white oak flooring

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

Here is a drabble I wrote for my lovely friend Bambi @thongiin I hope you guys enjoy it!


Home.

It’s the first day of the new year and Kyungsoo pulls into the driveway. He steps out of the vehicle and grabs his olive green duffle bag from the backseat. The numbness in his fingers dull and he begins to feel the rough strap in his hand, weighed down by the numerous clothes inside. His heavy strides trail up the driveway and onto the front porch. The house is dark, not a soul awake and no illumination slithering through the curtains. With his free hand, he brings the key to the lock and turns it.

He steps inside and onto the small woolen ‘Welcome’ mat situated in front of the door. Immediately, his nose catches the aromas of familiarity and warmth. It smells of lingering scents of peanut oil, cooked vegetables and rice. Kyungsoo smiles as he thinks of what Jongin must have eaten only hours ago.

Soundlessly, he places the bag near the door, and turns on the lamp resting on the end table beside the couch. His eyes roam around a living room which essentially looks as he remembers, but with small differences.

The tall plant that was once in the corner of the room, is now replaced with a shorter shrub within a royal blue vase. Colorful blankets are folded neatly and draping over the top of the cream colored couch. There’s a new television set of a 65-inch flat screen and surround sound system that is ten times better than the measly 19-inch and speaker that stood there before.

He walks further inside, his steps becoming shaky in excitement, and waves of anxiety rumbling through his bones. He hasn’t seen Jongin in so long and everything feels so surreal to be back after deployment. His combat boots clack against the white oak floor that makes up the corridor toward the bedroom.

As he grows closer, he sees the dim golden light from a lamp peeking from underneath the small crack of the door. The faint sounds of Jongin’s snoring drifts to his ears and he snickers quietly. It brings along a memory of Jongin strictly claiming that he’s not one to snore, and here it is so blaringly obvious that he does. With his hand on the knob, Kyungsoo takes a deep breath before pushing the door open.

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Bittersweet | Carmilla AU | Chapter 5: Flirt

This was meant to be posted sooner but my Hufflepuff tie came in the mail and I’ve been having fun with it because wOw tie

Read it on AO3 and/or FF.net

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“Here’s their other bed because sometimes Mama likes to move over there to rest, here’s a few of their jingly ball things, here’s their cat wand, Mama’s favourite treats, their dry food, their water bowl,” Laura had piled things into a box that Carmilla was holding, the items were starting to edge closer to the top. “Their food bowl, Mama’s favourite scratch board, Bagheera’s favourite toy-”

“Laura-” Carmilla tried to get the blonde’s attention, but the smaller girl was too busy gathering things from around the room and putting them into the box.

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Another Day, Another (Sand) Dollar

This is a drabble request from @takeachancecaroline for her donation to Save Klaroline Magazine. She asked for human Klaroline which I’ve never written before, so I hope I did her prompt justice. It’s quite possibly the fluffiest thing I’ve ever written; but this week has been tough and I thought we could use some fluff. Enjoy!

Prompt: I love human AUs with stuff like in love with best friend’s brother/brother’s best friend/best friend.

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.”
The Secret of the Sea by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

“Are you out of your mind? How could you just hire someone without asking me, Stefan?!” Caroline’s blue eyes blazed as she glared at her older brother, who was doing his best to dig a hole through the white oak floor with the toe of his sneaker. “We run this bed and breakfast together and have equal say in business decisions,” she added, pointing her finger at him and scowling.

Caroline and her brother had continued running the quaint bed and breakfast together after their mother had passed away last year. The Forbes’ Key West-style home had been built by their grandfather in the 1940s and their mother had turned it into a bed and breakfast to make ends meet after their father left them years ago. With peaceful Tunde Beach just steps from the porch, the Forbes bed and breakfast was very popular with tourists.

“Care, it’s not like that. Look, he decided to move back here and he heard that our last handyman quit. Plus, he knows this house inside and out,” Stefan patiently explained, picking up the wicker basket of fresh linens Caroline had thrown to the floor in aggravation.

She opened her mouth to speak, but her retort was cut off as her gaze became calculating. Taking a breath, she asked unsteadily, “Who, uh, who are you talking about?”

Stefan’s hazel eyes gleamed and a knowing smile graced his face. “Klaus Mikaelson. You remember Klaus, don’t you,” he asked in that teasing, sing-song voice that only an annoying older brother can possess.

All of the air seemed to flee from the living room as Caroline’s heart started to race. The sunlight pouring in through the windows seemed to suddenly raise the temperature in the room a good ten degrees. Klaus Mikaelson, her brother’s best friend since grade school who had moved away at 21 when she had been 16 and hopelessly in love with him. When she looked back on it, she was fairly certain she’d been in love with him ever since she overheard him tell Stefan that he should let her come with them when they went fishing by the barrier islands in their tiny sailboat. At the time, she’d been a 10-year-old tomboy with her blonde hair tied up in pigtails, always underfoot and begging Stefan to let her hang out with him and his friends.

The five-year age gap between the siblings had meant that she idolized her older brother and as Klaus always had treated her like an equal, she viewed him as a hero that easily developed into a massive, inconvenient crush. Fortunately, she’d been an unusually realistic child and understood that her feelings for Klaus would never amount to anything; besides the fact that the age gap at the time had seemed insurmountable, she also was his best friend’s annoying little sister, and he would never be able to see past that. With that knowledge she had moved forward with her life, continuing to be friendly with Klaus whenever he came around the house, but also trying to distance herself to avoid unnecessary heartbreak.

Not that it had worked. Regardless of how many school organizations she joined and friends she made and silly boys she flirted with, she couldn’t quite banish from her mind Klaus’ expressive gray eyes and adorable dimples. When he had moved back to England to help take care of his father, she had cried for days. She thought she’d been careful at concealing her feelings from Stefan, but based on his maddening expression and teasing tone, he seemed to think he knew quite a bit about her feelings.

Squaring her shoulders and clearing her throat, Caroline tried to regain her dignity. “You can wipe that ridiculous grin off of your face, Stefan. I was just surprised to hear you mention his name, that’s all. Of course I don’t mind that you hired him to help out around here. I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

Stefan nodded, chuckling lightly. “I’m grinning because my baby sister still blushes that same adorable shade of red whenever I happen to mention Klaus.”

Scoffing, she grabbed the wicker basket out of Stefan’s hands and replied, “I most certainly do not! And anyway, we’re all adults now and I can assure you that whatever crush I might have had back then is a distant memory now.”

Before the siblings could continue their argument, the doorbell rang. Rolling her eyes at Stefan, she hauled the basket more firmly onto her hip and opened the door. She was unprepared for the absolutely breathtaking vision that Klaus made as he smiled down at her, even more handsome than she remembered. She took in the casual jeans and white t-shirt and nearly swooned at the sight of his signature collection of necklaces.

“Hello, Caroline,” he said warmly, his sexy accent taking her breath away just like it did all those years ago.

Before she could stutter a response, she managed to drop her basket on her foot, sending carefully folded linens flying. “Um, Klaus, hi,” she managed utter, blushing furiously as she crouched on the floor, hastily throwing the wayward linens back into the basket. “Welcome back,” she added breathlessly as she suddenly found herself face-to-face with him as he helpfully stooped down to scoop up the rest of the linens.

“Thank you, love. I hope I’m not intruding, but Stefan mentioned that you needed someone to repair some of the shutters and with hurricane season nearly upon us, I thought you’d like me to get started right away,” he explained, gray eyes appraising her as he helped her back to her feet.

“I uh…yes, shutters would be…that would be perfectly fine,” Caroline said eagerly, mentally chiding herself for getting worked up over a simple white t-shirt. That stretched beautifully across an ridiculously toned chest and muscular arms.

As Klaus walked back outside to start working, Stefan grinned at Caroline. “Yeah, definitely a distant memory, Care.”

Caroline rolled her eyes, choosing to salvage whatever remained of her dignity and trudged upstairs to put away the linens. Throughout the day, she found it nearly impossible to concentrate on her tasks. When she was supposed to be updating their spreadsheets with that month’s business expenses, she found herself glancing out the windows for quick, shameful ogling of Klaus working. Even worse, when she wasn’t spying on Klaus, her eyes kept getting drawn to a framed photo collage she kept on her desk. The frame housed a variety of photos of her and Stefan with their mother and friends, but if she was honest with herself, those photos acted as sneaky camouflage to mask the one photo she took such pleasure in displaying.

As a teenager, she had relentlessly gazed at that seemingly innocent photo tucked near one corner, trying to discern any hidden meaning the camera had unexpectedly captured. It was the night of her junior prom, and she and her date were standing in the hallway, impatient for her mother to take the photo so they could head out. In the background, Klaus and Stefan stood on the stairs, home from college for the weekend and Stefan was making goofy faces at her and her date. But Klaus’ face…Something had been captured in that brief moment; there was a steel glint in his gray eyes as he appeared to be glaring at her clueless date. Over the years, depending on her mood, she would decide that his displeasure was one of concern, because he was protective of his best friend’s little sister. But then there were other times that she could swear that he looked…jealous.

No, that’s a ridiculous road for you to go down now. You are a grown woman; act like it! Unable to stand it any longer, Caroline finally marched out to the back porch with a tray of mango-mint iced teas. She was not going to hide in her house like a shy teenager. They were all adults now; Klaus had been a friend once; she was determined to make him one again.

Klaus put down his hammer, smiling as she handed him a glass. “Thank you, sweetheart,” he said, running his fingers through his sweaty curls and sitting in one of the cedar Adirondack chairs. “I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you and Stefan hiring me,” he said with a thoughtful look in his gray eyes. “When my father passed away earlier this year, I must admit I was a bit at loose ends. I had dropped out of school to take care of him as you know, but the idea of returning now doesn’t really appeal to me until I have a better idea of what I want to do.” He patted her hand, and added, “When Stefan told me you needed help, I didn’t hesitate to get on a plane. After all, what better place to figure out my life than where I lived my happiest moments?”

Caroline felt her heart stutter at Klaus’ touch, her skin oddly on fire from such a simple gesture. It was absolutely criminal that someone could smell that delicious after sweating half the day in the humid Florida weather. She couldn’t quite decipher the look in his eyes as he leaned closer to her during his confession. “I’m glad you’re here, Klaus. We’ve missed you,” she said, wincing at the wistfulness in her tone.

“And I’ve missed you,” he replied, studying her face carefully. “Caroline, when I left here, you were this tiny ball of sunshine, lighting up every room with your smile,” he began, somewhat hesitantly.

She giggled, taking a sip of her tea. “Ha! You knew me as Stefan’s obnoxious little sister, always following you boys around on your adventures.”

He smiled at the memories, his dimples cutting into his handsome face. He pointed toward the tiny sliver of white sand in the distance. “Remember how we’d take you fishing along the barrier islands? And you’d get bored so we’d tell you ghost stories?”

Caroline gasped, playfully hitting his arm, resisting the urge to dig her fingers into his smooth, toned flesh. “Yes! And you guys scared the crap out of me when you told me the legend of Papa Tunde’s blade!” Tunde Beach was named after Papa Tunde, supposedly a Haitian bokor, a voodoo sorcerer, who in a rage when his lover left him had cursed the land so that no one would ever find love. He had anchored his dark curse with a blade, and legend said that the curse would be broken if someone found his blade. 

Klaus laughed, his gray eyes twinkling with mirth as he took in her indignant expression. “You were always so much fun to tease, sweetheart. You were like one of those sandpipers that would nip at your heels if you walked too close to them on the beach. Utterly terrifying,” he smirked.

She rolled her eyes, toying with the rim of her glass. Her fingers seemed to move of their own volition to the center of the bistro table between them. They traced the edges of the sand dollar inlay.

Noting her distraction, Klaus asked curiously, “Why do you have a broken sand dollar decorating your table?”

She sighed, favoring him with a sad smile. “When my dad left, I was just a kid and didn’t understand what happened — I thought my parents had this perfect marriage and were meant to be together. I was walking along the beach the night he left us and I stumbled across this broken sand dollar.” She continued tracing the gleaming white ridges, a faraway look in her eyes. “It was perfectly broken and I thought of what beautiful symmetry it would be if it ever reunited with its other half. That maybe someone had the missing piece and would somehow find me and be my love, my missing piece.”

Klaus seemed startled by her speech, and he appeared unnaturally shy as he said, “Caroline, there’s something I wanted to —”

His words were interrupted when Stefan came barreling out of the house, looking at his phone in irritation. “Care, the Gilbert woman just texted that she needs to move her reservation again.”

“Again?! Seriously, this is the third time, Stefan,” Caroline huffing angrily.

Stefan nodded in agreement. “She’s clearly a flake, and can’t seem to make up her mind. If she can’t even decide on a simple vacation date, it makes you wonder how she manages important decisions.”

“I’m guessing poorly,” Caroline muttered. She smiled apologetically at Klaus as she rose to her feet. “I should probably take care of this, Klaus. Maybe we can talk later,” she asked, inwardly chiding herself for sounding so pathetically hopeful.

Klaus favored her with a smirk, standing up as well. “I’d like that, sweetheart.”

The rest of her day was spent reorganizing her room chart to accommodate flighty guests like the Gilbert woman. Before she knew it, it was dark outside. Her stomach growled in protest, and she realized she hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. Heading downstairs, she noticed Stefan carrying plates heaping with his mouthwatering lemon chicken and asiago tortellini. He glanced up at her footsteps, smiling. “Hey there, I was just coming to get you. I thought I’d make dinner and apologize for earlier.”

Following her brother out to the back porch, she eagerly dug into her food. “There’s no need to apologize, Stefan. I’m totally fine with Klaus being here. You were helping out a friend and I respect that. Besides, did you see the amazing job he did on our shutters?”

Stefan topped off her chardonnay, shaking his head slightly. “No, I wanted to apologize for teasing you earlier about Klaus. I know you liked him when we were kids and I shouldn’t have given you such a hard time today.”

Her blue eyes widened in alarm. “Oh God, you knew? Did he?!” She gripped her fork tightly, already making plans of how to avoid being around the house whenever Klaus was there to save herself the embarrassment. She could just bury herself in work. Yes, that was a solid plan…except her work was at her house…where Klaus the sexy handyman would be every day, all day. Crap.

“No, he has no idea, Care,” Stefan replied with a chuckle. “But that might be because he’s been too distracted asking me all sorts of pointed questions about you.” 

She gasped, “Seriously? Like what kind of questions?” Her heart was racing, but her mind kept telling her to slow down and not read too much into this revelation.

He dragged a bite of chicken through the tangy lemon-oregano glaze. “Oh, you know,” he teased in a casual tone, “If you were seeing someone, what sorts of things you might like to do on a date, if I was going to murder him in his sleep if he’d been harboring a crush on my baby sister for years…you know, the usual.”

Caroline couldn’t help the silly little squeal that escaped her lips as she jumped out of her seat to hug her brother. He hugged her back, laughing at her enthusiasm. “Okay, that’s all the matchmaking I can stomach. I have it on good authority that Klaus is stopping by the house later, so you might want to take that walk now to clear your head.”

She patted his shoulder affectionately. “You know me so well.” She practically skipped down the porch steps, letting her bare feet sink into the warm white sand. She waved at Stefan and headed toward the shore where the small waves glowed in the starlight as they gently lapped at the water’s edge. Her simple lilac sundress whipped around her knees in the soft breeze, and she briefly considered heading back to the house for a shawl when she saw a figure crouched down, digging in the wet sand. When she saw the unruly curls, she was helpless to stop her lips from curving into a joyful smile.

“Hey,” she said, trying to stifle a giggle when Klaus slightly jumped at her unexpected arrival.

He remained kneeling, his jean-clad knees cutting sharp divots in the sand. He smiled softly up at her with his dimples on display. “Caroline,” he mumbled, somewhat hesitant as he momentarily paused his digging. “I was hoping to surprise you.”

“Surprise me how” she wondered, tilting her head to the side. She gestured to the metal bucket that sat beside him. “What are you doing?”

Klaus lowered his gray eyes, as though embarrassed, and nodded toward the bucket that contained a handful of broken shells. “I was looking for a perfectly broken sand dollar.” He shrugged and ventured a quick glance at her stunned expression. “Someone told me that it would have beautiful symmetry if it ever found its other half.”

Caroline gulped, her heart beating wildly. She was proud of the way she managed to keep her voice from shaking as she knelt down beside him in the wet sand. “Well then, let me help you look.”

Their eyes met, and he leaned into her, nearly knocking over the bucket in his eagerness to be closer to her. “Really,” he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.

Caroline nodded, moving both hands behind his head to toy with his curls. “I figure that’s easier than searching for Tunde’s blade,” she giggled, pulling him in for a kiss.