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The skyline was covered in a multitude of colours as August raised his head and looked out the large pained windows of his private office, his job at a local University in the Human Territory of Evermore had so far been a blessing in disguise. The sky always broke out in deep purples, blues, reds and oranges with the sunset, only to slowly diminish and reveal a clear starry sky. A little captivated Gus couldn't pull his dark orbs from the spectacle. No matter how many times he had seen the like, it always managed to intrigue him and for a moment everything in his life seemed better. His new home city truly was amazing, it was unique with all it's territories and factions holding a host of species he hand't come into contact with yet. That didn't hinder him from learning about them along with his own. He had been content here despite having seen the world during his various travels, he had no desire to return.
As the week came to a close he marked it out on the calendar that he'd created when his wife Nina had first disappeared. With emotions in constant flux it registered uncommon for him. As a child he had grown up and learnt self control, almost to a detrimental effect on his own health. But since his wife had disappeared without a word, all of his natural instincts were on red alert and he found himself unravelling as more time passed, losing control where he once had it. Dangerous enough as it would be for a human, being an Initia made it that much harder. The higher his stress levels developed coupled with reoccurring sleepless nights despite his efforts, he continued to slip up and loose control of his abilities without warning, while others began to diminish. No amount of training seemed to help for long, but it did keep them in a somewhat functional condition.
August began packing up any documents and books which wereleft sitting on his desk into his satchel, slinging the strap over his shoulder letting it hang down one side. Exiting the education building he walked the short distance to his car a white VW Arteon unlocking it and setting his brown leather bag on the passenger seat. Pausing for a moment he glanced upwards and took a deep breath, appreciating the soothing calm that surrounded him until he felt ready to venture home. Opening the drivers side of the car he got in and started up the engine, focusing his thoughts on the simple miracle he'd gotten everything he needed done, this fact usually wasn't the case, and normally his workload kept him inside for most of the weekend. The constant piles of marking papers,grading exams along with reviewing his notes on students submitted presentations kept him well enough distracted but it took a toll on his body. This weekend he was determined to enjoy, It wasn't per chance that he had freedom to do whatever he pleased. August had purposefully toiled late, putting in the work to complete everything he had to do. He hated being in that house alone, so the more he could avoid it he would.
It was a rough 30 minute drive to his three story house, which overlooked the city and in its view caught the ocean. They had chosen this place as it was one of the more secluded options and had a surrounding forest which made for beautiful hikes. As he pulled up into the driveway a set of large grey ornate gates opened inwards to allow his car to pass through. August got out of his car and made his way into the empty house, it was tastefully decorated with a cozy modern style, but even so he couldn't diminish the deep feeling of loneliness. At least tonight he didn't have to stay. Moving towards the kitchen he quickly he cooked up dinner for himself, flicking through one of the copious books sitting in neat piles around his kitchen, he knew he needed to fill the small hole in his stomach which had been gnawing at him for a good part of the evening. Leaving the table minutes later he climbed the stairs, his long legs taking the steps in twos to his bedroom, where he freshened up and changed into a black t-shirt with an autumnal jumper and black jeans.
August lifted his keys from the blue ceramic bowl on his way back out the front door. His bag still lounging against a nearby wall. Should he go out? For What purpose? Gus shrugged it off and left anyway, ignoring his indecision. He would see where the road took him. It was unlikely harm would come his way no matter if he ended up in the city or on a remote section he'd never been before. After all adaption was his forte. A while into his drive and he realised which way his subconscious had taken him, he pulled up at the lakeside bar and stepped out. Parking not far from the main entrance and made his way in. It was relatively busy, but with a nuance he hadn't experienced before. The background music reached his ears the further in he went and automatically August took in his surroundings. It seemed the place was filled with regulars, even the boisterous conversations didn't out shadow those that were quieter. They somehow mixed together to form a comforting hum of sound. Some sat at the bar where a tall brunette woman with striking blue/green eyes tended to them.Gus' eyes shifted, to the pool tables in the back, along with a couple of empty booths. Well that seemed perfect he thought to himself, he could easily sit back there and watch the goings on or play a game without being too much disturbed, but maybe he should get a drink first.
Her heart beat rapidly, sweat pouring as she ran down the trail. The sun beamed down from above, the covering of trees causing a dappling pattern across her tan flesh as she ran. The trail shifted and turned straight uphill, the path growing rocky and sheerer. Eventually up ahead, the trees started to thin out and the trail also levelled. Breathing ragged, Aaliyah stepped into the sun, her pace still steady and strong as she ran along the cliff side. After several more minutes, the trail turned back into the trees but instead the brunette stopped along the edge and looked over the valley below.
The midday sun beat down on the valley through a cloudless sky. It was hot, the temperature probably well above 30 Celsius but Aaliyah loved the heat. Checking her smart watch, she watched her heartbeat steadily return to a normal beat within minutes of stopping. Sitting down, she let her legs hang over the side of the cliff edge before leaning back and letting the sun dry the sweat from her skin. She wished she didn’t have to work tonight but then again, what else did she had to do?
She was no longer as busy as she had been when she was an Ambassador and led the Instar Diviner faction. Even her work with Everson left room for her to be bored and if there was one thing that didn’t sit well with the dark brunette it was sitting still and being bored. Years of imprisonment by the phoenix had left her with a drive to constantly be busy, always wanting something to do. After a few moments of sunbathing a small sigh escaped her lips and she rose to her feet again, stretching a moment before heading back down the mountainside at her quick jogging pace.
It didn’t take her long to reach her home nestled in the foothills of the mountains, the river visible from the back deck of the house, past the horse pastures. Jogging right up to her front door she was accosted by her retriever, Samson, and her wolf-dog Celty. Giving them both attention for a moment, she then turned into the house and immediately headed to her room, shedding clothes before showering. Once she got out she slipped into clothes for work, donning a white tank top, black jeans, and simple ankle boots before running a brush through her hair. Checking her phone for the time she cursed silently and quickly fed the dogs before heading to her truck and climbing in.
The drive to work was peaceful, the skies still bright but the sun setting creating shadow among the city buildings and cooling the temperature. Aaliyah arrived at the bar, parking and immediately heading inside to greetings from the regular patrons. She smiled and waved, giving her coworker behind the bar a smile before immediately getting to work. It was already busy for a Friday night the nice summer weather filling the joint. They were filled with their usual regulars but there were also just as many young people and new patrons as well making for a busy night that seemed to fly by. She noticed a few solo drinkers, her gaze lingering on a new face in a dark haired male before she returned her attention to her work.
Before Aal knew it, it was after midnight and most of the young crowd had left for more rowdy bars and clubs. Several groups lingered, drinking, laughing and having fun but most were finishing their drinks and switching to water at that point. Once large group of rowdy young men was finishing up at the pool tables. Drinks covered the surfaces around them and they were thoroughly intoxicated but had arrived in cabs luckily. “Last call guys!” Aaliyah shouted to the bar. Drink orders came in and tabs were settled. Aal ignored the attempted flirtations and jibes from the pool table crew and they paid and smiling, sent them on their way with a chuckle.
As the bar emptied, Aal grabbed the recycling and garbage and headed through the back door to the alley to toss everything into the bin. With a frustrated huff she noticed the group of men from the pool table lingering and having a smoke. As the door to the bar closed, they noticed her and immediately stalked closer. Cat calling and offering their services. Aaliyah could be a tolerant person. She had learned many things during her time as a leader and dealing with people was one those things among mastering her abilities and learning various physical skills as well. While she could show patience, she also reached a point where she reached the end of her tolerance and she was at this point now.
Offering a small smile she allowed them to toss the bags into the bin for her, running a hand through her hair and watching them closely. “You guys are a mess. You should be getting home,” she told them, her voice still teasing despite her guard being up with the group. They were all hanging around her, truly too close and ignoring personal space. Their eyes were shifty and their smiles and laughs didn’t really reach their eyes. “Only if you come with us sweetheart,” the large man beside her chortled, his arms snaking out to wrap around her waist. Laughing, Aal danced out of his reach, her pale sapphire eyes now cold and hard. “None of that now. I have to finish my shift and head home to the family,” she purred though no humour was in her voice or expression any longer.
“Well we really aren’t taking no for an answer right now babe,” another of the men answered her as they all moved closer, trying to back her further away from anywhere prying eyes might. Aaliyah’s eyes flashed amber, her magic stirring in her as her frustration rose to sheer fury…
It turned out that his subconscious had chosen a good place to settle, and the booth in the back turned out to be what he expected. Though sociable by nature August didn't have to interact with the other people enjoying themselves unless he wanted to. The hours drifted past and the pint glasses began to make their presence known on the dark wooden table, which before only held a single lit candle. The tall male was only beginning to feel hazy so he chose to stop, not wanting to risk losing his grasp on reality in any respect as he knew that could be dangerous, not only him but the others that surrounded him. Waving his hand over the small candle that's wick had settled in a pool of melted wax, he rose the flame a little higher, giving it a boost of power. Mostly to entertain himself, playfully continuing to do so until he decided to distinguish it all together. Standing up from his seat, he gathered the glasses in a neat pile so that it would be easier for the lady at the bar to come and clear them away. He would have brought them over as he was one of the only remaining few, except it concerned him that doing so may register as odd behaviour and attract attention of a rowdy group by the pool tables, something he did not wish to receive. Before he left his booth he quickly flicked his hand and put out all the other dwindling candles in close proximity, the sole of his shoe passing the floor when he heard the last call.
August stood outside as he fidgeted with his phone to check if he had any new messages or emails, a small hope still kindled in his chest that someday she would send a message his way, knowing that even a few words would dissipate the anxiety he'd been holding, lifting a much debilitating weight from his heavy broad shoulders. The male still didn't really want to go home and that upheaval of emotion was gnawing at him but to a lesser degree than before, but he had no choice as it was twenty past twelve and the rest of the crowd inside the bar had left behind him bit by bit, in irregular drips and drabs.
Knocking his focus, August heard to the right side of him a metal door clang shut, registering that it led out to the long narrow ally and his curiosity peaked. However before he got even a little bit close the same group from the pool tables left the bar, forcing him to stay put, he watched them carefully for a moment with narrowing brown eyes until they settled on the edge of the same alley. On first glance, they seemed like an average group of lads, different heights and hair colours, but all roughly the same age. Mid 20s.
Ultimately passing no remarks Gus turned his attention back to his phone, fishing in his pocket for a pair of earphones to slot them into his ears, he was far enough down to be out of immediate sight but close enough to remain in earshot. He had not yet pressed play on his chosen music track, when the shouts and heckles of their drunken advances assaulted his ears. August waited a moment to see if the bartenders words would make the younger men disperse, as he knew this probably was an unfortunate situation that she dealt with nightly. As one of the men moved into her personal space, August pulled himself from the wall he had been resting against, and casually walked down the footpath. It wasn't like he had a plan, after all he was only coming closer encase things escalated. it was obvious the entirety of the group were intoxicated and luckily by this point, the cooling air had rendered him stone cold sober.
In a matter of moments the heckling went from bad to worse, it was clear to see and Gus felt like he had to do something. As his stride passed the alley, he turned on his heel and quietly made his way towards the group concealed somewhat by shadows. It was only then that they began to notice him forcing the Initia to think on his feet. Reaching out he grabbed the brown haired man closest to the girl, not intending to do any harm, at most knock him out if he put up a struggle, but as soon as his palms rested on the other males skin, he could smell burning flesh and a blood curdling scream soon followed. Gus let go almost as quickly as he had advanced, seeing his imprint scorched into the mans neck as his knees buckled and his previous bravado threat was left as vacant as his upward stare towards him who had inflicted his wounds. Part of Gus wanted to apologise and the other half was tempting to pull a laugh from his chest, so he wasn't fully sure how to react, "Um sorry?" he questioned while dodging a punch that was so haphazardly thrown at him it was almost as if the person trying to hit him was drunk. Oh. Yea. Right..
To his surprise the second attempt from a stocky blonde did land against his face, the audacious rings ornamenting his fingers, ripping the skin along Augusts cheekbones open, "Ow...come on now that's not nice" he replied subsequently tripping the assaulter up onto his back, bending his arm in an awkward position until he heard the familiar sound of bone snapping. The feeling of blood against his skin, and the metallic taste, switched his mindset to unhindered attack. Which to his dismay, was exceedingly hard to turn off. He could feel the striking eyes of the brown haired girl, burrow into him. She probably didn't want or desire his help and he really only meant to break the group up peacefully but instead he had started a full on brawl.
As the third came towards him he could feel the heat in his hands burning up again, edged hotter by the anger that he had subconsciously submerged, he didn't know how to stop it and he found out the hard way that he could no longer touch anything without setting it alight, Gus watched in horror as he struggled to escape from his leather jacket which had spontaneously combusted. Panic rose up inside his chest as the sight and smell of smoke filled the air, the darkened alley lit up with flames from the burning item of clothing. Luckily the youth inside had managed to escape with few burns, but the sight of it made the rest of the emboldened group disband in various directions. As for August he gave he female a look of fear and confusion, mouthing apologetically as he backed out of the alley, looking about him for some source of help..."What puts out fire...water? Would that work?..." He thought as he moved towards the river and sat down on his knees close to it almost scared to submerge his hands.