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By Tristan Viridian
June 17th, 2012
3:30 a.m.
Penthouse of Tristan Viridian

His pocket vibrated again. His phone was going off, for the fifteenth time in twenty minutes. King wanted him at the compound, to go over numbers, schematics, the next plan to get into Phase 2 of the distribution. He clicked the phone to silent, and switched it to Do Not Disturb so the calls would go straight to voicemail. He was tired of being bothered by that shit for now. He just wanted quiet so he could think for one bloody second without the rattle of the mobile going off to distract him. One or two more rings and he would have thrown the fucking thing off of the balcony in a fit of rage and annoyance. But he didn’t. It was his phone, and the person would learn to back off shortly. It wasn’t King directly, otherwise he would have answered. Maybe.

But Why? Why did King want to rush something that was clearly still in its infancy, in its Alpha phase yet? Tristan missed his mark—and it was self-appointed, so at least he wouldn’t have to answer to his employer about that—but instead of hitting his sister, instead of hitting a pure-blood, one-hundred percent, guaranteed magical target. Fierro said Liam hit someone else instead. A wolf? Did that mean the wolves were impervious to the major side effect? The one King was going for?


He looked over his companion with cold eyes, though the distant gaze was not aimed at her. It was aimed at no one. What the fuck did they get into? Not just with King, but now with Matt? His blind friend who fancies himself a god damn hero, went out and got into a fight with a beast—one Mae said was just like her, according to the voicemails… Was this connected somehow? The chat with his father, the warning of wolves in his sister’s company, the brawler who tore apart not only Maeve, but Matt as well?

Jesus, Matty. What the hell have you gotten into? Then he swallowed. Hard. What the hell do I do now? As stubborn as he was, as angry as he was—as he still held such a contentment against his father after all these years, Tristan realized that the conversation he had with his father at the Abbey meant more to him in that hour or so of interaction than he realized. Fierro didn’t want him to turn out just like him? Hah. While that was laughable, Tristan kept that in mind. He was questioning King’s methods now, which he saw as the beginnings of doubt, a sliver of uncertainty, one wide enough to pry open, and jump through if he thought escape was imminent. Was it? Did he want to continue down this path? Walk away from family, and continue down the trail of darkness only to remain in power beneath a King he didn’t faithfully follow?

Isn’t that what Fierro did, as Trevor Williams’ right hand? And look where that got him…

As he pieced together this fucked up jigsaw puzzle in his head, Tristan just watched Maeve. She was sleeping, a little more peaceful tonight than she had the nights prior, granted the healer he had hired for the house call put her on some hefty-as-shit medication to make sure she didn’t wake up until her body wasn’t in so much pain. He wanted to touch her, brush the hair out of her eyes, kiss her sweat dampened forehead and just tell her that she would be alright but he refrained for now. The healer advised not to jostle her or touch her at all if he could help it…

Instead Tristan stood by the window, a familiar perch he took up while in deep thought. Those sea-green orbs cast over the city lights, watching for nothing in particular.
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By Tristan Viridian
Tristan thought back through the events of the last few days, and holy hell were they a blur.

His old squad mate Matt stumbled back into his life after being a ghost for two decades--Cora, his classmate and best friend, did the same... Both different people than the ones he knew before, two people on opposite ends of his life, opposite ends of the candle, burned right to the core of this melodrama. The wound of defeat and rejection was still healing but after a few days of being left alone and remaining by Maeve's side gave him some time to cool down. Then, Tristan reunited with his father who'd mentioned his sister and the mess they were in now thanks to his operation with his employer. All of these people falling back into his life, sucked into the black hole created by Wilson King and the empire on which he stood, the line between magic and muggle growing thinner and more fragile by the second.

His mother never really believed in coincidence, and that line of thinking rubbed off on him too. Everyone was where they were supposed to be because they chose to be...but it was just funny how all of them fell together, all at once, like a screwed up little jigsaw puzzle. What a fucking mess...

He thought about what things would be like now with Maeve. She loved him? She said she loved him in the voice mail--all this time she was here for him, the late nights of work he'd pass out and find a blanket over him on the couch, or how she'd help him to his room when he would fall asleep on his desk. Maeve cooked him dinners whenever he was too tired to make something for himself, helped him keep the penthouse livable, instead of a den of a bachelor which would typically be cluttered and messy. Tristan was a lot neater than most, but having his companion help was nice. It was...nice. Tristan looked down, breaking his lock on the city below, and he stared at the floor. He remembered the night at the Abbey when she stole his tie and said he dressed up too much for casual occasions, and he chuckled, one that came with a couple of stray tears he didn't realize had formed in his eyes.

After all this time, Maeve was here, he thought again. He was a damn idiot for running away with Cora, in what he thought was an innocent gesture to help his best friend--what the hell was he expecting? To sweep her away from her on again, off again, confusing as shit situation with Matt? The bloody DEVIL? The longer he dwell in the pit of his swirling thoughts, the worse it got...

This was one hell of a soap opera, wasn't it?

The fact of the matter was this: He didn't regret helping Cora find a safe place after the anxiety she'd suffered at the bar. What he did regret, was not seeing this, whatever it was, with the woman who'd always been there for him.

Fuck. He hated himself right about now.
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By Tristan Viridian
"...Why don't you come home with me this Christmas? Mom and dad'll love you, and Tommy'll freaking worship you."

Matt was smiling, but Tristan knew there was pity laced in those perfect teeth of his. Matt had a family to go back to, and Tristan had a sick mother and an absent father. No siblings. No one to share those moments with, horsing around or laughing and joking. He to spend most of his time at the assisted living home to tend to his mother. He didn't want it to have to come to that; Demitria never wanted to be waited on the way they did when Tristan came by on leave, but he insisted. It was the only way to give him peace of mind that she would be taken care of when he was deployed...
Tristan was lost in thought. Why he picked that memory of all of the ones they shared, he wasn't sure but Tristan figured it was because no matter what they went through together, Matt would tell him he had family. He was never alone. Until now, all Tristan had was King, a surrogate father after losing touch with Fierro when they walked away from the Death Eaters. It was not the same as having blood-relatives to chat and have dinner with, no, King would always be his employer, even if he looked up to the man like his own father. But now Fierro had come around, Kara, his sister was around too--his best friend had resurfaced, his brother in arms back from the dead, and a companion...

...A companion...

Tristan turned back to face her, sleeping like an angel, her crown of red hair stark contrast against her pale skin. The doctors had cleared the blood away and her garou healing had started the process of helping her get well, but she'd suffered so much, it was going to take a lot of time. He dare not walk any closer, as not to disturb her, but as he held his hand up, with the other arm crossed over his chest, he felt his hand tighten around his phone, pressing the button again to listen to her last voicemail. It was torture to hear her voice, broken and slurred as she cried out in desperation.

...I love you... She said, before the message cut off.

If he bothered to clip that last part and rewind, he would hear that over and over again. That is, he'd hear it aloud. Those words haunted him, because he had not yet had the chance to say them back. Would he? Of course he would, because in that awful moment, he realized he might have loved her. However, based on the intel he was able to gather from his street-level informants and even Fierro, this feud between this Wolf and Matt was the reason why Maeve was harmed at all. And Kara was involved?? How?! Why was everyone in his life colliding in the worst possible way, why was Maeve hurt at all? Oh, he would find whoever the fuck did this to her and exact his own revenge. He had the armor, he had the shield, he had the will to fight for her. His heart sank again, which he thought was nearly impossible when he looked closer at her beaten form. So many bruises. So many cuts and breaks on top of the hypothermia and everything else that happened that night. A chill ran down his spine as he thought of the word 'laceration', used multiple times in Doctor Stone's report. What the fuck did they used to hurt her that it ripped her flesh in multiple places? Those were not teeth marks, but something bit into her skin and something almost killer her and--

I love you... The message said again, after it finished its loop for the fifth time in the last ten minutes.

This was absolute hell.
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