How long it had been, since Bastian made peace, he wasn't sure. Hours turned into days, and days turned into weeks...or had they...he couldn't remember.
When he had reached the ranch after leaving Reign, he had tied on a pretty good one. So good in fact that he had to leave the running of the clinic to Diane the next day. Luckily the animals must have sensed something for they were all doing their best to remain illness and injury free. He knew his luck wouldn't hold, and even if that wasn't an issue, he knew he had to get his act together damn quick. Bastian had what he wanted, what he knew was best, for both him, and Reign, and now he was finished wallowing in self pity. Life had to get back to normal...but he had to start living again for that to happen.
The night was perfect. It had been a warm day, but when the sun went down and a breeze kicked up, the air cooled off in a way that begged to be enjoyed. How nice that it happened to be a full moon as well. Bastian needed the change this month, more than he had in years, and he wanted to spend it out under the stars, in a place he was feeling more and more at home in all the time. He had stopped drinking the night before, spending his day 'drying out', and though he felt a little fuzzy headed, for the most part he was fine.
The drive from his place to the clearing was uneventful, and he arrived quicker than he remembered it taking last time. He parked the Hummer under a tree, then walked up to the Andre Tree, and wove a blue scarf among its branches. The scarf was one he had given to Reign, years ago in college, but that she had left behind, and which he had carried for all those years. Tonight he was embracing the new phase of his life, and pay homage to that which he had shared with Reign.
When he had completed paying respect to his love, Bastian went back to the car where he made his change. Once he was oriented again, his wolf sped off along the path that led to the pines, racing as fast as he'd ever run before.
During all this things at work had been going well. The next day after her non date date with Bastian hadn't been awkward at all. It was quite the opposite. Things were...comfortably normal. She had kept to her word and stopped bringing McDonalds to work, instead opting for more sodium infused meals. Nothing said healthy like Oodles of Noodles. It wasn't much of an upgrade to her eating habits but she felt less self concious at lunch. That didnt stop her from stopping at Mc Donalds on the way home from work to curb her french fry fix.
It was to her surprize one early morning upon showing up to work that the clinic was void of any other human than her. Bastian always beat her there, of course he had it easy it -was- on his property, so she had checked her cell phone for the time. She hadn't arrived early so maybe Bastian was sick. Checking her area for messages she found something of the sorts, it was short and clear. He wouldn't be in today but she was to keep the place open and alert him of any emergencies. Thankfully for both of them that day had been peaceful. The next time she saw Bastian he looked rough but she kept quiet not wanting to bother him. People had their own ways of dealing with illness and stresses and the mothering side of her wanted to offer to make stews and soups and bake all sorts of treats for comfort. It was a struggle but she hadn't made any of the offers remembering that one evening of friendliness didn't ok the flood gates of crazy to open.
To keep herself busy and not worry had been a challenge. This night though, it would be a welcomed freedom to subcumb too. She shifted at the asylum like usual and darted out into the clearing with yips of joy. Her muscles were strong and well formed now a days and just to flex them gave her thrills of exhiliration.
It didn't take her long to find the little patch of dirt she frequented often. Quickly she rolled her scent and the smell of the earth together, leaving her red coat dusty. Placing her hind quaters on the ground her ears perked up. She wasn't alone this evening and she wondered how near the other or other's were. With a howl she alerted anyone in the vicinty of her location and waited patiently to see if they would answer or come closer.
He had been running for what seemed like an hour, and was only now becoming very slightly winded. At one time, when he ran regularly, he could go for up to three hours without feeling the slightest twinges of tiring. It was a habit he now hoped to get back into...now that he had no distractions at home.
Taking it upon himself to find out who had joined him, Bastian reversed his position and ran toward the scent and sound. It took him a very short time to reach a small clearing and the second he recognized the wolf his whole demeanor lifted.
As if he had springs in his paws, Bastian lept and bounced next to Diane, with a little too much momentum behind him. As he crashed into her, he tried to reverse himself, and did lessen the impact some, but they both still took a tumble in the soft dirt, coating themselves as if with bath powder. Bastian came up sneezing, and chuffing, but not at all unhappy. In fact, if possible, the tumble seemed to invigorate him even more than he had been, and without thinking really at all, he turned, and nipped Diane on the rump, before dashing off, hoping she would follow.
Hopping to her feet she swiveled her head around in time to catch Bastian racing back off into the trees. This certainly was a change in moods for him. That was another perk of 'going wolf', human problems didn't seem so large anymore. Her tongue lolled out the side of her mouth as she darted after him her mind intrigued with his sudden enthusiasm.
Speed was in her favor tonight as she caught up to him very quickly. Throwing her weight into him she managed a forceful shoulder slam before bolting past him, using her shove as a distraction to get ahead. Turning suddenly she stopped and faced him. Dancing in place she barked and wagged her tail.
It was good to see him lively.
Still that didn't blind him to the scent of other females.
The night he had met up with Mosi and Diane, Bastian had been acutely aware of Diane, and her female presence. It had been unnerving to find himself drawn to someone besides Reign, but he chalked it up to the newness of his pack exposure...the unique position he was now in...being with a female like him. Having luck on Bastian's side, Mosi had moved in to help Diane when she needed it. That act relieved Bastian of any responsibility, and in turn he soon forgot those feelings he had. Tonight those feelings were back, and stronger than the last time. Tonight he was drawn to Diane, and there was nothing standing in his way.
Intrigued by her actions, Bastian howled with pleasure. In his eyes Diane, and the way she pranced around, epitomized the wolf life. Here, as they were now, they were free to be whatever nature allowed. There were no trappings of convention, no man made barriers to get in their way...here they were free...here, they just were.
Wanting to explore the new exhilarating feelings, Bastian bounced on his front paws, head low, rump in the air, with tail flying...side to side, and barking. It was a challenge for Diane to come closer, while positioning himself to do the same. When she didn't move quick enough to suit him, Bastian lunged forward, and caught the soft fluffy fur on the side of her head in a playful tug between his teeth. There was no threat of hurting her, he made certain to not exert any strength at all. Instead he only hoped to keep her attention, while he rolled her over, and wrestled teasingly. It was hilarious fun, and it also allowed the close contact he wanted, hopefully showing her his interest.
Bastian had her in a playful pin and she pawed up at his chest. Twisting her head out his grasp she caught one of his fore legs in between her teeth. She applied pressure but not enough to hurt or do any damage. She let out a half growl of teasing.
The tiny part of her the rested in the back of her mind during these times as a wolf grew even more curious with each movement of Bastian's. It was hard for that human part of her memory to apply the actions of Bastian the wolf with the Bastian of recent days. The wolf that she was didn't care, she like his scent and at the moment it was all over her.
Opening and closing her jaws on his leg she gnawed harmlessly.
That matter was no longer an issue. Reign was clear that she wanted no interference from him in how she ran her life. She could take care of herself, and owed him no allegiance. Now all he needed to do was to practice what she asked for.
Diane's nips and tugs made Bastian laugh...if wolves laughed. Whatever the case, he felt so lighthearted, and jubilant it became almost impossible to stop the pseudo attack. Finding a way out of her grasp, he ran only far enough to have room to turn around and return, nudging, growling, and taunting her with soft bites to whatever part of her anatomy he could secure between his teeth.
At some point, still only slightly tired, but wanting a short break, Bastian keeled over beneath Diane, and played dead, but only until she paused. Once he was able he nudged her again, but this time more affectionately, than playfully...slowly, along her neck and face, as if he was testing the waters, and thanking her at the same time. More than once lately Diane had come to his rescue, and he appreciated it deeply.
Before she got the chance to flee for safety and to ready her own attack, she felt him nuzzle her. Her muscles became less ridged and the thoughts to run diminished. She planted her behind in the soft dewey grass next to him, careful not to collapse onto his furry torso in one bulky movement as she scooted close. She began to groom the top of his head between his ears affectionately. His coat was simular to hers with few exceptions. Where her points tapered off into grey his reflected the absence of light and were black. The familiar coat color had been one of the happy visuals from when she had first arrived. It was silly, but still comforting to look like the others. The comfort extended father here as they sat together in a close huddle.
From afar they may have looked like one solid two headed beast in the moonlight. The sheer size of them together would manage a great fright out of any human. The thought of that idea made Diane pause and smile inwardly.
Finishing her grooming, Diane shifted her weight to her side and placed a paw on his back. It was the equivalent of putting an arm around him if she were able to. It was good to not have to need words, that simple acts alone could portray meanings of gratitude or as on her end appreciation.
Bastian didn't mistake Diane's movements for anything more than friendship, and platonic affection, yet he already understood there was more he wanted from this female. If this evening had occurred between their two human counterparts, he would have reacted like he had many times in the past. He had understood how to treat women from his early teens, and never felt the least bit awkward since. But in his wolf, Bastian had a LOT to learn, and until he felt reasonably secure in the ways of a male wolf, he would be hesitant to proceed beyond the superficial.
He also cared a lot about Diane, and the last thing he wanted to do was anything she might misconstrue, or become hurt by. Coming off a broken relationship obviously also contributed to his shyness in the matters beyond friendship.
In the position Diane was in at the moment, she was enough off center that it required little force on Bastian's part to push her over. Once she was down, he slowly laid his head on her front flank, and rubbed against her fur. Dropping his body to its side, he remained resting that way, and licked along her ear, and jaw. He couldn't be sure if it was something she might enjoy, but it was the best he could figure out for now. It seemed easy and natural anyway, to treat her this way.
And he had no doubts if she DIDN'T like it, she would certainly let him know, post haste.
On the other hand, laying there with him on warm earth she felt like two kids watching clouds together, and like most kids she had questions she wanted to ask. So in this case even as he licked her and she closed her eyes halfway, she wished she had a voice to speak with.
Most importantly she was concerned with his well being. He seemed alright now but what would tomorrow bring? Would he be as silent and missing as he had been? Work was a completely different place without the usual Bastian. Hell, life was completely different without the usual Bastian. She hadn't fully realized just how much she counted on him to just be around and how much that made life better.
She shifted her head to lay it upon his closest front leg and looked up at him with with a small pleading whine. Expressions were not only given to those who were human and as her ears drooped back her face was a mixture of worry and sadness.
If she was concerned because of some mixed messages he'd been sending out, he could understand. While he knew he had been overstepping in some areas lately, because it seemed so easy and natural he didn't really think beyond that. She gave so much of herself to him, asking nothing in return...he was ashamed of himself for just taking, and not offering more.
They had things to talk about, he knew this, he had just hoped for a little more time to get his life into some kind of order before he opened up that new chapter. The last thing he wanted was to do something to push Diane away, before they even had a chance, and it was now clear that was just what he was risking.
Shifting his body, Bastian gently untangled himself from her, and stood. He had been so comfortable that he now already felt a loss without the feel of her against him. It was unbelievable that of all the women he had dated, and been in contact with, only two had ever effected him this way. Reign, and Diane...different as night and day, yet with both he had felt an immediate attraction that went deeper than lust, or the superficial chemical attraction. Now the question was, what did he do about it?
Barking and jerking his head toward where he had parked the Hummer, Bastian indicated he wanted Diane to follow him. Once he got back to the car he would change, and then see if she was open to conversation. If not, he could wait. One thing he had learned with Reign was patience, and even if he hadn't yet mastered it, he was doing world's better now than he ever had. For all she had done for him, he could definitely give her space and time now.
Her own trot was slowed as the neared his hummer. Her ears stood back up in alert. He was going to change here? Right in front of her? There wasn't a large part of her that would disagree to that visual but to be polite she turned and seated herself in the opposite direction. Slowly her tail wagged.
While he change, both himself and into clothing, Diane realized that they were a good distance from the asylum and her own clothing. Naked walk of shame number two wasn't on her agenda this evening. It was bad enough that Mosi had already viewed her in her birthday suit, but Mosi she assumed was used to people shifting in and out of form so it hadn't been -as- embarassing for him. Bastian was more like her, another Nothos, whom she also had somewhat of a thing for. Dropping the naked bomb seemed rather innapropriate and cocky right now. He was a taken man after all. And her boss.
When she heard two feet instead of four comming closer she stood back up and faced him. A quick bounce closed the distance between the two of them and suddenly she felt tremendously large. She slowly lowered her head and nudged his clothing and looked back over her shoulder. Planting her rump back onto the ground she sat and waited for him to demonstrate if he understood or not.
Turning to see where Diane had gone, he was surprised to see she was sitting with her back to him, as if she didn't want to see anything of him changing. Though he wasn't an exhibitionist, Bastian also had no qualms about his body, or being nude in front of anyone. He imagined her sensibilities of course, and never planned on changing in front of her...yet.
Mentally shaking his head a little in amusement, Bastian changed quickly behind the Hummer, and slipped on an extra pair of running shorts he had stashed in the back of the vehicle, as well as a sweatshirt which had its sleeves torn out. He'd never make GQ in the get up, but he was modestly covered, and comfortable.
Watching her all the while, he really had no clue what she was trying to tell him, pushing at his clothes like she was. And then, at that moment it was as if a light bulb went off over his head, and he laughed. Walking around to the other side of the Hummer, Bastian opened the passenger door, and flattened the seat back until it was horizontal. Even as a wolf, Bastian could see Diane would fit on the seat, and he motioned for her to get in.
"Lets go...I've got another pair of shorts, and a shirt you could wear, but I'll get you back home where you can change if you wish...or...I can take you to the ranch...its closer?"
He had a few things there that would probably fit her well enough until she could get some of her own things, but he'd leave it up to her.
She dashed up on his seat and tried to settle down. Diane had never been in a vehicle while in wolf form and she felt the anxiety building in her chest. Trying her hardest to not damage the fabric of his seats she clung to them and began to pant. Telling herself that most dogs do just fine in cars she tried to relax as he got in the driverseat. Answering his question about where to go was going to be harder to convey than her whole nudity issue. She didn't mind either way where they went, he'd be the one less comfortable at Shady Pines most likely and his place was closer.
Suddenly a thought occured to her, this situation was fastly becomming simular to another encounter they had had over a year ago. She had run into him out by the waterfront after a bad change, and she was wearing a very sexy tattered tarp that she had fished out of the waters when he offered to bring her to his home for warm clothes and shelter. With a great shake of her body she laughed the best way a wolf could.
To his place they would go, if anything for old times sake. She barked at him and laid her muzzle on his arm not knowing how else to tell him to take her to his home.
So he did the best he could to try and sooth Diane, and give her as much calming influence as he could manage, by rubbing her neck, and speaking in low, soft, soothing words of comfort.
When she shook, he couldn't be sure, but he considered she might be laughing, or at least responding in some form of amusement. The only thing he couldn't be sure of was to what she was responding in such manner. He didn't think he had said anything funny. Putting the car into drive, he decided not to waste time trying to figure out something he could more easily address once she was able to change.
In light of her suspected anxiety he almost suggested she change now, but then decided against that. She had spoken before of the difficulty she had in changing sometimes, and didn't want to add to that by his presence. No...he would take her to his house, and give her the time, freedom, and privacy to change when she felt comfortable.
The drive was fairly short, and passed more quickly for Bastian than for Diane, he thought. His hand rarely left the back of her neck that he constantly petted and stroked. Driving one-handed was second nature, and posed no problems, thus allowing him to keep connected to her, offering support. As they turned up the drive, and the ranch came into view, Bastian finally felt himself relax, sure that he had succeeded in getting Diane somewhere safe, and how interesting it turned out to be his home...a place they could now talk about some things, and where he could find out possibly where his life might now be headed, along with hers.
"We made it!"
He grinned her way, and pulled the car up in front of the walkway to his house. The clinic was just down the road to the right, and she had the option of going there, or up to his house...whichever place she felt safer. There were lab coats and scrubs in the clinic...whenever they did surgery Bastian felt not only more proper dressing in those close, but he also felt if anything was going to get bloodied, there was no reason it had to be anyone's own personal attire.
Up at the house there were some clothes...robes, and a few things he had bought for Reign...some she had worn and left behind, and a couple things that she had never even tried on, all of which would be large on Diane, but would give her a sense of propriety, at least for now.
Opening the door for her, he stepped back and let her go wherever she wanted.
Diane remembered where the clothes she had worn before came from and assumed they were still located in the same room. Once Bastian let her in, the room upstairs was her first destination. Sniffing the air inside the room she noted that she was alone, not that she expected otherwise but one could never be to sure. Shoving the door closed with her shoulder it accidently slammed and she winced. Diane listened closely downstairs and when she was satisfied that she was alone and safe to shift she did so quickly and without harm. The ease to which she shifted nowadays made her proud.
Pulling the closest open Deja Vu hit her and she smirked. There was more to choose from in the closet this time and Diane was sure that more of Reign's belongings had made it here. It still felt creepy putting on another womans clothes no matter what the situation was, so she grabbed a pair of jeans that were undoubtly too long and resulted in her cuffing the bottoms, and a plain black sweatshirt. She checked herself in the familiar mirror and shrugged at her frumpy appearance. It was better than mens clothing for sure.
As she descended the stairs she spoke finally for the first time in hours.
"I don't think I ever want to ride in a car again as a wolf. That wasn't exactly good times!"
She wasn't sure if he could hear her because she didn't know where he was, but it felt good to say it regardless.
He followed her lead to the house and unlocked the door, letting her inside. When she headed upstairs he knew she remembered her last visit when she utilized some of the clothes in the closet, and left her to do her thing. Thinking a glass of brandy was what would benefit him, Bastian went into his office and poured two snifters, taking a big gulp from his glass, before replacing it with more.
Walking to the window, he pushed back the blinds and looked outside on the darkness. He could make out the clinic, as well as the Hummer, and beyond where the woods began. Dios how he loved this place, but how his plans for it were now all but dashed. Thinking of having Reign here, him going to work every morning, and her training, or going on tour, then sharing their days...everything he had imagined over the past ten years was gone. Everything he had planned on no longer existed on his agenda for the future. Yet his most disconcerting thoughts right now were not how sad he felt, but how he didn't feel more unhappy.
Further musings were set aside when he heard Diane coming down the stairs. Moving from the window he saw she was wearing jeans and a sweat shirt, and he grinned at the image she presented. He chuckled further when she spoke of the difficult vehicle ride.
"I didn't think it was, from your behavior. I can't solve all your problems but maybe you could bring a couple changes of clothes over, and I'll put one in the back of the Hummer. Twice now it would have been convenient for you if we had planned that ahead of time."
The clothes were big on her, but not near as big as if she had worn his. Reign was a healthy woman, and her clothes on Diane were roomy. But Bastian couldn't get over how cute she looked...how 'huggable'...that was the word. He didn't pursue it though...they had things to talk about first.
"I poured you a brandy...might help take a chill off if you suffer from one. I can make coffee, or, well, you know what I have..." She had been around the house now a few times, and should know by now he always had wine, and beer, along with some random sodas, and tea too.
He picked up the other snifter and handed to her. If she chose not to accept it, she could make herself at home with whatever else she wanted. Eventually he hoped to learn what her likes and dislikes were, but for now he had to rely on her to tell him.
"Would you like to go out on the porch, or I can light a fire...?"
The night air was still comfortable, but Diane looked like she might still be cold, and a fire would be no trouble. His main concern was that she would stick around a while, so he could fill her in on what was going on in his life, and get a sense of how she felt about it all. While he had feelings for her, and got the impression she liked him too, he didn't know for sure if she had any thoughts about the two of them together. If there were no feelings, he had to be careful how he approached her, since he didn't want to lose her friendship, or her help around the clinic either. The last thing he wanted to do was to drive another woman from his life.
"I dunno, I'm thinking ill fitted clothing is a good look and I'm going to bring it back into style. Besides I think I saw in US Weekly that rolled jeans is back. Next time though I will be fully prepaired to expect the unexpected and be ready for it."
She ambled into the room still a little self concious that he might be mad about changing back so soon and accepted the brandy from him. She had never had brandy before and it was a good enough time as any to try it. Plus she didn't want to be rude and waste what he had already poured.
"The brandy will work, never had it before but I'll give it a go. No need to make anything else. I will also have to pack a spare bottle of Bailey's Irish Creme with those clothing next time. That's good to sip and not worry about becomming overly intoxicated." She joked in weary hopes that the brandy was simular to the other girly liqueurs she enjoyed. "Let's go out to the porch. At Shady Pines there's really no 'porch area' and even if there was it would be under surveillance like most of the place is. So I like that you have a uncreepy porch. It's nice."
She waited for him to go out into the night first, still trying to figure out what to say in her mind. It was always easier in her head, words flowed out like nothing, and scenerios usually ended better too.
"So...it was good to see you out tonight, enjoying yourself. I didn't think I'd run into you out there."
That had come out lamely but she guessed it sounded better than, 'You've been looking a bit rough lately I didn't think in my wildest dreams I'd find you in the clearing tonight having fun.' That would have been a little too harsh. So maybe not all the scenerios were well thought.
"I wouldn't lose too much sleep over that...even in clothes that are too big, you manage to make them look stylish." He could have gone on and said more about how cute she looked but didn't think it was entirely appropriate quite yet.
At the mention of the liquer Bailey's, Bastian knew he would add that to the list of groceries to have delivered. All his groceries were delivered weekly from a list he sent the market on the internet. It save him a great deal of time, and removed the need for him to go into the store...something he never enjoyed, at least when it was for mundane items like food stuffs.
"Be careful with the brandy, if you're used to Bailey's...I'm afraid it packs quite a punch by comparison." Opening the door for her to go out onto the porch, Bastian watched her casually, hoping the brandy didn't take her breath away. She might develop a taste for the dark amber liquid, or not, it didn't matter. He only wanted her relaxed, and thought it might help her a little.
Again he chuckled when he looked around and was glad she didn't think his porch was 'creepy'. He had always loved that part of the house, and often enjoyed early morning coffee, or late night brandys sitting in the traditional rockers.
"I'm glad you decided to go for a run as well. I always forget how much nicer it is to have company on nights like tonight. I hope I didn't spoil your evening of solitude..."
He suspected if she hadn't wanted his company she wouldn't have joined him to begin with, but he also didn't want her to feel she ever owed it to join him in situations like that. He rather hoped she would want to.
"And I apologize for being less than companionable lately...there just isn't any good way to break a relationship. I am hoping Reign and I can remain friends...I would truly hate to lose all contact with her...but with all we've been through together...even knowing this is for the best doesn't lessen the pain."
While he was talking, Bastian stared out into the night, not wanting to see how Diane felt about what he was saying...yet. He was pretty sure there was a connection between the two of them, and hoped with time he would get to know her better, but it had been a long time since he had entered into a new kindred connection, and it felt as if he was walking a strange path at the moment. It wasn't as bad as when he was younger...that first time with Reign had been hell, but even with all his experience, because he rarely cared about what the other person thought of him, when he did care it made him feel almost as awkward as when he was a teen.
He pushed those feelings back down deep, and turned to look at Diane, his anxiety now closed to being subdued.
"I will probably always love her, but not in the way I did once. We want different things out of life, I've known this for some time, but refused to believe it. I wasn't being fair to her, hoping she would someday have a change of heart. Our agendas are almost polar opposites..."
The brandy was having the desired effect on him...he hoped Diane was feeling less tense as well.
He directed her outwards onto the porch where she spotted two of the most adorable things she had seen in a while. Rocking chairs. The wooden rockers were like something out of a movie or better yet the front of a Cracker Barrel restaruant. She almost felt like a kid again sliding into those chairs and she resisted the urge to start rocking like a maniac. Some desires never faded away no matter how old you got.
"I love rockers!" She mused outloud as a large smile crept over her face. "No, no don't spend a moment worrying if you interupted anything. I'm always running alone. It was nice to have someone around." What she meant was 'It was nice having you there.', but that wasn't exactly appropriate, not in the context she meant it.
Lifting the snifter to her mouth only a few drops of liquid was able to slip inside before she choked and nearly spit out the brandy. Her reaction wasn't caused by the intensity of the amber drink but what he had said.
"What!? You two aren't together anymore? I didn't.....I thought you were sick or something with the Kadzait's. Ohhh..." A break up between Reign and Bastian hadn't even been on the list of options for his recent behavior. Well it may have been on there for a few fleeting seconds before she dismissed the idea. She was under the assumption they had been together for nearly forever and that wasn't about to change. How wrong she had been. "I'm so sorry."
Without a second thought she took a large gulp of the brandy and immediatly regretted it. It burned like fire and she closed her now watering eyes. Opening them again Bastian was looking at her as he spoke. What was he saying? She was still completely stunned by the new information.
"That sucks." Another lame statement, god she was full of them. She was at a loss for words when what he previously had said caught up in her mind like a tape being fast forwarded.
"Well, you know, at least your trying to be positive and smart about it. Your right though it's never easy, specially given the time you've spent together." Was she trying to make him feel worse? Thinking it was probably a good time to shut up she took another quick swig and winced.
Suddenly she was very glad she hadn't gone nude in front of him after the change. A new world of self conciousness opened up before her. Maybe she should put the snifter of liquor down, as she had even -more- reason to not end up drunk, but the need to steady her nerves kept her from doing that.
"Is there anything I can do for you? Did you want to take more time off from work? I can make some calls and rearrange major appointments if that's the case. It wouldn't be a problem."
He was glad to see Diane liked them, and her enthusiasm jump started his own. Even if they wouldn't be used by the original intendees, it looked like they would be used in the manner and spirit he had purchased them for. Bastian waited for Diane to be seated before he took his chair, and found himself grinning like a fool. He quickly tried to get his composure, not wanting to delve into these new feelings just yet. Her response to his news helped.
"Sick? No...I can't remember the last time I was sick...I'm sure it must have been in college, before I was bitten...seriously, I think being a werewolf has given me a much stronger immune system. I've often thought of doing some sort of study, I probably have all the equipment I'd need out there in the clinic..."
He shook his head in dismay...had he always been this easily distracted, or was this just another by-product of the breakup?
"The Kadzait matter is over, for now. Since I no longer have anyone I am allowed to worry about in that way, all I can do is go on with my life, and hope for the best."
He smiled at Diane then, a small sense of relief infused with the growing sense of caring about her.
"It does help to know that you are strong...all that vampire hunting, and kidnapping aside, knowing you have your wolf strength lets me know I don't need to go to extremes for your safety. Though I would still caution you...when I said this guy was big...I really meant it."
Yes, no matter what he would probably always worry to some degree about the women in his life, Reign, Sabine, and now Diane, but with Diane it was more like a shared knowledge that they were both more evenly matched than it had been with Reign, or would ever be with Sabine. Sabine...who he had yet to hear a response from with regard to his letter, and was growing more concerned about because of it. He hoped she didn't hate him for the turn his life had taken.
He waved her sympathies away.
"I am too, but I'm glad I didn't waste any more of Reign's life before doing what I should have done months ago. She already gave up enough years married to someone she shouldn't have been married to...I'm glad we didn't make the same mistake."
Her comeback took him a bit off guard, and Bastian laughed.
"It does 'suck'...but I guess its all a part of life." He didn't want to go all philosophical now...he had been doing too much of that lately. He liked the base, and natural way the evening had started...feeling...experiencing...he wanted to get that mood back.
"No...work helps actually...gives me something to think about that isn't relative...to the break up, that is. I appreciate you looking out for me though, it means a lot to have you here Diane...more than I can say in fact...for now."
He wasn't trying to be cryptic, but he found himself saying things he had no business in doing now. For all intents and purposes he knew he was in a period of mourning...grieving for a lost love, and life that might have been. To get overly involved with someone else so soon would probably be disastrous...at least that was pretty much what he had read on the subject...it even had a name...rebound.
Diane deserved better, and hell, so did he.