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by: Alasdair Bennett
15 May
8:32 pm

There were many things that Alasdair both loved and hated about his home. He loved the fact that it was safe from slavers, the curiosity of the natural lighting streaming from the giant mushrooms, the way the entire operation functioned under the idea of working towards a goal for the betterment of the people. The means justifying the end in a sense. A goal he had believed in and supported when Jake was here. But now Jake was dead and Ced was... who the hell knew, he certainly didn’t despite what some people believed. And Alasdair was just… here. And he hated that. The City of Shadows had been his home for so long now but suddenly the family he had come to find there was gone again. With Cedric being the one at fault for Jake’s death even. No, not at fault. His murderer if the rumors were to be believed. It didn’t make any sense. The two men had been such good friends, had saved Alasdair’s life and taken him under their wings. In return he loved the elder man and Garou like brothers. Just nothing he had been hearing made any sense.

So as was natural for the young man he had taken the news by locking himself in his study with only the comfort of his books and thoughts. The longer Alasdair had stayed locked in his room the less conclusions he had come to and the more questions he had. Why would Cedric suddenly turn on Jake? Who took over now? It clearly wasn’t a power grab on Ced’s part with him disappearing. Hell even his phones were dead; all of them. Should Alasdair even stay? Would it be safe with his ties to Jake and Ced? His work wasn’t done but would the new leader allow him to continue? Things just were starting to feel… weird. One of the few orders of business would have to be going top-side and seeing if he could track down Ced. Maybe he could explain. If he couldn’t… Well it wouldn’t be the first or last fight Alasdair had ever gotten in. At least it might give him some answers even if they weren’t ones he necessarily wanted.

So after a week, Alasdair had finally extracted himself from books enough for necessary self-care that he had seriously neglected. Dressing in clean clothes he opted for something nicer; a clean white shirt and a jacket over black jeans. After all, this would be his time to mourn and remember his brother. It looked like he would be adding another date to his wrist. He double checked his reflection, combing his fingers through his hair trying to the tame the dark locks before giving up and heading outside. Wand tucked in his jacket pocket, Alasdair was thankful that the temperament of the city itself hadn’t seemed to shift too much with their leader’s death. The whispers were louder and more persistent but nothing too drastic or dangerous from what he could sense.

He let his mind wander as his legs took him the familiar route to the one bar he actually had come to frequent over the years. It was a little hole-in-the-wall shop that had been opened by another fugitive from the wizarding world. The man, Denis, had fallen in love with a Muggle and married his sweetheart right before the take over; they had fled to the City of Shadows before any ill-will could befall them. An easy smile graced Alasdair’s face with the thought. It was people like the Webbers, who now had two beautiful children, that had motivated his work in the Syndicate. Forced him to think very hard about whether the new leader would be good and continue the work he was supporting or if he should flee again. He glanced up at the stone building with a small sigh before heading inside and quickly took a seat at the bar.

”Two firewhiskeys please. Neat,” Alasdair ordered politely.

He shot the one, cringing at the burn. He didn’t much care for the liquor but it had been Jake’s favorite so it would be his drink for the night. A quiet celebration and remembrance of the man. A contemplation of Cedric, the perceived betrayer. And one of the lonelier nights he had had in a long time. He leaned against the counter with a slight smile as he lost himself in his thoughts again.
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by: Everett Cooper
If there was one thing Everett hated in this wide, wide world, just absolutely HATED, it was formality. Unfortunately for Everett the last two weeks had been full to bursting with the nonsense. He had moved into the Nosferatu quarter of the City of Shadows on the first of the month and had spent almost all of the ensuing time being formally introduced to the rest of the Nightshade clan, as well as the other Nosferatu he would be working and living with. Stuffy meetings for tea with the elders, with his host family, with the metalsmiths he would be working under… UGH. At least yesterday he had finally gotten to work down in the forge, even if it was just covering the basics of how to work the fire, tend the forge itself, and things like that. It at least meant he got to wear jeans and get his hands dirty.

The metalsmith he was being apprenticed to, Master Cyprian, was kind and patient with his new student and Everett thought he would get along well with the older vampire. In fact, it was thanks to Cyprian that Ev had been given the night to relax and explore the City. When the Nos had heard that his new apprentice hadn’t even fully settled into his home or had a chance to walk around the city yet, he had insisted on picking up with the lessons in a couple nights and had unceremoniously shooed Everett out of the forge with a smile.

Ev had been wandering the City for about an hour now and was beginning to wonder if there were any places to sit down and have a drink when he turned a corner and stumbled on a little hole in the wall with a sign over the door that proclaimed it to be ‘The Peaceful Pint’. He smiled at the name and thought it sounded like a promising start to his first night off. As he entered the small stone building he looked around, his smile growing at the quaint little mom-and-pop place. Even though the decor was much different and the ambient voices with their respective accents were still odd to his ears, the little place reminded him of his favorite dive bar back in New Orleans and made him feel right at home. And there was a familiar face here too, he realized as his blue-gold gaze fell on Alasdair.

“Now here’s a sight for sore eyes,” he drawled with a friendly smile as he sidled up to the bar next to the wizard. He ordered himself a glass of bourbon and leaned casually against the bartop. “Mr Bennett, right? I wondered if I’d ever get to run into you again. D’you mind if I join ya or are you content to drink alone tonight?” Ev asked politely.
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by: Alasdair Bennett
Jumping from his thoughts, Alasdair looked up at the intruder in confusion with a slight frown. ”I...Uh… No. No, that’s fine,” he blinked a few times at the man his displeasure turning into surprise. It took a few moments for Alasdair’s brain to come out of dredging in memories of Jake and Ced before he could recognize the vampire. Not some random man trying to hit on him for attention or being overly familiar in a creepy way but rather someone who actually knew his name. That was a change considering how much of a ghost Alasdair normally was around people. Eh...Eh-something. Shit. What was his name though? At least the wizard remembered those eyes; it was hard to forget those gold flecked baby blues. Or the handsome face and easy smile. Dammit.

Turning his eyes up slowly to the taller man, the mahogany color shifted into a bright pink instead. ”I’m sorry. It’s been a long week. I cannot for the life of me remember your name,” he admitted shyly, ”First round is on me to make up for it?”

Perhaps this was a little bit of fate intervening again by sending Alasdair someone along on this night. Especially to a bar that was hard to find even by the people who frequented it. At least he wouldn’t spend the night getting completely wasted alone. Not that the vampire really needed to know the sob story that was Alasdair’s life right now. But still it was nice not having to be alone even though that had been the intention.
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by: Everett Cooper
The vampire chuckled warmly at the stammering reply from the wizard; it was kinda cute. “Didn’t mean to derail your train of thought like that,” Ev apologized easily and extended his hand to the younger man for a handshake. “No worries, darlin’. Don’t expect you to remember me after a month’s gone by,” he drawled with that same warm, easy smile. “Everett Darkwater. And y’all don’t have to buy me a round for that; no harm done.”

He sipped his bourbon with a contented sigh of appreciation, his eyes flicking down to the delightful amber liquid. The blue-gold orbs raised back to meet Alasdair’s just in time to see the warm mahogany color change to a bright pink. Everett blinked in confusion momentarily before an almost childish expression of delight split his scarred face in a grin. “Not to be rude or nuthin’... but how the hell did you do that?” he asked excitedly.

Maybe it was a wizard thing? Could they all do that or was it just this one? Did it hurt? Would they change back?! Magic was still entirely new and completely foreign to Everett, but he didn’t want to overwhelm the shy man with a barrage of probably simple questions right off the bat either. Oh. What if commenting on the change was rude? Damn. That hadn’t been his intention at all. It was just so surprising and new…

“M’sorry. That wasn’t rude, was it? You, uh… just caught me off guard with the eyes, that’s all, and it’s real fascinatin’ to me, ya see. Not a lot of experience with magic… and, um… I’m ramblin’, aren’t I?” Ev trailed off before he really started to ramble, his cheeks blushing a faint hint of pink in embarrassment.
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by: Alasdair Bennett
Right, it was Everett. Lovely name if a bit strange. Not that he had much room to talk himself. And a Darkwater. That was a more southern clan in the colonies if he recalled correctly. Which tagged the bigger man’s accent perfectly. Honestly, except for Everett’s tendency to hesitate to breathe when he was talking or more focused on something, Alasdair would have thought he was just a Nos. Especially with his manners and the way he carried himself. But either way it didn’t change the fact that forgetting the man’s name was rude.

Alasdair went to insist on buying the drinks but froze at the sudden questions. What in the world? He was so excited and asking about how he had done what? What was Everett even rambling about and now thinking he was being rude? Staring at him, his eyes drained back to their natural brown color without notice as he blinked a few times finally about to catch up with what Everett was asking.

Oh, he must have been a Muggle before his transformation. That was actually very surprising. Or perhaps he had been a vampire much longer than he had pegged him as since apprentices typically started fairly young in their new life. Either way, Alasdair couldn’t help but smile at the vampire’s flustered behavior. He was rather sweet worrying over his feelings about his questions and the way he stumbled over himself. But if he was a Muggleborn than Everett would barely know magic let alone Alasdair’s special circumstance. Everett’s childlike curiosity and joy was enticing him to indulge the other.

”It’s okay Mister Darkwater,” he said smiling at him with that same endeared amusement, "I don't find curiosity rude at all. I am a researcher after all." He leaned on the counter, head resting in his palm as he looked up at his scarred face. ”Though it is a bit harder to explain. I’m pretty strange even for the magical world. I’m something called a metamorphmagus,” Alasdair grinned.
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by: Everett Cooper
Oh no. He looked confused and he seemed to be frozen and was staring at him blankly. Shit… had he done something that dumb? He hadn’t meant to offend the wizard! But his eyes changed color outta nowhere! It was just cool and then he opened his big fat mouth and-

Oh. He wasn’t upset. And his eyes changed color again! Holy shit! That same warm, puppy dog-esque grin split the vampire’s scarred face again when Alasdair smiled back at him. Even as excited as he was about the strange trick with the wizard’s eyes, Everett couldn’t help but notice how adorable Alasdair’s smile was although his attention was drawn almost immediately back to their conversation when Alasdair spoke again.

“Oh please, Mister Darkwater is my father,” he joked easily, resorting to the tried and true line with a snicker. “I’m Everett, or just Ev.” He sipped his drink again and beamed at the reassurance that he hadn’t offended his magical drinking buddy. “Oh, good. Cuz that was awesome!” he laughed in almost childlike delight. On anyone else the childish exuberance and curiosity would’ve seemed like an act, but on Everett it seemed like genuine warmth and delight. Maybe it was the accent.

“Metamorphmagus? That’s Latin, or Latin-based at least. Let’s see… something like, ‘changing mage’? OH! You’re a shapeshifter! Right?”
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by: Alasdair Bennett
Cute, funny, and smart. Well wasn't that a treat. ”You know Latin,” he commented delighted by the turn of events. Normally Alasdair wasn’t about showing off his talents but then not too many people noticed his eyes tended to change with his emotions. A bad habit left over from his school days when he had less control over his abilities. But then not everyone could be completely perfect even with their natural born abilities all the time. That had been a hard lesson for Alasdair to learn when he was younger, now it was easier to accept when someone pointed it out.

Another smile broke over his face at Everett, ”Yes I’m a shapeshifter in simpler terms,” he chuckled at the wonderment that hadn’t left the vampire’s tone, ”No one really knows what causes it, you’re either born one or not. And it seems to only present in witches and wizards from the research that I have been able to find.” Alasdair stopped short as he started to ramble about his research; he doubted Everett would honestly care about any of the research he was doing. He’d probably just bore him to death with his rambling.

Finishing his drink with another cringe at the awful burning taste, Alasdair ordered another round for himself and a refill for Ev as well. ”Now if it’s not rude of me I’m curious where you’re from. I’ve never heard an accent like yours before,” he commented, ”With the hardness of your vowels though I would guess somewhere in the colonies?”
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by: Everett Cooper
A shapeshifter?! HA, he had been right! A real life shapeshifter! In his excitement and wonder, Everett almost missed Alasdair’s explanation of his abilities. He pulled himself together quickly and listened attentively, his drink forgotten in his off-hand for the moment as he nearly stared at the wizard. “That sounds… well, I’d say like a fantasy novel, but shit, I’m a goddamn vampire!” he laughed, giving his companion a wry grin. “So it’s an ability that any witch or wizard can be born with,” he mused thoughtfully. “It has to be a recessive gene or something though, otherwise y’all’d be all over the place, giving people heart attacks left and right with changing colors and whatnot.” Ev chuckled again and held back his questions about the younger man’s research when Alasdair changed the subject to ask about him instead. He made a mental note to ask the wizard about his findings later and took a sip of his drink before answering the questions about himself.

“No, not rude at all! Yessir,” the vampire drawled with a smile. “I was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, but I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the Big Easy too. I might be Georgia-born, but my heart’s definitely in N’awlins,” he chuckled, taking another pull of his bourbon. “You ever been to the States, Alasdair? It ain’t perfect, but it’s home,” Ev added, a touch of wistfulness in his deep voice.
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by: Alasdair Bennett
Alasdair laughed deeply at Ev’s delighted reaction. Oh that felt nice despite, or rather in spite, of the somber day. ”I have a thought that it is a genetic mutation of an autosomal gene actually. It’s the only thing that the explains the rarity when so many witches and wizards are obsessed with lineage,” he explained, brown eyes sparkling with intelligence. He calmed and tilted his head as he listened to the American explain his upbringing.

”So you’re just a typical good Southern boy,” he teased him with an easy smile, ”Unfortunately no. Never made it to that side of the pond.” He looked back at the bar thoughtfully. He had always wanted to travel more after school. Just never had gotten a chance and with the turn the government had taken it would be unlikely that Alasdair would have the freedom to venture to any other countries in the coming future. At least not if he wanted to remain in Britain. But that was one of the complications of being a fugitive and who he worked for. Well, had worked for…

A bout of sadness and heartache left his chest hallowed and tears prickling in his eyes again. He shot back the firewhiskey quickly to cover the shift in his emotions despite the blue veins of color that cracked through the mahogany of his irises. All the Syndicate was going to change and Alasdair wasn’t even sure who was taking over Jake’s spot, especially with Ced gone too. This entire situation was so fucked. He swallowed a bit then focused back on Ev pushing away his sudden distraction, ”Ah, sorry about that,” he said embarrassed, ”So New Orleans? What’s it like? I have a very, very little knowledge about the Americas especially Muggle culture which I’m assuming you were before from your surprise to me.” He smiled at the older man then brightly, relaxing back from the sadness that was still eating in his chest.
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by: Everett Cooper
Oh that laugh. It was adorable, and the way his eyes sparkled with mirth when he did it… Mm-mmm. Cute as hell on top of being damn intelligent to boot? Yeah, Mr Bennett was definitely catching Everett’s eye in more ways than one tonight.

Ev subtly inhaled the younger man’s scent when he took another sip of his bourbon, blue-gold eyes appraising Alasdair while he talked. The telltale musty smell of books, parchment, and ink predominated the wizard’s scent with undertones of freshness and florals, a pleasant and comforting smell to the vampire. It almost reminded him of his father’s study back in New Orleans, when Max would throw the double doors open to let in the fresh air off the Gulf that carried the gentle smells of wisteria, magnolias, and ivy from the gardens, mixing with the smell of books, scrolls, and paper. Ev sighed softly, distracted for a moment by homesickness until a sharp tang of sadness and the clean scent of tears tore his attention back to Alasdair in concern. The vampire gently reached over and placed his rough calloused hand over the wizard’s and squeezed it reassuringly, offering Alasdair a gentle smile when he apologized for getting distracted.

“No, don’t apologize for havin’ feelings, darlin’,” the SEAL soothed, his thumb stroking over the back of Alasdair’s hand softly. “Nuthin’ wrong with being sad and lettin’ it out. Healthy part of grieving.” And now that he thought about it, that’s probably what Alasdair was here doing, wasn’t it? If he recalled from their first meeting, the wizard researcher was rather close to the former Syndicate leaders and, well… everyone knew how that had turned out, didn’t they? When Alasdair tried to put on a brave face and push away his sadness, Ev smiled and squeezed his hand again before pulling back to pick up his own drink once more. If he didn’t wanna talk about it, then Ev would respect that.

“S’alright, darlin’,” the vampire assured him again. “What’s NOLA like?” He blew out a breath of air as he mulled that over. “That’s like askin’ someone to describe the Mona Lisa’s smile,” he chuckled, his eyes sparkling with warmth at the topic. “It’s the jewel of the Mississippi. The French Quarter arranged neatly along the north side of the river with the rest of the city sprawlin’ out around it, although officially people’ll tell ya that the Business District is the centerpoint of the city. Geographically that might be true, but the heart of he Big Easy is the French Quarter,” he said wistfully. “The old French and Spanish buildings… music just driftin’ on the wind… I can’t do it justice,” Ev said, shaking his head a bit with that same crooked smile.
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by: Alasdair Bennett
He felt like an ass. They were having such a nice conversation and he was blubbering suddenly. Why did the grief Alasdair had been struggling to deal with for weeks now have to punch him in the gut again? Miss you brother… The thought passed with a flit of despair and his eyes watered again. Jake would have wanted him to not be doing this. Not drinking his sorrows and wallowing like a rotten drunkard. Grieving, yes. But the falling into despair, no. Especially in front of Everett, a sudden friend, who was doing a great job of keeping his mind occupied beyond the despair that was trying to overtake him again. He had to remember that it was okay to still grieve and be confused, even angry, with everything that had happened. Just like the American had said. And that was enough for now. The brunette took a slow breath finally managing to ease back the pain.

The roughness of his palm and coolness of Ev’s hand against his overheated skin brought his attention to the touch and caused Alasdair’s heart to stuttered in surprise. He didn’t pull away grateful for the brief comfort and trying not to look more into the gesture. Brown eyes looked up to meet blue-gold and a soft smile fell into place in gratitude. He wrapped his pointer finger around Ev’s finger, giving it a squeeze in return. ”Thank you,” he said softly giving him the same relaxed smile now that dark feelings had faded back more. He finished his last drink with a sigh. He looked up at the bartender when their contact broke, ”Water and a tea please,” he finally decided.

Slugging back the water to quell the firewhiskey sloshing his stomach, the wizard took his time with his tea then. He became more engrossed in Ev’s passion as he described his home with a vigor Alasdair wasn’t really used to. It was truly delightful. Especially with the way Ev’s eyes lit up in memory and that smile lighting up the area around him. It wasn’t a perfect smile, crooked in one corner. The cracked lightning scar in his upper lip disfigured the blush-color with a streak of white in the most amazing away. On anyone else the mouth would have been a sneer but Ev wore it as an additional smirk that only added to the charm of his accent and playfully cock-eyed smile. Alasdair realized, with some embarrassment, that he was staring at his mouth and finally brought his eyes up to meet the vampire’s.

If he had hoped to find any semblance of focus there, it was quickly lost to those crystal eyes. They were too light to be lapis lazuli but had the flecks of goldstone. More crystal like glass dyed with ink and gold leaf. Maybe he was drunker than he initially thought. He usually didn’t get this distracted. Though, in his own defense, Alasdair also usually wasn’t face to face with a gorgeous man on a daily basis when he was already emotionally compromised. It was a strange night. At least that’s what Alasdair was going to claim as a defense to himself since his surroundings were still clear and brain unfogged from the alcohol he’d consumed. Or perhaps it was just Everett’s passion and tone that had him so dizzied up; his voice was smooth enough to be as potent as the bourbon in the vampire’s hand with the drawl and fullness of it.

Another smile tugged onto Alasdair’s lips as Ev finished his description, ”No. I would say you did it perfect justice. It sounds truly amazing. You must miss it compared to being down here.”
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by: Everett Cooper
It seemed his waxing poetic about his home city had helped ease the wizard’s mind a bit, Ev was glad to see. Or smell, rather. The acrid tang of grief receded almost as quickly as it had threatened to overwhelm Alasdair and the smaller man seemed to breathe a little easier, making Everett relax a bit as well. When his companion’s heart stuttered and those big mahogany eyes locked onto his own blue-gold ones, Ev smiled gently down at the wizard, struck by the brightness and intelligence in Alasdair’s dark gaze. Damn he was cute…

“My pleasure, darlin’,” he drawled softly, his smile growing when Alasdair entwined their fingers. He pushed aside the slight feeling of loss when he broke the contact to pick up his bourbon again, taken aback by his own reaction for a moment. ‘Easy tiger,’ he chided himself. ‘Don’t go getting attached already, ya barely know the guy. He’s probably straight and you’re gonna ruin your chances at being friends.’ When Alasdair ordered himself a glass of water and some tea Ev wondered if his company was going to bail on him soon.

“You callin’ it a night already, Alasdair?” he asked over the rim of his bourbon glass. “And here I’d hoped to get to know you a little better tonight,” Ev added, mentally kicking himself for the unintentional flirt. ‘Good job, dipshit…’ Luckily, Alasdair gave him a reason to redirect the conversation with his comment about missing NOLA.

“Yeah, I do miss home,” the vampire admitted with a wistful smile. “The City is impressive and all, and London’s great too, but it’s just not home. Miss dad too.”
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by: Alasdair Bennett
Alasdair tilted his head a bit, ”Yeah. It is hard to stay somewhere that doesn’t feel like home anymore.” Because that’s what he was struggling with now. His brothers were gone so what was keeping him in the City beyond his research? Who even knew if the next leader would even back what he was trying to do up? There was too much uncertainty for the wizard’s liking. Turmoil and new leadership could very well bring an end to everything he built and knew down in the City. He shook his head with another sigh. His mind was wandering again, which was rude for one, but considering his companion it may have appeared a bit more normal than the few moments he had been staring at the vampire before.

A brow lifted as his brain finally computed Everett’s other question and he wasn’t entirely sure what he had meant until Alasdair realized his drinks. ”Oh! Oh, no I’m not. I’m just a lightweight and would rather keep having intelligent conversation instead of making a drunken ass out of myself. At least tonight,” he grinned, ”You have to hang out with me at least a handful of times before you get to deal with me drunk.” The wizard wasn't entirely sure if that was a flirt or invitation on his part. Maybe it was both. Maybe he should calm the hell down when he wasn’t even sure Everett was into men. Though a good portion of Nos and their offspring didn’t tend to stick to any one attraction it was still rude to assume, he scolded himself quietly.

Leaning against the counter, Alasdair blew the steam from his tea then sipped it briefly before turning his gaze back to the elder man. ”You wanna get to know me some? Okay. What do you wanna know?” he asked curiously.
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by: Everett Cooper
If the emotional rollercoaster that suffused the wizard’s scent every few minutes was any indication, Alasdair was having a rough night indeed. First it had been grief and sorrow, then enjoyment and maybe even some attraction and embarrassment, and now they had come full circle back to grief and anxiety. Poor guy. While Alasdair’s mind seemed to wander into grief again, the vampire gently reached over to squeeze his hand once more with a reassuring smile, just trying to quietly let the smaller man know that he understood and that he wasn’t alone. Again, however, the episode seemed to pass quickly and the wizard was smiling and- was that a little flirting too?

“A light-weight? Son, you’re drinkin’ the wrong stuff if you’re a cheap drunk,” he chuckled, eyes glinting with his teasing. “I can smell the alcohol content in that whiskey from way over here! And who the hell knows what weird stuff y’all magic types do to your drinks…” He tsked and smirked playfully, shaking his head in a good-natured jab. He supposed the quip was a bit ironic considering he wasn’t just the mundane soldier boy he used to be anymore, but that was beside the point; the joke was still funny, dammit.

“And really now? Why, Mr Bennett, I’d be ever-so-delighted to spend some more time with you!” he simpered in his best Scarlett O’Hara impression, fanning himself dramatically. The wizard probably wouldn’t get the movie joke, but oh well; not every joke was for the recipient, sometimes it was just for yourself. He let out a peal of laughter at his own antics, his deep bass a warm and comforting tone. “Hmm… what d’you think I should know about you, darlin’?” he countered, a cheeky smirk quirking the scarred side of his mouth up enticingly.
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by: Alasdair Bennett
”It was Jake’s favorite.”

It was a simple statement. With more meaning than he intended. No. The night had changed. It wasn’t about grief anymore but about moving forward. With a new friend even. He smiled at Everett again as the mood passed more easily this time. He looked up at Ev’s tease and wrinkled his nose, ”Us magic types huh?” he grinned, ”Compared to you only vaguely magical types?” Oh that had sounded bad hadn’t it? He grimaced at his own blunder. Luckily the vampire changed the subject with a strange but endearing flourish.

The bright sunflower yellows of happiness cracked through his eyes. A smile spread slowly when Everett took his hand again, his pointer finger wrapped around Ev’s finger automatically. The calluses on Ev’s hands were soothing; hardworking hands that was holding his with a strange gentleness. It was… nice. The yellows turned to pinks with a wave of shyness that rushed through him. But he didn’t remove his hand from Ev’s. Especially not when his breath was being knocked out of him by Ev’s laugh. Warm and sweet and dammit was Alasdair attracted even more so now. Too bad Ev probably… was definitely actually flirting with him. Alasdair blinked at his question stupidly, half panicked at the idea of someone flirting with him from pure embarrassment and half thoroughly distracted by whatever was going on with Ev’s mouth currently. That scar and smirk were going to ruin Alasdair’s night he predicted.

His heart fluttered and he blinked a few times before turning his flushed face towards the vampire. ”I… What?” he repeated dumbly, ”I mean… Uh…” He covered his face to stop his stuttering then, ”I’m sorry.”
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