Index was once a small and close-knit community, but the town located on the western side of Washington state has grown in recent years beyond anyone's expectations. It is the ideal place for those who work in Seattle but can't afford the city's high real estate prices, and for others the natural beauty attracts them to the town. And Index truly is a beautiful place - surrounded by thick evergreen trees, tall mountains and glistening rivers and lakes. While weather is typically rainy with overcast skies even this does nothing to take away from the beauty of the town, and it is only highlighted further when the heavy snow graces the town and caps the mountains in winter. To many, Index would seem like a paradise. And yet lurking beneath this visual beauty there is more to this town than anyone might ever imagine...

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 [Private] Six Strings Attached

[Private] Six Strings Attached

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[Private] Six Strings Attached

Michelle Hawke | Human; Citizen

Posted on Mon Apr 17, 2017 10:53 am

Thread Details
The Mad Platter ⋅ Warm! ⋅ 7:30p

Michelle's hair. Michelle's outfit. She's wearing black platform oxfords. Michelle's makeup ofc with none of the piercings. Although in the future....
Paul is wearing this tee, which is tight, with black kinda skinny jeans and red chucks. Paul is playing this on a guitar.

The more I listened to Paul the more I had my mind made up. I was going to ask Vincent to do the thing. Whatever the compulsion thing it was, that would let me play without feeling like a complete piece of garbage. Listening to Paul gave me feels and I so wanted to duet with him. I did once, and it had been pretty fun but still gave me some kind of creepy crawley bullshit feeling. How long had I worked here and it was still a thing. Eva had been a band teacher, so it was worse with piano which sucked, too. I loved it, and honestly, I knew the thing that brought people in was our music. Paul's playing was definitely keeping the cash register busy and I knew I could add to it. Fuck, we could be a band if we wanted to. Singing definitely wasn't bad, and when Paul was in a nineties mode I couldn't stop myself, even if it was under my breath. It helped me work too, hurrying to put out the latest shipment of tees and shit like that - impulse buys. It was a warm day and people wanted to get out. I held up a Gibson tee showing it to Paul when his perfect Pumpkins rendition was over. Dude, this is so you.

He shook his head, that crooked Paul grin plastered on his face. Sure, sis, it's uh.. fleek? I spat a quick laugh as I hung it up. On fleek. On fleek. Not that it was something I said unless I was trying to be ironic. Or sarcastic. Or was it a mixture of both? The little bells on the door jingled as someone walked in and before even looking up to see the latest possible "client" I picked the shirt right back from the rack, took it off the hanger and rolled it into a ball and tossed it to Paul. I didn't consider him a charity case, or anything. He wasn't exactly poor but people liked working at a place better when there were perks, right? And he was good for business so I was doing everything I could to keep him around. The girl glanced toward Paul and his guitar, which the shirt now hung over the neck, then pretended to be interested in the electric guitars hanging on the wall. I playfully rolled my eyes before pulling more shirts from the box and hanging them up.

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Re: [Private] Six Strings Attached

Vincent Sawyer Byrne | Wolf; Pack Master/Alpha

Posted on Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:55 pm

[Click image to enlarge] - Outfit - Jacket isn't that bright, and is significantly less of a saturated blue. More muted and worn, less new looking. Everything else is accurate, from the hat and how it's worn, all the way down to the boots. He's covered in bruises, cuts, and scrapes. Most of the bigger ones are hidden behind his clothes, however.

Training had been cut short. I even skipped ability training with Saturn, and parted ways after physical training, which was unusual at this point. I'd been on a strict routine for months. My schedule was tight, I was constantly busy between work, training, appearances at One Shot, nightly visits to the Den for one on one talks with wolves, repairs, you name it, I was doing it. I still kept my Sunday basketball games with Logan, Debo, and Aaron. I still met Jonah and Camille out of town for breakfast or lunch every Saturday, and I was still working forty hours a week, but free time wasn't something I could claim to possess anymore. Trying to be better, to do better, to actually accomplish something as a wolf, and not just a man... It was fucking exhausting, but rewarding in its own way.

But I'd missed my music shop trips one too many times. Two strings were completely busted off of the guitar that I'd been forced to limit myself to play only a few minutes before bed, and at this point... I cherished those few minutes even more now, than I did when I had unlimited time to play. And yeah, I could easily buy these things in bulk online, probably for a lot cheaper too. Or, I could buy them in bulk straight from Raven, and not have to come in for months... But I didn't. I bought what I needed, when I needed it, and nothing more. I guess I had my reasons, and maybe they were a little selfish. Was I allowed to be selfish now that I was genuinely putting in effort? Probably not. And as long as people didn't actually witness my usual shopping habits, I'd be fine. I couldn't imagine it'd go over very well... Seeing me buy food and liquor in bulk, but for some mysterious reason, not guitar strings...

I hopped out of my truck, adjusting my jacket and shoving my hands into my pockets as I walked towards the entrance. I'd had something else on my mind. Something I hadn't told anyone, but I could remember the day like it was yesterday. I'd arrived home after training, just got out of the shower when there was a knock at my door. A man I'd never seen before passed me an envelope, and left without a single word spoken. The contents of that envelope had been on my mind for weeks. I hadn't done anything with it other than store it in the same secret location I kept Odin's journal... A check for fifty thousand dollars, signed by Marta Byrne. If I didn't cash it in a weeks time, the money was gone. If I did cash it... Would I even be able to? No one wanted gifts from their enemies, too many unspoken agreements and hidden meanings came with gifts from enemies. But... To say I wasn't tempted would be a flat out fucking lie. And I only had about six days to decide...

When I stepped inside, I was immediately greeted with music, but followed my usual path to the strings. Something else was added to my routine on this particular night. I knew the tune, maybe not perfectly, but the preteen version of me would have given me a bloody nose if I didn't remember. I weaved past the strings, tucking them in my teeth as I pulled the usual walnut Taylor down from the shelf and plopped my ass on the stool opposite the guy playing, of which I immediately recognized as Apollo. I pulled the pick from my pocket, nodding as I waited for my in, observing his strumming method, catching onto his pace... And I joined in, an octave higher, harmonizing, and switching to vocal melody on the chorus.

I remembered the last time I'd been in here. I'd joined some sad sap that only knew how to play Black Sabbath Iron Man. Jamming was jamming, it didn't matter what song it was... Just... Some songs were clearly more fun. But this was better, and admittedly, knowing the things I knew now, I was glad Michelle had an employee that was fighting for the right side, an ally, my ally. It wasn't like I kept myself up at night worrying about her safety, but it did make me feel better. Piece of mind. Friends weren't really in short supply lately, but I still treated them like they were. I knew just how quickly they could be ripped away, and I couldn't afford to take them for granted.

In other news, Lilith episodes were at a record low. Most would consider that a good thing, but I knew better. It was only a matter of time before that demon bitch found a way to drag me back down, but for now, I was trying to appreciate the surface. Even if I knew things being really good, only meant things were going to get really bad.

I ended the song with a grand finish, strumming the ending note rapidly over the strings before pulling the set of strings from my teeth and crossing my arms over the guitar. You're a lucky son of a bitch, you know that? I finally spoke. My day job involves lifting dry wall and putting up ugly ass cabinets for anal old ladies with way too much free time and money to spend.

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Paul Thacker

Re: [Private] Six Strings Attached

Paul Thacker | Wolf; Warlord/Battlelord

Posted on Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:21 am

Strange. Michelle was strange but not in a bad way. She never made me uncomfortable but there was just something haphazard about the way she did things. No plan, she just plowed around the place like a tornado but instead of leaving the place behind her a trainwreck it was somehow clean. Hang two shirts, do half of inventory, clean a window that wasn’t really dirty to begin with, take a break, and go back to hanging shirts. So yeah, it might have made me look like an asshole to sit here while she was working, but there was no keeping up with her train of thought. I learned to find my own system to work complimentary to her without being in her way.

The second jangle of bells did cause me to look up but my fingers didn’t miss a note and I kept playing, only briefly stopping to pick the shirt from my guitar. Another example of how she was just fucking weird sometimes. Was she just playfully tossing something at me? Was she giving it to me or was it just horseplay? Either one I assumed would just be awkward if it was wrong so I just kept playing, grinning at her and shaking my head. I even kept playing as my “spidey senses” tingled and I took note of the alpha walking through the door. My brows rose and my expression was colored impressed as he joined in. I wasn’t fond of this place but sometimes I thought I could be under different circumstances. The more selfish, ideal version was that I could just take the wolves I liked back home with me.

Michelle stepped down from her stool, behind Onyx, her finger to her lips. I didn’t know what the fuck she was about to do and it was all I could do to prevent a severely confused expression from telling on her. Of course, there was the tell that she knew him, which, if he was into music maybe he had just been here a few times before. Either way, Michelle made an overly cartoonish gesture of sneaking a couple steps closer to him from behind and snatched his hat and ran off to the counter where the first customer had arrived with a book of guitar tabs. See? Fucking weird, and maybe a bit childish.

It’s all fine and dandy until you get your paycheck. Don’t suppose you have any extra spots? Part time even. I sat the guitar down on the stand and signaled “1 minute” to Onyx and headed through the store up to the register, not speaking until the lady had left. Lunch okay now? Now it was her with a confused face and her eyes darted from Onyx to me. Weird. Sure. The hat? I held out my hand. Ugh, okay. She rolled her eyes and reluctantly handed me the cap and I made it back and returned his stolen treasure.

I’m goin’ for lunch. Feel like a chat?

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Re: [Private] Six Strings Attached

Vincent Sawyer Byrne | Wolf; Pack Master/Alpha

Posted on Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:29 am

My eyes were staring out into something I couldn't even describe. It was the empty void they usually looked into when my ears wouldn't let them pull focus. I was practically a blind man when my fingers hit the strings. Did a song like this require much focus? Not really, and that wasn't a bad thing either. Most of my best thinking was done to songs like this. It's precisely why it took me a minute to react to the feeling of my hat being pulled from my head, I was already lost in thought. I shifted my neck, tilting it as far back to one side as I possibly could, and rolled it around to the other side, looking for the cap bandit, finally spotting the culprit and smirking. I switched to the hammer-on technique so I could use my strumming hand to reach after her, but missed. The view was just as good going as it was coming, so I watched for as long as I possibly could. Unfortunately, my hair was now awkwardly stuck against my head. I gave it a good shake, which likely did nothing to solve the problem.

I finally returned my eyes to Apollo. Shrugging my shoulders and nodding with a grin. There's that... I started, but stopped as he signaled and disappeared... So I turned my attention back to the guitar, and played the intro riff to Aephanemer, Alive before standing up, guitar neck in hand. I stared at it for a moment, taking in the feel. How many times had I been in here? How many times had I chosen this one to play specifically? The $800 price tag wasn't terrible either... It was moments like this when I thought about that check. Moments like this when I selfishly considered it. I'd done the same at the Den... Thinking about the cost of supplies. And yeah, I could easily compel some better equipment at Home Depot and call it a day, but it didn't feel right. Anything beyond a pack of smokes and a drink never did.

Huh? Oh, yeah. Lemme just... I held up the guitar before taking back my hat, and moved towards the counter. I quietly leaned the guitar against the counter and weaved the pack of new strings into the strings of the guitar as Apollo passed by, heading towards the back. Ring 'er up. I smiled at Raven, pulling my wallet from my back pocket and setting my card onto the counter. I followed Apollo, leaving my card and new purchase with her, stopping a good distance away from the counter to whistle at her as Paul kept moving. I held the bill of my cap like a Frisbee, doing a few practice movements with my wrist before finally tossing it across the room. When it landed on her head my jaw literally dropped and I threw my hands into the air in complete surprise. I followed up with a huge grin, gave her the horns with my right hand, and stuck out my tongue before finally moving again. Moving towards the back door where Paul was waiting. Hey if you were serious, I bet I could get you on part time. Guy just quit recently. I picked up our previous conversation as I stepped out into the night.

How 'you likin' it here anyway? Different than Sequoia, I know that for sure... But not worse I hope? I asked, finally making eye contact. I wanted to ask you about training too. How's that goin'? Admittedly, I still hadn't found the time to see for myself. And it wasn't just Apollo either. Louisiana was the only one I'd seen training first hand, and that was because he was the one that was training me.

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