Hawknell Seeing spots
#1

Outfit+backpack



Kaly was sitting across the river(across from just in thyme across the river) and was sitting on a blanket she had sprawled out. She had wanted to just get to a somewhat quiet place to try and focus on school work but all that she had learned had her head spinning a little bit. Mostly that the doctors thought she was sick and that it could be cured with a bunch of medicines that she was working out oh her system- which didn't actually take long to just sweat out.

She would pick up the wine cooler she had brought with her, dark wild cherry, and took a long drink as she stared out at the water. A part of her wondered who it was that attacked her and why and from that she let out a frustrated, "Argh! " and just flopped back on the blanket to stare up at the sky- least it was pretty out and least no one would hear her mumbled swearing as far as she knew.
#2

Outfit minus backpack



The thing was Erik at this point didn’t expect leopards to be in the Ridgefield area, especially snow leopards. He’d been here a few months without any run ins which was both good because that had been the idea and any of his old Drift being here wouldn't be for the best, but lonely in the way not having a community that clicked precisely the same way similar animals did.

Walking out of the plant shop with a bag of fertilizer and a few added plants for the desk, Erik was heading over to where he’d parked when Fluffy told him to stop, something done without hesitation. A look down towards the bank of the river and his eyes landed upon a woman shouting to nothing from what he could see. Were. Setting his bags into the car, he began to walk over. ”Miss, are you alright,” he called out, beginning to approach. Upon getting closer though, there was an apparent fact he couldn’t miss— the woman was snow leopard, the cat just as present as she was.
#3
Kaly was just frustrated and upset, she was a student trying to just graduate college and now she was slipping because her focus wasn't wholly there. It was enough to make her want to cry in frustration but she didn't, at least not right now. As she held the bottle in her hand and stared up a voice got her attention but also a smell that had her rolling onto her front to stare up at the man and then the cat.

She just stared, she saw it. The pink eyes and white fur with black spots, her own was at attention now, looking on as she then pushed herself over and onto her knees to look up at the strange man. It wasn't just glimpses this time like the other woman. "I...I don't know I shit....sorry frustrated....a little confused- you're... " Kaly said as she was just watching him and her cat- that she barely had a clue as to how to work with her yet, was interested in this one that was across from her.

"Sorry...this is...new to me still." Kalypso found herself telling him as she held onto the bottle still, mostly as something to just hold onto.
#4
It seemed his approach and call out had gotten her attention. And then a lot more that he would’ve thought. There was a critical way about it and his cat chuffed out, trying to reassure in a friendly welcome.

Just a length away now, he stopped before the concrete met grass, giving her space as an answer bubbled from her. Giving her time to work through the words, he kept back the need to get closer.

That she was new to this made this whole experience so far make sense and he took in a breath with a nod, a small smile pulling lips. "Ah, I see." Hands going into pockets, Erik gave a nod. ”Is there anything I can help with?”
#5
Kaly just watched, a part of her was entranced being able to actually see the fellow feline. Her own cat seemed to respond well to the friendliness, wanting to come out and play to meet the other snow leopard. A small eager excited chuffing sound left her own leopard and it made Kaly just confused as she sat back on her calves.

"You can...come over I'm just...I've not seen another that I can actually see. Glimpses of others but not this, " she told him. She would push her hand through her thick hair, the cat inside her now made her feel like she was pacing and wanting to come out more.

"I won't say no to well...any help, I'm still trying to figure it out " she told him honestly as she moved on the blanket some to offer some space to him should he want to come over. She would now be sitting cross-legged as she just watched in a bit of fascination to how his leopard was, "Is that...normal for them to...be like this? " she asked, not wholly sure on normal snow leopard behavior yet since she hadn't overly looked it up or paid much attention to her own until recently.
#6
That was a disheartening explanation. She’d never seen another leopard before and because of that, was immediately fascinated by him and the cat.

”Oh, I see.”

Before he could say much else she was inviting him over, asking for help. It was almost like she knew exactly what words to use, provoking him the need to see this through. The girl needed answers that clearly hadn’t been provided and who would he be to ignore that plea?
Shaking his head, he’d come over to join much to the delight of the cat hurriedly pacing forward. ”Yes, for us. Similar weres tend to stay close to each other because of it, it just feels right.” With that, Erik sat down on the blanket with an exhale, legs crossed and turned towards her.

"Do you know who turned you?" Hopefully, not a familiar name.
#7
Kaly was ever the student, eager to learn but now she had a new task of learning something that was pushed on her. Something she hadn't really known or wanted but it wasn't like a bit of medicine could cure it or make it go away. Maybe this guy, who's snow leopard she could see, would be willing to help her as well.

Her own cat got just as excited, almost bouncing with curious joy at meeting another snow leopard. She wanted to sniff and play and try and understand the other cat but was stuck inside her human for the moment.

"Oh...that's why she feels like she's excited then? Because you'd be the first one her or I have actually seen- that's not a jaguar " she told him, a little nervous laugh as she rubbed the back of her neck at that. She was still embarrassed about shifting in a bathroom. No inclosed spaces for her right now.

His question made her shake her head, "No I was...out of the country in the Himalayan mountains before I started college here. I went outside for a moment and before I knew it something was biting and clawing- trying to drag me away but the guide shot his gun and I got away. After I was taken to the hospital but the wounds were closed and left just the bite and claw marks but assumed my fever and everything was a bad infection." Kalypso told him as she would take another drink and then reach into her bag and hold out a black wild cherry cooler from her backpack and held it out to him, "How were you...uhm...turned? Is that the right word? " she asked a little sheepishly as her snow leopard was still bouncing and pacing, making it a little harder for her to focus on just talking.
#8
A jaguar? That had his interest and he wondered if Esfir knew this girl or any of her prowl did.

To his question though, he was given an entire retelling that ended with her with nothing to go off of. ”Well, you were right, it was an infection.”

”Yes, it is… oh, no thank you, I’m fine.” He gave an apologetic shake of his head, a hand coming up to say no thanks politely to the offered drink as she moved onto his own turning.

”A close friend in college attacked me,” Erik explained matter of factly. It was all water under the bridge by years and he enjoyed this life, finding nothing to really mourn much of prior to it. ”It wasn’t entirely planned, but he’s more than made up for it since then.”
#9
Not one that went away with antibiotics though, the doctors had me on some powerful medications so I just assumed everything was due to that and not...something else, Kaly told him, feeling mildly silly now but it had made sense then.

The no was met with a little smile and a nod of her head as she tucked it away again, she would though take another drink of hers as she set to listening to him.

His story was much more different than her own and it made her smile a little bit, "Well i'm glad to hear you two were able to make it through it...I wish I knew why that one attacked me, snow leopards haven't attacked people before so it was weird. " Kaly told him as she just shook her head some at it.

"How did you...bond with your snow leopard? " Kaly asked him curiously, wondering if maybe it was different then what she had been told or if it was on par and maybe he would be able to help her with her own snow leopard as well.
#10
A wry grin took hold at the idea of her going to the doctor’s to solve this. That was dangerous for one, but it was amusing to think of what the human’s faces might be when confronted with a blood sample they had no idea what to do with.

”Well, first you’re going to have to stop thinking you can get rid of it. Your snow leopard is you and you, her,” Erik explained with some humor floating the words into a bubbly sentence. There was nothing to heal in that sense. ”Shifting when you can, listening to what she is saying to you and coming to an agreement. You need to establish trust, but beyond that, I hung out around others like me and they taught me what I know.”
#11
A little smile rose to her lips when he said that, the humor well taken as she nodded at what he told her. It was going to be a little hard to just accept the fact that she had a living breathing feline inside her-well apart of her now.

"Are there other snow leopards here? " she asked him curiously and listening to her leopard- well if she did that, she would be out from how it felt, "I don't think it takes a lot to figure out that she wants out right now...I could feel her excitement and curiosity the moment she saw you, " that was about as connected as she was at the moment but Kaly had little to no control or sway over the feline yet and she wanted to do what she wanted to do still.
#12
The sentiment from the other leopard had him letting out an amused exhale. ”I’m sure, but maybe don’t follow that advice,” he grinned.

It was unfortunate that the answer about to be provided about others wasn’t a resounding yes. ”No, you’re the first one out here I’ve met.” And Erik had done his best in keeping his head down for the sake of safety and just in case another similar were showed up so they wouldn’t immediately have a target on their back too.
#13
Kaly smiled at that, "I really...don't plan on it at the moment, least I hope to not, at least not here, " she told him. She was slowly accepting that she was not going to have whole control over a good chunk of the possible shifts that might happen right now.

Well that stunk but then she wondered if that made him lonely, "Does that...make things hard not being around others? Sorry if thats too...personal, I don't mean to pry, " she asked him curiously hoping he didn't mind. Her fingers playing with the bottle as her cat kept wanting out, pacing and flopping while making various excited sounds.
#14
That was reassuring to hear. No need to be all spots and fur when words were much better company for the present.

The follow up question had him pause and reflect, a hand coming up to wave away the apology. ”It can be for some. I’ve always had a group so the emptiness took some getting used to. There’s a sort of magic surrounding our kind when we group up that makes you all feel connected, you see.”
#15
Kaly listened to him, her brows furrowing slightly before relaxing as she nodded, "Safety in numbers sort of thing? " she asked him curiously. She was a bit calmer in her questions today but talking with someone similar well, felt kind of nice. Then she realized she hadn't even introduced herself because she had been too stunned at what she had seen, "Sorry, I ask all these questions and I forget to introduce myself, my names Kalypso or Kaly for short, " she told him as she would hold her hand out to shake out of habit.
#16
There was some thought to his words, expected considering the weight and need to actually feel the magic thrum through your veins to ever fully grasp the complexity of it. The quick summation of it down to just a few words would work for now. ”That’s sort of the thought behind it, yes.”

They hadn’t introduced themselves had they? He quirked a smile out and took the hand offered out, the cat all but leaping in excitement in a rush forward. The snow leopard would immediately move to sniff at the slightly smaller one, brushing a giant cheek against her if allowed. ”Nice to meet you, Kaly. I’m Erik.”
#17
Kaly would give a nod to that, "Guess there is a lot more to being a were than I knew but...well I guess it's a good thing I'm starting to learn, " she told him with a little smile. It was cool to know that being with similar we're helped, she might have to pop around him more often because she actually didn't feel as jittery as she did when she was around other people or the other felines.

Taking his hand, she was surprised at the interaction that took place between the two cats. Her own eagerly jumped and sniffed, her face leaning into his giant cheek as she just started to purr. The smaller female would, if they kept their hands like this, gently bump her face against his neck and then lightly paw at him in a playful manner, "Wow...I guess they were excited, " she told him, unable to help but find the two snow's interaction fascinating- she wondered what they were thinking, "It's also very nice to meet you Erik, do you live around here? "
#18
The comment had his smile growing long upon his face, keeping his hand in place to let her take in the first interaction for herself. It was a right of passage to have beasts finally meeting on the other plane, something her sire should’ve done for her. Fluffy accepted the hello, tail lashing at the pawing before doing so back at a shoulder to shove her playfully around before Erik let go.

”I do. I run the Hawknell Inn that’s fairly close to here.” That property was where he worked and lived, quarters for himself sequestered away to another side of the building. Considering the towel, he was curious. ”Are you from around here as well or did you come for the river?”
#19
In a way it was a little emotional for her, it somehow made it more real as she saw this interaction between the two snows. The playful shove would have the female flopping dramatically, rolling and then getting up to play some more. She felt the happiness and desire to play but when Erik let go, she would too, much to the dismay of the feline who let out a protesting sound.

Oh, he was a business owner, nice, "I came to swear at the sky mostly, seemed like a good place, " she told him with a little smile, "I rent a space in Alder heights, I'm a college student majoring in criminal science but...with all this going on I was told I shouldn't right now due to the stress. Another reason for the swearing. " she explained to him with a little sigh, "Oh and vampires apparently have staked out that area and I should think of moving- reason three I think for me swearing at the universe tonight, " Kaly said with a little smile as she took another drink of the cooler.

"What's it like owning an inn? "
#20
The river was good company for that, absorbing the negativity out and leaving calm in its lulling wake. As suspected, she wasn’t from Hawknell which, but rather Alder Heights as a student in an intense major. That vampires owned the area was news to him and his brows went up. Somewhere to check out soon, he really did need to reach out more to the local groups.

”Stress does make it hard, but I was a student my first years as a were too. It’s not impossible,” he informed. ”Though I can see a group of vampires getting nervous about a new were.” Vampires probably didn’t want to worry about a baby were running around and causing problems on their territory.

To the question, he scratched at his chin. ”It’s satisfying. I get to make people feel at home and there’s gratification with that. My staff are fun to work with as well, we make a pretty great team I feel.” They were the closest he had to a pard right now and friends.
#21
Hearing that, that he managed to do it even with school while being a new were perked her up almost instantly. She believed it was going to be near impossible with the workload she was going to take on and hen on top of that learning about her feline friend that was apart of her. "How did you do it? I don't...I don't want to just drop out, I've been waiting for college since I graduated...I worked hard to get here and giving it up, " she shook her head, it wasn't her but she didn't also want to hurt people either.

"So the mentioning of moving is probably smarter than staying? I've never even met a vampire before... " she told him. Her role in the supernatural world was very new and so far very limited to what she had been told or read on tabloids but her focus was heavily on school and the like.

As he spoke of his place, it made her smile, "It sounds like a great place, do you have a certain style for it? " she asked curiously, wondering mostly if it was like mom and pop style, country, those types of styles or something all his own.
#22
So many questions and he waited till she had come at peace with what to say before beginning to start answering them as well as he could.

Thinking of the Inn’s style had him not entirely confident in the words, but trying anyway. ”It has a vintage ranch house feel I think, but I’m not sure if that’s right,” he smiled in amusement with himself. Esfir would probably have a better name for it.

”And yes, I think moving to an unclaimed part of town or even a were owned space might be preferred for you and them. It’s easier for us to help each other than someone vastly different.” Of course, he might be wrong, but he didn’t imagine a vampire would appreciate a new were living among their streets. ”I also don’t think they want the news covering a leopard running through their area of the city any time soon,” he lightly laughed with a shake of his head.
#23
That made her smile, "It sounds cozy, I think anything with vintage or ranch in the description has to be some sort of cozy and comfortable, " she told him with a smile. She wanted to see it, probably looked better than the flat she had.

Oh man, he had a great point with that too. She couldn't help the slight laugh and smile though, "Someone might think a leopard from the zoo escaped, that would be interesting " she told him with a little laugh. "Would it be too much to ask then, so that maybe I don't have to drop college, could I rent a space at your inn then? If it's not too much to ask...I really have little clue what I'm doing yet honestly and she seems to feel quite happy and excited around you and him, " Kalyexplained with a little smile.

She hoped it wasn't weird but she was trying to heed advice while staying true to what she wanted to do still- a were could work in the criminal forces couldn't they? She might have to look into that to be sure she wasn't needing a career path change.
#24
That was reassuring to hear. He’d hoped it was, but there was always the chance that his guests and staff weren’t saying much so as not to offend.

A humored smile pinching his cheeks up was had at the comment. It was definitely a shared idea he’d had as well more than a few times.

There was a change in the inflection of the words and he listened intently as it seemed an ask was to be had. That it was to stay at his inn, for him to mentor her, he should’ve guessed, but hadn’t. Now that it was here, he blinked and gave it a moment, shifting his weight. They’d just met, but Erik missed having a pard, he missed mentoring and the closeness of others. She was a sitting duck not knowing how to utilize the leopard to her benefit and if those hunters ever came here, well, he already knew the fate that would come stalking fast. Fluffy had already made his decision as soon as they’d met the cub, this was just aligning the human part.

”I think that would be a smart idea. Here,” he shifted his weight to the side to more easily pull out his phone. Settling again, Erik looked up to her. ”Let’s exchange numbers and we can work something out.”
#25
Kaly knew it was quick and fast but her life had been flipped just as quickly and she had no one else like her to possibly lean on. Sure she had the jaguar ladies who were wonderfully helpful but she wanted to at least feel somewhat safe and not left to wholly fend on her own in a world she hadn't been prepared to enter.

His answer was met with a little bit of a relieved smile and a nod as she pulled her phone out from her backpack and flicked it on. It only took a moment for her to open up a new page to add him to her information and would pass the device to him. "Thank you...I don't want to get into trouble or cause it, " she told him with a little laugh. It would send her parents in a tizzy that she was moving but she could rent the space, be safe and learn about being a were with someone who had a cat like her own. Such a weird thought for her still but slowly she was getting used to it.

"I can help work there if you want me to, I'm pretty good with numbers and keeping things organized and the like, "Kalypso would offer to him after she would put in her phone number.
#26
With her phone offered, he took it, giving over his own phone that was ready to have information put in. ”For sure.”

The offer to work had him looking up from the screen as he began to put in his number, brows up some before back down to finishing up. ”Hmm, if you’d like to I wouldn’t mind some help with the front desk.” And saved, Erik would offer her phone back over, hand ready to take his own back. ”How about we see how you handle the next couple of months and then go from there? If you think you can handle it, we can talk then about a part time job.” Hopefully, that would be alright. The last thing he wanted was to stress her out more than being a new were and student would already.
#27
This felt good, she was being responsible- as much as it pained her to have to move yet again but it was for the best and her own safety as well as others.

She would finish filling out her information and as he handed her phone back, she would do the same, giving a nod to what he said, "I don't mind helping with that and if it gets too much I'll just let you know...even though it doesn't feel like it's a lot right now I have a feeling it's going to have a lot of ups and downs, huh? " she asked with a little smile. "I'd need a couple of days, to get things squared away with my apartment I have and then to pack- I'll just use the rent money for staying at your inn, " she told him with a little smile. She just wasn't getting any deposit back- she'll pay her parents back for that one.

In her mind, she felt like she could handle this; being a student, a were, and working. The optimistic part of her was saying this would go just fine and she was relaxed and smiling about it,her cat on the other hand was excited to be around another were that was like her.
#28
Phone back, he’d put it back into a pocket, tucked away until it was needed later.

Erik nodded to her question. It would be full of ups and downs times a thousand with life’s already rollercoaster. Juggling a new beast was no easy thing. Still, she was willing to help once things calmed for her, an offer Erik found sincere and would keep in his back pocket when he saw her with a better handle of things.

A quick summary of her next few days and he gave a smile to it. ”That sounds like it will do. In the meantime, I’ll make sure the room is ready.” It seemed he’d have another roommate, a thought that had him and the leopard feeling twinges of excitement. ”I’ll let you go for now, but call me if you need help with anything, alright?”
#29
Kaly was nothing but smiles right now. She had someone to help and guide her through this and she was going to be safe, that is what mattered most at the moment because she was pretty sure that it was going to be chaotic if she attempted this all by herself without someones wisdom.

She could feel the excitement that stemmed from her Snow, the feline was wanting her to go NOW from what she could tell but there were things that had to be done first, "Thank you, it'll be a couple of days but I'll send you a call at least a day before I'm ready to come so that it's not a surprise, " she told him. Kaly felt a lot better honestly, swearing had helped sure but talking and meeting him? That helped the most right now, "I will thank you, I'll be seeing you soon then, " Kalypso told him warmly. It was going to be different for sure but the young woman was rather determined to make it all work.
#30
Plan in motion and thanks given, Erik would lift himself to his feet. ”It was good to meet you. I’ll see you soon.”

With that, he’d turn to leave with a small wave, his cat already giving images of the female snow leopard living in their territory with a happy lash of a tail. It’d be nice to have another leopard nearby and to try to help her out these next months. Erik of course was very aware it wouldn’t be just him, but the whole Inn helping out which was a nice reassurance to have in the back pocket.
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