Timeline: February, 2009
It was evening when Gillian arrived at Michael’s shop. Soon he’d be closed, but it had taken her all day to work up the nerve. She still didn’t know what she’d say.
Honestly, she just wanted to be strong and powerful like Lyla. Even though the ex-lupa had been cast down, it had taken two-thirds of the pack to do it. Gillian had long felt that it was because she had Ramiel, a powerful mage, that Lyla was so strong of mind and body. She wanted that, too. But she didn’t know much about dating.
So, she found something red and just a bit showy and decided she needed to go shopping for a weapon. She had to introduce herself and then entice him, after all. With a thick leather coat draped over her shoulders she stopped delaying and stepped into his store.
Michael was sitting at a work table behind the counter, Gillian could see pistol broken down that he was cleaning. “We are about to close,” Michael said as looked up looking down the barrel to see if it was clean. Upon seeing Gillian standing there, he said “Gillian isn’t it? What can I do for you?”
The quiet, young blonde approached him almost silently and looked at him with a small spark of humor in her eyes. Yet, as he watched her move, he could tell she wasn’t too steady on her feet.
“I thought that… I mean, I’ve seen you around,” she tried to begin.
Michael stepped foward, wiping his hands on a rag. He pulled over a chair, saying, “Please sit. I have also seen you around, but you seem to keep to yourself. Was there something of interest here in my shop you were thinking of picking up? I will make deals with members of the pack.”
She sat down with some relief. The knife wounds that Lyla had left with proved beyond Grey’s ability to completely heal. In fact, they also used a dangerous amount of power from the cave locus as well. She had been hurt that badly.
Gillian, not knowing anything much about guns, decided to try some smalltalk. “I heard that… that Lyla, Chaska, and Ramiel left town for a while. I was wondering. Why did you stay behind?”
Michael was quiet for a moment as he leaned on the counter. “I have some other obligations that I need to see to. Also I wasn’t foolish enough to make a bargain with someone I didn’t know.”
“The thing with the fae creatures? Ironclaw was upset about that.” Gillian decided to drop the bombshell. “Lyla refused to renounce her pledge when he ordered her to do so, so he stripped her of her position and set all the females of the pack on her. I guess they punished her really harshly.”
“That’s news I didn’t know,” Michael said with slight surprise. “I take it that you didn’t fair well during the fight? It looks like you are still injured, is there something I can do for you?”
“Do you have some Aleve?” Gillian smiled. “No, I’ll be okay. Lyla cut my guts out, is all. Apparently four against one aren’t odds enough. I think maybe I’m not going to fight her any more if I can at all help it.” Gillian gave Michael another smile.
“Yes I have some, hold on a sec,” Michael said as he stepped in the backroom to get the Aleve and a glass of water. “I have seen Lyla in a fight, she is good. But I would think four to one odds would be able to take her down.” Michael handed Gillian the glass of water and Aleve.
“Yeah. I didn’t see the end of the fight, but I heard what happened from Selene. Rose and Selene had a hard time handling Lyla, but Rey sniped at her, kept Lyla moving fast. I don’t know how she moved so fast. I think maybe it’s a gift from the spirits. She has a lot of those.” Gillian shrugged. “Anyway, even Rey had a hard time targeting Lyla. But in the end, Lyla had to slow down to strike at us. I guess she tried to knock out Rey because that gun kept working on her. Rose and Selene managed to hurt her some then, and then Rey shot her point blank right through the stomach. That was it. Rey was named Lupa. And I heard that the first thing she did was take Lyla’s bar away. Rey owns it now, for all of us. What do you think about all that?”
Michael showed a bit of surprise on hearing that Rey was now the Lupa of the pack. “Well Rey being the new Lupa is a surprise. Though I thought that Lyla started the Blood and Brew to help out the pack. So Rey taking it over kind of makes sense. What do you feel about how things went down?”
“I don’t know for sure yet,” she said honestly. “Hey, I’m kind of hungry. Since you are ready to close, would you like to go to the cafe and have a bit to eat with me?”
“I would love to go have dinner, just let me get my coat and I’ll be ready to go,” Michael said.
Michael finished pulling on his coat as he stepped out of the back room. Michael offered his hand to Gillian, saying, “Shall we?”
Her smile was radiant. “Yes!” It took her a moment, then she said, “Oh!” and put her hand in his. She grinned sheepishly.
Michael walked with Gillian to the door, holding it open for her, then turned and locked up after he stepped out. Michael offered his arm to Gillian as they started walking toward the cafe.
She took it in both her hands as she leaned just a little bit on him. She looked delighted as they walked. They made some small talk during the brief walk across the street to the cafe, then ducked inside out of the damp cold. They sat down and got something hot and caffeinated ordered while they looked at the brief menus.
Gillian looked up. “Michael, do you know Ramiel really well? It seems like you guys are friends. I was kind of thinking, wondering ever since I found out how the punishment Ironclaw handed down to Lyla turned out. Do you think Ramiel’s going to be mad enough to do something about it?”
Michael was thoughtful for a moment, then said, “Well, I think I know him pretty well, but I’m not to sure seeing how it was pack business. I’m sure he will be angry about what happen, and he might get into Ironclaw’s face about it.
“But I haven’t talked with him since I got back into town, after our recent trip to Boston,” Michael was quiet and kind of looked distant with a look of concern on his face.
It was a brief look away, then Michael looked back into Gillian’s eyes with a smile. “Enough talk about this current pack business. I’d like to hear about you. What are some of your goals and desires, Gillian?”
“Me?” Gillian’s eyes widened. She wasn’t used to anyone taking much of an interest in her values. “I guess I’m not too particular. I’d like to be trusted and respected. Anybody would, I suppose. I can tell people still look at me as one of the two people that cost Lyla her child. I think I’d like to get a job of my own, too. But I don’t have a lot of ideas on what to do. So, I do my part at the Blood and Brew and try to put together enough money to maybe set myself up on my own somewhere.
“Well trust and respect come with time,” Michael said. “I personally don’t know much about you, and would like to know more. So what are some of the things that interest you? What other kind of job are you looking to find, other than working at the Blood and Brew? And, where would you like to set yourself up at?
“If I have thrown to many questions at you, you can tell me to mind my own business,” Michael said with a smile.
“No, it’s okay,” she said with a smile. “I suppose if I was honest with myself, I’d have to admit that my best skills lean toward the illegal. Which isn’t all that marketable. I guess I’d need to find something that didn’t require college-level skills. I just want to make enough that I could live on my own.
“Well, to be honest myself,” Michael started with a sly smile, “not everything I’ve done in my past has been legal. Even though I used to be a cop. But that is niether here or now, I’m here having dinner with a lovely woman. I’d like to know more about you. And please feel free to ask any questions you may have of me.”
“Are you dating anyone?” she asked bluntly.
“Well that’s to the point, isn’t it,” Michael said. He paused for a moment, the replied with, “No. Not since Selene and I broke up.
“I take it that you would like to date me,” Michael stated. “I had the feeling you did since you stepped into my shop this evening. That you had something else in mind other than looking for a weapon, or to talk about pack politics.”
She grinned. Gillian didn’t look embarrassed at all. “I think we might make good mates. I think we could both make the other stronger together than we would be alone.”
“Really, you want me to be your mate,” Michael said. “I’m not saying that I am against it, but I have to ask, ‘Why me’. Seeing that Selene and I didn’t work out, which I hate to say was mostly my fault.
“I wouldn’t want things to start off great with you, and then end up bad. What are you bringing to the table that will help to make me stronger, if we do become mates?”
“Good idea,” she said. “Why waste valuable time with the whole dating, jabbery small-talk thing, right? Cut right to the point. I knew I’d like you.”
Gillian thought about it some more. “I can kill and destroy without the nuisance of conscience,” she offered helpfully. “And around here that seems like a really useful ability. There are all kinds of stuff that shows up here that needs killing and I’ve noticed that most folks are squeamish. But I’m a predator. That’s what I bring to the table.
“No offense, but you aren’t remorseless. You’re human. But you are strong and you’re brave and you’re dangerous. I like that. I’d like to have sex with you. But we are on a bit of a schedule. I don’t mean to be pushy but…”
Michael’s right eyebrow arched when Gillian mentioned wanting to have sex with him.
“I didn’t realize we were on a schedule,” Michael said with a smile. “If you don’t mean to be pushy, why the rush? Is there something I should know about?”
She nodded. “Yes. Lyla gave me permission to date you, but she’s not Lupa anymore. Rey is. I thought that if we were mates already, Rey wouldn’t disallow it.”
Michael nodded, “I see.”
Michael took Gillian’s hand in his, “Shall we blow this pop stand, and take a long walk home?”
She nodded gravely. “Yes. Life is fleeting.” She broke into a grin. “We should waste none of it.”
Michael helped Gillian with her coat, then put on his own, walking with her to the door. Once outside in the cold, winter air, Michael placed his arm around Gillian as they started walking toward Ramiel’s house where they both stayed.
Michael walked in silence til about halfway to the house, then he stopped. Turning Gillian to face him, he cupped her cheek as he leaned in and kissed her. As she returned it, he could feel the heat of her supernaturally-powered body. A playful spark lit her eyes when he pulled away.
“Not bad for a wizard,” she said with blushed cheeks. “Do you have any more?”
“Darlin’, you’ve seen nothing yet,” Michael said with a wink and a smile.
With that, Michael pulled Gillian in for another passion filled kiss. When they broke from this kiss, Michael said, “Let’s finish this someplace more warm and confortable.” Gillian was very happy to follow.