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Default 10-19-2010, 06:08 PM


Damien was grateful for this; he didn't want Rose to think that he was a complete idiot. "I just need to go over to 'Inquiries' first," he said. "If there is a flight, I'll book you a seat, too; I expect Mom will say yes. She'll know that you won't come to any harm as long as you're with me, and you'll be safe on your own in the farmhouses anyway; there's nothing nearby cept for animals."

Damien took Rose over to the inquiries desk and asked the woman sitting there about flights to Kiev. She said that there was a flight there in just a few days, and that there were seats available in Club and First Class, but that Economy Class was completely full. Damien shrugged and said that he'd take Club. The woman told him he could book it straight away or later on over the phone if he prefered. Damien just wanted to get this over with, so he booked two seats on Club and paid with a credit card.

Once it was all over and done with, he carefully tucked the tickets away in his wallet and indicated to Rose that she should follow him. "Thank goodness that's over," he said. "Dad gave me some money for flights; I'm glad that I was able to get Club rather than First, just cuz First is so expensive. I'm far too tall to sit in Goat Class, I'd be in agony by the time we got there."

Damien directed Rose towards the exit; the airport was fairly confusing to the unwary, but Damien had often gone there to book flights due to the missions that he'd done, some alone and some with his father. "You'll have to bring some food and water with you into Pripyat," Damien commented. "Nothing there is safe to eat or drink, it's all radioactive. So are the animals, but that won't affect me if I eat one. It would affect a human, though. The animals seem to be happy enough, living there. I guess nature wins over humans in that respect."

Soon they had left the airport and were out in the town. Damien turned to Rose. "Do you want to get a taxi back to the house?" he asked. "You've got a lot of luggage and though it's not really very far, it would be a bit of a pain lugging all those bags back on foot. Don't worry about money; I have plenty."


Rose followed Damien and waited patiently for him to book the flights, and was actually surprised when he continued to talk to her so openly; he was being very chatty. Not that she minded. Oh, not at all; she just sort of pegged him to be a man of few words. “Of course nature wins; I mean, the human race has spent ages pampering itself; I’m not even sure we can adapt anymore. You know, the process of evolution is more or less null and void with people, because we work so hard to prevent people dying unnecessarily, so we can’t really advance much as a species.”

When Damien offered to pay for a cab, she said, “Well, sure but only if you don’t mind paying for one.” Despite that fact that he’d just said that he didn’t mind paying, she simply had to add that last part; Rose could be nosey and even occasionally bossy, but she hated being imposing. The bags weren’t really that much of a bother, anyways; Rose was stronger than she looked, for, back home, doing things like hauling water and other large supplies around was quite common, and she had taken up helping her father with such chores since Dji was no longer around.

She looked forward to seeing Okeam again, and even, yes, Draco; he was odd, but definitely not bad. The feeling she got around him was unpleasant but not unbearable. She wondered just where they lived; inside city limits or suburb, big place to live, or small? Did Damien go to school? Was he advanced several grades to go with how he looked? He may look seventeen, but Rose knew that, technically, Damien was more along the lines of being about eleven years old. Oh, and had his preternatural growth begun to slow yet? So many unanswered questions. She didn’t ask Damien any of them yet; she figured it was a bit too soon. Besides, she didn’t want to give the impression that she was completely nosey, as opposed to just very nosey. And, yes, there was a difference, so far as she was concerned.


"It's fine; Dad gave me a lot of money for this, and part of it included taxi money," Damien said in answer to Rose's question. "Since we're going back to the same place, you might as well share my taxi." He walked to the road and flagged down a taxi, which stopped right away. The taxi driver helped Rose with her luggage, then Damien got in and held the door open for Rose to get inside, too.

Damien's unusual maturity did indeed stem from his unnatural growth. It had only stopped when he reached the age of ten, though he'd looked about sixteen then; his father figured that it was due to the fact that he himself looked sixteen and that it was entirely possible that Damien might not mature any more than that. Damien was thankful that didn't turn out to be true; he was maturing now, though at a slower, more normal rate. He knew that he'd probably stop at looking around twenty, which suited him fine.

Technically, Damien was twelve years old, but had matured physically enough that he would be considered to be seventeen. He had been homeschooled up to a point, as his accelerated growth made it impossible for him to be taught with other kids of the same age. When his growth had slowed to normal levels, Damien had attended high school with teens that were the same age as he looked. He lived with his parents in a big house in the suburbs; just close enough to the city for comfort, but without all the noise of the city traffic. He wondered what Rose would make of it all.


“Merci beaucoup- ah, that is to say, thank you very much,” Rose said, embarrassed about her slip-up. She slid in beside Damien. She stayed to one side, though, figuring he’d like a bit of space. “Where exactly do you live in these parts?” she asked, attempting small-talk.

Rose’s own growth rate would slow down severely when she hit twenty, and she would age three times slower than the average human at that point. It wasn’t actually something she thought over much, though. She preferred to further work on her healing powers and such. Since she was used to the small but comfortable home she lived in with her father, she might find a large house a little too open and almost naked for her tastes, but she’d no doubt find ways to enjoy herself.

Rose wondered what Damien did for fun. He didn’t look like the skater-type, nor the player type, though she had no doubt he’d had some girlfriends. In fact, she had a very hard time imagining doing almost anything stereotypically American as a pass-time. But, well, she supposed she could always ask later under the pretense that she was bored herself and adapt.

All this passed through her mind in only a few seconds, and the driver had only just gotten back in and buckled himself in before driving off. Since Rose didn’t want to be rude and turn away from Damien while conversing with him, but yet wishing to get at least a glimpse of the immense city through which they traveled, she looked out of the window on Damien’s side, her black eyes wide with fascination.


"Just outside the city," Damien replied to Rose. "Living right in the city centre would drive my parents mad, though Dad goes there regularly to hunt. I like to go into town too, either to do stuff or cuz I have to go book plane tickets or collect a package; something to do with the government missions. Dad gets annoyed with the President; he thinks that the President is way too keen on butting in on foreign affairs, but then, that's the way all American Presidents are. Goes with the territory, I guess."

Soon, the taxi pulled up outside a large house. This was where Damien lived with his mother and father. The letterbox was skewed slightly, as tho hit by something, but there were no marks on it. While the taxi driver helped with Rose's bags, Damien paid the driver. He then led Rose to the front door and fumbled with his key. The house wasn't enormous, but it had to be comfortably large due to the fact that neither Damien or Azhdeha liked being cooped up overmuch. They both prefered to have lots of space. While Azhdeha could not physically digest anything other than raw meat, Damien could eat human food to some extent, though he still possessed an urge to eat freshly killed raw meat which he did indulge in every now and again. Damien much prefered to eat animal flesh though, as opposed to his father's preference for human flesh. He put that down to having human friends, which would make feeding on their fellow humans uncomfortable; and also to the fact that he had more human DNA in him than Azhdeha did.

Damien generally passed the time going to see live music, from unknown bands who played in clubs to big name bands playing at arenas. He had no interest in sports, although his superhuman strength could have gotten him on every sports team going, and he was bored to tears by the interests that his ex girlfriends had been into; shopping, clothes, makeup, cheerleading. Damien also played guitar, and had a soundproof room in the basement in which to practice, so that he wouldn't disturb his parents. He listened to music up in his room, the walls of which was plastered in posters. The guest room, in which Rose would be staying, was done in primrose yellow paint and was fairly neutral in colour so that guests could feel comfortable.

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