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Since the moment Elijah had made an appearance at his home Orion had the packs on high alert. For the first time since coming to Evermore his children having to look over their shoulder and actually contemplate their own safety. Given what Elijah wanted Orion had assumed that it would just be an issue between packs since Tansy was a pack member and Elijah claimed he would take the whole of Orion’s pack stripping him of his Alpha status.
One of the betas had been passing the park a few days back and caught the scent of another Alpha. Watching they had seen Elijah approach a woman, a blonde human. That was all the information Orion had been given and it was enough to cause his blood to boil. Sariah had nothing to do with this, she was just a human who happened to be strong and fierce which gained his attention, nothing more. At least that was the story Orion kept telling himself but he knew there was more to it than that, the Human Ambassador having wormed her way past the abnormally high walls he kept around himself. Never had he met a woman with such a drive to protect others and stand up for herself even when the odds were low. It didn’t hurt anything that she had such expressive and beautiful features her awkwardness in social situations an object of amusement to him. That meant she was off limited and he refused for her to be a part of this.
Orion needed to check on Sariah, he needed to know that she was alright since Elijah wasn’t a man known for kindness. If anyone was going to stand up to an alpha male who was being a dick it would be Sariah and that fact alone caused fear to build in the pit of his stomach. The Therian Ambassador got into his car driving quickly through the city before pulling into the lot for the Organization’s Headquarters. Getting out of his car he headed for the door his feet swiftly getting him to the door he pulled opened with the ease. The same desk person from the last time wasn’t there though Orion wasn’t sure if that was a good or bad thing.
“Orion Valkyrie for Sariah Holloway and no I don’t have an appointment.” He said already answering the unasked question. His foot tapping rapidly against the floor as he waited while the receptionist grabbed the phone to call for Sariah.
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She had meant to get in contact with Orion, she really had. That night she hadn't been able to sleep, tossing in turning and trying to figure out exactly what could have happened. Staying up she had started obsessing, tapping away at her keyboard for hours on end as she uncovered bit by bit things about the man who had threatened her, it seemed he went by many fake names but she was smart and uncovering his tracks was pretty easy because Elijah Travis had no idea what he was up against when it came to the digital world. She was angry, angry that he had disappeared off the radar after that night and angry that she had no warning at all about the danger that was on her very doorstep.
The feelings hadn't dulled over the next couple of days which she had spent holed up in her office with her computer and some trusted members of the organization whom were helping her with the digging. She knew that Orion was connected to this guy, she just couldn't find the reason why and it was beyond frustrating. The blonde closed her laptop with a slam before closing her eyes and reaching up to rub gently against her temples, it seemed she was driving herself insane. "I'll be back in a moment" she had excused herself from the room before heading into the break area and starting to make herself a cup of coffee. Once it was made she took a sip and let out a long sigh, obsessing was one of her worst traits and it tended to come out when she knew people were hiding things from her.
She decided to stay in the kitchen for a little longer as it felt nice to breathe for a moment. She hadn't really noticed for quite how long until she heard hurried footsteps coming down the hall. When the person a little out of breath said that someone in the lobby was asking to see her she had naturally gone to respond that she didn't have any meetings and it'd have to wait but she had been cut off "They're quite insistent ma'am" the ambassador sighed gently tipping the last of the coffee down the sink and setting the mug down on the side before she headed for the elevator to find out what the fuss was all about.
The moment the elevator doors opened her eyes met with his "Of course" she had muttered to herself, now she was going to have to think about what she wanted to say to him on the spot and anyone who knew her would know how well those conversations turned out for her, she considered just turning around and going to any random floor in the building but the look on his face stopped her. Stepping out into the hall her red heels tapped loudly against the hard floors of the lobby loudly. She didn't know exactly how to feel but considering that all eyes were on her she figured she was best to fake it "Mr Valkyrie, I wasn't made aware you were coming in for a meeting" Sariah watched him intently trying to figure out what it was he wanted.
Appointments were the civil and proper thing to do, Orion was aware of this but after what he heard propriety was the farthest thing from his mind. The normally professional demeanor which clung to him having slipped, the receptionist obviously nervous in his presence. Orion was keenly aware why since his felt the more human side of himself slipping and the aura of authority and intimidation increasing. It was rare that ever happened and normally he was quick to put himself into checked but today he really needed something and was not afraid to use this means to get it.
The longer he waited the stronger that aura became his senses reached out around him and he could actually taste how nervous the receptionist was. Though an Alpha who over reached with his power was why Orion was here in the first place so he slowly got a handle on himself. “I really need to see Miss Holloway.” He said again in a calmer tone the receptionist quickly calling again.
“They’re looking for her to inform her of your presence now.” Orion nodded in gratitude as he leaned back against the desk looking at the elevators which seemed to cause the receptionist to relax a degree since he was no longer under such an intense gaze.
The Therian could hear the small ding of the elevator as it arrived on the lobby floor, observant sapphire hues took in the appearance of the blonde who stepped out. His gaze sweeping over her looking for bruises, cuts or discoloration but he saw none which caused a sigh of relief to leave him. However she didn’t seem thrilled by his appearance, that didn’t diminish his concern or the mild relief he felt though. Ever the tapping of Sariah’s heels against the floor was louder than it should which was good indication was not happy to see him. For appearance sake he gave the young woman a smile which he did actually feel since he was glad to see her without any injuries.
“Miss Holloway, always a pleasure. I do apologize for the sudden intrusion but I had a matter to discuss with you. If you happen to have the time for me that is.” There was a pleading look in his eyes needing her to agree because there was so much he needed to explain and apologize for. Most of all he needed to know what happened since Elijah was pushing buttons which were better left alone.
As she stood facing him Sariah did her best to mask the bubble of emotions just below the surface, she was glad that he was okay because she had been concerned that Elijah might have followed through on his threats quicker than she had expected. Scanning her eyes over his frame however she didn't see any clear evidence of any damage done, aside from the scars but they all seemed to be of enough age that there was no way they were recently inflicted. She was angry because she shouldn't have found herself in that situation and wouldn't have if he had simply told her about the problem he was having and finally she felt a little hurt because she knew that he had hidden this on purpose and that likely meant that he didn't trust her with the information.
The blonde's gaze moved to the receptionist whom was hiding behind his desk and almost burying his face and a concerned look crossed over her features, considering the insistence she had been told of and the receptionists reaction she could make a safe guess that the alpha therian hadn't exactly handled the whole situation on the most professional terms. Regardless when she met his eyes she saw the pleading in his sapphire gaze, well it wasn't like she could turn him away when he looked at her like that. She frowned a little but allowed her arms to fall to her side in defeat, in a way she was even more mad that he could make her change her mind with just a look.
"We're very busy with a critical intelligence operation" she spoke candidly and it was true, after threatening their ambassador everyone in the organization had an interest in seeing Elijah Travis brought in. The blonde tilted her head to the side "But I can make a little time for our allies in the therianthrope faction I am sure" the words sounded formal enough but her expression showed her annoyance pretty evidently as she turned and lead to the way to one of the elevators and walked inside. After pressing the button for the third floor she leant against the bar keeping silent, she knew that this wasn't the kind of conversation you started in the middle of a room full of people and while she would share whatever she learned with the intelligence team she didn't exactly want to lose her temper in front of any of the members of her team.
Once they reached the floor she wasted no time before stepping out of the elevator and walking down the hall with defined steps until she reached her office. Once they both stepped inside she reached for the door and closed it behind them locking it. Sighing gently she moved to lean against her desk as she looked up at him cursing the fact that she looked far from intimidating when she was almost a full head shorter than him "Well I suppose we both know what this is about" she stated as she waited for him to make whatever case he had, considering he was the one who asked for her time.
The expression on Sariah’s face now was similar to the one he was sure he had worn when he was checking on her. Orion had always been the soldier and the position of being a leader was still a little new to him even though it had started years ago when his eldest brother had been killed. Scars littered his body and he had been in pretty bad shape before but the last interaction between himself and Elijah once again he had come out on top. The human woman was just as concerned for him as he was for her but he could see a slight sadness in her eyes and maybe a hint of anger which she had ever right to feel. He never meant for her to become involved in his personal affairs, especially his problems since she didn't deserve that.
As Sariah looked past him towards reception he did feel a bit of shame over his own lack of control. The Alpha would do it all again though as long as the outcome remained the same with Sariah making an appearance. “Sorry about that.” He said in a sincere tone the poor guy merely nodding obviously wanting Orion out of his area of work. Orion knew he was playing slightly unfair for Sariah to agree with speak with him but he couldn't come out and say what he wanted in the middle of the lobby, it wasn’t a public conversation.
“I get the feeling your workload is my fault.” He said allowing his voice to trail off since he was sure the Organization would be on high alert after whatever happened with Elijah. “I appreciate anytime you can give me Miss Holloway.” It still felt so strange to speak so formally to the young blonde but in positions such as theirs appearances were everything and they were in a professional setting. Sariah didn't seem to want to truly deal with him at the moment and he couldn't fault her since he inadvertently placed her in danger. That was never his intention and nothing he would ever mean to do. The silence between them within the elevator was strained, tension hanging in the air causing even the Therian discomfort but he hide it well as he leaned against one of the elevator walls.
When the door opened anyone standing in the way quickly moved and made themselves scarce as they two made their way to Sariah’s office. It seemed he wasn't currently on anyone’s favorites list. The moment the door closed he actually felt nervous for the first time in a long time, as she spoke he nodded since there was only one joint issue which was upon both of their door steps. “I would love to be here with good news or for informal pleasantries but we both know it isn't that sort of visit.” His jaw clenched and then released. “Are you really okay Sariah? I didn't ever in a blue moon think Elijah would come after you.” This was supposed to be his fight but he knew the other Alpha was never going to play fair and would leave a trail of blood in his wake.
“Therian problems aren’t supposed to spill over to other species. Personal matter are never supposed to get to this point...dammit Sariah I’m so sorry.” He was so stupid to think anyone he cared about was safe. Elijah intentionally prying open a still healing wound by going after a woman Orion was beginning to care for, an innocent at that. Maybe in a way they were both monsters, Orion was merely a fox in sheep's clothing.
In a way, the whole formal speaking they had going on helped her to keep her emotions in check, while playing the part in front of everyone in the lobby it was easy not to yell or scream. Sariah however bit gently on her tongue as he spoke an apology, it wasn't exactly her he needed to apologize to though she supposed it was enough. The blonde nodded slowly in response to his admission that whatever had happened had been his fault, that answered her first question, he was very aware of whoever this man was, that much was certain.
"Of course" she had responded brightly in response to his words, she could tell that the formality seemed to be making him somewhat uncomfortable and in a way she was kind of glad, as much as she needed to know what was going on and had intended on contacting him, showing up out of the blue was the best way to make her feel uncomfortable as she knew she was going to stumble over her words the way she always did.
As they stepped in the elevator Sariah purposely moved herself to the opposite side that he stood, not because she didn't want to be close to him but because she wanted to stop all the questions that wanted to spill from coming out in the middle of the small crowd that were standing in the elevator. She did however notice a few glances in her direction to which she turned and gave a small polite smile. At one moment when he wasn't looking Sariah did look over Orion and allow a gentle sigh to escape her lips, she was so further gone than she even wanted to admit and they hadn't even been on a date, normally she would have a level head when it came to a situation such as this but because it was him, her emotions were all over the place.
When the door finally opened she had lead the way but Orion hadn't been far behind and she made a straight beeline for her office. Once the door closed it felt like the feeling in the air shifted, there were no formalities to hide behind now and Sariah was a little afraid of what truths would spill from her mouth now that she stood across from him, her gaze holding his. "So you did know" the blonde had responded as he answered her second question, he had known this man was going to go after him and he hadn't thought to even mention it to her, she guessed that defined the level of communication they had. Of course he had also asked her a question and so after a moment of thinking she considered lying and saying she was fine but it seemed pointless to go around in a circle of pleasantries as he so politely put it "No" she answered shortly "I am so far from okay that it might as well be in outer space" she followed up and shook her head "I really thought my life was past getting threatened by psychopaths" she admitted giving him a glimpse of her past that she had been hesitant to talk about before.
By now Sariah's mind had allowed itself to go into overdrive once again, it wasn't so much that she had been scared of Elijah as she had been scared of the memories of the situations in her past that meeting him had stirred. Elijah could kill her and she still would be more afraid of those memories. Sariah listened to him speak and despite the sincerity in his apology she couldn't stop the surge of anger that she felt in the pit of her stomach, so we were back to the segregation of species once more and look where that had gotten them "I'm not sure whether to be insulted or feel pity for that level of small mindedness" she answered with a stern gaze "I mean I know we never talked about.." she swallowed the words trying to find how to phrase it "Whatever this was, but you could have told me" and now he was only going to do so because there was no other choice "Who is he?" she asked as she folded one of her arms over the other "To you that is, I know everything else there is to know".
Within the eye and ear shot of other Sariah was handling everything well but Orion could tell it was just a mask, how could it not be? Even Therians coward before Elijah because he held that sort of presence, the presence and aura of an Alpha but with the malice of a psychopath. It was why few of any ever stood up to Elijah but Orion remember when he was nothing more than a spoiled brat. Not much has changed since then, but now Elijah was a tyrant.
This was a conversation Orion had wanted to avoid since it didn’t exactly paint him in a favorable at some places and brought up painful parts of his past. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Sariah, it was that he hadn’t even fully explained it to his kids nor the packs. His way of attempting to avoid it was not exactly his finest moment either since it almost made it sound like he didn’t need anyone nor their opinion which was not what he meant. “I knew he was in the city and I’m aware of what he wants but it’s not something I can give him.” A person had free will and Tansy wasn’t returning to Elijah and it had already escalated to the point that even if she did return Elijah would want more due to Orion insulting him.
The Therian wanted nothing than to find a way to reassure and comfort the woman before him but he had the feeling that the last thing she wanted right now was for him to touch her. “I never thought he would came at you Sariah, if it had even been a flicker of a thought that you were in danger I would have told you.” Sariah didn’t need twenty-four hour protection but she did need to know who and what she was facing when she ended up in the crosshairs. Crosshairs she shouldn’t be in the middle of in the first place. “I’m going to fix this Sariah.” The problem was the only solution he knew would be permanent was not one she was likely to agree with and there was a chance he wouldn’t come out of live.
The fiery flicker in Sariah’s eyes told him he had definitely over stepped and his words were the last thing she wanted to hear. Of course he seemed to be rather skilled with saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Dark brows rose at her words a little taken aback since not many in his lifetime have ever called him small minded. “It’s not me being small minded Sariah, things with Elijah...it’s not an issue of species it’s an issue of morals and how I won’t change mine. His threats are for me specifically and not because of what the both of us are.” He sighed heavily as she mentioned what they both seemed to feel which was between them, the very thing Elijah was exposing as a weak point for Orion.
“Was...” He found himself saying aloud without meaning to. It was obvious she had chosen her words carefully and there for her tense carefully. “What this is or was as you said, is me trying to keep you out of the middle of something I started when I too young to ever imagine these consequences. If you want to know who Elijah is to me you might want to sit down because it’s one hell of a story.” The older Therian said as he ran a hand through his silver tinted hair.
“Sariah there are a lot of things I haven’t told you, not because I don’t trust you but because there has only ever been one person in my life who knew them. I didn’t turn Elijah into what he is, he’s always been this way but what I did to him didn’t help.” Everything has started in the past now it was just spilling over to the present. “In High School I had everything I could ever want, good grades, captain of the basketball team and the only girl I wanted was the one who didn’t want me.” Destiny had been one hell of pain during that time frame. “What I didn’t necessarily know or care about at the time was that she was seeing someone else. Someone who had a powerful family and a pretty intense temper. You see even then Elijah Travis had a reputation and it wasn’t a good one. The girl was probably the only good thing he had in his life at the time and she ended up wanting me. Elijah lost it and decided the best solution was to challenge me, our parents came to an agreement if I won he left the area and if he won I’d leave. Needless to say I won and that girl became my wife years down the line.” That made it sound like it ended on a happy note but it was far from true.
“In the years to follow rumors started about a new Alpha who was cold, cruel and underhanded taking anything and everything he wanted. His pack held together by fear not loyalty or respect. Anyone who stood up to him never returned and that wasn’t a rumor, it was fact. It didn’t matter what he had to do in order to win and stay in power, he would do it even if it were against the very fiber of pack law. That Alpha is Elijah Travis. He’s killed more people including Alphas than any Alpha in the known history of this country and not only did I take the girl he wanted to marry I just allowed his wife into my pack.” Orion knew his own choices were to blame which was why he didn’t want to involve anyone else, “She showed up in my yard bruised and battered asking for Sanctuary and I couldn’t turn her away. When Elijah showed up asking for her back I told him he couldn’t take the member of another pack if the Alpha didn’t agree, since he believes I took so much from him he wants to take everything from me. Coming after you was just salt to a healing wound. To Elijah not only did I take his chance at happiness, I got her killed.” The words were bitter as he spoke them since Elijah wasn’t the only one who believed that and it was a constant guilt that Orion carries with him.
It wasn't so much that she cared for the reasons, well of course she cared but she trusted his judgement enough to know that whatever he was fighting for was worth it. Sariah didn't need to question his motives because somehow she just knew they were the right ones and seeing Elijah with her own eyes she agreed that giving him what he wanted was a big mistake. It was people like him that made her take on a position in the organization in the first place, because if she could stop just one person from being harmed in her work then she had done something important with her life. As much as she was mad at him for withholding the information she was mad at herself for not spotting the danger in Evermore either, Elijah hadn't exactly been subtle about his presence in Evermore she had discovered in one of her several midnight fact finding sessions since the incident.
"I don't question that" she answered shortly in response to his words about not giving Elijah what he wanted, the only thing that man was getting from her was a long life sentence in one of the newly finished supernatural containment cells. The blonde remained silent as he trawled through his reasons for not telling her. As much as she was sure he would have contacted her if he believed she was in danger it wasn't enough to remove the frown on her expression, it wasn't about her safety, it was about the fact that she could have helped him with this and all he was doing was pushing her away, Sariah had experienced enough doubt from those around her through her years, she didn't need it on a whole different level.
And here was the thing she couldn't stomach when it came to the supernatural, they were arrogant, so very proud of their abilities and their powers that they became reckless. Reckless enough to rent a car in their real name if you were Elijah Travis which Sariah had been tracking for the past few days. Not that it had occurred to Orion that she could help with this at all. She heard his words, she understood them even, she wouldn't bend her morals for anyone and she made that clear to everyone she met, she expected no less of the dark haired therianthrope. "So what" she answered with a furrowed brow, she couldn't even imagine how he intended to do all this alone "Your plan was to challenge him on your own and probably get killed in the process?" she asked with a raised brow "Orion you have a family and a pack relying on you, you can't honestly be that insane" she had no doubts in Orion's ability to fight but Elijah had already made it clear he wasn't playing by any rules.
His repeated word caused a slight wince to move across her body, she had said it without much thought of how harsh it had really sounded, she bit her tongue to prevent her from saying anything else as she sank into the dark leather chair that was placed in front of her desk. Throughout his story she held an open mind, she hadn't expected him to tell her the story of his past, she hadn't shared hers with him and she already knew that his story wasn't a happy one, she knew what level of trust it took to tell someone about it, what she had expected was that as an ally he would lean on her when the city was in danger, even if it was simply for intelligence or to keep watch for unusual events.
Her reactions varied throughout the words he spoke, she could understand being young and in love with someone you couldn't have, she imagined that everyone had experienced such a situation in their lives. The brutal way their parents decided to settle a quarrel over a woman however wasn't something she could relate to and she imagined it must have been impossible and terrifying for both of them. Regardless of what happened, she knew that Elijah had made decisions of his own, he chose to go down the dark path and become the monster she had met that night, though she could also see why Orion blamed himself for the results of such a turnout. Her shudder was evident as he spoke of Elijah's wife and the state she had been in, Sariah could relate to that situation more than he even realized. Her expression however softened from her hard line when she heard him speak what had happened to his wife, she had of course already guessed that part of the story by now but seeing the look on her face made her heart want to break.
After a few minutes of silence as she pondered what to say next she opened her mouth to speak, her words came out softer than before as she looked back at him "I understand" she confirmed with a nod of her head "I really do and you did the right thing by protecting her, I wish there had been someone there to do that for me" but there wasn't, she didn't say she words but they were evident in the air as she shrugged, eventually a girl had to be her own hero. Sariah was glad that someone like Orion was there for that woman, because she was going to need a lot of help to pick up the pieces of her life once again, to go out and face the day without worrying about the next angry call or time he came home drunk and decided all his pain was her fault.
Shaking off the memories and blinking back the tears that glistened in her eyes she met his gaze for a moment "But it doesn't change the fact that your first instinct at the sight of danger was to take it on alone" she sighed gently "When I told you about project X I was putting my faith in you and your pack, trusting blindly the team I thought we'd make" she admitted though her voice was showing the break in her emotions "And your first instinct was to shut me out" she added shaking her head, she hated to be the one to say it but if he couldn't see her as an equal partner in life then what was the point in taking a step further.
The kitsune hated to put his problems on others which was what made alliances hard because when they were his problems he believed he needed to be the one to solve them. Elijah was something else altogether, he was truly a monster and the type which caused such dark stories and rumors to surround lycanthropes. Throughout history there have always been men like him, either human or something else. Men who abused the power they had and gave little to no care for those under them, the people they should be protecting and caring for. It was a point of frustration for Orion because he knew what an Alpha was meant to be, yes they were powerful and in charge but their position came with a heavy weight which rested upon them and many counting on them to do what was right. It was a position that was meant to be selfless not selfish. Sariah was the sort who only wanted to help others and protect them and he knew he fell under that some thought pattern for her even though he wasn’t the sort who needed protection.
Orion knew he could handle his own problems because he always had, once upon a time he had replied on his family and now they were all but gone, that wasn’t due to him but some days he thought maybe it was. However as well as he knew his own strengths he knew his own weaknesses, weaknesses Elijah was quickly finding as well and the kitsune hated it. When it seemed like things might be finally working in their favor and pulling them together, something was pulling them apart. No, not something, his own irrationality and thought that he was some how protecting her though he wasn’t doing a very good job. “Challenge yes, because that’s what Therians do Sariah, there is no high status than defeating another Alpha, if they lose their pack becomes yours and they’re disgraced. It doesn’t always have to mean death.” Orion was thinking of his family and his pack and he knew the only way to keep both safe was to finish this once and for all. “Elijah had never faced another Alpha in their own territory, only his own. He has a terrified pack behind him but those rules he hates so much will have to be maintained because it’s not just one pack in Evermore, it’s three, with three different Alpha’s. What he could get away with in Nevada won’t fly here.” Elijah saw Orion’s faith and trust in people as a weakness, Orion saw it as one of his greatest strengths and it was the very reason he had created the Council will equal say.
It seemed that everything he had been trying to work towards with Sariah was nothing but misguided emotions and hopes for bright future which wasn’t meant to be his. If she wanted to leave things that way than there was no fighting it. An odd smile pulled at his lips as he closed the small distance between them leaning down to softly and quickly press his lips against hers. “For what was and could have been.” He said softly with the smallest of hope that maybe when this was all over if he wasn’t dead and she didn’t completely hate him they could try again. Actually try instead of dancing around one another afraid of what they both seemed to want.
It was a hard story for him to tell, one that had haunted him for years now but it was one she needed to hear. She had asked him a question after all and he wasn’t going to just give a vague answer not when so much hung in the balance. Even his children still tip toed around talking about their mother, not wanting to see the shattered and broken expression he was quickly forced to hide. Until the end of his days he would love Destiny for what she had always been to him and to their children but a man couldn’t love a ghost with his entire heart for the rest of his life. As Sariah spoke of understanding his jaw clenched a flicker of anger igniting in his eyes that should ever have to go through something similar, the fire in her heart now made sense, the need to protect others and keeping him at arms length. They both had their demons. “No one should ever be treated like they’re less than a person, like they’re a problem or nothing at all. You protect those you care about, you don’t harm them in anyway.” Women weren’t weaker as some believed, they were stronger than most men could ever hope to be and handled their scars with more grace than Orion ever could. The very idea of anyone raising a hand to someone let alone a woman always set him off.
His jaw clenched at the sight of those tears in her eyes, tears which should have never been caused and ones his demons had caused to resurface. "That has always been my instinct Sariah, I wish I could tell you it wasn't. The night my wife died I was ready to give my life for hers because I will always put the people I care about before myself Sariah, every single time." A small wince left his lips as she spoke of the trust she had put in him and he knew it hurt her not to receive the same in return. "My first instinct was to protect you!" His voice was suddenly louder than it had been before, "But that doesn't seem to be something I've been good at for some number of years." He said in a softer tone.
Perhaps some would call the human ambassador naive when it came to the reality of the world, but she refused to accept that the supernatural ways of an eye for an eye were the future, all Sariah was ever told was that it was how things were and that she was wrong to challenge what had always been but in her eyes, killing was wrong in every situation where it wasn't a final resort. The word death that he spoke hung in the air like she could see it and her eyes widened a little at the realization of exactly what was at stake "Don't say things you don't mean" she didn't need him to baby her on this and she wasn't going to sit around and cling to some ridiculous hope that he would choose to find another way. "I looked that man in the eye as he spoke of you Orion, we both know that challenging him ends with one of you in a body bag" she pressed her lips together.
As much as the odds were stacked in Orion's favor, Sariah could feel a gnawing feeling in the pit of her stomach telling her to be afraid, that the stakes were really as bad as she first feared and worst of all, she might lose the man she cared for at the end of it all. In that moment it really hit her as she looked up at him, for months she had told herself it was just a crush, something she could move on from easily just like she had done to all the others but here they were and she felt sick to her stomach at the very thought of the fight he was going to force her into letting him enter. As if he could read her mind she watched with cautious eyes as he closed the distance between them and in a flurry of a moment she felt his lips pressed against hers, it was everything she had wanted and yet it was also everything she hadn't.
It was over far quicker than she had even imagined it would be and as she stepped back and gathered her bearings a gentle shaky breath escaped her lips as she heard his words. She wanted nothing more than to step back into his arms and let herself get lost in every emotion she had felt since the moment they had met but as he had quite eloquently put it, it seemed this would be something they had to let go of because what was there in a relationship if there wasn't equal levels of trust and faith in one another, Sariah refused to compromise herself for the sake of her feelings ever again.
Sariah could see from the look in his crystal blue eyes just how much he had loved that woman, it was the same look she had seen in her mother and father's eyes in the quiet moments between their busy lives though in his case it came from a place much darker. Sariah couldn't even imagine how hard it must have been for him to lose a love like that nor how he would ever be able to move from it, especially when he had children who called that woman their mother. She didn't have the heart nor the will to ask what had happened to her, she could sense his pain like it was in the air around them. "No one should" she echoed in response to his words with a gentle nod, she had never experienced the kind of love he had, what she had mistaken for love had been a reality of a nightmare where her feelings were trampled on and used against her "But I lived through it and came out a stronger person for it and so will she" Sariah nodded gently, she wouldn't wish what she went through on anymore but the hardships she faced were what spurred her to want to do better in life.
Sariah's eyes widened a little when his voice raised some and then narrowed somewhat, as much as she knew that everything he was trying to do came from him wanting to do what was right she couldn't stand being treated as though she was a piece of fragile glass that was about to break "I am not some princess who needs a knight to protect her Orion, I've survived what would make most people want to crawl under a rock and never come out from" she clarified before she shook her head a little, it was impossible because she understood wanting to protect people but there a line between wanting to keep someone safe and shutting them away from the world.
After a moment she sighed gently "I'm not going to waste my time trying to talk you out of your suicide mission because I can tell you made your mind up before you even came here" her gaze remained on him attempting to take in every in every little detail of his frame for fear that it really might be for the last time. The tears in her eyes returned upon the next part as she reached into her pocket and took out a piece of paper and offered it out to him, upon it she had written the details of Elijah's rental agreement as well as frequent places it had been found "But I need you to promise me something" she spoke it gently feeling the break as she tried to speak though the tears that were threatening "Promise me you won't go into this blind" she paused as she met his eyes hoping that perhaps she could get through to him just a little "you have so many people who care about you, they are your strength not your weakness, use it."
Orion wasn’t a killer, he hadn’t been in sometime but with Elijah it was very much a kill or be killed situation and he didn’t want casualties. The differences between the two needed to be settled by the two of them, he didn’t need to involve Sariah or the Organization. Not because he was arrogant and over confident but because he knew the risk that came along with it. “Sariah I don’t say things like this often but I would rather that man be in a body bag than locked in a cell. If we locked Elijah away his pack wouldn’t leave, they would ready themselves for war. Not because they love Elijah and need him to lead them, but because he’s their Alpha and they would fear what was to happen should they not try and he somehow get out. I’m taking the path with the least blood shed and smallest amount of fall out even if it’s not the popular approach.” Elijah’s pack wasn’t all innocent but many were too afraid to question him or try to leave because they knew the consequences.
The elder Kitsune wished that just for a short time in her office they could separate themselves from the world, from their duty and what they were. Despite his own denial the very idea of letting Sariah go, forgetting the potential of the future, it hurt. Orion just wanted to hold her in his arms and tell her everything would be alright, that he would make it alright. Maybe it would be a lie, maybe it would be the truth but it would give them just a few moments to pretend. The problem was neither was good at pretending at least when it came to anything other than their feelings. There were so many things he wanted to say and tell her but he knew it wouldn’t fix the situation, it would only make it worse. Timing after all was everything and his truly sucked.
An odd little smile pulled at his lips as Sariah spoke, it wasn’t often she truly talked about herself and Orion loved it when she did. Though it seemed doubtful it would happen anymore. “Scars fade but never truly heal, it’s how we wear them that matter. You are a stronger person and you have the power to inspire a whole faction and you do that everyday. You’re right you aren’t a princess in need of a Knight because you’re your own protector and you save yourself. But do you not want to protector those you care about no matter the cost? If you didn’t you wouldn’t be here. I’m sorry that I can be the man you want me to be Sariah, I can only be the man that I am and have always been.” His protective urges would always get the better of him and he would never intentionally place his own burdens on another. He would love to share the load with Sariah but they weren’t too that point he trusted her and her own strength but to be the cause of harm befalling her would shatter him and he’s finally finished picking up the pieces.
Everything in Orion was screaming for him to give up his own plan to stay here with Sariah and find another way, but the logical side of him knew that there wasn’t one. “Maybe I want you to waste your time because I’m afraid this is the last time we’re going to talk. That no matter the outcome I’m messing this up beyond repair so I just...I just need right now.” The way she was looking at him was clearly that of someone tying to remember everything about someone they cared about. He was good the same as he committed every little thing about her to memory but the tears he wished he could forget. Her voice pulling him from frozen state of staring. “Anything within reason.” He responded listening to the words she had to say, a small smile pulled at his lips, “The only thing that’s ever blinded me was you.” Giving in he wrapped his arms around her waist pulling her against, taking in her scent as his lips met her again lingering longer than before. His hands cupped her cheeks as he brushed at her tears. Pulling back he stared into her eyes and he couldn’t shield the broken expression on his own face. “You’ll find a man worth crying over Sariah and it’s not me.” At least not right now because he had to be the kind of man he never wanted to be.
Before he had even spoken the words, Sariah had known what he was going to say. As much as she understood the place he was coming from it wasn't one she could agree with. The human ambassador had watched the supernatural in Evermore 'solve' their own problems in the city for years and nearly all of them had involved some kind of death. Orion and her would probably never see eye to eye on that and knowing he intended to kill someone scared her, but not nearly as much as it scared her that someone might kill him. The pack behind Elijah she was sure would be a problem, but she had a feeling they were small fry when compared with their menace of a leader "I know you want me to tell you I'm okay with what you think you have to do but my morals are a line I won't bend" she clarified her stance on what he was telling her with a gentle shake of her head, everything she had been working on had been about finding another way but it became evident that hers efforts were pointless if people wouldn't change their minds.
It hurt to look at him as she slowly came to terms with what all this would mean for the both of them, as much as they cared about one another and wanted to protect one another from harm, their difference in opinion about what was for best were so far out of line with one another. When Sariah had gotten out of the most toxic relationship she had experienced in her life she had promised herself she would never settle for anything less than what was best for her again and while Orion was nothing like Noel, she didn't know if she could live a life where she had to wonder whether there were things she didn't know nor a life living in fear of losing that very person.
There were so many things they still had to learn about one another and this should have been the beginning of their story, not the end of it, perhaps a part of her had been deluded into thinking that they could have taken on the world together because when she was with him she really believed she had the strength that sometimes she doubted. His question allowed a small sad smile to cross her lips "Why do you think I don't want you to go" she answered as a sigh escaped her lips, she wasn't insane enough to take on an alpha therianthrope alone but Sariah really would go to the ends of the world for those she cared for and whether he liked it or not she didn't intend on doing nothing.
Her sad eyes met his as he spoke, she could hear the hope he was clinging to in his voice as well as the doubt in his gaze. She wished she could tell him that she would be able to get past this but she just didn't know how it was possible, either he came out of this dead and this really was goodbye or he came out a murderer, there was no good option in that situation. "Orion" she spoke his name gently in a sad tone, there wasn't much more to it, she just wanted to say his name. Despite the fact that this wasn't the happy ending she was ever hopeful for, at least she got the chance to say goodbye. Feeling herself draw in closer to him she met his gaze a moment before her eyes closed and her arms reached up around his neck holding him a close as she could as her lips met his and she kissed him with everything she had, allowing herself to get wrapped up in his scent and his touch.
As he pulled back and she looked up into his eyes her expression softened as she saw her very own feelings reflected in his expression. His words hit like a ton of bricks in her heart because they were so incredibly wrong, she didn't think she'd ever find anyone quite like him, nor was she sure she wanted to. The blonde sighed gently before reaching gently to place the paper in the inside pocket of his jacket before she leaned up and pressed a soft kiss against his cheek which she held for just longer than she needed to "Goodbye Orion" she whispered gently before stepping back.
Orion had been crazy to think this would ever work, that they could ever had more than a professional relationship. The Alpha Therian had always had a way with believing in the impossible, after all in high school a future with Destiny had seemed impossible and yet they had two children and he had years of memories of a happy life. So even now when he knew the deck was stacked very much against them he was willing to hold onto the thought of the impossible since the impossible was what kept him going. The future was never bleak if you believed in the impossible and his chances of taking Elijah down were pretty close to impossible. “I’m not asking you to be okay with this Sariah, I’m asking you to forgive me for what I have to do. If I were going up against anyone else I would do everything I could to find another way, a better way but Sariah with someone like him this is the only way.” Orion wasn’t sure if he was saying it because it was true or because he needed to convince himself once more.
Some people said endings were bitter sweet but this one wasn’t it was just heart wrenching because he knew there was a way to change this. But he couldn’t live with himself if anyone else was hurt by the decisions he made and the people he had wronged. It was better than this end now than months down the road when she realized he wasn’t the man she needed no matter how much he wanted to be. “I don’t want to go Sariah, I don’t want to leave things like this but I’m afraid that’s the option which would benefit us both.” Orion saw Sariah was above him, not his equal, she was amazing and reaching for her was like reaching for the stars, forever out of his grasp.
For a man used to being so strong it was strange to show weakness to anyone or sadness but he didn’t want to hide anything from Sariah, after all she seemed to see right through him. She knew he was breaking and she wasn’t in much better shape but she deserved someone who could openly discuss things with her instead of shutting her out for her own protection and in any other situation he would but this one was far too personal and though he didn’t want to admit it, Elijah to a point scared him. Any sane person would be afraid especially knowing the man’s background. His lips twitched into the smallest of smiles as she said his name, “Sariah.” Things could be worse, or at least that’s what he kept telling himself. Regardless he would face the consequences of his actions and hope that maybe one day instead of falling apart they could fall back together. As their lips met he knew it would be something he carried with him for the rest of his life and he wanted nothing more than to stay this way but their lives had other plans.
Perfection wasn’t meant to be held or protected, it was meant to be admired from a far and with the utmost respect and that would be what he had to do from now on no matter how much it hurt. If he made it out of this alive they would only see one another in passing and during city wide events on a professional platform and he would have to smile and be civil as if everything were fine and dandy but it wouldn’t be. He felt her slip the paper into his pocket as he closed his eyes just savoring this fleeting moment, remembering the feeling of her lips against his cheek. Kissing her forehead he released a sigh before releasing his hold on her, their moment was over and reality was crashing back down. “Goodbye Sariah.” His Adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed his emotions down and took on a stoic expression before turning and walking towards the door, unlocking it before striding through and closing it on what they might have had.