Sybil shivered as she glanced out her driver’s window, the raindrops pelting the glass at a rapid pace. The clouds overhead made the night sky seem even darker, but she confessed she preferred it to the sudden blasts of lightning that would illuminate the heavens, casting eerie shadows on the surroundings around her. Suddenly every ghost story that she and her sisters had whispered to each other during their childhoods, came rushing back, and Sybil found herself sinking further into the depths of her jacket, as if that would protect her from some axe-wielding psychopath.
She looked down at her phone and groaned; “NO SIGNAL”. Of course there wasn’t. Yes, it seemed she had apparently driven herself onto the set of some horror movie. Oh please, let her be the “last girl standing”, although with her luck, she was most likely “victim #1″.
A sharp tap on the glass of her window caused her to both jump and yelp in surprise. The doors were locked, weren’t they!? She looked up at the drenched figure who was standing just outside her car door and was making a motion for her to lower her window. Sybil swallowed, hesitated for a brief moment, then did just that.
“Hello!” a man’s voice greeted from the depths of his own hooded jacket. She couldn’t see his face, but he sounded friendly. Although that could also be said about Norman Bates.
“I noticed your emergency lights,” the voice continued. “Is it your car? Do you need some help?”
Sybil swallowed and wondered briefly if she should tell the hooded stranger that she had already called someone and they were on their way to fetch her. But that was a lie, and the stranger might know that it was impossible to get a signal out here anyway. And quite frankly, she didn’t want to be left out here longer than necessary.
“I think it’s just out of petrol…” Sybil finally answered. “I thought I had enough to make it to my destination, but I suppose…” her voice trailed off due to embarrassment. The irony was she had passed not one, but two petrol stations at least 20 kilometers back. Oh God, maybe she deserved to be victim #1?
The stranger simply nodded his head without commenting on her situation. Instead, he announced that he would be “right back”, before turning and walking away from her car. Where was he going? What was he–OH!
Sybil gasped as she saw several very bright lights coming around her car…only to realize they belonged to a tow truck! “Branson Brothers Motorside Services”
The tow truck backed up until it was right in front her car, then the stranger hopped out and went straight to work, hooking her car up to his truck. He came back to her window, but she had it rolled down before he could tap on the glass.
“Alright, I can wheel you back to our station, get your car filled, do any other checks if you’d like–no charge,” he added and while she couldn’t see his face, Sybil imagined him winking. “And then you’ll be on your way!”
Sybil felt herself blushing as she nodded her head to his words. “Thank you,” she murmured.
There was a bit of an awkward pause, and then the stranger mumbled, “Um…sorry, but…you’ll need to ride in the truck with me. It’s just for legal purposes; we can’t leave people in their vehicles while we tow them–”
“Oh, oh right, of course,” Sybil groaned at herself. She clutched her jacket close to her body, cursing herself for not wearing one that had a hood, and with a deep breath, quickly scrambled out of the car and rushed to the truck, the raindrops pelting her head like icy pellets, running down the collar of her jacket and no doubt soaking her clothes beneath.
She gasped when she got inside and managed to shut the door behind her. Oh God, she had only been out in that storm for less than a minute, and she felt soaked through! Her hair was blasted to her face, her–
The stranger hopped back into the driver’s side and shut his own door, gasping and groaning himself, before pushing back the hood at last and offering Sybil a glimpse of her rescuer.
Sybil had never really gaped at anyone before, but she was gaping now. He was younger than she thought, late 20′s/early 30′s by the look of him. He was quite handsome–dark blonde hair that looked brown due to the rain; a strong jawbone, a fine nose (she had never really paid much attention to mens noses before, but his was very nice in profile!) and while he was wearing a bulky jacket, she had a feeling that the bulk wasn’t entirely caused by the fabric, but quite possibly by the muscular body beneath.
“Oh, here…” he turned then to offer her a towel to dry her face with, but his voice faded and he stared back at her, as if truly seeing her for the first time.
Sybil swallowed as she gazed back at the most astonishing pair of blue eyes she had ever seen.
With somewhat trembling fingers, she accepted his offer of the towel and used it to dab at her face, blushing even more as she imagined how she must look right now. Not that he seemed to care…because when he looked her, she felt nothing but the deepest warmth coursing through her body.
“Sorry,” the man mumbled, seeming to realize he was staring. “I’m Tom…” he introduced, holding his hand out to her.
Sybil blushed but smiled back and accepted his hand. “Sybil,” she replied, more warmth filling her body at the feel of his hand in hers.
“Sybil…” he repeated, and a new shiver raced through her veins at the way her name sounded in his rich, Irish brogue. “You’re English…” he added after a moment, a comment which actually had her giggling and him blushing. “Oh God, sorry, that sounded–”
“I am, yes,” she answered, saving him from his embarrassment.
His own face was blushing, but he was also smiling back at her. “Holiday?” he asked.
Sybil shook her head. “Job interview,” she explained.
The man’s eyebrows rose. “Out here?” He groaned and closed his eyes. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to–”
Sybil simply grinned. “Actually, I had the interview already, in Kilkenny,” she explained. “I was on my way to a friend’s; we went to uni together and she offered me a place to stay.”
Tom nodded his head, then seemed to realize they were just sitting there, and mumbled another apology, before starting his truck. “Right, well we’d better get you going so you can meet with your friend.”
Sybil smiled, although she was surprised to realize that she was going to miss this man, whom she barely knew. As soon as they got back onto the main road, Sybil discovered that her mobile had a signal once again. She had several missed calls, all from her friend, and she quickly returned them, explaining what had happened and that she would be there soon.
“I’m coming to get you myself,” her friend declared.
“That’s not necessary–”
But her friend had already hung up. Sybil sighed and glanced once more at the handsome Irishman next to her.
“So…” he murmured after a pause. “How do you think it went? The job interview?”
Sybil blushed but smiled and bashfully glanced down at her hands, folded on her lap. “I think it went well,” she truthfully answered. “I was able to answer all their questions, and they seemed impressed by answers, as well as my knowledge and experience.” Not that for a second she thought she had the job in the bag, but at the same time, she had left feeling fairly confident and proud with herself.
“And…if you don’t mind my asking, what was it an interview for?”
She didn’t mind, actually. She felt very comfortable with this man. “Nursing,” she answered.
He glanced at her quickly. “You’re a nurse?”
Sybil smiled and nodded. “For five years now.”
He seemed impressed, but not at all in a patronizing manner. “My cousin is a nurse,” he added, and then blushed deeply at his words. “Sorry, just…I’m in awe of anyone who does what she does. It’s not easy, I imagine…”
“No,” Sybil confirmed. “It isn’t…but I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life.”
He smiled at that and nodded his head in admiration, causing another delicious shiver to course through her.
They reached the petrol station, and just behind it was a garage: BransonBrothers Motorside Services. She had passed this place earlier; oh she was glad to have been brought back. “Are you one of the…?”
“Branson brothers?” he answered with a teasing grin. “Aye, I am. Kieran, my older brother, he runs the garage. But no doubt he’s out on assignment too–nights like this, we tend to get a lot of calls.”
“Of course,” Sybil murmured, blushing. “Well, I don’t want to keep you–”
“I don’t mind,” he answered, and they both held their breath at his words, a sudden wave of heat seeming to flow between them in that moment.
Sybil’s head snapped back at the sound of her name. She turned and met the eyes of her friend. Wait–how had she made it her so quickly? And how did she know where–?
Sybil looked over at Tom. He knew her?
“What are you doing–?”
“Well, when Sybil rung and told me she was in a tow truck, I knew it had to be yours!” Colleen answered as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. She turned her attention back to Sybil. “Lucky for you, my cousin found you and not some axe-wielding psychopath.”
Sybil looked up at Tom and noticed he was putting the pieces together himself. Her friend from uni was in fact…his cousin?
“You’re not going to charge her, are you?” Colleen asked.
Sybil’s face grew hot at the question. “No, I insist on paying–”
“It’s alright,” Tom assured, his smile kind and bashful.
“But I want to,” she insisted, and without realizing it, had taken a very purposeful step towards him. And then she was blurting, “I’ll stay here with the car while Tom looks at it–”
“And I’ll drop her by your place when I’m done,” he finished.
They were both blushing (furiously) but they also couldn’t help but smile and gaze back at one another.
Colleen glanced back and forth between the two, before sighing and shrugging her shoulders. “Fine, have it your way…” she glanced over at Tom and muttered, “but not too late, alright?” They didn’t have a chance to respond, as Colleen drifted away, laughing in her wake.
A LUCKY COIN The only thing he has from home. When Cullen left to train for the Templar Order his brother Branson gave him a coin and claimed it was for luck. Cullen’s unsure whether it is truly lucky, given what he’s been through, but he has survived so perhaps there’s something to it. This is the only thing he has from before becoming a Templar. His home was destroyed during the Blight and there was nothing to return to.
A LION HEAD HELMET A ‘gift’ from Leliana and Josephine. Whilst it may not be on him at all times, it’s with him when he leaves Skyhold. It’s to add to the image constructed around him, that The Lion of Ferelden was leading the Inquisitions forces rather than The Ex-Templar from Kirkwall. He hates it and only wears it when necessary, for all the workmanship is well done.
A FUR COLLARED SURCOAT To compliment the helmet. Again, from Leliana and Josephine, Cullen hates this item a little less. He does tend to wear it more often, because it makes him identifiable around Skyhold and, whilst he doesn’t mind being cold, it is more pleasant with the rather persistent chill kept off his neck.
ARMOURED BREAST PLATE Worn in the mornings for training, but removed in the afternoons when he spends his time in meetings at the War Table and spends time in his office, for comfort and practicality reasons.
STANDARD ISSUE INQUISITION SWORD His sword generally remains at his hip regardless of where he is, and whether he’s in full armour or not. He plans to, one day, have a sword made for himself. He has the coin, he simply forgets to make the time to see to such arrangements. His shield is also standard issue, but is something he only carries when out of Skyhold.
The Vampire Diaries finale has me sobbing. These stories are heart-wrenching.
Lexi finding peace was so beautiful. Getting to be happy while not hurting the people you love. She’s the strongest, most kind hearted, best friend person anyone could ask for.
Damon and Bonnie just can’t be gone.. there’s always away to bring someone back to Mystic falls. I’m clinging to the hope that Grams was able to save Bonnie and Bonnie held on to Damon to save him as well.
Elena will do anything for Damon and Damon anything for her. She chanced her existence rather than live without him and I know he’ll go through hell to get back to her.
Someway, somehow, I have to believe that Bonnie and Damon will make it back to where they belong.