February 2014



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Feb. 21st, 2014


And it begins

Noah was, as usual, the first to notice.

He was sitting at the dining table, pretending to read from the book Charlie had leant him while she prepared her dinner. Something with chicken and butter. Yet again he wished such food still appealed to him so that his normal diet wouldn't repulse her.

As far as he could tell, she seemed calm today- fewer nervous glances and flinches when he drew near her. Noah was even pleased to hear soft humming under her breath as she chopped up something- mushrooms?- that she tossed in with the chicken. Humming was definitely a good sign that she was slowly accepting the fact that he was a vampire.

As if sensing his thoughts, Charlie glanced back at him. Of course his eyes were already back on the book, resuming his fake reading of it. He made sure to look up just once, as if he hadn't noticed her watching him, and offered her a shy smile. The smile she returned was just as shy, but definitely real, and it warmed his unbeating heart to see it. Maybe things really could go back to the way they were between them.

They maintained their comfortable silence, each watching the other while trying not to be too obvious about it. It was in the silence, though, that Noah heard that soft footfall.

When Charlie glanced again, she was surprised to see him staring out the window, tense and unnaturally still. His eyes were an icy yellow, not at all like his usual golden caramel, reminding her of a small lion holding absolutely still before his prey. The thought made her shiver before she could remind herself not to. She knew her subconscious fear of Noah's true identity made him sad which only made her feel fearful and guilty.

Charlie made her hands turn off the stove, noting absently that they were shaking. With her back still to him, she quietly asked, "Noah, is something wrong?"

A beat of silence- Noah debating whether or not to tell her the truth- and to her irritation, Charlie found her heartbeat beating a little faster. She needed to get a grip. Noah either sensed her rising alarm or heard her rising heartbeat, because he suddenly looked back at her and frowned, concerned.

Shut up, she told her heart. "What is it?" she asked again more firmly.

Noah sighed, and against his better judgement, told her the truth. "The other vampire- Alexander Crowne- is outside."

Charlie stopped breathing altogether. Alarmed, Noah rose to his feet- as always, mindful of moving slowly around her- and went to her side. She didn't react at all to his proximity, which frightened him even more, and with only a slight hesitation, he rested a gentle hand on her arm. "Charlie, please don't be frightened," he whispered. "I'm not very big, but I am strong, and-" he rose his voice for the benefit of the audience outside- "I won't let him hurt you."

Mar. 30th, 2012


Royce was having a hard time dealing with, he felt like, everything. From his new budding romance with Charlie to keeping a low-profile in a town that was growing more interested in him to Rosemary's new unsafe place of employment and the hunter she kept insisting on being in close contact with to now Crowne butting his big nose into things that were none of his damn business. He was so used to having his life the way he wanted, being the one in charge but the longer he stayed in New Hope, that control was being taken from him. The fact that Rosemary was becoming more and more independent was difficult enough to wrap his brain around. She had always been so needy of him. It was her need that was disappearing. While he was bucket and bucket loads proud of her for finally getting a job that she didn't suck at, he didn't like how the job was changing her.

Okay. It wasn't really changing her that much. He was just noticing certain things. Rosey no longer needed him to fall asleep. Before, he'd sing her lullabies to calm her down enough to close her eyes. Now, as soon as she was done at the Burger King, she came home and fell asleep without waiting for him. Without him period. He'd be left alone to stare up at the ceiling, humming lullabies to himself. She was probably tired and worked out from whatever they were having her do at the burger joint. That was it. And it was no big thing. Rosemary was far too old for silly tunes anyway. So was he. Again, it wasn't like she was having a sudden change in her personality. She still held onto his arm while they slept and still insisted he'd make her breakfast. Things hadn't changed.

But Royce couldn't shake the feeling that soon, they would.

Alexander Crowne was proof of that.

The vampire hadn't caught them in years. And now he was showing up, cards and words galore. Rosemary, of course, was far more excited about the return of their 'family friend'. Her eagerness to approach Crowne sparked up a fight between them. It had gotten mean, both sides leaving with their sides bruised. Ten years they had lasted without a fight. Was it ironic that it had also been ten years since they had seen Crowne? No, it was more like a coincidence that wasn't a coincidence at all. The vampire had always been a sensitive subject for Royce. It was more of a problem for him than it was for Rosemary. He completely understood the connection between them but he still hated the fact that there was any connection at all. Rosemary was his family. NOT Crowne's. And now that damn blood-sucker was trying to get to Charlie? First his sister and now his girlfriend? Did Crowne have any morals?

Of course not. A virtuous vampire was like a vegetarian werewolf. There was no such thing. And Crowne was as virtuous as a shark. Which was a fitting description. Sharks were all bright toothy smiles, capable of picking up the scent of blood miles away. Yes, Crowne was a shark. The one with big nose.

And now he was just being petty.

The front door of the clinic chimed as another customer came in. Today had turned out pretty busy. One lady had come in with her extremely pregnant dog and within an hour, the clinic was home to a bunch of new puppies. Even Rose- err, Abbey had been excited about the tiny balls of sherbert-colored fur. Since the lady had to take off for her own job, Charlie had agreed to keep a watch on them and kept them comfortably set up in the Doc's office (who didn't have the chance to say no since he was busy with other customers). In the middle of that, people kept pouring in. What could have been a smooth day full of brooding was turning into a welcome distraction. Crowne was still at the front of his mind but at least it was easy to forget the vampire, even if it was only a couple hours.

Between the puppies, the parakeet with a sore wing and the other handful of people coming in with their assortment of pets, there wasn't a lot of time for conversation either. Royce kept to his own work, the Doc to his and Charlie to her's. Abbey was plenty distracted the puppies, weirdly so the first time the phone rang, it went unanswered. The second and third, they all lifted their head toward the phone, each glancing to one another. By the fourth, it was the Doc that relented-

Mar. 27th, 2012


Touching Royce had been a mistake.

"Dammit, why did I do that?" Charlie asked herself several days later. "Why? Like some... perverted girlfriend that goes touching her boyfriends in places, private places, that they probably don't want to be touched!" Even though he didn't stop her. Even though he seemed like he enjoyed the contact, when he smiled down at her and in gentle words that he liked it. Maybe Royce was just okay with physical affection. He was like that with Rosemary, wasn't he? Maybe it just isn't a big deal to him.

Maybe it's just not a big deal when she touches him.

"Stop it! Stop it right now!" she growled at herself before her mind could jump away from her. Again.

It was why she barely slept the last few nights- her very consciousness was always captured by images of Royce, of the places she touched, and of the places still left unexplored. She tossed and turned all night, tortured and teased by the pictures she couldn't erase. The last thing she wanted was for Royce to find out exactly how much of a pervert his girlfriend was. She had to control herself. What had I been thinking anyway, touching him like that? That's not like me! I'm not some... voyueristic creep that sits there and man-handles people!

But what if you are? What if having a boyfriend is making you finally see a part of yourself you never knew existed?

No! she shrieked. No, I'm not like that! I'm not! I'm not like her, I'm nothing like...

Was that really what was bothering her? That her behavior was lining up rather closely to that of Madeline Spenser's? It would make sense, what with the panic she felt as soon as Royce left that night, and the reason why she let Noah go to sleep on the couch without saying goodnight. She had been ashamed of her behavior, alarmed that it seemed so natural to touch him, to explore, that she never questioned it until he was no longer there to muddle with her mind. She felt guilty for what, in her mind, felt like a seduction, one she should have known Royce would have been helpless to resist.

But he didn't mind, did he? He liked it. Liked you touching him. He told you so himself. Surely it can't be so bad if he's enjoying it with you?

But still... it felt... wrong, somehow. She felt guilt, so that implied wrong doing of some sort. It shouldn't be good. It was bad.

But you love him. There's no more falling, now. You're head over heels. This is just-

And if he finds out? If he realizes that she's been in love with him all this time? What if he doesn't want to be tied down so quickly, what if he doesn't want to be that serious?

What if I only know how to love the way my mother did?

There was a part of her that was sure she knew the answers to these questions. That Royce loved her, that he genuinely cared enough, that this wasn't just some fling. That she wasn't some replica of her mother. Or her father, for that matter.

But she couldn't know, wouldn't know. She was never sure. And the uncertainty left her terrified. She wanted to tell him, needed to tell him, but she was scared. Scared that he would come to the same conclusions she had. That she was the product of her parents, a person incapable of feeling or expressing any sort of real love. That she secretly didn't deserve it.

"Stop it. That's enough."

"What's enough?"

Charlie jumped up with a squeak, and spun around in her stool to find Doc standing in the doorway of the shed, staring at her as if she had grown a second head. Undoubtedly due to the fact that he caught her speaking to herself...

"Oh, sorry, thinking about this medication prescription," she replied, lying breezily. She lifted the prescription pad off the table to show him. "Twelve pounds means 100 milligrams of Myterol, right?"

"120 milligrams," he corrected, dropping another stack of notes for prescriptions on her desk. "Ten for each pound."

"Right, sorry."

"You can apologize when you get it right," Doc replied not unkindly. "Take care of this stack, clean up the shed, then head home. I'm making a few house calls. Lock up the shop when you're done."

"Will do." She waited until Doc disappeared from the doorway and, looking through the window, as he ambled back up to the back door before she dropped the pad and stretched. "Worrying about things like love and boyfriends is tiring business, Cap'n," she told the red-tailed hawk in the corner. His head was covered in a hood and he was clearly asleep, but she felt comforted having spoken to him anyway. "You stay here and guard the fort. I'm going to go grab a cup of water from the cooler in Doc's office."

With a single easy move, she jumped off the stool, rolled her shoulders, and yawned as she opened the door-

-and came face to face with Alexander Crowne.

Feb. 3rd, 2012


Rosemary had a comfortable thing going on with the Doc. She kept her teeth off his shoes. He kept a bag of week-old jerky in the bottom drawer of his desk. She made sure that the back room was guarded. He made sure to keep the fangs in the front room. Sometimes she would just lay at the far end of the room where she wouldn't chew on anything and sometimes he'd lean back and toss her a french fry from his burger meal. On the days his burger meal made it to him anyhow.

That was her new thing. Her new game. Trying to catch the hamburger bag from the hamburger boy. It was fast becoming her favorite thing of the day. Seriously, every day. The Doc loved his burgers. Before, the Doc had just gone to get his burgers but she guessed he either got lazy or had too much to do at the office to take the time and instead had to have his meal delivered. It was great for her because this delivery boy was proving to be quite the fun toy.

Even if every time he saw her, she saw the familiar glint of metal.

Yeah, she knew he was a hunter. She knew that he knew that she was not a normal four-legged beastie. Hunters and werewolves were not supposed to play well together. Or play together at all. Natural enemies, they were. Not supposed to be all cozy. But goodness, how could she resist teasing the tall boy? He looked so ... so cute when he was all angry.

There was the beginning of her problem. She thought the delivery boy was more than just a fun toy to yank around. The little blondie had something that was starting to look like a tiny bit of a crush on the guy. Maybe it was because he smelled so delicious like hamburgers and adrenaline. Or was it the way his eyes narrowed just so whenever he saw her, whether she was jumping up in front of the door right when he got to it or if she was hopping off the roof of the clinic. It was a rush, getting those eyes focused on her. Too much to be normal, that she could at least recognize.

She was able to confess to Royce after a few days (maybe it was more than a few) about what was going on and that she kinda was messing around with a hunter but guiltily kept whatever soft feelings she had for hamburger boy to herself. Royce had always been super-protective over her and while it was very much appreciated, she needed room to breathe. Room for errors and her own pair of googly eyes. Royce owed her anyway. So while he went off to be all big brother and check out hamburger boy for any possible threat, Rosemary decided to get some girl advice from the only girl she really knew.

Which was why she was currently standing in front of Charlie's front door, shouting her new friend's name. "Charlie? Chaarlie! Charlie? CHAAAAARRRRLIIIEEE?!?!" Forget knocking. She was too lazy to lift her hands. Leaning her head forward, she rested against the door and listened for possible Charlie-like noises from within.