewhere that we can split our time.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, maybe.” She nods. “I mean, I like the Brotherhood. But privacy is relatively minimal there.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Yeah, I know. Trust me.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey, I ain’t a big fan of it either.” She grins.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Though having him sleep over at the Broho is a fuck of a lot safer than having him sleep over at Katherine’s.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Um. Yeah. I think that’d be bad.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “So, Lukas still wants to send me out on shit?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Of course. Why wouldn’t he?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I don’t know. Hunter just has me all paranoid now. Like I’m going to get that taken away too.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Dude, fuck Hunter. Hunter can eat me.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “You would totally fuck Hunter if he wasn’t a True. Don’t lie.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “As much of an ass as he is sometimes? Hatefuck at best.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Some of my best fucks have been hatefucks.” She shrugs, steps slowing a bit.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well yeah, so have mine. Doesn’t mean I’d admit to them.” She looks over as she slows down. “What?”

[Amunet Trujillo] She nods at an alley across the street. “That warehouse. Some Fomori kidnapped a kin and killed her there.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Her brow furrows. “How do you know?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “He told me.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh.” She looks over at the warehouse and frowns. “Jesus.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Yeah. Shit is bad down here.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “That doesn’t surprise me, I guess. Kinda Detroit-ish.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Isn’t that kind of a shit hole?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I believe it hits ‘hellhole’ status.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Probably, yeah. Lot of shit happened here. We’ve got our work cut out for us.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Of that, I have little to no doubt.”

[Hunter Matthews] They hear a car coming from down the street behind them, if they turn they’ll see Hunter’s black Impala roaring along and then rolling to match their pace beside them. A window comes out, Hunter leans an elbow out of it and sticks his head out too.

“Ladies, what brings you two round these parts?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks over, grinning when she sees Hunter. “We got toined around and Albukoike.” She doesn’t do a bad Bugs Bunny voice. “Hola, chico. What’s shakin’.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She rolls her eyes, giving Hunter an apologetic smile and seeming just a little more tense than she just was.”

[Hunter Matthews] He keeps rolling along, elbow out the window and a grin on his face at what Sarita has to say.

“Long way from home Owlets. You two catch anythin’ cookin’ on your little walksy?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “‘Scuse me, I prefer the term Owlerina. Owlet sounds like something you use to wipe town your hands with after you pee. Also, I’m one fuckin’ graceful bitch.” She gives him a wink, then shrugs. “Naah. Ain’t really looking. Sometimes you just gotta get outta the house, you know?”

She gives a light shrug. “What about you? Having a fun evening?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[wipe DOWN. I swear, work drains away my ‘can type correctly’ skills. :P]]

[Hunter Matthews] A bark of laughter at that and he nods his head.

“Right right, my bad, Owlerina’s then.”

Eyes flick to the road and then back to them.

“Evenin’s been alright, just let a glass snake spirit run free in china town, it looked like it enjoyed eatin’ elementals, I have a feelin’ it ain’t the last we seen of it.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I like Owlet.” Maybe she’s being contrary, maybe she really likes it.

“I was telling her about stopping the dealers, and showing her some of the stuff I saw yesterday.” Her expression shows a flicker of jealousy, but she keeps it in check.

[Hunter Matthews] He looks to his right, sees the warehouse rolling away behind them and then looks back to the two Striders.

“Oh yeah? John tell you about that?”

Tense lips, he doesn’t seem cross though.

[Amunet Trujillo] She nods. “Yeah. The alley where the Spirals were camping, too.” She gestures in the vague direction, looking even more tense.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey Hunter…got a curiosity question.” Her head cocks to the side. “What’s your take on pot and pot dealers as opposed to say, meth pushers?” A quick glance to Amy, then back.

[Amunet Trujillo] She shoots a quick glare at Sarita, stopping and crossing her arms.

[Hunter Matthews] He taps on the breaks, his car comes to a halt and he takes his hands off the steering wheel.

“What you mean?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I mean…okay. So like, on the spectrum of 1 to 100, where 1 is ‘Decent, regular honest folks’ and 100 is ‘That creepy guy who sells crack to pregnant junior high school kids,’ where does your average marijuana dealer lie?”

[Hunter Matthews] “Why, you got any?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I am SO not answering that until you answer first.”

[Hunter Matthews] “What??” He laughs, “You got any or not? JoJo fuckin’ raged back the other night, we need to get blazed. Don’t hold out on me I know you’re good for it. I know what peeps been sayin’.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Sarita gets a half hearted death glare, and she leans back against the wall with her arms crossed.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She laughs. “See, this is what I get for being a nice girl an’ bein’ generous with a couple folks.” She doesn’t seem to mind, though. She reaches into her pocket and hands him a decent-sized bag. “That should last you a good long while. You’re lucky I kinda like you, even if you are an ass. Cuttin’ into my profit margins.”

[Hunter Matthews] “You don’t want no cash?”

He blinks, takes the bag and throws it onto the passenger seat.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Generally, I’m cool with our peeps. Make enough of the regs that I don’t need to worry about it, unless someone gets over the top.” She shrugs. “We all gotta mellow out from time to time.”

[Hunter Matthews] “Aight.”

Hands go back to the steering wheel.

“Hey to answer your question. Fuckin’ hate em. Meth-labs burnin’ down every fuckin’ day in this part’a town. They spread their disease and with it comes fuckin’ illegal prostitution, robbery, gun fights, all that petty shit n’it draws out banes’n the wyrm. All sorts of nasty crap. I’d run em all out if I had the time. Don’t give a fuck bout’ no weed though.

You two take care ye’?”

He offers a jaunty salute and the window rolls up, Hunter rolls off.

[Hunter Matthews] [PEACE, thanks for the scene!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Thank you too!]]

[Amunet Trujillo] “Ever get fucking tired of being fucking right?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Never.” She smiles. “Hey, it’s win-win. You still get to look good, and we still bring in the dough. Plus I gave Da Man a goodwill gift that should help keep him on the good side. You’re welcome.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fuck you.” She grins a little though, pushing off the wall. “We should get him to let us come smoke with him next time.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, that’d be a good idea. Be nice to hang out and be chill.” She nods her head. “C’mon, let’s get home.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She glances around once more, just to make sure that they’re not going to see him. “Yeah. Okay.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She arches a brow and then shakes her head, smiling despite herself as they head back to the van.

First Time At The Loft

[Cold Victory] The hour is late, but not so much for them. An unlikely sight: Lukas, not swimming determined laps up and down Kate’s pool but floating on one of her loungers, feet and hands trailing in the water, eyes on the stars dimly visible through the pool room’s glass ceiling.

He’s turned off the artificial birdsong in here. There’s only the faint hum of pool filters and pumps, the quiet lapping of water against the tile.

[Brutal Revelation] Nobody seems to really dig the birdsong as much as Katherine does. When Sinclair’s swimming alone she turns it off. When they’re all hanging out together she argues for music instead of pretending they’re on an island somewhere. Katherine calls the birdsong authentic; both Lukas and Sinclair seem to rebel against what is so artificial. Asha does not care, or so it seems. And Christian’s not around anymore. Sarita has yet to voice an opinion on the stereo system of the pool room.

It’s the middle of the night, and when Sinclair comes in she’s fresh from a shower upstairs. Her still-wet hair is in a tight braid that’s been coiled into a bun, as severe as her hairstyles get. And no wonder: with her hair back that hard, it makes her face look all the more animalistic, her cheekbones vaguely feline, her eyes wide and hungry and ghostly in their paleness. She’s not wearing one of her bikinis, or one of the suits she lounges in. Lukas has swam with her, practiced with her enough, to know what it means when she’s wearing one of those black or dark blue or vivid red one-pieces with a halter top and an X-shaped back.

She doesn’t bother with goggles and a cap, but it still means she’s about to work. Not just ‘swim’. Work.

When the door slides closed behind her, she’s already processed the presence of her packmate, sensed him just before she opened the door in the first place. The last time she really saw Lukas was saying goodnight after they patrolled Bellamonte Park and parted ways, she to the Brotherhood and he — most likely — to his mate.

Tonight her suit is red. And there’s all the ink and metal on her skin that’s become so familiar, even that oversized and disturbing viper around her thigh. There’s the scarification that’s glimpsed through the open back of her suit. But now there’s black script on the insides of both forearms, wrist to elbow, spelling out — well. It’s hard to see from his angle.

“Hey, Lukas,” she says, coming to the edge of the pool and lowering herself into a sitting position.

[Cold Victory] The last time they saw each other, they patrolled together. He didn’t say a lot to her, but he could sense her unrest. He didn’t ask about it. He didn’t push — not after his abortive, failed attempt to reach out to her, to reach her, to make her feel included, loved, in touch, family.

He was there, though, quiet and waiting. And at the end of the night she said, I don’t know how to fix this. And Lukas didn’t know either. But he heard her: heard how at a loss she was; heard how she wanted to fix this. And maybe it was a start.

Tonight, she lets herself into the pool room looking like she wants to work. He lifts his head from Kate’s lazy lounger, his pale eyes catching the light, throwing it back. “Hey,” he returns, and waves his hands lazily in the water a few times to paddle himself closer to the edge, out of Sinclair’s way. “Want me to put down some lanes for you?”

[Brutal Revelation] Family, he wanted to her to feel. Not alone. And it would have helped more if that was the sort of loneliness that family and pack could alleviate. If it was feeling disconnected from her packmates somehow, that might have been what he needed to see, and what she needed fixed. But what it is… she doesn’t know how to fix, barely knows how to cope with, knows she doesn’t have much choice but to survive with regardless.

At least she didn’t sound completely hopeless at the end of that night, or completely resigned to just waiting out the misery until the salvation of inevitable death.

“Nah,” she says, and she’s not the sort to excuse herself, subjugate herself, oh no no it’s okay I don’t mind. So she says nah and that’s all it is: exactly as unconcerned as it sounds. She drapes her legs into the water and folds her hands on top of her knees. “You haven’t told me about your challenge yet.”

[Cold Victory] There’s a flicker of a frown across Lukas’s face. Then he shifts to prop himself on his elbows, the lounger rocking under his shifting weight, indenting under the points of his elbows.

“No,” he agrees quietly, “I haven’t.”

The lounger turns a lazy circle in the pool. After a while, a corner bumps the side, and Lukas reaches out to arrest it, one hand gripping the edge of the tile. A moment later he sits up altogether, straddling the lounger now, legs in the water up to the knees.

“Do you want to hear the facts first, and then what I thought about it?”

[Brutal Revelation] She watches him move around in the water. It’s hard to be graceful on a lounger if you dare to do anything but lie on it, but she doesn’t laugh. However, a small smile moves across Sinclair’s lips after he speaks, an expression more of fondness than amusement, more on the mouth than in the eyes.

“Begin at the beginning,” she tells him instead. “And when you come to the end… stop.”

Which may mean just the facts, ma’am. Or it may mean that he needn’t separate facts from his thoughts. Or it may mean that she’s quoting Alice in Wonderland. Lukas can take it as he will, and tell her what he will.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She hasn’t actually been here before, but she’s had the invitation and she’s not one to turn such a thing down. She the Bitchmobile is parked at an available street corner, probably looking very out of place with the rest of the block. It would be like if someone pulled down some artwork in the Louvre to make room for a velvet Elvis and Dogs Playing Poker.

She looks up at the place and grins, making her way toward the building and preparing to have to be buzzed up. Either that or given some very suspicious looks by doormen. Probably both really, she imagines.

[Brutal Revelation] The door is buzzed and opened by a stout, mature latina who may very well never sleep. From the outside, the Loft doesn’t look like much — sort of stark and more like a warehouse than a residence. Inside it unfolds into polished surfaces, glass and pale wood and wide open windows overlooking small courtyards. For the home of a Fang who was once a staunch Royalist and is now… well, not quite a Renewalist… it is shockingly and perfectly modern. Also: very, very clean.

Very very clean.

Outside, Sarita’s Bitchmobile wasn’t quite as out of place as she might have expected. There was an old 70’s El Camino with a black fuzzy dice parked outside, too — it’s possible Lukas’s black BMW is in the garage or around the corner or maybe he came her via the umbra. But Sinclair drove, and Sarita’s probably seen the El Cam around the Brotherhood often enough to find it familiar.

More familiar than the interior of the Loft. Miss Katherine, Lucille explains — first in English, then in rapid Spanish as soon as she realizes she and Sarita have that in common — is unavailable, but Mister Lukas and Miss Sinclair are in the pool room.

The pool is the crown jewel of the home, enormous — nearly Olympic size, from the look of things. There’s greenery at the edges, enough to conceal speakers from whence birdsong often pipes. That is cut off now, though, the room silent but for the water and the low voice of the Shadow Lord sitting on a lounger in the water. Sinclair is perched on the edge of the pool, glancing over her shoulder as the door slides open. She gives a small upward nod to Sarita, but then she turns her attention fully back to Lukas, because what he is telling her

is important.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives Lucille a friendly smile and is very warm and talkative with the woman as they travel through the loft to the pool room. Sarita takes it all in with an impressed look…the girl isn’t completely without class when she needs be, but she is definitely not used to accommodations like this. This is like, what the hotel rooms she and Amy would get after a particularly good score (by her) or con (by Amy) in order to splurge and because Amy was sick to death of sleeping in the van. It’s a perfectly comfortable van to sleep in. Yes, it’s still a van, but hey, there are worse places to sleep. Even if it doesn’t have a shower.

Regardless, the point is that Sarita can’t help but feel a bit underdressed as she makes her way into the pool room, even though she’s the most dressed between her worn jeans, heavy black shirt, cowboy boots and the ever-present duster. She smiles and returns the upward nod to Sinclair, and one to Lukas too. She doesn’t say anything yet, so as not to interrupt the conversation.

[Cold Victory] That fond little smile mirrors itself on Lukas’s face. He thinks a moment, then, and begins.

And he begins at the start. He tells her how he walked into that Sept where he was fostered. He tells her how he wore the sword of his ancestors — the same one he uses when he spars with her, but otherwise rarely equips — because it made him think of things he was taught long before he was anyone’s rhya or even anyone’s yuf. He tells her how he chose which Garou to challenge, and how in the end it was the one known for her unbending honor.

And he tells her what the challenge was. That there was a pack without an Alpha and Ahroun. That he was charged to step into that place, to lead them to find their rightful Alpha.

He tells her, then, how from the start he felt hidden layers in that pack. Secrets. Things he did not know, and was kept apart from. He tells her how that made it impossible for him to trust them from the start, and how that in turn made it impossible for them to trust him. How later he discovered their Beta and Theurge, Key of Heaven, willfully kept him out of their intimate circle. How he made this so easy for Key with his own distrust.

He tells her — with shame in his tone, but without shying from it — that he zeroed in on their Philodox, a muddled creature by the name of Eyes That Wax and Wane, a creature more or less incapable of deceit. That he separated her from the rest of her pack like prey to try to wring the truth from her, gaining only that she trusted her pack, and that she was not so muddled as to not know what he was doing.

Of the actual events of the challenge, the quest, he speaks only in quick, simple terms: that there were eaten humans, reports of skeletal Garou walking the forests. That they tracked the Alpha, and that it was surprisingly easy to follow her into the forest, into the ground, across the Gauntlet into some spiritual cavern deep in the earth. That they went deeper and deeper, battling the skeletal Garou and overcoming them; that the rest of the pack, the Blackwings, operated as a smooth, efficient whole. That they followed him, but that he never quite felt their Alpha, or even a part of them.

Lukas tells Sinclair how they found the true Alpha, Stormstrike, eventually — buried beneath the earth. And she was a proud thing, proud to a fault, strong and vicious and quick. She fell upon her Beta immediately and without explanation, cursing him for an oathbreaker. Key ran; she chased; Lukas followed her, the rest of the pack at his heels. He tells Sinclair how Stormstrike would not submit to him, would not fall in behind him, figuratively or literally; how he did not force her submission.

And he tells her why. Which is not something he’s told anyone to date:

Because I didn’t trust any of them at that moment. Because I didn’t trust them to not turn on me, one and all, if I turned on their Alpha.

He tells her how they fled from the underground caverns, which collapsed around them as they ran. He tells her how Key escaped first, Stormstrike right behind him; then Lukas, then the Philodox and the Ragabash, Sunthief. Last, the Galliard, Threnody for Gaia, who was caught in the cave-in and trapped under the earth.

He tells her how Stormstrike caught Key, then. And told Lukas — ordered him — to hold Key of Heaven while she rescued her packmate.

He tells her how he refused. How in that moment, his pride and outrage kept him from obeying her. How she killed Key of Heaven instead of letting him run away.

I didn’t know if he was guilty of what she accused him of or not, he says of this. I didn’t know anything. It was a mistake to let her kill him. It was utter failure.

Key of Heaven came back, he goes on to say. And Lukas managed to wring the truth out at last:

that Key of Heaven and Stormstrike had broken the Litany together, not by charaching but by tasting forbidden flesh. That Stormstrike fell to the Thrall of the Wyrm first, and Key of Heaven counseled silence; that the hunger stayed with her, and eventually Key of Heaven convinced her to succumb again. That he tasted of human flesh with her, not once but again and again, until finally the Wyrm dogged her heels so that Stormstrike was moved to confess. That instead of allowing her to confess and doom them both, he raised skeletal Garou through some dark magic and set them on her, buried her in the earth.

I wasn’t sure, Lukas says, wry in retrospect, even then that Key of Heaven hadn’t done that to protect her. I was that unwilling to believe anyone, even someone like him, could be so twisted.

Stormstrike hadn’t told any of this to her pack before. She didn’t reach to them either in her imprisonment. It was a sort of protection, Lukas says, though such a condescending one that in the end the pack was only more infuriated to discover it. He tried to counsel Stormstrike to speak to her pack as an Alpha should, here at the end of the road — but she didn’t do that, either.

The trip back to the Sept, he says, was silent. If they spoke, he didn’t hear it. Back before the council of Stark Falls, every last one of them were judged: the Litany-breakers for their crimes, Key of Heaven put to death for his corruption and his cowardice and his malice; Stormstrike stripped of pack and rank and voice for her pride and failures.

The Blackwings judged themselves, and judged themselves harshly. Then they judged Lukas and his challenge, he says, with more —

(here he pauses, looking for the word)

— more impartiality and magnanimity than he expected, or felt he deserved. And in the end, Iceriver, the Adren he had challenged, asked him to speak to the Blackwings in Stormstrike’s place, to tell them what he thought she should have. So he did.

I told them to learn from what had happened, he says, and to face their own failures. To recognize that they followed blindly, and that they could only be misled so utterly because they allowed themselves to be. But I also told them not to become mired in their failure and their pain. To not become cold and untrusting, too scarred to go on. And I told them that each of them had the makings of a good Alpha — and failings that they would need to rely on the rest of their pack for.

Ultimately, I suppose I told them to pick themselves up, learn, grow stronger, continue on. Which, in a way, was what Iceriver-rhya told me, right before she passed me to Adren.

And there it is, the end.

Somewhere in the course of all that, Lucille lets Sarita in. Sinclair greeted her. Lukas glanced over as he spoke, drifting in the water on a ridiculously Beverly-Hills-mansion-esque pool lounger, nodding to her without breaking his narrative. He doesn’t stop because she enters. He doesn’t go back, either — simply continues on as though she were,

in fact,

a packmate.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She finds the story intensely interesting, to be sure. While she listens, she starts to put pieces of it together, and she’s figured out that it’s a challenge before the end. She finds a piece of poolside furniture to settle herself down in to listen to the rest, head cocked to the side and a faint version of her usual lopsided grin.

[Brutal Revelation] Sarita hears most of it, though not the very beginning. And she sees the way that Sinclair takes it all in. The Galliard’s expression is utterly blank, devoid of emotion or attachment, but intensely focused. It’s as though so much of her energy is taken up by listening, by mentally recording, by remembering, that there is simply no room left in her right now to reflect upon it personally. In fact, other than glancing at Sarita to acknowledge her and — in a way — welcome her in, Sinclair barely even blinks as Lukas is speaking.

It takes awhile before he’s finished. It’s a long tale. Not three days, as Katherine’s Adren challenge — another story she must listen to, another packmate she must seek out soon, before the memory fades — but a single night, a clenched fistful of hours leading up to the name he now wears beside Wyrmbreaker.

There are times when Sinclair gives advice. She was the one who, quite some time ago, talked to Lukas and told him quite plainly to stop fucking around and challenge. She was the one who got down in Kate’s face and made double-damn sure Katherine had not forgotten their true purpose, the reason for their pack’s existence, and how separate from Power and Influence that purpose is. Sinclair’s the one who beat the tar out of a Theurge they were once packed with because she didn’t think he knew how to listen to anything else. Sinclair’s the Galliard, and while it is not her duty to play the Half Moon, she sees things differently than Kate and Lukas do, or ever would — that is why she’s here. That is one of the primary reasons he sought her out, a long time ago. She added something to the pack that was lacking. She still does.

But she has no advice for Lukas, and he is seeking none. She heard things in his retelling, things that mattered, but she let them go as quickly as she heard them, because he was talking, and she needed to remember. Remember everything. She’ll be up late tonight, writing. Recording. And after that, her private diary, where she’ll work out her own thoughts, her own reflections. How she feels about it all.

When he’s done, she takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly. She moves for the first time since looking at Sarita, blinking a few times and then cracking her neck. She doesn’t ask Lukas to explain the name he was given; she understands now. Without the words being spoken, Sinclair understands that much at least with the sort of intuition that allows Galliards to be, so often, the namers.

Sinclair looks at Lukas. She’s been looking at him all this time, really, but for the first time in several minutes it seems like she’s seeing him as herself, meeting him somewhere in the middle of that gaze. “Thank you,” she says. Then twists, and looks at Sarita again. “Welcome to paradise,” she quips. “I have some spare suits if you wanna jump in.”

[Cold Victory] Lukas’s mouth moves a little as she thanks him. It, like that first smile, isn’t really humor. Something closer to wryness, and fondness – brotherly love, perhaps. Then Sinclair’s welcoming Sarita to ‘paradise’, and some tension lifts from Lukas. He lays back on the lounger again, holding on to the edge of the pool to keep from tipping over.

“Sinclair and I campaigned hard to get Kate to put this pool in,” he says. “It used to be a lot smaller. This your first time here?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The little smile breaks out into a full-fledged grin with the welcome to paradise. “Yeah, seriously. This is….something. I’m feeling like there should be some security guard following me around, making sure I’m not gonna like, steal silverware or something.”

She gives a little chuckle and a wink, then waves off the offer to jump in. “I’m cool for now, thanks. I do love an occasional pool dip, but I feel like I should just let all this bad-assness sink in for a bit. I shouldn’t swim while my head is already doing so, y’know?”

A little nod goes to Lukas when he asks if it’s her first time here. “It does happen to be so, yeah. Was I too obvious with the silver- dollar-sized eyes? Very impressive, by the way.” Though she’s been talking about the environs to date, at this point it’s clear she means his retelling of his challenge, or probably more specifically the challenge itself.

[Brutal Revelation] “We didn’t have to campagin that hard,” Sinclair amends. “I think Lukas tried casually suggesting it over cognac, then joking about it one day while we were all swimming, then I made puppy eyes at her and she pretty much caved.”

Paradise, then. And Sarita’s first time here. Sinclair huffs a laugh when she mentions stealing silverware, glancing at Lukas. There had been quite a noise made after the first couple of times Sticky Fingers showed up around here. Sinclair kicks at the water, not really at anything, but Lukas might be splashed slightly.

Her hands grip the edge of the pool. Have been like that for some time now. It was awhile ago since she unfolded her hands and braced herself with those newly tattooed arms. She hasn’t let go.

“You know — not talk about her behind her back or anything — but as pleased as Kate gets when people get all googly-eyed over what she can provide, I think what makes her truly happy is when it feels like everyone’s… home, here.” She’s watching the water ripple around her legs, the way they distort under the water. Tips her head to the side a bit.

[Brutal Revelation] [*campaign]

[Cold Victory] Lukas gives that wry little half-smile again and Sarita congratulates him, or praises him. His name, she knows now, is more a reminder than a boast; his challenge could only be called a cold victory at best.

Sinclair kicking her legs sends Lukas drifting out across the pool again, turning in a slow circle until an idle paddle halts the turn. “We actually did have someone steal the silverware once,” he notes, “so if Lucille looked at you askance, that might be why. Tell her you’re pack and she’ll warm up. A little.

“But, yeah. I think once upon a time Kate wanted this to be a packhouse. That never really happened, but … we all crash here from time to time. If you or your sister take up a room here she’ll probably be thrilled. Speaking of which, how’s she doing? She seemed to take it pretty hard when I told her the thick of battle probably wasn’t the best place for her.”

[Brutal Revelation] It’s unmistakable. From her angle in the poolside seat Sarita can even see it. Sinclair rolls her eyes. There is nothing subtle about it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles a little at the explanation for the silverware, and shakes her head. “Naah, she didn’t, at least that I noticed. We found a nice common ground and things seem generally cool.” Of course, what Sarita might consider ‘cool’ and what reality might be the case could vary significantly from time to time. “I’ll mention that as a possibility to Ames. Digging the Brotherhood and it’s nice to be around to be able to see Kyle every two weeks when he actually stops by, plus Gina’s right next door to us now. But you never know.”

When Lukas asks how Amy is doing, her brow furrows, and her expression slips just a little. “She did take it hard. But she’s resilient. She probably won’t give up on hoping that one day she’ll end up being able to be involved in some capacity. It’s just…who she is. I’ve already had people in my face about it but it’s something that was sort of programmed into her from well before I found her.” She speaks about it like it’s something she’s not comfortable with at all. No Garou really could…not that she would ever tell Amy that. But it’s also something she’s had to come to terms with, even if that hasn’t been easy.

“It’s weird, I know. And I don’t expect that most people will ever understand it or be cool with it. She was upset, but I’m keeping an eye on her and I think she’s bouncing back pretty well. She’ll be fine.”

[Brutal Revelation] At Sarita’s explanation, Sinclair quiets, listening. Then she looks over at her possible packsister again, thoughtful. Some time ago she might have just flat-out said Are you for fucking serious? and they might have ended up in a brawl or something. For all she knows, here and now, Sarita saw that eyeroll and raised her a couple mentions of how she’s already gotten shit for Amunet’s insanity, and how most people won’t understand or be cool with it.

Sinclair just watches her for a moment, though not a long moment. “How much of your time and energy are you willing to expend on having to watch her, though?” Sinclair asks, in a voice that is — considering the athletic, predatory female it’s coming from — surprisingly gentle. “I mean, if she doesn’t figure out sooner rather than later that she can’t go charging in alongside the Garou because it’ll get her fucking killed? You’ve got better things to do than make sure she doesn’t go suicidal because she wants something she can’t have. Wants to… be something she won’t ever be.”

A brief pause: “I’m not saying this to get in your face, Sarita,” Sinclair goes on, her voice low. “But I wouldn’t want to see you dragged down and distracted by it.”

[Cold Victory] “For what it’s worth,” Lukas adds, “I suggested some ways your sister could make a difference without actively endangering herself or making herself a liability. She seemed to take to the idea of a bit of human-world recon and espionage.”

It might be noted that he doesn’t actually join the debate Sinclair seems to be setting up. Rather, on that front, Lukas — like Sarita herself so often does — simply watches. And listens.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She listens to Sinclair, head cocked to the side. There isn’t bitterness or anger at the Galliard for speaking her mind about it. She’s being a lot more reasonable than other people have been, and she didn’t get particularly angry at them either. Here, or in the other towns that they’ve been in. She gives the other woman a little understanding nod.

“Believe me, I know what you’re saying. And no, I know you’re not.” A brief pause. “I guess I should clarify. I’m not saying that she’s gonna be sneaking out to come along with us against our will or anything. And yes, it’s insane, and a little bit suicidal. More than a little bit. But I should make this clear. I’m there for her to help her get back up if she falls. I’m not running out after her to stop her every time she goes and does some stupid-ass thing. But she is my sister, and she’s all I have left of my direct blood family. As long as she still has the ability to draw breathe, I’ll be there for her.” Her expression tells the words that she doesn’t say plainly–that the Strider accepts the very real possibility and even probability that she might outlive her sister.

“In truth,” she adds, “Last couple weeks have been…eye openers for her. Can’t say as it’s all been great for her, but it’s changed her perspective a bit. And she’s not as nuts as she sometimes seems. She is realistic about most things, and she did mention your ideas, Lukas.” She nods to him. “I think they’d be great for her.”

[Brutal Revelation] There’s a slight huff at the mention — even the idea — of Amunet sneaking after them. Maybe it’s hubris. Maybe it’s the sheer facts of the matter: an Adren Ahroun, a Fostern Philodox, a Fostern Galliard, a Cliath Ahroun, and a Cliath Ragabash being tailed unwittingly by a Kinfolk. Sure. Right. Like, if that even happened, they wouldn’t just stuff her in someone’s trunk til they could deal with her. It’s not a cruel sound from her mouth, but it’s a dismissive one — as though Sarita’s telling a joke, and Sinclair gets it.

Sneaking out to come along with them. Sure.

The rest of the time, she’s just listening. And it’s a different kind of listening than when she was mentally recording Lukas’s challenge. It’s more involved. She’s… there. She’s not just a scribe. She can see in Sarita’s eyes that awful and — frankly — backwards truth: that Amunet might go out and get herself killed long before the war digs its claws into Sarita and rips out her heart. Which isn’t how it should be. Which isn’t how it will be, for most of them.

In the end, Sinclair gives a nod. “Forgive me,” she says eventually, a bit slowly. “I don’t have any brothers or sisters that aren’t packmates,” she adds with a faint shrug of one shoulder, paired with a small shake of her head. “And I’m not …great with Kinfolk, even my own.”

Especially.

There’s reason enough for that. Sinclair walks into a room and gets one of two reactions from their rageless cousins: they quail or they get their back up, depending on how strong their backbone is. They aren’t comforted by her. She can’t put them at ease. She could burn through every drop of her rage and she would still make people’s neckhairs stand on end, make their brains light up with flashes of primitive fight or flight instinct. Sure, there’s the rare kinfolk who gets a surge oh ooh, sexydangerous, but even they can’t do much more than stare at her before heading for the door. Her parents feel it. Lucille feels it. Jenny and Reuben and everyone else at the BroHo feels it.

I’m not great with Kinfolk is a nice way of putting it. She avoids them; they try not to make eye contact with her. It works out.

“She’s your sister,” Sinclair finishes, with a second shrug, as though, that’s it. That’s all that needs to be said, in the end.

[Cold Victory] “What happened to the rest of your blood kin?” Lukas asks, turning his head to keep the females in sight as the vague motion of the poolwater turns his float slowly about. “If you don’t mind me asking.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods a little bit to Sinclair. Oddly, despite the Strider’s filial ties to her sister, she knows what it’s like to be an only child too, and there is a bit of that understanding in her eyes. It’s almost redundant to be of two worlds that way when they are of two worlds by their very nature. Perhaps that made it easier for Sarita to adapt to her new situation. She probably couldn’t tell you herself.

“She is,” she says in response, and that is all.

When Lukas asks about the rest of her family, Sarita looks that way and shakes her head with a smile. “Not at all.” A little shrug. “My father was the Trueborn, Amy and my blood link. He had a family with Amy and her mother, and my mother was a one-night stand. My mother didn’t know what Esteban was or what I was, and I didnt’ until my First Change.” She pauses a moment. The hesitation is brief, but it is there, before she continues.

“My mother died in a drug-related shooting. That’s when Esteban found me, gave me the basics and sent me off to the nearby Sept. Didn’t see any of my family again until Amy. Her mother died of cancer, and Esteban died soon after in a Spiral raid on their Sept.” She shrugs. There’s no bitterness in her voice toward her father, just less of an attachment than to her departed mother. “Amy found me not long after that.”

[Brutal Revelation] Some of who and what Sarita is, and how Amunet plays into that, unfolds as she tells them what happened to her father, her mother. It comes across, too, in the things that aren’t said, the thing that aren’t expounded upon —

he had a family

basics

sent me off

— and in those flickers of hesitation. Sinclair, perhaps not surprisingly, is a good listener. She tips her head to the side. “Found you? How? Did she know about you?”

[Cold Victory] In a strange way, Sinclair and Lukas — possibly the two most war-invested wolves in the pack — also have the most mundane upbringings. Sinclair was a cheerleader. Lukas has two parents and an older sister; all they were missing was a white picket fence and a dog. The sort of life Sarita describes — drug shootings, one night stands — is very far from his experience.

He rolls sideways off the float, though, as Sinclair picks up the thread of conversation. In a few swift, powerful strokes he reaches the edge of the pool and hauls himself out, sheeting water. Like Sinclair, then, he sits on the edge, legs in the water, at right angles to the Galliard. While he listens, he looks at the fresh ink on Sinclair’s forearms, curious.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a little nod, having expected that question. It’s asked a decent amount of the time. “Esteban knew about me from my birth, and his family knew that I existed for years. Amy knew she had a Trueborn sister since birth, and…that honestly has a lot to do with why she’s the way that she is. Living in the shadow of someone who isn’t even a quote-unquote ‘real’ part of your family, I don’t think, is very easy.”

She runs a hand through her hair, leaning back. It’s not a story that pains her, but she is a bit hesitant as she talks about these portions. This isn’t just her story…it’s hers and Amy’s. That’s significant to the Strider. “Anyway, when Esteban died, she found the information he had on me in his things and tracked me down.”

[Brutal Revelation] There is a reason why most of the time Sinclair and Lukas are both in the pool, she’s coaching him. He has raw physical power, raw physical grace and endurance, but Sinclair is the athlete of the Unbroken. In the water or on dry ground, those skills shine. She was a cheerleader. She was a swimmer. She was a runner. When she got older she surfed, she played volleyball. Last year she learned how to snowboard.

Drug shootings and one night stands aren’t so far from her experience, though. Not because of how she grew up, because of any experience from her life before her Change, but there is this stretch of time between earning the name Warcry and that fateful trip to Las Vegas that ended up with her coming to Chicago where things were very, very different.

Though their roles play a part, too. Lukas is a warmaster, a leader. Sinclair is a the memory of the pack, the voice of history. Sometimes she advises but that’s really Kate’s forte. Sinclair has the strange but sometimes vital ability to sit back, and listen, and absorb

and neither judge, nor act, nor attempt to alter. It is what it is. She hears hints of things in Sarita’s telling of her life, but right now, she doesn’t chase any of them down, scratch them out of the earth. One challenge to Sarita tonight seems to be enough.

She does look at her brother when he hauls himself out of the water, and notices him peering at her forearms. Without interrupting Sarita, she takes her hands off the rim of the pool and turns her arms towards Lukas so he can read the script inscribed into the skin there. Her eyes, then, turn back to the Strider.

Hearing what she does, a faint frown creases her brow, then smooths…willfully. One gets the impression if she let herself she’d just keep frowning until her face stuck that way. Since Lukas has had enough time to read her arms, Sinclair lowers them again, folding her hands on her knees. “You know…”

And hesitation. A beat of it, as she considers her words. It may seem to come out of nowhere — Sinclair seems okay with that. “Sarita, when it’s just us — the pack, I mean, now and particularly if you decide to join us for realsies — you can say whatever you have to say.” She pauses again. “You can trust our discretion. And if we fail you in that way, it’s your right to call us out on it, especially given your moon.”

Sinclair wrinkles her nose, then relaxes her expression again. “Okay, the blunt way of putting that is: if you feel weird about talking about your sister to us ‘behind her back’ or because it might be her private stuff, we all totally get that — just stick around and you’ll see how much Lukas talks about his mate, for example, which is like not at all and don’t think none of us have noticed he’s got a wedding ring now but were we invited, noooo of course not — but, yeah. My point is that what you say among pack isn’t going to come back to bite you in the ass later, even if you choose to leave the pack. I’ve had that happen. I wouldn’t do it to anyone else, and I’d yell at Lukas or Kate or Asha if they tried to do it, too. But they wouldn’t. Cuz they’re them. Y’know?”

She slips into the water. Finally.

[Derek Anderson] He entered the building and after introducing himself in the lobby, he rode the elevator up and once at the penthouse, he was greeted by a severe looking womannamed Lucille. He grinned at her slightly. Despite being almost 6’4″and being quite fit, the woman was almost intimidating to him

Lucky for him, he made a good impression enough, having stopped by his place to get changed after coming home from the theater. He was dressed in a nice purpple shirt, dark pants and shoes and had put on a long, warm jacket. He was led inside, toward one of the bench, then left.

Of course he heard those present and recognize the woman beside the pool and even those two inside the pool. He odesn’t get closer though, keeping out of conversation distance so he wouldn’t be unintetionally spying on them

[Cold Victory] Lukas isn’t terribly subtle about looking at the script. He leans over when Sinclair turns her arms to show him, reading the dark ink on her winter-pale skin. Somewhere in the middle of that she slips in the mention about his newish wedding band — that dark strip of black tungsten and gold that encircles the fourth finger of his left hand now — and his eyes flick up. He laughs quietly, a little abashed, a little pleased, but then the conversation moves on and his eyes go to Sarita.

“What she said,” he says. There’s a reason the gibbous moon chose Sinclair: it’s rare that she ever makes a statement Lukas feels compelled to add to or correct. “I’d add more, but that about covers it. I’m not going to run around airing a packmate’s laundry. Or a proto-packmate’s. Or whatever. No more than you would, I think.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She actually flushes at that. Clearly, she hadn’t even considered it that way, but as Sinclair says it, the words make complete sense and it makes the Ragabash wonder why the hell she didn’t already have that in mind.

“You’re right…my bad.” She sighs. “Too much time on the road. Two back-to-back against the world and all that happy Custer’s Last Stand-style horse shi-ite. Kinda got used to holding each other’s secrets safe from everyone else.” She smiles and taps her temple.

“Keeping it in mind.”

[Saschenka Neal] It was probably wrong to dead meeting the Elder of your own Tribe. Be nervous, of course, but dread? Sasha had never thought she’d have that feeling when meeting one of her own. Still, that was exactly what was pooling in her stomach and it had taken most of the taxi can ride over to convince herself to actually go, and not turn around as soon as she hit the doors.

Her clothes are much better then her usual working nights, nice sweater, nice jeans tucked into nice boots and her hair spilling over her shoulders. She’s even got a good fall coat on,as she comes through the door. There is a murmur, and a polite nod to Lucille, as well as a quiet thank you as she’s lead to where she needs to go and where she’s told to stay.

What she doesn’t expect is more voices, or even to see a familiar face- Detective Anderson. Her stomach clenches even tighter and it takes a second or two for her face to smooth out and for Sasha to force the tension out of her body. She even managers a smile to the man. “Detective Anderson. Thank you again, for your help.”

[Cold Victory] For a moment the Shadow Lord’s head turns; he looks through the glass doors at the passing figure. Turns back, though, when Sarita speaks.

“Don’t,” he says as she apologizes. “It’s nothing to ‘my bad’ about. You didn’t do anything wrong, Sarita. Like you said, it’s been the two of you back-to-back against the world for a long time now. I think Sinclair’s just saying — it doesn’t have to be like that anymore. Not if you’re with us.”

He pushes up on the palms of his hand, then, drawing his legs out of the water and under him. Standing, suddenly tall, he pads wet-footed over to the lounge chairs and draws his swim robe up, shrugging into it as he heads for the pool room’s door.

“Be right back,” he says. “Going to see who the pureblooded new faces are.”

[Brutal Revelation] In the water now, Sinclair moves, well… less like a wolf and more like a fish.

No, not like a fish. Like a shark. Even in the pool she’s more predator than prey, more beast than girl. The shocking red of her racing suit makes her look that much more vicious. She’s not swimming though, she’s treading water and enjoying the feel of it, still part of the conversation and still close to the edge of the pool.

“And I commend you for it,” she tells Sarita, of keeping secrets for her sister. “Just… y’know. You can trust us, is I guess what I’m saying.” She shrugs, and water sluices off of the names along her bicep, the metal through the other. Then she’s underwater a moment, coming up with her long hair drenched and close to the scalp.

She comes up and sees Derek through the glass walls. That crease appears in her brow once more, much like it did earlier as Sarita was talking. Then there’s Sashenka, and she nods as Lukas hauls himself up to go see who the new shiny shiny Fangs are.

Sinclair turns back to Sarita. “Come on. You should go get one of my suits. Jump in. Paddle around. I swear not to dunk you. I can’t speak for Lukas. He tends to jones pretty hard on that Big Brother vibe and would probably noogie you.”

[Derek Anderson] He offer her a warm smile “Good evening Sasha, didn’t think I”d bump into you tonight”He say, plased to see her. They had bumped into each other a few times and the meetings always ended well. HE liked his fellow, she was nice, smart and funny, though sometime unwillingly.

He looked back at the pool, watching Sarita for a moment then caught Sinclair looking in his and Sasha’s direction. He grin slightly and looked away. Something crossed his mind and he looked up fora moment before looknig again at Sasha with a smile.

[Derek Anderson] (*his fellow kin..)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks up, following Lukas’s gaze, and sees Sasha and Derek. She grins a little, head cocking to the side. “Hey, I know both of them.” Then the thought occurs to her. How the hell do I meet all the Fang kin first? The thought gives her one of those Cheshire-style grins, for no reason that she can even discern. Sometimes the Strider just finds shit funny. You don’t earn the deed name “Echoes of Laughter” if it wasn’t the case.

She looks over at Sinclair and finally gives in. “Okay, okay.” It’s a good-natured and willing surrender. She shrugs out of her duster, settling it against the back of the chair. “Show or tell me the way.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] There is no way to avoid the truth.

A Philodox, above all other auspices knows this to be quite true and correct and the truth was — Katherine had been avoiding her pack-mates. Specifically Sinclair and Lukas and even more exactly — her Alpha. She had gone to challenge for Adren at her father’s Sept and she had failed. Failure was not a thing easily written into the Bellamonte manuscript. It was most certainly not on Katherine’s.

She did not fail.

Her Uncle had taught her this much from an early age and despite her hatred of the man and his ploys, she did believe in some things still, deep in her core. Her family were not made to be laughing stocks. The Bellamontes who would go down in the history books would never be those that failed in their endeavors. Humility, Honor’s Compass had admitted to Nobility’s Burden, her father’s old Half Moon pack-mate, humility had been something a long time coming to Katherine’s psyche.

But she had it in spades, now. And she did not know how to process it.

So, she spent time, much of her time, with Martin, or at the Caern. Or in the Umbra; wolf-formed and freer than her human skin felt at present. She was a presence still on the totemlink but she was distant, even in person. Her smiles were half-mast; insubstantial and when she arrives at the Loft; entering silently from the garage she does not announce herself. Merely deposits her keys and stands a moment, listening to the activity.

The Loft, as both Kinfolk soon discover upon entry was what had once been a rather impressive warehouse space. It had been re-built on the inside, concrete given away for floor to ceiling window panes in several places and on the first floor an equally impressive enclosed swimming area. Lucille; a compact Hispanic woman with peppered black hair and wise, quick eyes would lead both after coats were taken down a white washed entry hall that opened up into a sitting area.

The floors were polished wood that gleamed, a rich rug thrown across the floor beneath an arrangement of black leather sofas to greet any exiting or entering from various doors. In a far corner; a staircase made of steel and stone wound upwards to a second level and somewhere, masked by the dominating pool room, there was a kitchen and master bedroom.

Lucille, noting her Mistress, gestures curtly at the Kinfolk to arrange themselves as they saw fit and rushed to take the pretty blond’s coat. Katherine turned her face, and her maid murmured something lowly in her ear. There was a nod, and Katherine came forward; her pale eyes intent on at least one new face.

“Good evening, welcome to my home. I am Katherine Bellamonte.” Derek received a brief cant of her head before the Half Moon’s attention returned to Sashenka. “You must be my newest arrival.”

[Saschenka Neal] “I didn’t expect to see others tonight either.” She admits, following his gaze and recognizing at least one in the pool. Seeing Sarita is both comforting, and bring more dread about the embarrassment that’s soon to follow. She stands at a parade rest, fingers gripping her wrist perhaps a touch to tight… especially with Lukas coming over.

They only tighten further when Katherine walks in; a kin can’t see breeding, but she -can- see the way the woman holds herself. This was a Trueborn Silver Fang, well bred, true and true. And she was looking at Sasha.

“Yes ma’am,” she answers politely and respectfully, bowing her head slightly in deference. “It’s an honor to meet you, thank you for allowing me into your home.”

She’s one who’s grown up around Garou, that’s obvious.

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair grins at Sarita. “Upstairs. It’s the second room on your left past the pool table. Top drawer of the dresser. You should be able to find something that fits, we’re about the same size.”

And with that she tilts to her back and sweeps her arms, swimming backward a bit. The last she heard from Lucille, Miss Katherine was unavailable. And she’s been waiting. She’s been quiet. God only knows Sinclair has had reason enough for the last couple of months to not reach out overmuch, to not invite anything that might become a long discussion.

But she knows Kate is back in town. She knows Kate is near. She knows Kate as a steady white glow in her mind, a pristine presence only sometimes marred by a darkening of emotion or a blinding flare of megalomania. And she smiles at the glass ceiling of the pool room, smiles at the stars.

[Cold Victory] The creature approaching the glass doors of the pool room sweeps rage ahead of him. Quite tall, broad across the shoulders and thick through the chest, Lukas is possessed of a frame that seems to year by year gain muscle mass and solidity. Once, his ancestors were black beasts in the carpathians, shrouded in the furs of their enemies, as strong as the mountains themselves. He’s descended from the same stock, cut to the same cloth.

His expression is curious, though, rather than threatening. He seems about to sweep the doors open and greet them when he catches sight of his packmate coming from the direction of the garage. It’s the first time he’s seen her since she left for New York, and for her own Adren challenge. They haven’t spoken of it, but every one of the Unbroken knows the outcome of that challenge; knows it in the foreboding silence of their totem, the lack of the storm-god’s presence in their bones.

Lukas looks at Katherine a moment, his eyebrows pulling together and upward a little. She goes to greet her kin, though, and Lukas doesn’t interrupt, instead raising a hand in a silent, courteous greeting through the glass. Derek, he’s met. The woman, he hasn’t; but she’s Kate’s business, regardless.

Turning back, he steps aside as Sarita heads up to get one of Sinclair’s suits. “I’m not going to dunk you,” he says to her on her way out, an aside, “but Sinclair might make you feel like a mudskipper to her swordfish.”

He keeps his robe on, though unsashed. Pulling up one of the loungers at the side of the pool, he nods at Sinclair’s forearms. “What’s up with the new ink?”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled as Sasha found herself the focus of Katherine’s attention. He offered the regal woman an nod and a smile when she noticed him. Having no real business with her tonight, he was quite happy to let both woman talk. His attention drifted toward the pool once and it was hard to say who or what he was looking at.

Of course he didn’t look for too long and when Lukas came closer, his attention was on the man. HE offered a polite smile and nod to the Elder then he brought his eyes back to Katherine and Sasha’s meeting

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She nods to Sinclair with a grateful smile and starts to make her way out of the pool area. When Lukas said he wasn’t going to dunk her, she gave a grin at him. “Hey, all’s fair in love and war. That includes pool wars. Therefore, I make no such promises.” A chuckle, and she gives Sasha and Derek little nods, and a smile to Katherine–not going out of her way to interrupt, just not pretending they aren’t there–as she disappears off to the stairs and up.

[Brutal Revelation] She swims for awhile. Just a little while. To be alone. To be in the water, alone, a sport without cheerleaders and where fans are more of a distraction than a charge. She does just a single lap though, once back and forth down the immense pool, and then she comes to the edge, puts her palms on the concrete, and lifts herself up and out. The motions all slide together, blur into an illusion of a single motion, as though her joints are just levers on a well-oiled machine.

Her arms brace, and then lift. Her knees bend and her legs come up. The balls of her feet press into the concrete and push downward as her legs unfold, as she rises from an eyeblink of a crouch to standing, dripping. Sinclair takes the time to run her palms over herself, skimming excess water away, her hair already tightly yanked back, braided, and coiled at the nape of her neck.

Then she bolts out of the pool room, jumps on Katherine’s back — pool water and all — and hugs the Philodox tightly from behind, burying her face in Kate’s coat, between her shoulderblades.

“Kate Kate Kate Kate Kate,” she says, infinitely pleased. Smiling.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Lukas is noted; but his pack-mate’s eyes linger on him merely a moment, she smiles, but there’s little outward joy to it. Instead, she turns her attention on the two Kinfolk with her and directs both to take up seats on the sofa leather. Lucille is sent for tea, coffee or whatever beverages are requested and their elder; a pretty thing with the regal features and elegant turns of phrase and motion that spoke clearly of her upbringing, and breeding.

“Sit, please.”

She instructs if they have not already, and — Sinclair rushes from the pool room and leaps on her; Katherine staggers a little, and her eyebrows knit, “Hello, Sinclair,” there is fond endurance in the Aristocrat’s voice as she introduces her — and slightly damp, sits and crosses her legs, hands on one knee. Katherine’s slacks were of a fine white material; the lines crisply pressed and the sweater matched with it V necked. She could have as easily fit in at a country club as she could at her home at present.

Even a little wet with pool water, courtesy of her sister.

Sarita passes through at some point during all this and Katherine smiles at her, politely before settling into business. “I will not lie, Ms Neal, your name is one I am familiar with. You have a certain,” The Silver Fang frowns, breathing out slowly, “Reputation among us. I would be remiss not to take that into account upon you setting foot into my governed area. But,” Lucille appeared again, bearing a tray of tea.

“As I said to Derek, I do not care so much for what you do on your own time, as long as you do nothing that discredits your tribe, or my standing as its Elder in the process. Whatever your transgressions were are, as far as I am concerned, firmly in the past. You receive as do any coming under my protection, the benefit of a clean slate.

Where you take this, is entirely up to you.”

[Cold Victory] [delete the last bit of my last post, where lukas addresses sinclair! wires crossed!]

[Brutal Revelation] There are new tattoos on the insides of Sinclair’s forearms. Three words in black going from wrists to elbows, but Kate doesn’t have time to make them out before those arms are flung around her from behind. She squeezes the Silver Fang hard, perhaps tighter than even an absence of three days would warrant, but then

she’s not hugging her like that because Kate was gone for three days. Sinclair was gone for three weeks last summer and it didn’t warrant being clung to like this.

She smacks a kiss on the Philodox’s cheek, lets her go, and once upon a time she held Kate from behind, arms pinned down, and it was a very different sort of embrace, but that was ages ago. She unfolds her arms and, without a second glance at the two Kin being treated to tea and cakes and whatever else, walks back into the pool room. She leaves it cracked for Sarita, but otherwise closes it, as though to give the Fangs some privacy.

Tribe business. Not pack business. There’s a line. Most of the time, there’s a very firm line.

She heads back towards the water, glancing over a Lukas and giving him a small smile. On second thought, she stops, and goes to sit on one of the cushioned loungers near where he is.

[Brutal Revelation] [I’ll probably end up editing my post about SINCLAIR SWIMMING ALONE and all that before I post it in my scene log, too. LOL. *lurnz to reed for futar*]

[Derek Anderson] He offered a warm smile at Sarita when she greeted him and then simply blinked at Sinclair when the woman jumped on Katherine’s back. Weither it was because of how good the Glass Walker looked in a swimsuit or because of her behavior, it could be debated. Both might be a good answer.

He sat as Katherine had offered. He did look at Sasha with some curiosity when Katherine spoke of transgressions, but he would never ask in public. Maybe if they end up at a cafe or dinner alone he will. He could chec her past too, but it would feel..improper.

[Saschenka Neal] A woman, wet, and dressed only a bathing suit, leaping upon a Silver Fang Elder, should pretty much erase all tension in a room. Half sitting when it happened, Sasha gets a little wide eyed at the action, almost… disbelieving that it just happened. Still, the newcomer only makes her skin almost crawl and doubles that flight or fight response that is totally leaning towards flight.

She forces her body to sit though, sitting up straight with her hands pressed into her lap. There is a thinning of her lips at the mention of her… reputation, as the other so delicately puts it, and her head bows ever so slightly. It’s not… embarrassment, not exactly, but maybe a bit of shame. Whatever the emotion, she at least holds it close to her.

Her eyes flick up though, at the but, and there is tightly controlled surprise at the mentioning of a clean slate. Of all the things she expected, that was certainly not it. It takes a moment for her to realize she should respond, and moved beyond stunned.

“… thank you ma’am,” she says quietly, her gaze dropping again. “I understand, completely.”

[Cold Victory] As Sinclair sits down beside him, Lukas leans over, bumping his shoulder against hers. Even through the sleek satiny shell and the thick absorbent liner of his pool robe, she can feel the warmth and solidness of the flesh and bone beneath.

“What’s with the new tattoos?” he asks.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Somewhere halfway up the stairs, Sarita chuckles when she hears Katherine start her address to Sasha. She knows it well already, and she very nearly pauses to listen to it just to see if she can mouth along with it, albeit out of sight. She doesn’t though, and instead finishes her trip upstairs.

Her own clothes get folded up and settled somewhere out of the way after she changes into the swimsuit. She just goes with the first one that she sees, unless there’s a big giant sign that says NO DON’T TAKE THAT SWIMSUIT THAT’S THE WRONG CHOICE. Hey, some people are weird about their swimsuits. Some people juggle geese. Anyway, she’s not partial to a particular style, she just gets dressed, finds and grabs a towel and makes her way back downstairs.

She’s nice enough to tiptoe silently around the periphery of the greeting as much as possible so as not to disturb them. Plenty of time to be disturbing later, right? The door is slipped open and then shut behind her.

[Katherine Bellamonte] “Please be warned,” the Silver Fang goes on without more than a heartbeat between her words and Saschenka’s modestly stunned reply, “that while I am the one who answers for our tribe here in the city, I can not be everywhere all the time, and I cannot control the reactions you may elicit from other, more traditional members.”

She smiles, a brief, shaded look full of sympathy and forbearance on the topic of her tribes-mates.

“But you find no instant quarrel with me, this place, too, my home is a safe place to come if you are ever in trouble or simply need a roof over your head. My pack-mates, if not myself, will always make you welcome in it.”

[Saschenka Neal] “I understand,” she replies, and the very faint smile indicates that she does all too well. She would suppose that being left to fend for yourself was the worst, but… well, people always thought of new ways to cause misery. If being a CST had taught her anything, that was certainly it.

There is a small nod and some of the tension leaves her shoulders. “Yes ma’am. Again… thank you, very much.”

[Derek Anderson] If Sarita didn’t want to disturb him, well walking around in a swimsuit wasn’t the way. His eyes followed her from the moment she appeared till she pass the door and get out of sight. His brain hamster had left the wheel and was face pressed against the glass one of his eyes was, drolling. Only thing that stopped Derek to do the same was his Silver Fang upbringing.

He wasn’t the type to stare at woman or think inapropriate thought, he was usually jsut a nice and charming. He had reacted a little at Sinclair earlier, she was beautiful, but his fascination with that particular Garou was special…it was her whole presence, the danger. While Sarita was a gorgeous woman and she happened to be smart and funny and they aways had fun hanging together

This…this is what he would be thinking about..if only he could think right..but..he can’t

[Derek Anderson] (*think right now…)

[Brutal Revelation] When she’d come back in, Sinclair had initially moved towards the pool. Thinking twice about it, she’d moved to one of the loungers near the one Lukas was taking up. When he looked up and smiled like that, as though he was all happy about something, because she had come back in, she’d sat next to him instead.

Sometimes Sinclair hugs Kate because she wants to hug Kate more than because she thinks Kate needs it. Sometimes Lukas hugs Sinclair or wants her — or any of his packmates — nearby because of what it fulfills for him, how it makes him feel. Sometimes they can feel the fact that she was always an only child in the way she tolerates physical affection more than responds to it. Sometimes they can feel the same damn thing when she leans into a hug, or when she nuzzles despite being in homid, or when she seems so hungry just for someone to not be afraid to touch her that her acceptance of a hand on hers is almost desperate. Starved.

Truth be told, when she sits down next to Lukas instead of across from him, as she’d intended, it’s more for his sake than for her own. It’s as though all night she could sense him wanting to get off the lounger and curl up in a furry pile with his packmates. It’s as though for the past several days Katherine hasn’t been around and Katherine’s been quiet and they haven’t been connected telepathically through Perun. It’s almost as though she knows him, and understands him, and — yes — loves him. That shows in how she decides to sit next to him, and how she smiles sort of patiently but also sort of fondly when he bumps against her like that.

Upstairs, Sarita finds a whole drawer full of swimsuits. Bikinis, racing suits, one-pieces, two-pieces that are slightly more modest than bikinis. Some look more comfortable for lounging, some more comfortable for swimming. Black, red, navy blue, green, purple, brown and pink… Sinclair has swimsuits like some women have shoes.

The room itself isn’t very lived-in, but it’s comfortable. Big comforter on the bed. A purple letter jacket with white sleeves laid on the back of a chair — it’s from Cheer Eclipse, it says, and the arms are covered in patches from years past, awards past, national championships won all those years ago. There’s a door to the bathroom next door, and clean towels everywhere, like it’s a luxury hotel.

And in the pool room, Sinclair is smiling, and it’s fading. She looks at her arms, turning them wrists-up on top of her thighs. “I got them the night after we went and patrolled the park, you know?” Which isn’t much of an explanation. For a Galliard, she stares at them silently, as though not quite sure how to explain, any more than she knows how to stop being like this.

[Cold Victory] Lukas reaches out, his fingers still faintly damp from poolwater when he turns Sinclair’s arms around so he can see the inking again.

“What you can,” he reads, a question, an invitation for explanation, “when you can?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] There’s a faint trilling, and moments later Lucille appears with a phone in hand. “It’s Master Edward,” she announces, in her heavily accented English, and fair brows knitting, the Half Moon rises to her feet.

“Excuse me a minute, make yourselves comfortable, help yourself to tea if you like.”

Taking the phone in hand, Katherine’s expression devolves into tense lines; her brow furrowed, sweet tones sliding into another language altogether; her voice sharp; rising as she pads out of sight into something rather fiercely argumentative. At one point, there is most certainly name calling.

In french.
How quaint.

[BRB, must start dinner!]

[Saschenka Neal] …. she’s not dead yet, or kicked out. Even invited to come back. Definitely better then she thought.

Still, she can’t help but bring up her fingers to pinch the bridge of her nose, letting out something that is almost a shuddering breath as Katherine moves away. She has a headache from being wound so tight, and she’s still about exactly what the woman has all heard, what Derek is going to say, and who all is exactly in the house hearing the conversation. Sarita in a bathing suit isn’t even noted, when the woman comes back down and slips back to the pool.

[Derek Anderson] Hanster finaly get back in wheel and start spinning, brain fonctions returning. He blinks a few tie then notice Katherine was on the phone and Sasha looknig very nervous. Fighting the temptation to loo through the window poolside, he turn his body so he was sitting sideways with Sasha

“How are you handling it?” He ask her with some concern in his voice “You look like you just escaped execution”

He tilt his head, studying the blonde woman’s face, trying to read the thruth from her expression, if she dare answer that se was fine

[Brutal Revelation] She doesn’t jerk away from Lukas’s hands going to her arms. The air is wicking away the moisture on her skin, cooling her to the point of being chilled, but she has no robe for modesty nor warmth. Rage heats her from within. Determination, too. She watches him look over the words, and for a moment something twists inside of her. She closes her eyes, staunching some wound in herself as though to stop the bleeding with her bare hands. There isn’t even a bandage, nothing to cover it with. Just the profound ache of a hole where something else used to be.

Her eyes open slowly, and something in her has changed. She looks exhausted. She looks — frankly put — depressed. Different than she’s been all night. More like she did when she stood in Bellamonte Park and could hardly bear up under the weight of whatever it is she’s carrying.

“Yeah,” she says, barely more than a whisper. It isn’t much of an explanation. Then again, maybe it is: she doesn’t even try to be understood, right now, as though it just takes more out of her than she has to give in the moment.

What she can, when she can. And right now, she can’t.

The pool room door slides open, and shut, and Sinclair looks over at Sarita when the Strider enters. She smiles. It’s less easygoing than before. “Hey,” she says. “Ready to get schooled?”

[Saschenka Neal] Oh, dare it she did.

“I’m fine.” Sasha answered smoothly, dropping her hand back to her lap and forcing herself to lift her head up. “It’s simply… been a long day.”

It’s not as convincing as she wants, especially since she was never a very good liar. Still, she has to save some face somehow in front of her fellow kin. Even if it wasn’t a very good save face.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] Now that’s just a cornucopia of swimsuits. Maybe even a smörgåsbord. Actually on further consideration, it probably does his smörgåsbord status. Ultimately, she’d chosen a simple black one-piece. She does know that Derek’s downstairs and she knows he’s kinds sweet on her. She has no intent to torment the poor boy. So that’s what she’s wearing when she slips into the pool area, the towel resting around her shoulders.

She grins at Sinclair. “Oh, I have no doubt I’m gonna get schooled. All the time I spent around the public pool back home was lounging and ogling lifeguard.s” A shrug and she sets the towel aside, then slips into the water.

[Derek Anderson] He had been lucky Sarita had decided to be modest, she might have killed him on the spot. Heh adn’t really thought she would be walking around in a swinsuit tonight. Anyway, his thoguhts come back to the person in front of his, a very nervous and lying Sasha.

“No you’re not”He say, answering Sasha in his deep warm voice “You don’t have to tell me the truth, but don’t pretend either, Well have have moments. It’s obvious why you were nervous and still are. If my guess is correct, breathe slowly, take it easy, you’ll be fine. Katherine won’trouble you if you don’t step over the line. And I doubt youwill” HE say with a smile

“YOu have friends to keep you in line just in case” He say with a friendly grin.

[Cold Victory] The truth is, Lukas doesn’t even know what that means. What you can, when you can. The subject is missing; the sentence is without a center, without an anchor, shiftless, its meaning locked somewhere in Sinclair’s mind, somewhere behind that facade of bravado and brutality she wears so well that it’s taken him this long to even begin to intuit its inherent thinness.

“Sinclair — ” he begins, but then Sarita is back, and the truth is there are tribal matters, and there are pack matters, and then there are matters that are personal, that are so close to the bone that they can barely be brought to light. Lukas lets the subject go as Sinclair makes an attempt at bluster; as Sarita, his newest sister-to-be, slips into the pool.

Well. He almost lets it go — “Let’s talk more later.”

[Saschenka Neal] Snapping at a kin is not a great way to start a clean slate so Sasha does take a deep breath and let it go, looking after at the other. She watches him for a moment before she answers calmly, “… I’m fine, thank you for your concern. And I’m sure people will remind me to keep in line, if I can’t somehow keep myself.”

It’s not very nice, to be irritated with someone who’s only trying to be nice. And, really, especially a Fang kin that’s being nice despite understanding she has a ‘reputation’ amongst the tribe. She also has to remind herself his last line wasn’t an insult, but an honest offer to help if need be.

Sighing, she closes her eyes and says more sincerely, “… thank you. I am fine though.”

The last line was almost a request- drop it, just for now, and he could ask all he wanted later?

[Derek Anderson] He nodded to her “All right Sasha, and i just meant you have me and Neda if you need help, support or anything. You don’t need a big brother or anything to remind you how ot behave. Nor do I. We’re all adults. I jsut want you to know I’m around if you need anything ok?”

He spoke calmly, looking into her eyes. He didn’t ask more details, didn’t push her for a more honest answer. He told her what he wanted to tell her. If she need anything, now or later, she new she could ask. It was her choice to do so or not.

[Saschenka Neal] It was uncomfortable having someone meet her gaze like Derek was and Sasha had to work on not looking away. No one had met her gaze like that in some time.

Smiling ever-so-faintly, she nodded. “All right. Thank you.”

[Derek Anderson] He nodded, breaking contact with her eyes “You’re welcome” He looked at her again, but more in a general way now “How are you settling in?”He ask her, glimpsing toward the pool area, jsut to make sure they don’t get jumped by Sinclair or something. At least, that’s what he tell himself.

He return his attention on Sasha as she answer, trying to look at the person talking to him as often as it’s possible

[Saschenka Neal] ((Night everyone… thank you 🙂 Sasha will leave after saying thank yous and goodbyes when Katherine returns))

[Brutal Revelation] There are a few things that Sarita can tell when she walks into the pool room again: that look in Sinclair’s pale eyes as though she’s just been drained of all energy, as though just talking and smiling and hanging out is significant work. That look Lukas has, that desire — if not outright need — to help her, to fix it, to make whatever is wrong better. The awkwardness of just not understanding, of not even knowing what triggered that rapid switch from Sinclair seeming okay to Sinclair having to work to make herself get up and walk over to the pool’s edge again.

She looks over her shoulder at Lukas when he says his name. There’s a severity to her with her hair back and wet like that, with her suit a racing variety, with her eyes so pale as to be ghostly. There’s not so much a vulnerability as an emptiness wrapped in a razor-wired shell, a glass sphere that could collapse under too much pressure,

but those are illusions.

There’s a look in her eye, though, that he’s seen when she’s come back from frenzy. A wildness and a fear, a holding on to whatever last shreds will help her claw her way back up. It isn’t bluster. It’s survival.

She just looks at him for a moment, then looks over at Sarita. Yes, it’s personal. Yes, it’s profoundly, agonizingly personal. It’s not something she’s talked about to Asha, for one. It’s not something she even spoke to Lukas about for months. But she does say this, at least, turning back to her Alpha. “It’s a reminder. To do what I can, when I can. But you can put whatever verb there that you want. Fight what you can. Give when you can. Speak. Breathe. Get out of bed. Smile. That’s why it just says what it does, and no more.”

As she’s telling him this, she has two fingers stroking down the inside of her left forearm, as though reading it like braille as she tells it to him aloud. “Because no one can ask more than that of me. And I can’t ask myself for any less. I’m not going to fucking slip off into harano because of this, but…” there’s a second or two of a pause, then a breath. “I’m sure as hell not going to try and tell myself every day that sooner or later I’m going to be fine. I’m honestly not sure I’m ever going to be what you’d call ‘over’ this. And waiting to be All Better and hating the fact that I’m not has been killing me.”

Her arms go back to her sides. “I know it’s hard for you seeing me like this, too. But I know talking about it isn’t going to change the fundamental problem. And talking about it isn’t really helping me get through it. Not when I know how badly you just want to… fix it.”

She’s at a loos for a moment after that, then exhales and walks back over to him, bending at the waist and putting her arms around his neck.

[Cold Victory] What is there to say to that?

Lukas doesn’t look particularly relieved. When Sinclair bends to hug him, slide those strong lean arms of hers around his robed shoulders, he’s unresponsive for a moment, frowning even as she’s leaning in. Then his hand comes up to cover her back, warm and large, patting once.

They don’t have the totem right now. He can’t nudge her across that bond and say what he wants to say, but perhaps she’s known him long enough to intuit it from his silence and his touch alone. And what he wants to say is not Okay or Thank you for telling me or I know you can handle it or even I trust you to do what’s right for yourself.

Just: Yes. I hear you. No more; no less.

When she straightens, Lukas’s hand drops away. Sarita’s in the water already. It might be odd for her to witness this, might make her wonder just what the hell was going on, really, with this strong, vicious wolf they call Warcry, and Brutal Revelation; this wolf that, word around the caern has it, is one of the stronger fighters in the Sept, and not without her share of controversy and notoriety. Perhaps Sarita hasn’t been here long enough to realize what an unusual thing it is to see Sinclair so…

well. Vulnerable. Fragile, almost.

“If there’s something I — we — can do,” Lukas says as Sinclair’s heading to the pool, “let me know. Even if it’s just listen. Or be there. Otherwise — well. I’m here.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] The sudden shift in dynamic took her just a second to notice, having been concerned with trying to not make the police officer in the other room uncomfortable. Sarita is a fairly empathic person though, and so as soon as her attention is more focused on the people in the room the about-face in the room’s mood is picked up on. Her brow furrows a little bit and she doesn’t lose a beat. Instead of the more playful tone she’s known for, she inobtrusively slides into the water. The ripples form around her and she takes a deep breath, submerging herself deep within the water of the pool and beginning to move through the water, her form staying close the the floor of the pool.

She’s not a great swimmer–she wasn’t lying about that. But she’s good at holding her breath and while she has nowhere near a great form to her movements, she’s able to move with some vaguely tolerable level of speed. She keeps on the far side of the pool from Sinclair and Lukas, getting used to the water and getting her swimming arms back a bit, motor memory from years before beginning to come back. Staying underwater also allows her packmates-to-be to converse without feeling like they’re leaving her out or being eavesdropped on. More comfortable for all.

[Derek Anderson] He talked with Sasha a little then let the blonde woman with her thoughts. He got up and walked to the window of the pool, leaning slightly sideways against it, watching the pack and future pack members interacting with each other. His eyes weren’t lingering on the women’s body. His initial surprise at seeing those two beauties with less clothes than he was used to, was gone.

No he was just watching them, witnessing a glimpse of Sinclair’s vulnerability? Affection? And Lukas’s almost paternal pat in the back, feeling like he had witnessed something forbiddeen, that could kill him. Well knowing Sinclair..it actually might. So he looked away. He had a few connections in the city, some people he was getting to know better, but no one particularly close, that will come over for dinner or spend their saturday afternoon with.

He smiled slightly, it’ll happen eventually, jsut ont now and seeing those two be so close, made him realized how new he was to the city to be lacking that kind of relatioship with someone.

[Brutal Revelation] She doesn’t let go for awhile. Probably not til after he’s already withdrawn his hand from her back, and then she’s slow to straighten, doesn’t instantly turn and walk away towards the pool. So she’s facing him when he says what he does, and her brows tug together, aching a bit — though for a different reason than before.

“I know that,” she says quietly. “I always know that, Lukas.”

Now moving away, she glimpses Derek peering at them through the glass walls, the crystalline clean doors. He’s looking away, though, turning his gaze from them, but her eyes narrow as she looks at the back of his neck. “Jesus Christ,” she mutters, walking towards the water and seeming to speak more to Sarita now. “You’d think they taught staring all the fucking time at the police academy or something.”

She slips back into the water, kicking off the side of the pool and propelling herself towards Sarita. “I see you found a suit that fits.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine emerges.

Her cheeks are flushed, and her temper cooling. She hands off the phone to Lucille, who stands ready to receive it with a comforting look in her dark eyes. She had witnessed more than a single argument between Katherine and her sibling. Usually, there was never a clear victor.

“Derek, I’m so sorry to leave you for so long. I take it Ms Neal was seen out?”

She steps toward the Kinsman; her face appearing alongside his, peering through frosted glass at her pack-mates.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s just come up for air when Sinclair is heading back for the water. “Huh?” She says it as her hands smooth over her head from eyes to hair, wiping excess water from her face. She blinks and looks over to Derek looking away, the corner of her mouth comes up in a vaguely amused smirk.

“It’s cute, in a ‘never gonna happen’ kind of way,” she says with a shrug to the Galliard. “He doesn’t mean anything by it.” She obviously holds the kinfolk no ill will. Truth told, the attention is something she kind of likes, even she’s not going to pursue it. It reminds her that she’s human as much as she’s other things, and unlike some Garou the humanity is something Sarita has never outgrown.

She smiles when Sinclair mentions the swimsuit. “I did, yeah…thanks. That’s a lot of swimsuits. I’m impressed…”

[Derek Anderson] He looked a Katherine with a smile “It’s ok Katherine, Sasha said she was sorry but she had to go. She appreciated the welcome, she’ll be around I’m sure. As for me, I was just passing by, like you offered me to. I didn’t expect you to have time to spend with me or anything”

He look back at her pack “You should join them, I don’t want to keep you from their company. From what I saw earlier, someone was missing you” He grin slightly as he remembered Sinclair on Kate’s back. It had been funny.

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair rolls her eyes as she moves onto her side in the water. “It’s annoying, in a ‘going to get his eyes torn out of their sockets’ way,” she says, almsot but not quite echoing Sarita as she cuts throught he water a few feet away. “I swam a lot growing up. And I went to a college that’s walking distance from the ocean, so.”

She shrugs, and looks over at Lukas. “You coming in?”

[Cold Victory] Lukas’s eyes stay on Sinclair’s a moment, frank and piercing. When she finally does turn away to join Sarita in the pool, he looks away as well. Derek’s looking through the pool room doors. Lukas eyes him a moment, then Katherine beside him.

He beckons: a quick, easy jerk of his head in place of some hand motion. Come in, the gesture says — an invitation, or perhaps simply a request.

[Cold Victory] Then, to Sinclair – “Nah, I’m going to chill out here a while.” The smile he offers is a little wan. But only a little.

[Katherine Bellamonte] “Dear me,” she retorts dryly, her arms sliding over her chest as she nudges open the door to the pool room with a narrow hip. “How esteemed you apparently consider my life, Derek to believe I have not even an hour to spend with my family. Come, come on.” She gestures with a turn of her long neck and slips inside the steamier room.

There is a definite tropical edge to the room where her pack-mates linger; some seated around the pool edge, some in the water itself; were it not for their combined Rage, it would be most pleasant in here with its birdsong, twittering and chirping from speaker somewhere, concealed by imported plant life.

The female Fang crosses toward her Alpha, stopping only to slip first one, then another shoe from her feet so they are bare as she reaches him. “Edward says hello,” she notes with a touch of weariness. “Oh, you remember Derek perhaps, Lukas? Kin of mine, a Detective on the force.”

Katherine pulls up a seat; and glances upward at the tall man, abruptly curious. “You must know Izzy Montoya, then? She is also a Detective here in the city. Have your paths crossed, yet?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ahh.” She nods in comprehension, doing an iffy but serviceable backstroke. “Yeah, not a lot of ocean property in New Mexico, so we only had the public pool, and yeah…repeat previously said sentence about summer lounging and lifeguard ogling.”

She stops moving through the water and looks over to Sinclair. “Where’d you go to college?”

[Derek Anderson] He wasn’t sure he felt entirely comfortable being around some of the msot important Garou in the city, but he couldn’t exactly say no. So it was with a smiel on his face that he moved with Katherine “Well, I jsut know you are a busy perso Katherine” he reply to her as the made their way to Lukas.

He offer a smiel and slightly bow to him “Good evening Lukas, I hope the night finds you well?” He ask the Shadow Lord, looking at him, without direct eye contact, as he always id with true born. It had kept him alive for 24 yrs, so he had no intention of doing otherwise, unless asked to do so.

His attention turned back to Katherine when she asked about Izzy “I have met her, twice. She’s a hard person to get to know, but we left on friendly enough terms the last time. We don’t work in the same precint but I assume we’ll bump into each other again” He kept his attention on Katherine and Lukas, doing a pretty good job not glancing at Sarita and Sinclair.

[Cold Victory] “Of course.”

The last time Lukas and Derek met — albeit briefly — was at a bar where half the Garou population of Chicago seemed to spontaneously congregate. Lukas was fully- and rather well-dressed then. Right now, he’s in square-cut swim trunks and a dark blue swim robe, broad-shouldered and athletic, looking rather like some olympian taking a breather by the side of the pool. His eyes are still the same, though, direct and cutting and pale. So is his handshake, firm and courteous.

“Good to see you again, Derek. You know,” the corner of his mouth tilts up, wry, “if you want to join Sinclair and Sarita in the pool, we could probably find you swim trunks somewhere.”

His eyes go past Derek then, rest on Katherine a moment. “Glad you’re back,” he says to her, quiet and simple.

[Brutal Revelation] “UCSD,” is Sinclair’s simple answer. “Just for about a year, though.”

She lifts herself up out of the water a bit to look over at Kate, smiling at the Fang. Then her attention goes back to Sarita. “Not a lot of Striders in SoCal. I haven’t met many members of your tribe, to tell the truth.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] “Very true,” Katherine says, turning her smiling face toward her Kinsmen.

“You are about the size of my elder brother, give or take,” she says, taking in his form, head to foot and returning with a sure, measuring glance. It cannot be entirely comforting, being eyed so by a creature like Katherine. “I am certain Lucille could track down something if you want to swim.”

A beat; Sinclair smiles out of the water at her, and her sister gives her a little quirk of her eyebrows, a particular gleam that is comforting for how Kate-ish the expression is, even if a certain sensibility lingers about her eyes in the process; tightens just so the edge of her lips.

To Lukas; it is a longer, steadier stare that he receives. Her eyes dip, briefly, to the ring on his finger and there, again, is a brief flicker of some emotion in her pale eyes. “Yes, well,” Katherine laughs her easy, empty Aristocrat’s laugh. “What wonders my father’s Sept held, it was lacking my own pack.

I will go back.” She breathes sharply, and runs fingers over her pant leg, smoothing already smooth material. “I will go back.” She re-affirms, quietly.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ahh, cool.” She nods. “Passed through that area once. Didn’t stop. Looked like a nice campus.” In all honesty if there were a story there, she would tell it. The Ragabash has more than her host of stories filled stories of her (or, more recently, her and Amy) passing through interesting areas or having misadventures. San Diego, however, is not one of those cities.

She is getting her waterlegs back a little bit, and she’s not having to try so hard to keep afloat. “Yeah, I hear that one a lot.” The words are in reference to Sinclair not having met a lot of Striders. “We wander so much, it’s tough to catch a lot of us. Especially since, like most tribes I imagine, we have a fair number who avoid cities. Best chance of running into us is if one of us passes through a sept. Otherwise you’re gonna have to hope to find us in random encounters at rest stops or elsewhere on the road.”

[Derek Anderson] He shook Lukas’s hand firmly, certainly not even trying trying to crush the man’s hand. It was jsut a good handhsake. He wasn’t entirely comfortable having Katherine appraise him, but he didn’t show it. Instead he smile to both elders “It’s fine with me to go into the pool but I certainly won’t get in unless I have their permission”

Not to mention the fact Sinclair might just kill him for finding himself too close to her. Granted they were at Kate’s so she mgiht not do it right away. She could just wait later. So he turned to face the two women in the pool “Would you mind some company?’ He ask, looking at their face, just not staring at them in the eyes. But he didn’t look away, unless he had to move his head slightly to look at one then the other

[Brutal Revelation] “You’re not just passing through though, are you?” Sinclair says, swimming towards the side of the pool now, draping her arms back, elbows resting on the concrete. “I mean, you’re considering joining the pack, so… I figured not, but do you really intend to stay for awhile?”

[Cold Victory] As Derek moves toward the pool, Lukas’s eyebrows flick together faintly. He gets up, swim robe rustling against itself lightly. The pool’s huge, and a quiet conversation at one end is easily out of earshot of the other. When he inclines his head toward the perimeter, inviting Kate for a walk, he may as well be asking her for a private word.

If she falls in beside him, it’s a little while before he says anything. When he does, it’s simply: “Do you remember when I first challenged for Ahroun Elder?”

[Katherine Bellamonte] She does fall in beside him, the sleeves on her sweater pushed up her forearms; a slender wristwatch slipping over the delicate tendons in her wrist joint; her fair hair bound back from her face and neatly coiled with a clip at her nape. She expressions her thought at his question; her shoes left behind so her feet make little noise beside his step.

“I believe that I do, yes.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, I’m staying.” She says it with a definite nod. “Listen, my Tribe wanders. And there are some very good and very unfortunate reasons why we wander. But even with that being said…and as much as I love life on the open road….”

She shakes her head. The truth of the matter is evident on her face…its weariness. The Latina may be a mirthful woman, but when she thinks about taking to the road again, there’s a wary dullness to her deep brown eyes. It isn’t an easy life, and it can’t even really be explained to people who haven’t done it, or at least moved consistently. Army brats, Romani…they would understand it perhaps the closest. She doesn’t quite have the words to express all this properly, so she just smiles, and finishes the sentence with:

“…it’s time for me to settle. It may not be home, but it’s somewhere I can believe is so.”

She looks up at Derek when he asks about whether he can join them, and a bit of the amused glimmer hits her eyes again. She gives a shrug, looking over at Sinclair. “What do you think?”

[Cold Victory] “I lost,” Lukas says: ever blunt about the obvious. A few steps later, “It sucked.

“To tell you the truth, even now, I’m not sure I … ‘deserved’ to lose, I guess. What I mean is: I’m not sure I wasn’t the best candidate there, regardless or whatever reason Hatchet passed or failed me on. Maybe that’s my pride speaking, or maybe it’s just the clarity of retrospect, but I cannot genuinely, without false modesty, say that Bones to Dust was a better Ahroun Elder than I would have been. Than I am.

“But here’s the weird thing. If I had won that day, I wouldn’t have been as good an Elder as I was when I won months and months later. It wouldn’t have been driven to be as good as I became, and am still becoming. I would’ve been exactly the sort of Ahroun Elder I showed myself to be that day when I lost — strong, dominant, willing to teach and train, but ultimately … not really seeing the big picture. Not really one to try to weave the Sept into a united force.

“It took losing to teach me about unity. And it took losing to teach me the humility I needed to be a better leader. To really see beyond my pride and my ambition to what really mattered.

“And sometimes I think Hatchet knew that. I think he didn’t fail me because I wasn’t good enough, but because he knew I could be better.”

They’re halfway around the pool now, and Lukas slows, turns to face Katherine. “My point is this,” he says. “I think sometimes we don’t get failed because we’re failures. Sometimes we fail because our elders know we haven’t achieved the potential we could yet. And it’s their painful way of egging us on. So… yeah. I know you’re going to go back. And I know you’ll succeed this time. But I guess what I want to say to you is that sometimes failing is more important than succeeding. And there’s no shame in failing with honor if you learn from it.”

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine is quiet as Lukas speaks. She does not interrupt him, or seek to protest anything he tells her because she knows too well the truth to his words, and perhaps has known since her return to the city days ago the reason why Nobility’s Burden denied her a more advanced ranking.

When Lukas stops, turns to address her the Silver Fang mirrors his action without thought; it is liquid smooth; even without their totem the sons and daughters of Perun are well synced. They are so familiar now, especially this pair, who were once bitter rivals and by right of their birth tribes alone should have remained so, that they become reflections of the other. She takes a moment, Katherine and a hand reaches up to brush aside strands of hair in a bewitchingly human fashion.

“I understand why I failed, Lukas. I am not entirely saddened because I did not get to take my little rank badge and toddle home here again the triumphant child.” There’s a brief lift of her shoulder, in surrender, perhaps, to the honesty of her words aloud. “I am saddened mostly because I am not nearly half as ready as I believed I was. Oh, I can judge with the best of my auspice do not get me wrong, and I know the Litany backwards and forwards in two languages.”

Here a brief smile, a shake of her head.

“I can see honor when its there in someone, and I value I am becoming a better judge in many things, my own sanity included but I was so focused on proving something to everyone at that Sept. I was so sure I would march in there as Christopher Bellamonte’s daughter and conquer a new ranking. I was so focused on the outcome, that I did not see half the ways I was failing those I was there to help.”

She nips her lower lip, thoughtful, eyes distant.

“I am sorry that I lost, and in turn that we lost Perun for a time, but I am more sorry that I failed myself.”

[Brutal Revelation] Briefly, her eyes track Katherine and Lukas walking around the edge of the pool. There’s an ache in her gaze, a longing to be included, to be near, to be with them. To not be cut off the way she is right now, because of —

There’s no blame, there. No recrimination. Just loss. Just a sharing in it, a sorrow for Kate, something. She can almost hear Lukas, though. She knows that look in his eyes, the way he’s watching Katherine. For a moment she’s only half-listening to Sarita, dragging her eyes off of her other packmates to look to the Ragabash once more.

Play a good hostess. Make new friends. Get up out of bed. Put one foot in front of the other. Breathe.

Sarita asks what she thinks, though. Sinclair frowns, peers. “Huh?” She didn’t hear Derek, apparently, or was pointedly ignoring him. She glances over at him, shrugs at Sarita as her gaze comes back around. “The hills are alive with the sound of all the fucks I do not give,” she says, and there’s an undercurrent of wrath to it the likes of which Sarita hasn’t yet seen in her and which Derek, to be honest, does not deserve from her. But there it is: something almost like hate, and hearing it in her own voice, she pushes against the edge of the pool and draws herself up out of it once more.

She takes a steadying breath, rising to her feet from a fluid crouch. “I’m sorry, Sarita — it it wasn’t obvious when you came back in, I’m kind of –”

There’s no words. Except the ones on her arm. And the one she said she wasn’t going to give in to, that dark term living in the backs of the minds of any Garou unfortunate enough to descend into wolf-killing depression. Harano. She won’t, she said. But whatever is going on with her, it’s bad enough for that to be a real fear for her, a real enemy to fight against.

She’s sorry she’s so… even if she has no way to finish that sentence.

“I need to go be with them right now,” she says. “And I know that’s rude and you might feel excluded and da-da-da-da-da but I also have a feeling you’re not the butthurt type and you’ll get over it pretty fast, so… you swim, whatever, you know you can crash here and Kate would probably be ever so stoked if you did, but… I’ma go over there now,” she finishes, leveling a finger at Katherine and Lukas. Dropping her hand, she does exactly what she said,

and walks around the perimeter of the pool to her packmates.

[Derek Anderson] He almost grinned at Sarita;s tone when she asked Sinclair then heard the other woman’s hate in her voice. Oh he knew Snclair didn’t particularly like him, in fact, he was sure she disliked him. He never thought she hated him. Well it was fine, she had the right to, even if he wasn’t sure what he did to her, beside the fact that he was kin.

He watched her go then gave Sarita an apologetic look “Sory, I didn’t meant to chase her away. I should leave. I’m not sure I should be around your pack after all” He put his hands in his pockets “Well..it was good seeing you again Sarita. Tell the others I bid them good night”He say with a little smile at her.

It’s not that he had to go, but beside Sarita, they weren’t his friends, in fact they probably could care less about what happened to him..except Katherine, for whom it’d matter if what happened to him reflected badly on her. With a nod to Sarita, he started to head toward the door.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks the woman over and there is no measure of being upset in her expression. She completely understands. She doesn’t have packmates, but she has a sister. And of course she knows it’s not the same…but in some ways, it is. She knows, in some fashion, what the Galliard is feeling, and she’s been there. Recently, even.

So no. There is no butthurt. She just looks at Sinclair, and she nods. “Go,” is all she says, and when Sinclair is headed on her way, he looks back to Derek.

“Relax, big guy. You didn’t chase her off.” She watches him, head cocking to the right. “That’s not you. A’ight?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[SHE. Ugh, stupid missed letters.]]

[Derek Anderson] He look in the drection of the three packmates then look back at Sarita with a small smile “Kinda looked that way though. So, want some company? Seem like you might be alone for a few” He ask her, looking down in her direction. “By the way, how are you doing? You seemed in a better mood than last time we saw each other.”

Well to be honest, the mood she had been when she arrvied for when she left, her mood had been consierably better..even despite what he almost told her. LUckilly, he had kept his mouth shut, even if Sarita knew what he had been about to say

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She grins and shrugs, pushing off from the wall and doing another poor backstroke. “There’s room if you’re interested.” She smiles a bit and shrugs. “And I’m cool. Been a shit ton worse. How ‘about yourself?”

It’s vague, perhaps. She’s not being incredibly open with her sharing at the moment. But she’s not looking especially guarded, either. She just has a natural vagueness about her sometimes. As Lukas and Sinclair have learned tonight, not sharing an enormous amount is just second nature and habit for her.

[Cold Victory] It’s Lukas’s turn to listen, and listen he does: quietly, with hands lacing loosely behind his back. His mouth moves faintly when she speaks of rank like a badge; of herself as a child. He grows serious again as she speaks of her father, that shade always standing in the shadows, a measuring stick made unmatchable by death.

“You shouldn’t be,” Lukas says as she apologizes to him. To the pack. “My tribe and my tribe’s totems don’t tolerate blind failure. But that’s not what happened here. You strove for something; you failed; you understand why you failed and you’re learning from it. There’s nothing to apologize for.”

He reaches out, chucks her gently under the chin. “Chin up,” he quips quietly, and then looks beyond Katherine as Sinclair joins them. “Hey,” he says — smiles.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine is not ignorant of the goings on within her own pack; above and beyond what has been occurring with her own challenge, with Lukas getting married to his mate in the most human, traditional sense, beyond this she has been aware like a flickering candle on her windowsill, threatening to extinguish yet dancing for her all the same as if demanding its light be recognized by her eye; has been Sinclair.

Has been Sinclair’s own anguish; her own struggle.

When she comes to join them; when Katherine is done canting her Alpha a rather lopsided, girlish gleam as he chucks her beneath the chin like a boy and tells her to buck up, to keep her chin held high the Silver Fang turns her eyes on her sister and opens up one side of her body for the other female to come to dock beside. An arm curls around her, and Katherine’s perfume invades her senses.

The essence of Chanel and powder and whatever else Katherine kneads her skin with to keep it smooth and unblemished. “I did see my father’s grave.” She admits, with a great deal of love in her voice; more in fact, than they are accustomed to hearing. “I heard stories of him I had never before.” She tilts her head at Sinclair.

“I shall tell you them, and you will remember him too.”

[Derek Anderson] He smiled to her “Glad to hear you’re doing ok. I’m doing good myself” He was used to her vagueness by now and it was fine. He never really pushed her further. She knew he would listen if she wanted to talk and didn’t need to remind her everytime “I’ll ask Lucille for trunks. I’ll be back in a few minutes”

He headed out to find the woman, asking her about Katherine brother’s swimming trunks. Hr followed the woman and she found him a black and green pair with a towel, then left him so he could change. He did so quickly grabbing the towel and making his way downstairs.

If he looked in shape when he was dressed, well not there was no denying it. His shoulders were big, well defined as were his back, arms, upper body and abs. He wasn’t absurdly cut, but there was no extra fat at all on his body. His torso was shaved and looked smooth but solid, as the rest of him was. The trunks were low, slightly under waist level, making the start of “V” shape at hips level so many women found sexy, apparent. He wasn’t flauting as he walked to the pool, he was jsut walking as he always did, back straight, looking straight ahead, making him look..almost regal..even in swimming trunks.

He smiled to Sarita as he got in the pool “So anything new?

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “In all honesty?” She shakes her head. “Nothing new with me. I hate to kill my own mystique, but I’m becoming a remarkably boring person.” She gives him a smirk, still backstroking her way around the pool.

“Just smokin’ cigarettes and watching Captain Kangaroo, as Bruce Willis said.”

[Derek Anderson] He chuckled at her then smiled “Playing solitaire with a deck of 51 too?” He say moving almost effortlessly in the water. He wasn’t the swimmer Sinclair was, not was he a beginner. He didn’t too close to her, just moving around the pool

“And to be honest Sarita..you are a remarkable person…just not boring. I doubt that it’s genetically possible for you to be boring.” HE grin “Not with those wits of yours”

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair moves into the crook of Katherine’s arm when she comes up alongside her as though this is what she was going to do all along, would have nudged Kate’s elbow out of the way and wriggled her way in even if the taller woman hadn’t made room for her so naturally. And it is: so natural. So much family there, instant and warm.

Katherine is aching from her failure, but she’ll recover, stronger than ever. Sinclair seems… less. Not less intense, not less good at what she does. Less herself, as though bits and pieces are slipping away into the gnawing hunger she’s been carrying around inside for months now. Nothing seems to appease it, nothing seems to heal it over. Not even the comfort that comes so naturally when she leans against Kate quite touches it.

She speaks of telling Sinclair tales of her father, to which Sinclair nods. “The story of your challenge, first,” she says. “The rest, later.” But that’s sort of All Business. It’s her duty and her calling; she’s never deviated from that.

One has to wonder, though. Her pack can’t save her from this. Battle hasn’t saved her from this. Her duty hasn’t saved her from this. Lukas is at the point of being at a loss, nothing to do but ache when she aches, watch her shrink into her misery. Katherine, first of the pack to be told of her heartache, knows just how long Sinclair has already been living with this, and knows just how little progress has been made in the last several months.

Sinclair, still leaning against Kate, reaches over and takes Lukas’s hand.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She blinks at what he says, a brow arching high. “Those ~whats~ of mine?” From the way that she says it, it doesn’t look like she thinks he said “wits.” Close, but no cigar. “Wanna try that again, partner?”

She’s looking mostly severe. But if Doug looks close enough, he can see the hints of a grin at the corners of her lips, and the mischievously amused gleam in her eye.

[Cold Victory] It’s not easy, watching his sister sink so inexorably as this. To stand by and, with all his strength and power, be utterly unable to do something. To fix it. To help it.

One of the more bitter lessons Lukas has had to learn is that sometimes he doesn’t have all the answers. Sometimes he can’t keep his mate from being afraid of him. Sometimes he can’t protect his packmate from all harm. Sometimes he can’t get everyone to just stop being idiots and work together. Sometimes — keeping that flame going, keeping it burning in the chambers of his own heart, is all he can do.

Still: Sinclair takes his hand. And he squeezes her fingers gently.

[Derek Anderson] He blinked and stop swimming, luckiy for him, he was tall enought to be able to touch the bottom of the pool and keep his neck and head out of the water “What? What did I say?” He watched her carefully, even as he notice the amusement she’s trying to hide, he frown, trying to remember what he said that could have almsot anger her.

“I said with those wits of y….” He tilt his head and looked almsot shocked “Awww come on Sarita..you know I’d never stay what it could sound like” He say, watching her “Well, I hope you know.”He shook his head “I was talking about your mind. For real”

He flashed her a mischevious smile then just pushed water at her using both palms, making a pretty big wave that would splash over her.

[Katherine Bellamonte] Katherine leans her cheek against the side of the Glass Walker’s head. She breathes out gently, and Sinclair can feel the other wolf’s breath stir strands of hair. She can feel the warmth of the Silver Fang’s arms banded tight around her shoulders, her hand idly resting on a shoulder.

Brutal Revelation reaches over to take Lukas’ hand; and Katherine, her eyes trained on her Alpha’s face with the intent detail of her auspice; of a sister; but more exactly of a long time friend reaches over and chucks beneath his chin with her fingertips. “Chin up, Wyrmbreaker,” she murmurs quietly, and allows her fingers to stray for a moment over his cheek. Stray to his earlobe and tug at it with an affection born of long standing knowledge.

Of a certain intimacy that makes it at once so hard and so inviting to newcomers to the Unbroken to look upon.

I want that, some think at once as they wonder how can I penetrate that?

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair is, as before, soaking wet. But Katherine doesn’t pull away now any more than before. No, rather she holds onto the Glass Walker, laying her cheek to that saturated hair. Sinclair doesn’t tuck her knuckle under anyone’s chin but breathes in Katherine’s unique scent, blended together with perfume, powder, with the way her clothes always smell so clean.

They were a very different pack, when she first joined them. She was a very different wolf, and so was Kate, and Lukas, too, though the changes in him are more internal, less obvious to those who don’t know him so deeply.

She and Lukas hold hands. Katherine tug Lukas’s ear. And after a moment, Sinclair wriggles away from both of them and flaps her hands, going “YeaaaEEECH. Any more gooey-sweet and I’m going to turn into a kindergarten teacher, mother of god.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She cackles when he figures it out, sounding a little disappointed. “Aww, no fun. I was hoping to carry that on for a good solid minute, at least. She grins and winks at him. “In all seriousness, thanks. I appreciate it.”

Over on top of her duster, the Strider’s cell phone goes off. More specifically, the phone plays Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok.” She sighs and swims to the edge and pulls herself out, walking over. By the time she gets there it’s chirping a voicemail message. She checks it, listening.

[Cold Victory] At that, Lukas bursts into laughter. And then, so quickly that poor Kate doesn’t have a chance to react: he seizes her around the waist and tosses her poolward.

Cannonball!

[Derek Anderson] He smiled at Sarita’s deception and her thanks. “Well you know me..I”m sharp..once in a while and you’re welcome” He watch her move ot her duster and let her listen to the voice message.

He was swiming around when Lukas literally threw Kate in the direction of the pool…he quickly swam away to clear the spot where Katherine will land.

[Katherine Bellamonte] There’s a shriek, and a very loud splashing before a scowling, sodden Half Moon appears from the depths of the water; narrow-eyed.

“Destruction, Shadow Lord.” She spits; and lobs one of her discarded sandals at his head.

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair is good at many things. And breaking an otherwise unbreakable moment — ignore the pun, if you pretend it wasn’t there then it doesn’t matter — is something she’s good at. So she gags on how cute and cuddly and warm and intimate and loving they are, and Lukas immediately responds by throwing Katherine in the pool, and Katherine makes them both very happy by reacting just as they knew she would.

Sinclair is also good at swimming. The pool is deep, and she takes two quick steps to the edge and dives in as though she was once one of those lifeguards Sarita might have ogled — though, of course, with breasts instead of rock-hard abs and a sexy v-line — and for a moment there’s nothing but the rapid blur of red underwater as she darts towards the Silver Fang

grabs her ankles

and dunks Katherine under again. She lets go almost immediately, bobbing to the surface and yelling — as though aware retribution is coming any second: “SARITA! HELP!”

[Cold Victory] And of course, on land, Lukas dodges the sandal with an exaggerated, hands-over-head crouch. “You won’t saddle me so easily with an ignoble death by shoe, foul Fang!”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s just setting the phone down when she sees Katherine go FLYING at the pool. There’s a moment where she’s actually confused–did someone attack here and she didn’t notice?–before it sets in. Her eyes widen, a big Cheshire-sized grin on her face. She sees no possible way that this is ending well.

And she loves that fact.

“To the rescue!” She has no idea who she’s rescuing at this point–perhaps she just hasn’t decided–but it doesn’t stop her from taking off in a dead run and jumping in.

[Brutal Revelation] “Jesus, man, careful how you crouch, YOU’RE WEARING TRUNKS. Fuck!” Sinclair yells at him.

[Derek Anderson] And suddenly the pool was filled with playful packmates. He made his way to the edge of the pool and smoothly got out of the water. The man was graceful for his size and was quickly out. HE walked to his towel, letting the the true borns enjoy themselves. He watched them with a smile on his lips. It was quite entertaining.

[Katherine Bellamonte] “I’ll do far–glugag!” The pretty, fair haired Silver Fang is yanked in a highly undignified manner back under the water and erupts back out as Sinclair is yelling for help; launching herself at her sister with the laughter best suited to — well, honestly — the age she looks to be. Twenty-two, beautiful, care-free.

“Down with the Glass Walkers!” She shouts, splashing, dragging Sinclair beneath the water and turning as she falls backwards again. “Come here and say so, usurper!” Thankfully, she is underwater when Lukas so graciously flashes them all. There are some things Katherine would never recover from.

[Cold Victory] So —

the creatures currently splashing about the pool are the Philodox Elder of the Sept, a Fostern Galliard, and one of the more clever Ragabashes to come around for a long while. The creature at the side of the pool, accused of potentially flashing more than he intends with his duck-and-crouch, suddenly gets a gleam in his eye.

Sinclair knows what’s coming by the way he whips his swim robe off. She has enough time, at least, to close her eyes and start hollering uncle before Lukas turns around, drops his swim trunks, and gives the entire pool a hearty full moon.

[Brutal Revelation] Sinclair, knowing what’s coming even without the benefit of totemphone, lets out a shriek and dives underwater again, wriggling away below the surface so Kate can’t get a handle on her. She may still be screaming underwater. There’s no way for her to beg anyone to tell her when it’s over.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She pops out of the water, catching her breath as she laughs. Then she turns around…and is struck by the image she sees. “OH GOD, MY EYES! Sweet Merciless Loki Himself, my poor tormented eyes!!!”

Said eyes are covered dramatically and, still giggling, she desperately turns away.

[Derek Anderson] He was watching the women in the pool and turning his eyes he saw was couldn’t be undone..the Elder mooning them all. He quickly his his eyes with his towel “Sweet mother of god” he say softly. Yup, living around true borns was dangerous…he never knew how much until tonight.

He shook his head and directed his attention at those in the pool.

[Cold Victory] “You so asked for it!” Lukas yells, shaking his — quite frankly — lily white ass at the pool. “You so totally asked for it!” And on that note, the Ahroun pulls his trunks back up, takes a running leap into the pool, and tucks his knees to his chest at the last moment for a genuinely

huge

cannonball splash. Sarita doesn’t get very fall, turning away. Lukas — just like he promised not to — grabs her and dunks her, letting go an instant later to backpaddle out of the way, laughing.

[Katherine Bellamonte] The ruckus goes on for quite some time in this manner — Katherine’s shrieking, Lukas’ lower pitched laughter coupled with Sarita, Sinclair and Derek; watching perhaps before later on, forgetting for a moment what he is in relation to these creatures and leaping into the fray.

While outside, passing by, Lucille peers into the pool room and her lips quirk; she shakes her head and wanders past, basket of laundry under an arm.

Angry Birds, Not-Too-Angry John, Nervous Sasha

[Amunet Trujillo] She looks relatively pleased with herself as she makes her way back upstairs and to room 10. The door is opened and shut quietly, just in case Sarita is still sleeping, and not lying in wait to play Inquisition.

[Amunet Trujillo] (Stupid defaults to new posts on top)

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She’s laying in bed, curled up on her side with her eyes shut. The slow rise and fall of her chest would indicate to almost anyone that she is in fact out like a light. Sarita never has been a particular morning person, after all.

She actually lets Amy get almost to wherever in the room she’s going before speaking up. “He seems nice.”

[Amunet Trujillo] Fuck.

“Yeah, he’s okay. When did you get in?” She settles cross legged on her bed, leaning over to pull the iPad out from under the bed and turning it on.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Uh…somewhere between too fucking late and too fucking early.” She pulls herself into a vague sitting position, rubbing at her eyes. “So my guess would be, like…I dunno. Fucking Shoot Me-O’ Clock.”

In Sarita talk, that’s probably between 3:00 and 5:00 in the morning.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Then go the fuck back to sleep” She touches and drags and taps, and soon obnoxiously cheery music starts up.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She had just flopped down and her eyes had shut when the music kicks in. “You are the spawn of Satan himself when he was having a particularly bad day.” A pillow goes flying in the kinfolk’s direction.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fuck off.” The music stops, replaced by chittering, chirping, crashing, cheering sounds as she drags her finger across the screen, then lifts it off.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Blow me.” She cracks an eyebrow, looking at the tablet in Amy’s hands like it’s the source of of the very Wyrm itself.

[Amunet Trujillo] Something cracks her up, at the same time that a loud crash results in animated cackling from the tablet. “Nice retort, Sar. Classy.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, because we’re classy fuckin’ people, right?” She lifts her head and then notices something with a surprised blink. “Hey, what happened to your face?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fuck you. I’m classy as fuck. I own a fucking dress now. FUCK!” She scowls at the tablet, glancing up to Sarita and then back down. “Carter can do this fucked up take away the damage thing. I don’t know. He took off before he would explain it.” Touch. Drag. Crash. Cackle.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Who the fuck is Carter, and what the fuck is that infernal thing DOING?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Weird dude. Lord kin, I guess. That’s what Stefan said.” Drag. Crash. She glances up with a sheepish grin. “Angry birds.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Angry birds are making for an angry sister.” She scowls and swipes her hair out of her face. The Ragabash may be one of the least Ragey Garou you can find, but even she’s irritable on nights and days of the full moon.

“You’re just all about the Thundah these days, huh?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “He doesn’t make me feel like shit. That’s already an improvement.” There are a couple more drag/crash combos before the noise stops. “Fuck him. I think I’m keeping this.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, good.” She nods. “That means I don’t have to force-feed him his own liver. That would make things awkward with Lukas.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “He’ll be fun to have around for a while.” She shrugs, tapping to end the game, then going about clearing everything else off the iPad. “I don’t expect you guys to hang out and be all buddy buddy. He doesn’t need to hear any of your stories.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks heartbroken. “Does this mean I can’t tell him about the time in Jackson that we had to go on a week-long search to find all your clothes because you got so drunk you forgot where you’d left them?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “That’s pretty much what it means, yeah.” She glances up, then back to the tablet, keeping her voice absolutely casual. “I like him enough that I don’t want him to know what I was like before.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She cocks her head to the side, brow raising, and then gives a little shrug. “Okay, fair enough. I’ll be good and be zippin’ the lippin’.”

[John] Knock knock knock!

[Amunet Trujillo] “Or I’ll kick your ass. Don’t forget that I can. Get the door, hey?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Oh, FYI in case time references matter (we probably shoulda chosen day), this is morning-ish]]

“Eat me.” She crawls out of bed, still carrying her serious case of bedhead and generally half-made up. She shambles to the door and opens it up, looking out.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Fuck you, I’m busy here.”

[John] The last time he was here, he was dismissed under the pretense that Amunet had “shit to do” that didn’t require his presence. He had gone, closing the door behind him without meaning to slam it, and grabbed up his jacket without stopping to say much in the way of goodbyes to her sister.

It’s warmer now, and the moon is heavier. When Sarita opens the door she finds John standing there, fully upright and almost militant in his posture rather than leaning against the doorframe. It’s above freezing, which means he’s without a jacket today. His outfit doesn’t vary much from day to day: he wears the same boots and jeans he has had since arriving the end of last month.

At any rate, if he was expecting someone else, it doesn’t show on his face. John looks different than he normally does, if only in his eyes. They’re as fiery as one can expect from someone with blue eyes, yet there is no hardness or ferocity on the rest of his face. He nods to Sarita, then pauses to scribble something in his journal. Showing it to her, she sees that “Amy” has been written atop “you.”

Hunter says you asked for me

[Amunet Trujillo] Deep breath, Ames. She can smell his scent, having picked up the habit of paying attention to how each person’s differs from years of Trueborn friends. She taps and swipes a couple of more things on the iPad, then looks up at the door but doesn’t get up.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks John up and down, her expression a bit bland. She blinks a bit of sleep away, rubs at her eyes, and then yanks. “Hey.” There’s a bleary smile that comes along with it. Someone didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, it would seem.

She leans in, squinting so that she can see the journal. “Oh. Right. C’mon in.”

She turns around and walks back toward her bed. “Bachelor +1’s here,” she says to Amy. “Wink Martindale’s not asking any fuckin’ questions, though.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Good. Because he’d get punched in the fucking mouth.”

She nods at John with a slight smile. “Hey. Sorry, I thought he’d just have you text me or something”

[John] Empathy isn’t his strong suit; he makes nothing of the way Sarita looks at him, and doesn’t read into it. For his part, he doesn’t look particularly tired. It’s hard to tell, what with nearly a month’s worth of facial hair grown in. Must be whoever was keeping on him about shaving his face departed from this world along with the pack he’d mentioned being dust now.

The journal is stuffed into his pocket for now, and John enters the room with some trepidation. Confusion comes across his features when Sarita mentions bachelors and winking and questions. He shakes his head, clearing the confusion away like water, and scratches his brow as Amy speaks. There is none of his usual attempts to seem as though he knows how to smile. One could say he’s businesslike, were one unaware of the current phase of the moon. He shakes his head, and then attempts to convey what happened to his phone by holding his left hand up to his ear, thumb and little finger forming the ‘phone,’ then draws his index finger across his throat.

That done, his hands go to his hips, and a curious expression comes across his face.

[Amunet Trujillo] “What did you do to it?” She reads him too easily. “Come sit down. I want to show you something.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She faceplants onto the bed, lying there dramatically for a moment before she rolls onto her back and gives a sigh. Yeah, she knows that she’s not sleeping at this point. Might as well get used to the idea. She looks up and between the duo, watching them with a vague curiosity.

[John] That question almost makes him laugh. Were the moon darker, he probably would have: John falls all too easily into the Strong Silent category, yet he isn’t a dour, humorless stereotype. No one is going to nominate him to be the face of the Fenrir tribe. For starters, if one were to ask the opinion of the rest of the populace he’s too damn pretty, but that’s beside the point. He laughs more than the rest of the Fenrir put together, and he doesn’t have a voice with which to accomplish this.

Not this morning, though. This morning it just takes away some of the intensity in his eyes for a few seconds, and then she’s imploring him to sit down. She wants to show him something.

Curiosity becomes suspicion. If he were a fertile male he might be even more concerned. John glances over to her sister, but finds no answer to his question. He remains standing.

[Amunet Trujillo] She scowls, just slightly. “Jesus fuck. I’ll keep my hands to myself. Sar is right fucking here so even if I wanted to do anything to you, I wouldn’t.” She runs her free hand through her hair, the casted hand sitting on her lap. “Just sit down, okay? Please?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a little nod in conjunction with her sister’s words. There’s not much doubt that Sarita would NOT be cool with getting booted out so that more getting it on could happen. She may not be sleeping, but she has no intent of getting fully dressed so she’s decent enough to wander around the Broho.

“Truth. There would be much yelling and swatting with brooms. I’d possibly even turn the hose on her.”

[John] Maybe he was just waiting for her to ask him to sit down instead of telling him to, or wanted to hear the magic word. John looks away from the kinswoman when her sister pipes up, a soft huff of amusement leaving his nostrils with talk of punitive responses to Amy touching him made even softer by the fact that he isn’t blind and would have noticed the cast faster if his player weren’t half asleep. After a pause, he pulls a chair back from the desk and sits himself down, feet apart and hands clasped between his knees. He waits, eyebrows raised, that suspicion turned to wariness.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Jesus fuck. Just make this as fucking hard as possible on me, right?” She scowls a little more, repositioning herself so that she can turn the iPad around on her lap. Notepad is already open, and she uses one finger to tap out a short message, taking longer since she’s selecting her letters upside down now.

do you know how to type?

[John] He doesn’t seem to recognize the device she’s holding out in front of him, or recognize that that might possibly be what she wants to show him; his eyes flick to it, watching her finger as she writes out her question into the word processing program. Now, a normal person might think to maybe demonstrate that he does, in fact, know how to type by actually typing his response into the program, but John either actually has nothing better to do with his day than to make Amy’s task as difficult as possible, or he’s a creature that relies more on body language than intermediary sources to express simple thoughts.

In either case, he waits until she’s looking at him before he nods. He frowns, then seems to grasp something that she isn’t saying and reaches out to take the iPad.

[Amunet Trujillo] The fingers sticking out from the cast help to balance the iPad as he takes it, and she watches him before launching in full speed.

“There’s notepad, so you can type shit out instead of having to fill up notebooks. You can save notes, so like at the back of yours when you have shit you say all the time they’ll be right there. I can show you how.” She’s talking far too fast, clearly nervous. “There’s a couple games on it, and we can find you more shit if you want. The battery life is kind of shitty if you forget to turn it off, but there’s a charger that’s one of those usb things and the electric socket bit is separate, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a way to charge it up….”

She has to breathe, eventually.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Sweetie…” She sits up, looking between the two. “Think you probably wanna go a bit slower than that. You practically lost ME in that particular explanation.”

[John] Glancing over at the Ragabash, John allows another of those not-quite-laughs to be heard, and looks down at the device. He is hardly the largest Garou roving the city, yet in his mitt the device looks small and fragile. They can both see, as he looks down at it, that he’s questioning whether or not he can handle the responsibility of something so expensive. He couldn’t grasp the concept of keeping a cell phone charged, and so that has fallen into the annals of Drawn in Blood’s History of Failed Attempts at Modern Communication.

He would probably be equally nervous if someone handed him an infant.

After a moment to digest the fact that someone else’s kinswoman just gifted him something very expensive and accompanied by an easily-voided warranty, John looks back up at Amy. His free hand scrubs at his face, callouses bristling against beard, and when he types it’s no more eloquent or properly spelled than his handwritten attempts.

thank you
i dont no if i can ecept this
afrad wil brak
wil you keep it for me

When he hands it to her, like with the phone, he relies on his facial expression to convey that it’s a question instead of using punctuation.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Oh. Yeah” She grins and reaches for something next to her, setting the black thing on her lap before tapping the screen. “There’s this shield thing on it, so it won’t get scratched. The case…” She takes the tablet over, showing him the back. “It’s that carbon fiber shit. Seriously hard to break. And…”

The grin gets bigger as she puts the tablet on the bed next to her, covering it with the black thing from her lap and struggling to get the top snapped into place one handed. She manages though, and once the screen is protected and the case completely covering it, picks the whole thing up and hurls it across the room.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She cringes as the thing flies across the room. She knows the case is sturdy, but it’s instinct as the sees the tablet computer being used as a frisbee…never mind the loud ‘smack’ when it hits the wall.

“Jesus fucking Christ su hijo bruja malvada de Satanás mismo me voy a estrangular a uno de estos días!

[Amunet Trujillo] She laughs and gets up to retrieve the tablet, fingers just barely brushing John’s shoulder as she moves past him.

“No, no lo son. Tú me amas. Y el efecto más, visual, ¿no? Él tiene que saber que lo digo en serio, y no sólo atraerlo aquí para nada.”

[John] He watches the tablet go flying through the air as if he’s watching a sporting event, eyes following the curvature of the iPad through the air with muted interest before it smacks against the wall and bounces a few feet. That seems to have convinced him, or at least has driven him to humor the kinswoman. He doesn’t tell her that his claws could probably destroy the thing in half a second, but neither is he given the chance: an eruption of Spanish from the bed has him looking over, idly scratching at his eyebrow.

And then Amy brushes his shoulder. He sits up ramrod straight, then hauls himself out of the chair and tugs on the hem of his shirt. Aware of the potency of his Rage this time of month, of her injured wrist, he does not trail after Amy. Assuming its next destination is his hand, John examines the iPad to see how the thing held up during its unmanned flight, then types. There is a pause after two hard returns, but he forges ahead.

Ok i wil tak car of it
Thank you
How much i ow you

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She still looks unsettled despite Amy’s comments. Sarita is no threat to go a red mindless killing spree, and compared to all but the most docile of Garou she’s very chill. It still doesn’t mean she’s a true joy to be around on nights that Luna’s face is fully visible. She shakes her head and falls back to lay on her back, looking between the two with a vaguely dour disposition.

“Guess I’m just lucky the infernal thing didn’t go heat-seeking on my head or some shit,” she mutters.

[Amunet Trujillo] The tablet is good as new when he opens it again, still powered up to the notepad.

The fact that he reacted like that didn’t escape her. She stands a bit away when she hands it to him, going the long way around to grab the charger and cord. “I’m sorry…”

Sighing, she winds around to settle on her bed again, cast in her lap, free hand tugging at a lock of hair nervously. “You don’t owe me nothing. I just thought it would help you. The case, there’s some silicone shit that blocks the ports so if you’re in the rain or whatever it won’t get fucked up. Like I said, I can show you how to use everything. You can put music and shit on it too, of course. That bird game is kind of funny….”

She trails off, knowing that she’s babbling, watching him intently to read every expression.

[John] There would normally be warmth and some sign of affection in his eyes. Perhaps he ought to have come after Luna had waned away from full, when he didn’t feel a drive to fight constantly, when he didn’t feel anger constantly eating at his breastbone like an ulcer threatening to send him careening into a frenzy that he cannot control. John is particularly dangerous: he can swallow back a berserk frenzy, can stave that off so long as he is not utterly drained of will to keep going, but should the Wyrm take him over there is nothing he or anyone else in the room can do. Running won’t help the latter, and he is metis. All Thralls are horrific, but there is something particularly gruesome about theirs.

It’s never happened to him. He’d probably be dead if it had.

At any rate, his expression as he watches Amy becomes inscrutable. It’s hard to tell if he understands half of what is coming out of her mouth, but John is honest almost to a fault. If he didn’t understand, she’d know. Without glancing back at Sarita, the notion that he’s doing something wrong apparently not something with which he’s concerned at the moment, John steps forward to grasp Amy’s shoulder. It’s firm, his hand near to unbearably warm, and there is no yearning or sensuality in it. He grasps his comrades’ shoulders like this.

The last he’d heard they were friends.

That done, he looks between the sisters, pocketing the charger and other cords, and appears mildly at a loss for what to do next. He holds the iPad up, the way he does to thank someone for the item he’s been given, then tucks it under his arms and pantomimes again: he points to his chest, holds up his cobbled-together ‘phone,’ punches buttons like he does when he texts, points to Amy, and waves his hand in a forward motion.

He’ll text her later.

With that, he nods to Sarita, and ducks out of the bedroom, shutting the door behind him.

[Amunet Trujillo] “There’s a note on it.” She grabs for the iPad before he can put it away, for the moment ignoring the fact that he touched her. There’s plenty of time to obsess about what it did or didn’t mean later. She flicks back to the main screen, pointing to a saved note that’s just labeled with his name. “From me. Just… read it whenever.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She may be the snarkmaster, but she has the good sense to stay quiet. Whatever her thoughts about her sister’s latest overture to John–and what that overture may be motivated by–she isn’t going to interrupt and cause it to get weirder than it probably already is for them.

Why? Well, you go and do something to make an already on-edge Ahroun feel even less comfortable on the night of the full moon. Go ahead, do it. No really, go. I’ll wait. I don’t see you moving toward that Ahroun in the corner. You know why you’re not moving. Because you’re not a fucking idiot. Right, well, neither is Sarita. Hey, mention that incident from Seattle one more time, and…never mind. Just don’t.

When John looks her way, she gives him a little smile and wave.

[John] Somewhere between grasping her shoulder and pantomiming that he’ll text her later, John looks at the screen to see where the note has been stored. He doesn’t read it now, perhaps cautious of what it is he’s going to find there with her sister present, but he does nod, acknowledging that he understands what she’s pointing out, perhaps promising that he’s going to read it later.

Full Moons are strange to begin with. From childhood they are sensed as being different, difficult, by their human peers. John did not have human peers. He didn’t have human anything growing up, and metis, at ten years of age, look like teenagers. Considering what his life had to have been like growing up, what he’s expressed to Amy that he’s experienced in the last ten years, it’s a wonder he isn’t more overtly angry, less in control of his temper.

Even when he is restraining his tribesmen and punching people in the eye, it’s a calculated move rather than a loss of his ability to behave. Violence isn’t a thoughtless act with him, and it isn’t his first line of response.

At any rate, Sarita’s restraint and silence is still a sign of intelligence. She herself can feel the effects of the moon, though it isn’t visible. It’s worse for those of them inundated with Rage. John had taken a gamble coming here today, and he’s trying to leave before their luck runs out.

So: the pantomiming, and then the exit. He doesn’t linger any longer than he has to.

[Thanks for the scene, guys!]

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] [[Thank you!]]

[Amunet Trujillo] She flops back onto her bed, staring up at the ceiling and folding her good arm under her head.

“So…”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Sooooooooo…” She finally gets up and starts looking for a comb to straighten out her rat’s nest of a post-nocturnal ‘do.

“What’s on your mind right now?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “That I’m pretty fucking sure I love him.” She sighs, turning onto her side toward her sister. “I will kill you if you ever repeat that, and I won’t do it all easy in your sleep.”

She curls up a little, knees pulled toward her chest. “It went okay though. I mean, he took it, right? That’s good.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I’m telling NO ONE, believe you me.” She takes a breath. “But yeah, it went okay. I mean, it’s the full moon. It could have gone a LOT worse.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Yeah. He could have shoved it right up my ass and left.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “That would have been a hospital trip for the record books.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “It would have been something.” She smiles very slightly. “I’m glad you were here”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, there was no way you were making me get dressed to leave.” She looks over and smiles a bit. “Happy to be here.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Pretty sure that if he’d unzipped, you would have been gone.” She sticks her tongue out, then looks away.

[Saschenka Neal] Up, up, up the stairs…!

She tromps up the stairs, bag of boots again dangling from her fingers and flats on instead. She looks a little more out of sorts then normal, but that’s what happens on Fridays when the weather is suddenly nice and you can see the ground again. People go insane, and helping police goes up, thus, one ends up with more work.

Glancing around, and see the common room empty, she stashes her boots in a corner, and then goes to explore. It be worth looking, to see if there were showers here in case of really bad work days. Neda probably wouldn’t mind that whole smelling like decomp but sometimes… you really wanted to at least wash off before walking into your home.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] A wry look toward her sister as she starts running the comb through her hair. It catches several times and she makes an irritated look each time. “If he’d unzipped, that infernal thing would have gone flying at something a bit lower than the wall.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She half laughs “That was pretty good, wasn’t it? I knew he’d be worried about breaking it. I mean, if he gets his ass jumped by Spirals carbon fiber isn’t going to do shit, but…” She trails off, scowling as her brain spirals off into The Worst Thing That Could Ever Fucking Happen.

[Saschenka Neal] Glancing around a corner, she steps into the hallway and heads down it slowly, glancing around. Washers and dryers… and personal rooms. She was not going to even touch that with a ten foot pole. Though enough wandering shows her, as she pokes her head (carefully) into one room, that there are indeed showers.

“Awesome,” she murmurs more to herself, voice echoing ever so slightly in the empty hallway as she pulls back.

[Amunet Trujillo] Shaking her head hard, she hauls up off the bed. “I need to shower. Come on. Get your ass moving. We’ve got shopping to do”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey now.” She looks over at Amy. She knows her sister well enough to imagine where that’s going. “Pull yourself back from there, Miss Fatal Attraction. Don’t start plotting out any black dresses to wear yet, you’re getting a wee bit ahead of yourself.”

The sound of Sasha’s voice sounds from the hallway, and she stands. It’s not one she recognizes. She lets go of the comb, not minding that it has conveniently decided to stay in her hair, and moves to open the door and look out.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Oh fuck you. Stefan is taking me someplace decent, and even I’m not enough of an exhibitionist to get on a bike in a dress. I need something classy to wear.” She gets up too, following.

[Saschenka Neal] There is totally a blond woman in the hallway, hands clasped behind her back. Her hair is pulled into a braid and tucked up under and she seems to be wandering, looking at the rooms and the like. She’s dressed in sturdy jeans and an unzipped windbreaker that has ‘Crime Scene Technician’ stitched into the upper left. Just a plain, cotton t-shirt underneath it. The only thing a little out of place is the nice looking flats she’s wearing.

She glances over as she sees people, smiling a little, politely… maybe a little apologetically, for bothering them. There is the vague prickling of her skin that tells her at least one of the woman is a Trueborn and she nods, politely and respectfully.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She looks Sasha over, and her head cocks to the side. The comb that’s still stuck in her hair hangs over the floor.

“Okay, Amy. What did you do to bring the freaking Crime Lab here? I am NOT gonna be your alibi again…”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Um. Nothing?” She peeks around Sarita, looking the woman over “Oh, hey. You were in here last night….”

[Saschenka Neal] She startles, and then laughs, holding up her hands. “I swear, I’m off duty. I don’t think anyone could pay me enough to go back on duty at this point.”

There is a nod of her head as Amy says she was there last night, and the bruised face finally kick starts her memory. “I was. You were up at the bar… right?”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Yeah. You lost or something?”

[Saschenka Neal] “No,” she answers, shaking her head and moving close so she’s not shouting down the hall. “It’s just that it’s only my second time up here, and I was looking to see what was available on this floor.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She takes a step the rest of the way out so that Amy and Sasha can talk, heedless of the fact that she’s more or less half-dressed in boxers and a T-Shirt. The T-Shirt, for the record, reads “Relax, I’m hilarious.”

She picks back up with combing her hair, watching Sasha with intense interest and a lopsided smile.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Oh. Well. It’s bedrooms, mostly. Dorm shit. And the showers.” She gestures, then gets close enough to offer her hand. “I’m Amy. That’s my sister, Sarita.”

Apparently, the modesty gene came from Sarita’s mother’s side. Amy happily parades out in a tank top and panties, oblivious to the potential offensive factor.

[Saschenka Neal] If she’s offended, she totally doesn’t let it show. It’s odd, perhaps, but she’s seen people wearing worse, so panties and a tank top is just fine. A hand reaches out to shake Amy’s, and she smiles a little. “It’s nice to meet you both, I’m Sasha. And I saw the showers, that’s… really nice to have.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hola.” She smiles and waves with her non-combing hand. “We’re the classy ones around here.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Well. Otherwise we’d stink, right?”

[Saschenka Neal] “Very classy,” Sasha agrees, a smile playing along her lips. “And I was happy for them for other reasons but… yeah, probably be a touchy smelly if there weren’t any showers.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Speak for yourself. My natural scent is fucking roses and sunshine.” She grins, taking a lean back against the wall. The fact that Sasha hasn’t yet taken offense appears to be a good thing in Sarita’s eyes.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Bitch, I lived in a van with you. You are full of shit.”

[Saschenka Neal] There is a slight arching of her eyebrow at the exchange, but she still looks amused at the both of them. “Apologies, ma’am. I shall attempt to smell you better next time to ascertain your rose status.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Soooo….. Sasha. You and your mate new in town?”

She’s already pegged the woman as Fang by the looks of her. And Fangs are all too willing to latch on to the first Garou that comes their way.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh god…Sasha, was it?” She gives the woman a wide-eyed, pleading look. “Please, ever call me Ma’am again. She’s the one with the stick up her ass.” A thumb directed at Amy and a grin. “Sarita would be lovely. In fact, from the way I hear it, Sarita IS lovely. Haven’t had any complaints, anyway.”

[Saschenka Neal] The arched eyebrow goes higher, more pronounced, a little bit of that hoity toity showing that shows Amy she is indeed a Fang. “… no mate. Not even a boyfriend, actually. And yes, I just got here about a week and a half ago.”

Her look relaxes a bit at Sarita’s plea though and she actually grins, if only briefly. “I think I can do that. No more ma’am-ing.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She looks Sasha up and down. “Why not? Something wrong with you? Can’t pop out crotch fruit fast enough for them?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, well cool.” That at the fact that Sasha just got here…not the no boyfriend thing. Not that Sarita has a problem with the fact that she doesn’t have a man. Not that she particularly loves it either. Sarita ain’t like that. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, ’cause there ain’t Some of her best friends are…no, it’s not a line. No, it ain’t like that. Look, let’s quit while we’re ahead, okay.

Amy gets a roll of the eyes. “Be nice, you. That’s the opposite of what you’re being.”

[Saschenka Neal] “We have gone from amusing to slightly insulting, but I’ll roll with the insinuation because it’s not entirely off.” She says smoothly, eyes maybe narrowing, though the smile stays. “It’s a long story, actually, though I’m someone somewhere has said I’m defective and or something is wrong with me. I would actually bet my next paycheck on it.”

[Amunet Trujillo] For whatever reason, she breaks into a smile. “Well then. Welcome to Chicago.”

[Saschenka Neal] For a moment or two longer, her shoulders remain tense, as if preparing. But when Amy relaxes, so does she, smiling faintly back. “…thanks. Also, crotch fruit is a new one. Crotch dropping I heard, but not yours.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “Yeah, I’m pretty proud of it. People have to stop and think before they’re offended.” She nods, still smiling.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles at the two, shaking her head before something occurs to her and she looks at Sasha. “Oh, hell. Have you met Katherine yet?”

[Saschenka Neal] There’s something that flickers in the kin’s eyes when Sarita mentions Katherine, but she shakes her head, hands sliding behind her back again, like she’s at parade rest almost. “… no, I haven’t met her yet, though she’s been mentioned to me.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Well, do you wanna?” She dips into the room for just a second, returning with her phone. “She’s my packmate-to-be, I can give her a call…”

[Saschenka Neal] No, she really has no desire to meet the Fang Elder and see what she’s going to say. But she nods, managing to smile to Sarita. “That be great, I’d appreciate it. Thank you.”

Seeming to realize Amy did indeed speak before Sarita mentioned Katherine, she shakes her head a bit. “It does sound slightly less offensive then crotch dropping, at first blush.”

[Amunet Trujillo] She seems to be pretty content to just let them talk, her mind already having wandered off to analyze every detail of the previous hour in excruciating detail.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Of course.” She smiles at Sasha and flips the phone open, hitting a number she only recently programmed into her memory and dialing.

[Saschenka Neal] Her smile fades a bit, and she glances around before looking back to Amy. Since Sarita is making the phone call, she murmurs, “Have you been in Chicago a long while?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Hey yo Katherine, it’s Sarita. Found one of your peeps here at the Brotherhood, she’s new around these parts. Her name’s Sasha…” She pauses a moment, and cups the phone to look at Sasha.

“Sorry, she’s not here so I’m leaving her a voice mail. What’s the rest of your name and your phone number? She’ll totally follow up.”

[Saschenka Neal] She doesn’t grimace, but it’s a near thing. “If it’s a message, it’s Saschenka. Saschenka Neal.” And then she gives her cell number to Sarita.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Schweet.” She doesn’t even blink at the name, though she does grin a bit before she goes back to the phone.

“Sorry, it’s Saschenka Neal. You can give her a call at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Good deed for the day accomplished, and you and I gotta hang one of these days. Peace out.”

She hangs up and puts the phone away. “Taken care of.”

[Saschenka Neal] She manages to smile again, though it’s not the widest smile ever. “Again, thank you. It’s appreciated it.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles. “Relax, she’s pretty cool. Pretty lassaiz-faire. You don’t make her life hell, she won’t give you a hard time.”

[Saschenka Neal] She forces her body to relax, and her features to even out as much as she can make them. “So I’ve heard. I try hard not to make any Trueborns’ life hell. It generally makes -my- life less hellish as a result.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Generally, a good way to go.” She grins. “Amy feels differently.”

[Saschenka Neal] “Sometimes,” she admits, with a faint smile, “a kin feels they have to do what they have to do. If that be occasionally speaking up or pointing out flaws so be it.”

She pauses, and then adds in, admitting, “It should probably be done carefully though. We don’t regenerate.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I haven’t pissed off all of them here. Yet.” At least she’s paying attention again.

[Saschenka Neal] “… yet?” She asks, arching that thin eyebrow. She’s more relaxed again though, having eased out of the parade rest into a more normal stance.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yet,” she says, to add further emphasis and confirm Sasha’s question.

[Amunet Trujillo] “Not for lack of trying.” She shrugs a shoulder, looking off down the hall for a moment.

[Saschenka Neal] “Not a hobby I would chose personally, but to each their own.” She admits with her own slight shrug, not really judging. She is most certainly not one to judge about things like that.

[Amunet Trujillo] “It’s not really a hobby. It’s more just an unfortunate side effect to me not being a well behaved, keeps my mouth shut kin.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “We’re not normal.” She says it with a grin. “So, Crime Scene Tech, eh? Sounds like fun.”

[Saschenka Neal] There is a moment where the look on her face, and the little smirk, indicate she seems to know exactly what Amy is talking about. “I’ve noticed that.”

[Saschenka Neal] But then Sarita is talking about CST and this is a lot easier to talk about. “It has it’s days. I’ve seen stuff that can be classified as hilarious and interesting. And then they’re are other days… not so much with the fun.”

[Amunet Trujillo] “I’m going to get a shower, Sar. I need to find something for tonight.” She nods at Sasha with a little smile. “Nice meeting you. See you around, and all that shit.”

[Saschenka Neal] She nods, managing a small, honest smile to Amy. “Have a good night.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles at Sasha. “Yeah, I can imagine. It’s not all funny anal insertion accidents and heart attacks mid-coitus.”

She nods to Amy. “Later Ames. If you need to dip into the reserve fund, you know where it is. Call me if you need anything.”

[Saschenka Neal] “I have actually never had heart attack mid-coitus. Stuff like that, actually, I rarely get called for. I get a lot of burglary, home invasion, please come collect this knife because these people got into a fight over a hat…”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “I notice you said nothing about never having had an anal insertion accident…”

[Saschenka Neal] “I stopped being surprised at that stuff within my first six months of being on the job,” she gives a wry grin. “The things people do to themselves… it’s rare, but when you are called to it, that stuff sticks in your brain.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She chuckles. “Yeah, I bet. Something for the brain bleach, no doubt.” She looks down at herself, then frowns. “I should get dressed. C’mon in.” She gestures her head toward the door to the room and then walks inside.

[Saschenka Neal] Brain bleach….? She mouths to herself, trying to figure that one out before Sarita motions for her to come inside. She pauses, surprised, before she follows after the other woman. “Sorry, didn’t mean to keep you outside undressed.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Oh, pssht.” She shrugs, walking over to a dresser and digging inside it. “Didn’t bother me none, but I gotta face the day at some point, right? Close the door, if you don’t mind.”

[Saschenka Neal] “No problem.”

The woman’s rage is negligible enough that she’s not entirely freaked out about being in a room with her with the door shut. So she shuts the door at the woman’s request, though she leans back against the wall near it.

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She does have a lot of shame as she pulls out a new T-Shirt, stripping off her old one and putting the new one on. She finds a pair of jeans in the dresser as well and steps into them. “So, how’re you finding the city so far?”

[Saschenka Neal] Politely, very politely, she averts her eyes as the other woman changes. “… busy. Mostly busy, so far. With more kin, then trueborn.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yeah, there are a lot of kin around here.” She runs her fingers through her hair, straightening it, then picks up her duster and slips it on. “The Garou aren’t as prevalent around the Brotherhood, but you’ll find them. Good lot, for the most part. Only a couple dicks.”

[Saschenka Neal] “I’ll take your word for it.” She almost asks who she should avoid, and then thinks better then not. After a moment, like it’s a natural jump in conversation, “Are there a lot of Silver Fangs?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Mmm…” She frowns and thinks. “One, two…three kinfolk that I know of, you included. Three True that I’ve met; Katherine, Asha–also part of the pack–and Matthieu.”

[Saschenka Neal] The names are committed to memory- Asha, and Matthieu. Derek is the other kin which only leaves one other Silver Fang unaccounted for. It’s more then she thought but less then she feared, so… not terrible, but not ideal. “And Katherine is the Tribe Elder, for the Caern?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “That’s right,” she says with a nod. “She’s a Fostern, Asha and Matthieu are Cliaths. Katherine’s also the Master of the Challenge.”

[Saschenka Neal] Fostern AND holding a position within the Caern itself. Wonderful. There’s a tiny shake of her head at something, a hand pushing back a flyaway hair before she nods. “Got it. Master of the Challenge. Philodox, I’m assuming?”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Yep. You don’t earn the names ‘Truth’s Meridian” and “Honor’s Compass” as a Ragabash. Trust me, I’ve tried.” She throws Sasha a wink, before the look mellows some.

“Seriously, sweetie. I promise, you’ll be cool.”

[Saschenka Neal] Grey eyes watch Sarita for a moment or two before she smiles to her, nodding slightly. “I’m sure. And a Ragabash named Honor’s Compass would just be plain weird. I really have to admit.”

She shifts slightly, and then smiles sheepishly. “… I know my mannerisms give my tribe away, but I regret I’m not so great at gathering others tribe’s yet. I should have asked from the beginning to whom you’re with.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “Ohhhh…” She blinks and now it’s her turn to look sheepish. She flops down on the bed, scooting to make room for Sasha. There’s also a chair nearby that was pulled out before Sasha got here, and Amy’s bed further across the room.

“Right, sorry. Amy and I are Silent Striders. My bad.”

[Saschenka Neal] She actually heads to the chair, nogt comfortable with sitting on someone elses bed. But she does sit, and her eyes get wide momentarily before she controls the reaction. “… I actually never met a Silent Strider. My brother told me one use to come by the Caern, up in Michigan, but… well, Kin didn’t go there.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She gives a little nod. “Lotta people never met one of us. Too much wandering itch running through our legs to stay in one place for the most part. I wandered a good nine years before I met Amy, and then we’ve been together a year before we got here last month.”

[Saschenka Neal] She smiles, faintly. “It’s good you have each other, at the very least.”

There is a pause, and she glance at her phone, wincing, and then standing. “… Sarita, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was so late. I should head home.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] She smiles and waves off the apology. “No prob.” She pulls out her cell and texts the number that Sasha gave her earlier.

“There, you got my number. You need anything, don’t hesitate to call. Coo’?”

[Saschenka Neal] Surprise ripples across her face again at the offer, but she nods. “… yeah, thanks. Have a good night Sarita. It was really nice meeting you.”

[Sarita Ecos de la Risa] “You too.” A smile. “Take it easy. Don’t have too much fun.”

[Saschenka Neal] She does a soft laugh, nodding, and then slips out to head home.

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