[size11 [center Those sunny afternoons in the shade with you were my safe haven. Even when my clouds were gray, you were my little ray of sunshine. I always knew when you would be there, it was our special hour. Our escape from the world, just you and me. Of course, fate has a funny way of forcing your hand when your life has become too complacent. Our lives would have carried on, same little hour everyday before plunging back into our everyday life. I always thought you were magical, I just didn't know how much of that was true.]][center [http://rp.eliteskills.com/vc.php?c=394873 ❖] && [http://rp.eliteskills.com/vc.php?c=394849 ❖]]
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[center [pic http://i68.tinypic.com/9hhmdk.png]]
[center Maxine rubbed her temples. This was a disaster. The only way to get Auden to believe her was to shift into her cat form, but with the fragile stitching on her shoulder already coming undone, she wasn't sure that was such a good idea. The girl continued talking. As much as she loved to listen to Auden talk in the park, right now it was just too much for her to take. She felt like she was swimming through gelatin due to the stabbing migraine.
“[#2D5DA1 Just, please. Please for once stop talking and listen to me. I am not here to rob you. I am not here to stop you from opening your store. I know that you have this cute way you wrinkle your nose when you're thinking. I know about your past- about your friendships, people you don't like, rude customers, you name it.]” She paused when there was a knock on the door. Fuck. One of this girl's employees by the sound of his tone. She didn't stop her from opening the door to talk to him. Thankfully, he didn't take her seriously.
When the woman had closed the door, Maxine concentrated, and atop her head were situated two black ears. A tail unfurled from her tail bone as well. It was the most she could do at the moment. “[#2D5DA1 I can't shift. This is as far as I can go at the moment. But you have to believe me because I- you- are in danger.]” By bringing her here, she'd directly endangered herself. The hunter would not look kindly on a human helping a shifter regardless of the circumstances. It was hard on her to do this because humans should never be directly involved in the politics of her kind, and yet here she was- being bound by contract to return her kindness somehow.
The woman leaned against the nearby wall. The ears and tail slowly vanished. She didn't have the energy nor the concentration to keep up the half shift. Thankfully, she wasn't stuck in her in between form for long. “[#2D5DA1 I never talked to you because how do you talk to someone that you know so well without making them think you're a crazy stalker or something? And now, there's a hunter in this town which is just fucking great. He hunts people like me for a living. A fucking housecat is so deadly, right?]” She scoffed at the thought. Some of her kind were dangerous, but usually not those with everything to lose like her.
“[#2D5DA1 I have a debt to repay to you whether you like it or not. I can get dressed and leave, but the fact remains that as long as the debt remains unpaid, then you won't be rid of me.]” Provided that they lived long enough for her to repay it. “[#2D5DA1 It's an old law that's been around since the time that shifters and humans used to be on good terms.]” She'd moved to the dresser to finally dress herself with some effort as her shoulder was stiff and sore. ]]
[center [pic http://i.imgur.com/k0BthVc.png]]
[#FF6E4E [b “So you’ve been stalking me in the park?”]] Auden pursed her lips and bit her tongue, the metallic taste of blood began to swirl in her mouth. If she hadn’t bit down, the young woman didn’t know what she would have said. Or shouted. Maybe screamed. This crazy woman, Maxine von Stratton explained that she was not just a burglar, but a cat burglar. The slender brunette nodded as the other woman went on talking, her chocolate brown eyes flickering ever so slightly towards her phone laying on her nightstand. [#FF6E4E [b “If you’re clips...what’s my favorite color? What did Emma steal from me in the fourth grade?”]] Auden asked, narrowing her eyes with silent judgment. The only way that she would actually believe this strange tale, would be for ‘Maxine’ to transform, which the woman had already explained that she couldn’t. Well, Auden couldn’t turn into a cat either, but she didn’t make excuses why she couldn’t.
Slender fingers tightened their grip on the pillow as she tried to recall this cat burglars tale. Yes, she normally did spend a handful of hours at The Black Cat Spice and Tea, but her mind blurred out any staff that she had spoken to. As if nothing but grey shadows worked there. Auden stopped biting down on her tongue and swallowed loudly. [#FF6E4E [b “I think you are smaller than me..but my dresser is right there.”]] Auden nodded her head towards the old oak dresser. She was lucky that none of the drawers had come apart over the ten years she had owned it. There were flowers crawling up the sides that she had painted when she was fourteen. They were chipping off and the paint was faded, but one squinted, they still looked somewhat like flowers.
[#FF6E4E [i ‘Why am I embarrassed when someone is literally robbing me?’]] Auden's face burned as her mind scowled her. Luckily her thoughts were interrupted by a loud knock on her door. Brown hues darted from Maxine to the door. [#FF6E4E [b “I have to get that. It is Peter, my employee that has been calling me.”]] Gingerly, Auden started to slowly and awkwardly make her way towards the door. Pillow still clutched tightly in her hands. [#FF6E4E [b “I’m going to get that.”]] Auden pointed towards the door and then pointed towards her dresser. [#FF6E4E [b “Tops are in the second draw, pants in the fourth.”]] She gave an awkward smile before hastily answering the door after another series of loud knocking.
[b “Miss Grey?’] Ah! Peter! Her minimum waged savior! [b “Are you okay?”]
[#FF6E4E [b “Peter, help me! There is a naked woman trying to rob me!”]] Auden whispered harshly, but her cry for help was met with a moment of silence.
[b “What?”] A look came across his face that wasn’t concern. [b “Ohhhhh, riiighht. Do you want me to open the shop alone?”]
[#FF6E4E [b “What? NO. I want you to call the police!”]]
[b “You are really into this role play.”]
[#FF6E4E [b “Peter so help me.”]] Auden tucked the pillow under her arm and swept out to grab his ear but her attack was dodged.
[b “Okay, okay. I’ll ‘call the police’.”] Peter rolled his pretty blue eyes and started down the stairs. [b “Put a sock on the door next time or like a note.”] He called over his shoulder as he descended.
[#FF6E4E [b “I’m going to fire that little brat one day.”]] Auden mumbled slamming the door and stalking over towards the bed. [#FF6E4E [b “Just take what you want.”]] Tiredly, the brunette rubbed her face with her hands. Staying up as late as she did and getting surprised with whatever the hell this was, just wasn’t in her mindset.
[center [pic http://i68.tinypic.com/9hhmdk.png]]
[center As Auden stirred, Maxine raised her hands in an attempt to soothe the shock that she knew was coming. Luckily, for her, the brunette's reaction was much tamer than expected, but Maxine still attempted to make sounds in order to shush the other girl.
“[#2D5DA1 No, no, no, Auden you’ve got it wrong,]” She cursed herself for her use of the girl’s name. They weren’t familiar with each other- at least in this form. Now the girl would think of her as some crazy stalker. As she extended her hands further, the makeshift stitching on her shoulder injury had begun to come loose. Probably because it had been done on her much smaller cat form. “[#2D5DA1 I am Clips. That’s not my name, but it’s me. Look,]” She pointed to the injury on her shoulder- lowering her hands so that she didn’t strain the stitching even more. “[#2D5DA1 Please, I’m not here to steal anything or I’d have done it and left. Hear me out? Hear me out, and then you go open your store. I’m not here to keep you from opening your shop.]”
At this point, she was begging the other to hear her side of things. Perhaps if she was in a different predicament, then she wouldn’t feel so rushed for time, but as it was, she knew that with a hunter on her tail- quite literally- there was only so much time that she had to gather someone to keep not only her, but Auden safe.
“[#2D5DA1 My name is Maxine von Stratton. We’ve met before at my shop. The Black Cat Spice and Tea. And, I know this is going to sound really crazy, but that cat that you see every day in the park, that’s me. I can turn into a cat. The furry tuxedo cat with black fur and a white underbelly.]” Brown eyes turned from Auden’s face down to the floor. She was suddenly aware of her nakedness- though it’d been pointed out. She leaned down and lifted the blanket from the floor- wrapping it around her slender frame like a towel. “[#2D5DA1 I wish I could show you, but due to my injury, I might get stuck halfway rather than a full shift.]” Though the thought of a human girl with cat ears and a tail might be fascinating to some, it was embarrassing for Maxine to think about being stuck in between. It was something young and inexperienced shifters had to deal with- not people like her.
“[#2D5DA1 I… I actually was going to talk to you last night, but I got scared and bailed,]” She admitted- returning her gaze back to the defensive woman. “[#2D5DA1 And now, like it or not, but you’re stuck with me because I have to repay you somehow for helping me.]” She sighed again. It was a bad situation all around. Not that she didn’t want to get to know Auden, but certainly under much different circumstances. “[#2D5DA1 Actually, I really hate to ask, but, do you think I could borrow some clothes? I can’t really go out like this?]” Maxine gestured to her now blanket clad body. ]]
[center [pic http://i.imgur.com/k0BthVc.png]]
Loud music shattered the dreamless sleep the light haired woman was having. Auden had found that the only noise capable of waking her from her slumber was also the bane of her existence when it came to music; dubstep. Throwing out a lazy hand, nimble fingers clumsily moved across the touch screen until the noise abruptly stopped. Rubbing a hand over her eyelids, Auden slipped out from under her sky blue sheet, her toes tapping the cold hardwood floor before fully letting her feet rest on it.
[b [#FF6E4E “Well Clips, the vet should be open now.”]] Auden yawned, eyes still somewhat closed. She needed to call Peter and tell him that she was going to take a personal day. There was no way she should be around any kind of sharp objects today with just how little sleep she was runnings on. Rubbing hands over her face once more, Auden cast her hooded eyes towards her little made up cat bed only to find the blankets out of place and no black cat. [b [#FF6E4E “Clips-”]] Those amber eyes widened to the size of milk saucers it felt as they landed on a stark naked woman standing straight ahead of her. An inhuman screech poured from her lips as the brunette tumbled backward, her hands grabbing at anything that could be a weapon. Unfortunately for her, the only thing that met her fingers was her goose down pillow.
[b [#FF6E4E “You stay right there or I will..”]][i [#FF6E4E ‘Uh?’]] [b [#FF6E4E “suffocate you, if you try anything!”]] Auden held out her pillow fiercely, her eyes flickering up towards the naked intruder only to downcast towards her pillow several times. This is awkward and uncomfortable for the young woman. Why did her attacker have to have an attractive body? Actually, why did she have to have a naked attacker at all? [b [#FF6E4E “If you are looking for money or jewels, I don’t have any.”]] She snapped.
Opening a shop right after school had not been the best plan, most months she barely had enough to cover paying Peter for his help. If this lady was looking for valuables, then she picked the worse place to rob. Suddenly the room was filled with the sound of Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21. Right, Peter. She hadn’t called him last night, so the poor boy was probably standing outside the store wondering if she had skipped town before paying him. Which the thought had jokingly come across her mind when she was running the numbers. [b [#FF6E4E “I don’t know who you are or even why you thought robbing someone naked was a good idea, please grab the blanket on the floor. This is just…”]] Auden's words stuck in her throat. [b [#FF6E4E “Awkward.”]] She finally choked out after a moment of her brain completely shut down. Even if she could get to her phone, there was no way Peter was going to believe her. Most of the time he didn’t even believe that she dated, let alone could get a nude assaulter.
[b [#FF6E4E “If you need food, just take what you need from the fridge,”]] she continued with haste, [b [#FF6E4E “and the blanket. Because if I don’t get down to open my shop, my assistant is going to come up here. HE IS MANLY. L-like.“]] Auden's brain tried to think of anything that could strike fear into this woman. [b [#FF6E4E “Like a bear.”]]
[center [pic http://i68.tinypic.com/9hhmdk.png]]
[center “You’ll be okay,” The soft voice of the person that had found her filled her ears, and Maxine wasn’t sure if it was real or if it was some sort of injury fueled delusion that it sounded just like the voice from the one sided talks that she’d been so eager to listen to for the past few weeks.
As the night faded slowly into the next morning, the pain too eased into that of a dull throbbing. The body that lay in the makeshift bed was no longer that of a cat whose fur was matted with blood, but a very naked woman. Maxine jolted upright in a panic- unsure of where she was. She was saturated in a cold sweat, and shivered from her bare skin being so exposed. Being naked and in unfamiliar situations was not a good thing when there was some crazed hunter after her, and not only that, but now she was putting someone elses life in danger by being here. She immediately regretted the decision as her shoulder throbbed in protest of the quick movement. A shaky breath left her as she grit her teeth and waited for the painful sensation to pass. The air smelled thick with blood and antiseptic chemicals. Had someone treated her injury? At least she supposed they were a kind person.
Vague memories of the night prior filled her mind, but she couldn’t for the life of her remember the face of the person who’d found her in the bushes- only that their voice was familiar to her. Maxine stood slowly- forgoing the small nest of blankets entirely as she slowly neared the side of the bed. Judging from the décor of the room, she had to assume that the person who lived here was female. Chocolate colored hues glanced down at the face of the girl she’d had plans to talk to earlier in the night. She let out a shaky breath that she hadn’t known she was holding.
“[#2D5DA1 Fuck,]” The curse fell from her lips softly before she could stop it. This was… certainly not how she had intended to introduce herself. Auden would probably think of her as an intruder as she’d rescued a cat- not a person. Not only that, but now she was bound to this girl until she could pay back the debt of kindness that she’d fallen into the moment the brunette had decided to save her. Old shifter laws that her kind were bound by- whether or not they liked it or wanted it was beyond them. And while the idea of being attached to Auden wasn’t a bad one, it was the circumstance of which it was being forced upon her.
Fingers massaged her temples lightly, and she returned to sit on the floor. Attempting to shift back only caused a headache. The wound in her shoulder would need proper treatment to stave off infection or scaring, but even still, Maxine was far more worried about Auden and her safety of having associated with her in the past. To hunters, even the association with people like Maxine was more or less a death penalty. The hunter wasn’t stupid, and it would only be a matter of time before he found her again. Returning to her shop was not really an option as much as it pained her to admit. “[#2D5DA1 [i I’d go back home, but I’d be putting my parents at risk too. Not to mention the royal family.]]” She sighed quietly at her thoughts. No matter what, she refused to lead him straight to them.
A loud, obnoxious beeping rang out, and startled Maxine from her thoughts. The alarm clock read seven A.M. Her heart pounded both from having been startled as well as the thought of facing another person who was about to be just as surprised. ]]
[center [pic http://i.imgur.com/k0BthVc.png]]
Soft moans slipped from the half sleeping lips of a slender brunette as she rolled about on the bed, blankets, and sheets strewn in every which way, partially covering her body and partially not. She had taken a rather long nap, longer than she had intended, but it felt absolutely [i incredible]. Slowly, her eyes peeled open taking in the dark scenery of her bedroom, the only light shining through the windows from the neighborhood around the house. The coven house was located further away from the downtown skyscrapers, but by no means did it take hours and hours to get downtown. Streetlights lined the sidewalks, kids played outside, but most were smart enough to stay out of the street. Today was different. Instead of waking up to be greeted by the lazy
Without hesitation, Auden slipped from her bed and went straight to her closet, changing from her shorts and a tank top to a cute little cream dress in no time, not bothering to do her hair but rather putting a floral headband in it and letting it fall down her back wildly. She had plans for tonight, wild and crazy plans. Grocery shopping. Nimbly, the woman left her room and headed outside, snatching her keys and small brown purse from the table inside her door before she made it all the way out.
The moonlight reflected itself upon the water that touched the girl's lips. A cold drink that satisfied her thirst after an exhausting day. She sat alone on a bench as people passed her, pass bys gazing upon her casting a whisper or a smirk here and there. Her golden eyes followed the unfamiliar faces before her, her facial expression showing nothing but disinterest. She took one last gulp of her drink before standing to her feet, making a 3-point shot with the crushed plastic cup into a nearby trashcan. She could hear a few whistles as compliments and smirked to herself. It had been almost two hours since she sat down waiting for her little feline companion to show up. Though as the streetlights began to flicker on, Auden had a feeling that she wasn’t going to see her little friend today. On her journey to the market, she had picked up some new treats that were in the shape of little fish. The brunette felt almost silly, carrying the little bag as she made her way out of the park.
That night was Auden's birthday, something which she didn't really care for considering the fact that she had spent a good many of them alone. Auden ran her fingers through her brown strands as she released another sigh. She grasped onto the small bag of items sitting next to her feet and sat up. Auden had almost made it out of the park when a soft little mew made her roll back onto her heels. Another soft mew made her look towards the bushes lining the outskirts of the park. Curiosity got the best of her and it didn’t take her long before she found the source of the noise. [b [#FF6E4E “Clips?”]] She gasped, kneeling down next to her little blood soaked companion. “I-Uh-Stay right there.” The moment the words left her lips, Auden felt even more silly. Just where was this little cat going to go to in that condition? Trotting back to her flower shop, Auden moved as fast as she could to the upstairs where her bedroom was located. Grabbing a black towel, the young woman ran as fast as she could back to the park. Earning her a few stares as the black towel fluttered in her hands like a backwards cape.
[b [#FF6E4E “You'll be okay.”]] Auden cooed, moving the tiny creature onto the towel as best she could. [b [#FF6E4E “I’ll get you fixed up.”]] There was no way a vet was going to be open at this hour. With her hopes high that she could do this on her own until morning, Auden bundled up the little cat, carefully and much much slower made her way back to her shop. Taking the stairs up to her room carefully, as to make the trip as less painful as she possibly could. Once inside, hours of bandages, some sad excuses of stitches, and antibacterial cream that the young woman was unsure of it was one hundred percent safe to use on animals. [b [#FF6E4E “That should be okay...until morning and the vet opens.”]] She whispered to no one as she peered down at the sleeping cat in a little made up bed of an old pink blanket. [b [#FF6E4E “Now for me.”]] Auden looked down at her once cream dress that was now splattered here and there with blood. Quickly stripping, she set forth to get the blood out, taking another hour out of her night. Once everything was done, cat safely sleeping beside her bed and her dress saved, the slender brunette slumped into her bed, passing out in a matter of minutes. Not before setting her alarm for a sharp seven, then nothing but soft snores escaped her.
[center [pic http://i68.tinypic.com/9hhmdk.png]]
[center Every day for the past few months, after the shop was closed, Maxine found herself enjoying the last bit of the evening in the park. Her animal form was so freeing compared to her human body. It wasn’t that she disliked her human form- just that she was much less reserved as a cat. Like clockwork every day, the same girl sat on the park bench beside her.
At first, she’d been hesitant, unsure if she should say there. Her kind had very strict laws about interacting with humans so as to avoid those that hunted them. The girl hardly seemed the type to be dangerous, but even still, she was cautious, and always left as soon as the girl took her seat on the bench. This ritual went on for about a week before the words that poured from the other’s lips caught the young shifter’s attention. Her hardships and secrets gave her pause enough to realize that she was being silly for assuming the worst just because she was human. The next day, she brought her a gift- a small paperclip and stayed while the girl talked to her- offering meows and purring in lieu of conversation.
It was refreshing to know someone so humble rather than the shifter aristocracy that her parents begged her to associate with. She grew to enjoy the one-sided talks, and wondered if the other would like her as much in her human form as she enjoyed the well-groomed tuxedo feline that she’d grown to know over their past associations. The likely answer was no as Maxine had a tendency to be reserved and distant at times with her emotions.
It had been a particularly rough decision, but she finally decided that she would introduce herself in a way that didn’t seem forceful. The paperclip in her pocket would hint at who she was, and if the brunette didn’t understand, she would leave quickly. Maxine’s pace slowed as she reached the park. Her nerves were getting the best of her already, and instead of sitting at the bench she normally sat at, she walked past- shoving her hands into the pockets of her jacket.
‘[#2D5DA1 [i I can’t do this. There’s no way she’d know it was me. She’d think I was crazy or something like that.]]’ She cursed herself mentally. The moment she mentioned being a cat, she knew she’d be labeled as insane. ‘[#2D5DA1 [i People don’t just turn into cats or vice versa in the human world.]]’ Sometimes, she forgot that creatures like her weren’t meant to exist in the world of humans. As if the history of her kind being hunted for the last few hundred years wasn’t enough of a reminder.
[size18 [#2D5DA1 ~]]
By the time that she returned to her shop- which sported a back bedroom for her to sleep in when she was too tired to walk home, it was already dark outside. Maxine was usually out after dark, and had had no problems in the past. Her mother would have a fit, but she was too upset over her own cowardice from the past day to think about being careful. She placed the key in the lock only to discover that the shop door was unlocked, and she rarely left it open if it wasn’t in use. “I wonder how many ways there are to skin a cat. Would you like to find out?”
The voice made her skin crawl and she attempted to shove the door closed before whoever it was could do her harm. A sharp pain in her shoulder alerted her to an injury, but she was more concerned with getting away than first aid. Maxine shoved over a shelf of spices and fumbled with the door to the back bedroom- shoving the dresser in front of the locked door. She opened the window, and slipped off her clothes before shifting into her animal form- not taking the time to look back or give her attacker a chance at catching her off guard a second time.
By the time she stopped running, she was dizzy and in an unfamiliar wooded place. Maxine could hear a familiar voice, but she drifted into unconsciousness before she could see the face of whoever approached her as she laid in the bushes on the side of the road. ]]
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