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by: Kara Viridian
6 June 2012
9:45 p.m.
Tutaminis Manor, Capitalum Building
Kara’s room

There was a nice breeze this evening, and Kara stood outside on the balcony of her bedroom enjoying the crisp air against her skin. She retired to her chambers early today, as most of the business was conducted and completed as best as it could be for now. Things had mostly settled after the initial attacks had been made on the Regime. It would be a few more days at least, before she would make any more plans for the Order, but it didn’t mean she was going to be able to rest easy tonight. The following day, she’d arranged to meet with her husband—or rather, soon to be ex-husband Liam, to finalize the papers on their divorce.

The one man she’d been wanting to see for the last several days had been MIA, and rightfully so. It was expected, since he was a garou—and what little she knew about his kind, she at least understood that part of it. It was exhausting, by the way Shadow explained it to her, and so Kara kept her distance until he was ready to emerge from their den. But how was she going to explain any of this to Jace? Liam, the man who had attacked her about a week prior was going to be in the same room with her. It wasn’t like Liam would be able to sneak up onto the premises undetected. Kara’s inner circle was going to make as little fanfare around this as possible, but if Shadow and Rafe had been to Kara’s house, they would know Liam, surely…by scent or otherwise, so Jace was going to find out, one way or another. She knew she had to be up front.

She sent for him earlier, leaving a message for him to stop by but she wondered if he would come to see her at all, given how tired he was after his shift. Kara decided to leave her door unlocked for him, and she waited, but if he didn’t show up, she’d get into bed and make a feeble attempt at getting some shut-eye. Fierro told her she needed rest, and as much as she knew she needed it, any drowsiness would fade as soon as her head hit the pillow, she was sure of it. She was one big ball of nerves about tomorrow…she didn’t want to have to face him but she knew she had to.

Kara folded her arms over herself to keep warm from the cool summer breeze and she took a deep breath. The stars brought her such comfort in Jace’s absence, but she hoped that he would be by to remedy that soon.
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by: Jace Bryden
He'd received Kara's message earlier in the evening but had pushed off replying to it or going to see her until he felt he couldn't make her wait anymore without some sort of ill feeling developing. It wasn't that Jace didn't want to see her, or that he was trying to avoid any interactions. Quite the opposite actually, but the moon had only been a few days ago and while most of the pack had recovered form the shift, there was still a few, that had a harder time shoving the wolf back into box once it was out. For the alpha this was doubly so, especially since days before the moon they had struck out at the government and Lucky 7 got to do what they did best. Maybe that's what Kara wanted to talk about since they hadn't had a chance to touch base since. The pack had needed the day to come down off the high of killing and then they needed to get clear of anything Order well before the moon was up....

Right now though? Jace was tired. Hella tired. His bones ached as if someone had given him a beating that shook him to his very core, his senses were still in a heightened state, and probably the worst part was that his mental state was caught in that fucked up limbo where it tried to decide if it should be human or wolf. It was getting better as the days passed. There was a definite perk of being able to hole himself away for a couple days and avoid the world. Honestly it was tempting to just ignore the letter/summons or whatever it was and just sleep the night away, but after a few minutes he let out a huff and pushed himself up off the couch he claimed as his.

The alpha pushed himself to his feet with a slight grimace, before taking a moment to stretch out. Moving was probably going to help the stiffness and work out the pain he still felt in his joints. Jace slipped his boots on and then a hoodie that was draped over a chair (he couldn't remember where he'd put his jacket at the moment) before telling whoever happened to be about at the time he was going for some air and then up to see what Kara wanted.

He set off at a brisk pace and reached the Capitalum Building in short order. The note had said Kara's room hadn't it. Offhandedly the alpha tried to recall if he'd ever been to her room room or if she had really meant her office. Rather than stand in the hall like a spaced out idiot, Jace opted to use his nose to figure out what she meant and in no time he was at her room. In typical Jace fashion, though it probably had more to do with the fact he'd completely forgot that humans tended to knock before entering a room, especially if the door was closed, the alpha let himself in.

"Kara?" His voice was a bit rough and slightly more gravely than usual. Brown orbs searched the room once he was inside searching out the fiery woman that had called for him.
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by: Kara Viridian
Kara stood there with her eyes closed for most of it, trying to listen for footsteps, chatter, or anything on the wind. There were a few wandering outside, indistinct and idle chit chat happening between a couple of the inhabitants and a couple of giggling children chasing each other in the courtyard. She could hear a soft rustling of the greenery from the wind as it came though. Though there was no knock, she heard her bedroom door open, the twist of the knob and the light creak as it was pushed open.

The threshold between the balcony and the room was like a tunnel of sound that amplified his voice when he spoke her name. She didn't jump, and she wasn't startled, but Kara felt a chill run through her entire body as he said it. A smile blossomed over her lips, and she turned to reenter her room, with a few careful steps before she decided to swiftly walk toward him. She practically threw herself into his arms and wrapped her arms around his neck. Kara hoped he wouldn't push her away, because she needed to be held by him, so badly.

"Hi." She was still smiling, but her face was in the crook of his neck, greeted by the gentle cushion of a cotton hoodie over his chest instead of the usual, smooth and cool leather jacket. Kara lingered there for a moment, taking him in, his presence, his scent and his touch, before she pulled away. Her blue-green eyes searched his as she put her hand to his cheek, her fingertips resting over the scruff of his beard and she smiled again.

There wasn't much in the way of words that she could express just how much she was grateful he had stopped by, since him just being there with her comforted her, and she needed that. Kara wasn't sure what to expect from him, this close to his shift but she hoped she hadn't overstepped any bounds. What she really wanted to do was kiss him and tell him how much she missed him, but she wanted to be careful in case he wasn't in that sort of "mood" currently. She just let the moment sit for a while as she let her thumb caress his cheek while she looked up into his eyes.

"It's late..." She said, softly. "I didn't think you'd come over, I know it's been a...grueling few days for you." it truly had, as her own body was still tired after the attacks, unleashed on her and most recently, the ones they delivered to the strong points in the regime.

The message for them to meet was sent earlier in the day, with hope she would get to see him for a bit longer in case his intention was to head right back out to his den when they were done talking. Kara wondered if it was bad form asking him to come here of all places instead of her office, if anyone would be suspicious from his pack, and of course, she was curious what was running through his mind. After the battle, after his shift, anything...she would let him vent, if he so desired, and be the open ear to hopefully help him unwind. If he wanted things to be brief, a small chat and check-in so he could be on his way, she wouldn't mind. Kara was just thrilled to have gotten the chance to see him at all today.
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by: Jace Bryden
He picked up the sound of her footsteps before he ever saw her form. Still, the site of her as she walked into the room from the balcony had a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth and his heart doing some sort of weird stutter. As Kara approached, Jace found himself instinctively talking a small step backward but he didn't get far before her arms were wrapped around his neck in a loose embrace. He stiffened, and it took a moment before he was able to return the gesture, and when he did a wave of happiness washed over him. Whether that was his own emotions at play or Kara projecting the alpha had no idea. All he did know was that it felt good and he liked it.

"Hey," he responded automatically to her greeting as he leaned in to nuzzle the side of her neck and let her scent wrap around them like a cloak. Fuck he'd missed her. Eventually she pulled back and Jace had to clamp down on a whine that threatened to escape. Instead he focused on her gentle touch as her finger tips ghosted over his cheek to rest on the scruff that was his normal beard. Her grin was intoxicating and he found himself matching it before he leaned in to steal a kiss.

"I didn't want to come until I knew I had most of my control back. Usually takes a couple of days to get my head back on straight and the lead up to this shift was.... uh more excitement than normal." He let out a soft chuckle at that. Normally he would just take the 7 and they'd disappear for a few days leading up to the moon, but this time around with the attack on the regime being so close and no mark they could hunt afterward as a distraction... well needless to say this had been a far more aggressive shift than he'd had in a long time.

"How have you been holding up? Those assholes in your circle or whatever giving you any down time?"
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by: Kara Viridian
When he finally returned her hug, she just melted into his arms and she kissed him back when he leaned down to her. Kara missed everything about him, including those soft lips of his, and she scrunched her nose with a smile as she nuzzled against his. She nodded. "I figured, which is why I waited to send for you. Wasn't easy," Kara giggled softly, "But I know you need...time." In more ways than one, perhaps. On one hand, he needed to return to his human self, which she assumed was not easy. One the other, their relationship was still new, if it could be considered a relationship at all. At least he'd shown up and not dodged her like a pitiful one-night-stand, because after that amazing night and all the butterflies and stars surrounding that pleasant memory, she hoped for something more.

Things were like a whirlwind, where they were concerned, unseen forces bringing them together to clash but it only made their bond stronger. With things left in the dust as far as past relationships were concerned, including the divorce in question, Kara decided she wouldn't let any guilt remove the fact that she was content and purely happy with Jace. Nothing forced, nothing uncomfortable, aside from the awkward interactions when they tried to resist it. The more time she spent with him, thinking about him too, Kara fell completely head over heels for this man...and she was still trying to understand it and how it happened.

Kara made a face when he referred to her group as assholes but she didn't take offense. It was his own charming way of describing people, and she couldn't change that. She did, however, feel a wave of nerves twist in her stomach and she was sure he'd sense that one since she broadcasted that unease with an expression that read as Oh, shit.

"Well, yes..." She sucked in a breath, and released it as if she'd been deflated by her own conscience. She couldn't hold the truth back any longer. It wasn't that she was going to lie to him, but holding this information in for the few days since she sent an owl to Liam meant a lot of pacing, a lot of vodka, and a lot of nail-biting worry. "But not really." Kara gulped, and she wished she did have a drink right now, but Jace being here was calming enough so it would suffice. For now. "I have something to say, and I'm sure you're going to say that it's a stupid thing for me to do, but just hear me out, okay?"

Kara reluctantly pulled away and folded one arm across her, the other brought her thumb to her mouth to bite on it. Damn those nerves. She turned away for a second, pacing as she did, and when she turned back, she cringed, and bit her lip. Another deep breath... "Liam...is coming here. Tomorrow. To settle our divorce." There. She said it. Fragmented, sure, but at least the words were easier to say than she'd dreaded. However, when she did, no relief came. Ugh, why did she have to let this loose now? Couldn't she wait until she'd had her fill of his hugs and kisses until she released the monstrosity of a bombshell over Jace's head--as if things weren't complicated enough.
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by: Jace Bryden
Jace gave Kara a smirk at her comment about having a hard time waiting and somewhat understood that he needed time. Combine that with the melodic giggle that she let out moments after, the alpha was having a hard time holding back the laughter that wanted out and it stopped him from dwelling on the time comment. Funny how just being around Kara set him at ease, and emotions he tended to bury as deep as he could crept to the surface. Sure there were moments when he acted similar around the pack, but with Kara it was different.

His brow furrowed at a sense of nervousness at his mention of her inner circle, and for a moment Jace wondered if his question put her off for some reason. He'd been away with the pack for the better part of 4 days so there was ample time for a leadership fallout if that's what the growing unease was indicating. He cocked his head to the side when she gave her answer. Yes but not really? What the fuck did that mean? Before he could ask she dove right in with something that sounded altogether more serious than he was ready to deal with and Jace felt a sense of dread begin to form in the pit of his stomach. Kara wanted to tell him something, something she seemed sure would have him react in a certain way.... And then she pulled away from him.

Kara's actions clearly spoke of her nervousness about the topic she was about to broach so Jace did his best to show that he was at ease with the situation even if he really wasn't. If he could project a sense of calm maybe that would ease the tension out of Kara's motions and help her spit out whatever was on her mind. Absently he slipped his hands into his hoodies pouch and let himself fall back against the wall, adopting a slight slouch as he did so.

"Liam...is coming here. Tomorrow. To settle our divorce."

Liam? Who the fuck was Liam? And he was coming tomorrow? Divorce? A frown snaked its way onto Jace's face as he chewed on Kara's words. It took him longer than he would have like to catch on but once he did he felt the beginnings of a low rumbling growl take hold and the feeling that went along with a building rage. Liam. Divorce. Ex-husband. The mother-fucker that had hurt Kara, hit her with some jacked up spell and left her for dead.

Jace took a few minutes to fight off the initial snap he wanted to throw out and ran through a calming exercise that helped in situations like this where he needed to keep his head. He shut his eyes and took in a few deep breaths. After a few minutes of what he was sure was grating silence he opened his eyes and settled a sightly red-tinted gaze on Kara. She wasn't the one that deserved his rage. No, that was reserved for the asshole that had messed her up in the first place.

"Why? He growled out, though Jace tried to keep the harshness out of the question. "That was the jack-ass that hurt you isn't it? Why not just put his head on a spike and be done with it rather than bring an enemy into your home turf?"
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by: Kara Viridian
Silence fell between them, but unlike the other times, her dread was replaced with an anxious anticipation for his response. Would he reprimand her? Would he scold her for trying to handle this on her own? Jace or no Jace, Kara was going to have to deal with facing her soon-to-be ex for their final moment and all the human bollocks surrounding divorce, like the ever-dreaded paperwork. Would he understand? No, it wouldn't be that easy, would it? Oh who was she kidding, it was her and Jace, nothing was going to be that simple. Whatever he would do or say, she hoped it came sooner than later, because the ill-feeling in the pit of her stomach was growing by the second.

His eyes...

There was a flicker of surprise on Kara's face when she saw them change, and she softly gasped. Under the light in her room, though not at full brightness, she didn't miss how they went from their normal dark tint to red. They were frightening at first, but she didn't jump, nor did she have any desire to run away. If anything, it drew her closer to him once more, but the steps she took toward him were still careful. His voice cut the air and it startled Kara slightly, but she found herself reaching toward him instead of backing away. Luckily there was no one present to call her a fool for being drawn to someone like him, whose temperament was compared to that of a ticking timebomb, and even with those red eyes, she wouldn't be scared off.

Even if he didn't take her hand, Kara moved closer to put her hands on his shoulders, squeezing softly before wrapping around his neck again. She wondered why she pulled away from him in the first place, but she would be lying if she said she wasn't the least bit scared of his reaction at first. Kara kissed him softly if she let him, one that she hoped would reassure him, before pulling back. She gestured toward the balcony, so he could join her out there, a nice private area where they could share the view and have a breath of fresh air in case he felt stifled or bombarded by this news.

Kara moved to stand by the rail, hoping he would join her, but she gestured at a seat on the small cushioned bench if he felt that he needed it. Regardless of where he ended up, she would stay by him, facing him, looking at him right in the eyes. "As appealing as that may sound," Kara just lightly smiled at his rather Jace sort of response, she decided to take it in stride as opposed to being offended, "this is what I have to do. I've spent time in Azkaban, remember? I'm not going back in for murder." Kara took the more humorous route first to try and lighten the air that was weighing so heavily over both of them like a stormcloud, black, ominous, and filled with a storm of chaos. No matter his reaction, Kara would reach for his hand and squeeze it with confidence, reassurance too, to let him know she knew this was the right choice.

"Like it or not, darling, I'm human, and this is our way. Not that it matters to you, but I plan on leaving most all of my London properties to him, and letting him go on his way--I don't want anything to do with him. This is my home now." that was her way of saying she had fully made her decision. She knew she wanted him, and only him, and was so close to finalizing all steps to just move on. Whatever life Liam wanted to lead now, he could do so far away from her. Jaleth told her she was letting him off easy, not pressing charges for the abuse and the curse, but she just wanted him gone and out of sight. "Please don't be upset with me."

She could feel that this made him uneasy, even without the red eyes and the harsh undertones of his bark. Kara's heart must have been racing now, filled with worry of how he would handle hearing what she had said so far.
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by: Jace Bryden
Jace felt a small flicker of sympathy when a look of surprise flitted across Kara's face, though once he realized what was the cause of said surprise, he felt his control slip slightly. Eyes, it had the be his god damn eye color. Fucking rage and its fucking give away. He expected her to tell him to get out. Expected a wave of fear, dread, unease, a desire to run. What he got was something completely different. Anxiety? Laced with anticipation?

He pressed himself back against the wall, a coiled spring of tension, when Kara did the exact opposite of what any sane person would have done when he was in a mood. If he was being honest with himself it was unnerving. She was taking a huge risk by approaching and quite frankly, Jace didn't know what to do about it. Words weren't forming, the low hum of a growl was intensifying, and yet she still approached, hand outstretched and looking for his. Still, Jace didn't pull his hands from his hoodie for fear of lashing out... but then her hands were on his shoulders and a comforting squeeze was given.

Jace looked at Kara, a mixture of confusion, dread, and awe visible in his gaze if she was looking for it... And then her arms carefully wrapped themselves around his neck in a comforting embrace. As if pulled by some magnetic force, his hands slipped from the hoodies pouch and returned the gesture, wrapping around her lower back and torso. Jace took a deep breath and let his eyes slip shut and the general feeling of calm he felt around Kara was over him, tempering the rage he currently felt. Then her lips were on his and he found himself returning the kiss, a soft whine let out when she pulled back. The alpha opened his eyes, now closer to his original coloring than the red or earlier, and sought out the blue-green in front of him.

At her motion to join her out on the balcony, Jace followed and casually leaned up against the railing beside her, arms crossed slightly so he could prop himself up as he looked out over the compound. It was quiet for sometime before Kara spoke again with humor tainted words. Jace gave an amused snort and found a slight smirk tugging at the corners of his mouth, though he had to bite back the response that wanted to accompany it... the little voice that was his humanity was telling him that bringing up the fact that it was only murder if you got caught wasn't going to help anyone.

When she reached for his hand he shifted his position slightly so he could take it, using the touch as an anchoring point in the sea of rage that desperately wanted to lash out at her, tell her how stupid she was being. But what she was doing wasn't stupid was it? At least not by her races standard... Jace broke eye contact with her in favor of looking down.

"Heh... your way... You know I don't think I'll ever understand it. You let someone like that hurt you, yet you let them live, you give them a chance to come back and fucking hurt you again...." Maybe it was a jaded opinion considering all he had to base that comment on was his own life experience, which by no means was what anyone could consider normal.

At Kara's comment about not being mad at her, his head snapped up and he sought out her blue-green orbs yet again. He wasn't mad at her. Well ok, maybe he was since he honestly did think what she was doing was stupid, but it wasn't mad mad, and it was clear Kara was trying to move on. It also wasn't lost on the older man that she'd taken a chance to be honest with him. She didn't have to tell him anything about this yet she did. That had to count for something right?

"Look I'm not- I"m not mad at you, not really... "
Last edited by Jace Bryden on Tue May 23, 2017 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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by: Kara Viridian
Kara kept her hand in his and gently rubbed the back of his palm with her thumb. She grinned when he started saying he wouldn't ever understand human customs, but that smile somewhat faded when he brought up a good point, one similar to the opinion of her best friend and adviser, Jaleth. Only he colorfully worded it, as Jace tended to do, but it had a particular impact in the way he had said it. Would Liam try to seek her out to hurt her again?

Kill her, even?

She looked down too, her blue-green eyes focusing on their hands locked with one another, to give her some comfort. It was so lovely, the way her hand fit perfectly in his, and she took a beat to admire that. Then She thought about how she fit in his arms when they lie together... and how she would rather be cuddling against him without worrying about the following day--or kissing him--or...

Unfortunately, Kara would have to leap over this obstacle before getting near any of that dream. Overcoming the tension, the anxiety and a bit of fear in handling the situation was going to be tough. She half-expected him to take off when she told him about Liam, but he stayed. He was with her, and right now that's all that mattered to her.

"Not really?" Kara forced a chuckle, finally breaking her daze to find his dark eyes again. The red was still there, flecks of hazel and amber mixed with the red hue, but she assumed that it was attached to his mood and the tension therein. Wow, she thought, mesmerized by the sight of it, as she had never witnessed anything quite like that. Granted, it was only a piece of the puzzle, a fraction of the change that he would go through in a garou transformation, and the most human of it all, she assumed, but still quite amazing. There was so much left to learn about Jace Bryden, but as she kept telling herself, it would be a dangerous venture...and she felt he was worth the risk.

She shook her head, slightly. "I would like to think I've earned the right to have you be straight with me, Jace." Earned, in a way. They'd become so close, opened up doors to personal quirks and past events or milestones in their lives that she like he could at least trust her or confide in her if he wanted to vent.

Kara leaned against the barrier, but didn't let go of him. "Tell me. Please." she beckoned softly. Kara wanted his honesty, no matter how brutal. If she wanted to know him, to understand him, she would have to deal with that side of him.
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by: Jace Bryden
The forced chuckle wasn't lost on the older man and he knew Kara wasn't buying it. It was a half measure to try and keep the anger and bluntness out of his words but judging by Kara's lack of fear and her calling him out on it, she didn't seem to be worried to badly about what he would say. Then there was the way she currently looked at him. Where there should have been fear there wasn't. When she should have turned to run she didn't... the anxiety was still there, but it wasn't directed at the alpha.

Jace let out a soft sigh and ran his tongue over his teeth as he thought about if he should answer. He was pretty sure that Kara could gauge his overall feelings on the matter so what was she after then? Some sort of confirmation she was doing the right thing? The stupid thing? Did she really truly ant to know what he thought? He words about earning the right to hear it straight cause a rare feeling of guilt to settle over the alpha. Maybe she was right. Jace had never held back before when it come to speaking his mind...

The alpha kept quiet a while longer, running his fingers over the top of Kara's hand as he let his anger settle into something akin to a low simmer. He could be blunt if that was what she wanted, but he could also keep it civil in tone and manner if he focused on keeping control. Focused on Kara and not the asshole that hurt her.

"I think it's stupid. I think you're inviting an unpredictable enemy into your den, an unknown. I think you put the pack- the Order at risk because I assume they don't know what really happened that night or who hurt you that bad. Because they don't know, it puts everything at risk because they don't know an enemy is walking among them and that doesn't even take into account some might know Liam, which makes me wonder that if something did go down how many would have the balls to take him out if needed?"

Jace paused a moment there as he felt his words take on a sharp edge and his rage climb. His grip tightened on her hand slightly and he let out a huff of air before continuing.

"If this meeting had to happen it should have happened on neutral territory where we could have eyes watching for a double cross. Easier to keep it on the down low if that's what you're after."
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by: Kara Viridian
Kara looked down as he gently rubbed the back of her hand. It was such a sweet and tender feel at first, especially as he started speaking. But Kara softly gasped when his hand got tighter around hers, the deeper he got into his thought. She winced slightly but didn't pull her hand away. It was a strange, morbid little test of wills with herself to stay attached to his hand, but she did it.

"Jace, I--" She tried to interrupt him, but he kept on, and she felt the sting of every word as they struck her. "This was my choice! This was my choice..." she faded off as she realized she raised her voice. Kara was squeezing his hand too, almost matching the force in his grasp. "So tell them!" Kara's sea green eyes were locked in his as she stood and spoke with conviction.

"Shadow. Rafe? Jon said they know too because they were there that night. Your pack can know that he's an enemy. Tell them who he is--He's my mistake. My fuck up. Yes, I know. But this place is neutral for me. Th-the bar used to be neutral but I don't have that anymore. This is all I have. I'm bringing him here because everyone is here. Yeah, I know he did this to me--" Kara pointed at the faded mark over her chest with her free hand. "I'll never forget that. Ever. It won't take back what he did and I won't let him get near me like that again. Believe me, if he so much as blinks at me the wrong way then you can kill him, alright? My people will have eyes on him too, and there's plenty of them and one of him. Nothing is going to stop him from coming here because this just--it just needs to happen. To sign the papers, to finalize this so this whole nightmare--everything can just be over. Done." it wasn't really a promise, giving him free reign to open fire at Liam--but with her wizards at her back and the pack on alert, she just hoped Jace would try to be in her corner...

Kara didn't mean to reciprocate what attitude he gave to her. But she asked for it. She wanted him to tell her the truth, and he let her have it. "I-I just wanted to tell you, because..." Kara trailed off. She had vented that without thinking, and Jace was close enough to her now that he offered to listen once, but not as a one-time ticket, or so she assumed. But she wanted to pull that card now. "You said I could talk...and you could listen."

Ugh, she felt pitiful now. Kara didn't want to bring it up, but this was partially why she wanted to see him. Not only to hold him and kiss him, but to let him in on everything, to maybe show him she was trying to make things right, so she could just be happy with him without worrying about outside factors that were keeping them apart.

Wait... Kara blinked.

Was she just playing more aggressive than him? Was Jace trying to keep things level and she was about to lose it over this? Kara let that stew for a second as she let the quiet air settle. She wanted to apologize, but she didn't. He didn't like that...Apologies. She'd done it so much in front of him, for things that weren't even her fault, so she didn't do it now.

Kara looked down, and took another deep breath.

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by: Jace Bryden
"This was my choice!"

The conviction in her voice was clear and the way she barked back had him shrinking down slightly at the push back. Kara was matching his aggressive tone and she was making it clear that she was the one making the decision for herself, not anyone else. It was something Jace could appreciate and see the beauty in. He'd half expected her to roll over and shirk away when he done as she asked and laid out his thoughts on the matter, but again he got the opposite. It was as if that smoldering fire she tried to keep buried was just itching for the opportunity to get out...

He listened intently to her as she set out her reasons for doing what she was going to do and why she'd chosen here of all places to carry it out. As much as he hated the idea, Jace made the attempt to see things from Kara's point of view. In her mind, this was a safe place where her pack could move and act if needed, could protect her if things went south... He didn't miss the small carrot that was dropped about killing the asshole if he even remotely did anything that could be deemed as threatening thought it did nothing to set the alpha at ease. Kara was still inviting an enemy into the den and then letting him walk away. His thoughts circled back to Kara's initial response. It was her choice, no one else's, and she was standing up for herself and her decision. That he could respect even if he didn't like it. Jace took a few beats to chew over what she'd said, keeping his dark eyes locked with hers as he tried to get a good read on her and her motivation for doing this.

"You said I could talk... and you could listen."

It took a moment to sort out what she'd just said and once he did, Jace let out a small laugh and shook his head before breaking eye contact. A soft, almost tension relieving sigh followed and he let go of her hand in favor of running his hands through his hair before crossing his wrists in front of himself so they could hang over the rail. HIs back arched slightly as he shifted into a more comfortable position to resume a casual looking lean on the rail.

"Guess I did, didn't I?" He turned his head so he could look at her once again. "Might not look like it but I am listening... So you got a plan? Or do you want me- the pack around?"
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by: Kara Viridian
As much as she didn’t want to, Kara relaxed her grip and let him slip away. He didn’t move far, however, as she watched him turn to lean along the waist-high railing, but the distance was enough to make her shoulders sink a bit. Kara’s expression was somewhere between confused and upset, but she didn’t say anything when he took post solo, away from her, when all she wanted was to be held. Jace might have turned to look at her but she stood off to the side, about a foot and a half away from him, on her claimed piece of the balustrade. Kara could still see him in her periphery, but she let her green eyes focus on the open space; the sights from her balcony spanned over the training grounds and beyond into the trees, and their little den could be spotted from here too. It was nice out.

And he didn’t just scoff and turn heel on her…that was rather surprising. The old Jace, the one she first met, would have laughed at all of this, then yelled at her for all of this, calling her far worse names than just stupid, paint her with all the colorful Jace-isms, and leave her in the dust with nothing but a half-assed wave and a cackle. Not this time. Of course, circumstances were quite different now. They’d tolerated each other. Understood each other. Slept together—but that wasn’t even one of the major factors for this unusual bond that had formed between them. They just…worked well together.

“You know I always want you around,” Kara felt a smile tug at her lips as she said that, looking down to the floor for a brief second before bringing her eyes up again. “For this, though…I’d like you nearby. It’s already going to look suspicious with my father and Jaleth in the room, so I hope you understand.” Keeping up appearances with the general population at the safe house was second in line to prioritizing this to go smoothly and without anyone getting hurt. This offer was her happy medium of knowing he’d be there in a heartbeat if she called for him, and keeping him out of the room if at all possible so he wouldn’t provide a distraction for her. Distraction in more than one way, as she knew she’d have to keep his anger and murderous rage in check from simply being around Liam after he’d harmed her. Somehow Kara assumed Shadow was going to set up shop somewhere close by too, given her distance to the situation. But if Jace had other orders for his beta, Kara wasn’t going to object. They were allies, surely, but it wasn’t their job to protect Kara. Kara was supposed to be able to protect herself, as she was a former auror after all. “Just with everything with Casey and…” Another bomb to drop, or fire to start--but one that would be discussed at another time, perhaps?She exhaled deeply, “With the plans and the Order and this life bollocks—I just want something to go smoothly for me, for once. You know? Is that stupid or vain for me to just need something to not fall to shit? I mean, to get from point A to fucking B it’s a fucking obstacle course, every God damn time.”

Lots of people were in you reap what you sow mode with Kara, most of the onlookers and people outside of the situation, that is. Plenty of what was being said was behind her back, and when she caught wind of it she had to let things roll off her back, because engaging in conversation like that, being the Leader and all, would seem improper and unprofessional. Ugh. They were butting into her life, calling her things, making fun of her jacked up love life, and she would be the bad guy?

(It also wasn’t lost on Kara that she’d cursed multiple times in one breath. Perhaps she had been spending too much time with Jace lately. Not that she was complaining.)

“As far as a plan,” She sighed and shrugged. How awful. She’d never thought she’d have to plan for her own divorce, not like this. Kara needed bodyguards from a loose cannon, the shell of a man she once loved. She needed an audience to witness the separation, to ensure her safety, and to get him the hell away from her as soon it was all over. “He’ll be escorted in, and like I said—Jaleth and my dad will be there, Jon if he can help it, I’m sure, unless he’s tied up in the infirmary. But Liam... I-I know he’s going to want to talk. Apologize if he has any sort of sympathetic bone in his body, but I highly doubt that anymore. I’ll be listening but I won’t hear him, if that makes sense.” Kara huffed, shaking her head slowly. Liam could say his sorries and give a please give me a second chance argument at her, but she would knock that bullshit right out of the park, swatting it away because she would have none of it. None. “I just…don’t care anymore, you know?” It was a partial lie, that she didn’t care. She was just listless, anxious, and uncertain as she’d never done anything like this before in her entire life. Kara fidgeted some, and she bit her lip as she stared down at her hands. It was a beat or two before she spoke again.

“I-I had the papers drawn before we left for Diagon and all of that…all he has to do is sign his bloody name on the bloody papers and just be on with it.” Kara’s heart sank. With his vicious attack on her, Kara thought this would go smoothly. She hoped there would be little in the way of remorse or regret. While she didn’t regret demanding the severance, Kara was more devastated than anything; The man she trusted and loved, someone who vowed to protect her, treated her in such an unforgiveable manner that it led to this? The anguish sat at the bottom of her heart as she stood there in silence, recalling some of the happier memories. Or rather, trying to. Nothing made her happy when it came to Liam. Thinking of him only brought her pain, physically and emotionally and it rendered her a silent statue for a few moments.

She crossed her arms as she fought back the tears. Merlin, Jace had seen enough of those from her in the last couple of weeks to last a lifetime. Counting those and the many times she’d been rendered to sobbing and wailing or thrashing belligerently because life had its way of completely crushing her heart to pieces? Kara was just surprised she had any tears left in her at this moment. She brought one hand to her forehead, covering her eyes, and her words came out, though barely a whisper: “I just want this to be over already.” Between the dread of preparation, the dread of seeing him, and the dread of the outcome…

Kara was already tired.
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by: Jace Bryden
He'd upset her and her expression showed it, and as much as he wanted to tell her some bullshit thing like "It'll be alright" the alpha doubted he could be sincere enough to pull off the sentiment right now. He needed the small amount of space to get his head back in the game so to speak. It also gave him a chance to be the ear that Kara seemed to need right now without all their emotional bullshit getting in the way.

Jace grinned when she reaffirmed that she always wanted him around and then let out an amused snort when she clarified for this thing she only wanted him nearby. Fine. He could do that. Hell, if he found a quite place somewhere in the building and sounds of distress would be easily picked up by his keen hearing. Jace nodded in agreement. "It'll be hard but I think I can handle nearby." There was a playful lit to the words and the smile widened slightly as he reached up to scratch an imaginary itch on the back of his neck. Was he thrilled that he was being sidelined for this? No, but he go piece together why he was being asked to sit this one out.

The mention of Casey had a brow raising slightly, a look of curiosity and concern flitting across his face before his expression settled back into something close to neutral. He could ask about it later. Right now Kara seemed to be venting and Jace didn't want to interrupt her train of thought. Honestly the alpha could relate to what she was getting at probably more than anyone here. Nothing in his life had ever gone smoothly, or to plan. Obstacle course was a damn fine descriptor along with the bit of cussing she was throwing out. It was highly amusing to the garou. Maybe Kara had been spending to much time around him and the pack. It was hard to stifle the laugh, but he did. Now was not the time for that and he could rib her about it later.

The more Kara let out the more down she seemed to get, almost as if she was just tired of everything. Jace watch as her body betrayed her mood and her real feelings about this whole Liam bullshit. Fidgeting. A long pause punctuated by the biting of her lip. Tiredness. Sadness. Hurt. The crossed arms sealed the deal for the alpha and he pushed himself off the railing and moved to Kara as her hand came up to cover her eyes, though his nose picked up on the salty scent that indicated tears.

"It'll be over soon enough sweetheart," he stated as he placed one hand on her waist while the other reached up to coax her hand down that was covering her eyes. "Kara look at me. Life has dealt you a shit hand right now, but that doesn't mean things won't get better. You aren't the weak person everyone seems to think you are. I see a strong, intelligent, beautiful woman in front of me, an alpha in her own right, who's going to own it tomorrow. You walk in there tall and you tell that prick to sign whatever needs signing and then get the fuck out. because you don't need him. You're better than him and I wager a hell of a lot tougher, and to be honest probably scarier."

Jace let out a chuckle at that as he thought back to when Kara had nuked the table in the mess hall. Oh yes, there was a fire there. A little love and care and the ember that had sparked that day would turn into something stronger. He pulled her into a loose embrace if she let him, quite content to just hold her.
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by: Kara Viridian
She felt her back arch slightly, a gasp that was half startled half tickled by the gentle touch, when he placed his hand on her hip. Instead of stiffening up, she followed his guidance and turned to face him. Her shoulders were still slouched and her demeanor seemed defeated, but Kara at least faced him when he spoke to her. Using her favored term of endearment always made her smile but this one wasn't quite filled with the happiness normally seen in her face. It was thin, accompanied by sad eyes too. But when he said to look at him, she did so with those eyes glistening with an evergreen sorrow.

He proceeded to flatter her, encourage her too, showering her with compliments on everything that she'd felt so self-conscious about. Did he really feel that way about her? He found her strong, beautiful and intelligent? The term that stuck with her, however, was Alpha. It meant he truly acknowledged her as one, which meant the world to her. Oh, my they had come such a long way, and Kara was floored with how things ended up with them, a relationship that stemmed from a mutual loathing and aggravation to tolerance and now it was something...wonderful. "Thank you, darling..." Kara said, relieved to know he was going to work with her on said plan instead of against her. She blushed slightly, the smile blossoming some and she further nodded as he empowered her, gave her the hope and strength to power through the stressful meeting that was going to be the next step to moving towards her happiness.

"Scarier?" She snickered, "I dunno about all that. But if you say so..."The butterflies returned, fluttering like mad in her stomach... She didn't feel very menacing, especially not in the state she was in now, but his chuckle warmed her and she just shook her head with a laugh of her own.

Kara let herself melt into Jace as he pulled her closer. She took in his scent and felt the blanket of relief as he held her. This was what she wanted and needed this whole time and it was amazing. Kara buried her head in his neck again and held on to him, hoping he wouldn't let go, at least not for a while. She even offered a gentle peck over his exposed skin, and she felt the scruff of his beard on her lips and she gave a contented sigh.

"I missed you..." the words escaped before she could stop them. Was it too soon to say all of that? She didn't want to scare him away by being so human in a sense that she'd become so damn clingy or needy. Kara just couldn't help it. He evoked so many unusual things from her, like a desire to simply be beside him or to be held as she was now. There was more to add, like how she hadn't had a chance to talk to him after the Regime attacks before his shift--but she waited to respond, in worry of what would become of her hasty comment, about missing him. But he had to know, or sense her sincerity, as she was not lying.

Every night he was gone, she worried about him, and having him back made her feel so much better.
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