More history in the making.

By the time Bastian had reached the waterfront, he had finally begun to feel the strain. He was in the best physical shape he'd ever been in, but that didn't mean he had limitless energy. The good news was his ability to rejuvenate, and just by slowing down he could feel his muscles respond favorably.

He pulled up short when the familiar scent of a pack mate hit him. It was unexpected, and in light of their previous meeting Bastian wasn't sure what he might be facing now. The thrill of running into the female again was there, but it was purely due to the fact that he recognized her now, and was interested in getting to know her better. The scents of others were around as well, but much fainter, and vague. He thought she must be alone.

Slowing down to a cautionary walk, Bastian continued to move parallel to the water, seeking his pack mate. He knew he was getting close from the strength of her smell, but because their meeting was not arranged, and he had no idea why she would be there tonight alone, he refrained from dashing in her direction.

As he drew even closer, he recognized the odor of wet skin, and not wet fur. Perhaps she'd come for a swim, though he imagined there must be better places for such activity. This one was certainly a challenge for Bastian's mind, yet he wondered if he would have cared so much, had she been a normal human.

Diane 17 years ago
She eye'd a spot of land front that was within easy distant to a large group of trees. It was perfect to dash off into after she retreated from the water. With a deep breath she dived under the surface and swam with all her might against the cold spring water.

As she neared the shore she saw debri softly lapping at the earth. No doubt a mix of trash and cast off from some boat. A very grey and dingy cloth tarp floated tattered and stained. Climbing up the small shelf of land filled with roots from the nearby trees, she grabbed at the tarp and pulled it up with her. Most of the blood had washed off from the swim but she was still tangled and dirty. Dragging the tarp she dashed into the woods and found a a small clearing to sit in. The tarp itself was easy to tear as it was pretty tattered. In a few minutes she had fashioned herself a soaking wet toga. She looked down at herself.

Damn that's hot. She giggled.

It was cold and being wet wasnt making it any better, but in comparison to her last change during the winter the tempture now was a cake walk. She began walking through the woods away from the water, hoping to eventually get to civilization when her skin began to tingle. Someone was there with her.

Not again. Her sense of dread kicked in and she quickly grasped for her chain but it wasnt there. Panic tried to take over but it was quickly halted when she got his scent. Bastian! She remembered him from the romp in the Packs territory. She hadn't seen him in a while and thought it was ironic to once again be in the throngs of a shift gone bad and run into him.

She was excited though, besides knowing the way out of the area, he was also a familiar and safe face.

Bastian 17 years ago
When he heard the giggle, Bastian breathed a sigh of relief. At least the female couldn’t be in any danger, else he doubted she’d be laughing. He still had to wonder just what it was that had brought her to this area of the waterfront. Yet he didn’t wonder too long. When he thought about it further, it seemed like one of the things Reign might do…or more precisely might have done in the past. Bastian had to think she’d attained a bit more experience over the past ten years, to no longer put herself into obvious peril.

Since he could smell her human skin…wet human skin…Bastian decided to change himself, to greet her. He had long ago found it necessary to carry a small pack around his neck when he knew there was a risk of changing before returning home. Ruining his clothes tended to get a little expensive after awhile. The pack was quite small though, since all he brought along were running shorts and a tank top. Finding a secluded spot in the trees for himself, he quickly shifted and dressed, before he responded to her greeting.

“Hello…Diane, is it? Am I intruding?”

He had remembered her name since their last meeting, but in case he had come upon some clandestine meeting in the making, he felt it polite to allow her anonymity should she choose it. He could just as easily change back, and take off if he was interrupting.

Cocking his head slightly to one side in confusion, Bastian wasn’t prepared for the vision he was presented with. As she walked from the trees he saw that not only was she wet, but she was dressed quite unusually in some ragged cloth. He couldn’t smell anyone else nearby, so he guessed any possible meeting had yet to occur.

“Has someone stolen your clothes?”

His first idea was that maybe she had gone for a swim. It was the only rational explanation he could come up with, given the circumstances. It would also account for her wet hair, and possibly missing outfit.
Diane 17 years ago
Bastian! God no your not intruding, it's actually good to see you.

His expression looked quizical and she glanced back down at herself. A smile crept across her face at his question.

Stolen my clothes?! No nono, this is um, my make shift outfit. I was with the pack and i...shifted back in the middle of what was going on and had to make a quick exit. So this is what I found. I figured if i could stumble upon the college around here then i could fit right in.

She hoped her attempt at a lame joke wasn't lost on him. With her hands she smoothed out her "gown" suddenly feeling a bit awkward.

So what are you doing out here? Looking for someone?

Maybe she had stumbled upon a meeting and would need to make another hasty exit. She did not want another female to show up and see her looking the way she did and simply assume the worst. Though she did not feel that anyone was nearby but then again Bastian could be the arrive early and leave late type.
Bastian 17 years ago
He visibly relaxed hearing he hadn’t caught her in some compromising position, and more so to hear she was even happy to see him. It had been a long time since anyone had been.

“In that outfit, I dare say you’d be welcome almost anywhere.” His attempt to put her at ease came off sounding like a pretty lame, and innuendo filled compliment. He hoped she didn’t take it in any offensive way.

“You say there are more of our pack here? Something is going on?”

Not that he would have known either way. It wasn’t like he subscribed to the Vyusher R’asa newsletter. Whatever he wanted to learn, he knew he’d have to put forth the effort to do so, and he appreciated that. One of the reasons he’d delayed his introduction to the pack was his fear of then being accountable to them for his every move. It was a considerable relief when he found that wasn’t the case.

“No, I’m not meeting anyone. It was just one of those nights, like the last one in fact, when I met up with you, and Mosi. You know…one of those nights when a good run was needed to clear the head? I visited the Andre tree, before I came here…trying to get more acquainted with pack heritage…have you seen it?”

Bending over, Bastian picked up the pack he’d dropped, and clipped it around his waist. Now empty, it hung on him like a sloppy belt.

“I’d offer you a coat, if I had one.” He unnecessarily held his hands up to show what was already apparent…he had nothing but the skimpy clothes on his frame, and the small pack.

“Can I walk you somewhere…warmer?”

Looking about, Bastian saw nothing that would fit that description, but looking back to the cute, young woman before him, he waited to see if she might. While it was true he had run off and left her after their last meeting, that was solely with the knowledge that Mosi had been there for her, should she have needed assistance. It would never have occurred to leave a woman out in such a place otherwise.

“I’m afraid I didn’t bring my car…”
Diane 17 years ago
Car shmar! We have legs! And yes, let's go somewhere warmer and or where I can retrieve some new clothing. I wont freeze to death anytime soon so we don't really have to rush anywhere.

It wasnt imediatly important to find shelter and she didn't want to disrupt his head clearing if he needed more walking. It was differen't to see him walking and tlaking in human form but he didn't feel like a stranger. She was surprised though that he was out and about on his own and hadn't been with the pack. Then again she had only ventured with them because she was bored.

The pack is sorta near by. About a mile back off this little coast. In and about in those docks. You prolly can see tiny lights bobbing and weaving and being knocked out. She looked over her shoulder and wondered how the pack was faring. With a shrug she turned back.

It was a seek and destroy type thing i guess. I happened to be home when they were gathering and the timing was right so I went.

By timing she had ment her ability to shift. He had mentioned their last run in and she kind of grimaced.

Tonight was another one of those nights like last time when I took off in the woods from you. "Pop" and I'm human again. Luckily this time, I didn't dislocate any body parts. It woulda made swimming a bit harder.

She thought about what he said again and as she started walking she thought she'd bring it up.

Clearing your head? Much going on to bother you? If so, you are most definatly free to continue to work off the steam you know.
Bastian 17 years ago
“My house isn’t close, but considering our options, it may be the closest one we have…shall we, or have you a better alternative?”

Bastian’s experiences in town were very limited, with most of his dealings having been done by phone. Further, he wasn’t one to explore, and his adventuresome nature had come and gone when he had been a child. The last bit of investigating he’d done with respect to his werewolf lineage, and Reign’s whereabouts had been sufficient enough to turn him off from any more of those type dealings, as well.

So, faced with choices to be made, his home was the only one he thought appropriate.

As they walked along, and he listened to why she’d been at the waterfront, Bastian found her companionship welcome. She was a chatty little thing, and full of information that he could discard or file away for later use, but nothing that seemed terribly important. Until she mentioned ‘seek and destroy’, and his ears perked up.

“Anything I should know about, as a pack member, in case I come into contact with whoever, or whatever they were seeking and destroying?”

Not knowing Diane well, Bastian also didn’t know if she was given to flights of fancy, or if there really had been some serious business going on down here tonight. He remained mildly curious while waiting to hear what else she had to say.

Her description of how she changed, reminded him of problems he had faced when he first began to change.

“I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how long ago were you…gifted?”

Bastian still did not look upon their circumstances as a gift, but he knew the majority of the pack did, and had no wish to alienate her over a word.

“I am glad to see that through your difficulties you’ve managed to ultimately come out unscathed. Had I known such problems had existed, I would have gladly helped you the last time we met. I trust Mosi was successful in my stead. I don’t know him well either, but the little I’ve seen has led me to believe he’s a decent fellow.”

Whether by their nature, or situation, Bastian and Diane walked rather briskly, and were soon on his property. Due to the acreage, they still had a bit to go before they would reach the house.

“There are things I wish I could resolve in my life, so I periodically run to try and do so. Even if I cannot bring closure to what bothers me, the running helps me put things into perspective. But a lot of that is also just being out of doors, with the dirt under my feet, and the sky over my head.”

Bastian laughed.

“Sorry…I laugh because outside of my running, I’ve never really been much of an outdoor person. Our life-style has made it necessary for me to change some things about myself.

But I don’t mind company.”
Diane 17 years ago
As they walked she held out her left arm and turned it so the moon reflected off her pale skin that was still marred with dark smears.

If there was better lighting, you'd be able to see that this 'dirt' is really blood. I'm not really sure what we were after, I kinda tagged along at the end of things so unfortunatly I can't really help you on the information part of it. But there was alot of killing going on that's for sure.

That was one area of being a wolf she did not mind. The blood, it was actually one of the more thrilling parts that had come to a surprize to her. At his question of her gifting she tilted her head to think. Originally wary that he was as propack as Mosi had been she felt a little ease when he paused ever so slightly before using the word gifted.

You paused before saying gifted. Mostly I call it unwillingly forced and attacked but it hasnt been too long, I think like a year. I try not to remember when really. My son was only a few months old. So ya about a year. How about you?

Her stomach knotted a bit in anticipation of his response, but why sugar coat it? She remembered from the pack meeting that he was like her and maybe he had been just as forced into it. What was the worst he would do? Lecture her? She could easily make up a exit excuse if that happened. She hoped for otherwises though.

And Mosi's not bad. He's what would be a good word? Almost regal. Does that make sense? He's very pack friendly I guess. Been around in it his whole life and very proud of it. Not that that's a bad thing. Just different to me.

She listened to him as they walked farther out from the shore and farther out of areas that remindered her of her of a few months ago. Her shoulders eased the more they walked. His laughter also helped her feel less on guard.

Sometimes that's all you can do to blow off steam or calm down aside from destroying things which is conterproductive. She thought for a moment.

What's a city boy doing living so close to the waterfront then? I come from a big city myself and it's hard to get away from, even with the new lifestyle. The hustle and bustle is what draws me in. Oh and to answer your earlier question, I have not seen the Andre tree yet. Also if you haven't noticed, I kinda bounce around when I talk so if I get too random on you stop me and let me know!

She smiled on one side of her face and shook her head. She had a tendancy to ramble on and loose people in a matter of minutes.
Bastian 17 years ago
He had smelled the blood even before he had seen Diane, but since it wasn’t fresh enough to be her own, he let the matter alone. Bastian would have offered her assistance had she been injured, but he was not the type to pry.

He wasn’t sure he was thrilled to hear his pack had been involved in some kind of blood bath though, and Diane’s involvement was bothersome as well. Though he wasn’t a true sexist, he still felt there were some things women should be shielded from, and battle certainly was one. Whether they liked it, or admitted it, most women were physically weaker than men, and needed protection from time to time. He recognized the female werewolves were much stronger than their human counterparts, but that held true for most males as well, so the point still held true.

Just the same, knowing she wasn’t injured, he was glad when she didn’t elaborate further.

“I paused because I’ve yet to consider my…life as it is now, a gift. Like you, I did not choose this for myself, but had it placed upon me back in college. It seems I inherited the virus originally through a blood transfusion as a child, and the catalyst came about when I had the misfortune to encounter one of our own while doing some research in a local graveyard…local to the college, that is.”

Enough time had now passed that Bastian could talk about what had happened with detachment. The only time he felt any emotion at all was when he thought of how it had effected his life with Reign. Other than that, it was just another obstacle to learn to deal with.

“I will admit I enjoy a few of the perks…added strength and stamina for one…but I can only say that now, after spending the past ten years learning to live and deal with the changes. I’m also relatively lucky in that I must only change once a month, and have decent control over when that takes place, as well as the duration. I hear that’s not true for everyone…

I can tell you, it gets easier, everything, in time.” Not one really to offer solace or comfort to humans…with animals being another story…Bastian did not go on further, but he did hope what he had said offered her something.

“And different than me as well, but I sensed Mosi was a decent guy from the few times I had seen him. I also guessed him to be pack loyal, which was the main reason I felt you were in good hands with him that night.”

Why he felt the need to continue his apology of sorts, for abandoning her that cold, snowy night was a small mystery, considering his personality, but he felt better doing so.

“I really don’t live that close to the water, as you’ll see. The property I own is shaped a little oddly, with this corner extending the closest. The house, unfortunately, is on the opposite end.”

He had only been to this point of his acreage twice before, because it was so undeveloped, and unused now. Some day, if the town continued to expand, he would either extend a road through it to the water, or possibly even sell it off for developing. He didn’t expect to have the need to deal with that for years to come.

He laughed as she described herself as being almost polar opposite from him.

“The ‘hustle and bustle’ is what I do my damnedest to stay away from, though I understand sometimes you just can’t completely. I do like to travel, and find I have a lot more patience dealing with crowds in other countries, than I do here, or even in Italia. I’m not sure why I’m like that, unless perhaps it is because when in foreign places I’m too caught up in seeing everything, that I don’t have time to be concerned with the human trappings.” He shrugged, and wondered why he was going on and on about himself to this young woman. He couldn’t see why she would care.

“I don’t mind you ‘bouncing’, if you don’t mind me saying that I find it somewhat entertaining, and distracting.” Again Bastian laughed, though he hoped Diane didn’t think it was at her expense. If anything he should be thanking her because her interruption had allowed him the opportunity to relax even more than the run had. He wasn’t doing very well at sorting things out, but for now he thought he could take a break from being serious. It wasn’t like he couldn’t go back to doing what he had been later, and these days he acknowledged having some company would probably go a lot farther toward helping him deal with things.

“You said you have a son? Not two years old yet? Is he…will he…be…gifted?”

For all his gruffness, children had always held a soft spot with Bastian, and he still hadn’t given up hope that one day he would be a father. Over the years it hadn’t been uncommon for him to ‘adopt’ a third world child, and his one familial regret had been his inability to get close to all his nieces and nephews.

Unknown to Diane, but she had just earned a bit more esteem from Bastian, not only for having a child, but because she was raising on under the difficult circumstances she had been faced with.

The lights of the house and office could now been seen, as the two walked further. Remembering he had put on a fresh pot of coffee earlier, Bastian considered it might have been a bit of foresight on his part, and hoped the young woman would find it warming.
Diane 17 years ago
She burrowed her brows together and persed her lips. Mosi had spoke of her son being gifted as well and she hadn't felt like he understood the stress she felt at the possibility of her son being what they were.

My son, I don't know. It makes me sick to think so. I don't want him to but I'm also afraid the pack is going to make me.

Her voice lowered to a sad whisper.

Sometimes I think I'll run if it comes down to that. It's not his fault I am what I am.

Hoping to bring a litle more light into their subjects she asked more about his time in Italy. Never one to hold anything back or lie, she felt that maybe she should reserve her distaste for the gifting of her son for later. Just incase. Maybe even being a Nothos didn't stop someone from having a strong loyalty to the pack and suddenly being strict within the ways.

Youuu've been to Italy?! What on earth was that like, i can't even imagen! The most traveling i've done has been from Michigan to here. Total excitement there no doubt. Are you from Italy, have family there? Just like to travel?

She was firing off questions with the quickness and she paused to give him a chance to answer. He was likeable and he felt comfortable to be around. He hadn't elaborated on his gifting but it hadn't been wanted or pleasant and just knowing that little bit gave her a sense of normalcy in the strangest of ways. She wasn't the only one in this sea of madness who didn't think it was the most amazing thing on the planet.
Bastian 17 years ago
He would have been a complete and utter moron, to not have picked up on her hesitation. From the way Diane spoke of pack life, and her changing, it didn’t seem at all unusual to hear she did not want her son to follow her lead. Bastian’s limited ideas on child rearing gave him the same impression. Had the two of them been raised in the pack, knowing no other life, he could also understand the other side. It would be something he assumed he would need to address one day as well. He was glad it would be later, rather than sooner.

“I hope it does not come to that, but should the need arise, I will offer you whatever assistance I can. No one should be faced with such a proposition against their will.”

He hoped she knew his concern and offer was genuine; however, that required trust, and he doubted she knew him well enough yet to trust him with such a life threatening decision.

Not wishing to make her any more uncomfortable, Bastian questioned her no further on that topic. He half grunted when she changed it to a topic he liked even less.

“I have traveled rather extensively, but I was born in Italy. My family was in the wine business, but there was an unfortunate accident several years back, and they were lost in a plane crash.”

His voice held no emotion, one way or the other. He had never experienced a loving family, and losing them left no scars on his psyche. It was not a pleasant part of his life, and he chose not to share it with many. In fact, aside from Reign, no one else knew the complete truth of it.

“I have several sisters, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews, but they remained in Italy. I was the only Romallo to leave.”

He hoped she wouldn’t press him any more with regard to that part of his life. He did’t want to be rude, but right now that wasn’t anything he wished to discuss further.

“You should travel…there are so many interesting places to see. When your son is older, it would be quite a teaching experience. Italy has some beautiful places to visit, as well as those steeped in history. Some have been around for hundreds of years, and hold such a wealth of stories. But that can be said of Greece, France…Europe in general, as well as Egypt, and other parts of Africa…the middle east.”

He chuckled when he realized how much simpler he could have said the same thing.

“There is undoubtedly something of value to see anywhere you choose to go"

He didn’t want to bore her with anecdotes from his travels. He assumed it would be much like showing someone vacation slides. The first few would be beautiful, and interesting, but until you visited the places yourself, it was difficult for many to relate.

They were finally closing in on the sight of his house, and Bastian gave a whistle loud enough to peel paint off the side of the house. Immediately the sound of yips and squeals could be heard as two scrawny balls of fluff came tearing out of the house, and headed toward their master. Bastian laughed, and watched as the two border terriers came to a dead stop at Diane’s feet, and began to whimper.

“I apologize for their rudeness, but they’ve little contact with anyone other than me, and they are probably confused by your scent. They need to become accustomed to other people though, and are certainly not dangerous, so feel free to address them, or ignore them, as you choose.”

He continued up the path toward the side of the house, where a porch light illuminated the door he began to open. There were two steps up onto the wide porch that circled the house, and he stood aside holding the door for Diane.

“They’ve not yet been named…I just call them Him, and Her…Her is the one with the one ear that seems to always flop backward.”

He was saving the naming for someone else to do…it was one of those things he didn’t mind waiting for.
Diane 17 years ago
Sometimes you just gotta branch out and explore. I could say 'Holy cow how could you ever leave Italy it's so beautiful!' but the same could be said for anywhere. Some people might say that about Michigan when I'd definatly not agree. She shrugged. Home is where you make it. Sorry to hear about your family though. She didn't want to pry into his life seeing as they had just recently met as humans. It wasn't her place and it was too soon to be that nosey. Things like death were always touch and go.

She couldn't imagen one day seeing all the places he spoke of. All of them sounded amazing to visit and most of which she had daydreamed about exstensivly.

I went to england once when i was a teen. It was different but I enjoyed it. Other than that, Canada is the other 'country' that i've been too. You are definatly a bigger jet setter than I.

She looked up startled as he whistled at his house. It wasn't long before two blurs were charging at them. The blurs turned into fur that had halted at her feet and whimpered. Her eyes got big and she squatted down infront of them.

Hello puppies! They are so beautiful how could anyone ignore them!

She held out her hands palm said up infront of their snouts so that they could smell her before she scratched under their chins.

You know, technically you have named them. Though Him and Her aren't very flattering. She smiled up at Bastian. So if one of them is running around and you want them to stop do you start yelling 'Her come here! Her! sit down! Him go lay down!' Sweet puppies need sweet names, what are you waiting for silly.

The poor dogs no doubt smelled the blood on her and had to be confused between her scent and the other ones. Hopefully it wasn't too offensive to them and that next time they'd recognize her.

You were right, you don't live so close to the water! It wasn't a bad walk though. She stood and walked up the steps and into the open door that Bastian held for her. The homes warmth hit her chilled skin with happiness. It coulda been 60 degrees in the house but it felt nicer than outside. She stepped in and to the side so that he could enter as well.

Thanks for bringing me by here. It's much better than being out in the woods. I had a bad experience not all that long ago out there. One I do not wish to repeat.
Bastian 17 years ago
The pups were amusing, if nothing else, but already Bastian was becoming quite fond of the little rascals. He was relieved to see Diane took to them easily, and vice versa, though he also felt somewhat guilty for not giving them the attention they really needed at their young age. Admittedly, he had thought things between him and Reign would have been better sorted out by now, and the four, well five counting her beast, could have begun spending more time together getting to know each other. In lieu of that, he was happy to see how well they greeted their guest, and responded.

Recalling something she had just said, Bastian countered.

“Ah…but while you may not find beauty in Michigan, possibly because you’re too close to it, the one time I drove through, I found several places that left an impression.”

That was something Bastian had felt absolutely truthful about…he had seen lovely places from coast to coast, during his travels a few years back.

“Mackinac Island…I stayed at the Grand Hotel there once, and found it charming, along with the island itself.”

Unfortunately, that was the only place Bastian could remember in Michigan, but then he had only spent two days and nights there.

He ushered Diane through the house, giving just the briefest of descriptions, as he passed through or by a room, and led her upstairs, and into the guest room.

“There are some female things in that closet, a robe, some sweats, help yourself, they’re all new.” He had taken the liberty of buying a few casual articles of clothing on the off chance that Reign might need a change of clothes sometime, but he saw no reason why Diane couldn’t get use out of them now, especially since she was in need. He could always replace them later.

“They may be a big baggy on you, but possibly more comfortable than that tarp.”

He chucked to think she’d rather continue to wear the rough, stiff, material, even if the clothes were possibly a size to large. Reign did have a few inches over the little female before him, even if Diane wasn’t unusually short.

“There is a bathroom there, with fresh linens…please feel free to make yourself at home, and when ready join me in the kitchen and I’ll have something to help warm your insides.”

Once she was refreshed, Bastian would be happy to take her home, or to wherever she wished to go, in case she had to pick up her son. He was glad he could help someone of his pack, and grinned to think it didn’t hurt that this one was so cute.

He then took his leave, and returned to the kitchen to get the coffee ready, and see what kind of soup he might be able to offer Diane.
Diane 17 years ago
She closed the door as he walked away and examined the room. It looked cripsy and clean. Unused even. No telltale signs that this was someones bedroom and they may come in at any moment and demanded to know who she was.

Stepping to the closet she opened it and eyed the clothing quizically. Why in the world did he have womens clothing? Suddenly she no longer felt so comfortable, something felt weird. The clothing though, was bound to be warmer and more comfortable than her toga tarp. Putting the weirdness in her stomach aside she dressed quickly in a pair of grey sweats and a tshirt.

She wadded up the tarp and stepped to the door. Passing a mirror along the way she blanched. Her hair was a tangled mess and nearly impossible to smooth down. With a shrug she went out the door, looking both ways before completly entering the hallway. Still half exspecting a crazy female to come charging at her. Bastian was not lingering nearby so she quietly slipped down the steps. As she neared the mainfloor the smell of coffee filled her nostrils. Following the scent she made way to the kitchen.

Ok, so. Will someone be comming home here shortly and then be very angry to see me in their clothing? How fast do I need to escape and where is the nearest emergency exit?

She was only half joking as she really did not want to be the start of some drama. No doubt her attractive packmate had a mate of his own to come home to. He hadn't mentioned one, but then again she hadn't asked.
Bastian 17 years ago
He found he was in luck, when he opened the freezer. A couple weeks prior he'd cooked up a large pot of stew, and since he only had himself to feed, the leftovers had been frozen into individual pots, ready to reheat in the microwave. So much had happened since then, that he had forgotten his convenient foresight. By the time Diane reappeared, the island in the kitchen had been set for two, and along with the steaming bowls of the hearty dish, he set out oven warmed bread, butter, and cups ready for coffee. There was nothing fancy about the setting, but the casualness fit the man, the home, and the circumstance.

"No, it's just me, the pups, and the menagerie in the barn. The clothing...well the clothing was purchased for just this type of situation."

He couldn't help but grin at the image of Diane. The clothing was such that it wasn't intended to be form fitting, but on her it could have stood to be just a little smaller. At least it was dry, and hopefully softer than what she had been forced to wear earlier.

"I do have a woman friend...well, that's a long story, but rest assured she'll never know the difference. I'm just happy I was able to help out. Please. why don't you have a seat, and put something warm inside you. It's just stew, but it's hot and hearty."

He broke off a piece of the sourdough, and put it on the small plate next to his bowl, before buttering it. At that point he moved to the other counter to pick up the pot of fresh brewed coffee.

"Coffee? I do have tea as well, if you prefer."

He couldn't remember what flavor tea he'd picked up, mainly because he never drank tea, but the girl at the market had assured him it was a favorite among the clientèle.

He chuckled again, and shook his head slightly. Sometimes he surprised himself at the thoughts that passed through his mind these days. Women's clothing...tea...he guessed it was probably age, more than anything, that had begun to domesticate him. He wondered what Diane must think of him.
Diane 17 years ago
She raised an eyebrow at him with a smirk.

Frequently rescuing damsels in distress? Is Nachton full of us?

She walked over to the island and inhaled the aroma of thick and hot stew. Where in the world had he produced this from? She didn't see any pots and pans out, maybe it was from a can, though it didnt smell like it. She sat on a stool infront of the steaming dish.

Coffee would be great thank you. So she won't know the difference eh? Women always know the difference, sooner or later.

Men, always the same, they always thought they could get away with murder and noone would notice. She held out her hand with the stiff tent like tarp spilling over.

Do you have somewhere to dispose of this? It's rather larger, I don't know if it will fit in your trash. Did you make this stew?
Bastian 17 years ago
Diane’s expression was blatant…the raised eyebrow, and small turn up on the corner of her mouth, but Bastian wasn’t sure exactly what she was implying. And then she explained.

“Strangely enough, though I really don’t solicit it, I have often found myself lending assistance to pretty women.” A short bark of a sad laugh escaped Bastian’s mouth, before he continued. “As long as you don’t have a boyfriend nearby, who, in a fit of rage might try to separate my arms from my body, I don’t mind. That is how I got into this situation to begin with though.” Not that Bastian had really considered Khalani much in the way of the looks department, but he knew some had. And Michael had been her boyfriend at the time, no matter who tried to prove otherwise.

But sufficient time had passed since Bastian’s initial werewolf encounter, and he really was able to laugh about it now…a little.

“I guess I’ll take your word on that, though I think if you were to meet Reign, you might reconsider. She’s really nothing like most women, present company excluded, at least until we know each other better.” Bastian’s eyes showed his merriment, and delight in talking to Diane. She was someone he felt he could be open enough with to discuss something he dared not talk to many others about. Even Reign wasn’t really keen on discussing the wolf part of his life, though in her defense, Bastian knew it was a great deal to take in all at once.

“But talking about another woman is rude, so here…” Pouring a cup of coffee, Bastian exchanged it for the tarp. Carrying the stiff material to the door, he opened it, and leaned outside far enough to reach the nearby waste can. There was a smaller version under the kitchen sink, but he held that in reserve for smaller, messier items, and usually emptied it into the outdoor one at least once a day.

Seeing the young woman seemed a lot more at ease now, Bastian grabbed a cup of coffee himself, and sat on a stool to the opposite side of the counter.

“I did make the stew, but have yet to master the fine art of cutting down recipes, and wound up with too much to eat all at once.” Gesturing with his spoon toward her bowl, Bastian took a decent size bite of the hot concoction, and swallowed. “Fortunately, it freezes well, and reheats almost as good as fresh in the microwave.”

Nodding toward the appliance on the counter, Bastian took another bite before he slathered a hunk of bread with butter, and set it on the small plate near his bowl.

“I suppose being a mother to a small boy, you must cook? Perhaps you can show me an easy way to cut down a recipe sometime? I know I should get one of those cookbooks ‘for one’, but they always seem so…sad, somehow, and I just can’t make myself buy one.”

He chuckled, only half serious. He had never really put much stock in what other people thought about him, always tending to be a much harsher critic of himself. Yet buying something that so obviously said ‘you are alone’, was still a bit rough for him to take. He knew he was, of course, but hope held a huge part of his heart, that one day that would change.

“I’m sorry, but did you say someone was taking care of your son?”

Surely that must have been the case, but Bastian couldn’t remember if Diane had made a point of mentioning it or not, and his curiosity was now being piqued.
Diane 17 years ago
She laughed with her mouth full of stew and came dangerously close to choking when he spoke of not wanting to buy a cook book.

They aren't sad! I have a ton of them. They are little idea books and they help make dinners have more excitment. Otherwise it would be butter noodles, meatloaf and roast every few days rotated. But easiest way to cut down a reciepe is just to half everything. Six carrots? Cut only three. Cup a flour, use just a half. Things like that.

She ate another bite of the stew and reached for the bread and butter. Swinging her feet as she buttered a slice she swallowed a lump of potato. He had mentioned his lady friends name, which was somewhat decent. He wasn't secretly hiding another womans precense in the home. She wondered why the room with clothing for her was so unused. Not much in the kicthen either had a womans touch to it. With a mental shrug she thought about the last time she had a boyfriend and remembered what a piece of trash he was.

No, no boyfriend. Fear not. The last one of those woulda been my son's father, who left when he heard there was a little one on the way. Besides he couldn't of ripped any limbs off of you body if he tried.

She smiled. He definatly would not of stood a chance against Bastian. The scenerio played out in her mind and she was quick to determined that she would actually pay to see that show. She finished buttering the bread and dipped it into the stew, making it smushy and delectible.

Conviently enough the pack has a nanny sort of. She doesn't stay at my place perse, but if i need to leave him I just sign the form at her station. His room is monitored and she periodically makes her rounds to check on the children. He's a really good sleeper and should he wake up, she has like a skeleton key to get in all the little apartments. It was one of the selling points to stay at the big creepy mental institution the pack calls home.

She pointed to the food with her spoon.

For not using recipe books you sure can cook good. I don't think you even need to bother reading any.

A man who could cook? This Reign girl was missing out if she wasn't here more often. There were not many, if any men who took the time to actually make a meal, then have enough sense to make small portions to put away for later.

When did you get into town here?
Bastian 17 years ago
Diane seemed easy to laugh, and that made her company more enjoyable. Bastian might cut a dour figure most of the time, but he really did have a good sense of humor when he let it out. Unfortunately he just didn’t get a lot of opportunities falling at his feet, and he wasn’t the type to seek it out specifically.

He continued to eat as Diane responded, and found he was hungrier than he had originally thought. From the looks of the way Diane ate, he had to assume she liked the stew as well, and garnered pleasure from the knowledge.

He nodded along as she gave her accounting of the set up the pack had for children. If nothing else, Bastian had found the pack’s treatment of their future to be inspiring. It was another part of the man that many wouldn’t have expected…his interest in children.

“Ideally, you sound like you’d rather have a home of your own, but with the way things are now, it must be comforting knowing the pack is there for you.”

He gulped his coffee, the heat not really bothering his mouth. Other perks that came with his monthly changing, and ability to communicate with animals, were his extra sensitivity to smells, sounds, and sights, as well as his increased strength, stamina, and ability to tolerate pain well.

“However, if you ever feel the need to get away…” Too much contact with people was something he could relate to. “Or if you get to feeling you’d like to introduce your son to horses, or country life, my door is open.”

He knew he was taking a risk, giving Diane freedom to come and go, but something else he had learned through the years was you had to trust someone. So far he could see no reason for her to take advantage of him.

“I do cook, and what I cook I think is decent, but I don’t have a very large menu yet. I have a nice, elderly woman who comes in and cleans, as well as make me up a few meals each week, so I only need to supplement those. I enjoy cooking though, and hope to continue to expand my repertoire. I’m glad you like it.”

He finished his bread, and then his stew, and carried the plate and bowl to the nearby sink. When he returned to his seat he poured another cup of coffee.

“It’s been a few months now, since I arrived in Nachton. I did a little scouting around before I got here, and knew I would probably settle, at least for a little while. As it turned out, I’m very happy I found this place, and that my practice took off so well.

What is it you do, if you don’t mind me asking…and can I assume that since you’ve found a place in the pack, you’ll be staying on as well?”
Diane 17 years ago
His offer to let Joey come see the horses and to use his home as an escape was genuine by his tone and she smiled.

Why thank you, I didn't know besides adorable dogs you also have horses, i'm sure my son would love to see them sometime. As long as they don't mind being called 'kitty cat'. It has been his favorite name for all things for the longest time.

Using her bread to swipe the last bit of stew from the bowl she set her spoon inside the dish. Bastian seemed a little less formal and reserved now that he had eaten. Or maybe it was becuase he was in the comforts of home, either way, Dia was interested in hearing more about him and wasn't so much afraid of crossing the line between pack friendly idle chatter and getting to know someone. When he spoke of his practise her ears perked up.

Your practise? Are you a doctor of some sorts?

Her job paled in comparison to being interesting with a doctor. It wasn't that she was ashamed of what she did, it was just she wasn't to proud of it either. She wanted to do better but the lure of money in hand every day when you left work was hard to break from. Hell with it.

I'ma a waitress. At one of the diner's on the strip. Not to flashy, not to fancy, but it brings me money and I get to see a variety of people come and go. It's the ulitmate in people watching. And let me tell you, Nachton has some strange peoples in it. Ultimatly once I get my feet on the ground and i'm up and running and feeling secure, i'd like to move out of the pack residence. It's just to convient and helpful right now though. But I have no plans for leaving here any time soon in the future. There is nothing out there for me and I feel this is where i need to be. Good or bad.

Seeing as how she orignially had fled from Michigan because of the reoccurant nightmares and constant fear of her attacker returning, it was ironic that she felt safe there in Nachton. She had only been in the town a couple months before she had been attacked. What was with the men in the world? Always after something without ever asking. Whether it be sex, or money, or a persons life. It was ridiculous.

You are easy to warm up to. Maybe it's because we've met as wolves before, but, there's something almost non threatening about you. I appreciate that, and your hospitality. Hard to find these days.
Bastian 17 years ago
“My first love was a horse, a gift from my grandmother. We became fast friends, and I had him with me almost constantly until just a few years ago when he died. I have since acquired a few new horses, but I will always have a special place in my heart for my old friend.” Bastian laughed softly and shook his head.

“Sorry…I never let myself get sentimental, or didn’t until I began getting older. It is a strange thing that aging has on some people.”

Shaking his head again, Bastian’s grin widened.

“Kitty cat? You may want to try and change that to ‘puppy’ at the very least.” Bastian preferred dogs to cats, and with his new physiology, he found he’d become extra sensitive to feline fur, but he still found them fascinating animals. It just seemed rather ironic that the son of a werewolf would refer to animals in such a way. Of course the boy was so young, it wasn’t something he thought anyone would take exception to.

“I’m a veterinarian …I specialize in horses, but I treat all animals, and I have a boarding kennel as well. It was a natural progression, since once I turned I found I had an almost…supernatural…ability to feel what animals feel. It’s much more acute with canines, but it does extend beyond dogs, and with equines I think part of it is the respect I have always had for the species,”

He shrugged lightly, unable to explain or define his reasons very well. It was what it was, and he chose to use it to his advantage.

Being a waitress, to Bastian, was an admirable pursuit. He knew it required a special person, who had patience, and strength, as well as a happy personality. At least if they wanted to succeed, they needed to show their patrons a smile, even when they weren’t up to it. It was because of this that Bastian always tipped well. He knew he certainly would never be able to take the aggravation a lot of people dished out, without considering the fact that the poorly cooked steak was not the waitresses fault, or the fact that their eggs were cold by the time the waitress got around to delivering them. Unfortunately the waitress became the only person a customer could vent their displeasure with, since the cooks were sequestered safely in their kitchens.

“I don’t know if I can be of help, but when the time comes, I do have some connections in the business world. I may be able to call in a favor or two.”

He had even considered taking on some help in his own office, but now wondered if the young woman would take exception to any offer he’d give.

Only considering it for a few moments, Bastian put it on the table.

“I don’t know if you have the experience, or even the desire, but should you tire of your current job, and consider changing careers, I am looking for someone to help out in the office. Right now I do all my own billings, ordering of supplies, scheduling of appointments…”

Now he felt a little silly for the offer. Certainly if Diane had any interest in something like that of an assistant, she would have been looking for it now.

“Don’t answer…it’s an option…just in case you decide to try something different in the future.”

Picking up her dish, he set it in the sink and remained standing, but turned back to face her.

“Well, we really met as pack-mates first, but then that initial meeting wasn’t much was it. Meeting as wolves, we were about as true as we could be…you can’t hide anything when you’re reduced to such a basic being. I think you’re right…I think maybe that’s why it is so easy for us to talk.”

Chuckling, Bastian couldn’t see anyone thinking he was a threat of any kind. Sure he had the strength to tear the arms off even a very large man, and would do whatever he had to, to protect those he loved, but it just wasn’t his nature to show a vicious side.

“I’m very glad I don’t frighten you, though I’m not sure what it does to my male ego to hear I’m non-threatening.”

His grin was indulgent, and he was sure she knew he was teasing.

But the night was getting on, and if she needed a ride back home, he knew he’d better be about it soon.

“Shall I drive you home now? I really don’t mean to rush you, and would enjoy it if you would like to come by for a visit…anytime, but I do have to meet with a breeder tomorrow, early. One of my clients has a mare he’s having trouble with…seems she’s a feminist, and doesn’t relish the idea of motherhood at this time in her life.”