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Guest Shinju Fujiwara

Sumai No Hajime

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Guest Ronin_shinju

The silver Dodge Ram slowly rolled down the street, it's exhaust puffing mist in the cold morning as it pulled into an empty space alongside the stone kerb and fell silent.

The driver's side opened and a diminutive, black leather boot lowered from the rail. It touched upon the sidewalk without a sound, not even the high heel grinding as it pivoted and the owner turned to close the panel behind them. Likewise their steps were light and swift as slender legs sheathed in denim leggings carried them past the hardware. The stranger laid a gloved hand upon the door handle of the grocery store and entered quietly, closing it behind them with deliberate care...

Lingering for a moment at the threshold, the petite figure untied the belt of their long coat and unbuttoned it, allowing the garment to relax on their frame and reveal the grey turtleneck underneath. Shucking her suede gloves one at a time, she stowed them inside an inner pocket and ran tiny, pallid fingertips through the strands of her snow-white hair to pull its length loose from the back of her collar. With a stroke its long, silken veil spilt over one shoulder, shining a dull pearl in the watery daylight.

 

As she quietly paced into rows of shelves lining the store hooded, vermilion eyes flickered over the displays, dark lashes framing their striking contrast against porcelain skin. The young woman gathered a basket from the top of the stack, threading its handle onto the crook of her arm and held it close as she silently glided among the shelves...

No one had seen the newcomer in town before, although some of the locals might have recognized the truck as the same one parked outside the newly purchased lakehouse out on Muscowequan Way.

The cabin was on the outskirts of the North Village, standing at the end of the road and possessed a large property surrounding. Weeks before the vehicle had been seen and moving trucks passed through town, workers had been crawling all over the place. They installed a brand new fence around the perimeter complete with a high, electronic gate at the mouth of the tree-lined drive. Rumors had been circulating about the new resident- people knew the lakehouse was expensive, the previous owner having made thousands of dollars of improvements before selling it on. Whoever the new resident was they were rather affluent and obviously valued their privacy.

Now the mystery had apparently been solved, but the strange, pale foreigner browsing the groceries was the furthest from what anyone had expected...

She was young, her face carved from alabaster marble, while her exotic features seemed strange etched into its canvas. The cupids bow of her gently pouting lips and hooded lids of the delicately painted eyes hinted at an Asian ethnicity but the stark coloration of her visage almost overpowered it.

There was a crispness to her outfit that betrayed its designer label, everything from her boots to her gloves pristine and new. That sense of artifice extended to the spotless Dodge outside, its paintwork baring not a splatter of mud or slush. It simply seemed she had sprung up from nowhere, everything about her as alien as the young woman herself...

For locals in the know, the only clue was the buyers name provided through the broker:

Matsumoto Shiori.

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It was his turn to do the cooking, and thus it was his turn to do the grocery shopping. That and his office stash of candy and snacks was running low. Leading Kristofer to the grocery store himself. Oh there were worse things that the dragon could be doing. Not to get him wrong, he didnt dislike doing things for himself. In fact he quite often searched for excuses to be out of the home longer. Boredom set in easily even with the massive property in the Callian's possession. Some liked the seclusion, Kristofer was not one of those.

 

Movement registered out of the corner of his eye, and the pale faced man lifted his gaze from reading the back of a box in his hand. The stark white appearance of the female that had caught his attention was immediately noticable. Particularly as someone he had yet to see or meet. And he had met the majority of the town's residents. He played a smile upon his lips as he put the box back on the shelf, landing his blue eyes focused on the female. "You are new around here, aren't you?" he observed, despite the fact that it was absolutely obvious. Nor did he have any good reason to speak up other than the simple fact that, well, Kristofer was nosy. "I hope that our little town has been good to you." He offered, although very aware that she hadn't exactly been seen around.

 

There were many things that caught the dragon mayor's interest, one of the most intriguing were newcomers to town. One which brought with her a mystery, and an obvious paranoia of something, was plenty to keep his interest. The family themselves were known as private people. He had heard that their newest resident had taken securing her property a step further than his family property. Talk spread quickly in the town and Kris himself was almost always in on the gossip.

 

And, if he was wrong and she was simply passing through town, then he supposed there were worst assumptions to make and speak of.

 

Ronin_shinju

Notes// I can add or change anything if you'd like. :)

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Guest Ronin_shinju

"Tsk-eh..." The quiet little sound registered on the tip of her tongue, head turning sharply in his direction as he began to speak. Her chin dipped low, letting her hair slide loose from her shoulder and slip against her cheek. Another quieter, more keening note suggested he might have embarrassed her, but she nodded an affirmative eventually.

 

There had been some individuals who were less than thrilled by her presence (and she would wear them down eventually, carefully) but with hindsight the ratio of negative encounters was lower than most small towns.

 

"Mnm, hai, yes, It has been good." she replied, letting the basket slide down her forearm and into her waiting hands, bowing over it from the shoulders. She hesitated a moment before straightening however, murmuring into the floor between them: "Nnnm, shikashi..."

 

The inflection of the foreign word made it sound like a 'but'.

 

When she rose to her full diminutive height once more her crimson eyes were still on the floor to one side. "I am sorry to tell you. I am sure someone is setting fire to my property. It has happened twice now." Her throat flashed as she swallowed thickly. She seemed to leave it unsaid in the gaze which flicked for a split second up through her inky lashes and over his face before finding the floor again:... where would a third blaze break out?

 

The truth was that 'Shiori' was a quick study of character and she had already judged the fair-haired man to extroverted and the curiosity practically sparkled in his cerulean eyes. Blue eyes. She would never cease to be fascinated by seeing that shade up close.

 

Someone so helpful always proved valuable in a crisis, at the very least a good source of local information.And Shinju gave him something to help her with, baiting him.

 

Reaching into her coat, she produce a business card and presented it to him by one corner along with another nodding bow.

"My name is... Shiori Matsumoto," she told him, pausing as she arranged her name into an anglicized format for him. "It is a pleasure to meet you."

 

Kristofer Callian

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He was right. Although the seeming embarrassment which accompanied her answer brought some guilt to the man over how abruptly he had approached her on the subject. There were certainly much more delicate methods to have approached her he was sure, but his curiosity had gotten the best of him.

 

Her speech and mannerisms told clearly of her foreign origins, which only served to make him that much more curious. But her words hung on a "but", not all was good. He supposed that was to be expected, many of the locals were loud, opinionated, sometimes aggressive in those opinions. He had hoped that perhaps they could have pretended to be welcoming. Although not everyone was as practiced at that behavior as he was. His smile faltered, shifting to an expression of concerned confusion.

 

"My sincerest apologies, ma'am. I assure you that setting fires is not common practice here." Kristofer's voice was lowered from his previously chipper tone. He shifted his stance, running the fingers of his left had over his tense jaw. "I'm sure that the sheriff's department is taking the investigation of the matter very seriously. If they haven't..." He suggested, although her private nature made him uncertain that she would have actually reported it. Not to mention that if she suspected something of a not so human nature the likelihood of going to the police was low. So he let his voice trail off, there really wasn't anything he wanted to actually promise if the officers were not doing their jobs. Promises were dangerous when he didn't know details.

 

The blue eyed dragon watched her movement, studying the female carefully. Everything about her was precise, dignified, with severe care in every bit of her presentation. It reminded him of his father's old standards of appearances. Some of which the family still held. Yet this female made them look almost careless. At times anyways, his family had let some of those habits slip to the side. The mayor was certainly not dressed cheaply, nor sloppy as every layer up to the dark blue coat he wore formed well to his slender figure. But his stance was far more relaxed.

 

Kristofer gave a slight nod of his head and allowed the hints of a smile to pull at the corner of his mouth. He took the opposite corner of the offered business card between his fingers, giving it a careful look over on both sides. After enough of a glance to realize the name was the same and her card was just as clean and neat as she was, the dragon looked back to the petite woman.

 

"I am Kristofer Callian. Welcome to Dawnbreak, Ms Matsumoto." Kristofer repeated the name easily. He didn't know if his name would be recognizable, and frankly he didn't quite care in the moment. Maybe she had heard it, maybe she hadn't, but it didn't make all that much of a difference here. "I wish your welcome did not include vandalism, though."

 

Ronin_shinju

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"... if they haven't..." his voice trailed off from there and the pale woman simply nodded with a soft hum, indicating she had told the police.

 

It was the first of many lies the albino would tell this handsome stranger. Of course she had not involved the local sheriffs, after all, she suspected they knew anyway. And in conjunction with those blood-chilling howls that had been echoing over the lake near her home and the forest beyond, the fires were certainly something more sinister than xenophobic locals...

 

Something about the congenial blonde's aroma caught her attention then, a note within its mingling smells that was exotic. If the little fox could discern what he was by scent alone, she might have no idea what she was looking at in the beginning. No one among her Clan had ever encountered anything like him.

 

She on the other hand carried with her the musk of her vulpine counterpart which wafted with the sweetness of her green tea and jasmine perfume. A fresh warm zephyr emanated from her again when she bowed from the waist, deeper now over her empty basket, back straight. It was keirei, a respectful gesture to one of authority over herself and seemed appropriate to acknowledge his position.

 

Upon hearing the name, it was evident she knew who he was.

 

Naturally, the newcomer had already done her research on public figures in the town, familiarizing herself with the surroundings. And her memory was keenly trained.

 

"Please do not concern yourself with that. I am sorry to have to tell you, Callian-sensei." she assured him, her eyes on the floor between them as the shift in her demeanor started restraining her mannerism tighter by the second. He was no longer a fellow shopper but someone to be carefully respected among the townspeople.

 

"Thank you for taking the time to welcome me." Shiori added humbly.

 

Kristofer Callian

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She nodded in the affirmative, but nothing else of her demeanor and response agreed. Or perhaps the dragon mayor had already made up his mind that she would not call them. Of course he'd behave like it was just vandals, admitting that the town had a mysterious problem was not on his agenda. It was best to play that he believed it to be some locals lacking a welcoming spirit... at least until he felt her out a little more.

 

He could smell the fox off of her, but Kristofer did not admit it. He honestly was not surprised either. Everything about her seemed mysterious, exotic of it's own right. Had she simply been human, he would have been shocked. Although the dragon hid well the uncertainty that this fact brought up. What could she get off his scent? He wasn't particularly fond of the idea of such an unknown newcomer learning of what his family were. Their rarity was itself a constant threat. Who knew which visitors could have connections with the markets that would pay top dollar for them, their blood, the family's eggs... he didn't like to think about it. Although there was little the man could do to hide from a shifter. He simply had to depend on the idea that not all had met a dragon to know what he was...

 

Had it not been required for politeness sake, he might not have shared his name. It was immediately clear that she had in fact paid attention. How her behavior could get any crisper, he didn't know. The mayor gave a slight nodding acknowledgment to her bow. He didn't dare question her behavior he knew to be customary and one of respect. But he did move to place the previously offered card in his coat pocket, momentarily leaving his hand in the pocket as he looked over to the shelf beside them thoughtfully.

 

"No, no, it is good to know of these things." Kristofer insisted, lifting his gaze with an apologetic smile to her. "It would be acceptable to call me Kristofer, if you would rather." He offered to her, maintaining his calm and relaxed stance which contrasted her own, a little humbleness couldn't hurt in this case, although he did not get the feeling that he would be judged here for asserting his proper authority. Anyways, now he wanted to know more of what she knew and had experienced.

 

He was not going to get far if she was wary of his authority, though it was too late on that front. "Have you experienced any other trouble near your property, Ms Matsumoto?" He asked, putting on an extra layer of concern for her and her property over just what it meant for his town. Or what she knew of his town. He proceeded to reach and pick up another package of snack crackers to examine and avoid providing the discomfort of staring her down. He could not promise assistance, especially since he wasn't sure anyone knew what was going on out there...

 

Ronin_shinju

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It seemed that most interactions within the town held the same theme of forced silence; a number of wolves had already scented her. They knew what she was and she was keenly aware of their presence practically infesting the small town. But similar to this moment, no one had called her out on her unusual birthright and neither would she. And so the unspoken understanding hung in the air between them while each tried to decide if the other was aware.

 

The business card she had presented him with was a white satin finish to the card and embossed, neat black letters printing only her name. Kanji was above it and a cell phone number on the back. Nothing remarkable or relative to a business name, simply a personal label as pristine as the woman herself.

 

When he offered that she call him by his first name a shade of something gone too quickly beneath the shallow pools of blood passed through her sidelong gaze. She watched him out of the corner of her lashes, face turned away from him and chin lowered; the body language was formal and distancing. Despite the personal basis he invited, her acceptance did little to soften that.

 

In truth, Shinju was showing him more respect than she might normally have someone in his public position...

 

Another nodding bow, a dip of her alabaster carved chin in gratitude for his offer and then her brows pinched when he asked about further trouble. As he picked up the box, her red irises lifted back to him, bolder when he wasn't looking and their scrutiny was something almost physical on the skin.

 

"Nmn... eto..." the albino made a display of seeming reluctant, tiny fingers tangled together where she held the basket, shoulders drawing tighter. "There are strange animals calls from the forest, Kei-ri-so-fu-san" she eventually whispered, her voice becoming thick, breathy and hushed in the quiet space between the shelves. "Terrible sounds."

 

Kristofer Callian

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Kristofer let out a soft sigh as he decided not to push the matter further. Suppose if she called him Callian the whole time, it wasn't world ending. Even if it was normally his father who warranted such address. Kris had his own authority now, he reminded himself, it was still a fresh change for the dragon to actually have that kind of place in his town officially.

 

He could feel her gaze on him almost as soon as he looked away. Busying himself reading the information on the box in his hand. Or at least, providing the impression that he was. There was something more to it all, the unspoken hung in the air between them. It was a toss up that she would actually tell him what was going on. Even if she did, he wasn't sure that it wouldn't be only a partial piece of information. He wasn't exactly offering much himself, either.

 

Quietly he set the box into the basket he had, those would do just fine even if he had grabbed them as a distraction. For a second he lingered, still, listening to the whispered response to his question. And the quite interesting pronunciation of his name, which he refrained from smiling at. Strange animal calls... A wereshifter would know the sounds of a normal animal, or another shifter he'd guess. Nor was she the first to comment on strange sounds and occurrences in the forest. Not that he wanted to publicize that they were anything more than chance and animal attacks.

 

"Things you have never heard before, I presume." The man didn't need to be skilled or all that observant to notice. Whether she was playing up the response and hushed tones or not didn't particularly matter to him. At least she was not screaming of monsters in the forest. "Have you seen anything to accompany these sounds? I do not mean to pry, but if there are creatures lurking about, it would be useful to have information to pass along." He tried to explain without admitting that they knew there was an existing problem. She was smart, she probably already guessed if she really had done her research, but he would not outright admit it.

 

Although he could feel a request for help or information coming, and the mayor wasn't exactly sure how much he could offer on those fronts. He had his life to protect, and apperances to keep.

 

Ronin_shinju

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If the pallid little woman had perhaps known him better he would have earned a flat stare in response to speaking his assumption aloud. Of course it was something she had never heard before, her eyes would have silently scolded. But she restrained it for the sake of sowing the seeds of familiarity and friendship. He was too useful to her for such candidness.

 

Instead she took a half step closer, the crown of her hair bowed next to his shoulder to keep the words between them. "I saw... It was not an animal." Shinju explained vaguely, seeming to grasp at the first feature she could identify from her memory.

 

A soft hum again, this one accompanying the shake of her head as she murmured an apology in her native tongue. "Gomen nasai... It is too difficult to explain," she began quietly, no indication in her tone as to what was coming. "Could you come to my home and see it for yourself?"

 

Since the workmen had installed that tall, spiked-top fence around her land it was evident the newcomer preferred her privacy. Therefore the rather personal offer veiled thinly under the guise of wanting a witness was quite the invitation...

 

Kristofer Callian

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Kristofer paused where he stood, head dipping slightly to listen better to what she would reveal to him. He should be thankful that she was willing to keep quiet, close whispers between the two of them due to their public location. But the offered information, that it was no animal, only confirmed his worries. She had seen it, too - none of the Callians had yet to see the creature terrorizing the forests around town. Most followed Judas' warning - don't go looking for trouble. This thing, it was trouble.

 

The mayor quietly turned his head to meet her gaze once more. His hopes for a visual description of their creature were dashed. In it's place hung an invitation. To her home, a place he had heard was locked down. That alone peaked his curiosity as he wanted to know what might bring someone to take so much care in their privacy, if there was more. Although Judas' harshest voice echoed in the back of his mind. It could be a trap, the entire thing. He was no stranger to a manipulative smile, acted innocence to achieve one's goals...

 

He cleared his throat slightly, forcing back the surprised expression which had reached his eyes, standing up straighter as he considered her offer. Were he to refuse, he might appear rude. Disbelieving her story and unwilling to provide any assistance. Or perhaps it would only lend credit to the rumors of the threat and the city government trying not to advertise that fact. Not to mention the suggestion it might make that he was fearful. Depending on how her mental state chose to interpret such an act. Were he to go and the creature surely was there... would a dragon fair any better than other victims? He had to believe so. They were strong. They could fly. There were no reports of the thing flying that he could remember.

 

Perhaps if he went, he could find more pieces to solving the mystery and thus ending the torture of some of the town. That sounded good, given he did not become a victim himself. He could handle the fox, too, if it turned out to be a trap of her own. He was a dragon of the strongest bloodline he knew, he could take it.

 

"I could come and check out your... mm... pest problem." He agreed after what felt like far too much thought on the subject. He was curious, nosy, there was no denying it. "What time of day do these things most frequently occur? I would not want to invade your home for nothing." He questioned her with a slight tilt of his head and growing little grin at the prospect. Actually he would, but that was beside the point.

 

Ronin_shinju

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"Ah! Arigatōgozaimasu!" Ms Matsumoto thanked him with a breathlessly happy gasp, bowing her gratitude in a shallow nod. Her red eyes actually seemed to sparkle for a moment as she looked up at him with a smile.

Anyone watching the exchange might have thought the newcomer was trying to seduce the mayor of Dawnbreak; the way she stood a little too close, her formal politeness and the way she kept smiling for him. Even her body language was shaded by invitation by the way she stroked her fingers through her hair and toyed with the handle of the basket. She was certainly being charming at the very least...

 

Shinju hardly cared if rumors sprung up around the town; in fact, having the locals think she was close to the mayor could be advantageous for her. And having the man partial to sharing information with her even more so.

 

"Mnm, they come... in the middle of the night," she gently began to explain, the tip of her tongue darting out to sweep the underside of her upper lip, leaving it glistening. "It may be... wrong... for you to come at such a time..." she explained and a faint tinge of peach hue touched her pale cheeks. Shinju had been able to blush, cry and break out into a sweat at will since she was sixteen...

 

The kunoichi could even manage to produce the accompanying 'smells' which came with such an emotional state, given the right mental stimuli...

So the little albino stood there, looking at the snacks on the self beside her and clutching her basket in her lap while she let the insinuation hang in the air, along with a warm scent.

 

It was a dangerous play; she knew Callian smelt strange and given the outcome of many meetings in this town so far, he was also probably not human. But in a similar inner calculation as he, she assessed her own skills and was confident she could defend herself against him should things turn sour. The benefits of having him endeared to her would outweigh the risk...

 

Kristofer Callian

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Kristofer allowed himself a bit of a smile to her gratitude. There was a feeling to it that she may have been playing up the behavior. But two could play that game and well, Kris was far too interested to take offense to the behavior that some would see as an act of flirting or getting too close. It would not be the first time that he had been on either side of that kind of move.

 

The mayor gave a soft and understanding smile to her. "Oh, I believe that we are both capable of keeping somewhat professional behaviors, despite the time of night." He informed her, although his eyes held an interested sparkle. The dragon did not see what it could hurt, anyways, if they did not. The little fox had a level of but on her own... and that sweet scent that came along with her. He took a deep breath and averted his gaze to his basket of items.

 

"Mmm. Tonight I have drawn the wonderful privilege of fixing the family meal. But, I believe that I could fit a visit perhaps later, or tomorrow. Of course, for the purpose of tracking down your animal invader." He used the term animal loosely, as his voice was not the same whisper. Whatever she intended, he would play along for the sake of getting information. He could get someone to watch his son for a few hours in a night. And perhaps he could be smart and warn his father of... a bit of his intentions. Although the older dragon might just stop him from trying.

 

Ronin_shinju

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The blonde man's smile, along with his mention of being 'capable of keeping somewhat professional behaviors' was the signal she had been hoping to achieve and inwardly the kunoichi became confident she had successfully planted the seeds she had been looking to cultivate. He was thinking, or seemingly thinking, along the exact lines she wanted him to.

 

Men in particular tended to talk more to a woman they were trying to get into bed...

 

She reacted as if she had caught the glint in his eyes and quickly glanced down, but not before her ruby red glance flashed excitement at him. That emotion was almost genuine; to her own detriment she was curious as to exactly what that aroma was emanating from him.

 

"Oh, mmm, eto... uhm... Tonight would be best, if it is not too much trouble for you, please, Keirisofu-san." she was quickly to reply, an carefully crafted edge of a tremor threaded into her heavily accent voice. She was a frightened woman living alone out on that big, isolated property after all and she probably wanted some help as soon as possible. Who knew what might happen by tomorrow night if the monster came again...

 

Again, subterfuge imitated reality in that last part: Shinju would not openly admit it, but the creature howling around her land these recent nights did actually frighten her. The werefox was not prosaic and her courage hardly limitless. She had never heard anything like that agonized roar echoing over the still lake.

 

One way or another she was going to do something about it.

 

Kristofer Callian

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Tonight. Tonight he would have to work hard to make it but he could. There was no can't when it came to Kristofer, he made it work. He would just have to convince another of the family to look after his son last minute. That shouldn't be too hard considering he knew at least a couple of the younger ones he could bribe into babysitting. Especially for searching out this mystery, and helping this pour girl who seemed to unknowingly purchase cursed property. Hell, it could actually be cursed for all he knew. He could see the point and urgency. Would he want to spend a night alone with something so obviously fearsome outside the door?

 

The mayor stood up straight, head up with a slight attempt at an encouraging smile. "I can certainly escape the family tonight after dinner. There is no reason for you to face the monstrosity alone." He assured. Either he would get information into the creature, chase it off, or she would get a peaceful night and he would know more about their newest resident. As far as he was concerned there was little to lose in the situation. For him, anyways. Worst case, he couldn't remember any reports of the thing flying. A skill for escape which he possessed in an emergency. A little cocky surely, but that was typical for his generation of Callians.

 

"So, tonight. Your property is by the lake, yes?" He asked, although he very well knew the answer. Kristofer didn't quite want to admit just how much talk of the newcomer had circulated around town.

 

Ronin_shinju

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The Mayor mentioned escaping his 'family' and for a moment the ghost of something cooled the warmth right out of her eyes. It was guilt.

 

That emotion could have been interpreted a number of ways- was she contrite because she had been flirting with what she now thought was a married man? Or was she second-guessing whatever nefarious intentions she had planned for him? Or maybe she was simply concerned he might get hurt by the beast and have a family depending upon him?

 

It was impossible to say. The shallow pools of red closed off as quickly as they had cracked open, that mask slipping back into place right down to her pupils. When she looked up at him through her lashes again, the strange lapse had passed.

 

"By the lake, hai. Please text me before you leave and I will send you my address..." Matsumoto arranged. She was of course no fool and knew that he, along with most of the town, knew exactly where she lived by now.

 

Her cheeks were pink for good measure, a lovely peach-hue flush that colored the apples of her high cheekbones, as she turned away. Oddly, she put her empty hand basket back into the rack at the end of the shelf as she headed for the door. Before stepped outside of the protective cocoon of their corridor however she gave him a glance over her shoulder through her hair and smiled: "Until tonight, Callian-san."

 

 

Kristofer Callian

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He realized, after catching a glimpse of her reaction, how that could sound to an outsider. The Callian's lived in a household with multiple generations and age groups. The "family" extended to distant cousins, brothers, sisters, his parents. Of them only one was actually his child and his wife was... long gone. He supposed he would allow the woman to feel that twinge of guilt or belief that he was in fact a married man with children at home. He did have family after all, but they certainly were not dependent on him.

 

The mayor gave an accepting nod as if he hadn't noticed her demeanor change. "Of course. I will." He assured her with a soft smile. He knew where she lived. He knew she knew. But formalities were polite. Of course it would provide warning, but the fox did not know where his home was. There was nothing to tell her how long she would have between his text and his arrival... he could play it close enough.

 

"Until tonight." He returned to her. Until tonight he had shopping to complete, meetings, dinner to make... and some preparations in case tonight went south. Which it very well could do, and very fast.

 


 

"I will get you your license back." Were the only words needed to convince Owen to look after his cousin for the night. After the boy's run in with the law he hadn't been able to drive himself anywhere. Which not only was an inconvenience on the boy who had to deal with adult family members dropping him off in the most embarrassing ways possible, but it was a drain on the adults too who had to go out of their way to get him places. Their home was well out of town and secluded. Great for privacy. Not so much when he had to drive around a teenager to school and school activities or to find good places for his school photography projects... Kristofer was certain that he could convince Judas to hand the card back. It wasn't a legal issue and they'd all paid for the boys crime sufficiently already.

 

Kristofer did just as he had promised, sending a simple text to the number he found off of the business card that his family obligations for the night had been completed. He had already come closer into town, claiming to be coming from the office rather than leave any hint as to where he himself lived. He knew where she did, that didn't mean he needed to provide her clues to where he did. The dragon mayor had warned his father that he would be around that side of town, but he resisted his father's interrogation until finally claiming to be running late and getting out of there quickly.

 

With any luck, Judas would not follow him. Or if this went south perhaps it would be lucky if Judas had followed him. Callian pulled up to the gate of the property, giving a careful look around the front. Particularly at the extensively secure fencing around it, an almost impressed look upon his face as he did. Perhaps they should upgrade their own security system. He took in a deep breath of the cool night air as he put the car window down. It smelled of the woods, the lake, fairly typical. He was expecting some stench of the monster mentioned.

 

He sat quietly leaned back in his seat, his eyes closed as he took a careful examination of the property from above. If he had paid attention to anything his father said tonight, it was to be careful. Plan his escape routes before he even let her know he was here. Although with her security, she probably knew. The only thing better than using his abilities to check out a view of above would have been flying over physically and well... he wouldn't do that. It would be too obvious.

 

Kris pulled himself back to the ground, reaching for his phone. He sent her a quick text. "At the gate." And then waited, although he had a feeling she would be popping up on him very quickly.

 

Ronin_shinju

Notes// sorry this took so long!

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Guest Ronin_shinju

The camera at the gate had been enough to satisfy her paranoia. Two weeks ago. Before she discovered the strange cryptid roaming the forest on the outer edge of her property...

 

Now there were cameras hidden in the pines lining the long driveway sloping down to the shoreline. They watched the final half mile of road in both directions from the very edges of her fence line, stared out over the thawing lake to the distant opposite shore- she had been diligent to watch everything.

 

Hence, as he expected, she was aware of his arrival before he actually sent her the message. She paused in front of the small bank of monitors set up as a makeshift command center on her dining table, hands still poised with the hair straightener slipping through her hair. Taking a moment to finish her stroke and smooth the strands against her cheek with her palm, the albino found the remote for the gate and pressed the button.

 

The driveway was man-made, a thick, hard-packed layer of river stones inviting the vehicle to roll down to the lake side where the timber manor waited. The drive came to a stop in front of a large entrance area, her own Dodge Ram nowhere to be seen behind the roller door of the huge garage to one side. The porch light turned on, casting a warm glow in the night when he was parking up and the front door opened a moment after her shape could be seen moving behind the frosted glass panels surrounding the threshold.

 

She was dressed in the same jeans and grey turtleneck sweater as he had seen her in that day, but without the coat she now looked a lot smaller and slighter where she stood in the doorway.

 

She bowed from the shoulders for him once he got out and greeted him with a quiet: "Konbanwa, Krisofu-san. Thank you for coming."

 

Her voice might have seemed more hushed than it really was due to the strange fact that there were no wildlife sounds in the darkness at all. Even the thawing chunks of ice in the lake had gone still, ceasing their groaning and cracking as they butted together in the night breeze. No owls, wolves, even squirrels. The property was like a detailed diorama, aping reality with a strange sterility...

 

Kristofer Callian

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Fancy. Kristofer smirked a little as the gate opened itself. What else had he expected but complete automation of the entire estate? The dragon was not entirely sure if he should be impressed or worried about this level of care she had taken. It was on the level of paranoia. But considering what might be lurking on the property Kristofer would have likely been just as paranoid. If not more so. Not to mention his family's existing reputation. He pulled up the driveway with careful examination of the area around the road as he did. One could never be too aware. But once he had come to a stop in front of the home, he didn't waste any more time in the vehicle. He knew she'd be out there to meet him.

 

The white haired mayor hopped out of his own truck and back into the cold evening air. He didn't so much mind the cold as some of his other family members. His father in particular would much rather bundle up by a fire in their home than venture outside in the evening or night for anything outside of work. He closed the door behind him, turning to face the front door with a neutral sort of smile painted onto his face. He was still bundled up in a jacket himself, making the weather bearable at least. He was glad that at least it was not for that long that he would be outside now. Although later if they went to hunt that thing.

 

"Thank you for inviting me." Kristofer replied to her with a slight bow of his head at that. "This is a beautiful property, Ms Shiori." He complimented, although as he walked up to the door he took a glance around him. It was too quiet, even for her security measures. It was unnerving to say the least. There was no doubt in his mind that there was in fact something here... that he was suddenly regretting coming to hunt down. Him and the tiny fox, whom he hoped was packing a hefty amount of skill in that little body of hers. He expected such, he normally wasn't wrong with that sort of thing, and hoped that tonight the world did not wish to prove to him that he could be wrong.

 

"I hope that your day went well," Callian forced back a want to comment on the stillness of the area. She'd have noticed it herself surely. He should have brought some of the dessert Judas had made to offer her... it would have been a less serious conversation to start them out with.

 

Ronin_shinju

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Guest Ronin_shinju

Her eyes did a quick tally of his silouhette in the jacket, lingering on pocket openings, either side of his chest and his sleeve cuffs, as if she suspected he might be wearing it for reasons other than the cold. The tactical assessment lasted only a brief instant before she was back to being benign and polite.

"I can not take credit." Matsumoto replied as she held open the wooden door for him, the cheery glow of the lights deeper into the wide open room beyond visible through the segemtned panes surrounding the doorframe. "The real estate agent told me the renovations were done by the previous owner before he placed it on the market..."

The unfortunate reality of it was that the former owner might have abandoned this masterpiece for the same reason the pines surrounding her house were empty and silent...

 

After escorting him inside she closed the panel behind them, banishing the night air from their backs and letting the warmth of the fire that was casting its dancing shadows from in front of the tall, dominating windows which took up both storeys of the wall overlooking the lake shore. It was cheery and despite being the only light in the house it provided plenty of illumination to see the open loft plan above, no doubt for private bedrooms and such. The kitchen, dining and family areas were one open floor plan which filled the lower half of the home.

 

She led him through the dim dining area, past a table that seemed too big where it stood empty and dark. Motioning to a leather armchair in front of the fire, where a small, wooden tea caddy was parked between the two seats. She sunk into the other and began pouring a cup from the transparent tea pot- the liquid inside was greenish and steaming.

 

"Tonight the sounds are gone." she informed him quietly, her lashes down-turned to watch the graceful movements of her hands. It looked like she was performing some kind of intricate dance with the roll of a wrist and the careful placement of a finger on a handle. How much he recognized would depend upon how familiar he was with Japanese tea ceremonies.

 

"I may have troubled you for nothing..." Shiori admitted.

 

Kristofer Callian

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Kristofer was no fool, his father had raised him to always be prepared. He certainly had a handgun on him, but it was not the purpose in the coat by any means. That was certainly for the cold as he had no problems with his new found friend knowing that he was armed and willing to protect himself. Not that he was defenseless without a weapon like that, but it was a much easier to explain than using any bit of his other skills...

 

"Hmm.." The mayor seemed to consider that. A shame the previous owner had not stuck around to appreciate his handy work. Although it was also possible the repairs had been done for the purposes of sale. Regardless, it was a nice place if one discounted the idea that there was a monster also residing there. "Well, then you can take credit for good taste" He amended his compliment for her as he walked further into the home. It was pleasantly cozy inside, and he allowed a content expression to come over his face as his blue gaze landed on the back windows and view for a moment. The Callian home was set on an expansive property, with access to a lake, but not right against it like this. But he didn't take too long as he felt it rude not to follow her lead.

 

He slipped his coat off of his shoulders, the warmth of the fire enough to make up for his previous discomfort. Now, the flames were a comfort like home. Except he wouldn't be sitting in front of the fire with his father this time. Nor simply reminiscing or recounting the day like Judas seemed to have a habit of doing. This wasn't his home, and so as he sat himself in the offered chair much more delicately than he would have at home.

 

Kristofer's attention was drawn to her hand movements as he sat with his own hands clasped together. The careful attention to every movement had a beauty of it's own that he could only appreciate. "I would not say for nothing, exactly. Nor would I consider this trouble, more... a social visit." He gave a slight shrug to her. He was an optimist of sorts, not to mention wanting to keep on good terms with the fox. At least until he knew more...

 

"Anyways, I would not count on the silence. It may only be a calm before a storm."

 

Ronin_shinju

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Guest Ronin_shinju

"Ah.Hhm-he-he. Arigatou gozaimasu..."

 

She laughed softly at his words as she moved on to pour him a cup as well, then set the teapot back down on its wooden coaster which was a rough hewn circle of wood with the bark still attached and stained a hearty cedar.

 

With her own cup still steaming she laid her fingertip upon the rim and turned her head to regard the dark view outside the windows. For along moment she stared out, considering the subtle land marks in the dimness and checking for unfamiliar shadows. The post left the apex of her neck exposed beyond the collar of her turtleneck and the tiny pulse point inside her vein was shivering frantically. When she turned back to face him, she used her hand to drape her hair back around her shoulders.

 

"You almost seem as if you would prefer the creature to come..." she quipped, sliding easily back into the nearly-flirtatious mode she had been in the grocery store, as if tis was now her nominated mask to wear for him. Maybe she really was interested in him or maybe she was merely doing the same thing; keeping him on good terms until she knew more.

 

@Kristofer Callian

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"Well, I did come to see a creature. And you are far too good looking to fit that description." Kristofer reminded her a bit of a grin on his face at the second bit, although the idea that he wanted it to come almost made him laugh. With the smile set on his face the man picked up the cup poured for him. He took in a deep breath of the drink's scent. If only he could say his sole purpose here was to visit and to enjoy the soothing nature of good tea. But the idea had been a little bit of monster hunting. Although the mayor was beginning to remember why he went into politics over his father's chosen path of law enforcement, the more he thought about what the creature showing up would mean.

 

It was the unknown that was the worst, and the man shifted to make himself a little more comfortable. Attempting to hide the unease behind taking a sip of the hot drink. "But, I would not exactly say prefer at this point..." He allowed a little doubt to show through, lowering the cup and his hands as he turned his gaze upon her. He would try to make it worth while anyways. With a little bit of nosiness.

 

"What brings you to our little town, Ms Shiori? I know it wasn't for obscure monster hunting." Kris asked after some pause. He hadn't even quite pieced together a speculative reason. She had money for this beautiful property, a sense for privacy, but she had so easily invited him here. He was curious what story piece she would provide to his question - if anything.

 

Shinju Fujiwara

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Guest Shinju Fujiwara

"Ah. Hmhm." The soft hum that accompanied the smile which touched the corners of her lips was mirthful and actually genuine. His compliment about her being no monster was a good effort. He was good with people, as would be expected for a man of his station, but more than that, he had an endearing approach to women. The werefox was certain he had more than one local girl swooning over those bright blue eyes...

 

She thought about his question for about a half second before she replied: "I always wanted to visit Alaska, but I wanted to go to a small town to have an authentic experience..." It was rehearsed and stock-standard as a response. Probably the same sentence she had said to many people around town by now.

 

"And what of you, Kristofu-san? Have you lived here for long? I find it hard to believe a man as handsome and polite has not been claimed by one of the local women?" she countered, lacing the redirection of the conversation topic with a healthy does of return compliment. It was her way of stopping him from asking too many questions by hopefully distracting him with other concepts.

 

She chose her words to let him know she had checked his finger for a ring and found none...

 

Kristofer Callian

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