Time/Date :April 8 2007.
Place : Airport
Weather :Currently in Saint Claire, it is raining. The temperature is 51 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). The wind is currently coming in from the east at 3 mph. The barometric pressure reading is 29.83 and rising, and the relative humidity is 89 percent. The dewpoint is 48 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius.)
Moon Phase :Currently the moon is in the waning Gibbous Moon phase (68% full).
After a phone call requesting a pickup, Alexander leaves Nicholson Hall and makes his way toward the airport. Within an hour, a black luxury vehicle pulls into a parking spot and a well-dressed Alexander makes his way into the 'arrivals' portion of the airport. He stands near the exit, a cardboard sign with Kathyrn-Laura written across it in a broad hand held above his head.
The target of his mission wanders out through the sliding glass doors. She looks slightly different from the time Alexander met her before - her clothes look brand new, and although they are still casual, there's a stamp of quality about them. This looks like an *expensive* jeans-and-leather-jacket ensemble. A large black duffle bag is slung over one shoulder. On seeing the notice her gaze hardens, and her mouth sets into a severe line. KL stomps towards him, and slings the duffle bag at his feet. "Was two letters on a card too simple for you?" she demands, folding her arms over her chest aggressively.
Alexander folds up the sign, tucking it under one arm and revealing the rose that was hidden behind it. "My apologies," he states with a faint bow and a smile, offering up the red flower. "It was not my intention to offend. "May I make up for my transgression by taking you out for a meal? Airport food tends to be rather plain."
The Black Fury appears to be rather thrown by this response. She unfolds her arms and shoves her hands into her pockets, paying no attention to the rose at all. She clears her throat, and then gives a curt nod. "Yes, I am hungry. Is that yours?" She points at the large black car parked nearby, with a dismissive little flick of her hand, before returning it to her pocket.
Alexander smoothly tucks the rose into the lapel of his jacket, easily recovering as he offers the Fury a warm smile. "It is. May I take your bag?"
"Yes." KL says, before turning on him. "So, you pitch up with the wrong sign, in a world-destroying weavercart, with a piece of massacred wildlife in your hand. This better be a fucking awesome meal." With that demonstration of decorous gratitude, she pulls open the door of the car and positively throws herself into it.
Accepts the bag with a gracious smile, shifting the weight onto his shoulder. Walking over to the car, he opens up the passenger side and holds it open for the Ahroun. "I do know of a lovely restaurant that isn't terribly far. A steak house, if that meets with your approval."
"Steak's always good." KL replies. "Is it a nice quiet restaurant without very many people in it?" She puts on her seatbelt, then, with perhaps a moment of hesitation, puts her feet up on the dash with a thump.
And there goes the crisp clean interior of the car. "It should not be terribly busy at this time," Alex replies before closing the passenger door and getting into the driver's seat. A turn of the key and the car hums into life, before pulling away from the airport and onto the highway. It takes about twenty minutes to reach the aforementioned restaurant. A small eatery, with an unassuming interior. "And we have arrived," the kinsman announces as he slides into a parking spot and silences the engine.
Through the journey, KL has remained silent, staring out of the window at the passing scenery. Now, she takes her feet off the dash and undoes her seatbelt. "Looks adequate," she observes. "Do you want to go and get us a table, and then I'll join you? Or shall we risk the waiter deciding that they've had a sudden rush of reservations at the sight of me?" Her tone is one of unhidden bitterness. "They nearly decided I was a security threat on the airplane. And I was only holding the useless plastic knife thing. The fucking bread roll was more of an offensive weapon than that."
Alexander smiles warmly at the Ahroun, showing a complete lack of nervousness in her presence. "I sincerely doubt that they will object to you," the kinsman offers, before getting out of the car. He walks around the front and unless KL lets herself out before he gets there, opens up the passenger door and offers the Fury his hand.
The Ahroun waits until the door is opened, and then ignores the proffered hand entirely, climbing out of the car and then settling her jacket around her shoulders. "You doubt it? Unless the guy is very special, well, maybe you'll see. Or maybe we'll be lucky. Lead on."
Alexander adjusts his suit jacket, smile remaining in place. "I see know reason as to why a lovely young woman such as yourself, would be rejected." Another flash of teeth, then the kinsman leads the way into the restaurant. While the outside of the restaurant is rather plain, the inside is impeccably decorated with hardwood and antique chairs in evidence. The man who comes to serve the pair is dressed in a suit. "Good evening sir," the waiter then looks to KL and falters briefly. "Ma'am. Your regular table sir?" Alexander simply nods and the pair are led to a window table.
After they are seated, and the waiter has handed them the menus and left, KL leans forward and says "OK. That did impress me a bit. I still think I'm winning on points though." She peers at the menu curiously. "Right. I'll have the fillet steak, done rare. Can you run to a bottle of wine? If so, the Old Vines Rioja. Despite your obvious importance here, best not to scare the guy with me talking to him."
"As you wish," Alexander responds politely, waving the waiter over with a wave of his hand. "The regular for me, if you please. The young lady would like the fillet steak. Both done rare. Also, a bottle of Old Vines Roja. As an appetizer, I believe we'll start with the garlic bread and bacon wrapped scallops." The waiter jots everything down dutifully, while standing as far away from KL as is politely possible and retreating as soon as the order is scribbled down. "You have excellent tastes, KL," the kinsman compliments.
"No, I don't." KL snaps back. "I have crummy tastes. However, my father had excellent taste..." Sarcasm drips from every word. "...and it appears that some of it has rubbed off on me. Or I can fake it really well. Take your pick." She shrugs. "So, any news? Anyone dead?"
"I'm afraid that I have been rather out of touch," Alexander admits. "And I have had no visitors for several months now." The kinsman lifts his shoulders in a shrug, smile apologetic.
"Possibly you're too nice to them. The Fury House is well-equipped with doormats already." KL says, achieving new levels of ungraciousness. She quietens while the bread and baconised scallops are delivered, and then tears into the bread with the sort of alacrity and ferocity that is usually reserved for battle. Or for dogs with chew-toys.
Alexander reaches over and helps himself to some of the bread, far more polite in his manner. "Really now," the kinsman begins. "I have been nothing but polite to you, since your arrival. Do you really feel it necessary to continue to insult me?"
KL nods furiously. "Of course," she says, through a mouthful of bread. "It's good for character. It's when I stop insulting you that you should be worried." She pauses. "Bread's good." She tries one of the scallops with a bit of trepidation. "Mmmph OK, I forgive a lot with food like this."
Alexander sighs softly and lightly shakes his head, before biting into his bread. "As you wish, my lady," the kinsman concedes without argument. The wine arrives in a lovely crystal decanter and two glasses are poured out. Alex lifts his glass and after a quick swirl, takes an appreciative sip. He nods his approval to the waiter, who quickly exits.
The Fury stares at him. "What?" she demands. "You're expecting me to be *nice*? Was I *nice* to you before?" A pause. "I do owe you a favour for giving me a lift, though. Hmm. What say I lay off insulting you for a bit? Fair?" She reaches out and takes a sip of wine, eyes still fixed on the kinsman.
Alexander lowers his eyes submissively, turning his head to show a small amount of throat. "More then fair," the kinsman murmurs, eyes remaining averted.
KL nods. "OK. Right. Done." She seems a bit taken-aback, as if even she has been a bit embarrassed by her behaviour. She takes another piece of bread, and bites and chews, actually managing to swallow before speaking again. "I can't remember if I asked before. Where are you from?"
Alexander smiles charmingly, submissive behaviour evaporating. "I have lived in a number of places over the years. More recently, whereever my work has required me to be. Of late, that has been here." Another sip of wine, then the kinsman helps himself to one of the scallops.
"Um..." KL says, looking confused. "What do you do again? Apart from rescuing travellers in distress?" She finishes her piece of bread and takes a fairly large gulp of her wine. "I like wine," she decides. "Greek people drunk it."
Alexander smiles warmly and tops off the Ahroun's glass. "I work for Ocean Insurance. Actually, I am in charge of the branch in St. Claire." As the appetizers are finished, the plates are cleared away by efficient wait-staff, only to be replaced by the main course.
"Ah. Yes. That would explain why I'd forgotten it," The Fury replies. "Thanks. Mmm. Steak." She looks at it for a moment, as if working out which part is most vulnerable to assault. Having picked her target, she attacks, armed with a steak knife. "Oh. Ok. *everything* is forgiven. This is excellent." She looks up from her food and flashes an uncharacteristic smile, before returning to her food.
"My deepest thanks," Alexander replies easily, flashing a brilliant smile in return. "As always, it is my pleasure to make one such as yourself happy." The kinsman begins his own meal, drinking sparingly of his wine, while repeatedly refilling KL's glass when it gets low. If the Ahroun is so inclined as to finish the wine during the mean, the kinsman discreetly orders a second bottle.
Getting KL drunk is about as easy as shooting fish in a barrel, and it's not far down the first bottle before she starts to show signs of intoxication. She sets down her knife and looks - slightly vaguely - at Alex. "So, do you have...like...someone?" she asks, somewhat bluntly.
Alexander shakes his head, while his hands work on cutting up the remainder of his steak. "Not in the sense that I am attached, no. However, I have always been available to provide assistance in any manner that is required of me." The kinsman flashes his teeth in a bright smile, managing to look mildly embarrassed in the process.
"I had a someone," KL says, leaning forward and lowering her voice. "He...went away. I miss him a bit." She looks down at her plate, and discovers that she has finished her food. "Oh," she says, disappointedly. She picks up her wine glass - taking two attempts to grasp it - and finishes it off. "All gone," she says, mournfully.
"Would you like some more food and wine, KL?" Alexander asks politely, completely ignoring how far gone the Fury is in her cups.
"Maybe some dessert?" KL asks, hopefully. "And I think I've probably had enough wine. The world seems a bit spinny. Does it seem spinny to you, too? Maybe if I hold onto the table it will stop." She grasps the table firmly with both hands, creasing the table cloth a little.
"Will a piece of chocolate mouse cake do, or perhaps cheese cake?" Alexander asks, watching the Fury with perhaps a touch of concern. "Both are quite excellent."
"Chocolate is good," KL says, enthusiastically, lifting her head quickly. "Oooh," she groans, holding a hand to her temple. "Big spins. Yes. Wow." Grammar appears to be breaking down somewhat. "I do like wine, though. It's not fizzy like beer, so it doesn't make me burp."
Alexander's eyebrows lift in concern, as he slowly rises from his seat. "Perhaps we should forgo the cake," the kinsman murmurs, fishing out his wallet and leaving a wad of cash on the table. "I'll take you out for cake another time. Here, let me give you a hand up," Alex states, offering the Fury his hand.
The Ahroun takes the hand and stands up, but without properly pushing her chair back, and therefore causing it to tip over and fall to the floor with a loud thump. KL's eyes get even more vacant, and she makes a quick move towards the chair, grabbing for it with both hands, as if she's about to pick it up - but not to put it back in the right place.
Alexander hisses softly, placing a hand on her arm and squeezing it rather firmly to get her attention. "Leave it. Please, the waiter will get it."
"Fucking chair," KL hisses, trying somewhat ineffectually to pull away from the kin. "I'll fucking well show it what's fucking well up." Her voice gets louder through this sentence, until it reaches a level where the other clientele are fairly sure to hear.
"KL, be still," Alexander hisses, actually increasing his grip on the Furies arm and trying to guide her out of the restaurant. "If you make a scene, they'll call the police. Do you really want that?"
Somehow, this penetrates through the miasma of rage and alcohol, and KL casts one last angry glance at the evil wrong-doing chair, and turns and allows herself to be guided out of the restaurant, muttering as she goes. "Fucking chair. Fucking police. I could fight them all. Fucking posh restaurant. Fucking posh bloke. Fucking Kovo. Fucking city."
Alexander guides KL out of the restaurant, only releasing his grip on the Fury as they near his car. Drawing in a shuddering breath, he releases the Ahroun's arm and focuses on calming his own swiftly beating heart. A thin sheen of sweat has developed on the kinsman's forehead, from the stress of what was just averted.
"Hey," KL says, leaning against the car and clutching onto it for support. "That was a really nice meal. Thank you!" She smiles, and then staggers a bit, before pulling herself up. "You're really nice too. Yes." She punctuates the sentence with a hiccup.
Alexander swallows and smiles at the fury, remaining a little green around the gills. "My pleasure, as always. Here, allow me," Alexander continues, having collected his wits and opens up the passenger door.
The Fury pours herself into the car, and manages - with some fumbling - to do up her seatbelt. When Alexander gets in, she looks at him. "OK, so what now?" she asks, head lolled back against the headrest. Her eyes are, by now, struggling to focus on anything at all.
"My home is very close to the building the Sisters claim." Alexander says, starting up the engine and exiting the area. "I will take you home and you can stay there for now."
"Yes. That might be a good idea. Can't face other...you know, now. Need to be awake." KL says, slightly curling up in the seat, facing towards Alexander. "Make the weavercart go!" she commands, grinning at her own sense of humour.
Alexander lightly shakes his head, partially ignoring the Fury as he focuses on driving and navigating the highway. Soon enough, the kinsman comes to a stop in front of his home and exiting the car, goes to the passenger side to give KL a hand.
The woods open out into a large meadow that has been allowed to grow wild, the grasses reaching a height of 5 feet or more in the summer months. A stream cuts across the field, from the northwest to the southeast. North of the flowing water, a wide circular garden surrounded by an amphitheater of slim mountain ash can be seen. The garden is at its best in warmer seasons, but yields some herbal treasures year round. It is divided into four quarters by neat flagstone paths. Three of the quarters are used to grow produce and herbs, while the fourth is used to grow flowers and ornamental plants.
Nestled among the trees to the south is a large house that fits well into the surrounding landscape. The forest surrounds the house and field on all sides, such that the building seems more like a last outpost and guardian rather than an intruder into the wild lands stretching eastward.
The ahroun is in distinct need of the hand, and staggers as she gets out. "Wow. Big fucking house." She stumbles again, and this time loses her balance, falling towards Alexander, with a exclamation of "Wooooah" as she goes.
Alexander oofs softly as he catches the Furies weight, but manages to support her and avoid the embarrassment of having them both fall to the ground. "It has it's charms," the kinsman states modestly, lifting one of the Ahroun's hands and kissing the tips of her fingers. "But there are always more lovely things, compared to a mere house."
The Fury remains slumped against Alexander - she's surprisingly heavy for her size - and doesn't resist as Alexander kisses her hand. "Hey. What're you doin'?" she murmurs thickly, her eyes closing and her head falling back over his arm, her plait dangling down to touch the ground.
"Trying to be charming," Alexander mutters with a soft grunt, as he works to shift the Furies eight around and help her into the house. "You know, you have the least resistance to drink, then I have ever seen in one of the Sisters."
"Don't drink much," KL mutters, leaning heavily against him as she stumbles along, with his aid. "'s bad for you. 's unpure or somethin'". She makes a bit of an effort to get more upright, which doesn't really have much effect. "Like wine, though. Like you."
Alexander laughs softly at this statement. "Ah, but where would the Mnades be, without the wine they are reputed to drink?" A key allows entry into the house and the kinsman helps KL inside.
The main room of the Hall is well furnished, with beautiful ash floors. Wooden beams support the second floor, while giving the large home a rustic appeal. The room has been divided into two sections, with a clear pathway that leads into the kitchen. One half of the living room is filled with comfortable armchairs, end tables, and a sizable coffee table. All of which are situated in front of the living rooms main windows and creates a perfect environment for reading, or simply watching the world go by. The remaining half of the room contains a couch, two plush chairs, and a coffee table in front of an expansive stone fireplace. A spiral staircase is tucked into one corner.
"Woo," KL says when inside. "Definitely posh house." She falls against a wall, clawing at it slightly to support her weight. "Posher than home, and I thought that was pretty posh." She slowly slides down the wall, murmuring something unintelligable as she goes.
Alexander crouches down next to the Fury, face close to hers as he smiles charmingly. "Come now, my beautiful Maenade, you don't want to fall asleep on the floor, do you? Come." As before, the kisnman picks up the Ahroun's hand and this time, kisses her knuckles, then refocuses on her face.
"Floor's comfortable," KL complains, but she allows herself to be guided to her feet. "Slept on worse." She leans her head on Alexander's shoulder. "Where're we going, then?"
"Well, there is the couch in front of the fireplace," Alexander offers. "If you don't feel that you can manage the stairs."
"I can manage anything," KL proclaims, with a wild swing of an arm that almost causes her to fall again. "No challenge too big, no fight too...um...something." Her brow furrows as she tries to work out what she should say.
Alexander chuckles softly. "Okay. If you insist." Still giving the drunken Fury aid, the kinsman heads up the stairs.
It's a struggle, but they reach the top of the stairs with only one brief period of sitting, half-way up. "There." KL says, with some satisfaction. "Made it. See, told you." She staggers again, and pulls on Alexander's arm to pull herself back onto her feet. As she does so, her hand slips down into his.
Alexander smiles, a certain amount of smugness in the expression. This is, unsurprisingly, swiftly smothered. His fingers wrap around Kl's, giving the hand a firm squeeze. Far more stable on his feet then the Ahroun, Alexander moves to face KL and puts his free arm around her back. Presumably to help her keep her feet, but the obvious side-affect is how close it brings him to her. "Is there anything else you would wish of me, before retiring to your room?"
"Dunno." KL says, resting her face against his chest and slumping a little. "I have a room?" she murmurs into his chest. "Room's are good. Ceiling keeps the rain off. Like a tent only made of stone. Or wood." Bit of a stream-of-consciousness, this, and certainly an unusual thing to direct at a shirt.
Alexander considers the woman resting against his chest for a moment, then slips his hand from hers. "Yes, a room, along with a bed." Taking what he considers a small risk, he lifts the woman's chin and places a light kiss on her brow.
KL sighs, and doesn't resist. She goes a little limp, and closes her eyes. The Fury's head gets heavier against his fingers, and she sways. "Room. Bed," she murmurs.
Alexander takes this as an invitation, moving the kiss to the Furies lips as he leads her toward one of the upstairs rooms. The kiss is very firm but brief, Alex being forced to focus on walking. The progress made is rather awkward, as the kinsman is supporting a fair bit of KL's weight. They do, however, eventually make it to the bed and Alexander helps the Ahroun sit on the edge of the bed without falling to the floor.
KL lolls back on the bed, spreading her arms wide in a total collapse. "Whee. Soft!" she observes. She rolls about a little bit, and kicks her feet against the side of the bed with enthusiasm. "Nice house. Nice bed. Nice..."
Alexander laughs at this, as he seats himself down on the corner of the bed. "You are quite enthusiastic, although you may want to take your footware off." Reaching over, the kinsman lights pats KL's shoulder. "Unless you have further need of me, I'll leave you be to get some rest."
"Mmm. Rest." KL says, curling into a ball, still with her boots on. She closes her eyes and rests her head on her hands, slowly drifting off into sleep. Or drunken stupor, take your pick.
Alexander simply shakes his head and throws a blanket over the Fury, before exiting the room and heading downstairs.