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With the dawn of light approaching; Ash knew he'd be clocking out soon. Thrilled with that realization, he gave his computer chair a quick twirl before standing to his feet, only to be met by the Chief himself, pushing most of his weight against Ash, and glaring down at him as though he could eat him whole. "Problem chief?" he questioned, he asked with a coy smirk painted on his lips. Ash had copied a few things over onto his hard drive that he wasnt supposed to even read; but it had given him some insight on his very own kind and what they were up to; humans were no weak link in this city, to be honest, some of them seemed more dangerous than the supernaturals he had come to learn about so far.
"You know exactly what the problem is Dunford. I want that hard drive. Now" he demanded, but Ash only yawned and tilted his head, unamused with how people assumed they'd get more from him by trying to intimidate him. "Say please?" Ash expressed, but that only got him in a little more trouble. "Fair enough Dunford. You're off the case", Chief was pissed. But, pissed enough to take the best off the case? "That's the dumbest idea you've had yet big man" Ash said in response, giving the Chief's huge stomach a pat, snickering as he walked away with his laptop bag thrown over his shoulder and a redbull in his hand.
Stopping by Donna's office; the red head who had the hots for him, Ash peeked in. "Chief threw me off the case ive been busting my ass on, I need a favor" he stated before walking in and shutting her door behind him. "Hold onto this" Ash expressed, while stuffing the small hard drive down her bra, smirking as her body quaked to his touch. After that, Ash simply left, careless of how he made her feel, he knew she'd keep the hard drive safe, and if for some reason the chief decided to go to extreme measures and have him searched, he wouldn't have anything discriminating on him.
Ash had finally made his way to the outside of the building; breathing in the fresh air as it greeted him. It was still barely light outside, and it gave him enough time to explore a little before he'd go home. Ash hadn't gotten much further than meeting Amoura, and getting under her skin enough that he made her glow, quite literally. It gave him new information to hang on his walls painted with facts about the supernatural. But, Ash needed some excitement. Even if it landed him in trouble, he was literally craving it. A few blocks away from where he worked, he couldn't help but notice the small but notice a small isolated place where he supposed someone resided.
The desire to walk over, ran amok inside of him. Ash couldn't help himself. This was who he was, but it also got him what he needed, sometimes what he wanted. Finding himself in the garden of someone's home, Ash began looking around. He knew how dangerous this could be for him if it ever went wrong, but he'd always swore he'd die figuring this cold world out and what lived in it. After pacing around the garden for a few more moments, he saw the window to the inside the strangers garage cracked open enough .. just enough for him to be irrational and impulsive before making the decision to let his feet lead him over to it, and just as he readied himself to peer inside, a cat came out of no where hissing like the devil himself.
Ash acted on reflex, before kicking the cat back away from him, sending it a few feet backward; but that'd made even more noise as it screamed out. The demon furball just caused him a mess; Ash was almost sure now that the person who owned the home, saw his face. Maybe he'd luck up though, maybe no one saw him at all; either way it went, Ash glanced down to his feet picking a small white business card up that read 'Evertronics' something Ash had heard of himself. So, while he came here with ill intentions, he now had new ones. He knew this person well, even if they had never met psychically, she was pretty much a genious from the things Ash had found on her. He wasn't sure it was her helping keep the rogues off the street, but if this was the one, then he damn had just lucked up.
Ash was different, since he just simply hated the immortals and supernatural's of the city; it was a pretty simple minded way to be, but he grew up knowing nothing no different. His step dad slayed them for a living, and if they had proved to be anything, it was that they were malicious and killed people for sport. Maybe it wasn't that bad here, but he wasn't about to let that wall down. As Ash began walking off, ready to leave with the card he'd found; the hairs on the back of his neck stood, and for a moment, his entire body froze as the sound of foot steps began approaching him.
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Evenings were an interesting routine for Nora, most of the time she spent them clad in leather, out on the streets, kicking the crap out of anyone who disrupted peace in the city, it was an interesting life, she never really felt like she took a real break, she was always fighting and looking for her next target. She supposed it had become somewhat of an obsession, trying to make a difference in the city and doing the job that most people seemed to ignore. The factions did a good job of keeping peace in general but when it came to the drug trade, people trafficking, organized theft, and the likes, she felt like most just turned a blind eye because until recently, there was no way to hold the supernatural for which actions. But now? Now people would have to face up to her and that was how she kept her sanity about protecting the city.
People would probably call her crazy if they knew the real truth, within her company she was also on a mission to better the world and did so along with Emilio. The two of them were very aligned with what they saw as a better world, they made technology that helped those with chronic illnesses and made sure people were safe. They had single-handedly provided the organization with everything they needed to develop technology which protected their agents and ensured they could bring anyone who stepped out of line to justice. It should be enough for her and yet it wasn’t.
Tonight, however, she found herself in her room, staring up at the ceiling. She forced herself to have a day off every once in a while, no matter how much she wanted to just go down to the bunker and get out there on the streets, she knew going full on for so long was going to burn her out to the point she was weak. Nora had done that before, multiple times, and every time she had ended up with a pretty nasty injury that led to her having to take a break. Since then she had been making the effort to take at least a couple of nights off a month after work along with one free weekend. This particular night she was curled up on her bed, pillow clutched to her chest as she thought about all the developments in her life recently.
For the first time in 8 years, there was someone out there who knew both her identities, they knew she was the Scarlett archer and they knew she was Eleanora Nordstroem. That terrified her. But she kept telling herself that she had done her research on Aaron and that she could trust him, he’d never done anything to tell her otherwise. She was still keeping him at arm’s length, this life she chose was dangerous and doing it alone was easy because it was only herself at risk and there really weren’t that many people close to her to ever worry for her life, letting people in, that was hard for her. She was still yet to fully do so.
Her eyes were closed and she was just about beginning to relax from her long day at work, it had been a grueling one with little payoff today which frustrated her no end but you couldn’t win every day, unfortunately. But then just as she was feeling like she could truly forget the day and just have a peaceful evening in bed, watching bad TV she heard the neighbor’s cat hiss. Nora furrowed her brow a little and sat up on her bed, that wasn’t like the cat she knew at all and it had her paranoia on high alert. She got to her feet, peering out the window before she spotted a figure in the garden, without another breath she moved out of the view of the window soundlessly and took an exasperated breath. Of course, one night without stress would be impossible.
Frustrated, she got to her feet, grabbing her bow from off the counter and she headed down the stairs quickly before whoever it was decided to steal something from her garden, or worse, try and get into her house. Nora wasn’t much for roughing people up for no good reason but they would definitely regret crossing her. She moved quietly through the halls, leaving the lights off so that whoever it was couldn’t see her coming until she opened the door and came up behind him, her bow drawn and pointing at him, it didn’t glow, which told her that whoever this was, they were human “You really picked the wrong person to rob” she warned him as she kept her arrow pointed at him.
“Turn around slowly and don’t make any sudden movements” she warned him, she wanted to know what the hell he was here for. She looked down and saw the business card in his hand and frowned, she must have dropped it out here on the way back into the house, sounded like her, she was always losing things “Who the hell are you?” she growled in a low voice, she was pissed, someone had invaded on her peaceful evening, trashed some of her garden, pissed off the neighbor’s cat and now he knew her name too. She didn’t like it at all.
Ash was too damn curious for his own good. The saying 'curiosity killed the cat' well, Ash was sure that would be engraved in his tombstone some day in the near future if he kept approaching sups at the rate he was going. He hadn't had any time to react to the door opening, due to her commands, and had she not pointed a bow at him, he likely wouldn't have listened. But, even someone as insane as Ash knew the limits, and knew when to listen, or when to back off. "Don't shoot.. I wasn't trying to rob you" he started, and began slowly turning around with his hands held up, and his entire body tensed painfully.
A stupid move on his part, he knew. Who the hell randomly walked onto someones property and just snooped around? Especially when he knew she was a supernatural, who could easily end him in the blink of an eye. Ash had grown a disturbing obsession for the supernatural species in general after he had been raised by Therian's and then shoved away by them all the same. Though, his obsession hadn't started there. Ash's obsession began when his family had been taken away from him by Valkyr's. Being oblivious to the supernatural back then, mean tthat Ash had truly lived through a nightmare when Tate Dunford's head showed up on his doorstep, and shortly after that, Josephine had been killed by them too.
Each death had sent Ash into a blind rage, and when the Therian's he so trusted and loved turned on him, becoming hostile beasts just to show him he was no longer safe living that kind of life, the human resorted to research. Night after night he'd spent searching any and everything he could about supernaturals, which was what eventually led him to Evermore, and during his college days, he'd came across someone who knew quite a bit about the Eternal City, but since Ash was a messed up person, that friendship didn't last long enough for him to even know their full name. He was thankful to have been led to the city he now stood in, with a bow aimed at him. While he still didn't have many people to talk to, the place had grown on him, and more importantly, his job.
Since the cops back in his home town decided to cover the death up on both Josephine and Tate, Ash decided from that point on, he'd never allow police to just cover deaths up.. he knew families wanted closure, and you couldn't get that based on a lie, so becoming a Forensic Pathologist had granted him the satisfaction to help people like himself who went through that kind of bullshit. Ash had been raised around Therians who were also notorious back in his old city for the mafia they led, and the drugs they sold. Those traits had also stuck by Ash, and he had became a drug dealer on top of everything else.
"I swear I wasn't going to rob you, that garden has nothing I want.. or does it?" he asked, with a snarky tone, and a coy smirk gracing his features. Some of what seemed to be growing in her garden, looked similar to plants he'd seen other medical groups using to help people with pain. Being a drug dealer, of course his mind went there. Locking eyes with the brunette, Ash lowered his hands, and fished out the receipt in his pocket that he found earlier. "The only reason I know your name, is because of this" he stated, holding his hand out,for her to see the small white paper. "I know this looks stalker-ish, but you wouldn't understand even if I tried to explain" he expressed.
Ash had fucked up a little more though, realizing when he had pulled the receipt out, he had also pulled part of his stash out with it, and now stared at it on the ground, trying to slyly cover it with his foot, until he could reach down and grab it. "Can you point that some where else?" he then asked, still pretty nervous to have it trained on him "As you see, im not exactly trying to attack you here" he then added, marking this, the most awkward meeting with someone he'd ever had in his entire life.
Nora wasn’t the kind of person that you were able to sneak up on, doing what she did for the city and always being a target made her probably the most paranoid person there was in Evermore, which said a lot considering that there were ambassadors and high ranking CEOs and all sorts of people. She also knew how to take care of someone imposing on her property though and she wasn’t going to let this guy get away whatever it was he was planning “So if you weren’t planning on taking anything why the hell are you wandering around in people’s gardens?” she asked bluntly, still holding her weapon there because didn’t trust him not to try something.
His sarcastic tone wasn’t doing much to appease her mood either, she shot him an unimpressed look and tilted her head slightly “You found my business card?” she commented as she looked down at the paper in his hand, she must have dropped it on the way up to the house at some point “Not seeing how that makes you any less of a stalker” she commented harshly, her hand still holding the bow in place. Any arrow she shot at him wouldn’t actually hurt him because she was smarter than that but right now he didn’t need to know that, “Well how about you try spelling it out because right now I’m debating calling the police on you” she spoke as her eyes dropped following his gaze to the floor where he was clearly trying to hide something.
“So what you were using my garden as a meeting place for your selling, I swear to god if that’s Dreamshade I will haul your ass to jail myself” that particular drug had been resurfacing itself on the market lately and anyone knew the scarlett archer knew she was a one-woman war on the illegal drug trade, especially of dream shade. She refocused her aim the moment he went to pick up whatever it was off the floor. “No but you’re being shady on the details of why exactly you’re here in the first place which doesn’t give me the confidence I need to let you go” after a moment of realizing the fear of the weapon was probably the reason he was unable to say anything at all she lowered the bow slightly so it was pointing at the ground where he dropped the bag earlier, a fair warning not to try and pick it up.
“Alright pretty boy, I’m giving you one more chance to explain why the hell you are here before you’re forced to tell the cops why you’re here and I don’t think they’re gonna buy any sob story when they find out what you’re carrying” she was only giving him the time of day because of the situation she found herself in, unmasked, pointing a bow at a stranger and while that was not incriminating evidence of her alter ego, she didn’t trust this guy enough to not go talking about what he experienced tonight. The only proof he had was that she was supernatural, considering her dhampir bow was glowing in her touch and he didn’t seem phased by that so she already knew he knew the secret but other secrets might not be a full jump away.
Ash held a finger up to protest "Not people's gardens, not plural. Just yours. Maybe I wanted to steal a rose for my boyfriend" he said with a crooked, sly smirk on his features, knowing she'd see right through that sarcastic lie of his. But, he also wasn't trying to get beat up. Not today, and especially not by a woman.. supernatural or not, that would surely wound his pride a little. As she continued holding her weapon, Ash continued to tense every second, or so it felt. She was well within her rights though. No one normal did these kinds of things. But, it was fair to say that Ash Dunford had fallen off the normal trail years ago.
Ash narrowed his gaze, flicking his optics from the card in his hand, and back to her a few times. He'd almost frozen in time when she then threatened to call the police. A mundane human like Ash would have went to jail right away. The police in this city were pretty corrupt, and never did anything to punish a supernatural being. Cowards. He thought to himself silently. "I work as a fornesic pathologist, If you call the cops, i'm sure they'll fire me for this little stunt.." he grimaced as he looked away from her. His twisted obsession with learning about the supernatural to give himself peace of mind, was now doing nothing but giving him trouble.
He couldn't spell it out for her even if he wanted to. That didn't make it sound any better, to say he had been lurking around each faction's territory to see what he could learn on each species. Ash had been damaged though, ever since the Therian who raised him was decapiated. They only sent his head back to Ash's doorstep with a warning letter on it. It wasn't long after that, that the woman his 'father figure' was in love with, had been killed right in front of him. And let's not forget the beating Ash had sustained. Each of those events were at the hands of supernatural beings. So, after Ash finished college, he became a forensic pathologist. Serving his own justice to people who deserved to know when a supernatural killed their loved ones, rather than the cops covering it up with overdoses and suicides.
Ash swallowed harshly. He'd take his loss on the bag, since her bow was now trained on it, as if she were daring him to reach down and even so much as touch it. "I know. FINE" he yelled a little. "I don't trust this city, I don't trust WHAT'S in this city, and I try to go around seeing for myself that not all of you are as shitty as the ones who took my family away. But, hey." he expressed, referring to her bow, and how she hadn't been able to point it anywhere but at him until now. "No, that don't give me a reason to just be out here on your property. But truly, I wasn't going to take anything, hurt you, destroy your garden, whatever you may have conjured up in that pretty head of yours" he added, and put his hands back his back, stuffing them into his back pockets to pose as less of a threat to her.
"It kind of sucks to reside in a city, where you're afraid to even walk to work, ya know?" he asked, dropping his head, feeling bad about how he'd been going about all of this. But, Ash needed to know things. The unknown did damage to his already messed up mind, and anymore damage would have him locked away in an asylum. By the time he'd finished telling her why he was there, Ash's overly human emotions had caught up to him, causing tears to pool up and cloud his vision a little. But, he wasn't a man who was afraid of tears, or what the other person would say should he shed them. "I'm just exhausted" he finished off, meaning he was exhausted mentally for the most part, and now that the waterworks had started, he hoped she'd believe him, and not mock him.
One thing about her did stand out to Ash though. Even though she was a supernatural being with enough power and force to break him in half, she had went the most mundane way about it possible, with her threat to call the cops. That much he appreciated. Supernaturals, at least the ones he had encountered, had always used their abilities to show Ash how weak he truly was. So, for the moment, he couldn't complain to still be in one piece.
She didn’t appreciate his sarcastic tone when he was the one in the wrong her so she frowned at him, narrowing her eyes slightly at the way he was so casual about the fact he was trespassing on her property “Cause it makes it so much better to confirm you targeted me specifically” she commented with a suspicious tone and shook her head slightly at him. She could tell the bow was making him more nervous than necessary though so she did lower it so that he would calm down a little. “Well, you’d think a smart guy like that would know better than to break the law” she frowned a little because there seemed to be more to this than he was letting on right now and he didn’t want to admit his real reasons for being here.
Nora had seen many humans completely paralyzed by another presence before and she knew how the story went, someone found out about the supernatural in the worst way and that made them scared and flighty and determined to change the world. And he only confirmed her suspicions when he said he didn’t trust the city or what was in the city. She remained there steadfast because she didn’t trust people who were overtaken with fear the way he was, fear made people do crazy things and become obsessed. She sucked in a breath when he said they took away his family. “Don’t paint me with that brush just because I’m protecting my property and myself” she commented pretty shortly but she did lower the bow to her side and pass the arrow from it into the other hand as she stared back at him, someone had really hurt him, she could see that.
“Yeah well that’s not just Evermore, the world is full of shitty people” she commented bluntly, that was exactly why she did what she did, if the city wasn’t going to do bring justice properly and stop people breaking the rules and hurting people then she would do it for them and she would use whatever means she needed to. “But you can’t just go trespassing on people’s homes, do you have any idea how dangerous it is to sneak up on someone who might not know their own strength or hurt you without even meaning to?” she was a very controlled person who knew what she was doing when it came to pausing before making decisions but there were so many people out there who weren’t. She sighed slightly because she could see he was getting emotional “What were they? The people who took your family?” she didn’t want to make him talk about it but she needed to understand his motivations for all this.
Nora ran a hand through her hair for a moment and looked around, it was the middle of the night so no one had seen them or heard them thankfully “What’s in the bag?” she spoke bluntly as she eyed it again, she was willing to believe his story if the bag checked out but if he gave her any reason to distrust him with what was in it, she would snap. “And I’m going to check so don’t even think about lying to me about it” her tone was harsh but also softer than she was speaking earlier because perhaps she wanted to believe he was just a guy who had been wronged by the supernatural and was looking for a reason to believe it was just those few people and the whole world wasn’t cursed.
Even with tears in his eyes, Ash couldn't help but chuckle. He knew how messed up he could sound sometimes, and she only confirmed it when she'd stated that he made it sound so much better to confirm he was the one trespassing "Yeah, I guess you have a point" the human shrugged, shaking his head while placing his hands on the back of his head and entwining his fingers together, sighing deeply.
Ash nodded, he simply hated how he had let himself spiral out of control after losing everything he loved to supernaturals. It was bittersweet to say the least, since what he had lost was a pack of supernaturals in the first place. Ash had been raised by Therian's, and well.. now it turned out to be that he hated supernaturals all together. Maybe part of it was that he was heart broken, and missed the pack of Therian's he'd been brought up by, and anger was the only way he knew how to handle it.
"I have a hell of a job here, being a forenstic pathologist and such, but i'm not as smart as the job would suggest. At least where it comes to common sense" he chuckled, trying to make light of it, even if this was a piss poor way to approach her. "Perhaps a knock on your door would have been better. But, I seriously doubt you would have been keen to give me anything to work with, even If i had approached you better than this" he pointed out, a faint frown twisting his smile upside down. Ash had never really directly asked a supernatural to sit and talk about themselves, or their factions and how things worked, it sounded psychotic.
Ash held his hands up in defense "I shouldn't have put it that way, you'll have to overlook the sharp tongue I have. It seems to bring me comfort when I know and am fully aware that you could kick my ass into next year if you wanted" he stated, eyeing her, and her bow. "I would be the same way. But if I were you, and that bow was in my hands, and this was vise versa, I would have admittedly done shot you.. so thanks I guess". Ash was lucky indeed. She had every right to pull the trigger on her bow the moment she stepped outside to face him. An intruder never made it away from someones property without getting themselves hurt, hurting the one who owned the property, or going to jail, and so far, none of the three had happened, so Ash figured at the very least, he should count his blessings right now.
"Yeah, I get that. But i'm way to much of a coward to speak to someone directly. Especially someone who's not a human." he then admitted, and sucked in a breath before letting it go. "You know, the ironic thing.. my family was supernatural" he started off, and shook his head, laughing when it clearly wasn't amusing to him at all by the way he was seemingly breaking down more and more by the second. "Valkyr's" he added, to answer her question. "What's in the bag, is a bad habit that rubbed off on me because of how I was raised. It is drugs, you can trash it if you like.. It's something I intend on stopping, but when you start living that kind of life, it never truly stops.. no matter how bad you want it too..i don't do drugs, besides the occasional pot smoking, and I love my beer.. but" he sighed, and shrugged. IT didn't matter if he spent the next hour explaining his heart out, som people just despised those who made a way for addicts to be worse off, and Ash was one of those people who could sell salt to a snail,, so he supposed he wasn't any better.
He knew how terrible all of that sounded after having admitted to being a forensic pathologist. someone with a job like that didn't even need extra cash, but that was just the thing, it had never been for the cash. When Ash was being raised by those Therian's back in his home town, he either lived their lifestyle or got thrown out to fend for himself, and a teenager with no family, and no place to go, didn't really have much of a choice. "Do you live here alone?" he then asked, amdmittedly with a lot of hesitance, assuming it would only trigger anger in her again, but he figured if the conversation went well enough, that he could convince her to be someone he could rely on. Maybe then Ash would finally start to see the supernatural in a different light. But, that was still such a long way off, and a very slim chance of even happening.
“Well they do say most people are born with either the academic or life sense but rarely both” she commented pretty blunt, clearly he wasn’t that smart when it came to how to approach this situation because he had almost gotten then both in big trouble. The main reason she hadn’t called the cops on him is because she knew she’d have to explain the bow and if they got an officer who wasn’t versed in the supernatural, things were going to get tricky fast. “Yeah well maybe you should be questioning your own logic, at least try to be a semi-nice person if you expect people to be nice to you in return” she was blunt and sarcastic most of the time but if she wanted a customer to like her and work with her she would shift her demeanor, it was basic social skills.
She gave a frustrated sigh when he said he didn’t mean to phrase what he said like that, she was torn between wanting to hear him out and wanting to send him on his way before she got really annoyed at him “and I wouldn’t even need this bow or my supernatural strength to do it” she reminded him with a narrowed gaze as a warning, she made sure she could take care of herself even if she lost all her runes and every power she had because that was the sort of contingency she needed with what she did every night. “Yeah well I’m still tempted so make sure you continue watching that step and mouth” frankly she was tired and now wanting nothing more than a warm cup of coffee, she couldn’t even be all that worried about getting someone to take him.
“Why? At the end of the day every person is a person, some people are assholes, some people are nice, some people are greedy, some can rein in their urges” she shrugged, being in the crime-fighting business she wouldn’t say any particular faction was more innocent than others, most of the people she caught were human but then there were more humans in the city so that made sense. “Valkyr or Vampires” she asked him to clarify “there’s a very big difference between them, Valkyr are typically protectors, they have to feed to live but most of them are pretty torn by it, Vampires, however” she snapped her fingers “Imagine having everything that made you, you, stripped away and then care about anything” those who gave in to their urges typically never saw the other side again from her experience.
She eyed the bag with a sharp gaze, well he was more honest than most of the pushers she dealt with she would give him that but she was still unimpressed “What are you pushing?” she asked in a stern tone. If it was weed she might be able to hold back her disdain but when they started getting into narcotics she would definitely be bothered. “Fuck you don’t even need the money surely, what are you just bored?” she pulled a face as she shook her head stepping a little closer. “Why, worried my dhampir pack is gonna come back and kick your ass? I don’t need anyone’s help with that” she paused for a moment realizing she was getting agitated over the drugs “It’s just me and my dog” she spoke softly. And he dog wasn’t exactly going to do all that well at hurting anyone.
Ash felt himself blush again, while a part of him was amused by this woman, another part was irritated at how she mocked him. Her sarcasm was refreshing, but it did tend to make it harder for him to reason with a person who probably felt threatened by his intentions. His intentions wasn’t pure at first, that much he’d admittedly say, but he didn’t have no reason to try and hurt her. Ash had went about all of this the wrong way, but it settled his craving for knowledge of the supernatural. So, lurking around someones yard, or garden in this case, if it got him the smallest clue about what Dhampir’s were and what they were about, then he’d happily take an ass whooping for it.
The human shrugged, laughing a little when she told him to practice his own logic. “It’s not like I walk around asking people in this city to be jerks to me. I may not come off as the best kind of person around here, and surely the fact that I sell drugs has built me a repuation, not an appealing one either, but still. That don’t give no one rights to use me for a fucking all you can eat buffet. What’s up with that anyways? The rogues in this city..” he expressed, and released a dramatic sigh.
Ash held his hands up in defense, but chuckled a little at her comment. “I get it. You can beat my ass with or without the bow and supernatural gifts. Trust me, you send a lot of bad-girl vibes off, and I’m not trying to get myself tangled up with a female like you” he said bluntly enough, eyeing her the whole time he spoke, with a coy smirk adorning his features. It was amusing however, that for whatever reason, she reminded Ash of himself. The bold and blunt comments, her intimidating personality, etc. He laughed at the fact, which probably made it seem like he was laughing at her saying she was tempted, and for him to watch his mouth. “Sorry sorry. I wasn’t lauging at your threat. I was just thinking” he admitted, and shook his head, unable to stop smirking. Whatever it was about her, was certainly keeping a smile on his face. Perhaps he liked danger.
Ash then gave an eye roll. He couldn’t agree with her statement that at the end of the day every person is still a person. “Yeah unless your name is Ash, and you get attacked for no good reason during a late night by a pack of blood suckers .. they seemed starved and out of their minds. But then I met someone from the very same faction, who seemed totally opposite of them. He actually saved my life that night” he expressed, with a faint smile adorning his features when he thought about how unhinged Javier seemed after taking Ash back to his apartment.
And just like that, Ash felt his head spinning “What do you mean?!” he asked a little over dramatically. He didn’t even know there was two different species. And had assumed that all this city had was Valkyr, not Valkyr and Vampires both. “So, the way you explained that, it definitely didn’t seem like those were a group of Valkyr. That’s what the male was who saved my life. So, I was attacked by rogue Vampires?” he asked, and ran his fingertips across the scars they left on his neck the night he was attacked, having a momentary flashback.
“Imagine that. Ive lived through having everything that made me, me, taken away from me. But, I don’t get to go around dealing with it by ripping into people’s necks. Booze and sex don’t even help” he blurted out, but shrugged, because he typically didn’t have a filter to what he said anyways.
When she asked what he was pushing, Ash knew he had to play it safe with his answer. If she knew drugs pretty well, it would be impossible to lie to her about what was in the bag, should she inspect it good enough, but then again, he didn’t want her to be pissed all over again by revealing the truth. “What am I pushing? Besides my luck.. What’s in that bag is hardly anything lethal.” he expressed. “I could stop selling drugs right now this very second, and ten more dealers will pop up to take my customers. It’s an epidemic we’ll never be able to stop. There’s always going to be addicts and drug dealers” he nodded as if he was making a statement.
Ash laughed yet again “Bored. I wish” he added, shaking his head. “I was raised to know every thing there is to know about doing this shit. I didn’t want to at first, it’s not really something I got into by choice. It just feels like part of my past Im not ready to detach myself from yet” he admitted, and figured it wouldn’t make much sense, but it was the truth, that’s all he had.
“Well I don’t know lady. Do you roll around with a Dhampir pack?” he asked, that was new. Did Dhampir’s roam the city in groups? “Oh I bet. Something already warned me to shut up ages ago. Im really not even sure why i’m still talking” he admitted, and shrugged. Ash looked to the dog when she said it was just her and it, chuckling a little. “It’s cute.” he admitted before kneeling down to pet it, while gazing back up at her. “I really am not a bad dude. Drugs and all, there’s gotta be something left inside that don’t make me a complete monster / psychopath.” he stated, and stood back up, shoving his hands in his pockets. “You can trash it. It’s not something i’m proud of, and I really ain’t trying to lose my job here. Being a forensic pathologist is my life” Ash meant that much. He’d studied hard and worked his ass off to get employed as something that allowed him to see the truth behind people’s cover ups and lies when there were murders to solve, andfamilies to give closure to.
“You look like you’re freezing. I don’t wanna hold you up any longer. But, I wouldn’t mind taking this conversation a little further, some place warmer” he stated, not bothering to ask for an invite inside, making sure he left that statement open ended enough to where they could go to a coffee shop, or anywhere else. IF she decided she trusted him enough to invite him inside, then that was cool too.
“Yeah well people are jerks regardless, maybe start with some self-defense lessons, even a random human on the street with a knife can do some serious damage” it always worried her how frail untrained humans could be, especially because they had no idea what was around them. “I don’t know, never got on the wrong side of blood lust myself but I imagine it’s much like dealing with an addict who has gone off the deep end” she eyed him sure he had experience with that. “Like me” she repeated after him and gave a dry chuckle, always stereotyped because of her blunt persona, she was actually a pretty good citizen, hardly a bad girl, though that depended on how you viewed vigilantism she supposed. When he laughed she furrowed her brow at him but didn’t say anything for a while “Well at least there’s an actual brain in there I suppose” she grumbled slightly.
She did feel for him, what she did when she went out there was to protect people like him, those who get attacked for no reason other than some supernatural deciding to throw their weight around that day “Well Ash, just like there are people who commit crimes and are generally cruel in the human world, the same can be said for the supernatural, the problem is that the supernatural are harder to catch” though she had gotten herself some pretty effective methods by now. “When a Valkyr betrays their protective nature and becomes consumed with bloodlust, they lose their humanity, they lose the ability to empathize” she sighed gently “And I’ve yet to see a cure” which meant they had to be put down, as much as she hated the idea of that.
The way he explained he had lost everything too made her narrow her eyes “You have your job, which you’re clearly passionate about, even if you’re dumb enough to risk it” her tone was disapproving because he obviously didn’t need to be a dealer and yet did it anyway. She watched him as he considered his answer to her question which told her all she needed to know about what was in the bag “Up until recently dreamshade was wiped entirely off the streets” she countered his words with a stern look, yes, she agreed that they were never going to take off every drug from the streets, but things were significantly better than they used to be “And I heard about a few accidental warehouse fires” she stressed the word accidental because she knew it wasn’t, in fact, she had quite enjoyed watching all those supplies burn and everyone panic.
“Such a waste” she responded when he explained how he pretty much chose to stay attached to this business even when he didn’t need to. Though perhaps she could understand the need to feel connected to your past just a little, she’d be lying if she said there weren’t times she was tempted to let her parents back in when she knew how toxic they were. “They prefer to call it a community but of course I do” she commented with raised brows “It’s our job to protect the humans of this city” though she took it to a whole different level she had to admit. Seeing her dog make his way over to him and seem to genuinely like him did tell her a lot, Cloud was a good judge of character “He likes you” she commented matter of factly though with a hint of surprise in her tone.
“Oh believe me I’m trashing it, nobody needs that in their life” her gaze remained on him as she closed the distance to the bag and picked it up, tucking it under her arm “Now explain to me how the hell you got into all of this and how you justify hurting all those people” she commented and without another word headed towards the back door to her home, opening the door and leaving it open to imply he should come inside, Cloud trotted in behind her without a peep.
"I guess" he said simply and rolled his eyes. For whatever reason, he felt as though she directed her comment directly at him, when it came to addicts. "Yeah, ive dealt with them. No need to make slick comments, im smarter than I appeared out here in your garden today" he chuckled, and shook his head, amused with her. She definitely was a bad ass. One that Ash didn't need to be enemies with. If anything, he needed allies. He'd never say friends, because he didn't do friendship. Lucius had been the first person in a long time that he had even given a second glance too, and that was still so new that he wasn't sure what to do with it.
Ash narrowed his gaze, unsure if he wanted to laugh of flip her the bird for saying there was an actual brain in his head "what do ya know. Surprising huh?" he said in response, finally giving a small chuckle. He enjoyed her sense of humor, and she definitely wasn't bad looking. It's not that he didn't notice women too, he just preferred men. "What did you mean though when you said 'like me'?" he asked curiously. "People put you in a category or something? What a shock" he teased playfully, and grinned at her before shrugging. "You definitely do have the bad girl vibes, but I know what you're saying. I get it more than you think, that bag of dope probably had you place me in a category too" he stated, and nodded, giving her a look. He was either titled a drug dealer, a freak, or a whore. Ash had never been viewed as a good citizen himself, which royally sucked, because he was a decent guy underneath it all.
"I can imagine" he responded with a frown, when she said supernaturals were harder to catch. But, it was clear to him that there was bad in both humans and supernaturals, to him, it made them all the same. So, at the very least, he could stop dividing them, and for someone like Ash, that was progress. But, it would take a hell of a lot more than this for him to not hate them. "So if there's no cure then what?" he asked, but the look on her face said enough. "You're not saying.." he stopped himself, because even if he did hate their very existence, it sounded cruel even to him to think they were put down like dogs.
"I know it's a shitty thing to do, risking my job and all, but it's just something ive got to grow away from. It feels like the very last piece of my past that im letting go of, and i guess ive just not been ready yet. I would have never sold drugs if i hadn't been forced to live that life;. Hell, I knew how to count out dime bags before I was ten years old, and if i didn't deliver them for the man that raised me, he would have beat my ass" Ash could have went on for days about how he had been raised, "Im smart enough to know that my past don't have to define me though, forced or not, I know I can change it. Bare with me while I try.?" he asked as kindly as he could. He knew he'd run into her more often now, because she did protect the streets ,, and Ash was on the streets doing wrong, more often than not.
Ash held his hands up defensively at the mention of warehouse fires, wondering if she thought it was him or not "I had nothing to do with that, but why have there been so many fires?" he asked, pure confusion striking his features in that instance. "Fair enough. You're the only Dhampir ive even had a personal encounter with. I can't say ive not been tensed up this whole time, but you don't seem so bad, and to even hear a supernatural say that they're protecting people, does my heart some good. I closed myself off to the possibility that there may be some good left in people, but maybe that will change" he shrugged, unsure of how long it would take for a man like Ash to see things differently. Ash nodded, and offered a pearly white, genuine grin when she expressed how her little fluff ball liked him "Of course he does, what's not to like?" he asked jokingly, and gave a sly smirk.
Ash sighed, "I figured as much. I wasn't even going to try to fight you on the matter. And, you're right" he agreed, feeling a little like shit for who he was and what he did right now, but he couldn't help it, not right now at least. "I have ruined plenty of lives.. hell, ive ended plenty of lives with that stuff. Can't tell you how many addicts have left my apartment, and went home and overdosed. Seems like that'd be enough to stop me huh? I'm definitely a prick for it" he admitted, and hung his head low as she got a little louder with him, reminding him that he had hurt plenty of people. "There's nothing to justify it. I have never and will never try to justify what I do when i allow someone to walk in and out of my apartment with drugs. But, in the past it was either that, or take a beating, and they left the beatings for above the waste, which meant my legs still worked and i still had to deliver the shit either way" he started off, and for a moment, he hesitated on walking in.
She had finally went on inside, and the dog stopped at the door to stare at Ash as if it was waiting for him. The human chuckled a little and shook his head before inhaling. "What have you done now .. fucking idiot" he cursed at himself and made a gesture towards the sky before running a hand through his hair, and roughly pulling away, he definitely did feel like pulling his hair out sometimes, or running his head through something hard. Either way, he put one foot in front of the other, and stepped inside, taking his shoes off as he noticed how clean she kept the place. "Nice house. Do you live here alone?" he asked, but noticed how her dog seemed to follow her every where, "besides the furball of course" he added, and gazed around. It didn't seem like she had any family, or if she did, she kept the family portraits else where.
"Ive always dreamed of a different version of me. I don't think i would have grown up any differently though, even if my biological parents had raised me themselves" he shook his head, only hearing about his parents through the one letter they sent to him from prison. Tate cut off all communication after that, when he realized how badly it derailed Ash as a young boy. "Coffee?" he asked, hoping if there wasn't any made, that she'd let him make some. "Thanks by the way. For not calling the police" he added, and truly felt grateful for that much. It would have costed him his job no doubt.
“Hey you said it first, I was just judging your choice of words” she responded matter of factly when he asked her why she said ‘like me’ and then shrugged unapologetically “Yeah well there is a difference between what you were born as and what you choose to do with your life” she commented in response to his words. Yes, she would judge his life choices if they were hurting other people and she knew he was and if he wanted her to see beyond that he was going to have to prove he was worth that. “Harder, but not impossible, especially now that the organization actually has a way of subduing them” which is why she usually left anyone she managed to capture in a place one of them would no doubts find them. She had to grimace when he realized what she was trying to imply about killing vampires “It takes an entire loss of someone’s soul to become that, there are ways to save someone heading down that path but once it ends” she supposed it was like becoming a zombie, you lose everything that makes you, you and then all that is left is a monster.
“Yeah well, you better buck up fast because I may not be turning you in today but the next person you meet probably will” and if he made a single wrong move or gave her the impression he was dangerous in the time they were talking she would happily change her mind. She grimaced a little as he talked about past and the things he went through “And yet you let his decisions define your life, talk about breaking the circle” she commented shortly and sighed softly, she knew something about parents being massive assholes and feeling indebted to them while also hating them for what they did. When he asked her to bear with him she sighed softly “You’re lucky you’re half charming” she narrowed her eyes at him as though to warn him to be on his best behavior.
She shrugged her shoulders as though she had no idea about how the fires in the warehouses took place, of course she was the one who had single-handedly taken down their operation but she wasn’t about to tell shady mc shady here about her illegal activities “Probably for the better though, cut the supply down to the wire and put the dealers out of business” which made them more desperate for stock which then made themselves easier to find. “I try and do my part, no one is going to be perfect but then we could say that about quite literally anyone and everyone” some people made more mistakes than others and that was okay as long as they learned from them “The key thing about being good is not avoiding mistakes entirely but avoiding making the same mistake again” she had definitely gotten herself hurt, gone after the wrong person, put her trust in the wrong people and not given others enough credit, which was the only reason she was holding back on him right now.
Seeing Cloud like him did give her some sense of assurance though because her little white fluffball was a very good judge of character and wouldn’t even let people he didn’t trust inside of the house, so she was going to give the benefit of the doubt for now “Well owning up to what you’ve done and the mistakes you have made is the first part, next comes the harder one, learning from it” but he did seem like he had the want to change and that was something. She had the feeling his problem was a feeling of powerlessness, from the way he talked about the attack on people he loved and what his father made him do “You know the Dojo offers classes for humans, training classes to help them learn to protect themselves, even from the supernatural” she had helped out with a few of them before, helping people to learn how to counter the supernatural and she definitely had experience in that area.
“I have a live-in maid who takes care of the place usually but she’s away visiting her children for a while” she responded with a shrug, she just didn’t have the time to be keeping her place perfectly pristine, plus it meant there was someone here to keep an eye on her home and Cloud whenever she needed to travel “But Cloud is excellent company” she spoke softly as she reached down to pick him up and petted him gently, cuddling him for a moment before setting him back down and closing the door behind them. “Coffee” she responded and nodded slightly heading towards the kitchen and turning on the coffee machine “Please excuse the rather barren kitchen, it’s being remodeled in a few days” she laughed, the current one was closed off and while in a large space felt kinda cramped to her so she was getting it redone to be more of an open kitchen and dining area. “So how much do you actually know about what you’re up against in this city?” she wondered how much research he had actually managed to do.
"Fine" he said in response, and shook his head. She was pretty ruthless. But, given how they had met, she was well within her rights to be arrogant. Ash sighed, she made a lot of good points, especially when she said there was a difference in what you're born as and what you choose to do with your life. He supposed the moment he got away from the Therian's and all the gang violence and drug activity, that he could have went ahead and turned over a new leaf, and left it all behind him. It had been a lot harder to do than he'd ever imagined it would be though. Tate was someone he missed dearly, even if his little pack had tried ruining Ash's life after Tate was murdered.
Lost in thought, he barely noticed she had commented on how it wasn't impossible, but he noted the look on her face when he had mentioned killing them off like they were animals, cause even if he hated supernaturals himself, Ash didn't really like the thoughts of that. It saddened him mostly. "Well, I guess I can't say ive actually ever seen someone who has completely lost their soul. Those rogues, I guess that's the true definition right?' he asked, curious if thats kinda what she meant by having to lose your entire soul, to become like that... like them he supposed. Ash nodded, taking her warning to heart; "I should show you my apartment one day. I'm not trying to lure you into some kind of sex lair, I just tink it explains more than the words from my mouth do" he nodded, but found himself chuckling when she told him he was lucky that he was a little charming. "Hey you're the first person who's ever called me charming, so ill take that" he grinned slightly, and shook his head as her dog ran back over to him, "He seems to like me. At the very least I can walk away today and say I made myself a new friend." he shrugged, and stroked his hand down the pup's back a few times.
Ash narrowed his gaze when she spoke of the warehouse fires again, and how she seemed to know more than she'd admitted to the whole time he was here. "You sure do know a lot about how to shut down drug dealers specifically" he arched a brow. "I'm not gonna bump into you doing something you shouldn't be doing am I? Cause then, all the preaching you've done to me, would be rendered useless" he stated, smirking slyly. He had a feeling she did more than she'd say out loud, and now that he put some thought into it, surely she did things illegally sometimes, but he still assumed no matter what she did, it was all for the sake of keeping the streets a safer place.
The human nodded, giving her a faint smile when she talked about doing her part. "I guess in a sense, we all do. Even me, the drug dealing and random hook ups is all apart of the life i was forced into and it's something i wanna give up, but even I try to do my part. Becoming a forensic pathologist, to determine cause of death, was my way of wanting to help people know the truth.. or get closure. A lot of that was for me, because when I lost those who were like parents to me, the truth was spun and covered up" he grimaced, and sighed softly. He hated how crooked the justice system was, and frankly, there never had been any justice for what Ash had went through. His fathers head was delivered in a box to his door step, and instead of doing anything about it, Ash was forced to flee the only place he had ever known as home.
"Admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving your problems.. I get it. Ive never been good at admitting ive made mistakes, but I don't mind saying it right now, that all the shit ive done lately has been a massive pile of mistakes .. learning from those.. yeah that's gonna be the hardest part, but i'm willing" he started, and eyed her for a moment. Ash wondered if she was genuine, but nothing about her seemed fake, so as much as she was giving him the benefit of the doubt, he was doing the very same with her. Ash was scared of supernaturals, and hated them for the most part, so he'd taken a big enough chance by going onto her property. "I wanted too learn about your kind, but I realize ive went about it the wrong way" he stated, giving an apologetic expression as he rested his elbow onto his knee, and cupped his chin. "And seriously?" he then asked, widened eyes gazing back over to her "A class for humans? If you give me the details, i'm all for that. I do feel pretty powerless sometimes" he admitted, and gave her a knowing look. It seemed she caught on quick, and that she'd probably realized his issue way before he did.
Ash smiled when she went on to talk about how she had a live-in maid "Well, I guess if my apartment wasn't studio sized, i'd probably hire one as well. I just don't see the point in hiring someone to clean an apartment that you literally run into the walls when you're trying to turn around" Ash could have picked a home, a beautiful one at that with the money he brings in, but he was literally never there unless he had found someone to sleep with at the bar, and then he kicked them out the very next morning, and left again himself. It didn't, nor wouldn't ever be a place that felt like his home, so he didn't bother picking out a mansion. "Cloud, I like the name. It fits him" he chuckled, and gazed to the dog, who'd spent his time running back and fourth to Ash and Eleanora.
"But, it must get lonely. Right?" he asked curiously, because while a dog was considered man's best friend, which often worked in a female's case too, it seemed to be pretty miserable not having company every once in a while. Ash experienced it himself, and he didn't even have a dog, so for the most part, his apartment was pretty silent, boring and lonely. "I thik I want a dog. I just don't know how to pick one" he shrugged, maybe he could convince her to go to a pet store with him some other time. It'd be a great Christmas present to himself. Leaning against the door framin of her kitchen, Ash crossed his arms, and gazed around "Doesn't look too bad, any idea what you're doing with it yet?" he asked curiously, and grimaced as his gaze dropped when she asked how much he knew where it concerned what he was up against.
"Apparently not enough. I met a Celestial, admittedly, the plan was to restrain her until she gave me what I needed, but I learned that not all supernaturals are monsters, much like you've proven today.. my plan was to try and meet someone from each species, but now i'm admittedly terrified of Valkyr's / Vampires. Are they all like that? I mean rogue or not, i'd imagine the whole faction is intense.. they need human blood to survive..." he started off, shuttering a little. "Ive only managed learning about the few ive personally encountered.. as far as what they're capable of, I don't know jack, except for Celestial's seemingly glow, and that glow can be painful if they decide to use it as a defense mechanism. You had my attention with those training classes though. How do I sign up?" he asked curiously, and gave a faint smile. Maybe doing that would assure her that he'd at least try to go about things in a better way, "I wouldn't mind you being the one who trains me though." he added, almost hesitantly though, because it was a bold request.
"Is there anything specific I should know about the supernatural?" he asked and began twiddling with his fingers out of nervous habit.