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Fantasy Unlikely Partners

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Flutterby

standard-issue human
Closed with @Tharivle

Mullbrook is a quiet place, the type that doesn't attract a whole lot of human attention. Unfortunately, its quaint personality, proximity to a large city, and gloomy weather make it a good place for all sort of non-human beings to hang around. That's why the Golden Flame set up shop there centuries ago, integrated in the human police force. They function as a supernatural police, protecting the humans of Mullbrook from the creatures that wander in off the highway. Chris has been a steady hand in their ranks for years, but no one knows the truth about his K9 partner.
Ilaria, on the other hand, is one of those drifters looking to settle down. She doesn't mean to make trouble, but things begin to get weird not long after she rolls into town. It's bad news for her, too; she's been looking for peace and quiet for most of her life.
When the humans of Mullbrook begin to be in real danger, something has to be done. Can an unlikely partnership save this sleepy little town?
 
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Flutterby

standard-issue human
The slender woman flipped her hair over her shoulder, taking a sip of her drink. The alcohol burned as it slid down her throat. She hiccuped, and tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear. She was one or two drinks over her usual limit, which put her well into the territory of drunk.
Ilaria was up at the end of the bar at Mile 7, perched on a stool with her fifth, or was it sixth, mojito of the night. It was the middle of February, her weakest month, and she felt like absolute crap. It had also been weeks since she had gotten to feed off of anyone. Although it made her feel bad to use the humans that way, this time of year, it was about the only way to break out of the horrible slump.
And on that note, Ari lifted her silvery eyes and ran them around the room. Drunk humans were easiest to feed off of, they didn't even notice. And drunk men, well, they were good for energy and a little bit of fun. It was just a matter of picking the right one..
 
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Tharivle

Member
It was getting to be about 9:30 and the door to Mile 7 opened. Chris walked in and held the door open for a second more and his dog Rex slipped in silently. Chris was in his plane clothes, jeans, tea shirt and an old leather jacket with a WWII patch on the shoulder. If one looked closely enouph they could see his off duty weapon strapped to the backside of his hip. Chris settled down into a stool at the end of the bar facing the door and Rex sat down next to him back to the bar and looking in the opposite direction as Chris. As they sat down the bartender greeted both of them. "Good evening Chris.... And Rex." At the sound of his name Rex gave a soft low bark, and Chris smiled at the man, "Hello there Fred. The unusual for the both of us." Fred already had the Scotch ready and set it on a napkin in front of Chris and pulled out a small stake and tossed it over the counter. Chris smiled and thanked the man and the stake never hit the ground because Rex snatched it out of the air and ate it quickly.
"Long day?" Fred asked after he tossed Rex his treat.
"More of the same. Couple speeding tickets and a tad bit of drugs from some out of towners on the highway. Nothing big." Chris said as he took a sip. Fred nodded and went off down the bar to help his other costumers.
Chris scanned the room with a smile, and noticing quickly a new face, the pretty blond at the other end of the bar, but she was clearly already a little tipsy.
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ari looked up quickly as the door opened, watching as a handsome new face walked in. Followed by a very handsome dog. She watched the pair out of the corner of her eye, noting that they seemed very familiar with the bartender. So, locals. People that would soon be considered neighbors.
She had just settled into town, picking up a cottage near the beach, and a job at the coffee shop. Even with making a home here, she felt run down. But, the man sitting at the other end of the bar might just be able to fix that.
Ari took another sip of her drink, and fixed her eyes on Chris. She had a feeling that he was as good as it was going to get that night, so she picked up her drink and wandered along the bar. Her soft white top flounced as she moved, brushing the waistline of her jeans. Despite the alcohol, she wasn't wobbling; alcohol didn't affect her quite that way. The flush in her cheeks, which was from the alcohol, matched the shade of her lips perfectly. She placed her drink on the bar next to Chris, and said softly, "Mind if I keep you company?"
 
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Tharivle

Member
Chris grinned in response and glanced at her. With his glass at his lips he said, "I don't know... What do you think Rex?" As he finished talking Rex looked over his shoulder at her for a long moment, as if he was actually thinking about what to say, then gave two low soft barks. "Okay boy." Chris turned to face her fully now and gestured with his free hand, "He said he would love to share the company of a pretty girl like you." He waited for her to sit, "I'm Chris, and who might you be?"
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ari smiled back, but narrowed her eyes a little when he spoke to the dog. Her eyebrow raised when the dog seemed to respond intelligently. But, her invited her to sit, so she did. That was what she was going for. She leaned her elbow on the bar, her hair falling away from her neck. She didn't comment on the compliment, but smiled when he introduced himself. As she sat and answered him, she took a better look at him, and noticed just the edge of a holster peaking out from under his jacket.
"Ilaria," She responded, and then added, "But, you could call me Ari." She turned a little on the stool to face him fully, and took a deep inhale. "So, do you carry just because you love guns, or are you one of the three officers in town?" The blonde gave a small nod to his hip, where she had seen the edge of his holster.
 
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Tharivle

Member
"Why not both?" Chris said with a smile. "We are the counties single K9 unit, but I live here in Mullbrook." Chris looked her up and down quickly, "And what about you? Must be new, I'm in here every Friday night at least and I always remember a pretty face."
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
"Fair enough," Ari said softly, lowering her chin and looking up at him through her lashes. In her minds eye, she pictured him in the dark blue uniform. Hm..
She smiled softly to herself, and blinked slowly. "I just moved into town," Ari took a small sip of her drink. "I was living on the east coast, and needed a change of pace. I picked up a cottage, looking to pick up a new hobby or two, I'll be working at the coffee shop, Just a Cup. And, um.." She licked her lips and dropped one hand to rest on his thigh, just slightly to the inside. "I could stand to make some friends in town."
When she touched his leg, a bit of energy slipped into her body. It was pure, some of the strongest she had ever had. It made her feel even drunker. And it would do the same to him; the loss of even a little life energy would make the alcohol he was drinking hit way faster.
 
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Tharivle

Member
"Well if its friends you are looking for I could maybe help." Chris was taken in by her good looks and not so subtle come-on. He had a weird feeling, when she toughed him, like he downed his whole drink not just sipping as he usually dose. "Fred.." Fred walked over with a grin upon seeing the two of them together, "Yeeess"
"Get Ari a refill, and put her night on my tab." Chris said without breaking eye contact with Ilaria.
"Will do. What you having?"
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ari met his eyes, and then, very slowly, her eyes drifted down his jawline. "I think you're just the man for the job.." It came out as mostly a whisper, while he called Fred over. A smile spread over her face at his request, because it was a pretty obvious sign that things were going her way.
She licked her lips and blinked slowly, smiling up at Chris, and taking just a little bit more energy.
"Another mojito, please, Fred.." Her thumb moved back and forth across his thigh a couple times. "This is quite the welcome to town." When Fred brought her drink over, she picked it up and took a long drink, never taking her eyes off of Chris's.
 

Tharivle

Member
Chris's head spun just a little bit because of what she was doing, but he didn't care because he liked the feeling. Chris set his drink down and grazed his hand over hers where she had it on his leg. Chris pulled his hand back before actually grabbing her hand and reached into his pocket and pulled out two quarters. He placed them on the counter and said out loud, "Number 9 please, and turn it up a little." Chris grabbed her hand and pulled her to him as he stood. Then lead her to the side of the building where there was a small dance floor. Just as they got there the music in the background turned up and a song started. "Come on everybody." At his words s few more couples from around the bar and dinner stood and joined them on the dance floor. Chris spun her around as the song hit the started the second verse.
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ari felt a bit of a jolt as his hand touched hers, surprising herself. Must be all the mojitos. She smiled at him, and brushed her hair back from her face with her free hand. She was a little too fuzzy to resist when he pulled her to her feet, right up next to him. Not that she wanted to, especially after her hand touched his chest.
She followed him, quietly pleased with how well this was working out. She felt almost normal. The music kicked in, and suddenly there was an entire group of people dancing. He spun her, and she actually found herself gasping with a little bit of surprise. She let him pull her closer, and tried to remember the last time she had danced with someone. They danced, and every few lines of the song, she shifted closer, and took just a tiny bit of energy. He was a fair dancer, and they moved together better than she had thought they would. By the end of the song, she felt as good as blackout drunk, but she knew it wasn't the alcohol. She leaned up toward his ear, close enough that he could feel her breath, and said, "What do you think about getting out of here?"
 

Tharivle

Member
"I was going to ask you that, but it looks like I have my answer." Chris led her through the crowd back to their stools where he left his jacket. "My place is just a few minutes walk?" He said in a questioning tone.
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ari gave a slow nod, and followed him out of the bar with a wink at Fred. Rex followed a few steps behind him. Ari laced her arm under his, and in just a few minutes, he was unlocking the door to his place. She stepped inside, and as he turned to lock it behind them, she pressed him against the door, and pressed her lips against his.
...
Ilaria opened her eyes slowly, seeing an unfamiliar room. A soft moan escaped her as she shifted, waking her muscles up. She turned her head, and saw from the light coming in the window. It looked like it was still mostly dark out, and she could tell that it must be around 6am. She felt amazing, almost as good as she did at a peak. Ari glanced guiltily at the sleeping form next to her, knowing that he would wake up with the worst hangover of his life. She may have been a little greedy.
She considered getting up and leaving as quietly as she could, but in a town this small, that probably wouldn't work out too well. She really did need friends around. So instead, she leaned over, and brushed her hand through his hair.
"Chris," Ari said softly. She waited until he had woken up and seemed to be listening, and then said. "I think I'm gonna go." She got up, gathering her stuff and getting dressed. "Look.. I'm not into dating at all, but.. if you ever wanted to get a drink again, I'll be around. This was.." She paused, and leaned down, planting a soft kiss high on his cheekbone. "This was really great." She hesitated before pulling back, briefly considering another round before she left, but she couldn't let herself indulge more than she already had. Any more, and he might end up really sick. That, and she could already feel her body itching to change.
 
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Tharivle

Member
Chris struggled to open his eyes but he did wake up when she started talking. He blinked the sleepiness away before responding, "I agree, that was amazing..." Chris smiled a little as he remembered the night, but glanced at the clock and frowned a little. "It is ok Ari." He said softly, I have to get ready for work anyway."
Chris got up and got dressed a little himself and walked her to the door. As she was about to leave he said, "I know you said you weren't looking for a relationship, and to be honest I really am not either.... but my stool is saved for me at Mile 7 in Friday nights... if ever you wanted to get a drink again.."
Chris had a bad headache through this exchange but wasn't nearly as bad as Ilaria was expecting. As soon as she left and the door closed Rex came walking up to him as he sat down in a recliner. Rex put his head on his lap and as Chris touched his head to pet him wisps of golden flame rippled from Rex to Chris. Instantly clearing his headache and waking him up. "Thanks boy, I needed it..... But why did I need it?"
 
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Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ari watched him closely as he moved around, noting that he seemed pretty worse for wear, but handling it well. It was too bad he needed to go to work though, that would suck. She paused at the door, and smiled a little. "I'm sure I'll see you around soon, Chris." With that, she scampered out of his home, and before long she was backtracking to Mile 7. As little as she actually needed a car, she did have one for appearances.
The drive back to her cottage was short and peaceful, and after a quick shower, she had wandered out to the hiking trails that ran through the woods surrounding town. Ari veered off the trail, getting a few feet of undergrowth to cover her from view. Now that she actually felt good, she needed to stretch out and get some exercise. There was a small flash of light, and then a beautiful barn owl flew off into the trees.
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
8:08 AM
Sophia Jenkins turned the radio up a little more, humming along to the sound of the country song. The 34-year-old mom was on her way back to her family's home outside of town after dropped her kids off at school and picking up a coffee at Just a Cup.
Route 32 wound near the woods near the hiking trails, and was a common place to see animal crossings. On a misty morning like today, one had to be cautious. Sophia always was, like all the locals were.
She thought she saw a shape at the edge of the road, and eased off the gas a little, just in case there was a herd of something in the trees that was trying to make a crossing.
Nothing ran out in front of her, and the woman began to relax. The sudden impact hit the side of her car, and sent it rolling down the small embankment on the other side of the road.

8:47 AM
"911, what's your emergency?"
"I'm on Route 32 near Mullbrook, and there's been an accident. Oh God, it looks bad. I think it's the Jenkins's car!"

8:52 AM
The ambulance door swung shut heavily, and the lights at the top lit up. It spend off down Route 32 at 15 miles over, leaving the small group of other responders and witnesses to stare after it.
The fire chief had gotten on scene first, followed shortly by EMS. Police, who had the longer drive from the center of town, showed up last. Normally, this would be the source of some humor between the departments, but not today.
The SUV Sophia had been driving had come to rest against a large tree, overturned onto the driver's side. It had hit the tree with enough force to dent to roof, but that was nothing compared to damage to the passenger side of the vehicle. Whatever had hit the side of the vehicle, it was big, and it had run at the vehicle with a huge amount of force.
Sophia herself was probably going to be okay, but she had broken a few bones and what would be a nasty concussion when she woke up. Her nose had been broken badly, which had been the source of the blood that had panicked the caller.
The fire chief was standing with some of his men, shaking his head. "It must've been an elk... or maybe a moose or a grizzly have wandered down into these parts.." He shook his head, and crossed his arms across his chest. "It was the darndest thing.. when I pulled up I swear I saw a wolf, a bright gray one, but no way a wolf could've done that, and no way the others would've hung around after.. I mean, it mustve been an elk, but.. where is the damn thing? It couldn't have gone far."
There had already been a preliminary search of the surrounding woods, and no large, injured animal had been found. Whatever wrecked that car had disappeared.
 
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Flutterby

standard-issue human
A silver wolf jogged slowly away from the accident scene, in the direction of the beach. It had darkening splotches of blood in its fur, and it moved quickly with its nose near to the ground. Slinking, trying not to be noticed by anything in the woods with eyes.
Ari knew that she had lingered at the accident for too long, and that the man in the red truck with lights had seen her. But the woman in the car had woken up while she was checking on her, and she couldn't exactly change back to human while she was watching. And then Ari had sensed something nearby that made her skin crawl, and she didn't want to leave the woman alone until more humans came. So she had stayed, as a wolf, outside of the SUV, until help came. And then she ran off into the woods, but she knew the fire chief had seen her.
She would've changed instantly, but there had been a scent in the air that she couldn't quite place, and the canine senses were just so much better. She lost it really quickly though, and wasn't able to pick it up again. It had reminded her of faintly of the sour smell of sickness, but there was no way to track it any more.
So Ilaria started for home, staying in the wolf form in case she caught the smell again.
 

Tharivle

Member
Chris was in uniform picking up coffee to go at Just a Cup when the call came over the air. Knowing that EMS would get there before him he didn't go fast but he and Rex got in the car and headed out there. He pulled up just as the ambulance was pulling away. He got out and greeted the fire chief, "Hey there Dave, what do we have here?"
"Looks like she was hit by a large animal, but we couldn't find anything other than the damage to confirm that." The chief replied.
"Mind if we take a look around?"
"The car is stable, and the tow truck will be here in about 20 minutes. Have at it. Maybe Rex will smell something we couldn't see."
Chris nodded in acknowledgement, "Come on Rex, what caused the crash?"
Chris followed his dog down the hill and watched as Rex circled the car a few times, stopping where the impact on the side of the car was to smell. Rex started tracking something, but got only a few yards away and lost whatever it was.
Seeing that they came up with nothing the fire chief walked over and told Chris, "I saw a silver wolf hanging around the car when I pulled up. There were no others and it didn't seem to be looking for an easy snack."
"Interesting." Was Chris's only response. "You smell another dog Rex?" Rex tilted his head then started trotting off they way Ilaria had gone, then looked back to see if Chris was following, which he was at a brisk walk.
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ilaria slowed to a stop, about a mile away from her home. She had covered the last 2 miles without another trace of the sickness-smell, and decided it wasn't worth it anymore. She stayed where she was for a few moments, listening. When she didn't hear any people nearby, she shifted back to her human form, and continued on her way. She didn't think about the fact that the soft forest earth held prints, and clearly marked the point where she stopped leaving wolf prints, and started leaving Converse sneaker prints. The chilly, damp air caught her a little by surprise, and she hurried home.
The events of the morning stuck in her head as she walked. How long until I got to the car? A minute? It had to have been about that, I was flying, and found it right away. So some kind of animal rammed a car hard enough to roll it like that, and was gone without a trace within a minute, with hardly a scent trace. This doesn't add up. It's not natural.
That thought stopped her in her tracks, and her gut clenched. If it's not natural, it has to be supernatural. She sighed heavily. This is exactly why I left the city.
Her cottage was a lonely one, near a stretch of beach too rocky to be pleasant to tourists. She had bought it from a young woman whose father had own the place, an old fisherman, a grumpy man who hated even the locals. No one would bother her out here.
She stepped inside, directly into the kitchen, and kicked off her shoes, not bothering to lock the door, and headed into the tiny living room. She scanned her bookshelf, looking for a particular book. A thick, leather-bound thing, without writing on the spine. It only took a few second to find it, and she took it with her to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. The cover of the book had writing on it, but not in any known human language.
 

Tharivle

Member
The pair tracked the wolf trail for about a half an hour when it stopped. And right where the tracks stopped shoe prints started. Rex looked confused but continued following the trail after stopping and looking up at Chris who simply gestured for him to continue. They came to little two track that was most likely a driveway and could see a small cottage through the trees. "Conceal" Chris whispered, and Rex slipped back into the trees and followed his path up towards the cottage hidden from view.
Chris approached the front door at a walk wile Rex weaved in and out behind trees and behind buildings to stay out of view of the house. Chris nocked on the door and waited patiently.
 

Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ari jumped slightly, fumbling the kettle she was filling. She was froze for a moment, and then slowly shut the kettle and placed it on the stove to heat.
Who could possibly be here? No one even knows I live here..
She turned back, taking the few steps around the last cabinets to the door. Through the glass pane, she saw Chris, now in uniform. She pulled it open slightly, less than halfway. "Chris, what are you doing here?" Her voice was noticeably defensive. Is he some kind of stalker?
And then it hit her brain, that he probably responded to the call for the accident. And he had a trained dog. He tracked me here. Shit.
She raised an eyebrow at him, and tried not to look worried.
 

Tharivle

Member
Chris was just as surprised to see her as she was that he found her. He stumbled over his first words because of his surprise. "Hi there Ari... There was an accident on the highway about a mile through the woods and the fire chief said he say a wolf of all things so we started tracking it. The wolf prints stopped around here. and I was just wondering if you have seen anything?"
While he talked he tried to look inside discreetly to see if he could see her shoes or if they were still on her feet, as to try to match them with the tracks they found.
 
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Flutterby

standard-issue human
Ari blinked at him twice, and then was able to put on a look of surprise. "A.. a wolf?" She looked over his shoulder as if she were looking for it, but she was really looking for Rex. Could Rex smell that it was me? Do I smell similarly enough?
"Are you sure? I just got back from a walk, I didn't see a thing." She said, taking half a step back from the door. It opened a little more, but she still couldn't see Rex. "Should I be worried, about the wolf? Is it dangerous?" As she spoke, she heard her kettle start to whistle. "Sorry, I'm making a cup of tea, I'll just grab that." She moved away quickly, moving the kettle onto a cold burner. As she moved back to the door, she placed the newspaper on top of the leather book. "So, the wolf, should I be worried?"
 

Tharivle

Member
Chris picked up on her uneasiness right out the gate even though she tried to put on a brave face. And as she turned her back to him he pushed the door open just a little bit more and was able to see her shoes, and they roughly matched what he saw in the woods. But what tipped him off the most is that she seemed to be looking for Rex, but she didn't ask him where he was and that would suggest that she is worried about where he was. He also noticed her move the newspaper but didn't catch what was under it.
"No no, it is ok. It is just a weird thing to see a wolf in these parts." Chris shuffled his feet toying with the idea that she might actually be a shapshifter. She had a weird affect on me last night. I have never had to take power from Rex. And the wolf tracks disappeared where her footprints started.
"Well I'm glad you are ok and sorry to disturb you. If you see anything weird like a loan wolf, just let me know okay." Chris never went in but he stepped back out of the doorway.
 

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