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Leanna Romero

"Our pack are family. That counts for more than any group or coven."

0 · 1,228 views · located in Bellingstone, Pennsylvania

a character in “Welcome to Bellingstone”, as played by LittleMissGeorgia

Description

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"Maybe love really is hiding beneath the shadow of duty..."



ImageImageRace: Werewolf

Gender: Female

Age: Thirty-five

Nicknames: Her name is often shortened to Lea by those she knows best, although she prefers her full name. Albrecht used to use various terms of endearment for her too, which she was very fond of. To most outside of the pack, they know her as just the Alpha Female.

Occupation: She is a waitress at the bar AJ runs, although she doesn't particularly enjoy it. She also other duties as Alpha Female, such as caring for the women of the pack. She's also expected to take care of any children who's mother's can't take care of them.

Pack/Coven Name: Wolff Pack

Rank in Pack/Coven: Alpha Female
ImageImageImageHeight: Five foot five

Weight: One-hundred and fifteen pounds

Build: Curvy and toned, though relatively slim.

Hair Color: Dark brown, with flecks of gold through that lighten and become more prominent in the summer.

Eye Color: Hazel. One is a little more golden-green, while the other has more brown.

Scars: Leanna was never a particularly careful child and has a number of faint scars from injuries she got while playing. Her worst of this type is on her scalp, just above her hairline, where she had to have her head stitched up after she cracked it open, playing with her brothers when she was eleven. She also has a thin scar, starting at the crux of the back of her knee and running four inches down the back of her leg that she received in a fight with a vampire when she was twenty-five. A vampire who Albrecht, like her knight in shining armour, made certain did not live to see in the next morning.

Brief Written Description: Leanna is a little shorter than average, standing at five foot five. She's of a slim but athletic build, weighing one-hundred and fifteen pounds. She doesn't have to put much effort into maintaining her figure as she does quite a lot of exercise in her wolf form. Her skin is naturally tanned, due to her Hispanic origins on her mother's side. She has almond-shaped hazel eyes, framed by long, thick lashes. Her face is oval-shaped with full lips and neat, white teeth. Her hair is a dark brown colour and falls to below her shoulder blades. It's naturally quite wavy with golden flecks.

Clothing Preference: Leanna's clothing preference is usually practical and fairly plain but flattering. In the winter, she wears skinny jeans in varying colours of denim, made of thin material so she can still run easily. On top, she wears a henley style top, which she also owns in different colours. On her feet, she'll wear simple sneakers, though she does also like boots with a bit of a heel, though they're less practice. To keep warm, she'll often wear a gilet over the top, often with fake fur round the hood. In the summer, her look is similar. She trades jeans for a pair of simple shorts and short sleeve versions of the button up tops she wears in the winter.
ImageImageImageImageImageImageSkills: Leanna's athleticism and strong physique make her a fast runner. It's very useful when escaping from a pursuer or in an emergency. She runs as a hobby, and to stay fit. She's also pretty strong, and she has quick reactions, giving her an advantage in a fight.

She's also a wonderful ice skater. One winter when she was very young, her mother taught her and her two younger brothers to skate on the frozen over lake just outside the village. They practised tirelessly until the ice melted, by which point she'd got pretty good. She now looks forward to every winter when the lake freezes, so she can skate on it. She wants to teach her children to skate too, one day.

Leanna's imaginative, giving her a talent for coming up with stories. She always told them to her brothers when they were little, and now she tells them to the youngest members of the pack when she's asked to care for them. It's something that comes naturally to her, though she's never had any desire to pursue it further than a simple talent.

Leanna used to be a useless cook, but since beginning a relationship with AJ, she's improved significantly. They found that him teaching her to cook was an easy way to pass the time and avoid awkwardness, since there was always something to be doing and they could talk about something separate from all the issues surrounding their relationship. Axel's a wonderful cook, and Leanna is acquiring it as a skill of her own too, thanks to him.

Quirks: Leanna likes to run when she's stressed.

She prefers wearing an oversized top to bed rather than proper pyjamas.

She usually wears a bracelet of some sort, usually one of some sentimental significance to her, and habitually plays with the clasp.

Likes: Her Family, The Pack, Skating, Running, Cooking, Winter, Children, Denim, Sunset, Her Wolf Form.

Dislikes: Vampires, Hunters, Forced Relationships, Drawing, Dresses, Getting Overheated, Fizzy Drinks, Wasps.

Fears: Leanna holds herself personally responsible for the safety and well-being of the pack, and the idea of anything happening to them really worries her. She would feel guilty for it, and blame herself.

She's scared Axel'll leave her without warning, the way Albrecht did.

Vampires and Hunters are another of Leanna's fears. She's seen how dangerous they can be with her own eyes, and there only getting more threatening everyday as a rivalry brews.

Written Description: Leanna has a strong personality. Though she's diplomatic, knows to pick her fights and when to back down, she's her own person and she won't let herself be pushed around. She's argumentative and she won't shy away from an argument out of fear. If she knows there's a problem she won't simply turn a blind eye and hope it will get better. She has no issues standing up for herself and she'd never be the type to hide behind others. She's confident in her own views, and she won't let herself be manipulated by others.

She's also caring for those around her. She hates to see anything wrong with her pack, and if anything were to happen to them, she'd hold herself personally responsible. As the Alpha Female, she's seen as the mother of the pack, of sorts. She's often the one female or younger members of the pack come to for advice or guidance, and though she's not sure she always gives them the right answer, she'll always try her best. She's protective and caring. Leanna's quite mature, understanding the need for good leadership. She's responsible, and unlikely to act recklessly.

Despite allowing herself to care freely for members of the pack like family, she's much more careful with her affections when it comes to love. She's cautious, having been burn once before. She allowed herself to fall in love with Albrecht, and she got hurt. For whatever reason he told himself he was leaving, the truth of the matter was that he didn't love her enough to stay. But she'd loved him that much. She would've never considered leaving, if it meant she'd have to be apart from him. Now, Leanna is cautious in her second relationship. As much as she knows she needs to be hasty about marrying him, she can't bring herself to try and bring too much love to their relationship, resulting in it often feeling a little awkward and forced.
Relationship Status: Dating the Alpha Male

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Brief History: Leanna parents were Jonas and Olivia Romero. They were both werewolves of the Wolff pack, and their parents before them, and their parents before them, giving Leanna a strong lineage within the pack. Their parent's marriage was one of choice, rather than being forced to become mates, and they loved each other dearly. Leanna's father and Richard Wolff were close friends for many years. So, when, two years after the birth of Albrecht Wolff, who was destined to become the future Alpha, Leanna's mother fell pregnant, it was agreed that if the child was a girl, she would become their son's mate. When Leanna was born, her parents were delighted, and the marriage was set in stone. Olivia had two more children after Leanna, two boys, Felix and Gabriel.

Albrecht and Leanna grew up together as best friends. Their parents took any opportunity there was to bring the children together, so they would get used to each other and marrying them off would be an easy task. When Leanna was eighteen and Albrecht was twenty-one, it was deemed acceptable for them to begin formally dating, but their relationship didn't change at all, other than the label used to describe it.They were already so familiar with each other and comfortable in each other's presence and they already kissed and did everything those in a relationship did.

Gradually, their relationship developed and they fell in love. He was everything to Leanna, and she thought she would spend the rest of her life with him. When she was twenty-seven, Albrecht proposed to her in the Winter. Of course, Leanna accepted. The date of their wedding was set for the following summer. Everything was put in place and organised, and everything seemed to be perfect. They would marry, uniting the pack and creating a strong couple to lead the pack once Albrecht took over as the Alpha. Leanna was deeped to be at the perfect age to have children; not too young to be completely out of her depth, not too old that time would be against them, limiting the number they could have and their health. The pack were pleased with the alliance, and Leanna though Albrecht was too. Although she was concerned that she was too young to settle down and commit herself to this life, and she didn't think she was at all ready to be a mother to cubs, she thought she had Albrecht's support, and she'd be able to do it as long as she had him.

As the date of their wedding approached, Leanna noticed Albrecht becoming distant with her. The relationship felt a little awkward and, for the first time since she'd met Albrecht, she found she didn't know how to get through to him. He seemed to be avoiding her, keeping secrets, and whenever he was in her presence he seemed uncomfortable. Leanna was beginning to panic that he didn't want to marry her at all, and she was making a huge mistake. He just wouldn't talk to her about it or tell her what the problem was, no matter how hard she tried, how many times over she tried and how many different ways she found to say it. Her brain began to come up with all the reasons it could be, ranging from that he simply didn't love her any more, to an affair. But the wedding got closer and close, and Leanna didn't know what to do. She told her mother about her worries, and she and Albrecht's mother banded together to convince her it was just pre-wedding nerves and all men went through this before they got married. Leanna wasn't entirely convinced, but what could she do? Shed been betrothed to this man since birth. Their marriage was inevitable and there was no way she could get out of it without being hated by the pack and cast out. So she was forced to simply put on a brave face and busy herself with wedding preparations, while hoping it would get better once they were married and Albrecht would return to being the lovely man she'd fallen in love with.

But, on the night before the wedding, she was awoken in the middle of the night by Albrecht. He sat down on the end of her bed and told her he was leaving. He dreamed of going to college and making something of his life outside of the pack. He didn't think he could lead a pack, and he couldn't bare to be tied into an inescapable destiny when it wasn't what he wanted. He said he was setting her free, to be with someone who wanted what she did. But all Leanna heard was that he didn't want her anymore. At first, she denied it and tried to persuade him that it was just nerves about the wedding, as their mother's had said. Then she got angry. She shouted at him and tried to hit him. How could he just leave her like this? Then she began to cry bitterly. She'd lost the love of her life and everything had crumbled down with him. He kissed her goodbye, and told her he'd always love her. Then, he picked up his bag and left.

Leanna fled home to tell her brothers what had happened and they sat with her, helping her. The next morning, they made all the necessary arrangements to have the wedding cancelled so Leanna didn't have to face it herself. But it was just a week later that her parents and the Alpha Male and Female came to tell her that they still wanted her as their next Alpha Female and their youngest more rebellious son, to whom the task of future Alpha now fell to, needed a good influence like her to fulfil his duty. At first, Leanna outright refused. But gradually, she cajoled into the idea that it was her duty and she owed it to the pack. And so she found herself dating Axel.

Their relationship began awkwardly, to say the very least. Leanna was still bitter over what his brother had done to her, and she let that influence the way she acted towards AJ. They gradually became closer and more comfortable in one another's company, but it was never the way it had been with Albrecht. When his father passed away from a heart attack, Leanna found herself as the Alpha Female, and suddenly, there were a lot more pressures on her than there were previously. She knows her duty is to marry AJ and have his cubs, in order to provide an Alpha for when AJ passes his prime. She knows they're under pressure from the pack to marry, and she knows everyone is aware that their window for having children is getting smaller. Everyone expects them to marry any day now, but Axel seems wary to commit, as is Leanna. She is worried that what happened last time may happen again, and that she is making a mistake marrying someone she doesn't know she loves.

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So begins...

Leanna Romero's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay Character Portrait: Leanna Romero
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As Leanna turned over, sleep gradually left her and her conscious mind begun to engage. Through the edges of the curtains where they had not been properly drawn, light streamed into the room, casting little chinks of golden sunshine onto the carpet. As sad as Leanna was to see the departure of winter and the thaw of the icy lake, summer was also lovely too. It felt fresh, and the year's first flush of sun always seemed to leave the people of the town in a slightly better mood than in the icy winter. Although, with the current state of relations between the werewolves, vampires and hunters, Leanna knew it would take a lot more than a little good weather to thaw that hatred.

As soon as Leanna was properly awake, the first thing she became aware of was the ominous empty feeling of the house. She knew, without even checking, that Axel had already left. There was something that hung in the air when the house was empty. It was utterly silent, but that wasn't the only thing that caused the feeling. There was something almost tangible, but not quite, that left Leanna knowing she was alone. Axel had obviously decided to let her sleep instead of waking her, which she supposed she appreciated. But it only made the gap between them all the more evident in her mind. In public, she and Axel were expected to remain a strong, figurehead like veneer for the rest of the pack, which involved presenting the front that their relationship was flawless, and that they were just on the cusp of wedding bells, followed by pups. In public, she would comfortably stand by his side, kiss him, hold his hand, for that was what was expected of them. But at home, in private, where no one could see them, that pretence was stripped away. They were no longer performing for anybody, and whatever they said or did was not an act but the truth. If she kissed him, she was showing genuine affection for him rather than just doing her duty. And she'd... She'd made that mistake before. She'd lost sight of what she needed to do for the good of the pack in favour of love. And their Alpha had left, because she couldn't make him stay. She'd got caught up in loving Albrecht, Axel's brother. She'd become complacent and comfortable in their relationship. She'd forgotten her purpose, and he'd left. That had been a mistake on her part. A mistake she wasn't willing to make again.

With uncomfortable, reminiscent thoughts on her mind, Leanna realised she could no longer hope to go back to sleep. Her shift at the diner wasn't until a little later, but she wasn't going to just spend the whole day at home. She needed to get up anyway, her presence within town was expected. She pulled the duvet back and sat up on the edge of the bed before getting to her feet. She gently padded through to the kitchen, dropping a slice of toast into the toaster for her breakfast. She could always eat at the diner, but she saw little point in making Axel any more busy than he, undoubtedly, already was. He was a wonderful cook, which caused his diner to quickly become one of the town's most popular venues, all species' lured there by the promise of good. Though even Leanna's toast would come up as substandard in comparison to his, she was sure it would suffice in preference to creating more work for the busy Alpha male.

The toast quickly popped up and she buttered it straight away, so the butter melted on the warm surface. When she was finished with breakfast, she moved to the bathroom to wash. She had had a shower just the evening before, but she always liked to begin the morning fresh and clean. She switched the shower on, allowing it to heat up before stripping off and stepping in. But to her utter shock, the water was still icy cold. She leapt back from the freezing stream of liquid, startled from her fairly lazy morning, that had allowed her to remain in a sleepy haze. She stepped out of the shower, shuddering with cold, pulling a warm towel around her. A couple of minutes later, she checked the water with her hand once more, but it was still running on cold, even though it was set to the warmest setting. Evidently, there was something wrong with the heating system in the house, although she wouldn't have the slightest idea where to begin in fixing. Besides, the house wasn't even really hers. Evidently, she wasn't going to be able to avoid her place of work that morning. She would have to visit the diner to let Axel know something needed to be done.

With a sigh, Leanna gave up on the prospect of a nice, fresh shower. She dried herself off, putting on a fairly usual outfit for her and fixing her hair. Soon, she was ready to leave the house. She locked the door behind her, making her way down the sidewalk towards the diner. But she stopped at the sight of Derek Hale storming away from Sara Jay and a woman Leanna vaguely recognised but didn't know. She watched the woman get closer to Sara, exchanging a few bitter words before marching away herself, but not before throwing another insult backwards towards Sara. Leanna could've easily walked on by. She had somewhere she did want to be, but even though Sara wasn't a member of the pack any more, she had been. Leanna would've said she'd known Sara relatively well, before what had happened with her family, before she'd left the pack. And Leanna still felt a sense of family ties that most packs had. That was something just leaving couldn't bring and end to. Sara looked angry and shaken, and upset. Leanna hadn't spoken with her much in a while, and she couldn't just leave her stood here. So she carefully approached Sara where she stood alone on the sidewalk.

"Sara?" she said gently, as not to startle the girl. "Is everything alright, sweetheart?"

The affectionate term simply slipped out without thought, and she suddenly felt stupid and inappropriate for using it, now Sara had made it obvious she didn't want to be a member of the pack. But Leanna was a naturally caring woman. She acted as a mother, of sorts, to the rest of the pack. She was always protective of them, and saw it as a personal failure on her part if anything happened to them. Leanna wasn't the type to ignore Leanna when she looked upset, and she looked as if she needed some kind of affection, even if it wasn't the pack's support she wanted.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Isabella Gabrielle Clarke
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Sara stood, rooted to the sidewalk, a her frame rigid as a board, "Oh honey, you have no idea what you have gotten yourself into. You'll regret this, and if he sinks so low as to sleep with you, he'll come running to me, begging to give him the greatest night of his life. Just you wait and see." the vampire said, before scurrying off. Sara stared out in a haze, struggling to differentiate all the emotions she was feeling at the moment. Distraught the two month anniversary of her family's death, utter fear from seeing the Hunters in the diner, disgust and malevolence towards the female vampire from how she was shamelessly flirting with the werewolf who obviously had no interest in her, and searing white hot anger towards the vampire for how she talked to her.

She took a few shaky breaths, trying to calm herself down, knowing if she let her emotions get to the better of her, she would phase in public. While taking a breath, she heard a small voice behind her, "Sara? Is everything alright, sweetheart?" she heard the voice say. She blinked, taking a moment to recognize the voice, before placing it as Leanna's. She turned, quickly wiping her face, as her anger had caused her to tear up, "O-oh.. Hey Leanna.. I-I.. I'm fine.. I was just heading to work." she said, her voice sounding scratchy and strained, as she have an obviously forced smile, hoping her previous apha hadn't heard the little scuffle with the vampire Sara had just had.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay Character Portrait: Leanna Romero
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Leanna watched Sara blink viciously, as though she was trying to hold back an onslaught of tears. Her chest heaved slightly as she dragged in ragged, shaky breaths. Suddenly, Leanna wondered if speaking with the broken women had been such a good idea. Sara didn't seem especially pleased to see her, and she had voluntarily left the pack, which was a clear indication that she didn't want her problems to be their business. But Sara couldn't have simply walked on. Not past a woman who had once been family, so to speak. It just wasn't in Leanna's nature.

"O-oh.. Hey Leanna..." the wolf responded. But she sounded anything but fine. Her voice was forced and she was smiling as though it were painted on her face. "I-I... I'm fine... I was just heading to work."

Leanna nodded uncomfortably, returning the smile with a more genuine one of her own. "Well then, I don't want to keep you," she told Sara earnestly.

She glanced down the street momentarily in the direction the vampire had scurried off in, wondering if she should ask after the argument and make sure the vampire had no intention of coming back and hurting any of the wolves. But looking at Sara, Leanna concluded that maybe it was best just to let woman get on with her day. Telling Leanna that she was headed to work was a fairly clear sign that she didn't particularly want to talk. But she couldn't just leave it like that.

"But," she added, reaching out a hand to place it on Sara's shoulder in a motherly gesture, "If there's anything you need, the pack and I are always here for you," she finished gently with a slightly sad smile. Then she let her hand drop from Sara's shoulder back to her side and she continued her way towards the diner with the intention of finding Axel, as she had originally set out to do.

Leanna walked the short distance between her original position to where the diner was situated and made her way in. The diner was particularly busy on this relatively early Sunday morning. It was full of people enjoying their breakfasts, conversing and just generally spending time in the bustling environment of the diner. But Leanna quickly picked out Axel. With his large, well built frame and shock of dark hair, he was instantly recognisable to Leanna. Besides, she was plenty familiar with him after five years 'together'. He was leaning against the counter by an empty seat, in his hand he held a slip of paper and some money, which Leanna simply dismissed.

She approached him, taking up the recently vacated seat. "Morning," she smiled to him.

For a moment, she toyed with the idea of a more intimate greeting, and concluded it was probably best, based on how busy the diner was. She quickly leant in, pressing a light peck to his lips before pulling away almost instantly. It appeared an easy gesture, founded in the fact that she was completely comfortable in their relationship and everything was going perfectly. In her head, it was duty, but in other ways, she also needed to feel that she was doing the right thing.

"I just came to let you know, there's a problem with the hot water in the house..." she told him, playing with the clasp on her bracelet, as she usually did, out of habit.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Josephine Beckett
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Axel had honestly been hoping for just a few quick words so he could be on his way. Instead, Jo seemed to decide it would be best to write out her response. He sighed softly, hardly noticeable, as she pulled out the paper and scribbled down some words. Did all book-fanatics (or whatever the hell they were called) have to write everything? Regardless, he kept his mouth shut as she placed money and the note into his palm, hardened from years of running through the trees in his wolf form. AJ shot a quick, equally strained smile at Jo as she pushed the door open.

"See you later, Jo," he called, walking to the cash register to put the money in it and then close it up. Swiftly, almost to the point where he ripped the slip of paper, Axel opened the note up and read the words printed in quick, neat cursive. Had the situation been different, he might have actually appreciated her attractive handwriting. "Not safe to discuss here. Swing by the library later. I am sure you know what this is about." Axel groaned softly, rolling his eyes. Library? How about no. He didn't have anything against books, per say. It was more of an aversion to schools and learning. Learning always seemed to remind him of school and, in turn, college or Albrecht. His upper lip lifted slightly in a snarl as he thought of his cowardly big brother. It still upset him that Albrecht had thought it okay to skip town and attend college, leaving Axel stuck in Bellingstone. Sometimes, he wondered what had happened to his big brother...had things worked out for him?

Axel shoved the note into his pocket and reentered the kitchen, working on the order for the trio he'd just waited on. The French toast was easily made and set aside as he cracked a few eggs in a bowl for the omelette. Eventually, with all of the orders filled, he piled them on to a tray and carried them out to the counter to fill glasses with their requested drinks. As he picked the tray up off of the counter, he heard the ring of the door opening it. Through it walked Leanna. Axel leaned back against the counter near the spot Jo had just left, placing the tray down again as his "mate" approached. She sat down and smiled lightly, exposed her bright, white teeth.

"Morning," she greeted. An awkward moment of silence elapsed before Leanna leaned in and kissed his lips swiftly, basically just brushing their lips together. Axel returned the smile and pressed his lips to hers when she kissed them, a bit upset she had pulled away so quickly. It was so difficult having a woman in his life who he was expected to love and who wasn't falling head-over-heels for him. He pushed the thought from his mind, however.

"Morning, Lea," he replied, running a hand through his hair quickly.

"I just came to let you know, there's a problem with the hot water in the house..." she said, toying with the bracelet on her wrist. Axel groaned and rolled his eyes.

"Crap..." he muttered, sighing. "The plumbing in that house is so dated...I'm about ready to get the entire place just updated." This certainly wasn't the first of their problems with the house. The water had come in dirty and uncleaned a few months ago, the gas stove hadn't turned on a few weeks ago, and some shingles were slowly coming loose on the roof. He'd like nothing more than to tear the entire thing down and rebuild it, but somehow that felt wrong and against the wishes of his ancestors. Tradition was the only thing keeping him from contacting a demolition crew. "...I'll get on it tonight after work, okay?" He wasn't the best plumber, and he knew that, but he certainly wasn't paying some man to come out and fix what he'd probably be able to look up or figure out himself.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero
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Axel had returned her greeting with, "Morning, Lea."

It was simple and familiar. But seemed to be the problem with them, she supposed. It wasn't that they hated each other. No, not at all. She truly did care for Axel and would've been devastated if anything were to happen to him. But she simply couldn't bring herself to love him. She imagined, if she let herself go and tried to push the relationship forward, she could love him. But she wasn't sure she could. That's why their greeting was so easy, yet intimacy so uncomfortable and even a little forced. But she was grateful that he returned the kiss with encouragement rather than resentment or coldness.

"Crap..." Axel muttered, in response to her news about the new problem with the house. She looked up at him, taking her eyes of her bracelet, but continuing to finger the catch absent-mindedly. "The plumbing in that house is so dated...I'm about ready to get the entire place just updated."

Leanna nodded, but shrugged slightly too, to let him know it didn't bother her too much. She her free hand to pull a lock of hair back behind her ear, out of the way. You would think that being the Alpha female would at least come with the perks of a nice, old family house that had been cared for and improved over the years, but apparently not. It wasn't that Leanna was complaining. Of course, it was irritating to be without warm water to wash in, but it was no disaster.

"...I'll get on it tonight after work, okay?"

Although... That could turn into a disaster. Axel was not terrible with plumbing. In fact, he seemed to be a lot better than most men these days. But, a few months back he thought he could fix the unclean water that was coming into the house; another fault in the house's seemingly endless list. It had been a mistake, not because he was incapable or incompetent, but just a mistake. However, a pipe had split while he was trying to 'fix' it, running a little river down their road, culminating in a small pond just before the park that some ducks had taken up residency in for a short while.

Leanna raised her eyebrows at him, the corners of her lips pulling into a playful smile. "Are you sure that's such a good idea?" she laughed, clearly making reference to his previous plumbing incident.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Lassiter Declan
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Sam stared towards the door as Caroline made her exit. It made his spirits dampen slightly. She was always a bright light in his life when she was around. But, there was no use being sad. With their situation, he couldn't spend 24 hours with her like he wanted. He would see her later, there was no doubt about that. As he turned back to Lassiter, he realized that the Delta was leaving as well. “You know what- never mind- it looks like you are getting a bit busy. I’ll leave you to it. I’m sure I have a frozen waffle or two collecting snow in my freezer.” Sam raised an eyebrow in confusion, but just shrugged his shoulders and let Lassiter leave without a word. He honestly wasn't sad to see him leave the diner. Jo left promptly after that, and Sam took the time to clean up the dirty dishes that had been left behind.

After making sure the counter was spotless once more, he noticed that Leanna had entered the diner and stole Axel away from the patrons. He walked over to her, not really caring if he was interrupting their conversation. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and squeezed it lightly. "Good morning, Lea," he said with a smile. Looking between Axel and Lea, he honestly thought they were a good couple, although he knew it wasn't as perfect as they attempted to make it seem to the pack. Their relationship was the one reason he was afraid to tell Axel the truth about Caroline. He was really trying to make it work between him and Lea, and was doing his duty for the good of the pack. Sam had never really attempted with Jo. He could blame the entire situation on her, for before he even had a chance to try with her, she made her feelings painstakingly clear. She didn't want anything to do with him in the romantic sense. Although, it was more than just that. He didn't really want to either. And then he had fallen for Caroline, and never looked back.

He knew he would have to break it to Axel sooner rather than later. After all, Jo and Lassiter already knew, and it couldn't be kept a secret for long. Especially with Lassiter's mouth. And he would rather have Axel hear hit from his own mouth than someone else's. Sam also didn't want to keep it a secret. Without the secrecy, he could kiss Caroline openly in the diner, or her bar. He wouldn't have to sit across the room, pretending to have other business, while sneaking glances her way.

He brought himself to the present, and removed his arm from Lea's. "Now, Axel, be a gentleman and take this lovely woman's order," he said and gave Axel and punch in the shoulder as he walked away from the pair, giving them their privacy once more. He felt his phone vibrate in his pocket, and pulled it out, seeing Caroline's name pop up on the screen. 'Love you baby' it read, and he broke out in a grin. He quickly typed back to her. 'Missing me already?' He stuffed his phone back in his pocket, knowing she would respond rapidly. Her bar wasn't likely to have many customers at this hour.

He looked towards the door and noticed the dark haired man who had entered was sitting at a table, his back against the wall, surveying the room intently. He still hadn't been helped, and while Axel was busy with Leanna, Sam decided he'd help the man himself.

As he approached the table, his senses went on high alert. He didn't know exactly what it was about the man, but he didn't like what he felt. He was used to being in the presence of werewolves, so he knew the gentleman was a wolf when he got close. He didn't know how, but they could easily recognize each other. It was some kind of sixth sense they all had. This man wasn't in their pack, and before today he hadn't been aware that he even existed. That was strange, because ever wolf not in the Wolff pack was supposed to be known, and have permission to reside in the town. Of course, this guy didn't look like he followed the rules too often.

He almost looked crazed. He had a fake smile plastered on his face, but his blue eyes only held hostility. His lip was curled up into a snarl, and Sam wasn't surprised no one had wanted to approach this man. He wasn't afraid in the least, and confidently strode up to the table. He gave the man a smile, and pressed his pen to his pad of paper. "What can I get you this morning? Coffee, water, breakfast?"

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Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay Character Portrait: Leanna Romero
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"Well then, I don't want to keep you," Leanna said to her. Sara gave the smallest of nods, before turning to leave.

"But," Sara blinked, turning to face Leanna as the young woman began her statement, placing her hand gingerly on Sara's shoulder, "If there's anything you need, the pack and I are always here for you," Sara gave a small, broken, but heartfelt smile, "I-I know Leanna. I just.. I can't be around the pack.. You.. You have to understand.." she murmured, "It was nice seeing you." she said quietly, before tuning to make her way towards the treeline. Too many things were running through her mind, and she knew she wouldn't be able to get to work with her emotions running rampant like they were.

Once at a safe distance within the forest, Sara looked down at her clothing, biting her lip, "I don't wanna ruin these." she murmured to herself, hiding behind a tree, she quickly stripped, hiding the clothes in a bush, she shifted, groaning quietly as she felt the muscle and bone of the wolf stretch her human skin, eventually ripping out of her skin, her wolf form to its stance on all fours, shaking off the excess skin and bone, before taking off, darting through the woods.

I can't stand their pity. she thought angrily, I left the pack so that I wouldn't have to be around it. And yet I can feel the pity rolling off of them in waves. she grumbled mentally.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce
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Axel pulled out a rag from underneath the counter top to wipe down the top of the laminate. His hand moved quickly in small, circular motions, making the counter look a little bit cleaner than beforehand. In wasn't much, but he would hopefully have time to finish cleaning when the current wave of customers left. He set the rag down and looked up, catching a glimpse of Leanna smirking with her brow raised. AJ raised an eyebrow slightly, cocking his head to the side in a dog-like motion. Most werewolves seemed to carry some of their wolf movements and instincts into their human form but Axel seemed to do more so. He was known for his common head tilts and pulling up his lip slightly in a snarl-like movement when angered.

"What?" he asked, placing the rag under the counter before leaning on it with his elbows, hands clasped before his lips. Had he said something wrong?

"Are you sure that's such a good idea?" she asked, fighting back laughter until she had finished; then, she let out a laugh. Axel bit the corner of his lip, raising his other eyebrow in confusion. Of course, he didn't get what she was alluding to right away, even though it should have been obvious. He opened his mouth to question her before it hit him.

"Oh, ha ha, funny," he replied, rolling his eyes as he pointed at her and wiggled his finger slightly in a 'oh, you got me' sort of gesture. "That was one time, sweetheart. Besides, I'm not that hopeless." He smirked cheekily, still leaning on the counter. "You don't give me enough credit." Out of nowhere, it seemed, Sam walked up from behind Leanna and wrapped an arm around her shoulders, squeezing lightly. Axel slowly straightened up, as if Sam suddenly touching his mate and holding her close made him defensive, which it didn't...or did it? He couldn't tell anymore, really. Things were getting so out of hand.

"Good morning, Lea" he said to her, glancing between both Axel and Leanna. Axel watched his Beta closely, wondering what he could be thinking. After a few moments, he pulled his arm away from around Lea and looked at AJ again. "Now, Axel, be a gentleman and take this lovely woman's order." Axel rolled his eyes as Sam punched him lightly on the arm. In return, Axel nudged him playfully, laughing under his breath in a bit of a scoff.

"Yeah, yeah," he muttered, watching Sam move off and glance at his phone. Now, who could he be texting...? Well, that really didn't matter now. He looked back at Lea and pulled up the pad of paper again. "What can I get you, hon?" He flipped to a clean page and left it on the table as he moved around the space behind the counter, placing coffee to brew, making sure nothing needed to be refilled, and simply moving to make sure he wasn't wasting time. After a few minutes, Sam suddenly clapped Axel on the shoulder.

"Hey boss, now that we have the extra help, I'm going to take a break," he jerked a thumb toward the waitress who seemed to slowly move along. She'd really only been hired by Axel for the summer months, when he knew they'd be busy. But, at the rate she was moving around, it appeared she wouldn't really be too much help. He'd have to force some sense into her...but, maybe with her help he could work the kitchen the entire day. That'd be better than running around between tables, really. Axel turned to look at Sam and grinned.

"What happened to asking for a break, Sammy?" he chided, nudging Sam as he poured coffee into a mug for himself. "Yeah, go get your ugly mug out of here. You're ruining business." He laughed at his own chiding, shooting a cheeky smirk at his Beta.

"That means you're going to have to work!" said Sam as he started to walk off. Sam winked and Axel groaned softly in a dramatic way as he rolled his eyes.

"Who has time for work?" he joked, sipping the coffee slowly. The hot liquid just about burnt his tongue and he recoiled, spilling some coffee on to the tile floor as he set the mug down and hurriedly grabbed an ice cube from the dispenser, which he pressed to his tongue, hoping to reduce the swelling. Still pressing the ice cube to his tongue with the roof of his mouth, he walked back to Leanna and picked up the notepad to take her order.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce
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Leanna watched as Axel's expression contorted into one of confusion and she bit down on her lip. There was definitely an air of familiarity to their relationship that made teasing and joking acceptable, and they had plenty of shared memories that were inescapable. But Leanna did sometimes worry she'd pushed it too far, probably irrationally so, but this was one of those moments. But, then she saw it in his face as it hit him, and relaxed.

He rolled his eyes and mock scolded her, "Oh, ha ha, funny. That was one time, sweetheart. Besides, I'm not that hopeless." He smirked. "You don't give me enough credit."

Leanna giggled, previous worries forgotten. It wasn't that she was afraid of him, of even uncomfortable around him. She was just aware that their relationship hung on tenterhooks and to damage it may be irreparable, yet she would have no choice. She needed this to work. She couldn't fail the pack again. She was about to reply with something cheeky, but was stopped by an arm suddenly closing around her shoulders, squeezing lightly. She couldn't see the person next to her instantly, as they'd approached her from behind, and anyone else might have jumped. But Leanna could instantly smell that it was Sam and leant into his arm in a friendly fashion, turning her head slightly to smile at him. Out of the corner of her eye she saw AJ bristle and she quickly adjusted her position to be less affectionate. But Axel's actions had slightly confused her. It was so difficult, not knowing where they stood with each other. In a way, she simply wanted to have it out with him and finally know. But, in other ways, she was afraid she might drive him away, or worse, be told something she didn't want to hear. In truth, she was too afraid, and so continued living her life uncertain.

"Good morning, Lea," Sam said.

Leanna smiled back at him. "Morning, Sam."

He slipped his arm from her shoulder, turning to look at her mate. "Now, Axel, be a gentleman and take this lovely woman's order."

Axel rolled his eyes, and was replied to with a light punch from Sam, who was nudged back playfully. "Yeah, yeah," Axel muttered. Leanna rolled her eyes at their exchange and sighed lightly as if to say, 'Boys.' But her actions were in good humour.

Sam left the pair alone then, and Axel flipped to a fresh page of his note pad, asking her, "What can I get you, hon?"

While she thought, Axel busied himself with the arbitrary, day-to-day tasks involved in running the diner. Sam then came over to speak to him. They bantered back and forth for a short while before Sam left. She'd already had toast before she'd left home that morning so wasn't especially hungry, and she didn't really feel like a hot drink since the day wasn't as cold as they had been. She decided on an orange juice, since Axel made it fresh here and it was the best you could get in the whole of Bellingstone.

She watched Axel filled a mug with coffee and take a sip while approaching her. The second the liquid touched his tongue, it was evident it was too hot and he spilt a little on the floor. Hastily, he put the cup down and took an ice cube from the dispenser, pressing it to his tongue. It would've been a funny sight, had it not been evident the experience was not entirely pleasant for him. He made his way back to her and picked up the notepad.

"An orange juice would be really nice, actually," she said gratefully, her tone genuine. She paused, concern in her eyes. "Are you okay?" she asked, nodding ever so slightly towards his tongue.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca
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"An orange juice would be really nice, actually," Leanna said to Axel, her expression still cheerful and thankful, from the tone of her voice. She paused, concern lining her face for a while as she looked up at him still. "Are you okay?" she asked genuinely, jerking her head lightly in his direction. He instantly knew she meant his tongue, because he was still pressing an ice cube to it. Holding the frozen piece of water in his free hand for a moment, Axel shot a quick smile at Leanna and laughed lightly.

"I'm fine, don't worry," he said, fighting to ignore the numbness he felt toward the tip of his tongue. "Orange juice? Got it." He set the notepad down, which was covered in his scraggly, sharp hand writing and numerous stains of really any kind. Popping the ice cube back into his mouth, AJ knelt down and wiped the coffee spill up with a handful of disposable napkins, which he promptly tossed into the garbage can as he passed it. The alpha male snatched up a clean glass and brought it over to the small fridge where the cartons of orange juice and creamer sat. Pulling out one of orange juice, he shook it quickly and poured the glass three-fourths full before he sealed the orange juice again and replaced it in the fridge. Axel set the glass down before Leanna and smiled slightly, crossing his arms over his flannel shirt. "There you go. You sure you don't want anything else? Things are calming down around here so don't worry about interfering. Besides, she's here." He jerked a thumb toward the waitress who was also in the diner.

Axel's phone began to ring but, without glancing at the caller ID, he promptly rejected the call. Anyone who knew him should have known he was busy during work hours. He walked back into the kitchen, propping the door open with a door stop as he worked on making himself some French toast for breakfast. Again, his phone rang. He simply ignored it, however. Whoever it was could just wait. Nothing was that important.

In the mean time, the front door of the diner had opened and Axel left his breakfast for a moment to see who it was. Perhaps she was another townie coming to eat? By the look of the woman though, in her skinny jeans and blouse, Axel thought at first she must have been out of state. He opened his mouth to ask if she needed directions, since most non-townies came asking for them. However, she looked...oddly familiar. Was she a regular vacationer around here? No...she was too familiar for that. Could she actually live here? Perhaps she was one of those young woman fascinated with the "adorable-ness" (was that even a word, he wondered) of a small town. He returned to his French toast and placed the two slices on to a plate before coating them in maple syrup. He'd get her order in a moment, or perhaps the other waitress would go?

Axel carried his food out to the bar and leaned his elbows on the counter top as he ate his food. He looked down to pick at the slices of French toast on his plate and, when he looked back up, the young woman stood before him.

"Pardon me, Axel?" she said in a voice laced thickly with what he knew was an Italian accent. Axel raised an eyebrow, a bit surprised.

"Hey there," he replied, slowly straightening up and wiping his hands off on a napkin near him. "Nice accent. It sounds Italian." He looked around quickly and then glanced over her quickly. "Do you need something?" Of course, because he didn't know the woman's name, he had no idea she was the applicant for the waitressing position at his diner.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca
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"Hey there, nice accent...It sounds Italian. Do you need something?" He asked politely, not seeming the least bit perturbed about having his breakfast interrupted. Caterina smiled as pleasently as one could manage and prayed now was an auspicious time for her to have shown up. "Ah, yes it is. I am as fresh off the boat as they come. Thank you." She joked, contemplating the most pragmatic way to go about talking to ones future boss. "My name is Caterina De Luca. I am your most recent applicant for the waitressing position you had made mention was availible?" She tossed her long, wispy hair that was falling around her face like plumes of black smoke over her shoulder. Her lips were curled upwards in a smile, like she was content with anything and everything in the world.

A study in subtext, Cat thought. A speech in secrecy. There were so many things none of the unwitting diner patrons, nor this Axel, would ever come to know about her. Maybe it was foolish to think that her prolific past won't catch up with her, but she wanted so badly to forget about her familial brawls, filial disputes, and unmitigatable quarrels that she was willing to immerse herself completely in this false average life, chasing a chimera in her head called normality.

Caterina's green eyes darted down to his plate, covered in surup drenched bread, flakey with a thick coat of sugar. It made her stomach roll, how could anyone stand to eat that repugnant mess? "I can come back at a later time if you are too busy as of now...?" She offered with genteel, folding her long delicate hands in one another formally.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca Character Portrait: Josephine Beckett Character Portrait: Mavis Spencer Character Portrait: Lassiter Declan
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"Yes. Yes I have some experience. I waited tables at a café, il miglior caffè d'Italia, for a Summer two years prior to now." The Italian beauty replied to him, chuckling aloud. Oh shit, had he done something stupid to make her laugh? A blush briefly showed on his cheeks but he grinned quickly and the blush seemed to blend in better when his cheeks raised with the smile. Her tongue ran along her lip slowly and she took her time to look him over now. God damn it, if he wasn't already supposed to be with Leanna, he wouldn't have hesitated to hit Caterina further. Yet, he knew doing such a thing would set him back so many months with his "mate"...so many months that he'd worked so hard to cover.

"Well, um, what's your work ethic like?" he asked next, temporarily stumbling over his words. Damn it, Axel...get it together, he thought, mentally kicking himself. Who's the one who's interviewing here? "However, let me assure you, I am well versed in customer serivce, and can regain any lost traits of import I may have forgotten since." She slowly rung her fingers in her lap. Jesus, she looked nervous, too. How come? Hell, she really had no reason to be nervous, he thought. She was well on her way to the job, anyway. And, even though he wouldn't admit it, it was partially due to her looks. As he gave her time to think over her answer, he noticed Lassiter slam the note down on the counter before him.

"Well, have a good morning, Axel," he said, nodding and then turning to address the Italian. In the mean time, Axel rolled his eyes at Lassiter. Why the hell was he so pissy? "See you later," he replied, waving his hand to the Delta and then looking down at the note just in time to miss him hitting on Caterina. Slowly, he unfolded the note.

"Check your messages."


Axel arched an eyebrow. My messages...? Quickly, he pulled out his phone and noticed the messages that had piled up. "Shit...excuse me," he murmured to Cat before getting up and walking back into the kitchen to read the messages.

"Axel, it's Jo. Something's gone down close to the police department, actually, more like someone. Definitely a fanger attack, the girl's dead. Lassie and I are here, but the Sheriff is as well and the people he was with earlier. There's something off about them. I think they might be Hunters but I don't have anything concrete...yet. I'll keep you posted."

"Human dead. Vampire attack. Brutal. Definitely not the normal blood lust. I’ve got to hang around because Detective Asshat wants full report. Message back with orders"


"Crap..." growled Axel, a low, animalistic snarl coming from the back of his throat. He clutched his phone tightly, making a fist around it. He didn't have time for this, damn it...why couldn't the vampires keep to themselves for once and leave the humans alone? Was animal blood really that bad? Of course, Axel didn't think so. The few animals he'd killed while in wolf form weren't that bad. Actually, they were pretty good if anything. He shook his head slowly and composed another message to the pack.

"Well, I'm not exactly sure exactly what the hell is going on over by the station, but Jo tells me a fanger got to a human down there. Anyone know who she is? But, at the same time, I don't want any of you sticking your noses in places they shouldn't be. If we can stay out of it and leave it to the Hunters, I'd be fine with it. Watch your backs. The Hunters are going to become more active...stay safe."


He sent that and then, sighing, leaned up against the wall while he shook his head. Stupid, stupid vampires. Why had his ancestors even trusted them? Why had his ancestor decided to build a town up with them? Axel pocketed his phone and walked back out to his seat beside Caterina. "So sorry about that," he said, smiling quickly. "Just some business to attend to, that's all."

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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So much had seemed to change in the sleepy town of Bellingstone in just nine years since Albrecht had packed his few belongings and left Pennsylvania for the west coast. Granted, the small town had already been busy as it was before Al had hit the road. Yet, it just seemed far more lively now that he was back. That many people couldn't have possibly settled in the town during that time, right? The werewolf shook his head lightly as he gripped the steering wheel of his olive green Jeep. He'd decided, a few miles back, to remove the top and store it in the moving truck which wasn't too far away from him as drove down the highway outside of Bellingstone.

Whereas his brother had always been a motorcycle freak ever since he could drive, Albrecht preferred a four-wheeled vehicle much more. Besides, they looked much tougher in his opinion. A measly bike wouldn't hold up if hit by a car, now would it? Inside of the town now, Albrecht slowed the car as he moved through town.

"Holy shit," he muttered, looking through the sunglasses he wore at the surrounding buildings. While they all seemed to hold the same sense of normalcy that he remembered from his days as a boy, they also all looked so different. Perhaps that was due to the fact that the once refined town was now occupied by either vacationers or those who believed the little town was "cute" and "quaint". Al scoffed, running a hand quickly through his hair. Stupid...this was the furthest one could get from a cute little town. He still remembered reading in the papers when those hikers went missing. Although he hadn't contacted any of the pack, he knew for a fact that those God damn blood suckers were to blame. How dare they, he thought. They don't have to attack humans. We get on fine with just hunting animals.

Up in Washington, when he'd attended law school, he distinctly remembered a coven that stuck to drinking from game, not humans. If only the rest of the vampires were that progressively minded. But, then again, they were all as old as dirt. He couldn't really expect anything more from them. Stopped at a traffic light, he waved to a group of girls who looked at him quickly in confusion. Al's brow furrowed as he continued on to the townhouse he'd decided to rent, which was another thing that wasn't really around during his childhood. Then again, it was more like an old home that had been renovated to accommodate two separate families.

He was a bit confused by how the girls had looked at him. Were they confused to see a man his age waving at them or were they confused because they'd never seen him before? Hoping it was the last, because the former would have been disappointing, Al continued to the home and stopped before it. Before he'd had time to unlock the door, the moving truck of his few belongings stopped before the townhouse.

"Where d'you want these?" asked the driver, as he got out and leaned against his truck. Albrecht shrugged. He certainly didn't feel like unpacking yet.

"Just leave them on the porch or the lawn," he said, arms crossed. He'd decided extemporaneously to leave the boxes and furniture there for later while he enjoyed his first day back in Bellingstone. If the town was the way it used to be, he wouldn't have to worry about his belongings being tampered with. Leaving the mover to unload the truck himself, Albrecht shoved his hands into his pockets and started down the sidewalk back toward the heart of town.

Instinctively, he found his feet guiding him toward Axel's diner which, as far as he knew, was still his father's diner. He hadn't talked once with his little brother since he left so, of course he would have no idea that the man was Alpha. Even more worrisome was the fact that he walked the streets without a care, even though he was a lone wolf in another pack's territory. Of course, he didn't think such things because, as far as he knew, he was just a wolf back in his home. Al stopped before the door into the diner and sighed softly. How would they react when he showed his face?

Regardless of his worries, Albrecht pushed the door open and walked in. Almost instantly, his gaze fell upon a familiar female at the bar of the diner. No...it couldn't be her, could it? Hesitantly, he walked forward with his arm still crossed. Even as he sat beside her at the bar, his arms were crossed.

"Leanna...?" he asked, smiling broadly. "Leanna Romero?"

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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Axel set the glass of orange juice down before Lea and she gratefully accepted it, taking a long sip.

"No, really, I'm fine," she promised at his offer of something else. "I already ate before I left home. At least the toaster is one thing that's still working in that house," she laughed. She then turned her attention back to her drink, taking another sip.

Leanna looked up to the sound of an accented woman's voice saying the name of her mate. The woman was undoubtedly pretty, though something about her looked out of place. Leanna studied her over her orange juice, wondering what about her it could possibly be that didn't feel right. Axel turned towards her, greeting her, complimenting her on her accent before asking her what she wanted. The woman responded that she was here for the waitressing position.

Axel moved to interview her and Leanna turned her attention away, leaving them to it. Noticing that, in Axel's absence, dishes were beginning to pile up, Leanna stood up. Though she wasn't working at the moment and truly had no obligation to help out, she knew Axel was busy and once they were, inevitably, married, this diner would be as much hers as it was his. There was no point in her sitting there doing nothing when she could be of use. She filled a sink with water, pouring some washing up liquid in which foamed on contact. She quickly washed the piled up dishes, cups and cutlery before drying them.

Leanna then refilled her glass with orange juice and sat back down at the bar. She could easily hear Axel and the hopeful waitress' conversation, and something about it made her pause. She was giggling. Axel was blushing. She brushed her tongue across her lips. Axel was grinning. They were flirting.

Leanna shifted awkwardly and a horrible sickness settled in her stomach. Maybe it was her? She'd had two chances, two Wolff brothers, and she didn't seem to be able to keep either. Axel didn't want her. He'd never really wanted her. All it took was one pretty Italian girl to walk through that door and he'd thrown himself at her like he'd been starved of any sort of romantic attention his whole life.

"Me? Married? I'm not married, actually. I'm single. Well, actually, I have a girlfriend. We're, uh, we're at a really awkward point in our relationship, though. A little bit of an impasse...but not really."

Lea felt as though she'd been kicked in the stomach. She knew their relationship was awkward and uncomfortable, but that was private. To everyone else, they were meant to present the front of perfect couple. Even between them they tried to keep the facade that everything was okay. Yet, here Axel was, claiming to be single. She was doing her duty. She always had done. She'd done everything that had ever been asked of her, but it just wasn't enough.

Leanna fixed her eyes on her orange juice, staring into it intently, her eyes blazing with anger. How could he?

"Leanna...?" a familiar voice came from beside her.

Leanna froze.

"Leanna Romero?"

Her muscles locked and she stopped breathing, as though the air had suddenly been sucked from the room. She felt a chill run across her skin, even though the diner was perfectly warm. Her eyes went wide and her heart began to thud desperately in her chest.

It couldn't be. It just couldn't be. He'd gone. He'd left her. Left behind his home, his family, his fiancé. She'd believed she'd never see him again. She'd pushed his memory and all thoughts of him so far from her mind. But she still instantly recognised his voice. There was no other such a voice could belong to. It was the voice she'd grown up being best friends with. The voice that had told her he loved her. The voice that had asked her to marry him. And then it was the voice that had broken her heart.

She wanted to get up and walk out of the diner. Leave him, forget him, the way he had forsaken her. But she couldn't. She had to see him. She had to put her eyes on him. She wanted to touch him, just so she knew he was really there. Know she wasn't going mad. After a long moment, Leanna turned around. Instantly, she was reacquainted with his family face. Her eyes followed the curve of his jawbone, finding his lovely brown eyes against his tanned skin. He was almost just as she remembered him. There were a few more lines on his face and his hairline was receding. But he was still as attractive as he had been before. He was still the man she'd fallen in love with.

"Albrecht... I, um, what are you...?" She stumbled over her words, suddenly nervous. Her chest tightened and she took a deep breath. "Hi," she said finally, her voice much softer. Hurt and loss clouded her eyes, unable to keep the emotion from her face. She looked down, trying to gather some composure.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Isabella Gabrielle Clarke Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff Character Portrait: Nikolai Lannister Character Portrait: Sterling Pearce
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Caro moved behind him, wrapping her arms securly around his waist, her face resting softly on his shoulder. Sam felt her place a soft kiss on his shoulder blade, and a smile broke out onto his face, despite the situation. She had always had that effect on him, even from the first moment they met. Something she said, or an expression she made, anything could bring a smile to his face. She was completely infectious. “I’m gonna go and check on Aunt Nettie first, I don’t like the idea of her being out in that cabin by herself.” He sighed, knowing she wasn't the damsel in distress he often wished she was. She was strong and determined. His eyebrows furrowed, but her next words calmed his worries. “Once I get her we’ll go straight to the diner, I promise.” He turned to face her, hands moving to gently cup her face.

"Okay, my love," he said, leaning forward and placing a small kiss on her forehead. "I'll see you soon." He wrapped his arms around her, squeezing her tightly for a few moments. He released her and walked out from behind the bar to the front door, grabbing the handle and pulling it open. He turned around once more to get a glimpse of her, giving her one last smile and a wave. Then he was standing on the sidewalk outside, and he turned to head back to the diner. He jogged the entire way back, nervous about the news he had received. Unlike most of his pack, all Sam wished for was peace. He didn't want to believe it was just a vampire going on a rampage killing humans. Hell, it could have been a hunter attempting to kill them and it was only self defense. Until all the facts were straight, he wasn't going to make any assumptions.

It didn't take him long to reach the diner, and he threw the door open, entering into the overwhelming smell of delicious food. His eyes scanned the building, washing over the many patrons. No one looked particularly frightened. Perhaps news of the death hadn't traveled throughout the town yet. He forced himself to appear relaxed, before locating Axel and making his way towards the man. Surprisingly, he was talking to a woman Sam had never even seen before. Yet she was oozing sex appeal and seemed to be making all the right moves. Although Axel's back was to him, he could read the Alpha's body language. He was obviously attracted to her, and his demeanor was flirtatious in nature.

The sight made him pause. Perhaps Axel wouldn't be so upset to find out about Sam and Caroline after all. Hell, Axel was in a 'relationship' of sorts, yet here he was openly flirting with another woman in plain sight. He made a note in the back of his mind to attempt to talk to Axel about his predicament. Perhaps his best friend would be more understanding than Sam feared. Realizing he had stopped walking, and was just standing a few steps from the door, he forced his legs to move over to the counter.

More shocking than Axel flirting with another woman was the fact that Leanna was still present in the diner, only feet away from the scene. Hell, Sam thought Axel was slightly more smooth than that. He felt truly sorry for Leanna, knowing how much she actually craved love. She didn't exactly have the best history, and Sam faintly wondered if Axel had ever truly tried to love Leanna. He assumed not.

Instead of interrupting Axel in his pursuits, he approached Leanna instead. He would try to comfort her, or perhaps just distract her from the sight of Axel and the mysterious woman. He didn't know why, but he had a soft spot in his heart for Leanna. Perhaps it was because he knew how his best friend really was, and the fact that Leanna deserved to be happy. Like he and Caroline were. She probably deserved better than him, if he was truly honest with himself. Of course he loved his best friend, but he could also admit Axel's faults better than the Alpha could himself.

When he was next to Leanna, he finally recognized the man standing before her. Albrecht, Axel's older brother, and the previous Alpha of the Wolff pack. He and Leanna had been engaged, once. Hell, he had probably just walked into a more awkward situation than interrupting Axel and the brunette. Damn. Well, he'd have to play it off as not awkward. "Ho-ly shit," he said, emphasizing the two syllables of the word holy. "Albrecht, it's been a long time, man." He held out his hand, in hopes Albrecht would shake it.





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Gabby's maker took the lead, and she followed next to him. Their entire walk was in silence, and she wished she could hear his thoughts. He was entirely unreadable, something that was already beginning to irk her beyond belief. After gaining all of her vampiric abilities, and living even her short life so far, she had gained a particular ability to be able to know how someone was feeling, almost know what they were thinking. Yet this man was complete mystery. And his personality was so completely all over the place that she had a hard time even understanding what sort of man he was. Sure, he appeared charming and suave, yet she had a faint suspicion that was only because he wanted her to see that side of him.

Before long, they had reached the outskirts of town, and without realizing she sucked in a huge breath at the appearance of a building that appeared as if it was from a fairy tale. An astounding four story building that probably had more rooms than Gabby had ever seen in her life. She stopped in her tracks, in awe of everything her eyes were taking in. "No way..." she whispered, shaking her head in disbelief. "Welcome home my sweet," Nikolai spoke, but she couldn't take her eyes away from the building in front of her. Home... he had said, and the word struck her heart with a sharp pain. She hadn't felt at home anywhere since she had been turned. It didn't even need to be a place, no person had made her feel like family.

"Everything that is mine, is yours." His arm swept out in an elegant motion, gesturing to the large property before the pair of them. She walked in front of him, up the steps leading to the front door. Upon opening it, she was once again struck with the feeling of awe. Luxuriousness hit her squarely in the face. Everything was dark, from the deep brown wood to the burgundy carpets. And it was all bathed in a dull, yellow glow. She took a few steps inside, yet it all felt suffocating to her. How would she ever be able to call this place home? It felt like a museum, not a house. Certainly not a home. She had only been inside the house for a few moments, yet she found herself backstepping out onto the porch. She gulped in large breaths of the cool air, even though her lungs didn't need even an ounce of it.

Her brain finally started to process everything she had been through the past few hours. This was absolutely insane. She had known this man for only a speck of her life, and she was following him blindly. She knew nothing about him, besides the fact that he had made her. And now she was going to foolishly go live with him straight away? She had been raised to have more sense than what she was currently portraying. "I need to take a walk," she said, almost breathlessly. "I just need to think about everything. Please..." she said, before turning and walking down the steps out to the street once more.

Once out of sight of the mansion, she began to relax, the tension almost melting away. She had no idea where her legs were taking her, but she let them lead her anyway. Was she supposed to trust this stranger, just because he had made her? She wasn't completely sure. After walking for what seemed like an endless amount of time, she stopped and looked up at her surroundings. She was standing among many large Victorian-style houses in the residential area of Bellingstone. The sight made her cringe slightly, since they somewhat reminded her of the mansion she had just ran away from.

After many moments, she realized there was a figure sitting out on the porches of one of the houses. It took her even longer to realize she recognized the face. She was surely acting more like a human than vampire right now. Her mind was moving at a snail's pace. She approached the man, even though she had no real reason. "Sterling, hey.." she said, and she realized her voice was quavering slightly. She honestly didn't know much about the man before her. He tended to stick to himself, only leaving his house on brief occasions. They were in the same coven, yet had only had perhaps a handful of conversations. He was interesting and mysterious, yet in a completely different way than Nikolai. "Can I join you... or are you busy?"

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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Albrecht slowly uncrossed his arms and rested his elbows nonchalantly on the table as if he were already getting back into the swing of things back in Bellingstone. Watching Leanna with a broad smile, he took note of her reaction. Muscles tensed, breathing stopped. She looked surprised and shocked, but he really hadn't expected anything less from her. He had been gone for nine years now, or something like that. The last time he'd seen her that shocked must have been when he told her he was leaving town. But, before that, he remembered her surprise when he'd proposed to her.

Everything had been perfect that day, it seemed. In the middle of the winter, he'd popped the question, deciding that he simply couldn't wait any longer. It had killed him to leave her before they were wed. Thinking of it now, he wondered if that meant their engagement was broken. Well, he thought. I could always ask about that later.

She turned to look at him and Albrecht just smiled back, absolute joy showing in his gaze. She didn't look that different either. Of course, in nine years, they'd both aged a bit. Yet, her hair still fell in brown waves on either side of her tanned face which he'd gazed upon so many times before. So many that he'd just about memorized it. She was still so beautiful...so perfect. He couldn't help but just about fall in love with her all over again.

"Albrecht... I, um, what are you...?" She stammered and he laughed lightly in his rich, deep manner. "Hi." The simplicity of the statement she settled on caused him to laugh again and nod.

"Hi," he replied, turning so he was completely facing her now while perched on the bar stool. "God, it's been ages since I've seen you...you're still just as beautiful, though." He grinned, flashing white teeth at her. "I live here again, now. Just moved here today actually. The West Coast got a bit tiresome, y'know." He flushed slightly, rubbing the back of his neck. "Right...you wouldn't know. Sorry." He cleared his throat and smiled again. "So, uh, how are you all? How's my dad, how's the pack? Oh, hell, how's Axel? Did he find a mate yet?" So much had changed in nine years and he was completely oblivious to it all. Hell, as far as he knew, everything was still the same he'd left it. A voice behind him caused him to jump slightly.

"Ho-ly shit. Albrecht, it's been a long time, man." Turning quickly, he grinned broadly up at Sam from his seat at the bar stool.

"Sam?" he asked, standing up. "God, it's been ages." He accepted the hand tightly and took a step closer to the man while wrapping his free arm around Sam's back in a pound-hug. Slowly, he pulled back with the smile still on his face. "How have you been?" Looking past Sam, he noticed Caroline and his smile seemed to grow even broader. "How are you, Carro?"

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Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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Albrecht laughed, once such a familiar, comforting sound. Even his laugh brought back a wash of memories that she couldn't ignore or dispel. She didn't think she could possibly feel more uncomfortable. Leanna had already been faced with the stark evidence that the boyfriend she had no choice but to marry eventually disliked their relationship so much that he told women he'd met minutes previously that he was single. That revelation had been hard enough, but Albrecht was a new blow she wasn't sure she could bear to face.

"Hi," he replied, turning fully to face her. There was complete joy written across his face. How could he be so comfortable and nonchalant in this situation when Leanna could barely breathe. "God it's been ages since I've seen you...you're still just as beautiful, though."

His lips stretched into a grin. Those lips she'd become so used to kissing. But Leanna didn't smile back. Now there was a new emotion bubbling to the surface; anger. The pain had been too much for her to deal with and so, subconsciously, it had become anger. All the anger she'd felt when he had told her he was leaving rushed back. Anger she'd never let go with. Anger she'd taken on to deal with what had happened. How dare he? He had let her love him and then he'd left her! He had humiliated her in front of the rest of the pack and caused her to be pushed into a loveless, awkward relationship with his brother. And now he sat there, smiling and throwing compliments at her like they were strangers flirting in a bar. Like their history didn't matter anymore and he could just start afresh after all he'd done. Well that certainly wasn't going to happen! She was about to open her mouth to tell him that when he spoke again.

"I live here again, now. Just moved here today actually."

What? No! He couldn't be back. He had forfeited his place among this pack when he'd left. He wasn't welcome here anymore. She was the Alpha Female and this was her territory he was in.

"The West Coast got a bit tiresome, y'know. Right... You wouldn't know. Sorry."

Tiresome? The life he'd left her for had become tiresome? The precious dream he'd been so desperate to chase and willing to give up everything for was nothing more than tiresome now. And he was back, now. He thought he could just come back, take up his place as Alpha and have her again because he'd got 'tired' of the life he'd chosen? Well life didn't work like that and she was about to tell him exactly that!

"So, uh, how are you all? How's my dad, how's the pack?" Lea froze again. "Oh, hell, how's Axel? Did he find a mate yet?"

Leanna searched Albrecht's face for any sign that he was joking or pretending, but found none. He truly didn't know. And as quickly as it had come, the anger dissolved and was replaced by an overwhelming sense of pity. The situation between she and Axel was something he may not of known, but to be unaware of his own father's death was something Leanna had never realised he was. She thought surely someone would've told him. But he was truly oblivious.

Leanna knew she had to tell him. He was still the man she'd once loved and all his mistakes could not wipe away the emotions she'd felt for him once. He deserved to hear it gently from someone who cared for him rather than town gossip, as she was sure he would hear it from if she didn't tell him soon.

"Albrecht," she said softly, "Your father, he's-" She stopped suddenly, aware of a presence beside her. She turned her head to see Sam. Strangely, his being there brought Leanna an overwhelming sense of relief and she just wanted for him to take her hand and take her away from the whole horrible situation the Wolff brother's had managed to create for her in that diner that day.

"Ho-ly shit. Albrecht, it's been a long time, man," Sam's voice came. He was clearly as stunned as Leanna had been. Leanna looked at Sam with blind panic and concern in her eyes, though she wasn't sure exactly what it was she was trying to tell him.

Albrecht stood up to greet Sam. "Sam? God, it's been ages." He accepted Sam's outstretched hand but pulled him into a hug. "How have you been?"

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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ImageCaterina chuckled lightly, trying in earnest to wipe off the 'cat that ate the canary' smirk she knew rested on her lips. HE IS YOUR BOSS! Why on Earth are you eating up his attention? You have been in town all of five minutes, why are you being such a flirt?! She mentally reprimanded. Cat was never one to seek out a relationship, especially not ones of an inappropriate nature. She had never before had the time for men what with her position on student council, yearbook committee, job at the newspaper, cheerleading squad captain, over achievers club, etc. Yet here she was, fawning over this American like he had all the answers to what she had been missing in life. Pathetic, a petulant voice nagged at the back of her mind, but she quickly brushed it away when he flashed her a smile. The situation might have been, she supposed, remotely amusing to anyone who could of actually found it within themselves to have joined in with the canned laughter on the old sitcoms, though she personally couldn't find anything funny about the slightly increasing speed of the beating of her heart, or the way her eyes were lingering on his mussed-up hair that looked as if he had run his fingers through it about a hundred times. It may have been a cliche, the woman who was crushing on her boss, but it inspired no jokes in her mind.

"I really do truly hope it's the next chapter, I am so tired of waiting to turn the page." She replied, a ghost of some odd distant expression coming and going over her face like a ripple in a pond passing in and out of the sunlight. He politely offered her a drink after that, which in spite of the oddly shaped lump forming in her throat, she refused. Axel's next question was a plea for advice, and she could not have broke into a sweat any quicker. Why would he ask her that? If she says break it off, you obviously have next to no desire to stay with this mystery girl; she looks like some predatory slut, trying to wriggle her way into homewrecker status. If she says why not try to work on things, she seems disinterested and he might leave her alone. She definitely didn't want that.

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ImageCaterina parted her lips hesitantly to speak up when she felt it, a low steady note in the marrow of her bones, in the gray matter of her brain, dancing along her nerves with the distant promise of coming pain. It pricked at the bubble of warm, vague happiness that had been fogging her senses since she started chatting up her boss and suddenly everything felt oddly surreal. She clamped her mouth shut, and whipped her head toward the door. Those eyes falling on nothing worth noting took to darting around the room in a flighty panicked way. What on Earth had brought that flush of power to surge in her veins? There was no denying it now, it was her magic screaming at her some vague warning. Wolves are all around you, the diner is filled to the brim with them. It tried to say. Albrecht, Sam, Leanna, Axel; they are everywhere. But she hadn't learned to speak the the language yet.

Caterina just wanted so badly to exorcize, cut that force within her body out like the cancer it was. Her breaths started coming in short staccato bursts through her mouth and she had the dizzying feeling that if she looked out of the corners of her eyes, she would see the world tilting around her in a physical manifestation of the storm brewing in her chest. But before Axel could ask her what was wrong, as that was what was obviously coming next with the faintly troubled line puckering the space between his brows, the static crackling in her blood crescendoed with a pop. Cat's eyes widened in horror as the bulbs in the over-head lights shattered one by one in a line, showering everyone in the diner with glass and sparks.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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Axel sipped thoughtfully at the glass of water clutched in his hand, still watching Cat closely. It wasn't that he didn't trust her or something like that, he was simply still in awe that someone this attractive had come to work in his cafe. Granted, Leanna was still one of the most gorgeous women he had ever met. It hit him then and he realized in a moment of dread that she was right out there and could hear everything he said to this woman, a woman he'd met only hours ago as opposed to Leanna with whom he'd been cultivating a relationship for ages. Fuck...God damn it, he couldn't help but think, jaw clenching briefly until Leanna continued to speak.

"I really do truly hope it's the next chapter, I am so tired of waiting to turn the page." He nodded along with that, agreeing silently. "I hear you," he added to further express his agreement. Her way of thinking oddly reminded him of his brother who had, like her, left his home to start a new chapter. The damn coward...Axel wondered how his "new chapter" was going, where ever he'd chosen to start it. He nodded again when she denied the water, perhaps a bit surprised by it seeing as he could literally smell the rising unease on her. Was everything alright...?

ImageStill nursing the drink of water, Axel waited for some sort of response out of Caterina to address his question. It seemed he'd get one when she opened her mouth tentatively. Without a warning, her mouth shut and she turned to face the door.

"Cat...?" Axel asked curiously, slowly setting his glass down on the counter as her eyes darted around the room like she was suddenly fearful of something. Her breath quickened to the point where he became even more worried and even thought she'd faint right there. A line formed on his forehead, creasing in concern and worry for the Italian beauty. "Cat, wh-?" He began to ask her what was wrong, but he could barely finish his second word before the light bulbs throughout the diner shattered. Instinctively, Axel shielded his head from the flying glass and then waved a hand before his face to clear and sort of debris floating in the air before him. Out in the front room, he heard voices crying out in shock and fear. From the light that filtered through a single window, Axel blinked at Caterina with wide eyes. Obviously, whatever had happened must have correlated with whatever happened beforehand. He opened his mouth to speak at first, but closed it quickly and hurried toward the front room.

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It was much easier to see there, though still almost pitch black due to the basically set sun. However, heightened senses came in handy. Maneuvering over piles of glass, he started toward where Leanna had been sitting. Now, however, he saw Sam and Caro. He smiled quickly at the two. "Everything alright?" the Alpha asked, instincts kicking in. Surprisingly, he'd managed to stay calm, but that was probably because he knew getting too worked up would cause him to lose control and go into wolf form. Most wolves had a grip on their powers, but Axel was always a hot-headed man and he tended to lose a grip on reality and shift.

There was one person in the group, however, that he didn't recognize at first. They sat to Leanna's side and had such a familiar, wolf-like smell that he thought it was a rogue who had just moved in. Then, the face came into focus and Axel's hazel eyes widened. "You..." he said softly at first, unable to really put his thoughts into place. "You. You bastard!" Albrecht looked back with a grin as Axel almost lunged over the counter at him, grabbing the front of the older man's shirt. "You think you can leave and just come back here?! What the hell are you doing?!" By then, he was just about leaning on the counter with Albrecht's face held inches from his as the two men exchanged glares. Though the humans in the room wouldn't be able to really see the scene, they still heard the sound of Axel yelling. Their reaction was mixed; some patrons watched eagerly while others left in worry. They knew what the men in that group looked like-- tall and muscular-- they certainly did not want to risk being caught near their fight.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff Character Portrait: Nettie Duncan
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The drive to Aunt Nettie’s cabin wasn’t a particular long one but it gave Caroline some time alone with her thoughts. Usually the woman hated being in such solitary situations, memories of a time long ago seemed to shroud her mind, her inner Mr Hyde still haunting and tormenting her with words that were meant to break her, ‘He doesn’t love you…if he did he would tell everyone. No, Sam could never love a broken runaway like you.’ Of course she knew it was a load of crap, at least she though she did, Sam did love her right? And keeping their relationship from the rest of pack was the best solution, wasn’t it? Truth was she wasn’t so sure, about the latter one anyway. At the moment they were stuck in a rut, she could feel it even if their actions spoke otherwise, Caro loved Sam with all her heart, she nothing more than to marry the man, settle down and raise three children but at the moment it was like he was scared to move forward. He blamed it on Axel; truth was Caro suspected that Emily was more the reason for his apprehension. Before Caro, Sam had loved another and she had sadly died and a part of her thought Sam feared the same thing happening to her and no matter how many times she promised nothing would happen to her, at the end of the day she really had no control over such things, this they both knew.

Pulling up in Nettie’s drive way Caro cut the engine to her jeep, silence engulfing the cabin of the car, rested her head back against the head rest she let out a heavy sigh, she couldn’t help but fear they would always be in the same situation and to be honest Caro wasn’t sure how much longer she could carry on this façade, she wanted to be his, solely his and she wanted the world to know it. Running a frustrated hand through her hair, Caro finally unfastened her seatbelt and exited her car. Walking up to Nettie’s door she knocked twice to signal her arrival before entering, “Aunt Nettie” Caro called out, her voice loud enough so it echoed through the home.

“In the kitchen dear,” Nettie’s voice followed hers almost immediately and just as quickly, Caroline’s senses were hit with the intoxicating aroma of her Aunt’s baking. Licking her lips slightly at the anticipation of what was in store, she quickly walked towards the back of house and into the homely kitchen, where she spotted Nettie hunched over a mixing bowl. Walking over Caro placed a quick kiss upon the older woman’s cheek before sticking her finger into the mixture, “What have I told you about doing that young lady!? Nettie scolded lightly, swatting her hand atop of Caro’s.

Caroline merely laughed as she moved and sat down at the kitchen table, reaching for one of the cupcakes which stood on the stand, they looked far too delicious to pass up. “So to what do I owe this pleasure, my love?” The older woman asked as she turned back towards Carol, wiping her hands on her apron, “asides from you eating all my food?” she teased.

“You know perfectly well that I’d starve without your food hampers” Caroline uttered upon a chuckle, she would as well, she often worked crazy hours that she had very little time to shop for groceries let alone cook and Nettie, being the woman that she was often sent her food and baked good, some weeks it was all she lived on. “That’s because you work too hard. If you’d only hire a manager or something you’d be able to have much more free time. Time which you could be spending with Sam.” Caro couldn’t help but grimace at her words, an action that did not go unnoticed by Nettie.

Concern flushed across the older woman’s countenance as Nettie regarded her daughter, “my love, whatever is the matter? Has something happened between you and Sam?” she asked taking the seat next to Caro and taking her hand in hers, her thumb gently running over Caro’s knuckles in a soothing manner. Not exactly…” Caroline began with a heavy sigh, “But that’s just the problem, nothing is happening! I love him so much Aunt Nettie and I respect his wishes to keep things quiet, I can understand why he does it but every time I ask him about it, it’s just ‘a little while longer’ and I fear that I’m going to waste my life desperately chasing something that can never be!” By this point tears had started to escape from Caroline’s blue hues, her emotions didn’t always get the better of her but when they did tears weren’t always that far away.

“Oh my darling, come here” Nettie cooed as if she were a young child and pulled her into a loving embrace, pulling back the older woman wiped the tears from Caro’s cheeks and smiled softly, “I don’t pretend to know a lot about men, my love, there has only been one man in my life and that was such a long time ago I can barely remember all the do’s and don’ts. But one thing I know for certain is that Sam loves you a great deal, I can see it in his eyes every time he looks at you and I bet he is suffering just as much as you are.” The certainty in her voice caused Caro to feel quite a bit better; Nettie’s words were reassuring but did not completely stamp out her doubts or fears, however she decided not to dwell on the situation any longer, there was no use worrying over something that she had no control over.

Squeezing her Aunt’s hand, Caroline offered her a small smile, “thank you” she whispered almost inaudibly. “You don’t need to thank me, you are my child and it is my job to ease your worries.” Caroline felt a rush of warmth sweep through her body at Nettie’s words; she always did love being regarded to as Nettie’s child, even if it was not by blood but through love.

“You’re are staying with me tonight, there’s been a rather nasty murder in the woods and I don’t want you staying here alone tonight, okay?” Caro uttered, leaving no room for arguments, which Nettie seemed to sense as she simply nodded and rose from her seat, “I shall go and pack my bags, be a help and put the pie I baked in a container, oh and pack those steaks I have in the fridge, we can have them for dinner.”

Not long later both women were in car and driving back towards town, after quickly dropping Nettie’s things off at Caro’s the pair headed towards the diner, just as she had promised Sam. By the time they reached the establishment, the usual bright smile was back on Caro’s lips as was her happy demeanour, the bell rang over head as they entered and by the looks of things almost the entire pack was, but there was also a other scent, one which Caro was certain she had smelt before but for the life of her she could not place it.

That was until he turned around. Caro’s blue eyes widened as did her smile as her gaze fell upon no other than Axel’s older brother Albrecht, “your back!” she cried in a happy delirium, throwing her arms around his neck and pulling him into a welcoming embrace, “god I missed you!” she mumbled into his shoulder before pulling away and looked around the group who all bore very different expressions, she noticed Leanna and offered a quick concerned glance as if you say 'are you alright?' Only god would know how Axel would deal with this.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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Leanna watched Caro throw her arms round Al. "You're back! God, I missed you!" Albrecht pulled her into a hug, and Leanna didn't think she could be any more tense if she tried. She caught Caroline's glance of concern and just looked at her, wide-eyed. She simply didn't know what to do with herself. She had to get out of this diner, be by herself, find some space and clear her head. But she was almost afraid that if she took her eyes off Albrecht, he might disappear all over again.

"God, I missed you guys... I've missed you all..." He sounded so happy. And though she was in one mind that he didn't deserve any of this happiness and the moment someone took it from him he would finally get what was coming to him, some part of her wanted him to keep that smile and elated tone for as long as he possibly could, before his fragile world came crashing down around him.

Leanna was knocked from her thoughts suddenly as every single bulb in the diner blew out. The glass shattered and crashed onto the hard floor, sending shards flying everywhere. Immediately, she closed her eyes, turned her head away and pulled her hands up towards her face to protect herself, but she found them colliding with something else before they reached her. Her hands clasped against warm, muscled arms and suddenly she was surrounded by a familiar scent. It was Albrecht; she knew it without even opening her eyes. But she opened them anyway, as if it might change the outcome. But there he was, protecting her, after all these years. A connection that no time or distance could ever truly break. She watched him as he moved back from her slowly, trying so very hard not to let her eyes find his.

Suddenly, Axel appeared and Leanna watched as Albrecht set eyes on him, murmuring his name. The brotherly care and love was completely evident in elder, but utterly void in in the younger. There was a soft exchange between the two, before Axel launched himself at Albrecht. Leanna watched in horror as the youngest Wolff grabbed his brother, who struggled to get away and fell back. They shouted at each other, the argument growing more vicious. And then Axel said it.

"Dad died, you idiot...he's been dead for years and you haven't known?!"

Leanna wasn't the type to sit and let things happen, to simply standby and watch. But she found herself pinned to her chair, unable to say a word. She was usually so strong and resolved in her decisions, but this situation was possibly the worst she could ever imagine. She watched Al work through what he'd just heard, before telling his younger brother that he should be Alpha. Leanna noticeably winced at Albrecht's words. She knew instantly her former love had made a terrible choice. One that would be sure to rile AJ, and he lashed out in response, his words cruel and harsh. Leanna was torn between hatred, pity and loss, and the worst part was she didn't know for which brother.

"Get out of my diner, you bastard. I don't want to see your ugly mug around this place again or anywhere for this matter. And if you try to take this pack from me, I will personally claw your eyes out." Wordlessly, Al finally left, giving them one last, sad look. Axel then announced he was leaving, giving instructions to Sam and the woman he'd been talking to earlier, before exiting. She heard the low rumble of his bike engine as he pulled away.

Leanna sat in shock for at least a minute before she couldn't bear to spend another moment in the diner. It was then that she finally stood up, a shard of glass crunching under her foot, reminding her of the lights. Carefully, she made her way towards Sam.

"There's the number for an electrician on a notepad behind the cash register. Would you mind calling him?" Leanna asked, feeling guilty for asking something more of her friend, for whom the day had been as difficult as it had been for everyone else. She smiled at him sadly, sighing softly, before leaving. She began the walk home to find Axel, fully aware of how painful awkward the evening would end up being. But she had no choice. This was the life she had chosen when she'd picked pack over her own happiness. Her pride and desire to do right by pack had let her be coerced into this, and now she was trapped.

As Leanna walked down the street towards their house, she froze outside another house that had been empty for several years. Brown cardboard boxes and a few pieces of furniture were piled up outside. She watched Albrecht emerge from the property and lift a box up into his arms before carrying it back inside. Leanna's breaths came in small, shallow gasps and her heart thudded in her chest. Even though it wasn't a cold evening, she began to shiver as though it was the bitterest winter night. Then, suddenly, with no warning, she turned on her heel and marched away in the direction she had come, her footsteps fast and unrelenting.

Leanna reached her eldest brother's house and knocked sharply on the door. She heard the sound of someone approaching the door before it opened to reveal Felix.

"Lea?" Felix said, surprised.

"He's back, Felix," she said, stumbling over her words, her voice trembling. "He came back."

Seeing the look on her face, he wrapped his arms around his sister and pushed the door closed behind her. It was only then that the Alpha Female began to cry.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Josephine Beckett Character Portrait: Mavis Spencer Character Portrait: Lauren Haley Pierce Character Portrait: Lassiter Declan
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Axel's ride the night before hadn't really succeeded at much of anything. In fact, it only managed to anger him further as he dwelt on the idea of his brother having the audacity to move back here and tell him, the Alpha, that the pack was rightfully his. It was a load of shit and AJ certainly wasn't going to put up with it. When the pain in his leg finally became too unbearable, the Alpha had ridden the bike back to his home and parked it in the driveway without even bothering to notice if Leanna was there. In fact, he certainly wouldn't be prepared for her reaction come the next morning when she called him out for his shameless flirting the night before. Granted, he really didn't think she had heard him from the kitchen, but she was a werewolf and he knew she too had enhanced senses like he did. He did kick off his boots before falling asleep, but he basically neglected to undress at all and fell asleep, like he had the night before, in his full outfit.

It was a new day now and, at eleven in the morning, Axel had finally woken up and decided to hold a pack meeting like he'd said via text. It had taken the Alpha a while to get his bearings but, now, he stood in the clearing behind his own house with the rest of the pack. The only odd part being, of course, that they had all assumed their wolf forms. The young man slowly circled the group, doing a head count and quickly assumed everyone had arrived. If they hadn't, well, it was their fault and he'd certainly make sure they knew it. The brown wolf sat beside Sam and curled his tail over his paws neatly while his ears continued to swivel lightly, listening for sounds.

"I guess you've all heard the news by now that Albrecht's back," he began, the fur on his back bristling as he "spoke" telepathically to the other wolves, his voice filling their minds. Briefly, his teeth bared and he fidgeted in place uncomfortably. "The ditcher just thinks he can come back and be Alpha again." Now, his teeth bared again and he let out a bark. "Well, we'll show him he can't simply leave and expect to be treated the same...from now on, I don't want to catch any of you talking with him, you hear me? He may have been a member of our pack, but he's a traitor and a liar..." The Alpha paused, giving himself time to calm down before he "spoke" again.

"There are other things we need to focus on, though," he said, shaking himself quickly as if to shake off the past topic. "They found the body of a Hunter yesterday and you know the Hunters are going to be all over it, given that one of those fangers did it."

"On that note, since it doesn't concern us, stay out of it," said Axel nonchalantly. He's already decided the day before to not involve his pack. They shouldn't have to pay for what the vampires were doing anyway. They had already suffered enough with the Hunters moving into their safe-haven, hadn't they? "I don't care if they kill off all of the vampires, really. It would save us a lot of trouble and then, perhaps, they'd leave us alone. Until they, stay low and play it safe. Last thing we need is someone going into wolf form in public."

Finished, AJ stood and stretched, his tail swaying slowly back and forth before he sat down again. "Questions? Comments?" Sure, he was the Alpha, but this certainly wasn't a monarchy or a dictatorship. Besides, Leanna also had the right to speak, along with his Beta couple. Still, he'd most likely make his decisions law. They were in the best interest of everyone.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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Albrecht had never been a sound sleeper in the years he was away from home. In fact, it shocked him when he woke up on the ratty, old sofa the same way he'd fallen asleep. A more superstitious or, perhaps, someone who read into such odd events would have said he was feeling better simply because he was home now and he felt safer. The thought actually caused him to laugh. Oh, he certainly didn't feel safer. The incident in the diner last night had proved to him that while he had missed the people of the town, the people of the town certainly didn't miss him as much. Well, actually, that wasn't completely true. Really, it was only Axel who didn't miss him at all.

Still mulling over these thoughts, Albrecht dressed in basketball shorts and a t-shirt to go out for a jog that morning. As his feet hit the pavement, causing a tap, tap to echo around him, he still thought about the pack. Perhaps he should say something? Maybe Axel would be willing to accept him back and then, if things went well enough, he might even be able to reclaim his position as Alpha. It was a wonderful plan in his mind and he was actually extremely eager to put it in motion. Still jogging, Albrecht turned his face a bit upward and drew in a breath, smelling the air for any trace of werewolf.

When it finally came to him, half a block down, it was faint but he was certain that was where they were, for there were so many scents mixed together. His pace quickened eagerly and he veered off of the sidewalk, on to the grass, and then into the woods just to follow them. It took what seemed like ages to find the group but, of course, it was mere minutes if anything. It seemed a bit odd to him at first to be watching his old pack mates in the clearing. And, it also seemed disheartening that he was no longer part of their pack telepathy. He knew not what they were saying, only that they must have been meeting about something. What they were discussing, though, he had not the slightest clue.

Crouching in the dense brush down wind from the wolves, Albrecht simply watched and waited. Thoughts bounced back and forth and he wondered if he should simply blow his cover now to speak with them, or wait for them to be in a less...threatening form.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King
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Leanna hadn't gone home that evening. It wasn't a conscious decision she had made when she arrived at her brother's house, taken out of protest or to try and prove a point. She simply just hadn't wanted to face what waited for her at home, namely Axel. Her brother had made them dinner and they'd eaten on the sofa in front of the TV, talking, a little about Albrecht, but mainly about the unimportant and irrelevant things, until Leanna had eventually drifted off to sleep. Felix had put a blanket over her and allowed her to rest. Though Leanna hadn't expected to sleep at all that night, she'd slept right through until she was awoken at quarter to ten by the insistent buzzing of her cell on the coffee table beside her.

Leanna had picked up the message from Axel, announcing a pack meeting at eleven. It was obviously a group message, sent out to the entire pack. There was no personal message from him for her, even to check if she was okay. But, their relationship had always been like that. Of course he'd care if something happened to her, but any love or everyday affection felt forced, if even present. Despite this, though, Leanna had woken up much more clear-headed than she'd fallen asleep. Yesterday, seeing Al, after all these years, had shocked her, that was all. She didn't love him any more, she now insisted to herself. He had abandoned them, he had made his choice. She was with Axel now, she was Alpha Female. That was her place. She had committed herself to this and she could not let her pack down. She needed to stand by Axel's side, put their differences aside and present a united front against Albrecht's takeover, or whatever it was he thought he was back to do.

Leanna thanked her brother for the previous night and told him she would see him later at the pack meeting. Then, she returned home to change and get breakfast. Whilst there, she saw Axel and informed him she'd spent the night at Felix's, although offered no apology for it or explanation why. She decided not to broach the subject of the waitress then, but it was not forgotten and she did plan to mention it to him later.

Now she sat to Axel's left before the pack, with Sam to his right, and the meeting commenced. First he spoke about Albrecht, rehashing what they all knew about his return. He did exactly as Leanna had expected, making it very clear he was not going to back down from his position as Alpha and give in to Albrecht, but it was the second half of what he said that made Leanna's breath catch in her throat.

"From now on, I don't want to catch any of you talking with him, you hear me? He may have been a member of our pack, but he's a traitor and a liar..."

What? No! He couldn't! The protests instantly rushed through Leanna's mind, but she did not voice them telepathically to the others. She caught herself quickly, putting a halt to her thoughts. Of course he could, really, she should expect no less. A good leader would try to protect their pack from what they believed to be potential danger, and preserve the hierarchy within the pack. In his position, she would have done exactly the same. Hell, as Alpha Female, if he hadn't said it, she would've. That is, if it had been anyone else but Albrecht...

Axel moved on to give news about how the body of a hunter had been found yesterday, blaming it, quite rightly, she imagined, on the vampires. He gave them instructions to stay out of it, which is just as Leanna would have done. That was the thing about Axel, he was truly a good leader. He generally made well thought out decisions which were clearly for the good of the pack. She couldn't criticise him as a leader, she simply wished he had the same natural talent for caring for her and their relationship.

Axel then offered his decisions up to the floor to allow questions and comments. Leanna remained silent. In the most part, she agreed with his decisions. She told herself she agreed with all his decisions, that they were for the best. They didn't need Al around, he had betrayed them. Leanna sighed softly. This was the right choice...

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Albrecht Wolff
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The previous day had certainly taken a strange and unusual turn, not only had someone been murdered within town, a hunter no less but now Axel’s brother, Albrecht had returned. Caro would have been lying if she had said the older man’s return didn’t bring happiness to her, she was immensely glad to see him, thankful in fact. However, not every shared the same reaction, Leanna had been in a state of shock, which was understandable as Caro certainly did not think her friend had expected ever to see him again. And honestly neither had she, when Albrecht left all those years ago she had resounded herself to the fact that she would never see him again, he wanted a ‘normal’ life or so to speak, but sometimes ‘normal’ wasn’t always what you expected; she had told him as much just before he left, although she supposed he had to make the connection himself.

Axel, as expected, had not reacted well at all and even now Caro grimaced at the memory, the words said in haste and anger would have usually been regretted the next day- although this probably wasn’t the case with Axel and Al. She did pity their alpha with the situation and she couldn’t help but feel a little anger at Al for his words, did he really think he could disappear for all this time just to reappear one day and resume his place. Had he really thought nothing changed? That he would still be alpha? Of course he had, he was a Wolff and they were just about as stubborn as they came.

Over the course of the night Caroline had done her best to forget what had transpired within the diner. She and Nettie had enjoyed a quiet night in, a lovely meal of steak and vegetables followed by a slice of Nettie’s apple pie for dessert, they had then watched few programmes on the TV and just chilled. Like usual their conversations were light and airy, they had spoken about a lot of things and nothing at all, they had spoken of Sam and where their relationship was going and Caro had shed a tear over it once again. Despite this, it had been a wonderful evening, one she would not forget in a hurry.

Caroline had been awake for a few hours, tending to some jobs at her bar when she received a group message from Axel ordering a group meeting. Already she knew the course of topic it would be about the women which was murdered and Albrecht, it was predictable, but still much needed. By rumours she had heard from patrons, the generally consensus, by those who knew, was that this knew killing was done by a vampire. The woman had her blood mass drained, who else could have been the culprit? After quickly phoning Nettie, telling her to stay put, Caroline had hurried over to Axel and Leanna’s home.

ImageIn her wolf form , Caro sat within the circle, her ears pointed to constant attention as she listened to what Axel had to say. "Well, we'll show him he can't simply leave and expect to be treated the same...from now on, I don't want to catch any of you talking with him, you hear me? He may have been a member of our pack, but he's a traitor and a liar..." He spoke so easily that Caro dipped her head slightly, the sadness was still present in her eyes even in wolf form. She couldn’t help but feel that his words were ones made out of haste and defiance. I was clear that despite them being brothers, Axel saw Albrecht as a threat and a dangerous one at that.

Caroline continued to listen as Axel pressed onto matter about the dead hunter, although she agreed with some about what he was saying, something did not sit right with her. Everything had been peaceful up until yesterday, the vampires had not stepped out of line since the event a few years ago, so why now? Why that woman? After she thought about it in depth, the answer became clear, it wasn’t one who had inhabited the town. It wasn’t plausible for them to do so, they had come to Bellingstone for a safe place to stay, a home, why would they jeopardize that now? No, it must have been someone knew. That thought led her onto another event which had transpired in her bar the very same day and led her to a new suspicion, perhaps that arrogant asshole had something to do with it? He was certainly someone new to the town, it was plausible.

Releasing a mental sigh, Caro suppressed the information for the time being, Axel wouldn’t do anything with it, he’d just tell her to stay out. Perhaps he was right, perhaps she should just leave it to the hunters to handle, but what if it happened again and she could have stopped it? There was no way she could live with herself if that happened.

As Axel broached the end of his speech he asked if anyone had any questions or comments and Caroline found herself biting her tongue on the whole Albrecht affair, she hated the fact that Axel told them to stay away, that it was forbidden to speak to him. She honestly did not believe she could keep that promise, shaking her head, she finally “spoke” up. “Axel, you know I am loyal to you as alpha, it is rightfully your position, not his. B-But I cannot just ignore him like that, he’s my friend too and you can’t ask me to do that.”