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Topics - Eddie Blake

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1
Just Desserts / Red Tide: Gasoline
« on: October 03, 2018, 11:43:10 PM »
[size=18]Red Tide:[/size] [size=18]Gasoline[/size]

House is haunted
I just want to go for a ride
Out and on
Before I set this room alight
Left alone forever and for crimes unclear
With my patience gone
Someone take me far from here. Yeah
~ Audioslave



Another shadow moved through the water, the sight no longer holding the attention of the few left on the beach as the sun descended into the horizon. They'd have paid it little mind if it were keeping the same circuitous patrol along the beach. If it hadn't been speeding straight towards the sand at impossible speed. They'd have gone about their work had they not noticed that the form was not alone in its headlong approach, or that those which followed bore the triangular fin they'd grown accustomed to seeing. The surf surged forwards reaching for the dead and dying behemoths which lined the gritty beach. It receded just the same, never coming close to those that once dwelt within it. If it had been any moment previous there would have been nothing to distinguish it from the one before or after. This particular moment would be unlike any that had come before in their vigil. The speeding form leapt from the next incoming wave, fifteen feet of something massive going airborne to hit the sand with a dull thud and roll. It began to move up the beach, once it righted itself, in jumps and lunges the mottled grey of its coat catching in the retreating sunlight.

"Leopard Seal." Robert Pullman observed, finally finding a renewed interest in his choice to remain at Seaside Beach.

"Not possible, it's way too far North." Bill Harris countered, his tone still heavy with the days tragedy.

"Look around you, Bill. Would you have said any of this was possible before?" Rosemary Deter's voice was no less heavy than Bill's. She'd hated this day for the loss of so many magnificent beasts, but also because it had shown her exactly how little she really knew.

The sound of a spring being tightened, and the audible snict of something locking into place drew all of their attention. "What are you doing?"

"I'm going to kill it." Private Tuberaat held his weapon aimed squarely at the seal moving up the beach. "Keep you all safe."

"Hasn't there been enough killing on the beach today, Private?" Robert's hand closed over the pistol, not to take it way, simply to push it down and away from yet another intriguing anomaly. He had nearly accomplished that when Tuberaat brought the weapon up once more, a fierce resolve in his face.

"What's it doin'?" He'd seen what they hadn't, of course they'd all been looking at him when it began. His words had the others jerking their attention back to the lumbering seal, except it wasn't a seal anymore. Portions of it still were, but the front flippers had become hands attached to arms. The entire thing was metamorphing in front of their eyes. The transformation was relatively brief, though the seconds seemed to have slowed to a crawl. Head and torso emerged, legs formed and for a brief instant bare skin and dark hair were all that could be seen. He, for it was definitely a male, pulled his knees up under his body and somehow between the time it took him to push the sand and stand up his torso was enveloped into a leather jacket which fortunately managed to cover all the important parts.

The turn of his head revealed irises the color of burnt sienna, and a stoic expression as the once seal seemed to look right through them. He said nothing as he began to take strides away from the quartet, though he didn't go far before kneeling once again. The dark hair, still damp from his recent immersion pressed against the form of the albino killer whale (one of the few barely alive) just beneath its eye.

"Yu gonplei ste odon...Oso gonplei nou ste odon nowe. Jus drein jus daun." He spoke against the the lower jaw of the Orca, perhaps knowing that was where sound was transmitted to the creature's ear. It responded with a weak whistling through its blowhole and several audible clicks. "You did all that could be done."

Eddie wouldn't say there was honor in his death. This was as far removed from honorable as anything could be. More sounds escaped the albino. "Tallulah is safe." He had no idea how he was going to tell her about this. The sounds grew weaker, Eddie put his hand on the Orca's side pressing as tightly as he could since the other had no hands for him to hold to. "I'll tell her that it's okay for stone faces like her to laugh sometimes too."

The mammoth mouth opened and spewed forth something small as a pebble, which Eddie was quick to scoop up and thrust into his pocket despite the blood that coated it. The great mouth worked again forming audible words deeper than an earthquakes rumble. "I don't understand why this happened to us..." Unfortunately for the speaker, he would never get to hear the answer.

"Cuz we were born, kid." Curiosity had pulled at the quartet bringing them, hesitantly, closer to Eddie. They stopped with a visible flinch when he turned his eyes towards them.

"Please, we need to know what's happening here, and out there." The woman's voice was soft, a breathy hint tinged with fear and... interest. Under different circumstances he might have admired the courage it took to overcome her trepidation. Eddie lowered his hand to the sand to lever himself up. He wouldn't use the body for that, it had been through enough.

"It is said that when the first of our kind, the first of the Selkie emerged from the water to walk upright, she too was surrounded by enemies with razor teeth and ravenous appetites. Looking back...not on the past, just on where I've come from I begin to believe it might be true." He turned to face them, not caring that the front of his jacket was open. Had it not been for the gasp from the woman he'd not even have remembered.

"In the stories, she's always helped by the mother..." As he talked the coat shifted, disappearing in a faint shimmer of air leaving him bare chested, but wearing a pair of leather trousers of the same color. "A few skills, the encouragement she needed when she was afraid. It's said she had companions, but we never get to know who they were. Names lost to time...if any of it was ever real." He moved toward them, more an attempt to get a clearer view of the devastation along the beach.

"I wonder how long they'll remember the details of this? Will they know about Oralea, who'd been initiated into the sisterhood on her fifth birthday merely a month back? That she was so terrified when the attack hit her pod that she ran as fast as she could swim? Will any of us remember Owain..." His hand stroked the dry flesh of the albino. "How he charged after her as fast as he could, only to catch up too late and be surrounded? He managed to fight his way free... he was strong despite his youth. By then more than two dozen had been separated from their parents. Owain swam at their head, desperately trying to cut a path through. He was the only fighter among them, his enemies too many... what more could you expect from a twelve year old kid?"

Eddie held onto his resolve, the woman had asked and he would finish his tale. "You want to know what happened, but refuse to look around you and see it. Children died because they were too wounded and too weak to change, and disappear into the city."

"Why?" The question came, perhaps surprisingly so, from the Watchman.

Eddie bit the inside of his cheek hard enough to draw blood, it hurt but he managed to keep his control. Even if it did require him to squeeze his eyelids together to hold on. "You wouldn't understand, can't begin to comprehend this." He turned away from them, walking further up the shore towards the city.

"Try me!" It was the Watchman again, daring Eddie to give up his secrets.

"They believed too hard." He stopped, his hand clutching the railing of a set of stairs up to the street.

"What did they believe in?" It was the bearded one who asked that question. Eddie remembered the sound of his voice from when he'd come ashore. Something about the question set him into motion again.

He was all the way up the steps before he said anything, and there was no way the four of them would have heard his soft reply. "In me." He wanted to be away from that place, away from the scent of blood and death. He wanted to be behind the wheel of the purple Roadrunner with his foot pressed to the floor and the sound of base drowning out everything. There were people he could have called to come get him, one in particular would probably drop everything and run even if she accidentally burnt the carpet with a candle in doing so. The penthouse wasn't that far, a ten minute walk... even without shoes.

2
Just Desserts / Escargot Mail
« on: September 10, 2018, 10:18:57 PM »
Disgruntled, discontented, displeased, dissatisfied...Tallulah was sure she'd think of a hundred more words to describe how she felt about being here. Not petulant though. In all of her fifteen years she'd never been petulant. The desk clerk hadn't helped any either, though she'd managed to get what she needed out of him. Fingers grew back, right? She could only listen to the "it's not our policy to divulge..." speech so many times. Nineteen was more than enough. Twenty was taking things way too far! True, he had offered to deliver the letter for her, but this was her task and she was sure that son of a fish eating squid would know she hadn't delivered it in person. Being pretty was no excuse for what he'd subjected her to! Flopping around like a fish out of water! Hmmph! The very thought of it had Tallulah laying on the doorbell and accidentally forgetting to let go until she heard the locks being undone and the door opening. She held on for another second or two just for good measure.

She greeted the small blonde landcow with fists tight and planted firmly against her hips. Not petulantly though, Tallulah was never petulant in all her fifteen years! Only after she'd rolled her eyes, huffed hard and grimaced did she produce the envelope marked quite distinctly with Pumpkin Pie. It was taken in that genteel forceful way that Tallulah had mastered recently. Blame the fish eater's son for that too. She said nothing, there was nothing she needed to say to land grazers! She was above that!


Pumpkin Pie,

It seems like forever since you walked out on me screaming your head off and flipping me the bird. No, wait, that was my brother. He's such a girl sometimes. The first part is right, it does seem like forever even if the how of it was different. I'd like to say that I miss you, that I can barely fall asleep at night because of it. I'd tell you that I'm constantly distracted which gets me into trouble, not that I'm a stranger to trouble since I met you. Don't look at me that way, I was a paragon of virtue and goodness before! Midnight came and went three hours ago, and I only know this because I hear the bells. I know, that's not really late at all, but they insist that I go to bed early annnd get up in THE MORNING! It's inhuman!

I don't know how they expect me to rest, the bed is cold and empty. The air is lacking the soft breathing that I'm used to, and somehow no matter how exhausted I am I feel unfulfilled. Why did I agree to this again? It's a damn, demented, rehab facility where everything is wet and not in the good way. Today I was thoroughly castigated for having weak morals... Me? Weak morals? I think perhaps someone is jealous because they don't know how to have good sex. I have no evidence of this of course, but I trust my weak moraled instincts.

I'm not going to ask how you are. I don't think I could take it if you were doing just fine. I'm not afraid to be alone, to do this without you. I'm afraid when it's over you won't... never mind... I prefer to think of you feeling just as alone, although I'll admit that's kind of a turn on. That of course leads me to fantasizing about just showing up out of nowhere and finding our own special way to drown out the bells. You just thought about it didn't you?

I'm not supposed to be doing this, even suggesting contact made Bo's face even more frowny than normal. You know what I'm talking about. Still, you'd be surprised what you can get just for being tall. I mean, the kid that brought this really wanted to have a whale bone dagger. The hardest part was convincing the whale to give it up... for me at least. For her it was much more difficult to reach it while I held it over my head until she agreed to smuggle letters for me. And they think I have weak morals. She'll bring one back too, but you have to give her the proper signal. You'll need to clap three times like a seal and then balance a ball on your nose. That means I need you to wait while I write a reply.

I'd like to say all of those things, but we both know they're not true because I'm pretty much heartless and unfeeling. I don't say things, because saying them makes it hurt more when I get left behind. It changes things, and neither of us need that kind of heartache. So, I'd like to say I love you, but you know I'm incapable of that feeling too. We both know it, right?

Xxxe,

Eddie.


(written on the backside of the page)

P.S. All of that is true, except the clapping and ball bit. Maybe one or two other things.

3
[size=18]Blue on Black[/size]

Blind, Oh now I see
Truth, Lies and in between
Wrong, Can't be undone
Slipped, From the tip of your tongue
~ Kenny Wayne Shepherd
-----------------------------
25 December 2017
-----------------------------

Tahlia watched the drow disappear into the gentle fall of snow.  It seemed her shopping trip with Ace was well timed - the Triumph, much like its owner, didn't like cold, or ice.  Running her fingers through her hair, she checked herself in the mirror..shaking her head to dispel the last of the fog from her senses.  She wasn't entirely certain what had just happened, or why, but it was hardly important now.  Glancing at the clock, she bit back a curse. She had a half hour to get home, and be waiting when Eddie came to reclaim his jacket.  Normally, she wouldn't be concerned, but the weather meant she couldn't push the Spitfire as hard and fast as she normally did.  It would be close, but it would be worth it.  Checking behind her, she ran her cheek along the sealskin, not entirely aware of the smile that touched her lips.  Still watching for whatever chaos Rhydin might create behind her bumper, she reached for the shifter, intent on the night ahead.

She probably should have checked to make sure the locks were engaged, the oversight would become blatantly obvious as the passenger side door opened and a figure slid into the seat. A look at the snow would reveal the footfalls, though they disappeared after only a few steps. It wasn't that they'd been covered in snow, they just stopped. The door closed, and Tahlia would find herself locked into a pair of eyes the color of a clear blue sky where the horizon met the sea. They were just as cold as well, the face that held them was young, like time stood frozen on the surface of her skin. Her waist length blonde hair was wet, as though she'd stood in a storm uncovered, but the thick fur coat was dry save for the few flakes of snow that still clung to it.

Those eyes slid over Tahlia, slowing as they roved their way across the jacket she wore. The woman's expression became harder, if that were possible. Any evidence of feeling hidden beneath an icy shell. "You... should be more careful with that." With a flick the woman's eyes darted to Tahlia's face again.

In her defense, she hadn't realized Cianan's hand was still on the door when she'd engaged the lock.  Tahlia's eyed hardened to the smooth sheen of carved jade.  She was in no mood for delays, certainly not from chilly, fur-clad women who seemed to know the leather was only in her keeping.  Of course, given how she was engulfed by it, that wasn't, necessarily, difficult.  "And you...should maybe keep your opinion outside.  With the rest of you." She didn't carry weapons, or not exactly weapons.  But there was a set of knives in her glove box, along with something snub-nosed and silent. She didn't think she could make the grab, so she didn't try.  The new car would be better fit out - she'd been finding herself surrounded by dangerous people a lot more often, here.  Including the man who's jacket she was currently wearing.

Her car, and she wasn't going to let the ice queen think she was cowed. Reaching for the pack stashed in the change well, she fit a gold filter between her lips, and lit it.  The engine was running, so the fans sucked most of the smoke away, leaving just a trace lingering in the air. "Can I help you?""

"You're pretty, I can see why he likes you. It's a pity that you're so... handicapped. Where is he?" Her voice was as cold as she appeared to be, and it seemed she should be cold as one leg shifted to cross the other, a bare leg slipping free of the long coat and ending in a foot just as free of garment. "That will be help enough... miss?"

Cold as the weather was, the woman moved to roll down the window. "Your pardon... it reeks of Drow in here, and I do not want it to cling to me." Dispassion had become disdain, even her words were clipped short with prejudice. "I'd appreciate it if you'd start to drive, it may not be too late to avoid explanations." To whom she didn't say, though it was obvious there was much more to say from her. It was questionable if it was all going to be good, or any of it for that matter. "Take me to him!"

Tahlia mouthed the word 'handicapped' and very deliberately, put the car back into park, and took her foot off the brake.  She could guess, with the opening salvo about the coat, to whom the woman was referring, but she was not going to make it easy.  Certainly not given the air of superiority radiating off of her in chill waves.  "Oh...where do I begin?  Ignoring, of course, your assumption that I am, somehow, broken...you'll have to be a smidge more specific about which 'he' you mean...as I'm sure you noted while you were spying on me, there is more than one man in my life.  However briefly."  Another drag of her cigarette, and she blew a plume of smoke toward the icy blonde with a smirk.  "You also seem to think that this is a taxi, or that I am under some obligation to bring you to whoever it is you believe I know the whereabouts of.  Which I may.  But I am generally not inclined to share information with nameless women who feel free to enter my life without asking, insult me, and expect me to jump."

Ignoring the disdain, she merely took another lungful of smoke, and sent this to the ceiling.  "Too late for explanations would imply you did not owe me any.  And that I'm going to do anything until I have them."  Eddie, she was certain, would rather she was late for their rendezvous than that she brought some unknown party to him without warning.

"So, you don't know where he is." She shook her head in disapproval. "I am Nimsu Sulei... you may call me Nim, and I don't insinuate that you're broken. I tell you that you are limited, and while I had thought that was simply to the land, I see that it encompasses even more. That's just ignorance though, and I shouldn't fault you for it. I do..." The first hint of a smile passed over he lips. "...but I shouldn't." She looked to the roof of the Spitfire, perhaps to see the smoke, though with what came next it was unlikely. "Is this truly what you would have me protect...EJ?"

Nim lifted her hand, leaning close to Tahlia and snaking it's unexpected warmth through the hair at the side of her head as she whispered. "You hold the key, but have no idea how to use it. What else should I have expected from the land bound? Drive please, towards the water. There's much to say... and the air of the city smothers me."

"Touch me again without permission, and you will lose your hand." Ice bloomed in her veins, and the fingers gripping her cigarette turned white.  "Another woman sent to protect me while the menfolk face their foes." Without a word, she turned, dropping the Spitfire into gear and sending it flying backwards, with barely enough time to shimmy on the glaze of snow before the engine roared and the two-seater shot forward into the night.  She drove like she did most things, recklessly, and with abandon. The tiny black car slid around turns, and left celtic knotwork in its wake.  

"I'm guessing you're related. He..." She snapped her teeth closed, not that she expected Eddie's love for the sea would come as any surprise to Nim.  EJ. She'd have to remember that...assuming she saw him again.  Taking a drag, she let the breath out in a rush, in order to stave off the sting of tears. She was not going to let this woman, whoever she was to Eddie, see her weak.  

"You misunderstand... Where to begin. Let's start with, what do I call you?" Nim still sat close enough to her that the draw of her breath could be heard. A sudden intake through her nose, that was released almost the same way Tahlia had exhaled smoke. "Certainly not child. I doubt you've been one of those for... a very long time, whatever you are."

"Much begins a long time ago. Ancient history to most, even around here. The clan hasn't had someone quite like EJ for the past two centuries." Nim curled into the passenger's seat, her ear pressed against the headrest as she watched Tahlia struggle with her inner demons. "For most of his life, he's been hidden, protected though perhaps he never knew what it was we were doing. It was believed that he was better off living here than with us. Of course we didn't figure on his penchant to make trouble, though perhaps looking back we should have." She held loosely to the console separating her from Tahlia. "Yet, even with how he moved around, he remained hidden, sometimes even from us by distance. He always would return to the sea, he has no choice in the matter. Hold out for a while... but he would always return."

She thought, for a long moment, of giving her the same alias she hid behind so often, and was a bit surprised when she heard herself say instead, "Tahlia Faras.  Tahlia, is fine."  She gave the woman perched on her passenger seat a sharp glance.  "You're not wrong.  But it seems I've aged as well as you have."  She swallowed her usual barb, although there was still a hint of it in her tone.  A leopard couldn't change its spots, after all.

"He's a force of nature, that's for sure."  One hand left the wheel, the other, cigarette held high, braced by her palm as she steered them through the dark, and fell to her mid-section, covering the small, silver seal that hung there.  "I wouldn't think there's been anyone quite like him.  Period."  She knew about the draw the sea had on him, had sat on the hood of the Runner and watched him in the waves. She'd seen him, all of him, the night of the squid.  Without really thinking about it, she turned the nose of the Triumph toward their favorite beach in Seaside. "Remind me not to hire you guys for security..." She didn't tell her to stop, though.

"None of them are ever quite the same...Tahlia, save in form. And he was fine until a couple of months ago. There are more things in the sea that would seek him out than the landbound can even imagine. Mer, Mokele, Rokea... even other selkie clans." Nim watched Tahlia, and could see that she knew that to be the truth. "Something happened that made him become... visible if you will." Sighing almost in frustration, the girl couldn't understand, only this time it was Nim's fault because words were insufficient to explain it properly. Without thought about the threat Tahlia had made earlier, she lifted a finger to touch just beneath Tahlia's eye. The tip of her forefinger came away moist. "Brace yourself..." It was the only warning she would give, and less than a breath later she placed the tip of her finger on Tahlia's forehead.

Salt tinged the air, the sound of waves lapping at the sides of a boat, a memory of blue on black... tears on the water... real memories and something more washed over Tahlia at Nim's touch. Beneath it all a cry, deep and strong pulsed outwards. The sound carrying far beneath waves in all directions. An answer warm in her arms a kiss she knew and craved. The sound did not end with him though, it went onwards stretching beyond sight and was heard by more than one Selkie with an attitude. The siren call was fixated upon by others, and they were coming.

"They're coming... come... here." Scents overlapped, things too faint for normal noses, though Tahlia would recognize one of those, if not the other. She would know him, even if she didn't recognize herself. Something else did, and it was following the path left by them.


The tick of the engine was the first sound she was conscious of, and it sent her scrambling out of her pride and joy, checking every inch for dings and scratches.  Nothing. Letting out a sigh of relief, she sank to her knees, resting her forehead against the cool metal for a moment.  The drive back was...cloudy, was the best way to describe it.  No.  More like she'd been watching the drive through a pool, and not actually been driving at all.  Only she had.  Somehow.  But she had also been back on Little Tony's yacht, or not on it but near it.  She'd never asked Eddie how he'd known where to find her, just assumed he'd had Reggie track her, or someone had called, or...something. Now...her head hurt.  Standing, she made her way to the elevator, her key card not only opening the door, but signaling her floor to the computer.  Which gave her a moment to sink against the wall, and try to process everything Nim had showed her.

The muted chime brought her back to the present.  She needed a drink.  Something was coming for them, for her...and she had no idea what.  She could guess, but this was all new, and an army of Eddie's seemed overwhelming.  Just one Eddie was often more than she thought she could handle, but she couldn't seem to resist trying. The squid. The poison. The kidnapping.  She was losing track of how many times she'd been helpless in his arms, and how much more she gave away with each repetition.  Tahlia had spent centuries hiding, and now...now it seemed she hadn't much left in the shadows.

4
[size=18]Painkiller[/size]

Pretty boy, why
you're so sad
Give me just a minute,
I'ma make you so glad
Prescribe this pill, I know you ain't had
~ Rozzi Crane ft. Adam Levine

Friday, July 21st, 11:00 PM

Even idling, the engine of the purple Road Runner had a growl to it. A patient one, ready to pounce the moment Eddie decided to put his foot down on the pedal. He didn?t turn the car off, though he?d been outside the bar for several minutes. He was caught between two desires, each calling to him depending on where he turned his head. The lights within glowed dimly out to the street, beckoning him, but there was the siren call of the streets ahead as well, and a need to drive too fast. In the end it was a siren that had him moving, just not either of the ones that seemed to want his attention the most.

Text to claws: What are you up to?

He didn?t expect a quick reply, laying the phone in his lap so he could plug it into the stereo and listen to his own playlist. Something with a lot of drums and bass guitar suited his mood nicely.

Tahlia was in the middle of the Inn, and regretting it for the second time in as many days.  She was surrounded by medics...people wanting to poke and prod and her fight or flight response was rising to alarming levels, even though she knew they meant well.  Saved by the buzz of her phone, she backed out from behind the bar, and quickly tapped back a reply.  Years of not trusting people meant she had no interest in letting those she hardly knew close enough to get any clue that she wasn?t what she seemed...it was bad enough leaving the glamour down to let the bruises show...but healing them too quickly, or appearing to, would only raise more questions.  In short, the text was a light at the end of a rapidly closing tunnel.

Text to Scruffy Desperately looking for a reason to bail...you?

The vibration was felt more than heard, fortunately he?d left the phone on his lap. A quick tap of the notification had Tahlia?s answer displayed across the screen. He considered what he wanted for a few moments before dropping a cursor into the box and engaging the keyboard.

Text to Claws: Where are you? I?ll come get you? Happy to be a reason.

It wasn?t a lie, he saved those for when it was important, so when money was on the line. Now he kept the phone in his hand, if the speed of her earlier response was an indicator, he wouldn?t have to wait long at all for an answer from the blonde. Eddie pushed his back into the seat, he was far too tense and even driving his favorite thing wasn?t helping to relax him like it normally would. He probably could have called a friend, but most of his friends he owed money, and the rest owed him. He wasn?t sure where Tahlia was in that, was she friend or something different? Did it matter? Whatever she was, it was her that he?d thought to message. If she hadn?t responded, there was plenty of trouble a guy like him could get into, right?

Text to Scruffy: At the Inn...I?ll be outside waiting.

The text had come almost immediately after his response. She hit the door to the Inn a moment later, chatting briefly with a one-armed woman taking the air outside.  A tank top and daisy dukes had seemed a brilliant idea earlier...still was, save that for whatever reason the attention inside had made her feel exposed.  She took a few deep breaths, regaining her calm as the slight breeze teased the golden blonde ponytail along her exposed shoulders, and lighting a cigarette.  She figured it would take him a few minutes to get to where she was.  Letting the smoke drift from her lips, she glanced down at the phone, not realizing she was smiling until she went to take her next drag.  Something about Eddie had caught her, and she couldn?t quite put her finger on what, save the obvious.  Maybe it was simply being able to talk shop with a fellow professional...maybe it was more.  She didn?t intend to think too much about it.  Not now.

The final text from her drew a snort from Eddie. She was already breaching the door when he finished reading. The light captured her for a moment before going dark, but he approved of the outfit. He reached across the seat and pulled up the passenger?s side lock before opening his door and stepping out. The street lamp he was under caught his tall frame, or at least the half of it that wasn?t hidden by the car. He could just see the lit end of her cigarette as she dragged off of it. ?Feel like taking a ride?? The words spawned a grin. Eddie found it far too easy to give her such open ended questions. He caught the inside of his lip as he watched for her expression, the darkness would never be deep enough to obscure that face.

The movement caught her attention, and her face lit up, whether she entirely realized it or not.  ?Yes.  In the car, or??? She let him fill in the blank, sauntering over, jade green eyes reflecting the smoldering light from her cigarette.  Pausing just in front of him, she still lacked nearly a foot to meeting him eye to eye, so she tilted her head back, smiling warmly.  The cough caught her by surprise, and she dropped the filter, the toe of her heeled sneakers grinding it into the pavement.  ?At the risk of putting myself into deeper trouble...you have excellent timing.  Anywhere would be better than in there right now?? Reaching up, she brushed her fingertips along the 5 o?clock shadow that seemed a permanent fixture.  ?So where are we headed??

Gentlemanly was not a word that many people would use to describe Eddie, rogue sure, scoundrel definitely, still he met her halfway. In part because he was afraid Karma had it in for him and he?d be clipped by an oncoming car just when things started to get better. Mostly he was looking forward to being close to her. The touch of her fingers had become an all too familiar craving, though he would never give in to it easily. ?In the car for now, we?ll have to see what comes later.? His arms looped around her, standard greeting, right? Though he did resist the urge to kiss her. That would have him reassessing the plans for taking a long drive. ?You look hot, someone better have been impressed.? He turned, leaving one arm around her to escort Tahlia to the car, and actually open the door for her. There might be hope yet for that bad rep of his. ?I do pride myself on timing things to the right moment, maybe you were sending me signals.? The cocky half grin spread across his face as he shamelessly flirted with the woman. ?I don?t know where we?re headed, I just don?t feel like a crowd right now? or being alone.? Or standing still for that matter. Some of the tension had eased at her touch, but there was still plenty that had dug itself into him paired with an urge to go anywhere as far and as fast as he could.

?Surprisingly, no...or at least, if they were, they hid it well.  Ok, except for Hope?? A breathy laugh left her as she felt his arms close around her...and leaned in.  There was a chill, of course, that was why she stayed close as he looped an arm around her ribs and led her to the car.  She hadn?t figured him for the bright and flashy type, but there it was, in joker purple, right in front of her.  ?Nice wheels...sure you?re not looking for Batman, instead of me??  She wasn?t sure he?d get the reference...wasn?t sure where he was from.  Wasn?t sure about a lot of things, with him.  But that didn?t stop her from dropping into the seat, and curling her legs beneath her.  Fast cars and fast men were two of her favorite things, and while you?d think she had her hands full just at the moment...caution wasn?t something she?d learned.  There had always been someone to protect her, or a cut to bleed...a way to convince herself the risk was worth the reward.  Even with the luck she?d fallen into...the apartment, Mal and his generosity - Simon, and whatever that was...she couldn?t resist rolling the dice and seeing where a drive out to the middle of nowhere with a handsome near-stranger might lead.  ?We could always head to the beach...it?s usually quiet now?? Where she?d gotten that tidbit she kept to herself, for now.

?Which one, New Haven or Seaside?? Eddie watched Tahlia fold herself into the front seat with a very appreciative little smirk. ?If I am looking for The Dark Knight, can I buy you a skin tight jester?s outfit and ask if I can rev up my Harley?? He shot a wink at the blonde, closing the door before she could comment and headed for the driver?s seat. Direction would matter - New Haven was ahead, and Seaside the opposite direction. They had the best beaches though, something to do with money he was sure. Something reflecting in the windshield caught his attention. He reached up, plucking the magazine from the dashboard and tossed it to the seat beside him. ?Thought I was going crazy there for a second.? Whatever tension had been leached from him seemed to have returned. Eddie put the Road Runner into gear and pressed the gas harder than he needed to. If Tahlia suddenly said Seaside, there was always a block to round, right?

?The new place is in Seaside...in case we get tired of sand in all the wrong places.  And if you buy it, I?ll wear it...Puddin.?  The wink was lightning quick, nearly hidden behind the sweep of gold-kissed bangs.  She?d figured the area was one of the nicer ones, but she was still learning...and still spending a few nights a week in a seemingly abandoned warehouse in Dockside.  Pressed back into the seat by the sudden acceleration, she picked up the gossip rag he?d basically tossed into her lap, and flipped through.  Nothing familiar caught her eye, but then she didn?t expect it to...although the reminder made her nibble at her bottom lip.  By now, she should have known all the movers and shakers...and where usable bodies were buried.  She?d been...distracted.  Maybe it was time to get back on track.  ?You didn?t strike me as the gossipy type...something in this the reason why you?re so tense??  She didn?t have to know him well to be able to tell that...relieving tension was a specialty of hers.

It was inevitable, he was heading the wrong direction fast. He cut into the left lane, turning and driving much further than he needed to for a simple turn around. Clearly he wasn?t in a hurry despite the speed they were going. ?I know what I?m having delivered then.? Heathens cut across the speakers as they made another turn and headed back towards the wall between Dragon?s gate and the marketplace. Eddie cut a few looks towards Tahlia, and the magazine in her hand.

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