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message 1: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (last edited Jun 03, 2017 12:05PM) (new)

Haley | 9504 comments Mod
((Roleplay location in small-town North Carolina))

message 2: by Lyss, Head Moderator (new)

Lyss (lyss4music) | 8617 comments Mod
((Okay so I googled it, and it's only a 3 hour drive between Central Virginia and North Carolina, so I'm going to embellish a little))

Oliver POV

After driving for what felt like an eternity, due mostly to the snoring of Rixon and Lexi in the backseat, but was in reality around 5 hours, Oliver spotted a sign board advertising a motel just off the interstate silhouetted against the ruddy red of the setting sun. According to his sources, he knew that the suspected hideout of the hunter was around 30 minutes from the motel, and while it wouldn't be fully dark for another hour or so, Oliver had no intention of going into what would undoubtedly be a trap, blind and in the dark. So he'd opted to camp out on the outskirts for the night, go scout the location and make their move in the morning when the hunter was (hopefully) sleeping and Oliver had a better idea of what lay ahead. Of course, Lyla was completely against this plan, evident from the scowl she'd miraculously held on her face for the entire 5 hour drive. Oliver would have been impressed if the look had been reserved for anyone other than himself. Lyla, despite her stubbornness and eagerness to find her boyfriend, had been forced to concede when Oliver made the point that going to get Casper in the dark would likely result in not only Casper being killed, but themselves as well. Particularly Lexi, whom Oliver was still debating leaving in the motel. Or appointing her getaway driver. Rixon and Lexi had sided with him on this, much to Lyla's chargin, but Oliver wouldn't budge and that had been the end of that conversation. Instead, he'd tried to appease her by letting her man the radio. He doubted it improved her mood.

Oliver took the exit and turned onto a narrow road, bordered by tall pines that cast shadows over the roads. Out the corner of his eye, he watched Lyla fidget anxiously with the zipper of her jacket. He felt it too, now. As they neared the motel, that old nervous excitement at the thought of a new op seeped into his veins and he felt more alert than he had all trip. Oliver straightened in his seat, riding the energy. A neon sign with a few of the letters broken announced that they had arrived. Pale pink walls that looked like they were in sore need of being repainted greeted them, along with three other cars in the parking lot. Oliver had already checked the place out online; quiet and out of the way, but not too quiet, where they wouldn't be particularly noticed. The car growled to a stop as he pulled up in front of the building, glancing in the review mirror at the sleeping forms of his passengers. He was half tempted to leave them there for the night, if only that he didn't want four anxious people pacing a single room all night. With a sigh, Oliver switched the car off and glanced sideways at Lyla, half expecting further protest at having to wait the night.

message 3: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (last edited Jun 28, 2017 08:16AM) (new)

Haley | 9504 comments Mod
((I loved the embellishments! Angry Lyla sounds about right, haha))

The friends who were supposed to help her through this awkward trip had fallen asleep within the first hour of driving. Lyla at least thought she'd be able to count on Lexi to be so energized by being on a roadtrip with Oliver Redwood that she'd pop up between the front seats regularly. Conversely, Lyla thought maybe Rixon would be so uncomfortable that he'd be unable to rest. She'd been completely and utterly wrong on both counts, which had left her in a continuous, tense silence with Oliver, pretending that she didn't notice that only the gearshift separated them. She'd never sat this still this close to him for this long. She had wanted to sit in the back to avoid this, actually. It didn't help that the ride was sullen on her end, too, although this was for more reasons than she could count. Yes, she was still pissed that she'd been outnumbered on the rescue plan. She didn't want to spend the night out here, waiting till morning to do anything. What if those twelve hours made the difference between Cas's life and death? What if this was the night the hunter tired of whatever it was he was holding Casper for, and by the time morning came it was too late? Why, after weeks, was it worth the risk? Lyla couldn't argue that it put Rixon and Lexi in far less danger to walk into a trap in the light; it was literally the only thing that had shut her up about it. But still, couldn't they have left earlier and gotten this done this afternoon? On top of that she was frustrated with Marcus for trying to talk her out of this when she'd told him where she was going, furious that the hunter they were after was the same man she had met in the park all those months ago, and she was completely stressed by the idea that her injury shoulder would make her more of a hindrance than a help, though Lyla was determined not to let that be the case.

Still, despite everything flooding her thoughts, Lyla hadn't let the whole roadtrip pass in silence. Her uneasy balance with Oliver wasn't something she could lose now—not that she wanted to lose it at all—so she spent the majority of the ride with her legs crossed under her and Oliver's files open on her lap, triple-checking aloud everything she was supposed to know, everything she still had questions on, everything that might matter in the coming hours. And her teacher seemed grateful for the easy topic, despite the irritated edge she couldn't quite remove from her voice and despite the fact that she was using more force than necessary to punch the buttons on the radio whenever she wanted to find a new song. He was grateful enough to converse with her instead of getting annoyed. And honestly, the least Lyla felt she could do was know everything about the situation she was walking everyone into. With every passing minute her worry for their well-being grew. It was only when Oliver finally turned them off the highway that Lyla fell completely silent, closing the files carefully before staring out at the trees beyond the window, heart starting to beat a little faster with nerves and hope and fear. She was nervous her training wasn't sufficient enough for Oliver to want her at his back, hopeful that Casper was close, that he was coming home tomorrow, and so afraid that this wouldn't be the case or that another person she cared about would be lost in the process. Needing something to do with her hands—besides crush the edges of the paper she was holding, which she smoothed out when she noticed—Lyla fiddled with the zipper of the oversized jacket she'd borrowed from her brother, pulling it up and down between her fingers.

It was when the car was parked and off and Lyla could no longer pretend she didn't know Oliver was looking at her that she turned to meet her teacher's eyes, trying to look less impatient than she felt. There was no part of her that was looking forward to some kind of bizarre sleepover with Lexi, her ex, and her English teacher. "Charming," she said dryly, nodding out the windshield at the motel he'd chosen. It was only because she was finally facing the reality of the situation at hand that she finally recognized the other feeling running through her: excitement. Lyla was so very ready to be doing something, to be putting everything she'd learned to the test, to finally, finally be useful. She couldn't deny there was a certain thrill involved in being the good guy, in readying a for rescue mission. This was all she'd ever wanted to be able to do—get the people she loved out of harm's way. Despite being in a motel parking lot, Oliver looked invigorated by the nearness of the mission, too. She almost smiled at the realization. Lexi and Rixon, on the other hand, were so unimpressed that they hadn't even woken as the car they were in stopped moving. "Think there's any chance they just keep on sleeping right through it all?" Lyla asked quietly, nerves back all at once. "It would save me a lot of time if I didn't have to argue for them to stay in the motel room tomorrow morning." Oliver could handle himself, and Lyla had no thought for her own sense of safety. But she was hyper-aware that the two in the backseat were here for her, that Rixon, while tough and magical, had been training for far less time than she had; and Lexi, while knowledgeable, didn't have the powers to keep herself safe. Lyla didn't think she could bear it if either of them so much scraped a knee because she'd dragged them into something dangerous.

message 4: by Lyss, Head Moderator (new)

Lyss (lyss4music) | 8617 comments Mod
Oliver POV

Oliver huffed through his nose at Lyla's remark; a sound of amusement or nonchalance, he wasn't quite sure. "Charming,", he began, echoing her, "is exactly what I thought when I looked this place up. Don't the pink walls just scream luxury?" With a glance out the windshield at what he assumed was meant to be salmon pink walls, he mused that the walls screamed something but it definitely wasn't luxury. Meeting Lyla's eyes across the console again, Oliver saw it, the same spark of excitement in her eyes that he knew was mirrored in his own. She felt it too then, that rush of adrenaline before an operation. A knowing smile tugged at his lips; what she felt now was nothing in comparison to the adrenaline that would be coursing through her veins when the time came, or the elation when-he avoided using the word 'if', even in his thoughts-they were successful. It was euphoric, really. Everyone always praised the good guys for being heroes, throwing themselves into danger for the greater good. He didn't prescribe to that, and Oliver Redwood in no way, shape or form thought of himself as any kind of hero. The truth was, they did it for the high. It was a drug, all in it's own.

Seeing that look in Lyla's eyes, a reflection of his own, tugged at something in Oliver and the rightness of the situation struck him. It wasn't anything he could put into words, not yet at least. It was just an inkling he felt that, despite the circumstances, despite the state of their relationship, he was now getting some glimpse of something. Maybe not of the future, but of a possibility. The possibility of a partnership, of Lyla being at his side, as a partner. Shaking his head slight, a shadow passed over his face as he realised the unlikeliness of that situation. Glancing back at the sleeping forms behind him, sure Lyla had missed the look or the thoughts that were somehow plain on his face to her, he smirked. "I think that would probably be asking too much of fate," he remarked. They were already gambling heavily on a lot of factors that they had zero control over. Oliver had done everything he could to plan their rescue mission thoroughly, to ensure everyone's safety and the success of their mission. He'd planned every last detail and done his best to cement certain elements, but there was only so much he could control and in situations like this, things tended to go awry. Whatever could go wrong usually did. The important thing was to have good instincts and the ability to take action in a split second, to react to the unexpected. Normally, Oliver worked alone and that wouldn't be a problem. Now, however, he was responsible for three other people. Three other, untrained (he would give Lyla her credit, but she was still a rookie) people, who he now had to think and act for. His smirk melted into a grimace. "I could always drug them." He was only half kidding, but he knew he needed the extra hands in this situation. He knew nothing of the hunter's compound yet, he could have a small army for all he knew. It was unlikely, but Oliver believed that anything was possible.

With a sigh of resignation, Oliver opened his door, unfastening his seat belt and sliding out in one smooth graceful motion. Shutting the door with enough force for the sound to wake Lexi and Rixon, whom both sat up with a start, blinking in confusion as they slowly came to awareness of their surroundings. Oliver rolled his eyes at Rixon. So much for situational awareness, the prime skill any hunter needed in order to survive. "I'm going to check in. Get the bags," he announced before turning on his heel and striding into the Motel's lobby.

message 5: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9504 comments Mod
"It's as if money is no factor," she replied in a mutter that was mostly good-natured. Money indeed wasn't a factor for anyone in the car, but luxury hotels didn't usually get built on the edges of small-town forests, and no one on the mission would've chosen extreme expense and comfort in place of convenience of location. Not on this trip, at least. So here they were. Even though she knew Oliver had chosen the place precisely it was an unlikely place for the four of them to be, Lyla couldn't help feeling relieved because at least no one would ever expect to find them here. Ever since Sloan and her mom and the attacks on her family Lyla had been unable to shake the feeling of being watched, paranoid though it was to think powerful supernatural creatures had nothing better to do.

Lyla got out of her own head in time to note Oliver's expression before he turned away, that same look of pride and hope and something akin to longing that she'd seen on his face when he'd come to her house nights ago, the same look she was trying so carefully to keep from her own face whenever they made eye contact. It helped some of her sullen anger whenever she thought he might miss what they had, too, and she genuinely thought he did. But, like now, the moment Lyla thought she saw something to confirm this Oliver had already closed his expression back down and looked away. Not for the first time she wondered at the fact that she had in her life someone whose facial expressions she understood on instinct, someone who—without powers or prying—was always so able to understand her own thoughts and feelings just by meeting her eyes. When it wasn't making her feel uncomfortable or vulnerable, she was comforted by the fact that she didn't have to say everything out loud. But Oliver did look away, toward the backseat at her friends like Lyla had done, and when he spoke she nodded a little. "Yeah. Fate hasn't exactly been on our side of late," she agreed, bitter as she had ever been. It was safe to say that if Lyla Green had ever believed in fate, she sure didn't now. However, when Oliver joked about drugging Lexi and Rixon, she grinned a little. "If I thought they would still be my friends after something like that, I would encourage it. As it is, I'm a little low on friends and probably shouldn't risk these two." She'd just gotten Rixon back, after all.

In evident agreement, Oliver chose that moment to get out of the car, being sure to wake the other two in the process. Even as he called over his shoulder for them to unpack the car, Lyla stayed in her seat, turning fully to face her friends that were looking blearily at their new surroundings. "Have a good nap?" she asked pointedly, though not without some amusement because seriously, how could they sleep so peacefully at a time like this? How could they sleep peacefully at all? Lyla was a newly minted insomniac; since the Ball and the hospital and the kidnapping of the man she loved, she hadn't yet been able to sleep through the night, or rest free from nightmares. She was a little envious that the same strain didn't lay on her friends' shoulders, not that she would've wished this one them.

message 6: by Lyss, Head Moderator (new)

Lyss (lyss4music) | 8617 comments Mod
Lexi POV

If it was any other day, in any other car, Lexi would have called 'Shotgun' in a heartbeat and appointed herself designated DJ and snack dispenser. Especially since the guy driving the car happened to be her hot English Professor. It was for exactly that reason, though, that Lexi shot to the back seat before Lyla could even open her mouth to object. Buckling herself in, Lexi held in a smirk as Lyla shot daggers at her. Rixon wasn't much help either, since he was already buckled into the backseat himself, so Lyla was forced to ride up front with her mentor. 'If someone has to force those two to talk, it might as well be me. At least I'll get some satisfaction out of it when I'm eventually proved right about their relationship.' Lexi thought smugly. In a regular road trip, Lexi would also be the one with her head jammed between the two front seats, jabbering away. She refrained, however. Not because she didn't feel like pestering Lyla and Mr. Redwood, but because the excitement in her belly had turned heavy with dread. Even now, she felt the usual tingle of excitement in her gut that travelling always brought on, even if it was only a few hours drive away, tingling in an uncomfortable manner as an ominous feeling settled over her. The source, she knew, originated from the impending rescue mission. The whole situation was pretty surreal and she felt like she was in an episode of Supernatural. "What, no Impala?", she'd pouted at Mr Redwood when he'd arrived at di Cameron to pick them all up. If he'd found her joke funny, he didn't particularly show it. Evidently, the mission ahead was prevalent on his mind as well. Between Lyla and their Professor, she wasn't sure who looked more tense. Lexi mentally berrated herself; now was not the time to be thinking negatively. Still, unable to shake the feeling, she plugged her headphones in, an attempt to escape her own head for a while. Before she realised it, she was jarred awake by a slamming door. Sitting bolt upright, earphones falling from her ears, she blinked at her surroundings, pink walls and Lyla's somewhat unimpressed face coming slowly into focus. 'There's no way that I slept the entire trip...' Her incredulous thoughts were proved wrong with a further glance around her; indeed, they had arrived at their motel. She focused on Oliver's retreating back for a moment before she realised that her friend was speaking. "Huh?", she questioned, voice a little groggy.

Rixon POV

Rixon's thoughts were like hungry wolves, chasing each other in circles around his head. Selfish thoughts, questioning what he was doing risking his life to save Casper Ravenscar, the man who was by all accounts Rixon's enemy. A glance at Lyla reminded him as to his motives, but even that thought fell flat under the onslaught of his anxiety. He realised then, sitting in the plush leather seats of Oliver's car, that the reason he was a part of this fools' mission wasn't because of his relationship with Lyla at all. He wasn't in love with her anymore; yes he still loved her dearly, and he would do anything for her...but that, that wasn't what this was. It was more likely his own fear of failure. It took what felt like an eternity of struggling with his thoughts for him to find some sense of peace. To accomplish that, Rixon began to practice something Oliver had taught him. A sort of meditative state, something hunters engaged in when on a hunt that was necessary to block out all external distractions and thoughts and focus on the task at hand, opening the brain and senses to their surroundings. With a few deep breaths, eyes closed, Rixon spent several minutes concentrating on the feel of the leather at his back, beneath his fingertips. Several more minutes were spent picking apart the various sounds in the car and analysing them; from the obvious music playing from the speakers-Lyla's playlist, of course-, the low grumble of Oliver's voice followed my Lyla's clipped responses, the steady rhythm of Lexi's shallow breaths, the rush of air through the vents, to the crunching of gravel beneath the cars tyres and the barely audible pur of the engine. As Rixon focused each of senses on the stimuli surrounding him, he slowly and purposefully canceled them out. Starting with the distracting noises, Rixon withdrew, until eventually he was entirely in his mind, his body, completely aware of his own functioning. The steady expansion and contraction of his lungs, the cool rush of air through his nostrils, the beat of his heart, the rush of blood in his ears. Once the outside world had been reduced, the thoughts chasing themselves around his head quieted as well. Rixon spent the remainder of the trip picking his thoughts apart, and ruthlessly tearing them apart until he found their root. It took some time and no small amount of discomfort to get to it, to the ugly, twisted and gnarled root, rotting deep inside of him. Once he'd unearthed it, however, it took even more willpower to look at it. To face it and start the irrevocable process of hacking at it. At cutting off it's life support. It was a twisted thing, buried deep, with tendrils extended throughout his entire body, buried deep in his mind. He followed it to it's origin, a dark and shadowy place somewhere in his chest. Cloaked in shadows so thick he couldn't even make out the outline of whatever lay there. Forced to turn his consciousness away from that place, Rixon focused once more upon the thick tangled roots. Hacking at one piece left him feeling hollow and empty; what would he be without the comforting weight of the monolithic root weighing him down, grounding him. Without it, he feared he would float up into the ether and simply disappear. It had existed their his whole life, he realised, all stemming from that dark and shadowy place that seemed to breathe. Noting it's presence for the first time, he realised he had always subconsciously felt it there, living inside of him, feeding off of his life force. Parasitic in nature, to kill it at this point could mean his own death. A mental shudder reverberated through him as he began attempting to withdraw from the deep recesses of his subconscious. Something in him resisted; something inside of him resisted, holding him there. It was that dark shadowy place that wasn't a place at all. The dark tendrils of smokey darkness breathed. It was something alive, something other. Staring into the inky depths once more, body draining cold, the darkness growing and enveloping him until all he could see was nothingness, a giant gaping maw waiting to devour him in the center. Jagged ivory teeth dripped poision, ready for-BANG.

Rixon started awake with a fright, sitting up as if a metal rod replaced his spine. Eyes wide, he took his surroundings in in a split second, body tensed, anticipating attack. A heartbeat later, he realised it had only been Oliver closing the door. They'd arrived at the motel, evidently. Rixon swallowed, forcing himself to relax. Had he been dreaming? At what point in his meditation had he fallen asleep, and fallen into what had to have been a nightmare. He shook his head to relieve himself of the images of those gnarled roots and icy cold darkness. They didn't budge, however. And they still seemed so vivid. Grunting in reply to Lyla's somewhat pointed question, he climbed out of the car, the space that had suddenly become so constricting. Sucking in a breath of clear forest air, he made a show of stretching his legs, keeping his back to the car while he composed himself. The reflection Rixon had caught of himself in the car's window was not one of himself, but of a gaunt and pale shadow of himself, so much so that he had trouble recognizing himself. Taking a few strides to clear his head, reground himself in reality and the present, Rixon chanced another glance at his reflection. Human, once more. Breathing a sigh of relief, he moved to the rear of the car and set his mind about the simple task of retrieving their bags. Everyone had packed light, minus the heavy duffel bag containing numerous weapons and whatever else Oliver had thought appropriate gear to bring on a rescue mission.

Oliver POV

(will post ASAP. Just got interrupted by some work but wanted to get what I have in the meantime down, in case I lost it)

message 7: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9504 comments Mod
Her friends came awake in two completely different ways: Lexi, who looked and acted exactly as if she had just spent three and a half hours sleeping, and Rixon, who looked like he'd been shot straight out of a nightmare. It was Rixon she focused on at first, because he didn't seem fully himself. Selfishly, Lyla needed him to focus. Less selfishly, if there was something weighing on his mind, then there was a lot more of a chance he was going to get hurt down the line, and Lyla couldn't bear that. She didn't have long to study him before he got out of the car without replying to her; she almost rolled her eyes, but what she saw in his expression was enough to keep that reaction at bay. One of the perks of learning to read Oliver's face was that she was getting better at reading other people, too, and before he turned away she saw something haunted in Rixon's eyes, something darker than she'd seen before. It could have been anything—nerves about what they were doing, nightmares like hers, even a resignation that Casper wasn't getting out of this. Whatever it was, he stepped into the fresh air to deal with it himself, and she refrained from following him. Much as she would've liked to ask, Lyla was trying a new policy where she didn't pester Rixon Fell because she wasn't sure if her excess company was going to become too much. Especially during a mission to rescue her new boyfriend.

After the brief study of Oliver headed to what must be the hotel lobby—good to know where that was—and Rixon composing his thoughts, Lyla raised her eyebrows at Lexi. "I know you didn't want to be the go-between for Oliver and me, but I think checking out of the entire road trip might have been overkill," she joked dryly. She didn't think Lexi had slept through the whole thing intentionally, but she also knew her friend didn't feel any regret for leaving Oliver and Lyla trapped alone for hours, either. Despite this, and despite the fact that Lyla still didn't know how to keep Lexi from harm tomorrow, she was glad her girl friend was here. At first, she'd tried to convince her to stay home, to stay safe, but Lexi refused to be kept on the sidelines regardless of the danger and her distaste for Casper. Honestly, Lyla wasn't sure where Lexi's insistence had come from, because she hadn't expected it in this particular situation.

When she heard Rixon open the trunk, Lyla opened her door to step outside for the first time in hours, stretching her legs and back slowly as she'd been aching to do, ignoring the painful pull of the clawmarks down her back. Being cooped up in the car made them stiff enough; her own tense muscles had not helped. Before she shut the door behind her, she grabbed from the floor the backpack that she'd stuffed with a book, her phone and phone charger, her iPod, the over-sized cardigan that so effectively hid her bandaged shoulder, and a handful of other comforting non-essentials. Rixon already had the trunk mostly emptied, so Lyla took a few seconds that she should've spent helping him gazing at the forest on the other side of the road. Casper was in there somewhere, probably tortured, possibly half-dead, and the knowledge that she had to turn her back and try to sleep peacefully for one more night when he was so close was as painful as anything else. All she needed—besides having him back—was confirmation that he was okay, and nobody could give that to her. She wouldn't deny that her mind ran through half a dozen scenarios in which she grabbed a weapon her and now and struck out by herself, and only knowing that this would spell suicide for both she and Casper kept her feet planted in this parking lot. Cas had a better chance of escape with their whole rag-tag team than with just Lyla.

message 8: by Lyss, Head Moderator (last edited Sep 04, 2017 01:38PM) (new)

Lyss (lyss4music) | 8617 comments Mod
Oliver POV

The Motel lobby was almost exactly as Oliver had expected; the walls had been painted the same almostsalmon colour as the exterior, but water marks spread out beneath an outdated air conditioning unit, complete with red and blue streamers blowing weakly in the gust of slightly below room temperature air, marred the colouring. A once cream carpet muffled the sound of his footsteps as he approached the clerk at the counter. Said clerk, a man well into his forties, with hair combed over his rapidly increasing bald spot, and a pair of thick horn rimmed classes, was dozing happily behind the counter. Mouth agape, a low snore issuing from his nose. Oliver cleared his throat without a reaction from the sleeping man, whose nametag identified him as Dennis. Oliver repeated his throat clearing, louder this time, growing impatient before loudly ringing the countertop bell. Dennis came awake with a start and sputter. With a smile, Oliver spoke, "I'd like a room, please."

A few minute later, Oliver returned to the car with a set of room keys. Dangling them from his fingers, he addressed his rag tag party, two of which still appeared to be blinking the sleep from their eyes, and the third seemingly torn between running off into the woods and staying put. He was at least gratified to see that Rixon had unpacked their bags, including Oliver's own larger, significantly heavier, leather duffel containing the gear. "We have a room with a double bed and convertible couch. Ladies can have the bed, Rixon will take the couch and I'll take the floor," Oliver offered. He wasn't trying to be a gentleman, he'd just as soon kick Rixon to the floor, if he wasn't already planning on sneaking out later in the evening to scout ahead, get a lay of the area. Rixon opened his mouth to protest, no doubt to offer his teacher the couch, but Oliver cut him off with a nod, chucked the keys to Lyla before stooping to shoulder his bags, and promptly turned on his heel, striding without further comment towards the rooms. Making a beeline for one of the middle suits, he came to a rest outside a door marked with a rusting bronze '4'.

Once inside. Oliver was once again greeted with almost exactly what he expected. A small double bed, covered with an outdated bedspread from the 70s. A moth eaten sofa and a single faded armchair were arranged around a low coffee table, adorned with an ice bucket. A door to the back of the room lead to a basic shower, sink and toilet set up. It wasn't luxurious, hell it wasn't even nice, but at least it was clean and a damn sight more comfortable than sleeping in the car. "Home sweet home.", Oliver announced with false optimism, dropping the bags in the corner of the room. Without further thought, he swept through the room, sweeping a hand under light shades, looking behind the framed painting of a beach hanging behind the bed, and in various nooks in crannies. His inspection, while thorough, took him only several minutes and concluded with him nodding to himself that they were all clear.

message 9: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9504 comments Mod
Lyla snapped out of her longing revelry when she saw Oliver returning, as this effectively ended any thought of running off. He was faster, stronger, and far better trained than she and would catch her in the time it took her to pull a weapon from his duffle bag. Instead, in the thirty seconds they had before her teacher was back among them, Lyla thought fiercely in the direction of the trees: I'm here, Cas, complete with backup. Stay alive. We're coming, we're coming, we're coming. Then she took a shallow breath to compose herself and turned to Rixon, who still looked a little out of it, but vastly more clear-headed than moments before. "I'm really glad you're here. This is probably the least pleasant evening you could've ever imagined"—he was spending the night with his ex and the mentor he didn't seem to quite like, after all, on a mission to rescue Casper Ravenscar, a werewolf who had caused the need for the very stitches Rixon had sewn into Lyla's arm—"but I don't know if we would be here if you hadn't agreed to help. And in case I don't get a chance to say it tomorrow: Don't die." This last part was wry, added with what was nearly a smile, although it was also deeply sincere.

When Oliver stopped in front of them with directives for their sleeping arrangements, Lyla raised her eyebrows slightly. Firstly, because she'd still been holding out hope that they would have at least two rooms, one for Lyla and Lexi and one for Rixon and Oliver. But secondly because Oliver Redwood wasn't the sort for fits of gallantry and she was surprised to hear him offer the last comfortable place to sleep to Rixon. She would've been less surprised if he'd asked Rixon to take the floor, or even claimed the bed for himself, not to mention he'd referred to she and Lexi as "ladies," which she was pretty sure was not a description Oliver associated with her. Lyla was, however, a little gratified when he threw the spare set of room keys to her instead of Rixon. After all the training in which he threw multiple stakes at her and expected her to snatch them out of thin air, catching the key ring was no trouble. And while the action could've been simply because Oliver expected Rixon to carry more bags and therefore have fewer free hands, Lyla chose to take it as a symbol of trust. At least that he still trusted her skills if not her judgment.

She waited for Lexi before grabbing her own bag and following Oliver up what she had decided to think of as "home base" for the next two days. It wasn't much to look at, but Oliver was already sweeping the place as if it could potentially be the height of secret-agent activity. Lyla did, however, wait in the doorway for him to finish his sweep, noting the places he looked that she wouldn't have thought to check for anything unusual. When he nodded in satisfaction, she closed the door behind her. With all four of them in it, the place seemed very small. Lyla met Oliver's eyes. "So, fearless leader, what now?"

message 10: by Lyss, Head Moderator (new)

Lyss (lyss4music) | 8617 comments Mod
Rixon POV

The longer Rixon spent in the afternoon sunlight, the sun rays warming his skin and the clear forest air clearing his lungs, the more he came back to himself. Closing his eyes for a few seconds, he felt that cold space inside of him again, saw flashes of the gnarled and diseased roots. It was so vivid that his breath caught, eyes flying open. The sun baked concrete parking lot met his vision, looking just as ordinary and bland as it had when they arrived. Shaking his head to clear it, he pulled out his phone. "No reception," he declared, though judging from his friend's lack of response, he doubted anyone had heard him. Lyla was pacing, looking ready to run into the woods. He tried not to meet her eyes for too long however since she was already throwing him concerned looks. She'd seen, evidently, the look on his face when he'd woken from the nightmare. That's what it was, he told himself. And the longer he spent in the sun, watching Lyla look like her usual on-edge self and Lexi rummaging in the car for snacks, the more comfortable he became with the thought. Just a nightmare.. "Ugh, finally!" came the exclamation from the backseat, as Lexi's slightly unkempt head popped out, a triumphant grin on her face. Brandishing a tube of Pringles, she sauntered over. "I knew I packed these away somewhere," she informed Rixon, a smug smile on her lips. Scoffing good naturedly at her, he shouldered a duffel bag as Oliver approached with their room keys.

Lexi POV

Yes, Lexi understood that their mission was to save Casper. And she was all on board for that, not only because it was the right thing to do but because she would do anything for Lyla. Her friend had been a shadow of herself over the past few weeks, and she knew that Casper's disappearance weighed heavily on her conscience. Getting him back safely would hopefully do something to alleviate that haunted look in her eyes. But, that wasn't her only mission on this trip. Because the only time that Lyla seemed remotely herself, was when she was around Oliver Redwood. Though they were both too stubborn to know it. So, when Mr. Redwood returned with their room key, she was torn between disappointment and being pleased. Being holed up together in the same room would have been great, had she and Rixon not been there. Four was definitely a crowd. Chewing her lip in contemplation, she followed the group towards the motel room marked with a rusted number 4 on hanging crooked on the grotesque pink door. She wasn't even sure if pink was the right word to describe it. This place was a designer's nightmare...or dream, depending on how you looked at it. Once inside the room-after Oliver had done quite a good FBI Agent impersonation-, which surprisingly didn't have any of the musty odours or stains she associated with the word "motel". "Homey," she remarked, making a bee line for the bed where she dropped her bag and made a show of flopping over the middle. Rixon followed suit, setting himself up on the arm of the couch, arms crossed over his chest in what Lexi was sure he wanted to pass as a comfortable and composed posture but really just made him look edgier than Lyla. Which is no small feat.

Oliver POV

Oliver regarded Lexi and Rixon for a moment, hovering near Lyla at the entrance to the room. Not for the first time, he had a moment of misgiving at allowing any of them to accompany him on this highly dangerous, literal life or death mission. Pursing his lips for a moment as he decided whether to continue the same argument with himself as he'd had in the car, he is thankfully saved from responding by Lyla's question. Turning his attention to her, he held in a smirk at her words. "Now...we figure out dinner." Such a simple, ordinary thing that had no place in this super serious life-or-death situation, but also something completely necessary. "We can't do anything in broad daylight, and we need energy for tomorrow," he went on after a beat of silence in which everyone regarded him skeptically. Not exactly living up to the whole 'fearless leader' persona. Oliver digs in his pocket for his wallet and tosses Lexi some bills. "There's not much cell reception out here, but if you go into the main reception you could get a few bars. Order us some pizza's." He directs the command to both Rixon and Lexi. The words had hardly let his mouth before Lexi had bounded up and was half dragging a semi-protesting Rixon out the room. Oliver refrained from rolling his eyes before moving towards where his leather duffel had been deposited on the couch. "I'm going to go over and double check the gear," he murmurs to Lyla over his shoulder. He knows that purposely not giving her a task to do would be petty, as the inactivity would drive her crazy. Still, he considers it for a moment. Then with a sigh, he turns and says, "Let's see how much of your weapons training you remember. You're going to take apart, clean and reassemble everything. Double check ammunition. The works." Of course, his gear was already spotless, but keeping her hands busy would keep her mind somewhat occupied and make her feel useful, if even only short term. "Then once we've eaten, we'll go over maps of the area and go over our strategy again." Everything had been ironed out to the last detail back in Mystic Falls, but it didn't hurt to refresh everyone's memory. Plus, the unknown variables were going to be worked out by Oliver himself, much later tonight. Wordlessly, Oliver reach into the depth of the bag and withdraws a crossbow, holding it out for Lyla to take.

(OMG...So hard to type in 3rd person now that I've been editing my mom's book.)

message 11: by Haley, CoMod, Amazing Author (new)

Haley | 9504 comments Mod
((I don't know when you'll be able to get on again, but I had to read your post, and then of course, I had to respond! Haha))

With Lexi already at home on the motel’s bed, and Rixon and the luggage occupying the couch, Lyla only moved far enough into the room to slip the Pringle’s can out of Lexi’s grasp and get a few chips for herself—after frowning at the flavor her friend had chosen. If they weren’t the fluorescent-orange cheese variety, they were hardly worth it. But sitting tense and stoic in a car for hours on end did make one awfully hungry. Even now, Lyla was too antsy to relax, to sit down, to do anything as mundane as unpacking, and she didn’t know how she was going to spend the night in this room that was absolutely getting smaller and smaller the longer all four of them occupied it.

It was something, though, to have Oliver appraise her quip with the same smirk that used to be so typical. It quieted none of the adrenaline rushing through her, but it did make it feel as though she had the room to breathe. Until his grand suggestion was dinner, and until he decided ordering pizza was a two-person job and that she was not one of the people. For her part, Lyla wasn’t sure she would be able to eat more than the three Pringle’s in her hand with her stomach in knots the way that it was, but she didn’t protest as her friends slipped out the door and she was left alone with her mentor once again, awkward silence reigning. She hated how much work it took to be casual around Oliver, but there was plenty they had yet to work out about the change between them, and plenty more Lyla was sure neither of them would ever address.

Lyla knew her teacher could read her expressions and body language with a glance, and she was busy wondering if they were really on such bad terms that he would let her drive herself into the crazy she was headed toward with silence and inactivity, when he turned his check of the gear into a training moment. While not a huge fan of the tedium of taking things apart and putting them back together, Lyla couldn’t deny that any job was better than nothing. Even—she noted with a sinking feeling as she stood to take the crossbow from Oliver’s hand and looked into the bag containing their temporary armory for the first time—if the job would take hours. She had to lean around him to hunt down the crossbow bolts and tote of oils, rags, and other various cleaning supplies from the duffel bag’s pockets. Without regular training sessions, this was the closest physically Lyla had been to the man since their argument at her house all those nights ago. So, as could have been predicted, she turned to another dry comment to ease her own discomfort. “Did you intentionally bring double the number of weapons that your untested three-man team could possibly carry?” she asked, finally retreating back towards the bed where she sat cross-legged, turning the crossbow over in her hands as she strove to remember the first step of the disassembly process. There wasn’t much she could do to this weapon besides clean it and double-check the mechanisms, since actually taking the bow apart required tools, and she was no good at putting this one back together correctly. It was her least favorite of the weapons she’d tried, and the one with which she had the worst aim.

((I am basing this off brief Google searches and complete fiction :) Should we have them all work the plan out, or should we summarize/fast-forward? I may have made this up in my own head, but we at one point talked about Lyla and Oliver having a heart-to-heart before they go hunting in the morning, correct? Like, Oliver has grand plans to sneak out and scout, and Lyla is wide awake and immediately follows him? Or Lyla can’t sleep and goes outside, and Oliver is afraid she’s trying something on her own so he follows her?))

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