Regaining Hope?

Hope picks up her cellular phone and begins to dial.

<Phone> You hear the phone ringing at the other end.

<Phone> The phone is picked up at the far end.

<Phone> Robert says "Hello?"

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "Just what in the world do you think you're doing spending that kind've money on me?"

<Phone> Robert is silent for several long moments. "What? Hope, what's going on?"

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "The /car/, Bobby. They delivered it this morning. How /could/ you?"

<Phone> Robert falls silent, deathly silent. "Hope?" Suddenly some banging around can be heard in the background. "What makes you think that I bought you a car?" He's already taken Mellie in.

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "You'd better not be punching stuff." Sighing, she tries to explain. "Well it's pink, it's a Suzuki Sidekick, and you're the only one alive that'd bother sending me a belated valentine."

<Phone> Robert is not punching things, is cleaning up the kitchen. "So someone suddenly up and bought you a car and you don't know who it was?" He sounds rather panicked. "I'm coming over."

(Directed into the phone) Hope is quiet. "You mean… it wasn't you?" She looks over the paper work again, shuffling it around a little. "What? No, Bobby, it's too /soon/ which is why I was calling you to tell you to come get your car back."

<Phone> Robert says "Hope, I brought Mellie in and I'm on medical leave. I can't afford something like that." He sighs, suddenly stopping. "I… you're not safe. Not if you can't figure out who would randomly leave you a brand new car.""

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "It's not /new/. It's a 2000, I think. I'll have to read the papers again. The woman just dropped it off this morning. So it wasn't you? You're not just trying to make me think it wasn't you? It really wasn't you?"

<Phone> Robert sighs deeply, attempting to get his voice to convince her that he's telling the truth. "No, it wasn't me. I can't afford it. Besides, why would I get you a car?"

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "… because I totaled my other one?"

<Phone> Robert makes it very obvious that something is dropped. Or thrown. But there is clattering. "What? Damnit, Hope, are you alright?"

(Directed into the phone) Hope clears her throat. "I figured you knew. I'm fine. Bruised noggin, but I'll live."

<Phone> Robert says "No, I didn't know. I would have been there had I known. Are you /sure/ that you don't want me to come over? I'm worried."

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "I shouldn't have called. I'm sorry. I don't want to disrupt your life. I can't keep doing that."

<Phone> Robert sighs roughly. "You're nor disrupting my life. I /want/ to be there for you. And if you've gone and got yourself a stalker, you need someone."

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "But it's not your /job/ to be here for me. I shouldn't have called."

<Phone> Robert says "Damnit, Hope. I know I'm not the best guy in the world but that doesn't mean that I can't be there. I want to be. You need someone and I'd rather it be someone I know."

(Directed into the phone) Hope sighs resignedly. "Fine. Meet me at the church though. It's a neutral location."

<Phone> Robert says "I don't care about that, Hope. I'll meet you anywhere, you know that. I'm not trying to pressure anything. But who else would you turn to?"

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "I know you're not, but just pick a location."

<Phone> Robert says "You said the church. The church works. I just want to know that you're safe."

(Directed into the phone) Hope says "I'm on my way then."

Hope clicks her cellular to disconnect the call and hangs up.

The Fellowship of the Sun

A triangular mass of windows and modern side-panels of an off white, the church the Fellowship of the Sun congregate in is nothing short of welcoming. Its doors are comprised of transparent glass, allowing the world outside a glimpse into a richly carpeted and lavish lobby area. This is the heart of the church's information network; a place where tables filled with pamphlets and educational materials can be found as well as the corkboard holding up all the flyers and notices of recent events that might interest the congregation. Attached is a coat room, and the pair of handsome doors leading into the main chapel of the building, as well as a staircase that leads downstairs, where independent study rooms, the kitchen, and function rooms can be found.
In the room of worship, the walls are lined with magnificent, large windows. Large, fairly spacious, the altar stands proud and elevated like a stage in front of the masses of wooden pews standing sentinel. An elaborate wall of organ pipes make up the back wall, and above that is a golden cross, proclaiming its status as a holy place. The room always seems extraordinarily bright and sunny, a combination of the light colors used to decorate the room and the towering glass walls put into effect.

As said on the call, Hope is at the Fellowship. There is a pretty pink Suzuki Sidekicked parked not far from the door. It's mid-afternoon, so the warm sun is streaming in through the multitude of windows, creating a beautiful golden glow. She's not in the actual church though, she's out in the lobby area, reading the new pamphlet that just came out. The one with her picture on it. Her foot is propped up as though it's sustained a minor injury. There is no longer a bandage on her temple, rather just a nasty purple contusion, and a small healing cut.

Oh, and her hair is blonde. Really, really blonde.

The first thing that is noticed is not the blond woman. In fact, he notices her in passing but doesn't focus on it. Since he only has eyes for one, or two rather, he's made a practice of not looking at other women too closely. What catches Robert's eye is that awfully pink vehicle. He shakes his head as he begins inspecting the outside as best as he can, even the underneath. Her driving it at all was a very risky and stupid idea, in his mind, but at least he has the patience to not mutter about it.

Had she not driven it, she would not have been able to get out here. When he passes her by, Hope waits. Surely he's just made a mistake. Then he's outside, inspecting the vehicle again. So she scoots off her chair, makes her way to the door, and opens it. "I did all that before I even sat in the driver's seat," she says, calmly as possible.

"Yes, and what exactly is it that you were looking for?" She's a girl. He's a guy. He knows cars better, or so he'd like to think. Bobby's halfway underneath the vehicle at this point, still not having seen Hope. He moves about as he continues the inspection. "And you've looked everywhere? In and out?" Paranoid much? If anything, she shouldn't feel as if anything is going to happen between them since he's trying his best not to present it that way. "People don't just give cars to others without wanting something."

"I don't know. A bomb. Broken brake lines, something like that." Hope moves over to the stairs leading up to the church, seating herself on them as gracefully as she can at this point. "I looked everywhere I could possibly think of. You don't need to treat me like I'm a child." She's well aware that the gift likely has some strings attached to it, but until she can figure out who the sender is, she doesn't know /what/ those could possibly be.

He still hasn't looked at her, not yet. "And what's in the back? Have you gone through all of that yet?" Bobby doesn't respond to the child comment, not in the way that one might expect. Instead he finally turns to look at her, slightly irritated and a whole hell of a lot concerned. "You're actually willing to drive something that you have no idea wh… holy blond." And just like that, Robert is left speechless.

"An empty trunk, a spare tire, no serial killer waiting until I sit down." Hope watches him in his slightly frenzied state, and then tilts her head. "Well seeing as I have no other vehicle, and won't for some time, it's either this or cabbing it everywhere, and I'm not made of money." She grins. "Maybe it's a sorry gift from Ivan. You know, for thinking I'm pregnant." Now there's a thought. It's doubtful, but it's a thought. "It was all done through a legitimate escrow service. I called and checked. They won't release the name of their client though." So whoever it is wishes to remain anonymous.

Eyes get considerably larger, hands fly up to her hair. She's used to it, and she'd forgotten that it was a change for him. A soft 'aheh' is offered and she clears her throat. "What?"

He continues to stare, taking it all in. He was afraid to look at her at all because of his feelings for her but now it's impossible not to. "It's different." He's saying this about her hair, as if she doesn't realize that it's different. Yet Robert doesn't really comment on it. So he decides to distract himself the best way that he knows how; the new vehicle. The back is opened and he all but crawls inside, pushing levers and pulling. He checks for a spare and even collapses the seat. "Ivan would be too busy trying to kill me. Are you sure you don't have any rich friends that you're not telling me about?"

"I decided the change was a good thing." Hope doesn't point out the obvious, that it was done to cheer herself up after the breakup. She also doesn't move any little bit closer to him. "Why would Iva— oh, right." Her mood falters a little, and she shakes her head. "None that I'm aware of, unless someone I know from school is hiding their independent wealth from me. I don't think Elliott is rich, and I definitely don't think he'd buy me a car." Even though he /was/ there when she totaled the other one.

Bobby remains in the back of the new vehicle, the seats down. He's not paying attention to the inside, not at this point. "Yeah. That." He's about to just up and leave but she looks like she needs /someone/. He may not be the best, but what's this? "Elliott?" That's a new name for him. "I don't think that I've heard that name before. Is he new at the church?" Conversation, this is all he's making. To keep her talking.

Hope remains where she is as well, arms folding over her chest a little. It's not like she's wearing a jacket, and it /is/ a bit chilly out. "Ivan should mind his own business. If anyone should be upset, it should be me, and I'm not." Blatant lie, but she's trying. For his sake. "Not at our church, no. He's going to be a Catholic priest. He helped me when I had my accident." She leaves out the part where he escorted her to a carnival. "He made sure I got to the hospital and all that." So he's no reason to be jealous; not that he'd be jealous.

He's not wearing a jacket or else he would offer it. That would be a little too personal at this point, perhaps. Still he does notice the way she reacts and so he pats down on the interior of the vehicle. "I won't bite and you'll be warmer." He's being friendly and nothing more and at least he's giving her that charming smile. "I'll take care of Ivan is he approaches me. And I hate to say it, Hope, but you're a bad liar." Bobby clears his throat, just then looking down at the interior of the vehicle. "He sounds like a decent guy. I'm glad he was there for you. Someone needed to be."

Hesitating, she nods. Carefully, she climbs into the trunk beside him. Her foot is drawn up so that she doesn't bump it on anything. Her bruise more visible now that she's closer. "I'm not lying." Okay, she is. And she's an awful liar. Which is why people keep asking if she's okay. "He is. A decent guy, I mean. I don't know why he wants to be a priest, but to each their own. He'll make a good one, with his beliefs and all that."

In all honesty he can care less about this priest. "Mmmhmm." This is said as his eyes focus outward, away from her. He's listening if nothing else. Finally Bobby looks at Hope, her bruise first and then her eyes. "It's awkward, I know. But don't lie to me, please. I want things to be open." He /did/ admit to the kiss and everything. "I won't lecture you about what you do, you just need to be safe. You're playing a dangerous game right now and I'm not around to protect you."

"I'm not playing /any/ games, Bobby. I'd love to find out who the car is from. The woman who brought it only gave me the name Erica. But I /did/ check out the escrow service." Hope turns to face him then, even if he's not looking at her. "Fine. I'm upset. For a lot of reasons. But I understand why the breakup was necessary, and I don't /hate/ you." No, she actually still really cares for him which is why things are awkward. "I'm upset because I'm terrified of being attacked everywhere I go, because of the article in the paper. I'm upset because Faith has her own life and doesn't need me anymore. I'm upset because someone I thought was /dead/, really and truly /dead/ is apparently /not/, and that scares me most of all."

"There's got to be a way. Some note, perhaps. Something here. Maybe even under the interior. I could take it apart and put it back together perfectly if you wanted it." Always a man to try and help, especially her. Bobby doesn't shy away from looking directly at her as he just listens to her. "I…" Can't talk about the relationship right now. "You made this push, you know. By being who you are, by being so determined, you set this all into action. You can't back down now but you can accept help. I'm working hard so I can try to help." Magic, after all, would be helpful. He's about to say something else, perhaps something deep by the look in his eyes, but that never comes. "Tripp? He's alive?" Someone pays attention.

"There was a note that came with the car. It just said, 'this is all yours no strings. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed buying it for you. A little late perhaps, but always I hope, your secret valentine.'." Hope read it over and over again this morning, so it's no wonder that she's got it memorized now. "I am who I am, but that doesn't mean I can't be scared of the repercussions. Not just for myself, but Faith too." Her teeth clamp down, and she nods her head. Looking sadly much younger than she actually is. "He's… not alive." He's not. She doesn't care what people say. "He's a /vampire/."

It just doesn't sit right with him. "You can drive the Xterra if you want." Yes, he's offering to swap vehicles. Although honestly he'd likely take the bus everywhere. This thing has to have an answer somewhere. "Faith is not your concern right now." It's blunt, and mean, but Bobby has to say it. "She's a woman, just like you. She's made her decisions, even if they are to surround herself with an asshat." He'll defend the relationship because of what he's seen but that doesn't mean that he likes Ivan any. It doesn't matter, though, because there are other things to worry about. "Oh, Hope." Even Robert can understand what's going on. "You saw him? What does he want?"

"I'm not taking your truck, you need it." That, and she'd feel just awful driving it around, all things considered. Hope closes her eyes, leaning back against the wheel rim and window. For a very long time she's silent, the only thing coming from her is a tear that rolls down her cheek. "I'm pretty sure that he wants Faith. He left her with a message. I… I didn't stay. I'm a horrible sister, but I ran. That's why I totaled my car. It's why I broke my toes. I nearly had a breakdown, and I just couldn't be there. Everything… everything I /am/ is because he /died/, and he's not /dead/."

This is not good. This is the potential for further confusion and heartache. Still, he can't just leave things like this. "He is dead, Hope. And that is why you are who you are today." Sliding over slightly, Bobby reaches out for her arm. His touch is light, comforting, but he's keeping things from being too intimate. "That will never change. The man you loved is gone and will never come back, so your values are true. The only difference is that he's one of them, one of those who took him from you. You need to decide if they really are all evil, or if this single one can be different." It sounds too much to be coming from a Fellowship member but he is rather losing his faith as well. "And you're not a bad sister. She's okay, right? And the message might have been for you but he gave it to her because you know her. She's not right, at least not enough to know to run away. Maybe, just maybe he's out to really just be with you two again."

For a brief moment, her faith is restored. For a brief moment, everything seems right with the world. Then Bobby continues what he's saying, and what he's saying confuses her. "Nonono. None of them can ever be good. Don't say things like that, Bobby. That's /madness/." Because Hope has already been thinking like that, and she's terrified that she's going to succumb to temptation. "What? Do you /want/ me to go running into the arms of a vampire?"

Drastic times call for drastic measures. "I'm just suggesting that he's new to it. You could maybe capture him, or something. Make him different." He shrugs his shoulders before that gentle touch turns into a grab, a possessive hold on her arm. "Hope, pull yourself together. You know what is right." A finger on his free hand points to her chest, to her heart. "Right there. If you want to see him burn then I'll light the match. But you have to be willing to know how you feel first. No one else can tell you that."

"You can't train a demon to be /good/," Hope says adamantly. When his touch turns more possessive, she actually tries to draw away, to blink at him. "I don't know what's right at all anymore. Here," she says, yanking his hand to her heart, "or here." The hand is then moved up to her head, the side opposite of where she's injured. "I… I don't condone murder." Whether a vampire or not. "It's a sin," she points out. "It wouldn't matter anyhow," she says with a scornful laugh. "Faith will go running to him."

He is a gentleman. The hold on her arm loosens even if the situation does not ease. He doesn't make a pass for her chest even though his hand is right there. What Bobby fails to do, however, is not to let emotion overtake him. This woman has shared a bed with him and is now hurting. Once his hand finds her temple it moves by his command, to stroke through her blond strands gentle. "She's got her own bodyguard," he points out, his voice soft. "I would sin if you asked me to. You just need to know what you want. To forget everyone, your family, friends and even the church. Make your own decisions, Hope."

The innuendo doesn't go unnoticed, but Hope isn't moving. She's determined not to move. But his hand is stroking through her hair with such familiarity, and she /does/ love him, even though she's been trying to convince herself that she doesn't. "She doesn't have a Bobbyguard though," she says softly. Her eyes closing. "Do you want me to ask you to?" No, she's not making her own decision on that. There is a little shift, just a gentle one, so that she's no longer leaning against the vehicle.

It isn't as if he's intended anything wrong and he honestly hasn't stopped to consider his own words. All he can see right now is Hope, even though she does look different. The hand continues the soft gestures as he tries to balance the emotions involved with the desire to help her. "I hope not," Bobby comments with a grin. "He's only for you." She'll hate him. He'll hate himself. The intention was to be good but he just isn't ready yet. "I just don't want you to hate me." The voice drops further, the words barely spoken as he leans in to her, to kiss her. He just doesn't know what else to do.

There is a lot of recent history, and the gentle touch is doing /nothing/ to help her get past it. Hope has been trying to live her life. She's been trying to get on with things. She honestly has. When he says what he does though, the Tyler twin nearly comes undone. She may hate him later. She may hate herself later. Hope puts a hand up to stop him from kissing her. The other hand settles on his shoulder. "I don't hate you, Bobby. I don't," she whispers. Then she gulps, and looks up at him slowly. The hand moves from his shoulder to his cheek, leaning toward him slightly. Just so that she can kiss him in a very heated, very desperate manner.

It honestly is for the best that she prevents the kiss. It will not do for either of them to be subjected to his weak will. Even if he was prepared to meet her at the altar, they are not together. Though, at the same time and as far as he is aware, they are both single. "I'm sorry, I should g-!" Any thought of leaving, any attempt to merely mention it are wiped away with the beginning of that kiss. He misses no beat when it comes to returning it, in fact shifting so that he can make it all the more comfortable for her. Robert attempts to move her closer, ever closer before breaking away. The man does need to breathe and this is where he is giving her the chance to kick him out. "Just say the word," he reminds her as he finds his restraint fading. His lips will move to find her neck even as one of his hands reaches for the latch of the hatch. Either she'll kick him out or he'll close it. Either way, he's prepared.

He should go. He should go, and Hope should kick him out of the vehicle. She resists being drawn toward him. Rather, she tries to. Only, her ability to restrain herself is weak. While she wants to give him space, she knows that not fighting for him would be silly. Her hand reaches up, to stroke at his cheek gently. When he begins to lip at her neck, she closes her eyes, sliding the hand to the back of his neck. That they're in the parking lot of the Fellowship church doesn't even cross her mind. That it's midday doesn't phase her. She just rests her head against his, and tries to hold him as close to her as he'll allow.

Yes, he should go. He should slide right one out of the vehicle as if he'd never been there at all. So of course he does exactly what he is compelled to do; close the hatch of the vehicle. It isn't as spacious as his Xterra but at the moment he isn't considering space. Or location or time of day. The windows are tinted and honestly anyone who interrupts this might find themselves on fire. His lips continue at her neck as this happens before they travel back up to hers, seeking the consent to continue on the path of what he's well on the way of doing. As this silent request is made, his hands find her back and hold her close. He will now only stop if she tells him to.

The rear door of the Sidekick is closed, and the finality of it hits her. Hope starts to resist again, about to protest that this is likely not the best course of action for either of them. Then his lips find hers again, and she slides in to press herself against him. The kiss is broken gently, the only word of protest spoken being a gentle, "No," as she beads soft kisses over his cheek.

All she has to do is say the word, and that is what she says. It is frustrating for the man as the build up to his first moment is so softly shattered. He nods through her kisses, his hands loosening around her. This does not mean that Bobby pulls away completely. His lips continue to find her skin, to kiss her as gently as possible. He may still be kissing her but it is noticeable how he's so willingly turned down the passion. No matter how much he wants this, here in this moment, it is for the best. He can't treat her like that, even if it feels like such a good idea. "I should go." The words are finally uttered, between kisses. "While I can still resist."

"Don't," Hope whispers, "Please?" Even if things aren't as passionate as before, she's not willing to let him go just yet. Even so, she moves away from him long enough so that she can adjust how she's seated. She's careful of her toe as she moves to straddle his lap. Her hands set on either side of his neck, her head tilting in to kiss his neck much like he was doing earlier. "Stay." Even if things don't go as far as he was hoping, she can't bear the thought of being alone, and truth be told, this just feels /right/.

He's going to leave and not talk to her again for a long, long time. That is what is the best for them, both of them. This is not healthy and will only lead to very bad things. Bobby actually moves to leave, just as he's said that he will, but soon enough she is on his lap. She's kissing him, just like that. He swallows hard as his mind processes the options, his mind trying to be victorious over his body. His hands move to rest on her back, then fall to her rump. Robert holds her close before closing his eyes. One hand gently finds her cheek and caresses it a moment before moving her lips to his, to enjoy a kiss that might not necessarily be leading to anywhere. "You just have to say the word." It's as if she prompts him to say only that one phrase. So he will remain as long as she allows him, and while he will try to find every opportunity to take it to the next level it will always be up to her. His mouth opens as if to speak, but quickly finds her flesh once more. The 'I love you' will have to wait for a time where it won't break her.

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