The Seanchaí Collection You are not a saint

Early evening

It was more than a little dumb, but Asha thought: instead of going anywhere the weres of Ridgefield would go, why not try to accustom herself (and the forever bitch of a jagcat) to the feeling of the city under Nika by sneaking into the vampire hovel first? She meant that nicely.

She had not been able to conjure her own dream world, not even once. It left her feeling a little meh, like Sienna's positivity had missed the mark. So obviously there was doom metal playing in her ear buds, sad and plodding and heavy.

Sloshing her water bottle absent-mindedly, she peered over some very old book that she absolutely could not read because it was in some old ass European language but it was written very nicely? Unfortunately, the cap was just crooked enough that the water sprinkled several droplets onto the page.

"Oh no- oh shit," she gasped, except she didn't know how loud she was and it was actually pretty loud, sending echoes in the space that she couldn't hear.
This place made his skin prickle, but he did not know exactly why. No one had told him the name of the Clutch's hub, just that it was in Ridgefield. Some part of him resented the entire city, but he resolved not to let past transgressions rule his life. He was here to see the collection of ancient pottery he'd seen an article about. Nerd stuff, you know?

But he couldn't shake the feeling. And he could have sworn it smelled like death here. But maybe it was just the old books.

Things he was telling himself as he moved about the stuffy space. Another prickle of awareness gnawed at him as he neared a collection of books, something much more familiar to him. Jaguar was a smell he knew better than the cologne he wore.

The loud exclamation drew him nearer, convincing him to act on his curiosity. He'd thought maybe it was a member of the other Prowl that claimed this city, but the voice was familiar to him. Which didn't make much sense, since there was no imposing signature he could feel. Rounding a book shelf, he saw her. Asha. Mathis drew up short, a frown etching into the lines of his face as he took her in.

She was... wrong.


"Asha?" He called, stepping closer, assessing what had happened.
Even if she couldn't hear him over the music jamming in her ears, there was no mistaking the feeling that came with someone very powerful approaching her. It set the cat on edge, already grumpy in being in what was once her owned turf (even if she was still technically part of it >:[).

She also, after a moment of looking up, recognized who it was. Oh, fuck her life. Mathis. Who would undoubtedly tell Frank, who would undoubtedly tell everyfuckingperson because that was how the were grapevine worked.

And then someone would probably tell a vampire because no one had any fucking sense of discretion. You stupid moron, you should have just stayed hidden away at home.



She stared at him in pure deer in headlights form, then popped an earbud out, book forgotten. Sorry Catrina.

It was her. Of course it was. Still, it was surprising to see her so... Well, it was more like it was surprising to feel her so weak. Still stronger than the average Were, but significantly less than a Queen. Maybe even less than he'd been until he took over for Yana. It was bizarre.

"Are... erhm." He scratched at the back of his neck. There was no polite way to ask. "Are you alright?" She'd basically yelled.
Again. What.

Her mouth felt dry. Social stature panic. Hey, what if she just.

"Oh- I'm fine. I'm- not Asha? I'm her sister."


She was fine, but... Oh.

Mathis' brows crumpled toward one another, and he blinked as she continued. Not Asha, but her sister, Indira.

He... well, of course, he doubted it. Because she was exactly like Asha in every way. But, he had to admit to himself that he didn't know a great deal about the jaguar queen. She very well could have an identical twin. A twin that was also a jaguar. Why had she never been to any gathering, then? New? Or new to the area? Or...

"Oh," Mathis stated blankly. He was being rude! But this was confusing!

"I guess that would explain..." If she was Asha's sister, then it made sense she felt nothing like the Queen did. Still, it was uncanny. "Sorry to startle you." He said instead, grinning awkwardly. This was awkward!

He was going to text Frank immediately after this!
She shook her head, a soft smile. You're Indira now, Asha. Embrace her Indira-ness.

"It's okay! What was your name? I'll tell her you're looking for her!"

This felt... wrong! Weird. But she was continuing as if they'd never met. It would only make him look like an ass if he continued to insist otherwise, right?

Mathis smiled awkwardly, shifting in his shoes. "Erm. Mathis."

He wasn't... looking for Asha, though. Actually, that might seem very strange to hear!

"I didn't know she had a sister. How long have you been in the area?" Maybe there was a chance Frank never knew about her? Was there a way he could test her on this? Was that wrong?
"Ummm- a little over a year, actually!"

It was easy to lie when her sister had in fact existed in Ridgefield for over a year!

"Not very nice of her to keep me hidden, though."

An Asha- er, Indira pout.
The corners of Mathis' eyes crinkled some as he eyed her. Over a year, and he'd never heard even a single passing thing about her. It wasn't as if he and Frank spoke about Asha consistently, but he imagined that at some point or another, something might have been said. Maybe. It was just as likely that he was needlessly doubting her.

Not very kind to keep her hidden, was it? Was that what Asha had done? Kept a sister hidden? Perhaps she had. Maybe she had turned her and kept from mentioning it. Mathis couldn't blame anyone for that, he guessed. As if anyone but Frank knew about Allegra.


"Yeah, that's strange." He agreed. And maybe this was very cruel to do, and he was overstepping entirely, but it was just... too uncanny. "She's closer to my fiancé, Frank, actually. But we have her and Abraham over occasionally. Maybe the next time, you can come with?" A trap! An easily avoidable one, but he wanted to see what she said. She could just demure politely and tell him she didn't want to intrude. If she outright refused, though...

Or, what if she agreed? Then he'd have to explain why he suddenly was inviting the jaguars with whom Frank had a tumultuous relationship at best. :)
What were you up to, Mathis. She gave a confused look. What? Close to Frank? Her and Abraham over? She couldn't tell anyone what Frank's house looked like.

Was he trying to outdo her?

"Oh, really?" she asked, all wide eyed. "That's nice. I wouldn't want to be fifth wheel, though. But — she's never mentioned Frank before... is he like you?"

It was true. Asha had never once mentioned Frank to Indira. Why the fuck would the other prowl be any of her concern.
Confusion, but was that really telling? Or was he only digging himself a hole? He regretted this, but there was no smooth way to back out of it now.

"Mm," A shake of his head, a quirk of his brow, as if it was puzzling that she didn't know. "Like you." He nodded to her. "That's... hm." Perplexed! His lip jutted, like he was debating on saying more. He shook his head, recovering with a purposefully thin smile.
"Oh, wow! I'll have to ask her about him then."

And then, sensing his discomfort and also just to be terrible, she leaned in some.

"Too bad he's not single," she winked. "Slim pickings for boys like me."
Mathis coughed a laugh, genuinely taken aback by the boldness. Did she just... hit on Frank without him being there? To his own fiance?

"I'm surprised she hasn't introduced you to every jaguar." He said. And, feeling awful for it, but hopeful it might stun her into faltering, "Maybe she really is trying to hide you."

He sucked in a small grimace, "If, she, erm, is the one that turned you. Maybe it's embarrassing for her."
I am really not trying to play someone infalterable here, but that was literally the truth.

"Haan, she was very embarrassed. I told her it was alright, but. It was an accident that she seemed to think she couldn't make anymore."

Aw man. That was the truth.
She was... very ready with answers. So much so that Mathis was growing less and less sure about this being a bluff. Which... was actually very horrible. He'd dug a hole he wasn't sure he could easily get out of. She'd take this to Asha, mention what he'd said. There would be questions. He'd have to admit he thought she was lying.

"Yes. I know the feeling." He sympathized, more or less saying words so that an awkward silence wouldn't come searching for them. But, he was becoming very certain that he needed to go. Frank was going to... he didn't know. Laugh? Maybe. Probably he would be very confused and a little angry.
He did, didn't he.

She offered him a gentle pat on the shoulder, embracing the role to a degree one might call delusional.

"It was so good to meet someone new, Mathis. Hope to see you again sometime?"
Yes, alright they were be both being let off the hook here. He glanced down at the pat, the sensation and proximity to a Jaguar all too familiar.

Nodding, he sported a friendly smile. “Yes, I’m sure we will.” He agreed, taking a step back.

Then he nodded to the book. “And, I didn’t see anything.” He promised conspiratorially before he went.

Time to go home and scream in horror at his fiancé.
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