The first time it happened, Fenris was happy to pretend he hadn’t seen anything and move on with his life.
It happened one evening during (what he thought was going to be) a typical pizza delivery run. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the phone call made to order the pizza, or the pizza order itself.
So ordinary is what Fenris expected when he parked his car outside the man’s apartment building in Hightown. As he entered the building, felt that familiar wave of self-consciousness that he always felt when coming to these higher-class neighborhoods. Those people made no effort to conceal their stares and whispers when they noticed him. They’d look from his bright, silver-white hair to the white tattoos that stood out boldly against his darker skin, and they’d stare in awe. Isabela had noticed it, too, during one of their infamous drinking nights at The Hanged Man, and she teased him relentlessly about how she believed that those that were staring were simply madly in love with him, but after a few drinks, Fenris found himself laughing along with her.
Finally reaching the apartment, he knocked a few times and to his surprise, the door swung open after the third knock.
“Oh thank god you’re finally here,” the man in the doorway said, “I truly thought I was going to starve to death.”
It appeared that every light in the apartment was off, leaving just a flickering orange glow (that Fenris immediately recognized as candlelight) illuminating the open room behind the man. He could hear whispering coming from inside the apartment, but ignored it because he just really didn’t care.
Despite the lack of light in the apartment, Fenris could see the man in front of him clearly thanks to the light in the hallway. He was quite a bit taller than him, and certainly much bigger. He had messy brown hair, a rather thick beard, and something that looked suspiciously like blood smeared across the bridge of his nose. Yet another thing that Fenris was going to ignore. The man was grinning, clearly very excited about his pizza having finally arrived, and moved aside so Fenris could step inside to set the pizzas down on a table just inside the door. As the man walked into another room in the apartment, presumably to get money for the food, Fenris finally saw what was going on in the main room.
As he suspected, there were candles. Many candles, set all around the room. But there was also what appeared to be a coffee table in the middle of the room, and on top of it appeared to be a large, ornate metal bowl in the center, an open book that, even in the candlelight, looked ancient, and, of course, more candles. But what he found most alarming were the three people kneeling around the table. He could hear the whispering much more clearly now, but it didn’t matter because the language wasn’t one he could recognize. The woman whispering sat in the center, between the two others. She looked a bit younger than Fenris, with short black hair and strange black markings on her face. A woman with wavy black hair sat to her left, and to her right was a man with blond hair tied back carelessly. The man and woman were sitting in silence, while the woman in the center continued her bizarre whispering.
Fenris was, understandably, extremely unsettled by the whole thing. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been staring at the group when the woman in the center looked up at him, startling him so badly, he actually jumped. He wasn’t sure what sort of evil creature he’d been expecting her to be, so he wasn’t sure if he should be relieved or terrified when she simply grinned and started waving excitedly at him.
“Oh, hello! I didn’t notice you there!” Her voice was high and cheery, the opposite of whatever Fenris had been expecting. She seemed genuinely, adorably happy.
The man to her right suddenly groaned.
“Ugh, Merrill! You can’t just stop in the middle of it! Now we’re going to have to start all over.”
“Give her a break, Anders.” The other woman spoke up. “She’s doing well this time!” The woman’s voice was rougher than the others’, but had the same sweet, happy note to it.
“Aw, thank you, Bethany!” she -Merrill, apparently- was grinning. “There’s no point in continuing without Hawke. Maybe we can take a quick pizza break!” she practically giggled.
Fortunately, at this point, the man -Hawke, Fenris assumed- returned with his money. Still smiling, he took a long look at him while he handed the money to him (which he, admittedly, found slightly scary but also slightly hot), but as Fenris went to hand him his receipt, Hawke jerked away suddenly.
“Shit, I forgot your tip! Hold on just a minute,” he wasn’t smiling so much anymore, but Fenris noticed that he had the same glint in his eye that Isabela often had when she stalked off after some attractive person she noticed across the bar.
As he practically sprinted back to whatever room he was getting his money from, Fenris barely managed to suppress a frustrated groan. He seriously considered just leaving, deciding that he’d definitely give up the tip money if it meant he got out of this somewhat horrifying apartment. But he stood, awkwardly waiting for Hawke to return. The three still sitting in the living room were still bickering amongst themselves, though from the occasional giggle and at least one thrown couch pillow, it was just all in good nature.
Finally, Hawke returned with a crumpled wad of bills in his hand.
“And here you go!” He said with a smile, and then winked. Fenris had to admit, the man was attractive, even with that suspicious blood-smear across his face. So, without really thinking, Fenris smiled back. Not his usual, generic “polite” smile, but a genuine one. Not that anyone could tell the difference between the two.
Fenris gave him his typical ‘thank you, have a nice night, etc...’ before stepping out of the dim apartment and back into the hallway. As he walked down the hallway toward the stairs, he glanced back at the apartment. Hawke was still watching him. Fenris raised his eyebrows at him and Hawke, who apparently hadn’t realized he’d been staring, actually blushed. He chuckled nervously, which then dissolved into a fake coughing fit, and gave him a quick ‘good night!’ before slamming the door.
Fenris smirked as he made his way back out to his car. Sitting in the driver’s seat, he quickly sorted out the bills Hawke had given him, and to his surprise, a small slip of paper fell out of the pile. Confused, he picked it up.
It had the name Garrett Hawke scribbled on it, followed by a phone number. And a smiley face.
He let himself genuinely laugh at the absurdity of it all. He put the slip of paper into his pocket, but decided that he wouldn’t be calling Hawke. As ridiculously handsome as that man was, he was definitely more than a little concerned about the bizarre demonic ritual that appeared to be happening in his apartment.
Either way, he couldn’t wait to tell Isabela about it.