His return to Evermore came with more than just reconnecting to the few people he considered his family. It came with the return to his place in leadership, and returning to his club to see how it was thriving under the managers he had left in place. As he walked through the crowd that evening he felt the large grin on his face. It seemed like everyone was enjoying themselves which made him enjoy himself.

“Are you going to perform.” He heard from Alicia as he got closer to the bar. “Been a long time since you graced that stage.” She chuckled as she poured him a drink, placing it in front of him. 

“I was thinking about it. Been a long time since I warmed my pipes alone.” Donovan spoke honestly picking up the liquid courage and downing it in one shot. Before tossing a friendly smile to Alicia. “Here's to either remembering my talents or making a fool of myself.” With that he moved towards the stage picking up one of the guitars slinging it over his shoulder and moving to the Microphone. 

“Hello all Eternal Blue goers. How are you guys doing tonight.” Hearing the various cheers from the crowd made him chuckle as he took hold of the guitar neck and started to string out one of the many songs he wrote. Leaning into the microphone he began to sing his eyes scanning the crowd for a reaction when they landed on someone that seemed to glow brighter than the rest of the crowd. 

It caused him to fumble over his strings and words for a moment before correcting himself. Once he finished a few songs he finally made his way off the stage and back to the bar as his eyes scanned for the glowing.

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If there was one thing Ophelia didn't really do, it was spend time alone at bars. It had never been her style and while she liked a drink and knew how to handle her liquor, she preferred to either spend time with friends or stay home alone. So today you could say was a strange day for her. She had been passing the other night when she had heard singing from one of the local bars she walked past on the way home from her shop and felt curious. She had always adored jazz music and was lucky enough to live through the era that defined it, it was a nostalgic sensation that washed over her for a few brief moments and she decided she wanted it back.

So here she was, a few nights later with the evening all to herself. She'd thought about inviting someone along but honestly she just wanted to sit for a while and soak in the music, she'd always loved music, it was one of the things that made her feel calm and like tension was lifting off of her chest. She'd been here about an hour so far and she was feeling more confident than she thought she would, the Wayfinder was a naturally wary person, especially when alone but for the most part, people kept to themselves. Not to mention the food here was amazing and she had been through more small plates than she cared to admit.

When she heard the sound of a male's voice come out from the stage she looked up curiously before setting down everything on the table so she could listen, she got the feeling just from the way he talked that he was going to be good. She was right, she thought to herself as a gentle smile appeared on her lips, his voice was powerful but smooth, it was honestly mesmerizing. She was gazing, there was no doubt about that, it was perfectly fine for someone in the crowd to gaze upon an attractive singer right? What she didn't expect was for his eyes to find hers for just a moment, which made her quickly avert her gaze and blush slightly, though she heard the sound of his guitar falter for just a moment before he righted himself. 

She swayed along to the songs for the set, enjoying the music and the peace it brought her and then before long he was finished. She figured that was as good of a time as any to head back for the night so she got to her feet and headed towards the door, walking past the bar as she did so, though she stumbled a little because perhaps she'd had a few more drinks than she should have. 

Something about being able to perform made him forget everything that had unfolded in his life recently. It was his comfort, passion, and his soul. It was what gave his voice the heart it heard as he sang out to the crowd. They could feel his pain, and joy whatever emotion he wanted to portray at that moment. So as he watched the crowd react to his voice he got caught up staring at the woman who seemed brighter then should be possible.  He felt like he was singing to her in that moment till her gaze broke from his. Which made him snapback into what he was doing. After a few more songs He finished his set and handed it back to the band for that evening. 

As he made his way down the stairs that lead around to the back of the bar he met her just as she was making her way towards the door. As she stumbled he was there beside her in that moment. “You okay?” He asked softly as his hand came to rest on her upper arm lightly. He could tell that she was drunk but a quick whiff of the air cleared the fact she had any fogein substance in her system. That quickly put him at ease that she wasn’t in trouble from someone messing with her cognitive state. He put on his easy smile that he always seemed to wear, it even touched his eyes for the first time in a while. “How about you let me help you through the crowd. I would rather you not be walked over in my club.” He chuckled lightly towards her.

He placed her arm through his softly and started to lead her through the loud crowd. Once they managed to make their way out of the door, he paused at the spring night. “Always have to say the night seems brighter in Evermore than in Africa.” He mused to himself before looking at the woman whose arm was circled around his. “You are very bright.” He said softly as his eyes took in the faint glow she gave off. He was sure she was not human just looking at her with a gentle smile on his face. “You are a very beautiful woman. It would be a pleasure if you let me make sure you get home safe.” He reached up to tuck back some of her hair that fell in her face from her stumble earlier. “I am Donovan by the way. Owner of Eternal Blue.”

She definitely enjoyed the evening more than she thought she was going to, people were always telling her she should get out more and experience the world and this seemed like a good place to start. It was kinda peaceful to just while away some time listening to the music around her and soaking up the atmosphere. Still, it was a little lonely sitting here all evening by herself, she wondered if she should have brought a friend with her but honestly she didn’t want to be a bother and drag people along. Maybe that was a flaw of hers.

She was in her own little world as she headed towards the door, she was buzzed but certainly not out of control, the stumble was more down to her not paying enough attention than anything. When she felt a hand against her arm she blinked for turning towards the male that caught her and her lips parted in surprise as she tried to straighten herself up a little “Sorry I’m hopeless when it comes to seeing everything around me” she murmured, scolding herself a little for doing something so embarrassing in front of him. Ophelia had been raised in a time much more formal than this period so it felt natural to place her arm in his and allow him to guide her “It’s more crowded than I thought...I guess everything looked further away from the back” she pondered in a curious voice.

After they made it outside her head naturally tipped up to look at the sky and she smiled when he said the night seemed bright “I like to think they’re looking out for those of us in the city” she responded before widening her eyes when he said she looked bright. If it wasn’t for her Wayfinder senses that warned her of danger, that might have been a concerning comment to hear but his tone implied curiosity “Not everyone can see how bright I am, which makes you special too” she commented raised her brow slightly. She was wondering why it was her of all people he was helping.

He was charming though, that much she would admit as a light blush rested on her cheeks when he righted her hair “Ophelia” she responded in a gentle voice. She paused for a moment before smiling softly “Your voice is amazing” she complimented “I swear I can feel every emotion you put into those songs” and perhaps she could relate too, since they touched on topics she knew well, like heartbreak and loss.

Donovan gave a gentle chuckle past her lips as she spoke of being hopeless at seeing everything around her. “Well honestly the world should get out of the way of a lovely woman such as yourself. Since all eyes really are on you here.” He nodded his head to a few gentlemen who seemed to look her up and down for a moment. “I like to think they are all here for my big return but I am sure the alcohol has something to do with it.” He joked lightly in that moment as he looked towards her. “Yet don’t be hard on yourself, we all take a few stumbles in life. You even manage to catch yourself beautifully.” He added with an easy smile that he often had on his lips before losing his family. For a moment being around her made him forget his sorrows.

He watched her eyes go to the sky like it was second nature for her. “The night or the stars protect us?” He asked curious for a moment before he smiled softly at her as she called him special. “I would say only half special.” He gave a gentle nodded at her inquiry. “Half a fanger so to say.” He danced around what he was for a moment because he was still trying to figure out what she was. Taking a deep whiff of her scent it was out of this world, it was what he imagined a fairy to smell like. She smelled of magic mixed with scents he couldn’t pick out, since they didn’t seem of this planet, and as a traveler of the world he had been over most of it at this point in his life.

He took in her ethereal beauty unaware how ethereal it was, “Ophelia, such a beautiful name I haven’t heard before.” He said gently as he wondered for a moment. “It may sound strange but I like to know what names mean. Do you know what Ophelia means?”  He could google it but sometimes people had stories about their names he liked to hear them if they did. So asking in this manor would lead the person to go bright eyed and tell him the tale of their name if they had one. If not he could tell her and she could share it with others once she knew the story of how she learned her name's meaning with a stranger on a starry night.

A slow smile came to his lips at her compliment. “Well thank you, I am glad I still have the hang of things after the break I took.” He gave a sad smile at that moment. “You felt every emotion you say? Have you lost someone close to you then?” He asked gently as his hand came to rest over hers realizing her arm was still through his. “I would offer to walk you home, but I never know if that is gentlemanly or not anymore.”

She laughed softly when he said the world should just get out of her way “That would definitely make life easier” she commented in amusement, though she did kinda like being just a small, mostly unnoticed part of the world. Her kind had always got so much negative attention in the city it was honestly quite nice to disappear from it for a while “Though I’d argue most of the eyes were on you” she commented and grinned slightly, he was an excellent performer who commanded attention after all. She laughed when he said alcohol likely had impact on drawing a crowd “I think you should take some of the credit” she commented and raised her brows playfully.

Her gazed sparked a little as she looked back at him, tearing her gaze from the sky “The stars, if you believe they are sentient” there were many different lores and myths that talked about the stars and how they could be reincarnated souls. Ophelia liked to believe there was truth to it and that it wasn’t simply the act of falling that brought life to her kind. “Half huh” she responded and quirked her brow, that seemed like a hint of sorts and naturally her mind flashed through possibilities before settling on the possibility he was half supernatural. She blinked in surprise when he confirmed as much “I’ve met a few of your kind” she spoke softly “One a long time ago was very kind to me” she remembered the people that had helped her on her travels fondly.

“I am what they call a celestial” she spoke in a hushed voice, if he had been honest with her she wanted to return the honestly, even if she was naturally cautious to share such information. Something about him made her feel like he was trustworthy though, from the way he presented himself to how he had this naturally comforting presence. She bit her lip when he asked what he named meant “It’s of Greek origin and means helper...which I guess makes sense given the role I’ve played” she was a helper and mentor to her people. “What about you? Do you like to research name meanings?” she hadn’t looked into others but everyone had enough curiosity to check their own, didn’t they?

“A break?” she questioned and pressed her lips together for a moment “You don’t sound like you’ve taken a break at all” she complimented “Though your voice...it definitely has a certain...sadness behind it” she noted and looked back at him, wondering if she was being too intrusive with her thoughts. When he asked if she had lost anyone she adverted her gaze though “Far more people than I should have” she answered, it was hard for her to think about it.

She parted her lips for a moment as she looked up at him “I honestly thought chivalry died a long time ago” she confessed and giggled under her breath “I don’t want to trouble you though, I’m sure you must be tired after that performance” she commented and offered a polite smile.

He chuckled softly as she stated that all eyes really were on him though and not her. “Well my eyes were on you. So what does it say when the man who has captured the crowd was only captured by a single woman. Does that really mean you are the only world in his eyes.” He mused aloud already forming lyrics in his head for a song. Since coming back he has found more inspiration for writing positive songs. He gave an easy smile as he gave a shrug in a manner to say ‘I get what you are laying down.’ “Fine I will take the credit for drawing a crowd only if you take the credit for capturing my attention to not notice them.” 

He let his eyes wander her for a moment. “There isn’t much I don’t believe anymore when it comes to the mysteries of the universe.” He looked her over for a quiet moment. “Reading many kinds of books over my years I have learned that myths and lores sometimes are not myths and lores.” She said that she had met others like him. He tilted his head to the side wondering for a moment just how old she was. Not being a spring chicken himself, but he knew there were many older than him. “I am glad one of my kind was kind to you. We often are placed as protectors since we walk that line of being half breeds.” He gave a gentle sigh as he thought about a few bad eggs he had come across. “Or we are supposed to be. Though I think a whole, nature vs nurture argument could be brought up.”

He thought for a moment, remembering the term from somewhere when he remembered that Argent had spoken about them. He couldn’t remember everything but knew it had a part to play in his sister's death. Though he pushed that back to focus on what her name meant. “Helper. That is a lovely meaning of a name.” He smiled looking at her over figuring it suited her, She seemed like a warm energy. “Donovan means Dark Warrior in Celtic history.”  He replied as he smiled towards her for a gentle moment. “It used to be an obsession of mine to know the reasons behind names. Guess it carried over into adulthood also. I think I used to think if I liked the name it meant they would be good friends. I was a weird child.” He ran his hand over the back of his neck softly.

“Yeah I am just returning to Evermore and the club after being in South Africa for some time.” He figured it was better to keep things vague. Since it was nice to have a normal conversation not about the death of his family. “We all have sadness at times. I just have learned to put the emotion into something else that helps remove the focus in my brain most of the time.” He commented as they looked from each other he took in her words. Reaching out to place his hand gently on her upper arm. “I am sorry for the people you have lost.”  Letting the quiet moment linger there as they both pushed those sad thoughts down he was sure.

“Perks of owning the place I can’t get in trouble with anyone but myself.” He chuckled softly towards her and held his arm out to her once again. “Let me walk you home, it is too beautiful of a night.” He gave that easy smile to her. “Also it takes a lot to make me tired. So I promise you I am fine, Ophelia.”

She reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear and smiled softly, flattered by his compliment, she normally wasn’t the type to be so easily won over but then she had a few drinks tonight and he was very charming, anyone in the room would agree with her “You sure have a way with your words” she commented in a soft voice. Then again, that was kinda the point for a musician wasn’t it? She’d never heard any of the songs he performed tonight before so she assumed at least some of them were his “Seems like a fair trade to me” she commented and grinned “The glow is pretty obvious huh?” thankfully humans couldn’t see it but to anyone supernatural it was obvious.

“Smart way to think” she responded when he said there was little he considered fiction when it came to the world nowadays “Just when you think you know everything about the world it comes around with another revelation” she chuckled, she had learned by now to just accept the weirdness that was their reality. “Books so like to exaggerate the truth a lot though” she commented thinking about some of them she’d had the chance to go over that were borderline outlandish. She nodded slightly when he explained his kind were often seen as villains “It’s very much an old way of thinking to judge someone by something they cannot change” she couldn’t stop being a celestial much like he couldn’t stop being a dhampir.

“If I recall, your kind are quite the impressive warriors” she remembered the rune etched blade her friend had carried in the past, it had always been fascinating to her. She bit her lip and smiled when he said her name had a nice meaning “I embody that when I can” she responded and smiled slightly. His name seemed very fitting considering he was a dhampir “Almost too fitting” she teased softly tilting her head slightly. It was sweet when he explained how he enjoyed knowing people’s name meanings so he could figure out the people he would get along with best “So what’s the strangest name and person combination you’ve encountered?” she questioned with a wry smile.

“South Africa?” she raised her brows in surprise because that was quite the way to travel “Must be quite different there” she mused softly, she had done a lot of travel in her years and she always found every place was so rich with culture and different ways of life. “Me too, though nothing quite as impressive as writing songs” she responded and bit her lip softly “I’ve written a few poems in my years though” she kept journals to help her remember everything that had happened because otherwise, it felt like the time began to blend together. She met his eyes when he came to rest his hand against his arm and she smiled because of the sincerity she sensed from him “We won’t be sad forever” she reassured him back.

“Must be a lot of work to keep it the talk of the town though, I swear everyone around here finds a reason to pop in” and now she understood why most of the girls who came to her shop were giggling about getting to go there in the evening. “If you insist” she responded and jerked her chin towards the park she usually walked through to get home before heading out in front of him, turning back to face him for a moment “You must be feeling on top of the world after a show like that” she commented with a bright smile.

Donovan watched her as she tucked her hair behind her ear, the way her fingertips graced the side of her face and ear. A simple act that he found rather beautiful when she did it.  “Well, having a way with words is a talent of mine. Makes writing songs easier.”  He let his eyes linger for a longer moment on her pale flesh before giving an easy smile to her. “I would say that it isn’t obvious to all, maybe just those you have pulled in with your magical wiles.” He gave her an easy wink.

“Have you run into things that rocked your view on your world?” He questioned out of curiosity. Since he himself came across the Ailwards, and they changed his view on life and the world. He wondered if he was a better person because of it now. “Well would anyone read the book if it wasn’t exaggerated a tad bit?” He chuckled at the few books he read that said things that even made his eyes roll. He thought for a moment before he spoke, “Sometimes, it is easier to make the unknown a villain because it is easier then realizing the monsters within their own soul. It's harder to slay our own darkness, then that of ones we make out bigger than it is.”

He gave an easy smirk as he ran his hands together. “We have been known to be skilled fighters with weapons that call to us.” He said softly, leaving an air of mystery about him at that moment. He let out a songful laugh when she said his name was almost two fitting. “Well, I guess my parents knew what they were doing when giving me my name.” He chuckled and then his look became that of a far off one as he tried to think of the strangest name he had encountered in that moment. “You know, I may have to get back to you on that. If you would grace me such a day to spend more time with you.”

“Born and raised in South Africa. Traveled most of the world. So I have to say I have seen differences all through the world. So many I am not even sure what is from my homeland anymore.” He said in a joking tone. “Poems are a beautiful way to express yourself, a lot of the time just as powerful as songs.” He gave her a gentle encouraging squeeze of her shoulder and then smiled back at her, “Us immortals should know that sadness can’t last forever.”  enjoying the reassurance that they were giving each other at that moment.

“Well I find that word of mouth does so itself, if you have something people enjoy.  Alcohol, singing, and so on. Not hard to draw in a crowd.” He chuckled for a moment. Looking to the park he fell into step behind her, moving so that he was next to her in no time. “Well, I would say it was any other day. Yet I am actually on top of the world. It was the first day I have sung in front of a crowd in a long time. So I do feel on top of the world. More on top of the world because I am getting to walk a beautiful woman home.” he nudged her slightly as they walked beside each other.

She noticed the way his dark eyes were focused on her which made her smile a little shyly, he was very handsome and had a certain soft but attentive gaze to him which she was sure would have most swooning “Touche” she responded and laughed softly “I’m not sure I’d even know where to start when it came to writing a song...it’d probably turn out cliche” she wondered if cliche was how most people started out until they got the hang of it. She tilted her head slightly “It’s not obvious to all no, only those with an eye for detail” but she did spare him a little laugh in response to his flirty comment.

She nodded in agreement to his statement “Many times in my life” she confirmed and sighed slightly, being a celestial definitely brought the worst of the world in your direction and eventually you became a little numb to it all. “True, though I find some stories can be a little insulting to the myths they were based upon” she commented and raised her brows “Though it does beg the question of whether it was simply the whims of someone’s imagination or written to rewrite the truth” it was curious to her. “There is nothing scarier than our own demons” she agreed with him, nodding her head slightly “Mostly because we don’t want to admit they exist” she murmured softly.

She tilted her head and smiled “You must have such interesting relationships with your weapons, to most of us they are...just metal” she commented thoughtfully, the relationship Dhampir had with their weapons definitely extended far beyond that, she’d heard it was much like an extension of their own self. She grinned when he said his parents must have been well-informed “Or it was a very lucky guess” she teased playfully. He was smooth, she would give him that much, it was keeping her on her toes as the two of them talked.

She nodded slightly “I have seen much of the world too, though not necessarily in a manner I’d have liked, life has always been quite fast paced for me, despite the fact I would have liked to stop and take in everything” her travels had been to keep herself from being found and taken in, rather than the opportunity to see the world itself. “Poems have less pressure to fit to a tune though” he commented and laughed softly “I have serious respect for anyone who can compose like that, because it’s no simple feat” not to mention to succeed your songs needed to stick with people in one way or another too.

“True, it’s much like a roller coaster, the highs are high but the lows can be very low” she nodded slightly, you just had to remember during each one that the tables could turn again at any moment. She grinned slightly when he agreed he did feel on top of the world “Did the hiatus make you miss it?” he questioned softly, it seemed like such an involved career, she didn’t know how easy it was to put it down and pick it back up again. “Are you this charming with everyone?” she questioned and nudged against his side slightly, laughing in an amused manner as they strolled through the park, it was nicely lit with fairy string lights highlighting the main pathways through it.

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