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 Bee on the Lookout for Ivy, Graziella Vespansiano
Preston Marx
 Posted: May 28 2017, 10:27 PM
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Stranger
Ry


Camping was interesting, it was like an extended spelunking trip that required tents and s’mores, because who camped without s’mores? It wasn’t something that Preston had done often but he had camped out a time or two during his life and for the most part he liked it. That was almost a given though. Pres enjoyed nature and when he wasn’t poking around old buildings he liked to be outside enjoying the fresh air and taking in the sights and sounds of everything around him. Camping provided the added bonus of sleeping under the stars and falling asleep to the sounds of nature.

While he hadn’t spent the night in a tent for some time now, he wasn’t against the idea and the fact that Graz had mentioned that she had never been camping had led the pair off in search of Lochland’s campground. Even if they weren’t going camping right then it would be good to know in the future, right? Besides, it wasn’t like either of them were busy with anything else. Bonnie and Clyde had stayed at the apartment because he didn’t know the campgrounds policy on pets and he didn’t know where exactly they were going so he figured it was safer for them to be out of the way at home, plus he had Graz for company.

He hadn’t known her for very long but he felt like in the short time that they had known each other they had gotten pretty close. She was awesome, to put it simply. She liked all the simple things that he did and she was just super easy to talk to… er, write to. ‘So have you not done the whole campfire thing either? Songs and roasting marshmallows and all that?’ Writing while walking made the letters a bit sloppy but still legible, if only just. Campfires were one of the best parts of camping. He showed the notebook to his companion while casting a glance around and realizing he had very little idea where they were.



[[Outfit]]
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Graziella Vespansiano
 Posted: Jun 6 2017, 01:49 PM
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Stranger
Riva


Graz had walked along side Preston quickly, considering each one of his steps warranted two from the shorter human. She skipped over a fallen branch and almost stumbled, managing to balance by throwing both arms out the side with a short grunt of surprise. She was glad she had left Judy and her basket back at the apartment, it wouldn't have been good if she were to fall on the rat. That would likely spell the end for her tiny companion. It was warm out that day and somewhat humid, so instead of pants Graz had opted for shorts and a crop top- a choice she was slowly regretting as she smacked her leg, jerking it upwards as she read Preston's note. "No, never." She smiled up at him and brushed her hands together. She loved the outdoors- or at least thought she did, but being in a forest while it was a bit humid was starting to show her she wasn't exactly loving the insects.

"I've never had a s'more, either." She confessed as she moved around a small bush. Meeting Pres had, so far, been the best thing that had happened to her upon her arrival. No more sleeping on the streets or having to watch her money closely to sleep in a pricey hotel. Not to mention she got to shower every night before bed! That was a god send! And it didn't hurt that Preston was down right cute, either. She had to stop herself from melting any time he smiled or giving an audible 'awe'. And if Pres was starting to think they were no where he recognized, Graz sure as hell didn't know where they were. "It's really pretty out here."



((Outfitt))

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Preston Marx
 Posted: Jun 7 2017, 07:16 PM
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Stranger
Ry


Getting lost could be fun, like getting lost in a good movie or book, and on some occasions getting lost in town could be neat too because that meant a higher chance of stumbling across something new and exciting. He’d even gotten lost on purpose a time or two just to see more of the town and test his sense of direction. In the past it had worked out pretty well for the mute, well enough that he made it home safely at the end of it and he was certain that this time would be no different.

Their walk had a purpose though and now he was unintentionally lost with Graz by his side. Having company was great and having company like Graz was even better. In a lot of ways they were similar and that was awesome because Pres needed someone who was into all the weird silly things that he liked. That was Graz for him, and once he had found that she didn’t have anywhere to stay he didn’t hesitate to offer his apartment. They were dating or anything, but he liked having her there for impromptu Disney movie marathons and other odd ventures.

Ventures like roaming around Lochland in search for a campground that, for all he knew, was a rumor, though he wasn’t sure why anyone would lie about there being a campground if there wasn’t one. The point was, he hadn’t seen it and even if it was there intended destination he was beginning to wonder if they’d make it. But his mind couldn’t focus on the negative possibilities for too long, though he did frown when he noticed his companion had smacked her leg where a bug must have been. If he had his bookbag he could have offered bug spray but he hadn’t planned on being in the trees like this. When she stated she’d never had a s’more either he shook his head in disapproval, s’mores were delicious and she needed one in her life.

‘We have to fix that… Technically you can make microwave them, but that kinda ruins the fun of it.’ He scribbled, stumbling when his foot caught on a branch that he hadn’t seen because he was staring at the paper. The stumble had resulted in an unwelcomed line across the page and he grunted softly at it. ‘It is pretty.’ He agreed hastily so he didn’t trip on another branch, or anything else. The forest had always been pretty in his mind, all nature was. Through a patch of the trees he saw a bit of a clearing and decided maybe that’d be a good direction. So, without any warning he grabbed Graz’s hand and gave her a little tug to indicate that was where he wanted to go.
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Graziella Vespansiano
 Posted: Jun 18 2017, 09:23 PM
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Stranger
Riva


Reading and walking at the same time could be hard, but not as hard as writing and walking probably was. She hadn't directly asked about it but had assumed he was mute, but then when he laughed or grunted that...required having a voice, right? Maybe once they knew each other longer she'd ask, but for now she felt like it wasn't really her place nor was it overly important. They communicated just fine as it was!

When her hand was grabbed and she was directed in another direction, Graz followed along like puppy with a stupid smile on her face. It was humid out, enough that her hair had a good friz going. She was pretty sure she had heard something about humidity rising having to do with why the bugs were biting more? It got real complicated with words like bio metric pressure and stuff, and it wasn't like it was knowledge she had planned on using in her every day life. To Graz, Humidity = Bad hair day and that was about it.

But it was pretty despite the bugs, and she tried not to let them get to her too much. Getting worked up over something she had no control over was pretty pointless. "I'll look forward to it then, cross it off my bucket list!" She hopped a few steps to quicken her pace, "Hey, short legs here donchya know!" She teased light heatedly as she smiled up to him, but it was true. For every one step Pres took it looked like Graz was taking two the three to keep from being dragged behind him.

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Preston Marx
 Posted: Jun 29 2017, 09:36 AM
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Stranger
Ry


It wasn’t just walking and writing that made Preston’s form of communication difficult, although it was certainly one of the more challenging aspects. In emergency situations things could be rough, trying to write fast and legibly enough to convey a message with the clock ticking, or if he was ever in a position where he didn’t have or couldn’t use his notebook and not to mention if he ever got into a disagreement… trying to get someone to read when they didn’t want to wasn’t easy. But he had made it work alright so far and he and Graz certainly hadn’t had any communicative issues.

They made it work via the notebook, little gestures, and body language. So, when he changed direction he gave her a little nudge and she understood exactly what he had meant by it. Most people didn’t inquire about his not speaking, they just took it at face value and that was okay with him. He’d explain if anyone did ask, or he would at least mention that he could speak but that he chose not to. Graz hadn’t asked and that was fine, she likely felt it too personal a question for a new friendship. Maybe it was.

There was no such thing as too new for s’mores though! They’d find the campground and be sure to come back with the proper supplies for the sweet treat. Preston smiled cheerily at her enthusiasm; her personality was pretty on par with his and it made spending time with her easy and enjoyable. “Hey, short legs here donchya know!” He signed ‘sorry’ and tried to slow his pace by taking half steps, only the change in rhythm and a ‘well-placed’ branch resulted in him tripping. Down he went…. No, down they went because he had a hold of Graz’s hand when he lost his balance and she had gotten caught in his battle with gravity. He let go of her with enough time to catch himself and not go face first into the ground.
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Graziella Vespansiano
 Posted: Jul 6 2017, 07:54 PM
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Stranger
Riva


Down. They. Went.

Graz had been aptly distracted as a butterfly the size of her FACE went fluttering by, "Oh Lo-OOF!", so distracted that she hadn't been prepared for when they went down. Where Pres didn't kiss the ground, Graz got a face full of a tall yet fluffy fern. "Pft," She laid there for a few moments while it all registered and her mind went through a check list of her body. Nothing felt broken, she was pretty sure if something were broke she'd know it. Her knees stung a little and her right shin felt similar so there was no doubt she'd skinned them on the way down. It was after a delayed reaction that her palms decided they hurt too, and her face was a bit achey but not as bad as it could have been.

This mental check took all of four seconds and if it weren't for the sudden appearance of a large black insect buzzing around her head, Graz might have continued to lay there as she laughed at their own expense, "Man, we're pretty graceful," she joked. The insect caused her to push herself up sooner than she'd like and sit back on her knees, swatting a hand towards it, "That thing is huge!"

Well, for someone like Graz who never went into the woods it was. The insect was nearly two inches long and jet black with brown wings and a prominent stinger.

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Preston Marx
 Posted: Jul 8 2017, 09:06 PM
Quote
Stranger
Ry


Preston was realizing just how graceless he was becoming, or had he always been this way and just remained oblivious? It didn’t make much difference how long he had been clumsy, but the fact was that it was starting to affect those around him. First he’d taken Niko down on their spelunking adventure and now Graz had fallen prey to his lack of coordination.

While he had managed to avoid face planting, a sideways glance at his companion would say she hadn’t been as fortunate. Luckily, it looked like she’d landed more in the leaves of a fern than smacked into the dirt but it sucked either way. Since he’s caught himself on his hands and knees he didn’t bother standing up, but slid closer to the other and shifted into a sitting position. He did a mental check over himself and a visual check of her. She looked okay… well, she looked lovely as always, but aside from her knees it didn’t look like she’d been hurt. “Man, we're pretty graceful.” He gave a short half-hearted laugh, still feeling guilty for taking her down with him.

He was caught off guard by her sudden jump up having not seen the bee until she’d swatted at it. The thing rerouted and buzzed past him and he followed her gesture, swatting and getting to his feet. It was a bee, he was pretty sure, but the thing was persistent and kept buzzing aggressively around them. Pres put himself in front of Graz and shooed at the insect again; he hadn’t meant to hurt the thing but he’d knocked it aside and took Graz’s hand. For a second he thought the bee had left them alone and he started walking away but that walk turned to a hurried sprint when the sound of what could only be described as a cluster of bees came from behind them.

Oh no, oh no, oh no!

Still holding tightly to Graz’s hand, he took off, doing his best to duck under branches and avoid stumps as panic coursed through him. Honestly, he hadn’t ever been chased by bees and his mentality was to simply outrun them, it worked with everything else, right? He walked a lot but he wasn’t a runner, he didn’t know if Graz had good stamina either, so he was trying to think of an escape plan. After a snap judgment, he tried to pull both himself and Graz behind the thick trunk of a tree, hoping that it’d provide cover.

The heavy humming of wings was still close by but he didn’t want to look back, instead huddling close to the tree, not noticing the distinctive leaves that wrapped around the trunk and sprawled onto the forest floor at their feet. They were poison ivy leaves, something he would have noticed and avoided if not for the bees. Speaking of the stinging insects, the swarm had found them behind the tree and were starting to sting. He groaned at the painful stings and tried to protect his face and her as much as possible but there were just too many of them. As if he didn’t feel bad enough for making her trip but now poor Graz was getting stung too.

Plan B. He took off running again, looking for somewhere better to hide or a campfire so the smoke would deter them, anything really. His breathing was becoming uneven and he could feel the places he’d been stung starting to swell and throb with discomfort, the ivy hadn’t had time to cause discomfort yet but it would in time. Still leading Graz he weaved through the trees only coming to an abrupt stop when he came to the edge of a lake. The water didn’t look the cleanest, but the bees were still behind them and it was, he thought, the best option. Casting a glance at his current partner in crime to see if they were on the same page and only then did he push forward into the water, not stopping until he was deep enough in to gulp a breath of air and sink beneath the surface.

Holding his breath for as long as he could he hovered just barely covered by the murky water, trying to give the bees time to lose their scent or trail or whatever they’d been following. He didn’t know that much about bees and he also didn’t know how long he could hold his breath for but jeeze his lungs were burning. Popping his head out of the water he gasped loudly for breath and began panting while looking for Graz and hoping she was okay. He hummed a note of worry when he didn’t see her at first, but she was okay, she had to be! At least the bees appeared to be gone.

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Graziella Vespansiano
 Posted: Jul 8 2017, 09:42 PM
Quote
Stranger
Riva


The bee was persistent, that was for sure. First it buzzed around her and then it angrily buzzed around Preston, a time that Graz had taken as opportunity to look her friend over before they were suddenly running through the brush again. She'd had trouble keeping up with Preston before and that was when the guy had just been walking- if he hadn't been towing Graz behind him it was likely that she'd have fallen behind long ago.

Dashing through the underbrush no doubt earned them both quite the number of scratches. Graz was instantly regretting her choice of clothing and decided the moment she got some decent cash inflow that she was going to get a few outfits better fitted for walking in the woods. If it weren't so hot out she might have worn pants, but at the time shorts had seemed like a good idea.

When the pair huddled behind the tree trunk she took the time to gasp for breath, her legs aching as if she'd never worked out or danced a day in her life. Marathons were obviously not her thing, but before she could even get a laugh out at their misfortune they were under attack by the bees! Every sting was ten times worse than getting a shot in the arm. Everything was a target for the bees, not just exposed flesh. If Preston hadn't grabbed her hand and taken off yet again there was a good chance Graz probably would have done something dumb like sat there curled up on the ground.

Instead they were off like a flash again and when their salvation came in the form of a lake's edge, Graz hardly spared her partner a sideways glance of agreement before sloshing in as fast as she could to as deep as she could. Grant it it took far less time for Graz to reach her limit than it did Pres but she ducked under the water and swam out for good measure, holding her breath as long as she could. She surfaced shortly after Pres, gasping loudly as she broke the surface.

Poor thing looked every bit drownded, her make up running and her hair slick against her skull. Her face had been stung only two times, once by the right eye and once on her right cheek. She was exausted after their sprint through the woods and where she normally would have had better posture swimming, opted to doggy paddle instead, sputtering a bit of water as it splashed up at her as she swam towards shore again.

She could feel herself touch bottom and pulled a face as her left shoe sunk in the silty, alge, ooy ground beneath the water. It took her shoe right off her foot and Graz was too disgusted by the sensation of mud between her toes to care. "ew ew ew ew ew ew"

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Preston Marx
 Posted: Jul 8 2017, 10:11 PM
Quote
Stranger
Ry


The water wasn’t overly cold or hot, but it was thick with debris from the surrounding trees. Even in the green, almost swampy, water he was more concerned for Graz’s safety than anything else, he felt horribly responsible for everything. He’d heard her take a gasping breath from somewhere behind him and padded himself around to face her, breathing a small sigh of relief that she wasn’t stuck at the bottom or something terrible.

The pair definitely looked pathetically soaked from head to toe and littered with bee stings, but he was trying to stay positive and remind himself that at least it hadn’t been a bigger animal or something like that. Pushing through the murky water towards the opposite bank from where they had entered Pres was becoming more and more aware of how heavy his clothes were now that they were wet and clinging tightly against his skin. Like Graz, he struggled to take steps as the muddy bottom pulled back against his shoes but finally they were both free of the water. He wasted no time in hunching over, bracing his hands on his knees and trying to catch his breath.

Squeezing his eyes closed for a moment he opened them to focus on his companion to check how she was faring. He wasn’t allowed much time to be concerned before he realized they had another huge problem. Worry etched all over his face as he reached for his notebook to try and tell her what was going on. The notebook had, surprisingly, remained in his pocket but was sufficiently ruined by the water in the lake. He groaned loudly and tossed the book down in frustration. Since he couldn’t write he grabbed her gently by the hand and turned her arm a bit to expose the leech clinging to her skin there. It hadn’t even occurred to him that if she had one leech he probably did too.

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Graziella Vespansiano
 Posted: Jul 8 2017, 10:26 PM
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Stranger
Riva


It took Graz a bit to get free of the muck- every move she made covered her in mud from the waist down, and piratically all the rest of her had splotches of algae clinging to her. She was entirely oblivious to what else was clinging to her but as she crawled over on her hands and knees to squat in the mud in front of Pres, she frowned while watching him struggle with the notebook. It was rare (for her) to see him frustrated, but it was understandable, "Oh Pres, we can get you another on-" But before she finished her sentence her friend had reached out and twisted her arm where she could see the offending hitch hiker.

Her blue eyes widened as her face pulled into both shock and disgust at the same time. That's when she let it loose. A high pitched scream that would have made any horror movie director proud. Bugs were one thing, they didn't bother her so much.
But leeches?

Leeches?!

The scream was only the start of it. A mad dash to swipe her hand down her arm and dislodge the leech, sending it flying off to the side. She twisted around in circles in the mud- lost her right shoe in the process, "Is there more!? Was that the only one!?"

But it wasn't the only one. Covered in mud and appearing like clumps there were no less than twenty. She jumped in place and shook her hands out to the side, "Ew ew ew ew ew ew!" She spied her friend during her mini freak out and gave a hop, "You have them too!"

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Preston Marx
 Posted: Jul 9 2017, 10:44 AM
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Stranger
Ry


It wasn’t often that Pres lost his temper, and he wasn’t so much angry as he was just frustrated with everything that had gone wrong with their adventure. He had just wanted to find the campground with Graz and instead they’d gotten lost in the woods, chased by bees, covered in muddy water and leeches, and they didn’t even know about the poison ivy that would have them itching and scratching like crazy later. The notebook was just one of many set-backs that had been the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’. It would make communicating difficult until they got back home but he managed to convey the leech message well enough.

A shrill scream pierced the wooded area around them when Graz noticed the blood sucker and then she began hoping around looking for others that had been hidden by the mud caked on her exposed skin. “Is there more!? Was that the only one!? Ew ew ew ew ew ew! You have them too!” It made sense that he had them to but it just hadn’t occurred to him until he’d heard her say it. He almost didn’t want to look, but a quick examination of his arms said she was right.

Quickly brushing the visible ones from his arms, the mute shuddered. Of everything that had happened so far that morning leeches were the absolute worst! There had one been three on his arms but something told him to check that they hadn’t gotten under his shirt. Pulling at the neck of his shirt and peeking down showed that there were several black lumps secured to his chest and stomach. What happened next wasn’t exactly a scream but it was Pres’ version of the sound, a kind of nervous and freaked hum, came from his as he tugged free of the soggy fabric and began vigorously wiping the things free from his skin. Still panicking, he ‘danced’ out of his pants, kicked free of his shoes and rubbed the parasites from his legs before blindly reaching at his back in case there were any there too.

Once he thought he had gotten them all and started to calm down some he remembered he wasn’t by himself… and he was also now in nothing but a pair of boxers and socks, not that he was ashamed of his body or anything but it wasn’t how he wanted Graz to see him either. ‘I’m so sorry. Are you okay? Please don’t hate me, I really didn’t mean for any of this to happen!’ He signed, eager to explain and forgetting that she wouldn’t understand him.
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Graziella Vespansiano
 Posted: Jul 9 2017, 11:22 AM
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Stranger
Riva


As much as Graz probably would have loved to hold composure better than Pres, she hadn't fared much better. She had swatted and plucked and screeched and hopped around before she had glimpsed Pres looking down his own shirt.

It was like the horror of all horrors when the thought crossed her mind that- oh god- there were likely leeches under her clothes. She wasted no time in doing exactly what Pres decided was the best course of action and that was stripping down to her light blue, somewhat lacy but knitted bra and undies. She liked to match, yo! Leeches. Sooo many leeches. Her dance of shedding clothes was absolutely anything but sexy or cute. By the time she was done her lower lip was trembling and tears cut through the grime on her cheeks. Despite it being warm out she was shaking like a leaf in the wind, but seeing Pres frantically signing forced a exasperated laugh from her.

She sniffed, wrapping her left arm across her body and rubbing her nose with her right hand, "P-Pres I can't sign that f-fast," She crossed both arms over her chest and tucked her knees together, but a pathetic smile still brushed her lips. Her usual happy self was doing it's best to push through the entirety of what had just happened to them.

It was so bad that it was instantly comical to her, and after thinking on it a bit more she smiled a little brighter, "Its okay!, its okay!, you didn't know it was going to happen!" She couldn't keep up with his signing but she could hazard a guess at what he was saying. As far as actually reading his signing went they'd been working on it enough recently that she could pick up on it if he were slow, but she couldn't sign herself worth spit.

In her fit she'd manage to get most of the leeches off but had missed one stuck rather clearly to the side of her neck.

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Preston Marx
 Posted: Jul 9 2017, 12:00 PM
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Stranger
Ry


If he’d been with anyone else he might have been a bit more embarrassed about, well, everything, but especially being clad in only wet boxers and socks. It wasn’t the most flattering ensemble but it was better than being completely nude, especially since they still had to find their way back home. Whatever the mute had been thinking about prior had been shoved aside when he noticed the tears spilling down Graz’s cheeks, leaving trails through the dirt and makeup that had been smeared across her face. He felt instantly responsible and overwhelmed with the guilt of not taking better care of her. Seriously, the sight nearly broke his heart, so he began signing and somewhere along the way the disaster they’d found themselves in turn humorous.

“P-Pres I can't sign that f-fast, Its okay!, its okay!, you didn't know it was going to happen!” True, but he still felt responsible. Her smile made him feel a bit better and he managed one of his own. So, the morning hadn’t been anything like what he’d expected but they’d made it through okay and now they’d have a funny story to tell, just maybe after they got home and got showered. Feeling his mood starting to lighten he breathed a heavy sigh and pushed a hand through his damp hair to clear it from his face.

‘Guess we should head home?’ His gestures were considerably slower now and when he was done he offered a hand to help her up. It wasn’t until she was on her feet that he noticed she’d missed a leech that was still that was still stuck on her neck. He hesitated for a brief moment before plucking the thing free and tossing it aside. ‘Next time I’ll get directions to the campground.’ He signed with a smile.
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Graziella Vespansiano
 Posted: Jul 9 2017, 09:10 PM
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Stranger
Riva


At first Graz swayed away from Preston's hand as if confused why he was reaching towards her, but the moment she realized she had another leech on her she cringed and shuffled in place as it was plucked off, "Ohhhhh Those things are so gross!" Blech! They were worse than slugs! They were blood-sucking slugs!

But, slug removed, Graz couldn't help a pouttish smile after looking her friend over. Poor guy looked like a puppy that had been left out in the rain. She probably didn't look much better, her blonde hair already frizzing up and still streaked in mud. While she wanted to wash immediately she was by no means about to walk back into the leech infested waters. It could wait until they got back to civilization.

When the thought of civilization crossed her mind, Graz cast a uneasy look back towards her clothes.

No.

No she wasn't going to put them back on. With the shake of her head she mentally confirmed this to herself and then looked back to Pres as he finished signing, smiling again, "You know what sounds good?" She glimpsed at her friend, her incredibly good looking friend now that the threat of leeches had passed. Her glimpse turned into a double take and for a few moments Graz stared rather dumbly at her shirtless companion. What did sound good?

She snapped back to reality and looked up, red in the face, "Ice creme. A whole bucket of it."
After finally getting the words out she spun on heel and cleared her throat, tossing her now partially wavy locks over her shoulder, "Which way should we go?"

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Preston Marx
 Posted: Jul 9 2017, 09:34 PM
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Stranger
Ry


Preston liked Graz, she made him feel a bit more… normal for being so happy all the time and even with the trauma of leeches and bees only minutes behind them the pair were already back to their smiling selves. Maybe they weren’t completely back to normal but they were working on it. She was officially leech free after he’d pulled the one from her neck and he assumed he was equally free from parasites, the heavy layer of dirt that was starting to dry onto their skin and hair was a matter that would have to wait until a proper shower could be found. He wished he could offer her something to cover with but the lingering threat of leeches in the clothing they had shed made that impossible.

Making their way back into and through town would be awkward in nothing but their skivvies but it was better than nothing. Still, it was hard not to stare when he wasn’t used to seeing so much of his friend. Preston and Niko had been moving in the direction of an exclusive relationship and the mute was happy with that, but he was only human and Graz was an attractive woman. Not that he would do anything to break Nikolai’s trust, but it was all he could do to keep his eyes up; Graz was a friend to him and he didn’t want to ruin that by having her think he was a perv.

He’d been so busy trying not to stare at her that he’d been oblivious to her extended gaze on him. “You know what sounds good. Ice creme. A whole bucket of it. Which way should we go?” He smiled widely at her suggestion, very much in agreement with her on that matter but cast an unsure glance around them at her question. In their panic he hadn’t paid much attention to which way they’d come from or needed to go now. Another sigh. He picked a direction that would lead away from the lake and pointed towards it, hoping they’d find the road soon. ‘Ice cream and Disney.’ He signed as they walked, enjoying the much slower pace than their earlier sprint.

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