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Summer. It was Aeryn's favorite season by far, he had always loved when the longer days rolled around as a child because it meant he got to stay out playing in the fields for longer. Those memories stayed with him throughout his long life regardless of how tainted his upbringing felt to him now. The one memory that stood out above all the rest was in mid June, Aeryn had been aged 13 and Willa had been 7. They had been out in the fields all day, running to their hearts content but as sunset began to draw close the sky had turned dark with clouds. The two of them managed to make it home before the heavens opened but after they were supposed to head to sleep the two of them sat in their room and watched out the window, watching the mighty lighting strike it's way through the sky in bright flashes which lit up the room and both their faces. Aeryn was fascinated by the simple force of nature before his very eyes.
After that night, every time there had been a storm, he had raced home to his spot where he stared in wonder. As he grew elder the edge diminished some but Aeryn still found himself in front of a window more often than not when there was a storm. The nephilim had been walking down by the river when the sky had began to cloud over, he hadn't thought much of it until he had heard the first rumble of thunder and the rain began to fall. As he hadn't been prepared for rain he naturally turned on his heels and ran back in the direction of his apartment. 5 minutes later and his unruly dark hair was soaked along with the shirt he was wearing.
Heading inside the door to the place he now called home Aeryn headed into his room shaking off his dark locks before he grabbed another shirt from the wardrobe and changed into it. Despite the fact that he was cold and wet he generally didn't mind the weather change, in fact he was sure they were far overdue a heavy rain to make up for several weeks without it. Humming softly to himself Aeryn headed back through to the main living area of the building with the intent to sit and watch the storm as it unfolded. However as he came to a stop he caught movement in the corner of his vision from outside of the window.
Aeryn lived on a relatively quiet street in Evermore city by the river, he had chosen it because he hoped to escape the incessant beeping from the metal death traps everyone called cars and for the most part his choice had been a good one. Today however there was a lone figure at the side of the road looking rather frustrated and seemingly taking shelter under a rather space collection of trees. Biting softly on his bottom lip Ryn moved closer to the window his eyes falling on the woman who he could see more clearly through the glass. A curse escaped his lips as he recognized the blonde beauty from the attack a few weeks back.
"Really?" he questioned tipping his head up towards the sky, directing his question at whatever Gods there were up there. He could have pretended that he didn't see her there but Aeryn wasn't that kind of person and so with a deep breath he made his way to the front door once more and stepped out onto the porch way of his ground floor apartment. "I think those trees are more likely to help the rain than they will you" he spoke without introduction as he waited for Harper's attention to move to him, a smirk plastering his lips.
“Heading home early Adler? This makes three times this week ya know.”
Gritting her teeth the blonde pivoted in her calf length leather boots, walking slowly backwards as she met the gaze of her project manager. The dude was a prick, a rich and entitled daddy’s boy who hadn't had to work a day in his life because there had always been people he could boss around to do the work for him. The Ocean Cleanup Program had been her baby, from the inception of the idea to pitching it to the shareholders to selecting the team members; everything had been her brainchild. It had taken months to put all the pieces together to enable them to begin working on the problems they had set out to solve and just as the testing and experimental stage had begun in walked Chase Delaine. Seeing both the lucrative and PR potential the weasel had sweet talked his daddy into making him Project Manager under the guise of taking the paperwork out of her hands to free her up and allow her to focus on the science side of things.
“Well there isn't much I can do in the way of work with you reassigning my people behind my back and making decisions you know nothing about. So yeah, I'm going home.” It took a supreme amount of effort to keep herself from growling as the pompous ass strolled towards her, unbuttoning his fancy suit jacket as he did so. Harper had come in this morning hoping to get a couple more formulas written only to find that Chase had fired her two best biochemists. He claimed they had been rude to him but she was pretty sure he had reassigned Jill because she had refused to sleep with him and Dale cracked jokes at the bastards expense.
He stopped right in front of her tucking his hand inside his pockets as he regarded her with a cool stare. “You really think that's wise given how behind you are? I mean…” Harper lifted her hand, holding it up in front of his face to stall whatever other nonsense might come tumbling from between his lips. Like the good subordinate that he was he shut up, his eyes widening as he took on a incredulous look. So many things sprang to mind, dozens of quips and retorts that ran the gamut between scathing and sarcastic. Instead she flipped him the bird and turned, walking straight out the door. Fuming she walked around to the back of the building, yanking her helmet on and fastening the chin strap with more force than might have been necessary. Swinging her leg over she started the Ninja up, securing her gloves on her hands and making sure her bag was tied down well.
Thunder rumbled in the distance and lightning lit up the sky, both went ignored by the Therian Alpha as she peeled out of the parking lot. Harper hadn’t bothered to check the weather before leaving the house, deciding that her usual riding gear was not needed. By the time she worked her way downtown the lightning was more frequent accompanied by a light sprinkle, as she reached the theater district headed towards the river the rain came down more heavily. Most riders worth their salt could handle wet roads but as she headed towards the outskirts of town her tires couldn’t find grip as the rain turned into a torrential downpour. Growling the female pulled off the road, shutting the motorcycle off and dismounting. The gutters were filling up, unable to keep up with the deluge.
Pulling off her helmet her head immediately became soaked, her blonde locks falling around her face and sticking to her cheeks. Grabbing her bag she stalked to a copse of trees just off the road, moving beneath the branches that provided some coverage. Her white tank top stuck to her body like a second skin, the mascara smudging beneath her eyes, and the jeans that covered her legs was tight as she reached up to shake some of the water out of her hair. Setting her bag down by the tree trunk she grabbed the hem of her shirt and twisted, trying to get some of the water off of her despite her position beneath the trees.
Her head came up quickly as a voice called out to her, the sarcasm lacing the words giving the words an almost familiar tone. Squinting her dark blue hues through the pouring rain the blonde took a moment before her mind recognized the build and the shape of the face, her sense of smell catching his scent on the slight breeze. Grinning she straightened up, placing a hand on her hip as she regarded him across the distance, “You sure about that? Can’t be much better than huddling in the door.” She gestured with her chin to where the Nephilim was standing just inside the entrance to the building, chuckling quietly.
After so many weeks of heat, the storm had instantly caused chaos across the streets of Evermore city, the drains and roads unable to handle all the water which sat on top of the dry soil and ran everywhere. He supposed it was a pretty mighty sight and a well overdue reprieve for the plants and grass which had slowly been wilting. Still; it made for treacherous conditions for those who decided to venture out in their cars. Aeryn had seen at least one of them swerving all over the place on his way back home. More and more reasons that he didn’t want one.
Now standing in the entryway to his home, he felt the droplets of water escape through gaps in the roof to re-wet his already damp hair. He didn’t mind all that much, considering the water was pretty warm and he was a mere walk from a towel. As Harper turned Aeryn felt the breath completely knock out of him for a moment, despite the downpour causing her waves of blonde hair to cling to one another and her makeup being smudged she was still as stunning as the night they had met. Aeryn allowed a long drawn breath to escape between his teeth as he focused his gaze on her eyes, not wanting to disrespect this girl he barely knew.
Her quip in return made him chuckle “I have this thing about wanting to help people when they’re in trouble, it tends to get me in even more trouble” this was way different to the first time they met and yet he did seem to find himself doing crazy things for her. Even standing in a downpour looking far from threatening he could feel confidence come from Harper in waves, he had no doubts she would have been fine standing there for several hours if she had to and yet a part of him wanted her to come inside, wanted to be close to her, even for a few minutes until the storm passed.
Aeryn cursed his lack of self control, the more he told himself he shouldn’t do something the more likely he seemed to do it, he had somewhat been avoiding seeing her, mostly because he knew from experience how easy it was to let someone like her under his skin and knowing how that had worked out for him in the past. Now that he was in her presence however, all those reasons went out the window and he simply jerked his chin backwards before stepping back into the entry hall “There is significantly less rain in here” he pointed out with a chuckle inviting her inside.
How was it she hadn't noticed how broad shouldered he was? Standing in the doorway he looked tall, the shirt he was wearing showing of a physique that most guys would kill for. Something stirred in her as the Alpha regarded him with a crooked grin on her face, her wolf lifting her head in an effort to catch his scent once more. Even through the rain she could smell him, an almost exotic blend of spices and earth that made her think of long nights by the fire and warm sunrises on the porch. Her own reaction to him was puzzling, the blonde had never been attracted to anyone before; never felt such an urgent need to get close to him. The feelings were foreign and yet intriguing.
Her grin grew into a wide smile, reaching her hand up she ran a hand through her soaking locks to shake out some more of the water. “Really? So you make it a habit of swooping in to save blondes in distress? I'm not sure if I should be jealous or not.” Deep inside her wolf huffed, urging her closer to the Male she found so irresistible. Jealousy wasn't something she ever indulged in, her personality too self assured and confident. Mixed with the instincts of an Alpha she only felt slightly territorial when it came to her pack and only in the terms of protection. Everything else was just silly.
Her eyebrows rose slightly at his invitation, a whine of approval echoing in her head as she scooped up her bag and walked out into the rain. Crossing the distance she stepped into the doorway, smiling as she slid into close proximity to the Nephilim. This close she was surrounded by the scent of him, see the playful glint in his eyes and admire the full breadth of him. Their first meeting had been quick and stressful, leaving her no time to actually look at him and see him. The memory of being in his arms was quite vivid despite how exhausted she had been. Now, looking at him in the doorway while the rain poured he was handsome beyond words.
“So, you got me in the doorway, what are you going to do with me now?” Her tone was teasing, an eyebrow raising at the question as a smile flirted with her lips. Harper leaned back against the bricks, her body relaxed despite the soaked state of her clothes and the makeup that was no doubt smudged on her face. Her focus was fully on the male in front of her, her head tilting as she watched his reaction.
Aeryn chuckled at her comments about jealousy whilst he moved back in the entryway to avoid getting completely soaked all over again. Aeryn had never really been the kind to experience jealousy because most people hadn’t ever got close enough for it to be warranted “Is it possible to make you jealous, princess?” he responded with a smirk, though he barely knew her he got the sense that she was a lot like him, confident and happy in their own self but put up walls when it came to other people. He told himself things were easier that way, unattached.
As she moved towards him a sense of apprehension washed over him, Aeryn was used to the company of others but he could usually keep his wits about him, as she moved closer in proximity however, he found himself unable to clear his mind, surrounded by her soft feminine scent which reminded him of the moments after a summer storm, fresh and new but also familiar and inviting. His dark gaze moved to hers, captivated by the ocean depth of her eyes and the way they were locked on him.
She was gorgeous, he’d known that from the moment he had seen her but there was something about the way she held herself, the way she moved with purpose and knew exactly what she was doing that sent his head spinning, reason seemed the furthest thing from his mind as he drew closer to her, pressing one of his hands against the brickwork she was leaning against so that he was leaning over her.
“I can’t think of an answer to that question that doesn’t get me in trouble” he admitted in a low tone as his eyes moved downwards taking in every curve that her wet clothes had exposed. What was it about her that just completely took every sense of logic and replaced it with an irrational need to pull her close? He let out a long and exasperated breath, cursing the hold she already had on him. Fully aware his neighbors were nosy and not wanting to share this view with anyone else in that moment, Aeryn reached for the door, pulling it closed.
“Fuck” the word slipped from his mouth without him willing it to, his eyes moving back up to hers, well he had said it now so he supposed he should finish the thought off “You’re so damn beautiful” he followed it up before swallowing hard, he knew he shouldn’t have said it, hell he shouldn’t have even invited her inside but he also couldn’t bring himself to regret it as he waited for her reaction.
Princess. There weren't many nicknames she’d been given in her life, not many people had taken the time to get to know her enough to give her one. ‘Alpha’ and ‘blondie’ were both a given, her status and natural coloring made both of those obvious and easy. She’d been called a bitch on more than one occasion among other colorful insults though not a one bothered her. Curiously she had always found it disgustingly nauseating when couples gave one another cutesy nicknames and proceeded to use them in public. The blonde had always felt that if anyone gave her one she’d throat punch the person fasted than she could shift…..and yet the very word that rolled off the Nephilim’s tongue didn't bother her at all. In fact she found her smile growing as he said it. Weird.
Shrugging Harper shifted a bit, hooking her thumbs in the front pockets of her jean's. “Anything is possible.” Her from turned cheeky as she pretended to mull the question over, “The more appropriate question would be: is it probable.” Chuckling she leaned her body over a bit, bringing her soaked sun-kissed mane over her shoulder to wring out some of the water. Drops had been running down her back, causing shivers to race up her spine and goosebumps to rise along her bare arms. In the few minutes since the downpour had started the temperature had dropped just a bit and added to her wet clothing it made things a little uncomfortable. While she worked as much moisture out of her hair she waited for his answer, taking the silence to great advantage.
In such close proximity his presence was all encompassing. She couldn't take a breath without drawing in his rich scent, earthy notes mixed with that odd tang that identified with his kind and a hint of something citrus that the female found incredibly sexy. His dark hair was damp, the glossy strands falling in a haphazard heap that gave him a very rebellious and unkempt look. His dark eyes were full of depth and intelligence as they remained glued to her. Harper found his focus enjoyable, alluring even as those mocha hues swept down her body as he answered her. That one perusal did an odd thing to her body, her abs tightening as her tongue darted out to wet her suddenly dry lips. Thankfully he didn't see much of her reaction, his movements were jerky as he reached to pull the door closed shutting them in together.
The Therian tried not to smile, tried to keep her wits about her but everything about the male was enticing. Even now in his agitated state she was drawn to him, his very being bewitching the Alpha to the point of having everything else fade into the background. Shut inside with him she cared nothing for the rain, couldn't remember the incident that had pissed her off at work, and even her many problems within her faction became null and void. It was slightly concerning and yet liberating at the same time.
A light laugh escaped her pink lips, the moment the door clicked shut a very inelegant word slipped from his mouth. His eyes skittering over her as he added on the rest as an afterthought. Her smile dropped slightly, his words sinking in fully and for a moment she was speechless. Her oceanic optics searched his face, tried to ferret out of he was sincere or if this was another barb. What she found was a disquieted honesty that seemed to have slipped out. Heat washed through her body, a flush of pleasure and need flowing back up from her toes that propelled her forward. Harper took the two steps that brought her right up against his chest, a hand gliding up along his jawline as she rose up on her tiptoes and claimed his lips.
Despite having never been in this situation before the blonde kissed him in the same manner she did everything, with no hesitation or reservations. All in.
Nicknames had always been Aeryn’s thing, he always seemed to associate people with different things in his mind and once that happened it felt strange to him to simply call them by their name. Aeryn didn’t see Harper as one of those damsel in distress stereotypes that most associated the word princess with, to him she was like a warrior princess, strong and independent, leading her own path in spite of what everyone thought. It fitted her in his mind and he had to admit the little smile that crept on her expression when he spoke it only spurred him on further.
Aeryn arched his brow at her response, the way her tone was almost dripping in sarcasm caused him to smirk, Harper seemed to know the exact words to say to cause a rise in him, a strange feeling of wanting to rise to a challenge washing over him. Tilting his head a little he allowed his eyes to wander some over her exposed skin “You don’t strike me at the jealous type” he spoke lowly, he wasn’t either, having spent years drifting from place to place there was little time or need for possessiveness, he had learned quickly to live for the here and now and not worry himself with how others spent the rest of their time.
Aeryn had known many a therian in his long life, enough to know how driven they were by all the scents they surrounded them and he used that knowledge as he leaned closer to her allowing himself to be enveloped by her presence but not quite touching. His skin felt as though it was on fire, willing him to bridge the gap between them as his eyes moved over her body. The water droplets still fell from her hair despite her efforts to dry it, leaving a trail over her already soaked clothes.
Now that the door was closed, his focus was entirely on her, from the sultry and sexy look her slightly smudged eyeliner gave her to the dampened clothing with hugged her body in a way that made her look absolutely breathtaking. His entire being was screaming at him to pull her closer as his eyes dropped down to her perfectly full lips as she let out a peal of laughter in response to his words. He watched the emotion drain from her face and his breath hitched for a moment realizing he might have taken it too far.
His concern was however short lived as he felt her swift movements, his whole body radiating heat from the side of his jaw where her fingertips grazed his skin and before he had the chance to take in the moment fully he felt the full force of her lips on his. Aeryn eased into the kiss, his lips parting as a wave of pleasure spread through him. The nephilim’s hands pressed to the side of her face as the kiss deepened before slowly trailing down her shoulders and around her waist to pull her closer to him needing all distance between them to fade away.
The way she kissed him with such passion and need only attracted him to her further, he had always been a sucker for a woman who knew what she wanted and claimed it. Leaning back for a moment he took a ragged breath before he dipped downwards hooking his arms under her legs and then lifted her up so that she was at eyeline level with him. His eyes searched for hers hungrily, ensuring she was comfortable before he backed her up against the wall and leant in to meet her lips again sending his head spinning all over again.