toxic

Crestview 
#1
 It must’ve been a personal record of sorts. Getting ready and hopping into an Uber within 30 minutes.. well, that was a new one even for her. Yet, she had managed to put herself together and didn’t appear like someone who had been rolling around in bed for the last two hours, trying to catch some Zs. And as the Uber pulled up outside the, almost quaint, pub - Milla was beginning to feel nervous. Doubting herself and rethinking her decision to reach out to him. Not because she didn’t want to, but because she didn’t know what to expect.
 But this place was a safe haven of sorts. It had become their place; although she hadn’t been there since the breakup. Looking out the window, she saw Rowan pull up in his car. The both of them being a little early. Milla drew a deep breath and paid her driver, letting him keep the change as she stepped out of the vehicle. Looking to both sides before she moved to cross the street, her feet bringing her towards Rowan’s car. "Timing." Milla stated with a smile, recognizing her excitement as her beast’s. Eager to move forward, to greet him. Touch him. Milla wrapped her arms around herself, almost like if she was cold. But she wasn’t.
 "Wanna get inside?"
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#2
Rowan only threw on a pair of sweats that hung low on his waist, a plain white t-shirt and a jacket. Nothing exciting. Nothing that screamed ‘date.’ Because that wasn’t what this was. He simply wanted to make sure Milla was okay.

On the way over, Rowan convinced himself it was merely her leopard that still drew her to him. It was natural they craved each other’s company. He pulled in after her, parking and getting out of his truck before hectored the street and met her.

He reached forward, briefly roughing her upper arm in greeting, the feline wanting him to do more and be closer but he refrained. No sense getting used to that feeling of being able to greet her as warmly as he’d like. He offered her a small, reassuring smile, "Yeah. Let’s get inside. I could use a steak or a burger."

Ever the gentleman (not really), Rowan outstretched his arm, allowing her head toward the entrance before him. It was obvious the feline was tired, having poured himself into her work the past few days to keep his mind distracted.
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#3
 Her gaze briefly flickered down to his arm at the touch, wanting to lean into it. Use it for her advantage to bring him closer to her. Now, Milla knew that would be a huge mistake and she made sure to keep her hands to herself. She didn't need to make things any harder than they already were, no matter what her feline wanted.
 "Sure." Milla's voice was soft and she was soon heading in through the doors to the pub. The place small, but cosy. Not too loud either and one of the few places Milla knew served food later into the night. Hopefully they weren't arriving too late.
 Milla made her way towards a table in the far back, waving to the bartender as they walked past him. It wouldn't take long for Milla to get herself seated at their usual table, setting her coat aside. "I'm really happy you could come." She spoke softly as she took a seat, chewing on her lip nervously.
 "Get whatever you want. It's my treat."
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#4
This place was something of a staple for Rowan. He frequented the joint since the moment he moved into his house on Crestview and now he spent time with coworkers or EMTs after a hard day or week at work. He waved at the bartender as they walked in, his face welcome as a regular and fair tipper.

Rowan followed Milla to their normal table, and the dim lights and familiarity of what once took place almost made him forget that they were broken up. Even the bartender's brows rose in question at seeing them together after having spent months apart.

Rowan took the seat near the wall, his feline protective streak needing to see all points of danger and all exits and entrances in order for him to truly be relaxed. Brown eyes looked up at her, a sly smile on his lips. "You know I can't do that," he said with a small chuckle. "My treat. I'll have a steak. Do you want the same?" he asked, knowing better than to assume that was what she wanted.

The curious bartender, Damien, was already headed their way to take their order.
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#5
 It was familiar; it almost felt like.. home. So being there again was nice, even though she knew it could very well have been a mistake. Yet there they were, seated at their usual spot and one could almost think that things were back to normal. Only thing was that they weren't.
 "You should let me treat you at least once in this lifetime." Milla objected, but wasn't going to insist as she knew how stubborn he could be. "And sure, sounds good." She then added, leaning back in her seat and trying to relax. It was easier said than done, as she was trying to come up with what to say when he'd confront her. Because at some point, she knew, he would ask her about why they were there and Milla.. Didn't really have an answer.
 It didn't take long before the bartender arrived at their table and Milla made sure to put up a facade of sorts. Acting like if nothing had changed and leaving it to Rowan to make the order, once she had agreed to his suggestion. "Add some extra sweet potato fries to that and a couple rounds of tequila." She'd made sure to add before the bartender got the chance to leave. She liked to think that the tequila would help with her nerves; but she doubted it.
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#6
In their lifetime... that would mean that this was a normal occurrence and Rowan didn't know if he could keep doing this while maintaining distance. "We'll see," he said with mild amusement, his thoughts all over the place to be able to tease her and show her that she was happy. Because he wasn't. Damien was at their table and Rowan ordered two stakes with fries (for him) and sweet potato friends for her. and a water for him. He couldn't drink with being on shift in the morning.

Milla, however, had other plans. She order a few shots of tequila, causing his eyebrows to rise in question he leaned forward, arms folding at the elbows to brace his weight in the worn table. "Do what’s got you all out of sorts that you had to text me? "He asked, voice light as he got straight to the point. She was living with Jackie and girls talked or whatever... right? Couldn’t Milla simply talk to her?

"Don’t get me wrong, Milla, I love spending time with you, but if you true my want space then we have to give each other space." wasn’t that right? Did he have it all wrong? Maybe he was starting to sound like an ass.
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#7
 At this moment, nothing could stop her from getting some liquor into her system. These things didn't come easy for her (nor for them in general) and she was still trying to figure out why she had texted him. Why where they even there? And why had he agreed on seeing her? Milla watched as Damien left their table, after taking their order, and turned to Rowan as she saw him move in the corner of her eye. His voice came next and Milla.. Couldn't really answer right away.
 Thinking, waiting, she glanced up at him through dark, thick lashes. A faint smile in place as she sighed, shaking her head. Milla ran her fingers through her hair as she tried to think of something to say. Why was this so difficult? "I don't know what I want." She finally admitted, her voice soft, as her eyes sought out his. "Never imagined I'd be a toxic fucking ex." The femme admitted next in a dry tone, picking at a napkin as she sat remained leaned back in her seat.
 "But I couldn't sleep and.. I miss you." Milla let out with a soft sigh as she leaned towards the table, using her elbows for support. "It's a dick move to tell you one thing, then do another. And.. I'm sorry." She chewed on her lip, something sad and.. longing in her gaze. "I just really wanted to see you."
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#8
Rowan let her speak. His eyes watching her carefully, though shadowed by the dim light of the bar. It didn't matter, she would see them clear as day if she wanted to. Rowan had always had trouble expressing his feelings. Especially those he thought made him vulnerable. But with Carmilla, that had never been the case. Expressing those feelings had always been ... challenging. 

When she was done, he took a slow, deep breath - resisting the urge to sit back and run his fingers through his hair. "If you're toxic, then so am I. I miss you too. I love you and that's not something I say lightly. No matter what I do or where I'm at, I want to know how you are or what you're doing. I want to keep you safe. I want to be with you. But more than anything... I just want you happy." he said keeping his voice low from curious ears. 

"And if that means that you're happiest without me, then that's what needs to happen. It would fucking suck. But I'm prepared to feel that way if that's what you really want." But if she wanted to be with him, then he would tell her what he thought they were. That they were mates and that's why they were drawn to each other throughout the years. It had nothing to do with them being the same species or him even biting her. It was because they belonged together. He felt it... in what he thought was his soul. Before Milla, he never believed in any of that bullshit. But now... now he thought it was possible.
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#9
 There had always been something about him. About them. Even before the incident where he had attacked her; it had been there. Something in the air. Electric. Drawing them to each other, no matter what. It had been years since and although they had confessed their love for each other on multiple occasions, there was always something. Like if they couldn’t quite be together, yet not apart either. It was frustrating, but at the same time intoxicating. A rush Milla didn’t know how to explain. And a rush she alway wanted back.
 The femme drew a deep breath as she listened to him. His voice was always like music to her ears and although the tension, she felt like if she could listen to him forever. When had she gotten so cheesy? Had she always been like this? "I’m not happier without you. And maybe.." Her voice drifted off as she met his gaze, searching. Trying to find her own words. "Maybe I made a mistake." Her voice was nothing but a whisper for those around her, but she knew he would hear her.
 "Maybe we should try. Again." At this point, Milla had forgotten how many times they had attempted to get back together only to break up again. But maybe this time would be different. Maybe she wouldn’t ruin things again.
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#10
He inhaled, though the breathe was shallow. Quiet even. It was as if he didn't want to interrupt her train of thought. Of course, Rowan would respect whatever decision she threw at him, but it wouldn't make it any easier. When has he become so docile? Like a little house kitten waiting for his person to come home. He still felt that need to protect, to make the decisions and have those decisions respected... but not when it came to Milla. It was like the alpha instinct had been shattered after years and years of that particular behavior not doing him any good. 

He paused, his dark eyes slowly bleeding into a hazel as the leopard within pushed at its barriers. Did he tell her now or wait? There was no real thing holding him back. It was either they were or they weren't. Mates. It was such a big deal and yet something he thought about telling her for years. He was an idiot to have held off for so long, but he wanted her decision to be hers alone and not something that she thought was happening. He didn't know how to explain it and sitting here at the table just staring at her wasn't how it was supposed to be done. 

"Milla..." he said quietly, knowing that some of the bar staff were curious as to what they were talking about after been on and off for years while remaining frequent customers. "I don't know how to say this... but I feel like I have to." He leaned back, running a single hand through his already tousled hair from being woken in the middle of the night. "I think you're my mate. That we are mates. I think that's why we are so drawn together. Why we always try to make it work. I think I've known since I first met you... even as a human."
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#11
 In a way, Milla couldn't say that she was surprised. It explained so much and although she hadn't quite grasped how it worked, it was something she had heard of while away in Ireland. Her time there wasn't something she enjoyed speaking about as it had left her with her own trauma. However, Milla wasn't about to let those memories infest her mind now, instead she leaned forward as Rowan leaned back. Her usually green eyes were slowly bleeding into an intense amber and a soft smile escaped her. 
 "Yeah?" She bit her lip, her gaze drifting briefly to those around her before finding it's way back to him. Reaching out across the table, Milla held out her hand - offering him to take it. "It would explain so much." Milla agreed, amber eyes twinkling in the dimmed light. Parting her lips as to say something again, she withdrew her hand as their waiter returned to their table. Bringing them their tequila, Milla offered him a quick smile and a brief thank you before kicking back one of the shots as he left the table again. 
 Although things were going seemingly well, she couldn't deny that a part of her was nervous. Things had been a real rollercoaster between the two of them and she couldn't deny that their track record wasn't particularly good. "I'm a mess without you, you know. Without us. It's crazy.. I've never experienced something like this with anyone else before."
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