Prospector's do-si-do

outfit || night time

When Waylin arrived at Prospector's, the warm, inviting smell of slow-cooked BBQ wafted through the air as the sun set over Camp Baron.

What started as a lead location on a case a few years ago quickly became one of Waylin's favorite places to visit when he had free time. He hadn't been here in quite some time and felt a bit out of practice, and after that night with the strange vampire what felt like months ago, he felt the desire to have fun in memory of his time before he was a fox. Dancing had always been a joy for him, and he was determined to shake off the rust tonight that didn't involve the pulsing thrum of too-loud music that clubs tended to offer.

Or, you know, the stench of horse manure or laughing in the middle of the dark streets like a psychopath.

As the band set up on the small stage, Waylin ordered a beer at the bar, an easy grin on his face as he tucked his sunglasses into a pocket, blessed with the low lighting and lack of flashing lights to ruin the evening. He accepted the drink, propping himself up against the bar to watch as tables were cleared to make way for the square dancing that would occur shortly.

When someone slipped to move past him, he moved to avoid tripping but still managed to catch their foot, and he winced, moving to steady them with his free hand," You okay? Promise I'm not like this when dancing."


Matilda really felt like a vampire in a gothic horror novel tonight. She wasn't really sure what that meant for her, but she felt it in her bones. In the way she brooded over a pint she wouldn't drink. In the way she watched people moved by her at the bar, feeling entirely out of place by the way she was dressed. Bikers made up most of the clientele, or maybe they just wanted to look the part.

As the band set-up, Matilda let her gaze wander, taking in possible meals. Maybe she'd try suggesting someone if no one verbally consented. Maybe she would just leave. Find someone on the way home instead. She felt a little lost these days with her partner behind bars. Aimless. Then tried to dig herself out of her own self-pity. She tried not to put herself behind bars as well. To be more careful about new moons and instances where she might bloodlust. One of them had to have some sort of income, right?

Matilda spotted someone near the bathrooms. She was just leaving the bar, pint in hand, to head toward her victim (ugh), when she felt herself beginning to fall. Then she stopped falling. Matilda took a deep breath she didn't need to take as the culprit steadied her, then looked at the weird-smelling person. Shifter?

He promised he wasn't like this while dancing. Well.

"Good thing I'm not here to dance," The Londoner replied with a slight laugh. At least she hadn't bloodlusted. That could have been really bad.
Waylin ensured his grip was firm but not tight because it would have been embarrassing to steady someone only for them to still hit the ground.

Then, when she seemed to stabilize, he released his hold and tilted his head because the first thing he noticed was her accent. It was a single sentence, but it was enough for him to pinpoint it, and he grinned because accents tended to lead to interesting individuals. The fox cocked his head to the side as he had, nose up in the air, but there were a lot of scents floating around this place, and he hadn't lingered on the thought of how cold her skin felt.

"Oh? Why not?" He asked, turning his gaze towards the clearing. A part of his brain said it was because she was probably from England and didn't know how. Then another part of him judged the thought because what a rude assumption to think! "From what I remember, square dancing is a silly but fun experience among strangers and friends alike."
Matilda raised a brow as the man went on to promote square dancing as some sort of fun but silly activity. Square dancing. Was that the type of dance this place was known for? God, she stuck out more than she realized. How dreadful.

Then again, when was the last time Matilda stepped outside her comfort zone and did something fun? Felt like a while... even before Daniella was incarcerated. Part of her felt guilty for even tempting herself with a fun night out.

The shifter was kind enough to help her out though, so she narrowed her gaze in mock skepticism instead. Okay, maybe some real skepticism as well.

"Can't say I've ever tried it. Seems very American." Like, she was American, technically, but this seemed like something out of an old western. "No offence," She added, in case he happened to be American.
"Oh, I'm not American, so no offense was taken,"Waylin laughed before drinking his beer. He wouldn't drink more than the one, but it was refreshing, as was the crowd that chattered all around. "Although my accent is long gone, so I suppose that makes me more American than you, hmm?"

It was meant to be a tease, a light banter.

However, he probably looked the part more between the two, which wasn't bad because he was less likely to suffer through the feeling of being watched. Plus, she didn't look too outwardly herself, a simple black dress, but then again...what the hell did he know? He dressed in layers 9 times out of 10 for comfort; he was no walking fashionista.
Not American, so no offence taken. Matilda laughed at the barb and shook her head, still gripping her pint before she set it back down on the bar.

"Suppose so," She shrugged, not willing to argue it despite probably living in America longer than she had in England. Matilda would always remember home being London first above all else. Maybe one day she'd go back, even if it came with some sad memories.

"Where are you from then?" She asked, moving the subject away from dancing as quickly as she could.
”Canada,”Waylin replied with a soft smile.

He wasn’t afraid to admit he came from way up North, but he was surely not the frequent ‘sorry’ type. He swirled the liquid a little in his glass, before looking back toward her,” I’m gonna go with the typical guess and say you’re from England?”

There wasn’t enough knowledge of English dialects to guess what area, but he was confident in the overall guess.
Canada. Matilda had never gone to Canada. She hadn't been much of anywhere besides London, New York, Denver and Ridgefield. She supposed it was still better than no travel whatsoever.

She nodded her head at the guess.

"London," Tilda supplied with one more nod before she rested her hand around her glass. "Though I spent a lot of time in New York."
Another New Yorker!

Waylin couldn’t help the way he perked up at that tidbit of information. A part of him wanted to ask if she’d know Bree but that was crazy to suggest given that he knew New York was big. Also, it’d be the same sort of rudeness by assuming he knew every Canadian.

”Is it really as crowded as it looks?” Another drink. ”New York, that is? I’ve traveled through Montana and then Wyoming before winding up here in Colorado, but I always avoided the major cities.”

He’s never seen a skyscraper in person and he feels like New York would feel claustrophobic.
So, maybe he was from western Canada if he was traveling through those places before arriving in Colorado? It made more sense than how Matilda wound up in Denver of all places after New York.

"Oh yeah, it's crowded but you get used to it." She shrugged. "It also sort of depends where you go in the city too."
Waylin made a noise of acknowledgment.

He’d wanted to ask Bree about New York but it was tied to bad memories that he didn’t want to dig into until she was ready. He wondered if he’d hate New York, or specifically New York City. From what he’s witness on the tv, it’d be a lot to handle and how did the Weres in that area handle it?

Probably the same as they did everywhere else.

Pulled from his thoughts at the announcement from the band and people starting to move towards the open space for dancing, he beamed at the woman.

”You open to dancing to something very American?”
He asked her to dance and Matilda felt a pang of guilt in her side. Daniella was in prison. In prison and Matilda was thinking about square dancing with a stranger. Not in that way. Just. Having any kind of fun in her partner's absence felt cruel. Look how I'm coping without you, Dani!

Tilda's smile faltered and her brow furrowed.

"I don't know if I should." She had come here with a purpose in mind and that didn't involve dancing.
Waylin watched the hesitation fall across her face, and something else that he couldn’t pinpoint. He wasn’t privy to enough information, nor would he ask for more, but he did think she deserved to have fun. Why else did she….



The scent finally hit him, and he looked around, knowing there was a prime opportunity for a hunt. However, it is not advisable to be in Coyote territory, but did she know that? Would he be assuming wrongly? Did he want to risk offending a vampire while in a good mood? Mentally, he shook his head and decided he wasn’t about to voice those concerns.

”Give it a song, and if you don't feel like it’s your jam, then at least you can say you tried something new!” He went the route of encouraging because it could be a blast, unless she was starving…then maybe a bad idea but she didn't seem like someone careless.
He was stubborn, Tilda would give him that much. She hummed a little and looked sheepish.

"I really shouldn't," She insisted, feeling torn on the concept of dancing and having any bit of fun when Daniella was imprisoned. It felt wrong! She hadn't even been able to go see the other woman yet.

"I just. Uh. Feel bad about it?" Maybe it was worth explaining? Maybe not. Catrina probably wouldn't want her to.
Life is complicated.

If she felt bad for seeking enjoyment, he could surmise it being due to someone else not being able to join. He understood that feeling and she looked like she wanted to talk. If she didn't, she wouldn't have mentioned anything, right?

”Do you wanna talk about it?”

Waylin picked up his drink to show he wasn’t suddenly gonna drag her to the dance floor. He was a pretty good listener, vying to hear other people’s problems instead of dealing with his own.
Did she want to talk about it?

"There's nothing to talk about," She decided, figuring Catrina wouldn't want her talking to shifters about what happened.

She forced herself to smile and put it to rest.

"Don't let me stop you from dancing though." Tilda nodded toward the crowd.
Waylin frowned.

He hid it behind his drink as he mulled over her words. There was the brief thought to offer her his ear and then let her compel him to forget, but that was shot down as quickly as it formed. The fox would surely lose his shit if the thing didn't stick, and the last thing he wanted was to cause a scene.

However, only people who said there was nothing to talk about tended to have something to talk about.

He should drop it and try to rush to join in the first song, but he felt reluctant to leave someone who felt 'bad' for wanting to do something fun. It couldn't be helped, the array of speculations his brain was conjuring to make sense of what was happening with the stranger. He latched onto something and ran with it, which made him a damn good Investigator, but also made dropping mundane things like a chat with a stranger from becoming more than just a chat.

He hummed, deciding he wouldn't move from his spot but wouldn't pry her to offer more words.
He didn't move. He didn't reply. He just sat there and drank. Hm. Matilda didn't know why it mattered to him so much that she join him when she was upfront from the beginning about her desire not to. She was not his friend. She was not his to fix. Tilda didn't say anything else as she stood up and offered a polite nod farewell.

Besides, Matilda was fairly certain the man she'd been hunting was on his way out of the bar, stumbling and drunk. A perfect time to take what she needed, even if it made her uneasy to do so.
Waylin warred with what to do.

He hated that he easily got invested in strangers even when they barely shared insight into their lives. If he were normal, the thoughts to follow and insist wouldn't wiggle into his brain like an earworm with a song. It wasn't his job to listen to the woes of another, and he cursed at himself for being too curious. Not for the first time, he wondered how well of a vampire he would have been if he was one instead of a fox.

How many secrets could he get someone to spill with a mere look into their eyes?

Waylin bit his cheek, his grip shifting on the glass as he downed the rest, knowing she was walking away. He wouldn't follow because if his first hunch were correct, he'd be driven to stop her from feeding here. It wasn't his place to warn others, and this wasn't his territory to shoo away hungry vampires.

He'd push himself to his feet, unwilling to let this encounter ruin the evening.

Next time, he'll find someone willing to dance who wouldn't know what they were doing but just wanted to have fun.
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