Look both ways, Mr Wolf

Gabriel takes Violet out for coffee.. and a hit and run.


It's well past one in the morning when the lights inside Pistol Whip Inks finally go out. Not surprising. The Strip is abuzz with activity now, even moreso than through the daylight hours, and the slender blonde who steps out onto the sidewalk blends with ease into the eclectic populace. Securely locking the door, she then stands on tiptoe to reach the grating overhead. It's supposed to pull down nice and smoothly, to be hooked and bolted and protect the storefront windows. But apparently the metal is in it's twilight years already. It creaks and rattles, but doesn't give. Violet literally dangles upon it, using her entire - albeit slight - weight to try and coax it downward, to no avail. Anyone passing close by would certainly hear the muttered litany of curses she exhales.

A large hand reaches ominously over the woman's shoulder and takes hold of the grating that is available between both of her hands. "Need a hand?" Without waiting for a reply, the arm attached to that hand flexes and the grating gives way, sliding out of place with a 'CHUNK'. Lowering it enough for the woman to be placed on her feet, Gabriel lets go to step aside and lean against the building. Now that the man is in her line of sight, the smug little smile on his face can be seen and he seems on the edge of…laughing? Nooo, never! Danish viking giant is always serious!

Gasping with surprise, Violet drops down to her sandaled feet, instinctively flinching as the grating gives way. The motion brings her shoulders briefly in contact with the enormous man's chest, before she turns to regard her 'saviour'. Oh. That's right… the arrogant stranger from earlier in the day. Damn. Of all the people to see her struggling with so mundane a task!

Watching him as he rests back against the old building, she crouches to padlock the grating. "Thanks." She manages to ignore his obvious amusement at her plight long enough to voice grudging gratitude, then simply flashes him a grin.

The large Danish man nods to her when she gives him thanks, "Du er velkommen. It is old, no?" Looking the grating over as she padlocks it, Gabriel's eyes narrow slightly as if looking for the one flaw that could possibly fix such a completely aged and broken device. Eventually he gives up, repairs and mechanics apparently not his strong suit. Looking back to Violet the large man's mouth curls up slightly as he asks, "Would you care to join me for a cup of coffee?"

"The whole place is old." agrees the girl as she straightens, dusting off her palms on the back of her cargo pants then shoving them in her pockets; keys, cellphone and all. "It's always been a little temperamental. But it's all part of the charm." The way she says it implies she doesn't -entirely- believe her own words. But it's a cheerful sentiment. Or maybe a teasing counter, given that he's a little older than she is. Turning to more properly face Gabriel, she returns another smile in response to his, shaking back her vividly-blonde hair. The aviators are gone now, seeing as it's all dark and neon out here, and the rainbow spectrum of lights on the Strip sparkle oddly across her blue eyes.

Glancing across the street to the twenty-four hour warmth that is Joe's Diner, she nods agreeably. "Sure." A pause, and she looks back up at the taller man. "You buyin'?"

"I knew a man back home. He was middle aged and owned a small restaurant. The place was a piece of shit, things constantly breaking, smelled like wet dog, but he seemed happy." He answers her question of who's buying with a nod. "Its part of the charm. Same as you said. He always said he'd never leave that place, knew it too well. It was home to him." His eyes linger on her own for a while too long, taking in those beautiful colors now that he actually has the opportunity to see them. "Then he got an offer to move up the street to a fresh building. I have never seen a man pack and unpack a restaurant so fast."

Violet chuckles, low in her throat, glancing back toward the darkened windows of her little shop. "Yeah.. can't say I blame him. But for the location, it's a good price. And I've got better things to spend my cash on than fixing a damn grate, y'know?" She doesn't elaborate.

Turning away from work for the evening, she sets a sedate pace along the sidewalk, hands still in pockets, and settles her attention fully on the Viking. "Where's home to you, Gabriel? Really? I've never left Las Vegas."

"You do what you can with what's available." Nodding his sentiments to her words of the location, the large man starts to walk beside her. Half pace seems to be the name of the game as he walks beside her, the different of their size quite obvious to any that even gives them a glance. "I was a boy in Copenhagen, then moved to America to live with my uncle. A little no-name town in the midwest that was barely on the map."
Gabriel is watching the woman out of the corner of his eye. It would be foolish to say that she isn't unattractive, and like any man given the opportunity, he tries to be subtle in his observation of her body. "Why have you never left Vegas? I could not imagine staying in one place for a lifetime."

"Why would I? I have everything I need right here." grins the girl as she strolls along, change jangling in one of her pockets. She's more than likely quite aware of his gaze upon her, being used to male attention at all hours of the day. But she doesn't call undue attention to it. In fact, she glances sidelong toward Gabriel with a subtly warmed expression. "My mom and I always lived around here. I know the place well enough to be comfortable walking around, but it changes often enough to keep me from getting bored. It's perfect. Not to mention all the sins you can indulge in a city like this. What's not to love, Gabriel?" She still hasn't gotten the knack of pronouncing his name the way he does.

"To see something new. They say that familiarity breeds contempt." Coming to a cross-walk, he reaches down and presses the button as the traffic flashes by as a blur of whites, yellows, and reds. "Every person should see the four corners of the earth at least once in their life time. They manage to differ so vastly from one another." As he waits for the light, the man reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small piece of paper. Opening it, he looks over the contents for a moment before nodding to himself and slipping it back into his pocket. "You've a point, the sins are fun…"

"So far, only two. I am not so old as to be just now done with my life's journey." He winks at her as the sign across the street signals for pedestrians to start walking. "As long as you enjoy it. Though it seems like with that body, you'd have ample opportunity to do more than just run a tattoo shop. Why settle on the ground when you could float in the clouds?" Taking a step off the sidewalk and onto the street, he turns his head to look at her.
It happens all of a sudden. He's looking away, then there's the sound of a horn blaring. Wheels screech and breaks squeel as the man is lifted off his feet and through the air before landing on the pavement a few feet away as the small hatchback car collides with his body.

Smiling at the compliment, the young woman seems about to respond, even to step forward alongside Gabriel. It all happens in a blur, the hatchback missing her by a fraction of an inch, close enough to swish her clothing. The momentum knocks her off-balance, and she's sent staggering back, twisting her ankle as she half-falls to the sidewalk. In slow motion, to her eyes, she sees the large man sent soaring through the air on the edge of her vision… and she's up on her feet and running before she even really has time to be aware of it. Screams from other witnesses fill the air, a flurry of activity as traffic and pedestrians alike struggle to get their bearings on the situation. Stumbling a little as her sprained ankle protests her motion, Violet lands on her knees beside the fallen man, skidding the last foot or so. Unlike the rest, she doesn't scream. Most likely in shock. Nor does she touch him, perhaps afraid of traumatising herself further. But she speaks, very quietly as a circle begins to form, everyone else shouting or ogling. "..Gabriel?" A shaky breath, and she reaches to rest her fingertips at his shoulder. "Gabriel." This time a little stronger, she wills him to be anything but dead. Her tan skin is ashen.

The man isn't down for long, a pained groan sliding its way out of his throat as he lifts a hand to press against his aching temple. "What happened?" As far as he flew, and as hard as that car hit him, the fact that the man doesn't seem to have anything broken might be taken as a miracle by some. Pushing himself up onto his elbows, he looks over at Violet and curls his mouth into a strained grin. "You look like you've seen a ghost, k?reste." Sliding his legs undernearth himself, he sits up and tilts his head to the side, cracking his neck. Reaching down, he cringes slightly as he rubs his hand along his ribs. "Forbandede, I think some are broken."

Leaning back on her heels, Violet regards the man slowly, her gaze moving downward over him, then back to his face. If she looked frightened before, now she looks entirely lost on top of that. "How did.." Whatever she was about to say is lost in the clamour of rubber-neckers surrounding the pair. One man, excitedly gesturing with a sleek cellphone, offers loudly to call an ambulance. Others are using their own to snap pictures of this 'miracle'. Charming. In their direction, after a few dazed blinks, the girl snarls a succinct "Fuck off." Looking warily back at Gabriel, not touching him, she notes his wince and offers quietly, "I'll drive you to the E.R."

The large man waves away the offer with a hand, squinting slightly as he gets to his feet. "No, it'll be fine." The nearest person with a cameraphone has it snatched out of their hand. Looking it over in his hand as he ignores their protest, the man shakes his head. "Pitiful. You should all be on your way." The phone is squeezed, crushed in his strong grip before its handed back to the slack-mouthed owner. He seems pretty mobile for somebody with broken ribs. Probably because he's Danish. The Danish are awesome like that. "Go away." The crowd stares. "GO AWAY!" The bellow sends more than a few scurrying off before he turns to see that the hatchback has made its escape. "Sonuvabitch."

Violet likewise begins to rise, oddly enough more gingerly than the man just involved in a violent hit and run, favoring her right leg and keeping her weight entirely on the left. No sympathy is offered to the man whose phone is reduced to a compact paperweight; indeed, she glares at him balefully. Then the next person. And the next. Slowly but surely, hastened by Gabriel's order, the crowd begins to disperse. Though they unsurprisingly continue to murmur amongst themselves at the spectacle.

The girl's expression begins to smooth from fear and question to a dawning realisation. She doesn't voice it. But it's apparent in her blue eyes that she's just grasped what the man before her may be. It's perhaps even more surprising, then, that she reaches to lay a hand lightly upon his upper arm. "..you should sit down." Her gaze flits one way - to the diner - then back the way they've come, toward her shop.

Time heals all wounds. For someone of Gabriel's caliber, that saying seems to count at warp speed. The only visible wounds are already gone from the man's skin as she lays her hand on his upper arm. His skin tenses and hazel eyes angrily snap to her before softening at the sight of somebody that isn't gawking at him. Taking a deep breath, he winces at the tenderness of his now only cracked ribs. "You should practice what you preech. Your ankle is twisted." Despite his words, he moves to the sidewalk from whence they cam and settles down onto his magnificently Danish rump. "Are you okay?"

The girl instinctively flinches - not for the first time tonight - when that furious gaze snaps in her direction, abruptly withdrawing her hand and swallowing hard. But she holds her ground. Mostly because the expression relents, but also because her own eyes fall into a fascinated study of his unblemished skin. "I'm a big girl." Her defiance is absent-minded. And in spite of it, she hobbles a few steps before sinking down beside him. One long leg is stretched out across the ground, while the other is drawn up, one hand setting to gently pressing at her ankle. "..it'll be fine. Not like I was hit by a truck or anything." When she looks back toward her companion, she presses her lips in a firm line, as if to keep from questioning him further. Whatever he is, he just got hurt. And she's not entirely heartless. Producing a battered, near-empty pack of Marlboros from her pocket, she draws one with her lips before offering the box toward him. Olive branch.

Reaching into the box, the large man grasps a cancer stick between two fingers and drags it out. He seems oblivious to the fact that someone might question him being hit by a vehicle doing at least 60 and walking away without a second thought. "I don't have a light." He looks down at her ankle for a long moment as he rests the cigarette between his lips. "Quite the first date, eh?"

Leaning a little to one side, Violet pulls a cheap plastic lighter from her other pocket, sparking a flame for her own cigarette, then cupping it and holding it out for Gabriel to light his. "Uhhh.. yeah. You sure know how to show a girl a good time. And by good, I of course mean terrifying." It's a wan attempt at humor, despite the telling tremble of her hands. She speaks around the filter of her smoke, dark-lined blue eyes still uncertainly watching the Dane. "I've never seen anything like that.. you shouldn't.. I mean.. I don't know what I mean." She trails off uncertainly, curiosity warring with a natural fear. One that might have nagged at her before and been overlooked. Millions of years of evolution, and she couldn't even recognise a predator when he asked her out for coffee. Go Darwin.

The large man cranes his neck forward, the tip of his cigarette flaring into a bright red cherry as he sucks the flames against it. "Never doubt that Gabriel will get your heart pounding." A playful wink is given by the man as he leans away from her and relaxes, the smoke exhaling from his lungs and up into the air. Reaching into his side pocket, he pulls out the note and reaches further in to pull out his wallet. The thing is tossed her way. It is a dark brown leather affair, and has a "Crazy Eights" air force squadron decal stitched onto its flat surface. "I shouldn't, but I am. Don't worry, I won't eat you. I'm not hungry." The last words are said as a joke. Hopefully.

"Oh, I don't doubt it… but you should at least buy a girl coffee before you make her pass out." Violet's amusement is strange. Probably covering her shock as best she can, even as she plucks the cigarette from her lips with unsteady fingertips. Looking out at the renewed kaleidoscope of colors as the traffic continues onward, her expression is, for a moment, just too distant. She's not seeing any of it. But Gabriel's producing his wallet draws her attention, slowly. Lookig down to her lap as it lands there, she mutely studies the decal, before beginning to fractionally nod. She picks it up in her free hand, her other arm propped on the bended knee, smoke dangling. Her thumb explores the stitched emblem. "…I've never really met one of you before. That I know of, anyway. Pretty um.. dramatic." Daring a glance into his eyes, she offers the wallet back. If she notices the paper again, she's ignoring it for now.

"It lends itself to dramaticism, yes. Mostly because it takes some sort of drama to pull the truth to the surface." Inhaling through the cigarette, he draws a lungful of smoke through his lips before snatching the cigarette away and motioning in the air to emphasize his words. "I probably would have never told you, didn't figure it was something you even needed to know."

Flicking ash from her cigarette with a blue-painted thumbnail, the girl frowns a little in spite of herself. "Couldn't trust me, you mean. Fair enough. We just met. But.. well, I'm glad I know now." Taking a grateful drag, then swiftly exhaling a spiral of smoke heavenward, she adds, "It explains a bit. But I don't have issue with your uh.. condition. Not that I've ever given too much thought to it but.. well, it's no different from any other, is it." Halting her ramble before it goes on improperly long, Violet flexes her ankle, raising and dropping her sandaled foot tentatively. "Ow."

"Less that I couldn't trust you, more that it doesn't really matter enough to bring up. It only tends to complicate things. It's like asking your partner who they've slep with, even though you know they're clean. It will only bring unecessary 'what if's' into the equation." There's a cold, reasonable logic to his words as the large Dane gazes into the fire of his cigarette's cherry. "Okay, you'll have to stop /that/ before it even starts. You make it sound like I have cancer or AIDs. As far as I'm concerned, its perfectly normal. I'm just…stronger, faster, more durable, and have keener senses than other humans. Hell, its better than normal." A cold chuckle is given as he leaves out the cons and takes another drag. Her small expression of pain draws his eye to her ankle and after a moment of thought he smirks. "Let me see it."

"Yeah. Totally normal. On a massively superior scale." Is that a trace of envy? "I didn't mean to make it sound like cancer or something. I just meant it.. doesn't make you less of a person, having it. Alright?" Taking another, shorter drag of her cigarette in annoyance, then flicking it more vigorously than necessary, Violet frowns at his detached, icy tone and falls quiet. The suggestion - or order - regarding her sore ankle is met with sulky defiance and an entire lack of movement from her. "What's to see? It's a sprain."

"Just shut up and let me see it." The words are growled out in reaction to her defiance. As much as the man looks human, he carries the instinctual conflict reactions of a wolf. Apparently the change isn't all benefits. Taking in another drag on the cigarette, the smoke is exhaled through his nostrils as he waits for the young woman to give way to his request.
Or is it a demand?

Violet pauses, evidently weighing her options. That much can be seen in her angelic blue eyes. On the one hand, why the hell should she do what he says? It'd be far more satisfying, in more ways than one, to walk away from him. On the other… she can't walk. Damnit. "-Fine-." Well, no reason to acquiesce too easily, is there. Tossing the last of her cigarette into the gutter, she lifts the foot and tentatively extends it toward him, bracing her palms flat on the paving. Even with her compliance, the desire to go toe to toe - not literally - is very much apparent in the slender blonde. She might not be a natural predator.. but she's no helpless prey either. The obvious choice would be a rabbit. Nope, definitely not a bunny, this one. She watches Gabriel intently, still looking ticked.

When she finally lifts her foot and offers it in his direction, the large man takes it gently in his hand and scoots his way over so that he can lay her leg across his knees. "You don't mention a word of this to anyone. If you do, I will hunt you down and rip your throat out without a second thought." Wow, somebody has violent issues. Before she's given a chance to protest, he's lifting her foot up and sniffing at her ankle. A smirk is given as he presses his cheek against it, closing his eyes. Moving his fingers across the flesh, he sticks out his tongue and…licks it? As strange and bewildering as his actions are, even stranger is the fact that the pain from her sprained ankle quickly starts to subside, disappearing almost completely by the time that the man is done nurturing the appendage.

Meeting his threat with little more than a sardonic look and mutinous silence - hopefully he can't hear the skip thump of her heart - Violet sighs quietly. But when Gabriel rests his cheek against her tan limb, her expression becomes decidedly uncertain. Glancing about herself, with an obvious flush of warmth coloring her cheeks, she ensures there's not another crowd gathering with cellphones. No. Good. It takes her a fair few moments to notice that yes, it's actually helping. She flexes her toes experimentally when the shifter pulls back, then meets his gaze, her sullen mood evaporated. "..thank you." The girl herself seems surprised at the plain-spoken gratitude.

Gabriel lets go of her foot and scoots back to where he was before as she tanks him. "Du er velkommen." Standing up, he flicks what remains of the cigarette into the street before looking down at her and shoving his thumbs through his belt loops. "Don't expect that of any of my kind that you meet. Most don't even have a clue how to do it." Looking over towards the restaurant, his eyes look back to the street.

"I won't." Her assurance is quiet, but seems genuine enough. How many men would she let… nevermind. Following his gaze toward the diner, clearing her throat gently, Violet offers, by way of distraction, "I guess I can buy the coffee, tonight. If you still want..?" She looks to him with an arched brow. Having been so cool and confident in their first meeting, this is rather like encountering him for the first time all over again. And he's -not- easy to read. "I mean.. you don't have to if I'm, like… I dunno. Annoying you, I guess." Pushing to her feet, still careful with that ankle until she's upright and can test her weight upon it, the girl shoves her hands in her pockets again, rounding her shoulders forward and making herself seem smaller. Habit, it looks like.

"You're not annoying me. Like I said, it complicates things." Looking over his shoulder at her, he shakes his head. "I can buy. Lets go." This time, the man checks both ways before crossing and starts his way towards the other side. He seems indifferent to whether or not the woman follows him, though the way he looks at her shows that it isn't a matter of spite or being put off by her. Its as if he simply expects her to follow.

She -does- follow… though she's particularly careful to check the street before departing the sidewalk. A sprained ankle was bad enough. There's no way she'd be going for coffee if she got hit by a hatchback. Hell, the size of Violet, she could get injured being hit by a stray breeze. And she does seem rather clumsy, for one who, by appearances, ought to have the grace and poise of a dancer. Nervously jangling the change in her pocket again, she catches up with Gabriel before he reaches the other side, meeting his gaze thoughtfully.. though no longer with any distrust. Far more curiosity. She's doing well not to bombard him with questions. Maybe it's that tone he gets, when he's irked. Anyone with sense would shut up.

The diner is still brightly illuminated, if rather sparse when it comes to custom at this hour. Most people are still too drunk to think of sobering up. Raking a hand back through her long hair, Violet approaches the door.

Gabriel reaches past her towards the door and pulls it open, holding it for her. "You've learned plenty about me in one evening, and I still know practically nothing about you. How about you tell me something interesting?" He looks into the diner as he holds the door, eyes scanning across the faces with the expert subtlety of a professional bodyguard. "Lets get a booth."

"Like what..?" She sounds dubious, though not exactly against the idea. Fair's fair, after all. Padding across the freshly-mopped floor, she heads for a booth in the far corner, by the window. A usual spot, presumably. She waves wearily toward one of the employees in the kitchen, but doesn't pause to converse. Instead, she continues to address Gabriel. "Not much to tell… but if it'll help restore our fucked-up cosmic balance, sure." Turning to face him, with a coy glance and a half-smiles - her mood is improving gradually - the girl slides into the booth. "Let's see…"

"Its up to you to decide what to tell me. If I knew what to ask you about, I wouldn't have to ask." Following her through the small diner, he takes a seat across from her in the booth and rests his hands on the table. "Here is what I know about you, so far. You are a beautiful woman in a less than beautiful situation. You own a store, a tattoo shop, that has a shitty security door. You have lived in Vegas all your life, along with your mother. You smoke and drink. That is pretty much it."

"Drugs." The way she adds it, he may as well have forgotten to put milk on the grocery list. Folding her arms on the formica tabletop, she offers him a resigned smile. "Not so much now. But.. yeah. And I didn't live -with- my mom. She was a whore. Literally. Didn't need a kid hanging around. She's in a trailer park now, drooling into her TV Guide. Can't say I give a shit." Holding Gabriel's gaze, she tilts her head a little. "..what's so bad about my situation? Lot of people worse off than me. Hell, some people get hit by cars."

She continues to regard him for a long while. Until the approach of a middle-aged waitress - cliche much? - breaks the spell. Violet smiles in a familiar manner at the woman and orders a caramel latte and a blueberry muffin. What a healthy and wholesome diet!

"Ah yes, drugs. We cannot forget the drugs. Fort?lle mig, what was your drug of choice back in the day?" Sliding his hands together, he balls one into a fist and wraps his other hand around it. "See, there's a lot about you that I do not know. Oh, forgive my english. You could be in a /better/ situation, is what I mean to say. Especially in Vegas." As the waitress shows herself, the large man asks for a simple black coffee with a side of bacon. Arteries? Who the hell needs arteries! "Why a tattoo parlor?"

"You name it, I tried it." admits the girl. She can't be that old now. What age did she start dabbling in all this, one might wonder? Lucky to still have a braincell intact. "Though I always had a soft spot for coke. Nowadays, just the occasional little smidge of pot." Absently, she watches his hands clasp together. Much larger than her own. Capable of crushing a cellphone without a thought.. or gently cradling a sprained ankle. What a freakin' bizarre night. Her blue eyes flit back up to his. "I guess I'd make good money, shaking my ass on stage, huh? Except not. I'm a total klutz. More likely I'd break my neck falling off the edge of it." Ah. Apparently she's heard the 'you should be a stripper' lines before. But she doesn't seem offended. "Why tattoos?" She pauses to consider a moment before replying. "Because I'm my own boss. And I get paid to draw all day. To create art on a living, breathing canvas. Something that people want to keep with them -forever-. It's nice to be trusted."

"I did not mean as a stripper, though I've seen women with two left feet become experts with enough practice. Modelling." Playing his thumbs against one another, his hazel orbs stay locked with her blue eyes for the entirety of the conversation. "Why dance around and twist your ankle when you can just be good looking in front of a camera?" When she asks his question about the tattoo parlor, the side of his mouth curls up into a grin. "I see."

"Modelling?" Violet echoes the suggestion incredulously, her eyes widening a little. "I don't… I mean… I'm all tattooed and shit. Plus, I don't know anyone anymore that does any photography. Used to." Rubbing self-consciously at the back of her beck, she briefly glances toward the counter. The smell of frying bacon is delicious. But the thought of the coffee is probably more appealing, right now. "Don't models need portfolios, or something?" Those eyes are back upon Gabriel, sidelong and uncertain, but with subtle interest sparkling in the sapphire depths.

"I don't know, it was just a suggestion." He grins as the smell of their order starts to fill the restaurant. "There's a niche, for tattoo'd women. Men like inked skin, it gives you that adventurous appearance. Exciting." Closing his eyes for a long moment, the large man shifts his shoulders before looking out the window. "Go to Wal-Mart, get some head shots, or contract out. Realistically, modelling portfolios are a great deal easier to slap together than say…a photography, inking, or movie portfolio."

"You think so?" Violet's expression, honestly uncertain at first, becomes rather more amused as Gabriel looks away from her. "You think I'm appealing..?" Her tone is openly teasing, and she even begins to grin a little. "You haven't even -seen- my tattoos. What if they're of a pet cat or something? Oh, thanks." This last is directed to the waitress, who has brought over the coffees and muffin for the time being. No bacon yet. Violet tugs the small side plate toward herself and promptly sets about crumbling the treat into smaller morsels.

"Yes, I think so." Her question of whether or not he finds her appealing is met with a disatisfied smirk. "Yes? I would think that its obvious I find you appealing, considering I'm suggesting you become a model?" As the plates are set down, he slips his fingers around the handle of the cup and lifts it to his lips. "Something tells me you've more than simple cats on your skin."

To be continued…

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