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Welcome to Bellingstone

Bellingstone, Pennsylvania

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a part of Welcome to Bellingstone, by Scarlet Loup.

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Scarlet Loup holds sovereignty over Bellingstone, Pennsylvania, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Bellingstone, Pennsylvania is a part of Welcome to Bellingstone.

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Sebastian Harding [99] "Don't get too close, it's dark inside. It's where my demons hide."
Annelise Laustsen [95] "I can stand up for myself just fine!"
Sara YasmineJay [86] "Don't act like you care when it's clear that you don't"
Derek Hale [81] "Shut up or I'm gonna rip your throat out with my teeth."
Axel Jaeger Wolff [71] "A wolf's pack is his family."
Caroline King [64] "I often find words can be as sharp as claws or as painful as a bullet."
ALARICK MORGENSTERN [61] "They say we are slaves to our own devices- well good thing mine are being exceedingly handsome and rich."
Samuel Xavier Pierce [57] "Peace, not war, is what will make Bellingstone survive and prosper."
Leighton Harding [45] Every story has an ending...but in life, every ending is just a new begining...
Isabella Gabrielle Clarke [40] "I won't repeat the same mistakes twice."

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Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen
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He could have sworn he saw something move in the forest as he stared off into it. Sebastian's instinct caused him to start forward slightly where he sat, assuming it was a threat. Sharp movements like that had always worked him up. They were yet another set of habits his uncle had knocked into him. Be on your toes. Be observant. Still on edge, with his cigarette in one hand and the other against the table, he watched the shape closely and with narrowed eyes. The shape moved closer until it burst through the brush, revealing itself as nothing more than a female deer. Seb sighed and settled back, picking up his beer to sip it again slowly.

Annelise took the spot on the table beside him and he watched the tears fall down her face in small cascades. He might have been nothing more than a killing machine, but Seb still winced as he saw his fellow Hunter in such mental pain. He watched her with subtle worry plastered on his countenance, eyes trailing along her body for some indication of her emotions through body language. Seb was quite glad he'd thrown in the second part of his statement. Knowing the young woman, she would have quickly told him nothing bothered her and that she was fine, even though he knew she wasn't.

"I..." She began weakly and Seb quickly looked over at her, holding the smoking cigarette between his lips as he watched her intently. "I get set off by other things.. And th-then it piles up into this big mess...So it's Nika, and something else." She would stop at times, he observed, to move her hair slightly in a nervous manner. She looked up at him, wiping her eyes, and he nodded slowly. The way she cried reminded him of Leigh and he bit the inside of his cheek lightly. And yet, at the same time, she cried in a way that wasn't very innocent at all. She looked pained, like he felt, and broken. Pained and broken, yes, those words described her best. They described him, too, even if he didn't wish to admit it. "It's always my dad, no matter what.. Even if I'm the happiest person alive I can't escape that. But then when something else happens it gets worse, and I usually shut down.." He didn't seem to notice she wanted a tissue and let her continue instead. "A-And the only reason I haven't run away and completely given up is b-because of you."

In a mixture of confusion and surprise, Seb's eyes widened first and then narrowed slightly in deep thought before he raised an eyebrow. "Because of me?" he asked her, as if he needed clarification. "Why...why me? I mean, hell, I would think you'd stay for someone different like Alarick, I guess. I'm not much of a reason, really. Not that friendly anything..." What she meant had just about gone completely over his head. Instead, he assumed she stayed for their friendship or something or the support he gave her, which he really didn't think he did that much. If anything, Alarick gave her more support than he ever could. "It just doesn't make sense..."

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Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Leighton Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen Character Portrait: ALARICK MORGENSTERN
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Annelise flinched at Sebastian's confused words, mistaking his reaction for anger. She whimpered weakly, hanging her head as she sobbed helplessly. Neither had any idea what the other truly meant. Sebastian had assumed she meant as a friend, yet Annelise had assumed the worst and thought he knew how she felt. "I-I can't help if I feel this way.." She croaked softly, her voice weak. If he already knew how she felt, she thought, why not let it all out? "Do you think.. I like feeling for you like I do? B-Because I know that if anything ever comes from it people will be nothing but angry!" Annelise cried, raising her voice in panic as she trembled with fear. She stood up, tears streaking her face as she looked down at him in heartbreak. Her blue eyes were wide with desperation, begging that she could take back the words coming out of her mouth. "I hate that I love you!" She yelled, not even thinking of the two inside that could hear. "I.. I hate it..." She sobbed, her mind just now processing what she admitted. "I...." She whimpered.

"I have to go.." Annelise whispered lifelessly, bolting into the house as quick as she could so he couldn't catch up, if he even wanted to. She passed by Leighton and Alarick, not even noticing as she sobbed uncontrollably. Throwing the door open, she ran outside, scrambling to get into her car and start it at the same time. "Come on.. Come on..." She pleaded desperately, finally managing to jump into the drivers seat. "Please.." She cried softly, starting the car.

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He watched her flinch, worry filling his eyes again. What had he said to make her upset? Sebastian could only watch in complete shock as she whimpered and began to sob before him. "Annelise..." he began, trailing off slowly as he rubbed his face with his hands roughly, sighing.

"I-I can't help if I feel this way.." Seb looked up quickly.

"What...what way?" he asked, still confused and growing even more so as the conversation continued.

"Do you think.. I like feeling for you like I do? B-Because I know that if anything ever comes from it people will be nothing but angry!" As she stood up, Sebastian also quickly got to his feet, trying to look her in the eye as he stood before her. "Annelise, what the hell are you talking about?!"

"I hate that I love you!" He stepped back, eyes wide still but not in confusion this time. Instead, they were wide with a mixture of shock and disbelief. "You...oh." Seb began to speak again but he cut himself off, finally realizing he should just shut up for now.

"I...I hate it..." she continued, sobbing still so that her words were choked apart. "I...."He rubbed the back of his neck slowly and sighed again, not sure of what he should say. This was different than everything he'd dealt with. Leighton had never cried over loving someone, especially him. His uncle Greg had never taught him about love or relationships. Hell, he hadn't had any sort of girlfriend since middle school. Then, he'd been pulled out to be "homeschooled" (which wasn't really homeschooling at all) and trained as a Hunter. For a moment, he was still too shocked to realize Annelise was bolting into the house, away from him.

She loved him? That made no sense. Why would she love him? There was nothing special about him. It wasn't like he'd shown her more attention than the others or cared for her. He was just himself. He was nothing more than a killing machine. Why would someone love him, especially when there were others more suitable? Alarick, for one, always seemed to treat the young woman like a sister, watching over her, taking care of her. All things Seb had never done. Suddenly, he came to his senses and he raced into the house after her. Obviously, she'd forgotten he was one of the quickest Hunters due to his long, gangly legs.

"Watch the house, Alarick!" he yelled as he dodged the furniture in his living room. Sebastian burst through the front door and then hurried toward Annelise's car as she got in the driver's seat. "Annelise!" he yelled, hoping she'd stop. She didn't though, and so he quickly ran in front of her car and stood there, hands pressed to the hood as he looked at her through the windshield. "Don't you dare keep driving," he said. "Get out of there and tell me what's going on." He stood there, eyeing her through the windshield with as fierce of an expression as he could muster, despite how utterly confused and worried and concerned he was. "We need to talk about this..."

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Caterina De Luca
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Axel flushed slightly, rubbing the back of his neck with one hand as he looked down at the sandwich before him, which he was in the middle of working on. "Well, erm..." he began, stopping. Well, impasse did explain the situation well enough...though it would sound pretty odd to someone unfamiliar with his predicament. "Heh, English was never really my strongest subject at school. I was more of the athletic jock type, you know?" He looked up, noticed the cocking of her head, and smiled a bit. Jeez, he'd known her for a few hours and he still couldn't help but stare at her.

She took her time, though, to formulate her response to his second question. For a while, as the time without a response grew, he worried that he'd upset her in some way. "You don't have to answer if you don't want to..." he said after a while, worried he'd struck a nerve in some way with the question. Regardless, she did answer him after a while and he listened attentively as he placed a few orders on to a metal tray and set it on another counter to give him more room to work on.

"Yeah, I imagine it was really pretty," Axel replied, smiling back at her. "You always hear about the sights there and whatnot..." He leaned against the counter behind him, gripping it on either side of his body as he crossed one leg over the other. "But, it's good you enjoy it here." He nodded slowly at the simile, making a slight "huh" as he comprehended it. "So, do you think living here is the beginning of your next chapter, or is living here just more of that 'stasis' you're in?" He straightened up again and then walked over to the sink and poured a glass of water for himself before he turned back to Cat. "Do you need something to eat or drink, by the way? Reduced prices for employees." He set the glass down and sighed.

"What would you do if you were in my shoes with this 'impasse' thing of mine?" he asked curiously, cocking his head like a dog might. "I mean...I'm just about at a loss right now and you seem like you'd have better advice than anyone around here...hell, you know the definition of more words than I do, I bet, and I was raised speaking English."

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Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen
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Annelise cringed, frozen with fear under his gaze. She had no choice but to obey his command as she nodded slowly, her body working against her instincts. Ever so slowly, she stopped the car and got out hesitantly, falling to her knees when she touched the ground and causing another small cry to escape her lips. Regaining her strength she stood, tears falling silently as she walked over to stand before him reluctantly. "Y-Yes sir..?" She whispered lifelessly, hating herself when she realized that he had no idea what she meant the first time. Annelise turned her head up, her blue eyes grey and empty as tears poured out against her will. "I can leave as soon as possible.." She murmured in submission, assuming that was what he wanted. Wasn't that what everyone wanted of her? To disappear? She didn't do any good, so what was the point of staying around?

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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.

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Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen
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Eventually, Annelise began to get out of the car. In turn, Seb stepped back slowly and watched her, sighing. Sebastian still had the cigarette in his hand, but it must have been blown out as he raced through the house after Annelise. He glanced at it briefly in his hand and then, knowing it wouldn't be of any use to him now, he flicked it on to the gravel driveway and stepped on it with the heel of his boot. He watched the ground for a while while he crossed his arms over his chest. He was going to hate this conversation, he knew it already. He wasn't an overly social person as it was, and the entire thought of the conversation was a bit intimidating. What was he supposed to say? He'd never really loved, as far as he knew.

She fell to her knees on the gravel and Sebastian gave a pained expression as he watched her. He started toward her, taking just a single step before she started to stand up and walk over to him. "Y-Yes sir..?" she said, her voice almost too soft for him to hear. His fierce expression had all but left his countenance as he looked down at her with more of a pained expression in his eyes. Poor thing...she looked absolutely miserable. Should he have just let her go? He shook his head slightly. No, he needed to do this. They had to talk about what had just happened or they never would. He slowly leaned against the hood of her car, still watching her. "I can leave as soon as possible." Tears streamed down her face, her eyes wide. Again, he sighed and shook his head.

"I don't want you to leave," he said after a while. "I want to talk whatever this is through with you." Seb sighed and rubbed his hands against his eyes lightly. "Why me? Why now? I mean, I'm just not understanding at all right now..." He gave a light, almost nervous laugh. "I just have no idea what to make of it, I guess."

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Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen
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"I don't want you to leave," Annelise looked up at his response, wiping her burning eyes as she nodded. "Ok.." She whispered, cringing at his next statement. Of course he wanted to talk. Why couldn't he read her mind so she didn't have to go through the trouble of trying to put it into words?

"Why me? Why now? I mean, I'm just not understanding at all right now..." Annelise smiled sadly. "I don't.. know.." She whimpered, not even able to hear herself until she cleared her throat and repeated herself. "I don't know. And, it's not really a now thing, either..." She whispered, doing the math in her head. "It started a year or so after my training.." Due to dealing with her father's death, Annelise was able to wait until she was 15 to start training. "So.. I've felt like this for 3 years, since I was 16." The brunette whispered in embarrassment, nodding to confirm the amount of time. "And.. Why you?" She repeated his question to herself with a shrug as she teared up, looking into his eyes with a heartbroken smile. "I have.. no idea." Annelise laughed sadly, shaking her head. "I sometimes think that, maybe it's because I'm desperate for affection. But it can't be that.. I've had boyfriends who treated me well, but I never felt this way.." She whispered, "It's just something about you that I can't explain.."

Annelise looked down in shame, her face red from having to actually explain her feelings to him. "I'm sorry.. I must sound like a moron.."

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Character Portrait: Sterling Pearce
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Lily's stilettos clapped against the damp sidewalk lightly at first and then quicker and quicker as she raced along in the dead of the night. She was running, running from something she simply could not put one of her perfectly manicured, porcelain white fingers on. Everything had simply come crashing down around her, though. The guilt overwhelmed her, threatening to drive her absolute mad like it had her father. Why? Why her? Had she really deserved any of it? As another wave of tears began to rise in her throat, catching, her already bruised big toe caught the edge of the sidewalk and she pitched forward with a sharp cry and a whimper of pa...

"Horsefeathers!" Sterling sat on the porch, outside of the tall, Victorian style home he had owned for the past seven years since he'd first moved into town. Legs up on an ottoman, he sat in a rocking chair with the laptop in his lap, of course. Groaning, he leaned his head back and stared at the awning above him, pushing the chair back and forth to rock himself as he gripped either side of the laptop.

He had dealt with his fair share of writer's block before. Hell, he remembered sitting around in a room with Fitzgerald and Hemingway as the two drank and muttered about the accursed period of no inspiration they each suffered. Now, of course, the new wave of authors had given it a name. It was a stupid name, granted, but even he had decided to use it. Looking forward finally, he squinted his eyes and peered off toward the horizon. The way his house was positioned, it gave him an absolute gorgeous view of the sunset each night. By that time, the sun was sinking closer to the tree line, casting a brilliant show of light in the sky in all different tints and shades of red and orange, pink and yellow. Sterling sighed and set the laptop aside as he stood up. Legs nearly giving out, since he'd been there for hours now, he stretched and started inside. Perhaps he needed a drink?

In a few minutes, he reemerged on to his porch with a thin glass of some beer, or something like that. He wasn't really picky at all with his alcohol anymore. If it had bite and it took away the edge, he liked it. Then again, he never could manage to get drunk anymore. God, what he would give to be drunk just once more. But, even though he once drank enough to give alcohol poisoning to an elephant, the author still had his wits about him. He walked forward and leaned against the railing at the head of the porch, looking out on the street as a few small groups, along with some individuals, wandered aimlessly. Why wasn't he one of them? Even the rest of his coven was more social than him. He, Sterling Pearce, who had once been Robert Samuels and one of the biggest partiers of his time...before Lily was born.

He shook his head slowly as he pushed the black-tinted sunglasses further up the bridge of his nose with a thumb. No, he wouldn't think of such things now...he couldn't bear to. Instead, he turned on the old radio that sat a top a coffee table and settled back into the rocking chair as a wave of old 1920s jazz and swing music enveloped him. Behind the sunglasses, his eyelids drooped and he gave a content sigh. Perhaps, if he drowned out the sound of chatter and modern car noises, he could pretend that once again he was in the 20s, dancing alongside Florence or running after Lily through the house. Anything. Anything would be perfect...anything but being here and being alone.

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Sebastian watched her hands rub her moist eyes, brow still wrinkled in concern. This entire set-up was so awkward. Why couldn't things just go back to how they were before? It would have been easier for everyone, right? Yet, at the same time, he certainly wanted to work out this awkwardness between them. They were Hunters together and the group of Hunters was so tightly knit, he couldn't bear to keep any awkward feelings between them. A Hunter was expected to assist their fellow Hunters. Seb couldn't even begin to count the number of times he'd raced back to help out a recruit.

It was only human nature to hold grudges, but he knew they were the difference between life and death in such situations. He shuddered lightly at the thought and focused back on Annelise. She gave him a sad smile which surprised him greatly, given just a few minutes ago she had been bawling her eyes out.

"I don't know. And, it's not really a now thing, either..." He nodded, turning his right hand in a circle to prompt her forward. Seb tried to make the gesture seem as kind as possible, but he was already so on edge that he was certain she might grow sad again.

"You can speak louder..." he murmured, his voice staying even and soft as he addressed her. "It started a year or so after my training...so... I've felt like this for 3 years, since I was 16. And...why you?" Their eyes met and he sighed, looking sadly at her heartbroken expression. "I have.. no idea. I sometimes think that, maybe it's because I'm desperate for affection. But it can't be that.. I've had boyfriends who treated me well, but I never felt this way...it's just something about you that I can't explain..."

Again he nodded and then shrugged at her final comment. "No...you don't sound like a moron," he murmured. Sebastian stood up to his full height again and looked down at her still, arms crossed. "So is it love or is it just wanting to have someone to love so much you latched to me...?" Sebastian sighed and chewed the inside of his cheek slowly, realizing that must have sounded horrible to her. Oh God, what could he say? Love wasn't his forte. The only time he had to worry this much about love was when that one girl chased him endlessly on the playground to profess her love for him in the second grade. He'd hidden under the slide every day that week during recess. Sighing, Seb looked up toward the sky and then back at her.

"Look, it's not that I'm not interested in you...you're a sweet young woman, really." He smiled down at her and then placed a hand lightly on her shoulder. "I'm just...I know there are so many more men that would be ten times better for you than I am. I can't love you...Hunting is my life, Annelise. It's my only purpose...the only thing I'm good at. I just...God, I don't know. I just don't know what to say or what to do..." He frowned. "I don't want to hurt you, you know I don't...I just don't know what to do anymore."

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Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen
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Annelise scoffed softly at him denying her claim. "Yes I do.. I'm pathetic.." She whispered. "So is it love or is it just wanting to have someone to love so much you latched to me...?" A whimper sounded from her as she looked down, sniffling sadly. "I d-dunno.." She whined like a scared child. Annelise tried to ignore it, so she wouldn't be bothering him more than she thought she was. She always beat herself up like this, whenever something was wrong with someone she cared about, she blamed herself. Her head turned up as she heard Sebastian sigh again, another dagger of guilt hitting her. "I-I'm sorry.." Annelise choked out, frowning weakly. She listened intently as she hid her face in her hands, blushing still at his touch despite his outright rejection of the girl.

"I don't want to hurt you, you know I don't...I just don't know what to do anymore." He murmured, obviously conflicted. Annelise wished she could blurt out what she wanted to say, 'Can't you give it a chance?' 'Maybe you'll grow to love me!'. Her mind shouted suggestions, making her shake her head at herself. 'I already made a fool of myself, there's no need to make it worse.'

"Me neither.." She finally admitted after minutes of silence. "Maybe I.. Should just leave." Annelise muttered hoarsely, wiping away the tears that started again. "I.." She struggled to find the words. "Everyone knows I'm no good.. I only get in the way. I'll never be able to do anything if my feelings are controlling me.." She looked up into his eyes. "Really... I'm not trying to guilt you into anything.. I just feel like it would be better for everyone if I disappeared." She nodded to herself, tears falling uncontrollably again as she turned, ready to go back to her car.

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Character Portrait: Axel Jaeger Wolff Character Portrait: Leanna Romero Character Portrait: Caroline King Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce 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: Caroline King Character Portrait: Samuel Xavier Pierce 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: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay
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The reddish sky finally darkened into an approximation of night as they continued forward in companionable silence. Derek let one arm hang out of the rolled down window of his black camero, hairs rising even under his coat from the cold of the air that was rushing away outside as they zipped down the street. He was content to sit back and listen to the rumbling hum of the engine and the song on the radio, Filter Hey man, nice shot, that was crackling in and out; you could never get a solid station to come into focus so far out in the middle of nowhere. The music intertwined with Derek's inharmonious humming as he drummed his fingers along the steering wheel. He peaked at Sara out of the corner of his eye, a grin snaking up his face. She nervously fidgeted with the hem of her skirt, gaze refusing to meet his.

She is just a giant ball of contradictions, isn't she? Fearless and strong, insecure and unsure. He couldn't decide which Sara he had affections for yet.

He looked ahead to the town's sprawling outline that rose softly through the lengthening shadows, lights swelling as they sped closer. "I hope you'll like the place, it's very nice." She spoke as she gestured to where their intended destination was. Derek edged the growling muscle car into a space outside the small but quaint family owned bistro before he cut the engine and just sat there for a moment, looking, for the first time since she had met him, afraid. He hadn't been on a date, or even in public in a long time...but as he glanced over to this girl with brown hair and lovely chocolate eyes, who stared out of the window with delight, it in turn drew delight edged in tenderness, from him. "I'm ready." He sighed, as he heaved his body from the vehicle, jogging lightly around to her side, opening the passenger door for her. She gingerly placed a wobbly heel on the side walk, obviously not accustomed to wearing them, and it made him chuckle.

All this fuss just for him...

He took her delicated hand and pulled her out on her two stilts. "You can leave those in the car if you want." He stated, looking down to her shoes. Sara flushed with embarassment and looked away as he knew she would, so he cupped her chin a planted a light kiss of her lips. "Only teasing."

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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: Isabella Gabrielle Clarke Character Portrait: Nikolai Lannister
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"I need to take a walk, I just need to think about everything. Please..."

His smile faltered, lips slipping back over his dazzling bright whites. His words stuck in his throat like oddly shaped blocks so that all he could do was nod in response. With that gesture, she turned and all but ran down the street leaving a confused and disparaged Nikolai in her wake. He dejectedly crossed over the threshold, shutting the heavy oak door behind him, before resting his forehead against the cool wood. His feeding girls were enjoying one another's company in the sitting room off to the right, and the air rang with laughter and cheaply sentimental ballads—but also with silence: a thick, watchful silence that swam beneath the noise and merriment like water under oil. His lip curled into a sneer as he stormed in the next room to greet them harshly. "Go and make yourselves presentable, stop lounging about like you have nothing better to do! We are to have very important company in a few minutes. Go, now!" he commanded, his usually lovely English purr transforming into a feral growl. They scrambled over themselves to get to the sprawling stair case, tripping over one another as they kept their fearful gazes on his fury marred face. He was taking his anger out on them, his group of living blood bags he had brought with him from every state he had taken to visiting. They weren't under compulsion, no, they were addicted to the venom of his bite. Drug addicts through and through, various attractive and very tawdrily clad females of a certain persuasion, but addicts still. The only one of them who truly required his compulsion was the woman who's house he had commandeered.

The older woman shuffled into the room with a distant, lost gaze and out of place smile, her coffee stained teeth peaking out from behind her thin lips. "Anything I can do for you dear, you seem upset?" She wasn't looking directly at him, the compelled ones never did, but rather, past him, as if something beautiful must have lied just beyond his sight. "Yes." He spoke curtly, sighing through his nose. "The girls have gone upstairs to get ready but made a mess in here, do clean it up quickly, please." She nodded obligingly and scooted about the room, tidying up the ground zero of their celebration as Nikolai strode from the room with a still ireful gate, gnashing his teeth.

ImageLiving Nik had been vibrant and animated with a carefully controlled charisma; he used his natural gifts like weapons, felling his detractors one by one. But he couldn't help but feel that Vampiric Nik had to be colorless, sad and pathetic, echoing back the memories of living in a dull monotone. Why had she left? Was she overwhelmed? Under whelmed? Had he chosen the wrong house? What would she have preferred? He wrestled with these questions as he took a seat in the nearest velvet armchair, stretching one of his long legs out, sliding down in his seat, and resting his mouth against the knuckles of his hand atop the chairs arm.

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Character Portrait: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay
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As they sat in Derek's car for a few moments, Sara couldn't help but notice just tense Derek suddenly seemed, and for some reason, it made her feel slightly more at ease, that she wasn't the only one nervous. I'm ready she heard him say, as she turned to face him, giving him a gentle smile, before watching him lightly jog around the car and open the door for her. She smiled gently up at him, "Thank you," she said, taking his hand, her own easily encased in his large, calloused ones, as she stood, struggling for a moment to stand, before finally gaining purchase against the rough asphalt with her stiletto heeled shoes.

"You can leave those in the car if you want." he said. The comment caused her to flush with a slight sense of embarrassment and humility. See, I KNEW he would think I was trying to hard, I shouldn't have dressed up so much, he must think I'm a slut. God I shouldn't have come at all.. I'm such an idi- her thoughts of self deprecation were cut short by Derek speaking again, "Only teasing" he murmured, before lifting her face to kiss her gently. Her cheeks darkened further for a moment, as she gently kissed him back, before pulling away slightly, "I-I.. yeah..." she said, giving a sheepish smile; she didn't have the heart to tell him about her inner banter with herself.

As they walked into the restaurant, Sara's arm linked with his so as to keep her balance, she asked for a nice private window seat, figuring Derek would prefer not feeling scrutinized by people watching around. The waitress sat them down at a nice table, but Sara couldn't help but notice her eyes linger on him for just a few moment longer than necessary, and even while she told them of specials and drinks, her eyes were on him, rather than the both of them. Sara clenched her jaw, barely listening to the woman as she glared down at her menu. What is wrong with you? You're not even truly dating the guy, and you're acting like you want to kill this woman. she thought to herself, purposefully avoiding Derek's gaze as the woman gently placed a hand on his shoulder in an overly friendly manner, before leaving to help other customers. Sara felt the tendrils of jealousy curling and writhing in her stomach, making her slowly lose her appetite as she looked through the list of foods. Her eyes peeked a glance up at Derek, "She was nice." she said off-offhandedly, forcing a fake smile, almost fishing to see what he would say.
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Character Portrait: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay
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As they entered into the building, all eyes rested on them, conversation stilled, curiosity aroused. It made him feel claustrophobic. It was not unexpected, this town didn't see too many strangers, and the wolf's penchant for privacy, living out on the edge of the forest, alone, sparked excited whispers and theories ranging from psychotic woodsman to deep and misunderstood poet striking muse from a solitary nature experience. Derek was grateful for the little table placed in the back window, blanketed in a dark quiet, enshrouding them both in a private air.

ImageHis muscles coiled tightly, tensing, as the waitress rested her hand on his shoulder. He really did not like being touched. He was bred to be a loner, and sometimes even kind or flirty chatter tended to grow annoying quickly and got under his skin. He didn't pay much mind to anything she was prattling on about, or even what she looked like, it was of little consequence anyway. "You know what you want to eat yet? I can't decide." He asked conversationally after the woman took her leave.

When Derek glanced up, he hadn't expected the thunderhead that crossed over Sara's face, darkening and sharpening her features even if her words seemed pleasant enough...but it didn't stop the small muscle near his lip twitching upward into a partial smirk. Her expression screamed "My lips are moving and words are coming out, but I am not saying what I mean." And though he was not particularly well versed in reading expressions, he could guess as to what it could mean.


"Oh? I hadn't noticed..." He replied with an arrogant smirk, eyes colder than the winter sky lighting up happily. He was used to getting female attention, but it hadn't occurred to him that it would bother Sara. Now it delighted him.

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Character Portrait: Derek Hale Character Portrait: Sara YasmineJay
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Sara kept her eyes downcast on the menu, "You know what you want to eat yet? I can't decide" She heard him ask. It caused yet another feeling of slight inadequacy towards 'normal' girls. She wanted to seem feminine, and get something small; a salad or something, but her stomach was churning, and her wolf was scratching at the surface for steak. Sara swallowed dryly, "Y-yeah.. The ah.. the steak." she said quietly, before setting her menu down and picking up her drink instead. She couldn't even bear the thought of having to see Derek's reaction to the woman, and hated the feeling of competition, even if it wasn't real. Ever since that fanger woman had threatened her about Derek, she felt a sense of unease towards the similar sex.

Her eyes roamed the dusky sky, the trees silhouetted against the dark grey backdrop of the quickly darkening sky. Though the town was small and homely, it was nice, and it was home to her. She couldn't imagine going any place else, especially now that the mere thought of leaving Derek had her wolf growling and whining in the background.

Upon hearing Derek's response to her earlier comment, Sara finally looked up to meet his eyes, and almost immediately, the irritation and frost she had felt melted away. That little shit eating grin he wore made her heart flutter and a small giggle bubble up from her own throat, "You little shit." she muttered gently in a teasing manner under her breath, "it's not kind to take pleasure in a jealous girl." she admonished gently, before slowly reaching forward to place her hand above his, giving a gently smile, feeling slightly more relaxed and at ease now. Image

As they conversed a bit more, Sara slowly felt more and more confident, until the waitress returned, asking them what they wanted, turning to Sara first as if to get her out of the way, "What can I get for you? A salad maybe?" she asked, eyeing Sara up and down, to which Sara flinched slightly, but returned nonetheless, "Ah no.. A steak actually.. rare please." she said, earning a look of disdain from the waitress, who turned to Derek, but not before glancing down and frowning at their intertwined hands, "And for you Sir? What would you like?" she asked gently, eyeing him closely, like a predator would it's prey.

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Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Ariana Kaye Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen Character Portrait: ALARICK MORGENSTERN
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Seb's eyes narrowed. "No, you don't." He repeated himself intentionally, using a sharp tone to keep her from denying again what he said. There was not a doubt in his mind that she would rebuke him yet again if he wasn't firm enough with his words. He continued to stand there with one hand in his pocket and one hand on her shoulder, sighing every once and a while as he thought about the entire situation. He felt so awkward. He felt so terribly awkward, not because of Annelise, but because he had no idea what he was to do in these situations. In response to how awkward he felt, he shifted his position once and then again.

"I-I'm sorry..." He pursed his lips. "Don't be." Sebastian watched her closely, reading the emotions that showed on her countenance with a pained expression of his own. Why was this so difficult? It shouldn't be this difficult! She obviously wanted to say more-- he couldn't tell what-- but she settled on a few stammered words before she began to cry again.

"Everyone knows I'm no good...I only get in the way. I'll never be able to do anything if my feelings are controlling me..." Her blue eyes met his gray eyes and he blinked slowly back at her, trying to keep a steely gaze despite how Annelise's sadness seemed to tear at him. He was uncharacteristically showing emotions he was completely unfamiliar with and he absolutely hated it. Why should he suddenly start acting like this again? It made him feel something he could only explain as a mixture of insecurity, vulnerability, and...fear? Yes, he was fearful because of the emotion he was showing. Before, such emotions had all been associated with weakness. Now, he couldn't help but completely agree with those teachings. He was being weak. He was being an idiot...but, he couldn't just chase Annelise away, right? "Really...I'm not trying to guilt you into anything...I just feel it would be better for everyone if I disappeared."

She started to turn, moving back toward the car, but Sebastian's hand tightened quickly on her shoulder and he turned her back to face him. "Annelise..." he said, his fingers gripping her shoulder a bit too tightly without him even noticing it. "It wouldn't be better for anyone, I hope you realize that. Do you think we want you gone? Alarick? Ariana? Myself?" He sighed and shook his head, looking upward before down at her. Then, without a warning, he gave a brief laugh and shook his head again. "Damn it...I don't know what to say to you, Annelise. You know I have as much emotion as a robot."

What should he say, damn it? Instinct told him to step away from the entire situation. But impulse...impulse told him to do the complete opposite. He wasn't sure, even when he told back on it, what made him do it. Was it some nagging longing in the back of his mind or was it a sudden impulse he felt? Seb had not a clue. Slowly, he placed one hand against her cheek, cupping it. "You matter, Annelise. I swear on my uncle's grave you do." And then, without any warning, he leaned forward and kissed her. Perhaps it was a stupid move. Maybe he shouldn't have done it. Yet, in that moment, he swore it was the only thing he could do to keep her there.

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Character Portrait: Sebastian Harding Character Portrait: Annelise Laustsen
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Annelise whimpered, a tiny cry of pain escaping her lips as Sebastian gripped her shoulder and whipped her around to face him. She trembled fearfully, staring up at him in terror as she listened intently to his words. "Do you think we want you gone? Alarick? Ariana? Myself?" She bit her lip, unable to think of a rebuttal, knowing he was right. Her blue eyes continued to leak tears as her laughed painfully. "Damn it...I don't know what to say to you, Annelise. You know I have as much emotion as a robot."

"I'm sorry," She repeated, her voice strained. "I'm selfish.. I'm so ashamed..." Annelise cried weakly, trembling as she kept her face hidden in her hands. She wanted to disappear, take back that she admitted her feelings, go back and make sure she never even fell for him. Why couldn't things be easy..? In her daydream she was already happily living with Seb. But no, she always went for the people worst for her, and then when she finally found someone who wouldn't treat her bad they were someone with no emotions. That confused her though, if he normally had no emotions why was he so torn by what she was doing? Annelise sighed weakly, just wanting to be held by him and have him stroke her cheek lovingly, the fantasy was so clear she could almost feel it. She lifted her head.. but it wasn't just her mind getting the best of her, that was really happening. Sebastian held her cheek in his hand as he stared her down sternly, telling her the opposite of what she believed of herself. "I don't-" She started stubbornly, cut off by his lips.

Her heart stopped, and she couldn't even feel her body. It was exactly like she imagined it would be. A whimper escaped her lips and she blushed deeply, clinging to his shoulders, having to get on her tiptoes to properly reach that high. "S-S-Seb.." Annelise whispered breathlessly as the kiss broke. She wanted so badly to just accept it, her heart ached for it. "Please.." She begged, "I-I don't want this if it's only out of pity.."

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Character Portrait: Isabella Gabrielle Clarke Character Portrait: Sterling Pearce
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He was just on the verge of sleep, getting to the point where his breathing had relaxed almost completely despite the thoughts that had earlier plagued his mind. He could have sworn he fell asleep for a few heartbeats but the sound of footsteps woke him. Behind the dark sunglasses, Sterling's eyelids snapped open and he lifted his head to look down the street toward the sound of footsteps.

A figure moved along the street slowly and then suddenly stopped to look around at her surroundings. The author slowly laid one of his legs over the other as he sat there. Besides this, however, he was absolutely still. In a way, he'd sort of perfected this ability to blend in without drawing much attention at all. For a while, he actually believed this person would overlook him as most people, including his coven, did. Apparently, though, the darkness that was engulfing the small town didn't help much.

The figure noticed him after a while and she started toward him. By then, with the sun going down, Sterling lifted the sunglasses off of his face and set them down on the side table beside his drink. "Sterling, hey..." she said. Almost instantly, he both recognized the voice and the fact that her voice was shaky. It was Isabella, right? Just seconds later, before greeting her, he remembered an incident in which she'd yelled at another for calling her by her first name. What was her middle name...? Oh, of course.

"Hello, Gabby," he replied smoothly, though his voice retained its usual semi-emotionless tone. Slowly, he shook his head in response to her. "Oh, no I'm not busy at all...just, y'know, writing a bit and drinking." He gripped the arms of the chair and walked over toward the radio, which still played some old jazz music at relatively loud volume as compared to the quietness of the street. Sterling stood there for a while against the railing just watching her approach the house. Suddenly, he seemed to realize he should saw something. "Sorry, I don't usually get visitors here...do you want to go inside or do you want a drink or...?" He trailed off and shoved his hands into the pockets of his khakis a bit awkwardly. If he had any blood really flowing through his veins, he would have flushed brightly.