Hot Coals and Colemans

Coleman Residence

The interior of the house looks like it had been all one open room when it was built, and the walls were added at a later date. To the left, a small living room sits that runs just more than half the length of the house. On the right, there's a small sitting room that mirrors the other side, and along the back wall, the kitchen.

Upstairs, there is the bathroom that one could swear was original to the house (claw-footed, cast iron bathtub) settled between the two small-sized bedrooms.

All in all, the plastered walls are in rough shape with layers of lead paint peeling, the windows are rippled, the electricity is haphazard and the rugs are threadbare in several areas, showing the rough-hewn but solid runs of wood underneath.


Every holiday requires some acknowledgement.. particularly with food. Easter? Food. Thanksgiving? Food. President's Day? Sales.. and food. Memorial Day? Food.. and beer.

Okay, not so much beer— at least for the older of the Coleman brothers. In hand, in his small living room while waiting for the coals to heat up properly, is a bottle of orange soda. He's sitting in an old recliner, something he'd picked up at a garage sale a couple of weekends ago, and his feet are kipped up, his arm hangs loosely with drink in hand, and his gaze is shifted upwards with a touch of a smile on his face.

This.. this is the life.


"Hey, bro, where'd you put the bottle opener?"

Corey peeks out from around the kitchen door, a bit of a dip to his blond brows. Just because Brett can't hold his liquor doesn't mean Corey needs to play the teetotaler. Not, mind, that he's all that likely to drink to excess. That's really only fun when he can get Brett drunk, too. But, in this case, he does want a bottle of booze. There are steaks to be marinated and his recipe calls for beer.


"On the side of the 'fridge!"

Brett considers getting up for a few brief, shining moments.. but that's as long as he gives it before it's dispelled. Not as if Cor's a guest or unfamiliar with the house as its currently laid out. Nope.

Beer had been purchased; Brett's no snob. Just because he can't hold his drink doesn't mean that his bar remains unstocked, oh no. There's bits of the harder stuff there, too.. and mixers. No one could accuse him of not being 'a bachelor', or all that far removed from his college days. They are only a few years behind him, after all!

"Oh, hey.. Cor.. we still on for whack a mole?" His voice is raised to reach the next room, just in case his brother's still in there futzing. "Summer's good for it."


"Thanks." Cor says, ducking back into the kitchen and grabbing the opener to attend to his bottle. He hears his brother's query, even as he takes a swig of the brown liquid, just to ensure it's the Good Stuff. A grin cracks his face. "Yeah, absolutely."

He reappears in the doorway, leaning there, holding the bottle, grin still lopsided on his face. "Actually, there'll be four of us," he tells his brother. "I invited Leigh to come along. Officer Rossum?" Not like his brother doesn't know the cop's a 'wolf, too. "She promised she would, 'long as I went riding with her another night." There's something about the daredevil in his own grin that probably makes it pretty clear he ain't talking 'bout riding horses, either.


"It's my turn to hang my head out the window," Brett reminds, his head rolling back to look in the direction of his brother's voice, now that it's closer. Doesn't have to yell quite so much either. "But that's cool. It'll be fun." A grin to match Corey's rises, turning lopsided, "We checked out an area.. and Summer approves. We didn't dig out anywhere, but we located the live holes and the old ones. Ask her about the map we drew." That, too, was a fun date.

"I like Miss Leigh. She.. gave me a hand with a question about vampires, and introduced me to that Donato-guy." Not that anything came from it all, mind.

His brows rise and finally pushing on his legs, lowers the seat before he takes another swallow of his soda. "She rides?" Shaking his head, he laughs, "When you hit the dirt, tuck and roll. I can get you a pic of a 'dillo, if you want…"


"Don't need a picture of an armadillo, thanks," Corey says with a laugh. "That's aaaaallll you, bro."

Indeed, Corey went out of his way, today, to stick a picture of an armadillo flopped upside-down with a beer bottle in its paws on the 'fridge earlier today. Not, mind, that either Brett or he ended up being anything other than their usual predatory selves when the moon worked its magic.

It's almost a pity, that.

But, the day's not over. "Oh, hey," he says suddenly, crossing the living room towards the front door where he'd dropped a small rucksack. "That reminds me. Brought you a gift…"


Brett laughs and puts both feet on the ground, "Tuck and roll. What's better than that?"

Stil, yes.. the armadillo pic on the 'fridge is a masterpiece, even by Brett's standards, and it isn't something that will be removed any time soon. In fact, should there be a framing sale or something that might get him off his tail and in a store, he might get it framed and hung on the wall. It really is just that good of a picture.

Never let it be said that he doesn't have a sense of humour.

Now, though, at the sound of the words 'brought you a gift', Brett rises to his feet in almost a defensive action. With his younger brother, one really never knew exactly what a 'gift' would or could possibly entail. Best be on his feet to be able to move quickly. He learned that lesson many years ago, but thankfully, nothing ever got out of hand that would have scarred him for life.

Well, dad looming over them as threat helped a great deal, too.

"A… gift." He lets the tones sink in, not that he figures Corey's actually listening that much, mind.. and he's more than a little suspicious. It's never, ever something.. basic.

"What is it?"


"Oh, you're gonna love it," Corey enthuses.

Of course, Brett might doubt that, once he sees the pure deviltry sparkling in his brother's eyes. That's never a good sign.

And, indeed, Corey rummages around the rucksack for a moment, digging far to the bottom of it. As he begins to remove his hand, he holds up the bag with the other.

Rising from the rucksack, Corey's fist clenched around one end of it, is a long, pink strap of leather. "I think you lost this," Corey grins, and he drops the bag, stretching out his hand with the pretty pink leash towards the elder Coleman. His grin is ear to ear, and his stance is that neutral one he always assumes when he's not sure whether he's going to have to duck, run, or swing.


Oh, Brett's more than aware what his brother is capable of. It would be amusing to the casual observer to watch the boys' interactions.. each in 'fight or flight' mode, both teetering between taking the offensive and the defensive. Never, however, is there a doubt that both enjoy the game.

And they wouldn't have it any other way.

Craning his neck, Brett puts the drink down in the corner of the recliner, tucked in the arm of the chair and the back. "What—"

As the magician pulls the rabbit out of the hat, Brett.. blanches. His expression goes through a grand total of two emotions— disbelief, embarrassment, and finally back to disbelief..

"What the hell— Cor!"

Throwing his hand out to grab at the leash, Brett takes a couple of steps forward.. ready to throw the thing away.. burn it in the BBQ if he has his way.

There is no doubt in his mind that his brother knows something. Why else would he have that look on his face?

"Ronnie put you up to this?"


"Ha! Ronnie!" Corey jerks his hand back to dangle the leash just outside his brother's immediate reach. "I thought that's who it was! The footage was a little grainy."

Yes. He said 'footage'. As in 'film'. As in video tape. And his grin suggests that he's definitely either got or seen a copy.

"Nope," he says now. "Nobody put me up to this. And I haven't seen Sin de Lopper since before she dumped that stupid box of sunglasses on my doorstep."

It's a really good thing Ronnie sleeps during the day… and that she's nowhere around to hear such a disparaging remark about her gift. Truth be told, he laughed when he saw it. And Brett has had a chance to tease him about it.

But it so very much doesn't compare to the teasing 'yoteboy's likely to get about the leash. Brett's gotta know that, right?


Brett makes a jump for it just as it's pulled out of his reach, but that gets him closer to his brother. Making a grab for his brother's arm with one hand, the other goes to protect his vitals on the chance, the very likely chance, that Corey will defend his ill-gotten gains… even as he makes the attempt to shoulder-body check the younger Coleman.


Move first, ask questions later. "You have got to be kidding…". Not much thought given regarding mall security footage. Why in the hell aren't those cameras broken like in every other place in the darned city?

"Give me that thing.."


Oh, Corey will definitely defend his ill-gotten gains. No way he's letting that end up as hamburger fuel. No way, no how.

"Ooooohhhhhh, no!" he laughs, twisting to thrust the leash behind him, arm locked straight out as he blocks Brett with his shoulder and free arm. He moves to jab at his brother's ribs, though he's blocked by Brett's own block. (They've done this a time or two before, after all.) "You're just gonna throw it out. I'm not lettin' you throw it out. It's too 'purty'!" He jostles forward in an attempt to unbalance his brother.


If Brett gets his way, the 'burgers will have a slightly musky, leathery flavour to them.. if he can get that stupid leash.

Corey blocks Brett's advance and shoulder-check, sending the slightly older Coleman off-balance. He takes a step, and while he regains his footing, the jab comes, which throws him off again. Reaching out as a 'hail mary' grab at the leash, Brett takes a couple of faltering steps before he gets his footing once more. "You bet I am..

"'Purty', I'll give you purty!"

Once again, Brett comes after him, just like he's done oh so many times before. This time, the only difference is that there's a slightly different layout to the room in which they're 'roughhousing'.

Yet another grab is made at the swinging, jostled end.

"Who gave that to you?"


"Not telling!" Corey responds, just like he did when they were 12. That big grin is still on his face.

As Brett lunges in at him, Corey turns to use his body to block the slightly smaller man once more. He flips his wrist swiftly. The dangling leash whips around, wrapping itself about his arm with a thwapping sound. Corey keeps his eye on Brett over his shoulder and starts backing him into the living room proper. More space to maneuver than the narrow foyer.

"I hear you got a collar to match!"


Oh, now.. there's pride and honor now on the line!

What can Brett possibly do to bring them both up from the cellar? Well, like Corey, bring in to play that which has always served both boys well for so many years:

"Do not!"

Deny. Everything.

Of course, hard to keep anything under wraps, and he has absolutely no idea that Toby and Summer, of all people, played the snitch!

While there's more room to move around, unfortunately it gives Corey a little more room as well, and of the pair, the younger Coleman is a better scrapper. The best that Brett can do is try to take the faster down by taking an unexpected approach which, when it comes to the boys, really has to be something out of the norm.

And Brett simply doesn't have that sort of ability to draw from.

Brett's breathing a little heavier as he considers and weighs his options, other than the out and out denial. Pushing forward again, he takes a feint and steps to one side, and quickly to the other, reaching for the entwined leash once more.

"Give it!"


"No way!"

And there's no way Corey's revealing his sources, either. Nuh-uh. He'll not do that to Summer… or Toby. He likes them.

His arm extends high above his head, now. Sure, Brett can reach it, but in order to have enough strength to pull it down, he'll need two hands. That will leave the rest of him terribly vulnerable. Corey dances with Brett as his older brother feints from foot to foot. How often have they done this dance?

"What you do?" Corey teases now, putting his hand on Brett's shoulder and pushing his arm out nearly to a locked position. He doesn't quite lock it — that would compromise his elbow and Corey's been in enough scraps to know better than that. He's also been wrestling with his brother long enough to know better. "Throw the collar out? Ronnie will be soooooo disappointed! You'll break her heart!"

Do vampires even have hearts?



With the leash up in the air, there isn't much Brett can do about it. Once again, Corey's pulled the maneuver that makes it the most difficult for him to push forward with. The way the leash is wrapped, the added height that would require two hands.. he's losing this, and he knows it.

Shifting his weight from foot to foot to get the best balance from the correct direction, Brett tries, pretty much in vain, to get at center of the leash. Pretty futile, and when the arm-length is added?

Oh, so not fair.

"Cor— give it!"

There's only one resolution that has worked in the past, but now.. there is no way he's about to invoke it. What would his parents say if there was some video? They'd laugh.. and probably take Corey's side on this one…

"Bull— she only tolerates me because she loves you, bro!" Not goin' where the collar lies…


And both boys just know that Corey would have absolutely no problem whatsoever showing the footage to their parents. He was, of course, smart enough not to bring it with him to Brett's house. Just the leash, as he told Summer he would.

As Brett continues to hop from foot to foot, Corey counter-balances, shaking his fist so that the leash dances out of easy reach, still wrapped about his forearm.

"You sooooo wish!" Corey grins, wrapping his free arm over Brett's shoulder now, and down across his back towards his waist — the back of his pants. "Besides, at least, she's not trying to keep me as a pet!"

Oh, that point's so not lost on the younger brother. The idea of being a fangbanger is embarrassing enough, to be sure. But the idea of being a pet, to a shifter, is so much more humiliating.

And so much more fun to rub Brett's snout in.

"Y'know, there was a real purdy shot of the collar on the footage. I bet I could replace it for ya, if ya need…"

He's such a jerk.


Oh, great.. and Brett wriggles the moment he's caught to get out of Corey's grip. There is no way in hell he wants to be caught in his younger brother's grip. Problem is, Corey is a good deal more .. muscular, stronger even, by virtue of his chosen career. Brett.. is a weakling in comparison, even if he is the older of the two. That, right now, doesn't count for much at all, and less and less as the boys grow further into their adult lives.

Wedgies are right out!

Even if he has to shift to keep it from happening, he will! Though, getting tangled in clothing is pretty darned embarrassing in and of itself. There's pants.. t-shirts.. and, yes.. underwear that has to be wriggled out of, and..

"There is no way in—"

Footage.. the footage is mentioned again even as Brett makes his attempt to move out and to the side. Shifting.. that'll be the last ditch effort. "No way would I be a pet!"

Oddly enough.. all through the raised voices, there's no real anger. There's teasing, goading, responses.. but deep seated, fiery anger? No…


No. Real anger would stop both Coleman brothers cold. Throughout their whole lives, neither has ever raised a hand to the other in actual anger. Sure, they've cuffed each other in annoyance. And there are the constant horseplay wrestling matches. But, neither would actually lash out at the other in anger. In the first place, Simon Coleman would never have stood for it. And Molly Coleman would've tanned both their hides just in principle if either had ever tried. But, at the core of it is that they're best friends as much as brothers.

And so the teasing continues.

Going for the wedgie is always effective. And they've each had to use shifting to escape the other, on rare occasion. As to wether or not today will be one of those occasions?

That remains to be seen.

Corey gets a pair of fingers into Brett's back beltloop. It's not enough to give a wedgie, by any means, but it can be used as leverage to control the elder brother's movements.

"I knew I shoulda framed it," Corey says, waving his arm over his head as Brett wriggles. He tries to step around behind Brett, now. "Coulda digitized it and grabbed a screencap for you, too. Still can, if you'd like…"


Surprise visits generally bring about a few surprises of their own — such as raised voices coming from inside the house. Since they don't sound angry, the woman getting out of the red Baja has no reason to panic or worry.

The lack of panic allows her to collect the two bags she was asked to bring over by a certain bookshop and deli owner, as well as a little concoction of her own. With the weight of the items she struggles a little, but even in the brand new heeled boots she's got on with her denim shorts and simple (yet still couture) halter top.

Making her way to the door, she actually has to use the booted foot to tap at it, since her hands are laden down with bags and a large rectangular box.


Aw, see now.. there seems to be absolutely no way that Brett's going to be able to pry Corey's fingers off the beltloop, now that he's got a hold of it.

Once the decision is made, however, the 'pretty' red Baja pulls up.. and for a heartbeat, he's torn. What is he going to do?

Giving the window a check again, Brett tries to move backward, throwing himself at the door. As the hand rounds the doorknob, it's pulled open ever so slightly so that any pressure placed on the door, it'll open under the force.. and at the same time?


There is an almost immediate… shifting of bones, muscles.. fur grows where there had been only skin only heartbeats ago.. and a coyote stands, now mixed in with a mass of clothing.

Of course, this is also a 'tried and true' response to most matches between the Coleman brothers. In the past, it usually elicited a response from one of their parents in the form of, 'What did you do to make your brother shift?!' yelled up the stairs— who could miss the *click*click* of nails? (As it was usually the canid-shift rather than the softer-pawed lynx..)


Yes, but, this time, Mom and Dad aren't here to yell at him.

As Brett yanks on the door, Corey, laughing, braces his feet more widely apart to give himself better leverage. Through the window, he knows it's Summer, too… and it's a good thing — otherwise, whoever it was would wonder just why he has a forty-pound coyote dangling from his fist in a pair of jeans and a tangle of other clothing.

That would take some explaining.

As it is, however, as the door springs open a crack, Corey simply loops his leash-wrapped arm beneath his brother's canine chest and hefts him up, pressing the furry, t-shirt tangled back to his broad chest and spinning him around to point him towards the couch at the far end of the living room.

Three strides take them across the room, where Corey dumps the 'yote unceremoniously on the sofa cushions, clothes and all, and leaps back away.

"Hey, Summer," he grins, wrapping the leash more securely about his forearm and throwing the door open now to help her in with her packages. "C'mon in. Need a hand?"


Nudging the door a little more when it opens suddenly, Summer just peers at the pair of them.

"Sweet Jesus, you're lucky the neighbors are in the back."

Quickly pushing through the small opening, even with all the items she's carrying. It's difficult, but she manages. Even to get in enough that she can draw the door mostly shut with her boot before just staring at the scene before her.

"You could close the door, and tell me what you did to make him shift when the curtains are still open?"

Secrecy is a concern of course, but mostly she's just curious as to what she's stepping into before she comments on the 'yote who's now sitting on the couch tangled in clothing.

"I suppose I should have called, but Toby wanted to make sure if you two weren't headed home for the day, that you were well fed and I offered to stop by on my way to the ranch…" Eyes drift between Corey and the coyote, but since Corey is currently the only one that can speak beyond a 'yip', she's looking to him for answers.


Oh great.. here's visions of Ronnie as she hefted him up just after breaking the window of the pet shop! Only he wasn't dangling blue-jeans, t-shirt, socks and underwear. As Corey lifts him up, he wriggles and manages to get the socks to drop off his back paws— the sneakers had dropped due to the sheer 'weight' of him, and the socks had a tenuous 'hold' as it was.

Still.. getting tossed on the couch, tangled in clothing, is not very .. dignified. That would be the word— dignified.

Pulling his head down, he has to try and back out of the clothes as he hangs around his neck, and as he does so, the back legs get a little more tangled, thanks to the belt. A quiet growl is given, though it's not an angry one, more.. frustrated in the convoluted wrapping of clothing.

As much as he'd love to greet Summer, at that very moment? He.. has his paws full, so to speak.


Sure secrecy's a concern. But, it's not like they were in full view of those same windows when Brett actually transformed. The really big window has yet to be installed.

Corey gives a half-sheepish, half-unrepentant grin to the lady shifter and holds up his arm. A pink leash she might recognize wraps around it. "He was gonna burn it," he protests. "I couldn't let him do that! It's so purdy!" There's still laughter in his tones.

He actually is panting somewhat, though likely not as hard as the 'yote on the couch.

And he's not going near the couch, either. He knows better than to get too near while the 'yote is fighting with his clothes. Yes, it'd be kind to help his brother out. But, it'd also be taking his life into his hands, and Corey likes his life, right now. So, instead, he gives Summer a sheepish shrug and moves to help her deal with her packages.

"Thank Toby for us," he says. "And thank you, too. We've got steaks to go on the bbq, if you'd care to join us."


"Careful with that one," Summer says as the rectangular box is taken.

The rest of the bags are filled with kebabs and skewers of different varieties, and a half dozen or so summer salads, and everything essential to go with such food. Toby takes care of the Shifters it would seem.

Once her burden has been taken from her, she moves to the couch. Sitting beside the coyote, she exhales a sigh. "Why couldn't you?" Shaking her head at Corey, she turns a little and starts attempting to remove the shirt from the 'yote.

"You do realize this is so not what I pictured when thinking about doing this, right?" Summer's voice is very light and teasing as she says this and to add to it, she reaches up to scritch at the 'yote ears.


Paws over the head, over the muzzle as he tries to back out of the shirt, and it's just not happening. Even the smell of food, and ooooh, the aroma wafting through to reach the coyote's nose is simply.. well, okay.. at this very moment, it is resistable. At least for as long as it takes to get these clothes off from around him!

Nose out one hole, ear, another as his head perks and cants. He knows the voice, certainly.. and is that her chastizing his brother?


Oh.. the leash.. the leash. It has to go..

This thought brings a renewed wriggle to get out of the clothes, but it abruptly ceases the moment he senses the couch shift.

Who's that— oh! Not Corey.. certainly doesn't smell like— Oh! Summer!

Shirt.. shirt gone is good.. and .. oooo .. ear scritch!

That would be undignified, if the coyote really cared about such things at the moment of scritching. But it feels good!

Oh! Yes..

The leash! And it's still on his arm!

"I got it," Corey says, taking care with that big rectangular box. He shifts his balance expertly. Though the box teeters a moment, it doesn't tumble, and he's free to grab a couple of the other kitche-bound packages in a now free hand.

"Why couldn't I what?" he grins, starting to move towards the kitchen. "Let him burn the leash? Aw, c'mon! What fun is that?" He hasn't actually revealed who it was that gave him the leash, nor is he about to now.

His ears rise and fall a little as, passing through the door to the kitchen, he hears Summer's light teasing to Brett. Hooooo boy! It strikes him as a very good thing he's bringing Leigh along to whack-a-mole. A night of that could get a little much.

Oh! And there's that open beer he needs for the steaks. Right!

He sets the packages down and starts sorting them, unwinding the leash from his arm and, out of sight of his brother, popping it into a white paper bag he hides at the back of the refrigerator freezer… just 'cause. Brett'll curse him later when he finds it. Briefly, he considers coiling the thing up and sticking it in his pocket, taking it home to frame it, after all. But he quickly dismisses the plan. Really, he's had his fun.

That's probably why the boys tolerate each other's teasing so well. When the joke's done, the joke's done.

The memory will live on to be laughed at for years.

"How do you like your steak, Summer?"

He starts rummaging around, looking for something else for the preparation of his cow-on-the-grill masterpiece.

"Now where the hell did I put… Aw, crap."

It's at home. On the counter. And he simply can't do without it.

Padding back into the living room, he leans against the doorframe for a moment again. "Hey, I've forgotten something at home. I should go get it. Only be a half-hour or so."

A beat. He grins. For half a heartbeat he considers asking his still-shifted brother if a half-hour would be long enough for him, but, remembering her blush when he suggested back at the deli how easy she could seduce Brett, Corey decides to hold his tongue. He'll tease them later… when the relationship is better established.


After helping the poor coyote out of the shirt, it seems to be as far as Summer is willing to go. Sure, she really could help him with his pants in this form, but even so, it's just a bit too soon for her to start doing that. Especially with his brother standing what? About five feet away?

"I suppose there really isn't any fun in it, but…" Since she wasn't around for the majority of the teasing, that's all she's going to comment on it. They can duke it out later, though she's got the feeling that things have wound up.

"Mediu— well if you want, I can take care of things in the kitchen. I'm not as good with food prep as Toby is, but I've got a bit of a knack for it. I can at least throw the kebabs on the grill and we can have those ready as appetizers by the time you get back?"

Not that she was really intending on staying long, but since she was invited it'd be rude to just waltz off.


Victory! No more shirt, which means the coyote can then crawl forward to finally get out of the pants.. and underwear, though the latter is just a touch more difficult in that there's an elastic band.

Standing on the couch, albeit more than a little wobbly, he considers the best way to jump down in order to get a little more room. The aid with the shirt is certainly appreciated, and under other circumstances, he'd show her just how much.

Coyote slobber, however, just doesn't send quite the same message.

Licking his chops now that he can begin to acknowledge the smell of the meat, he drags himself out and wiggles the back legs until he's finally freed from the clothing. From there, there's almost a fastidious quality to the canid in that he gathers up the clothes and puts it into a pile.

Now.. Corey— where—?

By the time he finishes removing the rest of his clothing, however, Corey's back and taking requests. A sharp yip is given.. eyes narrowed and ears down.. telling his brother off in coyote, undoubtedly, but there still are absolutely no signs of any real aggression.

While not done done, it's done.

Unfortunately for the older Coleman, this is simply one step before 'I'm gonna tell mom!' that they'd fallen back on in their youth, before the onset of.. shifting.


"Sounds good," Corey tells Summer. He flashes a toothy grin at his brother as the coyote finally escapes the clothing and gives him the flateared look. "Yeahyeahyeah," he grins. "Mom and Dad are still in Houston. You can tell about the leash, later. I'll send them a copy of the movie."

He grins at Summer briefly, eyes sparkling. "I won't be long; promise." Or is that a threat? Regardless, he heads for the door, now. "Just keep the steaks marinating in the beer mix, in the fridge. I'll take care of the rest when I get back."


While coyote slobber likely isn't the best way to show appreciation to a human, Summer isn't any ordinary human. Not only is she a shifter, she's a Veterinarian as well. It's generally all part and parcel of her profession.

"Don't worry, I won't touch the steaks. There's enough here to feed an army, thanks to Toby. I'll start in with what he brought."

Which means, Brett can have the privacy to shift back if he wants to, while she tends to things in the kitchen and gets them barbecue ready.


As Corey departs, the coyote is pawing at his clothing again, bringing what he needs back on top of the pile. A little bit of fur probably got inside there, thanks to shedding season, but it shouldn't be all that bad.

Wait, what… Toby..?

His head raises and quirks, his ears up, though they flick as Corey exits for the BBQ sauce for the steaks that are marinating on the counter.

Darn his memory, or rather, focus when it doesn't have anything to do with food or rapidly moving prey, however, and he's back to pawing before he gets everything how he'd like it to be.. for the most part.

Once again, as Summer begins to make her way out into the kitchen in the back, he considers.. and shifts. The time between coyote and human blur, and skin once again covers the muscles of a biped rather than the tan, grey and white fur of the quadraped.

That, of course, means he's left stark naked.. crouched in his living room. Blinking.. and pausing before he moves once more, the first thing he checks for is exactly where Summer is.. and if she's about to come out from where she'd retired to anytime soon.

The second, of course, is to gather up his underwear and get it on quickly before reaching for his pants. Shirt, he can do without for the moment, as well as his socks and sneakers.

Once at least partially dressed, Brett can actually communicate! In a manner that others can actually understand!


At least a home allows more area to shift and put clothing on than a truck does.

Summer remains in the kitchen, humming a tune as she checks each of the containers that Toby sent over. Four different kabobs, six salads, and of course there's the 'surprise' she made in the rectangular box.

Setting aside the kababs, she starts searching through the kitchen to find a platter or a plate to put them on once they're done on the barbecue.

Cupboards open, and close, drawers move in and out on the track, until she finds what she's looking for. Platter set upon the table, she stacks up the containers that she'll need, then draws a bottle of wine out of the bags.

All killing time until Brett's ready to show himself again.


More elbow room, to say the least, in a home. If one was to ask Brett if he minded horribly a post-shifted naked Summer in his home, or his truck for that matter however, the response would be a resounding 'No!'. 'Heck no!' even!

Padding to the back kitchen, the shifter leans against the frame of the threshold. "Did my fuzzy ears hear correctly? Your father sent all this over?" He can't help a lopsided smile, "He likes us, doesn't he? Unless.." He takes a couple of steps into the kitchen where Summer is getting her bearings, "..he's poisoned it with V to express his displeasure at my courting you." Then again, "Or.. not. Because he'd know you'd eat too, and I can't see you as being part of that sort of conspiracy."

His brows rise at the bottle of wine in the offering, and whistles as he crosses the final distance to give the woman a hug. "Thank you, by the way, for helping me out of my shirt. Oh.." He leans over to whisper, though it's more of an amused stage-whisper, "… and the ear scritch. You hit the spot."


Provided he's not saying it in front of Summer, there would be no blushing and no embarrassment on her part.

Slowly glancing over her shoulder at him, she nods. "Toby was worried you boys wouldn't be heading home for the weekend, and wanted you to have some food." Why he didn't just invite them over for a barbecue is beyond her, though it could be because some of the Pack will be by the house later in the evening.

"As for liking you, well… I'm guessing if he doesn't want you to starve he likes you well enough." For Toby, that's saying quite a bit.

Ah, but the blush comes when he hugs and thanks her. "You're welcome. A shirt is fine, but I draw the line at taking your pants off in front of your brother," she teases. "Though I'm pretty sure that's why he bolted so quick…"


Brett grins lopsidedly, not really dropping the contact quite yet. "We share a few things, but ladies isn't one of them. We may be brothers, but there's a lot to be said about 'space', too. I think he probably bolted more because he knew I was going to kick his butt over the leash thing.." He's allowed a little puffing, isn't he? Particularly when Corey's not around!

Taking a step back to give the woman a little space, he does so after leaning over to give her a kiss on the top of her head, to breathe in the scent of her.

"That's really nice of him, though," and his hands drop into his pockets. "I'll tell mom and dad that we're being well taken care of now so they can stop worrying about whether or not we're eating enough." Isn't that a mother's concern?

"And, once she knows that your dad loads up on the food, she won't be too worried about 'a lady's appetite'."

Brett is actually looking forward to their meeting, his mother's and Summer's.

"Mom and dad are talking about coming up for the Fourth of July, or.. okay, they're actually hoping that Cor and I make the trip down. Bigger spread." His smile grows and he cants his head, "You and your dad'd be more'n welcome. Parents said that last call I made to them."


Suddenly put on the spot, Summer just continues fussing with the food. It takes some time for her to think of what to say, and figuring that the leash is a bad subject, she stays off that one for now.

Her blush turns a shade deeper at the sniff, and she smiles gently.

"Maybe that was his goal. To feed you so often and so much you wouldn't want to go home." Hard to tell with Toby, but chances are good that is the case.

Then comes the perhaps serious stuff.

"We've only just started dating, and you're inviting me home for a weekend? I could't put your parents out like that! I'd get a hotel, or bring a tent…"


"And insult them!" Brett waves in a broad gesture in an attempt to add some levity. "Besides, we're simple, solitary folk, and it'd be nice to have a chat with people who have even a clue." And didn't she express the interest in the families meeting? He could'a sworn!

Turning to that other, oddly safer topic of her father feeding her suitor and her brother, Brett chuckles. "If it'd make him happy, I could show up one day after a particularly well-laid out picnic as a pot-bellied pig to illustrate exactly how much weight he's going to be putting on us both."

Padding over to the refrigerator, Brett's aware that his orange soda is on the chair in the living room. This time, the offer is made for Summer, "Want anything to drink? I have.." here, he gives the door a tug, "…grape soda, orange soda.. and beer. If you like something more than that, I have rum and pina colada mix, margarita mix, and… other stuff. I… think."


Expressed interest in, sure! When they were just friends… it's a whole other ballgame now, which makes it all the more complicated and nerve-wracking.

A gentle laugh rings out, and she stops fussing with the food long enough to grace him with a bright smile. "Vietnamese Pot-Bellied pigs are very adorable. Though I'd suggest not doing it. He may decide you're dinner."

Pointing to the bottle of wine, she shakes her head. "I'm honestly fine for right now, but I brought wine as well. I figured that it would be something lighter to go with the food Toby prepared…"


There's the smile.. and with it can banish scores of questions and doubts. Brett revels in the smile, and the moment it's received, it is heartily returned. "That.. might be a good thing, yes.." He winces somewhat theatrically. "Um.. how about I simply remind him I wasn't born with a hollow leg. Or, beg the entire question and go out into the flats more often to run?" Which, now that it's spoken aloud, sounds like the better idea. "There is no way I'd want to discourage getting fed."

The wine.. and the smile on his face turns lopsided. "I.. really, I'm not one who can drink. Cor, he's fine. I pick on him, suggesting that he's got to be part fish.. but me?" It's a bemused shake of his head that accompanies, "I can't hold my alcohol to save my life. One glass of wine, and I'm on my way of being.. not fit for company. Mind," Brett waves his hand to dispell any chance that he's an unpleasant drunk, "I'm not a mean one.. I'm sort of.. a giggly, tired one. It's like.. sodium pentathol for me. I don't really think about much exiting my mouth in the form of words."


"I'd rather you fed than being food," Summer concurs with a nod of her head. "I could probably stand a good run now and then too." Though she's meaning more the two-legged variety, rather than the four-legged.

Lifting up the containers she tilts her head gently to the right. "You'll have to show me the way to the barbecue and likely get the door for me." Since her arms are now full once more.

"I likely should have remembered that from the dancing…" Now she'll have to consider why she didn't remember it off hand, and she'll likely chalk it up to her being distracted by Toby continually piling food into the bags. "Why don't we head out back. I bet we'll get them done by the time your brother returns for the main course."


"Oh, it's easy.." First, to show the lady the way, and hold the door for her. "I think I need to light the coals because Cor's steak is still marinating, so.." Once Brett opens and holds the door for Summer, he allows it to close behind him and barefoots down to where the grill sits. It's a charcoal and wood grill, and it has the option of smoking as well as grilling.

"Nope.. let me light it, then we can wait for the coals to heat up, and I can give you a glass of wine.. and I can drink my orange soda." He's more than happy to accept the fact that even if he may really, really want to share a drink, it's just.. better than he not.

So, the work begins to start the coals; charcoal lighter fluid is drizzled on, with a wait of a minute or two before the match is launched.

"I bet you're right.. or before, and we eat them all.. and just sit like bumps on the couch after, watching TV and wondering when the next time we'll see our feet is."


Following him out the door, Summer sets the containers to the side of the grill, then steps back to let him do the 'man work'. While she wouldn't normally call lighting the grill 'man work', it's better that he do it any how. She's happy enough to stand to the side, taking in the yard and the layout.

"You've got a great yard here," she says, kicking off her boots and leaving them by the door. Stepping out into the grass she lets the blades tickle her feet as she walks over them.

"You should come out to the ranch some time. You'd love it. Just enough mix of grass and flatlands, and a lot of running area in the fields… we don't have any animals out there. Toby sort of keeps it around for the Pack to have a safe running place during the full moon, not that all of them utilize it…"


"I like it," Brett grins as he lowers the grill top to give it the chance to build up heat, thus helping the other coals catch. "Good part of town. Of course, couldn't afford much more than a fixer-upper, but Cor's good with a hammer and I .. haul out the garbage after he's done." He's honest, at least!

The property extends out somewhat, the grass and dirt mixing. He's got a couple little spots where flowers were planted already in bloom, the dark mulch showing off the newness of their arrivals. Brett has worked on it some, apparently.

"That sounds great." Through the grass barefoot he comes to join Summer. "Not during full moons, though.. I figure you'd understand. They're just.." well, he'd said it before.. a biker gang. And while weres might consider themselves to be elite? Well, the Coleman clan probably considers themselves to be such.. moreso than the weres. At least shifters are still human! Exhaling in a sigh, he takes a step back and makes a wide, round gesture before him. "I was thinking about a pool. Nothing too big, though. That way I can paste dolphin pictures on Cor's door…"


"It's beautiful, Brett. There's nothing wrong with throwing a little TLC into a place to make it your own, even if your brother is doing most of the hammer and nail work." There's more to do with a house than just patch holes, fix drywall, and repaint. There's little touches that make it more home-y.

Walking the length of the property, she treks back a little more slowly. "Definitely not during a full moon. Even I don't like to be there then." She has her own areas to go to, but she won't stick with the Pack during runs as she's one of the few female members and she doesn't want there to be any issues.

"You could probably get a pool out here. In or above ground?" She stops midway through the yard and paces a few feet to the left. "You'd likely have to build a deck around an above ground, but an in ground would eat up a lot of your yard…"


"It can fit the BBQ, which, in my book, is pretty important. And.. I'm not sure, exactly, what sort. You're right.. an inground would take up most of the space.. but," Brett twists around to look off the back door leading from the house, "a deck would be okay."

An idea is hit upon, and the grin returns, "Unless you have a duck pond we can swim in. Then, I can forgo the pool, hoping and praying for an invite?"

He hasn't been a duck yet.. wouldn't that be sort of fun? Of course, not during duck season!

Summer and Brett are outside in the back yard. The shish-ka-bobs are sitting on the shelf of the grill while the BBQ itself is heating up— the coals have been lit, and a small plume of smoke emerges from the top, assuring all that the fire still burns. Soon enough, it'll be ready.

Brett is human again, wearing pants, but has decided against the shirt and shoes. Summer, too, is barefoot in the grass.

"I like our haunts on the full moon. The flats are good for it, and I had been going over to the Village. That's pretty cool after dark."


"Why not have your brother draw you up a plan for both. That way you can make an informed decision." Summer grins a little then marches back to the center of the yard. "Besides, with the right inground pool, you could probably fit a hot tub over there," she says, pointing back toward the house, "And still have room for a nice deck."

The mention of the duck pond has her grinning like mad. "We've got both a pond and a creek on the property, closer to the back acre. You're welcome any time." It doesn't seem to bother her at all that she still lives with Toby. She does it more because she's worried he'll feel alone in such a big place than out of any need to do it.

"You should be careful around the Village for a while. I know the media is saying that the black wolf is gone, but people are still up in arms about it, and after what happened with the Demoins… well I'd hate for you to get hurt…"


Around the front, the sound of a truck pulling into the drive can be heard. Shortly thereafter, there's the sound of the truck door opening and closing, and then Cor's in and through the house, checking living room and kitchen as he goes. Eventually, he finds his way to the back, calling out in a teasing singsong as he comes, "Everybody decent?" The backdoor opens and he steps through to find the pair where they are. "Oh, good."


Brett echoes the grin easily; he knows full well that she can picture at least him as a duck! Trying it at least once.. paddling on the pond, sticking his head under the water so that his tailfeathers are pointing straight up? It's the life! Until, of course, the 'crick' is mentioned. "Oh, when Cor and I were kids.. the local creek?" Pronounced, yes, 'crick'.. "We were a couple of savages." He shakes his head and chuckles in the memory. "You know, I really am surprised we're both still alive."

Speaking of—

"Cor.. you're back. And you'd better be bearing your sauce." Because he hasn't yet found the leash. "Summer was just saying that the yard might be big enough for a pool, deck and a hot tub if we lay it out right."


Just like that, Summer chokes on absolutely nothing and turns to look at the back spanse of yard again. Clearing her throat, she gives herself a few seconds before turning around.

Her mouth opens as though she's going to say something, but she obviously thinks better of it since it snaps shut again almost immediately.

"Well you're welcome to it, both of you. Toby wouldn't mind, I'm sure. Especially since it's far enough away from the house that it wouldn't bother him at all…"


"Yeah, I got the sauce, don't worry," Corey reassures his brother. "It's in the kitchen, now. How's the grill? Ready for the steaks?" 'Cause, you know, steaks and kebabs work just fine for him. Boy likes his meat.

His eyes survey the backyard with an expert's gaze. "Yeah," he says after a moment or two. "Yeah, probably could. Don't see why not, anyway." Plenty of room for a pool, if it's designed right. "I'll talk to Lloyd, for you." Landscaper extraordinaire.

"What's that?" he asks of Summer now. "What's far enough from what house?" He missed that part of the conversation.


"Duck pond, bro." Brett makes a quacking sound before he smirks. "And a crick." The creek of their youth actually served.. many purposes. Only one of which was swimming.

"The charcoal should be good. It's been burning for a few minutes, anyway.. and Summer's father really loaded us up. Wanted to be sure we were fed if we weren't going away for the weekend. Now, we have to work out what we're doing about the Fourth." Drive down to Houston or have them drive up?

"I don't think I could fit them at the house.. so I'm thinking we might have to drive down."

Walking to stand beside Summer, Brett casts a glance over to Corey. "As for our decency, you could learn a thing or two, bro.."


"The pon— " Brett answers well enough so that she doesn't have to. Really, it's a godsend, giving her a great deal more time to stop the blushing and calm down.

"Oh, the food!" Summer completely forgot she was actually supposed to be cooking anything at the moment. "I should put those on and let them cook a little, so you two can snack while you wait for the steaks."

She's about to move forward when she's joined, and the uncomfortable discussion of the Fourth comes up again. And the decency thing.

"I think I'll run inside and grab that glass of wine now. I'll bring you the soda as well. Corey, you want anything?" This is all said quickly as she turns to go and just leave both men standing in the yard.


"Duck pond? Cool." Corey flashes a grin at that, turning it on both Brett and Summer.

As to the question of the fourth. "Hey, I can make room at my place for Mom and Dad, if you don't think you can make room for 'em here." Though, really, he doesn't see why his brother couldn't make room for them. There's a whole month between now and then to get things done. "If we don't go down. I'm game, either way."

See, he's not officially dating, yet, so it's not a big deal to him if the folks meet the folks, so to speak.

Still, as Brett lodges his jab about decency, Corey flashes a bigger grin. "What?" he demands lightly, "And miss out on all the fun? Not a chance." He gives Summer a brief wink to show he's kidding.

As she starts to move towards the kitchen, however, he intercepts her. "Nah, let me," he suggests. "I gotta get the steaks, anyway. Wine for you, soda for the pooch." Another grin to Brett. "I can do that."

After all, can't have her running away every time the teasing starts.


"If you think we can get some more done between now and then?" Brett asks, his eyes moving back to the house a little dubiously. "I bet mom'll want to change out the flowers in the planters, though." It'll keep her busy, though.

He does have a little pity regarding the ribbing she's getting, and perhaps the invitation down to their parents over the Fourth was a little premature, but he's only relaying the parental requests. It's so rare to be able to speak with shifters their own age. The fact that their son and sons found people they like at the moment? All the better.

Reaching out to cuff his brother after the grinned remark, he moves over to the grill where the kebabs sit. The grill is opened, and a bit more smoke escapes. Grabbing the wire brush, he runs it across the grates before he relinquishes it all to Corey. "Here.. It's ready.. and if you'd like, I'll run in and grab the stuff, Cor.. Summer. I know where my soda is. It shouldn't be flat yet."

[And the BBQ continues well into the evening, while they had lots of good, clean fun. And strawberry shortbread. That's what was in Summer's box. It looked like this:


Cool, huh? (We thought so, too.)]

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License