Thank God for Dawn...(private, Invite)

Wren had not slept much for the remainder of the night, and dawn had not been a more welcome sight for her weary mind. She'd learned more than she ever wanted to and was still digesting it all. When the birds had started singing outside the blackout curtains, Wren had rolled out of bed. At just after five she got into the shower and tried to wash the night way. It didn't work, but her body felt a little better for the hot water.

She packed, and dressed for the day, leaving with only a kiss to Drev's cheek. It was all she could offer him. She drove through the cold snowy morning and called the only person she had now. Ana...She could only hope that she didn't wake her.

Joey 17 years ago
Joey moaned softly as a ringing phone brought him out of a very pleasant dream involving Ana and whipped cream. Ana snored softly beside him, blissfully ignoring the ringing. With a soft chuckle he rolled over and plucked the intrusion from it's spot on the bedside table.


His voice was gravely and growly with sleep and he cleared it while the person on the other end spoke.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I must have the wrong number." It took him a second to recognize the voice because it didn't sound like the normal vibrant Wren he was used to.

"No, Wren, you didn't. Ana's still sleeping. It's Joey. Something I can help with?"
Wren 17 years ago
She'd panicked when a male voice had answered. She'd completely forgotten that Joey and Ana were together and that it would be perfectly normal for him to be there. She was just about to hang up when he spoke, a soft sob escaped her. She had no idea what to do now.

"Oh, I just wanted to see if she would come to class early that's all. I'm sorry I woke you, Joey."

She sniffled quietly

"That's ok. I was getting up soon anyway. You don't sound ok Wren."

She pulled in behind the Studio and put her car into park. She sat and stared into middle space, not really looking at anything.

"I'm...I'm fine." Another soft sob. "Could you just tell Ana for me?"

She heard a sigh on the other end of the phone.

"Where are you right now Wren?"

"The Studio."

"Ok, we'll be there soon."

Wren let out another sob, before she could stop it and shook her head as though Joey could see her. "No, that's ok, Joey. I'm ok."

"No, you're not." The phone went dead in her ear and Wren gave into the sobs for a whole two minutes before she took a deep breath and gathered her things. She climbed from the car and had to try three times before she got the key into the door. She dropped her things just inside the door, and went to the little kitchenette. She needed coffee.
Joey 17 years ago
Joey sighed and put the phone back where it belonged. He hated to leave the warmth of Ana's bed and nody, but Wren needed them, and desperately it seemed. The blanket had fallen from Ana's naked shoulder and he started kissing her there, and worked his way to her cheek.

"Ana, baby, time to wake up."

She made some small noise and he chuckled as he pulled the covers over her head. He pulled them back down. "Sorry, sleepyhead, but Wren needs us. Something's wrong."
Montana 17 years ago
The scent of french toast filled Ana's dream nostrils as Joey's touch and voice drew her out of sleep. "French toast? What? Wren's making us french toast, but something's wrong?"

It took but a heartbeat for the echo of Joey's voice in her brain to register upon the suddenly active librarian's brain. Bolting upright in bed, covers falling away from her bare chest, Ana shook her head. A halo of mousy brown hovered about her face for a moment as she reiterated, "Wren needs us because something's wrong? Where? When? Jeans?"

Ana tried to pull herself out of the entangling covers seeking blindly for her jeans, which she had been pretty sure had made it onto the end of the bed the night prior...
Joey 17 years ago
"She just called. She's at the Studio and she's crying. That's all I know at the moment."

Joey couldn't help but chuckle softly as he reached across to Ana's night table and moved her glasses from there to Ana's hand. He crawled from the bed and picked up their jeans from the heap of clothes on the floor and tossed her's at her. He slid his on, and buttoned the fly as he went to the closet and chose a long sleeve tee and a flannel for himself and one of Ana's cozy sweaters for her. He tossed it her direction, and moved over to the dresser for socks. He tossed a pair along with bra and undies at Ana and slipped his on as he made his way to the kitchen where Russ was whining at the back door.

He propped open the door for the puppy and plunked four slices of bread into the toaster, and flipped on the single cup coffee makers. The scent of his coffee over powered her earl grey, as he filled Russ' bowls with fresh food and water. The toast popped, he washed his hands and pulled butter and the cinnamon sugar mix out and fixed the toast. The coffee and tea finished, he doctored them and screwed on the lids of the travel mugs. He wrapped their toast in paper towels and carried their breakfasts to the table by the front door and put on his shoes.

He heard Ana bring Russ in and then she joined him at the door and put on her own boots. He handed her a mug and paper towel packet, and went to warm the jeep while she locked up.
Montana 17 years ago
Joey's calm statement of "She's at the Studio and crying" belied the sense of urgency Ana's body had instilled in her at the first "Wren's in trouble."

Nearly poking herself in the eye with an earpiece as she expediated, "She's in trouble?" Ana mumbled to herself as she tugged on her underthings, jeans, socks, and sweater. Continuing her train of thought as she moved quickly, "She's -at- the Studio, so hopefully it hasn't burnt down. She's not at the hospital, so her boyfriend has to be okay..."

Standing from the bed, tossed and mussed by sweethearts, she flicked the quilt back and forth once to straighten it, not caring about the varied lumps of sheets unkempt. A single bark from outside let her know that Russ was done his "business" and she moved quickly to the kitchen to let him in, then joined Joey at the door.

"Thanks," she said as she donned her boots and took her "breakfast", then closed and locked the door behind her after blowing a kiss to Russ.

Joining Joey in the Jeep, she commented around a mouthful of toast,
"I feel like a mom, with all the worried thoughts that autobahned through my head when you said that."
Joey 17 years ago
Joey set the wipers on to keep the snow at bay, and backed carefully out of the drive and into the slick street. "Yeah, I know what you mean. I should have pestered her a bit more, but all she would say was 'I'm fine,' then cry."

He shrugged and once they were out on a plowed street, he bit into his toast taking almost half of it in one bite. four more bites had his toast finished and them half way to the Studio. He sipped his coffee and left it alone until they were pulling in next to Wren's Mazda.

"Well everything looks in order. Let's go find out what's wrong."
Wren 17 years ago
Wren sat in her big yellow chair, knees pulled to her chest, arms wrapped around them, hands clutching her mug. The decorative clock on the wall told her it was just after six, when the back door opened and Ana called her name. She sniffled, wiped her hand across her cheek.

"In here."

She called out and took a sip of her nearly cold coffee. Wrinkling her nose, she put it on the little round table next to the chair and rested her cheek on her knee. Joey and Ana walked into the room. She lifted a hand and waved. "Hi."

Fresh tears started down her cheeks and a sob shook her shoulders. She just couldn't seem to control it, and she was worried she'd never be able to.
Montana 17 years ago
Brushing her cinnamon-sprinkled hands off on her jeans as she dropped out of the Jeep, Ana simply nodded at Joey's comment about everything looking "in order", instead focused on finding Wren.

Stepping into the Studio proper, she called out,
"Wren? Wren?" concern painting her voice. Almost all the lights were out or dimmed; Ana was about to conclude that Wren was likely in her office when she heard the dancer's voice.

When Ana saw Wren's half hearted wave, scrunched up in the ball like she was on the chair, Ana nearly gasped. The tears suddenly pouring down the woman's cheeks, it felt like she'd been punched in the gut for as pained as she felt, seeing her friend hurting. Rushing forward from Joey's side, Ana knelt quickly in front of Wren's huge yellow chair. Landing hard, her head snapped forward, bonking against the teacher's forearm as she tried to wrap her arms around Wren.
"Oof. Wren? Are you okay, hon?" Straightening, her glasses slid from her nose off to the side of Wren's feet, but just the same Ana peered into Wren's face.
Wren 17 years ago
Wren let her feet slip to the floor as her arms went around her friend. It was comfort she needed and it surprised her just as much as the ache in her heart had. She'd never needed or wanted anyone to comfort her, not until Drev had shown her love, and joy, and happiness. That brought a sob up to shake her shoulders.

"Not....not really." She slid off the chair and curled herself next to Ana, her head on the smaller woman's shoulder. "G...give me a...m-minute and I-I'll explain."
Joey 17 years ago
Joey watched helplessly as the two most important women in his life clung to each other. Something bad, real bad, had happened and he had two inclinations. The first was to find the bastard responsible and tear him limb from limb. The second was to cross the room and gather them both in his arms until everything was okay again.

Since he had no idea who was responsible he crossed the room, picked up Ana's glasses and put them out of harm's way. He pushed the chair back out of the way, got down onto the floor and moved and wiggled everyone until he had Ana on one thigh, and Wren on the other. Wren still clung to Ana, but her back had moved to press into him. He rubbed her from mid-back to elbow, offering what he could in the way of comfort and support. She would talk when she was ready and he had all the time in the world.
Montana 17 years ago
Ana leaned her head against Wren's, holding the taller, slighter woman in her arms while Joey held them in his. Digging into a pocket, Ana brought out a clump of clean but balled tissues and touched them to Wren's hand, hoping she'd take them.

She didn't really mind the woman crying on her shoulder; after all, it was snot her shirt she was worried about. She wanted to help, in any way she could, and if that meant scrubbing her shirt with Simple Orange, so be it.

"Take your time, Wren, we're here as long as we need to be for you. Or until Joey's legs fall asleep and he tosses us in your chair for relief. Then I'll be here for you while he stumbles around with pins and needles."
Wren 17 years ago
Wren gave a soft watery chuckle, which helped break the spell the tears seemed to have held over her. She sniffed mightily and finally lifted her head, taking the offered tissues from Ana to wipe at the mess her face had become. She blew her nose and sniffled a few times.

"I'm sorry you guys had to come all the way out here for me to snot all over your shirt and give you leg cramps."

She smiled, a real one and if felt nice that such a normal thing could happen. "Life just seemed to come crashing down on me and I don't know what to do about it."

She sighed and rested her head on Joey's broad chest. He had become a rock for her and she marveled that she'd let herself get that close to a man outside of a romantic relationship. She'd had no idea that men could be just friends and it warmed a little bit of the cold rock her heart had become. She would be ok, so long as her friends were there.

"I won't tell you everything that's happened, because I don't think it's right to go outside of a relationship to reconcile something." She sniffled and wiped her nose. "But I will say that I learned that not everything is as it seems and even the most reliable people can break your heart."

She sobbed again, but only once. She did not want to start that up again. With a deep breath she searched inside herself for a moment and discovered the source of her actions that morning. "I think...I think I mourning. The loss of something so special and the need to rebuild it. It seems the world has it in for me, first it takes the first friend I made out here, and now it's take this from me. I don't know if I can handle much more."

A sniffle and nose wipe, the a sigh. She just wanted to cry and cry and cry and never stop, her heart hurt and her head was pounding. She couldn't though, she had classes to teach. Her eyes went to the clock on the wall, she still had half an hour before her class started, she could wallow in self pity and her friends arms a little while longer.
Montana 17 years ago
Wren's words confused Ana. She'd talked to the dancer about her boyfriend, off and on, in an attempt to get some ideas for spending time or giving goofy little gifts to Joey... But she hadn't known there was any sort of question as to the stability of her relationship with her man. Their love seemed almost... idyllic to Ana, and to hear that he might have broken her friend's heart instantly made her angry, scared, and very very sorry.

She was additionally confused by the mention of losing her first friend in Nachton. Did she mean Shay? After all, on their first meeting - that is, the first meeting between Shay, Wren, and Ana, Wren had yelled out "Shay!" and Ana had responded with a joke. Had Shay been Wren's first friend? Did Ana even want to mention, at that point, that she too missed Shay, that she too lost her first friend in Nachton, but that she had gained custody of Russ?

She figured that might not be such a good idea just yet, so she contented herself with gently rubbing Wren's arm while she fiddled with the ball of tissues, trying to make them more functional and less crushed.
"We're here, if you need a shoulder or an ear, Wren," she whispered as best she could without letting her own sympathies override the steadiness of her voice. "I have an extra bed if you need a place to stay, and I also have a styrofoam hammer in my car if you have the need to beat anyone severely about the head or shoulders." She trailed her hand down Wren's arm to the dancer's hand, and lifted it, entwining her fingers between those slender digits. She raised their conjoined hands to her chest and held Wren's hand against her bosom. "I'm sorry that you've been so hurt, all at once, and while I can safely say I've been there, I do want you to know that I'm here for you now, and I want to be a rock to hold you above the raging rapids of rove."
Joey 17 years ago
Joey had absolutely no idea what to do. Ana had told him about Shay and he was sorry for their loss, and it made him sad for his girls to be sad, but this was new territory for him. He's only met Drev a handful of times, most of those had been before the Studio had opened and he had worked with Wren in her home. He was a nice guy, short, but built and, Joey was man enough to admit, hot. He could see what Wren saw in him and he felt good knowing she was well cared for by him.

He was mostly just angry at him right now. How could he hurt such a precious thing and what could he have possibly done that would break things between them? Well he wouldn't pry and if Wren wanted to tell him about what Drev had done then she would, but it seemed to him that she would not. He felt that maybe she wanted to tell someone and that it would be better is she told Ana.

He stroked his hand over her hair once more and kissed the top of Wren's head.
"I'm going to go get the place opened up. You want a cup of tea once the water's done?"

She smiled up at him and nodded. He gently settled her and Ana to the floor and stood easily. His muscles protested, but not too much. He left them to talk and to get the Studio open for the day.
Wren 17 years ago
Wren giggled softly at Ana, before she smiled up at Joey's question. She watched him go and was silently grateful to him for his innate understanding. When the door was closed behind him she returned her attention to Ana.

"Thanks Ana, you don't know how much it means to me that you guys would leave your warm comfy bed and come be here with me. I'm blessed to have such good friends." She sniffled and wiped at her eyes and nose with her tissue. She really wanted to ask Ana the questions that burned inside her but she just didn't know if she should. Drev had not said to keep it secret, but she figured it was best since he himself had hidden it for so long.

"There is just so much inside my head and I'm afraid it will drive me mad. I don't want this in there and I don't know if I should let it out and I don't want to betray Drev's trust and...oh, Ana!." She sobbed softly and took a dry tissue from her friend and wiped at the fresh tears.
Montana 17 years ago
Ana looked up at Joey, thankful for his sudden realization that the two women needed a few moments alone. She nodded with a tender smile at Wren's thanks. "If I'd answered the phone, I'da told you to get your behind over to us, but it mighta been safer this way. No sense having you drive, blinded by tears!"

Understanding completely what Wren meant about having her brain filled to near madness, she reached out and wrapped her arm about the dancer's shoulders, tugging the taller woman against her side. Leaning against the chair behind them, Ana nestled Wren's head against her own shoulder and held her palm out, offering the remainder of her Kleenex. "One of the things I pride myself on most is the ability to listen, and keep whatever is shared with me a secret. Anything you might say, I will keep with me til I meet my end. I want you to know that you have free and clear access to my ears, my shoulders, my shirt shoes or home, if you need them. I also know the value of a friend or lover's trust, and if you feel you can't share the burden you now have because you fear betraying that, I understand that too. But I also see how you light up when he's in the room, when you talk about him, the glow you have after the weekend with him. If that doesn't shout 'amazing, everlasting love', I don't know what does."

Learning what she had, with Fallon, Aishe, all of their friends at the housewarming, Ana knew she had been given the entry pass into a very exclusive world, hidden beneath "The Real". She did not find such things entirely out of the ordinary, having grown up in a very imaginative household, and enjoying as many years of deep fantasy and sci-fi that she had. She did occasionally find herself in awe of the knowledge of those facts, that the world wasn't nearly as boring as people thought it was, but she was all too aware that it certainly could have the darker side the human spirit feared. Briefly tempted to offer something along the lines of "nothing you could tell me would be too strange," Ana instead decided to stay silent while her friend made her decision, and comfortingly stroked her free hand up and down the dancer's arm.
Wren 17 years ago
Wren let Ana hold her for a little while longer. Outside she heard a few of the students come in, and further away the rumble of Joey's voice telling someone...something. That reminded her of a reality she wasn't quite ready to face, and a knowledge that she had no choice. She would carry on, regardless of what was happening in her heart, but maybe, just maybe she could lighten her burden a little. It tore at her, she didn't think she should share this with anyone, but she trusted Ana, when she said she would keep the secret, even from Joey. She knew she couldn't tell Joey, some little thing in the back of her brain told her that and she believed it. Sighing she took the last of the tissue and blew her nose.

"Ana, do you believe in the supernatural?"

She giggled, what a silly way to say that. "I know that kind of came out of left feild, but hear me out. You know how every once in a while I get a sore in my mouth and the first one I told you must have been from stress? Well actually, they're from Drev."

She looked up into Ana's eyes and grew serious again. "Drev's a...oh God, I shouldn't tell you. I want to, but I don't know if it's because I want to share my burden, or my horror, or if it's because I need to just tell some, or if it's because I know if I keep this to myself I'll burst and your the only person I have to tell."

Tear's leaked from her eyes again as she looked at Ana. She had no idea what her eyes were asking her friend, hell she had no idea what she wanted and she sure as hell couldn't control what her eyes did.
Montana 17 years ago
Widening her eyes behind her glasses at Wren's left field question, she nodded, content to stay silent at first, then answered verbally, "Of course. You've seen the books I read, waiting for my class. The pendant and matching earrings I wore to The Studio's opening. The movies I gush about. It did come out of left field, but..."

Concern colored her voice as she asked, trying to draw an answer from Wren, "Drev's a what? A man with a horribly hoover-like kissing technique?" It had taken Ana almost a month to break Joey of his extreme propensity to use his tongue, sometimes very deeply, when sometimes she wanted soft and light and playful.

She saw the tears leak from the cloudy ice blue eyes before her, and reached up gently to remove them with the pad of her thumb.
"I'm sorry I'm out of tissues." She paused, then tried to alleviate Wren's concerns. "I know what it's like to have a painful secret burn you up inside. I also know what knowing a painful secret can do to hurt a relationship, be it friendship or romance or family. Sometimes you have to share it, and the sharing of the pain or burden can help lessen it, help you see through the darkness to the silver lining. I'm here for you now." Ana's own eyes began to water as she poured out her love for her friend, to help her feel better. "If you can find it within you to share that with me, I'll listen and I'll hold you as long as you need. If you need to wait til later, I'll be there for you then, too. But please, Wren, if it is something you need to share or talk about - whether it be with me, or Drev, or a priest - and you let it fester inside, it will only hurt you more than you're hurting right now. I care for you very much, and I'll do what you need to help you feel better."
Wren 17 years ago
Wren smiled at her friend. She was safe in the circle of these arms, she only hoped that Ana didn't have some big secret that would shatter that safety too. Saddened by the thought, and not wanting it, she pushed it aside. 'Not everyone is hiding something, stupid bird.' "Thank you, Ana. I am going to tell you, but I need to start getting ready for my class while we talk about it. Okay?"

She placed a gentle kiss on Ana's cheek in thanks and pushed her stiff body from the floor. LAck of sleep and lots of crying made her sore and in desperate need of exercise. She took a deep breath and faced the smaller woman. "Drev's a vampire." She whispered the word, unable yet to say it out loud. "Like for real, he's lived like seven hundred years, he's even got fangs." the last word was once more whispered.

"That's not the part that bothers me though, it's that he lied. Lied every time he left to go and lied through omission by not telling me why he had fangs in the first place."

Sighing, she unbuttoned her jeans and slipped them off, then pulled her sweater over her head, and unhooked her bra. She pulled a black leotard from the set of drawers in the corner and pulled it on over the tights she'd worn under her jeans.