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Hazel walked along the side of the road, not knowing where she was going. Just that she wanted to get as far away from home as possible. She didn’t want to be hit anymore. She was wearing a t-shirt and short pants and she could see all the black and purple bruises on her arms and legs. She didn’t want bruises anymore. Her mom and dad didn’t love her and they never would. She had no reason to stay home anymore.

The sky was getting dark and she felt scared, wondering if there was going to be a storm. She wondered if she should turn and go back… No. I can’t go back. They don’t love me so why should I go back? She’d go back if she heard they were searching for her like when kids went lost. She wouldn’t go back unless she knew her mom and dad would love her.

She was so lost in thought she jolted when a car suddenly pulled up alongside her and a woman rolled the car window down and said it’s not looking good out here and did she need a ride. Hazel backed up several steps from the car. You did not get into cars with strangers. She knew that. She didn’t want to stay out here if it was going to storm but she couldn’t go with her, could she?

“I’m okay,” she said nervously. It was a lie. She wasn’t okay and she didn’t know where she was going to go or what she was going to do if it stormed. She had her backpack on but she didn’t even have an umbrella. But she couldn’t get into the car with her and she hoped when the woman realized that she would drive away. But at the same time she hoped she would stay. She was lonely and she didn’t know what to do. Maybe a grown up would know what to do. But maybe a grown up would send her back home. So she didn’t know what she wanted her to do. But she continued to keep her distance from the car just in case.


Tess was surprised to see a child that young out there by herself at that hour. It gave her a bad feeling, like there was something wrong with the picture, and suerly enough, there was. She wasn’t surprised when the girl stepped away from the car, but it didn’t stop Tess from seeing the numerous bruises on her legs and arms. She stopped the car and slowly got out, her expression concerned.

"You don’t look okay," she told the little girl, her tone soft and worried. Her eyes scanned the child’s apparent injuries and she felt a familiar tug at her heart. If there was one thing that could get past the emotional wall she’d built around herself in those centuries, it was the sight of a hurt child.

"What happened to you?" she asked, crouching down, but still keeping a safe distance between them. Now more than before, she didn’t want to scare her off. "D’you want me to call someone? Or take you to a hospital?" she added, addressing her a little, reassutring smile. She wondered if it was her parents who had reduced her in such a state, or if maybe she’d escaped from someone who’d been keeping her captive. Both possibilities made her feel sick to her stomach. "I’m Tessandra. What’s your name?"


Stiles gives half a laugh, eyebrows startling up and then down on his face. “I’m always crafty, we just all have bad days sometimes. You can be an exception to the rule, right? Hah. Except—no. I know insanity well enough, you make way too much sense on your best days to be a Malk. We all have days where the Beast is pretty high. Even those of us who don’t have a Beast.”

He shrugs, and ends up biting at his lower lip briefly as Tess makes her suggestion. “I mean—maybe? It didn’t really seem related, though. Maybe it took a while. The Nemeton…we did the ritual, then it was in my dreams, then the Nogitsune escaped from it and, well. That. It still pops up in my dreams but I wasn’t anywhere near it when they activated. We were in Mexico. The Calaveras has…captured Scott. They were torturing him. Electrocuting him. I lost my mind.”

Glancing to Tess, he lets his mouth level into an unhappy line before he glances away. “Apparently I tore the place apart to get to him. I only kind of remember patches of it. But they’re tied to my emotions, like I said.”

"Then I’ll classify the whole Tess d’Urbervilles affair under the category of bad days," Tess decided, smirking softly at how his expression changed. "I’ll accept the Toreador naming, then; I like being the exception." Her head moved in a slow nod, her expression telling him she wasn’t all that convinced about part of what he was saying. "I just hope you’ll never get to see me at my worst."

She listened to his reply, biting her bottom lip as she realized just how tied to the Nemeton he seemed to be. It was unsettling, but then again, there wasn’t much that could be done about that. “And that was the absolute first time you used magic?” she asked, tilting her head to the side. She was surprised to hear he barely remembered what had happened in Mexico, which told her just how overwhelming his powers must have been. “Yes, they most definitely are. And since meditation is out of the question, maybe we should practice. I’m pretty sure I can anger you enough to trigger them,” she added with a little smirk. “And you can try and see how much you can control them.” 

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He canted his head curiously. “Your profession? May I be so bold in asking what line of work you engage in that has them up in arms? I mean, I suppose I could take a guess, but then again, that guess could be wildly wrong.” he laughed, swirling his drink in its glass.

"I’m a hunter," Tess admitted candidly. "I hunt human hunters and supernaturals alike, but I only hunt those who hurt innocents," she explained calmly, then supposed from her drink and watched him, studying his reaction to her words. She wondered if her reputation had gotten there, or if she could be relatively at peace in the town, at least for now. 

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Malia was out walking. She hated being cooped up in the house all the time. She knew there was danger everywhere, but that didn’t mean the brunette wanted to be a prisoner in her home until her so called friends could find the time to hang out. She’d walked for miles out of town, enjoying the fresh air and the wind on her face. She wished she knew how to turn back and forth between a human and a full coyote, she missed running through the trees. As she began her walk back to town the were-coyote followed the road as a strict guide, especially since the sky was heavy and the slip and slide the embankments held in the forest during a storm was not safe as a human. Canine hearing picked up the car in the distance before it had arrived anywhere near her. “I know.” Malia smiled looking to the sky. “It’ll be raining in the next half hour, probably last three or four hours.” the woman’s offer was kind and Malia nodded her head. “That would be awesome, thank you.”


Tess looked at the girl as she replied, her words catching her by surprise. “That sounds incredibly accurate,” she commented with a little, curious smile. After the girl accepted her offer, Tess unlocked the door and gestured her to get in. Another lightening struck ahead of them, lighting the sky up for a second before it went back to darkness. “You’re welcome,” she said, smiling. “It’s really no trouble and I’d feel bad leaving you out here with that storm coming.” Still, her expression turned mildly surprised when she caught the scent of the girl, which told her she wasn’t human. And yet, she wasn’t a werewolf either. Puzzled by the discovery, she went over what she’d learned of the town in those few days, but it wasn’t much. She decided she ahd time to find out during the car ride, and wondered if the girl could sense that she wasn’t human either. “I’m Tessandra, by the way.”

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"I wouldn’t? Now I want to see you angry." He teased, sliding his glass back. "Not right now though, we have more important things to get to. Like moving all of your stuff in." Placing a hefty tip on the bar, he slid out of his seat and waited for Tess to finish up. The sudden action sent a rush to his head, signaling that he had consumed a bit too much alcohol on this impromptu bar hop, not that it really mattered. By the time they got things moved in he would be completely sobered up.


"Lots of great places to go shopping around here, as long as you stay away from the Cauldron. I can point out some of the places that are good. There’s some pet stores too, since I’m guessing you’ll be needing that for your little friends." He chuckled, not about to admit that something like a snake might make him uncomfortable. As long as they stayed in their cage he wouldn’t mind. "Snakes aren’t a problem at all, but you’ll have to keep them in your room. Don’t want them getting loose and having an accident. Let’s get going, you’re right about me being impatient. It isn’t every day something like this happens."

Tess laughed when he expressed that desire, and shook her head mildly. “You might just get a chance, if I can get five minutes with those witches,” she told him with a little grin. She slowly slid off the stood and onto her feet, making sure to take her phone and purse with her. She would have never expected things to take such a surprisingly good turn, she usually wasn’t that lucky, so it was a nice change. And the more she talked to Marcel, the more she became convinced she definitely wanted to be around him.

"Excellent, I’m a big fan of shopping. And yes, that would be kind of you, I have a feeling I’m swimming in shark infested waters and I wouldn’t want to end up as someone’s lunch," she commented, thinking of the wolves and witches around. She wasn’t a coward, but she knew when to be careful. "Oh yes, they’re gonna need proper accommodation, but that doesn’t take up much space, I’ll be more than glad to keep them with me," she confirmed with a nod. "They’re highly venomous and as much as it doesn’t kill us vampires, it does hurt like a bitch." Right then, something came to her mind and she added, "A substantial dose of their venom, however, can kill werewolves, so it might come in handy." She laughed softly at his remark and realized he was right. "You’re right. Sometimes I take things like this for granted, it’s a bad habit I need to shake."


"RIght now it says Tess Toreador. Previously Ubervilles but you’re right, that wasn’t very clever." Stiles doesn’t seem ashamed, dropping the information as casually as other people drop keys. Maybe she’ll get the reference, maybe she won’t, it doesn’t seem to matter much to Stiles in the end. Not everyone can be expected to bear the burden of his particular genius equally.

A lopsided shrug surfaces a moment later. “Maybe. I mean, I suppose it’s possible. I know fuck-all about that stupid tree other than it’s made my life really…crap. And I still see it in my dreams sometimes.” He narrows his eyes faintly, and Stiles ends up shaking his head. “I think…I think I’d know if it was the Nemeton. I can’t explain why. I just think I’d know. Maybe because of the…the ritual. We did kind of…” There’s no words for this so he just gestures with one hand, flopping it around on the end of his wrist.

Tess couldn’t help grinning when he offered his reply. “You’re getting crafty, I see. I do admire the sophisticated spirit, but I’m not that much of a lazy butt,” she commented, catching the reference, surprisingly enough; but then again, she tried to keep up with vampire-related topics, even in popular culture. “Actually, on my worst days, I consider myself more of a Malkavian.”

She nodded, her expression telling him that yes, she accepted his point as valid. Still, she was surprised to hear that bit about dreams. “You do?” she asked, frowning. She thought for a moment, unsure about what she wanted to say, but then decided to say it anyway. It was a day for crazy theories after all. “What if that’s actually what woke your powers? Maybe your magic responded to the Nemeton, somehow. I mean, I don’t know much about it either, so I’m shooting in the dark here.”

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Derek listened to her explanation and offer, it had it’s benefits and they did need help with the assassins in town. Part of Derek wanted to trust he but the other part of him was still wary. “Alright, you can hunt down Kate and we could use some help but my word isn’t final, you’ll have to talk to the alpha. I can arrange something if you’d like?” He looked down at his empty coffee cup for a moment before he looked back up at her, “I’m sorry for how I came across earlier, it’s just that I’m not big on trusting people right away and I hope you can understand that.” image

Tess nodded slowly when he partially accepted her words, and his condition wasn’t a surprising one. “I would be thankful for that, yes. Is the Alpha a reasonable one, or should I stretch first so I’m at my best to run?” For some reason, she trusted Derek’s answer; maybe she was just projecting the trust that had been there between her and Talia, but it was there nontheless. She just hoped she wasn’t going to regret it. When he apologized, she blinked, caught off guard, and smiled softly. “It’s alright. When I met your mother for the first time, she drove a stick halfway to my heart. I guess it runs in the family,” she told him, mildly amused.


Gemma Arterton for Madame Figaro


Gemma Arterton for Madame Figaro

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Tori got out of the car and nodded to the other woman. She smiled as she leaned in the door to answer her. “Anytime. I’ve got the night off and all that, so whenever you’re available. Promise to knock your socks off.”

"Alright, then I will see you on Sunday, ready to get my socks blow off," Tess replied, smirking, then watched the girl go. She’d been waiting to find a way to invest some of her money, and maybe she’d found it. After all, the girl seemed passionate about what she did, and Tess liked that. 


"I think we should rewatch the pilot. You know, that one time the Starks were together and happy?"

"Oh, that’s actually a fantastic idea. I’ve got the DVD boxset there, in the library. You put the disk on, I’ll get the wine." 

tagged → #lostgabi #verse: main