Belated Gift

Cornett Residence

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

The holiday weekend is over, and Hope has returned! Actually, she didn't really go anywhere. She stuck around the city, in case Faith needed her. She stuck around to enjoy a quiet holiday. She doesn't mind. She got to watch some of the college kids set off fireworks in the safety of her own backyard. She got to deliver the most awesome cake to the Wright Campaign headquarters.

Tonight, she's just sitting at home. Chilling out with a bowl of popcorn. Cuddling with Serenity. Bobby's at work, and it's the first night she's been all by herself since the 'attack'.

Hmn evening is here, it'll be a little bit of time before he needs to clock in for work; stupid summer days lasting so long! Well before he makes his way off to business as ususal (and boy is he looking forward to business as usual!) Tripp Reynolds is making a stop at the house.

No phone call first, he figured things might go a little more smooth if he just arrived- less chance of getting staked or something. He's dressed as ususal, blue jeans and a button-up t-shirt, with a small box on hand- And the next thing Hope will hear is the doorbell.

Hope tenses. Serenity barks. Hope tries to shush the dog, but keeps her snuggled closely for another moment or two before sounds of movement can actually be heard in the home.

Peeking out through the little peep hole, Hope frowns. "Sorry. No vampires allowed." She still needs to find a way to keep another vampire from just flat-out entering. "What are you doing here? And… why did you kidnap my sister from Cabo?" All this asked through the door.

"I figured you'd say something like that," Tripp replies that is to the rule of 'no vampires allowed', but his smile is patient enough, "I was just making sure that things were oka- Wait a minute.." Ok, he could understand why she's talking throug the door but it was a bit aggrivating!

"Are you seriously just going to talk to me through the door? And what do you mean -kidnap-?" Tripp then asks, lips then drawing to a frown at last, "Did Ivan tell you that?"

"No, Faith did!" Well she did, in a sense. Hope just surmised the worst from that conversation. "Well she didn't say you, she said they. I'm just assuming since you're here, you're going to finish off what that other undead freak tried to do and kill me." Hope eyes him through the side window.

"Last time I opened the door to an old friend, I got bitten. See?" Hope flashes her neck at him. Mostly healed. Still a distinct bite mark though. "You're not getting in. You're not getting that close. Even if Bobby does trust you."

"…" Ah right, that so-called 'friend', he remembers Faith talking about him, "I.. Remember, Faith told me about that," the vampire replies, "But you're kind of losing me here, I didn't kidnap Faith.." Well, ok technically he may have, but that's not how he sees it.

"And I'm not here to finish off anything, I just didn't get a chance to see you on your birthday, so I brought you one a little late." he holds up a box to the window, it's wrapped in light-blue and silver striped wrapping paper, and is about the size of a blackberry. "I'm not going to make you open the door but should I just leave this in the mailbox or something then?" pause, "And I don't even know the guy, Faith, he has nothing to do with me. If you want me to finish him off or something for you, I'll do it. Just give me the word."

"You brought her back from Cabo," Hope accuses, now that she has absolute confirmation. "She's broke up with Ivan or something. I don't know. I suggested counselling, but she won't go. Said it won't fix anything." Yes, yes she is going to keep the door closed for now. No clue what can be construed as an invitation, and she doesn't want a repeat.

"You brought me a gift? Hope stares at him, incredulously, through the window. "Slide it through the mail slot or something. Or open it out there and let me see it." She takes a deep breath. "I'd rather not deal with demons at all, but his name is Elliott." That's as much as she's giving.

"Yeah, I did help bring her back from Cabo. Which, mind you, is completely different from what you accused me of, Hope." Tripp makes clear, a very slight edge of annoyance in his tone, "I know things are rough for her right now, and I'm not really sure counselling might be the best thing for her either. It's a difficult situation for certain."

Sigh. Why'd things have to be so.. Complicated? Naturally he doesn't mention that he paid the other twin a personal visit. She'd probably flip.

Elliott? Didn't ring a bell, not to his suprise of course. Maybe Isobel could give him some information or something. In the meantime, he does seem to relax when Hope shows interest in the gift- Even if it was completely unexpected which was kind of disappointing, "Well.. Yeah, of course I did. But it isn't much, sorry."

"Open it? Come on, Hope, do you really think this is booby-trapped or something? Seriously? What would be the point?" he then asks, rubbing the back of his head.

"I don't know. Maybe you've got like a vampire snake in there or something." Okay. Even Hope knows she's stretching it at this point. Still, he's a demon. He's a demon and trying to win his way into her heart. She crouches down by the door.

"Fine. Mail slot. You can't come in. I'm not letting anyone in unless Bobby's home. I don't want to be food again." Frowning, she looks at him through the window. "Tripp, wouldn't you rather be dead? You're stuck. Like a demon. Between life and death. Why do you like that? You can't enjoy things like you used to. You have to be a parasite and eat people. That's not you. That's not the boy I used to love."

"………." is all Tripp can say about that accusation. Just.. Really? ".. Is that what they teach you at your church?" he finally asks, his eyes half-lidded and clearly not looking very impressed.

"Anyway I didn't realize Bobby wasn't home, that makes more sense then. .. You can wait for him to get home to open it then if you want, but I can't really stick around all night to wait and see." and so with that he leans down and the package falls through the mail-slot. Inside is a very simple item, they're a pair of pink shoelaces with black paw-prints on them.

The last question catches him off-guard though, as he stands back up, "Huh? I.. Well. That's kind of a complicated question," he admits, gaze drifting to the side, "I wasn't brought back by choice you know.. But if I did have the choice, I don't think it'd be different. I guess I don't really like being 'undead' but what I do like is being able to be with you and Faith." … "It makes everything worth it to me, even if it is all really complicated."

"What? That you feed on humans? Are you going to tell me you don't drink blood, demon?" Hope hmphs and waits for the item to be put in the mail slot. She listens to him and then she shrugs. "He won't be home until at least two. He works at a bar you know." Pause. "As a bouncer. He can totally kick your demon behind!" So much hate, but can anyone really blame her, all things considered?

When the package comes through the mail slot, she eyes it. She eyes it and it takes her a long while before she lifts it up and unwraps it.

"But why? Why can't you just accept that you're no longer living? Move on like a normal person? Wait in heaven for us?"
From afar (to Tripp and Hope), Rose cries.

".. I'd rather not talk about it." Tripp replies, hand raised to his forehead, his habits are pretty picky surely enough, still not really able to adjust to everything in his new lifestyle but understands what he needs to do -to- survive.

After that though, he chuckles, "Hmn, you think so? Well, Bobby isn't really the kind of person I'd want to fight, so I suppose you're probably right."

He then quirks a brow, "Ok you're getting a little more complex, I'm well aware I'm not longer living, but I have a new life now and new responsibilities because of my decision. It isn't exactly that easy anymore."

"Tripp, you don't have a life. Dead things can't have a life. You don't exist. You're dead. Your I.D. is invalid. Your social security number is invalid. You, on paper, are dead and don't exist." Eat that one, vampire! Hope meanwhile, opens the present. She looks at the laces, and starts to cry. They may be simple. Much more simple than any other gift, but they're so very much her.

"Why do you want to hurt us? Why don't you just truly die so we can grieve and then move on with our lives? Why are you still…" Hiccup. "…here… I can't like a vampire… I can't…" Especially since he's just trying to make her think he's safe before he bites her. Just like Elliott.

"You don't know that, Hope. You're going by what you've heard, and I don't blame you it's not like you can experience it yourself, and it isn't exactly safe to research," Tripp replies calmly, and sets a hand against the window, "Those things you said are things that a human posesses. Cats don't have an I.D., trees don't have a social security number, but they're very much have a purpose, and things that they need to do. Hope, it was never my intent to hurt you, and I admit I'm.. Not the same. And I selfishly hope that one day you'll accept me for what I am ."

".. I'm sorry, Hope. I guess this is one thing you can't forgive me for." Tripp closes his eyes for a moment, with a shake of his head, "I guess I'd better go. Sorry."

Hope sniffles again as she stares at the laces. "Does your heart beat, Tripp? Do you breathe? Are your organs functioning?" Exhaling a heavy sigh, she already knows the answers to these questions. None of that is human. "I can't ever accept you, Tripp. You're no better than the monster that killed you in the first place. The person that did this to you should die for their sins."

Falling against the door, she wipes her eyes. "You know, as mean as I was to Ivan… I liked that he took care of her. Now she doesn't even have that. You took that away from her when you took her away from Cabo."

Tripp is silent for a moment longer, thumbs in his pockets- He wants to sigh but it just really isn't working for him, "Harsh. Well, I'd prefer to hold onto the idea that one day you will."

"She told me what happened about the Cabo thing," Tripp then notes, ".. And what Ivan did there was not 'taking care of her'. I don't want you falling into the mindset that just because he's human he's doing the right thing. It's not always like that. That's a bad mindset to fall into, humans hurt each other too."

"I can't, Tripp. I watched someone tear your throat out. No matter what you want to say? You're dead." Hope is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She's doing all she can to keep from hyperventilating. That she's using his name? It's a step. Not a huge one, but a step.

"She didn't give me details. Just that it was over and I had to cancel the wedding. Do you know what type of money I put out to make her happy? To give her a day even more fabulous than my own? Demons are selfish, I think. He may not be perfect, but at least he's living and breathing and trying!"

There's a mumble, then, "I like my shoe laces."

Uh.. Woah. She said his name? Tripp actually caught onto that right away, and it's a good thing she can't see her because wow, he visably looked stunned. But she still sounded like she was in so much pain and it did.. Well, it made him feel guilty. But what could he do?

"Well.. I.. Hope, it isn't that simple. I wish I could get into more detail but I can't right now, I need to get going to work soon." a brief pause, "I'm glad you like them, Hope. See you later." a small smile forms then, kind of a tired one, but just like that he's gone.

Which leaves Hope against the door, in a near panic that another vampire means to try to tear her throat out. It's not until about twenty minutes later that she's secure in the fact that he's gone.

"Screw you, Tripp Reynolds! Why did you have to go and die on me? On us?!" She throws the laces against the wall, then starts to cry. The puppy that had fallen asleep on the couch now curling up at her feet.

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