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Axel Wolff

"And the strength of the wolf is the pack."

0 · 675 views · located in Pennsylvania

a character in “Bellingstone, PA”, as played by Scarlet Loup

Description

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"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack."
~ Rudyard Kipling




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FULL NAME
Axel Jakob Wolff

NICKNAMES
"AJ" - The more common abbreviation of his name, as it was the nickname his parents called him by when he was young. It has clung to him since, but he has begun to veer away from it, though is certainly not opposed to it.
"Ax"/"Axe" - A newer abbreviation of his name, Axel has a slight preference to go by either form.

DATE OF BIRTH
July 24th, 1985

AGE
31

OCCUPATION
Self-Employed / Owns Felix's Diner

GENDER
Male

SEXUALITY
Bisexual - while he's only had relations with women before, some men have caught his eye as well

DIALOGUE COLOR
#235744





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PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION
Though not as tall as his brother, Axel makes up for the difference by being lithe and agile. He stands around five foot, eleven inches and weighs around one hundred and eighty pounds. It gives him a solid build, but it is nothing like his older brother, who has always dwarfed him.

He has a nice glow about him, a killer smile, and dark hair that has only recently picked up some gray streaks. He keeps his facial hair at a light stubble. AJ's eyes are a soft hazel color, which he received from his father's side. He has a thin, ovalish face, and his forehead has begun to pick up wrinkles, similar to his brother. Unlike his brother, however, he dresses in jeans, t-shirts or flannel, and work boots without fail. His mirrored sunglasses are a favorite accessory.

PERSONALITY
While his brother was the golden child of the Wolff family once upon a time, Axel has certainly stepped up to the plate and proved himself as a worthy leader of the pack. Once, he acted out desperately to escape his brother's shadow, but in recent years, having no one to be compared to, Axel has found his niche. Growing up, he expected life as just another member of the pack, planning to hold few responsibilities, if any.

A testament to his character and ability to stay calm on the outside under pressure, Axel keeps his stress to himself and balls up any personal fears. Instead, he has retained his wit and charm, using it as a sort of coping mechanism. He is unafraid to doll out a fair share of sarcasm in all that he says and does. Still, it comes with an undertone of affection, for all he does now, he does for the pack. However, should a pack member act out, he is quick to get down to business and show a more up-tight side of himself. These quick changes in demeanor show just how overwhelmed he truly is under the facade he shows. Get on his good side, however, and he will show his deeper, friendly nature.

Being completely unprepared for the role of Alpha, Axel certainly struggles with insecurities at every turn. He knows he wasn't the first pick, and he constantly worries that the pack still compares him to Al even though his brother has been gone for years.

LIKES
His Motorcycle - Ever since he received his license years ago, Axel has ridden bikes, against the wishes of his father
The Diner - To him, Felix's Diner symbolizes family and the pack, for it holds so many fond memories of his childhood
Being Outside - Like any werewolf, Axel loves being in nature whenever possible
His Guitar - He's been playing the guitar since he was in sixth grade
Being Busy - As a man who is naturally fidgety, Axel enjoys being occupied with some sort of pressing task, lest he grow restless and irritated

DISLIKES
Hubris - Perhaps a bit hypocritical, Axel hates those with an inflated ego
Cats - Is it the wolf in him that hates cats? Maybe, but they just annoy him in general
Guns - He has never been a good shot, and the recoil of guns always frightened him as a boy
Losing - He's a sore loser, a trait common among Wolff men, and takes criticism and loss very heavily
Being Alone - Much like his brother, AJ's greatest fear is being isolated from others

FEARS
☠ Death, in general
☠ Guns
☠ Losing his place as Alpha





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BIOGRAPHY
Axel Wolff was born as the second son of Richard and Laura Wolff. Albrecht was already a boisterous and attention-seeking four year old when Axel came into the world. Intimidated by his tall, aggressive older brother, Axel often clung to his parents and the adults of the pack. As he began walking and talking, he often isolated himself to the edges of his brother's play groups - observing, but never joining in lest his brother turn on him.

When he was old enough to begin attending school, he quickly took to companions that had no supernatural ties or, at least, were not werewolves. It gave him a chance to escape his brother's shadow - something he craved wholeheartedly. While Al excelled in school and became the golden child of the family, Axel used the lack of attention he received to stay out late and tarnish the family reputation. He was known as something of a heart-throb and a wild child throughout high school. Axel played the guitar, rode a motorcycle, and spent his free time being something of a degenerate.

His saving grace, however, was the time his father made him spend at Felix's Diner. It mellowed him slightly, made him spend more time around his brother, and fostered his cooking ability. While Al spent his days with his girlfriend Sydney and slowly taking on responsibilities of Alpha, Axel graduated and began to work full-time at the diner. And so it seemed his life would become an endless cycle of working and partying, but then his life fell apart.

He was twenty-three when Albrecht skipped town on the night before the wedding, taking a fair amount of Richard and Laura's savings with him. Though Richard was still Alpha, he suffered a heart attack soon after his elder son's departure, and he died soon after. The pack fell into leaderless chaos. Axel was left to pick up the mess, and for the first time in his life, he rose to the challenge. He began dating Sydney, Al's ex-fiancee, in hopes of rebuilding the pack with the help of someone the others already trusted. And so, his life fell back into a new routine, albeit a far more stressful, demanding routine. Six years have passed since Al skipped town, and Axel has given up any hope that Al might return. In fact, he wouldn't know what to do with himself if Al did show up and try to take the pack back.

Family: Laura Wolff


So begins...

Axel Wolff's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Wolff
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AXEL WOLFF
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Felix's Diner
#235744
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Saturday mornings were, without a doubt, the worst mornings to work at Felix's Diner. They began slowly, sure enough, but by mid-day, Axel was not only cooking and taking orders along the counter but ushering guests into booths and taking orders as he raced back and forth from the kitchen to the dining area. He swore that by the end of the day, the floor would have been worn down under his feet, but he'd also been saying that since he started working at the diner decades ago.

Decades ago. The thought ran a quick shudder down his spine, causing him to spill half a glass of water on to the lap of a startled customer.

"I'm so sorry, miss," he insisted, quickly placing the glass before her on the table. His voice came out in a backwoods sort of drawl, commonplace among those inhabitants who had been raised by long lines of Bellingstone's citizens. The Wolff family had always lived here, likely always would in some manner. It had been Axel's brother who was destined to live in this town, serving the pack and carrying on the family name, but things never really worked out the way they were supposed to.

And so here he was, staring back at the woman as she floundered for a stack of napkins. "Let me get that for you please." He started to dig in his pockets for more napkins, but when he glanced up, the fabric of her dress seemed to have already dried and the glass was once more full.

"I'm fine, love. Could you just get me a new glass of water?" She had seemed to regain her composure, and she looked back up at him with a serene smile, winking quickly as she slid the napkins on to the table. Axel couldn't help but give a soft laugh as he gathered up the glass and the napkins.

"'Course," he replied, weaving his way back to the kitchen. As he moved, he looked about for anyone who might have watched the woman use her powers to dry the dress. Funny how in a town that had been established for supernatural creatures, he still had to worry. But Axel had always known life where Bellingstone was a major stop for tourists crossing the state. The majority of customers were individuals and families only passing through - just a few familiar faces turned to look at him as he passed.

In the kitchen now, he gave a long exhale, wiping at his forehead with the back of his head. He'd been jumpy all day, and it wasn't just because today was an inherently busy day. Rumors of Albrecht returning to town had plagued Axel since his older brother first skipped town, but the rumors over these past few days had been the worst since those very first few weeks when his family had still held out hope that Al was only taking some time to himself in the forest.

He had thought he was over it by now, but no, word of Al still shook him greatly. Perhaps it was nothing. What were the chances of it being true after all of these years? Axel filled a new glass and stepped back out into the space behind the counter. Something just felt ... off.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Wolff Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff Character Portrait: Sydney Green
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Sʏᴅɴᴇʏ Gʀᴇᴇɴ
Saturday. That's what day it was and while she could be spending her time doing something else, she was at the diner as usual beside Axel. Sydney could not help but let out a soft groan at the thought as she wiped down the counter she was just leaning down on. Sydney groaned again as she eyed Axel with an expressionless face then folded the now damped towel and laid it down on the counter. A few more customers walked in as she grabbed her notepad and pen then waltzed over towards them with a smile and a greeting. She asked the customers to follow her towards a table and seated them at separate tables and booths then got their orders, just as she looked over and saw Axel spill water onto a customer.

That smile she had plastered upon her face went away whenever she saw the display then saw him head back into the kitchen. Knowing Sydney, she wanted to say something right then and there as she took the customers their drinks first then went back to retrieve their orders, handing it to them with a thanks then told them to let her know if they needed anything.

While she tried to remain somewhat happy for the day, she honestly could not with the rumors that she's been hearing as of late. Albrecht had returned to Bellingstone and was lurking around somewhere but if that was the case, why hasn't he exactly reached out towards his own brother, Axel, anything of the pack members or more importantly, herself. It was definitely something she did not want to think about right now but those thoughts shrouded her mind, no doubt.

Axel came back out of the kitchen as she eyed him again, taking the glass of water from his hand and holding into hers now. "I got this." Sydney could tell that something was bothering Axel but she wondered if what bothering him was the same thing that was bothering her. She gave the new glass of water to the customer that was waiting for it then went back behind the counter and stood beside Axel now, exhaling a sigh as she leaned down beside him now.

"Something's not right here, Axel. I can't help but to feel that way and I know you feel the same way." Sydney remarked towards him as she rested her hand upon his back now, shooting a soft smile his way. "Let's just get through the day." She muttered towards him in a comforting tone as she took her apron off for a moment then laid it down on the counter. "I am going to go and check the mailbox." She mentioned as she walked towards the door then turned towards him now. "Try not to spill anything else on anyone else until I get back."

Sydney left after those words as she hoped to herself that it caused Axel to smile or laugh, just to brighten up his day a little bit. As she walked to the side of the building where the mailbox was located, she seen three envelopes inside as she scanned through them then walked back inside as she sat the envelopes underneath the counter and placed her apron back around her waist as she huffed slightly.

"What are we to do if Albrecht is back? Hm?" She questioned towards Axel as she just really wanted to know how he felt upon hearing about Albrecht's return.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Poppy Clarke Character Portrait: Axel Wolff Character Portrait: Carwyn Pryderi Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff Character Portrait: Ivan Moreau Character Portrait: Ellis Bleddyn
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”…all she can see is a sea of stars in front of her. Just an eerie sort of blackness, you know? And there’s a faint music swirling up from somewhere in the depths of it all, along with some amorphous blobs she can’t quite make out. And that’s how chapter eight will end. Is that alright?”

This morning in Bellingstone found Ellis pacing the floors of his kitchen, bare feet plodding a repetitious path over the linoleum. He had a tendency to walk when he spoke on the phone, too anxious as a person and too enthusiastic about what he was saying to even consider standing still.

He was speaking into his old cellphone, one so ancient in the fast terms of modern technology that it probably predated even the dated flip phone, his tone soft and tired but lined with sparks of excitement. In his other hand he held a cup of iced tea, sickeningly sweet in a way that only a true Southerner could stand to enjoy, which he gestured with enthusiastically and sporadically.

“I don’t know, Ellis. Is it alright?” the voice on the other end of the line hummed almost instantly, more teasing than critical. “Isn’t that a bit too weird? Will people really like that?”

“Weird?” Ellis sounded wounded, despite the tone. The tea in his glass sloshed around as he slumped against his refrigerator. It was a bit dramatic as far as gestures go, but it's not like anyone was there to judge him for it. “Really? I… Well, I thought it was a bit weird, sure, but maybe… God, Mary, if I cut that part, I’m going to have to change the book’s ending, and-”

Thick, warm laughter erupted from his phone, and his pitiful frown turned into a scowl. Oh, right. He'd forgotten who he was speaking to. When having a conversation with Mary Carter, you had to understand that there was always a target on your back for her teasing, sharp words.

“Oh, ha, ha, Mary. Laugh it up. Gonna give me a heart attack one of these days.”

“Oh, don’t be like that. You know better than to say things like ‘is that alright’ to me, like you’re not a published author. Stop pretending you're not brilliant, idiot,” Mary replied fondly. Ellis wasn't quite sure how she came under the impression that he wasn't a hapless idiot because, in all reality, he was. He was a self-conscious weirdo about everything he did. Honestly, sometimes he was anxious about his own breathing, wondering if it was too loud in public or over the phone. Take that general anxiety and multiply it by about hundred, and you were left with how he felt about his own writing. He was still waiting for the other shoe to drop and for the world to figure out that he was a hack. There was no other way to explain his good luck and success other than as a cruel practical joke by some deity (with his luck it was probably one of the asshole gods too, like Loki or Hera).

"You've made some good progress though, Ellis. Especially after everything." Her tone dropped down, suddenly worried and sympathetic. "How are you really feeling Ellis? Is there anything I can do for you?"

How was Ellis feeling? Confused, conflicted, angry, sad, desperate, tired... A whole menagerie of unpleasant emotions on top of the dull ache and occasional sharp sting that knitted itself through his shoulder and back at the most inopportune moments. But he couldn't say that, couldn't get into anything even nearing the truth. He'd fed Mary and anyone else who asked a story about a wildcat attack, and they believed it well enough. Why wouldn't they? Bizarre things tended to follow Ellis like a plague. It was no more difficult to believe than the time he'd gotten trapped in a wall trying to get a squirrel out of his house or when a lamb had tried to pick a fight with him.

That a mountain lion had been near a small town and eager to harass Ellis was easier to believe than the reality, anyways, although it had been all he could do to keep Mary and his parents from taking Bellingstone by storm to drag off their wayward writer. He couldn't see any of them right now, no matter how desperate he was for some familiar company. Everything was still too new, and it was all he could do to adjust on his own without the pressure of over-doting friends and family. It honestly made him uncomfortable when people worried about him too much. It wasn't that he didn't understand the desire because he worried about himself all of the time. It was just a bit unsettling that people actually cared enough.

"You could let me take a break to work on my chapter on kelpies," Ellis said, trying to force his tired voice into something light-hearted. No need to make Mary even more worried than she was. "In fact, the book that I've been trying to find- you know, The Water People? The one that's been out of print since 1850? Bellingstone's library actually has a copy. God knows how, but they do. I'll be stopping by later today to take a look at it." Or maybe it wasn't too terribly amazing. That they had a copy of an old book was hardly the most surprising thing about a library run by an unnervingly attractive vampire (vampires. Ha. Good thing he hadn't tried to write any books on those or he'd be too embarrassed to ever venture out to the local library).

"You're going out? On your own? Are you sure you're feeling alright?" Mary laughed.

"Honestly, Mary. I can be social if I want. In fact, if you must know, I may be seeing some acquaintances of mine later," Ellis said loftily. He knew he was laying it on a bit thick, but Mary seemed far too amused by the idea of him willingly socializing to go back to her concerned questions.

"Is it the dishy diner guy? Please tell me it's the dishy diner guy."

Ellis rolled his eyes. "I said Axel was handsome once, Mary. Once. When I was drugged out on painkillers and God knows what else. Besides, the man's got half the town running after his tail-" he snorted a little at his own secret pun, "and he's not exactly my type."

"And what is your type, then?" asked Mary.

"Well, someone I'm certain isn't completely straight, for one." The two burst into laughter, finally back to a more companionable conversation. Smooth, Ellis. He deserved an award for that crafty misdirection. He couldn't tell her his other objections, anyways. It's a bit difficult to explain dynamics like Alpha Wolves and Pack Leaders when one can't even bring up the whole werewolf thing.

"But, no. I was... Actually considering popping in at the, uh, the diner. I need to go grocery shopping and, well, you know... And then, ah, maybe texting the girl I met in the classics section. Poppy? I know we've only known each for such a little while, but after everything that's happening around here, I guess... Well, I mean to say-"

"That's sweet that you're worried about her. I'm sure she'd appreciate you checking in, even if it's just a text." Ellis could practically feel her approval over the phone.

"You don't think it would be too weird? Like I'm sticking my nose into someone else's business?" asked Ellis, biting his bottom lip. He wasn't exactly the best at socializing, but Poppy had been one of the few people outside of the Pack who'd bothered speaking with him so far, even with everything that had happened to her recently.

"Sweetie, if anyone thought that, you'd be better off not being friends with them anyways."

There was a moment of contented silence before Ellis heard a knocking on Mary's side of the phone followed by a muffled conversation.

"Oh, sorry, Ellis," Mary said after a moment. "Pete's summoning me for brunch. He sends his love, by the way."

"Sure he does." Despite the sarcasm dripping from his words, Ellis was sure Pete- practical, sweet Pete who kept both his wife Mary and adopted problem-friend Ellis in check when their combined idiosyncrasies threatened to burn the world around them- had actually said that verbatim. He was just that kind of guy. "And tell him I send mine."

"Will do. Enjoy your day of nerdlyness and socializing, you dork."

"Enjoy your brunch, basic white girl."

Ellis hung up first, fighting back a yawn. He hadn't slept much last night, too busy trying to play catch-up on his books to even consider taking a break to sleep. It was a bit ironic, honestly, that he'd come to Bellingstone for a bit of peace and quiet while he wrote and had wound up spending most of his time licking his own wounds (metaphorically, of course. Well, at least in his human form) and trying to even vaguely comprehend the reality that many of the people around him, including himself, weren't quite human. Or human at all, in some cases.

His eyes darted over to the clock above his kitchen table, and a dull sort of anxiety settled in his stomach. Should he leave the house today? He didn't have to, technically. It wasn't like his library book was going to go anywhere, and he was sure he had enough snacks in the pantry to keep him fed for awhile longer. Plus, he'd never actually told anything in the pack that he'd stop by today, and Poppy surely had other things to worry about. Not to mention the fact that there was no Pack meeting that he knew of...

No. He wouldn't fall into that trap again. Whether he liked it or not, Bellingstone was his home for the time being, at least until his rental period was up and he got used to the whole werewolf thing, and goodness knows how long that would take. He should at least attempt to be polite, even if that meant stepping out of his comfort zone.

With all of the determination he could muster, he finished his tea and wandered into his bedroom to get ready. Today was a comfort day, he realized, bypassing the interestingly patterned scarves and shirts in favor of broken-in jeans and a soft gray t-shirt. He hesitated for a moment, eying his bedroom mirror before pulling on an olive green jacket. While it wasn't a cold day, he could still see the raw, red scarring poking out from his sleeve, an aching, menacing reminder. He couldn't, he just couldn't-

Ellis took a wobbly breath, slipping on his shoes and running a hand through his hair. Good enough. It wasn't like he had anyone to impress (besides, his mind unhelpfully supplied, everybody he saw). If he thought about it anymore, he might not leave the house after all.

The nice thing about Bellingstone was that it was possible to walk just about anywhere you wanted to go if you had a bit of time, and the Escape Bar and Grill was no exception, even if Ellis had only been there once or twice before. The town itself was lovely too, scenic in a way that had Ellis a bit homesick for his mountainous hometown. Well, the nature bit, not the people bit. At least in Bellingstone he had a fifty-fifty chance of not being recognized as that one guy who got attacked by a wild animal on his first night in town.

That being said, fifty-fifty still wasn't the best odds. He pulled out his phone, more to pretend to be busy and avoid conversation with others wandering about the town today. One could only imagine his surprise when his phone let out a sudden ring, one of those stock ringtones that had once been annoying but was now almost unbearable with Ellis's enhanced hearing. He fumbled with the device, pulling up the text screen with a few clumsy movements.

From: Poppy
Hey you! <3 Wanna link up later? Got some stuff to clean up first tho


Ellis blinked for a moment, stopping in the middle of the sidewalk before a small but entirely sincere smile tugged on his lips. Poppy had insisted on exchanging phone numbers with him the second time they'd met, and she'd quickly shown herself to be charm and genuine warmth itself. They hadn't seen each other much since Ellis had arrived in Bellingstone, their conversations fluctuating with certain events that had rocked their respective lives within the past month. He'd never been quite sure if it was a misguided attempt at kindness or an actual desire to speak with him that had prompted her to actually pursue a conversation with him, but he was grateful for whatever it was. The Pack was... nice, but they were overbearing in a very real way. Poppy was outside of that, a sanctuary of something a little normal (well, more normal than most of them) in this very odd town.

To: Poppy
Hello, Poppy. I would love to. Tell me when and where, and I'll be there.


He typed every word out in a slow, painstaking way, more to do with his technological ineptitude than his mounting hesitation. He paused for a moment before adding-

To: Poppy
I promise I didn't mean for that to rhyme.


-just for good measure. He hit send and immediately tucked his phone away. It was easier not to dwell on the reply that may or may not come if he wasn't keeping an eye on his phone.

Which was when he realized that he was closer to the diner than he'd initially thought and that he certainly wasn't alone on the city street. A little ways ahead, two figures were sitting on a park bench, apparently enjoying what this Saturday had to offer. They were strangers to Ellis, which wasn't terribly surprising given his general newness to the town and the fact that the thought of interacting with strangers on purpose made him cringe.

Why was everyone in Bellingstone so damn attractive? That was Ellis's first thought when he spotted the giant of a man speaking with a sweet faced woman. It was like watching models converse, or at least models who had interesting things to say.

His second thought, however, was something more akin to, "What on Earth is that smell?"

His nostrils flared, and his steps faltered for a brief moment, eyes darting over to the man specifically. That wasn’t a scent that he’d been expecting.

It was rather embarrassing, in Ellis’s opinion, that of all of the senses that could have started to sharpen first, it had to have been his sense of smell. Maybe he’d been dreaming too big when he’d hoped for night vision or super healing, and the punishment for his hubris was having to wear a medical mask for at least a week, too overwhelmed by even the softest of scents to breathe without any sort of barrier. It had been a sad day indeed when he had had to put all of his scented candles out in his shed, their once comforting scents sickening for a time as he adjusted to his new sense of self.

He’d adjusted, in the end, and differentiating smells was easier for him now. For example, in Eliss’s mind vampires generally tended to smell a little clinical, very clean with a sharp tang of iron (there was also something else there too, like spice and old books, but that was possibly just Ivan Moreau). Werewolves, on the other hand, smelled more like the Earth, all dirt and fallen leaves as undertones to whatever other perfumes or colognes they had on. That’s what he was smelling right now, from this stranger, and that was odd indeed.

Ellis hadn’t heard about any werewolves outside of the Pack (and it was always Pack with a capital P in his mind) in Bellingstone, and, alright, he was new, but Axel had been pretty clear that he was the local Alpha Male and had failed to mention any lone wolves roaming nearby, and…

Oh, God, he was staring at them both. Ellis’s face flushed red in embarrassment. He tried to alleviate his own inherent awkwardness with a polite smile, failed when it turned into a slightly pleasant grimace, and promptly picked up his pace, attempting to pass by. Haha, pay no attention to the weird man who didn't know how to function. Oh, God, why had he left home today again? The diner, a place that filled him with many mixed emotions, was beginning to look like an absolute safe haven.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Wolff Character Portrait: Sydney Green
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AXEL WOLFF
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Felix's Diner
#235744
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He was in the midst of regaining himself when Sydney took the water from him and started to walk off towards the table. Axel watched her go, unable to hold back a slight frown. Whereas before he had been the only one exuding an air of tension, he now felt it seeping from Sydney. Her sigh only confirmed what he knew, and he started to open his mouth to comment, but she beat him to it. He looked towards her, the two of them balancing on their forearms on the counter as they looked over the restaurant.

"Glad it's not just me," he remarked, giving a soft yet dejected sort of laugh. Axel couldn't help but smile as she placed her hand on his back in a reassuring manner. "Yeah, we'll just get through the day...don't worry about it." And yet he wanted to tell her to worry about it, to join him in his moment of distress. He needed her reassurance desperately. Sydney had become something of a rock to him over the past few years.

But that was selfish of him. Surely, she was worrying herself as well, sensing his emotions just like he was sensing hers. He stood himself upright, taking a slow breath. This wasn't just difficult for him - it was for her too. After all, Al had broken her heart all of those years ago. He wondered if she still had feelings for the man who had left her at the altar.

Axel didn't realize she had returned at first as he was still caught up in looking out over the diner, his mind racing. But her concerns filled the air around him once more as she slipped the mail under the counter. He promptly removed it, needing something to keep his hands busy. He flipped through the mail, pursing his lips as he separated out the junk mail from the bills.

His jaw gave a slight clench as he worked a thumb under the seal of an envelope, jerking it open roughly. "I don't...I don't know, Syd," he said softly, both to keep his voice down for the customer's sake and also to mask his growing anxiety. "He left years ago. The chance of him coming back is fucking slim-to-none." Axel put the letters down a bit too forcefully on the counter.

"But...if he does come back, it doesn't change anything, right?" Axel looked to Sydney now, meeting her eye as if begging for some sort of affirmation from her. "What we have here...he doesn't get to change that. Change the pack, this town." He meant it as a statement, but he could tell afterwards that his voice wavered just enough that he sounded unsure, as though asking her a question.