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Stay With Me

 
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Elle Sloane
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 11
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Jobs: Doctor, Midwife
Can Be Found: Trauma Resident at St. Luke's
2051.48 Silver Crowns

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Stay With Me Reply with quote

december 1st, 2017

Space. The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the St--...

It's a date, dude, not a trek into the unknown. Or was it? What details Duncan could remember of their wild romp the night before and their half-drunk/half-hungover goodbye the morning after were etched into his memory more as fond sensor perceptions than actual vivid details. He could remember the way she felt beneath his fingertips. The intoxicating way she had smelled before they had succumbed to their vices. The taste of her on his lips and tongue. Thinking about it made him grin like a little boy who had gotten something he shouldn't have. More than that, from his recollection of their sober time before that, Elle was genuinely likeable. Sincere.

That might have been more important than the rest.

It was a small notion, something hopeful sparked over something hidden, but when they finally talked to hash out the details of their outing, it had become a two hour conversation about random things that was only halted when work called her away. In the end, he had asked her to indulge him: I'll pick you up and tonight is on me. Anything after is negotiable.

When the day finally came, Duncan arrived in the city early, dropping off his weekend bag at Henry's old apartment and stopping long enough to pick up a modest bouquet of wildflowers mixed with roses before showing up on her doorstep. With them agreeing to try keeping their plans casual, he had arrived in jeans and boots, a leather bomber with a light fleece insert and a black pocket t-shirt. He rocked on his feet from the heels to the balls a few times with the mildest of anxious energies as he waited, flickering eyes glancing at his surroundings. Taking in the important details.

Eleanor Sloane had never been much for one night stands. There had been one or two in college before *** hit the fan in the rest of the world. A single one in the midst of the z-poc (a girl's gotta let off steam you know), and then there had been Gabe. He was hardly a one nighter and as a result had left her heart in shambles. Since coming back to Rhydin, it had been a lot of work, work, work, nose to the grindstone sort of thing. Extra shifts? Damn right she'll pick them up. After all, the ladies and gents at St. Luke's really were such lovely people. Raven, for instance. That they had become so close, so easily, had likely been more a matter of mutual understandings of the past, but it had been a pleasant coincidence in the wake of a *** breakup.

Duncan, well, he had been icing on the cake. A delicious, delicious icing that had been more than worth breaking her anti-fling diet. That he had texted a few days later and then called soon after was a surprise. But she had liked him even before they got trashed and made out in the photobooth, so it had been an agreement without hesitation to go out with him again. With December bringing the first real hints of winter to Rhydin, she had dressed modestly; form fitting denim, a sweater with a semi-low sweetheart neckline, and a jacket over top, it was the picture of casual 'pretend you haven't already seen me naked'-ness.

Her apartment in Dragon's Gate was modest, incredibly understated for a girl with so much loud ink, a vivacious smile, and an ear catching laugh. Four stories of studio and one bedroom apartments with a run of the mill control entry that alerted her to his arrival by way of obnoxious buzzing from an aging intercom near the door. Putting the finishing touches on her getup, she clicked the button and her cracking voice filtered through to him, Be right there! She wasn't kidding. A few moments later, the patio sliding door on one of the garden level apartments opened and she popped her head out far enough to catch sight of him.

"Hey! I just need to find my keys, I'm so sorry!" When she spotted the flowers in his grasp, her grin softened to a smile and she beckoned him across the landscaping-rock-and-crab-grass expanse that was so stereotypical of generic buildings. "C'mere and I'll put those in water before we go?"

He hadn't expected anything over the top where the ink-sleeved beauty was concerned and the choice of destinations for their date didn't exactly scream upscale. But damn, was she pretty; she probably was in anything, as much as she was in nothing. When her pretty head popped out and she gave that casual come hither, he was eating up the distance with long, easy strides and sidling right up to her at the door.

"They're fresh," he offered, only somewhat lame, and venturing one of those small, personal smiles the curled his mouth at the edges. "Figured I'd made a decent enough first impression, but a good second couldn't hurt."

Her hair had been left in loose ringlets that she had to toss out of her face when she straightened up. As he got closer, she pushed the door open a bit further in case he wanted to step inside while she put the flowers in water. Reaching out to take them, she drew them to her nose for a sniff. Roses and wildflowers made for a lovely combination.

"First impression, second impression, we're somewhere along there." After all, they'd had the various pre-wedding shenanigans and parties, the wedding itself, and everything at and after the reception. Needless to say, he had definitely made an impression. The apartment itself was modest like the building. A single bedroom rather than a studio, it was sparsely furnished with a few firsthand items and a couple secondhand things. Mostly, it looked like she hadn't lived there very long. It didn't take long to plunk the flowers into a vase filled with water before finally finding her keys in the bathroom of all places. Stepping out from the bathroom, she held the keys up triumphantly. "Okay, I'm good to go for real this time."

"Yeah, but you've got a mouth made for smilin', so I figure I'm doing the world a service by keepin' it there." It would have been easy to stumble over a line like that, but there was a sincerity that helped him maintain the cadence in the face of adversity. When Elle finally had her key, he was gesturing her to go first, back the way he had come towards his car. "Let's ride. We've got putts to sink and I hear this place has a big arcade too."

The walk to his car was a short one and it didn't take long to get the passenger door of the hunter green Camaro open, and for him to help her in. He joined her moments later.

"Alright, alright, casanova, I'll give you that one." She teased with a flap of her hand and tucked the key ring into the tight front pocket of her jeans. No purse for the evening, her phone was stuffed in her back pocket as she tugged her jacket zipper up and headed out behind him, locking the apartment in passing. There was an appreciative look for his ride as she got in, tugging the seatbelt across her body to latch it. "Just as a forewarning, I am absolutely terrible at putt putt. I'll make it up in the arcade at the very least but on the green, we'll max out the strokes every time, I'm sure."

"That was my best pick-up line," he assured her and maybe it was the truth. "It all goes downhill from here but I have this thing about not lying, so if I try to play the gallant suitor and try to teach you how to putt-putt well, in reality I'm not so great at it either and am just lookin' for an excuse for closer proximity." It came with the huff of a chuckle, before he was putting the car in motion and getting them on their way.

"It's a wonder you're single." She cut him a sidelong smirk and settled in for the ride out to Thunder Road. Of course she had heard plenty about its opening but still hadn't had a chance to get out there to see if it lived up to the hype. This gave her a prime excuse to do so. It was a shorter drive than she thought it would be before the first warm lights on the winding gravel drive welcomed them to the complex. "Thankfully I don't mind closer proximity, so I'll be a good sport for you."

"You'll be protected by layers of clothes this time. You're safe." Winding onto the property but away from the large theater screens, be pulled them up near the rest of the busy attractions and cut the engine. A quick step out and a few more around the hood of the sports car, and Duncan was moving to open Elle's door. "You hungry at all before we start knocking around balls or toggling joysticks?"

"So there's something after all to the whole idea that what a girl wears can be critically distracting for the male species? Who'd have thought." Chivalry was seldom on the radar for her so by the time he made it halfway around the car, she had the door opened on her own and was most of the way out by the time he got there. With a half cocked grin, she nudged the door shut and let out an earnest laugh. "Knocking around balls." Still laughing, she shook her head. "Could grab a snack to take with us while you whoop my ass at mini golf. Funnel cake maybe?"

"To your credit, you'd look gorgeous in a potato sack, lady." He gave her a gentle nudge, his hand hovering at the small of her back without touching as he guided her towards the snackbar nearest the mini-golf courses. "Funnel cake works. Maybe a pair of some seasonal beers if they've got them."

It didn't take long before he had procured them food, clubs, and balls (he didn't see the point of keeping the scorecards), leaving them to trek casually through a tropical dinosaur paradise of rolling hills and swirling traps, with only the mild bite of the wind to distract from the ambience. They were four holes into the course, with his ball a few feet off from sinking when Duncan took a lean against the post, sipping from his bottle as he watched her. "Hospital keepin' you busy?"

"Yeah?" She tipped a look his way and glanced back with a wry smile and rosy cheeks. The bright lights of the snack bar lit their way and soon she had a beer in hand along with the crisp smell of funnel cake topped with sugar and apples beneath her nose. It was vaguely reminiscent of times long past. Better times. True to form, she was terrible at the whole putt putt thing, but she had fun with it, which was all she wanted out of the night.

"A lot of it is my own doing. Place like this, trauma bays are busy across the city every day so we end up a little short staffed. I've got nothin' better to do, so I figure why... --ah sh*t,--. Why not." Somewhere in the midst of that, her blue golf ball had bounced off of a rocky obstacle and went careening into one of the barrier walls, well away from the hole. "Was a little surprised to hear you'd be in town."

"We're hitting the slow season," he offered back and made a pained face for her shot, then giving an only half-guilty look. "At this point it's going to be less geo-mappin' and wilderness guiding and more of the other stuff. Some cold weather survival training classes and a little freelance work with the ships or helpin' out rescue crews. The money still comes in, but there's long stretches where some of us are less useful and have more time on our hands. All things being considered, I really liked hangin' out with you and wanted to see you again, sooner rather than later."

"Alas, there's never a slow season here." She chuckled and made her way down the green to line up another shot. This one went a little bit better, closer to the hole but not quite in. A third stroke ought to do the trick. Listening along, she couldn't help but note how useful some of his skills would have come in handy back home. "I'm definitely not complaining, by all means. So what do you do with all that extra time then?"

"But from all the time you put into it, I'm gonna assume you love your work. That's pretty cool. Dedication is admirable." Waiting for her to retrieve her ball, he was then leading her onward to the next hole. It was a winding path that eventually led downhill and around a cover, over a final hump to get to the hole. Duncan was still talking as he lined up his shot, drew back, and let it go. "I try to stay busy. While I'm not the pilot my brother is, we'll still take on some jobs flying supplies out to remote places farther north. Research stations or trading posts, maybe up to some of the smaller commercial space stations orbiting the planet."

"I was originally going to be just a boring old sports medicine doc til I changed things up. This keeps me on my toes, no shortage of weird *** in this place." She bent down to scoop the ball from the hole once she had it sunk before moving on to the next. Thankfully they weren't keeping score or else she would have had proof of her horrid shots. Leaning against the prop of her own dinky little putt putt club, she watched the path of the ball once he hit it and waited ever so patiently for her own turn. The view back here wasn't bad in the least, she didn't mind. "Not much for sitting on your ass doing nothin', eh? That's pretty much my days off, video games in my pajamas. Nothin' else."

"Don't get me wrong," he countered. "I don't go out much. I mean, every once in awhile the Blackwater brothers will drag me along, I just..." Duncan paused. "It's not as appealing as it used to be. I'd rather be out there in the unknown or... yeah, if I'm home, it's probably dark and I'm tearing up something on one of the consoles. Favorite game?"

He eyed her sidelong and made room for her to putt.

The cant of her head sent an inkspill of dyed dark locks over her shoulder. There was something more there, she could tell that much, but considering this was their first real date, she wasn't going to go prying too much. Tonight was superficial, they could get into the meat and potatoes another time if things worked out. "Online, I spend a lot of time making twelve year old boys cry over Halo and Call of Duty. Solo, I'm a Mario nerd. Don't judge me."

"What? You don't cry when they tell you how they *** your mom?" His mouth twisted in a wry smirk but there was a genuine interest burning in the gaze she was pinned beneath. "Halo. I... yeah, I'm down with that. If you want a fun mix of the two, Planetside 2 might perk your interest. Solo? MvC or Zelda. Or any number of much older games. Like, old Mario. Those were legit."

He gave her a gentle nudge. "Your stroke, Elle." It was clear Duncan was chewing on a notion. Eventually he voiced it, after a fashion. "You ever wonder what it would be like to fly in a Pelican or a Hornet?"

"They're too busy getting teabagged every time I camp 'em and take them out." She laughed and stepped up to the proverbial plate, leaning down to set her ball on the putting green. The course wasn't exactly forgiving and she was too busy talking but at the very least, she got it a fair way down the line before it rolled to a stop. "I've heard good things about it." Nodding along. "Played plenty of Zelda. My N64 still works with it. Ocarina of Time, gold cartridge baby."

Boom gesture to go with the bit of bragging she offered before he threw out his question. Her brows lifted and she turned an incredulous look back his way. "Never really thought it could be a thing, though I'm pretty sure there's some part of a Shortsword in the yard out at Stars End. Would be pretty rad though, you know?"

"Maybe if you're real nice..." The smile was secretive but sincere, an implication for the future without coming off as something solicitous or suggestive. It was capped with a 'maybe' gesture before he eased past her and down the hill to see where his ball had stopped, before a second stroke banked if off a wall and sank it. "Play Breath of the Wild yet?"

"I'm plenty nice, thank you very much." She ever so maturely stuck her tongue out at him, a slight divot in the center of the muscle offering the suggestion it had been pierced at one time but had long since healed shut. Following up behind him, it took her two shots but she got it in soon after and gave the club a deft twirl. "A bit? It's beautiful, but I have so many other things to play that it hasn't drawn me back yet. Maybe someday when they put more hours in a day."

"Right. Emasculating prepubescents." It was followed by light touch of his fingers along her side and the beginning of his trek to the next hole. It went on like the for a while, the videogame talk, a steady flow of casual conversation that still showcased a more intimate side, even if the topic didn't seem deep. A sharing of ideas, enjoyments. When the last putt was sunk and no winner was officially declare, Duncan had collected their implements and returned them before moving up along side her again. "What's on your agenda now?"

"Their balls haven't dropped yet, there's nothing to emasculate." Elle scoffed, a hand flapping out her lack of concern. Still the smiles were easy and the conversation even easier. He was a cinch to talk to and gave as well as he received. It made plenty of sense to her why they had hit it off prior to the day of his brother's wedding. But eventually she turned over her club and ball and awaited his return, her hands in her jacket pockets. "My agenda? Now? I'm figuring we hit up the arcade in there and either put more balls in holes or maybe see about claiming the high score on Area 51 or somethin'."

"Time Crisis and more beers, first." If they had the game (and they did). "Then we'll see about things in holes. Just keep me away from the claw machines. They're addictive."

Elle couldn't help but think the same about the man at her side.
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Elle Sloane
Wyrmling
Wyrmling


Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 11
See this user's pet
Jobs: Doctor, Midwife
Can Be Found: Trauma Resident at St. Luke's
2051.48 Silver Crowns

Items

PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

december 7th, 2017

Duncan and Henry were close. Close as brother's can be. And while there were a number choice things the younger Wyatt brother didn't know, among many of their discussions during the older's deepening romance involved the maintenance of a long distance relationship. And while Duncan wouldn't have called what was budding between himself and Elle a relationship, he couldn't deny that he thought of the inked beauty often and looked forward to every text. Every call. The next meeting. It had only been a few weeks, but they had started to interact more and more, mostly through electronic correspondance. The times between had started to create a dull ache.

It was why he was cautiously hopeful when he found himself in the city unexpectedly, late at night and slouching down on the couch of Henry's apartment after a quick drop-off. Grunting and wishing he had stopped for something decidedly alcoholic. He was thumbing through his phone when the thought of her struck her, prompting a slow smile and a fired off text.

Text: What are you wearing?


It had been a long twenty-four hours, broken only by brief catnaps stolen in on call rooms or on gurneys in the halls outside of the emergency room. Eventually her Attending doc had nudged her out with orders to get some sleep and not come back for at least twenty-four more hours. She had just finished changing in the locker room when the text came in and she had to fumble-dig through her work bag to find her phone. Half expecting it to be a text to cancel the send-home order, she was instead pleasant surprised to find someone far more desirable on the other side.

Text to Duncan: Just stripped out of my scrubs. Hot huh?

When the screen lit back with her name and one of the pictures from their last date, he was unable to suppress the grin that curled his mouth.

Text: Insert bad joke about playing doctor with you here.


Text: I bet you look gorgeous.

Text: I just pulled a 24, I look like hot garbage


For emphasis she snapped a pouty lipped selfie, her hair a frazzled mess pulled into a bun atop her head. She looked somewhere between exhausted and wired, the inevitable effect of staying up for as long as she had. Still she sent off the selfie with no shame along with one more message.

Text: I showed you mine, you gonna show me yours?

Text: One woman's garbage is another man's treasure.


A pass of his thumb brought up his picture application and a quick one was taken: It a t-shirt pulled up over his abs and sweats, Duncan was stretched out on the couch lazily, one dark brow arched and his free hand tugging the top of the sweats that had been tugged down in the beginning of a tease.

Text: That's an unfair tease. You're too far away.

Shrugging her coat on, she tugged the zipper up and hoisted her bag up onto her shoulder. St. Luke's wasn't big, not compared to some of the other medical centers in town, so with a few waves to those she knew on the way out, she was soon on the well lit streets of New Haven and heading south, intent on home.

Text: I got into town two hours ago. Just finished up with work related stuff fifteen minutes ago.

He thought about it for a few moments before sending another.

Text: You've probably had a long day, but we can have a call if you like. Or a video chat. Or keep texting. I just like stealing your time.

Text: See, you should have led with that.
Text: If you're in town I wouldn't mind letting you steal my time in person.


It wasn't a long walk home and she wasn't sure where he was stayed so it was there was headed to see if she could at least clean up first. She likely smelled like death.

Text: Tell me where you want me and when. My business here tomorrow doesn't have a set timeline.

Text: I'm on my way back to my place to grab a shower. Can meet me there or when I'm done, I can go where ever.

Text: Man, you must be tired to have passed on that open door. Tell you what, life saver, I'll come to you and keep it easy. You want me to bring anything?

Text: You made it too easy dude. I'm not one to take advantage Razz Bring along a sixer of something dark and you'll my life saver.

Text: How about something more than six and a little more pale? Very Happy I'll see you soon.

Text: Bring that too.


She was tired but she wasn't that tired. He was a gorgeous specimen of a man, she couldn't help herself. Still, she made it home and got into the shower, washing away the day's trials until she was fresh and clean and smelling of pomegranate body wash and a floral shampoo and conditioner. Unlike the cold outside, it was a temperate 75 degrees in her apartment and as such, she dressed for the occasion, in a tank top and low slung cotton pajama pants.

It wasn't a far drive from Henry's apartment to Elle's and with only a quick stop at a local store in between, he was at her exterior door a little over thirty minutes after the last text. Duncan hadn't bothered to change out of his t-shirt and sweatpants, having only added a jacket. There was a steady knocking on the glass with the knuckles of one hand, the other holding a six pack of an intriguing chocolate stout and one of those cheap convenience store roses.

The sliding door was much easier to use than bothering with the control entry and when she heard the knocking, she pushed herself to her feet and headed over. Tugging the vertical blinds aside, she grinned at him through the glass, flipped the lock, and tugged the door open. They could match in their loungewear, she didn't mind. Once he was inside, she nudged the door shut behind him and locked it once more.

"Welcome to Casa de Sloane." It was a modest apartment, semi-spartan in its sparse decor. A secondhand couch and a RhyKEA coffee table sat opposite an entertainment center with a modest 40" flat screen. The shelves were cluttered with consoles, games, and controllers, organized chaos separating them by platform. Beyond the living room area, a two person bistro table made up the dining room, though the table was home to paperwork and her work bag more than it ever was meals. It backed up to an open bar that gave a view of the narrow kitchen area where a single light had been turned on over the sink.

"It's much bigger and more impressive than my place," he confessed with a smile, leaning close to offer up both the cheap rose and the chocolate stout. "So I'd say you're doin' pretty good for yourself, Baby Girl." To avoid being to presumptuous, Duncan kissed her on the cheek with a lingering pass of his lips, before stepping back to shrug out of his jacket.

"Hurried as best I could. I was hoping to not miss the shower."

Her brows lifted and she tipped a glance around to see if he was seeing the same place she was. It was modest as far as apartments went so if his was smaller, she felt his pain. She took the cheek kiss and rose with a smile before shifting the latter to her other hand to take the six pack too. The beer seemed to be her focus, drawn up for a cursory examination and an intrigued smile. "Chocolate stout... this'll be good."

Seating was limited to just the couch unless he wanted one of the stiff chairs at the table but it was a comfortable couch and she didn't mind being close. The six pack was set on the table so she could go put the rose in thin glass vase. The vase was placed on the bar for prime viewing before she came back and sank down on the couch with a groan. "It wasn't a sexy shower, you didn't miss out on much."

"I thought you might like it." She invited him to make himself comfortable, so he did, draping the jacket across the back of a chair before slouching down onto the couch. When she sank down beside him, he took the shift as an opportunity to lean closer. "Elle was in it. Sexy shower. Besides, I was looking forward to maybe another late night phone chat and maybe a few smiling selfies. This is much better."

He leaned and she decided to invade his space, twisting in her seat to sit sideways before flopping against his lap. It was presumptuous but he looked like he would be comfortable and beer could wait a little while longer. "Likely would've ended up with me passing out on the phone, knowing my luck I would've snored in your ear and everything."

"Teasing material is always good." She leaned against his lap and it was all the invitation he needed to slip an arm around her middle in a casual drape, his other rising to comb fingers through her hair in a gentle stroke. "And I likely would have parlayed it into concessions at a later date."

"Man, last thing I need is more teasing." She said with a snicker. For all of her talk of waiting til their second date to do more, they had been remarkably well behaved, and thusly. Without drawing away too far, she reached and reached, barely snagging one of the beer bottles by its cap and freeing it from its brethren to claim it as her own. "Concessions like what?"

"I hadn't thought that far yet. Skimpier outfits?" A lock of hair was curled behind her ear, the tips of his fingers stroking down along her jaw. "Or just more opportunities to harass you. I'm getting fond of it."

"This isn't skimpy enough?" She plucked at the strap of her tank top. It tugged the fabric enough to give him a flash of flesh. But just like that, the strap was dropped and she was working on popping the cap off the bottle. "But I can manage more opportunities. I like talking to you, if I'm being upfront."

"I dunno. Do that again?" Still stroking her jaw idly, he lifted his other hand from around her to hold the bottle steady to assist with the removal of the cap. His gaze was turned down to her half-prone form as they talked. "You're different. The good kind. I look forward to your messages almost as much as seeing you."

"What? Do this?" She asked, repeating the motion a little slower this time. A tug of the strap, a pull away from the swell of her chest, giving him a long, long moment's view down her tank top. Still she eased the strap back and cut a smile up at him. "At least it's the good kind. Last time someone told me I was different it ended really badly."

"That's one hell of a view," he complimented her with a sound of approval in his throat. When she had freed the cap from the bottle, his hand slipped from it and this time delved beneath the hem of her shirt to rest against the skin of her stomach. "Well, that person's a dumbass. I've been plenty interested in learning more about you, even without the stunning good looks."

"See, skimpy." She said smugly and stole a swig from the bottle. The touch of his hand was cool against her warm skin and she arched a little with the slight surprise. That said, she didn't draw away and eventually settled back against him, offering the bottle up to him. "You gotta try this. But me, I'm an open book. What do you wanna learn?"

The stroking along her jaw ceased when he took the offered bottle and lifted it for a long pull, making a quiet sound of approval for the flavoring of the stout. "Never been much of a dark beer guy but I could totally get used to that. Here's hopin' it's not seasonal." Duncan offered the bottle back. "I know you love video games. And camping. Pizza and bombass paninis. That you wanna save lives. You love soccer and you hate feeling helpless. I know that you're a good shot and you have a thing for photobooths."

Apparently he had been paying attention when she talked on the dates.

"There's a peanut butter porter you might like... maybe I'll grab some next time we hang out." She said thoughtfully, taking the bottle back for a mouthful of her own. Listening to his assessment of her, she couldn't help but grin, sitting up a bit to lean against his side instead. "The photobooths thing is a recent development."

Get it? Development? Badumtsh. "But see, like a book."

"And I believe I remember agreeing to not ask more probing questions until... Date Number Four? So, I can wait a little longer. I think the wait'll be worth it." His arm tightened around her, his hand sliding higher along her ribs. With his other hand, he had reached up to draw her hair to one side. "We'll have to figure out what Date Three is gonna be here soon."

"Maybe." She said with a wan smile. Either it would be worth it or it would scare him off. Either way. With her mostly dry hair swept out of the way, she stole a look up at him and then looked toward the turned off TV. "Netflix and beer?"

"We have the beer already." Duncan tipped up a slow smiled. "This gonna be Date Three right here then, Elle?" His nose and mouth nuzzled against her temple from the look she tipped him.

A kick of her foot sent the TV's remote flying her way, evidently an old trick for how easily she caught it. A smooth click of the button brought the screen to life and just a few clicks after that had the red Netflix screen awaiting her command. "And coincidentally we have the Netflix... what a crazy random happenstance. I guess we may as well have Date Three?"

"You're totally gonna pass out on me," he teased, but his arm tighened around her more and he was tugging her closer. "Snoring all over me and everything."

"That's incredibly likely." She admitted with a laugh. Finding a comfortable spot where she fit against him, she settled in and set to flipping through the various offerings. "I promise not to drool at the very least."

"Should I get the goodnight kiss out of the way early then?" He reached for the bottle, liberating it from her hand for the amount of time it took to swallow another mouthful.

She tipped her chin up toward him. From where she sat, it put their faces plenty close together. There she lingered, her smile coy. "Probably. Just in case. And if not, we can always re-up it later."

With a mild chuffing chuckle, he slipped his fingers along her jaw and gently pulled her mouth up to his. Warm lips melded to hers for a slow, wanton battle with his own.

As was so often habit with them, this "goodnight kiss" soon dragged itself out into a teasing give and take until she was assuredly left breathless but all too reluctant to draw back. She broke just enough to take a breath before huffing a quiet chuckle against his lips. "What do you want to watch?"

"The back of your head?" Ahem. Erm. "Better Off Dead? John Cusack is great in that."

Good recovery, right?

"Maybe later." She mumbled, grinned, and drew back before settling in against him again to go searching for his pick.

"One more peek, Baby Girl." It was less a request and more of a polite demand. Or a suggestion. Whichever worked.

"At the back of my head orrrrrrrrr..." She trailed off with a teasing tug at her tank top, a little pop snap of the strap without giving him enough to see.

With a chuckle, his mouth was pressed to the side of her face, even as he watched the television screen, little kisses and warm breaths finding her ear and neck. "That works."

She couldn't find Better off Dead but instead settled on Say Anything. John Cusack was just as good in that. As the opening credits rolled, it didn't take long for her to get distracted by his mouth again. The kisses were eager but soft, a gentle exploration of her mouth that felt as though he were picking up where he left off, enjoying a place that was familiar yet still new. He smiled into the press of her lips, tasted of her both sweetly and deeply, pulling her body even closer to his. Duncan Wyatt had made her a believer in the whole making out thing. It had been fine before but nothing to write home about. But with him, him it was like her entire world spun when his lips were against hers. When he finally had to come up for air, she was given a small, guilty smile and then another fleeting kiss, his gaze searching hers. "You, Baby Girl, are a really good kisser."

"Helps when I have someone I like kissin'..." She admitted with a teasing smile. The ruddiness in her cheeks, was that a blush? It may very well have been a blush.

That got her another kiss, long and slow and very thorough. His hand was withdrawn from around her shoulders and instead Duncan, repositioned them both until they were spooning comfortably on her couch.

They existed like that for a time, comfortably spooned together on the couch and watching the movie on the screen. At some point, their legs had tangled together casually and he had turned his nose and mouth inwards towards her face, half a nuzzled into her jaw, neck, and ear that allowed him to still see the screen but at the same time inhale deeply of her. His right hand eventually crept back beneath her shirt but Duncan contented himself with pressing his palm against the taut warmth of her stomach and propping his other arm beneath her head, giving him the opportunity to idly stroke her hair and rub at her neck. Little bits of conversation broke up the movie, but as the day's fatigue over took one and then the other, the Sleep Timer of the television shut it off and bathed the apartment in darkness.

As it so often was for him, sleep came in small snippets of semi-consciousness, drifting him in and out. Often Duncan slipped into a comfortable doze before nothing at all, maybe just a feeling, snapped his eyes awake in sudden lucidity, even while his body was relaxed.

Elle was simultaneously capable of sleeping anywhere and sleeping nowhere. It wasn't the first time she had passed out on the couch and the protective loop of Duncan's armed served to make it even easier to doze for awhile. Thankfully she didn't drool on the arm beneath her head and for all of her talk of snoring, Eleanor was an incredibly quiet sleeper. It was hard to tell if she was asleep or awake most of the time but the steady, shallow breaths indicated for the most part she stayed asleep until something drew enough of her subconscious attention to drag her into a half awake daze. She turned her face toward his arm, burying it against the thought of being awake and nestled back against him, her body shifting and wiggling just right to find a comfortable spot pressed back to him.

More often than not, he listened to her breathe, letting it lull him back into brief periods of sleep that always ended too abruptly but without disturbing her. Sometimes he spoke softly into her hair, not sure if he cared if she heard or not as he told old stories, shared little slivers of himself in the darkness and opened up in ways it was hard to do in the light. War stories, bare whispers delivered between nuzzles of his nose into her hair and gentle kisses to her neck, little things that grounded him in reality when the shadows danced on her walls.

Like the pictures he seemed to like taking so much, they were little memories that he stole and kept for himself.

One arm was left to dangle over the edge of the couch while her top arm had wrapped around herself almost protectively. It put a blockade on his hand drifting too far north. Some vaguely conscious part of her listened to his words, unsure if she was dreaming or awake when she heard them. He was warm but even he couldn't quite stop the soft little jolt of her waking with a start. Her arm tightened and her breathing hitched but only a moment later she relaxed and settled against him, her hand shifting down over top of his.

"Shhh," he hissed the soft sound against her ear with a gentle kiss to the lobe. Duncan knew that jolt. He was intimately familiar with it. "All's quiet in the trenches." His hand rose, taking her with in until it settled between her breasts and over her heart. He monitored her breathing, the feel of her heart beat, murmuring soft, encouraging platitudes against her ear between tender little kisses to her skin. He capped it at the end with a nuzzle of his nose along her neck and a playful whisper. "I promise I was waiting for you to wake up before I put my hand down your pants."

"Mmh, sorry 'bout that." She mumbled sleepily, having enough sense to be sheepish about it even when she wasn't fully awake. Her last boyfriend had never really understood it and more often than not she found herself apologizing for the unexpected little starts that stole sleep from her even on the best of nights. Elle calmed quickly, her hand squeezing over top of his as her mouth curled into a tired smile. She turned her head against the arm underneath her to cover a yawn before shifting back against him. "Wouldn't have been a bad way to wake up..."

"No sorries," he replied. "I've been there. I'm still there." It was a small confession. He tried to keep the mood light while giving her issue the respect it was due. "Well, go back to sleep then and I'll see what I can do to wake you up proper. Easy peasy, right?"

"We're here now." She said softly. It was her way of reminding herself to be present in the moment, not in the past. The past wasn't here, it wasn't going to get her, she was relatively safe. Letting his hand go free, she smirked and tried to tip a look back at him but could only turn so far. Still he got a fair bit of side eye. "Pretend sleep or real sleep?"

"We are," he agreed but didn't answer her question. Instead, he kissed the corner of her mouth when she gave him side eye and snuggled back into her body. "Shh," he crooned the sound against her ear. "Go back to sleep, Baby Girl. I've got you."

In the dark they reveled in one another until their bodies settled down, exhausted once more but content, elevated heart rates not from the startled awakening but rather far more salacious activities.

"I really, really like you." It was a gentle confession there in the darkness, a whisper against her ear that ended with a simple kiss just beneath the line of her jaw. "Is that a dumb thing to say three dates in? I'm really not good at this."

"Hmm?" She hummed the sound, the rumble thick in her throat. The kiss tickled and she nestled in against him, her cheeks warm and her body relaxed. "It's not dumb... like's not... uh, more than that. There's nothing wrong with like... I like you too..."

"Hm? I don't think I heard you." It wasn't difficult to feel his smile against her skin, widening before his tongue slipped free to taste the small bead of sweat that rolled over her jaw and down her neck.

"I li-iiiiike you, Duncan." She squirmed. She's trying to be serious here! "And not just what you do with your fingers..."

"Date Number Four," he said the words between warm skin kisses. "Dinner. Maybe a show. Theater or like... a legit theater. A nice dinner. I... don't normally go in for that kinda thing. Probably isn't yours either, I dunno, but you're the kind of awesome that should get that kinda treat."

"Dinner sounds nice." She admitted. It had been awhile since a man had taken her out on anything resembling a 'fancy' date. That said, lowkey was more her style usually anyways. Mini golf, arcades, bowling, go karting, that sort of thing. Fancy meant dressing up and wearing heels. She paused. "I'm not wearing heels though. Just saying."

"You can wear whatever makes you happy." One of his shoulders rolled in a shrug. "If someone's got a problem with it, then their place doesn't get my money. Besides the high quality grub, I only like those places because they remind me of where I came from and who I am. Memories are important, makin' them and keepin' them. Besides, you look insane hot in a dress."

"I doubt there's anywhere in this town that would turn away a paying customer because of their footwear. You should see some of the *** the broads around here wear on the regular." She chuckled and leaned back against him, sated for the moment. "You'll have to tell me more 'bout that... where you came from and all. I'd like to listen to you."

"We'll get there." It wasn't an 'if'. It was a 'when'. A subtle promise that the progression of what they were doing together was a reality, not just a hollow promise. "I'm gonna be presumptuous and predict plenty more dates in our future."

Eventually. She could work with eventuality. There was no pressure there, just letting things flow how they would. Thus far it had been pretty good. Turning her head toward him a bit, he got her smile in profile. "Good enough for me. Now... you gonna keep pokin' me in the ass or what's next?"

"Not gonna go back to sleep, huh?" He leaned , tipping her head a little further his way to press a kiss to her mouth.

"I'm not too good at the whole sleep thing." She admitted against his lips, shrugging a little. "Plus you're up. And up. And I'm up, so why go back to sleep?"

"I'm not either." He kissed her again and again between murmured words. "I'm not a big stuff person, but not sleepin' definitely contributes to my gaming addiction." Words and kissing.

"It's a good trade off, right?" She agreed.

"Keeps me out of trouble." The tip of his tongue traced her lips.

"You normally the trouble sort?" She asked teasingly.

"Happens on occasion." He rumbled playfully.

"So that's where Riot comes from." She mumbled, her lips curling into a grin.

"Something like that, yeah." He chuckled.

"Pretty good third date, I'd say..."

"It will certainly mean holding future ones to a higher standard." Duncan smiled against her mouth, drawing her back down across the couch with him until he had become her personal pillow. "Never so looked forward to steppin' up my game."
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Elle Sloane
Wyrmling
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Joined: 24 Sep 2013
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Jobs: Doctor, Midwife
Can Be Found: Trauma Resident at St. Luke's
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

december 20th, 2017

869 East Juneau Blvd, Unit 36D. Bring an overnight bag if you want, bathing suit optional. I've taken care of everything else.

The text from Duncan came deep into her shirt, more forward than casual but tone was often lost in pixelated words. It was an easy invitation with an air of mystery. The mystery itself had been the fun part for him and had ended up consuming the overwhelming majority of his day but, if there was one thing his time with Elle had short him, the results were worth the effort. Henry's apartment was located at an upscale building in New Haven, the kind inhabited by people with money but not enough to have an extravagant or opulent lifestyle. Security at the door already had Elle's name and a picture (one of the innocent ones), making it easy for her to get into the building, with only a short elevator ride taking her near the top. The door to 36D had a little note taped to it: Lock the door behind you.

Within, it was like something out of a child's fantasy. Almost a week before they had laid in the lovely doctor's bed, limbs entwined with nothing but the recorded sounds of the forest and their low voices for company. The former had been recreated in the large sprawl of Henry's place, filtered through small speakers throughout. The temperature and been turned down to something cool, just the mildest hint of a bite like a night when spring turned to summer or the summer into autumn. The older Wyatt's furniture had been pushed away from the center of the room, out towards the walls where it wasn't likely to see use. In its place was a large domed tent, the front flat open to reveal heavy duty air mattress for two within, covered in sleeping bags and pillows. To one side of the entrance was a big Igloo cooler. To the other, a pair of comfortable camp chairs. A small space heater's fan had been turned to the ceiling with little strips of yellow, orange, and red clothed blowing upwards where it had been tied, surrounded by large rocks and simulating a real fire.

At the far end of the apartment, an open doorway revealed bathroom walls decorated in fake foliage (like the rest of the apartment) and stone colored towels draped over the side of a large Jacuzzi tub, already bubbling and giving off steam.

Duncan was nowhere to be seen yet.

It had been a taxing week. Residency was no picnic, doubly so in a place like Rhydin. Duncan's text had been wholly missed until nearly the end of her shift, when she had finally had a chance to breathe and pee and check her phone (usually an all in one sort of thing). With St. Luke's already in New Haven, grabbing a bathing suit would require tromping back to Dragon's Gate in the cold and so instead she opted to snag her bag from her locker at the end of her shift and take that with her instead. She offered a tired smile to the doorman who let her by after a cursory check and so up she went to find 36D. The note on the door was worthy of her curiosity and so she pulled it free and pushed the door open to the unfamiliar abode. It was nice. The whole building was. More than she could afford by leaps and bounds, so awkwardly she stepped inside and nudged the door shut with a hip, twisting the locks into place.

A quiet giggle issued when she saw the layout inside. What had been an idle comment a week prior had evidently taken root in her burgeoning beau's brilliant brain and this... this was the result. Her favorite touch had to be the space heater with its colored strips of cloth dancing in the breeze like real flickering flames. Easing the strap of her bag off her shoulder, she set it gently on the floor outside of the tent and leaned down to look inside. No Duncan.

"Dunc?" She spoke up, the unfamiliar surroundings proving worthy of a thorough once over, marking windows and doors accordingly. The sound of water bubbling drew her attention next and thusly she headed for the bathroom to see if he was in there instead.

"Kitchen!" Duncan appeared a few moments later, stepping out of the kitchen with a familiar bottle in hand. Her burgeoning beau was clad in little better than a pair of plaid pajama pants and a sleeveless t-shirt, padding barefoot across the cool surface of the apartment floor. The distance was closed to her and, without invitation, he was filling her hands with the bottle of Chocolate Stout and using the distraction to capture her in a greeting kiss.

She visibly relaxed when she heard his voice. Turning around in the doorway of the bathroom, she offered him a smile and tugged at the zipper of her coat. Underneath, she wore a loose fitting t-shirt in a shade of dark green to go with the black yoga pants which had green cuffs at the ankles and around the waistband. Grasping at the cold bottle, she laughed against his lip, kissing him sweet and slow for a few long moments before breaking away. "Hey. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you."

"You're here," he told her, blowing off the apology without a concern. "So I can feel less awkward about doin' all this. Now," There was another kiss, light and lingering, before be continued the quiet murmur against her lips. "Give me your phone. No phones tonight, unless we're takin' pics. We're campin' out."

"I'm here." She confirmed with a little smile as she smooched him back and pulled away so she could get out of her jacket, passing the bottle from one hand to the other in the process. From her pocket she drew her phone, holding onto it with a considerate look at the man before she skeptically handed it over. "I'm not on call, so... okay. No phones tonight."

Duncan took her phone in one hand, coat in the other, and walked them both into the bedroom. Both were laid carefully on the dresser before he rejoined her in their little campsite. "There's more beer in the cooler, and fridge. Chocolate stout, coffee stout, a few farmhouse ales. We've got hotdogs, chips, and stuff for s'mores. I've got a radio, a deck of cards, and there's some very fancy 'hot springs' over yonder. We're gonna chill tonight. No city tonight."

Coat gone, phone gone, she was left with her beer which she popped open while he was out of the room. Chocolate stout, absolutely divine. With a soft little sigh of contentment, she gave a more thorough once over of the set up, an ever present smile curling her lips upwards. "This is..." She shook her head a little, unable to find the words. Finally she sucked in a deep breath and grinned. "This is pretty damn cool. I haven't eaten all day, wouldn't mind a dog."

"There's no real fire, so I cheated." He passed by her again and disappeared back into the kitchen, having anticipated that she might be hungry. Duncan had paid attention when she had told him what her days were life. There wasn't any rush, but he wasn't pokey, pulling a pair of hot dogs and their buns from a special toaster (nuked dogs were gross) and getting them set up. "How do you like your wiener?"

"I was gonna say, we'll be here awhile if you try and cook 'em over the space heater." She teased with a smile, watching him go with a tilt of her head. Kicking her shoes off, she found a place to sit no far from the aforementioned heater and criss-crossed her legs. His phrasing livened up another grin out of her. "Hard and in my... ohhhhhh, oh, my hot dog. Right. Ketchup only."

"No no. That's dessert." He spilled some chips on a paper plate with the pair of hotdogs, applying a liberal amount of ketchup to the latter before bring it out to her. He dropped down to sit adjacent to her, fixing her with a small smile. "Eat up, doc."

"If you're lucky." She stuck her tongue out at him and took the plate off his hands. Her beer was set aside for the time being so she could work through the hot dog and chips with a speedy efficiency that said she was used to having little time to sit and enjoy it. When it was gone, she let out a petite squeak of a hiccup and snagged a few more chips from the bag. "So this your brother's place then?"

"Any time I see that pretty smile, I like my chances." He leaned to one side to nudge her and give her knee a squeeze, before the question drew a fresh look around. "Yeah. I guess when he and Rave started to get a little more serious, he decided to lease a place in the city. You know, they were seeing each other but hadn't progressed to the whole bein' at her house phase. He decided to keep the place after movin' in with her so that they could have another place if they wanted it, I'm guessin' for whatever kinky stuff they don't want close to the kiddo."

Dark brows bobbed with suggestive humor.

"There is a room I'm not allowed to go into, so... Maybe it's some super freaky stuff."

He had her dead to rights on it. Elle was a little more smitten than she wanted to admit and the sexual chemistry between them certainly didn't help (or hurt?) matters. "That's a strangely normal progression, all things considered. I remember when they were still just seeing each other, she had a talk with another one of the single moms at the hospital to try and figure out just what to do. But... him keeping it..."

She trailed off with a chuckle and a look around. "Normally that's saved for dirty mistresses but Henry doesn't seem the type. So you've probably got 'em pegged. I'm pretty good with pickin' locks if you wanna be bad."

"Maybe if we're feelin' adventurous later." Duncan bobbed his brows again and leaned backwards into the open flap of the tent, then lifted his feet to push himself into it. He offered her a hand as he did. "For now, I think you need to just relax. Unwind. Just enjoy the moment with me. Think you can handle that?"

"Maybe." She conceded with a chuckle. Mostly she figured he wouldn't take her seriously and even if he did, she doubted he would want to violate his brother's privacy like that. Setting her empty plate aside, she scooped up her beer to guzzle down the last of it. That joined the plate so she could rock forward onto her knees to crawl over to the tent, taking his hand for the sake of joining him inside. "You know how long it's been since I've done the whole... living room camping thing? I'm so stoked right now."

"Maybe in the spring we can do that real thing. For now, we can just pretend or just laugh at the silliness of it." She got a little closer and he got a little possessive in the moment, slipping an arm beneath one of hers, and hauling her smaller frame against his. His nose nuzzled along her jaw for the movement and soon enough they were deep in the mound of pillows. "There's a little machine out there than makes stars on the ceiling too. We can always turn the lights out and pop that on."

"What date number is that?" She asked with a teasing grin. Surely at the pace they were going it would be a decently high number. Elle went willingly when he pulled her in but she avoided getting too comfortable just because of his offer. Instead she offered him a kiss to the corner of his mouth before glancing back to the tent's opening. "Can we? Before we get too comfy? Then we don't have to worry about anything after that..."

"I think... I made need another kiss to be properly convinced." He tried to look serious, with mixed results.

"Do you?" She managed to look incredulous, rocking her head back to peer at him in the dim light. For a few moments she drank him in before leaning forward to place a drawn out, but mostly sweet kiss to his lips. It ended with a teasing little nip, a promise for more if he wanted it before drawing back. "How about now?"

"I think," he mused quietly. "That you are a very dangerous woman." A hand lifted, stroking the tips of his fingers gently along her jaw. It was enough to get him moving, easing himself out from beneath her and then out of the tent. It only took a minute and a few dozen steps, before the lights went out. But then, there is was above them, hundreds of tiny little starts dashed across the ceiling above them, visible through the screen skylight for the pretty brunette's enjoyment. Duncan joined her after, crowding in on her purposefully before rolling onto his back. "There."

"Only with a scalpel." She said with a snicker-snort that crinkled her nose. Sliding to the side, she propped herself up on her elbows while he set about turning off the lights. The dark in an unfamiliar place was usually enough to put her on edge but the sudden glow of pinprick starlight over the tent was a soothing balm for her nerves. She didn't budge when he came back, grinning into his intrusion before twisting back over against his side, half draped against him with an arm on his chest and her chin on her arm. "I like how sharp you are. You notice things. I appreciate that."

"The details matter sometimes. It's just a matter of knowin' when they do. Stuff? Stuff burns easy. Memories don't. I'd rather make a hundred memories than own a bunch of expensive stuff. So when you talk, I listen." He slipped his arm back around her, slipping his hand beneath her hair to stroke at the back of her slim neck. "I meant it when I said I really like you. Maybe it's your smile. It was first thing I noticed about you at the rehearsal dinner."

"Stuff's hard to carry too." She nodded, her smile soft and earnest as she looked down at him. Part of her wanted to kiss him, to get lost in the electricity that seemed ever present between them. But the talking? That was nice. She really enjoyed the talking stuff, as proven by the plethora of texts and video calls and phone calls she had racked up with him since their first date. "Your eyes, that's what caught me. I don't... I don't usually put myself out there. Work's just got me so busy, you know? But you, I think you're more than worth making an exception for."

"I didn't think I'd wanna put myself out there. Hadn't considered it for a long time. Livin' out at the Blackwater compound was nice for that. Plenty of work that takes me away from people or just vaultin' myself up with some games. Or just surroundin' myself with the familiar. When most change has been bad, you start to hate change. I never thought Henry would find someone he'd open up to. He's always been so closed off, well, to anyone who's not part of our little band of orphans." His nose nuzzled against her temple, the words soft but clear against the backdrop of the forest sounds coming through the speakers. "But he found her. Or she found him. He's better for it, so I thought... I've got to at least come out and support him. Figured I'd spend the night in a corner, doing shots with the Blackwater boys and then faceplanting in my bed. I didn't count on seein' you, getting laid out by your smile."

"I feel ya... f*ck, do I feel you on that." If she had a drink in hand, she would have raised it to him then and there. But she didn't, so she simply listened to him talk amidst the forest sounds and the twinkling stars. It was almost like real camping, only quite a bit more secure. Elle liked it. One hand lifted in offering to him, high five style. "High five for the orphan club, lost mine a few months before I ended up here." So maybe that didn't count because she was almost nineteen at that point, but still. It had been a heavy loss, one she still carried years later. Try as she might to not think about the brother she had meant to bring with her, she leaned down to kiss his forehead, giving him a little smile as she leaned back. "I didn't mean to, for what it's worth. It's the almost dimples, isn't it?"

Grinning slightly, he lift a hand and slapped the palm against hers with an audible pop. The kiss and the small smile were returned, a softer cast of his mouth and a warm touch of his lips to the tender skin at her throat. His arms slipped a little more snug around her, settled just above the flare of her hips, tugging her tighter into his side. “It is. When you add it to those gorgeous eyes and those dangerous curves, it’s pretty *** irresistible.â€

Duncan tucked his face against the side of hers then and let the soft sounds lull them back into a companionable silence. It was a good silence. A building block for something bigger and as those stones were slowly laid in silence, he began to speak softly against her ear. “Our planet got glassed when we were kids. Invasion and then subsequent bombardment that made it uninhabitable… Hendo, the Blackwaters, and I were the only survivors from our town. Our families didn’t make it. With a war on, there weren’t many folks who were interest in taking five orphans in, so we ended up growin’ up on the streets of the city the offloaded us on. Hendo and Noah kept us fed, mostly through Hen’s brilliance and Noah’s guile and instincts. Some days we did okay, some days we didn’t eat. A few times we almost didn’t make it. Then that planet was hit too and somehow we survived that… it was… yeah. Henry and Noah eventually got us in the door with one of the paramilitary outfits when we were old enough..."

So went the rest of the night, a trade of stories and tales, food and empathetic, non-judgemental companionship. At some point, Elle decided, she could get used to this.
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