Asha: FriendsMature

I smiled broadly at Aria's greeting.  "Its good to see you again."

"What're y'all doin' here?" 

I indicated a house across the way, a couple of houses off being directly opposite. 

"Apparently the house with the dark blue door is a safe house. I got sent here by someone so that I could take a break from work."

Aria nodded, her black curls bouncing in the sun. Understanding was clear on her face at my reference to being the Council's-turned-freelance bounty hunter. 

"So, are you living alone here or...?" I was curious to find out more about Aria after we had left the Mansion. 

"I gotta couple of housemates." She smiled back and I could tell that they would be good people. "And it seems like there's some 'interestin'' folk down the road. She indicated a house with a tilt of her head, where I was able to catch a glimpse of someone apparently levitating  large boxes into the house. I shook my head in amazement. 

"So this isn't the kind of neighbourhood we need to hide in too much then." I grinned, a touch of mischief in the smile this time. I couldn't help thinking that Liam, my housemate and best friend, would love that. 

She shrugged. "Maybe."

"Come over tonight, I want you to meet Liam and we need to catch up properly." I smiled. "And bring your housemates too if you want."

"Sure, see y'all later." Aria gave me one of her easy smiles and she returned to her own house as I wandered down the street, my curiosity piqued. I was able to get a look at an attractive guy walking out the door before I felt a damp nose in my palm.

Hey Liam.I mentally projected my thoughts to him since, in his dog form, he obviously couldn't talk. 

Leaving me to do all the unpacking while you go off and drool over guys was not part of the agreement. He grumbled good-naturedly. 

 I smiled despite myself, taking one last, lingering look as the guy approached before turning back to the house. 

Oooh, Asha has the hots for the locals alreadyLiam teased, dancing around me like an excitable puppy. 

Shut it you I muttered back, mock-angry. Liam whined, givng me the puppy eyes as I unlocked the front door. I rolled my eyes at his theatrics and laughed as he butted the back of my legs.

"You do realise that acting like that could clue people up about you." I spoke normally now.

Liam scoffed, phasing back into his human form. Standing at just over six feet tall, with eyes a shade of green so bright that they almost glowed, as well as messy, dark hair on the long side of average length, he was extremely attractive. Oddly enough, nothing had ever happened between us. We'd been through too much together. His eyes were bright with his teasing and one corner of his mouth quirked up in a grin. I sighed at his irrepressible nature, shaking my head whilst matching his smile and proceeded upstairs at my normal pace to start unpacking. 

"Show off" Liam called upstairs after me. 

"As if you won't the first chance you get to take your clothes off."

"But you love that."

"In your dreams, Scooby."

I laughed as I heard him grumbling at the mild insult. Since shifters like him had a serious sense of pride, being compared to a cartoon character was a sure-fire way to end any argument. I unpacked and cajoled Liam until he left to get some food that was 'not freaking vampire shit'. I then moved at top speed to get the house in a presentable state for our visitors. I half-smiled once I was done and was fixing my hair when Liam arrived back. 

"Visitors arriving in a bit. Make yourself presentable." I spoke as he appeared behind me, slouching in the door frame. 

"Yes m'am." He gave me a sarcastic salute, speaking with the tiniest drop of venom in his voice as he turned. I pounced with a hug before he got to complete the turn. He huffed in surprise, then put his arms round me, squeezing lightly to let me know that all was forgiven. 

"Don't be long." I gave him a gentle nudge and he half-smiled back, saluting me again, affectionately this time as he disappeared to prepare. I did the same, finding my thoughts drift to the guy I'd seen earlier. His grey eyes had been as enticing as Liam's had been in the beginning and I wondered at his story. However, all too soon, the doorbell rang and I allowed myself to be swept up in introductions and renewing friendships. 

The End

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