Time/Date :It is currently 19:00 Pacific Time on Wed Dec 28 2005.

Moon Phase : Currently the moon is in the waning New Moon phase (16% full).

Weather : Currently in Saint Claire, it is raining lightly. The temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the southwest at 13 mph, with gusts up to 22 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 29.57 and rising, and the relative humidity is 87 percent. The dewpoint is 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius.)

Place : Rat and Raven

Rat and Raven Main Room(#2828RJM)

A relaxed atmosphere characterizes this room: less rowdy than a bar, less formal than a restaurant, the pub is filled with a friendly hubbub that spills out from tables and the bar itself. Several tables are scattered across the floor, each with room enough for two or three people at a time to walk between them. The tables are a dark wood, kept clean by the waitresses bustling around to accept orders. The patrons range from low twenties to their mid-fifties, or thereabouts, both male and female. Paintings decorate the wall, one each of the 'mascots' of the bar, a rat to the left of the door, a raven to the right, both depicted with a nobility not commonly offered to, at least, the rat. The other paintings include a three-masted ship, sails spread to the wind, that matches the tiny ship in a bottle behind the bar.

Kathryn-Laura(#3278PXc)

Standing a little over five foot tall and slimly built, KL makes a not particularly imposing first impression. In her late teens, she has an air of irritation, and of nervy energy, combined with hostility and restrained aggression.
Her mousy-brown hair is pulled back into a plait that hangs down to the small of her back, and is fastened at the bottom and the top by dark brown leather bands. She would be quite attractive - she has a very cute, upturned nose, and expressive hazelnut eyes - were it not for the anger in her gaze and the sullen set of her mouth. She stares at people - particularly people she doesnt know - with a cold fury, as if waiting for an opportunity to attack them.
KL has pale skin, and on her right shoulder-blade is a two-inch-square tattoo of a winged horse. There isn't much in the way of excess flesh on her, her cheekbones are clearly visible and her bare arms have a tight musculature that speaks of regular and plentiful exercise.
She's rarely still for very long, and while she still remembers to slouch around from time to time, she's less inclined to do it these days, and her natural grace, balance and co-ordination is clearly evident in her movements.
She's currently wearing a pair of tight black leggings that cling to her tautly-muscled legs, a white blouse made from a slightly shiny material, and a pair of black espadrilles on her feet. A black leather jacket, unfastened and hanging loosely around her torso is slung over the top of this ensemble.

Iakovos

There is little to set Iakovos apart from the general population in terms of looks. Standing perhaps slightly taller than average at 5'11", he is built in the manner of an office worker, slender and underworked as far as muscle building goes. That's not to say he's particularly weak, but no stronger than the average white-collar individual. He has olive skin rather than caucasian, shoulder-length dark brown hair and brown eyes complimenting this to give him a slightly mediterranean look. Facially he has strong cheekbones and a slightly too prominant nose, softened by lips that seem ever to smile.

The Rat and Raven is bustles with movement. Groups of office workers crowd the bar, couples sit at tables waiting for food, people are talking and drinking and generally having a good time. Except for an area about fifteen feet in radius, centred a physically unintimidating brunette girl, sitting by herself in a wooden booth. She's dressed in a white blouse and black stretch leggings. A leather jacket lies on the bench seat next to her. Most of the time, she's staring at the object on the table in front of her - a flattish cuboid wrapped in christmas tree paper. Occasionally, she looks up to scan the room, glaring fiercely at anyone who deigns to look at her. Her expression is one of nervousness - she keeps biting her bottom lip and shifting in her seat.

Dressed in more casual clothes than he might normally; a dark blue sweater, black slacks and sneakers - and also sans his briefcase for once - Iakovos makes his entrance. He draws an eye or two; not because he's particularly eye-catching, but because he's got a trio of flowers with him - Greek lilies. Looking around, he stands on tiptoes before spying the open area, moving towards it and eventually spotting KL, approaching with a slightly nervous smile.

KL looks up, and then glances at the flowers. Her eyes widen in surprise. "Wow. Flowers. For me?" she asks. "I think you'd better sit down - the staff have made noises about me ordering in the kind of way that suggests they'd like me to be out of the door." She glowers at the thought. "How are you, anyway?"

Offering the trio of lilies to his 'date', Iakovos eases himself into the opposite seat. "For you," he agrees with that same nervous smile. "The staff don't matter. As long as they don't try to throw you out anyhow," he then remarks. "I'm alright, I think. How about you?"

KL takes the flowers and looks at them somewhat suspiciously. "They look nice," she says, holding them gingerly. "How do I make them grow again? And fine, I guess. My..." she checks around the room for eavesdroppers, then lowers her voice, "My pack split up. But other than that, fine."

"Just pop them in water. They'll keep for about a week," Kovo relates, folding his hands in front of himsel.f. "Hey, I'm sorry to hear that. Must be sad, though I can't imagine it myself," he adds, raising a hand to try and get the attention of a waitress.

"Yeah, it is, though I'll be able to spend more time out at the house, which is good." KL replies, still looking at the flowers. She glances over at the wrapped object in front of her. "Oh!" she exclaims. "I forgot about your present. Happy yule, and thank you." She hands it over, a wide grin on her face.

Taking the present gingerly, as if it might explode at any time, Kovo asks, "Can I open it now, or should I save it for later?" A waitress finally comes by, and he orders....well, "What would you like to drink, KL?"

KL ponders for a moment. "Lightish beer?" she asks, tentatively. "And yes, of course you can open it now. It's not...secret or anything." She smiles at Kovo. "I did have to root about in several shops before I found it."

"Two amber bochs," Kovo orders, and the waitress goes away about her business. Then his attention turns to unwrapping his gift, picking at the paper with stubby nails and eventually ripping it off.

Inside, is an elderly book. On opening it will reveal itself to be a first edition copy of "Humors of the law: Being a compilation of humorous stories and anecdotes of law, lawyers, and things legal" by George H Bruce, published in 1898.

It's not in the greatest condition - there's a stain on the cover, and a small rip in the spine - which possibly explains how KL could afford it. The giver in question is biting her bottom lip, looking nervously at Kovo as he opens the present.

"Hey, we had this at uni," Kovo enthuses, his expression brightening as he recognises the book. "Man, we just died over some of the stories in here. How'd you know?" He turns grateful dark eyes on the ahroun.

"I didn't. But I was in an old book store and I saw it, and I hoped you'd like it." KL looks down at the table, trying to hide the blush that's crept onto her cheeks. "Do you? I mean, I'm sure you could take it back if you didn't."

"Oh hell no," Kovo assures, "I'm going to read this soon as I get home. Seriously, the memories.." He grins boyishly, and then the waitress arrives with the order, two bottles of amber boch and a glass for each. "So you any idea what you want to eat?"

KL glances down the menu. "Fillet steak? Medium-rare? With fries." she decides. "Good, I'm glad you like it." She pauses. "Have I asked you about your family? When did you find out...you know?" She takes a beer bottle and pours into a glass. Unfortunately, she doesn't tip the glass to let it run down the side, and as a result, she ends up with a glass half-full of beer, half-full of foam. "Oops." The Ahroun says, peering at it. "What's wrong with it?"

"Here," Kovo offers to swap, his own having come out somewhat better, likely from days spent drinking at college. "Just poured it a bit fast is all. It'll settle in a bit." Well, maybe it will but he's not bothered if his is a little smaller. He relays her order to the waitress and adds his own; lasagne with fries.

"Cool." KL comments on his order. "I eat so much pasta at home, it's nice to have a change." She holds up the glass. "Cheers!"

Likewise raising his beer, Kovo clinks glasses. "Cheers." And then takes a sip of froth, his expression giving away nothing about whether he minds or not. "I'm not so used to pasta; my mother always insisted on having traditional meals like mousakka. As for finding out...well, I pretty much grew up with it. Mother and sister both got your end of things."

KL nods. "So, you were trained from an early age? What was it like? I'd never heard the G word until I was thirteen, and you can guess what happened." The Ahroun explains. "But it does mean that my greek knowledge is just dreadful, as it's mostly on my Mum's side, and she erased any trace of it when she married my Father."

"Yeah. It was alright I guess. If I'd been a rebel I'd probably be dead or worse by now, but there's worse things than havin' a family lookin' out for you," Iakovos offers in a non-comittal manner. "As for the greek bit, I can teach you that. We spent summer with mom's family in Greece every year."

"I'm a rotten student, I should warn you." KL says, with a grin. "I get frustrated easily, and that usually results in damage to books and stuff." She gives a little shrug. "But yeah, would be cool to learn." She takes a sip of her beer. "Mmm. Beery."

"S'allright, I'm a patient teacher," Iakovos replies in kind, his smile slightly more relaxed now that the first few minutes are over. "So that when I say 'Yassu, kallista KL,' you'll know what it means and be able to respond appropriately. In this instance, probably by hitting me," he remarks.

"Why?" KL asks, leaning forward, beer in one hand. "What does it mean?" She stares at him. "You say 'Yassu' to everyone, I thought it meant 'hello'. And are they raising my cow from infancy?" She glances around, looking for the food that hasn't appeared in the five minutes since it was ordered.

"Yassu does," Iakovos affirms. "Kallista however, means 'most beautiful'." His smile is slightly boyish, covered up by a sip of his frothy beer.

"Me?" KL says, looking shocked. "I'd think you were yanking my chain And then I'd hit you." She doesn't seem particularly annoyed by the comment, though. "So...how do you feel, hanging around with us, given what we think about men?" She fires the question in from left field.

Shrugging and offering a more normal smile, Iakovos remarks, "It's not something I really concern myself with. As long as I don't turn into a violent womanizer who spawns children left, right and center without caring for them, I've got nothing to fear. And of course if I do what I'm told." The latter comment is just faintly, ever-so slightly sarcastic.

"Don't you think that all men are, at heart, violent womanizers." KL asks, raising an eyebrow. "I mean, isn't that what you'd really like to do." Her voice drops into a little bit of a growl and she stares fiercely at Kovo.

Raising a brow, Iakovos lifts one of his arms out to his side and squeezes one hand around the very evident lack of muscle on his bicep. "Do? With what? Most women could break me in half without breaking a sweat, even ones without your particular gift." His tone is dry, making it obvious he's no desire to go beating up on chicks.

"Whether you can or not is irrelevant. There are enough men who can. It's that, at heart, you're just the same as the rest." KL's voice is flat and threatening, but there's something that's not ringing true about it, just a slight hint that the rage within is not connected at the moment.

The kinsman sits back, his expression deliberately calm. "Why would I want to, exactly?" he asks. "What good would it do me? I want a girl I can be best friends with, to love and raise a family with. Where does beating on her fit into that?"

KL blinks twice, and shakes her head and grins, then slumps back in her seat. "You have got one. I was so worried." No reference to what she's talking about. "Sorry, I had to know. You'd been so nice up to now...I had to find out."

There's a hint of understandable confusion in Kovo's eyes. "I've got a what?" he asks, sipping more beer.

"Backbone, spine...whatever." KL seems genuinely pleased. "OK, sorry for being a bitch. Um...you can ask me anything you like, if you want. I'll try and answer." She takes a big gulp of her beer. "And I promise I'll lay off the lawyer jokes for ages."

"Do you like lilies?" Iakovos asks, one brow still raised but understanding dawning. "I figured y'know, they're greek, it'd be the most appropriate. But do you like them?"

"I don't know. I mean, they're very pretty indeed, and I like that they're greek." KL says. "But I've never paid enough attention to flowers to know which ones I like." She looks up at Kovo. "But I like that you gave them to me." She shakes her head. "Is there a short version of Iakovos? It's a bit long to keep saying."

Iakovos smiles a bit. "Yeah. Kovo is fine," he suggests. "Or Ko, if you're in a hurry." Food is delivered as ordered along with condiments and cutlary, the waitress nervously asking, "Is there anything else I can get you?"

"No thanks, this is fine." KL says, with a pleasant smile to the waitress. She looks at Kovo. "I could eat a horse, I'm so hungry." A moments' consideration. "Possibly literally." She sets busily about her steak, and the next time she speaks it's with a full mouth. "So, apart from the lawyering, what do you like doing?"

"I've also trained as a counsellor," Kovo murmurs, cutting his lasagne up but not yet starting to eat. "Mainly to help partners and children sort things out or at least try to, before going to the courts for a divorce. I enjoy that I guess, and I also like dancing." He finally takes a bite of his lasagne, 'mmm'ing quietly in appreciation as the waitress wanders off.

KL looks mournful at this. "I can't dance. And can you imagine me doing counselling?" She snorts at the thought. "Leslie'd be good at it, though." She waves a fork, which has a somewhat overlarge steak piece on it, in a little circle. "It's been great since she came. Dancing's a bit like karate, though, isn't it?"

Iakovos mmms. "Dancing's like....spinning around, only you look good while doing it," he remarks. "I haven't been trained, I'm probably not any good, but I enjoy it anyway," he adds with that boyish smile reappearing. "I met Leslie before. She seems nice."

"She's very nice, though rather traditional." KL says, with a shrug. "But I like her. More than I like Helen, it must be said. We just don't..." she holds her index fingers an inch apart, pointing at each other, "...connect. If you know what I mean." She looks sad again. "I probably couldn't go dancing with you."

"I haven't yet met Helen," Iakovos replies quietly. "And it's alright. I'd probably end up stepping on your toes and getting my toes removed as a result," he observes with a wryly humerous quirk to his smile.

KL sniffs at this, and takes a few more bites of her food. "I can be really pissy," she admits, "but most of the time I'm OK. And I'd have to be really furious to lose control enough to actually attack you. It's like...you get to know the signs, know the things within yourself that indicate you're getting close to the line." She looks up at Kovo, eyes wide. "It's not a requirement to be in public to dance."

"True, that," Kovo affirms. "And I'll be sure to learn the signs," he adds. "I'd rather avoid making you mad, because you're a nice person as well as because of the other."

The Ahroun snorts at this. "I'm not nice, you know." She finishes the last of her food, having largely hoovered it off the plate. "Well, not very, anyway. Just a horrid tomboy." This last sentence is said in a very put-on posh voice. "That's what Mum used to say."

"I like you," Kovo shrugs, eating more of his lasagne, only halfway through.

KL appears not to know exactly where to look at this, and tries a variety of places - the floor, the ceiling, the bench next to her, the table - before looking back to Kovo. "Like, really?"

"You've treated me like a person," Iakovos points out. "Which is more than I can say for the people I knew in Canada. To me, that makes you a nice person."

The Fury Ahroun slaps her hand down on the table. "Now, that's something that really makes me mad. It's a stupid, fucking idiotic view of the world." She calms down almost immediately. "Anyway, yes. I think you're really nice too. Not just because you...well, the house."

Smiling slightly, Kovo remarks, "I woulden't be doing my job if I didn't help. That comes with the blood." He resumes eating his lasagne, almost finished by now.

"Well, yes." KL says, looking uncomfotarble. "But that isn't all of it, surely. And that was above and beyond, as well." She leans back and folds her arms across her chest, watching Kovo closely, a small smile playing around her lips.

There seems to be a small amount of modesty inherent in Kovo, the man looking a touch uncomfortable as his 'good deed' is praised. "I saw a thing that needed doing, and I did it. That's all."

KL nods, and changes the subject. "Do you want a dessert?" she asks, perusing the menu herself. "There's some remarkably unhealthy things available here." She grins widely at the thought, and then drains her beer. "Not bad beer." She comments, looking at it. "I think. That's the second beer I've ever had."

"Oh yes," Kovo murmurs. "One of my secret vices - dessert. As fruity and creamy as possible; cheesecakes, trifles, that sort of thing," he confesses in secretive tones.

"Ah." KL says, with a smile. "I quite like chocolate," she confesses. "And fruit, but fruit is good for you and chocolate isn't, and therefore fruit is boring." She looks regretfully at the beer glass. "It goes too quick, though."

Smiling somewhat, Kovo asks, "Do you have a favorite dessert?" He finishes his lasagne finally, and pushes the plate aside, focusing now onh is beer. "This is one of the better beers. There are two kinds of Michaelob Amber Bock. One light, one dark. Both are nice."

"Michelob Amber Bock." KL repeats, as if memorising it. "It's quite fizzy." She laughs. "I...don't drink very much. And no, I don't have a favourite dessert, though I used to like chocolate ice cream."

"So if I wanted to buy you a dessert, chocolate icecream would be the way to go?" Kovo hazards with a smile.

"Yeah, that would be the best thing, but I thought I was paying?" KL says, cocking her head on one side. "So I should pay for dessert too. It's been a long while since I had chocolate ice cream."

Though it pains him to admit it, Iakovos agrees, "Today maybe. But there is always the future." He finishes his beer and sits back, exhaling contently.

KL blinks a couple of times. "You'd want to do this again?" she asks. "And could you get the waitress over, as I think she'll flee for the county line if I look at her again."

Kovo doesn't answer the first part, instead waving for the waitress until she begins to come over.

The Ahroun looks at Kovo with a quizzical expression on her face, but waits for Kovo to place the dessert order before saying anything more.

"Strawberry cheesecake for me please," Kovo requests as the waitress prepares to take orders for dessert, then looking to KL. "And some chocolate icecream."

KL grins, and as the waitress leaves she shifts around in her seat. "Thanks," she says. "Well?" A hint of a demand about this, and she leans forward slightly, peering at Kovo intently.

"Yes," Iakovos admits with a smile. "I've enjoyed it. Enjoyed your company, and being out and about rather than cooped up with my paperwork."

"Heh." KL chuckles. She looks thoughtful for a few moments. "There's something I should tell you, and I'm not sure you're going to like it." She purses her lips. "But I think it's only fair to tell you."

Iakovos lofts a brow. "Okay?" he prompts, bracing himself for bad news.

"You know what the...usual view of our tribe is." KL says, her voice low. "To be honest, I'm not sure about me. It's difficult...the rage gets in the way, displaces so much. And for a long while, it just didn't matter - I didn't care, because I was more keen on being a good...you know...than anything else." She shrugs. "And, I don't usually get on very well with men. Usually they just say the wrong thing and I go...a bit crazy." A sympathetic look. "And I don't know, because I'm still trying to sort through stuff. But I do know that I like you. You're nice, and interesting, and you stood up to me in just the right way when I was being a bitch earlier. So...I'd like to see you again, but you should know there's a risk that at the end I'll decide...women..." Her voice trails off, and she can't meet Kovo's eyes.

Considering the words offered, Iakovos lifts a hand to his heart, fisted as if he were clasping a dagger. "I am mortally wounded," he proclaims, entirely unseriously. "Don't worry about it, KL. I'm happy with being an experiment until you decide either way. As it happens, you're the first...you know...I've dared to see, even once."

KL looks up, smiling. "Really, why? We aren't that scary. And...also...doesn't every relationship start as an experiment?"

"Largely because the only two I saw with any regularity were my mother and sister," Kovo elaborates. "And my mother was determined she would find one for me. That's when I decided to move away."

The waitress returns with the deserts, setting Kovo's neatly in front of him, and shoving the ice cream across the table at KL, before leaving hurriedly. "I see. You should choose for yourself." KL says, with a little grin. She studies the chocolate icecream carefully, and then attacks it violently with a spoon. "Mmm," she says. "I've missed this!"

"Wow, you certainly have," Iakovos agrees, picking at his own dessert with deliberate care. "This is gorgeous," he adds with a pleased smile.

For a few minutes, KL doesn't say anything, as she attempts to break the world record for chocolate ice cream consumption speed. Eventually, however, she either decides that it's rude to just keep shovelling, or her mouth gets cold, regardless, she does manage a sentence. "What happened to your mother? Do you still talk?" she asks.

"Oh? Yes. Once or twice a week by phone," Iakovos agrees. "We agreed to disagree, and she laid a geas down on me not to marry or sire outside of the...group, but other than that we're happy enough."

"Ah. Good." KL says, though she ducks her head for a moment. "I don't talk to mine at all. Though...I'm eighteen now, and I don't think they have any right to come after me any more. Still, probably best left the way it is now." She finishes her ice cream, scraping the last of the melted ice cream off the bowl.

Likewise finishing his dessert, Kovo murmurs, "It's sad, though. Do you miss your family?"

"No." KL says, vehemently. "Well, my mum, a bit. But my father...not at all. He can take his expectations and shove them up his fucking ass, because now he doesn't have a daughter at all." She wrinkles her nose in distaste at the thought. "He's a lawyer too, though not like you."

Iakovos ahs softly. "I see. Well, I'm glad things have worked out for you, at least."

KL looks confused at this. "What do you mean?" she asks, tapping her spoon on her plate repeatedly, leaning forward over the table.

"Mmm? Oh nothing, just that I'm glad things are the way you want them. If you missed your family, it'd be a different thing," Kovo elaborates.

"You think I should miss them?" KL asks. "I mean, if there was some way to get a message to my mum without him knowing, then i'd do it, but I know she'd just tell him." She looks unhappy at the thought. "It's like...when they married, she gave up any form of independent thought."

Iakovos snorts faintly. "Right. No, I'm thinking more of Alesia, and her predicament," he admits.

OK, now he's lost her. "Predicament?" KL asks, absolutely bemused. "What predicament?"

"Not really having any family to speak of," Iakovos replies softly. "And the one she did have to treat her so badly."

KL ohhs and then nods. "She's had it really rough. But she does have a family now, even if we're a bit odd. And we will look after her properly." A determination about this, accompanied by a brisk nod. "Make up for not having been there sooner."

The kinsman nods. "Do you think I should try to counsel her?" Kovo asks quietly.

The Ahroun blinks. "Have you...worked with abused kids before?" KL asks. "I can't decide, you know. Leslie and Helen... particularly Leslie, are definitely senior to me, when it comes to Alesia."

Iakovos makes a slight so-so gesture with one hand. "Only inasmuch as divorce cases have allowed. On occasion there are children who have been abused by one or other parent.."

"I'll mention it to Leslie," KL says. "But I suspect that she'll be a bit protective of her, and will probably say no." She shrugs. "We're all being a bit protective of her, I think. Possibly too much so."

Iakovos nods. "That's fine. I'd just rather Leslie have that option to hand if she needs it," he affirms.

"Cool," KL says. "I'll mention it to her, real soon." She looks around the pub interestedly. "I guess I should pay. Or rather, give you the money." She roots through her jacket pockets and pulls out a small roll of bills. She pushes a small selection of them across the table. "It really is easier if you do the actual paying," she says, resignedly.

"Sorry," Kovo apologises, taking the bills reluctantly. "Hopefully things should be less tight soon. Jess has agreed to let me do some cash-in-hand work at her shop when I'm not at the office or doing lawyerly things."

"No, it's the least I can do," KL says, with a smile. "You've been so wonderful, a meal is a cheap gesture." She shakes her head. "And although I can't manage to pay for houses, I can afford this."

"I would usually insist on at least going dutch, but...heh," Iakovos lets that be. "I've enjoyed myself a lot, though."

KL grins. "I have, too." She puts a hand on the table. "More than I thought I would, to be honest." She puts a hand on her coat. "You don't have a car, do you?"

"I do, actually, and yes it's here with me," Iakovos remarks with a smile. "Want a lift back?"

"Please." KL says. "These clothes aren't...well, they'd get ruined if I tried to run back." She stands and slings the jacket over her shoulders. "Shall we make a move?"

"Surely," Kovo agrees, rising and taking up the lilies, lest they be forgotten. "If I offered you my arm, would you take it?" he then wonders.

"Yes." KL replies. "And I'd even leave it attached to your body." She grins widely. "And don't forget your book." She holds a hand out for the flowers.

Iakovos passes over the flowers, then takes his book and offers the Ahroun his arm. "For which I'm entirely grateful," he assures with a laugh.

Scene shift...

After the car has pulled to a halt at the gate to the Fury house, KL hesitates for a few moments, peering at the house. She looks up at Kovo, suddenly nervous again. "So, when do you want to...do this again? And what?"

"The movies maybe?" Iakovos suggests. "If there's anything on you'd like to see, anyway. As for the when....well, before the moon gets too big, I guess goes without saying," he adds, offering a smlie to the Ahroun.

"We'd have to go to some movie no-one else wants to see." KL says. "Or a late showing or something. But that's something I haven't done for ages, so I'd like to." She undoes her seatbelt, then sits for a moment or two more, looking at the lilies on her knees. "Thank you," she says, eventually. "Thank you for making me feel like a person, as well as a Garou." She looks back to Kovo, and lifts a hand and gently lays it on his arm. "You don't know how rare that is."

"You're welcome, and thank you too, for much the same," Iakovos replies with another smile, killing the engine. "We'll arrange something soon."

KL twitches her nose, and grins. "Definitely." She takes a deep breath, and then leans over and kisses Kovo on the cheek, really quickly, before sitting back in the seat and looking away.

Caught by surprise, Kovo offers a somewhat goofy smile. "Thank you," he murmurs quietly. "Little steps, little experiments," he adds. "I'll see you soon, KL."

KL looks back at Kovo, and grins, then opens the door to the car, carefully gathers up her flowers, and steps out of the car. She leans back in. "Gaia keep you safe, Kovo." she says. "And drive carefully."

"Always," the Kin agrees, his smile warming and one hand reaching to start the engine again.

KL closes the door with a slam, then heads off down the path to the house, flowers cradled in one hand, and without a look back.


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