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"Dr. Cullen, well well, aren't you a sight for sore eyes." The voice, lightly accented, caused Carlisle Cullen to turn on his heel. He must have been distracted for someone to sneak up on him on his own property.

But alarm cooled as he considered the person standing ten feet away, at the end of his drive. Small, roughly a foot smaller than his 6'2" height. He supposed at first glance there was very little threatening about her. Except that the shirt she wore did little to disguise the lithe muscle of her bared forearms. The shirt was complimented by her rich raven blue-black hair and contrasted by the beige cargo pants. It was the eyes though that would make one wary. Of a sharp, almost predatory, blue they met his own amber-gold gaze.

When was the last time he'd seen her? Almost seventy years ago, wasn't it? She looked as she had back then. She also smelt delectable.

"Kagome Higurashi," he grinned, "to what do I owe the honour?"

A soft laugh. "You don't change, do you?"

**Character Change (Kagome)**

She had to admit the house was nice. Cozy. With pale cream walls and chestnut flooring. No wonder he'd been pleased to show it off. In the carpeted living she'd caught lingering scent of blood. Other rooms held a smell she'd gotten used to. A scent that could only be called too sweet, like days old spilled wine. It was, she knew, unpleasant to some. And beneath the aftershave she knew Carlisle would have the same scent.

And though she could smell them, it seemed the others weren't here. Hadn't been since at least last night and earlier in the morning per her host. Four had taken off for a shopping spree in Seattle. Two were somewhere in town. Finding that the once rogue had added five new members to the family since she'd last seen him was rather amusing. The irony. He, the one who didn't quite fit among his own, now leading a coven.

One of those coven mates she wanted to talk with him about. After. Maybe. She'd be lying if she said that was the only reason why'd she sought him out.

But for now Kagome was content to lean against the counter top watching Carlisle as he went about making tea. It was an old habit from when he'd been alive, and which was in essence unnecessary now for vampires did not need human food or drink, that had fueled much teasing over the years, decades, and centuries since she had first encountered the London born vampire.

Ah yes. Centuries. How many years was it now had she known the blonde? Two hundred and seventy four years, give or take a decade or two. But then what was a few centuries between near immortals?

The thing was was unlike any vampire she hadn't died to achieve her state of longevity. She still had to eat, even if she preferred her meat blue. She still had to breathe. Her heart, though slower than what many would consider normal, still beat. She could still bleed out like any other human. And though she was stronger and more durable than mortals, she could still be killed.

"Enjoying yourself?" His voice interrupted her inner monologue and her gaze jerked up as he turned, two cups of tea in hand.

Dressed in a light blue shirt and dark blue jeans he looked comfortably at home. Through the window sunlight lightened hair to the natural ashy beige, turning copper tinted eyes to gold. He was a strikingly handsome individual. Had to have been before too. The transformation from human to vampire did not work magic. It merely removed the superficial flaws of mortality. Otherwise the vampire who had bitten him wouldn't have been hiding in the sewers of 16th Century London.

Eyeing the blonde haired vampire's broad shoulders and narrow waist with a comfortable ease, Kagome admitted she was enjoying the view within the safety of her mind. "You could say that."

An eyebrow arched, "oh?"

His voice had lowered to a soft baritone that teased pleasantly along the edges of her hearing. She could feel heat creep up her neck and pool low in her belly. Damn vampire. Hadn't he ever heard the saying, business before pleasure? Or was it don't mix pleasure with business? Fuck it. She'd been uncomfortable all week, feeling much like the bitch in heat she was, and he wasn't just good at scratching her itch.

Just setting the scene as they say.