Concert Camping

White Rock Lake

A reservoir, White Rock Lake covers 1,254 acres and was once used for a portion of Dallas' drinking water supply. Now that it's use as a water source has been supplanted, the area has become one of the favored recreational locations in the city. The forested shoreline is dotted with numerous small cabins, fishing piers, and sailboat docks.
The lake is surrounded by White Rock Lake Park, which is home to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Running through the park is a 9 mile trail designed for hiking, running or cycling.
Though swimming was banned here back in the '50's, it is still a popular location for area teens who generally enjoy the more deserted areas, using the beautiful backdrop as a makeout spot.

As promised, Mischa is at the lake. Not only has he just had his car washed and waxed (as if it needed it) to show off for Summer, he has brought quite the picnic spread, along with two bottles of wine. He pulls up to an empty parking space amongst the rows of cars that have lined up for the concert. He pops the trunk of his car and gets out, looking around. He's come dressed a little more casually, but warmly enough in case the weather should happen to turn bed. He wears a brown leather jacket, a red sweater, khaki pants, and a pair of hiking boots for safety's sake. He steps around to the hatchback and gets the rather large picnic basket out, hefting it under one arm, while removing some pillows and wool blankets.

Having had the day off, Summer was here earlier. Far, far earlier. A stage can be seen down the trail toward the lake. Tents of varying sizes have been set up — some for sleeping or warming up in, the majority venue tents for quick food or alcohol, merchandise, and one with a large screened television set up inside of it broadcasting the concerts for those who want to dance.

The tent that Summer has brought looks a little faded, the green-yellow blending together to look like a mottled frog's belly. The crowd is not too heavy as of yet, so she'll be easy to spot right close to the stage — yet not close enough to be deafened by the music. Two lawn chairs, and a small folding table are settled to the front left of the tent.

It takes Mischa a moment to spot Summer after he closes his trunk. Eventually the librarian spots his date and makes his way over with a large smile. "Summer! Have you been waiting long? I had to stay a little late at work, picking up some slack from this morning…" He puts the picnic basket down on the table that she's set up, frowning as he glances around. "You didn't have to do all of this by yourself — but it does look great. I just hope that the weather stays this nice." Mischa dumps the pillows and blankets in one of the lawn chairs before making his way over to Summer, intending to give her a nice warm hug and a big ol' kiss on the cheek.

"I've been back and forth." Summer did have quite a bit to drag over here. From the looks of things, she hasn't minded setting it all up though. The warm hug is returned possibly even more warmly than was intended, as is the kiss to the cheek. "We won't be roughing it too much. There's an air mattress in there, a few sleeping bags and pillows as well." And one overnight bag for her. "The weather is going to stay beautiful. If not, we've got a rain flap to go over the tent so we don't wind up soaking wet."

"I've got a change of clothes in the car, just in case. I hope it doesn't get muddy out." Being a clean top atop of a prissy kitty does not always make for a love of dirt. He leans in and attempts a peck on the lips, giving Summer a tight squeeze before he smiles at her and nods over towards the picnic basket. "I know you said you're not picky, but I wanted to make sure, so I brought a little of everything." And chances are is that he made it all, not bought it. Only reinforced by the way it's packed. "I also brought white wine and strawberry wine… wasn't sure which would go best. Oh, and cups. I packed those too! And the paper plates and silverware. Wow, the campsite really does look great."

Affectionate tonight; but it doesn't seem as if Summer minds at all. "A little mud never hurt anyone, though if it does we can scoot back to my place and clean up." Which apparently means her place isn't too far off from here. "You really went all out. I'll wind up with love handles if I keep eating so well," she teases gently. "Now it looks great," she says, winking at him. "You're here, after all."

Mischa looks down at Summer's sides and then grins a bit deviously. "I don't understand the preoccupation that women have with their figures when most of you look wonderful, especially you." He sighs after that and moves towards the picnic basket, popping it open to show her. It's not often that he went on picnics as a kid, so he only has movies to go by. Fried chicken, a bit of pasta salad, some homemade bread, a fresh garden salad, trail mix, cherry cobbler, and brownies. There's also some water bottles in there. "Well, I highly doubt that I really add to the scenery, but thank you for saying so."

As the picnic basket is popped open, Summer's eyes do too. It's a smorgasbord of cult classic picnic food. Reaching toward the table, she prods at the food a little, then eyes the desserts. "You are going to be the death of me. I'm going to explode from all this amazing cooking and baking." She licks her lips and then turns back toward him with a smile. "You add to my scenery," she says, coyly.

Summer's compliments make him blush something fiercely, although he won't bother to protest this time. "Maybe exploding women is my fetish?" He asks, before he grabs his own pillow and blankets, shoving them into the tent. "Did you happen to see my new car?" Mischa asks non-chalantly. He motions over towards the blue Corolla, putting his hands on his hips. "A friend of mine paid me back a loan that I gave him. It couldn't have come at a better time."

When he points, she can't help but look in that direction. "Shiny," she says with a grin. "Love the color." Summer blinks at him once, then twice. "That's a pretty hefty loan. I hope he's a good friend." A sideways glance is sent toward the stage. "They're likely not going to start for a while. What do you feel more like doing? Walking around to laugh at some of the merchandise, or eating a little something now to tide us over?"

"I wouldn't say that we're 'good' friends, but good enough at this point." It's a bit of a crytpic statement, although Mischa can't help but be vague about it all. He can't get into the specifics with Summer, though he CAN wrap his arm around her and give her a squeeze. "Hmm. Why don't we have a little something to eat, then we can take a walk to get our legs stretched. Maybe you can burn off some of that food you're so worried about," he teases quietly.

"It takes work to look this good," she teases back, twirling about in her oversized coat. Just a show of how he can't see her full body at all. Summer leans toward the tent flap, and pushes it open. "May as well eat in here and warm up a little at the same time." He may have just gotten here, but she's been here a while already. While it's not horribly cold, there's enough of a chill in the air to make her want to get out of the wind.

Mischa nods in agreeance to Summer's suggestion, grabbing the picnic basket and heading inside the tent. "Pretty spacious in here. It should be nice and warm too. At least if we get too cold we can come in here — or wrap in blankets out on the chairs." Though the tent definitely has more cuddle potential, something which Mischa is taking into considering.

Once he's inside, Summer backs in and drops the flap. She doesn't zip it up quite yet, in case they've forgotten something outside. "I've got us positioned that we can see the stage if we leave the flap open, in case we want to hide from the wind." Otherwise, they'll be outside with the blankets on the chairs. Or on blankets with blankets on the ground. "Speaking of, I had tickets to see a play on Saturday, but it looks like I've got a late night meeting. You interested in them? I'd hate them to go to waste."

Meeting? "I have a meeting too, actually. The play sounds much better though. I wish I could, but it's a little bit important." He lets out a tiny sigh at the thought of having to meet with Eli, and not knowing what's going to be discussed. Eventually he turns to Summer and smiles as he moves to sit down on the mattress, beginning to pull the throwaway utensils out of the basket along with the paper plates and plastic cups. Perhaps not entirely nature conscious, but necessary.

"So's mine, and I really wanted to see the play too." Sighing, she sets the thought aside with a, "Well if you know anyone that's interested in them, let them know they can just have them." Summer watches all the plastics being taken out, and she reaches over to her overnight bag and pulls out a green garbage bag. Grinning at him, she lays it out so that they can clean up after dinner. Rather than sitting though, she lays on the mattress, leaning up on her elbow. "It's been ages since I've been camping. Toby and I used to go every month when I was in high school."

"That sounds nice. My parents were never real outdoorsy types." Mischa quietly laughs, grinning a little bit. "In fact, my dad used to complain about the leaves when I would beg him to play catch with me. I guess it's how my love affair with books got started, really. They were an indoor activity. My parents liked reading to me." He shrugs a little bit as he starts to lay the food out, pushing some of it towards Summer so that she can have the first picks. "As for the tickets… my neighbor might want them. She's a little mad at me right now, so… maybe it'll be a peace offering. Or maybe I'll just slip them under her door and hope for the best."

A piece of the homemade bread is taken, and a small piece of the fried chicken; chicken placed atop bread for an impromptu sandwich. Summer glances over at him, curiosity piqued. "Do I want to know why she's upset with you?" That's about all she's planning on asking on the subject since she changes it back immediately to camping. "It was great, actually. In the summer, we didn't bother with tents. We'd just hike out to the desert, slap our sleeping bags on he ground and sleep under the stars. I loved it since sometimes our camping trips meant missing school, but it was a ritual and we had to go whenever he could get someone to cover at the store." Well, whenever the full moon was he would get someone to cover at the store.

Mischa can't help but laugh a little nervously. "Well… I think she was interested in me romantically. I care for her, but I don't know if it's like that. She's my best friend. I don't want to jeopardize that. Anyway, there's someone who I like… a lot more." As much as he hates to admit that one, still feeling as though he's betraying Chloe on some level. Mischa lets out a sigh before he tunes back into the conversation. He can't help but chuckle and nod to her. "It sounds nice. And getting to play hookey from school and all… I wouldn't pass that up. It sounds like you two are really close." Mischa grabs a piece of chicken and doesn't bother with a plate, nibbling at it's edges a bit. It's clear he's critiquing his own cooking in his head.

There is a silence at that, though not hardly as awkward as it could be. "I think that if the two of you are as good of friends as you believe, things will work out. Give it a bit of time." A reassuring smile is given, then she takes a liberal bite of her impromptu sandwich, chewing it thoughtfully. "This is good," she says, after swallowing. "We are, I suppose. He's the only family I really have left. He's still in great shape, but he's getting too old to want to go camping these days, which is why this concert is such a treat. Pseudo camping, with a great guy. Just enjoying whatever the night brings."

Mischa nods towards Summer, grinning for a brief moment. "Let's hope so. She's really one of the only friends I've ever had. In the end I just want to do right by her." He takes another bite of his chicken, seeming reassured by Summer's words AND her compliment to his cooking. He frowns a bit at Summer, nodding. "I bet he misses being able to go camping with you. It sounds like you had a lot of time to bond during those trips. You must miss it too." Mischa can't help but blush slightly when Summer calls him a great guy. "I wouldn't go as far as great. Good, maybe." He winks at her before taking another bite of his chicken, glancing around at the tent interior.

The small sandwich is finished, and Summer reaches over to take the bottle of white wine. "I don't suppose you happened to bring a corkscrew?" Smiling at him, she places a hand gently on his cheek. "No negativity. Stay positive. For better or worse, things will work out." Then she's moving to near lean over him, just to dig through the basket for the corkscrew. "You keep looking around. Am I making you nervous?"

"Actually, I did!" Mischa grins at the hand on the cheek, blinking as she leans over him. He doesn't make any move to help her find the corkscrew, because he's rather enjoying the closeness, as lecherous as it all sounds. "No, no. I've just… I've actually never been in a tent. So this is new for me. I feel like a rugged man. One who cooked cherry cobbler." He takes a bite of his chicken with a grin, winking at summer.'

The fact that she's practically laying atop her date as she digs for the corkscrew never crosses her mind. At least not until she finds it, and starts to draw herself back up to her knees. Summer is still leaning inward a little, hovering like that beside him for a moment. "You thought of everything. I've got to say, I'm impressed. Knowing myself, I would have brought wine but forgotten the corkscrew."

Mischa grins a tad sheepishly. "Oh, it almost happened. Don't even think for a minute it didn't. Of course, I made a list before hand… I'm sort of a really retentive list keeper." He reaches up to brush a little hair back from Summer's face with the non-greasy hand before putting the remnants of his chicken into the trash bag. He unwraps the plastic cups and chuckles quietly. "I've probably forgotten something and it just hasn't dawned on us yet. Just give me a few minutes."

"I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you forgot the lifter for the cobbler." Summer just checked the bag thoroughly and didn't see one. Settling the bottle of wine between her knees, she removes the seal, then sets the corkscrew to the cork, turning it swiftly. Prying it out without giving herself a black eye, she laughs. "I don't mind sharing though if it comes to it. No sense in making a mess trying to lift it out of the container with little plastic forks."

Mischa can't help but laugh a little bit. "Yeah… just going to have to use forks. I didn't have the clarity to bring along a spatula or spoon. That's not too bad though, right? I'm not slowly losing my mind as I approach my thirtieth birthday?" He grins and watches Summer with some amusement as she wrestles the bottle, reaching out to give her knee a squeeze. "The little plastic forks and spoons should be fine. So, Summer…" Mischa says, trying to sound coy and cute.

Twisting the corkscrew off of the cork, she returns it to the basket. The cork, of course, is placed in the bag. "When is your birthday anyhow?" It's the second time he's brought it up, so Summer is curious to find out if it is soon. "Hmm? Yes?" Her head tilts to the side, a soft smile on her lips as she reaches for one of the plastic glasses to pour the wine into.

"October eighth. Not for a while, but I feel it just creeping up on me, you know?" MIscha asks, grinning before he clears his throat and wipes his sweaty palms on his khakis, leaving faint wet spots. "I'm not entirely sure how to phrase this, but…" Pause. "I like you a lot, and I think you return the sentiment. So… do you want to make this official? You know, be my girlfriend? It sounds a little juvenile, but… significant other is too — well, non-romantic to me." He blushes deeply and averts his eyes from hers, looking more towards the flap of the tent in case he needs to bolt.

"Seven months away." Summer laughs a little at that, knowing how it is when certain birthdays creep up. "I just had mine recently. February fourteenth." There she waits for the jokes to come, as they generally do. She's all but prepared to rebuff them, when he comes out with his question. Gently licking her lips to moisten them, she sets the wine bottle back between her knees so that she doesn't spill it. "Are you asking me to go steady?" A small, teasing glint in her eyes.

Mischa grins sheepishly at Summer, biting his lip. "Well, I was going to give you my class ring, or my little lettermen's pin…" He winks at her before he reaches out, squeezing her forearm. "I like spending time with you and you like spending time with me. I know it's only our second date, and I'm not a man who does these things lightly. You're fairly special to me, Summer. I'd like to have you around a little more permanently, yes."

Surprisingly, there are no jokes about her birthday. That in and of itself seems to put her in slightly better spirits. "Why not both? Then everyone would know," she replies with a laugh. Her hand reaches up to set atop his. Her eyes drift slowly up to his face. She intakes some air a little sharply. "Welllll~…" Exhaling th breath as she prolongs the word, she nods. "If you're going to put it that way, you make it hard to refuse." Wink.

Mischa seems more than relieved to hear her answer. He leans in and very suddenly kisses her, putting both of his hands on either sides of her cheeks. It's a quick but passionate kiss, one that has him grinning like an idiot when he pulls away. "Do you want me to go outside and scream it? The place is starting to fill up, I'm sure everyone would want to know." He says, looking teasingly towards the flap. Mischa looks positively giddy at her answer. "And besides, I'm not sure how that would work. Girlfriendy other?"

The sudden kiss takes her by surprise, but is returned rather than refused. See? Good thing she secured that wine bottle! Thanks to the way he's leaned in, and the fact that his hands are on her cheeks, she doesn't fall backward. "By all means, if you want to." The grin is matched, but then she does feel a little guilty. Keeping the secret from him and all. Lifting up the one full wine glass, she takes a long drink from it, nearly draining it. "I think the politically correct term is significant other? Did you want a glass before I set the bottle aside?"

"Lover sounds nice. A bit too intimate, but nice." When he's offered the wine, Mischa shakes his head. "You go ahead. I'll have some a bit later. By the way, don't be alarmed if you wake up and I'm out in the middle of the night. I'm a bit of a night owl. I tend to fall asleep early, then wake up a bit later and need to eat a snack and stretch my legs." He reaches up to run his fingers through Summer's hair, massaging her neck on the way down.

Summer finishes off the glass of wine, looking toward the bottle as though she wants another. She's no lush, but the little bit of guilt is eating away at her. "I"m the same way sometimes," she says, voice barely above a murmur. Reaching toward the side of the tent, she sets the wine bottle down. Along with it goes the plastic glass. Her neck curves toward his massaging fingers, and she exhales a soft, happy sigh. "There is something about you, Mischa Alexandrov. I can't put my finger on it though…"

There's a pause from Mischa as he considers Summer's words, grinning a bit. "My animal magnetism?" He asks, waggling his brows before he lets his hand drop down her back, curling it around her. "I know what you mean though… do you ever feel there's… a really strong chemistry between the two of us? To be honest, it's been a while since I've had this with someone. This connection, I mean. A long time." He takes in a deep breath and smiles at Summer, looking rather contented with everything.

The pit of her stomach is now rife with butterflies. As soon as she ears the words animal magnetism, Summer gives him an extremely odd look. Almost as though she's trying to see through him. "I didn't notice it," she whispers, "Until the night by the pond. Your eyes…" A small shake of her head is given, but her hands settle to either side of his face. As she watches him, the soft smile on her face never wavering, she nearly blurts right out and asks him. Yet she holds back, not wanting to cause waves if she's incorrect.

There's a rapid quickening of Mischa's heartbeat in the seconds to come. He reaches out and puts his fingers underneath her chin, leaning in to kiss her on the lips gently at first. The kiss deepens before he pulls away, his eyes shining green like a cat's once more. He does very little to bother hiding it from her this time, instead looking at her full on. For the most part, it seems he doesn't know what's going on. After all, it is his second nature.

His eyes are not noticed at first, because with the kisses her eyes have fallen shut. As Summer opens them, she spots the green shine, and blinks at him. "Oh, Mischa…" The guilt hits her full force now, and she looks away from him. She's left wondering if any of it is real. "Where are you going on Saturday?" The question is not one she was intending to pose, but it is the one that comes out.

"Animal lovers club meeting…" Mischa answers weakly, giving the slightest of smiles. For a moment it's as if there's a lengthening of his eye teeth — not in a vampiric way. It's more felinian than anything. This one he notices, and he reaches up to touch his teeth. "Summer, please don't be scared… I can't help it, I'm… not like other people, and I didn't want you to know this soon." Or at all.

"Liar," she says with a soft sigh. "Shifter or Werewolf?" Amusingly, she looks less than scared. A dry amusement obvious in her eyes. "I suspect I would have found out Saturday, as would you." Summer reaches for the bottle of wine, this time pouring two glasses and holding one out to him. "That's why we were drawn to one another, I expect."

Mischa can't help but let out a very quiet laugh, though he still doesn't seem entirely relieved. "Shapeshifter… you're not freaking out." He points out quietly. "What are you?" Mischa asks, before he takes the wine and watches her carefully, not bothering to take a sip of his wine yet. "I'd like to think that we had more reasons to like each other than that, but it may have played a factor, yes."

Summer carefully holds the plastic glass by the bottom, cursing mentally. "Shapeshifter," she mumbles. "Hence the non freaking out." Otherwise, that would have been really trippy to see. "I was planning on telling you before things progressed too much further…" Looks like he would have found out Saturday regardless though.

"I haven't actually been to many other meetings. I'm just an honorary pack member — same as you, I suppose. But this one strikes me as a little important." Mischa reaches out and squeezes Summer's hand, watching her. "We would have found out sooner or later, yes. I do like to think that it isn't the hinging factor in our relationship though…" He lets out a quiet laugh before grinning sheepishly, shaking his head. "And now my comment about animal magnetism becomes utterly ironic."

"Toby and Eli are friends, so yes. A lovely honorary title." Summer glances down at their hands, nodding. "When we both had to come up with excuses around the full moon multiple times?" Flicking her tongue out over her lips gently, she lifts her head up to watch him again. "I'd like to think so. I do like you. Your personality, who you are. So it's not purely physical." At least on her part. "Does this mean I should be calling you the Ironic Chef?" Oh the agony of the pun.

Mischa grins a bit cattishly, fitting as that is. "I have a suggestion. Let's go get that walk. I think the bands are getting ready to start." The sounds of amplifiers being tested out ring through the air, along with the 'testing, 1, 2' of roadies. "I like you very much, Summer. And of course you're amazingly beautiful." He laughs, blushing at her final words. "Please don't call me that, no. The full moon would have been… a giveaway, yes." He stands up slowly and offers Summer his hand.

As she doesn't want to waste the poured wine, Summer decides to take it with her. Her free hand is placed in his, and she lifts herself to her feet. "A walk is wonderful for clearing minds, and possible tensions." She laughs when he calls her beautiful, and gives his hand a squeeze. "I am beautiful because you like me." Not the proper quote, but the changes fit the situation. "I promise I won't call you that again. Shall we?"

"Well, no. You're beautiful because of good genetics— alright, alright." Mischa finishes off his wine in rather short order, taking the crushed cup with him to dispose of in one of the trash cans outside. "Maybe we'll find something dorkier than me to buy. That'd be pushing it, wouldn't it?" With that, he unzips the tent and leads her out into the brisque evening air.

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