Fishin In The Dark

Red River 
Eric had a thrilled smile on his face as he walked away from his truck. Becoming a wolf had taken many things from him his love, his horses, his cows, his family and friends, but he was still able to hold onto a few things. Fishing was one of those things. The sun was starting to get low but he still had at least two hours of sunlight. The cowboy made his way toward the river. He had a hard sided cooler and his tackle box in one hand and in the other he had his rod and a chair. He traded in his normal jeans for cargo shorts and wore old sneakers. On his head rested an old fishing hat that his dad used to wear, it was faded and smelled fishy but he still wore it with pride. He found a spot along the river that was away from the main areas but not far off the path he walked down and set everything down. He could see a few fish trying to eat the bugs that were settled on the surface. Deciding on a pooper lure he sorted through his tackle box for a moment before getting the lure on the line. He left the chair folded against the cooler as he approached the edge of the water. He casted his line out and listened to the beautiful sound that it made as it spun out. Whistling softly he started to reel the line back in with a few good tugs to get the lure to pop properly.

She had little reason to be out so late. But Cris found that for all of her exhaustion, she was struggling to sleep. Getting up and moving seemed to help at least with the misery that came from being tired as fuck but incapable of actually dozing off.

There weren't any parties going tonight on the riverbank. At least, nothing noticeable. A few groups of young people lingering in the pale glow of their own cell phones. But these weren't welcoming gatherings, nor did they have any reason to be. Cris avoided them, hands in her oversized black hoodie to keep them warm.

Not that it was particularly freezing, but she had been running cold lately.

It was the sound of whistling that caught her attention. She pushed quietly along the path, wary that it was some sort of creepy murderapist siren song. But she was easily motivated by curiosity, and as she continued toward the sound, she eventually spotted him.

Some sort of redneck type fishing at the water's edge. He looked comfortable, and he sounded comfortable. She had no reason to disturb him. And yet.

For the sake of being a shit, she approached very slowly on the path, trying to remain as quiet as possible. (And, unfortunately aware he had better than average hearing.) She didn't exactly have a plan except to get as close as possible and see when he noticed. Cris could always make a run for it before he got up out of his chair if it was a problem.

 The hope for a nice sized catfish roamed his mind as the popper seemed to go unnoticed. He reeled it in and sent the line back out again. A bass or trout would be nice too so he figured he'd give the popper a little longer before switching bait. His wolf stirred as he heard someone sneaking up behind him. He reeled the line in, still flicking his wrist to cause the bait to pop on the water. He had given up on this cast giving him anything when a bass grabbed his line. He felt that excitement rush through him while his wolf paid more attention to their visitor. He pulled the fish in and waded into the water some to grab it. He grabbed it up and moved back to dry land before unhooking it. Holding it by it's open mouth he looked to his guest. He offered a wide smile. "Evening." He noticed a lack of fishing gear, so was she just for a walk and found him? "Big enough for a dinner, ya think?" He lifted the fish up slightly to show that he was talking about it. It was a good size and would surely be the star in tomorrow's main meal.

Cris had never actually gone fishing in her entire life. As something seemed to catch the... bobber? Or whatever it was called? She paused in her approach, eyes narrowing in the darkness to try to see what it was. There wasn't much in the way of moonlight out here, but light pollution helped.

Maybe he hadn't even noticed her, and that somehow made this more interesting as she watched him fucking catching a fish. Eyes wide, she leaned against a tree, gazing with keen interest. Dude splashed right into the gross Red River water, and then-

Busted. And given the way he spoke, she probably hadn't been as stealthy as she thought.

"Holy fuck, dude," she said, taking a few steps nearer. "Can I, like. Touch it?"

Pleasepleaseplease say yes.

 There seemed to be a bit of shock that he had known she was there. Wolf hearing was helpful. He chuckled as she asked to touch it. Must be a city girl. He nodded and set the rod down on the ground. He walked closer to her, keeping his thumb hooked in its mouth he used his other hand to support it's body. "Sure. Just be careful of the fins. They have sharp spines on them." As of on cue the fish flared them up in an attempt to free itself. He held it out for her to touch. Would she be the time to scream at the wet, slimy feel it had or would she surpise him with a different reaction?

The guy was obliging, which Cris appreciated greatly because holy fuck did she want to touch this big dumb fish.

Closing the gap between them some, she reached a careful hand out to pet with two fingers the slick, scaled side of the definitely still alive animal.

And. Honestly? It was pretty, for a fish. As it gaped and flailed some, she'd give it a second round of pettings. (This did not soothe the fish.) The pale bits of moonlight caught the silver of her ring, but also the dampened scales of the meekly flopping creature.

"You're really gunna eat it?" she asked, as if a guy out fishing at night was just running a catch and release program.

 She did not scream but she did not seem to thrilled with the feeling. He watched her and the fish as she seemed to pet it and the fish struggled to breathe. Normally by now he would have it on his caught line and back in the water but he was always up to try and show someone the beautiful side of nature. Brown eyes looked at the ring on her finger for a moment before looking back to her as she spoke. "That's the plan. Ever had fresh fish?" He had been eating fish for as long as he could remember and had eaten just about every freshwater fish that was native to Virginia. Handful of saltwater fish that he hand managed to catch as well. He smiled and stepped away from her, "Let me get this girl back in the water." He moved to his tackle box and with little thought opened it and pulled out a long line with clips on it. Pulling it out he opened a clip and hooked it through the mouth and made it come out through the gill opening. Once he closed the clip he pulled out a metal stake and pushed it into the ground near the water. "Come watch." He carefully placed the fish back into the water and watched as it seemed to not want to move at first. As the water slowly moved around it, it started to slowly open and close its mouth and in under a minute it started to slowly move once again. Smiling Eric was happy enough that it's time out of the water has not killed it early. He tied the line off around the stake with enough slack to make sure the fish would stay in the current. He stood back up and offered his hand to her to shake. "I'm Eric." His wolf had a strange feeling that Eric did not fully understand. For the moment he brushed the feeling off.

"Not really," she admitted, making weird eye contact with the fish's bulging gaze. Sorry, dude. This was all in rando guy's hands.

But it appeared rando guy was down for setting this fish free. Sorry, chick, you weren't a dude. Cris couldn't tell fish genders, alright. Did fish have dicks? No, it was like. A spawning thing. In the water. Gross.

At least, that was her thought until the process seemed to shift into something else. Was that a fucking fish leash? Cris followed obediently, her brows furrowed as she watched the guy go through his tasks. A fish leash. Was that to keep it fresh, or something? This was a thing people did? What the fuck.

"Cris," she said, offering out her right hand in return -- silver ring and all. It would be a quick handshake if he went for it, though likely for more reasons than one.

  The thought of going through his whole life without ever having a dish that he just caught seemed odd to him. He was raised knowing every detail of the animals he ate. He killed his first cow at eight and ate it the next week. Same with pigs and chickens. He hunted yearly. He was thankful for all the animals had given him. He felt that the connection it allowed him, even now, went deep into his soul. As his hand touched hers to shake it, his wolf lunged forward and Eric snapped his hand back as quickly as he could without seeming rude. Fuck that shit. His eyes fell back to the ring, His fingers that touched the ring burned a bit but he offered a smile. "Wanna try?" He nodded his head towards the pole. He only had one with him but he would be happy to teach her if she wanted. He also had plenty of beer if she just decided to hang out.

She caught it.

That snapping back of his grip when their fingers touched. Her heart seemed to skip a beat in time. But he didn't actually do anything, snarl or berate her or attack or.... something. Cris was left utterly uncertain, and for now she resolved to just be careful. It wasn't as if it would do her any good to bring it up unless she wanted to get fucking murdered.

"Don't wanna tangle your line on a tree or some shit," she said, scuffing one shoe against the leaf litter. Hands returning to her pockets, she eyed where the fish was tied off into the water. Weird. "Do you kill the fish when you leave, or do you just let it die in whatever you carry it in."

Kind of a morbid question, but hey, better than talking about werewolves!

His wolf was uneasy, nothing dealing with silver had ever ended well for them. Eric was careful as he mentally tried to settle the beast. For now there was no reason to think anything of it. For now. Her answer was not to abnormal he guessed and would allow him to focus on something else. He smirked, "Buddy of mine once hooked his girlfriend in the eyelid so you can't do any worse then that." That was a bad day. Thankfully she had been ok and it did not go into her eye. He understood though that fishing was not everyone's thing. He moved to pick the rod back up, he wanted to try to get a catfish this time so he started to switch out his bait when she asked him what he did with the fish. His brown eyes looked toward the line before he turned to look at her. "In my tackle box I have a knife and in the cooler, I have some bags that the fillets go in. I try not to have any animals suffer before their death. The parts I don't use will stay for the turtles and other animals to eat." He hoped that was enough of an answer for her. He was not sure what she looking for but before he left tonight, the fish would be dead. He turned back to his line and finished placing the bait on. "Have you ever seen a catfish before?" He was sure he knew the answer but felt the need to ask anyways. He turned his back fully to her as he looked for a good spot but his wolf was aware of her every move. "There is some beer in the cooler and maybe a soda or two if you want some. Feel free to use the chair if you want to stay." He mentioned it casually trying to get his beast to chill the hell out. He did a small cast and let the bait fall to the river's bottom before looking back towards her with a smile. "See, easy as that."

Ouch. She cringed openly, one hand rising up to rub at her eye in sympathy. Even more reason to skip fishing. Cris couldn't imagine running to Osvald begging for a hit of vampire blood to save her eyelid from tetanus or something.

Eric was a chatty guy, but Cris was tired enough to listen without interrupting. Killing the fish was kinder, she supposed. And leaving the remains made sense. Did turtles eat dead fish? This guy was probably a better expert than she was.

"Nope," she said simply to the question of catfish. "Well, actually, in an aquarium once."

The offer of beer had her wary, and she shook her head, content to linger near a tree and watch out where he'd cast the line. If nothing else, he certainly made it look easy.

  She did not move from her spot and her answer just caused him to shake his head slightly. Eric moved the chair slightly towards her and pulled the cooler to a flatter area, pulled out a beer, opened it and sat down. There was not much to do when fishing for catfish. Waiting around and more waiting around. He started to drink the beer as he watched the water. If I manage to get one you can get a good look at it. They are funky looking things." Not the strangest thing he had seen come out of the water but close. He held the rod in his free hand as he looked at her. He was not completely sure what to say. He sucked at small talk but did not know her well enough to really jump into anything. "Would you like to hold the rod and once one hits the bait you can bring it in yourself? No casting involved." Hopefully it would not take long but who knows. Eric brought different baits to try so he may need to switch it out but for now the one he has one it would be allowed to try and work.

This guy was plenty eager to get her involved, and she reminded herself that maybe he was just... extroverted.

She chewed on the corner of her lip for a second before nodding. Where the fuck had her usual boldness gone? Somewhere with the rest of her energy.

"It's dark as shit, so. If I'm not reeling in when I should be, just yell at me or something."

Cris approached with a hand out to take the rod, a hint of wariness in her demeanor. She still wasn't entirely sure what kind of... species he was. But she had the silver stabby thing in a back pocket beneath her hoodie if she really needed it.

She heisted for a moment before reaching for the rod. He smiled as he handed it over and rocked back on the cooler slightly. He had forgotten what night looked like as a human, he could see the water and the line going into the water without any issues. He nodded slightly as he took another sip of his beer. "It might be awhile but if something starts pullin the line, pull it in." He wondered if she would stand the whole time. The burning feeling on his hand that was only slightly cooled by the cold beer still had his wolf on edge. He might be pushing his luck by keeping her around but it might be something that could be useful to the pack. If someone was using rings to find them, Vinegar King would want to know. He watched her for a moment as her closer proximity allowed for his senses to pick up more and there was something about her that as different. He took another drink of the beer. "You from around here?" The area seemed to have a fair amount of new and older folks here.

A fish pulling on the line would... be pretty obvious, right? Would it just pull the line out?

Cris decided not to ask. She'd know or he would tell her, and either way maybe she'd end up with a fish she'd demand he set free.

"Been here a couple months. I move a lot." She shrugged, then glanced over to cowboy Eric. "Why wear a hat when there's no sun in your eyes?"

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