Concrete and asphalt give way swiftly to gravel as the trees close in on either side, a sharp reminder to any drivers down this thoroughfare that they had best go slowly. The long needles of ponderosa pine brush on either side; during the daytime, jays mock from the branches, and now and then come the bright flashes of hummingbirds. Rustles among the grasses and weeds hint that travelers on foot should take care - skunks and venomous rattlesnakes are hardly unheard-of in this area, and there is always the chance that some squirrel or rodent nearby might be carrying disease.
Some distance from the road, the gravelled way turns around a bend and opens abruptly into a clearing matted with creeping juniper. Mulched beds of rosemary interspersed with autumn sage arc protectively around a grassy space before a large cabin; a garbage can has been refitted as a small cistern, collecting the water from the roof to help irrigate the turf. Here and there along the driveway's edge, small downy-gray Apache plume shrubs are being coaxed into putting down roots, one day to shield parked cars from sight. On the downslope side of the clearing, a single walkingstick cholla claims attention with its spined branches and, at appropriate times, vivid magenta flowers.
He's a tall young man, probably just reaching adulthood -- decently built, but with the lankiness of youth not yet finished filling out his approximately six foot frame -- and reasonably handsome, with lively sky blue eyes, full lips, and well-balanced, expressive features. These are not, however, the things most people notice first. Dark hair, near black by nature or design, is savagely gelled into spikes multiple inches tall, the tips dyed a flamingly bright shade of red found nowhere in nature; his eyebrow, ears, tongue, and the skin beneath his lower lip are all pierced, and his arms, at the least, bear tattoos. There's a spiked black leather collar about his neck and pyramid studded bands on each wrist; his nails are painted black, and the first and middle finger of his left hand are cloaked in articulated steel finger armor, with wickedly pointed tips. His black t-shirt stretches slightly across the chest, where "I like to get drunk and hump things" is neatly printed in white, and the sleeves have been ripped off, leaving a ragged edge at each shoulder. Faded black jeans, close fitting, are tucked into heavy, knee-high black leather boots fastened with far more buckles than strictly necessary.
At a glance, this tall, broad man is somewhere in his forties. The impression is lent testimony by the faint network of lines around his sky blue eyes. His dark hair is cropped short, with a scattering of gray throughout, rendered mostly silver at his temples. His expressive face might be handsome, but his features betray a dourness that places years upon him. The dark curves of his eyebrows are given easily to severity and otherwise full lips tighten too readily into a frown. However, on those rare occasions when he does smile, those grim features are utterly transformed, seized by mirth and made warm and alive. After a glimpse of the kinetic banter of moods on his face, the rest of him is almost an afterthought. The black t-shirt he wears doesn't quite hide the pale jagged scar curving a crescent into his throat nor the fainter scar cutting into his left arm from elbow to wrist. White lettering across the front of the shirt reads: "Overcompensating". Faded cut-off jeans and battered high-tops flesh out the rest of his clothing. His legs are well-toned, but marred by nasty scars from cuts and burns alike. On the ring finger of his left hand is a gold band of intricately woven smaller bands.
He's around six foot two, well muscled, but it's mostly hidden under black leather motorcycle pants, and a kevlar riding jacket. Knee-high, strap and buckle covered, polished black boots cover his shins and feet, and a nice pair of gloves, both sturdy and supple cover his hands. His hair is black, short, and spiked, his eyes brown, and his face is reddended from slight windburn. His ears are pierced with spikes through the lobes, and his septum is pierced with a metal loop. Attached to his back is a large, sturdy, aerodynamic backpack, with a large reflective strip on the back.
Standing at 5'7, she is rather thin for her height and she considers herself gangly. Her hair is honey-blonde color that lays straight to her shoulders with very little body or curl. Her eyes are a forest green and seems rather huge on her face and her nose too small, but the pronounced angular look of her cheekbones shows some type of european genes.
She's wearing a pair of black jeans and a heavy, dark green cabled sweater with a high collar. On her feet are a pair of worn looking hiking boots with red laces. She also wears a heavy winter coat and gloves to keep out the chill.
Tall, dark and handsome might be cliched but in this case it is accurate. This man could conceivably have stepped off the pages of GQ or perhaps even a recruiting poster since there's a subtle air of 'military' about him. And indeed, his hair is easily regulation length though not so short as to come close to a buzz cut. Threads of silver are scattered among the dark brown but are most prevalent at his temples. Green eyes, shaded with a hint of yellow, gaze steadily from a face that's been lightly darkened by sun. His features are refined and symmetrical, his carriage straight. Rising several inches above the six foot mark, he is never seen to slouch. Covering his torso is a silvery gray knit polo, the short sleeves of which allow a gold watch on his left wrist to be seen. The shirt is tucked into the waist of navy blue slacks, held up by a dark brown leather belt that matches his shoes. A single gold stud gleams from the lobe of his left ear.
Leo is a large man, and somewhat imposing. His long dark brown hair is tied into a ponytail, leaving his broad face exposed. He's broad-shouldered as well, his stance is wide and set, giving a demeanor of tired confidance. His brown eyes give off a thousand-yard stare, and a thin stubble rests on his jaw, occasionally marred by tiny scars. A small golden hoop rests in one ear.
He's dressed simply in a thin leather jacket that's too long to be a motorcycle jacket and too short to be a trenchcoat. Underneath is a light, collared grey shirt with a small design of two bowling pins. Underneath is a patch that says 'Yojimbo'. He wears fading black jeans and sensible construction boots.
This gal is tall and lean, with a wiry athletic build. This is no delicate desert flower: she is deeply tanned by the desert sun, and is clad in clothing that has been weathered by the elements. She is clad in a pair of dockers, once black, but now lightened to gray by the blazing sun. She wears a plain green t-shirt with the words , "Snow King Resort - Jackson Hole, Wyoming" scrawled across it in white lettering. A navy blue fleece jacket of the' 'roo' variety is tied about her waist. Yes, definitely not a flashy dresser. The most expensive part of her wardrobe is on her feet: a pair of sturdy brown LL Bean hiking boots that have seen some hard use.
The woman has long brunette hair, pulled back and tied in a tight ponytail. Her features are weather-beaten, but her face is interesting, being long and narrow, tapering down to a pointed chin. Her hazel eyes peer out under a battered brown Driza-Bone slouch hat which is perched squarely on her head. The woman has a wary, yet curious air about her.
Not too tall, no. Not really much out of the ordinary in any respect; after all, lots of people have that vague tired look about them. Blond hair cut short, vibrant and startling blue eyes. He's wearing black jeans, a white button-up shirt, a wide ring of complicated braid on his left hand.
Adrian knocks on the door marked 'Renovated Cabin <RC>'.
Jenna opens the door again.
Jenna says "Hey...do I know you?"
Adrian stands on the doorstep, slightly slouched, a small bit of paper in his hand, and glances up from it as the door opens. "...Not yet, but if you want to fix that, I'm an agreeable kind of guy," he replies, flashing a quick, bright grin.
Jenna knocks her head back just a bit to view the spiky hair, then the tattoo's and then the shirt and she starts giggling. "I can tell!"
Jenna says "Uhm...Ok, do you know where you are?"
Adrian winks, and gestures carelessly toward the house with the hand holding the scrap of paper, the finger armour glinting as light hits it. "Hey, cute =and= perceptive. I like that. Yeah, I'm at a cabin; question is whether it's the place I wanted to go before I saw you." Another grin. "This where Gerald Hazeldine lives?"
Jenna nods slowly. Her pause is a bit wary and the look she gives him is curious. "Friend or foe?" The empty bottle is held rather close now, in case it's needed for back up
"Friend," Adrian replies promptly, and hesitates, "...well, relative of a friend, at least. Not foe, though." He cocks his head a little, listening. "I show up during a party or something?"
Jenna says "Yeah, it's Jerry's birthday...relative?" She raises a brow. "Got a name, Mr. Relative?""
Jenna stands in front of the door as it opens she glances back. "Ocean, go get Jerry."
"Heh, my timing kicks ass," Adrian replies, and grins again, "Adrian ...but you can call me often. And you would be...?"
Ocean opens the door and comes outside, holding Jenna's jacket in her hands. "What the hell's going on out here, Jenna? Here, take your coat." She eyes the stranger, nostrils flaring in the chill wind. "Who's this guy?"
Jenna blinks at the man. "Ms. Taylor, Often." She frowns just slightly.
Jenna takes her coat and shrugs it on. "A relative. Ask Jerry to come out here.
Ocean stares unblinkingly at the man before her. "Family, huh? You on the guest list, whatever-your-name is?"
Jenna says "We're gonna freeze to death, let's let him in, cause he isn't going anywhere alive if he's bad."
Adrian laughs, and shakes his head slightly. "'s cute. No, I said I'm a relative of a friend of his, actually. Slightly diff'rent. How 'bout we discuss it inside, where it's warmer, and there's apparently stuff to drink?"
Jenna walks into the large cabin, letting the door swing closed with a thud.
Ocean says "How about I check with the host, before I just let some bozo I don't know in?"
Adrian grins winningly, and spreads his hands out in a gesture of harmlessness and goodwill which would be more effective without the finger armour. "C'mon, do I look like a bill collector or somethin'? I swear I ain't with the IRS. Don't mind you askin', though, if you're feeling paranoid. Susan Quixwood, that's my ma. He and his brother used to hang out with her way back."
Ocean does not seem in the least bit charmed. She glares balefully at the man before, her eyes snapping with crisp, bright anger. "I don't know who the fuck you are pal, but you're starting to get on my nerves. Full Name. Why you're here. How you found this place. Answers. Now."
Ocean is glaring at the man in front of her, eyes snapping and crackling with anger.
Leo wanders out, beer and Jack Daniels in both hands. He looks around, all casual and bored and stuff. He shivers when he hits the cold.
Adrian's grin only widens a bit, and he leans against the wall, by the door. "Fiesty. Like I told the other chick, the name's Adrian. Mr. Quixwood if you're nasty. I'm here to see Jerry Hazeldine. And I found the place by following a roadmap to the address I got outta the telephone directory. I'm resourceful like that. Regular boy scout."
Gerald throws open the door and brings up the barrel of a Remington -- one handed, he's got a beer in the other. "Hi!" he says brightly "I'm Jerry. Who the fuck are you?"
Ian just walks out of the door, and steps to one side.
Ocean snarls, "I don't know what the fuck kind of cute game you think you're playing, asshole. Spill it, or get the fuck out of Dodge." She stabs one pointed fingernail down the road. "Private Road's that way."
Ian looks tired and annoyed as he sips his beer.
Adrian is leaning against the wall beside the door, which is really a damn good place for aiming at easily. He blinks at the sight of the gun, and the wide grin falters for a fraction of a second before he spreads his hands out to either side again, a gesture of non-agression. "Yo, Jerry. I'm Susan Quixwood's kid, Adrian. You remember her? I came by t' say hey." He pauses a second and adds, "Hey."
Leo blinks at Ocean's tone of voice. He turns and studies Adrian, stepping off the porch and casually moving to the cars, which, happenstance, is also to one side of Adrian. He sets both drinks down on the Ford, then pulls out a cigarette and some matches.
Ian looks at his drink, transfers it to his left hand, steps back a bit and waits for Gerald's response.
Gerald pauses, lowering the gun somewhat. "Susan Quixwood," he says, mulling the name over. "Yeah, I remember her. We used to hang out. She had a rack on her." He eyes Adrian dubiously. "Okay, so hey. What do you want?"
Leo glances between Gerald and Adrian, briefly. He hrms and keeps trying to light his cigarette, but the matches never light. He grumbles.
Adrian arches a brow, eyes briefly scanning the people around him. "What, right now? Everyone to chill out, anna 'bout seven beers."
Ocean continues to glare at the man in front of her. If she were drilling for oil with her eyes, Adrian would look like the Alaskan Wildlife refuge right now.
Gerald considers this, then says, "Yeah, okay. See, we're assholes. Welcome to Albuquerque." Glancing around, he adds, "Someone get this kid a beer?" Then, back to Adrian. "So you came all the way here for a beer. How's Susan doing anyway? Lost touch with her after Marty died."
Ian drinks some more beer, for some reason, he gargles it before swallowing. He sniffs, then rubs at his nose, which is quickly turning blue.
Kevin shivers in the wind and seeing as hwo theings have calmed down a bit, walks over to the camaro. Digging into a pocket, he pulls out his keys and the alarm chirps off. Out of the car he pulls a navy blue peacoat which he quickly shrugs on.
Leo shivers again. He eyes Gerald. "The chick with the rack," he rumbles. "She all right?" The question seems to be just layerd with meanings. His cigarette stays unlit, apparently he's given up on trying to light it.
A woman yells from nearby, "Well either kill him or let him in, cause the ice cream is melting!"
"Kicked it 'bout a month anna half ago, but not bad up t' when she drove off the turnpike," Adrian replies conversationally, "...and thanks, seems like a nice place. Nice weather. Friendly folks. Feel at home already. Marty died too, huh? Sorry t' hear that. They useta write each other, an' shit."
Gerald nods to Leo curtly and says, "Yeah, she's fine. Uh, was fine." The reply is layered as well. He holds the gun casually now, taking a swig off his beer before he says, "Okay, so. Sorry to hear about your mom. Yeah, Marty's been dead awhile." He studies Adrian, frowning. "Are you coming in? I've kind of got this birthday thing going on here."
What a great suggestion. Chirp goes the car alarm again and Kevin heads back inside.
Leo picks up his beer and Jack. He starts to lumber inside, himself, though he seems faintly...disappointed for some reason. He steps up to the porch, passes by Gerald, murmurs a few words to him in passing.
Ian looks at his suddenly empty beer, sighs and walks back inside.
"Oh, well, hey, happy birthday an' all that shit. I'da brought a gift if I'd known," Adrian replies brightly. The lack of impending bullets seems to have raised his spirits from their slightly dampened position. "Far be it from me t' crash uninvited," this seems unlikely, "but hey, if you're offerin', sure. I'll mingle."
Ocean continues to glare at Adrian, eyes locked onto his in a challenging gaze. "You're awfully calm for someone who has a gun pointed at your head." She glances at Gerald and steps inside.
Leo hears that, gives Gerald an extremely dubious look before wandering in.
Gerald glances after everyone, then back at Adrian after they go inside. "Have we met?" he asks, pausing outside the door. "You look familiar, kid."
Adrian looks at Gerald thoughtfully for a moment before replying with studied casualness, "Nah... I think it's just a family resemblance."
Gerald starts to say something, then stops. Dead in his tracks. "Wait," he says, and he laughs a little, because this is funny. He looks at Adrian again, coming right up in his face. "Marty's?" he asks tentatively. He's starting to look a little nervous.
A man yells from nearby, "Get in here or I'm drinking the gift I brought."
Steven walks out of the large cabin.
Adrian cocks his head a little, as if this isn't registering at first, and then laughs. "Oh! You mean, am I Marty's son? Heh, no, no, totally not." He turns and wanders a couple more steps to the door, resting his hand on the knob before turning back to Gerald with a wide, bright grin, the kind that implies far too much enjoyment of a situation and is likely to haunt one's dreams at night, before adding brightly, "I'm yours."
Gerald blinks slowly. He doesn't see Steven yet. "I didn't think we'd..." He looks confused, but not dismissive. This can't be a good sign. He studies Adrian, looking him over. The age is about right. The eyes -- god, the eyes are a dead ringer. The hair, hard to tell with the dye. Still. "Come in," he says. "Please, Adrian." He looks shell-shocked. Hell, he's not even drinking his beer anymore.
Steven opens the door from the other side just in time to hear that. Lucky Steve. He blinks. Twice. "... well. Happy birthday, Jerry." Dry isn't the word.
Adrian glances over his shoulder at Steven. "Hey, gotta admit it's one hell of an impressive gift... if I do say so myself... my timing, like I said earlier, kicks fuckin' ass." A pause, and, "...I hope you like it, 'cause I lost the receipt. Anyway, you don't wanna talk 'bout this =now=, you got a party to get down to. They're gonna lynch you if you don't get festive real damn swift." He steps aside, and makes a Vanna White arm-sweep toward the now open door.
Gerald glances over, and he smiles weakly at Steven. "Look," he says toward Adrian, "Just... don't go anywhere, okay? Do you have a place to stay? Are you in town awhile? Because if you're going to walk down that road and disappear, and I'm going to tie you to a fucking tree. Okay? Got that?"
Adrian tosses off a quick mock-salute to Gerald, points of the finger armour to his forehead and away. "Got a place for now, hangin' out a while, sure. I'll come by, I know where you live, yeah?" He saunters down off the steps, toward a slightly dilapidated truck, and it's not until the door's firmly closed behind the others that he suddenly stops and exclaims, "FUCK! I didn't get any beer."