Since Everectronics had decided to go commercial a few years ago, life had changed drastically for Nora, it had gone from the odd meeting here and there with investors and hospital directors to big marketing efforts, mass team expansion and moving into every sector it seemed possible. It was a whirlwind and sometimes Nora worried she'd get left behind by it all but she actually really enjoyed developing commercial products, things people wanted to go the store and buy. Things that excited them and got people waiting up until midnight just so they could buy it and in the past few years they'd managed to become quite reputable in the market for upscale computer devices. 

And that had quickly evolved into other things too, seeing the potential of the company, many others had come to them for technology development and bringing their systems into the modern age. While business had always been Nora's specialty, in the past few years she had taken a shine to the technology and the ideas behind it, helping to guide the direction of business. They worked with hospitals, hotels, schools, corporate companies but their biggest partnership to date was airlines. And not just commercial airlines but also military planes were looking to make use of the newest Everectronics technology, capable to monitoring the plane in a way that had never been seen before whilst also providing new entertainment options for passengers.

It was a pipe dream, something in development which would require many test runs, installations, checks, failures and reworks in order to get to a marketable state and knowing that something like a plane isn't the sort of thing you work on without knowledge, her company had partnered with another for the trials. The contract had been agreed and the first round of the tech provided to be installed, she didn't expect much for the first few months but eventually she hoped this tech would save lives while also making travel easier for others. Which is what led them to today, it was the first time she would be visiting the airplane hangar and seeing the tech the company had developed being worked on and only the second time she'd actually been on location in this particular company. 

She was excited, mostly because she wouldn't be spending the entire day staring at the back of someone's head but mostly because this had been the first idea that was wholly hers, she had pitched the idea to the company, explained how she saw the tech being adapted to the planes and then she had been the one to lead the contractual negotiations that led them to this exact day. The brunette was dressed smartly, blazer, pretty blouse and a pencil skirt. She always tried to dress up a little for work because it set the right impression with the clients, even if in this case she was sure whoever would be showing her around would probably be covered in head to toe in grease. 

Her heels clicked loudly against the floor and she headed into the building, explained who she was at the front desk and was quickly offered coffee, to which she declined as she picked up a cup on the way and then shown through to the back where the only man wearing a suit in the building it seemed was there to greet her. She quickly recognized him as the COO and shook his hand with a friendly smile. He explained how he was here to answer questions but that her tour would better be given by someone who had been working with the tech for the past month or so. He called out to gather the workers in the hangar while she slightly awkwardly tucked her hair behind her ear because she hadn't expected it all to be quite so disruptive.

Everything was fine until she saw the group of engineers making their way over and her eyes fell upon a familiar face, one she hadn't been able to forget but immediately made her brain shout a thousand cuss words at once and she turned her face flustered. She wasn't supposed to see Julian again, he wasn't supposed to ever meet her real self and yet there he was, towering over the group of males and making her stare for just a moment. Well fuck, she was going to need to think long and hard about how she played this if she didn't want him to immediately put two and two together. Lucky for her, she wasn't a stranger to having a work personality and a non-work personality.  

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He admitted, he was really taken aback when Nora suddenly asked him about his love life, that was unexpected of her but it wasn't that awkward of a matter for him to be discussing about so he went along with it, making sure he left out the part about his former late fiancee being murdered on their wedding day. No point in dwelling on that part, right? The last thing he wanted was a memory of that rewinding itself in his head like it has been for the last few years. "I'm surprised you still don't have the taken sign but at the same time, I'm not. You seem like the type who's independent and won't let a petty relationship tie her down. And of course, I meant that as a compliment." Judging from her appearance, with the way she carries herself around, it shows clearly that she exuded that powerful aura that would intimidate any guy because it was evident that she's the one in control rather than them and for some men, that would greatly bruise their ego. 

"No… not for lack of trying. I guess you can say, I'm not exactly having the whole mood for a relationship. Don't get me wrong, it's not as if I haven't trudged that part before, it's just that… it never worked out. And I stopped trying because it's exhausting to keep on wishing someone right would come swerving in, you know?" Was wishing for the perfect one to come swooping him in making him a desperate individual? He wasn't even sure anymore. Julian rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly as he chuckled nervously when she asked why he didn't go for it, "It's easier said than done" he quipped shyly, "I don't think I'm quite ready yet. Besides, my works are just… imaginations. My creativity goes wild one day and sketches came out of it. But it's nothing serious." He has thought about showing it to his supervisor a few times during their report sessions but he would often dismiss it before he could even try. Why is he not surprised she's already completed her studies? Of course, she has. 

Someone with that kind of energy surrounding her, sometimes that confidence is making him question if he was even worthy of being in the same presence as her. He's not that much of a shy bean but something about Nora makes him wonder if this was familiar. He held both his hands up in defense as soon as he heard those words come out of her, "I was not implying on anything, Nora. I was just saying that petite women are cute… and that you are cute-" Right, way to go, Julian. Real professional there. "I didn't ask to be tall either, you know, not my fault I ate my veggies and drank my milk" he shot playfully and bit his lip because maybe he should shut up now. What the hell are you doing, you big dummy, he grumbled to himself. "I realize I'm making a fool out of myself right now, sorry about that. It… happens." When he's in the presence of someone that confident, he meant. "You were born here? In Evermore?" he asked, he's never met anyone who was actually born and raised here so this was new to him. 

He could appreciate her passion when it comes down to her work, if anything that makes her very attractive, as if she wasn't already making the boys in his team fall head over heels with her earlier. But they didn't know what he knew, right? They were not aware that there was so much more to Eleanora Nordstroem than what she looks like from the outside. They didn't see the conviction in her bright hues when she talked about her beliefs, the way they way her nose scrunched up a bit whenever she was smiling, on how genuine it looked from his part. "I'm looking forward to seeing that happen." Everyone has been raving about the prototype sent to them since a few weeks ago and Julian would be lying if he wasn't curious himself. He wanted to know what it does too. 

The Nephilim pursed his lips and pondered momentarily when she asked him what he does on his weekends, "I'm a big fan of archery. Been into that sport ever since I could hold a bow. Sometimes I go out in the evenings, mark a few spots in the woods and did my own makeshift targets and voila" He would often practice for hours until he finally drained his stamina, "I didn't go to public training spots because it's more comfortable being able to connect with nature." He had a smile etched on his lips when she talked about having projects in Europe, there it was again, that spark of passion in her hues, "Busy woman, I'm guessing." He was glad to hear they were granted approval already, or maybe he liked seeing that smile linger around her for a bit longer. "I should lead the way then" he stood up and made a dramatic signage to the left exit and beckoned for her to come with him, "This would lead you to the hangar faster. Shortcuts always do the job when you're in a rush. Aka when you're late to check in for work because you fell asleep in the lounge."

Nora wasn’t even sure why she was so curious about him, it wasn’t really like her to ask people personal questions at work. But then she was reminded that the first time they met it wasn’t in a work setting, or it sorta was and sorta wasn’t. Either way, the circumstances behind them meeting today were different than the usual way she met people. She had to admit she was surprised someone who looked and acted like him was single but then she also knew better than to assume people had it easy below the surface. A smile could hide a lot of pain, after all. His comments about her love life made her laugh slightly “Something like that” she responded with a laugh “I don’t think it’s for lack of trying, most people just don’t have the patience for a busy girl with a busy life” plus she usually ran for the hills before things could get too serious because she expected the worst to happen sooner or later.

She could tell from the way he phrased his thoughts that he was holding back some kind of pain and she knew it wasn’t her place to ask about it so she nodded a few times, she could understand being damaged by the past and not feeling ready to move past it, so whatever happened she understood why he might not want to try again. “What even is right?” she asked thoughtfully because she wasn’t really sure how to tell when someone was good for her anymore, that’s why most people ended up arm’s length away from her. She definitely didn’t have all that many friends. Hearing him have hesitations about his work when it was clear he was passionate about it made her a little sad though “Well if I was your manager I’d be calling a meeting to expand on the ideas immediately” she despised the idea of putting down employee ideas simply because it ‘wasn’t their place’ and she recognized it as a form of missed opportunity.

She looked back with an amused expression as he tried to dig himself out of the hole he had created and failed miserably at doing so, normally she would feel a little annoyed by the babbling and lack of ability to clearly communicate but this was actually quite sweet and made her wonder if she was making him nervous. She raised her brows when he called her cute yet again and then talked about his own height “That would be my preference” she commented with a slight shake of her head, well at least he was self-aware of his rambling. “Yeah, been here all my life so I guess I’m a little attached” she shrugged slightly “I even went to college here so guess you could say I’ve been a city girl all my life” and a supernatural girl all her life which made Evermore the perfect place to live but that was a topic best not brought up right now,

She was kinda looking forward to the prototype test just so she could see his reactions to the device now, there was something about his responses that were so different from most people, kinda like he wasn’t entirely desensitized to the world around him like most people were. She saw that in many of the things he did from the way he seemed to invested in his work while others would probably see it as the place they spent 8 hours a day to earn money and in the way he stopped to help someone that night in the alley when he could have walked on by but then also stuck around to help patch her up when she got injured. “Me too, I haven’t actually seen it tested in a real-life scenario yet and while I know we’re several iterations away from the final thing, it’s kinda exciting” she shrugged like it wasn’t a big deal but it was clear it was important to her.

Hearing him talk about archery almost made her laugh because of the irony and also because she remembered the bow he had dropped from the other night but she managed to hold it back and nodded a few times as he talked “Archery huh? I heard it takes a lot of upper body strength” she pointed to his arms for a moment, okay she could cheat because she was a dhampir and therefore naturally had extra strength, though she supposed he had that benefit too “You don’t like to train around others?” she raised her brows, she did all her training at the dojo and there were always people there, she wondered if he was self-conscious about his strength.

“Always busy” she affirmed with a nod, it was a busy career she had chosen and then she added her crusade to protect the city on top of that and all spare time went out of the window. She found herself dropping her gaze a few times just to stare at that soft, easygoing smile that he seemed to often wear. It was refreshing, being around someone who genuinely just seemed nice, because most people she met, weren’t. Grabbing the to-go coffee she made she sipped at it with a nod as she followed him towards the left exist and out towards the hangar. She had to laugh when he said about being late to check in cause you fell asleep “Not that you’ve ever had to resort to that or anything” she teased it because it was obvious he had done so and followed him until they reached the entrance to the hangar.

“So how many planes are you usually working on at a time?” she asked curiously as they headed inside and her eyes scanned around the area seeing how it was kinda messy but also organized at the same time, people were working on things diligently in different areas and talking amongst themselves, it seemed they barely noticed the intrusion.

Something about her was familiar, he had that indication when he first laid eyes on her. As cheesy as that sounds, pushing aside that fact, he feels like he's met her yet she looks like someone who just quite literally set foot into his life for the first time today. He wondered why. Maybe it was just his head playing with him. He's been sleep deprived for most part of his week anyway, that was probably it. When she said most people didn't have time for a busy girl with a busy life, he clicked his tongue in response, "I don't think that should stop them from pursuing though. If you really have the kicks and will, then it shouldn't stop you. If you really like that person and sincerely wanted to pursue them, nothing should be hindering them from trying. Maybe you won't get at first try but do we ever attain the good things at a first try? If they feel the person is worth it, then it'll be worth it" he murmured, shaking his head slightly at that, "So it's their lack of trying." Something does tell him that perhaps she was a lot harder than just a girl working at a high ranking position. 

"I'm not surprised either though, most guys… men, I mean. They don't like to stomp their pride and ego, for someone to try out for you, they'll have to be able to offer you so much more than what you could offer him and some people, they lack the effort to show that." She's right, what even is right anymore? He could feel a lump in his throat constricting his own airway, subsequently forcing the Nephilim to keep his thoughts to himself, only were there any actual thoughts to be said and accounted for? It's only been a while but Nora has shown him plenty of reasons why he should like her company, and not just as an executive supervising their work, not as his employer, but even as a person. She's likable, that much he knew, he could see the looks on his team earlier, some had already respected her and he couldn't say any less for himself. "Well, sucks that you're not my manager then" he jested half-heartedly, the idea of letting them know about his ideas were tempting but he also knew not to stray too far across the line that was drawn for them, he knew his place. 

"Evermore is a good place to start anew" he quipped sheepishly upon hearing that she grew up there all her life, he wondered how things were back then before the peace treaty, he was curious to know but was careful not to tread too deep into the issue fearing that people may not like that. Julian wasn't usually this flustered when in the presence of females, this wasn't usual at all but something about her, and not just the fact that she is his employer who could quite literally have him strung up if he messes up, but because he feels comfortable around her. The raven-haired male has always been apprehensive about this, being comfortable means bringing more attachments and he couldn't risk having more of that when he wasn't sure he could protect them, right? He's just an employer, someone he's working with alongside, that's it. That's what he kept telling himself. "Well, then, if things go well today, you should be able to get your first outlook on how the product is going to be like. I, kind of rewired some circuits to ensure it doesn't take too much power" he murmured sheepishly and rubbed the back of his head awkwardly, he knew he shouldn't have but neither in his team opposed the action, though he was pretty sure anyone else outside the working members would have.

 "We experience a lot of faulty lines and the electrical current would fry most of them so I didn't want to experience that kind of problem." A blush crept up as soon as she pointed to him when the topic about archery surfaced, "Yeah, it's not a sport you want to strain yourself on without proper warm up and training" He remembered tearing the string and it bounced back to leave a cut on his left forearm when he was 15 years old. He shook his head, affirming that he doesn't like to train in front of others, "Not really. I usually get lost in myself, and the last thing I wanted to do is to lose control of my surroundings and hurt anyone. It's good to have time to yourself though. There's nobody to judge you, nobody to scold you if your form is wrong or if you're tense." He always told himself that he wasn't a warrior or a fighter, he's an engineer. "I know you think it's worth it, all that business. If it's worth it, then it doesn't weigh you down as much as it should. And if it makes you feel any better, I think you're good at what you do." 

He began leading her through the hallway that would bring them to the rotunda, where there were 4 exits, and he picked the second one on the left which was the shortest way to the hangar he was assigned to, so it only took them a quick 2 to 3 minutes to get there. "The lounge at Hangar 2 is so much more comfortable and the office is nearer that way, far from where I have to report for work though. It's not my fault they gave all the fancy stuff to the technicians instead of the main engineers at Hangar 4" he mumbled defensively, he always fell asleep like a baby there. When asked on how many planes does he work on a time, he shrugged,  "It depends on the season. Yeah, we have reasons too. I guess you could call it peak season because we get a lot of maintenance work to do then. There are plenty of work cut out; maintenance, design, circuit wiring, different teams take different tasks. I could work on outlining the design for the new plane in the evening after I finished rewiring. If I finish early, they can drag me off to work on the fuel tanks. So maybe two to three per day? Not really specific since we're short staffed." 

Thankfully, engineers could usually outline the entire area, they just needed more men to do it. "But between you and I, I definitely prefer sitting back and outlining the designs for any modification on the crafts rather than spending my hours inside the plane that could fry me if I do so much as to accidentally stepped wrongly" he whispered and chuckled before showing her the one that they had installed earlier this week. "At your command, ma'am."

For someone who she might have written off as your average good looking guy usually, Julian had managed to get under her skin a little. Meeting him that night in the alleyway and seeing how determined he was to take care of people around him had struck something in her. She’d thought about him and the person he was a few times since then and it almost felt surreal to be here in front of him now. She realized as he was talking that he was subtly suggesting that she shouldn’t put herself down and she realized that maybe he was right about that “Well then I guess I’ve just never met anyone determined enough to stick around” she laughed softly “Probably cause I scare them all off, you know how people can be when faced with someone who commands any level of power” not that she tried to be scary or unapproachable but she accepted she came off that way sometimes.

“I’m not looking for someone hellbent on trying to outdo me just to feel satisfaction for their ego” he spoke it softly, she agreed with what he said, it was hard for people to feel like they were lesser to a potential partner, especially men. “Hell if a relationship is a competition from the get-go I don’t think things are going to go anywhere near well” she grimaced slightly because she’d met people like that, people who felt the need for their problems to bigger, their achievements to be better, just constantly competing with others rather than listening and understanding. It did make her sad to notice how solely undervalued he was as a professional, she could already tell from the way he acted and talked that he knew a lot about his subject matter, had initiative and innovation skills and the willpower it took and if she saw that in the half an hour or so they’d been talking then his manager was sorely lacking in vision “Maybe I’ll put in a good word for you” she spoke softly knowing she had a certain influence she could pull if she wanted to.

“You’re right it’s….” she trailed off as she thought about how she would describe the city she had lived in for all of her life “Like no other city in the world really” though that all depended on how much you knew about its history. To your average human, she was sure places like New York and Los Angeles were much better attractions but to the supernatural, Evermore was rich in history. Most species originated from here, it was the only place you could see a fallen star in the flesh, hell the Ailwards and their cavalry were here. Not to mention this was the city the angels and demons once walked. She felt into a quiet for a while before they started talking about the prototype. It seemed they were behind thanks to the disclosure agreements but that also meant today they got to experience real interactions with the device “You changed the prototype?” she asked with raised brows, her natural reaction was to be a little annoyed about that but then she reminded herself he knew these systems better than anyone and if he had concerns she should listen.

She nodded her head a few times as he explained himself “Well we will have to hope like hell the device still works or we may both be in trouble, though I suppose if the thing got fried first use that wouldn’t have been much better” which was her way of saying she wasn’t going to tell on him for taking the initiative. People in her labs didn’t know these systems the way he did and if he thought the current would be too much, he was probably right. Besides, for some reason she found herself wanting to trust his judgment. She saw the way he got a little shy when talking about archery which told her all she needed to know about how important it must be to him “As with most sports, though archery isn’t the kind of thing you just randomly decide to do one day, how’d you get into it?” she raised her brows as he talked about preferring to train alone and his reasons why “Must kinda suck when there’s no one to share your successes and progress with though” she commented thoughtfully, she always did her training at the dojo so there were always people around her.

It was nice to hear someone praise her dedication to her work rather than say she overworked herself or got too involved, she didn’t need that kind of negativity in her life “I think we all like to believe we’ve done one small thing to better the world” she commented and shrugged, didn’t have to be big but some of the medical technology they had made had been life-changing and that kind of thing was so important to her. “I swear everything looks the same to me, do you have many new starters get themselves lost and show up at the wrong hangar?” and that was saying something since the most common places she was working was an office, lab or hospital. His explanation about what they were working on was really interesting to her and she nodded a few times as she took in his words “Sounds like it’s something different pretty much every day then” she commented with a chuckle “Have you met any problems you couldn’t solve yet?” Nora wasn’t usually so chatty but he was such an easy person to talk to that it was almost dangerous.

His whisper made her laugh softly as she followed him through the hangar to where they had installed one the devices and she took a slightly shaky breath as she got ready to see it in place for the first time “No time like the present right” she grinned slightly “And since you’re here you might as well be the first person to see it” she gestured that he should go ahead and switch it on while she held her breath slightly nervous for the outcome of it all.

There was always something about people, Julian noticed that the first thing he saw about people once he made their acquaintances was that they usually had a story behind that exterior. There was just something about everyone that he knew was important to their character ark, but thankfully for both sides, the Nephilim wasn't someone who would choose to pry into one's private and personal life. But Nora, something about her attracts him and it wasn't just the independent woman scheme he saw all across her face, not daring mode either. It was something else; something he couldn't pinpoint even now. It was a bit frustrating, really. He wasn't that good with words but Julian is more often seen than so, expressing his thoughts and opinions outloud hence why he had told her there was no need to put herself down just because others couldn't see it. "Men can't afford to bow down to a woman, and they can't afford to lose a fight to a girl" he quipped humorously, it was such an ancient way of thinking yet it still remained the truth in some guys, their egos could get the best of them. 

"You deserve someone who deserves you, Nora. If fate wills it, they'll come right to your doorstep. You don't need to stoop to any level just to satisfy their egos, yes. You're an independent woman who can provide for herself and still enjoy the freedom" She radiated such energy it was almost impossible for Julian not to detect it. Love wasn't exactly a foreign topic for the Nephilim but he also preferred not to think much about the prospect of it, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be, right? Oh, how wrong that was for him to think. Following her playful remark about putting in a good word for him, the raven-haired male rubbed the back of his head sheepishly and chuckled, "Maybe then, I'll finally get a promotion and have my ideas heard out" he jested, though it was secretly what the engineer wanted, he wanted to be regarded as more than just a worker for the sake of labor, he's an engineer, after all. "Sounds like you're describing a city you can't find anywhere else. And I'm not even sure if I should agree or not because in all honesty, Evermore is growing on me too." Sure it has its own shady alleys and stories but that's everywhere. The eternal city was a special place for every supernatural known, he wasn't exempted from the category.

 "A place unlike every place you've ever seen before. You find so many types of… people here." By that, he meant supernaturals. Though, he was pretty sure she got the gist of it. He swore his cheeks almost flush when she asked if he modified the prototype, to which he replied by averting his gaze to the floor, suddenly finding it to be interesting all of sudden, "Sorry. I just wanted to get rid of any known flaws first before the first test ride. If the wire gets fried on first try, then the entire craft is pretty much bye bye. It'll take months to even scrap it back up, much less to rewire it with a new wiring system." When he's nervous, Julian babbles. It has now become a known fact. He was relieved that she understood why he took the measure that he did to prevent any faulty lines, and actually exhaled in relief. A breath he wasn't even aware he had been keeping in. He was shy when it comes down to his skills, especially archery, seeing as it's been instilled inside of him since a child, it was pretty much the thing he connected with. 

"Yeah, it gets a little bit dull when you're alone. But… I'm not exactly active in the community. I'm mostly either here or back home, I don't go out much, surprisingly. I got into archery when I was 7, I saw my sister complaining because her training made her arms sore and she wasn't equipped for archery and I tried. I hit myself with the string and had to wear a bandage for two weeks but… I wanted to try again. So I did. I tried and tried. Until I probably got hurt more times than I can count. But I finally got ahold of them." He had a grin plastered on his lips as he hummed in agreement to her words, she's right, "And that's fine. To tell yourself you're doing one thing to better the world, if it makes you feel good about yourself and doesn't harm anyone else, a bit of a boost doesn't hurt" he murmured sheepishly, he always told himself he's fine. When asked if there had been a few things turn up lost or missing, he nodded, "Sometimes. Someone probably got them mixed up. They don't read labels most of the time. I swear it's that engineer ego or something" He had that too, admittedly. 

Occupations have their own branches, after all. Engineers pride themselves in their work, which resulted in a certain ego level. "We never have any usual cases going around… don't tell them I said this but" he placed a hand over and whispered over to her, "It wounds engineers when the same thing they fix confidently gets into maintenance team notice." Then he laughed in bemusement because he has seen the way the looks on the juniors' faces faltering because of it. When asked if he's met any problems he can't solve yet, he shrugged, "I don't think so… not yet, I'm guessing." He was positive they weren't good all the time, it will come when he wasn't able to solve them. Julian grinned softly as he made his way around the aircraft after stepping into the hangar so he could turn the device on, "Ready at a count of 5… 4… 3… 2… 1" the switch was then turned on and he stood back to see if it would turn out the way Nora and him thought it would. "Pressure level is optimum… cooling is optimum… everything seemed to be fine on technicalities."

“Oh the horror that someone with more experience and training than you was able to beat you at something” she made a face and then laughed, Julian was right it was all about protecting whatever ego they thought they had. She couldn’t be with someone like that, they would drive her completely crazy before long. She went quiet for a moment when he said she deserved someone because, in a stupid way, she wasn’t used to people telling her she was worth something, she normally had to get that confidence and drive for herself. “Besides, what’s so fun about having to share everything anyway” she teased but her smile showed her appreciation for what he said and how he said it. “Sounds like you deserve one, but what would I know, only several years of experience in recruitment and management” she was good at recognizing hardworking and talented employees from the crowd and did her best to reward those people. When he said Evermore was growing on him she grinned slightly “It grows on all of us” she admitted with a shrug, it was just a welcoming and very special city in her opinion.

“There is definitely the full range” she responded to his words, knowing exactly what he was implying “And to think there’s more out there too” some species weren’t welcome in Evermore, namely any Dragonkin that managed to hold onto their lives and the Phoenixes after they refused to sign the peace treaty. Seeing how nervous he got when she asked if he changed the prototype made her bite her bottom lip, she was used to people being nervous around her, she commanded that kind of aura but there was something about him that made her want to tell him not to be afraid. She decided against it though “Well fingers crossed we don’t have any wires blowing then, would feel a little deflating after all the dramatic build-up” she have a wry smile and shrugged her shoulders slightly, he seemed relieved that she hadn’t been mad that he changed the prototype, she wasn’t sure she could be mad at innovative and smart thinking and he knew these planes better than anyone back in her lab.

“Join the club” she spoke with an amused twinkle in her eyes when he said he didn’t go out much, neither did she really, only when she had to but getting out to training sessions was kinda like going to the gym for her, something you made routine in your schedule to ensure your health and wellbeing. Plus it was as good a workout as the gym too. “So you stubborned your way to being good at it” she commented with a playful raise of her brows “Impressive” she teased softly “I tend to prefer hand to hand for training, there’s nothing more satisfying than throwing someone on their ass” she laughed a little, most of the other Dhampir had bets about who could beat her in a one on one because she was very skilled but there had been a few that managed to keep her on her toes. “It might not even be that significant in the grand scheme of things but I like to feel like I'm doing something good” which is why she went out there and protected your average citizen of Evermore when she could.

She had to laugh softly at the way he whispered about engineers and their egos, it sounded about right, everyone had some kind of pride in the work they did, after all, you didn’t spend all your time studying for and then working in a job role just for the sake of it, there was usually drive and passion behind it that spurred them further. “Well then I’d say you are doing amazingly after all because I run into situations at work I feel like I can’t fix all the time” she laughed because it was somewhat like politics in that different teams had different priorities and schedules and you had to find ways to weave the things you needed into place between all of those rules and processes. There was a twitch of a smile on her lips as she heard his dramatic countdown and she watched as the device fired up to life, thankfully no immediately electrical failures thanks to Julian and all seemed okay so far “So the device is designed to monitor the wellbeing of the craft even beyond the built-in sensors in the plane, it can scan the schematics of a typical model and then look for any small differentiations using our point mapping technology” she grinned sheepishly “it won’t be perfect yet but give it a try” she was interested to see how your average engineer would approach using it as they are the ones this device is mainly designed for.

Okay, that smile was blowing himself out of the water. What? A guy can appreciate the pretty smile, especially when it came from a pretty girl who also knew her own standing. That trait of hers, it was insanely attractive, it was no wonder he had caught a few wandering eyes when she was first introduced to them earlier. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the boss lady wasn't just a boss lady in guise, when they're passionate about their work, it usually shines through. "That is a horror, indeed… even I would be taken aback if someone were to beat me at what I do best. If they do that, then what's my worth?" he placed a hand over her forehead, pretending to fall over the dramatics, because why not? Their conversation was better off casual and not so strictly limited to working professionals setting, it washes that light that illuminated her a bit, which he hated to see gone. "I don't know about you, but I feel like it's this small sense of happiness that causes your heart to flip and do cartwheels because you were able to share something so little with someone so significant, it makes everything look bigger than it actually is." 

Julian too, wanted all of that. He wanted someone to go back to, someone he could hug and fall asleep due to exhaustion at work only to have the other push him into showering first. Maybe he was thinking too much for it, but a man can dream. "But you're right, some things are better off not shared, like… food." Oh, Julian. "Maybe I do, maybe I don't. Only time tells. I still like this place so I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. Can't find what I found here back home or anywhere else" What has he found here? Solidarity? Even the Nephilim found himself pausing momentarily because he wasn't sure what he found, but he knew he likes this place. Evermore was a lot more special than it looks, for sure. Evermore seemed so welcoming it was hard not to feel like you belong there because they were stretching their hands out to welcome you. When she said she wishes that there wouldn't be any wires blowing up, he pressed his lips together and nodded softly, "Okay, now I can't stop thinking of the scenarios that could go wrong…"

 He had fiddled with his fingers nervously as he stared at the aircraft, "What could go wrong… right?" Plenty, Julian. Plenty. A blush crept up when she complimented him about his 'problem-solving' self, "I am bad at other things though… like… Coordinating my clothes, I have a whole closet of navy blue, grey and black… That's about it. I'm bad at chess?" Why was he listing something he was bad at? No idea. He was nervous and the compliment took him off guard. "Pretty much… no pain… no gain, right?" No matter how many times he hurt his arm from the way he pushed himself to keep on training, he never backed down. Not truly. The Nephilim wasn't sure if that was a good trait or not, "My sister said I don't give up… Which is a good trait. But my mother thinks I should know how to give up. I just can't picture that... " Even after someone's death, Julian still find it hard to give up on them. When she said she preferred hand to hand, he was curious to see how she is in action, "And if you were to go against me? Can I see myself landing against the mat?" Judging from his curious tone and look, Julian wasn't putting her down, he was genuinely asking.

 "A small good thing can lead to a big one, Nora. Nothing is too small, in my opinion." Once the device is turned on, Julian took a few steps back to examine it from the side, much to what they saw, nothing was wrong with it, it wasn't even overheated which is usually a main problem for a lot of crafts there. There was a huge grin on his lips as his eyes glazed over the device as he walked around it while listening intently to every word that comes out of Nora's mouth, " So, a self-automatic generator? Sounds like a lot of AI in that, impressive. Would it be able to detect any anomalies?" he asked and went closer so he could inspect it better, hands already scraping the outer edge of the craft, surprisingly the circuits looked normal, no signs of future burns. "How will we know once it detects something?"

She was watching him with an amused smile on her lips because he really was sweet, she normally wasn’t the type to notice little things about people but there was something about him that just kept trying to steal her attention away. Perhaps it was those expressive hazel eyes that were filled with passion whenever he talked about his work or maybe it was that effortless, almost sheepish smile that he kept pulling every time he said something like he was worried he might say the wrong thing. Not that it stopped him from talking, he talked a lot and she just found it pretty endearing. “Sounds like a life ruiner to me, what’s the point in continuing after such a crushing defeat” she scrunched her nose in an amused manner because he definitely understood her humor well. She actually had to remind herself they were in a professional setting during this conversation because it had veered far more personal than she’d been expecting.

She went quiet as he talked about how he saw the idea of sharing his life with someone and her blue hues, shifted to meet his eyes for a moment only to see how serious he was being “Guess I wouldn’t really know a lot about sharing a life with anyone” she admitted in what was a somewhat vulnerable admission for her. Her family hadn’t been a good example of anything and since then she had been alone, so perhaps she was too quick to judge what it might be like. “Agreed, food is a personal choice” she nodded slightly, she barely even shared food with Cloud and he was always scrounging for food. She shook her head a little amusedly as he fretted about the possibilities of what could happen if the device malfunctioned, he was cute when he was nervous and stumbling over his words though it seemed like he was nervous the entire of today, which she assumed must be attributed to her. Back to those thoughts about how she was intimidating she supposed “Worst comes to worst I’ll get one of our scientists in to fix it, don’t panic” they weren’t expecting it to work perfectly first run anyway.

She did notice the way he got pretty flustered over the compliment she gave him on his intelligence and he started pointing out things he was bad at, which made her raise how brows in surprise because that was hardly the way she expected someone to take a compliment but there was something humble and real about it “Is anyone really that good at chess?” she teased with a laugh, she thought from the other night that he dressed well enough though she supposed he would be right by saying he stuck to a certain color palette. “I guess it depends on the circumstance” she pondered in response to his words about learning to give up “Sometimes holding on to something with everything you have, brings out the best, sometimes, you waste your time on something which cannot be saved” but knowing where that line was? She had no idea, even years after everything her parents’ scandal she still wanted to get back in touch with them sometimes.

When he asked what would happen if they went up against one another she laughed softly eyeing him up and down very purposely considering he’d pretty much just invited him to “I think I’d win” she answered honestly and shrugged, just because she was small didn’t mean she couldn’t pack a punch and a half. “True” she responded when he assured her that doing something small for the better could eventually become something so much bigger “Who knows, maybe someone will have their life saved thanks to this device and they go on to cure cancer” she gave a genuine smile, everything was a chain reaction after all.

She watched from a distance as he switched the device on but she bit her lip from the anticipation because she really wanted this to work, it would make all the long hours in the lab and discussions about schematics and designs until stupid hours worth it, in some small way. “The technology used his is based on the same tech we use for spinal implants to monitor the human body and ensure there’s no adverse effects to the chip which helps them to regain control over their body” she pressed her lips together “Except we adapted the monitoring to something much more mechanical and allowed it to tap into the sensors on the plan, as well as using its own spacial awareness functions” she wasn’t even technically minded in the company but she got excited about the products and learned as much as she could about them. She moved over to the screen and used the interface to scroll through the monitoring systems showing him what it was doing at each step, the screen was showing a realistic model of the plane on the screen which showed the body with a few dark spots which implied damage to the exterior “These it can detect as damage, probably taken a few knocks from birds and the likes” she nodded a few times “But according to the device, no body malfunctions, though to know about mechanical issues we’d have to boot up the engines” which she imagined they wouldn’t do in the hangar. She went quiet, gazing at him just because she really wanted to take in his reaction to it all.

He didn't know what it was about Nora that seemingly made him more nervous and shy around her. Julian wasn't a people person, yes, he was far from being a social butterfly in the slightest. If you want him to talk to you, you'll either have to wait until he comes to you or you come to him. It only ever works within those two ways only. No in betweens. But he wasn't that awkward or shy around females either, or else he would have blushed every single time he is within a close proximity with any of them, which was surely not the case. Was he attracted to her? Okay, fine. There were definitely notable traits belonging to the petite female that he likes; her eyes, for instance. Those stormy blue hues could stare into existence and he would probably thank her for it. Despite her professionalism oozing a few times within their conversations, Nora managed to make him feel comfortable around her, which was an amazing feat considering the Nephilim doesn't open up to many. His colleagues took months to even get him to introduce himself more than a basic ordeal.

 "Life ruiner is one way to phrase it, yeah. But I guess it depends on the individual, if they think it's worth the try and effort, then perhaps not giving up is what makes them stronger than most. Sometimes, letting go is the strong move and other times, holding on could be seen as the same. I can't judge either." Maybe because he too, could find himself relating to it. If she was worth it, he'd find it hard to give up. "But that's only my two cents." When she said she wouldn't know what it feels like to share a life with another, Julian fell into a brief silence, staring at her from the corner of his eye with an unidentified expression. It wasn't of pity nor was it of sympathy. He had no idea why he had even been stumbling on his words, which by the way, does not happen at any circumstances. Even when questioned or interviewed by higher ups or any forms of authority, he never faltered. How is this one woman able to make him feel like he had to rethink everything again? Goddammit. 

"I'm… not panicking…" Yes, you are, idiot. "My sister is. Whenever we play chess, I can already prepare my defeated face because she would end up bragging for the entire time until the next time we play chess, which she'll win… again. And brag. Again." Julian bit his bottom lip unconsciously and couldn't stop himself from asking, "Do you believe in that? Do you believe that… sometimes some things just cannot be saved?" When she eyed him, the raven-haired Nephilim felt like the entire block just collapsed on him, did he say something wrong? A relieved sigh he didn't know he even held before, escaped him when she answered calmly, "And I guess I can't be surprised. You look like you have quite the tricks up your sleeve, in a good way, of course." She had a pretty smile, he saw that. The whole part of them raving how the industry may advance themselves at a rate where curing cancer may be possible made Julian grin. That sounds like a dream come true.

 He paid attention to every detail she told him about how the device works, and couldn't help but marvel at how the device could aid them in so many ways, his hazel hues never leaving the post and eyed how she explained it to him in a more practical form. By the time she looked back at him to gauge his reaction, Julian had already leaned in just a few centimeters from her face because he had been hovering her to watch the interface. "This is incredible… If you want to see the full scale… I can start the engines for you. The rail is empty anyways. Seems like a missed opportunity if we don't exploit it now, right?"

For someone who had completely thrown himself in the line of danger without thinking the other night he was actually pretty rational and thoughtful, she supposed it must have been a spur of the moment thing because today he made a lot of sense and even had her second-guessing some of the things she held in her mind. She got the feeling he had probably been through a lot in his life just from the way he seemed so wise as though he had learned things from experience “Guess maybe one day I’ll know the line between them” she commented thoughtfully, eventually a situation had to come along that made her let down her walls a little right? How would she even know? What was it about him that made her second guess everything she thought she knew for sure? And so quickly too, it was creating an odd unsettled feeling in her stomach, though not one that was uncomfortable.

She gave him a wry smile when he said he wasn’t panicking, could have fooler her but he was keeping a decently level head so she would roll with it, honestly, she wasn’t expecting everything to work perfectly today, she would be suspicious if it did. She looked up at him when he said his sister was good at chess and seemingly liked bragging about it “Well if you want a chance to brag then just play me at it, I’ll lose and throw it out the window before long” she joked but it probably wasn’t far from the truth. She realized she had said something a little controversial when she caught his reaction when she said about things being unable to be saved “That depends what we’re talking about” she pressed her lips together “If you smash your phone to pieces, it probably can’t be saved” she bit her lip “A heart however, I’d like to believe those can be fixed with the right care” though it might be more fragile the next time around “But when it comes to people I don’t think it’s a case of if they can be saved, it’s a care of whether they want to be” some people just had no interest in getting better and what could you do for them then? “Why? Do you disagree?” she was curious to know his perspective on it.

She chuckled when he commended her comment about being able to take him in a fight, though she did note the way he had panicked for just a brief second as she looked him over, she wasn’t sure if she had made him nervous or perhaps he thought he had done something wrong “Oh believe me I do, you’d never see me coming” she laughed thinking about the irony of it considering when they first met he had walked straight into one of her traps literally headfirst. But he didn’t remember that was her so she couldn’t bring that up. It was definitely testing her to remember what was and wasn’t okay to say around him but she was pretty sure she had walked the line well so far.

As she explained how the device worked and showed him it, she noted the way he seemed completely engrossed by it which told her that he really cared about the functioning and wasn’t just humoring her because she was in charge of the company he was working with and they needed to impress her. Well, she supposed some of that was probably on his mind but he’d done decently well at putting her at ease so far. But when she was done and she looked towards him, she immediately widened her eyes a little panicked from how close he was to her face and she couldn’t stop herself from staring into those hazel hues for a few brief seconds. Her mind immediately thinking about how gorgeous his eyes were, filled with so much depth and color it almost looked fake. After a moment she realized she was starting and awkwardly pulled away while clearing her throat “We can do that?” she asked as casually as she could but she shifted a little on the spot as she tried to gather her composure, what was wrong with her, she wasn’t even like this around anyone.

“Well firstly is there an actual fault on the plane here for it to detect? Otherwise all we’re going to get is an all-clear which might just be a false-positive” she commented arching a brow towards him “It’s fine if not, I mean just seeing the mapping technology in action will be more than enough to get the logs we need” she widened her eyes realizing she had completely forgotten to show him the logging system “I forgot” she spoke as she tapped on the screen open up the logging console details “If you hook these details up to the onboard computer system in the cockpit, we should be able to see it giving real-time feedback to the legacy systems” though she doubted this would work off the bat, after all, they were working with a mocked-up version of the computer in the lab and she was sure there would be differences. She followed him through towards the computer room, attempting to look through at the screen but quickly realizing there wasn’t much room and he was very tall she hovered behind him for a moment, eyes trailing over him naturally while she waited.

Julian had always made sure to keep his own private or personal matters to himself, he seldom voices out his opinions outloud too for fearing that he would end up offending someone else and get himself into trouble that he initially never wished for. But, that side didn't do that much of an impact to the Nephilim when he checked out of work. Outside, he's as reckless as a chicken though his daringness doesn't warrant the same quality of someone who's afraid to try something new. He noticed the treatment he gave to Nora and Scarlet Archer, the mysterious woman he could never seem to forget, they weren't that different but around his boss, he felt slightly guarded. Which was weird considering one is an intimidating superior who would be eyeing his every move done here at his workplace, and the other is actually someone who could quite literally cut his throat without blinking. Not that he wasn't sure the female before him right now couldn't do the same. 

"Maybe. You shouldn't be closing the doors that can be opened for plenty of opportunities to rise up. Even if not all of them would turn out to be the good ones." He was hardly someone who should be giving out advice when he himself couldn't get a hold of his life, but it just seemed so fitting, at the moment. Julian quickly bit down on his bottom lip when he saw the wry smile Nora spared him after he told her he wasn't panicking when that was exactly what he was doing, he knows he wasn't exactly the most believable person right now. Thankfully, she didn't comment anything on if which made him release a relieved sigh, one he wasn't even aware that he's been holding in. "I mean, the picture of you going berserk on it by throwing it out of the window is a pretty amusing picture to have. So maybe I would. But honestly… you can't be worse than me at chess. I'd like… The worst kind. Worst of the worst."

 The topic about being able to be saved did hit a sore spot in Julian, the raven-haired male wasn't sure how to react to her words, did he even have the right to talk about something so sensitive to him like that with a straight face? But it wasn't as if he could run away any further than he's already done. "Most people who say they don't want to be saved usually turned out to be the ones who wanted to be saved the most" he mused softly, he's seen people like that and he couldn't say they were wrong either. When asked if he disagreed, Julian stared at her momentarily and pursed his lips lightly, "I think people are just afraid of saying their deepest desires out loud in fear that they would be hurt for hoping." Somehow, he had a feeling that Nora was being truthful and confident about how he wouldn't see her coming, her petite stature would definitely make it easier to take him down with enough agility and who knows what she's capable of secretly? "I have no doubt of that. Forgive me if I do need evidence to match up the claims though" he retorted playfully, maybe he wanted to see her in action, is that such a bad thing?

 Julian didn't notice that she had been staring at him for a brief while because he was so engrossed in how the device worked, he wouldn't take his eyes off the thing at all. He didn't realize anything until she coughed, prompting the Nephilim to part ways slightly because that was awkward. When asked if they could do that, Julian chuckled and nodded at how in awe and surprised she sounded, "Yeah, we can. Technically, I get to call in if I want to. Besides, we're not at peak hour and people here work in shifts. My supervisor isn't here to grumble and complain either and I won't tell if you won't" He pressed his lips together to suppress a grin as he looked at her pleadingly, he really wanted to try it out. "I'll be truthfully honest, I have no idea what you just said. I think it'll be better for me to see it. Never been the type to digest everything in one read, anyway." 

It was why he was ushering himself inside the computer room that wasn't at all spacious and could only occupy up to 2 people only. Unfortunately, for someone of his build, he may occupy it on his own. Julian was about to take a seat but glanced back when he realized she wasn't in front of him, when he does that, he noticed the close proximity between them and blinked a few times in surprise, "Do… do you want to… uh, sit?"

“Maybe” she responded and nodded her head “But sometimes I have to take measures to protect myself, otherwise I’m afraid I wouldn’t know how to move forward” which was quite a vulnerable thing to admit for her but she had definitely experienced times in her life where she had allowed herself to trust people she shouldn’t have and gotten hurt because of it. That was what made her into quite a reserved person she supposed. He seemed more optimistic than she was which was probably a good thing because she was self-aware about the fact she could be quite cynical and she was sure other people noticed it about her too “Maybe I’m looking for that sign it’s okay to trust again” she murmured softly more just to say it out loud than specifically for him. It didn’t even have to be a relationship, Nora realized she didn’t really trust anyone that much which was making her self-reflect “I feel like we may have to make this match happen just so we can settle who is officially the world’s worst chess player” she laughed softly as she looked up at him.

She could tell she’d hit a nerve on his morals with what she had said about people being able to be saved, perhaps she stood where she stood because she had worked for so long to try and find anything redeemable in her parents but in the end all she found were people who traded other people’s lives for greed and she could never justify that, she didn’t know if she could ever forgive them either. “But it still holds the question of whether they have the determination to save themselves” she truly believed that if you wanted to do better and you showed you would do better then you could do better. But most people only said they wanted to do better to get shorter sentences or greater privileges and then they ended up right back where they started as soon as temptation came in “I hate that I see people in the world who I truly believe don’t care about others, but I do” so in that sense, yes, there were people she didn’t think you could save, but that was by no means everyone “Are you waiting for someone to save you?” she asked it curiously as she gazed up at him, he definitely seemed to have some kind of darkness in his past because she could see the way he recoiled at personal conversation.

His challenge for a fight to see if she could really knock him on his ass made her click her tongue “It’s almost like you have a death wish” she teased and then winked because no matter how good he was, she was confident enough in her own ability that she could take him down. She had taken down crowds of men with guns before, a one on one fight with this guy, even if he was supernatural, seemed almost unfair. He honestly seemed so excited and interested in the device though which made her happy because he was probably the first person outside of the labs she had spoken to about it and he actually understood what she was trying to achieve with the design “Well I’m not going to say no to the chance to see it for myself” she spoke with widened eyes, kinda child-like because she had been working on this project for a year and even though it wasn’t guaranteed to work just yet, it felt like a massive milestone. “That’s okay, I get a little overexcited about this sometimes, it’s just the first thing I’ve really developed from my own idea” she commented and averted her gaze a little sheepishly because it wasn’t like her to get over-excited about anything.

She was standing behind him in the room, moving from side to side a little to try and see past him on her toes, turns out he’s an actual giant and she is pretty petite, eventually she had kinda given up and was peeking through the gap beside him in the doorway but she wasn’t expecting for him to turn around so quickly, the moment he did, her chin almost hit his chest as she tilted her gaze up at him and her eyes widened feeling herself lose her balance because she had been on her toes and putting her hands out to hold onto him for stability. She took a few deep breaths as she controlled her panic from almost tripping and whacking her head on the doorway before realizing the position they were currently in “Fuck, I’m sorry” and then she widened her eyes because she had totally just sworn at work. What the hell was happening to her? Was she becoming an unprofessional mess? She cleared her throat before squeezing his arm gently and then stepping back, attempting to catch her breath.


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