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Oh, The Weather Outside is Frightful (IC)

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Godfrey Bridge Camping Area, Wharton State Forest

Colt's motorcycle crunched over the pristine white snow as they slowly pulled up to their campsite; Grim, holding on behind him, peered down at the site marker.

"Yep, this is it, spot 39."

She hopped off the back of the bike and looked around, hands on hips; she was wearing a dark blue parka, jeans tucked into hiking boots, and sported a festive Alpaca hat, tied under her chin. Even though it had gotten warmed over the course of the week, there was still a good bit of snow on the ground.

"Wow, this is so pretty! I've been here before, but never in the wintertime. I love it!"

She does a little spin, then heads back to the bike to start unloading the panniers.

"It's not too cold, is it? I really can't tell, so you gotta let me know if it's ever too cold, alright?"

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"Reckon I'll be okay fer now." Colt answered. He swung his leg over the bike and settled the kickstand in the gravel. He pulled his furry winter coat tighter around him. It was a new coat, brown fake fur covered the bulk of it, but fake didn't mean it was bad. The thing was damn warm inside.

Colt opened up another compartment on his bike, and withdrew the duffel bag that held their tent. Grim had offered to simply make one, but Colt had wanted to get away from as much of the super powered business as he could this vacation. They'd bought a nice sized tent instead.

"Where do ya think I should set this up?"

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"Where do ya think I should set this up?"

Lynn takes a few steps around the site, giving it a good once over. "Well, I did a lot of Googling, and all the websites say you want the highest point in the site, that you should not clear way all the snow but try to make it level, and that you need to lay out a tarp underneath the tent. It's all about insulation versus evaporation, apparently." She points toward the middle of the clearing. "This looks good."

The changeling peers about to make sure no one's watching, then conjures up an old-fashioned broom to sweep the site a bit; she gives Colt a guilty look, and shrugs.

"I'm sorry, I'll try to keep the wacky Bewitched hijinx to a minimum. You were right about the tent, though, that would have been a bad idea."

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"Well, reckon I should'a known it was useless." Colt simply smiled and shook his head. He approached the site that Grim had just finished sweeping and planted the duffel bag beside it.

"Well, thanks, hun." He laid a kiss on her lips. Then bent down to begin unpacking the tent. "Woops! The tarp's still on ma bike. I'll just go'n get'it." Once again he stood and made his way back through the snow to his bike. "Turn up any more'a those helpful hints on Google?"

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"Turn up any more'a those helpful hints on Google?"

Grim does a last little bit of sweeping, then poofs the broom away; however her jeans are now coated with a fine layer of snow. Dusting herself, she nods.

"Yeah, a few more things, some of the more useful for you than me. Like I already told you about the 'loose layering' thing before we left, since if you dress all bundled up tight you might think you're gonna be warmer, but you actually limit blood flow, which is a great way to lose toes."

She starts rummaging through the bag, and pulls out the bendy poles and the metal stakes. As she unfolds the elastic-linked poles, she points up at the nearby trees.

"This spot is also good because there's no branches overhead; heat from a campfire or camp stove makes the snow melt, and it all comes down on us. I think Jack London did a story about that, read it back when I was in middle school; really freaked me out."

She stops her preparations and looks up at the cowboy, her cowboy, and for a moment just marvels at him.

"I don't think you know just how lucky I feel sometimes; you are hands down the coolest guy I've ever dated. I mean, they were great, but there's just-" Her fingers try to grasp the words out of the air. "I dunno, a connection, a special connection, that I feel when I'm with you."

She sighs contentedly and returns to her task, still talking as she fusses with the poles.

"And hey, next weekend let's do something you want to do; I don't wanna be pushy and dominate our extracurricular activities all the time."

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"Can't be luckier'n mee!" Colt said to himself as he gathered up the tarp. He smiled; he was happy.

Only other woman in ma life is ma Mom. Colt thought, missing her.

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Soon enough their camp was set up, and Grim crawled into the tent to check it out. "Wow, I love this tent! When I was little, we went camping a lot, but we had this old tent from my Grampa, that had a kinda musty old smell? Though now that I think of it, I kinda loved that smell, too." She pokes her head out to smile at Colt. "Y'know, memories."

She scampers out to fetch their sleeping bags and bedrolls.

"So, did you camp a lot? I mean, I know you guys had technology and everything, but sometimes I have a hard time picturing it. Like, I think you know a lot about horses, but maybe you didn't actually ride 'em much, or maybe the saddle had a tape deck or something."

Then she stops and gives him a searching look.

"And sometimes I think a lot of bad stuff happened that you don't like to talk about; maybe I'm wrong, but I see this look in your eye sometimes, and it just..."

The petitie shapeshifter quickly stuffs her burden into the tent, and then crunches across the snow back to her boyfriend, wrapping her warm hands around his arm.

"You know you can tell me anything, right? I've done wrong in my life; I've got blood on my hands. I don't wanna push you, but I don't want you to hold back with me, either; I don't ever want you to be afraid about what I might think."

She smiles and dusts a bit of snow off his pants.

"And if I'm nuts about all this, tell me that, too."

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"Well, ya ain't completely nuts." Colt smiled, holding her close to him. "Maybe just a little, but ya ain't completely nuts." Then for just a split second, the smile faded. "But yer right, there are a few things..." Colt found himself gazing off into the woods beyond Grim.

He pulled on of his hands out from behind her and waved it in front of his face as if to bat away some bad thoughts, "Bah!" He looked down at her again, and it brought the smile back to his face, just as it always did.

"I didn't have it that bad. Not as bad as it could'a been. Least ways not as bad as most." Colt steeled the expression on his face. "Yer right, everyone's got regrets." he spoke plainly, "An' sure ain't in short supply, neither."

"I know I c'n talk ta ya, Grim. If anythin' I know you'd be the first one supportin' me." He kissed her gently on the forehead, then pulled away from their embrace. He walked slowly towards the tent, saying, "But hell, we just got here. Reckon we outta enjoy ourselves fer a while!" He bent down and ducked into the tent, seeing what it was like inside after being set up. "I promise I'll tell ya more later." He looked back at her from the doorway to the tent. "Maybe tonight, even." Then he climbed all the way in.

From inside the tent, she heard his voice again as he rustled around, "An' fer the record, ya needed an extra pair'a saddle bags fer carryin' the speakers!"

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"An' fer the record, ya needed an extra pair'a saddle bags fer carryin' the speakers!"

"Nurk nurk nurk!" Grim shook her head as she joined Colt in setting up the sleeping bags. So she'd been right; she understood his reticence to go into any details, at least for the moment, but she was glad her instincts were right. It meant that their bond was getting deeper, that she was learning to see into his heart without him having to say anything.

It meant that they were falling deeper in love.

Once the mats and bags were set up, the two of them lay side by side on their sleeping bags, Grim with her hands behind her head, staring up at the roof of the tent; if she closed her eyes, she could see the whole of the campsite with her ears. The drip drip drip of melting snow, the scampering of a nervous rabbit darting this way and that, the various ticks and clicks of Colt's bike as the engine cooled off. When she took a deep breath through her nose, she could smell Colt's delightful musk, not just coming from him, but on herself as well, and for some reason this pleased her very much.

I smell of cowboy. :D

For a whole five minutes, she says nothing; her breathing is so slow and even that she almost sounds asleep. At last she speaks in a dreamy tone, her eyes still closed.

"Just so you know, you're gonna see a different side of me out here; you get me outdoors for a few minutes, and I shut the hell up. I just want you to know it's nothing personal, I'm just...basking, y'know? Basking in it all..."

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Colt smiled a small contented smile. "I was wonderin' when ya'd finally say somethin'." He had been laying on his side watching her relax. If the snow covered campsite hand looked peaceful, Grim was serene. This had to be by far the quietest he'd ever seen her. It was a refreshing change, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to disturb her more.

Colt laid back onto his back, and tried to see what she was seeing. He knew she had good hearing, but exactly how good was it? He closed his eyes, and relaxed, "I won't take it too personally." He added, barely above a whisper. He tried to take in all the sounds of the campsite, just as she must have been.

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After several more minutes of silence, Grim began to sing softly, possibly to herself, possibly for Colt's enjoyment; as always, her untrained voice was not strong and she didn't hit every note perfectly, but the sound was nonetheless pleasant. The tune had an ageless quality to it, suggesting it was written a long time ago; she gently taps her foot along to the rhythm as she sings.

"The night was mighty dark so you could hardly see,

For the moon refused to shine.

There's a couple sitting 'neath the willow tree,

With love in mind.

Little maid was afraid of the darkness

So she said, "I think I better go."

Boy began to sigh, looked up at the sky,

And told the moon his little tale of woe"

"Oh, Shine on, shine on, harvest moon

Up in the sky;

I ain't had no lovin'

Since January, February, June or July.

Snow time ain't no time to stay

Outside and spoon;

So shine on, shine on, harvest moon,

For me and my gal."

She turned to look at Colt and smiled. "Or 'my guy', as the case may be. My Grampa Lou used to play that on an old phonograph; you would have liked him." She took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Annnnd I know he woulda liked you...even if you are a shegetz."

This last word was said with considerable affection. She then rolled on her side, her back to Colt, and wriggled a bit closer to him; a soft cool breeze at the foot of the tent suggested her boots might have vaporized as well.

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Colt was silent through the song. He closed his eyes and enjoyed it, he only opened them again when he felt her snuggle up against him. He rolled to his side, and wrapped an arm around her. "Yer lucky ta have known so much'a yer family. I never knew too much other'n ma mom. Ma dad was never 'round, and ma mom was a runaway. She was nice enough, though. I think she'd'a thought you were the cutest thing there ever was." Colt leaned in close and kissed her on the neck. "Y'all gonna tell me what a shegetz is? 'Er'm I just gonna have ta wonder?"

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Colt didn't talk about his family too much, but she was happy to hear anything about them; she did her best not to push, but she greedily lapped up any details he offered.

Maybe someday I'll meet them. :)

"Y'all gonna tell me what a shegetz is? 'Er'm I just gonna have ta wonder?"

There's a slight intake of breath, and Grim's shoulders bunch up a bit before she rolls over to face her boyfriend; she gives him an apologetic smile.

"Uh, bascially it means a cute and dangerous non-Jewish boy, the kind that our moms warned us about." She sighs and looks down at her hands. "Listen, I don't want you to think that my religion and heritage are somehow..." Lynn struggles to find the right words. "My being Jewish is a big part of who I am, but it's not all I am; it's my faith and my people, and it's being just a little out of step with most of my friends in this country, but it's not me."

She sits up on one elbow and rests a hand on his arm.

"I don't want to change you, or make you feel guilty or force you not to eat stuff you like. I don't expect you to adopt my faith or my lifestyle; if you ever chose to, sure I'd be happy, but I don't want you to ever think it's something you need to do."

Her eyes flick downward for a second, and she chuckles. "Hey, at least you don't havce to worry about the worst part, right?"

Then Grim stops for a second and looks a bit guilty.

"Okay, so I'm not crazy about the smoking, but that's more...I've lost family to cancer, and I'm not a big fan of the smell. I know you've cut back a bit, and I really appreciate it, but-"

She throws up her hands and falls back onto her sleeping bag.

"God, why do we always do this? We say we don't want you to change, but obviosuly we do want you to! How do you guys even put up with us?"

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"Uh, bascially it means a cute and dangerous non-Jewish boy, the kind that our moms warned us about."

Colt laughed a little at that. It hadn't actually crossed his mind that he'd turn out to be the type of guy that mothers warn their little girls about. Somehow, he wasn't upset about it. Maybe it was just the way she said it.

Colt listened to the rest of her musings before he settled on what he would say.

"God, why do we always do this? We say we don't want you to change, but obviosuly we do want you to! How do you guys even put up with us?"

"Reckon that's the age old question, now ain't it?" Colt ran a hand through her hair. "Thing is, I'd gladly do those things if'n it'd make ya happy. But there's a problem wit' that. I don't know that't would." His eyes were suddenly downcast. "Y'all got somethin' that I don't. Faith. An if'n I started doin' all those traditions without believin', wouldn't that just be disrespectin' the resta the people who do believe?"

"I guess what I'm sayin' is, be careful what ya wish fer." Colt shrugged, helpless to explain his lack of faith just as he was helpless to understand having any.

"Now, bout that cigarette thing," Colt rolled over and rummaged around in a bag for a minute, "Aww, now I know I put'em here somewhere." Finally he drew out a small black case. "Vince showed me'n article 'bout this here electric cigarette the other day. Reckon I'd give it'a try. They're supposed ta be better fer ya, since they don't got none'a them nasty chemicals they like ta pack inta the cigarettes in this dimension. An' the best part is? Ya c'n get ones that don't smell!" Colt smiled at Grim. She could see that he was proud of himself for having tried changing his habits on her behalf. She could also see that he was hoping she'd appreciate it. Colt shrugged again, "Maybe religion's the next step, maybe it ain't. But I'm hopin' this here's a start." He smiled.

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"Y'all got somethin' that I don't. Faith. An if'n I started doin' all those traditions without believin', wouldn't that just be disrespectin' the resta the people who do believe?"

A pained expression crosses the Jewish heroine's face.

"Look, I didn't mean to make it sound like-" She sighs and gently strokes his face with her small warm hand. "What you believe, or don't believe, doesn't matter, alright? I know you're a good man, and whatever makes you that way is a good thing, whatever you call it."

She rests her head in the crook of his shoulder. "I dunno, I get kinda weird this time of year, y'know? All self-conscious. It's all 'Jesus this' and 'Santa that', and people assume stuff and ask me dumb questions about the Dreidel song." She shakes her head and dismisses the issue with a wave of her hand.

"Vince showed me'n article 'bout this here electric cigarette the other day. Reckon I'd give it'a try. They're supposed ta be better fer ya, since they don't got none'a them nasty chemicals they like ta pack inta the cigarettes in this dimension. An' the best part is? Ya c'n get ones that don't smell!"

This news does indeed excite Grim, and she eagerly snatches the box and opens it, plucking out one of the strange white sticks and slowly running it under her nose.

"Interesting!"

Quickly putting the strange 'cigarette' back in its box, she throws her arms around Colt's neck and begins kissing his face with great enthusiasm.

"Mmm (smeck!) mmm (smeck!) mmm! You are the most (smeck!) wonderful man (smeck!) I have ever (smeck!), ever known! Do you hear me? Are you listening?"

This last leads to a quick ear nibble, and the sudden realization that Grim's parka and jeans have gone missing; the tent seems very warm and cozy all of a sudden :love:

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The cowboy began kissing her back with equal enthusiasm. He stopped her briefly just to whisper, "Ya talk too much, ya know that?" his tone sarcastic. Once he got her to quiet down, he went right back to kissing her. Soon enough, he noticed that a few of his own articles of clothing were missing. However, it of course had not been his own doing, unlike Grim.


Sometime later...

Colt lay on his back holding a sleeping Grim who lay on his chest. Ain't even gotten ta unpackin' the blankets... Colt mused. Thankfully, the space-heater that was his girlfriend managed to keep him warm enough. And he certainly was not in the mood for moving."Reckon I'm glad ya liked'em." he whispered.

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"Ya talk too much, ya know that?"

She wrinkles her nose and smiles. "Yeah, I get that a lot."


Sometime later...

"Reckon I'm glad ya liked'em."

Grim's pointed ears actually twitch at the whispered words, and she shifts a little on Colt's chest. "Hurmighle? Mablehuh..." Her hand reaches up and gently pushes at his face in the general mouth area, but then drops listlessly as she sinks back into sleep.


Later still...

The smell of cooking wafts into the tent, and the young shapeshifter's nostrills begin to flex almost imperceptibly. A few seconds later they flare noticibly, and she cracks a gummy eyelid.

"Cowboy cooking..." :)

Grim rises up from her sleeping bag and does a quick feline stretch before poking her head outside the tent; the sky is dark, and a tidy campfire has been built. She can see the back of her crouching boyfriend, silhouetted by the fire.

"Hey, you. So is this supper or breakfast? I have no idea how long I slept."

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Colt smiled as he turned and looked over his shoulder. "Well, I wasn't sure exactly what I could make." Colt said as he rummaged with something at the fire pit. He stood and walked back towards the tent. "I'd assumed ya'd pack all the kosher stuff, but I Reckon I decided ta play it safe an' go fer smores." He kneeled down next to the tent. He offered her a chocolaty smelling treat on a plate. "This one's all yer's if'n ya want it." He shrugged, "'Sides, these're better fer night time anyways."

"Now, how bout ya come out'n share th fire wit me. It's nice'n warm, an' the stars look amazin'."

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"Now, how bout ya come out'n share th fire wit me. It's nice'n warm, an' the stars look amazin'."

Grim unzips the tent and crawls out once again in her jeans and parka, kneeling with Colt by the fire. Happily taking the offered plate, she pops the gooey chocolaty treat into her mouth and makes yummy sounds that border on the obscene.

"Mmm-mmm! Oh man, that is so good!" She wags a finger at his kosher concerns. "Don't worry about it, dude; I did all the shopping on this trip, so you're gonna see some brand names you've never heard of before. Like for breakfast, I got Streit's Griddle Mix to go with the eggs and kosher turkey bacon. And if you don't like any of the grub, I will personally take you out to the resturaunt of your choosing and buy you whatever you want to eat, no matter how treif it is."

With an offhand gesture, she creates a thick wool blanket to wrap herself in, and lies down next to the cowboy, her head in his lap.

"Wow, you're right about the stars tonight; I'm so glad we did this! Living in the city, you forget how wild it gets right in your own backyard. Hey, you hungry? I can whip up some dinner, if you want."

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"Treif? That's what, non-kosher? Disgustin'? Un-holy?" Colt gave his girlfriend a hard time. As she laid her head on his lap, he placed his right hand across her stomach, holding her hand through the blanket. He leaned back on his left hand and gazed up at the stars. "Ferget th' city. Ya should see what it's like where I come from. Reckon there's so many space stations up there these days, ya can't tell one from'a 'nother. Let alone see any'a the stars." Colt sighed, reminiscing again.

"If'n yer in the mood ta cook, I won't stop ya. Still, all the same I c'n wait. I'm interested ta see how ya cook som'a the stuff ya brought. I don't recognize a lot'a it. I'ma promise ya, I'm at least gonna try th' stuff before I say no'ta it. Momma always made me try different foods when I was'a kid. If'n I didn't eat what she cooked, I went hungry. Reckon't, now I know that's cuz we didn't actually have no other food in the house period. When I was a kid, I thought she was just bein' mean. But all the same, it taught me'a lesson." Colt smiled down at her briefly, then returned his gaze to the stars.

"Hey look, Reckon that's the Big Dipper, ain't it?" He pointed towards the heavens.

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"Hey look, Reckon that's the Big Dipper, ain't it?" He pointed towards the heavens.

Grim nods. "Yep, sure is, the old Drinkin' Gourd himself; if you follow the two stars of the bowl-"

She traces an invisible line across the sky with her finger.

"You get to Polaris, the North Star, the sailor's friend. And that's exactly all I remember about astronomy. Oh yeah, and Orion wears a snazzy belt."

She raises her head and looks up at Colt. "Y'know, I'm more than happy to cook, but it's not like I'm making space food; actually, I guess you'd feel more at home if I did, come to think of it."

She sits up, leans over and gives him a kiss. "Tonight we'll stick a few Hebrew National dogs on some cooking forks, then put 'em on buns with a little mustard, slick as you please."

Then she holds up two shot glasses she pulled out of thin air.

"And for after, I brought a bottle of Jack." ;)

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Colt chuckled at Grim's comment about Orion's Belt. "Y'know, I'd be willin' ta guess't the stars'n my world're the same as they are here."

"Space food?" Colt asked, "Y'mean like them little tubes'a nasty fake stuff them astronauts eat?" Colt smiled as he returned the kiss. "Ya can't tell me that stuff's kosher." Colt joked, winking.

"Hot dogs!" Colt liked hot dogs. "Now I'll take one'a them over space food any day." Colt selected one of the shot glasses from her hand. He looked over the miniature cowboy hat design drawn on the front and smiled in spite of himself. "Reckon I didn't know ya were a fan'a whiskey. Come ta think'a it, I can't remember ya drinkin' much'a anythin' other'n at the weddin'."

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"Reckon I didn't know ya were a fan'a whiskey. Come ta think'a it, I can't remember ya drinkin' much'a anythin' other'n at the weddin'."

She crumples her face up a bit and shrugs, then flips her shotglass (with a picture of a black cat wearing a witch's hat) up in the air, where it spins and glints in the firelight before she catches it once more.

"Well, you're right, I'm not like a heavy-duty drinker, but I like my rum and Coke, as you saw back at poker night, and I like-a da wine coolers; think of this as me reaching out to the cowboy community, y'know, trying something new."

Grim snaps her fingers and both shot glasses poof away into the night air.

"But that is after we eat; I need at least a little food in my belly before I drink the hard stuff, or I'll just pass out on ya."

The little campfire cook gets up and makes her way over to the cooking supplies, rumaging through the cooler and grabbing utensils; she shuts up again, other than humming 'Harvest Moon' a bit more, happily going about her domestic tasks.

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"But that is after we eat; I need at least a little food in my belly before I drink the hard stuff, or I'll just pass out on ya."

"Now that wouldn't be no fun, now would it?" Colt grinned as he watched her stroll over to their bags, which remained largely unpacked for some reason. :roll: Sometimes he found it difficult even to take his eyes off of her.

Tearing his attention away from the humming shape shifter, Colt leaned over and grabbed a stick. He used it to prod some of the logs in the fire around. After rearranging it into a better cooking fire, he sat back and admired his work.

Leaning on his left hand, he drew the black case of electric cigarettes out of his shirt pocket. He withdrew on from the case, reversed it, and placed the end in a small depression at the back of the case, "lighting" it. "Reckon I gotta try these out some time." He remarked as he put the cigarette to his lips and the case back in his pocket. When he drew in a breath, the tip of the small plastic device lit up bright blue, as did a small band around the cigarette near the base. When he exhaled, real smoke came out, but he noted that it didn't smell bad like cigarette smoke. "Oh, I reckon I could get ta like this." He spoke to himself softly.

"Now, y'all let me know if'n ya need any help!" he called to Grim.

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"Now, y'all let me know if'n ya need any help!" he called to Grim.

Apparently abandoning any attempt at subtlety (in her defense, there aren't any other occupied sites nearby), Grim had fashioned a table where she was prepping dinner, along with two chairs. "Nah, I'm good; glad to hear the e-cig is working out for ya." Ah, those sensitive ears! She reached down into the food supplies and fetched out the previously mentioned bottle of Jack. "Here, if you want to wet your whistle, you can start 'er up." She flipped it end over end toward him, fully confident in his ability to catch it on the fly.

Soon she joined him back by the fire, with several slender hot dogs speared on two long cooking forks; offering one to him, the changeling gave him a naughty wink. "You want to...hold your own?" ;)

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