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A Date...Maybe?
Calvin walked from the train station to the café. Is was a little brisk, but for the time of year it wasnt extremely cold. He could still see his breath, but the sun was shining in the sky. Calvin couldn't help but be in a good mood. They had agreed to meet at the café, and Calvin wondered if that was the right choice. They were just meeting as friends - it wasn't a date...was it?

He was meeting Sierra today for coffee, but he wanted to do more. Coffee could get boring and awkward especially if one of the people had a crush on the other. Calvin had come to terms with that idea. It was rough having to think about it still. His heart was still healing from having lost Mary and Benji, but he had made some pretty good strides. Neither one had made an appearance in his dreams since then, but he had let them go and hoped they felt content.

He would have to tell Sierra, but he had no idea whether or not her feelings were the same as his. It was only fair that she knew about that part of his past. He still wondered how to tell her. He didnt want to hurt or use her. For now, he would take things slow; he still didn't know much about her, but her smile made him smile, he enjoyed her company, and he already knew they had much in common - the wolves, a love of nature, and both had lost someone they had loved way too early.

Calvin arrived at the café and stood outside. The cold didn't bother him much and he preferred to wait outside. His mind drifted, wondering what else he could do today. They both liked nature, so maybe a walk in the park; he didn't know - he'd think more about it as they were getting caffienated for the day. He leaned against the café,.waiting for Sierra to arrive.
Sierra was a little nervous. It's not like this was a real date, like date date. At least she didn't think it was, it hadn't sounded like one. But ... Sierra gave up worrying about it. Snow kept sending her worried images. He didn't understand what was wrong. And the images he sent weren't always the most benign. Some were what some would call erotic. To a wolf, a mate was good, pups better. Sierra blushed at most those sendings and could not get them from her head.

She was very grateful that Snow had to stay in her apartment while she went to the coffee shop. He wasn't happy. But Sierra was glad to be away from any embarrassment that he could induce. But he knew Calvin, he could speak to him just the same as her from a distance. Sierra prayed he would not. That was the last thing she needed.

The sun was bright, and warmed the air to a temperature that felt warmed compared to the past days. Sierra missed her own home, the temperature wasn't quite so cold.

Calvin stood outside the shop waiting. Sierra would have gone inside. She smiled at him. "Hi."

She didn't wait for him to open the door, she wanted to get inside where it was warmer, coffee would be great too. Once inside she turned and took off her coat of deer skin and smiled. "How you doing?"

The coffee shop smelled wonderful, Sierra's stomach rumbled at the delicious smells. The baked goods and the brewing coffee, there was no better mixture of flavors, except maybe smoking meat.
It didn't take long for Sierra to arrive. She smiled at him and said hi and Calvin returned the greeting. Calvin guessed she wasn't as used to the cold as he was. Her smile made him smile and accented her already pretty features. Calvin followed her into the shop and was bombarded by the smell of coffee, pastries, and other baked items. He thought he also caught the scent of bacon.

Calvin was a little nervous and didn't plan on eating anything, but all of the scents made him feel hungry. Sierra had removed her coat and smiled at him again.

"How are you doing?"

Calvin removed his own coat as she asked the question and he smiled at her, "I'm doing well, thank you, and how are you?"

They found a table and sat down, a waitress soon approached

"Good Morning, can I start you out with some coffee today?"

"That sounds great! Thank you."
Although Calvin had never been involved in food service, he had seen many waitresses mistreated and always tried to be polite to them.

As the woman poured their coffee, Calvin thought of what to say. He did feel nervous, but didn't know why. It wasn't really a date. The were just two friends having coffee. As he thought about it, he'd spoken to Sierra before. He could just talk to her the way he normally did.

The nervousness gone, he was able to look her in the eye and noticed that she wore dark contacts too. He understood the looks she probably had received when her eye color first changed, and so it didn't surprise him.

"I started a new job this week. How's work for you? Have you gotten out to take more photographs?"
he said, the nervous twinge in his voice gone.

Edited by Calvin, Jul 30 2014, 12:26 PM.
They sat at a table and the waitress brought them coffee before Sierra could really answer Calvin's question. "I've been good."

When the waitress returned again, Sierra ordered a crescent. She was hungry but she wasn't exactly sure she wanted to eat now, it was such an odd time to eat.

Sierra vaguely remembered Calvin mentioning his new job. It had to have been in the dreamworld, he'd not been in Moscow long when they first met.

She smiled when he asked about her work. "Not much nature in the city to photograph. I probably won't get any good shots to sell until I head out of Moscow for a while. I've gotten a few candid shots of a girl and her hedgehog."
She didn't mention the fact that it was a genetically engineered hedgehog to a girl with rainbow colored hair. "I've take a few night shots here and there. The city at night makes for some very interesting shots. Sometimes I see things through the lens, and then they are gone. Like I was seeing things."

Snow started sending images again. Sierra sighed and tried to pay attention to both Calvin and Snow but it was difficult. The last image Snow sent made Sierra blush. She hung her head and shook it, trying to shake it from her mind and regain her composure. I'm going to kill him when I get home.

Sierra prayed that Calvin hadn't gotten the same images she had. But knowing Snow he had, he'd have asked Calvin the same embarrassing question. She really was going to have to teach that wolf about human behavior if he was going to interact with more than her.
Calvin asked for a bagel when the waitress came back and began to take another drink of his coffee. Then the images started. They had a familiar feel to them - they were from Snow. And they were quite...vivid.

Calvin could feel the heat rushing to his face as he thought of the image Snow had sent. It was quite clear what the wolf was asking, and Calvin began coughing as he choked on the coffee he had just swallowed. It didn't last long and he soon could breathe again. A few smaller coughs followed and a person at the table next to them asked if he was okay.

"I'm fine thanks."
Calvin said, picking up his glass of water and taking a drink.

Calvin didn't need to look at Sierra to know if Snow had sent the images to her as well. Snow and Sierra were pretty much best friends. If he sent them to Calvin then he had sent them to Sierra too. The woman was beet red, and at one point, Calvin would have probably found it cute, but since he knew his face was probably just as red, the whole cuteness factor was out the door.

The worst part was that it was his turn to talk, but everything he thought about brought the image back to his mind. Photography...god no! Wolves - definitely not! He had to say something though - something - anything to break the tension now - anything that didn't bring to mind Snow's embarrassing question. He kept coming back to photography, so he decided to suck it up and just ask something on that.

"'d you get into photography?"

Calvin knew the question sounded dumb, but felt somewhat relieved that it really wasn't his fault. He couldn't really blame Snow for the question as he probably didn't understand what this actually was. Calvin hoped that the whole ordeal would smooth itself out soon.

Edited by Calvin, Jul 30 2014, 01:33 PM.
Sierra glanced up and saw that Calvin was as red as she knew she was. She took a deep breath and smiled. "Sorry about Snow, he's ... a wolf. I have no other explanation."

But her photography, it was safe. Hopefully. "My Mom bought me a camera when I was young. Nothing more than one of the little point and shoot jobs. But I eventually saved enough to get a good camera. I'd liked the photography magazines my Mom would bring back to the bunker for us to read and learn from. It kinda grew on me."

She paused thinking about her first shots. "That's really when I started noticing little things about the world around me. Nature and its glorious things, the balance of it all. Then the wolves started contacting me, but I didn't know till much later what it was."

Sierra felt better now that Snow wasn't being so inquiring. He just didn't understand. He knew just enough to be dangerous.
Calvin sighed and felt his face cooling off as Sierra mentioned Snow's rather erotic sending. The tension dissipated and Calvin began to feel a little less embarrassed as Sierra spoke about her journey as a photographer. It sounded a little like how he grew up. He learned his trade by experimenting and doing.

That led to a natural discussion on nature. Most of her shots were in nature and quite a bit of them had to do with wolves. It was a nice way to introduce his own love of nature.

"I began to notice the world around me at a young age. Mostly it was mother's influence. She was a Native American Indian and had a love for nature that I've not seen many have. She taught me to really see things. You know...not just seeing things, but actually seeing things."
Calvin emphasized the words. "I'm not sure if that makes sense or not, but really she taught me to respect nature and always be thankful for what we had."

Calvin stopped for a second and took a drink of his coffee. She mentioned her first contact with the wolves. His came from tragedy. He had learned to accept it, but was afraid to bring it up. What if it reopened the wounds.

Calvin thought about how much it had helped when he had told Connor about his lost. He decided that telling her would help, but not wanting to completely ruin the mood again, he thought that he would only briefly mention his issue.

"I started to contact the wolves as a result to a series of tragedies. I didn't understand it until I met Whispering Leaf. I used my ability to try to bury what I felt. I think that's why the wolves didn't like me being in the dream."

Calvin didn't want to say more about it right now. It was enough for now. "You mentioned a bunker, were you in a military family?"
Sierra listened to Calvin's story, she was sad when he mentioned that tragedy had lead him to the wolves. She knew life wasn't always a barrel of peaches, but tragedy was still very saddening. That the world was that harsh. But he didn't go into and Sierra wouldn't ask. If it was something she should know, he'd tell her, she knew that sometimes you just needed time. It had taken her time to deal with Aaron's loss, and that's why she was in Moscow, though she hadn't gotten anywhere in it. She had no idea what to do or where to look. She almost felt like giving up on the whole thing. But something always pulled her backed.

But then the conversation turned back to her and she laughed. "If it were the military I don't think I'd be who I am, nor have met the wolves."
Sierra took a swallow of the hot coffee, the heat almost burned her throat. It was a good feeling warmth. "My father was a paranoid man. When I was five, the world grew into a panicked mess with all the catastrophes happening. My father took it as a sign the apocalypse was coming. The end of days. He was determined to ride it out. He'd prepared a bunker in case of emergency. My mother never thought he'd use it, but that's where I grew up. In the middle of no where in what was once Span, deep in the ground hiding in a bunker. We stayed hidden from the world for about 5 years, before my father went top side. The world was still there, and we saw the light of day finally. But we stayed at the bunker. My parents still live there. I've moved from place to place, following the call of my passion. I've not been home since I left."

Sierra smiled. "My dad, taught us how to hunt and survive on our own, sounds like your mother was doing some of the same for you."
Calvin listened and couldn't help but feeling sad. She had spent a substantial portion of her childhood completely sheltered from the outside world. She probably had made few friends; her brother was probably her only companion. She had spent much of that time living in fear. He couldn't imagine how hard the would be.

Sierra had laughed and smiled, but yet the feeling of sympathy was still there. Calvin had grown up running through the woods playing hide and seek with friends. He didn't have to live his life in fear. He had had a relatively normal childhood. That was something that Sierra had been denied.

Calvin reached out and touched her hand, "That had to be a difficult way to grow up. I'm sorry."

Calvin brought his hand back and offered her a smile. They still had a lot in common, and her willingness to laugh and smile at the difficult portions of her life inspired him.

"Yes, my mother taught me a lot about surviving. She taught me how to recognize different berries and nuts, and which ones were poisonous. My dad taught me how to hunt though, although it was with a rifle, and I've found myself not liking guns so much."
Calvin shrugged and smiled, remembering the times he had with his mother. "After my mother's passing, I looked a lot more into her beliefs and still want to learn more. She taught me to respect nature. Even now I still say the prayer of thanks she taught me for a successful hunt or forage."

Calvin paused and grinned, "That reminds me. You still need to show me how you made that stone knife on our first hunt."

Calvin felt bad for the way she grew up. Sierra hadn't intended it to sound sad. It wasn't. It was the only thing she knew. "It wasn't that bad. I didn't have any friends growing up, but there is a world out there that very few people actually understand, or ever get to see. I got to live in it, see it with my own two eyes. Appreciate it. This city thing is difficult at best. But I can see the convenience of it. Not having to find you own food, not having to know how to kill, clean and cook your food so it doesn't rot away before you have a chance to eat it. These city folk will die when the end of the world comes. It is coming, the wolves feel it. They know somethings on the horizon, but they don't talk of their knowledge with us."

Sierra hadn't meant to be all doom and gloom, but it was how she had been raised, her father had taught her how to survive. She knew where to go when the world went to hell. She was thankful for her way of living most so than any other time. Her father may have been paranoid, but he was right.

Sierra laughed at the rock knife she'd made. She smiled. "We will have to go out for a longer journey than a night if you want to know what I can teach you. The rocks here are not the right type. When your job allows it, we should go out one weekend. We can visit the wolves and I can show you how to make the essentials to survival out of what nature provides."

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