Walking the Line (attn. Alyshia)

Never take Nature for granted. She can be your best friend, or your worst enemy. Be prepared.

Ezekiel understood that well. His first port of call had been Nachton’s Park Rangers. They’d been mighty helpful and impressed by his questioning and sense of responsibility.

The topographical map of C. John Apollo Park and Nature Preserve was easy to read, and the hiking trails had been marked clearly and well explained. Ezekiel had made note of the fire alert status (low), expected weather forecast (good), and animal danger (that depended on who was doing the hunting).

The Ranger had recommended a two and a half hour hike out to Hill 234. The track wasn’t one of the most commonly used, but it brought hikers out to a cabin in the forest that overlooked the ocean.

The cabin was maintained by the Park Rangers and had a working CB radio, a full tank of propane that provided heating, cooking, lighting and hot water, and emergency medical supplies and water containers. Hikers were expected to bring their own bedding which was considered the norm, but to Ezekiel’s mind it wasn’t exactly roughing it.

But he deferred to the Rangers advice, and at least if there was an emergency it would be relatively easy to get help. Not that Ezekiel expected any trouble.

Ezekiel laid down the security deposit on the Cabin and gave his driver's license information, received the keys, and provided details on his and Alyshia’s departure and return time. One of the Rangers offered to drive the pair out to the track and pick them up the next day. That made transportation a lot easier, and Ezekiel was glad of the offer.

Second port of call had been a Sporting Goods store on the Strip that the Park Rangers had recommended. Ezekiel had already made a list of items and equipment he needed to get and the shop clerk was more than happy to help supplement Ezekiel’s existing equipment with more supplies.

Ezekiel arrived back at the Den around 11:00am and started packing his backpack. Be prepared. He’d packed more than he needed, but it was better than being caught out with less than he wanted.

Ezekiel left all the details of his little hiking venture with Xeph and then caught a taxi back to the Strip. The Ranger had said he’d pick the pair up at 2:00pm from the Sporting Goods store. Ezekiel dropped off his backpack at the Sporting Goods store and headed off down to where Alyshia worked.

A couple of people stared at the man in military issue khaki who was striding down the street humming away happily to himself. And a few even recognized that Johnny Cash song that passed his lips.

But of course no-one bothered to stop the man and ask him if it was “I Walk the Line.”

And that suited Ezekiel just fine.

Alyshia 17 years ago
After returning home that night Alyshia was way too excited too sleep, pasing back and forth in her temporary room in Shady Pines she finally had given up and just stayed awake, she played her guitar for a bit, tried to read a book, took a long hot shower washing her body and hair while a bright smile was plastered on her lips, everytime she thought about him something fluttered in her stomach, touching her lips she remembered their heated kisses, how they had affected her and him, this made her smile even wider.

She had decided to go in to work bright and early, dressed in a pair of blue faded jeans and a short black sweater she entered the store, her 4" high heels adding a bit to her length, Aly loved to wear high heels, they gave her the feeling of being noticed and made her long legs stand out better.

Checking on the supplies in the store she chatted with a few of her co-workers hearing all about Diane's lastest boyfriend and what they did the night before, a faint blush crept up her cheecks as she thought back to what she had done that night, a silly smile plastered to her face the whole time, looking over at the clock on the wall she noticed that it was already 11.55 am he would be here soon..

She had picked out some supplies that morning, her trusty hiking boots and a warm jacket and sweater packed in her backpack along with some energy bars and 2 bottles of water, she also made sure that her phone was fully charged incase she needed him (which was always).

Looking over at the clock again she decided to make a quick bathroom stop before he got there, walking into the back room she looked at herself in the mirror, her cheecks where flushed and her eyes shining brightly, quickly taking care of her business she washed her hands and headed back out into the store, letting Diane know she would be leaving soon she waited for Ezekiel to come in.
Ezekiel 17 years ago
He opened the door to the clothing store. Certainly looked different during the day, and his Corps issue khaki jacket, trousers and polished black boots definitely looked out of place. He ran his fingers through his hair and looked around the store. Fancy clothing alright, and fancy dressed store clerks.

Ezekiel made his to the counter at the back of the store and looked down at the obviously uncomfortable store clerk that stared back up at him.

Morning, fella. Has Alyshia clocked off yet?"

Ezekiel smiled as the young man squirmed under his gaze. The uniform and the his size could be downright intimidating sometimes even if it had been a long time since he'd been a Master Sergeant.

Alyshia 17 years ago
She had sensed him the moment he walked in, watching him for a moment taking up the whole store with his large frame she just smiled, she noticed Mike behind the counter looking very pale while looking up at him, poor guy was in need of a rescue mission.

"Looking for something?"

Smirking she walked up behind him, her heels making a soft clicking sound on the polished wooden floor, placing a hand on her hip she looked him up and down, damn her looked good enough to eat, the outfit brought out the very best in him that was for sure.

Ezekiel 17 years ago
"I reckon so, sweetheart"

Ezekiel grinned and before Alyshia could protest he picked her off the ground with both hands, raised her level with her eyes and nodded in approval.He winked at her.

Turning to the male store clerk Ezekiel said in mock seriousness.
"How much for this one, fella? Betcha it costs a fortune."
Alyshia 17 years ago
Giggling when he picked her up and winked at her she tried to look dead serious when he asked Mike how much she cost, her eyes moved over his faceial features, it was like she couldn't get enough of his looks.

Mike: "Umm man she's not for sale, what did you just come out of the jungle or something like that?"

Laughing out loud at Mike's reply she winked at her co-worker who was fidgeting, clearly nervous in Ezekiel's presence, she could understand why he could come off as being scary as hell, after all it wasn't every day that a man of his build and composure walked into their store, turning to Mike she smiled at him.

"Mike could you get that D&G leather jacket I put in the storage room, it's for this big guy here"

Nodding and looking a bit oddly at them Mike walked off to get the jacket, turning to Ezekiel she placed a soft kiss on his lips.

"Hi there"

Wrapping her arms around his neck she snuggled into his embrace.
Ezekiel 17 years ago
God, she smelt good. Ezekiel breathed deeply and sighed.

Pressing the tip of his nose gently against Alyshia's Ezekiel grinned.


He laughed and put her back on the ground.

Reaching into his jacket, Ezekiel pulled out his wallet and removed the credit card. He dangled it in front of Alyshia, just out her reach.

I sincerely hope you come with the jacket."
Alyshia 17 years ago
Laughing out loud at his reply she grinned at him, moving faster then he could have imagend she jumped up (yes even on high heels thanks to her grace) and snatched the creditcard out of his fingers, walking behind the cashregister she winked at him.

"I'm sorry sir i'm not for sale, I'm however very willing to acompany you to show you how to look hot in that jacket so all the women can drool over you"

Just then Mike walked back in holding the jacket, ringing it up for Ezekiel she put it in one of the stylish bags the store was known for, holding it out to him she smiled brightly.

"Here you go sir, do you want me to acompany you now?"

Twirling around to show off her body she giggled softly, Mike was looking as if his eyes would pop out of his head at any minute.
Ezekiel 17 years ago
Ezekiel still had a stupid look on his face as he looked at the empty space between his fingers where the special plastic card had been. She moved fast, damned fast. He'd forgotten about that.

Ezekiel scratched behind his ear and looked back over at the counter as he heard Alyshia's comment. Ah well, if she wanted to show off a prize bull, who was he to complain.

slowly unzipped his jacket and draped it on a nearby clothes rack.

He was wearing a plain white cotton t-shirt, his dog togs hanging around down around his neck. He rolled his head from left to right and cracked the knuckes of each hand by simply closing them in a fist and making the veins pop out on his forearm's and biceps. A cheap thrill, but it had worked plenty of times on reluctant Marines.

His chest swelled up as he breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly, flexing each in turn. Okay, now he was showing off. Ezekiel kind of enjoyed it as he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror. He was tempted to strike a pose.

Reaching down to his pants, Ezekiel wrapped his fingers around the cotton t-shirt. On second thoughts.

Ezekiel grabbed his jacket off the rack and slipped it back on. With one quick motion the zip when straight back up to his throat.

I think I'm ready to go."

Turning to look at the few customers and dumbfounded store clerks, Ezekiel straightened and ran his fingers through his hair. You damned showoff.

"And that ladies and gentlemen, is Uncle Sam's stamped and approved. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Hoo-rah!"
Alyshia 17 years ago
Ok do NOT drool, watching him take off his jacket and then flex those muscles.. ok concentrate, think of something else, yes think of umm cooked meat.. ewwwwwww, ok that did the trick, thank god he put the jacket back on.. time to go!

Looking around at the customers who stood watching them, half of the women in the store blushing madly (and some of the men too) and standing there staring at them, taking his hand into his she led him to the back of the store, telling him to wait while she got her stuff out of her locker, taking an elastic band out of her jeans pocket she tied her hair in a low ponytail, taking off her pumps she put on a pair of cotton socks especially made for hiking and her comfy hiking boots, putting the rest of her stuff in her locker she took out her backpack and walked back to where Ezekiel was waiting for her.

"Ok lets go, can't wait to get some fresh air into my system"

Waving to her co-workers she took hold of his hand as they walked out of the store, she could hear the whispering of the people they left behind making her grin widely.

"Ok where too?"
Ezekiel 17 years ago
"Two blocks up, there's a Sporting Goods store. A Park Ranger is gonna pick us up around two. We can drop your pack off up there and grab something to eat or drink if you like."

Ezekiel pointed to the store, it wasn't too far away and he wasn't going to insult Alyshia by taking her back pack. If she needed a hand, she would ask.

"I've got to pick up my guitar. Had a new case made for it. Last case kinda got broked over some guy's head couple of weeks back. He apologized and all. But there was a hole in it. So, you know."

Ezekiel looked kind of sheepish for a moment. He wasn't proud of everything he did, and he didn't want to come across as a thug to Alyshia.

"Ah, nevermind. Long story. Some truckers are all balls and no brains."

Okay, that really helped. Ezekiel mentally kicked himself.

"Let's just say I ain't to fancy with my words sometimes."

He smiled at Alyshia and gave her a gentle hug.
Alyshia 17 years ago
She knew about the sporting goods store, she had walked passed it a couple of times and even went in on one occasion to by a new pair of running shoes and work out clothes, nodding she followed him there, a bite to eat did sound good, putting her backpack over her shoulder she started to hum a soft song she had heared on the radio that morning, she didn't know the lyrics but the melody was stuck in her head.

As he mentioned picking up his guitar her eyes grew wide.

"You play the guitar, that's awesome, I play too, well not very well since i'm still learning but I do play, maybe we could play together and you could show me some grips, are you any good? cause I really wanna learn and you broke it on some guys head? OMG you did, that's too funny"

Realizing she was rambling she blushed and gave him a shy smile, they had arrived at the sporting goods store and went inside, dropping her backpack off for safe keeping she looked around the story for a moment, picking out some new black cargo pants that were water resistant and a thin but very warm fleesh sweather in an off white color she made her purchase, she usually shopped in the kids department at places such as this since most women clothes were just way too big, grinning to herself about that fact she turned back to Ezekiel her new purchase tucked away in her backpack with the rest of her stuff.

"Ok lets go get a bite to eat, have something in mind, I don't know about your diet, I for one can't stand cooked meat but for the rest i'm good"

Smiling she knew that alot of weres were like her, they couldn't stand the sight or even smell of cooked meat, but some did like it and she even knew of a few who didn't eat any meat.
Ezekiel 17 years ago
Ezekiel grinned and he rubbed his chin thoughtfully.

"I'm on a restricted diet too. Lots of reds, not so many greens, and definitely no processed crap. There's a speciality Jewish Deli a couple of stores down that has a nice little South African surprise you might like. I know Jewish South African sounds quite a stretch, but the manager of the Sporting Goods store swears by the stuff. And no I'm not telling you what it is - yet."

Grabbing Alyshia gently by the hand, he began strolling off, humming a little ditty from his Corps days.

Yeah Aly. I play the guitar. Every since I was a snot nosed kid growing up in Berlin. Maybe I'll sing to you tonight. I'm no Mariachi but I can hold a tune."

He could smell the mixed varieties of meats even from here, and let his nose lead him to the small store that proclaimed itself as a Jewish Deli with a South African Flag proudly displayed on the front door and a golden Star of David hanging in front of it.

Opening the door, Ezekiel ushered Alyshia inside and bid her take a seat at the counter. Ezekiel stood beside her and smiled at the elderly man with leathery dark brown skin and wild hazel eyes that worked behind the counter.

The accent was not quite German, and not quite Dutch as he spoke.

"Hello, my friend. What can I do today for you and your lovely companion?"

Ezekiel's grin grew wider as he eyed the various meats in the display counter and hanging on hooks on the wall.

"Biltong. I hear you make the best."

The old man nodded.

"Of course, my friend. It's an acquired taste though. A South African specialty."

Ezekiel put a fifty dollar note on the counter.

"Friend I could certainly use some of that right about now and I guarantee my lady friend here has an acquired taste as well."

The fifty dollar note vanished from the counter just as quickly.

"Vension, Ostrich, Chicken, Beef or Rabbit my friend?"

Ezekiel rubbed his hands together in glee.

"How about a big plate of the lot and a pitcher of ice water to wash it down."
Alyshia 17 years ago
Trying to keep up with his quick pase Aly was really glad for being in such great shape and having the speed she had, being betite ment she was usually looked over by tall people, her speed and grace made up for that since she could out walk and out run almost anyone (especially the large folks), picking up on a deliscious scent of meat she heared her stomach growl, yes it was time to eat.

Stepping into the store in front of him she smiled warmly at the man behind the counter, taking a seat she looked over at Ezekiel who was standing beside her as he talked to the shopowner, the meat sounded lovely and she could tell Ezekiel was probably just as hungry as she was and they would need a filled stomach for the hiking that was ahead of them, turning to the shopowner she watched as he started to prepare the food.

"You have a really nice place here, could you add some tea to the order, Cylon please"
Ezekiel 17 years ago
The old store keeper smiled at Alyshia.

"Anything for a pretty woman."

The store keeper called out something to in a language that sounded like a mishmash of Dutch and German words.

Ezekiel learned in close to Alyshia and made a soft 'woo woo' sound in her ear, his imitation of the original Cylons from Battlestar Galactica. He wondered if she would get the reference. She would have been just a kid (pup?) when the show debuted in the '70s.
Alyshia 17 years ago
(ooc sorry for not replying sooner i'm gone for the weekend staying at my parents so i won't be online as much as usual)

She gave the shopkeeper a dazzling smile, an amuzed look on her face as he called out in his native language to someone in the back (probably his chef), leaning back into Ezekiel as he whispered in her ear she smiled, she had no idea what he was refering too but then she grew up in another country and never was one to watch much tv.

Turning to look at him she gently kissed his cheeck.

Ezekiel 17 years ago
The elderly store keeper disappeared out the back of the shop for a moment and returned with a pitcher of ice water and two glasses, and a small tray that contained a teapot, hot water, sachets of Cylon tea and milk, sugar and a tea cup and saucer. He placed the tea tray before Alyshia and handed the pitcher and glasses to Ezekiel.

The old man grinned. "Biltong coming."

Ezekiel poured himself a glass of water and drank it down. "Biltong can make you mighty thirsty Aly."

A big plate of various meat slices were placed in front of Alyshia and Ezekiel.

The old man smiled proudly.

"South African delicacy. Biltong is made from raw fillets of meat cut into strips following the grain of the muscle, or flat pieces against the grain. Air-dried meat with the special flavouring, or none at all. Very tasty. High in protein. Enjoy, my friends"
Alyshia 17 years ago
Pouring herself a cup of tea, adding some sugar and a tiny bit of milk Aly sat back inhaling the rich scent of the cylon, she loved the smell of fresh brewed tea, smiling at Ezekiel as he drank down a glass of water and metioning the meat making you thirsty she just nodded, she knew that it was salty because of the drying process, but tea was a good way to get rid of that.

Looking up as the tray of biltong was placed in front of them she felt her stomach rumble, it smelled delicious!

"It sounds and smells lovely, thank you I'm sure we'll enjoy this greatly"

Giving the old man one of her most charming smiles she picked up a strip of the beef biltong, puting it into her mouth she smiled widley, it really did taste as good as it smelled.
Ezekiel 17 years ago
Ezekiel smiled in approval as Alyshia picked up a strip of beef biltong and began chewing it. His own stomach growled in anticipation and Ezekiel went straight for the vension and rabbit, grabbing a long strip of each and stuffing it in his mouth.

The meat was soft and chewy, a completely different experience to Jerky. And the air-dried meat was exquisite. He'd have to convince Xeph to order a few boxes. He was sure his Pack mates would appreciate a delicacy like this.

This is mighty fine eating, old man. Mighty fine indeed."

The elderly store keeper nodded in approval. "Of course it is."

Ezekiel's stomach agreed. He downed another glass of water, and began picking away at the various meaty delights.

Not bad. Whaddya think, Aly. Shall we take some with us or wolf it down now?"
Alyshia 17 years ago
Eating a few more pieces of the delicious meat Alyshia closed her eyes, it had been a while since she ate dried meat this good, it was nothing like jerky, the taste was much richer and with much more flavour, taking another sip of her tea she finished the cup, pouring herself another one she watched Ezekiel devour the meat like a hungry wolf (which of course he was).

"Not bad. Whaddya think, Aly. Shall we take some with us or wolf it down now?"

"Sounds like a good plan, I would love to eat more of this meat for sure"

Smiling at the shopkeeper she complimented him on his excelent meat and the warm and friendly feel of his shop, eating some more meat till she felt she had enough she waited for Ezekiel to finish his meal.

Ezekiel 17 years ago
Ezekiel licked his fingers clean and downed another glass of water. That Biltong sure hit the spot.

"Mind wrapping it up for us, boss?"

"I can do better than my friend." The storekeeper replied as he took the plate and placed it under the counter.

He bent down and Ezekiel heard a strange popping sound. A few moments later the storekeeper straightened and handed Ezekiel a vaccum sealed bag with the dried meat inside it.

That will last for a while my friend."

Ezekiel nodded in appreciated and downed a glass of water.

"And now a little sweetner to complete his perfect meal." Ezekiel grinned mischeviously.

Leaning over, he gently tilted Alyshia's head back and pressed his lips against hers.

"Definitely sweet."