Forging Friendship

A sleepy man pulls himself out of bed near the afternoon hours. Working so late in the night takes its toll at times. The television is turned on while 'breakfast' is made, and it is then that the news about Green Oaks finally hits Robert. The names mentioned and pictures shown cause him to fumble around his apartment until he can find his cell phone. He searches for the number that Hope gave him and prays that it is actually correct as he presses send.
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Just getting out of class (yes, despite the recent events, she actually started classes again today), and her phone rings. There is a moment of dread as Hope fumbles it out of her bag. A moment of fear that her sister has gone missing once more. As she pulls the phone toward her so that she can see the number, she blinks. Not one she recognizes, and not the new facility. Flipping the phone open she settles it on her ear, and adjusts her bag so that she won't drop it as she walks. "Hello?"

For a moment he believes that it is going to go straight to voicemail, and part of him hopes for it. How does one bring up the topic of seeing someone else on the news? "Hope Tyler?" Robert's almost caught off guard when she actually answers the phone. "It's Robert, from the other night." His voice almost sounds groggy but he's forcing himself awake the best that he can.

Robert from the other ni- oh, the bouncer! "Oh, hey, Robert. Did you get the phone bill in already?" Hope keeps walking, a bit of air whooshing into the phone. "Sorry, trying to get to the bus. Car is still in the shop. The axle broke."

Yes, the bouncer. It takes him a moment to figure out what she means about the phone bill, though. "What? Oh, no. Heavens no, Hope. Do you honestly think that I'd call you about that?" Apparently people don't give him enough credit. "Sorry to hear about your car. If now is a bad time I can call you back. I just well, I just saw the news."
Robert has reconnected.

Yes, the bouncer. It takes him a moment to figure out what she means about the phone bill, though. "What? Oh, no. Heavens no, Hope. Do you honestly think that I'd call you about that?" Apparently people don't give him enough credit. "Sorry to hear about your car. If now is a bad time I can call you back. I just well, I just saw the news."

"Well yes, since I did ask you to," Hope says cheerfully. "I'll be done moving in just a mo-" He brings up the news, and she pauses her walk. Silent for several moments, eyes closing as she takes a deep breath. "Oh… I see. We found her, they've just not updated the pre-recorded segment yet."

"The bill isn't important, Hope." He's very stern with this. Perhaps it's because he's just woken up. Robert rubs his eyes as he listens to her comments. Great. He's already upset her. "I didn't mean to be rude," he explains. "I was just worried, but I'm glad you found her, but are you okay?"

Stopping at the bench by the bus zone, she settles herself onto it. The bag goes beside her and she shakes her head. "No it wasn't rude. I just wanted you not to worry," she replies. "I'm a little stressed out, but just thinking of her safe and fine makes me feel a lot better."

The sounds of the kitchen can be heard as he continues making himself something to eat, no matter how little it may be. "Thank you, but I'm still worried." Robert has to speak the truth, after all. "Not to say that I'm not glad to hear that she's safe. That still leaves many questions and answers I don't want to hear." Pause. "Look, I know I'm just that strange guy you met at a club, but is there anything I can do to help?"

"Y'all could pray for her," Hope says, still sounding cheerful. "I mean, we won't know if it was a vampire abduction until the forensics team finishes up." Sighing a little, she bites at her lip. "Strange guy though you may be, we share similar beliefs and that alone makes me feel as though I can trust you, Robert."

Wait, what? "It's suspected to be vampire related?" The news didn't exactly cover all of this. "Are there signs that one was involved? Hope, your sister could still be in danger." Perhaps Robert is paranoid but he has all the right, given what he's just learned. "Of course I'll pray for her, but are you sure that this is enough? Are the police properly investigating this?"

"Suspected, yes. She went missing a few days before this and returned with a bite." Hope sounds worried, but she's doing her very best not to let it push through in her voice. "I know she could still be in danger. I would /love/ to bring her to the church, and have someone care for her, but she's so fragile right now that I'm afraid something like that will send her over the edge." A slow intake of breath, that whooshes out heavily. "They're investigating it as properly as they are able. I don't think that there's a specific vampire task force or anything."

There's a loud thud in the background, almost as if he's slamming something or has dropped something. "Bite marks? This is serious. Does she" Robert finds himself searching for the proper words. "Does she actually understand what sort of trouble that she's in? I mean, I saw where she was, and I'm not sure." Feeling as if he's said something wrong, Bobby continues to babble. "I know Green Oaks, or did. My sister was there for a bit. I just can't believe that sort of thing would happen and I'm afraid of what condition it's left her in." Smooth, Robert. Smooth. "Have you thought about having the church investigate independently?"

It would seem they have more in common than just a shared faith. Hope isn't sure what to say at first. After a moment, she sighs. "Yes, and it is serious. No, she doesn't understand. Her mind…" It's difficult to talk about it, but he's part of the Fellowship, so it's not as though he'll be scared off. Besides, telling Wit the truth made him understand her sister a little better. "Her mind is a very near blank slate due to something a vampire did to her a while ago. That, combined with the stress of the situation… she's sort of a child-like mind." Beat. "I hope your sister didn't have to experience what has been going on there recentl- no, I never thought about having the church investigate it. That's a really great idea."

It's that instant that he is ever so thankful that his sister is not in the state that Faith appears to be. The silence on his end of the line may be taken the wrong way but he doesn't know what to say. He would probably try to hug her if they were around each other. "No one should have to go through that, let alone to continue to be hunted by those beasts. And you? I'm sorry that you seem to be taking all of this on." He's a sibling and knows how it can be. Robert fusses around some more, forgetting about eating for the time being. "I know it has to be hard talking about all of this on the phone. If you ever want to meet up and talk just let me know. And the church will be more aggressive about the vampires than the police will be. You know this." He says nothing else about Chloe for now.

The thought of a hug would probably undo her at the moment. She's only held together by not really dwelling on all the 'what ifs' and 'imagine had this happened'. "Thank you," Hope says, knowing that he's being genuine when he's saying sorry, as opposed to those 'sorries' she's been getting from classmates. "It's difficult to discuss at all, if I'm being honest. A sore subject." Not an intentional pun either. "I'm actually close to the nightclub right now, I think there's a pizza place down the street. Beats going into vampire territory to hit up the Bean Scene." Beat. "If you ever wanted to meet up at some point."

"I understand." It honestly sounds like he does. "I won't push you to talk about it, either. I will point out that you can't always be the pillar of strength for those around you, Hope. I'm sure that they love you for it but you have to think of yourself at times." Robert almost sounds like an expert at this point. "I know where you're talking about. I haven't eaten yet if you're up for company now. If not I will hold you to a raincheck."

Hope shifts her eyes toward the bus that has chosen this moment to appear. Get on the bus? Walk back down the street? "Sure, I've got a bit of time before I need to go get the car. I'll just head back down the street." She fidgets with the bag, slipping it back over her shoulder and getting up. "I'll get us a table." She's doing her best not to sound either nervous or overly-anxious to be meeting him.

That resolves that. All plans of food at his apartment are abandoned in favor of a shower. "I don't live too far away. I promise that I won't keep you waiting." That's the last thing that she needs. Robert will be a gentleman and wait for her to hang up first, but he will ready himself quickly enough and get on his way.

"See you soon then," Hope says, already making her way back down the street toward the pizza parlor as she hangs up.

Una Bella Pizza Parlor

Una Bella is a very large, open and sparkling place. Corrugated metal decorates the walls, the rounded edges jutting out about an inch or so to make it look as though one is standing inside a large package of boxed food. The floor is likewise made up of metal tiles, furthering the atmosphere. A few small chrome tables are set about the pizzeria with a tall counter and stools lining the walls.
A large counter spans the length of one wall, behind the glass one can find a variety of different luncheon meats, as well as vegetables, salads and hot foods for easy boxed lunches. A large pizza oven and a grill can also be found here, to create pizzas and grilled sandwiches.
A full menu is listed on a sign above the counter.

It only takes about eight minutes for Hope to get up the street and to the pizza parlor. She opens the door, and the inside air whooses out of the place, bathing her with its warmth. Stepping inside, she quickly gets a table and settles into a chair. She doesn't order anything yet, except for a glass of water, sitting sipping on it while she waits for her could-be friend.

It takes a little bit of time for Robert to shower and change into something more than a pair of boxers, but he's still rather speedy. He even goes to the length of splashing the tiniest amount of cologne for the meeting. A man must keep a proper appearance, after all. Not too long after her arrival he will enter as well, pausing just inside of the door to look around for her. Bobby wasn't kidding when he said that he'd be available to talk to her.

Hope raises her eyes from the menu, spotting him looking for her. From her table, closer to the back of the pizza parlor, she waves at him - a friendly little wave that turns into a come-here type motion. Friendly, not overly excited. Nope. No siree.

He certainly doesn't read anything into her actions at all. Robert catches the wave and offers a nod of recognition. He walks up to the table and offers himself a seat before actually asking to join her. Hey - it's early for the man! "The food here is great," he comments, not exactly sure what to say. Bobby is out of his element at the moment.

"I've never been here before. A lot of the students at SMU hang out here though." Which should be apparent by the groupings of older teens, and young twenty-somethings around at various tables. Hope smiles, "It's good to know that the food is as good as it actually smells." There is a tiny pause. "You didn't rush, did you?"

He certainly feels as if he's the oldest person in the room. This happens, though, and he's used to it. "It's close enough to the club that I usually eat here at least once a week. I'm sure a home cooked meal would be better, but you take what you can get." Robert flashes that award winning smile. It comes naturally to him at this point. "I won't lie and say that it is healthy but trust me, you won't regret eating here." He actually looks into Hope's eyes, if possibly for the first time since he arrived. "Not entirely, no. I'm not used to being out this early in the day but I'd say that it's worth it." Pizza. Yeah.

Oh, yes. Look how ancient he is. He definitely looks young enough to fit in with the crowds, so far as she's concerned. "This is likely the closest you can get to a home cooked meal in this area." Unless, of course, you are invited to someone's home. "It seems so odd to me that you'd take a job at night. Then again, you look fairly well equipped to handle any after dark issues that might arise." Whereas she, without a weapon, and only piddly silver ornamentation would hardly stand a chance.

"If you're not careful, you'll be addicted to this place." There's another smile before she jumps right to a nice subject change. Robert doesn't appear to mind, though. Conversation is just that. "It was the only job I could get, and honestly I've made a bit of a name for myself." Oh, how he's underplaying that one. "But I look at it like this: I can handle myself. I'm not too cocky, though. I'm just prepared, and I know how to use the strengths that I have." Pause. "Not everyone is like that. Take you for example. I would say that your key strengths are in academics and general conversation. You can help someone by talking to them. I can't. And if someone like you needs to be out after sundown? I'd prefer that someone like me would be there to help."

"You'd make a very excellent security guard, or police officer," she points out. Just on the merits of his seeming need to protect people, and of course his build. Hope smiles, about to continue the conversation, when a waitress comes to take their order. Like a perfect southern lady, she allows Robert to make the choice, since he knows this place better than she does.

Both jobs are considered with a nod. "Yes, but right now I have the freedom to leave whenever I need to. Like if you were to say you needed an escort, I'd leave. It's part of the deal. If I tried something else I might lose that ability." Hey, Robert's outside this 'early' for her. That should show that he means it. He looks over at Hope and only speaks up once she's been silent. "What would you like?" He's not the type to order for others unless he's in unwanted company.

Biting her lip to keep from giggling, she clears her throat. "I'm not so fussy, anything is fine really, is there something you'd recommend?"

The waitress rolls her eyes, tapping her pen to her order pad.

"That's a mighty good deal to have," she says. "I suppose bouncering is probably a lot safer than an officer of the law. Less people shooting at you."

Very well then. "Let's keep it simple. We can always order something else later." He's already assuming that there will be another time. Silly man. "We'll just take a large pepperoni and cheese." Classic and a good way for her to get a taste for the food, right? Robert gives the waitress a smile after ordering. Good thing he hasn't been spotted by anyone else yet. Once given the opportunity he just laughs. "Hope, when was the last time you hang out in a club in Dallas?"

Classic is something Hope certainly enjoys. "It sounds perfect," she agrees, also smiling at the waitress who nods and then walks away. "Er… well the other night when I ran in to find a phone was very likely the only time I've been in a nightclub in Dallas. Actually ever. I'm not normally out too much after dark."

She's got good taste. Excellent. Robert chuckles again as he regards her. "Well, I won't ever force you into one. Actually, I'd prefer if you never went to any. Most of the girls who go are, well, different than you." They're not as sweet and innocent, for one. "It also gets violent at times. I can't tell you the amount of times I've had a gun pulled on me. I think staying in after dark is a good idea."

"For more reasons than the obvious, apparently." Hope screws up her expression, beginning to fiddle with her silver cross out of nervous habit. "I think you had better be careful at work, Robert. You wouldn't want to worry the people that care about you. I'm sure your sister, like mine, would be devastated should something happen."

The danger doesn't appear to worry him at all, but Robert does smile when Hope mentions his sister. "Chloe? Yeah, she's an awesome sister. I'm glad you know what that's like. Not many siblings get along." Thinking of something after the fact, he jumps back to a different topic. "Please, call be Bobby. Robert seems so formal."

It is a sad look upon Hope's face as the discussion continues further into the sibling relationships. "Faith was my best friend," she admits quietly. These days? Hard to say whether that is still true, but she'll keep holding on for as long as humanly possible. "Are you sure?" Bobby, while cute, just seems to be a little too informal.

He just hit a nerve. Great, man. Great. This is why he doesn't talk to people often like this. "I didn't mean to upset you," Robert says, obviously sorry. "I'm sure that everything will work out. I'll help. The church will, too. You'll see." Thinking positively is the only way to approach the situation. Faith will guide her through, and he's not talking about her sister. That smile returns with a nod. "Yes, I'm sure. You're not some random woman I met in a club." Oh, wait.

A nerve? More like several, but like always, Hope is going to push through this. She forces a smile to the forefront and shrugs. "I'm not upset, it's just one of those difficult to talk about things." But his positivity seems to turn the smile more genuine. "You might want to rethink that, /Bobby/," she says in a teasing sing-song. "Pretty sure that's how we ran into one another."

Hmm. "Well, then. I said I wouldn't make you talk about what you don't want to. We'll only talk about it when you're comfortable." Or willing. He is almost a stranger, after all. Robert gives Hope a sly look before he chuckles. "Okay, okay. You're right. We did meet like that, but it's different and you know that." It is! "Normally I meet girls at the club all the time and they're only interested in hooking up. I'm not impressed with women who throw themselves at random men."

He /is/ almost a stranger, but he's almost a stranger who is almost flirting with her. Hope looks away briefly, before turning back to him with a smile. "A lot of women do that," she agrees. "It just seems desperate and needy to me." Thankfully, she's a bit standoffish so she doesn't have the same issues with men throwing themselves at her. On the contrary, she generally gets a response like the one when she went to pick up her sister. "It's okay, really it is. I don't /mind/ talking about it, I just find it difficult sometimes."

The waitress appears with the pizza, setting it in the middle of the table with the instructions to be careful because it's hot.

Hot pizza is the best. He does wait for her to try a piece before helping himself. He is somewhat of a gentleman, after all.
So maybe he is almost flirting with her, but he's not outright doing so. That wouldn't be something he would do. Besides, she's going through a rough time at the moment. "I have high respect for someone like you. You know who you are, you're proud of it and you won't lower your standards just for a good time. You're the type of girl that you can take home to Mom, so to speak."
Okay, yes. He's rambling and he needs to stop. So Bobby looks down at the pizza. "I understand." Perhaps not as much as he should, but he does. "There's no pressure here. Just pizza."

Hope is in the middle of serving herself up a slice of the pizza when he bursts into his ramble. She sort of pauses, mid slice-stealing and blinks at him. Cheeks heat up to a pretty pink and she tries to divert his attention away from them by quickly yanking the slice, gooey, stringy cheese and all back to her plate. "Thankyouforthecompliment," she manages, before she feels the need to clear her throat.

A sip of water is taken to further calm herself, and when she's swallowed, she shakes her head. "You're not pressuring me, I want to tell you." Yet she doesn't. Not just yet. Pizza first.

Now this is awkward. Thankfully she's grabbing for some pizza or else he'd likely get up and walk away. After all, he's already embarrassed himself. "Yeah" Robert is about to grab for a slice himself when he hears a table full of giggling. He looks over to the group of females only to see one blow him a kiss. A nod is given to the group before he looks back to Hope. He says nothing, he doesn't smile at them, anything.
"So what do you think about the pizza," he asks, going back to the important conversation. The topic of family is allowed to fall to the wayside for now. Bobby reaches for a piece himself and nearly devours it in two bites. He hasn't eaten yet, after all!

There are a few small bites taken, then she's dabbing at her mouth with a napkin. "It's amazing." Classic. Simple pizza. Probably the best she's had since moving down here. Her eyes, however, are on the group of girls. Not that she cares if any of them are blowing kisses, more just to see if she recognizes them from school or church. No names spring to mind, so she doesn't try to 'protect' him as per their deal.

"I'll try to give you the short version," she offers, voice lowering a little. "We were holding a welcome-home party for a friend, at the end I stayed behind to clean up and sent my sister and said friend home by themselves. When I got outside, he was dying - his throat torn out by a hungry vampire, and she was almost catatonic. She was like that for a long while, only really returning to her somewhat normal self recently."

Part of him wishes that they were girls that she knows, but he's not going to complain. She'll see just how he reacts to those he doesn't really care for. The man isn't exactly rude but it's like a different person. "My diet doesn't like this place, but I sure do." Bobby even reaches for a second piece and begins to eat it. The man has a healthy appetite.
When Hope begins talking, he's all ears. Thankfully he finished his piece before she got to the end or else he'd have dropped it on the table. "That explains quite a bit," he finally says, not sure how much he should say or ask. "That is an awful thing to not only have happen but to be witness to." He suddenly sees more strength in her than he gave her credit for. "I heard that you're not from Texas." The news tells everything! "You came here for her, didn't you?"

Reaction noted. Hope turns back to him, lets him eat while she nibbles on her slice. "Your diet can handle it. You no doubt workout quite a bit." Something she'll come to ask about later, since she could use a good gym in the area. "I did. Transferred schools, and my credits. Mom and Dad stayed for a while, but she's afraid of them and until a few weeks ago, I was the only one she'd talk to. I didn't want her to be alone." That, and moving away from the location of the incident was a must. Perhaps not greatly healthy to run away as she did, but better than staying there and wallowing in her grief.

He can tell her all about it. "My days usually consist of food, working out, and work. Throw in Chloe every once in a while and that's it. Not exactly exciting." He's not downplaying his days, either. Good old Bobby. Boring as all get out.
A smart person can see more to her story than she's telling. An interested man won't call her out on it on the first meeting. "With what happened, I can only imagine what was going through her mind." He's by no means trying to be insulting. "You know, not many people would do that for their sister. It shows just how much you care. You're likely the reason she's recovered to the point that she has."

That's a cheerful thought, and a dangerous one as well. "I'd like to think so, but she's not exactly the same person as before the incident." Hope fiddles with her napkin, then decides to pull down a second slice. The pizza /was/ good after all. "I mean, she /is/, but her mind has been so severely altered. When we saw the brain scans, it was like there were pieces missing. No idea what happened, but we're pretty sure that it was the vampire who did something with her mind." Hence, her hatred of the creatures… not that it would have even taken that much. "So you can probably understand why we need to get to the bottom of her going missing from the facility. If the same vampire that killed our friend has found her, or if another has her targeted for something, we'll have to be more vigilant in keeping her safe."

She's not exactly talking quietly, but then again, she's not ashamed of her feelings toward vampires.

Hey, he's not about to tell her to quiet down. This is her right and her story. If anything, he'd hug her more than shush her. His hand finds the table and rests there. Were hers there his would find the top of it. This is such a tragic tale. "The scans showed that? This is the power that is just walking around freely?" Oh, no. Robert does not take well to hearing this at all. "It had to have been that. You have more than enough reason to be worried about her. I'd be making her live with me and have a constant guard if I were in your position."
There's a second that passes before he leans in slightly. He's not afraid of people hearing what he has to say but this is for her. "Just don't think that you have to face all of this alone. No one can take on all of this, no matter how much you love her. Let others help you. Think about your health."

What he says is so sweet, that she's got to struggle to not let her eyes get watery. A quick look of gratitude is thrown his way before she stares at the pizza. In a very undainty move, she peels off a pepperoni and proceeds to nibble at it, sans the bread, sauce and cheese. "I would most definitely do that. I /offered/ to do that, but that would be the same as her being locked up and treated poorly at the facility. She needs to have some freedoms, and learn to function in society again, even if she's not going to be functioning at a hundred percent."

Hope reaches her right hand to rest atop his briefly. Just a friendly, reassuring gesture - much like the one he was meaning for her likely. "You are helping quite a bit. I feel better now that it's all out there." Again. Though the first it was told was to make someone understand why it was necessary to keep her sister in a facility in the first place.

Oh, no. No, no, no. No crying. He's not built to handle crying, especially from someone as cute and innocent as Hope. The pizza distraction is well appreciated for more reasons than one. If anything, her eating of the pepperoni makes her that much better. He doesn't like bad girls but he doesn't like the perfectly prim and proper, either. "You have a point, but you'd be less strict, I'm sure. And she would be better off." She wouldn't be treated the same way. "You're a brave woman for letting things go as you have."
Hey! It's his job to do that! This is an awkward situation. Anyone can see how not used to things that he is. "Anytime, Hope. I'm here for you." Again she gets that charming smile. "I can talk to some others that I know. Maybe they can dig up some information on everything. That way you don't have to worry about the danger involved."

Prim, proper and perfect is what she strives for, but it's a fact of life - at the root of it all, she's only human. Prone to mistakes, and some things that just aren't perfect. Such as her freak-out on the poor man who found her sister. "I will give her time to settle into the new place, and see how she likes it." It's not as though Hope lives in the dormitory either, so she'd have room for her sister should she ever need it.

The awkwardness of the situation is enough to make her giggle. Hope feels almost like getting up and hugging him, but that would make things even more awkwardly complex than they already are. "Would you? I don't know how I'd ever repay you for helping me. I'd really appreciate it." She doesn't throw in the desperate 'and be forever in your debt' that other girls might.

Being human is the best way to be. That applies in more than one way. Besides, she's cute so she can get away with things. "She may not know what to do with all the freedom," he comments. "After what she's been through. It might get lonely for her." That might be good for Hope, too. She could use the company, after all.
Hugging him right now would likely not result in what she would like from him. He is a man, after all, and one with a good sense of humor. "Repay me? Hope, look around." He's indicating the teenage girls, of course. "You're doing me the biggest favor ever already. Besides, you're hurting, no matter how strong you try to be. It's time to let someone else take some of that from you."

"It might, but I do intend on dropping by just as often, if not more so. She does have at least one semi-approvable friend that I know she'd like to visit with privately, and she wouldn't have that luxury at my place." Still, she will broach the subject with her twin again in the near future, just because she /does/ worry about these things.

Hope does look around as he says that, noting the girls that were blowing kisses earlier. "By enjoying the fat-inducing pizza with you? I think I can handle that again in the future." Not too often though. The pizza is too scrumptious for its own good. "Then let me leave it at the fact that I'm very appreciative of your offer. It means a lot."

That catches his attention. "Semi-approvable? That's an odd way to phrase things." He doesn't quite understand the full extent of what's going on. "I know that I don't know her, but I could always check in on her. Or I could get some others from the church. We're here to support each other, after all."
One of the girls is outright scowling at the fact that the two seem to be happily enjoying pizza together. "It's a teenager thing, I think. They don't understand that I'm too old and not interested." At least now she understands why he works out so much. Robert keeps his smile going. "I like the way you said that. And, you know, if you ever want to just hang out without feeling like you owe me, well that would be cool too." Smooth. Not.

It may be an odd way to phrase things, but she's not certain how else to put it. "Semi-approvable, because he's most definitely not the type I would have expected of her, but oftentimes we can't choose who are friends are, people just click." Again, Hope smiles at the offer. "I think she'd like the company. I can set something up with the facility to allow certain extra visitors." Though she has no doubt Faith would drive most of them crazy in a matter of minutes.

"I'd like that, actually." Beat. "Hanging out without owing you."

Semi-approvable. "Well, maybe she sees something in this friend that others don't? It's true, that you can't always pick your friends so easily. But you can't always tell the quality of someone based on their appearance, either." This may be true, but Robert thinks that this table can be judged based on the way that they look. "I'll see what I can do. She won't be lonely." It's very likely that she'll be difficult to deal with, but the church is willing to work with it.
Oh, wait. Did she just agree to that? His smile actually gets bright. "Thanks, Hope." His sister is so going to make fun of him for this. "And remember, you can call me at any time."

"It's possible." Then again, Hope thinks her sister is a bit screwed up still, and that she's not making very good judgment calls. "I just warn you that she may be a bit difficult to deal with. She currently thinks our parents are Nazi's and terrorists." She crumples the napkin up and places it on the table. No way she can eat anything else now. "I would love to be able to call you, but unfortunately you have the upperhand on me there. I don't have your number."

Some napkins are taken in hand and he clears his hands of all evidence of pizza consumption. Once this is done he charms the waitress out of the check and hands her enough cash to more than cover the tab. "Well, we all think that about our parents at some point, in some way. She's just rebuilding her memories. Maybe, since she doesn't know me, I might do better." Robert nods then, feeling slightly sheepish. "Would you prefer that I write down my number or can I program your phone myself?"

Hope, reaching into her bag to pull out her wallet, just blinks when he covers the food. To her, that means something more than just hanging out. To cover the widening of her eyes, she digs around to find her cell phone. Once she finds it, she holds it out to him. Of course, it's pink. Pink with a bit of rhinestone bling decorating it. Totally girlish. "Feel free to program it," she offers. "If you write it down, I may lose it with my course books, and it will never be seen again." Grin.

This is not a date. If it were a date, he'd take her to a place somewhat nicer than a pizza parlor filled with a bunch of girls that are crushing on him. Hope's cover is a good one. He doesn't even notice any reaction. "Pink. How fitting." With a smirk he begins to program her phone with his name and number. Next to his name he lists the word 'Bodyguard'. Yes, he's being flirtatious. "This way you're forced to keep the number," he mentions as he hands the phone back. "Well, unless you delete it."

"It's my favorite color," she admits with a smile. "It's bright, and cheery, and makes me feel much more like smiling than yellow." Hope takes the phone back, her smile becoming brighter as she notes the word 'Bodyguard'. "I wouldn't dare delete it. I may have need of a bodyguard in the future." She's not kidding, either. If vampires /are/ after her sister and all they're aware of is what she looks like, Hope is a very easy target - she's just not ready to let Robert in on that little secret just yet.

If a vampire decides to go near Hope, Robert will do whatever it takes to take them down. He's not going to mention that part either, especially since they just met. It is something he will make sure of, however. "I think the color suits you. Much better than black, at least." Pink does seem to suit her, now that he thinks about it. "And if you do need a bodyguard? I don't care what time it is. Just let me know."

Black has never, ever been an essential part of her wardrobe. Though she will accessorize a pair of black pants with a pink top, it's rare for her to wear it. "Thank you," she says to the compliment. "And thank you for lunch as well." She'll just be quicker with her wallet next time they hang out. "You will definitely be the first person I call if I ever find myself in a serious crisis situation again… though don't be offended by my saying that I truly hope that never has to happen." Beat. "Not that I won't just call you to talk."

"Don't worry about it. I'm sure I'm probably keeping you from something anyway." That's how he's going to excuse paying for the food. In all honesty he's not going to let her pay so long as he has a say in things. Robert leans forward to regard her and her statement. "Don't take this the wrong way, but I hope never to receive the phone call where you need me in such a situation. I like to think of you as happy and healthy." Now he's very glad that Chloe isn't here. "Of course you realize, if you don't call me you'll break my heart." Now he's just teasing her.

"Just taking the bus across town to get my car." Which is also pink - a pastel pink 1996 Ford Aspire. Hope definitely doesn't take it the wrong way, since she's of the same mind. It would be better to not have to call him, since she hopes that things will never get to that point. "Well I will do my best to never be in a situation like that, if you promise you'll be careful at work." Turnabout is fairplay. When he teases her, she laughs. "Well I would hate to do that. So you have my word that I'll call." She does slide out of the seat then, since she'll likely have to run to the bus in another few minutes.

When he actually realizes that her car is pink she'll not hear the end of it. Even he knows that there's a limit to the amount of any one color someone can handle. At least he's not put off by the color. "How about I promise to be as safe as I possibly can and not to do anything reckless?" That has to stand for something, coming from a bouncer. As she stands, Robert does as well. He has some errands to run anyway, now that he's out. "It was nice seeing you again, Hope. I'll set to work on contacting some people I know and let you know if I find out anything."

Now comes the awkward part. Does she hug him, friendly like? Shake his hand? Stand there with her arms crossed awkwardly over her chest? Hope does none of these, except smile at him. "I can accept that," she says to his counter-offer. "Thanks again!" Then she goes to walk past him. Stopping right beside the table of giggling teenage girls. Which is where she pivots on a heel and waits for him to turn toward the door. Where in, she cheekily blows a kiss at him with a conspiratorial wink.

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