Alim & Elaine: The Romantic Date: Part 2

AERomanceWeekPart2

Part two of the romantic short for Alim & Elaine, hope you enjoy – Find Part One Here:

The night before Elaine left for her holiday with Alim, Elaine panicking about everything. Natasha and Ivy came bearing gifts of her favourite fizzy drink, and what appeared to be packets of fish and chips with gravy. They sat on beanbags in her bedroom critiquing her packing skills, much to her annoyance.

Crazy bints.

Snagging a chip heavily laden with gravy, Elaine tried to remind herself friends did things like this.   Men, in her experience, didn’t sit around nagging one another about packing ‘pretty tops.’ She didn’t own any bloody ‘pretty tops.’

“How about this one?” Ivy held up a turtleneck which had been a gift from Elaine’s mum.

She cringed at the high collar. She didn’t like anything which would lie heavily against her neck or throat. “No, no ruddy way. I don’t even want to think about wearing the sodding thing.”

“So that’s a no?” Ivy teased.

“You can bugger off now.” Elaine darted forward to grab the large packet of chips. “I’m keeping these to nosh on.”

Her overwhelming relief when the two women left was staggering. Elaine could only handle so much social interaction before she went completely nutty. It greatly influenced her highly narky personality at work.

Though the prats deserved it most of time.

She lifted one of the chips from the pond of gravy and considered the weathered, dusky green kit bag on the floor. It had been her adopted father’s once upon a time. He’d gifted it to her when she joined the service. She nudged the bottom of the bag with her toe.

Alim likely had a suitcase which cost more than her bloody annual salary.   Elaine gripped the zipper on the bag and yanked it closed with a sigh. She couldn’t turn herself into some wealthy toff for a man.

To his credit, Alim had never seemed to mind her outfits of jeans, t-shirts, or oversized jumpers. He’d taken her out on a date after Christmas to fancy restaurant and didn’t even bat an eye-lid at her rather rumpled attire. Elaine had done more than bat an eye-lid at the way his tuxedo had shown off his muscular frame.

It did incredibly confusing things to her emotions.

“What the bloody, buggering hell am I doing?” She flung herself down on one of the nearby beanbags with a groan of frustration. “I am losing my sodding mind.”

Grabbing her nearby Xbox controller, Elaine decided to lose herself in a few rounds of one of her favourite games. It might keep her from obsessing over this weekend date. She reached out to grab the stuffed cougar which had been part of Alim’s care package to hold it close.

Alicia had spilled the beans to her uncle about the dual nature of the members of the Blackbird Security Firm. She’d been attempting to dissuade him from shooting Josh who’d been in panther form at the time. The entire story had unexpectedly been sprung on the man who’d apparently come the closest to fainting that his niece had ever seen.

He took it well.

Given the extremely quick nature of Alim’s intelligent mind, it hadn’t taken him long to piece together everything. Two days afterward had found him pounding on Elaine’s door in the middle of the night looking frazzled. He’d demanded answers in the most bizarrely polite manner that Elaine had simply stepped back to allow him inside and told him everything.

She still couldn’t believe she’d voluntarily allowed the man into her flat.

No one ever came into her flat unannounced.

Her cougar had been inordinately pleased with this turn of events. Elaine hadn’t initially felt as pleased when she shifted into her cougar form for him. It had been soothing to her chaotic mind when he’d run his fingers through her fur.

Soothing?

It seemed such a mild term to use for an emotion which Elaine had never felt before in her entire life. Calm. She’d never met another shifter who had Asperger’s Syndrome, or any other form of Autism. She had no idea if this was simply how her mate should make her feel, or if it was something else entirely.

Maybe it was simply Alim.

Alim & Elaine Romantic Date: Part One

In celebration of reaching 2,000 likes on Facebook, I decided to have a giveaway & event on Feb 14th, as part of that, I wrote a four part romantic story for Alim & Elaine.   I hope you enjoy.  This story, while not a rough draft also wasn’t sent to my editor (who will probably yell at me).

AERomanceWeekPart1

“Oi, Gibbsy.”

Elaine ignored Darren, who tried to catch her attention while she bounded down the hall as fast as her feet would carry her. Alicia had warned her about an incoming gift from Uncle Ali for Valentine’s Day. The cougar shifter wanted to intercept the gift before the wankers she worked with caught sight of it.

The bastards would never let Elaine live it down if she went all weak over a gift. She refused to allow them to have anything else to tease her about. She grabbed the package from the messenger when he stepped into the office then dashed into the loo to hide behind the locked door.

She plucked the envelope off of the top of the small parcel and frowned at it.  She ran her finger along the side to open it, cringing at the sensation of the dry parchment along her skin. The letter held the briefest note from Alim in his elegant script—nothing at all like her barely legible chicken scratchings.

Allow me to indulge you in my world for a weekend? I’ve spent time in yours…let me show you mine.

Yours,

T.A.K.

She would never admit to having run her finger across the ‘yours’ at the end of his note. Romance never mattered before; it shouldn’t matter now. Her hand clutched the letter to her chest despite her inner grumblings.

With a quick text to Alim to answer ‘yes’ to his invite, Elaine lifted the lid on the parcel to find what could only be described as an Aspie care package.  It included ear plugs, several fidget puzzles, a soft and cuddly toy cougar, a heavy fleece blanket and— most importantly—one of the new portable gaming systems she’d been drooling over for months.

So new, it hadn’t been released for sale yet.

How the bloody hell had Alim gotten a hold of it?

The man had clearly done quite a bit of research to determine what he’d need to make her comfortable on a flight. Elaine couldn’t remember anyone in her life going so far to accommodate her needs as an autistic. Her adoptive parents were wonderful, but nothing to this level of thought and care.

A twist of the door caused her to glance up as someone picked the lock and then stepped inside. Elaine breathed a sigh of relief as Natasha snuck inside and promptly relocked the door. The fox shifter stepped over to read the note Elaine held out to her.

“He did good, yes?” Natasha raised a questioning eyebrow while glancing through the care package. “This is good?”

“It’s brilliant.” Elaine fidgeted uncomfortably while the beautiful, icy blonde ran her fingers through the soft fur of the stuffed toy. “How do I…fucking hell, I’m worthless at this.”

Natasha swatted her sharply on the arm. “You are fine. You say ‘thank you.’ If he wanted more than a thank you, he is the one who is worthless.   I like this Alim.”

“You would,” Elaine groaned, feeling slightly overwhelmed at his gesture. She set the note inside and replaced the lid on the box. “He’s so fucking out of my league. I’m hopeless.”

Natasha glanced briefly down at her perfectly trimmed nails then over at Elaine. “Fihnya.”

“It’s not bullshit.”

“Da.”

Elaine flicked the edge of the grey ribbon which had been wrapped around the jet black box. “I’m not equipped for this romance shit.”

Natasha tapped her finger against the edge of the package. “You can enjoy it, yes? Nothing else should be required. He enjoys the romantic ‘shit’ and you enjoy receiving it.”

“Da.”

“Do not mock me, cougar; I like you, but not that much.” Natasha’s harsh words were couched by the amused smirk on her face. She nudged Elaine in the arm. “We are friends, yes?”

“Da,” Elaine mimicked the Ukrainian’s earlier tone.

“Then trust me when I say, all you have to do is enjoy it, even if it feels awkward at times. Kader will not be bothered by the inelegance of your gratitude,” Natasha shrugged indifferently. She gestured toward Elaine’s flushed cheeks. “And I would wager he’ll enjoy the blushes.”

Oi.”

“What the bloody hell are you two doing in there for so bloody long?” Josh banged loudly on the door. “And can I get pictures?”

“Wanker.”

Character Interviews: Elaine

Replacements1

Elaine would like everyone to know she’s participating under protest.  I decided use some of the  questions from the Proust Questionnaire for these character interviews.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Not having to answer stupid questions.

What is your greatest fear?

The pack finding out about my…issue.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

My inability to deal with social situations.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Brashness.

What is your greatest extravagance?

The elaborate gaming system set up in my tiny living room.

What is your current state of mind?

Busy. It’s always busy up there in my head.

On what occasion do you lie?

I’m a cougar shifter, we don’t lie, we simply evade.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My crazy ginger hair.

Which living person do you most despise?

My mother.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Prat.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

The pack, don’t tell them.

When and where were you happiest?

When I’m hunting tiny creatures in the forest.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to deal with people.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

Eh. I am who I am.

Where would you most like to live?

I like my cozy flat.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My narky temper.

What is it that you most dislike?

Velvet.

How would you like to die?

The least painful way possible.

What is your motto?

Always keep your cards close to your chest.