Please accept these flowers as a token of my respect and never-ending affection. As difficult for you to believe, I have always held both of those things in abundance for you, alone.

An invitation to dinner is being extended, along with these flowers, for the next evening you have open. As my practice allows me to create my own schedules, barring any emergencies, I am available whenever you deem fitting.
Provided you deem a dinner invitation acceptable.

Knowing you do not owe me a thing, and that I still owe you quite a lot, I won't be surprised if you reject this offer; however, that will not deter me, and I will continue to seek your company.

Please Reign...


He had paid extra to assure the bouquet she was sent resembled the one he was looking at online. It was a very festive arrangement of pine, red and white roses, babies breath, poinsettias, and white carnations. Deciding it was getting close enough to the holidays to switch over from the oranges, yellows, and browns, of autumn arrangements, Bastian hoped Reign would enjoy these. He had always enjoyed sending her flowers in the past, even if she wasn't the biggest fan of the sentiments. It pleased him to know she would have something pretty to look at, and to remind her of his feelings.

The note was both easy, and terribly difficult for him to write, but he recognized it was something he had to do. After seeing her with that other man last night, Bastian had come home to a cold and empty bed, and not slept at all. His reflection in the morning mirror was a startling affirmation of his mood...bleak and grey.

Fortunately, he wasn't near ready to throw in the cloth just yet. If that had been the case, he wouldn't have moved to Nachton, or tried to locate Reign to begin with. And though he wasn't quite yet obsessed with his plight, he was one hundred percent focused on having it turn out the way he hoped.

The note included his cell phone number, again, just in case she had tossed the rest of his cards. And as he dressed and walked out to his kennels, he patted the phone in his pocket. A silent prayer to the heavens was all he could do now, besides wait.

Bastian 17 years ago
"Grazi, Cara...tomorrow it is."

Bastian had a great deal more he could have said, but since she had agreed to dinner at his place, and it was set for tomorrow, he decided to hold his tongue. He didn't want to jeopardize the date by saying something stupid now.

"Sleep well Reign..." And again he cut himself off while ahead of the game. To tell her he loved her now, would have most certainly meant her hasty retreat. He had time, and his patience had been working well so far.
Reign 17 years ago
Sleep would most certainly be a long time coming, Reign had no doubt about that. Maybe she’d take the mutt for a walk.

“Good night Bas. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Unless she was suddenly over come with a wave of common sense and stood him up; although, that didn’t seem terribly likely at all.

Hanging up and sighing she found herself back in the living room and flopped on the couch.

“Yes I know it was stupid, but its too late now. Do you want a walk or not?”

As always the answer was yes and Sirius’ tale thumped against the floor. It seemed a walk, a shower and bed were the order for the remainder of the night.
Bastian 17 years ago
Bastian fell asleep almost the second his head hit the pillow. Hoping for such an answer from Reign, he had planned out the evening the day he had sent the flowers, and now he just had to put it all together tomorrow night.

He wasn't foolish enough to think she would just fall into his arms when she saw the place, or him again, but he was more optimistic now than he had been since setting his eyes on her in Nachton.

Grinning, as he lie there on his back staring up at the ceiling, he went over the conversation he'd just had, and imagined what Reign had looked like. He knew her face and expressions almost better than he knew his own, and cringed at a couple spots where he could see she might not have been smiling. That she had expressed emotions at all was the best part of the conversation Bastian could recall. Had she no longer cared, he knew she wouldn't have reacted the way she had. That knowledge made him feel just great!

Listening to the night sounds, outside his slightly open bedroom window, Bastian found himself in a state he hadn't been in, in quite some time. But instead of taking care of the problem himself, he ignored it, as he had learned to, and let his mind drift off. Soon there would be time for dealing with other issues in his soon as Reign was back in it.

He was shocked to see how long he slept, as a shard of sunlight flickered across his eyes. Blinking them open, he sat up and looked at the clock on his nightstand, and saw it was almost nine. Stretching he kicked off the covers, and sat up. It wasn't really that surprising to see how long he had slept, considering how late he had gone to bed, but what was surprising was that he had woken up with the same silly grin he had gone to bed with.

The rest of his day went pretty much as usual, feeding and caring for the animals he housed. A quick ride around the property on his horse, Tempesta, and it was time to put the evening in motion. The day had flown by, with Bastian barely noticing. But all things unrelated to the evening ahead were now dismissed and he was focused on the tasks at hand.

Starting the dinner, after painstakingly preparing it, Bastian knew he would have time to shower and get ready, before Reign was due to arrive. The lasagna wouldn't be ready for a while yet, as he planned enough time to take her on a tour first, before dinner. So shower, shave, and dress he did, and then began setting the small table in his dining room. His present personal debate was whether or not to have candles on the table.
Reign 17 years ago
Maybe if she didn’t get out of bed it could all be a dream, she could have imagined it. Yes that was it. Reign, therefore, spent a large part of the day in bed with the covers over her head. If it hadn’t been for the dog she probably could have stayed there.

Once rousted from bed the day was very typical, writing, research, some grocery shopping and practice. The only thing out of the ordinary was picking up a chocolate silk pie at the bakery counter. She almost bought a bottle of wine but stopped herself, this was just old acquaintances for dinner nothing more.

Putting things off as long as she could Reign finally cleaned up and changed. Dark blue jeans, black boots, a black sweater and a three strand necklace of silver beads managed what she though was a casual but slightly dressy effect.

Charging Sirius with caring for the house she drove out and got there just five minutes early. Somehow it seemed odd that he’d have opted for a rural lifestyle, but it was his life and Reign wouldn’t question it.

She sat in her car for a second talking herself up to going to the door. It took some work but she finally stood in front of the door, coat on, pie in hand and knocked. She still wasn’t completely sure why she was doing this but it was too late to turn back now.
Bastian 17 years ago
He heard her car pull up, and her steps on the porch, before the knock at the door. Thankfully all that extra time allowed him to give the rooms a quick glance, note that everything was straightened, and no stray socks were lying about the floors.

The wine had been uncorked and was breathing, the lasagna was still cooking, though nearly ready to come out of the oven, the salad was tossed, and the garlic bread ready for the broiler. There was nothing left to do now but greet the lady.

"Sera buono, look...well. Please come in." He caught himself just before blurting out how ravishing she did indeed look to him. Starting the evening off by placing her on the defensive was not what he was trying to accomplish.

Once inside he closed the door behind her. Placing his hands on her shoulders, he caressed them softly before whispering close to her ear.

"Can I take your coat? I'm assuming since you brought dessert, you are planning on staying a while?" He was trying to tease her, hoping to lighten the mood, and keep the evening from floundering. He only hoped he wasn't trying to hard, or being too obvious.

Catching her scent, as he lingered a bit close for a bit longer than necessary, he managed to recover himself and move back a step, to allow her to shed her coat.
Reign 17 years ago
Reign tried to smile, really she did but it felt half hearted and so she refrained only flashing a quick weak grin. She was feeling extremely conflicted right now and didn’t know how to handle that.

The conflict wasn’t helped any by his nearness either. Chemistry, familiarity, history, and a long period of abstinence were not always easy to ignore, but Reign was determined that her head was going to win out over anything else.

“Thank you.”

Was all she said as she slid out of the coat and began to look for a place to set the pie finally settling on rather awkwardly thrusting it at him.

“Chocolate. I figured that would work for just about anything.”

Worst case scenario she could also throw it at him without doing serious damage, although she doubted the evening would come to that.

His hands were warm and he didn’t move away immediately, but she couldn’t find it in her to be angry or resentful. She was even slightly disappointed when he did move away.

“Seems like a nice spread you have.”

Great now she sounded like Yoda. Nice spread you have here. Many acres have you.
Bastian 17 years ago
Accepting the pie, with an almost audible 'oof', Bastian took it and placed it in the refrigerator, half watching her and talking at the same time. A part of him could hardly believe she was here, standing inside his house, and he hadn't even had to tie her down.

"Glad to see somethings never change...I still love chocolate." And she remembered. The revelation warmed his heart.

"And thank you as well. I like it. I had a lot of work to do, remodeling, getting it up to code, and adding a lot of creature comforts, but I'm happy with the way it turned out. I'll take you out and show you the clinic, and kennels in a while, but can I offer you some coffee, or cocoa...maybe a cider? You look a bit cold."

He also decided he wanted to go cut down the pine tree and haul it back, hoping she might help him decorate it. However, he was now thinking of holding off on that, and possibly making it for another date.
Reign 17 years ago
“A good contractor is not to be over looked.”

Reign never even considered that he’d done the work himself. But however it got done it had turned out well.

“Do I?”

She shrugged, some days you looked cold some days you didn’t. Aside from the butterflies in her stomach, she felt fine though.

“Hot cider would be nice if you have some but anything is fine.”

Reign wanted to wander around and get more of a feel for the place but she hadn’t been invited and so continued to awkwardly stand in the entry.
Bastian 17 years ago
It pained him to watch her being so formal, and though it had been years, he still thought he could tell she wasn't comfortable. He wished he could just gather her into his arms, sit down on the couch, and spend the next few hours talking, and getting reacquainted. But until he could convince her that the things he had told her were the truth, he didn't see how he could accomplish the other.

"Please make yourself at home, you're welcome to go and do what you like. It will only take me a couple minutes to get this ready. I hope you're hungry too...I've got enough lasagna here to feed half the town."

It really didn't take too long to make the hot cider, but Bastian puttered around the kitchen a little longer than necessary, hoping Reign did take it upon herself to look around.

If she took notice of the books on his book case, she'd see several of her favorites, mixed in with his college reference books, and many volumes on veterinary medicine. There was also a large section on werewolves, myths, and similar books he had read, years ago. If she checked out his cd collection she'd find everything Led Zeppelin and Miles Davis ever had pressed, among some operas, and a few other contemporary jazz musicians.

After about ten minutes had elapsed, Bastian returned to Reign's side with a mug of hot cider, complete with cinnamon stick stir. He raised his own mug to her, and waited till she did the same.

" beginnings?"

While it wasn't at all original, it was said with heartfelt emotion.
Reign 17 years ago
Finding a place to set her bag down Reign took to nosing about a bit. It was hard not to, she wondered what he’d really been doing with the past ten years (and although she wouldn’t admit it she was looking for evidence of another woman).

She smiled to herself to see books she’d read and some she’d given to him but frowned at the number of volumes dedicated to werewolves. He was in deep; there might not be any getting through to him. Turning away she found the CDs. Reign guessed the copies of One and Birth of the Cool were the ones she had given him as they were looking a bit used. Those had been the first gifts she’d ever given him and was oddly touched he still had them. Feeling slightly fidgety she fished out a copy of A Night In Tunisia and worked out enough of the sound system that she turned it on selecting the title track.

Jumping and feeling slightly guilty as he came back Reign smiled a bit lopsided and took the warm mug inhaling deeply.

“We can try Bas.”

It was still up in the air if she wanted to peruse any kind of relationship at all. It wasn’t right to cut him out all together. Well maybe it was but it felt wrong to her or maybe she was just lonelier than she was willing to admit and any familiar face was welcome.

“But I have to say I’m a bit worried about your literary selections.”
Bastian 17 years ago
He hadn't meant to startle her, but with his new life he had acquired a few new traits, and walking silently had been one. His hearing, something he'd had problems with since a childhood accident, had also not only improved, but become keen enough that he now could hear her heart beating. He was happy to hear it only seemed slightly faster than normal.

He was also happy to hear the positive way she spoke of 'trying'. That she indicated such a thing was even in her realm of thought delighted him, and he couldn't hold back a grin.

The grin turned into a bit of a frown though, when she mentioned his books. Knowing she was referring to the reference books on lycanthropy, he decided to ignore it for now. Before the evening was over he fully intended to change her thoughts on the subject, but in order to do that, he needed more time with her now. So for now he just nodded, but assured her he was okay.

"No worries, Cara. Those are old books I read years ago, but just never got rid of." Gesturing towards the sofa, which was placed to the side of the fireplace, in which he had started a slow fire shortly before she arrived, he hoped the room wasn't getting too warm.

"Would you like to sit and talk awhile, or did you want the outside tour, before it gets much darker? And how would you like a short drive out to that tree I mentioned on the phone? It won't take me long to cut it down, and maybe later you wouldn't mind helping me trim it?"

He grinned at his attitude. Finally having her in his home made him feel like a small boy, full of excitement and wanting to do twelve things all at once.

Noticing the music she had put on the cd player, Bastian grinned again. Dizzy Gillespie was a good choice and seemed fitting for the evening.
Reign 17 years ago
That didn’t ring quite true, she’d never known him to accrue things just to have them. So there was some reason for him to have the books. Reign, however, shoved those thoughts away she really did want this to be a pleasant evening.

Reign was strongly struck by an urge curl up on the couch next to him. It would have been quite easy but there was still too much uncertainty, too much unresolved, too much oddness between them for her to presume anything at all. She did, however, sit down next to him crossing her legs as she did so.

“There’s a fine idea, driving into the woods in the dark and playing with axes and saws. I think that might be more of a day time trip.”

It wasn’t at all snide, but playful along the lines of the banter they’d shared years ago.

Sipping at her cider Reign burned her tongue slightly, but it was worth it, it was quite good, a very cozy drink; which made it harder to maintain a formal attitude.

“I’ll settle for a tour of the place. I’m willing to bet you have a horse out here so I’d like to meet him too.”

She’d never ridden much after he’d left her but Reign had enjoyed the activity and the personality that the horses had. And it would be good to see that he’d kept some normality.
Bastian 17 years ago
Once she sat down, Bastian turned towards her, and put his free hand along the back of the couch, just behind her shoulders. He itched to rub his fingers along the back of her neck, where her hair was like silk, and her skin was like velvet.

Instead he laughed as he saw the two of them rolling about in the snow, after falling a tree, and nearly suffering some minor accident from an axe tossed a little carelessly. While their time together had been short, it had been packed full of experiences, some involving a little more pain than others. But the good times always seemed to eventually blank out the bad, and it was only now that he recalled a couple escapades that really could have turned out much worse then they had.

"First off, I don't need an axe or chain saw to cut down this tree, and I have a great spot light on the truck that would give us all the light we needed. But out of deference to you, I'll let it go for another day...if you promise me you'll try and come by then too?"

He had hoped to get another date set up right away, not wanting to let much time go by. He had to build on the momentum, as long as it continued in the positive way it was going now.

" should know I haven't changed that much. I would still rather die before putting you in harms way."

He didn't want to turn all serious and sentimental, at least not this early in the evening, but he just couldn't seem to help it.

"You would win that bet of course. Right now I've only got one horse of my own, but am boarding three others. I do have a two year old mare being delivered next week, and a filly promised next month. I don't want to build up the stables too quickly though, as I need to devote as much time to building the practice instead. But come spring we should have a couple good ones for you, if you want to ride."

And another invitation had been extended, much more easily than he could have hoped.

"I told Tempesta all about you, and he's assured me he would like to meet you as well, and that he will be on his best behaviour. But before we trek out into the frigid cold, would you like a tour of the house?"

There was one room Bastian didn't want to show Reign quite yet, but that he could avoid simply by referring to it as a closet. Later, he would show her it's true purpose, but hopefully by then she would have a much more accepting mind.
Reign 17 years ago
With just a little bit of suggestion she could probably get him to move his hand, get him to move closer to her. Instead of thinking about that she concentrated on the cider, the warmth, the smell, anything but what she was trying to think about. Because she was trying to think of something else she found herself agreeing to another date.

“Going to break it down with your bare hands? I wouldn’t miss it, but I’ll come by in daylight for that. I hate driving to the ER in the dark, I can’t see how bad you’re bleeding or if it’s getting on the upholstery.”

As he got serious Reign found she had to look away. It hurt, it seemed hollow to say he wouldn’t hurt her when he’d left her. She bit at the inside of her cheek and kept from saying anything spiteful while allowing him to change the subject.

“Alright house then horse then food. Don’t think you’re getting out of feeding me. By the by when did you learn how to cook?”
Bastian 17 years ago
"No, I have a special saw, but nothing powered with anything beyond my own hands, and the trunk is not that thick. I'd be surprised if the whole thing takes more than ten minutes, tops. Besides, I don't think either one of us needs any more trips to the emergency room now, do we?"

Bastian was referring to the two pretty harrowing times Reign had been with him in the ER. The wolf bite was the first time, and a surfing accident was not long after.

The turn to more serious matters wasn't what he wanted either, and relaxed a little more when they successfully moved away from those topics.

Standing up, he moved towards the dining room, thinking to lead her in a circle through the kitchen, then parlor, then office, and once back at the entry, take her on the upstairs part of the tour.

"Cook? Only on rare occasions, and limited dishes. I learned out of necessity, when I wasn't able to get help." Translation - back when he still didn't have control of his beast, and wasn't about to have anyone near him until he did. "If you really want to be impressed, I should sit down with you and recited the fifty odd ways I know how to cook hamburger." A teasing wink, and Bastian moved on into the kitchen.

What I'm most proud of downstairs is the way I was able to keep the illusion of this being a house of the 1800's while having it function as one of the twenty first century. When we go upstairs you'll see I didn't even try for that, but went with ultimate comfort and convenience.

Opening the oven door, scents of the lasagna wafted out, and Bastian smiled. Whether it was his Italian blood, or just a personal preference, but he loved the smell of garlic.

"Almost ready. Can I refill your cider?"
Reign 17 years ago
“That’s no trick even I can cook hamburger. The question is how well do you handle rammen?”

Vince had done a vast majority of the cooking but during her lean days when she was starting out on the tour Reign had become something of a master of cooking on the cheap. She could hold her own now and wasn’t too bad, hell sometimes she enjoyed it but in general cooking for one was a bit depressing and she often didn’t bother.

“Did you get a decorator to help you put it together or do the research yourself? I mean is great and all but I won’t have guessed you’d go into recreation restoration stuff.”

Dinner smelled wonderful and Reign realized she was actually quite hungry as she hadn’t eaten all day. She just hadn’t gotten around to it.


She offered him the mug to be refilled.

It was nice you could still hear the music as they walked though the house.

“Do you have the upstairs wired too?”
Bastian 17 years ago
He couldn't help but feel proud, as he watched her expressions. She seemed to really like what he'd done with the place, and considering he had thought of her often in the process, her reactions were validation for the effort.

"Dios no, I did not do it myself. I came up with the idea, and then, through somewhat extensive research, located the person I thought could pull it off. I really haven't changed that much."

And how was it he could say something, and one minute think it sounded complimentary, but the next think it made him sound even more the cad?

Handing her back her cup, again full of the hot, spicy liquid, he moved on into the parlor, guiding her along with a featherlight touch to the small of her back.

"Once I found out what these kinds of houses looked like, when they were new, I gave the information to the designer, and he took over. If you ever know anyone in need of a brilliant man for such a task, I'd be happy to refer him. He's also quite fast...expensive, but quick to accomplish what he needs to."

Looking around the parlor he smiled again. He would put the Christmas tree over to the right of the fireplace, and that way he could see it from the kitchen and dining room too. When he was alone, it was in the parlor that he spent most of his time. It had a slightly more 'homey' feel to it than the living room, and seemed cozier.

Finding the remote control, which was where he had left it on the small table to the side of the sofa, Bastian pushed a button and the wood paneling dropped to reveal a very large flat screen television, which faced the sofa, and easy chairs. Pushing another button he closed the one panel and revealed a massive music system behind another wooden door. The cd player in the living room was connected to this system, as was the rest of the house.

"We are wired for sound throughout, and these are the master's a pretty state of the arts unit, but I was lucky that the manufacturer was looking for someone to beta test it, so I got it for a phenomenal price."

Bastian had never been one to worry about money, but in the past few years had come to realize there wasn't any reason to just throw it away either. Now that he had begun making a living, aside from his inheritance, money took on a new meaning.

Yet he wouldn't have considered mentioning the price of something to anyone besides Reign. Such matters were still the kinds of things that weren't really anyone else's business.

"And this is my office." He remarked, as they moved into the next room. Using the same remote, another panel in this room slid open to reveal several security monitors, and a computer system.

"By having extra thick walls, I was able to hide the modern appliances that I need, and yet keep the antique facade in tact."
Reign 17 years ago
Reign was content to follow along and listen. It all seemed quite comfortable.

“Well I think you’ve put a hell of a lot more thought in to your place than I have into mine. I think you’d call mine hotel eclectic.”

It was all comfortable but hardly colorful or unique, lots of blue accents and the art she had been particular about but beyond that it didn’t matter to her and Sirius had never expressed an opinion.

“I do wish I had the sound through out, although it’s small enough not to matter.”

Why in god’s name was she rambling at him about her place? She hadn’t given him the address or ask him over… yet.


‘Stop it Sorensen stop it now!’ she told herself. Really she needed to quit thinking on these lines.

“Didn’t you lose a lot of square footage doing that?”

Much better to keep the conversation inconsequential and light; then neither of them would be in an awkward spot.
Bastian 17 years ago
He wasn't surprised to hear she hadn't gone all out on her own place. Exterior trappings never were one of her downfalls, but that was one reason he had fallen for her so quickly. Being that he had been around money grubbing women for most of his adult life, up till then, meeting Reign, and having his money not mean anything to her, was an instant attraction. Fortunately for him, he had lucked out and found a loving, adventuresome, exciting woman beneath.

It was nice to see that part hadn't changed either.

"If you decide you'd like a similar system, but on a smaller scale, I'll bet this outfit could take care of that for you too. And it was a technique they patented, that made the wall installation practical...that, and fiber optics I suppose." He chuckled and shook his head. "You know me...not one for technical abilities." Another something about him that hadn't changed, but perhaps Reign had forgotten. It saddened him to think she might have forgotten so much. Especially since for him, if he tried, he could almost imagine it being just a few months after he had left school, and her. She was that much the same, and his love for her was as well.

Moving now back into the entry, Bastian started up the stairs.

"This floor will probably remind you more of me...the man who thrives on luxurious comfort." And though he was already quite used to his home and the differences in decor, when he tried to look at it with an objective eye, he thought he could see the drastic differences from the 'old world' flavor below, to the visible modern eclectic upstairs. Bastian thrived on the dichotomy though, and every morning when he went from his suite upstairs into the downstairs, he almost felt transported back in time.
Reign 17 years ago
“I’m sure they could but I’m just as happy turning things up too loud and irritating the neighbors.”

Actually her neighbors probably didn’t notice, she wasn’t in an apartment after all and relatively considerate besides. That and there was her budget to consider, being on hiatus meant limited income. Some endorsements and the occasional appearance fee but money wasn’t exactly growing on trees.

“You mean the guy who always made the plane and hotel reservations because he couldn’t figure out why I always booked coach and the Comfort Inn?”

Even knowing Bas had the money to cover things she’s always booked conservative out of habit, that and she had a tendency to want to take care of herself. No matter how close they had gotten, had been, she had tried to maintain that little bit of independence. Some times Reign suspected that had amused him other times she thought it irritated him. It didn’t matter either way, she’d always done it.