[ Draaaaafts are empty. If I owe you, let me know, because I haven’t been online much lately and I might have missed it. ]
Now the woman was getting out of her car. Hazel backed up further. Was she going to try and grab her and put her into the car? Just like in the stranger danger videos she had seen at school? She should run but she felt paralyzed with fear and couldn’t move.
The woman said she didn’t look okay and her voice wasn’t angry but soft and she sounded worried. Why would she be worried about her when her own mom and dad weren’t worried for her?
She noticed the way the woman was looking at her and she shifted on her feet uncomfortably. She was seeing her bruises. She wasn’t allowed to let people see her bruises but she had run away so she reminded herself that it didn’t really matter if she saw her bruises.
The woman asked what happened to her and crouched down. She was still keeping distance between them and not getting to close. Nothing about the way she was acting was like the people in the stranger danger videos.
She didn’t know how to answer her next questions so she didn’t. She didn’t want to call anyone and she didn’t want to go to the hospital because they’d call her parents. The woman smiled at her but she couldn’t smile back.
But she could answer her last question. “I’m Hazel,” she said quietly. “Your name’s pretty.” She liked the name Tessandra. She didn’t know what else to say after and was silent for a while. But she knew she needed to say something else. “I don’t know want to call anyone or go to the hospital. I just… I don’t want to be taken back home. So I’m okay. You don’t have to stay.” She was lying about being okay. She wasn’t okay and she did want the woman to stay. But not if she was just going to do something that would make her parents find out.
The child was wary, that much Tess could see clearly, and she knew she had to be careful with what she did and said, if she didn’t want to scare her off. Which she really didn’t.
She wanted to know how she’d ended up looking like that, bruised and scared and on her own in the middle of the night; she’d seen too many children get hurt by their own parents and she could recognize the signs; she wasn’t asking for them, she wasn’t asking to be taken home. She was simply scared, maybe even scared of being forced to go home.
She kept a reassuring smile on her face, even though the child didn’t return it, but there wasn’t anything surprising there. Still, when she answered, Tess let out a relieved sigh.
"Well, it’s nice to meet you, Hazel," she said, then smiled warmly at the girl’s compliment. "Thank you, that’s very sweet of you to say. Most people say it’s weird, but I don’t care, I like it too," she admitted, sitting down on the side of the road, legs crossed, facing her. "And I think Hazel is a very pretty name too. It’s a princess name," she added with a nod.
When she spoke again, Tess lsitened quietly, and her words confirmed that no, she didn’t want to go home. That was enough to convince her the girl’s parents were responsible for hurting her. “Alright, I won’t take you to the hospital and I won’t take you home, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to stay,” she said calmly, her lips still relaxed in a friendly smile. “Actually, I would like to help,” she admitted after a moment.
She fell back into that silence, characteristic of the girl when she found herself unable to to.. trust the other person. It was hard for her to carry on conversations. Things were better left unsaid, she was better off silent. But the question immediately caught her attention, anything about her family always did. Cora took a second before speaking, eyes on the ground. “I have very few. Some stuff that mom posted somewhere.. and some ina box I buried.”
Cora had that horrible habit as a kid where she lived up to the canine image of the wolf. She’d gather everything she deemed valuable and stuffed it in a old oatmeal container and bury it in the forest. Every so often she walked by the area but she never had it in her to recover it.
"Would you… would you really give me that?" she asked her softly. "Give me a copy or would you let me keep them?" Her voice far too eager and she didn’t bother to hide it. She thought about her family often but it seemed with time… she was forgetting so many things.
Tess wasn’t surprised when the girl confirmed that she didn’t have much left. A fire that big, that sudden - as fires tended to be - left very little behind. This made her feel like she could do something for the girl, which made her feel a little less guilty about the entire thing. If she’d stuck in Beacon Hills, if she’d stayed, maybe she would have been able to stop Kate. But she’d learned the hard way that there was no room for ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’ in the past.
Her question caught Tess off guard and she nodded slowly before replying. “Of course,” she said, smiling softly when she realized the girl appreciated her offer and didn’t feel offended by it. “I’ve digitalized everything, it makes it easier to keep them with me when I move, but those… I kept the originals, and they’re yours if you want them,” she said with a soft, friendly tone. That reminded her of something else, something more intimate that Talia had left her, a strand of her hair. It was kept in a airtight jar, to try and preserve the scent; Talia had given it to Tess in case she ever needed to track her and had nothing to do it with. “There’s something else of your mother that you might want. I’m not sure it kept her scent, but considering I’ve never touched it, it might have.”
Megan smiled as she heard that Tess had taken her advice and that the mechanic had done well. She knew that he would but there was something about sending Tess over there that made her inherently nervous. She became even more nervous as the older girl spoke about him being her friend, and her mind darted the the though of him compelled or dead until she finished her sentence, and Megan let out a soft chuckle enhanced by a sigh of relief, “He’s a friend yeah, but help yourself, I’m glad you both got your pipes cleaned.” She chuckled, referring to the car and Tess and cringing at her own terrible joke.
The younger girl nodded, happy that the two of them both seemed to have planned ahead even when this was an impromptu trip, and she smile at how considerate the other was. “Thanks, I bought some chips and some soda but i may need to load up on caffeine, and probably take a nap before dealing with the people you’ve been telling me about.” She smiled, both excited, nervous and a tad worried about meeting the characters Tess had illustrated. She had mentioned four names over and over, Damon, Elijah, Klaus and Stefan, and out of the four the last seemed to be the only one who would be likely to tolerate her human condition. “Are the others expecting us? Or are we just going to kill some bitches and show up randomly at their doorsteps?”
Tess could sense the tension in Megan when she asked about the mechanic, which made her admission feel even more comical. Still, she only laughed when she heard Megan’s comment about it, which truly amused her. “Well, if he did my car the way he did me, she’s gonna be a happy girl,” she remarked with a wink, patting the dashboard as she laughed. “No, but really, it was good. Refreshing. And it probably won’t happen again.”
Tess frowned at her next words, however, then realized what Megan meant. “Oh, you mean Elijah? I don’t think he’ll make it,” she said with a disappointed look. “He’s got this family war going on in New Orleans and he’s a little tied up. I wouldn’t count on Damon, he doesn’t go anywhere to do anything unless Bourbon is involved. We might get Stefan, if we’re… lucky?” she listed, then glanced at Megan. “Trust me, you’re only missing out on Elijah. The Salvatores bring trouble and drama wherever they go, and Klaus… well, Original Hybrid with an ego the size of Manhattan. Not fun most of the time.”
"I’m used to reading the sky." Malia admitted. she was also incredibly afraid of thunder and lightening so the coyote had made it her mission to know when the storms would strike over the last eight years. Her eyes darted up as the flash of the lightening and her eyes flashed blue with fear. She shouldn’t be out here. She didn’t think the lightening would hit so soon. The were-coyote scrambled into the car and done up her seatbelt, her eyes shut tight to try block out the lightening. "Well thank you for having a kind heart and not wanting to leave me!" Malia said softly opening her eyes. The girl smelt different and the coyote resisted the urge to sniff the girl, that was something still on her list of not a human thing to do. “It’s nice to meet you Tessandra, I’m Malia. That’s an unusual name…” she asked hoping the name might shed more light.
"That’s quite the useful skill, if you ask me," Tess commented with a surprised smile; it reminded her of Sebastian, the way he could always tell how the weather would turn out with just one look at the sea and sky. Maybe it was that, or maybe it was just her instinct, but Tess took an immediate liking to the girl. She was snapped out of those thoughts when she saw the girl’s eyes flash blue; she wondered if she’d maybe imagined it, but considering her scent, she probably hadn’t. She watched as she quickly got into the car and fastened her seatbelt, quite clearly not a fan of the storm that was coming. "You’re welcome, love, but really, it’s the decent thing to do," she replied with a sweet smile. "Nice to meet you as well, Malia." She huffed a small laugh at her remark and nodded slowly. "Well, I’m an unusual person. That, and my father has the weirdest taste in names. That poor soul of my step-brother was called Hamnet."
"That’s all very good for you, but that doesn’t really cover me, now does it? I mean, I know, I know, I’m progeny but what stopped them from taking a shot at a from long range? Besides, there’s always one that likes to test his or hers luck." Picking up something that caught his eye, he weight it a bit before studying it more thoroughly. "What’s this?" Cole had transferred it to his left hand and was watching her from over his left shoulder.
"Nature likes to joke around, I suppose…" The Angel Of Death would see it as part of the Grand Design, letting not being immortal in the truest sense of the word. But it sounded like a joke to him. They were just trying to protect the weak human race…Cole shook his head. Being around her already started to make him sound like his mother!
"Long range?" Tess asked with a skeptical look. "Tell me, have you ever seen a hunter shoot a bloody stake long range?” she continued with an eloquent look. “Bullets can only hurt us, not kill us, and we’re faster than arrows.” She paused and took a deep breath. “And what happened to ‘I’ll just let them kill me because I’m a monster and I make babies cry’, uh?”
She looked at the object in his hand and smirked. “That’s an enchanted box, it’s where I keep my pixie dust,” she joked, waving a hand dismissively. “Nah, it’s just a carillon, I brought it back from Russia.” She watched him as he continued exploring, not really minding it.
"Definitely bad things happen when I’m bored." Like either she started fights or set things on fire. Both of which were very bad when you wanted to be a lawyer. "Do you want to be my new best friend, because you just get to be my favorite person more and more by the minute." Entertaining and trouble there really wasn’t much better. Well depending on the type of trouble the woman next to her got into. Avery laughed wondering if they were even close to same kinds of trouble of if the girls would actually clash. She always seemed to be getting into fights or in the middle of some kind of magical fight.
Avery reached into her bag and pulled out a business card and pen. She always had them after an old professor beat it into her classes head that even when looking was nothing better. Writing her cell phone number on the back she handed it to Tess. “The number on the front is an answering service but my cell is on the back.” Avery bit her lip as she tried to place the name. And smiled when it finally came to her. “I actually have one of your thrillers on my bedside table. It’s good. My mom recommended it cause it creeped her out and nothing gets to her.” It had been one of the few pleasant conversations she could remember the two of them having lately.
"Well, then I will do my absolute best to make sure that never happens while in my company," Tess replied with a friendly grin, then leaned back on the bench, enjoying the sun shining down on them. She laughed softly at Avery’s next words, amused by how the girl’s thoughts were similar to hers. "I think we could very well become best friends," she admitted with a smile, then decided that maybe, she could risk a little. "Though we might have to be honest with each other, then. Something tells me we’re both aware that neither of us is exactly… mundane."
Tess took her contact card with a smile, and looked at it before placing it in her book, as a bookmark. “I’ll keep it at hand, then.” She offered a genuinely surprised smile when the girl spoke about the book, and laughed softly at that last remark. “Well, I do like getting under the reader’s skin whenever I can,” she admitted. “But I’m happy you both liked it.”