Bella Notte

Una Bella Pizza Parlor

Una Bella is a very large, open and sparkling place. Corrugated metal decorates the walls, the rounded edges jutting out about an inch or so to make it look as though one is standing inside a large package of boxed food. The floor is likewise made up of metal tiles, furthering the atmosphere. A few small chrome tables are set about the pizzeria with a tall counter and stools lining the walls.

A large counter spans the length of one wall, behind the glass one can find a variety of different luncheon meats, as well as vegetables, salads and hot foods for easy boxed lunches. A large pizza oven and a grill can also be found here, to create pizzas and grilled sandwiches.

A full menu is listed on a sign above the counter.


Recall the story about the cute, sheltered cocker spaniel, and the mongrel from the wrong side of town? Leigh can, perfectly. It's exactly what comes to mind when she entered the Una Bella Pizza Parlor earlier this evening. Especially when the soft strains of Italian music came through the loudspeaker. The atmosphere is not entirely the same, being much more laid back and casual here than having a live accordion being played at a white table-clothed table, but the underlying theme is there.

Italian restaurant, Italian music.

The only thing that is missing is the plate of spaghetti.

Leigh would never order something that could get that messy, not when out with someone that she actually likes. So while she sips on a glass of water, she waits for their pizza to arrive.


As long as that accordionist doesn't appear to start playing 'Bella Notte', they're good. Really. 'Cause, while Corey could (and would, with the right prompting) turn himself into a rascally tramp of a mutt, there's no way in hell he could ever see his werewolf dinner companion as a demure, pink-bowed spaniel. Ever.

And, really, he's also not about to start slurping up a plate of spaghetti… no matter how enticing an accidental kiss might be. So, pizza is a very good choice far as he's concerned.

As they wait, he leans back in his seat. "So, do you think we can get the b-ball tourney together by the end of the month? Or should we wait until the end of the summer? Kids'll be outta school by the end of the week. So, we could push it to the third week of August, since most schools are in by the last week. What do you think?"


Forgoing the pasta is one thing, but Leigh is definitely ordering a gigantic meatball to go. Just to be silly — something she doesn't afford herself a lot of time to be.

"By the end of the month? I can definitely whip the guys into shape by then. If you'd rather wait though, we can wait. Gives us more time to get a solid team together…" The competitive streak is back, obviously.

"Then again, we could always try for both? If we have one at the beginning of Summer it could entice more people to show up for a rematch at the end of it."


"Ooh!" Corey's eyes light up at that. "What a great idea!" He puffs up some, then, putting on an entirely fake swagger — for all he's sitting down. "'Cause, you know, I know you'll want the rematch when we kick your tails from here to Chicago and back."

Oh, yeah. He can play that game, too. The bragging and bravado. He's male. It's in the chromosomes.

"So, how does Thursday, June 23rd work for you? Then… maybe something 'round the same time in August?"


Quietly sipping on the water, Leigh goes over the date in her head. "Day after the full moon?" She's pretty sure that's what it is, but she'll have to check to be extra sure. Too close to the full moon on the other side of it and things might be problematic.

"Works for me, and I can pass it by the department team tomorrow, see what they say." Same time in August will work as well, since it'll be after and not before.

"Listen, I wanted to apologize for not being around this weekend. I'd meant to be, but Jared called me back home. He generally does if I have time off on the long weekends."


Aw, snap. Corey hadn't factored that. "Geez, I thought it was the following week." You'd think a shifter would be better informed about such things. Though, he'd very likely have figured it out before then. "Okay. Let's flip it, then. Make it sometime the following week." Yeah. It'd be bad to have any hint of fur sprouting at just the wrong time.

As to her not being around, well, it woulda been nice, to be sure. But: "Oh, you don't have to apologize," Corey smiles, now. "I know how that goes. Family always expects you to make time for them. Not a surprise. Mom and Dad would've loved it if Brett and I had gone home for the weekend. But, with the moon and all, we figured it was better to stick around here." He chuckles. "Actually, I think Brett just wanted to see if he could get to spend some more time with Summer. So, we all ended up at a bbq at his place." His eyes gleam. "And, I got to tease the tar outta him, so, you know… 'S all good."


"Basketball and werewolves, makes me think of that campy 80's movie with Michael J. Fox…," Leigh replies, voice lowered to just barely a whisper — only loud enough for him to hear her. Although she's not recalling the name of the movie immediately, when it finally comes to her, she laughs. "Great. Now I'm going to have to go into Cameron's and see if he's got Teen Wolf in stock."

She takes a deep breath. "That's why Jared called me home. He generally does around that time, he hates me running around with Donato's men." So Pack, but not Dallas Pack. At least she has that going for her. "Teasing him? About what this time?"


Corey rolls his eyes, now, snirking softly, dropping his own voice to remain contained and quiet between them. "Stupid 'yote nearly got himself turned into vampire's a house-pet." He shakes his head. Yes, he teased his brother about it. But, in his more serious moments, he'll admit just what a close shave it could have been for the elder Coleman. "This crazy vampire we know — and usually try to avoid," he adds quickly, "saw him running around shifted. Put a collar on him. Tried to leash him. Didn't realize he was a shifter, I expect. She's… a few bricks shy of a load, you know?" He raises his hand and makes the 'crazy' gesture alongside his temple.

"Anyway…" Here, the grin returns, "I happened to get my hands on the leash. Gave it to him as a gift." The smug look on his face suggests Brett's reaction was everything he'd hoped.


Though her sense of hearing is great, even in human form, she leans in a little to keep up the illusion of normalcy. Eyes widen in recognition of the situation, and laughs. "Oi. That was your brother?" Shaking her head, she sets the half glass of water on the table, and then smiles at him prettily. A nod of her head indicates that their order is about to be delivered, and she leans back to a proper position in the chair.

"I can imagine that his reaction wasn't all that joyful of the gift. You two are so lucky to have each other." Leigh did have family growing up, though it was more that she had other shifters and werewolves around her rather than siblings. Similar, but not quite the same.


Corey's grin widens as Leigh laughs, too. "Oh, yeah," he says. "That was him." Of course, she'd've seen the security footage from the mall. He doesn't bother to tell her where he got a copy. She can probably guess, in any case, given the deli's reputation among the two-natured. "He tackled me and wanted to throw it out. We wrestled over it till he ended the match by cheating." He shakes his head as he chuckles, now. "He shifted. He always used to do that when we were teenagers. Then, Mom and Dad would yell at me. So, I just dumped him on the couch and let him dig his way out of his own jeans." It seemed the appropriate response. Especially with Summer's arrival just at the same time — though he doesn't add that.

Again with the smug look. "I wrapped it in a white paper bag and stuck it in his freezer. He'll find it again sometime around Thanksgiving." Nothing like the gift that keeps on giving.


"That's awful," Leigh says, laughing again. Awful, in this particular case meaning not awful at all, but hilarious. "I would have loved growing up like that. Probably would've kept me on the right path instead of winding up in trouble."

Then again, maybe not, thanks to the fact that it wasn't until her teens that she found out who her father was.

"I'd honestly kill to be there at Thanksgiving, just to see the expression on his face." She pauses, only to reach for a slice of the pizza and set it on her plate to allow it a moment or two to cool. "Though will he find it if you wind up going home for the holiday?"


Corey's head cants some and he chuckles. "Oh, you were prone to trouble, were ya?" His eyes dance some. Somehow he can both imagine… and can't imagine her in all sorts of trouble growing up. But, she does have that devil streak in her; he's seen that. so, perhaps it's not so great a surprise.

He laughs though, at her response to Thanksgiving. "Hey, you're more than welcome to come — no matter what we're doing. I have no idea if we'll end up in Houston or if the folks'll end up here. Brett's talking about having them up for July 4th, which I think would be great. Mom's itching to see his new place. And Dad's always game to poke around. You're welcome to join us then, too, actually, if you want. But, if you can't, it's no big deal." It's not like they're dating. And he doesn't mean the invitation as a 'hey, I gotta introduce you to the folks' sort of thing, either. In his world, it's nothing more than hanging out with people he likes. Perhaps that's somewhat conveyed in his tone.

Another grin blooms, however. "In any case, it doesn't really matter when Brett finds the leash again. He'll hit me, regardless."

And he's okay with that. They'll just end up wrestling again, and he'll probably win. He usually does.


Prone to trouble? That doesn't even begin to sum it up, but Leigh grins and nods. "That's about right. Quite a bit of it until Jared forcibly set me straight." The thought of being abjured from her own Pack did it, and she aboutfaced quite nicely on that, turning herself into the authority figure she once loathed.

"I really wouldn't want to impose on a family gathering, but if I'm in the city, maybe I'll call and stop by." They're not dating, it would just be hanging out, but it would also be hampering family fun which she doesn't want to do. Therefore, it gets a non-committal 'maybe' type response.

At least for now.

A lot can change in a month.

"Just be careful he doesn't hit you with frozen leather."


Oh, there's no way at all it'd be hampering family fun. Not when it comes to the Colemans. "Aw, don't get too hung up on the idea of imposing," Corey says, giving an easy smile and a faintly dismissive gesture. "You wouldn't be imposing at all. In any case, I'm pretty sure Brett'll be inviting other friends over, too. Summer and Toby, at the very least. Who knows who else? And I'm always glad of your company." That's for sure. "Brett won't mind, I know."

They say hospitality's the hallmark of the South. Who really knows? But, it's certainly a hallmark of the Coleman clan… at least, when there's no full moon to make such things awkward. But, with fellow two-natured, there's not the same concern.

"Anyway. If he tries to hit me with frozen leather, I'll hit him with an atomic wedgie before he can cheat me out of it." He winks at that, teasing. There's really little doubt he'd at least try to wedgie his brother. But, there's no guarantee at all that he'd succeed.


There's only one way to get out of the 'I'm imposing' 'no you're not' argument, that Leigh knows of. To start with, she gives him the eye. The slightly staring, peering look. Then she smiles, though one eyebrow remains gently arched. "Why, Mister Coleman, if I didn't know any better, I'd say you were definitely wanting me to be around. I'm growing on you."

With the small bout of teasing out of the way, she finally lifts the pizza to her lips and takes a dainty bite. It's not exactly perfectly kosher, but she'll suffer through it. It's pizza.

"A wedgie? Seriously? You'd do better to get him in a half-nelson and noogie him or something. More humiliating, less painful."


Corey meets the eye with an amused expression, blue eyes meeting green. "Do you have a problem with me wanting you to be around, Miss Rossum?" he replies glibly, upping the charm-factor in his broad smile. "I mean, I would hate to impose on you." Those eyes sparkle and his charming smile turns back into that boyish grin which is far more his natural state.

He laughs, though, at the idea of noogying Brett. "Oh, I do that all that time," he grins. "And he usually shifts his way out of a wedgie, anyway."

Though there was something terribly funny about hefting the 40-pound canine up by his beltloops and tossing him on the couch, to be sure. He never got to do that much when they were kids. Usually, Molly or Simon had interrupted by then.


"A problem with it? Not in the least, though I have to say, I may be a tad afraid of that porpoise…" Leigh's eyes twinkle, and she winks at him. "As long as you're not inviting her along, I'll be there." From a maybe to a definitely being there. Apparently, the werewolf is easily charmed — or she just wants an excuse to see him again at some future date.

Setting the pizza down again, she colors slightly at her own thoughts. Eyes flit about anywhere but at Corey, and she asks, "Have you started the landscaping yet?"


"I'll chase her away, I promise," Corey vows, entirely delighted that his favourite werewolf has accepted his invitation — barring any request from her Alpha, of course. He starts to dig into his own pizza, now, his mouthful a little less dainty than hers, though not monstrous, by any means.

"At the Projects?" he says as he swallows. "Some, yes. They've been laying down sod in the main areas. But the gardens are to be set next week, starting Monday. So, you know, if you've got a day off, we can go digging in the dirt."

A beat.

"Oh! Speaking of digging in the dirt… Summer and Brett have completed their survey of local prairie dog warrens. How does two nights from now sound?"

Whack-a-mole! He hasn't forgotten.


A request from Jared can be waylaid for a good reason — like work, or just because she feels like bucking against the authority. Leigh's not beyond forgoing a trip home, in order to do something she wants to do.

"I'm off on Monday and Tuesday, unless they make me pull a double or we have a case that needs immediate attention." Thankfully, she's not homicide, so the chances of being stuck on a case are pretty nil. "I'll bring coffee for the crew too. Maybe stop somewhere and pick up lunch."

She's got the pizza at her mouth again, and she pauses before taking a bite. "Working that morning, not on shift again until the following night. Should be able to swing it."


"Great," Corey says, downing another bite, half his slice easily gone, now. "I'll look forward to seeing you." At all those times, in fact.

He chuckles now. "Brett tells me it's his turn to hang out the window this trip." He means out to whack-a-mole. "I expect the easiest thing to do is just put him and Summer in the truck bed, while we take the cab." Because, really? He'd much sooner the pretty cop beside him than his mangy brother.

Okay. Maybe Brett's not mangy, but he's not nearly as easy on Corey's eyes as Leigh is. And since it'll very likely be his truck? It'll be his rules.


Leigh is actually looking forward to helping with the gardens. They're not normally something she'd jump at, but it's for a good cause, and gardens are much more difficult to accidentally screw up than putting up tiles.

"The four of us taking one vehicle?" No way at all that's going to wind up being awkward. Especially with the shifting in mixed company, and people she doesn't know all that well. That she did it at the Pack meeting was a necessity, and she did steal a blanket for that.

"I'll bring some blankets and extra clothing just in case."


Corey nods to that, and has to laugh — not at her. With her. Genuinely. "Oh, yeah," he says quickly. "That's a definite must." Because, really? While he wouldn't think twice about shifting with his brother, he's not about to shift in front of the ladies. He does have some sense of modesty and decency. "Actually, I've got a quick-strike tent I'll probably bring along, just in case." Between that and the tarp that usually in the truck bed, they should be fine.

Unlike Summer and Brett, he doesn't want to get caught unprepared.


"A tent is perfect for modesty. If you need anything else, just give me a call tomorrow or leave a message for me Thursday morning, and I can grab it after work." Leigh slowly finishes off the slice of pizza, then grins at him mischievously.

"My apartment isn't far from here," though he knows that already. "When we're done, feel like taking a stroll to the parking garage to take a look at my ride? After all, you should see what you've gotten yourself into."


Corey swallows another quarter of his slice, and a slow, anticipatory smile spread across his lips. "Now, that sounds like a fine plan."

Oh, yes. He'd quite like to see the bike. See if it at all measures up to ones he's ridden in the past — though he's fairly sure it will. Leigh doesn't strike him as the sort to go halfway with anything.

It's one of the things he likes about her.

He follows up the pizza with a swig of coke, still smiling. "Love to see it."


Wiping her hands on the cloth napkin, she grins. "So long as you know I'm only inviting you to see the bike," she teases. Leigh is definitely not inviting him up for a nightcap. It's just not who she is. Besides, showing off her bike to someone who's interested in it is something she revels in.

"Whenever you're ready. We can always get the pizza to go." She's not in a hurry, but she's obviously excited at the prospect to hear what he thinks of her ride.


Again, comes that light, easy laugh. "Yeah, I know," he says, feigning a small bit of disappointment. Okay. It's not entirely feigning. But, the truth is, he's not expecting the invitation back to her place. They're really not at that point, and he's really not keen to rush things.

He shoves himself to his feet. "Lead on, Lady," he says gallantly, sweeping his hand toward the door. "Let's see this iron horse, you ride."

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