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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2016 7:41 am 

I have returned, and extremely happy to be back!

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“Chris!” came the female shout from across the newsroom among all the rest of the bustling noise of yet another day at the Washington Post. Chris looked up a bit more annoyed than normal at hearing his name shouted from Bethany McClelland, and stood up from his desk in the newsroom to see what she needed.

“Boss wants to see you on the fifth floor!” she continued after getting his attention. Chris frowned at this news. The Chief Editor’s office was on the third floor. Few writers ever went to see the President of the Washington Post. His scowl deepened as he reached down to lock his computer before grabbing his messenger bag containing all his writing notes and his MacBook Pro. Slinging it over his shoulder, he nodded to Bethany that he was on his way up, and headed over to the elevator. It was usually crowded around 1PM with people going off to lunch, but he had beaten the lunch crowd and had the elevator to himself.

On his way up, Chris began thinking back once more to the night some twenty-five years ago on his 5th birthday. It was the very reason he had become a reporter at all. It had been the night when he had witnessed something so fantastic it should have only appeared in fantasy stories. The night he had witnessed a dragon…a real, honest to goodness, fire-breathing, positively gorgeous, complete with wings, scales, and tail…dragon. It had been the night he had wandered out of the house…as he had begun to do just a couple of weeks prior. That same night, a man had stepped out of the shadows and had stalked towards him. Death…death had come for him, and Chris had known it…even at that very young age. He couldn’t run…couldn’t scream…nothing…frozen in his terror as the man approached, but…the man never reached him. He blinked…finding himself flat on the ground face first, and rolled over wondering if the man had hit him. Instead, he found the man torched on the spot from a winged creature so beautiful and terrifying hovering just a few feet away. The man screamed only once before turning to cinder on the spot…nothing but ash remaining…his scream seeming like something straight from hell. That which had saved him flew upward after slaying whatever it had been approaching him, and circled only to land before him…a towering form sleek and powerful beyond his young mind to comprehend. A moment later…a mere blink…and there stood a woman such as he had never seen before in his life. She defied description, but then…he had been so young…such details did not come to him easily at that point in his life. She had helped him up, and simply smiled tenderly at him before putting a single finger to her lips: “Shhh…”

Chris had never told anyone about this event…not a single soul. No one: parents, teachers, friends…no one knew of the dragon that had saved his life. She had implied secrecy, and he had kept it now for almost 25 years. Yet, Christopher never ever forgot that night. He had been seeking her since that day, and as he grew…his writing talent came out, and his resources grew. Twenty-five years later, and he still had not found her. Some part of his mind whispered it was all just some dream, but the better part of him shut the doubt down. She was real…the dragon was real, and he vowed silently before stepping off the elevator…he would find her one day.

The event had not only led him to becoming a reporter, but it had also led him to watch for other things. It occurred to him that the man she had saved him from had very likely been a vampire. It was, at least in his mind, as much of a possibility considering he had been saved by a dragon…a beast so legendary and mythical that her existence should not be. He was wary of things that went bump in the night now, but since that night…he had yet to discover a single vampire as well. Perhaps the man had simply been a kidnapper, murder, or some other foul person. Either way, Christopher had learned to defend himself since then. In addition, Chris had never had a girlfriend in his life…not one. It was a foolish thing, he admitted to himself a times as he walked in to the office of the President’s secretary: Valarie Bell, but since that night…he could not be rid of the visions of the dragon. In her human form…if that was what it was indeed…she had been divine, and no woman he had met since then compared to her. He was rather handsome: emerald green eyes, Celtic fair skin, tall with a head full of the Gaelic red inherited from his mother. He moved with a dancer’s grace thanks to both his instruction in formal ballroom dancing and martial arts. Several women were attracted to him…at least at first, but something about him always made them stop flirting with him…for the most part. He knew what that was. It was in his eyes, he supposed, but it was the look of someone who had no interest in the women about him, because he was already smitten with another.

“Mr. Windsor?” the secretary, Valarie Bell inquired politely.

“Yes, Ma’am,” Chris replied with a slight nod of his head.

“Go on in. Mr. Price is expecting you,” she said with a disarming smile.

If she was smiling, it couldn’t have been bad news, and that made Chris not only smile in return, but relax somewhat. Still, he smoothed a lock of his red hair back into place before heading into the lion’s den.

“Ahhh! Mr. Windsor, come in!” invited the older man behind the exquisite redwood desk. Chris did so the rest of the way, and shook hand firmly with the President of the newspaper. “Have a seat, Chris, because we are going to have a nice mysterious chat,” the man of 73 years old said with a bit of a wink.

Chris sat down clearly intrigued by the President’s words with his left eyebrow arched up.

“What we are going to talk about is absolutely not to leave this room…ever. You see, I have a story for you to work on…one that will likely never be published in the paper, but one I want you to work on all the same. You will be paid very handsomely for your work, and you will be removed from all other assignments until further notice…which is likely to be a very long time,” President Andrew Vincent Price began after sitting back down in his exceptionally comfortable black leather office chair.

The old man hadn’t been kidding about it being a mysterious chat. “You see,” he continued, “I happen to know of your efforts to unveil the shadows around us. I know of your search for…shall we say…the mysterious phenomenon of our world. Now, I have a job for you that will allow you to explore this mystery without diverting your attention to other projects. You may, in fact, take as much time as you wish to investigate this. What, you are no doubt wondering, is he talking about, but a part of you already knows the answer to that…don’t you, Chris. You see, I finally traced down an old article about a boy named Christopher Windsor saved by a mysterious fire from being killed. The article suggested that the man had been burnt to a crisp…to ashes, actually, but it was a mystery on how a 5 year old boy managed to do so. Ah, but you and I both know you didn’t kill him. You and I both know the thing that slew him was none other than a dragon.”

The old man’s words about made Christopher’s heart leap from his chest. His eyes bulged with the way the President seemed to know, but it also made him narrow them again in suspicion.

The President merely smiled. “Yes, I know about the dragon, Son,” the old man continued when it was clear Chris would say nothing. “You see, I may not have seen the dragon, but I have long believed in their existence…hiding among us in mortal form. Of course, I have never been able to really take the time and investigate such a thing, and to hand it to just any reporter would have led to some unfortunate discussions about my sanity. You, however, have seen the dragon, and you know they exist…at least one does. So, I am giving you your dream shot, Son. You will seek out this dragon, write your articles in journal form, and give them only to me…not a single other person…not one…just me. If anyone wants to know about your work; well that is just too bad. You no longer work just for the paper, Chris, you work directly for me…and no one else. Now, would you be interested in doing such a job?”

Chris couldn’t believe what he was hearing. To find her…to seek her out using more resources at his command than he ever had…with no pause, no interruptions…to find her once and for all…it seemed too incredible to believe! Yet, he wasn’t about to turn down this chance.

“I….I don’t know what to say, Sir, other than…yes…yes I will,” Chris stammered for the first time in years it seemed.

“I thought you might. You start immediately. Don’t worry about your other assignments. I’ve already had them transferred to other reporters. There is a beginning you have at the Franklin Art Gallery in Chicago. Art, you may find, has clues where regular photography work does not. Besides, there is a woman there that collects rare art from all over the world. It is said, among the art community that she even collects rare original pieces…not just excellent copies. Yet, no one can seem to get very close to her…strange, I confess, but not necessarily mysterious. Still, it might lead you to other clues. Her name, by the way, is rather…unknown. I only know…from a very reliable source…she will be there. Your flight is already booked, and Mrs. Bell has your travel information and such.”

Andrew Price stood up and shook the young reporter’s hand firmly after Chris stood as well. “Thank you, Sir. I…I wont’ let you down,” he said in a quite daze still stunned by the discussion and chance given him.

“Mrs. Bell also will have a card for you. It has your financial ability on it, and will be automatically reloaded. As I said, you are being paid handsomely for this. Good luck, Son,” Mr. Price said, and escorted Chris to the door. Soon, Chris was on a flight to Chicago…on an adventure that had begun 25 years ago.

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


Epitaph of Simonides


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:47 pm 
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It was a typical day here in the city. She was wandering around as usual, with earbuds in her ears, though not really listening to anything, keeping to herself as she passed by the other people who occupied the city sidewalks. This was how she lived every single day, especially as human society grew and preternatural society became more and more hidden. It was always better to look like one of them, that way no suspicions were raised. Unless someone knew exactly what it was they were looking for, there was no way to tell that she really wasn’t human.

To live in the shadows had a lot of meanings. Most people thought it meant staying out of sight, and they wouldn’t be wrong. Staying out of sight was the most important part of such a lifestyle; it was one of the first things that one needed to master once they decided to take up such a lifestyle. But it was more, oh it was so much more. It was about blending, honing the senses, and understanding the environment. More importantly, it was about adapting.

Oh, she was very good at adapting. She has lived for a very long time, and anyone… or anything… who lives that long is bound to pick up a thing or two.

At one point, she might have been able to freely expose herself. In a time where humans had a better understanding of the creatures around them. But as time went on, humans only had eyes for their own kind. The preternatural creatures decided to hide away for the most part, and those who did not hide were usually killed.

She looked over her shoulder and ducked down an alley way. Someone was waiting for her there.

“Ah, so you must be Gabrielle… you’re late,” the man said.

The woman, ‘Gabrielle’, pulled the earbuds from her ears and sighed heavily, “Late? I thought we had agreed on this time, and we [i]did[/d] say ‘give or take a few minutes’, did we not?” She folded her arms over her chest, “You asked to see me, and I rarely take requests, so don’t complain. It’s my day off and I would rather spend it how I please, not on someone else’s schedule, might I remind you.” Her tone was sharp. She liked getting right to business, rather than shooting the breeze, especially when dealing with humans.

A human that might be able to lead her to some… rare and exciting things.

“Whatever, lady. I just I won’t regret reaching out to you. I would hate…”

Gabrielle cut him off by grabbing his arm and yanking him toward her to where the noses almost touched. “Human,” she began slowly, a low growl in her voice, “I suggest you mind your tone when speaking. Do we need to discuss what happens when people do things that displease me?” She looked the man dead in the eyes, a shadow the dragon she truly was emerging briefly, watching as he shrank back a little. “I’ll tell you anyway,” she continued, “they get burned.”

Not only did she not like when people were rude to her, she disliked the way they treated each other… Including children. There was nothing worse than someone who harmed children.

Years ago, she had saved a little boy from certain death. She still remembers the incident like it was yesterday, and very few usually stuck in her mind. Maybe it was the way the boy looked at her. But she often finds herself thinking what became of the boy, if he was staying out of trouble. He had not told a single soul about her, that much she knew. If he had then she would have been hunted down, captured and taken to some government facility, perhaps becoming experimented on or worse.

Something that Gabrielle never liked to think about.

“Alright, alright, whatever you say,” the human said finally, putting his hands up in surrender.

“Good!” Gabrielle said, letting him go. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper, “Here, this should have all of the information you need, who you will need to contact and the best places to find what might suit my tastes. Things we could not discuss over the phone. When you do contact anyone, do not ask questions.”

The man took it and looked it over, giving a nod of approval, “Alright, got it. I’ll be in touch.”

“No so fast… I expect to hear from you again in a week, exactly seven days from now, not a day later. I also expect you to mail everything we discussed prior to this meeting,” she said with a smirk, turning her back to him. “One more thing, I trust this will remain between us? I would hate to hear that my operation has been compromised because I placed trust in someone a friend of mine spoke highly of.” The human nodded. From the look on his face, she was sure he wouldn’t but she could never be too sure. Humans did not often reach out to her kind, so she would just take it with a grain of salt.

Gabrielle left the alley briskly, not wanting to stick around too long. It was almost time for her to grab a bite to eat.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:26 am 

I have returned, and extremely happy to be back!

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The flight to Chicago was rather uneventful, but then...Christopher would not have noticed even if it had been rather eventful. His mind, instead, were fully focused on the upcoming chance to finally find the dragon. Was she really in Chicago? Would she recognize him after so many years? He stared out the window pondering it all. It seemed so fantastic to actually be free to find her at long last. He still remembered how he had felt after she had left...flying away from the smoldering fire. Chris had wanted to go with her then...just leave, but instead...she had left, and he had remained. Every day since then...he had wanted to go off with her, but finding her had been a task so epic in difficulty that until now...he had barely a chance to seek her.

Now, here he was on a jet to Chicago in the hopes of following up on a lead his boss had given him. Chris looked down at the MacBook Pro he often used for his writing. On the screen was a simple blank page from Word. His thoughts were a jumble, and so were his emotions. Would the lead pan out? Would she indeed be the dragon...this mysterious art collector coming to the Franklin Art Gallery? Would her appearance have changed since he last saw her almost twenty-five years ago? What would she be wearing? With the mind of an adult now; he began to wonder other things? What would her walk be like? How graceful and beautiful was her figure? What color were her eyes? Would her skin feel strange...cooler or warmer, perhaps? Would he even be close enough to touch her...assuming he found her at all?

All of this and more ran through the young reporter's mind and heart as he sat there staring at the blank page. His fingers finally began to dance across the keys in rapid sure strokes, and the activity of the passengers and crew faded even further to the back of his mind...tuned out in favor of his thoughts on her.

August 15th, 2016

"The greatest and strangest thing happened today at the Washington Post. My life long dream has begun, and in a way I had never expected. My boss, President Andrew Vincent Price has given me an assignment that I have been on for almost twenty-five years no on my own. How he knows about the dragon is really still a mystery, but I have the distinct feeling he truly believes in them. He apparently traced down the old news story about me being rescued by a strange fire when I was 5, and believes this was done by a dragon. Of course, he is absolutely correct. Yet, I gave my promise to her...silent though it was...that I would never reveal her to anyone. How I keep this assignment and my promise at the same time is...troubling. For some reason, he doesn't want me to report it. Indeed, he gave me specific instructions to write it all out in journal form, and give the entries only to him. Perhaps, it is as he says, so that no one questions his sanity. Perhaps, it could be that he simply has no desire to reveal her to the world...feeling somehow that her worth is greater than the world can understand. I would certainly understand that. After all, if any government, scientist, or other group ever found out about her...they would hunt her down, and very likely experiment on her. To me, that is an absolute abhorrence!!! So, I will keep my assignment, and the adventure which began on the night of my fifth birthday continues."

"What is she like, though? Why did she save me that night? Does she know I have been looking for her? What does she look like now? Is her human form a transformation of some kind, and cannot be altered, or can she appear as any mortal woman she wishes? Is she as beautiful as I remember...divine beyond description? What does she do? How long has she been around? What does she like? Does she even think of the day she rescued me? All of this comes to me as I write this entry. I confess...now that I am an adult...I wonder what it would be like to dance with her...to hold her...to breathe in her presence, gaze into her eyes...I wonder..."

~Christopher Windsor


Chris closed his computer, and put it safely away after saving the entry in his private encrypted folder: The Dragon Chronicles Then, as if the rest of the world still mattered nothing to him; Chris returned to gazing out the window...imagining the moment when he would finally meet her once more. His heart raced a bit at the very idea of being in her presence again. His eyes closed, and he began to dream with crystal clarity...far clearer than any mortal alive.

He found himself standing before her on the top of some ancient hill surrounded by stones very similar to Stonehenge, but more ancient somehow. Chris gasped as he gazed upon her..his eyes taking in every detail he remembered from that day they first met. The wind blew around them both, and he could feel her presence...warm, powerful, charismatic...sensational, and in it all...Chris could say nothing to her. He just stood there...facing the woman that, to him at least, was the absolute perfection of beauty, and just could not speak. Finally, after what could have been minutes or hours, Chris knelt before her...head bowed and eyes closed with tears threatening to slide down his cheeks.

"I am yours, Lady," he whispered to her so softly and reverently...complete sincerity in his voice.

When he awoke...time had passed indeed...more than he would have expected for such a dream. The plane was about to land, and his work...his dream of finding her finally...was about to continue.

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


Epitaph of Simonides


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:50 am 
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Over the next few hours, Gabrielle contacted a few people she knew here and there to see if they had found anything on the underground that she may be interested in. Someone like her was well connected with many of the underground markets in the world. This also included people who frequented the Silk Road, though she herself was not into drugs. Sadly, it was all just some junk or simply uninteresting. But that wasn’t much of an issue, she would just keep sticking to her leads and hope that she found something soon.

Gabrielle prided herself in her ability to find strange and unusual things. Keep at something long enough, and it becomes pretty easy to pick up on certain signs and soon certain things could be found pretty damn fast. She loved her hobby of collecting things. A lot of people would come to her, either offering her things, mentioning something that might pique her interest, but very few people actually get an audience with her, like she had told that man.

But the one thing that did interest her, and that was a buzz of activity on one of the forums she visited. It was a forum dedicated to the ‘underground’, people living in the shadows of society. People who were like her. Dragons, werewolves, just about anything imaginable. She has been part of the community for a long time, since the very beginning in fact.

There was a topic titled ‘They’re On the Move Again’, which had over three hundred replies in over a day of being put up. Her brow furrowed and she shifted on the couch a bit. She had clicked on it, not really sure what to expect. Maybe it was a faction striking another faction? Gang violence? Like human society, there were preternatural society gang wars.

But this was not that at all.

As Gabrielle read through, this was talking about authorities being on the hunt. There was some fighting, a few supposed werewolf sightings and…

“Dragons…” She stared at the screen for a long time. They mentioned the possibility of looking for dragons as well, for the first time in several decades. She looked through the comments hoping to see something more, but found that the main focus of everyone were werewolves, vampires, the usual stuff. Maybe it was to be expected, considering how rare and elusive dragons were compared to many other creatures. There might not be that many active on the forum; Gabrielle was barely active herself, with only a few hundred posts to her count.

So far, all people were saying was to lay low and that ‘this thread would be updated with more information soon.’

Gabrielle sighed heavily and decided to look through some more topics, hoping to find out more. But everything was the same. The only thing that caught her interest were some articles, and that was it. They were harmless for the most part, but she understood why they were a big deal. Exposure was always a big deal and often did more harm than good.

She decided to log out of the forum, and shut down her laptop.

Moving over to the table, she picked up her cellphone and called one of her contacts. There was a brief conversation, and then an arrangement to meet up was made. It was time to see if this buzz was actually real, and that she needed to be careful, or if it was just exaggerated.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:55 am 

I have returned, and extremely happy to be back!

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Christopher was once more with his feet on the ground. He had already checked in at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, and was now steadily gazing out the window from his new home up some 37 floors. Somewhere, if he was truly fortunate, she was out there. Ah, but now the true task began...to find her. The Franklin Art Gallery was a good place to do his work since she was supposed to show up there, but Chris had other ideas to explore first. Off he went to his Macbook Pro, and began searching for something that had always been a tad elusive. Briefly, he had run across a chat/forum concerning the supernatural, but after only two weeks...the site IP address had changed, and he had not been able to find it since then. There were many such sites, but this one...this one had looked and felt authentic. He had wisely not posted anything, and he had kept his own IP hidden...a trick he learned from some of his reporter friends. Yet, after two hours of searching...he came up empty-handed once again. It was, to be sure, quite frustrating, but he was not daunted.

Something made him turn his head, but not towards the window. He felt warmer...just briefly, but warmer all the same. It was a tingling sensation which seemed to start within the depths of his chest, and spread outward. Chris could only remember that feeling exactly once...just once...long ago. His eyes narrowed...focused...thoughtful...wondering...was he imaging...

The feeling was not strong...not like it had been that night so many years ago, but it was there...almost faint. "Are you here?" he asked aloud in a quite whisper of awe. "Are you?"

His breath came a bit more rapidly...his heart raced at the idea of the dragon being in Chicago. Perhaps his lead at the Franklin Art was good, but he didn't want to find her there. No...something about finding her there seemed...off to him. Dragons loved rare collections and valuables...things that were so rare and beautiful that a single item would be worth millions of dollars. That was the nature of dragons as handed down from legend to legend...from the depths of their myths. In all of the tales of dragons; their love of rare treasures remained constant. Chris was wise enough to know that where a legend repeated itself with a single fact...then it was usually quite true on some level. In this case, he believed in the dragon's nature to collect such valuables. Yet, to catch her at the Franklin Art was unwise...it felt wrong to do so.

Thus, Chris wondered where he could truly begin his quest to find her. On a hunch, he put the computer away, and sat in the center of his bed with his legs crossed. Soon, his eyes closed as he thought back to the night they met...every sensation, every detail, all of it...he thought of her. It was a long shot, but dragons were mystical...powerful beings of energy and spirit...not just their physical selves. The fact that his chest had become slightly warm made him wonder about a connection with her...a connection he had not realized until earlier today. The dream...it was the dream that had started him subconsciously considering such a possibility. He had never dreamed so clearly before, nor with such intensity. Now, this sensation in heart...spreading very faintly through his entire being...reminded him of the night she had saved him. The surge of heat in his heart...surging through his young frame. Was it possible to sense her...to seek her using the memory of that moment? Was it just possible that he could reach her somehow...no matter how small?

So, Chris sat there with his eyes closed...thinking of her...thinking of the sensation in his heart, and of her fiery presence...

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


Epitaph of Simonides


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:03 pm 
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What was that?

Gabrielle halted her stroll down the sidewalk, brow furrowed a she casually looked over her shoulder, her gaze questioning and alert. She made it look like she was looking to see if she had passed somewhere she was going. It was faint but she could have sworn she had felt… something… A very strong emotion, a desire. It could have just been her imagination playing tricks on her ever since she read that thread. She didn’t consider herself to be the paranoid type at all, but when something was looming over her she was sensitive to it. Naturally, her senses were a lot more enhanced than a human’s.

Deciding not to stick around too long, she picked up the pace. It was easy to move in the city since people often minded their own business and didn’t care much for others. But if someone was taking the time to stick their nose in her business, she had to be very careful. Whatever was going on, dragons were on the list; her sensing something, a strong emotion despite how faint it was, was no coincidence. Part of her was tempted to call the meeting with her friend off. He’d understand, but she was here now. Turning away from her destination might raise alarms if there was someone watching.

Gabrielle reached into her pocket, pulled out her cell phone, and shot a text to the man she was meeting. It simply stated that she was almost there.

Their meeting place was a tavern. It wasn’t Gabrielle’s first choice, admittedly, but it was true what they said about taverns being a good place to gather information. She often runs into the most interesting people.

As soon as she entered, she was greeted by a tall man, grinning widely, “Princess! We meet face to face once again rather than exchanging two words over the phone. I’ll admit, hearing from you was a nice surprise.”

Gabrielle nodded, returning the grin, “Jake.” The two hugged briefly and Jake lead her to a table in the back, seemingly undisturbed. No time was wasted as soon as they were seated. “I would love to catch up, but I want to get this all off my chest,” she continued. She shifted in her seat, sitting straighter with a business-like expression. As to be expected whenever she got down to business, no matter who she was speaking to. Especially when it was something that she was really interested in.

She went over what she had seen on the forum. Jake listened quietly, seemingly intrigued by what she was saying. He was taking in every word she was saying, which was why she liked him so much. Hardly anything got past him whenever they had a conversation. He was reliable; he worked faster than a lot of people she knew. In fact, he had helped her obtain a lot of her little… collectables.

When she got to what she had felt on the way here, Jake interrupted her, “Hold up… You felt someone?”

“I believe so,” she replied, knowing she probably sounded silly.

“Damn… I wonder if it was some kind of trap set up?”

“I’m not going to ignore that possibility.”

Jake rubbed his chin, “This is one hell of a situation. I’ll see what I can find out on it.” He gave a reassuring smile. “There are more forums out there… I’ll keep in touch.” Yes, Jake also frequented the internet for things, most of it being the business he conducted with her, though outside of that business she hasn’t really asked him about what it was he did. If he was there for some of the same reasons she was, knowing him as long as she has, she was sure it was best not to ask him.

“Until then, why not come down to the club tonight?” He continued, “It’s comedy night.”

Gabrielle smiled pleasantly, “I would love that.”

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:00 am 

I have returned, and extremely happy to be back!

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For the just briefest of moments he could have sworn there was a true connection to the dragon he sought. His heart was warmer, his presence felt...stranger...stronger somehow. Yet, as quick as the moment was...it was also gone just as quick. Yet, even that brief contact made Chris nearly squeal in delight. Certainly a smile spread across his face like that of a young boy at finding out about a new Christmas present. Taking a deep breath...he calmed himself and thought about the connection. There had been the faintest emotion from her...concern, perhaps. It had been hard to read, but there all the same. Chris scooted back to rest against the pillows he had piled up, and thought about this strange sensation.

After all, what on Earth could possibly concern a dragon?! Silently, Chris went over the possibilities: another dragon...perhaps a rival, a creature of the night...maybe a demon of some sort, discovery..., yes, these would certainly concern a dragon, but of them all...he wondered if any of them had merit. Discovery, he knew had some truth. She had vowed him to secrecy when they met with just single gesture. She would take a grim view to anyone hunting her, and that would give her concern. His eyes narrowed as he wondered if she had felt him hunting her, because in a way...he was. It was not to cause her harm, or even to expose her to the world, but how was she to know one way or the other. Dragon though she was; she was not omnipresent...she could not see or hear everything, nor be everywhere. Thus, it was possible that she had sensed someone hunting for her, and this brief connection could have made her more guarded.

Chris frowned openly now...

If he pursued the dragon he had long wanted to see again...to meet...to understand, and yes, much more...then, it was very possible he could turn from pursuer to pursued, and not in a good way. There had to be a way to make contact with her, and show her that he meant absolutely no ill will. How, was another matter...

Still, she was here...in Chicago, and that was not without hope. He had sensed her...something he had never done since the night she saved him, and that too was hopeful.

"Where would you go to relax, I wonder?" he thought aloud as he stood up and began pacing his suite. "Where would you, a dragon of many centuries most likely, go to relax away from the day to day trials of hiding?" What did dragons like? That was a fantastic question to be sure. He thought about all he knew from their astounding collection of myths. Dragons loved riddles...or so it was said, and they had a great love for humor and wit. So, where did a dragon...or anyone else...go to experience humor and wit? "Where indeed?" Chris continued as he went back and reopened his Mac. Using Google, Chris began to explore the options people had in Chicago for entertainment. There was quite the list available, but he began narrowing the list down for comedy acts, plays, and the like. The list went down by half, but there were still over twenty choices...not exactly good odds in finding her...if he was even correct.

Chris stared at the list for a long few minutes before giving up, and closing his Mac once more. He needed to take a walk...to clear his mind, feel the city out, and listen. One of the best attributes of any reporter was simply to listen. Many things came out when people talked without guarding their words, and so, Chris grabbed his black windbreaker before leaving. His card key was safely tucked away, and is wallet was neatly secured in his back pocked...buttoned, of course. The cellphone he kept in his right front pocket, and off he went for a stroll...to listen, and to stay aware. If he had felt her twice today...perhaps he would do so again. Only time would tell.

"Soon," Chris whispered to himself, "...soon...."

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


Epitaph of Simonides


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:53 pm 
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“Welcome to the Second City!” A jovial voice welcomed everyone standing around waiting for the action to happen. It was pretty lively tonight. There was a pretty huge crowd here, which led Gabrielle to believe that this night was indeed going to be entertaining.

The club was one that Gabrielle has been to a few times before. It was run by a good friend of Jake’s, Marvin, another man who took interest in interesting information. At least, that was what he had told her the last time they spoke. She wasn’t sure what his actual occupation was beyond this club, but was sure that it had something to do with the underground. These days that was the case a lot of the times when it came to the preternatural world.

She was sure that the people running the place, many of them, were unaware that not everyone attending tonight was human. Some of the employees themselves did not seem to be human; she could tell by their scent, which was slightly different from what a typical human usually had when it wasn’t mixed in with some kind of perfume or deodorant. It almost brought a smile to her face, seeing different species gathering at an event like this.

“It will be a few minutes before the first act,” Jake informed her.

“That’s fine,” she replied.

The waiter took came up and took their order. While they were waiting, Gabrielle thought back again to the presence she had felt. Was it a trick? No… The more she thought about it, there was definitely some kind of deep, sincere desire to contact her. It struck her as something that could either be innocent curiosity or something dangerous. If it was the former, then who? What? This was going to bother her for a while.

Jake seemed to notice her staring off, deep in thought, “Is everything okay, princess?”

Quickly, Gabrielle brought her attention back to the night, “Yes, everything is fine.” She picked up her drink, some kind of house special, and took a sip. “It’s nice to get out and spend time with good company,” she added.

Jake replied, “Of course! We really need to do this more often.” She wasn’t sure he was convinced everything was alright with her, but he made no signs of concern.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:39 pm 

I have returned, and extremely happy to be back!

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Chris wandered the streets of Chicago quietly. He disturbed no one as he made his way down the sidewalks that were about, and yet the details around him did not escape his notice. He heard the conversations as he passed by others, and noticed how people reacted to one another...they way they carried themselves, the tones in their voices, their appearance beyond clothing, and other signs of personality and emotions. He had, as a reporter, become a student of human sociology...noticing the details of others. More than once it had helped him discover the truth, or be aware of dangers around him.

It was evening now, and had been for a couple of hours. Thus far, Chris had yet to find anything that really stood out to him. Of course, something truly paranormal or mystical would be concealed neatly in plain sight. So many thought such things, if they did exist at all, were hidden in some dark corners, but that was not what Chris had discovered in his wanderings. Sometimes the more ordinary it appeared; the chance that it was someone trying a bit too hard to fit in. Still, nothing had truly attracted his senses...

...that was until...

A man walked by him, and instantly something about him had the young reporter's attention. Chris turned with practiced ease as if to study a shop nearby, but his peripheral sighted the man as he slipped through the crowd. There was something about the way the people around him simply slid around his target...or more precisely...how he seemed to just...smoothly move in an out without so much as a misstep. His gait was all grace, but there was a deadly confidence to it as well. This was registered in his posture...confidence, relaxed, but alert all the same. His clothing was of exquisite quality from what little Chris could see as the man got further away. Knowing something was different here; Chris began to follow him quietly...nearly twenty paces back. He was certain that was not likely far enough back if the person he was following was even a little aware, but Chris decided it was worth the risk. He fell behind five more paces...just barely keeping the man out of sight. His target was tall...over seven feet easily, and built with a grace he had rarely seen. Then, the man disappeared around a corner, and Chris hesitated.

A trap?

HIs instincts told him this was no ordinary person he had been following, and the way the man walked with such lethal ease. A moment later, Chris decided to step into the shadows further. It was unwise to hunt such beings without extreme caution. He had no desire to harm any of them, but he knew perfectly well...from experience even...that some had no qualms slaying mortals...even for meals. The young reporter's mind moved instantly to battle, and his feet moved out of pure instinct...preparing...waiting to move into Asking Hand form should he need to.

Nothing happened...

...seconds ticked into minutes...a half-hour...nothing....

Chris decided to move on ahead. Staying in one place like this was also a warning to those who might be watching. So, he moved on ahead...his senses straining for any sign of trouble. It was, after all, quite possible that he was now the hunted. Around the corner was a row of restaurants and other shops. The man was nowhere to be seen, but this hardly surprised Chris. Among all the lights and people came laughter from up head. Curious, Chris advanced towards the place, and saw the sign outside said: Comedy Night. If he had indeed become the hunted; he would be wise to be in a public place. Up towards the moon he gazed, and there...a bit to his amazement was the man on the roof peering down with keen interest at him. Though he could not see him clearly enough; he was quite sure the man was smiling with understanding, and it sent a cold knife into his heart. The man knew Chris had been following him, and he was indeed one of the beings of power and mystery. He was aware of Chris, and that left the young reporter with a huge question in his mind.

'Now what?' he thought to himself. 'I have no idea what he is. He know I have been following him. He knows I suspect he isn't normal. What to do...what to do?'

With an elaborate bow to the man on the roof; Chris then turned with confidence into the place holding their comedy performances. The man's reflection in the window did not show...so either he had already moved on...or...he was a vampire. Chris gulped hard, and paid the hostess the cover charge to get in. When her fingers brushed his skin; Chris reacted instantly by looking into her eyes with keen interest and caution. Her hand had been like ice...colder than ice. Her own reaction was strange...almost startled to see him take note of her. Not daring to hang around her longer...for he had no idea what she was, but went the rest of the way in where there was a round of applause from the audience. The room was softly lit, and felt quite lively. He turned just in time to see the hostess have someone take her spot while she went to out among the tables. Chris wondered what her intentions were, but it was stupid to just be standing there so openly. So, he went to a table in a corner...not quite secluded, but certainly not out in the open. As he did so; he noted the frosty hostess continuing to make her way towards a table with deliberate intent.

Perhaps she was only checking on her customers...or perhaps it had something to do with how they had reacted to each other...

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


Epitaph of Simonides


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:17 am 
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Things had died down as soon as the host got on stage and announced himself. ‘Lawrence’. A very jovial fellow from the looks of things, keeping with the light mood. His clothes were pretty casual, but given that this club did not usually appeal to the ‘high class’, it was something that was welcomed rather than unusual, for lack of a better word. Lawrence welcomed everyone and then introduced the start of the show.

The first act was a woman, dressed casually as well, but most people would not expect a comedian to dress like they were ready for an expensive party, and much to Gabrielle’s surprise the woman was not human. Off hand, it was difficult to tell just what this woman was but that didn’t matter. She merely found it interesting and was curious as to what she would bring to the table; entertainment was far more important than one’s species. The first act was always the one to set the bar in comedy clubs, after all.

Gabrielle clapped for the woman, Janice, as she bowed. When Janice began speaking, she turned away and looked to Jake. Before she could open her mouth, someone had come up and whispered in Jake’s ear. Gabrielle took in the young interrupter’s appearance, curious.

He, too, was not human.

After the two exchanged words, the man went off and Jake finally turned to meet Gabrielle’s gaze, “Have you visited the Intel Exchange recently, Princess?” He asked, elbows propped on the table, curious.

“No, I’ve been mostly on other forums,” Gabrielle replied, “I don’t go there very often.” It was true. A lot of times, Intel Exchange lead to some very dangerous places. Dangerous for her kind, of course, usually pretty harmless for humans. It was mostly a human site, after all, not to mention the occasional honey pot set out by authorities looking to track down certain individuals. Like any place, as long as he or she kept their wits about them, it was fine and dandy, but still not always worth the risk.

“I see.” He looked disappointed, but not deterred. “Well, I’ll cut to the chase then,” he continued, shifting in his seat. He kept his voice low. “I have a lot of people who frequent that site, my friend you just saw included. A lot of **** has gone down there recently, according to him. It matches what you’ve seen on your site. Our kind are being hunted, though there really hasn’t been much more information than that.”

“So, all of this must be pretty recent, then?”

“From the looks of it, yes. How recent? Well, some sources say a few weeks ago, some say a few months to a few years.”

“Either way, it is worrisome.”

“Naturally. We’ll just have to keep each other posted.

Gabrielle’s brow furrowed and she bit her bottom lip in thought. Around this time, ‘Janice’ on stage was making satire about her relationship with her boyfriend’s parents. She wasn’t really paying much attention, lost in her thoughts, and missed the punchline, which Jake had found so funny he put his head down on the table.

The act ended the moment the laughter died down, and Lawrence was up to introduce another act.

Gabrielle was curious to see who the next act was. She waited eagerly, listening to Lawrence make sarcastic comments about Janice’s act: “I wish my boyfriend didn’t have boring parents…” But then something had caught her attention, something… familiar. It reminded her of the presence she felt before -and it was still very vague. It felt… like something was trying to connect.

Or was it just her imagination?

No… There was a man sitting alone at one of the tables. She wasn’t close, but she could see him out of the corner of her eye, and she… she was certain, yes, he had something to do with what she was feeling. Dragons were often sensitive to these sorts of things; it would often get her into trouble. Then again, he was human. That could be the reason he was standing out.

The next act was a man, introduced as ‘Connor’; a man from Illinois, an aspiring artist and high school dropout. He, too, was human.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 1:37 pm 

I have returned, and extremely happy to be back!

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Christopher watched and listened to the various comedians as they performed, but the majority of his focus was on his surroundings. He was used to looking around with that casually interested appearance. Few actually ever paid him any attention, because he seemed so ordinary and normal. Under that all, unknown to most, was a sharp mind that snatched details swiftly. Tonight, the casual look of exploring the room was gone. The being on the roof top had set him a bit on edge, and then there had been his icy cold hostess. Both of these recent encounters had caused Chris to look a lot more alert than relaxed. Besides, there was the chance she was present, and the very idea of such made his heart race. It had been years since that night...a blink of an eye, he was sure, for a dragon. Yet, there wasn't a single moment in his life that didn't go by when he thought of her, and the older he became...the more he wanted to see her again. It was less of a desire to simply thank her, and more of a desire to really know her.

She was...after all...a dragon...rarest of creatures.

And so it was that Christopher continued to sweep his gaze over the crowd. So on edge had the two previous encounters made him; that he swiftly noticed his waitress was quite different. She moved with a dancer's grace...smoother than anything he had previously seen. Her skin was just a bit more than Celtic fair, and her hair was as silvery blonde he had never experienced. Almost instantly, Chris shut his mind down...wary of the woman approaching. It had been a trick he had learned while exploring the supernatural. To leave one's mind open was never wise around such beings. One never knew if they had telepathic abilities or not. Thus, a smooth mirror wall appeared in his mind as he managed the briefest of smiles.

The waitress frowned visibly before continuing her approach, and then turned away to a different table with a slight shrug...if baffled expression on her face. She might have been harmless, but Chris wasn't going to find out. The woman had most certainly not been the one he sought. He knew without a shadow of doubt that if he met her again...he would know. Again his eyes swept over the room, and this time noticed a woman sitting with a gentleman. He noticed a bit of her attention was not really on the comedians at all, but he could not tell where her attention was focused. It certainly wasn't on her companion. Over her, his eyes swept with curiosity. The woman had exotic divine auburn hair. She wasn't tall...average, actually, as far as height, but the woman was also quite fit. From the shadows, he could not see much more detail. What she wore appeared to fit nicely with the crowd tonight...as if she blended in so neatly.

The mirror walls in his mind dropped as he focused on her. Chris was hardly a telepath...he was likely just barely an empath, but he understood in theory that which he had not been truly taught. If she was sensitive...if she was the dragon he sought...she would pick up very quickly what he was about to try. If not, then hopefully nothing bad happened. It was a definite risk...a bold move considering he knew of at least three others were absolutely not Human...or at least, not entirely.

An image long held in his heart, mind, and soul came to the front of his thoughts. It was the image of the night she saved him...an image only she would know of. That part was easy, but the next step was to send her the image. Not being a telepath of any kind; his idea was really reaching. The very idea of him reaching her was pretty slim, but it had been that same desire which allowed him to sense her a couple of times. Thus, it might not have been as stupid as some would have believed. Chris only focused on the auburn haired woman...keeping hist attention focused solely on her. HIs eyes narrowed as he concentrated...hoping it worked, and that he wasn't dead wrong about the woman.

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


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View Likes PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:46 am 
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Gabrielle had called one of the waitresses over. She waited for a while, hoping that somebody saw her, before putting her arm down, not wanting to look like an idiot by waving her arm an obnoxiously long time. It was very busy tonight, as more people seemed to arrive, and it looked like it was all hands on deck. There was a lot of energy here, especially after the young man made a joke that seemed to resonate with the crowd very, very well. But she didn’t have to wait long, and it was a surprise how quickly she got service.

“Just a glass of water, and your special appetizer of the evening,” she told the woman, glancing at Jake, who shook his head. She wasn’t really hungry either… she just needed to take her mind off of… something. That feeling. It was there yet again.

“I don’t know how long it will be before the appetizer arrives,” the waitress informed.

“That’s alright.”

The waitress smiled and then vanished into the crowd. Gabrielle watched her go, mostly out of curiosity, mostly due to the fact that someone who knew Jake came up and began speaking with him. A lot of people were standing now, some clapping as a way to dismiss the young man and welcome the next act, some just standing around socializing. Many of them, as expected, were a little intoxicated; one man had two empty beer pitchers near him, and proceeded to knock over a glass that was half-full. The rowdiness only seemed to draw the attention of a few other people, and a poor waitress who had to clean the mess up.

Jake was still speaking with his friend so Gabrielle looked some more. Almost as if she was drawn, she glanced at the man sitting alone again, out of the corner of her eye as to not reveal that she was staring. He was already staring at her. It made her feel very uncomfortable. How strange. It was natural for a man to look at a woman, or a woman to look at a man, who might have attracted them for some reason. Some good, some bad. But usually it was the good kind of attraction, one that admired natural beauty.

Did he want something? Was he actually attracted to her, and afraid to say something.

Suddenly, she froze. It was for a brief moment, but someone who was sensitive to such things would have noticed. He seemed to be projecting his energy toward her… Yes. She closed her eyes for a moment and just focused. This was definitely the same presence she had felt earlier in the day. This man… she was not sure how or why, but she was sure that he was following her. She was also sure that whatever he wanted with her could not be anything good.

But… but there was something else… He…

Gabrielle stood from her seat, “Jake, I need to step outside for a moment. It’s stuffy in here.”

Jake turned away from his friend, placing his attention on her, and nodded, “Alright, Princess. Just be back in time to eat your appetizer. If I get hungry, I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop myself.”

Gabrielle smiled, and then she, too, disappeared into the crowd, and slipped outside. She had to deal with her little stalker. If that… if that was what she thought it was, perhaps that man would follow. Maybe she was just getting worked up, and he was just someone who found her attractive; he didn’t appear to have a drink on him, so she doubted he was even the least bit intoxicated. If he was then he would not have been able to reach out so easily.

Even then, not just anyone could capture a dragon’s attention so easily.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:07 pm 

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Chris couldn't believe his luck...if luck it could be called. Here she was...standing up and excusing herself from the table. Had he been right? Was it her? Was it his lady dragon?

"By all the stars!" he whispered to himself almost too softly to be heard even by any might pass by his table. He gulped hard...his heart raced more as he watched her...emerald eyes wide with astonishment...and hope. Yes, there was hope there for him as well as he gazed upon her, but even as he did so he still could get nothing definitive from her looks. Perhaps it was the dim lighting, or perhaps it was some other defense she possessed. Whatever the cause, it sharpened his curiosity about this woman. He simply could not have gotten so lucky so quickly. It was just too good to be true.

That thought alone gave Chris pause. There were at least three other non-humans in this place besides her...assuming she was what he thought she was. And, there was of course the one outside he had followed to this point....the one on the roof top. Yet, he could not pass up the chance. She had sensed him...he knew she had. There were subtle hints, and it could not have been coincidence her leaving just after he was attempting to contact her. Of course, the next part was the real trick, but there was simply no time to think about it. So, up he went to follow her through the crowd...his eyes never leaving her, but it wasn't long before he lost sight of her outside. She had gone out a different door than the one he had come in, but even so...his senses were on high alert. Now was not the time to be stupid and careless. Whoever she was...she was dangerous...dragon or otherwise, but the sense in his heart...the soft extra warmth there told him it was her...it had to be.

He gazed around wearily...listening with more than just his ears. He was, by no means, supernatural, but he had learned to listen with more than just his ears. Even so, the rest of the crowd outside dimmed his senses to finding the woman he wanted so badly to see...to talk to...though he had not a clue of what he would say to her. Acting more on instinct than anything else; Chris found himself turning down street as if he was guided. There was nothing he could discern for his sudden choice, but he did not fight it. For all he knew...it could be her... He suddenly stopped though....shook his head as if to clear it. It also occurred to him that it was someone else who was attempting to lure him into a trap...or something else. Chris frowned openly now. If he followed down the street he felt so inclined to; it could mean his death...or worse....assuming she wasn't the one doing the luring. If he didn't, and she was the one attempting to lead him to her...then he would miss his chance. The indecision warred within him, and it caused his mental defenses to be raised. He did not like the feel of this.

Dragons, however, also loved boldness...or so the various legends and myths went. To doubt was to lose her attention, and he had worked so hard to gain it. Faith! There had to be faith as well, or what was anything for. Chris took a deep breath, and proceeded forward...hoping against hope that he was not heading for a trap. It also dawned on him that the trap could be one of her own making. After all, he had no idea how well she had received his mental message. It could have come in clear as the sounding of a bell, or it could have been so murky that she had only a sense of someone after her. Either way, his dear dragon lady might just be leading him to his doom. He would have to act fast in order to assure her if this was the case, and so along with another deep breath...he kept his thoughts non-violent...though no less cautious.

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


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View Likes PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:36 am 
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Gabrielle waited. Her feet took her a little ways down the block, but not too far before she decided to cross the street and head along the other side. The bustling city crowd was about what one would expect this time of day. People going to and from work, visiting, and simply going about their business. However, since so many seemed to be keeping to themselves it was not too difficult to single someone out. Well, for someone like her anyway.

She waited, and it wasn’t long before she found who she wanted. His energy… it was him alright. The man from the club, he was following her. The closer he got the more intense his energy became, yet there was something else… Something she was not able to read quite clearly.

Having lived a long time, she has seen and been through a lot. It was not uncommon for people to catch on that she was not human. It was not uncommon, for those who didn’t, to follow behind her whenever she moved about the city, wherever she was at the time. She knew how to defend herself in ways that did not rely on fangs and fire. Humans were generally fools whenever they pulled out their weapons and tried to make demands. Idle threats that meant nothing to her, especially when she sent them home with more than a few bruises in most cases.

Gabrielle had a feeling her new stalker could very well be someone who was looking for an ‘easy’ woman. But even then, why would he risk being in a place where the preternatural world meets the one most humans were familiar with? He could be a hunter, she told herself. She was going back to previous thoughts, it could be nothing and she was just getting worked up. Past experiences had a habit of showing their scars after all. This could be nothing at all, and she would go back inside and rejoin Jake in no time.

But… but it was something, wasn’t it? That was why she was out here.

She waited. Soon, her waiting paid off and there he was.

The first thing she noticed were his features. It was more than just simple observation, rather there was something familiar that drew her to look at him closely. His energy was still calling to her; now that he was close, she could feel… desperation? Or… something else? Whatever it was she was certain it was innocent enough. Why was this man so familiar?

“You’ve been following me,” Gabrielle’s words were firm, deciding being direct was the best approach. “Did someone send you?” She tried to gauge if she had in fact seen him before. Perhaps he had purchased something from her sometime in the past? Had they made a trade? Did she owe him something? Whatever it was, she wasn’t actually certain that someone had send him. No, it was by his own volition that he was here before her now.

So, she waited. Patiently.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:00 am 

I have returned, and extremely happy to be back!

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Location: Drifting through the Space/Time Continuum
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Chris was absolutely shocked when she confronted him so openly, but it was indeed her...the dragon...the woman that had saved his life so many years ago. She had the same shoulder length auburn hair he remembered her having from that fateful night, but her eyes...it was her eyes that said it all to him. Her eyes were a heterochromia...a hue of colors he had only seen one time before...just once. He could never ever forget those eyes...not from the dragon...not from her...not ever. They were so alive and vibrant, and they were truly unique. The woman before him was not overly tall...an impression he had of her he realized had come from him being a small boy. Oh, and the fact that he had seen her in her dragon form before that. These two factors had made it to where Chris had always seen her as much taller. In reality...at least in the immediate moment...he was several inches taller than her. Chris, however, had no illusions once so ever. She wore only simple clothing...no doubt to blend in all the better...jeans and a t-shirt, but it did nothing to hide her beauty.

He felt perfectly enchanted...his heart that had been racing was now throbbing softly within his chest. Time...he knew he had to react and swiftly, or she might very well decide he was a threat. He could see her appraising him...gauging his reason for following her...attempting to remember if they had met before. If he did not react soon...he was dead...it was as simple as that.

Thus, he bowed low before her...though he had been tempted to simply kneel before her, and then met her gaze steadily for the first time. Using the exact same gesture she had on the night she had saved him; Chris put a single finger to his lips implying silence and secrecy. Only then, after precious more seconds past, did he begin to speak to her...the dream now becoming a reality.

"My name is Christopher Windsor. I was only five years old when last we met in a blazing inferno that had incinerated someone quite dangerous...a vampire I suspect. You swore me to secrecy then...changing from your divine form to the one you wear now," Chris whispered. Even in an alley, he did not outright say that he knew she was a dragon. There was no telling who might be nearby, and the last thing he would ever do was put her in danger. He continued just as quietly...his emerald eyes never leaving her own heterochromia ones. "Since that day, I have sought you, and I have never forgotten you. I never got to say thank you for saving my life, My Lady."

He thought briefly about simply bowing before her again, and then walking away. After all, dragons loved a good mystery...or so the legends went, and what better way to entice her into staying in contact than to simply intrigue her further. Yet, he decided swiftly against it. This moment had not come just so he could walk away, and the truth was...he had no desire to leave her presence. Never in any other woman's presence had he ever felt so enchanted as he did standing before her.

The moment had come at long last. He almost couldn't believe his luck. Twenty-five years...it had been twenty-five years since that night, and here she was...no different than the night he had first seen her...though his perception was now that of an adult...not a child. Even so, his eyes showed just how beautiful he thought she was.

And, without even thinking about it...as if it were the most natural thing to do in the whole world...he asked her the question of his heart, "How does one court a lady of ancient fire and divine wonder?" Chris whispered to her...his voice as warm as his gaze into her eyes...as warm as the fire burning within her dragon heart.

_________________
Ὦ ξεῖν', ἀγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις ὅτι τῇδε
"Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,

κείμεθα, τοῖς κείνων ῥήμασι πειθόμενοι.
That here, obedient to Spartan law, we lie."


Epitaph of Simonides


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