Status: Active :)

The Warrior


Irene was quite surprised when Duncan came to pick her up. She never really thought he would ditch her, but she thought he might have flaked out on her. But no, contrary to her beliefs, there Duncan was, standing in the hallway to her apartment, waiting patiently for her to descend the stairs. When she did, he noticed the subtle differences in her appearance and mood- she looked brighter, more comfortable with herself and she had changed out of her long ankle length skirt, opting for a pair of nicely fitting jeans instead.

Just as Duncan really began to notice her, Irene did the same. A quick look-over, before he met her eyes was good enough for Irene to feel the light blush that had risen to her face. He always dressed nice, but she really found herself enjoying the sweater he had put on. As they walked outside to his car, Duncan racked his mind for ice breakers and conversation starters. He was concentrated so hard he almost didn't notice Irene lightly brushing her bare arm against his wool covered one as they walked side-by-side. He smiled and she began, "So which car is yours?"
Duncan pointed at the dark SUV underneath the yellow street light. He pulled the keys out of his pocket as they neared it and unlocked the vehicle. Being a gentleman, he went around to the passenger side and opened the door for her.
Irene got in and waited until he had started the car before she told him, "You didn't have to open the door for me, you know?"

"Yeah well, I'm used to being polite." Duncan smiled at her and she let a small smile stretch her lips as he pulled out of the parking spot and began to drive.
"How many times have you been to the Beat Kitchen?" Irene took it upon herself to start the conversation. She never really met someone who was as introverted as she was.
"Tonight will be about, I don't know: eight, ten times now?" He thought out loud and added, "How about you?"

"Somewhere around six. Sometimes for music, sometimes for food and drink."
"I thought you didn't drink." He asked her as he flicked on the turn signal.
"I don't, the Beat Kitchen has non-alcoholic drinks, too." Irene laughed and she looked over at her companion for the night as a blush graced his cheekbones and the bridge of his nose.
"So usually, I'd ask you about what you do, but I assume you have to talk about it enough." Irene pushed aside her scruples about hockey and decided to give him a chance to redeem it in her eyes. She believed that she would be able to give up the ghost completely if someone proved to her it wasn't the violent, useless sport that she viewed it as. She wanted to have a new viewpoint about the game, but every time she tried to look at it from a different angle, something proved it to be violent and pointless once again.

"I know you don't drink, but maybe after you get a few drinks in me I'll want to talk about it more. I'll talk hockey, for sure, but talking about my own game? Eh." Duncan stated and coasted to a stop at the red light. He glanced her way and quickly admired her composure. Most women would be uncomfortable at how little he spoke, but he was really trying tonight to be social. She just sat there and accepted his answers, clearly not having a problem with them.
She laughed at his reply and added, "What exactly does it mean to 'talk hockey'?"
Duncan's eyebrows furrowed. How would you explain such a natural thing? He tried his best with, "Just talk about it. The history of it, hockey today, basically anything that has to do with hockey. Movies, even." After he finished, he still felt like the explanation was lacking.

"I see. Well I don't really know anything about it." Irene admitted as she watched the road ahead of them.
"That's okay. If you ever do want to learn about it, I'll teach you. It's not all fights and checks." Duncan smiled over at her and added quickly, "Sure, they play a major role in how hockey is played, but there's more to it."

It was Irene's turn for her eyebrows to push together. She had never expected him to just leave it at that. She knew for a fact that if someone expressed no knowledge of art whatsoever, she wouldn't be able to leave the conversation at a couple of sentences. She just nodded and had to respect the man sitting next to her a little bit more.

Once they were at the Beat Kitchen and paid the three dollar cover, Duncan led Irene to where he usually sat and watched the bands. There were two stools in front of the small bar and sound table that faced the equally tiny stage.
"Do you mind?" Duncan asked her as he pulled out his wallet and faced the bar.
Irene smiled and shook her head and thought that maybe if he did have some beers in him, he'd elaborate on 'talking hockey'. She may not enjoy the sport but Irene loved learning things and knowing stuff.
He sat back down next to her with a Molson's beer in his hand. "So how come you don't drink anymore?" He looked generally curious as he took a couple drinks out of the long necked bottle.
"If I tell you, you have to tell me something about you, too." She said then decided to add, "That only some people know about you."
Duncan's eyes lit up slightly and a small smile stretched his lips. "Deal."
Irene smiled right back at him and began, "I used to drink at one time," Her face became slightly more serious as she watched the band set up. "I wasn't just a social drinker, either. This was when I still lived in the country, hell, I wasn't even technically legal to drink yet." Irene tucked a chunk of her long dark brown hair behind her ear and continued as Duncan watched her expressions intently. "We were at this party and I was going to follow this guy home in my car- not to hook up or anything, I was doing a favor for a friend and making sure he got home safe. He had too many shots but still wanted to drive home. It was a strange situation but I ended up with his girlfriend in my car and he was just alone in his. We followed close behind and all of a sudden he swerved into oncoming traffic and was hit by a big Chevy truck." Irene's eyes squinted and her hands fidgeted in her lap before Duncan could say, "I'm so sorry."

"Don't be. I didn't even know him. All I knew was that I was just as drunk as he was, maybe more- so I pulled over and his girlfriend ran out into the highway. We waited for the paramedics and I just slept in my car that night. That was the last time I drank. I never wanted anyone to have to go through that with me. Thank god that Rob wore his seatbelt. He only broke his arm, leg, a couple a ribs, and had a concussion. It could have been worse."

Duncan nodded, holding his beer with two hands and now watching the band set up.
"You're fine with me driving you home with only one beer in me? You don't have to be. I can-"
"Hey, it's fine. I mean, a grown man with one beer in him is nothing. Rob had much much more. Anyway, a crash in the city we can walk away from." Irene interrupted him and added, "It's your turn anyway. Spill." She attempted to keep it lighthearted.

"Okay. Don't tell Seabs this." Irene's face was confused so Duncan had to add, "Brent? Don't tell him."
Irene laughed and said, "When do I ever talk to him?"
"Good point. Anyway, I love reading. The guys have a small idea, but they don't know the extent. I have books hidden everywhere. I have shelves of them behind my suit jackets in my closet, I have a couple shelves in the guest bedroom, stacks underneath my bed, even some underneath the kitchen sink in some of those space bags- they're water proof, you know?" Duncan looked actually embarrassed a little as he took another drink from the amber bottle and Irene chuckled but it was drown out by the band now warming up.

"That shouldn't even count. Reading is awesome." She said into his ear when the opening band became louder. Irene pulled back and saw his face turn to disbelief.
"Fine, I'll tell you something else, but a bunch of people already know this. Promise you won't freak out."
Her eyes widened and she nodded, slightly eager to hear what he had to say and slightly frightened.
"I had seven of my teeth knocked out two seasons ago. I take the fake ones out during games so I don't wreck them." He looked bashful, but Irene's face lit up.
"No way. Can I see?" Her excitement was one of a little kid's, but she wanted to see what it looked like.
Duncan chuckled a deep chuckle that vibrated the air around them and obliged, gripping the fake dentures from his mouth and smiling for her.
"Aw! It's cute. I was expecting you to be intimidating without teeth. You're still cute." Irene smiled and turned back towards the band and saw people starting to fill in the floor below the stage. "Come on." She noticed his teeth were back in and grabbed his hand, pulling him into the crowd with her.
"Just cute, huh?" He asked in his deep baritone and a smirk graced his lips.
Irene caught on that he was flirting and she became more comfortable with this tall man as she replied, "Well, not just cute." Duncan smiled at her and she positioned herself in front of him when the band introduced themselves with the opening riffs of a song. He put his hands on her hips and when she didn't complain or stiffen up, he allowed himself to pull her in close to him as they swayed with the melodies.

The air was slightly chilly in the August night when they stepped out of the warm Beat Kitchen. Duncan was about to say something to his date when his phone rang. He recognized the tone of his best friend's voice when he answered and hung up after they finished.
"What's with the face?" Irene asked him as he tucked the phone back into his pocket.
"Brent called. There's issues with him and Dayna, can you come with me? I'm thinking she'll need a girl there." His eyebrows drew in close together as he looked uncomfortable asking Irene for a favor.
"Of course I'll come." What she didn't mention is how she didn't want them to break up because then she wouldn't get to finish the mural and get paid.
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Told you I would update the Warrior. It doesn't help that I have all this spare time while lolgina is at school and I'm here, bored.