Of Puppies & Love

Cornett Residence

This house has been sectioned off into two living spaces, separated by floor as opposed to wall throughout the middle. The first floor has been reserved for a renter while the second floor has been claimed by the owner of the duplex. The living space is large and spacious, perfect for a summer's day when the windows are open. Much the bachelor pad, it is sparsely decorated. All the basics that are required are there but rarely used and so the area is immaculate. A large living area and kitchen lead to a hallway which contains the doors for the bathroom, master bedroom and guest bedroom. The only difference between the two bedrooms is that the master room contains a computer desk and laptop.

So there was talk of a puppy. A female puppy. A puppy that likely needs, well, stuff. This morning, Hope has been busy. She was out shopping for things for Mellie, then she saw the pet store and remembered she needed fish food. Then she got in there and well, you'd be surprised how much pink stuff there is for puppies. So she went just a teensy bit insane with the spending. She's got her pink Suzuki Sidekick outside, and is hauling to great big things. One is a moderately sized pink doggy crate filled with stuff. The other is a huge box filled with pink things. And she's trying to open the door. Which results in her knee knocking against it a few times. Tap-tap-tap.

If she's going to need help with any of her items, she's barking up the wrong tree. As it stands, it takes him quite a while to even get to the door. Oh, sure, Robert has been to the hospital. In the end he's fairly confident that he's not going to turn into a wolf and that he's not going to die. All the same, his knee is killing him and so is the bite. Eventually he opens the door, using the cane more heavily than he had last he encountered Hope. The man has looked better but really he just looks pained. Despite all of this, he smiles at the site of Hope.

Serenity hears that there is someone at the door. So she takes off running, then tries to stop when she notices someone new. This causes her to skid across the floor, only to stop at Bobby's feet.

"Oh goodness! Thanks for getting the door." She doesn't mind waiting, but trying to find the spare key while carrying all this stuff is a pain. Hope smiles at him, and then looks at the puppy. "Oh, she's a dear! Let me in so I can see her? What did you name her?" Patiently she waits while he moves so that she can bring in the crate and bag.

"What - what is all of that?" It's all so very pink. All the same, Robert slowly moves out of the way. As he moves, Serenity moves along with him, her little paws attempting to play with the cane. This slows his progress even more, even though he's only moving out of Hope's way. "Do you need help with that?" He looks down at the puppy, then, and actually smiles. "I liked the name Serenity. Hopefully she'll bring me some, if she doesn't cause me to break my neck first."

"No, I'll be okay." Hope gets into the house and plunks all the stuff on the floor. "This is /everything/ you need for a puppy." She then crouches, cooing at the dog. "Hi, Serenity. Hey there girl. C'mere." Reaching into the bag, she pulls out a pink stuffed monkey, and squeezes the tummy. It makes a cute squeak'a noise, and she shakes it. "Look what I got for you." Smiling up at Bobby, she says, "I didn't know what you had, but I brought treats and food. Food dishes. A crate. A puppy bathtub… a bunch of different toys, and a puppy bed."

It would be best for him to help her but he just can't do anything. It's all he can do to remain standing at this point. "I have a collar. And tags, and a leash." That's all that he's even thought about buying. Apparently Bobby is not woman enough to think of everything else. He just stares at the new stuff for a moment about shaking his head. "That's too much. You really shouldn't spend your money like that." He slowly makes his way towards a recliner but ends up sitting on the couch instead as it is closer.

Serenity tilts her head to examine Hope as she's called. The puppy is about to move towards her when she is face to face with a stuffed animal. At the squeak she jumps back, her clawed paws striking the floor. Her head tilts even more, as if she's an owl, before she pounces forward to attack the toy.

The toy is relinquished with a giggle. "Bobby, if I told you a secret would you promise to keep it?" Her eyes are twinkling quite happily at this secret. "She is /so/ adorable. I wanted a puppy when growing up but my parents figured it would be too messy. Too much to take care of. Ooh, I just love her to death! If she ever has puppies I want one."

"A secret?" He's not on pain medication at the moment so he's attempting to follow along but is pretty much spacing out due to the pain. "What secret? That you wanted a puppy?" He watches Hope play with Serenity. If Chloe had gone to Hope first he would understand but now he doesn't want to give the puppy up. "Well, you can come over and see her whenever you want. She'll like it and I think you'll take to her better than Chloe will."

"There's a big company that wants to buy my prototype product. If I agree to it, or agree to them marketing it…" Hope is actually not certain how to word it without sounding snobby. So she just comes out and says it. "… I'll be set for a while. Plus the royalties and such. Besides, the puppy needs food and I really just wanted to make her comfortable. You'll need all of this." Considering she doesn't figure the puppy has eaten anything, she goes to the bag. Out comes a bag of dog food (not pink), and food and water dishes - stainless steel set in a pink holder. The first dish is filled with some of the kibble, and she takes the second dish to the kitchen to fill it. Then she sets the entire thing on the floor. "I love her already." She looks at the dog again and notices the pink collar. "You got her a pink collar!"

Even if he is getting rather comfortable on the couch (while keeping his legs in a sitting position and not elevating the bad one) he is watching Hope rather closely. The pain that he's feeling almost melts away the moment she talks about her prototype. "That's great! Really, it is. I won't tell anyone, you know that. Hopefully it works out. You deserve this." He seems to honestly mean this. Bobby looks down then, almost embarrassed by what she's noticed. "She's a girl, and I've decided that she's going to be girly. So what you've bought, even though you really shouldn't have, does fit the theme." He will find a way to repay her for everything and is already crunching numbers. "But nothing but the best for her since she's the new lady in my life."

"I'd be jealous if she weren't so adorable," Hope teases. When she looks back at him, she's all smiles. "Bobby, it's the least I could do. You took care of me for a long while. I want to help you take care of her, and since I can't be here to do it, I'll just buy her the best stuff I can." The puppy isn't going to need much of anything for several months. Except food.

The thought of having Hope take care of Serenity, either from a distance or in the very home, causes him to relax slightly. Warm thoughts do help the pain even if only slightly. The couch beside him is tapped softly but he won't make her go anywhere she doesn't want to. "Well, we both appreciate it. You can be like a sort of surrogate mother to her since I'm sure I'll do this wrong, too." Robert forces himself to look away from Hope, away from the woman that he knows that he loves, choosing to instead focus on his cane. "So Chloe wants me to have surgery. I think I may actually sign up for it."

At first, Hope thinks he's patting the couch for the dog. When she realizes it's for her, she slowly moves over to sit beside him. "Is there no other option then? Do you want me to do anything for you?" Her teeth bite on to her lower lip, and she tilts her head at him curiously. "I mean, besides pray for a safe surgery and recovery, that is." She focuses her attention on the puppy again, so that he won't see how worried she is. "I can take care of her if you have a hospital stay." That's all she's going to commit to right now, considering their very odd situation.

"Well, there are other options. At first I was stubborn and ignored them all, but then I really wanted to do this on my own, with physical therapy. I'll still need it, but considering what has happened I really need to make sure I'm in the best shape possible." The attack on Chloe did hit the news, after all, and he knows that if Hope finds out and not from him she'll be upset. About his injury, that is. "I'd like that. Someone to take care of her if something happens." This is said because Robert is convinced that something more than surgery might happen to him. "Chloe's not good with her." His shift moves back and forth between her and the cane. He wants to do more but he's still not exactly sure how it will go over.

"Nothing is going to happen, Bobby. You'll pull through the surgery fine. I know it in my heart." One cannot argue with her heart. It's unthinkable. "You mean what happened with your sister?" Hope's read the paper, obviously. "I can smuggle her into the apartment if I need to, and see that she gets walks. I'll even skip the leadership conference if I've got to. Anything you need."

"That's not what I meant, but thank you for that. It means a lot." The man slouches now, extending his leg to try and rest it some. He doesn't actually invade Hope's personal bubble just yet. "I know that if I don't tell you, you'll find out anyway. So I should tell you." This time he does his best to lock eyes with her, but will look at the side or back of her head if that is all that she is offering him. "She wasn't the only one. The way I am now, I'm like a sitting target. That's why I want the surgery. I need to get better fast."

"…" Hope actually turns to smack him. On the shoulder. Hard. "Bobby! How could you not tell me that right away!? Seriously! If you're in that much trouble, you and Serenity can take my apartment. No one will find you there. Especially since we're not, you know, together." She gives him a stern look and then sighs. "How bad are you hurt?"

At least it wasn't in his face this time. He rubs his shoulder as soon as she strikes it but doesn't actually act like it hurts. "I was on meds, Hope. I thought I was just imagining it. Chloe made me realize that I wasn't. Technically I did message you that night but it was to talk about the dog." Without much thought Bobby reaches for her hands, trying to hold them as he speaks. "No. I can't do that. This thing killed my father, turned my mother and scared the hell out of Chloe. It will find me if I hide and I can't do that to you. I will not put you in danger." The love he truly does feel for her is alight in his eyes as he speaks of her safety, his injuries ignored for the moment.

He's got her hands. Oh noes! Hope just blinks at them, then looks back up at him. "You need silver bullets. Silver bullets kill monsters in the stories." She may not be thinking really clearly. "I'll be okay," she says quietly. "I'll be fine. You just make sure you stay alive and don't get killed. I can't lose anyone else." What she means is that she can't lose another person she loves.

He shifts as best as he can, looking at her dead on. Opening up like this isn't something that he does well so hopefully she'll realize just how serious this is. "This thing has already been hit by a car and shot, if it's the same one that got my parents. I-" He isn't helping the situation, he realizes. Robert dares to reach out, one of his hands moving to find her cheek. "I will be fine. You know me, and you know that I'll do what it takes. I was going to do this all on my own but damnit, I love you and I'm not going to keep you in the dark about this. If I heal fast enough? I'm going hunting."

All the color drains out of Hope's cheeks. Not just because he's going hunting. The admission of those three little words, well they hurt. Still, the Tyler twin smiles at him. Best she can. "I know you'll be fine. But if you're going hunting, you're going to need silver bullets. I know a guy at the church that makes them." Actually she knows several people that make them, since she considered getting herself a gun. "If the thing is coming after you. After your family… do you really think hunting it is a good idea? What if it's more than one? What if it's got help?"

The man isn't a fool to the situation. He knows that it isn't fair to say such things to her but he has to. "I shouldn't be doing this, but I have to." Yes, he feels the need to explain his actions, his desire to touch her so intimately without actually doing anything wrong. "I've been a fool. I've been stupid and I can't change that. I can't take back the pain that I caused you but I can at least learn from it and do the best by you that I possibly can." With all of this said, his heart open and his gaze so intense, his cast hand tugs up on his pant leg. Below the obviously injured knee is a large bandaged area. "It got me, Hope. It got me and I can't change that, either. But unlike my parents, I will do something about it. It will leave my family alone, no matter how many of them there are. I've got a gun, I'll get those silver bullets. I just won't be a victim."

It isn't fair. It isn't fair at all. "You don't, Bobby. There's other ways to deal with a situation. There has to be. Let the church go hunting with you. I'm sure there's a few guys who would help…" Her plea is cut off when he shows her the injury. Suddenly, Hope is throwing herself at him. Holding him tightly. As though that'll make him not do something stupid. It's childish. It's selfish. She can't help it. She just can't lose another person she loves. Not when Tripp is back, and there's so much other stuff going on. "I'll be /fine/, you big knucklehead. We're friends." She can live with being friends. "But if you go and get yourself killed because you're being stubborn, you're going to break my heart all over again."

Many things in life aren't fair. The situation with his family is a perfect example of it all. "I'm not going to get the church involved. They have a bad enough rep growing. If I'm doing this, if I'm doing anything it will not be linked to the church. They know this already." He's about to say more but she's gone and thrown herself at him, so all he ends up doing is wrapping his arms about her. It's so nice to have her so close, even if it isn't how he would like it to be. "At least you finally admitted to it." Robert's talking about the fact that he did really break her heart. "I was stupid. I'm going to continue to be stupid, but in different ways. I'm pretty sure that's my fate in life. I really don't think I'll open up to the idea of love with anyone else and that's fine. Just as long as you're safe."

Hope doesn't relinquish her hold. She just keeps squeezing him tightly. Hugging him to her as though her very life depends upon it. "Just don't go it alone. Take someone with you." Her voice is tiny, nothing more than a little plea. She can't force him to do anything, but she'd really like him to not be so stupid as to get himself killed. "My heart is mending, I'll be fine." Drawing back just enough to look at him, she shakes her head. "Don't talk like that, Bobby. You'll find love again. It might take a while, but you will."

This is what he's screwed up. He could have this, far more often. It obviously isn't physical as he would hardly describe hugging as something physical. "If things go okay with surgery, if it works out, I'll call on someone I think might be interested in helping." That's all he's going to say about this person. Bobby's injuries are completely forgotten as she begins to pull away, that pain far more important. "I don't want to. I really don't." Other than from Serenity, that is. "I don't have any desire to. Then again, I didn't go looking for love when I met you. I tried it, and I think it's great that I know what it is, but I screwed it up so now I'm going to stick with something else."

"I didn't want to either," Hope points out. "At least you're not having to deal with my throat being torn out and me coming back as a vampire though." There are many reasons she's a broken shell at times. That's probably the biggest. "I'm sure you and…" Her nose wrinkles. "… Ivan's sister will just take longer to get there or whatever." The hug is given up completely, and she slides back to the couch. "Yeah, well just don't get yourself killed over sticking with other things."

He could say that this isn't fair, but this is exactly what he deserves. Unfortunately for Hope, he's not giving up on the conversation so easily. "It's not the same. I won't love her and we're not together." They should be but he still doesn't quite get that vibe. "I'm going to continue to see her because she's helping me with something. She's not you, though." Damn it. No matter how bad his leg is, Robert uses it to slide himself over closer to her."I understand that I don't deserve a second chance but don't assume to know how I feel."

"You're being stubborn. You're right. I don't get to assume how you feel… but you can't just stubbornly say you won't love someone. Life doesn't work like that." Hope knows. Because if it was up to her, she wouldn't have allowed herself to fall for anyone at /all/ after Tripp. "You're a free man. You don't have to explain yourself to me." And she slides away an inch as he comes closer.

If she decides that she's going to leave, to hate him forever, then such is the cost. He's now living a life of action, of doing what should be done. That inch is recovered but at least he hasn't actually tried to flat out kiss her yet. "Maybe, but I can tell you that I'm pretty good at avoiding women if I want to." Robert may have developed dependency issues but he can say no if he really wants to. "Yes. I'm single, but that doesn't mean that I don't feel obligated. There's a lot that I've wanted to tell you that I just didn't know how to say. If I'm going to be reckless I might as well start now, while you're still here." Thankfully Serenity is still playing with the toy. "She's teaching to be like them. I have abilities I didn't know of. I will use them to protect those I can."

No, Hope isn't going to leave. She's going to distance herself physically, since doing so emotionally at the moment might just break her. With a heavy sigh, she turns to look back at him. "I know you are. If you didn't think I was trying to cause trouble the night I had a flat, you likely wouldn't have spoken to me at all." Hope looks away, staring at the puppy again. Just watching her play. "I don't need protection. The Lord will keep me safe, Bobby." Well the Lord, and possibly a nice priest-boy. "Wait… abilities?"

Oh, but he is going to make this as difficult as possible for her. He wants to be on his best behavior, to just let it go, but he just can't. A hand reaches out to try and touch her chin, to move her gaze back towards him. "The Lord may pull the strings, but what if his idea is to have me protect you? Hope, I'm not going to back down, not unless you can look me in the eyes and tell me with all honesty that you would rather not have anything to do with me." Bobby isn't even talking about a relationship. He means in general. "Yes. Like Ivan, in a way. Their entire family is like that. You know that Chloe is psychic. Apparently I'm not without ability myself."

It /is/ difficult. Hope doesn't like difficult. He touches her, and she tries to pull away but she just can't. "Then I think that the Lord obviously wants me to be protected more than any other person I know." Two people protecting her as though she can't take care of herself? It doesn't make her feel important at all, rather worried about what could potentially be in store for her. "You know I can't do that," she whispers, "But I don't need the protection." Finally she pulls away from him again and blinks. "What about Ivan?"

"I didn't realize you'd moved on." It isn't said out of anger, or spite, but rather pain. He is physically hurt but she might almost hear his heart breaking. Bobby eventually slides away, finding the other corner of the couch. For a long while he places his elbows on his knees and bends slightly to look at his hands. "He must be doing a good job. I should thank him." Then Hope is asking about Ivan and he can't help but look back up to her. "You honestly don't know that he has abilities? They're called witches. I would have thought Faith would have told you. She has to know."

"Bobby…" Hope rubs her hands over her face, and slides toward him. "It's not like that at all. It's just… well we're not together, you and me." Her hand reaches out for his back, and she's every intention of rubbing at it softly, affectionately, unless he flinches away. "Even if I do… you can't be expecting me to wait for you forever. I can't pine away. I need to live my life or my heart isn't ever going to be alright again." As she talks she starts to choke up a little. This is the hardest, most awkward conversation yet. "… there's no such thing as witches."

The hands come up to rub at his head, pausing in his hair and lingering there. Not once does the man pull away from her; he'll never pull away unless she actually asks him to. "I'm not asking for you to wait on me. I don't even deserve that. But I won't lie; thinking of you in the arms of another man doesn't exactly sit well." He may not be fair in the way that he thinks, but he's just being honest. He'll be the first one to admit that he's wronged Hope, and has been. "I won't ever ask you to even take me back. Would I like that? Yes. But I don't get everything that I want." Again Bobby looks at her, only when talking about witches. "I know you must think that I'm off my rocker, but I'm not. My sister really is psychic, witches do exist and my mother has been bitten by some sort of werewolf thing that has since then bitten me." It does sound crazy. "I have no reason to lie to you; the Fontane's are witches."

Hope doesn't stop with the comforting back rub. She wants to pull away. She wants to yell and scream at him. Instead she just closes her eyes, and continues the back rub. More to soothe herself at this point, rather than him. "I deserve to be happy too," is all that she says in regards to his thoughts about her being with another man or not. "I don't know. I gave you a week. One week. And you went and kissed another girl." Even though she's said she was fine with it, she's obviously not. She's obviously a better liar than people give her credit for. "Witches… and you expect me to keep this to myself? I don't know that I can. I really wish you hadn't told me." Because now all she can think is that Scarlett put him under some kind of spell.

At least he pulls his hands away from him before he clenches them into fists. They remain that way for quite some time before he lowers his head. "Exactly. Like I said, and have said no matter what you insisted, I did wrong. I hurt you. I can't be selfish here." Eventually Robert relaxes his hands, just giving up on the entire issue altogether. "Are you sure that Faith never mentioned it? I bet she has to someone but no one has listened to her." Since Hope's twin is crazy. "And what will you do? Tell someone? I can't even convince you of this, who would listen to you? I mean, everyone believes in vampires but no one wants to believe that the others exist. And if I'm going to be referred to as one, you have every right to know." For all he knows she might have, but he'll never believe such a thing.

"You did, Bobby, but I forgive you. I just don't know if we're at a place where we can try again. I don't hate you for what you did. I don't hate you for this. My feelings for you haven't changed. I'm /always/ going to love you." Hope smiles at him her eyes wet with unspilled tears. "I'm not keeping track of any wrongdoings or trying to punish you. You're human, just like me, and we're all prone to making mistakes." Love is patient and kind. She'll get through this, with him by her side eventually or not. This particular Tyler twin has every belief that God works in mysterious ways.

"I don't know," she says quietly, stopping the back rub so that she can wipe her eyes. "She may have mentioned it to me and I brushed it off. I just… will you still come to church then? I mean, will you have to leave the church?"

The way she's acting is actually making things worse for him. He won't admit to it, though. "We're not." He doesn't even skip a beat. It takes until this point for him to really look at her again, that same intense gaze finding her again. "I'm going to be stupid again. You don't need to be involved with someone who is seeking problems. If you do have someone else to turn to, you're better off. That doesn't mean that I don't want to be with you because I do. I just know what you deserve." The conversation is changing yet again, though, so Bobby looks away. "I don't know. I'll see how my surgery goes, and the recovery. I might have to leave, but I'll be there as much as I can until then." He clears his throat. "It's not my place to say this, but after talking to some people? I think you should probably listen to your sister a little. She knows a lot more than people give her credit for." He is guilty of it.

It's silly, but she seems to relax when he agrees that they're not at that place yet. Hope even reaches for his hand. That they both recognize they're not at that place means that there may be hope for them yet. "I have a good friend, it's nothing beyond that." It's a very intellectual relationship, but that doesn't matter. "So stop seeking problems." Simplest solution ever. "I don't want you to leave the church." She ignores the part about her sister. Because she can't believe her sister knows more than people give her credit for. She /is/ dating Ivan after all.

As dependent as he can be, even he can see a few things. Even he can exercise restraint at times. "I've stopped a few. Right now I really want to kiss you but I refuse to. I don't want that type of problem." He smiles slightly when this is said, trying to make a joke out of a truth. He would put his free hand on top of hers but he's trying his best to keep it at friends for now. "Either way, I still should thank him if he's there for you." A moment is taken so he can pull his pant leg down over his bandages. They hold some blood where his wounds have been aggravated but the stitches he's received is keeping it mostly in check. "One step at a time, Hope. I have to get better before I can do anything, and just kind of hope that I don't end up like Mom."

A witch, /and/ a werewolf? Hope just blinks at him for a long time. Blinks and stares. Finally she leans up to kiss his cheek. A friendly gesture, nothing more. "Too late. Now you've got it," she teases. "I told you about him before. He's going to be a priest. He's helping me get over my fear of night." It sounds silly, but it's true. "Are you sure you're going to be alright? Your leg I mean. I can come walk Serenity before my afternoon classes if you want. So you're not putting undue stress on it."

It could happen. Why can't it happen? He's very aware of the possibility. He's about to explain it in more detail but then she kisses him on the cheek. It is harmless but it warms him all the same, leaving him smiling. "I will take that eagerly." Robert is a man, through all his faults, and he continues to smile when she explains more about this friend of hers. He doesn't seem like competition so much now. "He sounds like a good guy." He immediately shakes his head as his eyes shift over to the now sleeping puppy. "I'll be fine. We'll work it out and she's very easy puppy to care for. You've already spoiled her too much as it is."

There's no reason to lie to him about it. Hope exhales a happy sigh, then turns to watch the puppy sleep. "You'll probably have to get a thing to tie her outside with. I didn't think to get one of those." Random thought, but a necessary one. "You don't want her getting away on you." Her hand comes up to pat his cheek a few times. "He is a good guy. He acts like he's fifty, but he's a good guy."

"You keep talking him up so much and I might be interested in dating him." Actually, he just starts to realize, or at least assume, that nothing will happen between this soon to be priest and his ex. "I have a leash. I can use that until I get a runner." Apparently Bobby knows a thing or two about dogs even if this is technically his first. "Thank you, Hope. For everything." He just needed someone to listen to him.

"The problem would be in getting him interested in you," she teases. Though she finally releases his hand and gets up. "I should go. Let you guys rest. If you need anything, you just call or text okay? I'll have my phone on me." Hope leans in again, just to place a chaste kiss on his forehead. "Keep me posted about the surgery."

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