"Have you been up here yet?"

JT stood just slightly ahead of Caitlinn, assuming the protective stance, as he escorted Cait up to Huntington's penthouse office at the top of the North Tower of Duibne. Everything was steel, shiny, or glass. The elevator was the private car that went directly to the top floor. Looking down and to the right, Cait was looking up at him with soft brown eyes and an openly curious expression.

"Simon's office? No, not yet."

Cait nodded and looked away. She gulped and shifted uncomfortably, her brown skin sweating under her soft purple dress. She had started to wear them more often now, presumably for his boss, but all the Pipers had noticed. Gone were the jeans, sneakers, and graphic tees - her style was evolving into a more feminine look. Definitely more skin.

"You look nice," he said without thinking. He felt a blush rise up into his cheeks and he looked back at the doors of the elevator, which didn't help any considering they were more of the shiny reflective steel.

Cait only snorted softly and then cleared her throat. The elevator slowed to a stop and the doors opened slowly with a melodious chime. She took a step and he immediately held his arm out, stopping her.

"Sorry, I keep forgetting."

JT put his hand on her shoulder and pat it gently. Taking a step out the door, he looked down both sides of the hallway and inhaled. After a few seconds, he turned back to Cait and held his hand out to her politely. She swiped at it playfully.

"You're always so formal, stop already," she mumbled, making him grin.

"It would really ruin my day if I let you get hurt, you know," he said as they walked into the lobby before Simon's enormous office. The secretary stood politely and held her hand out to the door. Nodding, JT opened the door and inhaled again, letting his senses take in everything in the office. Steel, dirt, and oak - Simon's scent, mixed in with leather from the furniture and random other scents of Pipers, Vivienne, baby Catherine, but nothing out of the ordinary. Orchids. A new scent, a very pleasant, beautiful scent that lingered in the office.

Waiting at the door, Cait entered the room and began talking to Simon. JT looked around the office and marveled at the almost 360 view. Vampires...sheesh.

Simon Huntington 11 years ago
Simon was surprised to see the formidable Piper JT Paulson escorting Cait up to his office. Normally it was Charlie or Red, but as of late the young Paulson has been shadowing Cait everywhere on the property if Charlie was busy elsewhere. It gave Simon the opportunity to really get a feel for the young American Piper, considering the last time he even spoke to the Piper was when Kyle Evans had managed to infiltrate the lower levels of the medical labs.

"Mr. Paulson, a pleasure."

JT looked distracted, his eyes searching the room and then finally staring out the windows. They always enthralled visitors to the point of complete distraction. Sometimes it made business difficult, but Simon enjoyed the view just as much as the next person.

"Mr. Huntington," JT said, his eyes locking on Simon and then searching around him and the desk.

"Please, you Pipers and formalities."

"I know, right?" Cait chimed in and then blushed profusely, presumably for speaking her thoughts out loud.

JT nodded politely and gave him an un-Piper-like warm smile. "Simon, good to see you again."

Simon moved from behind his desk to the side and then stopped.

My my, he is a big boy, isn't he?

Leaning a hip on the desk, he crossed his shoulders and grinned for no apparent reason.
"Your size, JT. That's a werewolf flaw, correct?"

Cait watched Simon, her eyes narrowed as he watched her out of the corner of his eye as she searched his expression. Suspicious, that one.

She's a nervous little thing.

Just leave her, E.

I just want to see....

"It's a flaw, yes. Grew six inches, but I wouldn't really call it a flaw." JT said with a small grin.

Simon's eyes flicked to JT who was now staring at the area behind Simon. He wondered if the young man didn't know Ellis was standing right in the spot he was looking at.
"Cait, let me show you something."

Simon moved back to behind his desk and settled into his chair, presumably to show her something on his computer. Cait hesitated for a moment. She took one step and JT immediately tensed up, moving to her side.
Ellis Duban 11 years ago
Ellis watched the young Piper with glittering green eyes. He kept looking directly at her, then through her, but Ellis suspected that he knew something was standing behind Simon's desk. The instincts in this one were incredible.

Simon called the wee Caitlinn Conrad over to his desk, walking a path directly to Ellis, when the Piper finally acted.

"Stop, Cait."

Caitlinn looked confused and took two steps back toward the door, behind Paulson. Slowly walking forward, JT lifted his nose slightly into the air and inhaled deeply. He took three more large steps and stopped right in front of Ellis, seemingly staring right at her, even looking down.

"Impressive, JT," Simon said from his seat.

Ellis let her blending aura dissipate and appeared directly in front of Mr. Paulson. Cait noticeably gulped and backed up all the way to the door, bumping up against it. Paulson merely looked down at Ellis and then did the unthinkable.

He smiled.

"Miss Duban."

"How did you know?" she asked enthralled and intensely curious.


Nodding, Ellis smiled up at the large man.
"Pretty handy, that nose of yours. Better than most."

"Thank you, ma'am."

"My my, and so polite."
Caitlinn Conrad 11 years ago
Cait bumped up hard against the door when Ellis appeared out of thin air in front of JT. He didn't even flinch and seemed humored by the whole scene. She felt her heart want to beat out of her chest just looking at the other woman, but she had to admit, part of her was intrigued by the enigmatic Ellis Duban. Crazy bitch, though she was.

Slumping against the door, Cait rolled her eyes and looked at Simon. He was resting his chin in his hand as he leaned back in his chair. Asshole, she thought, setting her up like that. Simon gave her a long look up and down her body and then threw her a wink to which she narrowed her eyes angrily at him.

Ellis looked fascinated by JT and his ability to detect she was there, which Cait knew was hard to do with a vampire who could blend. Her scent gave her away...orchids apparently...but Cait couldn't smell anything at all, except for maybe the leather couches and Simon's soft cologne. She knew his calm reaction to both the featured main attractions of the Blood Memory should have had him shift immediately and go for blood, but JT was different, wasn't he.

"I do need to speak to you, Cait," Simon said, getting her attention again. She glared at him as he stood up behind the desk. Cait neither replied or even acknowledged his statement, making Simon crease his forehead angrily. "Ellis, do you mind?"

That's damn fucking skippy. Cait refused to even speak in front of Ellis, or conduct DI business with the raven haired psycho bitch in the building, much less the room. Ellis looked in her direction, not that Cait made eye contact with her. Slowly the woman moved around JT and walked toward the door. Cait moved to the center of the room with JT keeping himself in between the two of them.

"JT, do you mind?"

"I mind," Cait said.

JT looked at Simon and then back at Ellis. Shrugging slightly, he tipped his head toward Cait. "I'll be right outside the doors."

Ellis flashed a bright smile at JT and walked back toward him, wrapping her arms around his large one. "I would love company!"

Cait took a long breath and looked at the ceiling.
JT Paulson 11 years ago
Part of him reeled in an inexplicable hate that trembled underneath his skin when Ellis touched him, but JT easily placated that innate hate. He knew the only reason he could was because of his father, or rather, his lineage. A fourth generation Jameson put the Blood Memory as intense as any other Piper felt, but because JT was also an Alpha by blood and right, kept him from tearing Ellis' throat out. She apparently had the same train of thought.

"How is it you're not frothing at the mouth?"

"Who says I'm not," he said slowly and not without as much charm as he could put into the words. The distinct tint of blush colored Ellis' cheeks for a moment. "Why Miss Duban, I do believe you are blushing."

Ellis disengaged from JT's arm and stood in front of him as they entered the Lobby. The secretary immediately stood and left silently, leaving JT with Ellis alone. The door closed loudly, but he knew Simon wouldn't try anything with Cait. Charlie was too valuable to the DI science team to fuck with his mate. It was a game that everyone played, much to JT's dismay, but that's how life was in this supernatural world, he noticed.

"Not often I get a charming Piper."

"Well, that is understandable."

Ellis tipped her head to the side and gave JT a long look. "What makes you so different than the others?"

"Care to guess," he asked with a grin.

"Well, let's break it down, then." Ellis held her index finger up. "You're American, the only American Piper that I've ever seen or heard of. Two," another finger went up, "you're young, aren't you? Newly made?"

"We're gifted, ma'am."

"A gift, right." Ellis took one step back and looked at him, head to toe, lingering on all the parts in between. "You're size, maybe? The big, strong, handsome ones do tend to have more presence."

JT smiled at her charming words but he knew a snake when he saw one. For as beautiful as she was, Ellis' reputation transcended generations as well as gender lines. His Blood Memory immediately put his guard up, even just speaking to her, and the wolf in him was scratching just beneath the surface, but he knew pretty talk from a pretty lady was worth almost nothing.

"My mother just taught me better, ma'am."

"A Piper with manners. Who knew?" Ellis purred, striking a cord in him. He'd have to be dead or gay not to have any type of reaction to her.
Simon Huntington 11 years ago
Simon lifted a hand slowly toward the leather couches, inviting Caitlinn to sit, but she stood defiantly near the center of the room, refusing to move.

"I assure you, I can wait longer," he said slowly.

Cait narrowed her eyes to slits, glaring at him. "That was shitty, what you did."

She never failed to surprise him with either her level of paranoia or just flat out disrespect.
"You work for me, remember? I'm your boss?"

"Fucking fire me, then."

Simon quickly circled the desk, his patience already worn thin, and much to his surprise, she held her ground.
"Firing you would be on the same level of killing you."

"We both know how that would go down. Don't we?"

Jesus where did this woman get her gall and balls, for that matter?
"Do you not get how this works? You screwed me first. It's not even by the grace of god that you're still alive."

"It was still shitty."

Now he was confused.
"Are you waiting for an apology?"

"No, just a little respect."

He leaned in closer, speaking in a soft, but very stern voice.
"I could say the same thing."

"I didn't almost feed you to JT, now did I?"

Simon straightened to his full height and pulled back his shoulders.
"You're not her type, believe me."
Ellis Duban 11 years ago
Ellis could feel anger bleed into their aura from Simon. Whatever Miss Conrad was saying, it annoyed Simon to no end. Smiling at the baseness of his emotions, Ellis refocused her attention to the large piece of man meat in front of her.

JT Paulson was flirting with her. A Piper. Flirting with her. Big, brown eyes stared down his nose at her and his lips were just barely parted in a delicious grin.

"So my understanding of your Blood Memory is that it's passed through your initial bite. Is that correct?"

Paulson tilted his head to the side and gave her a curious but intense look, narrowing his eyes slightly, as if he was trying to figure out if telling her betrayed any forbidden knowledge. He raised an eyebrow and then gave her that smoldering look again.

"Through the gifting bite, yes, ma'am," he said with his polite charm.

In her five inch heels, Ellis stood at just over six feet, but Paulson still towered over her by at least seven inches. It made her feel small and almost insignificant, an odd feeling to get from a man when she normally enjoyed her ability to keep the upper hand in most situations. Simon could intimidate her with his height, but Paulson...she gave him another lingering look, from head to toe...his stare was captivating.

"But you can't remember this memory and it guides you in some of the most intense dedication to kill me I have ever seen."

"Yes, ma'am. You have that affect on us Pipers."

"But not you."

"Are you asking me if I want to rip your throat out right now?"

"I'm interested in how you can stand there and make a little thing like me blush."

Paulson put his hands behind his back and deepened his grin. "The feeling is there. Hovering, telling me not to trust anything you say and watch your," he paused and gave her his own intense inspection, "every move. But the need to kill you isn't as intense as the other Pipers, no, ma'am." He shrugged slowly. "Guess I'm just special."

"Do you think the Blood Memory is real?"

"It's not for me to question the validity of the Blood Memory, ma'am. I'm a Piper. My life for the Alpha. For the pack. It's what we are."

Ellis slowly raised an eyebrow and nodded.

Paulson leaned in close enough to make her almost pull back or lean forward to kiss him, then whispered softly, "Thank you, ma'am."
Caitlinn Conrad 11 years ago
Cait stood there and stared up at Simon Huntington. Six months ago she would have avoided eye contact, told him what he wanted to know, and then bailed. She didn't like vampires as a general rule, they gave her the heebie jeebies, but she intensely disliked having to deal directly with their leader, much less their ex-leader.

"You know what, come to think of it, I do want an apology."

Simon usually kept a rock hard facade of concentration and intense unemotional focus, but he gave her the most incredulous look she had ever seen on any man in his position. In fact, he laughed.

"Are you kidding me? Do you really think you're that bulletproof?"

"I don't need it in writing."

Simon's eyes went wide and he turned away from her, running his fingers through his hair angrily. He walked to the far side of the office and then turned back to look at her.

"It was shitty. I didn't appreciate it. Say you're sorry and we'll go about our busin-"

That was as far as Cait got, sadly. In a heartbeat...hell, in half a heartbeat, Simon was back across the room and standing directly in front of her. The force of his movement actually pushed her hair over her shoulders and Cait reeled back, falling onto the ground. Simon stepped closer and knelt down, hovering just over her, almost pressing her into the carpet.

"Miss Conrad, let's get one thing straight here. I could care less who you are fucking. What that person is, you are fucking. Or how invulnerable that person fucking you has told you in, no doubt, the throes of passion, how untouchable you might be. But you have very nearly crossed a line with me that would push me in exacting my promise I made to you when we first met. I used you as bait. Get over it. Or this working relationship of ours will get very uncomfortable for you."

Ok, that bit of bravery that had ingrained itself into her backbone was now gone. This was the leader of one of the most notorious vampire clans in existence and he was two seconds from literally eating her or, as he put it several months earlier, bleeding her for a thousand years. Ok. Her bad.

"Are you going to let me up off the ground now?"

Simon looked at her, her body cowering back and her dress a little too high on her legs. His eyes lingered on her thighs and she huffed angrily, getting his attention. "I don't know, I kind of like you here."

Slowly he straddled his legs over her hips, forcing her to lower her back, away from him. Quickly he reached out and grabbed her wrist, pulling her closer to him and he snatched her other wrist, capturing both in his steel grip.

"Alright, come on. Not all women dream of being raped by a vampire, you know." Ok, she had a little courage left.

"I've never raped a woman in my entire life, Miss Conrad."

"But it's weird how you can go from murderously pissed to horny in a heartbeat. Really, it's impressive."

Simon glared at her, shaking his head. "Even this close to death, you have a sense of humor."

"It's my defensive mechanism."

"It's not a very good one."

JT Paulson 11 years ago
Looking down at Ellis Duban should have had him climbing the walls for her blood. The other Pipers would not be able to even look at her without reacting, so Simon being able to move effortlessly in their world was saying quite a bit about the Blood Memory. The central focus was definitely Ellis, but damn if JT didn't feel the ripple of conquest wanting to break through his skin and have her.

Was that the Alpha blood in him, he wondered? She was as beautiful as the next woman, but being able to perfect her charm and sexuality over a thousand plus years made her more desirable than any woman he had ever met. That was the vampire's charm, the ability to twist any resolve into putty, he decided. Still, she was looking up at him, enthralled and damn near breathless - it took everything to not seriously entertain fucking her right there on the floor.

Straightening, he held back and turned away, again something no other Piper would be able to do, and with confidence he walked over to the secretary's desk and settled down on the front of it. She blinked slowly at him and let her smile stretch across her soft, nude colored lips. Sexuality bled out of her. There was no other way to put it. Out of every pore it oozed confidence and dominance and the Alpha in him wanted so badly to quell it.

"So why do you hang around here?"

"What do you mean? Here in Duibne?"

"No, the city. All things considered." The Pipers knew the history of Simon and Ellis, for the most part. Marthinus had shared officially, and unofficially, the start of the end of her reign within their clan and it surprised JT that she would suffer such an indignity and still be surrounded by it.

Ellis shrugged slowly, shifting on her feet, knowing exactly how to stand to accent every single luscious curve of her body. "I suppose I love him."

That struck JT as completely out of character, at least by the way Marthinus talked about her, and how Simon sniffed after Vivienne.
"He's standing just past those doors, yet you'll stand there and tease me like this?" He tsk'd softly. "Miss Duban, that doesn't sound very truthful."

Ellis narrowed her eyes at him. "How old you?"


"I know vampires ten times older than you that couldn't make a woman like me blush the way you can. It's impressive."

"Maybe it's just that innate desire to want to kill as much as I might want to fuck you that gives me an edge." JT let his grin fade as he let the wolf in him scratch painfully at his skin, relinquishing the tenuous hold. Her expression changed as her lips parted and watery green eyes dilated to thin circles.

Part of him knew he should stop, the human part, but the Alpha in him saw something he wanted and wasn't ashamed to try and acquire it at all costs. Would he catch shit for fucking the bane of their Blood Memory? Probably from the Beta, but he wagered he'd definitely go up in the other Pipers estimation.
Simon Huntington 11 years ago
The flair of arousal hit Simon's aura with Ellis like a freight train, momentarily stunning him. He had Caitlinn pinned to the ground and angry as fuck, but just passed the doors in front of them, Ellis was getting worked up over something. Or someone.


Are you trying to fuck that Piper?


What are you doing out there with Paulson?

Caitlinn pulled on her hands, but he held them steady in his tight grip, making her start to fuss.

Just playing with the help, sweet pea. Jealous?

You might not be too happy if you saw me with Caitlinn just now.

Playing with the help is acceptable. Just don't let her young man find out.

I'd say the same thing to you. His bosses might not take it too well.

"Seriously, get off me."

Simon focused his eyes back on Caitlinn. Her heart rate was racing, causing a thin sheen of sweat on her skin. Her anger and fear mixed together and it seemed to give her a boost of courage, something he did not think she had in her, especially after meeting her for the first time. Did the good Doctor Hammond have this affect on her, or was it having a Piper just feet away. Speaking of which....

"Your Piper isn't doing a very good job protecting you. Aren't you wondering why?"

Cait's eyes darted from Simon's face to the door. She opened her mouth to yell out when he squeezed her wrists, making her look back at him sharply.

"Shhh, we're not done yet."

Then she did something curious. Something he did not expect from her at all. Cait glared at Simon, looking him dead in the eye and pulled her face closer, to just a hair's breath away from his lips.

Slowly, and in a calm voice, she said, "Get your motherfucking hands off me, Simon, or any working relationship you have with Charlie will be done."
Ellis Duban 11 years ago
"My, my," Ellis said completely dumbfounded by the ease in which the young werewolf got under her skin. It was either that or her shared aura with Simon - he was playing with the little human and enjoying himself just as much as Ellis was with JT.


The Piper raised his eyebrows.

"What does that stand for?"

With a slow blink, the young man let his expression ease back into the soft smile and seemed to consider his answer. "James Tiberius." The name was familiar in an odd way and her face must have showed it because Paulson grinned. "Star Trek."

"Tiberius was a Roman Emperor, but a little before my time. I like it. Shows strength of character."

"Does it?" JT said getting up from his perch on the desk. "Do you mind if I ask how old you are?"

"A gentleman never asks a lady her age, James."

He grinned and stepped closer to her. "Just curious, besides, I'd say physically," JT gave her a lingering appraisal from head to toe again, "I'd put you in your late twenties, early thirties, maybe."

With a slight shrug, she obliged him.
"I was born in 386. I'm 1626 years old."

"Aw, you're a young thing still, I'm sure," he said with a wink. "Been with Huntington all that time?"

Ellis raised her eyebrows, now suspicious of the werewolf's curiosity. She wasn't sure what he'd gain from any personal knowledge, but his sudden interest still put her on guard up. Stupidly enough, she answered nonetheless.

"Almost. I was in my two hundreds when I met him. But it's been him, for the most part, over the millennium."

"For the most part?"

"Our existence is no happy fairytale, Mr. Paulson. Monogamy isn't expected."

"Really?" He thought it over for a moment. "Our kind pick a mate and stay with that person for the most part. From what I understand, it didn't used to be that way. You know, survival of the fittest gets to spread his seed, so to speak." JT paused again and looked at the door, giving it a searching look, then returned his gaze back to Ellis. "So he doesn't mind you flirting with me?"

"Am I flirting with you?"

JT stepped closer to her until he was standing directly in front of her. His height shadowing over her, covering her existence with his sizable presence. "I hope so."

It took everything not to gulp.
Caitlinn Conrad 11 years ago
Brain to mouth: Shut the fuck up.

Cait held her steady glare at Simon Huntington, Leader of Tacharan, vampire and well rounded killer. Being with Charlie and the werewolves was making her brave, but she'd have to rethink that later. Right then Simon was clenching his jaw and staring at her with very cold, very angry hazel brown eyes. Oh they had gold flecks in them. What the fuck?

Common sense to brain: Please focus. YOLO doesn't apply to humans.

Suddenly Simon released his grasp on her wrists and she fell back painfully onto her elbows again. Slowly she pushed herself away from underneath Simon and he watched her silently. Pulling her legs beneath her, Cait finally touched her right wrist and held in the painful grunt. Without glancing down, she knew he'd squeezed hard enough to leave bruises. Nice reminder.

Simon's forehead crinkled in confusion and then he slowly stood to his full six foot four height, his eyes never leaving her.

"JT!" she yelled out and immediately he came in the double doors.

"What are you doing on the floor?" JT looked at Simon who took a step back away from Cait. Ellis gently brushed by JT, coming back into the office, looking flushed with a Cheshire cat grin.

Cait gathered herself and stood, smacking JT's hand away angrily.
"Seriously?" she snapped at him. With a huff, she straightened her dress and pulled herself together.

"Why did you even call me up here?" she said to Simon.

"I wanted to know the status of your research into Kyle Evans. What you and Mr. Kearney have learned so far."

Cait flicked her eyes over to JT and immediately noticed the slight red on his lips. With a mental roll of her eyes, she knew she didn't have to look at Ellis to see her lipstick. Gross, Cait thought. What the fuck was the appeal of a woman like Ellis Duban, anyway? Besides being beautiful and immortal, plus having a thousand plus years to perfect being desirable. Really, other than that?

"We've come across some obstacles with his lineage. Takes a lot of research into not just his family history but local history surrounding the male descendants. What's on paper isn't always the truth. Like with Kyle's real father - it's pretty muddled like that going way back. So nothing solid, just chasing down leads." Then she added with a huff, "And you could've just called Matthew or me instead of calling me up here."

Simon neither reacted or replied. Of course not, she thought. With a deep breath, she turned and silently excused herself.
JT Paulson 11 years ago
He'd probably regret it later, but right then his libido and curiosity just did not care.

Leaning in, JT kissed Ellis full on the mouth. Much to his surprise, she just about met him halfway as he wrapped his arms around her waist and dug in deep, so to speak. Her hands came up into his hair and pulled herself up to his level, his hands automatically reaching down and cupping her bottom, lifting her.

Her scent inundated his senses, curling itself around him in pure sex and desire. Her kiss was hungry, making him smile as his used his teeth to capture her lips. Twisting around, he walked back to the desk and settled her onto it as he ran his hands up her back and into her soft, black hair. She was warm and tasted like strawberries. His lips moved down to her neck and it took everything not to give in and fuck her right there on Simon's secretary's desk. Where was the secretary, he wondered briefly?


Pulling back with an audible smack of their lips, JT immediately disengaged and went to the door. It surprised him how quickly he left the warm, inviting body of Ellis Duban, but his instincts took over. There was fear and urgency, mixed in with a little pissed off attitude in Cait's call. Opening the door, he was surprised to see Cait on the floor with Simon standing over her.

Oh, this can't be good, he thought.

Ellis brushed up beside him, causing goosebumps up his back. He made a point not to look at the female. Cait, on the other hand, wouldn't even let him help her up off the ground. After her terse reply to Simon's query, she walked quickly out of the office, refusing to wait for JT.

JT looked at Simon who finally gave him a quick side glance. Ellis walked up behind her mate and pressed her cheek up in between Simon's shoulder blades, giving JT a look of pure sex and promises. Without a word, he turned and followed Caitlinn to the elevator.

The doors opened and together they stepped into the elevator.
"Are you alright?"

Cait took a deep breath and reached out, pressing the button for sub-level 4, back to to her office floor. Crossing her arms in front of her, she gasped and then dropped her arms again.

"What are..." JT started as he reached for her wrist, but she pulled it away angrily, wincing as his fingers grazed her skin. Without waiting for permission, JT grabbed her arm, making her yelp, and looked at her wrist. "Jesus," he mumbled, looking at the swelling and bruised skin.

"Seriously, JT, what...the...fuck?"

"She's interesting. I'm sorry."

"Sorry for what? Leaving me in there alone for Simon to fucking manhandle me or that it was pretty obvious that we ALL knew you tried fucking the main attraction of your Blood Memory?"

JT rolled his eyes and checked her other wrist, which had similar bruising. Charlie was going to kill him. Him and Huntington.
"Can you move your wrists?"

Grimacing, Cait managed it, but then pulled her arms away from him. "Probably hairline fractures. It's fine, I have a little of Charlie's Eternity."

JT let out a breath he had no idea he was holding. He was worried what Charlie would say AND do if he saw the bruises on Cait. He let Ellis distract him from his one duty given to him by his Lieutenant. Cait could easily get his ass put in a sling, but apparently she was already thinking ahead. With a glare, she looked up at him and then rolled her eyes. Reaching up, she gingerly wiped at his lips, her face pinching up in pain as she did it.

"Disgusting, JT," she mumbled.

He couldn't help but smile as Cait cleaned his lips with her fingers. It reminded him again of a thought he had after she woke up - that maybe a path got redirected somewhere and Cait should have been his, not Charlie's. Mentally shaking his head, he cleared the thoughts of women he so clearly should not be chasing after from his mind.
Caitlinn Conrad 11 years ago
Cait made a face as she cleaned the red lipstick off JT's face, missing the look he was giving her until she realized he was smiling. Rubbing her fingers together, she looked up and shrugged.

"Why are you smiling at me? I'm pissed at you."

JT licked his lips. "Did you wash your hands?"

"You're questioning my hygiene and you just sucked face with a cold blooded killing machine?"

"That's an old wives tale. She felt pretty warm to me," he said with a lecherous grin.

Rolling her eyes, she wiped her hand on his shirt and turned back toward the doors. They were reflective so that didn't really help any; JT was still giving her a strange look.
"What were you thinking, James? Ellis? Seriously?"

JT's smile fell and he shrugged noncommittally.

"She'd kill you post-coitus, you know."

That got a chuckle out of JT and he leaned back against the side of the elevator, facing Cait. The ride was taking longer than she'd like, and with JT looking at her the way he was, time itself seemed to slow down.

"You know I was supposed to be in the park, not Charlie."

Cait felt her stomach clench up and threaten to revolt. Turning she looked at JT and shook her head.
"Come here," she said softly. He seemed surprised by her command, but pushed off the elevator and stood close to her. "Closer."

JT paused a moment and leaned in closer. Balling her fist up, she held her breath, bracing herself for the pain, and punched him, dead in the face.

"Whatever you're going through right now, JT, fucking snap out of it."
JT Paulson 11 years ago
"Ouch!" JT said, holding his nose. "What did you hit me for?"

Cait was cradling her hand, cursing under her breath. "Mother-. I hit you because you've apparently lost your mind."

The elevator slowed to a stop and the doors opened. Cait barely waited for enough space for her to pass through when she exited. Reaching out, he stopped her and pushed her up against the hallway.

"Didn't Charlie tell you?"

"Why would he? Why would you?" Cait pulled away and walked toward the offices on the level. "I'm not digging this death wish you have for yourself, JT."

Rubbing his nose, he followed Cait as she walked...well, more like stalked back to her office. If it hadn't been for his marking ability, it would have been him in the park waiting for Cait. What were the odds of her taking that route? A million to one. But at the last second the LT pulled Charlie and placed him in the park, presumably because it was less trouble for Charlie who was recently reinstated as a Piper because of his injuries. It made JT wonder though - had he been the one to cover the park, would they have kissed?

"Why did you pick Charlie to kiss in the park?"

Cait turned the corner and approached her door. "What does it matter?"

JT shrugged and reached out, grabbing her arm. The door swung wide and he stepped in first, surprised she actually let him do his job. After a cursory scan, he opened the door wide for her.

"The prevailing theory is his hoodie. That you zeroed in on him as perfect cover."

"Well, that's one reason."

He watched Cait as she circled her desk and settled down, reaching underneath her desk. He heard a soft snapping noise and she pulled out a small black case. Opening it revealed an Eternity injector. Prepping the pen injector, she pulled at her skirt and exposed the skin on her thigh. Without hesitating, she plunged the injector into her thigh, her face contorted in pain but then subsiding. His curiosity was still bugging him though, despite the distraction of watching her. "I was wearing a hoodie. Would you have picked me?"

Cait pulled the pen out and placed it back into the case. Lowering her hands into her lap, she answered without missing a beat. "No."

"Why not?"

"You're too tall, for one."


With an exasperated sigh, she shrugged. "Because Fate chose Charlie. Because he had blue eyes. Because he was just tall enough to hide me in his jacket. Because when he looked at me, I felt the bottom of my stomach drop."

JT stood in front of her desk and nodded slowly. Suddenly he felt very stupid for bringing everything up.

"I thought there was some unwritten genetic code that prevented other wolves from other pack member's mates? I'm clearly Charlie's, aren't I?"

JT hadn't thought of that. Initially he dismissed Cait as his boss' mate. Untouchable, figuratively and literally. But something in him was able to ignore any female's status, almost out of spite.

"It's because you're an Alpha, isn't it." She snorted and added, "You just want me out of instinct. Not because there's something there. Gross, you want to spread your seed." Cait's face scrunched up and she shuddered.

"Thank you, really." With a sigh, he dropped his shoulders and probably looked as defeated as he felt. "I'm sorry."

Cait leaned back in her chair and narrowed her eyes at him. "It's fine, James, but you better knock that shit off."

JT snorted at her lady-like sensibilities. "Most women would be flattered."

"I am flattered. This is the most attention I've ever gotten. You Pipers act like you've never seen a woman before. Weird, but flattering." She sighed heavily and leaned forward, planting her elbows on the desk. "I wouldn't mess around with Ellis. For a multitude of reasons, other than the obvious."

"What about you?" he asked, unable to resist flirting.

"You can try, but I won't promise i wont stab you with a letter opener in your face. Just sayin'." Cait shook her head slowly. "If I didn't kill you for trying, James, Charlie would."

That sobered JT up immediately. Despite being an Alpha, he was duty bound as a Piper and as the Lieutenant's chosen Second. He nodded slowly.

"So no more Sir Lancelot shit, if you please? It'll never happen, not by accident or by fated design. I won't wonder what if and you shouldn't either. Besides, you're like a brother to me now."

JT's face scrunched up unhappily. "Why'd you have to say that?!"

"Cuz I'm mean like that, yo," Cait said with a chuckle.
Caitlinn Conrad 11 years ago
Flexing her wrists, the pain immediately subsided and the bruises faded. JT circled the desk and knelt down in front of her, pulling at her hands. He felt along the bones of her wrist and tested her full range.

"Swelling is gone, bruises should be fairly soon, too."

"Yeah the pain is gone." Cait grumbled unhappily, "That fucker."

"What happened in there?"

Cait grimaced,
"Meh, I pushed his buttons. Asked for an apology for using me as bait."

JT grinned and then let go of her hands. Settling on the edge of her desk next to her, he crossed his arms. "She smells like orchids."

Rolling her eyes, Cait leaned back in her chair.
"So what's the deal with that? Your inner-Alpha just want to conquer everything with a vagina now or something?" JT chuckled and shyly looked at her. "What, just bragging rights? 'Hey, I fucked the bane of our existence?' Don't you feel the hate toward her, too?"

"Yeah, but she's a beautiful woman."

"Let's get this straight. She's a vampire. She's immortal. And she's killed thousands of people. Thousands. Even if she killed one person a year since her turning, we're talking Ted Bundy times 100."

"She's a woman, Cait. Like you," that made Cait huff and glare at him, "like any other female. She liked what she saw, I didn't twist her arm."

"Pretty girl bat her eyelashes at you and you're mush, apparently?"

"I can't fight evolution, Cait. It's in me to propagate the species."

"Wow, that's the argument you're going with? Oh my god...werewolves," she said shaking her head.
Charlie Hammond 11 years ago
Charlie stopped mid sentence in the middle of his recap of the MME (Mineral/Metal Extractor) notes he gave to the tight sweatered tech several months earlier. She had finally gotten through all the notes, but had infinitely more questions regarding his theories.

"You can't theorize introducing dark matter when no one can even duplicate that type of energy in the known world, Dr. Hammond."

A nameless tech, part of Huntington's research team, was aghast that Charlie was even suggesting theoretical quantum physics, but really it was just above the tech's pay grade. Charlie had stopped mid sentence because somewhere in the building, Caitlinn was in pain.

"Dr. Hammond?"

Charlie tried to focus in on the pain and immediately felt his brain want to cease up. Wincing, Charlie shook his head and focused in on the tech.

"Then don't waste my time asking questions until your team catches up to dark matter theory. Good luck on leading the way in the industry then. Gentlemen, ladies...if you'll excuse me." Taking his ipad, Charlie excused himself and left the conference room admist the murmur of excited whispering and disgruntled murmurs.

"Charlie?" the tight sweatered tech said, following him out the door. "Ignore Fred, he's still pissed you're even leading the department."

Charlie looked over his shoulder at the female tech trailing behind him. She was wearing another tight sweater, this time purple, and it accentuated every curve of her 38DD chest. "I've been ignoring him - he shouldn't even be down here. And please address me as Dr. Hammond. I don't call you by your first name," not that he even knew what it was. Picking up his pace, he left her behind and headed toward the opposite side of the level toward Cait's office.

"It's Lisa and you can, if you wanted to...." he heard her mumble as he turned the corner, leavig her rudely behind.

Moving quickly through the labryinth of offices and labs, Charlie made it to Cait's office and knocked once. Opening the door he found his Second leaning on Cait's desk, closer than the territorial wolf in him would have liked. Cait was leaning back in her chair, not surprised at all to see Charlie.

"Hey," she said with a big smile.

Charlie could not help but grin at her, despite wanting to physically remove JT from her personal space. JT got up from his perch on the desk and stood next to Cait's chair, assuming the protective stance that Charlie knew was instinctual - it still annoyed him, though.

"Aren't you in the middle of your theoretical broohaha?" Cait asked, leaning forward onto her desk.

"Are you ok?" Charlie asked, ignoring her question.

"Yeah, why?"

Charlie blinked and then looked at JT. Clearing his throat, JT caved immediately. "Simon called her up to his office."

"What happened?"

Cait grumbled and then slumped back into her chair.
JT Paulson 11 years ago
The Lieutenant glared at him silently. There wasn't much JT could add to his retelling of what had just happened up in Simon's office. The silent rebuke resonated in JT, but he maintained the LT's stare.

"Ok, it's creepy when you guys just stand there and stare at each other. I'm used to more yelling."

JT looked down and cleared his throat.

"What were you doing while Cait was alone with Huntington?"

JT looked at Cait who made a face and raised her eyebrows. "I was speaking to Miss Duban."

" her." Charlie took a deep breath and his face pinched up. "Is that why her scent is all over you?" He paused and then rolled his eyes. "Jesus, I can feel your heart rate speed up just talking about her, Piper."

"That's really...not fair," JT mumbled. It wasn't - the ability to lie, or at least rearrange the truth, was lost when speaking to the new LT. Made conversations awkwardly truthful.

"Dismissed," the LT said and finally flicked his penetrating stare off of JT and back onto Cait.


"I said dismissed."

Charlie's voice was tightly controlled and stern. JT reacted immediately and left the room, closing the door silently behind him without even thinking of doing any of it. An Alpha JT was, but Charlie was still his superior. Other than leadership, there was no other Piper who could command JT with such finality. Charlie had that way with the Pipers, even before stepping up as LT.

The old LT had been demoted and suspended for his near attack on Cait. JT suffered extra duty, but as a puke at the bottom of the totem pole (despite what the Trainer Shayle Jameson was implying), he retained his position as the new Lieutenant's Second. It could have been worse.

Charlie's dismissal did not mean the end of their conversation, it just meant the LT wouldn't rip him a new one in front of Caitlinn. He'd wait for it back at the Den.

((OOC JT out))
Caitlinn Conrad 11 years ago
"What made you come check in on me?"

Cait watched as Charlie cleared the annoyed glare on his face. His expression softened as he cast those baby blues at him, making her feel a blush rise up in her cheeks. Even angry he was incredibly desirable.

"I felt your pain." That surprised Cait and her expression reflected it. "Yeah, that was odd, wasn't it?"

"Well, it's always been within eyesight, right?"

Charlie nodded and slowly circled Cait's desk and settled in the same spot JT was just sitting. "Do you feel me?"

"That's bonding. I don't think you have that. At least, you've never mentioned any indication of having it."

There was no telling what abilities Charlie had, only that it was a wide range of all three clans. They were intermittent and random, at best. The only abilities he seemed to have consistently was the heightened perception and empathy, in addition to the supernatural speed and strength that both species had.

She pushed her lips out and huffed silently. "Are you going to rip James a new one?"

Charlie flicked an annoyed look at her. "Why do you do that?"

"Do what?"

"Call them by their first names?"

"Because I'm not a Piper. I'm just sleeping with one." Cait smiled and batted her eyelashes. Charlie's jealousy receeded, but he still crossed his arms indignantly. "You are weirdly possessive."

"I know," he mumbled unhappily.

"I don't know why you are." Cait paused. "Well, I suppose I do."

Charlie looked at her, curiosity brewing in his light blue eyes.

"You may not remember her, but the fact that you couldn't have her because of someone else seems to resonate with your actions."

"You mean Vivienne?"

Cait took a deep breath and shrugged. "Seems like it. Like, you look at her and thinking you might have had her, if you had been more aggressive-"

"I don't think about her like that."

"And maybe you put me on a pedestal, growling at every man around me."

"That's not fair."

"No, it's possessive and annoying."

Charlie straightened up off her desk and stared at her. "Because I love you, it's annoying?"

To Cait it seemed like she was more of a vested interest lately than Charlie's girlfriend. His jealousy with Jake and constant bodyguards. She was never alone and it bothered her more and more each day. She adored the other Pipers, they were good friends and gentlemen, but Charlie's jealousy was getting out of hand.

"I don't want a Piper guard anymore."

Charlie was silent as he stared down at her.



"Excuse me?"

"What is this? Why are you suddenly wanting this? I'm just trying to protect you like I said I would."

"I want to be alone. I'm never alone."

"And you saw what happened when you were left alone. Huntington almost broke your wrists. The things that we do, the things you're involved with - there are still real dangers. You'd rather I just let you get hurt?"

"What is it with you men wanting to protect me? Like I'm some helpless waif, needing a knight a shining armor. I'm not an idiot. You don't own me, Charlie."

"I never said you were. I never said I did. I just want you safe-"

"And I just want to be alone."
Charlie Hammond 11 years ago
Cait's emotions weren't hysterical, unreasonable, or angry. It was as if she was distancing herself, pulling away from him. Even after a perfect example of why she needed protection, she was refusing it now.

"Does that include me? Do you want me to leave you alone?"

"I don't need you you hover or take a bullet Charlie."

"That doesn't answer my question."

"Stop being my bodyguard and stop being so god damn territorial."

But that's all he had ever been to her. It was how they met, for Christ sake. It was almost a year now since they met in Indiana and spent the better part of a week alone at the Den. He protected her, and granted failed miserably at it, but he wanted to ensure her safety and have her in his life. Was he smothering her?

"Our lives aren't normal, Cait. We're standing in vampire territory. We're surrounded by them and by real dangers. How do you even expect me to not worry about you?"

"You treat me like a possession. I'm tired of it."

"Stop saying that." Charlie shook his head and turned away from her, moving toward the door. "I don't know what you want me to say. I don't know how else to explain what I'm doing." Facing her again he shrugged helplessly. "No, I won't pull the Pipers. I won't just let you walk around with a bulls-eye on your back."

Cait slumped back into her chair and remained silent.

Charlie checked his watch and then opened the door. "It's getting late. Did you want to go to dinner?"

"Seriously, you're just going to ignore what I just said and act like it never happened?"

"I'm not going to ignore your safety."

Cait nodded and leaned onto her desk. "Well, you are a good Piper, Lieutenant Hammond. Leave a Piper at my door, I'm staying late."

Charlie opened her door slowly. He felt the sting of her words as well as the hurt she held in. "Cait, please...."

"I'm finishing up here and then I'm going to go out and find Jake. If you want a Piper to watch, that's really up to you."

He slammed the door back shut harder and quicker than he realized. The jealousy rose up in him and he walked back to her desk, scaring him more than he apparently was scaring her. Cait immediately pushed her chair back and away from her desk, the fear on her face apparent.

"Tyler? Really? Is that how you want to play this, Cait? You don't like what I'm trying to do for you so you run to him? What can he do for you that I can't? Why would you want him in the first place?"

Cait's mouth gaped open, but the fear was in her eyes and all the fight just seemed to dry up in her. She was speechless.

"If you think Tyler can protect you better than I can.... If you want to throw him in my face for trying to keep you safe...."

"Charlie, what the hell?"

Her voice was small and scared. Charlie circled her desk and knelt down in front of her, but she cringed back, clearly scared of him now. He put his hands on her arm rests and she pulled her arms in, hugging herself. Cait's fear bubbled over and she was one hundred percent terrified of him.

Did he love her or was he as obsessed with her as Tyler seemed to be? It enraged Charlie to think of other men touching her. Being near her. Trying to have her. He loved her from the moment she kissed him in Indiana. Every day he was with her in the beginning, the more he fell in love with her. Looking at her now, he wanted her always in his life and the thought of her hurting or being hurt infuriated him.

"Cait, I love you."

"You sure about that, Charlie?"
Caitlinn Conrad 11 years ago
Charlie reached out slowly and took her hand. Gently he kissed her fingers like he did in her dream, waiting for her to wake up. Cait felt the lump in her throat as she looked at him and was terrified that she no longer recognized the man she thought she was in love with for almost the past year.

"I love you, babe," he said with his lips pressed up against her fingers. "I don't want to lose you."

"Ok," she said stupidly, being at a complete loss for words.

"I'm sorry I scared you."

And boy, he did. Cait gulped and wanted to pull her hands away from him. The fear seemed to feed to paranoia again, making her want to pull completely away from Charlie and run.

"You need to..." she started and then cleared her throat. "I need you to give me more freedom, Charlie. The tighter you hold on, the more I want to run."

He seemed to think it over as he stared at her fingers. His thumbs ran small circles over her skin and it sent shivers, the good kind, up her spine. She didn't like this scary Charlie, but at least when he touched her, it was still the thrill from before.

"I can't pull the Pipers when we're here. I just can't."

"I know, I understand. But when we're not here?"

Charlie sighed and relented. "Alright." He shook his head. "You don't need my permission, babe. If you don't want the protection outside being here, then I'll pull them."

He released her hands and stood without looking at her. Cait watched as Charlie moved back toward the door and opened it. "I'll see you later, then," he said without looking at her.

"Charlie, wait a second." Standing, she walked up to him and gently closed the door. Putting her hands flat on his chest, she looked up at him. He still wouldn't look at her. "I love you," she said and finally his eyes caught hers.

"I know you do," he said softly. "Your freedom is your own. I'm sorry I made you feel trapped." Reaching up, he took her hands and pulled them off his chest. "I'll see you later."

"Are you heading back to the Den?"


Cait waited for Charlie to finish when she realized he was done. Part of her was surprised, still scared, and now nervous. Who was pulling away now? Taking a step back, she nodded.


Charlie gave her a small smile and left.