It's Time to Move On

It was odd being back in Avondale. Sayed had only gone back to his house a few times for very quick trips to get clothes while he stayed with Pandora. But tonight was different. He was going to be moving. Again. His house was still partly trashed from his fight with Levka, the asshole shifter who'd attacked him for no good reason. But the vampire tried not to think of that.

His wounds were a lot better now, thanks in large part to Beauregard healing them somewhat. The pain was mostly gone, but every time the man had looked at the little bit of smeared blood on the wall next to his front door, his shoulder and neck gave a dull ache. He'd have to try to clean up that mess before he left for good. Later, though. For now, he just needed to get some boxes so he could pack up.

The store employee had been nice enough to tell Sayed that there were some boxes outback in their large recycling bin. The vampire had thanked the employee and headed towards the back of the store, but suddenly froze in the side parking lot. There was that smell again. The smell of an animal mixed with a human. Another goddamn shifter. He pulled out the keys to his car, finger hovering over the panic attention in case he'd need to draw attention to himself. Green eyes gazed around him and the outside of the store. He was glad he'd bought some more silver jewelry. Even more glad that he was wearing the silver chain underneath his shirt and the silver rings on a few of his fingers. He didn't have Amy's dagger though, which would've made him feel safer. Maybe it was stupid to even be in Avondale by himself. Maybe he should've tried to get a few other vampires from the clutch to join him.



 She had some vague sense of where the house in question was located, but specifics were lost on her completely. She supposed she could have taken Levka with her, made a couple's retreat of sniffing out and checking on the vampire with the knowledge he had no privilege to. But the fact was that she didn't want him that close to this again, the whole dilemma still a sore spot on an overall healing wound.

 Instead, she took the opportunity to wander - explored one street to the next with only some half-hearted effort to keep an exact mental point of where she had parked. Evening or not, the odds of running into a vampire were slim - the odds of running into Sayed again, so astronomical that they almost called for a reassessment where her belief in fate was concerned.

 It was with a comedic sort of timing that decay hit, with an astounding bit of dry humor that she should turn a corner and end up peering at a familiar face from across a distance of just a few parking spaces. Her head tilted, considering him a moment before she focused on the fob in his hand and recalled Levka's story about Sayed's almost-murder. What a weirdly specific and yet effective form of self-defense to owe your life to ... twice.

She didn't move so much as an inch towards him, instead, lifting her hand and wiggling just the tips of her fingers to wave his way.

Outfit bc I forgot last post

Sayed finally spotted her, the cat named Yana he'd come to find out from Beauregard. Green eyes looked at her warily, and he stood still for a moment as she waved at him. He didn't fully trust her. True, she had been the one to let him go. But had she not threatened him too? Had she not stopped Levka the bear from following him and attacking him?

With a slight frown, the vampire walked a little closer to her, but stopped at his own car. There was still some space between them, a far amount, even. But Sayed knew that should he try to get in his car, she'd be there before he could even finish sitting down. It was risky, but if she merely wanted to talk, then he could do that. If she tried anything else, well, he was fast and there were people around.

Even still, he stuck a hand in his jacket pocket to wriggle free one of the silver rings, in case he needed to use it to help get away. He wasn't interested in fighting, and he wouldn't do anything to harm her. All he wanted to do was get some boxes, pack up his place, and leave. Surely the shifters could appreciate that. "It's Yana, right?" he said, gently, trying to be decent and smile at her.

 If nothing else, she had the common sense to not go rushing for a man that had a known history of making scenes and was in a prime position to do so again. All the same, the greeting threw her enough that her force smile faltered - weakened as she tilted her head and assessed him but did not dare to take so much as another step.

"Maybe. Who precisely told you that, Sayed?"

She didn’t appear to like that, and what was worse, she wouldn’t confirm her name. That sat even worse with Sayed, and he moved to the side of his car to open the door, keeping green eyes locked on her. If he did this right, he could get in without having her on him and stopping him.

"Beauregard did," he answered easily. "You and Asha and Levka. When I went to go join the Lavendar Heights clutch. I’m going to be moving there."

 "And tell me, did Beauregard tell you anything else of interest?" Calm and level as she watched him, kept her arms folded but her hands in plain sight. "I just think it's important we clear the air between us - wouldn't you agree?" She glanced sideways, considered the fellow a couple intersections down who was casually walking an Irish Setter. Something horribly mundane to remind her of just how public this was, just how troublesome it could be.

"No," he answered quietly, unsure of what she was interested in hearing. "The three of you were just mentioned in passing." He paused again, remembering that Levka had told him to not retaliate. Maybe she was concerned about that.

"No one’s going to do anything, you know. Beauregard mentioned that you all might have felt threatened that I yelled at a cheetah in Avondale, which borders your homes. I already apologized to you about that, so I don’t know why Levka came after me. But I’m not interested in fighting, and neither is anyone else." Hopefully that would put her more at ease.

 "Mentioned in passing?" Her head tilted as she slowly slid her hands into her pockets and took the time to dissect this all into bite-sized portions. "I don't believe I've had the honor, curious that he should know my name." The immediate suspect was of course Asha. Not afraid of it, not even concerned, just annoyed by her lack of consent where being roped into such a mess was concerned.

 "Franky Sayed, you yelling is an issue but it's a mild one in comparison to what's come to light since." She stayed her distance, swayed a bit to exert some pent-up energy. "Who taught you, about the silver business? Beauregard?"

"Oh," he answered quietly, brows furrowing together as he too wondered how Beauregard knew who she was. Again, maybe it was the injured cat- Asha- who had told him. She didn't seem too keen on it still, and he could imagine why. He hadn't been too happy for the three of them to learn his name either.

His eyebrow arched at the question about silver. Maybe that's what she was mad about. "No, he didn't. It was just common knowledge back in Chicago. I don't think anyone even told me specifically. I just heard about it in bits and pieces from my old group." He tilted his head at her, not trying to mimic her, but just trying to understand the hostility coming from her. "Is that what you're upset about? The silver?" He briefly remembered Amy talking about the silver dagger and wondered if the cheetah had heard.

"No one is interested in hurting you or anyone else, Yana." Another reminder in case she'd forgotten the last time he'd told her.

 "That's a very simple and condescending approach, Sayed." It was an instant and somewhat sharp dismissal, although she quieted as the dogwalker turned the bend. Kept her eyes on the vampire and waited for a couple of beats before she spoke up properly. "You've decided to move in during a transition period." She'd leave it at that, not too keen on giving him a recent history lesson that she knew only in bits and pieces.

 "But the fact remains that you stand in a position where you could more aptly harm my family than the next man, wouldn't you agree?" She didn't wait to see if he did. "And now you've joined a union and sharpened them further, I assume. So please by all means, tell me again about how ridiculous I am being." Half a dare although she kept her voice light.

There it was again- the talk of the transitional period. He'd heard more about that. He gave the shifter a frown and shuffled a little on his feet as he too waited for the dog walker to pass. Had he known there was such a big thing that had recently happened before he moved here, he probably would've waited. Or gone somewhere else.

Sayed didn't get the chance to answer Yana's question, and at the accusation he frowned again. "I didn't say anything to them about the silver," he said quickly, though he really didn't remember if he had or not. Either way, most of the clutch probably already knew about that, but he wasn't going to let her know that. "And I don't think you're ridiculous at all. I'm just trying to let you know that no one is going to hurt you or your family."

It was odd that he was the one trying to put her at ease too, considering he was sure that, between him and Levka, he'd gotten the worse of the injuries. "I'm gonna go," he said finally, deciding that ending this now would be better than possibly staying around for it to escalate.

 "I suppose you are, seeing where we are." She motioned at their surroundings, not the sort of place or time where she could smash a car window and pull him out. Definitely not the type of scenario where she could tie a neat little ribbon around this whole mess. It all came back to that in the end, timing - knowing when you stay your hand and went to move. There was a lot to be said for that in the whole mess surrounding and involving Sayed.

 "It goes without saying but I would recommend avoiding Belle Vista and North Glenn at all costs." Her shoulders rose and then fell just as quickly. "We do not initiate violence outside of our borders and so otherwise, should you have a change of heart and make a move against anyone I'm in contact with, I will know about it." Less a threat and more of a warning as she spread her cards out on the table one by one.

This whole thing was a mess and Sayed wished he'd never met the damn cheetah that night at Copper Mountain. Acting tough certainly hadn't helped, and he knew it was mostly his own fault, but he was still new to everything. New to being a vampire. New to the area. New to shifters. He understood where Yana was coming from, but at the same time, it was frustrating to be made into something he was not. He frowned when she told him to avoid North Glenn and Belle Vista. North Glenn was full of nice hiking areas, and the anthropological museum had been one of his favorite things in Mountainside.

The door to his car was open and it would be easy to just sit inside and drive off, but Sayed had a few more questions. "I will stay out of those areas if it's important to you. If there's a way to show you that I truly mean no harm though, please let me know. I appreciate that you're not going to attack me here, and I hope that means you or anyone else doesn't follow me to my house. I really just want to pack up and leave, and I'll be in the Heights and away from your borders. I do love the anthropological museum in Belle Vista though. Before I was turned, I used to work in the Renaissance Department at the Newberry in Chicago. The museum in Belle Vista was nice. I had wanted to work there since they're open 24 hours."

He doubted that she would care about that, but if there was just a sliver of her that could trust him, then he'd run with it.

 The question, or rather, the request - it threw her enough that she tilted her head and narrowed her eyes. "Well, I won't be greenlighting that here and now, Sayed ... but -" She wasn't so sure about the concept of consenting to another goddamn vampire when she still had Ramses up her sleeve. A card that she wasn't sure she wanted t play or not, something on the sidelines that existed in a sort of stasis for the time being.

 "I am well aware you will not come over here and I don't want to frighten you further by coming over there, but if you give me your number I can think about it. But for now, the suggestion and the warning stand." Perhaps not fair but, closer to it - or so she thought at least.

"Of course," he said, fully understanding that she didn't fully know him and that things had been tense. Sayed gave her a warm smile though as she said she would consider his request. Obviously she could still tell him no very quickly, but the fact that she would think about it made him feel better about the entire situation. "Right, yes, I didn't think you'd just automatically change your mind, and I will stay out of Belle Vista and North Glenn until you say it's okay for me to be there. And if you decide that I can't ever go back, I'll be really sad, but I'll respect that."

He gave her another smile and gave out his number from where he stood. Even though he wasn't going to get the boxes he'd come for, he was happy to have made contact with Yana and, possibly, get things straightened out more with her. He thanked her for her time, and was about to get into his car when he paused again, and looked at her again. "Do you know why Levka attacked me? Did you tell him to? I get the feeling that he actually wanted to kill me, but wasn't able to."

 She dipped her head as she typed in his number, saved it under his name and slid it back into her pocket. The final set of questions caught her off guard, made her chuckle before she shook her head at once. "He's his own person, I do not control him and he does not control me - you'd have to ask him yourself."

She rubbed her hands together, shook her head after a moment. "You have a good night, Sayed."

You'd have to ask him yourself.

Yeah, not fucking likely. Sayed managed a sort of scoffed laugh and gave a short nod. He definitely wasn't about to go running off to find the shifter who attacked him to ask what had been going through his brain. He had a feeling that Yana likely knew a little bit more than she was willing to divulge, but he wasn't going to push the question.

She was going to leave him be, and that's really what he wanted. "You too, Yana," he said after a moment, before finally sinking down into his car and heading off. Maybe he'd come back in a few minutes to collect some of those boxes.

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