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 Just Remember to Breathe, Alice/Oryn
Oryn Blake
 Posted: Feb 8 2013, 2:14 PM
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Clearly, Sam and Mari had dressed him. Oryn felt incredibly uncomfortable, but had been assured he looked good.

Sam had hidden every single one of his hats. Mari said she'd actually burnt them.

Either way, he'd told Alice he'd meet her outside, since he didn't own a car. He was dying to go inside, because the things he was hearing people say about all of it were more than he could believe. He caught some of it through the window, but he was trying not to spoil himself. He wanted to laugh about it with Alice.

God, Alice.

She'd joined his post apoc game and was on messenger. The internet was the only place in the world Oryn felt like he could be the him that he would be if he wasn't scared of people. They talked for hours via IM and even graduated to Skype once and he was just absolutely smitten. Enough that he'd let the girls talk him into this outfit and a haircut. Well, a trim anyway.

Hearing more people as they walked out, laughing, he nodded, making a mental note to himself. "Right," he said, unaware as he concentrated on what he was saying that Alice was approaching, "Avoid the pool room."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 8 2013, 4:43 PM
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There had been considerable discussion with her friends about what to wear, the debate of jeans to show that you're breezy and casual, short skirt to look sexy, something in the middle to not seem like you're trying too hard had gone on for an embarrassing number of hours. In the end, Alice had gone with her usual boho-unchic look, wearing an outfit that she felt pretty in and paying a little more attention to her makeup and hair and jewelry than she usually did. When she saw Oryn, she was glad she'd made the choice she had.

Okay, no. When she saw Oryn, she thought 'God, he's just as cute as I remember' and 'Please don't let me have spinach in my teeth, because even though I haven't eaten spinach in weeks it could spontaneously generate right this second' and 'I wonder if he read that retarded post Keisha made this afternoon?'. But then came the being glad about her fashion decisions and then she was caught up to him and asking, "Why? Is the pool room fuzzy-only?" and smiling all huge and happy.

She immediately reached up to brush her fingertips against his bangs. "I've never seen you without the hat. I was at least considering the possibility that it was actually sewn into the hat linings." His hair was soft and very warm and she found that she wanted to keep petting at it. To slip her hands in and really get into it, though starting off a date by rubbing all up on his hair would probably be weird. Shame.


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Oryn Blake
 Posted: Feb 8 2013, 7:12 PM
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He did not purr, but it was a close thing. He did bat his head against her hair in a way that was all feline, though, giving her a sheepish smile as he did. He'd had a long talk with Sam about how to act around Alice, and since she knew what he was, the consensus wound up being not trying to act like he was human.

So he furthered it, running his cheek along hers again, going so far as to kiss at the corner of her jaw, albeit a bit awkwardly, before straightening and smiling at her. "You look," he shook his head and then forgot he was a writer and had a gazillion words stored in his brain, finishing the sentence with, "Wow." She did look wow, too.

Flushing a bit, he said, "Um, no, not fuzzy only. Or, I mean, it could be, no idea. It's not that, it's that they're," he stopped, could not say it out loud, and said, "Just trust me on this."

Reaching for the door, he held it open for her. "Onward and inward."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 8 2013, 7:23 PM
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That cheek thing was awfully nice. Alice had an idea, albeit vague, that it was a shifter thing or maybe just a leopard thing. But though she'd absolutely considered researching shifters and leopards and him, it had seemed intrusive to her. Like prying. So she didn't know much more than that the slight prickle of his skin along her jaw and throat and cheek was very nice, and she might do a little purring herself if she wasn't careful.

"Okay, but you're making me very curious." On that, she stopped inside and looked around, almost dumbstruck with it all. The promlike paper streamers. The heavily-armed men and women in jeans or cargo pants. The gilttery valentine-shaped lights strung along three of the four walls. The general air of laughter, mockery, and evaporated booze in the air.

"Oh," she reached out blind and took his hand, gave it a little squeeze. "I like it here. Let's come here a lot."


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Oryn Blake
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 10:13 AM
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That she wanted to go anywhere with him a lot, even if she was saying it jokingly, had him nodding enthusiastically. "Any time you want."

And he meant that, not just because she'd want to be around him but because this whole set up was freaking funny. Oryn had a real respect for Valentine's day, believed in love and romance and an abundance of either or both when they could be had. But he also recognized the silliness of it all and could easily laugh at it.

Closing his hand around hers and liking it there, thank you very much, he led her to the bar. "What's your poison?" he asked, then grinned, proving he had, indeed, seen Keisha's post (involving asking, in utter seriousness, for a Pina Colada in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, among other idiocies), "Pina Colada?"


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 12:50 PM
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She laughed again, always laughing. Not hard to figure out where she'd picked up the nickname, it was almost easier to count the times Alice wasn't laughing and/or smiling than the times she was. "I would? But I'm not sure I can order it in a 'sultry yet innocent voice' and then 'blush carmine across ivory cheeks and lower my optics shyly.' It's just not in me. So how about one of those bright pink things? I'm feeling adventurous and all."

She was still looking around shamelessly, taking in the details. There was a group of mixed guys and girls MST3K-ing that Nicholas Sparks movie where the chick dies at the end. Somebody else appeared to be playing some kind of Doctor Zhivago drinking game--they had a bright pink laminated paper with the rules, presumably provided by the house. Servers wearing ill-fitting formalwear with huge bouttoneires or corsages passed out bottled beers and poison-pink drinks from silver trays. And there was a guy in a wheelchair circulating through the crowd passing out roses and Hershey's Kisses and stopping to chat with the roughest-looking element of the clientele.

It was just beautiful.


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Oryn Blake
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 6:35 PM
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"Easy enough," he said, plucking one from a passing tray and handing it to her, then grabbing another for himself. If he was worried about looking silly with a girly drink, it didn't show. "We can be adventurous together."

Realizing how that sounded, he nearly blushed carmine and rolled his eyes at himself. "I'm just going to tell you I'm a level 50 at sticking my foot in my mouth and apologize for all of it now, if that's okay? Otherwise I'll probably be hiding in the bathroom within an hour."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 6:52 PM
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She tossed back the drink, coughed, declared hoarsely that it was delicious, and then smiled at Oryn. There was a pause just long enough to be nervewracking (at least given his current level of nerviness) while she considered, then the smile widened a notch and she stepped a little closer to him to speak in his ear, not that it would do anything to stop the shifters around them from hearing, but she didn't really know that.

"Would it make you feel better if I told you that after a week of playing and hanging online with you, I went ahead and put on the matchy, pretty 'okay if he sees them' bra and panties tonight? Not saying it has to go there, but I'm feeling the adventurous, and I've been looking forward to this date all week."


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Oryn Blake
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 8:02 PM
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Holy hell what was that? His breath caught it was like every square inch of him tensed without actually tensing. It felt really good and really weird at the same time. He decided he liked it enough that he got his free arm around her, pulling her just a little closer.

"That does make me feel good," he said, lowering his own voice but not really caring if anyone else heard them. Hell, compared to what he'd heard had happened on one of the pool tables already, this was downright tame.

It would, he knew, be a good time to kiss her, but he didn't. It was kind of a miracle he was holding her the way he was, he was going to need at least one or two more drinks before he was brave enough to make a real move.


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 8:13 PM
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"Oh good." She wrapped her own arm around his waist, pressing in close enough to notice that the baggy clothes he'd worn when she met him had disguised more strength than she'd guessed. It was nice, but it wasn't like she wasn't already embarrassingly gone on him.

Not pulling back just yet, using the excuse of talking in the noisy room, she asked, "So what's it going to be? Romcom drinking game? Do you have friends here?" She didn't say 'I'm up for anything', because even she could only be so forward, but she kinda thought it.


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Oryn Blake
 Posted: Feb 9 2013, 8:49 PM
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Oryn shook his head without looking around. Ben was hiding out at Moons, Mari was going to find him, Clay was hanging with some of the others at the hotel and Sam wasn't here yet.

"Sam'll be here in a while," he told her, having mentioned Sam about fifty times over the course of the week, "But she's not here yet." He had other friends, of course, he couldn't tend bar and not make some casual friendships, but that was his core group and probably always would be.

"Oh," he said, as he noticed Dri's Ben across the way, gesturing. "That's the guy I was telling you about." He'd told her all about Madame Rose's, way easier to talk about that sort of thing in text. "See what I mean? I feel all kinds of uncouth just being in the same room with him."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 1:45 AM
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She nodded, "I can't wait to meet her." Alice noticed she was kind of pushing that point, the meeting his friends, but everybody's got their issues and one of hers was a paranoia about being what she called 'The Shoebox Girl'. The girl who was good enough to screw but not good enough to kiss in public. Oryn had showed exactly zero inclination that direction so far, but our issues have so little to do with anyone else's actions and so much to do with our own reactions.

And so she kept her arm loosely around his waist, leaning very slightly into his side as she looked over at the man he'd indicated. "Oh God, you're right. He looks like he belongs in a Jane Austen novel and is only wearing modern clothes because he's too polite to shame the rest of us. A wide smile. "And the manners bear it out? He's just that dignified?"


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Oryn Blake
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 8:24 AM
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"Just watch," Oryn said, keeping his own arm around her waist and petting at a bit of skin between her shirt and skirt with his thumb. While he was incredibly aware he was doing it (and God, she was so soft, every part of her he touched, he was just in tactile heaven), it was also very natural because it was the sort of healthy touching that he and the other leopards were always doing. So he was able to not make it weird, which was a relief.

Was, in fact, able to do that and talk at the same time. "That's Vanora he's talking to," he explained, "She's a vampire, one of the girls Dri hired." Oryn loved working at Winchester's but working for Dri, too, was a freaking God send. They'd not really opened yet and he already had enough material to make a good six characters and had two story lines already forming. "I don't think that even qualifies as a dress, right? She's practically oozing sex, and he won't leer or ogle, not even once. Watch the way he moves and talks, even if you can't hear? And you'd think he was talking to a royal or something. All polite deference. It's kind of amazing to watch."


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Alice Vance
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 11:29 AM
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Alice, too, was intensely aware of the way Oryn was petting at her, which was sending a little shiver across her midsection and causing, not that she knew it, a distinct scent of yay to rise in the air. She kept leaning into him, sliding a hand around to hook her fingers into the front pocket of his jeans in a comfortably secure hold as she watched the scene play out before them. "That's amazing. I kind of want to hit on her and I don't swing that way even a little. But he's, you're right, like he's talking to the queen." She shook her head. "You know him, does he ever lighten up?"


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Oryn Blake
 Posted: Feb 10 2013, 12:12 PM
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Oryn wasn't exactly a ladies' man, but he did have experience with dating and sex, even since he'd been infected, so he did recognize the scent suddenly on the air, as well as the effect it had on him, including that of his own joining it. Not that that scent wasn't wafting in waves from the pool room and less violently from others' around them, but still. He liked it.

He did not like the physical evidence of how much and prayed more fervently than he had in he didn't know how long that she wouldn't look down. And then he tried to think about baseball. But he didn't know about baseball, so he tried to continue talking about Ben.

"I haven't seen it, but Jack, one of the other guys that works there," not that Oryn counted himself 'one of the guys' when it came to people like Jack, who was just eighty times more cool than he was, "Says he does. Says he gets 'silly', even. I do not believe it."


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