Kidd Spring Park

The remnants of the dense forestry are located in here, as paths lead from the woods to the more entertaining features of the park. A jungle gym, complete with a small clubhouse and slides make up a play area designated for children, as do a few sandboxes. A community rec center can also be found in the park.
Separating the trees from the busier points of the park is small lake. During the summer months, a life guard can be found on duty so swimming is allowed, and there is also a small dock from which paddle boats and kayaks are available for rent.

Spring has sprung, and it can be seen in the park. Grass is brightening to a pretty green. Tulips are beginning to pop out of the soil. Kids are running through the park. The Fellowship of the Sun generally has a clean-up crew out here on Sundays after services, just to keep area parks looking pretty for the community. Today is a little different though. The FotS is here, along with many other community families. All throughout the park, little plastic Easter Eggs with candies, chocolates, and raffle tickets have been hidden.

A small table not too far off from the rec center, has been set up. Atop it are little baskets for the kids to gather their eggs in, as well as prize baskets that are going to be raffled off. There are two larger eggs very well hidden somewhere in the park, and inside of each is a picture of a bicycle. Two lucky kids will be going home with one — or rather, a coupon for a bicycle from a local sporting goods store.

Hope Tyler, poster girl for the FotS is at the table. She's busily handing out baskets, and doing a bit of face-painting for the younger kids. This isn't her event, she's not in charge. She's just volunteering her time because it's heartwarming to see the children so happy.

It is refreshing to see the community so happy and that is exactly why he's even bothered to venture in this direction. The soon to be priest is tired, moreso than he's experienced in quite some time. Certain invidual(s) kept him up well past his normal time for slumber, so late in fact that he has yet to actually get any sleep. With the holiday service over, he's looking for a bit of brightness before passing out. Ironically, that comes sooner than he anticipates. A blanket is spread out on the grass as he watches the festivities, his back leaning against a nearby tree. The warmth of the sun causes him to remove his suit jacket, and that's nearly all Elliott manages to do before he begins to drift off into slumber.

The poor man is not going to get much chance to sleep. Several children run by the blanket. One precocious little boy has decided to try and climb the tree nearby. He gets up to the first branch, loses his footing and starts to plummet — directly atop Elliott.

"Oh, Jeffy, no!" Hope sees the climb, and the falter, and she quickly excuses herself from the table. She can sprint a lot more swiftly than the older church ladies can. She needs to leap over the head of a bent over toddler, but she manages to do it without kicking the poor child in the head and continues racing her way toward the blanket.

It really is his fault, honestly, for allowing himself to sleep in such a location. The warm sun mixed with the desire to sleep just called to him, but thankfully he's not able to rest for long. Elliott doesn't jump but he does open his eyes once he finds a toddler sitting on his lap. "Why hello there." His voice is sleepy at first but he doesn't yell. The man has a level of patience that seems to know no boundaries. "Are you alright? You likely should not be climbing any trees without assistance." It's almost an afterthought that has him looking around for a parent or guardian. It is then that he notices Hope and he just chuckles.

There is an abrupt stop as she realizes that Jeffy hasn't hurt himself. Hope smiles, and beckons for the little boy to come over. He doesn't come at first, just sitting there staring at the man, then he wiggles about to make sure he's not hurt and gets up. "Sowwie mistah!"

The Tyler twin kneels down, checking to see for herself that the little boy is alright and then whispers to him, "We didn't hide any on the trees, but you might want to go check the jungle gym." With that, she sends the little guy on his way and then glances over at Elliott. "Sorry about that. I don't think the ladies from the church were expecting tree climbers."

He's not about to prevent the child from getting up. While he is good with children in a way, he's also far more comfortable when they're not around. They are delicate and he just is not. Plus? He could get a bad reputation for if he's not careful. Still he helps the boy stand without moving much on his own and chuckles again when the boy runs off. "Adorable. He is quite possibly the best alarm clock that I've ever experienced." Elliott does not appear to be upset or even bothered about the entire situation. "I should be thankful for his trip up the tree. Were it not for that I might have remained asleep. I should likely return home." As with Isobel the night previous, his eyes remain on Hope's face and not her features. "It also allowed me the moment to speak with you. He deserves a big basket of eggs."

"If he heads where I told him to, he'll win one of the baskets." Hope grins, glancing over her shoulder to look at Jeffy as he runs off to search for more eggs. "He didn't hurt you, did he? I know he likely doesn't weigh much, but falling out of the tree directly on you can't have been the most comfortable thing." She remains standing, hands slipping into the pockets on her denim overalls. She's definitely 'dressed down' today, but that's what a day at the park is all about. "Long service this morning?"

"Pardon?" He looks down to where the child landed for a few moments before looking back to Hope. "Oh, no. I think he likely caused more harm to himself, if I'm to be honest." Once this is said, the soon to be priest finally brings himself to stand tall, a half of a foot taller than the blond Tyler. "The service was wonderful but I've not slept in over a day. This will teach me to stay out late, I suppose." Elliott then glances to Jeffy and the rest of the children. "It really is a wonderful thing that you do, Hope. A refreshing site, to be sure."

Hope blinks at the man, then laughs. "I don't mind volunteering. Especially when the children are involved. It gives me a lot of practice for when I'm done school." That's right. Mouthy, opinionated Hope is going to work with children. Will wonders never cease? She lifts a hand to brush a stray hair from her face, tucking it back under her headband. "Oh, that's awful! Well please, don't let me keep you, Elliott. I know what it's like to not sleep properly, it can really mess up your demeanor."

It doesn't seem to surprise Elliott. Then again, it takes quite a miracle to surprise him. "Do you plan to work with them or are you speaking of motherhood?" He's not trying to tease her, not at all. There is not a thing wrong with wishing to become a mother. He looks back to her before blinking. "My demeanor is off?" Again he looks at himself before laughing. "Don't worry about it. It is my own fault for not retiring for the evening when I should have. Besides, if I'm going to be awake, I much prefer it be with your company." The sleep deprived soon to be priest isn't intending to flirt with Hope at all, but is too tired to think through his words before speaking.

"Both, I suppose. I'm majoring in education, with the plan of teaching the junior grades… which is pre-school through sixth grade." Hope is a girl with a good head on her shoulders for what she wants to do. "Though I suppose someday, when the time is right, I wouldn't mind children of my own." Obviously right /now/ is not the right time. "Yes. You're acting all stuffy and old again," she teases. "Throws your real demeanor right off. I should get you a basket and make you hunt eggs."

He could spend more time discussing children but he doesn't. What Elliott does do is stare at her with a bit of an expression that is borderline frustration. "You always accuse me of such things. I don't believe that this is anything new." Then the man smiles before shaking his head. "The eggs are for the children, I'm afraid. If you really would like me to become involved in some sort of a hunt, I'm certain that I could set something up some evening…" He's sounding stuffy again. This causes him to pause and just chuckle. "I'm fine and will have to pass for now. I have a meeting that I have to attend in a little while which is why I came here instead of going home. Perhaps I should postpone…"

He is sounding rather stuffy. Hope blinks at him once more though, just staring at him. "If I didn't know better, Elliott, I'd think you were asking me out on a date." A hunt, at night? She has to stop herself from asking for what. "A meeting so late in the day on a Sunday? If it's important, you may want to postpone until you've gotten sleep. It probably wouldn't do to fall asleep in the middle of it."

"A date?" He pauses and presses a thumb and forefinger to the bridge of his nose. His eyes close for a moment before blinking back open, his attempt to push away the fog of his tired mind. "I'm sorry. I really should not try and speak when so tired. It wasn't my intention but if you'd wish for something like that" The talk about the meeting distracts Elliott enough to allow him to jump topics easily enough. "It's rather important. I'm going to be analyzing my trip to priesthood. Possibly postponing it." This is rather heavy news but he seems to be discussing it as if it were nothing.

Confusion runs rampant over her expression, and she turns away from Elliott for a moment. Just watching the kids with their egg hunting, their laughing, and the parents having a good time because the kids are. "I was teasing," she says finally. "It'd be unseemly for someone in your position to go on a date anyhow." When she turns back toward him, she's not smiling. "Postponing it? Whyever for?"

That's not exactly the reaction he was looking for. So when she looks back to Elliott she'll notice confusion. He would appear hurt but he's not really good with that emotion. "Oh." It isn't as if he sounds upset, but the man is confused. "I didn't expect you to wish for something like that, anyway." His hands find the pockets of his dress pants as it is now his turn to look away from her. "Recent events have given me some doubt. I still believe, and I still wish to seek out a purpose involving Him. I simply am wondering if priesthood is the best solution."

Her confusion meets his confusion, which is going to make this whole situation worse. Especially when Hope blurts, "It's not my fault is it? I'd feel just awful if it was." She starts to gnaw on her lower lip, then sighs. Moving toward the blanket, she seats herself on it and pats beside her for him to sit down as well. "Well, we did talk about that before. There's plenty of ways to work for Him. There's always the ministry, which allows you to have a life too, and to not be so stoic." She pauses, watching him silently for a moment. A conversation from the other night is playing through her mind, and this sort of changes things a little. Which makes her confusion even more rampant. "It's not that I… I mean… you're a… well you're going to be… were going to be…" A deep inhalation is taken, the air expelling extremely slowly as she tries to control her babbling.

This certainly seems like an awkward situation. He just watches her for several moments before moving to sit as indicated. He doesn't snuggle up to her, put an arm around her or even touch her. One leg is bent and his elbow rested upon it, the other left to rest on the ground, underneath of the one supporting his arm. He's being casual, not stoic. "You're correct. Such a thing could be an option. This is part of the discussion that I'm to have." Eventually Elliott turns his attention to her, his body still completely relaxed. "Nothing is your fault, Hope. Never be so quick to think like that. This also isn't something that needs to have blame attached to it. It's merely a decision that requires quite a bit of thought. Besides, I'm safe, right?"

"Are you?" Hope isn't feeling quite so sure about that at the moment. Which makes her feel like a big fat liar. Knees draw up to her chest and she peeks over at him. "It's not a bad discussion. That, I mean. It's a big step, committing your life to anything. Whether it's a church, or a job, or a relationship. You're going to want to make sure that it's something you can live with for the rest of your life." Focusing on that part of the discussion is better than her looking at him differently or wondering if she's partially to blame.

He blinks. The lack of sleep is making it harder for him to roll with the punches and remain that focus of calm. "Why wouldn't I be? I have yet to do anything inappropriate to you. That will not change if I decide not to become a priest." That slight twinge in Elliott is almost, almost a pained expression but it does fade quickly, replaced with his calm, stoic demeanor. "I am ready to commit my life in a way that will show my intentions, at the same time I believe that the step to become a priest this early in life may be a bit too big. I have no thoughts of anything in particular that I'd wish to do; there is no woman that I have kissed or job that I wish to take. Yet I do think of possible scenarios and wonder if perhaps I should simply allow myself the possibilities of some of them. In the end there is nothing saying that I can't return if I find that I was correct originially."

That he's not had much sleep /is/ taken into consideration. It doesn't mean Hope is any less confused though. "If you decide not to become a priest, that changes things." Her smile is faint, and disappears when she sees the pained look. Unlocking her arms from around her knees, she places a hand upon his shoulder. "What is it, Elliott? What's bugging you so much? That's twice I've caught the look now." Everything else is heard, but takes background to the fact that he's a year older than her and… /never/ been kissed? "You could always do missionary work. I mean if you need time away to think about your future. I'm pretty sure that's something the Catholic church does…"

Were he actually well rested he would be able to shrug off his feelings, to play it off and somehow direct the conversation back towards her. As it stands, he doesn't even pull away from the hand to his shoulder. "Would you honestly consider not speaking to me simply because I was not a priest?" At the very least he felt he was becoming a friend so it does come across as something painful. "You've said that it changes things. Have I honestly offended you?" Elliott looks away from her, off to the children who are so happy. "It is a possibility. Even if I can't decide immediately, I can always work for my father until I do. That would please him at the very least. In the end I should admit to being foolish to believe that I could resist temptation." He has resisted, quite well actually, but not mentally and that is where he knows he has failed.

"What is it with you men and thinking I'm never going to speak to you!?" Both hands shoot up into the air simultaneously, and she shakes them at the sky as though asking God to grant her the patience. "I just said that it'll change things. Not that you offended me. Not that we couldn't be friends, Elliott." But it does change things. It would change things. "You're a very good looking man, and I enjoy spending time with you. Do you see how it could possibly change things?" After her little snap though, she's calming herself by smiling again. "You haven't done anything, and having thoughts about things doesn't mean you've given in to temptation. You take your free will, and you resist things, no matter what you think."

Now she's sort of going off and he just stares at her. It certainly is enough to keep his attention on her even though he isn't certain how to react. "Well, you were the one who kept mentioning that it would change things. It sounded as if you were suggesting that we could no longer associate with each other if I didn't become a man of the cloth." It really did sound like it, especially to the sleep deprived Elliott. "As long as you're certain that you won't stop speaking to me over this, then it is slightly easier to consider. I know many people, honestly I do, but there are those that I would hate to lose friendships with over something like this." That could be Elliott's way of admitting to having feelings for her. "You have a point, but the very thought is still upsetting. My company for last evening, I believe, dressed purely to tempt me. While it didn't outwardly work, I fear her point was well made."

"Because it /will/ change things, Elliott. It may not be in a major way, but it'll change things. I don't fancy needing to get a baseball bat to fend off all the interested women that've been keeping themselves at bay due to your chosen vocation." Hope grins at him, then leans toward him a little, just to nudge at his shoulder. "But I won't stop speaking to you. I enjoy your company, and the fact that you're one of the only people who's trying to make me see that the night can still be safe." She considers the last point before responding to it. "You didn't act on it though, which makes all the difference. Only someone who acts on temptation allows himself to be corrupted by the Devil, and you didn't act."

The faintest hint of what could be considered a plus touches his expression before he just looks confused again. "I don't recall meeting anyone who is interested in me." Other than Isobel; she's more interested in feeding off of him. If he ever decides to go down that path. "Besides, that doesn't mean that I'll change who I am. I likely will continue to be oblivious to such things. It likely is best that way. I much enjoy the company I have now." This certainly is a conversation that she be had once Elliott has gotten more sleep. He just is not thinking clearly, or at least thinking about what he is saying. "I'm glad that you'll still be around." He shakes his head at the mention of temptation. "I was able to resist last evening, at least." There's no telling how much longer he will.

"Maybe," Hope says in a very gentle voice, "You just haven't noticed that anyone was." Jeffy and a little girl choose that moment to run by, squealing and giggling that one of them won the bike. The Tyler twin laughs, then leans back on the blanket, using her palms to support herself. "You're right, it likely won't change who you are." The other comment gets a nice blush from her. "I'm glad that I don't pose any temptation for you."

Jeffy and his companion grab his attention and he just watches them. "Don't you think that it would be wonderful to experience that some day? The joy of seeing your child so happy and carefree?" Apparently he has given quite a bit of thought to the decision to not join the priesthood. "I don't know if I honestly wish to notice anyone that would be interested." Eventually Elliott turns his attention back to Hope and actually smiles, no matter how slight. "Forgive me if this would be considered rude, but I can't see you wearing such a dress. You know how to look beautiful without showing certain areas to the world." He would explain just how much temptation he was filled with at laser tag but he's supposed to be safe.

"Some day," Hope replies. Some day are her two safe words. Some day she'll be married. Some day she'll have children. Today isn't some day though. "It's a dangerous world though, so part of me is almost afraid to think about having children." Since they'd be like vampire Happy Meals or something. "You wouldn't want to know if someone was interested in you, or thought that you were a good person who's not hard on the eyes?" Her smile is a bit brighter than his, but only because she's teasing him a little. "I… oh… thank you." Clearing her throat, she glances to the side briefly before looking back at him. "I don't take offense to that at all. It's actually a nice compliment."

"Such thoughts will only lead to negative things actually happening." He turns more now so that he's facing her a bit better but his elbow remains on the knee opposite of her. "Good will prevail and I am certain that children will be safe. If we do not have children then it is likely that the undead population will begin to grow larger than that of you or I. We can't afford to live in fear." Elliott knows that not all vampires are evil so he isn't afraid, but he can't say that to her. He has to say what will go over better. "It depends. Most likely, no, I wouldn't wish to know. I could take exception in certain cases on a case by case scenario, however." Always the business man yet he is trying to tease back. The fact that she's not actually offended gives him strength to continue. "I'm glad that it's not offensive. A woman that can make overalls attractive certainly has a beauty that does not require heavy makeup or skimpy clothing. Perhaps, in a way, that is a form of temptation but it is certainly far different than what I was previously discussing."

There is so much that she could tease him about, the least of which would be how he makes it sound as though he wants her to have his babies. Hope gets stuck on the compliment though. Words she's used to only hearing from one person, but said in such a different manner to cause her to blush again. "You're very sweet, you know." Without any warning, she leans up and places a kiss on his cheek. Not to tempt. Just the friendly sort that she's prone to do when she's feeling that all is right in the world. "I don't think telling a woman she's got classic beauty could ever be offensive. Besides, as much as I love the body God saw fit to give me, I'm not wanton enough to show it off to everyone in the world."

At this point he's almost sobered enough to act as a reasonable human being, or at least more his usual self. The kiss to the cheek is so harmless, something he receives often, yet it just feels different for some reason. Elliott recognizes this as his thoughts leading to such things and so mentally scolds himself. "That is something that is likely open for debate." It is his form of teasing, his way of trying to distract his thoughts. "Those that choose to dress themselves in such a fashion likely would be offended. While I have yet to see you in such a brazen outfit I assume that it likely will not happen." There's that desire again, the one to reach out and touch her, but he forces his hands to remain right where they are. "If I am being overly honest in the name of sleep deprivation, I might as well admit that I was tempted to kiss you once, while we were playing laser tag. I have to apologize to you for this. I want you to continue to believe that I am safe."

"Those that choose to dress themselves in such a fashion likely only do so for attention, so offended or not they wouldn't mind the negative attention they'll garner." There she goes, being opinionated again. A light laugh escapes and she shakes her head. "The most brazen outfit I own is my bikini, and I generally wear something over that." Because he's 'safe', she's got no fear of talking openly to him. But the openness disappears completely when he comes out with that admission. There is a long moment of silence, where she's just staring at him. "Don't. Don't apologize. You resisted the temptation but…" Oh, she is going to feel guilty for this soon enough. She leans in slowly, angling her head so that their lips can meet. There is no heated passion, no burning desire. The kiss she intends to give to him is gentle and sweet.

To be so bold as to make a comment like that would likely get him slapped, at least around certain individuals. Hope is not like that so all he can do is nod in agreement. "I tend to not comment at all." This shouldn't come as a surprise as he tends to not comment on many things. Elliott does feel the need to apologize, though, as he has sworn to be safe. So he's about to continue his apology when he realizes that she's moving closer. The man doesn't move, unsure of what exactly he should do. It isn't until her lips reach his that he actually, fully registers the fact that she's kissing him. He spends more time assessing the situation than anything, wondering how to react and if he honestly should. There are children around, after all, and if he's going to do too much he will likely go a bit further than what he should. He has gone this long without even a real kiss, after all. Eventually he takes the higher road, as he always does, and briefly returns the kiss just as it was presented to him. That relaxed feeling about his is gone, however, replaced with the normally stoic young man.

Not commenting on things would certainly come in handy for this particular Tyler twin. Hope draws back quickly from the kiss, as though scalded. She stares at him, eyes widened for a long moment. Then she's suddenly bursting to her feet. "Oh /God/. I'm so sorry, Elliott. I shouldn't have… I mean…" There's a bit of fidgeting, setting her hair straight, and turning away from him. "I should go."

This is all keeping his mind off of the fact that he is tired, at least. As soon as she stands he does the same, immediately knowing that he's done something wrong. "What? No, don't… just… Hope, listen to me. Don't…" This is either a sign that he should become a priest or at the very least Elliott should avoid women. As safe as he is, he can't just let her run off. So he steps before her and attempts to grab her by the shoulders. It is a light touch, almost hesitant. Hurting her really is not an option. He would use his humor to calm her down but his mind just is not working. The poor man is sleep deprived and not thinking, so he does the only thing that he can think to do; he attempts to kiss her. This time his idea, this time he's prepared, even though it is still pretty much the same as what just happened moments ago.

There's going to be no stopping. None. She needs to go. The guilt of what she's done, coupled with the guilt that's gnawing away at her stomach is just /killing/ her. Only, she's grabbed gently by the shoulders. She blinks at him, starts to apologize again. Only to find herself being kissed once more. This time, it's she who's the stunned and stoic one. Her body tense. There's a part of her that knows she's going straight to Hell for this. Yet the kiss is returned, lightly and gently before she draws back. "I… uhm… okay. I'll listen…"

As she draws back his fingers attempt to hold on but will fall, allowing his hands to fall to his sides. He's not good at this nor does he really know what he should be doing in the first place. "Thank you." At first the man almost seems distraught but he quickly regains his composure and even offers her a smile. "Please don't be upset at what happened. You've done nothing wrong and I certainly am not upset with it. Don't linger on it or allow it to affect our friendship for that truly is the one thing that I value above most others. It was just a kiss." It wasn't even a bad kiss. Elliott smirks somewhat more as he adds just a bit more. "Besides, that was my first ever kiss. Can you imagine how I'll feel if you get up and run away after?"

"Don't, Elliott… don't thank me. It was wrong of me to do it." Biting cutely on her lower lip, the blonde Tyler twin looks down at the blanket. "I'm confusing your life, and causing you to stray from your path, and I'm going straight to Hell for it." She's less distraught but more confused. Hope closes her eyes, trying to push forth a smile. "You'd feel that I'm a bad kisser and shouldn't have done what I did. Will you forgive me?" Toe-fidget.

This isn't fair or easy for him. This is not a situation that he is used to dealing with. "What? No. I was thanking you for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you. You are not going to be punished for this; you didn't do anything wrong." This time Elliott's approach is with more confidence and he is far calmer. He at first reaches out for her shoulders but then attempts to wrap her into a hug, holding her head to his chest. "You are not the reason that I am altering my path in life. If you were? I still would not be complaining at all. There is nothing done that needs forgiveness; only if you now avoid the friendship that obviously matters to me."

Before she can make a break for it, she's being hugged. Hugs she can handle. Hugs enter the realm of friendship once more. Hope can actually calm down as she rests her head against his chest. "Oh… oh well, you're welcome then." Once he explains his thank you, she seems to feel even a little better. "I told you I wouldn't. There is only one that I'm truly avoiding." That's because he's an undead bloodsucking fiend. "But I still shouldn't have been so bold. It's cool though. I can handle friendship." An easy out for him.

Giving him such an out isn't exactly a fair thing to do to the man as he doesn't recognize what it actually is. All he knows is that somehow, for some reason she is relaxing so he's not about to just let go so easily. There are no intimate gestures, no subtle movements; it is just Elliott and a hug. "I don't mind you being bold around me, Hope. As I've explained, there is a difference between what you do and the actions of others. I am able to see the intent in those actions, to see what their true motivations are. You are not like them. I know this." He's not attempting to ask for her hand or anything, but he's not stressing friendship either. He's just here.

It's the fact that it's just a hug that seems to be calming her. "You can't see my true motivations?" That can be both a bad thing and a good thing, though it sounds like she's confused as she asks it. "I shouldn't have been /that/ bold. I'm sure that I didn't help your decision any. I shouldn't have done it, and I'm sorry. I know you say it's just a kiss, but… it's not like I run around kissing everyone either."

"I know." He shakes his head, his voice lowering for just her to hear. This is a private conversation, after all. "You seem to be seeking to justify it and seek forgiveness within yourself more than it is actually needed. Is there a particular reason that you feel so guilty even when the one you apparently have offended has taken no offense?" Enter priest mode. Still Elliott holds her, but lightly enough at this point that she can move if she so desires. "With you it is more complications as you do not appear to have one set goal to achieve. A woman wearing a dress that reveals far too much skin obviously is seeking something. You live your life to the best of your ability, at times sacrificing happiness for others. So it is easy to tell that you do not have ill intentions."

"But what if I do? Have ill intentions, I mean?" Hope is a bad, bad person. She feels it in her heart. She's awful. Claiming to love one person, and kissing another. It's not like she /should/ feel guilty either. At least /she/ is single. "It's just… well I guess… I don't want you to think I'm an awful person. I don't want to be the one thing that pushes you over the edge either way on your decision. I don't want to offend, Him," she says pointing skyward. "He works in mysterious ways and all that, but I don't think he'd be too happy to have me kissing one of his priests."

At this he shakes his head. "I believe that you are attempting to find a fault, a weakness, some sort of reason for you to be labeled as a bad person. Never have I said such things about you nor will you find me doing as such." Finally a hand does move, only to rest on the back of her head. He's not doing anything more than that but feels the need to do something to calm her. "The fact that you are so concerned about it proves to me that you have no ill intentions. Hope, there is obviously more going on in your life than one lone kiss. We can speak about that, if you'd like, but I can promise you that it doesn't make you a bad person. And I am not a priest." Elliott hasn't actually taken his vows, after all.

Of course she's attempting to find a fault. Of course she's attempting to find a weakness. She's a horrible person, no matter what he says. The guilt is going to eat away at her forever and ever. "Thanks." Even though her heart isn't behind the word at all. "There is a lot going on, and my life is a big complicated mess I shouldn't have ever drawn you into. You're a good man, and I'm going to spoil that. I'm a… a Jezebel."

This obviously is not going to get him anywhere. The no longer to be priest looks down at the woman in his arms and sighs softly. "It is clear to me that it matters not what I say in this situation. You have already resigned to the idea of being some sort of evil creature. I refuse to continue to insist that you are a good person when you are not ready to hear it. But there will come a day when you realize this. You will see the evil in the world and the good that you bring to it. Then you will see what I see in you." The hand does move, then, an awkward attempt at stroking her hair. Elliott has never done this and can only guess as to what he should do. "If you recall, I was the one who insisted on being near you, not the other way around. I don't care what is going on in your life. I am confident that it is His will that continues to bring us together. I will continue to be here for as long as you wish."

Straight. To. Hell.

Hope looks up at him and sighs. "I'm an evil, vile temptress." She's not crying, she's not lamenting. She's very calmly stating a truth about herself. "You're too nice. Too sweet." And she's just an awful human being. "I have seen the evil in the world. I watched it tear out the throat of the first person I ever truly loved. I'm no stranger to the evil. I may not be as bad as that, but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions."

The shake of his head is so slight that she may not even catch it. No matter how tired the man was he seems to have forgotten it momentarily. Elliott catches her eyes and is careful to look only there, as he would in any situation. "No. If you were a temptress we would be somewhere else partaking in activities that I dare not even speak of." The hand on the back of her head drops away but not before he runs a thumb over her cheek. "As it stands the only thing that you are tempting me to do are hug you and not appear to be so stuffy. I would hardly consider this negative." Even now, unlike when they first started speaking, Elliott appears quite comfortable and relaxed with her so close. "As I said, these are things you must realize on your own. You will see how wonderful you are."

"We wouldn't, but only because I plan on saving such activities for when I'm married, and I'm stubborn." Hope grins then, feeling less hateful toward herself. Guilty still though. Her eyes lock onto his and she smiles fondly. "I can live with hugs, and getting you out of that stuffiness. Teach you how to live a little." There is a /lot/ she needs to realize on her own. Much more than he can possibly even figure. "What if there's another kiss? I'd feel horrible about it again."

Now this is getting awkward again but he is doing so well. In fact, he's not nearly as uncomfortable as he should be. Mostly likely due to the lack of sleep. "I am open to learning to live a little; in fact, I'm looking forward to it." That is part of his deal with Isobel as well, after all. Somehow, for some reason, Elliott believes that if he can keep Hope around he won't so easily give into the vampires temptations. "If there is a next time? You must consider this very closely. Would you attempt to run away again, or would you actually enjoy it?" Now would be the time for him to pull away, to look away, but he doesn't. "I care for you, Hope. But I am also going to stand by my word. I am safe. I will make no advances towards you."

That's the whole problem. She didn't /not/ enjoy it. Hope looks down between them, at their feet. It's taking all her willpower to not blurt that she's in love with someone else. "Yeah, well, I care for you too." Caring for someone isn't necessarily loving them. "Well then… I'm willing to get past my faux pas, and have another fun outing. Nothing serious. I'll have to come up with something."

It would honestly be for the best if she did blurt out that she is in love with someone else. He would then actually get the hint, not that there have been any hints to that made. "I believe that I have my plate full of serious situations. I believe it would do us both good to have a night that can take our minds off of certain other issues." Finally Elliott steps back from her, just enough to no longer be invading her personal space. "Simply tell me when and I will make it work."

"Have you ever been bowling? I'd offer to do something like karaoke, but I'd make kittens cry, I think." Hope smiles and then looks away. "My treat this time, since you went to all the trouble with the laser tag." A glance down at her wrist makes her eep. "Didn't you have a meeting to get to? See? I'm a horrible influence! I'm keeping you from important things. I'm… well I'll call you and let you know the details?"

Even Elliott has to laugh. "Have you honestly, literally made kittens cry? If this is true I might require that we do go just so I can witness it." Once he calms himself he shakes his head. "Well, maybe. I can't honestly remember bowling but I'm certain that I must have gone before." His life apparently was very sheltered. His watch is given a glance as well and he sighs. The suit jacket and put on and he begins folding the blanket. "A wonderful plan. Enjoy the rest of your day. After my meeting I believe I'm going to retire for the rest of the day."

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