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Tabitha Davio

Why DO they keep looking at me like that...?

0 · 556 views · located in Downstairs

a character in “Marked 2”, as played by shmband

Description

My Name is: Tabitha Davio ("Tabby")

I am age: 17

Position: As far as she knows, she's just an ordinary human...

In human form I look like:ImageImageImage

Personality: Tabby's a suppressed extrovert. She has a strong drive to be noticed and appreciated, but all her life she's been kept under wraps by her paranoid mother. Recent events have given her the opportunity to break free from all that, but the big wide world is actually turning out to be a little scarier and, quite frankly, weirder than she ever imagined. She's an immensely talented lead guitarist; a skill she's nurtured thanks to a monthly talent 'camp' which was run in her home town.

Other: Tabby is a werewolf, but this has been kept a secret from her all her life. She knows nothing about werewolves. Her parents never told her, and her father and brother were killed a long time (by feral wolves, she's been told...) ago so she's never had first hand experience of shifting. Her mother avoided Tabby seeing her shift by sending her away to a monthly talent camp run in her town, sponsored by the resident pack.

So begins...

Tabitha Davio's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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#, as written by shmband
Given the poor attendance in recent weeks, Tai had partially gotten used to simply using these times to let her mind wander and just play a little music to nobody in particular, offering encouragement as the few others to turn up did the same. A small part of her seemed to have been 'counting on' that happening again today, just because she enjoyed the time.

Instead, she was quite delighted to see Anya and Lyra turn up punctually and keenly. The younger wolves also seemed to light up to see some of their older counterparts joining in. In provided them with a glowing example of community involvement, in addition to giving Tai the support of other already very accomplished musicians.

At that though she cast a deliberate smile towards Lyra. It was a shame, she thought, that Lyra's interest in music hadn't provided more of a common ground between her daughter and herself. Still, Tai understood the reasons for it...probably better that Lyra realised. The dynamics in an alpha unit never were quite the same as a regular wolf family.

"Happy to see you here sweetheart." she said, "I don't think there's anything needs doing. We'll just give it a couple more minutes and then we'll have a run through...oh, hello?"

The side door which led outside the building and had been left partially ajar for ventilation was darkened by a figure; a willowy dark haired girl, about seventeen or eighteen, who seemed to have intended only to discreetly pop her head around without drawing attention to herself. As soon as she realised she'd been noticed, the girl stepped in completely and folded her arms in front of herself, smiling weakly.

"Oh hey..." she said quietly, "sorry I just heard music, thought maybe this was something else. Are you guys a club or a band or something?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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Lyra looked to the girl cautiously for a moment, her hazel eyes analyzing her face and features. Slowly, Lyra settled her flute back into its case and slid off the stage lip. Her feet silently struck the floor as her bells offered no sound, slowly taking a few steps to approach the newcomer. A surprising revelation crossed Lyra's mind. She was unfamiliar. And from the look on Tai's face, she also had no prior knowledge of who this girl was. Lyra knew, at least facially, everyone in the town. If one was not well liked and popular, then the chances of being alpha were crushed. And, seeing that this girl was about her age and probably in school, this was even more surprising. Lyra was the class president. With James's sketchy attendance patterns and Lyra's perfect attendance, this was one obstacle she had no issue winning over her brother.

Without her wolf, Lyra knew nothing more about this girl. However, human or wolf, Lyra would treat her the same. Any type of ally was still and ally. She smiled towards the newcomer, her hazel eyes dancing with warmth. "Hello. We aren't really a band, more like a group of people that enjoy music for what it is. Inspiration, hope, and passion. Unfortunately for us, not as many people in this town see music the same way we do." She offered the girl a smile, turning back to her. "Were you looking for someone or something? Maybe I could help. Oh, I'm Lyra by the way, Lyra Khöller," she said, holding out her hand in greeting. "I don't think I caught your name," Lyra suggested to the girl.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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#, as written by shmband
"I'm Tabby." the girl replied in a genial but quiet voice. The quietness seemed to be born more out of a physical and mental wearingess than any sort of shyness, and she took a few steps further in, smiling around at everyone in the room. "Mind if I join you guys for a little while? I've pretty much got no place else to be right now."

Tai continued playing her guitar without even thinking, and noticed how Tabby's eyes periodically darted to the instrument. Simple body language that made it easy to figure out what it was the newcomer played.

Tabby quickly relaxed at Lyra's welcoming manner and continued to look around curiously. "I actually came to to town looking for Finchworth Productions Studio, but it's starting to look like it doesn't actually exist. All kind of a disaster really."

Talking about her reasons for coming to town seemed to make her feel slightly uneasy and guarded, but it was difficult for anyone to tell for sure. More than anything, it was obvious that the girl hadn't slept well.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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Lyra nodded to Tabby and stepped aside to allow the girl a better entrance into the room. "Sure, come on in. Music is always better with more people. You can't produce a symphony with just one instrument," she said softly. Lyra watched Tabby carefully, noticing the pure exhaustion that seeped from the girl's features. Something that she had said confused Lyra. She offered Tabby a seat and wished that she had something for the girl to drink and perhaps eat. It looked as if she didn't have a decent place to rest in a few days.

"You said that you were looking for Finchworth Productions Studio? I'm afraid that you may have been misinformed; I've never heard of them before. What about you Mother, Anya?" she questioned, looking to the other females in the room. Her eyes lingered on Anya for a moment, her gaze shimmering with approval as she mouthed the word Thanks.. Although she did not feel that Tabby was a threat, Lyra was grateful that Anya had taken precautions to protect the young ones in the room. Then again, with the fatigue leaking off Tabby, it would be easy to overpower her in any condition. Lyra, for some reason, liked this girl however and decided that she hoped it did not come to that. "Are you travelling through town with someone?" Lyra asked cautiously, trying to find out more about their guest. "Where are you staying? And if it's a production studio. . . Maybe Kiyoshi would know something? He's interested in acting," she offered, with a glance towards her mother for approval. "Tabby, who sent you up here for the studio?"

The setting changes from town-centre to Connorsford

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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Anya watched with caution, listening to the exchanged words without joining in. The young girl seemed pretty genuine, but one could never be sure. She relaxed her position a little more, propped up by her elbow on the piano. Absent-mindedly she tapped the lowest key, the loud sound echoing through the Hall. Now that they'd determined that there was little threat from this one (and besides Anya was pretty sure that they could take her with the three of them) her mind wandered slightly to the night ahead. She estimated that she could appear at Calvin's game, wearing her red dress for time to change was slim and then head off to party for Ray. She already had the present tucked in her top drawer. But would she make it on time? She didn't want to waste the dress. It was pretty damn amazing and out of everyone she'd tried on, it had simply looked the best. And it wasn't often that she got to dress up.

Snapping back to attention as Lyra asked her and Tai a question, Anya gave a small shrug. "I've never heard the name before. Not around these parts anyway." Wow she sounded like a country chick. She made a note to check her language before she opened her mouth next time. Meeting Lyra's eye, she nodded in acknowledgement. Thanks wasn't necessary. She'd just reacted the way that she believed to be best. Besides, there was no threat now. This Tabby seemed in a pretty bad way. Like she hadn't eaten in days nor slept for a while. Anya kind of felt sorry for her. It was clear that she'd been having a rough time. Pushing off the piano, she skipped back over to the stage, snatching up her little bag. Inside was a cereal bar that she'd saved from lunch. Tossing it to Tabby, she gave a little smile, reaching up to push her hair from her eyes.

"It looks like you could use it more than me. Besides, I need to fit into my killer dress." She grinned, fingering through her sheet music.

The setting changes from connorsford to Town Centre

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Lance Benjamin
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#, as written by shmband
Tabby caught the cereal bar and chuckled awkwardly, looking across at Anya with a weak smile.

"Wow...I didn't think it was that obvious." she said, "It's been a pretty tough couple of days."

She didn't show any sign of surprise when Lyra indicated she'd not heard of the studio. It was something she'd long since come to terms with...she and Lance had been sent on a wild goose chase. But for what possible reason?

"It's a confusing story," Tabby began, "I'm still not quite understanding it my-"

"For crap's sake, there you are!" a male voice came from the doorway this time, before eyeballing everyone else in the room and adding with a laboured chuckle, "Would it kill you to give me the heads up before you just wander off?"

The new person was a man in his mid thirties, who sauntered in towards Tabby quite brassly, with the barest hint of an apologetic wave to Tai who he identified as the authority figure in the room. He too quickly clocked the musical involvement.

"Oh what's this then?" he said.

"Not the studio, Lance." Tabby replied. "But they said I could join in. We don't have to be anywhere do we?"

"I suppose not." Lance mumbled.

Tai, keenly aware that Lyra's questions had not been answered, stood up gently and said, "Hi there, I'm Tai. Are you two having a bit of trouble."

Lance laughed the question off nervously. "Just a misunderstanding I think. I'm Tabby's uncle, we were supposed to meet a producer in town but...well, there's obviously been a mistake but we'll figure it out."

Tabby rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Mmm sure. Anyway, if it's alright with you I'm gonna run back to the car to get my guitar." She held up the cereal bar and smiled at Anya, "Thanks for this...you were right, I do need it. I'll be back in like ten minutes OK?"

She walked out the door, leaving Lance standing with his hands in his jacket pockets. The man sighed, nodded, and looked around at everyone one last time. "Well, I guess I don't need to stick around. When Tabby comes back tell her to find me in Rico's diner at about six OK?"

Without excusing himself, he too walked out.

Tai sat back down on the stage, looking deep in thought.

The setting changes from town-centre to Connorsford

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Lance Benjamin
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Anya tensed the moment that Lance walked in the room. Suddenly she felt on edge. And when he opened his mouth, well she knew he was blatantly lying, which only made her more anxious for him to leave. Clenching her hands into fists, she dug her fingernails into her palm. What was wrong with her? He'd given no reason that would make him appear to be a threat. But all of a sudden, her instincts had kicked in. She wasn't going to like this guy and her head told her so. Wait, instincts? Since when had they told her anything? Normally she just went with the flow and accepted things as she came across them, adjusting them to her liking. Now, every pore and muscle told her to be cautious of this one. Who knew why, but it probably wasn't something she should ignore. He'd already lied about who he was and why he was linked to this girl, who knew what else he was hiding.

When Lyra and Tai began discussing it, Anya listened, but didn't open her mouth until Tai had finished speaking. "It isn't my place," She said softly, with a little shrug. "The girl seems fine, she's no threat. But...I don't like the guy. I don't trust him. I guess we'll just have to see what happens." Gathering her things together, she swung her bag over her shoulder, brushing strands of hair from her eyes. "Sorry Tai, but I have to go. I'm not feeling very well and I...I just need to get out of here." The instinct thing had really disturbed her and she wanted some time alone. Although music calmed her, it was never as good when there was a class of people surrounding her. So quickly, before they could protest or stop her, Anya dashed for the door. She slipped out and through the corridor of the school, before she pushed out into the fresh air. Taking a deep breath, she secured her bag around her shoulders. Pulling her ballet shoes off, she grasped then in her hand before taking off at a run, golden hair shimmering behind her...

The setting changes from connorsford to Town Centre

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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Lyra looked to her mother in surprise before glancing back towards the door where Tabby had fled. The girl was a wolf? Lyra appeared to remain casual at this news, but internally she was snarling at herself for not being able to realize this for herself. Without her wolf, she was useless. And yet, was she ready to receive it already? Was he?

Her thoughts of self-loathing and anger were banished when Anya excused herself from the room. She needed to pull herself together. Whatever happened within the next few days would happen. For once, Lyra was going to let nature take its course rather than trying to manipulate everything for her own benefit. She smiled to Tai and nodded. "All right, I'll go ask Tabby if she would like to come over. I'll stay for a little bit longer, Mother, but I was going to go out with Calvin and Duncan for a patrol in a little bit. If it's okay with you."

She remained in the room a moment longer before heading out to find Tabby, which wasn't very difficult. Only a few feet away, Lyra flicked her wrist to alert the tired girl of her presence with the bells. The last thing she needed was for Tabby to be as nervous as Ares and strike her head on the car roof as she was leaning over. "Need a hand?" Lyra offered, approaching the car. "Your uncle is. . . Interesting," Lyra commented, a smile on her lips. "He said for you to meet him at Rico's Diner at six, but. . . " Lyra paused and shrugged softly, her hazel eyes looking up to the girl. She was searching for any trace that made Tabby different than any human girl, disappointed that this was an impossible task without her wolf. "There's a party going on tonight at my house, one of the town girls is turning sixteen. This town in pretty close-knitted, so it's a community event. You're welcomed to come and spend the night if you're tired of a bed on wheels," she said with a chuckle, glancing over to the sleeping equipment piled up in the car. "There will be plenty of food to go around, that's one thing that's never a shortage around here."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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#, as written by shmband
Tabby was leaning with half her body in the car, pushing aside various bags to try to get at her guitar case. She quickly looked back at the sound of the bells, her face softening a little when she saw that it was Lyra.

"Hey." she said, sliding out with the guitar case in hand. As Lyra spoke she began to chew her lip nervously and remained silent, only up until Lyra mentioned staying the night. Her eyes widened even further at the mention of food. Tabby couldn't kid herself, the idea of spending another night sleeping in the car was nigh on unbearable, and she hadn't seen where 'Rico's diner' was but if it was a place Lance had picked then it was unlikely to be anything special. And that was even if Lance had been successful in persuading the bank to let him draw any money.

"OK," she said with a deep breath, "I have to be honest, that sounds amazing. Coming here really hasn't gone to plan and I think...my uncle...didn't really think all this through so well. You sure nobody will mind me just turning up?"

Her eyes lifted to the sky in thought for a moment, and a bemused smirk appeared on her face as she pulled a phone out of her clutch bag.

"Actually if I can come with you guys you're doing me another favour also...." she sniggered, sending a text to the slightly dorky boy who'd approached her in town earlier that day inviting her to a beach party. Clear Lyra wasn't lying when she said this town was a sociable place! "...I never expected I'd get a better offer so soon. That gets me off that hook."

Shutting the car door and starting back towards the community school with her guitar held in one hand like a suitcase, she smiled at Lyra with a sincere gratitude in her eyes.

"So where is it you live, here in the town?"

The setting changes from town-centre to Connorsford

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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Lyra smiled to Tabby, glad that she had accepted the offer and sincerely hoping she had not just made a terrible mistake. "Don't worry, no one will mind you coming along. In fact, you'll probably fit in better than you think," she said with a hint of amusement, wondering how much this girl knew about herself.

Lyra began to stroll along the road back to the music hall with Tabby by her side. "As for my house, uh, it's the big one up there," she said, pointing to it shyly. "It's kinda hard to miss. My father, Adrian, is sort of the mayor here. People call him Alpha as a nickname from childhood. He was always said to be the leader type," she said, her voice lowering for a moment as her gaze held onto the house. There were so many stories about Adrian that Lyra loved hearing about as a child. He was everything that she wanted to be, and everything that she couldn't.

Remembering that she was not alone, Lyra shook herself out and turned back to Tabby. "I should warn you, though. This town works a little differently than others; all of the teens live with us. We are like one big, slightly dysfunctional family. It can get crazy at time, but I wouldn't have it any other way." Lyra smiled, thinking of all the people she met because of this system. "We never know who's going to be around to eat, so there is always plenty of extras to go around."

Lyra stepped up to the music hall and opened the door for Tabby to enter. "I promise you'll never get another experience like it."

The setting changes from connorsford to Town Centre

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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#, as written by shmband
Tabby looked at Lyra with genuine interest, and tilted her head at the exlanation about the house.

"That's so strange..." she mused, before hastily adding, "...not the town or the house I mean! It's just that it's kind of the same back in my town. There's a community where a load of teens live with this sort of patriarch and his wife. I don't know a lot about it, they keep to themselves mostly. My friend Becky is one of the girls who lives there, but even she doesn't say much. I suppose maybe most towns have something like it then..."

She beamed widely and entered the building through the door Lyra held open.

Tai waved at the two of them as they entered. The younger students were already running through the first piece of music on piano and ukulele respectively, Tai strumming her guitar.

"Looks like an electric?" Tai called down from the stage, "There's a small combo amp just up here on stage Tabby. Feel free to plug in."

Excitedly, Tabby obliged, opening the case and producing her guitar, climbing onto stage and plugging it into the amp. Nimbly her fingers ran up the fretboard playing an effortless arpeggio at remarkable speed. Tai smiled to herself.

"You're not a beginner then." she said wryly.

"My mom made me go to this talent camp every month," Tabby replied, blushing slightly, "so I've been learning and performing since...since as long ago as I can remember!"

"Interesting," Tai said, looking over at Lyra, "why don't we try something then. We'll do this song and I'll play the rhythm with Paul and Kim, and why don't you two girls alternate improvising around the melody. I know it's kinda jumping in at the deep end, but you think you can do it?"

Tabby nodded unassumingly, smiling over at Lyra also. "I'll do my best."

The setting changes from town-centre to Connorsford

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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Lyra blinked in surprise as Tabby mentioned that her old town worked similarly to Connorsford. How could this girl be living so close to her true identity and still remain clueless? she thought to herself, although she remained silent on the matter.

I suppose maybe most towns have something like it then...

Yeah, all werewolf towns, she scoffed inside her mind, although Lyra did not dare to speak her thoughts. Although she hated to admit it, her parents would be better judges on how to handle the situation that Tabby found herself in. She was like a wolf that didn't know how to hunt. And if she did happen to stumble upon her mate, the change would be more than the normal shock to the young female. The first change was the worst, or at least as Lyra had been told, but at this rate, Tabby would be going into it blind. That wouldn't be good for anyone. At the mentioning of the talent camp, Lyra's ears perked up. A monthly festival? Somehow that sounded far to convenient to be a coincident. Lyra's glance to Tai confirmed that the she-wolf shared her opinion in the matter. Something was definitely up at that monthly camp. What confused Lyra, however, was why Tabby's family would hide what, no who she was from herself. No good could ever come from that.

Lyra nodded to her mother's request and remained standing to increase the breath that she could take into her lungs. "Strings against wind, this will be interesting," Lyra teased, blowing into her mouth peace to create a few quick trills. She nodded in satisfaction and looked to Tai. "I'm ready for you, Mother." As trio began to play, Lyra jumped right in, effortlessly creating her own string of notes to complement the tune provided. As it ended, and Lyra was red in the face from blowing, she laughed and sat down, looking at the group. "That was awesome. It's the best we've played in awhile! Although, Paul, don't be afraid to hold out the notes a bit longer. You were rushing in the end." Lyra winked to the boy and smiled leaning back in the chair. "Those camps really paid off, Tabby. You're amazing. So, what were they? Held every third weekend or something? Monthly seems like a weird schedule," she pondered aloud, curious as to if her assumption was correct. Full moons, although occurring roughly every 29.5 days, did not fall evenly into a pattern that a normal camp would be held on. "Are you trying to get into the music business? Is that why you are trying to find the studio?"

The setting changes from connorsford to Town Centre

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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#, as written by shmband
Tai nodded in affirmation of Lyra’s remarks. In her role as ‘den mother’ she’d long since learned that the younger pups responded better to hearing constructive criticism from someone closer to their age than from one of the “old’uns”.

“Good job everyone, that was beautiful.” She said, shuffling through her sheet music to select another piece, and glancing up at Tabby who was grinning from ear to ear. She’d ably played off Lyra’s melodies, playing in a legato style that imitated the sound of the flute to some degree.

The girl hopped of the stage onto the hall floor, the cable from her guitar trailing back to the amp. “Thanks,” she said, “you were awesome too. Back home it’s like everyone wants to play guitar, so that was refreshing. The trills and stuff gave it kinda an Eastern feel, you play much oriental type music?”

She checked the tuning of her guitar again, and evidently felt relaxed and involved enough not to notice any prying motive in Lyra’s question.

“Yeah kinda like that,” she replied, the chuckled, “not always at the weekend though. The guy who funds it, some of the other parents call him ‘Rabbi’ as a joke just because the date moves around a bit like Jewish holidays. Actually he’s the same guy who heads up that community...but for some reason most of the kids who live with him don’t actually go to the camp. The whole thing’s a little contrived actually; doesn’t always feel like half the kids really wanna be there. Sometimes you can spend like a day coordinating people just to play one song together. I like what you have going on here better.”

Tai passed out copies of the next song to be played. As she handed one to Lyra, she said in a low voice, “I know you need to get away, just one more song and then you can go catch up with Duncan OK?”

Tabby scanned the piece she was given, getting a feel for it in her head before they played. “Yeah I’d love to do music professionally. Lance runs the music side of the talent camp, and there was this guy passing through said he had a studio here in Connorsford and he wanted to give me some studio time for whatever reason. So yesterday we drove here looking for it but it turns out nobody’s heard of it. I don’t know what’s going on with that.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Calvin Roseblade
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Lyra blushed at Tabby's mentioning of her trills sounding oriental and glanced away timidly. "Yeah, one of my friends was born in Japan. The move here was rough on him, so I tried comforting him with some songs that may have sounded familiar to him." Lyra chuckled to herself pleasantly. Although she began drifting towards Kiyoshi's culture to comfort to silent boy she had first met him as, it had grown on her in the past few years. The attraction was strong enough that she almost preferred the use of chopsticks to that of western utensils.

Lyra nodded to Tai when she passed the papers out and sent a quick text to Calvin. I'm almost done here. Are we still on for patrol? After hitting send, Lyra was drawn back into Tabby's story with equal portions of confusion and interest.

“Yeah I’d love to do music professionally. Lance runs the music side of the talent camp, and there was this guy passing through said he had a studio here in Connorsford and he wanted to give me some studio time for whatever reason. So yesterday we drove here looking for it but it turns out nobody’s heard of it. I don’t know what’s going on with that.”

"Someone directed you here purposely?" Lyra fidgeted uneasily in her seat, biting her tongue incase there was another slip. Something about this did not sit right with her. It almost felt like someone had purposely sent Tabby to Connorsford. Out of all the towns in the area, the secret werewolf just happened to be sent into a werewolf pack? Lyra shook herself out, trying to dissuade her mind that it was all a big set up. Coincidences did exist. But still. . . It was so close to the full moon.

"That is odd. I just hope you haven't wasted too much time with this wild goose chase. I hope you are able to find what you are looking for at the end. It would be a shame if nothing came out of this." Lyra sighed and ran her hand through her hair. "Things tend to have a weird way of working out in the end, so keep your hopes up. 'Kay?" Lyra smiled and picked up her flute, blowing once as a practice to make sure her lungs were ready before kicking off into the new song.

The setting changes from town-centre to Connorsford

Setting

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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#, as written by shmband
“That’s sweet.” Tabby smiled at Lyra’s mention of a Japanese friend. “Again it makes this sound like a much friendlier place than back home.”

She quickly fretted a few chords checking she had the basic sequence of the song memorised, and nodded slowly as she listened. “Hopefully. It’s not like we came across the entire country or anything. Probably only have ourselves to blame really, taking this guy’s word at face value.”

The whole time Tai remained close by, listening to every word. Every now and then a knowing glance would pass between her and Lyra, as the two of them shared the apprehension that while it seemed far less likely that Tabby herself was anything to worry about, something was definitely suspicious about the whole situation. And whether it was to do with that Lance guy or this mysterious person who’d directed them to Connorsford, or something else entirely, was too vague. Helping out Tabby by putting her up for the night wasn’t a big deal, and beyond that all that mattered was to determine whether any of it should be of concern to the Khöller pack.

“Hey guys,” Tai ventured, “since that last song went so well, let’s try this next one with the key change at the end. It’s tricky but we might as well push ourselves, right?”

Without waiting for any objections, she began the song.

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Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Duncan Reidon Character Portrait: Calvin Roseblade Character Portrait: Sahvanna Ironclaw
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Ducan nodded slowly at Calvin's first comment his head tilted at the sound of someone approaching, sniffing slowly his eyes locked on a female wolf the scent matched the one he found in the forest earlier by the stripped down deer in the forest. There was a faint trace of the scent in town too perhaps the young wolf was there too. perhaps he could talk to Tai about the new visitors later on in the day of course he would tell Adrian too.

When he was sure that the new woman had left he spoke " well that older female was the scent I picked up in the forest, and on my walk through town today I caught a young female too she's in there with the other kids, I find it strange that the town has suddenly become popular. We must be cautious Right?" Ducan asked to see if Calvin understood.

The setting changes from connorsford to Town Centre

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Duncan Reidon Character Portrait: Calvin Roseblade Character Portrait: Sahvanna Ironclaw
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Lyra chewed her bottom lip thoughtfully as Tabby spoke, her mind dancing on what the underlying causes anyone could have for sending this poor girl here. Unfortunately, she came up empty handed. As Tai lurched into another tune, Lyra joined in quickly. At first her toe tapped in rhythm to the beat, but she found herself easily distracted by how late it was getting. She did not want to miss patrol with Calvin and Duncan. . . Nor did she wish to sacrifice any time to prepare herself for the party tonight. Unusually, Lyra was not a girl of fashion; a skirt and top were enough for her. For tonight, however, she had purchased a new dress. If she had already gone that far, she might as well go all the way. Although make-up was not her thing. Perhaps she could ask Jac for advice, or use this as an excuse to meet Dante, or. . . Lyra breathed out impatiently, not knowing what she was going to do. This entire event stressed her out enough, including the fact that she had no idea why this mattered to her so much.

As the last note was played, Lyra stood up slowly and collected her belonging. "That was awesome guys. I'm going to head out so I don't hold up Calvin and Duncan, okay Mother?" she asked, turning to Tai for a moment. Lyra glaced to Tabby and smiled, scribbling down her address and phone number and handing it to the girl. "Here's where I live and my cell phone number if you need anything. It was nice meeting you, Tabby. I hope to see you tonight!" Lyra said cheerfully. With a soft wave, she headed out the door to the front preparing to send Calvin another text but saw him nearby and tucked her cell safely away in her bag's pocket.

With a gentle jog she went over to the guys, blinking in surprise to see a female sitting near the door that she hadn't used. She hurried her pace to find Calvin and Duncan, not wanting to keep them waiting anymore. "Hey guys, I'm here. Did you happen to see the girl near the music room?" Lyra asked cautiously. Whereas Tabby seemed innocent at the beginning, something about Sahvanna settled uneasily with Lyra. Once again came the frustration of what race the newcomer was. "Is she a. . . " Lyra cleared her throat softly, not wanting to finish the sentence in case Sahvanna was human.

The setting changes from town-centre to Connorsford

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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#, as written by shmband
It was clear on her face that Tabby couldn’t have been more comfortable an at home than when making music with other talented instrumentalists, and when then song came to an end it was as though she took a few moments to come down from some ‘happy place’ and back into the room. She smiled at Lyra and took the written details.

“Awesome,” she said, “I’ll definitely try and head up there. I guess I’d better go and see what Lance is up to. I don’t know what he’ll prefer to do, I scarcely want to bring some old dude to the party if it will make it weird for the others there.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Tai interjected with a laugh, “it’s a community event, there’ll be people of all ages coming and going.”

“Oh right,” Tabby said, “well in that case I’ll see what he wants to do. But...thanks so much again for the invite. I’ll see you all later. Have a good time with your friends.”

She packed up her guitar, thanked Tai for letting her join in and made her way off to look for Lance. What was it Lyra had said...Rico’s? She grumbled to herself about what a disappointing situation this was. Or at least, would have been if she hadn’t had an offer of company and a place to stay for tonight. She’d thought she could trust Lance...well, it wasn’t as though Lance had lied to her. Seemed like he’d been mislead as much as she had. But it just made things so much more awkward that it had all been for nothing. But she couldn’t go home with her tail between her legs. She had to find out exactly what had gone wrong first...

The setting changes from connorsford to The Pack House

Setting

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Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: James Khöller Character Portrait: Adrian Khöller Character Portrait: Tai Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Dante Marie
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#, as written by shmband
Jeff smiled and nodded. "Yeah, he doubted himself plenty in his time, but things have a way of falling into place. But part of Adrian's success was that he wasn't afraid to let the pack see him in his weak moments. There's something to be said for that. Remember, you don't have to be the best of the best all the time."

He patted his hand on James' shoulder and looked over at Duncan, who had been one of the first young wolves he'd taught at the community school after becoming a teacher. It had been fairly clear he'd always be a ripe candidate for beta. He walked over to him, snatching up a breaded cheese-stick on the way and dipping it in some guacamole.

"Hi Duncan," he said, "you well? How is your father doing these days?"

-------

The doorbell went again, only this time Adrian was busy laying out some more food to put in the oven, having just heard that a few more people were on their way, and noting that Tai was busy. He leaned out of the door and looked across the hallway for anybody who looked available.

"Anya!" he said, recognising the blonde and red, "Could you do us a favour and get the door? Just this once. Thanks!"

--------

Tai raised an eyebrow at Dante. Jac had left? Sure, the girl was...passionate, but would she really just pack her things and go? Or was this just a spat? She chewed her lip a moment, balancing the need to reassure Dante and to find out if Jac running off was anything to worry about seriously.

"Don't worry Dante," she said as calmly as she could, "I'm sure this is very new for both of you. People don't always act rationally when things change and nothing is more emotionally charged than family. Did she say where she might go?"

--------

Outside on the doorstep Tabby buried her hands in her pockets and stepped away from the door, having just rung the bell. The house really was quite impressive; how many people lived here? She didn't know if it looked much like the big house on the edge of her home town which had a similar sort of arrangement, but a part of her felt that coming here might feel a bit like fulfilling her lifelong wish of seeing inside that house back home. It just seemed so uncanny that there would be such a similar set-up.

She wasn't too worried about the people. That girl Lyra had seemed really nice, and the blonde one too who's name she couldn't remember or hadn't caught at the time. From outside she could hear music so the party was clearly underway, and she'd seen some people going in as she'd walked up the driveway. The only doubt in her mind was that she hadn't really been able to change into anything suitable for a party; she was just wearing skinny jeans, a black vest top under a black denim button-shirt. Hopefully people would cut her some slack for difficult circumstances.

Whatever happened, this would be more interesting than another evening having a greasy restaurant meal with Lance and pretending that she wasn't pissed off with him for taking her on this wild goose chase.

The setting changes from the-pack-house to Downstairs

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Reina "Ray" Lillin Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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Lyra smiled to Kiyoshi, accepting his hand warmly as they returned to the party. He did not seem to comment on her motivation for going back and Lyra was unsure what to think of this. Then again, Lyra had little knowledge of how Kiyoshi even felt about her desire to one day be alpha. It was not a hidden fact to the world, in truth everyone probably knew about the sibling race. She had gone to no lengths to keep her passion a secret from anyone, especially James. The last civil conversation that she shared with her elder brother, outside of family matters and forced events, had been years ago. Lyra knew it was herself that has caused this rift, but at this point she also knew that there was nothing that could be done to mend it. Only one of them could be alpha, after all.

Lyra stopped in her room to grab Ray's gift. It was two tickets to Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum in the next town over along with a diary. Lyra had been hesitant about the last gift, but decided that if Ray did not like the idea of a prank log or daily journal than at least the girl would have another notebook for school. Tai had given Lyra a dairy when she was only a child. Although her writing time was limited to once a week, she still enjoyed looking back upon the fond memories. With the gifts ready, Lyra returned to Kiyoshi and reclaimed his hand for her own. These would be the last moment that Lyra and Kiyoshi would have as "secret mates." Although most had already realized what occurred between the pair, it would be made official through the party as Lyra had no desire to hide who her mate was and would always be. Now they just had to figure out how to inform her parents. . .

At the base of the stairs, Lyra paused and smiled to Kiyoshi, wondering what thoughts could be bouncing in his head. "There's no turning back now," she said softly, reaching up to kiss him on the cheek. "We might as well tell everyone tonight. I don't see any point in trying to hide us," she said with a hint of amusement. Holding his hand firmly, Lyra and Kiyoshi stepped into the living room and glanced around. Everything seemed to lively. People were chattering and guests were laughing. She smiled, thinking about how lucky she was to be a wolf. Humans did not have these community connections like they did.

Lyra spotted Tabitha in the corner of the room with Anya and smiled, tugging slightly on Kiyoshi's sleeve. "That's the girl I was telling you about, Tabby, from the music group. I'm glad she was able to make it finally. Maybe you should go talk with her, you might be able to share some notes on going big in the music industry," she said, playfully teasing her mate. "You used to sing very well, Kiyo-kun. I haven't heard you much lately, though."

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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#, as written by shmband
Tabby was running through in her head what she'd say if someone she hadn't seen yet came to the door and asked who she was, but her luck came through when the door opened and she was greeted by the blonde from the school.

"Thanks." she smiled, stepping in and looking around at the house, taking it in from the inside. It was obvious that this was not an ornamental home resided in and kept clean by a rich family, but an active place where a lot people lived on a daily basis. The closet was packed to bursting point with coats, jackets and footwear for all seasons. The sound of music brought a smile to her face also; it was easier to advance gradually into a crowd of people under the cover of music.

"I'm good, thank you." she replied, "It's nice to actually be doing something. So great of you guys to invite me."

So allowd herself to be guided to the dining room where she looked around and was surprised that there were fewer people than she'd expected, and more to the point a wide variety of ages. But she couldn't prevent her eyes being drawn to the bounty of food which was laid out. She hadn't eaten well in a couple of days!

Lastly, she noticed Lyra standing with an oriental guy, and immediately remembered that Lyra had mentioned having a close Japanese friend. From the looks of things now she'd obviously meant 'boyfriend' because it was clear they were together. Tabby waved over at her, and scanned the room one last time...it had been mentioned that it was a birthday party, but she wasn't sure whose birthday it was, and for that reason hadn't been able to write a card or anything.

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Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio
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Lyra chuckled slightly, shaking her head in good nature. "You should, Kiyoshi-san. I miss your singing." Lyra smiled, squeezing his hand softly with warmth. She looked up to him fondly, watching as his eyes surveyed the room. His posture held no whispers of what he could be feeling. No emotions registered upon his face. Kiyoshi always attended these family gatherings, but he never seemed to involve himself in the matters personally. Lyra would never attempt to change her mate, but she would not be resistant to helping him open up more of himself, especially to her. Lyra always worried about how Kiyoshi allowed everything to slide away from his shoulders, taking nothing personally and simply drifting through life. In truth, she was waiting for the day that it may prove too much for him. At least now she could take comfort in the fact that she would be there and ready if he needed her.

Lyra waved to Tabby, glad that the girl did not seem overly uncomfortable with the party scene. "Come on," she said, giving Kiyoshi a gentle tug. "Let's go see Tabby, even if I was joking about you two trading notes. Just remember to keep the werewolf topic low. She doesn't realize she's one of us yet."

Smiling bright, Lyra wove through the party and made her way to Tabby, glancing over her shoulder to make sure Kiyoshi was following and not simply hanging in the background as he usually preferred to do. "Tabby, I'm glad you could make it," she said, smiling brightly. "Welcome to our home, as you can see just make yourself comfortable and eat plenty of food. My mom doesn't want any leftovers," she said with a laugh. With the amount of food put out, they would probably have leftovers for the rest of the month. "And this is Kiyoshi," she added, smiling to him. "He's the friend that I mentioned before. If there is anything you need, please ask. And Anya, do you know where Ray ran off to? I haven't given her my gift yet. I don't want to anger her and end up on the wrong end of one of her pranks."

The setting changes from downstairs to The Pack House

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Adrian Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Duncan Reidon
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#, as written by shmband
"Sorry to hear that." Jeff said with a sombre nod of his head. "If there's anything Emmy and I can do at any point, don't think twice about asking OK?"

The solemn moment was broken as Adrian sauntered back into the room, weaving past a few other people from town who'd shown up - including a few younger children - greeting them on the way and coming up behind Jeff, landing a heavy hand on his shoulder.

"Hey bro!" Adrian said exuberantly, "Don't think I've seen you since the last moon, where you been hiding? No Emmy tonight?"

"Hey bud," Jeff replied, "well it's a new term, that's always busy. And Nate's not been well so Emmy's keeping him home this weekend. I was just talking to Duncan actually about his father. I'm sure a week or two's optional respite from duty wouldn't be unreasonable given the circumstances."

"Oh yeah for sure," Adrian said, suddenly adopting a serious expression and looking at Duncan, "as much or as little as you feel buddy. Keep busy when you need to keep busy, take it easy when you need to take it easy."




"Kiyoshi," Tabby repeated to make sure she'd heard right, "good to meet you. And thanks! It's an amazing home. How many people actually live here?"

She noted how Lyra referred to 'her mom' as not wanting leftovers, suggesting that this place was actually Lyra's home. Tabby's hunger couldn't help but strongly register the invitation to attack the food, and she saw that people were already starting to help themselves.

"Was the lady running the music group..." Tabby asked cautiously, suddenly noting a similarity, "...by any chance your mom?"

She also raised an eyebrow when Anya said she was happy for Lyra and Kiyoshi, suggesting their coming together had been a fairly recent development.

The setting changes from the-pack-house to Connorsford

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Adrian Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Duncan Reidon
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#, as written by shmband
Adrian smiled supportively, and reached into the box to grab a beer the same time Duncan did. He gave Jeff an eye but Jeff shook his head, declining.

"Yeah I hear you buddy." Adrian said to Duncan, "'course we'll need our wits about us just for the next few days while we confirm there's nothing behind the new faces around here, which I'm sure will be the case. Speaking of which...who is that?"

He discreetly indicated Tabby, whom he had not yet seen. But his gaze was soon drawn to his daughter who was standing talking to the new girl, and the way she clung to Kiyoshi. Suddenly his mind was awash with what this meant, not only for Lyra, but also potentially for James. It was, of course, something that would need to be attended with certain formalities, but naturally he could forgo those for tonight and take care of it tomorrow. It must have been very recent because otherwise Tai would have mentioned it in the car.

He leaned over to Duncan and nodded his head in their direction, with a little smirk. "Did you know anything about that?"

-----

Tabby thought about what Kiyoshi was saying for a moment, then laughed and nodded.

"Oh right," she said, "that would have been Lance. Yeah he's the one I travelled here with. Some jerk invited us to his studio here and we came but the studio doesn't seem to exist. I don't know what his game was but then I kinda wandered into the school and met Lyra and Anya, and they invited me up here so...yeah I guess coming to this town wasn't a total loss after all!"

When she finished talking her eyes drifted off in thought and a slight pang of sadness appeared on her face. She knew that her story didn't explain why she hadn't just gone home after not finding the studio, and the thought of going back was something she wasn't quite ready to face up to...but she knew she couldn't impose on these people for too long. She had her own home to go to which was a perfectly good home...she just wasn't looking forward to the questions she'd have to face when she got there.

"Do you live in this house or down in town?" she asked, diverting the conversation away from herself, "I was saying to Lyra, there's a similar kind of place to this in my town. I mean, like, a house where a whole bunch of kids live and there's a kind of patriarch guy who's a big cheese around town. Never been in that house myself but it's interesting that you seem to have the same kind of set-up here."

The setting changes from connorsford to Downstairs

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lyra Khöller Character Portrait: Jacquelyn Marie Character Portrait: Kiyoshi Tanaka Character Portrait: Anya West Character Portrait: Adrian Khöller Character Portrait: Tabitha Davio Character Portrait: Duncan Reidon Character Portrait: Gavroche "Gavin" Argentum
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"Was the lady running the music group..." Tabby asked cautiously, suddenly noting a similarity, "...by any chance your mom?"

Lyra smiled to Tabby with her question, nodding in response as she glanced around the room quickly in search for her mother. "Yes, Tai is my mother. I was helping her with the music group after school. There usually aren't too many people that go to it and, well, you can always count on family," Lyra said with a smile, although the words felt bitter on her lips. Her gaze fell upon Mr. Dean, a silent chuckle passing through her at the panda costume. He was a good teacher, one of her favorites. It was rude for Ray to trick him like that. But then again, it was her party. And there was always a surprise at anything Ray attented.

Lyra's gaze shifted slightly, noticing in dismay as Adrian whispered to Duncan and met her gaze. So he knew, or at least expected. She had hoped to catch her father blind, to be the one that told him with Kiyoshi. Things never went as planned, she supposed. Even so, they still needed to formally announce themselves to Adrian and Tai, not just as Alpha but as her parents also. This was something that Lyra was unsure how to approach. She had no idea what they would think of Kiyoshi as their daughter's mate. But that was a matter for another time, Lyra decided, turning her attention back to Tabby, Anya, and Kiyoshi as they discussed Lance, wondering slightly how that topic had been reached. For now, however, she simply wanted to enjoy the night in peaceful bliss. Everything else could wait.

"Do you live in this house or down in town?" Tabby asked, diverting the conversation away from herself, "I was saying to Lyra, there's a similar kind of place to this in my town. I mean, like, a house where a whole bunch of kids live and there's a kind of patriarch guy who's a big cheese around town. Never been in that house myself but it's interesting that you seem to have the same kind of set-up here."

Lyra smiled to Tabby, aware of her attempt to change the subject. She did not impose, however. Tabby would tell them when she was ready. "Yes, we all live here. Most of the students between 14 and 20 do. It helps form. . . community bonds," she said after a pause, not wanting to reveal too much of their society to the clandestine wolf. "It's fun, everyone gets a lot closer than we normally would, not like we have much of a choice. My father, Adrian, would be the patriarch that you were talking about for this town." Lyra laughed slightly to this, thinking of teasing Adrian with this title. Although Lyra had a different mentality than her father, she believed that he was a good alpha. She only wished that he could see the same qualities inside her, or at least stronger in herself than in James.

"So, make yourself comfortable, Tabby. I still have to give the birthday girl her gift, want me to introduce you to Ray?" Lyra asked. Her voice trailed off slightly as she was diverted by the door opening. Lyra smiled to see Jac and Gavin, glad that neither one had managed to screw it up.

"Guess I won't be alone for the moon," Lyra said, squeezing Kiyoshi's hand as she leaned against him tenderly. So what if Adrian figured out they were together before they had a chance to tell him? He was going to find out eventually, she surmised, deciding that for tonight she could loosen her reigns not calculate her next ten steps to a tee.