It's 6 am (Attn: Vaughn)

Habit was a powerful thing, her body knew it was time to wake. Without opening her eyes Thérèse stretched, and immediately winced her whole body ached. Any forgetfulness sleep had imparted was lost the night came flooding back to her. The doctor had given her some pain killers, she hadn't touched them maybe she should.

Slowly she became aware that this was not her rooms. The scent was wrong, well not wrong Vaughn was here, that was the arm around her she knew without opening her eyes so that was right, but the sounds weren't what she was used to either. Bleary eyed and still having no idea where she was, just that she was still in yesterday's cloths, Thérèse slowly eased herself from the small bed. She hoped to keep from disturbing him.

Standing she smiled down at him a soft sad smile she wanted to touch him but was afraid she might wake him. If she wasn't already confused enough having lost a child knowing how much he was willing to risk for her, not knowing how she was held, also... God in heaven she wanted him though. Maybe. He'd said it was possible.

Now though, she had to get to work. Part of it was she simply didn't want to think about any of this right now, it was over whelming. The other part was she didn't want her keeper to know anything was out of the ordinary. Thérèse had an unsettling feeling that the creature kept eyes on her most of the time. Quietly she started for the door to fin her rooms for a shower and a change.

Vaughn Emiliano 13 years ago
Vaughn felt the bed move, a part of him wanted to roll over and go back to sleep. However, it was morning and he should be getting ready for work and something else. There was a feeling on the edge of his consciousness that said he needed to wake up. He knew better than to ignore it and so he fought the rest of the way awake.

Blinking he looked around to see that Therese was headed quietly out the door. The sight of her filled him with hope and happiness before the events of last night returned to weigh down upon him once more. Still, she was beautiful. Even rumpled with tear reddened eyes and sleep tousled hair, Vaughn found her irresistible.

"And just where do you think you're going?" He smiled and propped himself up on one elbow.

Gesturing toward the bed with his other hand, Vaughn said. 'Come back. Its early. Come lay with me a little while longer and then I will make us some breakfast."

She should rest. He wondered where she was headed and why she didn't want to wake him. Was she worried that he hadn't meant what he said before?
Therese 13 years ago
She actually felt a bit guilty, not only for waking him but for sneaking away. Thérèse blushed slightly and hesitated with her hand on the door. Uncharacteristically indecisive she debated between leaving and returning to the small bed. It was only a few minutes and there was something endearing about his subtle concern and rumpled tee shirt. Hesitantly she crept back into bed with him, still afraid to be found out.

"I thought... I would take a shower and go to work."

That sounded much worse when said allowed. Callous. Lord she could do nothing right...
Vaughn Emiliano 13 years ago
Vaughn smiled softly at her when she crawled back into the bed. He curled himself around her again, laying his head against her shoulder and closing his eyes. When she spoke, he snorted slightly.

"Not going to happen."

Perhaps it might if she could give him a good reason for it but he suspected she didn't have one. It was routine and habits had a way of staving off things you didn't want to deal with. Sometimes that was good; sometimes you only put them off for a little while until the hurt was less and you could cope with what needed to be confronted. Other times the putting off becomes a burial and something is lost. Vaughn didn't want that for Therese; she was so full of life, so vital. He longed to see it again.

"I foresee something more relaxing." A plan started forming in his head and he smiled slightly. Leaning up so he could see her, Vaughn gave her his most serious expression. "Come along peacefully and nobody gets hurt. I'm not above kidnapping if necessary." A very true statement, but in this case he would prefer not to resort to that. He favored her with a bright smile and a tender kiss. "Please, Therese. Take a little time."
Therese 13 years ago
If anyone else had said that she would have laughed in their face, or, more likely this morning, bitten them. But it was oddly hard to argue with him, even as he lazed in bed with his head on her shoulder.

"Maybe... I could go in late..."

She didn't sound entirely convinced trying to recall her schedule for the day. It would all be in her phone and she had -no- idea where that was. It was possible that she had actually left it at the office. Her heart, however, was not in the work day, she knew that. She just didn't want to think, or at least to think of something else.

Regarding him seriously Thérèse felt herself back down, it wasn't something she did often or something just anyone could get her to do. But she recognized the truth in his words he would not take no for an answer. She couldn't return his smile, she just didn't... she didn't think she had it in her. But her expression softened and she tentatively returned his kiss.


"D'accord. Some time."

Some was not specific, but truthfully she didn't feel like pushing for specifics. It didn't really matter. What more could her keeper do to her?


((OOC... green is French, but you knew that))
Vaughn Emiliano 13 years ago
He smiled at her, tracing a finger lightly down her cheek. "I am glad that you have decided to come along quietly." Vaughn gave her another soft kiss. He was doing his best to be light hearted, for now. They had talked last night and no doubt they would talk some more. Right now he didn't want her to have to think serious thoughts. Those could come later, after they were fed.

His plan had involved asking her to get some more sleep while he fixed breakfast but he was fairly certain that she would lay awake and stare at the ceiling, worrying and blaming herself. Instead he got up and came over, scooping her up blanket and all much as he had the night before.

"Tu es tres sournois, Demoiselle. I shall have to keep my eyes on you."

Carrying her into the large common area where they first met, Vaughn set her down on the couch and then went into the kitchen. Running a hand through his already messy hair, he contemplated the contents of the refrigerator.

"How does some bacon and eggs sound? Coffee? Some cheese and bread?"

He turned back to give her an encouraging smile while he waited for her answer.

((OOC: You are very sneaky, Young Lady. ))
Therese 13 years ago
The effort was appreciated, she might not quite be able to respond but it was kind of him to offer her any kind of support and encouragement. She softly returned his kiss, gently resting her forehead on his in silent thanks.

She had not been expecting him to pick her up and gave a muffled wordless protest and yet she still clung to him. Although she tensed as they entered the common area. What if some one saw them. Earlier risers were undoubtedly starting to stir. There was no way to explain their behavior.

Snuggling into the corner of the sofa, much as he had found her, Thérèse watched him, and considered smiling, it was rather sweet how hard he was trying, and how his hair stuck up at odd angles. But for every fond glance she gave him there was at least one nervous look to a hall way hoping no one saw them.


"I'm not terribly hungry... perhaps some coffee? Did you need some help?"

At least if she was up and working in the kitchen their being together could be dismissed as coincidence by some one who stumbled upon them. At least if said person didn't pay too much attention to their very disheveled appearances.
Vaughn Emiliano 13 years ago
"No, I can manage the coffee maker." Vaughn grinned at her. "It looks a little complicated but I'm sure there are directions around here somewhere."

As he was saying this he went to the container and found the french roast beans and the grinder. "Dark roast?" He received an affirmative and began to grind up some coffee. Vaughn started the coffee brewing and came over to sit next to Therese.

"Its okay." He placed a hand on her knee, having seen her glance back at the hallway leading to the stairway and other apartments. "I'd prefer to settle things with Etta first and tell the pack but someone seeing us is not the end of the world."

Vaughn leaned closer. "I meant what I said...so if you don't want me. You'd best say so soon."

His voice held quiet confidence but inwardly he dreaded her saying exactly that. He would accept her wishes and go back to drowning himself in the concerns of their people but only if she made it very clear that she did not want him. Otherwise he was prepared to fight for her, her doubts, the pack's censure, other suitors. All of it and more. Being with Therese was worth whatever it took.
Therese 13 years ago
She shook he head at him, but it was only amused disbelief uncertain how much of this was an act for her benefit and how much was true. It didn't matter.

There was a tremendous sense of relief when he sat down next to her, but she didn't know why. Thérèse lay her head on his shoulder heaving a small sigh, feeling slightly better for his presence and the slight physical contact.

She opened her mouth to say that yes, he should. Baby steps. They should not jump into this, spring this on the Pack. It wouldn't be easy to accept under the best of circumstances but for some one to stumble on them now, like this it could be disastrous. And she had -no- idea how his wife would handle it.

Grief made her reckless, she threw good sense out the window and for a brief moment depression turned to passion. No, she couldn't lose him too. Without warning Thérèse half threw herself at him and kissed him. Not a shy, tentative or retiring kiss, it would not be something that could be dismissed as merely friendly no every last bit of feeling she had, went into that kiss, love, lust, despair, desire, and pure need. When she finally pulled back she answered very simply.


"I cannot lose you both."

It would take some time for her to heal physically, and she had no idea if she could recover emotionally, but she knew she wouldn't if he gave up on her.
Vaughn Emiliano 13 years ago
Vaughn fell back against the couch, wrapping his arms around her. He returned her kiss with questioning hesitation that quickly crumbled against the repressed desire that had been bottled up for months, leaving behind his need to express to her his need for her. Therese pulled away from him and he watched her, taking in every beautiful detail of the green eyes that stared back at him.

"You won't lose me."

He pulled her close again, kissing her once more with slow tenderness before wrapping his arms around her. Leaning his head against her's, Vaughn said.

"I won't lose you either."

Squeezing her just a little tighter for emphasis. "So there is no need to pull away; we both know that I will just chase you down." His lips formed a small half smile thinking of their run together through the snow.

Vaughn didn't move until the coffee maker gurgled and puffed its readiness. Then he kissed Therese once more and pulled away. Pouring two cups of coffee and cleaning up the mess, he brought her's back to her setting the crème down on the table in front of her.

Taking a sip, he sighed and then looked down at his rumpled appearance. He ran another hand through his hair in an attempt to smooth it into something reasonable. Turning to Therese, he asked.

"So can I trust you to shower and meet me back here in an hour or am I going to have to accompany you home to make sure you don't take the opportunity to slip out the back?"
Therese 13 years ago
It was impossible not to feel his desire. Perhaps, under the circumstances, she should be offended, instead it was reassuring. Besides this had been his loss just as much as hers. To know they weren't alone in this was undoubtedly some help for each of them.

There was, however, a reason to pull away. Her Keeper. She couldn't risk Vaughn being exposed to the mulo or his ability to 'command' the Evenhet Elder had called it. Thérèse, however, believed he would chase and she also believed if Vaughn chased he would be all that much more vulnerable. Well she would just have to find a way to keep Vaughn hidden, safe, away from her keeper. That was all.

Adding some cream she held the coffee in both hands, more interested in its warmth and aroma than actually tasting it, and rested her head on his chest. Thérèse felt more than saw him run his hand through his hair and could only wonder how it was sticking up now. Almost absently she sat up a bit and brushed his hair to some semblance of tidy and was more successful than he had been, although it still left quite a bit to be desired.


"Oui, I promise not to run away or drown myself in the shower and to be here in one hour."

She might cry a bit more in the shower, but even that was uncertain, she'd mostly cried herself out last night.
Vaughn Emiliano 13 years ago
He smiled, amused at the gentle hand attempting to fix his unruly hair. Vaughn sipped his coffee, watching Therese over the rim of it. Still finding it hard to believe that she was really sitting here next to him; doing something so mundane as fixing his sleep tousled hair. It gave him hope that one day they would have a normal ,domestic life together.

Vaughn gave her a long measured look at her words, worried by them, even in jest. Eventually he nodded, deciding that his own shower would be as brief as possible.

Finishing his coffee, he gave her a parting kiss on the cheek before hurrying off to wash up and change clothes.

He flew through the act of bathing, paying hurried but careful attention to his actions. Brushing his teeth and combing his hair, Vaughn then went to the dresser. He threw on a pair of white linen shorts, a beige button down shirt with a pale blue light weight sweater over the top. Stepping into a pair of leather sandals, Vaughn took one last look before rushing out the door.

He went back to the kitchen and loaded up a cooler with a bottle of wine, some glasses, some sausage, cheese, bread and a few apples. Adding a few bottles of water as well. Pulling his car up to the side entrance, he loaded his cooler, guitar, and a few blankets and then went back inside to wait for Therese, hoping he didn't need to go up and find her.
Therese 13 years ago
Therese watched him go. She, however, spent a few quiet solitary moments on the sofa with her coffee. She simpley didn't know what to make of all of this. Life had been much simpler before arriving in this city, to date she had spent her best and worst moments here and she hadn't even been in Nachton a year. Sighing to herself she rose stiffly and went to clean up.

The worst of the physical symptoms seemed to be passing, but they hadn't gone yet. She took longer than absolutley nessecary cleaning up, at least once becoming lost in thought while standing under the shower. But finally she was clean and dressed. While her clothing was light, appropriate for spring, the colors we're muted. She had unconciously reflected her mood. At least she hadn't worn black, that was something.

Returning to the common area just a minute or two past the hour mark her eyes crinkled at Vaughn's appearance.


"The preppy look suits you."

Well it wasn't exactly a preppy look, but close. More to the point it was almost teasing, a tiny spark of humor.
Vaughn Emiliano 13 years ago
Vaughn smiled, encouraged by her gentle teasing, feeling heat rise to his cheeks under her scrutiny. He fought the urge to run his fingers self consciously through his damp hair, wondering how she managed to make him feel like an awkward teenager.

"Excellent, I will wear this to the next press conference."

He reached out a hand to Therese and gently guided her toward the car. Opening the door for her, Vaughn then went around the driver's side.

"One more thing to pick up and then we can be on our way."

It normally wouldn't have been his first choice of activity but it suited the moment and the two of them, their brief shared past. Vaughn stopped the vehicle near one of the storage garages. Getting out, he found Antoine headed his way.

"Good morning, Bird." He nodded and smiled at the Strategos. "Can you give me a hand with something?"

***********************************

Antoine regarded his Alpha for a long moment before nodding. He glanced at the car and back at Vaughn, finding the gaze of the Sarkis to be direct, even quietly challenging. Antoine acknowledged what he saw and let his attention slide away as he followed Vaughn into the storage garage.

"I found those records as you requested."

Vaughn nodded silently, moving to a large wooden row boat. He placed his hands on it before turning back to the Legionnaire. Antoine continued

"You already know what I found."

The Alpha nodded and again watched him with those unnerving pale coloured eyes. Antoine returned the regard. He smiled and said "Amoure, c'est difficile de temps en temps, non?" Growing serious Antoine asked. "You love her?"

"Yes" Vaughn never was one long on words.

He came over and helped the Sarkis with the boat, balancing it between them, two of them needed not for its weight but for its unwieldy size. It occurred to him then what they were carrying, and who was this was for. Antoine was one of the few people who knew that Vaughn had a fear of still water and this was not a boat well suited for the ocean. Raising his eyebrows at his Alpha's back, he said.

"Then you have my support."

********************************************

Vaughn paused and turned to look at his friend, holding the boat over his head with one hand. Antoine was calm but sincere. He acknowledged the backing that the Legionnaire offered. It was invaluable for many reasons.

"Merci, Mon Ami."

Between the two of them they strapped the wooden craft onto the top of the SUV. He smiled his thanks at Antoine before opening the door and hopping back into the vehicle.

"All set."

*****************************************

Antoine walked around to the passenger side and knocked on the glass, when it rolled down he leaned close and spoke quietly though he was certain Vaughn could hear him. "Il est un homme bon, Chère . Tout ira bien." He gave her a brief dazzling smile before wandering back to the barracks, whistling a bawdy French love song along the way.


((OOC: 1. Love is difficult from time to time. 2. He is a good man, Chere. Everything will be okay. ))
Therese 13 years ago
The awkward almost embarrassed smile went straight to her heart, it was almost enough to make Thérèse smile herself.

"Non, the sandals are wrong for a press conference. You need those loafers with the little tassels and no sock for that."

She felt a little guilty for teasing him, playing at all right now, yet she hadn't been able to stop herself. She shouldn't be enjoying herself. Wrestling with that bit of guilt she slid into the car wondering what in the world he could need.

She knew the other man by sight, having seen him here and there around the grounds and around the fire from time to time but they had never actually been introduced. Thérèse sat quietly only half paying attention to the men, at least until she realized what they were carrying. She almost got out to help, but really, two was more than enough to handle the job.

Slightly startled by the knock on the glass Thérèse rolled the window down looking curiously at the other man. Some how she knew he was French before he said anything, he just looked it and she was not at all surprised to hear her native language.


"Oui. He is."

She just wasn't sure how OK things would be, she had hope though.

The tune was familiar it took a second for her to recognize it though. When she did Thérèse shook her head mildly amused.


"Who is he? And where are you taking me?"

Curiosity was finally getting the better of her.
Vaughn Emiliano 13 years ago
Hearing Antoine's parting tune, he smiled and pulled away from the garage.

"Antoine. He is one of the Legion and perhaps my best friend here... despite his choice in music."

Vaughn looked at the retreating Frenchman in the mirror before turning and smiling to Therese.

"Remember our run through the forest and the lake that you...glided so gracefully across?" He grinned at her briefly before turning his attention back to the road. "It is considerably less slippery, or more so, depending on your point of view."

He turned his thoughts back to Antoine and what he had said in the garage and to Therese. It gave him some peace of mind to know that the Strategos would back his personal decision to choose to be with Therese. If Antoine professed his understanding and support then many of the Legion would as well. The best outcome would be Loretta agreeing to it peacefully. Vaughn knew that was unlikely; it didn't matter that they had never had an ideal marriage. Perhaps he was not giving her the credit that she was due; Etta had grown up a great deal over the years and he should stop seeing her as that impulsive, overly energetic teenager with selfish goals. What teenager wasn't? She was a force to be reckoned with still to be sure, but she could be reasoned with. Perhaps she would agree with him that it might be the best thing for the both of them.

It would be whatever it would be and only the spirits and the future knew what that was.

"I thought we could spend some time out in the sunshine." Vaughn turned to toward her again. "We both could use it." Taking his right hand off the wheel, he reached over and gently took one of her's.

"We can work on our tans."
Therese 12 years ago
He knew, Thérèse realized. Antoine knew. From his choice of words at the window she thought the man might know quite a lot, which seemed odd to her. Granted an Alpha couldn't be totally solitary, they were social creatures by nature. Or, as they were friends, perhaps Vaughn had mentioned her. It was a bit odd; Thérèse didn't think she should be on any one's radar, especially not the Legions.

There was another tiny spark of hope. If she -was- on some one's radar if they were aware of what she was doing perhaps at least her message in a bottle hadn't gone astray. Although, she reflected, she'd not seen, heard or smelled any once else around when she had introduced herself to the Kadzait and the Sorensen woman. Thérèse's heart sank a little. Of course, no one else had been around she had been careful of that if any one else from the pack had been near not only would she be risking their exposure to her keeper, but she could not have guaranteed the safety of the two. It had been a nice thought for as long as it had lasted thought.

She nodded though.


"Then I am glad he is here."

How could she for get that. It had been rather embarrassing at the time, but it had also been where she had first offered herself to him. Thérèse blushed slightly at the memory. It might also be where their child had been conceived. Perhaps that thought should have depressed her, but it didn't. It was almost comforting.

It was perhaps a little cool out for sunbathing yet, but it wasn't like they had dressed for one hundred degrees either and, she conceded to herself, the sun would feel good.

Aware that her own very fair completion made it look as if she never set foot outdoors Thérèse blinked at Vaughn.


"I am tan."

She said it with a combination of innocence and irony.

It was a good idea though and Thérèse settled back to enjoy the ride watching the scenery pass. It was spring, everything looked quite different from that moonlit night in the dead of winter. It was not less beautiful or welcoming, just different. Maybe that was true of her own situation too... perhaps in some way.
Vaughn Emiliano 12 years ago
Vaughn nodded his agreement about Antoine.

"He is very smart and perhaps he picks up on more than he should." He smiled over at her. "but at least he is being supportive. Bird has told me more than once I needed to find something that made me happy. I do not think he meant a someone but as he told me, love can complicated."

Smiling at her, Vaughn raised his eyebrows at her tan. He was far more bronze that Therese and that without spending as much time as he would like outside.

"Hmm, well then I will work on mine and you can watch." Vaughn smirked slightly while keeping his eyes on the rural roads that lead from the asylum out further into the countryside. It was not a long drive, they had run it fairly quickly as wolves but he was not about to make Therese walk it today, no matter how well their kind healed.

Coming to halt in a small rounded area of pavement that appeared to serve as a parking lot. Vaughn got out and went about unhooking the boat. He slid if off the back and turned it over, placing the cooler, guitar and blankets inside.

"Do you feel up to carrying one end? I can do my superhero impression and carry it over my head if not." It was not so dreadfully heavy that he couldn't lift it, items and all but balancing the large boat over his head while walking over the uneven terrain would be a challenge. Vaughn found himself wishing for Kadzait height and strength so he could just casually toss it under one arm and continue on. Ah well, he'd have to make do with looking less impressive.

((OOC: 16 ft Boat))
Therese 12 years ago
Ordinarily that would have brought a laugh, but today it didn't. Just a rather satisfied sigh ans she leaned back in her seat watching the world speed by.

"My people have a great deal of wisdom. It is good you have decided to listen to him. But I'm glad you decided to be picky."

What if some one else had beaten her to him? She'd still be held by her keeper, that would not change. Beyond that... well it was neither her nor there. There was only one person she worried about and that was his wife. That would play out eventually. Thérèse didn't intend to let the woman win either.

That would be nice, just watching him tan. Perhaps he would take his shirt off, again that was something she would have suggested another day. Perhaps with a bit of a leer. Today... today it would be enough to simply drift along on the water and lay next to him. That really was all Thérèse wanted. It was that simply, just reassuring physical contact.

The lake was quite pretty, she couldn't help but notice that as she slide out of the SUV. She tried to stretch, but again aborted the attempt feeling sore, stiff and bruised. Which, of course, she was.


"Of course, I can manage. Although, I'm certain you would look quite dashing in a cape."

Sore or not she could manage to help, it shouldn't be that bad and if Vaughn was going to all this trouble she was simply incapable of -not- helping. Taking one end of the boat she walked down to the lake with him, the water looked rather inviting, but was undoubtedly cold yet.

"Will you be wearing your underwear on the outside as well."

Rather irreverently Thérèse realized she didn't even know if he wore boxers or briefs and without thinking about it gave a soft, dry, laugh; no smile just that vague facsimile of a laugh. It was just a gentle 'chuffing' sound, but it was something to learn.
Vaughn Emiliano 12 years ago
Vaughn chuckled softly at Therese's words and nodded. "Yes, Antoine is a wise man and a very good listener. Many of the Legion go to him for counsel." And he did as well, from time to time. The French man was very good at not judging and at keeping what he knew to himself. It surprised Vaughn that Antoine had taken the time to speak to Therese since she would not know who he was. If he were to guess, he'd think that Bird had grown quite fond of her while on his watch.

They picked up the boat and he shook his head at the idea of a cape. "I imagine that those choke nearly as much as ties. I believe a sadistic woman came up with that particular piece of fashion." He personally would be happy to never wear a tie again, unfortunately that seemed unlikely. Mayors in blue jeans seemed to be frowned upon.

Vaughn laughed at her other question and raised an eyebrow. "What makes you think I'm wearing underwear?"

They got to the edge of the water and he held the boat steady for Therese while she got in. He eyed the water suspiciously for a moment, looking it over for any signs of being out of the ordinary. Vaughn took a deep breath and put one leg into the boat while holding onto the sides. He transferred most of his weight forward onto that leg before pulling the other one up and in, doing his best to keep it out of the water.

Once they were on board and steady, he picked up the oars and began to row further out onto the lake. The morning air still had a cool crisp feel to it, dew clinging to their skin, but the sun was shining and soon it would be a nice spring day.

"Thank you for coming with me."
Therese 12 years ago
"But a man invented heels and quite possibly panty hose."

Therese shot back tartly looking slightly chagrined when she realized he was teasing. It was his next answer though that finally put a chip in her reserve. She flushed just slightly as she considered the teasing response. It was certainly not an objectionable thought. She smiled, faintly and just for a moment but for the first time in days.

The gentle rocking of the boat was soothing and Therese suspected she might fall asleep again at some point but for now it was quite pleasant to just was him row, to consider that Vaughn was willing to give them a chance. Of course, Therese also wondered how long it would take before her family heard undoubtedly there would be ramifications there as well. But now... now was for them.


"Of couse I would come. Thank you for keeping me from being stupid and going into work."

She would have done it too. Perhaps she still should have but Therese refused to think about that any longer. She lapsed into a bit of a day dream enjoying the cool morning air. After several long moments she looked Vaughn in the eyes and asked very quietly,

"Would you have been happy?"

That seemed important. He had two grown children, she had not had a family of her own yet. How much was he risking for something that might not even be worth it.