(( BLACK FONT IS MYSELF. )) Supernatural setting; Character is a turned werewolf. My character is the landlord of the character in grey, who is a hunter.
Sunday was usually his night of intense relaxation to prepare for the upcoming string of weekdays given Tori's schedule. Hell, combined with his own schedule it was an amazing feat that he managed to have any kind of a social life. Granted he was still torn on whether or not he made the right choice in keeping Tori instead of sending her to live with her grandparents. No. He knew he made the right choice because at least this way he wasn't just an active part in her life but he could ensure her safety. It wasn't out of the ordinary for a blindly driven hunter to go out of their way to go after a supernatural's family to draw them out. Considering his parents were out of the country and his siblings were tough as nails, well, Tori was his only weak spot and it was one he couldn't risk. At any rate, it was something to think about while he reclined in the chair in his backyard. Eyes set unwavering on the stars above him while the raised the chilled bottle of Budweiser to his lips.
Even when he wasn't dealing with a full moon his senses were far better than any human's which was something he couldn't rightly complain about. Getting drunk on the other hand... Kristian's nose twitched with that familiar sweet scent drifting close enough that he'd be able to pick it up. His eyes instantly flicking away from the stars to land on movement in the distance towards the small guest house. A house he rented out to Ophelia Wallace and her daughter, Remi. He hadn't thought about it before, given the hour, she should have been asleep, right?
What the hell was she doing out this late on a Sunday?
Kristian scrunched his nose a bit before he was rubbing the back of his hand against it to get the scent out. Not because it was unpleasant. Completely the opposite, in fact, considering Ophelia was the type of woman men would fall over themselves to get at. He wasn't immune to it but given that she was renting from him, well, it'd just be unprofessional, right? Sure as hell didn't stop him from pushing himself out of his comfortable seat to stride across the yard between their homes in relative silence. He wasn't going out of his way to dampen any noises he made for the simple fact that he didn't want to startle her too much. "Thought you weren't working on Sundays?", he said in a rumbling tone before taking a sip from his beer.
Thankfully there was a light that had already switched on thanks to the motion from both of them, not that he needed it, so he could look her over for a moment. Nothing looked too out of place at a glance but something felt different. He just couldn't put a finger on exactly what, so instead, he lifted his free hand to run it through his long brown and blonde hair. "Everything...alright?", he asked while perking a single brow with the question.
Ophelia was constantly at odds between being a good hunter and being the perfect mother. There was no easily balance. No handbook or guidelines or penance for making an error. There were plenty of those too. Like tonight. Reading to Remi until she fell asleep with the single, solitary goal of dropping her off with a hunter friend so she could get a few things done. It wasn't unheard of. O was a single parent and it truly did take a village to raise a child. Especially when she had what she felt were equal obligations. But leaving her child in the hands of another never sat easy with her.
Quietly slipping into the drive, along the back, near the cottage, Ophelia shut the truck door with a soft click. The last thing she wanted was to rouse her landlord at this time of night. The moon, just a fingernail, was already high. The night was late, and she wasn't interested in more questions. He'd already had a few before he rented her the little house. There was something about him. Kristian. Her landlord. Other than being too handsome for his own good. Rugged, charming. He was the size of man that could move boulders for a living. Maybe he did, she hadn't asked.
A soft hiss emitted from the hydraulics on the rear window of her SUV. O lowered the hatch and started pulling boxes to the tailgate. Bottles of holy water, potions, charms, a crate of silver-tipped arrows. Her crossbow was already inside. A fifty pound bag of salt. A wind chime charmed to alert her of trouble. All the tricks of the trade. Ophelia was actually excited to start going through things.
His footsteps might not have been muffled which was her first mistake. Ophelia was under some guise this was a safe place. It definitely was not. She had allowed him to sneak up on her and all but yelped and flipped around, landing her ass on the gate of her truck. If he'd been any closer a dagger would have been pressed his neck.
Offering a sheepish smile, O didn't need to feign being rattled a moment. "Oh my! Everything is great," she answered with a rush of air. Her smile might have been a little too convincing. "Just grabbing some stuff out of storage." From a town an hour away. Nothing at all weird about that. "I'm not working yet. But don't worry. Rent is covered." This was the exact scenario she'd been trying to avoid. Handsome landlord asking questions. She should have waited another week to go get her things, but that would have left her little time to prepare for the full moon.
Something from inside that vehicle of her's had his nose flaring up but he couldn't place it. Kristian was an observant man, something embedded during his years in the military and now a necessity for his life. Or lack of a life? He was still living but now he just had the nasty wolf inside of him that liked to rip shit apart once a month. Maybe that's how women felt during their time of the month, too? Those bright blue eyes shifted off of Ophelia to scan what he could see in the back of her SUV before returning to her. His bottle raised again to his mouth for a sip while he watched her smile and the sway of her hair as she turned around. "Not worried about rent.", he said after lowering his beer and wiggling it's contents.
He'd need another before too long if he was going to even attempt to get slightly buzzed. Probably should have stuck with the hard liquor given his new state of being. "Shit, yeah, sorry I forgot, still looking for a job.", he shook his head a little. Giving her an apologetic look at the fact that he'd forgotten that fact, something he knew, but given his own mess of a life... Well, shit got garbled sometimes.
If he was going to be perfectly honest he'd largely rented to her with her status of employment being as it was because of her kid. And, well, because of her. Considering he knew very little, nothing basically, about her he probably shouldn't have but he wasn't hurting for money. With two jobs and still plenty in the savings he could afford to take the risk that was Ophelia. Kristian shifted a little before glancing towards the back of the backseat of the vehicle before nodding his head towards it, "The little one liking the house?", slowly pulling his eyes back to her even if he really wanted to figure out what the hell that smell was. It was so, so, so freaking familiar.
A scent that made his skin crawl a little and made him hesitant to move any closer.
"I didn't mean to startle you either by the way.", he said randomly in a grumble of a tone. Still occasionally glancing towards the back of her vehicle then back to her face again. Something that was beautifully lit by the dull light of the moon and the semi-white light of the motion sensor lights. "But I can make it up to you by helping you with those boxes and getting them inside." Kristian took a bold step forward, practically towering over her and damn near her vehicle as well, as he gave her a measuring look. He probably trusted her more than he should have given how well they knew one another but she'd looked out for Tori once. Couldn't be that bad, right?
If he were a normal man, and she a typical single mother in distress, he'd have every reason to worry about the rent and who could blame him? Her truck wasn't new, she took the little cottage with what furniture he'd offered and not moved any of her own inside. Ophelia seemed to be skimping on a lot of corners, or just getting back on her feet after... something. That might have all been true. She lived a frugal life. But she had a benefactress that would cover any debt should she need it. The barter was simple. Violet watched over Ophelia and Ophelia did not make any attempts to kill the pretty vampire. It was almost a simple arrangement. Had Woodhaven not been flooded with supernaturals.
"Don't be sorry. I keep an odd schedule." Hopefully one he didn't get too curious over. Besides, she'd been conveniently home the night he needed a babysitter so who was Kristian to complain?
"Remi?" O grinned with a mother's pride. "She loves it. The perfect little house for her. I was meaning to ask. Would you mind if I put up a swing from the tree in the back? It would save me a trip to the park every day." Not that getting out and about wasn't good, but there were safety issues.
Luckily she wasn't picking up on his wariness or uncertainty of the wolfsbane in one of her boxes. That would have given both of them away. It also gave her a few more moments to collect herself while Kristian was still at a safe distance. She thought him a normal human male and being none the wiser, her instincts were measured more for attraction and less on safety. Not that the two didn't go hand in hand but Ophelia had to wonder about a guy this good looking that was still single. He had a kid, and that counted as a small excuse, but she knew a dozen women that would have been licking at his doorknob to have Kristian look twice at them.
He moved in too close. Too fast. The flat of her hand braced against the thick span of muscle across his chest to keep him right where he was. His tee shirt really hid nothing from her imagination. "You really have nothing to make up for," she breathed, almost in a whisper. Ophelia's feet dangled near his knees, the denim of their jeans rubbing together. "I can manage." With her free arm, she slowly pushed one of the boxes back into the darkness of her truck. "I wasn't even going to unload everything tonight." Somehow she knew that it would have just been easier to let him haul everything inside and say goodnight. Now, O would be tripping over her excuses.
Kristian was always the curious type, he needed to figure things out, he needed to know if he was getting in over his head. Granted he had his blind spots and pretty women had always been a dark void when it came to that sort of thing. Though he couldn't help but huff out a breath of a 'sorta-laugh' at the comment about keeping an odd schedule. "Nearly everyone in Woodhaven does.", his smirk probably said more than he'd wanted but it was the truth. Even if you weren't in on what was really going on in the town it was hard to miss just how active the town was at night. Certainly not overly normal yet not strange enough to cause worry for most, well, for people that weren't looking anyways.
He'd nodded slightly at the mention of putting up a swing for Remi but added, "That's no problem at all.", just to make sure it was clear. Tori would be liking that sort of thing sooner rather than later. She already enjoyed going to the park when they could manage to get there and he was sure he could avoid people. Not that he went out of his way to avoid people but... Since his turn, it'd been harder to tolerate certain personalities than before without finding himself getting frustrated. Or maybe it was just old age making him grumpier.
Add that to the fact that since his turn, he hadn't actively tried to even grab drinks with anyone. He knew just how people wondered about him.
Kristian could have moved past her hand if he'd really wanted to even without being what he was. For the simple fact that she'd stopped him, he let her. Curling his fingers around his bottle while he glanced down at her hand and the close proximity they were now at. It was a curious look that he gave her while she spoke but it was clear that he was watching her during it. Barely a glance towards the box that she pushed back inside the truck but there was still a flick of one to be had. "Shouldn't leave your stuff in the vehicle overnight, safe neighborhood but kids...get curious.", he didn't bother moving back while he glanced around. As if he was glancing over the entire neighborhood before settling his attention back on her with a hint of a smile.
"Alright, no help with the boxes but you can't turn down the drink.", he said firmly. It was a swift movement, wrapping an arm around her waist, and pulling her off the tailgate to put her on her feet. Holding her there for a long moment to make sure she had her feet as he used his other, beer free hand, to close up her truck. Sometime after the beer bottle shifted to that hand before he wiggled it, "Come on, you can tell me all about your adventures to storage and plans for a job." He sure as hell sounded serious about her following him but less the further he got into the sentence. Making damn sure it wasn't a question this time as he let his hand fall from the small of her back. Gesturing towards his decently groomed backyard and the chair he'd been sitting at previously that had a cooler sitting near it. Along with another chair.
Though before he headed that way himself, he gave the back of her truck another glance, nose flaring around that muffled scent. Giving it only that much attention before he was headed back to his seat with hopefully Ophelia following.
"You too, I see," she grinned back. "Out here decorating your lawn in the middle of the night." Ophelia wasn't one to talk and Kristian did make a pretty lawn gnome. She had failed to ask what had him out under the stars on a night like this. The nocturnal habits of Woodhaven residents weren't lost on her and Ophelia could already feel the itch to get out and even some of the odds, keeping the tiny town safer for its human citizens.
It was rather convenient that they both had children. Maybe when Ophelia felt more comfortable with him, she'd offer to take little Tori along with her and Remi on one of their outings. Her own daughter liked the little girl well enough and she wasn't so young that she'd give O baby fever just by being close to her. Ophelia was maternal. That had been something that caught her off guard after Remi had been such a surprise.
The warning was well heeded but in that flash of a moment Ophelia was more caught up in the lack of distance between them. Kristian was close. Too close. She could smell his soap, or was it his cologne? A musky, woodsy scent that was both arousing and calming in equal measure. She found herself wanting to growl and curl her fingers into the soft cotton of his tee shirt to pull him closer. Just to take a closer sniff. Of course. He bombarded her scenes and she knew her own pheromones were sending out all the wrong signals. The right signals in a primal sense, but not for two rational people that barely knew each other.
It didn't help when he gathered her up and slid Ophelia down the length of his body in a slow wrinkle of fabric. Oh, she didn't miss anything there. His hair had blanketed over her arm, her fingers gripping his shoulder, not hanging on for dear life, but definitely not holding him at bay this time. She'd made another soft noise of surprise, and arousal, before she managed a step away. He certainly wasn't leaving any option for her rejection this time.
Ophelia could still feel the heat and weight of his hand on her back as he moved away. There was almost a tether there, luring her closer. The gesture had been nothing short of possessive. Darting her glance from the back of the truck to his yard to her own little rented home, she found her feet treading across the dewy grass before she'd fully made up her mind.
What were her chances of dismissing him at this point? O wouldn't risk displeasing him and putting herself and Remi out onto the street. These were just growing pains. Maybe he was lonely. She couldn't believe he couldn't find a woman to give him the time of day. "I'd rather talk about you." Ugh, such the wrong thing to say. "I mean, we live right next door and I know nothing about you. I can't believe that unloading trucks in the middle of the night is what do you do for fun."
"Decorating? Me?", he huffed out a noise and shook his head, "Naw, just enjoying the silence while the kid is with her Aunt." Best part about having family in town was the ability to ask them to watch the little one on short notice. Well, it didn't always work out but this time his sister had agreed to watch Tori for a few days. As much as he was enjoying the silence of Tori being gone though he found himself missing having her around. That was normal though, right? He hadn't a clue since he was still entirely too new to this whole parenting thing even if his experience with his siblings should have counted for something. Regardless of any of that he was enjoying the ability to breathe for a bit without having to check on her constantly.
Totally not a helicopter parent. Not at all.
The benefit of being closer to Ophelia was the fact that whatever scent from her vehicle kept getting diluted with her scent. Something that was quick to fill his nose and send warm feelings throughout his body. Helluva lot less calming and more arousing for him. Still wrong to sleep with your tenant? Something to think about while he was moving her off her tailgate and putting them even closer to one another. What he couldn't have helped though was the way his lips slowly curled into a cocky grin at hearing that noise slip out of her. A grin was better than vocally acknowledging it though which is what he very well could have done. No need to scare her off though considering she was the first female he found himself significantly drawn to.
"Is tha' right?", he asked with that grin growing wide enough for his pearly whites to show. Shrugging a shoulder before he gave a short nod of his head, "Fair enough though. How about a question for a question then?" Kristian paused to gesture towards the chairs and waited for her to take a seat before he started rooting in the ice chest. Pulling out two fresh bottles of beer, disposing of his practically empty one, and working at opening them. "Unloading trucks in the middle of night could very damn well be a hobby of mine, Ophelia. Maybe I'm just that damn good of a landlord.", giving her a look as he held out an open bottle towards her.
Still not taking his own seat just yet, "Whatdya wanna know?", taking a drink of his fresh beer shortly after asking. A large part of him screaming that it was a horrible decision to play this game. Could he lie well enough to hide what she didn't need to know? Hell, did she even know what was really going on in this town? Did she know what monsters lurked in the dark? The thoughts, questions, running behind his eyes as he gave her a weighted look. Then suddenly with a soft grunting noise he sat in the empty seat with a position that allowed him to be near her. Without being too close, yet still close enough, well, close enough to keep that intoxicating scent filling his nose.
It wasn't a real question anymore if he was attracted to her or not but more if he was willing to put her at risk. She didn't know him, that was true, she also didn't know what he was and what he was capable of. Hell, even the latter scared the shit out of him sometimes. Something else to make him feel a little shifty was the fact that he could feel the tension between them. Just a bit unsure what kind of tension it was or what worries she could have had about joining him for a drink and a chat. Then again... Considering how long it'd been since he actually sat down and talked to a woman he very well could have been off his game on reading them.
Kristian lifted a hand to rub at the bridge of his nose, knocking the scent out to remove at least some of the husk when he said, "Promise to tell the truth if you do."
Apropos of nothing, they were both child-free tonight. That was a convenience designed by the fates. What were the chances otherwise? It did almost feel like there was a higher power in charge here. Kristian being out on his lawn when she'd returned home? Almost as if he was there to greet her? Of course she'd only known him a short time, but Ophelia had never been aware of someone else watching his little girl. That was hardly her business though. Had this not been in the moment, she might have asked a witch friend to consult her spirit board about this. Something just wasn't adding up.
"You're lucky to have family around. I envy you for that." There were a couple of people, one human, one witch, she would trust her daughter with. Not the vampire - that was just logic. But others were safe.
What man didn't enjoy talking about himself? That was one of the first tools a young girl learned in the dating world. To encourage or refute attention by how much she gave to what he said about himself. So Ophelia was on the encouraging path. "Alright. Question for question. I can do that." She could play offense and defense at the same time. "Damn good landlord, huh? You should get that printed on business cards."
Taking the beer, she didn't make a face with the offering. Watered down American beer was not her thing. Oh, she could likely get drunk on it well enough but there were others that had better flavor. To each their own. It was cold, that helped. She took a small sip. "I want to know everything." Her sweet smile likely wouldn't work as well as she'd hoped. O could hardly ask him where the vampires nested or how many packs of wolves were around in the woods. She didn't dare speak the name of the demon she hunted but she swiped her thumb slowly over the rune tattoo of protection on her arm. For a moment there was silence between them. Night sounds grew louder. A howl in the distance, cicada chirping, finding their mates.
Ophelia would hazard a guess that Kristian would be more alarmed by what she was and did rather than the other way around. The last lover she'd taken was dead. The one before that as well, and by her own hand. Hadn't Ophelia learned her lesson? She was more than attracted, but why put a target on his back? She had enough responsibility keeping herself and Remi safe and out of harm's way.
Laughing softly, she raised her bottle and wagged it at him accusingly. "Any guy starting off his line with I promise to tell you the truth isn't going to tell you the truth." But his words amused her. He was playing along. Leaning back in her chair, she rested one knee over the other, her flipflop wiggling off the ends of her toes. "Let's see. What can I ask you?" O really was going to have to make this up as she went along. Not that he planned on being honest with her, she'd tailor her questions to allow him that. "Do you believe in things that go bump in the night?" This really wasn't a test, but she was watching his reaction closely. If Kristian thought she was crazy, he'd have reason to release her from their beer garden sooner than later. Before she made a fool out of herself and let her hormones take over.
"Eh, family can be fickle sometimes.", he admitted with a quick breath. Though he paused for a moment to think about the fact that it was clear now that she hadn't that luxury. Ophelia was certainly a woman of mystery thus far and he couldn't be blamed for wanting to learn more. Though maybe he wasn't much of a man of mystery himself where it counted. Sure he didn't talk about what he was now to anyone that knew about the world around them. Or better yet, if they did, he wasn't going to slip up and stumble into a situation of admitting it to someone that could harm him. Someone that could harm his daughter even given the history of lines being crossed for the sake of a 'job' or vengeance.
Kristian kept that hint of a grin in place for the comment about getting 'damn good landlord' printed on cards. "I may do that.", giving her a serious look to match the tone. Of course, he wouldn't do that for several reasons. First it was just poor business to do it and second, well, Ophelia was the only person he was capable of renting a place to.
He really didn't have any intentions of lying to her as long as he could avoid it. That was the honest truth. Ophelia could very well be a typical, innocent human being in this town as far as he knew. She sure as hell smelled like one. So it wasn't like he was expecting her to dive into any questions that would leave him covering his ass over anything. Given the fact that she was human was reason enough to leave him a little more hesitant given what he was. "Sounds like you've been lied to entirely too many times.", he quipped back at her and her bottle wagging. Something that was cuter than he probably would have admitted even if the way he smirked said just that.
Watching her lean back in his seat, he leaned forward enough to reach a hand down to pull some grass from the top of his foot. Rolling it into a ball and tossing it aside. Kristian arched a brow at her question and shrugged a single shoulder again with another hint of a smirk pulling at the corner of his lips. Sitting back up straight again he was taking a long pull from his bottle when her question caught him off guard. Pausing the drink to look at her for a couple of seconds before he slowly lowered it and swallowed. "Things that go bump in the night? You talking the boogeyman or something? Or more realistic?", not that he was going to give her time to answer any of that.
"I mean you gotta believe in spirits, right? Plenty of spooky things going on in town. Went on a few ghostly camping trips when I was younger.", he certainly wasn't lying. "So, a tentative yes?" Kristian took another drink and swallowed before returning the favor. "What about you?" Giving her a long curious look that was accompanied with a warm smile. Maybe the smile was warmer than it should have been. Maybe it gave away that he was running more on hormones than general common sense. Couldn't be at fault for that though, hell, he wouldn't blame anyone if they were doing it. Maybe it wasn't stupid, this, or letting attraction, curiosity, and hormones take the wheel.
"That they can." She sighed and looked off into the distant dark night. At some point, the motion light had flickered off and gone to sleep once their movements were out of the range of its eye. The night was peaceful, cocooning them in near black, a cool breeze making her shiver. Ophelia's eyes had adjusted to make Kristian out in the darkness. She was the exact type of person he should not get to know or associate with in any way. Her smelling like a human was a defense and not in his favor. She kept telling herself it wasn't too late to turn back.
"Too many to count." She shrugged. "Most men think women are stupid. Sometimes it's just easier to play along and help them think that. Saves a lot of time." O wasn't exactly breaking the secret woman code by telling him that information. Kristian wasn't clueless. Even if he was on the up and up, he had to know how most men operated. But did he know how dangerous that smirk was? Boyish and slightly lopsided and terribly kissable? She found herself staring too long.
Ophelia could tell he was measuring her words. He took the time to find his own. Some might have called that stalling. And then he asked his own questions for clarification. She barely had time to nod, not answer, and it was unclear which option she was agreeing with. The boogeyman was real too, in certain ways.
"Ghostly camping trips, huh?" What must it have been like, growing up in this place? Surviving it to adulthood. Ophelia looked out into the darkness. Toward the woods that abutted the back of her cottage and little postage stamp yard where Remi played. "Makes you wonder what else there is out there, doesn't it?" To some she likely just sounded curious. A girl that had seen one too many scary movies or seasons of Supernatural. Living it was much more precarious.
"Yeah, I believe. Enough that it keeps me up at night worrying sometimes." Bringing the bottle to her lips, pausing for a long drink. "Next week's the full moon." That would be a busy time for her. Not an opportunity to hide under the covers. She should have been preparing for the hunt, not sitting here chatting up her neighbor. O wondered if he'd notice she paid more attention to the lunar calendar rather than the one that marked the Independence holiday this week. "You should tell me where the good fireworks are. I heard someone say the top of the gorge is a good place to watch them."
Thankfully, Kristian didn't have to wait for his eyes to adjust to the darkness, that came easily enough. Maybe a split second of adjustment but he felt he saw things more clearly in the dark most of the time. "Most men do. Most men are stupid as well.", he added. It let him wonder for a moment if she was going to do what she'd just mentioned. Playing stupid just to save time. He sure as hell wasn't going to give second thoughts about spending this time with her even if she probably had better things to do. His company couldn't be that awful, could it? Plus it was only logical that he get to know her a little more considering their living situation.
Before he became what he was now, it was hard to ignore that something was wrong within Woodhaven. It was part of the reason why he skipped out the moment he turned 18 to join the military and get away from it all. The town had a history of never letting people go and too many strange things happening. Something he used to ignore for the sake of his own sanity outside of believing in the ghosts he was sure he'd encountered. But after that attack, everything seemingly went to hell in a handbasket really fucking fast. Not only was he suddenly fighting a war within himself against his new beast but he was thrust into the world of being a parent. It was an amazing feat that both he and Tori made it out the other side of it all.
At least he'd had his family, as estranged as they were.
"Oh yeah, plenty of abandoned houses around with some history.", he said with soft tone. Though his eyes slowly started following her's towards the woods that settled against the back of his property. Something great given he needed it once a month to get away for obvious reasons. Easy to pass off as camping or hunting trips to those out of the loop though. Easy to keep people from joining when he made little effort to keep close friends with anyone out of the loop as well. "Out there? Well, we got some deer lurking about....", he trailed off and shifted his attention back to her, "Saw them a few days ago." Explaining was better than noting the fact that he could detect them from where he sat.
Ophelia's answer to the question had him shifting on his seat to sprawl backwards into his own comfortable position. She believed enough that it kept her up at night worrying. Was that why she was up now? Was that why she had gone to storage to get things out this late at night? He could only assume since he wasn't willing to pry that hard just yet, not yet. The mention of the full moon had him hesitate to take a drink before he glanced upwards to the sky then towards the woods again. "Is it? I hadn't paid much attention to it.", huffing a self-deprecating laugh of a noise out with the admission. A beautifully crafted lie. "People get a little crazy during the full moons, you keep things locked up, right?"
Kristian was safe enough to make sure he was as far away from anyone before he needed to deal with his beast. But that didn't mean that a stray or younger wolf wouldn't make a mistake. "Uhhh, well, it's been a few years but I used to either head up to the gorge or...", he paused and shook his head a little, "Last time I watched the fireworks in town, I climbed the water tower to do so. Wouldn't recommend it." Giving her that smirk again before he asked, "Why would the thought of the things that go bump in the night keep you up? Make you worry?"
She chuckled softly, a sweet, husky sound that held a secret amusement. O almost made it sound like she wanted to share. Yes, most men were stupid, but few would admit to it. She was surprised that Kristian had shared as much. "Throwing your brethren to the wolves, huh?" A small smirk played on her lips. Yes, Ophelia had seen what wolves could do. Not that she expected Kristian to be so cruel to his own sex. His company was dangerous in a different way. It made O consider so many things that weren't possible. Another life. It would have been so much easier if he was a womanizing asshole that came on too strong and repulsed her immediately.
"I'm definitely no ghost hunter. I'll leave all those haunted houses to someone else," she stated, hoping to reassure him. Sure, she'd exorcised one or two over the years, but poltergeists weren't her strong suit. Demons, vampires, werewolves. Things with fangs and claws. Other twisted, vicious creatures that took advantage of what hell had made them.
"People get very crazy during the full moon." Ophelia had once worked a quick stint in a psych ward. The lunar pull wasn't something that she could explain but those with a troubled mind were tortured. She sighed. "Yeah. I keep things locked up." O probably should have pretended to be more surprised. She needed to find a witch to ward her little cottage and fast. She had too much preparation and not enough time. She would need to be especially careful now that Kristian seemed to have taken an interest. "You've not had any trouble here, have you?"
She truly did hate lying to him. It hardly seemed fair, assuming he was a normal human guy. How many times had those assumptions nearly gotten her killed? He was a decent enough man and had been more than generous with her so far. But she didn't want to be the one responsible for unraveling the truth about their world. Few humans ever took that news well and who was she to burst their bubble that life wasn't all cupcakes and unicorns?
"What's wrong with the top of the water tower?" Ophelia tried to picture that in her mind. Kristian's long frame climbing the steep ladder to the top. She might have stared a moment too long at his smirk over the rim of her bottle until his own question caught her off guard. "Oh." Her impending answer obviously was uncomfortable. Something made her shift in her nylon woven chair. O brushed her hair behind her ear to stall for time. "Too many scary movies, maybe? I don't know." She did know, and it wasn't completely a lie but that wasn't for her to burden him with. "Will you be home that night?" Such a loaded question if he knew why she was asking.
Kristian perked a brow at the mention of throwing some of the male gender to the wolves but he held a smirk while he said, "Most would deserve it.", he said plainly. It was the truth. Even before the attack, he was well aware of how massive of assholes men could be and, well, he was one also. There were times like this when he was able to dull it down for the sake of company. But most of the time, it was easier to be an asshole and have people leave you alone. For their own safety, of course. Maybe it was the military, the Army to be exact, that molded him into what he was now. Maybe it was largely because of what happened to him. Or even just a staple of his personality to be a bit rough around the edges.
More interesting than all of that was trying to figure out what he could about Ophelia without being outright with his questions. Something wasn't settling right and it wasn't entirely unpleasant. But still, he was a decent judge of a person just from gut feelings alone. It seemed like Ophelia was falling into a bit of a blind spot for him and it left him watching her. Okay, well, maybe not watching since that was overly creepy but he was certainly paying more attention than he did to most.
"That they do.", he echoed about people getting very crazy during a full moon. But he paused to think about if he'd had any trouble at his house at any time of the year. "Got the house egged one year on Halloween but outside of that, no." His own fault really for not offering any treats.
He didn't miss much in the way she responded to his question and he did well to hide his curiosity about it. Not even a perked brow. It was entirely possible that his eyes narrowed a bit for half of a second but that would have been all. "Not entirely legal to climb to the top of the water tower...", he informed her before shifting in his seat to lean forward again. Cocking his head to the right a little before he hummed, "Fair enough.", he paused for a drink to think about her last question. "If you're meaning the night of the full moon, no, I won't be." It was an impulse to glance towards the woods but he fought it well enough and redirected his attention to the sky instead. "Have a hunting trip planned with some friends. Took us a while to get it all settled but finally managed..."
Kristian let a teasing grin slip onto his lips, "Why do you ask? Looking for company for the full moon?"
"How come you're different?" It was a blunt and bold question and Ophelia didn't pull any punches there. Kristian had been kind to her. More than than that. He'd been generous and here they were drinking beer in his back yard. Either he was playing it very cool about getting into her pants or he was just a genuinely nice guy. She guessed the latter. It made her more curious about what had happened with Tori's mother and why she wasn't around. Not that she felt asking right there and then was very polite.
Kristian was going to have to dig a little deeper with her if he wanted anything even close to the truth. O had years of experience in covering her tracks and answering with some veiled version of the truth to keep her secrets right where they were. This would have been an entirely different conversation had she known what he really was. It wouldn't have been a conversation at all.
"Ah, well that explains it. Law abiding citizen that you are have mended your youthful ways, I suppose." She took notice of him leaning forward. Not completely into her space, but his presence was duly noted. It reminded her of how he'd loomed over her at her truck.
Hunting. O almost quirked her own brow at the word choice. They definitely weren't talking about the same type of prey. She was sure.
"Oh? Is that what you think I'm doing?" He'd said a question for a question, right? Kristian never mentioned she actually had to answer. Ophelia didn't hide the heat from her gaze. Certain needs had gone too long without being met and Kristian was close and convenient, among all the other qualities she'd noticed. "I can't say I'm not interested but hooking up with the guy that's my landlord could get complicated. I don't do complicated." When did sex not complicate things? Not that he'd mentioned anything more than spending time together. Mixing business with pleasure was never black and white. Ophelia was thinking about all the things that could go wrong rather than the one thing that could go right.
And none of that seemed up for discussion. Finishing off her beer, O stood and leaned forward, resting the empty bottle on top of his cooler. "I should go. It's late." Staring at Kristian, it was on the tip of her tongue to ask him to walk her to her door but that would have been either too obvious or a sending a mixed signal. What she wanted and what she knew to be practical were at war inside her.
"I've never claimed to be different.", another simple answer that was the truth. It was certainly a blunt and bold question but he wasn't going to shy away from it just because of that. Hell, if he shied away from things because they were complicated then his life would have been a helluva lot different. Maybe not even for the best. "I fall victim to the woes of being a man just as much as any other. Just a matter of learning to control the asshole inside.", he gave her a broad grin with that comment because it was true on a lot of levels. Not only did he combat his need to be a downright dick at all times but he also fought a far more fierce inner beast. One that just wanted to cause destruction for the sake of causing destruction. One that had a hard time sitting nicely in its cage.
He really wasn't lying about the hunting trip, just what kind of hunting it was going to turn out to be. Really, he hadn't lied too horribly to her, yet. Considering that he was still trying to figure out if she was on the 'in' of what was going on in Woodhaven. Or if she was just an innocent bystander. Both were risks, she was human but that didn't mean that she was safe. That thought alone was enough to pull his mind back to that scent he picked up in the back of her truck. What the hell had it been? Just the smell of it alone made his nostrils burn... "Perfectly law-abiding.", he said with a laugh tainting his words.
Considering the only illegal activities he got into lately were when he 'hunted' it wasn't exactly a lie. But before he could linger on the thought for very long he had his attention swept away with her question. Hard to miss that heated look that had something stirring behind his own eyes. It was what came out of her mouth next that had a cocky grin spreading on his lips, "Complicated...", he said the word slowly before huffing out a laugh then taking a final drink of his beer.
Just how complicated could it get though? It sure as shit wasn't professional but it wouldn't be the first time it'd happened, right? His mind wandering to some heated places of his own while he watched her stand up. Kristian's head slowly angled as she leaned forward to put her empty bottle on the cooler. Couldn't exactly be blamed when she herself had said that she couldn't say she wasn't interested and he certainly was as well. Problem was that they were both holding themselves back on the matter. It was his wolf prowling closer to the surface that wasn't really following the proper procedures. So in a single fluid, powerful movement he pushed himself up to stand as well, "Technically it's early....", he reminded her.
"I'll walk you back.", not that he needed to but he sure as shit wasn't ready to give up the company just yet. No matter what time it was.
"Thanks for the warning. And here I was blindly thinking you were a nice guy about to succumb to your charms." The comment had Ophelia smiling and shaking her head at him. A man that didn't deny what he was left her wanting to know more. To push the boundaries which would be less than healthy for either of them. Just because Kristian was kind to her here and now didn't mean she'd be safe in the end. Or he either.
What laws were they supposed to follow? Being a normal human citizen didn't apply in Woodhaven. It did to a point. The point you were killed or bitten or cursed. Ophelia was the type to take a more defensive stand to her way of life. The law was infantile.
"Am I wrong?" Oh, he definitely did not need to answer that or prove an argument against her stance that she swore was resolute. It wasn't. They were edging toward trouble here. If it didn't work, she'd be out on her ass. Little Remi too. And if something did take off between them, she would be putting Kristian at risk. He was a big man. Capable of taking care of himself, likely. He'd survived Woodhaven this long. But she would have the guilt of getting him hurt, or worse.
Not scooting back, O was forced to crane her head back when he rose. They were too close. She could feel the heat from his body. Smell the scent from his own beer on his lips. It was all too intoxicating. Shaking her head, she refused to argue. "Fine, you win. It's early." Just what did he win?
There was a long pause. Could he read her mind about wanting to be walked home? Not for safety's sake either. Had Ophelia not said no clearly enough? She knew she hadn't. Shoving her hands in her jeans pockets as much to keep them to herself, her toes were dampened by the dew on the wet grass. Taking one step away, and then another, slowly, she didn't stray too far from him. "Are you afraid I'll get lost in the twenty feet to my door?" She held back, waiting for Kristian to catch up before she slipped deeper into the darkness across the yard. "I don't invite men over," she stated out of the blue. "Remi's old enough, I don't want her to get confused." Was that an excuse to give her landlord to know that she wouldn't be bringing strays home? Or another justification of why there wasn't going to be anything between them, two consent adults obviously attracted to one another? It was a moot point tonight. Remi wasn't home.
"Well shit should have kept up the rouse a bit longer then.", he grinned without flinching. Kristian's biggest problem had always been settling his attention on something he wanted and not budging until he got it. A gift and a curse really unlike that fucking wolf inside. That thing was nothing but a curse. But there was really no need to hide exactly who he was from Ophelia if he was going to even attempt to pursue something there. Hiding what he was couldn't be avoided until, well, it couldn't be avoided not to tell her. Pulling her close meant eventually she'd need to now what he was or she was going to find out the hard, dirty way. How the hell was that conversation going to go anyways? Thus far he hadn't actually told anyone what he was since the other supernaturals just basically figured it out.
Hard to hide what you are from the other wolves, really, especially when you refuse to play with their little pack rules. Not to mention the ones that were born this way seemingly had a stick up their asses about it. He'd never be a born wolf with all of that power over what he was and he'd never be free of what he was now either. Best to just shut up and live with it while avoiding as many casualties as he could, right?
He arched a brow at her question and shrugged a single broad shoulder, "Complications only happen if you let them or people go into something without being on the same page. At least from personal experience...", he trailed off a little because he could sense some of the worry. Kristian couldn't exactly say what she was worried over but he could have guessed a few things. Now standing it was easier to look down at that beautiful face and give her a flash of a sympathetic look. Something not many people earned out of him. Instead most got the hard-assed glare and grumbles more than they got a conversation out of him. What was making Ophelia so different then? Probably a question he was never going to be able to answer.
All it took was a soft breath to fill his nose with her sweet scent again while he scanned over her face. As if he was looking for answers to questions he wasn't ready to ask her. Or possibly even feared asking her. Prodding about what was really going on in town when she very well could have been ignorant to it. Well, that could be messy and he sure as shit didn't need negative attention.
"A lot can happen in twenty feet in Woodhaven.", he said cooly. The truth yet again and a hint at something that he was avoiding asking but partially hoping she'd pick up on. Kristian was more, well for lack of a better word, ginger in the way he followed behind her. The view certainly wasn't horrible but he managed to advert his gaze when she held back to wait for him. Her statement earned a glance towards her place before he huffed out a chuckle and shook his head a little. "Thought the little one wasn't home tonight? But I certainly wasn't going to invite myself inside." Pausing for a moment he halted movement that would have put them both in range for the motion lights to flick on.
Kristian glanced towards the unactivated light and took a couple of breaths to roll the idea around in his head a little more. Finally looking back to Ophelia and giving her a measuring look as he took three solid steps away from her. "You have a good night now, O.", he grumbled. The grumbling more for himself than anything else since he was upset that he was actually listening to the angel on his shoulder instead of the devil. There was a time and place for that, this being a perfect one, but she was right about complications. For now. He watched her until she disappeared into her doorway then headed back to clean up before heading inside himself for some much needed sleep.
Or really just a few hours of angry inner discussion with himself before he passed out.